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Historical context and roots of Deobandi terrorism in Pakistan and India


Related posts: Why are Pashtun nationalists mute on Deobandi ideology and identity of TTP-ASWJ terrorists? – See more at:

The footprints of Deobandi militant jihad in India and Pakistan – by Maloy Krishna Dhar – See more at:

دار العلوم دیوبند کی جانب سے سنی بریلوی اور شیعہ مسلمانوں کے خلاف نفرت انگیز فتاویٰ – Deobandi fatwa against Sunni & Shia – See more at:

Role of Abdul Ghaffar Khan in the spread of Deobandi ideology in Pashtuns – See more at:

A research article on differences and similarities between Deobandis and Salafis/Wahhabis – See more at:

متحدہ ہندوستان میں شیعہ نسل کشی کی مختصر تاریخ – از وسعت الله خان – See more at:

Towards the end of the 16th century, a major challenge to puritanical Islam in India came in the form of religious policies of the Mughal Emperor, Jalaluddin Akbar (1556-1605), who endeavored to evolve a pluralistic religious order in India. Akbar was an open-minded Muslim and had built an ibadat khana (house of worship) in Fatehpur Sikri, his new capital, to hold interfaith discourses on Islamic issues. The quarrels and rivalries between the puritanical Musilm clerics and the ugly scenes created by them during the debate prompted Akbar to invite scholars and divines of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrians, Judaism and Christianity to make himself familiar with their views on theological questions. This profoundly influenced Akbar’s outlook on religion.

Already fed up with the puritanical Muslim clerics’s capacity to interfere with his administration. Akbar went on to undermine their authority by acquiring for himself the right to choose between different interpretations of shariah as `sultan-i-adil’ (just ruler), if the ulema failed to develop a consensus on any point of law. Coercive measures of extreme nature, including executions, were employed to silence the dissenting ulema. Akbar also wanted to expand the political base of the Mughal Empire by securing wider support of his non-Muslim subjects. All these factors combined to make him proclaim a religious order that meant to dilute Islamic beliefs in uncompromising monotheism and prophet-hood of Hazrat Mohammad (P.B.H.U.) and to modify Islamic rites and social customs. His religious order did not make any considerable headway but the heterodoxy reigned supreme in the court.

In the war of succession, the orthodox (mostly Sunni, Salafi) ulema sided with Jehangir (1605-1627), the son of Akbar, on the condition that he would take steps to restore the power of orthodoxy in the court. Shaikh Ahmed of Sirhind (1564-1624), bestowed with the title of Mujahddid-i-Alf-i-Sani (the river of the religion in the first millennium), set in motion a process that culminated in the reign of Aurangzeb Alamgir (1658-1707), the most orthodox, pious and practicing Mughal Emperor. The sheikhs (divines) of the Mujaddidi order of Sufism, founded by Shaikh Ahmed of Sirhind, exercised tremendous influences on him. Not only Alamgir compiled Fatawa-u-Alamgiri, he re-imposed jizya (a tax on non-Muslims for protection under Muslim rule) that had been suspended by Akbar, destroyed some Hindu temples and checked proselytizing activities of the Hindus. Since the Sikhs, the Marathas and the Jats posed a formidable threat to the Mughal authority, Alamgir had no option but to resort to military means to restore the writ of the central government. Although Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi (Mujaddil Alf Sani) believed in Sufism, in practice he was extremely sectarian and prejudiced. He got killed key Shia and Hindu scholars through his influnece on Alamgir.

After the death of Alamgir, the Mughal Empire, faced with internal disorder due to his sectarian policies, headed for disintegration. In the east, the British East India Company expanded its domain and, in the west, the Sikhs and Marathas got firmly entrenched and often devastated Muslim life and property. Indian Muslims were bewildered, demoralized and displayed all signs of decay.

It was in this backdrop that an orthodox Sunni (quasi-Salafi) cleric Shah Waliullah (1703-1762) launched his movement for the reformation of Muslim society and the restoration of Islam’s political ascendancy in India. A thorough pan-Islamist at heart, he invited the Muslim ruler of Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Abdali, to overcome the growing Maratha rebellion and also to curb Shia Muslims. Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan not only killed many Hindus but also Shias, thus Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi, Shah Waliullah and Ahmed Shah Abdali may be seen as pioneers of later Deobandi-led anti-Shia Takfiri movement in the subcontinent. In the meantime, the Nawab of Bangal, Sirajudduallah, was defeated by the British intrigues in the Battle of Plassey 1757 and the East India Company made itself the master of Bengal. The British success in the Battle of Buxer 1764 brought the British closer to Delhi.

