Name: Imam Ahmed Raza Khan
Titles: Aala-hazrat, Abdul Mustafa
Silsila: Qadiria, Razvia
Predecessor: Imam-ul-Asfiya, Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool Mahrerwi (radi Allahu anhu)
Successor: Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind, Hadrat Mawlana Mustafa Raza Khan Noori (alaihir rahmah)
Date of Birth: 10th of Shawaal 1272 A.H. (14th June 1856)
Date of Wisaal: 25th safar
Date of Urs: 25th Safar
Resting at: Breilly Shareef, India
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S BIRTH:
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) was born on a Monday, the 10th of Shawaal 1272 A.H. (14th June 1856), at the time of Zohar Salaah in a place called Jasoli, which is in the city of Bareilly Shareef, India.
A few days before the birth of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah), his father, Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), had a wonderful dream. He immediately disclosed this dream to his father, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), who interpreted this dream by saying: “This is a sign that you are going to be the father of a child, a boy, who will grow up to be pious and knowledgable. His name will gain prominence from East to West.”
This was the good news that was given to Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah) concerning the birth of none other than the “emerald from amongst the Treasures of Almighty Allah”, the “sweet-scented rose from the fragrant garden of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)”, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah).
The date of birth of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was extracted by himself from the Holy Quran. “These are they in whose hearts Allah has inscribed faith and helped them with a spirit from Himself.” (58:2)
The name that was given to him at birth was the beautiful name of “Mohammed.” The name corresponding to that year of his birth was “Al Mukhtaar.” His grandfather, a great Scholar of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), also gave the young child the beautiful name of “Ahmed Raza.” It was by this name that he was famously known. Much later in his life, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) added the title “Abdul Mustafa” to his name signifying his great love and respect for Sayyiduna Rasulullah (salal laahu alaihi wasallam).
The Grand Mufti of Makkatul Mukarramah, Sheikh Hussain bin Saleh Makki (alaihir rahmah), also gave him the title of “Zia’udeen Ahmed.”
ILLUSTRIOUS FAMILY HISTORY:
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Al-Qaderi, was the son of Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan, who was son of Allama Mawlana Mohammed Kaazim Ali Khan, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Shah Mohammed Azam Khan, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Sa’adat Yaar Khan, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Sa’eedullah Khan (radi Allahu anhum ajma’in).
The great forefathers of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) migrated from Qandhar (Kabul) during the Mogul rule and settled in Lahore. Allama Mawlana Sa’eedullah Khan, the first forefather of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhum), held a high government post when he arrived in the Indo-Pak sub-continent. His son, Allama Mawlana Sa’adat Yaar Khan (alaihir rahmah), after gaining victory in the city of Ruhailah, was elected as the Governor of that city.
Allama Mawlana Hafiz Kaazim Ali Khan, the son of Mawlana Mohammed Azam Khan (radi Allahu anhum), was a Tax-collector in the city of Badayun. His son, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), the illustrious grandfather of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), did not serve in the Government. It was from this generation that the heads of the family began to adopt Tassawuf as their way of life.
We have included a very brief history of A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) father and grandfather.
HIS FATHER: A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) father, Hadrat Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), received his education at the hands of his father, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah). He wrote more than 50 books, among them, “Suroorul Quloob fi Zikri Mouloodul Mahboob”, which received a very high distinctive position amongst Islamic literature. The treatise is characteristic in its condemnation of the enemies of Islam, both internally and externally. A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) father passed away in 1297 A.H. (1880) when he was 24 years old.
HIS GRANDFATHER: One of the greatest Sufis of his time, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah) was born in the year 1224 A.H. He was also a great warrior and fought with General Bakht Khan against English invaders in the year 1834. He received his early education at the hands of Molwi Khaleerur Rahman. At the age of 23, he had already completed his Islamic education, earning certificates of distinction in various fields of knowledge. He passed away in the month of Jamaadi-ul-Awwal in the year 1282 A.H. (1866). A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was at this time only 10 years old.
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S PIETY AS A CHILD:
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was a child of 4 years when this incident took place. On that particular day, he was dressed in a long Kurta. As he stepped out of his house, a few female prostitutes walked past him. In order to cover his eyes, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) quickly held the bottom of his Kurta with both his hands and lifted the Kurta over his face. When one of the prostitutes saw what he did, she said, “Well! Young man. You covered your eyes, but allowed your Satr to be shown.” With his face and eyes still covered, the young A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied, “When the eyes are tempted, then the heart becomes tempted. When the heart is tempted, then the concealed parts become tempted.” So shocked and affected was this woman on hearing such a reply from a child that she lost consciousness.
Another incident which happened in the Month of Ramadaan also s hows A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) piety and fear of Allah. Fasting was not Fardh (obligatory) upon him because he was still a child, but on that day he intended to keep fast. It should be known that for a little child to keep fast in India during the summer season was very difficult. The average temperature on a summer’s day rises to approximately 50 degrees Celsius. On that day, the heat of the sun was intense. Hadrat Allama Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah) took his young son, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), into a room where sweets were kept. He closed the door and said, “There, eat the sweets.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied that he was fasting. His father then said, “The fasting of children is always like this. The door is closed and no one is looking. Now you may eat.” On hearing this, the young A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) respectfully said, “Through Whose command I am fasting, He is Seeing me.” On hearing this answer from a little child, tears began to flow from the eyes of Hadrat Allama Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah). He then left the room with A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah).
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S FIRST LECTURE:
Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) delivered his first lecture at the age of 6 years. It was during the glorious month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) stood on the Mimbar (Pulpit) and delivered a lecture before a very large gathering which also consisted of Ulema. His lecture lasted for approximately 2 hours. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) spoke on the Wilaadat (Birth) of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He brightened the hearts of the listeners with the love of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The people listening were thoroughly impressed by the maturity and eloquence of this lecture which was being delivered by a 6 year old child!
HIS INTELLIGENCE AS A CHILD:
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was so gifted and intelligent that there was no need for him to study beyond the fourth Kitaab of his course under the tutorship of any of his teachers. He studied the remaining Kitaabs by himself and used to later ask his teachers to test him.
Once, his teacher asked him, “Mia! Are you a Jinn or a human being? It takes me much time to teach a lesson, but it does not take you much time to learn the same lesson.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) answered, “Praise be to Allah that I am a human.”
When he was 8 years old, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) wrote a Mas’ala concerning Fara’idh (Fards). When his father looked at the answer, he happily remarked, “If only some adult could answer in this manner.”
At the age of 10, when he was studying the Kitaab, “I’lm-us- Thuboot,” under the guidance of his father, he noticed a few objections and answers of his father on the side of the page. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) studied this book carefully and wrote such a well- explained footnote that even the need for an objection was ruled out. His father came across his research on that objection. He was so delighted that he stood up and held the young A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to his heart and said, “Ahmad Raza! You do not learn from me, but you teach me.”
Professor Dr Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Head of Department Urdu, Sindh University, Sindh (Pakistan) said: “Allama Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan is among the outstanding scholars. His deep learning, intelligence, vision and acumen, surpassed that of great contemporary thinkers, professors, renowned scholars and orientalist. Indeed, there is hardly any branch of learning that is foreign to him.”
ASTONISHING EVENTS OF CHILDHOOD:
At the age of 3, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was once standing outside the Raza Musjid in Bareilly Shareef. An “unknown” person, attired in an Arabian garb, approached him and spoke to him in the Arabic language. Those who were present and witnessed this incident heard the young A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) converse with the person in pure Arabic. They were surprised. The person who spoke to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was never seen again in Bareilly Shareef!
A Majzoob (one drowned in his love for Almighty Allah) by the name of Hadrat Basheeruddeen Sahib (alaihir rahmah) used to live at the Akhoon Zada Musjid in Bareilly Shareef. He spoke harshly to anyone who visited him. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) wished to meet this Majzoob. One night, at about 11 o’clock, he set off alone to meet him. He sat respectfully for about 15 minutes outside the Majzoob’s house. After some time, the Majzoob became aware of him and asked, “Who are you to Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah).” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied that he was the grandson of Hadrat Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah). The Majzoob immediately embraced him and took him into his little room. He asked A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) if he had come for any specific matter, but A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said that he had come to ask him to make Dua for him. On hearing this, the Majzoob, for approximately half an hour, made the following Dua: “May Allah have mercy on you, May Allah bless you.”
COMMENCEMENT OF ISLAMIC EDUCATION:
During A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) “Bismillah Kwaani” or “Commencement of Islamic Education” a very strange incident occurred.
His respected teacher asked him to read the Tasmiyah, and then told him to read “Alif, Baa, Taa, . . . .” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) began reading the “Alif, Baa, Taa, …” until he came to the word “Laam Alif” at which point A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) became silent. When his teacher asked him once more to read “Laam Alif”, he remained silent. The teacher instructed him, “Say, ‘Laam Alif'”. Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), then replied, “I have already read them earlier on. What need is there for me to repeat it?”
Hadrat Allama Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), who was witnessing this incident, said, “Son! Listen to what your Ustaad is saying.” Upon further reflection, Hadrat Allama Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), realised the reason for the objection of the young A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). It was because the teacher was teaching A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) the lesson on single alphabets. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) felt that how was it possible that a complete word like “Laam Alif” should be found in such a lesson that only dealt with single alphabets!
Hadrat Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah) knew that it was a very delicate matter that could not be understood by a child. Nevertheless, he explained, “Son! It is true that which you are thinking of. But the ‘Alif’ which you had earlier read, in reality, is ‘Hamza’ and this which you are reciting now is ‘Alif’. ‘Alif’ is always ‘Sakin’ and one cannot commence with an alphabet which is ‘Sakin’. Therefore, it is for this reason that the alphabet ‘Laam’ is brought before the ‘Alif’.”
When A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) heard this answer, he replied, “If that be the case, then any other alphabet could be joined to the ‘Alif’. Why the ‘Laam’?” Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), out of sheer happiness and excitement, embraced A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) and made Dua for him. He then explained the answer to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) in the following brilliant manner: “In looking at them they both appear to be very much alike, since they are both empty. Even when writing them together they look very much alike. When it comes to their qualities then ‘Laam’ is the heart of ‘Alif’ and ‘Alif’ is the heart of ‘Laam’.”
Hadrat Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah) was in reality opening the doors and the treasures of knowledge and spiritual insight to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah).
A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) WAS ONLY 4 YEARS OLD WHEN HE COMPLETED THE RECITATION OF THE HOLY QURAN. DUE TO THE EXTRAORDINARY INTELLIGENCE BESTOWED UPON HIM BY ALMIGHTY ALLAH, A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) COMPLETED HIS ISLAMIC EDUCATION AT THE VERY YOUNG AGE OF 13 YEARS, 10 MONTHS AND 5 DAYS. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) states that, “I completed my religious education during the middle of the month of Shabaan in the year 1286 A.H. I was 13 years, 10 months and 5 days old at that time. It was also at this time that Salaah became Fard upon me and I began to have great interest in the Laws of Shariah”. (Al Ijaazatur Radawiyya)
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) gained his basic knowledge at home. He later continued his studies under the guidance of certain noted teachers. He studied under his father, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah). He completed his primary education by Janab Mirza Ghulam Qader Baig, by whom he studied the book, “Mizaane Munsha’ab.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) also studied under the guidance of the following luminous personalities :
1. Hadrat Mawlana Abdul Ali Rampuri (alaihir rahmah),
2. Hadrat Allama Syed Shah Abul Hassan Ahmed Noori (alaihir rahmah),
3. Sheikh-e-Tariqah, Hadrat Allama Shah Ale Rasool Mahrahrewi (alaihir rahmah),
4. Sheikh Ahmed bin Zain-e-Dahlaan Makki (alaihir rahmah),
5. Sheikh Abdur Rahman Makki (alaihir rahmah), and
6. Sheikh Hussain bin Salih Makki (alaihir rahmah)
A’LA HADRAT’S FIRST FATAWA:
In a letter sent to his illustrious Khalifa, Malakul Ulema, Hadrat Mawlana Zafaruddeen Bihaari, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) wrote, “With the Grace of Almighty Allah, this servant wrote his first Fatawah at the age of 13. It is also at this age that I completed my religious education and gained a certificate of proficiency in this field. On this day, a question was put forward to me as to whether milk, if reaching the belly of a child, would prove fosterage or not? I replied that even if milk reached the child’s belly, either through the nose or mouth, fosterage would be proven, therefore, making it Haraam upon the child to marry this women”. (Al Malfooz, Part I, pg. 12)
His father was so amazed and delighted by this in-depth reply that he assigned the young A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) the task of issuing Fatawahs (Islamic Verdicts). For many years, thereafter, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) carried this very important duty with absolute dignity and responsibility.
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) began answering hundreds of Fatawas daily. He received them in all languages – Arabic, Urdu, Persian, English and many other languages.
Professor Dr J.M.S. Baljon, Department of Islamology, University of Leiden (Holland), when commenting about A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) answers to religious enquiries, said: “Indeed, a great scholar I must confess. When reading his Fatawas, I am deeply impressed by the immensely wide reading he demonstrates in his argumentations. Above it, his views appear much more balanced than I expected. You are completely right; he deserves to be better known and more appreciated in the West than is the case at present.”
HIS MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN:
In the year 1291 A.H. (1874), A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) married Sayyidah Irshaad Begum (radi Allahu anha) who was the beloved daughter of Sheikh Fadhl Hussain Sahib. He was 18 years old at the time of his Nikah.
Almighty Allah blessed A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) with 7 beautiful children – 2 sons and 5 daughters. Both his sons became eminent Islamic Scholars and great Awliyah Allah. A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) eldest son, Hujjatul Islam, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Muhammad Haamid Raza Khan Noori Barakaati (alaihir rahmah) was very much efficient in Arabic and various other religious sciences. His features resembled his illustrious father. Hujjatul Islam (alaihir rahmah) left this mundane world on the 17th of Jamadi-ul-Awwal 1362 A.H., while in the state of Salaah. His Mazaar Shareef (Blessed Tomb) is in Bareilly Shareef, India.
Ghousul Waqt, Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind, Ash Shah Imam Mustapha Raza Khan Noori Barakaati (alaihir rahmah), the younger son of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) studied primarily under the guidance of his elder brother. He also received education at the blessed feet of his father and earned himself a certificate of proficiency in religious sciences. Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind (alaihir rahmah) has approximately ten millions Mureeds (Disciples) around the world. He is also regarded as a Mujaddid (Reviver) of Islam of the 15th Century. He left this mundane world on the eve of the 14th of Muharram 1402 A.H. (1981). His Mazaar Shareef is also in Bareilly Shareef.
INCIDENTS POINTING TO HIS IMMENSE KNOWLEDGE:
Speaking about A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) immense knowledge, Dr Sayyid Muhammad Abdullah, Chairman: Department of Encyclopedia of Islam, University of Punjab, Lahore (Pakistan) said: “The scholar is said to be the mind and spokesman of the nation, especially that scholar who derives inspiration, throught and vision form the Holy Quran, and the Holy Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), traditions, a narration of divine knowledge, and exponent of divine scheme. He is the voice of the Creator, a benefactor of mankind. It is not an over statement of exaggeration, but acceptance of truth to say that Ahmad Raza is such a scholar.
“He, indeed, is a renowned scholar, great philosopher, eminent Jurist, man of vision, interpreter of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) traditions, and a spell binding orator.”
A few days after the Nikah of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), a certain person came to Bareilly Shareef. He presented a Fatawa of Mawlana Irshaad Hussain Mujaddidi (alaihir rahmah) to Hadrat Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah) for an answer. The Fatawa bore the signatures of many Ulema.
Hadrat Allama Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), instructed the messenger with the following words: “Go into the room. Moulvi Sahib is there. He will answer your question.” The messenger entered the room and only saw A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) sitting there. He returned to Hadrat Allama Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah) and said, “There is no Moulvi Sahib there. All I see in the room is a young lad.” Hadrat Allama Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah) told the messenger: “Give the Mas’ala to him and he will answer it.” The messenger went to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) and handed him the Fatawa. He studied it and realised that the answer on the Fatawa of Mawlana Irshaad Hussain (alaihir rahmah) was incorrect. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) wrote the correct answer to the Fatawa and respectfully presented it to his father. His father verified his (alaihir rahmah) answer as being correct.
The very same Fatawa was then taken to the Governor of Rampur. After studying the Fatawa of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), the Governor requested the presence of Mawlana Irshaad Hussain Sahib (alaihir rahmah). When the said Mawlana appeared before the Governor, the Fatawa was shown to him. Mufti Irshaad Hussain Sahib (alaihir rahmah) humbly acknowledged that his Fatawa was incorrect and that the Fatawa from Bareilly Shareef was the correct answer. The Governor of Rampur then said, “If the Fatawa of Bareilly is correct, then how is it that all the other Ulema verified and endorsed your Fatawa?” Mawlana Irshaad Hussain (alaihir rahmah) replied, “THEY ENDORSED MY FATAWA BECAUSE I AM PROMINENT, BUT THE TRUE FATAWA IS THE ONE WRITTEN BY THE MUFTI OF BAREILLY.”
When the Governor learnt that Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) was only 20 old, he immediately had the great yearning to meet him. It so happened that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) once visited Rampur. The Governor went and met A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). The Governor was overwhelmed and as a mark of respect offered him a silver chair to sit on. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) refused to sit on the silver chair saying that the use of silver furniture is Haraam. Feeling ashamed, the Governor requested A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to sit on the bed.
While conversing with A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), the Governor commented that since he was so brilliant at such a young age, that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) should study a few books in Logistics under the supervision of Moulvi Abdul Haq Kheyrabaadi.
Coincidently, Moulvi Abdul Haq Kheyrabaadi arrived. They were both introduced to one another. After getting acquainted, he questioned Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) concerning the books that he had studied in the field of Logistics. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) told the Moulvi that he had studied the Kitaab, “Kazi Mubaarak.” Moulvi Abdul Haq Kheyrabaadi did not believe A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) because he felt that he was too young to study “Kazi Mubaarak”. He then, very sarcastically, asked, “Have you studied ‘Tahzeeb’?” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) also answered in a very sarcastic manner by saying, “Is ‘Tahzeeb’ taught after ‘Kazi Mubaarak’ at your institution?”
After listening to the answers of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), he began questioning him about his qualifications. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said that he preferred teaching, engaging in Fatawa work and writing books. He further asked A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) concernin his field of expertise. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied by saying that HE SPECIALISED IN ANY FIELD THAT WAS NECESSARY AT ANY GIVEN TIME, AND THIS INCLUDED DEBATING THE WAHABIS.
When Moulvi Abdul Haq heared this reply from A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), he remarked, “That crazy person from Badayoun is also in this fanaticism.” (He was referring to Mawlana Abdul Qaadir radi allahu anhu). On hearing this, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) became offended and said, “Your father, Mawlana Fadhl-e-Haq Kheyrabaadi (alaihir rahmah), was the first person to debate the Wahabis, and he was the one responsible for writing a book against Isma’il Delhwi. He called this book ‘Al Fatawa Fi Butali Taghwa’.”
Mawlana Abdul Haq Kheyrabbadi then said, “If, in my presence, you answer me in this way, then it will be impossible for me to teach you.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied by saying, “I have already decided not to study under you, since for me to study under you will be an insult to the Ulema-e- Ahle Sunnah”.
Mawlana Mufti Mazharullah said: “Once, I enquired from A’la Hadrat about the holy sacrifice offered by Muslims. He, in his reply, described innumerable kinds of sheep which was a matter of surprise for me. I kept his letter with me. It so happened that Mawlana Kifaayatullah came to see me and by chance he saw the letter. He was astounded and said, ‘No doubt his learning and knowledge knows no boundaries’.”
BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE STUDIED BY AT HIS FATHER’S FEET:
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) became proficient in the following branches of knowledge at the feet of his father:
TAFSEER OF THE HOLY QURANTAFSEER OF AHADITH
PRINCIPLES OF AHADITH (USOOL-E-HADITH)
ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE (ALL FOUR SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT)
PRINCIPLES OF JURISPRUDENCE (USOOL-E-FIQH)
PRINCIPLES OF BELIEF
PRINCIPLES OF DEBATE
PRINCIPLES OF RHETORIC
LANGUAGE USAGE OF METAPHORS
SCIENCE DEALING WITH RHETORIC
PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICS
In the book, “Al Ijaazatul Mutay’yanah”, on page 22, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) has said the following in connection with the above mentioned 20 branches of knowledge. He says, “I LEARNT THESE TWENTY BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE, PERSONALLY AT THE FEET OF MY FATHER”.
OTHER BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE ATTAINED FROM VARIOUS ULEMA:
He learnt QURANIC RECITATION, CORRECT RECITATION WITH TAJWEED, MYSTICISM, MYSTICAL INITIATION, ISLAMIC ETHICS, NAMES OF NARRATORS OF AHADITH, BIOGRAPHY OF THE HOLY PROPHET (SALAL LAAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM), ISLAMIC HISTORY, IN-DEPTH STUDY OF ARABIC AND LITERATURE.
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) states: “THESE TEN BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE, I ACHIEVED AT THE FEET OF THE FOLLOWING TEACHERS: SHAH ALE RASOOL MAHRAHREWI, MAWLANA NAQI ALI KHAN, SHEIKH AHMED BIN ZAIN DAHLAAN MAKKI, SHEIKH ABDUR RAHMAN MAKKI, SHEIKH HUSSAIN BIN SALEH MAKKI, SHAH ABUL HASSAN AHMED NOORI (ALAIHIMUR RAHMAH).”
BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE ATTAINED WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF ANY TEACHER:
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) learnt ARITHMETIC, ALGEBRA, THE TWELVE BRANCHES OF MATHEMATICS, MODERN ASTRONOMY, SCIENCE OF INHERITANCE, SCIENCE OF PROSODY, ASTROLOGY, SCIENCE OF HISTORY, PROSE IN HINDI, PROSE IS PERSIAN, IN-DEPTH STUDY OF ARABIC AND IN-DEPTH STUDY OF PLAIN PERSIAN WRITING.
When A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was questioned about his amazing capabilities in solving intricate and confusing Mathematical theories, and as to who his mentor was, he replied, “I DID NOT HAVE A TEACHER IN THIS FIELD. WHATEVER YOU SEE, I ACHIEVED WITHIN THE FOUR WALLS OF MY ROOM. THIS IS INDEED THROUGH THE GRACE OF SAYYIDUNA RASOOLULAH (SALAL LAAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM).” (Al Mizaan, pg. 342)
The above are merely a few branches of knowledge in which A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) reached such great heights of proficiency that he was considered to be the inventor of that branch of knowledge! An example of this is to found in his book, “Ar Raudal Baheej fi Adaabut Takhreej”, dealing with the Principles of Chronomatic Recording of Ahadith.
Commenting on this, the famous Historian, Mawlana Rahmaan Ali, (M.P. Madya Pradesh) states, “If there are no books to be found on the subject of Chronomatic Recording of Ahadith, then A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) can be considered to be the very inventor of this branch of knowledge”. (Tazkerah Ulema-e-Hind, pg. 17)
PROFICIENCY IN OVER FIFTY BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE:
If we study the life of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), we will discover that HIS PROFICIENCY IN VARIOUS SUBJECTS TOTAL OVER FIFTY FOUR BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE. Is it possible today, to find an Islamic scholar or even a non-Muslim professor, scientist, educationist or a Nobel Prize owner who possesses such qualifications? Arab Scholars like Sheikh Ismail bin Khalil and Sheikh Musa Ali Shami (radi Allahu anhuma) commended A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) as the Revivalist of the 14th Century A.H.: “IF HE IS CALLED THE REVIVALIST OF THIS CENTURY, IT WILL BE RIGHT AND TRUE.”
Commenting on A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) reputation and his knowledge, Dr Jamil Jalibi, Vice Chancellor, Karachi University (Pakistan) said: “Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi was an eminent Jurist, leading scholar, scientist, Naa’tia poet, a keen observer of Shariah and a Saint. His crowning scholarship can be imagined by the fact that he had commanding knowledge of about 54 branches of various sciences and humanities. He has contributed valuable works in almost all of them. He left behind more than a thousand treatises.”
Professor Dr Wahid Ashraf, Baroda University, in Baroda said: “There is no shortage of renowned personalities in the history of Islam who made rich contributions to various fields of knowledge through their divine-gifted qualities of learning, wisdom and insight. Ibn Sina, Umar Khayyam, Imam Razi, Imam Ghazzali, Al Beruni, Farabi and Ibn Rushd are a few rich names that shall always be remembered with pride. Among them, someone is renowned for Philosophy and Medicine, some other famous for Mathematics, another in Astrology, yet another is known for Moral Philosophy. Someone is an expert in Greek Thoughts, etc., BUT THE MOST OUTSTANDING PERSONALITY WAS BORN IN INDIA AND PASSED AWAY IN THE PRESENT CENTURY. HE WAS AHMED RAZA BAREILVI WHO ENJOYED SUCH A COMMAND IN VARIOUS BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE THAT ONLY EXPERTS OF THE SPECIAL FACULTY CAN DISCUSS FULLY AND SUCCESSFULLY.”
TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY OF THE HOLY QURAN:
Many people have translated the Holy Quran into the Urdu language, but the translation of the Holy Quran presented by A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) – called “Kanzul Imaan” – is proven to be the most unique translation in the Urdu language. In his translation one sees that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) used only those words in his translation that are worthy for the Attributes and Qualities of Almighty Allah and of His beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
It is said that the translation of the Holy Quran by A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) is not merely a literal translation, but is also the commentary of the Holy Quran. In the words of Hadrat Sayyiduna Muhaddith-e-Azam Hind (alaihir rahmah), “IT IS NOT ONLY THE TRANSLATION OF THE QURAN, IT IS THE QURAN.”
We have taken just one example of a Verse from the Holy Quran that has been translated by various persons and compared it with the beautiful translation of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). We have taken Sura 93, Verse 7 as an example:
(1) “And he found you lost on the way and he guided thee.” Translation by Mohammad Asad
(2) “And found thee groping so he showed the way.” Translation by Muhammad Ali Lahori Qadiani
(3) “And He found you uninformed of Islamic laws so he told you the way of Islamic laws.” Translation by Ashraf Ali Thanwi
(4) “Did he not find thee erring and guide thee.” Translation by Arberry
(5) “And saw you unaware of the way so showed you the straight way.” Translation by Fatheh Muhammad Jalledhri
(6) “And he found thee wandering and He gave thee guidance.” Translation by Yusuf Ali
Now that we have examined six different translations of Sura 93, Verse 7, let us examine the difference and the uniqueness of the translation of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah): “AND HE FOUND YOU DROWNED IN HIS LOVE THEREFORE GAVE WAY UNTO HIM”
Look at the uniqueness and the cautiousness that is present in this translation of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah)! He abstained from using those words that may cause any disrespect to the dignity and personality of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)!
Due to the vast amount of time A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) spent in compiling books on Fiqh and various other topics, it was not possible for him to compile a complete commentary of the Holy Quran. However, a few learned scholars have stated that if all the books of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) have to be brought together then there is a great possibility that a complete commentary of the Holy Quran may be compiled. Like his translation of the Holy Quran, they have said that his Tafseer will also be exceptional.
Commenting only on the “Bismillahir Rahman nir Rahim”, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) presented such a lengthy lecture on this simple phrase that it was compiled into a complete book and published under the title, “Al Meeladun Nabwiya.”
Once, during the Urs Shareef of Hadrat Mawlana Shah Abdul Qaadir Sahib (alaihir rahmah), A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) delivered a lecture on Sura Wad-Duha from 9 a.m. in the morning right till 3 p.m. in the afternoon! This lecture on Sura Wad-Duha alone lasted for 6 hours. After completing his lecture A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said, “I only wrote 80 percent of the commentary on this Sura and had to leave it aside. Where is there time enough to write the Tafseer of the entire Quran-e-Azeem!”
Allamah Ata Muhammad Bindayalwi (alaihir rahmah), Sarghoda (Pakistan) said: “Hadrat Bareilvi (alaihir rahmah) has written about a thousand treatises. He exhaustively dealt with every topic he touched, but his most glorious work is his Urdu translation and explanation of the Holy Quran entitled,’Kanzul Imaan’. Indeed, there is no parallel. Real worth of this monumental work can be evaluated by only those scholars who possess vast and deep knowledge of various other translations and explanations of high standard in Urdu. A’la Hadrat kept the same pattern as adopted by the renown writers, but he excelled in the explanation and expansion of the most difficult and complicated subject matter in relatively few simple words.”
AUTHORITY IN THE FIELD OF AHADITH:
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) was also a great authority of his time when it came to the subjects of Ahadith and Usool-e-Ahadith. He knew the names of almost every Hadith narrator. When he was questioned concerning details of a certain narrator, he was able to give a complete biography of the narrator. When he studied any Hadith he was able to explain the type of Hadith, it’s benefits and the reasons behind that Hadith. He wrote many booklets on the topic of Ahadith. One of his books is entitled, “Hajizul Jarain An Jamma Bainas Salaatain,” which covered the Ahadith pertaining to “Jamma Bainas Salaatain” or the “Combination of Two Salaahs in one time.”
Dr Professor Mohiyyuddin, Azhar University, Cairo (Egypt) said: “Renowned scholar, Ahmed Raza Khan, visited Arabia twice to perform Hajj at Makkah and payed homage to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) at Madina. During his stay he visited various centres of learning and had extensive exchange of views with the scholars covering various branches of learning and religious issues. He secured permission from some authentics to quote them in reference to particular Ahadith, and in return, he allowed them to mention his authority in respect of some other Ahadith.
“It is an old saying that scholarly talent and poetic exuberance rarely combine in one person, but Ahmad Raza Khan was an exception. His achievements contradicts this diction. He was not only an acknowledged research scholar, but also a great poet.”
A GREAT JURIST OF HIS TIME:
Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) is that branch of knowledge that is derived from the Holy Quran and the Ahadith of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Only that person can be a proper Jurist who is well-versed in both the Holy Quran and the Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He must also be well-versed in and all the other important branches of knowledge, such as Tafseer, Logic, Philosophy, Translating, and many other branches.
Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was regarded as the greatest Jurist of his era. He was totally proficient in the field of Fiqh and received acceptance by the great Ulema of the East and the West. The greatest proof of his position and status in the world of Fiqh can be understood from his answers concerning the Shariat-e-Mustapha (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), which was compiled into 12 large volumes, comprising of approximately 12 000 pages to form the famous book, “Fatawa Radawiyyah,” which is used in every Darul Ifta (Fatawah Departments) around the world today.
A renowned theologian and a great Saint of Delhi, Hadrat Mawlana Zayd Abul Hassan Faruqi (alaihir rahmah), who completed his education at the Al Azhar University, Cairo, acknowledged the unrivalled mastery of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) over Islamic Jurisprudence and other branches of learning in the following words: “None can deny the knowledge of Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan in the field of Fiqh. He was, no doubt, the greatest Faqih (Jurist) of his time.”
When Sheikh Ismail Khalil, the Curator of the Library at Makkatul Mukarramah, read the Fatawas of Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (alaihir rahmah) he was puffed up with joy and wrote to A’la Hazrat (alaihir rahmah): “By Allah, if Abu Hanifa Nu’man (alaihir rahmah) would have gone through these Fatawa, undoubtedly, it could have been his heart’s delight and granted its writer among his pupils.”
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S I’LM-E-JAFAR:
“I’lm-e-Jafar” refers to “The Knowledge and The Art of Prediction.” Not all persons are blessed with such knowledge by Almighty Allah. It is a speciality for the Awliyah Allah. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was blessed with the gift of I’lm-e-Jafar.
Once, a certain person asked A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) concerning the approach of Qiyaamah and the arrival of Imam Mahdi in the future. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said that Almighty Allah knows of this and His beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is also aware of this fact. After saying this A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) substantiated these facts by quoting many verses of the Holy Quran and Ahadith of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) then said, “THROUGH A CERTAIN TYPE OF KNOWLEDGE, I FEEL THAT THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT IN 1837 HIJRAH THERE WILL BE NO ISLAMIC GOVERNMENT LEFT, AND IN 1900 HIJRA IMAM MAHDI WILL APPEAR”. After hearing this answer, someone asked A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) if he had gained this answer through I’lm-e-Jafar. He replied that he did. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) then said very sarcastically, “Eat the mangoes. Do not count the trees.”
There was a King of Rampur whose wife was very sick. He loved her very much and was very attached to her. This King, who was a “Badd Mazhab” (one who does not follow the religion properly), sent a messenger to Bareilly Shareef with a special request. He requested A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to predict the time and place of the death of his wife. The King’s wife was, at that moment, not at her house in Rampur, but she was in a place called Nainital. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) told the messenger to tell the King that his wife will die in Rampur in the month of Muharram. When the messenger returned to the King, he gave him the message of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah).
With this message of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) at the back of his mind, the King tried very hard to keep his wife away from Rampur. He did not want her to be in any way near Rampur.
It so happened that rioting broke out in Rampur. It concerned the affairs of the Kanpur Shaheed Ganj Musjid. The Governor summoned the King to meet with him urgently in Rampur. The King decided to go on his own, but his wife insisted on joining him. As soon as they reached Rampur, the King’s wife suddenly died. It was also the month of Muharram. The prediction of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) proved to be true!
HIS KNOWLEDGE OF PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE:
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) was a great Scientist and Philosopher. He understood Science and Philosophy better than anyone in his time. He was a master of Ancient and Modern Sciences. He proved through research that various concepts of the modern day science are illogical and against the theories of the Holy Quran and the Ahadith.
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) wrote many books on Science and Physics. One of his famous books, “Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen,” using the Holy Quran as its guidelines, proves that the earth is not rotating but is stationary. He also proves that the entire Universe is revolving around the earth. Modern theories believe that the earth is rotating on its axis and that all the planets, including the earth, are revolving around the sun. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) also disproved the theories of Scientist such as Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton. We believe that should this book be translated into the English language by our Scholars who are well-versed in Science and presented to the West, there will have to be a re-think on modern scientific theories! Today, many people in the Western world regard Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) as the “NEGLECTED GENIUS OF THE EAST.”
KNOWLEDGE OF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY:
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) gained great expertise in the field of Astronomy and Astrology.
There was a person by the name of Mawlana Ghulam Hussain Sahib, who used to regard himself as an authority in Astrology. Once, Mawlana Ghulam Hussain Sahib visited A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) asked him, “So! What is the situation of the rain?” After working out the position of the stars, Mawlana Ghulam Sahib drew-up an astronomical table and said,”In this month there will be no rain. It will only rain in the following month.” Mawlana Sahib then handed over the astronomical table to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) examined it and said, “All the Power is by Allah. If He pleases, then it may rain now.” Mawlana Ghulam Hussain then said, “Are you not observing the astronomical table?” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said, “I am observing everything.”
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) then looked towards the clock and asked, “What time is it?” Mawlana Ghulam Hussain said, “Quarter past eleven.” Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said, “That means that there is three quarters of an hour left for twelve o’ clock.” Saying this, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) walked up to the grandfather clock that was in the room. With his finger he moved the big needle of the clock until it was on the twelve, thus showing twelve o’clock. The clock began to chime. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) then said, “You said that it would take three quarters of an hour for the needle to come to twelve o’ clock.” The Mawlana Sahib replied, “But you were responsible for altering the position of the needle.”
On hearing this, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said, “Almighty Allah is All-Powerful and He may alter the position of the stars whenever he wishes…” A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) HAD NOT YET COMPLETED HIS SENTENCE WHEN IT BEGAN TO RAIN UNCONTROLLABLY.
A MATHEMATICAL GENIUS:
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was also a great Mathematician. He used to solve the most difficult mathematical problems in a short space of time. His authority in the field of Mathematics will leave modern-day Mathematicians wide-mouthed. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Logarithms, and other branches of Mathematics which are normally handled with great difficulty even by mathematics students today, was like ordinary addition and subtraction to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah)!
Once, Sir Ziaud-deen, a famous Mathematician, was in a predicament with regards to part of his research in the mathematical field. He had to go to Berlin in Germany to seek a solution to this intricate problem. It so happened that a certain Mawlana from the famous Aligarh University advised Sir Ziaud-deen to visit A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to seek a solution for his mathematical problem. But, Sir Ziaud-deen, not sounding very confident said, “What will an ordinary Mawlana like Mawlana Ahmed Raza be able to solve? He hasn’t even gone out of his city to gain knowledge, so it is obvious that his knowledge is very limited.” Nevertherless, after some convincing, he agreed to visit A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah).
When he arrived in Bareilly Shareef, he immediately went to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). Presenting the intricate mathematical problem to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) he said, “I am now going to Germany. I will come back for the answer, that is, if you do manage to solve it.” As he was speaking, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was busy writing and listening to him at the same time. As Sir Ziaud-deen was about to leave, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) handed him a sheet of paper. When Sir Ziaud-deen read what was written on this paper, he realised that it contained the solution to his mathematical problem that had him so confused. Sir Ziaud-deen then said, “TODAY I BELIEVE THAT THERE IS SOMETHING KNOWN AS I’LM-E-LADUNI (INSPIRED KNOWLEDGE).”
Sir Zia’uddeen, was later recorded to have said about A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah): “He was an un-assuming man of pleasant manners and morals, had deep insight in Mathematics, although he was not formerly educated by a teacher. It was an inner divine-gifted inherent knowledge. My query pertained to a theory of knotting problems of Mathematics, but his manner and explanation was spontaneous as if he had already carried out a research in it. Now, there is nobody so well-versed in India. Such a great scholar, I think, there is none. Allah has bestowed upon him such a knowledge, that is amazing. His insight in the fields of Mathematics, Euclid, Algebra and Timings is astonishing. A mathematical problem that I could not solve despite my best of efforts, this learned genius explained in a few moments.”
CONTRIBUTION TO THE FIELD OF POETRY:
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) spent much of his valuable time writing Poetry. His Poetry mostly consisted of Naath Shareef in praise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and Manqabats. In all the Naath Shareefs that was written by A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), it is evident that his heart and soul was drowned in the love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
His Naaths were written within the boundaries of the Shariah. Every stanza was filled with pearls of “I’lhaam”. “I’lhaam” is that which is inspired by Almighty Allah into the hearts of the Awliyah Allah. Just as the Ambiya receive “Wahi” or Revelation, so do the Awliyah receive “I’lhaam”. Each verse and stanza of his Poetry is the Tafseer (Commentary) of the Holy Quran and the Hadith of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). His Poetry was mainly in the Arabic, Urdu, and Persian languages.
A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) Poetry was compiled to form the famous, “Hidayake Bakhshish,” (Gardens of Forgiveness). This famous Naath Kitaab is used throughout the world. A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) humble compilations are read by all who wish to express their love for Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
Mawlana Qari Noorul Hassan, quoting the following stanzas from A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) Poetry:
“Mulke Sukhan Ki Shahi Tum Ko Raza Musallam
Jis Simt Aagaye ho sikhe Bithaa diye hai”
and says that there are many illiterate and ignorant people, who look at the above stanzas and accuse A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) of praising himself in his Poetry. This, he says, is not true and are mere baseless objections. He further explains.
Hadrat Hassan Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah), the younger brother of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), would often send his Poetry to be corrected to Janaab Daagh Delhwi, who was a famous and distinguished Poet of his time. Hadrat Hassnain Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) used to take the poetry of Hadrat Hassan Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) to Daagh Delhwi. One day, as he was about to leave for Dehli, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) presented one of his Naaths to Hadrat Hassnain Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) and said, “Ask Daagh Delhwi to rectify this Qalaam.” The Naath which A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) sent begins with the following stanza:
“Unki Mahk ne dil ke ghunche khila diye hai
Jis Raah chal diye hai kooche basa diye hai.”
When Hadrat Hassnain Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) reached Delhi and presented the Naath to Daagh Delwhi, he looked at it and said, “This does not seem like the poetry of Mawlana Hassan Raza Khan. Whose is it?” Hadrat Hassnain Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) replied that it was written by A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). On hearing this, Daagh Delhwi said, “YOU HAVE BROUGHT THE QALAAM OF A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) TO ME FOR CORRECTION! THIS IS THE QALAAM OF SUCH A POET WHO HOLDS NO PLACE FOR ANY CORRECTIONS. BUT, SINCE IT IS INCOMPLETE, I WOULD LIKE TO WRITE THE FINAL VERSE FROM MY SIDE. PLEASE ASK A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) NOT TO CHANGE IT AS I AM AWARE THAT HE DOES NOT LIKE ANYTHING WRITTEN IN HIS PRAISE.” After saying this, he wrote the verse:
“Mulke Sukhan Ki Shahi Tum Ko Raza Musallam
Jis Simt Aagaye ho sikhe Bithaa diye hai”
So, to those who accuse A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) of praising himself in his Poetry, will find sufficient evidence to prove that it was Daagh Delhwi who inserted that stanza and not A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah)!
Commenting on one of A’la Hadrat’s poems, Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Muhaddith Kichauchawi (alaihir rahmah) said: “Once I had the opportunity of reciting the Qasida-e-Me’rajia (A poem of A’la Hadrat radi Allahu anhu regarding the Holy Prophet’s sallal laahu alaihi wasallam Me’raj) in my own style, in a select gathering of men of letters at Lucknow. I then asked them about the literary worth of the poem. Everybody was overwhelmed and they all exclaimed that the language is superb, pure and divine.”
BAI’AT AND KHILAFAT:
In the year 1294 A.H., at the age of 22 years, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) became the Mureed (Disciple) of Imam-ul-Asfiya, Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool Mahrerwi (alaihir rahmah). The incident surrounding the Bai’at (Spiritual Allegiance) and Khilafat (Spiritual Successorship) of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) is as follows:
Once Hadrat Mawlana Abdul Qaadir Badayouni (alaihir rahmah) came to Bareilly Shareef. He invited A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to go to Mahrera Shareef with him. Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) accepted his invitation and they both set off to Mahrera Shareef. When they arrived at the station in Mahrera Shareef, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said, “I AM RECEIVING THE SCENT OF MY MURSHID.”
When they reached the Khanqah-e-Barakaati and entered, Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (alaihir rahmah) saw A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) and said, “COME IN. I HAVE BEEN AWAITING YOUR PRESENCE FOR A LONG TIME.”
SAYYIDUNA SHAH AALE RASOOL (alaihir rahmah) IMMEDIATELY MADE A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) A MUREED AND BLESSED HIM WITH KHILAFAT AND I’JAZAT IN ALL THE SUFI SILSILAS. Thus, A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) Peer-o-Murshid (Spiritual Guide) was Hadrat Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (alaihir rahmah).
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abul Hussain Noori Barakaati (alaihir rahmah), who was also the Peer-o-Murshid of Moulana Mustapha Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah), was also present in this spiritual gathering. He was also a great Awliya Allah and needed no introduction to Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). For the benefit of the others who were present and to make them aware of the exalted calibre and status of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), he asked Hadrat Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (alaihir rahmah) a question. He asked, “HUZOOR! THE RITUAL HERE AT MAHRERA SHAREEF IS THAT IF ANY PERSON COMES HERE, AND AFTER BECOMING MUREED DESIRES TO GAIN KHILAFAT AND I’JAZAT, THEN WE ASK HIM TO PERFORM MUJAHIDA (STRUGGLE IN THE PATH OF ALLAH). WE ALSO GIVE HIM DRIED BREAD TO EAT AS PART OF HIS SPIRITUAL TRAINING. AFTER THIS, IF WE FIND HIM WORTHY ENOUGH, THEN WE GRANT HIM KHILAFAT AND I’JAZAT IN ONE OR TWO SILSILAS, BUT YOU HAVE BLESSED THIS YOUNG MAN WITH KHILAFAT AND I’JAZAT OF ALL THE SILSILAS, AND EVEN COMMANDED HIM TO LOOK AT AND VERIFY ALL THE KITAABS WHICH YOU HAVE WRITTEN. WHY IS THIS SO?”
Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (alaihir rahmah) answered with the following words: “O PEOPLE! YOU DO NOT KNOW AHMED RAZA. OTHERS WHO COME HERE NEED TO BE PREPARED BEFORE GAINING I’JAZAT AND KHILAFAT. BUT AHMED RAZA KHAN HAS COME PREPARED FROM ALMIGHTY ALLAH. ALL HE NEEDED WAS A LINK AND THIS IS WHY I MADE HIM MUREED.”
“I ALWAYS TEARED THROUGH THE FEAR OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH THAT IF ON THE DAY OF QIYAMAH, HE QUESTIONED ME CONCERNING WHAT I HAD BROUGHT FOR HIM FROM THE WORLD, THEN I WOULD HAVE NO ANSWER. BUT, TODAY, THAT FEAR NO LONGER EXISTS. IF ON THE DAY OF QIYAMAH THE ALMIGHTY ASKS, ‘O AALE RASOOL! WHAT HAVE YOU BROUGHT FOR ME?’ THEN, I WILL IMMEDIATELY PRESENT IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN (alaihir rahmah) TO MY CREATOR.”
This highly spiritual incident alone explains the status of A’la Hadrat, Azeemul Barkat, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah).
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) possessed immense love for his Peer-o-Murshid and for the family members. He also displayed his love for all those who had contact with them and respected them. Whenever A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) went to Mahrera Shareef to gain blessings from his Peer-o-Murshid, he would remove his shoes at the station and walk bare feet in Mahrera Shareef! Whenever any person or representative from Mahrera Shareef arrived in Bareilly Shareef to deliver a letter or parcel to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), he would treat that person with great respect and dignity. He addressed the person with words of respect, such as, “Most Respected Representative,” and would not allow that person to leave without giving him something to eat. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) would personally go into the house to bring out food for that person. He even used to carry the dish or plate of food on his head!
If this is the respect that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) showed towards the representatives of his Peer-o-Murshid and his family, one cannot imagine or fathom the respect which he showed towards them personally!
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S MUREEDS AND KHULAFA:
There were many Mureeds (Disciples) and Khulafa (Spiritually Successors) of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). They have spreaded far and wide over the Indo-Pak and also in all parts of the world. Nearly 35 are in the other parts of the world and 30 in Indo-Pak Sub-Continent. These are the leading ones:
1. Hujjatul Islam, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Muhammad Haamid Raza Khan Noori Barakaati (alaihir rahmah),
2. Ghousul-Waqt, Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind, Hadrat Mawlana Mustapha Raza Khan Noori Barakaati (alaihir rahmah),
3. Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Abdus Salaam Jabalpuri (alaihir rahmah),
4. Sadrul-Afaadil, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Na’eemuddeen Muraadabadi (alaihir rahmah),
5. Malikul Ulema, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Sayyid Zafar’uddeen Bihaari (alaihir rahmah),
6. Mubbalig-e-Azam, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddique (alaihir rahmah),
7. Sadrus Shariah, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Mufti Amjad Ali (alaihir rahmah),
8. Qutbul Madinatul Munawwara, Hadrat Allamah Sheikh Zia’uddeen Ahmed Al Madani (alaihir rahmah),
9. Burhaan-e-Millat, Hadrat Allamah Burhaanul Haq (alaihir rahmah),
10. Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Mukhtar Ahmad Siddiqi Meerati (alaihir rahmah),
11. Sheikh Muhammad Abd al-Hayy (alaihir rahmah),
12. Sheikh Ahmad Khalil (alaihir rahmah),
13. Sheikh Ahmad Khudravi (alaihir rahmah),
14. Sheikh Muhammad bin Abi Bakr (alaihir rahmah),
15. Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id (alaihir rahmah),
16. Hadrat Mawlana Sayyid Ahmad Ashraf (alaihir rahmah), &
17. Hadrat Mawlana Shah Sulayman Ashraf (alaihir rahmah)
The Khulafa of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) need no introduction to the Muslim World. Their impact, influence and contribution towards the development of Islamic Culture and Islamic thinking have left its mark in the pages of history. For the sake of attaining blessings and Barakah, we will discuss, very briefly, the lives of three of the famous Khulafa of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah).
Sadrush Shariat, Hadrat Allamah Amjad Ali Razvi (alaihir rahmah): He was born in 1296 A.H. and passed away in 1367 A.H. at the age of 71 years. He is author of the internationally renowned book, “Bahare Shariat”, which is in 18 volumes. This book contains a volume of information dealing with the Hanafi Law of Fiqh and answers all the questions pertaining to it. It is presently a “Handbook” of all Muslim institutions.
This Khalifa of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was one of the Head Advisers of the Department of Islamic Deeniyat at the Aligarh Muslim University. Moulvi Sulaiman Nadwi (a non-Sunni) said the following words concerning Allamah Sadrush Shariat (alaihir rahmah), “Mawlana Amjad Ali is totally experienced in the field of teaching and he is well-versed in solving the new needs of the classroom.”
Hadrat Allamah Amjad Ali (alaihir rahmah) also propagated Islam to the non-Muslims. He spent much of his time teaching.
Once in Ajmer Shareef, a very critical problem arose among the Muslims which threatened to destroy the Imaan of the innocent Muslims. The Hindu Rajput of India began introducing many new beliefs and false innovations to such an extent that those who were illiterate began following many traditions introduced by the Hindu Rajput. When Allamah Sadrush Shariat (alaihir rahmah) heard of this, he immediately went to Ajmer Shareef with few of his students. He began teaching and making the Muslims aware of the polytheism and false innovations that they were following. Through his hard efforts, the Imaan of many Muslims were saved and many non-Muslims also accepted Islam.
He was blessed with 8 sons and each one of them became great Aalims. His 2 daughters became Aalimas. One of his sons, Muhaddith-e-Kabeer, Hadrat Allamah Zia-ul-Mustapha Qadri and, another, Allamah Baha-ul-Mustapha Qadri are teachers today at their respective Darul Ulooms in India.
Allamah Sheikh Zia’uddeen Al Madani (alaihir rahmah): He was one of the most famous Khulafa of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) who lived in Madinatul Munawwara. Before coming to Madinatul Munawwara he lived for some time in Baghdad Shareef. Allamah Zia’uddeen Madani (alaihir rahmah) arrived in Madinatul Munawwara in the year 1327 A.H. Here, he made Nikah to a pious lady from a Sayed family.
He was a great Aalim, Sufi and Wali of his time. He hailed from a very illustrious family. His father was the famous Allamah Abdul Hakim Siyalkoti (alaihir rahmah), a powerful Islamic Scholar of his time, who gave the title of “Mujaddid-e-Alf Thaani” to Imam Rabbani, Imam Ahmed Sarhindi Faruqi (alaihir rahmah), the Mujaddid of the 11th Islamic Century.
With the exception of being the Khalifa of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), he also gained Khilafat from various other Akaabireen (Great Ulema). Some of them are: Hadrat Allamah Sheikh Ahmad Shams Maghribi, Sheikh Mahmoodul Maghribi, Mawlana Abdul Baaqi Farangi, and Allamah Abu Yusuf Nibhaani (radi Allahu Ta’ala anhum ajma’in).
He was a great Sheikh-e-Tariqat of his time. He spent day and night giving advice and guidance to the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He is well-known for his piety and steadfastness in Islam in Damascus, Iraq, Egypt, India, Pakistan, South Africa and many other countries. Allamah Zia’uddeen Madani (alaihir rahmah) also had many Khulafa and Mureeds throughout the world.
He left this mundane world on the 12th of August 1981 in the city of Madinatul Munawwara. His son, Hadrat Allamah Fadhl-ur Rahmaan Al Madani, is presently living in Madinatul Munawwarah and is following closely in the footsteps of his illustrious father.
Allamah Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Meerati (alaihir rahmah): He was born in the year 1892 and passed away in the year 1954 at the age of 62. He was amongst the most famous Khulafa of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah).
His Eminence, Hadrat Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi (alaihir rahmah) was an Islamic Scholar and a holder of a B.A. degree from the University of Meerat (India). He spoke Arabic, Urdu, Persian, English, French, Indonesian, Malaysian and Japanese languages fluently.
In 1951, he toured the world preaching and propagating Islam. He visited America, London, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Europe, Southern Africa, Trinidad, Philippines, Iraq, Holland, Thailand, Ceylon, France, and many other countries. As a result of his efforts, thousands of non-Muslims accepted Islam. Princess Gladys Palmer of Burinia, Merwate Tifinch, the French Governor of Mauritius, Mahifl Donawa, a Minister of Trinidad and Mr F. Gengson, the Christian Minister of Ceylon, were some of the famous personalities who accepted Islam after meeting him.
His Eminence was also responsible for establishing various Masaajids and Islamic Educational Centres throughout the world. Three of the famous Masaajids are the Hanafi Masjid in Colombo, the Sultaan Masjid in Singapore and the Naagarya Masjid in Japan.
He was also the founder of various newspapers and Islamic magazines from amongst which are, “The Muslim Digest” (South Africa), “Trinidad Muslim Annual” and the “Pakistani News”.
During his tour of the world, he met with various western dignitaries and had lengthy discussions with them on Islam. He met the world renowned Irish dramatist and Philosopher, George Bernard Shaw, on 17th of April 1935 during his visit to Mombassa and discussed many religious problems with him. He was very much impressed by Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi (alaihir rahmah) and said, “I have been very pleased to make the acquaintance, and it will be the most precious of all memories of this trip of mine.”
His Eminence passed away in Madinatul Munawwara in 1954 and is buried in Jannatul Baqi.
Professor Dr Sayyid Jamaalud’deen, Director Zaakir Hussain Institute of Islamic Studies and Jaamia Millia, New Delhi, India, said: “Ahmad Raza Khan wrote over a thousand books and booklets which influenced many. He founded a Darul Uloom called Manzarul Islam in 1904 which was able to draw students from different regions in India. His views were sought on a wide variety of social, religious and political affairs, and he proved guidance to many, including those from established Khanqahs. Many of his Disciples and Khalifas later founded madressas which soon developed into important spiritual centres. Some took up teaching, such as Mawlana Sulaiman Ashraf, who headed the Theology Department of the M.A.O. College, Aligarh, while others swelled their ranks of the Pesh Imams in the Mosques.”
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S FIRST HAJJ:
Imagine the condition of that Lover of the Prophet or Aashik-e-Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) who is blessed with the opportunity of visiting the Rauza-e-Aqdas of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and placing his eyes on the doorstep of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). This opportunity of performing his first Hajj and Ziyaarah was granted to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) on the 26th of Shawwal 1295 A.H. (1876). He was 20 years of age.
One day, after completing his Hajj, he went to perform his Maghrib Salaah before the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim (alaihis salaam). Having completed his Salaah, the Imam of the Shafi’i order of Makkatul Mukarramah, Allamah Hussain bin Saleh Kamaal (alaihir rahmah), approached him. He clutched A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) by his hand and led him to his house. The great Imam then placed his hand on the blessed forehead of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) and said: “Verily, I am observing the Noor of Almighty Allah on this forehead.”
Without hesitation, he blessed A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) with the Sanad (Certificate) of Sahih Sitta (Six Compilers of Hadith: Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi and Nisa’i). He also began addressing A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) by the title of “Zia’uddeen” or “The Light or Splendour of Deen.”
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was also blessed with the Sanads of Ahadith from the Muftis of the Hanafi order in Makkatul Mukarramah, Sayyiduna Allamah Abdur Rahmaan Siraaj and Mufti Sheikh Sayed Ahmad Dahlaan Shafi’i (radi Allahu anhuma).
IT WAS ALSO DURING THIS HISTORICAL VISIT THAT SAYYIDUNA A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) INFORMED THE ULEMA-E-HARAMAIN SHARIFAIN CONCERNING THE BLASPHEMOUS AND CORRUPT BELIEFS OF THE ULEMA-E-DEOBAND. Having studied A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) books, “Aljaamu Sunnah Li Ahli Fitna” and “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad”, which he presented to them, they also gave their verdicts on those who committed blasphemy and those who had written words of disrespect against Almighty Allah and His Beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The verdicts of the Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah and Madinatul Munawwarah were compiled to form the famous, “Husaamul Haramain.” We have quoted a few of the Fatawas from “Husaamul Haramain” later in this book.
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S SECOND HAJJ:
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) performed his second Hajj in 1323 A.H. (1905). He was 49 years old.
On the 25th of Zil-Hajj, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) once again had the opportunity of meeting the great Imam, Sheikh Saleh Kamaal (alaihir rahmah). He also met Allamah Sayed Ismae’el (alaihir rahmah) and many other Noble Ulema, who showed great respect towards him.
It was on this occasion that Allamah Sheikh Saleh Kamaal (alaihir rahmah) presented A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) with five questions pertaining to I’lm-e-Ghaib (Knowledge of the Unseen). These questions were posed on behalf of the Wahabi Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) had to answer these five questions in two days.
In so happened that on the following day, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) contracted a heavy fever. In spite of his illness, he managed to answer all the questions relating to I’lm-e-Ghaib. In fact, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) presented such a detailed answer to the question of I’lm-e-Ghaib that it turned out to be a complete book on its own. He named this book, “Al Daulatul Makkiyah Bil Maadatil Ghaibiya.”
The Learned Ulema of Haramain Sharifain were totally astounded when A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) presented this book to them on time. He completed this book of approximately 400 pages in only 8 hours. It was also in the pure Arabic language. If one totals the numerical values of the Arabic letters in the context of this Kitaab, “Al Daulatul Makkiyah Bil Maadatil Ghaibiya,” one would discover that they amount to 1323. It was the same year, that is, 1323 A.H., in which A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) performed his second Hajj!
IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM):
It was during A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) second visit to the Haramain Sharifain that his aspiration to see the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) became very great. Continuously reciting the Durood Shareef with great veneration and humbleness in front of the Rauza-e-Shareef of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), he felt confident of seeing the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
It was during the second night of his visit to the doorstep of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) that he was given the opportunity of actually seeing the blessed personality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). On that night, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), in a state of total submission, lifted his pen and began writing a Naath in praise of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The first line of that Naath is: “Wo Soo’e La’la Zaar Phirte hai …”
The beautiful Naath continues praising the Beloved of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and ends with the following verse:”Koyi Kyu Pooch teri baat Raza, Tujh se kutte hazaar phirte hai”
Here, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) lowers himself to the extremes and addresses himself as the “dog” of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). AT THIS POINT, HE WAS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY OF SEEING WITH HIS NAKED EYES THE BELOVED PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM) STANDING BESIDE THE RAUZA-E-MUBAARAK.
“Ar’re Ai Raza tere dil ka pata chala ba mushkil
Darre Roza Ke Muqaabil wo hume Nazar to Aaya
Ye na pooch kaisa paaya, Ye Na pooch kaisa paaya
Tuje humd he khuda ya, Tuje humd he khuda ya”
HIS LOVE FOR THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) spent every moment of his life praising the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Everything he did was for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah and His Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
Professor Dr Abdul Wahid Halepota, Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology, Government of Pakistan, said: “A’la Hadrat Mawlana Shah Ahmed Raza Khan is that ingenious personality of the Indo-Pak Sub-Continent whose academic position and legal insight has general recognisance. His multifarious achievements deserve that they should be spread on an international level. His greatest deed is that he beautified the hearts of the Muslims with the love of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) through his academic wonders, sweet speeches and most valuable Naatya Qalaam (Poetry in praise of the Holy Prophet sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).”
Once, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) went into the Raza Masjid in Bareilly Shareef. He was confronted by a Majzoob, Hadrat Dhoka Shah (alaihir rahmah). The Majzoob said, “O Ahmed Raza! I see the Power of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) only on the earth and not in the skies.”
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), in turn, replied: “The Power of Huzoor (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is on the earth and in the skies.” The Majzoob said that he could not see this.
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said, “Whether you see it or not, it is still present.”
The Majzoob, in a highly spiritual state, said, “Go! I have dropped him.”
At that moment, Mawlana Mustapha Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah), who was still a child, was playing on the roof of the house. When Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) reached the house, his mother came up to him and said, “You should know better than to argue with Majzoobs. Look! Mustapha Raza has fallen off the roof.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) enquired as to whether his son had been hurt or not. When he was told that he was not injured, he said, “I AM PREPARED TO SACRIFICE A THOUSAND MUSTAPHA RAZAS’ ON THE RAZA (PLEASURE) OF THE HOLY PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM), BUT I WILL NOT ALLOW ONE WORD TO BE UTTERED AGAINST THE DIGNITY OF RASOOL-E-AKRAM (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM).”
