Darul Uloom Deoband

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Darul Uloom Deoband
دارالعلوم دیوبند
दारुल उलूम देवबंद
Jameah Darul Uloom Deoband.jpg
Established 31 May 1866
Type Islamic University
Chancellor Majlis-e-Shoora
Vice-Chancellor Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani
Location Deoband Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Website darululoom-deoband.com

The Darul Uloom Deoband (Hindi: दारुल उलूम देवबन्द, Urdu: دارالعلوم دیوبند‎) is an Islamic school in India where the Deobandi Islamic movement was started. It is located at Deoband, a town in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It was founded in 1866 by several prominent Islamic scholars (Ulema), headed by Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi. The other prominent founding scholars were Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Haji Saiyyid 'Abid Husaiyn.

A large group of scholars at the Darul Uloom Deoband had opposed the establishment of a state established along sectarian lines, particularly the demands of Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Muslim League for the Partition of British India into Muslim and non-Muslim sections.[1][2] It has been suggested that the real reason for their opposition to partition was their desire to Islamize all of India.[3] Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani was one of the scholars who opposed the idea of Pakistan. He was also Shaiykhul-Hadees (Chief of Faculty) of Darul Uloom Deoband and led the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, an organization of the 'Ulama, that saw nothing Islamic in the idea of Pakistan. He said: "All should endeavour jointly for such a democratic government in which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Parsis are included. Such a freedom is in accordance with Islam." The school advocates the orthodox authentic version of Islam and has repeatedly distanced itself from religious extremism.


In 1857, the British East India Company put down with a heavy hand the independence movement begun by disparate north Indian forces, conducted in the name of the otherwise powerless Bahadur Shah Zafar. Emperor Zafar became the last Mughal Emperor, for he was deposed the following year and exiled to Burma, with many of his sons put to death. This marked a seminal moment for Islamic consciousness, specifically for the established Muslim elites of north India, who tended to view the defeat of 1857 as the end of their political pre-eminence and the beginning of a dark period of Muslim history in India.

In this situation, a group of learned theologians, led by Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi, established the Darul ‘Uloom Seminary in the town of Deoband, in order to preserve the Islamic culture and train the children and youth in Islamic knowledge. The foundation of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband was laid down in 1283 A.H. (21 May 1866 C.E.) beneath a pomegranate tree. Nanautawi stated that he had been inspired to do so by a dream in which Muhammad spoke to him.[4] The pedagogical philosophy of Deoband focused on teaching revealed Islamic sciences, known as Manqulat, to the Muslim population, according to the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence. In this seminary, Nanautawi instituted modern methods of learning: teaching in classrooms, a fixed and carefully selected curriculum, lectures by different faculties recognised as leaders in their fields, exam periods, merit prizes, a publishing press and so on. The faculty instructed its students primarily in Urdu, the lingua franca of the Muslims of the region, and supplemented it with study of Arabic (for theological reasons) and Persian (for cultural and literary reasons). In due course, it also unwittingly cemented the growing association of the Urdu language with the Indian Muslim community. The founders consciously decided to separate the seminary from political or governmental participation. Instead, it was to run as an autonomous institution, supported by voluntary financial contributions from the Muslims at large.

Its over 15,000 graduates have gone on to found many similar mandrasas across South Asia and further afield. The followers of this school of theology are often described as followers of the Deobandi school of thought. It is known to be the largest and biggest Islamic Seminary to attract students from all over the world. It is the most truthful islamic seminary in the whole world.

Pattern of education[edit]

Darul Uloom Deoband's curriculum is based on a highly modified version of the 17th-century Indo-Islamic syllabus known as Dars-e-Nizami. The core curriculum teaches the Quran and its exegesis, Muhammad's Hadith and its commentary, Juristic rulings with textual and rational proofs, biography of Muhammad, Arabic grammar, language and literature, and Farsi (Persian).[5]

The current syllabus consists of several stages. The five-year Nazirah or primary course focusing on Urdu, Persian, Hindi and English is the starting point. Successful students move on to the next level of Hifze Quran or Quran Memorization wherein the students learn the Quran by heart in 2–4 years. A few students then opt for Tajwid e Hafs where they learn melodious recitation and detailed recitation rules of the Quran as laid down by Qari Hafs. Still fewer take up the next course of Sab'ah and 'Asharah Qiraat: study of all the ten Quran recitations[6] as explained by all the ten great reciters.

However, the most renowned course of Darul Uloom Deoband is the eight-year Fazilat course starting at Arabi Awwal and culminating at Daura e Hadith. This is equivalent to post graduation studies. The prerequisite for this course is successful completion of the primary education, but doing Memorization of the Quran before taking it up is highly recommended. Those who successfully complete the eight-year Fazilat course get the respectable title of "Alim" or Maulvi. The final year Daurae Hadith class is held in the basement of the large mosque Masjid Rasheed, constructed on the style of the Taj Mahal.[7] 1063 students attended the Daurae Hadith class in the academic year 1434 AH (2012-2013).

Almost a quarter of the students successful in Daurae Hadith stay on to take one of the 14 specialization courses, equivalent to Ph.D. The most highly rated are Takmil Ifta (Specialization in Jurisprudence), Takmil Adab (Specialization in Arabic Literature), and Takhassus fil Hadith (Specialization in Hadith).[8] The students who successfully complete Takmil Ifta get the venerable title of Mufti.

Impact of the Deoband School[edit]

Many Islamic schools in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan—and more recently in Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa and other parts of the world— are affiliated with or theologically linked to Darul 'Uloom Deoband. Seminaries have been established by its graduates such Darul Uloom Sabeelus Salam in Hyderabad, India, Madrasah In'amiyyah[9] Camperdown, near Durban in South Africa, and three seminaries in Pakistan, viz. Darul 'Uloom Karachi, Jami'ah Ashrafiyah Lahore,[10] and Jami'ah Ziyaul-Qur'an (Al-Ma'ruf Bagh-Wali Masjid), Faisalabad.

India's Independence Movement[edit]

In the meeting of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind at Calcutta, in 1926, the participants included graduates of Darul ‘Uloom, Deoband and they supported the group which called for complete independence of India from the British rule. Indian National Congress was to declare complete independence as its goal three years later, in its session at Lahore. Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam or Majlis-e-Ah'rãr-e-Islam (Urdu: مجلس احرارلأسلام‎), also known in short as Ahrar, was a conservative Sunni Muslim Deobandi political party in the Indian subcontinent during the British Raj, prior to the Partition of India founded in December 29, 1929 at Lahore. Chaudhry Afzal Haq, Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and Maulana Dawood Ghaznavi were the founder's of the party.[11] The Ahrar was composed of Indian Muslims disillusioned by the Khilafat Movement, which cleaved closer to the Congress Party.[12] The party was based in Punjab. It gathered support from the urban lower-middle class. The party was associated with opposition to Muhammad Ali Jinnah and establishment of an independent Pakistan as well as persecution of the Ahmadiyya community.[13] The famous freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, who visited Darul ‘Uloom during his visit to India in 1969, had said:[14] "I have had relation with Darul ‘Uloom since the time the Shaiykhul-Hind, Maulana Mehmud Hasan, was alive. Sitting here, we used to make plans for the independence movement, as to how we might drive away the English from this country and how we could make India free from the yoke of slavery of the British Raj. This institution has made great efforts for the freedom of this country".

Alumni scholars[edit]

The school has produced a large number of notable scholars. Among the most famous are:

Condemnation of terrorism[edit]

In February 2008, an "Anti-terrorism Conference", organized by the seminary Darul Uloom in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, denounced all forms of terrorism, declaring that "Islam prohibits the killing of innocent people" and "Islam sternly condemns all kinds of oppression, violence and terrorism". The conference also denounced widespread attempts to blame religious Muslims for terrorist incidents.[15]


The following journals and magazines are being published under the aegis of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband and its alumni.

