Undoubtedly, besides being recognised as a great Wali, as the Ghousul Azam and as the Imam Abu Hanifa (radi Allahu anhum) of his time, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was also the Mujaddid (Reviver) of Islam of the 14th Century. He possessed all the conditions of a Mujaddid and his entire life was spent trying to revive the Deen of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
A cloud of darkness had covered most of the world and the false concepts of Polytheism (Shirk) and Innovations (Bid’at) were coming into existence. The Muslims were in a state of confusion. They were surrounded by the cloud of Kufr (Disbelief), Shirk and Bid’at. It is through the Divine Grace of Almighty Allah and the Sadaqah of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) that the Reviver of the 14th Century, Imam-e-Ahle Sunnat, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) shone like the sun. With his bright proofs, he destroyed the darkness of Kufr and revived Islam.
Professor Manzoorud’deen Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi said: “The reality is that on reading several books of Imam Ahmed Raza, I have come to the conclusion that through his writings and speeches, the Fatawa (Inquisitions) and hundreds of small and bulky treatises, he had struggled for the revival of Islam, and as a reward he was declared as a Mujaddid of this Century by the Ulema (Scholars of Islam), in particular, the scholars of Makkah and Madina (Haramain Sharifain). . .
” A Hadith recorded in Mishkaat Shareef and quoted by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) who says that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “VERILY, AT THE END OF EVERY CENTURY, ALMIGHTY ALLAH WILL SEND SUCH A PERSON TO THE UMMAH, WHO WILL REVIVE THE DEEN FOR THEM (THE UMMAH).”
In other words, when there comes a period in which there is a shortage of knowledge and a deterioration in following of the Sunnah; when there is an increase in false innovations and ignorance; then Almighty Allah will send a person at the beginning or end of every century who will show the difference between Sunnah and Bid’at. He will refute and destroy false innovations and will fear none but Almighty Allah. He will very bravely and sincerely hoist the flag of Deen-e-Muhammadi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Such a person is known as a “Mujaddid” (Reviver) of Deen.
The author of the book, “Siraajum Muneer”, has explained who a Mujaddid is in the following words: “In other words, to revive the Deen is to revive those teachings of the Quran and Sunnah that are being destroyed and to give command according to the Quran and Sunnah.”
Allamah Munaadi (radi Allahu anhu) states:”A Mujaddid is one who separates Sunnah from Bid’ah and one who degrades the status of the Ahle Bid’ah.”
Why does a Mujaddid come after 100 years? A Mujaddid is sent after every 100 years because after every century the surroundings, the environment, the manner of thinking and ways of the people tend to pass through a massive transformation. It has been stated in the Hadith of Bukhari Shareef that during the latter stages of the Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) physical life, one night, after performing Esha Salaah, he stood up and said, “Should I inform you of the importance of this night? From this night onwards, right up to the end of a 100 years, that person who is alive on the earth (presently) will not be alive.”
Can their be more than one Mujaddid to a century? Yes. There can be more, and there has already been more than one Mujaddid to a Century. In the Hadith, the Arabic word that is used to explain the coming of the Mujaddid is in the singular tense, but according to the meaning, it is a plural as it has been explained in the Kitaabs of Usool-e-Fiqh. Allamah Mulla Ali bin Sultan Qaari (radi Allahu anhu) who is the Mujaddid of the 11th Century says, “From the words, not only one single person is implied, but the implication is towards a group of people, from amongst whom each one is reforming a single type of knowledge or all types of knowledge in his city.”