After some time, the Majzoob returned and met Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) and said, “O AHMED RAZA! YOU ARE VICTORIOUS. OUR CASE WAS BROUGHT UP BEFORE SULTAANUL-HIND, HADRAT KWAJA GHARIB-UN NAWAAZ (alaihir rahmah). HE HAD PASSED THE VERDICT ON YOUR BEHALF, AND ALHUMDULILLAH, THROUGH YOUR BLESSINGS, I AM NOW ABLE TO SEE THE KARAM (MERCY) OF THE HOLY PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM) EVEN IN THE SKIES.”
It has been recorded that Hadrat Mawlana Naee’muddeen Muradabadi once asked A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) the reason from him being so severe upon those who disrespected Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam). A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied, “O MAWLANA! I AM SEVERE UPON THOSE PEOPLE, BECAUSE INSTEAD OF INSULTING SAYYIDUNA RASULULLAH (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM), THEY SHOULD RATHER MAKE ME THE TARGET FOR THEIR INSULTS. I DO NOT HAVE ANY INTEREST IN WHAT THEY ARE CALLING ME. AT LEAST, WHILE THEY ARE BUSY INSULTING ME, MY BELOVED MASTER, SAYYIDUNA RASULULLAH (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM) IS SPARED FROM THESE INSULTS.”
The above mentioned incidents clearly highlights the following thoughts of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah): “If you desire my life, I will sacrifice it. If you desire my wealth I will give it. But, there is one thing that I will never sacrifice, and that is, the love and reverence for the beloved, Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam).”
Dr Karrar Hussain, Vice Chancellor, Baluchistan University Quetta (Baluchistan) said: “I am impressed by his personality because it was he who gave pivotal role to the love and affection of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) without which, Islam is a body without a soul.”
Also commenting on the great love that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) had for Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), Justice Shamim Hussain Qadri, Punjab High Court, Lahore (Pakistan), said: “He was a devotee of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) from the deepest chambers of his heart, and to popularise this attitude is the need of the hour. Love, affection and devotion to the Holy Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) personality is the only solution to the multifarious problems of our temporal life and a solution for the life hereafter.”
LOVE AND RESPECT FOR THE DESCENDANTS OF THE HOLY PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM):
It is A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) who showed the Muslim world how to respect the descendants or family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). His entire life is filled such with incidents.
Many are aware of this famous incident. Once, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) was invited to the home of a certain person. In those days, the Ulema were carried in chariots as a means of transport. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was sitting in one of these chariots that was carried by the chariot-bearers. As they proceeded along the way, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) suddenly commanded the chariot-bearers to stop. He immediately alighted from the chariot and asked, “Who is a Sayed from amongst you? I am receiving the scent of a Sayed.” One of the chariot-bearer’s, who was a Sayed, was too scared to speak. Nevertheless, when A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) further prompted that person to reveal himself, he came forward and admitted that he was Sayed.
With tears in his eyes, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) fell at his feet and began asking for pardon. The Sayed continuously asked A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to refrain from doing so but, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) continued asking for pardon, by saying, “Please forgive me. What would I do on the Day of Qiyamah if the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) asks me concerning this incident, and says to me that I showed disrespect to his family?”
The Sayed readily forgave A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). But this Aashik-e-Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was yet not satisfied. He commanded the Sayed to sit on the Chariot, and placing the chariot on his blessed shoulders, carried the Sayed for the same distance which he had been carried!
Allahu Akbar! Those who had been witnesses to this incident could not believe that the Imam of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah, the Mujaddid of Islam was carrying a chariot-bearer on his blessed shoulders. But to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), that person that he was carrying was no ordinary chariot-bearer. It was a family of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)!
It has also been stated that a child, who was a Sayed, used to live in the vicinity of Bareilly Shareef. The child used to play in the presence of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) while A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) would be busy writing. EACH TIME THAT THE CHILD RAN PASS THE DOOR OR CAME IN THE PRESENCE OF A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah), HE WOULD STAND UP IN RESPECT FOR THAT CHILD. EVEN WHEN THE CHILD PASSED THE DOOR TEN TIMES IN A DAY, THEN A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) USED TO STAND UP TENS TIMES IN A DAY IN RESPECT FOR THAT SAYED CHILD.
When Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) was asked about the Islamic punishment that was to be meted out to a Sayed, he remarked, “Even though a Judge is called upon to declare judgement and punishment upon a Sayed, and the penalty that he has decreed is within the tenets of Islam, he (the Judge), should not have the Niyah (intention) that he is punishing the Sayed. Rather, he should think that a small amount of mud has smeared itself on the Sayed’s feet, which he is merely washing away”. (Al Malfooz Shareef)
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S ADHERENCE TO THE SUNNAH:
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) laid great emphasis on the followance of the Sunnah of Sayyiduna Rasoolulah (salal laahu alaihi wa sallam).
The following account clearly describes A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) great trust and faith upon the Sunnah. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) narrates, “There was once a rumour in Bareilly, that the Plague had appeared. Co-incidently, at that moment, my gums became extremely inflamed. It continued to such proportions that it became difficult for me to open my mouth. I also had a high fever, coupled with inflamed glands. The doctor who was called, looked at me closely for a few minutes. He exclaimed that I had the Plague. I could not speak at that moment, or else I could have told him that his diagnosis was incorrect and false.
“I was certain that I did not have the Plague or any other major disease, simply because I had already recited a Dua as explained by Sayyiduna Rasoolulah (salal laahu alaihi wa sallam) who said that if one sees a serious and deadly illness, he should recite the following Dua, which would protect the person from such an illness. I had, therefore, recited this dua: ‘Al hamdu lil laahil lazi aafini mim mab tilaaka bihi wa fad dalni ‘ala katheeram mimam khalaqa tafdeelan.’ Whenever I saw a serious illness, I recited this Dua, therefore, I was protected against it, including the Plague.
“Thereafter, with extreme respect, I proclaimed aloud, ‘O Allah! Prove that the words of your beloved Habeeb (salal laahu alaihi wa sallam) is true, and that the words of the doctor is false’. At that moment a voice on my right advised me to use the Miswaak and black pepper. With a little difficulty, I performed brushing with the Miswaak and kept the black pepper on my tongue as a tablet. Infinite, indeed, is the Mercy of Almighty Allah! Within a few minutes, I had gained my strength and sent the doctor away by proving that his diagnosis was false and baseless.”
A similar incident showing the great trust that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) had in Almighty Allah and His beloved Habeeb (salal laahu alaihi wa sallam) is recorded by Mawlana Mohammed Shareef. He says, “Once, when A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was returning from Hajj by ship with his father, there was a great storm. The storm reached such an intensity that the Captain advised the passengers to wear their kafans (shrouds), for he could see no escape from such a storm. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), noticing the concern on the face of his father, inquired as to what had transpired. His father replied, ‘My beloved son, I have no concern for myself, rather it is for you that I am sad’. The young A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied, ‘O father! If the captain has lost hope then let him do so. We should have complete faith in Allah and His beloved Habeeb, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam). In accordance with the commands of the beloved Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam), when entering this ship, I recited the Dua: ‘Subhaanal lazi sakh khara lana haaza wa maa kunna lahu muq rineen wa inna ila Rabbina la mun qalibun’. Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wa sallam) has stated that, ‘Whosoever, recites this Dua when entering a ship (any mode of transport), that ship would not be destroyed. Therefore, I have absolute certainty that generations may change, yet, this ship would never sink’.”
A’LA HADRAT, HAVING MERELY SPOKEN THESE WORDS, WHEN THE CAPTAIN ARRIVED AND BEGAN INFORMING THE PASSENGERS THAT THE STORM IS SUBSIDING AND THAT THERE WAS NO NEED FOR CONCERN!
LOVE FOR SAYYIDUNA GHOUSUL AZAM (alaihir rahmah):
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) possessed immense love for Sayyiduna Ghousul Azam, Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani Baghdadi (alaihir rahmah).
Hadrat Muhaddith-e-Azam Hind (alaihir rahmah) reported that in the period when he was given permission to serve in the Darul Ifta at Bareilly Shareef, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) bought sweets (Niyaaz) to the value of 11 Rupees and made the Fatiha of Sayyiduna Ghousul Azam (alaihir rahmah). He then distributed the sweets to those who were present. While the sweets were being distributed, those who were present became astonished to see A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) standing up from his chair and kneeling down on to the floor in the Tashahud position. They immediately came closer to him too see what had happened. Then only did they realise that the person distributing the Niyaaz had dropped a little on the ground, and A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was lifting this piece of Niyaaz with the tip of his blessed tongue!
This alone will show the great amount of love and respect that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) possessed for Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (alaihir rahmah). It has been stated that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was not only the Na’ib (Helper) of Sayyiduna Ghousul Azam (alaihir rahmah), but he was also the Ghousul Azam of his time. He wrote many Manqabats in praise of Hadrat Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (alaihir rahmah).
HIS CONTENTMENT AND HIS ABSTENTION FROM WORLDLY ACTIVITIES:
It is recorded that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) had a few acres of land in his possession. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) left the entire maintenance of the land in the responsibility and trust of others. Although A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) received a monthly allowance from his own property, he spent his allowance in the service of guests, of Sayeds and in the purchasing of books. There were times when A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was left with only a few pennies in his pockets! But he never inquired about the income that he received from his few possessions. (Al Mizaan, pg. 335)
During the Khilafat Movement, Ghandi was advised that he should meet with the distinguished Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah). This suggestion was made to Ghandi by people such as the Ali Brothers, Mawlana Qiyaamudeen and Abdul Baari Faranghi. They said that since A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) commanded the respect of the large Muslim populace, it would assist them in their Khilafat Movement.
When A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was told that the Ghandhi wished to meet and speak to him, he said, “What would he speak about? Religion or worldly affairs? If it is worldly affairs, what can I partake in, for I have abstained from the world and have no interest in it.” (Al Mizaan, pg. 335)
IMAM AHMED RAZA AS THE MUJADDID OF THE 14TH CENTURY:
Undoubtedly, besides being recognised as a great Wali, as the Ghousul Azam and as the Imam Abu Hanifa (alaihir rahmah) of his time, A’la Hadrat (alahir rahmah) was also the Mujaddid (Reviver) of Islam of the 14th Century. He possessed all the conditions of a Mujaddid and his entire life was spent trying to revive the Deen of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
A cloud of darkness had covered most of the world and the false concepts of Polytheism (Shirk) and Innovations (Bid’at) were coming into existence. The Muslims were in a state of confusion. They were surrounded by the cloud of Kufr (Disbelief), Shirk and Bid’at. It is through the Divine Grace of Almighty Allah and the Sadaqah of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) that the Reviver of the 14th Century, Imam-e-Ahle Sunnat, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) shone like the sun. With his bright proofs, he destroyed the darkness of Kufr and revived Islam.
Professor Manzoorud’deen Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi said: “The reality is that on reading several books of Imam Ahmed Raza, I have come to the conclusion that through his writings and speeches, the Fatawa (Inquisitions) and hundreds of small and bulky treatises, he had struggled for the revival of Islam, and as a reward he was declared as a Mujaddid of his Century by the Ulema (Scholars of Islam), in particular, the scholars of Makkah and Madina (Haramain Sharifain). . .”
A Hadith recorded in Mishkaat Shareef and quoted by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (alaihir rahmah) who says that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “VERILY, AT THE END OF EVERY CENTURY, ALMIGHTY ALLAH WILL SEND SUCH A PERSON TO THE UMMAH, WHO WILL REVIVE THE DEEN FOR THE THEM (THE UMMAH).”
In other the words, when there comes a period in which there is a shortage of knowledge and a deterioration in following of the Sunnah; when there is an increase in false innovations and ignorance; then Almighty Allah will send a person at the beginning or end of every century who will show the difference between Sunnah and Bid’at. He will refute and destroy false innovations and will fear none but Almighty Allah. He will very bravely and sincerely hoist the flag of Deen-e-Muhammadi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Such a person is known as a “Mujaddid” (Reviver) of Deen.
The author of the book, “Siraajum Muneer”, has explained who a Mujaddid is in the following words: “In other words, to revive the Deen is to revive those teachings of the Quran and Sunnah that are being destroyed and to give command according to the Quran and Sunnah.”
Allamah Munaadi (alaihir rahmah) states:”A Mujaddid is one who separates Sunnah from Bid’ah and one who degrades the status of the Ahle Bid’ah.”
Why does a Mujaddid come after 100 years? A Mujaddid is sent after every 100 years because after every century the surroundings, the environment, the manner of thinking and ways of the people tend to pass through a massive transformation. It has been stated in the Hadith of Bukhari Shareef that during the latter stages of the Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) physical life, one night, after performing Esha Salaah, he stood up and said, “Should I inform you of the importance of this night? From this night onwards, right up to the end of a 100 years, that person who is alive on the earth (presently) will not be alive.”
Can their be more than one Mujaddid to a century? Yes. There can be more, and there has already been more than one Mujaddid to a Century. In the Hadith, the Arabic word that is used to explain the coming of the Mujaddid is in the singular tense, but according to the meaning, it is a plural as it has been explained in the Kitaabs of Usool-e-Fiqh. Allamah Mulla Ali bin Sultan Qaari (alaihir rahmah) who is the Mujaddid of the 11th Century says, “From the words, not only one single person is implied, but the implication is towards a group of people, from amongst whom each one is reforming a single type of knowledge or all types of knowledge in his city.”
A LIST OF KNOWN MUJADDIDS FROM THE FIRST CENTURY:
1st CENTURY :
a. Sayyiduna Imam Umar bin Abdul Aziz (alaihir rahmah)
2nd CENTURY :
a. Imam Hassan Basri,
b. Imam Muhammad bin Hassan Shaibani,
c. Imam Maalik bin Anas,
d. Imam Abdullah bin Idrees Shafi’i (radi Allahu anhum)
3rd CENTURY :
a. Imam Abul Hassan bin Umar,
b. Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (radi Allahu anhuma)
4th CENTURY :
a. Imam Tahtaawi,
b. Imam Isma’eel bin Hammaad Ja’fari,
c. Imam Abu Jaafar bin Jareer Tibri,
d. Imam Abu Haatim Raazi (radi Allahu anhum)
5th CENTURY :
a. Imam Abu Naeem Isfahani,
b. Imam Abul Hussain Ahmad bin Muhammad Abi Bakr-il-Qaadir,
c. Imam Hussain bin Raaghib,
d. Imam Muhammad bin Muhammad Ghazzali (radi Allahu anhum)
6th CENTURY :
a. Imam Abul Fadhl Umar Raazi,
b. Allamah Imam Umar Nasfi,
c. Imam Qaazi Fakhrud’Deen Hassan Mansoor,
d. Imam Abu Muhammad Hussain bin Mas’ood Fara’a (radi Allahu anhum)
7th CENTURY :
a. Allamah Imam Abul Fadhl Jamaaluddeen Muhammad bin Afriqi Misri,
b. Imam Sheikh Shahbuddeen Suharwardi,
c. Kwaja Muhi’yuddeen Chishti Ajmeri,
d. Imam Abul Hassan Uz’zuddeen Ali bin Muhammad Ibn Atheer,
e. Imam Sheikh Akbar Muhi’yuddeen Muhammad ibn Arabi (radi Allahu anhum)
8th CENTURY :
a. Imam Taaj’uddeen bin Ata’ullah Sikandari,
b. Kwaja Nizaamuddeen Awliyah Mahboob-e-Ilahi,
c. Imam Umar bin Mas’ood Taftazaani (radi Allahu anhum)
9th CENTURY :
a. Imam Hafiz Jallaluddeen Abu Bakr Abdur Rahmaan Suyuti,
b. Imam Nooruddeen bin Ahmad Misri,
c. Imam Muhammad bin Yusuf Karmani,
d. Imam Shamsuddeen Abul Kheyr Muhammad bin Abdur Rahmaan Sakhawi,
e. Allamah Imam Sayed Shareef Ali bin Muhammad Jarmaani (radi Allahu anhum)
10th CENTURY :
a. Imam Shahabuddeen Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Muhammad Khatib Qistalaani,
b. Imam Muhammad Sharbini,
c. Allamah Sheikh Muhammad Taahir Muhaddith (radi Allahu anhum)
11th CENTURY :
a. Imam Ali bin Sultaan Qaari,
b. Imam Sheikh Ahmad Sarhindi Mujaddid-e-Alf Thaani,
c. Sultaanul Arifeen Imam Muhammad Baahu (radi Allahu anhum)
12th CENTURY :
a. Allamah Mawlana Imam Abul Hassan Muhammad bin Abdul Haadi Sindhi,
b. Imam Abdul Ghani Taablisi,
c. Sheikh Ahmad Mulla Jeewan (radi Allahu anhum)
13th CENTURY :
a. Imam Abdul Ali Luckhnowi,
b. Imam Sheikh Ahmad Saadi Maaliki,
c. Allamah Imam Ahmad bin Ismaeel Tahtaawi,
d. Allamah Shah Abdul Azeez Muhaddith-e-Delhwi (radi Allahu anhum)
IMAM-E-AHLE SUNNAH, QAMI-E-BID’AT, MUJADDID-E-AZAM, A’LA HADRAT, ASH SHAH IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN (alaihir rahmah)
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S JIHAD AGAINST THE INSULTERS OF SAYYIDUNA RASULULLAH (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) spent much of his time also refuting those who insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He left no stone unturned in safe-guarding the dignity and integrity of Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), in spite of being personally attacked by the misguided. These personal attacks did not bother him in the least bit!
Allamah Abdul Hamid, Vice Chancellor of Al Jamia Al-Nizamiyya (Hyderbad, India), said: “Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan was a Sword of Islam and a great commander for the cause of Islam. He may justifiably be called AN INVINCIBLE FORT THAT HELPED TO DEFEND THE BASIC TENETS AND IDEAS OF THE AHLE SUNNAH WAL JAMA’AT. It is on accord of his untiring efforts that due respect and regard for the Messenger of Allah, Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and other Sufis and Saints of Islam is still alive in the Muslim Society. His opponents had to mend their ways. No doubt he is the Imaam (Leader) of the Ahle Sunnah. His written and compiled works reflect immense depth and vision.”
Justice Allamah Mufti Sayyid Shuja’at Ali Qadri (alaihir rahmah), Shariah Court, Government of Pakistan (Islamabad), said: “He was pious like Ahmad bin Hambal and Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani. He had true acumen and insight of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf. He commanded the force of logic like Imam Razi and Imam Ghazzali, bold enough like Mujaddid Alf Thaani and Mansoor Hallaj to proclaim the truth. Indeed, he was intolerant to non-believers, kind and sympathetic to devotees, and the affectionates of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).”
The adversaries of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) levelled many accusations and tried desperately in defending their Kufr statements. After much proofs, when it became absolutely clear to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) that certain misguided individuals were not prepared in withdrawing their Kufr statements and making Tauba, and in order to protect Islam, he passed Kufr Fatawas against those persons. We should remember that he passed the “Fatawa-e-Takfeer” (Kufr Fatawa) against those persons who insulted the status and dignity of Almighty Allah and His Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He passed the Fatawa-e-Takfeer on persons such as Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi and others because, through their writings, it was evident that they had insulted the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
We will quote some of the following blasphemous statements that were made by them:
In page 51 of “Baraahin Qatia”, Khalil Ahmed Ambetwi says: “After looking at the condition of Satan and the Angel of Death, it can be gained that they possess a great depth of knowledge and this has been proven from Quran and Ahadith. To prove such knowledge for Fakhre Aalam (Muhammad sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) without proof from the Quran and Ahadith, but from common sense, is a false thought. If, to do so is not a Shirk, then in which category of faith does it fall?”
In page 6 of “Hifzul Imaan”, (Printed in Mazahirul Uloom), Ashraf Ali Thanvi says: “If Knowledge of the Unseen refers to partial knowledge, then what speciality is there in Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Such knowledge is possessed by Zaid and Amr (any Tom, Dick and Harry), every child, insane people and all types of animals.”
In page 5 of “Tahzeerun Naas”, (Published in Makhtaba Fayz Nazd Jami Masjid Deoband), Qasim Nanotwi says: “Prophets are superior to their followers only in Knowledge, but in good deeds, followers sometimes seem equal and occasionally even become superior to them.”
In Part 2, page 12 of “Fatawa Rasheedia”, (Published Makhtaba Rasheedia Jami Masjid Delhi), Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi says: “The word ‘Rahmatul lil A’lameen’ is not a speciality of Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). But other Prophets, Saints and great Ulema are also cause for mercy unto the worlds, even though Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the highest of them all. Therefore, to use this word on others, is also permissible.”
If one examines the original books that were written by such persons, one will find other similar disrespectful statements found in their writings.
Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat’s (alaihir rahmah) cautiousness in declaring a person a Kaafir is to be noted in many of his books. In his book, “Subhaanus Subooh”, he academically destroys the arguments of Molwi Ismail Dehlwi. Yet, at the end of the book, A’la Hadrat says, “The Ulema have not termed this individual as a Kaafir, therefore, one has to be careful.”
Once again, refuting the arguments of Molwi Ismail Dehlwi and a few of his “infamous” followers in another book, “Al Kaukabatush Sha’haabiya”, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) says, “In our opinion (the opinion of Islam), to term a person a Kaafir and to control one’s tongue is an act of extreme precaution and analysis.”
In another treatise entitled, “Sallus Suyooful Hindiya”, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) states: “There is indeed a difference between accepting words of Kufr and branding a person a Kaafir. We have to be extremely careful. We have to remain silent. If there is the minutest possibility that he is still a Muslim, we should fear terming that person a Kaafir.”
In his book, “Subhaanus Subooh”, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) says, “We do not give any comment on the Kufr of Molwi Ismail Dehlwi, simply because Sayyiduna Rasulullah (salal laahu alaihi wa sallam) has warned us against terming the Ahle Qibla as Kaafirs. (It is only possible) to term a person a Kaafir if his Kufr becomes clear as the sun and the minutest indication does not remain that he is a Muslim.” (Tamheed-e-Imaan, pg. 42-43)
From the above statements, we clearly see how careful A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was, in terming a person a Kaafir. He was merely fulfilling his duty as a conscientious and responsible Muslim. The fault was indeed of those individuals, who even after being warned, remained steadfast in their own beliefs and words of Kufr.
As we have already stated earlier, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) sent many of the blasphemous and insulting statements to the Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah and Madinatul Munawwarah for clarification. They did not hesitate in passing the Fatawa of Kufr against such people who insulted Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
A FEW FATAWAS OF THE ULEMA-E-HARAMAIN SHARIFAIN:
“All Praise is due to Allah, the Master of the Worlds, Who has made the Ulema-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) the freshness of this world. By manifesting truth and guidance, and filling cities and heights, and by siding the religion of Sayyidul Mursaleen (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) they saved the society of Huzoor (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) from violation and (with their bright proofs) they destroyed the heresy of those who were misled.
“After sending praise and salutations, I have seen that which that learned person and professional teacher has purely written. It is a struggle on behalf of the religion of Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). In other words, my brother and my respected Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah), who in his book, “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad” has refuted the evil leaders of the false sects and false beliefs. Such people are worse than all evil, wicked and seditious people. Our author, in his book, has summarised and stated the names of those wrongdoers, who due to their wrong doings, are soon to become the worst and the lowest amongst the infidels.
“May Almighty Allah grant him (Imam Ahmed Raza) great reward for unveiling the wickedness and wrongness. May Allah accept his efforts and place his most high honour into the hearts of all people.”
He has said this with his tongue and his writing has given an order. He is hopeful in gaining all he wishes from his Creator.
MUHAMMAD SAEED BIN BAABSEEL – MUFTI OF THE SHAFI’I ORDER IN MAKKAH (alaihir rahmah)
“All Praise is for Allah Who is One. After Praise, I have heard of this bright and evident book. I have realised that our leader and most learned sea of great wisdom, Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) has made obvious the wrongs of those who have come out of Deen, those who walk on the path of the infidels and the wicked ones, in his book “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad.” From among their corrupt beliefs, not one of them did he leave un-examined.
“O! Readers, it is essential for you to hold on to this Kitaab which it’s author has written with great swiftness. You will find in this book bright and evident proof in refutal of these groups. Especially those individuals who intend to undo the objective which is already bound. Who are these individuals who are known as Wahabis? From amongst them is “Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani” who has claimed Prophethood, and the other ones who have come out of Deen and insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) are Qasim Nanotwi, Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi and all those who follow their ways.
“Almighty Allah grant Imam Ahmed Raza Khan great reward for he has given cure and has answered his decree which is in his book, “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad”, in which are also the decrees of the Ulema of Makkah and Madina. Due to the corruption and trouble, it has become necessary for them as they (the misguided) are spreading corruption on this earth. They and all those on their path.
“May Almighty Allah execute them where they behave arrogantly. May Allah give Imam Ahmed Raza glad tidings and shower His blessings upon him and his children amongst those who will speak truthfully until Qiyamah. Ameen.”
One in need of forgiveness from his Powerful Creator.
MUHAMMAD BIN ABDUS SALAAM DAGHISTANI – MUFTI MADINATUL MUNAWWARA (alaihir rahmah)
“All Praise is due to Almighty Allah Who has shown the path to those whom He has guided and with His Justice, misguided him who he has left, and granted the Believers an easy path to gain advice. He has opened their hearts to bring faith in Almighty Allah and bear witness with their tongues and keep sincerity with their hearts and follow that which Allah and His Books have shown.
“Peace and Salutations upon him whom Allah has sent as a mercy unto the worlds, and upon him sent down His Clear Kitaab in which is the bright explanation of everything and to terminate the wrongness of the disbelievers. This Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), whose proof and arguments are clear, has made it obvious from his practices. Salutations upon his family for they are guides, and upon his Companions who have made the Deen firm and beneficent, and upon their followers until Qiyamah, especially, the four A’ima-e-Mujtahideen and those Muslims who are their followers.
“After Praise and Salutations, I put my sight on the book of a learned person on this earth. He has widened the path of knowledge and, in it (the book) made obvious every interpretation and utterance in his clearly convincing and sufficient arguments. He is Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) on whose name is “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad.”
“May Almighty Allah protect his life and always keep him happy. Now, that which is in refutal of those people, cursed and evil Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, who is the Dajjal Khazzab of the last decade. Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi and Khalil Ambetwi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi, degrading and insulting Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). THEN, IT IS NO DOUBT THAT THEY ARE KAAFIRS AND THOSE WHO HAVE THE POWER TO EXECUTE THEM, THEN IT IS NECESSARY FOR THEM TO DO SO, TO GIVE THEM THE DEATH SENTENCE.”
This has been said by the servant of Allah
MUHAMMAD BIN HAMDAAN MAHSARI- SERVANT AT MUSJID-E-NABAWI (alaihir rahmah)
SOME TITLES BESTOWED UPON HIM BY THE NOBLE ULEMA OF MAKKATUL MUKARRAMAH
1. A COOLNESS FOR THE EYES OF THE ULEMA
2. A BELOVED AND ACCEPTED SLAVE OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH
3. THE SEAL OF GREAT ISLAMIC RESEARCH SCHOLARS
4. A LEADER OF ULEMA
5. THE MUJADDID OF THIS CENTURY
These titles are recorded in the books, “Al Fuyuzaatul Makkiya”, “Hisaamul Haramain” and “Ad Daulatul Makkiya.”
SOME TITLES BESTOWED UPON HIM BY THE NOBLE ULEMA OF MADINATUL MUNAWWARAH
1. THE LEADER AMONG IMAMS
2. THE LEADER AMONG MYSTICS
3. THE PRIDE OF GREAT PRECEDING ULEMA AND THE LEADER OF FUTURE ULEMA
4. THE MUJADDID OF THIS UMMAH
5. A JUDGE AMONG ISLAMIC JUDGES
6. THE IMAM AMONG SCHOLARS OF AHADITH
7. THE DESTROYER OF BID’AT AND THE UPHOLDER OF SUNNAH
8. THE MUJADDID OF THIS CENTURY
These titles are recorded in the books, “Al Fuyuzaatul Makkiya”, “Hisaamul Haramain”, and “Ad Daulatul Makkiya.”
HIS UNIQUE MEMORY:
Once A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) went to Pillibit Shareef. He stayed with Muhaddith-e-Surat, Hadrat Mawlana Wasi Ahmad Sahib (alaihir rahmah). Before leaving for Bareilly Shareef, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) requested to borrow a Kitaab called “Uqoodul Arya” from him. As there was only one copy of the book he gave A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) the book and said, “After studying the book, please return it as these are the only few kitaabs that I have for Fatawa writing.”
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was supposed to depart from Pillibit Shareef that night, but since he had been invited at another person’s home, he stayed one more night in Pillibit Shareef. Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) spent the entire night studying the Kitaab, which consisted of numerous volumes.
The following morning, before leaving for the Railway Station to meet A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), Hadrat Muhaddith-e- Surat (alaihir rahmah) found that the Kitaab that he had lent A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) had been returned. He thought that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was angry and displeased with him for asking him to return the Kitaab quickly. He immediately went to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) and asked for pardon. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) smiled and then said, “That is not the reason for returning the Kitaab. I stayed one more night, so I studied the book and, therefore, did not find the need to take it with me.”
When Hadrat Muhaddith-e-Surat (alaihir rahmah) heard this he was surprised and exclaimed, “You have studied this book in one night!” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied, “INSHA-ALLAH, FOR THE NEXT 3 MONTHS I WILL NOT NEED TO LOOK AT THE BOOK TO FIND ANY STATEMENTS, AND AS FOR THE ESSENCE OF THE BOOK, INSHA-ALLAH, I WILL NOT FORGET IT IN MY LIFETIME.” He then said, “THE BOOK DID NOT HAVE A TABLE OF CONTENTS. I HAVE DRAWN UP ONE FOR YOU.”
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was intially not a Hafiz-ul-Quran. Once, someone wrote a letter to Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) and addressed him as “Hafiz”. When A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) saw this, he became depressed for he felt that he was not worthy of such a title. He immediately decided to become a Hafiz of the Holy Quran.
