Faqih-e-Azam Hind, Sadrush Shariah Hazrat Allama Muhammad Amjad Aliعليه الرحمه والرضوان was amongst one of the most prominent and illustrious personalities of India. Huzoor Sadrush Shariah, Badrut Tariqat Hazrat Allama Shah Amjad Ali Aazmi the son of Hakim Jamaalud’deen, son of Maulana Khuda Bakhsh, son of Moulana Khairud’deen was born at a place known as Karimud’deen which is situated in the district of Ghosi, in the well known town of Azamgarh in India.
His father and grandfather both were renowned scholars in Religious theology and expert specialists in Unani medicine. When his grandfather, Hazrat Maulana Khuda Bakhsh عليه الرحمه went to perform Hajj, he received the permission for the recitation of Dala’il al-Khayrat in Madinatul Munawwarah from the Shaikhud Dalaa’il. He was also a great Saahib-e-Karaamat. He received his elementary education from his grandfather, thereafter studying under the watchful eye of elder brother Maulana Muhammad Siddique عليه الرحمه . After completion of his elementary studies, he was enrolled for higher education at the Madrassa Hanafiya in Jaunpur. This was a very famous and reputable Islamic University in that time. There, he studied under the guidance of a very reputable and distinguished Aalim-e-Deen of the time, Jaami’ Ma’qulat Wa Manqulat, Hazrat Allama Maulana Hidayatullah Khan Rampuri Jaunpuri, who passed away in 1326/1908.
Maulana Hidayatullah Khan عليه الرحمه was the student of the personality, who was known for first inspiring the Movement for Independence in India, namely; The Imamul Falsafa, Mujahid-e-Jalil, Hazrat Allama Fazl-e-Haq Khayrabadi عليه الرحمه . After observing his immense wisdom and acumen, Ustaazul Asaatiza Allama Hidayatullah Khan, counted him amongst his most reputable students which can be better understood from the words of Allama Sayed Sulaiman Ashraf Bihari (Professor of the Religious Faculty at Aligarh Muslim University): Hazrat Ustaazul Asaatiza was kind and attentive towards all his students but he would place his special attention over three of his students. He used to say, ‘I wish to take whatever is in my heart and pass it on to these three students.’ (The 3 students being mentioned were Maulana Muhammad Siddique, Maulana Amjad Ali and Maulana Sulaiman Ashraf).
It is for this very reason that once his beloved teacher said as follows regarding him: ‘I managed to find one (true) student and that too, in my old age.’
After completion of his studies in Jaunpur, on the request of his teacher, he journeyed to Madrasatul Hadith in Pillibhit to specialise in Hadith where he studied Hadith at the feet of Hafizul Hadith, Hujjatul Asr Allama Wasi Ahmed Surti عليه الرحمه , who passed away in 1334/1916. He graduated and attained his Degree in 1320/1905. As a student, his teachers and management of the Madrassa acknowledged his acumen and intellect alike. This can be gathered from the report presented by the Director of the Madrassa which he had published in Tohfa-e-Hanafiya in Patna. The report reads as follows:
‘Alhumdulillah, Hazrat Maulana Maulvi Shah Muhammad Salaamatullah Saheb Rampuri took the exams for our students on the 6th of Zil Hijjah 1324. After completing the books of his course, Maulvi Amjad Ali also studied the Sihah Sit’ta, Musnad Shareef, Kitaabul Athaar Shareef, Mu’atta Shareef, Tahaawi Shareef with great enthusiasm and dedication throughout the year. He studied by both listening and reading and thus, excelled in his examination with distinction. The examiner was completely impressed with his ability, acumen, intellect and talent. The Dastaar was then tied on his head.’
After graduating and acquiring his degree, he was immediately engaged as the Principal of Madrassa Ahl-e-Sunnat which was one of the most reputable Madrassas in Patna, Bihar. The excellence and repute of this Madrassa can be understood from the fact that before the arrival of Huzoor Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه illustrious personalities like the distinguished student of Allama Fazl-e-Haq Khayrabadi, Allama Maulana Abdul Aziz Mantaqi and Hafizul Hadith Huzoor Muhadith-e-Surti عليه الرحمه held the positions of Shaikh-ul-Hadith at this Madrassa. The first book that he was asked to teach whilst at the Madrassa was ‘The Hidaya Volume 2’. He explained the issues presented therein with such proficiency and so clearly, that the Ulama and all those present there were astonished. The Manager of the Institute, Qazi Abdul Waheed awarded him the responsibility of handling all the Educational Affairs of the Madrassa. After the passing away of Qazi Abdul Waheed, he did not remain there for too long. He then journeyed to Lucknow where he studied ‘Ilm-ut-Tibb’ for two years. After completion of this course, he returned home and commenced serving the people by starting a clinic. His clinic began to progress successfully. When Huzoor Muhadith-e-Surti عليه الرحمه heard that Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه had started practicing and had opened a clinic for this purpose, he became very sad.
At this time, The Faqih of Faqihs of the Century, The Imam amongst Imams, the Great Reviver of Islam, A’la Hazrat Imam Ahl-e-Sunnat عليه الرحمه Imam Ahmed Raza Khan required the services of a teacher at the Darul-Uloom Manzar-e- Islam. Sadrush Shariah then left his clinic and proceeded to Bareilly. At Bareilly, he first served as a teacher.
When Huzoor Sadrush Shariah intended to visit Bareilly Shareef from Pilliphit, Huzoor Muhadith-e-Surti عليه الرحمه wrote a letter to A’la Hazrat, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan عليه الرحمه asking him to inspire him to continue in the field of Ilm-e-Deen. Within a few months, Mujaddid-e-Deen-o-Millat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan عليه الرحمه arranged for Sadrush Shariah to reside permanently in Bareilly Shareef. He was entrusted with many responsibilities by Imam Ahmed Raza Khan عليه الرحمه. Important affairs such as, The Educational Affairs of Madrassa Manzar-e-Islam, The management of Anjuman Ahl-e-Sunnat, The management of the printing press, arrangement of manuscripts, proofing of books that were being prepared for publishing, issuing Fatawa and dispatching important postage entrusted to him.
Due to his potential and his devotion and sincerity, Imam Ahmed Raza عليه الرحمه looked at him with great respect and due to this he had immense trust and faith in him. After approximately fifteen years, he journeyed to Ajmer Shareef in 1343/1924 to take up the position as Principal at Darul Uloom Mu’eenia Uthmania. He remained there until 1350 and quenched the thirst of those who came in search of knowledge. The most intelligent and bright students travelled from all corners of the country to humble themselves before him, quenching their thirst for true knowledge and wisdom.
Shaykh-ul-Ulama Allama Ghulam Jilani Ghoswi writes:
‘The standard of education at Darul Uloom Mu’eenia excelled to such a high level, that it became famous all over. Students journeyed from the Northern Provinces, Bihar and Hyderabad etc. to acquire knowledge from him, after hearing of his manner of teaching. Those who lived in Ajmer Shareef say that never before did they see such an atmosphere and environment of learning which they saw in his era.’
He returned to Bareilly Shareef in 1351 and for 3 years he served as a teacher at the Darul Ifta. In 1354, Nawab Haji Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sherwani, the Governor of Dadon Aligarh invited him to take up the post as principal at Madrassa Haafizia Sa’eedia which he accepted. He remained there for seven years and taught during this time with sincerity and devotion, producing dynamic and capable scholars.
He was truly proficient in the art of teaching and instructing. With the exception of instructing the students through the customary books and the set books, he also taught them in other fields through other books as well. He taught the books that were part of the syllabus but at the same time he taught those books that were not part of the syllabus. He did this by explaining to students the footnotes and commentaries in regards to these books. He used to even spend time after Madrassa hours to tutor the students. He would even teach in the days when there was no Madrassa. His manner of teaching and instruction gained prominence throughout the country. He would explain absolutely difficult and intricate issues to the students in a very simple manner, that even a very weak student would be able to understand his explanation.
There came a time when the Aligarh Muslim University intended to initiate a department which would specialise in Eastern education which would allow students to study right and achieve an M.A. and for this, they were in search of scholars who understood the current day situation and the manner of instruction in the current day classroom. Amongst those who were appointed to plan this faculty, was Sadrush Shariah.علي
The Roving Ambassador of Islam Allama Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Meerati عليه الرحمه presented the contents to a syllabus which he prepared, for correction and setting, to Huzoor Sadrush Shariah (alaihi rahma). Whilst delivering a discourse at the Annual Jalsa of Madrassa Haafizia Sa’eedia Maulana Habibur Rahman Sherwani paid tributes to the Allama Amjadi Ali عليه الرحمه as a person and as a professional with these words:
‘There are only four or five teachers in the continent that I regard as completely proficient and appointed on merit, and Maulana Amjad Ali is amongst them. The fact that students are becoming Faazils at his hands and acquiring certificates of merit is clear evidence of his proficiency. He is not just a Maulvi by name.’
When there was the need to appoint a Principal for Darul Uloom Manzar-e- Islam, students were prepared and sent over to him for lessons. Huzoor Hujjatul Islam Maulana Haamid Raza Khan عليه الرحمه observed his manner of teaching from a distance. After he had observed him teaching, he returned and said as follows: ‘When Maulana Amjad Ali was answering the students, it seemed like a vast sea that in which waves (of knowledge) were rising.’
It is the blessing of the teaching of Huzoor Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه that those who are his students directly or indirectly can be found throughout the globe today propagating Islam. There is probably not a single Madrassa or Darul Uloom in the Indo-Pak sub-continent that does not have at least one teacher that has not attained his blessings.
His works in the field of Fiqh are undoubtedly shining evidence of his services. Why should this not be so, when with the exception of his special intelligence and expertise, he was blessed with serving in the field of Jurisprudence as a Mufti under the guidance of such a great and expert Jurist and Imam of the era, as Mujadid-e-Azam Imam Ahmed Raza عليه الرحمه a personality whose expertise and proficiency in Fiqh is not only accepted by us but also the refuters.
This is the reason that not only did Mujadid-e-Azam acknowledge and have full faith in his understanding of issues of Fiqh and in matters related to Fatawa. However, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan had full confidence in Allama Amjad Ali Khan on account of his diligence and competence in the mission entrusted to him. Whilst paying tribute to his excellence, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan عليه الرحمه said:
‘You will find the quality of understanding the religion (Tafaqquh) to a greater degree in Maulvi Amjad Ali incomparable to others present here. The reason being that he is proficient in announcing, writing and examining the various Fatawa. He writes down what I say in response to the inquiries sought in this behalf. He has an adoptive nature and he grasps the point of the issue without much effort. He has acquired familiarity with methods and procedures which are an asset for him in this profession’.
This alone shows that Imam Ahl-e-Sunnat acknowledged that Huzoor Sadrush Shariah’s proficiency as a Mufti and regarded him as being masterful in this regard. When the senior Ulama of the time would find difficulty in resolving any issue, they would present their problems to Huzoor Sadrush Shariah .عليه الرحمه
Once, Maulana Israar-ur-Rahmaan Saaheb of Hyderbad Dakkan sent a query to him on the 18th of Rajab 1346 which consisted of a few issues that needed to be resolved. In the beginning of his Istifta, he writes: ‘These issues are of such a nature that not every one will be capable to write a satisfactory answer to it. After much deliberation, I noticed that Almighty Allah,through His Grace and Blessing, and through the blessing of the Holy Prophet made you worthy of this position. May Almighty Allah grant you abundance in your knowledge, age, blessings and may the Muslims benefit from your blessings. Aameen Thumma Aameen.’
Other learned and great personalities like Hazrat Maulana Ziaúd’deen Pillibhiti عليه الرحمه , Imam-un-Nahw Allama Ghulam Jilani Meerati عليه الرحمه and Khair-ul-Azkiya Maulana Ghulam Yazdani Ghoswi also referred to him whenever they faced issues in Fiqh etc which found difficult to resolve.
Huzoor Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه took Bai’at at the hands of the Mujadid-e- Deen-o-Millat Imam Ahl-e-Sunnat, A’la Hazrat Ash Shah Imam Ahmed Raza Khan عليه الرحمه. He was blessed with the Khilafat and the Wakaalat from Huzoor A’la Hazrat عليه الرحمه and great personalities like Hazrat Allama Hashmati Ali Khanعليه الرحمه took the Bai’at of A’la Hazrat عليه الرحمه through the hands of Sadrush Shariah .عليه الرحمه
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan عليه الرحمه admired his effort and his sincerity and devotion at the Darul Ifta and in every other field that he partook in. He spent his days and nights working and sincerely striving for the betterment of the Ummah. It was due to this dedication and his striving sincerity that Imam Ahmed Raza عليه الرحمه said: ‘Maulana Amjad Ali Sahib is a work machine’.
Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه contributed greatly to the the initiation and finalisation of the world-renowned translation of the Holy Qur’an by Imam Ahmed Raza, entitled Kanz-ul-Imaan. It is regarded as the most unique Urdu translation of the Holy Qur’an. Huzoor Sadrush Shariah was fundamentally and psychologically capable as a religious scholar but he was also conversant with the politics of the day. Whenever and wherever the need arose, he defended and decorated the Muslims. Allah Almighty blessed Huzoor Sadrush Shariah with proficiency in many different sciences and branches of knowledge but he had an intrinsic inclination towards Tafseer, Hadith and Fiqh. His expertise in Fiqh is why Imam Ahmed Raza عليه الرحمه conferred the title ‘Sadrush Shariah’ to him.
Huzoor Sadrush Shariah initially started writing marginal notes on the voluminous book of Imam Abu Ja’far Tahawi on Hadith, entitled ‘Sharh Ma’ani’ul Athar’ and in a short period of seven months, he completed a comprehensive annotation of more than 450 pages on this masterpiece. Another distinguished work of Huzoor Sadrush Shariah is his Fatawa Amjadia, which is in four volumes, comprising of several of his Fatawa. Bahaar-e-Shariat is that universally acclaimed book of Huzoor Sadrush Shariah which can be justifiably called the Encyclopaedia of Hanafi Fiqh. Huzoor Sadrush Shariah wrote 17 parts of the 20 part book. The remaining three volumes were completed by his students. It must be noted that the world renowned book Fatawa-e-Alamgiri also known as Hindiya was compiled by the efforts of more than five hundred outstanding scholars at that time. Huzoor Sadrush Shariah on the other hand, wrote the famous Bahaar-e-Shariat single handedly. This book has been written in such a beautiful and simple manner that not only can the Ulama make use of it but even the general public is able to derive benefit through it. A’la Hazrat Ash Shah Imam Ahmed Raza Khan عليه الرحمه personally listened to the first six parts of Bahaar-e-Shariat as Huzoor Sadrush Shariah recited it to him. After listening to the first six parts, Huzoor A’la Hazrat عليه الرحمه mentioned to Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه that he had his blessings to continue and there was now no need to read it to him anymore. This was the confidence that Imam Ahmed Raza عليه الرحمه had in the work of Sadrush Shariah. Sadrush Shariah found time to do all this even though he spent most of his time instructing students. The students of Huzoor Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه include some of the greatest Ulama of the time. Some of the names of his students are as follows:
1. Sh’er Besha-e-Sunnat, Allama Hashmat Ali Khan
2. Muhadith-e-Azam Pakistan, Mufti Sardar Ahmed
3. Huzoor Mujahid-e-Millat, Allama Habibur Rahmaan
4. Imam-un-Nahw Allama Sayyid Ghulam Jilani Meerati
5. Hafiz-e-Millat Allama Abdul Aziz Muhaddith
6. Amin-e-Shari’at, Maulana Rifaqat Hussain Muzafarpuri
7. Shamsul Ulama Qadi Shamsud’deen Jaunpuri
8. Khairul Azkiya Allama Ghulam Yazdani Aazmi
9. Sayyidul Ulama Hazrat Sayed Aal-e-Mustafa Marehrawi
10. Fakhrul Amasil Allama Muhammad Sulaiman
11. Shaykh-ul-Hadith Hazrat Allama Abdul Mustafa Aazmi
12. Allama Abdul Mustafa Azhari (son of Sadrush Shariah)
13. Khalil-ul-Ulama Maulana Mufti Khalil Khan Barkaati
14. Shaykh-ul-Ulama Hazrat Allama Ghulam Jilani Ghoswi
15. Ra’is-ul-Muhaditheen Allama Mubinud’deen Amrohwi
16. Abul Mahasin Allama Mohammad Mohsin
17. Faqih-e-Azam Allama Mufti Sharif-ul-Haq Amjadi
18. Hazrat Maulana Mohammed Ilyas Siyalkoti
19. Hazrat Maulana Mufti Mohammed A’jaz Razvi
20. Hazrat Maulana Mufti Waqarud’deen Amjadi
21. Hazrat Maulana Taqaddus Ali Khan
There were also many great and blessed personalities in the time of Huzoor Sadrush Shariah who would be regarded as his contemporary Ulama. Some of the contemporary scholars in the time of Huzoor Sadrush Shariah were as follows:
1. Sadrul Afadil Allama Sayyid Na’imud’deen Muradabadi
2. Hujjatul Islam, Allama Hamid Raza Khan
3. Mufti-e-Azam-e-Hind Allama Mustafa Raza Khan
4. Malikul Ulama Allama Zafrud’deen Bihari
5. Umdatul Mutakal’limin Sayyid Sulaiman Ashraf Bihari
6. Hazrat Allama Sayyid Ahmed Ashraf ibn Ashrafi Miya
7. Muhadith-e-Azam Hind Sayed Muhammad Kichauchavi
8. Hazrat Maulana Hakim Barakat Tonki
9. Hazrat Allama Wakil Ahmed Sikandarpuri
10. Hazrat Allama Maulana Fadl-e-Haq Rampuri
11. Hazrat Allama Mu’inud’deen Ajmeri
12. Hazrat Maulana Noorul Hasan Rampuri
14. Maulana Qadi Abdul Wahid Sahib
15. Hazrat Allama Ziaud’deen Pilibhiti
16. Mubaligh-e-Islam Allama Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Meerati
17. Hazrat Maulana Sayyid Misbahul Hassan
Huzoor Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه blessed some great and learned personalities with his Khirqa. In other words, he honoured them with being amongst his Khulafa. Some of the names of his Khulafa are as follows:
1. Sher Besha-e-Sunnat, Allama Hashmat Ali Khan
2. Muhadith-e-Azam Pakistan Maulana Sardar Ahmed
3. Hafiz-e-Millat Allama Abdul Aziz Muhadith-e-Muradabadi
4. Shaykh-ul-Ulama Allama Ghulam Jilani Aazmi
5. Mufti-e-Azam Kanpur, Mufti Rifaqat Husain Kanpuri
6. Hazrat Allama Hafiz Qari Muhammad Muslihud’deen Siddiqui (Uncle and father inlaw of Mujahid-e-Ahle Sunnat Allama Sayed Shah Turab-ul-Haq Qaadiri Razvi Noori)
7. Allama Ghulam Yazdani Ghoswi
Huzoor Sadrush Shariah عليه الرحمه married four wives and was blessed with many pious children from all his wives. Below are the names of his respected wives and children:
1st wife: Mohtarama Karima Khatun Sahiba:
· Hakim Shamsul Huda Marhum
· Zubeda Khatun marhuma
· Maulana Mohammed Yahya Marhum
· Allama Abdul Mustafa Azhari Marhum
· Allama Ata-ul-Mustafa Marhum
2nd wife: Mohtaramah Safiy an Nisa Sahiba
· Ra’isa Khatun Marhuma
3rd wife: Mohtarama Rabi’a Khatun Sahiba
· Muhammad Ahmed Marhum
· Qari Raza-ul-Mustafa Sahib
4th wife: Mohtarama Hajra Bibi Sahiba
· Mohtarama Sa’ida Khatun Marhuma
· Mohtarama Aisha Khatun
· Muhadith-e-Kabeer, Hazrat Allama Maulana Zia-ul-Mustafa Qaadiri Amjadi
· Muhammad Marhum
· Maulana Sana-ul-Mustafa Sahib
· Allama Baha-ul-Mustafa Sahib
· Maulana Fida-ul-Mustafa Sahib
Huzoor Sadrush Shariah travelled from this mundane world into the hereafter on Monday, the 2nd of Zil Qadah 1327 Hijri, coinciding 6th September 1948 at 11pm whilst intending to journey for his second Hajj and Ziyaarat.
Allah ta’aala, grant him a special closeness in the shade of His Mercy. Aameen