By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi
An Unpleasant Incident and Example of Honesty:
When we were in Darul Uloom Deoband, an unpleasant incident took place in July 2002. A student was beaten badly by some natives of Deoband town. He had to be admitted in a hospital. Some students reach the then coordinator of the hostels of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami Qasmi (1941-2021) to complain. He didn’t pay attention to them. It made them so furious that they planned and attacked on some shops of the town and the things available in the shops were damaged. The town people reacted and the stones pelting started. We found Maulana Sayyid Arshad Madani (then director of Education Faculty)and Maulana Habibur Rahman Qasmi at Babe Qasim (Main Gate) trying to control the students; but they were too furious to be controlled. Then the students gave a call to boycott and refused to have any dealing with shopkeepers of the town. Next day, all students were called and gathered in Masjid Rasheed and Maulana Marghubur Rahman, the then Muhtamim (VC) of Darul Uloom asked them to call off the boycott and the tears started rolling down from his eyes. It was the first time, I saw him addressing the students. What happened next that shows a unique example of Maulana Marghubur Rahman’s honesty.
The shopkeepers complained about the damages they faced and demanded the compensation. Maulana Marghubur Rahman asked them to present their damages in writing. They did so; but with an exaggeration. After receiving the written complaint, damage details and compensation demand, he informed the shopkeepers that the donation which is received at Darul Uloom Deoband is to be spent for the necessary programmes. The donation is entrusted amount of the people to my care. I can’t commit embezzlement by paying for the damages you underwent. You give me some months. I will sell my certain property and I will pay the compensation. When the shopkeepers heard his statement, they felt that something wrong had been done. They realized that they had troubled him and asked for forgiveness from him. They further said that they didn’t want any compensation, as Darul Uloom is his, it is theirs as well.
His Early Life and Education:
That was an example of the honesty of Maulana Marghubur Rahman Bijnori who was 8th Muhtamim (VC) of prominent Islamic institution: Darul Uloom, Deoband and the 3rd Ameerul Hind. He was born in a learned and landlord family in Mohallah Qazi Para of Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh in India in 1914. His father was Maulana Hakeem Mashiyyatullah who was a graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband, a student of Sheikhul Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan Deobandi (1851-1920) and colleague of Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri (1875-1933).
He acquired his primary level education at Madrasah Rahimiah Madinatul Uloom at his hometown, Bijnor, which was running under his learned father’s patronage. He started learning from the Holy Qur’an and completed the books like Sharah Jami, Sharul Wiqayah etc. in this Madrasah. Then he came to the largest Islamic seminary of the Indian subcontinent: Darul Uloom, Deoband in 1929 for higher education. He lived three years in Darul Uloom, completed the syllabus and graduated in 1932 (1351 AH). He studied from a galaxy of scholars like Sheikhul Islam Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani (1879-1957), Maulana Sayyid Asghar Husain Deobandi (1877-1944), Sheikhul Adab Walfiqh Maulana Izaz Ali Amrohavi (1882-1954), Allamah Muhammad Ibrahim Balyavi (1886-1967), Maulana Abdus Sami Deobandi (1878-1947), Maulana Nabih Hasan Deobandi (1879-1933) and Maulana Rasul Khan Hazarvi (1871-1971).
Following the graduation, he had planned to go for further studies of Iftaa Course; but due sickness he discontinued his educational activities. When he recovered, once again he took admission in Darul Uloom for Iftaa course. He completed Iftaa course and art of issuing fatwa under the guidance and teaching of the distinguished Muftis like Mufti Sahul Bhagalpuri (1870-1948) and Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani (1896-1982). He obtained Iftaa degree in 1934 (1353 AH).
His Career as Teacher:
Following the completion of his studies, on the behest of his father, he started his career as a teacher at Madrasah Rahimia Madinatul Uloom, Bijnor which was the first seat of his learning too. He was from a landlord family, so he had to manage and look after his property, lands, farms etc. It caused him to stop teaching in Madrasah for long.
