Muftī Sayyid ‘Abd al-Raḥīm Lajpūrī

Geographical Background

Lajpor: Lajpor is a town in the district of Surat, located approximately 12 miles south of the city of Surat. The town has a large Muslim population and had always been the home of many pious servants of Allaah.
Rander: This is a town close to Surat, which hosts two large Daarul Ulooms. The first is Daarul Uloom Ashrafiyyah, which was established in the year 1286 A.H. (1870) and the second is Daarul Uloom Husayniyyah, which was established in 1335 A.H. (1919). Many pious people are buried in the Rander graveyard, including a Taabi’ee.

Birth
Hadhrat Mufti Sayyid Abdur Raheem Lajpori Sahib   was born in the Motwar suburb of Nosari in the month of Shawwaal 1321 A.H. (3 December 1902).

Lineage
Together with his profound knowledge and piety, Hadhrat Mufti Sahib  was also blessed with the honour of belonging to the family of Rasulullaah r. His lineage is traced back to Hadhrat Ali t.

His Father
His father was Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Kareem Lajpori  , who was born in Lajpor in the year 1301 A.H. (1884). He studied up to Mishkaat in Lajpor, but, due to domestic problems, he was unable to travel to a Daarul Uloom to complete the Dore Hadith year. He therefore did jot have a formal degree. Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Kareem   taught initially in Lajpor, but then proceeded to teach in Madrasah Muhammadiyya in the Motwar suburb of Nosari. Here he taught for many years and also served as the Imaam of the Jaami Masjid for twelve years.

Realising that one of the great responsibilities of scholars is to guide the Ummah through lectures, Hadhrat Moulana   played a role in this field of religious instruction. In fact, during the month of Rabee-ul-Awwal, he would deliver three lectures a day. He would travel to Sacheen in the mornings, where he would deliver his first lecture. After lunch, he would travel back to Nowsari, where he would deliver a lecture after the Zuhr salaah. His third lecture for the day would then take place after Isha in the town of Jalaalpur. Hadhrat Moulana   was an eloquent speaker and because he had committed much of the Mathnawi to memory, he was able to sing many parts of it during his lectures as and when appropriate.

Hadhrat Moulana   had a close relationship with many leading Ulema of his time such as Hadhrat Moulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri  , Hadhrat Moulana Shabbier Ahmad Uthmaani  , Hadhrat Moulana Badre Aalam Mirati  , Mufti Ateequr Rahmaan Uthmaani   and Hadhrat Moulana Husayn   who was the founder of Daarul Uloom Husayniyyah in Randher. These personalities would often stay at Hadhrat Moulana  ’s residence in Nowsari, especially when travelling from Delhi to Dhabel. When he fell ill during the last days of his life, Hadhrat Mufti Abdur Raheem   brought his father to Randher so that he could receive treatment and also to be of service to him. However, this great soul was summoned by Allaah on the 26th of Jumaadal Ukhra 1393 (27 July 1973). It was Hadhrat Mufti Abdur Raheem   who led the Janaazah salaah and lay his father to rest in the famous cemetery of Randher. Hadhrat Moulana left behind four sons:

1. Hadhrat Mufti Sayyid Abdur Raheem  , about whose life we are discussing
2. Hadhrat Moulana Sayyid Abdul Haqq Qadri  , who was one of the leading members of the Jamiatul Ulema of India and very active in politics. He passed away in Dhul Hijjah 1418 A.H. (April 1998).
3. Haafidh Sayyid Abdul Hakeem  : He was an excellent Haafidh and Aamil, who spent his life in Nowsari.
4. Hadhrat Moulana Sayyid Abdul Ahad Kowthari Qadri  : Hadhrat Moulana was born in 1928 in Nowsari and was a graduate of Jaamea Husayniyyah in Randher. He was a famous writer in Gujarat and a prolific researcher. One of the many outstanding attributes Allaah blessed him with was his powerful pen, before which evil and her consorts shuddered. Amongst his many writings was “The Muslim’s Diary”, a book which Muslims need to read, especially in today’s times of ignorance. He had an extensive knowledge of global politics and would read the newspapers every day. He passed away on the 30th of Jumaadal Ukhra 1415 (4 December 1994) and is buried in the Leicester cemetery in England.

His Education
Hadhrat Mufti Sayyid Abdur Raheem   received his initial grounding
education from Moulana Sayyid Ibraheem (passed away 1329 A.H.) in
Lajpor. As a young boy, Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   also used to recite
Qur’aan with other little boys in the Jaami Masjid when the great sage
Hadhrat Moulana Soofi Sulaymaan Lajpori   heard him reciting. The
saint was so impressed by the boy’s excellent recitation that he asked
the young Abdur Raheem to recite to hi every day.
When his Ustaadh Hadhrat Moulana Ibraheem   passed away,
Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   went to the village of Mota Waracha, where he
studied the Qur’aan under the tutelage of his paternal uncle Haafidh
Sayyid Husaamud Deen Qadri   (passed away 1343 A.H.). although
he stayed there for only two years, the hospitality of the people of the
village left and indelible impression on Hadhrat Mufti Sahib  . The
humid climate of the village did however have an ill effect on his
uncle’s health. Learning of this, the Sheikhul Hadith of Daarul Uloom
Ashrafiyyah in Randher summoned him to teach Hifdh in the Daarul
Uloom and to be the Imaam at a Masjid there. Consequently, Hadhrat
Mufti Sahib   went with his uncle to stay in Randher. He then enrolled
at the Daarul Uloom and completed Hifdh in the year 1339 A.H. While
staying in Lajpor, Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   had received Gujarati
education for a year to two.

The Wrestler
The verses of the Qur’aan and several Ahadeeth exhort Muslims to be
brave, strong and ever prepared for Jihaad. As a true follower of the
teachings of Allaah and Rasulullaah r, Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   was an
expert wrestler and taught wrestling to the youngsters in Lajpor and in
Randher. He recounts the time when a wrestler from Randher arrived
in Lajpor and asked some of the youngsters whom it was who taught
them wrestling. “Abdur Raheem” they replied. The burly wrestler then
asked them to call their teacher to challenge him. When the man
insisted on challenging only Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   , the two met in
the ring.

Describing the incident, Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   writes, “I made du’aa
to Allaah to preserve my dignity and not let me be humiliated before
my students. He was standing opposite me when I got into the ring,
beating his palms on his forearms to frighten me. I stepped forward
when he did and we watched each other closely before leaping at one
another. I grabbed him above the waist from the front, lifted him up
and them slammed him to the ground so hard that he was forced to
concede defeat. He had now lost courage, while I was filling with it.
‘The wrestling bout has to take place three times,’ I told him. He was,
however, not prepared to even go the second round.”

An Interesting Incident
After completing Hifdh, Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   stayed in Lajpor, where
he continued his studies together with assisting in farming. He studied
some Qiraa’ah under his Ustaadh Qaari Abdus Sattaar  , whose
beautiful style of reciting the Qur’aan was copied by Hadhrat Mufti
Sahib   and many other Qurraa. An interesting incident concerning
the Qaari Sahib needs to be mentioned here. It once happened that
Hadhrat Qaari Sahib and Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   travelled to Randher.
Because had always lauded Hadhrat Qaari Sahib’s recitation, the people
insisted that he lead the Isha salaah at the Jaami Masjid. However, to
their disappointment, Hadhrat Qaari Sahib’s recitation was
straightforward and simple. After the people expressed their
disappointment to Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   , he mentioned it to his
Ustaadh. Hadhrat Qaari Sahib then told Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   that
whenever he led the salaah in another Masjid, he ensured that he
never recited better than the local Imaam so that the people would not
lose respect for their Imaam.

His Fervour for learning from a Young Age
How did Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   start learning under the eminent Qaari
Abdus Sattaar Sahib  ? Qaari Sahib   used to teach a student of his
every day after Asr at the pond of the Masjid. Hadhrat Mufti Sahib  
was still a young boy at the time and was keen to learn as well, but
was unable to afford the tutorship fees. He therefore sat nearby each
day and listened attentively to the Qaari Sahib   teaching the boy. He
repeated to himself everything the Qaari Sahib   recited and in a
short period of time he was able to recite the Qur’aan exactly as the
Qaari Sahib   used to recite.

One day, the Qaari Sahib   said to his student, “Now you read for me
today. Let’s see what you have learnt after all these days.” When the
boy recited, the Qaari Sahib   became extremely angry and shouted,
“After such a long time you have not even managed to master my style
of reading.” Seeing the young Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   sitting nearby,
Qaari Sahib   said, “Have you learnt anything after sitting here for so
long?” Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   eagerly sprang forward and said, “Yes, I
have.” When the Qaari Sahib   asked him to start reciting, Hadhrat
Mufti Sahib   recited exactly as the Qaari Sahib   recited. The Qaari
Sahib   became so happy that he insisted that Hadhrat Mufti Sahib 
 join his class every day.

Throughout his life, Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   always recited exactly as
the famous Qaari Sahib   used to recite and when hearing Hadhrat
Mufti Sahib   recite, people actually thought that it was the Qaari
Sahib   himself.

As an Imaam
While he was still a student, Hadhrat Mufti Sahib   had a keen
interest in Masaa’il and avidly studied Behisti Zewar and Ghaayatul
Awtaar even as a child. People learnt about this and would ask him for
answers to their questions. In addition to this, his fluent and melodious recitation of the Qur’aan prompted the people of Nowsari to appoint
him as Imaam of their Jaami Masjid in the year 1340 A.H. (1922).

His Studies in Randher
Two cloth merchants from Randher once arrived in Nowsari on business
and said to Mufti Sahib  , “We have made du’aa to Allaah that we
should have an Imaam like you in the Jaami Masjid of Randher.” “How
can someone like me be the Imaam in a place like Randher, which is
the centre of learning and learned men?”

Not so long afterwards, the founder of Jaami Husayniyyah Hadhrat
Moulana Muhammad Husayn   (student of Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad
Kifaayatullah  ) and the caretaker of the Daarul Uloom arrived in
Nowsari to attend the Nikaah of Mufti Sahib   ‘s sister. While there,
they insisted on performing their Fajr salaah behind Mufti Sahib  .
After the salaah, Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Husayn   embraced
Mufti Sahib   and said, “It is a place like the Jaami Masjid of Randher
that deserves the likes of you.” “But Randher is a centre of learning
and I am just an ordinary Haafidh,” Mufti Sahib   submitted. “Just
come to Randher,” the two men insisted, “Inshaa Allaah, you will even
graduate as an Aalim.”

Mufti Sahib   then proceeded to Randher, where he was appointed
Imaam of the Jaami Masjid in Dhul Qa’dah 1343 A.H. (1925). There he
served as Imaam for the following 63 years with great dedication and
steadfastness, until he was forced to leave the post in 1406 A.H. due to
ill health.

The people of Nowsari were extremely grieved by his departure, but
gave him their du’aas when they realised that he left to study. When
he arrived in Randher, he spent the night in the Masjid and was given
food to eat the next morning in the Madrasah. When Mufti Sahib  
arrived in Randher, he was unable to eat the Madrasah food and took
leave to prepare his own food. He would also sometimes buy food from
a local restaurant, where food was very cheap. Things however became
brighter when his wife was able to join him in Randher a while later.
It was in 1344 A.H. (1925) that Mufti Sahib   enrolled in the Jaamia
Husayniyyah (then called Madrasah Muhammadiyya Arabiyyah). There
he studied for six years until he qualified on the 30th of Sha’baan 1349
A.H. (1930). The graduation ceremony was attended by great luminaries like Hadhrat Moulana Anwar Shah Kashmeeri   and
Hadhrat Moulana Husayn Ahmad Madani  . In fact, it was the hand of
Hadhrat Shah Sahib   that tied Mufti Sahib  ‘s turban at the
graduation ceremony. When in Randher, Hadhrat Shah Sahib   was
asked to teach a few lessons, which he did. Mufti Sahib   attended
these lessons and was thus blessed with being the student of this great
son of Islaam.

Mufti Sahib   ‘s Ustaadhs include Hadhrat Moulana Muhibullaah  ,
Hadhrat Moulana Mufti Mahdi Hasan Shah Jahaanpuri  , Hadhrat
Moulana Mufti Mahmood Hasan Ajmeri  , Hadhrat Moulana
Muhammad Husayn Randheri   and Hadhrat Moulana Ahmad Noor
Peshawari  . All of these were great men of learning and all of them
held Mufti Sahib   in high esteem.

Mufti Sahib   graduated as a Qaari as well. Although he learned
under the expert tutelage of Qaari Abdus Sattaar   in Lajpur, he
studied all the books of Qiraa’ah and qualified as a Qaari under the
skilled guidance of Qaari Muhammad Umar Thanwi   at Jaamia
Husayniyyah. Mufti Sahib   recited the complete Qur’aan in Hadr,
Tadweer and Tarteel.

The Beginning of his Career in Issuing Fataawaa
Mufti Sahib   started writing Fataawaa during the latter years of his studies. It was the practice of Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Husayn   to hand all questions over to Mufti Sahib   for answering. Mufti Sahib   would then reply to them after much research and then hand them back to Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Husayn   for approval.

Teaching Career
After Mufti Sahib   had completed his studies, he taught Tajweed at
the Daarul Uloom for six months upon the instruction of his Ustaadh
Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Husayn   . Together with this, he also
issued Fatwas. Despite the rector’s insistence, Mufti Sahib   refused
to accept a salary and considered it an honour to serve the Daarul
Uloom.

Thereafter, upon the request of the trustees of the Anjuman Islaam
congregation of Randher, Mufti Sahib   started to teach Hifdh and Tajweed at their Madrasah. Here he taught for eight years and
produced fifteen Huffaadh. Three of these were female, two of them
still alive (one in Pakistan and one in Africa). Many of them were such
proficient readers of the Qur’aan that they were often summoned to
recite Qur’aan before large crowds in gatherings. Mufti Sahib   also
taught Tajweed for five years at the MMP school. Mufti Sahib   would
never accept remuneration for his teaching and would spend many
hours apart from the fixed Madrasah hours on is students.

Teaching the Qur’aan
Mufti Sahib   used to teach Tafseer of the Qur’aan in the Hirah Masjid
daily after the Fajr salaah. Mufti Sahib   and the people would sit
with the Qur’aan open before them and Mufti Sahib   would then
recite and explain the meanings of the Aayaat. People would come
from the neighbouring areas especially to listen to his Tafseer, which
was neither too long nor too brief. In this manner, he completed the
Tafseer of the Qur’aan in four and a half years.

Just as Mufti Sahib   was greatly concerned about teaching children,
he was also very concerned about the education of adults. It was
therefore towards the last ten or more years if his life that he started
lessons after Isha salaah. As a result of these classes, many people
learnt to recite the Qur’aan with Tajweed.

Amongst the many students whom Mufti Sahib   taught were Hadhrat
Moulana Ahmadullaah the Sheikhul Hadith of Jaamia Husayniyyah
Randher, Moulana Qaari Muhammad Noorgat, Moulana Qaari Ahmad
Desai, Qaari Ibraheem Tickly, Moulana Muhammad Shareef Bukhari,
Moulana Muhammad Haneef Afriqi, Qaari Ya’qoob Tinkarwi, Qaari
Rasheed Ajmeri and many others.

Spiritual Reformation
With the grace of Allaah, Mufti Sahib   was blessed with piety and
Taqwa from a young age, and this carried throughout his student life as
well, as attested to by his report upon graduation. However, eager to
have himself spiritually cleansed and to be able to drive maximum
benefit from his knowledge, Mufti Sahib   pledged allegiance at the
hand of Hakeemul Ummah Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi   .
When one of the trustees of the Jaamia Masjid of Randher was going to
meet Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi   in Thanabowan, Mufti
Sahib   sent a letter with him, requesting for permission to pledge
allegiance to him. The following abridged version of the reply gives one
a clear indication of the status Mufti Sahib   enjoyed amongst the
Ulema. Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi   wrote: “Moulana 

 …
As Salaamu Alaykum. While there is no excuse for not being of service,
I do not find myself worthy of being served. In fact, being of benefit
does not even depend on this. The most important thing is to obey the
injunctions (of Deen) and to seek advice. As for the injunctions, you
know them better than I. As for seeking advice, I am prepared to offer
it whenever you wish. Was Salaam … Ashraf Ali.”

In fact, when the trustee delivered the letter to Hadhrat Moulana
Ashraf Ali Thanwi  , he also described Mufti Sahib  . When Hadhrat
Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi   read Mufti Sahib   ‘s letter requesting
to pledge allegiance to him, he remarked, “There really is no need at all
for such a person to pledge allegiance.” When Hadhrat Moulana Husayn
  heard about this, he said to Mufti Sahib  , “You have now have a
qualification that even we do not have.” Not much is known about the
exchange of letters between Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi  
and Mufti Sahib   thereafter.

When Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi   passed away, Mufti Sahib
  pledged allegiance to Hadhrat Moulana Madani   when he came to
Randher. When Mufti Sahib   completed the Adhkaar that Hadhrat
Madani   prescribed for him, he developed an intolerable headache.
As soon as this was brought to the attention of Hadhrat Madani  , he
advised Mufti Sahib   to do only as much as he could manage and to
forego the rest.

Due to the strenuous and restricting nature of issuing Fataawaa and
discharging the duties of an Imaam, Mufti Sahib   was unable to
attend the gatherings of Hadhrat Madani  .
When Hadhrat Madani   passed away, Mufti Sahib   pledged
allegiance at the hand of Hadhrat Sheikh Muhammad Zakariyya  .
When Mufti Sahib   and a few companions spend three days in
Hadhrat Sheikh  ’s Khanqah during Ramadhaan, Hadhrat Sheikh  
would ask for them when sitting down for meals, Hadhrat Sheikh  
also requested Mufti Sahib   to lead the Fajr salaah.

Marriage and Children
It was while he was studying that Mufti Sahib   married a lady named
Faatima Begum, who was the daughter of Hadhrat Moulana Qaadhi
Sayyid Abdul Hayy Lajpori  . The marriage took place on the 27th of
Rajab 1339 A.H. after Mufti Sahib   had completed his Hifdh. From
this union, Sayyid Ibraheem, Sayyid Abdullaah and Sayyida Haleema
Begum were born. Sayyid Ibraheem was born one morning in the year
1341 A.H., but passed away the same evening. Sayyid Abdullaah was
stillborn in 1343 A.H.

The Ahadeeth make it clear that those children who pass away before
coming of age will cling to their parents on the Day of Qiyaamah and
will refuse to leave them until they are entered into Jannah. May Allaah
make these children also a source of salvation for Mufti Sahib   .
Aameen.
Sayyida Haleema married Moulana Sayyid Qaadhi Muhiyuddeen  ,
who taught for 51 years in Daarul Uloom Ashrafiyya.

Demise of his Beloved Wife
Several books such as Ahsanul Fataawaa (Vol.4 Pg.197), Khayrul Fataawaa (Vol.3 Pg.106) and Fataawaa Mahmoodiyyah (Vol.11 Pg.90) all state that the Muslim who passes away in Ramadhaan will be saved from the punishment of the grave. Fortunate indeed was the beloved wife of Mufti Sahib   who passed away on the 22nd of Ramadhaan 1348 A.H., after just 9 years of marriage.

His Travels for Hajj and Umrah
Allaah blessed Mufti Sahib   with the opportunity of visiting the two
Harams on three occasions. The first journey for Hajj took place in
1962, when Mufti Sahib   travelled with his father Hadhrat Moulana
Sayyid Abdul Kareem   and his sister. They travelled by ship from
Bombay and reached Jeddah in eight days. During the Hajj journey,
Mufti Sahib   recited the Talbiya excessively and wept a lot.
Although Mufti Sahib   was then 60 years of age, he visited all the
blessed sites during the journey and even climbed up Jabal Thowr,
which stand at a height of 759 m. Mufti Sahib   also went into the cave of Hira, where he ensured that he entered in a manner that his
chest brushed against the rocks because he was told by a saint of
Deoband that this was how Rasulullaah r entered the cave.
Mufti Sahib   undertook the second journey for Hajj in 1969 as Hajj
Badal. However, because his ship was delayed, there was no
accommodation available when he reached Makkah, even though a
room had been reserved for him at the India House. Not knowing who
Mufti Sahib   was, the Mu’allim’s agent told him that the only
available place to sleep was a bathroom, which was large enough for
him and another person. Mufti Sahib   therefore shared the bathroom
with someone else. This incident speaks volumes of his simplicity and
unassuming nature.

When he had completed the Rites of Hajj, Mufti Sahib   joked with
the Mu’allim saying, “Until now I was fit to stay only in the bathroom,
but can you not arrange a better place for me now that I have returned
cleansed from Arafaat?” Now that it came to the attention of the
Mu’allim that Mufti Sahib   had been staying in the bathroom, he
reprimanded his agent sternly for treating Mufti Sahib   as he did. He
then arranged for Mufti Sahib   to stay in an upmarket apartment.
Hadhrat Moulana Yusuf Binori   was also straying at this apartment
and Mufti Sahib   therefore met him often.
Because Mufti Sahib   had developed a relationship with the men
drawing water from the Zam Zam well, they permitted him to draw
water for himself, thereby giving Mufti Sahib   the opportunity to
practice on a Sunnah of Rasulullaah r.
It was then in 1978 that Mufti Sahib   had the good fortune of
visiting the holy lands yet again. This time, he performed Umrah. He
left from England with Hadhrat Moulana Ajmeri   at the end of
Sha’baan and they stayed for twelve days. He stayed as a guest of
Hadhrat Sheikhul Hadith Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya   in Madinah
at the Madrasah Uloom Shari’ah.

Trip to England
The Muslims of England have enjoyed the good fortune of hosting a
large number of great Ulema. Although he never travelled abroad for
any purpose other than Hajj and Umrah, Mufti Sahib   travelled to
England in 1978 with Moulana Sayyid Abraar Ahmad   . Upon arrival
in London, they proceeded straight to Dewsbury, where they attended
a Tablighi Ijtima. Thereafter, they travelled to several places, but it
was mostly Moulana Abraar Ahmad   and Moulana Muhammad
Ridhaa Ajmeri   who delivered the lectures. Upon invitation, Mufti
Sahib   chaired a special meeting to discuss the sighting of the moon.
His visit had a great impact upon the people of England and they
cherished memories of the visit for years to come. It was after this visit
that Mufti Sahib   left for Umrah.

The Opening of Madrasah Raheemiyyah
Mufti Sahib   always entertained a great passion for the Qur’aan and
would happily agree to listen to the revision of Huffaadh when the
Daarul Ulooms requested him to do so. He was returning from Jannatul
Baqee in Madinah one day when a person came up to him and said,
“Make an effort to teach the Qur’aan to children and establish
Madrasahs for this.” After saying just this, the man then left as
suddenly as he had appeared.

People then started to flock around Mufti Sahib   to ask whether he
recognised the man. When Mufti Sahib   admitted that he did not
know him, the people told him that the man was amongst the elusive
men of the unseen whom Allaah occasionally sent to guide people.
They are not seen for years.

When Mufti Sahib   returned from Hajj, he received a letter from a
man in England stating that Mufti Sahib   should go ahead and
establish a Madrasah, which the man was willing to fund. It was then in
the year 1971 that Madrasah Raheemiyyah was established in Randher
to teach children how to recite the Qur’aan and to learn other Deeni
subjects. A Hifdh class was also started. With the grace of Allaah, a
large number of children have benefited tremendously from things
Madrasah.

Outstanding Character Traits
Together with the blessing of belonging to the noble family of
Rasulullaah r, Mufti Sahib   was endowed with many exemplary
qualities. He possessed tremendous knowledge, was pious, far-sighted,
tolerant, humble, high-minded, entertaining, meticulous about the
Sunnah, resolute and with a keen sense of responsibility.
It has always been the trait of out pious predecessors to admit their
errors and then change their opinion accordingly when they were
wrong about any Fatwa that they issued. Mufti Sahib   did the same
when it occurred to him, as will be noticed in the issue concerning the
performance of the Janaazah salaah in the graveyard.
Mufti Sahib   was always entertaining the many guests that came to
him from far and wide and would insist that people join him in his
meals. When anyone even came homes to ask a question, the person
would to be allowed to leave without at least having a cup of tea.
People from out of town would have to join him for a meal. He would
also never send anyone away empty handed when asked for
something, as was the habit of Rasulullaah r. In fact, his every action
exuded the Sunnah of Rasulullaah r and he actively refuted acts of
Bid’ah since such acts contradicted the Sunnah. Many of his Fataawaa
bear testimony to this.

Mufti Sahib   was also a stalwart when it came to the pious
predecessors, especially those aligned to Deoband. Several of his
Fataawaa provide detailed replies to the slander levelled against the
Ulema of Deoband, one such reply falling under the heading of
“Misleading propaganda of those devoted to Ridha Khan and directed
against the Ulema of Deoband and the Tablighi Jamaa’ah”.
Mufti Sahib   always concerned himself with eradicated any new
misguided challenge to the Deen and would also direct the attention of
other Ulema to these whenever he met with them. Amongst these
challenges was the influence of the Western culture upon the Muslims
and the challenge of the Ghayr Muqallideen. These issues have been
addressed in great detail in his Fataawaa.
When the Jamaa’ate Islaami started to gain a foothold in Surat and
were on the verge of opening and office there, Mufti Sahib  
elucidated their deviate nature to the Ulema of the area. In a united
effort, these Ulema then managed to weed out this deviant group from
their midst. Acting upon the guidance of senior Ulema, they then
started a committee called Majlis Tahaffudhil Islaam (Committee for
the protection of Islaam). Mufti Sahib   was unanimously selected to
be the head of the committee. He then wrote a few booklets addressing
this issue, which have been printed in the Fataawaa Raheemiyyah.
These fall under the headings of:
1. Criticising the Ambiyaa   and the Sahabah y in the Light of the
Qur’aan, the Ahadeeth and the Words of the Pious Predecessors
2. The Sahabah y are a Criterion for What is Right and Wrong
3. The Status of Commenting on the Qur’aan on the Basis of one’sOpinion

Ameer of Shari’ah
When the need arose to select an Ameer of Shari’ah for the Gujarat
province in India, everyone looked to Mufti Sahib   to grace the
position. He, however, declined the post because of his advanced age
and many other engagements. However, the Ulema insisted that Mufti
Sahib   assume the post, which he eventually did.
The Ummah often turned to Mufti Sahib   for guidance when they
most needed it and Allaah took great services from his pen in this
regard.
As stated earlier, Mufti Sahib   paid specific attention to educating
children and often wrote about its importance. Fataawaa Raheemiyyah
contains several discussions in the regard. One such discussion appears
under the heading “The Responsibility of Depriving Children of Deeni
Education is the Parent’s”.
When the people of Surat were afflicted with a plague and erroneous
beliefs started to spread, Mufti Sahib   corrected the situation when
he issued a Fatwa under the heading “The Islaamic Ruling Regarding
Plagues”. When the incident of the demolition of the Barbari Masjid
took place, Mufti Sahib   pointed the way forward to the Muslims in
his Fatwa titled “The Reasons and Solutions for Divine Calamities”.
These Fataawaa were published in Gujarati and English as well and are
just as few of the many examples that can be cited.
Because of these and so many other attributes, Mufti Sahib   was
greatly revered by the leading Ulema of his time, who would always
stop by to meet him when they came to Surat and Randher. Amongst
these great sages were Hadhrat Mufti Mahmoodul Hasan Gangohi  ,
Hadhrat Maseehul Ummah Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullaah  , Hadhrat
Moulana Muhammad Manzoor Nu’maani  , Hadhrat Moulana Abdul
Haleem Jonpuri  , Hadhrat Moulana Qaari Siddeeq Ahmad Bandwi 
, Hadhrat Moulana Imraan Khan Bopali  , Hadhrat Moulana Sayyid
Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi  , Hadhrat Moulana Shah Abraarul Haq ,
Hadhrat Moulana Asad Madani  , Hadhrat Moulana Qamaruz Zamaan, Hadhrat Moulana Ibraheem Dewla , Hadhrat Moulana Ahmad Laat , etc, etc.

Fataawaa Raheemiyyah
The Fataawaa that Mufti Sahib   issued were published in a Gujarati
monthly for twelve years. These were then compiled and printed in
book form in two volumes and titled Fataawaa Raheemiyyah. Mufti
Sahib   ‘s father Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Kareem   and Munshi Isa
Bhai applied themselves tremendously to the task of compilation and
arranging the Fataawaa into chapters.

There was, however, the need to translate these Fataawaa into Urdu.
Since Mufti Sahib   did not have the time for this, the daunting task
was entrusted to Moulana Qaari Noor Muhammad Patel Hathori,
Hadhrat Moulana Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri and Moulana Wali Ahmad
Satponi. These two volumes were then edited by Moulana Sayyid Mia
Sahib, the Sheikhul Hadith of Madrasah Ameeniyyah in Delhi.
Unique Feature of Fataawaa Raheemiyyah

Fataawaa Raheemiyyah is unique amongst all the compilations of
Fataawaa from the Indo-Pak subcontinent in that it is the only one that
is to be found in Urdu, Gujarati and English. Insha Allaah, it will soon
also be completed in Arabic.
Hereunder follows excerpts from what some eminent Ulema have said
about Fataawaa Raheemiyyah:
1. Mufakkir Islaam Hadhrat Moulana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi  :
“For this (guiding the Ummah in their day-to-day matters), one
needs to possess a strong proficiency in Fiqh, a deep insight into
details and an understanding of the principles of Fiqh as good as
those who teach it. Taqwa, caution, fear of Allaah, a strong sense of
responsibility and attachment to the pious predecessors is also very
necessary. It is only those people who understand the difficulties of
16
this path and who are attached to the Hanafi Madh’hab who will be
able to appreciate the value of Fataawaa Raheemiyyah. Such
people will be able to testify to the fact that Allaah has truly blessed
the well-qualified author with all the qualities required to render
this delicate task in these times.”
2. Hadhrat Moulana Sayyid Mahdi Hasan  : “Not only is Fataawaa
Raheemiyyah beneficial for the public, but also very beneficial for
the Ulema …. In short, Fataawaa Raheemiyyah can be relied on by
any measure used.”
3. Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Manzoor Nu’maani  : “I have no
knowledge of any other compilation of Fataawaa in which every
question is as well researched and detailed as this … I have
benefited tremendously through it…”
4. Hadhrat Moulana Habeebur Rahmaan A’zami  : “Mashaa Allaah,
he (Hadhrat Mufti Lajpuri  ) has replied to the questions with
great research and depth and in a manner that puts the heart at
ease.”
5. Hadhrat Moulana Mufti Nizaamud Deen  : “Hadhrat’s Fataawaa
are extremely well substantiated and researched and are a true
interpretation of the truth. They are enormously beneficial to both
the public as well as the Ulema.”
Apart from these leading Ulema, there are dozens more who have
endorsed Fataawaa Raheemiyyah in the highest regard.
The Fataawaa appearing herein are regularly published in parts in
numerous magazines and newspapers and have always been published
from the time Mufti Sahib   had been issuing Fataawaa.
Correctness of Judgement and Accuracy of his
Fataawaa
It has happened several times that certain Ulema have dissented
from some of his Fataawaa but, ultimately, when these had been
submitted for review to the Indian centres of learning, they have been
confirmed by high-ranking divines. Of such, only two examples which
have certain historical importance will suffice to prove the accuracy of
his judgement :
17
(1) A noted and respectable Haaji of Rander died in 1351 A.H., leaving
behind his second wife and the children of his deceased first wife. In
consultation with certain Ulema he had also left a will which, besides
other things, mentioned that he did not want to take his share from the
legacy of his deceased wife (“I do not want to claim the share which I
have a right to from my deceased wife’s legacy”).
After the Haaji’s death, the question arose as to whether his legal
share in the property of his deceased wife should be included in his
own legacy or not. The widow (second wife) claimed a one-eighth share
from that share, but the children of the deceased wife were not, on
account of the Haaji’s will, prepared to recognise this claim, contending
that the Haaji had forfeited his claim by writing “I do not want to
claim…”.
When this problem was submitted to the Mufti Sahib, his verdict was as
follows:
“By the writing “I do not want to claim…” the deceased Haaji’s claim
did not lapse. Rather, he still retains a right to his share and the
second wife also has a right to claim the one-eighth part from it.
Indeed, if the Haaji had written that he gave his share to such and
such a person, then his claim would have certainly lapsed and the
person to whom he had given it or gifted it to would have become the
legatee.”
Certain notable Ulema objected to this Fatwa and the case was referred
to Allaama Moulana Mufti Muhammad Kifaayatullaah   the Chief Mufti
of India, who was then a (political) prisoner in the New Central Jail at
Multan. The Allaama wrote back, saying, “The Haaji’s claim certainly
did not lapse. He is, according to custom, owner of his right and the
second wife shall receive a one-eighth part of it.”
As a result of this confirmation of his opinion by the highest authority
in the country, the dissenting Mufti’s respect and confidence in Mufti
Abdur Raheem Sahib’s jurisprudential acumen increased so much that
he would never issue a Fatwa without first showing it to him.
(2) In 1936, when the Minara Masjid in Rander was being
reconstructed, its trustee Haaji Banu, inquired of the Mufti Sahib about
the laying of the sewage drain-pipe. The Mufti Sahib inspected the site
and permitted the Mutawalli to go ahead with the construction work.
18
The nature of the question can be known from the Mufti Sahib’s answer
: ‘
“Answer: The site of the well into which the sewage drain-pipe is to be
introduced is well outside the Masjid’s courtyard. Although obligatory
and Sunnah prayers are temporarily held at this site until the
completion of the Masjid, this site does not fall within the order of a
proper Masjid. It is therefore permissible, as per necessity, for the
sewage drain-pipe to be introduced into this disused well. This will not
be sacrilegious to the Masjid.”
The trustee then laid the drainpipe on the strength of this Fatwa.
However, some people later objected and called another local Mufti.
They showed him the site and obtained a Fatwa from him, stating that
the act was not permissible. This was then published in the Hamdard
newspaper. As soon as this Fatwa was published in the said newspaper,
readers from all over began to shower scorn and reproach on Mufti
Sahib. Alarmed by this, the trustee rushed to Mufti Sahib and related to
him the story of the publication of dissenting Fatwa and the readers’
reaction. He expressed his desire to remove the pipe on which he had
spent a large sum of money. Unperturbed, Mufti Sahib consoled and
reassured the ruffled trustee about the correctness of his own Fatwa.
To make doubly sure, he asked the trustee to prepare a map of the site
to be sent to Delhi and other centres for reference and confirmation.
This was done and the following answer was received from Delhi:
“Answer: It is incorrect to state that a site which happens to be within
the boundary of the Masjid has the order of a Masjid. It is also incorrect
to state that a site which, out of necessity, is temporarily being used
for prayers has become a Masjid. In the said situation, laying the
sewage pipe up to the Masjid will be permissible if no other loss or
damage is caused by the laying and there is also no harm if the
congregational prayers have to be temporarily held on it.
Sayyid Muhammad Kifayatullaah,
Darul Ifta, Madraasah Aminiyah, Delhi.”
In this connection, a reference was also made to Mufti Mahdi Hasan
Sahib. The question and answer are reproduced below:
“Question: What do the Ulema of Deen and the Muftis have to say
about the following:
19
A small plot of land at our place happens to be within the boundary of
the Masjid. However, on one side of its courtyard, adjacent to the
water-tank, there had been a bathroom and a well, but the bath-room
was shifted to another place a few years ago and the well was filled up
with earth. The ground was levelled and a masonry floor was
constructed upon it. Now people sit on this floor and, without any
qualms, they talk about worldly matters and even smoke. At times,
some of them even perform their Sunnah and Nafl salaah there. For
awhile, the five time congregational prayers, too, had been held on this
floor because the Masjid had been pulled down for reconstruction and
there was no space for salaah in the courtyard of the Masjid. For the
good of the Masjid and to save the Masjid money, I have laid a
drainpipe at a depth of two men’s height for draining sewage to the
said disused well. The pipe will carry sewage from the new toilets,
which are adjacent to the shoe space within the compound of the
Masjid. This I did in the belief that the levelled well is well outside the
Masjid proper. The deep ditch for laying the pipe has been firmly filled
up with earth so that there is no possibility of the stench leaking out.
Some people think that since this well is situated within the boundary
of the Masjid, it is within the Masjid and the hard floor on it is in the
order of the courtyard of the Masjid, particularly because Sunnah and
Nafl salaahs are being performed here and because the obligatory
salaahs had been performed on it for a fairly long time. They therefore
aver that it is sacrilegious to the Masjid to drain sewage into this well.
Is this correct? It is hoped that after examining the map of the Masjid
(attached herewith), you will advise me about the legal regulation. It
may be kept in mind that the said well is very deep and is situated near
a river. The rise and fall in the water-level of the river will draw out the
sewage and there is hence no fear of the well brimming over. It is also
necessary to note that if this septic-well is cancelled, the government
will not permit the digging of another, since it has prohibited the
digging of wells which may be more than 20 feet in depth. Hence, it is
quite probable that a new septic well (of less than 20 feet of depth) will
fill up again and again and will thereby cause inconvenience to the
people praying. It will inevitably also result in recurring expenses (for
cleansing) for this Masjid, which really has little means. However,
should the presence of this drainpipe be sacrilegious to the Masjid, we
shall bear all expenses (to remove it).
Answer: There is a piece of land called the courtyard of the Masjid and
there is another which as called the precinct of the Masjid. Normally,
the space lying within the boundary of the Masjid consists of the Masjid
20
proper, the Masjid-courtyard and the Masjid precinct, etc. Thus,
although the bath room, water-closet, water tank, ablution area, shoespace,
space for water-pots and Masjid furniture, etc. are all situated
within the boundary of the Masjid, the legal regulations of the Masjid
proper are not applicable to them. As much space as happens to be
outside the legal limit of the Masjid proper, is not Masjid but is meant
for the maintenance and requirements of the Masjid. However, if the
residents of the locality (the founder, the real owner) annex some
fallow land in order to extend the area of the Masjid, that plot of land
too will become Masjid. The land (in the question) from which the
drain-pipe has been laid to reach the septic-well, as it appears from the
attached map of the Masjid is outside the legal limit of the Masjid and
happens to lie in the precinct of the Masjid. It has had no connection
whatsoever with the courtyard of the Masjid. The courtyard of the
Masjid which is in the order of a Masjid according to the jurists, is that
courtyard which is an open space and which is also called the summer-
Masjid or the external Masjid. The place where shoes are taken off, the
place where the septic-well has been constructed and the places where
bathroom and toilets have been built are all outside the courtyard of
the Masjid. Hence there is no fault in laying that pipe up to the well. It
is not sacrilegious to the Masjid since there is nothing in it to pollute or
contaminate the Masjid with filth, because all this space, as per the
said map, is external to the Masjid proper. That is why people sit there
to gossip, smoke, and as stated in the question, there was also a
bathroom there. Performing Nafl prayers at a place does not make it a
Masjid. Similarly, a place does not also become a Masjid if obligatory
prayers are performed there for one reason or another when the
intention is already made when the reason disappears, the place will no
longer be used for this purpose. It is stated in the question that
because the Masjid had been pulled down for reconstruction and there
was no space either in the Masjid proper or its courtyard for hosting
the salaah, which was done. Then, when the Masjid was rebuilt, this
place was given up. In such a case, the regulations concerning a Masjid
are not applicable to it and the place is not a Masjid.1
Besides the map, I have also seen the place. The said well and the pipe
lie in the precinct of the Masjid, which is outside the Masjid proper and
not even inside the Masjid courtyard, so as to make their presence
impermissible.
Sayyid Mahdi Hasan, Mufti of Rander.
1 Bahrur Raa’iq (Vol.5 Pg.248), Durrul Mukhtaar with Shaami (Vol.3 Pg.395).
21
Surat, dated Feb. 19, 1936.
This answer has been corroborated by the following religious and legal
luminaries:
1. Muhammad Badre Aalam
2. Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani
3. Moulana Ashraf Ali
4. Zafar Ahmad and Abdul Kareem, Khanqah e Imdadadiyyah,
Thana Bhowan
5. Isma’eel bin Muhammad Bismillah, Jamia Islaamiyyah, Dhabel,
Surat
6. Ahmed Nur, Jamia Husaynniyah, Rander
7. Abdur Rahmaan”
More About His Life
Being the Imaam of the largest Masjid in Randher for 65 years, Mufti
Sahib   was in touch with everything that was happening in and
around the community. There were a host of innovations and
erroneous practice that the Muslims were steeped in. However, there
now remains no traces of these amongst the people of the area.
Since it was the practice of Rasulullaah r to dress in special attire for
the day of Jumu’ah, Mufti Sahib   followed suit and would always do
the same. He liked wearing a black turban for the occasion.
When he was healthy and well, Mufti Sahib   always ensured that he
never leaned back and ate anything since Rasulullaah r forbade this.
Eventually, when he became very ill in his old age, observers noticed
that when he even took his medication, Mufti Sahib   ensured that he
sat up without leaning against anything.
When eclipses occurred, he led the people in the special salaah for the
occasion and would recite the Qunoot Naazila whenever a calamity
befell the Ummah, even when it did not directly affect the people of
Randher. He always sat in I’tikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadhaan.
In fact, when he arrived in Randher, people knew nothing of I’tikaaf
and were even surprised to see someone spending a night in the Masjid
without fearing the Jinn. With Allaah’s help, a time soon came when
the Masjid would be full with people sitting in I’tikaaf.
22
While in I’tikaaf, Mufti Sahib   would rise at three in the morning,
perform his Tahajjud salaah and then engage in lengthy du’aa. He then
ate Sehri, which usually consisted of half a Chapati (thin unleavened
bread) and some soup. He then prepared for the Fajr salaah, after
which he rested. He would again rise at nine, when he would listen to
the Huffadh revising the Qur’aan. This continues until eleven, when he
would busy himself in Fataawaa. He would often send for books from
home for research. After Zuhr, he attended to his mail and then rested
until Asr. The time between Asr and Maghrib was again spent listening
to the Huffadh and making a long du’aa before Adhaan. Iftaar and the
Maghrib salaah then followed, after which Mufti Sahib   would
perform lengthy Awwaabeen salaah. He then had just enough time for
a cup of tea, his medication and preparation for salaah. He corrected
the Huffadh in the Taraaweeh salaah and when the salaah was over, he
joined the people in listening to Hadhrat Ajmeri  ’s Tafseer of the
Qur’aan. Thereafter, he joined the other people in I’tikaaf when they
ate some fruit and his Majlis then took place until people started to
leave the Masjid. He then prepared for salaah, saying, “Now to relish
my Nafl salaah.” He then engaged himself in salaah from about eleven
until half past twelve, made a long du’aa again and then went to sleep.
He started the I’tikaaf with the intention to lead the Janaazah salaah
should it need to be performed. When the Janaazah was ready and the
people had already formed their rows, Mufti Sahib   would
immediately perform the salaah and then return to the Masjid
immediately thereafter. When Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi  
was asked about this on one occasion, he endorsed the act as being
correct.
On one occasion when people insisted that he make a du’aa after the
Eid Khutbah, he said to them, “Du’aa is made for Allaah and if this is
what you want, I have already made it after the salaah. Otherwise, if
you wish that the du’aa be made for show, then you may lift your
hands and I shall make du’aa until Zuhr.” No one stayed on.
As was the practice of Rasulullaah r in the early years, Mufti Sahib  
also engaged in trade when he arrived in Randher. While he spent the
mornings in replying to questions, listening to Qur’aan, etc, he used
the afternoons to sell Itr, Tasbeehs and other items.
When he sensed the need for people to know about any issue, he
would gather them together after salaah and then explain it to them.
23
In this way, many of improper acts that he noticed amongst the people
were corrected.
He always performed Tahajjud salaah for years and would perform lengthy Rakaahs with long du’aa afterwards. Thereafter, he recited the Qur’aan and performed the two Sunnah Rakaahs of Fajr at home before proceeding to the Masjid. This was also according to the Sunnah of Rasulullaah r. In fact, his entire life was moulded in the cast of the Sunnah. He even stuck tacitly to the Sunnah practices during his illness, when many such acts were extremely difficult.

His Ailing Health
Mufti Sahib   underwent a hernia operation and also had to have kidney stones removed and spent many days in hospital. He was also involved in an accident, which caused him to suffer a fractured shoulder. As a result of these and other diseases suffered during his early years, his health started to fail towards the end of his life. However, despite all of this, he still insisted to remain active and independent as far as was possible. Mufti Sahib   was, however, forced to remain in bed several years before he passed away. It was on the 9th of Sha’baan 1422 that Mufti Sahib   started to experience very high fever. His dedicated doctor of 25 years Hadhrat Abu Dharr t. Yusuf Patel was immediately summoned and he administered an injection to divert the fever from the brain. Although he was extremely weak, Mufti Sahib   still performed Tayammum and performed his Isha salaah and remained conscious and alert. He was, however, unable to eat anything.

Although he was extremely ill when Ramadhaan started, he followed some friends in the Taraaweeh salaah while lying in bed. This he did for two nights. The following day, he was unable to even reply to people greeting him. A youngster was reciting Qur’aan by his bedside when Mufti Sahib   started to recite the Kalimah. He had barely completed reciting when he sighed and passed away. It was twenty-five past twelve at the time.

When the doctor was summoned, he examined Mufti Sahib.  His eyes then filled with tears when he confirmed that the great soul had finally left to meet its Creator.

Mufti Sahib   had made a bequest for a thick, black sheet to be used to cover his body when it was bathed, which was done. He had his Kafan ready beforehand and the body was ready for burial by half past three. People then got the opportunity to soothe their eyes with his sight until Asr and, according to his request, no non-Mahram was allowed to see him.

The Janaazah started to leave his house at nine, but because of the large crowd, it only left at eleven. The Janaazah salaah had to be performed in a large field, which was filled with people and was led by Mufti Aarif Hasan Sahib, according to Mufti Sahib  ‘s request. All the people present smelt the wonderful fragrance that wafted from Mufti Sahib   ‘s grave. May Allaah elevate his stages and keep him in safety throughout the journey to the Aakhirah. Aameen.

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2 thoughts on “Muftī Sayyid ‘Abd al-Raḥīm Lajpūrī

  1. Jazakallah
    Is it possible to post an article on the history of the darul ulooms in rander including biographyof Shaykh Radha Ajmeri. I have been looking for a book on this but have not found one yet.

    Like

  2. Assalamu alaykum.
    One wonderful post this is!
    Loved the read, but something I noticed, a common misconception, is that mufti abdur rahim lajpuri was born in lajpur which is why he is “lajpuri”, and not in novsari as many believe..otherwise, awesomely written
    P.s his grand-daughter

    Like

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