By Qāri Muḥammad Salīm Ghaybī (Gaibie)
The well-learned, skilled and proficient Sheikh Muhammad Anīs Ahmad Khān was born in the village of Jaganpūr in Fayd Ābādī. His father, an ardent follower and student of Sheikh al-Hind Moulānā Mahmūd al-Hasan Deobandī, was an ascetic, renowned for his piety and excellent character. In their district, none was more devout in fulfilling Allah and his Prophet’s (sallā llāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) commands than Sheikh Moulānā ̆Abd al-Ra`ūf Khān, the father of Qārī Anīs Ahmad. After completion of his studies of Arabic, Hadith, Fiqh, and other sciences in Deoband, his father also mastered the science of Qirā`āt. He returned to his village and taught the youth correct recitation of the Qur`ān, as well as writing various fatwās (legal verdicts) on many issues. Many books were authored by him.
Qārī Anīs was deprived of his mother’s love and affection as she passed away while he was still a young boy. He became his father’s shadow and accompanied him wherever he went. It was to be anticipated that his father’s knowledge, as well as his likes and dislikes, would be inherited by his son. Thus Qāri Anīs gained his father’s love for Allah, His Prophet (sallā llāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) and his father’s aversion to the transgression of Allah’s commands. It was also expected that he would gain his father’s love and passion for the Qur`ān, Qirā`āt and the other Qur`ānic sciences.
While still in his youth, Qāri Anīs left his father’s loving care and went to Deoband to learn Islamic studies, specifically Qirā`āt. This he did under the Sheikh al-Qurrā`of Deoband, Qāri Hifth al-Rahmān, completing the narration of Hafs as well as the seven Qirā`āt by him. However, Qāri Anīs mentions that after completing the seven Qirā`āt, his thirst for the science was not quenched, and he thus traveled to Madrasah ̆Āliyah Furqāniyah in Lucknow which hosted a number of specialists in the field of Qur`ān and was known as the centre for Qirā`āt during that time. Qāri Anīs benefited and learnt as much as he could from these specialists who included Qāri Muhibb al-Din, Sheikh Muhammad Sābiq al-Lucknawī and Sheikh ̆Abd al-Mālik ibn Jīwan amongst others. It was under the skilful guidance of Qāri Muhibb al-Dīn that Qāri Anīs Ahmad spent years studying the many texts and books in the field, eventually completing the rendition of the seven Qirā`āt , as well as the 10 thereafter, via the Tarīq of the Durrah and the Tayyibah . Due to his brilliance in Qirā`āt, he also taught at Madrasah Furqāniyah for 10 years after he qualified.
In 1384 A.H./1964 C.E. Dār al- ̆Ulūm Falāh al-Dārayn in Tarkesar was erected. For a long time the Principal searched for a capable and proficient instructor to teach Qirā`āt. On visiting Lucknow in India, he passed by Madrasah ̆Āliyah Furqāniyah and noticed a young man explaining the intricacies of Qirā`āt to the students. This young man was none other than Qāri Anīs. After explaining his predicament to Qāri Anīs, Qāri Anīs joined the staff of Dār al- ̆Ulūm Falāh al-Dārayn as a lecturer in the science of Qirā`āt in 1395 A.H./1975 C.E. Within a short span of time Qāri Anīs became distinguished amongst all who studied Qirā`āt , and his fame extended amongst students and teachers.
Qāri Anīs Ahmad believed that the science of Qirā`āt was not meant for all and was very particular in his selection of who he taught. Nothing bears greater testimony to this than one of his statements, repeated often by his students:
This is a noble science intended for those of noble character.
He also held that there needed to be a sound affiliation between the student and teacher for them to derive maximum benefit from each other.
Qāri Anīs would only give sanad and ijāzah if the entire Qur`ān was read, which was contrary to the practice of some institutes during that time. He also maintained that a diligent student of the science need only be instructed concerning a matter once and he would remember it. Therefore he would not repeat the same instructions to a student more than once. He also believed that a student was not to be supervised and observed all the time, since a mature and ardent student would recognise his responsibilities.
Even though the Sheikh was a prominent and well-known figure in the arena of Qur`ānic studies and Qirā`āt, he disliked the limelight and steered away from it as much as possible. He preferred sitting with his students and teaching.
