Sunday, 6 November 2011

Who was Imam Ahmed Riza Khan of Bareilly?



Shaykh Abu’l Huda Muhammad al-Yaqubi


Ash-Shaykh as-Sayyid Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Ya`qubi al-Hasani al-Idrisi
 is a well-known scholar from Syria.

Interview regarding
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (RA)

Video: Here


Audio:


video

^Audio - Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqubi: 
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (RA) as a Mujaddid of Islam in the Indian subcontinent



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Transcript of a section from the interview on Takbeer TV1

Shaykh al-Yáqubi:

“ ...great Ĥanbali scholars or great Sufi masters, great men of Allāh. Imam Ahmed ibn Ĥanbal himself...believed in seeking the barakah2 of RasulAllah şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam, in visiting the grave of RasulAllah şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam, believed in the weak ĥadīth being valid proofs in the field of sharīáh and in the narration of the mújizāt and the fađayil,3 unlike modern Hanbalites.

Even back to 50 years ago...70 years ago, the greatest Hanbalite scholars in Syria were great sufis. Many of them were Shādhilīs, for example.
So followers - true followers - of these four madh’habs,4 the majority of the ummah, I would say, to add to this - here you could filter who is a Ĥanafī, who is a Ĥanbalī – they should be at the same time, followers of Imām Abu’l Ĥasan al-Ashárī and the followers of Iaām Abū Manşūr al-Māturīdī in their explanation of áqīdah.5

Now, we follow RasūlAllāh şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam in everything.In our fiqh,6 in our áqīdah, we follow RasūlAllāh şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam. But, in fiqh, we follow his way of íbādah7 as presented to us and as interpreted to us, by these Imāms; In áqīdah, we follow the áqīdah of RasūlAllāh şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam but, as presented to us, explained to us, by Imām Abu’l Ĥasan al-Ashárī and Imām Abū Manşūr al-Māturīdī.

Both of them came in a dark time, when Ahlu’s Sunnah were oppressed, and they advocated the doctrine of Ahlu’s Sunnah wa’l Jamāáh.
I would say, for example, in the Indian sub-continent,8 if you love Imam 
Ahmed Riza Khan, you are from Ahlu’s Sunnah wa’l Jamāáh;

I would say, for example, in the Middle-East and North Africa, if you love Shaykh Yūsuf an-Nab'hānī, you are from Ahlu’s Sunnah wa’l Jamāáh.

If you are against Al-Imām al-Shaykh Yūsuf an-Nab'hānī, you are against Ahlu’s Sunnah wa’l Jamāáh. [...] you are familiar with Al-Imām Shaykh Yūsuf an-Nab'hānī?

He was the best lover of RasulAllah şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam who authored dozens of books in praise of RasulAllah şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam; in prayers of RasulAllah şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam; in description of RasulAllah şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam and on, and on, and on... So these people can distinguish; by following them, we know who we are, and by attacking them or criticizing them, we know who the other parties are.

That is probably in a nutshell, defined for our modern viewers. If we go back in history, for example, anyone who criticizes Imam Ghazzālī, puts a question mark in front of him, he doesn’t belong to Ahlu’s Sunnah!

Interviewer: Any scholarly personality from the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent that you personally have been inspired by, or you studied, or you...?

Well, definitely. The Muslim ummah is one body. And the scholars from the east and the west of Ahlu’s Sunnah belong to one tree. Now, it has many branches, and we are connected to each other, exactly like tissues belonging to one body.

In the Indian sub-continent, I believe, the most famous of all scholars in modern times, is the great Imam Ahmed Riza Khan of Bareilly; who was, I would consider the Mujaddid9 of Islam in the Indian subcontinent.

Now, to your surprise, I heard of Imam Ahmed Riza Khan from when I was a little boy in Damascus.

Interviewer: That was actually one of the questions:
Is Shaykh Ahmed Riza linked to any of your teachers or your scholars?

Definitely! I read about Imam Ahmed Riza Khan in the famous work of Sayyid Ábdu’l Ĥayy al-Kattānī, Fahris al-Fahāris. Because, Sayyid Ábdu’l Ĥayy al-Kattānī took ijāzah10 from Imam Ahmed Riza Khan.
Also, some years ago, I believe, approximately ten years ago, I read in the Riĥlah11 of As-Sayyid Muĥammad azZamzamī al-Kattāanī; I got a copy of it...a manuscript in 1997, and then it was published - or parts of it were published in Dirāsāt al-Islāmiyyah magazine in Pakistan.
And he mentions the encounters between his father, the great muhaddith of Al-Maghrib,12 As-Sayyid Muĥammad ibn Jáfar al-Kattānī; the father of my teacher [and] my father’s teacher, As-Sayyid Muĥammad al-Makkī al-Kattāni.13

The encounters between Sayyid Muĥammad ibn Jáfar al-Kattānī and Sayyid14 Ahmed Riza Khan of Bareilly, in Al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah. And he refers to his book Ad-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah, on the knowledge of RasulAllah şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam, how vast it is and how he was given the knowledge of everything.
As I said, Sayyid Muĥammad ibn Jáfar al-Kattānī wrote a book on the same subject in three volumes Jilā’a15 al Qulubi mina’l Aşdā-ýi’l Ghaybiyyah bi Iĥāţatihi álayhi'ş şalātu wa's salām mina’l Úlūmi’l Kawniyyah. A three volume work which was published recently in Egypt.

