Imam Raza Ahmed Khan


Imam Raza Ahmed Khan

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem As Salaatu Was Salaamu Alaika Ya Rasoolullah ()

Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Al-Qaderi

by M.F. Khan*


Imam Ahmed Raza’s Blessed Birth

Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) was born on a Monday, the 10th of Shawaal 1272 A.H. (14th June 1856), at the time of Zohar Salaah in a place called Jasoli, which is in the city of Bareilly Shareef, India.

A few days before the birth of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu), his father, Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu), had a wonderful dream. He immediately disclosed this dream to his father, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu), 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.”

This was the good news that was given to Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu) concerning the birth of none other than the “emerald from amongst the Treasures of Almighty Allah”, the “sweet-scented rose from the fragrant garden of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)”, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu).

The date of birth of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was extracted by himself from the Holy Quran.

“These are they in whose hearts Allah has inscribed faith and helped them with a spirit from Himself.” (58:2)

His Blessed Name

The name that was given to him at birth was the beautiful name of “Mohammed.” The name corresponding to that year of his birth was “Al Mukhtaar.” His grandfather, a great Scholar of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu), also gave the young child the beautiful name of “Ahmed Raza.” It was by this name that he was famously known. Much later in his life, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) added the title “Abdul Mustafa” to his name signifying his great love and respect for Sayyiduna Rasulullah (salal laahu alaihi wasallam).

The Grand Mufti of Makkatul Mukarramah, Sheikh Hussain bin Saleh Makki (radi Allahu anhu), also gave him the title of “Zia’udeen Ahmed.”

Illustrious Family History

Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Al-Qaderi, was the son of Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, who was the son of Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan, who was son of Allamah Mawlana Mohammed Kaazim Ali Khan, who was the son of Allamah Mawlana Shah Mohammed Azam Khan, who was the son of Allamah Mawlana Sa’adat Yaar Khan, who was the son of Allamah Mawlana Sa’eedullah Khan (radi Allahu anhum ajma’in).

The great forefathers of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) migrated from Qandhar (Kabul) during the Mogul rule and settled in Lahore. Allamah Mawlana Sa’eedullah Khan, the first forefather of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhum), held a high government post when he arrived in the Indo-Pak sub-continent. His son, Allamah Mawlana Sa’adat Yaar Khan (radi Allahu anhu), after gaining victory in the city of Ruhailah, was elected as the Governor of that city.

Allamah Mawlana Hafiz Kaazim Ali Khan, the son of Mawlana Mohammed Azam Khan (radi Allahu anhum), was a Tax-collector in the city of Badayun. His son, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu), the illustrious grandfather of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), 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 A’la Hadrat’s (radi Allahu anhu) father and grandfather.

HIS FATHER: A’la Hadrat’s (radi Allahu anhu) father, Hadrat Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu), received his education at the hands of his father, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu). 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. A’la Hadrat’s (radi Allahu anhu) father passed away in 1297 A.H. (1880) when he was 24 years old.

HIS GRANDFATHER: One of the greatest Sufis of his time, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu) 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). A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was at this time only 10 years old.

Imam Ahmed Raza’s Piety as a Child

A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was a child of 4 years 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, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) 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 A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) replied, “When the eyes are tempted, then the heart becomes tempted. When the heart is tempted, then the concealed parts become tempted.” So shocked and affected was this woman on hearing such a reply from a child that she lost consciousness.

Another incident which happened in the Month of Ramadaan also s hows A’la Hadrat’s (radi Allahu anhu) piety and fear of Allah. Fasting was not Fardh (obligatory) upon him because he was still a child, but on that day he intended to keep fast. It should be known that for a little child to keep fast in India during the summer season was very difficult. The average temperature on a summer’s day rises to approximately 50 degrees Celsius. On that day, the heat of the sun was intense. Hadrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu) took his young son, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), into a room where sweets were kept. He closed the door and said, “There, eat the sweets.” A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) 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 A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) 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 Hadrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu). He then left the room with A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu).

Imam Ahmed Raza’s First Lecture

Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) delivered his first lecture at the age of 6 years. It was during the glorious month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) stood on the Minbar (Pulpit) and delivered a lecture before a very large gathering which also consisted of Ulema. His lecture lasted for approximately 2 hours. A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) spoke on the Wilaadat (Birth) of Sayyiduna Rasulullah . He brightened the hearts of the listeners with the love of Sayyiduna Rasulullah . The people listening were thoroughly impressed by the maturity and eloquence of this lecture which was being delivered by a 6 year old child!

His Intelligence as a Child

A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) 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.” A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) answered, “Praise be to Allah that I am a human.”

When he was 8 years old, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) 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, “I’lm-us- Thuboot,” under the guidance of his father, he noticed a few objections and answers of his father on the side of the page. A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) 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 the young A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) to his heart and said, “Ahmad Raza! You do not learn from me, but you teach me.”

Professor Dr Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Head of Department: Urdu, Sindh University, Sindh (Pakistan) said: “Allamah Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan is among the outstanding scholars. His deep learning, intelligence, vision and acumen, surpassed that of great contemporary thinkers, professors, renowned scholars and orientalist. Indeed, there is hardly any branch of learning that is foreign to him.”

Astonishing Events of Childhood

At the age of 3, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was once standing outside the Raza Musjid in Bareilly Shareef. An “unknown” person, attired in an Arabian garb, approached him and spoke to him in the Arabic language. Those who were present and witnessed this incident heard the young A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) converse with the person in pure Arabic. They were surprised. The person who spoke to A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was never seen again in Bareilly Shareef!

A Majzoob (one drowned in his love for Almighty Allah) by the name of Hadrat Basheeruddeen Sahib (radi Allahu anhu) used to live at the Akhoon Zada Musjid in Bareilly Shareef. He spoke harshly to anyone who visited him. A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) 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 (radi Allahu anhu).” A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) replied that he was the grandson of Hadrat Raza Ali Khan (radi Allahu anhu). The Majzoob immediately embraced him and took him into his little room. He asked A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) if he had come for any specific matter, but A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) said that he had come to ask him to make Dua for him. On hearing this, the Majzoob, for approximately half an hour, made the following Dua: “May Allah have mercy on you, May Allah bless you.”


Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) spent much of his time also refuting those who insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet . He left no stone unturned in safe-guarding the dignity and integrity of Holy Prophet, in spite of being personally attacked by the misguided. These personal attacks did not bother him in the least bit!

Allamah Abdul Hamid, Vice Chancellor of Al Jamia Al-Nizamiyya

(Hyderbad, India), said: “Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan was a Sword of Islam and a great commander for the cause of Islam. He may justifiably be called AN INVINCIBLE FORT THAT HELPED TO DEFEND THE BASIC TENETS AND IDEAS OF THE AHLE SUNNAH WAL JAMA’AT. It is on accord of his untiring efforts that due respect and regard for the Messenger of Allah, Holy Prophet Muhammad and other Sufis and Saints of Islam is still alive in the Muslim Society. His opponents had to mend their ways. No doubt he is the Imaam (Leader) of the Ahle Sunnah. His written and compiled works reflect immense depth and vision.”

Justice Allamah Mufti Sayyid Shuja’at Ali Qadri (radi Allahu anhu), Shariah Court, Government of Pakistan (Islamabad), said: “He was pious like Ahmad bin Hambal and Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani. He had true acumen and insight of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf. He commanded the force of logic like Imam Razi and Imam Ghazzali, bold enough like Mujaddid Alf Thaani and Mansoor Hallaj to proclaim the truth. Indeed, he was intolerant to non-believers, kind and sympathetic to devotees, and the affectionates of the Holy Prophet .”

The adversaries of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) levelled many accusations and tried desperately in defending their Kufr statements. After much proofs, when it became absolutely clear to A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) that certain misguided individuals were not prepared in withdrawing their Kufr statements and making Tauba, and in order to protect Islam, he passed Kufr Fatawas against those persons. We should remember that he passed the “Fatawa-e-Takfeer” (Kufr Fatawa) against those persons who insulted the status and dignity of Almighty Allah and His Rasool . He passed the Fatawa-e-Takfeer on persons such as Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi and others because, through their writings, it was evident that they had insulted the Holy Prophet .

We will quote some of the following blasphemous statements that were made by them:

In page 51 of “Baraahin Qatia“, Khalil Ahmed Ambetwi says: “After looking at the condition of Satan and the Angel of Death, it can be gained that they possess a great depth of knowledge and this has been proven from Quran and Ahadith. To prove such knowledge for Fakhre Aalam (Muhammad ) without proof from the Quran and Ahadith, but from common sense, is a false thought. If, to do so is not a Shirk, then in which category of faith does it fall?”

In page 6 of “Hifzul Imaan“, (Printed in Mazahirul Uloom), Ashraf Ali Thanvi says: “If Knowledge of the Unseen refers to partial knowledge, then what speciality is there in Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Such knowledge is possessed by Zaid and Amr (any Tom, Dick and Harry), every child, insane people and all types of animals.”

In page 5 of “Tahzeerun Naas“, (Published in Makhtaba Fayz Nazd Jami Masjid Deoband), Qasim Nanotwi says: “Prophets are superior to their followers only in Knowledge, but in good deeds, followers sometimes seem equal and occasionally even become superior to them.”

In Part 2, page 12 of “Fatawa Rasheedia“, (Published Makhtaba Rasheedia Jami Masjid Delhi), Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi says: “The word ‘Rahmatul lil A’lameen’ is not a speciality of Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). But other Prophets, Saints and great Ulema are also cause for mercy unto the worlds, even though Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the highest of them all. Therefore, to use this word on others, is also permissible.”

If one examines the original books that were written by such persons, one will find other similar disrespectful statements found in their writings.

Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat’s (radi Allahu anhu) cautiousness in declaring a person a Kaafir is to be noted in many of his books. In his book, “Subhaanus Subooh“, he academically destroys the arguments of Molwi Ismail Dehlwi. Yet, at the end of the book, A’la Hadrat says, “The Ulema have not termed this individual as a Kaafir, therefore, one has to be careful.”

Once again, refuting the arguments of Molwi Ismail Dehlwi and a few of his “infamous” followers in another book, “Al Kaukabatush Sha’haabiya“, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) says, “In our opinion (the opinion of Islam), to term a person a Kaafir and to control one’s tongue is an act of extreme precaution and analysis.”

In another treatise entitled, “Sallus Suyooful Hindiya“, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) states: “There is indeed a difference between accepting words of Kufr and branding a person a Kaafir. We have to be extremely careful. We have to remain silent. If there is the minutest possibility that he is still a Muslim, we should fear terming that person a Kaafir.”

In his book, “Subhaanus Subooh“, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) says, “We do not give any comment on the Kufr of Molwi Ismail Dehlwi, simply because Sayyiduna Rasulullah has warned us against terming the Ahle Qibla as Kaafirs. (It is only possible) to term a person a Kaafir if his Kufr becomes clear as the sun and the minutest indication does not remain that he is a Muslim.” (Tamheed-e-Imaan, pg. 42-43)

From the above statements, we clearly see how careful A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was, in terming a person a Kaafir. He was merely fulfilling his duty as a conscientious and responsible Muslim. The fault was indeed of those individuals, who even after being warned, remained steadfast in their own beliefs and words of Kufr.1 2 3

As we have already stated earlier, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) sent many of the blasphemous and insulting statements to the Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah and Madinatul Munawwarah for clarification. They did not hesitate in passing the Fatawa of Kufr against such people who insulted Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).


Comments by the Noble Ulema of Makkatul Mukarramah

Ustaad Ulema-e-Haram, Allamah Sa’eedullah (radi Allahu anhu):

“My respected brother, who is striving in the path of Nabi , is a perfect teacher, in other words, Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu). May Almighty Allah grant him great reward, and accept his endeavour, and may Almighty Allah build his respect into the hearts of the people of knowledge.” Ameen.

