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.