The teachers of Hadith at Mazahirul Uloom Saharanpur

By Ml. Ashiq Ilahi Meerati
al-ʿAnāqīd al-Ghāliyah min al-Asānīd al-ʿĀliyah
Translated by Shoaib A. Rashid in The Silent Admirer – 21 September 2014

At the college of Mazāhir al-ʿUlūm in Saharanpur, the first among those that took up the task of teaching Hadith, especially the teaching of Sahīh Bukhāri, was Shaykh al-Mashāyikh Maulana Muhammad Mazhar al-Nānautawi (May Allah sanctify his secret) after whom the school is named. He began at this college in 1867 three months after the school was established. He remained there until he returned to Allah on 24 Dhu ‘l-Ḥijjah 1302/3 October 1885. During this long time period, he taught books of Quranic exegesis, Hadith, and other subjects from the various sciences. He would teach “the Two Sahīhs” with intense fervour and complete thoroughness. Outstanding scholars graduated at his hands. Among them was the author of Badhl al-Majhūd fī Ḥall Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Shaykhu Mashāyikhinā Maulana Khalīl Aḥmad al-Sahāranpūri th. al-Muhājir al-Madani. Joining the college of Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm in 1874 was the famous Hadith scholar and researcher of Sahīh Bukhāri and Jāmiʿ Tirmidhi, Maulana Ahmad ʿAlī al-Sahāranpūri. He remained there until he passed away in 1881. In these years he taught the six books of Tafsīr and Hadith, especially “the Two Sahīhs.” He would demonstrate total mastery in Hadith and its sciences (May Allah have mercy on him).

After the passing away of the college’s senior Hadith scholar, Maulana Muhammad Mazhar al-Nānautawi, his position of teaching Hadith was inherited by Maulana ʿAbd al-ʿUlā until he resigned in 1889. After him, Hadith was taught by Shaykh Ahmad ʿAlī al-Murādābādi and Shaykh Habīb al-Rahmān, son of the muhaddith Maulana Ahmad ʿAlī al-Sahāranpūri (May Allah Most High have mercy on all of them). Shaykh Aḥmad ʿAlī resigned in 1893.

As for Shaykh Habīb al-Rahmān, he taught Hadith from 1889 until he left to Hyderabad and resigned from his services to the college in 1897. At this time, the honourable Hadith scholar Maulana Khalīl Aḥmad al-Sahāranpūri had been teaching the books of Hadith and other sciences at the college of Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband with his friend, Shaykh al-Zaman Maulana Mahmūd al-Ḥasan, famously known as Shaykh al-Hind, as mentioned above. So when Maulana Ḥabīb al-Rahmān resigned from the service of teaching at the college as we discussed prior, and the college now required a skilful teacher and outstanding Hadith scholar, the great imam Quṭub al-ʿĀrifīn Maulana Rashīd Aḥmad al-Gangōhi (May Allah Most High sanctify his secret) commanded the most honourable muhaddith Maulana al-Shāh Khalīl Aḥmad al-Sahāranpūri to transfer from Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband to Mazāhir al-ʿUlūm Saharanpur. And so [Shaykh Khalīl Ahmad] obeyed the command and took up the directorship of education there. He arrived at the college of Mazāhir al-ʿUlūm on 8 Jamād al-Ākhar 1314/1896. He, being a graduate of that college, was most worthy and suited to take this position. He assumed the directorship of education and the teaching of Hadith and other sciences for thirty years, until he migrated to Madinah Munawwarah. During this time period, he taught “the Two Sahīhs” and others from among the Six Books numerous times over.

In Rabīʿ al-Awwal of 1335/1917, he began working on Badhl al-Majhūd, a commentary on Sunan Abī Dāwūd, with the help of his most special pupil Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Maulana Muḥammad Zakariyyā al-Kāndhlawi (May Allah sanctify their secrets). They completed it in Madinah Munawwarah in Riyad al-Jannah on 21 Shaʿbān 1345/1927, as we will soon mention in detail if Allah wills.

We cannot forget to mention the honourable Shaykh Maulana Muḥammad Yahyā al-Kāndhlawi (May Allah Most High have mercy on him), for he taught Hadith at the college of Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm from 1326/1908 until Allah caused him to pass away in 1334/1916.

When the most honourable Shaykh Khalīl Ahmad al-Sahāranpūri migrated to Madinah Munawwarah in 1926, the lessons of Hadith were entrusted to his honourable students. Among them was Ustādh al-Asātidhah Maulana al-Sayyid ʿAbd al-Latīf who became the principal of the school after his migration, so he would teach Sahīh Bukhāri as well as tend to the affairs of the college. Also among them were the esteemed Shaykh Maulana ʿAbd al-Rahmān al-Kāmalpūri, the courageous Shaykh Maulana Muḥammad Asʿadullāh al-Rāmpūri, and the outstanding Shaykh Maulana Manẓūr Ahmad Khān al-Sahāranpūri (May Allah Most High grant them all abode in the prosperity of His Paradise).

Maulana ʿAbd al-Rahmān al-Kāmalpūri taught the Jāmiʿ of Imam al-Tirmidhi and Sharh Maʿānī al-Āthārof Imam Abu Jaʿfar al-Ṭahāwi, and some years he would teach Sahīh Muslim as well. Maulana Manẓūr Ahmad Khān taught Sahīh Muslim numerous times over. Sometimes Maulana Muhammad Asʿadullāh taught it as well, and I was among those that read Sahīh Muslim under him in 1944. As for the Sunan of Imam Abu Dāwūd, it was taught by our Shaykh Muḥammad Zakariyyā al-Kāndhlawi (May Allah sanctify his secret) from 1929 to 1954. Then Maulana Muhammad Asʿadullāh taught it from 1954 to 1965. After Maulana ʿAbd al-Rahmān al-Kāmalpūri left to Pakistan, the Sunan of Imam al-Tirmidhi was taught by the honourable jurist Maulana al-Qārī Saʿīd Ahmad al-Ujrārawi, the senior muftī of the college, as well as the honourable Shaykh Maulana Amīr Ahmad al-Kāndhlawi.

As for Sharh Maʿānī al-Āthār of Imam al-Ṭahāwi, after Maulana ʿAbd al-Rahmān al-Kāmalpūri it was taught by Maulana Manzūr Ahmad al-Sahāranpūri, Maulana Muḥammad Asʿadullāh al-Rāmpūri, and Maulana Amīr Aḥmad al-Kāndhlawi (May Allah Most High have mercy on all of them). As for the books of Imam al-Nasā’ī and Imam Ibn Mājah, and the Mu’attā according to both narrations, they were all taught by Maulana Manẓūr Ahmad al-Sahāranpūri. I read them all under him in the year 1944 (May Allah Most High have mercy on all of them).

In the year 1926, our Shaykh Maulana Muḥammad Zakariyyā al-Kāndhlawi (May Allah sanctify his secret) travelled with his shaykh to the Ḥijāz to help him in the preparation of Badhl al-Majhūd. When he returned to Saharanpur in 1929, he took up the teaching of Sahīh Bukhāri and the Sunan of Imam Abī Dāwūd al-Sijistāni (May Allah Most High have mercy on him). He taught the Sunan until 1954, and he did not stop teaching Sahīh Bukhāri until difficulties and illnesses caught up with him and forced him to give up teaching.

At this point, the teaching of Sahīh Bukhāri was entrusted to his astute and intelligent pupil Maulwī Muhammad Yūnus al-Jaunpūri (May Allah Most High preserve him). The honourable master [i.e. Shaykh Muḥammad Zakariyyā] himself bequeathed this post to Maulwī Muhammad Yūnus during his own lifetime. He (May Allah Most High preserve him) taught for fourteen years during the life of the Shaykh, and he was quite worthy to perform this honourable service. May Allah Most High deliver amongst us more folk along the likes of him. Afterwards, the teaching of Hadith at this college continued at the hands of the students of these eminent personalities, such as Muftī Muzaffar Ḥusayn al-Ujrārawi, Muftī Muhammad Yahyā, and Maulana Muhammad ʿĀqil al-Sahāranpūri (May Allah Most High preserve them all).

The teachers of Hadith at Darul Uloom Deoband

Dar-ul-Uloom-Deoband

By Ml. Ashiq Ilahi Meerati
al-ʿAnāqīd al-Ghāliyah min al-Asānīd al-ʿĀliyah
Translated by Shoaib A. Rashid in The Silent Admirer – 21 September 2014

The first person to have the honour of being the director of education at Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband was the honourable Hadith scholar, Shaykh al-Mashāyikh Muḥammad Yaʿqūb, son of Fakhr al-ʿUlamā wa Zayn al-Fuqahā wa Ustādh al-Asātidhah Maulana Mamlūk ʿAlī al-Nānautawi (May Allah sanctify his secret). Shaykh Muhammad Yaʿqūb acquired knowledge of the various sciences from his father, and he took Hadith from Shāh ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Mujaddidi (May Allah Most High have mercy on him). He taught and spread benefit in Delhi and Ajmer. Then he took up the position of director of education at the college of Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband, where he taught until he returned to Allah Most High in the year 1884 in his hometown of Nānautah. His position as the director of education was taken up by the skilful and honourable al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Dehlawi until he left to Bhopal in the year 1887, at which point the directorship was entrusted to Shaykh al-Shuyūkh wa Ustādh al-Asātidhah Hadrat Maulana Mahmūd al-Ḥasan al-Deobandi, better known as “Shaykh al-Hind” (May Allah sanctify his secret). Before being entrusted with this position, he used to teach the books of Hadith, as well various other subjects that were being taught at the Dār al-ʿUlūm. He was appointed as a teacher in the year 1871, and in 1876 he was entrusted to teach Sunan al-Tirmidhi. After taking up the directorship, he would teach both Sahīh Bukhāri and Sunan al-Tirmidhi. He taught Hadith at the college of Deoband for forty years, a task that he shared for some time with the honourable Shaykh Maulana Khalīl Ahmad al-Sahāranpūri al-Muhājir al-Madani (May Allah sanctify his secret) – and this was from the years 1890 to 1896. Shaykh Mahmūd would teach Sahīh Bukhāri and Sunan al-Tirmidhi, and his colleague Shaykh Khalīl would teach Sahīh Muslim and other books. The honourable Shaykh Muhammad Anwar Shāh al-Kashmīri graduated at the hands of both of them in the year 1894 (May Allah Most High have mercy on them all).

When Shaykh al-Hind Mahmūd al-Hasan journeyed to the Hijāz in the year 1914, his most honourable student, al-Sayyid Muhammad Anwar Shāh al-Kashmīri (May Allah Most High have mercy on him) took his place in teaching Hadith. He was entrusted with the teaching of “the Two Jāmiʿs” (i.e. the books of Imam al-Bukhāri and Imam al-Tirmidhi, May Allah Most High have mercy on them). He taught at Deoband until he left the Dār al-ʿUlūm in the year 1928 and moved to the Islamic College (al-Jāmiʿah al-Islāmiyyah) in Dabhel, Surat. He narrated Hadith there and spread benefit until he returned to Allah Most High in the year 1933. From the colleges of both Deoband and Dabhel, senior scholars and luminous personalities graduated at his hands, some of whom are listed as follows: Maulana Muḥammad Idrīs al-Kāndhlawi, Maulana Badr al-ʿĀlam al-Mīruthi, Muftī Muḥammad Ḥasan al-Amritsari, the honorable jurist Grand Muftī Muḥammad Shafīʿ al-Deobandi, Tāj al-Khutabā Maulana al-Qārī Muḥammad Ṭayyib al-Qāsimi, the honorable Hadith scholar and distinguished jurist al-Sayyid Muḥammad Yūsuf al-Binnōri, and Maulana Shams al-Ḥaq al-Afghāni (May Allah Most High have mercy on them all).

After Shaykh al-Kashmīri left Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband, the board of trustees (majlis al-istishārī) of the college – at the head of which was Mujaddid al-Millah wa Hakīm al-Ummah Maulana al-Shāh Ashraf ʿAlī al-Thānawi (May Allah Most High sanctify his secret) – was compelled to select replacements for the directorship of education and the teaching of the books of Bukhāri and Tirmidhi. The replacement would have to fill the shoes of the muḥaddiths that preceded him. They requested Shaykh al-Islām Maulana al-Sayyid Husayn Ahmad al-Madani (May Allah Most High sanctify his secret) to take up this position. He was the most special student of Shaykh al-Hind and the confidant in his affairs. Before this, he had already taught at Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband for two years, from 1909 to 1910, and he had taught for more than ten years in the Noble Mosque of the Prophet (May Allah Most High send peace and salutations upon him and his Companions). [Maulana Husayn Ahmad] complied with their wishes and accepted their request on certain conditions which the council accepted. They went ahead and entrusted him with the directorship as well as the honorable position of narrating Hadith in the year 1927. [After taking up his new responsibilities,] he continued to be respected, beloved, heeded, kind, and courageous. He taught Sahīh Bukhāri and Sunan al-Tirmidhi even while being required to travel frequently. He toured the various towns and cities. He delivered speeches against British colonialism. He was the leader of the Jamʿīyyat ʿUlamā al-Hind. He guided spiritual disciples. Furthermore, he was frequent in worship, devotions, serving guests, and tirelessly turning toward Allah Most High. He assumed the directorship and took up the teaching of Hadith from the year 1928 till his demise in 1958. May Allah Most High grant him abode in the prosperity of His Paradise, and may He shower upon him and his mashāyikh a downpour of His Mercy and His Approval.

This long period of Maulana Husayn Ahmad’s directorship was interrupted by a short interval from Jamādī al-Ākhar 1361/June 1942 to Ramaḍān 1363/August 1944 during which the British government imprisoned him. During this interval, his lessons were delegated to Maulana al-Sayyid Fakhr al-Dīn Aḥmad al-Hāpūri th. al-Murādābādi, as well as Maulana Muḥammad Iʿzāz ʿAlī al-Amrōhi, Shaykh al-Fiqh wa ‘l-Adab at Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband (May Allah Most High have mercy on them all).

After Shaykh al-Islām al-Madani passed away in 1957, his position as the teacher of Sahīh Bukhāri was inherited by Maulana al-Sayyid Fakhr al-Dīn Aḥmad who was mentioned previously. Prior to his appointment, he had taught at the Qāsimi College (al-Jāmiʿah al-Qāsimiyyah) in Moradabad for more than forty years. He took up teaching at Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband and continued until his death in the year 1972 (May Allah Most High have mercy on him). After his passing until today, Sahīh Bukhāri has been taught at that college by shuyūkh that graduated at the hands of those Elders (May Allah Most High have mercy on them all). Among them are Maulana Sharīf al-Ḥasan al-Deobandi (d. 1977), and Muftī Maḥmūd al-Ḥasan al-Gangōhi (May Allah endow him with honor), Maulana Naṣīr Aḥmad Khān al-Barni, Maulana Saʿīd Aḥmad al-Pālanpūri, and Maulana ʿAbd al-Ḥaq al-Aʿẓami.

As for Sahīh Muslim, it has been taught by Maulana Muḥammad Ibrāhīm al-Balyāwi, Maulana Bashīr Aḥmad Khān al-Barni, and Maulana Sharīf al-Ḥasan al-Deobandi (May Allah Most High have mercy on all of them).

As for Sunan al-Tirmidhi, after Shaykh al-Islām al-Madani it was taught by Maulana Muḥammad Iʿzāz ʿAlī al-Amrōhi, Maulana Muḥammad Ibrāhīm al-Balyāwi, Maulana Sharīf al-Ḥasan al-Deobandi, and Maulana Fakhr al-Ḥasan (May Allah Most High have mercy on them), and Maulana Saʿīd Aḥmad al-Pālanpūri (May Allah Most High preserve him). As for Sunan Abī Dāwūd, it was taught by Maulana Aṣghar Ḥusayn al-Deobandi, Maulana Muḥammad Iʿzāz ʿAlī al-Amrōhi, Maulana Muḥammad Idrīs al-Kāndhlawi, Grand Muftī Maulana Muḥammad Shafīʿ, Maulana Bashīr Aḥmad Khān al-Barni, and Maulana Fakhr al-Ḥasan (May Allah Most High have mercy on them all).

As for the Sunan of Imam al-Nasā’i, the Sunan of Imam Ibn Mājah, the Shamā’il of Imam al-Tirmidhi, Sharh Maʿānī al-Āthār of Imam al-Tahāwi, and the Mu’attā according to both its narrations, the following eminent figures alternated in the teaching of those books: Maulana Muhammad Iʿzāz ʿAlī al-Amrōhi, Maulana Muḥammad Idrīs al-Kāndhlawi, Grand Muftī Maulana Muḥammad Shafīʿ, Maulana Fakhr al-Ḥasan, Maulana Nasīr Ahmad Khān al-Barni, and others. May Allah Most High thank them for their efforts and accept their struggles.

المسك الأزفر من أسانيد الشيخ محمد أنور

كتب الشيخ الفقيه المفسر المفتي الأعظم لباكستان محمد شفيع العثماني رحمه الله تعالي
في الإزدياد السَني علي اليانع الجَني

وهو حافظ العصر، ذهبي وقته و عسقلاني دهره، بحر العلوم والفنون، شيخي وشيخ المشائخ، حضرة مولانا الشاه محمد أنور الهاشمي القرشي الكشميري، و هو الذي أقام بصدارة المدرسين بدار العلوم الديوبندية بعد شيخه الأجل حضرة شيخ الهند مولانا محمود حسن، رحمه الله تعالى، المؤمى إليه سابقا، و بقي نحو عشرين سنة مكبا على درس الحديث بفنونه، وكشف معضله و مكنونه، حتى انزوى عن هذا المنصب سنة ١٣٤٦ من الهجرة، فتخرج عليه نحو ألف رجل من العلماء والفقها، والمحدثين. و قد ألف بعض أصحابه قدس سره سيرته و ترجمته مفصلا سماه نفحة العنبر في هدي الشيخ الأنور من شاه فليراجعه. قرأ عليه العبد الضعيف الصحيح للإمام البحاري، والجامع للترمذي، والشمائل له، و دروس البلاغة، والنفيسي في الطب، وشطرا من الفلسفة الطبعية الجديدة. وهو-متعنا الله تعالى بفيوضه- قرأ أكثر كتب الصحاح على شيخ المشائخ حضرة شيخ الهند، رحمه الله، بأسناده المذكور آنفا، وحصل له الإجازة بقراءة الأطراف عن مسند وقته، علامة عصره، شمس العلوم والعلماء، حضرة مولانا حسين الجسر الطرابلسي البغدادي، صاحب الرسالة الحميدية، والحصون الحميدية، المشهورة المفيدة في علم الكلام الجديد، و صاحب تأليفات أخرى، بإسناده إلى العلامة الطحاوي، المذكور مفصلا في ثبته. وذلك حين رحليه إلى الحرمين، زادهما الله تعالى شرفا. فلشيخنا الأنور قدس سره في أسانيد الحديث ثلاثا طرق اهـ من نفحة العنبر ص ٣٨ إلى ص ٨٤

الإسناد الأول لسائر كتب الحديث عن شيخه و شيخ العالم المحدث البارع، مولانا الشيخ محمود حسن الديوبندي، المدعو بشيخ الهند قدس سره، ثم لإسناده طرق:

الأول: عن الحجة العارف، مولانا محمد قاسم النانوتوي الديوبندي رحمه الله، و عن المحدث الحجة مولانا رشيد أحمد الكنكوهي رحمه الله، كلاهما عن الشيخ المحدث الشاه عبد الغني الدهلوي، ننزيل المدينة المنورة.

الثاني: عن الشيخ المحدث مولانا أحمد علي السهارنفوري رحمه الله، محشي صحيح البخاري.

والثالث: عن الشيخ العارف، مولانا محمد مظهر النانوتوي رحمه الله.

والرابع: الشيخ المحدث القاري، مولانا عبد الرحمن الفاني فتي رحمه الله، و هؤلاء، الأعلام، الشاه عبد الغني والمحدث السهارنفوري، والمظهر النانوتوي، والمحدث الفاني فتي، كلهم عن الشيخ الأجل المحدث الشاه محمد إسحاق الدهلوي عن حبر الأمة المحدث العارف الشيخ عبد العزيز الدهلوي، عن والده الشيخ الإمام الحجة قطب الدين أبي الفياض أحمد المدعو بالشاه ولي الله الدهلوي، عن الشيخ أبي طاهر المدني، عن والده الشيخ إبراهيم الكردي، عن الشيخ المزاحي، عن الشهاب أحمد السبكي، عن الشيخ النجم الغيطي، عن الشيخ زين الدين زكريا، عن عزالدين الشيخ عبد الرحيم، عن الشيخ عمر المراغي، عن الفخر بن البخاري، عن عمر بن طبرزد البغدادي، بإسناده إلى الحافظ الحجة أبي عيسى الترمذي، صاحب الجامع. و من شاه االإطلاع على أسانيد الشيخ عبد الغني، وأحوال رجالها، فليرجع إلى اليانع الجني في أسانيد الشيخ عبد الغني، و قد طبع بحيدرآباد مرة، وأخرى بديوبند.

الإسناد الثاني عن شيخه اليخ محمد إسحق الكشميري، عن الشيخ السيد نعمان الآلوسي، عن والده أعلم بغداد الشيخ الحبر مولانا مخمود الآلوسي البغدادي، صاحب روح المعاني، بالإسناد المثبت في ثبته، وهذا هو الإسناد الذي يقول لأجله شيخنا رحمه الله في بعض مؤلفاته قال شيخي بواسطتين محمود الآلوسي في روح المعاني فاغتنمه.

الإسناد الثالث عن الشيخ حسين الطرابلسي الجسر صاحب الحميدية، والحصون الحميدية، الجسر صاحب الحميدية، بإسناده إلى الشيخ السيد أحمد الطحطاوي المصري، صاحب التعليق على الدر المختار، و مراقي الفلاح، استجاز عند الشيخ رحمه الله، بالمدينة المنورة، زادها الله شرفا وتعظيما، كما أشرنا إليه فيما سلف، فهذا ما اطلعت عليه من أسانيد هؤلاء المشائخ الذين كانوا غرر عصرهم، ومسانيد وقتهم، قدس الله أسرارهم وأشاع في العالمين أنوارهم وبركاتهم. و قد أجازني شيخي رحمه الله بأسانيده هذه كلها، فلله الحمد والمنة، ثم له جزيل الشكر و حسن الثناء، وصلى الله تعالى على خير حلقه سيدنا محمد وآله و صحبه أجمعين يوم الجزاء. ولئن أنام الله تعالى طبعه مرة أخرى فسأكر فيه مفصلا إن شاء الله تعالى مع شئ من تفصيل أحوال هؤلاء، الكرام، متعنا الله تعالى بعلومهم، و إلا فكم غادر الأول للآخر، و كم حسرات في بطون المقابر.