In the precincts of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband, there exists an ancient well.  

Hadhrat Shah Rafee’ ad-Deen (ra), who was the second principal of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband and a Khalifah of Hadhrat Shah Abd al-Ghani Mujaddidi (ra) once saw a dream that this well  was filled with milk. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was distributing the milk with a bowl.  Some people were having their bowls filled [with milk] and then leaving. Some of these people had small bowls while others had bigger ones.

Maulana [Rafee’ ad-Deen] interpreted the size of the bowls as each person’s amount of knowledge. (1)

During Hadhrat Maulana Shah Rafee’ ad-Deen’s (ra) principalship, a student once came to the [madrassah] kitchen with food. He placed a bowl of curry in front of Maulana [Shah Rafee’ ad-Deen] and asked, ”is this food for eating or is this water to perform wudhu with?” He addressed the Maulana in a sharp and disrespectful manner. Maulana looked at the student from head to toe three times and then said with confidence, ”this person is not a student of Darul ‘Uloom and nor can he be a student. After an investigation it became apparent that he really was not a student [of Darul ‘Uloom] but had managed to get his name written in the [Madrassah] kitchen register [to receive food.]

Students incessantly asked the Maulana how he had so confidently denied  this person’s being a student. So, Maulana referred to the [dream about the] well and said, ” I recognise the appearances of all those people who received milk from this well. When a student is admitted to the Darul ‘Uloom I recognise that he was present among those who drank the milk. However, when I looked carefully at this [supposed] student, I realised that he was not among those who I had seen. Therefore,  I was convinced that this person was not a student (of Darul ‘Uloom.) (2)

(1) Ikhlaas Ka Taj mahal Darul ‘Uloom Deoband, Page 45 (Jalsa’ In’aam Ramadhan 1366 A.H, Page 12. Tareekh Darul ‘Uloom Deoband Awwal, Page 186.)

(2) Ikhlaas Ka Taj Mahal Darul ‘Uloom Deoband, Page 45 (Mubashhiraat Darul ‘Uloom, Page47)