THE STATE OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN THE MUSLIM WORLD
by Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Uthmaani
The following are extracts from a bayaan (lecture) by Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Usmaani [with comments and certain misconceptions addressed by Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]:
“………We need a different educational system — a system which comes from our predecessors (Salaf). ……..
It is not a requisite of the Shariah for every individual to become an Aalim, that is, it is not Fardh-e-Ain, rather it is Fardh-e-Kifaayah. In a town or a country if there are enough Ulama, it will suffice to fulfil the Fardh-e-Kifaayah injunction. However, it is Fardh-e-Ain or compulsory on every individual to learn the basic obligations of the Deen. Therefore, the educational system (during the era of the Salaf) was such that every Muslim would receive the necessary Fardh-e-Ain quota of Deeni education to enable him to fulfil his individual obligations. Thereafter if he wanted to pursue higher studies, he could do so. If a student wanted to pursue higher studies in the Deeni sciences, then the opportunities were available. On the other hand, if a student wanted to pursue higher studies in the worldly sciences, then too he had the opportunity to pursue such branches of knowledge.
A few days ago, my elder brother Mufti Rafi Uthmaani was in Morocco. Last year I visited and this year my brother did. There are two major cities in Morocco — Marrakesh and Fez. I was in the city of Fez last year, and my brother visited it this year. In Fez there is a university called University of Qayrawan that is still operational. If we are to look into our history, we find four major universities:
The University of Qayrawan in Fes, Morocco
The University of Zaytuna in Tunis, Tunisia
The University of Al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt
The University of Daarul Uloom in Deoband, India.
Qayrawan University was established in the 3rd century Hijri (i.e. 9th century CE) in the city of Fez. It is recorded in its history, and I have not found anything to the contrary, that it is not only the oldest university of the Muslim world, rather it is the oldest university in the entire world! What does this mean? It means that in Qayrawan University, the curriculum then included the religious sciences like Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, along with Medicine, Mathematics, Astronomy and all the secular/ worldly sciences that are now called the Asri Uloom.
Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), and Qaadhi Iyaadh had taught there, along with a long list of our predecessors (Aslaaf). Their teaching spots are preserved to this day! The spot where Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Rushd taught, the spot where Qaadhi Iyaadh delivered lectures, and the spot where Ibn al-Arabi al-Maaliki taught, are still preserved. This is one of the oldest universities of the world. The smaller Madaaris would certainly have existed, but the Qayrawan University existed as a university where all the religious and worldly sciences were taught under one roof. Even today, the University has replicas of the scientific inventions that were developed in the 3rd and the 4th century Hijri from that university. Legendary Islamic religious scholars learned from this university, and even the philosopher Ibn Rushd and major scientists of that era.
The system was designed as such to provide obligatory education to everyone, and then higher Deeni studies as well as secular sciences such as mathematics, medicine, etc. were pursued at the same Qayrawan University. Similar was the case in Zaytuna University (in Tunis) and Al-Azhar University (in Egypt).
These three of our oldest universities had such an educational system that you would see Qaadhi Iyaadh who was the Imaam of Hadith and Sunnah, and Ibn Khaldun, who was the Imaam of History, both appearing the same. One would not be able to distinguish who is the scholar of religious sciences and who is the scholar of worldly sciences from their appearances. Their appearance, their clothing, their culture, their manner of speaking was similar. If you look at our scientists like Farabi, Ibn Rushd, and al-Biruni, their appearance was the same as our Mufassireen, Muhadditheen and Fuqaha. Both groups performed Salaat, both were cognizant of the issues of Salaat and Saum. So the basic foundational knowledge that is Fardh-e-Ain (obligatory upon every Muslim), was known to all the Muslims, and it was taught to all the pupils across the board.
The separation occurred when the British came with their educational system and according to a well thought out plan and conspiracy, they effaced the Deen from the land. Facing this grievous scenario, our Akaabireen (elders) were compelled to react to safeguard the Fardh-e-Ain knowledge, hence they established Daarul Uloom Deoband. However, our true educational system was that which had existed in the Qayrawan University, Zaytuna University and in the preliminary days of Al-Azhar University. (Not what exists today – The Majlis)
If Pakistan had been truly a Muslim state, then as my father (Hadhrat Mufti Muhamamd Shafi’ – Rahmatullah alayh) had stated, we would not have needed Aligarh, Nadwa or Daarul Uloom Deoband. On the contrary we would need Qayrawan and Zaytuna University (as they had existed during the early epoch of Islam – The Majlis). Our educational institutions should have been the centres of learning for all of the various sciences and all of its graduates, having the same foundation of the Deen whether they become engineer, doctor, or tread the path in any other field.
The educational system that was imposed upon us, only taught us to be intellectually enslaved. It made us veritable slaves of aleins. ………..It completely destroyed the rich history and tradition of the Muslims. The result of this is the great divide evident among Muslims, where one group that graduates from this system does not even know the obligations which are Fardh-e-Ain. They are unaware of their individual obligations. Secondly, they have been conditioned to think that if you want progress and enlightenment, then you must look towards the West. Thirdly, their entire culture has been overturned. Thus they have been indoctrinated to believe that progress can only be achieved in the environment and in the manner of the West.
It is sad to see that those who graduate from such an educational system (i.e. the western university system – The Majlis), or earn their doctorate or become professors, criticize the Students of Deeni Knowledge (i.e. the molvis – The Majlis). In fact, it has become a hobby to them. They chant that we have closed the doors of Ijtihad as it used to have a significant place in the Qurâan, Sunnah and Fiqh. However, (they fail to understand) that there were fields where the doors of Ijtihad were wide open. For example, in science, technology, mathematics and other worldly sciences. No one had closed the doors of Ijtihaad for them in such fields. Why did they not prepare mujtahids who could have done Ijtiaad in the field of medicine, for example, to blaze new trails of development in that field? Or they could have employed Ijtihaad to contribute in the field of astronomy! These secular fields were wide open. But, they did not do Ijtihaad in these secular fields. They contributed nothing. But when it comes to the Qurâan and the Sunnah, where Ijtihaad has to be exercised within its prescribed limits, then they complain that Ulema do not do Ijtihaad.
A few days ago, a fellow forwarded me a clip in which an Aalim was being questioned:
“Mawlana Sahib, the contribution of Ulema is known but why is it that there has not been any scientist or doctor or new invention from the Ulema? What do you have to say about this?
Oh servant of Allah! You should have questioned yourself in this regard. From the education that you have received, has there been a mujtahid (in your ranks) who has invented a new thing? Here (in the secular field), the doors of Ijtihaad are sealed in such a manner that whenever anything that is said by Englishmen, it is accepted without any checking. (i.e. Blind taqleed is made – The Majlis) If the West says that something is harmful to your health, then so it is, and if they say otherwise then so it becomes? For a couple of years, it was being said that egg yolk increases cholesterol and thus is harmful for the body. But now suddenly all the doctors are saying that egg yolk is fine to consume and there is no harm. What is the reason for this turnabout? It is so because the West said that it is fine to consume it, so you (blindly, without resorting to ijtihaad, swallow what your English bosses say – The Majlis) It is blindly accepted that it must be true. There are plenty of herbs across our lands, why have you never researched them to find their medicinal use? Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned the benefits of black cumin (kalonji), why have you never researched on it? Here the doors of Ijtihaad have been sealed shut (by the western bootlicking intelligentsia – The Majlis), instead they demand why (Ulema do not do) Ijtihaad in the Qurâan and the Sunnah. So this is the system of (intellectual) enslavement that has brought us to this stage.
Acquiring knowledge once used to be a respectable venture. It (i.e. secular knowledge) was for serving mankind, and that was the actual objective of learning (secular knowledge). If through this venture (of knowledge) a person would acquire any monetary gain, it would have been a side benefit. Today, the sole and primary objective of seeking (secular) knowledge is for monetary gain. (The lamentable reality today is that monetary gain has become the objective of even Deeni knowledge imparted in the Darul Ulooms – The Majlis) Learn as much as you can so that you can take as much wealth out of other people’s pockets. Your knowledge is only beneficial if you can earn more than other people. Look around and observe how many people are studying and graduating with Masters degrees and PhD degrees. (And also look at the molvis and the ulama-e-soo’ in general. You will find them competing with their westernized secular counterparts in the pursuit of monetary and in other nafsaani objectives. – The Majlis) Look at their thinking as to why they are studying. They are studying so that they can have a good secular career, so that they can get a good job, and so that they can earn more money. (That is precisely why Wifaaful Madaaris in Pakistan had clamoured and howled to have the noble Aalim-Faadhil Certificate equated and debased to the level of the scrap donkey MA. Degree, to enable molvis to get cheap jobs in the Middle East and elsewhere. Thus, they betray their souls, their Deen, the Ummah, the Rasool and Allah Azza Wa Jal for the jeefah – carrion – of this dunya. Indeed, they have brought humiliation to the Ilm of Wahi which originated in Ghaar-e-Hira, not in Qayrawan university or Zaytuna or Al-Azhar – The Majlis)
The concept of education has been overturned by making the objective of learning monetary gain.
(We differ with the Honourable Mufti Sahib on this score, The objective of secular education in reality is the dunya. It is not the Aakhirat. The objective has thus not been “overturned” by the Western educational system. The world being the objective of secular knowledge is perfectly legitimate. A man does not become a shoemaker for the Aakhirah, nor a plumber nor does a man clean sewerage drains for the Aakhirat, nor does a blacksmith or a doctor or an engineer engage in their respective occupations for the Aakhirat. All of them are legitimately pursuing their Rizq. As long as they retain their pursuits within the confines of the Shariah, they will be rewarded, and they act in fulfilment of the Hadith: ‘After Salaat, the search for halaal Rizq is incumbent.”. Thus, the concept of secular education is on course. However, it has acquired the new dimensions of oppression, exploitation, mass murder, genocide and the worst of evil and villainy which leave even Shaitaan aghast. It is only the Knowledge of the Deen which has altruistic objectives stemming from the primary Objective of gaining the Pleasure of Allah Wa Jal – The Majlis.)
The purpose is only money. There is no concept of serving the community and humanity in this western educational system. (This is applicable equally to those who pursue secular education as well as Deeni education in the Madaaris of this age. – The Majlis) The result is that everyone is engaged in a (rat) race to earn more and more, and they do not have any concern for their country or their nation, or a desire to serve the people or humanity. They are engrossed day and night in earning as much money as they can, so much so that people have resorted to deceit, theft, and murder. From the people who have graduated from this system, how many have served humanity and benefited the people?
We were taught by the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu alayhi wasallam), not to engross ourselves in this dunya, and not to make this dunya our sole objective. However, this (western) educational system flipped that worldview. So my respected father used to say that we need to re-overturn this post-colonial mindset, and go back to tread the path that was shown to us by Qayrawan University and Zaytuna University and the path that was shown to us during the early days of Al-Azhar Madrasah. That system has also been overturned and eliminated.
Since we could not get that system established at government level (in Napakistan – The Majlis), we at least tried to preserve the system of Daarul Uloom Deoband, hence Madaaris were established. Since we do not trust these politicians, their governments, and their laws, and for the near future we don’r even have any hope of having such trust, we shall defend these Madaaris, Iinshaa-Allah, and we shall continue them along the path that our Akaabireen (Elders) of Daarul Uloom Deoband had established. (Alas! Almost all the Madaaris have been deflected from that Path established by the Akaabireen. The path today is the jeefah of the dunya! – The Majlis)
However, we desire our people to, step by step, move towards that system that we once had, and towards that end, you have watched the presentation that preceded this lecture of mine. By the grace of Allah, we have Madaaris spread across the the country and they are fulfilling the communal obligation of Fardh-e-Ain. These Madaaris are probably just 1% of the nation. The 99% of the nation is subservient to the prevalent system, and intellectually enslaved to the Englishman. I often speak to the teachers of the Hira Foundation that for Allah’s sake they should take this generation out of this intellectual enslavement, and give them the understanding that we are a free people and a free nation and possess freedom of thought, and that we follow the teachings of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This is why we had established the Hira Foundation. (As long as the Ulama pursue the dunya, there does not exist even the ghost of understanding who and what we, the Ummah of Muhammad – Sallallahu alayhi wasallam – are. – The Majlis)
Not everything that comes from the West is bad, as there are things that are also good. So take the good that the West has, and leave the bad. If we act on this principle then we can reach our desired destination.” (This is empty rhetoric – a worn out cliche devoid of Islamic substance. – The Majlis)
IJTIHAAD – ARE ITS DOORS CLOSED?
In his bayaan, Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Uthmaani Sahib has made an extremely pertinent observation regarding Ijtihaad. The juhhaal western intelligentsia – the bootlickers of the West – having been thoroughly brainwashed by their orientalist masters who have hermetically sealed their brains with the hogwash of their theories and concepts of kufr, monotonously chant the song of the Ulama having closed the doors of Ijtihaad thereby stifling progress and enlightenment.
A little or a superficial scrutiny of this chant shows the stupidity of these bootlicking chanters of rubbish. Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib has drawn attention to the fact that the doors of science, technology and secular sciences have always been wide open – so wide that a herd of elephants can comfortably rush through without stampeding. Ijtihaad in these secular fields has always been welcomed. Yet, the reality is that not a single one among the myriad of western bootlickers in this Ummah has ever taken up the challenge with Ijtihaad to vie with the West and to excel the atheist scientists at whose impure feet the Muslim bootlicking intelligentsia lay sprawling in abject humiliation and subservience. Why did they not and why do they not resort to Ijtihaad in the secular sciences?
Technological progress and scientific superiority are not reliant on Ijtihaad in the sphere of the Aqaaid and Ahkaam of the Shariah pertaining to moral reformation and spiritual elevation. These are domains apart from the secular field. The closure of the door of Ijtihaad in the realm of Aqaaid and Ahkaam pertaining to Ibaadaat in no way whatsoever inhibits ijtihaad in the secular sciences. So what has impeded these western bootlicking morons from blazing trails in science and technology with ijtihaad?
The reality of their chant and charge is the attempt to find a scapegoat for their own miserable failure in the fields in which they have devoted years of study, but ultimately emerged as zombies bootlicking their atheist masters whose najaasat they lick up with relish as if it is halaal and tayyib. How did the closure of the door of Shar’i Ijtihaad impede Muslim progress in the secular fields? We say that there are four Faraaidh in Wudhu, and we say that there are six Faraaidh in Salaat, and we say that to fast in Ramadhaan is Fardh, and we say that riba is haraam, and we say zina is haraam, and we say Purdah is Waajib, and we say Lahw-La’b is haraam, and we say that music is haraam, and we say liquor is haraam, and we say that all the teachings and beliefs confirmed by the Sahaabah are the Haqq and Fardh to accept and believe.
In regard to all of this, we say that the doors of Ijtihaad are closed – sealed – welded closed, never to re-open ever again until the Day of Qiyaamah. Let the bootlickers now explain how does this closure of Ijtihaad inhibit them from progressing scientifically and technologically. How does this closure enslave them to the Western kuffaar? It is a humiliating self-imposed enslavement which is in reality a form of Allah’s Athaab for rebellious and immoral people who have cast aside their heritage of Islam for the miserable carrion of the dunya doled out to them by their colonial masters.
Closing the door of Ijtihaad pertaining to Aqaaid, Ibaadat and Mansoos Ahkaam, the Qur’aan Majeed announces:
“This Day have I (Allah Azza Wa Jal) perfected for you your Deen, and completed for you My Favour, and I have chosen Islam for you as your Deen.”
The perfection and completion of the Deen by Allah Azza Wa Jal Himself, preclude opening the door of Ijtihaad, interpretation and re-interpretation which are all ploys and snares of shaitaan to scuttle the perfect Deen of Allah Ta’ala. There is no licence for anyone in this day, whether laymen or Ulama, to meddle with the Ahkaam of the Deen. No one has the right to dig from the Kutub a Hadith, subject it to his opinion and formulate theories and stupid rulings which are in conflict with the Shariah’s Ahkaam which are all cast in solid rock.
The moron bootlicking western intelligentsia should explain exactly how does this closure adversely affect scientific and technological progress. When it is said that it is not permissible for women to attend the Musjid or to bare their faces in public or that they must remain at home, etc., how does it inhibit scientific progress? The modernist juhhaal are knowingly and deceptively singing the song of closure for the sake of giving impetus to their nafsaani and bestial desires. But in justification of their nafsaaniyat they present the smokescreen of closure of the door of Ijtihaad by the Fuqaha.
Secular universities and institutions abound in all Muslim countries. Hadhrat Mufti has pointed out that only about 1% of Pakistan’s population are related to the Madaaris which believe in the closure concept. How does this prevent the 99% from resorting to Ijtihaad in the fields of science and technology? Ijtihaad has several doors. The Ulama have never closed all doors. The only door of Ijtihaad which has been closed, is the Door closed by Allah Azza Wa Jal, and that pertains to Aqaaid and Mansoos Ahkaam. The door of Ijtihaad in secular matters is open – wide open. No one has ever been prevented from plunging through this open avenue.
As far as expediencies and new developments are concerned, and these are daily developing issues, the Ulama have always resorted to Ijtihaad. But Ijtihaad is not unbridled operation of personal opinion, reasoning and nafsaaniyat. It is fettered and regulated by conditions evolved from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Juhala may not attempt to traverse this domain.
New issues are constantly evolving and developing, and all of this require the operation of Ijtihaad for the application of the correct Shar’i ruling. By means of valid Ijtihaad, such rulings acquire Shar’i legality and force. Thus, the claim that the Ulama have closed the door of Ijtihaad is a massive and a deceptive canard monotonously chanted to find a scapegoat for failure. As for the Aqaaid and Mansoos Ahkaam, the door has been shut to prevent interpolation, distortion and mutilation of the Shariah perfected by Allah Ta’ala.
BACK TO QAYRAWAN, ZAYTUNA AND AL-AZHAR?
In his bayaan, Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib said: “We need to go back to the path shown to us by Qayrawan University, Zaytuna University and the early path of Al-Azhar.”
This is indeed a grave misunderstanding which is the basis of a massive miscalculation. It is not a solution for the degenerate condition of the Ummah incrementally sinking further and further into the quagmire of humiliation and enslavement which gross rebellion and treachery against Allah Ta’ala have created. The misunderstanding is the erroneous idea that our history – the history of the Ummah – commenced in the third Islamic century, hence we should take our directive from Qayrawan and from the other entities which came into existence much later. Based on this misunderstanding, the solution for the ills of the Ummah is believed to be Qayrawan, as if that ever was the fountainhead of Islam and its rapid advance and domination over the world.
The history of the Ummah was initiated with the advent of the proclamation of Tauheed by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Thus, the history of the Muslim Ummah commenced from the Makki era, not even from the Hijri time. We have to find the solutions for our problems and our rot in the entire history of the Sunnah which includes the pre-Hijrat Makki era. In fact, today this Ummah wandering aimlessly in a raging ocean of humiliation, degeneration, immorality and impotency is more in need of the Sunnah which prevailed during the Makki era.
Relative to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Qayrawan, Zaytuna and Azhar have no significance. The cure for the ills of the Ummah is not in a reversion to whatever educational system was in vogue at the time in these institutions.
The honourable Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib has not correctly applied his mind to fathom the diseases besetting the Ummah, nor has he correctly understood the solution, hence he believes that our history commenced with Qayrawan. The solution is never “back to Qayrawan”. The one and only solution is “Back to the Sunnah”, and the Sunnah commenced three centuries prior to the advent of Qayrawan. The system of Qayrawan was not the Sunnah system which was revealed by Allah Ta’ala for the guidance, success and victory of the Ummah.
The philosophers, Ibn Rushd and Farabi were KUFR MONGERS. They have nothing to offer the Ummah. They spread satanism in the Ummah. Our true Teachers are the Sahaabah and the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen of the Khairul Quroon epoch about whom Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Honour my Sahaabah, for verily they are your noblest, then those who come after them, then those who will come after them. Thereafter FALSEHOOD (KITHB) will become prevalent.”
In another Hadith, it appears: “Then will come people who will love obesity.” Their love for the jeefah (carrion) of the dunya will make their bodies obese and diseased, and their souls will become emaciated, bereft of Roohaaniyat.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commanded and greatly emphasized obedience to his Sunnah which presupposes obedience to his Sahaabah who were the Asaatizah of the first wrung of Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen in the ladder of Shar’i Uloom. This Sunnah was greatly on the decline during the age of Qayrawan and worse during the time of Zaytuna and Azhar. Whilst these institutions were undoubtedly Madaaris of higher academic learning, we have to go back to the Sunnah – three centuries before Qayrawan. That is where the solution for our malady is to be found. It cannot be found in the KUFR imparted by Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Farabi, Ibn Sina and other ‘Muslim’ scientists and philosophers who are unthinkingly extolled by the Ulama. Their beliefs were corrupt, lapped up from the kufr of Aristotle and Plato. The focus is on the dunya, not on the Aakhirat. That is why the mind is not correctly applied. The dunya has its false glitter which appears attractive.
Furthermore, the importance of Qayrawan and Zaytuna relevant to the preservation and imparation of the Fardh Ain obligation has been grossly exaggerated or misunderstood by Hadhrat Mufti taqi Sahib. It is incorrect to contend that these institutions of higher learning secured the bastion of Fardh Ain obligations for the Ummah. The contention that these institutions were established for the purpose of imparting the Fardh Ain obligations is ludicrous.
The bastions for the Fardh Ain obligations are the primary Makaateeb where little children acquire the basic knowledge of the Deen. By the age of ten, the Muslim child who attends the Maktab masters the Fardh Ain quota of Ilm. He does not have to wait to go to a university after becoming an adult to gain the Fardh knowledge which he requires incumbently from the age of buloogh.
The process of imparting the Knowledge of Fardh Ain was not initiated by Qayrawan. The Ummah’s children were not reared in ignorance of their Fardh Ain obligations during the Khairul Quroon and for the three century period prior to Qayrawan. All the branches of Shar’i Uloom, both of the Fardh Ain and Fardh Kifaayah categories were imparted par excellence during the era of Khairul Quroon which were the golden and noblest ages of Islam. We are required to turn back to the Khairul Quroon when the Sunnah had flourished. The bastions for Fardh Ain were the primary Makaateeb which were the original institutions for the preservation and dissemination of the Knowledge of the obligations of every individual Muslim.
It is also ludicrous to contend that Qayrawan had catered for the Fardh Ain Knowledge of the Ummah. When Qayrawan was established, there were millions of Muslim in the Islamic empire which stretched from the shores of the Atlantic in the West to right within China in the East. Much of Europe too was under Islamic domination by the time Qayrawan sprang up. How could this one Madrasah specializing in academic learning cater for the Fardh Ain Ilm of millions of Muslims spread out in dozens of countries? The claim that Qayrawan fulfilled this objective is baseless. The primary Makaateeb which had existed from centuries before Qayrawan in their thousands, catered for the Fardh Ain Knowledge.
It should be remembered that the conquests of Islam had been completed more than two centuries before Qayrawan. By the year 715 C.E. the entire Spain came under Muslim domination. That is, within about 80 years from the inception of Khilaafat-e-Raashidah, the Islamic Empire had attained its zenith and limits of expansion. Qayrawan, Zaytuna and Azhar had played no role in the spread and domination of Islam.
The Islamic Empire was the product of the Men of the Sunnah whose greatest Ruler, Sayyiduna Umar Ibn Khattaab (Radhiyallahu anhu) was a shepherd. Leave alone science, he had not acquired even a primary level of secular education. But, the Roman and the Persian empires – the two world powers of the time – lay prostrate at his feet within a decade of his Khilaafate. He was not in need of science and technology to achieve the mind-boggling successes and victories, and to establish the best governmental systems for all the lands in the Islamic Empire. He had Allah’s Nusrat – the Nusrat which has been uplifted as a consequence of the treachery and immorality of the Ummah.
The goal was the Aakhirat and the focus was on the Qur’aan and Sunnah, hence the fulfilment of the Divine Promise stated in the Qur’aan Majeed:
“Allah has promised those among you who believe and practise righteousness that He will most assuredly make them the rulers on earth as He had made rulers of those before them. And He will most certainly strengthen their Deen which He has chosen for them, and certainly, He will replace their fear with peace. They worship ME. They do not ascribe any partner to ME. Whoever commits kufr thereafter, verily they are the faasiqoon (flagrantly vile).”
Sovereignty on earth, domination and power for Muslims are not dependent on science and technology as Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib mistakenly believes. He therefore cites the faasiq poet Iqbal as daleel for this corrupt view. Iqbal said: “The power of the West comes from science and technology.” That is for the kuffaar. Our power comes from Imaan and A’maal-e-Saalihah which Allah Azza Wa Jal has stipulated as the fundamental condition for sovereignty on earth for Muslims. It is indeed peculiar to present an errant poet as daleel when in fact, his ‘daleel’ has no relevance for Muslims. The cause and factors for the success and victory of the Sahaabah, three centuries prior to Qayrawan, should be searched for in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, not in the nonsensical verses of miscreant poets dwelling in deception.
Iqbal’s poetry may be appealing and soothing to the ear and even to the mind, but he was not a man of baseerat. The basis of kuffaar power is not valid for the Mu’mineen just as pork and carrion are not valid food for the Muslims. Whilst the kuffaar may derive nourishment and strength therefrom, it does not have the same application for Muslims. The army of the kuffaar marches on its stomach. When they are hungry, they cannot fight nor think. But the Army of Allah marches on its Imaan. Thus, Iqbal’s diagnosis is baseless for the Ummah, and it does not befit Ulama to present the drivel of fussaaq as solutions for the ills of the Ummah.
The solution is in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. But, to excise the Qur’aan and the Sunnah from the equation, and to present as the primary basis for our reformation a third century institution at which even KUFR was imparted [leave aside tolerated] under guise of Islam, is tantamount to rebuffing the Qur’aan and comes within the scope of the Qur’aanic Aayat:
“The Rasool will say (on the Day of Qiyaamah): ‘O my Rabb! Verily, my people have rebuffed this Qur’aan.”
They look elsewhere for direction and directive, casting aside the Kitaab of Allah Ta’ala. The solutions for the diseases of the Ummah are to be searched for in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, and in the adoption of the life-style of the Sahaabah is the Cure. Qayrawan offers no refuge.
Yes, Daarul Uloom Deoband did offer a solution and some succour in the vortex of the raging storm of bid’ah, fisq, fujoor, baatil and kufr which had engulfed the Ummah. Darul Uloom Deoband was the only Institution which had expended great and wonderful effort in the noble Plan of restoring the Sunnah. Its primary objective was the revival and restoration of the Sunnah. The attempt and efforts of our Akaabireen of Deoband were to revive and disseminate the Sunnah. They were interested only in Allah’s Pleasure. They were Auliya. They were Sufiya, hence they had no affinity with science and technology. They constituted an insignificant force numerically speaking. They posed no impediment to science and technology. If Muslims had desired to acquire expertise in these fields, there was no obstacle posed by Deoband.
