By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
A kind teacher and an exemplary educator, Maulana Jameel Ahmad Sikraudhavi, a senior lecturer at Darul Uloom Deoband, left for heavenly abode. He had fallen sick and was suffering from tormentor disease since several months. Treatment continued; but he could not recover. At the end, he was admitted at GTB Hospital of Delhi, capital city of India. The fixed time has arrived so he breathed his last in the hospital on 31st March 2019. How true and accurate saying of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is! He (SAWS) conveying his message to his daughter: Zainab (RA), when her son was dying, said: “Whatever Allah takes is for Him and whatever He gives, is for Him, and everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world) and so she should be patient and hope for Allah's reward." (Sahih Al-Bukhari: 1284) May the Almighty Allah accept Maulana Sikraudhavi’s services, forgive his shortcomings, grant him the best place in Paradise and give patience to his family members! Aameen!
He was born on 10th April 1950 in a village called: Sikraudha in Bhagwanpur block of the famous district: Haridwar of Urttarakhand in India. Following the completion of his basic educational stages, he moved to the world renowned seminary of Islamic thoughts Darul Uloom Deoband in 1966 and got admission. During his learning period, he had been one of the prominent students. He graduated 1970.
Following the graduation, he was appointed as a teacher in Jamia Rahmania of Hapur. Then he joined Jamia Kashiful Uloom, Chhatmalpur and served there for a period of time. Then he taught at Madrasa Qasimul Uloom of Saharanpur district in UP. In this way, he presented his great services in these different Madaaris. After seven years of his graduation, he was appointed as a teacher at the seat of his learning Darul Uloom Deoband in 1977. Then he joined Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband and taught up to 1999. In 2000, again he came back in Darul Uloom Deoband. He continued teaching here as a kind teacher and an exemplary instructor until he breathed his last.
The Supreme Lord provided him the chance of serving at the great and celebrated institution of the Indian sub-continent and he made the most of it without wasting a moment. The Almighty Allah gave him great opportunity of spreading and preaching the Islamic knowledge for a long period of time among the thousands of students. He continued the chain of teaching and benefiting beautifully. He spent most of his career period teaching in Darul Uloom Deoband. His favourite hobby was teaching and writing the guide books. The learners never complained about his teaching capability, rather they appreciated and showed satisfaction from his teaching methodology. Let me say that the Almighty Allah had blessed him with such talent and capability of teaching that a bright student and a dull learner, the both benefited from him alike. He studied deeply whichever subject he was assigned to teach. Before coming to the classroom, he used to go through the lesson deeply. In the classroom, his heart was satisfied with his studies and the mind was bumping; but at the time of delivering the lesson, he was very careful that of which standard learners he is teaching. So according to their understanding, he used to present his lecture. Due to his teaching methodology, he was not only appreciated by the learners, even the colleague teachers also confessed his capability. That was the reason that very soon he got name and fame as an exemplary educator.
His teaching period is consisting of around five decades. In this long period, he taught many books of the syllabus of the Darse Nizami beautifully. Either it was teaching of the difficult book like “Tafseer Al-Beidawi” or the well-known book of Hadith: “Sunan Tirmidhi” or it was “Hidayah” of Islamic Jurisprudence or the book like “Qawaidul Fiqh”, his teaching methodology was unique, easy, tenable and understandable for each and every learner. Whichever book he taught, he taught it beautifully. In regard to the learners, he was very kind, affectionate, loving and caring teacher. In brief, it can be said that he was “a kind teacher and an exemplary instructor”.
This writer had been lucky to learn from him the famous book of Islamic Jurisprudence “Hidayah” written by Sheikhul Islam Burhanuddin Abul Hasan Ali bin Abi Bakr bin Abdil Jalil Al-Farghani Al-Marghinani (511-593 AH). It was his habit to reach nearby the classroom a few minutes before the period starts. Then he was standing leaning to a pillar outside the classroom. As soon as a teacher leaves the classroom, he used to enter the classroom immediately. When some desks were empty in the middle of the classroom, he used to advise the other students to fill the gap. Then he used to take the students’ attendance register and start roll-call. Following the attendance, a learner used to read a portion of the text supposed to be taught. Then he used to explain the read text in his easy and simple methodology. It was his habit to complete the lesson about five minutes before ending the period and leave the classroom. It was never heard by a learner that he taught so-and-so topic today and it was not understood. It doesn’t matter, either it was any topic like: “Sarf”, “Kifalah”, “Iqalah”, “Hawalah”, “Mudharbah” or “Munabazah”, he explained and dealt them with expertise according to the level of the learners and they understood the topic satisfactorily.
In brief, whichever book of Darse Nizami was assigned to him for teaching, he used to teach it easily caring the level of the learners and the students had no any complication in understanding the lesson. That was why the administrator assigned him higher level classes to teach relying on his capability. He worked according to the expectation. When he was in Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband, he taught the books like, “Anwar Al-Tanzil Wa Asrar Al-Tawil” which is famously known as “Tafseer Al-Beidhawi” (By: Allamah Nasiruddin Abu Saeed Abdullah bin Umar bin Muhammad Al-Shirazi Al-Beidhawi), “Sunan Tirmidhi” (By: Abu I’sa Muhamad bin Isa bin Saurah bin Musa Al-Tirmidhi (824-892)), “Muwatta Imam Malik”, “Hidayah” etc. successfully for almost two decades. Again in Darul Uloom Deoband, he taught Muwatta Imam Malik, Hidayah, Qawaidul Fiqh etc. excellently.
As his teaching skill was recognized, his writing skill was also praised by one and all. He wrote the guide books of the several syllabus books of the Darse Nizami in thousands of pages. The method and language used in those books are very easy and very close to understanding. As Allah the Exalted blessed him with teaching skill, He also granted acceptance to his books. The guide books were highly appreciated and valued by the learners. It is said that he used the new method in writing those guide books. He explained in the simple way the complicated texts of those books. Most of the students used to benefit from the guide books written by him. Ashraful Hidayah, the guide book of famous book of Islamic Jurisprudence: Hidaya, got very much name and fame among the students and the scholars. It was not only the learners and the teachers of the Madaaris who benefited from it; but even some intellectuals, who have interest in the Islamic Jurisprudence, studied it and were seen using it as reference in the debate.
He prepared the guide books for the following books. He wrote the guide of “Usool Al-Shashi” namely “Ajmal Al-Hawashi”. He wrote the guide book of some initial volumes of Hidayah namely Ashraful Hidayah; while the other volumes were written namely “Tafheemul Hidayah”. The guide book of “Mukhtasarul Ma’ani” (By: Sa’aduddin Masood bin Umar Taftazani – 722-792 AH) was prepared namely “Takmeelul Amani”. He wrote the commentary of “Noorul Anwar” namely “Qootul Akhyaar”. The guide book the famous and complicated book “Husami” was written by the name of “Faiz Suhani”. He compiled and edited “Al-Taqrir Al-Hawi” along with his colleague Mufti Shakil Ahmad Sitapuri, ex-teacher of Darul Uloom Deoband. Actually, it is the compilation of the lectures of Maulana Sayyid Fakhrul Hasan, Ex-Head teacher of Darul Uloom Deoband on Tafseer Al-Beidhawi. It is in four volumes which consist up to the verse No.: 82 of Surah Al-Baqarah. May Allah accept it and grant them the best reward!
On the 1st April 2019, his funeral prayer was led by Maulana Qari Sayyid Muhammad Usman (May Allah protect him!), teacher of Hadith: Darul Uloom Deoband in the campus of Darul Uloom Deoband at around 09 hours in the morning. A big number of Ulama and the students attended his funeral prayer. The great scholar of Fiqh and Hadith, Maulana Sikraudhavi was buried in the “Qasmi Graveyard” of Deoband. May Allah grant him the best place in Jannah!
*Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa