The latest Fatwa in Urdu by Darul Uloom Deoband of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh bans studies in English and any other language. The education department head’s fatwa orders all students to strictly adhere to these directives and warns of expulsion for non-compliance.
Moreover, the order continues to emphasize that students are prohibited from conversing or interacting in English with respect to the course among themselves. Any detractors shall face immediate expulsion from the institute.
What is Darul Uloom Deoband?
Situated in the town of Deoband in the Saharanpur district, the Darul Uloom Deoband is a school of Islamic studies. The Deobandi Islamic movement began from this institute. This Islamic seminary aims to preserve the orthodox Muslim culture. Its goal is to protect the Muslim community from the influence of modernism, Christians, and Hindus. Moreover, it wants to keep the Muslim society in India on orthodox lines. Muslims from all over the world participate in the enrollment process for the institute’s approximately 5,000 seats.
This Muslim theological institute is a Madrasa that encourages highly traditional Muslim subjects. Some of its popular programs are the study of Quranic verses, the study of traditions or Hadith, the study of scholastic theology or kalam, and the Islamic philosophy or falsafah. The Deoband Madrasa rejects the study of modern disciplines as irrelevant to proper education in consonance with Islamic traditions. The institute considers that modern education leads to bidah or sinful innovations. The madrasah has more than 100,000 books and manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and other languages.
Fatwa Banning English and Other Languages
English and other languages, as a medium of learning, were banned by the head of education of Deoband Institute. Moreover, the fatwa also proclaimed that students’ absenteeism and early departure from classroom premises will face severe consequences. Maulana Arshad Madni, head of the Madrasa’s education department, believes that the students should prioritize becoming Islamic theologists. He discourages the students of modern aspirations to become doctors or engineers.
Earlier fatwas by the institute stated that Muslim youth were prohibited from trimming or shaving beards. The institute has also asked Muslim women to stop trimming their hair or shaping their eyebrows.
How did Darul Uloom Deoband Justify the Fatwa?
Since the news of the fatwa has raised eyebrows in the modern world, the institute has tried to issue a clarification of the orders. They state that the ban was imposed due to students’ pursuit of additional courses outside the seminary. Such activities have affected their performance at the Doeband Institute. Maulana Abdul Qasim Nomani states that the order is to restrict the preference of English and other languages over Urdu, Arabic, and Persian studies.
The attendance clause was clarified as a means to promote the attentive and regular presence of students in classrooms. The Maulana specifies that this clause will prevent students from running businesses; like tea stalls, snack stalls, etc.; outside the institute premises post-admission to Deoband Madrasa.
The Darul Uloom Deoband is Asia’s largest Muslim seminary institute. It specializes in Islamic studies and the propagation of Muslim culture. The ban on English and other languages is the institute’s attempt to safeguard its pro-Islamic agenda. However, this ban also underlines the hidden bias of the Madrasa toward other languages. Moreover, this and other fatwas by the Deoband Madrasa showcase the abject rejection of modern education and vocations.
Institutes like the Doeband Madrasa further highlight the inherently regressive nature of Islam. The attitude of the teaching staff should serve as a red herring to the modern world against the orthodox principles that lie at the heart of all Islamic radicals. The recent fatwa by the Madrasa should be recognized by liberals and ‘peacefuls’ as the true nature of the proponents of Islam and its traditions.