Qasim Nanautavi (RA) : A visionary of Darul-Uloom Deoband

Shah Khalid
Hadhrat Alama Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi (RA) was one of the most prominent and respected Ulama of Darul-Uloom Deoband. Born in 1833 at Saharanpur UP. Alama Nanautavi (RA) sought his early education in his hometown, studied at Maulvi Mahtab Ali’s madrassa and later studied elementary books of Arabic grammar and syntax under Maulvi Nawaz. According to Islamic encyclopedia of Darul-Uloom Deoband, Alama Qasim Nanautvi’s (RA) close relative Muhammad Yaqoob Nanautvi’s father enrolled him at the Arabic Madrasa and directed him to study Euclid yourself and complete the arithmetical exercises. After a few days, Alama (RA) attended all ordinary discourses and completed the arithmetical exercises. Munshi Zakatullah asked Alama (RA) a few questions, which were difficult, but was able to solve them and became well-known. When the annual examination drew near, Alama (RA) did not write it and left the madrasa. The whole staff of the madrasa particularly the head of the institute regretted this very much. Prior to Hadhrat Alama’s (RA) enrollment at Madrasa Gaziuddin Khan, he had studied books on logic, philosophy, and scholastic theology under Mamlook Ali at his house. He joined a study circle, which possessed a central position in India with regards to the teaching of the Qur’an and hadith. He studied hadith under Abdul Ghani Mujaddidi and he became a formal follower of Imdadullah Muhajir Makki. After the completion of his education.The Biggest contribution towards social activism was that he established Darul-Uloom Deoband in 1868, which is not an institution in ordinary sense, but a way to understand and interpret the Islamic sacred text and civilization. Alama (RA) was a great scholar of Islamic intellectualism and better known for his polemical discourses against Christians and scholars of Hinduism. He refuted the principles of exegesis established by the modernists like Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and stressed upon Islamic traditions as understood by the “Salaf-us-Saliheen” (the pious predecessors of Islam).
Hadhrat Alama has some publications like, Aab-i Hayat (commentary on the life of the prophet Muhammad (SAW), Tahzir-al-Nas, Mubahisah Shahjahanpur, Tasfiyat-al-Aqa’id, Tauseeq-ul-Kalam. For common masses also, the life history of Alama (RA) can serve as a beacon light to live a successful life. May Allah’s blessings shower on Maulana’s noble soul? Aameen!
It must not be forgotten that Alama Nanautavi (RA) upheld the torch and his vision and foresightedness guided people towards religious teachings. He wanted to introduce a blend of Islamic education in the region. He made some selfless efforts towards this end. The seed Alama Nanautavi (RA) that was planted at that time has now grown into a fruitful tree, with its branches offering fruit to everybody irrespective of caste or creed. Alama (RA) was well-known for his oratorical skills. He attracted a multitude of audiences in his speeches. His both; His scholarly and public, speeches were marked with abundant knowledge, flow and linguistic taste. Even the lengthy talk of him would not let the audience be bored, instead whenever he finished his talk the audiences wished Alama (RA) would have never wind up his speech. Though, the word ‘literature’ sounds incompatible with a person who is absorbed in academic learning and pure Islamic teachings, Alama (RA) might be an exception. Not only did he have a good taste of Urdu and Arabic literature, but also he enjoyed having a unique style in Urdu writing which can be described as ‘his own style of writing’. His colorful writings are full of gushing flow, treasure of vocabulary and tremendous appeal. Besides that Hadhrat Alama has some publications like, Aab-i Hayat (commentary on the life of the prophet Muhammad (SAW), Tahzir-al-Nas, Mubahisah Shahjahanpur, Tasfiyat-al-Aqa’id, Tauseeq-ul-Kalam. For common masses also, the life history of Alama (RA) can serve as a beacon light to live a successful life. May Allah’s blessings shower on Maulana’s noble soul? Aameen!

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