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1 Change to the Darul-uloom Education System!

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Abdur Rahman ibn Awf
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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 17th July 2020 16:00
Ban the students from reading Urdu/English Commentaries after completion of their Arabic Education. Anyone caught with them should be disciplined.

Within 15 years, this will be the generational impact:

  1. The valuable work of Akabir of Deoband will be forced to be translated into Arabic.
  2. Students will be forced to develop competency in Arabic or fail and be thrown out.
  3. Students will develop closeness (and competency) to be able to access the original works of the earlies Scholars and counter most of the Fitnah by Madkhalees and Pseudo-Salafees.


The teaching/learning/communication can happen in any language but absolute and supreme competency of classical Arabic has to be focused.

I have not come across any Ulama who disagree with this but they don't implement it because they don't want to disconnect the students from the valuable material researched and authored by our Akabir specially in the form of various commentaries.

I 100% agree with it because I have seen the damage of Madina university, Ummul-Qura (Makkah) and other Arab universities first hand. The value of Sunnah is gone from the hearts and practises of these "graduates" and it is nothing more then "university courses. It pains me to see these "Ulama on Social Media" and some of their views, they have genuinely lost the plot!

The Deen is nothing but absolute adherence to Sunnah.

But our Akabir were competent in Arabic and other sciences while the Academic standards of our Darul-uloom graduates has been declining at alarming rates while their egos are surpassing Mount Everest because they have thousands of views on YouTube etc. Some of the refutations by these "Deobandi Hanafi" Ulama in both Urdu and English are actually cringe!
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 18th July 2020 05:59
Good graduates from darul ulooms who are proper studious and serious about scholarly sciences i have noticed never stopped after their 7 years. Rather continued their readings/learning.They realize after their 7 years they merely have strong understanding of qawaid, good exposure to classical style of language and have simply gone through quran translation and some tafseer and readings of the hadeeth books and adab.

7 years has prepared them in fact to delve now into the works of scholars and deep dive in the books. But unfortunately many feel content with simply passing out after the 7 years of orientation to the uloom.

The 7 years of arabic they get exposed to only equips them to independently decipher through text , but what will build their expertise and command in the language is reading, reading and more reading.

The difference between nowdays and the days of the akabir is that, the akabirs use to read, read and read and hence would be learned.

Nowdays the reading culture has ended. As long as you have quran hifz, you know the translation accurately, and you have hadeeth matn memorized which you can quote in the bayan and khutbas, along with its translation, that is sufficient. The desi laymen already thinks of you as Allamah.

Hence the urdu and english shuruhaat are a quick way , without putting any effort to decipher arabic text, to prepare for lectures. Unless the graduates themselves realize that it is my own need to now use the skills that i have learnt to deep dive into the books of classical scholars and salaf, decipher and comprehend the texts, become learned in them, they will take the easy way out, because in the eyes of the laymen they are already an “ Aalim” fluent in quoting verses of the quran and relaying popular hadeeth matn from the memory.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 18th July 2020 08:48
Maybe break it up in to 2 parts.

Stage 1) 3 years Arabic

Stage 2) 4 years Islamic sciences

Can only get on to the 2nd stage if you pass the 1st stage. Obviously, they already have this system in the form of end of year annual exams.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 18th July 2020 11:22
As-Saif wrote:
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So the system is not working and excellent results are due to individual motivation and brilliance, I would agree with that. Excellently put that graduates need to "read, read and read"

But you can only read if you have the basic skills to be "able to read and comprehend in an exceptional manner" Over 20 years of surfing forums has taught me that laymen with basic Google skills are outgunning graduates of Darul-ulooms and it is an alarming situation. These laymen pick up their skills from their (School, College, University) background then pickup Arabic and they are able to create havoc and confusion.

Extreme Salafi'ism didn't die because "Deobandees" refuted it but it died because of 9/11 and brutal crackdown by Intelligence Services, these extreme Salafees have morphed into today's "Social Media Islam defenders/warriors".

