By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
An Unpleasant Incident and Example of Honesty:
When we were in Darul Uloom Deoband, an unpleasant incident took place in July 2002. A student was beaten badly by some natives of Deoband town. He had to be admitted in a hospital. Some students reach the then coordinator of the hostels of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami Qasmi (1941-2021) to complain. He didn’t pay attention to them. It made them so furious that they planned and attacked on some shops of the town and the things available in the shops were damaged. The town people reacted and the stones pelting started. We found Maulana Sayyid Arshad Madani (then director of Education Faculty)and Maulana Habibur Rahman Qasmi at Babe Qasim (Main Gate) trying to control the students; but they were too furious to be controlled. Then the students gave a call to boycott and refused to have any dealing with shopkeepers of the town. Next day, all students were called and gathered in Masjid Rasheed and Maulana Marghubur Rahman, the then Muhtamim (VC) of Darul Uloom asked them to call off the boycott and the tears started rolling down from his eyes. It was the first time, I saw him addressing the students. What happened next that shows a unique example of Maulana Marghubur Rahman’s honesty.
The shopkeepers complained about the damages they faced and demanded the compensation. Maulana Marghubur Rahman asked them to present their damages in writing. They did so; but with an exaggeration. After receiving the written complaint, damage details and compensation demand, he informed the shopkeepers that the donation which is received at Darul Uloom Deoband is to be spent for the necessary programmes. The donation is entrusted amount of the people to my care. I can’t commit embezzlement by paying for the damages you underwent. You give me some months. I will sell my certain property and I will pay the compensation. When the shopkeepers heard his statement, they felt that something wrong had been done. They realized that they had troubled him and asked for forgiveness from him. They further said that they didn’t want any compensation, as Darul Uloom is his, it is theirs as well.
His Early Life and Education:
That was an example of the honesty of Maulana Marghubur Rahman Bijnori who was 8th Muhtamim (VC) of prominent Islamic institution: Darul Uloom, Deoband and the 3rd Ameerul Hind. He was born in a learned and landlord family in Mohallah Qazi Para of Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh in India in 1914. His father was Maulana Hakeem Mashiyyatullah who was a graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband, a student of Sheikhul Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan Deobandi (1851-1920) and colleague of Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri (1875-1933).
He acquired his primary level education at Madrasah Rahimiah Madinatul Uloom at his hometown, Bijnor, which was running under his learned father’s patronage. He started learning from the Holy Qur’an and completed the books like Sharah Jami, Sharul Wiqayah etc. in this Madrasah. Then he came to the largest Islamic seminary of the Indian subcontinent: Darul Uloom, Deoband in 1929 for higher education. He lived three years in Darul Uloom, completed the syllabus and graduated in 1932 (1351 AH). He studied from a galaxy of scholars like Sheikhul Islam Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani (1879-1957), Maulana Sayyid Asghar Husain Deobandi (1877-1944), Sheikhul Adab Walfiqh Maulana Izaz Ali Amrohavi (1882-1954), Allamah Muhammad Ibrahim Balyavi (1886-1967), Maulana Abdus Sami Deobandi (1878-1947), Maulana Nabih Hasan Deobandi (1879-1933) and Maulana Rasul Khan Hazarvi (1871-1971).
Following the graduation, he had planned to go for further studies of Iftaa Course; but due sickness he discontinued his educational activities. When he recovered, once again he took admission in Darul Uloom for Iftaa course. He completed Iftaa course and art of issuing fatwa under the guidance and teaching of the distinguished Muftis like Mufti Sahul Bhagalpuri (1870-1948) and Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani (1896-1982). He obtained Iftaa degree in 1934 (1353 AH).
His Career as Teacher:
Following the completion of his studies, on the behest of his father, he started his career as a teacher at Madrasah Rahimia Madinatul Uloom, Bijnor which was the first seat of his learning too. He was from a landlord family, so he had to manage and look after his property, lands, farms etc. It caused him to stop teaching in Madrasah for long.
His Services at Darul Uloom Deoband:
Maulana Marghubur Rahman’s father Maulana Hakim Mashiyyatullah had thick relation with the elders of Darul Uloom, as he was its graduate, and served as a Member of its Executive Body for 27 years from 1925 to 1952. Following 10 years of his father’s demise, he was elected as a member of the executive body of Darul Uloom, Deoband in 1962. From the beginning of his membership, he used to participate in each meeting of the body with punctuality. As long as he was in Deoband for the meeting, he used to stay and eat at the home of a certain friend in Deoband. This dedication, commitment and selflessness made him a respected member and his opinion was valued in the meeting. After almost 18 years of his membership, when the then VC of Darul Uloom, Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi requested the executive body to appoint an assistant for him, Maulana Muhammad Manzoor Nomani (1905-1997) proposed his name and all the members unanimously seconded it. Then he was assigned the post of Assistant VC on 30th May 1981. (Bani Al-Furqan Number, P.: 118) In 1982, when Darul Uloom Deoband was facing a huge crisis and was at very critical moment, at that pointing time, first he was appointed as the working VC in January 1982 and following some months, he was nominated as the full-fledged VC in August 1982 by the executive body; while there were many distinguished personalities in the Executive body. He was the third longest serving VC of Darul Uloom following Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi and Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad. He served as the VC from January 1982 till 8th December 2010, when he breathed his last.
His each action expressed his selflessness, sincerity and piety. His humbleness, simplicity and dedication for Darul Uloom Deoband were beyond doubt. While being present in Darul Uloom, he lived in a small room of Darul Uloom close to Masjid Qadeem. He paid the rent and electricity bill of the room from his pocket. He deserved to demand a well-furnished family quarter for his living from Darul Uloom; but he avoided to do so. Allah the Almighty had blessed him with too much wealth, so he was very much capable to build a luxurious bungalow in Deoband to live; but he was a simple man, therefore, he preferred living in a small room. He never got a single penny from Darul Uloom for his services spread at the span of 28-year as the VC. He was always thoughtful about the progress and development of Darul Uloom and he loved to work for it quietly and sincerely. His hard work paid off and Darul Uloom Deoband got development from every angle. He proved that had been the man of the need of the hour. His services rendered at Darul Uloom Deoband would be remembered for long.
Darul Uloom Success during His Tuner:
He never gave anyone a chance to point finger at his administrative ability and opinions as long as he held the VC office. Darul Uloom made a considerable progress and huge success under his administration. Its fame and value increased at the national and international level. His tenure will be recorded in the history as the golden period of Darul Uloom. It witnessed huge success during his tenure in the educational system, introduction of new departments, increasing the number of the students and construction of several new buildings. Numerous new departments such as “Takhassus Fil Hadeeth”, “Takmeelul Uloom”, “Tahaffuze Sunnat”, “Tahaffuze Khatme Nabuwwat”, “Radde Isaiyat”, “Sheikhul Hind Academy” for publishing elders’ books and Diploma in Journalism, “Diploma in English Language and Literature”, “Diploma in Computer Application” etc. were introduced.
The number of the students in Darul Uloom increased more than two times which reached about 4000. The area of Darul Uloom increased to three folds. A two stories Hajjatul Islam Manzil in memory of Hujjatul Islam Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi for Madrasah Thanwiyyah, a three stories Sheikhul Hind Manzal in memory of Sheikhul Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan Deobandi, a three stories Sheikhul Islam Manzil in memory of Sheikhul Islam Maulana Sayyid Husain Ahmad Madani, a three stories Hakeemul Ummat Manzil in memory of Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi which is the hostel and the classrooms for the pupils of Hifz Classes, Dare Jadeed, the big hostel, which was in miserable and poor condition, was demolished and new hostel was constructed at its place with the same name, two hostels of the both sides of Ruwaqe Khalid, a seven stories new library in the western side of Babuz Zahir, two stories Darul Mudarrisin etc. were constructed. A very beautiful marbled mosque namely “Masjid Rahseed”, in memory of Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, which is considered a masterpiece of Islamic art, was constructed in his period. As long as he was able to walk, he used to reach each construction site to inspect construction physically. Following the inspection, wherever he felt need to instruct the workers, he did. He justified his nomination as the VC due to his devotion, farsightedness and commitment in the affairs of Darul Uloom.
Formation of Rabtah Madaaris Islamia Arabia:
To bring all Indian Islamic Madaaris under one umbrella, to protect and safeguard its interests, Darul Uloom convened all India conference of Madrasas under his leadership. Following the conference, “Kul Hind Rabta Madarise Islamia Arabia” was formed under Darul Uloom in December 1994. He was nominated as its president. More than three thousand of Indian Madaaris are its members at the moment. Its branches were formed in several provinces. It played a key role in uniting Madaaris and creating uniformity of the syllabus, system, examinations etc.
His Election as Third Ameerul Hind:
Under the banner of Jamiat Ulamae Hind, one of the largest Muslims organizations in India, Imarate Shariah Hind was formed on 2nd November 1986. Under Imarat, the chief of the Indian Muslims is elected, who is entitled as “Ameerul Hind”. Following the demise of the second Ameerul Hind, Maulana Sayyid Asad Madani, Maulana Marghubur Rahman was elected as the third Ameerul Hind on 28th February 2006. He held this prestigious post till his last breath. The first Ameerul Hind was Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami who was known as Muhaddithe Kabeer. In April 2008, when Jamiat Ulamae Hind got divided between two groups, as Ameerul Hind, he kept the balance and tried his level best to mediate between them; but his efforts could not bear fruits and these two groups remained working separately and still they are in the same condition. At that critical moment, he got a resolution passed in the working committee of Darul Uloom that those who hold any post in both the groups of Jamiat should not hold a key office in Darul Uloom. Thereafter, Maulana Qari Sayyid Muhammad Usman Mansoorpuri (1944-2021) had to resign from the post of deputy VC and Maulana Sayyid Arshad had to leave the office of the director of the Education Faculty.
His Sad Demise:
Due to his old age, as he was 96, he suffered from various diseases and remained bedridden for several months. Therefore, the people were worried that anytime the news of his sad demise would come. The same happened and he passed away on 8th December, 2010 at his ancestral place in Bijnor. His death was considered a huge loss to Deobandi school of thought all over the world. His body was brought to Deoband. The funeral prayer was led by his son, Maulana Anwarur Rahman Qasmi in the premises of Darul Uloom Deoband. He was buried in Mazaare Qasmi (Qasmi Graveyard) of Deoband. Following his death, rich tributes were paid to him and his services rendered at Darul Uloom Deoband by the academics, activists, politicians and the graduates of Darul Uloom Deoband spread all over the world. What an exemplary, down-to-earth and farsighted man he was! May Allah grant him the best place in Jannah! qqq
*Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa