Mohammed Basith and M Mohammed Jabir P K, two Muslim students from Malappuram in Kerala, may know more about the Hindu epic in which Lord Rama is identified as the incarnation of Vishnu than many others.
Basith and Jabir were among the five winners of a recent Ramayana quiz competition held online by publishing giant DC Books, which piqued everyone’s interest.
Their Wafy programme, an eight-year course at the KKSM Islamic and Arts College in Valanchery in this north Kerala district, has helped them gain in-depth knowledge of the great epic. Basith and Jabir are fifth and final year Wafy students, respectively.
Although the students had known about the epic since childhood, they began reading and learning about Ramayana and Hinduism in depth after enrolling in the Wafy course, which covers the teachings of all major religions.
The vast college library, which houses a large collection of books on other religions, has assisted them in reading and comprehending the epics.
Coordination of Islamic Colleges offers Wafy course
The Coordination of Islamic Colleges (CIC) offers the Wafy course, which combines religious and temporal education for students who have passed the SSLC examination.
Basith’s favourite sloka in the epic Ramayana was “Ayodhya Kanda,” which describes Lakshmana’s rage and Lord Rama’s consolation to his brother explaining the worthlessness of kingdom and power. He would also go over the meaning and message of the sacred lines in great detail.
“All Indians must read and learn the epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha as they are part of the country’s culture, tradition and history. I believe that it is our responsibility to learn and understand these texts,” Jabir told
The Wafy student stated that Lord Rama is an embodiment of righteousness, forbearance, and serenity, and that such noble virtues should be part of every human being.
Learned about quiz from DC Books Telegram group
Jabir learned about the quiz from the DC Books Telegram group. He stated that he did not require any elaborate preparation other than some brush-up.
“Rama had to sacrifice even his kingdom to fulfill the promise to his beloved father Dasaratha. While living in a period of endless struggles for power, we should draw inspiration from characters like Rama and the message of epics like Ramayana,” the 22-year-old student explained.
According to Basith, extensive reading helps one better understand other faiths and the people who practise them. No religion promotes hatred, but only peace and harmony, he said, adding that winning the quiz gives him even more motivation to learn the epic in depth.