Mawlana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi’s Life and
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- Chapter 3 Mawlana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi’s Life and Works: An Overview. 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi: Birth and Early Life
- 3.3 Academic Development
- 3.4 Learning of Various Languages
- 3.5 Influence of the Scholars on Mawlana Nadwi
- 3.6 His Reputation among the Scholars
- 3.7 Works of Mawlana Nadwi: An Overview
- 3.7.1 General Works on Islam a) Dasturi Hayat
Mawlana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi’s Life and
Works: An Overview
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Mawlana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi’s Life and Works: An Overview.
In the previous chapter the development of history and Sirah writing in the modern Indian
subcontinent was discussed. In it, the contribution of three prominent Muslim historians-
Muhammad Shibli Nu‟mani, Sayyid Sulaiman Nadwi and Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah
was introduced. All of them have made rich contribution in producing Sirah and early
history works related to political and social themes. To their legacy particularly in terms
of Urdu language and method belongs to Mawlana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi. He
was a great scholar of Islam during the 20
century who taught at Nadwatul Ulama,
Lucknow and wrote number of prominent history works along with other themes of
Islam. However, his main concern was history of Islam and Muslims and dawah. In this
chapter an attempt is made to make an overview of his life and works which are more
than two scores in number including his pamphlets.
3.2 Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi: Birth and Early Life
Sayyid Abul Hasan `Ali Nadwi was born in Takiya Kalaan, Rae-Bareilly in North India
in 1914 and passed away on Friday 23rd December, 1999 at the ripe age of 85. In the
principality of (UP) in India on 23rd October 1914, he was named Ali and his full name
is Ali bin Abdul Hay bin Fahruddeen Al-Hasani.
His father was Allamah Abdul Hayy
Hasani, author of famous books like Nuzhatul Khawatir and Al-Thaqafah al-Islamiyah
Nadwi, Mawlana Abdul Hai Hasni, Sawanih Mufakiri Islam (Hadhrat Mawlana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali
Nadwi), Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed Academy, 2008, p. 46.
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against the British occupation, established an Islamic state in the North Western Frontier
(now in Pakistan) and fell martyr in the battlefield of Balakot in 1831 CE. Moreover, he
was one of the few non-Arabs who had fully mastered spoken and written Arabic.
Although, he was an Arab by lineage his family had lost its roots with the Arabic world
and he grew up as an Indian Muslim. He was popularly known in India as Ali Miyan and
as Nadwi in the whole Arab world.
Maulana Nadwi grew up and was guided in a peaceful and God feared environment in the
guardianship of his family. His father Mawlana Hakim Syed Abdul Hayy Nadwi al-
Hasani was an accomplished Islamic scholar in his own right and had written many
books, one of which, Nuzhat al-Khawatir- monumental biographical dictionary of the
Indian Muslim `ulama in Arabic language is very famous and consists of eight volumes.
He served as Rector of Nadwat-ul-ulama until he breathed his last on Friday 1923, when
Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi was only nine years of age. Having lost his father, young Ali grew
up under the shadow of his pious mother and under the guardianship of his beloved
brother, Dr. Hakim Abdul Ali Nadwi (who having qualified from both Dar al-Ulum
Deoband and Nadwat-ul-ulama. He lived in his early childhood in Takiya Kalaan; Rae-
Bareilly. He later migrated to Lucknow with his father because of his father's profession
as a doctor. His pious mother had memorized the Holy Qur'an by heart. She was a poet as
well as a writer. She wrote the book for the guidance of women and young girls with the
name of Husn-i Ma‟ashirah and the book of poems by the name of Bahrurrahmah.
sacrificed all her efforts for his education and upbringing, encouraging him on
Nadwi, Mawlana Abdul Hai, op. cit., p. 63.
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performing his duties, respecting the elders and being kind to the youngsters and
performing the prayers on time. She always used to supplicate the following prayer (dua)
for him: “Oh Allah! Because of your grace my son „Ali came into existence in the world
and he cannot live without your sustentation and protection. Enlighten him! Bless him to
glow in the world with the wisdom you have bestowed to him to become instrumental in
making the Islamic universe and the world as a whole brighter! Let the world be
impregnate and be benefitted by him. Oh Allah accept my prayer, respond to my plea and
bless „Ali with a life full of happiness, pride, privilege and luck”. When „Ali was young
he spent most of his time in his elder brother's house, and was under his supervision and
tender care. A particularly important influence on him at this stage was his elder brother,
Sayyid Abd al-Ali al-Hasani who later went on to train as a medical doctor at King
George's Medical College, Lucknow, and then assumed the post of Rector of the Nadwat-
ul-'Ulama. His elder brother was able, through his deep knowledge both in Western
education and Islam, to ensure his upbringing in the Islamic way of life. By this time he
had developed a deep commitment to the cause of Islam. This privileged setting helped
him immensely to grow up as a genius with a pristine blend of a number of qualities and
characteristics. His thoughts ahead of his time, his maturity and his noble qualities could
be traced to his early life and the excellent upbringing he had.
3.3 Academic Development
In order to train as an Alim Mawlana Nadwi was sent to Nadwat-ul-ulama for higher
studies. Nadwat al-ulama also known as Nadwa, the choice of the name got inspiration
Nadwi, Mawlana Abdul Hai, op. cit., p. 94.
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from a hall in Makkah, where nobles used to assemble to deliberate. It was one of the
renowned Islamic universities in the world, which has produced several famous scholars.
It was founded in 1894 at Kanpur and eventually shifted to Lucknow (India) in 1898. It
was established with the objective of countering the challenges of western education;
striking out equilibrium between Islam and modernity and producing a new breed of
Islamic scholars of higher echelon, molded in classical Islamic disciplines and new ideas
to regain the intellectual initiative lost in the wake of colonial occupation. At Nadwa
Mawlana Nadwi was exposed to new trends in Islamic thoughts in other Muslim
countries. He was also benefitted from the two leading Arab teachers at Dar al Ulum:
Khalil Muhammad of Yemen and Taqiuddin al-Hilali of Morocco who taught him
modern spoken and written Arabic. He studied Hadith under Sheikh Husain Ahmed
Madani at Dar al-Ulum, Deoband and Tafsir under Maulana Ahmad Ali of Lahore where
he came in touch with Iqbal whose poetry left an abiding impression on him.
The major turning point in Nadwi's life came in 1934, when he was appointed to teach
Arabic and Qur'anic commentary at Nadwat al-ulama, after the completion of his studies.
The Nadwa was to remain to his life thereafter, just as he was to remain central to the life
of the institution, turning it into a widely recognized centre for Islamic research. As
Mawlana Nadwi writes, one of his principal concerns as head of the institution was to
promote suitable changes in the educational system in accordance with the demand of the
Nadwi, Mawlana Abdul Hai, op. cit., p. 136.
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Mawlana Nadwi started learning English between the 1928 and 1930 under the tutorship
of Shaikh Khaleeluddeen Al-Manawi and with the help of his elder brother. It helped him
to study English books on various Islamic topics and gain useful information directly in
order to keep himself abreast of contemporary thought, especially during his visit to
England and America. His interest in learning was not limited to Islamic sciences, and
languages; always he took keen interest to update his general knowledge. He used to read
books and magazines in Arabic that came to India from different parts of the world like
Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. He also read the books of various great Arab scholars.
Nadwi had two main aspects of his life, intellectual and spiritual. In his constant search of
knowledge, his preoccupation in the learning of Islamic Sciences did not preclude him
from reading political literatures and books written by popular authors in the West and
familiarize himself with the modern thinking. His command in English, universal
knowledge and eloquent exposition of intricate concepts made the comprehension of
Islam intelligible to western-educated people who, not very often, find it difficult to
follow the metaphysical issues explained in a religious frame of reference. Gradually, the
English-speaking world also realized his worth. This prompted Mawlana Nadwi to
undertake many journeys in Western countries in order to assess the situation whence he
delivered many learned speeches to the lay class and academic class alike. Apart from
that he read collections of literature and excellent writings of Americans. The books that
impacted him during his young age are: Fajrul Islam, Dahyul Islam, Zahrul Islam written
by Ahmed Ameen and Hadir al-alam al-Isalmi authored by the American writer
Stoddard with a commentary by Shakeeb Arsalan. With growing maturity Mawlana
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Nadwi also read The Decline and fall of Roman Empire by Gibbon Edward and The
Conflict between the Religion and Science by Draper. He also read the History of New
Philosophy by Lecky, and Islam at the Cross Roads by Muhammad Asad. These books
had greater impact on him spiritually and intellectually in developing his unique method
of respecting the positives of the Western civilization while upholding the supremacy of
Islamic culture. He also researched in earnest several books such as My Story by
Mawlana Nadwi‟s personality was highly influenced by his contemporaries who formed
the framework of his thinking, which he perfected and improved after them. The most
important among them are Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, Hasan Al-Banna, Muhammad
Iqbal, Ameen Al-Hussain and Sayyid Qutb. Mawlana Nadwi himself spoke about some
of those whose influence had an abiding impression on him. He met Muhammad Iqbal in
Lahore and was inspired by him. Writing about it, he described Iqbal as “a person of clear
thinking and clear belief about the eternality of the Muhammadan message and its
generality and about the eternality of this nation and its suitability to remain and bloom,
and about the quality of the Muslims and their character to lead and direct and about the
destruction of the philosophies and calls which have appeared in this age”.
influence becomes clear when one looks at Nadwi's discussion about Iqbal's views
concerning the Western civilization; contemporary educational system and the need of
Islamic leadership in the world through Arabs.
Nadwi, Mawlana Abul Hasan Ali: Nuqush-i Iqbal, Academy of Islamic Research and Publications,
Lucknow, 2006, p. 19.
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A quick glance at Mawlana Nadwi's indefatigable and consistent devotion to the Islamic
cause would certainly reveal the special qualities that carved out a unique place for him
in the literary and scholarly circles in the entire Muslim world. One of the major
components his contributions are his numerous celebrated books such as that he had
added to the wealth of Islamic sciences and literature. Hardly any Muslim thinker can
remain aloof from his works in way of taking benefits from them. He was a pristine blend
of a number of qualities and characteristics which are seldom found in one single person.
He was an enlightened and eloquent preacher and a wise reformer. The uncountable
awards and laurels won by him for his extensive academic and reformist contribution
explain his stature. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to Islamic studies and to
the cause of Islam he was awarded the King Faisal Award in 1980. He was given
honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Kashmir University in 1981.
Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi made his debut as a historian through his biographical
writings. He constantly treats his topics and theses in their historical perspectives. The
overview of his works can be discussed by classifying them into the following two
3.7.1 General Works on Islam
a) Dasturi Hayat
Dasturi Hayat was originally written in Arabic by Mawlana Nadwi and later on was
translated into Urdu under the title Dasturi Hayat and into English as A Guide Book for
Nadwi, Mawlana Abdul Hai, op. cit., p. 374.
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dissertations pertaining to Islamic Shariah and its doctrine of duties and obligations have
continued to be written since the beginning of the Islamic era. The first to feel the need of
such a work, so far, I am aware, was Shaykh al-Islam Abu Hamid Muhammad al-
Ghazzali whose Ihya-i Ulum al-Din is not only the most renowned but also a pioneering
work of its kind. The matters dealt with by him in this work are related to the creed of
Islam, doctrine of duties and obligation, methods of self-purification, acts of devotion,
norms of ethics and spiritual experiences. It also points out in a subtle manner how to get
rid of one‟s weaknesses. Next to Ihya-i Ulum al-Din is Ghuniyat-ut-Talibin which was
written by Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani chiefly for the guidance of his disciples and those of
the coming generations desirous of making progress on the path of Saluk. The work gives
a gist of essential religious obligations like Taharat (purification), Salah (prayer), Zakāh
(poor-due) and Hajj (pilgrimage) along with the features of Islamic ethical conduct as
demanded by the Qur‟an and the example set by the Prophet (SAAS). Among the other
popular works, written in easy and simple style, one is Mala Budda of Qazi Sona-Ullah
of Panipat. This work gives a detailed exposition of the creed held by the Ahl al-Sunnah
wal Jamaat. Talimuddin written by Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, covering 144 pages also
deserves to be listed among the educative and reformative dissertations. It discusses
Islamic beliefs, devotions, morals, social behaviour and the mystical disciplines”.
words of Mawlana Nadwi, “the need for such works has increased in the present times
when the people want more concise books than those written earlier. The rapid pace of
life today has created a tendency to avoid taking pains of going through voluminous
Nadwi, Mawlana Abul Hasan Ali: Dasturi Hayat, Majlis-i Tahqiqat wa Nashriyat-i Islam, Lucknow, 2004,
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works. The people now want small simplified works which can be read without taxing
their minds. They seem to have lost the stamina for everything requiring labour and
concentration owing, perhaps, to the never-ending demands of the modern culture”.
have given in this work a digest of my studies and experiences that I have gained through
my contact with different sections of the people. I have also quoted from earlier writings
in order to make myself understood by the readers”.
Dasturi Hayat of Mawlana Nadwi describes the peculiar traits and distinguishing features
of Islam, its basic creed, permissible behaviours, the sayings and doings of the Prophet
(SAAS), his zeal for service to God and spreading his message, fighting in the way of
God (Jihad), virtuous demeanour as demanded by the Qur‟an and the Sunnah and the
character and manners of the Prophet (SAAS), albeit briefly, along with the Qur‟anic
verses sounding a warning against the tricks of Satan and human weaknesses, for the
training and guidance of those who can, by acting on these precepts, set an example for
others. The following are some of the prominent characteristic features of this work:
The starting point of a Muslim should that God has sent down the Scripture, and
the Prophet (SAAS) who preached His message, has left no room for any
deviation or aberration from the authoritative creed.
The prescribed devotions and its four practical manifestations should be observed
in their true spirit with complete regard to their external and internal as well as
physical and spiritual contents.
Ibid, pp. 9-10.
Ibid, pp. 10-11.
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Rights of the people come next to creed, religious observances and the rights of
God. There is not the least doubt that Allah will condone the lapses in regard to
the obligations one owes to Him but the remission of wrongs committed by one
man to another will be left to the discretion of the wronged person.
was read by Mawlana Nadwi in Makkah in 1981 C.E before the scholars at King Abdul
Aziz University and the learned hujjaj (pilgrims) hailing from different parts of the
world. Mawlana Nadwi provided the rationale for this monograph, “I have tried to make
out, rather from a new angle, the significant place occupied by Hadith in the life of the
Muslims, its requisites for them and the perils involved in ignoring or letting this
invaluable patrimony slip from them. In this paper, I have tried to invite attention towards
the present-day movements that have been set afoot by motivated persons in the world of
Islam to discredit the authenticity of Hadith and to create doubts about its authoritative
character, which in fact, constitute a deep conspiracy against Islam”.
also mentions in this monograph that the truth of the matter is that the Sunnah of the
Prophet (SAAS) preserved in numerous collections of Ahadith has always been the
fountain of genuine Islamic thought and the passionate desire to reform and restore the
Muslim society. It were the reformers born from time to time were able to get an accurate
knowledge Islamic faith and thought from it, they acquired their thesis and arguments
from it and they have always relied upon for the defence of their stand. It has also been
Nadwi, Mawlana Abul Hasan Ali: Islam-i Mizaj wa Mahool Ki Tashkeel Mein Hadith Ka Bunyad-i Kirdaar,
Majlisi Tahqiqat-i wa Nashriyati Islam, Lucknow, 1982, p. 2.
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inspirational force behind their fervid enthusiasm to invite the people back to the true
faith and fight every unsound norm and usage. And so it shall remain till the end of time
for anyone desiring to take up a reformatory undertaking in order to forge a link between
the lives of the people today and the perfect example of the Prophet (SAAS). He shall
have to take recourse to Hadith if he wants to cater to the changing needs of society in
accordance with the principles of faith and morality as enunciated by Islam.
Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling