Qari ‘Abd al-Rahman Panipati

Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib (RA) was born in Paani Patt in the year 1227 AH. His lineage links up with Hadhrat Abu Ayoob Ansaari . He studied Fiqh as well as the Usool and Ma’qool kitaabs by Ustaazul Ulama, Hadhrat Moulana Mamlook Ali Sahib (RA). In the subject of Qiraat he held an esteemed position and was regarded as an Imaam. He studied Qiraat under Qaari Shah Imaamud Deen Sahib (RA). Due to his expertise in this subject, he became known as Qaari Saheb whereas besides qiraat, he gained expertise in many other subjects of both written and applied knowledge’s. Thus together with being a Qaari, he was also a great Muhaddith. He was a special student of Shah Ishaaq Sahib (RA) and had also established his Islaahi talluq (connection for reformation) with Hadhrat Shah Sahib (RA). When Shah Sahib (RA) gave him the sanad (chain of narrators leading up to Nabi j) of Hadith, he said, “I am giving Qaari Sahib the words of the Hadith but the true meaning of the Hadith I have attained from him.” After attaining internal perfection and obtaining his blessings, Hadhrat Shah Sahib (RA) granted him ijaazah and made him his khalifa in all four silsilaahs4. An introduction to Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib Paani Patti (RA) Hadhrat Qaari Sahib’s hometown was Paani Patt in the district of Karnaal. He stayed in Hatora for some time. Hadhrat was the student of Shah Abdul Aziz (RA) and Shah Ishaaq Muhaajir Makki (RA). Hadhrat’s biography called Tazkira-e-Rahmaaniyah has also been printed and contains a detailed account of his life history. I want to mention how Qaari Sahib (RA) came to Baanda and the reason for him staying in Hatora.

Hadhrat Qaari Sahib’s recitation of the Qur’aan was such that the birds would stop in “mid air” to listen to his recitation. When Qaari Sahib went to Arabia, he also travelled to many countries. When he reached Yemen, the king at that time gave Qaari Sahib a manuscript of the Qur’aan which was written in gold. This Qur’aan is still kept safely in the Paani Patt library.

During the British rule, Zaahir Shah, the king of Kaabul came
to India. On his return journey his train passed Paani Patt. The
people of Paani Patt came to the station to receive him. At that time Hadhrat Moulana Qaari Abdul Haleem Sahib, the
grandson of Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib gifted Zaahir Shah
with that very same Qur’aan and told him that the gift of a
king is being gifted to a king.
Hadhrat Qaari Sahib (RA) arrives in Baanda in the
era of Nawaab Zul Fiqaar Bahaadur Sahib
Qaari Abdul Haleem Sahib (RA), the grandson of Qaari Abdur
Rahmaan Sahib (RA) writes in his book Tazkira-e-
Rahmaaniyah that Janaab Zul Fiqaar Bahaadur was bay’at to
Hadhrat Moulana Shah Abdul Aziz Sahib (RA) and after him
was bay’at to Shah Ishaaq Sahib (RA). Nawaab Sahib
requested Shah Ishaaq Sahib (RA) to send one of his khalifahs
to Baanda who would benefit the people with his internal and
external barakaat (blessings). Upon this request, Hadhrat Shah
Sahib (RA) chose Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib
amongst his other students for this task.5
Hadhrat Moulana Siddeeq Sahib (RA) writes that Nawaab Zul
Fiqaar Bahaadur had thereafter established an Islaahi ta’alluq
(connection for reformation) with Hadhrat Shah Muhammad
Ishaaq Sahib (RA). Hadhrat Shah Sahib (RA) was also against
the British. It was due to his hatred for them that he migrated
from India to Makkah Mu’azzamah. Nawaab Sahib asked
permission to go with him. Shah Sahib instructed him to look
after his people and thus did not permit him to migrate.

Nawaab Sahib then requested Shah Sahib (RA) to appoint
someone to take care of them. Hadhrat Shah Sahib (RA) chose
Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib Muhaddith Paani Patti
(RA) for this task and sent him there. For many years, Hadhrat
Qaari Sahib (RA) lived in Baanda and served Deen. During the
reign of Nawaab Zul Fiqaar, Baanda had become a centre for
Ulama and Shu’araa (poets). It was during the same period
that Moulana Sakhaawat Ali (RA) and Moulana Abdul
Haleem Sahib (RA) the father of Moulana Abdul Haq Farangi
Mahalli taught at Nawaab Sahib’s Madrasah.
Moulana Abdul Haleem Sahib (RA) lived in Baanda with his
wife and children. It was here that Moulana Abdul Haq
Farangi Mahali (RA) was born on a Tuesday in the month of
Zul Qa’dah in the year 1264. He wrote hundreds of books on
all topics and subjects and was an A’alim, his calibre and
publicity was not seen in his era.
At that time, Baanda was very backward as far as Deen was
concerned, although previously it used to be a markaz of Deen
and knowledge and was run by a pious Allah-fearing-
Nawaab. There was always a gathering of great Ulama and
pious people from all around the country. It was through
Nawaab Sahib, his value for knowledge and his close contact
with ‘Ilm that he was able to gather around him, great Ulama
such as Moulana Sayed Sakhaawat Ali (RA), Moulana
Khurram Ali Balhori (RA), Moulana Abdul Haleem Sahib
Lucknowi (RA), Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahman Sahib Paani
Patti (RA) and others.

In the history of Baanda, this was a very eventful and golden
era. Qaari Abdul Haleem Sahib (RA) writes that Qaari Abdur
Rahmaan Sahib Paani Patti (RA) was appointed by Shah
Ishaaq Sahib (RA) to serve Deen in Baanda. Nawaab Zul
Fiqaar Sahib really appreciated him but he did not understand
the true status and position of Hadhrat Qaari Sahib (RA).
After some time Nawaab Sahib began to realise the true status
of Qaari Sahib which made him extremely happy. He then
erected a Madrasah for Hadhrat, where large crowds of
students would flock. In the same year Hadhrat went to Hijaaz
to perform Haj. After completing the fardh Haj, Hadhrat
stayed in Makkah Mua’zzamah for one year. Thereafter, he
completed a second Haj and returned to India with the
permission of his Sheikh. He stayed for a few days in his home
town, Paani Patt, where he delivered several lectures to the
people. After some time, with the permission of Shah Sahib
(RA), he returned to Baanda. The entire area benefited from
Hadhrat. He continued his life in the service of the Qur’aan
and the Hadith. This period of barakah and blessings continued
for some time.

Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib (RA) comes
to Hatora
There was a buzurg from Hadhrat’s family by the name of
Qaadhi Sayed Muhammad Sultaan. Allah Ta’ala had blessed
him with great capabilities. Together with being a Qaadhi, he
also possessed very noble qualities. Amongst which were
humility, caring for others, and Istighnaa (being independent
of others). Based on these special qualities, Nawaab Zul Fiqaar
Sahib valued him greatly and also included him among his
very special friends and consultants.
When Qaadhi Sahib used to go to Baanda, he would engage in
lengthy conversations with Nawaab Sahib. A few days would
pass and Nawaab Sahib would send a messenger with the
message that Nawaab Sahib is thinking of him. Despite this
close relationship, Qaadhi Sahib’s level of Zuhd
(independence) was such that until the end of his life, Hadhrat
Qaadhi Sahib lived in an unbaked room which was built near
the Musjid. He never sought help from Nawaab Sahib for any
of his needs. He would eat and drink at his own expense and
would never tolerate accepting any favour from anyone.
Nawaab Sahib desired to build a beautiful house for him in
Hatora but he refused this offer.
At the same time, Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib Paani
Patti (RA) returned to Baanda on the instruction of Hadhrat
Shah Ishaaq Sahib (RA) and the request of Nawaab Zul Fiqaar
Sahib (RA). Together with ta’leem (learning and teaching), he
also engaged himself in making the islaah (reformation) and tarbiyah (Islaamic nurturing) of the people. Since Qadhi
Muhammad Sultaan Sahib was amongst the close companions
of Nawaab Sahib, he also established an Islaahi ta’alluq
(connection for one’s reformation) with Hadhrat Qaari Abdur
Rahmaan Sahib Paani Patti (RA). Most of the people in his
family also took bay’at (Pledge of allegiance) at his hands.
From that time Qaadhi Sahib offered himself for Qaari Sahib’s
service. His devotion together with his love and faith in him
increased. As a result of this love and connection, Hadhrat
Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib Paani Patti (RA) came to Hatora
on the invitation of Qaadhi Sahib. When Hadhrat arrived here
and saw the simplicity of the Muslims in this village and their
love and faith in him, Hahrat’s enthusiasm for da’wat, Islaah
and tarbiyah increased greatly. Thereafter, Qaari Sahib began
frequenting Hatora. He would stay there for many days and
would conduct majaalis. People continued deriving benefit
from him.
Hadhrat Qaari Siddeeq Sahib (RA) once said that he had seen
that unbaked room where Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahmaan
Sahib (RA) used to live in. He also mentioned that during the
summers, Hadhrat used to place his bed on that piece of land
where the southern gate of the Madrasah stands today. A cool
breeze used to blow in that area.
Hadhrat (RA) had made one nikaah in Baanda as well. He
regarded Hatora as his home and would bring his family and
children along with him. He stayed for lengthy periods of time
and benefited the people. During the fight for independence he stayed in Hatora for a long time. The details of his stay are
as follows.
Hadhrat Qaari Abdur Rahmaan Sahib’s (RA) grandson, Qaari
Abdul Haleem Sahib (RA) writes in his book Tazkirah e
Rahmaaniyyah that Nawaab Zul Fiqaar Bahaadur Sahib (RA)
was regarded as a terror suspect in the eyes of the English and
Hadhrat Qaari Sahib (RA) had a very close and special
relationship with Nawaab Sahib. It is well known that at the
time of fitnah the cursed oppressors do not differentiate
between who is right and who is wrong. On the slightest
suspicion a person is put under scrutiny. Of course, Hadhrat
was completely innocent from this fitnah and the English were
well aware of this. The effects of the mutiny in 1857 were
witnessed in and around Baanda.
Two months before this fitnah, no one thought that Baanda
would become a target. Hadhrat (RA) felt, however, that the
people of his household should be sent to Hatora which is
about 10 miles away from Baanda. The moment this thought
entered Hadhrat’s mind, he sent his family and children to
Hatora and also purchased 50 mann (measure of weight) of
grains and dholl and other provision which he sent with them.
Barely two months passed when looters and invaders spread
throughout the entire area. Despite all the surrounding
villages being affected with devastation and killing, with the
fadhal of Allah Ta’ala, Hatora remained safe. One year after
1857, my respected uncle, Moulana Qaari Abdus Salaam
Ansaari (RA) was born. When this fitnah subsided and safety prevailed, Hadhrat returned to Baanda and resumed teaching.
Students began flocking to him and once again the Madrasah
was occupied.
Hadhrat Qaari Sahib’s unparalleled example of
independence and adherence to the sunnah during
the fight for freedom
Who is unaware of the enmity that the British harboured for
the Muslims and their oppressiveness towards them? In 1857
when the English had caused an uproar, the people of Baanda
showed great resistance and they opposed the English openly.
The English were very perturbed at this. Many amongst the
ignorant masses oppressed the innocent English women and
children. When Hadhrat Qaari Sahib (RA) heard of this, he
became extremely perturbed and openly condemned these
actions saying that our religion does not permit us to behave
in this manner. He also gave them sanctuary in his Madrasah.
He emphasised to the students to take care of those oppressed,
saying that no one should harm them.
The English were so impressed with Hadhrat Qaari Sahib’s
good conduct that some of them accepted Islaam. After some
time when the British gained total control and Nawaab Zul
Fiqaar was forced to go to Indor during the mutiny, Hadhrat
Qaari Sahib (RA) also left Baanda and lived in different places
like Hatora, Chenehra, etc. When this fitnah subsided and
peace and tranquillity prevailed, Hadhrat (RA) went back to
Baanda and once again engaged himself in teaching Deen.

