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DARUL ULOOM IS A “CITADEL” OF ISLAM: SAUDI ARABIA’S ISLAMIC AFFAIRS MINISTER

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slamic Affairs Minister, Saleh Al-Asheikh, has pledged to work closely with Darul Uloom Deoband, India’s oldest and most prestigious Islamic university. The minister was on a visit to India. The pledge to extend support to Deoband was given by Al-Asheikh during a ceremony organized in the minister’s honor by Deoband students and faculty members. After landing in a special helicopter at a helipad in Deoband, Al-Asheikh went around the campus, where he was briefed about the achievements of the 159-year-old Islamic seminary. The minister visited the King Khaled building on the campus. The minister was accompanied by a 12-member delegation, including Saudi

Ambassador to India, Saud Al-Saati. “My visit underlines the keenness of Riyadh to communicate with Muslims in various parts of the world, as well as to boost interaction between Muslims in the Kingdom, represented by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and India,” said Al-Asheikh. He describing Darul Uloom as a “citadel” of Islam. Ambassador Al-Saati said Darul Uloom made significant contribution in every sphere of life and its impact was visible in many parts of the world. Speaking to Arab News from Deoband, Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, the rector, said: “The visit has helped strengthen ties between the Kingdom and Deoband and between Saudi Arabia and India.”

Darul Uloom Deoband, which has over 4,000 students on its rolls, has always distanced itself from religious

There are around 200 million Muslims in India, and they are the largest minority in a country with a population of 1.2 billion. extremism, he said. “Al-Asheikh’s visit has also helped remove many misconceptions about Darul Uloom,” he added. Earlier, a five member delegation of Darul Uloom Deoband headed by Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, Mohtamim of Darul Uloom had paid an official visit to Riyadh in the first week of July 2013 on the invitation of Royal Saudi Family. During the meeting with the Darul Uloom delegation in July 2013, Mr. Saleh bin Abdul-Aziz Al ash-Sheikh said that Darul Uloom Deoband is one of the important and the biggest Islamic Institute of Asia, which is rendering its services towards the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah. There are around 200 million Muslims in India, and they are the largest minority in a country with a population of 1.2 billion. Deoband is a major Islamic institution, which has its affiliated schools in different parts of the world. It has produced a large number of renowned Islamic scholars.

26 EASTERN CRESCENT | APRIL 2014


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