Nadva-tul-Ulama of Lucknow was established in 1894 by some government officials with the religious tilt and Maulanas who wanted the heyday of the past back. They also aimed at the unity of the Mulims od India and revival of the Syllabi which had been taught in Islamic Madrassas in the bygone days. The very first session of Nadva-tul-Ulema was held in Kanpur in 1893 and Maulana Ltfullah Sahib presided over the meeting.
Maulana Shibli Naumani was one of its pioneers and due to his name Nadva tul Ulema gained popularity among the Muslim masses.
Maulana Shibli dedicated himself to the cause of Nadva and wrote books Islam and the Muslim grandeur to provoke the Indian Muslims. “Heroes of Islam” was the series under which he highlighted the past Muslim personalities. He also wrote “Al-Mamoon”, the biography of Mamoon –ul-Rasheed Maulana Rumi, Imam Ghazali, and Imam Abu Hanifa. He also defended Islam against the allegations of the Western scholars and countered them.
The services rendered by Nadva-tul-Ulema are an important landmark in the Renaissance of Islam in India where the British rule and the Hindu mythology were in ambush to put the Islamic heritage to havoc. Maulana Shibli Naumani had to resign from his services for Nadva-tul-Ulema but the enormous contributions of the institution cannot be denied. Nadva-tul-Ulema bred another institution named as Dar-ul-Musannifeen”, (the House of Authors) to spread the message of Nadva.