Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasmi: Distinguished, Respected and Accomplished Theologian, Islamic Scholar and Guide
Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasmi is surely one of the most distinguished theologians, one of the most respected religious leaders and one of the most followed guides of the current Islamic world. Maulana Salim Qasmi is the current rector (Nazim) of Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband, the Vice President of “The All India Muslim Personal Law Board”, the president of advisory board of Mazahirul Uloom (Waqf) Saharanpur, the chairman of the Supreme Guidance Council of the unified All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and is the permanent member of “the Fiqh Council of Al-Azhar”, Cairo (Egypt). He was awarded with Imam Mohammad Qasim Nanotvi International Islamic Award on 20 January 2014 in a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, only second such award the first recipient being Sheikh Mahmood Afindi of Turkey. The great grandson of Hujjatul Islam Imam Muhammad Qasim Nanatawi and only living disciple of Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, Maulana Salim is widely regarded as the only surviving religious scholar in the Deobandi tradition who links the present with the glorious past of the founders of the greatest Sunni institution of education in the subcontinent.
Ulamadeoband.wordpress.com gives details of his early life and education as follows:
“Maulana Mohammad Salim Qasmi was born on 8/01/1926 = 22/06/1344 H. Friday in Deoband. He took admission in Darul Uloom Deoband in 1351 and completed his studies from beginning till the end. He learnt Nazirah and Hifz under Peer JiShareef Hasan Gangohi, Farsi books under Maulana Aaqilsb, Maulana Zaheersband Maulana Hasan sb. Besides, he learnt Kanzul Daqaaiq from Maulana Akhtar Husain, Maybuzi from Qari Asgharsb, Mukhtasar and Sullamul Uloom from Maulana Abdul Sameesb, and Hidaya from Maulana Abdul Ahad Sb. He studied Hadith books in the final year of Fazeelah Course under Shaikhul Islam Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, Allama Ibraheem Balyavi, Maualana Aizaz Ali Amrohvi, Maulana Fakhruddin Sb.
He completed Fazilat course in the year 1948 = 1367H, and was appointed as a teacher in the same year in Darul Uloom Deoband. He got chance to teach all important books of Darse Nizami like Nurul-Eizah, Tafseer e Quran, Hidaya, Sharh Aqaaid, Mishkat, Abu Dawud, Bukhari, and many other important books. His Sharh Aqaaid class was largely admired.”
In 1982, when Darul Uloom Deoband witnessed a dispute, bordering on almost a turmoil, ultimately leading to the division of the Madrasa into two,
Maulana Mohammad Salim Qasmi became the administrator of Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband. The Waqf faction was the smaller of the two, and had difficult times with a big question mark on its very survival. If it could survive and then gained reputation and recognition, the credit entirely goes to Maulana Salim Qasmi. He still continues to be the Rector and ultimate guide for the Madrasa.
- Mabaadi al Tarbiyat al Islami (Arabic),
- JaizaTarjama Quran Karim,
- Taajdar e Arze Haram kaPaigham,
- Mardaan e Ghaazi,
- Ek Azeem Tarikhi Khidmat,
- Safar Nama Burma
- Khutbat e Khatibul Islam (collection of his speeches) has been published in 5 volumes.
Maulana Salim Qasmi has been a notable speaker on Seerat and other Islamic issues, and has also been an active participant in programmes and conferences on various issues concerning Islam and Muslims.
He was one of the major participants in a conference organised on the issue of “Terrorism”, which unequivocally condemned terrorism as an un-Islamic act. Reporting the proceedings of the conference, Twocirles.net writes:
“A large gathering of Muslim scholars representing different schools of thoughts and Muslims organizations unanimously declared that terrorism has no place in Islam and all terror activities are un-Islamic.
The anti-terrorism conference organized by Darul Uloom Deoband and attended by about 10,000 scholars from all over India issued a declaration at the end of the conference, here today. “Killing of innocents is not compatible with Islam. It is anti-Islamic,” read the declaration.
Maulana Marguburrehman, Maulana Salim Qasmi, and Mufti Hilal Usmani at the Anti-Terrorism Conference
Declaration stated that “Islam is a religion of mercy for all humanity. Islam sternly condemns all kinds of oppression, violence and terrorism. It has regarded oppression, mischief, rioting and murder among severest sins and crimes.”
Various fatwas have been issued in the past against terrorism but this is the first time that such a large gathering of scholars have came out strongly against terrorism. This is also a first attempt to define terrorism in light of Islam.
The gathering defined terrorism as “any action that targets innocents, whether by an individual or by any government and its agencies or by a private organisation anywhere in the world constitutes, according to Islam, an act of terrorism.”
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)’s 2005 fatwa against terrorism did not define terrorism. In the absence of any universal definition of terrorism, this attempt by Darul Uloom Deoband can be a useful guide for Muslims to confront terrorist and terror groups.
Deoband conference condemned attempts by government agencies and media to associate terrorism with Islam and madrasas.
The declaration raised the issue of innocent Muslims being arrested and forced to spend years behind bars while guilty are not being caught or their activities stopped.
“And those spreading terror, attacking police stations, killing the police in broad daylight and having illegal arms are roaming about freely with no effective and preventive steps being taken by the government to check their acts of terrorism and violence.”
“This partial attitude has put a big question mark on the secular character of the government, posing great threats to the country.”
“The administrative machinery should be asked to conduct impartial investigation in activities disturbing public peace in the country and to punish only those found guilty,” the declaration demanded.
Representatives of many different Muslim schools of thought and Muslim organizations attended the conference. Apart from madrasas following Darul Uloom Deoband’s school of thought, the representatives and Ulama of Baraelwi, Ahl-e-Hadith, Jama’at-e-Islami and Shi’ah schools of thought, as well as Sajjada Nashins of various Dargahs attended the conference.
The heads and representatives of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (Salim Qasmi), Milli Council and the Darul Uloom Deoband’s Old Boys Association also participated in the conference.” Source
He is also known to have spoken negatively about Dr. Zakir Naik. A Deobandi Scholar M Tauqeer Qasmi has quoted him as follows:
““When I entered Fine Touch building, Maulana Salim Qasmi Saheb was asking the ulama present (around 100) the reasons why they did not want hira to participate in Dr Zakir Naik’s programme. Mufti Saeedur Rahman Qasmi of Darul Uloom Imdadia Madras a at Mohammad Ali Road, Mumbai gave him a booklet — ‘Dr Zakir Naik — Ek Mut’ala’ (Dr Zakir Naik — A Study) compiled by Mufti Obaidullah As’adi, Shaikhul Hadith of Jamia Arabia, Hatura, UP which gives details about issues that are controversial among Dr. Naik and general Muslims. He also presented before him alengthy (496 page) book -Haqeeqat-e Zakir Naik’ (The True Cotour of Zakir Naik) written by a Pakistani author, Maulana Syed Khaleeq Sajid Bukhari, and published from Maktaba Madina, Deoband, in April2010. Maulana Mohammad Salim Qasmi opening his heart to the audience, said ‘you are from me and I am from you. We have a elose relation with Darul Uloom Deoband. He further said that ulama have been addressing the needs of the ummah. Even if a Muslim holds the feast of “aqiqah”, he has at least one Maulana on his guest list, That shows the love and regard of the Muslims for the ulama. Maulana Qasmi explained to his selected audience who were mostly Deoband and Nadwa alumni that the akabir (elders) of Deoband had three major characteristics, among others: 1 . They made all-out efforts to preach Islam. 2. They never hesitated to share the dais even with those Muslim sects who called them kafir. 3. They never gave the ismissive tag of kafir to any Muwahhid (one who believes in monotheism) even though the others had termed them as kafir…
Maulana Salim Qasmi shared his experience saying that once he was called to a conference held by presently banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Despite ideological differences between SIMI and Deoband, when they listened to him, they were not only impressed but many of them realized their own mistakes. “Our point of view j is so strong and factual that no one can oppose it by mere argument. Everyone has to admit the strong basis of our religious stance” he said. Maulana further explained that the differences in Muslim sects are primarily because of excess of knowledge. That is the reason that Muslims have a large number of sects. There are not so many sects in Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism etc, because they generally do not study their own scriptures. He emphasized a lot on the point that if somebody believes in the basics of Islam that is in the five pillars of Islam and Eiman-e Mufassal, one should try to ignore other differences. Such kind of Muslim is not ZALL (One who makes people astray) or MUZILL (who is astray) he is just a KHATEE (wrong doer). There is no problem to share the stage with such kinds of people. On being asked about Dr. Zakir’s wrong explanation of the Qur’an, Maulana Salim Qasmi responded saying: If some people do taweel (uncommon explanation) with good intentions in the Qur’an, it should be accepted but tahreef (wrong explanation) of the Qur’an is totally unacceptable. . [ Ref :”Zakir Naik A Crisis in the Making”]”
Maulana Salim Qasim has also been actively involved in opposition to the settying of Centre Madrasa Board. A report about a conference onm the issue says:
“The leading Islamic seminary of India, Darul Uloom Deoband convened an All India General Meeting of Rabta Madaris Islamia Arabia (Board of Islamic madrasas) in Deoband on 13, 14 May 2007 Sunday and Monday, in a bid to build a consensus on the Ministry of HRD’s ‘Central Madrasa Board’ proposal. The General Meeting was attended by more than 3500 delegates of 3000 Islamic madrasas from all over the country and unanimously passed the resolution that the proposed Madrasa Board is against the spirit of Islamic madrasas, therefore it is unacceptable. The huge response that this meeting received belied the government’s claim that it enjoyed the support of majority of the madrasas in forming the Board.
The meeting was held in three sessions in the grand marbled Rashid Mosque. The first session, on 13 May from 8 am to 12 pm, was presided over by Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, Mohtamim (Vice Chancellor) of Darul Uloom Deoband. The prominent participants who addressed the gathering were Maulana Muhammad Rabe Hasani (Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow), , Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasmi (Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband), Maulana Ghulam Rashool Khamosh (Gujrat), Maulana Nizamuddin General Secretary Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Mahmood Madani (General Secretary Jamiat Ulama Hind), Maulana Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani (Lucknow), Maulana Ameeduz Zaman (Tanzeem Abna-e-Qadeem, Dlehi), Maulana Abdullah Mughisi (Meerut), Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Wustanwi (Maharashtra), Maulana Ashhad Rashidi (Madrasa Shahi Moradabad), Maulana Abul Aleem Farooqui (Lucknow), Maulana Burhanuddin Sambhali, Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani (Varansi), Maulana Rahmatullah (Jammu & Kashmir) etc…..
Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasmi (Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband) said that under the disguise of modernization and reformation the proposal wants to kill the spirit the madrasas.” Source
“Maulana Qasmi has also called for the upgrading of the syllabi of Madrasas. A report quotes him saying:
“National Vice-President of All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Mohammad Salim Qasmi said that it is time to prepare proper syllabus for teaching of Quran that take into account strength and capabilities of the new generation. He added that this will benefit students in learning Quran and memorizing it earlier and in a short time. He appealed Madrasa authorities to take initiative in this regard.
Maulana Qasmi who is associated with Darul Uloom Wakf at Deoband said that there are students studying in schools and colleges who want to benefit from a better understanding of Quran. Ulema in Madrasa should work to find a solution for them, he said.
He was attending a congregation organized here on the completion of memorization of Quran by eight year old Mohammad Abrarul Haq. He said there is great joy on the memorization of Quran and it should be celebrated like people celebrate marriages and other important events. He said it should be celebrated by spending within the limits of his resources.” Source
He also took part in a seminar, which called for more rights for women in relation to Talaq proceedings, particularly in the matter of Khula.
He has also been involved in the deliberations of Muslim Personal Law Board on Babri Majid dispute.
Tayyab Trust Deoband under his guidance has also been actively involved in welfare activities such as distribution of blankets and other relief items. Source