Shah Abdul Aziz (1746-1824), the eldest son of Shah Waliullah, was a witness to the establishment of de facto British authority in Delhi in early 19th century. Shah Abdul Aziz issued a Jihadi fatwa (religious decree) that; since the real power was vested in the British and the Mughal Emperor was no more effective in his own domain, India had become a darul harb (land of war). The fatwa implied that it was obligatory for the Muslims either to wage jihad to restore the supremacy of Islam in India or to migrate to some place where shariah was supreme. The Britishers were discreet enough not to interfere with the day-to-day religious observances of the Muslims unlike the Sikhs who ruled the Punjab and parts of the N.W.F.P. (Khyber Pakhtunkwha province of Pakistan).

Shah Abdul Aziz impressed upon Syed Ahmed Shaheed (1786-1831) to organize a violent jihad against the Sikhs. Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barelvi (not to be confused with Barelvi/Sufi sect) received wide spread support in northern and eastern India for the mission assigned to him. Making the northwestern frontier region his base, he waged a jihad to liberate the Muslims of the Punjab from the Sikh yoke. The military engagements continued from 1826 to 1831 but the misgivings between his Pathan and non-Pathan disciples made him militarily weak. His haste in imposing the so-called `puritan’ version of Islam without taking into consideration the local customs and sectarian differences undermined his appeal in the region.

He fell a victim to the treachery of local tribesmen who did not subscribe to his sectarian views about non-Jihadis, non-Salafis and was killed by the Sikhs along with hundreds of his troops in Balakot in 1831. At about the same time, Haji Shariatullah (1768-1840) and Titu Mir (1782-1832) declared that Bengal had become darul harb and raised the banner of jihad against Hindu landlords who persecuted the Muslim peasants and interfered with their religion.

The Islamist (quasi-Salafi) mujahideen were disheartened by the failure of these movements but the spirit of jihad was not completely extinguished. During, what is known as the sepoy mutiny of 1857, the remnants of the mujahidden of north India continued their mission to
inculcate the spirit of jihad spirit. The British imprisoned, hanged or sent into exile several of the ulema to overcome the threat.

The dichotomy in Muslim response to the establishment of the British rule was very conspicuous in the aftermath of the 1857 revolt. The traditionalist Sunni and Salafi ulema, who derived inspiration from Shah Waliullah and Shah Abdul Aziz, decided to reconsider their tactics. They founded a dar-ul-uloom (house of learning) in Deoband, a small town in northern India, in 1867, under the leadership of Maulana Mohammad Qasim Nanawtawi with a view to impart higher learning in Islamic theology and to work for the revival of Islam’s political fortune in India. The Daru Uloom Deoband was in fact a continuation of the violent, sectarian, Jihadist legacy of Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi, Shaha Waliullah, Ahmed Shah Abdali and Syed Ahmed Shaheed.

The Salafi-Wahhabi and semi-Deobandi influences also started becoming visible in the North Western Fronter Province (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). Here, from nearly a century and a half ago, a stark warning of the emergence of a “mischievous nest of fanatical conspiracy” – a Salafi and Deobandi nest whose beliefs are similar to those of the Taliban and Al Qaeda – around the northwestern frontier of British-ruled India and Afghanistan. That is to say, modern Pakistan.

Wahhabi Fanatics Reported on the Afghan Frontier Feb. 13, …1872


Witness to the failure of the Salafi and Deobandi zealots, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan a reformist, adopted an entirely different line, and set up a modern Aligarh Muslim University. He advocated to the Muslims compete on merit, repudiation of pan-Islamism, non-involvement in violent politics, emphasis on learning of English language and physical sciences and fresh interpretation of the Holy Quran in the light of scientific observations. Sir Syed declared India as darul aman (land of peace) where Muslim life and property were secure and they enjoyed religious freedom. India being darul aman, neither jihad nor migration to darul Islam was obligatory. Encouraged by the British, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was able to enlist the support of the upper class Muslims and exercised considerable influence till his death in 1898.

In the meantime, Maulana Nanawtawi, the head of Darul uloom Deoband, died in 1880 and was succeeded by Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi. Maulana Gangohi issued a fatwa to the effect that in worldly matters cooperation with the Hindus was permissible provided it did not violate the fundamental principles of Islam. The followers of Deoband were encouraged by this fatwa to join the Indian National Congress and thereby come into mainstream politics. The former associates of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and other conservative Muslims formed the All India Muslim League in 1906.

In 1905, a more dynamic Deobandi cleric, Maulana Mahmood-ul-Hasan, succeeded Maulana Gangohi as the head of the Darul Uloom Deoband. Maulana Hasan was a pan-Islamist to the core and a staunch anti-imperialist. In the wake of the First World War, he actively involved himself in organizing violent activities against the British government in India. He was arrested and incarcerated in Malta.

After the First World War ended, the terms offered to the Ottoman Khalifa (Caliph) under the Treaty of Sevres were extremely harsh. The orthodox Deobandi and Salafi Muslims considered the Khailafat (Caliphate) as an institution that was divinely ordained and a product of ijma (consensus) of the companions of the Prophet of Islam. The continuation of the Khailifat, therefore, was an article of faith with the Muslims and they were obliged to make a common cause with the Hindus who, under the leadership of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, were already agitating for political rights and liberties. In this backdrop, Jamiat-i-Ulemia-i-Hind (association of the Deobandi religious scholars of India) was founded in 1919 with a membership that came predominantly from the ulema of Deoband. In due course it assumed the role of political wing of the Darul Uloom Deoband. The Khilafat Conference, a body exclusively formed to promote the cause of Khilafat, had a more diverse and varied membership. The Khilafat and Non-cooperation movements launched jointly by the Jamiat-I-Ulema-i-Hind, the Khilafat Conference and the Indian National Congress electrified the masses in a manner unprecedented in Indian history. Religious appeal led to mass mobilization and the British government found it next to impossible to contain the agitation. Some Deobandi ulema revived the violent Jihadi fatwa of India being darul harb and called upon the Muslims to migrate to Afghanistan.

After accepting a few thousand Indian Muslims Afghanistan declined to give shelter to more. Hundreds of Muslims perished due to the hardship of travel and weather. Gandhi called off the Deobandi Khalifat movement when it turned violent and twenty-two policemen were burnt alive by a mob. During the agitation the Moplahs (a Deobandi Arab community of peasant) of Malabar Coast proclaimed their local khilafat and offered the Quran or sword to Hindu landlords and British officers. The government had to deploy troops to crush the Moplah revolt. The ultimate casualty of the involvement of religion in politics was communal harmony in India with some Muslim and Hindu extremists urging the youth of their respective communities to get marital training.

In the aftermath of the Deobandi-led Khilafat movement the Muslims League emerged as the principal political organization of the Indian Muslims and in 1940 demanded the partition of the sub-continent. It identified Pakistan slogan with Islam to capture the imagination of common Muslims and to mesmerize them with romanticism of Islam’s past glory.

A small faction of Deobandi Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind broke away from its parent organization to support the Pakistan demand whereas the main body opposed the partition on the ground that it would divide Indian Muslims without solving the communal question. This small faction was led by Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani (Deobandi) who was lured by Liaquat Ali Khan to help Muslim League in Islamizing (Deobanizing) Pakistan. Shabbir Usmani played a key role in the Objectives Resolution which set in place the transition of Pakistan towards a Deobandi and Salafi-led puritanical society.

In the mid 1940s, Syed Abul Aala Mauddodi founded his Jamaa’ at-i-Islami. In many respect the Jama-at-i-Islami was inspired by the Ikhwan-ul-Muslamoon of the Middle East, and its ideas were an amalgamation of Deobandis and Salafis. It too opposed the partition of the subcontinent and expressed the view that the leadership of the Muslim League lacked the essential qualities required to establish an Islamic State.

After the emergence of Pakistan in 1947, the break away faction of the Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind, which adopted the name of Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam, and Jamat-i-Islami became the harbinger of the movement to establish Islamic Deobandi theocracy in the country.

In 1957 the Jamat-i-Islami opted for electoral politics to implement its version of Islamic system through constitutional means. Jamiat-i-Islami’s appeal remained confined to a section of intelligentsia and student community and it performed very dismally in the national elections of 1970. It was in the wake of military action in former East Pakistan that the Jama’at sponsored militant groups, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, fought along with the Pakistan Armed Forces against the Mukti bahini (liberation army) and Indian aggressors.

The Deobandi Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam also failed to make its mark on national level and its appeal remained largely confined to the North West Frontier Province and Balochistan in the elections of 1970.

