Muslims Learn Sanskrit to Understand Hindu Beliefs

October 22, 2007

Author: Ravi S. Jha

Source: Khaleej Times

More and more Muslim students enrolled in madrassas across India are learning to read, write and speak Sanskrit — a traditional Hindu language. Despite its ancient origin, Sanskrit is not a living language among the people, and Sanskrit-speakers today are just a linguistic minority across the country.

But breaking a new ground, an increasing number of madrassas are making Sanskrit education its calling card. Reason: the demand for Sanskrit education is growing rapidly among the Muslims, who are keen learning the language that many amongst them suggest helps earn solace.

Maulana Shaheen, a religious scholar, says Sanskrit is getting quite popular in madrassas because it is enriched with ‘positive learning’. Maulana Shaheen along with his students at his madrassa in Batla House here attends Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan courses to know how to read, write, speak and understand the language that majority Hindus themselves have forgotten.

He says: “We want to study Sanskrit, and learn about Hindu religious texts.” According to him, this helps Muslims understand the Hindu religion better. The Sanskrit Sansthan, which is a deemed university, is now regularly sending its graduates to conduct three-month preliminary course in various madrassas that have opted Sanskrit in the curriculum.