THE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION continued..
same traditions of our old system of education are the distinguishing
feature of Darul Uloom. Here also fees are not charged from the
students. Food, clothes and cash stipends are given by Darul Uloom
Deoband to all resource less and needy students, and text-books and
accommodation are provided free of charge to every affording and
non-affording student. The result of this is that the education of Darul
Uloom has not been a specialty, a preserve of the well-heeled only but
even the most impoverished man can get his children adorned with
education through it; its grace is universal and, in proportion to
Uloom, Deoband, is the first and the pioneer educational institution in
India, established on the principle of free education and has been
running this free system of education with enviable success for more
than a century.
Uloom, Deoband, is also the first educational institution, which
presented the concept of "Autonomous System of Education"
during the British regime in India and assiduously endeavored to
maintain intellectual liberty of the nation in an atmosphere of
political slavery. Though this was a very difficult work, Darul Uloom,
by practicing it, made it easy. Inspite of the offer of the British
Government Darul Uloom never accepted this aid. Hence it has remained
free from many such restrictions, which necessarily come in with the
government grand-in-aid. It is being said by certain people that when
the government was willing to give valuable financial aid to Darul Uloom,
it was not proper on its part to decline and abstain from accepting it;
however much generosity the community may show, it cannot compete with
the substantial help of the government. These people most probably
failed to notice this point that it is necessary to keep the Arabic
schools free from the influence of the state, for though it be a
government of the Muslims, unless it be a government of the purely
Islamic style, its politics cannot be candid and unalloyed, whereas such
education is required for the Arabic schools that may be absolutely free
from all sorts of un-Islamic influence and extraneous practice. Hence
Darul Uloom, Deoband, never accepted any aid from the government in
power; its entire resource and capital consists in reliance on Allah.
Darul Uloom has been busy in the service of the religion depending only
on the Muslim masses, and notwithstanding the swift and severe
vicissitudes of day and night it is maintaining itself and going on with
its old dignity and traditions.
unfortunately for our community, the purpose of education has come down
to this that bagging through it some good and lucrative service
substantial livelihood may be earned. As though the very intent and
denotation of education has been altogether changed, and now, instead of
"knowledge for the sake of knowledge", it too has become a
means like many other means of earning livelihood, although it is a
natural demand of the dignity of knowledge that its ideal be sublime. No
doubt the profane arts and sciences are acquired so that worldly
progress may be achieved through them, but if this ideal is restrained
only to one's own personal gain and one's own advantage is kept in view,
this is sheer selfishness. To expend the invaluable wealth of knowledge
for only one's own ends is not to recognize the greatness of knowledge.
The purpose of acquiring secular arts and sciences should also be this
that through them the resources of the whole community (or nation) may
be developed and they may become the cause of not only one's own rise
and progress but also for the advancement of the country and the
aim and ideal cherished by the students of Arabic schools in acquiring
knowledge is to seek Allah's pleasure and to serve His creatures in the
best possible manner. The pupils consider their teachers to be teachers
and fully observe the old limits and ranks of teacher ship and pupilage.
They pay the same respect to their teachers, which they pay to their
parents; every student considers service to teachers conducive to
increase in knowledge and prosperity!
following golden incident of the Islamic history is worth remembering
that when Madrasa-e-Nizamia was established in Baghdad, and high
salaries and stipends were fixed for the teachers and the taught and all
sorts of equipments for comfort were provided by the government, the
Ulama of Bukhara held on this occasion an assembly of mourning for
"the decline of knowledge" and expressed sorrow over it that
now knowledge would be acquired not for the sake of knowledge but for
status and wealth. It is obvious that if this noble purpose of knowledge
is not there before a man, why would he, instead of the contemporary
(modern) sciences, set his face towards Darul Uloom the value of the
degree (Sanad) of which, in the sight of the government, is not more
than that of an old almanac?
a lieutenant governor of the United Provinces (U.P.), Sir James Muston,
while inspecting Darul Uloom, had asked a student from a place far off
is the purpose of your coming here from such a distant place”?
Spontaneously the student replied:
have come to read here for this that after returning I may render
religious service to the people of my native place".
can be estimated from the syllabus of Darul Uloom that it is far higher
than the standard of the government examinations of "Maulavi Fazil"
etc. of "the Oriental Languages". On this account, had Darul
Uloom so wished, it could have easily got its sanad recognized by the
government equivalent to that of "Maulavi Fazil" but instead
of making its sanad a "passport" to service in' the government
departments, it considered it more apposite that it should try to create
in its students such academic ability and merit that the moment the
people see its alumnus and its sanad they may believe that it is a thing
of value and that whichever task of religion this man takes upon
himself, he will be able to discharge it with competence and elegance.
