Hawzah-Ilmea (Islamic Seminary) during the reign of Qutb Shahi Kingdom in Deccan

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Hawzah-Ilmea (Islamic Seminary) during the reign of Qutb Shahi Kingdom in Deccan

By the sixteenth century, the education system in Iran had developed on a large scale. The Safawids set it in a new direction of training Shi’ite divines and jurisprudents or “Mujtahids”.

The Islamic Seminaries or ‘Hawzah-i-Ilmea were instituted in Hyderabad and Qutb Shahi kingdom which served as an important agency for the diffusion of ideas and knowledge which had developed in Iranian environment.

There had been some notable Islamic seminaries or “Hawzah-i-Ilmea” in Hyderabad as “Madrasah-i-Ibn Khatun and Madrasah-i-Hayat Baksh Begum”. The curriculum taught at these Islamic seminaries included detailed courses of reflective ‘maqulat’ and narrative ‘manqulat’ branches of knowledge. The curriculum comprised “Tafasir”, the commentaries of Holy Quran, “Ahadith” the traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.). “Fiqh”, Islamic Jurisprudence, Philosophy, Logic, Mathematics, Arabic and Persian Literature. (Dastur-ul-Amal-i-Salatin, MSS. No: 2037, Bankipore Library).

In 1595A.D, Muhammad-Quli Qutb Shah established ‘Madrasah-Darul Shifa’ or the Medical College in Hyderabad.

The colleges in Hyderabad produced great scholars like Mir-i-Miran son of Qazi Zahiruddin Muhammad, who rose to the position of royal epistolarian (Dabir-i-Huzur). He was first appointed as qazi of the cantonment and later as ‘Dabir’ and the member of the “Majlis” in 1047A.H/1637A.D.(153)
The curricula for the education of princes was somewhat different and comprised the following subjects obviously in addition to curricula meant for common people.

1. Qawaid-i-Jahandari’ the art of governance.
2. Administration of justice.
3. Adab-i-Giti’ Comity of nations.
4. Qanun-i-Majlis’ the laws of Majlis.
5. Diwan Dar court procedure.
6. Marasim-i-Padshahi’Royal customs.
7. Ihtimam-i-Asakir military organization.
8. Tarbiyat-i-Nizami military training.

The language of education was Persian and the books of the syllabi were those written in Iran and most of the teachers in the schools and colleges of the Qutb Shahi kingdom were Iranians. Among the tutors of Abdullah Qutb Shah there were men like Mir Qutbuddin Nimatullah Shirazi, Syed Sharif Shahristani, Khwajah Muzaffer Ali and Maulana Syed Husain Shirazi.

A close observation of the situation reveals that Iran was the source of intellectual light during the Qutb Shahi rule in Deccan. It was a model and an ideal in education and administration or fairly well in all walks of life of the nobility and aristocracy. The educational set up organized for the nobility in the Qutb Shahi kingdom smoothened ways for the new generation competently to receive the changing ideas imported from Iran and in turn to make their own contribution.

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