Deobandi Movement

Key figures

Qasim Nanotvi · Rashid Gangohi
Husain Madani · Mehmud Hasan
Shabbir Usmani · Ashraf Ali Thanwi
Anwar Kashmiri · Ilyas Kandhlawi
Ubaidullah Sindhi · Taqi Usmani

Notable Institutions

Darul Uloom Deoband, India
Mazahirul Uloom Saharanpur, India
Hathazari Madrassah, Bangladesh
Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama, India
Darul Uloom Karachi, Pakistan
Jamia Uloom ul Islamia, Pakistan
Jamiah Darul Uloom Zahedan, Iran
Darul Uloom London, England
Darul Uloom New York, United States
Darul Uloom Canada, Canada
Madrasah In'aamiyyah, South Africa
Darul Uloom Zakariyya, South Africa


Tablighi Jamaat
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam

Deobandi (Urdu: دیو بندی‎, Hindi: देवबन्दी) is a term used for a revivalist movement in Sunni Islam (Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah) under the Hanafi School.[1] It is centered primarily in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and has recently spread to the United Kingdom and has a presence in South Africa.[2] The name derives from Deoband, India, where the school Darul Uloom Deoband is situated. The movement was inspired by the spirit of scholar Shah Waliullah (1703–1762),[3] while the foundation of Darul Uloom Deoband was laid on 30 May 1866.[4]


The movement developed as a reaction to British colonialism in India, which was believed by a group of prominent Indian scholars — consisting of Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Muhammad Yaqub Nanautawi, Shah Rafi al-Din, Sayyid Muhammad Abid, Zulfiqar Ali, Fadhl al-Rahman Usmani and Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi — to be corrupting the Islamic religion. They therefore founded an Islamic seminary known as Darul Uloom Deoband. From here the Islamic revivalist and anti-imperialist ideology of the Deobandis began to develop.[5] Gradually Darul Uloom Deoband became the second largest focal point of Islamic teachings and research after the Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. Through organisations such as Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and Tablighi Jamaat its ideology began to spread and the graduates of Darul Uloom Deoband from countries like Saudi Arabia, China and Malaysia opened up thousands of madrasas throughout South Asia, specifically in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.[6]

A large group of Deobandi scholars opposed Pakistan being established along sectarian lines, particularly the demands of Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Muslim League for the Partition of British India into Muslim and non-Muslim sections.[7] The Deobandi movement advocated a notion of a composite nationalism according to which Hindus and Muslims constituted one nation.[8]


In Pakistan

Some 15 per cent of Pakistan's Sunni Muslims would consider themselves Deobandi [9] and according to Heritage Online, nearly 65% of the total seminaries (Madrasah) in Pakistan are run by Deobandis, 25% by Barelvis, 6% by Ahle Hadith and 3% by various Shia organizations. The Deobandi movement in Pakistan was a major recipient of funding from Saudi Arabia from the early 1980s up until the early 2000s, whereby this funding was pulled in favor of the rival Ahl al-Hadith movement.[10] Having seen Deoband as a counterbalance to Iranian influence in the region, Saudi funding is now stricly reserved for the Ahl al-Hadith.[10]

In the United Kingdom

According to The Times, about 600 of Britain's nearly 1,500 mosques are run by Deobandi affiliated scholars, and 17 of the country's 26 Islamic seminaries follow Sunni Deobandi teachings, producing 80% of all domestically trained Ulema.[11]


Deobandis primarily follow the Hanafi school of jurisprudence,[12] and follow the Ash'ari and Maturidi schools of Islamic theology.[13] Shah Waliullah, the founder of the Deobandis, was influenced by Ibn Taymiyyah, who also inspired Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, founder of Wahabism in Saudi Arabia.[14]

According to Qari Muhammad Tayyib — the 8th rector or Mohtamim of the Darul Uloom Deoband who died in 1983 — "the Ulema of Deoband ... in conduct ... are Sufis, ... in Sulook they are Chisti [a sufi order] .... They are initiates of the Chistiyyah, Naqshbandiya, Qadriyah and Suhrawardiyya Sufi orders.”[13][15][16][17] Not all sources agree that Deobandis are Sufi.[18][19][20]


Tablighi Jamaat

Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim missionary organisation, began as an offshoot of the Deobandi movement. Its inception is believed to be a response to Hindu reform movements, which were considered a threat to vulnerable and non-practicing Muslims. It gradually expanded from a local to a national organisation, and finally to a transnational movement, and it now has followers in over 150 countries. Although its beginnings were from the Deobandi movement, no particular interpretation of Islam has been endorsed since the beginning of the movement.[21]


Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) is a Deobandi Pakistani banned organization, and a formerly registered Pakistani political party. Established in the early 1980s in Jhang by Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, its stated goal is to primarily to deter major Shiite influence in Pakistan in the wake of the Iranian Revolution.[22][23] The organization was banned by President Pervez Musharraf in 2002 as a terrorist organization under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997.[22][23] In October 2000 Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), was quoted as saying that "Sipah-e-Sahaba stands shoulder to shoulder with Jaish-e-Muhammad in Jehad."[24] A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable described JeM as "another SSP breakaway Deobandi organization."[25]


Lashkar-e-Jhangvi; alternately Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) English: Army of Jhangvi) is a militant organization. Formed in 1996, it has operated in Pakistan since Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) activist Riaz Basra broke away from the SSP over differences with his seniors.[26] The group is considered a terrorist organisation by Pakistan and the United States,[27] and continues to be involved in attacks on Shi'a civilians and protectors of them.[28][29] Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is predominantly Punjabi.[30] The group has been labelled by intelligence officials in Pakistan as a major security threat.[31]


The Taliban ("students"), alternative spelling Taleban,[32] is an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan. It spread into Afghanistan and formed a government, ruling as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from September 1996 until December 2001, with Kandahar as the capital. While in power, it enforced its strict interpretation of Sharia law,[33] and leading Muslims have been highly critical of the Taliban's interpretations of Islamic law.[34] The Taliban were condemned internationally for their brutal treatment of women.[35][36] The majority of their leaders were influenced by Deobandi fundamentalism,[37] while Pashtunwali, the Pashtun tribal code, also played a significant role in Taliban legislature.[38]

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (the TTP) (Student Movement of Pakistan), alternatively referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, is an umbrella organization of various Islamist militant groups based in the northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Pakistan.In December 2007 about 13 groups united under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud to form the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.[39][40] Among the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan's stated objectives are resistance against the Pakistani state, enforcement of their interpretation of sharia and a plan to unite against NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.[39][40][41]

The TTP is not directly affiliated with the Afghan Taliban movement led by Mullah Omar, with both groups differing greatly in their histories, strategic goals and interests although they both share a primarily Deobandi interpretation of Islam and are predominantly Pashtun.[41][42]

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) is a Deobandi organization, part of the Deobandi movement.[43] The JUI formed when members broke from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind in 1945 after that organization backed the Indian National Congress against the Muslim League's lobby for a separate Pakistan.[44] The first president of the JUI was Shabbir Ahmad Usmani.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind is an Deobandi organizations in India. It was founded in 1919 by Abdul Mohasim Sajjad, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Ahmed Saeed Dehlvi, and Abdul Bari Firangi Mehli.[45]

Notable Institutions


Associated political organizations

See also



External links

  • Friends of Deoband
  • Deoband in Nottinghamde:Dar ul-Ulum Deoband


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.