Allamah Mufti Muhammad Saleh Kamal (radi Allahu anhu):

“The learned person on this earth, the sea of great knowledge, the coolness of the eyes of the Ulema-e-Haq, is Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu). Salutations upon the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and all the spiritual guides, especially Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu). May he always be protected.” Ameen.

Aftaabul Uloom, Allamah Sheikh Ali bin Siddique Kamal (radi Allahu anhu):

“Our leader and bright star, the sharp blade on the throats of the Wahabis, our respected teacher, our famous leader, is Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu). May Almighty Allah grant him tranquillity and keep him victorious over his opposition.” Ameen.

Comments by the Noble Ulema of Madinatul Munawwarah

Mufti Taaj’udDeen Ilyaas Hanafi (radi Allahu anhu):

“That famous and professional Aalim, Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) is from amongst the Ulema-e-Hind. May Almighty Allah grant him great reward and success. May Almighty Allah grant him Barkah in his life and destroy all those false sects through his blessing.” Ameen.

Sheikh Malikiya, Allamah Sayed Ahmad Juz’iri (radi Allahu anhu) :

“May Almighty Allah brighten up the lives of the Muslims through (the Sadaqa of) Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu). May Almighty Allah increase his age and allow all his future generations to be amongst the Ahle Jannah.” Ameen.

Allamah Khaleel bin Ebrahim Kharbooti (radi Allahu anhu):

“May Almighty Allah grant the Muslims benefit forever through the blessings of this Kaamil Faadhil, Allamah Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu). O Allah! Give glad tidings to Islam and Muslims.” Ameen.

Allamah Mawlana Umar bin Hamdaan (radi Allahu anhu):

“Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) is that great Aalim, great philosopher and such a great researcher that his research baffles the mind. May Almighty Allah protect him and always keep him pleased.” Ameen.

Comments by the Noble Ulema of the Indo-Pak Sub-continent

Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (radi Allahu anhu):

“On the day of Qiyamah, when Almighty Allah asks me concerning what I had brought for Him from earth, then I will present Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu).”

Hadrat Sayed Shah Abul Husain Ahmad Noori (radi Allahu anhu):

“A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) is the brightness and the torch of the Khandaan-e-Barakaati.”

Hadrat Allamah Ali Hussain Kichauchawi (radi Allahu anhu):

“My path of Shariah and Tariqah is that which is the path of Huzoor Purnoor, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu).”

Hadrat Maulana Mu’eenuddeen Sahib (radi Allahu anhu):

Phira hoo me us gali se Nuzhat ho jis me gumra sheikh o kaazi

Raza e Ahmad Usi me samjunga muj se Ahmad Raza ho Raazi.”

Allamah Naee’muddeen Muradabadi (radi Allahu anhu):

“The expertise that Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) possessed in Fiqh was such that great Ulema of the East and West were humbled before him.”

Imam Ahmed Raza in the Eyes of Others

Justice Mufti Sayyid Shujaat Ali Qadri (radi Allahu anhu), Shariah Court, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad (Pakistan):

“A’la Hadrat’s appearance is such a commanding stature in terms of knowledge and action that every man of letters considers it an honour and pride to write about him. This worthless man also has the honour of opportunity and has contributed some write-ups and articles of A’la Hadrat. My first compilation in Arabic, entitled ‘Mujaddid-al-Mata’ has been published and distributed the world over, and this practice is going on regularly and steadily.

“All the men of letters know that A’la Hadrat was born in such a period when the Muslim Ummah was being threatened by different Fitnah (sedition) from all sides. Among all the prevalent sedition, the most dangerous and harmful was one which meant to infect non-Muslim elements in the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnat.

“A’la Hazrat performed incomparable services to safeguard the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnat. He wrote several books for the rejection of Shirk (Polytheism) and for the dissuasion from the Bid’ats (innovations in Deen causing divergences). He safe-guarded the status of Nabuwat (Prophethood), Sahabiyat (Companionship), Ahle Bait (the Members of the Prophet’s family) and Wilayat (the Friendship with Allah the Magnificent). He published crushing and silencing articles against the criticism brought forward by the atheists, heretics and apostates against the revered Mystics of Islam and Islamic Mysticism. As far as my study is concerned, A’la Hazrat always had good opinion about all the Muslims, and took all Muslims as Muslims, did not scratch and touch the people’s beliefs, and did never scold unreasonably or speak rubbish to others. However, if someone committed any mistake in writing or speech, he invited him repeatedly to the Truth. This is the method which is called the good conduct of the Holy Prophet (). May Allah the Magnificent favour us through the benevolence of the Ahl-Ullah (Friends of Allah).”

Ziya-ul Mashaa’ikh, Allamah Muhammad Ibrahim Farooqi Mujad’didi [Afghanistan] (radi Allahu anhu):

“No doubt that Mufti Ahmed Raza Khan Bareilvi was a great scholar. He had the insight in the norms of Muslim conduct and behaviour and stages of spiritual transcendentalism (Tariqah). His competence as regard to exposition and explanation of the Islamic thought; his approach to the inner knowledge deserves high praise, and his contribution in Islamic Jurisprudence will always be remembered in respect of their relevance to the basic principles of Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’at. Finally, it is not an exaggeration to state that his research works shall always serve as a beacon light for those who traverse this faith.

Professor Muhammad Rafi’ullah Siddique, Director of College Education, Hyderabad, Region – Hyderabaad (India):

“Let the thought of recollecting minds recall the circumstances of Muslims in 1912 when Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan appealed to the Ummah to control conspicuous consumption and save money to use for productive purposes. Now, everywhere the governments are emphasising the need for austerity to solve the multifarious economic problems. Will the men of vision not realise the far sightedness of the late A’la Hadrat Barelvi? J.M. Keynes was awarded the highest title for the same proposition and exposition which Mawlana Barelvi had disclosed at least 24 years before him. Alas! Muslims did not pay heed to his advice. 

