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Maslak `Ulama Deoband: Introduction

October 1, 2012

By Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi

The maslak (tract) of the ‘ulama of Deoband is with regard to dini direction and methodology, an embodiment of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah. It is also an integral and original part of the Ahl al-Sunnah (where from gradually many sects are being slowly separated). This trend was begun in India and gained its force and momentum by Imam Shah Waliullah al-Dehlawi (d. 1762C / may Allah have mercy on him). The ‘ulama of Deoband are the interpreters and link in the chain for the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah in India. Through the means of  ta’lim (education) and tarbiyah (nurturing), they had spread this message and way across the east and west.

The ‘ulama of Deoband had remained steadfast upon the principles of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah from the beginning to the end. In fact, they had preserved this through the generations. Actually, they are not any different from the Ahl al-Sunnah, in fact, their lineage and chain reaches in the same direction. Hence, insofar as their methods and ideologies are concerned, they are not any new sect, nor are they a sect which has been initiated afterwards. In reality, they (‘ulama of Deoband) are (from) the actual Ahl al-Sunnah which has come down and transmitted from before. The time factor and excesses (ifrat tafrit) had given rise to many sects within the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah. Not only has every new sect had laid claim to being the original, they had in fact, drawn parallels to the original group and condemned the original to falsehood and labelled themselves as the original. They had spared no effort in this direction. Since this became the pastime of every breakaway sect, the general masses of the original Ahl al-Sunnah became doubtful and were left in a quandary. Many questions were raised. Nevertheless, the original will always remain the original. When actual differentiation takes place then the original will shine forth. Therefore it is imperative that before we outline the way and methods, it is appropriate that we make the differentiation, so that the fake may be separated from the original.

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