IMPORTANT EDUCATIONAL CENTRES

Many cities played a prominent part in imparting higher education during the  Muslim period in India. It is desirable to discuss about a few of them in detail.

(i) DELHI

it was Nasiruddin, who established ―Madarsa-i-Nasiria‘ in Delhi under the Chairmanship of ‗Shiraz‘. Other rulers of Salve dynasty also maintained Delhi as an important seat of Muslim education.Allauddin Khilji established many Madarsas in Delhi and appointed renowned teachers therein. These institutions had more than 40 learned Muslim theologians and teachers of Muslim Law. During the days of Allauddin Khilji, Delhi had become a centre of Literateurs and Arists.During the reign of Mohammad Tuglag and his successor, FirozTughlaq Delhi continued to enjoy the status of an important seat of Muslim education.

During the reign of the Moghuls.Humayun had established institution for the study of astronomy and Geography in Delhi.Akbar added certain institutions to it where  Arabic, Persian, Grammar, Philosophy and astronomy were also taught. It is said that even akbar‘s ‗Aaya‘ had established a big institution in Delhi in 1561, and the famous scholar Badayuni had received education in this very institution .Jahangir and Shahjehan also maintained the status of Delhi and contributed to its importance in whatever way they could.Aurangzeb tried to transform Delhi into a city of orthodox Muslim education. with this point in view he established many new educational institutions and gave financial aid to the existing ones. After him the decline of the importance of Delhi started.

(ii) AGRA

Sikandar Lodi  made Agra an important centre of Muslim education. He had established many Maktabs and Madarsas  in this city where students of foreign countries also came to study. In the words of Mr. Jaffar, ―In coruse of time a splendid city sprang at the selected site and took the name of Agra which played prominent part in shaping the destinies of India in her future history.‖After Sikander Lodi, Babar and Humayun also established certain Madarsas in Agra. But it was Akbar who made Agra not only a centre of learning and education but also a seat of culture, craft and fine arts. During his reign, Agra had become a huge university where scholars and learned men came from far and wide. Mr. Jaffer has described this situation very nicely : ―Men of learning and erudition from Arabia, Persia, and Bokhara poured into it in ever increasing number at the prospect of receiving better patronage from the Rulers of India, who were remarkable for their munificence…. The result was that in course of time Agra grew into a great literary city, containing several schools and colleges where people flocked from far and wide for higher education.‖

Near Agra there is a famous city of Fatehpur  Sikri, where Akbar had built many schools. After his death, Jahangir and Shahjehan added certain Madarsas and education institutions to the existing ones and also gave financial aid to them. During the reign of Aurangzeb Agra had assumed a very important place as a seat of Islamic Education.

(iii) JAUNPUR

Sher Shah Suri received his education in one of the schools of Jaunpur city. This seat of education had institutions of various and varied type. Here students from far a wide received education and acquired knowledge of history, political science, philosophy, and warcrafts as well. Ibrahim Sharki was the man who established many Madarsas in Jaunpur and arrangement for their finances was made by the State. Moghul rulers from Humayun to Shahjenhan paid due regard to this city and tried to maintain it as a seat of learning. This city was famous for handicrafts and fine arts as well. During the rule of Mohammad Shah 20 institutions were established in this city

(iv) BIDAR

. It was a famous seat of learning and Mohammad Gawan had established many Maktabs and a big Madarsa over hear. In this Madarsa very learned Maulvis, had been appointed. Attached to this Madarsa there was a big library which housed about 3,000 books on Islamic theology, culture, philosophy, medical science, astronomy history, agriculture etc. There were Maktabs in the rural as well and through them Arabic and Persian were spread. Bahmani rulers were very particular about spreading education. There was not a single village under this rule, which did not have at least one institution. It was, therefore, quite natural for Bidar to be a very important seat a Islamic education in South India.

Ajmer

Muhammed Ghori is reported to have established several madarsas at Ajmer, to be followed by a chain of madarsas at different places by successive rulers. Madarsas enjoyed political patronage with lands to maintain their structure and organisation often with individual cash or land grants to the teachers and students as well.