Reformer of the Millennium
(Hazrath Maulana Mohammad.Anwarullah Farooqui (R.A)
By : Abu Zahid S.S. Waheed Ullah Hussaini -Al- Quadri -Ul- Multani
Kamil -Ul- Hadees Jamia Nizamia, M.Com Osmania University.
When we go through the recitation of Quranic Verses we come to know that the Qur’an has a number of examples and stories. It has an incredible impact on the conduct of an individual as well as society at large. As far as the former is concerned Allah describes its benefits as stated below :
"Such are similitudes which we propound to men, that they reflect.” (Al-Hashr. V. 21)
"So relate the story; perchance they may reflect.” (Al-Araf V.176).
In the light of the above Quranic Verses it is very useful to describe the life and work of a great reformer and spiritual leader of Islamic Society. Islam has its own unique culture that is the strength of this religion. By and large many streams have contributed to this unique culture through spreading of Islamic teaching. Among such men is The Shaikh-Ul-Islam Hafiz Hazrath Maulana Anwarullah Farooqui Fazilat Jung. His contribution towards the development of Arabic Language and Islamic thought was noblest. A number of scholars wrote useful bibliographies of Shaikh-Ul-Islam which can be made use of by those who wish to pursue the subject further. I write this article with the hope of paying a humble tribute to his person and ideas, to his identification with the larger causes of Islam and to his great intellect and sympathy for the muslims and their problems which made a very great impact on the muslim community. I would like to present his life and work at a glance before the readers. He was born on 04-04-1264 A.H in Nanded district in a religious family who enjoyed deep respect of the populace. Every one had a lot of esteem for his pious family. Inspite of the splendour and abundance surrounding his kin Shaik-ul-Islam was not inclined to worldly wealth. He continued to tread the path of piety and altruism as he climbed to the highest degree of Shaik-Ul-Islam. From the very beginning of his adult life he was closely associated with Islamic culture. He had his early schooling from his father Maulana Qazi Shuja Uddin Qandhari, then he joined Maulana Abdul Halim Farangi Mahali, Maulana Abdul Hai Farangi Mahali, Maulana Abu Muhammad Shuja Uddin and Maulana Fayaz Uddin Aurangabadi, for further education. He went to Haj four times in his life at one of which he performed along with Shah Syed Muhammad Hussaini -Al- Quadri -Ul- Multani, devotee of Hazrat Shah Syed Peer Hussaini -Al- Quadri -Ul- Multani, Muhaqqiq and Khalifa of Hazrat Shah Syed Abdur Raheem Hussaini -Al- Quadri -Ul- Multani, Khadim and founder of Islamia College Warangal. When he went first in 1294 A.H to perform Haj he met one of the eminent spritiual saints of his time Haji Imdad Ullah Muhajir Makki (R.A). The person who influenced him most in his life was Muhajir Makki. Shaikh-Ul-Islam was highly impressed with the Muhajir Makki’s catholicity of views and his disarming love for the whole of humanity in general and the muslim community in particular. Without deviating from the faith of his forefathers the Shaikh-Ul-Islam became a devotee of the Muhajir Makki (R.A) because of his spiritual loftiness and dazzling personality. Muhajir Makki did realise his worth and groomed him as his Khalifa. He was a strict follower of Islamic tradition at a time when the muslim community was mostly fascinated with non islamic culture and religion. He was deeply conscious of Islamic self-respect and reacted strongly and felt angry at any disrespect shown to Islamic rule. Throughout his life he remained a staunch pious muslim. The basic aim of his life was to mobilize muslims towards believing that the values established in Islam were the ones that must be respected and enforced, both, in attitude and behaviour. Islamic values know no limits of geography. These are cosmopolitan in the true sense of the word, not meant for citizens of a particular state only, but for human beings as a whole. The most striking thing about him is that the eminence in teaching and scholarship produced, in his case, only a spirit of humility, which has always been the characteristic of an authentic seeker of knowledge. Philosophy of Islam had been to him not just a body of knowledge but also a way of life. He practised what he preached and translated his ideas into practice. He did not simply theorise, but devoted himself to essential practices as a man of action, his approach to social, educational and political questions displays basic consistency and dedication. He was a man of few words. He was quite sharp and very alert in decision making and a remarkable personality of his time. He also appointed minister of Ecclesiastical Department. He bitterly criticises man’s selfish conduct. His life of selfless devotion to the community is a lesson and an insentive to service to the country. He determined to devote himself fully to educational and spiritual activities and stressed the need of constructive work in Islamic field. He was well grounded in Arabic literature, Islamic scriptures and was very fond, at the same time, of research works. He had varied Islamic research interests and contributed widely to the field of Islamic research. He had a flair for writing and for composing poems. He expressed great thoughts in perfect aesthetic, effective precise and powerful language and reflects originality and uncultivated freshness of poetic talent. Because he has pure love of the Prophet (SAW), the wisdom of a learned philosopher and imagination of an epic poet. He came into prominence among the Islamic refermists by writing researched books. He had a fame as a writer of a large number of works and articles in Arabic, Persian and Urdu. In the field of research his activities have not been confined to Hyderabad only. He had travelled abroad extensively and set an example to others. In his compilations he made an attempt to trace Islamic history in his books and he showed high professional skill in combining readability with sound judgement in his masterly pieces of historical writing some of which are the Anwar-e-Ahmadi, Kitabul Aql, Anwarul Haq, Anwarut tamjid, Intikhab-i- Sihah Sitta (Manuscript), Ifadatul Ifham (2 Vol), Haqiqatul Fiqh (2 Vol), Maqasidul Islam (11 Vol) and Intikhab-i-Futuhat-i-Makkiyah are very prominent and popular among people, students and scholars these books had a fabulous impact on muslim community and their influence is still felt today. Inspite of that he wrote a number of valuable and thoroughly researched articles in which he tried to furnish true Islamic insights. With clarity and precision, Shaikh-ul-Islam wrote all his articles which provide a wealth of detail and enable the readers to get a comprehensive picture and a clear idea about Islam with reference to its Political, Moral, Religious, Educatoinal, Social, Financial and administrative aspects. However his collection of books is undoubtedly a richly eloquent and stimulating work, which deserves to be read and re-read. His books are based on exhaustive studies, the majority being well-documented, and offering a balanced, critical and analytical exposition, a masterly piece of historical writing, which will remain as an original and unique work of reference for many years to come. He has also been associated with a large number of institutions engaged in religious and educational work. His munificence in the social field was proverbial; there were countless cases of his private charity. Prof. Akbar Uddin Siddqui rightly said that his social activities were innumerable. Prof. Ata Ullah Hussaini -Al- Quadri -Ul- Multani, Qudsi (Pakistan) pointed out as follows :
"He establised a number of Madrasas in Deccan, granted financial aid to the sub continent’s madrasas, sent a huge amounts to construct masjids in Australia and Basra” (Article published in Anwar-i-Nizamia 1983).
