Month: June 2008

Family Tree: Shah Waliullah and Knowledge

No Comments
Salam. Inshallah I hope to be travelling soon, and may not get a chance to update the series of biographies of Indian hadith scholars we have been posting recently. The aim of the series was to make mention of those ulema who came after Shah Waliullah but before the solidifying of the Barelwi/Deobandi/Ahl al-Hadith split in the Indian Subcontinent. Its is accepted that all three of the aforementioned schools trace back their isnad in hadith to Shah Waliullah al-Dehlawi. Inshallah I hope to discuss this further in more detail in the future.
I found the above family tree in the thabat of Dr Taqi al-Din al-Nadwi (p.74), it consists of a diagram respresenting the scholarly descendants of Shah Waliullah. When I recently visited Dr Taqi I asked him whether he knew of any family members of Shah Waliullah presently living in India or elsewhere. Dr Taqi answered that he was not aware of any.
We ask Allah (the Exalted) to have mercy on all those mentioned in the diagram, and facilitate us to be linked to those mentioned therein even more closely.

Categories: Hadith Scholarship

Sh. Mamluk Ali (Ustadh al-Kull)

No Comments
Sh.Mamluk Ali
(Adapted from al-Durr al-Thamin p.89-90)
He is Abu Yaqub, Mamluk Ali ibn Sh. Ahmad Ali bin Ghulam Sharaf al-Tabib Ibn Sh. Abdullah al-Tayyib al-Siddiqi al-Nanotwi, one of the major and well known teachers in his time, described as ‘Ustadh al-Kull’. He traces his lineage back to Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abi Abi Bakr al-Siddiq (Allah be pleased with him).

Sh. Mamluk was born in Nanotwa which is in the vicinity of Saharanpur, where he studied for some time before travelling to Dehli. There he studied most of the works of the Islamic sciences from the great scholar Mawlana Rashid al-Din Khan al-Dehlawi who was regarded as one of the most able students of Sh. Shah Abd al-Aziz al-Dehlawi.

Sh. Mamluk is recorded to have had achieved mastery in a number of the Islamic sciences, such that leadership of teaching in his time was said to rest with him. The Sheikh took up a teaching position in the Madrassah Dar al-Baqa in Dehli.
From amongst his students were figures such as Mawlana’s Gangohi and Nanotwi, whilst his son went on to be the head of the scholars of hadith at Dar al-Ulum Deoband.

The Sheikh travelled to the Hijaz in the year 1258 where he performed the pilgrimage and visitation returning to India a year later. He (Allah have mercy on him) passed away on the 11th of Dhul Hijjah in 1267 after having fallen ill eleven days earlier.
For further details refer to: Nuzhat al-Khawatir (7/534) and Awjaz al-Masalik (1/148)

Categories: Scholarship

Sh. Badr Ali Shah

No Comments
Sh. Badr Ali Shah
(Adapted from al-Dur al-Thamin p.61)
He is the Muhaddith, Sayyid Badr Ali Shah, one of the students the great Muhaddith Fadl al-Rahman al-Ganj al-Muradabadi. He was born on the 14th of Shawwal in the year 1238 in the village of Mirfur in the vicinity of Illahabad.
He travelled to Egypt in pursuit of knowledge and spent 17 years there, returning to India after his graduating from the university of al-Azhar in the year 1869 (CE). He kept the close company of Sh. Fadl al-Rahman al-Ganj al-Muradabadi and benefited greatly from him.
Sh. Badr took up a position of teaching and guiding students of knowledge. It is mentioned that he had memorized ‘Sahih al-Bukhari’, was firmly grounded in the sacred sciences and was a pious worshipper. However he did not achieve wide notoriety nor fame like other contemporaries of his. From the many students that benefited from him were Sh. Muhammad Ahmad al-Bartabakri.
Sh. Badr passed away in the year 1354 (AH) corresponding to 1935 (CE) at the advanced age of 116. May Allah (the Exalted) have mercy on him and all of our pious scholars who quietly taught and whose names have been forgotten.
For more details refer to: ‘Diya al-Badr’ of Sh. Abd al-Ghaffar al-Nadwi, ‘Tadhkirah al-Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad al-Bartabakdhi’ (p.10-11)

Categories: Scholarship

Sh. Ahmad Ali al-Saharanpuri

No Comments

Sh. Ahmad Ali al-Saharanpuri

(Adapted from al-Durr al-Thamin p.55-56)

Biographers mention that Sh. Ahmad Ali Ibn Lutfullah al-Saharanpuri did not engage in seeking sacred knowledge during his youth, rather he was known to have been more focussed towards sports and leisure activities.
It is recorded that the Jurist (Faqih) of Saharanpur, Mawlana Saadat Ali sent a person to Sh. Ahmad Ali to ask him regarding the meaning of some words which he was not able to answer. The resulting embarrassment stirred him to turn his attentions towards the seeking of knowledge. He subsequently travelled to Meerut where he memorized the Quran, he was close to 18 years old at the time.
Sh. Ahmad then returned back to Saharanpur and began the study of the beginners texts in the Islamic sciences with the Jurist of his area Mawlana Saadat Ali. Proceeding to study all the other works of the curriculum in Dehli with some of the foremost scholars of the time, namely Allamah Mamluk Ali and Mawlana Wassiyuddin al-Saharanpuri. He then travelled to the Hijaz and read hadith with Sh. Muhammad Ishaq al-Dehlawi in the pure land of Makka.

Having completed his studies Sh. Ahmad Ali began teaching whilst also opening a printing press named al-Matba’ah al-Ahmadiyyah in Dehli. He oversaw the printing of the books of hadith which he annotated with beneficial notes and commentary, not least his notes to Sahih al-Bukhari[1] which gained wide recognition. He also authored some treatise amongst them being: ‘al-Dalil al-Qawi Ala Tark Qira’ah lil Muqtadi’.

The Indian Mutiny of 1857 caused Sh. Ahmad to return to his hometown of Saharanpur, where he took up a teaching position in the famous Madrassah ‘Mazahir al-Ulum’.

Sh. Ahmad Ali al-Saharanpuri passed away with six days remaining in the month of Jamadi al-Ula in the year 1297 at 72 years of age, may Allah (the Exalted) have mercy on him and all the scholars mentioned in this post.
For more details refer to: al-Ialam (7/50) of al-Hasani

[1] Sh. Ahmad Ali did not fully complete the notes of Sahih al-Bukhari, rather he ordered Mawlana Muhammad Qasim al-Nanotwi to complete them.

Categories: Scholarship

Sh. Fadl al-Rahman al-Ganj al-Muradabadi

1 Comment
Sh. Fadl al-Rahman al-Ganj al-Muradabadi
(Adapted from al-Durr al-Thamin p.79-80)

He is the Sheikh, most knowledgeable Muhaddith, Fadl al-Rahman Ibn Ahlullah al-Siddiqi, al-Ganj al-Muradabadi born in the year 1208.

He took the pattern chained (musalsal) narration of firstness (awwaliyyah) and Mahabbah and a portion of Sahih al-Bukhari from Sh. Abd al-Aziz al-Dehlawi. After his passing away he attended the study circle of his grandson Sh. Muhammad Ishaq al-Dehlawi, with whom he read the six books of hadith.

Sh. Fadl al-Rahman took the spiritual path from Sh. Muhammad Afaaq al-Naqshbandi al-Dehlawi whose company he kept and from whom he obtained his portion of knowledge and gnosis.

From the notable scholars that studied with him were:
-Sh. Badr Ali Shah
-Sh. Tajammal Hussein al-Bihari
-Sh. Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani and others

Al-Kattani said of him: He is the greatest of those who are narrated from in the lands of India, and the highest of them in terms of isnad.

Sh. Fadl al-Rahman narrated with a high isnad from the Muhaddith of India Sh. Abd al-Aziz al-Dehlawi, and the subsequent Muhaddith of India after his demise: Sh. Muhammad Ishaq al-Dehlawi. This great fortune of studying and narrating from both of them was a rare blessing and honour which few of his contemporaries were able to achieve.

He has a collection of his chains of transmission entitled ‘Ithaf al-Ikhwan bi Asanid Mawlana Fadl al-Rahman’ compiled by his student, the Musnid of the world (in his time): Abu Khayr Ahmad bin Uthman al-Attar al-Makki.

Sh. Fadl al-Rahman passed away with eight days remaining from Rabi al-Awwal in the year 1313, May Allah (the Exalted) have mercy on him and all those linked to him.
For further details refer to: Al-Ialam (8/384) of al-Hasani, Fihris al-Faharis (1/170)

Addendum: I do not usually paste from other websites, but wanted to point out this incident from the life of the Sheikh which indicates to his high standing and manners, as mentioned by Dr GF Haddad, who, when mentioning Sh. Siddiq Hasan Khan al-Qinnawji said:

The Indian Wahhabi Sufi of Bhopal, he was greatly influenced by Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim, and al-Shawkani. He advocated the doffing of imitation (taqlid) and began his career with “solid aversion toward the Imams of Fiqh and Tasawwuf” but repented in the latter part of his life according to his biographical notice in Nuzhat al-Khawatir (8:187-195) to the point that when he desired to take bay`a from Shaykh Fadl al-Rahman al-Muradabadi the latter sent him his turban and recommended asking forgiveness as his permanent devotion, after which al-Qinnawji was never seen without a sibha (dhikr-beads) in his hand making istighfar.

Categories: Scholarship

Sh. Muhammad Ishaq al-Dehlawi

No Comments
Sh. Muhammad Ishaq al-Dehlawi
(Adapted from al-Durr al-Thamin p.80-81)

He is the Imam, the Muhaddith and Musnid, Abu Suleiman Muhammad Ishaq bin Muhammad Afdal al-Umari al-Dehlawi, the one who migrated to Makka and is buried there. He was the grandson of Sh. Abd al-Aziz bin Waliullah al-Dehlawi.

He was born with eight days remaining from the month of Dhul Hijjah in Dehli.

Sh. Muhammad Ishaq studied with Sh. Abd al-Hayy bin Hibatullah al-Burhanawi and Sh. Abd al-Qadir bin Waliullah al-Dehlawi.

He read all of the works of the traditional curriculum of the Islamic sciences with Sh. Abd al-Aziz, and was regarded similar as a son to him, for he took up his teaching position after him and benefited the people.

Sh. Muhammad Ishaq travelled to the two holy sanctuaries in the year 1240 where he performed the pilgrimage and visitation. He took ijaza in hadith from Sh. Umar bin Abd al-Karim bin Abd al-Rasul al-Makki and then returned back to India.

He taught in the city of Dehli for sixteen years and then migrated to Makkah with all of his family in the year 1258 and settled there after performing the pilgrimage and visitation for a second time.

The author of ‘Nuzhat al-Khawatir’ listed the names of his students, amongst them being:
Sh. Abd al-Ghani al-Dehlawi
Al-Sayyid Nadhir Hussein al-Dehlawi
Sh. Ahmad Ali al-Saharanpuri.

It is mentioned that he was fortunate that a number of his students went on to become well known for their proficiency in the science of hadith, with a large number of students studying with them. To the point that there was no chain of narration for hadith in India except that which was traced back through him. Indeed this is a blessing from Allah (the Exalted) which He bestows upon whom He wills.

It is recorded that Sh. Muhammad Ishaq would be heavily engrossed in worship, was well known for his knowledge and scrupulousness amongst other praiseworthy qualities, in addition to his leadership in his time of the teaching of hadith.

He passed away in Makka in the year 1262, may Allah (the Exalted) have mercy on him and all of the believers.

For more information refer to: Nuzhat al-Khawatir (7/15) and Abjad al-Ulum (3/246)

Categories: Scholarship

Sh. Abd al-Ghani al-Dehlawi (Allah Have Mercy on Him)

No Comments
Salam. I thought I would add some material regarding the hadith scholars from India that we may not be too familiar with. More to follow Inshallah……
Sh. Abd al-Ghani al-Dehlawi (Allah Have Mercy on Him)
(Summarized from Dr Taqi al-Din Nadwi’s Thabat: al-Durr al-Thamin p.75-76)

He is the Imam, the scholar, the Muhaddith: Abd al-Ghani bin Abu Saeed bin Safi al-Umari. He was from the family of Sh. Ahmad al-Sirhindi, the Imam of the Mujaddadi order.

He was born in the month of Shaban in the year 1235 in the city of Dehli. He memorized the Quran and studied grammar and Arabic with Mawlana Habibullah al-Dehlawi.

He then turned his focus towards the study of fiqh, he heard hadith and read other subjects with his father, including the six books of hadith and the Muwatta via the transmission of Muhammad bin Hasan al-Shaybani.
He read Sahih al-Bukhari with Sh. Muhammad Ishaq ibn Muhammad Afdal al-Dehlawi the grandson of Sh. Abd al-Aziz.
He read Mishkat al-Masabih with Sh. Makhsusallah Ibn Shah Rafi al-Din al-Dehlawi. He read Sahih al-Bukhari and was given general ijazah for the rest of the hadith collections by Sh. Muhammad Abid al-Sindi al-Ansari al-Madani.
He also received an ijazah from Sh. Abu Zahid Ismaeel bin Idris al-Rumi then al-Madani.

He took the spiritual path from his father, and travelled with him to the two holy sanctuaries in the year 1294, he performed Hajj and then returned back to India. He then busied himself with the teaching of hadith with many students studying with him.

When the tribulation of the British colonial conquest of Dehli took place in the year 1273 he decided to leave and travelled to the two holy sanctuaries. He took up residence in Madina the Illuminated –Allah increase it in nobility- and began teaching hadith and busying himself in acts of worship.

Countless scholars benefited from his gatherings, the people of India and Arab lands agreed upon his wilayah and greatness.

He authored a fine set of notes upon Sunan Ibn Majah called ‘Injah al-Hajah’.

Sh. Abd al-Ghani al-Dehlawi passed away on Tuesday, with six days of Muharram remaining in the year 1296 in Madinah the Illuminated. May Allah (the Exalted) have mercy on him and all of the believers, and increase our nisbat with him in this world and the next. Ameen.

For more details refer to: al-Ialam (7/320) of al-Hasani, Fihris al-Faharis (p.758), the introduction of Awjaz al-Masalik (p.145) and al-Yani’ al-Janni (p.8)

Categories: Scholarship