maulvis rendered jobless: Covid-19: Maulvis who gave home tuitions in religious subjects have been rendered jobless | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: Before the lockdown began on March 24, Maulana Hafiz Jehangir used to teach deeniyat (religious subjects) to Muslim children at a maktab (primary school) at Malvani in Malad West. In the evening he gave tuition to 10 students, again in Islamic subjects including Quran, Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) and also taught rituals of namaz to his students.
He earned around Rs 15,000 a month on which his family of four comprising him, wife and two children survived. Both the maktab and the private tuition in deeniyat he gave have been suspended for over two months now in the wake of the coronavirus-induced lockdown. “It is really tough to survive as I have no work. I cannot do anything except teaching deeniyat,” said Maulana Jehangir.
He is one among hundreds of maulvis or clerics whom the city sustained by providing them jobs as private tutors for religious subjects. Most Muslim parents whose children go to English-medium private schools which don’t teach religious subjects and Urdu hire these maulvis to tutor their wards at home. The lockdown has rendered these tutors jobless as they are not welcome at people’s home till the lockdown continues. No work means no income.
Many enterprising maulvis supplemented their income through other sources by giving tuition in deeniyat. Bhendi Bazaar-based Maulana Ashraf Idris Qasmi sold attar (perfume) in the day and taught religious subjects to a child in the evening. Both perfume shop and tuition are closed due to the lockdown. “The day lockdown was announced the father of the child whom I taught deeniyat called me to say not to visit his place till he called me again. I am surviving by borrowing from friends. I don’t know for long I can survive like this,” he wondered.
Dongri-based businessman Iqbal Memon Officer who engages a maulvi to teach his three grandchildren said he found a way soon after the lockdown was declared. “I asked the mualvi sahib who is also a hafiz (one who has memorized the Quran) to lead the tarawih (special prayer in Ramzan) for me. This way he remained engaged with us and we paid him more than the monthly salary he used to get from us,” said Officer. But not all maulvis are hafizs nor the parents as sympathetic to the poor maulvis as to pay them even if they didn’t teach their children during the lockdown.
Maulana Ghufran Qasmi in Govandi used to give tuition to two batches of students: in morning to those children who went to regular school in the afternoon and in afternoon to those who attended school in the morning. “Both morning and afternoon batches are suspended. I used to earn around RS 6000 a month and now even that meagre income has stopped. I will starve if some works don’t come my way,” said Maulana Qasmi.
So these jobless maulvis have joined millions to pray for the containment of coronavirus and the end of lockdown.

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