By Amoto Ndiewo

Eleven year old Hussein Mohamud, a pupil at Sankuri Primary School, has received a lot of respect from elders in his area due to the fact that he has memorized all the verses of the Holy Quran.

For such a feat, his father Maalim Mohamud Daud gifted him two female camels.

The young Hussein started learning the Holy Quran at five years. The fact that he has memorized all the verses in the Holy Book is a great feat because the Holy Quran is a direct message from the Almighty Allah and an all-time remedy for all human ills.

Reciting or chanting an Arabic verse of the Holy Quran is vital. Indeed, practicing Muslims are purely religious. In all their endeavours, you’ll hear them utter ‘Bismillah Rahman Rahim, Alhamdullahi and Mashallah among others as they seek Allah’s guidance.

Islamic scholar Abdirashid Mohamed says a lot of importance is attached to Duksi, the Islamic memorization school which is the foundation of Islamic scholarship.

He reveals that every settlement has a Duksi, the population of the area notwithstanding.

‘The higher the population, the more the number of such Islamic schools,’ he says.

A spot check in Garissa reveals that some Duksis have higher enrolment than secular schools.

In the rural area, Duksi lessons are held in the open where pupils sit on the sandy grounds to learn the Holy Quran lessons.

Hon Elias Bare Shill, former MP for Fafi, says that there is no set age limit to start attending an Islamic school.

‘Any child who can speak fluently can register for classes in Duksi. The initial preparatory Duksi lesson begins with numerals and the alphabets in Arabic. The introductory stage, where pupils master the basics is commonly called Alfamale,’’ says Shill.

He adds that beginners take about a day learning two letters, how to read, write and recite the alphabets which are written from left to right.

After mastering the Arabic alphabet, the Duksi tutor known as Maalim or Sheikh embarks on teaching the learners how to read, write and recite the shorter verses of the Holy Quran.

‘We normally start with shorter ones like Al fatah or Alhamdu, then proceed to the longest Albaqqrah,’ Shill.

He reveals that he mastered the whole Quran several times and was given a certificate ‘kalin jebis’.

For quite a long time he was a ‘kabir’( prefect)who could stand in for the Maalim.

Shill reveals that primary school pupils attend Duksi at dawn before attending their normal lessons at six thirty a.m.

He reveals that the lessons taught are mirrored in the high sense of discipline and morality of the Muslims.

Shill adds that Duksi pupils also lead in community matters.

‘They help the poor, plant trees, collect garbage and conduct special prayers   for the needy,’ he says.

He adds that some Muslims who are abroad send their children back to the North Eastern region to learn the Quran.

The Duksi Maalims receive training from local Sheikhs who are better versed in the Holy Quran.

‘Muslims   have been memorizing   the Holy Quran from time immemorial and that hasn’t stopped esteemed Muslim scholars from authoring great works in Philosophy, History, Architecture ,Mathematics ,Astronomy ,Geography and the Sciences,’ Shill stresses .

He gave an example of Abdullahi Hajji, former North Eastern Province and Nyanza Provincial Director of Education who excelled in Holy Quran recitation and his O levels.

Dr. Maryam Sheikh Abdi of Al Usra Muslim magazine says that Duksi classes have both genders and that a girl can also be a Kabir.

She said that non-school goers attend Duksi classes from 7 to 10AM.

‘They resume from 2pm to 4pm and break to collect firewood for the bonfire in rural areas,’ says Dr. Abdi.

The bonfire, she explains, lights the night lessons which begin after Maghreb prayers till around 8pm.

Dr Abdi reveals that before the pupils break from any session, the  pupils’ ears are marked using a black mark to register attendance.

Duksi pupils pay some cash periodically for maintenance and upkeep and to enforce discipline, the Maalim uses a stick on the learners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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