Darul Uloom Deoband
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|Darul Uloom Deoband
दारुल उलूम देवबंद
|Established||31 May 1866|
|Vice-Chancellor||Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani|
|Location||Deoband Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India|
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. It has been suggested that the real reason for their opposition to partition was their desire to Islamize all of India. 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 the Prophet Muhammad spoke to him. 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
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, Prophet Muhammad's Hadith and its commentary, Juristic rulings with textual and rational proofs, biography of Prophet Muhammad, Arabic grammar, language and literature, and Farsi (Persian).
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 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 Maulana. 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. 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). The students who successfully complete Takmil Ifta get the venerable title of Mufti.
Impact of the Deoband School
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 Camperdown, near Durban in South Africa, and three seminaries in Pakistan, viz. Darul 'Uloom Karachi, Jami'ah Ashrafiyah Lahore, and Jami'ah Ziyaul-Qur'an (Al-Ma'ruf Bagh-Wali Masjid), Faisalabad.
India's Independence Movement
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. The Ahrar was composed of Indian Muslims disillusioned by the Khilafat Movement, which cleaved closer to the Congress Party. 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. The famous freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, who visited Darul ‘Uloom during his visit to India in 1969, had said: "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".
The school has produced a large number of notable scholars. Among the most famous are:
- Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema, head of Darul Uloom Khatme Nabuwwat (a Deobandi institution) Chichawatni
- Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Allamah and Hadith scholar famous for his photographic memory and former Shaikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Deoband
- Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Sufi sheikh with wide influence and erudite scholar, renowned for his Quran exegesis, Bayanul Quran, and the book on Jurisprudence for women, Bahishti Zewar
- Badrul Hasan Al Qasmi, Imam, Khatib and scholar of Islamic Jurisprudence at Kuwait
- Ghulam Murshid, former honorary Khateeb at Badshahi Mosque, Lahore for more than five decades
- Gulam Rabbani Qasmi, Co-founder of Darul Uloom SabeelusSalam, Hyderabad and Imam at Masjid Amirah, Hyderabad, India
- Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, the famous Ahrari leader
- Husain Ahmed Madani, former Shaikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom, Deoband and long-time leader of Jamiat Ulama e Hind
- Mahmood Hasan Deobandi, Shaikhul Hind and the first student of Darul Uloom, Deoband and Leader of the anti-Colonial Silk Movement of India
- Minnatullah Rahmani, former General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Chancellor of Jamiah Rahmaniyah, Munger, Bihar
- Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi, founder of the most widely popular international Islamic movement of Tablighi Jama’at
- Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (former Chief Minister of Kelantan State, Malaysia)
- Qari Muhammad Tayyab Hakimul Islam and former Chancellor of Darul Uloom, Deoband
- Qazi Mujahidul Islam Al Qasmi, founder of Islamic Fiqh Academy, India
- Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Shaikhul Islam and former Member, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan
- Syed Abuzar Bukhari
- Syed Ataullah Shah Bukhari, former president of All-India Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam
- Syed Ata-ul-Mohsin Bukhari
- Syed Ata-ul-Muhaimin Bukhari
- Ubaidullah Sindhi
- Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlawi
Condemnation of terrorism
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.
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". The Pakistani-Canadian academic Murtaza Haider called the movement "perhaps the most radical of all religious seminaries in South Asia."  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".
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. 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. In September 2013, Darul Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa banning photography as un-Islamic.
- Tablighi Jamat
- Nowshera District
- Markazul Maarif
- Darul Uloom Zakariyya
- List of Mohtamims of Darul Uloom Deoband
- Abdus-Sattar Ghazzali ISLAMIC PAKISTAN: ILLUSIONS & REALITY
- A History of Pakistan and Its Origins By Christophe Jaffrelot, Gillian Beaumont, p. 224, ISBN 1-84331-149-6.
- Barelvi Islam. globalsecurity.org
- Knowledge – An odyssey – The Historic Journey. Inter-islam.org. Retrieved on 2011-08-06.
- Urdu booklet Qawaide Dakhilah available as downloadable pdf from http://www.darululoom-deoband.com/english/index.php?main=regulations/index.htm
- In'amiyyah Madrasah In'amiyyah
- Welcome to Ashrafia Islamic University Lahore. Ashrafia.org.pk (1947-09-14). Retrieved on 2011-08-06.
- Ahmad, Syed N. Origins of Muslim consciousness in India: a world-system perspective. New York u.a: Greenwood Press, 1991. p. 175
- Christophe Jaffrelot. A history of Pakistan and its origins. Anthem Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84331-149-6, ISBN 978-1-84331-149-2
- Bahadur, Kalim (1998). Democracy in Pakistan: crises and conflicts. Har Anand Publications. p. 176.
- Official website of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband. Darululoom-deoband.com. Retrieved on 2011-08-06.
- Muslim clerics declare terror "un-Islamic" Muslim clerics declare terror 'un-Islamic'. Times of India Feb. 25, 2008
- Darul Uloom, Farangimahal, fatwa on Rushdie Jaipur visit http://www.siasat.com/english/news/darul-uloom-farangimahal-fatwa-rushdie-jaipur-visit
- Cleric seeks apology from Rushdie http://kashmirmonitor.org/01192012-ND-cleric-seeks-apology-from-rushdie-18875.aspx
- Women in polls a religious issue: Deoband V-C
- Young Muslim women fume at Deoband diktat
- Deoband fatwa: It's illegal for women to work, support family
- Insurance policy is un-Islamic: Deoband
- Times of India: "Deoband issues fatwa banning photography as un-Islamic" September 11, 2013
- Deoband 'Ulama's Movement for the freedom Of India 
- Official website of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband
- Darul Iftaa website of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband
- Deoband.org | Shari'ah, Tariqah, Adherence to the Sunnah and Love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him)
- Friends of Deoband | 'Ulama Ahlus Sunnah
- Darul ‘Uloom Deoband Blog
- Indian Muslim News and Views
- Deobandi Islam
- "Traditionalist" Islaamic Activism: Deoband, Tableeghis, and Talibs
- "Darul ‘Uloom, Deoband issues anti-terrorism Fatwaa
- Daarul Ishaa’at UK – House Of Propagation – Online Islamic Store
- ‘Ulama's progressive stand on Yoga, terrorism, other issues needs to be praised
- Online Books By ‘Ulamaa of Deoband
- Deobandi 'Ulamaa's movement for freedom of India
- Online Islamic Fatawaa
- Online Islamic Study
- Darul Uloom, is the most radical of all religious seminaries in South Asia