Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqubi:
"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 Mujaddid of Islam in the Indian subcontinent."
(Reviver) of Deen
Syyeduna Abu-Hurayrah Radi (RA) narrates that Syyeduna Rasoolullah Sallallaho Alaihi Wa Sallam said:
ان الله تعالى يبعث لهذه الامة على
رأس كلّ مائة سنة من يجدد لها دينها
Verily Allah will send at the beginning of every century such a person for this Ummah who will rejuvenate and restore their religion (Deen).
Above stated Hadith is recorded by the following Hadith Masters:
►Imam Abu-Da'ood recorded it
► and Imam Hakim in his Mustadrak,
►Imam Bayhaqee in his Al-Ma'rifah,
► reported by the great Hadith Master Imam Jalal al-Deen Suyootee in his al-Jama'e al-Sagheer fi Hadith al-Basheer wal-Nazeer,
► Imam Bayhaqee also narrates in his Al-Mudkhal
►Imam Hasan bin Sufyan and Imam Bazar both in their Musnads,
►Imam Tabranee in his al-Mu'jam al-al-Awsat,
►Imam Ibn 'Adee in his Kamil and Imam Abu-Na'eem in his al-Hil'ya
Commenting on the authenticity of the above Hadith Shareef, Allama Imam Isma'eel Haqqee records in his marginal notes of Siraj al-Muneer Sharh Jame'h al-Sagheer:
"My Shaykh said that there is a consensus of the Hadith Masters that this Hadith is Sahih."
Amongst the later Hadith Masters that verified this Hadith Shareef as Sahih are Imam Allama Abul-Fadl Iraqee and Imam Allama ibn Hajr and amongst the predecessor Masters, Imam Hakim author of Sahih al-Mustadrak and Imam Bayhaqee author of al-Mudkhal.. .
Imam Jalaludeen Suyooti in his Mirqat al-Saood's marginal notes of Sunan Abu-Da'ood records:
اتفق الحفاظ على تصحيحه
It is a consensus of the Muhadditheen (Hadith Masters) that this Hadith is Sahih.
In other the words, when there comes a period in which there is a shortage of knowledge and a deterioration in following of the Sunnah; when there is an increase in false innovations and ignorance; then Almighty Allah will send a person at the beginning or end of every century who will show the difference between Sunnah and Bid'at. He will refute and destroy false innovations and will fear none but Almighty Allah. He will very bravely and sincerely hoist the flag of Deen-e-Muhammadi (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam). Such a person is known as a "Mujaddid" (Reviver) of Deen.
The author of the book, "Siraj al-Muneer Sharh Jame'h al-Sagheer", has explained who a Mujaddid is in the following words:
"In other words, to revive the Deen is to revive those teachings of the Quran and Sunnah that are being destroyed and to give command according to the Quran and Sunnah."
Allamah Munaadi (Alaihir raHma) states:
"A Mujaddid is one who separates Sunnah from Bid'ah and one who degrades the status of the Ahle Bid'ah."
Why does a Mujaddid come after 100 years?
A Mujaddid is sent after every 100 years because after every century the surroundings, the environment, the manner of thinking and ways of the people tend to pass through a massive transformation. It has been stated in the Hadith of Bukhari Shareef that during the latter stages of the Prophet's (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) physical life, one night, after performing Esha Salaah, he stood up and said,
u"Should I inform you of the importance of this night? From this night onwards, right up to the end of a 100 years, that person who is alive on the earth (presently) will not be alive."
The concept of Tajdeed (Revival) of Deen:
The correct meaning or concept of Tajdeed (Revival) is that one or more qualities are found in a person through which Ummat-e-Muhammadiyya benefit religiously e.g. imparting Islamic education, lecturing, and propagation, informing and forbidding people of evil and assisting the truthful.
The Qualities of a Mujaddid:
1) It is not necessary that a Mujaddid be from the Ahle-Bayt as claimed by the Shias and other sects
2) It is not necessary that a Mujaddid be a Mujtahid
3) What is absolutely necessary is that he be a Sunni with correct beliefs according to the Ahle-Sunnah wa Jamah
4) He be profound Aalim of Deen
5) He be a Master and embodiment of most of the Sciences of Knowledge
6) He be an outstanding Scholar of his time
7) His services for the Deen be purely for the pleasure of Allah and His Rasool and not for greed of wealth and other worldly gain
8) He be fearless of opposition and rulers of his time
9) He will not act or give verdicts to please any person besides Allah and His Rasool
10) He will not fear speaking or advocating Truth in all circumstances
11) He will not use Religion to gain worldly fame
12) He will be a very pious and Allah fearing person
13) He will perfect mixture of the Sharee'ah and Taree'qah
14) He will not tolerate any opposition to the Sharee'ah
15) And according to 'Allama Imam Isma'il Haqqee, it is necessary for a Mujaddid that both in the last portion of the century he was born in and the beginning of the century he passes away in, he be famous and be a fountain and focal authority of religion for the Ulama of his time.
16) It is also necessary for a Mujaddid that the Scholars (Ulama) of his time observe, benefit and be convinced of his impeccable lifestyle and profound knowledge and hence acknowledge and announce in public that he is a Mujaddid.
17) Therefore it is important that a Mujaddid be a perfect embodiment and Alim of both the external (Sharee'ah) and internal (Spiritual) sciences of Knowledge promoting the protecting the Sunnah and fighting and destroying Bid'ah.
Identification of a Mujaddid:
Shaykh al-Islam Imam Badr al-Deen Abdal states in his book, Risalah Mardiyyah fi al-Nusrat Madhab al-Ash'riyyah:
"A Mujaddid is recognized by the strong opinion of his contemporary noble Ulama who greatly benefit from his condition and prolific Knowledge. He will be an embodiment of both external and internal sciences of Knowledge supporting and defending the Sunnah and challenging and defeating Bid'ah."
Can their be more than one Mujaddid to a century?
There can be more, and there has already been more than one Mujaddid to a Century. In the Hadith, the Arabic word that is used to explain the coming of the Mujaddid is in the singular tense, but according to the meaning, it is a plural as it has been explained in the Kitaabs of Usool-e-Fiqh. Allamah Mulla Ali bin Sultan Qaari (Alaihir rahmah) who is also said to be the Mujaddid of the 11th Century says,
"From the words, not only one single person is implied, but the implication is towards a group of people, from amongst whom each one is reforming a single type of knowledge or all types of knowledge in his city."
So, Sometimes a single Mujaddid is born in a century and sometimes there are two or a group in one given century when a consensus cannot be reached on one person.
There are time when an Alim be in the middle of century who may be more knowledgeable and excellent than the Mujaddid, but he will not be classified as a Mujaddid because he did not get the early stages of the century.
This is so because generally when the century ends many of the great Ulama also pass away and great dissension and Fitna engulfs the Ummah.
Bid'ah and religious corruption creeps into the masses who tend to deviate from the pristine teachings of Islam. At this crucial period there is a great need for revival and renaissance in matters of Deen. At this critical time Allah sends such an Aalim who removes all evil and religious corruption from the Ummah by publicly announcing and refuting them. He will be the best of people and most awesome amongst the dignitaries of his time.