Qāri ʻAbd Allāh al-Makkī

By Qāri Muḥammad Salīm Ghaybī (Gaibie)

Due to the oppression of the people in India by the English occupation, Qāri ̆Abd Allah moved to Mecca with his father Muhammad Bashīr Khan in 1284 A.H./1867 C.E. Bashīr Khan had three sons: Muhammad  ̆Abd Allah, Muhammad  ̆Abd al-Rahmān and Muhammad Habīb al-Rahmān. In Mecca he ensured that they all received a good education.

He studied various sciences under Moulana Rahmah Allah al-Kayrānway in the Haram of Mecca and in Madrasah al-Soulatiyyah. It was his fervent efforts in the field of Qirā`āt that resulted in him rendering the Qur`ān according to the seven and ten Qirā`āt via the Tarīq of the Shātibiyyah , the Durrah and the Tayyibah to the Egyptian expert Sheikh Ibrāhīm Sa ̆d. After mastering these sciences he was appointed as teacher of Tajwīd and Qirā`āt in Madrasah al-Soulatiyyah.

He would practice Qirā`āt (mashq) for one hour as his daily routine. He would tell his students: “If this (practice) does not become a regular habit (for a reciter) then he will never control his ability in recitation and pronunciation. Therefore, every reciter should not neglect his daily practice (mashq).”

He got married in Mecca and stayed there till the end of his days. He taught and served the Qur`ān until his last breath. He died in 1337 A.H./1919 C.E.


  • Moulana Rahmah Allah al-Kayrānway – he was an ardent student of Moulana Kayrānway under whom he studied various sciences of Islam.
  • Sheikh Ebrāhīm Sa ̆d – he read the seven and ten Qirā`āt to him.

Shaykh Farid al-Baji al-Maliki

Summarized translated biography1 of shaykh, al-‘allâmah, al-muhaddith Abû Muhammad Yûsuf, Farîd ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Abd Allâh ibn Muhammad al-Bâji al-Tûnisi, Mâliki in jurisprudenceand founder of Dâr al-Hadîth al-Zaytûniyyah in Tunis, Tunisia.

Hewas born on the 6th of Rabî’ al-Awwal 1388 AH / the 3rd of June 1968, in Tunis.

He studied at the Zaytuna University in Tunis. The first ahadith he listened to where those of Sahîh al-Bukhâri from the mouth of the honorable shaykh Muhammad Lakhwah – rahimahullâh – when he didn’t even reach the age of eleven years old. After that he studied with shaykh Muhammad Makhlûf – may Allâh preserve him – the Muqaddimah of Ibnas-Salâh and the poem of Ibn ‘Ashir. Then he studied a part of al-Adab al-Mufrad with the erudite shaykh Hasan al-Khiâri al-Zaytûni, rahimahullah, followed by the Risâlah of Ibn Abî Zayd al-Qayrawâni, on which he worked with shaykh Jarrâyah and finally al-‘aqîdah with shaykh Muhammad al-Majdhûb, the faqîh (i.e. jurist) of Zaytûna – may Allâh have mercy with him. He had the immense honour of assisting shaykh Muhammad al-Shâdhili al-Nayfar, the jurist and verifier (al-faqîh al-muhaqqiq) – may Allâh have mercy with him. Amongst his shuyûkh of Zaytûnah who gave him ijâzah are shaykh ‘Uthmân al-‘Uthmâni – may Allâh protect him – student of shaykh al-islâm and muftî of the Maliki’s, the erudite ‘Abd al-‘Azîz Ju’ayyît – may Allâh have mercy with him, as well as the scholar, jurist and al-mujâhid Mukhtâr al-Mahri – may Allâh have mercy with him – of whom he received ijazah in Jawharat al-Tawhîd.

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Imam Muhammad bin Qasim al-Thaqafi

MUHAMMAD BIN QASIM is undoubtedly one of the noblest sons of Islam. The most remarkable thing about him is that he combines the innocence of youth with the highest level of achievement.

MUHAMMAD BIN QASIM is undoubtedly one of the noblest sons of Islam. The most remarkable thing about him is that he combines the innocence of youth with the highest level of achievement. He was hardly seventeen when he led an army into Sind and conquered the whole of Sind and gave it a just and good government. These great achievements were attained in a strange, far off land, with the help of a few thousand countrymen. History has very few examples to put beside this one.

Muhammad bin Qasim strongly felt for the downtrodden masses who were suffering in the hands of rulers and gave them the basic human rights. All citizens were given equal rights. The Arab rule brought a new hope and new horizons for the down-trodden. The blessings of Arab rule were meant for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Hindus were amazed at the treatment they received. Their temples remained intact, and the government even repaired temples. Three per cent of the income from land revenue was set aside for the upkeep of the temples. The priests continued to enjoy the rights they had enjoyed before.

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Imam Abu ‘l-Faraj Ibn ‘l-Jawzi

By ‘Allamah Sayyid Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwi

Ibn al-Jawzi presents another striking example of a preacher, reformer and renovator of the faith. He was the most reputed and profound scholar of his time and a prolific writer of voluminous books on exegesis of the Qur’an, Traditions, history and literary criticism.

Early Life

Born in 508 AH at Baghdad, Ibn al-Jawzi was 38 years younger than Abdul Qadir. His father died when he was still young but his mother sent him to study under a reputed traditionist of the day, Ibn Nasir. He committed the Qur’an to memory and learnt its recitation, studied the Traditions and calligraphy. Describing his childhood days to his son, Ibn al-Jawzi says:

“I quite recollect that I was admitted to the primary school at the age of six. Boys much more elder than me were inmates. I do not recollect if I had ever spent my time in playing or laughing with other boys. Instead of witnessing the performance of the jugglers who frequently held their shows in the field in front of the mosque where I studied, I used to attend the lectures on Traditions. Whatever Traditions or biographical accounts of the Prophet were related in the Iectures, those were memorised by me and then I also used to take them down on reaching home. Other boys spent their time in playing along the banks of the river but I invariably used to sit down with a book in my hand in a corner and read it from cover to cover.

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Shaykh Sayyid ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani

By ‘Allamah Sayyid Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwi

Abdul Qadir was born in Gilan in 470 A. H. He was an Arab by descent, being the tenth descendent of Hasan ibn Ali, but belonged to Iran by migration of his ancestors. He came to Baghdad in 488 A. H. at the age of l8 years. It was perhaps not merely fortuitous that he arrived at Baghdad to acquire education almost at the same time when another reputed teacher, al-Ghazali, was leaving the city in search of truth. Although inclined to penance and cultivation of religious observances from an early age, he addressed himself whole-heartedly to acquire education under the most reputed teachers of the time such as Abul Wafa Ibn Aqeel, Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Baqilllani and Abu Zakariya Tebrezi. Thereafter, he turned to mysticism and was guided in its tenets and practices by Sheikh Abul Khair Hammid ibn Muslim al-Dabbass and Qadi Abu Sa’eed Makhrami, and was allowed by the latter to initiate others in the mystic order of his mentor.

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Imam Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari


Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf al-Binnawri, a member of the Majlis `Ilmi (a scholarly council for revival of classical Islamic works) and a professor at the Islamic University in Dabhel, Surat (India), described al-Kawthari as,

    “The keen-eyed verifying scholar, the experienced and erudite, the great teacher, the shaykh, Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari – may his life be long in good health.”
[Preface to Nasb al-Rayah, 1/17]

The Shaykh and Imam, the Mujtahid and Usuli, the Muhaddith of Morocco, Abu’l-Fadl `Abdullah ibn Siddiq al-Ghumari (may Allah have mercy upon him) says,

    “There was a firm relationship between myself and the teacher al-Kawthari, in spite of the striving of the jealous to ruin it.  He used to respect me a great deal, so much so that when I asked him for ijazah a year before his death, he asked me for ijazah.  He used to ask me about the ahadith which some people would ask him about.  Our relationship continued as it was until his death.  May Allah have mercy upon him and reward him with His pleasure.”
[Iqamat al-Burhan `ala Nuzul `Isa fi Akhir al-Zaman, by al-Ghumari, with an introductory word by al-Kawthari, p.7]

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‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-Aziz

By ‘Allamah Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi

Reformist Endeavors of the FirstCentury:

Soon after the Khilafate Rashida (the rightlyguided
caliphate) came to an end and the
Ummayyad Empire, which was more Arab than
Islamic, consolidated itself, the need over
reformation and renovation in Islam was felt
keenly. Customs, traditions and remembrances
of the pagan past, which had been discredited
and repressed under the impact of the Prophet’s
teachings and the vigilant eye of the Khilafate-
Rashida, began to re-assert themselves among
the new Arab converts to Islam. The then
Government was not organized according to the
dictates of the Qur’an and the Sunnah: its
guiding lights were Arab diplomacy, expediency
and interest of the State. Arab racialism, tribal
pride, partisan spirit and nepotism, regarded as
unpardonable sins during the days of the
Khilafat-e-Rashida, became the hallmarks of the
new aristocracy. The unruly spirit of the Arabs,
which had sought asylum in the far off deserts,
returned again to reassert itself; extravagance,
pretentiousness and boastfulness took the place
of virtuous deeds and moral excellence. Baitul-
Mal (the State Exchequer) became personal
property of the Caliphs who wasted public
money on professional poets, eulogists, jugglers
and buffoons. The courtiers of the rulers began
to be accorded a preferential treatment, which
gave them heart to break the law of the land.
Music and singing grew almost to a craze.
The extravagant rulers, surrounded by dissolute
parasites who flocked to the capital, demoralized Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz
the society and produced an aristocracy
resembling the pagan Arab wastrels of the age
of Ignorance in morals and behavior. It
appeared as if the pre-Islamic Ignorance had
retuned with a vendetta to settle its accounts of
the past forty years with Islam.

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Imam Abu ‘l-Hasan al-Ashari

By ‘Allamah Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi

The Crisis of ‘Itizal’:
Ascendancy of Mutazilites: The Mutazilites
suffered a severe setback after the death of
Mutasim and Wathiq, both of whom were ardent
supporters of their school. Mutawakkil, the tenth
Abbasid Caliph, succeeded his brother Wathiq
in 232 A.H. He was against the Mutazilites and
keen for the restoration of the true faith. He
declared as heretic the allegedly freethinking
Mutazilites, expelled them from public offices
and interdicted discussions on dogmatic
questions by them. Yet, ‘Itizal had taken roots
in the circles of the learned and the philosophers,
all over the Islamic world. Although the doctrine
in regard to the creation of the Qur’an had died
out, the Mutazilite thought still exercised
considerable influence. The Mutazilites
continued to be vigorous owing to the eminent
exponents of ‘Itizal’ who were well-versed in
literature, dialectics, jurisprudence and other
sciences, and held high offices under the State.
They gained ascendancy by the middle of the
third century A.H. when it was commonly held
that they possessed rationalistic tendencies, were
progressive thinkers and seekers after the Truth.
This became the prevailing taste which was
taken after by the young men, students and
others who wanted to cut a figure. The Hanbalite
School could not produce another savant of
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal’s erudition while the
traditionists and the teachers of orthodox school
came to regard secular sciences as undesirable
intruders into the domain of religion. The
ignorance of orthodox theologians in dialectics
and other secular sciences began to be regarded
as their weakness with the result that the ‘Itizal’
acquired predominance such as it had never
gained before or after that period. It is true that
all those who had a profound knowledge of
religious sciences had generally accepted the
tenets of the traditionists and jurisprudents but
the misinformed commonalty was mostly
swayed by the wit and art of discursive reasoning
exhibited by the Mutazilites. Many among the
theologians too suffered from inferiority complex
which served to attract minds not content with
the formalism of the orthodox school towards
the Mutazilite thought. This, indeed, posed a great
danger for the Shariah and the path trodden by
the mentors of the old. The rationalists, holding
the view that human reason was competent to
go searching after the Ultimate Reality,
explained away those passages of the Qur’an
which they did not find helpful to their modes of
reason. These explanations were undermining
the religion and fundamental tenets of the Faith.
An alleged rationalism lacking in erudition and
wisdom was thus gaining ground among the
Muslims which could not be refuted successfully
by the unflinching faith and ardent zeal of the
Hanbalites and traditionists or by the moral and
spiritual excellence of the pious, nor yet by the
analogical deduction and elaborate canonical
laws and rules of the jurists.
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Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Arna`ut

Obituary: Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Arna’ut
Abu Eesa Niamatullah

There are two calamities when the true scholars of Islam pass away: firstly is the immediate loss of the individual from whom one can now not benefit from, seek advice from, obtain solutions to our problems and likewise. The second calamity is that the sacred knowledge running through the veins of such people is lost and passes away with its carrier. With the death of the ‘ulemâ, we lose a portion of the legacy of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for as he said, “the scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets.”

It becomes a far greater tragedy when the scholar in question is from the erudite masters of knowledge; those whose mention in the lands is widespread and whom our times simply cannot replace.

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