Taqwa, Fear of Allah


Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised: 

‘‘One should be concerned with pleasing the Knower of the unseen. No matter how much success and fame we attain in this world, it is but for a few days. We should [seek to] attain the proximity and pleasure of that Pure Being who is attributed with perpetual eternity.’’ 

Malfuzat Hadrat Madani, p.107 (Delhi: Dar al-Isha‘at, July 1998 ed.) by Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barah Bankwi

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised, 

‘‘ The blessed age of youth is extremely valuable; adorn it with the pleasant hues of Allah’s remembrance.’’ 

Malfuzat Hadrat Madani, p.83 (Delhi: Dar al-Isha‘at, July 1998 ed.) by Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barah Bankwi

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised, 

‘‘Spend every moment of your life in the remembrance of Allah and in the service of din. Be mindful of death and that which is to come after it.’’ 

Malfuzat Hadrat Madani, p.84 (Delhi: Dar al-Isha‘at, July 1998 ed.)  by Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barah Bankwi

Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi[1]

(1238-1302 /1823-1885) 

 

Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar ibn Lutf ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Hasan al-Siddiqi al-Hanafi Nanautwi—the righteous imam, ‘arif (knower of Allah) and mujahid—was amongst the leading scholars of fiqh, hadith, and tasawwuf in his time. 

A descendant of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), he was born in Nanautah, a village in the district of Saharanpur (UP, India). He initially studied under his father with whom he completed the memorization of the Qur’an (hifz).  He then travelled to Delhi, where he studied under Mufti Sadr al-Din Dehlawi, Mawlana Rashid al-Din Khan, the teacher of many shaykhs Mawlana Mamluk al-‘Ali Nanautwi, Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali Saharanpuri and Shah ‘Abd al-Ghani Dehlawi. He studied some books of hadith from the renowned scholar of hadith Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlawi, the great grandson of Shah Wali Allah Dehlawi and successor of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Dehlawi. 

After studying in Delhi, Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi occupied himself in correcting manuscripts (tas’hih) at the publishing house of Nawlkashur. Later he taught Islamic sciences at Ajmer College, and then at Agra College. 

The Battle of Shamli 

In 1273/1857, Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar fought against the British in the Battle of Shamli under the leadership of Haji Imdad Allah Muhajir Makki, alongside senior scholars such as Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi, Hafiz Zamin Shahid, Mawlana Rahmat Allah Kiranwi and his own younger brother Mawlana Muhammad Munir Nanautwi. It was in this battle that he sustained serious wounds. 

Mufti Mahmud Hasan Gangohi relates: 

‘‘It was the habit of Mawlana Mazhar Nanautwi that he would often lick his upper lip. Someone once asked him the reason for this, but the respected Mawlana did not inform him. When this person insisted, Mawlana remarked, ‘When the battle against the British took place at Shamli, and the Muslims were being attacked, some of my comrades were dying and my leg was also hit by a bullet (due to which it became paralysed). In this state, I saw Hurs (damsels of Paradise) with glasses in their hands. The glasses were filled with a special type of drink that they were giving to those of my fallen comrades who were dying and had no chance of surviving. As this was happening, one of the damsels came towards me. She had just placed a glass against my mouth when another damsel took hold of her hands, pulled them away [from me] and said, ‘He is not among those who are to pass away.’ A very small amount of this drink fell on my upper lip, the [sweet] taste of which remains till today. This is why I have this habit [of licking my upper lip.]” [2] 

After the battle was over, Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar went into hiding at Bareilly. Once a general amnesty was declared, he emerged from hiding and thereafter began teaching at his home. 

Teaching the Islamic Sciences 

Many students studied fiqh, usul al-fiqh (principles of Islamic law), kalam (scholastic theology), mantiq (classical logic), Arabic grammar and other related sciences from him. 

In Shawwal 1283/February 1867, he was appointed headteacher at a madrasah founded in Saharanpur by Mawlana Sa‘adat ‘Ali Saharanpuri, the well-known jurist (faqih), who was a participant of the 1273/1857 jihad and a devoted follower of Shah Ahmad ibn ‘Irfan Barelwi—the martyr of Balakot.[3] When this madrasah progressed and an exclusive building was established for it, it was named Mazahir-e-‘Ulum in Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar’s honour. He exerted his efforts in teaching the Qur’an and Sunnah (hadith), and in disseminating knowledge and the Islamic sciences. He was also involved with the administration of Mazahir-e-‘Ulum at every level and taught there until the end of his life. During his nineteen years at Mazahir-e-‘Ulum he taught all the six canonical collections of hadith as well Mu’atta Imam Malik, Shama’il al-Tirmidhi and Sunan al-Darimi. He taught [from the] various renowned commentaries of the Qur’an as well as Durr al-Mukhtar and other famous works of Hanafi fiqh and usul al-Fiqh. He toiled hard to ensure that the madrasah maintained a high academic standard and he succeeded in doing so. This was acknowledged and appreciated by scholars associated with the madrasah, including Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. It is testimony to the efforts and sincerity of Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi that after his death the consultative committee of Mazahir-e-‘Ulum were unable to find anyone of his calibre to replace him in his all-encompassing role at the madrasah

He had many outstanding students; most prominent amongst them was the eminent hadith scholar Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri.[4] Hujjat al-Islam Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi, founder of the renowned Islamic seminary, Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband, also studied some primary books[5] under his tutelage. 

He also assisted in completing Ghayat al-Awtar, the Urdu translation of Imam ‘Ala’ al-Din al-Haskafi’s al-Durr al-Mukhtar, as stated in its introduction by Mawlana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautwi.[6] 

From the legacy of Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi’ is the continuous chain of exceptional hadith scholars that have graduated from Mazahir-e-‘Ulum, which include and is not limited to the likes of: 

  • Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri
  • ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani
  • Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi
  • Mawlana ‘Abd al-Rahman Kamilpuri
  • Mawlana Muhammad Idris Kandhlawi
  • Mawlana Ashfaq al-Rahman Kandhlawi
  • Mawlana Muhammad Ayyub Saharanpuri
  • Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf Kandhlawi
  • Mawlana Badr-e-‘Alam Miruthi,
  • Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Yunus Jonpuri.

His Characteristics and the Spiritual Path 

He trod the path of tasawwuf under the guidance of Shaykh al-Sunnah Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, who granted him permission (ijazah) to initiate others into the path. This despite him being older than his beloved shaykh

Mawlana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasimi relates from his father, Mawlana Muhammad Ahmad Qasimi: 

‘‘Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi once saw Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi in a dream, sitting on a throne. Mawlana (who was older than the two shaykhs) relayed the dream in a letter to Haji Imdad Allah in which he also requested him to accept his bay‘ah (pledge of spiritual purification). In reply, Haji Imdad Allah interpreted the dream by instructing him to give bay‘ah to either one of the two [shaykhs]. Therefore, Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar brought the letter to Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi and requested him to accept his bay‘ah. Embarrassed, Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi replied, ‘Accept my bay‘ah instead!’ Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar remarked, ‘Here, this is the letter [of Haji Imdad Allah] and this is the instruction.’ Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi then said, ‘Let me give you some sound advice. Proceed to Gangoh.’ Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar went there. At first, Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi also declined. He, however, later accepted bay‘ah.’’ [7]

Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi would express his embarrassment at the love, respect and veneration afforded him by Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi. Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi was a person of great insight (basirat). The respect he showed his shaykh due to his eminence and lofty rank, and the love he felt for him, was natural for him as a disciple. However, Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi was unable to disregard his disciple’s seniority in age and felt obliged to act according to the blessed words of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), ‘‘He who does not have mercy on our young, and does not respect our elders is not of us.’’ (Tirmidhi

Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi was also granted ijazah in tasawwuf by Shaykh al-‘Ulama’ Haji Imdad Allah Muhajir Makki, in whose heart he held a special place, as indicated in his letters (maktubat).

Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi was from amongst the ascetic and righteous ‘ulama’; he would be referred to in matters of fiqh. He was an erudite scholar of the rational (ma‘qul), literary (lughawi), and Islamic sciences, who embodied Shari‘ah and Tariqah. He would habitually use perfume when reciting the Qur’an in tarawih prayers. He would refrain from affectation (takalluf) and was an awe-inspiring person; very few people would have the courage to speak in his presence. He was known for his simplicity, humbleness, piety, intelligence and wisdom.   

Mawlana Sayyid Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi wrote of him: 

‘‘He was a scholar of deep learning, who had mastery over the [Islamic] sciences. He gave bay‘ah to Imam Rashid Ahmad ibn Hidayat Ahmad Gangohi, who granted him ijazah. He would recite the Qur’an often, would be constantly engaged in the remembrance of Allah, and his tongue would remain moist with [the utterance of] Ism al-Dhat (Allah). He remained aloof from affectation, was an ascetic of an austere nature, dignified and was awe-inspiring.’’ [8]

 Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya writes in Tarikh-e-Mazahir-e-‘Ulum (History of Mazahir-e-‘Ulum):    

‘‘Mawlana Mazhar Nanautwi had very close relationships with Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi and Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Despite being senior in age to Mawlana Gangohi, he was from amongst his deputies (khalifahs) and beloved servants.  In fact he was an ardent lover of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and was extremely devoted to him. He had great understanding of fiqh and hadith. He was an Allah-fearing, pious, soft-natured and virtuous saint. ’’[9]

Journeys on Hajj 

His first Hajj, in which Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi and Mawlana Ya‘qub Nanautwi accompanied him, was performed in 1277/1861. He performed his second Hajj in 1294/1877 in the company of his shaykh Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi, Mawlana Ya‘qub Nanautwi, Mawlana Shah Rafi‘ al-Din, Shaykh al-Hind Mawlana Mahmud al-Hasan and others.  

Famous Brothers 

He had two brothers, both younger than him, who were accomplished scholars. 

The elder of the two, Mawlana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautwi, was a prominent Hanafi jurist who translated a number of classical works in Urdu. In contrast to his brothers, elders and companions, Mawlana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautwi actively opposed the jihad of 1273/1857. Due to this, under duress of the local populace, he was forced to leave Bareilly, his town of residence. He returned later, after the battle had ended. There, aided by his two brothers, Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar and Mawlana Muhammad Munir, he established a publishing house called Matba‘-e-Siddiqiyyah.[10] A number of brilliant works were published from there, including: 

  • A critical edition of Qadi ‘Iyad al-Maliki’s Al-Shifa’
  • Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi’s Tahdhir al-Nas
  • Various works of Hakim al-Islam Shah Wali Allah al-Dehlawi.  

Mawlana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautwi’s translations include: 

  • Imam Ghazali’s Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din
  • Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah’s Ighathat al-Luhfan
  • Shah Wali Allah Dehlawi’s Al-Insaf fi Bayan Sabab al-Ikhtilaf and Al-‘Iqd al-Jid fi Ahkam al-Ijtihad wa ‘l-Taqlid.  

He translated and annotated: 

  • Imam al-Nasafi’s Kanz al-Daqa’iq
  • The latter part of ‘Allamah al-Haskafi’s Durr al-Mukhtar.  

 He also annotated the following works of Shah Wali Allah Dehlawi: 

  • Qurrat al-‘Aynayn fi Tafdil al-Shaykhayn
  • Izalat al-Khafa’ ‘an Khilafat al-Khulafa’
  • His Magnus opus Hujjat Allah al-Balighah.

He also collated the juridical edicts (fatwas) of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Dehlawi. 

Mawlana Muhammad Ahsan was wrongly and unjustly declared an unbeliever by some ‘ulama of Bareilly[11] when he attested to a verdict of the famed scholar ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Hayy Lucknowi, in which the latter had authenticated the narration of Sayyiduna ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) regarding the creation of seven Earths and the existence of Prophets on each of them.[12] 

His teachers included Mawlana Mamluk al-‘Ali Nanautwi, Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali Saharanpuri and the renowned hadith scholar Shah ‘Abd al-Ghani Dehlawi, from whom he also received ijazah in tasawwuf. Luminaries with whom he enjoyed close relationships included: 

  • Shah ‘Abd al-Ghani Dehlawi
  • Haji Imdad Allah Muhajir Makki
  • Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali Saharanpuri
  • Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi
  • Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi
  • Mawlana Nur al-Hasan Kandhlawi
  • ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Hayy Lucknowi
  • Mawlana Muhammad Husayn Muradabadi
  • Shaykh Nihal Ahmad Deobandi
  • Mawlana Fayd al-Hasan Saharanpuri.

 

He lies buried in the Qasimi cemetery in Deoband alongside Mawlana Dhu ‘l-Fiqar ‘Ali, father of Shaykh al-Hind Mawlana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi. 

The youngest brother, Mawlana Muhammad Munir Nanautwi, was a student of Mawlana Mamluk al-‘Ali Nanautwi, Mufti Sadr al-Din Dehlawi and Shah ‘Abd al-Ghani Dehlawi. He served as a principal of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband for a short period upon the request of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. He also actively fought alongside senior ‘ulama’ in the battle of Shamli in 1273/1857. He was heavily involved with Mawlana Muhammad Ahsan’s publishing house, Matba‘-e-Siddiqiyyah. His academic works include an Urdu translation of Imam Ghazali’s Minhaj al-‘Abidin. He had a very close relationship with Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi and was particularly known for his knowledge, piety, honesty and integrity. 

Final Illness and Death  

Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi endured pain in his kidneys for a number of years and passed away at the age of sixty-four (Islamic years) after Maghrib prayers on the evening of Monday 24th Dhu ‘l-Hijjah 1302/October 1885. During his final illness, he would often touch his forehead searching for traces of sweat, as according to the Prophetic hadith it is a sign of a believer’s death. When his death was near and he began sweating from his forehead, his face lit up with joy. He was not survived by any children. 

May Allah enlighten his resting place. May Allah shower His mercy upon him and grant him, his teachers and students the highest stations in Paradise. Amin.


[1]               Adapted from Al-I‘lam bi man fi Tarikh al-Hind min al-A‘lam (also known as Nuzhat al-Khawatir), Akabir ‘Ulama’-e-Deoband, Hadrat Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi awr unke Khulafa’, Awjaz al-Masalik ila Mu’atta al-Imam Malik, Tadhkirat al-Rashid, Tarikh-e-Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband and other sources.   

[2]               Malfuzat-e-Faqih al-Ummat (Karachi: Dar al-Huda, September 2005 ed.) Vol 3, p. 264-265 by Mufti Muhammad Faruq Mirathi.

[3]               One of the greatest spiritual guides of the Indian sub-continent in the last few centuries. He is popularly known as Sayyid Ahmad Shahid.

[4]               Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri’s love for his teacher can be gauged from the fact that when he became extremely ill in 1340/1922, he wrote in his will, ‘Bury me beside my teacher Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi.’ (See Sawanih ‘Ulama’-e-Deoband (Deoband: Nawaz Publications, Jan 2000 ed.), Vol 1, p. 502-503)

[5]               Mawlana Anwar al-Hasan Sherkoti writes in Anwar-e-Qasimi that Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi studied Sharh Mi’ah ‘Amil, Hidayat al-Nahw, ‘Ilm al-Sighah and other books from Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi. (See Sawanih ‘Ulama’-e-Deoband (Deoband: Nawaz Publications) Vol 1, p. 501)

[6]              See Ghayat al-Awtar (Karachi: H M Sa‘eed Company, 1398 AH ed.) Vol 1, p.10

[7]               Arwah-e-Thalathah, also known as Hikayat-e-Awliya’ (Karachi: Darul Isha‘at, December 2001 ed.) p. 227-228.

[8]               Al-I‘lam bi man fi Tarikh al-Hind min al-A‘lam also known as Nuzhat al-Khawatir (Idara Ta’lifat-e-Ashrafia, 1413/1993) Vol 7, p. 480 by Mawlana ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani Nadwi and Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi.

