Written by Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi, Riyadh
Translated in English by Nehal Anwar Qasmi, Najran
Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa was born in Mau, Uttar Pradesh, India around 1930A.D (1350A.H). He graduated from a well-known Islamic seminary of the Indian subcontinent Darul Uloom Deoband in 1952A.D (1372A.H). Afterwards, he moved to Egypt and got the “Certificate of Alimiyat with permission to teach" from Al- Azhar University in 1955A.D. The same year, he went to Qatar where he taught Arabic to non-Arab students and later became a librarian in the National Public Library there. As he had deep interest in the science of Hadeeth serving in the library helped him to work on various manuscripts of Hadeeth.
In 1964A.D, Sheikh joined Cambridge University, UK for PhD under the guidance of A.J. Arberry and Prof. R.B. Serjeant. His topic was "Studies in the Early Hadeeth Literature". After completing doctorate he returned to Qatar and served as the director of the National Public Library for two years there.
In 1968, Sheikh was appointed as Associate Professor at Ummul-Qura University, Makkah. In 1973 he joined King Saud University as Professor of Hadeeth sciences. He remained there until his retirement in 1991. From 1968 upto his retirement, Sheikh oversaw many research works on different subjects of Hadeeth which were carried out by the students of both Ummul-Qura and King Saud Universities. He also served as member of various educational and research institutions across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Other honorary posts:
Beside being Associate Professor at Ummul-Qura University and Professor of Hadeeth sciences at King Saud University, Sheikh has also held other honorary posts in Saudi Arabia and abroad as follows:
1. Chairman of the Dep. of Islamic Studies, College of Education King Saud University.
2. Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1981-82).
3. Visiting Fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford, England (1987).
4. Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA (1989-91).
5. King Faisal Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at Princeton University, New Jersey (1992).
6. Member of Committee for Promotion, University of Malaysia.
7. Honorary Professor, Dept. of Islamic Studies, University of Wales, England.
In 1980, Sheikh received the prestigious King Faisal Award for his following works on Hadeeth:
1. Diraasaat fil-Hadeeth Nabawi wa Tarikh-e-Tadweenihi (دراسات في الحديث النبوي وتاريخ تدوينه): Arabic translation of his doctoral thesis. In this book Sheikh has answered all the questions generally raised by the Orientalists to challenge the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH).
2. Saheeh ibn-e-Khuzaymah (صحيح ابن خزيمة): This book has been compiled by Ibn-e- Khuzaymah (RA). It consists of the authentic Ahadeeth which were included by the authors of both Saheeh Al Bukhari and Muslim. Sheikh edited this book and got it published in four volumes.
3. Computerization of the text of Ahadeeth: One of the Sheikh’s important achievements is that he is the first who computerized the Arabic texts of the books of Ahadeeth.
Scholars of the Indian subcontinent have the privilege to contribute to the science of Hadeeth in all possible ways. That includes teaching Ahadeeth, writing commentaries and books to defend their authenticity and transforming them into computerized books.
By editing books of Ahadeeth and answering the objections of the Orientalists regarding the compilation of the Holy Qur’an and Hadeeth, Dr Muhammad Mustafa Azmi has served Islam at such a high level that even non-Muslim scholars of the world acknowledge his deep knowledge and insight into the science of Hadeeth.
Although Sheikh Azmi has lived in Saudi Arabia with his family for decades, yet he has not forgotten his mother land. He still keeps visiting India as his health permits and contributes in all the possible ways for the betterment of the people of his area. Sheikh has a daughter named Fatima Mustafa Azmi. She has completed M.Com and PhD from America and now she is an Associate Professor at Sheikh Zaid University. He also has two sons Aqeel Mustafa Azmi and Anas Mustafa Azmi. The elder one Dr. Aqeel has completed Master's degree in Engineering and PhD from America and now he is an Associate Professor at King Saud University while the youngest son Dr. Anas holds a Ph.D from the UK and works in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
Brief introduction of Sheikh’s academic services:
1. Studies in early Hadeeth literature: It is the doctoral thesis of Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa in English language and is included in the syllabus of various universities in the eastern and western countries. The first edition of this book was published in Beirut in 1968 and the second and third in America in 1978 and 1988 and still continues to be published. It was translated into Turkish and Indonesian languages in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
2. دراسات في الحديث النبوي وتاريخ تدوينه : It is the Arabic translation of his thesis and consists of 712 pages. Both books deal with the history of compilation of Hadeeth and assert that the process of compilation of Hadeeth began in the life of the Prophet PBUH not in the second or third century of Hijri as many people allege.
3. منهج النقد عند المحدثين نشأته وتاريخه : As name suggests in this book Sheikh deals with the methodology of Scholars to measure Hadeeth’s authenticity and non-authenticity. It proves that the criteria which scholars of Hadeeth set to authenticate the collection of Ahadeeth is of such a high level that has no example even in the present world to validate any thing. This book is in Arabic language and is included in the syllabus of Islamic University, Al-Medina Al-Munawwarah. Its first, second and third editions were published respectively in 1975, 1982 and 1983 in Riyadh and is still being published by different publishing houses.
4. Studies in Hadeeth methodology and literature: This book deals with the method and literature of Hadeeth that helps comprehend the Ahadeeth properly. It also replies to all the questions of Orientalists regarding authenticity of Ahadeeth. Sheikh has divided the book into two volumes. First volume discusses the methodology whereas, the second one concentrates on Ahadeeth from literary perspective. This book also is a part of syllabus in many universities and has gone into several editions.
5. The history of the Qur’anic text from revelation to compilation: This book is one of the significant works of Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa in which he describes the history of compilation of the Qur’an and highlights its authenticity over other divine books after making detailed comparison between their methods of compilation. He also gives elaborate account of the way Hazrat Zaid bin Thabit (RA) adopted to give final shape to the Holy Qur’an. Unfortunately this book has not yet been translated into Arabic or Urdu due to declining health of Sheikh. But during my meeting on 8th February, 2013 he expressed his desire that somebody should come ahead to translate it.
6. On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence: This book presents detailed analysis and critique of the book of the noted Orientalist Joseph Schacht and gives convincing answers to all the questions raised by the author regarding the Islamic Jurisprudence. This book also is a part of syllabus in various universities and has been translated into Turkish, Arabic and Urdu languages.
7. كتاب النبي : Historians in general count 40 to 45 companions of the Prophet (PBUH) who were assigned to write on behalf of the Prophet, but Sheik Azmi has recorded with historical evidences in this book over 60 companions who used to write for the Prophet. The first edition of this book was published in Damascus in 1974, in Beirut and Riyadh in 1978 and 1981. Now it has been translated into English and published.
8. المحدثون من اليمامة إلى 250 هجري تقريبا : There are many books available about the scholars of Hadeeth from different cities of the world. But it is the only book dedicated to highlight the scholarly services of the scholars from the city of Yamamah.
9. موطا إمام مالك : It is one of the most reliable books of Hadeeth which was written by Imam Malik (RA). Sheikh edited it and published it in 8 volumes. He has also worked on the Ruwat (narrators of Hadeeth) .
10. صحيح ابن خزيمة : As mentioned above, it is one of the important books of Hadeeth by Ibn-e-Khuzaima which comprises the most authentic Ahadeeth after Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Muslim. This book has vanished for a long period, even some people believed that it no longer exists in the world. It was Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa who first discovered the book and worked on it. Now it is available in 4 volumes. The first edition was published in Beirut in 1970, second and third in Riyadh and Beirut in 1982 and 1993 and still continues to be published.
11. العلل لعلي بن عبد الله المديني : A book on the Rijaal of Hadeeth has been edited by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa.
12. سنن ابن ماجة : A book of Hadeeth which was edited and computerized first by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa. The idea of computerizing the books of Hadeeth came to Sheikh’s mind when he was doing his PhD in Cambridge University. And he even worked on some of them there.
13. مغازي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لعروة بن زبير برواية أبي الأسود : Hazrat Urwah bin Zubair the renowned Tabi’ee was the first to write a book on the Prophet’s biography named Maghazi Rasoolullah. This book was published in Riyadh in 1981 after Sheikh’s critical review and analysis of the book. Maghazi Rasoolullah is also an obvious proof that the scholars of Islam started writing Prophet’s biography just after his death. Idarah Thaqafat Islamiah, Pakistan published Urdu translation of that book in 1987.
14. Manuscript of Saheeh Al-Bukhari : Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa has the honor of editing the manuscript of Saheeh Al-Bukhari with additional footnote by various scholars which was prepared in 725A.H and discovered from Istanbul in 1977A.D.
In short, Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa’s services toward Hadeeth are very profound. They surround almost every aspect of the science of Hadeeth. The most important of them is his work on Hadeeth literature and methodology, critical analysis of Schacht’s Origin of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, history of the Qura’nic text from revelation to compilation, scholarly reviews and editing of various collections of Ahadeeth that would have otherwise remained unknown to the world and computerization of Hadeeth texts. Most of his books are available online for free download. May Allah grant us success in benefitting from his works and enhance our knowledge of Hadeeth Science, Amen!
امام اعظم ابوحنیفہ نعمان بن ثابت رحمۃ اللہ علیہ: 80-150 ھ
از محمد نجیب سنبھلی قاسمی، ریاض
مسجد الامام ابی حنیفہ: عراق
Written By Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi, Riyadh
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Translated by Nehal Anwar Qasmi, Najran
Brief Sketch of Imam Abu Hanifa's Life:
Nu'man bin Thabit bin Nu'man bin Marzuban, better known by his nickname Abu Hanifa, was born in Kufa in 80 A.H. He was of Persian origin. His grandfather Nu'man bin Marzuban was regarded even by the elite class of Kabul as wise and astute man. Marzuban, his great-grandfather, had been ruler of a part of Persia. It is recorded in Imam Abu Hanifa's biography that his father Thabit was once brought to Hazrat Ali, the companion of the Prophet (PBUH), who prayed for him and for his descendents. At that time, Thabit was too young and the prayer that Hazrat Ali made for his lineage resulted in birth of the highly esteemed scholar Imam Abu Hanifa in the family.
Imam Abu Hanifa at his early age acquired a basic education and chose a trade as his career, but he was intelligent and had gifted in-born talent. That is why Shaikh Amir Shabi (17A.H.-104A.H.), a noted Muhaddith of Kufa who had the privilege of meeting over 5000 companions of the Prophet (PBUH), suggested that he should continue to learn more about Ilm ul Kalam, Hadith & Fiqh. Thus he left the trade and studied those subjects so dedicatedly from the various scholars of Kufa, Basra and Baghdad that he mastered all those subjects and was widely acclaimed as the greatest Imam in the academic world.
Abu Jafar Mansoor an Abbasid Caliph who was well aware of Imam Abu Hanifa's popularity tried to force him to become Chief Judge of the State, but Imam Abu Hanifa declined and swore not to accept the post. This invoked the anger of the caliph and finally Imam Abu Hanifa was detained in jail in 146A.H. Even there, the indomitable jurist continued to teach those who were permitted to come to him. Imam Muhammad the great Muhaddith and Faqih is one of Imam Abu Hanifa's pupils who learnt from him in jail. The caliph of that period was so scared of his increasing popularity that he poisoned him. When Imam Abu Hanifa felt the effect of poison and became sure that the death was imminent, he went into Sajdah and died. He was buried in Khaizran graveyard in Baghdad and almost 50,000 people participated in the funeral.
The man who had the honour of transmitting Hadiths from Prophet's companions and great Taabi'een said goodbye to the world in 150 A.H. A brief sketch of his life reveals that he willingly sacrificed his life so that the caliph wouldn't be able to impose his own decisions upon him.
The Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Prophecy About Imam Abu Hanifa:
The famous commentator of the Qur'an, Shaikh Jalaluddin Siuti Sha'fei Misri (849A.H – 911 A.H) quoted in his book (تبييض الصحيفة في مناقب الامام أبي حنيفة) a number of Hadiths that clearly prophesize about Imam Abu Hanifa and have been mentioned in different words in Bukhari, Muslim etc.:
“If knowledge were found near the star Pleiades, some people of Persia would acquire it even". (Narrated by Bukhari). Similar Hadiths with slightly different words have been recorded by Muslim and other books Hadith. After quoting all these Hadiths, the commentator Shaikh Siuti adds that in his view the Hadiths are obvious prophecies about Imam Abu Hanifa and they are so clear that we need not to look for other evidence.
Shaikh Ibn Al Hajar Al Haitamy Almakki Al Sha'fei (909 A.H - 937 A.H) writes in his book (الخيرات الحسان في مناقب امام أبي حنيفة) "Some pupils of Shaikh Jalaluddin Siuti believe the Hadiths mentioned above indicate towards Abu Hanifa, because there was no other man of his caliber in Persia who could reach the level of his greatness.
Explanation: We may differ on who or what has been meant by those Hadiths, but various scholars of different schools of thought including the two quoted above concede the point that it was Imam Abu Hanifa who was prophesied by the Prophet ( PBUH).
