Darul Ulum Deoband – A Brief Account of its Establishment and Background (Part 6)

By Mawlana Muhammad Zafiruddin Miftahi
Translated by Professor Atique A. Siddiqui (M.A., Ph.D.; Aligarh)
Edited by [Maulana] Abu Zaynab  

The widespread popularity of the Darul Ulum

Allah Almighty has given extraordinary popularity to the great Seminary at Deoband; it is this popularity that has enabled it to serve the nation as well as the community in a remarkable way. One of the main reasons for this has been the fact that the Darul Ulum has never been merely an educational institution; it has also been a great centre for preparing the youth for the practical affairs of life. The institution gives to its alumni purity of conduct and excellence of morals along with access to the great treasure house of knowledge. The whole world knows that the students of the Darul Ulum possess, on the one hand, scholarly dignity and self-respect, and on the other, humility, generosity, simplicity and purity. Being devout believers in the faith, they are careful in the observance of the external forms of religion, and yet at the same time, they have unbounded and heartfelt love for Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him). They never allow even the least interference in matters of faith; rather they boldly affirm what they think to be the truth in the light of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah.

The distinguished place that the Darul Ulum has always possessed among educational institutions in the sub-continent is a fact that is known and accepted by just and fair-minded persons everywhere. It was the first institution that depended entirely on contributions from the ordinary members of the public. The details about the exact way in which all this is done have been given in another account of the working of the Darul Ulum. This institution has also the distinction of having been founded in response to a real historical need though the majority of people at that time were not aware of that need. May Allah Almighty shower blessings to the founders of this institution who clearly visualised how the floodgates of anarchy and disruption would soon open to destroy everything and who erected this huge wall as a measure of protection and defence.

So far as the dependence of the Darul Ulum on public contributions is concerned, it may be worthwhile to quote from the eightfold principles of the functioning of the Madrasah as laid down by Hadhrat Nanautwi himself:

The madrassah will continue to flourish with help from Allah only as long as there are no permanent and fixed means of income. In case a permanent source of income (such as an estate, a commercial establishment or the firm commitment of help by a rich man) is acquired, it will mean the end of Divine help and protection. It will lead to dissensions among the organisers; the absence of dependable financial help is, therefore, highly desirable and not a privation. Help from the government and the nobility is equally undesirable. Contributions from those who have little desire for personal glory should always be welcome. Disinterested munificence on the part of the contributors would be a source of strength and sustenance for the Darul Ulum.

Read Previous Parts.

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. The Final Collapse of the Mughal Empire and the Massacre of Muslims

  4. Founding of Darul Ulum, Deoband

  5. Why the “modern” sciences were excluded at Deoband