Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan and Sufism

Salam. Inshallah we hope to have the rest of the chapter of fasting from ‘It-haf al-Talib’ up soon. In the meantime we would like to mention something we alluded to in previous posts, namely Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khans (one of the leaders of the Ahl al-Hadith movement in India) turning towards Sufism in the latter stages of his life, and requesting to take bayah with Sh. Fadl al-Rahman al-Muradabadi.
A Shock to the System
Sh. Wahbi Suleiman Ghawji also mentions this ‘turnaround’ in his introduction to Sh. al-Luknawis critique of Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan wherein he says (pg.5-6):

Sh. Nur al-Hasan Khan the son of Sh. Siddiq (Hasan Khan) said regarding his father: When I saw prayer beads in his hand for the first time I was amazed and asked him about it. He replied to me that he was constantly making istighfar since Sh. Fadl al-Rahman al-Muradabadi had advised him to do so…He then said: He was overcome by enlightened states until he was fortunate to repent from his previous bad opinion of the Imams of fiqh and tasawwuf. He wrote this at the end of his ‘Maqalat al-Ihsan wa Maqamat al-Irfan’ which is a translation of ‘Futuh al-Ghaib’ of Sh. al-Imam Abd al-Qadir al-Jili (Jilani).

This incident is worth reflecting over for various reasons. Not least that it is evidence of Sh. Fadl al-Rahman al-Muradabadi’s lofty character. Here he has one of the most notable of the scholars of the anti tasawwuf movement contacting him asking to take bayah with him. His response was to send Nawab Siddiq his turban and advised him to make istighfar, dealing with him in a manner to honour him and show him respect, as opposed to humiliating him or parading him as a trophy in an attempt to show how great a Sheikh of tasawwuf he was.

It also shows Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khans sincerity and desire to make amends for his previous views, and courage in contacting a major sufi Sheikh and humbling himself before him to ask him to accept him as a murid of his.

This incident also reminds me of something I heard a while back about Sh. al-Sabuni, the Syrian expert in Tafsir taking bayah with Sh. Mahmud Effendi in Istanbul. Both of these scholars are of a similar age.

It is reported that when Sh. al-Sabuni met Sh. Mahmud he asked to take bayah with him, Sh. Mahmud refused saying to Sh. al-Sabuni that he was a major scholar and how could he make him a murid of his?. Finally after insisting he agreed to accept his bayah.
(It is reported that Sh al-Sabuni had seen Sh. Mahmud many years previously in a dream, he had travelled to many places trying to find this Sheikh he had seen. Many years later when he met Sh. Mahmud for the first time he realised that this was the person from his dream).
Both Sh. al-Sabuni and Sh. Mahmud are alive, may Allah (the Exalted) give them and the rest of our Shuyukh health and a long life so that we may benefit from them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *