Day: November 2, 2008

Between Nawab Siddiq and Sh Abd al-Hayy

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I wished to mention a few more points of interest regarding the scholarly ruler of Bhopal, Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan, and his relationship with Allamah al-Luknawi.
Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan and the Hanafi School
Being one of the main scholars of the early Ahl Al-Hadith movement in India it would not be difficult to guess that Nawab Siddiq did not strictly follow the Hanafi school, nor agree with the concept of following qualified scholarship (taqlid). His commentary on Imam al-Shawkani’s fiqh text which he entitled ‘Rawdah al-Nadiyyah’ is a refreshing read, not least because despite his aversion to the Hanafi school he at regular intervals quotes from Shah Waliullah and other Hanafi authorities/texts such as the ‘Alamgiriyyah’. In light of this the following comment regarding him from al-Sharif Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani in his ‘Nuzhat al-Khawatir’ (7/1249) is worthy of note. He said:
“He quoted much from al-Qadi al-Shawkani, Ibn al-Qayyim and his Sheikh: Ibn Taymiyyah and their likes. He stringently adhered to their viewpoints, and held a very bad view/opinion of the Imams of fiqh and tasawwuf, not least Abu Hanifah. It is strange (therefore) that he would pray according to Hanafi school, he would not raise his hands in other than the opening takbir, he would not utter aloud the ‘Ameen’ after the fatihah, and would not place his hands on his chest. ”
[Note: We have previously mentioned that Nawab Siddiq turned towards Tasawwuf at the end of his life, please refer to the relevant post]
You’re Wrong But…
Despite the rather ‘rigorous’ exchanges between these two scholars in their works directed at one another Shaykh al-Luknawi at the beginning of his work clarifies that the aim of his writing was not a personal attack, but rather to clarify the mistakes present in Nawab Siddiq’s works which his unsuspecting readers were being misinformed by. He explicitly stated his respect for Nawab Siddiqs knowledge and piety before clarifying his mistakes, so that no one misunderstand his feelings towards him. Therefore he penned in his work regarding Nawab Siddiq the following glowing tribute:
“He is the venerable scholar, distinguished nobleman, the repository of human perfections, source of praiseworthy virtues: al-Nawab al-Sayyid Siddiq Hasan Khan Bahadur…the son of al-Mawlawi al-Sayyid Awlad Hasan al-Qinnawji… “
Sorrow at the Passing of a Scholar
Similar love despite scholarly differences was expressed by Nawab Siddiq towards Shaykh al-Luknawi, clear evidence to those who reflect regarding the refined manners of the people of knowledge which are rarely seen in our time. Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani said that:
“When it reached Shaykh Siddiq that Shaykh Abd al-Hayy had died he expressed intense sadness at his death. He did not eat any food that night, and offered the prayer of absence for him.”
Added to this Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah in his introduction to ‘Al-Raf wal-Takmil’ mentioned that he was informed by the grandson of Nawab Siddiq that he ordered the gates of Bhopal (of which he was the ruler) to be closed for three days out of his sorrow and mourning at the death of Shaykh al-Luknawi.
May Allah have mercy on those mentioned in this post, all of the Muslims, our families and everyone who has shown us kindness. Ameen
Adapted and extracted from Dr Salah Abul Hajj’s edition of al-Luknawi’s ‘Ibraz al-Ghayy’ called ‘Naqd Awham Siddiq Hasan Khan’. The picture above is said to be of Nawab Siddiq, if anyone could verify the accuracy of it I would be grateful.

Categories: Other Scholarship