Imam Abu Hanifa's Status as a Tabi‘ee:
When asked about Imam Abu Hanifa's status as Tabi'ee, the renowned scholar of Hadith Hafiz ibn Al Hajar Asqalani commented that Imam Abu Hanifa was born in Kufa in 80 A.H, the period when a group of Prophets' companions were alive. Hazrat Abdullah bin Aufa lived in Kufa and Hazrat Anas bin Malik in Basra, thus it is probable that Imam Abu Hanifa got a chance to see them. Ibn-e-Saad also reports from his Sanad that beside Hazrat Anas bin Malik there were many other companions who were alive, so it is likely that Imam Abu Hanifa is a Tabi'ee and happened to see a few of them.
Most of the Muhaditheen including Khatib Baghdadi, Allama Ibn Hajr, Allama Nawawi, Allama Zahabi, Allama Zain ul Abidin Sakhawi, Hafiz Abu Na'im Asbahani, Imam Dar-Qutni, Hafiz ibn Abdul Bar, Allama ibnul Jauzi etc. are of the opinion that Imam Abu Hanifa got the chance to see Hazrat Anas bin Malik.
As per the Muhadditheen’s given definition of a Tabi'ee, it is not compulsory for a Tabi'ee to report Hadith from Sahaba. The mere sight of him is enough to be called Tabi'ee. Imam Abu Hanifa not only saw the companions of the prophet but also reported Hadiths from a few of them, especially Hazrat Anas bin Malik.
The above mentioned opinions of the scholars of Fiqh and Hadith, suggest that Imam Abu Hanifa was born at a time when many companions were alive, and got to see some of them. Moreover, the Prophet (PBUH) himself prophesied about Imam Abu Hanifa, as described earlier, which is an obvious testimony of his greatness.
Hadiths which Imam Abu Hanifa reported directly From Companions:
Shaikh Abu Ma'shar Abdul Karim bin Abdussamad Al Tabri Al Maqri Al Shafi'ei wrote a booklet in which he listed all the Hadiths that Imam Abu Hanifa reported directly from Sahabas like: 1. Hazrat Anas bin Malik 2. Hazrat Abdullah bin Jaza Al Zubaidi 3. Hazrat Jabir bin Abdullah 4. Hazrat Ma'qal bin Yasar 5. Hazrat Waathila bin Al As'qa 6. Hazrat A'isha bint Ajr (May Allah be pleased with them).
Explanation: Although, Muhadditheen differ on the exact number of companions from whom Imam Abu Hanifa directly transmitted Hadiths, they all agree on the point that he was a Tabi'ee.
Kufa - The Center of Scholars of Fiqh and Hadith:
During the caliphate of Hazrat Umar Al Farooq, Iraq was conquered. Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqqas a close companion of the Prophet (PBUH) got permission from Hazrat Umar Al Farooq and established a new city of Kufa where he employed the most eloquent and linguist people from different Arab tribes. Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood also was made a part of the plan. He was knowledgeable and well versed with Sunnah and Islamic jurisprudence. Even other companions time and again referred to him in day to day Masa'il. The Prophet (PBUH) said "If a person wants to recite the Qur'an, the way it was revealed, he should follow the method of Ibn-e-Umm-e-Abd" (Abdullah bin Mas'ood). Once the city was fully established, Hazrat Umar sent Abdullah bin Masood to teach Qur'an and Sunnah. He remained there throughout the period of Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthman caliphate teaching Qur'an and Sunnah to the inhabitants of the city. When Hazrat Ali was chosen as caliph he shifted Darul Khilafah to Kufa and it became a huge hub of education, where a large number of Sahabah and Taabi'een, especially Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood, and his students were always available to teach Qur'an and Sunnah.
Imam Abu Hanifa inherited the legacy of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood through three of his teachers: Shaikh Hammad, Shaikh Ibrahim Nakha'i, and Shaikh Al'qama. He accompanied Shaikh Hammad for 18 years and replaced him in Kufa when he died. Since Imam Abu Hanifa inherited Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood’s legacy, we see his opinions in Masa'il of Fiqh are generally based on Hadiths narrated by him. For instance, Rafa Yadain before & after Roku is one of a few issues in which Hadiths are contradictory, but Imam Abu Hanifa acts upon the Hadith of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood, and says it is not Sunnah.
Composition of Hadiths in Caliphate of Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz and Imam Abu Hanifa:
Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz during his caliphate appointed two prominent scholars of Hadith Shaikh Abu Bakr bin Al Hazam and Shaikh Muhammad bin Shihab Zuhri to collect all Hadiths in books. Till then, generally the Hadiths were not preserved in books, instead they were learnt by heart. These two were the first who compiled them in books. The Prophet (PBUH) prohibited his companions from writing Hadiths, so that they would not get messed up with the Qur'an. A few Faqih Sahaba, could distinguish Hadiths from the Qur'an, and they were allowed to write them. But in the subsequent period, the rightly guided caliphs collected the Qur'anic verses and shaped them into a book. Now there was no fear of the Qur'an and Hadiths being mixed up together. So Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz commanded Muhadditheen to compile Hadiths in books from Hadiths that were preserved in the hearts of various people.
This first collection consisted mostly the Hadiths that were attributed to the Prophet (PBUH) by two narrators in the middle; the Tabi'ee and the Sahabi. Some were attributed even by one narrator. Since the period was nearer the period of the Prophet (PBUH) and the narrators were either Sahabi or Tabi'ee there was no possibility of the Hadith, being weak or false.
At that time this collection was available for Imam Abu Hanifa. So he derived all his Shar'i Masa'il from it. In general, he got the Hadiths which reached the Prophet (PBUH) by two narrators in the middle, he also narrated Hadith with one narrator but they are few. The Hadiths with two narrators in the middle are called Thuna'i. These types of Hadiths are considered of highest quality but they are not available in any of Bukhari Muslim etc. Bukhari records 22 Hadiths with three narrators (Thulasiyat). Out of them 20 are reported by the pupils of Imam Abu Hanifa.
Islamic Regime From 80 A.H To 150 A.H & Imam Abu Hanifa:
Imam Abu Hanifa, as mentioned in the first chapter, was born in 80 A.H. during the regime of the Umayyad caliph Abdul Malik bin Marwan. Abdul Malik died in 86 A.H. six years after Imam Abu Hanifa's birth. Then, his son Walid bin Abdul Malik took over the regime. He reigned for 10 years and died in 96 A.H., vacating the place of governance to his brother Sulaiman bin Abdul Malik. The new caliph Sulaiman would only rule for 3 years and died in 99A.H., but prior to his death he chose another member of the family, Hazrat Umar bin Abul Aziz, who was not his son nor his brother, for the caliphate. This was a strange decision and thus people were surprised by it. However, they were happy. Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz ruled for a short span of 2 years & 6 months (99A.H-101A.H), but his regime was so just and fair that it reminded people of the caliphate of rightly guided caliphs and earned him the title of the fifth rightly guided caliph.
The authors of history attribute many valuable achievements to Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz, but the most significant of all was his collection of Hadiths which has already been mentioned. Imam Abu Hanifa was now 19-21 years old and witnessed the period when Hadiths were being collected in books.
He continued to live in Kufa through most of the remaining period of the Umayyad caliphate, but in the last days of the caliphate he migrated to Makkah due to some differences between him and the government. He lived for 7 years in Makkah. Then, he again came back to Kufa when the Umayyad caliphate was finished and the new governance of the Abbasid caliphate was established.
Abu Jafar Al Mansoor the Abbasid caliph offered Imam Abu Hanifa the post of Chief Judge of the state, but he refused because he knew well that Al Mansoor was not sincere and his only intention was to enhance his regime. Incensed by his refusal, the ruler had Imam Abū Ḥanīfah arrested, locked in prison and tortured. He was never fed nor cared for. Even there, the indomitable jurist continued to teach those who were permitted to come to him until he died in the prison in 150 A.H. Imam Ahmad bin Hambal very often wept when he recalled the torture Imam Abu Hanifa went through at Al Mansoor's hand and prayed for him. (Al Khairatul Hisaan: Vol 1, Page 59).
Imam Abu Hanifa and Science of Hadith:
The Hadiths transmitted through Imam Abu Hanifa are rare in the famous books of Hadith and that is why some bigoted groups of people are apt to believe that he knew little about Hadiths. In fact this opinion is based on hatred and prejudice that the enemies of Imam Abu Hanifa have deep in their hearts. The man who learnt Science of Hadith when he was only 20 year old, lived in the golden period of the companions, Taabi'een and Tab-e- Taabi'een, and got the Hadiths of the Prophet through only one or two narrators in the middle. He spent eighteen years of his life with pupils of the great Faqih Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood, and lived in the period of Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz when Hadiths were being collected. Abu Hanifa learnt the Science of Hadith from various Scholars of Kufa, Basrah, Baghdad, Makkah and Madina who were the great Muhadith of all time. He derived thousands of Masa'il from the Qur'an and Hadith, played a vital role in composition of Fiqh, and produced a large number of scholars who enlightened the world with their Islamic knowledge. How it is possible that such man was ignorant or knew little about Hadith. It is as if we say that Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthman didn't know much of Hadith, and that is why their narrations are rare in the books. While it is obvious to everybody that all three of them were closer to the Prophet (PBUH), they had their own reasons for not narrating all what they heard from him. Similarly, Imam Abu Hanifa was as great a Muhaddith as he was a Faqih.
The Famous Books of Hadiths and Imam Abu Hanifa:
The famous books of Hadiths like Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Abu Da'ood, Nasa'i, Ibn-e-Majah etc. were written almost 100 years after the demise of Imam Abu Hanifa. Even their authors, the majority of whom were pupils of Imam Abu Hanifa's pupils, were not born at his time. But Imam Abu Yousuf and Imam Muhammad the two acclaimed pupils of Imam Abu Hanifa collected his Hadiths as well as lessons of Fiqh and shaped them into books. Most of them are still available. If we compare these books with others, we will find them more authentic and reliable as they consist of Hadiths which reach the Prophet (PBUH) through only two narrators in the middle.
Teachers Of Imam Abu Hanifa:
The biography authors count almost 4000 senior scholars from whom Imam Abu Hanifa learnt. He himself says: "There is not a single Muhaddith in Kufa and Basra that he hasn't got benefit from". For more detail, read Biography of Imam Abu Hanifa. Here is a short list of his teachers: Shaikh Hammad bin Abi Sulaiman, Shaikh Ata bin abi Rabah, Shaikh Ikrama Barbari, Shaikh Imam Auza'I, Shaikh Imam Makhool and two of the seven famous Faqih of Al Madina Al Munawwarh.
Students of Imam Abu Hanifa:
Allama Shibli Numani mentions in 'Siratun Numan' that the circle of Imam Abu Hanifa's class was even wider than border of the contemporary caliph's governance. Imam Shafi'ie says "Those who aspire to be perfect in Fiqh, should read Imam Abu Hanifa's Fiqh". He also says: "If he had not been the student of Imam Muhammad (Pupil of Imam Abu Hanifa) he would not have had the high status in Fiqh". The list of his pupils is so large that this small piece is not adequate, that is why, it is better to name only a few, who were closer to him and continued to teach as per his Maslak. 1. Imam Abu Yousuf 2. Imam Muhammad bin Hassan Al Shaibani 3. Imam Zufar bin Huzail 4. Imam Yahya bin Sa'id Al Qattan 5. Imam Yahya bin Zakariya 6. Muhaddith Abdullah bin Mubarak 7. Imam Wakee bin Al Jarrah Imam Da'ood Al Ta'i etc.
The Collection of Fiqh:
Scholars have defined the Science of Fiqh in different words, but the common point of all the definitions is to understand Islamic law in the light of Qur'an and Hadith. Before we understand the Fiqh-e-Hanafi, we need to know an important principle that Imam Abu Hanifa set for himself. He said, “If I want to know a ruling of Shari'ah about an issue, I first see Qur'an and Hadith. If that issue has not been mentioned in both of them, I search the sayings or actions of the companions. If it is also not there, I go through the Fatawa of others, and think of my own Qiyas or Ijtihad.” He further says, “if I get a Hadith (though weak in Sanad) on a particular issue I always prefer Hadith over my own Ijtihad.” Imam Abu Hanifa did not make this principle on his own account, but he derived it from the famous Hadith in which the Prophet (PBUH) told to Hazrat Mu'aaz bin Jabal to do so. Imam Abu Hanifa learnt from three very intimate pupils of Hazrat Abdullah bin Masood. That is why, the Fiqh-e-Hanafi as a whole is based on his Hadiths. He was a Faqih and people, even when the Prophet (PBUH) was alive, turn to him in Masa'il of Shari'ah. He taught Qur'an and Hadith in Kufa. Shaikh Alqama bin Qais and Shaikh Aswad bin Yazid were his two closest students. Once he said that whatever he learnt from the Quran and Hadith, he taught to Alaqam and now his knowledge was no more than Alqama's.
When both Shaikh Alqama and Shaikh Aswad died, Shaikh Ibrahim Nakha'i was chosen to become their successor in Kufa. He made so many valuable contributions to the Fiqh that people started calling him the Faqih of Iraq. The most significant achievement of Shaikh Ibrahim Nakha'i, as Fuqaha write, was a collection of Fiqh that was later shaped into books by Abu Hanifa's pupils, especially by Imam Muhammad, Imam Yousuf and Imam Zufar. These books are still available.
Explanation: Today, some people read a few pages of Hadith and feel themselves inclined to denial of Fiqh. But the fact is, to understand the Qur'an and Hadith, and derive Masa'il of Shari'ah from them is called Fiqh. Moreover, the pupils of Imam Abu Hanifa had composed the Fiqh-e-Hanafi even before books like Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Abu Da'ood, Nasa'i, Ibn-e-Majah, Tabrani, Baihaqi, etc. came into existence. So, if the Fiqh was of no importance, the authors of those books of Hadiths would definitely have rejected it.
Point: If we go through the history, we will find that all the previous governments, in particular Abbasid and Umayyad, followed the Fiqh-e-Hanafi in 75 percent of their judicial and civil laws. Even today, the judicial laws of majority of Muslim countries are based on Fiqh-e-Hanafi.
The Opinions of Ulama-e-Ummat About Imam Abu Hanifa:
The previous chapters have clarified Imam Abu Hanifa's status as Muhaddith and the contributions he made towards Fiqh. Now, this chapter describes the opinions, Ulama-e-Ummat hold about him.
· Imam Mis'ar bin Kidam (153 A.H ) often told the people that he had not envied any of the men of Kufa except two persons: Imam Abu Hanifa & his Fiqh, and Shaikh Hassan bin Salih & his piousness. (Taarikh-e-Baghdad Vol: 14, Page: 328)
· Imam Auza'i the Faqih and Muhadith of Syria (157 A.H ) used to say: "Imam Abu Hanifa knows the complicated issues better than any other man of knowledge". (Manaqib-e-Kurdi, Page: 90)
· Imam Da'ood Al Ta'i ( 160 A.H ) said: Imam Abu Hanifa has got knowledge that touches the heart of believers. (Al Khairat Al Hisaan, Page: 32)
· Once Imam Sufyan Thori (167 A.H ) told a man who had just visited Imam Abu Hanifa that he had been fortunate to meet the greatest Faqih on the surface of earth. (Al Khairat Al Hisan, Page: 32).
· Imam Malik bin Anas (179 A.H) often confessed that he had not seen a man like Imam Abu Hanifa. (Al Khairat Al Hisan, Page: 28)
· Imam Waki bin Al Jarrah (195 A.H ) said that he had not met a Faqih greater than Imam Abu Hanifa.
· Imam Yahya bin Mueen (233 A.H ) generally delivered Fatwa in accordance with what Imam Abu Hanifa had said and memorized his Hadiths. (He heard a number of Imam Abu Hanifa's Hadith). (Jami Bayanul Ilm by: Allama Ibnul Bar Vol: 2 Page: 149).
· Imam Shafi'i (204 A.H) says we all need Imam Abu Hanifa in Fiqh. If a man wants to become perfect Faqih, he is required to study his Fiqh. (Taarikh-e-Baghdad Vol: 23 Page: 161).
· Imam Muwaffaq bin Ahmad Makki referred to Imam Bakr bin Muhammad Zaranjri (152 A.H) had told him that Imam Abu Hanifa's book 'Kitabul Aathar' is a selection, out of 40000 Hadiths. (Manaaqib Imam Abu Hanifa).
The topic in question is indeed very vast. It requires volumes to cover all aspect of Imam Abu Hanifa's life and his contributions towards Hadith and fiqh. Here, in this article I have attempted to collect the summarized data related to Imam Abu Hanifa and remove wrong perception of few people regarding his knowledge about Hadith. Allama Jalaluddin Siuti wrote a comprehensive biography of Imam Abu Hanifa titled 'تبيض الصحيفة في مناقب الإمام أبي حنيفة '. For detailed information on the subject, I advise readers to read this book.
MUFTI MOHAMMAD ANWAR KHAN
Maulana Shah Abdul Qadir Raipuri, the celebrated spiritual reformer and well-known guide of Sufism in India, was born in 1296 A.H., in the village of Dhadiyal located in Sargodha District of Punjab Province of modern day Pakistan. His father, Hafiz Ahmad, was a righteous individual who belonged to a family steeped in religious learning and piety. Thus, when Maulana Raipuri was born, he was surrounded by Islamic scholarship and religiosity. As the Maulana’s life shows, he too began to develop a thirst for knowledge that was a common trait amongst his family members. In his early years, Maulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri committed to memory the entire Holy Qur’an under the guidance of his uncle, Maulana Kalimullah. It was also under the tutelage of his uncle that he acquired knowledge of the Persian language. As he continued his studies, Maulana Raipuri had the privilege of learning the Arabic language from Maulana Muhammad Rafiq, a renowned scholar from amongst the most talented students of Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi. He also traveled to Delhi, where he studied the subject of hadith in Madrasa Abdur Rabb from Maulana Abdul Ali as well as Sunan at-Tirmidhi from the great Maulana Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri. All in all, Maulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri vigorously pursued his academic endeavors and he fulfilled the courses of the general Islamic syllabus by traveling to different Islamic schools and institutions in India. At the culmination of his studies, Maulana Raipuri was an expert in logic and philosophy.
After achieving his goals in his studies of the religious books of his time, Maulana Raipuri dedicated himself to the task of learning Greek medicine. Once he had successfully acquired the depth and breadth of the medicinal sciences, he opened a clinic in Afzal Garh, a small town in the district of Bijnor, where he assisted in providing relief for the sick. Later in life, he traveled to Bareilly in U.P. and conducted classes on Qur’an and hadith. Maulana had always had an enquiring mind, which compelled him to spend his life in pursuit of knowledge. His continuous journey in search of truth required that he travel to different localities in India, which concluded after his meeting with Maulana Abdur Rahim Raipuri. After his first encounter with the wise scholar, he felt a desire kindle within him to remain in his company and have the opportunity to live under his new mentor’s guardianship who would help him develop his intellect, his morals, and most importantly, his soul. While Maulana Abdur Rahim advised his newfound student to head for Gangoh in order to learn from Maulana Rasheed Ahmad, his apprentice could not bear to part ways with him. Eventually, Maulana Abdul Qadir pledged himself to a spiritual allegiance under Maulana Abdur Rahim. His teacher counseled him to become more punctual in his task of worshipping Allah and remembering Him throughout the day as he carried out the daily tasks that needed his attention. Soon, many students would flock to his school in search of spiritual knowledge, which is the first step for the seekers of truth in the science of Tasawuff.
As time passed, Maulana Abdul Qadir began to develop the spiritual perception known as Wuquf Al Qalb, a state in which an individual constantly reflects on the signs of Allah while carrying out his daily tasks. The Maulana would devote his whole day in remembering Allah while serving his spiritual guide and teaching students of knowledge. His nights were filled with devotions and determined supplications to Allah, the Almighty. Maulana Abdur Rahim was pleased with the piety and spiritual progress of his student. At the time of his death, he declared Maulana Abdul Qadir to be his foremost successor and spiritual inheritor and urged him to spend the rest of his life in Raipur so that people may benefit from his knowledge and company. It is for this reason that the Maulana has always been remembered as “Maulana Raipuri.’
After his teacher’s demise, Maulana Abdul Qadir followed in the footsteps of his beloved mentor and devoted his efforts to the spiritual reformation of thousands of new students who traveled to him from different parts of India. For forty-five years, he spent his days and nights teaching his disciples the methods of the purification of the soul and the secrets of Tasawuff. He himself had strived in his spiritual training to the level in which he exemplified the Sunnah. Now he was helping others inculcate the Prophetic Tradition within their own lives. Word of Maulana Raipuri’s self-reformation movement spread to the homes of hundreds of thousands of Muslims who began to correct their practices and beliefs and took to sincere repentance inspired by Maulana Raipuri. Thousands of Muslim scholars also turned to him in order to tread on the path of Tasawuff gaining knowledge, seeking truth and ultimately finding peace and solace. Observing his students’ quick progress, he began to authorize them to teach and propagate Islam in different parts of India. While Maulana Raipuri spent many years encouraging and guiding the Muslims of India on the path of truth, his time in this world was nearing its end and he finally passed away on Rabi Al-Awwal, 14, 1382 AH.
Concentration in studies
During his years as a student, Maulana Raipuri was engrossed in Islamic scholarly literature and would always be seen studying from them. Later in life, when he was a teacher, he would instruct students to read their books out loud so that he could listen and revise what he had already learned. It was during this early period of his life when Maulana Raipuri lost himself in the world of books. During his stay in Saharanpur, he was always seen in the company of his student Mr. Azad and would call on him after the Fajr Prayer. He selected him to read out the book - Futuh ash Sham - or any other Islamic book discussing the biographies of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (saws). When Mr. Azad was busy attending to his personal needs, Maulana Raipuri would long for him to such a degree that he would send someone to fetch him to be at his side reading out the books that he desired. Maulana pressed Mr. Azad to continue reading, which would take up all of his time, and when he would fall silent, Maulana would find more books for him to read out loud.
Maulana Abul Hasan remarks, “His love for books may well be highlighted from the following story. When I was staying in Rai Bareilly in the month of October 1960, I wrote to him that the third volume in the series of books ‘Saviors of the Islamic Spirit,’ which covered the biography of Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia, was successfully completed. A short period after writing this letter to him, I presented myself before him in Raipur. He was extremely delighted to see me and asked me for the manuscript of my book. He instantly ordered it to be read out to his students. After prayers, it became a regular routine for me to read this book before him and his students. He kept away from all other tasks until I completed reading out my entire book before his students.”
Amazing Spiritual Strength
The first thing that would catch the attention of a newly arrived visitor coming to see Maulana Raipuri at his seminary was the humming of Allah’s names and the whispered supplications of his devout students. When new students set foot on his campus, it would seem that even the leaves of the trees in the area were making mention of Allah’s name. Even Maulana’s students seemed to be constantly glorifying and calling unto Allah, taking only a few moments of rest in between their praises and prayers.
Those who had the special opportunity of attending the gatherings of Maulana Abdul Qadir would get the feeling of contentment and spiritual ecstasy during the time spent in his company. Experiencing a relief from their daily anxieties and burdens, it was as if their grief and sorrows melted away every time they drew near to him. Those gifted with keen insight and farsighted ones would clearly comprehend that it was originally the wonderful characteristic of the Naqshbandi chain of Sufism, which prevailed over the entire ambiance in Raipur. Some witnessed that as they gained in physical proximity towards Maulana Abdul Qadir, they increased in spiritual strength required for worship which in turn would allow them to enjoy a sweet inward bliss that was like nothing comparable to any worldly joy they knew. Maulana Raipuri’s remarkable and enlightening personality uplifted their souls over their benign daily lives and served as an inspiration of the spirit of submission to the will of Allah, the Almighty.
Once a person, who attended the Khanqah of Maulana Abdul Qadir, reported an incident related to one of his spiritual gatherings, “I was always disheartened when hearing people say that they experienced some strange and incredible inner change in themselves while in the presence of blessed persons who had devoted their entire lives to the will of God because this was one feeling that I had not yet experienced. However, I was amazed to experience this feeling after the Maghrib Prayer in the gathering of people who were present in the congregation led by Maulana Raipuri. During this gathering, I felt a unique proximity towards the Divine presence of Allah, the Almighty, during my supplications. Suddenly, I felt tears started flowing from my eyes as this feeling overwhelmed me and Maulana Raipuri was besides me, consoling my unexpressed emotions and the love that I felt towards God, a mood that was shared by all the seekers. On this special occasion, I completed the prescribed amount of meditation only after great difficulty. Once I had done so, I turned to Maulana Raipuri, and said, “O master, today everything appeared to me as completely mysterious and different.”
Love for the Righteous Men
Once, Maulana Abul Hasan Nadwi remarked: “Since his early days, Maulana Raipuri had developed a keen sense of love and desire for learning. This desire was coupled with the flames of divine love that were always kept alive burning in his heart, a love which had become second nature to him, and pulsated throughout his arteries and veins like blood. That is the reason that he was a great admirer of Khawaja Nizamuddin Auliya. He always listened with great attention to the biographies of renowned devout Sufis- an obsession that only grew his affection towards them. He developed a deep admiration within his heart for those selfless individuals who strived to cure the spiritual ills of the people around them.
On another occasion, Maulana Abul Hasan mentioned about Maulana Raipuri: “During his stay in Lahore in 1959, some of his close companions advised him to select the biography of Maulana Fazlur Rahman, while they were at the villa of Haji Mateen Ahmad, to be read out for people after the Asr prayer, to which he agreed to. The book was still unpublished but I had its incomplete manuscript with me, which was read before him. The inspiring, and heart-touching stories were related to the Maulana, after which he was completely entranced and in a state of spiritual elation that words cannot describe. The people who were attending the gathering listened with rapt attention, which was a reaction that was sparked by his elevated spiritual state, a state that began to spread to others. Some of those who were present at the gathering remarked that they had never felt such an extraordinary spiritual experience. At the closing of the sitting, Maulana Raipuri commented, “These stories are so lovely. In fact, all the actions of beloved people are always beloved.”
Standard of Decoration
Once while he was staying in the Mosque of the Prophet at Madinah, one of his servants said to him, “Master, the later generations of Muslims have added much decoration to the mosque of the Prophet and they have spread extremely expensive carpets over its floor. I wish it were left in its previous state of simplicity.” On hearing this, he reacted strongly, “Wherever decoration and beauty are found, they are a result of the Prophet’s being.” While expressing these words, his inner spiritual state was enigmatic, pregnant with strange deep emotions and love that he held in his heart for the Prophet Muhammad (saws).
