(redirected from medrese)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to medrese: madrasa




in Islamic countries, a school, historically usually one devoted to higher education in religious studies, but the term may refer to any school. Privately endowed, often by royal or wealthy families, and attended mainly by poorer students who also receive free room and board, traditional madrasas have offered a free education in Islamic theology and law and related subjects, mainly accomplished by memorization and recitation of religious texts. For many, they long provided the only accessible source of higher education. Over time, the curriculum of madrasas broadened to include logic, mathematics, history, and other disciplines. Madrasas have taught young men in major Islamic cities since at least the 12th cent., with some documented as far back as the 9th cent. During the 1980s some madrasas, especially in Pakistan, became centers for the recruitment of volunteers fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan and later sometimes supplied recruits for the TalibanTaliban
or Taleban
, Islamic fundamentalist militia of Afghanistan and later Pakistan, originally consisting mainly of Sunni Pashtun religious students from Afghanistan who were educated and trained in Pakistan.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Some madrasas also have been training grounds for Al QaedaAl Qaeda
or Al Qaida
[Arab.,=the base], Sunni Islamic terrorist organization with the stated goals of uniting all Muslims and establishing a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and other Islamic extremists, leading to the misconception in the West that all madrasas are radical Islamist institutions.


See R. W. Hefner and M. W. Zaman, ed., Schooling Islam: The Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education (2006); J. Malik, Madrasas in South Asia: Teaching Terror? (2007); F. A. Noor et al., ed., The Madrasas in Asia: Political Activism and Transnational Linkages (2009), S. H. Ali, Islam and Education: Conflict and Conformity in Pakistan (2009); N. Gupta, Madrasas in Eastern India (2009).



a Muslim secondary and higher school, preparing clergymen, teachers for Muslim primary schools (makatib ), and government civil servants in Near and Middle Eastern countries.

The madrasa became widespread from the ninth through the 13th century in countries where Islamic populations predominated, including certain areas of prerevolutionary Russia (Bukhara, Samarkand, Kazan, and Ufa). Madrasas were usually built near large mosques. The program of studies consisted of Arabic, theology, law, history, and certain applied disciplines. In the Middle Ages, madrasas were not only centers of Muslim theology but had a definite cultural importance as well.

The reorganization of the public educational system that was carried out in many Islamic countries during the 1960’s led to the formation of two basic types of madrasa: the secular madrasa, a school of secondary or higher learning within the public educational system; and the Koranic madrasa, preparing clergymen. Education in the secular madrasas is tuition-free; boys and girls are separated. In addition to the state and theological madrasas, a few private madrasas, which charge tuition, are in operation. Study of the Koran is obligatory in all secular madrasas. Graduates of a madrasa have the right to enter a university.

In the USSR, the Mir-Arab Madrasa in Bukhara, which offers secondary theological education, is in operation (as of 1973).


As an architectural structure, the madrasa originated in the eastern part of the Muslim world in the tenth and 11th centuries. The early madrasas are exemplified by the Farjek Madrasa in Bukhara, a tenth-century structure that has not survived, and the 11th-century Nizamiyyeh Madrasa in Khargird, Iran. Madrasas were built in the Near East in the 12th and 13th centuries, for example, the 12th-century al-Nuriyah al-Kubra Madrasa in Damascus, and the 13th-century Mustansiriyyah Madrasa in Baghdad. The building of madrasas began in North Africa in the 13th and 14th centuries (such as the 13th-century Saffarin Madrasa in Fes and the 14th-century Hasan Madrasa in Cairo).

The one- or two-story madrasa consists of cells, a mosque, and a lecture hall, built around a rectangular courtyard. While sharing common features, madrasas of different regions differ in their layout and construction. Thus, in Middle Asia the mosque and lecture hall are located within the building, along both sides of a portal that is on the axis of the main facade, while in Syria and Egypt, the lecture hall and mosque occupy loggias that open onto the courtyard. In Asia Minor, the madrasa courtyard is usually covered by a large dome. In Asia, vaults are used for roofing, and in North Africa, trussed tile-covered roofs.

Madrasas are decorated with carvings in stucco, stone, and wood, carved terra-cotta, and glazed tiles. The 14th-century Bu-Inaniyah Madrasa in Fes, the Ulugh Beg Madrasa in Samarkand (15th century), and the Mir-Arab Madrasa in Bukhara (16th century) are among the outstanding examples of world architecture.


References in periodicals archive ?
It proclaimed that the business of the medrese classroom was a matter of government policy.
The first medrese was opened in Cyprus just after the conquest of Nicosia in 1570 and lasted until in the first quarter of 20th century and had a curriculum mainly based on religious studies.
Although the education level and number of schools for the Turkish community was higher than the Greek society until the mid-18th century, it was based on religious medrese education until the 19th century and had no idea of the newly introduced technological advances achieved in Europe.
Foca was particularly badly damaged, with the loss of 2 mesjids, the 18th-century medrese and all its 14 mosques, including the Sultan Bayazid Imperial mosque built in 1500 and the beautiful 16th-century Aladja mosque.
The Kurshumliya medrese, built in 1537, was also damaged by shells, as was the Imperial mosque built in 1565 and restored in 1991.
The tomb is located north of the eastern iwan of the medrese building, which is in fact the eastern part of two attached buildings, comprising the medrese and the hospital (Fig.
Due to the lack of any evidence in the building to determine the date, such as a sarcophagus or tombstone in the tomb or as any written tablet in the mescid part, it may be assumed that the tomb was constructed in the same year as the hospital and medrese in 1205/1206.
The medrese will serve as a place for Islamic teachings especially for the teaching of hadiths -- the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad.
Bu vesile ile tekrar eski gunlerine donmus, hamisi Ferhad ve Siyavus Pasa ile medrese arkadasi Hoca Sa'deddin Efendi'nin yardimi ile Istanbul kadisi, 1589'da Anadolu kazaskeri ve nihayet Rumeli kazaskeri olmustur.
The religious complex of Davud Pasa included a mosque, medrese and primary school (1482-92).
After five years of Arabic studies in traditional medreses (religious schools), Nursi completed higher studies in only three months and challenged his teachers to debate him on any subject.
These buildings include 18 palaces, four mansions, 14 inns, four bazrs, five medreses (groups of buildings used for teaching Islamic theology and religious law) and five kasyrs (pavilions).