IN DEPTH:Ala Hazrat’s Blessed Birth
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan was born on a Monday, the 10th of Shawal 1272 A.H (14th June 1856), at the time of Zuhr Namaz in a place called Jasoli, which is in the city of Barelvi Sharif, India.
A few days before the birth of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, his father, Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, had a wonderful dream. He immediately disclosed this dream to his father, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan, who interpreted this dream by saying, “This is a sign that you are going to be the father of a child, a boy, who will grow up to be pious and knowledgeable. His name will gain prominence from East to West.”
This was the good news that was given to Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan concerning the birth of none other than the ‘Emerald from amongst the Treasures of Almighty Allah’, the ‘Sweet-scented Rose from the fragrant Garden of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)’, the great Imam Ahmed Raza Khan.
His Blessed Name
The name that was given to him at birth was the beautiful name of Mohammed. The name corresponding to that was Al Mukhtar. His grandfather, a great Scholar of the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan, also gave the young child the beautiful name of Ahmed Raza. It was by this name that he was & still is famously known.
Much later in his life, Ala Hazrat added the title of Abdul Mustafa to his name, signifying his great love and respect for Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w).
Illustrious Family History
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Al-Qadri, was the son of Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, who was the son of Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan, who was son of Allamah Mawlana Mohammed Kaazim Ali Khan, who was the son of Allamah Mawlana Shah Mohammed Azam Khan, who was the son of Allamah Mawlana Sa’adat Yaar Khan, who was the son of Allamah Mawlana Sa’eedullah Khan (R.A).
The great forefathers of Ala Hazrat migrated from Qandhar (Kabul) during the Mogul rule and settled in Lahore. Allamah Mawlana Sa’eedullah Khan, the first forefather of Ala Hazrat (R.A), held a high government post when he arrived in the Indo-Pak sub-continent. His son, Allamah Mawlana Sa’adat Yaar Khan , after gaining victory in the city of Ruhailah, was elected as the Governor of that city.
Allamah Mawlana Hafiz Kaazim Ali Khan, the son of Mawlana Mohammed Azam Khan (R.A), was a tax-collector in the city of Badayun. His son, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan , the illustrious grandfather of Ala Hazrat, did not serve in the Government. It was from this generation that the heads of the family began to adopt Tasawwuf as their way of life.
Here is a very brief history of Ala Hazrat’s father and grandfather:
Ala Hazrat’s father, Hazrat Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (R.A), received his education at the hands of his own father, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (R.A). He wrote more than 50 books, amongst them was “Suroorul Quloob fi Zikri Mawloodul Mahboob”, which received a very high distinctive position amongst Islamic literature. The treatise is characteristic in its condemnation of the enemies of Islam, both internally and externally.
He passed away in 1297 A.H. (1880) when Imam Ala Hazrat was 24 years old.
One of the greatest Sufis of his time, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan was born in the year 1224 A.H. He was also a great warrior and fought alongside General Bakht Khan against English invaders in the year 1834. He received his early education at the hands of Maulvi Khaleerur Rahman. At the age of 23, he had already completed his Islamic education, earning certificates of distinction in various fields of knowledge.
He passed away in the month of Jamadiul Awwal in the year 1282 A.H (1866). Ala Hazrat was only 10 years old at this time.
Imam Ahmed Raza’s Piety As A Child
Ala Hazrat was a child of 4 years when the following incident took place.
On this particular day, he was dressed in a long Kurta (shirt). As he stepped out of his house, a few female prostitutes walked past him. In order to cover his eyes, Ala Hazrat quickly held the bottom of his Kurta with both his hands and lifted the Kurta over his face. When one of the prostitutes saw what he did, she said, “Well! Young man, you covered your eyes, but allowed your Satr to be shown.”
With his face and eyes still covered, the young Ala Hazrat replied, “When the eyes are tempted, then the heart becomes tempted. When the heart is tempted, then the concealed parts become tempted.” So shocked and affected was this woman on hearing such a reply from a child that she lost consciousness.
Another incident, which happened in the Month of Ramadan, also shows Ala Hazrat’s piety and fear of Allah.
It should be known that for a little child to keep fast in India during the summer season is very difficult. The average temperature on a summer’s day rises to approximately 50 degrees Celsius. Fasting was not Farz (obligatory) upon him because he was still a child, but on this day he intended to keep fast. The heat of the sun that day was intense. Hazrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan took his young son, Ala Hazrat (R.A), into a room where sweets were kept. He closed the door and said, “There, eat the sweets.” Ala Hazrat replied that he was fasting. His father then said, “The fasting of children is always like this. The door is closed and no one is looking. Now you may eat.” On hearing this, the young Ala Hazrat respectfully said, “Through Whose command I am fasting, He is seeing me.” On hearing this answer from a small child, tears began to flow from the eyes of Hazrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan (R.A). He then left the room with Ala Hazrat (R.A).
Imam Ahmed Raza’s First Lecture
Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat delivered his first lecture at the age of 6 years. It was during the glorious month of Rabiul Awwal. Ala Hazrat stood on the Mimbar (Pulpit) and delivered the lecture before a very large gathering, which also consisted of various Ulema. His lecture lasted for approximately 2 hours. Ala Hazrat spoke on the Wilaadat (birth) of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w).
He brightened the hearts of the listeners with the love of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w). The people listening were thoroughly impressed by the maturity and eloquence of this lecture, which was being delivered by a 6 year old child!
His Intelligence As A Child
Ala Hazrat was so gifted and intelligent that there was no need for him to study beyond the fourth Kitaab of his course under the tutorship of any of his teachers. He studied the remaining Kitaabs by himself and used to later ask his teachers to test him.
Once, his teacher asked him, “Mia! Are you a Jinn or a human being? It takes me much time to teach a lesson, but it does not take you much time to learn the same lesson.”
Ala Hazrat answered, “Praise be to Allah that I am a human.”
When he was 8 years old, Ala Hazrat wrote a Masla concerning Fara’idh (Farz). When his father looked at the answer, he happily remarked, “If only some adult could answer in this manner.”
At the age of 10, when he was studying the Kitaab, “I’lm-us-Thuboot,” under the guidance of his father, he noticed a few objections and answers of his father on the side of the page. Ala Hazrat studied this book carefully and wrote such a well- explained footnote that even the need for an objection was ruled out.
His father came across his research on that objection. He was so delighted that he stood up, held the young Ala Hazrat to his heart and said, “Ahmad Raza! You do not learn from me, but you teach me.”
Professor Dr Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Head of Department: Urdu, Sindh University, Sindh (Pakistan) said: “Allamah Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan is among the outstanding scholars. His deep learning, intelligence, vision and acumen, surpassed that of great contemporary thinkers, professors, renowned scholars and orientalist. Indeed, there is hardly any branch of learning that is foreign to him.”
Astonishing Events Of Childhood
At the age of 3, Ala Hazrat was once standing outside the Raza Masjid in Barelvi Sharif. An unknown person, attired in an Arabian garb, approached him and spoke to him in the Arabic language. Those who were present and witnessed this incident heard the young Ala Hazrat converse with the person in pure Arabic. They were surprised. The person who spoke to Ala Hazrat was never seen again in Barelvi Sharif!
A Majzoob (one who is drowned in his love for Almighty Allah), by the name of Hazrat Basheeruddin Sahib, used to live at the Akhoon Zada Masjid in Barelvi Sharif. He spoke harshly to anyone who visited him.
Ala Hazrat wished to meet this Majzoob. One night, at about 11 o’clock, he set off alone to meet him. He sat respectfully for about 15 minutes outside the Majzoob’s house. After some time, the Majzoob became aware of him and asked, “Who are you to Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (R.A).” Ala Hazrat replied that he was the grandson of Hazrat Raza Ali Khan (R.A). The Majzoob immediately embraced him and took him into his little room. He asked Ala Hazrat if he had come for any specific matter, but Ala Hazrat said that he had come to ask him to make Dua for him. On hearing this, the Majzoob, for approximately half an hour, made the following Dua: “May Allah have mercy on you. May Allah bless you.”PRIMARY AND TERTIARY EDUCATION:
Commencement Of Islamic Education
During Ala Hazrat’s “Bismillah Kwaani” or “Commencement of Islamic Education”, a very strange incident occurred:
His respected teacher asked him to read the Tasmiyah, and then told him to read “Alif, Baa, Taa . . .” Ala Hazrat began reading the “Alif, Baa, Taa …” until he came to the word “Laam Alif” at which point Ala Hazrat became silent. When his teacher asked him once more to read “Laam Alif”, he remained silent. The teacher instructed him, “Say, ‘Laam Alif'”. Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A) then replied, “I have already read them earlier on. What need is there for me to repeat it?”
Hazrat Allamah Raza Ali Khan (R.A), who was witnessing this incident, said, “Son! Listen to what your Ustaad is saying.” Upon further reflection, Hazrat Allamah Raza Ali Khan (R.A) realised the reason for the objection of the young Ala Hazrat (R.A). It was because the teacher was teaching Ala Hazrat the lesson on single alphabets.
Ala Hazrat felt that how was it possible that a complete word like “Laam Alif” should be found in such a lesson that only dealt with single alphabets!
Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan knew that it was a very delicate matter that could not be understood by a child. Nevertheless, he explained, “Son! It is true that which you are thinking of. But the ‘Alif’ which you had earlier read, in reality, is ‘Hamza’ and this which you are reciting now is ‘Alif’. ‘Alif’ is always ‘Sakin’ and one cannot commence with a letter which is ‘Sakin’. Therefore, it is for this reason that the letter ‘Laam’ is brought before the ‘Alif’.”
When Ala Hazrat heard this answer, he replied, “If that be the case, then any other letter could be joined to the ‘Alif’. Why the ‘Laam’?”
Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (R.A), out of sheer happiness and excitement, embraced Ala Hazrat and made Dua for him. He then explained the answer to Ala Hazrat in the following brilliant manner: “In looking at them they both appear to be very much alike, since they are both empty. Even when writing them together they look very much alike. When it comes to their qualities then ‘Laam’ is the heart of ‘Alif’ and ‘Alif’ is the heart of ‘Laam’.”
Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan was in reality opening the doors and the treasures of knowledge and spiritual insight to Ala Hazrat (R.A).
Ala Hazrat was only 4 years old when he completed the recitation of the holy Qur’an. Due to the extraordinary intelligence bestowed upon him by Almighty Allah, Ala Hazrat completed his Islamic education at the very young age of 13 years, 10 months and 5 days.
Ala Hazrat states that, “I completed my religious education during the middle of the month of Shabaan in the year 1286 A.H. I was 13 years, 10 months and 5 days old at that time. It was also at this time that Salah became Farz upon me and I began to have great interest in the Laws of Shariah”. (Al Ijaazatur Radawiyya)
Ala Hazrat gained his basic knowledge at home. He later continued his studies under the guidance of certain noted teachers. He studied under his father, Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (R.A). He completed his primary education by Janab Mirza Ghulam Qadir Baig, by whom he studied the book, “Mizaane Munsha’ab.”Ala Hazrat also studied under the guidance of the following luminous personalities :
1. Hazrat Mawlana Abdul Ali Rampuri (R.A),
2. Sheikh-e-Kabeer, Hazrat Allamah Syed Shah Abul Hassan Ahmed Noori (R.A),
3. Sheikh-e-Tariqah, Hazrat Allamah Shah Ale Rasul Mahrahrewi (R.A),
4. Sheikh Ahmed bin Zain-e-Dahlaan Makki (R.A), 5. Sheikh Abdur Rahman Makki (R.A)
6. Sheikh Hussain bin Salih Makki (R.A)
Ala Hazrat’s First Fatwa
In a letter sent to his illustrious Khalifa, Hazrat Mawlana Zafaruddin Bihaari, Ala Hazrat writes:
“With the Grace of Almighty Allah, this servant wrote his first Fatwa at the age of 13. It is also at this age that I completed my religious education and gained a certificate of proficiency in this field.
On this day, a question was put forward to me as to whether milk, if reaching the belly of a child, would prove fosterage or not? I replied that if milk reached the child’s belly, either through the nose or mouth, fosterage would be proven, therefore, making it Haram upon the child to marry this woman”. (Al Malfooz, Part I, page 12)
His father was so amazed and delighted by this in-depth reply that he assigned the young Ala Hazrat the task of issuing Fatwas (Islamic verdicts). For many years, thereafter, Ala Hazrat carried this very important duty with absolute dignity and responsibility.
Ala Hazrat began answering hundreds of Fatwas daily. He received them in all languages – Arabic, Urdu, Persian, English and many other languages.
Professor Dr J.M.S. Baljon, Department of Islamology, University of Leiden (Holland), when commenting about Ala Hazrat’s answers to religious enquiries, said: “Indeed, a great scholar I must confess. When reading his Fatwas, I am deeply impressed by the immensely wide reading he demonstrates in his argumentations. Above it, his views appear much more balanced than I expected. You are completely right; he deserves to be better known and more appreciated in the West than is the case at present.”
His Marriage And Blessed Children
In the year 1291 A.H. (1874), Ala Hazrat married Sayyidah Irshad Begum (R.A) who was the beloved daughter of Sheikh Fazl Hussain Sahib. He was 18 years old at the time of his Nikah (marriage).
Almighty Allah blessed Ala Hazrat with 7 beautiful children – 2 sons and 5 daughters. Both his sons became eminent Islamic Scholars and great Awliyah Allah. Ala Hazrat’s eldest son, Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Muhammad Hamid Raza Khan Noori Barakaati was very much efficient in Arabic and various other religious sciences. His features resembled his illustrious father.
Hujjatul Islam left this mundane world on the 17th of Jamadiul Awwal 1362 A.H., while in the state of Salah. His Mazar Sharif (Blessed Tomb) is in Barelvi Sharif, India.
Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind, Imam Mustafa Raza Khan Noori Barakati (R.A), the younger son of Ala Hazrat studied primarily under the guidance of his elder brother. He also received education at the blessed feet of his father and earned himself a certificate of proficiency in religious sciences.
Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind has approximately ten million Mureeds (disciples) around the world. He is also regarded as a Mujaddid (Reviver) of Islam of the 15th Century.
He left this mundane world on the eve of the 14th of Muharram 1402 A.H. (1981). His Mazar Sharif is also in Barelvi Sharif.
Incidents Pointing To His Immense Knowledge
Speaking about Ala Hazrat’s immense knowledge, Dr Sayyid Muhammad Abdullah, Chairman: Department of Encyclopaedia of Islam, University of Punjab, Lahore (Pakistan) said: “The scholar is said to be the mind and spokesman of the nation, especially that scholar who derives inspiration, thought and vision from the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w)’s traditions, a narration of divine knowledge, and exponent of divine scheme. He is the Voice of the Creator, a benefactor of mankind. It is not an overstatement or exaggeration, but acceptance of truth to say that Ahmad Raza is such a scholar.
“He, indeed, is a renowned scholar, great philosopher, eminent jurist, man of vision, interpreter of the
Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w)’s traditions, and a spell- binding orator.”
A few days after the Nikah of Ala Hazrat (R.A), a certain person came to Barelvi Sharif. He presented a Fatwa of Mawlana Irshad Hussain Mujaddidi to Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan for an answer. The Fatwa bore the signatures of many Ulema.
Hazrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan (R.A), instructed the messenger with the following words: “Go into the room. Maulvi Sahib is there. He will answer your question.”
The messenger entered the room and only saw Ala Hazrat sitting there. He returned to Hazrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan and said, “There is no Maulvi Sahib there. All I see in the room is a young lad.” Hazrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan told the messenger: “Give the Masla to him and he will answer it.” The messenger went to Ala Hazrat and handed him the Fatwa. He studied it and realised that the answer on the Fatwa of Mawlana Irshad Hussain was incorrect. Ala Hazrat wrote the correct answer to the Fatwa and respectfully presented it to his father. His father verified his answer as being correct.
The very same Fatwa was then taken to the Governor of Rampur. After studying the Fatwa of Ala Hazrat (R.A), the Governor requested the presence of Mawlana Irshad Hussain Sahib (R.A). When the said Mawlana appeared before the Governor, the Fatwa was shown to him. Mufti Irshad Hussain Sahib humbly acknowledged that his Fatwa was incorrect and that the Fatwa from Barelvi Sharif was the correct answer. The Governor of Rampur then said, “If the Fatwa of Barelvi is correct, then how is it that all the other Ulema verified and endorsed your Fatwa?”
Mawlana Irshad Hussain replied, “They endorsed my Fatwa because I am prominent, but the true Fatwa is the one written by the Mufti of Barelvi.”
When the Governor learnt that Imam Ahmed Raza Khan was only 20 years old, he immediately had the great yearning to meet him. It so happened that Ala Hazrat once visited Rampur. The Governor went and met Ala Hazrat (R.A). The Governor was overwhelmed and as a mark of respect offered him a silver chair to sit on. Ala Hazrat refused to sit on the silver chair saying that the use of silver furniture is Haram. Feeling ashamed, the Governor requested Ala Hazrat to sit on the bed.
While conversing with Ala Hazrat (R.A), the Governor commented that since he was so brilliant at such a young age, that Ala Hazrat should study a few books in Logistics under the supervision of Maulvi Abdul Haq Kheyrabaadi.
Coincidently, Maulvi Abdul Haq Kheyrabaadi arrived. They were both introduced to one another. After getting acquainted, he questioned Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat concerning the books that he had studied in the field of Logistics. Ala Hazrat told the Maulvi that he had studied the Kitaab, “Kazi Mubarak.” Maulvi Abdul Haq Kheyrabaadi did not believe Ala Hazrat because he felt that he was too young to study “Kazi Mubarak”. He then, very sarcastically, asked, “Have you studied ‘Tahzeeb’?” Ala Hazrat also answered in a sarcastic manner by saying, “Is ‘Tahzeeb’ taught after ‘Kazi Mubarak’ at your institution?”
After listening to the answers of Ala Hazrat (R.A), he began questioning him about his qualifications. Ala Hazrat said that he preferred teaching, engaging in Fatwa work and writing books. He further asked Ala Hazrat concerning his field of expertise. Ala Hazrat replied by saying that he specialised in any field that was necessary at any given time, and this included debating the Wahabis.
When Maulvi Abdul Haq heard this reply from Ala Hazrat (R.A), he remarked, “That crazy person from Badayoun is also in this fanaticism.” (He was referring to Mawlana Abdul Qadir R.A). On hearing this, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat became offended and said, “Your father, Mawlana Fazl-e-Haq Kheyrabaadi (R.A), was the first person to debate the Wahabis, and he was the one responsible for writing a book against Isma’il Dehlwi. He called this book ‘Al Fatwa Fi Butali Taghwa’.”
Mawlana Abdul Haq Kheyrabbadi then said, “If, in my presence, you answer me in this way, then it will be impossible for me to teach you.”
Ala Hazrat replied by saying, “I have already decided not to study under you, since for me to study under you will be an insult to the Ulema-e-Ahle Sunnat”.
Mawlana Mufti Mazharullah said: “Once, I enquired from Ala Hazrat about the holy sacrifice offered by Muslims. He, in his reply, described innumerable kinds of sheep, which was a matter of surprise for me. I kept his letter with me. It so happened that Mawlana Kifayatullah came to see me and by chance he saw the letter. He was astounded and said, ‘No doubt his learning and knowledge knows no boundaries’.”
Branches of knowledge studied at his father’s feet
Ala Hazrat became proficient in the following branches of knowledge at the feet of his father:
1. Tafseer of the holy Qur’an
2. Tafseer of Ahadith
3. Principles of Ahadith (Usool-e-Hadith)
4. Islamic jurisprudence (all four schools of thought)
5. Principles of jurisprudence (Usool-e-Fiqh)
7. Quranic commentary
8. Principles of belief
9. Principles of debate
10. Arabic syntax
11. Principles of rhetoric
12. Language usage of metaphors
13. Science dealing with rhetoric
16. Philosophy and politics
17. Rhetoric devices
20. Physical engineering
In the book, “Al Ijaazatul Mutay’yanah” on page 22, Ala Hazrat has said the following in connection with the above mentioned 20 branches of knowledge. He says, “I learnt these 20 branches of knowledge, personally at the feet of my father”.
Other branches of knowledge were attained from various Ulema.
He learnt Quranic recitation, correct recitation with Tajweed, mysticism, mystical initiation, Islamic ethics, names of narrators of Ahadith, biography of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), Islamic history, in-depth study of Arabic and literature.
Ala Hazrat states: “these ten branches of knowledge, I achieved at the feet of the following teachers: Shah Ale Rasul Mahrahrewi, Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zain Dahlaan Makki, Sheikh Abdur Rahman Makki, Sheikh Hussain Bin Saleh Makki, Shah Abul Hassan Ahmed Noori (Alaihimur Rahmah).”
Branches of knowledge attained without the assistance of any teacher:
Ala Hazrat learnt arithmetic, algebra, the twelve branches of mathematics, modern astronomy, science of inheritance, science of prosody, astrology, science of history, prose in Hindi, prose in Persian, in-depth study of Arabic and in-depth study of plain Persian writing.
When Ala Hazrat was questioned about his amazing capabilities in solving intricate and confusing mathematical theories, and as to who his mentor was, he replied, “I did not have a teacher in this field. Whatever you see, I achieved within the four walls of my room. This is indeed through the grace of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w).” (Al Mizaan, page 342)
The above are merely a few branches of knowledge, in which Ala Hazrat reached such great heights of proficiency that he was considered to be the inventor of that branch of knowledge! An example of this is to found in his book, “Ar Raudal Baheej fi Adaabut Takhreej”, dealing with the Principles of Chronomatic Recording of Ahadith.
Commenting on this, the famous Historian, Mawlana Rahman Ali, (M.P. Madya Pradesh) states, “If there are no books to be found on the subject of Chronomatic Recording of Ahadith, then Ala Hazrat can be considered to be the very inventor of this branch of knowledge”. (Tazkerah Ulema-e-Hind, page 17)
Proficiency in over fifty branches of knowledge
If we study the life of Ala Hazrat (R.A), we will discover that his proficiency in various subjects total over fifty-four branches of knowledge. Is it possible today, to find an Islamic scholar or even a non-Muslim professor, scientist, educationist or a Nobel Prize owner who possesses such qualifications?
Arab Scholars like Sheikh Ismail bin Khalil and Sheikh Musa Ali Shami (R.A) commended Ala Hazrat as the Revivalist of the 14th Century A.H.: “if he is called the revivalist of this century (Mujaddid), it will be right and true.”
Commenting on Ala Hazrat’s reputation and his knowledge, Dr Jamil Jalibi, Vice Chancellor, Karachi University (Pakistan) said: “Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi was an eminent jurist, leading scholar, scientist, Naa’tia poet, a keen observer of Shariah and a Saint. His crowning scholarship can be imagined by the fact that he had commanding knowledge of about 54 branches of various sciences and humanities. He has contributed valuable works in almost all of them. He left behind more than a thousand treatises.”
Professor Dr Wahid Ashraf, Baroda University, in Baroda said: “There is no shortage of renowned personalities in the history of Islam who made rich contributions to various fields of knowledge through their divine-gifted qualities of learning, wisdom and insight. Ibn Sina, Umar Khayyam, Imam Razi, Imam Ghazzali, Al Beruni, Farabi and Ibn Rushd are a few rich names that shall always be remembered with pride. Among them, some are renowned for Philosophy and Medicine, some other famous for Mathematics, another in Astrology, another is known for Moral Philosophy, and another is an expert in Greek beliefs etc., but the most outstanding personality was born in India and passed away in the present century. He was Ahmed Raza Barelvi who enjoyed such a command in various branches of knowledge that only experts of the special faculty can discuss fully and successfully.”
Translation and commentary of the Holy Qur’an
Many people have translated the Holy Qur’an into the Urdu language, but the translation of the Holy Qur’an presented by Ala Hazrat – called “Kanzul Imaan” – is proven to be the most unique translation in the Urdu language. In his translation one sees that Ala Hazrat used only those words in his translation that are worthy for the Attributes and Qualities of Almighty Allah and of His Beloved Rasul (s.a.w).
It is said that the translation of the Holy Qur’an by Ala Hazrat, Kanzul Imaan, is not merely a literal translation, but is also the commentary of the Holy Qur’an. In the words of Hazrat Sayyiduna Muhaddith-e-Azam Hind (R.A), “it is not only the translation of the Qur’an, it is the Qur’an.”
We have taken just one example of a Verse from the Holy Qur’an that has been translated by various persons and compared it with the beautiful translation of Ala Hazrat (R.A). We have taken Surah 93, Verse 7 as an example:
(1) “And He found you lost on the way and He guided thee.”
Translation by Mohammad Asad
(2) “And found thee groping so He showed the way.”
Translation by Mohammed Ali Lahori Qadiani
(3) “And He found you uninformed of Islamic laws so He told you the way of Islamic laws.”
Translation by Ashraf Ali Thanwi
(4) “Did He not find thee erring and guide thee.”
Translation by Arberry
(5) “And saw you unaware of the way so showed you the straight way.”
Translation by Fatheh Muhammad Jalledhri
(6) “And He found thee wandering and He gave thee guidance.”
Translation by Yusuf Ali
Now that we have examined six different translations of Surah 93, Verse 7, let us examine the difference and the uniqueness of the translation of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A):
“and He found you drowned in his love therefore gave way unto Him.”
Look at the uniqueness and the cautiousness that is present in this translation of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A)! He abstained from using those words that may cause any disrespect to the dignity and personality of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
Due to the vast amount of time Ala Hazrat spent in compiling books on Fiqh and various other topics, it was not possible for him to compile a complete commentary of the Holy Qur’an. However, a few learned scholars have stated that if all the books of Ala Hazrat have to be brought together then there is a great possibility that a complete commentary of the Holy Qur’an may be compiled. Like his translation of the Holy Qur’an, they have said that his Tafseer would also be exceptional.
Commenting only on the “Bismillahir Rahman nir Rahim”, Ala Hazrat presented such a lengthy lecture on this simple phrase that it was compiled into a complete book and published under the title, “Al Miladun Nabawiya.”
Once, during the Urs Sharif of Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abdul Qadir Sahib (R.A), Ala Hazrat delivered a lecture on Surah Wad-Duha from 9 am in the morning right till 3 pm in the afternoon!
This lecture on Surah Wad-Duha alone lasted for 6 hours. After completing his lecture, Ala Hazrat said, “I only wrote 80 percent of the commentary on this Surah and had to leave it aside. Where is there enough time to write the Tafseer of the entire Qur’an-e-Azeem!”
Allamah Ata Muhammad Bandayalwi (R.A), Sarghoda (Pakistan) said, “Hazrat Barelvi has written about a thousand treatises. He exhaustively dealt with every topic he touched, but his most glorious work is his Urdu translation and explanation of the Holy Qur’an entitled, ‘Kanzul Imaan’. Indeed, there is no parallel.
Real worth of this monumental work can be evaluated by only those scholars who possess vast and deep knowledge of various other translations and explanations of high standard in Urdu. Ala Hazrat kept the same pattern as adopted by the renown writers, but he excelled in the explanation and expansion of the most difficult and complicated subject matter in relatively few simple words.”
Authority in the field of Ahadith
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan was also a great authority of his time when it came to the subjects of Ahadith and Usool-e-Ahadith. He knew the names of almost every Hadith narrator. When he was questioned concerning details of a certain narrator, he was able to give a complete biography of the narrator. When he studied any Hadith, he was able to explain the type of Hadith, it’s benefits and the reasons behind that Hadith. He wrote many booklets on the topic of Ahadith. One of his books is entitled, “Hajizul Jarain An Jamma Bainas Salaatain,” which covered the Ahadith pertaining to “Jamma Bainas Salaatain” or the “Combination of Two Salahs in one time.”
Dr Professor Mohiuddin, Azhar University, Cairo (Egypt) said, “Renowned scholar, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, visited Arabia twice to perform Hajj at Makkah and paid homage to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) at Madinah. During his stay, he visited various centres of learning and had extensive exchange of views with the scholars covering various branches of learning and religious issues. He secured permission from some authentics to quote them in reference to particular Ahadith, and in return, he allowed them to mention his authority in respect of some other Ahadith.
