Faqih al Azam Allama Muhammad Sharif Muhaddith Naqshbandi Kotlavi (1280-1370 A.H / 1863-1951 C.E)
FAQIH AL AZAM
MUHAMMAD SHARIF MUHADDITH KOTLAVI
(1280-1370 A.H / 1863-1951 C.E)
Abu Yusuf Muhammad Sharif Muhaddith Hanafi Naqshbandi Quadri Razvi was born in
Kotla Loharan, Sialkot to Mawlana Abdur Rahman Sialkoti in 1280 A.H /1863 C.E
He learned basic Islamic sciences under his father until his demise after which Shaykh Muhammad Sharif went on to study under other great scholars of Ahl us Sunnah in the Indian subcontinent such as Sayyidi Imam al Huda Ahmad Raza Khan Muhaddith Hanafi Matrudi Quadri Bareilvi (1272-1340 A.H / 1856-1921 C.E), under whom he studied the Sihah Sittah in Hadith literature and the Fiqh of Sayyidi Imam al A’zam Abu Hanifa Numan bin Sabit ( 80-150 A.H ). Imam al Huda Ahmad Raza awarded him the title of Faqih al A’zam due to his erudite insight in the matters of Fiqh al Hanafi.
Shaykh Abu Yusuf gave the Pledge of Allegiance (Baiyah) to Shaykh Khwaja Hafiz Abdul Karim Naqshbandi in the Naqshbandi Tariqah of Tasawwuf. Shaykh Abu Yusuf is also the famous Khalifa of Imam al Huda Ahmad Raza Khan Muhaddith Quadri Bareilvi in the Quadriya Barkatiya Tariqah of Tasawwuf, who gave him Khilafa and Ijazah (certificate of authorisation) after he completed his studies at Bareily, India.
Shaykh Abu Yusuf’s greatest contribution to Islam and Ahl us Sunnah wal Jamah particularly theHanafiya in the subcontinent was the publication of the Islamic weekly Journal ‘Al Faqih’ from Amritsar, Punjab in response and refutation of the Wahhabiya La Madhabiya’s weekly Journal ‘Ahle Hadith’, which was also published from Amritsar.
The chief Editor of ‘Ahle Hadith’ was the famous Wahhabi scholar Mawlana Sanaullah Amritsari (1287-1367 A.H / 1870-1948 C.E).
The weekly ‘Ahle Hadith’ used to publish articles which attacked the Personality and Fiqh of Imam al A’zam Abu Hanifa. This journal was the mouthpiece of the Wahhabiya in the Indian subcontinent creating Fitnah (Heresies) among the Muslims who were mainly Ahlus Sunnah and followed Hanafi Fiqh.
These baseless attacks and allegations on Fiqh al Hanafi were refuted and answered by Faqih al A’zam Abu Yusuf Muhammad Sharif Muhaddith Kotlavi in the Light of Glorious Quran and the Noble Hadith of the Beloved Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) from the mouthpiece of Ahlus Sunnah ‘Al Faqih’, Amritsar. Shaykh Abu Yusuf bravely and confidently defended the Hanafiya and Ahlus Sunnah with unimaginable success through ‘Al Faqih’ and his numerous other works which frequently appeared in the scholarly and literary circles of the Muslim population.
Muhaddith Kotlavi left this mundane world at the ripe age of 90 years in 1370 A.H / 1951 C.E and was buried in Kotla Loharan , Sialkot.
His most famous student and Khalifa is his son Sultan al Wayizin Shaykh Abu Nur Muhammad Bashir Quadri who authored Mufid al Wayizin, Khutbat, Sachchi Hikayat , Ana Jana Nur Ka, Milad Nama, Mairaj Nama,Wayiz, Sunni Ulema ki Hikayat, Ajayib al Haywanat, Jabl e Nur ,Jami al Mu’jizat, Jibrail ki Hikayat, Masnavi Rum ki Hikayat, Awraton ki Hikayat, Shaytan ki Hikayat, Deobandi Ulema ki Hikayat …etc.
