Following are few Ḥadīths about Imām Rabbānī, the Mujaddid of the 2nd millenium of Islam, Shaykh Aḥmad Fārūqī Sirhindī (971-1034 AH) raḍiy-Allāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).
A Ḥadīth showing the dignity of the scholars of this ’Ummah:
علماء أمتي كانبياء بني اسرائيل
Our beloved Prophet ṣall-Allāhu ‘alaihi wa-sallam said:
“The scholars of my ’Ummah are like the prophets of Banī Isrā’īl.”
This Ḥadīth is counted as a weak Ḥadīth, as some scholars doubt its attribution to the Prophet peace be upon him. However, with respect to its content, it is very similar to another authentic Ḥadīth which reads “Scholars are the inheritors of Prophets”. Therefore many scholars have accepted this Ḥadīth as valid, or at least the content of this Ḥadīth to be true.
Although this Ḥadīth concerns all the great scholars of this ’Ummah, yet one-to-one likeness cannot be ruled out. Many prophets were sent to Banī Isrā’īl, but at the turn of every thousand years, a great Messenger of Allah (Rasool) would arrive in the previous nations and bring new rules and new Shariah. Sayyidunā Mūsā and Sayyidunā Īsā peace be on them came at the turn of a millennium. Similarly, this ’Ummah also needed a very powerful Mujaddid (reviver) when one thousand years passed from the demise of the Holy Prophet ṣall-Allāhu ‘alaihi wa-sallam. Thus Allāh Almighty, with his great mercy on humankind and specially on this ’Ummah, sent Imām Rabbānī Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī and made him a reviver of a millennium, unlike other scholars and revivers whose efforts were limited to their times. The renovation done by Imām Rabbānī will last for the full 2nd millennium of the Hijrī calendar.
This is the well-known Ḥadīth about the arrival of a Mujaddid (reviver) in this ’Ummah at the turn of every century
عن أبو هريرة رضي الله عنه عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أنه قال:
( إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ لِهَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا )
رواه أبو داود (رقم/4291) وصححه السخاوي في “المقاصد الحسنة” (149)
Narrated from ’Abū Huraira raḍiy-Allāhu ‘anhu, from the Messenger of Allah ṣall-Allāhu ‘alaihi wa-sallam, who said:
“Surely, Allah will send for this ’Ummah at the advent of every one hundred years a person (or persons) who will renovate its religion for it.” [Sunan ’Abū Dāwūd]
This is a Ḥadīth categorized as Ṣaḥīḥ (authentic) as all of its narrators are trustworthy. Muftī Taqī Usmānī writes about the authenticity of this Ḥadīth:
“One of the narrators of this ḥadīth is slightly doubtful about whether this ḥadīth is reported by Sayyidinā ’Abū Huraira raḍiy-Allāhu ‘anhu as a saying of the Holy Prophet or as his own saying, though he affirms it as a saying of the Holy Prophet “to the best of his knowledge”. But even if it is held to be a saying of ’Abū Hurairah himself, he could not have predicted this happening with such certainty unless he had learned it from the Holy Prophet. For this reason, the scholars of ḥadīth have taken it as an authentic ḥadīth.”
This is a Ḥadīth particularly referring to the Mujaddid as a person and predicting his birth.
قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَكُونُ رَجُل فِي أُمَّتِي يُقَالُ لَه صِلَّة يَدخُلُ الجَنَّةَ بِشِفَاعَتِه كَذَا وَ كَذَا
(رواه السيوطي في جمع الجوامع)
The Prophet ṣall-Allahu ‘alaihi wa-sallam said:
“There will be a person in my ’Ummah who will be called Ṣillah (literally meaning a link or connection), with whose intercession many (people) will enter the Paradise.” [Suyūtī]
The Great Mujaddid writes in his letter written to his venerable son Imām Muḥammad Ma‘ṣūm (Volume 2 letter 6):
اَلحَمدُ للهِ الَّذِي جَعَلَنِي صِلَّةً بَينَ البَحرَينِ وَ مُصلِحًا بَينَ الفِئَتَينِ
“All praise is for Allah who made me a Ṣillah (link) between two oceans and a reformer between two groups.” [Maktūbāt, volume 2 letter 6]
The letter is written to explain the spiritual realities that occur after every 1000 years, in which the Great Mujaddid also discusses the real purpose of his birth. Thus the above words are not just a common expression, but an affirmation that the ḥadīth mentioned above is actually said for him.
Furthermore, this ḥadīth has been accepted by great scholars of ḥadīth such as Shaykh ‘Abd-al-Ḥaqq Muḥaddith Dihlawī in Akhbār al-Akhyār. Shāh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Muḥaddith Dihlawī presents this ḥadīth in Fatāwā ‘Azīziya as a proof for the birth of Mujaddid. He states further that in the first thousand years, there has been no one with the title Ṣillah and this is proved from Naqliyāt and Mukāshifāt (transmitted knowledge and spiritual revelations).
Ṣillah refers to a connection between two entities. Imām Rabbānī was a connection between the two oceans of Shariah and Taṣawwuf. Before him, the two groups of scholars and Ṣufis had a gap which was widening. Many Ṣufis had adopted opinions which were contrary to the established beliefs of Shariah, and they had developed practices such as Sima‘ which were against the rules of Shariah. On the other hand, scholars of Islamic sciences were getting away from the spirituality and from the true practice of Taṣawwuf. Some of them were even against the Ṣufi practices completely. This wide gap was filled by Imām Rabbānī, whose spiritual descendants were both the greatest scholars of ḥadīth and fiqh as well as the greatest Ṣufi masters of their times.
بعث الله رجلا على رأس احد عشر مأة سنة هو نور عظيم اسمه اسمي بين السلاطين الجابرين ويدخل الجنة بشفاعته رجال الوفا (الحديث)
The Holy Prophet ṣall-Allāhu ‘alaihi wa-sallam said:
“Allah will send a man at the head of the eleventh century who will be a magnificent light, his name will be my name, (he will come) between two mighty kings, and thousands of people will enter the Paradise with his intercession.”
The original source and sanad of this ḥadīth is not known to the author. However, it has been reported in the books of the pious masters of the Naqshbandī order.