1.Shah Waliullaah: in 1731 he was inspired in Makkah to replace the imperialist and corrupt system and replace it with a government based on the principles of equality and justice.
2.Tipu Sultan: he was martyred in the battle of Srirangapatnam on the 4th of May 1799.
3.Shah Abdul Azziz Dehlavi (1746-1824): he was the son of Shah Waliullaah (A.R.) and he issued this fatwa: ‘Our country has been enslaved. To struggle for independence and to put an end to the slavery is our duty.’
4.Sayed Ahmed Shaheed (1786-1831): he fought against the British for six years and was martyred in the Battle of Balakot.
5.Moulana Muhammad Ismail: was martyred, alongside 300 others, in the Battle of Balakot, fighting against the ally of the British imperialists.
6.Ulema of Sadiqpur: they fought in the frontier for two decades (1845-1871).
7.Fatawa on Jihaad in 1857: signed by 34 Ulema.
8.Moulana Qasim Nanautavi, Moulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Hafiz Zamin Shaheed: they fought against the British in the Shamli field (Saharanpur area) under the leadership of Haji Imdaadullaah.
9.The mutiny, called by the British as ‘Ghadar’, of 1857 failed – of the 200,000 martyed, 51,200 were Ulema. In Delhi, 500 Ulema were hanged.
10.Between 1864-1871 five cases called ‘the Wahabi Cases’ or ‘Ambala Conspiracy Case’ saw the accused sentenced to death or life imprisonment. Most of them were Ulema.
11.After defeat at Shamli, Moulana Qasim Nanautwi and other luminaries founded Darul Uloom Deoband in 1866.
12.Shaikul Hind Moulana Mahmudul Hasan: in 1877 he founded an organization called ‘Samaratul Tarbiyat’ (Results of Traning). The organization’s objective was to prepare an armed struggle against the British. It lasted for thirty years.
13.Shaikul Hind: In 1909 reorganized by forming ‘Jamiatul Ansaar’. Moulana Ubaidullaah Sindhi was called to Deoband to take charge of secretariat. Banned in 1913.
14.Reformed in Delhi under new name ‘Nazzaarul Ma’arif’. Lead by Shaikul Hind and Moulana Ubaidullaah Sindhi, aided by Moulana Abdul Kalaam Azad and Moulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar.
15.Formation of ‘Lashkar-e-Najat Dehinda’ (Liberation Army) with its headquarters in Madinah with its chief as Shaikul Hind. Its international set-up ‘Janooder Rabbaniyah’ (Army of Rabb) was formed.
16.‘Silk Letter Movement’ was disclosed in 1916. 222 Ulema were arrested. Many were arrested in Makkah on 23rd Safar 1355 AH. Sent to Malta via Cairo on 21 February 1917 for 3 years and 4 months. Released and reached Bombay on the 8th of June, 1920. See Aseeran Malta (Prisoners of Malta) for the list of Ulema-e-Deoband, like Shaikul Hind, Moulana Uzair Gul, Moulana Hussein Ahmed Madani, Moulana Ubaidullaah Sindhi, Moulana Mansoor Ansari and Hakim Syed Nusrat Husain.
17.The Indian National Congress was formed in 1885.
18.300 Ulema issued a fatwa against the British. This was published in a newspaper called ‘Nusratul Abrar’ and the weekly ‘Al-Hilal’ of Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad. Al-Hilal was a herald for the freedom struggle.
19.Jamiatul Ulama-e-Hind was formed in 1919 with Mufti Kifayatullaah as the first President.
20.Mufti Kifayatullaah and 20 other Ulema signed against participation in the victory celebrations organized by the British.
21.Shaikul Hind issued a fatwa supporting the non-cooperation movement in July 19, 1920.
22.A detailed ruling supporting the non-cooperation movement signed by 500 Ulema was published in ‘Al-Jamiat on October 29, 1920.
23.On September 18th 1921, Moulana Madani, Moulana Jawhar, Moulana Shawkat Ali, Moulana Nisar Kanpuri, Peer Ghulam Mujadid and Dr Saifudin Lacko were arrested for the publication and distribution of the fatwa of non-cooperation.
24.At the Jamiat conference in Lahore on November 18-20, 1921, Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad passed the resolution to ‘Boycott foreign goods’.
The Demand of Total Freedom:
25.At the 4th Jamiat Conference in December 1922, the resolution to ‘Boycott the Assemblies’ was passed under the presidency of Moulana Habeebur Rahman Usmani.
26.At the 5th Jamiat Conference in Coconada, January 1924, the resolution for the ‘Demand for complete Independence’ was passed under the presidency of Moulana Husain Ahmed Madani.
27.At the 6th Jamiat Conference in Calcutta, March 1926, the resolution for the ‘Complete freedom of India’ was passed under the presidency of Moulana Sayed Sulaiman Nadwi.
28.At the general meeting of Jamiat in Peshawar, December 1926, the resolution to oppose the ‘Simon Commision’ – a sentence from the resolution – ‘freedom is not given on a platter, you have to snatch it’ – sums up the mood of the freedom fighters. This was done under the presidency of Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri.
29.Jamiat criticized the ‘Nehru Project’ in Lucknow, 1928, which wanted autonomy under British rule; Congress wanted freedom.
30.Due to supporting Gandhi’s ‘Dandi’ many Ulema were arrested.
31.At the 9th Jamiat Conference in Amroha, May 1930, the resolution of alliance and full co-operation with Congress was passed. The resolution was moved by Moulana Hifzul Rahman and supported by Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madani and Moulana Ataullah Bukhari.
Civil Disobedience Movement:
32.In 1930, due to the ‘Civil Disobedience Movement’, the President and General Secretary of Jamiat, Mufti Kifayatullaah and Moulana Ahmed Saeed Dehlewi were arrested.
33.In 1932, the Jamiat were appointed as organizational arbitrator in the ‘Second Civil Disobedience Movement’.
34.‘Idara Harabia’ (A Center for Struggle) was set up by Moulana Abdul Mahazir Sajjad. Mufti Kifayatullaah was appointed its first arbitrator of Jamiat.
35.Mufti Kifayatullaah led a 100,000 strong men procession on March 11 1932 and gave himself up for arrest at Azad Park of Delhi. He stayed in jail for 18 months.
36.The second arbitrator, Moulana Husain Ahmed Madani, was arrested on his way to Delhi from Deoband.
37.Many Ulema were arrested. Most were jailed for 1-2 years. 90,000 were arrested, half of them Muslims and many of them Ulema.
38.Britian implemented their famous policy of ‘divide and rule’ in 1935. Election on the basis of proportional representation on religious basis. A Hindu was only allowed to vote for a Hindu and a Muslim was only allowed to vote for a Muslim. The result was bloodshed and the partition of India.
39.The ‘Muslim League’ was formed in 1906.
40.In the beginning, the Jamiat supported the Muslim League. Due to extremists on both sides, division occurred. Naturally, the British capitalized on this division.
41.Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind strongly opposed conscription during World War 2 (1935-45). Declared complete non-cooperation with the British in war efforts.
42.Moulana Mohammad Mian’s famous book ‘Ulama-e-Hind ka Sandar Maazi’ was banned and he was arrested.
43.The working committee of Jamiat termed the ban and arrest as a ‘tyrannous step’ on July 13/14 1940.
44.Many Ulema of note were arrested for their opposition of conscription and the British war efforts.
45.Moulana Madani was arrested on the 24th June 1940 for raising the call for India’s total independence. His sentence was 6 months.
46.Moulana Madani’s sentence was increased until the 22nd Agust 1944.
47.The working committee of Jamiat on 5th August 1942 adopted the resolution of ‘Quit India’.
48.Many leading Ulema of India were arrested.
49.Jamiat Ulema were not pro the idea of Pakistan.
50.The likes of Moulana Madani were victims of Muslim League violence.
The above is a glimpse and summary of the prominent role the Darul Uloom of Deoband and Shah Waliullaah played in freeing India. (Taken from ‘Recounting the untold History of Darul Uloom Deoband by Moulana Muhammad Burhanuddin)