Academy of Islamic Research and Publications
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- ISLAM IC RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS P.O. Bax 119, NADWA, LUCKNOW-226 007 U. P. (INDIA)
- Academy of Islamic Research and Publications Post Box No. 119, NadWatuI Ulama, LUCKNOW-23I0O7 U.P (INDIA)
- LUCKNOW PUBLISHING HOUSE LUCKNOW CONTENTS
- Need for the Study of the Tenth Century Condition* ... ... ... ib. Political Conditions ...
- Advent of a New Order ... ...
- Effect of Religious Discussions ... ... 61 Role o f Religious Scholars ... ...
- •AVIOURI OP ISLAMIC SPIKIT
- MUJADDID ALF THANI . . .
- MUJADDID AS A SPIRITUAL GUIDE . . . . . .
- THE CORE OP THE MUJADDID’S MOVEMENT , . . .
- SAVIOURS OF ISLAMIC SPOUT
- CONTENTS V VII. UNITY OF BEING VERSUS, UNITY OF MANIFESTATION 226
- Maulana Khalid RQmi ... ... ... 320 Shah Ahmad Sa‘eed and his Spiritual Descendants
- Shaikh Sultan o f Ballia ... ... ... 330 Hafiz Saiyid ‘Abdullah Akbar aba i ...
- SAVIOURS OF ISLAMIC SPIRIT
- SAVIOUR! OF ISLAMIC SPIRIT
- FOREWORD 5 myself
Islamic Research and Publications
I S L A MI C SPI RI T
S. ABUL HASAN All NADWI
M O H IU D D IN A H M A D
A CAD EM Y OF
ISLAM IC RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS
119, NADWA, LUCKNOW-226
U. P. (INDIA)
A ll rights reserved in favour of:
Islamic Research and Publications
Post Box No. 119, NadWatuI Ulama,
LUCKNOW-23I0O7 U.P? (INDIA)
Series No. 170
URDU— FIRST EDITION
EN GLISH-FIRST EDITION
LUCKNOW PUBLISHING HOUSE
. . .
. . .
ISLAMIC WORLD IN THB TENTH GENTURY
. . .
Need for the Study of the Tenth Century
Intellectual and Religious Disquietude
Causes o f Unrest
I I .
THE GREATEST TUMULT OF THB TENTH CENTURY . . .
Advent of a New Order
I I I .
AKBAR^S RULE— THE CONTRASTING CuM A XES
. . .
The Religious Period
The Second Phase of Akbar’s Rule
Effect of Religious Discussions
Role o f Religious Scholars
Religious Scholars of Akbar’s Court
Courtiers and Counsellors
•AVIOURI OP ISLAMIC SPIKIT
Mulls Mubarak and his sons
Influence of Rajput Spouses
Significance of the Decree
Fall of Makhdum-ul-Mulk and Sadr-us-Sudnr ...
The New Millennium and Divine Faith
Akbar's Religious ideas and Practices
Timings of Prayer
Prostration before His Majesty
Salutation of Divine Faith
Aversion to Hijrl Calendar
Un-Islamic Feasts and Festivals
Adoption of un-Islamic Customs
Rejection of Miracles
Dislike for Circumcission
Divine Worship of Kings
Introduction of Ilah I Calendar
Remission of Zakat
Disapproval of Islamic Learning
Mockery of Prophet’s Ascension
Disparging Remarks about the Prophet
Antipathy and Irritation at the Propnet’s Names
Prohibition of Prayer
Mockery of Islamic Values
A Dangerous turning point for Muslim India ...
MUJADDID ALF THANI
. . .
Makhdum Shaikh ‘Abdul Ahad
Birth and Childhood of Mujaddid ...
Spiritual Allegiance to Khwaja Baqi Billah
Shaikh ‘Abdul Baqi (Khwaja Baqi Billah)
Mujaddid’s initiation in the Khwaja’s order
MUJADDID AS A SPIRITUAL GUIDE
. . .
. . .
Stay at Sirhind
Journey to Lahore
Arrangement for Moral Regeneration
Attitude of Jehangir
Reasons for Detention at Gwalior Fort
Internment in the Gwalior Fort
In the Gaol ...
Religious Ecstasy during Internment
Stay at the Royal Court
The End of Journey
Character and Daily Routine
Sons of Shaikh Ahmad ...
THE CORE OP THE MUJADDID’S MOVEMENT
, . . .
Trust in Muhammad’s Prophethood
Limitations of Spiritual and Intellectual
Some Basic Questions
Critique o f Pure Reason and Esoteric
Limitation of Intellect a ad the Knowledge of
Stupidity of Greek Philosophers
Inadequacy of Intellect to Perceive Spiritual
Prophethood transcends Intellect and Discrusive
SAVIOURS OF ISLAMIC SPOUT
Pure Intellect in a Myth
Neo-Platonists and Illuminists
Shaikhul IshrSq Shihab-ud-din Suhrawardi
Similarity of Intellect and Spiritual
Impurities of Ecstatic Experiences ...
Conflict Between the Teachings of Philosophers
Purification unattainable without Prophethood ...
Indispensability of the Prophets
Divine Knowledge and Prophecy
Gliosis of G o d : A Gift of Prohpethood
Stages of Faith
Acceptance of Prophethood based on Sound
Prophetic Teachings not Verifiable by Intellect ...
Beyond Intellect and Irrationality
Method of Worship taught by Prophets alone
Prophethood Superior to Intellect
Station of Prophethood ...
Prophets are the Best of Creations
Openheartedness of the Prophets
Dual Attention o f Prophets
Comparison between Saints and Prophets
Prophetic Appeal meant for Heart ...
Emulation of the Prophets rewarded by Proximity
Excellence of prophethood surpasses Saint
Scholars are on the Right Path
Dignity of the Prophets ...
Faith in the Unseen
Perfect Experience of the Ultimate Reality
Islamic Concept of Sufism
Rejection of Bid'at Hasanah
UNITY OF BEING VERSUS, UNITY OF MANIFESTATION
Shaikh Akbar Muhyl-ud-din Ibn ‘Arab!
Ibn Taimiyah’s criticism of Wahdat-ul-WujGd
Corroding Influence o f Wahdat-ul-Wujud
Indian Followers o f Ibn ‘Arab!
Shaikh ‘Ala-ud-daulS Samn&ni’s opposition to
Unity o f Being
Wahdat-us-Shuhiid or Unity of Manifestation
The Nefcd of a New Master
Mujaddid’s Fresh Approach
Personal Experiences of the Mujaddid
Unity o f Existence
Moderate views about Ibn ‘Arabi
Opposition to Existential Unity
Greatness of Shaikh Ahmad
Compromising Attitude o f the later Scholars ...
Saiyid Ahmad Shahld
VIII. FROM AKBAJt TO JAHANO®
Some worthy Scholars and Mystics
Beginning of Mujaddid’s Reformatory Effort
Proper y n e o f Action
Thoughts that breathe and Words that burn
Letters to the Nobles and Grandees
Avoiding Recurrence of Mistakes
Mujaddid’s personal contribution
Influence of the Mujaddid on Jahangir
Reign of Shahjahan
Prince Dara Shikoh
Muhyl-ud-din Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir ...
IX. NOTABLE ADVERSARIES OF SHAIKH AHMAD
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF MUJADDIDYAH ORDER
The Eminent Deputies ...
SAVIOUR* OF ULA.UIC SPIRIT
Khwaja Muhammad M'asum
Saiyid Adam Binnauri
Other Eminent Mystics ...
Khwaja Saif-ud-din Sirhindi
From Khwaja Muhammad Zubair to Maulana
Fazlur Rahman Ganj-MoradababI
Mirza Mazhar Jan janan and Shan Ghulam
Maulana Khalid RQmi
Shah Ahmad Sa‘eed and his Spiritual
Shah ‘Abdul Ghanl
Saiyid Shah ‘Alam Ullah and his family
Shaikh Sultan o f Ballia
Hafiz Saiyid ‘Abdullah Akbar aba i
Saiyid Ahmad Shahid and his followers
1 THE WORKS OF SHAIKH AHMAD MUJADDID SIRHINDI . . .
It was perhaps 1935 or 1936 when my respected brother
Hakim Dr. Syed ‘Abdul ‘Ali, late Nazim of Nadwatul ‘UlamS,
directed me to go through the Maktubat Imam Rabbsni
Mujaddid A lf ThSni. I was then not more than 23 or 24
years of age and had joined, a short while ago, as a teacher
in the Darul ‘Uloom, Nadwatul ‘Ulama. I had never delved
in the sufl literature nor was conversant with the terminology
of mystic discipline. I had assiduously pursued history and
literature of the Arabs, particularly history of Arabic literature,
and was used to reading books with a fine get up and
printing produced in Beirut and Egypt. My brother was fully
aware of my tastes and likings for it was he who had been
the chief guide during my educational attainments, but he
intended perhaps to let me know what Iqbal has so trenchantly
versified in this couplet:
You are but the lamp of a hearth,
Which has ever had things spiritual at heart.
Our family has been intimately connected, at least for
the last three hundred years, intellectually and spiritually, with
the school of thought that goes by the name of Mujaddid Alf
Than! and Shah Waliullah. The private library of my father
had a three volume collection of Mujaddid’s letters which had
been printed at AhmadI Press of Delhi. I started reading the
book in compliance with the wish expressed by my brother.
SAVIOURS OF ISLAMIC SPIRIT
but was so discouraged that I had to put it off more than
once. The letters written by the Mujaddid to bis spiritual
mentor Khawaja Baqi Billah describing his spiritual experiences
and ecstatic moods were specially disconcerting to me, but my
brother kept on prodding me to go through the letters along
with the Izdlatul Khifa of Shah Wallullah, Sirat-i-Mustaqim
of Saiyid Ahmad Shahld and Shah Isma'il Shahld’s Man&ab-i-
Jmsmat. At last I made up my mind to go through all these
books once for all. I felt ashamed for not being able to do what
my brother had bidden. And what was this collection of letters;
had it not been cherished by the most purehearted souls?
Providence came to my rescue and the more I read the book,
the more I found it fascinating. Now I began to understand
its contents and then a time came when I became enamoured
by it. It so attracted my interest that I found it more fasci-
nating than the best literary creations. I was then passing
through a most critical stage of my life: certain mental tensions
and intellectual stresses and strains had put me in a turmoil.
The book then came as a spiritual guide to me. I could
clearly perceive the placid calm and equanimity overtaking my
heart. The journey I had begun in obedience to the wishes
of my brother got me through an enchanting delight.
I again started reading the Mujaddid’s letters, after a
short time, with the intention of classifying the ideas expressed
in it under different headings. I -started preparing an index
of the subjects dealt with in it, for example, listing the pass
ages dealing with the Oneness of God and repudiation of
polytheistic ideas, prophethood, teachings of the Prophet and
aberrations from it, non-existence of pious innovations, Unity of
Being and Unity of Manifestation, reaches of intellect and in
tuition, and so on. The index thus prepared after several
weeks’ labour was kept by me in the book I had used for
preparing it, so as to utilise it later on for collecting the
passages according to their headings. But, somebody borrowed
the book from me and it was never returned. I was saddened
f o r e w o r d
more by loss of the index prepared so laboriously than of the
book which could have been procured again.
Several years after this incident, perhaps in 1945 or
1946, I again thought of rearranging the different topics touched
upon in these letters and presenting them with an exposition
that may catch the interest of modern educated youth and ac
quaint him with the achievements of the Mujaddid in the field of
reform and revivalism. Accordingly I undertook the task with
an introductory note designed to give the substance of propo
sitions and statements on a particular subject followed by the
passages on that topic, which were scattered throughout the
These extracts were also to be arranged meaning
fully in a systematic order, giving both the Persian text and Urdu
translation with explanatory notes of difficult terms along with
the ah&dith and supportive views of the well-known scholars and
doctors of religion. The comprehensive study I had designed
to undertake required a close inquiry of various issues and
was surely a difficult task for a young student like me who
had already been overburdened with teaching, writing and Tabligh
activities. The result was obvious: by the time I completed
the topics of Divine Unity, prophethood and apostleship it be
came difficult for me to continue it owing to other engagements.
But, whatever of it had been written was sufficiently useful and
my friend Maulana Mohammad Manzoor Nomani published
them in his monthly journal Al-Furq&n in four instalments during
the year 1947-48.
After a few years when I started writing the history of
revivalist movements, which' has since appeared under the series
entitled 'Saviours o f Islamic Spirit' the urge to write a biographi
cal account of the Mujaddid engrossed my thoughts once again-
In the last volume of the book I had given an account of two
great Indian mystics, Khwaja Nizam-ud-dln Auliyi and Sheikh
Sharaf-ud-din Yahya Manerl, belonging to the eighth century
of Islamic era. I wanted to portray the life and character of
the Mujaddid in the subsequent volume since it needed to
SAVIOUR! OF ISLAMIC SPIRIT
brought into focus, for reasons more than one, in the present
times of catastrophic change. I felt it necessary to restate, in
clear terms, the strategy adopted by the Mujaddid for it has a
greater relevance today (when the revivalist movements invaria
bly pit themselves against the governments of their countries, from
the very beginning, and plunge into difficulties). What was,
after all, the method by which an ascetic had changed the entire
trend and complexion of the government of his day without
any means and resources? My attention had been drawn to
wards this fact first in the soirees of my elder brother and then
by the scholarly article of Syed Manazir Ahsan Gilani appear
ing in the special issue o f the AI-FurqSn devoted to the
Mujaddid. The more I thought about the matter, the more I
was convinced of the correctness of Mujaddid’s approach which
has been expressed by me in several of my articles and speeches1
There were still two stumbling blocks in attempting a
biography of the Mujaddid. The first was that no biographical
(ketch of the Mujaddid could be considered complete or satis
factory without a critical assessment of the doctrines of Unity of
Being and Unity of Manifestation and outlining the latter precept
in some detail to demonstrate its validity. The writings on the
subject have by now so copiously accumulated that it is diffi
cult to abridge all of them or present even selected passages.
Moreover, both these precepts relate to doctrinal and philosophical
aspects of Islamic mysticism which cannot be understood without
adequate comprehension of their terminologies and techniques
depending, finally, on spiritual exercises to be experienced and
mastered rather than explained in words. The author is himself a
stranger to this field while most of the readers would , I suppose, be
unfamiliar or rather estranged to these disciplines. How to acquit
1. I may refer, for instance, to my two speeches, one in the Azhar
University, Cairo, and the other in the Islamic University, Medina, both
of which have since been published.
myself of this onerous responsibility was a problem for me. On
the other hand, to leave the matter untouched altogether, which is
considered by some as the focal point of the Mujaddid’s reformat
ory endeavour and the secret of his marvellous achievement, would
have rendered the venture deficient and incomplete. The other
difficulty was the abundant literature already existing on the sub
ject which left no new ground to be broken nor allowed addi
tion of one more work to it.
In regard to my first problem I decided after fully weigh
ing the pros and cons of the matter that the Mujaddid’s con
cepts could best be presented with the help of his own writings
and the exposition of his ideas by recognised authorities and
scholars belonging to his school o f thought so that the readers
may be led to understand the basic features of the Mujaddid’s
thoughts and concepts. Those who desire to pursue their studies
in greater detail can then turn to the original sources or take
the assistance of well-known authorities.
The way out to my second difficulty was shown by a
couplet of the Poet of the East which has also found confirma
tion from my own experience as a writer. These verses by Iqbal
could be so rendered :
Never think the cup bearer’s task has finished,
The grape still has a thousand wines untouched.
Much has been written on the Mujaddid and his accom
plishments, but there is room to write more, and so will it
remain in future also.
Idioms and expressions, situations and circumstances and
norms and values change with the times and it is not unoften
find earlier writings as if penned in a different language
requiring a new rendering to be fully comprehended by the
later generations. Apart from it, every writer has his owa
w a y
of interpreting things, relating causes to the effects and
drawing conclusions for making them applicable to the shape
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