The following are a few statements pertaining to women’s education taken from the works of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullah alayh):


The Harms of Secular Education Especially for Women

Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullah alayh) states:

“Modern education is not education at all but rather a system to make people ignorant. It is extremely detrimental to women in particular. In fact, it is even worse than ignorance because ignorance does not have the serious detriments that this form of education has. A child needs to be taught from childhood. It is unfortunate that people in the cities impart modern education to their children from childhood, as a result of which the effects and repercussions of this education permeate every tissue of the child. Thereafter, no other form of education is found to have an effect on the child.

The example of little girls is like a soft pliable branch which will dry up, harden and remain for life in whichever position it is stuck in the ground. When a child is indoctrinated with a new system of education, she is taught a new culture, a new mode of dressing and a new way of life. The child then becomes fixed in this lifestyle and cannot be reformed in the future…”

It is truly tragic that a great natural quality is being corroded. One will notice in the rural areas that when even a street sweeper or another menial worker is addressed by a man, she will turn her face away and reply by using signs e.g. if he asks for directions, she will merely point him in the right direction. If she is forced to reply verbally, she would be very brief and curt without using soft tones – like a person who is forced to talk. People in rural areas possess natural traits because there is nothing in their societies that would alter these.

Modesty is a natural trait in women. It is also an inherent quality within women to avoid the company of strange men and to avoid all such talk and deeds that may lead to mutual attraction or drawing close each other. This is in fact the teachings of the Shari’ah. A study of the Qur’aan will reveal that a woman should behave in such a manner with strange men that her behaviour breeds aversion instead of affinity and love. Instructing women, Allaah Ta’aala states: “Do not speak in soft tones.”

The Shari’ah conforms perfectly to the human’s natural disposition. However, it is tragic to note that people have drifted very far from natural human traits and regard evil as virtue. Modern secular education has needlessly led to people being captivated by useless subjects, ideologies and passions that have assumed the status of obsessions. May Allaah save us from this…

The best and easiest method is that a man acquires knowledge and then imparts the same to the women at home. If a man is not learned, he should make inquiries from the Ulema and then verbally pass these on to the women. Allaah has made Deen so easy and accessible that it can be acquired by mere speaking and listening._

The least that you can do is to fix a time when you should regularly read to the women books in Urdu (i.e. in one’s home language) which contain the various injunctions of Deen. However, the book should first be sanctioned by a reliable Aalim. If this is not possible, one should ask about the relevant injunctions from Ulema and verbally transmit these to the women at home….(The essence of the matter is that) Husbands should teach their wives because when even one woman becomes learned she can educate many others.”

(At-Tableegh, Vol 7 pg 73, 79, 80…)


Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullah alayh) states:

“The ruling with regard to two factors has become apparent from the foregoing discussion. Both of these factors are spreading very rapidly at present. One of these is the establishment of public schools for girls. Just like the public madrasahs, girls of various nationalities, classes and mentalities interact with each other on a daily basis. Despite the fact that the teachers may be Muslim, and the girl is transported privately and remains in a place where she is secluded from men, have we not seen and experienced what a great effect took place on the character of girls who attend these institutions?

This interaction has often proved to melt away the innocence of a girl. If the teacher happens to be a person with radical views and licentious behaviour, the example will be like keeping sweet delicate fruit with Karela (a bitter vegetable that tends to rapidly spoil others).

The other disturbing factor is when Muslim girls are placed under the care and tutelage of a female missionary (or any other female teacher with incorrect morals), either on a daily or weekly basis, who uses the excuse of teaching some subject or skill to mix with the girls. Neither is a girl’s chastity nor her Imaan safe in this situation…

The education imparted these days through the schools and madaaris are fatally poisonous. I am not in favour of girls madrasahs even though they are under the supervision of Ulema.

Based on experience, I would say that this should never ever be adopted. If you do not take heed to my word, you will have great regrets afterwards.

