Shaykh Qāri Anīs Aḥmad Khān

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.

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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.

Mawlānā Qāri ʻAbd al-Raḥmān al-Makkī

By Qāri Muḥammad Salīm Ghaybī (Gaibie)

He is known as the teacher of all teachers in India. It is upon him that most sanads of Qirā`āt in India revolve. Qāri ˘Abd al-Rahmān, the son of Muhammad Bashīr Khan, was born in India. Due to the English colonisation of India and their oppression of the indigenous peoples, Muhammad Bashīr Khan felt it best if they settled elsewhere. Through Allah’s guidance, Bashīr Khan and the remainder of his family settled in the holy land of Mecca in 1867 C.E.

Here he studied under the auspices of many experts. It was in this sacred place that Qāri ˘Abd al-Rahmān memorised the Qur`ān with various other texts in the field of Tajwīd. He embarked on the study of Qirā`āt after he had successfully memorised the Shātibiyyah, the Durrah and the Tayyibah. This he accomplished under the tutelage of his brother and teacher, Qāri ˘Abd Allah al-Makkī, to whom he read the seven and ten Qirā`āt via the Tarīq of the Durrah and the Tayyibah. With the council of his seniors, he returned to India to impart the knowledge he had gained in Mecca.

In 1883 C.E. he returned to Kanpur, India, where he taught in the madrasah of Moulana Ahmad Hasan. He later settled in Ilāh Ābād and taught in Madrasah Ihya` al-˘Ulūm. Even though he had a fervent aspiration to pass on his knowledge, the students were lazy and had little desire to learn. Qāri ˘Abd al-Rahmān therefore contemplated his return to Mecca and preparations for the journey were made. The bags were packed and transport arranged; all that remained was one more night that he would spend in India. That very night he saw the Messenger of Allah (sallā llāhu ‘alay-hi wa-sallam) in his dream who said to him: “˘Abd al-Rahmān! Remain in India. We intend to take lots of work from you.” Upon awakening the next morning, bags were unpacked and all preparations for the journey were cancelled.

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ʻAllāmah Shams al-Ḥaq Afghānī

By Mawlānā ʻAbd Allāh Patel Kāpaudrī
Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy

Born 7 Ramadān 1318 A.H./1900 in Tarang Za’ī, Peshawar. Passed away 6 Dhū al-Qa‛dah 1403 A.H./16 August 1983

Hadrat Maulānā Shams al-Haq Afghānī rahimahullāh was a graduate of Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband and from among the distinguished ‛ulamā’ teachers of the subcontinent. He was a judge in Qilāt where he also delivered Hadīth lessons. We were in the second year Persian class when Hadrat ‛Allāmah came to Jāmi‛ah Dhābel as a Shaykh al-Hadīth. Like the Pathāns of the Sarhad region, he had a strong solid body, a red face, a deep voice and an intimidating personality.  The ‛Allāmah was a distinguished teacher so much so that he was invited on several occasions by Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband to go and teach there.

He was an excellent orator. He remained in Dhābel for about three years. He used to deliver lectures on various occasions. His lectures for this entire period of three years revolved around the verse:

لَقَدۡ جَآءَڪُمۡ رَسُولٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَنفُسِڪُمۡ

There has come to you a Messenger from your own selves. (Sūrat at-Tawbah, v. 128)

The tyranny which was imposed by the British on the ‛ulamā’ of India and the manner in which they broke the Islamic world into bits left deep wounds in the hearts of the ‛ulamā’, especially in the hearts of the students and associates of Hadrat Shaykh al-Hind rahimahullāh. They were filled with hatred towards the British. Hadrat Maulānā Shams al-Haq Afghānī rahimahullāh also detested the British. In his speeches, he would very often refer to them as white-skinned dogs, and make the Muslims feel ashamed of their slavery to them.

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Mawlānā ʻAbd al-Jabbār Aʻẓamī Maẓāhirī

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.

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Mawlānā Faḍl al-Raḥmān Deobandī

By Mawlānā ʻAbd Allāh Patel Kāpaudrī
Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy

Hadrat Maulānā Fadl ar-Rahmān Sāhib rahimahullāh hailed from Sarhad. He acquired his early education with much toiling and striving under the ‛ulamā’ of his hometown. He used to say: “There was no system of hostels in the madāris. We used to live in masājid and go to our teachers for lessons. We would also carry out domestic chores for them. We used to go to the mountains to fill water and collect firewood. If the teacher was ploughing his land, we would walk with him and he would listen to our lessons.”

After completing grammar and etymology, he turned to fiqh and principles of fiqh, and memorized certain texts. This had been the methodology of the ‛ulamā’ of the past. That is, they used to study one subject at a time under the expert teacher in that subject. They used to memorize one text book from each subject. On completing the academic subjects [like grammar, etymology, principles, philosophy, logic, etc.] they would present themselves to the experts in Hadīth and tafsīr. Many years used to be spent in studying the various subjects in this manner. However, when they did qualify, they qualified as scholars with a solid foundation.

Maulānā Fadl ar-Rahmān Sāhib rahimahullāh left his hometown and came to Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband to quench his thirst for knowledge. He completed after a good few years. He settled down in Deoband, resided in the Pathān Pūrah section of the town, got married there and became a Deobandī in this way.

He came to Jāmi‛ah Dhābel after 1950 to render his services in the field of teaching. He used to work very hard in teaching al-Hidāyah (Ākhirayn), Mukhtasar al Ma‛ānī, Abū Dāwūd and other books. He was in the habit of preparing for his lessons until 2am.

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Mawlānā Fakhr al-Ḥasan Gangūhī

By Sayyid Mahbub Rizwi
Translated by Prof. Murtaz Husayn F. Qurayshi

His native-place was Gangoh. Three of the disciples of Hazrat Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi are very famous: Shaikh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi, Maulana Ahmed Hasan Amrohi and Maulana Fakhr al-Hasan Gangohi. He entered the Dar al-Ulum in A.H. 1284 and graduated from it in A.H. 1290 along with Maulana Ahmed Hasan Amrohi. He used to remain in attendance on his teacher, Hazrat Nanautavi, both during his travels and in settled abode. He was very much interested in polemics. He acquired education in the Unani System of Medicine from Hakim Mahmud* Khan in Delhi. His conversation and speech were very sweet and fascinating.

After graduation, he was appointed head-teacher in A.H. 1294 in the madrasah at Khurja. Then he went to Madrasah Abd al-Rabb in Delhi. He published some of Hazrat Nanautavi’s books. The Mubahasa-e Shahjahanpur is of his compilation; its original manuscript is extant in the Dar al-Ulum. In Hadith he has written a scholium in detail on Abu Da’ud which is entitled Al-Taliq al-Mahmud. This scholium has been printed in Matba-e Majeedi, Kanpur, and is commonly current. Besides this, he has written a scholium on Ibn Maja also which had been printed at Nami Press, Kanpur. There is one scholium by him on Talkhis al-Miftah also. He had also written a detailed biography of his teacher, Hazrat Nanautavi, comprising more or less one thousand pages.

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Mawlānā Khalīl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrī

Hadhrat Maulānā Khalīl Ahmad Saharanpuri (r.a) was born toward the end of Safar 1269 A.H. (December 1852 A.D.) in Ambehta, a town in the district of Saharanpur India. He was named both “Zahiruddeen” and “Khalīl Ahmad”, but Khalīl Ahmad became his official name. His mother, Bi Mubarak an-Nisā, was the daughter of Maulānā Mamlūk `Ali (r.a) and the sister of Maulānā Muhammad Yā’qub Nānotwi (r.a).

Maulānā Khalīl commenced his studies at an elementary school at the age of five. Maulānā Mamlūk `Ali (r.a) conducted his Bismillah and Maulānā Khalīl Ahmad Sahib (r.a) soon completed the recitation of the Qur’an. He then studied the primary books of Urdu and Persian under various Ulamā in Ambehta and Nanota. Thereafter, he accompanied his paternal uncle, Maulānā Ansār `Ali, to Gwalior, where he studied the primary texts of Arabic grammar, after which he returned home.

During this period, some of his relatives insisted that he be enrolled at a secular school. Though he did not want to, he commenced his secular studies. he constantly made dua for Allāh to free him from the fetters of British education, Allāh accepted his dua When Dārul was opened in May 1866 ( 1283 A.H.) and his uncle, Maulānā Muhammad Yā’qub (r.a) , was appointed as the Sadr-Mudarris (dean), Maulānā Khalīl Ahmad Sahib (r.a) took permission from his parents and travelled to Deoband, where he continued his studies. Six months later, in November 1866, Mazāhirul Uloom Saharanpur was established. There, another maternal uncle of Maulānā Khalīl Ahmad Sahib (r.a), Maulānā Muhammad Mazhar (r.a) was appointed as the Sadr-Mudarris. Maulānā Khalīl Ahmad Sahib (r.a) transferred to Mazāhirul Uloom Saharanpur where he completed his studies in 1288 AH (1871) at the tender age of 19.

