Hajji Sayyid Abid al-Deobandi: First Rector of Deoband

Birth and Life
Haji Syed Muhammad Abid, also known as Haji Syed Abid Husain, was born in Deoband in a Sadat family in the year of 1834CE (1250AH).  After completing the recitation of Holy Quran he learned Persian. Later he moved to Delhi for higher studies in Islamic religious sciences; but he could not complete his education because of his extreme attachment with TASAWWUF (mysticism). He had received the honor of khilafat (spiritual succession) from Mian ji Karim Bakhsh Rampuri and Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (may their secret be sanctified!).

Haji Mohammad Abid joined Imam Muhammad Qasim Nanawtawi in his mission to establish Darul Uloom Deoband. The vision of Imam Nanawtawi was to establish a higher level of institute, which could provide a systematic and comprehensive education of Islamic religious sciences. Though in the beginning Haji Syed Mohammad Abid was not convinced with this mission but after much insistence from Imam Muhammad Qasim Nanawtawi and having seen Imam Nanawtawi’s enthusiasm for the establishment of a major Institute of Islamic religious sciences Haji Mohammad Abid agreed to join his mission and became one of the founders of Darul Uloom Deoband.

Read More »

Mawlana Habib al-Rahman al-‘Uthmani

Life and Education
He was the eldest son of Maulana Fazlur Rahman. From the beginning to the end he prosecuted his studies in Darul Uloom. He was an erudite scholar and a great litterateur in the Arabic language. His foresight and administration is considered proverbial in the history of Darul ­Uloom his services and dowers have played a great role in the progress of the institution.

In 1325/1907, due to Hazrat Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad’s engagements, as also in connection with the development of Darul Uloom, there arose the need of an able and competent administrator who might lend a hand to Hafiz Sahib in the administrative affairs and schemes of development In the eyes of the Majlis-e Shura there was none more suitable than him for this job. Accordingly, in spite of his refusal, he was compelled and entrusted with the post of pro vice-chancellor. It is said that it was a piece of good luck for Darul Uloom that it acquired the services of a vigilant administrator and sincere man like Maulana Habibur Rahman Usmani. He was so much interested in the administrative works that major part of the day and night used to be spent in these works. He had so organized and streamlined the administrative department of Darul Uloom that when Nawab Sadre Yar Jung Bahadur came to Deoband on behalf of the Asifiyah government to audit the accounts of the Darul Uloom Deoband, he was surprised to see that vouchers and receipts of even as paltry a sum as one and two annals were present in the file in a regular order. Nawab Sadr Yar Jung’s statement is that there was no paper, which was asked for and was not immediately presented. The progress during Hafiz Sahib’s vice-chancellorship is in fact considered to be the result of Maulana Habibur Rahman’s comradeship; he always remained his right-hand man, confidant and lieutenant.

Read More »

Mawlana Anwar al-Hasan Sherkoti

Written by Mufti Muhammad Taqi ‘Uthmani
Translated by Abu Unaysah
Edited With An Introduction by Mawlana Abu Zaynab


“Oh, you who believe attain taqwa and remain in the company of the truthful (sadiqin). (Surah Al-Tawba, 9-11)

The Quranic injunction to seek taqwa, one of the goals of traversing the Path of Suluk, has closely been entwined with advice to seek and remain in the company of the pious. In adherence to this principle, the suluk of the ‘Ulama of Deoband lays special emphasis, among other things, on constant exertion to emulate the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his companions and the innumerable scions of piety and saintliness that traversed the Sufi path in days of before.

The lives of the Elders of Deoband epitomize a high level of piety, adherence to the Shariah and Sunnah, and an in-depth indulgence in tasawwuf. It is for these reasons that the salik is encouraged to read the biographies of the Akabir (Elders), and emulate them in the best of manners.

Below is a translation of a touching obituary penned by Mufti Muhammad Taqi ‘Uthmani in remembrance of Mawlana Anwar al-Hasan Sherkoti—a scholar renowned for his marked devotion to the Elders of Deoband, something that led the late mawlana to author several well-acclaimed biographies. 

Read More »

Shaykh Nasir Ahmad Khan: 1918 – 2010

Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi

The 4th February 2010 morning, Deoband woke up in shocks, as the minarets of Darul Uloom’s mosque resounded, in the deep winter silence, the sad news of its ex-Shaikul Haidth expiring in the same night. The shockwaves continued to travel throughout Indian subcontinent and even to every place in the entire world where people with Deoband link are present.

It was sorrowfully recalled that just 4 years ago, on 6th February 2010, Maulana Asad Madani expired leaving a strong column of Deoband falling apart, that even led the division in Jamiat Ulama Hind and a subsequent rift between Deoband sympathisers around the world.

If you have been in Darul Uloom Deoband, you must be remembering a personality tall, straight with wood stick in hand heading to Darul Hadith (class for higher learning of Prophetic sayings). It was Shaikh Naseer Ahmad Khan, commonly known with Shaikh Awwal (senior Shaikh) among the students.

Read More »

The Meeting of Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi with Mawlana Fazlur Rahman Ganj Muradabadi

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيم

Hazrat Hakeem al Ummat (rah) says:

Twice I was blessed with the opportunity to present myself in the service of Hazrat Maulana Shah Fazlur Rahman saheb Ganj muradabadi (rah)… I cannot confidently recall the month and year but im quite sure that my first visit was in 1301 Hijri and the month was probably the month of Rabius Thani or Jamadul ula.

since I can only remember this visit to be after the period of my service at Kanpur..and it was my last journey during my association at Kanpur which was approaching the period of Meelad.. and people generally used to inquire about the masail of meelad.. being a fresh Mudarris I had arrived in Kanpur.. and after two months, owing to certain issues, I had resigned and made up my mind to return to Thanabhavan..Read More »

How can I help out?

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيم

I was asked this question and I do not have any solid or firm idea of how things are to be done. Hence, you can help out by formulating the way forward first.

But, I would think that the best way to move forward is that a volunteer picks up one of the unedited and jumbled biographies and works on it until we have a complete, well-ordered, well-structured biography.

Or, said volunteer – if fluent in Urdu – can take an Urdu article and begin translating it to English and with other volunteers assistance a translated biography which is complete, well-ordered, well-structured can be presented.

Ideas, thoughts, suggestions welcome. This is our blog.

Khaadim al-‘Ulama

Compiling Biographies: Some steps need to be taken

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيم

Al’hamdulillah, a few posts have been made and I hope to continue posting as and when I come across relevant material.

The work that is required now is to gather more info and along with that which is already available to then compile a biography of the ‘Ulama. Insha’Allah and this will be an on-going project.

I humbly and sincerely ask any volunteers to kindly assist and this would be a great service to our Akaabireen who toiled for the Deen.

May Allah accept this weak and humble effort.

Khaadim al-‘Ulama

Urdu-to-English Translators

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيم

We are seeking Urdu-to-English translators. Translators job would be to translate Urdu books and articles to English. This is solely on a volunteer basis. If you are interested then do contact us on friendsofdeoband@gmail.com or via the comments section.

Minimum requirement is to have a good grasp of both Urdu and English along with some passion for the lives of the ‘Ulama of Deoband.



بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيم

Assalaamu ‘alaykum

Welcome to this blog – Hayat ‘Ulama Deoband.

The purpose of this blog is to document the biographies of those living ‘Ulama and those that have passed on recently.

Anyone willing to contribute, assist, guide, advice, in whichever way possible please do kindly contact me at friendsofdeoband@gmail.com

For more details please see this thread on Sunniforum.com: