Describe the objectives of the Deoband School. How much it was different from the Aligarh school? Evaluate their role in the 19th century reform movement.
Its objectives were:
- To exalt the word God, unaffected by any temptation, patronage, pressure or favour.
- To extend contacts with Muslims and organize them in accordance with original principles of Islam.
- Follow the teachings of Shah Waliullah.
- To follow traditional educational curriculum prescribed by Dar-esi- Nizami.
- Hindus and Muslims belong to one nation.
Deoband School had more effective organization and mass contact than Aligarh school. Contrary to Aligarh school, it united the people to oust Britishers and was nationalistic in character. Their approach was not parochial and they easily understood the motive and design of ‘divide and rule’ policy. They never prescribed British education and never tried to gain political privileges, which was one of the main aims of Aligarh school. This school sought to drive the British out of the country and convert the land into Dar-ul- Islam. Thus, they imbibed nationalist feelings into the Muslim ideology. Also, they shunned the separatist tendency among the Muslims and sought to strengthen Hindu-Muslim relations. But, being a revivalist movement, it ushered a feeling of suspicion and created an aura of fundamentalism.