Madrasa student passes top civil service exam
Madrasa student passes top civil service exam in Pakistan Image Credit: Twitter

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) resident Maaz-ur-Rehman, a student who attended a local ‘madrasa’ or religious school, has passed the Central Superior Services (CSS) exam in Pakistan and Twitter users are calling him an “inspiration” to many.

In Pakistan, there are certain stereotypes regarding ‘madrasa’ students and they are rarely seen integrating into the mainstream education system but Rehman is changing perceptions.

Recently, the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) announced the result of CSS exams 2019. Out of thousands of candidates from around the country, only 372 made it to Pakistan’s bureaucracy this year, one of which is Rehman.

He has been allocated to the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) after securing the 67th position in CSS 2019.

Facing financial issues and continuing education

After receiving a bachelor's degree, due to financial issues, Rehman had to drop out from the mainstream schooling system and started attending a madrasa, where he spent six years.

However, he did not give up his dreams of receiving further formal education. Alongside his religious studies, Rehman got his master’s degree in Arabic from Islamia College Peshawar.

Rehman did not know what CSS is till a friend of his suggested that he should try his luck in civil services, he revealed in an interview for a local television channel.

“I started from zero before preparing,” Rehman said.

Sharing a video clip from the broadcast, tweep @Warwounded__ wrote: “Hafiz Maaz-ur-Rehman from Peshawar who studied madrasa education has passed CSS exam and will be serving in police department after completion of training. Hard work pays off. Best of luck to him. @MaazUrRahmanPK.”

“I started preparations from scratch and faced failures many times in my road to success. I failed the CSS exams twice; the first time I failed five subjects, whereas in the second attempt I failed three papers. Then I passed the Provincial Administration Services (PAS) exams but wasn’t allocated to any group,” Rehman said in the interview.

“During my journey, I was stubborn and I continued my efforts. In my third attempt, I secured 67th position [6th in KPK] in Pakistan,” he added.

In response to a question regarding stereotypes around ‘madrasa’ students and how such perceptions can be changed, Rehman said: “When people like me will come forward and madrasa students will work hard and pursue an education.”

Social media users were quick to congratulate Rehman and called his journey “inspirational”.

Tweep @ovaismangalwala wrote: “He is a haafiz [someone who has memorised the Quran], son of an imam, has done CSS now! He is a real role model. Meet @MaazUrRahmanPK who sets an example for us. We need more such people. Students of #madrassas are not backward! They just need guidance.”

Tweep @Fawad086 wrote: “True inspiration for all CSS aspirants, this is true image of our madrasa students.”

While the Arabic word ‘madrasa’ refers to any type of educational institution, secular or religious, ‘madrasas’ in non-Arabic speaking countries refer to a specific type of religious school or college for the study of the religion of Islam, though this may not be the only subject studied.