What is the difference between Jamia Azhar and Darul Uloom Deoband?
Mufti Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri RH
1. Jamia Azhar is an institute, Darul Uloom Deoband is not an institute.
2. Jamia Azhar is much bigger and much older than Darul Uloom Deoband.
3. Darul Uloom Deoband was established about 150 years ago.
4. Jamia Azhar was established about 1150 years ago.
5. Darul Uloom Deoband has at most 3500 students.
6. Jamia Azhar has 80,000 students.
7. In terms of size and legacy, Darul Uloom Deoband is nothing in comparison to Azhar University.
8. If you were to examine the various Islamic libraries around the world, you would be hard pressed to find any book of substance authored by a graduate of Azhar University.
9. However, in even the smallest Islamic library, you would likely find that more than half the books (in Arabic, or Urdu, or Persian) have been authored by graduates of Darul Uloom Deoband.
10. You would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of Azhar University graduates engaged in the work of Deen all around the world.
11. However, in every corner of the world, you will find a graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband engaged in some work of Deen.
12. There are no branches of Jamia Azhar anywhere in the world.
13. However, around the world, Darul Uloom has hundreds of thousands of branches. And, none of these are linked to each other in any way, whether they are in Europe, America, Africa, or Asia. They are branches only in the sense that they work according to the mission of Darul Uloom Deoband, and nothing more.
14. When the Taliban emerged in Afghanistan, we had a new foreign visitor every week at Darul Uloom Deoband for two years. They would come to learn how Darul Uloom Deoband was connected to the Taliban, and they found no links, because there are no material links between the various branches of Darul Uloom Deoband.
15. The difference between Azhar and Deoband is that Azhar is an institute, and Deoband is a movement/mission.
16. If Darul Uloom Deoband produces five graduates, they will spread out in the world and engage in the work of Deen. If Azhar produces 5000 graduates, they will be employed in offices, earning their livelihood, just like Aligarh and Jamia Millia.
17. The mission of Deoband is to safeguard and protect the True Deen, and nothing more. The guiding principles of Deoband are the Quran and Sunnah. Deoband interprets the Quran and Sunnah according to the understanding of the Sahaba, Tabieen, Ulama, Fuqaha, Mujtahideen, and shuns modern and/or heretical interpretations.