Besides detective protection there was also need of positive steps at that time, and in this connection the first step was the establishment of religious schools. Accordingly, the Darul-Uloom Deoband was established in 1283/1866. A few months later Madrasah Mazahir-e-Uloom came up in Saharanpur and then such Madaris followed one after another at Thana Bhavan, Muzaffar Nagar, Anbattha, Gulaothi, Meerut, etc., and now their number keeps multiplying day by day. In those crucial and critical days the strategy of the Elias of Deoband, particularly of Hazrat Nanautavi, consisted in the establishment of seminaries only. Wherever he went he tried to establish Madrasahs — at Moradabad, Anbatha, Gulaothi, etc. Wherever he had faithful followers he used to insist upon them in letters and personally to found and start Madrasahs. By this persuasion and stimulus a number of Madrasahs were established, as though, in a way, he — Hazrat Nanautavi — deserves to be called the Founder of Madrasahs in India.
To transmit the correct Islamic beliefs to the rank and file, printing presses were started in which, besides the holy Quran, other religious books too were being printed, some of which were in refutation of Christianity. Through these books that came out of the presses the religious knowledge of the common run of Muslims kept increasing day by day, they not only derived satisfaction from them but also got armed with the well-argued ripostes and squelches to the objections raised by the Christian missions. The Ulema of the Darual-Uloom supplied the Muslims with literature consisting of thousands of books; thus a large number of books on various Islamic topics were published from there. The teaching and publication of Islamic sciences combined raised an insuperable obstacle in the way of the Christian missions and hence those results of the fervent preaching efforts of the missions the padres were desirous of could not ensue.
The force and intrepidity with which, first of all, Hazrat Nanautavi, and then Maulana Murtaza Hasan Chandpuri and Maulana Sanaullah Amritsari from amongst the graduates of the Darul-Uloom Deoband, contended with the preaching of Christianity. And also with the onslaught of Christianity and Arya Samaj which had begun in the last phase of the thirteenth century Hijri, is a glorious exploit in the history of the Darul- Uloom, Deoband.
The great services rendered by Maulana Sayyed Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Maulana Murtaza Hasan Chandpuri, Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori, Maulana Habibur-Rahman Ludhianvi, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafee Deobandi, Maulana Muhammad ldris Kandhlavi, Maulana Badr Alam Meerathi, Maulana Muhammad Ali Jalandhari, and Qazi Ahsanullah Shahjahanpuri, etc. against Qadianism form a bright chapter in the history of the Darul-Uloom.
Similarly, whenever during the British regime the Government tried to make any law which could have clashed with the Islamic Shari'ah, the Ulema of Deoband opposed it tooth and nail and gave proof of their devotion to duty. On the occasion of the Sarda Act and the Waqf Bill they did not hesitate at all in presenting the Islamic point of view with daring and clarity.