The Darul Uloom Deoband — the body responsible for most of the fatwas that make it to the headlines — has a new vice-chancellor, and it’s good news: He is an MBA and has a contemporary view on issues.

Maulana Gulam Mohammad Vastanvi, a cleric who holds an MBA from Maharashtra and has been feted for introducing modern education at a madrassa in Akkalkuwa in Nandurbar, has been elected vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband.

He has gone so far as to praise Gujarat:

The new Darul Uloom vice-chancellor, Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, said “all communities” are prospering in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat and there was “no discrimination against the minorities in the state as far as development was concerned.” He was talking to TOI here on Tuesday.

That’s a welcome change in the rhetoric. And another reminder that only development works.


This comes days after the Deoband seminary issued fatwas against prophesying, against earning interest on money deposited in a bank and yet another if a person fails to quit smoking despite swearing by the Holy Quran.

Yep, these folks are professionals.

To their credit, there was a disclaimer — which didn’t affect the sensational headlines:

However, Deoband has already clarified that issuing fatwas is an attempt to resolve personal queries and that putting them into practice depends on individuals.

“In fact, fatwas are neither orders nor suggestions. Fatwas are mere answers to a question referring a particular situation or context as per the Quran and Hadis,” Maulana Khalid Rasheed of the Darul Uloom Farangimahal has said expressing concern over ‘fatwas’ often being misinterpreted.