THE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION continued..
seeing this syllabus of Darul Uloom, the question arises: 'Why were not
the modern sciences which had already reached India at the time this
syllabus was compiled included in it'? The reason for this no inclusion,
according to Hazrat Nanautawi, was that these subjects were being taught
in the government schools that had been established in the country at
various places and everyone could take advantage of these. On the
contrary, the old sciences were in a state of abandonment and there was
not even an inferior arrangement for teaching these. Moreover, in this
syllabus itself attention had been paid to the creation of so much
ability in the student that he might acquire knowledge of other sciences
through self-study. This question had also cropped up at the inception
of the Dar al-UlurT1 itself; on the convocation of A.H.1290 Hazrat
Nanautawi threw full light on this question. He says:
the education of all the rational and traditional sciences and to
acquire competency therein, this Madrasa and the Madrasa at Saharanpur
are, no doubt, an excellent provision; and if it please Allah, the
alumni here, provided they complete the curriculum, can easily and
quickly acquire the remaining ancient and modern sciences by dint of the
power of their ability. The reason therefore is that in these Madrasas,
the greatest objective, besides the religious education, is the
attainment of the power of ability. We did not rest content with only
the religious sciences but as per the old system, have also provided
subjects that develop intelligence, an excellent result of which in the
former times was that great savants and polymaths possessing prodigious
abilities were produced in legions amongst the followers of Islam.
Hence, we understand with certainty that though the students here may
not have succeeded with some of the modern arts and sciences, the
ability of theirs may prove sufficient like a perfect teacher for their
education. In other schools, though, due to the teaching of some modern
subjects, the students thereof may have acquired some new acquaintance
of those subjects which the students here may be wanting in, the latter,
in fact, in the eyes of the just, would be considered, by virtue of
their ability, superior to the former in these subjects also.
all this, even if some loss is conceivable supposedly due to lack of
practice in some of the modern subjects, then due to want of ability and
absence of the knowledge of religious sciences the students of those
schools ought to be considered inferior to the students of this Madrasa.
we also point out this thing so that it may be known why in respect of
acquirement (of knowledge) this special method was proposed and why the
modern subjects were not included. The main reason, inter A’alia, for
this is that whether training be special or general that aspect should
be borne in mind from which crack may have developed in their
accomplishment. Accordingly, it is manifest upon men of intelligence
that nowadays education in modern subjects is making rapid progress due
to the outnumbering government-run-schools. Indeed the old sciences must
never have declined so much as they did now. Under such circumstances
the- people looked upon the founding of schools for modern sciences as
an exercise in futility. Hence, it was considered necessary to spend
money for the traditional sciences, as also for those disciplines which
certainly develop ability for the conventional (religious) as well as
the modern sciences.
the acquisition of numerous sciences at one and the same time proves
detrimental to ability in respect of all the sciences. Of course, after
acquiring the knowledge of intelligence-developing subjects, which have
been prescribed especially for the acquisition of ability, if the old
and new arts (subjects) too are acquired, the span of time required for
their acquirement will, of course, remain equal. The objective will be
achieved well enough through its antecedence and subsequence, as the
ability of each science and hence the reason-developing sciences were
introduced, along with the traditional sciences, in the curriculum.
Hereafter, if the students of this Madrasa, joining government schools,
acquire knowledge of the modern subjects, this thing would more shore up
another occasion, replying to the objection that modern sciences have
not been included in the curriculum of Darul Uloom, he says:
is no arrangement here at all for the teaching of the worldly sciences.
The answer (to this objection) firstly is that there ought to be a
treatment of the disease. To take medicine for a disease, which is not
there, is useless. The crack in the wall should be filled in; it is
necessary to fill the kiln. What is it but foolishness to be anxious
about the brick that has not fallen down? Of what earthly use are the
government schools? If the profane sciences are not taught there, what
else is done"?
METHOD OF TEACHING
method of teaching of Darul Uloom can be divided into three grades:
aim before the teachers in the primary grades consists in creating in
the students the ability to comprehend the contents of a book. Hence, in
these grades more stress is laid on the comprehension of the book.
the middle or intermediate classes, along with the comprehension of the
book, such topics are also brought on the tapes besides the textbook
under study which may be essential for broadening the students' minds
and for elevating their mental standard.
the higher classes, complete stress is laid on the teaching and
understanding of the subject under study, but at the same time, the
comprehension of the book is not overlooked.
method of teaching in Darul Uloom is this that the student first reads
the textual passage. Now it is the duty of the teacher to lecture so
comprehensively on the read out passage technically that light may be
thrown on every aspect and question of the concerned passage. The
teacher tries to gather in all the necessary information regarding the
topic in his discussion, and he, applying his lecture to the passage,
may sections that may crop up in their minds regarding the problems
under study, they may not allow the teacher to proceed further. The
result of this method is that, on the one hand, the student attends the
lecture fully prepared and, on the other, the teacher finds himself
constrained to teach with full preparation and attention.
a rule, in the lessons of the textbooks the teacher’s attention is
concentrated on this matter that the ability to understand the book may
be created in the students and they may know the method of understanding
the author's motive.