A LIST OF KNOWN MUJADDIDS FROM THE FIRST CENTURY:
1st CENTURY : ·
Sayyiduna Imam Umar bin Abdul Aziz (radi Allahu anhu)
2nd CENTURY : ·
Imam Hassan Basri,
Imam Muhammad bin Hassan Shaibani,
Imam Maalik bin Anas,
Imam Abdullah bin Idrees Shafi’i (radi Allahu anhuma)
3rd CENTURY : ·
Imam Abul Hassan bin Umar,
Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (radi Allahu anhuma)
4th CENTURY : ·
Imam Isma’eel bin Hammaad Ja’fari,
Imam Abu Jaafar bin Jareer Tibri,
Imam Abu Haatim Raazi (radi Allahu anhuma)
5th CENTURY : ·
Imam Abu Naeem Isfahani,
Imam Abul Hussain Ahmad bin Muhammad Abi Bakr-il-Qaadir,
Imam Hussain bin Raaghib,
Imam Muhammad bin Muhammad Ghazzali (radi Allahu anhuma)
6th CENTURY : ·
Imam Abul Fadhl Umar Raazi,
Allamah Imam Umar Nasfi,
Imam Qaazi Fakhrud’Deen Hassan Mansoor,
Imam Abu Muhammad Hussain bin Mas’ood Fara’a (radi Allahu anhuma)
7th CENTURY : ·
Allamah Imam Abul Fadhl Jamaaluddeen Muhammad bin Afriqi Misri,
Imam Sheikh Shahbuddeen Suharwardi,
Kwaja Muhi’yuddeen Chishti Ajmeri,
Imam Abul Hassan Uz’zuddeen Ali bin Muhammad Ibn Atheer,
Imam Sheikh Akbar Muhi’yuddeen Muhammad ibn Arabi (radi Allahu anhuma)
8th CENTURY : ·
Imam Taaj’uddeen bin Ata’ullah Sikandari,
Kwaja Nizaamuddeen Awliyah Mahboob-e-Ilahi,
Imam Umar bin Mas’ood Taftazaani (radi Allahu anhuma)
9th CENTURY : ·
Imam Hafiz Jallaluddeen Abu Bakr Abdur Rahmaan Suyuti,
Imam Nooruddeen bin Ahmad Misri,
Imam Muhammad bin Yusuf Karmani,
Imam Shamsuddeen Abul Kheyr Muhammad bin Abdur Rahmaan Sakhawi,
Allamah Imam Sayed Shareef Ali bin Muhammad Jarmaani (radi Allahu anhuma)
10th CENTURY : ·
Imam Shahabuddeen Abu Bakr Ahmad bin Muhammad Khatib Qistalaani,
Imam Muhammad Sharbini,
Allamah Sheikh Muhammad Taahir Muhaddith (radi Allahu anhuma)
11th CENTURY : ·
Imam Ali bin Sultaan Qaari,
Imam Sheikh Ahmad Sarhindi Mujaddid-e-Alf Thaani,
Sultaanul Arifeen Imam Muhammad Baahu (radi Allahu anhuma)
12th CENTURY :
Allamah Mawlana Imam Abul Hassan Muhammad bin Abdul Haadi Sindhi,
Imam Abdul Ghani Taablisi,
Sheikh Ahmad Mulla Jeewan (radi Allahu anhuma)
13th CENTURY : ·
Imam Abdul Ali Luckhnowi,
Imam Sheikh Ahmad Saadi Maaliki,
Allamah Imam Ahmad bin Ismaeel Tahtaawi,
Allamah Shah Abdul Azeez Muhaddith-e-Delhwi (radi Allahu anhu)
14TH CENTURY: ·
IMAM-E-AHLE SUNNAH, QAMI-E-BID’AT, MUJADDID-E-AZAM, A’LA HADRAT, ASH SHAH IMAM AHMED RAZA KHAN (RADI ALLAHU ANHU)
IMAM AHMED RAZA’S JIHAD AGAINST THE INSULTERS OF SAYYIDUNA RASULULLAH (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) spent much of his time also refuting those who insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He left no stone unturned in safe-guarding the dignity and integrity of Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), 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 (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) 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 (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).”
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 (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). 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 (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
We will quote some of the following blasphemous statements that were made by them:
On 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 sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) 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?”
On 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.”
On 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 (salal laahu alaihi wa sallam) 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.
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).
A FEW FATAWAS OF THE ULEMA-E-HARAMAIN SHARIFAIN
“All Praise is due to Allah, the Master of the Worlds, Who has made the Ulema-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) 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 (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). 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.
MUHAMMAD SAEED BIN BAABSEEL – MUFTI OF THE SHAFI’I ORDER IN MAKKAH (radi Allahu anhu)
“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.
