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The Darul Uloom Deoband ( ) is an Islamic school propagating Sunni Islam in the Indian Subcontinent.[44410], and is where the Deobandi Islamic movement was started. It is located at Deobandmarker, a town in Uttar Pradeshmarker, Indiamarker. It was founded in 1866 by several prominent Islamic scholars (ulema), headed by Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi. The other prominent founding scholars were Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and Haji Syed Abid Hussain. The institution is highly respected in Indiamarker and other parts of the World.

Some of the scholars at the Darul Uloom Deoband had opposed the establishment of a religious government (such as in Pakistan) and the demands of the Muslim League led by Jinnah. But, many other scholars trained in this seminary had also supported the creation of Pakistan, and formed 'Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam' under the leadership of Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. Some prominent Deobandi ulema who supported the creation of Pakistan were: Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Maulana Zafar Ahmad Uthmani, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi and many others. Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani was one of the scholars who opposed the idea of Pakistan. He was also Sheikh-ul-Hadeeth (Chief of Hadeeth department) of Darul Uloom Deoband and led the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, an organization of the ulema, that saw nothing Islamic in the idea of Pakistan. He said: "All should endeavor 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 Gurakani. 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 Indo-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 what could be 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 Indo-Islamic culture and train the youth in Islamic knowledge. The foundation of Darul Uloom Deoband was laid down in 1283 A.H. (21st of May 1866 A.D.) beneath a pomegranate tree. Nanautawi claimed he had been inspired to do so by a dream in which Mohammed spoke to him. The pedagogical philosophy of Deoband was focused on teaching revealed Islamic sciences, known as manqūlāt, to the Indian Muslim population, according to the Hanafi tradition. 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 urbanised section 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 north Indian Muslim community. The founders consciously decided to divorce 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 madrassas (schools) across South Asia and further afield; the followers of this school of theology are often described as followers of the Deobandi school of thought.

Pattern of education

Deoband's curriculum is based on the 17th-century Indo-Islamic syllabus known as Dars-e-Nizami. The core curriculum teaches Islamic law (Shariah), Islamic jurispridence (Fiqh), traditional Islamic spirituality (known as Tasawwuf, which is the focus of Sufism), as well as several other fields of Islamic study.

The current syllabus consists of four stages. The first three stages can be completed in a total of eight years. The final stage is a post-graduate stage where students specialize in a number of advanced topics, such as the sciences of Hadeeth, Fiqh and so on.

Impact of the Deoband School

Many Islamic schools throughout modern Indiamarker and Pakistanmarker - and more recently in Afghanistanmarker, the United Kingdommarker, South Africa - as well as in hundreds of other places throughout the world are affiliated, or theologically linked, to Darul Uloom Deoband. Famous seminaries have been established by its graduates, e.g. Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknowmarker, Madrassah In'aamiyyah Camperdown, near Durbanmarker in South Africa, and three important seminaries in Pakistan, viz. Darul Uloom Karachi, Jamia Ashrafia Lahoremarker, and Jamia Zia-ul-Quran (Al-maroof bagh wali masjid) Faisalabadmarker. As the official website of the Darul Uloom proclaims in flowery language, 'the whole of Asia is redolent with the aroma of this Prophetic garden.'

India's Independence Movement

In the meeting of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind at Calcuttamarker, 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 Lahoremarker.

The famous freedom fighter Khan Abdul Gaffar 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 Shaikh-ul-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

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

Recent developments

The Darul Uloom has expanded its activities and started new departments during the last decades. In view of great challenge from the Ahmadiyya Movement (Qadiyanism), Darul Uloom convened the All India Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nubuwwat Conference and established a special department to refute Qadiyanism. It started the 'Shaikhul Hind Academy' for publishing books, and training students in Urdu journalism. In 1996, the Computer Department was opened, which was later extended and an Internet Department also added. The Darul Uloom has also introduced a two-year full-time Diploma in English language and literature for students wishing to pursue higher education in universities.

Condemnation of terrorism

In February 2008, an "Anti-terrorism Conference", organized by the seminary Darul Uloom in Deobandmarker, Uttar Pradeshmarker, 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-Daie (Arabic Monthly); Eds: Maulana Marghoobur Rahman and Maulana Noor Alam Khalil Amini
  • Mahnama Darul Uloom (Urdu Monthly); Eds: Maulana Marghoobur Rahman and Maulana Habibur Rahman Qasmi
  • Aaiena Darul Uloom (Urdu Fortnighly); Ed: Mufti Zafiruddin Miftahi
  • Eastern Crescent (English Magazine).

See also


External links

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