THE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION
describing the curriculum of Darul Uloom it will be apt to relate a
short history of the syllabi of Arabic sciences so that the academic
tendencies, right from the first decade of Islam to the present day, may
be briefly estimated.
the prophetic era education began with the Holy Quran. During the
caliphate of Hazrat Umar special arrangement was made, along with the
teaching of the Quran, for the teaching and learning, and dissemination
and publication of the Hadith lore also. As time rolled on and
educational needs multiplied, as per necessity, disciplines also
continued to be added. Till the middle of the second century-Hijri, arts
and sciences were restricted to the Quran, Hadith, Fiqh and the Arabic
poetry. Thereafter, till the
end of the fourth century Hijri, which is called the age of invention
and redaction, the invention of different arts and sciences and their
translations came into being along with civilization growth and
progress, and as per necessity some arts also began to be taught. As
such, Hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh, Principles of Fiqh, Grammar and Syntax,
Lexicon, Arabic poetry and History were considered the subjects for
scholastic education of that period. Medicine, Astrology, Astronomy and
some other Greek sciences can also be added to this syllabi.
the fifth and the seventh century Hijri the science of Dialectics or
Scholastic Theology was established through Imam Ghazali and for the
support of which, besides the afore-said sciences, poetic sciences like
Logic, Philosophy, etc. also became a necessary ingredient in the
curriculum of the Islamic schools and universities.
these sciences were current, more or less, in all the Islamic lands,
nevertheless the impact of national, local and ethnic peculiarities was
inevitable in different countries. Since Arab families had settled in
countries like Egypt, Syria, etc. in great numbers, giving predominance
to Arab leanings in these countries, sciences like Tafsir, Hadith and
Asmaur-Rijal were comparatively paid more heed to. In Andalusia (Spain),
literature, poetry and history had acquired great ascendancy. In Iran,
logic arid philosophy were predominant, and in Khurasan and Transoxiana,
Fiqh, Principles of Fiqh and Tasawwuf were more in the vogue. At the
same time, however, due to influences of the milieu and demands of the
environs, the process of change and alteration in the syllabi has often
taken place in different periods in one and the same country.
the Muslims had reached India in the very first century Hijri and a
pretty good increase took place in their number in the beginning of the
fifth century Hijri, that is, during Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi's period,
when besides Sindh, the area of the Punjab too had been included in the
Islamic dominions, the period of their real influence begins from the
beginning of seventh century Hijri, that is from the regime of Sultan
Shahabuddin Ghuri (597/1191 - 602/1205). It was that period when in
Khurasan, Transoxiana, etc. though, along with Tafsir and Hadith,
Grammar and Syntax, Rhetoric's and Literature, Jurisprudence, Logic,
Scholastic Theology and Tasawwuf were being considered the standard
learning. Jurisprudence and the Principles of Jurisprudence held higher
importance. The Muslims that had come to India had mostly come from
these very countries, and naturally therefore, the coming of their
leanings too was inevitable. As such all these sciences were included
and were a part and parcel of the syllabi of this era in India.
Hakim Sayyid Abdul-Hayy Lakhnavi has fixed the following four periods of
the old Indian curriculum:-
beginning should be taken from the seventh century Hijri and its end in
the tenth at a time when the second period had begun. For more or less
two hundred years the acquirement of the following disciplines was
considered the standard of learning:-
Syntax, Literature, Rhetoric, Fiqh, Principles of Fiqh, Logic,
Scholastic Theology, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Hadith.
appears from the particulars of the Ulema of this class that Fiqh and
Usul-e-Fiqh were considered the highest criterion of learning and merit
in their period. In Hadith the study of Mashariqul-Anwar alone was
considered sufficient, and for more understanding and expertise in
Hadith the Masabih was the ultimate.
peculiarities that are seen in the curriculum of this period were the
result of the effective taste of the conquerors of India. The people who
laid the throne of Islamic state in India had come from Ghazni and Ghaur.
These were those places where proficiency in Fiqh and Usool-e-Fiqh was
considered a diploma of distinction; the rank of jurisprudential
traditions in these countries was very high.
the late ninth century Hijri, Shaikh Abdullah and Shaikh Azizullah, in
order to elevate the previous standard somewhat, introduced Qazi Udhad's
books, Matale and Mawaqif, and Sakkaki's Miftahul Uloom in the syllabi.
this period Mir Sayyid Sharif's disciples brought Sharh-e-Matal'e and
Sharh-e-Mawaqif into vogue and Tafta Zani's disciples conventionalized
Mutawwal, Mukhtasarul Ma'ani, Talweeh and Sharh-e-Aqa'id-e-Nasafi.
in this period Sharh-e-Waqaya and Sharh-e-Jami were also introduced in
the end of this period Shaikh Abdul-Haq Muhaddith Dehelvi, having
studied the science of Hadith under the instruction of the Ulema of the
two holy cities (Mecca and Madina), tried to encourage and bring into
limelight the study of the science of Hadith. After him his son, Shaikh
Nurul -Haq, also tried to spread the study of Hadith but did not meet
appears from the chronicles of the eminent Ulema of this period that
even as Sadra and Shams-e-Bazigha are held to be the ultimate books in
our own time, Sukkaki's Miftahul-Uloom and Qazi 'Udhad's Matal'e and
Mawaqif were considered the ultimate books in their period. Badauni,
while writing the chronicles of the Ulema of this era, has hinted at
this here and there.
people's aspirations had increased due to the change that took place in
the syllabus of the second period and now they were wishing to raise the
standard of proficiency still further. Mir Fathullah came to India from
Shiraz. Mughal Emperor Akbar welcomed him by awarding him the title of
Udhadul-Mulk. He made some new additions to the previous syllabi which
the Ulema readily accepted.