Love for the Prophet (saws)
It is said that while Maulana Raipuri was on his deathbed, whenever he heard the name “Madinah Al-Munawwarah”, the abode of the Holy Prophet, he would start to weep bitterly. Once, Maulana Muhammad Anwari paid a visit to Maulana Raipuri, who was about to set out for his Umrah (minor pilgrimage). Whenever Madinah was mentioned to the Maulana, he would start weeping sadly and uncontrollably for being parted from the charismatic company of Holy Prophet’s (saws) presence that comes into view by every Muslim looming large in his mosque at Madinah even today. Maulana Muhammad says, “I never saw the Maulana expressing as much inward joy as he would at the mere word of the City of Light, Madinah, the last resting abode of the Prophet Muhammad.” When one of his acquaintances, Babu Abdul Aziz, came to him, the Maulana said to him sadly, “Look! He is going to Madinah!” When he uttered these words, there were tears in his eyes.
Humility and Modesty
Maulana Abul Hasan describes his humility in the following manner: “During his stay in Faisalabad, his well wishers, servants, and those who were close to him were in a state of confusion about where Maulana Raipuri should pass the month of Ramadan. The people from Faisalabad wanted him to stay in their area and they tried to persuade him to accept their invitation, whereas, those from Lahore wanted him to be in their midst while Mr. Qureshi was of the idea that he should stay in Rawalpindi. One day the Maulana called three eminent people from the three groups and said to them, “My brothers, I am just a son of a poor farmer. My family belonged to a financially weak background such that when I returned home from my daily tasks, my mother would get worried as to how to arrange a meal for me. Yet now, all of you are requesting me to take his side. Actually, this situation in itself is such a blessing and reward for which I have been granted only for mentioning Allah’s name for a few days. Why should you too not engage yourselves in remembering Allah’s name with sincerity? Why do you make me feel ashamed?” His words that were said on this occasion moved some people to tears.
His Generous Nature
Thanks to Allah, Maulana Raipuri’s needs were always fulfilled ahead of time by his well-wishers. Whenever he was in possession of extra funds, he would immediately spend these funds in charity as he was generous by nature. He found it unbearable to withhold surplus wealth with him throughout the night. Haji Fazlur Rahman Khan says, “I have on many occasions distributed hundreds of thousands of rupees among the needy ones by his order.” It was a general habit of the Maulana that he gave some Ulama one or two hundred rupees under the pretext of giving them a journey fare.
One of his servants while on his pilgrimage to Makkah left from there to Egypt and then to Syria. Maulana Raipuri gave the amount of one thousand rupees to a friend of his and requested him to send the funds to him and ordered him to write: “Your health cannot allow you to make this journey by a sea route. Therefore, you should accept this money and arrange your travel by plane.” In brief, he received money from one only to give it to another.
Availability of Funds
Once while there was a large gathering of people sitting with him, someone came to him to shake hands and then requested Maulana Raipuri in an unceremonious manner, “Master, I need ten rupees.” The Maulana said to him, “Pray to Allah.” And, then he kept silent. After a short period of time, someone came to the Maulana and placed a hundred rupee note into his hand. Then he inquired, “Where is the man who just asked me for ten rupees?” He said, “Here I am, O master.” He said to him, “Take the ten rupees that you asked for.” He said, “Master, it is a hundred rupee note.” He said, “No problem, just take it and enjoy.”
His Kind Nature
Once a certain person who frequented Maulana Raipuri’s sermons described the kind nature of Maulana Raipuri by stating, “During my fifty-two years of life, I have never had a teacher, friend, or any other person as compassionate and loving as him. If any of his guests ever fell ill, he would lie awake worrying over him throughout the night. Each individual who was connected to the Maulana thought that the Maulana loved him more than anyone else. He had such a considerable amount of love stored in his heart that even the most wretched, worried person facing hardships found all his problems vanishing on meeting him.”
Another student adds, “Throughout my life, I have never come across a kind person like him. No one can even behave so kindly and lovingly as he did with us.”
Maulana Abul Hasan added: Once, after finishing my meal, my eyes fell on Maulana Raipuri who had not eaten anything and I requested the Maulana, “Master, you have taken nothing for yourself from the meals!” On that he said, “When I see you eat, I feel that I am also eating.”
Hadhrat Maulana Izaz Ali He was one of the most distinguished graduates of Darul Uloom. After his graduation from it in A H 1321, Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind selected him for Madrasah Naumania Pureni, District Bhagalpur (Bihar). Accord¬ingly, he taught there for nearly seven years. Then he came to Shahjahanpur and established a Madrasah under the name 'Afzalul Madaris' in a mosque where he taught for the sake of Allah (i.e. without charging any fees or taking any remuneration). For nearly three years he taught very successfully in this Madrasah. In A H. 1330 he was appointed as a teacher in Darul Uloom Deoband, and in the first year he was assigned elementary books of Arabic like 'Ilmus Sigha, Nurul ¬Ezah, etc. In the report for that period it has been stated about this Professor of Literature as under: ¬ "He (Maulawi Izaz Ali) has been a teacher at some places. He is a young, talented, righteous and pious scholar. In complexion and character he is a relic of his ancestors. He has complete proficiency in different sciences and great expertise particularly in the science of literature. He teaches in the middle classes of Darul Uloom. He handles most of the lessons of the science of literature. He also exercises the students in writing Arabic articles. He is an eloquent lecturer; the students are very familiar with him".
In A H 1340, when Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, was selected for the post of the Chief Mufti of the erstwhile Hyderabad State, so he on account of his old age, took Maulana Izaz Ali with him. There he stayed one year and came back with Hafiz Sahib to Deoband. In the vacancy of the Chief Mufti Maulana Azizur Rahman, he was appointed as Chief Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband, on which post he stayed in Darul Uloom till his demise. Religious jurisprudence (Fiqh) and literature were his special fields. Initially when he came to Darul Uloom Deoband, he had been assigned elementary books of Arabic, but at last his teaching attained such popularity that he became famous by the title of "Shaikhul Adab wal-Fiqh" (Professor of Literature & Jurisprudence). In the last phase of his life he also taught for several years the second volume of the Tirmizi and also higher books of Tafsir. In Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani's absence, he also had several times the chance of teaching the Bukhari Sharif also. Along with teaching he had also had a special penchant for training and looking after the students; a quality from which the students benefited very. His punctuality was proverbial and in his punctual engagement of his classes he was sui generis.
From the very inception of teaching till his last breath he was meticulously punctual in his work. He was a paragon of selflessness and humility. He would never feel ashamed of teaching the most elementary books along with the highest books; teaching Tirmizi and Bukhari (to higher classes), he would gladly teach Mizanus Sarf, Ilmus Sigha, Nurul Ezah, etc. to small children also. The most beloved student in his eyes would be one who devoted himself to studies with singleness of purpose and the most hated would be one who engaging in pastimes, showed carelessness in studies, though such a student be his own son.
Even as this professor of literature had great mastery in writing Arabic prose and poetry, he was equally highly proficient in composing Urdu prose and poetry also. He had a special style in Urdu prose. Though his hand was not quite legible, the style of writing was such that it looked pleasing to the eye. In Arabic literature, he had compiled a book entitled Nafahatul Arab comprising historical anecdotes, fables and moral themes. This book became very popular in Arabic schools and as such was included in the syllabi of Darul Uloom and many other Madrasas. Besides this, he has written many useful notes on many books of Fiqh and Arabic Literature, which are highly appreciated in the circle of scholars.
His ability in administrative matters too was acknowledged on all hands and his administrative know-how was often utilized in the manage¬ment office also. In short, he was an incomparable teacher, an erudite religious divine and a versatile personality. The period of his academic services in Darul Uloom extended over 44 years.
He was entrusted with the post of Ifta twice: first time from 1347 to 1348, and second time from 1364 to 1366. During his period, 24,855 fatwas were written. He passed away in 1374 (1955).
(History of Darul Uloom Deoband by Mahboob Rizwi)
Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Azizur Rahman was born in A H 1275 (1859). His father was Maulana Fazlur Rahman. In late A H 1284 when the class for reading the Holy Quran was started in Darul Uloom, he was admitted to this class for memorizing the Quran. In A H 1287 he memorized the entire Quran. The teacher of his class was Hafiz Namdar Khan. In A H 1295 he graduated from Darul Uloom. The teachers of Darul Uloom then were Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqub Nanautawi, Hadhrat Maulana Syed Ahmed Dehlawi, Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind and Maulana Abdul Ali (Allah's mercy be on all of them!). In the commencement function (Jalsa Dastar Bandi) of A H. 1298, he was awarded the Sanad at the hands of Hadhrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi.
After graduation he worked for some time as an assistant teacher in Darul Uloom, rendering at the same time the services of fatwa-writing under the supervision of the principal, Maulana Muhammad Yaqub. Then he was sent to Meerut, where, at Madrasah Islamia, Inderkot, he remained engaged in teaching for several years. In A H 1309 the elders of Darul Uloom selected him for the post of the pro-vice-chancellor, and after one year he was also appointed as mufti and teacher. Apart from writing fatwas he was assigned to take some classes of Hadith, Tafsir and Fiqh.
Mufti Sahib used to write the answers to very important and vexed questions (istifta) off-hand and spontaneously. For nearly forty years he rendered this great service of writing fatwas in Darul Ifta on behalf of Darul Uloom. In this long period, he wrote many difficult fatwas, which are not, merely fatwas but are of the nature of judgment in controversial cases. Even during journeys, he used to write fatwas informally through sheer acumen, expertise and ability. The explicit texts of Fiqh he mostly remembered by heart. A great peculiarity of his fatwas is that they are easily intelligible; the language of the fatwas is easy and fluent, a feature which is not to be found in the fatwas of this era.
Among the religio-Iegal sciences, fatwa-writing is a very difficult task. The knowledgeable alone can appreciate the delicate points that crop up in this task due to change of circumstances. Ordinarily, fatwas have been written in every period but the consummate expertise possessed by Mufti Sahib has been shared by very few Ulama of Deoband. It is regrettable that the record of those fatwas Mufti Sahib had written between 1310 and 1329 is not extant. A great peculiarity of his fatwa-writing was also this that he never overlooked the zeitgeist and the demands of the time of which he used to have a profound knowledge. If there could be two decidable aspects of a proposition (mas'ala), he would on such occasions always adopt the easy aspect and issue the fatwa on it only, never adopting that aspect which would create difficulties for the masses. Examples of this feature are present everywhere in his fatwas. The fatwas issued between A H 1330 and A H 1346 number 37,561. But among these also the record of some years has been lost. The afore¬said number is that of the recorded fatwas only. According to a cursory estimate of Maulana Muhammad Tayyib, vice-chancellor, Darul Uloom Deoband, the number of Mufti Sahib's fatwas comes to the huge figure of nearly 1,18,000. This prodigious output and achievement of Mufti Sahib is a great and glorious religious service. This characteristic feature of his fatwas also commands a great importance that, in and outside India, these fatwas were being considered decisive. The fatwas written between A H 1330 to A H 1346, arranged in jurisprudential order, are being published by Darul Uloom under the title Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband. 12 volumes of which have been published so far.
Mufti Sahib was not only a religious divine and mufti but also a Sufi and one of the great masters of the esoteric science. He was awarded Khilafah by Hazrat Maulana Rafiuddin Sahib. The practice of accepting allegiance and giving spiritual guidance was also a part of his life. Thousands of Muslims benefited from him and rectified their inner selves.
Mufti Sahib had also resigned from Darul Uloom along with Hadhrat Anwar Shah Kashmiri. In 1347 when he was returning ed to Deoband, en route he was feeling indisposed. Treatment began when he reached Deoband but the condition did not improve. The "promised hour" had come. At last, on the night of 17th Jamadius-Sani, A H 1347 (1928), he expired. He was laid to rest in the graveyard of the Darul Uloom.
He was a high-ranking personality amongst the matchless personalities possessing knowledge and practice, good morals and habits, gnosis and insight, and jurisprudential knowledge and understanding, appointed to grace the Darul Ifta of Darul Uloom Deoband.
(History of Darul Uloom Deoband by Mahboob Rizwi)
Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani
Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani (born November 1956 at Jala, Darbhanga, Bihar) is the General Secretary of Islami Fiqh Academy, India and founder member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board. He is an eminent Islamic scholar with expertise in Islamic jurisprudence. With his deeper understanding of the Quran, Sunnah, Shariah and knowledge disciplines, Moulana guides the Muslim community on modern problems. He has inherited rich scholarly traditions from his family of reputed scholars, specifically his father Moulana Zainul Abidain and grandfather Moulana Abdul Ahad Jalavi. Due to his versatile and dynamic approach, Moulana is well known in media. He regularly delivers lectures and sermons in Hyderabad on current topics to guide the community.
Maulana Rahmani learned and practiced Islamic jurisprudence under the aegis of famous Islamic jurists like Moulana Minnatullah Rahmani and Moulana Mujahid-ul-Islam Qasmi. He also wrote more than 50 books on a wide range of topics and pioneered more than fifteen institutions of Islamic education, research and jurisprudence across the country. He has introduced specialization and super specialization in Islamic education, a pioneering work. He has attempted to introduce new disciplines in Madrasa education through adding practical affairs like Dawah and Media in the curriculum. His broad outlook, ability to provide solutions to the modern problems and represent Islam in media has made him popular in all sections and sects of the Muslim community in India.
