BRIEF HISTORY OF ALA HAZRAT IMAM AHLE SUNNAT MAULANA SHAH AHMAD RAZA KHAN REHMATULLAH ALAIH
IMAM AHMED RAZA'S REHMATULLAH ALAIH BIRTH
Imam Ahle Sunnat Maulana Shah Ahmed Raza Khan Rehmatullah Alaih 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 Rehmatullah Alaih, his father, Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, had a wonderful dream. He immediately disclosed this dream to his father, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, 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 Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih 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 Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam", Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Rehmatullah Alaih.The date of birth of A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih 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)
The name that was given to him at birth was the beautiful name of "Muhammad." The name corresponding to that year of his birth was "Al Mukhtaar." His grandfather, a great Scholar of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, 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 Rehmatullah Alaih added the title "Abdul Mustafa" to his name signifying his great love and respect for Sayyiduna Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. The Grand Mufti of Makkatul Mukarramah, Sheikh Hussain bin Saleh Makki Rehmatullah Alaih, also gave him the title of "Zia'udeen Ahmed."
ILLUSTRIOUS FAMILY HISTORY
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Al-Qaderi Rehmatullah Alaih, was the son of Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, who was son of Allama Mawlana Mohammed Kaazim Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Shah Mohammed Azam Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Sa'adat Yaar Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, who was the son of Allama Mawlana Sa'eedullah Khan Rehmatullah Alaih. The great forefathers of A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih migrated from Qandhar (Kabul) during the Mogul rule and settled in Lahore. Allama Mawlana Sa'eedullah Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, the first forefather of A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih, held a high government post when he arrived in the Indo-Pak sub-continent. His son, Allama Mawlana Sa'adat Yaar Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, after gaining victory in the city of Ruhailah, was elected as the Governor of that city. Allama Mawlana Hafiz Kaazim Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, the son of Mawlana Mohammed Azam Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, was a Tax-collector in the city of Badayun. His son, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, the illustrious grandfather of A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih, 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 Rehmatullah Alaih father and grandfather.
A'la Hadrat's Rehmatullah Alaih father, Hadrat Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih, received his education at the hands of his father, Allama Mawlana Raza Ali Khan Rehmatullah Alaih. 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 Rehmatullah Alaih father passed away in 1297 A.H. (1880) when he was 24 years old.
ASTONISHING EVENTS OF CHILDHOOD
At the age of 3, A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih 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 Rehmatullah Alaih converse with the person in pure Arabic. They were surprised. The person who spoke to A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih was never seen again in Bareilly Shareef!
IMAM AHLE SUNNAT REHMATULLAH ALAIH PIETY AS A CHILD
A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih 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 Rehmatullah Alaih 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 Rehmatullah Alaih 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.
IMAM AHLE SUNNATS REHMATULLAH ALAIH FIRST LECTURE
Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih delivered his first lecture at the age of 6 years. It was during the glorious month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih stood on the Mimbar (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 Rehmatullah Alaih spoke on the Wilaadat (Birth) of Sayyiduna Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. He brightened the hearts of the listeners with the love of Sayyiduna Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. The people listening were thoroughly impressed by the maturity and eloquence of this lecture which was being delivered by a 6 year old child!
He Rehmatullah Alaih was a master of many sciences and particularly in Hanafī fiqh, he Rehmatullah Alaih was head and shoulders above all his contemporaries. Even his adversaries have acknowledged that he was peerless in this discipline. He has many ijāzahs or degrees of authorization in Hanafī fiqh, and by his own affirmation, the most important one is from the Muftī of Makkah, Shaykh Ábd ar-Raĥmān as-Sirāj ibn Ábdullāh as-Sirāj Rehmatullah Alaih. This chain of transmission reaches Imām Abū Hanifah Rehmatullah Alaih in twenty seven links and in further four to the Master of all creation, Muĥammad Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
He Rehmatullah Alaih has an authorization of ĥadīth transmission from the great Meccan scholar, Malik al-Úlamā, Sayyid Aĥmed Zaynī Daĥlān ash-Shāfiýī Rehmatullah Alaih. He Rehmatullah Alaih is widely known for his refutation of Wahābīs, other innovators and libertarian religion-reformers like Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khān, Abu’l Kalām Āzād and other) of the early 20th century.
He Rehmatullah Alaih took the Qādirī path and was initiated in that Sūfī order by Sayyid Abu’l Ĥusayn Nūrī of Mārahra Rehmatullah Alaih (a town in northern India).
