May 9, 2020
Islamic seminaries, or madrasas, are places where Muslims study to become mosque leaders or generally learn more about Islam. The Deoband madrasa movement is equipping new leaders across the globe. Deobandis are Sunni; they don’t necessarily see themselves as a movement within Sunni Islam but may consider themselves the purest Sunni Muslims.
The first Deobandi madrasa started in Deoband, India, in 1866. The purpose of the madrasa was to preserve and protect Muslim culture, and they knew that one madrasa would not be enough to accomplish this goal. All graduates are equipped and encouraged to start new mosques or madrasas. There are currently over 100,000 Deobandi madrasas around the world—many in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and surrounding countries.
Over the past 40 years Deobandi madrasas have been started in South Africa, Australia, the UK, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA. They are all funded by their local Muslim community, and able to adapt their services to their context, for example, teaching in English and answering questions about the Muslim perspective on Christian holidays.
The fact that the first Deobandi madrasa started in a context where Muslims were trying to protect their faith and culture from wider outside influences means that Deobandi madrasas are well positioned to produce new Muslim leaders who will do the same.
IDEAS FOR PRAYER
1. BLESS THESE young Muslim leaders in the name of Jesus; ask that they would seek first the kingdom of God.
2. DEOBANDI MADRASAS are places of leadership within Muslim communities; ask that they would be places of wisdom, compassion and kindness.
3. PRAY THAT many leaders within the Deoband madrasa movement join with the Psalmist and say, “I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life! Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise.” (Psalm 119:40–41)
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