Meet Darul Uloom students

By Manzar Bilal,,

Part 2 of the seven part series on Darul Uloom Deoband

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Students from across the country as well as outside of it come to take parts in entrance test of Darul Ulom Deoband every year but very few realize their dreams as the seminary has limited number of seats.

If you go there in the month of Ramadan, which is the official holidays, you would find young men pouring over the books. These are not the students of Darul Uloom but aspirants who arrive here for preparation of test held after the month of fasting.

In fact, there are many madarsas in India but Darul Uloom at Deoband is the first choice for the students. This institute has grown over the years to accommodate every growing demand. Currently, there are over a thousand students in the final year class alone.

When Owais Akhter from Tripura, India, was asked about reason for coming here he replied: “When I was in primary class my father used to tell me the history of Darul Uloom and outstanding works of its graduates which created within me a lot of respect for them and to go on their footsteps. Therefore, I have come here four years ago and by the grace of Allah now I am in Takmeel -e- Adab (Masters in Arabic literature). After completion of education, I will go to my area and will work for the development of education among our community”

Abdul Bari from Samastipur, Bihar who is studying in final year said: “Darul Uloom has been the centre of renaissance of Indian Muslims. When I started my madarsa life, I heard about Darul Uloom. Once I visited here and environment that I found here influenced me so much that I decided to take admission here and I succeeded in it. The most important thing I learnt here is how to manage the time for different activities and use it suitably. I have intention to teach in any madarsa along with writing books.”

Photo by Ishan Tankha

“The good thing that you find here is cooperation. If any one is weak in any subject he can seek help from seniors. For instance, language of instruction here is Urdu and in examination one can write answers in it but if he answers in Arabic, he will get some extra marks. Therefore, students try to use Arabic in exam. When I came here in fifth year, I was not able to give answers in Arabic but I contacted my seniors and they gave me tips and trained me. Since then I have been writing answers in Arabic,” said Afzal from Palanpur, Gujarat.

About his plans for the future Afzal said: “My father, brothers and uncles all are businessmen so I will set up my business it is also the Sunnah of our Prophet. At the same time I will also teach part-time voluntarily in madarsa and also will take part in Tablighee Jamaat. I also want to establish primary madarsa in different parts of my state. ”

Photo by Yoginder Sikand

Imran Ahmad from Bhagalpur, Bihar said: “In last few years we have seen changes among students. They are increasingly learning English and computers which led to opening many computer learning as well as English speaking centres around the locality.” He further added, “Darul Uloom should include some new subject such as contemporary science, social science and English in syllabus of some starting years and remove books related to logic or at least reduce some of them.”

“I want to go Qatar University to get further education in Arabic language and Hadeeth. My brother is already in Qatar and he is helping me. If I get chance to go there, I will come back after some accomplishments and teach in India” Imran added.

Mushtaq Ahmad is a sixth year student who is learning English out side of Madarsa, said: “As you know English is crucial need in this advanced age, we have to learn it to get ahead. Therefore, many students are attending such centre in their free times.”

“After completion of Fazilat from here, I will take admission in Jamia Millia and will do professional courses but will not change my identity of being a Maulvi,” said Ahmad proudly.

Saleem Khan is paying Rs. 200 for English classes. He explains: “Though there are courses for English and computers in Darul Uloom but these are after Fazilat course and we do not have time for that and also I am not sure that I will get admission in these courses as seats are limited. I take time out for learning English, so when I graduate from Darul Uloom, I will also know English which will help me in future.”

“I want to be a doctor and serve the humanity. After finishing education here, I will take admission In B.U.M.S. at Jamia Hamdard or Aligarh Muslim University where fazilat degree of Darul Uloom is equivalent to graduation,” Khan informed.

Photo by vijay pandey9

Farooq Azam who has written two books in Urdu during his academic life told “I have spent ten years in Darul Uloom. In fact, after coming here, my thinking ability has increased and I have learnt many things from different categories of people gathered here. I am inspired by my teachers and seniors with whom we have strong relations. I have been getting guidance from them. That is why I have been able to write two books along with my class works.”

“I am doing graduation from Jamia Millia by distance education and this is my final year. After completion of it I will decide what to do next but most likely to continue education along with teaching in madarsa” added Farooq.

“Darul Uloom is not only the educational seminary but it is also a spiritual training centre where teachers train their pupils. We preferred to come here because here teachers are of high rank. They have in-depth knowledge and are aware of the art of explaining complicated matter. They satisfy their students by their complete knowledge of subjects they are teaching. Darul Uloom has the cream of Islamic scholars who are imparting education to students here,” said Muzammil from Malda, West Bengal.

“I am studying here to get pleasure of Allah not any thing else, so, I will serve the community by imparting education to Muslim children” he said.