True Legacy: Mawlana Muhammad Badr ‘Alam Miruthi’s love for books

 ‘Allamah Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah

 Translated by Abu ‘Asim Badrul Islam

‘Allamah Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah) writes:

‘When I was honoured and blessed with the opportunity to visit the illuminated city of Madinah (- may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon it’s inhabitant -) for the second time after Hajj toward the end of 1384 AH (1965 CE), I had completed the publication of the book al-Ajwibat al-Fadilah li’l As’ilat al-‘Asharat al-Kamilah by Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknowi al-Hindi that same year. I had edited and annotated the book before publication. I took a few copies of the book with me to Madinah so that I could present them as gifts to some of my eminent Shuyukh residing in the illuminated city. 

 At the forefront of these eminent Shuyukh was our Shaykh al-‘Allamah al-Muhaddith al-Faqih al-Shaykh Muhammad Badr ‘Alam al-Miruthi al-Hindi[1] who had chosen permanent residence in the abode of hijra [- the illuminated city of Madinah]. I went to visit him in his house. He had been, at the time, incapacitated by illness and was permanently confined to his bed. Due to this poor health he was unable to study, research and satiate himself with knowledge the way he desired.  

I presented a copy of al-Ajwibat al-Fadilah which he accepted with much joy and appreciation. He praised the book and said to me: “I had purchased the book as soon as it had arrived in the bookshops of the illuminated city of Madinah. As you can see, I do not have the strength or the health to be able to read and study the way I would have wished to. But my intention in purchasing this book was to leave books of knowledge for my children and family. This is better for them as inheritance than wealth.” These words were for me a priceless lesson. I learnt a lot from them and have benefited, therefore, I have related this incident regarding the Shaykh – may Allah have mercy on him. He passed away in the illuminated city of Madinah during 1385 AH.’

Safahat min Sabr al-‘Ulama ‘ala Shada’id al-‘Ilm wa al-Tahsil, 7th edn, (Aleppo: Maktab al-Matbu’at al-Isamiyyah, 2003, p.325)   

[1] Born in 1316 AH (1898 CE), Mawlana Muhammad Badr ‘Alam Miruthi was one of the leading scholars of Hadith in India. Inspired by a lecture delivered by the Grand Shaykh Hakim al-Ummah Imam Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (d.1362 AH/1943 CE), he enrolled at the prestigious Madrassah Mazahir-e-‘Ulum in Saharanpur (India) where he studied the sciences of Islam. After completing his formal study of the major books of Hadith and graduating in 1336 AH he was appointed lecturer at the same institution. However, his thirst for knowledge knew no bounds; he resigned from the post in order to enroll at the prestigious Dar al-‘Ulum in Deoband and study the books of Hadith for a second time. Here he studied under the phenomenal master of Hadith and Hanafi Fiqh, Imam al-‘Asr  Mawlana Muhammad Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri (1292-1352 AH/1875-1933 CE), the Grand Mufti Mawlana ‘Azizur Rahman al-‘Uthmani, Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Shabbir Ahmad al-‘Uthmani and Shaykh Mawlana Asghar Husayn Deobandi.  

In 1340 AH, in recognition of his proficiency in all the sciences of Islam, Mawlana Muhammad Badr ‘Alam Miruthi was appointed lecturer in the Dar al-‘Ulum of Deoband. Thereafter, in 1346 AH he moved with his beloved master Imam Mawlana Muhammad Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri to the famous Jami’ah Islamiyyah in Dabhel (Gujarat) where, beside lecturing on Hadith, he attended the lectures of Imam Mawlana Muhammad Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri on the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari for five years. It was during this period that he transcribed in Arabic the invaluable lectures of Imam al-Kashmiri and, after the demise of the latter in 1352 AH, it was published with the title Fayd al-Bari ‘ala Sahih al-Bukhari. Since that time the book has seen several editions in various countries of the Islamic world, the most recent of which has been from Beirut in 6 large volumes (2005 CE). It is an extremely popular book in ‘ulama circles and has been described by the late Hadith master ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah of Aleppo in several of his works as “a magnificent book”. 

After its formation in 1947 CE, Mawlana Muhammad Badr ‘Alam Miruthi immigrated to Pakistan and lectured at the Dar al-‘Ulum al-Islamiyyah founded by Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Shabbir Ahmad al-‘Uthmani in the Sindh province. He had an extraordinary yearning for the illuminated and blessed city of Madinah which he very passionately expressed in al-Badr al-Sari (the footnotes of Fayd al-Bari ‘ala Sahih al-Bukhari) and finally, in 1372 AH (1953 CE), he undertook a second hijra and settled in the blessed city. After residing there for  approximately 13 years he passed away to the mercy of his Lord on Friday 3 Rajab 1385 AH (29 October 1965 CE). May Allah ta’ala grant him and all the great masters whose names have been mentioned here the highest of Paradise. (translator)