This was not the first time that Shaikh Shuraim visited India, but this time it was special due to his historic visit to Darul Uloom Deoband. The Imam of Ka'ba, Shaikh Abu Ibrahim Sa'ud ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ash-Shuraim An-Najdi visited Darul Uloom Deoband on 4 March 2012 Sunday. He arrived in Darul Uloom Deoband via helicopter and landed at helipad around 1 O'clock where he was warmly received by Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani Mohtamim Darul Uloom Deoband and others.
Darul Uloom organized a reception function at his visit in the grand Masjid Rashid. Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani presented him Words of Thanks. In his address, Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani presented a brief but comprehensive introduction of Darul Uloom and the services of its elders. He specially mentioned the exclusive contact between Deoband and Hejaz and their spiritual and academic exchanges. Apart from the elderly Ulama who migrated to Hejaz and settled there, he mentioned Madrasa Saulatia in Makkah and Madrasa al-Uloom al-Shar’iah in Madinah that were among the pioneer Islamic seminaries established on Arabian soil by the Ulama of Deoband. Madrasa Saulatia was founded by Maulana Rahmatullah Kairanwi (1818-1891) in Makkah in 1868 while the Madrasa al-Uloom al-Shar’iah was established in Madinah by Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Faizabadi (1876-1939). These madrasas, specially the latter one, was considered one of the greatest institutes of learning till early Saudi reign and produced great personalities and leaders in the Arabian peninsula.
The Imam also addressed the gathering in Arabic for about 15 minutes and admired Deoband for its important role in the cause of Islam. Shaikh Shuraim said he was glad to learn that his visit schedule included to visit Deoband about which he used to listen often. He stated that there was no mentioning of Indian Muslims and their academic activities but this old Islamic University Darul Uloom Deoband was also mentioned. He said: “In fact, I don’t remember anyone talked about India or the Islamic activities in India but he reaches to this University. Any talk about India and Muslims activities in India which does not have the mention of the activities of this University and efforts and services it offers in India and other countries in is injustice and intentional avoidance. This Jamia is very famous known from older days, it is known by those in India as well as by outsiders. So, praise be to Allah who enabled me to visit it.”
He conveyed a message of peace and unity for the Indian Muslims. The Imam invited the students and other Muslims to abide by Islamic teachings and pay attention to Dawah and Tabligh. He emphasized the need to preach Islam and adopt the good morals of Islam. Maulana Arshad Madani summarized the essence of his speech in Urdu for the common audience. Then, the Imam al-Shurain led the Zuhar Salah and lakhs of Muslims offered the prayer behind him. All the streets leading to Darul Uloom and around were packed with the crowd of people gathered to welcome the Imam and to perform Zuhar Salah behid him.
Sa'ud ash-Shuraim's family is from the Haraqees of the Banu Zayd tribe of Saudi Arabia. Shaikh Sa'ud ibn Ibrahim al-Shuraim is one of the Imams and Khateeb (orator) of the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) in Makkah since 1991. He Pursued a Doctorate degree (Ph.D) from Umm Al-Qura University in 1995. He was appointed judge in the High court of Mecca in 1992. The courts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rule all cases according to the Hanbali School of Fiqh. The hanafi Fiqh is also a major part of the source to the law and constitution in force in the Kingdom as the Ottomans who rules Arabia for centuries before Saud family was following Hanafi Fiqh and all the courts practiced Hanafi Jurisprudence.
This was not first time that any personality from Haram Sharifain (Makkah and Madinah) visited Darul Uloom Deoband. Last year, his counterpart Shaikh Abdur Rahman al-Sudais paid similar special visit to Darul Uloom Deoband and led the Jumuah Salah on 25 March 2011. That day Deoband witnessed an unprecedented gathering of about one million people. Just a month ago, in Feb 2011, the world renowned writer Shaikh Aidh al-Qarani visited Darul Uloom Deoband and expressed deep impressions about Deoband and its services. He said he visited the whole world and found the influence of Deoband everywhere. While other senior scholars of the Kingdom like Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Subayyil, the Head of Haramain Affairs, Shaikh Abdullah Abdul Muhsin al-Turky, General Secretary of World Muslim League and Dr Abdullah Umar Nasif, Shaikh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah and Shaikh Muhammad Awwamah etc have also paid visits to Deoband.
Imam Ka'ba Shaikh al-Shurain had lunch with the Ulama in Darul Uloom Guest House and flew back from Deoband at around 3:30 pm. He was invited in India on a five day tour by Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, but he was scheduled to visit other places during his visit.