Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was born on a Monday, the 10th of Shawaal 1272 A.H. [14th June 1856], at the time of Zohr Salaah in a place called Jasoli, which is in the city of Bareilly, India.
A few days before the birth of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), his father, Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), narrated a wonderful dream to his father, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), who interpreted this dream by saying: “This is a sign that you are going to be the father of a child, a boy, who will grow up to be pious and knowledgable. His name will gain prominence from East to West.”
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was a master of Abjad and he deduced his year of birth from the verse of the Holy Qur'an: “These are they in whose hearts Allah has inscribed faith and helped them with a spirit from Himself.” (58:2)
The name that was given to him at birth was “Mohammed.” The name corresponding to that year of his birth was “Al Mukhtaar.” His grandfather, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), named him “Ahmed Raza.” It was by this name that he was famously known. Much later in his life, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) added the title “Abdul Mustafa” to his name signifying his great love and respect for the Messenger of Allah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Much later, the Grand Mufti of Makkatul Mukarramah, Sheikh Hussain bin Saleh Makki (Alaihir Rahmah), gave him the title of “Zia'udeen Ahmed.”
The followers of the great Mujaddid Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) call him “A'la Hadrat”. “Hadrat” means “person” and “A'la Hadrat” means “great”, “A'la Hadrat” means “a great person”.
The following ancestral tree of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) is carefully constructed from the authentic Books of Genealogy and meticulously scrutinized with references to other books in this field. The ancestors were compared with dates and periods found in books written by Historians who were masters in this field.
The Ancestral tree is as follows:
Mujaddid-e-A'zam A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Rida Khan s/o Ra'isul-Atqiya Imam Muhammad Naqi Ali s/o 'Arife-Billah Imam Rida Ali s/o Mawlana Hafiz Kazim 'Ali s/o Mawlana Sha Muhammad A'zam Khan s/o Mawlana Muhammad Sa'adat Yaar Khan s/o Shuja'at Jung Muhammad Sa'idullah Khan Bhadur Qandhari s/o 'Abdur-Rahman Khan s/o Yusuf Khan Qandhari s/o Dawlat Khan s/o Badal Khan s/o Da'd Khan s/o Bar'hech Khan s/o Sharfud-Deen 'Urf Shar'haboon s/o Ibra'him 'Urf Sard'bun s/o Sayyiduna Qais Malik 'Abdur-Rashid Sahabi s/o 'Ays s/o Salool s/o 'Utba s/o Na'eem s/o Marra s/o Malik Jalandar s/o Malik Askandar s/o Zaman s/o 'Unais s/o Bah'lool s/o Sa'lam s/o Salah s/o Qaroon s/o Nasr s/o Ashmu'ail s/o Na'eem s/o Akram s/o Ash'ath s/o Sharood s/o Makhal s/o Nusrat s/o Qalaj s/o Sher s/o 'Atham s/o Faylool s/o Karam s/o 'Amaal s/o Hudayfa s/o Mat'hal s/o Qabal s/o 'Ilm or 'Aleem s/o Ash'mool s/o Haroon s/o Qamar s/o Abi s/o Su'heb s/oalal s/o Lu'ee s/o 'Ameel s/oaraj s/o Arzand s/o Mandool s/o Saleem or Sa'lam s/o Afghana s/o Sarad al-Muqallab bi Malikaloot s/o Qais s/o 'Utbah s/o Alas s/ou'ail s/o Yahoodah s/o Sayyiduna Nabi Ya'qoob s/o Sayyiduna Nabi Ishaq s/o Khaleelullah Sayyiduna Nabi Ibra'him s/o Ta'rikh s/o Makhood or Nahoor s/o Shuroo' or Ash'ragh s/o Sayyiduna Nabi Hood s/o Abir s/o Sha'lakh s/o Araf'khashad s/o Saam s/o Sayyiduna Nabi Nooh [age: 1400 years] s/o La'lak [age:780 years] s/o Malik Matla'shakh [age: 900 years] s/o Sayyiduna Nabi Idris s/o Bayarad s/o Mahla'heel s/o Qay'nan s/o Anoosh s/o Sayyiduna Nabi Sheeth [age: 912 years] s/o Sayyiduna Nabi Adam [age: 900 years]
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) belongs to the Afghani Bar'hech tribe which was of royal descent. He was from a very respectable and noble tribe in Afghanistan. Great 'Ulama and Mashaa'ikh hailed from his dignified tribe whose Mazaars (Tombs) are still a center of solace and spiritual enlightment for the people both in Afghanistan and Hindustan. A separate detailed book can be written about these great dignitaries. An important point to note is that in the ancestry of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), there are eight Prophets and one Sahabi.
The Prophets are:
1) Sayyiduna Nabi Ya'qoob (Alayhis Salaam)
2) Sayyiduna Nabi Ishaq (Alayhis Salaam)
3) Sayyiduna Nabi 'Ibrahim (Alayhis Salaam)
4) Sayyiduna Nabi Hud (Alayhis Salaam)
5) Sayyiduna Nabi Nuh (Alayhis Salaam)
6) Sayyiduna Nabi Idris (Alayhis Salaam)
7) Sayyiduna Nabi Sheeth (Alayhis Salaam)
8) Sayyiduna Nabi Adam (Alayhis Salaam)
The one Sahabi is Sayyiduna Qais Malik ‘Abdur-Rashid Sahabi (Radi Allahu Anhu). He is the 43rd descendant of Afghana and 45th descendant of Hadrat Malik Taloot. Qais bin 'Ays lived in the mountain of Ghour. In one of the expeditions of Sayyiduna Khalid ibn Walid (Radi Allahu Anhu), he became interested in Islam. So he took some of the leaders of Afghanistan and wen to Madina al-Munawwarah. They met the beloved Prophet of Allah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) and immediately accepted Islam on his sacred hands. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) then said to him: “Qais is a Hebrew word and I am an Arab.” The Prophet of Allah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) gave him the Islamic name “'Abdur-Rashid”. The beloved Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) further said: “You are the Awlad of Malik Taloot whom Allah blessed with the title of Malik (King). In the future you too will be remembered with the title of 'Malik'.” This is how he got the title of “Malik” from the office of Prophethood.
It was in the Madinan period that the Beloved Nabi (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) was planning for the conquest of Makka and appointed Sayyiduna Malik 'Abdur-Rashid (Radi Allahu Anhu) and the other Afghani Sahabi as the leaders of the secret service scouts of the army led by Sayyiduna Khalid ibn Walid (Radi Allahu Anhu). The Afghani Mujahids displayed their astonishing bravery in the battle of Makka. Sayyiduna Malik 'Abdur-Rashid (Radi Allahu Anhu) himself killed 70 Kufaar in this battle. His role and bravery in this war brought great joy to the heart of the Beloved Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) who predicted that a great family will emerge from the off-springs of this Sahabi. They will be steadfast on religion and will strengthen the Deen of Islam like “Bataan” (conqueror with great bravery or Military Advisor). It was the effects of this Du'a of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) that great 'Ulama and Mashaa'ikh were born in the lineage of Sayyiduna Malik 'Abdur-Rashid (Radi Allahu Anhu).
Since the Beloved Nabi's (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) Du'a for the Awlad of Sayyiduna Malik 'Abdur-Rashid (Radi Allahu Anhu) was that they will strengthen the Deen and their strength will be like “Bataan”, from that day on he became famous by the title of “Bataan”. This word “Bataan” in later days changed to the present day name “Pathaan”. Eventually, the Awlad of Sayyiduna Malik 'Abdur-Rashideen (Radi Allahu Anhu) became synonymous by the word “Pathaan”. This is how the word “Pathaan” can into existence. Sayyiduna Malik 'Abdur-Rashid (Radi Allahu Anhu) married Mutahira, the daughter of Sayyiduna Khalid ibn Walid (Radi Allahu Anhu), and he passed away at the age of 87 years.
The services of the great Mujaddid Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) is known to the Muslim World and precisely the manifestations of the Du'as of the Beloved Prophet of Allah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam).
FATHER & GRANDFATHER
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), was the son of Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan, who was son of Allama Mawlana Mohammed Kaazim Ali Khan, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Shah Mohammed Azam Khan, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Sa'adat Yaar Khan, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Sa'eedullah Khan (Alaihimur Rahmah).
The great forefathers of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) migrated from Qandhar (Kabul) during the Mogul rule and settled in Lahore. Allama Mawlana Sa'eedullah Khan, the first forefather of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi, held a high government post when he arrived in the Indo-Pak subcontinent. His son, Allama Mawlana Sa'adat Yaar Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), after gaining victory in the city of Ruhailah, was elected as the Governor of that city.
Allama Mawlana Hafiz Kaazim Ali Khan, the son of Mawlana Mohammed Azam Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), was a Tax-collector in the city of Badayoun. His son, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), the illustrious grandfather of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), did not serve in the Government. It was from this generation that the heads of the family began to adopt Tassawuf as their way of life.
We have included a very brief history of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi's (Alaihir Rahmah) father and grandfather.
HIS FATHER: Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi's (Alaihir Rahmah) father, Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), received his education at the hands of his father, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah). He wrote more than 50 books, among them, Suroorul Quloob fi Zikri Mouloodul Mahboob, which received a very high distinctive position amongst Islamic literature. The treatise is characteristic in its condemnation of the enemies of Islam, both internally and externally. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan's father passed away in 1297 A.H. (1880) when Imam Ahmed Raza was 24 years old.
HIS GRANDFATHER: One of the greatest Sufis of his time, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) was born in the year 1224 A.H. He was also a great warrior and fought with General Bakht Khan against English invaders in the year 1834. He received his early education at the hands of Molwi Khaleerur Rahman. At the age of 23, he had already completed his Islamic education, earning certificates of distinction in various fields of knowledge. He passed away in the month of Jamaadi-ul-Awwal in the year 1282 A.H. (1866). Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was at this time only 10 years old.
MEETING WITH A MAJZOOB
At the age of 3, Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was once standing outside the Raza Musjid in Bareilly Shareef. An “unknown” person, attired in an Arab garb, approached him and spoke to him in the Arabic language. Those who witnessed this incident heard the young Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) converse with the person in pure Arabic. They were surprised. The person who spoke to the young Imam Ahmed Raza was never seen again in Bareilly Shareef!
A Majzoob (one drowned in his love for Allah Ta'ala) by the name of Hadrat Basheeruddeen Sahib (Alaihir Rahmah) used to live at the Akhoon Zada Musjid in Bareilly Shareef. He spoke harshly to anyone who visited him. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) wished to meet this Majzoob. One night, at about 11 o'clock, he set off alone to meet him. He sat respectfully for about 15 minutes outside the Majzoob's house. After some time, the Majzoob became aware of him and asked, “Who are you to Mawlana Raza Ali Khan.” Imam Ahmed Raza replied that he was the grandson of Hadrat Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah). The Majzoob immediately embraced him and took him into his little room. He asked Imam Ahmed Raza Khan if he had come for any specific matter, but Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) said that he had come to ask him to make Du'a for him. On hearing this, the Majzoob, for approximately half an hour, made the following Du'a: “May Allah have mercy on you, May Allah bless you.”
PIETY AS A CHILD
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was 4 years old when this incident took place. On that particular day, he was dressed in a long Kurta. As he stepped out of his house, a few female prostitutes walked past him. In order to cover his eyes, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan quickly held the bottom of his Kurta with both his hands and lifted the Kurta over his face. When one of the prostitutes saw what he did, she said, “Well! Young man. You covered your eyes, but allowed your Satr to be shown.” With his face and eyes still covered, the young Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) replied, “When the eyes are tempted, then the heart becomes tempted. When the heart is tempted, then the concealed parts become tempted.”
Another incident which happened in the Month of Ramadaan also shows Imam Ahmed Raza's (Alaihir Rahmah) piety and fear of Allah. Fasting was not Fardh (obligatory) upon him because he was still a child, but he still intended to keep fast. Now, for a little child to keep fast in India during the summer season was very difficult as temperatures sometimes soared to 50 degrees Celsius. On that day, the heat of the sun was intense. Allama Naqi Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) took the young Imam Ahmed Raza Khan into a room where sweets were kept. He closed the door and said, “There, eat the sweets.” Imam Ahmed Raza Khan replied that he was fasting. His father then said, “The fasting of children is always like this. The door is closed and no one is looking. Now you may eat.” On hearing this, the young Imam Ahmed Raza respectfully said, “Through Whose command I am fasting, He is Seeing me.” On hearing this answer from a little child, tears began to flow from the eyes of Allama Naqi Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah). They both then left the room.
HIS FIRST LECTURE ON THE MOULOOD
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) delivered his first lecture at the age of 6 years. It was during the glorious month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan stood on the Mimbar (Pulpit) and delivered a 2 hours lecture before a very large gathering which also consisted of many 'Ulema. He spoke on the Wilaadat (Birth) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) which affected the hearts of the listeners. They were thoroughly impressed by the maturity and eloquence of this lecture.
HIS INTELLIGENCE AS A CHILD
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was so gifted and intelligent that there was no need for him to study beyond the fourth Kitaab of his course under the tutorship of any of his teachers. He studied the remaining Kitaabs by himself and used to later ask his teachers to test him.
Once, his teacher asked him, “Mia! Are you a Jinn or a human being? It takes me much time to teach a lesson, but it does not take you much time to learn the same lesson.” Imam Ahmed Raza Khan answered, “Praise be to Allah that I am a human.”
When he was 8 years old, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) wrote a Mas'ala concerning Fara'idh (Fards). When his father looked at the answer, he happily remarked, “If only some adult could answer in this manner.”
At the age of 10, when he was studying the Kitaab, 'Ilm-us- Thuboot, under the guidance of his father, he noticed a few objections and answers of his father on the side of the page. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) studied this book carefully and wrote such a well- explained footnote that even the need for an objection was ruled out. His father came across his research on that objection. He was so delighted that he stood up and held his son to his heart and said, “Ahmed Raza! You do not learn from me, but you teach me.”
HE LESSON OF 'LAAM' AND 'ALIF'
During Imam Ahmed Raza Khan's “Bismillah Kwaani” or “Commencement of Islamic Education” a very strange incident occurred.
His Ustaadh asked him to read the Tasmiyah, and then told him to read “Alif, Baa, Taa, . . . .” Imam Ahmed Raza did so until he came to the word “Laam Alif” at which point he became silent. When his teacher asked him once more to read “Laam Alif”, he remained silent. The teacher instructed him, “Say, 'Laam Alif'”. Imam Ahmed Raza then replied, “I have already read them earlier on. What need is there for me to repeat it?”
Allama Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), who was witnessing this incident, said, “Son! Listen to what your Ustaadh is saying.” Upon further reflection, Allama Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), realised the reason for the objection of the young Imam Ahmed Raza. It was because the teacher was teaching Imam Ahmed Raza the lesson on single alphabets. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan felt that how was it possible that a complete word like “Laam Alif” should be found in such a lesson that only dealt with single alphabets!
Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan knew that it was a very delicate matter that could not be understood by a child. Nevertheless, he explained, “Son! It is true that which you are thinking of. But the 'Alif' which you had earlier read, in reality, is 'Hamza' and this which you are reciting now is 'Alif'. 'Alif' is always 'Sakin' and one cannot commence with an alphabet which is 'Sakin'. Therefore, it is for this reason that the alphabet 'Laam' is brought before the 'Alif'.”
When Imam Ahmed Raza Khan heard this answer, he replied, “If that be the case, then any other alphabet could be joined to the 'Alif'. Why the 'Laam'?” Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), out of sheer happiness and excitement, embraced Imam Ahmed Raza and made Du'a for him. He then explained the answer to Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) in the following brilliant manner: “In looking at them they both appear to be very much alike, since they are both empty. Even when writing them together they look very much alike. When it comes to their qualities then 'Laam' is the heart of 'Alif' and 'Alif' is the heart of 'Laam'.”
Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan was in reality opening the doors and the treasures of knowledge and spiritual insight to Imam Ahmed Raza Khan.
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was only 4 years old when he completed the recitation of the Holy Qur'an.
COMPLETION OF STUDIES
Due to the extraordinary intelligence bestowed upon him by Almighty Allah, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan completed his Islamic education at the very young age of 13 years, 10 months and 5 days. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) states that, “I completed my religious education during the middle of the month of Shabaan in the year 1286 A.H. I was 13 years, 10 months and 5 days old at that time. It was also at this time that Salaah became Fard upon me and I began to have great interest in the Laws of Shari'ah”. [Al 'Ijaazatur Radawiyya]
His Divinely bestowed intelligence was such, that when Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) completed a quarter of any given book at the feet of a teacher, he used to study and memorize the remainder of the book by himself. It is recorded that he completed an Arabic commentary on the book, Hidaayatun Nahw, on Arabic Syntax, when he was only 8 years old!
His initial education was taught by:
1. Mirza Qadir Baig Barelwi (d.1297 AH) and
2. He completed his education with his father, Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan Barelwi.
He also took knowledge of Islam and 'Ijazahs in Hadith from the following scholars:
1. Mawlana Abdul Ali Khan Rampuri (d.1303 AH) student of 'Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi
2. Shah Abul Husain Ahmad Noori Marahrawi (d.1324 AH) student of Mawlana Noor Ahmad Badayouni
3. Shah Aale Rasool Marahrawi (d.1297 AH) student of Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlwi (d. 1239 AH)
4. Imam al-Shafi'iyah Shaykh Husain Salih (d.1302 AH)
5.Mufti Hanafiya Shaykh Abdur Rahman Siraj (d.1301 AH)
6. Mufti Shafi'iyah Shaykh Ahmad bin Zayn Dahlan (d.1299 AH) Qadi al-Quddat, Makka
IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN'S FIRST FATAWA ON FOSTERAGE
In a letter sent to his illustrious Khalifa, Malakul 'Ulema, Hadrat Mawlana Zafaruddeen Bihaari, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) wrote: “With the Grace of Almighty Allah, this servant wrote his first Fatawah at the age of 13. It is also at this age that I completed my religious education and gained a certificate of proficiency in this field. On this day, a question was put forward to me as to whether milk, if reaching the belly of a child, would prove fosterage or not? I replied that even if milk reached the child's belly, either through the nose or mouth, fosterage would be proven, therefore, making it Haraam upon the child to marry this women”. [Al Malfuz, Part I, pg. 12]
ASSIGNED TO ISSUE FATAWA
His father was so amazed and delighted by this in-depth reply that he assigned the young Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) the task of issuing Fatawa [Islamic Verdicts]. For many years, thereafter, Imam Ahmed Raza carried this very important duty with absolute dignity and responsibility. Imam Ahmed Raza began answering hundreds of Fatawa daily. He received them in all languages - Arabic, Urdu, Persian, English and many other languages.
A few days after the Nikah of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), a certain person came to Bareilly Shareef and presented a Fatwa of Mawlana Irshaad Hussain Mujaddidi to Hadrat Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan for an answer. The Fatwa bore the signatures of many 'Ulema.
Hadrat Allama Naqi Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), instructed the messenger with the following words: “Go into the room. Moulvi Sahib is there. He will answer your question.” The messenger entered the room and only saw Imam Ahmed Raza sitting there. He returned to Hadrat Allama Naqi Ali Khan and said, “There is no Moulvi Sahib there. All I see in the room is a young lad.” Hadrat Allama Naqi Ali Khan told the messenger: “Give the Mas'ala to him and he will answer it.” The messenger went to Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) and handed him the Fatwa. He studied it and realised that the answer on the Fatwa of Mawlana Irshaad Hussain was incorrect. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) wrote the correct answer to the Fatwa and respectfully presented it to his father who verified it as being correct.
The Fatwa was then taken to the Governor of Rampur. After studying the Fatwa of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), the Governor requested the presence of Mawlana Irshaad Hussain Sahib. When the said Mawlana appeared before the Governor, the Fatwa was shown to him. Mufti Irshaad Hussain Sahib humbly acknowledged that his Fatwa was incorrect and that the Fatwa from Bareilly was correct. The Governor of Rampur then said, “If the Fatwa of Bareilly is correct, then how is it that all the other 'Ulema verified and endorsed your Fatwa?” Mawlana Irshaad Hussain replied, “They endorsed my Fatwa because I am prominent, but the true Fatwa is the one written by the Mufti of Bareilly.”
Regarding Imam Ahmed Raza's knowledge of sheep in reply to a Fatwa, Mawlana Mufti Mazharullah said: “Once, I enquired from Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi about the holy sacrifice offered by Muslims. He, in his reply, described innumerable kinds of sheep which was a matter of surprise for me. I kept his letter with me. It so happened that Mawlana Kifaayatullah came to see me and by chance he saw the letter. He was astounded and said, 'No doubt his learning and knowledge knows no boundaries'.”
Once Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) went to Pillibit Shareef. He stayed with Muhaddith-e-Surat, Hadrat Mawlana Wasi Ahmad Sahib (Alaihir Rahmah). Before leaving for Bareilly Shareef, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi requested to borrow a Kitaab called Uqoodul Arya from him. As there was only one copy of the book he gave it to Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi and said, “After studying the book, please return it as these are the only few kitaabs that I have for Fatawa writing.”
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was supposed to depart from Pillibit Shareef that night, but since he had been invited at another person's home, he stayed one more night in Pillibit Shareef. Imam Ahmed Raza spent the entire night studying the Kitaab, which consisted of numerous volumes.
The following morning, before leaving for the railway station to meet Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), Hadrat Muhaddith-e- Surat found that the Kitaab that he had lent Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi had been returned. He thought that Imam Ahmed Raza was angry and displeased with him for asking him to return the Kitaab quickly. He immediately went to Imam Ahmed Raza and asked for pardon. Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) smiled and then said, “That is not the reason for returning the Kitaab. I stayed one more night, so I studied the book and, therefore, did not find the need to take it with me.”
When Hadrat Muhaddith-e-Surat (Alaihir Rahmah) heard this he was surprised and exclaimed, “You have studied this book in one night!” Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) replied, “Insha-Allah, for the next 3 months I will not need to look at the book to find any statements, and as for the essence of the book, Insha-Allah, I will not forget it in my lifetime.” He then said, “The book did not have a table of contents. I have drawn up one for you.”
Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was fair-complexioned, bright-looking, medium-structured, smart, simple, soft-spoken, sweet-voiced and taciturn.
In the year 1291 A.H. (1874), Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) married Sayyidah Irshaad Begum who was the beloved daughter of Sheikh Fadhl Hussain Sahib. He was 18 years old at the time of his Nikah.
Allah Ta'ala blessed Imam Ahmed Raza with 7 beautiful children - 2 sons and 5 daughters.
His sons Mawlana Hamid Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) [d.1362/1934] and Mawlana Mustafa Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) [d. 1402/1981] are celebrated savants of Islam. They rendered great services to Islam and the Muslim Nation in India.
A'la Hadrat's eldest son, Hujjatul Islam, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Muhammad Haamid Raza Khan was very much efficient in Arabic and various other religious sciences. He was a great savant, orator, author and poet. He was such a master of argumentation that he was called “Hujjat al-Islam” [Argument of Islam]. His features resembled his illustrious father. Hujjatul Islam (Alaihir Rahmah) ?left this mundane world on the 17th of Jamadi-ul-Awwal 1362 A.H., while in the state of Salaah.
Ghausul Waqt, Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind, Ash Shah Imam Mustapha Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), the younger son of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), studied primarily under the guidance of his elder brother. He also received education at the blessed feet of his father and earned himself a certificate of proficiency in religious sciences. Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind (Alaihir Rahmah) has approximately ten millions Mureeds (disciples) around the world. He was such a great Mufti that he was called “Mufti-i-'Azam” [The Great Mufti] of India. He left this mundane world on the eve of the 14th of Muharram 1402 A.H. (1981).
The grandson of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), Hadrat Ibrahim Raza Khan Jilani (Alaihir Rahmah) was such a great Mufassir that he was called “Mufassir-i-'Azam” [The Great Commentator] of India.
THE BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE ATTAINED
If we study the life of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza(Alaihir Rahmah), we will discover that his proficiency in various subjects total over sixty branches of knowledge. The branches of knowledge of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) are here arranged according to the syllabus of Jamias & Universities written as under :-
1. I’lm of the Qur’an & Art of its Translation
2. Qur’anic Tafseer
3. Principles of Tafseer
4. Master of Recitation of the Qur’an with Tajweed
6. Principles of Hadith
7. Encyclopaedia of Hadith
8. Critical Examination of Hadith
10. Principle of Jurisprudence
11. Lexicon of Jurisprudence
12. Scholastic Theology
15. Syntax & Etymology
16. Rhetoric and style & Elocution
17. Linguistic & Lexicon
19. Urdu Prose
20. Arabic Prose
21. Persian Prose
22. Arabic Poetry
23. Persian Poetry
24. Urdu Poetry
25. Hindi poetry
26. Explanation, Criticism & Appreciation
30. Incantation & Invocation
31. Jafr (Literology & Numerology)
32. Carrying the Figures (Takseer)
37. Chronology & Biography
41. Political Science
44. Arithmetic & Computation
45. Algebra (Factorization, Equation of any degree, Exponential series, Binomial theorem, Set theory, Topology, Tensorial algebra)
46. Plane Trigonometry Euclidean logarithms
47. Spherical Trigonometry
48. Euclidean Geometry
49. Coordinate Geometry
52. Astronomy & Astronomical Tables
57. Hydro Dynamics
64. Unani Medicine
66. Inorganic Chemistry
Is it possible today, to find an Islamic scholar or even a non-Muslim professor, scientist, educationist or a Nobel Prize owner who possesses such qualifications? Arab Scholars like Shaykh Ismail bin Khalil and Shaykh Musa Ali Shami commended Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) as the Revivalist of the 14th Century A.H.: “If he is called the revivalist of this century, it will be right and true.”
BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE STUDIED AT HIS FATHER'S FEET
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) became proficient in the following branches of knowledge at the feet of his father:
1. I'lm-al-Qur'an (Knowledge of the Qur'an)
2. I'lm-al-Hadith (Knowledge of Traditions)
3. Usul-e-Hadith (Principle of Traditions)
4. Fiqh-e-Hanafi (Hanafi Jurisprudence)
5. Kutub-e-Fiqh Jumla (All Books of Jurisprudence)
6. Usul-e-Fiqh (Principle of Jurisprudence)
8. I'lm-e-Tafseer (Knowledge of Exegesis of the Holy Quran)
9. I'lm-al Kalam (Scholastic theology)
10. I'lm-e-Nahav (Syntax)
11. I'lm-e-Sarf (Grammar, Accidence and Etymology)
12. I'lm-e-Maani (Elocution)
13. I'lm-e-Badi (Style)
14. I'lm-e-Bayan (Rhetoric)
15. I'lm-e-Mantique (Logic)
16. I'lm-e-Munazara (Dialectic)
17. I'lm-e-Takseer (Carrying figures)
18. I'lm-e-Falsafa (Philosophy)
19. I'lm-e-Hay'at (Astronomy)
20. I'lm-e-Hisab (Arithmetic)
21. 'Ilm-e-Hindasa (Geometry)
In the book, Al Ijaazatul Mateena, on page 22, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) has said the following in connection with the above mentioned 20 branches of knowledge. He says, “I learnt these twenty branches of knowledge, personally at the feet of my father”.
BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE ATTAINED FROM VARIOUS ULEMA
The following are the 10 disciplines of knowledge which Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) haven't studied under any teacher but he had the 'Ijazat (permission) in these from discerning 'Ulama and he used to give 'Ijaza in these disciplines too.
22. Qir'at (Recitation of the Qur'an)
23. Tajweed (Knowledge of Right pronunciation of the Qur'an)
24. Tasawwuf (Mysticism)
25. Suluk (Knowledge of manner in Mystic)
26. Akhlaaq (Ethics)
27. Asma-ul-Rajaal (Encyclopaedia of Narrators of Traditions)
28. Siyar (Biography)
29. Tawarikh (Chronology)
30. Loghat (Lexicon)
31. Adab-Ma-Jumla Funoon (Literature with all Arts)
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza(Alaihir Rahmah) states: “These ten branches of knowledge, I achieved at the feet of the following teachers: Shah Ale Rasool Marahrewi, Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, Shaykh Ahmed Bin Zain Dahlaan Makki, Shaykh Abdur Rahman Makki, Shaykh Hussain Bin Saleh Makki, Shah Abul Hassan Ahmed Noori.”
BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE ATTAINED WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF ANY TEACHER
The following are the 14 disciplines of knowledge that Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) did learnt by any teachers:-
32. Arsamatiqi (Arithmetic)
33. Jabr-o-Muqabilah (Algebra)
34. Ilm-e-Tauqeet (Timings)
35. Logharsimat (Logarithms)
37. Manazir-o-Maraya (Sense & Sight)
38. I'lm-ul-Ukur (Spheres)
39. Zijaat (Astronomical Tables)
40. Muthallath Kurvi (Spherical Trigonometry)
41. Muthallath Musattah (Plane Trigonometry)
42. Haiyate Jadeedah (Modern Astronomy)
43. Jafr (Numerology & literology)
44. Murabba'at (Quadrangular)
45. Za'icha (Horoscopes)
The following are the 10 branches of learning that he has received by the Heavenly Blessing inspired directly into his heart:
46. Nazm-e-Arabi (Arabic Poetry)
47. Nazm-e-Farsi (Persian Poetry)
48. Nazm-e-Hindi (Hindi Poetry)
49. Nathr-e-Urdu (Urdu Prose)
50. Nathre-Farsi (Persian Prose)
51. Nathre Arabi (Arabic Prose)
52. Khat-e-Naskh (Arabic Calligraphy)
53. Khat-e-Nastalique (Persian Calligraphy)
54. Tilawat ma'a Tajwid (Recitation of the Holy Qur'an with right pronunciation)
55. I'lm-e-Meerath (Knowledge of Inheritance)
When Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was questioned about his amazing capabilities in solving intricate and confusing Mathematical theories, and as to whom his mentor was, he replied, “I did not have a teacher in this field. Whatever you see, I achieved within the four walls of my room. This is indeed through the grace of Sayyiduna Rasoolulah (Salal Laahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).” [Al Mizaan, pg. 342]
The above are merely a few branches of knowledge in which Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) reached such great heights of proficiency that he was considered to be the inventor of that branch of knowledge! An example of this is to found in his book, Ar Raudal Baheej fi Adaabut Takhreej, dealing with the Principles of Chronomatic Recording of Ahadith.
Commenting on this, the famous Historian, Mawlana Rahmaan Ali, (M.P. Madya Pradesh) states, “If there are no books to be found on the subject of Chronomatic Recording of Ahadith, then Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) can be considered to be the very inventor of this branch of knowledge”. [Tazkerah Ulema-e-Hind, pg. 17]
One of Imam Ahmed Raza's (Alaihir Rahmah) most outstanding works is his translation of the Holy Qur'an into Urdu which he named Kanzu'l Iman fi Tarjamatu'l Qur'an which is unique and unparalleled in every sense. It is said that this translation is not merely a literal translation, but is also the commentary of the Holy Qur'an. Each and every line of this translation gives glimpses of the beauty of the Holy Qur'an and shows his mastery of the sciences of Tafseer. The translation takes into account the Glory of Allah Ta'ala and the perfection of His Messenger (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam); hence, it is free from the faults that are found in other translations. In his translation Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza only used those words in his translation that are worthy for the Attributes and Qualities of Allah Ta'ala and of His beloved Rasool (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).
We have taken just one example of a Verse from the Holy Qur'an that has been translated by various persons and compared it with the translation of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah).
(1) “And he found you lost on the way and he guided thee.” [Sura 93, Verse 7]
Translation by Mohammad Asad
(2) “And found thee groping so he showed the way.” [Sura 93, Verse 7]
Translation by Muhammad Ali Lahori Qadiani
(3) “And He found you uninformed of Islamic laws so he told you the way of Islamic laws.” [Sura 93, Verse 7]
Translation by Ashraf Ali Thanwi
(4) “Did he not find thee erring and guide thee.” [Sura 93, Verse 7]
Translation by Arberry
(5) “And saw you unaware of the way so showed you the straight way.”
[Sura 93, Verse 7]
Translation by Fatheh Muhammad Jalledhri
(6) “And he found thee wandering and He gave thee guidance.” [Sura 93, Verse 7]
Translation by Yusuf Ali
Now that we have examined six different translations of Sura 93, Verse 7, let us examine the difference and the uniqueness of the translation of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). He writes: “And he found you drowned in his love therefore gave way unto him.”
In Arabic, the word “dal” has got four different meanings, viz, “unaware”, “mixed”, “lost in love” and “lofty-tree”. Whichever of these is appropriate on the occasion, should only be used. Nothing should be fitted hurriedly which is out of sense or which kills the sense. Keeping to the dignity of the Revealer and the Revealed of Holy Qur'an, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) has translated the “Dal” into “lost in his love”. A man of love talks of love. One who loved the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) picked up the word of love out of different words. After all, choice differs from man to man. Moreover, the name of Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is “Muhammad” as well as “Ahmad”. “Muhammad” means “one whom Allah Ta'ala praised most” and “Ahmad” means “one who praised Allah Ta'ala most”. All this bears testimony to his being lost in love with Allah Ta'ala.
Look at the uniqueness and the cautiousness that is present in this translation. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) abstained from using those words that may cause any disrespect to the dignity and personality of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam)!
Due to the vast amount of time Imam Ahmed Raza spent in compiling books on Fiqh and various other topics, it was not possible for him to compile a complete commentary of the Holy Qur'an. However, a few learned scholars have stated that if all the books of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) have to be brought together then there is a great possibility that a complete commentary of the Holy Qur'an may be compiled. Like his translation of the Holy Qur'an, they have said that his Tafseer will also be exceptional.
Commenting only on the “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim”, Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) presented such a lengthy lecture on this simple phrase that it was compiled into a complete book and published under the title, Al Meeladun Nabwiya.
Once, during the 'Urs Shareef of Hadrat Mawlana Shah Abdul Qaadir Sahib (Alaihir Rahmah), Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) delivered a 6 hour lecture on Sura Wad-Duha from 9 a.m. in the morning right till 3 p.m. in the afternoon! After completing his lecture Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) said, “I only wrote 80 percent of the commentary on this Sura and had to leave it aside. Where is there time enough to write the Tafseer of the entire Qur'an-e-Azeem?!”
Allama Ata Muhammad Bindayalwi (Alaihir Rahmah), Sarghoda (Pakistan) said: “Hadrat Bareilvi (Alaihir Rahmah) has written about a thousand treatises. He exhaustively dealt with every topic he touched, but his most glorious work is his Urdu translation and explanation of the Holy Qur'an entitled, 'Kanzul Imaan'. Indeed, there is no parallel. Real worth of this monumental work can be evaluated by only those scholars who possess vast and deep knowledge of various other translations and explanations of high standard in Urdu. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi kept the same pattern as adopted by the renown writers, but he excelled in the explanation and expansion of the most difficult and complicated subject matter in relatively few simple words.”
For one to be a Muhaddith, it is not necessary to be a Faqih but to be a Faqih, one must be a Muhaddith and Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was an undisputed Imam of Fiqh. He had a vast knowledge of Hadith and its related sciences including Turuq, Nasikh and Mansukh, Rajih and Marjuh, Tatbiq and Rijal.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was once questioned about how many books of Hadith he had studied. He replied with the names of 29 books and said that he had studied over 50 books of Hadith. Moreover, when one researcher studied 356 books of Imam Ahmed Raza, he found citations therein from not just 50 books but 240 books of Hadith. As mentioned, these 240 books are mentioned in just 356 of his books whereas he has authored approximately 1000 books; hence, this number is likely to be much greater.
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) knew the names of almost every Hadith narrator. When he was questioned concerning details of a certain narrator, he was able to give a complete biography of the narrator. When he studied any Hadith he was able to explain the type of Hadith, its benefits and the reasons behind that Hadith. He wrote many booklets on the topic of Ahadith.
Sayyid Muhammad Muhaddith Kachochawi (Alaihir Rahmah) writes: ““His knowledge of Hadith can be seen by the fact that all the Ahadith that are the foundation of the Hanafi school were in his memory and those Ahadith by which the Hanafi school is [apparently] challenged; Imam Ahmed Raza knew the weaknesses of their Sanad and the meanings of all of them. The knowledge of Asma' al-Rijal is the most difficult science of Hadith; however, if any Sanad was recited before Imam Ahmed Raza and he was asked about any narrator, he would mention the strengths and weaknesses of each narrator with specific words and when the books of Rijal were checked, those exact words were found therein”. [Maqalat-e-Yawm-e-Raza, 'Abdun Nabi Kokab, Vol.1, pg.41]
Concerning the etiquettes of Takhrij al-Hadith, Imam Ahmed Raza wrote a monograph named al-Rawd al-Baheej fi Adab al-Takhreej. Mawlana Rahman Ali writes about this work: “If there is no book before this on this topic, then the writer can be called the inventor of this science”. [Tazkira 'Ulama-e-Hind, Molvi Rahman Ali, Pakistan Historical Society, pg.100]
Sayyid Muhammad Muhaddith Kachochawi (Alaihir Rahmah) once asked his teacher, Mawlana Sayyid Wasi Ahmad Muhaddith Surati (Alaihir Rahmah): “Was the rank of Imam Ahmed Raza the same as yours in the field of Hadith?” The latter replied, “Not at all, not at all”. He then said, “Do you understand what I mean by this? Imam Ahmed Raza is Amir al-Mu'mineen fi'l Hadith and if I study Hadith at his feet for many years, I will still not reach his rank”.