His Services at Darul Uloom Deoband:
Maulana Marghubur Rahman’s father Maulana Hakim Mashiyyatullah had thick relation with the elders of Darul Uloom, as he was its graduate, and served as a Member of its Executive Body for 27 years from 1925 to 1952. Following 10 years of his father’s demise, he was elected as a member of the executive body of Darul Uloom, Deoband in 1962. From the beginning of his membership, he used to participate in each meeting of the body with punctuality. As long as he was in Deoband for the meeting, he used to stay and eat at the home of a certain friend in Deoband. This dedication, commitment and selflessness made him a respected member and his opinion was valued in the meeting. After almost 18 years of his membership, when the then VC of Darul Uloom, Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi requested the executive body to appoint an assistant for him, Maulana Muhammad Manzoor Nomani (1905-1997) proposed his name and all the members unanimously seconded it. Then he was assigned the post of Assistant VC on 30th May 1981. (Bani Al-Furqan Number, P.: 118) In 1982, when Darul Uloom Deoband was facing a huge crisis and was at very critical moment, at that pointing time, first he was appointed as the working VC in January 1982 and following some months, he was nominated as the full-fledged VC in August 1982 by the executive body; while there were many distinguished personalities in the Executive body. He was the third longest serving VC of Darul Uloom following Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi and Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad. He served as the VC from January 1982 till 8th December 2010, when he breathed his last.
His each action expressed his selflessness, sincerity and piety. His humbleness, simplicity and dedication for Darul Uloom Deoband were beyond doubt. While being present in Darul Uloom, he lived in a small room of Darul Uloom close to Masjid Qadeem. He paid the rent and electricity bill of the room from his pocket. He deserved to demand a well-furnished family quarter for his living from Darul Uloom; but he avoided to do so. Allah the Almighty had blessed him with too much wealth, so he was very much capable to build a luxurious bungalow in Deoband to live; but he was a simple man, therefore, he preferred living in a small room. He never got a single penny from Darul Uloom for his services spread at the span of 28-year as the VC. He was always thoughtful about the progress and development of Darul Uloom and he loved to work for it quietly and sincerely. His hard work paid off and Darul Uloom Deoband got development from every angle. He proved that had been the man of the need of the hour. His services rendered at Darul Uloom Deoband would be remembered for long.
Darul Uloom Success during His Tuner:
He never gave anyone a chance to point finger at his administrative ability and opinions as long as he held the VC office. Darul Uloom made a considerable progress and huge success under his administration. Its fame and value increased at the national and international level. His tenure will be recorded in the history as the golden period of Darul Uloom. It witnessed huge success during his tenure in the educational system, introduction of new departments, increasing the number of the students and construction of several new buildings. Numerous new departments such as “Takhassus Fil Hadeeth”, “Takmeelul Uloom”, “Tahaffuze Sunnat”, “Tahaffuze Khatme Nabuwwat”, “Radde Isaiyat”, “Sheikhul Hind Academy” for publishing elders’ books and Diploma in Journalism, “Diploma in English Language and Literature”, “Diploma in Computer Application” etc. were introduced.
The number of the students in Darul Uloom increased more than two times which reached about 4000. The area of Darul Uloom increased to three folds. A two stories Hajjatul Islam Manzil in memory of Hujjatul Islam Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi for Madrasah Thanwiyyah, a three stories Sheikhul Hind Manzal in memory of Sheikhul Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan Deobandi, a three stories Sheikhul Islam Manzil in memory of Sheikhul Islam Maulana Sayyid Husain Ahmad Madani, a three stories Hakeemul Ummat Manzil in memory of Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi which is the hostel and the classrooms for the pupils of Hifz Classes, Dare Jadeed, the big hostel, which was in miserable and poor condition, was demolished and new hostel was constructed at its place with the same name, two hostels of the both sides of Ruwaqe Khalid, a seven stories new library in the western side of Babuz Zahir, two stories Darul Mudarrisin etc. were constructed. A very beautiful marbled mosque namely “Masjid Rahseed”, in memory of Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, which is considered a masterpiece of Islamic art, was constructed in his period. As long as he was able to walk, he used to reach each construction site to inspect construction physically. Following the inspection, wherever he felt need to instruct the workers, he did. He justified his nomination as the VC due to his devotion, farsightedness and commitment in the affairs of Darul Uloom.
Formation of Rabtah Madaaris Islamia Arabia:
To bring all Indian Islamic Madaaris under one umbrella, to protect and safeguard its interests, Darul Uloom convened all India conference of Madrasas under his leadership. Following the conference, “Kul Hind Rabta Madarise Islamia Arabia” was formed under Darul Uloom in December 1994. He was nominated as its president. More than three thousand of Indian Madaaris are its members at the moment. Its branches were formed in several provinces. It played a key role in uniting Madaaris and creating uniformity of the syllabus, system, examinations etc.