[9]               Akabir ‘Ulama’-e-Deoband (Lahore: Idara Islamiat, Ramadhan 1419/January 1999 ed.) p.37-38 by Hafiz Sayyid Muhammad Akbar Shah Bukhari.

[10]             See footnote in ‘Ulama’-e-Hind ka Shandar Madi (Karachi: Maktabah Rashidia, 1406/1986 ed.) p.306 by Mawlana Sayyid Muhammad Miyan.

[11]             Mawlana Naqi ‘Ali Khan, father of Mawlana Ahmad Ridha Khan, in particular.

[12]             See Sawanih ‘Ulama’-e-Deoband (Deoband: Nawaz Publications, Jan 2000 ed.), Vol 1, p. 529-534 for details.

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.

Hadrat Mawlana Ihtisham al-Hasan Kandhlawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) writes:

”Hadrat Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) would say that from among the students of Shah Muhammad Ishaq [Dehlawi] (may Allah shower His mercy upon him), three were extremely pious (muttaqi). The most pious was Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn [Kandhlawi] (may Allah shower His mercy upon him).[1] The second was Shah ‘Abd al-Ghani [Dehlawi] (may Allah shower His mercy upon him)[2] and the third was Nawab Qutb al-Din Khan (may Allah shower His mercy upon him).[3]”


[1] Hadrat Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn Kandhlawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) was among the senior scholars of his age. He was renowned for his exemplary piety (taqwa) and strict adherence to the sunnah. (translator)

[2] A descendant of Mujaddid Alf-e-Thani Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi. He was among the greatest hadith scholars of his age. In order to appreciate his high standing as a scholar and spiritual guide it would perhaps suffice to say that his students and khulafa’ (spiritual successors) include the likes of Hadrat Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali Saharanpuri, Hadrat Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Hadrat Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi, Hadrat Mawlana Ya‘qub Nanautwi, Hadrat Mawlana Muhammad Mazhar Nanautwi, Hadrat Mawlana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautwi, Hadrat Shah Rafi‘ al-Din et al. (may Allah shower His mercy upon them all). (translator)

[3] He was among the prominent scholars of hadith and fiqh in 13th century India. He is perhaps most well known for his Urdu commentary of Mishkat al-Masabih, entitled Mazahir-e-Haq. He passed away in Makkah al-Mukarramah in 1289 AH. (translator)

 

Sawanih ‘Ulama’-e-Deoband (Deoband: Nawaz publications) Vol. 1, p. 228, compiled by Dr. Nawaz Deobandi.

It is written in Tadhkirat al-Rashid that Molwi Mumtaz ‘Ali Anbethwi relates:

 

‘‘Mawlana Abu ’l-Khayr[1] was coincidentally here in Baluchistan when the news of Hadhrat [Mawlana Rashid Ahmad] Gangohi’s death reached us. Twice, I received a message from him, requesting that I visit him. Finally, when I went to him I saw that the mawlana was weeping uncontrollably. Upon seeing me, his weeping increased to the extent that he began shrieking. The effect of this on the gathering was such that people were close to losing consciousness through excessive weeping. In this state, Mawlana Abu ‘l-Khayr remarked, ‘O Molwi Mumtaz, a great person has been taken from India. What great sorrow! The people did not appreciate who the mawlana was.’ I have heard from a reliable source that Hadhrat Mawlana (may Allah sanctify his secret) once spent the whole night [in Salah] weeping over one verse [of the Qur’an].

 

This verse was: ‘The day when secrets will be examined. There shall then neither be any power nor assistant for man. [Surah 86 (Al-Tariq), Verses 9 & 10]’’’

 

Akabir-e-Deoband Awr ‘Ishq-e-Rasul (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) (Karachi: Maktabah Arsalan, p143-144) (Quoted from Tadhkirat al-Rashid, p. 191-192)


[1] Mawlana Abu ‘l-Khayr Mujaddidi of Delhi was from amongst the prominent shaykhs of India in his era and a student of Mawlana Rahmat-Allah Kiranwi (may Allah shower His mercy upon them both).

 

 

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