Many a time, for only one Hadith, he cites up to 25 references. He wrote 45 books specifically on Hadith and when answering questions, he would cite extensively from the books of Hadith. A few examples are given:
Is it allowed to refer to Sayyidina Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) as “the remover of difficulties?” Answering this, Imam Ahmed Raza wrote al-Amnu wa'l 'Ula wherein he proved his motif by presenting 60 verses and 300 Ahadith.
Some Wahabis denied the fact that Sayyidina Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the best of creation. Imam Ahmed Raza answered this fallacious claim by gathering 100 Ahadith and named this monograph Tajalli al-Yaqeen bi Anna Nabiyyina Sayyida'l Mursaleen.
When asked about having a feast to remove the difficulties of famine and smallpox, Imam Ahmed Raza presented 60 Ahadith to show its permissibility.
Whilst burying the nonsensical claim of Prophethood by Mirza Qadiani, Imam Ahmed Raza wrote a monograph wherein he presented 121 Ahadith which demolished Mirza's claim.
On the issue of the second Adhan for Jumu'ah, Imam Ahmed Raza wrote Shama'im al-Anbar in Arabic in which he gathered 45 Ahadith.
Regarding the hearing of the dead, he presented 60 Ahadith.
On the creation of Angels, he cited 24 Ahadith.
About dyeing the hair, he presented 16 Ahadith.
Regarding Mu'aniqa [hugging], he cited 16 Ahadith.
On the importance of the beard, he gathered 56 Ahadith.
On the rights of parents, he presented 91 Ahadith.
Regarding the impermissibility of the prostration of reverence, he put forward 70 Ahadith.
On intercession, he gathered 40 Ahadith.
On the issue of pictures, he cited 27 Ahadith.
Dr Professor Mohiyyuddin, Azhar University, Cairo (Egypt) said: “Renowned scholar, Ahmed Raza Khan, visited Arabia twice to perform Hajj at Makka and payed homage to the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) at Madina. During his stay he visited various centres of learning and had extensive exchange of views with the scholars covering various branches of learning and religious issues. He secured permission from some authentics to quote them in reference to particular Ahadith, and in return, he allowed them to mention his authority in respect of some other Ahadith.
“It is an old saying that scholarly talent and poetic exuberance rarely combine in one person, but Ahmad Raza Khan was an exception. His achievements contradict this diction. He was not only an acknowledged research scholar, but also a great poet.”
Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) is that branch of knowledge that is derived from the Holy Qur'an and the Ahadith of the Noble Messenger of Allah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). Only that person can be a proper Jurist who is well-versed in both the Holy Qur'an and the Ahadith. He must also be well-versed in and all the other important branches of knowledge, such as Tafseer, Logic, Philosophy, translation and other branches.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was regarded as the greatest Jurist of his era. He was totally proficient in the field of Fiqh and received acceptance by the great 'Ulema of the East and the West. The greatest proof of his position and status in the world of Fiqh can be understood from his answers concerning the Shari'at-e-Mustapha (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam), which was compiled into 12 large volumes, comprising of approximately 12000 pages to form the famous book, Fatawa Radawiyyah, which is used in every Darul Ifta (Fatawa Departments) around the world today.
Volumes 1-7 and 10-11 of Fatawa Radawiyyah contain a total of 4095 fatawa. Out of this, 1061 are questions sent to Imam Ahmed Raza by other scholars. This shows that along with the general public, the scholars also turned to Imam Ahmed Raza to find solutions to their problems.
As is evident, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) did write a lot of books but what must be noted is that the quantity of books is not what makes Imam Ahmed Raza Khan great; it is the quality of each one that makes him great. In many cases, one page written by Imam Ahmed Raza is more valuable than entire books of other scholars.
His excellence in Fiqh can be seen from the number of references he cites for each issue. Some examples of this are seen below:
1. Can the Janazah prayer be repeated? Imam Ahmed Raza compiled a monograph on this matter and dealt with the issue by segregating it into 10 categories. He cited 207 references and at another place also gathered 40 other references of Hadith and books of Fiqh.
2. Can the Awliya hear and assist after their demise? He answered this by compiling a lengthy monograph named Hayat al-Mawat fi Bayani Sama'il Amwat. He first cited 60 Ahadith and then gathered 200 sayings of the Sahaba, Tabi'in and then gathered a further 100 references of those scholars that are revered by the Wahabis. Not just this, he then compiled another 150 page book on this issue.
3. He was asked about making Du'a after Salaah. He cited one verse of the Holy Qur'an and then presented a Hadith from 10 different books whereas Mawlana Abdul Haleem Farangi Mahalli only presented one Hadith as his answer and Molvi Muhammad Nazeer Husain, the leader of the Ahle Hadith, also only managed one Hadith.
4. Abiding by times of Salah is compulsory and joining prayers is impermissible. He wrote a monograph on this issue named “Hajiz al-Bahrain” in which he presented 7 verses of the Holy Qur'an and 36 Ahadith from famous books of Hadith.
5. The famous Hadith scholar of the age, 'Allama Wasi Ahmad Muhaddith Surati (Alaihir Rahmah), asked Imam Ahmad Raza a question regarding the 'Amama [turban]. The latter gathered 40 Ahadith on the blessings of the 'Amama and also their references. Muhaddith Surati also questioned about a Hadith that some claimed was weak. Imam Ahmed Raza replied in a way that all allegations were refuted.
6. Wudhu (ablution) is the act of washing the parts of the body, which are generally exposed, in a prescribed manner. For making Wudhu, water is required. Which type of water is fit for making Wudu and which type of water is unfit for the purpose? Such a question came up for consideration before A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah). In 1915 he wrote a separate treatise over this issue. He described 160 kinds of water with which Wudhu can be made with. Besides, he has given 146 kinds the water with which Wudhu cannot be made with. Thus, in all, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) has described 306 kinds of water.
7. Tayammum is an alternative of ablution made without water under certain circumstances. A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) has drawn a list of 181 things fit to be used for Tayammum. He has given a separate list of 130 things unfit for the purpose.
Other aspects of his superlative knowledge of Fiqh can be seen from his answers to perennial issues. For example, when the issue of currency notes arose, the scholars were baffled. Even the Hanafi Mufti of Makka, Mawlana Jamal bin Abdullah, was unable to provide a comprehensive answer. It is a favour upon the whole Muslim Ummah that Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) answered the question with utmost clarity.
When he went on his second Hajj in 1323 AH, news of the brilliance of al-Dawlah al-Makkiyah had spread far and wide. Hence, the scholars took advantage of his visit and asked 12 questions about currency notes. Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) wrote Kifl al-Faqih al-Fahim and when he went to the library of Haram on 4th Safar 1324 AH, he found the Mufti-e-Hanafiya, Mawlana Abdullah bin Siddiq, reading Kifl al-Faqih and when he reached the point where Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) had cited Fath al-Qadir which said that: “If a man wishes to sell a piece of paper for Rs. 1000, then this is permissible”; the Mufti was shocked and whilst hitting his thigh he exclaimed: “Jamal bin Abdullah, how did you miss such a clear evidence?” By saying this, the current Mufti [Abdullah bin Siddiq] was addressing the Mufti of old [Jamal bin Abdullah].
Imam Ahmad Raza was a great Faqih because he was able to convey what Fuqaha before him had researched in their own books but he was also able to add his own research to issues. For example, Fatawa Radawiyyah has 311 points on Tayammum whereas previous works of Fiqh have 72. The additional 239 points have been derived by Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) himself.
A renowned theologian and a great Saint of Delhi, Hadrat Mawlana Zayd Abul Hassan Faruqi (Alaihir Rahmah), who completed his education at the Al Azhar University, Cairo, acknowledged the unrivalled mastery of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) over Islamic Jurisprudence and other branches of learning in the following words: “None can deny the knowledge of Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan in the field of Fiqh. He was, no doubt, the greatest Faqih (Jurist) of his time.”
When Shaykh Ismail Khalil, the Curator of the Library at Makkatul Mukarramah, read the Fatawa of Imam Ahmed Raza he was puffed up with joy and wrote to him saying: “By Allah, if Abu Hanifa Nu'man (Alaihir Rahmah) would have gone through these Fatawa, undoubtedly, it could have been his heart's delight and granted its writer among his pupils.”
Research is a matter of talent but the talent of A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) in the field of research is a matter of research itself. We shall just relate a few examples:
Mawlana Waqaruddin (Alaihir Rahmah), the student of Mawlana Amjad Ali Azmi (Alaihir Rahmah), writes regarding the knowledge of Imam Ahmed Raza: “I taught at Madrasah Mazhar-e-Islam in Bareilly for approximately 9 years and was in charge of teaching the most advanced books. Whenever I came across any difficulty I would go to the library of Imam Ahmed Raza and look for the book within which I was having difficulty and would always find that Imam Ahmed Raza had written a marginalia in the book which solved my problem. I also found that those complex parts that are left alone by other commentators, Imam Ahmed Raza had written marginalia to even those”.
Mawlana Zafar al-din Razawi, one of the noted students of A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), is author of Hayat-e-A'la Hadrat, an authentic biography of the great Mujaddid of Islam. The Mawlana states that he was able to fill up the “Naqsh-e-Murabba” (a sixteen column quadrilateral) by 1152 methods. He further states that Imam Ahmed Raza from whom he learnt this art, knew to fill it up by 2300 methods. Nowadays, the position is that one who knows to fill it even by 16 types, thinks himself to be a perfect Master. The Mawlana has written a book in which he has practically shown 1152 different ways of filling up the Naqsh. The knowledge of a student speaks of the heights of his master. This shows that Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) made an in-depth research whereby he could succeed to chalk out 2300 methods.
Once someone asked Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) if there were only 99 names of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam). A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) replied: “About 800 names of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) are usually found in the books. I have been able to gather up to 1400 names and Allah Ta'ala knows better the exact number.” It is difficult for a Scholar to enumerate even 200 such names while Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) is talking of 1400. Certainly his research was not deep but deeper. Moreover, he does not say that he has been able to find out 1400 names and that is all. He keeps the issue open for further research. Such is the greatness of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah).
Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radi Allahu Anhu) proceeded from Makka for Karbala on the 3rd of Zil-Hijjah and reached there on the 2nd of Muharram. Some of the people raise an objection to it. According to them, they say that it was impossible for Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radi Allahu Anhu) to have reached Karbala from Makka within such a short space of time time, particularly when in those days the caravans used to proceed only on horses and camels.
On this point, the great Imam made a full research. He pointed out that the caravan of Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radi Allahu Anhu) proceeded on horses. He also described the various kinds of horses. He even pointed out the number of horses in the caravan of Imam Hussain (Radi Allahu Anhu), their individual races and various routes through which the caravan proceeded. He went to the extent of pointing out the respective distances and the aggregate distance from Makka to Karbala, the different kinds or routes, the terrain through which the caravan passed - sandy, stony and otherwise. He pointed out the different speeds of different horses. He pointed out their speeds vis-a-vis the kinds of routes. He pointed out the time to be taken by a particular horse of a particular race on a particular route.
Thus, after making a thorough research, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) proved fully that the caravan of Sayyiduna Imam Hussain (Radi Allahu Anhu) having proceeded from Makka on 3rd Zil-Hijjah carrying horses of such and such races passing through such and such routes, must have reached Karbala only on 2nd Muharram.
“I'lm-e-Jafar” refers to the Knowledge and the Art of Prediction. Not all persons are blessed with such knowledge by Almighty Allah. It is a speciality for the Awliyah Allah. Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was blessed with the gift of I'lm-e-Jafar.
Once, a certain person asked Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) concerning the approach of Qiyamah and the arrival of Imam Mahdi in the future. Imam Ahmed Raza said that Allah Ta'ala knows of this and His beloved Rasool (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) is also aware of this fact. After saying this Imam Ahmed Raza substantiated these facts by quoting many verses of the Holy Qur'an and Ahadith of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) then said, “Through a certain type of knowledge, I feel that there is a possibility that in 1837 A.H. there will be no Islamic government left, and in 1900 A.H. Imam Mahdi will appear”. After hearing this answer, someone asked Imam Ahmed Raza if he had gained this answer through I'lm-e-Jafar. He replied that he did. Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) then said very sarcastically, “Eat the mangoes. Do not count the trees.”
There was a King of Rampur whose wife was very sick. He loved her very much and was very attached to her. This King, who was a misguided and astray person, sent a messenger to Bareilly with a special request. He requested Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) to predict the time and place of the death of his wife. The King's wife was, at that moment, not at her house in Rampur, but she was in a place called Nainital. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) told the messenger to tell the King that his wife will die in Rampur in the month of Muharram.
With this message at the back of his mind, the King tried very hard to keep his wife away from Rampur. He did not want her to be in any way near Rampur fearing that the words of the great Imam may prove to be true. It so happened that rioting broke out in Rampur. It concerned the affairs of the Kanpur Shaheed Ganj Musjid. The Governor summoned the King to meet with him urgently in Rampur. The King decided to go on his own, but his wife insisted on joining him. As soon as they reached Rampur, the King's wife suddenly died. It was also the month of Muharram. The prediction of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) proved to be true!
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was a great Philosopher and Scientist. He understood Philosophy and Science better than anyone in his time. He was a master of Ancient and Modern Sciences. He proved through research that various concepts of the modern day science are illogical and against the theories of the Holy Qur'an and the Ahadith.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) wrote many books on Science and Physics. One of his famous books, Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen, using the Holy Qur'an as its guidelines, proves that the earth is not rotating but is stationary. He also proves that the entire Universe is revolving around the earth. Modern theories believe that the earth is rotating on its axis and that all the planets, including the earth, are revolving around the sun. He declared: “The Islamic principle is that the sky and earth are stationary and the planets rotate. It is sun that moves round the earth; it is not earth that moves round the sun.” Imam Ahmed Raza Khan also disproved the theories of Scientist such as Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton.
In order to substantiate what he believed, the great Mujaddid A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) put forward his arguments. He quoted a number of verses from Holy Qur'an and Hadith to show that:
1. The movement of Sun and Moon is according to a course.
2. The sun and the moon are sailing within a circle.
3. The moon and the sun were besieged for you which are constantly moving. [For detailed study, please see Nuzool-e-Ayat-e-Furqan Besukoon-e-Zameen-o-Aasman of A'la Hadrat - written in 1339 A.H, published from Raza Academy, Bombay.]
We believe that should this book Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen be translated into the English language by our Scholars who are well-versed in Science and presented to the West, there will have to be a re-think on modern scientific theories! Today, many people in the Western world regard Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) as the “Neglected Genius of the East.”
A very disturbing news appeared in the English Daily “Express” of 18th October, 1919 published from Bankipur, Patna (Bihar). It was regarding a unique and dreadful forecast made by Prof. Albert of USA, who happened to be an astronomer and mathematician of international repute. The news report was:-
“On 17th December, 1919, six planets which are most powerful, viz. Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Neptune will be in conjunction and the Sun will come in opposite direction of these planets. These planets will fetch the sun towards them with all their gravity. The result will be that the magnetic properties of these planets will pierce into the sun and it will inflict a hole into the sun which will be in the shape of a big dagger. And, such a stain on the sun will be visible which everybody would see on 17th December, 1919 with naked eyes. Prof. Albert further predicted that conjunction of such planets, which was not witnessed for the last twenty centuries, would cause disorder in the air and it would bring about big storms, terrible rains and powerful earthquakes. The earth will return to its normal position after several weeks.”
The news spread like wild fire. Panic gripped the whole world. Some of the Muslims fell prey to it as well. Mawlana Zafaruddin of Bihar, a Mureed and Khalifa of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) informed the great Imam of the forecast of Prof. Albert. Thereupon, A'la Hadrat wrote an article saying that it is baseless, which was published in the Monthly Al Raza from Bareilly. This contradictory article gained equal publicity.
Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was challenging Prof. Albert. People were saying that a “Maulvi” was challenging an astronomer! An Indian was challenging an American! It was towards the middle of November and the people were waiting impatiently for 17th of December to come. In order to dispel the fear on the part of his Muslim brethren, Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) rose to the occasion and chose to get his article published. He consoled the frightened Muslims and advised them: “Muslims! Be afraid of Allah Ta'ala. Don't be afraid of Albert. His forecast is false and baseless. It is neither desirable nor permissible for you to pay any heed to it.”
Interestingly enough, A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) gave as many as seventeen arguments to disprove the said forecast. The arguments advanced by him are too astronomical and technical for common understanding. However, those who wish to make a deep study of these arguments, may go through the booklet Prof. Albert F. Porta Ki Peshin Goi Ka Rad published from Maktaba Gharib Nawaz, Allahabad.
Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) vehemently argued that the very basis of such a forecast was wrong. The forecast was based on the principle that “sun is stationary and the earth moves around the sun”.
According to the working of Prof. Albert, the mutual distance of six planets as on 17th December, 1919 worked out to 26 degree, whereas A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) presented a detailed chart depicting the real position of such planets as on 17th December, according to which, such mutual distance worked out to 112 degree. The great Mujaddid A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) also argued that the said conjunction did not conform with the Law of Gravitation as well.
By and by, the time passed and the crucial day of 17th December arrived. As the sun rose, the panic-stricken people began to take it as Doomsday. The routine life went to a standstill. Clouds of horror hovered heavily. Some people laid hope in Albert. Some people laid hope in A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah). The names of Prof. Albert and Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) were running on the lips of one and all. By the Grace of Allah Ta'ala, 17th December arrived and the day went off without any incident. Everybody witnessed that what A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) had observed and declared, came true word by word. Prof. Albert also conceded the knowledge and expertise of A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) in the field of Astronomy.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) gained great expertise in the field of Astrology.
There was a person by the name of Mawlana Ghulam Hussain Sahib, who used to regard himself as an authority in Astrology. Once, he visited Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah). Imam Ahmed Raza asked him, “So! What is the situation of the rain?” After working out the position of the stars, Mawlana Ghulam Sahib drew-up an astronomical table and said, “In this month there will be no rain. It will only rain in the following month.” Mawlana Sahib then handed over the astronomical table to Imam Ahmed Raza who examined it and said, “All the Power is by Allah Ta'ala. If He pleases, then it may rain now.” Mawlana Ghulam Hussain then said, “Are you not observing the astronomical table?” Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) said, “I am observing everything.”
Imam Ahmed Raza then looked towards the clock and asked, “What time is it?” Mawlana Ghulam Hussain said, “Quarter past eleven.” Imam Ahmed Raza said, “That means that there is three quarters of an hour left for twelve o'clock.” Saying this, the great Imam walked up to the grandfather clock that was in the room. With his finger he moved the big needle of the clock until it was on the twelve, thus showing twelve o'clock. The clock began to chime. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) then said, “You said that it would take three quarters of an hour for the needle to come to twelve o'clock.” The Mawlana Sahib replied, “But you were responsible for altering the position of the needle.” On hearing this, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) said, “Allah Ta'ala is All-Powerful and He may alter the position of the stars whenever he wishes...” Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) had not yet completed his sentence when it began to rain uncontrollably.
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was also a great Mathematician. He used to solve the most difficult mathematical problems in a short space of time. His authority in the field of Mathematics will leave modern-day Mathematicians astounded. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Logarithms and other branches of Mathematics which are normally handled with great difficulty even by mathematic students today, was like ordinary addition and subtraction to Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah)!
Once, Sir Zia'uddin, a famous Mathematician, was in a predicament with regards to part of his research in the mathematical field. He had to go to Berlin in Germany to seek a solution to this intricate problem. It so happened that a certain Mawlana from the famous Aligarh University advised Sir Zia'uddin to visit Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) to seek a solution for his mathematical problem. But, Sir Zia'uddin, not sounding very confident said, “What will an ordinary Mawlana like Mawlana Ahmed Raza be able to solve? He hasn't even gone out of his city to gain knowledge, so it is obvious that his knowledge is very limited.” Nevertherless, after some convincing, he agreed to visit Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi.
When he arrived in Bareilly, he immediately went to Imam Ahmed Raza. Presenting the intricate mathematical problem to Imam Ahmed Raza he said, “I am now going to Germany. I will come back for the answer, that is, if you do manage to solve it.” As he was speaking, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was busy writing and listening to him at the same time. As Sir Zia'uddin was about to leave, Imam Ahmed Raza handed him a sheet of paper. When Sir Zia'uddin read what was written on this paper, he realised that it was the solution to his mathematical problem. Sir Zia'uddin then said, “Today I believe that there is something known as I'lm-e-Laduni (inspired knowledge).”
Sir Zia'uddin, was later recorded to have said about Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah): “He was an un-assuming man of pleasant manners and morals, had deep insight in Mathematics, although he was not formerly educated by a teacher. It was an inner divine-gifted inherent knowledge. My query pertained to a theory of knotting problems of Mathematics, but his manner and explanation was spontaneous as if he had already carried out a research in it. Now, there is nobody so well-versed in India. Such a great scholar, I think, there is none. Allah has bestowed upon him such a knowledge that is amazing. His insight in the fields of Mathematics, Euclid, Algebra and Timings is astonishing. A mathematical problem that I could not solve despite my best of efforts, this learned genius explained in a few moments.”
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza(Alaihir Rahmah) spent much of his valuable time writing poetry. His poetry mostly consisted of Na'at Shareef in praise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) and Manqabats. In all the Na'at Shareefs that was written by Imam Ahmed Raza, it is evident that his heart and soul was drowned in the love of Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).
His Na'ats were written within the boundaries of the Shari'ah. Every stanza was filled with inspirations from Almighty Allah. Each verse and stanza of his poetry is the Tafseer (Commentary) of the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith of Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). His poetry was mainly in the Arabic, Urdu and Persian languages.
Imam Ahmed Raza's (Alaihir Rahmah) poetry was compiled to form the famous, Hidayaqe Bakhshish, [Gardens of Forgiveness]. This famous Na'at compilation is used throughout the world. Imam Ahmed Raza's humble compilations are read by all who wish to express their love for Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).
His “Qasida-e-M'erajiyya” (description of the Me'raj) is regarded as the best Qaseeda (ode), the Urdu poetry has ever produced. It is included in the syllabus of M.A. Urdu of the Sindh University (Pakistan). Prof. Mirza Nizamuddin Beg Jam Banarsi, has written an article on the said ode of A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah), which has been published from “Bazme Ahl-e-Sunnat” Karachi. Prof. Mirza Jam Banarsi has been frank enough to disclose that he had always been of the view that a “Maulvi” could never utter a beautiful couplet. But when he studied the poetry of Imam Ahmed Raza Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), he changed his view.
Mohsin Kakorvi who is regarded as a great Na'atia poet, was a contemporary of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah). Once he came to him to recite before him one of his Qasidas. But A'la Hadrat recited his “Qasida-e-M'erajiyya” first, with the result that Mohsin Kakorvi did not recite his Qaseeda afterwards and was compelled to observe that after hearing such an ode, how could he present his own one.
Commenting on one of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi's poems, Allama Sayyid Muhammad Muhaddith Kichauchawi (Alaihir Rahmah) said: “Once I had the opportunity of reciting the Qasida-e-Me'rajiyya in my own style, in a select gathering of men of letters at Lucknow. I then asked them about the literary worth of the poem. Everybody was overwhelmed and they all exclaimed that the language is superb, pure and divine.”
Mawlana Qari Noorul Hassan, quoting the following stanzas from Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi's (Alaihir Rahmah) poetry:
“Mulke Sukhan Ki Shahi Tum Ko Raza Musallam
Jis Simt Aagaye ho sikhe Bithaa diye hai.”
and says that there are many illiterate and ignorant people who look at the above stanzas and accuse Imam Ahmed Raza of praising himself in his poetry. This, he says, is not true and are mere baseless objections. He further explains.
Mawlana Hassan Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), the younger brother of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), would often send his poetry to be corrected to Janaab Daagh Delhwi, who was a famous and distinguished poet of his time. Hadrat Hasnain Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) used to take the poetry of Mawlana Hassan Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) to Daagh Delhwi. One day, as he was about to leave for Dehli, Imam Ahmed Raza presented one of his Na'ats to Hadrat Hasnain Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) and said, “Ask Daagh Delhwi to rectify this Qalaam.” The Na'at which Imam Ahmed Raza sent begins with the following stanza:
“Unki Mahk ne dil ke ghunche khila diye hai
Jis Raah chal diye hai kooche basa diye hai.”
When Hadrat Hasnain Raza Khan reached Delhi and presented the Na'at to Daagh Delwhi, he looked at it and said, “This does not seem like the poetry of Mawlana Hassan Raza Khan. Whose is it?' Hadrat Hasnain Raza Khan replied that it was written by Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi. On hearing this, Daagh Delhwi said, “You have brought the Qalaam of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi to me for correction! This is the Qalaam of such a poet who holds no place for any corrections. But, since it is incomplete, I would like to write the final verse from my side. Please ask Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi not to change it as I am aware that he does not like anything written in his praise.” After saying this, he wrote the verse:
“Mulke Sukhan Ki Shahi Tum Ko Raza Musallam
Jis Simt Aagaye ho sikhe Bithaa diye hai.”
So, to those who accuse Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) of praising himself in his poetry, will find sufficient evidence to prove that it was Daagh Delhwi who inserted that stanza and not Imam Ahmed Raza!
A number of books, booklets and articles have been written and published eulogizing the poetic talent of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). A'la Hadrat was a distinguished Na'atia poet because of his following distinguished features:
1. Each and every verse of A'la Hadrat is embodied in utter love and respect for the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam).
2. A Na'at is one which permits neither deficiency nor excess of actuals. It is strictly required to run in between. To describe anything short or excess of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) vitiates the Na'at and it is a difficult condition to abide by. Most of the poets deviate and tend to run towards excess. But Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) has not slighted even a bit, which is exemplary.
3. Sometimes, a poets write such a Na'at in the honour of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) which casts an insult to other Prophets in some way or the other. The poetry of A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) is absolutely free from such flaws.
4. The poetry of A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) is a reflection of the teachings of Holy Qur'an and Hadith. It is not based on mere poetic approach.
Professor Dr Abdul Wahid Halepota, Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology, Government of Pakistan, said: “Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi Mawlana Shah Ahmed Raza Khan is that ingenious personality of the Indo-Pak Sub-Continent whose academic position and legal insight has general recognisance. His multifarious achievements deserve that they should be spread on an international level. His greatest deed is that he beautified the hearts of the Muslims with the love of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) through his academic wonders, sweet speeches and most valuable Naatya Qalaam (Poetry in praise of the Holy Prophet - Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam)."
Imam-e-Ahle Sunnat, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi's (Alaihir Rahmah) beliefs and the correct beliefs of generations of Muslims are mentioned below:
(1) Allah Ta'ala is Supreme, free from all defects and faults, free from the restraints of time, space and location.
(2) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) was created from the Noor of Allah Ta'ala and is the first and best of all creations.
(3) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the leader of all the Prophets and is the Seal of Prophethood.
(4) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is alive and is present and witnessing (Haazir Naazir).
(5) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the last and final Prophet of Allah Ta'ala and no Prophet is to come after him.
(6) The knowledge of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is no match for knowledge of Allah Ta'ala and the knowledge of entire creation in no match for the Holy Prophet's (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) knowledge. The knowledge of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) has no relation or comparison whatsoever with that of Allah, the Most High.
(7) The knowledge of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) was gifted knowledge from Allah Ta'ala. Ilm-e-Zati (Personal knowledge) is a feature of Allah Ta'ala only. For non-Allah, it is strictly impossible and whosoever accepts even an iota of Ilm-e-Zati for non-Allah, he is a Kaafir.
(8) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) was granted Knowledge of the Unseen by Allah Ta'ala, that is, certain amount of knowledge not total knowledge.
(9) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) was granted ascension [Me’raj] with his body.
(10) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the governing authority of the two worlds (Mukhtaar-e-Do Aalam).
(11) To call from far and seeking intercession is lawful and permissible.
(12) To celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) [Moulood] and to stand up [Qiyam] in his honour.
(13) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the intercessor on the Day of Judgement, etc.
(14) To respect relics [Tabarukaat] of the Prophets and elders and to rever them.
(15) To visit the Mazaars (Tombs) or graves of the Awliya with the intention of tawassul.
(16) To celebrate 'Urs which is free from impermissible practises and sin.
These are beliefs and practices permitted by our predecessors and even today, 90% of the Muslims of the world practice these actions. The Arabic book, Mafaheem Yajib an Tusahhaha [Matters that need to be Clarified], by the late Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi ibn Abbas al-Maliki al-Makki (Alaihir Rahmah) is a detailed exposition and research on the practices of the Ahle Sunnah. Many contemporary Arab and African scholars have endorsed this book, many of whom are the members of Raabta al-'Aalam-e-Islami, Makka. Mawlana Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi of India has translated this book into Urdu by the name of Islah-e-Fikr-o-I'ytiqad, which has been published both in India and Pakistan.
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) also abided by the following and encouraged his followers to live by these:
(1) Shari'ah is the ultimate law and following it is obligatory for all Muslims;
(2) To refrain from Bid'ah is of utmost importance;
(3) A Sufi without knowledge or a Shaykh without actions is a tool in the hands of the devil;
(4) It is impermissible to imitate the Kuffar, to mingle with the misguided [and heretics] and to participate in the festivals of the Hindus.
(5) It is polytheism [Shirk] to prostrate to any other than Allah Ta'ala with the intention of worship. If such a prostration is out of reverence [Sajdah at-Tahiyyah], it is Haraam.
(6) It is prohibited to ridicule other Muslims and consider oneself higher than others.
(7) The iconography of the Shi'ah [ta'aziyah] and respecting such icons is forbidden.
(8) Qawwali [sama'a] with musical instruments is forbidden.
(9) It is not permissible for women to travel to visit graves [or maqams of Awliya].
(10) It is not permissible to make pictures of living things.
(11) Abbreviating the blessing “Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam” to an acronym “sa'd lam ayn meem”, [in English it is abbreviated as PBUH] is impermissible.
(12) To visit false graves [that have no basis or record but simply the product of folklore] is impermissible.
(13) Feeding the poor and needy with the intention to donate the reward to the dead is permissible; but to hold banquets where even the rich are invited is impermissible.
For further details, see Mawlana Yaseen Akhtar's book, Imam Ahmed Raza aur Radd e Bid'aat-o-Munkaraat, [Imam Ahmed Raza and his refutation of heresies and innovations] published in India and Pakistan.
The Mujaddid A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) has written a lot against Bid'ah (innovations). Refer to: Al-Zubda al-Zakiyya li Tahrim-i Sajud al-Tahiyya; Murawwaj al Naja li khuruj al-Nisa; Hadi al-Nas fi Rusum al-A'ras; Jali al-Sawt li Nahi al Da'wat Imam al-Mawf, etc. etc.
A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) kindled the torch of the Sunnah in the subcontinents. It is a fact admitted by the scholars of the world. Sunni Islam is the true Islam, true religion and the only religion. The anti-Islam lobby tries their best to disintegrate the unity of Ahle Sunnah. In his last word of advice, A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) said: “You are the simple and innocent sheep of dear Mustafa (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) and wolves are around you. They want you to drag you to Hell with them. Beware of them! Be far from them!”
A point of note: Bareilly is no religion. In 1986, Taajush Shari'ah Hadrat Allama Mufti Mohammed Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari, the great grandson of the great Imam, during his Hajj pilgrimage when he was arrested and questioned, declared in Saudi Arabia that Bareilly is no religion. He made it very clear that if it is a religion, he has no part of it. The fact is that neither Bareilly nor Deoband is a religion. Both are different Schools of Thought. Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was the Torch Bearer of Ahle Sunnah wa Jama'ah. He was deadly against disintegrating the unity of the Ahle Sunnah. He fought for this aim throughout his whole life.
TAKING BAY’AT & HIS KHILAFAT
In the year 1294 A.H., at the age of 22 years, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) became the Mureed (disciple) of Imam-ul-Asfiya, Hadrat Shah Aale Rasool Marehrawi (Alaihir Rahmah). The incident surrounding the Bay'at (Spiritual Allegiance) and Khilafat (Spiritual Successorship) of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) is as follows:
Once Hadrat Mawlana Abdul Qaadir Badayouni (Alaihir Rahmah) came to Bareilly Shareef. He invited Imam Ahmed Raza to go to Marehra Shareef with him. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan accepted his invitation and they both set off to Marehra Shareef. When they arrived at the station in Marehra Shareef, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) said, “I am receiving the scent of my Murshid.”
When they reached the Khanqah-e-Barakaati and entered, Hadrat Shah Aale Rasool (Alaihir Rahmah) saw Imam Ahmed Raza Khan and said, “Come in. I have been awaiting your presence for a long time.”
Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (Alaihir Rahmah) immediately made Imam Ahmed Raza a Mureed and blessed him with Khilafat and I'jazat in all the Sufi Silsilas. Thus, Imam Ahmed Raza's Peer-o-Murshid (Spiritual Guide) was Hadrat Shah Aale Rasool (Alaihir Rahmah).
Hadrat Abul Hussain Noori Barakaati (Alaihir Rahmah), who was also the Peer-o-Murshid of Mawlana Mustapha Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), was also present in this spiritual gathering. He was also among the Awliya Allah. For the benefit of the others who were present and to make them aware of the exalted calibre and status of Imam Ahmed Raza, he asked Hadrat Shah Aale Rasool (Alaihir Rahmah) a question. He asked, “Huzoor! The ritual here at Marehra Shareef is that if any person comes here, and after becoming Mureed desires to gain Khilafat and I'jazat, then we ask him to perform Mujahida (struggle in the path of Allah Ta'ala). We also give him dried bread to eat as part of his spiritual training. After this, if we find him worthy enough, then we grant him Khilafat and I'jazat in one or two Silsilas, but you have blessed this young man with Khilafat and I'jazat of all the Silsilas, and even commanded him to look at and verify all the Kitaabs which you have written. Why is this so?”
Hadrat Shah Aale Rasool (Alaihir Rahmah) answered with the following words: “O people! You do not know Ahmed Raza. Others who come here need to be prepared before gaining I'jazat and Khilafat. But Ahmed Raza Khan has come prepared from Allah Ta'ala. All he needed was a link and this is why I made him Mureed.
“I always teared through the fear of Allah Ta'ala that if on the Day of Qiyamah he questioned me concerning what I had brought for him from the world, then I would have no answer. But, today, that fear no longer exists. If on the Day of Qiyamah the Almighty asks, 'O Aale Rasool! What have you brought for me?' Then, I will immediately present Imam Ahmed Raza to my Creator.”
This highly spiritual incident alone explains the status of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah).
HIS SPIRITUAL SISILA - TAREEQAH 'ALIYYAH QADIRIYYAH BARKATIYYAH JADIDAH AND GOLDEN CHAIN OF MASHAA'IKH
1) Mujaddid Ash-Shah Imam Ahmad Rida [1272-1340/1856-1921] Murid of
2) Khatim al-Akabir Sayyid Sha Aal-e-Rasool Ahmadi al-Husani Qadiri [1209-1296/1795-1879] Murid and nephew of
3) Ghawth al-Waqt Sayyid Sha Aal-e-Ahmad Ache Mia al-Husani Qadiri [1160-1235/1747-1820] Murid and son of
4) Asad al-'Arifin Sayyid Sha Hamza al-Husani Qadiri [1131-1198/1719-1783] Murid and son of
5) Burhan al-Muwahhidin Sayyid Sha Aal-e-Muhammad al-Husani Qadiri [1111-1164/1700-1751] Murid and son of
6) Sahib al-Barkat wa al-Darajat Sayyid Sha Barkat Allah al-Husani Qadiri [1070-1142/1659-1729] Murid of
7) Sayyid Jalil al-Shan Shaykh Fadl Allah al-Husani Qadiri [1111 Hijri /1700 AD] Murid and son of
8) Sayyid Mir Ahmad al-Husani Qadiri [1084 Hijri/1673 AD] Murid and son of
9) Sayyid Jalil al-Qadar Mir Muhammad al-Husani Tirmidi Qadiri [1006-1071/1598-1661] Murid of
10) Hadrat Shaykh Sayyid Jamal al-Awliya al-Qadiri Jahanabadi [973-1047/1565-1638] Murid of
11) Qadi Diya al-Din Shaykh Jiya al-Qadiri Newtanwi [925-989/1519-1581] Murid of
12) 'Arif Billah Muhammad Bhikari Sayyid Nizam al-Din al-Qari al-Qadiri [890-981/1485-1574] Murid of
13) Shams al-'Arifin Mawlana Sayyid Ibrahim Iraji al-Qadiri [953/1546] Murid of
14) 'Arif Billah Hadrat Shaykh Baha al-Millat al-Din Shattari al-Qadiri [921/1516] Murid of
15) Shaykh Sayyid Ahmad al-Jilani al-Qadiri [853/1449] Murid of
16) Shaykh Sayyid Hasan al-Jilani al-Qadiri [781/1379] Murid of
17) Shaykh Sayyid Moosa al-Jilani al-Qadiri [763/1362] Murid of
18) Shaykh Sayyid 'Ali al-Jilani al-Qadiri (739/1339) Murid of
19) Shaykh Sayyid Muhiyy al-Din Abu-Nasr Muhammad al-Jilani al-Qadiri [656/1258] Murid and son of
20) Shaykh Sayyid Qadi al-Imam Abu-Swaleh Habat Allah al-Jilani al-Qadiri ]562-632/1167-1235] Murid and son of
21) 'Arif al-Jalil al-Imam Taj al-Millat al-Din Sayyid Abu-bakr 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Jilani al-Qadiri [528-623/1134-1226] Murid and son of
22) Ghawth al-Aghyath Sultan al-Awliya Taj al-'Urafa Qutb al-Irshad Marja' al-Awtad Shaykh al-'Alamin Ghawth al-Konayn Sayyid Abu-Muhammad 'Abd al-Qadir Jilani al-Hasani al-Husaini [470-561/1078-1166] Murid of
23) Qadi al-Qodat Imam al-Ajal Shaykh Abu Sa'id al-Mubarak al-Makhzoomi [513/1119] Murid of
24) Shaykh al-Islam wa al-Muslimin Abu al-Hasan 'Ali al-Qarshi al-Amawi al-Hakkari [409-486/1017-1093] Murid of
25) Al-Imam Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Abu al-Farah Tartusi [447/1055] Murid of
26) Al-Imam Shaykh Abu al-Fadl 'Abd al-Wahid Tamimi [425/1033] Murid of
27) Taj al-'Arifin al-Imam Shaykh Abu-Bakr Shibli [247-334/861-946] Murid of
28) Sayyid al-Ta'ifah al-Oliyah Abu al-Qasim Junaid al-Baghdadi [218-297/833-910] Murid and nephew of
29) 'Arif al-Jalil Shaykh Sirr al-Din Abu al-Hasan Sirri al-Saqati [155-253/771-867] Murid of
30) Al-Imam al-Mutasarrif Abu-Mahfooz Shaykh Asad al-Din Maroof al-Karkhi [200/815] Murid of
31) Sayyid al-Ajal Ibn Rasoolillah al-Imam 'Ali al-Rida [153-208/770-824] Murid and son of
32) Sayyiduna wa Mawlana al-Imam Moosa al-Kazim [128-183/745-799] Murid and son of
33) Sayyiduna wa Mawlana al-Imam Jafar al-Sadiq [80-148/699-756] Murid and son of
34) Sayyiduna wa Mawlana al-Imam Muhammad al-Baqir [57-114/676-733] Murid and son of
35) Sayyiduna wa Mawlana al-Imam al-Sajjad Zain al-'Abidin [38-94/659-712] Murid and son of
36) Sayyid al-Shohadah Sayyiduna wa Mawlana al-Imam Husain Shahid al-Karbala [4-61/626-680] Murid and son of
37) Zoaj al-Batool Akh al-Rasool Bab al-Wilayah Amir al-Mu'minin Sayyiduna wa Mawlana al-Imam 'Ali al-Murtudah. Murid and Son-in-Law of
38) Khatim al-Nabiyyeen Sayyid al-Mursaleen Rahmat al-'Alameen Sayyiduna wa Mawlana wa Shafi'ina Abi al-Qasim Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah Rasool Rab al-'Alameen Alaihi Afdalus Salati wat Tasleem
[Ridwanullahi Tabaraka wa Ta'ala Alaihim Ajma'een]
CERTIFICATES OF KHILAFAH OF VARIOUS SILSILAS IMAM AHMED RAZA WAS BESTOWED WITH BY HIS MURSHID-E-KAMIL
1) Sisilah Tareeqah 'Aliyyah Qadiriyyah Barkatiyyah Jadidah
2) Sisilah Tareeqah Qadiriyyah Abaiyyah Qadimah
3) Sisilah Tareeqah Qadiriyyah Ahdaliyyah
4) Sisilah Tareeqah Qadiriyyah Razzaqiyyah
5) Sisilah Tareeqah Qadiriyyah Munawwariyyah
6) Sisilah Tareeqah Chishtiyyah Nizamiyyah 'Atiqiyyah
7) Sisilah Tareeqah Chishtiyyah Mehbobiyyah Jadidah
8) Sisilah Tareeqah Sohrawardiyyah Wahidiyyah
9) Sisilah Tareeqah Sohrawardiyyah Fadliyyah
10) Sisilah Tareeqah Naqshabandiyyah 'Ula'iyyah Siddiqiyyah
11) Sisilah Tareeqah Naqshabandiyyah 'Ula'iyyah (the chain linked to the illustrious Sufi Master Sayyid Moula Abu al-'Ula Naqshabandi Akbarabadi)
12) Sisilah Tareeqah Badi'iyyah
13) Sisilah Tareeqah 'Uloh'wiyyah Manamiyyah
These also include the 4 Mystical Musafahas, namely:
- The Sanad of Musafaha Jinniyyah
- The Sanad of Musafaha Khidriyyah
- The Sanad of Musafaha Mu'ammariyyah
- The Sanad of Musafaha Manamiyyah
LIST OF IJAZAT OF ALL THE DU'AS, AWRAD (LITANIES) AND ASH'GHAAL THAT WAS BESTOWED BY SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION DIRECTLY INTO HIS HEART FROM THE HEARTS OF HIS MASHAA'IKH:
1) The Secrets of the Holy Qur'an
3) Dala'il al Khayrat
4) Hisne Hasin
7) Hisb al-Bahr
8) Hisb al-Bar
9) Hisb al-Nasr
10) All the Ah'zab of Silsila Shazaliyyah
11) The Hirz of 104,000 Awliya
12) Hirz al-Amirayn
13) Hirze Yamani (also known as Du'a-e-Saifi Sharif)
18) Qasidah Khamriyyah also famously known as Qasidah Ghawthiyyah
19) Salat al-Asrar or Salat Ghawthiyyah
20) Qasidah Burda
23) Nim Takbir
24) Irsal al-Hawatif
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S MUREEDS AND KHULAFA
There were many Mureeds (disciples) and Khulafa (Spiritually Successors) of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). They have spread far and wide over the Indo-Pak subcontinent and also in all parts of the world. Their impact, influence and contribution towards the development of Islamic culture and thinking have left its mark in the pages of history. Nearly 35 are in the other parts of the world and 30 in Indo-Pak subcontinent. These are the leading ones:
1. Hujjatul Islam, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Muhammad Haamid Raza Khan Noori Barakaati
2. Ghausul-Waqt, Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind, Hadrat Mawlana Mustapha Raza Khan Noori Barakaati
3. Hadrat Allama Mawlana Abdus Salaam Jabalpuri
4. Sadrul-Afaadil, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Na'eemuddeen Muraadabadi
5. Malikul Ulema, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Sayyid Zafar'uddeen Bihaari
6. Mubbalig-e-Azam, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddique
7. Sadrus Shariah, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Mufti Amjad Ali
8. Qutbul Madinatul Munawwara, Hadrat Allama Shaykh Zia'uddeen Ahmed Al Madani
9. Burhaan-e-Millat, Hadrat Allama Burhaanul Haq
10. Hadrat Allama Mawlana Mukhtar Ahmad Siddiqi Meerati
11. Shaykh Muhammad Abd al-Hayy
12. Shaykh Ahmad Khalil
13. Shaykh Ahmad Khudravi
14. Shaykh Muhammad bin Abi Bakr
15. Shaykh Muhammad Sa'id
16. Hadrat Mawlana Sayyid Ahmad Ashraf &
17. Hadrat Mawlana Shah Sulayman
Professor Dr Sayyid Jamaalud'deen, Director Zaakir Hussain Institute of Islamic Studies and Jaamia Millia, New Delhi, India, said: “Ahmad Raza Khan wrote over a thousand books and booklets which influenced many. He founded a Darul Uloom called Manzarul Islam in 1904 which was able to draw students from different regions in India. His views were sought on a wide variety of social, religious and political affairs, and he proved guidance to many, including those from established Khanqahs. Many of his Disciples and Khalifas later founded madressas which soon developed into important spiritual centres. Some took up teaching, such as Mawlana Sulaiman Ashraf, who headed the Theology Department of the M.A.O. College, Aligarh, while others swelled their ranks of the Pesh Imams in the Mosques.”
We will discuss, very briefly, the lives of three of the famous Khulafa of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah).
Sadrush Shari'at, Hadrat Allama Mawlana Amjad Ali Razvi (Alaihir Rahmah): He was born in 1296 A.H. and passed away in 1367 A.H. at the age of 71 years. He is author of the internationally renowned book, Bahare Shariat, which is in 18 volumes. This book contains a volume of information dealing with the Hanafi Law of Fiqh and answers all the questions pertaining to it. It is presently a handbook of all Muslim institutions.
Hadrat Allama Amjad Ali (Alaihir Rahmah) also propagated Islam to the non-Muslims. He spent much of his time teaching.
Once in Ajmer Shareef, a very critical problem arose among the Muslims which threatened to destroy the Imaan of the innocent Muslims. The Hindu Rajput of India began introducing many new beliefs and false innovations to such an extent that those who were illiterate began following many traditions introduced by the Hindu Rajput. When Allama Sadrush Shari'at (Alaihir Rahmah) heard of this, he immediately went to Ajmer Shareef with few of his students. He began teaching and making the Muslims aware of the polytheism and false innovations that they were following. Through his hard efforts, the Imaan of many Muslims were saved and many non-Muslims also accepted Islam.
He was blessed with 8 sons and each one of them became great Aalims. His 2 daughters became Aalimas. His sons, Muhaddith-e-Kabeer, Hadrat Allama Zia-ul-Mustapha Qadri and Allama Baha-ul-Mustapha Qadri are well-known.
Shaykh Zia'uddeen Al Madani (Alaihir Rahmah): He resided in Madinatul Munawwara and came there in 1327 A.H. He made Nikah to a pious lady from a Sayed family. Before coming to Madinatul Munawwara he lived for some time in Baghdad Shareef.
He was a great Aalim, Sufi and Wali of his time. He is known as “Qutbe Madina”. He hailed from a very illustrious family. His father was the Allama Abdul Hakim Siyalkoti (Alaihir Rahmah), a powerful Islamic Scholar of his time, who gave the title of “Mujaddid-e-Alf Thaani” to Imam Rabbani, Imam Ahmed Sirhindi Faruqi (Alaihir Rahmah), the Mujaddid of the 11th Islamic Century.
With the exception of being the Khalifa of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), he also gained Khilafat from various other Mashaa'ikh. Some of them are: Shaykh Ahmad Shams Maghribi, Shaykh Mahmoodul Maghribi, Mawlana Abdul Baaqi Farangi, and Allama Abu Yusuf Nibhaani (radi Allahu Ta'ala anhum ajma'in).
He was a great Sheikh-e-Tariqat of his time. He spent day and night giving advice and guidance to the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). He is well-known for his piety and steadfastness in Islam in Damascus, Iraq, Egypt, India, Pakistan, South Africa and many other countries. Shaykh Zia'uddeen Madani (Alaihir Rahmah) also had many Khulafa and Mureeds throughout the world. He left this mundane world on the 12th of August 1981 in the city of Madinatul Munawwara.
Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Meerati (Alaihir Rahmah): He was born in the year 1892 and passed away in the year 1954 at the age of 62. He is buried in Jannatul Baqi.
His Eminence, Hadrat Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi (Alaihir Rahmah) was an Islamic Scholar and a holder of a B.A. degree from the University of Meerat (India). He spoke Arabic, Urdu, Persian, English, French, Indonesian, Malaysian and Japanese languages fluently.
In 1951, he toured the world preaching and propagating Islam. He visited America, London, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Europe, Southern Africa, Trinidad, Philippines, Iraq, Holland, Thailand, Ceylon, France, and many other countries. As a result of his efforts, thousands of non-Muslims accepted Islam. Princess Gladys Palmer [Burinia], Merwate Tifinch [the French Governor of Mauritius], Mahifl Donawa [Minister of Trinidad] and Mr F. Gengson [Christian Minister of Ceylon] were some of the famous personalities who accepted Islam after meeting him.
His Eminence was also responsible for establishing various Masaajids and Islamic Educational Centres throughout the world. Three of the famous Masaajids are the Hanafi Masjid [Colombo], the Sultaan Masjid [Singapore] and the Naagarya Masjid [Japan]. He was also the founder of various newspapers and Islamic magazines from amongst which are, “The Muslim Digest” (South Africa), “Trinidad Muslim Annual' and the “Pakistani News”.
During his tour of the world, he met with various western dignitaries and had lengthy discussions with them on Islam. He met the world renowned Irish dramatist and Philosopher, George Bernard Shaw, on 17th of April 1935 during his visit to Mombassa and discussed many religious problems with him. He was very much impressed by Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi (Alaihir Rahmah) and said, “I have been very pleased to make the acquaintance, and it will be the most precious of all memories of this trip of mine.”
VISIT TO THE HARAMAIN SHARIFAIN
IMAM AHMED RAZA'S FIRST HAJJ
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) performed his first Hajj and Ziyaarah on the 26th of Shawwal 1295 A.H.  at the age of 20.
One day, after completing his Hajj, he went to perform his Maghrib Salaah before the Maqaam-e-'Ibrahim. Having completed his Salaah, the Shafi'i Imam of Makkatul Mukarramah, Shaykh Hussain bin Saleh Kamaal, who was observing him, came to him, took his hand and led him to his house. The great Imam then placed his hand on the blessed forehead of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) and said: “Verily, I am observing the Noor of Allah Ta'ala on this forehead.”
Without hesitation, he blessed Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) with the Sanad (Certificate) of Sahih Sitta (six compilers of Hadith: Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi and Nisa'i). He also began addressing Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) by the title of “Zia'uddeen” or “The Light/Splendour of Deen.”
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was also blessed with the Sanads of Ahadith from the Hanafi Muftis in Makkatul Mukarramah, Allama Abdur Rahmaan Siraaj and Mufti Shaykh Sayed Ahmad Dahlaan Shafi'i (Alaihimur Rahmah).
It was also during this historical visit that Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi informed the Ulema-e-Haramain Sharifain concerning the blasphemous and corrupt beliefs of the Ulema of Deoband.
IMAM AHMED RAZA'S SECOND HAJJ
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) performed his second Hajj in 1323 A.H.  when he was 49 years of age.
On the 25th of Zil-Hajj, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza once again had the opportunity of meeting the great Imam, Shaykh Saleh Kamaal. He also met Allama Sayed Isma'il and many other Noble Ulema, who showed great respect towards him.
It was on this occasion that Shaykh Saleh Kamaal presented Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza with five questions pertaining to I'lm-e-Ghaib (Knowledge of the Unseen). These questions were posed on behalf of the Wahabi Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) had to answer these five questions in two days.
In so happened that on the following day, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza(Alaihir Rahmah) contracted a heavy fever. In spite of his illness, he managed to answer all the questions relating to I'lm-e-Ghaib. In fact, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) presented such a detailed answer to the question of I'lm-e-Ghaib that it turned out to be a complete book on its own. He named this book, Al Daulatul Makkiyah Bil Maadatil Ghaibiya.
The learned Ulema of Haramain Sharifain were totally astounded when Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) presented this book to them on time. He completed this 400 pages book in only 8 hours. It was in the pure Arabic language. If one totals the numerical values of the Arabic letters in the context of this Kitaab, Al Daulatul Makkiyah Bil Maadatil Ghaibiya, one would discover that they amount to 1323. It was the same year, that is, 1323 A.H., in which Imam Ahmed Raza Khan performed his second Hajj!
IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
It was during Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi's (Alaihir Rahmah) second visit to the Haramain Sharifain that his yearning to see the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) became very great. He continued reciting the Durood Shareef in front of the Rauda-e-Shareef and felt confident of seeing the exalted personality of his Master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).
It was during the second night of his visit to the doorstep of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) that he was given the opportunity of actually seeing the blessed personality of the Master of both Worlds, Muhammad-e-Mustafa (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). On that night, Imam Ahmed Raza, in a state of total submission, lifted his pen and began writing a Na'at in praise of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). The first line of that Na'at is: “Wo Soo'e La'la Zaar Phirte hai ...” The beautiful Na'at continues praising the most Beloved of Allah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) and ends with the following verse: “Koyi Kyu Pooch teri baat Raza, Tujh se kutte hazaar phirte hai.”
Here, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) lowers himself to the extremes and addresses himself as the “dog” of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). At this point, he was given the opportunity of seeing his Master, the Mercy unto the Worlds, Muhammad-e-Mustafa (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) standing beside the Rauda-e-Mubaarak. The great Imam recites:
“Ar're Ai Raza tere dil ka pata chala ba mushkil
Darre Roza Ke Muqaabil wo hume Nazar to Aaya
Ye na pooch kaisa paaya, Ye Na pooch kaisa paaya
Tuje humd he khuda ya, Tuje humd he khuda ya.”
HIS PERSONALITY, CHARACTER AND HABITS
Both the inner and outer personality of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was the same. He never compromised when it came to Shari'at-e-Mustapha (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). He used to reprimand anyone who even uttered one word against Shari'ah. He was the living example of: “Love for the sake of Allah Ta'ala and hate for the sake of Allah Ta'ala.”
He never hurt the feelings of any good Muslim. He showed a splendid amount of affection towards the poor and orphans. On a certain occasion, A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza was invited to a person's house. Allama Zafruddeen Bihari (Alaihir Rahmah) accompanied him. The host, due to his extreme poverty, could only afford to place a few pieces of bread and some beef before his honourable guests. When Allama Zafruddeen saw the beef on the table, he became very uncomfortable as he knew that Imam Ahmed Raza never used to eat beef. It did not agree with his health. But, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) did not object to the food. He sensed what Allama Zafruddeen (Alaihir Rahmah) was thinking about, so he said, “If any Muslim recites the following Du'a before eating, then no harm will be caused by the food.”
After completing the meal and, as they were departing, Allama Zafruddeen (Alaihir Rahmah) questioned the host about his reason for inviting A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) to his house in such a time of poverty. The host very confidently replied that although he was in such a state, he was sure that by A'la Hadrat's presence in his home, his home would be blessed with Barakah and Mercy from Allah Ta'ala.
Once, a young boy went to see Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) at his home. He said, “Huzoor! You are invited to my house tomorrow morning.” A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan lovingly asked the boy, “What will you be feeding me?” The boy, undoing a knot at the bottom of his kurta, happily replied, “Look! I have brought some dhall and chillies.” Imam Ahmed Raza said, “Very well then. I shall come tomorrow.”
The following morning, Hajee Kifaayatullah accompanied A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) to the boy's house. As they entered the house, Hajee Kifaayatullah commented, “Huzoor! This is the home of a musician.” Just then the boy appeared to wash their hands. Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) asked him, “Where is your father? What is his occupation?” Before the boy could answer, the boy's mother, from behind the pardah, respectfully said, “Huzoor! My husband passed away and he used to be a musician, but before his death he repented. Now, all that I have is this young boy who works to support us.” Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) then made Du'a-e-Barakah and sat down to eat. After eating he said, “If I would receive such sincere invitations daily, then I will definitely accept them.”
ADHERENCE TO THE SUNNAH
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) laid great emphasis on the followance of the Sunnah of Sayyiduna Rasoolulah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).
The following account clearly describes Imam Ahmed Raza's great trust and faith upon the Sunnah. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) narrates, “There was once a rumour in Bareilly that the Plague had appeared. Co-incidently, at that moment, my gums became extremely inflamed. It continued to such proportions that it became difficult for me to open my mouth. I also had a high fever, coupled with inflamed glands. The doctor who was called, looked at me closely for a few minutes. He exclaimed that I had the Plague. I could not speak at that moment, or else I could have told him that his diagnosis was incorrect and false.
“I was certain that I did not have the Plague or any other major disease, simply because I had already recited a Du'a as explained by Sayyiduna Rasoolulah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) who said that if one sees a serious and deadly illness, he should recite the following Du'a, which would protect the person from such an illness. I had, therefore, recited this Du'a: 'Al hamdu lil laahil lazi aafini mim mab tilaaka bihi wa fad dalni 'ala katheeram mimam khalaqa tafdeelan.' Whenever I saw a serious illness, I recited this Du'a, therefore, I was protected against it, including the Plague.
“Thereafter, with extreme respect, I proclaimed aloud, 'O Allah! Prove that the words of your beloved Habeeb (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) are true and that the words of the doctor are false'. At that moment a voice on my right advised me to use the Miswaak and black pepper. With a little difficulty, I performed brushing with the Miswaak and kept the black pepper on my tongue as a tablet. Infinite, indeed, is the Mercy of Allah Ta'ala! Within a few minutes, I had gained my strength and sent the doctor away by proving that his diagnosis was false and baseless.”
A similar incident showing the great trust that Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) had in Allah Ta'ala and His beloved Habeeb (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) is recorded by Mawlana Mohammed Shareef. He says, “Once, when Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi was returning from Hajj by ship with his father, there was a great storm. The storm reached such intensity that the Captain of the ship advised the passengers to wear their kafans (shrouds), for he could see no escape from such a storm. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi, noticing the concern on the face of his father, inquired as to what had transpired. His father replied, 'My beloved son, I have no concern for myself, rather it is for you that I am sad'. The young Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi replied, 'O father! If the captain has lost hope then let him do so. We should have complete faith in Allah Ta'ala and His beloved Habeeb, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). In accordance with the commands of the beloved Habeeb (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam), when entering this ship, I recited the Du'a: 'Subhaanal lazi sakh khara lana haaza wa maa kunna lahu muq rineen wa inna ila Rabbina la mun qalibun'. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) has stated that, 'Whosoever recites this Du'a when entering a ship (any mode of transport), that ship would not be destroyed. Therefore, I have absolute certainty that generations may change, yet, this ship would never sink'.”
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi, having merely spoken these words, when the Captain arrived and began informing the passengers that the storm is subsiding and that there was no need for concern!
During his second Hajj, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was suffering from fever. As the fever subdued, he took his bath and rushed towards the Haram Shareef. In the meantime, it began to rain very heavily. Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) recollected a Hadith: “Whosoever performs Tawaaf amidst rain, swims in the bounty of Allah.” Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) kissed the Hajr-e-Aswad and started the Tawaaf forthwith, with the result that fever gripped him again. When Shaykh Sayyid Ismail Makki (Alaihir Rahmah), a noted Scholar of his time, came to know of it, he said to A'la Hadrat, “You did not care of yourself simply for a weak Hadith.” Upon this, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza replied: “Though the Hadith is weak, yet the hope is strong.” The heart-touching point is that even a weak Hadith touched the heart of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) to such an extent.
When Sayyidi Imam Ahmed Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was only 20 years old the Governor of Rampur had the great yearning to meet him. It so happened that Imam Ahmed Raza once visited Rampur. The Governor went and met him. The Governor was overwhelmed and as a mark of respect offered him a silver chair to sit on. Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) refused to sit on the silver chair saying that the use of silver furniture is Haraam. Feeling ashamed, the Governor requested Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) to sit on the bed.
Professor Dr Mukhtarud'deen Arzoo, Dean of the Department of Arabic, Muslim University Aligarh, said: “His affection and hate was for the sake of Allah. Believers in Almighty Allah were his friends, and non-believers his enemies. Followers of Allah and His last Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) were close and dear to him. He was not unkind to his personal opponents. He was never harsh to them, but he never spared the enemies of Islam. The entire life of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi was illuminated with the glorious observance of Sunnat-e-Nabwi (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).”
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was intially not a Hafiz-ul-Qur'an. Once, someone wrote a letter to him and addressed him as “Hafiz”. When Imam Ahmed Raza saw this, he became depressed for he felt that he was not worthy of such a title. He immediately decided to become a Hafiz of the Holy Qur'an.
How did he become a Hafiz-ul-Qur'an? It has been stated that in the time period from Wudhu till the time of Jamaat, Hadrat Allama Sadrush Shari'at (Alaihir Rahmah) would recite one complete Sipara. Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) would listen to it and, thereafter, recite the same Sipara in the Taraweeh Salaah. He continued this routine for 30 days, and by the end of the Month of Ramadaan, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi became a complete Hafiz of the Holy Qur'an!
STANDARD OF PRAYERS
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) used to offer all the five prayers in congregation in the Mosque without fail. Even when he was ill, he would go to the Mosque sitting on a chair. Usually he came to the Mosque having made his Wudhu (ablution). Never did he offer his Fard Salaah without Amama (Islamic turban) and Angarkha (cloak). He was too particular about it even when it was too hot. He did not take his Salaah as a mere formality. He took it as personal appearance in the Highest Court of Allah Ta'ala. Hence, hot and cold weather could not influence him from his unshakable stand.
HIS CONTENTMENT AND HIS ABSTENTION FROM WORLDLY ACTIVITIES
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was an example of simple living. He chose to lead a simple and austere life. During his life he issued thousands of Fatawa but he never charged any money from anybody. He never charged for the issuing of Taweez. If anybody insisted on paying something, A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) flatly refused and made it clear that he would not sell Taweez [amulets]. Not withstanding, he accepted unconditional presents being a Sunnah. His life involved no pomp and show. Far from grand, his Madarsa was so simple. He had no personal servants at his disposal. He never disheartened the poor. He hardly accepted feasts from the rich. To be very clear, he was not fond of worldly riches. He did not pay Zakaat as his riches never touched the required level. He gave all is money to charity and to struggling students.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) never celebrated the birthday of his own or of his sons, etc. A'la Hadrat celebrated the birthday (Eid-e-Milad-al-Nabi) of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) with all the fervour. His son, Mufti-e-'Azam Hind, Mawlana Mustafa Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) said that Sayyidi A'la Hadrat had no complaint with anyone who failed to attend the 'Urs but A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) definitely expressed his displeasure with those who failed to attend the auspicious function of the Holy Birth (Eid-e-Milad-al-Nabi) of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) organized by Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) at his residence.
It is recorded that Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) had a few acres of land in his possession whose maintenance he left entirely in the responsibility and trust of others. Although Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi received a monthly allowance from his own property, he spent his allowance in the service of guests, of Sayeds and in the purchasing of books. There were times when Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi was left with only a few pennies in his pockets! But he never inquired about the income that he received from his few possessions. [Al Mizaan, pg. 335]
During the Khilafat Movement, Ghandi was advised that he should meet with the distinguished Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). This suggestion was made to Ghandi by people such as the Ali Brothers, Mawlana Qiyamuddin and Abdul Baari Faranghi. They said that since Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi commanded the respect of the large Muslim populace, it would assist them in their Khilafat Movement. When Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) was told that the Ghandi wished to meet and speak to him, he said, “What would he speak about? Religion or worldly affairs? If it is worldly affairs, what can I partake in, for I have abstained from the world and have no interest in it.” [Al Mizaan, pg. 335]
OBEDIENCE TOWARDS PARENTS
After the demise of his father, Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) inherited all his properties. Although he was the sole owner and beneficiary of these properties, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan never spent a single cent of this wealth without first seeking the permission of his blessed mother. Even if he wished to buy a Kitaab for study purposes he asked permission from his mother!
When Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) wished to fulfill his heart's desire of being present in front of the Rauda-e-Anwar he first sought the permission of his mother. She immediately granted him permission by saying: “Bismillahi Khuda Hafiz.”
RESPECT TOWARDS THE SUPERIOR ULEMA
While studying the life of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), it is difficult not to comprehend that he was, towards the enemies of Islam, an example of “Ashidda'aoo alal Kuffar” [harsh upon the Kufaar]. Towards the Muslims he was the shining example of “Ruhhamaoo bainahuma” [caring towards each other].
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza always showed immense love and respect towards the 'Ulema of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah. He had a liking towards Allama Abdul Qaadir Badayouni (Alaihir Rahmah). Concerning the Ulema-e-Haq, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) always praised them with the following words, “These 'Ulema are such that if they had to enter a barren town, then it turns into a bright city, and when they depart from a city, it becomes a barren town.”
Hadrat Mahdi Hassan Barkaati (Alaihir Rahmah), the Sajjada-e-Nashin of Sarkaare Kilan Marehra Shareef states, “When I used to go to Bareilly Shareef, Huzoor Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) would personally bring out the food for me, and he would also wash my hands. Once, while washing my hands, he requested that I give him my ring and bangle which were made of gold. I immediately presented them to him. Later, I departed to Bombay. When I returned to Marehra Shareef, my daughter informed me that there was a parcel for me from Bareilly Shareef. I opened the parcel and found enclosed the ring and bangle. There was also a note in it which Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi wrote presenting the jewels to my daughter.”
Subhan-Allah! Look at the respect and wisdom that Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) showed towards his superiors. He practised upon the law of “Amr bil Ma'roof Wa Nahi Anil Munkir” [enjoining good and forbidding evil] and the same time showing great respect towards Hadrat Mahdi Hassan Barkaati (Alaihir Rahmah).
RESPECT FOR THE MASJID
Once, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was performing I'tikaaf in the Masjid in Bareilly Shareef. It was a cold winter's night. It was raining quiet heavily. Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) went to perform his Wudhu. In order not to allow the Masjid floors from becoming wet, he placed the blanket that he was wearing on to the Masjid floor by folding it four times to soak in the water. He then made his Wudhu on the blanket. Thus, he did not allow one drop of water to fall in the Masjid. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi then spent the entire night shivering in the cold since he did not have a blanket to cover himself with because it was damp with water.
LOVE AND RESPECT TOWARDS PILGRIMS
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) always showed great respect to pilgrims (Hajees). He made it his duty to meet with the Hajees when they arrived from the Haramain Sharifain. Whenever he would meet a Hajee, the very first question he used to ask was, “Did you visit the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam)?” If the answer he received was in the affirmative, then he would kiss the feet of the Hajee. If the Hajee replied that he did not, then Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) would show his dissatisfaction and would end his conversation with that person.
CARE FOR CHILDREN
Hadrat Allama Zafruddeen Bihari (Alaihir Rahmah) states that while he was still a student in Bareilly Shareef, he and many others used to spend their Eid in Bareilly Shareef. They did not go home to their families as they lived far from the madressa. But, he says that Eid was always spent joyfully because Imam Ahmed Raza used to treat them like his very own children. He used to also give them “Eidi” [spending money] on that day.
When Muffasir-e-Azam-e-Hind, Mawlana Ibrahim Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), who is the father of Taajush Shariah, Hadrat Allama Mufti Mohammed Akhtar Raza Khan Al Azhari, was born, his grand-father, Imam Ahmed Raza, out of great joy, invited all the students of Madressa Manzare Islam to a meal. Before preparing the meal, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan asked each group of students as to what they enjoyed eating. Accordingly, he prepared the meals for them - fish and rice for the Bengali students; Firini, Zarda and Breyani for the Bihari students; and sheep for the Punjabi and other foreign students.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) loved and cared for children. He always made them feel comfortable around him. He never shouted or scolded at them unnecessarily. If any child did something wrong, he would gently explain to that child their error and show them the right path. He always returned the Salaams of little children.
A FEW OF IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN'S HABITS
HIS LOVE FOR THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) spent every moment of his life praising the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). Everything he did was for the Pleasure of Allah Ta'ala and His beloved Rasool (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Once, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) went into the Raza Masjid in Bareilly Shareef. He was confronted by a Majzoob, Hadrat Dhoka Shah (Alaihir Rahmah). The Majzoob said, “O Ahmed Raza! I see the Power of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) only on the earth and not in the skies.”
Imam Ahmed Raza replied: “The Power of Huzoor (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) is on the earth and in the skies.” The Majzoob said that he could not see this.
Imam Ahmed Raza said, “Whether you see it or not, it is still present.”
The Majzoob, in a highly spiritual state, said, “Go! I have dropped him.”
At that moment, Mawlana Mustapha Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), who was still a child, was playing on the roof of the house. When Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) reached the house, his mother came up to him and said, “You should know better than to argue with Majzoobs. Look! Mustapha Raza has fallen off the roof.” Imam Ahmed Raza Khan enquired as to whether his son had been hurt or not. When he was told that he was not injured, he said, “I am prepared to sacrifice a thousand Mustapha Razas' on the Raza (pleasure) of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam), but I will not allow one word to be uttered against the dignity of Rasool-e-Akram (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).”
After some time, the Majzoob returned and met Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) and said, “O Ahmed Raza! You are victorious. Our case was brought up before Sultaanul-Hind, Hadrat Khwaja Gharib-un Nawaaz (Alaihir Rahmah). He had passed the verdict on your behalf, and Alhamdulillah, through your blessings, I am now able to see the Karam (mercy) of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) even in the skies.”
It has been recorded that Hadrat Mawlana Naee'muddeen Muradabadi once asked Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) the reason from him being so severe upon those who disrespected Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) replied, “O Mawlana! I am severe upon those people because instead of insulting Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) they should rather make me the target for their insults. I do not have any interest in what they are calling me. At least, while they are busy insulting me, my beloved master, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is spared from these insults.”
The above mentioned incidents clearly highlights the following thoughts of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah): “If you desire my life, I will sacrifice it. If you desire my wealth I will give it. But, there is one thing that I will never sacrifice, and that is, the love and reverence for the beloved, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).”
Dr Karrar Hussain, Vice Chancellor, Baluchistan University Quetta (Baluchistan) said: “I am impressed by his personality because it was he who gave pivotal role to the love and affection of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) without which, Islam is a body without a soul.”
Also commenting on the great love that Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) had for Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam), Justice Shamim Hussain Qadri, Punjab High Court, Lahore (Pakistan), said: “He was a devotee of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) from the deepest chambers of his heart, and to popularise this attitude is the need of the hour. Love, affection and devotion to the Holy Prophet's (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) personality is the only solution to the multi-farious problems of our temporal life and a solution for the life hereafter.”
LOVE AND RESPECT FOR THE SAYEDS
It is Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) who showed the Muslim world how to respect the descendants or family (Sayeds/Saadaat) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). On the instruction of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat, Sayeds would receive a double share of Shirnee (sweetmeats) in assemblies of Meelad Shareef. He would kiss the hands of the Sayeds, fulfill their needs and seat them in places of distinction in his gatherings.
Love for them was the fundamental nature of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (Alaihir Rahmah), praise for the Ahle Bait and Saadaat was the Wazifa of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan and serving them was his Imaan. A'la Hadrat's Hadaa'iq-e-Bakhshish stands proof of this love. Drowned in his love, he writes:
Kya Baat Raza Us Chamanistaan-e-Karam ki
Zahrah hei Kali jis mei Hussain aur Hasan Phool
“Raza, what can be said of that beautiful garden of mercy!
Wherein Zahrah is the blossom of grandeur and Hasan and Hussain, the scented flowers.”
Teri Nasl-e-Paak mei hei Bacha Bacha Noor Ka
Tu hei Ain-e-Noor Tera sub Gharaana Noor ka
“Ya Rasoolallah! Every child of your lineage is Noor,
You are the fountain head of Noor, your entire family is Noor.”
His entire life is filled with incidents wherein he showed love and respects to Sayeds. We narrate a few.
Many are aware of this famous incident. Once, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was invited to the home of a certain person. In those days, the 'Ulema were carried in palanquins [a seat supported by poles with four carriers] as a means of transport. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi was sitting in one of these palanquins that was carried by carriers. As they proceeded along the way, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan suddenly commanded the carriers to halt. He immediately alighted from the palanquin and asked, “Who is a Sayed from amongst you? I am receiving the scent of a Sayed.” One of the carriers, who was a Sayed, was too afraid to speak. Nevertheless, when Imam Ahmed Raza further prompted that person to reveal himself, he came forward and admitted that he was Sayed.
With tears in his eyes, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) fell at his feet and began asking for pardon. The Sayed continuously asked Imam Ahmed Raza to refrain from doing so but Imam Ahmed Raza continued asking for pardon, saying, “Please forgive me. What would I do on the Day of Qiyamah if the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) asks me concerning this incident, and says to me that I showed disrespect to his family?”
The Sayed readily forgave Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah). But this Aashiq-e-Rasool (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) was not yet satisfied. He commanded the Sayed to sit on the palanquin, placed it on his shoulders and carried the Sayed for the same distance which he had been carried!
Allahu Akbar! Those who had been witnesses to this incident could not believe that the Imam of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah, the Mujaddid of Islam, was carrying a palanquin-bearer on his shoulders. But to Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), that person that he was carrying was a family of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam)!
It has also been stated that a child, who was a Sayed, used to live in the vicinity of Bareilly Shareef. The child used to play outside the house of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). Sayyidi A'la Hadrat would be busy writing but could see outside his home as his door used to be open. Each time that the child ran pass the door, the great Imam would stand up in respect for that child. Even when the child passed the door ten times in a day, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi used to stand up ten times in a day as a mark of respect for that Sayed child.
As it is expected of a devout Muslim, A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) always surrendered before a Sayed unconditionally. Sayedul-Ulema Hadrat Ale-Mustafa Marahravi (Alaihir Rahmah), once disclosed a very interesting thing. A thought came to his mind that A'la Hadrat possessed all outstanding qualities but one, i.e. he was not a Sayed. A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) took birth in a Pathan family. Sayedul-Ulema (Alaihir Rahmah) said that when he thought over the case of the palanquin, he was forced to give a second thought to his earlier thinking. He was then able to understand as to why Sayyidi A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah) was a non-Sayed. If he was a Sayed, how could the people know what respect should be given to a Sayed and how he should be dealt with.
When Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was asked about the Islamic punishment that was to be meted out to a Sayed, he remarked, “Even though a Judge is called upon to declare judgement and punishment upon a Sayed, and the penalty that he has decreed is within the tenets of Islam, he (the Judge), should not have the Niyah (intention) that he is punishing the Sayed. Rather, he should think that a small amount of mud has smeared itself on the Sayed's feet, which he is merely washing away”. [Al Malfuz]
LOVE FOR GHAUS AL-AZAM SHAYKH ABDUL QAADIR JILAANI
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) possessed immense love for Sultaanul Awliya, Sayyiduna Ghausul Azam, Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (Alaihir Rahmah).
Hadrat Muhaddith-e-Azam Hind (Alaihir Rahmah) reported that in the period when he was given permission to serve in the Darul Ifta at Bareilly Shareef, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) bought sweets (Niyaz) to the value of 11 Rupees and made the Fatiha of Ghaus al-Azam (Alaihir Rahmah). He then distributed the sweets to those who were present. While the sweets were being distributed, those who were present became astonished to see Imam Ahmed Raza standing up from his chair and kneeling down on to the floor. They came closer to see what had happened. Then only did they realise that the person distributing the Niyaz had dropped a little on the ground and Imam Ahmed Raza was lifting this piece of Niyaz with the tip of his tongue! This alone will show the great amount of love and respect that Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) possessed for Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (Alaihir Rahmah).