Professor Preshan Khattak, (Former Chairman) Pakistan Academy of Letters, Government of Pakistan:

“Imam Ahmed Raza’s personality needs no introduction to Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan. Such a rare encyclopedic person is born after a long awaiting period. He served as a search- light for his own people and proved a strong rock for the powers of persecution and cruelty. Nobody can doubt his knowledge and greatness. The Holy Prophet () has declared academic differences as sources of blessing and goodness for the evolution of the Deen of Islam and civilisation. This has opened new vistas of thinking and has helped in creating more vastness and comprehension in the Deen of Islam in order to cope with the need of the changing time. Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi has completed an important role for the evolution of the Islamic thinking in the Sub- Continent. It is not easy to present and interpret Islamic teachings in the present age without making use of his writings and views.”

Professor Dr Ayub Razvi, Head of Department Urdu, Urdu College, Pakistan, Karachi:

“The learned Mawlana Ahmad Raza Khan (1856-1921) was a famous scholar, Jurist, Mathematician, Writer and Genius. He had special insight in Mathematics. There is no parallel to his expertise in Jurisprudence.”

Dr Ilahi Bakhsh Ali Awan, Peshawar (Pakistan):

“Various aspects of his personality are very impressive and valuable. His real contributions in different fields are so comprehensive and exhaustive that men of thought and vision find it difficult to pin point the most attractive and impressive aspect of his intellectual personality which is so vast in every direction that sight is lost in wilderness.”

Dr Muhammad Tahir Malik, Chairman, Department of Islamic Learning, University of Karachi (Pakistan):

“After a thorough study of many books and treatises of Imam Ahmed Raza, I have concluded that he gives much importance to the teacher, book, paper and school, etc. in the articles allied to Education. In our present day education system, a teacher is no more estimated than a salaried servant, and the book is regarded as a collection of letters and works. From our teaching institutions, the respect of the book and teacher has faded away. This is why the restrictions of a teacher and pupil have been reduced to nothing at our schools, colleges and universities.

“Today, to ignore or to forget the books of knowledge, gifted by theses teachers has become a common practice. One sees often the pupils dancing for pleasure on the teachers promenade and playing with their turbans. Why is this? The answer outlined by Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi is that our ideology of education is lacking in high and sacred values. The Imaam Sahib says, ‘Keep in vies (striving) the bonds of your teachers. If respect is given to the paper, the book and the school, this undesirable situation can not happen’.”

Dr Ghulam Yahya Anjum, Department of Comparative Religions, Hamdard University, New Delhi:

“Imam Ahmed Raza Khan is an outstanding personality among 20th century renowned scholars of Islam. Very few can claim his eminence because if someone has some similarity with him in certain particular fields, he lacks significant achievement in some other field in which Imam Ahmed Raza is leading.”

Dr Hassan Raza Khan Azami, Patna:

“A study of the ‘Fatawa Razvi‘ (Judicial Opinions) of A’la Hadrat, has revealed his multi-dimensional personality to me.

1. As a Jurist his discussion reflects his reach of imagination, deep insight, wisdom, sagacity and unparallel scholarly talent.

2. I found him a great historian, that goes on quoting numerous historical references to support his view point in the matter under consideration.

3. He appears to be an expert in Arabic grammar and diction alongside being an inspiring Naatia poet.

4. He is observed as a great scholar of Ahadith, when he mentions logical interpretation of the Ahadith that he quotes.

5. After a deep study of his works, one finds in him not only a renowned Jurist, a great Logistician but also an outstanding Physicist, Astronomer, Mathematician, Philosopher, Philologist and Geographer whose expertise covers the minutest of details of the subject.”

Professor Wasim Barelvi, Rohailkand University, Bareilly, U.P

(Dawn, Karachi, May 13 1992):

Indian poet, Wasim Barelvi, speaking at a function in his honour on Monday night, emphasised the need for fresh research on Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi and other Muslim scholars of the Sub-Continent, particularly those from Bareilly.

Eulogising Allamah Ahmed Raza Khan, Professor said that his services as a pioneer of a religious school is known to everybody, but his achievements as a writer have not yet been properly highlighted.

He said that a research work on Allamah Ahmed Raza Khan compiled in Rohailkand under his supervision has made revelations regarding the writings of Allamah Barelvi. This research work is likely to challenge the history of Urdu prose as it proves that Allamah Barelvi should be counted as one of the pioneers of Urdu prose, and as one of the great writers who spread modern thought in the Sub-Continent.”

Justice Naeemud’deen, Supreme Court of Pakistan:

“Imam Ahmad Raza’s grand personality, a representation of our most esteem ancestors, is history making, and a history uni-central in his self.

“You may estimate his high status from the fact that he spent all his lifetime in expressing the praise of the great and auspicious Holy Prophet , in defending his veneration, in delivering speeches regarding his unique conduct, and in promoting and spreading the Law of Shariah which was revealed upon him for the entire humanity of all times. His renowned name is ‘Muhammad’ (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the Prophet of Almighty Allah.

“The valuable books written by a encyclopedic scholar like Imam Ahmed Raza, in my view, are the lamps of light which will keep enlightened and radiant the hearts and minds of the men of knowledge and insight for a long time.”

Dr Barbara D. Metcalf, Department of History, Barkley University, United States of America:

“He was outstanding from the very beginning on account of his extraordinary intelligence. He enjoyed a divine gift of deep insight in Mathematics. It is said that he solved a mathematical problem for Dr Ziaud’deen for which the learned Mathematician was intending to visit Germany. Ahmed Raza himself was a towering figure, revered for his extra-ordinary memory, mental agility, and intellectual capacity, and honoured as a Mujaddid and a Shaikh. Guarded in his relation to the British Government, he sought above all to guard what he saw as correct practice and make religion vital in the personal life of Muslims of his day.”