He Rehmatullah Alaih was a great lover of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam as is evident in his writings and endeavors. He Rehmatullah Alaih was also a great poet who has to his credit abundant and sublime verse in Arabic, Persian and Urdu.
The anthology of his Urdu and Persian verse is presented in a slim volume with two parts and named: ‘Ĥadāyiq e Bakh’shish’ meaning ‘Gardens of Salvation’.
IMAM AHLE SUNNATS REHMATULLAH ALAIH OTHER BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE ATTAINED FROM VARIOUS ULEMA
Ala Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat Maulana Shah Ahmad Raza Khan (Rehmatullah Alaih) learnt:
CORRECT RECITATION WITH TAJWEED
NAMES OF NARRATORS OF AHADITH
BIOGRAPHY OF THE HOLY PROPHET (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)
IN-DEPTH STUDY OF ARABIC AND LITERATURE
A'la Hadrat (Rehmatullah Alaih) states:
"These ten branches of knowledge, I achieved at the feet of the following teachers:
Syed Shah Aale Rasool Mahrahrewi (Rehmatullah Alaih)
Maulana Naqi Ali Khan(Rehmatullah Alaih)
Shaykh Ahmad Bin Zain Dahlaan Makki (Rehmatullah Alaih)
Shaykh Abdur Rahman Makki (Rehmatullah Alaih)
Shaykh Hussain Bin Slaeh Makki (Rehmatullah Alaih)
Syed Shah Abul Hassan Ahmad Noori (Rehmatullah Alaih)"
BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE ATTAINED WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF ANY TEACHER
A'la Hadrat (Rehmatullah Alaih) learnt:
THE TWELVE BRANCHES OF MATHEMATICS
SCIENCE OF INHERITANCE,
SCIENCE OF PROSODY
SCIENCE OF HISTORY
PROSE IN HINDI
PROSE IS PERSIAN
IN-DEPTH STUDY OF ARABIC
IN-DEPTH STUDY OF PLAIN PERSIAN WRITING
When A'la Hadrat (Rehmatullah Alaih) was questioned about his amazing capabilities in solving intricate and confusing Mathematical theories, and as to who 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 Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)." (Al Mizaan, pg. 342)
WRITINGS AND WORKS OF A'LA HAZRAT
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 SAYYIDUNA A'LA HADRAT (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) EXCEED 1 000 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.
TOTAL AMOUNT OF BOOKS RECOVERED 549
The names of a few books written by A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) have been listed below:
1. Kanzul Imaan (translation of Holy Quran)
2. Fatawa Radawiyyah (12 volumes approx. 12 000 pages)
3. Ad Daulatul Makkiya Bil Madatul Ghaibiya
4. Al Mu'tamadul Mustanad
5. Al Amn o wa Ula
6. Alkaukabatush Shahabiya
7. Al Istimdaad
8. Al Fuyoozul Makkiyah
9. Al Meeladun Nabawiyyah
10. Husaamul Haramain
11. Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen
12. Hidayake Bakhshish
13. Subhaanus Subooh
14. Sallus Say yaaful Hindiya
15. Ahkaame Shariat
16. Az Zubdatuz Zakkiya
17. Abna ul Mustapha
18. Tamheede Imaan
19. Angothe Choomne ka Mas'ala
Wisaal of Imam Ahmed Raza Rehmatullah Alaih
Imam Ahmed Raza's Rehmatullah Alaih 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.
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 Rehmatullah Alaih 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 Rehmatullah Alaih 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 Rehmatullah Alaih , a certain Saint of Syria, dreamt of the Holy Prophet Muhammad sallal laahu alaihi wasallam 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 sallal laahu alaihi wasallam. 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.
Once, A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih personally said: "THE TIME OF DEMISE IS CLOSE AND INDIA IS INDIA. BUT, I DO NOT EVEN FEEL LIKE PASSING AWAY IN MAKKAH. MY DESIRE IS THIS, THAT I SHOULD PASS AWAY WITH IMAAN IN MADINATUL MUNAW'WARA AND THEN BE BURIED WITH KINDNESS IN JANNATUL BAQI. ALMIGHTY ALLAH IS MOST POWERFUL
The Mazaar Shareef (Blessed Tomb) of Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat Rehmatullah Alaih 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 Rehmatullah Alaih, 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 Rehmatullah Alaih
May Almighty Allah shower his choicest blessings upon the Mazaar-e-Anwaar of this great Saint of Islam.