Sayyid Ahmad al-Shahid al-Barelwi

Hazrat Syed Ahmad availed very short life but Allah put him into great task and put blessings in his task. He was born in Safar 1201 AH and was martyred in Zul-Qa’dah 1246 AH. It means, he lived almost forty-five years.

More than forty thousand Hindu Pagans embraced Islam at the hands of Hazrat Syed Ahmad and 3,000,000 Muslims pledged an oath of allegiance. That chain of allegiance is going on the earth through his successors and the successors of the successors. Millions of individuals include in this chain of allegiance. (Ruhaani Rishtay P:37)

Books about the noble syed;

three books by Hazrat Maulana Syed Abul-Hasan Ali Nadvi.

1. Jabb Emaan per Bahaar Ai

2. Seerat Syed Ahmad Shaheed

3. Caravan of Emaan and Azeemat.

Or study the following books by Maulana Ghulam Rasool Mahr:

1. Syed Ahmad Shaheed

2. Jama’at of Mujaahideen

3. Sar Guzasht of Mujaahideen

If you have not ample time but want to study the summary of all these books, do study “Ruhaani Rishtay” by Hazrat Syed Nafees-ul-Hussaini. Full name of the book is “Syed Ahmad Shaheed Say Hazrat Haaji Imdaad-Allah Muhaajir Makki kay Ruhaani Rishtay.” This book comprises only 240 pages.

During his journey at Bala Kot, once he said:

“O brothers, I have brought different slaves of Allah from different places undergoing different types of calamities and troubles to your country Kohistan only because the Pagans have dominated over the country of the Muslims and they exercise ever new kind of tortures and disgraces. I want to prevail upon them by the Divine help so that you may regain your own states and Islam may gain power. If I had been the desirous of comfort and luxury, there was every type of comfort and luxury for me in India and would never have come to Kohistan. So, the gist of discussion is that all of you should also stand up against the heathen government, join me through your lives and wealth, beat the unbelievers and drive them out from here.” (Waqaai P: 2209)

A religious scholar from Bukhara used to come to Hazrat Shah Abdul- Aziz for his correction and training. Hazrat Shah Abdul-Aziz ordered him to wait until Hazrat Syed Ahmad Shaheed came to him again and he handed over that scholar to him. Seeing Jihaad bearing of Hazrat Syed Ahmad, the Bukhari Scholar thought that he seemed a Mujaahid. What he would teach him about spiritual and hidden education. Then he began to ask Hazrat Syed Ahmad which books he had read. Hazrat Shah Abdul-Aziz interrupted and said, “What do you mean by such talk? Just perceive, what you will gain from us in twelve years, you will gain that in ten days if you remain with him.” (Waqaai’ P:93)

Hazrat Syed Ahmad used to persuade to prayer very stressively. It is written in Ashghaal,

“Establishing prayers five times a day is obligatory and forsaking it is Kufr. Hence, it is obligatory to every Muslim to abide by this dictate of Allah heart and soul,” (Ashghaal, Ruhaani Rishtay)

The scholar of Bukhara mentioned above remained with Hazrat Syed Ahmad Shaheed for a few days and achieved his target. He was blessed with a very high degree of recognition of Allah. One day Hazrat Syed Ahmad was teaching him that he vomited all of a sudden. In order to save the Masjid from filth, Hazrat Syed Ahmad placed an earthen basin before him but it was small. He put the rest of it in his skirt and came out of the Masjid with Bukhari Mulla. Coming out he washed his hands and clothes. After approx seven days of this incident he said, “Owing to the vomiting that I carried in my hands that day in order to save the Masjid from filth, Allah was greatly pleased with me. Allah has blessed me with so great bounty that I cannot offer thanks to Him for it.” Allah said at it, “You have respected Our Masjid. We have given you this prize.” (Waqaai’ P:95)

Given below is another incident of this chain “Hazrat Syed Ahmad would stay at the Masjid of Hazrat Shah Abdul-Qaadir. Hazrat Shah Abdul-Qaadir had composed his famous Tafseer named Muzih-ul-Quran in that Masjid. Hazrat Syed saw a saint saying to him in dream that the roof of the said Masjid had not been cleaned of the dung of the pigeons and swallows. On waking up in the morning, when he investigated, it came to be known that the roof had not been cleaned for a long time. The roof of the Masjid was very high. He ordered Hazrat Shah Ismail Shaheed to join a number of staircases and make a tall staircase. Then he himself climbed up the roof of the Masjid and cleaned and washed the Masjid well with the help of several other people. After several days of this incident, Hazrat Syed Ahmad said, “Allah blessed me with so big blessing for cleaning the roof that I cannot offer thanks to Him.” (Waqaai’ P:104)

These two incidents bring another delightful and imitable aspect of Hazrat Syed Ahmad i.e. love for Masaajid, service of Masaajid, cleanliness of Masaajid, regards for Masaajid and struggle for Masaajid. Wherever Hazrat Syed Ahmad went, he populated the Masaajid. He got new Masaajid constructed at some places. Many deviated innovators (Bid’ati) repented of their sin. He converted their Imaam Barrahs into Masaajid. He said to a poor man, “If you take over the responsibility of ablution bowls, lighting and water, Allah will multiply in you living.” That gentleman took over that responsibility but he was worried how to manage for all that. Trusting in Allah, he started serving the Masjid. Allah multiplied in his living very greatly. Construction of Masjid, its population and service are the traits that invite Allah’s grace. All of us should keep the Masjid neat and clean that is under us. We should purchase the new carpet if the old one is torn. We should enter the Masjid very respectfully. We should not raise a voice, nor make a noise nor talk of worldly things. The topic of service of Masjid is very vast. It is sufficient for today.

It says in a book called Maulana Thanwi’s Stories of Saints ( which is an English translation of Qisasul Akabir by Hadrat Hakeem al-Ummah ):

Mawlana Isma’il Shaheed  describes how and when he became a devotee of Sayyid Sahib. (He says), “It was raining one day, and the water began pouring in from one place in the mosque. The congregation was ready to start but there was a gap there (where the water came in from) because the mud there was wet. Sayyid Sahib came out and stood there with all sincerity. From this time I became devoted to him.”

Shaykh Haji ‘Abd-al-Rahim Wilayati Shahid (d. 1246 AH) was from the sadat (descendants of the Prophet) of Afghanistan. He left his country in search of a Sufi guide. At first he gave bay’ah to Sayyid Rahm ‘Ali Shah (d. 1204 AH) of Ambala in the Qadiri order. After that he gave bay’ah to Shaykh Shah ‘Abd al-Bari Amrohi (d. 1226 AH) in the Chishti order. He finally gave bay’ah — along with hundreds of his followers — to Imam al-Mujahidin Sayyid Ahmad Shahid (d. 1246 AH) in both jihad and tasawwuf. He himself mentioned: “I am not in need of giving bay’ah to Sayyid Ahmad [as he was a senior Sufi shaykh himself] but I see the pleasure of the beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in giving bay’ah to him.” Shaykh Haji ‘Abd al-Rahim had seen this through kashf. Haji ‘Abd al-Rahim was martyred fighting along with Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and Shaykh Shah Isma’il Shahid al-Dahlawi (May Allah have mercy on all of them). [↩]

He was a khalifah of Haji ‘Abd al-Rahim Wilayati Shahid and the second shaykh of Haji Imdad Allah Muhajir Makki — the shaykh of Qasim al-’Ulum wa ‘l-Khayrat Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi, Imam Rabbani Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani, and Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi, etc. Haji ‘Abd al-Rahim called Mianji Nur Muhammad from Saharanpur and made him give bay’ah to Sayyid Ahmad Shahid. It is interesting to note that Mawlana Sayyid Nasir al-Din Dahlawi, the first shaykh of Haji Imdad Allah Muhajir Makki, had also given bay’ah to Sayyid Ahmad Shahid. Many of those who herald Haji Imdad Allah as theirs and a “pukka Sunni” do so while leveling charges of Wahhabism against both his murshids and murids.

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