Posted by: Seeker of the Sacred Knowledge | December 21, 2011

Protector of the Sunnah

Protector of the Sunnah, Subduer of Innovation,

Al-Mujaddid, Imām Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jamā’h,

Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (b.1272- d.1340)


عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله تعالى عنه، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَال:

 «إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ لِهَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا»  

 (سنن أَبي دَاوُدَ)

On the authority of Sayidunā Abū Hurairah (radiyAllāhu t’āla ‘anhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Indeed Allāh sends for this ‘Ummah at the head of every century one who revives her religion for her.”

[Sunan Abī Dāwūd]

Taswīr-e-Sunniyat Hai Ke Chehra Raza Ka Hai”

‘The embodiment of Sunnism is the face of Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā’

[Professor Jamīl Nazer (rahmatullāh‘alayh)]

The Mujaddid Imām

In his taqrīz (endorsement) of al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān’s (rahmatullāh‘alayh) masterpiece, al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah fīl-Māddat al-Ghaybiyyah (1323), the Muftī of the Shāfi’iyyah, leader and Shaykh of the Prophetic descendants in Madīnah al-Munawwarah, as-Sayyid‘Alawī bin as-Sayyid Ahmad Ba al-Faqīh al-Husaynī Bā-’Alawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) declares:


“…And so indeed Allāh, Owner of all majesty has favoured us that He appoints in every age heroic men and makes sleepless their eyes and preoccupies their hearts with instructing and authoring and refuting the speculations of the people of desires, misguidance and falsehood, and from amongst their leaders and the greats of their exalted ones and the most outstanding of their eminent ones and the noblest of their distinguished ones, pride of the predecessors (fakhr al-Salaf), exemplar of the successors (qudwat al-Khalaf) al-Shaykh Ahmad Ridā Khān al-Barelwī.  May Allāh bestow upon him His hidden grace.”[1]


He was not alone in his lavish praise on the Imām.  Indeed from amongst his many illustrious contemporaries who recognised his rare brilliance were; Musnid al-Dunya al-Shaykh ’Umar bin Hamdān al-Muhrisī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), al-Shaykh Husayn bin Sālih Jamal al-Layl al-Makki al-Shāfi’ (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), Qādi Yūsuf bin Ismā’il al-Nabhānī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and al-Muhaddith as-Sayyid ’Abd al-Hayy al-Kattānī al-Hasanī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh).[2]

Yet despite his renown amongst the leading Islamic personalities of his time, many people in our time either due to envy and malice, or ignorance and unfamiliarity with the Imām’s writings, have contributed to grave misinformation concerning him.

In his foreward to the treatise, ‘Dawr al-Shaykh Ahmad Ridā al-Hindī al-Barelwī fī Muqāwamat al-Bid’ wa al-Radd ‘alayha’ by Dr. Muhammad Mas’ūd Ahmad al-Mujaddidī (The Role of Shaykh Ahmad Ridā al-Hindī al-Barelwī in opposing innovation and refuting it) , al-Shaykh as-Sayyid Yūsuf Hāshim al-Rifā’i (hafithahullāh) states:

“Examination of this treatise clarifies that al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) had a profound sense of honour for the Dīn and the Sharī’ah and was not condescending with the people in their practises and desires, on the contrary he was very firm in some of these affairs in particular in the matter of women visiting the graves and the use of musical instruments in religious gatherings, which obligates his adversaries to fear Allāh (t’āla) and retract the false accusations and injustices in what they have attributed to him, for indeed truth is most deserving that it be accepted and wisdom is the lost property of the believer.’[3]

Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) worked tirelessly to refute the innovations of his time, revive the Islamic Sciences and the Prophetic Sunnah and instill the love of Allāh (t’āla)  and His Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in the hearts of the Ummah, through his writings, fatāwā (legal verdicts), poetry and lectures. 

Recognising his revivalist efforts amongst the ‘Ummah the ‘ulamā of the two noble sanctuaries (al-Harmayn al-Sharīfayn) conferred upon him the title of “Mujaddid (renewer) of the (14th Hijri) century.”

In this respect, al-Shaykh as-Sayyid Ismā’il bin Khalīl al-Makki (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), in his famous poetic lines declared:

‘Indeed if it was said concerning him (Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān) :

That he is indeed the Mujaddid of this century it would indeed be right and true.’[4]

al-Allāmah Mūsā ‘Alī al-Shāmi al-Azhari (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) said of him:

“May Allāh (t’āla) bestow him with the aid of the Master of the Messengers (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in the two worlds… Imāmul a’immah, the Mujaddid of this ‘Ummah (al-mujaddid li-hāzihi al-ummah)… al-Shaykh Ahmad Ridā Khān, May Allāh (subhanahu wa t’āla) confer upon him His acceptance and pleasure in the two worlds.[5]

as-Sayyid Muhammad ‘Uthmān al-Qādiri (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) praised him:

“ The unique one of our time, the matchless one of our age, the eminent, the complete, the striving scholar, the subduer of innovation, protector of the Sunnah, the meticulous research scholar, the heroic Imām of this age, Mawlāna, al-Hājj, Sayyidi Mūhammad Ahmad Ridā Khān al-Qādiri al-Barelwī, may Allāh Al-Qawiyy protect him, O Allāh  delight us by giving him a long life, and benefit us with his knowledge, and his spiritual overflowings, and shower upon us from his blessings and spiritual openings.”[6]

al-Shaykh Hidāyat Allāh al-Sindī Muhājir Madanī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) declared:

“Mujaddid of this century, defender of the pure religion.”[7]

Many of the great ‘ulamā of the past who have stood up to enjoin the right and forbid the evil have been slandered and accused falsely, falling under the gaze of envious eyes and deceitful tongues and al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) is amongst them.  His adversaries in their attempt to defame him have construed evil lies against him and accused him of that which has no basis.

But the undeniable reality is that the writings of this prolific Imām, which according to many biographers reach in the region of 1,000 works in over 55 branches of the Islamic Sciences, bear testimony to the Imām’s steadfastness and tireless defence of the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h, standing as shining proofs against the fabrications of his adversaries.

Al-Barelwiyyah – The Myth

One of the greatest lies against the Imām is that he is accused of creating a new sect which his adversaries have called “al-Barelwiyyah”.  One of those responsible for the propagation of this false concept is the notorious leader of the self-styled Ahl al-Hadīth[8] movement in Pākistan, Ihsān Ilāhi Zahīr through the publication of his disgraceful book entitled “al-Barelwiyyah”.  The Deobandiyyah alongside the Ahl al-Hadith movement also unashamedly continue to pedal this and other equally false accusations. 

The Imām is often referred to as al-Barelwī, which refers to his connection to his birthplace, the city of Bareilly in the province of Uttar Pradesh, India, some 135 miles from Dehlī.  This is not unusual as many great ‘ulamā have become famous throughout history under names derived from the regions of their birth or residence such as; al-Imām al-Bukhārī, al-Imām al-Nawawi and al-Imām al-Tirmidhī (rahmatullāh ‘alayhim ajama’īn) and so on and so forth.

Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) mentions about himself:

“ ‘Abd al-Mustafa, commonly known as Ahmad Ridā, al-Muhammadī in religion, al-Sunnī in doctrine, al-Hanafī in jursiprudence, al-Qādirī in tasawuff, al-Barakātī in spiritual learning, al-Barelwī in residence, and al-Madanī al-Baqī’ inshAllāh in final resting place.” [9]

The Imām quite clearly declares Bareilly as the place of his residence which explains his title al-Barelwī, although as an ardent lover of the Prophet (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) he expresses his heart felt desire to be buried in Jannat al-Baqī’ in Madīnah, ‘alayhi rahmat al-Rahmān.

The Imām is quite often referred to as al-Hindī, referring to the land of his birth and sometimes, ‘al-Qandahāri/al-Afghāni thumma al-Hindī’, referring to the province and land, Qandahār in Afghānistan, from which his forefathers migrated before arriving in India.

What is worthy of mention is that Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) is one amongst many that have carried the name al-Barelwī as a result of affiliation to birthplace.  We have the example of al-Shaykh Ghulām Qādir Bik al-Barelwī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), one of the luminaries of Ahl al-Sunnah from whom Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) took in his preliminary studies in Shari’ah.  There is also the notorious Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khān al-Barelwī, who collaborated with the British and spread corrupt atheistic-materialistic beliefs amongst the Muslims in Hind, for which he was severely refuted by Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) in numerous works.  There are many similar examples historically of shared titles due to affiliation to birth-place.  How many have there been that carried the title al-Andalusī, al-Iraqī, al-Zabīdī, al-Shāmī or al-Hadhramī e.t.c ?

A perusal of the names of some of the leading students from amongst the many that studied with Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) clarifies the matter further in that we do not find them referring to themselves as Barelwī:

Sadr al-Sharī’ah al-Imām Amjad ‘Ali al-A’thami (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (born in A’thamghar, India)

Sadr al-Afādhil as-Sayyid Muhammad Na’īm al-Dīn al-Murādabādi (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (d.1367) (born in Murādabād, India)

Malik al-’ulamā al-Shaykh Muhammad Zafar al-Dīn al-Bihāri (born in Bihār)

Qutub al-Madīnah Diyā al-Dīn al-Madanī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (born in Sialkot, but lived more than 70 years of his life in Madīnatul Munawarra and buried in Jannatul Baqī’)

The ‘ulamā of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h in the Indian subcontinent today are in some way or form connected through various ijāzāt (licences to transmit knowledge) and asānīd (chains of transmission) to Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), but a perusal of their names show that none of them adopt the title al-Barelwī except those who have attachment to the city of Bareilly by birth or residence directly.

In fact the concept of Barelwiyyah was something that the enemies of Ahl al-Sunnah tried to propagate after the passing of the Imām.  It is interesting to note that during his lifetime his adversaries never used this term nor levelled the accusation of the creation of a sect by this name.

The Ahl al-Hadīth leader, Ihsān Ilāhi Zahīr openly declares his opposition to the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h in his book titled “al-Barelwiyyah’, affirming that those whom he has labelled as “al-Barelwiyyah” share the same beliefs as most of the Muslim World:

“I found the exact same doctrines (‘’aqā’id) in other Muslim countries from the far east to the far west, and from Africa to Asia identical to what I have seen and found with these people here.”[10]

So it becomes clear that those who oppose the Imām have deviously corrupted his attachment to his birthplace to create the name of a sect which has no actual existence in reality.  They describe all those who love the Imām as “al-Barelwiyyah” or “Barelwis” and some-times as Raza-Khanī’s.  In doing so they are attempting to discredit Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h in the Indian sub-continent and give the impression that it is a deviated sect.  We seek refuge in Allāh (subhanahu wa t’āla) from the deceptions of the wicked.

Any one who studies the ‘aqā’id of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h in the Muslim World and those found in the books, fatawa and poetry of the Imām will quickly come to the conclusion that they are one and the same and that they continue to be the beliefs of the vast majority (al-Sawād al-A’tham) of the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent to this day as a result of the efforts of Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) in particular, and other prominent personalities of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h.

In this respect al-Shaykh as-Sayyid Yūsuf Hāshim al-Rifā’i (hafithahullāh) sheds light on the state of affairs in the Indian sub-continent, stating:

“…and indeed al-Sawad al-A’tham (the vast majority of the Ummah) from Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamā’h in the Indian subcontinent, comprising today of; India, Pākistan and Bangladesh, consider him (Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān rahmatullāh ‘alayh) to this day their Imām and spiritual guide.[11]

With regret many people who have no knowledge of the beliefs of Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) because of their lack of perusal of his books, have persisted in attributing to him the forming of a new sect by the name of “al-Barelwiyyah”, through their blind imitation of others, whereas there is no such sect in reality as we have proven. 

This is from the plots of those who oppose Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h in the Indian subcontinent as indicated by The Grand Muftī of Hind, Tāj al-Sharī’ah al-Shaykh Akhtar Ridā Khān al-Qādirī al-Azharī (hafithahullāh) great grandson of Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) in his words:

“We are upon the path of Sayyidunā Muhammad al-Mustafā (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the sahābah (ridhwānAllāh  ‘alayhim ajmaī’n), the tābi’īn, the a’immah, and the awliyā (rahmatullāh ‘alayhim ajmaī’n), and we are Ahl al-Sunnah, however the enemies of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h have named us “al-Barelwiyyah” and intend by it that we are a new innovated sect and this a slander against us.”[12]

A Historical Perspective

A brief look at the history of the Indian subcontinent over the last 200 years or so serves to clarify the situation.

The Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent were not aware of any religious sects except the Shī’ah until the colonial period.  They were united upon the personality of Sirāj al-Hind al-Shāh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (d.1239/1834) son of al-Shaykh al-Shāh Walī Allāh  al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (d. 1176/1762) son of al-Shāh ‘Abd al-Rahīm al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (d.1131/1719) and the ‘Ummah did not known any schism except after the death of Sirāj al-Hind al-Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh).

The Muslims of the Indian subcontinent at that time adhered to the doctrine of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamā’h and in Fiqh were followers of either the Hanafī (modern day central and northern India, Pākistan) or Shāfi’ (modern day Indian province of Kerala and Sri Lanka) schools of jurisprudence and in al-Tasawuff adhered to the Qadirī, Naqshbandī, Chishtī, Suharwardī, Shādhilī (central and northern India, Pākistan) or Bā-‘Alawī (Province of Kerala and Sri Lanka) turuq (sufī orders).

The schism rose from amongst the students of Sirāj al-Hind al-Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) according to Doctor Jamāl al-Dīn.  In relation to this he says:  From that which stirs surprise and curiosity is that the students of al-Shāh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) separated into 3 groups.[13]

From amongst them was a group headed by Rashīd Ahmad al-Gangohī (d.1323/1905) and Muhammad Qāsim al-Nanotwī (d.1297), the founders of Dar al-‘Ulūm Deoband.  They distinguished themselves with refuting innovation according to their viewpoint, and calling to pure Tawhīd according to their perception.  They claimed to adhere to the Hanafī Madhab while propagating beliefs in their books and fatāwa contradicting the ‘aqā’id of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h.[14] 

From amongst the various corrupt beliefs propagated by Rashīd Ahmad al-Gangohī (d.1323/1905) is his fatwa on the Salāwāt al-Tājiyyah (famous in the Indian Subcontinent as Durūd Taj) which is attributed by many to the great Hadramī walī,  Imām of the Bā-‘alawiyyah, Tāj al-Akābir, al-Habīb Abū Bakr bin Sālim (rahmatullāh ‘alayh).  Rashīd Ahmad al-Gangohī who remained the principal of Dar al-Ulum Deoband from 1880 until 1905, accused the salāwāt in his fatwa as containing statements of bid’ah and shirk placed to poison the masses![15] 

He was severely taken to task by Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) in his gem ‘al-Amn wal ‘Ulā li Nā’ati Rasul Allāh (salAllāhu alayhi wa sallam) bi Daf’i al-Balā’ in which the Imām defends the Salāwāt al-Tājiyyah affirming the validity of describing the Prophet (salAllāhu alayhi wa sallam) as ‘al-dāf’i al-balā’ (repeller of calamities) drawing on 60 Qur’anic ayat and 300 Noble Prophetic Ahādīth by way of evidence.

The madāris system of this sect adopted the name al-Deoband.  To this day its graduates continue to adopt the title al-Deobandī after their names as is evident from a perusal of their writings. (interestingly enough the word Deo in the Urdu language translates to Demon/Devil while the word Band translates to group). 

The D’awah branch of this movement spread under the name al-Jamā’t al-Tabligh (sometimes referred to as Tablighi Jamāt or Ashāb al-D’awah in the Arab world) under the leadership of Rashīd Ahmad al-Gangohī’s student Muhammad Ilyās al-Kandehlawi.[16]

In the 1976 arabic refutation of al-Jamā’t al-Tabligh entitled ‘Kashf al-Shubuhat ‘an al-Jamā’t al-Tablīgh’[17], edited by Qādi Kalikot al-Sayyid Ahmad Shihāb al-Dīn (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), and issued by Jamī’at al-‘ulamā al-Markaziyyah Kerala, al-Shaykh Abū Ahmad ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Tarikarburī al-Milibarī al-Shaf’ī (hafithahullāh), principal of Al-Jāmi’at al-S’adiyyah, al-‘Arabiyyah, Kerala, India states:

‘And when the seeds of al-Jamā’t al-Tablīgh’ suddenly appeared in the region of Kerala, the ‘ulamā of Kerela exhausted effort in examining their writings, their beliefs and the history of their founder and his circumstances methodology.  After scrutiny their deceptions and heretical doctrines became evident.’

So after a thorough investigation of the writings of this group and its leaders the Shūra body of the Central ‘ulamā council of Kerala announced and issued a legal verdict that:

‘This sect is from amongst the deviant, misguiding heretical groups, despite its outward actions appearing good in the eyes of the people, as Amīr al-Mu’minīn Al-Imām ‘Alī (karamAllāhu wajhah) remarked about the d’awah of one of the first heretical groups (a reference to the Khawārij) “A word of truth by which falsehood is intended”.

The Shaykh points to the link between the founder of al-Jamā’t al-Tablīgh and founder of Dar al-Ulūm Deoband quoting from Abū al-Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwī’s urdu work “Muhammad Ilyās awr in ki dīnī d’awat” pg 44:

“The founder of al-Tablīgh Muhammad Ilyās (al-Kandehlawī) constantly accompanied his Shaykh, Rashīd Ahmad Gangohī from the age of 10 to 20.”

In his Malfūzat Ilyās Kandehlawī describes Rashid Gangohī as “al-Shaykh Gangohī Qutub al-Irshād in our time and mujaddid of this Ummah.”

This treatise, reprinted in recent years by al-Shaykh Husayn Hilmī al-Istanbūlī al-Turkī (rahmatullāh alayh), is based upon the 1965 Fatwa of the Jamī’at al-’ulamā Kerala, headed by Muftī Milibār al-Shaykh al-Qutubī al-Milibārī al-Shafī (rahmatullāh alayh) was itself preceded by fatāwa from the ‘ulamā of northern, southern India and Srī Lanka.

A much earlier Fatwa was delivered In 1940 by the Muftī of southern India al-‘Allamah al-Muftī Adam al-Wilyuri (rahmatullāh alayh) and was followed by a fatwa by al-Allamah al-Muftī HabībAllāh Al-Madrāsi (rahmatullāh alayh) and other ‘ulamā from southern India. Other notable ‘ulamā who stand out in their refutations include, al-Allāmah Abū Sā’dat Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad Koya al-Shaliyatī as-Shāfi’ (rahmatullāh alayh).


In his book Hudūth al-Fitan wa Jihadu A’yan al-Sunan, al-Shaykh Muhammad Ahmad al Misbāhi al-A’thamī under the chapter Shuyu’ al Wahhabiyyah fi al-Hind (The spread of the Wahhabiyyah in Hind) pg 56, mentions:

‘Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī al-Nadwī translated Taqwiyat al-Iman into Arabic under the name ‘Risālat al-Tawhīd’ in response to the commad of Muhammad Zakariyyā Kandahlawī (nephew of Muhammad Ilyās al-Kandehlawi founder of Jamat al-Tabligh) and was published in 1394 AH for the first time by the publication house of Nadwat al-ulūm, Lucknow.

On page 60 Shaykh Muhammad Ahmad al Misbāhi al-A’thami mentions:

The Wahabiyyah of Hind branched into 2 groups:

  1. 1)Ahl al Hadīth – who sometimes refer to themselves as Ahl al-Qur’an or Salafiyyah
  2. 2)Deobandiyyah

The second group that rose under the hand of Nazīr Husayn al-Dehlawī was distinguished by calling to pure Tawhīd in their opinion and refuting innovation according to their viewpoint.  The men of this sect however did not accept taqlīd of a Madhab but went towards deducing from the Noble Prophetic Ahadīth according to their understanding and adopted the name “Ahl al-Hadīth”.  From amongst the leading personalities of this sect in our time was the author of the work “Al-Barelwiyyah”, Ihsan Ilahi Zahir.

Both these groups vehemently opposed the titles ‘Wahhābiyyah’ and ‘Najdiyyah’ although both considered the notorious Muhammad Ismā’īl al-Dehlawi (b.1193/1779 – d.1246/1841) to be amongst their illustrious predecessors.

Notably they have given rise to sub-groups actively involved in sectarian killings in Pākistan with Shī’ah leading to the counter killing of many prominent leaders of both the Deobandī and Ahl al-Hadīth movements including Ihsān Ilāhi Zahīr.

These two groups continue to glorify the very Muhammad Ismā’īl al-Dehlawī who is renowned for being the first to propagate the corrupt beliefs of Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhāb al-Najdī in the Indian subcontinent causing a painful schism within the Ummah.[18]

In 1237 AH Ismā’īl al-Dehlawī left Hind to perform Hajj, it was during this journey that he became affected by the deviant teachings of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb.  On returning to Hind he wrote Taqwiyat al-Imān following in the footsteps of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s infamous Kitāb al-Tawhīd.  When Sirāj al-Hind al-Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and his students read this work they censured and refuted him but he refused to leave his deviations.  Deeply angered by his nephew al-Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) remarked that were it not for his ailing health and loss of eyesight in old age he would have refuted him as he refuted the Shī’ah in his famous Tuhfatu Ithna Ash’ariyyah.  None of his contemporaries supported him except ’Abd al-Hayy al-Badhanvī who would give sermons in the Jami’ Masjid of Dehlī and challenge the ’ulamā to debate and encourage people to support and follow Ismā’īl al-Dehlawī.

The sons of al-Shāh Rafī’ al-Dīn al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (brother of al-Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) ), al-Shāh Makhsūs Allāh (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (d.1271AH) and al-Shāh Muhammad Mūsā (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) alongside Muftī Rashīd al-Dīn Khān al-Dehlawī (d.124AH) (student of al-Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) ) and al-‘Allāmah Fadl al-Haqq al-Khayrabādi (d.1278 AH) amongst others, arose to debate Ismā’īl al-Dehlawi and his followers. 

They headed to the Jāmi’ Masjid of Dehlī on the morning of  Tuesday 19th Rabi’ al-ākhir 1240 AH as mentioned in ‘Sayf al-Jabbār’ of Shaykh Fadl al-Rasūl al-Badayūni (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) (1213-1289 AH) and comprehensively refuted Ismā’īl al-Dehlawī  and ‘Abd al-Hayy Al-Badhanvī.  The news of this defeat spread quickly but they would not return from their deviations signalling the beginning of the spread of wahhābism in Hind.

As for the third group, then it did not cease upon its old course and its proponents remained attached to Ahl al-Sunnah, and most of its leadership was spearheaded by the ‘ulamā of Bareilly and Badayūn.  Indeed the ‘ulamā of Badayūn and Bareilly held steadfast to the ‘aqā’id of al-Shāh ‘Abdul Azīz al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) due to their affiliation to him through the chain of al-Sayyid al-Shāh Ale Rasūl al-Marharawī Al-Husaynī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh).[19]

The reality of this affair becomes clear when one undertakes a detailed study of the writings and thought produced and propagated by the above mentioned factions to this day and compares them with the methodology and thought of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamā’h.

It is interesting to note that Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama’ah since the birth of these schisms in the Indian subcontinent and to this day persist in calling to a return to the correct ‘aqā’id as expounded in the writings of leading Islamic personalities in the pre-schism history of the Indian sub-continent such as-Shāh ‘Abdul Azīz al-Dehlawī  (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), al-Shaykh as-Shāh Walī Allāh  al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), al-Shāh ‘Abd al-Rahīm al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), al-Shah ‘Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith al-Dehlawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and al-Imām Ahmad Sirhindī al-Fārouqī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) in the hope that those who have swerved from the truth might return.  Nowhere is this more visible than the works of the Mujaddid al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh).

It was the students and khulafā of al-Sayyid al-Shāh Ale Rasūl al-Marharawī Al-Husaynī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) who raised the banners of the sacred law and spiritual sciences and they spread throughout Hind disseminating the correct Islamic doctrine inside and outside the Indian subcontinent.  Amongst the most famous of his students are: al-Sayyid al-Shāh ‘Alī Husayn al-Ashrafī al-Kachochwī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), al-Sayyid Tāj al-‘Ārifīn al-Shāh Abū al-Husayn Ahmad al-Nūrī al-Marharawi (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and Al-Imām Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h al-Mujaddid Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) who received the cloak of successorship (khirqa al-khilāfah) from al-Sayyid al-Shāh Ale Rasūl al-Marharawī al-Husaynī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) at the tender age of 22 in his first meeting with his murshid.

It is reported that when the murīds of the Shaykh asked as to how this young person had been bestowed with all this without being asked to carry out any lengthy spiritual training the Shaykh replied that al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) had come before him all prepared requiring only association to tarīqah and this had now been achieved. 

It is then that al-Sayyid al-Shāh Ale Rasūl al-Marharawī al-Husaynī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) made his famous statement revealing his immense foresight of the pivotal role his young murīd would play in the affair of the Muslim ‘Ummah :

“Allāh  (subhanahu wa t’āla) will ask me on the day of judgement Ale-Rasūl what have you brought with you from the world, so I will present Ahmad Ridā.”[20] 


Clarifying the Lies and Misconceptions:

There are those whom accuse the Imām of claiming that the Prophet (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was created of light and that this necessitates that the Imām is denying His bashariyyah (humanity), we seek refuge in Allāh  (subhanahu wa t’āla) from such assertions!

Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) declares:

“Whosoever denies the humanity (bashariyyah) of the Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) then he is a disbeliever.”[21]

The Imām believed the Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) to be the best of creation and that Allāh (subhanahu wa t’āla) honoured the Prophet (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) and that from amongst his many special qualities (khasāis) was that he was also created of light as is evident from Quranic verses and Noble Prophetic Ahādīth as explained by the ‘ulamā of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’h.  This is the belief of Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) as is evident in his writings.

Doctor Zuhūr Ahmad Azhar, dean of the College of Arabic Language in Punjāb University narrates that he visited a Saudi Professor in al-Makkat al-Mukarramah who at the mention of al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) said: ‘He used to command people to prostrate to the graves!, to which Doctor Azhar exclaimed, “Never! On the contrary he disapproved of even kissing the graves!”  The Saudi Professor was astounded and said ‘We were informed this way’.[22]

And there is no doubt that he disapproved of kissing the graves and authored an independent treatise on the unlawfulness of prostrating in reverence to the pious or their graves forcing even some of his adversaries to admit to this fact as ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawī states: 

‘He deemed the prostration of reverence as unlawful and wrote on this matter a treatise which he titled: ‘Al-Zubdat al-Zakiyyah fī Tahrīm Sujūd al-Tahiyyah’ and it is an all encompassing treatise which points to his profuse knowledge and strength of reasoning’[23]

Abū al-Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwī admits:

“He replied to some issues raised before the ‘ulamā of the two noble sanctuaries (al-haramayn), and they were astonished by his profuse knowledge and awareness of the jurisprudicial texts and matters of difference of opinion, his swiftness in writing and his intelligence.”[24]

“He is unmatched in his age in awareness of Hanafī Fiqh and its details and his Fatāwa collection bears witness to that.”[25]

In this treatise, ‘Al-Zubdat al-Zakiyyah fī Tahrīm Sujūd al-Tahiyyah’ the Imām says:

‘O Muslim who follows the Sharī’ah of the Prophet (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) know and be certain that prostration is for Allāh  (subhanahu wa t’āla) alone, and as for prostration of worship (sajdat al-‘ibādah) for other than Him (subhānahu wa t’āla) then it is disgraceful shirk and clear disbelief (kufr) certainly (yaqīnan) and unanimously by consensus (ijmā’an), and as for the prostration of reverence (sajdat al-tahiyyah) then it is from the enormities (kabāir al-muharramāt) with certainty.’ [26]

In support of his position on the prohibition of the prostration of reverence in some 136 pages al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) brought forth evidence from Quranic Ayāt and then elaborated further with 40 Prophetic Ahādīth and 150 citations from juristic references.

He dealt with the issue of kissing the earth in front of ‘ulamā and shuyūkh out of reverence inferring from fiqh references extracted from; al-Kāfī Sharh al-Wāfī, al-Jāmi’ al-Saghīr, al-Fatāwā al-Tātarkhāniyyah, al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, Ghāyat al-Bayān, al- Kifāyah Sharh al-Hidāyah, Tabyīn al-Haqāiq Sharh Kanz al-Daqāiq, Tanwīr al-Absār, al-Durr al-Mukhtār, Majma’ al-Anhur Sharh Multaqa al-Abhur, Fath al-Mu’īn alal Kanz, Jawāhir al-Ikhlāti, and Takmilat al-Bahr Sharh alal Kanz, and said in this regard: 

“What some of the ignorant people do in kissing the ground before the ‘ulamā and the leaders is forbidden, the one who does the act and the one who is pleased with it are both sinful, because the kissing of the ground resembles prostration in form but not reality, so if the affair is like that then what of the affair of the prostration of reverence.  It is harām without doubt.”[27]

And Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) clarified the rule of bowing in respect and said: 

“Bowing which reaches the level of al-Rukū’ is prohibited”[28]

Inferring from the opinion of al-Imām ‘Izz al-Dīn bin ‘Abd al-Salām (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and al-Imām Ibn Hajar al-Makkī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and al-Imām‘Ārif Billah ‘Abdul Ghanī al-Nābūlsī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh), and quoting from the latter:

“It is known that whosoever met someone from the respected elders and lowered his head or his back, and even if he exaggerated in that, then his intent is salutation or reverence other than ‘ibādah and so he is not pronounced as a disbeliever by this action, and the state of a Muslim is perceived as that anyhow.  As for ‘ībādah no one intends it except an original disbeliever in all preponderance, but adulation proceeding to a level of self abasement is blameworthy and for that reason the author (rahimahullāh t’āla) declared it a prohibited self abasement and not kufr.”[29]

Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) clarified his position on the kissing of the gates of the Prophetic rawdah saying: 

“I say: In kissing then there is a difference of opinion, and touching and clinging are similar to that but the most precautionary path is its prevention and the reason for this is that it is contrary to decorum (adab).”[30]

In his masterpiece al-‘Atāyā al-Nabawiyah fil Fatāwa al-Ridwiyyah the Imām describes the method of visiting the graves:

“Stand facing the grave at a distance of 4 cubits.”