He was a true visionary and took up the fight against ritualism, ceremories and superstitions, and urged the people to imbibe the spirit of Islamic teaching. He soon mobilized muslims and aroused the community from its slumber. He realised the educational backwardness of muslims and launched a massive campaign for removing it. Simultaneously Shaikh-Ul-Islam was ostentatious in his way of living, critical of social evils like neglect of moral values, the defective system of religious preaching and of keeping marraige records. He worked very hard to achieve a reasonable level of literacy in the community. He tried hard to eradicate social evils such as dowry, and inadequate alimonies to divorces. In addition to these meritorious services, he became the founder of the Jamia Nizamia, (19-12-1292 A.H) a well known Arabic University in India. Now a days it has 120 affiliated schools and a vast network throughout the world. Followers of all the four schools of muslim jurisprudence viz those of Imam Abu Hanifa (699-767 C.E), Imam Malik (710-795 C.E), Imam Shafai’ (767-819 C.E) and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal (775-855 C.E), despite minor differences in these schools were provided higher education under one roof in the Jamia Nizamia. This University produced a number of world famous scholars one of whom is the celebrated world-renowned scholar Dr. Hamid Ullah whose contribution to literature and law is recognised on international level, Dr. Hamidullah’s works cross geographical boundaries as a result of which many non muslims embraced Islam. He delivered lectures in Paris, Italy, Istambul and many other Universities. He disclosed many unknown and historical facts in his works. He stressed the importance of manuscripts in the study of Islam.
Apart from Jamia Nizamia his memorable thing is Dairatul Ma’arif (est. 1308 A.H). In the founding of this world known institution Shaikh-Ul-Islam played a vital role. Prof. Md. Suleman Siddiqui Vice Chancellor Osmania University writes:
"Taking into consideration the systematic growth of education and realising the deplorable condition of rare and invaluable Arabic manuscripts, educationists and scholars like Nawab Imadul Mulk Sayyid Husain Bilgrami, Nawab Fazilat Jung Maulana Anwarullah Khan and Mulla Abdul Qayyum established a committee called Dairatul Maarif to edit and publish these works. All three of these scholars deserve to be acclaimed for their significant contributions in the field of education and academic progress in the Nizam’s State. (Islamic Culture)
Innumerable Arabic manuscripts, books incl. the Kanz ul Ummal (11 Vol) were edited and published from this valuable institute. according to Prof. Md. Suleman Siddiqui :
"During the past 123 years, the Daira has published more than 300 rare books running into over 800 volumes which deal with subjects like literature, fine arts, history, sufism, philosophy, Quranic comentaries, Hadith, Fikh, metaphysics, medicine, mathematics, geography, astrology, astronomy etc. Manuscripts on these subjects were obtained from Madina, Khediviah libraries of Cairo, India office library, School of Oriental Studies, the British Museum, Oxford University, Berlin, Constantinople, Sindh, Bihar, Lucknow, Bankipur, Patna, Delhi, Madras, Rampur, Deoband, Bombay and Aligarh. (Ibid)
To promote learning and scholarship Kutub Khana -i- Asafiya was founded in 1308 A.H Nawab Imadul Mulk Sayyid Husain Bilgrami, Mulla Abdul Qayyum and Shaikh-Ul-Islam played a very important role in its establisment. At that time there was no other library existing in the Asaf Jahi State. This library was later named the State Central Library. SCL has been acclaimed by a number of students reputed scholars, scientists irrespective of caste and creed.
He also founded Majlis -i- Isha’tul Uloom in 1330 A.H. The founder aimed at collecting rare islamic books to get them published by the Majlis-i- Isha’tul Uloom.
Fazilat Jung can be called the reformer of the Millenium. Admittedly there are a number of reformers in every sphere of life. but their efforts and constructive activities are confined to limited areas, the Shaikh-Ul-Islam’s work got international fame and attracted the whole world, because his intention behind every work was sincere. It is truely said that every action reflects the intention. Umar bin Al-Khattab once said, I heard Allah’s apostle saying "The reward of deeds depends upon intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he or she has intented. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.” (Sahih Bukhari)
To, sum up, his aimed to give today’s technological civilization a moral character and an ethical direction which is absent at present. His life and work not only show us the straight path but also provide us wonderful images, analogies, similies and metaphors making our philosophy and literature rich and variegated.