His Election as Third Ameerul Hind:
Under the banner of Jamiat Ulamae Hind, one of the largest Muslims organizations in India, Imarate Shariah Hind was formed on 2nd November 1986. Under Imarat, the chief of the Indian Muslims is elected, who is entitled as “Ameerul Hind”. Following the demise of the second Ameerul Hind, Maulana Sayyid Asad Madani, Maulana Marghubur Rahman was elected as the third Ameerul Hind on 28th February 2006. He held this prestigious post till his last breath. The first Ameerul Hind was Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami who was known as Muhaddithe Kabeer. In April 2008, when Jamiat Ulamae Hind got divided between two groups, as Ameerul Hind, he kept the balance and tried his level best to mediate between them; but his efforts could not bear fruits and these two groups remained working separately and still they are in the same condition. At that critical moment, he got a resolution passed in the working committee of Darul Uloom that those who hold any post in both the groups of Jamiat should not hold a key office in Darul Uloom. Thereafter, Maulana Qari Sayyid Muhammad Usman Mansoorpuri (1944-2021) had to resign from the post of deputy VC and Maulana Sayyid Arshad had to leave the office of the director of the Education Faculty.
His Sad Demise:
Due to his old age, as he was 96, he suffered from various diseases and remained bedridden for several months. Therefore, the people were worried that anytime the news of his sad demise would come. The same happened and he passed away on 8th December, 2010 at his ancestral place in Bijnor. His death was considered a huge loss to Deobandi school of thought all over the world. His body was brought to Deoband. The funeral prayer was led by his son, Maulana Anwarur Rahman Qasmi in the premises of Darul Uloom Deoband. He was buried in Mazaare Qasmi (Qasmi Graveyard) of Deoband. Following his death, rich tributes were paid to him and his services rendered at Darul Uloom Deoband by the academics, activists, politicians and the graduates of Darul Uloom Deoband spread all over the world. What an exemplary, down-to-earth and farsighted man he was! May Allah grant him the best place in Jannah!
By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi
Mufti Muhammad Zafeeruddin Saheb Miftahi, ex-Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband, was a sincere servant of Islamic jurisprudence, noted author and a famous orator. He was born on 7th March 1926 in his ancestral village: Pura Nadiha of Darbhanga district in Bihar, British India. This village is at the distance of almost five Kilometers from Darbhanga town situated at the bank of Kamla River. His father’s name was Munshi Shamsuddin, who served in the Indian Railways as a line inspector.
Educational Journey of Mufti Saheb:
Mufti Saheb started his educational journey from a Maktab of his village. Then he was taken to Madrasah Mahmoodiya, Rajpur, Nepal, where his cousin brother and brother-in-Law, Maulana Abdur Rahman was a head teacher — who was nominated as the fifth Amire Shariat of Imarate Shariah, Bihar & Orissa following the death of the fourth Amir, Maulana Sayyid Minnatullah Rahmani (RA) —. Mufti Saheb learned Juz Amm, Naazirah Qura’an and Urdu class in this Madrasah. He studied almost two and a half years in Madrasah Mahmoodiayah, Nepal.
In January 1932, Maulanan Abdur Rahman Saheb resigned from Madrasah Mahmoodiyah of Nepal and joined Madrasah Warithul Uloom, Karim Chuck, Chhapra in Bihar as the head-teacher. Therefore, Mufti Muhammad Zafeeruddin Saheb enrolled at Madrasah Warithul Uloom under the supervision of his cousin brother. In this Madrasah, Mufti Saheb started acquiring the education from the basic of Persian language. This Madrasah was affiliated with Madrasah Shamsul Huda of Patna. He sat for the examinations of Fauqaniah in April 1938 and wrote his examinations. At that time, the books such as Mufkhtasarul Quduri, Maqaamaat Badiuzzaman Hamdani, Mathematics, Geometry, Baang Dara etc. were part of the syllabus in Fauqaniah class.
Fauqaniah and Maulvi Exams:
Mufti Saheb passed the exams of Fauqaniah which were held in April 1938. Then again he reached Warithul Uloom to continue his studies. Now, he was appointed as the fifth teacher in Madrasah Warithul Uloom as well. Therefore, while on the one he was a student, he was a teacher on the other. In this period, he learned the book like Sharahul Wiqaayah etc. He sat in the exams of Maulavi in Madrasah Shamsul Huda, Patna in April-May 1940 as a private student as Warithul Uloom hadn’t approval for the Maulavi Class. He passed the Maulavi exams as well.
