Two students of Islamic Studies from the KKHM Islamic and Arts College in Valanchery, Malappuram district have become role models after emerging winners in a state-level quiz on Ramayana. Mohammed Jabir P K, a final-year student of the eight-year Wafy course, and Muhammad Basith, a fifth-year student of the same course, are among five winners of the competition conducted online by a publishing house.
Other winners of the course are Abhiram M P, Neethu Krishnan and Navneeth Gopan. “People shouldn’t be reluctant to read the literature of other religions,” Jabir said. “We should understand all religions through their religious texts. But we should practice the one that we like the most. I read the literatures of all religions and follow Islam.” More than 1,000 students participated in the quiz, he said.
The syllabus of their Wafy course includes the study of other religions including Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, Jabir said. “No one asks us not to read the literatures of other religions. Even our course demands us to learn about other religions and understand their values. All religions ask us to live in harmony and none of them promotes hatred,” he said. Jabir said he read a lot about Ramayana during the lockdown.
“There are lots of things to be learnt from the text. It tells us about an ideal person, Rama. It shows us a beautiful bond between brothers and how a country can be governed better,” he said. Basith said he developed an interest in Ramayana during his childhood. “I read a lot about Ramayana from children’s literature during my childhood.
Recently, I also used our library to learn more about the religious text,” he said. Jabir clarified that Wafy students need to complete a bachelor’s degree course too alongside Islamic studies. “We need to do a bachelor’s degree course under a university to get a certificate for our eight-year Wafy course. Most of us complete the degree course through distance education.
Some Islamic Studies colleges provide facilities to do regular courses and Islamic Studies on the same campus,” he said. After the publishing house announced the winners, some people criticised the duo saying that Muslim students learn about other religions to mock the followers of other religions. “Such comments are very disappointing. We learn about other religions as we respect the beliefs of the people in other religions,” Jabir said.