Mawlana [Rashid Ahmad] Gangohi would strongly emphasise abundant invocation of  blessings and peace (salawat) upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) to his disciples, devotees, friends and sincere seekers. He would describe the invoking of blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as being beneficial for both worlds.

He once advised in a letter ‘‘invoke blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) regularly, for that is extremely beneficial for the needs of both worlds.’’ (Maktubat Akabir-e-Deoband, (Deoband: Mi‘raj Book Depot), p. 56)

Hakim al-Ummat Mawlana [Ashraf ‘Ali] Thanawi would say of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi: ‘‘I saw that Mawlana Gangohi would always be reciting a wird (litany) of salawat and that he talked very little.’’ (Wa‘z al-Nur, p.20)

His disciples had been instructed by him to invoke blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) at least three hundred times a day.

[…] Mawlana Gangohi would say, ‘‘If you are unable to invoke blessings and peace this many times, you should not go without invoking blessings and peace at least once [a day].’’ He would say, ‘‘we are indebted to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace). If you are then miserly in invoking blessings and peace upon him, it is a matter of great disrespect and loss.’’ He preferred the Durud-e-Ibrahimi, which is [usually] recited in salat (prayer). (Bis Barey Musalman, p. 205)

Akabir-e-Deoband Awr ‘Ishq-e-Rasul (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, p.247-248 (Karachi: Maktabah Arsalan, May 2003) By Muhammad Arsalan ibn Akhtar.

The Quranic exegete and expositor of Wali Allahi thought, Mawlana Sufi ‘Abd al-Hamid Sawati, writes of Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi (may Allah shower His mercy upon them): 

‘‘His worshipping Allah Most High was such that he would often recite the qur’an, alone, throughout the entire night, in supererogatory prayer (nawafil). One night, he recited twenty-seven parts of the Qur’an in one rak’ah.’’ 

Ajwibah-e-Arba’in, p. 21 (Gujranwala: Idara-e-Nashr wa Isha‘at Madrasah Nusratul Uloom, 3rd edition, December 2004)

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 Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised: 

‘‘Recitation [of the Qur’an] in salat performed during the final portion of the night is most beneficial and effective for purification of the soul, especially when it is lengthy and with reflection and contemplation.’’ 

Shaykh al-‘Arab wa ‘l-‘Ajam Hadrat Mawlana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani ki Iman Afroz Batein (Karachi: Majlis-e-Yadgar-e-Shaykh al-Islam, 1413/1993 ed.) p.30 Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barabankwi

‘Allāmah Qāḍi Thanā’ ullāh Pānipati[1]

(d. 1225 AH/1810 CE)


By ‘Allāmah ‘Abd al-Ḥayy ibn Fakhr al-Dīn Ḥasani[2]

(d. 1341 AH/1922 CE)


Translated by Abu ‘Āsim Badrul Islām  



The great shaykh, the imām, the ‘allāmah, the muḥaddith Thanā’ullāh ‘Uthmāni Pānipati was one of the most erudite scholars [of undivided India]. He was from the progeny of Shaykh Jalāl al-Dīn ‘Uthmāni, through whom his family tree reaches [the blessed companion] ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān (may Allāh be pleased with him). He was born, and grew up, in the town of Pānipat where he memorised the Holy Qur’ān and studied Arabic for a while with the teachers of the town. He then travelled to the city of Delhi and studied under the [legendary master and imām] Shaykh Wali Allāh ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥīm ‘Umari Dehlawi, [better known as ‘Shāh Waliullāh’,] from whom he acquired the science of ḥadīth. He read Fatiḥah al-farāgh [and completed his formal education in the sciences of the Dīn] at the young age of eighteen years. Thereafter he adopted the company of Shaykh Muḥammad ‘Ābid Sunnāmi, from whom he received training in tarīqah. Through the training imparted by the latter Shaykh, Qāḍi Thanā’ullāh Pānipati reached the level known in tarīqah as the ‘annihilation of the heart’ (fanā’ al-qalb). He then turned to the great shaykh [Mirzā Maẓhar] Jān-e-Jānān ‘Alawi Dehlawi, who trained him to the final stage in the Mujaddidiyyah tarīqah. Shaykh Jān-e-Jānān had tremendous affection toward, and love for, Qāḍi Thanā’ullāh Pānipati and gave him the title of ‘Ālam al-Hudā (the flag of guidance). He said regarding Qāḍi Thanā’ullāh Pānipati: “Awe from his piety and taqwa has engulfed my heart. He is one who implements and propagates the sharī‘ah, illuminates tarīqah and possesses angelic traits. Even the angels revere him.” He once said: “If Allāh were to seek from me a gift, I would present Thanā’ullāh to Him.” In recognition of his oceanic knowledge of fiqh and ḥadīth [the imām and muḥaddith] Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz ibn [Imām] Wali Allāh Dehlawi gave him the title of ‘Bayhaqi of the age’.  


Shaykh Ghulām ‘Ali ‘Alawi Dehlawi says in his book al-Maqāmāt: “[Qāḍi Thanā’ullāh Pānipati] was second to none amongst his contemporaries in taqwa and piety.   He used to exert himself in his devotions to Allāh, praying a hundred raka‘āt and reciting a seventh (ḥizb) portion of the Holy Qur’ān every day. All this he used to do alongside other forms of dhikr, murāqabah (meditation) and his preoccupation with teaching, lecturing, writing and adjudication.” He says elsewhere in the same book: “With his sharp and clear intellect, fine acumen and extraordinary personality he had reached the stage of ijtihād in fiqh and usūl. He had authored a detailed book in fiqh, in which he elaborated each mas’alah with its source and substantiating evidences whilst pointing out the opinions of the four Imāms [in fiqh] in that particular mas’alah. He had also authored a smaller book entitled al-Akhdhu bi ‘l-Aqwā in which he recorded all the stronger opinions of the schools of fiqh. He had also authored an exegesis (tafsīr) of the Holy Qur’ān in seven large volumes.[3]    


Shaykh Muḥsin ibn Yaḥya Turhuti says in al-Yāni‘ al-Janī: “[Qāḍi Thanā’ullāh Pānipati] was a jurist (faqīh), a jurisprudent (usūlī), one who had renounced the world (zāhid) and a mujtahid. He had his own opinions in the [Ḥanafi] school of law. He authored magnificent works in fiqh, tafsīr, and zuhd. His shaykh was proud of him.”


His famous works include: al-Tafsīr al-Maẓhari in seven volumes, a two-volume detailed book in ḥadīth, Mā lā budda minhu[4] in Ḥanafi fiqh, al-Sayf al-Maslūl in refutation of the Shī’ah, Irshād al-Ṭālibīn in taṣawwuf, Tadhkirat al-Mawtā wa ‘l-Qubūr, Tadhkirat al-Ma‘ād, Ḥaqīqat al-Islām, a treatise on the ruling on singing and music, a treatise on the unlawfulness of the practice of mut‘ah[5], a treatise on ‘ushr and khirāj and a few other treatises.           


He passed away during Rajab 1225 AH (1810 CE) in his home town of Pānipat. [May Allāh subḥānahū grant him and all the masters mentioned in this article the highest Paradise.]


[1]   This brief biography has been translated from the unique Arabic biographical dictionary of the luminaries of undivided India, al-I‘lām bi man fi Tārīkh al-Hind min al-A‘lām, the magnum opus of the famous Islāmic historian ‘Allāmah ‘Abd al-Ḥayy ibn Fakhr al-Dīn Ḥasani. (trans.)


[2]      He was the father of the Imām al-Da‘wah Shaykh Mawlāna Sayyid Abu ‘l-Ḥasan ‘Ali Ḥasani Nadwi (d. 1420 AH/1999 CE – may AllÁh grant them both Paradise. trans.)      

[3]   Entitled al-Tafsīr al-Maẓhari, this splendid book has seen countless publications, the most recent of which has been in Beirut by Dār Iḥyā’ al-Turāth al-‘Arabi and Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, in ten and eight volumes respectively. It is currently scheduled for publication by Idārat al-Qur’ān in Karachi. In the introduction to his noble father’s monumental Urdu tafsÐr, Ma‘ārif al-Qur’ān, ‘Allāmah Mufti Muḥammad Taqi Usmani writes regarding al-Tafsīr al-Maẓhari:


“This is a work of ‘Allāmah Qāḍi Thanā’ullāh Pānipati (d. 1225 AH). He had named this tafsīr al-Tafsīr al-Maẓhari after the name of his shaykh and mentor in Ṭarīqah, Mirzā Maẓhar Jān-e-Jānān Dehlawi (may AllÁh treat him with His infinite mercy and compassion). This tafsīr is very simple and comprehensible. It is extremely useful in learning succinct explanations of Qur’ānic verses. Alongside elucidations of words used in the Holy Qur’ān, the author has also cited relevant reports and narrations in ample detail. Compared with other works of tafsīr, he has endeavoured to accept reports and narrations only after thorough scrutiny.” (Ma ‘ārif al-Qur’ān, 1:58) (trans.)      


[4]    This book has enjoyed remarkable acceptance. It is a very popular book and is found in all Muslim communities and circles that are zealous of practicing the sharī‘ah. (Shaykh Mawlāna Sayyid Abu ‘l-Ḥasan ‘Ali Ḥasani Nadwi)


The book has been excellently rendered to English by Yusuf Talal De Lorenzo and published by UK Islamic Academy. It has been very aptly entitled Essential Islamic Knowledge. (trans.)    


[5]    This is the practice of temporary ‘marriage’ in which both the man and woman would enter into a contract (to have a sexual relationship) with the full knowledge and agreement that it would be temporary, and not a lifelong commitment as in a normal marriage. It used to be popular with Shī’ah sects. (trans.)



Note: The font most often used on this blog is Gentium.

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful 

As-salamu ‘alaykum,   

Below is a link to a wonderful talk given by Mawlana Nabeel Khan (of www.annoor.wordpress.com) regarding the ‘Ulama and Masha’ikh of Deoband, entitled, ‘Those were our Forefathers’.  The Shaykh gives us a glimpse into the lives of various Masha’ikh affiliated to Dar al-’Ulum Deoband. 


Recommended listening for anyone who has a nisbat to this noble group of ‘Ulama and for those who wish to know more about them.   Click here to listen to the talk.



Hadhrat Mawlana Manzur Nu’mani (may Allah shower him with mercy) writes:

”While on the subject of miracles, there is another intellectual miracle I would like to mention which, al hamdu lillah, is also preserved and living, and whoever wishes can still think over it, and satisfy himself of the truthfulness of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him), and of his being what he said he was. It is also something which I find, that the more I look into it, the more my own faith finds new strength – and this is the prayers of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him). 

May Allah Almighty gives the best of rewards to the compilers of the hadith and fill their graves with the light of His mercy. Together with the other actions and statements of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him), they have preserved in their books the prayers he made on different occasions and under different circumstances. Then afterwards, some servants of Allah have collected these prayers into separate books, and today there are dozens of large and small books in which the prayers of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) have been compiled in different ways.  

[One very complete collection of his prayers is Hisn al-Hasin, which is published with an Urdu translation and notes. This book is very solid. A brief, but comprehensive and sufficient collection is Munajat Maqbul, which has been published with translation and notes by Mawlana ‘Ashiq Ilahi Bulandshehri, and educated people will find it very instructive][i]

If any person who has even an iota of reverence for God and spirituality in him, or the slightest consciousness of these things, looks at these prayers or even a translation of them, and thinks about them, then he cannot have any doubt that these prayers could only have come from the illuminated heart of a person who had the highest degree of understanding of humanity and indeed, of all creation, and the highest degree of consciousness of Allah Almighty, and in whose heart there was not the slightest trace of insincerity.  

Alhamdu lillah, this poor servant is filled with this nur al-yaqin (light of conviction) by every one of these prayers, and I say openly that, perhaps because of my particular cast of mind, my own sensitivity and intuition derive more assurance and conviction about the nabuwwat (prophethood) of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) from these prayers than from any other thing. Anyway, the prayers of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) are also one of his shining, living and lasting miracles. Indeed, the truth is that if Allah Almighty has put any light at all in a person’s heart, then every aspect of the life of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him), indeed his every mannerism, is a miracle. ”

Din and Shari’at, Pages 77-79 (Zam Zam Publishers) 

Note: The spelling of some words may have been changed when reproducing these passages. A paragraph added by the translator in the afore-mentioned book has also been omitted here.

[i] The English translation of Imam Muhammad Al-Jazri’s Hisn al-Hasin is also widely available An extremely beneficial English translation and commentary of Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi’s Munajat Maqbul by Khalid Baig has been published by Open Mind Press.   

When describing how Hadhrat Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya (may Allah enlighten his grave) performed his nafl (optional) salah (ritual prayer) , Hadhrat Mawlana Yusuf Motala (may Allah protect him) writes:

Hadhrat would be performing optional salah in the courtyard of the Mosque. He performed this in the heat of the sun from  Ishraaq (sometime after daybreak) to just before noon. The Salah would be of such devotion and concentration, that on numerous occasions  flies were seen resting on his neck and his cheek just as honeybees rest on a honeycomb. The flies would be in such number, that his skin would be covered and could not be seen. Inspite of this, he would not make the slightest movement. However, sometimes in the state of ecstasy, his right shoulder would shake with great speed and strength.

Hadhrat Shaikhul-Hadeeth Moulana Muhammad Zakaria rahmatullahi alaihi) & I, Page 7 (Jamea Publication No. 27) [The translation reproduced above has been edited by the blog administrator]