Nadva-tul-Ulema Lucknow was established by Maulana Abdul Ghafoor, Maulana Shibli Naumani, and Maulana Abdul Haq in 1894.
Its establishment was necessitated by the fact that M.A.O Aligarh and Dar-Ul-Uloom Deoband had failed to produce Muslims equipped with Western knowledge and religious education. M.A.O College Aligarh stressed more upon the English language and the modern science subjects whereas Darl-Ul-Uloom Deoband neglected the modern western knowledge altogether. Consequently, the graduates of M.A.O College seriously lacked in religious education whereas Darl-Ul-Uloom Deoband produced many Sufis, Ulemas, and spiritual leaders.
Under these circumstances, Nadva aimed at producing the graduate well versed in both Western knowledge and religious education.
Nadva started functioning in 1898 and at the beginning faced financial difficulties which were removed with the progress of time. The nobles of Shah Jehan Pur provided land and then the State of Hyderabad in 1900 and Bhopal in 1905 fixed annual grants for this Muslim seat of learning. Later on, the government also sanctioned a monthly grant of 500 rupees for the Nadva.
Objectives of The Nadva
Nadva had the following objectives.
i) Nadva aimed at the reformation of the Muslims by producing graduates well-equipped with both Western and secular knowledge.
ii) One of its main objectives was the promotion of Islamic knowledge and thought.
iii) Nadva aimed at the reformation of the curriculum of Islamic education.
iv) To end the mutual differences of the Muslim religious scholars.
v) To work for the welfare of the Muslims.
vi) To evaluate Nadva to the status of Muslim seat of learning where students may be imparted the knowledge of the modern science subjects along with educational knowledge.
Syllabus Of the Nadva-tul-Ulema
In 1904, Maulana Shibli Naumani introduced revolutionary changes in the syllabus of the Nadva-tul-Ulema. Eight years-long period was fixed for the education from primary to a higher level. Tafseer and Hadith were given importance over Philosophy and Logic and more stress was laid upon the teaching English language and the modern Arabic knowledge. A committee comprising of Maulana Shibli Naumani, Maulana Abdul Hayee, and Maulana Abdul Qayum proposed the following syllabus for the Nadva.
i) Modern science subjects were introduced in place of Philosophy and Logic.
ii) Tafseer was granted importance.
iii) Hindi and Sanskrit were included.
iv) Shah Waliullah’s book “Hajjatul Baligah”, Imam Ghazali’s book “Iqtisa”, Al-Razi’s “Kitab Mualim Fi Asool-ud-Din” and Al-Rushd’s book “Kashful Walatah” were included in the syllabus.
Services Of The Nadva-Tul-Ulema
Nadva-Tul-Ulema Lucknow rendered invaluable services in the field of education and religion during the first quarter of the 20th century. Some of its services are as under:
i) Nadva modernized the Islamic educational syllabus and brought it in conformity with the contemporary requirements. Thus the Muslim students of Nadva acquired knowledge of modern subjects along with religious education.
ii) The teachers and students of Nadva wrote many important books.
iii) “Darul Musanafeen” Azamgarh was the product of Nadva movement. This institution rendered invaluable services for the promotion of the research work in Islamic knowledge and literature.
iv) Maulana Shibli Naumani who was the main force behind the Nadva Movement wrote many books and influences, contemporary writers.
v) “Al-Nadva” was the magazine of Nadva. It rendered the writings of the prominent scholars adorned its pages.
vi) Nadva-tul-Ulema Lucknow adopted a moderate syllabus which was the beautiful blend of Aligarh and Deoband syllabus. Thus the syllabus of Nadva possessed the ability to meet the challenges of the modern world.