BY Diaa Hadid
Youths sporting peach fuzz sway as they chant parts of the Quran. They sit in the courtyard of a sprawling Islamic seminary, or madrassa, on the outskirts of the village of Meer Muhammad, in Pakistan’s rural heartland in Punjab.
By graduation, these students should have memorized Islam’s holiest book and finer points of Islamic law. They will have mastered little else.
They need little else, argues Muhammad Saleem Asif, a religious scholar and the principal of the madrassa, the Roza Tul Quran Al Kareem school. These students, repeating the words of God, raise the spirits and morals of their community, he says.
“The seminaries deal with man’s spiritual issues,” Asif says. “They bless the communities around them.”