“It is an old saying that scholarly talent and poetic exuberance rarely combine in one person, but Imam Ahmad Raza Khan was an exception. His achievements contradict this diction. He was not only an acknowledged research scholar, but also a great poet.”
A great jurist of his time
Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) is that branch of knowledge that is derived from the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w). Only that person can be a proper Jurist who is well versed in both the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith of Rasulallah (s.a.w). He must also be well versed in all the other important branches of knowledge, such as Tafseer, Logic, Philosophy, Translating and many other branches.
Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat was regarded as the greatest Jurist of his era. He was totally proficient in the field of Fiqh and received acceptance by the great Ulema of the East and the West.
The greatest proof of his position and status in the world of Fiqh can be understood from his answers concerning the Shariat-e-Mustafa (s.a.w), which was compiled into 12 large volumes, comprising of approximately 12 000 pages to form the famous book, “Fatwa Radawiyyah,” which is used in every Darul Ifta (Fatwah Departments) around the world today.
A renowned theologian and a great Saint of Delhi, Hazrat Mawlana Zayd Abul Hassan Faruqi (R.A), who completed his education at the Al Azhar University, Cairo, acknowledged the unrivalled mastery of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan over Islamic Jurisprudence and other branches of learning in the following words, “None can deny the knowledge of Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan in the field of Fiqh. He was, no doubt, the greatest Faqih (Jurist) of his time.”
When Sheikh Ismail Khalil, the Curator of the Library at Makkatul Mukarramah, read the Fatwas of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat he was puffed up with joy and wrote to Ala Hazrat (R.A), “By Allah, if Imam Abu Hanifa Nu’man would have gone through these Fatwa, undoubtedly, it could have been his heart’s delight and granted its writer among his pupils.”
Imam Ahmed Raza’s I’lm-e-Jafar
“I’lm-e-Jafar” refers to “The Knowledge and the Art of Prediction.”
Not all persons are blessed with such knowledge by Almighty Allah. It is a speciality for the Awliyah Allah, and Ala Hazrat too was blessed with the gift of I’lm-e-Jafar.
Once, a certain person asked Ala Hazrat concerning the approach of Qiyamah and the arrival of Imam Mahdi in the future. Ala Hazrat said that Almighty Allah knows of this and His beloved Rasul (s.a.w) is also aware of this fact. After saying this, Ala Hazrat substantiated these facts by quoting many verses of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
Ala Hazrat then said, “Through a certain type of knowledge, I feel that there is a possibility that in 1837 Hijra there will be no Islamic government left, and in 1900 Hijra Imam Mahdi will appear.”
After hearing this answer, someone asked Ala Hazrat if he had gained this answer through I’lm-e-Jafar. He replied that he did. Ala Hazrat then said very sarcastically, “Eat the mangoes. Do not count the trees.”
There was a King of Rampur whose wife was very sick. He loved her very much and was very attached to her. This King, who was a ‘Badd Mazhabi’ (one who does not follow the religion properly), sent a messenger to Barelvi Sharif with a special request. He requested Ala Hazrat to predict the time and place of the death of his wife. The King’s wife was, at that moment, not at her house in Rampur, but she was in a place called Nainital. Ala Hazrat told the messenger to tell the King that his wife would die in Rampur in the month of Muharram. When the messenger returned to the King, he gave him the message of Ala Hazrat (R.A).
With this message of Ala Hazrat at the back of his mind, the King tried very hard to keep his wife away from Rampur. He did not want her to be in any way near Rampur.
It so happened that rioting broke out in Rampur. It concerned the affairs of the Kanpur Shaheed Ganj Masjid. The Governor summoned the King to meet with him urgently in Rampur. The King decided to go on his own, but his wife insisted on joining him. As soon as they reached Rampur, the King’s wife suddenly died. It was also the month of Muharram. The prediction of Ala Hazrat proved to be true!
His knowledge of Philosophy and Science
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan was a great Scientist and Philosopher. He understood Science and Philosophy better than anyone in his time. He was a master of Ancient and Modern Sciences.
He proved through research that various concepts of the modern day science are illogical and against the theories of the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith.
Ala Hazrat wrote many books on Science and Physics. One of his famous books, “Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen,” using the Holy Qur’an as its guidelines, proves that the earth is not rotating but is stationary. He also proves that the entire Universe is revolving around the earth. Modern theories believe that the earth is rotating on its axis and that all the planets, including the earth, are revolving around the sun. Ala Hazrat also disproved the theories of Scientist such as Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton.
Even today, many people in the Western world regard Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat as the “neglected genius of the east.”
Knowledge of Astronomy and Astrology
Ala Hazrat gained great expertise in the field of Astronomy and Astrology.
There was a person by the name of Mawlana Ghulam Hussain Sahib, who used to regard himself as an authority in Astrology.
Once, Mawlana Ghulam Hussain Sahib visited Ala Hazrat (R.A). Ala Hazrat asked him, “So! What is the situation of the rain?” After working out the position of the stars, Mawlana Ghulam Sahib drew-up an astronomical table and said,” In this month there will be no rain. It will only rain in the following month.” Mawlana Sahib then handed over the astronomical table to Ala Hazrat (R.A).
Ala Hazrat examined it and said, “All the Power is by Allah. If He pleases, then it may rain now.” Mawlana Ghulam Hussain then said, “Are you not observing the astronomical table?” Ala Hazrat said, “I am observing everything.”
Ala Hazrat then looked towards the clock and asked, “What time is it?” Mawlana Ghulam Hussain said, “Quarter past eleven.” Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat said, “That means that there is three quarters of an hour left for twelve o’ clock.” Saying this, Ala Hazrat walked up to the grandfather clock that was in the room. With his finger, he moved the big needle of the clock until it was on the twelve, thus showing twelve o’clock. The clock began to chime. Ala Hazrat then said, “You said that it would take three quarters of an hour for the needle to come to twelve o’ clock.” The Mawlana Sahib replied, “But you were responsible for altering the position of the needle.”
On hearing this, Ala Hazrat said, “Almighty Allah is All Powerful and He may alter the position of the stars whenever he wishes.”
Ala Hazrat had not yet completed his sentence when it began to rain uncontrollably.
A Mathematical Genius
Ala Hazrat was also a great Mathematician. He used to solve the most difficult mathematical problems in a short space of time. His authority in the field of Mathematics will leave modern-day Mathematicians in complete awe. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Logarithms, and other branches of Mathematics which are normally handled with great difficulty even by mathematic students today, was like ordinary addition and subtraction to Imam Ala Hazrat (R.A)!
Once, Sir Zia uddin, a famous Mathematician, was in a predicament with regards to part of his research in the mathematical field. He had to go to Berlin in Germany to seek a solution to this intricate problem. It so happened, that a certain Mawlana from the famous Aligarh University advised Sir Zia uddin to visit Ala Hazrat to seek a solution for his mathematical problem. But, Sir Zia uddin, sounding very unconvinced, said, “What will an ordinary Mawlana like Mawlana Ahmed Raza be able to solve? He hasn’t even gone out of his city to gain knowledge, so it is obvious that his knowledge is very limited.”
Nevertheless, after some convincing, he agreed to visit Ala Hazrat (R.A).
When he arrived in Barelvi Sharif, he immediately went to Ala Hazrat (R.A). Presenting the intricate mathematical problem to Ala Hazrat he said, “I am now going to Germany. I will come back for the answer, that is, if you do manage to solve it.” As he was speaking, Ala Hazrat was busy writing and listening to him at the same time. As Sir Zia uddin was about to leave, Ala Hazrat handed him a sheet of paper. When Sir Zia uddin read what was written on this paper, he realised that it contained the solution to the mathematical problem that had him so confused. Sir Zia uddin then said, “today I believe that there is something known as I’lm-e-Laduni (inspired knowledge).”
Sir Zia uddin, was later recorded to have said about Ala Hazrat (R.A), “He was an un-assuming man of pleasant manners and morals, had deep insight in Mathematics, although he was not formerly educated by a teacher. It was an inner divine-gifted inherent knowledge. My query pertained to a theory of knotting problems of Mathematics, but his manner and explanation was spontaneous as if he had already carried out a research in it. Now there is nobody so well versed in all of India. Such a great scholar, I think, there is none. Allah has bestowed upon him such a knowledge that is amazing. His insight in the fields of Mathematics, Euclid, Algebra and Timings is astonishing. A mathematical problem that I could not solve despite my best efforts, this learned genius explained in a few moments.”
Contribution to the field of Poetry
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan spent much of his valuable time writing Poetry. His Poetry mostly consisted of Naat Sharif in praise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and Manqabats. In all the Naat Sharif written by Ala Hazrat (R.A), it is evident that his heart and soul was drowned in the love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
His Naats were written within the boundaries of the Shariah, and every stanza was filled with pearls of ‘Ilhaam’.
(‘Ilhaam’ is that, which is inspired by Almighty Allah into the hearts of the Awliyah Allah. Just as the Ambiya receive ‘Wahi’ or Revelation, so do the Awliyah receive ‘Ilhaam’.)
Each verse and stanza of his Poetry is the Tafseer (commentary) of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w). His Poetry was mainly in the Arabic, Urdu, and Persian languages.
Ala Hazrat’s Poetry was compiled to form the famous, “Hadaiq e Bakshish,” (Gardens of Forgiveness).
This famous and most beautiful Naat Kitaab is used throughout the world. Ala Hazrat’s humble compilations are read by all who wish to express their love for Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w).
Mawlana Qari Noorul Hassan, quotes the following stanzas from Ala Hazrat’s Poetry:
“Mulke Sukhan Ki Shahi Tum Ko Raza Musallam
Jis Simt Aagaye ho sikhe Bithaa diye hai”and says that there are many illiterate and ignorant people, who look at the above stanzas and accuse Ala Hazrat of praising himself in his Poetry. This, he says, is not true and is merely a baseless objection. He further explains:
Hazrat Hassan Raza Khan (R.A), the younger brother of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A), would often send his own Poetry to be corrected to Janaab Daagh Delhwi, who was a famous and distinguished Poet of his time.
One day, as he was about to leave for Delhi, Ala Hazrat presented one of his Naats to Hazrat Hassan Raza Khan and said, “Ask Daagh Delhwi to rectify this Qalaam.” The Naat, which Ala Hazrat sent, begins with the following stanza:
” Unki mehek ne dil ke ghunche kila diye He
Jis raah chal diye he, kooche basa diye he.”
When Hazrat Hassan Raza Khan reached Delhi and presented the Naat to Daagh Delwhi, he looked at it and said, “This does not seem like the poetry of Mawlana Hassan Raza Khan. Whose is it?” Hazrat Hassan Raza Khan replied that it was written by Ala Hazrat (R.A).
On hearing this, Daagh Delhwi said, “you have brought the Qalaam of Ala Hazrat to me for correction! This is the Qalaam of such a poet who holds no place for any corrections. But, since it is incomplete, I would like to write the final verse from my side. Please ask Ala Hazrat not to change it as I am aware that he does not like anything written in his praise.”
After saying this, he wrote the verse:
“Mulke Sukhan Ki Shahi Tum Ko Raza Musallam
Jis Simt Aagaye ho sikhe Bithaa diye hai”
So, to those who accuse Ala Hazrat of praising himself in his Poetry, they will find sufficient evidence to prove that it was Daagh Delhwi who inserted that stanza and not Ala Hazrat (R.A) himself!
Commenting on one of Ala Hazrat’s poems, Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Muhaddith Kichauchawi said, “Once I had the opportunity of reciting the Qasida-e-Me’rajia (a poem of Ala Hazrat regarding the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)’s Me’raj) in my own style, in a select gathering of men of letters (highly educated men) at Lucknow. I then asked them about the literary worth of the poem. Everybody was overwhelmed and they all exclaimed that the language is superb, pure and divine.”
SPIRITUAL LIFE OF ALA HAZRAT:
Bayt and Khilafat
In the year 1294 A.H., at the age of 22 years, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat became the Mureed (disciple) of Imamul Asfiya, Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasul Mahrerwi (R.A).The incident surrounding the Bayt (spiritual allegiance) and Khilafat (spiritual successorship) of Ala Hazrat is as follows:
Once Hazrat Mawlana Abdul Qadir Badayouni came to Barelvi Sharif. He invited Ala Hazrat to go to Mahrera Sharif with him. Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat accepted his invitation and they both set off to Mahrera Sharif. When they arrived at the station in Mahrera Sharif, Ala Hazrat said, “I am receiving the scent of my Murshid.”
When they reached the Khanqah-e-Barakaati and entered, Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasul saw Ala Hazrat and said, “come in. I have been awaiting your presence for a long time.”
Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasul immediately made Ala Hazrat a Mureed, and then blessed him with Khilafat and Ijazat in all the Sufi Silsilas. Thus, Ala Hazrat’s Peer-o-Murshid (spiritual guide) was Hazrat Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasul (R.A).
Hazrat Sayyiduna Abul Hussain Noori Barakaati (R.A), who was also the Peer-o-Murshid of Mawlana Mustafa Raza Khan (R.A), was also present in this spiritual gathering. He was also a great Awliyah Allah and needed no introduction to Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A).
For the benefit of the others who were present, and to make them aware of the exalted calibre and status of Ala Hazrat (R.A), he asked Hazrat Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasul a question.
He asked, “Huzoor! The ritual here at Mahrera Sharif is that if any person comes here, and after becoming Mureed desires to gain Khilafat and Ijazat, then we ask him to perform Mujahida (struggle in the path of Allah). We also give him dried bread to eat as part of his spiritual training. After this, if we find him worthy enough, then we grant him Khilafat and Ijazat in one or two Silsilas, but you have blessed this young man with Khilafat and Ijazat of all the Silsilas, and even commanded him to look at and verify all the Kitaabs which you have written. Why is this so?”
Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasul answered with the following words: “O people! You do not know Ahmed Raza. Others who come here need to be prepared before gaining Ijazat and Khilafat. But Ahmed Raza Khan has come prepared from Almighty Allah. All he needed was a link and this is why I made him my Mureed.
I always feared, due to the fear of Almighty Allah, that if on the day of Qiyamah He questioned me concerning what I had brought for him from the world, I would have no answer. But today, that fear no longer exists. If on the day of Qiyamah the Almighty asks, ‘O Aale Rasul! What have you brought for me?’ then, I will immediately present Imam Ahmed Raza Khan to my Creator.”
This highly spiritual incident alone explains the status of Ala Hazrat, Azeemul Barkat, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A).
Ala Hazrat possessed immense love for his Pir-o-Murshid and for their family members. He also displayed his love for all those who had contact with them and respected them. Whenever Ala Hazrat went to Mahrera Sharif to gain blessings from his Pir-o-Murshid, he would remove his shoes at the station and walk bare feet in Mahrera Sharif!
Whenever any person or representative from Mahrera Sharif arrived in Barelvi Sharif to deliver a letter or parcel to Ala Hazrat (R.A), he would treat that person with great respect and dignity. He addressed the person with words of respect, such as, “Most Respected Representative” and would not allow that person to leave without giving him something to eat. Ala Hazrat would personally go into the house to bring out food for that person. He even used to carry the dish or plate of food on his head!
If this is the respect that Ala Hazrat showed towards the representatives of his Pir-o-Murshid and his family, one cannot imagine or fathom the respect, which he showed towards them personally!
Imam Ahmed Raza’s Mureeds and Khulafa
There were many Mureeds (disciples) and Khulafa (spiritual successors) of Ala Hazrat (R.A). They have spread far and wide over Indo-Pak and also in all parts of the world. Nearly 35 are in the other parts of the world and 30 in Indo-Pak sub-continent.These are the leading ones:
1. Hujjatul Islam, Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Muhammad Hamid Raza Khan Noori Barakaati (R.A)
2. Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind, Hazrat Mawlana Mustafa Raza Khan Noori Barakaati (R.A)
3. Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Abdus Salaam Jabalpuri (R.A)
4. Sadrul-Afaadil, Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Na’eemuddeen Muraadabadi (R.A)
5. Malikul Ulema, Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Sayyid Zafar’uddeen Bihaari (R.A)
6. Mubbalig-e-Azam, Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddique (R.A)
7. Sadrus Shariah, Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Mufti Amjad Ali (R.A)
8. Qutbul Madinatul Munawwara, Hazrat Allamah Sheikh Zia’uddeen Ahmed Al Madani (R.A)
9. Burhaan-e-Millat, Hazrat Allamah Burhaanul Haq (R.A)
10. Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Mukhtar Ahmad Siddiqi Meerati (R.A)
11. Sheikh Muhammad Abd al-Hayy (R.A)
12. Sheikh Ahmad Khalil (R.A)
13. Sheikh Ahmad Khudravi (R.A)
14. Sheikh Muhammad bin Abi Bakr (R.A)
15. Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id (R.A)
16. Hazrat Mawlana Sayyid Ahmad Ashraf (R.A)
17. Hazrat Mawlana Shah Sulayman Ashraf
Imam Ahmed Raza’s First Hajj
Imagine the condition of that Lover of the Prophet (or Aashiq-e-Rasul (s.a.w)) who is blessed with the opportunity of visiting the Rawza-e-Aqdas of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), and placing his eyes on the doorstep of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
This opportunity of performing his first Hajj and Ziyarat was granted to Ala Hazrat on the 26th of Shawwal 1295 A.H (1876). He was 20 years of age.
One day, after completing his Hajj, he went to perform his Maghrib Salah before the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim. Having completed his Salah, the Imam of the Shafi order of Makkatul Mukarramah, Allamah Hussain bin Saleh Kamaal (R.A), approached him. He clutched Ala Hazrat by his hand and led him to his house. The Imam then placed his hand on the blessed forehead of Ala Hazrat and said, “Verily, I am observing the Noor of Almighty Allah on this forehead.”
Without hesitation, he blessed Ala Hazrat with the Sanad (certificate) of Sahih Sitta (six Compilers of Hadith: Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi and Nisa’i).
He also began addressing Ala Hazrat by the title of “Zia’uddin” or “the Light & Splendour of Religion.”
Ala Hazrat was also blessed with the Sanads of Ahadith from the Muftis of the Hanafi order in Makkatul Mukarramah, Sayyiduna Allamah Abdur Rahmaan Siraaj and Mufti Sheikh Sayed Ahmad Dahlaan Shafi (R.A).
It was also during this historical visit that Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat informed the Ulema-e-Haramain Sharifain concerning the blasphemous and corrupt beliefs of the Ulema-e-Deoband.
Having studied Ala Hazrat’sbooks, “Aljaamu Sunnah Li Ahli Fitna” and “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad”, which he presented to them, they also gave their verdicts on those who committed blasphemy and those who had written words of disrespect against Almighty Allah and His Beloved Rasul (s.a.w).
The verdicts of the Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah and Madinatul Munawwarah were compiled to form the famous, “Husaamul Haramain.”
Imam Ahmed Raza’s Second Hajj
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan performed his second Hajj in 1323 A.H. (1905). He was 49 years old.
On the 25th of Zil-Hajj, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat once again had the opportunity of meeting the great Imam, Sheikh Saleh Kamaal (R.A). He also met Allamah Sayed Ismail and many other Noble Ulema, who showed great respect towards him.
It was on this occasion that Allamah Sheikh Saleh Kamaal presented Ala Hazrat with five questions pertaining to I’lm-e-Ghaib (Knowledge of the Unseen). These questions were posed on behalf of the Wahabi Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah.
Ala Hazrat had to answer these five questions in two days.
In so happened that on the following day, Ala Hazrat contracted a heavy fever. In spite of his illness, he managed to answer all the questions relating to Ilm-e-Ghaib.
In fact, Ala Hazrat presented such a detailed answer to the question of Ilm-e-Ghaib that it turned out to be a complete book on its own. He named this book, “Al Dawlatul Makkiyah Bil Maadatil Ghaibiya.”
The learned Ulema of Haramain Sharifain were totally astounded when Ala Hazrat presented this book to them on time. He completed this book of approximately 400 pages in only 8 hours.
It was also in the pure Arabic language. If one totals the numerical values of the Arabic letters in the context of this Kitaab, “Al Daulatul Makkiyah Bil Maadatil Ghaibiya,” one would discover that they amount to 1323.
It had the same numbers as the year 1323 A.H, in which Ala Hazrat performed his second Hajj!
In the Presence of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)
It was during Ala Hazrat’s second visit to the Haramain Sharifain that his aspiration to see the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) became extremely great.
Continuously reciting the Durood Sharif with great veneration and humbleness in front of the Rawza-e-Sharif of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), he felt confidence within himself of seeing the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
It was during the second night of his visit to the doorstep of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w) that he was given the opportunity of actually seeing the Blessed Personality of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
On that night, Ala Hazrat (R.A), in a state of total submission, lifted his pen and began writing a Naat in praise of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w). The first line of that Naat is: “Wo Soo’e La’la Zaar Phirte hai…”
The beautiful Naat continues praising the Beloved of Allah (s.a.w) and ends with the following verse:”
Koyi Kyu Pooch teri baat Raza, Tujh se kutte hazaar phirte hai”
Here, Ala Hazrat lowers himself in extreme devotion and humility, and addresses himself as the “dog” of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
At this point, he was given the opportunity of seeing with his own eyes, the beloved personality of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) standing beside the Rawza Mubarak!
“Ar’re Ai Raza tere dil ka pata chala ba mushkil
Darre Rawza Ke Muqaabil wo hume Nazar to Aaya
Ye na pooch kaisa paaya, Ye Na pooch kaisa paaya
Tuje humd he khuda ya, Tuje humd he khuda ya”
His Love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)
Ala Hazrat spent every moment of his life praising the Holy Prophet (s.a.w). Everything he did was for the Pleasure of Almighty Allah and His Rasul (s.a.w).
Professor Dr Abdul Wahid Halepota, Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology, Government of Pakistan, said: “Ala Hazrat Mawlana Shah Ahmed Raza Khan is that ingenious personality of the Indo-Pak Sub-Continent whose academic position and legal insight has general recognition. His multifarious achievements deserve that they should be spread on an international level. His greatest deed is that he beautified the hearts of the Muslims with the love of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) through his academic wonders, sweet speeches and most valuable Naatya Qalaam (Poetry in praise of the Holy Prophet s.a.w).”
Once, Ala Hazrat went into the Raza Masjid in Barelvi Sharif. A Majzoob confronted him, by the name of Hazrat Dhoka Shah (R.A).
The Majzoob said, “O Ahmed Raza! I see the Power of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) only on the earth and not in the skies.”
Ala Hazrat (R.A), in turn, replied: “The Power of Huzoor (s.a.w) is on the earth and in the skies.” The Majzoob said that he could not see this.
Ala Hazrat said, “Whether you see it or not, it is still present.”
The Majzoob, in a highly spiritual state, said, “Go! I have dropped him.”
At that moment, Mawlana Mustafa Raza Khan (Ala Hazrat’s son), who was still a child, was playing on the roof of the house. When Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat reached the house, the child’s mother came up to him and said, “You should know better than to argue with Majzoobs. Look! Mustafa Raza has fallen off the roof.”
Ala Hazrat enquired as to whether his son had been hurt or not. When he was told that he was not injured, he said, “I am prepared to sacrifice a thousand Mustafa Raza’s on the Raza (pleasure) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), but I will not allow one word to be uttered against the dignity of Rasul-e-Akram (s.a.w).”
After some time, the Majzoob returned and met Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat and said, “o Ahmed Raza! You are victorious. Our case was brought up before Sultaanul-Hind, Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A). He had passed the verdict on your behalf, and alhamdulillah, through your blessings, I am now able to see the karam (mercy) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) even in the skies.”
It has been recorded that Hazrat Mawlana Naeemuddin Muradabadi once asked Ala Hazrat the reason from him being so severe upon those who disrespected Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w).
Ala Hazrat replied, “O Mawlana! I am severe upon those people, because instead of insulting Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w), they should rather make me the target for their insults. I do not have any interest in what they are calling me. At least, while they are busy insulting me, my beloved master, Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w) is spared from these insults!”
The above-mentioned incidents clearly highlight the following thoughts of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A): “If you desire my life, I will sacrifice it. If you desire my wealth, I will give it. But, there is one thing that I will never sacrifice, and that is the love and reverence for the Beloved, Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w).”
Dr Karrar Hussain, Vice Chancellor, Baluchistan University Quetta (Baluchistan) said: “I am impressed by his personality because it was he who gave pivotal role to the love and affection of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) without which, Islam is a body without a soul.”
Also commenting on the great love that Ala Hazrat had for Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w), Justice Shamim Hussain Qadri, Punjab High Court, Lahore (Pakistan), said: “He was a devotee of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) from the deepest chambers of his heart, and to popularise this attitude is the need of the hour. Love, affection and devotion to the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w) personality is the only solution to the multifarious problems of our temporal life and a solution for the life hereafter.”
Love and Respect for the Descendants of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)
It is Ala Hazrat who showed the Muslim world how to respect the descendants or family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). His entire life is filled such with incidents.
Many are aware of this famous incident. Once, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan was invited to the home of a certain person. In those days, the Ulema were carried in chariots as a means of transport. Ala Hazrat was sitting in one of these chariots that was carried by the chariot-bearers. As they proceeded along the way, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat suddenly commanded the chariot-bearers to stop. He immediately alighted from the chariot and asked, “Who is a Sayyed from amongst you? I am receiving the scent of a Sayyed.” One of the chariot-bearer’s, who was a Sayyed, was too scared to speak. Nevertheless, when Ala Hazrat further prompted that person to reveal himself, he came forward and admitted that he was Sayyed.
With tears in his eyes, Ala Hazrat fell at his feet and began asking for pardon. The Sayyed continuously asked Ala Hazrat to refrain from doing so but, Ala Hazrat continued asking for pardon, by saying, “Please forgive me. What would I do on the Day of Qiyamah if the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) asks me concerning this incident, and says to me that I showed disrespect to his family?”
The Sayyed readily forgave Ala Hazrat (R.A). But this Aashiq-e-Rasul (s.a.w) was yet not satisfied. He commanded the Sayyed to sit on the chariot, and placing the chariot on his blessed shoulders, carried the Sayyed for the same distance for which he had been carried!
Allahu Akbar! Those who had been witnesses to this incident could not believe that the Imam of the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, the Mujaddid of Islam was carrying a chariot-bearer on his blessed shoulders. But to Ala Hazrat (R.A), that person that he was carrying was no ordinary chariot-bearer. It was a family member of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w)!
It has also been stated that a child, who was a Sayyed, used to live in the vicinity of Barelvi Sharif. The child used to play in the presence of Ala Hazrat while Ala Hazrat would be busy writing. Each time that the child ran pass the door or came in the presence of Ala Hazrat (R.A), he would stand up in respect for that child. Even when the child passed the door ten times in a day, then Ala Hazrat used to stand up tens times in a day in respect for that Sayyed child.
When Imam Ahmed Raza Khan was asked about the Islamic punishment that was to be meted out to a Sayyed, he remarked, “Even though a Judge is called upon to declare judgement and punishment upon a Sayyed, and the penalty that he has decreed is within the tenets of Islam, he (the Judge), should not have the Niyah (intention) that he is punishing the Sayyed. Rather, he should think that a small amount of mud has smeared itself on the Sayyed’s feet, which he is merely washing away”. (Al Malfooz Sharif)
Imam Ahmed Raza’s adherence to the Sunnah
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan laid great emphasis on following the Sunnah of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w).
The following account clearly describes Ala Hazrat’s great trust and faith upon the Sunnah.
Ala Hazrat narrates, “There was once a rumour in Barelvi, that the Plague had appeared. Coincidently, at that moment, my gums became extremely inflamed. It continued to such proportions that it became difficult for me to open my mouth. I also had a high fever, coupled with inflamed glands. The doctor who was called, looked at me closely for a few minutes. He exclaimed that I had the Plague. I could not speak at that moment, or else I could have told him that his diagnosis was incorrect and false.
“I was certain that I did not have the Plague or any other major disease, simply because I had already recited a Dua as explained by Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w) who said that if one sees a serious and deadly illness, he should recite the following Dua, which would protect the person from such an illness. I had, therefore, recited this dua: ‘Alhamdulillahil lazi aafini mim mab tilaaka bihi wa fad dalni ‘ala katheeram mimam khalaqa tafdeelan.’