His grandfather Moulana Abdul Ahad Jalavi was a renowned Islamic scholar and an apostle of Moulana Rasheed Ahmed Ganguhi, Shaikh-ul-Hind Mahmudul Hasan and Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. His father Moulana Zainul Abidain, Islamic scholar and tabeeb, writer of the books Deen-e-Ibrahimi, Seerat-ul-Mustafa, Makarim-ul-Hadeeth. His paternal uncle Moulana Mujahidul Islam Qasmi was a renowned Islamic scholar, community leader and thinker, former President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Founder of Islamic Fiqh Academy and All India Milli Council).
Positions held and Achievements
1. Quran ek ilhami ketab
2. 24 Ayaat (eterazat ka izala)
3. Fiqa al quran
4. Terjuma Quran–e majeed ma mukhtasar tawjihat (uncomp)
1. Asan usul Hadeeth
2. Ilm usul Hadeeth (under print)
3. Aasarussunan (uncomp..)
1. Qamusulfiqa (5 volumes)
2. Jadid fiqi masael
3. Ibadat aur jadid masael
4. Islam aur jadid maasherati masael
5. Islam aur jadid maashi masael
6. Islam aur jadid medical masael
7. Aasan usul fiqa
8. Tariq fiqa islami (under print)
9. Ketabulftawa (6 volumes)
10. Talaq w tafriq
11. Islam ke usul qaanun (under print)
12. Masjid ke shar ie masael
13. Muslamano aur gair muslmo ke taaluqat
14. Halal wo haram
15. Islam ka nzam usher wo zakat
16. Zakat fzael wo masael
17. Naye masael
Biography of Prophet SAW
1. Muqtasar sirat bin hasham
2. Qutbat Bengalor
3. Nuqoosh –e- Nabavi
Dawah & Tazkeer
1. Nuqoosh –e- Mouezat
2. Asre hazir ke samaji masael
3. Deeni va Asri taleem – Masael aur hal
4. Shama Farozan (I)
5. Shama Farozan (II) (under print)
1. Hayate Mujahid
1. Aasan osoole Hadeeth
2. Aasan osoole Fiq
3. Aasan Deeniyat
4. Islamiyat I, II (B.A Moulana Aazad Urdu University )
1. Haqayaq aur ghalat fahmiya
2. Rahe etedal
3. Muslim Persona law – ek Nazar me
4. Muravvija bidaat – Fuqaha-e – Islam ke Nazarme
5. Qadiyaniyat—Islam ke qilaf baghavat
6. Aurat –Islam ke sayeme
1. Safarname (under print)
His books and activities can be traced at: www.khalidrahmani.com
by Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi*, Riyadh
One of the oldest places in District Moradabad, Sambhal, holds an important position in the historical Rohailkhand region for its academic and intellectual bountifulness. The great luminaries like Sheikh Hatim lit the light of intellectualism and Mullah Abdul Qadir Badayuni and Abul Fazl came here to acquire knowledge and wisdom.
There has been no dearth of people who sacrificed their lives for their country. During the 1857 upheavals when Prince Feroz Bakht came to Sambhal, Munshi Imamuddin who has been Deputy Mir Munshi during the reign of Akbar Shah II welcomed Prince Feroz Bakht with great passion and galore. Furious over this, the British hanged him in Moradabad and threw his body in lime kiln and confiscated his property which was later auctioned. His friend Maulana Ghulam Rasool Sambhli was also sentenced to death. Munshi Nooruddin, the grandson of Munshi Imamuddin also participated in Khilafat Movement. He was sent to jail when he was President of Meerut Congress. The rioters attacked his residence at Garhmukteshwar and killed him.
There is a long list of people in the history of Sambhal who confronted with British and posed great resistance with their historic acts of gallantry. Maulana Ismail Sambhli’s younger brother Abdul Qaiyyum, Lala Prem Pal, Qari Abdul Haq, Maulana Maqsood Turki, Chaudhary Riyasat Ali, Lala Chandulal, Lala Roop Kishor, Maulvi Noorul Hasan, Sheikh Abdul Raheem, Chetan Swaroop, Radhey Lal Poddar, Munshi Moinuddin, Maulvi Sultan Ahmad,Maulvi Abdul Waheed and Maulana Ismail Sambhli are prominent among such people.
In the context of Freedom Fighter Maulana Ismail Sambhli Welfare Society, a personal profile of Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli and his national and community services is presented here to help the new generation get acquainted with his exemplary deeds so that his life remains to serve the people as path showing torch of enlightenment.
Maulana Ismail Sambhli belonged to the famous city of UP, Sambhal in district Moradabad. His correct date of birth is, even though, unknown however, to guess, he might have taken birth in 1899 at Mohallah Deepa Sarai. He belonged to the Sarwar Waley family of Turk community. His father, Munshi Kifayatullah was considered among the educated people of the area and was famous with the nickname ‘Munshiji’. His grandfather’s name was Sarwar Husain who was a native to village Mundha in J. P. Nagar. Later he shifted to Sambhal. His family surname, Sarwar Waley was due to his grandfather’s name.
He read the Holy Quran and received primary education HHe receat Madrasatul Mohammadia, Deepa Sarai and was admitted to class VI t continue further education in English against his mother’s wish. She wanted him to get Arabic education and finally her will prevailed. Meanwhile, his father passed away and he was sent to his elder brother at Bahawalpur where he had the honour to receive education from Maulana Farooq Ahmad, Sheikhul Hadees and Head, Jamia Usmania. Maulana Farooq Ahmad was the disciple of Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan and relative of Maulana Mansoor Ansari who was put on exile on the pretext of abetting and participating in the freedom movement. He was extremely unhappy with British and a staunch supporter of freedom struggle. It was his company that helped instill a sense of nationalism in the heart of Maulana Ismail Sambhli and inspired him to participate in the freedom struggle.
After completing education at Bahawalpur, Maulana Ismail Sambhli returned back to his native place, Sambhal and continued with his education at Madrasa Sirajul Uloom. IN the meantime the barbaric incident of Jalianwala Bagh took place that put the whole of India on fire. A public strike was observed in Sambhal as well and a mass gathering f all communities was organized at the gardens of Gul Chhatar. Maulana Ismail Sambhli delivered a very inspiring lecture at the mass convention. Maulana was the youngest among all orators yet his oration impressed the public most and thus his national and political life began. Mualana gained popularity as Raeesul Muqarrareen (master orator).
When the British defeated Turkey, the resulting loss and the sense of defeat made the Muslims furious. On November 22, 1919 the Khilafat Committee was founded and the Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind took birth in Delhi. The Khilafat Movement was pronounced through out the country. Just months after the sad demise of Sheikhul Hind Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan, Maulana Ismail Sambhli took admission in Darul Uloom Deoband where his nationalist ideas and concepts received firmness. He started partaking in the nationalist activities with much vigour and zeal and despite him being a student he was arrested on February 22, 1921 for his radical ideas and inflammatory speeches. After two – three days his case was heard at Moradabad Jail and he was sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment. Then the political detainees were generally subject to extreme brutalities. Maulana and his companions borne all types of atrocities. They were put under penal servitude, were imprisoned in small cages and were compelled to sleep handcuffed. Precisely, they were put to all types of brutalities but did not tender apology despite the initiation on the part of the Collector. Finally, he was released after the term of his punishment was over. Back to home he concentrated on completing his education. He joined Madrasatul Sharã at Katra Moosa Khan, Mian Sarai where he received education in various arts with full concentration from Maulana Abdul Majeed, Maulana Kareem Bakhsh and Maulana Mohammad Ibrahim. He went to Darul Uloom Deoband again to gain certificates from Maulana Syed Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani and other teachers. After completing courses at Darul Ulloom Deoband he joined Jamia Qasmia Madrasa Shahi, Moradabad as a teacher in later 1924. The country’s condition had changed by the time, Khilafat had come to an end, there were communal disturbances through out the country and Congress had suspended its Civil Disobedience Movement. Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned for six years and radical organizations had started gaining prominence. The distinguished people too were feeling let down but Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli’s feet did not staggered and he kept moving ahead with full confidence.
In 1930 a radical change took place. The Congress proclaimed complete freedom. On January 26, 1930 independence day was celebrated throughout the country. On March 13 Mahatma Gandhi commenced his famous Dandi March in violation of the laws of salt. A Civil Disobedience Movement was also commenced.
The government put the nationalist people to extreme brutalities. They were mercilessly beaten, shot by guns and imprisoned. The Jamiatul Ulema sense the need of the hour and vowed to support Congress in its Civil Disobedience Movement. It established a Daira-e-Harabia (Circle of War). Mufti Kifayatullah, Mualana Ahmad Saeed, Maulana Husain Ahmad and Maulana Mubarak Husain Sambhli were arrested one by one as the dictator of Jamiatul Ulema. Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli was the seventh in this order to be arrested and was sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment. He was initially put in the B class of Delhi Jail but was later transferred to Multan Jail. He was finally released after the completion of punishment.
After the announcement of Central Assembly elections in 1934 a Muslim Unity Board was constituted under the president ship of Raja Saleempur. The Board was entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring elections in United Provionce, Centralk Province and Bihar and Madras provinces. Shahjahanpur and Bijnor seats witnessed close fight between Sir Yaqub and Mr. Kareemur Raza Khan who was Board’s candidate. The Unity Board Incharge of Moradabad Board was Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli. He participated in the elections very actively and the Board candidate won the election. It was in fact the success of Jamiatul Ulema and Maulana Ismail Sambhli and it added to his personal influence immensely.
When the time came for Provincial Assembly elections, the Muslim League Parliamentary Board came to existence. On behalf of Maulana Ahmad Saeed, Nazim of Jamiatul Ulema Mohammad Ali Jinnah was given the right to nominate members to the parliamentary board. Mr. Jinnah nominated 22 members from 56 out of which 20 were of Jamiatul Ulema and two of Ahrar. The Provincial Boards were under the control of Central Board. Maulana Ismail Sambhli was admitted to UP Board. He was also declare candidate from Sambhal of Moradabad and Tehsil Bilari constituencies. Those days the land lords, nawabs, kings and English title holders enjoyed great immunity and British supported people were considered prominent in the society. The nationalists participated in the election to defeat the pro-British candidates. The eminent personality of Sambhal, Nawab Ashiq Husain Khan was given ticket against Maulana Mohammad Ismail Sambhli. Nawab Ashiq, being chairman of Sambhal Board for twenty years and special magistrate for almost same period, was a respectable man and used to render a tax of rupees ten thousand per annum to the government . He also enjoyed an influence over the electorate yet he was miserably defeated in the election. Maulana Ismail Sambhli’s success was historic and this provided as a great boost to the nationalists. At other places the candidates of Muslim League won but after elections Mr. Jinnah tried to included the members of pro-government parties in Muslim League while they had been against the League. Some of them were of ill character. However Mr. Jinnah succeeded in getting the resolution of the admission of these members in Lucknow session and did not give ear to the objections raised by other members. Mr. Zaheeruddin Farroqui and others tried to object and said that we should consider the fact that Jamiat has helped the League and it is lenient towards Congress but Mr. Jinnah out rightly silenced them saying that these people had been admitted in the Board and Jamiat or Ahrar had no right to against the principle. Hearing these words, Maulana Ismail Sambhli rose in his seat and with an exemplary confidence said that we joined hands with you for the election purpose and not because we had left our beliefs, principles and objectives. We have the right to follow our own resolution. The full text of Maulana Ismail Sambhli’s speech has been reproduced by Maulana Husain Ahmad Madni in his book. Mr. Jinnah admitted all those people in the League who had been against the freedom of the country and were loyal to British. Maulana Ismail Sambhli and his likeminded colleagues who were a Congress and Jamiat sympathizer formally joined the Congress.
In 1939, the war in Europe started and the Indian government without taking the members in confidence sent the Indian army to war. The Congress opposed the move and boycotted the Assembly. It convened its session at Ramgarh on March 20-21, 1940 under the president ship of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The Civil Disobedience Movement was pronounced in the session and finally in the last of 1940 the non-violent civil disobedience movement commenced. A programme was chalked out for individual speeches. Maulana Ismail Sambhli was arrested in Moradabad during the movement and was sentenced for nine months’ imprisonment. In August 1942, Congress gave the famous ‘Leave India’ slogan. Mahatma Gandhi was arrested and sent to Sabarmati Jail. There were arrests every where in the country. Maulana Ismail Sambhli was again arrested in Sambhal and was put under house arrest at Moradabad Jail for indefinite period. Later he was released after one year.
In 1946, when the elections were declared, the tussle between Congress and Muslim League was at the height. Muslim League carried venomous but impressive slogans. Supporting the Congress was a daring step and Mualana Ismail Sambhli dared to fight against Muslim League. Initially he was declared defeated due to the cheatings but after the election petition on the part of Maulana, he was declared elected without any fight in the re-election. He remained MLA till 1952 and had to leave the teaching at Madrasa Shahi Moradabad in 1946 due to his preoccupation.
