Shaykh Abd al-Baqi al-Ansari al-Luknawi
Please find another biography of one of our beloved scholars of the Hijaz. Based on Anas Yaqub Kutbi’s ‘Ialaam min Ard al-Nubuwwah’ (1/198-203).
Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Baqi bin Mulla Ali Muhammad Mueen bin Muhammad Mubeen al-Luknawi
He is Muhammad Abd al-Baqi bin Mulla Ali bin Mulla Muhammad Mueen bin Muhammad Mubeen al-Luknawi al-Hanafi al-Madani.
He was born on Sunday 18th of Rajab in city of Lucknow, a city well known for its great tradition of learning in the year 1286 after the blessed Prophetic migration. His father passed away when he was 4 years of age and he was taken under the care of his eldest brother Ibrahim.
His family was counted amongst the well known scholarly families of India, from this family being Allamah Muhammad Abd al-Halim al-Luknawi, author of a number of beneficial works (d.1285). Also Shaykh Abd al-Baqi’s cousin, the well known Muhaddith: Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi born in the year 1264. Likewise his grandfather Allamah Mulla Mueen the commentator of Sullam al-Thubut (sic) in Usul and the Sullam in Mantiq.
Those who met him described him of medium body, round face, dark complexion, light moustache, copious beard, always wearing a turban and at times a robe.
Shaykh Abd al-Baqi was raised in the home of his brother and care of his mother. His heart was opened for the memorization of the Quran, beginning it when 6 years of age and finishing it with its tajwid when 11.
His Studies in India
After completing the memorization of the Quran he joined one of the schools where he studied some of the fundamental sciences and the sciences of Mathematics, Algebra, Grammar from his cousin the great Allamah Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi (d.1304). He then proceeded to study the Islamic sciences by memorizing the texts and then studying with Shaykh Hafizullah al-Bandawi, after him with Shaykh Ayn al-Qudah bin Muhammad Wazir al-Haydarabadi. He then studied the six books of hadith and Hanafi fiqh and other sciences with Shaykh Fadlullah bin Nimatullah and Shaykh Muhammad Naeem bin Abd al-Hakim al-Nizami.
With Shaykh Abd al-Razzaq al-Luknawi he read the Muwatta, the six books of hadith, Mishkat al-Masabih and learnt from him the method of giving legal verdicts. Shaykh Abd al-Baqi was greatly influenced by Shaykh Abd al-Razzaq and followed in his footsteps. He (Allah have mercy on him) took care in seeking licences of transmission (ijazah) from his teachers for that which he read with them, they then authorised him to teach, so he taught and benefitted the students of knowledge in his city for a number of years.
First Journey to the Hijaz
In the year 1308 he set out for the Hijaz intending the Hajj and Ziyarah. During his stay in the Haramain he met with some of the scholars resident there who authorised him, amongst them being: Mufti Abbas bin Siddiq al-Makki, Shaykh Abdullah bin Hasan al-Makki, Allamah Ahmad Abul Khair Mirdad al-Hanafi, Shaykh Muhammad Ali bin Zahir al-Watri, Shaykh Muhammad al-Hariri. He read the Shatibiyyah with Shaykh Abdullah al-Makki and studied the ten canonical recitations with Shaykh Habib al-Rahman al-Kazimi. After this he returned back to India and resumed his teaching.
Second Journey to the Hijaz
After 5 years from his return to teaching in his native India after his return from the Hijaz, in the year 1313 Shaykh Abd al-Baqi set off for the Hijaz for the second time. Once again he met with some of the notable scholars of the Haramain and was authorised by a number of them, amongst them being: Allamah Ahmad al-Hadrawi, the Jurist Ahmad al-Mirghani better known as al-Mahjub.
He took the pattern chained narrations from Shaykh Salih al-Sinari and read some sciences with Shaykh Muhammad Saeed Ba Baseel. He returned to India once again where by now his reputation was growing along with the number of students studying with him due to his firm grasp of the Islamic sciences.
His Migration to the Hijaz
Upon returning to India he once again resumed teaching, paying a visit to Baghdad aswell to meet and study with some of its scholars. He stayed in India close to 10 years, however his soul longed to reside in proximity to the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). He therefore decided to migrate permanently to Madinah the Illuminated in the year 1322. When in Madinah he was authorised by scholars such as: Shaykh Muhammad Amin Ridwan, Shaykh Falih al-Zahiri, Shaykh Ahmad bin Ismaeel al-Barzanji, Shaykh Shams al-Shinqiti, Shaykh Abdullah al-Qaddumi.
His Teaching in the Masjid al-Nabawi
When settled in Madinah he bagan teaching in the Masjid al-Nabawi, teaching hadith and the other sciences. His circle of students gradually grew until it became one of the biggest circles in the Masjid al-Nabawi until due to old age and ill health he only taught in his home.
Around the year 1324 he opened in his home a school named the ‘Madrassa al-Nizamiyyah’ where all of the Islamic sciences were taught. He financed it with his personal wealth, however it was not well known in the Hijaz, but only to those in Madinah who had seen it. Thus one will not find its mention in many of the hisorical works regarding the schools of the blessed city.
Stay in Damascus
When the first world war was announced Shaykh Abd al-Baqi was forced to leave Madinah, so he headed towards Damascus and resided there for close to 3 years. During his stay he came to know of the scholars there from whom he narrated and transmitted the pattern chained narration of the Damascans and Hanbali’s. When he finally returned to Madinah he did not resume teaching in the Masjid al-Nabawi due the journey causing him to be ill and his weakened eyesight.
His Students in Hijaz
A large number of the scholars benefitted from him and narrated from him from a different parts of the Muslim world. He was from the biggest Musnids of his age and there was no scholar in Madinah who resembled him in this respect. From his students were: Shaykh Ibrahim al-Khatani, Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani, Shaykh Abd al-Hafiz al-Fasi, Shaykh Muhsin al-Musawi, Shaykh Ahmad Siddiq al-Ghumari and his two brothers Abdullah and Abd al-Aziz, Shaykh Muhammad Yasin al-Fadani, Shaykh Hasan al-Mashat, Shaykh Alawi al-Maliki, Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Habshi, Shaykh Muhammad al-Hafiz al-Najati, Shaykh Muhammad Saeed Daftardar, Shaykh Salih Idris al-Kilantani, Shaykh Mukhtar bin Uthman Makhdum.
Shaykh Abd al-Baqi authored close to 30 works, amongst them being:
Uqud al-Mutalaimah fi al-Asanid al-Aliyah
Al-Isad bil Isnad
Al-Manahil al-Salsalah fi al-Ahadith al-Musalsalah
Ihnam al-Anam bi Hukm Sama al-Sufiyyah al-Kiram
Kashf Rayn al-Rayb an Masalah al-Ghayb
Izhar al-Haq fi Bayah Mawlana Abd al-Khaliq
Al-Minh al-Madaniyyah fi Madhab al-Sufiyyah
Tuhfah al-Amajid bi Hukm Salat al-Janazah fi al-Masajid
Al-Haqiqah fi al-Aqiqah
Izalah al-Ghata fi hukm Kitabah al-Nisa
Ayat al-Kubra fi Miraj al-Isra
Tuhfah al-Khutaba min Khutub al-nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) wal-Khulafa
Tashil al-Mizan wa Bidayah al-Mizan fi Mantiq
Khayr al-Amal Tarajim Farangi Mahal
Barakah al-Bari fi Salalah Jadduna Mulla Hafiz al-Ansari
Risalah fi Manaqib al-Awliyah al-Khams
Sharh Risalah Tash Kubra Zada fi al-Adab
Tawdih al-Sarf wa Mizan al-Sarf
His Donated Library
He left his large library behind containing many rare manuscripts and his books adorned with his beautiful notes indicating to his vast knowledge. He donated his home to the people of his city visiting Madinah the Illuminated so that they would have somewhere to say during their visit. As for his Libray, one of his family members in Madinah mentioned that his library was taken back by one of his relatives to India.
Shaykh Abd al-Baqi passed away on the 4th of Rabi al-Awwal in the year 1364. He was buried in the al-Baqi, and with his passing away the people of Madinah buried one of its pious scholars. Allah (Most High) have mercy upon him and all the other scholars mentioned in this post.