Proficiency in over fifty Branches of Knowledge; Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran; Authority in the Field of Ahadith; A Great Jurist of his time; Imam Ahmed Raza's I'lm-e-Jafar; His Knowledge of Philosophy and Science; Knowledge of Astronomy and Astrology; A Mathematical Genius; Contribution to the Field of Poetry
PROFICIENCY IN OVER FIFTY BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE
If we study the life of A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), we will discover that HIS PROFICIENCY IN VARIOUS SUBJECTS TOTAL OVER FIFTY FOUR BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE. Is it possible today, to find an Islamic scholar or even a non-Muslim professor, scientist, educationist or a Nobel Prize owner who possesses such qualifications? Arab Scholars like Sheikh Ismail bin Khalil and Sheikh Musa Ali Shami (radi Allahu anhuma) commended A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) as the Revivalist of the 14th Century A.H.: "IF HE IS CALLED THE REVIVALIST OF THIS CENTURY, IT WILL BE RIGHT AND TRUE."
Commenting on A'la Hadrat's (radi Allahu anhu) reputation and his knowledge, Dr Jamil Jalibi, Vice Chancellor, Karachi University (Pakistan) said: "Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi was an eminent Jurist, leading scholar, scientist, Naa'tia poet, a keen observer of Shariah and a Saint. His crowning scholarship can be imagined by the fact that he had commanding knowledge of about 54 branches of various sciences and humanities. He has contributed valuable works in almost all of them. He left behind more than a thousand treatises."
Professor Dr Wahid Ashraf, Baroda University, in Baroda said: "There is no shortage of renowned personalities in the history of Islam who made rich contributions to various fields of knowledge through their divine-gifted qualities of learning, wisdom and insight. Ibn Sina, Umar Khayyam, Imam Razi, Imam Ghazzali, Al Beruni, Farabi and Ibn Rushd are a few rich names that shall always be remembered with pride. Among them, someone is renowned for Philosophy and Medicine, some other famous for Mathematics, another in Astrology, yet another is known for Moral Philosophy. Someone is an expert in Greek Thoughts, etc., BUT THE MOST OUTSTANDING PERSONALITY WAS BORN IN INDIA AND PASSED AWAY IN THE PRESENT CENTURY. HE WAS AHMED RAZA BAREILVI WHO ENJOYED SUCH A COMMAND IN VARIOUS BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE THAT ONLY EXPERTS OF THE SPECIAL FACULTY CAN DISCUSS FULLY AND SUCCESSFULLY."
TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY OF THE HOLY QURAN
Many people have translated the Holy Quran into the Urdu language, but the translation of the Holy Quran presented by A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) - called "Kanzul Imaan" - is proven to be the most unique translation in the Urdu language. In his translation one sees that A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) used only those words in his translation that are worthy for the Attributes and Qualities of Almighty Allah and of His beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
It is said that the translation of the Holy Quran by A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) is not merely a literal translation, but is also the commentary of the Holy Quran. In the words of Hadrat Sayyiduna Muhaddith-e-Azam Hind (radi Allahu anhu), "IT IS NOT ONLY THE TRANSLATION OF THE QURAN, IT IS THE QURAN."
We have taken just one example of a Verse from the Holy Quran that has been translated by various persons and compared it with the beautiful translation of A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu). We have taken Sura 93, Verse 7 as an example:
(1) "And he found you lost on the way and he guided thee."
Translation by Mohammad Asad
(2) "And found thee groping so he showed the way."
Translation by Muhammad Ali Lahori Qadiani
(3) "And He found you uninformed of Islamic laws so he told you the way of Islamic laws."
Translation by Ashraf Ali Thanwi
(4) "Did he not find thee erring and guide thee."
Translation by Arberry
(5) "And saw you unaware of the way so showed you the straight way."
Translation by Fatheh Muhammad Jalledhri
(6) "And he found thee wandering and He gave thee guidance."
Translation by Yusuf Ali
Now that we have examined six different translations of Sura 93, Verse 7, let us examine the difference and the uniqueness of the translation of Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu): "AND HE FOUND YOU DROWNED IN HIS LOVE THEREFORE GAVE WAY UNTO HIM"
Look at the uniqueness and the cautiousness that is present in this translation of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu)! He abstained from using those words that may cause any disrespect to the dignity and personality of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)!
Due to the vast amount of time A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) spent in compiling books on Fiqh and various other topics, it was not possible for him to compile a complete commentary of the Holy Quran. However, a few learned scholars have stated that if all the books of A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) have to be brought together then there is a great possibility that a complete commentary of the Holy Quran may be compiled. Like his translation of the Holy Quran, they have said that his Tafseer will also be exceptional.
Commenting only on the "Bismillahir Rahman nir Rahim", A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) presented such a lengthy lecture on this simple phrase that it was compiled into a complete book and published under the title, "Al Meeladun Nabwiya."
Once, during the Urs Shareef of Hadrat Mawlana Shah Abdul Qaadir Sahib (radi Allahu anhu), A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) delivered a lecture on Sura Wad-Duha from 9 a.m. in the morning right till 3 p.m. in the afternoon! This lecture on Sura Wad-Duha alone lasted for 6 hours. After completing his lecture A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) said, "I only wrote 80 percent of the commentary on this Sura and had to leave it aside. Where is there time enough to write the Tafseer of the entire Quran-e-Azeem!"
Allamah Ata Muhammad Bindayalwi (radi Allahu anhu), Sarghoda (Pakistan) said: "Hadrat Bareilvi (radi Allahu anhu) has written about a thousand treatises. He exhaustively dealt with every topic he touched, but his most glorious work is his Urdu translation and explanation of the Holy Quran entitled,'Kanzul Imaan'. Indeed, there is no parallel. Real worth of this monumental work can be evaluated by only those scholars who possess vast and deep knowledge of various other translations and explanations of high standard in Urdu. A'la Hadrat kept the same pattern as adopted by the renown writers, but he excelled in the explanation and expansion of the most difficult and complicated subject matter in relatively few simple words."
AUTHORITY IN THE FIELD OF AHADITH
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) was also a great authority of his time when it came to the subjects of Ahadith and Usool-e-Ahadith. He knew the names of almost every Hadith narrator. When he was questioned concerning details of a certain narrator, he was able to give a complete biography of the narrator. When he studied any Hadith he was able to explain the type of Hadith, it's benefits and the reasons behind that Hadith. He wrote many booklets on the topic of Ahadith. One of his books is entitled, "Hajizul Jarain An Jamma Bainas Salaatain," which covered the Ahadith pertaining to "Jamma Bainas Salaatain" or the "Combination of Two Salaahs in one time."
Dr Professor Mohiyyuddin, Azhar University, Cairo (Egypt) said: "Renowned scholar, Ahmed Raza Khan, visited Arabia twice to perform Hajj at Makkah and payed homage to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) at Madina. During his stay he visited various centres of learning and had extensive exchange of views with the scholars covering various branches of learning and religious issues. He secured permission from some authentics to quote them in reference to particular Ahadith, and in return, he allowed them to mention his authority in respect of some other Ahadith.
"It is an old saying that scholarly talent and poetic exuberance rarely combine in one person, but Ahmad Raza Khan was an exception. His achievements contradicts this diction. He was not only an acknowledged research scholar, but also a great poet."
A GREAT JURIST OF HIS TIME
Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) is that branch of knowledge that is derived from the Holy Quran and the Ahadith of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Only that person can be a proper Jurist who is well-versed in both the Holy Quran and the Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He must also be well-versed in and all the other important branches of knowledge, such as Tafseer, Logic, Philosophy, Translating, and many other branches.
Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was regarded as the greatest Jurist of his era. He was totally proficient in the field of Fiqh and received acceptance by the great Ulema of the East and the West. The greatest proof of his position and status in the world of Fiqh can be understood from his answers concerning the Shariat-e-Mustapha (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), which was compiled into 12 large volumes, comprising of approximately 12 000 pages to form the famous book, "Fatawa Radawiyyah," which is used in every Darul Ifta (Fatawah Departments) around the world today.
A renowned theologian and a great Saint of Delhi, Hadrat Mawlana Zayd Abul Hassan Faruqi (radi Allahu anhu), who completed his education at the Al Azhar University, Cairo, acknowledged the unrivalled mastery of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) over Islamic Jurisprudence and other branches of learning in the following words: "None can deny the knowledge of Mawlana Ahmed Raza Khan in the field of Fiqh. He was, no doubt, the greatest Faqih (Jurist) of his time."
When Sheikh Ismail Khalil, the Curator of the Library at Makkatul Mukarramah, read the Fatawas of Sayyiduna A'la Hazrat (radi Allahu anhu) he was puffed up with joy and wrote to A'la Hazrat (radi Allahu anhu): "By Allah, if Abu Hanifa Nu'man (radi Allahu anhu) would have gone through these Fatawa, undoubtedly, it could have been his heart's delight and granted its writer among his pupils."
IMAM AHMED RAZA'S I'LM-E-JAFAR
"I'lm-e-Jafar" refers to "The Knowledge and The Art of Prediction." Not all persons are blessed with such knowledge by Almighty Allah. It is a speciality for the Awliyah Allah. A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was blessed with the gift of I'lm-e-Jafar.
Once, a certain person asked A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) concerning the approach of Qiyaamah and the arrival of Imam Mahdi (radi Allahu anhu) in the future. A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) said that Almighty Allah knows of this and His beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is also aware of this fact. After saying this A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) substantiated these facts by quoting many verses of the Holy Quran and Ahadith of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) then said, "THROUGH A CERTAIN TYPE OF KNOWLEDGE, I FEEL THAT THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT IN 1837 HIJRAH THERE WILL BE NO ISLAMIC GOVERNMENT LEFT, AND IN 1900 HIJRA IMAM MAHDI (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) WILL APPEAR". After hearing this answer, someone asked A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) if he had gained this answer through I'lm-e-Jafar. He replied that he did. A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) then said very sarcastically, "Eat the mangoes. Do not count the trees."
There was a King of Rampur whose wife was very sick. He loved her very much and was very attached to her. This King, who was a "Badd Mazhab" (one who does not follow the religion properly), sent a messenger to Bareilly Shareef with a special request. He requested A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) to predict the time and place of the death of his wife. The King's wife was, at that moment, not at her house in Rampur, but she was in a place called Nainital. A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) told the messenger to tell the King that his wife will die in Rampur in the month of Muharram. When the messenger returned to the King, he gave him the message of A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu).
With this message of A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) at the back of his mind, the King tried very hard to keep his wife away from Rampur. He did not want her to be in any way near Rampur.
It so happened that rioting broke out in Rampur. It concerned the affairs of the Kanpur Shaheed Ganj Musjid. The Governor summoned the King to meet with him urgently in Rampur. The King decided to go on his own, but his wife insisted on joining him. As soon as they reached Rampur, the King's wife suddenly died. It was also the month of Muharram. The prediction of A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) proved to be true!
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) was a great Scientist and Philosopher. He understood Science and Philosophy better than anyone in his time. He was a master of Ancient and Modern Sciences. He proved through research that various concepts of the modern day science are illogical and against the theories of the Holy Quran and the Ahadith.
A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) wrote many books on Science and Physics. One of his famous books, "Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen," using the Holy Quran as its guidelines, proves that the earth is not rotating but is stationary. He also proves that the entire Universe is revolving around the earth. Modern theories believe that the earth is rotating on its axis and that all the planets, including the earth, are revolving around the sun. A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) also disproved the theories of Scientist such as Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton. We believe that should this book be translated into the English language by our Scholars who are well-versed in Science and presented to the West, there will have to be a re-think on modern scientific theories! Today, many people in the Western world regard Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) as the "NEGLECTED GENIUS OF THE EAST."
A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) gained great expertise in the field of Astronomy and Astrology.
There was a person by the name of Mawlana Ghulam Hussain Sahib, who used to regard himself as an authority in Astrology. Once, Mawlana Ghulam Hussain Sahib visited A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu). A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) asked him, "So! What is the situation of the rain?" After working out the position of the stars, Mawlana Ghulam Sahib drew-up an astronomical table and said,"In this month there will be no rain. It will only rain in the following month." Mawlana Sahib then handed over the astronomical table to A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu). A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) examined it and said, "All the Power is by Allah. If He pleases, then it may rain now." Mawlana Ghulam Hussain then said, "Are you not observing the astronomical table?" A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) said, "I am observing everything."
A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) then looked towards the clock and asked, "What time is it?" Mawlana Ghulam Hussain said, "Quarter past eleven." Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) said, "That means that there is three quarters of an hour left for twelve o' clock." Saying this, A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) walked up to the grandfather clock that was in the room. With his finger he moved the big needle of the clock until it was on the twelve, thus showing twelve o'clock. The clock began to chime. A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) then said, "You said that it would take three quarters of an hour for the needle to come to twelve o' clock." The Mawlana Sahib replied, "But you were responsible for altering the position of the needle."
On hearing this, A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) said, "Almighty Allah is All-Powerful and He may alter the position of the stars whenever he wishes..."
A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was also a great Mathematician. He used to solve the most difficult mathematical problems in a short space of time. His authority in the field of Mathematics will leave modern-day Mathematicians wide-mouthed. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Logarithms, and other branches of Mathematics which are normally handled with great difficulty even by mathematics students today, was like ordinary addition and subtraction to A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu)!
Once, Sir Ziaud-deen, a famous Mathematician, was in a predicament with regards to part of his research in the mathematical field. He had to go to Berlin in Germany to seek a solution to this intricate problem. It so happened that a certain Mawlana from the famous Aligarh University advised Sir Ziaud-deen to visit A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) to seek a solution for his mathematical problem. But, Sir Ziaud-deen, not sounding very confident said, "What will an ordinary Mawlana like Mawlana Ahmed Raza be able to solve? He hasn't even gone out of his city to gain knowledge, so it is obvious that his knowledge is very limited." Nevertherless, after some convincing, he agreed to visit A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu).
When he arrived in Bareilly Shareef, he immediately went to A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu). Presenting the intricate mathematical problem to A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) he said, "I am now going to Germany. I will come back for the answer, that is, if you do manage to solve it." As he was speaking, A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was busy writing and listening to him at the same time. As Sir Ziaud-deen was about to leave, A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) handed him a sheet of paper. When Sir Ziaud-deen read what was written on this paper, he realised that it contained the solution to his mathematical problem that had him so confused. Sir Ziaud-deen then said, "TODAY I BELIEVE THAT THERE IS SOMETHING KNOWN AS I'LM-E-LADUNI (INSPIRED KNOWLEDGE)."
Sir Zia'uddeen, was later recorded to have said about A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu): "He was an un-assuming man of pleasant manners and morals, had deep insight in Mathematics, although he was not formerly educated by a teacher. It was an inner divine-gifted inherent knowledge. My query pertained to a theory of knotting problems of Mathematics, but his manner and explanation was spontaneous as if he had already carried out a research in it. Now, there is nobody so well-versed in India. Such a great scholar, I think, there is none. Allah has bestowed upon him such a knowledge, that is amazing. His insight in the fields of Mathematics, Euclid, Algebra and Timings is astonishing. A mathematical problem that I could not solve despite my best of efforts, this learned genius explained in a few moments."
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) spent much of his valuable time writing Poetry. His Poetry mostly consisted of Naath Shareef in praise of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and Manqabats. In all the Naath Shareefs that was written by A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), it is evident that his heart and soul was drowned in the love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
His Naaths were written within the boundaries of the Shariah. Every stanza was filled with pearls of "I'lhaam". "I'lhaam" is that which is inspired by Almighty Allah into the hearts of the Awliyah Allah. Just as the Ambiya receive "Wahi" or Revelation, so do the Awliyah receive "I'lhaam". Each verse and stanza of his Poetry is the Tafseer (Commentary) of the Holy Quran and the Hadith of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). His Poetry was mainly in the Arabic, Urdu, and Persian languages.
A'la Hadrat's (radi Allahu anhu) Poetry was compiled to form the famous, "Hidayake Bakhshish," (Gardens of Forgiveness). This famous Naath Kitaab is used throughout the world. A'la Hadrat's (radi Allahu anhu) humble compilations are read by all who wish to express their love for Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
Mawlana Qari Noorul Hassan, quoting the following stanzas from A'la Hadrat's (radi Allahu anhu) Poetry:
and says that there are many illiterate and ignorant people, who look at the above stanzas and accuse A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) of praising himself in his Poetry. This, he says, is not true and are mere baseless objections. He further explains.
Hadrat Hassan Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu), the younger brother of Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu), would often send his Poetry to be corrected to Janaab Daagh Delhwi, who was a famous and distinguished Poet of his time. Hadrat Hassnain Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) used to take the poetry of Hadrat Hassan Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) to Daagh Delhwi. One day, as he was about to leave for Dehli, A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) presented one of his Naaths to Hadrat Hassnain Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) and said, "Ask Daagh Delhwi to rectify this Qalaam." The Naath which A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) sent begins with the following stanza:
When Hadrat Hassnain Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) reached Delhi and presented the Naath to Daagh Delwhi, he looked at it and said, "This does not seem like the poetry of Mawlana Hassan Raza Khan. Whose is it?" Hadrat Hassnain Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) replied that it was written by A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu). On hearing this, Daagh Delhwi said, "YOU HAVE BROUGHT THE QALAAM OF A'LA HADRAT (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) TO ME FOR CORRECTION! THIS IS THE QALAAM OF SUCH A POET WHO HOLDS NO PLACE FOR ANY CORRECTIONS. BUT, SINCE IT IS INCOMPLETE, I WOULD LIKE TO WRITE THE FINAL VERSE FROM MY SIDE. PLEASE ASK A'LA HADRAT (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) NOT TO CHANGE IT AS I AM AWARE THAT HE DOES NOT LIKE ANYTHING WRITTEN IN HIS PRAISE." After saying this, he wrote the verse:
Jis Simt Aagaye ho sikhe Bithaa diye hai"
So, to those who accuse A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) of praising himself in his Poetry, will find sufficient evidence to prove that it was Daagh Delhwi who inserted that stanza and not A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu)!
Commenting on one of A'la Hadrat's poems, Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Muhaddith Kichauchawi (radi Allahu anhu) said:
"Once I had the opportunity of reciting the Qasida-e-Me'rajia (A poem of A'la Hadrat radi Allahu anhu regarding the Holy Prophet's sallal laahu alaihi wasallam Me'raj) in my own style, in a select gathering of men of letters at Lucknow. I then asked them about the literary worth of the poem. Everybody was overwhelmed and they all exclaimed that the language is superb, pure and divine."
"Mulke Sukhan Ki Shahi Tum Ko Raza Musallam
"Unki Mahk ne dil ke ghunche khila diye hai
Jis Raah chal diye hai kooche basa diye hai."
"Mulke Sukhan Ki Shahi Tum Ko Raza Musallam
Jis Simt Aagaye ho sikhe Bithaa diye hai"
CONTRIBUTION TO THE FIELD OF POETRY
A'LA HADRAT (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) HAD NOT YET COMPLETED HIS SENTENCE WHEN IT BEGAN TO RAIN UNCONTROLLABLY.
A MATHEMATICAL GENIUS
KNOWLEDGE OF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROLOGY
HIS KNOWLEDGE OF PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE