His beloved native-place was Hapur. His ancestors, Syed Qutub and Syed Alam, along with their other two brothers, came to Delhi from Herat during Shah Jahan’s reign. These gentlemen were amongst the distinguished divines of their time. Shah Jahan, for their teaching-work, built a Madrasah for them at Hapur. Syed Alam’s genealogical chain reaches back to Hadhrat Imam Hussain through 26 mediums.
Syed Fakhruddin Ahmed was born at Ajmer in 1307/1889. His grandfather, Syed Abdul Karim, was a station house officer (thanedar) in the Police Department there. His education began at the age of four years. He read the Holy Quran under the instruction of his august mother and acquired knowledge of Persian from the elders of the family. In his twelfth year he began studying Arabic grammar and syntax under Maulana Khalid, a divine of his own family. During this period his father thought of reviving his ancestral Madrasah, which had been destroyed in the upheaval of 1857.
After receiving education in this Madrasah for some years, he was
sent to Madrasah Manbaul Uloom at Gulaothi, where he read some
books under the instruction of Maulana Majid Ali and thereafter went
to Delhi with the same teacher.
He studied books of the rational sciences in the Madrasah of Delhi. In
1326/1908 when he came to Darul Uloom, Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind
tested him for admission and he came off with flying colors in this
test. According to the Shaikhul Hind’s instruction he completed
Hadith Course (Daura-e Hadith) in two years instead of one. During
his student career at Darul Uloom itself he had begun to teach books
of the rational sciences to the students.
After graduation in 1328/1910 he became a teacher in the Darul –
Uloom. Then after some time the elders of Darul Uloom, in Shawwal,
1329/1911, sent him to Madrasah Shahi Moradabad, where he lived for
nearly 48 years. During this long period of nearly half a century many
students of Hadith derived benefit from him.
Since the lauded Maulana was one of the favorite disciples of Hadhrat
Shaikhul Hind and Maulana Syed Anwar Shah Kashmiri, in his
teaching of Hadith was found a happy blending of the colors (styles)
of both the glorious teachers. As such, his lectures on Bukhari used
to be very wide-ranging and detailed, discussing all the aspects of a
Hadith at length.
After presenting the different practical methods (Mazahib) of the
jurisprudents (Fuqaha), he used to adduce such forceful arguments in
elucidation of support to and preference for the jurisprudential tack of
the Hanafiates that thereafter not the slightest anxiety was left in the
mind of the audience. During his lecture, along with the different
commentaries of the Sahih Bukhari, he also used to quote here and
there appropriately the sciences and acquirements of his own
In the teaching of Hadith his lecture used to be not only expansive
and detailed but also easy and cogent, so that less gifted students too
got a chance to derive the fullest advantage. The style of expression
used to be very clear and chaste, fully reflecting all the features of his
physical handsomeness, and wherefore his lectures on Bukhari had
gained great fame and general popularity.
In his time he was an unrivalled divine and a matchless professor of
Hadith and the students used to take pride in being his pupils.
In 1377/1957, after Maulana Madani’s death, the members of the
Majlis-e Shura of Darul Uloom chose him for the post of the Shaikhul
Hadith in Darul Uloom, Deoband. Maulana Madani himself, during his
terminal sickness, having insistently called him from Moradabad, had
appointed him in his own place for teaching Sahih Bukhari.
Earlier too he had taught the Sahih Bukhari twice at Darul Uloom
during the period of Maulana Madani’s imprisonment and leave. In
1390/1970, as many as 275 students were attending his lectures on
Hadith the number of students of the Daura-e Hadith used to be the
same, more or less, every year.
Besides the educational preoccupations, he was also connected
with national politics since the time of the Khilafat Movement, as a
result of which he too had to bear the hardships and rigors of
imprisonment and shackles. During Maulana Madani’s president ship
of the Jamiat Ulema Hind he acted twice as vice-president; thereafter
he was appointed president and went on discharging the functions of
president of this organization till his last breath. At the fag end of his
life when health deteriorated, he was taken to Moradabad for change
of climate, but the promised hour had come. After a brief illness at
Moradabad, he passed away after midnight on 20th Safar, A. H. 1392
(April 5, 1972). On receiving information of his demise many men from
Darul Uloom and Delhi had reached Moradabad.
Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Tayyib, vice-chancellor, Darul Uloom
Deoband, led the funeral prayer and in the afternoon this worldilluminating
sun of knowledge and learning set forever in the land of
Moradabad. “Everyone that is thereon will pass away” (LV: 26).
This great educational post in Darul Uloom Deoband for teaching
the Sahih Bukhari was being held continually for nearly 60 years by
the disciples of Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind (Allah’s mercy be on him!);
with Maulana Fakhruddin Ahmed’s death this continuity came to an
THERE ARE SOME NOTES TO BE ADDED:
1. HAZRAT (RA) MENTIONED THAT HAZRAT MAULANA
FAKHRUDDIN (RA) MEMORISED THE QURAAN IN 28 DAYS
DURING THE MONTH OF RAMADAAN AS A RESULT OF HIS
BELOVED FATHER PASSING AWAY. AS HIS FATHER WAS THE
ONE PERFORMING THE TARAWEEH SALAAH THERE WAS
NOW A NEED FOR SOMEONE TO PERFORM THE TARAWEEH
2. HAZRAT (RA) USED TO WALK WITH A LANTERN LATE AT
NIGHT IN FRONT OF HAZRAT MAULANA FAKHRUDDIN (RA)
WHEN GOING TO AND FROM CLASS. HAZRAT (RA) MADE A
LOT OF GHIDMAT OF HIS MOST HOUNOURABLE USTAADH.
3. HAZRAT (RA) HAD INVITED AND TAKEN HAZRAT MAULANA
FAKHRUDDIN (RA) TO TARAKESHWAR FOR THE FIRST
BUKHARI SHARIF KHATAM.
4. HAZRAT MAULANA FAKHRUDDIN’S ADVICE TO HAZRAT (RA)
ON COMPLETION OF HIS STUDIES WAS THAT HAZRAT (RA)
MUST KEEP STEADFAST ON HIS DEEN AND THE WORLD WILL