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Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori was a renowned Sufi muslim scholar of Indian subcontinet, in 1950’s, who immensely influenced religious and academic circles in Lahore ,Pakistan.With his particular focus on human spirit in the Quranic paradigm and its impediments, his message transcended Pakistan and spread all over the globe, within muslim communities. He was the founder of Khuddam ud Din Movement ( a movement of accelerating teachings of The Holy Quran and its application of human, physical and spiritual, affairs. He presented a non-sectarian and non-political rendition to the universal message of The Holy Quran, about one’s spiritual disorders and a necessary comprehension of anatomy of soul. He stressed the dire need to guard one’s spirit of spiritual disorders aka moral defects. In fact his name stands prominent in laying guiding principles for Muslim psychology. Today , his followers spread all around the world and carry this message of spiritual comprehension of man in a holistic model of integration of Mind, body and Spirit, thus bringing medical , cognitive and spiritual sciences in a blend.
A cursory look at his life span can reveal the course of hardships and sacrifices he took to finally bring out an important facet of human spirit and its varying textures.
Birth and Upbringing
He was born on Friday 2nd Ramadhan 1304 A.H ( Wednesday 25 May 1887 C.E) at Gujrawala, Pakistan. Prior to his birth his father had decided to dedicate his in the service of Islam.
At first his mother herself taught him the Holy Quran, and then he was admitted in the school. Simultaneously and gradually he also started attending Quranric lessons of Maulana Abdul Haq in Gujranwala. in order to serve Islam and spread Islamic teachings , he properly started his religious education with Persian curriculum . After some time, he was entrusted to a renowned Muslim scholar and revolutionist from Sindh, Maulana Obedullah Sindhi, for religious training. So he then moved to Sindh to further pursue his religious studies. His father died, when he was only nine years old.
Maulana Obaid Ullah Sindhi took Ahmed Ali Lahori to his spiritual mentor and teacher, Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Deenpuri in a Dinpur, Sindh. Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Dinpuri was a gifted spiritualist and spotted the spiritual potential of nine-year-old Ahmed Ali Lahori at first sight. So , regardless of his young age, Ahmed Ali Lahri was accepted in a spiritual bond (Bai’at -the first oath taken in Spiritual orders). So his spiritual education also started side-by-side at such a young age in the spiritual chain of “QADRIA”. On the other hand, Maulana Sindhi himself started teaching him basic Arabic and Persian grammar.
In 1319 A.H. (1901 C.E) Maulana Sindhi established a Madressa , religious school, from which Ahmed Ali Lahori completed DARS-e-NIZAMI in six years, and then started teaching “DARS-e-NIZAMI” at the same place for more than three years. His spiritual growth was twofold , as he was also guided by another contemporary renowned Muslim spirtualist, Maulana Taj Mehmood Amroti. So he was laden with spiritual support from two dimensions, by means of continuous mediations, Zikr and patience.
On finding him qualified, after a rigorous training of 40 Years, he was entitled by his two mentors to take oaths(Baiat-ul-Irshad) from people and train them spiritually and morally.
Participation in Politics
He was not only a Spiritualist religious scholar, but he had his keen observation on the contemporary and international political scene. In the days of British rule over Indian Subcontinent, Muslims were facing turbulent times at the hands of the British and the Indians alike. So amidst all this disturbance, he actively took part in Muslim freedom movements and faced harships. He was also imprisoned in Silk Handkerchief Movement, in Delhi in 1914. Later he was transferred to Shimlah, Indian Kashmir and then confined in Jalendhar, Western Punjab in Inda. Afterwards he was released on bail to live in Lahore, which became his permanent station till the last.
Entry In Lahore, Pakistan
His entry in Lahore was as a complete stranger, who did not even have any acquaintance to bail him out of jail. In such a milieu , he laid down foundations for an era of spiritual enlightenment in Lahore, Pakistan. This city was , then , a house to all sorts of malafide and religious disorder as well. people were involved in a disfigured version of Islam, which was quite painful for him. So in such a situation he took up a Herculean task of starting preaching and teaching simple transtaltion and explanation of The Holy Quran in a small mosque in Sheranwala Gate, Lahore.
Beginning of “DARS – e – QURAN” (Teaching)
Ahmed Ali Lahori started teaching The Holy Quran, to different audiences. His broad spiritual vision had enabled him to diagnose the strategy for catering to different audiences in Lahore, and even across Pakistan. It all started off with a scanty number of people. But his conviction never tired him of the mission he was committed to spread. with an unflinching patience , he kept on steadily and attracted more audience. Thus his succor started showing fruits and gradually the crowd started multiplying. He who came once surly came the next time. The secret was the unbiased, non-political, non-sectarian and non-controversial content of his summons. All he stated was plain common sense message of the Holy Quran to all humanity. His Dars ( Lesson) would satisfy even the most sceptical minds, scholars, students, Professors, Religious scholars, businessmen of his times. To him the poor had the same undistinguished status as the rich or educated would have. It was due to this very quality that his audience would normally comprise even Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs. Upon realising the truth of the message of Allah, many of them converted into Muslims. Due to the growing number of people, his Mosque was expended thrice, so that the listener could be saved from cold. Later on this Dars was divided into three different levels, and at different timings, according to the type of audience.
Public Lessons( Dars-e-Aaam)
This lesson would continue for one an hour daily after the Fajar prayer. It was a kind of preaching that addressed common issues in the light of the holy Quran and Hadith. Even women were also participants of it but behind curtains.
Scholarly Lessons ( Dars-e-Khaas)
The graduated students of Madressa, after 8 years of religious education, from subcontinent, would participate in this Lesson. It even continues till now. These lesson would start from the 1st Ramadan and would complete in two to three months. This Lesson would last for three to five hours daily. it was intended to build up awareness among these students about the spiritual core of Islamic teachings, so to distill in them a better comprehension.
Specialization Lessons (Dars-e-Khaas-ul-Khawaas)
The students who wanted to pursue further after completing Scholarly lessons were taught the Philosophy of Shariat (Mohammedan law) and an authentic Religious textbook for higher studies in Islam,”HUJJAH-TUL-BAALIGHA “by Shah waliullah. Due to its advanced level , it was meant for only the select audience.
In Love With THE HOLY QURA’N
He had a pofound affiliation with the Holy Book Al-Qura’n as nothing could ever refrain him from conducting Qura’nic Sermons ( Dars-e-Quran), all his life. In one such incidences, he was delivering sermons, when his eldest son, Maulana Habibullah came and whispered something in his ears and left. To which he just nodded and proceeded with the sermon. A little later the same son appeared again and again whispered in his ears but the sermon continued as usual. The same happened the third time his son appeared. At the end of the sermon when Maulana Habibullah, his eldest son, was inquired by some attendants about the matter, he revealed that when he came for the first time, he alarmed his father about the critical condition of his sister. On the second time he intimated ab out her near-death state (last gasps), and finally he sadly disclosed about her death. But despite the seriousness of the matter Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori did not seize the sermon, in order to avoid discontinuity, even for a single day. (Subhan Allah) ! Many such incidents showed the acme of commitment he had towards Qura’nic sermons (Dars-e-Quran) all his life.
With such zeal he initiated the tradition of Qura’nic sermons (Dars-e-Qura’n)for ladies also. At the beginning, it started in a private house in Lahore, which later on turned into a madressa ( religious school) for ladies.
It is believed that a common inclination towards public Quranic teachings Dars-e-Qura’n was initiated in Punjab only by dint of Ahmed Ali Lahori. So much so that now no mosque is considered complete without Qura’nic sermon.
Below is the explanation of Dars-e-Quran in Jamiah masjid Ahmed Ali Lahori Sherawala Gate Lahore.
#1914 to 1963 Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori
#1963 to 1985 Maulana Obedullah Anwar.
#1985 to date Maulana Muhammad Ajmal Qadri
The emergence of the KHUDAM-UD-DIN organization
Khudam-ud-Din organization was established to preach spiritual teachings of Islam in an organized manner. Truthful and unbiased Preaching of the Holy Qura’n and Sunnah was the decided motto of this organization. Maulana Ahmed Ali presided it and wrote 34 magazines on religious percepts (propositions) meanwhile. He initiated a weekly magazine named Khudam-u-Din in 1905 and its readership came up to 15,000 within a period of a few monthes. He believed and justified that first decree should be looked up in the Holy Qura’n, if not found then Hadith (sayings of the Islamic Prophet) be consulted and lastly if not found there too, then Imam Abu-Hanifa’s words should be followed.
After his sad demise, his son Maulana Obaidullah Anwerbecame the leader of this Organization in 1962. Since 1985 Maulana Ajmal Qadiri, grandson of Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori, is sustaining all the matters of the organization. Hazrat Maulana Ajmal Qadiri is the present editor of this magazine.
