Students of Darul Uloom speak out about Jamiat Ulema-e- Hind

By Manzar Bilal,,

Part 6 of the seven part series on Darul Uloom Deoband

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Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) came into existence in November 1919 by the initiative of some famous Ulema such as Maulana Mufti Kifayatullah, Maulana Ahmad Saeed Dehlavi, Maulana Sanaullah Amritseri, Maulana Abdul Bari, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Abdul Majid Badayuni, Maulana Daud Ghaznavi, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, and Maulana Hifzur Rahman among others.

The motivation to establish Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind was to unite Ulema and bring them on one platform to make Muslims of India politically and socially empowered. Ulema of different schools of thought contributed to make it an effective organization and though it is not a political party but many times it dictated its terms to political parties by the virtue of the large number of carders who have followed the instruction issued by JUH.

In its 90-year history, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has done a lot for the Muslim community as well as the country. It has been one of the organizations to raise the first voice in the favor of the community and the first organization to ask for the complete freedom of the country. The government also has considered it as the most effective Muslim organization in India. During its long history, the organization saw many ups and down. Many prominent personalities joined it to work with it and many left but it has continued its work.

In February, 2006 when Maulana Asad Madani passed away, a controversy started for the top post of the organization among his own family members which has not only divided the organization but also created the tension among the followers of Jamiat, all over the country.

The relation between teachers and pupils are cordial at Madarsas compared to other educational institutes. Students have deep respect for their teachers and teachers also treat them with affection and kindness. Darul Uloom Deoband being the biggest religious education centre in Indian subcontinent has been the role modal for other Madarsas of the country. But the controversy of JUH has not surpassed the environment of Darul Uloom unaffected as most of the teachers backed Maulana Asad Madani’s son Mahmood Madani while majority of the students support Maulana Asad Madani’s brother Arshad Madani.

“Most of the teachers here favor Mahmood Madani because when Maulana Arshad Madani was director of education at Darul Uloom he was strict and did not hesitate to take accountability of any one about education activities which angered them. Anyway, the controversy of JUH has left bad impact on environment of Darul Uloom” said, a final year student, Farooq Azam from Khagaria, Bihar.

“Honestly speaking, we feel reduction of respect towards our teachers after this incident because on one hand they say that they are neutral but on another hand they participate in programs organized by Mahmood Madani’s group. We do not know what is the matter behind the curtain” told Rashid Ahmad, a student of seventh year from Saharanpur in UP.

Saeed Anwar, a student of Islamic jurisprudence, said: “The purpose behind holding the conference is only to show the crowd to Congress Party to get Rajya Sabha seat. Therefore they chose Deoband because Muslims wish to visit seminary. If they would have organized the conference to make aware the government Muslim related issues then why they did not read out resolution against Madarsa Board and Vande Matram in the presence of P. Chidambaram.”

Amjad Ali from Hyderabad was of the opinion that there is no need to organize so many programs to solve the community problems; on the contrary there should take some practical steps to meet the challenges.

“According to secretary report of JUH, in the period of two years almost 200 big and small programs have been organized by JUH in different part of the country to condemn the terrorism. I think there is no need to spend billion of rupees for such programs after Darul Uloom condemned the terrorism and issued the fatwa against that because it is not responsibility of only Muslims. There are lots of problems that JUH should deal with. They should establish educational institutes as many as they can to provide better education to the Muslim students and they should increase helping hand towards those Muslims who are living miserable lives. These can uplift the community and solve their problems and not holding conferences. But I know these people are not interested in these beneficial project because there is no ostentation in that.” said Imran Ahmad, student of Arabic specialization course.

“Though JUH worked for rehabilitation of 2002 riot victims in Gujarat but it is not enough still there are lots of families who are forced to live in camps and their children are deprived of education and basic need of life but these people are wasting wealth of community in useless things,” he added.

It is interesting to note here that though fighting between uncle and nephew has been the hot news for newspapers and channels but in personal life their relation is as strong as it was before.

“Both Maulana Arshad Madani and Maulana Mahmood Madani are respected personalities for us but we are unable to understand that these people have friendly relation with each other at home then why they do not find any solution for JUH controversy which weakened the organization” said Javed Iqbal, a sixth year student.

“Last year there was marriage of daughter of Maulana Mahmood Madani in which Maulana Arshad Madani was invited and he performed the nikah. Some days back mother of Qari Usman sahib, president of one group of JUH, passed away. Maulana Arshad sahib was requested to lead funeral (janaza) prayer and he did so. When these people can share dais for their personal matters then why do they not come at one platform for the benefit of the community? Are they fooling the people or being blackmailed by some of their selfish disciples?” he asked.