Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Yunus Jaunpuri’s[1] Passion for Hadith[2]


Translated by Abu Unaysah


After discussing Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Yunus Jaunpuri’s standing among contemporary hadith scholars, Mawlana Muhammad Nazim Nadwi writes:


“In truth he has remained preoccupied with hadith from the beginning and has immersed himself in it.  He himself relates: ‘Whenever I receive money from someone, I purchase books on hadith with it.  Whenever my respected teacher Qutb al-‘Arab wa ’l-‘Ajam [Imam Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi] offered me money as a gift, I would use it to purchase some of his works.’ His residence contains a private collection of books on hadith, the like of which is extremely rare in the Sub-Continent. In fact, even the largest libraries are bereft of such great works. In spite of this, during his travels for Hajj he visits bookshops in search of new books. This is in spite of the fact that after walking the rugged and uneven paths of the Hijaz he experiences difficulty in breathing and his forehead becomes covered in sweat. However, in spite of this condition, only those who are somewhat acquainted with him can appreciate his academic excellence and extreme passion for study. 


This is his state while he has many illnesses. He has been enveloped by illnesses from the very beginning. He has been ill since he first began travelling to Mani Kalan, which is a little distance from his home, to study. After being admitted at Mazahir-e-‘Ulum his illness worsened.


He relates, ‘Hadhrat Shaykh[3] (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) himself once said to me, “Your health has deteriorated; return home. Blood is coming out of your mouth.” I said, “Hadhratwala,[4] if I am to die, I will die here.” Upon this Hadhrat Shaykh remarked, “Then remain here!”’ From then on he remained at Mazahir-e-‘Ulum and with hadith.”


[1]  He is among the senior students and khalifas (successors in tasawwuf) of Imam Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (1898-1982 CE). He has been teaching the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari for over forty years at the famed Islamic seminary, Mazahir-e-‘Ulum in Saharanpur (UP, India) after having been appointed to do so by his noble teacher and Shaykh.


[2]   Translated from Al-Yawaqit al-Ghaliyah fi Tahqiq wa Takhrij al-Ahadith al-‘Aliyah, volume 1, first edition (Majlis Da‘wat al-Haq, UK, p.12-13).


[3]   This is the honorary title used by many of Imam Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya’s students and khalifas when referring to him.


[4]   An honorary title often used when referring to one’s shaykh.