Darul Uloom Deoband

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 Arabic: الجامعة الإسلامية دار العلوم بديوبند ) 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][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.


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 Islamic Seminary to attract students from all over the 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, 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] Jami'ah Ziyaul-Qur'an (Al-Ma'ruf Bagh-Wali Masjid), Faisalabad and Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

India's Independence Movement[edit]

The political history of Darul-Uloom Deoband, should be reckoned to have begun nine or ten years prior to the establishment of Darul-Uloom. In 1857 (A.H. 1274), with the determination to free India from the English yoke, the elders of Darul-Uloom, particularly the Shaikh (spiritual guide) of the group, Hazrat Haji Imdadullah Muhajir-e-Makki, 42, and his favourite disciples.Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi, 25, and Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, 29, and some other respectable men, as a dernier ressart, appealed to arms with great derring-do, an event which makes the first-ever page of the history of Darul-Uloom. In a gathering at Thana Bhavan the famous historical.

"Though defeat had been incurred in the field of battle, the group's concept of freedom had not been annihilated. At that time, observing the English domination and their uncommon power, an august man had remarked in the mosque of Chhatta : 'The English have stabilised (lit., clawed deeply) their position firmly; let us see how they are uprooted'. At this Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob Nanautavi, the first principal of Darul-Uloom, Deoband, who was a relative, disciple and one of the favourite companions, said in a very awesome manner; 'what are you thinking of the time in not far off when India will be rolled up like a mat. We will sleep at night under their government and will wake up in the morning under another administration'".

The Ulama of Deoband, with resoluteness and trust in Allah, have always been not only in the foremost rank of those who have struggled in the movement for the independence of India but they have also frequently been in the lead of this movement for independence; and if it is seen more thoughtfully and justly, they were the first persons, the pioneers, who initiated this idea. The warmth, vigour and catholicity which was created in this movement in fact is indebted to them. Most of these gentlemen raised the banner of revolt against the English government, fought face to face with the English army and many of them passed a good part of their lives in jail. The fact is that the history of the independence movement of India is so mixed up with the history of the Ulama and religious personalities that it is now difficult to separate one from the other. Political decline had reduced Muslims to a state of helplessness and misery, distraction and anxiety; by the establishment of Darul-Uloom, Deoband, they received equanimity, composure and stability.

In 1333HD. 1913AD., Hazrat Nanautavi's well-guided pupil, Maulana Mahmood Hasan Shaikhul-Hind prepared a scheme of stirring a revolution against the British Government which has been called "Silken Letters" in the report of the Rowlatt Committee. But by chance this scheme of Silken Letters miscarried and the Shaikhul-Hind, along with his accomplices', Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, Maulana Ozair Gul and others were arrested and kept under detention in the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea for a number of years; and the Shaikhul-Hind's disciples, Maulana Ubaydullah Sindhi and Maulana Mansoor Ansari had to pass a very long time of their lives in exile.

In 1338/1920, after his release from Malta, the Shaikhul-Hind joined the jami'atul-Ulama which his disciples had founded in 1337/1919 to give a fillip to the independence movement. The jami'atul-Ulama shoulder to shoulder with the Indian National Congress, serpent its force in awakening the country politically and socially. Maulana Sayyid Husain Ahmad Madani, Maulana Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlavi, Maulana Sayyid Fakhrud-Deen Ahmad, and later on, Maulana Hifzur-Rahman, Maulana Mufti Ateequr-Rahman Usmani, Maulana Minnatullah Rahmani, Maulana Habibur-Rahman Ludhyanvi, Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Miyan Deobandi and many other Ulama of Deoband not only remained in the forefront of the movements for the freedom of the country but they have also been the cause of coming into being of several other movements and have consequently suffered the hardships of imprisonment and jail.

In 1345/1926, the gentlemen who sowed the seeds of complete independence for Indian in the meeting of the Jami'atul-Ulama-e-Hind at Calcutta were the graduates of Darul-Uloom, Deoband, only; and then they reiterated it in 1346/1927 in the meeting at Peshawar.

It should be made clear here that the Indian National Congress had declared complete independence three years later in its session at Lahore.

Abdul-Gaffar khan, during his visit to India in 1389|1969, addressing the students of Darul-Uloom, had said:-

"I have had relation with Darul-Uloom since the time the Shaikhul-Hind Maulana Mahmood 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 English. This institution has made great efforts for the freedom of this country".

It is stated in the magazine 'Ilm wa Agahi of Government National College, Karachi, as under:-

"Darul-Uloom Deoband, is not merely an old-type institution of Islamic ; it is, rather, the name of a glorious movement for the revivification of Islam and the stability of the community. Darul-Uloom, Deoband, was a centre of revolution and political, training. It nurtured such a body of such a body of self-sacrificing soldiers of Islam and sympathisers of the community who themselves wept in the grief of the community and also made others weep; who themselves tossed about restlessly for the restitution of the Muslims' dignity and caused others also to toss about. They themselves sacrificed their lives for the attainment of respectable life and also taught the lesson of self-sacrifice and self-denial to others. They shattered the Muslims' intellectual stagnation, they broke up the spell of the British imperialism, and, grappling with the contemporary tyrannical powers, dispelled fear and anxiety from the minds of the country. Not only this; they kindled the candle of freedom in the political wilderness of Aligarh, extricated from the baseness of ideal, created the sense of the superficiality of objective, and in that assembly where the law of muteness was in force, where tongues were chopped off on talking and where sentinels were set on the minds, they blew the trumpet of revolution, and rescuing a large body of young men from the squalor of toadayis life appointed them on the post of guidance in the struggle for the independence of the country. It is a historical fact that the political awakening that was created in Aligarh in the beginning of the twentieth century was indebted to Deoband and some other revolutionary movements in the country, and the revolutionary freedom-lovers who rose up there were the products of the grace from the spring of thought of Deoband.

"The elders of Deoband took more and more part in the struggle for the independence of the country; they suffered all the troubles of this path and came out successful in every test, After the establishment of Darul-Uloom the period of participation in national politics begins with Hazrat Shaikh al-Hind.Maulana Ubaydullah Sindhi has acknowledged the Shaikh al-Hinds life to be a separate epoch of the Waliyullahian movement. The caravan of resolute men prepared under the leadership of the Shaikh al-Hind included Maulana Ubaydullah Sindhi, Maulana Muhammad Mian Mansoor Ansari, Maulana Fazl-e Rabbi (member Hai'at-e Tamizia, Afghanistan), Maulana Sayfur-Rahman Kabuli, Maulana Muhammad Sadiq Karachwi, Mfti Kifayatullah Dehelvi, Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani, Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori and many other great ones. Even today, from India to Pakistan, the graduates of Darul-Uloom Deoband, are guiding the country and the community in the field of politics. The leaders of the movement for Pakistan derived benefit from the course adopted in certain matters by an illustrious religious divine of Deoband, viz., Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, while Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani was himself among the leaders of the movement for Pakistan and he, with his best scholarly capacities, tried to make the Muslim League firm and steady in the ideal of Islamic state. Then, after the establishment of Pakistan, the Indian leaders of Deoband guided the Indian Muslims in utterly adverse circumstances and helped keep up their spirits high; and in Pakistan the august men of his order took up the gauntlet of reconstruction and service to the country and the community with a new determination and guided the community with their capacities and abilities in every walk of life in Pakistan.

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]


  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