The day of Thursday, 15th Muharram, A.H. 1283 (May 30, 1866), was that blessed and auspicious day in the Islamic history of India when the foundation stone for the renaissance of Islamic sciences was laid in the land of Deoband. Seeing the simple and ordinary manner in which it had been started, it was difficult to visualize and decide that a Madrasah beginning so humbly, with utter lack of equipment's, was destined to become the center, within a couple of years, of the Islamic sciences in Asia.Accordingly, before long, students desirous of studying the Holy Book and the Sunnah, the Shari'ah and the Tariqah (the spiritual path), began to flock here in droves from this sub continent as well as from neighboring and distant countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Bukhara and Samarqand, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and the far off regions of the continent of Africa, and within a short-time the radiant rays of knowledge and wisdom illumined the heart and mind of the Muslims of the continent of Asia with the light of faith (Iman) and Islamic culture.
The time when the Darul Uloom Deoband, was established, the old Madaris in India had almost become extinct, and the condition of two or four that had survived the ravages of time was not better than that of a few glow-worms in a dark night. Apparently it so looked at that time as if the Islamic sciences had packed up their kit from India. Under these circumstances, some men of Allah and divine doctors, through their inner light, sensed the imminent dangers. They knew it too well that nations have attained their right status through knowledge only. So, without depending upon the government of the time, they founded the Darul Uloom, Deoband, with public contributions and co-operation. One of the principles that Hazrat Nanautavi (may his secret be sanctified) proposed for the Darul Uloom and other religious Madaris is also this that the Darul-Uloom should be run trusting in Allah and with public contributions for which the poor masses alone should be relied upon.
The Darul-Uloom, Deoband, is today a renowned religious and academic center in the Islamic world. In the sub-continent it is the largest institution for the dissemination and propagation of Islam and the biggest headspring of education in the Islamic sciences. Such accomplished scholars have come out from the Darul Uloom in every period that they, in accordance with the demands of religious needs of the time, have rendered valuable services in disseminating and spreading correct religious beliefs and religious sciences. These gentlemen, besides in this sub-continent, are busy in performing religions and academic services in various other countries also, and everywhere they have acquired a prominent status or religious guidance of the Muslims. The fact is that the Darul Uloom, Deoband, was a great religious, educational and reformative movement in the thirteenth century Hijri. It was such a crucial and crying need of the time that indifference to and connivance at it could cause Muslims to be confronted with inestimable dangers. The caravan that comprised only two souls on 15th Moharram, A-H. 1283, has today in its train individuals from many countries of Asia!