Understanding well that one academic institution of higher learning of the Fardh Kifaayah kind – or even a number of such institutions, are not adequate for the Imaan of the masses, Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmudul Hasan (Rahmatullah alayh), after returning from his exile in Malta, said that the only way of preserving Islam in the Indian subcontinent was to establish a primary Maktab for children in every village of the land. This holds good for the entire world. The Makaateeb are the only bastions guarding and disseminating the Fardh Ain dimension of Knowledge. In fact, this is the noblest and the highest form of Shar’i Knowledge. It is for this purpose that the Qur’aan was revealed.
Our educational system should be the original system – the system which existed during Khairul Quroon. The Sahaabah may not be deleted from the equation of Muslim progress and success. By beginning with an institution established three centuries after the Sahaabah, and at a time when the seeds of decline had already germinated in the Ummah, Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib had deleted from the equation, the noblest of mankind whose nobility was attested to by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam):
“The best of ages is my age, then the next age, then the next age, (Sahaabah, Taabi’een and Tab-e-Taabi’een). Then shall come people who will (hasten) to testify whilst they will not be asked to testify. They will pledge, but not fulfil. They will abuse trust and will not be trusted. …….Then will come people who love obesity…”
Qayrawan belongs to that age of ‘obesity’ and falsehood, hence some of its teachers were KUFR MONGERS. They had created a gigantic crises in the Imaan of the Ummah.
While our orthodox educational system of Deoband, which has the closest resemblance to the system in vogue during Khairul Quroon, is no impediment for those who desire to pursue higher scientific knowledge or any branch in the secular field, we make it abundantly clear that for the success, domination and victory of Islam and the Ummah, we are not in need of science and technology. Allah Azza Wa Jal is our Aid.
“Verily, We shall most assuredly aid Our Rusul (Messengers) and the People of Imaan in this worldly life and on the Day of when the Witnesses will stand (to testify).”
“And, no one knows the Armies of your Rabb, except He.”
THE THREE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS
In his bayaan Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib said: “Before the creation of Pakistan, there were three major education systems that were in effect in South Asia: The system of Darul Uloom Deoband, the system of Aligarh Muslim University, and the system of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama.
In 1950 or 1951, my father said that after the creation of Pakistan, we do not need Aligarh, Nadwa or Deoband educational systems. Rather, we need a different education system that follows through from our predecessors (Aslaaf).”
Regarding Aligarh University, it is a travesty to describe it as a “Muslim” university. It is an institution of kufr which had produced western bootlickers from its inception. It was established to undermine Islam. Nadwa on the other hand is a hybrid institution drifting away from the Sunnah. The Hadhrat Mufti’s statement is correct as far as these two systems are concerned. They were never needed in the Ummah nor are they in need today.
But, it is a gross misunderstanding to say that there is no need for the system which our Akaabireen had established at Darul Uloom Deoband. The system of our Akaabireen was designed to strengthen the bond with Allah Ta’ala, and to correspondingly weaken the relationship with the dunya. Deoband was the Institution established for the moral reformation and spiritual elevation of Muslims. It had no ulterior motive. As far as the worldly success of the Ummah is concerned, it is a natural consequence of moral reformation and spiritual elevation although the intention in the pursuit of the Knowledge of the Deen should never be worldly perfection and material acquisition. These are by-products and bestowals of Allah Ta’ala to an Ummah whose focus is riveted on the Aakhirat which is the Objective of life on earth.
Hadhrat Mufti Sahib’s mentioning of ‘Aslaaf’ is ambiguous. He has not clarified to whom the reference is. However, from his bayaan it is manifest that by ‘aslaaf’ is meant the intellectual luminaries from the third century onwards whilst in reality our Aslaaf are prior to the third century. The genuine Aslaaf are the Sahaabah, Taabi’een and Tab-e-Taabi’een. Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina, Farabi and the like are NOT our Aslaaf.
Mention has been made of the educational system of our predecessors. It is that system which we should introduce and adopt. In elaborating this point, Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib has presented the system of Qayrawan, Zaytuna and Azhar, thus conveying the corrupt idea that the systems of these institutions were the systems of our genuine Aslaaf. This idea is baseless.
The system in vogue at Darul Uloom Deoband, despite the spirit of the Deen having been extinguished even over there, has the closest resemblance to the educational system of the genuine Aslaaf. What was their system? A Shaikh/Aalim of the Aslaaf would take up position in a Musjid and initiate Dars (Teaching). Students from far and wide would flock to the Musjid and sit in his Halqah (Circle) to listen to Qur’aan and Hadith narration and exegis. This was the system of the Sahaabah and the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen who were the students of the Sahaabah.
These Ulama did not impart any secular knowledge in their educational system. Their system of Ta’leem was restricted to Qur’aan and Hadith. There was no worldly contamination in their system. In all the lands of Islam during Khairul Quroon, well prior to Qayrawan, the system was the same – pure Ta’leem of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, unadulterated with secular education.
The misunderstanding by Hadhrat Mufti Sahib is indeed lamentable. The idea of teaching the Qur’aan and Hadith in Deoband in the style of the genune Aslaaf being redundant and no longer in need is repugnant in the extreme. Wallaah! There is no other way or better way of imparting the Knowledge of the Qur’aan and Sunnah than the Deobandi system which is a replica of the system of the Salafus Saaliheen of the Khairul Quroon era. It is the system in which the Isnaad of Shar’i Uloom is securely attached to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). We fail to understand which other better system of teaching Qur’aan and Hadith Hadhrat Mufti Taqi has to offer. If he has, he should present it for examination.
The only reason for the corrupt averment is that the educational system of Darul Uloom Deoband is restricted to spirituality and the Aakhirat. It does not cater for the mundane sciences. But this reason is corrupt and baseless. Deoband’s Deeni educational system does not preclude any entity from the pursuit of the mundane sciences. The suggestion that the mundane sciences should be taught under the same roof where the sciences of the Aakhirat are imparted is erroneous. It stems from a lack of understanding of the goals and objectives of the two kinds of knowledge.
The sole objective of Qur’aanic Ilm is Allah’s Pleasure and Najaat in the Aakhirat. On the contrary, the sole objective of mundane (wordly/secular) education is the stomach. It is worldly acquisition. When the two types of knowledge have vastly different goals, it is not possible to accommodate the mundane sciences in a Madrasah of the Aakhirat. There is no objection to learning the mundane sciences, becoming plumbers, shoemakers, masons, engineers, doctors, etc., etc. As long as these worldly branches of education are pursued within the confines of the Shariah, it will be permissible.
It devolves on the secularists and Ulama such as Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib who are engrossed in worldly pursuits to set up secular institutions where ijtihaad in these spheres could be pursued. There is no need to seek the support of the kufr government of Napakistan. We are required to operate within the confines of our abilities. Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib has sufficient financial backers to initiate a secular institution to cater for worldly sciences. It is within his means to establish a university where the secular sciences could be pursued within the confines of the Shariah. If such a model is set up, Insha-Allah, others will follow its direction.
The need for the Deobandi educational system will remain until the Last Day of this dunya. It is a ghastly miscalculation to contend that the educational system of Darul Uloom Deoband is no longer needed. What needs to be done is a massive overhaul of the ruinous secular system which transforms Muslims into zombies and western bootlickers, and even bootleggers. The secular institutions produce the worst of exploiters, thugs and humbugs. The prime example is medical doctors. There is no profession more callous and brutal than the western medical occupation. One becomes a doctor in this system to suck the blood of patients. They put the capitalist riba bankers to shame.
The understanding that the Deobandi educational system is a reaction to the British educational system introduced during the British Raj of the Indian subcontinent, is incorrect. Our Akaabireen had merely reintroduced on a systematic basis the methodology of Deeni Ta’leem of the Fardh Kifaayah dimension which had existed during Khairul Quroon. Having suffered defeat upon defeat on the battlefields of Jihad, it finally dawned on the Akaabireen that the Ummah was rotten to the core. Minus moral reformation and spiritual elevation there was not a ghost of chance for the attainment of victory against the British whom Allah Ta’ala had imposed on the Ummah as His Athaab. Allah’s Chastisement cannot be thwarted. The only way of extricating the Ummah from the morass of filth and humiliation is moral reformation and spiritual elevation. The Akaabireen had therefore set out on this mission.
The prescription of displacing the original educational system of Islam by substituting it with a new hybrid sysem will only produce illegitimate products – scholars for dollars – and extinguish whatever little there remains of Roohaaniyat in the system of our Akaabireen. The stipulation of changing the methodology of teaching Qur’aan and Hadith as a prerequisite for scientific and technological progress is not only extremely myopic. It is downright stupid.
There is no other valid educational system which caters for the Fardh Kifaayah dimension of Deeni Ilm other than the system which our Akaabireen had established at Deoband. If it had not been for that noble system, who would there have been today to ward off the fraud and fabrications of the mudhilleen and zanadaqah? Alhamdulillah! We are grateful unto Allah Ta’ala for the enlightenment which He has bestowed to many who had acquired the Fardh Kifaayah Knowledge from the Bastion in Deoband. These are the Deobandi Ulama who are holding aloft the Standard of the Haqq – the Standard of the Sunnah and fighting the deluge of baatil and dhalaal which is engulfing the Ummah.
Even senior Ulama err in their understanding and judgment. We assign Hadhrat Mufti Sahib’s view to a misunderstanding. There is today a greater need for maintaining the educational system of Darul Uloom Deoband.
[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]