The Poet, Doctor Iqbal:

“I have carefully studied the decrees of Imam Ahmed Raza and thereby formed this opinion; and his Fatawa bear testimony to his acumen, intellectual calibre, the quality of his creative thinking, his excellent jurisdiction and his ocean-like Islamic knowledge. Once Imam Ahmed Raza forms an opinion he stays firm on it; he expresses his opinion after a sober reflection. Therefore, the need never arises to withdraw any of his religious decrees and judgements. With all this, by nature he was hot tempered, and if this was not in the way, then Shah Ahmed Raza would have been the Imam Abu hanifa of his age.” (Arafat, 1970, Lahore) In another place he says, “Such a genius and intelligent jurist did not emerge.”

Abul Ula Maudoodi:

“I have great respect in my heart for the knowledge and status of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu). He has great foresight over the knowledge of Deen and even his opposition are forced to accept this fact.”

Ashraf Ali Thanwi:

“I have great respect in my heart for Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu). He calls us Kaafirs, but he says this only on the basis for his love for the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and not out of any other reason.”

Muee’nuddeen Nadwi:

“The late Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) in this present time was “The Person of Knowledge”. His every Fatawa, be it in support or refutal of anyone, is worthy of being studied.”


Imam Ahmed Raza’s Final Advise before his passing; Wisaal of Imam Ahmed Raza; Mazaar Shareef

Imam Ahmed Raza’s Final Advice before his Passing Away

1. Nothing with photos of living objects should be near me when my Ruh (Soul) leaves.

2. Recite Sura Yaseen and Sura Ra’ad beside me.

3. Recite Durood in abundance.

4. Keep those who are weeping away from me.

5. Give my Ghusl according to the Sunnah.

6. Either Mawlana Haamid Raza or Allamah Amjad Ali should perform my Janaza Salaah. (radi Allahu anhum)

7. Do not delay my Janazah.

8. When taking my Janazah, recite “Kaabe ke Badru Duja”. (naat/qasidah)

9. Do not read anything in my praise.

10. Place me softly in the grave.

12. My grave should be dug according to my height.

13. My Kafan (shroud) should be according to the Sunnah.

14. The food of my Fatiha must be given to the poor.

15. Haamid Raza must give a fair share of everything to Chothe Mia (Huzoor Mufti Azam Hind Maulana Mustafa Raza Khan (rahmatullahalai). If not, my soul will be displeased. (radi Allahu anhum)

16. All of you must remain steadfast on Deen. Do not leave the path of Shariah. Stay on the Deen on which I was.

Wisaal of Imam Ahmed Raza

The brightly shining sun of Bareilly Shareef, The Coolness of the Eyes of the Ulema, The Mujaddid of the Century, The Imam Abu Hanifa of his time, The Ghousul Azam of his time, The Sweet-scented Rose from the Fragrant Garden of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) 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 Jummah Azaan.

The date of the Wisaal of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was actually deduced by himself from the Holy Quran four months and twenty days prior to his passing away: “And there shall be passed around them silver vessels and goblets.” (76:15)

At the time of the demise of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), a certain Saint of Syria, dreamt of the Holy Prophet Muhammad while he was in the Baitul Mukaddas. In his dream, the Saint saw many Sahaba-Ikraam (radi Allahu anhum ajma’in) seated around the Holy Prophet (). All of them seemed to be waiting for someone. The Saint says that, in his dream, he asked, “Ya Rasoolallah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! Whose presence is being awaited?” The Holy Prophet 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.”

When this Saint awoke, he immediately journeyed from Syria to Bareilly Shareef to meet A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), but to his dismay, he learnt that A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) had already departed from this world.


Mazaar Shareef

The Mazaar Shareef (Blessed Tomb) of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) is situated in the Mohalla Saudagran, Bareilly Shareef in India (U.P.). Each year, in the month of Safar, during the Urs Shareef of Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), 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, Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu).

May Almighty Allah shower his choicest blessings upon the Mazaar-e-Anwaar of this great Saint of Islam.


There were many Mureeds (Disciples) and Khulafa (Spiritually Successors) of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu). They have spreaded far and wide over the Indo-Pak and also in all parts of the world. Nearly 35 are in the other parts of the world and 30 in Indo-Pak Sub-Continent. These are the leading ones:

1. Hujjatul Islam, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Muhammad Haamid Raza Khan Noori Barakaati (radi Allahu anhu),

2. Ghousul-Waqt, Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind, Hadrat Mawlana Mustapha Raza Khan Noori Barakaati (radi Allahu anhu),

3. Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Abdus Salaam Jabalpuri (radi Allahu anhu),

4. Sadrul-Afaadil, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Na’eemuddeen Muraadabadi (radi Allahu anhu),

5. Malikul Ulema, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Sayyid Zafar’uddeen Bihaari (radi Allahu anhu),

6. Mubbalig-e-Azam, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddique (radi Allahu anhu),

7. Sadrus Shariah, Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Mufti Amjad Ali (radi Allahu anhu),

8. Qutbul Madinatul Munawwara, Hadrat Allamah Sheikh Zia’uddeen Ahmed Al Madani (radi Allahu anhu),

9. Burhaan-e-Millat, Hadrat Allamah Burhaanul Haq (radi Allahu anhu),

10. Hadrat Allamah Mawlana Mukhtar Ahmad Siddiqi Meerati (radi Allahu anhu),

11. Sheikh Muhammad Abd al-Hayy (radi Allahu anhu),

12. Sheikh Ahmad Khalil (radi Allahu anhu),

13. Sheikh Ahmad Khudravi (radi Allahu anhu),

14. Sheikh Muhammad bin Abi Bakr (radi Allahu anhu),

15. Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id (radi Allahu anhu),

16. Hadrat Mawlana Sayyid Ahmad Ashraf (radi Allahu anhu), &

17. Hadrat Mawlana Shah Sulayman Ashraf (radi Allahu anhu)

The Khulafa of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) need no introduction to the Muslim World. Their impact, influence and contribution towards the development of Islamic Culture and Islamic thinking have left its mark in the pages of history. For the sake of attaining blessings and Barakah, we will discuss, very briefly, the lives of three of the famous Khulafa of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu).

Sadrush Shariat, Hadrat Allamah Amjad Ali Razvi (radi Allahu anhu): 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.

This Khalifa of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was one of the Head Advisers of the Department of Islamic Deeniyat at the Aligarh Muslim University. Moulvi Sulaiman Nadwi (a non-Sunni) said the following words concerning Allamah Sadrush Shariat (radi Allahu anhu), “Mawlana Amjad Ali is totally experienced in the field of teaching and he is well-versed in solving the new needs of the classroom.”

Hadrat Allamah Amjad Ali (radi Allahu anhu) 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 Allamah Sadrush Shariat (radi Allahu anhu) 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. One of his sons, Muhaddith-e-Kabeer, Hadrat Allamah Zia-ul-Mustapha Qadri and, another, Allamah Baha-ul-Mustapha Qadri are teachers today at their respective Darul Ulooms in India.

Allamah Sheikh Zia’uddeen Al Madani (radi Allahu anhu): He was one of the most famous Khulafa of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) who lived in Madinatul Munawwara. Before coming to Madinatul Munawwara he lived for some time in Baghdad Shareef. Allamah Zia’uddeen Madani (radi Allahu anhu) arrived in Madinatul Munawwara in the year 1327 A.H. Here, he made Nikah to a pious lady from a Sayed family.

He was a great Aalim, Sufi and Wali of his time. He hailed from a very illustrious family. His father was the famous Allamah Abdul Hakim Siyalkoti (radi Allahu anhu), a powerful Islamic Scholar of his time, who gave the title of “Mujaddid-e-Alf Thaani” to Imam Rabbani, Imam Ahmed Sarhindi Faruqi (radi Allahu anhu), the Mujaddid of the 11th Islamic Century.

With the exception of being the Khalifa of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), he also gained Khilafat from various other Akaabireen (Great Ulema). Some of them are: Hadrat Allamah Sheikh Ahmad Shams Maghribi, Sheikh Mahmoodul Maghribi, Mawlana Abdul Baaqi Farangi, and Allamah 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. Allamah Zia’uddeen Madani (radi Allahu anhu) 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. His son, Hadrat Allamah Fadhl-ur Rahmaan Al Madani, is presently living in Madinatul Munawwarah and is following closely in the footsteps of his illustrious father.

Allamah Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Meerati (radi Allahu anhu): He was born in the year 1892 and passed away in the year 1954 at the age of 62. He was amongst the most famous Khulafa of A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu).

His Eminence, Hadrat Mawlana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi (radi Allahu anhu) 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 of Burinia, Merwate Tifinch, the French Governor of Mauritius, Mahifl Donawa, a Minister of Trinidad and Mr F. Gengson, the 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 in Colombo, the Sultaan Masjid in Singapore and the Naagarya Masjid in 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 (radi Allahu anhu) 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.”

His Eminence passed away in Madinatul Munawwara in 1954 and is buried in Jannatul Baqi.

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.”

Appendix 1


First Taqreez

“All Praise is due to Allah, the Master of the Worlds, Who has made the Ulema-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi () the freshness of this world. By manifesting truth and guidance, and filling cities and heights, and by siding the religion of Sayyidul Mursaleen (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) they saved the society of Huzoor (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) from violation and (with their bright proofs) they destroyed the heresy of those who were misled.

“After sending praise and salutations, I have seen that which that learned person and professional teacher has purely written. It is a struggle on behalf of the religion of Muhammad (). In other words, my brother and my respected Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu), who in his book, “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad” has refuted the evil leaders of the false sects and false beliefs. Such people are worse than all evil, wicked and seditious people. Our author, in his book, has summarised and stated the names of those wrongdoers, who due to their wrong doings, are soon to become the worst and the lowest amongst the infidels.

“May Almighty Allah grant him (Imam Ahmed Raza) great reward for unveiling the wickedness and wrongness. May Allah accept his efforts and place his most high honour into the hearts of all people.”

He has said this with his tongue and his writing has given an order. He is hopeful in gaining all he wishes from his Creator.


Second Taqreez

“All Praise is for Allah Who is One. After Praise, I have heard of this bright and evident book. I have realised that our leader and most learned sea of great wisdom, Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) has made obvious the wrongs of those who have come out of Deen, those who walk on the path of the infidels and the wicked ones, in his book “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad.” From among their corrupt beliefs, not one of them did he leave un-examined.

“O! Readers, it is essential for you to hold on to this Kitaab which it’s author has written with great swiftness. You will find in this book bright and evident proof in refutal of these groups. Especially those individuals who intend to undo the objective which is already bound. Who are these individuals who are known as Wahabis? From amongst them is “Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani” who has claimed Prophethood, and the other ones who have come out of Deen and insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) are Qasim Nanotwi, Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, Khalil Ahmad Ambetwi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi and all those who follow their ways.

“Almighty Allah grant Imam Ahmed Raza Khan great reward for he has given cure and has answered his decree which is in his book, “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad”, in which are also the decrees of the Ulema of Makkah and Madina. Due to the corruption and trouble, it has become necessary for them as they (the misguided) are spreading corruption on this earth. They and all those on their path.

“May Almighty Allah execute them where they behave arrogantly. May Allah give Imam Ahmed Raza glad tidings and shower His blessings upon him and his children amongst those who will speak truthfully until Qiyamah. Ameen.”

One in need of forgiveness from his Powerful Creator.


Third Taqreez

“All Praise is due to Almighty Allah Who has shown the path to those whom He has guided and with His Justice, misguided him who he has left, and granted the Believers an easy path to gain advice. He has opened their hearts to bring faith in Almighty Allah and bear witness with their tongues and keep sincerity with their hearts and follow that which Allah and His Books have shown.

