Compiled by ‘Abdullah bin Rashid Ahmad al-Afriqui
Men like Hadhrat Maulana Abu Rayhaan Zia-ur-Rahmaan Farooqi [رحمه الله] arenot born every day. People like him are special gifts from the Lord. Maulana belonged to a select group of slaves of Allah who become guiding lights to thousands due to their high character, purity of faith, farsightedness and boldness in speaking the truth. Maulana showed thousands of people to the path towards Jannah and in the end was himself crowned with martyrdom in the way of this holy mission.
Maulana’s contributions towards the defence of the religion, establishment of peace, ending sectarianism and unity among the Muslims, defence of the Islamic ideology of the country and defence of the honour of the Sahaabah [رضى الله عنهم] and the Ahl ul-Bayt [رضى الله عنهم] of Rasoolullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] have become a golden part of the history.
Allah Ta’ala had bestowed Maulana with numerous excellent qualities; he was a spell-binding orator, a lofty intellectual, a distinguished writer, a pious slave of Allah and a brandished sword against Kufr and Shirk.
Maulana was a paragon of Zuhd (abstinence) and Taqwa (piety), sacrifice, courage and valour. He spoke the truth without fear and showed unwavering determination against all odds. He was known for his love for the sake of Allah for his fellow Muslims, forbearance towards his juniors, his refined sense of humour, his quick-wittedness and his noble manners.
He was a true lover of the Messenger of Allah [صلى الله عليه وسلم], and a fearless defender of the honour of the Sahaabah [رضى الله عنهم]. He was a disciple of Hadhrat Maulana Khwaja Khan Muhammad Sahib [رضى الله عنهم].
His father Maulana Muhammad Ali Janbaz [رحمه الله] was a Mujahid in the freedom struggle against the British. He was a distinguished scholar of the deen and a leader of the Majlis Ahraar ul Islaam. Thus Maulana Zia-ur-Rahmaan was raised in a pure Deeni and Ahraari environment.
After memorising the Noble Quraan, Maulana obtained early religious knowledge from such reputed centres of Islamic knowledge like Jaami’ah Rasheediyah Sahiwal, Dar ul Uloom Kabirwalla and Bab ul Uloom Kehrorpaka. He did his Dawrah of Hadeeth from the prestigious Jaami’ah Khayr ul Madaris Multan and received his sanad. Later he also did B.A from the Punjab University and passed with a high grade.
Maulana had become well-known for his writing and oratory skills while he was still a student. He had mastery in both of these arts. While he was still a student, he authored a beautiful book on the Noble Seerah of Muhammad [صلى الله عليه وسلم] titled “Rahbar-o-Rahnuma” (The Leader and the Guide) which was hailed in the religious and literary circles. He also used to give lengthy lectures in religious gatherings in which every one of his contentions would be laden with proofs from the Quraan, Sunnah and Fiqh. Many eminent Ulama, Professors and Orators used to wonder at his power of inference, knowledge of Islamic History, mastery of every topic he spoke on and uninterrupted flow of speech.
After completing his education Maulana joined the Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam and faced all trials in this way in a soldierly manner.
The usual topics of his speeches used to be the Noble Seerah of the Messenger of Allah [صلى الله عليه وسلم], the greatness of the Sahaabah [رضى الله عنهم], Tawheed of Allah Ta’ala, importance of following the Sunnah, the contributions of the Righteous Ulama and refutation of Shirk and Bidah.
Maulana Zia-ur-Rahmaan first became acquainted with Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi Shaheed [رحمه الله] (known by the title of Shaheed Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Sahaabah which means “Martyr in the way of protecting the honour of the Sahaabah [رضى الله عنهم]”, he was the founder of the Sipah-e-Sahaabah movement in 1985 and was martyred in 1990) at a gathering where both of them were speakers. Soon a deep spiritual bond formed between the two Ulama. Maulana Zia-ur-Rahmaan was deeply impressed with Maulana Jhangvi’s courage and valour, sincerity and love of the Sahaabah [رضى الله عنهم]. Soon he joined Maulana Jhangvi’s mission and his days were spent travelling from city to city, from town to town and from village to village spreading the message of the greatness of the Companions [رضى الله عنهم] of the Messenger of Allah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] and defending their honour.
After the cruel murder of Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi Shaheed [رحمه الله], it was Maulana Zia-ur-Rahmaan Farooqi who once again united and organized the defenders of the Sahaabah to combat the baatil of raafidah (Shi’ahs). For him too there were jail sentences, handcuffs, chains, difficulties and trials. Assassination attempts, bomb blasts, firings and murders of his comrades could not become hurdles in his cause. Maulana kept on fighting evil using clear proofs of the Noble Quraan and the Sunnah, keeping his struggle within the confines of the law.
Maulana did not believe in sectarianism, party spirit, cruelty and violence and religious strife. He called toward unity of the Ummah. That is why he gathered Muslims from many schools of thought under the banner of the Protection of the Honour of the Sahaabah [رضى الله عنهم].
Maulana remained steadfast in the face of great odds. His nature was unacquainted with defeat. He was above using hurtful speech. All who met him would be impressed with the sincerity and nobility of his manners. He would treat his junior comrades like they were his children; he would share their sorrows and their joys. News of the arrest or Shahaadah (martyrdom) of his comrades would make him grieve like a loving father.
Allah Ta`ala had bestowed Maulana with an amazing memory and intellect. He had dozens of books committed to memory. He would hold forth on Islaamic history in such an uninterrupted sequence that it would amaze historians.
Maulana Zia-ur-Rahmaan spread the message of the greatness of the Sahaabah all over the world. He undertook travels to a total of 24 countries to make clear the truth of Islaam and expose baatil. Among the countries he visited are Bangladesh, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Britain and USA.
He played a central role in getting Maulana Isar-ul-Qasmi Shaheed [رحمه الله] and Maulana ‘Azam Tariq Shaheed [رحمه الله] elected to the National Assembly, and the presentation of the “Namoos-e- Sahaabah” Bill in the Parliament. In addition he met with the former presidents Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Farooq Ahmad Leghari, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, governors, ministers, Ulama of all schools of thought, judges, lawyers, journalists and traders, people from all walks of life and made his message clear to them. He convinced Mian Manzoor Wattoo, the Punjab Chief Minister to declare 1st Muharram as the Day of Shahaadah of Hadhrat Umar [رضي الله عنه]. The recommendations of the Abdus Sattaar Niazi Committee and the unanimously approved “code of conduct” of the Milli Yakjehti Council (“National Unity Council”, an attempt by certain individuals to end Muslim-Shi’ah strife, but it was a failure as it did not address the issue of Shi’ite vilification of the Sahaabah [رضى الله عنهم]) were some of his achievements.
Maulana’s writings are like beautiful pearls strung together. He wrote more than fifty books including the earlier mentioned “Rahbar-o-Rahnuma”, “Constitutional Status of the Sahaabah in Islaam”, “Khilafat-o-Hukoomat” and “Tareekhi Dastawez”. He presented “Tareekhi Dastawez” (Historical Document) in the presence of 400 Ulama from all over Pakistan to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In the compilation of this book he had the support of such eminent Ulama, the likes of Maulana ‘Azam Tariq Shaheed [رحمه الله], Allamah Ali Sher Hayderi Shaheed [رحمه الله], Maulana Muhammad Zia-ul-Qasmi [رحمه الله], Maulana Abdul Hafiz Makki [حفظه الله], etc.
He wrote twenty six books in a one-year period in jail. The book he wrote in his last jail term “Phir Wohi Qayd-e-Qafas” (Again, the Confinement of Prison) is a veritable collection of knowledge and literature and is a good example of Maulana’s writing style.
Maulana always preferred imprisonment to trading on his principles or giving up in the face of odds. At last his journey of struggles and sacrifice came to an end and Maulana departed from this world in a glorious manner. On 18th January 1997 Maulana travelled from the jail to the Sessions Court in Lahore for a hearing. The enemies of Allah lying in wait killed him in a motorcycle bomb attack as he stepped out of the police van on the premises of the Lahore Sessions Court. Thus this great hero of Islaam gained Shahaadah in the state of fasting in the holy month Ramadhaan.
Maulana ‘Azam Tariq, who was with him, received serious injuries. He went on to assume leadership of Sipah-e-Sahaabah and continue in the footsteps of Maulana until he was martyred in October 2003.
May Allah take into His Mercy His pure hearted lovers. Ameen
Compiled from an article by Maulana Mujeeb-ur-Rahmaan Inqilaabi [حفظه الله], Sunniforum.com and other resources.