attention has been paid to this thing in the curriculum of Darul Uloom
that through it the student, along with the preservation of the
spiritual and moral values of Islam, may also acquire ability and
expertise in the Islamic arts and sciences so that after going out from
here he may be enabled to bear the responsibilities of sincere
leadership of the community and may play an important role in the effort
for the Islamic call and preaching. It is tried in Darul Uloom Deoband
to convince students that the purpose of their education is not at all
the acquirement of degree or preparation for 'government services and
offices. On the contrary, it is a purely religious education, and the
political and geographical conditions of India demand that such a party
that may always be actively busy in elevating the Word of Allah and the
revival of the Sunnah should be present amongst the Muslims. Thank Allah
that Darul Uloom is successful in this educational purpose: from this
institution have come out thousands of such Ulama, preachers, authors
and leaders who have never avoided this purpose of Darul Uloom.
prophetic Hadith is a commentary and exegesis of the Book of Allah and
the second most important source of the Islamic law. Darul Uloom Deoband
has rendered service to many religious and secular sciences but the
teaching of Hadith has been the most conspicuous among them all. The
teaching of Hadith in Darul Uloom has been comprehensive in tradition (Riwayat)
and reasoning (Dirayat) and all the principles of the Islamic law. Here
it is tried that the commentary of the Hadith and such details of topics
related to it may come before the students that in their future life
they may not have to face any difficulty in the conjunction and
reconciliation (Jama wa Tatbiq) and preference and interpretation (Tarjih
wa Tawil) of the prophetic Hadiths. In this respect Darul Uloom, Deoband,
in the teaching of Hadith, commands a singular dignity. This is the
reason that the Dar al...,.Hadith of Darul Uloom is held in high esteem
and respect by all the religious schools.
account of the extensiveness of its educational system, maturity in
conformance to the Sunnah, and consummate firmness in arts and sciences,
Darul Uloom Deoband enjoys the position of a singular institution. In
the teaching of Hadith particularly it commands an individual style,
which special feature of it makes it distinguished over all other
educational institutions. In its Dar al-Hadith gather every year three
to four hundred students who flock to it from different parts of the
world merely. for the study of Hadith. Amongst these students of Hadith
there is a large number of such people also who are graduates of other
institutions and come here only to benefit from the special higher
education of Darul Uloom.
Uloom, Deoband, leads all the seminaries of India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh,
Burma, Afghanistan and other countries and many Madrasas imitate it in
the method of education and internal organization.
Uloom has been religiously kept aloof and independent from state help
and government interference. The system of education and training that
the British government had started in India in its regime not only did
not have any compatibility with the Islamic ideal and belief but was
also very harmful for the Muslims; had it been accepted, then our
present generation not only would have been deprived of Islam but also,
unsurprisingly, would have renegade from and revolted against Islam. The
elders of Darul Uloom Deoband sensed this danger in time end, despite
political slavery, revivified the old system of education to maintain
intellectual liberty in order that the students completing this course
of study could begin the world as a true believer.
it is generally the practice in the Arabic schools, in the Darul Uloom
Deoband too the time-table is divided into two parts: the first part
consists of four hours and the second of two. In the summer season from
6-00 a.m. to 10-00 a.m. and after the Zuhar prayer, from 3-30 p.m. to
5-30 p.m., and in the winter season, from 8-00 a.m. to 12-00 noon and
after Zuhar prayer, from 2-00 p.m. to 4-00 p.m. Each period in the Darul
Uloom Deoband is of full sixty minutes. With change in season the hours
of periods also change gradually; i.e., from 6-00to 6-15 and from 2-00
to 2-15; similarly, from 8-00 to 7-45 and from 3-30 to 3-15.
after admission in the month of Shawwal, lessons begin in the beginning
of the month of Zi-q'ada and continue till the end of Rajab. The annual
examination is' held in the month of Sha'ban and continues for nearly
three weeks. The annual vacation begins from the last week of Sha'ban
and continues up to the 'first week of Shawwal. Admissions begin from
the second week. Friday is the weekly holiday.
portal of Darul Uloom Deoband is open for every student who wants to
acquire knowledge of the religious sciences, provided he agrees with the
objectives and the educational ideal of Darul Uloom Deoband and applies
for admission with the firm resolve of abiding by the rules and
regulations of Darul Uloom Deoband and provided his lifestyle be in
consonance with the Islamic values. With these conditions he can be
admitted to that class for which he may have ability and capacity.
generally begins from the second week of Shawwal and ends by the end of
the third week, but the admission of fresh students is closed a little
the time of admission a fresh student is admitted to a class for which
he is considered fit by virtue of his ability; admission cannot be given
on the basis of the sanad of any other educational institution. However
those students who pass the Persian classes and join the Arabic class
are exempted from the test for admission.
in the Quran class and Persian class is done through application and in
the Arabic class through a printed application-form. There are two kinds
of the admission-form: old and new. By old are meant those students who
may have studied in Darul Uloom itself in the previous year and the
newly-arrived students are called "new" (i.e., fresh).
filling the admission-form the student makes a promise that he shall
keep himself engaged in studies with eagerness and singleness of
purpose, and shall fully abide by the rules-in-force of Darul Uloom, and
in his personal appearance, deportment and etiquette, and reading and
writing, etc. shall follow the student-like demeanor and lifestyle.
is no restriction of age-limit for admission; however, young children
from outside who cannot stay alone in the hostel are not admitted. There
is also no such restriction on account of any profession wherefore the
doors of teaching and learning may be closed upon some individuals or
sections of the community; on the contrary, every man who cherishes any
zest for learning can learn and acquire knowledge without any hindrance.
The Arabic Madrasas have always been free from the restriction of
age-limit and profession, never allowing any discrimination on account
of color and race, riches and poverty, and high and low class. Hence the
ways of acquiring the highest possible education with convenience have
always remained open to every man belonging to any race, of how so ever
much small means he may be. In the educational history of the Muslims
will be found innumerable such scholars and accomplished men who
ancestrally belonged to different high and low professions. Such men who
have been ignored in the world on account of their lowly professions
acquired education in these Arabic Madrasas and accomplished such
wonderful exploits in the academic and political fields that every
student of history is aware of them. The credit of antecedence and
pioneering for the thing that is being considered today a gift of Europe
belongs in reality to our Arabic schools.
is not - easy to say that the system of examination was generally
current in the Arabic Madrasas; nevertheless it appears from the
particulars of some Madrasas that the students were examined in them
annually. As such it is stated in the history of Bijapur entitled
Bustanus-Salatin, in connection with the chronicles of the seminaries
that "the examination of the students used to be held at the end of
the month of Zil-hijja". An explicit statement about the annual
examination in the same book at another place is that "the annual
examination was held every year".
this system had been abandoned just a short time before the
establishment of Darul Uloom, and this system of holding quarterly, six
monthly and annual examinations, which is a good means of assessing the
student's ability, labor and toil, was not in vogue. When a student
finished a book under the instruction of a teacher, a higher book used
to be begun without holding a test for the previous book. It is evident
that in this there was no opportunity to assess and assay the student's
ability, and very often even an undeserving student also used to go on
crossing the stages of progress. Perceiving this defect, Darul Uloom put
an end to this system and made the quarterly, half-yearly and annual
rules that are in force in Darul Uloom in connection with examination
are also sufficiently stiff. There is no rule of private examination
the Madrasas of India most probably it was a specialty of Bijapur only
that an annual examination used to be held there, otherwise no mention
of annual examination is met with in the history of other religious
schools; and this much is absolutely certain that in the immediate past
of the establishment of Darul Uloom the custom of annual examination was
not at all there in India.
which is the criterion of assessing the students’ educational ability
and the teachers’ labour and assiduity and on which promotion to
higher classes depends, is a very necessary thing. But even as Darul
Uloom has been absolutely kept aloof from the influence of the
government, similarly any kind of external interference in the
examination' has also not been liked. The curriculum is of its own
proposition and examinations too it conducts under its own supervision.
examinations here are of two kinds. One is examination for admission. It
is held for those students who come from some other seminary to be
admitted to Darul Uloom. Usually it is held in the month of Shawwal.
Special strictness is used in this examination and very often
than half of the candidates taking this examination have to return
because of their failure. The other examination is" held for
studies. This is held thrice in the academic year. The quarterly
examination is held in the month of Safaru-Muzaffar, the six-monthly in
Jamadil-Ula and the annual begins in the last week of Rajab and ends in
the second ten days of the month of Sha'ban.
precaution is taken and strictest invigilation is done in. the
examinations. All the examinations of the first and the second years and
of some books of the third year are conducted catechetically, through
viva voce and of higher classes, there is written examination. The
question papers are printed with utmost precaution and under extreme
the examination four hours are given for answering the paper. Seats are
fixed and special care is taken that the candidates may riot talk with
each other in case of disobeying this rule the guilty candidates are
expelled from the examination.
hypothetical marks of the examination are 50. The detail of securing
classes in the examination is as under:
To be placed in the lowest class a successful candidate must obtain 30
to 36' marks, for the intermediate class 37 to 43, and for the highest
class 44 to 50.
should be known on this occasion that prior to Darul Uloom all the
educational centers that were there in India were by and large of the
nature of private institutions and it was a common factor in all of them
that there was neither classification in them nor muster-rolls nor were
the students compelled to choose a subsidiary book and subject with the
principal book and subject. There was absolute freedom one would read
whatever one liked and read as long as one wished. There was neither
fixed duration for education nor any particular mode of examination. It
is Darul Uloom only that takes precedence of all others in executing
classification, duration of education, maintenance of muster-roll,
holding of examinations, relevance of subjects and other such matters,
and it is from here only that these things gradually became customary in
the Arabic schools.