By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi
Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia
Just a few days ago, we got the news from the social media that celebrated orator and honourable teacher Maulana Muhammad Matloobur Rahman Mazahiri (Rector: Madrasah Misbahul Uloom, Makia, Madhubani, Bihar) has fallen sick and he has been admitted in a hospital in the capital city of Bihar, Patna. He was about 74 years old. In the past, it was not heard that he was sick. The Almighty Allah had blessed him with the safe and sound health. He was healthy and energetic. Although, he fell sick some months back; but he seemed physically fit. Till some days back, he was seen at the stage of the religious programmes in his unique style. Only 11 days before his death, there was a programme in Shamsi, Nepal. He was present in the programme and addressed the public for almost 2 hours. But the fact is that “What is lotted cannot be blotted”. So just few days back, his condition became a bit critical. He was admitted in the IHMS Hospital in Patna. Then on Thursday, 3rd August, 2023 at about 3:30 pm, this shocking news was broke at the social media that Maulana Muhammad Matloobur Rahman Mazahiri has breathed his last and left for heavenly abode. Innaa Lillahi Wa Innaa Ileihir Rajoon!
The village of Maulana Muhammad Matloobur Rahman Mazahiri is very close to our village. A river is the barrier between these two villages. Maulana’s village: Makia is in the Southern side of the river; while our village is situated in the Northern side. From my childhood, I listened to Maulana’s public talk. He was known as a respected scholar and a celebrated orator in our region. It was difficult that the people discuss about the speech and his name isn’t mentioned. There was a time that he had received an invitation letter to address a public gathering from a remote area and he reached there by a bicycle without expressing any tiredness and exhaustion. When the people were informed of his attending a public gathering, they flocked there to listen to his talk. When he was addressing the gathering, the audience would listen to him attentively. The fact is that he was not only a well-known speaker of the vicinity; rather he was a celebrated orator in Bihar. Nowadays, not only in Bihar, but he was also invited to attend the programmes from the several provinces of India. He visited those places to address the public gatherings. His presence in a programme was considered as the guarantee of its success. The Almighty Allah had placed sweetness in his tongue. His voice was very loud and clear. He was an eloquent and loved speaker. He was a public speaker, therefore, during the speech; he talked in local tone about the religious issues and reformations which were necessary for the public and in their interest. Generally he spoke in the regional accent without any hesitation. When the moderator of the programme would hand over him the mic, the audience was overjoyed. The people started awaking the dozing audience (when the programme was in the night) saying, “Wake up, now Maulana Matloob has started his talk. He used to enthrall the large crowd within minutes easily, with his unique speaking methodology. It was easy for him to dominate the crowd. Allah Ta’ala had given him such a nature that he could nicely interact with the people and could simply mix in any assembly of the people. He used to get familiarized with the people and make them familiars easily. With his natural humor and ready-witted, commonly he become over-powerful of an assembly.
Always the starting point of the speech of Maulana Mazahiri was the Qura’nic verse and the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!). He would use the language and expression in accordance with the understanding of the common people and explain the Qura’nic verse and Hadith beautifully. No matter what program he was addressing, his speech was full of humor. He would also mention stories and events in his speech. But those stories were not just to make the audience laugh; rather, there would have been lessons for the audience. During the speech, according to the occasions and the conditions, he was habitual of reciting certain poetry in the praise of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) too. The Almighty Allah had blessed him with the excellent voice. His memory was sharp. He had memorized many Naats and poems. The way he was reciting the Hadith on every topic during his speech, it can be easily understood that he had memorized a lot of Ahaadith by heart. One of his students said that Maulana Mazahiri had memorized whole “Mishkaatu Aathaar”, a book of Hadith written by Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Miyan Deobandi (1903-1975).
The region we belong to, there are the people of different school of thoughts. But we didn’t hear Maulana Mazahiri speaking against people of any other school of thought in any programme. He was not interested in that the scholars should stand on a stage and try to find fault in the people of other school of thoughts in front of the common people. Mostly his speeches were on the topic related to the innovations, rituals and customs found in the society. He used to speak well in this regard. The shortcomings found in the women in regard to religion were being pointed out and give the space in his address as well. At that time, his address would have been in women’s accent. Its advantage was that the messages of the Glorious Qura’n and Hadith would easily reach even those many uneducated village women.
Maulana Mazahiri belonged to a middle class family. His father, Mr. Sadiq Hussain (died: 1991) was a farmer. Allah had placed the love of knowledge and religion in his heart, so he guided his children towards the Islamic knowledge. Allah blessed some of his children with the memorization of the Holy Qura’n by heart and made some others eminent and well-known scholars and orators. One of his children was Maulana Muhammad Matloobur Rahman Mazahiri, who was born on 5th March 1950, in Makia in the district: Madhubani of Bihar.
Maulana Mazahiri was fair in complexion, medium stature, slightly high nose, thick hair slightly curvy at the end that reached his neck (which is called as Limmah in Arabic language), broad forehead, thick and long beard, wide eyes and a large frame glasses on it, a white very high side cap, which later changed into the round one, long Kurta reaching the half of the leg, a beautiful long court over the Kurta slightly above the ankles in the winter season and an Arabic scarf on the shoulder. This was his physical features.
To acquire the basic education of Islamic theology, Maulana Mazahiri got admission in the famous seminary of the North Bihar: Jamia Ashraful Uloom, Kanhwan, Sitamarhi in 1964. In Ashraf Uloom, he had the privilege of learning from the Persian language upto the forth standard of Aalimiyyah course from the great scholars like Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib, Maulana Muhammad Tayyib Khan Kummawi, Maulana Nawazish Kareem, Maulana Sabir Husain Qasmi, Faqihe Millat Maulana Zubair Ahmad Qasmi etc. (May Allah grant them Jannah!) Then he got admission in a seminary: Jamia Arabia, Hathaura, Banda, UP, run by Maulana Qari Sayyid Siddiq Ahmad Bandvi (1923-1997). He learnt the books like Mukhtasarul Ma’ani, Jalalain etc. in this seminary.
In 1971, Maulana Mazahiri moved to India’s well-known religious seminary: Jamia Mazahir Uloom, Saharanpur, UP. He studied for two years in Mazahir. He learnt the Hadith books from the expert scholars in the science of Hadith such as Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Muhajir Madani (1898-1982), Maulana Mufti Muzaffar Hussain (1929-2003), Maulana Muhammad Yunus (1937-2017) — May Allah grant them Jannah!—, Maulana Muhammad Aaqil Mazahiri —May Allah protect him!— (Rector and Sheikhul Hadith of Mazahir Uloom presently) and got the honor of being their student. In 1973, he graduated with a degree in Islamic theology.
Maulana Mazahiri, in order to practice Tazkiyah and Ihsan (purification of soul), first took the oath of allegiance to his revered teacher, Arif Billah Maulana Qari Sayyid Siddiq Ahmad Bandvi. He loved Maulana Bandvi very much and Bandvi also liked him. Once he said about Maulana Bandvi that he was very pleased with his speech in a programme in Allahabad and said, may Allah grant you 90 years age. Then he said that Maulana Bandvi had been a pious person, he had made Duaa for 90 years; but his Duaa was not a “Wahi-Revelation”. Then he requested the audience to make Duaa for his health as he was sick. However, following the demise of Maulana Bandvi, he turned to Muhiyyus Sunnah Maulana Abrarul Haq Haqqi Hardoi (1920-2005) and renewed the oath of allegiance to him.
Maulana Mazahiri started his career as a teacher at “Madrasa Islamia”, Fatehpur court, UP. It was a branch of Darul Uloom Nadvatul Ulama, Lucknow. In this Madrasah, he taught the book like “Mukhtasarul Quduri” etc. As long as he was in Fatehpur, he visited the vicinity for the pubic talk as he was invited to attend the programmes to address the public gathering. From the beginning, he was a popular public speaker. His talk was liked by the people. He remained in this Madrasah for about 14 years. Then, on the wish of Maulana Abdul Hannan Balasathvi (1934-2009) —May Allah grant him Jannah!—, he joined the institution running under his supervision: Jamia Islamia Qasmia, Balasath, Sitamarhi, Bihar as its head-teacher. He rendered his services in this institution as a teacher and administrator for almost 8 years. During this period, he also traveled to the “Middle East” for a year. When the Gulf War broke out and a coalition of several countries led by America attacked “Iraq” on February 24, 1991, on that occasion, he came back his homeland and rejoined Qasmia Jamia. In Jamia, he taught the books like “Hudaya Thaani”, “Noorul Anwar”, “Sharh Jami”, “Mirqaat” etc. When he was in Jamia, he used to attend the religious and public programmes as an orator. While on the one hand, it gave him recognition in Bihar province as an orator, there was an introduction of the newly founded Jamia among the public on the other.
In 1994, Maulana Mazahiri resigned from Jamia. Then he took the charge of Madrasah Misbahul Uloom in his own village: Makia. This Madrasah was established in 1989. Following its establishment, he held the esteemed position of its president. When he came to Misbahul Uloom, some students of several standards of Aalimiyyah course took admission in Masbahul Uloom. He taught them the books like “Kafiyyah of Ibn Hajib”, “Usulush Shashi”, “Sharhul Wiqayah”, “Sharh Jami” etc. Since 1994, he had been the rector of Misbahul Uloom. May Allah accept his services and reward him the best!
Maulana Mazahiri was married to the daughter of Mr. Muhammad Siddiq of “Hasanpur Barharwa” in district: Sitamarhi in 1975. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and five sons. Among his sons, Muhammad Anwar is settled in Mumbai and runs his business. Hafiz Muhammad Anzar is a teacher at Madrasa Misbahul Uloom. Maulana Muhammad Salman is in Saudi Arabia. Maulana Muhammad Imran Nadvi manages the administrative affairs along with teaching in Misbahul Uloom. The youngest son is Hafiz Muhammad Bilal. His sons are Ulama and Huffaaz. May Allah Ta’ala make his sons for him an example of “a righteous son” as in a Hadith!
In the funeral prayer of Maulana Mazahiri, a large group of the scholars and elders like Maulana Abdul Mannan Qasmi (Rector: Madrasah Ashrafiyah Imdadiyah, Rajopatti, Sitamarhi and Khalifah of Maulana Abrarul Haq Hardoi), Maulana Izharul Haq Mazahiri (Nazim: Jamia Ashraful Uloom, Kanhwan, Sitamrahi, Bihar), Maulana Ishtiaq Azmi, Maulana Muhammad Shibli Qasmi (Working Rector of Imarate Sharaiyah, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand) —May Allah protect them— etc., the people of nearby villages and his loved ones participated. About 10,000 people attended the funeral prayer. The gathering of about ten thousand people in a village for a funeral prayer is a proof of people’s love for him. The funeral prayer was led by his son, Maulana Muhammad Imran Nadvi on 4th August after the Friday prayer. Then this great scholar and celebrated orator was laid to rest in the graveyard of his village. May Allah Almighty forgive his shortcomings, accept his good deeds and grant him Jannatul Firdous!