In Miftahul Uloom, Mau, UP:
Following the completion of Maulavi class from Shamsul Huda Board, it was decided that now Mufti Saheb should be sent to Miftahul Uloom of Mau, UP. So, in November, 1940 he moved to Miftahul Uloom and was admitted in the Hidaayah Class. He learned the books such as Hidayah, Noorul Anwar, Qutbi, Mir Qutbi, Maqaamaat Hariri etc. in the first year of his learning in Miftahul Uloom. Next year, in 1941, he learned the books such Jalalain, Hamasah (from Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami (1901-1982) who was a famous scholar of Hadith and was well-known as Muhaddithe Kabeer), Sullam, Mebazi, Mukhtasarul Ma’ani, Mutanabbi etc.
Leadership in Quit India Movement 1942:
In August 1942, “Quit India Movement” was launched. Almost all senior leaders of the Indian freedom struggle were arrested. The movement was under the leadership of the students. The students of Madraaris, schools and colleges participated. Mufti Saheb also became the leader and he acted violently as it was the need of the time. As a leader, he ordered the students of Ramjiwan High School to cut off the wires of the telephones of all the four lines. As a result, he had to face the arrest warrant. In this situation, he was forced by the people of the locality to resign from the post of Imamat of a Masjid in Chhatarpurah Mohalla of Mau, where he was residing along with being the student of Miftahul Uloom. Then after the struggle of 11 days, he reached home.
Mufti Saheb was recommended by Hazrat Maulana Habibur Rahman Azmi not to come to Mau as the situation was not in his favour, because of the arrest warrant from the British Government against him. So, he remained one year in Bihar. In this period, he reached Madrasah Hamidiyah, Godna, Chhapra, where his brother-in-law, Maulana Abdur Rahman was teaching. He didn’t disclose his issue to him that he had been wanted by the British government and he is under arrest warrant. He prepared here for the examinations of Alim and sat for the Alim Examinations under the Madrasah Shamsul Huda Board, Patna.
Completion of the Final Year:
Next year in 1943, the arrest warrant was annulled. Then he was suggested by Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami to reach Miftahul Uloom, Mau for the completion of the final year. He reached Mau and started learning the Final year. It was an honour for him that he learned Sahihul Bukhari and Sunan Tirmidhi from the famous scholar of Hadith, Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami. He completed the course in August 1944 from the famed seminary: Miftahul Uloom and obtained his degree in Islamic theology.
As a Teacher in Miftahul Uloom:
Next year, he had planned to move to Darul Uloom Nadwatu Ulma, Lucknow to benefit from the elders of Nadwah, but he fell sick. So, he couldn’t reach. Now, again in the month of Muharram 1364 AH, he was called by Muhaddith Azami. He followed the call and reached Miftahul Uloom. Now he served as a teacher and was given the chance to assist in issuing the Fatwaas. He remained almost one academic year in Miftahul Uloom.
In Darul Uloom Nadvatul Ulama:
In September 1945, he enrolled for studies at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow. The environment didn’t favour him. He had to leave Nadwah just following almost 2 months at the end of October 1945. Then he joined Madrasah Ma’adanul Uloom in Nagram of District Lucknow as a head teacher following the advice of Maulana Muhammad Owais Nadvi, teacher of Darul Uloom Nadvatul Ulama. He remained as a head teacher in this Madrasah from November 1945 to December 1947.
Spiritual journey of Mufti Saheb started under the instructions of Allamah Sayyid Sulaiman Nadvi (1884-1953). Latter on, he took the oath of allegiance at the hand of Sheikhul Islam Maulana Sayyid Husain Ahmad Madani (1879-1957). Following the death of Sheikhul Islam, Mufti Saheb renewed it at the hand of the then Muhtamim of Darul Uloom, Deoband, Qari Muhammad Tayyib Saheb (1897-1983). He was granted Khilafah by Maulana Fazlullah, the grandson of Maulana Muhammad Ali Mungeri and by his Sheikh Qari Muhammad Tayyib Saheb in 1396 AH.
From Madrasah Mu’ieeniayah to Darul Uloom Deoband:
As the situation was not good to travel far following the freedom of India, the family members of Mufti Saheb decided for him to remain in Bihar. So, he joined Madrasah Mu’ieeniayah, Sanihah in Munger district as a head-teacher in January 1948. Then he joined Madrasah Talimudding, Dabhel, Gujarat in Muharram 1368 AH. He was assigned to teach the books such as Ibn Majah, Mishkaat, Jalalain, Hidayah etc. He remained almost 25 days in Dabhel; but the environment was not in his favour. He fell sick and had to leave Dabhel, Gujarat. Then again he reached Madrasah Mu’ieeniayha where he was before. He remained in this Madrasah about 8 years. Then he received a letter to join the famous Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in September 1956 as the coordinator of the Department of Dawah and Tableegh. From 1956 till 2008, he worked in Darul Uloom, Deoband. He served in Darul Uloom Deoband in different capacities for 52-year. In 2008, he resigned on health ground. Owing to his towering personality, he was respected by one and all in the campus of Darul Uloom Deoband.
Compiling of Fatawaa Darul Uloom:
The famous and popular work of Mufti Miftahi is compiling of “Fatawa Darul Uloom” in 12-Volume. These “Fatawaa” were issued by Mufti Azizur Rahman Usmani (1275-1347 AH), the first grand Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband. Mufti Saheb was ordered to start this work in 1376 AH (1956). He completed this huge work in 12 volumes in the period of 10 years. It is worth mentioning that he wrote a forward on this Fataawa in 64 pages. He discussed in the forward about the history of Islamic Jurisprudence, Fataawa, importance and history of Iftaa, qualities and descriptions of a Mufti etc. It was appreciated by the great scholars.
His Service in Reference to the Library:
It was common complaint by the academic persons to the authority of Darul Uloom Deoband about its library that it was not organized and the books were not easily found as they were jumbled. This complaint was felt by the Muhtamim of Darul Uloom Deoband. This issue reached the governing body. Then Mufti Saheb was assigned the programme to organize and arrange the library in 1382 AH. He was instructed to inspect the library of Aligarh Muslim University, the Rampur Library and the Khuda Bakhsh Library, Patna. Following the inspection of those libraries, Mufti Sahib started his programme of organizing the library. He used the classification system to organize the books. He completed this programme of the century old library brilliantly. His service in reference to the library of Darul Uloom Deoband was appreciated by one and all. After organizing the library, he wrote the introduction of the manuscripts available in the library of Darul Uloom in two volumes namely: “Ta’aruf Makhtutaat Darul Uloom Deoband”, which was published from Darul Uloom Deoband. 1n 1975, when Darul Uloom Nadvatul Ulama, Lucknow decided to hold its 85-year celebration, Mufakkire Islam Maulana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (1913-1999) called him in Nadvatul Ulama for the same programme. He remained three months there in Nadvah, arranged the library and wrote the introduction of the manuscripts available in the library. Maulana Nadvi was very pleased with the way Mufti Saheb performed this job beautifully.
Writing Editorial of Monthly Darul Uloom:
Maulana Sayyid Azhar Shah Qaisar (1920-1985) was a great writer. He was the editor of the monthly: Darul Uloom, an Urdu organ of Darul Uloom Deoband. But the organ was getting published without an editorial. The governing body of Darul Uloom Deoband noticed it and appointed Mufti Saheb to write the editorial for the organ. He started writing the editorial from August 1965. He continued writing the editorial till February 1982. He used to write the editorial with the consultation of the editor, Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Azhar Shah Qaisar. His editorial was very popular. The editorial was mostly on the current affairs. Luckily, all these editorials have been compiled by Maulana Ahmad Sajjad Qasmi, a retired teacher and the elder son of Mufti Miftahi.
Mufti Saheb’s Published Works:
Mufti Saheb was a famous writer. He wrote hundreds of articles and essays on the religious, social, historical and other issues in different remarkable magazines like Sidq Jadeed Lucknow, Burhan Delhi, Darul Uloom Deoband, Al-Furqan Lucknow, Tibyan Pakistan etc. publishing from India and abroad. He authored about 35 books. Among his authored and published books fall Hayaate Gilani, Tazkirah Hazrat Maulana Abdur Rashid Ranisagri, Islam Ka Nizame Hayaat, Islami Hukumat Ke Naqsho Nigar, Uswaye Hasanah, Islami Nizame Ma’shat, Islam Ka Nizaame Iffato Ismat, Islam Ka Nizame Amn, Taarikhe Masajid, Jurm Wa Saza Qura’ano Hadith Ki Raushani Men, Jange Azadi Ka Ek Yadgar Safar, Mashaahire Ulamae Deoband, Darul Uloom Deoband, Qiyaam Aur Pas Manzar, Darul Uloom: Ek Azeem Maktabe Fikr, Mashaahire Ulamae Hind Ke Ilmi Murasle, Taarikhi Haqaaiq etc. His several books have been translated into English language and published.
