Introduction of Darul Uloom Karachi

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Introduction Darul Uloom Karachi compiled by Maulana Aziz-ur-Raman, Ustadh Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi under the guidance of Hadrat Maulana Muhammad Rafi Usmani President of Darul Uloom Karachi, Rendered into English by Muhammad Sameem. 

Darul Uloom Karachi is a link from the hallowed chain of sanctuaries devoted to religious education established in this subcontinent by some rightly guided servants of Allah to brave through the night of British imperialism and to ensure that the torches of the religious of Islam remain alight. The founders of Darul Uloom, Deoband, Hadrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi and Hadrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and their colleagues, may Allah have mercy on them all, were active participants in the Jihad of 1857 A.D.  that was waged against the British had shuffled their strategic plans. Backed by elaborate preparations, they were now trying to go beyond the political subjugation of Muslims. They were working for the intellectual subjugation of Muslims as well.

To implement this agenda of total slavery, they promptly sensed, that the British colonists were introducing a system that was designed to build bases in the minds and hearts of Muslims for the ultimate supremacy of the Western way of living and thinking. Alerted to this sinister design, their blessed souls set aside their swords and took to the defensive trenches of the Madrasah, a task to which they devoted their entire lives so that Islamic Sciences could remain safe for future generations.

The task was tough and conditions were hostile, so much so that all possible avenues of earning an honest living were shut close on those who had opted to serve Islamic sciences as their life work. To this threat, they responded valiantly, eating grass and wearing rags, and went on the lay the foundations of the Darul Uloom, Deoband. It was from here that they brought forth a large group of daring and undaunted Ulama who had the class to say no to the material glamour of the world of their time and who remained content with their mud houses and cramped holes to live in, and study at.

It was within the confines of such modest surroundings that they kept shielding the light of Islamic religious sciences from being extinguished by the unfriendly winds of time. Their objective was to ensure that, under this period of political dependence, Muslims are not made to leave Islamic injunctions and values they must observe in their way of life, morals, religious obligations and mutual dealings and, God forbid, do not go about following the ways of others instead. And underlying therein was their fond wish that, should Muslims have their political power back into their hands at some time in the future, they would find the blessed Faith brought by the great benefactor of humainty, Sayyidna Muhammad al-Mustafa (s.a.w), the Rasul of Allah, preserved in its correct original form. Thus, as a result of their efforts, the great intellectual breakthrough achieved by their erstwhile predecessor, Hadrat Shah Waliyyullah Muhaddith Dehlawi (r.a), the effects of which had started withering away, now returned in full bloom.

Darul Uloom Deoband came to be the nursery of great men of knowledge, excellence, intellectual depth, adherence to Sunnah and the practice of abstinence and piety. Armed with chaste qualities of character and vision, their emergence on the scene reminded people of the models set forth by the trail-setting generation of the Sahabah and Tabi’in. Such was the beneficence of their teaching, training and call that no part of the sub-continent was left without having benefited from it. Certainly great was the intellectual advancement they made and the moral grooming they imparted. They were the ones who removed the complex dichotomy that allegedly existed between the Shariah and Tariqah, a legacy of the age of decadence which has afflicted Muslims for a long time. Led by Shaikh-ul-Hind, Hadrat Maulana Mahmood-ul-Hasan, this sincere struggle of those Ulama played an unforgettable role in delivering India from British bondage.

Then, the conclusive struggle for the establishment of Pakistan made by Shaikh ul Islam Allamah Shabbir Ahmad Usmani (r.a), Shaikh ul Hadith Hadrat Maulana Zafar Ahmad Usmani and Mufti e Azam Pakistan Hadrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi r.a was historic. Initiated with the approval and blessings of the wise counsellor and renovator of the Muslim community, Hadrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, it was no less a gift from the same Darul Uloom of Deoband.

When Pakistan stood established and sovereign political power came into Muslim hands, it would have been only proper if, first of all, a system of education that matched the elemental nuances of an Islamic state was introduced in the country. This would have been a system which aimed at providing the education of Quran and Sunnah in all its perfection, as well as an equally perfect education and training of modern sciences and arts- of course, cleansed of any anti-religious content or bias. Had this been accomplished, the ill-fated gulf between secular and religious education would have stood all bridged at the very outset.

At that stage, it was clear that the model of the Darul Uloom established under duress at Deoband in India during the secular, even anti-religious, period of British rule was not sufficient. And there was no room here for the subordinated education of Aligarh. Also, not enough was the educational approach of the Nadwa where only history and literature were singled out to be the core and pivot of Islamic studies at the cost of the rest of Islamic sciences. What the country needed at that time was an all-embracing system of standard education and training, in all its perfection, featuring the two kinds of education, the religious and the worldly, under one roof.

But, it is unfortunate that Pakistan has been going through a tug-of-war between different parties and interest groups from the very beginning to the present. The result is before us. During the last half-century, not simply education, but even the system of law and government in our country has failed to respond to the desires of the Muslim masses in any real sense. The outcome is that education in our schools and colleges is still dragging on the trail left by the British masters, churning out office workers instead of experts in the sciences and art though, in an ever-declining state of affairs. As for standard religious education and grooming, it is either not allowed there or is allowed only cosmetically.

In addition to that, it is an undeniable fact that knowledge, Islamic knowledge in particular goes hand in hand with the following of Sunnah and the spirit of the great forbears of Islam. Unless one is trained and groomed to imbibe in one’s person, their ways and temperaments, no matter how high one has reached in knowledge, intellect and research, one carries on weight in the sight of Islam.

The system of education instituted by the British in the subcontinent has, during the last one hundred years, poisoned hearts and minds to an alarming degree. Facing this challenge, even if we introduce a curriculum of Islamic sciences in the existing public schools, how are we going to plant the modality of standard religious grooming in that system? This modality is marked by adherence to Sunnah and faith in the paramount status of the early righteous elders. This is an essential ingredient, a hereditary hallmark and spirit of Islamic schools, and could not be easily transferred to current public schools of our time. Any effort to make this possible at its best would call for a long-drawn and highly organized struggle. Unfortunately, no signs of success in this venture seem to be visible now, or shortly. Therefore, unless the public school system at large comes to imbibe this standard religious temperament and taste, religious education cannot be postponed for the sake of a vague hope and wherever something like this has been done, common Muslims have suffered and their pathetic condition is before us all. 

So, these were some reasons why the Ulama and the large community of Muslims who feel and act for the protection of their faith found it necessary to establish classical Islamic Schools in Pakistan and see that they continue playing their functional role in society. 


 After his migration to Pakistan, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi had made two objectives the sole purpose of his life. The first was to struggle with the implementation of the Shariah of Islam in Pakistan while the second objective was to establish a Darul Uloom in Karachi which was to be a befitting institution of higher Islamic learning in the metropolis.

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