Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn Kandhlawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) has been mentioned several times on the blog. I recently came across some more biographical information about the mawlana which readers may find interesting. 

The mawlana’s biographers write that he was of an extremely pious disposition from a young age and an ardent follower of the sunnah. His condition, later in life, became such that his body would not accept even a morsel of food procured from doubtful sources. Once, when mawlana was involved in the construction of a mosque in Kandhla, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan — on account of close family ties — donated some money. Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn’s taqwa was such that he refused the cash saying, “Your income is haram and cannot be used for a mosque.’’ 

Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn Kandhlawi was among the trusted colleagues and students of Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlawi[1] and his brother Shah Muhammad Ya‘qub (may Allah shower His mercy upon them). He was among those who were named by these two savants as their successors in India when they migrated to the Hijaz.[2] 

Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn was also from among the leaders of the 1857 War of Independence against Colonialism. The mawlana strove greatly and rendered remarkable services during the war. Mawlana Rashid al-Hasan Kandhlawi notes that it is regretful that much has not been written regarding the services of Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn and the zeal and fervour of the people of Kandhla and its surrounding areas during the 1857 jihad

As a shaykh of the Naqshbandi tariqah, Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn had thousands of disciples, a number of whom received ijazah from him, including Mawlana Rafi‘ al-Din Deobandi (d. 1309 AH), Mawlana Isma‘il Kandhlawi (d. 1315 AH),[3] Mawlana Muhammad Husayn Faqir Dehlawi (d. 1324 AH) and Hafiz Tafaddul Husayn Baghrawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon them all). 

It was Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn’s practice to visit and reside in the mosques of neighbouring towns and villages for three to four days at a time. During his stay he would explain the method of offering salah to the people, teach them the rulings of religion, and encourage them to bring them into practise. Mawlana Muhammad Isma‘il Kandhlawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) inherited this practise from Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn. This method of preaching was later popularised by his son Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) and is now prevalent throughout the world in the form of the Tablighi Jama‘ah movement. 

Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn also authored a treatise — Radd-e-Rusum (Refutation of Customs) — in refutation of innovations and the practise of not marrying widows, something that was prevalent in India at that time.[4] Mawlana Rashid al-Hasan Kandhlawi writes that he is in possession of a manuscript of this treatise in Hafiz Damin Shahid’s (may Allah shower His mercy upon him)[5] handwriting. 

Adapted from Makatib-e-Rashidiah (Lahore: Idara Islamiat, August 1996/Rabi‘ al-Awwal 1417 ed.) p.195-196[6]


[1] Grandson and successor of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Dehlawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him)

[2] See Mawlana ‘Ubayd Allah Sindhi’s (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) ‘‘Shah Wali Allah Awr Unki Siyasi Tahrik’’.

[3] He was the father of Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhlawi and Mawlana Muhammad Yahya Kandhlawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon them).

[4] The notion of considering the marrying of widows shameful is something that had become prominent in India owing to local Hindu culture. The practise was also strongly opposed by Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and his followers (may Allah shower His mercy upon them all).

[5] He was a senior khalifah of Shaykh Mianji Nur Muhammad Jhinjhanawi and a close companion of Haji Imdad Allah Muhajir Makki. He was martyred in the Battle of Shamli in 1857. He left this temporal world in a mosque with his head resting in the lap of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (may Allah shower His mercy upon them all).

[6] This section of the book comprises footnotes by Mawlana Rashid al-Hasan Kandhlawi. The book itself was compiled by Mawlana Mahmud Ashraf Usmani.

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