By Mawlānā ʻAbd Allāh Patel Kāpaudrī
Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy
Born 1325 A.H./1907. Passed away 1st Sha‛bān 1409 A.H./1989 on a Friday night.
Hadrat Maulānā ‛Abd al-Jabbār Sāhib A‛zamī was a resident of a town called Pūrah Ma‛rūf. He acquired his primary education in his hometown and proceeded to Mazāhir al-‛Ulūm Sahāranpūr for higher studies. On going there, he derived benefit from the esteemed teachers of that institution. He spent many years teaching in Jāmi‛ah Dhābel. He had an excellent memory. His lessons used to be very clear and well arranged.
He was distant from the formalities of life; he wore simple clothes and sufficed with ordinary simple food. In the course of his lessons or in any outside assembly, he never criticized any teacher or ‛ālim, and never offered his view on what any of them [teachers or scholars] said.
He was an excellent orator. His talks used to be extremely effective. Every Thursday evening he would go to a village of Sūrat or Bharūch where he would deliver a lecture. Hadrat would take those of us who were his attendants. Before he could deliver his talk, he would ask us to deliver a short talk of about 10-15 minutes. If there was any part of our talk which needed correction, he would do it in privacy. Hadrat would then deliver his lecture which used to extend for one and half to two hours. The audience would listen very attentively. Sometimes, loud outbursts would be heard from some people.
Thousands of people of Gujarat adopted a religious way of life by virtue of listening to his scintillating talks. Educated people would also attend his lectures and would return most impressed. Many people used to pledge allegiance to him for the sake of rectification and reformation.
He was naturally inclined to solitude. He used to travel by rail in the third class, and would lie down on the top berth without hesitation. Despite traveling and remaining awake on Thursday nights and Friday nights [because of his lecture tours], he was never late in madrasah for the Saturday morning class, and would teach the lesson with full energy and verve. In addition to Jāmi‛ah Dhābel, he fulfilled the post of Shaykh al-Hadīth at Jāmi‛ah Ānand. His lecture tours included the north of Gujarat. He spent the last part of his life as Shaykh al-Hadīth of Madrasah Shāhī Murādābād. Muslims of foreign countries also benefited tremendously from his talks. In addition to teaching and lecturing, he compiled a detailed commentary of Bukhārī Sharīf which is titled Imdād al-Bārī. Several volumes of this commentary have been printed.* The level of his knowledge and virtue can be gauged by studying this commentary. He received permission to induct murīds from Hadrat Shaykh al-Hadīth Maulānā Muhammad Zakarīyyā Sāhib rahimahullāh. Countless people pledged bay‛at at his hands and repented.
* Four volumes of Imdād al-Bārī were printed during his life. Volumes five to seven were then published after the proofreading and additions were made by his deputy, Hadrat Maulānā Zayn al-Ābidīn Sāhib A‛zamī rahimahullāh.
Lighthouses of Guidance: Personalities From Whom I Benefited p. 46-58