Forsake the schools and madaaris and teach your girls at home. If you can impart Arabic education to them, SubhaanAllaah (it is a good thing). Otherwise, a basic Urdu education is sufficient. At the end of one of my discourses titled “Huqooqul Bayt”, I have deliberated upon the subject in detail. It is worth studying the same.”

(Islaah Inqilaab)


Emphasising the fact that this view was the overwhelming norm amongst men of reputable standing, Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullah alayh) states:

“Respectable men have never favoured female educational institutions. Muslim females have generally been literate throughout the ages, but they received their education at home. They never attended educational institutions. By receiving her education at home, no harm can come to a girl because the teacher is pious, the girl is conscious of remaining aloof from male company and she receives her education in a secluded environment.

Experience has proven that schooling is extremely detrimental. Why is this so? People tend to ask about what can cause harm when the girls are transported to school in private vehicles and the schools are particular about segregating the sexes? I cannot pinpoint the reason for this, but experience has proven that girls’s schooling is extremely detrimental. It leads to refractory behaviour, permissiveness and an aversion for veiling.

The greatest attribute of a woman is modesty, which is the key to all virtue. Without modesty no good can be expected from a woman and no evil is farfetched. The hadith is clear: “When you have lost modesty, do as you please.”

(Huqooqul Bayt)

At another place, Maulana Thanwi (rahmatullah alayh) states:

“The question of female education is indeed most perplexing. We have noticed that evils always surface wherever girl’s madrassahs are established. Amorous glances are often exchanged and illicit talk is also common. Such incidents are becoming so widespread that even the elderly have become opposed to female education. However, this stance is wrong because this situation does not reflect a fault in female education, but in the administrators of the institutions concerned and the mode of instruction.

The underlying cause of the evils prevalent is the interaction with men. At the time of enrolment and examinations, mature girls come before the secretary and a panel of examiners. This causes hearts to flutter and gazed to stare, which is a grave matter. I would urge secretaries to avoid such situations.”

(Islaahul Yataama)


Shaykh Thanwi (rahmatullah alayh) states:

“The safest way of teaching girls is the method that has been employed since times bygone. This method entails that two or four girls (i.e. a few) gather to learn at a convenient venue. As far as possible, a female teacher who is prepared to teach without remuneration should be appointed to teach because her teaching will have more Barakah (blessings). However, there will be no harm done if a salary has to be paid. If such a female teacher is unavailable, a male of the household should teach them.”

(Islaah Inqilaab)

Maulana Thanwi (rahmatullah alayh) states:

“With regard to the question of female education, if the man of the house is educated, he should teach the girls. Otherwise, if the lady of the house has the relevant knowledge, she should teach. If this is also not possible, the services of other pious women may be employed…

The easiest method of teaching women who are unable to read and write is to tell them a few relevant injunctions of Deen, principles of belief, pieces of advice and read to them some incidents of the pious from a book. Insha Allaah, it will not be long before they become educated without being literate…

You should read books of Deen to your family. If not for a longer period, you should read to them for at least fifteen or twenty minutes a day. However, when you are reading do not see who is listening and who is not, and who is practising and who is not. You do what you are supposed to do.

Start teaching them and continue reading every day even though everyone does not leave their places and come closer and they are all sitting scattered. Many people have reported that reformation has taken place by merely reciting from a book. Is the name of Allaah and His Nabi ﷺ less effective than a delicacy? If a delicacy affects the mouth by making it fill with water, will the names of Allaah and His Nabi ﷺ not produce an effect?”

(Huqooquz Zaujain)
Last Edit: Aug 5, 2022 at 2:57am by Deoband
“Enjoin people towards righteous deeds and prohibit them from wrong-doing (i.e. breaking of Allah’s sacred Laws as clarified ONLY by the Salaf-us-Saaliheen and upheld by the Fuqaha for 1400 years). Otherwise, Allah will place in authority over you the worst of people amongst you (e.g. Bashar Assad, Sisi, Burmese Monks, Modi, Trump, Boris etc). Then the most pious amongst you will do Du’a, but their Du’as will not be answered.” (Authentic Hadeeth)

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