How did he become a Hafiz-ul-Quran? It has been stated that in the time period from Wudhu till the time of Jamaat, Hadrat Allamah Sadrush Shariat (alaihir rahmah) would recite one Sipara. Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) would listen to it and, thereafter, recite the same Sipara in the Taraweeh Salaah. HE CONTINUED THIS ROUTINE FOR 30 DAYS, AND BY THE END OF THE MONTH OF RAMADAAN, A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) BECAME A COMPLETE HAFIZ OF THE HOLY QURAN!
Both the inner and outer personality of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was the same. He never compromised when it came to Shariat-e-Mustapha (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He used to reprimand anyone who even uttered one word against Shariah. He was the living example of:”LOVE FOR THE SAKE OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH AND HATE FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH.”
He never hurt the feelings of any good Muslim. He showed a splendid amount of affection towards the poor and orphans. On a certain occasion, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was invited to a person’s house. Allamah Zafruddeen Bihari (alaihir rahmah) accompanied him. The host, due to his extreme poverty, could only afford to place a few pieces of bread and some beef before his honourable guests. When Allamah Zafruddeen (alaihir rahmah) saw the beef on the table, he became very uncomfortable as he knew that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) never used to eat beef. It did not agree with his health. But, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) did not object to the food. He sensed what Allamah Zafruddeen (alaihir rahmah) was thinking about, so he said, “If any Muslim recites the following dua before eating, then no harm will be caused by the food.”
After completing the meal and, as they were departing, Allamah Zafruddeen (alaihir rahmah) questioned the host about his reason for inviting Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to his house in such a time of poverty. The host very confidently replied that although he was in such a state, he was sure that by A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) presence in his home, his home would be blessed with Barakah and Mercy from Almighty Allah.
Once, a young boy went to see A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) at his home. He said, “Huzoor! You are invited to my house tomorrow morning.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) lovingly asked the boy, “What will you be feeding me?” The boy, undoing a knot at the bottom of his kurta, happily replied, “Look! I have brought some Dhall and chillies.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) said, “Very well then. I shall come tomorrow.”
The following morning, Hajee Kifaayatullah (alaihir rahmah) accompanied A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to the boy’s house. As they entered the house, Hajee Kifaayatullah commented, “Huzoor! This is the home of a musician.” Just then the boy appeared to wash their hands. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) asked him, “Where is your father and what is his occupation?” Before the boy could answer, the boy’s mother, from behind the pardah, respectfully said, “Huzoor! My husband passed away and he used to be a musician, but before his death he repented. Now, all that I have is this young boy who works to support us.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) then made Dua-e-Barakah and sat down to eat. After eating he said, “If I would receive such sincere invitations daily, then I will definitely accept them.”
Professor Dr Mukhtarud’deen Arzoo, Dean of the Department of Arabic, Muslim University Aligarh, said: “His affection and hate was for the sake of Allah. Believers in Almighty Allah were his friends, and non-believers his enemies. Followers of Allah and His last Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) were close and dear to him. He was not unkind to his personal opponents. He was never harsh to them, but he never spared the enemies of Islam. The entire life of A’la Hadrat was illuminated with the glorious observance of Sunnat-e-Nabwi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).”
OBEDIENCE TOWARDS PARENTS:
After the demise of his father, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (alaihir rahmah), A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) inherited all his properties. Although he was the sole owner and beneficiary of these properties, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) never spent a single cent of this wealth without first seeking the permission of his blessed mother. Even if he wished to buy a Kitaab for study purposes he asked permission from his mother!
When A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) wished to fulfill his heart’s desire of being present in front of the Rauza-e-Anwar, the Blessed Tomb of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), he first sought the permission of his blessed mother. She immediately granted him permission by saying: “Bismillahi Khuda Hafiz.”
RESPECT TOWARDS THE SUPERIOR ULEMA:
While studying the life of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), it is difficult not to comprehend that he was, towards the enemies of Islam, an example of “Ashidda’aoo alal kuffar” (harsh upon the Kufaar). Towards the pious Muslims he was the shining example of “Ruhhamaoo bainahuma” (caring towards each other).
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) always showed immense love and respect towards the Ulema of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah. He had a liking towards Allamah Abdul Qaadir Badayouni (alaihir rahmah). Concerning the Ulema-e-Haq, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) always praised them with the following words, “THESE ULEMA ARE SUCH THAT IF THEY HAD TO ENTER A BARREN TOWN, THEN IT TURNS INTO A BRIGHT CITY, AND WHEN THEY DEPART FROM A CITY, IT BECOMES A BARREN TOWN.”
Hadrat Mahdi Hassan Barkaati (alaihir rahmah), the Sajjada-e-Nashin of Sarkaare Kilan Mahrerah Shareef states, “When I used to go to Bareilly Shareef, Huzoor A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) would personally bring out the food for me, and he would also wash my hands. Once, while washing my hands, he requested me to give him my ring and bangle which were made of gold. I immediately presented them to him. Later, I departed to Bombay. When I returned to Mahrerah Shareef, my daughter informed me that there was a parcel for me from Bareilly Shareef. I opened the parcel and found enclosed the ring and bangle. There was also a note in it which A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) wrote presenting the jewels to my daughter.”
Subhan-Allah! Look at the respect and wisdom that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) showed towards his superiors. He practised upon the law of “Amr bil Ma’roof Wa Nahi Anil Munkir” (forbidding that what is not proper and practising that what is good) and the same time showing great respect towards Hadrat Mahdi Hassan Barkaati (alaihir rahmah).
RESPECT FOR THE MASJID:
Once, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was performing I’tikaaf in the Masjid in Bareilly Shareef. It was a cold winter’s night. It was raining quiet heavily. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) went to perform his Wudhu. In order not to allow the Masjid floors from becoming wet, he placed the blanket that he was wearing on to the Masjid floor by folding it four times to soak in the water. He then made his Wudhu on the blanket. Thus, he did not allow one drop of water to fall in the Masjid. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) then spent the entire night shivering in the cold since he did not have a blanket to cover himself with because it was damp with water.
LOVE AND RESPECT TOWARDS PILGRIMS:
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) always showed great respect to Pilgrims (Hajees). He made it his duty to meet with the Hajees when they arrived from the Haramain Sharifain. Whenever he would meet a Hajee, the very first question he used to ask was, “DID YOU VISIT THE MAZAAR OF THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)?” If the answer he received was in the affirmative, then he would kiss the feet of the Hajee. If the Hajee replied that he did not, then A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) would show his dissatisfaction and would end his conversation with that person.
CARE FOR CHILDREN:
Hadrat Allamah Zafruddeen Bihari (alaihir rahmah) states that while he was still a student in Bareilly Shareef, he and many others used to spend their Eid in Bareilly Shareef. They did not go home to their families as they lived far from the madressa. But, he says that Eid was always spent joyfully because A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) used to treat them like his very own children. He used to also give them “Eidi” (spending money) on that day.
When Muffasir-e-Azam-e-Hind, Hadrat Ebrahim Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah), who is the father of Tajush Shariah, Hadrat Allamah Mufti Mohammed Akhtar Raza Khan Al Azhari, was born, his grand-father, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), out of great joy, invited all the students of Madressa Manzare Islam to a meal. Before preparing the meal, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) asked each group of students as to what they enjoyed eating. Accordingly, he prepared the meals for them – fish and rice for the Bengali students; Firini, Zarda and Breyani for the Bihari students; and sheep for the Punjabi and other foreign students.
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) loved and cared for children. He always made them feel comfortable around him. He never shouted or scolded at them unnecessarily. If any child did something wrong, he would gently explain to that child their error and show them the right path. He always returned the Salaams of little children.
A FEW OF IMAM AHMED RAZA’S UNIQUE HABITS:
1. He never kept any ordinary book on the books of Ahadith.
2. He would be displeased if anyone spoke out unnecessarily while he explained the Ahadith.
3. He did not prefer anyone to sit with one leg onto the lap of the other leg. He would usually sit with both knees erect.
4. He would sit in the position of Tashahhud from the beginning to the end in a Mehfil-e-Meelad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) which sometimes lasted for 5 or 6 hours.
5. He would never chew paan during a lecture.
6. On hearing the name “Muhammad”, he would immediately say “Sallal laahu alaihi wasallam.”He would never laugh out aloud.
7. He slept in the position of the Arabic form of the word “Muhammad”.
8. He would never spit or stretch his feet in the direction of the Qibla.
9. He always did everything form the right-hand-side.
HIS MYSTICAL POWERS:
Without any exaggeration, an entire book on the Karaamats (Miracles) of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) can be compiled. In this time, the greatest Karaamat that any person can display is his followance of Shariat-e-Mustapha (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) never fell short of this in any way. We also wish to state that, in reality, the mere existence of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was a miracle on its own. However, for the sake of attaining blessings, a few or his Karaamats are being quoted for the benefit of his lovers.
Janaab Amjad Ali was a resident of Bhasouri. He was a dedicated Mureed of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). Once Amjad Ali took his rifle and went out hunting. While he was hunting, a stray bullet from his rifle accidentally hit a passer-by, killing him. Amjad Ali was later arrested for murder. He was tried and then sentenced passed on him – death by hanging.
A few days before his execution, a few members of his family came to visit him. With the mere thought of his execution, they began to weep bitterly. He smiled at them and said, “GO HOME AND DO NOT WEEP. I WILL RETURN ON THE DAY OF MY EXECUTION. MY PEER-O-MURSHID, SAYYIDUNA A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) HAS STATED THAT HE HAS RELEASED ME.”
On the night of his execution, his mother went to visit him. Thinking how near the time of his execution had come, she began to weep out of fear. But Amjad Ali’s faith in the words of his Peer-o-Murshid was very strong. He asked his mother to go home and to stop worrying. He told her that through the Will of Almighty Allah, he will return home in a little while to have breakfast with her. Being visibly shaken, she returned home.
The time had finally arrived. Amjad Ali was escorted to the gallows to be hanged. The noose was put around his neck. The authorities asked him if he had any final request. Very calmly, he replied, “There is no need to request anything. My time of death has not yet arrived.” The authorities were baffled by his composure. Nevertheless, they decided to proceed with the hanging. As they were about to hang him, the authorities received a telegram. The telegram stated that due to the crowning of Queen Elizabeth, a certain number of prisoners were being released. Amjad Ali Sahib’s name was on that list! He was immediately released. As promised he went home to have breakfast with his mother. In this Karamat of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), not only was Amjad Ali pardoned but, many other prisoners were freed.
Once, a women came crying to A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). She reminded him that he had once made Dua for her to bear a child and through his Dua a male child was born. She told him that the child had now passed away and she could not bear this loss. She cried and begged A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to bring the child back to life.
A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) went to her home. He noticed that the child was lying on a bed and was covered with a sheet. In the meantime, the mother of the child continuously asked A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) to bring the child back to life. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) removed the sheet from the face of the child, placed his blessed hands over the child’s eyes and commanded the child, “Son! Wake up and listen to that which your mother is saying.” All of a sudden, the child began to cry. All those present were astonished. They thanked A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) abundantly. He humbly smiled and said, “I did not do anything. He was asleep. All I did was wake him up.”
There lived a certain person in Bareilly Shareef who had very false concepts concerning Ulema, Awliyah and Peer-o-Murshid and Mureed relationships. One of his friends, who was on his way to meet A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), asked this person to accompany him and meet A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). He also suggested that by discussing his false concepts and beliefs with A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), he will be shown the right path. While discussing whether or not to go, that person with the false concepts, saw a vendor selling fresh sweetmeats. He said, “First buy me some sweetmeats then I will go with you.” His friend agreed to buy it for him on the way back home.
Nevertheless, after much convincing he agreed to accompany his friend to the house of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). They entered his blessed house and sat there. A Mureed arrived and brought some sweetmeats. It was the procedure in the court of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) that those persons with beards would get two shares, and those without beards would receive only one share as they were still taken as children.
The Mureed who was responsible for distributing the sweetmeats only gave one share to the person who had misconceptions about Awliyah and Ulema. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), who was present there and witnessing the entire incident, commanded the Mureed to give that person two shares. The Mureed remarked, “Huzoor! He has no beard. He should get one.” A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) replied, “Give him two. He desires to have two.” When the person heard this he immediately repented and became the Mureed of A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). His desire was to receive two shares and he realised that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was even aware of the thoughts in his heart.
WORKS OF IMAM AHMED RAZA:
Earlier in this book, we learnt that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) gained proficiency in more that fifty branches of knowledge. With this, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) wrote many books on various aspects of Islam. A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was a genius writer. He wrote numerous books and treatises in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu on diversified topics.
To date, it has not been fully ascertained as to exactly how many books he wrote, for in doing so, requires research and many personnel. There has risen, over the past years, many Islamic Scholars in the Indo-Pak Sub-Continent and in other parts of the world, who are making serious attempts in studying or translating the works of this great Mujaddid of Islam.
In 1887, at the age of 30 years, he had completed 75 books and treatises. In 1909, at the age of 43 years, this number increased up to 500. HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN ESTIMATED THAT THE NUMBER OF BOOKS WRITTEN BY SAYYIDUNA A’LA HADRAT (alaihir rahmah) EXCEED 1 000 ON MORE THAN 50 BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE. Apart from these contributions, he had written annotations and commentaries on more than 150 books pertaining to various branches of learning.
Professor Dr Muhammad Hassan, Shaikh-ul-Adab, Islamia University, Bhawalpur, said: “Mawlana was a prolific writer. He wrote a large number of treatises. It is due to the fact that his head and heart had surging waves of knowledge which were hard to restrain.”
From the many books that were written by him, a table of 549 have been classified. The table is as follows:
Topic on which books was written Amount of books
Tafseer of the Quran 11
Aqaa’id (Belief) 54
Hadith and Principles of Ahadith 53
Fiqh, Principles of Fiqh, Dictionary of Fiqh
Faraa’idh and Tajweed 214
Tassawwuf, Wazifas, Morals 19
Reviews of Books 40
Language, Arabic Grammar, Dictionaries, History
Poetry and Special Benefits, Travelling 55
Inspired Knowledge (Jafar) 11
Astronomy, Astrology 22
Mathematics, Geometry 31
Philosophy, Sciences, Logistics 7
TOTAL AMOUNT OF BOOKS RECOVERED = 549
The names of a few books written by A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) have been listed below:
1. Fatawa Radawiyyah (12 volumes approx. 12 000 pages)
2. Husaamul Haramain
3. Ad Daulatul Makkiya Bil Madatul Ghaibiya
4. Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad
5. Al Amn o wa Ula
6. Alkaukabatush Shahabiya
7. Al Istimdaad
8. Al Fuyoozul Makkiyah
9. Al Meeladun Nabawiyyah
10. Kanzul Imaan (translation of Holy Quran)
11. Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen
12. Hidayake Bakhshish
13. Subhaanus Subooh
14. Sallus Say yaaful Hindiya
15. Ahkaame Shariat
16. Az Zubdatuz Zakkiya
17. Abna ul Mustapha
18. Tamheede Imaan
19. Angote Choomne ka Mas’ala
Professor Abdul Shakoor Shad, Kabul University, Afghanistan, said: “The research works of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan are worth presenting. There is due need that Historical and Cultural Societies of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran together with other such institutions keep all his writings duly catalogued in their libraries.”
