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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Allama Hazrat Saiyid Sulaiman Nadvi r.a Contribution to Islamic literature

Sayyid Sulaimân Nadwi was a prolific writer who wrote books on history, biography, literature and travel. His greatest work is the Sîrat-un-Nabi (Life of the Prophet of Islâm ) in six volumes, which has hardly any parallel in any language of the world. This outstanding work on the life of the Holy Prophet of Islam was started by Shibli Nu'mâni, but the major part of it was completed by his pupil, Sayyid Sulaimân. This has since been translated into several languages and is the most widely read book on the life and teachings of the Great Prophet of Islâm . He has made 'Seerah' a new and separate subject in Islamic studies.
His first book was Durûs-ul-Adab, an Arabic reader in two parts. In 1912 he compiled a Dictionary of New Arabic Words. In 1915 he brought out the first volume and in 1918 the second volume of Ard-ul-Qur'ân (the lands of Qur'ân), which is a priceless piece of historical research and refutation of orientalist propaganda against the geographical descriptions of ancient lands and nations given in the Qur'ân. This is the only book of its kind in Urdu.
In 1910, he wrote another very important biographical work, Sîrat-e-'Â'ishah, which is the most authentic book on the life of Hazrat 'Â'ishah , wife of the Prophet of Islâm .
In October-November 1925, Sulaiman Nadvi delivered a series of eight lectures on the life of Muhammad at Madras. These lectures which are a masterpiece of erudition later published as Khutbat-e-Madras.
In 1940, he published Rahmat-e-Aalam, a book written for children on the life of Muhammad.
In 1933, he brought out his monumental work, Khayyam. The nucleus of this book was an article on noted Persian scholar and poet Omar Khayyam.
Yet another monumental work, Hayât-e-Shibli, was published in 1943. It deals not only with the life and works of his teacher, Allâmah Shibli Nu'mâni, but, in fact, is a detailed history of literary and educational activities of Muslim India during the last 100 years.
In 1939, he published a collection of his essays on diverse subjects, known as Naqûsh-e-Sulaimân. These essays, known for the sublimity of thought and lucidity of diction, are a living testimony to his scholarship and mastery over the language.
Hayât Imâm Mâlik - A biography of Hadrat Imâm Mâlik ibn Anas (d. 179H.), which also contains details of his works, including the famous Mu'atta. This book also included details of the lives of prominent tâbi'în and fuqahâ' as well as the history of the study and compilation of hadîth.
Ahl-us-Sunnah-wal-Jamâ'ah - Deals with fundamentals of belief ('aqâ'id), history of religious sects, and issues such as taqdîr (divine preordainment) and differences amongst the Sahâbah.Arab-o-Hind ke Ta'alluqât - A collection of lectures delivered in 1939 at the Indian Academy, Allahabad. A discussion of the trade relationships between the Arabs and India and interactions of trade, scholarship, and religion.
Rahmat-e-'Âlam - A life history of the Prophet written in simple language that has been incorporated in the curriculum of Islâmic schools.
Yâd-e-Raftagân - Between 1916 and 1953, with the death of any well-known person in Azamgarh - friend, scholar, lawyer, poet, politician, head of state, etc. - Sayyid Sulaimân would write to express his heartfelt feelings on their passing away. This book is a collection of such writings.
Barîd Farang - A collection of letters written to various prominent figures of the Indian subcontinent related to the Khilâfat delegation in 1920.
Seir-e-Afghânistân - In 1933, Sayyid Sulaimân and Allâmah Iqbâl were invited by the government of Afghanistan to tour the country. This journey was to study the academic and literary problems of Afghanistan. This book is a collection of his chronicles published on his return.
Maqâlât-e-Sulaimân - A collection of the hundreds of articles written by Sayyid Sulaimân for various periodicals in his lifetime, namely An-Nadwa, Al-Hilâl, and Ma'ârif.

Allama Hazrat Saiyid Sulaiman Nadvi r.a

Sulaiman Nadvi was born on November 22, 1884 in Desna village of Patna, British India. His father, Hakeem Sayyed Abdul Hasan was a pious Sufi and , known for his learning and piety, was highly respected in the locality.His first teachers were Khalifa Anwar Ali of Desna and Maulvi Maqsood Ali of Ookhdi. Later he received his education from his elder brother, Hakeem Sayyed Abu Habeeb and his father, who was a physician at Islampur near Patna. In 1899 he went to Phulwari Sharif (Bihar) where at the famous Khanqah-e-Mojeebia he became a disciple of Maulana Mohiuddin and of Shah Sulaiman Phulwari. From there he went to Darbhanga where he studied for a few months at Madrasa-e-Imdadia.In 1901, he was admitted into Dar-ul-Uloom Nadva at Lucknow, which was recognized as the foremost institution of religious and Arabic education in the subcontinent. He studied for seven years at Nadva and and came in contact with such eminent scholars as Maulânâ Farooq Chirayyakoti, Sayyid Muhammad Ali of Monghyr, Maulânâ Hafizullah and Allâmah Shibli Nu'mâni, who were much impressed by his talent, intelligence, and diligence.Young Sulaiman's first article, Waqt (Time) was published in the monthly Urdu Journal Makhzan edited by Sir Sheikh Abdul Qadir. In 1905, Maulana Shibli came to Lucknow as Secretary of Nadva. Sulaiman came under the influence of Shibli whose literary heir he was destined to be. There was another student at Nadva at this time who came from Calcutta. He was none but Abul Kalam Azad. Both Sulaiman and Azad were favourite pupils of Maulana Shibli Nomani. Soon Sulaiman was chosen to carry on Maulana Shibli's work. In 1906, he graduated from the Nadva. Shibli appointed Sayyed Sulaiman sub-editor of journal, An-Nadwa. In 1908, Sulaiman Nadvi was appointed an instructor of Modern Arabic and Dogmatic Theology at Dar-ul-Uloom Nadva.Aligarh Muslim University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctorate of Literature (DLitt) in 1940.
Service to Islâm
Sulaimân Nadwi, whose life had been an uninterrupted devotion to scholarship and literary pursuits, was called upon to devote his energies to the service of Islâm and his country.The first quarter of the twentieth century was a period of trials and tribulations for the Indian Muslims in particular. The political scene was tense, surcharged with revolution. The caliphate held by the Turkish Sultan was at stake. The Western powers were conspiring to do away with the "Sick Man of Europe." The wars in the Balkans and Tripoli and ultimately World War I, were all pointing to this end. In India too, the Indian National Congress and especially the All-India Khilafat Committee, under the dynamic and inspiring leadership of Maulânâ Muhammad Ali, had created a stir throughout the length and breadth of the subcontinent which led to an unprecedented awakening of the masses. Sayyid Sulaimân Nadwi, too, could not resist responding to the national call. In 1920, he joined a Khilafat Delegation, headed by Maulânâ Muhammad Ali, to London, for securing equitable and just treatment of Turkey at the hands of the victorious Allies.
In 1924, when the Sharif of Makkah and King Ibn Saud of Najd were at war, Sultan ibn Saud sought the help of the Khilafat Committee to settle the dispute. A delegation, headed by Sayyid Sulaimân Nadwi, which included Maulânâ Muhammad Ali and Shoaib Qureshi went to Hijâz in 1926 and fearlessly placed the views of Indian Muslims before Sultan ibn Saud for establishing a truly democratic rule in the Holy Land. In 1926, Sayyid Sulaimân presided over the memorable annual session of Jamiat-ul-Ulema at Calcutta, which considered the deteriorating Hindu-Muslim relations in the subcontinent due to the Shuddhi-Sanghattan Movement started by the Shardhanand-Malaviya Group. The same year, the Maulânâ, at the invitation of King Ibn Saud, headed a delegation of celebrated Muslim leaders, including Maulânâ Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali, to Makkah to participate in the Motamar-i-Alam-i-Islami (World Islâmic Conference). Delegations of almost all Muslim countries participated in the conference and Sayyid Sulaimân Nadwi had been elected the Vice-President of the Conference. On his return from Makkah, he retired from active politics and decided to devote his heart and soul to literary pursuits only.
Sayyid Sulaimân Nadwi had started his career as the sub-editor of An-Nadwa, a well-known magazine devoted to religious research. In 1910 he joined as an assistant editor and lead writer of the celebrated Al-Hilâl of Maulânâ Abul Kalâm Âzâd. He wrote some of its best editorials, including one on the Cawnpur Mosque incident which electrified the Indian Muslims. But his association with Al-Hilâl lasted two years only. In 1914, when the Shibli Academy was established and its official organ, the Ma'ârif started publication, he became its founding editor. This magazine, during the last 44 years of its existence maintained an enviable record of high-class articles.
The greatest achievement of Sayyid Sulaimân Nadwi was the establishment of Darul Musannafîn (House of Writers), also known as the Shibli Academy, at Azamgarh, which became the pioneer in the field of literary and historical research in the subcontinent. He attracted around him a large number of talented scholars who carried on the literary mission of his illustrious teacher, Shibli Nu'mâni, with unabated zeal. This institution of learning founded in 1914 continues to spread its luster throughout the subcontinent and during the last 48 years of its existence has published some outstanding works on diverse branches of knowledge. Maulânâ Sulaimân Nadwi dedicated his life to the service of learning and kept his uninterrupted association with the Shibli Academy, Azamgarh. During this period he spent an austere life at Azamgarh, busy in writing books which inspired an entire generation.
Migration to Pakistan
After partition of India, Sayyaed Sulaiman Nadvi migrated to Pakistan in June 1950 and settled in Karachi.The pleadings of the Prime Minister of India not to leave India could not dissuade him from going to Pakistan where he was immensely needed to guide the framing of a truly Islâmic constitution. On arrival in Karachi, he was made President of the Islamic Talimat Board, attached to the Constituent Assembly. He had come to Pakistan with an ambitious plan in his mind of establishing an Academy of Islamic Studies in Karachi that could rival the Shibli Academy of Azamgarh (UP). But he was not destined to live there long and died three years after, in 1953. His death was mourned throughout the world of Islam and the loss of this great scholar, historian, and religious writer was universally acknowledged. His death created a void in the literary life of the subcontinent that cannot be easily filled.
He was appointed Chairman of Taleemat-e-Islami Board to advise the Islamic aspects of Pakistan's constitution. He died on November 22, 1953 in Karachi at the age of 69.

In the end time of his life he became a *mureed* disciple of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi R.A. and got Khilafat from him.

Hazrat Shah Saiyid Hussain r.a biography in brief

HAZRAT SAIYID HUSSAIN RA. was born on 16th November 1916. He was the son-in-law of the Allama Syed Sulaiman Nadvi RA.(d. 1953).His early days were under the supervision of Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Isa Sb.RA. who was the mureed of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi ( d. 1943 ) and was also one of his foremost Khalifa. HAZRAT SAIYID HUSSAIN RA. did his FA in Persian (1932-1934) after which he went to Allahabad University from where he completed his B.A & M.A (1935-1938) and then started preparing for I.C.S & PCS examinations. Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Isa Sb.RA. advised him not to apply for IAS as for that he would have to go abroad and better opt for PCS exams as that would be held in India. He also console him that whatever the position you will be getting from I.A.S Allah will give you in PCS. Finally Hazrat Saiyid Hussain (R.A) did what his Sheikh had advised and selected in PCS examinations.
He was married in 1941(5th Nov) to the daughter of Hazrat Saiyid Sulaiman Nadvi ra. After the death of Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Isa Sb.RA.( d. 1944 ), he then moved towards Hazrat Shah Wasiullah Sb. (R.A), Khalifa of Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, for Islah. From whom he received the Khilafat also. Hazrat Shah Wasiullah Sb. (R.A) died in 1964 while he was going for hajj. After his death Hazrat Saiyid Hussain (R.A) got in touch with Hazrat Maseullah Khan Sb. Jalalabadi R.A (d. 1991), Khalifa of Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi. Later on he was rewarded with Khilafat also.

Malfoozat Asr~i~Hazir

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi [Hakim al-ummat]

Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, referred to by many South Asian Muslims as ‘Physician of the Muslims’ [Hakim al-ummat] and ‘Reformer of the Nation’ [Mujaddid}
Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi, named Abdul Ghani by his paternal family, was born in the village of Thana Bhawan (in the Muzaffarnagar district of the Uttar Pardesh province of India) on 5 Rabi al-Thani 1280 AH (September 19, 1863 CE). He was named Ashraf Ali by the renowned and famous saint of the times Hafiz Ghulam Murtadha Panipati, who was also a relative of the maternal family of Mawlana Thanawi. His family was well-respected and held an eminent position in Thana Bhawan. His father, Abdul Haq, was a wealthy landowner, a devout Muslim, and a respected citizen of Thana Bhawan. Abdul Haq was well-versed in Farsi, and although he was not a hafiz of the Qur’an but knew the Holy Book so well by heart that sometimes he would correct the recitation of the Imam in the prayer. Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi’s lineage can be traced back to the second Caliph of Islam, Umar ibn al-Khattab, a glimpse of whose intelligence, wisdom, foresightedness, piety, and sincerity was certainly visible in Mawlana Thanawi. As a young boy, he had a zeal for offering the prayer [salah] and by age twelve, he was constant in night vigil [tahajjud]. He attained his early Arabic and Persian education under his maternal uncle Wajid Ali and Maulana Fat‘h Muhammad in Thana Bhawan and also memorized the holy Qur’an at a tender age from Hafiz Hussain Ali of Meerut.
From 1295 to 1301 Hijri, Mawlana Thanawi studied at the prestigious Deoband Seminary (Darul Uloom Deoband), from where he graduated in 1301 A.H. after studying under some of the most erudite Islamic theologians of his time. Among his teachers were Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanotawi, Mawlana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, Mawlana Muhammad Yaqub Nanotawi, and Shaykh al-Hind Mawlana Mehmoodul Hasan. Mawlana Thanawi’s six years at Deoband were spent under the tutorship and guidance of God-fearing saints and Gnostics, many of whom were the spiritual students of Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki. The spiritually filled atmosphere of Darul Uloom Deoband coupled with brilliant teachers, and Mawlana Thanawi’s own intelligence and piety are all factors that contributed to the excellence of theory and practice that was manifested in his personality. His literary life started at the Deoband Seminary when he was only eighteen years of age and wrote Mathnawi Zer-o-Bam in Farsi. He possessed unmatched linguistic skills and had mastered the languages of Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu by age eighteen.
Mawlana Thanawi graduated in 1301 A.H. (1884 C.E.) from the Deoband Seminary. When Mawlana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi arrived for the graduation ceremony, Shaykhul Hind [Shaykh of India] Mawlana Mehmoodul Hasan informed him that today a very bright and intelligent student will be graduating. Mawlana Gangohi wanted to test this bright student. Hence, before the actual ceremony, Mawlana Gangohi posed the hardest questions he could think of before Mawlana Thanawi. His answers amazed and pleased Mawlana Gangohi (Quraishi 14). At the graduation, ceremonial procession of tying a turban [dastaarbandi] was carried out by Mawlana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi. The graduation ceremony of that year stood out from the past and was celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy by the teachers of the Deoband Seminary. At this occasion, Mawlana Thanawi, with some classmates, said to his teacher Mawlana Yaqub, “We are not deserving of such a celebration and our graduation might bring derision for Darul Uloom Deoband.” Upon hearing this concern from Mawlana Thanawi, Mawlana Yaqub became thrilled and said, “This thinking of yours is completely wrong! At Darul Uloom Deoband, you perceive of your personality as very meek and insignificant because of your teachers, and in fact, this is how you should feel. But, once you graduate and step out of this institution, then you will realize your worth and importance. I swear by Allah, you will prevail and become dominant wherever you go, the field is open and empty (for you)” (Alwi 53). After graduating from Deoband, Mawlana Thanawi accompanied his father to the Holy cities of Makka and Medina. After performing his first pilgrimage [hajj], Mawlana Thanawi mastered the art of Qur’anic recitation under Qari Muhammad Abdullah Muhajir Makki. In Makka he also had the opportunity to stay in the companionship of Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki, whose spiritual attention, luminous personality, radiant teachings, and excellent methodology of training prepared Mawlana Thanawi for the great reform movement that had been predestined for him.
Mawlana Thanawi was not a politician, Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani explains, “and neither were politics his subject of interest” (Islam aur Siyasat 22). However, Islam is a lifestyle encompassing all human activities and providing clear and full guidelines for all walks of life, hence, at appropriate places in his speeches and writings Mawlana Thanawi does comment on politics and provides his useful explanation in that field. While battling secularism, many contemporary Muslims, perceived Islam as a branch of government and politics. Mawlana Thanawi proved, mainly using Qur’anic verses, that political rule is only a means of instituting Islam in our lives and not the purpose of life itself. All modern political notions in contradiction with the Qur’an and Hadith would have to be forsaken and the pure, untainted political thought reflected in the Qur’an and Hadith should guide the Muslims in organizing and structuring their governments.