Sheikh Maulana Sirajur Rahman Nadwi al-Qadhi

By Abu Sa’d Muhammad Mu’adh an-Nadwi
On Sunday, 6th December, 2009 (19th Dhul Hijjah, 1430), the world lost yet another Aalim, who played a vital role in enhancing Islamic education and projects, especially in Kenya. Sheikh Sirajur Rahman died of cardiac failure in the morning of the said date, while undergoing treatment at the Farooq Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya.  

The sudden death shocked the Muslims of East Africa, and this was
attested by the huge number of Muslims ever witnessed in a funeral in the city, who jammed the Memon Villa masjid and its environs to grace the opportunity to participate in the salatul janaza for the Sheikh the next day, which was led by the Sheikh’s old colleague and friend, Sheikh Abdul Khaliq Tariq, who is based in Uganda. Sheikh Sirajur Rahman leaves behind a widow, two sons and five daughters.

A Short Biography Of The Late Sheikh
His birth and education

Sheikh Sirajur Rahman was born in a village known as Depalpur near the city of Indor in the central province of India, in the year 1941. After completing his primary education in a government school, he joined the
reputable and well known Islamic educational establishment, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulamaa in Luckhnow, India, in 1956, and graduated in 1961. To further up his studies, in 1962 the Sheikh enrolled in the internationally renown Islamic University, Jamia Islamiyyah in Madinatul Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia, and graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor’s degree from the faculty of Shari’ah, among the first batch ever to graduate from the said
faculty. (In the year 1979, he was
awarded a Master’s degree in the
field of Hadith from Darul Uloom
Nadwatul Ulamaa, Luckhnow,
India.) On his graduation, he was
employed by Darul Ifta, under the
Ministry for Islamic Affairs,
Saudi Arabia, and was posted to
Uganda to work in the field of
Da’wah and Islamic guidance,
where he worked until the fall of
Idi Amin Dada’s regime, after
which he was transferred to
Mombasa, Kenya.
His activities in Uganda and
In Kampala, Sheikh Sirajur
Rahman was entrusted with the
running of the Bilal Islamic
School, a position he held for
eight years, until the fall of
Amin’s rule, after which he moved
to Mombasa. Here the Sheikh
worked for numerous Islamic
Institutions under different
capacities, and later on, in the year
1983, he was appointed the
Principal of the Islamic Institute
in Kisauni, Mombasa, which is
run by the Islamic Foundation, the
position he held until his death.
The Sheikh worked hard and
tirelessly, and raised the status of
the institution from the secondary
level to that of a reputable higher
faculty for Islamic studies, the
‘Kulliyatul Diraasaatil Islamiyyah’
– the kernel or fruit of
Jamia Islamiyyah in Mombasa.
He was also one of the founding
members of Majlisul Ma’arifil
Islamiyyah Society, which was
established in 1985, and was the
society’s chairman from 1986 upto
2008, and was also the supervisor
of the society’s educational
institution and its main streams; 1-
Dar ‘Uaiy bin Ka’b, for Tahfeedhul-
Qur’an, 2 – Ma’had Islamiy, for
higher Islamic studies, 3 – Darul
Arqam, for training new reverts to
Islam, and 4 – Dar ‘Urwah bin
Mas’ood, for technical studies.
He set up the Darul Hannan
institute for orphans on the
Mkwiru Island, Shimoni, south of
Mombasa, and established Markaz
Ummul Mu’mineen ‘Aishah for
girls, Gorofani, north of
Mombasa, in 2002, and was its
chairman until his death. He also
set up a welfare charity, the
Jam’iyatul Farooq. Mombasa, Al-
Farooq Centre [renamed as Sheikh
Sirajur Rahman Nadwi Memorial
Centre], Vipingo, Mombasa
North, is among its projects.
A very notable and substantial
accomplishment of the Sheikh is
the building of 159 fully furnished
masaajids, with water wells and
setup therein maktabs, and in
some, madrasas for tahfeedhul
Qur’an along with Da’wah
activities and propagation of
Islamic education undertaken by
his students.

His writings
Sheikh Sirajur Rahman,
rahimahullahu Ta’ala, through his
busy schedule, wrote two books,
both in the Arabic language:
1. Al-Mustafa – a
summarized biography of
Rasoolullah, sallallahu
alaihi wasallam, in 259
pages, and
2. Al-Khulafaa-ur-
Raashideen – about the
Righteous Caliphas after
Rasoolullah, sallallahu
alaihi wasallam, in 192
pages. Both the works
have been acclaimed by
renown Scholars and are
part of the secondary level
curriculum in most
madrasas of East Africa.
He supervised the writings on
different subjects undertaken by
teachers in various educational
establishments, among them:
1. Assahaabiyaat – written
by female students of
Markaz Ummul Mu’-
mineen ‘Aishah, Gorofani.
2. Uislam, written by
teachers at Majlisul
Ma’arifil Islamiyyah,
3. He supervised the
publishing and printing of
the Kiswahili translation
of a summarized version
of Riyadus Saaliheen.
4. He inaugurated and
supervised the Al Ma’arif
(in Kiswahili) and the Al
Majlis (in English)
magazines under the
umbrella of Majlisul
Ma’arifil Islamiyyah.
5. In his final years, he set up
a committee of distinguished
Scholars to
overhaul the whole
curriculum and syllabus of
present-day madrasas and
make the necessary
changes and amendments.
His general conduct
Sheikh Sirajur Rahman,
rahimahullahu Ta’ala, was a
distinguished person among his
colleagues, as he grew up being
pious and religious and many bear
witness to it, never missing his
prayers, and most of the time he
was in the state of ritual purity
(with wudhu), very mindful of
performing prayers with
congregation, even though he
would be on the top floors of high
buildings, he would descend down
for every congregational prayer.
He had set for himself a day-today
schedule and strictly adhered
to it, not wasting any time.
He was respectful and dutiful to
his parents as well as to his
teachers, and would always
mention them with respect and
supplicate to Allah Ta’ala for their
forgiveness and elevation in
Aakhirah. Whenever he used to
mention a deceased family
member, he used to supplicate for
him or her.
The Sheikh would not let go any
opportunity to advise a gathering
and he practically followed what
he emphasized. He was humble
and forgave who wronged him
and even then, would always give
due respect to them. He was kind
natured and loving, and amused
the little ones. He was ever
mindful of the remembrance of
Allah Ta’ala, and would at times
supplicate aloud to remind others.
One would always benefit in his
He has left a vacuum difficult to
fill. May Allah, Subhanahu
waTaála, forgive him, shower
upon him His Blessings, accept
his efforts, reward him
immensely, elevate his status in
Aakhirah and admit him in the
lofty ranks of Jannatul Firdaous,


One thought on “Sheikh Maulana Sirajur Rahman Nadwi al-Qadhi

  1. I had the good oppurtunity of meeting Sheikh Nadwi. In Malegoun in India.

    Hafsa and Shifa his two daughters were my collegues at Madressa Jameatus Swalehaat.

    Sheikh Rahimullah was a gentleman and very kind father. His daughters dearly loved him.

    May I through this say to the family that Allah grant. Sheikh Nadwi the highest stages in Jannat and that you all keep his legacy. Of dawat and tabligh alive.

    Jazakallahu khairan
    Fathima Murchie
    South Africa


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