“Peace and Salutations upon him whom Allah has sent as a mercy unto the worlds, and upon him sent down His Clear Kitaab in which is the bright explanation of everything and to terminate the wrongness of the disbelievers. This Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), whose proof and arguments are clear, has made it obvious from his practices. Salutations upon his family for they are guides, and upon his Companions who have made the Deen firm and beneficent, and upon their followers until Qiyamah, especially, the four A’ima-e-Mujtahideen and those Muslims who are their followers.

“After Praise and Salutations, I put my sight on the book of a learned person on this earth. He has widened the path of knowledge and, in it (the book) made obvious every interpretation and utterance in his clearly convincing and sufficient arguments. He is Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) on whose name is “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad.”

“May Almighty Allah protect his life and always keep him happy. Now, that which is in refutal of those people, cursed and evil Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, who is the Dajjal Khazzab of the last decade. Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi and Khalil Ambetwi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi, degrading and insulting Nabi . THEN, IT IS NO DOUBT THAT THEY ARE KAAFIRS AND THOSE WHO HAVE THE POWER TO EXECUTE THEM, THEN IT IS NECESSARY FOR THEM TO DO SO, TO GIVE THEM THE DEATH SENTENCE.”

This has been said by the servant of Allah



1. A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) by Abdun Na’eem Azeezi

2. Al Kaukabatush Shahabiya by A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu)

3. Al Malfooz – by Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind (radi Allahu anhu)

4. Al Mujad’did Ahmad Raza by Allamah Yaseen Akhtar

5. Ash Shah Ahmad Raza Barelvi by Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Qadri 6. Chaudwi Sadi ke Mujad’dide Azam by Allamah Zafruddeen Bihari (radi Allahu anhu)

7. Hisaamul Haramain by A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu)

8. Imam Ahmad Raza aur Alam-e-Islam by Professor Mas’ud Ahmad

9. Imam Ahmed Raza Kaun, by Moulana Mubeen-ul-Hudda Noorani

10. Imam Ahmad Raza Reflections & Impressions, by Prof. Dr Muhammad Masud Ahmed M.A. PH.D. – Courtesy of Idara-i- Tahqeeqat-e-Imam Ahmed Raza (Regd.), Karachi, Pakistan

11. Imam-e-Naath Goyaa by Allamah Akhtarul Haamidi

12. Karamaat-e-A’la Hadrat by Iqbal Ahmad Razvi

13. Shah Ahmed Rida Khan – The “Neglected Genius of the East” by Professor Muhammad Ma’sud Ahmad M.A. P.H.D. – Courtesy of “The Muslim Digest”, May/June, 1985, pp. 223-230

14. Tajaliyaat-e-Imam Ahmad Raza by Qari Amaanat Rasool Razvi

15. The Message International, Published by World Islamic Mission, Vol.1 No. 6, October 1986


1There is no doubt that Imam Ahmed Raza (radhiAllahanhu) passed such a fatwa [of kufr] on Gangohi, Abethvi and Thanvi. These quotes explain his carefulness when giving such fatwas and highlight the fact that he did not pass such a fatwa lightly. First he made writings refuting and exposing the statements of disrespect made by the above mentioned people. When they refused to retract their words, he passed the fatwa on them. If I am correct in my dates, Molwi Ismail Dehlvi passed away many years before Imam Ahmed Raza Khan’s (radhiAllahanu) time. Therefore, although Imam Ahmed Raza wrote in his book refuting the writing of Ismail Dehlvi that some of Dehlvi’s writings were of kufr, he did not pass kufr fatwa on the Ismail Dehlvi because Dehlvi was deceased and Dehlvi could obviously not write some defense or explanation of himself. Therefore, Imam Ahmed Raza did not pass a fatwa of kufr on Ismail Dehlvi, he only wrote that the writing of Dehlvi had statements of kufr.  On the other hand, Gangohi, Ambethvi and Thanvi were alive during the time of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan and were given the opportunity to retract their words, but they did not retract their words.  In the post where it says that Imam Ahmed Raza was careful when giving such fatwa is to dispel the misconception given by Deobandis of today that Imam Ahmed Raza loved to give a fatwa of kufr on “everyone.”


About Deobandis

Salam alaykum, concerning the following remarks:

Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan [6] False ALLEGATIONS by WAHABIS

Thanawi accepted the compliments by his mureed that he was a rasul; he insulted Rasul; Khaleel said that shayTaan knew more than Rasul; Gangohi said that Allah could lie; Nanothvi said that a prophet can appear; Ismayil Dahalwi made atrocious remarks on Rasul and awlia if the shari`ah compels him to make takfeer, he as a mufti should. incidentally, these handful are everyone to the blind-followers of the dobs.

I must say I have not seen clarity or reliable precision in this series of posts, or even basic adab with the scholars of Islam.

All of the above allegations have to be very carefully and in conscience double-checked in the light of evidence and according to the procedure of Shari`a. At the very least one should quote the exact words of the authority or authorities who leveled those charges against these scholars, as well as the latter’s exact original expressions under dispute, if they exist or if one has real knowledge of them.

To say: “he who doubts in their kufr (deobandis) is also a kaafir” is completely rejected. Ya hu, Dar al-`Ulum in Deoband is an Islamic university whose curriculum consists entirely in the mothers of books in Sunni `aqida, usul, and fiqh, and which has produced the greatest fuqaha’ and hadith scholars of India since its inception. Are you throwing all these, their students (past and present), us, and the general public who has no idea of these divergences into the Fire with a few casual words?

Even if this condemnation did not apply to Deobandis, it is still unacceptable to say: “he who doubts in the kufr of X is also a kaafir” except in very, very clearcut cases such as idolatry — we seek refuge in Allah. Even then, there is a difference between the kufr of X in saying a particular statement tantamount to kufr, and his being a kafir. There is a great difference. What about those who are unclear about it for various reasons, such as not ascertaining the exact meaning of X’s words? Are we going to be like Abu al-`Ala’ al-Bukhari who declared: “he who doubts in the kufr of Ibn `Arabi is also a kafir, and he who calls Ibn Taymiyya Shaykh al-Islam is a kafir”? Is it not better to be like Mulla `Ali al-Qari who said that in such cases the best course is silence?

The rule is: “We do not declare as disbelievers any of the People of the Qibla other than upon denial of a mass-transmitted article of Islamic Law.”

The Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — called Mu`adh a rasul. Shaytan knows more unbeneficial knowledge than anyone else, including the Prophets. Allah said — in meaning — “And they schemed, and Allah schemed, and Allah is the best of schemers.” That is, He throws back the lies of liars upon them in their own terms. And Allah knows best what the above-named scholars meant in their original remarks.

What I know about the scholars of India listed above and below is that they are pure Sunnis. They defended tawassul and refuted Salafi innovations on the matter of ziyara of the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him:

– `Allama muhaddith Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi (d. 1905 CE) – `Allama muhaddith Khalil Ahmad al-Saharanfuri (d. 1927 CE) – `Allama muhaddith Shaykh Mahmud al-Hasan al-Deobandi – `Allama shaykh Mir Ahmad Hasan al-Husayni – `Allama muhaddith shaykh `Aziz al-Rahman al-Deobandi – `Allama murshid shaykh `Ali Ashraf al-Tahanawi – `Allama shaykh Shah `Abd al-Rahim al-Ranfuri – Shaykh al-Hajj al-Hakim Muhammad Hasan al-Deobandi – Mawlawi Qudrat Allah – Mawlawi mufti Kifayat Allah – `Allama shaykh Muhammad Yahya Saharanfuri

Their anti-Salafi fatwa on ziyara is available at if I remember correctly.

As for Abu al-Qasim Nanotwi, it is enough credit for him that he stood firmly in the face of the Ahmadiyya heresy.

As for `Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi (d. 1304) who apparently was insulted in another post, he and Ahmad Zufar al-Tahanawi (d. 1393) are the greatest hadith scholars that India has known in the last hundred years, and this Sunni Muslim is definitely innocent of anyone who attacks them. `Abd al-Hayy on ziyara alone wrote three long fatwas in refutation of Ibn Taymiyya.

Said ashraf `Ali Thanawi listing matters of kufr and shirk in his book Bahishti Zeywar: to do meelad ash-sharif, to visit the graves, to seek help from them etc, are all shirk.

I do not remember reading the above in my English Bashishti Zewar and I doubt that Ashraf `Ali al-Tahanawi said that to celebrate mawlid or visit the graves is shirk. As for seeking help apart from Allah it is shirk whether from the living or the dead.

Ashraf `Ali al-Tahanawi wrote a treatise entitled “Nayl al-Shifa’ bi Na`l al-Mustafa” (Obtaining remedy through the sandals of the Elect One) found in his book Zad al-Sa`id (Provision for the fortunate). The muhaddith of India Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandihlawi said in his English translation of al-Tirmidhi’s Shama’il:

“Maulana Ashraf `Ali Thanwi Sahib has written in his book Zaadus Sa`eed a detailed treatise on the barakat and virtues of the shoes of Rasulullah Sallallahu `Alayhi Wasallam. Those interested in this should read that book (which is available in English). In short, it may be said that it [the Prophet’s sandal] has countless qualities. The `ulama have experienced it many a time. One is blessed by seeing Rasulullah Sallallahu `Alayhi Wasallam in one’s dreams; one gains safety from oppressors and every heartfelt desire is attained. Every object is fulfilled by its tawassul (means, petition, request). The method of tawassul is also mentioned therein.”

In his book Nashr al-tib (in Urdu, p. 6 and 215 of the Lahore edition) the same Ashraf Ali Thanwi cites among his evidence the hadith of Jabir: “The first thing that Allah created is the light of the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him” on the authority of `Abd al-Razzaq, and relies upon it.

Does all this strike the Sunni Muslim as the custom of one who condemns Mawlid or tawassul through the Prophet and awliya? La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.

May Allah have mercy on all of them, and may Allah teach us to realize the position of the ulamas of this Community in His presence.

Dr. GF Haddad

 Takfir of Deobandi Scholar

With regard to the following reply of Brother Reza Attari to my question about the takfir of certain Deobandis by Imam Ahmad Reza Khan in light of his abstaining from takfir of Shah Isma`il Dehlavi:

There is no contradiction here.  There is no doubt that Imam Ahmed Raza radhiAllahanhu passed such a fatwa on Gangohi, Abethvi and Thanvi. … When they refused to retract their words, he passed the the fatwa on them. If I am correct in my dates, Molwi Ismail Dehlvi passed away many years before Imam Ahmed Raza Khan’s  radhiAllahanu time. Therefore, although Imam Ahmed Raza wrote in his book refuting the writing of Ismail Dehlvi that some of Dehlvi’s writings were of kufr, he did not pass kufr fatwa on the Ismail Dehlvi because dehlvi was deceased and dehlvi could obviously not write some defense or explanation of himself. … I hope this is more clearer to you now.

Definitely, thank you. I hope that it will be also clear to you, dear Brother Raza, that Sayyid Muhammad ibn `Alawi does not endorse this takfir of Gangohi, as he has a chain of transmission for al-Tirmidhi’s Sunan going back, through his father `Alawi ibn `Abbas, to al-Gangohi, as I stated in my April 28 post titled “al-Gangohi” where I cite that silsila in greater detail. As you may know, the narration of a Kafir is not accepted in Hadith transmission. If Sayyid Muhammad retained this chain among those he passes down to his students for dissemination, it means he obviously does NOT consider Shaykh Rashid al-Gangohi other than a *faithful and reliable Sunni hadith scholar*. Consequently I cannot, any more than my Shaykh, endorse the takfir of Shaykh Rashid al-Gangohi as a valid judgment, nor do I hold any opinion about him other than the favorable judgment I just mentioned. Was-Salam. Hajj GibrilGF Haddad

*Caveat Emptor:

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and in no way reflect the official position of As-Sunna Foundation of America or its associate organizations or  members.