the Science of Hadith, the following books are included in the course:
Sahih-e-Muslim, Jama'e-Tirmizi, Sunan-e-Abi Da'ud, Sunan-e-Nasa'i,
Sunan-e-Ibn-e-Maja, Mu'atta-e-Imam Malik, Mu'atta-e-Imam Muhammad,
Sharh-e-Ma'anil-Athaar Tahavi, Shama'iI-e-Tirmizi”.
the above-mentioned books the first four are completed wholly and their
topics are thoroughly discussed. It is not necessary to read the
remaining books wholly. In the few lessons of these books the teachers
deliver such lectures whereby the purpose of the book is known. Since
the greater part of Hadiths in the former and the latter books is
common, there arises no need of separate discussion of the latter.
the lecture on Hadith discussion as regards adaptation (jarah wa ta'dil,
lit. objection and adjustment) of the narrators of Hadith is, wherever
necessary, only brief. Instead of this more attention is paid to the
technique of Hadith so that more and more power of education of
propositions and the method of educing may be developed in the students
and they may fully understand the method of education of the Imam of
Fiqh. However; if the Imam of practical method of religion (Mazahib)
have at any time needed to pay special attention to any authority or
narrator, it becomes ineluctable to bring it under discussion during the
course of the lesson.
the arguments of the four Imams, their principles of the deduction of
propositions and the answers on behalf of the Hanafite to the arguments
of the three Imams are brought home to the students in such a sober and
academic manner that nothing is detracted from the weightiness and glory
of anyone of the four Imams. Rather, the arguments and proofs of the
three Imams are presented before the students with great
broadmindedness. Since most of the books of Hadith and Tafsir that are
included in the syllabus of Darul Uloom have been compiled by the
Shafiaite and Malekite Imams, their arguments. Inevitably come before
the students; hence it becomes necessary for the teachers that they
establish the Hanafite tack to be preferable in the light of arguments
and evidences in such a way that the casuistic greatness of the three
Imams may remain intact, admitting no distinction.
zestful students of higher classes, in accordance with the style of the
predecessors, consider it necessary to jot down the teacher's lecture.
As such, Hazrat Gangohi's and Hazrat Shaikhul-Hind's lectures on Tirmizi,
entitled Nafhul-Shazi and AI-Wirdul-Shazi, and Hazrat Sayyed Anwar Shah
Kashmiri's lecture on the Sahih-e-Bukhari, entitled AI-Arful-Shazi and
Fayzul-Bari (which is in four bulky volumes) are the result of the same
taste for jotting down. These are only a few examples of such jotted
lectures, which have been published; otherwise those publications are
too many to be counted. These gem-scraps of the academic commodity are
abundantly available with the graduates of Darul Uloom Deoband.
teacher's medium of expression while lecturing and teaching is Urdu; the
language which is spoken and understood throughout India. However, it is
tried to explain to those students who do not understand Urdu, in other
languages until they became able to understand Urdu.
importance the mother tongue commands in the teaching of arts and
sciences could be realized in the present system of education in India
after a long time. This is an undeniable and incontrovertible fact that
the ease with which academic matters are understood through the mother
tongue and are retained in memory is not possible in any other tongue.
But the dominance of the English paramount had so much come home to and
dominated the minds of the nation that it could not get a clue to this
reality for a long time. Amongst the Indian universities the first to
realize the importance of mother tongue for education were Jamia Usmania
Hyderabad and Jamia Millia Delhi. They also put this thought into
practice and achieved remarkable success at both the places, and thus
presented an example; to be followed by other universities; and now this
demand has been generally accepted by the universities in India that the
mother-tongue should be made the medium 'of education.
this connection, anyhow, Darul Uloom bears the palm; the educational
experts of the twentieth century at last were constrained to arrive at
the same conclusion which had been understood in Darul Uloom a hundred
This is an educational aspect of this problem but, besides this, there
is a linguistic aspect to it also, and it is this that by being the
medium of instruction at Darul Uloom the Urdu language itself has
achieved a great advantage, which the circles engaged in developing and
propagating Urdu have not so far chanced to notice. Nevertheless, the
results and gains of this cannot be denied. That great advantage is this
that since Darul Uloom is a central educational institution of the
Muslims in the Islamic world, students flock to it not only from the
different linguistic states of India but also from various foreign
countries for acquiring education; and they learn the Urdu language
sufficiently well during their stay here. Accordingly, it is an event of
a few years ago that a gentleman who had made a tour of various foreign
countries had happened to visit Darul Uloom. His statement was that:
"When I reached Bukhara, which is a famous place in Central Asia, I
ran there across a man, who, considering me to be an Indian, spoke to me
in a sympathetic tone in Urdu. I wondered very much how he, being so far
away from India, must have learnt such chaste Urdu? On my asking him, he
told me: 'This is due to the educational grace of Darul Uloom Deoband,
and not only I but also the entire educational circle here generally
understands and speaks Urdu. Despite my being a Hindi, that man, with
great affability and love, lodged me as his guest and threw in my honor
a grand welcome-party, a peculiarity of which I will never for get that
because of my sake who-ever delivered a speech in it, spoke in Urdu
short, Darul Uloom Deoband, in this manner, through its students, has
widened the circle of Urdu to almost all the Asiatic countries.
similar incident had happened with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru during his
visit to Russia. The address presented to Pandit Nehru at the Tashkent
aerodrome by the citizens was in Urdu and was read out by an Uzbek.
Pandit Nehru also replied the address in Urdu which, as the newspaper
reported, the audience understood, applauding several times with
clapping during the course of the reply.
Daily, June 18, 1955)
this there are more than sixty book-depots in Deoband which keep
publishing religious books in Urdu day in and day out.
EDUCATIONAL FEATURES OF DARUL ULOOM
much as the word 'education' is simple and brief, to the same extent it
is important, affecting the deepest recesses of the soul. Education is
not merely the name of pictures of letters; phone Tory lines, dialects
and big and small books. On the contrary it is the name of such an
intellectual, mental and academicals training through which the latent
faculties and talent of man are developed to be adorned and organized
and human sentiments and feelings are civilized and polished by bringing
them under an excellent and lofty ideal, so that useful fruits and
consequences thereof may be brought into play for mankind. It is a very
difficult task to teach man to use his talents correctly but it is as
much necessary as it is difficult.
other words, if education is limited to merely knowing the unknown
things, then it is not something extraordinary, but if it is employed
for action, then its difficulties are increased manifold. Although every
nation of the world appreciates the value of knowledge, the Muslims'
view of knowledge is quite different from that of the other nations'.
The non-Muslims acquire knowledge so that through it they may gain power
and greatness, progress and superiority in the world. Knowledge for the
most part is considered the means of acquiring wealth but it is a
peculiarity of the Muslims that instead of a means they have considered
knowledge an end; they have never considered it a means of livelihood.
The Muslims have always acquired knowledge for, the sake of knowledge;
they never acquired it in order to earn their livelihood through it.
According to the Muslims the acquisition of knowledge is a duty, by
discharging which a Muslim, besides worldly benefit, also gains
absolution in the afterlife. The statement of the Sovereign of the
Universe (Allah's peace and blessings be upon him!) is;-
is an obligation upon every Muslim man and Muslim woman to acquire
obligator ness has been made necessary for action only, and it is
incumbent upon every person as per need. It is an acknowledged fact of
history that no nation in the world could become exalted until its
powers of knowledge and action did not awaken. Education alone is the
means through which spiritual and moral, civilization and cultural
progress can be made, 'which is the raison d'etre for the creation of
humanity. In view of such progress it is essential that every seeker of
knowledge is provided an opportunity to develop his talents in the best
possible manner. In other words, it is the primary duty of society that
it provide such facilities whereby every student' may display his best
talents. In fact, nations are made through knowledge and are
deteriorated through ignorance. On this account it is necessary that
every person should have equal opportunities for the acquirement of
knowledge. Emancipating knowledge from the monopoly of the particular
strata’s of society, Islam has done such a great obligation upon
humanity that it is difficult to assess it.
history of every developed nation is a witness to the fact that the
secret of its progress and advancement is hidden in its commonalty's
being educated, and this is not easy until there is arrangement for free
education. In the present system of education the heaviness of expenses
has deprived the majority of the advantages of education. After an
experience of hundreds of years the educational experts of the twentieth
century have at last arrived at the conclusion that the education of the
common people ought to be free, and as long as this system is not
adopted, it is difficult for education to be universal.
OUR OLD SYSTEM OF EDUCATION
our old system of education this principle was always put into practice.
Accordingly, in the mode of the education that had been adopted in these
schools, the educational expenses were charged to the institutions
rather than to the students. In this system of education fees were not
chargeable, and not only this but text-books also had to be provided for
the students gratis. Then not only this that the education was free and
no rent was charged from, the students for the boarding house but
destitute and poor students were also given cash stipends by the
institutions for food, clothes and other necessities. It is that
specialty of the Arabic schools the example of which is not found in any
other educational system of the world.
this, in the Arabic schools never such a restriction was laid on the
acquirement of knowledge whereby the doors of teaching and learning
might have been closed for certain individuals of the community. On the
contrary, every man who had any zest for the acquisition of knowledge
could acquire knowledge in him without any let or hindrance. Our schools
have always been free from the restriction of age and avocation and
never have been allowed in them the discrimination of race and color,
wealthiness and poverty, the high and the low. On this account the ways
of acquiring the highest possible education have remained
unceremoniously open for every man, no matter to whichever ethnic group
he belongs and however much a man of slender means he may be. In the
educational history of the Muslims innumerable such scholars and men of
accomplishments will be met who ancestrally belonged to small and high
occupations. The principle keeping education more and more exempt from
restrictions and conditions has always been observed in the religious
The world has learnt the lifting of restrictions on education of the mean occupations from Islam only. The thing for which Europe is being credited today of bearing away the palm is in fact a reflection of the Arabic schools only; yet the world has still to learn from these schools the philosophy of lifting the restriction of age-limit. Accordingly, the foundation thereof has been laid in the form of "Adult Education"1. Now the time does not seem to be far off when this curse will be removed from the universities of the world.