The Deoband School (Darul Uloom Deoband) was set up in 1867 at Deoband, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh by Qasim Nanotvi and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Hasan Deobandi was a first students.
The real aim of this school was to reestablish contact between the alim (scholars) and the average Muslims and to reorientate the Muslim Community to its original cultural and religious identity.
At Deoband, a traditionalist course of studies was planned whereas modern science was being ignored. They believed that the modern physical or rational sciences (maqulat) could easily be learned in government institutions but the Muslim traditional sciences (manqulat) were declining. They wanted to build a bridge between Islamic and the modern western rationalist school. They hoped that a student, if he so wished, could join a modern school or university after completing his theological education at Deoband. Thus, Deoband School regarded itself as an institution, complementary and preliminary to modern westernised schools. However, this remained more theoretical than practical because the duration of the courses was too long, initially ten years and later six years. Its syllabus covered Arabic and Persian grammar, literature, history of Islam, logic, Arab philosophy, Kalam, dialectics, disputation, medieval geometry, astronomy Greco-Arab medicine, jurisprudence, the hadith and tafsir. The students were categorised by the textbooks they studied rather than the years of their study.
Deoband, though regarded as an orthodox Muslim educational institution, supported the Indian National Congress and freedom struggle. Its leaders, from Maulana Mahamud-al-Hasan to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad took active part in the freedom struggle and strongly opposed the two-nation theory of the Muslim League and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, on the basis of which Pakistan was created.