By Quraysh Khattak
Abdul Haq, founder of Darul Uloom Haqania Akora Khattak was born in 1914 in Akora Khattak, Nowshera District. His father Haji Maruf Gul was a well known land lord and businessman of the area.
After completing his early education, Abdul Haq joined Darul Uloom Deoband in India in 1928. About his admission in Deoband he told a writer: “I arrived at Deoband at such a time when the Bengali and Swati students had quarrelled and there was no flexibility in admission policy for Pathan students. I also had to face the problem of admission.”
During his stay in Deoband, Abdul Haq did not confine himself to studies only but also participated in extra-curricular activities. He was a brilliant student with leadership qualities and this made him the darling of his teachers.
He completed his studies in 1933 and returned to his native village. His father directed him to start imparting religious education to the people of the area. He started teaching in a mosque near his home.
In 1937, Maulana Abdul Haq laid the foundation of a primary school. Famous religious scholar and his teacher Syed Hussain Ahmad Madni of Deoband inaugurated the school. In a short time the number of students increased and otehr teachers were also appointed.
He was offered a teaching assignment at Deoband, which he accepted after consultation with his father and joined the Darul Uloom in 1943. He remained there for four years and excelled in the art of teaching. In 1947, he came to Akora Khattak during Ramazan vacations and could not return due to the independence of Pakistan.
Consequently, on September 23, 1947 he founded Darul Uloom Haqania. In the beginning the Maulana carried the entire burden of teaching all books of Dars – e – Nizami but with the passage of time the number of students increased and more teachers were assigned teaching jobs. Since 1947 till his death he had been teaching Hadith in his school.
In 1952, he along with other graduates of Deoband formed Jamiatul Ulema Islam and started struggling for implementation of Shariah in the country. In 1970 elections for the constitutional assembly, he defeated Ajmal Khattak of National Awami Party and Nasrullah Khan Khattak of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). On the assembly floor, he along with his comrade Maulana Mufti Mahmood struggled for islamizing the constitution. In the 1977 general polls, on the ticket of Pakistan National Alliance (PNA), he again humbled Nasrullah Khattak, the then chief minister of the NWFP and provincial President of the PPP.
Maulana Abdul Haq declared the Afghan War a Jehad and an ideological war between Islam and communism when the Soviet troops entered Afghanistan. He always prayed for success of the freedom fightes and made generous monetary contributions to the cause. Graduates of his school were instrumental in liberating the land from the Soviet clutches.
Prominent Afghan Jihadi and Taleban leaders had studied at Darul Uloom Haqannia and held the Maulana in high esteem. Maulana Abdul Haq had on many occasions expressed his desire to personally take part in the Afghan Jehad but old age and falling health did not allow him to do so.
After spending 74 eventfull years of life, Maulana Abdul Haq breathed his last on September 7, 1988 in Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar and was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard at Akora Khattak. His flag is now carried by his son Maulana Sami Ul Haq.
Akora Khattak, a small town of NWFP, assumed a historic importance in early 19th century when followers of Syed Ahmad Braileve launched an offensive against Sikh rulers of Punjab. It is said that it was precisely the same place where Darul-Uloom Haqqania is presently situated. The moving figure behind the establishment of Darul Uloom was Sheikh-ul-Hadith Moulana Abdul Haq, a great religious scholar of Islam. It was due to his untiring and selfless efforts that Darul Uloom has assumed a prominent place in the Muslim World. Sheikh ul Hadith was born at Akora Khattak in 1912 or according to some family belief in 1914 when the cloud of First world war were looming over the world horizon. His father, Al Haj Maroof Gul alias Gul Dada was a well-known religious scholar of his time. Sheikh ul Hadith received his early education from his parents. His mother, a very pious and God-fearing lady took keen interest in his character building and aspired to see his son engaged in propagation of Islam. However the parents sent their illustrious son for higher studies to nearby places in Peshawar, Mardan and Chahch which were the centers of religious education at that time. After that he went to Amroha, Meerut, Gulavati and Calcutta for special studies and finally joined the prestigious institution of the Sub-Continent Darul Uloom Deoband on 12 Shawwal (1347 A.H _ 1926).
He got his “Sanad” in 1352 A.H. after successful completion of his studies. He then left for his village Akora and opened a small Madrisa in a mosque adjacent to his house to spread education and to provide basic education to the children of completely illiterate and ignorant people of his area. Sheikh ul Hadith was engaged in his arduous word of propagation of Islam when called back to Deoband by his teacher Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni to take up an assignment in Deoband. On the insistence of his teachers he joined the Darul uloom Deoband in the month of Shawwal 1362 A.H and afterwards became its permanent staff member. Some three thousand of his students opened theological seminaries not only in the sub-continent but also in Far East and Near Eastern countries particularly in Soviet – occupied Central Asian territories. Most of them took active part in the Indian politics and waged a relentless battle against the British imperialism.
Sheikh ul Hadith served as a beacon of light for them. After partition of the sub-continent, despite persuasion of Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madni, his father did not agree to send him to Deoband. Sheikh ul Hadith again started his madrisa in a small mosque. This has now grown into famous Darul Uloom Haqqania, a living symbol of his selfless services and strenuous efforts to the cause of Islam. Hundreds of students of Darul Uloom Haqqania today are spreading religious education in Pakistan and particularly in many parts of Afghanistan. A large number of seekers of knowledge come from Afghanistan each year and after completion of their studies leave for Kabul.
They have rendered great services in the Afghan war by preaching the concept of Jehad and preparing the Mujahideen ideologically to resist the on slaught of socialism. Sheikh ul Hadith was a disciple of Haji Sahib Turangzai who was a freedom fighter. He was allowed to committed anti British take baiyat by eminent sufis like Faqir Sahib, Moulana Hussain Ahmed Deobandi & Khawaja Abdul Malik Siddiqu. Sheikh ul Hadith’s contributions to the anti-Qadiani movement are remarkable. In his lectures he stressed the significance of the concept of Khatam-i-Nabuwat (finality of prophethood) in Islam and gave cogent replies to the wrong interpretations of the Quranic verses and the ahdiths. Although the main center of Tehrik-i-Khatam Nabuwat (1953) was the Punjab, the Ulema of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa toured many parts of the province to mobilize support for it. In 1974 when the matter came under discussion in the Assembly he was the moving figure to make the movement a success. He aptly explained the reasons for declaring Qadianis a non-Muslim entity to his fellow MNAs and sought their support in the passage of the Bill.
A book under the title Millat-i-Islamia Ka Moqaf and its English version rendering Qadianism on trail is also available from Darul Uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak. Moulana Mufti Mahmood read out the excerpts of the book in different sittings of the National Assembly. At last the Assembly unanimously passed the historic ordinance on 7 September 1974. Sheikh ul Hadith was always quick to move adjournment motions whenever any Qadiani excesses were reported in the national press. Even his political opponents have admitted that Sheikh ul Hadith’s towering personality, his piety and services for Islam earned him great respect of the people. Whenever elections were held in the country, people thronged his residence to persuade him to contest the National Assembly seat from Nowshera Tehsil.
Thousands of his students are carrying out his mission in Pakistan and abroad. Many of his pupils had earned fame in the religious and political fields. A large part of present Afghan Mujahideen leadership received inspiration from his addresses and decrees of Jehad for the sublime cause of preserving the Islamic character of Afghanistan. The President of Pakistan awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz to Moulana Abdul Haq in August 1981 in recognition of his religious, educational and other scholarly achievements. For the services rendered by Sheikh ul Hadith for the cause of Islam, Peshawar University gave him an honourary degree of Ph.D in Divinity in October 1978.
After long hard work and completion of his Aims for Islamic Propagation. He left this mortal world in 7th of September 1988. After his death the holy mission of Hazrat Moulana is remain continue. Allah may give him the reward of his propitiatory offerings. (Amin)