When Waqas Khan, a 29-year-old Pakistani, graduated from his madrasa in Karachi, he felt disillusioned.

Though he had earned top grades throughout his education, he felt confused about the role of religion and Islamic scholars in the 21st century. “I could not connect the learned knowledge with the world I am living in,” Khan told Religion News Service. “I needed to know what I am missing but I could not.”

Then he met Ebrahim Moosa, and the dots began to connect.

Moosa, a South African, had felt similarly disenchanted after graduating from the one of the most esteemed madrasas in the Muslim world, the famous Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama seminary in Lucknow, India. His curiosity pushed him to get a certificate in journalism, which led him to report on his native country’s struggles over apartheid.

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(Image courtesy of University of Notre Dame)
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