He was born in the village of Qandahar in the district of Nander in Deccan with four days passing from Rabi al-Awwal 1264. He memorized the Quran and studied the shorter works (mukhtasarat) with the teachers of his land. He studied with Shaykh Abd al-Halim al-Ansari al-Luknawi, then kept the company of his son Shaykh Abd al-Hayy al-Luknawi in the city of Hyderabad.
He took tafsir from Shaykh Abdullah al-Yamani and Tasawwuf and spiritual wayfaring (suluk) from his father from whom he received an ijazah. He was decribed as having gained expertise in a number of the Islamic sciences.
He performed the pilgrimage in the year 1264 where he met the great Shaykh Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki to whom he pledged allegiance and from whom he also received ijazah.
He was selected as a teacher by the ruler of the Deccan: Mahbub Ali Khan the sixth Nizam. In the year 1301 he travelled for his second pilgrimage and in the 1305 for a third, taking up residence in Madinah the Illuminated for three years. He returned to Hyderabad in the year 1308 and was appointed a teacher by the crown prince Uthman Ali Khan, and when the ruler of the Deccan Mahbub Ali Khan passed away in the year 1329 Uthman Ali Khan became the seventh Nizam in the year 1330. He proceeded to appoint Mawlana Anwarullah the minister of Awqaf in the year 1332 and gave him the title ‘Nawab Fadilat Jung’.
In Rabi al-Awwal of the year 1332 he was appointed tutor of the crown prince and his brother by which he was able to achieve great influence in religious matters by which he undertook many reforms and benefitted the land and its people.
Hakim Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani said regarding him:
He was unique in his age in the rational and transmitted sciences (ulum al-aqliyyah wal-naqliyyah). Heavily engrossed in worship, continuous in being busied with teaching, consultation, reading of books and writing. Severe in condemnation of the people of innovation and desires. He established the Madrassa al-Nizamiyyah in Hyderabad in the year 1293. He founded an academy for writing and publishing calling it ‘Ishaat al-Ulum’.
He was tall, broad shouldered and of a medium build. Fair skinned mixed with redness. Wide eyed and with a full beard. He did not pay excessive attention to food and clothing and took care to perform physical exercise till the end of his life.
He exercised precaution in wealth, positions and posts. He was forebearing and humble, he would visit the sick and attend funerals. He was a person of goodness and righteousness, not accumulating wealth nor caring for it. He was gentle in his speech and far removed from harsh language and boycotting others.
He would teach the Futuhat al-Makkiyyah after Maghrib till the middle of the night, and had an immense repect for Shaykh Muhyiuddin Ibn Arabi. Towards the end of his life he would spend his nights with matters relating to knowledge and would sleep after Fajr until the break of day. He was also known for his love for collecting rare books.
He authored a number of works in Urdu and Arabic, amongst them being:
- Al-Ifham written in 2 volumes as a refutation of al-Qadiani
- A-Aql fi al-Falsafah al-Qadimah wal-Jadidah
- Haqiqat al-Fiqh in 2 volumes regarding the reasons for the preference of the Hanafi school and excellent qualities of Abu Hanifah
- Anwar Ahmadi fi Mawlid al-Nabi (Allah bless him and give him peace)
- Maqasid al-Islam in 11 volumes, all of them in Urdu.
And he has other than these works
He passed away after Jumadi al-Akhir in the year 1336 and was buried in the Madrassa al-Nizamia which he founded.
Adapted from ‘Nuzhat al-Khawatir’ of Hakim Abd al-Hayy al-Hasani (pg.1197-1198) – daralhadith.co.uk
The Sheikh, the Mujaddid, the Muhaddith, the Mufassir, the Faqih, the Sufi , the caller to Islam, Hazrat Allamah Shah Muhammad Anwaarullah Farooqui Fazeelat Jung quddisa Sirruhul azeez was amongst the greatest and the most elect`ulema produced by the Indian sub-continent in the last century.
The renowned Sheikh was an embodiment of love for the Messenger of Allah `alaihi afDalus salaatu was salaam. He was peerless in knowledge, this combined with his humility, patience, perseverance, magnanimity and farsightedness earned him a highly respectable position in eyes of the commoners and the then rulers of the Deccan, the Sayyids of the Asif Jahi Dynasty.
The Sheikh was from the Noble lineage of Hazrat Shah Rafiuddin Qandahāri Rahimahullah and his predecessors were from the Qandahar.
Sheikh Anwarullah Farooqi reached such great heights of knowledge and wisdom that there were few or no one amongst his peers who matched him. It is an interesting fact that three generations of the Asif Jahi rulers were at one point or another, under his tutelage.
In the reign of the seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan, the Sheikh was deputed to oversee and manage the Hyderabad State’s Office for Religious affairs, his services during this period are among the most significant contributions to the service of Islam from the Indian sub-continent.
He was the founder of the prestigious Jamia Nizamia Islamic University which is known even today as the Al-Azhar of India. Thousands of scholars from the sub continent and from abroad have studied and benefited from this institution and the scholars produced by it.
This institution was instrumental in bringing the knowledge of the deen to the masses. It was due to the pure niyyah and the prayers of the Sheikh that Allah azza wa Jall chose Jamia Nizamia, for the propagation of His word and for spreading the love of His beloved Messenger and Habeeb Sayyiduna Muhamamd [`alaihi afDalus salaatu was salaam] for more than a hundred and thirty years.
Among the other glorious and unparalleled achievements of the Noble Sheikh was the formation of the Majlis Ishaat ul uloom, the Center for Publishing of Islamic Sciences which is known for its service over the last century.
In 1888 the Sheikh established the institution which can be called as the Jewel among the institutions of Islamic Research in the sub continent, the one of a kind Dairatul M`aarif al-Uthmaniyya, has over the past century collected, edited, published and preserved thousands of rare and original works dealing with the Islamic history, art and traditional sciences from as early as the sixth and eighth century AD. In spite of the neglect after the fall of the State of Hyderabad and the Indian Government’s lack of support for the last six decades, Dairatul M`aarif al-Uthmaniyya is still a priceless repository of Islamic knowledge and original manuscripts – The books published by the Dairatul M`aarif over the last hundred years have become fountains of sacred knowledge for its seekers, they form part of the syllabi of several universities in the Middle East and Europe and still make huge profits for top middle eastern publishing houses while the copyright holding institution lies in shambles.
The Sheikh was instrumental in the formation of the Kutub Khana-e-Asifiyya which is now known as the State Central Library of Hyderabad.
The Sheikh had also planned another project on the lines of the Dairatul M`aarif al-Uthmaniyya for the compilation and publishing of rare works of Hanafi Hadith and Fiqh literature.
This dream was brought to fruition by his student, the Muhaqqiq and Muhadith Sayyid Mahmood Shah al-Qadri al-Hanafi rahimahullah – who was popularly known as Sheikh Abul Wafa al-afGhani quddisa sirruh ul azeez, when he founded the Majlis ahya ul M`aarif Nomania.The Hanafi Madhab/Maslak is indebted to this Sufi Sheikh for the books that were published under his guidance. The work done by this institution is acclaimed world wide and its benefits are being reaped today by scholars from all over the ummah.
Amongst the numerous writings of Sheikh Anwarullah Farooqi quddisa sirruh ul azeez, the ones which became very popular are Anwaar-e-Ahmedi which was written by the Sheikh while he was in Madinah Munawwara, Afadatul Ifhaam, Anwaar-ul-Haqq, Maqaasid-ul-Islam – (12 Volumes), al Kalam al Marf`u fil hadeeth-il-mawDu , Bushrul Kalam, Anwaar-ul-wadood, Haqeeqat-ul-fiqh (2 Volumes) – These works are considered as unique and major research works in the world of Islamic scholarship.
He was far ahead in his contemporaries in understanding the dynamics of heresies. While some ill informed scholars were condoning the heresies of the ghayr muqallideen and others were still holding on to their pens, he was amongst the first in the Indian subcontinent to write against the heresies of the ghayr muqallideen, he also pointed out the mistakes of the neycharis, the qadiyanis, the rafidis and the wahabiyya and presented the genuine aqeeda of ahlus sunnah wal jamaah.
The ahlus sunnah are indebted to the Sheikh Anwarullah Farooqi for his untiring service to the deen and for his efforts to preserve their tradition and protect their aqeedah.
may Allah bless him, elevate his rank and fill his maqaam with nur ! aameen biHurmati sayyidil mursaleen! [sallalahu `alaihi wa sallam]