It has been stated that Imam Ahmed Raza was not only the Na'ib (Helper) of Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jilaani (Alaihir Rahmah), but he was also the Ghausul Azam of his time. He wrote many Manqabats in praise of Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (Alaihir Rahmah).
LOVE FOR HIS PEER-O-MURSHID AND HIS FAMILY
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) possessed immense love for his Peer-o-Murshid [Spiritual Master] and for the family members. He also displayed his love for all those who had contact with them and respected them. Whenever Imam Ahmed Raza went to Marehra Shareef to gain blessings from his Peer-o-Murshid, he would remove his shoes at the station and walk bare feet in Marehra Shareef! Whenever any person or representative from Marehra Shareef arrived in Bareilly Shareef to deliver a letter or parcel to Imam Ahmed Raza he would treat that person with great respect and dignity. He addressed the person with words of respect, such as, “Most Respected Representative,” and would not allow that person to leave without giving him something to eat. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) would personally go into the house and bring food for that person. He even used to carry the dish or plate of food on his head!
If this is the respect that Sayyidi Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) showed towards the representatives of his Peer-o-Murshid and his family, one cannot imagine or fathom the respect which he showed towards them personally!
LOVE FOR SULTAANUL HIND
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza(Alaihir Rahmah), who was satiated at the pond of Sultaanul Awliya, Shaykh Abdul Qaadir Jilaani (Alaihir Rahmah), says beautifully about the showers of blessings that were obtained by Sultaanul Hind, Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaaz, Hadrat Khwaja Mu'inuddin Chisti Ajmeri (Alaihir Rahmah):
Mazra'a Chisht o Bukhara o Iraq o Ajmer
Kaun Si Kasht Pey Barsaa Nahi Jhala Teyra?
“The lands of Chisht, Bukhara, Iraq and Ajmer
Upon which lands did your blessings not fall?”
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) wrote a book titled Zeelul Muddu'a Al Hasanul Wa'aa (Published by Raza Academy, Mumbai), in which he has stated the places where supplications are accepted by Allah Ta'ala. In that section he has specifically mentioned the court of Sultaanul Hind, Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaaz (Alaihir Rahmah) as the place that Allah Ta'ala especially accepts supplications in Hindustan.
One of the objections that were raised during the time of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was that Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaaz should not be called “Ghareeb Nawaaz” (Helper of the Poor). Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi wrote a detailed and comprehensive reply to that objection. At the end he wrote emphatically, “Sultaanul Hind is the Helper of the truth and the religion, and is definitely the Helper to the Poor.”
Allama Hasan Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), who is a great poet and a master with words, and is the brother of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, wrote the following memorable verse in relation to Sultaanul Hind (Alaihir Rahmah):
Khwaja e Hind Woh Darbaar Hai A'ala Teyra
Kabhi Mehroom Nahi Maangney Waala Teyra
“Master of Hind, Your court is so exalted
No beggar in your court is ever deprived”
Similarly, when objections were raised because of the fact that the word “Shareef” was added to Ajmer, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan gave such a complete reply to this objection in Fatawa-e-Radawiyyah that it silenced the critics.
IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN BARELWI AS THE MUJADDID OF THE 14TH CENTURY
Undoubtedly, besides being recognised as a great Wali, as the Ghausul al-Azam and as the Imam Abu Hanifa (Alaihir Rahmah) of his time, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza was also the Mujaddid (Reviver) of Islam of the 14th Century. He possessed all the conditions of a Mujaddid and his entire life was spent trying to revive the Deen of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Hadith of Mujaddid
A Hadith Shareef recorded in Mishkaat and quoted by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) who says that the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Verily, at the end of every century, Almighty Allah will send such a person to the Ummah, who will revive the Deen for the them (the Ummah).”
'Allama Haqqi in his Hashiya Siraj al-Munir Sharh Jami' Saghir writes: “My Shaykh said that the Hadith masters agree that this Hadith is Sahih” and the Hafiz Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti writes the same in his Mirqat al-Sa'ud Hashiya Sunan Abu Dawud.
Qualities of a Mujaddid
When there comes a period in which there is a shortage of knowledge and deterioration in following of the Sunnah; when there is an increase in false innovations and ignorance; then Allah Ta'ala will send a person at the beginning or end of every century who will show the difference between Sunnah and Bid'ah. He will refute and destroy false innovations and will fear none but Allah Ta'ala. He will very bravely and sincerely hoist the flag of Deen-e-Muhammadi (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). Such a person is known as a “Mujaddid” (Reviver) of Deen.
It is not necessary that a Mujaddid be a Mujtahid but it is critical that he be a Sunni with the correct 'Aqida, a scholar, a master of Islamic Sciences, a great supporter of the religion, a fearless voice against the Mubtadi'yin [innovators] and without fear in speaking the truth, will not serve the religion for worldly benefits, God-fearing, pious, an embodiment of Shari'ah and Tariqah [spirituality] and that he be famous both at the end of the century in which he is born and at the beginning of the century in which he demises.
The author of the book, Siraajum Muneer, has explained who a Mujaddid is in the following words: “In other words, to revive the Deen is to revive those teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah that are being destroyed and to give command according to the Qur'an and Sunnah.”
Allama Munaadi (Alaihir Rahmah) states: “A Mujaddid is one who separates Sunnah from Bid'ah and one who degrades the status of the Ahle Bid'ah.”
Why does a Mujaddid come after 100 years?
A Mujaddid is sent after every 100 years because after every century the surroundings, the environment, the manner of thinking and ways of the people tend to pass through a massive transformation. It has been stated in the Hadith of Bukhari Shareef that during the latter stages of the Prophet's (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) physical life, one night, after performing Esha Salaah, he stood up and said, “Should I inform you of the importance of this night? From this night onwards, right up to the end of a 100 years, that person who is alive on the earth (presently) will not be alive.” There can be more and there has already been more than one Mujaddid to a Century.
Imam Ahmed Raza chosen as a Mujaddid
Whether non-Islamic movements and practices arose from within the Muslims or from the Kuffar; Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) proved his status as a Faqih and Mujaddid when he strove against these and other societal ills with the might of his pen. Notions of apostasy were uncovered by him and Muslims were warned against them. With his continuous efforts, he protected the sanctity of Islam and was unwavering even in the face of opposition.
Hence, it was after seeing such endeavours that in 1318 A.H./1900 at a conference in Patna, in the presence of thousands of listeners and hundreds of local and national scholars including: Mawlana Abdul Qadir Badayuni (d.1319 A.H.), Mawlana Ma'wan Husain Rampuri [son of Mufti Irshad Husain Rampuri (d.1311 A.H.)], 'Allama Hidayatullah Rampuri [d.1326 A.H.], Sayyid Shah Abdus Samad Phaphondwi [d.1333 A.H.], Mawlana Muhib Ahmad Badayouni [d.1341 A.H.], Mawlana Abdul Kafi Ilahabadi [d.1350 A.H.] and Sayyid Muhammad Fakhir Ilahabadi. Mawlana Abdul Muqtadir Badayouni [d.1334 A.H.] addressed him as: “Mujaddid Ma'ta Hadara”.
This received support from the scholars and public alike. Various other scholars also referred to him as a Mujaddid. Hence, Shaykh Sayyid Isma'il bin Khalil [d. 1324 AH], librarian of Haram, writes about him: “Moreover, I say that if he is called the Mujaddid of this century, then this would be correct and the truth”.
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was not just a personality revered and accepted by the scholars of the Indian Subcontinent even the scholars of Haramayn accepted his leadership and his status as the Mujaddid of his era.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) once said: “It is the Grace of Allah Ta'ala that He has allowed me to do as much work in one lifetime that would be enough for ten lifetimes”.
Professor Manzoorud'deen Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi said: “The reality is that on reading several books of Imam Ahmed Raza, I have come to the conclusion that through his writings and speeches, the Fatawa (Inquisitions) and hundreds of small and bulky treatises, he had struggled for the revival of Islam, and as a reward he was declared as a Mujaddid of his Century by the 'Ulema (Scholars of Islam), in particular, the scholars of Makka and Madina (Haramain Sharifain). . .”
A List of known Mujaddids from the First Century:
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S REFUTATION AGAINST THE INSULTERS OF RASOOLULLAH
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) spent much of his time also refuting those who insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). He left no stone unturned in safe-guarding the dignity and integrity of Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam), in spite of being personally attacked by the misguided. These personal attacks did not bother him in the least bit!
The Insulters and their Books
In India, many false beliefs were being propagated by individuals like:
Some of the blasphemous statements found in these books
Shaitaan and Malakul Maut have more Knowledge than Rasoolullah
Knowledge of Rasoolullah is like that of Lunatics
Rejection of Finality of Prophethood
Allah Almighty can tell a Lie
If one examines the original books that were written by such persons, one will find other similar disrespectful statements found in their writings. These writings tended to destroy the doctrinal foundations of Islamic orthodoxy.
Imam Ahmed Raza's Response to the ‘Ulama of Deoband
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) considered it to be contrary to adab [respect] to use words or phrases loosely when referring to Allah Ta'ala or the Prophets; because even though the literal meaning might seem correct, they still remain disrespectful. According to Imam Ahmed Raza, such words are present in Molvi Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi's Tahzeerun Nas, Molvi Ashraf Ali Thanwi's Hifzul Iman, Molvi Khalil Ahmad Ambethawi's al-Baraheen al-Qati'ah, Molvi Isma'il Dehlwi's Sirat-e-Mustaqeem and Taqwi'atul Iman and Molvi Mahmood Hasan's al-Jahd al-Maqal.
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) and other illustrious Ulama of the Ahle-Sunnat not only reprimanded such insulers vehemently but also made them aware of their false doctrines asking them to repent over their false notions, but due to the fake egoism and criminal freedom of expression of thought allowed by the Britishers, they did not refrain from their false beliefs.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was very careful in making Takfir. After he saw the statements which insulted Sayyidina Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the books of the leaders of Deoband, it took approximately 20 years for him to issue the actual verdict of Kufr against them. He continuously sent letters by registered post to the Ulama of Deoband for them to retract their statements but to no avail. For example, it was a whole 13 years after the publication of Hifz al-Iman Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) issued the fatwa of Kufr.
He was not at all hasty in making Takfir. This can be seen when he wrote regarding Isma'il Dihlawi: “There is a difference between a statement being Kufr and the bearer being a Kafir. We shall practice extreme caution and adopt silence on this issue. As long there is there is the weakest of the weak explanation that excludes Kufr - we shall refrain from making Takfir”. [Salla's Suyuf al-Hindiya - Imam Ahmad Raza]
Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi himself says: “I have abundant respect for Ahmad Raza in my heart. He calls us Kafir but only on the basis of love for the Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) and on no other ground”.
Murtaza Hasan Darbhangwi, Head of Education at Deoband, says: “If according to Ahmed Raza Khan some scholars of Deoband were as he perceived them to be, then making Takfir of them was Fard upon him. If he did not call them Kafir, then he himself would have been a Kafir. Like the Qadianis when the scholars found out of their Kufr, then it is Fard for them to make Takfir and if they do not, then they themselves would become Kafir because he who does not call a Kafir a Kafir, he himself becomes one”. [Ashaddu'l Adhab, p. 13]
Not all Deobandis declared as Kaafirs
A famous scholar, Allama Sayed Ahmed Sa'eed Kaazmi (Alaihir Rahmah) has clearly stated: “In the Mas'ala of Takfeer (Apostization) our attitude has always been that if any person utters words of Kuffar and acknowledges it with any action or affirmation, then we will not delay in condemning him as a Kaafir, be he a Deobandi, Barelwi, member of the League of Congress, Nadvi, etc. It is within the context of truth that on such an important issue no consideration must be given to whosoever is concerned. Of course, this does not mean that if a single person belonging to a certain group uttered these words of Kufr, therefore, the entire group is a Kaafir. For example, if a Nadvi individual made a Kufr statement then the entire Nadvi fraternity is Kaafir! No! We regard only certain Deobandis as Kaafirs who have uttered statements of Kufr and not every individual living in Deoband! Our eminent Ulama have always made it clear and propclaimed that 'We do not regard every resident of Deoband or Lucknow as a Kaafir. It is our belief that only those who have insulted the integrity of Allah and His Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the great Awliya are Kaafirs and even after issuing warnings about their corrupt statements, they did and do not withdraw their remarks. This also applies to all those whoe are aware, fully understand and yet regard these Kufr statements as Haqq and still regard those who made such statements as Mu'mins, people of truth, leaders of the path, etc. Such a person we regard as a Kaafir! Other than these individuals, we have never called any person who subscribes to the tenets of Islam as Kaafir. It proves that those who we have labelled as Kaafirs are very few in number.'” [Al Haqqul Mubeen, pg. 24-5]
Imam Ahmed Raza Presenting Proofs to Ulama of Haramain
In 1323 A.H. Imam Ahmad Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) visited holy places in Hijaz (Makka Shareef and Madina Shareef) for performing pilgrimage. During this period he prepared a draft document entitled Al Motamad Al-Mustanad (The Reliable Proofs) for presentation to the eminent 'Ulama of Makka Shareef and Madina Shareef. This document was in the form of a questionnaire pointing out the blasphemous utterances of the Deobandi Scholars. It was an appeal to them to guide the Muslims of the subcontinent by giving their opinions and views, duly stamped, and decide as to what those seditious Maulvis were doing.
Endorsements by the Ulama of Haramain Sharifain
The opinions and views of the illustrious Ulama of Makka Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah were collected and Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi's (Alaihir Rahmah) compiled a book in Arabic. The historical name of this book is Husamul-Haramain Ala Manhar-if-Kufr-e-wal Mayn [The Sword of Two Sanctuaries on the Slaughter-Point of Blasphemy and Falsehood] [1324 A.H.]. There are over 300 endorsements to Husam al-Haramayn which show that the Fatawa of Imam Ahmad Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) were accepted by other scholars.
This volume is a monumental work containing the thirty-three 'Ulamas' verdicts (20 Meccan and 13 Madinite 'Ulama). All of them gave their verdicts based on the consensus, that all the statements that were written by these Deobandi Scholars were Kufr. All of them condemned in unequivocal terms blasphemy. They also exhorted those at the helm of affairs of the Islamic state to indict and punish them according to the Shari'ah Law. If these heretics do not resort to repentance after imprisonment, the Head of the State must order their execution. This is mandatory obligation of the rulers to kill the apostates.
The names of the 'Ulama of Makka and Medina who issued the Kufr Fatwa on the 'Ulema of Deoband in 1320 A.H. (1900 A.D.) are listed below:
'Ulama of Makka Shareef
'Ulama of Medina Shareef
Urdu Compilation of Husaamul Haramain
In 1325 A.H. Mawlana Muhammad Husnain Raza [1892-1981/1310-1401], nephew and Khalifa of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), translated the final compilation into Urdu. Afterwards, the Urdu translation of Husaamul-Haramain Ala Manhar-if-Kufr-e-wal Mayn along with Arabic text was published more than once. Supporters of Husaam-ul-Haramain were among leading 'Ulama of not only Hijaz but of whole Islamic world in earlier decades of 14th Century AH. Both the Urdu and Arabic versions were brought out in the market simultaneously. The publication of this book was hailed by the men of faith and beliefs with great fervour.
Moreover, a book entitled Al-Sawarim al-Hindiya was published by Mawlana Hashmat Ali Khan (Alaihir Rahmah) which contained separate and distinct ratification of the said Fatwa by 268 savants of the then undivided India. In all, the Husaam al-Haramayn of A'la Hadrat mustered the endorsement of 301 savants, whereas the opponents could get nothing in their support.
Reaction from the Deobandis
Only one thing which they could do was that Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Ambethvi, wrote a book Al-Mohannid Ala al-Mofanna stating there in that Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) misconstrued their wording on the basis of which he issued a wrong Fatwa and that their beliefs were quite different from those as understood by Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). In rebuttal of this book, Mawlana Na'eemuddin Muradabadi (Alaihir Rahmah) wrote a book al-Tahaqiqat disproving the charges leveled by Maulana Khalil Ahmad Ambethvi.
It is to be noted that the book Al-Mohannid carried no ratification from savants as against 301 ratifications by Husaam al-Haramayn of A'la Hadrat (Alaihir Rahmah). It is to be noted that according to Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Ambethvi:
The Maulvis who professed such bad beliefs began writing so-called fatawa and books, arranging gatherings for making interpretations over interpretations. However, the wounds and cuts of Husaam-al-Haramain were so deep that they neither had any reply to Husaam-al-Haramain nor had repented over their obnoxious writings. They protected the sham ideas of their elders very stubbornly.
These insolent people flatly deny the charge of having made insulting statements against Allah Ta'ala and His Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam). They say that their statements do not mean this. The answer to this situation is contained in the verse of the Holy Qur'an: “They swear by Allah that they said nothing (wrong). Yet they did say the word of disbelief and did disbelieve after their surrender (to Allah)”. [Tauba:74] It is a fact that liars often deny their own words.
The Disbelieving Statements were Printed and Published by the Deobandis
The books containing the disbelieving statements were printed and published by these insolent people long ago, during their own life-times. Some of these books were printed twice. Time and again the scholars of Ahl-e-Sunnat printed refutations of these disbelieving statements. The printed papers, in which these insolent people have called Allah Ta'ala a liar, under their seals and signatures, can be seen even today. Photos of these documents were taken. This photo still exists in the records of the government of Arabia. This unholy verdict relating to Allah Ta'ala being a liar was printed 18 years ago together with the refutation in Rabi-ul Akhir, 1308 A.H. in the magazine Sianat-un-Naas in Hadiqah-tul-'Ulum Press, Meerut. Later on, in 1318 A.H. a detailed refutation of this verdict was printed in Gulzar-e-Hasnie Press, Bombay. Still later, in 1320 A.H., a very comprehensive refutation of this verdict was printed by Tuhfa-e-Hanafiyah Press at Patna Azimabad. They can neither disown their printed books nor can they invent any other meaning or their words of insult.
In 1320 A.H., these disbelieving statements were printed in a single volume along with a convincing refutation. At that time some Muslim leaders contacted the heads of these insolent people to ask him some intellectual questions. These questions flabbergasted the insolent people very much. But they could neither disown their statements nor invent any interpretation. Their leader said that he had not come to take part in a debate. He further said that he did not want a debate to take place because he and his teachers were ignorant in the art of debating. His final word was that he would continue to say the same thing over and over again, even if others convinced him to the contrary.
The questions together with a detailed account were printed on the 15th of Jamad-al-Akhir 1323 A.H. and this document was handed over to the head and his insolent followers.
Imam Ahmad Raza and the Scholars of Haramayn
These are the words of some scholars of Makka in praise of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah). Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf al-Afghani al-Makki writes: “He whose existence the era is proud of.” [Husam al-Haramayn, p.62]
Shaykh Salih Kamal Mufti Hanafiya writes: “A sea of merits, the coolness of the eyes of scholars, Mawlana, Muhaqqiq, the blessing of the era, Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi. May Allah preserve him.” [Husam al-Haramayn, p.25]
Shaykh Abu'l Khayr Mirdad writes: “Indeed he is that 'Allama and Fadil who solves problems with the light of his eyes his name is Ahmad Raza Khan”. [Husam al-Haramayn, p.23]
Shaykh Abdur Rahman Dahan writes: “The one on whom the scholars rely; the 'Allama of his time; the unique; for whom the scholars of Makka bear witness that he is the leader; the unmatched; the Imam; my master; my refuge; Hazrat Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi. May Allah make us and all Muslims benefit from his life and may He give me his mission as his mission is the mission of Rasoolullah (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam)”. [Husam al-Haramayn, p.46]
Shaykh Muhammad Mukhtar bin 'Ata al-Jawi al-Makki writes: “Indeed the writer is the leader of the scholars and researchers and all his words are the truth. He is from the miracles of our Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) and Allah revealed this miracle at the hands of the Imam”. [al-Dawlah al-Makkiya, p.166]
Shaykh Musa Ali Shami al-Azhari Ahmad Darderwi Madani writes: “The Imam of Imams and the Mujaddid of the Muslim Ummah”. [al-Dawlah al-Makkiya, p.166]
Shaykh Muhammad Yaseen Ahmad al-Khayari Madani praises him thus: “He is the Imam of the Hadith scholars.” [Rasa'il-e-Ridawiya, Mawlana Abdul Hakeem Shahjanhanpuri, p.148]
Concerning the vastness of his knowledge and the extensiveness of proofs that he gives, 'Allama Mawlana Tafaddal al-Haq Makki writes: “These answers show that the writer is an 'Alim, 'Allama, Fahhama and he is to the scholars as the eye is to the body.” [Rasa'il-e-Ridawiya, Mawlana Abdul Hakeem Shahjanhanpuri, p.136]
Due to weakness, Shaykh al-Khutaba, 'Ustad al-'Ulama, 'Allama Mawlana al-Shaykh Ahmad Abu'l Khayr Mirdad was not able to visit Imam Ahmad Raza at the latter's residence. The Shaykh heard al-Dawlah al-Makkiya from cover to cover and when Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was about to leave Makka, he respectfully touched the feet of the Shaykh. The Shaykh addressed Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) and said: “I would kiss your feet and I would kiss your shoes”. [al-Malfuz, vol.1, p.10 - Imam Ahmad Raza]
Shaykh Mirdad also addressed Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) as: “Shaykhanal Ulama Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi.”
Shaykh Sayyid Alawi Maliki Makki says: “When someone from India comes to Makka and we want to see if he is Sunni, we simply mention the name of Imam Ahmad Raza before him. If his face lights up with happiness, we know he is a Sunni and if he shows unhappiness at his mention, we know he is something else.”
Some Titles bestowed upon him by the Noble 'Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah
These titles are recorded in the books, Al Fuyuzaatul Makkiya, Husaamul Haramain and Ad Daulatul Makkiya.
Some Titles bestowed upon him by the Noble 'Ulema of Madinatul Munawwarah
These titles are recorded in the books, Al Fuyuzaatul Makkiya, Husaamul Haramain and Ad Daulatul Makkiya.
THE SCHOLARLY WORKS OF IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN
Earlier in this book, we learnt that Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) gained proficiency in more that fifty branches of knowledge. With this, Imam Ahmed Raza wrote many books on various aspects of Islam. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was a genius writer. He wrote numerous books and treatises in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu on diversified topics.
To date, it has not been fully ascertained as to exactly how many books he wrote, for in doing so, requires research and many personnel. There has risen, over the past years, many Islamic Scholars in the Indo-Pak subcontinent and in other parts of the world, who are making serious attempts in studying or translating the works of this great Mujaddid of Islam.
In 1887, at the age of 30 years, he had completed 75 books and treatises. In 1909, at the age of 43 years, this number increased up to 500. However, it has been estimated that the number of books written by Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi exceed 1000 on more than 50 branches of knowledge. Apart from these contributions, he had written annotations and commentaries on more than 150 books pertaining to various branches of learning.
Professor Dr Muhammad Hassan, Shaikh-ul-Adab, Islamia University, Bhawalpur, said: “Mawlana was a prolific writer. He wrote a large number of treatises. It is due to the fact that his head and heart had surging waves of knowledge which were hard to restrain.”
From the many books that were written by him, a table of 549 have been classified. The table is as follows:
The names of a few books written by Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) have been listed below:
Those who wished to challenge the greatness of Allah Ta'ala by attributing deficiencies to Him were refuted by Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah). He wrote Subhan al-Subbuh 'an 'Aybi Kadhibi al-Maqbuh and wrote another 5 monographs on the issue of Imkan-e-Kidhb.
He also refuted those who believed in Allah having a body by compiling Qawari' al-Qahhar 'alal Mujassamatu'l Fujjar.
Refuting ancient philosophers, he wrote a lengthy monograph named al-Kalimatu'l Mulhima.
He strongly refuted those who insult and curse the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam), his companions, his family, the Mujtahid Imams and the Saints. As for the fitna of Qadian, he tore it from the roots by writing 5 monographs against it and was the first scholar to issue a fatwa of Kufr against it. It can easily be seen from his literary masterpieces that he strove against all the prevalent innovations of his era and saved the Muslim ummah from their dangers.
When Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was 20 years old the Governor of Rampur commented that since he was so brilliant at such a young age, that Imam Ahmed Raza should study a few books in Logic under the supervision of Mawlana Abdul Haq Khairabaadi.
Coincidently, Mawlana Abdul Haq Khairabaadi arrived. They were both introduced to one another. After getting acquainted, he questioned Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) concerning the books that he had studied in the field of Logic. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) told the Moulvi that he had studied the Kitaab Kazi Mubaarak. Mawlana Abdul Haq Khairabaadi did not believe him because he felt that he was too young to study Kazi Mubaarak. He then, very sarcastically, asked, “Have you studied 'Tahzeeb'?” Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) also answered in a very sarcastic manner by saying, “Is 'Tahzeeb' taught after 'Kazi Mubaarak' at your institution?”
After listening to the answers of Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), he began questioning him about his qualifications. Imam Ahmed Raza said that he preferred teaching, engaging in Fatawa work and writing books. When asked about his field of expertise Imam Ahmed Raza replied by saying that he specialised in any field that was necessary at any given time, and this included debating the Wahabis.
When Mawlana Abdul Haq Khairabaadi heard this reply from Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), he remarked, “That crazy person from Badayoun is also in this fanaticism.” (He was referring to Mawlana Abdul Qaadir). On hearing this, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) became offended and said, “Your father, Mawlana Fadhl-e-Haq Khairabaadi, was the first person to debate the Wahabis, and he was the one responsible for writing a book against Isma'il Delhwi. He called this book 'Al Fatawa Fi Butali Taghwa'.”
Mawlana Abdul Haq Khairabaadi then said, “If, in my presence, you answer me in this way, then it will be impossible for me to teach you.” Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) replied by saying, “I have already decided not to study under you, since for me to study under you will be an insult to the Ulema-e- Ahle Sunnah”.
Professor Abdul Shakoor Shad, Kabul University, Afghanistan, said: “The research works of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi are worth presenting. There is due need that Historical and Cultural Societies of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran together with other such institutions keep all his writings duly catalogued in their libraries.”
CELEBRATED ULAMA AND IMAMS OF THE ARAB WORLD WHO PRAISED IMAM AHMED RAZA
The following is the list of some of the Celebrated 'Ulama and Imams of the Arab World who highly praised Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) and acknowledged his books and teaching as strictly in accordance to the Shari'ah and the tenets of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jama'ah:
REFUTING TWO ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE NOBLE IMAM
AGENT OF THE BRITISH
One of the charges leveled against the great Mujaddid of Islam, Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) is that he was an agent of the British.
This is a lie! A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) has never written a single word in support of the British although they were of authority in India. He never attended any of the meetings of the British. He never invited any English to any of his functions. Imam Ahmed Raza never allowed any interview with the British.
He hated the British so much that he used to affix postage stamps on the envelope in such a way that the head of Queen Victoria, Edward VIII and George V were facing downwards. He carried out this practice not only in case of envelopes but he also wrote the address on the postcard by keeping the picture-head of the Queen and King downwards. Such envelopes and postcards of the great Mujaddid A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) can be seen in the libraries of Prof. Dr. Mukhtar al-din Arzu at Aligarh.
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) usually spoke and wrote against the British. His four point economic programme released in 1912 was a big challenge to the British Govt. and their interest in India. Prof. Mas'ud Ahmed has written a separate book Gunahe be Gunahi in this respect. Through his book Ulama-i-Deoband Ki Angrez Dosti published from Allahabad (UP). Allama Mushtaq Ahmad Nizami has proved that, in fact, bonds of friendship existed between the 'Ulema of Deoband and the British Government. Of late, Hadrat Abd al-Naim Azizi, ex-editor of Sunni Dunya, Bareilly has compiled and published a thrilling book, Humphery Kay e'trafat (Memoirs of Mr. Humphery, the English spy in Islamic countries), which unmasks that the real British agent was Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahab. The book is a severe blow to the Wahabi world.
CREATION OF DIFFERENCES AMONGST MUSLIMS
Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) is also accused of creating differences amongst Muslims. The sole basis of this allegation is that the Mujaddid of Islam condemned Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Maulana Khalil Ahmad Ambethvi, Maulana Qasim Nanautvi and Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi as “Kaafir”. It was but natural for these leaders and their supporters to turn against the great Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). Had he supported or agreed to the cause of these leaders, certainly there would have been no schism amongst the Muslims. This is what the opponents of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) want to impress upon the people. How could he have supported those people who insulted the personality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam)? Here are a few points to consider:-
Maulvi Ismail Dehlwi was the first person in India who created differences amongst Muslims by criticizing the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah or Sunni ideology and introducing “Deobandi” ideology. Taqwi'at-al-Iman was the first book in India, which brought about such tumult. Over and above, even if the condemnation of Deobandism alone is taken as the root cause for the Muslim split-up, even then, it shall have to be seen if Imam Ahmed Raza was the first person in this sphere? The fact of the matter is that Maulvi Ismail Dehlwi was first opposed by Shah Abd al-Aziz Dehlawi (Alaihir Rahmah), Shah Makhsoos Ullah Saheb (nephew of Shah Abd al-Aziz) and Shah Munawwar al-din Saheb (grandfather of Mr. Abu al-Kalaam Azad). All these savants were contemporaries of Maulvi Ismail Dehlwi and Imam Ahmed Raza ?was not born by then.
It is also a matter of fact that when Mawlana Fazle Haq Khairabadi (Alaihir Rahmah) ?condemned “Deobandism” and wrote Tahqiq al-Fatwa, A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was not born by then.
History also shows that Mawlana Fazle-i-Rasul Badayuni (Alaihir Rahmah) who condemned Deobandism wrote Saif al-Jabbar and Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) was not born by then.
As a number of scholars condemned Deobandism and as a number of books were written over this issue before the birth of A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah), he cannot be said to the first person to condemn Deobandism and thereby create differences amongst Muslims. Imam Ahmed Raza only followed Ahle Sunnah scholars and endorsed their views in regard to propagation of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah and condemnation of Deobandism. For detailed study of various charges leveled against A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza at and their befitting replies, please see Adhere say ujale tuk written by Hadrat Muhammad Abd al-Hakim Qadri, published from Markazi Majlis Raza, Lahore.
A FEW MIRACLES OF IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN
Without any exaggeration, an entire book on the Karamats (Miracles) of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) can be compiled. In this time, the greatest Karaamat that any person can display is his followance of Shari'at-e-Mustapha (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi never fell short of this in any way. However, a few or his Karaamats are narrated.
Janaab Amjad Ali was a resident of Bhasouri. He was a dedicated Mureed of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). Once Amjad Ali went out hunting. While he was hunting, a stray bullet from his rifle accidentally hit a passer-by, killing him. Amjad Ali was later arrested for murder. He was tried and then sentenced passed on him - death by hanging.
A few days before his execution, a few members of his family came to visit him. With the mere thought of his execution, they began to weep bitterly. He smiled at them and said, “Go home and do not weep. I will return on the day of my execution. My Peer-o-Murshid, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) has stated that he has released me.”
On the night of his execution, his mother went to visit him. She began to weep out of fear as the time was drawing near. But Amjad Ali's faith in the words of his Peer-o-Murshid was very strong. He asked his mother to go home and to stop worrying. He told her that through the Will of Allah Ta'ala, he will return home in a little while to have breakfast with her. Being visibly shaken, she returned home.
The time had finally arrived. Amjad Ali was escorted to the gallows to be hanged. The noose was put around his neck. The authorities asked him if he had any final request. Very calmly, he replied, “There is no need to request anything. My time of death has not yet arrived.” The authorities were baffled by his composure. Nevertheless, they decided to proceed with the hanging. As they were about to hang him, they received a telegram stating that due to the crowning of Queen Elizabeth, a certain number of prisoners were being released. Amjad Ali Sahib's name was on that list! He was immediately released. As promised, he went home to have breakfast with his mother. In this miracle of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), not only was Amjad Ali pardoned but, many other prisoners were freed.
Once, a woman came crying to Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah). She reminded him that he had once made Du'a for her to bear a child and through his Du'a a male child was born. The child had now passed away and she could not bear this loss. She cried and begged the Imam to bring the child back to life.
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) went to her home. He noticed that the child was lying on a bed and was covered with a sheet. In the meantime, the mother of the child continuously asked him to bring the child back to life. Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) removed the sheet from the face of the child, placed his blessed hands over the child's eyes and commanded the child, “Son! Wake up and listen to that which your mother is saying.' All of a sudden, the child began to cry. All those present were astonished. They thanked the great Imam abundantly. He humbly smiled and said, “I did not do anything. He was asleep. All I did was wake him up.”
There lived a certain person in Bareilly Shareef who had very false concepts concerning 'Ulema, Awliyah and Peer-o-Murshid and Mureed relationships. One of his friends, who was on his way to meet Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi, asked this person to accompany him and meet this great Scholar. He also suggested that by discussing his false concepts and beliefs with Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, he will be shown the right path. While discussing whether or not to go, that person with the false concepts, saw a vendor selling fresh sweetmeats. He said, “First buy me some sweetmeats then I will go with you.” His friend agreed to buy it for him on the way back home.
Nevertherless, after much convincing he agreed to accompany his friend to the house of Imam Ahmed Raza. They entered his house and sat there. A Mureed arrived and brought some sweetmeats. It was the procedure in the court of Imam Ahmed Raza that those persons with beards would get two shares, and those without beards would receive only one share as they were still taken as children.
The Mureed who was responsible for distributing the sweetmeats only gave one share to the person who had misconcepts about Awliyah and 'Ulema. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), who was present there and witnessing the entire incident, commanded the Mureed to give that person two shares. The Mureed remarked, “Huzoor! He has no beard. He should get one.” Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) replied, “Give him two. He desires to have two.” When the person heard this he immediately repented and became the Mureed of the great Imam. His desire was to receive two shares and he realised that Imam Ahmed Raza was even aware of the thoughts in his heart.
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S DEMISE
Final Advice before his Demise
The Imam of the Ahle Sunnah, the Mujaddid, Shaykh al-Islam wal Muslimeen, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Hanafi Qadri Barkaati Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) left this mundane world on Friday, the 25th of Safar 1340 A.H. [28 October 1921] at 2.38 p.m.. It was the exact time of the Jum'uah Azaan.
From beginning to end, this shining star of the Ummah was an embodiment of Shari'ah. Hence, even on his death bed, he ordained that nothing be done in contravention to the Sunnah. He said: “From the food of the Fatiha, nothing should be given to the rich. Only the poor will be fed and that too with utmost respect. No one will treat the poor badly and nothing will happen that is against the Sunnah”. [Wisaya Shareef, written on 28th October, 1921 Imam Ahmad Raza]
In the majority of cases, food from the Fatiha is only for the rich and the poor miss out. Imam Ahmed Raza destroyed this ugly practice which was snatching the rights of the poor and in doing so he revived a dying Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam).
At the time of the demise of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), a certain Saint of Syria, dreamt of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) while he was in the Baitul Muqaddas. In his dream, the Saint saw many Sahaba-Ikraam (Radi Allahu Anhum) seated around the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). All of them seemed to be waiting for someone. The Saint says that in his dream he asked, “Ya Rasoolallah! Whose presence is being awaited?” The Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Ahmed Raza Khan.” The blessed Saint then asked, “Who is Ahmed Raza Khan?” The Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) answered, “An Aalim from Bareilly.'
This Saint immediately journeyed from Syria to Bareilly Shareef to meet Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), but to his dismay, he learnt that Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) had already departed from this world.
It is said by those true lovers of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) that after he passed away he was spiritually transported to Madinatul Munawwarah to be close to the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam). They say this because once, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) personally said: “The time of demise is close and India is India. But, I do not even feel like passing away in Makka. My desire is this, that I should pass away with Imaan in Madinatul Munawwarah and then be buried with kindness in Jannatul Baqi. Almighty Allah is Most Powerful.”
The date of the Wisaal of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) was actually deduced by himself from the Holy Qur'an four months and twenty days prior to his passing away: “And there shall be passed around them silver vessels and goblets.” [76:15]
The benevolence of Allah Ta'ala and His most beloved Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alayhi Wasallam) remained with Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) till his demise. He said that my weakness has left me in such a state that I may not even recognise some of my own relatives but all the matters of the Shari'ah are still with me and I have not forgotten any of them.
May Allah Ta'ala shower abundant blessings on the grave of the great Imam and may He raise us with him on the Day of Judgement. Aameen.
The Mazaar Shareef (Blessed Tomb) of Sayyidi A'la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza (Alaihir Rahmah) is situated in the Mohalla Saudagran, Bareilly Shareef in India (U.P.). Each year, in the month of Safar, during the 'Urs Shareef of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah), hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all over the world present themselves in Bareilly Shareef to partake in the 'Urs Shareef of the Mujaddid of Islam, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah).
ORGANISATIONS AND INSTITUTES SPIRITUALLY AFFILIATED TO IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN BARELWI
In the year 1904, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah) founded “Darul Uloom Manzare Islam” in Bareilly Shareef. This great religious institution has thus far served the Muslim world superbly. Each year, a large number of students graduate from this institution as Fadhils, Aalims, Hufaaz and Qur'ra. With the exception of Madressa Manzare Islam, there are also scores of institutes and organisations world-wide that are spiritually affiliated to Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (Alaihir Rahmah).