Whenever I saw a serious illness, including the Plague, I recited this Dua therefore I was protected against it.”
Ala Hazrat continues: “Thereafter, with extreme respect, I proclaimed, ‘O Allah! Prove that the words of your Beloved Habib (s.a.w) is true, and that the words of the doctor is false’.
At that moment, a voice on my right advised me to use the Miswaak and black pepper. With a little difficulty, I performed brushing with the Miswaak and kept the black pepper on my tongue as a tablet. Infinite, indeed, is the Mercy of Almighty Allah! Within a few minutes, I had gained my strength and sent the doctor away by proving that his diagnosis was false and baseless.”
A similar incident, showing the great trust that Ala Hazrat had in Almighty Allah and His beloved Habib (s.a.w), is recorded by Mawlana Mohammed Sharif.
He says, “Once, when Ala Hazrat was returning from Hajj by ship with his father, there was a great storm. The storm reached such intensity that the Captain advised the passengers to wear their kafans (shrouds), for he could see no escape from such a storm. Ala Hazrat (R.A), noticing the concern on the face of his father, inquired as to what had transpired. His father replied, ‘My beloved son, I have no concern for myself, rather it is for you that I am sad’. The young Ala Hazrat replied, ‘O father! If the captain has lost hope then let him do so. We should have complete faith in Allah and His Beloved Habib, Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w). In accordance with the commands of the Beloved Habib (s.a.w), when entering this ship, I recited the Dua: ‘Subhaanallazi sakh khara lana haaza wa maa kunna lahu muqrineen wa inna ila Rabbina la mun qalibun’.
Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w) has stated that, ‘Whosoever, recites this Dua when entering a ship (any mode of transport), that ship would not be destroyed. Therefore, I have absolute certainty that generations may change, yet, this ship would never sink’.”
Ala Hazrat had merely spoken these words, when the Captain arrived and began informing the passengers that the storm is subsiding and that there was no need for concern!
Love for Sayyiduna Ghawsul Azam (R.A)
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan possessed immense love for Sayyiduna Ghawsul Azam, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Baghdadi (R.A).
Hazrat Muhaddith-e-Azam Hind reported that in the period when he was given permission to serve in the Darul Ifta at Barelvi Sharif, Ala Hazrat bought sweets (Niyaaz) to the value of 11 Rupees and made the Fatiha of Sayyiduna Ghawsul Azam (R.A). He then distributed the sweets to those who were present. While the sweets were being distributed, those who were present became astonished to see Ala Hazrat standing up from his chair and kneeling down on to the floor in the Sajda position. They immediately came closer to him too see what had happened. Then only did they realise that the person distributing the Niyaaz had dropped a little on the ground, and Ala Hazrat was lifting this piece of Niyaaz with the tip of his blessed tongue!
This alone shows the great amount of love and respect that Ala Hazrat possessed for Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (R.A). It has been stated that Ala Hazrat was not only the Na’ib (Helper) of Sayyiduna Ghawsul Azam (R.A), but he was also the Ghawsul Azam of his time. He wrote many Manqabats in praise of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (R.A).
His Contentment and Abstention from Worldly Activities
It is recorded that Ala Hazrat had a few acres of land in his possession. Ala Hazrat left the entire maintenance of the land in the responsibility and trust of others. Although Ala Hazrat received a monthly allowance from his own property, he spent his allowance in the service of guests, of Sayyeds and in the purchasing of books.
There were times when Ala Hazrat was left with only a few pennies in his pocket! But he never inquired about the income that he received from his few possessions. (Al Mizaan, page 335)
During the Khilafat Movement, Ghandi was advised that he should meet with the distinguished Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A). People such as the Ali Brothers, Mawlana Qiyaamudin and Abdul Baari Faranghi made this suggestion to Ghandi. They said that since Ala Hazrat commanded the respect of the large Muslim populace, it would assist them in their Khilafat Movement.
When Ala Hazrat was told that the Ghandi wished to meet and speak to him, he said, “What would he speak about? Religion or worldly affairs? If it is worldly affairs, what can I partake in, for I have abstained from the world and have no interest in it.” (Al Mizaan, page 335)
SERVICES AS A MUJADDID
Imam Ahmed Raza as the Mujaddid of the 14th Century
Undoubtedly, besides being recognised as a great Wali, as the Ghawsul Azam and as the Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A) of his time, Ala Hazrat was also the Mujaddid (Reviver) of Islam of the 14th century.
He possessed all the conditions of a Mujaddid and his entire life was spent trying to revive the Deen of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
A cloud of darkness had covered most of the world and the false concepts of Polytheism (Shirk) and Innovations (Bid’at) were coming into existence. The Muslims were in a state of confusion. They were surrounded by clouds of Kufr (disbelief), Shirk and Bid’at.
It is through the Divine Grace of Almighty Allah and the Sadqah of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) that the Reviver of the 14th Century, Imam-e-Ahle Sunnat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan shone like the sun in this darkness, and with his bright proofs, he destroyed the darkness of Kufr and revived Islam.
Professor Manzooruddin Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi said: “The reality is that on reading several books of Imam Ahmed Raza, I have come to the conclusion that through his writings and speeches, the Fatwa (inquisitions) and hundreds of small and bulky treatises, he had struggled for the revival of Islam, and as a reward he was declared as a Mujaddid of his century by the Ulema (scholars of Islam), in particular, the scholars of Makkah and Madinah (Haramain Sharifain).”
A Hadith recorded in Mishkaat Sharif and quoted by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah says that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Verily, at the end of every century, Almighty Allah will send such a person to the Ummah, who will revive the Deen for the them (the Ummah).”
In other the words, when there comes a period in which there is a shortage of knowledge and a deterioration in following of the Sunnah; when there is an increase in false innovations and ignorance; then Almighty Allah will send a person at the beginning or end of every century who will show the difference between Sunnah and Bid’at. He will refute and destroy false innovations and will fear none but Almighty Allah. He will very bravely and sincerely hoist the flag of Deen-e-Muhammadi (s.a.w). Such a person is known as a “Mujaddid” (Reviver) of Deen.
The author of the book, “Siraajum Muneer”, has explained who a Mujaddid is in the following words: “In other words, to revive the Deen is to revive those teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah that are being destroyed and to give command according to the Qur’an and Sunnah.”
Allamah Munaadi states: “A Mujaddid is one who separates Sunnah from Bid’ah and one who degrades the status of the Ahle Bid’ah.”
Why does a Mujaddid come after 100 years? A Mujaddid is sent after every 100 years because after every century the surroundings, the environment, the manner of thinking and ways of the people tend to pass through a massive transformation. It has been stated in the Hadith of Bukhari Sharif that during the latter stages of the Prophet’s (s.a.w) physical life, one night, after performing Esha Salaah, he stood up and said, “Should I inform you of the importance of this night? From this night onwards, right up to the end of a 100 years, that person who is alive on the earth (presently) will not be alive.”
Can there be more than one Mujaddid in a century? Yes. There can be more, and there has already been more than one Mujaddid in a century.
In the Hadith, the Arabic word that is used to explain the coming of the Mujaddid is in the singular tense, but according to the meaning, it is a plural as it has been explained in the Kitaabs of Usool-e-Fiqh. Allamah Mullah Ali bin Sultan Qaari who is the Mujaddid of the 11th century says, “From the words, not only one single person is implied, but the implication is towards a group of people, from amongst whom each one is reforming a single type of knowledge or all types of knowledge in his city.”
A List of Known Mujaddids from the First Century:
a. Sayyiduna Imam Umar bin Abdul Aziz
a. Imam Hassan Basri,
b. Imam Muhammad bin Hassan Shaibani
c. Imam Maalik bin Anas
d. Imam Abdullah bin Idrees Shafi
a. Imam Abul Hassan bin Umar,
b. Imam Ahmad bin Hambal
a. Imam Tahtaawi,
b. Imam Isma’eel bin Hamaad Ja’fari,
c. Imam Abu Jaafar bin Jareer Tibri,
d. Imam Abu Haatim Raazi
a. Imam Abu Naeem Isfahani,
b. Imam Abul Hussain Ahmad bin Muhammad Abi Bakr-il-Qaadir,
c. Imam Hussain bin Raaghib,
d. Imam Muhammad bin Muhammad Ghazali
a. Imam Abul Fadhl Umar Raazi,
b. Allamah Imam Umar Nasfi,
c. Imam Qaazi Fakhrud’Deen Hassan Mansoor,
d. Imam Abu Muhammad Hussain bin Mas’ood Fara’a
a. Allamah Imam Abul Fadhl Jamaaluddeen Muhammad bin Afriqi Misri,
b. Imam Sheikh Shahbuddin Suharwardi,
c. Khwaja Muhi’yuddeen Chishti Ajmeri,
d. Imam Abul Hassan Uz’zuddeen Ali bin Muhammad Ibn Atheer,
e. Imam Sheikh Akbar Muhi’yuddeen Muhammad ibn Arabi
a. Imam Taaj’uddeen bin Ata’ullah Sikandari,
b. Khwaja Nizamuddin Awliyah Mahboob-e-Ilahi,
c. Imam Umar bin Mas’ood Taftazaani
a. Imam Hafiz Jallaluddeen Abu Bakr Abdur Rahmaan Suyuti,
b. Imam Nooruddin bin Ahmad Misri,
c. Imam Muhammad bin Yusuf Karmani,
d. Imam Shamsuddin Abul Kheyr Muhammad bin Abdur Rahmaan Sakhawi,
e. Allamah Imam Sayed Sharif Ali bin Muhammad Jarmaani
a. Imam Shahabuddin Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Muhammad Khatib Qistalaani,
b. Imam Muhammad Sharbini,
c. Allamah Sheikh Muhammad Taahir Muhaddith
a. Imam Ali bin Sultaan Qaari,
b. Imam Sheikh Ahmad Sarhindi Mujaddid-e-Alf Thaani,
c. Sultaanul Arifeen Imam Muhammad Baahu
a. Allamah Mawlana Imam Abul Hassan Muhammad bin Abdul Haadi Sindhi,
b. Imam Abdul Ghani Taablisi,
c. Sheikh Ahmad Mullah Jeewan
a. Imam Abdul Ali Luckhnowi,
b. Imam Sheikh Ahmad Saadi Maaliki,
c. Allamah Imam Ahmad bin Ismaeel Tahtaawi,
d. Allamah Shah Abdul Azeez Muhaddith-e-Delhwi
Imam-e-Ahle Sunnah, Qami-e-Bid’at, Mujaddid-e-Azam, Ala Hazrat, Ash Shah Imam Ahmed Raza Khan
Imam Ahmed Raza’s Jihad against the Insulters of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w)
Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat spent much of his time also refuting those who insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w). He left no stone unturned in safeguarding the dignity and integrity of Holy Prophet (s.a.w), in spite of being personally attacked by the misguided. These personal attacks did not bother him in the least bit!
Allamah Abdul Hamid, Vice Chancellor of Al Jamia Al-Nizamiyya (Hyderbad, India), said: “Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan was a Sword of Islam and a great commander for the cause of Islam. He may justifiably be called an invincible fort that helped to defend the basic tenets and ideas of the Ahle Sunnah wal Jamaat. It is on accord of his untiring efforts that due respect and regard for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and other Sufis & Saints of Islam is still alive in the Muslim society. His opponents had to mend their ways. No doubt he is the Imam (Leader) of the Ahle Sunnah. His written and compiled works reflect immense depth and vision.”
Justice Allamah Mufti Sayyid Shuja’at Ali Qadri (R.A), Shariah Court, Government of Pakistan (Islamabad), said: “He was pious like Ahmad bin Hambal and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. He had true acumen and insight of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf. He commanded the force of logic like Imam Razi and Imam Ghazali, bold enough like Mujaddid Alf Thaani and Mansoor Hallaj to proclaim the truth. Indeed, he was intolerant to non-believers, kind and sympathetic to devotees, and the affectionates of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).”
The adversaries of Ala Hazrat levelled many accusations and tried desperately in defending their Kufr statements. After much proofs, when it became absolutely clear to Ala Hazrat that certain misguided individuals were not prepared in withdrawing their Kufr statements and making Tawba, in order to protect Islam he passed Kufr Fatwas against those persons.
We should remember that he passed the “Fatwa-e-Takfeer” (Kufr Fatwa) against those persons who insulted the status and dignity of Almighty Allah and His Rasul (s.a.w). He passed the Fatwa-e-Takfeer on persons such as Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi and others because, through their writings, it was evident that they had insulted the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
We will quote some of the following blasphemous statements that were made by them:
– In page 51 of “Baraahin Qatia”, Khalil Ahmed Ambetwi says: “After looking at the condition of Satan and the Angel of Death, it can be gained that they possess a great depth of knowledge and this has been proven from Quran and Ahadith. To prove such knowledge for Fakhre Aalam (Muhammad s.a.w) without proof from the Quran and Ahadith, but from common sense, is a false thought. If, to do so is not a Shirk, then in which category of faith does it fall?”
– In page 6 of “Hifzul Imaan”, (Printed in Mazahirul Uloom), Ashraf Ali Thanvi says: “If Knowledge of the Unseen refers to partial knowledge, then what speciality is there in Nabi (s.a.w). Such knowledge is possessed by Zaid and Amr (any Tom, Dick and Harry), every child, insane people and all types of animals.”
– In page 5 of “Tahzeerun Naas”, (Published in Makhtaba Fayz Nazd Jami Masjid Deoband), Qasim Nanotwi says: “Prophets are superior to their followers only in Knowledge, but in good deeds, followers sometimes seem equal and occasionally even become superior to them.”
– In Part 2, page 12 of “Fatwa Rasheedia”, (Published Makhtaba Rasheedia Jami Masjid Delhi), Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi says: “The word ‘Rahmatul lil A’lameen’ is not a speciality of Rasul (s.a.w). But other Prophets, Saints and great Ulema are also cause for mercy unto the worlds, even though Rasul (s.a.w) is the highest of them all. Therefore, to use this word on others, is also permissible.”
If one examines the original books that were written by such persons, one will find other similar disrespectful statements found in their writings.
Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat’s cautiousness in declaring a person a Kafir is to be noted in many of his books. In his book, “Subhaanus Subooh”, he academically destroys the arguments of Maulvi Ismail Dehlwi.
Yet, at the end of the book, Ala Hazrat says, “The Ulema have not termed this individual as a Kafir, therefore, one has to be careful.”
Once again, refuting the arguments of Maulvi Ismail Dehlwi and a few of his “infamous” followers in another book, “Al Kaukabatush Sha’haabiya”, Ala Hazrat says: “In our opinion (the opinion of Islam), to term a person a Kafir and to control one’s tongue is an act of extreme precaution and analysis.”
In another treatise entitled, “Sallus Suyooful Hindiya”, Ala Hazrat states: “There is indeed a difference between accepting words of Kufr and branding a person a Kafir. We have to be extremely careful. We have to remain silent. If there is the smallest possibility that he is still a Muslim, we should fear terming that person a Kafir.”
In his book, “Subhaanus Subooh”, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat says, “We do not give any comment on the Kufr of Maulvi Ismail Dehlwi, simply because Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w) has warned us against terming the Ahle Qibla as Kaafirs. (It is only possible) to term a person a Kafir if his Kufr becomes clear as the sun and the smallest indication does not remain that he is still a Muslim.” (Tamheed-e-Imaan, page 42-43)
From the above statements, we clearly see how careful Ala Hazrat was in terming a person a Kafir. He was merely fulfilling his duty as a conscientious and responsible Muslim. The fault was indeed of those individuals, who even after being warned, remained steadfast in their own beliefs and words of Kufr.
As we have already stated earlier, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan sent many of the blasphemous and insulting statements to the Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah and Madinatul Munawwarah for clarification. They did not hesitate in passing the Fatwa of Kufr against such people who insulted Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
A few Fatwas of the Ulema-e-Haramain Sharifain
– First Fatwa:
“All Praise is due to Allah, the Master of the Worlds, Who has made the Ulema-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (s.a.w) the freshness of this world. By manifesting truth and guidance, and filling cities and heights, and by siding the religion of Sayyidul Mursaleen (s.a.w), they saved the society of Huzoor (s.a.w) from violation and (with their bright proofs) they destroyed the heresy of those who were misled.
“After sending praise and salutations, I have seen that which that learned person and professional teacher has purely written. It is a struggle on behalf of the religion of Muhammad (s.a.w). In other words, my brother and my respected Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A), who in his book, “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad” has refuted the evil leaders of the false sects and false beliefs. Such people are worse than all evil, wicked and seditious people. Our author, in his book, has summarised and stated the names of those wrongdoers, who due to their wrong doings, are soon to become the worst and the lowest amongst the infidels.
“May Almighty Allah grant him (Imam Ahmed Raza) great reward for unveiling the wickedness and wrongness. May Allah accept his efforts and place his most high honour into the hearts of all people.”
He has said this with his tongue and his writing has given an order. He is hopeful in gaining all he wishes from his Creator.
MUHAMMAD SAEED BIN BAABSEEL – MUFTI OF THE SHAFI ORDER IN MAKKAH (R.A)
– Second Fatwa:
“All Praise is for Allah Who is One. After praise, I have heard of this bright and evident book. I have realised that our leader and most learned sea of great wisdom, Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan has made obvious the wrongs of those who have left the fold of Deen, those who walk on the path of the infidels and the wicked ones, in his book “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad.” From among their corrupt beliefs, not one of them did he leave un-examined.
“O! Readers, it is essential for you to hold on to this Kitaab in which it’s author has written with great swiftness. You will find in this book bright and evident proof in refutal of these groups. Especially those individuals who intend to undo the objective which is already bound. Who are these individuals who are known as Wahabis? From amongst them is “Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani” who has claimed Prophethood, and the other ones who have come out of Deen and insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) are Qasim Nanotwi, Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi and all those who follow their ways.
“Almighty Allah grant Imam Ahmed Raza Khan great reward for he has given cure and has answered his decree which is in his book, “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad”, in which are also the decrees of the Ulema of Makkah and Madinah. Due to the corruption and trouble, it has become necessary for them as they (the misguided) are spreading corruption on this earth, they and all those on their path.
“May Almighty Allah execute them where they behave arrogantly. May Allah give Imam Ahmed Raza glad tidings and shower His blessings upon him and his children amongst those who will speak truthfully until Qiyamah. Ameen.”
One in need of forgiveness from his Powerful Creator,
MUHAMMAD BIN ABDUS SALAAM DAGHISTANI – MUFTI MADINATUL MUNAWWARA (R.A)
– Third Fatwa:
“All Praise is due to Almighty Allah Who has shown the path to those whom He has guided and with His Justice, misguided him who He has left, and granted the Believers an easy path to gain advice. He has opened their hearts to bring faith in Almighty Allah and bear witness with their tongues and keep sincerity with their hearts and follow that which Allah and His Books have shown.
“Peace and Salutations upon him whom Allah has sent as a mercy unto the worlds, and upon him sent down His Clear Kitaab in which is the bright explanation of everything and to terminate the wrongness of the disbelievers. This Nabi (s.a.w), whose proof and arguments are clear, has made it obvious from his practices. Salutations upon his family for they are guides, and upon his Companions who have made the Deen firm and beneficent, and upon their followers until Qiyamah, especially, the four A’ima-e-Mujtahideen and those Muslims who are their followers.
“After Praise and Salutations, I put my sight on the book of a learned person on this earth. He has widened the path of knowledge and, in it (the book) made obvious every interpretation and utterance in his clearly convincing and sufficient arguments. He is Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan under whose name is “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad.”
“May Almighty Allah protect his life and always keep him happy. Now, that which is in refutal of those people, cursed and evil Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, who is the Dajjal Khazzab of the last decade and Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, Khalil Ambetwi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi, degrading and insulting Nabi (s.a.w). It is no doubt that they are Kafirs and those who have the power to execute them, then it is necessary for them to do so, to give them the death sentence.”
This has been said by the servant of Allah,
MUHAMMAD BIN HAMDAAN MAHSARI- SERVANT AT MASJID-E-NABAWI (R.A)
Some Titles bestowed upon Imam Ala Hazrat by:
the Noble Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah
1. Coolness for the eyes of the Ulema
2. A Beloved and Accepted Slave of Almighty Allah
3. The Seal of great Islamic research scholars
4. A leader of Ulema
5. The Mujaddid of this century
These titles are recorded in the books, “Al Fuyuzaatul Makkiya”, “Hisaamul Haramain” and “Ad Daulatul Makkiya.”
Some Titles bestowed upon Imam Ala Hazrat by:
the Noble Ulema of Madinatul Munawwarah
1. The leader among Imams
2. The leader among Mystics (Sufis)
3. The pride of great preceding Ulema and the leader of future Ulema
4. The Mujaddid of this Ummah
5. A judge among Islamic judges
6. The Imam among scholars of Ahadith
7. The destroyer of Bid’at and the Upholder of Sunnah
8. The Mujaddid of this century
These titles are recorded in the books, “Al Fuyuzaatul Makkiya”, “Hisaamul Haramain”, and “Ad Daulatul Makkiya.”
His Unique Memory
Once Ala Hazrat went to Pillibit Sharif. He stayed with Muhaddith-e-Surat, Hazrat Mawlana Wasi Ahmad Sahib (R.A).
Before leaving for Barelvi Sharif, Ala Hazrat requested to borrow a Kitaab called “Uqoodul Arya” from him. As there was only one copy of the book he gave Ala Hazrat the book and said, “After studying the book, please return it as these are the only few kitaabs that I have for Fatwa writing.”
Ala Hazrat was supposed to depart from Pillibit Sharif that night, but since he had been invited at another person’s home, he stayed one more night in Pillibit Sharif. Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat spent the entire night studying the Kitaab, which consisted of numerous volumes.
The following morning, before leaving for the railway station to meet Ala Hazrat (R.A), Hazrat Muhaddith-e-Surat found that the Kitaab that he had lent Ala Hazrat had been returned. He thought that Ala Hazrat was angry and displeased with him for asking him to return the Kitaab quickly. He immediately went to Ala Hazrat and asked for pardon. Ala Hazrat smiled and then said, “That is not the reason for returning the Kitaab. I stayed one more night, so I studied the book and, therefore, did not find the need to take it with me.”
When Hazrat Muhaddith-e-Surat heard this, he was surprised and exclaimed, “You have studied this book in one night!” Ala Hazrat replied, “Inshallah, for the next 3 months I will not need to look at the book to find any statements, and as for the essence of the book, inshallah, I will not forget it in my lifetime.” He then said, “The book did not have a table of contents. I have drawn up one for you.”
Ala Hazrat initially was not a Hafizul Qur’an. Once, someone wrote a letter to Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat and addressed him as “Hafiz”.
When Ala Hazrat saw this, he became depressed for he felt that he was not worthy of such a title. He immediately decided to become a Hafiz of the Holy Qur’an.
How did he become a Hafizul Quran? It has been stated that in the time period from Wudhu till the time of Jamaat, Hazrat Allamah Sadrush Shariat would recite one Sipara. Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat would listen to it and, thereafter, recite the same Sipara in the Taraweeh Salaah. He continued this routine for 30 days, and by the end of the month of Ramadan, Ala Hazrat became a complete Hafiz of the Holy Qur’an!
His Blessed Character
Both the inner and outer personality of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat was the same. He never compromised when it came to Shariat-e-Mustafa (s.a.w). He used to reprimand anyone who even uttered one word against Shariah. He was the perfect living example of “love for the sake of almighty Allah and hate for the sake of Allah.”
He never hurt the feelings of any good Muslim. He showed a splendid amount of affection towards the poor and orphans. On a certain occasion, Ala Hazrat was invited to a person’s house. Allamah Zafruddin Bihari accompanied him. The host, due to his extreme poverty, could only afford to place a few pieces of bread and some beef before his honourable guests. When Allamah Zafruddin saw the beef on the table, he became very uncomfortable as he knew that Ala Hazrat never used to eat beef. It did not agree with his health. But, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat did not object to the food. He sensed what Allamah Zafruddin was thinking about, so he said, “If any Muslim recites the following dua before eating, then no harm will be caused by the food.”
After completing the meal and, as they were departing, Allamah Zafruddin questioned the host about his reason for inviting Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat to his house in such a time of poverty. The host very confidently replied that although he was in such a state, he was sure that by Ala Hazrat’s presence in his home, his home would be blessed with Barakah and Mercy from Almighty Allah.
Once, a young boy went to see Ala Hazrat at his home. He said, “Huzoor! You are invited to my house tomorrow morning.”
Ala Hazrat lovingly asked the boy, “What will you be feeding me?” The boy, undoing a knot at the bottom of his kurta, happily replied, “Look! I have brought some Dhaal and chillies.” Ala Hazrat said, “Very well then. I shall come tomorrow.”
The following morning, Haji Kifaayatullah accompanied Ala Hazrat to the boy’s house. As they entered the house, Haji Kifaayatullah commented, “Huzoor! This is the home of a musician.” Just then the boy appeared to wash their hands. Ala Hazrat asked him, “Where is your father and what is his occupation?”
Before the boy could answer, the boy’s mother, from behind the Pardah (curtain), respectfully said, “Huzoor! My husband passed away and he used to be a musician, but before his death he repented. Now, all that I have is this young boy who works to support us.” Ala Hazrat then made Dua-e-Barakah and sat down to eat. After eating he said, “If I would receive such sincere invitations daily, then I will definitely accept them.”
Professor Dr Mukhtaruddin Arzoo, Dean of the Department of Arabic, Muslim University Aligarh, said: “His affection and hate were all for the sake of Allah. Believers in Almighty Allah were his friends, and non-believers his enemies. Followers of Allah and His Last Prophet (s.a.w) were close and dear to him. He was not unkind to his personal opponents. He was never harsh to them, but he never spared the enemies of Islam. The entire life of Ala Hazrat was illuminated with the glorious observance of Sunnat-e-Nabawi (s.a.w).”
Obedience towards Parents
After the demise of his father, Hazrat Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (R.A), Ala Hazrat inherited all his properties. Although he was the sole owner and beneficiary of these properties, Ala Hazrat never spent a single cent of this wealth without first seeking the permission of his blessed mother. Even if he wished to buy a Kitaab for study purposes he asked permission from his mother!
When Ala Hazrat wished to fulfil his heart’s desire of being present in front of the Rawza-e-Anwar, the Blessed Tomb of Sayyiduna Rasulallah (s.a.w), he first sought the permission of his blessed mother.
She immediately granted him permission by saying: “Bismillahi Khuda Hafiz.”
Respect towards the Superior Ulema
While studying the life of Ala Hazrat (R.A), it is difficult not to comprehend that he was, towards the enemies of Islam, an example of “Ashidda’aoo alal kuffar” (harsh upon the Kufaar). Towards the pious Muslims he was the shining example of “Ruhhamaoo bainahuma” (caring towards each other).
Ala Hazrat always showed immense love and respect towards the Ulema of the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat. He had a liking towards Allamah Abdul Qadir Badayouni (R.A).
Concerning the Ulema-e-Haq, Ala Hazrat always praised them with the following words, “these Ulema are such that if they had to enter a barren town, then it turns into a bright city, and when they depart from a city, it becomes a barren town.”
Hazrat Mahdi Hassan Barkaati (R.A), the Sajjada Nasheen of Sarkaare Kilan Mahrerah Sharif states, “When I used to go to Barelvi Sharif, Huzoor Ala Hazrat would personally bring out the food for me, and he would also wash my hands. Once, while washing my hands, he requested me to give him my ring and bangle, which were made of gold. I immediately presented them to him. Later, I departed to Bombay. When I returned to Mahrerah Sharif, my daughter informed me that there was a parcel for me from Barelvi Sharif. I opened the parcel and found enclosed the ring and bangle. There was also a note in it which Ala Hazrat wrote presenting the jewels to my daughter.”
Subhanallah! Look at the respect and wisdom that Ala Hazrat showed towards his superiors. He practised upon the law of “Amr bil Ma’roof Wa Nahi Anil Munkir” (forbidding that which is not proper and practising that which is good), and at the same time showing great respect towards Hazrat Mahdi Hassan Barkaati (R.A).
Respect for the Masjid
Once, Ala Hazrat was performing Itikaaf in the Masjid in Barelvi Sharif. It was a cold winter’s night. It was raining quiet heavily. Ala Hazrat went to perform his Wudhu.
In order not to allow the Masjid floors from becoming wet, he placed the blanket that he was wearing on to the Masjid floor by folding it four times to soak in the water. He then made his Wudhu on the blanket. Thus, he did not allow one drop of water to fall in the Masjid.Ala Hazrat then spent the entire night shivering in the cold since he did not have a blanket to cover himself with because it was damp with water.
Love and Respect towards Pilgrims
Ala Hazrat always showed great respect to Pilgrims (Hajis). He made it his duty to meet with the Hajis when they arrived from the Haramain Sharifain.Whenever he would meet a Haji, the very first question he used to ask was, “did you visit the Mazar of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)?” If the answer he received was in the affirmative, then he would kiss the feet of the Haji. If the Hajee replied that he did not, then Ala Hazrat would show his dissatisfaction and would end his conversation with that person.
Care for children
Hazrat Allamah Zafruddin Bihari states that while he was still a student in Barelvi Sharif, he and many others used to spend their Eid in Barelvi Sharif. They did not go home to their families as they lived far from the Madrassa.
But, he says that Eid was always spent joyfully because Ala Hazrat used to treat them like his very own children. He used to also give them “Eidi” (spending money) on that day.
When Muffasir-e-Azam-e-Hind, Hazrat Ibrahim Raza Khan (R.A) (who is the father of Tajush Shariah, Hazrat Allamah Mufti Mohammed Akhtar Raza Khan Al Azhari) was born, his grandfather, Ala Hazrat (R.A), out of great joy, invited all the students of Madrassa Manzare Islam to a meal.
Before preparing the meal, Ala Hazrat asked each group of students as to what they enjoyed eating. Accordingly, he prepared the meals for them – fish and rice for the Bengali students; Firini, Zarda and Biryani for the Bihari students; and sheep for the Punjabi and other foreign students.
Ala Hazrat loved and cared for children. He always made them feel comfortable around him. He never shouted or scolded at them unnecessarily.
If any child did something wrong, he would gently explain to that child their error, and show them the right path. He always returned the Salaams of little children.
A few of Imam Ahmed Raza’s Unique Habits
1. He never kept any ordinary book on the books of Ahadith.
2. He would be displeased if anyone spoke out unnecessarily while he explained the Ahadith.
3. He did not prefer anyone to sit with one leg onto the lap of the other leg. He would usually sit with both knees erect.
4. He would sit in the position of Tashahhud from the beginning to the end in a Mehfil-e-Milad (s.a.w), which sometimes lasted for 5 or 6 hours.
5. He would never chew paan during a lecture.
6. On hearing the name “Muhammad”, he would immediately say “sallal lahu alaihi wa sallam.”
7. He would never laugh out loud.
8. He slept in the position of the Arabic form of the word “Muhammad”, as advised by Rasulallah (s.a.w). This is also known as the foetal position.
9. He would never spit or stretch his feet in the direction of the Qibla.
10. He always did everything form the right-hand side.
His Mystical (Sufi) Powers
Without any exaggeration, an entire book on the Karaamats (Miracles) of Ala Hazrat can be compiled.
In this time, the greatest Karaamat that any person can display is his followance of Shariat-e-Mustafa (s.a.w). Ala Hazrat never fell short of this in any way. We also wish to state that, in reality, the mere existence of Ala Hazrat was a miracle on its own.
However, for the sake of attaining blessings, a few or his Karaamats are being quoted for the benefit of his lovers.
Janaab Amjad Ali was a resident of Bhasouri. He was a dedicated Mureed of Ala Hazrat (R.A). Once Amjad Ali took his rifle and went out hunting. While he was hunting, a stray bullet from his rifle accidentally hit a passer-by, killing him. Amjad Ali was later arrested for murder. He was tried and the verdict was passed that he was to be hanged.
A few days before his execution, a few members of his family came to visit him. With the mere thought of his execution, they began to weep bitterly.
He smiled at them and said, “Go home and do not weep. I will return on the day of my execution. My Peer-o-Murshid, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat has stated that he has released me.”
On the night of his execution, his mother went to visit him. Thinking how near the time of his execution had come, she began to weep out of fear. But Amjad Ali’s faith in the words of his Peer-o-Murshid was very strong.
He asked his mother to go home and to stop worrying. He told her that through the Will of Almighty Allah, he will return home in a little while to have breakfast with her. Being visibly shaken, she returned home.
The time had finally arrived. Amjad Ali was escorted to the gallows to be hanged. The noose was put around his neck. The authorities asked him if he had any final request.
Very calmly, he replied, “There is no need to request anything. My time of death has not yet arrived.”
The authorities were baffled by his composure. Nevertheless, they decided to proceed with the hanging. As they were about to hang him, the authorities received a telegram. The telegram stated that due to the crowning of Queen Elizabeth, a certain number of prisoners were being released. Amjad Ali Sahib’s name was on that list! He was immediately released.As promised he went home to have breakfast with his mother. In this Karaamat of Ala Hazrat(R.A), not only was Amjad Ali pardoned but, many other prisoners were freed.
Once, a woman came crying to Ala Hazrat (R.A). She reminded him that he had once made Dua for Allah to gift her with a child, and through his Dua a male child was born. She told him that the child had now passed away and she could not bear this loss. She cried and begged Ala Hazrat to bring the child back to life.
Ala Hazrat went to her home. He noticed that the child was lying on a bed and was covered with a sheet. In the meantime, the mother of the child continuously asked Ala Hazrat to bring the child back to life.
Ala Hazrat removed the sheet from the face of the child, placed his blessed hands over the child’s eyes and commanded the child, “Son! Wake up and listen to that which your mother is saying.”
All of a sudden, the child began to cry. All those present were astonished. They thanked Ala Hazrat abundantly. He humbly smiled and said, “I did not do anything. He was asleep. All I did was wake him up.”
There lived a certain person in Barelvi Sharif who had very false concepts concerning Ulema, Awliyah and Peer-o-Murshid & Mureed relationships. One of his friends, who was on his way to meet Ala Hazrat (R.A), asked this person to accompany him and meet Ala Hazrat (R.A).
He also suggested that by discussing his false concepts and beliefs with Ala Hazrat (R.A), he would be shown the right path.
While discussing whether or not to go, that person with the false concepts saw a vendor selling fresh sweetmeats. He said, “First buy me some sweetmeats then I will go with you.” His friend agreed to buy it for him on the way back home.
Nevertheless, after much convincing he agreed to accompany his friend to the house of Ala Hazrat (R.A). They entered his blessed house and sat there. A Mureed arrived and brought some sweetmeats. It was the procedure in the court of Ala Hazrat that those persons with beards would get two shares, and those without beards would receive only one share as they were still taken as children.
The Mureed who was responsible for distributing the sweetmeats only gave one share to the person who had misconceptions about Awliyah and Ulema. Ala Hazrat (R.A), who was present there and witnessing the entire incident, commanded the Mureed to give that person two shares.
The Mureed remarked, “Huzoor! He has no beard. He should grow one.” Ala Hazrat replied, “Give him two. He desires to have two.”
When the person heard this, he immediately repented and became the Mureed of Ala Hazrat (R.A). His desire was to receive two shares and he realised that Ala Hazrat was even aware of the thoughts in his heart.
WRITINGS AND WORKS OF ALA HAZRAT
Works of Imam Ahmed Raza
Earlier in this book, we learnt that Ala Hazrat gained proficiency in more that fifty branches of knowledge.
With this, Ala Hazrat wrote many books on various aspects of Islam. Ala Hazrat was an author of amazing genius. He wrote numerous books and treatises in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu on diversified topics.
To date, it has not been fully ascertained as to exactly how many books he wrote, for in doing so, requires research and many personnel.
There has risen, over the past years, many Islamic Scholars in the Indo-Pak sub-continent and in other parts of the world, who are making serious attempts in studying or translating the works of this great Mujaddid of Islam.
In 1887, at the age of 30 years, Imam Ala Hazrat had completed writing 75 books and treatises. In 1909, at the age of 43 years, this number increased up to 500.
However, it has been estimated that the number of books written by Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat exceeds 1,000 on more than 50 branches of knowledge.
Apart from these contributions, he had written annotations and commentaries on more than 150 books pertaining to various branches of learning.
Professor Dr Muhammad Hassan, Shaikhul Adab, Islamia University, Bhawalpur, said: “Mawlana was a prolific writer. He wrote a large number of treatises. It is due to the fact that his head and heart had surging waves of knowledge which were hard to restrain.”
From the many books that were written by him, a total of 549 books have been classified.
The names of a few books written by Ala Hazrat have been listed below:
1. Fatwa Radawiyyah (12 volumes approx. 12 000 pages)
2. Husaamul Haramain
3. Ad Daulatul Makkiya Bil Madatul Ghaibiya
4. Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad
5. Al Amn o wa Ula
6. Alkaukabatush Shahabiya
7. Al Istimdaad
8. Al Fuyoozul Makkiyah
9. Al Meeladun Nabawiyyah
10. Kanzul Imaan (translation of Holy Quran)
11. Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen
12. Hidayake Bakhshish
13. Subhaanus Subooh
14. Sallus Say yaaful Hindiya
15. Ahkaame Shariat
16. Az Zubdatuz Zakkiya
17. Abna ul Mustafa
18. Tamheede Imaan
19. Angote Choomne ka Mas’ala
Professor Abdul Shakoor Shad, Kabul University, Afghanistan, said: “The research works of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan are worth presenting. There is due need that Historical and Cultural Societies of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran together with other such institutions keep all his writings duly catalogued in their libraries.”
His divinely bestowed intelligence was such, that when Ala Hazrat completed a quarter of any given book at the feet of a teacher, he used to study and memorize the remainder of the book by himself. It is recorded that he completed an Arabic commentary on the book, “Hidaayatun Nahw”, on Arabic Syntax, when he was only 8 years old!
Organisations and Institutes Spiritually Affiliated to Imam Ahmed Raza
In the year 1904, Ala Hazrat founded “Darul Uloom Manzare Islam” in Barelvi Sharif. This great religious institution has thus far served the Muslim world superbly.
Each year, a large number of students graduate from this institution as Fadhils, Aalims, Hufaaz and Qur’ra.
Many of Ulema of South Africa are also students of Madrassa Manzare Islam.
To name a few: Mawlana Abdul Hadi Al Qaderi; Mawlana Abdul Hamid Palmer Al Qaderi; Mawlana Ahmad Muqaddam Al Qaderi; Qaari Ahmad Khalil Razvi; Mawlana Sayed Muhammad Husain Al Qaderi; Mawlana Muhammad Khan Al Qaderi Barkaati; Mawlana Ghulam Mu’hiyyuddeen Jaafar; Mawlana Zainul Abedeen Al Qaderi Razvi; Mawlana Muhammad Mustaqeem Al Qadri; Mawlana Muhammad Afthab Razvi; Mawlana Nazir Farouk Razvi.
With the exception of Madressa Manzare Islam, there are also scores of institutes and organisations world-wide that are spiritually affiliated to Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A).A few of them are:
1. Jaamia Nooria Radawiyah (Barelvi Sharif) – India
2. Madressa Mazhare Islam (Barelvi Sharif) – India
3. Razvi Darul Ifta (Barelvi Sharif) – India
4. Raza Academy (Bombay) – India
5. Idara Tahqeeqaat-e Imam Ahmad Raza – Pakistan
6. Raza Masjid – London
7. Raza Academy – London
8. Imam Ahmad Raza Academy – South Africa
9. Sunni Razvi Centre – Mauritius – S. Africa
10. Muhibbane Raza-e-Mustafa – South Africa
11. Jamia Razvia (Lahore) – Pakistan
12. Jamia Razvia Zia Ul Uloom (Rawalpindi) – Pakistan
13. Darul Uloom Imam Ahmad Raza – India
COMMENTS & PRAISE FOR THE GREAT IMAM ALA HAZRAT, AHMAD RAZA KHAN (R.A)
Comments by the Noble Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah
Ustaad Ulema-e-Haram, Allamah Sa’eedullah (R.A):
“My respected brother, who is striving in the path of Nabi (s.a.w), is a perfect teacher, in other words, Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A).
May Almighty Allah grant him great reward, and accept his endeavour, and may Almighty Allah build his respect into the hearts of the people of knowledge.” Ameen.
Allamah Mufti Muhammad Saleh Kamal (R.A):
“The learned person on this earth, the sea of great knowledge, the coolness of the eyes of the Ulema-e-Haq, is Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A). Salutations upon the Prophet (s.a.w) and all the spiritual guides, especially Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A). May he always be protected.” Ameen.
Aftaabul Uloom, Allamah Sheikh Ali bin Siddique Kamal (R.A):
“Our leader and bright star, the sharp blade on the throats of the Wahabis, our respected teacher, our famous leader, is Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A). May Almighty Allah grant him tranquillity and keep him victorious over his opposition.” Ameen.
Comments by the Noble Ulema of Madinatul Munawwarah
Mufti Taaj’uddeen Ilyaas Hanafi (R.A):
“The famous and professional Aalim, Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan is from amongst the Ulema-e-Hind. May Almighty Allah grant him great reward and success. May Almighty Allah grant him Barkah in his life and destroy all those false sects through his blessing.” Ameen.
Sheikh Malikiya, Allamah Sayed Ahmad Juz’iri:
“May Almighty Allah brighten up the lives of the Muslims through (the Sadqa of) Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A). May Almighty Allah increase his age and allow all his future generations to be amongst the Ahle Jannah.” Ameen.
Allamah Khaleel bin Ibrahim Kharbooti (R.A):
“May Almighty Allah grant the Muslims benefit forever through the blessings of this Kaamil Faadhil, Allamah Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A). O Allah! Give glad tidings to Islam and Muslims.” Ameen.
Allamah Mawlana Umar bin Hamdaan (R.A):
“Imam Ahmed Raza Khan is that great Aalim, great philosopher and such a great researcher that his research baffles the mind. May Almighty Allah protect him and always keep him pleased.” Ameen.
Comments by the Noble Ulema of the Indo-Pak sub-continent
Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasul (R.A): “On the day of Qiyamah, when Almighty Allah asks me concerning what I had brought for Him from earth, then I will present Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A).”
Hazrat Sayed Shah Abul Husain Ahmad Noori (R.A): “Ala Hazrat is the brightness and the torch of the Khandaan-e-Barakaati.”
Hazrat Allamah Ali Hussain Kichauchawi (R.A): “My path of Shariah and Tariqah is that which is the path of Huzoor Purnoor, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A).”
Hazrat Mawlana Mu’eenuddin Sahib (R.A): “Phira hoo me us gali se Nuzhat ho jis me gumra sheikh o kaazi Raza e Ahmad Usi me samjunga muj se Ahmad Raza ho Raazi.”
Allamah Naee’muddin Muradabadi (R.A): “The expertise that Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat possessed in Fiqh was such that great Ulema of the East and West were humbled before him.”
Imam Ahmed Raza in the Eyes of Others
Justice Mufti Sayyid Shujaat Ali Qadri (R.A), Shariah Court, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad (Pakistan): “Ala Hazrat’s appearance is such a commanding stature in terms of knowledge and action that every man of letters considers it an honour and pride to write about him. This worthless man also has the honour of opportunity and has contributed some write-ups and articles of Ala Hazrat. My first compilation in Arabic, entitled ‘Mujaddid-al-Mata’ has been published and distributed the world over, and this practice is going on regularly and steadily.
“All the men of letters know that Ala Hazrat was born in such a period when the Muslim Ummah was being threatened by different Fitna (sedition) from all sides. Among all the prevalent sedition, the most dangerous and harmful was one which meant to infect non-Muslim elements in the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnat.
“Ala Hazrat performed incomparable services to safeguard the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnat. He wrote several books for the rejection of Shirk (Polytheism) and for the dissuasion from the Bid’ats (innovations in Deen causing divergences). He safeguarded the status of Nabuwat (Prophethood), Sahabiyat (Companionship), Ahle Bait (the Members of the Prophet’s s.a.w family) and Wilayat (the Friendship with Allah the Magnificent).He published crushing and silencing articles against the criticism brought forward by the atheists, heretics and apostates against the revered Mystics of Islam and Islamic Mysticism. As far as my study is concerned, Ala Hazrat always had good opinion about all the Muslims, and took all Muslims as Muslims, did not scratch and touch the people’s beliefs, and did never scold unreasonably or speak rubbish to others. However, if someone committed any mistake in writing or speech, he invited him repeatedly to the Truth. This is the method which is called the good conduct of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
May Allah the Magnificent favour us through the benevolence of the Awliya Allah (Friends of Allah).”
Ziya-ul Mashaa’ikh, Allamah Muhammad Ibrahim Farooqi Mujad’didi (R.A): “No doubt that Mufti Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi was a great scholar. He had the insight in the norms of Muslim conduct and behaviour and stages of spiritual transcendentalism (Tariqah). His competence as regard to exposition and explanation of the Islamic thought; his approach to the inner knowledge deserves high praise, and his contribution in Islamic Jurisprudence will always be remembered in respect of their relevance to the basic principles of Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat. Finally, it is not an exaggeration to state that his research works shall always serve as a beacon light for those who traverse this faith.”
Professor Muhammad Rafi’ullah Siddique, Director of College Education, Hyderabad, Region – Hyderabaad (India): “Let the thought of recollecting minds recall the circumstances of Muslims in 1912, when Hazrat Ahmed Raza Khan appealed to the Ummah to control conspicuous consumption and save money to use for productive purposes. Now, everywhere the governments are emphasising the need for austerity to solve the multifarious economic problems.Will the men of vision not realise the far sightedness of the late Ala Hazrat Barelvi? J.M. Keynes was awarded the highest title for the same proposition and exposition which Mawlana Barelvi had disclosed at least 24 years before him. Alas! Muslims did not pay heed to his advice.”
Professor Preshan Khattak, (Former Chairman) Pakistan Academy of Letters, Government of Pakistan: “Imam Ahmed Raza’s personality needs no introduction to Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan. Such a rare encyclopaedic person is born after a long awaiting period. He served as a searchlight for his own people and proved a strong rock for the powers of persecution and cruelty. Nobody can doubt his knowledge and greatness.The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) has declared academic differences as sources of blessing and goodness for the evolution of the Deen of Islam and civilisation. This has opened new vistas of thinking and has helped in creating more vastness and comprehension in the Deen of Islam in order to cope with the need of the changing time. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi has completed an important role for the evolution of the Islamic thinking in the sub-continent. It is not easy to present and interpret Islamic teachings in the present age without making use of his writings and views.”
Professor Dr Ayub Razvi, Head of Department Urdu, Urdu College, Pakistan, Karachi: “The learned Mawlana Ahmad Raza Khan (1856-1921) was a famous scholar, Jurist, Mathematician, Writer and Genius. He had special insight in Mathematics. There is no parallel to his expertise in Jurisprudence.”
Dr Ilahi Bakhsh Ali Awan, Peshawar (Pakistan): “Various aspects of his personality are very impressive and valuable. His real contributions in different fields are so comprehensive and exhaustive that men of thought and vision find it difficult to pinpoint the most attractive and impressive aspect of his intellectual personality which is so vast in every direction that sight is lost in wilderness.”
Dr Muhammad Tahir Malik, Chairman, Department of Islamic Learning, University of Karachi (Pakistan): “After a thorough study of many books and treatises of Imam Ahmed Raza, I have concluded that he gives much importance to the teacher, book, paper and school, etc. in the articles allied to Education. In our present day education system, a teacher is no more estimated than a salaried servant, and the book is regarded as a collection of letters and works. From our teaching institutions, the respect of the book and teacher has faded away. This is why the restrictions of a teacher and pupil have been reduced to nothing at our schools, colleges and universities.
“Today, to ignore or to forget the books of knowledge, gifted by these teachers has become a common practice. One sees often the pupils dancing for pleasure on the teachers promenade and playing with their turbans. Why is this? The answer outlined by Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi is that our ideology of education is lacking in high and sacred values. The Imam Sahib says, ‘Keep in vies (striving) the bonds of your teachers. If respect is given to the paper, the book and the school, this undesirable situation can not happen’.”
Dr Ghulam Yahya Anjum, Department of Comparative Religions, Hamdard University, New Delhi: “Imam Ahmed Raza Khan is an outstanding personality among 20th century renowned scholars of Islam. Very few can claim his eminence because if someone has some similarity with him in certain particular fields, he lacks significant achievement in some other field in which Imam Ahmed Raza is leading.”
Dr Hassan Raza Khan Azami, Patna: “A study of the ‘Fatwa Razvi’ (Judicial Opinions) of Ala Hazrat, has revealed his multi-dimensional personality to me.
1. As a Jurist his discussion reflects his reach of imagination, deep insight, wisdom, sagacity and unparallel scholarly talent.
2. I found him a great historian that goes on quoting numerous historical references to support his viewpoint in the matter under consideration.
3. He appears to be an expert in Arabic grammar and diction alongside being an inspiring Naatia poet.
4. He is observed as a great scholar of Ahadith, when he mentions logical interpretation of the Ahadith that he quotes.
5. After a deep study of his works, one finds in him not only a renowned Jurist, a great Logistician but also an outstanding Physicist, Astronomer, Mathematician, Philosopher, Philologist and Geographer whose expertise covers the smallest of details on the subject.”
Professor Wasim Barelvi, Rohailkand University, Barelvi, U.P (Dawn, Karachi, May 13 1992): Indian poet, Wasim Barelvi, speaking at a function in his honour on Monday night, emphasised the need for fresh research on our Beloved Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi and other Muslim scholars of the Sub-Continent, particularly those from Barelvi.
Eulogising Allamah Ahmed Raza Khan, Professor said that his services as a pioneer of a religious school is known to everybody, but his achievements as a writer have not yet been properly highlighted.
He said that a research work on Allamah Ahmed Raza Khan compiled in Rohailkand under his supervision has made revelations regarding the writings of Allamah Barelvi. This research work is likely to challenge the history of Urdu prose as it proves that Allamah Barelvi should be counted as one of the pioneers of Urdu prose, and as one of the great writers who spread modern thought in the Sub-Continent.”
Justice Naeemuddin, Supreme Court of Pakistan: “Imam Ahmad Raza’s grand personality, a representation of our most esteem ancestors, is history making, and a history uni-central in his self.
“You may estimate his high status from the fact that he spent all his lifetime in expressing the praise of the great and auspicious Holy Prophet (s.a.w), in defending his veneration, in delivering speeches regarding his unique conduct, and in promoting and spreading the Law of Shariah which was revealed upon him for the entire humanity of all times. His renowned name is ‘Muhammad’ (s.a.w), the Prophet of Almighty Allah.
“The valuable books written by a encyclopaedic scholar like Imam Ahmed Raza, in my view, are the lamps of light which will keep enlightened and radiant the hearts and minds of the men of knowledge and insight for a long time.”
A Western Scholar, Dr Barbara D. Metcalf, Department of History, Barkley University, United States of America: “He was outstanding from the very beginning on account of his extra- ordinary intelligence. He enjoyed a divine gift of deep insight in Mathematics. It is said that he solved a mathematical problem for Dr Ziauddin for which the learned Mathematician was intending to visit Germany. Ahmed Raza himself was a towering figure, revered for his extra-ordinary memory, mental agility, and intellectual capacity, and honoured as a Mujaddid and a Sheikh. Guarded in his relation to the British Government, he sought above all to guard what he saw as correct practice and make religion vital in the personal life of Muslims of his day.”
The great poet, Hazrat Allamah Doctor Iqbal says:
“I have carefully studied the decrees of Imam Ahmed Raza and thereby formed this opinion; his Fatwa bear testimony to his acumen, intellectual calibre, the quality of his creative thinking, his excellent jurisdiction and his ocean-like Islamic knowledge.Once Imam Ahmed Raza forms an opinion he stays firm on it; he expresses his opinion after a sober reflection. Therefore, the need never arises to withdraw any of his religious decrees and judgements. With all this, Shah Ahmed Raza would have been the Imam Abu Hanifa of his age.” (Arafat, 1970, Lahore)
In another place he says, “Such a genius and intelligent jurist did not emerge.”
Imam Ahmed Raza in the Eyes of the Opposition
Abul Ula Maudoodi: “I have great respect in my heart for the knowledge and status of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A). He has great foresight over the knowledge of Deen and even his opposition are forced to accept this fact.”
Ashraf Ali Thanwi: “I have great respect in my heart for Ahmed Raza Khan (R.A). He calls us Kaafirs, but he says this only on the basis for his love for the Prophet (s.a.w) and not out of any other reason.”
Muee’nuddeen Nadwi: “The late Ahmed Raza Khan in this present time was “The Person of Knowledge”. His every Fatwa, be it in support or refutal of anyone, is worthy of being studied.”
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S DEMISE
Imam Ahmed Raza’s final advice before his demise
1. Nothing with photos of living objects should be near me when my Ruh (Soul) leaves.
2. Recite Sura Yasin and Sura Ra’ad beside me.
3. Recite Durood in abundance.
4. Keep those who are weeping away from me.
5. Give my Ghusl according to the Sunnah.
6. Either Mawlana Haamid Raza or Allamah Amjad Ali should perform my Janaza Salaah (R.A)
7. Do not delay my Janazah.
8. When taking my Janazah, recite “Kaabe ke Badru Duja”.
9. Do not read anything in my praise.
10. Place me softly in the grave.
12. My grave should be dug according to my height.
13. My Kafan should be according to the Sunnah.
14. The food of my Fatiha must be given to the poor.
15. Haamid Raza must give a fair share of everything to Chothe Mia (Huzoor Mufti Azam Hind). If not, my Rooh will be displeased. (R.A)
16. All of you must remain steadfast on Deen. Do not leave the path of Shariah. Stay on the Deen on which I was.
Wisaal of Imam Ahmed Raza
The brightly shining sun of Barelvi Sharif, the Coolness of the Eyes of the Ulema, the Mujaddid of the Century, the Imam Abu Hanifa of his time, the Ghawsul Azam of his time, the Sweet-scented Rose from the Fragrant Garden of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat , Imam Ahmad Raza Khan left this mundane world on Friday, the 25th of Safar 1340 A.H. (28 October 1921) at 2.38 p.m. It was the exact time of the Jummah Azaan.
The date of the Wisaal of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat was actually deduced by himself from the Holy Qur’an four months and twenty days prior to his passing away.
At the time of the demise of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A), a certain Saint of Syria dreamt of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) while he was in the Baitul Muqaddas. In his dream, the Saint saw many Sahaba Ikraam (R.A) seated around the Holy Prophet (s.a.w). All of them seemed to be waiting for someone.
The Saint says that, in his dream, he asked, “Ya Rasulallah (s.a.w)! Whose presence is being awaited?” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) replied, “Ahmed Raza Khan.” The blessed Saint then asked, “Who is Ahmed Raza Khan?” The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) answered, “An Aalim from Barelvi.”
When this Saint awoke, he immediately journeyed from Syria to Barelvi Sharif to meet Ala Hazrat (R.A). However, to his dismay, he learnt that Ala Hazrat had already departed from this world.
It is said by those true lovers of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat that after he passed away he was spiritually transported to Madinatul Munawwarah to be close to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
They say this because once, Ala Hazrat personally said: “the time of demise is close and India is India. But, I do not even feel like passing away in Makkah. My desire is this, that I should pass away with Imaan in Madinatul Munawwarah and then be buried with kindness in Jannatul Baqi. Almighty Allah is most powerful.”
The Mazar Sharif (Blessed Tomb) of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat is situated in the Mohalla Saudagran, Barelvi Sharif in India (U.P).Each year, in the month of Safar, during the Urs Sharif of Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A), hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all over the world present themselves in Barelvi Sharif to partake in the Urs Sharif of the Mujaddid of Islam, Sayyiduna Ala Hazrat (R.A).
May Almighty Allah shower his choicest blessings upon the Mazar-e-Anwaar of this great Saint and Scholar of Islam. Ameen!