Uncategorized

Dar al-Ulum Deoband: Timeline (1850-1950)

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Please enjoy the latest original work: Dar al-Ulum Deoband: A Timeline (1850-1950). This is a tutorial overview of the history of the Deoband madrasah‘s first 100 years. The tutorial covers foundational events of the school, examples that demonstrate its connected-ness with the rest of the Muslim world, its role in the Indian independence and Pakistan movements, and other unique aspects of its history. It also covers periods in which the school faced internal strife, and shows how the scholars worked to resolved that strife. The reader will also get an appreciation for other historical events that were occurring around the world at the same time.

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Uncategorized

The Advice of Dr. Abd al-Hayy Arifi: A Prescription for Obtaining Closeness to Allah

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Please enjoy the latest translation. Hadrat Dr. Abd al-Hayy Arifi (1898-1986) was a renowned spiritual master of the modern age. In this excerpt from his memoirs, he gives four simple guidelines for obtaining closeness to Allah. These are ideal for Muslims who lead busy lives and find that they are unable to spend long periods of time engaged in worship.

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Uncategorized

The Academic Education and Spiritual Training of Hadrat Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi

Bismillah, wa ‘s-salatu wa ‘s-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah

Please enjoy the latest translation, The Academic Education and Spiritual Training of Hadrat Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi. Hadrat Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi was a pivotal figure in early Deoband. His role in Sufism was that he defined the boundaries of Deobandi Sufi practice. This translation is an excerpt from a biography of Maulana Gangohi that focuses on the spiritual and Sufi aspects of his life, taken from the book Tarikh-i Mashayikh-i Chisht by Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi.

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Education, New Translation!, Scholarship, Uncategorized

The State of the Education System in the Muslim World

Bismillah, wa ‘s-salatu wa ‘s-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah

Please enjoy the latest translation, The State of the Education System in the Muslim World, by guest translator Umer Ansari, of a speech by Mufti Taqi Uthmani in which he offers his reflections on an ideal system of education in the Muslim world, which would integrate religious studies with those fields that are conventionally perceived as “secular,” although Mufti Taqi argues that pre-colonial Muslims had never seen the secular as somehow distinct from the religious.

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New Translation!, Old Days of Deoband

The Hindu Helpers of Dar al-Ulum Deoband

Bismillah, wa ‘l-salatu wa ‘l-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah

Please enjoy the latest translation, The Hindu Helpers of Dar al-Ulum Deoband, written originally in Urdu by the official historian of Dar al-Ulum Deoband, Sayyid Mahbub Rizwi. It shows how non-Muslims, especially Hindus, have played an important role in the school’s history ever since its foundational years.

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Old Days of Deoband

Haji Imdadullah’s Unconventional Hifz Education

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله واصحابه اجمعين

Ḥāji Imdādullāh Muhājir Makki (may Allah be pleased with him) was the most eminent Sufi in South Asia during his time, and he is considered to be the spiritual patron of the Deobandi school, being the spiritual guide (murshid) of the school’s two principal founders: Maulwi Qasim Nanautwi and Maulwi Rashīd Aḥmad Gangōhi.

In his work, History of the Chishtī Masters (Tārīkh-i Mashāyikh-i Chisht), the celebrated scholar Maulana Muḥammad Zakariyyā Kandhlawi narrates the account Ḥājī Ṣāḥab’s path to memorizing the Glorious Quran. Notice that Ḥājī Ṣāḥab did not memorize the Quran in a conventional manner such as being enrolled into one of the local maktab Quran schools by his parents. Rather, Ḥājī Ṣāḥab memorized the Quran out of his own personal passion. Furthermore, his course of memorization was not smooth, but rather, it was filled with “many obstacles and interruptions,” such that “he completed his memorization in a fragmented manner.”

Ḥājī Ṣāḥab’s example is a source of inspiration to many adults who aspire to memorize the Quran, but are not able to do so in a conventional manner due to school, work, or family obligations. Adults that attempt to memorize the Quran frequently tend to start, stop for long periods of time, and then start back again. Many a times, this fragmented course is a source of discouragement for the adult student. He or she feels like the end may never come. Ḥājī Ṣāḥab’s example shows us that it is possible and acceptable to learn the Quran in a fragmented manner according to the best of one’s abilities.

We ask Allah to teach us the Quran, and allow us to finish its memorization no matter what age we may be or circumstances we may face.


“[E]ven to the boy’s education, not much attention was given. But Ḥaḍrat was destined to become a refuge for humanity and a master of the spiritual sciences, and because of this, even from the very beginning a passion and longing to memorize the Quran lived in Ḥaḍrat’s heart. And so, despite the absence of any sort of pressure or encouragement from anyone else, but out of his own sheer passion, Ḥaḍrat committed the Glorious Speech to memory. He faced many obstacles and interruptions throughout this task, and so he completed his memorization in a fragmented manner. But how could it possibly be that a man who was destined to become a vast treasury of gnosis (maʿrifat) would be deprived of such a foundational element, the fountain of knowledge of all Realities and Mysteries: the Speech of Allah. Therefore, as his enthusiasm and yearning continued to grow, joined with Divine Assistance (imdād-i ilāhī), it was not very long at all before he succeeded in finishing.”

Excerpt from Muḥammad Zakariyyā Kandhlawi, Tārīkh-i Mashāyikh-i Chisht. Maktabat al-Shaykh. Translation by Shoaib A. Rasheed.

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Old Days of Deoband, Scholarship

Imam Anwar Shah Kashmiri: Child Prodigy

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Imam Anwar Shāh Kashmīri (1875-1933) was a child prodigy. The following is a passage from a biography of the imam written in Arabic by Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abu Ghuddah. In the passage, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ writes about the imam’s childhood, and what he had accomplished only with the early education he had received in his homeland of Kashmir, before even setting foot in Deoband.

“He studied under [his father] and the other shuyūkh in his homeland until he surpassed his peers in distinction within a very short time. At a very early stage in his studies, he learned Mukhtaṣar al-Qudūri in jurisprudence. He would ask the teacher questions that were so astute that the teacher often had to search for the answers by consulting al-Hidāyah and its commentaries. Some of the most outstanding scholars of his time saw the notes he would write in his textbooks and predicted that he would become the Ghazāli of his time and the Rāzi of his era.

[…] In the lands of Kashmir, the science of jurisprudence and fatwā was an extremely competitive field. Nevertheless, by the time the talented young shaykh had reached twelve years of age, he was already passing fatwās for the people, and his fatwās were equally proper and correct as those of the senior shuyūkh in the area.”

Then, in a footnote to this passage, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ remarks:

“A typical twelve-year-old child will barely have mastered the rulings of purification and wuḍū. As for being a jurist and muftī at that age, it is indeed something incredible. Precious few individuals such as this exist in the world – indeed, among all the children of Adam. And Allah assigns His bounty to whoever He wills from among His slaves, and He is the possessor of bounty unlimited.”

Taken from Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abu Ghuddah, Tarājim Sittah min Fuqahā al-ʿAlam al-Islāmī fī ‘l-Qarn al-Rābiʿ ʿAshara wa Āthāruhum al-Fiqhiyyah, Maktab al-Maṭbūʿāt al-Islāmiyyah, p. 13-14

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New Translation!, Scholarship

Services of the Indian ʿUlamā to Bukhāri Studies: A Timely Contribution

Bismillah, wa ‘l-salatu wa ‘l-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah

Please enjoy the latest translation, Services of the Indian Ulama to Bukhari Studies: A Timely Contribution, written originally in Urdu by the honorable scholar and thinker Hadrat Maulana Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani. It traces the monumental contributions of two Indian Hadith masters, Hadrat Ahmad Ali Saharanpuri and Hadrat Dr. Taqi al-Din Nadwi Mazahiri, — one old and one modern — in their services to Bukhari studies.

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