So my first encounters with Sayyid Aĥmed Riđā Khān were in my father's library. Because he had a small work, very tiny but of great significance called Al-Mujmal al-Muáddid fī Ta’ālīf al-Mujaddid.16

It was an index of the books which Imām Aĥmed Riđā Khān raĥimahullāhu táālā wa rađiya ánhu authored and published during his lifetime in India, in the Indian writing style - lithography - and it has sections on his books, in Arabic, in Urdu, in Persian, and books on Tafsir, books on Úlūm al-Qur’ān, Úlūm al-Fiqh, Úlūm al-Ĥadīth and so on.
So these are the early encounters with Shaykh Ahmed Riza Khan raĥimahullāhu táālā wa rađiya ánhu. And then later on, I learned more and more about his works.
The first book I got of his is, Ad-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah bi’l Māddati’l Ghaybiyyah. And I read it twice; and benefitted from it a lot and enjoyed reading it and one of the best works on this subject. I referred now to the book of As-Sayyid Muĥammad ibn Jáfar al-Kattānī , it is a vast work, very elaborate work, and adds also a lot of information on the same subject.

I read several of his17 works later on and was very deeply affected by reading his book which was translated into the English language. I was given actually, six months ago, as a gift; one of the brothers gave me the first volume of Al-Malfuzat18 in English.

And I was reading it in Birmingham while I was a guest of the Muslim community there; and this is like, before fajr19 time and I was in the state of rapture reading his fatwas, reading his comments on the Awliyā ,reading his ... I was in rapture, I went into the state of takbir, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar ...for having such a scholar; defending, advocating the doctrine of Ahlu’s Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah so strongly, having this deep love of the Awliyā, and the Úlāma... I feel wallāhi,20 to be honest, I feel like...the... Imam Ahmed Riza Khan and our great shaykhs and their shaykhs in Damascus have drunk from the same river; from the same cup, even.
This is what we were taught about... about the nūr of RasūlAllāh şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam, about our connection and imagining, visualizing, our presence in front of RasūlAllāh şallAllāhu álayhi wa āalihī wa sallam, about being firm [on] who is Ahlu’s Sunnah and who is a deviator and about many issues. And [we] find Imam Ahmed Riza Khan at that early time really predicted a lot of what is going on now.
And wanted to put an end.. he even spoke about, for example, multi-faith dialogue - in [that] Al-Malfuzat. I was very happy to read this; as early as that time, writing and warning of it; warning of it, how it is going on now. Because multifaith dialogue for us is dáwah – is a way of dáwah.21
Presenting Islam or showing people the true way of Islam, the true nature of Islam. Rather than making concessions about our deen, as people are doing now.

So, I went to bed after đuĥā time, after sunrise...sometime; and I saw, Imam Ahmed Riza Khan in my dream.
And this was like the peak; I was in rapture, in joy - and I said subĥānAllāh.22
It has happened to me several times, I read about scholars, or I read their books, or make mention of them, or I narrate their isnāds23 and then I see them in my dreams. And about Imām Aĥmed Riđā Khān, it was like the top of joy... seeing him.
And I believe, Muslims in the Indian sub-continent were given this great bounty from Allāh subĥānahu wa táālā by having this scholar, who was a great scholar of fiqh, great scholar of hadith, a great scholar of the Arabic language, and a great poet himself. I think he mastered every discipline24 and his books show the level of his knowledge.

Interviewer: I would add to it, a great faqih. If you see the great works, that the shaykh has compiled in the subject of fiqh, it is amazing. You think yourself that...SubĥānAllāh?

Exactly. One of his teachers, and very famous in the isnāds of the people of shām25 is Mawlānā Fađlu'r Raĥmān ibn Ahlullāh al-Kunjmuradabadi26 who died in the year 1314.27

It is told that Imam Ahmed Riza Khan met him and took his ijāzah, and Mawlānā Fađlu'r Raĥmān took his turban and put it on the head of Mawlānā Ahmed Riza Khan. Mawlānā Fađlu'r Raĥmān is the teacher of the teacher of our teachers.

Interviewer: So there is that very tight link between scholars...
Ahlu’s Sunnah are one body, wherever you go.

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1This being an informal talk, and not a prepared speech, there are unfinished sentences and sometimes, the shaykh changes the tense mid-sentence or breaks away to say something else. The entire talk is transcribed faithfully here, except in a few places where a preposition or a pronoun has been modified to correct the sentence. This clip was available on Youtube and other video sites made available by sunnitalk.co.uk
2 munificence, grace.
3 on miracles, and virtues or superiority of certain people, places or things.
4schools
5 creed, doctrine.
6 jurisprudence – the Islamic law of permissible and forbidden.
7 worship
8 the Shaykh says “Sub-Indian continent,” which has been changed appropriately.
9Mujaddid: reviver of religion, renewer of faith. A scholar who revitalizes the community.
10Ijāzah: authorization to narrate.
11 Travelogue
12 Morocco
13 That is, Shaykh Muĥammad al-Makki al-Kattāni is the son of Shaykh Muĥammad Jáfar al-Kattāni; and that Shaykh Muĥammad al-Makki al-Kattāni is the
teacher of Shaykh Abū’l Hudā al-Yáqūbi and his father, Shaykh Ibrahīm al-Yáqūbī.
14 Surely, the Shaykh doesn’t mean ‘sayyid’ as in descendant of the Prophet şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam. Rather ‘sayyid’ as a respectful term, meaning ‘master’ or simply a slip of the tongue as he is naming so many sayyids.
15The print edition of the book says Jalā’a al-Qulūb on the tite page.
16 This was compiled by Alahazrat’s student, Mawlānā Žafaruddīn al-Bihārī.
17 The shaykh is talking about Imām Aĥmed Riđā Khān.
18Al-Malfūžāt is a collection of sayings by Imām Aĥmed Riđā Khān, compiled by his younger son, Mawlana Muşţafā Riđā Khān.
19dawn
20 by Allāh
21 Inviting others to Islām.
22 Glory to Allah
23 Chain of Narration or Chain of Authorization, particularly
24 The shaykh means to say, disciplines of Islamic Sciences.
25 Shām: Levantine. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.
26 Ganj Murādābādi. But due to the absence of the guttural ‘g’ in Arabic, it is replaced with ‘k’.
27 By other accounts, he passed away in 1313 AH.







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Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi
Born in Damascus on the 13th of Dhul Hijja, 1382 AH (1963 CE)
Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad Abul Huda al-Yaqoubi is from a noble family of scholars that descend from the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him).
Shaykh Muhammad traces his lineage back to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) through the great Mawlay Idris al-Anwar who built the city of Fes, a descendant of Sayyiduna al-Hasan the Second, who is the son of Sayyiduna al-Hasan (may Allah be pleased with him), the grandson of the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) and son of Sayyiduna Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah ennoble his countenance).

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Suyuti of Hind


Shaykh Umar al-Hussain Baghdadi talking about how he first encountered the great Imam Ahmed Rida Khan(ra)

Transcript in English below:

My brothers for the sake of Allah. We are reminded of the days of Iraq.

We use to stay at the madrassah of Bishr al-Hafi (Allah is pleased with him). And the Indians and Pakistanis would come and stand like this around the graves melodiously reciting this melody for which we would not know the meaning for. And they would say "Upon the chosen paragon of mercy a multitude of salaam. Upon the light of all the Prophets a multitude of salaam". But we would not know the meaning of these words.


We questioned them, "Who are you?" They replied, "We are from Pakistan." 


Pakistan is the country of the beloveds of the Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him).

"Who are you?" We'd ask, "What is this you're reciting?"

And we would go to the Masjid of Sayyidi Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilaani (Allah is pleased with him) and the Pakistanis and Indians would come. Like this they would say, "Upon the chosen paragon of mercy a multitude of salaam. Upon the light of all the Prophets a multitude of salaam". 

"Who are you? And what are these words you are reciting?" We would ask.


From amongst them we saw some students of knowledge and scholars who replied, 
"These are the words of our Imam, Ahmed Rida Khan (Allah is pleased with him)."
So we questioned regarding Imam Ahmed Rida Khan.
And with the liked of Imam Ahmed Rida, we have a leader like the legend Imam As-Suyuti.


It is unheard of in the lands of the Arabs about a man that wrote so many books, sayings, poetry and thoughts that resembled Imam As-Suyuti (Allah is pleased with him).

But we were unaware that there was one present in India that resembled him, named Ahmed Rida.

The Imam of Love, Ahmed Rida!
The Imam of Zuhd (Ascetism) and Taqwa (Piety)
The Imam of the Pious and Pure
The Imam of Muhammadi love
The one that taught you the love of the Messenger (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him).

It is a miracle that after every prayer the Muslims stand, after every Friday prayer and after every gathering they stand to send peace and blessings upon the Messenger with the poetic couplets that were mentioned by Imam Ahmed Rida.

Even in Baghdad when we would listen to the Eulogisers praises of the Prophet Muhammad(s), the likes of Owais Qadiri and those with beautiful voices, they would be reciting poems written by Imam Ahmed Rida Khan(ra).

We ask Allah to raise us amongst them. We ask Allah to place the reward of this gathering into the deeds of this Shaykh, of his Shaykhs, in the deeds of our Shaykhs and the noble Family of the Prophet(s).

O Brothers in attendance, glad tidings! Glad tidings!

He who is happy with the Prophet, the Prophet (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) is happy with him.

I don't wish to exceed upon you. I say this and may Allah forgive me and you.


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