“The majority of the ‘ulamā consider it makrūh (kissing and touching the graves) so it should be avoided, in Ish’ātul Lumu’āt it is mentioned: ‘Do not touch the grave, nor kiss it.’  In Kashf al-Ghitā it is mentioned: ‘The same (is mentioned) in most of the books.’ “

“The ‘ulamā differ on the issue of kissing of the graves.  The conclusion by way of research is that the affair revolves between that which calls towards it and that which calls for its avoidance.  That which pulls toward it is love and that which calls for its abandonment is decorum.  Whoever is overcome with love is not blamed because it is established from leading Sahabah (ridwanAllāh ‘alayhim), and prevention is more precautious for the masses.  Our ‘ulamā clearly state that one should stand at least 4 cubits from the graves of the awliyā so what room does that give for kissing!”

The Imām considered it from adab to stand 4 arm lengths from grave-sides when visiting the graveyard and that the laymen should be dissuaded from kissing the graves.  This is similar to the opinion of other great scholars in history including al-Muhaddith al- Imām Sharaf al-Dīn al-Nawawī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and al-Sayyid al-Habīb al-Imām ’Abdullāh bin ‘Alawī al-Haddād (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) who says in his book “al-Sabīl al-Iddikār”:

“And as for touching the graves, and kissing them then it is not preffered (ghayr mustahabb), on the contrary it is disliked (makrūh).”[31]

In the matter of conveying reward to the deceased by reading of al-Fātihah, then Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) permitted that but ruled against necessitating expenditure or burden which is not called for by the Sharī’ah, thus following a path of moderation:

“As for the reward of food, then even if there is no food present at the time of supplication then there is no problem in this matter.  And it is not permitted to believe that putting forward food is for the conveyance of reward (to the deceased) like despatching something with the post, since what is sought is humble supplication to Allāh (t’āla) that He (subhānahu wa t’āla) conveys the reward to the deceased, so if one believed that the reward does not reach the deceased without putting forward food at the time of supplication then this is a corrupt (fāsid) supposition.”[32]

From amongst the innovations contemporary to the Imām and us is the wandering of unveiled, adorned, women in gatherings and their mingling with non-mahrams, women’s intermingling with men in visiting of the graveyards and women mixing with non-mahram spiritual guides.  Indeed Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) opposed all these innovations as is evident from his writings.   

The Imām says in response to a question on the visitation of the graveyard by women:

The Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) said: “Allāh (subhānahu wa t’āla) curses the female visitors of the graves”. (Narrated by Al-Imām Ahmad (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and ibn Mājah (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and al-Hākim (rahmatullāh ‘alayh)  from Sayyidunā Hasan bin Thābit ( radhiyAllāhu t’āla ‘anhu), and the first two and al-Tirmidhī from Sayyidunā Abū Hurairah ( radhiyAllāhu t’āla ‘anhu).[33]

The Imām penned a treatise on this issue under the title ‘Jamāl al-Nūr fī Nahiy al-Nisā ‘an Ziyārāt al-Qubūr’.

The Imām exempted the Ziyārah of the Prophetic rawdah from this prohibition because the visitation of the Beloved Prophet (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) by men and women is established from the Noble Ahādīth:

“So it is not allowed for women to go to the graveyards except the grave of the Prophet (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  because indeed visiting Him (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  is close to obligatory (qarībatun bi al-wājib) as the Prophet (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said: “Whosoever visited my grave my intercession is compulsory upon him”. And in another hadīth. “Whosoever performed Hajj and did not visit me then indeed he harmed me.”[34]

When Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) was asked about the women of his time going unashamedly before their shuyūkh unveiled, adorned, without rebuke from their ‘spiritual guides’, he replied:

“The hijāb (veiling by the Islamic dress code) is obligatory before every non-mahram.  Allāh (subhanahu wa t’āla) and His Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) commanded us with that, and a shaykh does not become a mahram for his murīdah, despite the fact that the shaykh is the father of the soul in reality (Abū al-Rūh).”[35]

And it was from the practises of that time to light lamps and incense next to the graves and cover them with cloth, so Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) issued clear verdicts in these matters. 

When the Shaykh was asked regarding lighting lamps on the graves he presented a citation from “al-Hadīqah al-Nadiyyah” (2/230) of al-Imām‘Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābūlsī (rahmatullāh ‘alayh):

“Bringing out candles at the head of graves is an innovation (bid’ah) and squandering of wealth.”

Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) went on to say:

“This is the rule when there is no beneficial use, advantage or requirement in carrying candles to the graves, however if there is a benefit in that there is a masjid next to the graves or the graves are on a roadway and there is a person sitting there then this is permitted (jāiz).[36]

And in clarification of this case Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) says:

“The origin is that the anchor of actions is the intentions, as the Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) said “Verily actions are by their intentions” and an action devoid of a religious or worldly benefit is futile and futility is disliked, and spending of wealth on futility is squandering and squandering is prohibited and Allāh  (subhānahu wa t’āla) has said: “And do not squander, for verily Allāh does not love the squanderers”, but benefiting the interests of Muslims is sought by the Sharī’ah in that the Messenger (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) said:  Whosoever from amongst you is able to benefit his brother he should benefit him.”

And when the Imām was asked about the lighting of frankincense and aloeswood on the graves he said:

“It is necessary to take precautions against the lighting of frankincense and aloeswood  and anything else upon the graves, even if it is in a container, since there is a reprehensible sign in the rising of smoke over the grave and we seek refuge in Allāh .”

“As for lighting something next to the grave for the sake of the grave only, other than for the sake of one reciting the Qurān or for the one doing zikr or a visitor, then this (for the sake of the grave itself) is not allowed and is a squandering and wasting of wealth, and the pious deceased is in no need of any scents of this world due to the scents of Jannah that come through the window of Jannah open in his grave.[37]

And when he was asked about covering the graves with cloth he replied:

“If the covering on the grave is in a good condition then covering the grave with a new covering is futile, on the contrary it is necessary that the cost of a new covering should be given in sadaqah to the needy in order to convey reward to the soul of the walī.”[38]

When the Imām was asked about participating in the death anniversary (‘Urs/Hawl) he permitted that with stringent conditions and restrictions:

“The commonly known ‘Urs (death anniversary gathering) if it is free from throngs of unveiled, adorned women which leads the public to become preoccupied at looking at them, and is free from actions of shirk, and perpetrating of evil acts, and frivolity, and dancing of corrupt women, and wood wind instruments (mazāmīr), then it is allowed (jāiz) undoubtedly.  Because the affairs are by their objectives, and the origin of the objective of holding these gatherings is the conveyance of reward to the deceased muslim by the reading of al-Fātiha and the Noble Qurān”[39]

And in relation to the fact that there exist those who leave the obligatory and necessary acts sufficing with the permissible and superogatory al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) rebuked such a deviation from the the straight path saying:

‘Abū Mūhammad al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jilāni (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) brings important examples in his book: ‘Futūh al-Ghayb’ regarding the one who preoccupies himself with the sunan and superogatory acts by leaving the obligatory acts, he says in this blessed book: ‘So if he preoccupied himself in the sunan and superogatory acts before the obligatory then they will not be accepted of him and he has belittled (the obligatory acts)’”[40]

His position on Sharī’ah and Tarīqah was very clear.  When asked about the statement of the one who says that: ‘The Tarīqah is an expression of travelling to Allāh and the Sharī’ah is a collection of some commands and prohibitions’:  He replied saying:

‘This statement of the one who says that Tarīqah is an expression of arriving to Allāh  and the Sharī’ah is a collection of some commands and prohibitions, (this statement) is lunacy and ignorance, and it is known by every person of intellect that al-Tarīq and al-Tarīqah are in the meaning of a definite path, so if this path separates from the Qurān then he does not go towards Allāh, on the contrary he travels towards the Shaytān, and he does not go towards Jannah but on the contrary he goes towards the Fire, because the Qurān rejects every path except the path of the Sharī’ah.’[41]  

And when some people were in the habit of playing with fireworks in marriage festivals and the middle night of al-Sh’abān (laylat al-nisf min al-Sh’abān) and attaching great importance to this matter, in particular the children, al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) replied to a request for a fatwa on this matter as follows:

“The playing that is widespread on the night of the middle of Sh’abān is prohibited as in the marriage festivals.  Indeed this playing is prohibited and a sin since there is a wasting of wealth, and the Noble Qurān has termed them brothers of the shayātīn as Allāh  (subhānahu wa t’āla) says: “No doubt, the extravagant are the brothers of the Devils”. [42]

And al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) forbade participation in wedding festivities with singing and unlawful acts and advised the muslims:

“It is binding on a muslim to distance himself from taking part and being present in gatherings which contain acts forbidden by the Sharī’ah.”[43]

From amongst Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) marks of wilāyah was his heart’s complete reverence of the divine obligations, thus we find in Ramadān 1339 AH (1921 CE) when the month of fasting fell in the middle of Summer, June, and al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) at that time was bodily weak and frail and realised his incapacity to sustain the fast.  He issued a legal verdict upon himself that he was capable of fasting if he went up into a mountainous area and thus he fulfilled the fasting at such a place, ‘alayhi rahmat al-Rahman.

Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) lamented the excesses of the people of innovation in his time saying:

“And to Allāh I grieve of this age filled with tribulations.  Whosoever learns something from knowledge and is capable of writing a word or two in the Urdu language becomes an author and a research scholar and a mujtahid and pokes his nose in the Sacred Law with his deficient intellect and corrupt opinion and reaches where he reaches with his contradiction of the Qurān the Ahādīth the ‘aqā’id and the statements of the a’immah.  And Allāh forgives whosoever repents for indeed Allāh is Al-Ghafūr Al-Hamīd.”[44]

Doctor Mūhammad Mas’ūd Ahmad al-Mujaddidī, former Secretary for the Ministry of Education for Sind Province Pākistan, states:

“And there is a painful reality in that some of the ignorant amongst the people allege that they love al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) but they are the ones that are perpertrating these innovations (bid’) and inciting the doubts, and al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) and those who truthfully follow him are innocent of them (barī ūna minhum).[45]

What also pains the soul is that many of the sons and daughters of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamā’h due to their unfamiliarity with the writings of the Imām and a failure to verify the whisperings of deceiving tongues continue to remain in darkness over the reality of the affair of this lofty individual.  We pray that Allāh (subhanahu wat’āla) show us the truth as truth and the falsehood as falsehood.

And in these troubled times when the hearts have become so distant from their Lord to the extent that we have almost lost our ability to comprehend and discern, al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh) throws light on our lowly states and our loss saying in remorse:

“The heart calls to the good as long as it remains pure and good, and becomes blinded by excessive disobedience and the perpetrating of innovations (bid’), we seek refuge in Allāh from them, so the gift of being able to see the truth, and understanding it and reflecting on it does not remain”[46]

We pray that Allāh (subhanahu wa t’āla) accept this small work in clarifying the misconceptions surrounding the personality of this truly remarkable personality: al-Imām Ahmad Ridha Khan (rahmatullāh ‘alayh).

In conclusion we say that all this:

“….obligates his adversaries to fear Allāh (t’āla) and retract the false accusations and injustices in that which they have attributed to him, for indeed truth is most deserving that it be accepted and wisdom is the lost property of the believer.”

 Dhal diy qalb mein  azmat-e-Mustafa

Sayyidi ala Hazrat pe lakhoon salam


“He has poured into the hearts the reverence of Al-Mustafa (salAllāhu alayhi wa salam)

Upon my master Al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh alayh) thousands of salutations”

[Poetic lines in ‘Urdu recited in the latter part of Mawālid across the world to this day.

Is Dour-e-Pur Fitan Nazar Khush Aqīdgi

Sarkār Ka Karam Hai Wasīla Raza Ka Hai

In this time filled with discord, correctness of belief is from the bestowal of our Master (salAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the means of approach is Imām Ahmad Ridā.

[Professor Jamīl Nazer (rahmatullāh‘alayh)]

[Completed with the ‘ināyah of Allāh (subhānahu wa t’āla) Dhul Hijjah 1428 AH, December 2007, the blessed land of Yemen]



[1] Excerpted from endorsements on al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah fīl-Māddat al-Ghaybiyyah, pg 174, 1323 AH 1905CE

[2] Endorsements on al-Dawlat al-Makkiyya fīl-Māddat al-Ghaybiyyah  & Al-Ijāzātul Matīnah

[3] Dawr as-Shaykh Ahmad Ridā al-Hindī al-Barelwī fi Muqāwamat il-Bid’ wa al-Radd ‘alayha’,  pg 4

[4] Hussam al-Haramayn ala minhar al-kufr wal mayn – Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullah alayh) pg 51

[5] al-Dawlat al-Makkiyyah  fīl-Māddat al-Ghaybiyya pg 356

[6] As above pg 372/374

[7] As above

[8] The name adopted by followers of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahabb al-Najdi in India and Pakistan, distinguished by their lack of adherence to the Sunni Aqā’id and schools of Jurisprudence.

[9] Al-zulal al-Anqā min Bahri sabaqatil Atqā  al-Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān pg 4

[10] Al Barelwiyyah Ihsān Ilāhi Zahīr pg 10

[11] al-‘Allāmah al-Kabīr al-Shaykh Ahmad Ridhā Khān (‘alayhi rahma) – Sayyid Yūsuf Rifā’i

[12] Kifl ul Faqīh al Fahām fi Ahkami Qirtas al-Darahim – Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg 17

[13] Al-Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān wa atharuhu fi al-Fiqh al-Hanafī – Master’s Thesis Jamia Al-Azhar.

[14] Al-Albani & his friends Gibril Fouad Haddad

[15] Fatawa Rashidiyya vol  pg 98-99 Dehli Edition

[16] Mukashafat ‘an Al-Jamā’at Al-Tabligh, – As-Shaykh ‘Abdul Qādir al-Milibarī Al-Shaf’ī pg

[17] Kashf al-Shubuhāt ‘an al-Jamā’t al-Tablīgh – As-Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Milibari As-Shaf’i , Al-Mu’allim Edition 11 November-December 1989

[18] Al-Albani & his Friends Gibril Haddad

[19] Al-Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān wa atharuhu fi al-Fiqh al-Hanafi – Master’s Thesis Jamia Al-Azhar.

[20] Jami’ al-Hadīth li Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān– Mawlana Hanīf Khān Ridhwī vol1 pg 385

[21] al-Fatāwā al-Ridhwiyyah Vol6 Page 67

[22] Nidā Ahl al-Sunnah, Lahore, January 1994

[23] Nuzhat  al-Khawātir 44/8 al-Nadwi

[24] Nuzhat  al-Khawātir 42/8 al-Nadwi

[25] Nuzhat  al-Khawātir 44/8 al-Nadwi

[26] Al-Zubdat al-Zakiyyah fī Tahrīm Sujūd al-Tahiyyah’  Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg 5

[27] Al-Zubdat al-Zakiyyah fī Tahrīm Sujūd al-Tahiyyah’ Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg 57-58

[28] Al-Zubdat al-Zakiyyah fī Tahrīm Sujūd al-Tahiyyah’ ’ Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg 60

[29] Al Hadiqah al-Nadiyah Imām ‘Abdul Ghāni An Nabulsī vol 1 pg 381

[30] Al-Zubdat al-Zakiyyah fī Tahrīm Sujūd al-Tahiyyah’ ’ Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg

[31] al-Sabīl al-Iddikār Imām al-Haddād pg 74

[32] al-Hujjah al Fāihah  Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg 16

[33] al-Saniyyah al-Aniqah Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān

[34] Malfuzh Mustafa Ridhā Khān 10/2

[35] Masāil al-Samā’ Imam Ahmad Ridhā Khān

[36] Bariq al Minār Bishumū’ al-Mizār Imam Ahmad

[37] as-Saniyyah al-Aniqah Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg70

[38] Ahkām Sharī’yyah Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān 1/38

[39] Mawāhib Arwāh al-Quds likashf hukm al-‘Urs Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg 23

[40] A’īzz al-Iktinah fī radd sadaqati mānī’ al-Zakāt Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān pg 101

[41] Maqāl al-‘Urafa bi I’zāz Shar’ wa al-‘Ulama – Imām Ahmad Ridhā Khān

[42] Hādiy al-Nās fi Rusūm al-A’rās  Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān pg 2

[43] Hādiy al-Nās fi Rusūm al-A’rās  Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān pg 4

[44] Al-Zubdat al-Zakiyyah fī Tahrīm Sujūd al-Tahiyyah’ Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān pg 113-114

[45] Dawr as-Shaykh Ahmad Ridā al-Hindī al-Barelwī fi Muqāwamat il-Bid’ wa al-Radd ‘alayha’,  pg 10

[46] al-Malfuz Muhammad Mustafa Ridhā 



  1. Thank you very much for posting. A Historical Perspective & detail of

    Protector of the Sunnah, Subduer of Innovation,

    Al-Mujaddid, Imām Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jamā’h,

    Ahmad Ridā Khān (rahmatullāh ‘alayh). Excellent information Subhan-Allah,


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