Darul Uloom Deoband

Islamic seminary in Uttar Pradesh, India

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.

Quotes edit

  • The Dar al-Ulum is of course well known. Started in 1866, it is often referred to as the Al-Azhar of India. From its beginning it was profoundly anti-West, it was anti-modern. Accordingly, many persons associated with it exerted themselves to undermine the British. That opposition was an aspect of its commitment to orthodoxy.
    • Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • Lauding this commitment to orthodoxy as one of the hallmarks of the Dar al-Ulum, a Government of India publication, Centres of Islamic Learning in India, says : 'One of the main objects of the Darul Ulum was to provide the Indian Muslims with a direct access to the original sources of Islamic Learning, produce learned men with missionary zeal to work among the Muslim masses to create a truly religious awakening towards classical Islam, ridding the prevalent one in India of innovation and unorthodox practices, observances and beliefs that have crept into it and to impart instruction in classical religion. The Darul Ulum has achieved this aim to a great extent, having been undoubtedly the greatest source of orthodox Islam in India, fighting, on the one hand, religious innovation (bid’at) and, on the other, cultural and religious apostasy under Western or local influences. It has succeeded in instilling in its alumni the spirit of classical Islamic ideology which has been its motto. As a matter of fact, Deoband has established itself as a school of religious thought—a large number of religious madrasahs were founded on its lines throughout the country by those who graduated from it, thus bringing classic religious instruction to large sections of Muslim masses. Some of these schools and colleges have in their right become renowned centres of learning...' That praise for re-establishing orthodoxy in Islam, for purging it of bid’at, a condemnatory word for heretical ‘innovation’, for purging it of ‘religious apostasy’ which the study says had crept into it ‘under Western or local influences’, that approbation is from a publication of our secular government! But at the moment I am on the institution’s fatwas.
    • Centres of Islamic Learning in India quoted in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • Ordinary people began to approach the Dar al-Ulum very early on for rulings on all sorts of matters. Soon enough the demand became so considerable that it could not be handled on an ad hoc basis. In 1892 a separate department was set up for issuing fatwas. By now literally a few lakh matters have been settled by the institution’s fatwas. Initially the fatwa would be issued, and that would be the end of the matter. No copy of the fatwa would be kept, no record would remain. Eventually, copies began to be kept. For decades these were stored merely by the date on which the fatwa had been issued. On a visit to the institution soon after Independence, Maulana Azad, then the country’s education minister and one of the most important figures in Pandit Nehru’s government, himself commended the work which the institution had been doing in this field—it is a great religious service, he said, by which the difficulties of the people are being removed. He urged that a collection of them be published. Grouping the fatwas by subject, weeding out the repetitions, and selecting the ones that settled the more general principles of law on the matter took many years of painstaking effort. It was in 1962 that the Dar al-Ulum began publishing the fatwas in volumes organized around subjects.
    • Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)

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