Bibliography of Works
1:> Fiqh ul Faqih: This is the compendium of Muhaddith Kotlavi’s Maqalat (Articles) which initially use to appear in the weekly Journal ‘Al Faqih’, Amritsar. These Maqalat were later published in the form of a single volume with the Taqariz (Critical and Favourable Reviews) of Sadr al Shariyah Shaykh Amjad Ali A’zami Quadri Razvi (1296-1367 A.H / 1878-1948 C.E) and Sadr al Afazil Shaykh Sayyid Nayimuddin Muradabadi Quadri Ashrafi (1300-1367 A.H / 1883-1948 C.E). Fiqh ul Faqih is divided into three major parts spanning 400 pages and contains the following Maqalat.>>>
1..> Zarurat e Fiqh (The necessity of Fiqh).
2..> Fiqh Darasal Hadith Hai (Fiqh is in fact Hadith).
3..> Taqlid (Following or conforming to a School of Shariah or Fiqh).
4..> Muhaddithin Ikram Muqallid Thay (The Respected Muhaddithin did Taqlid).
5..> Imam al A’zam ka Madhab- Taqwa aur Ahtiyat (The School of Imam al A’zam-His Piousness and Cautious Foresight).
6..> Arbayin al Hanafiya (Forty Hadiths in Favour of Hanafiya).
7..> Hidayah per Ayterazat key Jawabat (Answers to Criticisms on Hidayah).
8..> Durr ul Mukhtar per Ayterazat key Jawabat (Answers to Criticisms on Durr ul Mukhtar).
9..> Imam al A’zam pey Hafiz Ibn Abi Shaybah key Ayterazat key Jawabat(Answers to the Criticisms of Hafiz Ibn Shaybah on Imam al A’zam).The other name for this treatise is Tayid ul Imam bi Ahadith Khayr il Anam: This is an excellent refutation of ‘Kitab al Radd ala Abi Hanifa’ of Imam Hafiz Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah (d. 235 A.H).
Hafiz Ibn Abi Shayba showed enmity towards Imam al A’zam Abu Hanifa as he named one of the longest chapters of his Musannaf "Book of the Refutation of Abu Hanifa" in which he proceeded to list about one hundred and twenty five (125) Hadiths which Imam al A’zam Abu Hanifa contradicted.
Shaykh Abu Yusuf Muhaddith writes in the introduction of this work:
“Hafiz Abu Bakr ibn Shaybah compiled a book of Hadith which is known as Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah.This book contains Sahih (authentic), Hasan (fair), Zaeef (weak) along with many Mawzu (fabricated) Hadiths. Muhaddithin have included this book in the third category of Hadith Literature.
A considerable part of this book is found to be against Imam al A’zam. The name of this chapter isKitab ur Radd ala Abi Hanifa.
Imam Abdul Quadir Qarshi Hanafi (d.775 A.H) and Imam Qasim bin Qatlu Bagha Hanafi (d.879 A.H) wrote firm, permanent and irrefutable answers against it. But it is sad that the misfortunes of the age have deprived us the privilege of seeing or studying them, otherwise we would have translated and published them (instead of writing this book).
Some well-wishers requested and persuaded this Faqir to write the answers to this part. I accepted it as it was an act of virtue and published it in parts in ‘Al Faqih’. These essays were later compiled and are being presented in the form of a book so that our Hanafi brothers may benefit from it and pray in favor of this Faqir.”
10..> Fatawa Sanaiya: A detail discussion and correction of the weird and clumsy Fatawa given by the Wahhabi La Madhabi scholar Mawlana Sanaullah Amritsari in the light of Quran, Hadith, Qiyas (reasoning) and Ijmah (consensus).
11..> Fiqh e Wahhabiya key Chand Masail (Some Problems in the Wahhabi Fiqh).
2.> Dalail ul Masail: Another major compilation of Maqalat (Articles) which spans 400 pages and contains the following treatises.>>>
1..> Shia Madhab ki Ibtida (The Origin of Shite School of Thought).
2..> Masil e Shia (The Problems of Shites).
3..> Matam ki Shari’y Hukm (The Shariah Ruling on Mourning).
4..> Kitab al Taravih (The Book of Taravih).
5..> Kitab al Taravih per Ayterazat key Jawabat (Answers to Criticisms on the Book of Taravih).
6..> Kitab al Janayiz (The Book of Funerals).
7..> Khatm ya Fatiha Maruja key Jawaz mein Dalail (The Proofs in Support of Fatiha or Khatm).
8..> Kashf al Ghata’ an Maslah an Nida (The Unveiling on the Problems of Beseeching for Help).
9..> Arbayin al Nabviya or Al Arbayin fi Fazail al Nabi il Amin (The Forty Hadiths on the Merits of the Trustworthy Prophet).
10..> An Hazrat ki Najdiyon sey Nafrat (The Prophet’s Hatred Towards the Najdiya).
11..> Qubur e Mashaikh per Qubey Bananey key Jawaz mein Dalail (The Proofs in Support of Construction of Domes above the Graves of Awliya).
12..> Wahhabiya sey Munakahat (Marital relations with the Wahhabiya).
13..> Ghawth al A’zam key Irshadat (The Sayings of Ghawth al A’zam).
14..> Wahid uz Zaman key Aqwal (The Statements of Wahid uz Zaman): Mawlana Wahid uz Zaman Khan Hyderabadi (d.1338 A.H / 1920 C.E) is one of the most respected and scholarly figures of the Wahhabiya in the subcontinent. He was the student of the Wahhabi Zahiri Shaykh Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan Qinawji Bhopali (1248-1307 A.H / 1832-1890 C.E).
Shaykh Sharif Muhaddith writes in the introduction of the Monologue:
“Mawlana Wahid uz Zaman is a high ranking scholar of the present day Ahle Hadith (Wahhabiya). He translated the Sihah Sittah and strengthened his Madhab in the Beneficial notes (which he wrote in the Marginalia of Sihah Sittah).The common Urdu knowing people have entered this group after reading his translations.
The Journal Ahle Hadith of 24th September, 1920 C.E contains his (Life) account.
He was initially a Hanafi and his father was also a Hanafi who authored ‘Nur ul Hidayah Tarjamah Sharh Wiqayah’. His elder brother Mawlana Badi’y uz Zaman Hyderabadi claimed that his actions were based on Hadith (Muddaiyan Amal fil Hadith) due to whose influence he left the Hanafi Madhab. On the other side Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan Bhopali appointed him on a salary for the translation of Sihah Sittah. Mawlana Wahid uz Zaman in his works has written some statements upon which if the present day Ahle Hadith act upon, then it is sure that many differences would end. What follows are some of the statements which we are presenting. It is hoped that the Ghayr Muqallidin (Wahhabiya La Madhabiya) would ponder upon them.”
15..> Ibn al Qayyim key Aqwal (The Statements of Ibn al Qayyim): This monologue was written regarding some statements of Ibn al Qayyim Jawzi (d.751 A.H), the chief student of Ahmad Ibn Taymiyya Hanbali (661-728 A.H).
Note: The recent publication of Dalail ul Masail , 2003 edition by Farid Book Depot, New Delhi does not contain the article ‘Ibn al Qayyim key Aqwal”.
3.> Kitab al Salah: An excellent book full of Quranic Injunctions and the Hadiths of the Beloved Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) on the Hanafi method of Salah spanning 280 pages. Shaykh Abu Yusuf Muhaddith Kotlavi collected all Hadiths relevant to the standards and principles of Hanafiya from the Sihah Sittah, Mishkat ul Masabih and Sharh Ma’ani ul Athar of Imam Abu Jafar Tahawi Hanafi ( 239-321 A.H).
The last two pages contain Shaykh Abu Yusuf Sharif Muhaddith’s Ijazah in Sihah Sittah and Mishkat ul Masbih and Khilafa in Quadriya Barkatiya Tariqah which he received from his teacher Imam al Akbar Ahmad Raza Khan Muhaddith Bareilvi.
4.> Sadaqat al Ahnaf.
Salam wa Nasir.
2nd September 2006 C.E, Saturday.
Rajab, 1427 A.H.
Edited and Translated by
Basharath Siddiqui Ashrafi
Ahl us Sunnah Foundation,
Sources: Fiqh ul Faqih and Dalail ul Masail by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Muhammad Sharif Muhaddith Kotlavi, Tazkirah Akabir Ahlus Sunnah-Pakistan by Muhsin al Ahlus Sunnah Shaykh ul Hadith Muhammad Abdul Hakeem Sharf Quadri Razvi.