His Divinely bestowed intelligence was such, that when A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) completed a quarter of any given book at the feet of a teacher, he used to study and memorize the remainder of the book by himself. It is recorded that he completed an Arabic commentary on the book, “Hidaayatun Nahw”, on Arabic Syntax, when he was only 8 years old!
ORGANISATIONS AND INSTITUTES SPIRITUALLY AFFILIATED TO IMAM AHMED RAZA:
In the year 1904, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) founded “Darul Uloom Manzare Islam” in Bareilly Shareef. This great religious institution has thus far served the Muslim world superbly. Each year, a large number of students graduate from this institution as Fadhils, Aalims, Hufaaz and Qur’ra.
Many of Ulema of South Africa are also students of Madressa Manzare Islam. To name a few:- Mawlana Abdul Hadi Al Qaderi; Mawlana Abdul Hamid Palmer Al Qaderi; Mawlana Ahmad Muqaddam Al Qaderi; Qaari Ahmad Khalil Razvi; Mawlana Nazir Farouk Razvi.
With the exception of Madressa Manzare Islam, there are also scores of institutes and organisations world-wide that are spiritually affiliated to Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah). A few of them are:
1. Jaamia Nooria Radawiyah (Bareilly Shareef) – India
2. Madressa Mazhare Islam (Bareilly Shareef) – India
3. Razvi Darul Ifta (Bareilly Shareef) – India
4. Raza Academy (Bombay) – India
5. Idara Tahqeeqaat-e Imam Ahmad Raza – Pakistan
6. Raza Musjid – London
7. Raza Academy – London
8. Imam Ahmad Raza Academy – South Africa
9. Sunni Razvi Centre – Mauritius – S. Africa
10. Muhibbane Raza-e-Mustapha – South Africa
11. Jamia Razvia (Lahore) – Pakistan
12. Jamia Razvia Zia Ul Uloom (Rawalpindi) – Pakistan
13. Darul Uloom Imam Ahmad Raza – India
IMAM AHMED RAZA IN THE EYES OF OTHERS:
Justice Mufti Sayyid Shujaat Ali Qadri (alaihir rahmah), Shariah Court, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad (Pakistan): “A’la Hadrat’s appearance is such a commanding stature in terms of knowledge and action that every man of letters considers it an honour and pride to write about him. This worthless man also has the honour of opportunity and has contributed some write-ups and articles of A’la Hadrat. My first compilation in Arabic, entitled ‘Mujaddid-al-Mata’ has been published and distributed the world over, and this practice is going on regularly and steadily.
“All the men of letters know that A’la Hadrat was born in such a period when the Muslim Ummah was being threatened by different Fitnah (sedition) from all sides. Among all the prevalent sedition, the most dangerous and harmful was one which meant to infect non-Muslim elements in the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnat.
“A’la Hazrat performed incomparable services to safeguard the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnat. He wrote several books for the rejection of Shirk (Polytheism) and for the dissuasion from the Bid’ats (innovations in Deen causing divergences). He safe-guarded the status of Nabuwat (Prophethood), Sahabiyat (Companionship), Ahle Bait (the Members of the Prophet’s sallal laahu alaihi wasallam family) and Wilayat (the Friendship with Allah the Magnificent). He published crushing and silencing articles against the criticism brought forward by the atheists, heretics and apostates against the revered Mystics of Islam and Islamic Mysticism. As far as my study is concerned, A’la Hazrat always had good opinion about all the Muslims, and took all Muslims as Muslims, did not scratch and touch the people’s beliefs, and did never scold unreasonably or speak rubbish to others. However, if someone committed any mistake in writing or speech, he invited him repeatedly to the Truth. This is the method which is called the good conduct of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). May Allah the Magnificent favour us through the benevolence of the Ahl-Ullah (Friends of Allah).”
Ziya-ul Mashaa’ikh, Allama Muhammad Ibrahim Farooqi Mujad’didi (alaihir rahmah): “No doubt that Mufti Ahmed Raza Khan Bareilvi was a great scholar. He had the insight in the norms of Muslim conduct and behaviour and stages of spiritual transcendentalism (Tariqah). His competence as regard to exposition and explanation of the Islamic thought; his approach to the inner knowledge deserves high praise, and his contribution in Islamic Jurisprudence will always be remembered in respect of their relevance to the basic principles of Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’at. Finally, it is not an exaggeration to state that his research works shall always serve as a beacon light for those who traverse this faith.”
Professor Muhammad Rafi’ullah Siddique, Director of College Education, Hyderabad, Region – Hyderabaad (India): “Let the thought of recollecting minds recall the circumstances of Muslims in 1912 when Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan appealed to the Ummah to control conspicuous consumption and save money to use for productive purposes. Now, everywhere the governments are emphasising the need for austerity to solve the multifarious economic problems. Will the men of vision not realise the far sightedness of the late A’la Hadrat Barelvi? J.M. Keynes was awarded the highest title for the same proposition and exposition which Mawlana Barelvi had disclosed at least 24 years before him. Alas! Muslims did not pay heed to his advice.”
Professor Preshan Khattak, (Former Chairman) Pakistan Academy of Letters, Government of Pakistan: “Imam Ahmed Raza’s personality needs no introduction to Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan. Such a rare encyclopedic person is born after a long awaiting period. He served as a search- light for his own people and proved a strong rock for the powers of persecution and cruelty. Nobody can doubt his knowledge and greatness. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has declared academic differences as sources of blessing and goodness for the evolution of the Deen of Islam and civilisation. This has opened new vistas of thinking and has helped in creating more vastness and comprehension in the Deen of Islam in order to cope with the need of the changing time. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi has completed an important role for the evolution of the Islamic thinking in the Sub- Continent. It is not easy to present and interpret Islamic teachings in the present age without making use of his writings and views.”
Professor Dr Ayub Razvi, Head of Department Urdu, Urdu College, Pakistan, Karachi: “The learned Mawlana Ahmad Raza Khan (1856-1921) was a famous scholar, Jurist, Mathematician, Writer and Genius. He had special insight in Mathematics. There is no parallel to his expertise in Jurisprudence.”
Dr Ilahi Bakhsh Ali Awan, Peshawar (Pakistan): “Various aspects of his personality are very impressive and valuable. His real contributions in different fields are so comprehensive and exhaustive that men of thought and vision find it difficult to pin point the most attractive and impressive aspect of his intellectual personality which is so vast in every direction that sight is lost in wilderness.”
Dr Muhammad Tahir Malik, Chairman, Department of Islamic Learning, University of Karachi (Pakistan): “After a thorough study of many books and treatises of Imam Ahmed Raza, I have concluded that he gives much importance to the teacher, book, paper and school, etc. in the articles allied to Education. In our present day education system, a teacher is no more estimated than a salaried servant, and the book is regarded as a collection of letters and works. From our teaching institutions, the respect of the book and teacher has faded away. This is why the restrictions of a teacher and pupil have been reduced to nothing at our schools, colleges and universities.
“Today, to ignore or to forget the books of knowledge, gifted by theses teachers has become a common practice. One sees often the pupils dancing for pleasure on the teachers promenade and playing with their turbans. Why is this? The answer outlined by Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi is that our ideology of education is lacking in high and sacred values. The Imaam Sahib says, ‘Keep in vies (striving) the bonds of your teachers. If respect is given to the paper, the book and the school, this undesirable situation can not happen’.”
Dr Ghulam Yahya Anjum, Department of Comparative Religions, Hamdard University, New Delhi: “Imam Ahmed Raza Khan is an outstanding personality among 20th century renowned scholars of Islam. Very few can claim his eminence because if someone has some similarity with him in certain particular fields, he lacks significant achievement in some other field in which Imam Ahmed Raza is leading.”
Dr Hassan Raza Khan Azami, Patna: “A study of the ‘Fatawa Razvi’ (Judicial Opinions) of A’la Hadrat, has revealed his multi-dimensional personality to me.
As a Jurist his discussion reflects his reach of imagination, deep insight, wisdom, sagacity and unparallel scholarly talent.
I found him a great historian, that goes on quoting numerous historical references to support his view point in the matter under consideration.
He appears to be an expert in Arabic grammar and diction alongside being an inspiring Naatia poet.
He is observed as a great scholar of Ahadith, when he mentions logical interpretation of the Ahadith that he quotes.
After a deep study of his works, one finds in him not only a renowned Jurist, a great Logistician but also an outstanding Physicist, Astronomer, Mathematician, Philosopher, Philologist and Geographer whose expertise covers the minutest of details of the subject.”
Professor Wasim Barelvi, Rohailkand University, Bareilly, U.P (Dawn, Karachi, May 13 1992): Indian poet, Wasim Barelvi, speaking at a function in his honour on Monday night, emphasised the need for fresh research on Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi and other Muslim scholars of the Sub-Continent, particularly those from Bareilly.
Eulogising Allama Ahmed Raza Khan, Professor said that his services as a pioneer of a religious school is known to everybody, but his achievements as a writer have not yet been properly highlighted.
He said that a research work on Allama Ahmed Raza Khan compiled in Rohailkand under his supervision has made revelations regarding the writings of Allama Barelvi. This research work is likely to challenge the history of Urdu prose as it proves that Allama Barelvi should be counted as one of the pioneers of Urdu prose, and as one of the great writers who spread modern thought in the Sub-Continent.”
Justice Naeemud’deen, Supreme Court of Pakistan: “Imam Ahmad Raza’s grand personality, a representation of our most esteem ancestors, is history making, and a history uni-central in his self.
“You may estimate his high status from the fact that he spent all his lifetime in expressing the praise of the great and auspicious Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), in defending his veneration, in delivering speeches regarding his unique conduct, and in promoting and spreading the Law of Shariah which was revealed upon him for the entire humanity of all times. His renowned name is ‘Muhammad’ (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the Prophet of Almighty Allah.
“The valuable books written by a encyclopaedic scholar like Imam Ahmed Raza, in my view, are the lamps of light which will keep enlightened and radiant the hearts and minds of the men of knowledge and insight for a long time.”
A Western Scholar, Dr Barbara D. Metcalf, Department of History, Barkley University, United States of America: “He was outstanding from the very beginning on account of his extra- ordinary intelligence. He enjoyed a divine gift of deep insight in Mathematics. It is said that he solved a mathematical problem for Dr Ziaud’deen for which the learned Mathematician was intending to visit Germany. Ahmed Raza himself was a towering figure, revered for his extra-ordinary memory, mental agility, and intellectual capacity, and honoured as a Mujaddid and a Shaikh. Guarded in his relation to the British Government, he sought above all to guard what he saw as correct practice and make religion vital in the personal life of Muslims of his day.”
The Poet, Doctor Iqbal: “I have carefully studied the decrees of Imam Ahmed Raza and thereby formed this opinion; and his Fatawa bear testimony to his acumen, intellectual calibre, the quality of his creative thinking, his excellent jurisdiction and his ocean-like Islamic knowledge. Once Imam Ahmed Raza forms an opinion he stays firm on it; he expresses his opinion after a sober reflection. Therefore, the need never arises to withdraw any of his religious decrees and judgements. With all this, by nature he was hot tempered, and if this was not in the way, then Shah Ahmed Raza would have been the Imam Abu hanifa of his age.” (Arafat, 1970, Lahore) In another place he says, “Such a genius and intelligent jurist did not emerge.”
IMAM AHMED RAZA IN THE EYES OF THE OPPOSITION:
Abul Ula Maudoodi: “I have great respect in my heart for the knowledge and status of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah). He has great foresight over the knowledge of Deen and even his opposition are forced to accept this fact.”
Ashraf Ali Thanwi: “I have great respect in my heart for Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah). He calls us Kaafirs, but he says this only on the basis for his love for the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and not out of any other reason.”
Muee’nuddeen Nadwi: “The late Ahmed Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) in this present time was “The Person of Knowledge”. His every Fatawa, be it in support or refutal of anyone, is worthy of being studied.”
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S FINAL ADVICE BEFORE HIS DEMISE:
1. Nothing with photos of living objects should be near me when my Ruh (Soul) leaves.
2. Recite Sura Yaseen and Sura Ra’ad beside me.
3. Recite Durood in abundance.
4. Keep those who are weeping away from me.
5. Give my Ghusl according to the Sunnah.
6. Either Mawlana Haamid Raza or Allamah Amjad Ali (radi Allahu anhum) should perform my Janaza Salaah.
7. Do not delay my Janazah.
8. When taking my Janazah, recite “Kaabe ke Badru Duja”.
9. Do not read anything in my praise.
10. Place me softly in the grave.
12. My grave should be dug according to my height.
13. My Kafan should be according to the Sunnah.
14. The food of my Fatiha must be given to the poor.
15. Haamid Raza must give a fair share of everything to Chothe Mia (Huzoor Mufti Azam Hind). If not, my Rooh will be displeased. (radi Allahu anhuma)
16. All of you must remain steadfast on Deen. Do not leave the path of Shariah. Stay on the Deen on which I was.
WISAAL OF IMAM AHMED RAZA:
The brightly shining sun of Bareilly Shareef, The Coolness of the Eyes of the Ulema, The Mujaddid of the Century, The Imam Abu Hanifa of his time, The Ghousul Azam of his time, The Sweet-scented Rose from the Fragrant Garden of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (alaihir rahmah) left this mundane world on Friday, the 25th of Safar 1340 A.H. (28 October 1921) at 2.38 p.m.. It was the exact time of the Jummah Azaan.
The date of the Wisaal of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) was actually deduced by himself from the Holy Quran four months and twenty days prior to his passing away: “And there shall be passed around them silver vessels and goblets.” (76:15)
At the time of the demise of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), a certain Saint of Syria, dreamt of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) while he was in the Baitul Mukaddas. In his dream, the Saint saw many Sahaba-Ikraam (radi Allahu anhum ajma’in) seated around the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). All of them seemed to be waiting for someone. The Saint says that, in his dream, he asked, “Ya Rasoolallah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! Whose presence is being awaited?” The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) replied, “Ahmed Raza Khan.” The blessed Saint then asked, “Who is Ahmed Raza Khan?” The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) answered, “An Aalim from Bareilly.”
When this Saint awoke, he immediately journeyed from Syria to Bareilly Shareef to meet A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), but to his dismay, he learnt that A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) had already departed from this world.
It is said by those true lovers of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) that after he passed away he was spiritually transported to Madinatul Munawwarah to be close to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). They say this because once, A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) personally said: “THE TIME OF DEMISE IS CLOSE AND INDIA IS INDIA. BUT, I DO NOT EVEN FEEL LIKE PASSING AWAY IN MAKKAH. MY DESIRE IS THIS, THAT I SHOULD PASS AWAY WITH IMAAN IN MADINATUL MUNAW’WARA AND THEN BE BURIED WITH KINDNESS IN JANNATUL BAQI. ALMIGHTY ALLAH IS MOST POWERFUL.”
The Mazaar Shareef (Blessed Tomb) of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah) is situated in the Mohalla Saudagran, Bareilly Shareef in India (U.P.). Each year, in the month of Safar, during the Urs Shareef of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah), hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all over the world present themselves in Bareilly Shareef to partake in the Urs Shareef of the Mujaddid of Islam, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (alaihir rahmah).
May Almighty Allah shower his choicest blessings upon the Mazaar-e-Anwaar of this great Saint and Scholar of Islam.