Maulana Ismail Sambhli did not participate in the 1952 elections and stationed at Delhi as the Nazim-e-Ala of Jamiatul Ulema. He served Jamiat for four years and remained busy in social and political affairs. In 1957 he resigned from Jamiat and returned to Sambhal. On the order of his spiritual master Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani and requests of administrators of Madrasa Chilla he accepted to serve it as Sheikhul Hadees.
In 1962, he was appointed as Sheikhul Hadees at Madrasa Imdadia, Moradaba and served there for about three years. Later on repeated requests he joined Madrasa Taleemul Islam, Anand, Gujarat and remained there for eight years as Sheikhul Hadees teaching Bukhari and Muslim. In 1974, he shunned the idea of service and returned back to Sambhal and engaged himself in the literary work only to complete the half hatched books. “Maqalat-e-Tasawwuf”, “Akhbarul Tanzeel” (the Quranic prophesies) and “Taquleed-e-Aimma” are some important books authored by him. Meanwhile he went to Mawana, Meerut on the request of people and stayed there for about eight months. He taught Quran’s translation and analysis at Mawana. In his last age, he spent a few Ramadhan months in Bombay delivering lectures on the translation and analysis of Quran every night after Taraweeh. He fell sick in the last Ramadhan of his life yet he, disregarding the opposition of family members, went to Bombay on the request of people. Everyday after Iftar he used to take injection to be able to deliver the lecture after Taraweek and the whole Ramadhan passed this way. After returning to Sambhal he succumbed to the weakness and was admitted to the Moradabad government hospital. People of all faith, belief, opinion and social and political association came in flocks to see him at the hospital. Several teams of doctors was attending him. The former health minister Mr. Daudayal Khanna along with is companions and the CMO came to see him but nothing could help and his condition kept deteriorating. He insisted family members to take him home. The unconsciousness had engulfed him. He was given the oxygen aid and life saving injections to take him live to Sambhal by an ambulance. He was under deep unconsciousness on the way to Sambhal when he suddenly raised his right hand towards the sky and recited the Kalma loudly in the same typical manner as was seen in his speeches. After one hour from arriving home, he bid last farewell to the world at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, the 23rd November 1975 after one and half months’ prolonged illness.
*Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi is based in Riyadh and can be accessed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hadhrat Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, Mohtamim Darul Uloom Deoband 1914-2010
by Muhammadllah Khalili Qasmi
Hadhrat Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, Mohtamim (VC / Rector) of Darul Uloom Deoband, died in his hometwon Bijnor UP on 08/12/2010 at 1045 am. He was suufering from various diseases and was bedridden from past several months. He was 96 and one of the most senior Ulama of Deoband.
Within a short span of 10 months, it lost three of its top most leaders and administrators. Maulana Naseer Ahmad Khan, the Shaikhul Hadith and Head of Education Faculty, being the first to pass away in last February after a long career of teaching for 64 years. Second was Maulana Ghulam Rasool Khamosh, Acting Mohtamim of Darul Uloom, who died after a very short illness in Deoband on 8 October 2010. And now just after two months, Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, Mohtamim (VC or Rector) of Darul Uloom Deoband, is no more. Darul Uloom is acutely facing leadership crisis at this stage of time just like its socio-political political front Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind which after the death of its stalwart leader Maulana Sayed Asad Madani having faced with the same situation could not help sustain and disintegrated into two fractions.
Maulana Margoorbur Rahman was very old and was suffering from various diseases. He grew very much weak and lay bedridden from past several months. Ultimately he breathed his last in his hometown Bijnor on 8 December 2010. The tremor of his death news shook countless people especially related to Deoband school of thought in India and outside.
He was the third Mohtamim with longest term in office (1982-2010) after Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib (1929-1982) and his father Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad (1895-1928).
His Early Life
Maulana Marghoobur Rahman was born in 1914 in Bijnor in a landlord family. His father Maulana Hakim Mashiyatullah Bijnori was an early product of Darul Uloom and served as Member of Majlis Shura (executive body) of Darul Uloom Deoband from 1925 to 1953. He came to Deoband fir studies in 1929 and graduated in 1932 under Shaikhul Islam Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani (1979-1957), the well-known freedom leader and nationalist, along with other great Ulama present at that time. Later, he was trained to write fatwas under Mufti Mahdi Hasan Shahjahanpuri and Mufti Sahool Bhagalpuri.
His Services and Contributions
It was in 1962 when he was appointed as Member of Shura (Executive Body) of Darul Uloom Deoband. The members are chosen from among the eminent Muslims scholars from across the country. This membership itself is considered a token of recognition and reverence for one who is selected on the body. Maulana Marghoobur Rahman justified his selection and won the trust of elders due to his devotion and farsightedness.
So, in 1981 he was assigned to help the then Mohtamim Qari Muhammad Tayyib just after the historic 100th anniversary of Darul Uloom Deoband. During this time, Darul Uloom witnessed most critical dispute of hegemony which lasted more than a year and ultimately resulted in breaking Darul Uloom in to two parts. The larger group that took over Darul Uloom, it chose Maulana Marghoobur Rahman as its Head (or Mohtamim). It was a crises-loaded time and Darul Uloom was feared to lose itself anytime. This simple and quiet but gallant and resolute man arose and with the help of his associates rescued Darul Uloom from the whirlpool of chaos and managed to get it to march ahead on the highway to progress and development. He was no doubt the torchbearer of Darul Uloom Deoband’s revival.
Many had believed at that juncture of time that Darul Uloom ceased to remain a central religious authority, but with his untiring efforts and unmatched devotions Maulana Marghoonur Rahman belied them and Darul Uloom continued its journey with even stronger spirit and vitality.
During his tenure, Darul Uloom witnessed revolutionary exterior and interior changes. The area of Darul Uloom increased to three folds and huge building projects were accomplished. Besides several large hostel buildings, Darul Uloom constructed grand Masjid Rashid in its campus which is considered to be one of the most beautiful marbled mosques of India with largest roofed area. Presently two more huge building projects, the grand library project and new hostel project, were also started under his administration. The number of enrolled students also nearly doubled. During his tenure, Darul Uloom expanded and was renovated to an extent that it looks like a new Darul Uloom arose.
During the past 30 years, as some reforms were introduced in the education system, some new departments like Computer, Internet, journalism and English were also started. Following some vicious attacks on Madrasas (Islamic seminaries) by the Central NDA Government in the last years of nineties, he convened all India conference of madrasas and formed Rabta Madaris (Madrasa Board) under Darul Uloom which has hundreds Indian madrasas as its member. Rabta Madaris played a key role in uniting madrasas and creating uniformity of syllabus and system. In May 2007, in a move to oppose the Central Madrasa Board proposal offered by the Indian Govt, Rabta invited All India Conference in Deoband and rejected the proposal totally.
Following the emergence of strong Taliban movement in Afghanistan, Darul Uloom began to appear in world media now and then, but after the 9/11 attacks on US, Darul Uloom Deoband came into limelight of world media as the alma mater of Taliban leaders and centre of their ideology. This was a problematic situation for an educational institute to face the spate of journalists, ambassadors, VIP visitors from around the globe and deal with all sorts of questions. Maulana Marghoobur Rahman took a clear decision to open the door of Darul Uloom for every visitor and investigator. This earned a good name for Deoband and the hostile attitude of media changed and its focus to project it in bad light shifted to many positive reporting. Moreover, Darul Uloom, which was surrounded by narrow streets of a small town of Deoband, kept on appearing in world media and its website got thousands of hits every day. Thanks to media, an introduction that the Darul Uloom administration could not help materialize was carried out free of cost by the print and electronic media.
In Feb 2000, Maulana Marghoobur Rahman hosted All India Anti-Terrorism Conference. The conference was a real success and Deoband clearly rejected all kinds of terrorism whether by state or by Israel or deviant religious fractions. It regarded killing of innocents as most heinous crime against humanity. The Conference was much reported by the mainstream national and international media.
He saw many ups and downs throughout his administration. At many occasions under tremendous internal and external political pressures, he bravely stood against the odds and successfully tided over the situation. He managed to keep Darul Uloom free from political grouping of any sort. He would welcome all political leaders who loved to visit Darul Uloom Deoband but he was committed to keep Darul Uloom far away from any sort of political affiliations.
He was one the senior Deobandi Ulama and held the prestigious and esteemed post of Amir al-Hind (chief of Indian Muslims) which was previously held first by Maulana Habibur Rahman Muhaddith Azami and then Maulana Asad Madani. During some previous years, when Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, the largest socio-political Muslim organization, was got divided between two parts, he was able to keep the balance between both the sides and mediate between them at crucial moments.
Maulana Marghoobur Rahman will always be alive in the sweet memory of thousands who happened to see the beauty of his charming personality. His piety, simplicity and dedication was beyond doubts. He spent the last 30 years of his life for Darul Uloom in a semi-dark ordinary room and accepted no single penny from Darul Uloom treasure.
May Allah shower his mercy on him and may his soul rest in the highest ranks of Paradise, Amen!
OBITUARY: Maulana Marghoobur Rahman (1914-2010)
by Manzar Imam Qasmi
Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, one of the longest serving rectors of the famed Islamic seminary Darul Uloom at Deoband passed away on 8th December 2010 at his ancestral town Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh leaving behind thousands of Deoband alumni across the world grieved. He was 96 and had been residing in Bijnor for sometime due to failing health. He is survived by a son (Maulana Anwar Ilahi) and a daughter. His body was brought to Deoband from Bijnor. The funeral prayers were offered at Deoband after Isha and he was buried at Mazar-e-Qasmi, the graveyard closest to Darul Uloom. Prayer meetings were held throughout India and abroad.
He took over the rectorship following the unfortunate turn of events that led to the ouster of Qari Muhammad Tayyib (1897-1983) in 1982. The conditions could have vitiated further but Maulana Marghoobur Rahman’s farsightedness and sincerity towards the institution made things only better. His tenure saw the landmark fatwa against terror in February 2008 calling terror attacks on innocents, against the tenets of Islam.
Maulana Marghoobur Rahman remained rector of Darul Uloom for 30 long years, the second longest period after Qari Mohammad Tayyib. His strength lay in his patience, perseverance and commitment. He avoided controversies and tried to amend the fractured relationships that had earlier bruised the very notion behind the establishment of Darul Uloom. He also managed to keep Darul Uloom free from political factionalism of any sort. Darul Uloom grew in strength and number of students, the administration ran smooth and the academic atmosphere became conducive for learning.
Prominent persons from diverse walks of life expressed their sorrow over the demise of Maulana Marghoob. The services rendered for thirty years as rector of Darul Uloom can never be forgotten, K Rahman Khan, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha said. Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) and president of All India Talimi Wa Milli Foundation expressed deep sorrow over the demise of Maualan Marghoobur Rahman and called it a huge loss to the nation and to Deoband fraternity.
Amar Singh, former general secretary of Samajwadi Party and head of Lok Manch described him as a man of great piety, grace and humility. His demise is a great loss to the nation. Maulana Marghoobur Rahman was seen with trust not only by Muslims but also by non-Muslims, Singh added. Maulana Mohammad Ajaz Urfi, president of All India Tanzeem Ulama-e-Haq called his rectoral tenure the Golden Period.
Maulana Marghoobur Rahman witnessed the formation of a breakaway faction from the Darul Uloom in 1982, but was able to stabilise the institution. Darul Uloom (Waqf) Deoband, the parallel faction, declared a day off as a mark of respect. In more recent times, when one of the largest Muslim organisations of clerics, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, got divided between two groups, he was able to keep the balance between both sides and mediate at crucial moments.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has expressed grief over the sad demise of renowned religious scholar. In his condolence message, the Chief Minister conveyed his sympathy with the bereaved family and prayed for the eternal peace to the departed soul.
Maulana Arshad Madani, president of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (A) termed his death as an irreparable loss and said that his role in the Renaissance of Darul Uloom is highly valuable. Najeeb Jung, Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) said Maulana Marghoob’s death is an irreparable loss. He took over the charge of Darul Uloom at a very critical moment. Masjid Rahseed, which is a masterpiece of Islamic art, was constructed in his period. Darul Uloom made considerable progress to contemporary education. I find madrasa students very promising, the VC said, adding that if little attention is paid to them they can compete other students. Prof. Shafiq Ahmad Khan Nadwi, former Head, Department of Arabic, JMI shared his personal experience with the participants during a condolence meeting held at JMI which he had of the Maulana during a journey with him that Maulana Marghoob was a true successor of the old generation of ulama in piety. He was very balanced.
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Maulana Mahmood Madani termed his death a personal loss and a great milli loss too. The void left with his demise, would be hard to fill, Madani said. Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri, Emir, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind called his death a huge loss to Ummah. Delhi MLA Asif Mohammad Khan extended his sympathies to the family of Maulana Marghoob and said that he was very closely associaited with various organisations and had devoted his life to the service of the nation, Muslims and Islam.
Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi, deputy rector of Darul Uloom hailed the services of Maulana Marghoobur Rahman. Darul Uloom witnessed huge success during his tenure, he said. Speaking about his selfless service to the seminary, Madrasi said that Maulana Marghoob would himself pay the rent and electricity bill of the room in which he lived. Dr Manzoor Alam, General Secretary of All India Milli Council said that heading Darul Uloom for thirty years is a memorable work. He mentioned the circumstances in which he took over the charge of Darul Uloom. It was his unique quality to divert the unfavourable circumstances to academics. The construction work and the global recognition that Deoband got during his period was the result of his administrative capabilities and farsightedness.
Maulana Salim Qasmi, rector Darul Uloom Waqf, Deoband, Syed Shahabuddin, former IFS officer and president of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Maulana Asgar Ali Imam Mehdi of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Maulana Habibur Rahman Thani Ludhianwi, Shahi Imam of Punjab, Darul Uloom Deoband Old Boys Association (Delhi) and various other organisaitons and prominent figure held prayer meetings and paid rich tributes to Maulana Marghoobur Rahman.
Born in 1914 in a respectable learned family of Bijnor, he received early education at Madrasa Rahimia and then went to Darul Uloom Deoband in 1929 to get further education and studied there under the guidance of Shaikhul Islam Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani (1879-1957) and other great ulama of that period. He also got Ifta degree and was himself a good Aalim and a Mufti. But instead of adopting teaching he preferred the administrative work.
In 1962 Maulana Margoobur Rahman was appointed Member of Majlis-e-Shura (The Consultative Body) of Darul Uloom Deoband. In 1981 when the then rector Qari Muhammad Tayyib needed an assistant, all ayes felt on him. Following the tumultuous phase of 1982, he became the full-fledged rector of the seminary and held the post till his demise.
It is pertinent to mention here that Darul Uloom Deoband has lost three great personalities in 2010. Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Naseer Ahmad Khan (b. 1918) died in February, while working rector Maulana Ghulam Rasool Khamosh (b. 1940) passed away in October and now Maulana Marghoobur Rahman is no more. The passing away of these three great scholars and teachers within a year is a major loss the seminary.
Mufti Abul Qasim of Benaras has been temporarily appointed rector of Darul Uloom to serve till 10 January 2010. By then the Consultative Body will decide who the next successor of Maulana Marghoob would be. The onus lies with the Consultative Body, the highest Executive Body of Darul Uloom to find a right person to head the renowned religious seminary of Asia.
[A Delhi-based journalist, Special Correspondent of IndianMuslimObserver.com, Manzar Imam was also educated at Darul Uloom in Deoband. He can be reached at email@example.com]
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Hadhrat Maulana Ghulam Rasool Khamosh passed away in Deoband on 8 October 2010 Friday at 5:15 pm. Maulana was the Acting Mohtamim (rector) of Darul Uloom, prominent member its Majlis Shura (Governing Body), the Mohtamim of Darul Uloom Chhapi and a senior member of Tablighi Jama'at.
Maulana Khamosh was suffering from respiratory disorder and anaemia for several past days. He was ill, but he left for his heavenly abode so suddenly at a time when no one was expecting him to depart. He passed in a critical juncture when Hadhrat Maulana Margoobur Rahman, Mohtamim Darul Uloom, lay bedridden and seriously ill in his late nineties. This was the time when Darul Uloom needed him the most, but Allah the Almighty had decided the otherwise.
Maulana was born in Mahta village near Chhapi, district Banaskantha in northeast Gujarat in 1940 in a religious family. His father has a surname 'Khamosh' which later became his family surname as per the tradition is the state. He was educated in Darul Uloom Chhapi and attended the final class of Dawrah in Darul Uloom Bannuri Town Karachi when he visited Karachi after the Partition with his grandmother who went there to see his uncle who migrated to Pakistan. In Karachi he benefited from the great scholar of Hadith, Allama Yusuf Binnnori, one of the prominent students of Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri. His family and the then Ulama of Gujarat were well-attached with Allama Yusuf Binnori as he served as teacher in Dabhel Madrasa before Partition.
Having completed his education and training, he engaged himself in religious activities of teaching and preaching along with operating business in Mumbai and Gujarat. His business prospered and later he turned big tea merchant and established his trade in the heart of Mumbai.
He earned good reputation and popularity in Gujarat where he dedicated himself for the great task of dawah and tabligh (preaching and reformation). He headed the local reform committees aimed at socio-religious upbringing and awareness in Banaskantha and surrounding areas. He was an active and senior member of the world renowned Tablighi Jama'at at Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Maulana Khamosh served his alma mater, Darul Uloom Chhapi, for several years without a tag and title. He discharged as the responsibilities and duties as Mohtamim (rector) of the madrasa, while the Mohtamim de facto was Maulana Habib Sahib. He was officially designated for the post of Mohtamim in Darul Uloom Chhapi only after he was selected for the membership of Majlis Shura of Darul Uloom Deoband.
Darul Uloom Deoband
For his noble activities and good reputation, the Majlis Shura, Darul Uloom Deoband selected him for its membership in its meeting held in Safar 1409 AH = 1989 AD. Being on the list on Majlis Shura of Darul Uloom Deoband was great accreditation of his personality and recognition of his achievements, as the Majlis consists of selected Muslim figures of religious fields from across the country. It adds more surprise that he was not even educated directly at Deoband.
Later in 2004, owing to the deteriorating health and old age of Darul Uloom's present Mohtamim Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Khamosh was appointed as Acting Mohtamim with full power as Mohtamim. It was a new feather in his crown, as it was the rarest position in the history of Darul Uloom Deoband and that too was allotted to a non-Qasmi scholar.
Maulana served as member of Majlis Shura for 21 years and as Acting Mohtamim for seven years. In connection with Deoband, the last seven years of his life were very dynamic, alive and active. He used to frequent between Chhapi and Deoband for 10-15 days a month. As there was no direct train from his station to Deoband, he sought extension of Ahmadabad to Delhi train to Hardwar via Deoband which was granted by the then Railway Minister Laloo Parsad Yadav.
He worked as Mohtamim of Darul Uloom in the absence of Hadhrat Maulana Margoobur Rahman, the Mohtamim of Darul Uloom Deoband. He had matchless love and dedication towards Darul Uloom. He never ran after title and fame, rather preferred to serve silently. He received no salary from Darul Uloom, rather spent all journey expenses, food, lodge and so on from his pocket. He used to utilize his personality in order to fetch large donations from affluent Muslims to Darul Uloom's educational and constructions projects.
Maualana was very pious, honest and God-fearing. He was so punctual of salah and other daily religious practices. His personality was kind-hearted and passionate as well as scrupulous and disciplined. He used to treat everyone with respect and dignity and paid attentive ear patiently to the grievances and concerns of his staff.
His ultimate love for Darul Uloom and his lifelong mission of serving the community was granted by Allah as he set out on his eternal journey while serving Darul Uloom to his last breath. Only four to five hours before his departure, he actively participated in the meeting of the Academic Council which lasted for more than two hours.
The funeral prayer was offered the next day on 9 Oct 2010 at 8:00 am in Darul Uloom, his elder son Maulana Nizamuddin led the prayer. Thousands of Ulama and students carried his coffin to Mazar Qasmi (Qasmi graveyard) where he was laid to rest.
His death meant a great loss for Darul Uloom. For long, he will be remembered for his piety, selfless services, dedication, affection, prudence and discipline. Maulana is no longer among us, but he left bright examples from his pure life that shall continue to light up the path for his successors.
May Allah shower His blessings upon him and grant him Jannat al-Firdaus!
Eastern Crescent, Mumbai, Dec 2010
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi was an outstanding and prolific writer and scholar of Arabic Language and literature. He was a distinguished scholar, philosopher, a great writer, translator and an eminent critic of Arabic language and theology. He made valuable contributions in the field of Arabic language, literature, criticism, Quranic studies, Islamic theology etc.
Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi was born at Phulwari Sharif (Patna, Bihar) on 25 December 1925 in a Syed family (in the lineage of the Prophet - peace be upon him).
His father, Abdullah was a great Islamic scholar and expert of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) who used to teach the advocates in Patna. Also, taught in Madrasa Shamsl Huda, Patna. Later, he joined Imarat Shari’iya of Bihar and worked as Mufti also. He died on 24 November 1943 when Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi was only 19 and studying in Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow.
His Education and Academic Career
Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi received his primary education in his house under his father. Later in 1938 at the age of 13, he left for Lucknow where he was enrolled in Madrasa Qadeema Firangi Mahal. He stayed there for three years and studied under Maulana Samiul Haq, Mufti Muhamamd Ateeq. His elder brother, Maulana Nemat Imam, was also one of his teachers at this madrasa.
In 1939, he got admission in Nadwatul Ulama in 5th Arabic class. At Nadwatul Ulama, he studied under Maulana Ali Miyan Nadwi, Maulana Nazim Nadwi, Maulana Muhammad Zaman Khan, Maulana Abdus Salam Qidwai, Maulana Shah Haleem Ata, Maulana Hameedudin Faizabadi and others. He completed his education from Nadwatul Ulama in 1943 and became an erudite scholar of Arabic and Islamic Studies.
Having completed his graduation from Nadwah, he joined Idara Talimat-e-Islam Lucknow and then in a madrasa in Rahimabad, Lucknow. In 1950, he was employed by Nadwatul Ulama as teacher where he taught the books of Arabic literature, Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh, History etc.
In 1950, he visited Saudi Arabia with Maulana Ali Miyan Nadwi and stayed there for one year. He contributed articles to various newspapers and magazines and established contacts with the scholars and men of letters. Then, he returned to India in 1951 and was appointed as Adib Awwal in Nadwatul Ulama. He held the post for four years during which he wrote different books and treatises in Urdu and Arabic.
During 1956-1962, he shifted to Saudi Arabia and joined Saudi Radio’s eastern broadcastings. In 1962 when the World Muslim League (Rabitah) was established, the then Secretary General Shaykh Muhammad Suroor al-Saban asked his to join Rabita. Here he spend five years as head of three departments; minority, organizations and translations departments. During his stay in Saudi Arabia, he was in close contacts with the Arab Ulama and scholars, especially with Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz.
In the year1963, he left for England. He stayed mostly in London, but travelled across the length and breadth of Europe from Italy to France, Holland and Germany. In 1964, he took admission in Leeds University. He took second Master’s degree in Arabic and was registered as Ph.D. research scholar. Dr Abdullah Abbas Nadwi was awarded Ph.D. degree in 1967 on his work ‘Philosophy of Linguistics’. He returned from London in 1968 to Jeddah and then sent on a religious mission to Korea, Philippine and Singapore.
The Secretary General of World Muslim League (Rabitah), Shaykh Salih al-Qazzaz appointed Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi Editor of English mouthpiece of WML ‘Rabitah’ from Makkah in 1972. Meanwhile, he served as lecturer at King Abdul Aziz University Jeddah and later in Ummul Qura University Makkah. He was an advisor of World Muslim League and a member of Linguistic Society of Cambridge, England. In 1976, he was honoured with Saudi nationality.
He was appointed as Mu’tamad Talim of Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow after the demise of Maulana Abdus Salam Qidwai in 1980. He held this post for twenty five yearsand played key role in the administrative and academic activities of Nadwah.
He was on the editorial board of monthly ‘Zikr w Fikr’ published from New Delhi in 1986 with Prof Khaliq Ahmad Nizami and Syed Sabahuddin. In 1997, he convened an international and historic Conference against Qadiyanis in Nadwatul Ulama which was attended by the Imams of the Holy Mosque of Makkah and other senior Arab Ulama.
Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi was mostly ill and bedridden during 2001-2006. He died after long illness in Jeddah on 1 January 2006. The funeral prayer was performed in the Holy Mosque of Makkah on first day of Dhu al-Hijjah 1426 AH during the prime time of Hajj. He was buried in the blessed Jannat al-Mu’alla graveyard.
Dimensions of His Stalwart Personality
Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi was not only a scholar, master of different international languages, but he was a skilled teacher, prolific writer, proficient translator and thoughtful philosopher.
He was the most outstanding figure from Nadwatul Ulama after his teacher Maulana Ali Miyan al-Nadwi. He was deputed by Maulana Nadwi to receive the prestigious Faisal Award in Riyadh in 1980 and later he represented Maulana Nadwi in the Mumbai Conference of All India Muslim Personal Law Board in 1999. In 2000, he received another posthumous award ‘Wisam’ to Maulana Nadwi in Morocco.
Spiritually, Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi was attached to Maulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri and Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Zakariya. He was impressed by Maulana Ilyas Kandhlawi, Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori, Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani and Maulana Yusuf Kandhlawi.
He served at Nadwatul Ulama as teacher of Arabic and Islamic Sciences, Adib Awwal and Mu’tamad Talim. He spent a good part of his life in Saudi Arabia as Director of Eastern Broadcastings in Saudi Radio, Director of Islamic Organizations and Minorities in World Muslim League and Editor of English monthly ‘Rabitah’ of WML. Meanwhile he served as Lecturer of Arabic language and literature at Ummur Qura University Makkah. Also, he was a member of Linguistic Society of Cambridge (England).
