By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,
New Delhi: Darul Uloom Deoband, the centuries old Islamic seminary of the Indian subcontinent, has strongly objected to the allegations about the seminary getting funds from the Saudi government and it being a source of radicalization of Muslim youths in India.
Talking to TwoCircles.net from Deoband, Maulana Qasim Nomani, the Rector of Darul Uloom, rejected the charges leveled against the seminary by All Indian Ulema & Mashaikh Board (AIUMB). The AIUMB, which claims to be a Sufi group, had alleged that seminaries like Darul Uloom Deoband get funds from Saudi Arab and radicalize Muslim youths, poisoning their minds by Islamic extremism.
Darul Uloom Deoband
Politics, not Sufism
Hitting out at the AIUMB, Nomani accused the AIUMB of playing politics in the garb of Sufism.
“These people claim to be Sufi but Sufism was the last thing they practiced. You tell me if you find any thing remotely related to Sufism in their speeches. Sufis never call others Kafir but this is the favorite pastime of these groups,” said Nomani.
Darul Uloom reactor also said that the AIUMB needs to come out clean when it comes to its secular credentials as it hasn’t condemned the terrorism propagated by the RSS and Narendra Modi.
“These groups have always sent soft feelers to the Hindutva forces and they did that again when AIUMB talked of being soft on Modi who should be in jail for supervising genocide of Muslims,” said Maulana Nomani.
He said that, “mainstream media in India, is known for ignoring problems of the Muslim community but what you need to question is that why is it, that you find this group being covered on the front page of every news paper?.”
Nomani said that it was Darul Uloom which gave Fatwa against terrorism and it was all because of this fatwa that the media, to a large extent, changed the pattern of covering bomb blasts and Muslim community.
“The charge that Deoband is spreading Islamic extremism, is as ridiculous and baseless as it can be. People shouldn’t forget that Darul Uloom was the first among Islamic seminaries in India to condemn terrorism in all and every forms. Thanks to our Fatwa against terror, that the media changed its attitude towards Muslims vis-à-vis terror attacks and bomb blasts,” said Maulana Nomani.
On Saudi funds
Nomani said that the seminary has never accepted and in future also, will never accept funds from any government sources, be it Saudi Arab or the government of India or any state government in the country. He claimed that accepting no government funds is one of the eight basic rules governing Darul Uloom, and this was actually the last will of its founder, Maulana Qasim Nanutwi.
Regarding the charges of Saudi funds as AIUMB’s desperate attempts for cheap publicity, Nomani said that government aid was one of the reasons why the seminary and the entire Deoband fraternity, didn’t accept the Central government proposal of Central Madarsa Board as government aid was the Board’s prominent feature.
“How can we go against the vision of our elders? From the very first day of its establishment, Darul Uloom has never accepted and will never accept government funds because it’s against the basic rules which govern this Madarsa,” added Maulana Nomani.
On being Anti-Sufi
Maulana Nomani was surprised when this correspondent asked if Deoband was anti-Sufi. Claiming that Darul Uloom Deoband is part and parcel of Sufi tradition in India, he said that Deoband scholars like Ashraf Ali Thanwi, and others were Sufi saints as well and they had their Khanqahs (Sufi hospice).
“Who said we are against Sufism? We very much follow the Sufi traditions and all of our elders were Sufi practitioners of Sufi tradition,” Nomani added.
Maulana Nomani said that there are four schools of thoughts in Sufism in India -- Qadri, Chishti, Naqshbandi and Suharwardy -- and claimed that most of the teachers at Darul Uloom are associated with one of these schools.