Hubris of Darul Uloom: Frightening contours of a State within a State
by Ram Kumar Ohri on 20 Nov 2009 6 Comments

Darul Uloom has done it again. By getting the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind to endorse its 2006 fatwa at the Deoband premises, the seminary has unleashed a new wave of fundamentalist frenzy in favour of its stand that singing the national song by Muslims is ‘haraam’.


By openly showing utter contempt for the majesty of India’s constitution, the Deoband Ulema have delivered a body blow to the ideal of national integration. The timing of the ‘fatwa’ surprised everyone, as the stand of the Ulema had been known for several years. 


Apparently the provocation for spewing fresh hatred against ‘Vande Mataram’ was the visit of the Union Home Minister to Deoband and the presence of renowned Hindu Yoga Guru, Swami Ramdev, at the massive conclave of Muslim clerics. The air is thick once again with acrid smoke rising out of the communal cauldron lit by the Deoband clergy. The facile reasoning of the Ulema against singing Vande Mataram is that the national song means bowing before Mother India, and bowing before anyone except Allah militates against the tenets of Islam.


Though the fanatic Ulema, Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind and members of the Muslim Personal Law Board loudly proclaim that Muslim cannot bow before anyone except Allah, they conveniently forget that in the not-too-distant past, all Muslims, including the highest of the Ulema, had no hesitation in bowing before Muslim rulers like Akbar, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb, amongst others. What could be the motive of re-issuing the fatwa against Vande Mataram? Well, the intention was to emphasise the separate identity of Muslims and keep them away from the national mainstream.


Another fatwa issued by Darul Uloom was against acts of terrorism and suicide bombing being committed across the globe by Muslims. The ulema declared that these were against the basic tenets of Islam. But it came with a rider in the form of a caveat that the concept of jihad is a constructive phenomenon - whatever that means.


Interestingly Darul Uloom website defines ‘terrorism’ as the “struggle of resistance of the weak for securing their legitimate rights against suppression.” Could there be a more brazen attempt to defend the jihadi terror stalking civil society worldwide?


Reiteration of Deoband’s 2006 fatwa against Vande Mataram and the so-called fatwa against terrorism and suicide bombing are only one part of the sordid story. Darul Uloom issued another 23 fatwas; seven are listed below as examples of Deoband’s separatist agenda:


1] Muslims should not use ‘namaste’ as greetings and must always say ‘salaam’

2] Muslims should refrain from watching television and listen to radio music

3] Muslims should refuse to get inoculated for Aids or Polio

4] Muslims should oppose the proposed Women’s Reservation Bill

5] Girls who are ten years old and above must be educated only in madarasas

6] Muslims must always emphasise their religious identity; and

7] The Madrasa Board proposed by the government was unacceptable and will be opposed by the community


These ‘fatwas’ unequivocally emphasise the separatist mindset being promoted among Muslims by the clerics of Deoband.


Apparently, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Baba Ramdev are unaware of the communal agenda of Darul Uloom and the fact that it has played a major role in spawning terrorism both in India and in Pakistan by incessantly preaching the fundamentalist version of Islam, i.e., Wahabi Islam. Not only this, the Deoband Ulema has been openly preaching the use of violence to spread Islam, the so-called religion of peace.


As candidly pointed out in an article by Arif Mohammed Khan, former Union Minister, the syllabus of Darul Uloom states: “When the Muslims enter the enemy’s country and besiege the cities or strongholds of the infidels, it is necessary to invite them to embrace the faith, because Ibn Abbas relates of the Prophet that he never destroyed any without previously inviting them to embrace the faith. If therefore they embrace the faith, it is unnecessary to war with them, because that which was the design of the war is then obtained without war [1]. The syllabus further elaborates that the Prophet has said that ‘we are directed to make war upon men only until such time as they shall confess, “There is no God, but one God” [2] 


Thus while comfortably ensconced in India and shouting from rooftops that they are totally loyal to the country, the Deoband ulema has openly preached jihad against infidels (read Kafir Hindus). Could there be any worse instance of doublespeak? Let us try to understand the implications of what Darul Uloom has been preaching, say in the context of the murderous mayhem across Mumbai by Pak-sponsored fidayeens on 26 /11.   


According to Darul Uloom’s interpretation of scriptural war against infidels, those ten fidayeen on entering Mumbai should have served notice on Hindus to embrace Islam, as commanded by the Prophet. And if the Kafirs did not agree, the fidayeen would have been fully justified in killing them. That is what the syllabus of Deoband seminary appears to teach Muslim students, in the process revealing the true face of Darul Uloom!  


The activities of Darul Uloom not only militate against national integration, but its teachings are totally anti-national. By telling Muslims not to use ‘namaste’ for greeting each other, and aggressively opposing the national policy of eradication of Polio and Aids, the ulema are working overtime to create a separatist Muslim state within the Indian state. The time has come for the government as well as the Indian people to confront them and tell them to behave and shut down the shop of separatism and fanaticism.


In our secular-infected polity no one expected P Chidambaram to say goodbye to the policy of minority appeasement. But Swami Ramdev ought to have known better. He should have realized long ago that there is a total disconnect between the ideals enshrined in the Indian Constitution and the preaching of violence by Darul Uloom. Nothing was more distressing than the spectacle of dhimmitude Swami Ramdev presented while trying to appease the jihad-preaching ulema of Deoband. Hell-bent on insulting Swami Ramdev, after passing the controversial fatwa against Vande Mataram on November 3, 2009, they decreed on November 7, 2009, that Muslims must not attend Swami Ramdev’s health camps because of the singing of Vande Mataram.


It is a shame that even after being insulted repeatedly, many self-styled Hindu seers refuse to learn even elementary lessons in self respect. Barely four days after the Deoband conclave, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, another 5-star guru, rushed to Darul Uloom and tried to appease the fundamentalist clerics by pleading that the word ‘vande’ in Vande Mataram does not mean the worship of Mother India. That marked a new low in abject appeasement by Sri Sri, who seems to have acquired not an iota of Hindu pride even after reading the Gita and other sacred scriptures!


Interestingly, the syllabus of Darul Uloom constitutes the bedrock of Islamic teaching in tens of thousands of madrasas affiliated to Deoband across the length and breadth of India and Pakistan. The truth is that Darul Uloom has been responsible for fanning the prairie fire of global jihad. Confirmation about the fundamentalist role of Deoband seminary came from Sohail Abbas, a leading Pakistan-based psychologist, whose published study revealed that out of 517 jihadis arrested in Afghanistan and lodged in Pakistani jails, the overwhelming majority belonged to Deoband school of thought [3]. The ideology being preached by Darul Uloom is paying havoc with the security of the Indian nation and our secular ideals.


It would be in order to advice our peace-preaching 5-star seers like Swami Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to take time off from their busy schedule (read money-making business activity) and study the concept of jihad and understand what propels the ulema, living in India, to openly preach war against so-called ‘kafirs’. For all practical purposes, these clerics appear to be part of the global Islamic design to establish a ‘seamless caliphate’ from Indonesia to the Balkans after overrunning India which is the only non-Muslim country in South Asia, and a bulwark of democracy and secularism in this part of the world. 


And a word of caution to 5-star lifestyle gurus who merrily dye their hair and beards to look younger: watch your step lest future generations of Hindus write your names in the book of Infamous Hindus who let down their besieged community in the hour of crisis. A warning has already been administered by some sadhus of Ayodhya to Baba Ramdev for his failure to oppose the fatwa against Vande Mataram. They minced no words when they proclaimed that Swami Ramdev has become a businessman. Mahant Narayan Giri went a step further and asked Swami Ramdev to seek forgiveness for not protesting at Deoband and thereby hurting the sentiments of crores of Indians.


1] Arif M. Khan, ‘Sending A Wrong Message’, Times of India, Delhi, September 30, 2008

2] Ibid

3] Ibid     


The author is a retd. Inspector General of Police, Arunachal Pradesh                                                                                               

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