MUHAMMAD BIN ABDUS SALAAM DAGHISTANI – MUFTI MADINATUL MUNAWWARA (radi Allahu anhu)
“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 (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). 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 MUHAMMAD BIN HAMDAAN MAHSARI- SERVANT AT MUSJID-E-NABAWI (radi Allahu anhu)
SOME TITLES BESTOWED UPON HIM BY THE NOBLE ULEMA OF MAKKATUL MUKARRAMAH
A COOLNESS FOR THE EYES OF THE ULEMA
A BELOVED AND ACCEPTED SLAVE OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH
THE SEAL OF GREAT ISLAMIC RESEARCH SCHOLARS
A LEADER OF ULEMA
THE MUJADDID OF THIS CENTURY
These titles are recorded in the books, “Al Fuyuzaatul Makkiya”, “Hisaamul Haramain” and “Ad Daulatul Makkiya.”
SOME TITLES BESTOWED UPON HIM BY THE NOBLE ULEMA OF MADINATUL MUNAWWARAH
THE LEADER AMONG IMAMS
THE LEADER AMONG MYSTICS
THE PRIDE OF GREAT PRECEDING ULEMA AND THE LEADER OF FUTURE ULEMA
THE MUJADDID OF THIS UMMAH
A JUDGE AMONG ISLAMIC JUDGES
THE IMAM AMONG SCHOLARS OF AHADITH
THE DESTROYER OF BID’AT AND THE UPHOLDER OF SUNNAH
THE MUJADDID OF THIS CENTURY
These titles are recorded in the books, “Al Fuyuzaatul Makkiya”, “Hisaamul Haramain”, and “Ad Daulatul Makkiya.”
HIS UNIQUE MEMORY
Once A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) went to Pillibit Shareef. He stayed with Muhaddith-e-Surat, Hadrat Mawlana Wasi Ahmad Sahib (radi Allahu anhu). Before leaving for Bareilly Shareef, A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) requested to borrow a Kitaab called “Uqoodul Arya” from him. As there was only one copy of the book he gave A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) the book and said, “After studying the book, please return it as these are the only few kitaabs that I have for Fatawa writing.”
A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was supposed to depart from Pillibit Shareef that night, but since he had been invited at another person’s home, he stayed one more night in Pillibit Shareef. Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) spent the entire night studying the Kitaab, which consisted of numerous volumes.
The following morning, before leaving for the Railway Station to meet A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), Hadrat Muhaddith-e- Surat (radi Allahu anhu) found that the Kitaab that he had lent A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) had been returned. He thought that A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was angry and displeased with him for asking him to return the Kitaab quickly. He immediately went to A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) and asked for pardon. A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) smiled and then said, “That is not the reason for returning the Kitaab. I stayed one more night, so I studied the book and, therefore, did not find the need to take it with me.”
When Hadrat Muhaddith-e-Surat (radi Allahu anhu) heard this he was surprised and exclaimed, “You have studied this book in one night!” A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) replied, “INSHA-ALLAH, FOR THE NEXT 3 MONTHS I WILL NOT NEED TO LOOK AT THE BOOK TO FIND ANY STATEMENTS, AND AS FOR THE ESSENCE OF THE BOOK, INSHA-ALLAH, I WILL NOT FORGET IT IN MY LIFETIME.” He then said, “THE BOOK DID NOT HAVE A TABLE OF CONTENTS. I HAVE DRAWN UP ONE FOR YOU.”
A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was intially not a Hafiz-ul-Quran. Once, someone wrote a letter to Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) and addressed him as “Hafiz”. When A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) saw this, he became depressed for he felt that he was not worthy of such a title. He immediately decided to become a Hafiz of the Holy Quran.
How did he become a Hafiz-ul-Quran? It has been stated that in the time period from Wudhu till the time of Jamaat, Hadrat Allamah Sadrush Shariat (radi Allahu anhu) would recite one Sipara. Sayyiduna A’la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) would listen to it and, thereafter, recite the same Sipara in the Taraweeh Salaah. HE CONTINUED THIS ROUTINE FOR 30 DAYS, AND BY THE END OF THE MONTH OF RAMADAAN, A’LA HADRAT (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) BECAME A COMPLETE HAFIZ OF THE HOLY QURAN!