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A day in the life of Junaid

Eleven-year-old Muhammad Junaid Mushfiq has been living for three and half years in a Hefzkhana - a school (madrasa) for boys to study the Holy Quran. The school called Rangamati Baitus-Sharif Zabbari Madrasa is located in Rangamati, a district in the Southeast of Bangladesh. All students who want to become a Hafez - "the one who memorises the Holy Quran" - live together in the hostel of the madrasa. Muhammad only sees his family every two months. Once he knows the Quran by heart and has passed the final exam he will join a regular school for further study. The education in a madrasa typically lasts as long as he needs to study and memorise the whole Quran.

3:40 am

Waking up and reading the Quran

Every morning, Junaid wakes up at 3.40 am and reads the Quran till Fajar Azan, the Muslim morning prayer. He then performs his own Fajar and joins his Quran teacher to study. Junaid is a bright, sharp student: he finds the lessons easy, and the memorising comes naturally to him. He reads and memorises the Quran for around nine to ten hours daily because he likes to study.

7:00 am

Having his breakfast

The boys stand in line at the kitchen counter of the school to receive their food. Junaid’s day is strictly structured by his studies; also the meals in the hostel’s dining hall are taken at exact times. He has breakfast at 7.00am, lunch at 2.00pm and dinner at 8.50 pm. Usually,the boys eat rice with vegetables, but twice in a week they get meat, fish or eggs.

7:00 am

Bonding with a friend

Juanid always goes to get food with his best friend and they eat together. He is very close with his friend Shahrukh Khan: they take care of each other when they fall sick and support each other in every situation.

2:00 pm


Junaid’s favourite food is chicken. Whenever there is chicken for lunch or dinner, he enjoys it so much that he licks off his plate after finishing the meal.

2:00 pm

Being responsible

In the Hefzkhana, students are expected to be very independent and act responsibly. Junaid brings his own plate for dining; after eating, he has to wash up. He also washes his own clothes and does all his chores by himself.

9:50 pm

Sleep and study

Junaid sleeps with 35 other students in one room. Their dormitory is also the room where they have their Quran lessons. When it is time for class and their Quran teacher arrives, all the students fold their bed rolls and keep them aside to make space in the room.

9:50 pm

Having fun and going to sleep

Every afternoon, after his Asar, the afternoon prayer, Junaid goes out to the fields behind the madrasa to play cricket with his friends. He loves cricket and is a very good batsman. He plays for around one hour daily.  After their game is finished, he again goes to read the Quran. At 9:50 pm he goes to sleep.

The famous speaker

Junaid loves to listen to the waaz– religious speeches – of a great speaker named Ameer Hamza, a local person. He aims to be as great a speaker himself in the future.

His family

Junaid misses his home, his parents and siblings very much. But he also enjoys his life in the madrasa, as hard as it sometimes may be.