  • Al-Da'ee/Ad-Da'ee (Arabic Monthly); Ed: Maulana Noor 'Aalam Khaleel Ameeni
  • Maah Namah Darul ‘Uloom (Urdu Monthly); Ed: Maulana Habeebur Rahmaan Qaasmi
  • Aaeenah Darul ‘Uloom (Urdu Fortnighly); Ed: Maulana Kafeel Ahmad 'Alwi


While it has often seemed to distance itself from religious extremism and terrorism, it has also courted controversy in free speech cases, for instance in January 2012 when it issued a fatwa calling for author Salman Rushdie to be barred from entering India to attend a literature festival because he had "hurt Muslim sentiments".[16][17] The Pakistani-Canadian academic Murtaza Haider called the movement "perhaps the most radical of all religious seminaries in South Asia."[18] The spread of the Deobandi movement in the United Kingdom has produced some of criticism concerning their views on interfaith dialogue and values like democracy or the rule of (secular) law. In September 2007 Andrew Norfolk of The Times published an article titled "the hardline takeover of British mosques" about the influence of the Deobandis whom the author called a "hardline islamic sect".[19]


One particular topic which has sparked criticism are fatwas issued by Deobandi clerics regarding the behavior of women in the political and economic spheres. For example, in August 2005 Deobandi clerics from the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary issued a fatwa stating that, while Muslim women may contest political elections, they must observe purdah (wear the niqab) while doing so.[20] In May 2010, clerics from the same seminary issued a fatwa stating that men and women cannot work together in public offices unless the women are properly clothed.[21][22][23] In September 2013, Darul Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa banning photography as un-Islamic.[24]

See also[edit]

List of educational institutions in Uttar Pradesh


  2. ^ A History of Pakistan and Its Origins By Christophe Jaffrelot, Gillian Beaumont, p. 224, ISBN 1-84331-149-6.
  3. ^ Barelvi Islam. globalsecurity.org
  4. ^ Knowledge – An odyssey – The Historic Journey. Inter-islam.org. Retrieved on 2011-08-06.
  5. ^ Urdu booklet Qawaide Dakhilah available as downloadable pdf from http://www.darululoom-deoband.com/english/index.php?main=regulations/index.htm
  6. ^ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qira'at
  7. ^ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj Mahal
  8. ^ http://www.darululoom-deoband.com/english/index.php?main=regulations/index.htm
  9. ^ In'amiyyah Madrasah In'amiyyah
  10. ^ Welcome to Ashrafia Islamic University Lahore. Ashrafia.org.pk (1947-09-14). Retrieved on 2011-08-06.
  11. ^ Ahmad, Syed N. Origins of Muslim consciousness in India: a world-system perspective. New York u.a: Greenwood Press, 1991. p. 175
  12. ^ Christophe Jaffrelot. A history of Pakistan and its origins. Anthem Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84331-149-6, ISBN 978-1-84331-149-2
  13. ^ Bahadur, Kalim (1998). Democracy in Pakistan: crises and conflicts. Har Anand Publications. p. 176. 
  14. ^ Official website of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband. Darululoom-deoband.com. Retrieved on 2011-08-06.
  15. ^ Muslim clerics declare terror "un-Islamic" Muslim clerics declare terror 'un-Islamic'. Times of India Feb. 25, 2008
  16. ^ Darul Uloom, Farangimahal, fatwa on Rushdie Jaipur visit http://www.siasat.com/english/news/darul-uloom-farangimahal-fatwa-rushdie-jaipur-visit
  17. ^ Cleric seeks apology from Rushdie http://kashmirmonitor.org/01192012-ND-cleric-seeks-apology-from-rushdie-18875.aspx
  18. ^ http://dawn.com/2013/03/27/putting-genies-back-in-the-bottle/
  19. ^ http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/faith/article2098578.ece
  20. ^ Women in polls a religious issue: Deoband V-C
  21. ^ Young Muslim women fume at Deoband diktat
  22. ^ Deoband fatwa: It's illegal for women to work, support family
  23. ^ Insurance policy is un-Islamic: Deoband
  24. ^ Times of India: "Deoband issues fatwa banning photography as un-Islamic" September 11, 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°41′32″N 77°40′39″E / 29.69222°N 77.67750°E / 29.69222; 77.67750