The Jama’at-i-Islami was a nuisance for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto during his rule from late 1971 to mid 1977. Bhutto agreed to declare Islam as the state religion of Pakistan in the constitution of 1973 and Ahmedis as a minority under the pressure of religious parties. He also used several religion-related gimmicks to establish his Islamic credentials with the masses. However, after the charges of rigging in the elections of 1977. Bhutto could not withstand the onslaught in which the students belonging to Islami Jamiat-i-Talba, the student wing of Jama-at-i-Islami, and Deobandi madrassah students belonging to Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam were in the forefront. The middle class bazaar people of the urban areas, under considerable influence of Jama’at-i-Islami, also played a crucial role in the downfall of Bhutto. The finest hour for the Jama’at came when marital law was imposed on 5 July 1977.

The Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan on 27 December 1979 offered unique opportunity to the United States to weaken its principal adversary, and to General Zia to prolong his obscurantism rule. A resistance movement imbedded with Islamic fervor appeared to be the most effective counter-measure to bleed the Soviets.

The Pakistan ISI and the American CIA masterminded the formation, logistics and action plan of the mujahideen outfits. They secured services of the Deobandi and Salafi mujahideen of Jama-at-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam for inculcating the spirit of jihad and recruiting rank and file to fight what was primarily an American war. Foreign Salafi/Wahabi elements, including Egyptians, Palestinians and Saudis, were inducted in the mujahideen groups.

The mujahideen movement thus became a meeting point for Islamic Deobandi and Salafi militants of Afghanistan. Pakistan and the Middle East. The United States, without any scruples, promoted and used Islamic militancy to defeat the Evil Empire. Generally the people from Pakistan and abroad professed and practiced the Puritan Schools of Islamic Shariah, where the Jehad is a practiced article of faith.

Excepts from :

Deobandi Islam is the most popular form of pedagogy in the Pashtun belt on both sides of the Durand Line that separates Afghanistan and Pakistan. Moreover, prominent Afghan and Pakistani Taliban leaders have studied in Deobandi seminaries. This article explains the history of Deobandi Islam, shows how Deobandi Islam in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been influenced by Saudi Wahhabism, and finally looks at the role of Deoband today.

In 1867, Darul Uloom was founded in the town of Deoband as one of the first major seminaries to impart training in Deobandi Islam.

The Deobandi movement became the most popular school of Islamic thought among Pashtuns living on both sides of the Durand Line. Many prominent Pashtun community leaders established Deobandi seminaries in these areas. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan), a prominent Pashtun leader, was instrumental in establishing several schools based on Deobandi curriculum in the Pashtun belt.[10] (This also partly explains why some Pashtun nationalists who frequently and at times legitimatelly blame Saudi Salafi ideology and Punjabi military establishment remain almost silent on Deobandi roots of terrorism in KP and FATA.) In other parts of British India, however, they faced competition from other Islamic schools, primarily Sunni Barelvi Islam. Sunni Barelvi/Sufi Islam, for example, remains the most popular Islamic school in what is now India and Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab Provinces.

Deobandi sub-sect committed to a “correct” or puritanical interpretation of Shari`a (Islamic law). Deobandi students become alim (religious scholars) after an eight-year-long course in various aspects of Islamic learning such as logic, Islamic jurisprudence, the Qur’an, the history of literature and the hadiths. Deobandi scholars are opposed to certain Barelvi practices, such as visiting the tombs of saints and celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (Milad). Their opposition to these practices, however, is at at times as rigid when compared to Ahl-e-Hadith, which follows a more narrow interpretation of Islam. In that respect, Ahl-e-Hadith is similar to Saudi Wahhabism, although it remains of South Asian origin.

In 1947, British India was partitioned into Pakistan (which included present-day Bangladesh) and India. The separation caused the migration of someleading Deobandi scholars to Pakistan. This included Mufti Mahmood, the father of Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, the former president of a faction of Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Islam. Moreover, Mufti Mahmood, an ethnic Pashtun, became the chief minister of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province in 1972 for nine months.

The looming war against the Soviet Union only led to a rise in enrollment in Deobandi seminaries in the Pashtun areas of Pakistan. During the late 1970s, for example, Deobandi seminaries in the Pashtun belt received state patronage. According to a World Bank report, enrollment in Deobandi seminaries increased after 1979, coinciding with the start of the Afghan jihad against the Soviets. Pashtuns played a major role in the Afghan jihad, and a large number of these fighters were drawn from Deobandi seminaries. In addition to American and Saudi money helping to support the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia infused Deobandi seminaries with Wahhabi ideology. The Saudis targeted Deobandi Islam because it was the most popular Islamic school in the Pashtun belt. Ahl-e-Hadith, for example, had a weak presence in the Pashtun belt,[11] and Wahhabis considered certain Sunni Barelvi practices—such as visiting mausoleums—as anti-Islamic and heretical. Some Pakistan-based scholars, such as Akbar Zaidi, have argued that Deobandi Islam in Pakistan and Afghanistan has moved away from its roots in India due to a number of factors, one of which is the influence of Saudi Wahhabism.[12]

The Soviet Union eventually withdrew from Afghanistan, and Deobandi became the religious base for much of the Taliban movement that ruled Afghanistan until 2001. Many Taliban leaders and fighters studied in Deobandi seminaries, many of which were funded by Saudi Arabia and at leasst partly influenced by Wahhabism. Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban, is the product of a Deobandi seminary. Moreover, the top bracket of the current Taliban leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan studied in Deobandi seminaries on both sides of the Durand Line. Even Hakimullah Mehsud, the slain commander of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, studied in a Deobandi seminary in Hangu District of the North-West Frontier Province, although he left his studies early.[13]

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Ali Abbas Taj is the Editor of Let Us Build Pakistan.
@aliabbastaj on Twitter


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  • For the information of writer, Afghan society has never been a sectarian society. You can have its account of history through the window of Buddhism centered in Bamyan and Zoroastrians of Balkh. That firmly shows the Aryans/Afghans/Pashtoons having their passage through the ocean of history.

    Even today in our homes our mothers and families celebrate both the 12th Rabi ul Awal and the Muhram/Ashora period in a very soft way. It shows Afghans are never the hardliner Islamist [here I separate politicized Islam of the Saudi/Wahabi/Salafi/Ikhwani fabric assisted by Punjab’s and US spy agencies & professionals. Who are using Islam as a political tool to invade the world. And another is peaceful Islam a religion of Afghans for last 14 centuries] masses.

    The writer never get me agreed that Ahmed Shah Abdali was part of the group/faction who were hardliner Deobandis. If he was having such intentions he would have practiced them at his homeland Afghanistan instead of having a hit at their backs in Indian sub-continent. Again I will have him the peaceful father of Afghans who have never fought on the basis of sects.

    I doubt the writer is having a complete soft corner for the Pakistani state responsible to engineer new form of bacteria in their laboratory of terrorism production which are LeJ/ASWJ involved in bomb blasts and killing of Shia sect/the Shia radical groups involved in target killing [both the groups are active in the Pashtoon Afghan motherland Quetta, Parachenar, Gilgit Baldistan, Peshawar and Karachi Hyder Abad]. I mean the biggest population of these two sects having their centers in Punjab are yet having soft looking at each other.

  • From facebook (Abdul Nishapuri)

    From the Banu Umayya tribe of Arabian peninsula to the Pashtun tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan, it is not the Arab or Pashtun ethnicity which is to be blamed. It is the violent, intolerant ideology (Sufyanism of Umayyads, Takfirism of Khawarij, Salafism of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Deobandism of Pakistan/India) that is responsible for brutal beheadings, organ-eatings and graphic inhumanities against non-Deobandi, non-Salafi Muslims and non-Muslims. Those who are ignoring the inherent violent nature of the Salafi and Deobandi ideologies are missing the whole point. Of course, the US, Saudi and Pakistani intelligence agencies played a key role in prostituting the Deobandi and Salafi ideologies and clerics for their strategic agendas but the very selection of these prostitutes was not a coincidence.


    In Quetta, they try to hijack it as Hazara genocide, in Karachi, they try to hijack it as Muhajir genocide, in KP and FATA, they try to hijack it as Pashtun genocide. Why is it so difficult to admit that there is a country-wide Shia genocide by Deobandi terrorists of all ethnic backgrounds (including Pashtuns, Punjabis, Balochs etc), the same takfiri Deobandi terrorists (variously named as TTP, ASWJ, LeJ, JeM etc) who are also killing Sunni Barelvis, moderate Deobandis, Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis etc. Only today, three Shia professionals were target killed in two separate incidents in Karachi while yesterday in Kohat at least 10 Shia Muslims were butchered along with two ordinary/moderate Deobandis by the Deobandi ASWJ-TTP terrorists. Also today, there was an attack on Iran’s consulate in Peshawar and the sectarian motives of the attack were clearly stated by the perpetrator Major Mast Gul Deobandi of ASWJ-ISI. There is a consistent attempt by many right-wingers (Islamists) and secular activists to hide, dilute or rationalize the common Deobandi identity of terrorists across Pakistan. It is not in Pashtun or Punjabi ethncity, the evil resides in Deobandi ideology which is now as intolerant and violent as is the Saudi Salafi-Wahhabi ideology.


    There’s a difference between “almost all terrorists are Deobandis” and “all Deobandis are terrorists”.

    We do NOT claim that all Deobandis are terrorists. Nor do we say that they are only killing Shias. We say that in almost all incidents of Shia genocide and Sunni Barelvi genocide, Deobandi terrorists are involved. They are also a dominant player in massacres of other communities. For example, Deobandi terrorists were involved in the Ahmadiyya massacre in Lahore (May 2010) and Christian massacres in Lahore (2008-13) and Peshawar (2013). They also kill those very few Deobandi clerics who challenge TTP or ASWJ’s power, discourse or agendas. When ordinary Deobandi folks are killed in the streets or markets by Deobandi terrorists, they are not killed due to their faith. When Shias, Sunni Barelvis, Christians or Ahmadis are killed, they are specifically targetted due to their faith.

    Statistical data proves that Deobandis have the most dominant role in terrorism.

    “The network of sectarian violence in Pakistan has its roots in the Deobandi sect. Syed Ejaz Hussain, who is a deputy inspector general of police, for his doctoral thesis in criminology at the University of Pennsylvania analysed the demographic and religious characteristics of the 2,344 terrorists arrested between 1990 and 2009 in Pakistan*. These terrorists were the ones whose cases were forwarded to the courts after the police were satisfied of their guilt based on their preliminary investigation. The sectarian breakdown of the arrested terrorists revealed that more than 90 per cent were of the Deobandi sect. An ethnic breakdown revealed that 35 per cent arrested terrorists were Pashtuns who in fact make up only 15 per cent of Pakistan’s population.”

    Unless this data is replaced by a more credible data, we will have to use it. Anecdotal evidence to contrary has limited value.

    Moreoever, the victim communties’ (Sunni Barelvis and Shias in particular) own accounts or/and databases too point towards the Deobandi identity of perpetrators of violence. Check for example the Shia genocide database maintained by Shaheed Foundation, SK, LUBP etc. The Subalterns do speak!

    Lastly, some friends assert that “The fact is not all Deobandis are involved in this genocide.” Our question is: are all Sunnis or all Salafis/Wahabis involved in this genocide? Is there a more precise identifier and marker than Deobandi terrorists (or takfiri Deobandi terrorists)?

    Can anyone enlighten, please?

  • متحدہ ہندوستان میں شیعہ نسل کشی کی مختصر تاریخ – از وسعت الله خان –

    دیوبندی اور وہابی تشدد پسندی بمقابلہ سنی بریلوی اور شیعہ

    انیس سو سینتالیس میں جن علاقوں میں پاکستان بنا وہاں صوبہ سرحد کو چھوڑ کر ہر جگہ سنی بریلوی مکتبہِ فکر کے پیروکاروں کی اکثریت تھی ۔چونکہ بریلوی مسلک میں تصوف کو خاصی اہمیت حاصل ہے اور تصوف کا روحانی سلسلہ حضرت علی سے شروع ہوتا ہے ۔لہذا بریلویوں اور اہلِ تشیع کے درمیان کم و بیش مذہبی رواداری کی فضا ہی رہی۔البتہ دیگر مکاتیبِ فکر بمقابلہ شیعہ مکتبِ فکر ایسی صورتِ حال نہ تھی

    شاہ ولی اللہ اور محمد بن عبدالوہاب سترہ سو تین عیسوی ہیں جزیرہ نما عرب میں محمد بن عبدالوہاب اور ہندوستان میں شاہ ولی اللہ کی پیدائش ہوئی۔ دونوں نے اگلے تین سو برس میں مسلمان دنیا پر گہرے نقوش چھوڑے۔ شاہ ولی اللہ کی تعلیمات نے ان کی وفات کے سو برس بعد دیوبند مکتبِ فکر کی صورت اختیار کی اور محمد بن عبدالوہاب کی دین کو تمام علتوں سے پاک کرنے کی تحریک و تشریح نے ایک طرف خاندانِ سعود کی فکری تعمیر کی اور دوسری طرف خالص پن کے نظریے نے شدت اختیار کرتے کرتے سلفی رخ لے لیا جس نے آگے چل کر تکفیری فلسفے کی شکل میں القاعدہ کو جنم دیا اور پھر اس دھارے میں دیگر شیعہ مخالف دھارے بھی ملتے چلے گئے

    شاہ ولی اللہ دہلوی شاہ عبدالرحیم کے صاحبزادے تھے اور شاہ عبدالرحیم اورنگ زیب عالمگیر کے فتاویِ عالمگیری کے مرتبین میں شامل تھے۔جب شاہ ولی اللہ نے آنکھ کھولی تو ہندوستان میں مغل سورج ڈوب رہا تھا۔ شاہ ولی اللہ نے لگ بھگ دس برس کا عرصہ عرب میں گذارا۔ اگرچہ انکی محمد بن عبدالوہاب سے براہِ راست ملاقات نہیں ہوئی تاہم دونوں کے کچھ اساتذہ مشترک ضرور رہے۔ شاہ ولی اللہ ہندوستان میں مسلمانوں کے سیاسی و حکومتی زوال پر خاصے مضطرب تھے ۔انہوں نے اہلِ سنت کے چاروں مکاتیب میں فکری و فقہی ہم آہنگی کی پرزور وکالت کی تاہم فقہِ جعفریہ اس ہم آہنگی سے خارج رکھا گیا۔ انہوں نے مختلف مذہبی موضوعات و مسائل پر اکیاون تصنیفات رقم کیں۔ ایک کتاب قرت العینین میں اہلِ تشیع کو کمزور عقیدے کا فرقہ ثابت کیا گیا

    شاہ ولی اللہ نے احمد شاہ ابدالی کو ہندوستان پر حملہ آور ہونے کی جو دعوت دی اس کا مدعا و مقصد نہ صرف بڑھتی ہوئی مرہٹہ طاقت کا زور توڑنا بلکہ دہلی سے رافضی اثرات ختم کرنا بھی تھا۔چنانچہ جب ابدالی حملہ آور ہوا تو اس نے دہلی میں اہلِ تشیع کو بطورِ خاص نشانہ بنایا۔ شاہ ولی اللہ کے صاحبزادے شاہ عبدالعزیز محدث دہلوی بھی بلند پایہ عالم تھے لیکن اثنا عشری عقائد کے بارے میں انکے خیالات اپنے والد کی نسبت زیادہ سخت تھے ۔اس کا اندازہ انکی تصنیف تحفہِ اثنا عشریہ پڑھ کے بھی ہوسکتا ہے

    جہاں تک ہندوستان میں وہابی عقائد کی ترویج کا معاملہ ہے تو ان کی اشاعت بہت بعد میں شروع ہوئی اور پہلا اہم مرکز ریاست بھوپال بنا جب محمد بن عبدالوہاب کے افکار سے متاثر ایک سرکردہ عالم صدیق علی خان کی انیسویں صدی کی آخری چوتھائی میں بھوپال کی حکمراں شاہجہاں بیگم سے شادی ہوئی اور وہابی فکر کو ریاستی سرپرستی میسر آگئی تاہم بریلوی اور دیوبندی مکتبِ فکر کو ہندوستان کی سرزمین جتنی راس آئی ویسی مقبولیت وہابی نظریات کو حاصل نا ہوسکی۔ البتہ آزادی کے بعد شیعہ سنی تعلقات کے تناظر میں وہابی و دیوبندی مکتبِ فکر نے عمومی زہن پر مخصوص اثرات مرتب کیے وقت گذرنے کے ساتھ ساتھ آج تک وہ اثرات کس کس شکل میں ظاہر ہوئے ہیں۔یہ کوئی راز نہیں ہے۔

    See more at:

  • “He (Wali Ullah) appealed to Najib-ud-Daulah, Nizamul Mulk and Ahmad Shah Abdali – all three the upholders of condemned system – to intervene and restore the pristine glory of Islam. It is amazing that he should have placed his trust in Ahmad Shah Abdali, who had ravaged the fairest provinces of the Mogul empire, had plundered the Hindus and Muslims without the slightest compunction and above all, who was an upstart without any root among his own people” (History of the Freedom Movement of India, volume I, 1970, page 180).

    Even though the defeat of Marathas by Abdali could not halt the sliding decline of Mogul Empire, it made Wali Ullah the hero of Indian Muslims and he emerged as main inspiring force for Muslim politics in this country. His Islamic thought was regarded as saviour of the faith and its impact left a deep imprint on Indian Muslim psyche, which continues to inspire them even today. Almost all the Muslim organisations in this country directly or indirectly draw their political inspiration from Wali Ullah.

    Wali Ullah died in 1762 but his son Abd al Aziz (1746-1823) carried his mission as a result India faced violent communal disorder for decades. Considering Indian subcontinent no longer Dar-ul-Islam (A land, where Islam is having political power) and British rule as Dar ul-Harb (A land, where Islam is deprived of its political authority), he laid emphasis on jehadi spirit of the faith. Saiyid Ahmad (1786-1831) of Rai Bareli a trusted disciple of Abd al Aziz launched jehad on the Sikh kingdom but got defeated and killed in battle of Balkot in May 1831. Tired with their failures in re-establishing Muslim rule the followers of Wali Ullah preferred to keep their movement in suspended animation for decades, when the Britishers established their firm grip on this country.

    The Sepoy mutiny of 1857 was a turning point in the history of Islamic fundamentalism in India. With its failure Indian Muslims lost all hopes to restore Muslim power in India. But successive Ulama in their attempt to keep the movement alive turned towards institutionalised Islamic movement. Some prominent followers of Salfi/Wahhabi movement like Muhammad Qasim Nanutvi and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi drew furter inspiration from the religio-political concept of Waliullah and set up an Islamic Madrassa at Deoband in U.P. on May 30, 1866, which grew into a higher Islamic learning centre and assumed the present name of Dar-ul-Uloom (Abode of Islamic learning) in 1879. Since then, Dar-ul-Uloom, which is more a movement than an institution has been carrying the puritanical tradition of Shah Waliullah and is a semi-Salafi/Wahabi movement inspired by Saudi Salafis.

    His insistence for not diluting the cultural identity of Arab in a Hindu-majority environment shows that his so-called reform of Islam was only for a political motive. His obsession to extreme Sunnism, modern Deobandism/Wahabism, is welll known.

    Contrary to his projected image of a reformer, Wali Ullah like other militant group of Islamic intellectuals did not appreciate any cultural and social reconciliation with non-Muslims in an integrated society. His communal bias against the political rise of non-Muslim powers like Maratha, Jat and Sikh goes against the theory that Wali Ullah was a Muslim thinker for Islamic moderation. His exclusivist theory favouring political domination of his community all over the world with starting point in India vindicates this point. In the background of his hate-Hindu political move, Wali Ullah may not stand the scrutiny of being a Muslim thinker for rational evaluation of Islam and its moderation.

    Combination of Deobandi and Salafi/Wahabi extremism and religio-political strategy of Wali Ullah has become the main source of inspiration for Islamic terrorism as we see today in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. So long the Muslim leaders and intellectuals do not come forward and re-evaluate the eighteenth century old interpretation of faith (Deobandi and Salafi ideology), any remedy for resolution of on going emotional disorder in society is a remote possibility. It is the social obligation of intellectuals to bluntly identify and confront the Deobandi and Salafi roots of terroism and awaken the moral and economic strength of entire society without any religious or sectarian prejudice.

  • Deobandi Islamist militancy in Bangladesh and counter-narrative – by Muhammad Nurul Huda – See more at:

    The footprints of Deobandi militant jihad in India and Pakistan – by Maloy Krishna Dhar – See more at:

    بریلوی مسلک وہابی-دیوبندی نظریاتی یلغار کے نشانے پر ہے -برطانوی اخبار گارڈین – See more at:

    A research article on differences and similarities between Deobandis and Salafis/Wahhabis – See more at:

    Role of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in the spread of Deobandi ideology in Pashtuns – See more at:

    Historical context and roots of Deobandi terrorism in Pakistan and India

  • Don’t be surprised…!!!
    Syed Ahmad Shaheed’s(d.1831) mujahideens had done the same in Peshawar and other areas back in 19th century. Forceful conversion, marrying and raping Pashtun girls, lynching and terrorizing the local population. Same were the teachings of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi aka Mujadid Alf Sani. You were taught in Pak Studies that these people were ‘peaceful’. Reality is different. So basically, the Peshawar Massacre(16 Dec, 2014) is justified by the state ideology. Pakistan Zindabad.