It is believed that the first school for Muslim children in Ufa was opened by mullah Zarifa in the second half of the 19th century. The madrasa was located not far from the 2nd Cathedral Mosque in Nizhegorodskaya settlement.
The second school for Muslim children was founded in 1887 (or 1885) by Khairulla Usmanov (1846-1907), akhoond of the 1st cathedral mosque. Nowadays his surname is sometimes spelled Osmanov or Gusmanov, but in all the pre-revolution sources he is named Usmanov. In a couple of years the madrasa moved into one of the buildings of the 1st cathedral mosque. Mufti M. Sultanov paid much attention to the madrasa. It was closer than other buildings to the Muslim Spiritual Assembly. Before 1895 it was only a spiritual institution. Shagirds (students) were taught Islam, as well as Arabic and Persian languages.
Due to the support of the Khusainovs, a millionaire family from Orenburg, in 1895 a school for Muslim girls was opened in the house of Kh. Usmanov. At the same time in line with the intentions of the founder and benefactor, madrasa started training teachers. Upon his application, the Governorate authorities allocated 3 thousand rubles to construct a new building on Frolovskaya (now Tukayeva) Street. The construction started in 1904 and lasted two years. Rather standard architectural design of the building featuring traditions of the so-called brick style, which was popular back then, suggests that in this case a standard (sample) project of an unknown architect was used.
Back then the sphere of Muslim education (including education in Madrasa) experienced an opposition of progressive and conservative trends. Both trends acquired supporters among the intellectuals and Muslim students, unwilling to be passive towards school, teachers, programs and education process. The intensive pulse of Russian life inspired the Muslim youth to think critically. In early 1980s a new teaching method Usuli dzhadidd gained popularity. All madrasas using this method were called the new-method madrasas. The new Madrasa which was already named Usmania after its founder was in between the new and old method schools. Old books were used to teach the so called high sciences. But young akhoond Abyzgildin who was appointed the new head of madrasa put all possible effort to reform the school. After that the school was considered among the good new-method madrasas.
It was a massive two-storey stone building (the yard facade, though, has three floors because of surface slope). The 12-years school was partly financed by the Muslim Charity Society. The remaining funds were collected from the students and benefactors. The course was split into seven categories (classes). Theology and the study of Muslim spiritual laws were of primary importance. The Arabic language was obligatory, because the Shari’ah principles were in Arabic. The alumni of madrasa could read in Arabic. As for the liberal arts, the students were given only basic knowledge in history, geography, arithmetic, hygiene and cosmography. Natural science was excluded from the program. Russian language was learnt mainly in senior forms.
On the whole there were up to 350 students. Every year 20 to 25 students graduated from Madrasa. The school had a dormitory.
In 1918 the Madrasa was transformed into the Tatar National Gymnasium. Zakir Shakirov was appointed its headmaster. Now the building of Usmanov Madrasa is occupied by School No.14.