He was not only a Mufti issuing Fatwas and a teacher limited in the class, but a dynamic personality and a freedom fighter who struggled for the freedom of India. He took part in the freedom struggle, while he was a student. He was a member of advisory board of Imarate Sharaiyyah, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand, founding member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, founding member and latter president of Islamic Fiqh Academy, India. It should be noted here that wherever Mufti Saheb resided, he kept continuously in touch of great scholars like Muhaddith Azami, Allamah Sayyid Salaiman Nadvi, Allamah Manazir Ahsan Gilani, Maulana Minnatullah Rahmani etc. that shaped his skill on the higher level.
In brief, Mufti Miftahi was a well-known scholar, great orator, prolific writer, popular author, freedom fighter, renowned Mufti who issued Fatwaas for decades, a kind teacher and many more. Despite all these peculiarities, he was a symbol of simplicity and humility. His simplicity was seen everywhere. Mufti Saheb left for heavenly abode on 31st March, 2011, at his ancestral village: Pura Nodiha in Darbhanga district of Bihar. He was 85 years old. His funeral prayer was led by a well-known Islamic Scholar, Dr. Maulana Saud Alam Qasmi, Professor and Chairman: Department of Sunni Theology at Aligarh Muslim University. May Allah accept his services! May He shower His blessings and mercy on his grave! Aameen!
By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi
Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia
Just a few days ago, we got the news from the social media that celebrated orator and honourable teacher Maulana Muhammad Matloobur Rahman Mazahiri (Rector: Madrasah Misbahul Uloom, Makia, Madhubani, Bihar) has fallen sick and he has been admitted in a hospital in the capital city of Bihar, Patna. He was about 74 years old. In the past, it was not heard that he was sick. The Almighty Allah had blessed him with the safe and sound health. He was healthy and energetic. Although, he fell sick some months back; but he seemed physically fit. Till some days back, he was seen at the stage of the religious programmes in his unique style. Only 11 days before his death, there was a programme in Shamsi, Nepal. He was present in the programme and addressed the public for almost 2 hours. But the fact is that “What is lotted cannot be blotted”. So just few days back, his condition became a bit critical. He was admitted in the IHMS Hospital in Patna. Then on Thursday, 3rd August, 2023 at about 3:30 pm, this shocking news was broke at the social media that Maulana Muhammad Matloobur Rahman Mazahiri has breathed his last and left for heavenly abode. Innaa Lillahi Wa Innaa Ileihir Rajoon!
The village of Maulana Muhammad Matloobur Rahman Mazahiri is very close to our village. A river is the barrier between these two villages. Maulana’s village: Makia is in the Southern side of the river; while our village is situated in the Northern side. From my childhood, I listened to Maulana’s public talk. He was known as a respected scholar and a celebrated orator in our region. It was difficult that the people discuss about the speech and his name isn’t mentioned. There was a time that he had received an invitation letter to address a public gathering from a remote area and he reached there by a bicycle without expressing any tiredness and exhaustion. When the people were informed of his attending a public gathering, they flocked there to listen to his talk. When he was addressing the gathering, the audience would listen to him attentively. The fact is that he was not only a well-known speaker of the vicinity; rather he was a celebrated orator in Bihar. Nowadays, not only in Bihar, but he was also invited to attend the programmes from the several provinces of India. He visited those places to address the public gatherings. His presence in a programme was considered as the guarantee of its success. The Almighty Allah had placed sweetness in his tongue. His voice was very loud and clear. He was an eloquent and loved speaker. He was a public speaker, therefore, during the speech; he talked in local tone about the religious issues and reformations which were necessary for the public and in their interest. Generally he spoke in the regional accent without any hesitation. When the moderator of the programme would hand over him the mic, the audience was overjoyed. The people started awaking the dozing audience (when the programme was in the night) saying, “Wake up, now Maulana Matloob has started his talk. He used to enthrall the large crowd within minutes easily, with his unique speaking methodology. It was easy for him to dominate the crowd. Allah Ta’ala had given him such a nature that he could nicely interact with the people and could simply mix in any assembly of the people. He used to get familiarized with the people and make them familiars easily. With his natural humor and ready-witted, commonly he become over-powerful of an assembly.
Always the starting point of the speech of Maulana Mazahiri was the Qura’nic verse and the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!). He would use the language and expression in accordance with the understanding of the common people and explain the Qura’nic verse and Hadith beautifully. No matter what program he was addressing, his speech was full of humor. He would also mention stories and events in his speech. But those stories were not just to make the audience laugh; rather, there would have been lessons for the audience. During the speech, according to the occasions and the conditions, he was habitual of reciting certain poetry in the praise of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) too. The Almighty Allah had blessed him with the excellent voice. His memory was sharp. He had memorized many Naats and poems. The way he was reciting the Hadith on every topic during his speech, it can be easily understood that he had memorized a lot of Ahaadith by heart. One of his students said that Maulana Mazahiri had memorized whole “Mishkaatu Aathaar”, a book of Hadith written by Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Miyan Deobandi (1903-1975).
The region we belong to, there are the people of different school of thoughts. But we didn’t hear Maulana Mazahiri speaking against people of any other school of thought in any programme. He was not interested in that the scholars should stand on a stage and try to find fault in the people of other school of thoughts in front of the common people. Mostly his speeches were on the topic related to the innovations, rituals and customs found in the society. He used to speak well in this regard. The shortcomings found in the women in regard to religion were being pointed out and give the space in his address as well. At that time, his address would have been in women’s accent. Its advantage was that the messages of the Glorious Qura’n and Hadith would easily reach even those many uneducated village women.
Maulana Mazahiri belonged to a middle class family. His father, Mr. Sadiq Hussain (died: 1991) was a farmer. Allah had placed the love of knowledge and religion in his heart, so he guided his children towards the Islamic knowledge. Allah blessed some of his children with the memorization of the Holy Qura’n by heart and made some others eminent and well-known scholars and orators. One of his children was Maulana Muhammad Matloobur Rahman Mazahiri, who was born on 5th March 1950, in Makia in the district: Madhubani of Bihar.
Maulana Mazahiri was fair in complexion, medium stature, slightly high nose, thick hair slightly curvy at the end that reached his neck (which is called as Limmah in Arabic language), broad forehead, thick and long beard, wide eyes and a large frame glasses on it, a white very high side cap, which later changed into the round one, long Kurta reaching the half of the leg, a beautiful long court over the Kurta slightly above the ankles in the winter season and an Arabic scarf on the shoulder. This was his physical features.
To acquire the basic education of Islamic theology, Maulana Mazahiri got admission in the famous seminary of the North Bihar: Jamia Ashraful Uloom, Kanhwan, Sitamarhi in 1964. In Ashraf Uloom, he had the privilege of learning from the Persian language upto the forth standard of Aalimiyyah course from the great scholars like Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, Maulana Muhammad Tayyib Khan Kummawi, Maulana Nawazish Kareem, Maulana Sabir Husain Qasmi, Faqihe Millat Maulana Zubair Ahmad Qasmi etc. (May Allah grant them Jannah!) Then he got admission in a seminary: Jamia Arabia, Hathaura, Banda, UP, run by Maulana Qari Sayyid Siddiq Ahmad Bandvi (1923-1997). He learnt the books like Mukhtasarul Ma’ani, Jalalain etc. in this seminary.
In 1971, Maulana Mazahiri moved to India’s well-known religious seminary: Jamia Mazahir Uloom, Saharanpur, UP. He studied for two years in Mazahir. He learnt the Hadith books from the expert scholars in the science of Hadith such as Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Muhajir Madani (1898-1982), Maulana Mufti Muzaffar Hussain (1929-2003), Maulana Muhammad Yunus (1937-2017) — May Allah grant them Jannah!—, Maulana Muhammad Aaqil Mazahiri —May Allah protect him!— (Rector and Sheikhul Hadith of Mazahir Uloom presently) and got the honor of being their student. In 1973, he graduated with a degree in Islamic theology.
Maulana Mazahiri, in order to practice Tazkiyah and Ihsan (purification of soul), first took the oath of allegiance to his revered teacher, Arif Billah Maulana Qari Sayyid Siddiq Ahmad Bandvi. He loved Maulana Bandvi very much and Bandvi also liked him. Once he said about Maulana Bandvi that he was very pleased with his speech in a programme in Allahabad and said, may Allah grant you 90 years age. Then he said that Maulana Bandvi had been a pious person, he had made Duaa for 90 years; but his Duaa was not a “Wahi-Revelation”. Then he requested the audience to make Duaa for his health as he was sick. However, following the demise of Maulana Bandvi, he turned to Muhiyyus Sunnah Maulana Abrarul Haq Haqqi Hardoi (1920-2005) and renewed the oath of allegiance to him.
Maulana Mazahiri started his career as a teacher at “Madrasa Islamia”, Fatehpur court, UP. It was a branch of Darul Uloom Nadvatul Ulama, Lucknow. In this Madrasah, he taught the book like “Mukhtasarul Quduri” etc. As long as he was in Fatehpur, he visited the vicinity for the pubic talk as he was invited to attend the programmes to address the public gathering. From the beginning, he was a popular public speaker. His talk was liked by the people. He remained in this Madrasah for about 14 years. Then, on the wish of Maulana Abdul Hannan Balasathvi (1934-2009) —May Allah grant him Jannah!—, he joined the institution running under his supervision: Jamia Islamia Qasmia, Balasath, Sitamarhi, Bihar as its head-teacher. He rendered his services in this institution as a teacher and administrator for almost 8 years. During this period, he also traveled to the “Middle East” for a year. When the Gulf War broke out and a coalition of several countries led by America attacked “Iraq” on February 24, 1991, on that occasion, he came back his homeland and rejoined Qasmia Jamia. In Jamia, he taught the books like “Hudaya Thaani”, “Noorul Anwar”, “Sharh Jami”, “Mirqaat” etc. When he was in Jamia, he used to attend the religious and public programmes as an orator. While on the one hand, it gave him recognition in Bihar province as an orator, there was an introduction of the newly founded Jamia among the public on the other.
In 1994, Maulana Mazahiri resigned from Jamia. Then he took the charge of Madrasah Misbahul Uloom in his own village: Makia. This Madrasah was established in 1989. Following its establishment, he held the esteemed position of its president. When he came to Misbahul Uloom, some students of several standards of Aalimiyyah course took admission in Masbahul Uloom. He taught them the books like “Kafiyyah of Ibn Hajib”, “Usulush Shashi”, “Sharhul Wiqayah”, “Sharh Jami” etc. Since 1994, he had been the rector of Misbahul Uloom. May Allah accept his services and reward him the best!
Maulana Mazahiri was married to the daughter of Mr. Muhammad Siddiq of “Hasanpur Barharwa” in district: Sitamarhi in 1975. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and five sons. Among his sons, Muhammad Anwar is settled in Mumbai and runs his business. Hafiz Muhammad Anzar is a teacher at Madrasa Misbahul Uloom. Maulana Muhammad Salman is in Saudi Arabia. Maulana Muhammad Imran Nadvi manages the administrative affairs along with teaching in Misbahul Uloom. The youngest son is Hafiz Muhammad Bilal. His sons are Ulama and Huffaaz. May Allah Ta’ala make his sons for him an example of “a righteous son” as in a Hadith!
In the funeral prayer of Maulana Mazahiri, a large group of the scholars and elders like Maulana Abdul Mannan Qasmi (Rector: Madrasah Ashrafiyah Imdadiyah, Rajopatti, Sitamarhi and Khalifah of Maulana Abrarul Haq Hardoi), Maulana Izharul Haq Mazahiri (Nazim: Jamia Ashraful Uloom, Kanhwan, Sitamrahi, Bihar), Maulana Ishtiaq Azmi, Maulana Muhammad Shibli Qasmi (Working Rector of Imarate Sharaiyah, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand) —May Allah protect them— etc., the people of nearby villages and his loved ones participated. About 10,000 people attended the funeral prayer. The gathering of about ten thousand people in a village for a funeral prayer is a proof of people’s love for him. The funeral prayer was led by his son, Maulana Muhammad Imran Nadvi on 4th August after the Friday prayer. Then this great scholar and celebrated orator was laid to rest in the graveyard of his village. May Allah Almighty forgive his shortcomings, accept his good deeds and grant him Jannatul Firdous!