After some time, Hadhrat received a letter from a
commissioner stating that he had been chosen to receive a total
of 100 000 rupees annually due to the kindness shown by him
towards the ruling English class. However, Hadhrat (RA) did
not go to receive this himself nor did he reply to the letter.
Eventually, the English themselves came to Hadhrat. Those
who had sought protection from Hadhrat during the mutiny
respectfully insisted that he should go to the commissioner.
But Hadhrat (RA) refused to go and accept this gift. He replied
saying,
“.”      

  “
We did not serve you for any worldly motive but rather it is our
religious obligation that we should help the oppressed.”

Hence, assisting you at that time was our religious and moral
obligation. Furthermore, it is also our humanitarian right that
we should assist those that are in trouble. There is no need for
the government to recompense me in any way and neither do I
need anything from you people. Please forgive me.” It was
only then, that these Englishmen greeted him respectfully and
returned.

Moulana Ameenud Deen Sahib’s return to Hatora
and the continuation of his ta’leem
The people of Hatora were much attached to Hadhrat Qaari
Abdur Rahmaan Sahib (RA) as he lived in Hatora for a long
time. Many of them had taken bay’at with him. After Qaari
Sahib (RA) returned to Paani Patt they maintained this
relationship. This is why Qari Siddeeq Bandwi’s grandfather went to study
in Paani Patt where he lived for a while. The relationship
between the people of Hatora and Paani Patt continued. After
Hadhrat Qaari Sahib (RA) left, his son Qaari Abdus Salaam
Sahib used to visit and stay for lengthy periods. The people of
Hatora benefited tremendously and studied by him.
In Sawaanih-e-Fathiyyah7, it is written that after Qaari Abdur
Rahmaan Sahib passed away, Qaari Abdus Salaam remained
his successor and continued teaching tajweed and qiraat-esabah8.
Hadhrat Moulana Ameenud Deen Sahib9 studied Arabic,
Persian and some of the initial books under Qaari Abdus
Salaam Sahib. He also went to Paani Patt and chose to study
under Moulana Noor Muhammad Sahib. In that era there was
neither a Madrasah nor a Maktab in the whole district of
Baanda. The people in the area complained to Moulana Abdus
Salaam Sahib that this whole area has become empty. They requested him to leave Moulana Ameenud Deen Sahib there to
teach them Deen. When Hadhrat requested Moulana
Ameenud Deen Sahib to stay he said: “Hadhrat you know that
I am still studying. I have reached only up to Kaafiyah. I still
have to continue my studies. If I stay away here, my studies
will be affected.”
Moulana Abdus Salaam Sahib lowered his head in muraaqabah
(meditation) for some time and said. “Ameenud Deen, remain
here. This is what Allah Ta’ala wants of you. Through you,
Allah Ta’ala will confer great favours and blessings in this
area.” Thus Moulana Ameenud Deen Sahib (RA) remained
here and Allah Ta’ala used him to spread Deen in the entire
area. Our Hadhrat (RA) is also one of the special students of
Moulana Ameenud Deen Sahib (RA), the details of which will
follow shortly.

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