Hazrat was allowed and authorized to take spiritual oaths, Bai’at from people by Maulana Taj Mehmood Amroti in 1936.
Below is the nutshell of Maulana Ahmed ALi Lahori’s general teachings.
1. To do Zikr-ullah (1000 times daily) 2. To be punctual in Five Times Prayers daily 3. To assure not getting anybody into trouble.
Translation and Interpretation of The Holy Qur’an
The translated version of the Holy Qura’n by Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori was first published in 1937. It is unanimously verified and authenticated by all sects alike.
Students and Disciples
Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori had chosen his disciples during his life time. He has insisted all of them to continue the mission and observe sincerity and selflessness in their service to religion. The number of his disciples is limited and a carefully chosen total of 24. ( Mard-e-momin). Due to their caliber, all of these were living institutes in themselves. In true sense of the word, they proved to be torch bearers in toeing the same line of Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori. Their names are as:
• Maulana Hafiz Habibullah Muhajir Madani – (Eldest Son of Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori)
• Maulana Abdul Haadi- Successor of Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Deenpuri-Khanpur District Raheem Yar Khan
• Maulana Syed Abul Hassan Nadvi- Director Nadva-tul-Ulema Lakhnow
• Maulana Abdul Aziz Shah- Masjid Noor Sahiwal
• Maulana Mufti Bashir Ahmed- Shahi Masjid, Pasroor,District Sialkot
• Jansheen Sheikh-ut-Tafseer Maulana Obaidullah Anwer-Successor of Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori-
Under the patronage of the Khuddamiddin Organization a section of publication was established. Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori published 34 pamphlets on different Islamic issues. In 1964 the publication size raised up to 11,56000 copies. In English language there were 11 pamphlets on various issues that concerned those times. Most of them were distributed for free for public welfare. These pamphlets were
Golden Sayings of Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori
1-‘ The gist of the Holy Qura’n is an unflinching affiliation with Allah.’
2-‘ A saint ( wali) can never be a polytheist and a polytheist can never be a saint (wali).’
3- ‘Bounty i.e spiritual benefit comes through three chords of Faith, Reverence, and submission. If a single chord breaks then there will be disconnection.’
4- ‘Namaz (prayer), Roza (fasting), Zakat (alms-tax), and Hajj (pilgrimage), can not save a person from hell, who disobeys his parents. There is a sure decision of hell for those.’
5-‘ Courage of Faith comes through the teaching of the Holy Qura’n.’
6- ‘Adoring others except Allah, praying for a boon and offering oblation or seeking help in the times of misery from them is also polytheism.’
7- ‘Ill-gotten(haraam) spoils the Illumination of Faith, so spend according to your sources.’
8- ‘Refutation of Hadith (sayings of the Holy Prophet) is the refutation of the Holy Qura’n and he who refuses Qura’n spoils his faith.’
9- ‘Nobody can say that he has become a perfect man. There is a lurking danger before entering the grave.’
10- ‘There are pearls in the dust under the shoes of saints, which are not found in the crown of kings, they are not! they are not! And these pearls will be taken along into the grave and in the day of resurrection.’
11- ‘The crux of the Holy Qura’n is’
• Please Allah by worship (Ibaadat)
• Please the Prophet Muhammad by Submission ( Ita’at)
• Please people service (Khidmat)
This is the complete explanation of the glory of the Holy Qura’n. He, who follows it, is a real Muslim.
Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori died on 17,Ramazanul-mubarik 1381(hijri). There was no intimate when he arrived in Lahore , but there were more than 300,000 people, who participated in the funeral. Days after his demise, a local newspaper reported emission of a sweet fragrance from his cemetery. So much so the soil of the cemetery was chemically tested and analysed through every possible way. But the fragrance odour. In fact his grave became the authenticated proof of a Hadith, which he used to quote very often that
“Grave is either one of the orchards of heaven or one or the pits of hell”
Thus, his own cemetery became one of the orchards of the heaven, by the grace of Almighty Allah and by the blessings of the Holy Prophet. The fragrance of the cemetery attested the saying of the Holy Prophet (Salla-o-Illai Waali Wassalam), which was experienced by the masses present at the funeral.
Kamran Hussain Khadim Markaz-e-Huqa Sheranwala Gate Lahore.