Mananiye Yogi Adityanath Ji,
Since Uttar Pradesh has been your karmabhoomi for the last 30 years, you are likely to be well informed about the activities and orientation of Deoband and Nadwa.
Sadly though, hitherto all governments have allowed Deoband and Nadwa to get away with their masks of religiosity and scholarship while their reality is spine chilling.
Therefore, we are bringing into the public domain some alarming facts about the links of Darul Uloom, Deoband, and Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, with the global terrorist organisations, in addition to their leading role in mentoring the openly genocidal tanzeem called Taliban.
This brief note builds a strong case for a thorough investigation into the functioning and role of Deoband and Nadwa in promoting jihadi terror within India as well as globally.
If the charges we are levelling are proven correct, then Darul Uloom, Deoband and Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, deserve to be shut down and the publications as well as the literature produced by these organisations ought to be banned.
Given your past track of swift and determined crackdown on anti-social elements as well as enemies of India, we hope these enemies of humanity will be dealt with appropriately by your government.
Madhu Purnima Kishwar
A NOTE ON DARUL ULOOM DEOBAND, DARUL ULOOM NADWATUL ULAMA, LUCKNOW
Urgent need for action against Darul Uloom Deoband, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama (Lucknow) AND All India Muslim Personal Law Board for their direct/indirect links with Al Qaeda, its former leaders Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri, ISIS, Muslim World League and Jihadi terror groups based in Pakistan
Brief History: The Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband was set up in 1866-67 by Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi, Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Haji Muhammad Abid and others.
The founders of the Darul Uloom Deoband meant it to be a training ground to produce soldiers/warriors of ‘pure’ Islam.
Therefore, it works like an insular, secret organisation brain-washing recruits into adopting a highly sectarian and violent ideology which brooks no dilution of the original mandate of Islam — that is to convert every part of this planet into Dar Al Islam (land where Islam is supreme), where no other faith or creed is allowed even nominal existence.
This inevitably involves endless waves of genocide against all those who refused to surrender before the brute power of Islam.
Those of us targeted as kafirs cannot afford to forget or overlook the historical fact that Deobandi icon Shah Waliullah had invited Ahmed Shah Abdali to come and slaughter not just Hindus, but also Sufis and Shias, in order to “revive the glory of pure Islam”.
Darul Uloom Deoband’s Proximity To The Taliban: According to researchers from the Kabul Centre and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), Deoband is the ideological fountainhead of the Taliban and has mentored many virulent jihadis:
Darul Uloom Deoband (is the) the Indian ideological source of the Taliban. The Taliban learned their interpretation of Islam while studying at Deobandi seminaries in Pakistan. Mullah Omar, for example, the leader of the Taliban, attended the Deobandi Darul Uloom Haqqania madrasa in Akora Khattak, in Peshawar, Pakistan. So many Taliban leaders were educated at this same school that its head cleric, Maulana Sami ul-Haq, has been called the father of the Taliban. (1)
Darul Uloom Deoband Supported Blasting Of Bamiyan Buddhas: Tahir Abbas, the author of ‘Islamic Radicalism and Multicultural Politics: The British Experience (2011)’ writes:
“Since the mid-1990s, the Darul Uloom (Deoband) has been an unremitting supporter of the Taliban. When the Taliban destroyed the 1,500-year-old Buddhas of Bamyan in March 2001, Darul Uloom supported the action. (2)
Glorification Of Taliban Takeover In Afghanistan: Darul Uloom Deoband’s principal Arshad Madani had also glorified the Taliban after they came back to power in August 2021. To quote his own words:
“If Talibans are terrorist then Gandhi, Nehru were terrorists too”. (3)
Deoband As The Lead Agency For Global Jihad: From Peshawar to Chittagong, the Deobandi madrasa movement has spread its tentacles all over the Indian sub-continent and beyond. They are one of the leading players in preparing Muslims around the world for violence against non-Muslims as part of global jihad.
Over the past few decades, there have been hundreds of reports about Deoband being a fertile ground for honing youngsters to unleash barbaric forms of Islamic terrorism. There are plentiful examples of how Deoband has been exporting terrorist ideologies and tanzeems.
Maulana Asim Umar, Al Qaeda Chief Of Indian Sub-Continent (AQIS), Was A Deoband Product: He was reportedly killed in Afghanistan in 2019. A report by the Economic Times provides insightful details about him:
“A resident of UP’s Sambhal, Umar was a student of Deoband’s Darul-Uloom. He left India in 1995 to join terror outfit Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and remained in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He translated jihadi literature from Pashto into Urdu and authored at least four books which reflected his views on jihad. His growing stature in Al-Qaeda became evident when he was named AQIS chief five years ago by Al-Qaeda commander Ayman al-Zawahiri.
“After becoming AQIS chief, Umar used his contacts in Deoband for setting up an Aqis base. His stint at Jamia Uloom-e-Islamia in Karachi and Darul Uloom Haqqania in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, helped him cement his connection with senior leaders of Taliban, Al-Qaeda, TTP, JeM and other groups. Indian counter-intelligence officials said Umar’s oratory skills and grasp of jihadi literature brought him close to the top Qaeda leadership” (4)
Deoband Is A Regular Refuge For Terrorists On The Run: There are many instances of jihadis seeking refuge in Deoband after committing terrorist attacks. To give one example, here is a quote from a Times of India report of 2017:
“The revelation has been drawn from interrogation report prepared by anti-terrorist squad of UP Police, which arrested in the past 10 weeks four illegal Bangladeshi immigrants linked to Bangladesh-based terror modules. All four had taken refuge in Saharanpur and were staying in Deoband, the Islamic seat of learning which attracts Muslim scholars from different countries.” (5)
Islamic Countries Condemn Suicide Bombings, Not Darul Uloom Deoband: The ideological predilection of Darul Uloom Deoband can be gauged from the fact that it has never issued a fatwa against suicide-bombings. According to an article by S Arshad:
“Surprisingly, to a query on suicide bombings, the mufti of the Darul Ifta had refused to give his fatwa, though the entire Islamic world has declared suicide bombings haram and unjustifiable in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah. A person from Pakistan had asked the following question in May 23, 2007: ‘I want to ask a question on jihad. How justified is conducting suicide attacks against the non-Muslim army?’ Instead of giving a firm reply declaring it haram on the basis of Quranic verses and Hadiths, the mufti of the Darul Ifta parried the question saying, ‘Please consult the ulema of your country on this issue’. This should be seen as a very irresponsible behaviour on the part of the Darul Ifta since it did not remove the misconception of a Pakistani youth about suicide bombing.” (6)
Deobandis Don’t Accept Nation-States Or The Sanctity Of International Borders Between Countries: Deobandis use the classic art of taqiyya (wilful deceit) to claim that they opposed the Partition of 1947 because of their “nationalism” and “patriotism” towards India.
But this assertion is patently deceitful and aimed at deflecting attention from the fact that the pure Islam they uphold does not believe in the sanctity of nation-states. “Good Muslims” believe in the pan-Islamic principle of one unified global Ummah.
While M A Jinnah aimed at securing for Muslims a separate homeland through a violent partition of India, Deobandis looked down upon Jinnah for being content with carving out a mere portion of the sub-continent. The Deobandis are committed to turning all of the Indian subcontinent into a Dar Al Islam!
The implications of this belief system and mindset which refuses to accept the jurisdiction of the Indian nation-state within which they reside is particularly dangerous for India since our country is surrounded by hostile jihad-minded societies or countries.
The slogans shouted by the Tukde Tukde Gang, threatening to break up India into pieces in order to Islamise it, is a product of Deobandi ideology.
This is what India’s Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar has to say about Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani (1879-1957), the then principal, Darul Uloom Deoband and president, Jamiat Ulama I Hind with regard to the partition of India:
"It is the non-Muslims who are the field of this Tabligh (propagation and conversion) of Islam and form the raw material for this splendid activity. We are opposed to Islam's right to missionary activity to a particular area." Thus spoke Deobandi leader Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani while opposing the formation of Pakistan in his speech before the 1945 Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind conference in Delhi as quoted by author ZH Faruqi in his book The Deoband School and the Demand for Pakistan, and later by reformist leader Hamid Dalwai in his book, Muslim Politics in Secular India. On another occasion, Madani was even more unabashed in airing his views when he said: ‘If Dara Shikoh would have triumphed over Aurangzeb, Muslims would have stayed in India, but not Islam. Since Aurangzeb triumphed, both Muslims and Islam were here to stay’.
“As indicated by his above statements, Madani, a Deobandi preacher and Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind leader, was a pan-Islamist. But since a significant section of the Deoband movement opposed the partition and took part in the Congress-led freedom movement as part of its long-term religious strategy to safeguard the interests of puritanical Islam, Madani figures as a nationalist in history books written during the Congress period. This was one of the main tragedies that India’s post-partition history saw.” (7)
It is truly tragic that the Left-Islamist combine distorted our history and misled the people of India by painting Deobandis in the colours of nationalism.
Well known terrorist organisations targeting India from our neighbouring countries are using precisely this principle of pan-Islamic/global Ummah to “bleed India to death through 1,000 cuts.”
Ironically, terrorist tanzeems inspired by Deoband are not happy even with Pakistan on account of its pretense to be a nation-state, albeit an Islamic one. This, despite the fact that in effect Pakistan is only a launchpad for terrorist acts and the spread of jihadi Islam.
International media provide regular reports of daily clashes between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani border forces along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border/Durand Line.
According to experienced analysts, this is because the Afghan Taliban and their cross-border affiliate, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), envision Afghanistan and Pakistan as one land mass governed by Nizam-E-Mustafa (puritan Islamic Law) and are dead against Pakistan’s aspiration to be counted as a modern day nation-state with pretentious trappings of democracy.
International Terrorist Organisations’ Links And Support For Deoband And Nadwa: Mananiya Yogi Adityanath Ji, you have already taken unprecedented measures to keep an eye on Deoband by positioning security forces near this Islamic seminary.
You would not have needed to do that if Deoband was just a scholastic institution. However, it is equally important to connect the dots from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to Uttar Pradesh.
Muslim World League’s Connections With Osama Bin Laden: According to the testimony of Matthew Epstein with Evan Kohlmann before the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations: Progress Since 9/11: The Effectiveness of US Anti-Terrorist Financing Efforts:
“In approximately 1993, in conversations with former senior Al-Qaida lieutenant Jamal Ahmed Al-Fadl, Usama Bin Laden identified three Muslim charities as the primary sources of Al-Qaida financial and fundraising activity:
1. Muslim World League, “MWL” (Al-Rabita Al-Alami Al-Islamiyya)
2. Benevolence International Foundation, “BIF” (Lajnat Al-Birr Al-Dawaliyya/Lajnat Al-Birr Al-Islamiyya)
3. Qatar Charitable Society, “QCS” (Jamaat Qatar Heira)
“These three organizations served a critical role in the Arab-Afghan terrorist infrastructure by laundering money originating from bank accounts belonging to Bin Laden and his sympathetic patrons in the Arabian Gulf, providing employment and travel documents to Al-Qaida personnel worldwide, and helping “to move funds to areas where Al-Qaeda was carrying out operations.” (8)
Muslim World League, A Saudi Arabia-Based Designated Terrorist Organisation Run By Members Of The Saudi Royal Family: On 23 September, 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, US President George Bush had issued an Executive Order No. 13224 blocking terrorist property and a summary of the Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (Title 31 Part 595 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations), Terrorism List Governments Sanctions Regulations (Title 31 Part 596 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations), and Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations (Title 31 Part 597 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations).
The Muslim World League was listed in this Executive Order as a terrorist organisation on 3 August 2006 (9).
On the same day, the US Department of the Treasury had designated the Muslim World League as an Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist organisation. (10)
It came as a shock to many that the US Department of the Treasury removed the Muslim World League from the list of designated terrorist organisations on 16 August 2016 (11).
But such a U-Turn by the US comes as no surprise to victims of US hegemony, because we are well aware that the Deep State in the US has been nurturing many terrorist organisations like the Taliban under their ‘strategic depth’ policy.
Therefore, the US government gets buffetted by its own internal pulls and pressures to support Islamic dictators as well as the terrorist organisations it has fathered – constantly playing Jekyl & Hyde game with their illegitimate progeny.
However, for us in India, it is significant that the Muslim World League remained a designated terrorist organisation for over 10 years, from 3 August 2006 to 16 August 2016.
Darul Uloom Deoband And Maulana Arshad Madani’s Connection With Muslim World League: Maulana Arshad Madani, principal, Darul Uloom Deoband, president, Jamiat Ulama I Hind and vice-president, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, proudly boasts on his official website (12) about being appointed as a member of the Muslim World League in 2012 when he was Professor of Hadith, Darul Uloom Deoband.
This was at a time when the Muslim World League was a designated ‘Terrorist organisation’. On 6 June 2012, a Deobandi website had also carried the news about Maulana Arshad Madani’s appointment as a member of the Muslim World League. (13)
Thus, for over four years, the Principal of Darul Uloom Deoband and President of Jamiat Ulama I Hind, Maulana Arshad Madani, was a member of the Muslim World League, even though it was an internationally designated ‘Terrorist organisation’.
The Muslim World League is run under the patronage of the Saudi Royal family. In 2014, Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh openly visited Darul Uloom Deoband and pledged to work closely with Darul Uloom Deoband during a ceremony organised in the minister’s honour by Deoband students and faculty members. (14)
Nadwatul Ulama’s Connection With Muslim World League And The Islamic State (ISIS): A Deobandi website (13) had also carried the news about Maulana Muhammad Rabey Nadwi, president of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, and chairman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) having been appointed a member of the Muslim World League before 2012 (when it was an internationally designated ‘terrorist organisation’).
Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadwi, nephew of Maulana Muhammad Rabey Nadwi and then dean of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, had also written a letter congratulating ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, lauding him as a caliph of Muslims after he made his speech in July 2014 at Mosul’s Great Mosque, declaring the creation of an Islamic State with himself as its caliph. (15)
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s Connection With Al Qaeda: In addition to its well established linkages with global terrorist organisations, Deoband never misses an opportunity to instigate Muslims to defy the sovereignity of India and its laws on flimsy issues — be it the engineered protests against the CAA or farm laws or school uniforms.
For instance, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind president, Maulana Mehmood Madani, announced a Rs 5 lakh reward for Muskan Khan, a student proponent of burqa-hijab.
She had staged a well-rehearsed defiance of a notification by the Karnataka government’s education department banning the entry of women/girls wearing burqa-hijab-niqab in educational institutions, instead of coming in the school/college uniforms which are mandatory for all students (16).
Social media was promptly flooded with photographs of Muskan Khan routinely wearing ultra-modern and body-exhibiting western dresses, which clearly proved that the burqa-hijab protest was a well choreographed cleric-sponsored nautanki in order to launch a vituperative global campaign to build a case that “Hindu majority” India was denying religious freedoms to Muslim women.
Enthralled by the success of this nautanki, the then leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahiri, actually recited a poem for Muskan Khan. (17)
Financial Connections Of Madanis With Pakistan-Based Terrorist Organisations: The uncle-nephew duo Maulana Arshad Madani and Maulana Mehmood Madani are associated with several Islamic organisations, but the two most noteworthy are: Jamiat Ulama I Hind and Sheikhul Hind Educational Charitable Trust.
These two have been receiving crores of rupees from foreign sources. As per FCRA records, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind UK Limited has been donating regularly to Jamiat Ulama I Hind and is also operating in Pakistan as per the records of the Charity Commission for England and Wales. (18)
The testimony of Matthew Epstein with Evan Kohlmann before the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations: Progress Since 9/11: The Effectiveness of U.S. Anti-Terrorist Financing Efforts also exposed how the Muslim World League office in Pakistan was used to launch terrorist attacks:
“Even since the early days of the Soviet-Afghan jihad, IIRO enabled Muslim World League to provide Arab-Afghan militants with a covert international military and financial infrastructure. US counter-terrorism investigators have discovered a letter under the MWL/IIRO letterhead among numerous Al-Qaida documents recovered in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The letter, dating from the late 1980s, summarised a meeting held between Al-Qaida leaders and representatives of Muslim charitable organisations in which the attendees ultimately agreed to launch “attacks” from MWL offices in Pakistan.” (8)
It needs to be expeditiously investigated whether the activities and support of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and uncle-nephew duo Maulana Arshad Madani and Maulana Mehmood Madani are linked to wanted terrorists and terrorist organisations based in Pakistan.
Why Is Democratic And Secular India Hosting Islamo-Fascist Organisations? How can we as a country allow hydra-headed outfits like Darul Uloom Deoband and Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Luckow, to flourish on the soil of democratic India even though these organisations endorse the use of some forms of violence to achieve their goals and have direct and indirect links with designated terrorist organisations in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the rest of the Islamic world?
Firstly, these organisations engineered a bloody Partition of India in 1947. Instead of banning them after the bloody partition, the Indian state allowed these 'break-up India' forces to set up countless Islamist enclaves on the soil of democratic and secular India.
The result is that Islamic outfits are openly declaring that they have plans to turn all of India into Dar-al-Islam (land where Islam rules) by 2047. We cannot remain a mute witness to this dangerous game being played at break-neck speed.
Therefore, we request you to initiate an urgent inquiry into the activities of Darul Uloom Deoband and Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Luckow, and shut down these institutions immediately in the interest of the security of Uttar Pradesh as well as India.
Madhu Purnima Kishwar is founder of Manushi and Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library; National Professor, Indian Council of Social Science Research, 2017-2020; Former Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.