Dr Abdullah Abbas Nadwi and His Works on Quran
He wrote nearly two dozen important books in Arabic, Urdu and English languages. His all works are hereunder:
1. Nizam al-Lughat al-Urdiyah Arabic
2. Asas al-Lughat al-Arabia Arabic
3. Duroos al-Atfal Arabic
4. Chand din Dyar Ghair mein Urdu
5. Asan Fiqh Urdu
6. Arabi mein Natiya Kalam Urdu
7. Tafhim al-Mantiq Urdu
8. Paighambar Akhlaq w Insaniyat Urdu
9. Tarikh Tadwin Sirat Urdu
10. Aftab Nubuwwa ki Kirnain Urdu
11. Mir Karwan Urdu
12. NIgarishat (collection of articles) Urdu
13. Rida-e-Rahmat Urdu
14. NIzam Mu’asharat Urdu
15. Rooh Kayinat w Fazail Durood Urdu
16. Tabsira wa Jayiza Urdu
17. Kulliyat ‘Arif (collection of poetry) Urdu
18. Safar Nama-e-Hayat Urdu
19. Mushahadat w Waridat Urdu
20. Mashahir w Mu’asirin Urdu
His outstanding books on Quran and Quranic sciences are the most precious assets of his academic life. He wrote numerous books on Quranic sciences. They are:
Moreover, he translated several works of Maulana Ali Miyan al-Nadwi and others from into Urdu language. The renowned book of Maulana Nadwi ‘Ma za Khasir al-Alam bi Inhitat al-Muslimin’ was translated into Urdu by Dr Abdullah Abbas al-Nadwi and was repeatedly with the title: ‘Insani Duniya par Musalmanon ke Urooj w Zawal ka Asar.’ Likewise, he translated ‘al-Mutuza’ and ‘Dawat w Tabligh ka Mu’jizana Usloob’. He translated countless articles mostly from Arabic to Urdu which were published in monthlies and periodicals.
By Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Some two years after the sad demise of Hazrat Maulana Asad Madani, President of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind (1928-2006), Deoband experiences another big shock by the death of Hazrat Maulana Anzar Shah Kashmiri Mas’oodi (1929-2008), Shaikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband. Maulana Kashmiri was suffering from ailment in the heart and kidney for some years and was under treatment at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi. He breathed his last at 10:20 am on 26 April 2008 Saturday in the capital.
He was buried in Deoband beside his father in the presence of tens of thousands of his admirers and disciples. He is survived by wife, six daughters and a son Maulana Ahmad Khazir Shah, Mohtamim of Jamia Anwar Deoband.
Maulana Anzar Shah Kashmiri was one of the most prominent and respected Ulama of Deoband. He was the youngest son of Hazrat Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (1875-1933). Maulana Anzar Shah Kashmiri was born in Deoband on 6 December 1927. His father was the world renowned genius and scholar of Islam Hazrat Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri whose profound knowledge, universal personality and extraordinary power of memory was given as example and who had been counted among rare great Muslim scholars of India. His ancestors were a prominent and respected family of scholars belonging to the lineage of the Prophet peace be upon him.
Maulana Anzar Shah received education at Deoband and benefited from the outstanding personalities of his time. Shaikhul Adab Hazrat Maulana Azaz Ali (d. 1955) was his main teacher and patron who supervised his study and educational upbringing after his father left him an orphan of 5 years. Shaikhul Islam Hazrat Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani (1879-1957) was his second inspirer and teacher to whom he accredited much of his love, respect and dedication. Maulana Kashmiri was very close to noted Islamic scholar Hazrat Qari Muhammad Tayyib (1897-1982), former Mohtamim of Darul Uloom Deoband.
Illustrious Dimensions of His Dynamic Life
Maulana Kashmiri as Teacher of Generations: Due to his academic skills and abilities Maulana Anzar Shah was appointed as teacher in Darul Uloom at the prime of his life just after completing his education from Darul Uloom Deoband. He spent the best 55 years of his life as teacher of hadith, tafseer, fiqh and other Islamic sciences. He has the honour of teaching all important books of Dars-e-Nizami from beginning to end. Since last 30 years, he was Shaikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband. During these 55 years he taught thousands of students and enlightened them with the light of knowledge, piety, righteousness and morals he possessed. Due to his deep knowledge of Hadith and Tafseer he was considered an authority on the same. Apart from his thousands of students, he left nearly two dozen books, mostly in Urdu on subjects of Tafseer, Hadith, biography and others.
Oratory Skills: He was well-known for his oratorical skills. He attracted multitude of audiences in his speeches. His both; His scholarly and public, speeches were marked with abundant knowledge, flow and linguistic taste. Even the lengthy talk of him would not let the audience be bored, instead whenever he finished his talk the audiences wished Maulana would have never wind up his speech.
A Man of Urdu Literature: Though, the word ‘literature’ sounds incompatible with a person who is absorbed in academic learning and pure Islamic teachings, but Maulana Anzar Shah Kashmiri might be an exception. Not only he had a good taste of Urdu and Arabic literature, but also he enjoyed having a unique style in Urdu writing which can be described as ‘his own style of writing’. His colourful writings are full of gushing flow, treasure of vocabulary and tremendous appealing. His book ‘Naqsh-e-Dawam’ (biography of his late father) is an exemplary book of this kind where he dried away the last drop of ink in his pen.
In Political Field: In the beginning of his career and as per his instinct he was never a politician, but in the last stages of his life he, for some reasons, was drawn nearer to the political field. But, he never let the scholarly prestige of him down and never soiled his sense of honour in the dirty corridor of politics. He was awarded with Presidential Award for his noble services to the nation and in 2004 he was selected as the Vice President of Uttar Pradesh Congress.
His Personal Behaviour: One very important aspect his life was his fatherly and kind behaviour towards his youngers and juniors. He respected remote relations and valued greatly the relatives of his father, teachers and acquaintances.
In short, Maulana Anzar Shah a noted Islam scholar of his time and he owned many unmatched qualities and traditions which have been buried with him in the grave. But, the later disputes which appeared during 1980-1982 as a tussle to take control of Darul Uloom Deoband, eclipsed his personality since he turned a loser in the fight and his rivals led by late Maulana Asad Madani managed to overtake him and his group. Maulana Anzar Shah was one of the main players of this famous ill-fated tussle. Many of his contemporaries who are well aware of his academic skills are of the opinion that had Maulana been busied himself in academic engagements as per the instinct he inherited from his great father he would have gone farther beyond the destinations we find him. But, to much extent his scholarly abilities and fervour was marred by unfortunate series of events which took place during the tussle and which affected a great deal his future life.
Having lost Darul Uloom, he with the ousted Mohtamim Hazrat Qari Muhammad Tayyib laid the foundation of Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband in 1982. Maulana took active part in evolving Darul Uloom Waqf and transforming it from a sapling into a full-grown encompassing tree. By the virtue of his wide network of contacts he managed to collect extensive funds for Darul Uloom Waqf. Later, in 1997 he established his own educational institution namely Jamia Anwar at Deoband in the auspicious memory of his late father just beside Darul Uloom Waqf. Jamia Anwar is a unique type of madrasa where he started experiencing a mixed syllabus of Dars-e-Nizami with some modern subject like English, computer, Hindi and so on.
Demise Widely Condoled
The sad demise of Maulana Kashmiri was widely condoled all across the India specially and the world generally. In India, all important Muslim organizations and institutes like Darul Uloom Deoband, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and Imarat Shariah and others have expressed condolences at his demise. Many world figure and representatives of governments also conveyed their heartiest condolence messages to his family members.
They expressed their profound grief and sorrow over the demise of the religious scholar and sympathized with the bereaved family. Many termed his death a great loss to whole Muslim community and said that his services to Muslims and the nation will be remembered for a long time to come.
Hadhrat Maulana Sayed Asad Madani: 1928-2006
By: Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi
Maulana Syed Asad Madani, the president of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, India’s most influential Muslims organization, passed away on February 6 in Delhi’s Apollo hospital after prolonged illness following a head injury. He was 78 and was buried the next morning immediately after Fajr prayer in Mazar-e-Qasmi in Deoband beside his Shaikhul Islam Maulana Syed Hussain Ahmad Madani, a great freedom fighter and Shaikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Deoband. His funeral was attended by more than one lakh grieved people in Darul Uloom’s campus.
The late Maulana is survived by 5 sons and two daughters among whom Maulana Mahmud Madani, General Secretary Jamiat Ulama-e Hind is seen as his successor. Two brothers, Maulana Arshad Madani, Head of Darul Uloom’s education department and Maulana Asjad Madani founder of a girls’ college for Islamic learning in Deoband.
Maulana Madani’s death is a loss to both Muslims and the Nation that seems difficult to fill. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Sing, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, Delhi’s Chief Minister Shila Dikshit, Shahi Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari and many other political and religious leaders rushed to Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, New Delhi following the news of his death to pay tribute and express condolence to his family members. They termed his death a great loss to the nation describing him a true and committed leader of the country. Prominent among those who visited his grave in Deoband were Maulana Fazlur Rahman, president Pakistan’s Jamiat Ulama-e Islam and General Secretary Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Mr. Salman Khurshid, Uttar Pradesh Congress president.
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, President of India wrote in his condolence letter that he had lost a great Islamic scholar, patriot and freedom fighter who had devoted his life to welfare activities of people. Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, UPA Chairperson expressed her deep shock, praised his political insight and strong ties with the Congress terming him an ideal secular leader for all generations to come. Mr. Salih bin Muhammad Al-Ghamidi, Saudi Ambassador to India, also expressed his grief and prayed for his abode in Paradise. Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadavi, President All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasmi, Mohtamim (Rector) Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband and Maulana Talha of Saharanpur also expressed their shock in their condolence messages.
Maulana Asad Madani was president of Jamiat Ulama-e Hind from 1973 till his last breath. He was also the most prominent member of the executive body (Majlis-e Shoura) of Darul Uloom Deoband. He had a towering personality occupying great respect and honour in the hearts of millions of people around the world. He devoted his life to spreading love, harmony and peace in the whole country fighting against terrorism, injustice, social evils and hatred.
Maulana Madani was born on April 27, 1928 in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh. He acquired education from Darul Uloom Deoband and received Fazilat (graduation) degree in 1947. He started his career as a lecturer in Darul Uloom Deoband and taught there for 12 years. He was first selected as vice president of Jamiat Ulama Deoband and then president of Jamiat Ulama Uttar Pradesh. In 1963, he was appointed as General Secretary of Jamiat Ulama-e Hind. He worked day and night and proved his exceptional leadership quality, love for the community and nation throughout his tenure as General Secretary. He was selected unanimously president of Jamiat Ulama-e Hind in 1973 and continued in the same office for 33 years until the last breath. He became Ameerul Hind (leader of the believers in India) succeeding Maulana Habibur Rahamn Azmi in 1992.
In 1983 Mualan Madani was selected as member of the Majlis-e Shoura of Darul Uloom Deoband. He worked closely with Darul Uloom, traveled extensively for its development and expansion. He was a visionary to new faculties and departments like ‘Kul Hind Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-e Nubuwwat’ (all India committee for protection of finality of prophet-hood), Dept. of computer, Dept. of English language & literature and Shaikhul Hind academy in Darul Uloom’s curricula.
Maulana Madani, successfully, led Muslim community from Jamiat platform at every testing time. He was selected as Rajya Sabha member in 1968 and remained an M.P. for three terms spreading over 18 years. He fought for the rights and cause of Muslims. During communal riots in the country, he was among the first to raise voice against governments in Parliament and streets. He fought to bring the guilty to justice and provide quick, appropriate relief to the victims. He was brave enough to rush into any place when people were in dire need; Gujarat riot victims are living witnesses to it, never hesitated to express the truth anywhere in the world. He tried his best to create an atmosphere of peace, harmony and love in the country. He also represented Indian Muslims and government in many international forms.
Maulana Asad Madani was also a prominent member of few other religious, political, educational and social organizations in India and abroad. Major forms among them are Congress working committee, Rajya Sabha regulation committee, Aligarh Muslim University Court, Rabita Al-Alam Al-Islami- Makkak al-Mukarramah, Central Waqf Council, Hamdard Trust Delhi, Majma Al-Buhuth Al-Islamiyyah- Cairo, Mutamar Islami- Tunisia, Mutamar Fiqhi- Riyadh and All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Millions of people from all over the world visited him to take spiritual guidance. Under his expert guidance, many became pious, virtuous, true and practicing Muslims. He used to spend the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadhan exclusively for spiritual guidance every year and taught his visitors to strengthen their relation with the Creator. His Khanqah called Al-Zawiyah Al-Madaniyyah in Deoband witnessed beautiful spiritual atmosphere of remembrance of Allah on his visit.
In spite of continued illness and serious weakness, he completed 10-day usual Itikaf in the last Ramadhan in Darul Uloom’s grand mosque ‘Al-Rasheed’ with over 1000 Mureedeen (disciples) from around the world. On 29th Ramadhan he predicted with tears in eyes that he might not find the following Ramadhan! The next day after Idul Fitr, he was driving his wheel chair towards the mosque to attend Jama’at (congregation) of Asr prayer and fell on his back sustaining severe injury in head. Soon, went into coma and was rushed to Delhi’s Apollo Hospital where he remained in the same state for three months.
With the call of Mu’azzin for Sunset prayer on February 6, 2006 this darling of millions and a SUN of Deoband set in to blue unknown--- to never rise again! Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun! May Allah shower His mercy on him and place him in the best abode of Paradise. Ameen!
(courtesy: monthly Easter Crescent, Markazul Maarif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai)