Darul Uloom Deoband

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Darul Uloom Deoband
Darul Uloom Deoband logo.png
Other name
Darul Uloom
TypeIslamic university
Established30 May 1866 (156 years ago) (1866-05-30)
FoundersMuhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Sayyid Muhammad Abid, Fazlur Rahman Usmani and others.
ChancellorMajlis e Shura
RectorAbul Qasim Nomani
Studentsc. 5000
CampusUrban, 70 acres (28 ha)
Darul Uloom Deoband.

The Darul Uloom Deoband is an Islamic seminary (darul uloom) in India at which the Sunni Deobandi Islamic movement began. It is located in Deoband, a town in Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh. The seminary was established by Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, Fazlur Rahman Usmani, Sayyid Muhammad Abid and others in 1866. Mahmud Deobandi was the first teacher and Mahmud Hasan Deobandi was the first student.

On 14 October 2020, the executive council of the seminary appointed Arshad Madani as the principal (sadr-mudarris) and Abul Qasim Nomani as the senior hadith professor (shaykh al-hadith).[1]


Darul Uloom Deoband was established on 30 May 1866 by Fazlur Rahman Usmani, Sayyid Muhammad Abid, Muhammad Qasim Nanotawi, Mehtab Ali, Nehal Ahmad and Zulfiqar Ali Deobandi.[2][3] Mahmud Deobandi was appointed as the first teacher, and Mahmud Hasan Deobandi was the first student who enrolled in the seminary.[4]

In 1982, during the Vice Chancellorship of Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi, administrative disputes occurred in the seminary which led to the formation of Darul Uloom Waqf.[5][6]

The spread of the Deobandi movement in the United Kingdom has produced some criticism concerning their views on interfaith dialogue and values including democracy, secularism, and the rule of law.[citation needed] In September 2007 Andrew Norfolk of The Times published an article titled "Hardline takeover of British mosques" about the influence of the Deobandis whom the author called a "hardline islamic sect".[7]

Masjid Rasheed in the seminary.

In February 2008, an anti-terrorism conference organized by the seminary denounced all forms of terrorism.[8]


The school teaches manqulat (revealed Islamic sciences) according to the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence.[citation needed] In this seminar, Nanawtawi instituted modern methods of learning such as teaching in classrooms, a fixed and carefully selected curriculum, lectures by academics who were leaders in their fields, exam periods, merit prizes, and a publishing press.[citation needed] Students were taught in Urdu, and sometimes in Arabic for theological reasons or Persian, for cultural and literary reasons. The curriculum is based on a highly modified version of the 18th century Indo-Islamic syllabus known as Dars-e-Nizami.[citation needed] The students learn the Quran and its exegesis; Hadith and its commentary; and juristic rulings with textual and rational proofs. They also study the biography of Muhammad, Arabic grammar, Arabic language and literature, and Persian language.[9]

The syllabus consists of many stages. The five-year Nazirah (primary course) teaches Urdu, Persian, Hindi and English. The next level is the Hifze Quran. This involves the memorization of the Quran over two to four years. A few students will then choose Tajwid e Hafs (melodious recitation). The student is taught the detailed recitation rules of the Quran as laid down by Arabic Hafs. Still fewer will take up the next course, the Sab'ah and 'Asharah Qira'at (study of all the ten Quran recitations).

A post graduate studies equivalent is the Fazilat course taken over eight years. It commences with Arabi Awwal, in which the basics of the Arabic language is the main aim, and finishes with Daura e Hadith, in which the main books of the sayings of Muhammad are taught. A prerequisite for this course is completion of primary education. Memorization of the Quran is also recommended. Students who complete the Fazilat may use the title Alim or Maulvi. The Daurae Hadith (final year) class is taught in the basement of "an under construction seven storied building". In the 2017 - 2018 academic year (1438-1439 AH), 1664 students attended the Daurae Hadith class.

Almost a quarter of the students who complete the Daurae Hadith continue their studies. These advanced courses include Takmil Ifta (Jurisprudence); Takmil Adab (Arabic literature); and Takhassus fil Hadith (Hadith).[10] Students who complete the Takmil Ifta take the title Mufti.

Role in the Indian independence movement[edit]

The political ideals of Darul Uloom Deoband were founded up to ten years prior to its opening. In 1857 (1274 AH), Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (a spiritual leader) and his followers, Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi, Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, Muhammad Yaqub Nanautawi and others gathered at Thana Bhawan to protest against British rule and continue their call for the independence of India.[11] The fought what is called the Battle of Shamli.[11]

In 1913 (1333 AH), Nanautawi's pupil, Mahmud Hasan Deobandi was a leader in the independence movement. He incited revolution through a scheme which the Rowlatt committee called the Silken Letters. However, the scheme failed and Hasan and his followers were arrested and exiled. Hasan was returned from exile in Malta, and he reached Bombay in June 1920.[12] His group, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, which included Husain Ahmad Madani, Kifayatullah Dehlawi, Syed Fakhruddin Ahmad, and later on, Hifzur Rahman Seoharwi, Atiqur Rahman Usmani, Minnatullah Rahmani, Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, and Muhammad Miyan Deobandi joined with the Indian National Congress.[citation needed]

In 1926 and 1927 (1345 abs 1346 AH), graduates of the school called for Indian independence at Jamiat Ulama meetings in Calcutta and Peshawar. Madani opposed the suggestion of the All-India Muslim League for the partition of India along sectarian lines. He also advocated democratic government with religious freedoms and tolerance.[13][14][15]

On 29 December 1929, Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam (Majlis-e-Ah'rar-e-Islam,Urdu: مجلس احرارلأسلام, or Ahrar), a conservative Sunni Muslim Deobandi political party was founded in Lahore, Punjab. The founding members of the party were Chaudhry Afzal Haq, Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, Mazhar Ali Azhar, Zafar Ali Khan and Dawood Ghaznavi.[16] The founding members were disillusioned by the Khilafat Movement, which had aligned with the Indian National Congress.[17] The party gathered support from the urban lower-middle class. It opposed Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the All-India Muslim League and in the early years of Pakistan wanted Ahmadiyas to be declared non-Muslims.[18]


A fatwa is “an issue arising about law and religion, explained in answer to questions received about it” by muftis (Islamic jurists).[19] Muftis at Darul Ifta (fatwa department), Darul Uloom Deoband are responsible for giving fatwas.[20]

On 31 May 2008, the seminary issued a significant public “Fatwa against terrorism” after a public rally in Delhi with around 100,000 representatives from nearly 6,000 madrasas across India, including those from different sects. The fatwa was a first of its kind in South Asia and stated that "in Islam, creating social discord or disorder, breach of peace, rioting, bloodshed, pillage or plunder and killing of innocent persons anywhere in the world are all considered most inhuman crimes.”[21][22][23] The edict was signed by Habibur Rahman Khairabadi.[24]

Controversial Fatwas[edit]

In January 2012, scholars from a Deobandi school issued a religious decision calling for the author Salman Rushdie to be barred from entering India to attend a literature festival because, in their opinion, he had offended Muslim sentiments.[25][26]

In May 2010, clerics from a Deobandi school issued a fatwa stating that men and women cannot work together in public offices unless the women are properly clothed.[27][28][29]

In September 2013, scholars from a Deobandi school issued a fatwa banning photography as un-Islamic.[30]


The seminary's co-founder Sayyid Muhammad Abid was the first vice-chancellor.[31] Abul Qasim Nomani succeeded Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi as the thirteenth VC of the seminary on 24 July 2011.[32][33]


Alumni include:


Darul ‘Uloom Deoband and its alumni publish:

  • Al-Da'i, Arabic monthly periodical.[34]
  • Maah Namah Darul ‘Uloom, Urdu monthly periodical.[35]
  • Aaeenah Darul ‘Uloom, Urdu fortnightly periodical.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "مہتمم دارالعلوم دیوبند مفتی ابو القاسم نعمانی شیخ الحدیث اور مولانا ارشد مدنی صدر المدرسین منتخب" [Abul Qasim Nomani, VC of Deoband appointed as Hadīth professor, and Arshad Madani as the Principal of Darul Uloom Deoband]. AsreHazir. 14 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  2. ^ Muḥammad Miyan Deobandi. Ulama-e-Haq ke mujāhidāna kārnāme (in Urdu). New Delhi: Faisal Publications. pp. 44–47.
  3. ^ Roshen Dalal (2014). The Religions of India: A Concise Guide to Nine Major Faiths. Penguin UK. ISBN 9788184753967. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  4. ^ Metcalf, Barbara (1978). "The Madrasa at Deoband: A Model for Religious Education in Modern India". Modern Asian Studies. 12 (1): 111–134. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00008179. JSTOR 311825. S2CID 145793477.
  5. ^ Reetz, Dietrich (2009). "2. Change and Stagnation in Islamic Education: The Dar al-'Ulum of Deoband after the Split in 1982". The Madrasa in Asia. pp. 71–104. doi:10.1515/9789048501380-004. ISBN 9789048501380.
  6. ^ Bowering, Gerhard; Crone, Patricia; Mirza, Mahan; Kadi, Wadad; Zaman, Muhammad Qasim; Stewart, Devin J. (2013). The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. ISBN 978-0691134840.
  7. ^ Norfolk, Andrew (7 September 2007). "Hardline takeover of British mosques". The Times. Retrieved 13 April 2019 – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  8. ^ "Muslim clerics declare terror "un-Islamic"" Times of India 25 February 2008.
  9. ^ " Qawaide Dakhilah." Darululoom-deoband.com.
  10. ^ "Regulations" Daraluloom Deoband.com
  11. ^ a b Najmul Hasan Thanwi. Maidan-e-Shamli-o-Thana Bhawan awr Sarfaroshan-e-Islam (in Urdu). Thana Bhawan: Idara Talifat-e-Ashrafia. p. 8.
  12. ^ Abu Muhammad Sanaullah Saad. Ulama-e-Deoband ke Aakhri Lamhaat (in Urdu) (2015 ed.). Saharanpur: Maktaba Rasheediya. pp. 23–24.
  13. ^ Ghazzali A. Islamic Pakistan: Illusions and Reality." Ghazali.net
  14. ^ Jaffrelot C. and Beaumont G. A History of Pakistan and Its Origins. p224. ISBN 1-84331-149-6.
  15. ^ "Barelvi Islam." Globalsecurity.org
  16. ^ Ahmad, N. Origins of Muslim consciousness in India: a world-system perspective. Greenwood Press, New York, 1991. p175.
  17. ^ Jaffrelot C. A history of Pakistan and its origins. Anthem Press, 2004. ISBN 1-84331-149-6, ISBN 978-1-84331-149-2.
  18. ^ Bahadur, Kalim (1998). "Dark Forebodings About President Tarar". Democracy in Pakistan: Crises and Conflicts. Delhi: Har Anand Publications. p. 176. ISBN 978-8-12410-083-7.
  19. ^ Masud, Muhammad Khalid; Kéchichian, Joseph A.; Messick, Brinkley; Dallal, Ahmad S.; Hendrickson, Jocelyn (2009). "Fatwā". The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195305135.
  20. ^ "About". darulifta-deoband.com. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  21. ^ Majumdar, Bappa (1 June 2008). "Darool-Uloom Deoband issues fatwa against terror". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2 May 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  22. ^ Dash, Kamala Kanta. "The Fatwa against Terrorism: Indian Deobandis Renounce Violence but Policing Remains Unchanged" (PDF). Radicalisation Crossing Borders International Conference, Melbourne, Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2021.
  23. ^ "Coming, fatwa against terrorism". Hindustan Times. 20 February 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  24. ^ "Deoband first: A fatwa against terror". The Times of India. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  25. ^ "Darul Uloom Farangimahal fatwa Rushdie Jaipur visit. Siasat.com
  26. ^ Cleric seeks apology from Rushdie. Kashmir monitor.org 19 January 2012.
  27. ^ "Young Muslim women fume at Deoband diktat." Archived 23 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine News-views.India.
  28. ^ "Deoband fatwa: It's illegal for women to work, support family." Times of India, 12 May 2010.
  29. ^ "Insurance policy is un-Islamic: Deoband." Express India
  30. ^ "Deoband issues fatwa banning photography as un-Islamic", Times of India, 11 September 2013.
  31. ^ Rizwi, Syed Mehboob, History of the Dar al-Ulum Deoband, vol. 2, translated by Murtaz Hussain F Quraishi, p. 167
  32. ^ Abantika Ghosh (25 July 2011). "Vastanvi axed as Darul V-C for praising Modi". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  33. ^ "Maulana Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, New Acting Mohtamim of Darul Uloom Deoband". DEOBAND ONLINE. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  34. ^ Ameeni K. (ed.) Al-Da'ee/Ad-Da'ee.
  35. ^ Qaasmi H. (ed.) Maah Namah Darul ‘Uloom.
  36. ^ 'Alwi K. (ed.) Aaeenah


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°41′51″N 77°40′34″E / 29.69750°N 77.67611°E / 29.69750; 77.67611