Abu Ayyub Ansari

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
10 Jumada I 1437 | 19 February 2016

Abu Ayyub Ansari was a close companion (sahabi) of the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) and a consummate warrior. He was born Khalid b. Zayd b. Kulayb of the clan Najjar which is a branch of the tribe Kazraj.1 Hence, he was amongst the Ansar who helped the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he emigrated to Madinah Munawwarah.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) arrived in Madinah, most wanted to host him. The Prophet let loose his camel with the intent that He will stay at the house of the person where the camel stopped. It stopped briefly at the house of Abu Ayyub who in turn rushed and took off the saddle to his house. Thus, he was designated the host of the Prophet who stayed with him many months until the main masjid was built. Even after the prophet moved, Abu Ayyub (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) used to prepare food for the Prophet (peace be upon him) and host his guests. This was due to the close amity the Prophet felt with Abu Ayyub Ansari.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) coupled him in brotherhood with the great Sahabi and standard bearer Mus’ab b. Umayr (may Allah Almighty be please with him) who was martyred in Uhad. Abu Ayyub himself was a seasoned warrior. He was present at the pledge of Aqabah as well as the battles of Badr, Uhad and all the campaigns of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is said that the only reason he would not have been in a battle the Muslims fought is because he was engaged in another battle. He fought in the side of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) during the civil war and thereafter for Mu’awiyah (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) during his reign. Around 52 years after the Prophet’s arrival to Madinah, now in his old age, Abu Ayyub Ansari accompanied Yazid b. Mu’awiyah to conquer Constantinople. There he fought but then fell ill. Yazid visited him and asked if he had any requests. He replied, ‘My request is that when I die, ride deep into the enemy territory as far as possible and bury me there’. He died in that campaign and his wish was fulfilled. He was buried at the border of Constantinople. May Allah Almighty be pleased with him and elevate his status.

The notable sahabah such as Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Bara’ b. Azib, Abu Umamah, Zayd b. Khalid, Miqdam b. Ma’dikarib, Anas b. Malik, Jabir b. Samurah, and Abdullah b. Yazid narrate from Abu Ayyub Ansari (May Allah Almighty be pleased with them all). Amongst the tabi’un, Sa’id b. Musayyab, ‘Urwah, Salim b. Abdillah, Abu Salamah, Ata b. Yasar, Ata b. Yazid etcetera narrate from him (may Allah almighty have mercy upon them).

For more details, read al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah #1361


[1] His full lineage is Khalid b. Zayd b. Kulayb b. Tha’labah b. Abd b. ‘Awf b. Ghanam b. Malik b. Najjar (Taym Allah) b. Tha’labah b. Amr b. Khazraj (Akbar). His mother’s name is Hind bt. Sa’id b. Amr b Imra’ al-Qays b. Malik b. Tha’labah b. Ka’b b. Khazraj b. Harith b. Khazraj.

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


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.

Sadr Shariah – The author of Nuqayah, Sharh Wiqayah and Tawdih

By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
2 Jumada I 1437 | 12 February 2016

He is the great scholar faqih, and master of usul, Sadr al-Shariah (al-asghar) Ubayd Allah b. Mas’ud b. Taj al-Shariah Mahmud b. Sadr al-Shariah al-Akbar al-Mahbubi al-Bukhari (d. 747). When Sadr al-Shariah is said without any prefix it refers to him. Amongst others, he acquired knowledge from his grandfather, the great scholar and the author of the monumental fiqh text Wiqayah,  Taj al-Shariah Mahmud.

His expertise expanded to many fields including Hadith, Fiqh, Usul, Aqa’id, logic, grammar, rhetoric and poetry. He researched assiduously and wrote meticulously. His knowledge was vast and incisive through which he was able to summarise many important and difficult topics succinctly. Allm. Abd al-Hayy Lacknawi writes that all the works of Sadr al-Shariah are accepted by the reliable scholars amongst the fuqaha.

His books Nuqayah, Sharh Wiqayah, and Tanqih wa Tawdhih are considered classics which summarises Hanafi fiqh and usul fiqh.

For further detail, read Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami’s article, ‘Sadr al-Shariah (al-Asghar) – d. 747′. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Issue 2. Available at http://uloom.com/dibaj/article/130820501

How to study Hidayah


By B. Shu’ayb
16 Rabi II 1437 | 27 January 2016

This is a summary of The path to Hidayah1 which outlines a guide on how to study Hidayah2.


Hidayah is the commentary of:

# Bidayah al-Mubtadi = Quduri + Jami’ al-Saghir

Hidayah shows the way forward for beginners and provides a summary for the experts.

If you can read Hidayah, you can read:

# al-Ikhtiyar (commentary of al-Mukhtar) by Allm. Mawsuli
# al-Wafi (summary of Kanz) by Allm. Nasafi

N.B: these are equivalent to Hidayah but more refined

How to study Hidayah


To learn the core masa’il in advance study:

Mukhtasar Quduri
Wiqaya (+ summary: Nuqayah)

N.B: Reading these will make way to: Kanz al-Daqa’iq, al-IkhtiyarMajma Abhur, Majma al Bahrayn, and Tuhfatul Fuqaha.


To understand the core text use:

# Binayah
# Hashiyatu Laknawi


To delve further, you must know usul and follow one of the two path:

Muhaddithins’ Path:

# Nasb al-Rayah (+ Dirayah)
# ‘Inayah
# I’la al-sunan

Usuliyyins’ Path:

# Fath al-Qadir
# Radd al-Muhtar
# Badai’ al-Sanai’


16 Rabi II 1437 AH
27 January 2015 CE

[1] Nawhami, Muhammad Saifur Rahman. (2012). The Path to Hidayah. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Number 1. Available at http://uloom.com/dibaj/article/120426501. Accessed 27 January 2015

[2] This is the monumental work of Allm. Marghinani on the Hanafi fiqh.

Allamah Zafar Ahmad Usmani

The great alim, muhaddith-jurist, researcher, prolific writer and shaykh, Zafar Ahmad b. Abd al-Latif Uthmani Thanwi. He was born on 13 Rabi I 1310 (Oct, 1892) and died in Dhul Qa’dah 1394 (1974 CE). He was a close member of Hakim al-Ummat Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s circle who was also his maternal uncle and teacher. Amongst others, he also studied under Shaykh al-Hadith Ml. Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri from who he has ijazah for the kutub sittah. He served as a teacher in Mazahirul Uloom for seven years and thereafter at Imdamul Uloom in Thana Bawan. He also taught at Madrasah Muhammadiyah in Rangoon, Burma, served at head teacher Madrasah Aliyah in Dacca for eight years and was the shaykh al-hadith at Darul Uloom Islamiyyah in Ashafabad (Hyderabad, Sind).

His magnus opus is Ila’ al-Sunan in which he produced and critically analysed the hadith evidence used in the Hanafi fiqh. He further wrote supplementary works to this title; Qawa’id fi Ulum al-Hadith and Inja’ al-Watan ‘an al-Izdira’ bi Imam al-Zaman. It took twenty years to complete. Another work of note is Dala’il al-Qur’an ‘ala Masa’il al-Nu‘man (popularly known Ahkam al-Quran li Thanwi) in which he was assigned to write from the beginning to Surah Nisa’. These works were commissioned by Hakim al-Ummat Thanwi. He has many other works in Arabic and Urdu. His fatawa is published in multi volumes under the title Imdad al-Ahkam; they are particularly insightful as he highlights the principles of the issues.

May Allah almighty have mercy upon him and grant him a high station in Junnah.


Muhammad Saifur Rahman
5 Rabi II 1437
15 January 2016

For a more detail read the biography written by Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (May Allah have mercy upon him) available in introduction to ‘Ila al-Sunan.

Mawlana Mamluk al-Ali Nanautwi

1204 – 1267 AH (1789 – 1851 CE). One of the great Alim of his time in Delhi and a renowned educator. His student number is countless and notably include nearly all the founders of Deoband.

By Mawlana Abd al-Hayy b. Fakhr al-Din al-Husayni
Nuzhat al-Khawatir v.7 pp.1119 #917
Translated by Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami

The great Shaykh and scholar. Mamluk al-Ali b. Ahmad Ali b. Ghulam Sharf b. Abd Allah al-Siddiqi Nanautwi. [Considered] one of the famous teachers. He was born and raised in Nanauta – a village in the district of Saharanpur. He acquired knowledge from Allamah Rashid al-Din Dihlawi and other ulama. He specialised in fiqh, usul, Arabic and had complete mastery of logic. He was posted to teach in Madrasa Dar al-Baqa’. He benefited [them] the length of his age and exerted his effort on this [endeavour] so much so that his advancements became known amongst the ulama. A huge number of people, a sum which is countless, have learnt from him. He travelled to the Hijaz in 1258. [There] he did hajj and ziyarah. [Then] he returned to India after a full year. He died eleven days before the end of Zul Hijjah, 1267 AH before seven from liver disease.

[This entry is based on] the article of his son [Shaykh] Ya’qub [included] in the biography of Shaykh Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi. [May Allah almighty have mercy upon them all].

For a detailed article, read ‘Nanautwi, Mamluk al-Ali – d. 1267‘. Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ). Issue 104. Available at http://uloom.com/dibaj/article/150620501

Ml. Nur al-Hasan Rashid Kandhalwi has written a detailed book on his biography entitled, ‘Ustad al-Kull Hadrat Mawlana Mamluk al-Ali Nanautwi‘. The work is in Urdu and has been published by Mufti Ilahi Bakhsh Academy; Kandhla, India, (1430 AH/ 2009 CE).


4 Rabi I 1437
14 January 2016

Note: In regards to his date of death, the sources are inconsistent  with some suggesting he died on 11 Zul Hijjah whilst this entry suggests it was 11 days before the end of Zul Hijjah. Furthermore, he was in the full time employ of Dehli college which was a government institute as opposed to Darul Baqa where at the most he could have been a visiting lecturer.

How to prepare for a lesson (Mutala)


By Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
Nawhami Bulletin – 1 Rabi II 1427 | 11 January 2016

If you want to understand a subject well and gain depth, you must prepare before going to lesson – this is called mutala. The following is a suggested approach to preparing for a text covered in a lesson.

Firstly, determine the literal meaning (lughat) and form (sayghah) of the words. You may enquire, is the word an ismfi’l or harf? If the word is an ism, what is the gender (muzakkar or mu’annath), number (wahidtathniya or jama’) and type (ma’rifah or nakirah)?  If it is a fi’l, what is the sayghah as per the rules of sarf and perhaps even ascertain what is its masdarIf it is a harf, which group of harf does it belong. Ultimately, you would determine, what does this word literally mean and perhaps it has more than one literal meaning? The primary skill in this step is sarf and vocabulary (esp. masadir).

Secondly, determine the structure (tarkib) of the sentence and the relationship between the words vis status (marfu’mansub and majrur). You may need to identify if the word is mu’rab, mabni (ghayr mutamakkin) (mabni), ghayr munsarif or munsarif to glean how the word will react to a stimuli (‘amil). Ultimately, you should try to read the text and identify its function through the irab. The primary skill in this step is nahw.

Thirdly, translate the text in a meaningful way. You may ask what did the author intend here? If there are different possible meanings, what is the likely meaning here. To this end, you will need to look at the context of the sentence by checking what came prior to and after it as well as read further around the topic.

The objective is not to understand everything rather identify areas where you may need help. The part which you do not understand, mark it and when in class ask the teacher to clarify.

This is a tried and tested method. At first it may seem tedious and time consuming. In fact at first a few lines may take your entire time. But rest assured, it gets easier – after awhile you will get sharper and faster. Then reading will become a joy and you would advance at an accelerated pace so long as you are consistent in mutala daily even if the quantity is little.

If you were to read the dars nizami entirely in this manner, you would have built within yourself a capacity to de-construct any subject in the field.

Extended reading, beyond the dars nizami, is the subject of another note. Suffice it to say, you should read selectively and consult a pious expert alim regarding a book rather than reading any and every book that crosses your path – do not squander your time or cloud your judgement.


Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
1 Rabi II 1437 AH
11 January 2016 CE

Criticism of the Arab publishing houses

Avoid Darul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, al-Fikr and Ihya al-Turath prints especially when they have been edited by Muhammad Hasan al-Shafi’i and Ahmed Izw Inayah.

By Mufti Husain Kadodia
Edited by Ml. Bilal Ali Ansari in at-Tahawi – 12 May 2009

To understand different criticisms and comments about Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, one would have to first understand how these publishers work.

In the past most of these publishers, eg. Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Dar al-Fikr, etc., would just have a group of typists, with one “muhaqqiq” (research scholar).

The typist would type out the book, relying on some old print of it, the muhaqqiq would type out a half page biography of the author and all of a sudden you have you nice, sleek new print!

They then realized that customers were getting cleverer, and that they would only buy “Muhaqqaq” (researched, revised, and properly edited) prints. So they had to start outsourcing the tahqeeq. In other words, if al-‘Ilmiyyah decided they needed to print al-Mabsut of al-Sarakhsi, they would take the old reliable print, hand it over to their group of typists who in a few days would have it ready in a text document, complete with thousands of errors added free of charge. Of course, no re-checking, correction, etc… would take place.

It would then be handed over to a “Muhaqqiq”. In the case of al-Mabsut, ‘Muhammad Hasan ibn Ismail ash-Shafi’i” ! He would then make a long-drawn takhrij of every hadith in the book and also made takhrij of some of the fiqhi quotations. He wouldn’t touch or research the typed-out muharraf (changed) matan (text) except very rarely! Once he was finished with this, the book would then be handed back to al-‘Ilmiyyah, who would typeset it and print it as a “tab’ah jadidah muhaqqaqah mulawwanah, etc…” (New Critical Revised Colored Edition)

That was their old habit. For the last few years, however, they had to improvise a bit as they realized that customers checked the front of the book to see if the makhtutaat (the original manuscripts) were relied upon in the tahqiq. So what did they do now?

Well, they either openly lied by putting pictures of some makhtutaat at the beginning and saying we relied on these, or they would play with words and say “these are copies of the makhtutat of this book” without saying that they relied upon them, but instead giving you that impression!

Muhammad Hasan ash-Shafi’i is really famous for doing this. He has made tahqiq of dozens of books in this manner. Don’t ever buy a book with his name on the cover…

There are dozens of “poor muhaqqiqqs” in Egypt especially who work for al-‘Ilmiyyah in this manner. They get paid per book and are happy as they are earning a steady income, while al-‘Ilmiyyah is overjoyed with this relationship since they need pay them only a penny: about $200 for a one volume book on which they will make thousands of dollars!

Then you get the Maktabah at-Tahqiq. These guys realised that there is money in tijarati tahqiqqaat (revenue research). They rent a two-room flat, cram 15 graduates fresh out of a Jami’ah into it and start tahqiq. These muhaqiqin get paid about $100-$200 a month!

Because of their large numbers they can work on big books easily. Either they make tahqiq of a book for the first time from a makhtut (manuscript), in which they will only rely on one or two generally and most of the time they are full of errors (eg. Al-Muhit al-Burhani, the Ihya at-Turath print, or an-Nahr al-Fa‘iq, etc..), all done by another good friend, Ahmed Izw Inayah of Damascus (Shaykh Husain Kadodia is also friends with the previously mentioned Ustaadh Muhammad Hasan al-Shafi’i). Stay far from his tahqiqaat as well, unless there exists no other print, as is the case with an-Nahr and Uyun al-Madhahib of al-Kaki.

But most of the time these guys will take an already printed book and just type it out and add takhrij. This is what the Shaykhain of Tahrif , ‘Ali Muawwadh and ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mawjud, are famous for.

What happens is that these guys don’t do the work, they just own the maktabah. So based on who did the work, the book would be good or terrible […]

These makatib then offer the competed book to different publishers. It is sold to the highest bidder.

So while the publishers like al-‘Ilmiyyah had nothing to do with the tahqiq in cases like this, they aren’t completely free of blame, as they deliberately buy these tijarati tahqiqaat.

Now the muhaqqiqs know that if they come out with a new book, never printed before, after a very little while other publishers like al-‘Ilmiyyah will steal it and type it out as their own tahqiq.

So the muhaqqiqs then got clever.

So from one maktabah of tahqiq, 3 of them would take the same book, just spread it out in a different number of volumes and with different muhaqqiqs on the cover, each to a different publisher. Generally al-‘Ilmiyyah, al-Fikr, and Ihya at-Turath.

They will then buy it- so the maktabah cashed in thrice- and thus you will find multiple prints of the same book coming onto the market at one time, with all the same mistakes.

If anyone compared the Ihya at-Turath copy of al-Muhit al-Burhani – 11 vols- with the al-‘Ilmiyyah one – 9 vols- he will understand what I am saying. Both are identical, yet the muhaqqiq – Ahmed Inayah- of course denied that he sold it to both. Rather, he says al-‘Ilmiyyah copied his one. And Allah knows best.