Shah Waliullah who was the last but the most illustrious divine of this
era he went to the holy cities (Mecca and Madina) and, sojourning there
for fourteen months, he completed the study of the science of Hadith
under the instruction of Shaikh Abu Tahir Kurdi. On returning to India
he disseminated it so assiduously that the effects thereof are still
extant. Hazrat Shah Waliullah and his able sons and descendants, by
their effort and endeavor, made the teaching and imparting of the Sihah
Sitta an integral part of the syllabus.
Sahib had structured a new course of study also. But in those days the
centre of gravity of knowledge had shifted from Delhi to Lucknow.
Moreover the new relation that had developed with Iran during the period
of Humayun and Akbar had gradually produced a new change in the academic
taste in India. Through the influence of the Iranian nobles and Ulema of
the Mughal Court, Logic and Philosophy, which were ab initio considered
the highest criterion of learning in Iran, were gaining superiority,
slowly but steadily, over other sciences; and hence Shah Sahib's
restructuring of the course could not gain general popularity.
fourth period began from the twelfth century Hijri. Its founder was
Mulla Nizamuddin Sahalvi, who was contemporary of Hazrat Shah Waliullah.
The curriculum known as "Dars-e Nizami", which is current
today in all the Arabic schools, is a relic from him. Adding something
more to the syllabi of the third period, Mulla Nizamuddin prepared a new
great peculiarity of this syllabus is that more attention has been paid
in it to the creation of depth of insight and power of reading in the
student, and although immediately after the completion of this course
proficiency is not acquired in any particular subject, this much ability
is surely created that, through one's own independent reading and labor,
one may acquire proficiency in any subject of one's liking. The standard
of Hadith and Tafsir in this course too is not much high, and of
literature there is included no book at all.
the middle of the thirteenth century Hijri there were three centers of
thought of education in India: Delhi, Lucknow and Khairabad. Though the
syllabi of the three were somewhat common, the points of view of all the
three were different. More attention was being paid to Hadith and Tafsir
in Delhi. Hazrat Shah Waliullah's family was assiduously busy in the
dissemination and teaching of the Quran and the Sunnah, and the noetics
were of a secondary position. In Lucknow the old seventh century Hijri
tenor was dominant over the Ulema of Farangimahal: Fiqh and Principles
of Fiqh had had more importance in their centre. In Tafsir, Jalalayn and
Baizavi, and in Hadith, Mishkatul-Masabih alone, were considered
sufficient. The academic subject at the Khairabad centre was virtually
restricted to logic and philosophy; these subjects were taught with such
care and assuduity that the teaching of all other sciences had almost
become eclipsed before them.
CURRICULUM OF DARUL ULOOM
the second half of the thirteenth century Hijri the educational
centrality of Delhi and Khairabad had come to an end; however, some
light of knowledge was still lingering in Lucknow. Although the
centrality of these places had ended, the distinctive peculiarities of
all these three centers were extant more or less, in all the Arabic
schools of India.
Uloom Deoband, has not only preserved the greatness of these sciences
but has also played an important role in developing them. The
peculiarities of all these three places have been gathered in the
syllabus of Darul Uloom and the syllabus thus prepared with their
amalgamation has been in force generally for more or less. a century in
all the Arabic schools in the country. At some places other modern
syllabi are also current. Amongst such seminaries the position of
Nadvatul-Ulama Lucknow, is most conspicuous, but this type of syllabus
is not very common.
of the afire-said comprehensiveness of the syllabus of Darul Uloom even
as changes and alterations have taken place in the syllabi in every
period as per the demands of the age, similar elimination and addition
has been done, in accordance with the zeitgeist, from time to time, in
the syllabus of Darul Uloom also in which, along with the religious
sciences, contemporary sciences and economic necessities too, on the
whole, have been paid attention to endeavoring to make it more and more
present syllabus consists of four stages: Primary, Middle, High, Mastery
to the rules of Darul Uloom, the completion of the primary course is
necessary for reaching the “Arabic Classes”.
post-graduate class is not compulsory; if the student wants to acquire
mastery in any subject or topic, he can take admission in the
post-graduate class and continue his education. The curriculum of Darul
Uloom Deoband for Arabic classes and Post-graduate, as detailed below,
consists of the following arts and sciences and books:—
EIGHT-YEAR COURSE OF THE ARABIC CLASSES
After the successful completion of this 8-year course of the Arabic
classes the student becomes eligible for receiving the graduate degree (Sanad-e-Faraghat)
of Darul Uloom.
in Literature (contd.)
in Fiqh (Contd.)
in Training for Teaching (B-ed), Mastery in Tajweed w Qira’at, Mastery
in Calligraphy, Mastery in Journalism, Mastery in Dawah, Mastery in
Computer, Mastery in English literature etc.