He penned four major works in Tajwīd and Qirā`āt:
- Al-Fawā`id al-Tajwīdiyyah – a book on Tajwīd for those intending to recite the Qur`ān in the narration of Hafs.
- Al-Fawā`id al-Muhibbiyyah– a book detailing the rules regarding the seven qirā`āt, which serves as an introduction to the Shātibiyyah.
- Al-Fawā`id al-Mutammimah– this book features the three Qirā`āt after the seven, which completes the 10 Qirā`āt.
- Al-Fawāid al-Mukammilah – a book based on the Tayyibah al-Nashr of Ibn al-Jazarī, specifying the theory in the 10 Qirā`āt.
Qāri Anīs became extremely happy when a khatm of the Qur`ān was made, whether it was the narration of Hafs, the seven Qirā`āt, or the ten Qirā`āt. It was a joyous occasion for him. He would gather all at the time of the khatm and make du ̆ā`.
Qāri Anīs had an intense love for the Prophet (sallā llāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) and would send salutations and peace upon Him S whenever his name was mentioned in a gathering. If his students did not do the same, it would upset him. Towards the end of his life, he became very ill with diabetes. In his state of illness, he spent many nights awake authoring his final work, a two-volume book about the Prophet (sallā llāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam), Sha`n al-Mustafā , which constitutes over one thousand pages.
In his latter days he became blind and would get a student to read books to him. The students would spend hours reading to Qāri Anīs in this manner. The Sheikh never married, dedicating his life to teaching the Qur`ān and in the worship of the Almighty. Qāri Anīs passed away 28 Rabī ̆ al-Thānī 1411 A.H./16 November 1990 C.E.
- Hifth al-Rahmān Deobandī – he read the narration of Hafs as well as a few juz in the seven Qirā`āt to him. He received ijāzah from him.
- Muh ammad Sābiq Lucknawī – he read the seven and ten Qirā`āt to him.
- Muhibb al-Dīn ibn Diyā` al-Dīn – he read the seven and ten Qirā`āt to him.
- ̆Abd al-Hādī Sikandar al-Makkī – he read the seven and the ten Qirā`āt to him.
- Qāri Ayyūb ibn Ibrāhīm Ishāq – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah and the Tayyibah to Qāri Anīs.
- Qāri Muhammad Hārūn ibn Sheikh ̆Ali Husayn – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah and the Tayyibah to him.
- Qāri Muhammad Siddīq ibn Hāfith Ādam – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah and the Tayyibah to him.
- Qāri Ismā ̆īl ibn Bashīr Ahmad Desai – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah and the Tayyibah to him.
- Qāri Mufīd al-Islām ibn Sheikh ̆Abd al-Qādir – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah and the Tayyibah to him.
- Qāri Muhammad Zubayr ibn Ahmad Lālah – he read the ten Qirā`ātvia the Durrahto him.
- Qāri Muhammad Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah to him.
- Qāri Muhammad Hasan Fārūqī – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah to him.
- Qāri Maqbūl Ghulām Rasūl – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah to him.
- Qāri Dāwūd ibn Ahmad ibn Dāwūd Randera – he read the ten Qirā`āt via the Durrah to him.
- Qāri Yūnus ibn ̆Abd Allah – he read the seven Qirā`āt via the Shātibiyyah to him.
- Qāri Muhammad Iqbāl ibn Ismā ̆īl Bakhsh – he read the seven Qirā`āt via the Shātibiyyah to him.
- Qāri Shabīr Ahmad ibn ̆Abd al-Qādir Asmal – he read the seven Qirā`āt via the Shātibiyyah to him.
He has many other students found all around the world.
- These works are taught by all students of Qāri Anīs, as well as their students’ students. They were originally written in Urdu, and later translated into Arabic. Some of the Arabic manuscripts are with my esteemed teacher, Qāri Ayyūb Ishāq.
Introduction to al-Fawā’id al-Muhibbiyyah by Moulana Dhu al-Fiqār Ahmad. Husn al-Muhādarāt fī Rijāl al-Qirā`āt Vol. 2 pg. 341.
The Qur’ān – its Oral Transmission p. 156-159