Deoband Madrassah Movement

Deoband Madrassah Movement

Countercultural Trends and Tendencies

By Muhammad Moj

This innovative book analyses the growth of Deobandi Islam, a religious sect whose followers include extremist groups such as the Taliban, through the frame of a counterculture in conflict with mainstream Muslim society.

Paperback, 262 Pages


January 2015

£25.00, $40.00

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About This Book

In this important study, Muhammad Moj explores the Deobandi sect within Islam and its relationship to Pakistani society in an innovative way. The Deoband Madrassah Movement (DMM) has largely been studied as a political and religious reform movement, but this book interprets it rather as a counterculture, drawing on the counterculture theory of Milton Yinger.

Using analyses of Deobandi journals and interviews with madrassahs and college students, this book comprehends the DMM from a broader perspective to discover the reasons behind its clash with the mainstream society in which it operates.


‘This is an excellent study of how the Deoband madrassah movement has emerged as a countercultural movement in Pakistan. It addresses DMM’s evolution and opposition to the mainstream cultural, educational and political systems of the country. It is a must read.’ —Birol Yesilada, Portland State University

 ‘In this time of strained relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as growing polarization among Muslims, reliable information on Islam and the Muslim world becomes of crucial importance. Mohammad Moj’s study of the Deobandis responds to this acute need. His concise but comprehensive book framing the Deobandi Madrassah network as an oppositional discourse and counterculture not only addresses the history and political significance of one of the most influential strands of modern Islamic thinking in South Asia, but also the impact of this movement on media and on the daily lives of Muslims.’—Carool Kersten, King’s College London

Author Information

Muhammad Moj is a research fellow at the University of Western Australia. He has served as a civil servant for the government of Pakistan for more than 15 years.


Diversity and Plurality in South Asia

Table of Contents

Preface; Prologue; 1. Deoband Madrassah Movement: Research Context; 2. Origin of the DMM: Seeds of a Counterculture; 3. DMM in United India: Activist Countercultural Trends; 4. DMM in Pakistan: Countercultural Politics and Extremism; 5. Deobandi Islam: Countering the Folk Islam and Popular Custom; 6. DMM versus Mainstream Society: Viewpoint of Deobandi Journals and Students; Epilogue; Appendices; Glossary of Islamic Terms; References; Index


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