The Islam of "Deobandi Akabir" is bleeding, eroding and dying and it is only confined to Hazrat Worship WhatsApp groups and emails where you cannot ask questions and you cannot discuss issues, more and more methods are selected to be able to "communicate top down".

I have a very serious problem with that! When you deliberately confine your product to those will buy it and don't try to expand you will lose your market share. Many of you are not old enough to know what Islam was like in the West in 1980s. Most of the books were "Deobandi" in almost all Mosques. Now, we have many Darul-ulooms and thousands of graduates but the Deobandi Share in Academic sphere has actually declined significantly. Muslims looking for refutations on Atheism, Comparative religion, Political upheaval and current affairs from the perspective of Qur'aan and Sunnah will rarely find any Deobandi material. So the reason for retreating and confining to "WhatsApp" groups and email lists is that these graduates are either not prepared or not confident enough to deal with mainstream Muslims.

I will give some examples. There is a famous "Deobandi Hanafi" channel which puts out Salafi refutations and has thousands of subscribers and views. An Indian YouTube channel does the same, they watched one of the videos and had some questions these Indian Muslims (are genuine hardcore Deobandees) so they contacted me to put the questions to the Maulana. I tried but the Maulana wouldn't answer my calls and asked for text messages (which I did) to no response. I met him at a Janazah and asked him about it so he said that they get a lot of queries from "Ahl-e-Hadeeth" to which I assured him that neither I or the Indian Muslims were "Ahl-e-Hadeeth". This "Maulana" is the number 1 Deobandi defender on YouTube and Social Media but I realised from my interaction with him that all he does is translate material from Pakistan and has no actual ability to be to research and actually answer counter-questions which are not in the books which he is looking into even his Urdu skills are average (at best) let alone Arabic.

There is another "Deobandi group" which asked for some issues to be clarified, I went through over 10 Arabic graduates in various countries and could not get a proper response, in the end I had to go to a retired "Ahl-e-Hadeeth Arabic teacher" who answered the issue from the perspective of the "challenger". Those "Deobandi Ulama" who answered the issue wanted the question framed differently so the issue can then be answered.

These and many other issues have already been answered by Ulama of Islam (in the past). The Akabir were brilliant in researching, reading and then synthesising the material for "Urdu speaking" Ulama and laymen but the material is framed in the socio-political climate of British India and they brilliantly fulfilled the need of their times.

But the system today needs to be more robust so the graduates produced are of exceptional quality. Lets talk about young Mufti Zameelur-Rahman (HA), is he brilliant due to his Darul-uloom education OR is he product of his Secular Cambridge education who applied his skills to his Madrasa education?

Is Mufti Amjad Muhammad (HA) a product of Darul-uloom education or someone who applied his university scientific skills and over 10+ experience in the industry to enhance his Madrasa education?
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 18th July 2020 12:06
May be we need to change the attitude. Does everyone need to go through the same 6-8 years long darse nizami only to end up teaching maktab in the evenings?
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 18th July 2020 12:10
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I think just the overall environment in many of the darul ulooms is backward, closed minded and teachers who have had limited exposure of the broader society.

It is felt that darululoom studies and the full syllabus being taught there is just not complete for today’s day and age. Many subjects are just an overkill and some subjects need to be added.

I think you are observing correct that many students who have had exposure to modern learning methods and having real life experiences, tend to perform well. They can “ think outside the box” and hence are dynamic in what they offer.

Interestingly this is how the early generations of classical scholars were. Look at the life of many of the imams, were people actively engaged in trade and business, hence their fiqh was based on actively living through the situation themselves.

Secondly, they were open minded and would learn and take from where ever they felt was benefit. They didn’t have teachers over them trying to stop them from seeking elsewhere, and making them subservient to one group of akabir.

Their teachers did not promote hazrat worship, rather empowered them. Kitab ul asal and quduri and other early hanafi texts clearly show how the teacher and students transcended the fake hazrat worshiping hierarchy and would discuss, disagree and then record their disagreements and agree to disagree and empower the students view. It seems like as if they didn’t have this concept of monopoly of the shaykh’s view. Rather the shaykh thrives the disagreeing views of the student and wants that to be recorded and presented so progress is made.

I think the teachers need to let go of their egos, and teach their students and prepare them to be independent thinkers. They need to humble themselves and teach whatever they are good at and then allow the student to seek out elsewhere, what they themselves can’t offer.

And i don’t mean to say that each and everyone is like that in this system. I know many who had teachers who were open minded and encouraged them to go beyond. Guided them how to stay away from using urdu shuruhaat , or taking the easy way out , which will in the long term hamper their arabic skills.

There is hope that new generation of teachers will rectify some of these old habits. Many graduates who themselves feel these issues are trying to rectify by opening up their institutions for working professionals and broader based society exposed people, to take on islamic sciences , and teach them a modified syllabus. This is good, but unfortunately these are part time endeavours.

We need massive modifications in the Darululoom that are fulltime , and develop professionals, not part timers.


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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 19th July 2020 05:41
i dont know what your talking about, anybody that I have met that completed the alim program is fluent in arabic
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 19th July 2020 05:52
yamanemati wrote:
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I have tried on more than one occasion to get more than one Maulana to go through a few arabic pages and explain the contents to me. They never got back to me. I suspect many of them never read arabic literature after graduating, and find it hard to go through passages. A Mufti once had a Maulana review his arabic quotes in a bayan as the Maulana was brilliant at languages while the Mufti didn't trust himself.

As mentioned above, many speakers and Imams just regurgitate what they hear in other bayans in urdu or english, or what they read in urdu books or pamphlets. When asked for a primary source of what was mentioned in a bayan, many a times the reply is "oh I read it in a (secondary) book, or I heard it in a bayan."

Then we also have those who were academically inclined before entering DU, and who continue studying and reading from primary sources after graduating. They are more competent.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 19th July 2020 05:59
Concerned wrote:
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every graduate I have seen is fluent in arabic, I have talked to around 15 of them
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 19th July 2020 06:11
While the system should be changed as suggested, in the interim graduates should be made aware of their limitations and should be encouragred to be willing to learn more, no matter who introduces them to something new or different to what they learnt.

Some graduates act as though they are experts and that they have learnt what there is to learn . We place them on too high of a pedastal, and end up expecting too much from them.

Graduates also need to realize that laymen now have access to lots of authetic information at the click of a button. Many a times this new or corrected information is from their own alma matter. So they need to be willing to engage and learn from laymen as well, rather than brushing them off, ignoring them ans viewing
them as "ignorant laymen".

Graduates also need to be aware of their limitations in knowledge of the other madhabs and communuties in the west. They need to be careful of portraying the Hanafi view as the view of Islam itself, and speaking on behalf of Islam while only having Hanafi rulings in sight.
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 19th July 2020 10:26
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Cannot happen. It is part of the DNA of the "Deobandi Ulama" to believe that they are above the rest of mere mortals there are talks which enforce this view continuously.

The "Akabir of Deoband" apologised to simple villagers, apologised for giving a wrong answer and corrected themselves and publicly published retractions.

Humans make mistakes, its in our DNA.
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 19th July 2020 15:56
yamanemati wrote:
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One is to be fluent from the standards of laymen, and there is a fluency required at the scholarly level. That develops after years of reading and engaging with complex text. Only 7 years and not doing their readings beyond that will just not cut it!

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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 20th July 2020 13:09
Absolutely no disrespect meant to Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb (HA) and this isn't down to him but...

askimam.org/public/question_detail/45668

Wouldn't an Admin intercept this question and just reply to the sender "Your question is incomplete so please specify the city and then re-send"

I can never get this site to answer questions OR even provide an update and when I spoke to Hazrat (HA) he said that they are super busy.

How did this question make it all the way to the Ulama to even consider?
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 20th July 2020 14:40
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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This looks like the American Qibla confusion.

Flat earth vs Globe.

It probably got published to meet the quota :(
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