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Madrasah (Arabic: مدرسة, madrasa, pl. مدارس, madāris) is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, secular or religious (of any religion), whether for elementary instruction or higher learning. The word is variously transliterated madrasa, medresa, madrassa, madraza, medrese, etc. In the West, the word usually refers to a specific type of religious school or college for the study of the Islamic religion, though this may not be the only subject studied.
However, in English, the term madrasah usually refers to the specifically Islamic institutions. A typical Islamic school usually offers two courses of study: a ḥifẓ course teaching memorization of the Qur'an (the person who commits the entire Qur'an to memory is called a ḥāfiẓ); and an ʻālim course leading the candidate to become an accepted scholar in the community. A regular curriculum includes courses in Arabic, tafsir (Qur'anic interpretation), sharīʻah (Islamic law), hadiths (recorded sayings and deeds of Muhammad), mantiq (logic), and Muslim history. In the Ottoman Empire, during the Early Modern Period, the study of hadiths was introduced by Süleyman I. Depending on the educational demands, some madaris also offer additional advanced courses in Arabic literature, English and other foreign languages, as well as science and world history. Ottoman madaris along with religious teachings also taught "styles of writing, grammary, syntax, poetry, composition, natural sciences, political sciences, and etiquette." People of all ages attend, and many often move on to becoming imams. The certificate of an ʻālim, for example, requires approximately twelve years of study. A good number of the ḥuffāẓ (plural of ḥāfiẓ) are the product of the madaris. The madaris also resemble colleges, where people take evening classes and reside in dormitories. An important function of the madaris is to admit orphans and poor children in order to provide them with education and training. Madaris may enroll female students; however, they study separately from the men. (From Wikipedia）
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