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Mawlānā Mamlūk ʻAlī Nānūtwī

By Mufti Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami

Ml. Mamluk al-Ali Nanautwi. 1204 – 1266 AH (1789 – 1851 CE). One of the great Alim of his time in Delhi and a renowned educator. He is known as ustad al-kull (teacher of all) and ustad al-ulama (teacher to the ulama) as he either directly or in some way taught the ulama who went on to influence the Islamic landscape in India the effect of which resonates to the present time globally. He is noted as a key influencer in the development of the Deoband movement which was founded by his students which includes Ml. Qasim Nanautwi, Mft. Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and his son Ml. Ya’qub Nanautwi.


He is Mamluk al-Ali b. Ahmad Ali b. Hakim Ghulam Ashraf b. Hakim Abd Allah b. Shaykh Ab al-Fath Siddiqi Nanautwi. Mamluk means servant. Ali is the name of a sahabi whilst al-Ali is a quality of Allah almighty which means ‘the most high’. His birth name was pronounced Mamluk Ali, however, he opted to write Mamluk al-Ali to mean the servant of (Allah) the most high.

He was born circa 1204 AH (1789 CE)1 in Nanauta which is in Uttar Pardesh (India); a place with many Muslims of Arab descent. He died2 on 11 Zul Hijjah 1266 AH3 (1851 CE) in Delhi4, aged 62 (May Allah almighty have mercy upon him).

His lineage reaches to the great sahabi, Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him)5, hence, the reference Siddiqi. Accordingly, Haji Imdad Allah Nanautwi (Makki)6 and Ml. Qasim Nanautwi7 are related to him through their common ancestry to Sh. Ab al-Fath. He is recorded to have three children. His son, Ml. Yaqub Nanautwi (1249-1302) was the dean of Darul Uloom Deoband and one of the core pillars of the Deoband movement. His daughters, Najib al-Nisa and Mubarak al-Nisa, were married to two brothers, Ml. Ansar Ali and Shah Majid Ali Ambetwi respectively. The dean of Mazahir al-Ulum, Ml. Khalil Ahmad Muhaddith Saharanpuri was his grandson through Mubarak al-Nisa. Also of note are Ml. Mazhar, Ml. Ahsan and Ml. Munir Nanautwi who are the sons of his first cousin Hf. Lutf Ali b. Hf. Muhammad Hasan b. Hakim Ghulam Ashraf. His family had a close association with the household of Shah Wali Muhaddith Dihlawi and supported their movement.

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Mawlānā Mūsā Sāmraudī

Maulana Musa Samrodi was born on the 19th of June 1923 and passed away on 24th Muharram 1437/ 6th November 2015 at the age of 92 (Islamic 95).

Hadhrat studied from beginning to end in Jamiah Islamiah Dhabel and graduated in 1945. Hadhrat then studied Tibb and Hikmat (Medicine) in Deoband in 1946.

Dawat and Tableegh:
Hadhrat spent 68 years as a Muqeem at Bangle Wali Masjid, Markaz Nizamuddin (from 1946 to 2014).

Hadhrat travelled more than 30 countries in the path of Allah:
1) Saudi Arabia 2) Jordan 3) Lebanon 4) Syria (Shaam) 5) Turkey 6) Yugoslavia 7) Iraq 8) Mauritius 9) Reunion 10) Madagascar 11) Kenya 12) Tanzania 13) Uganda 14) Malawi 15) Zambia 16) Zimbabwe 17) South Africa 18) England 19) Barbados 20) Trinidad 21) Panama 22) Pakistan 23) Bangladesh 24) Sri lanka 25) Zanzibar 26) Bahrain 27) Morocco 28) Mozambique 29) Dubai 30) Canada.

Hadhrat visited some countries many times:

1. Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar four times each, three times by ship in 1956, 1957 and 1960.

2. South Africa five times in 1966, 1972, 1975, 1988, 1990.

3. Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania three times each.

Most of Hadhrat’s Safar’s (Journey’s ) were by ship. It would take 22 days to go and 22 days to return.

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