He was a master of a number of disciplines that included his scholarly perfection of the Quran and Hadith, Fiqh, Mathematics, Geometry, Astronomy, Modern and Ancient Philosophy, Phonology, Chronometry (Ilm al-Tauqit), number manipulation (Ilm-i-Jafar), Logarithms, Spherical Trigonometry etc, etc. He studied under various teachers however with personal study he perfected himself in more than 55 different disciplines of knowledge. These details were given in the Arabic Sanad-i-Ijaza, which was given to Hafiz Kutub al-Haram Maulana Sayyid Ismail Khalil Makki (may Allah be pleased with him). In 1323 oral Ijaza was given, on sixth Safar 1324 the manuscripts were prepared and on 8th Safar 1324, a fair copy was finalized.
The chronological name of this sanad (certificate or testimonial) is al-Ijaza al-Rizawiyya Li-mubjali Makka al-bahiyya. In this sanad, he has mentioned the following disciplines:
1. Ilm al-Quran (knowledge of Quran)
2. Ilm-i-Hadith (knowledge of Traditions)
3. Usul-i-Hadith (principles of Hadith)
4. Fiqh-i-Hanafi (Hanafi Jurisprudence)
5. Kutub-i-Fiqh Jumla (all books of Jurisprudence)
6. Usul-i-Fiqh (principles of Jurisprudence)
8. Ilm-i-Tafsir (knowledge of interpretation of Holy Quran)
9. Ilm-al-Akalam (scholastic theology)
10. Ilm-i-Nahaw (syntax)
11. Ilm-i-Sarf (grammar, accidence and Etymology)
12. Ilm-i-Maani (Elocution)
13. Ilm-i-Bayan (Rhetoric and Eloquence)
14. Ilm-i-Badi (Style)
15. Ilm-i-Manthiq (Logic)
16. Ilm-i-Munazara (knowledge of argumentation)
17. Ilm-i-Falsafa (knowledge of Philosophy)
18. Ilm-i-Taksir (carrying figures)
19. Ilm-i-Hayath (Astronomy)
20. Ilm-i-Hisab (Mathematics)
21. Ilm-i-Hindsa (Geometry)
The 21 aforesaid disciplines he writes, "these disciplines I mastered from my revered father". After this he mentions the following disciplines:
22. Qhirath (art of recitation of Quran)
23. Tajwid (knowledge of right pronunciation)
23. Tasawwuf (Islamic Mysticism)
24. Suluk (knowledge of manners in Islamic Mysticism)
25. Akhlaqh (Ethics)
26. Asma al-rijal (science of names of tradition-narrators)
27. Siyar (biographies)
28. Tawarikh (Chronology)
29. Loghath (Lexicon)
31. Adab Majumla Funni (1319/1901-2) he spoke for 6 hours on Surah al-Zuha.
Then he said that he had written commentaries on some ayah of this holy Surah; he stopped commentaries after writing 80 Jn-i-Zamin-o-Aasman in1338. In this treatise, he discussed the movement of the earth and opposed the views of Prof. Hakim Ali. His angle of view about the modern and ancient philosophies was not imitative or apologetic, but he was very creative and sincere. He had unshakable faith in the Quran and the Hadith, and no vicissitudes of time could shake him.
About these 10 disciplines he writes: "I give Ijaza in these disciplines too, which I have not studied under any teacher but I have Ijaza in these from discerning Ulema."
Then he mentioned these disciplines:
32. Arsma-tiqi (Arithmetic)
33. Jabr-o-Moqhabila (Algebra)
35. Logharsamath (Logarithm)
36. Ilm al-Tauqith (Chronometry)
37. Manazir-o-Maraya (Science of Sight, etc)
38. Ilm al-Ukhur (Knowledge of the Spheres)
39. Zijath (Astronomical Tables)
40. Muthallath-i-Kurrawi (Spherical Trigonometry)
41. Muthallath-i-Musathah (Plane Trigonometry)
42. Ilay'ath-i-Jadida (Modern Astronomy)
43. Murabba'at (Quadrangular)
44. Jafr (Art of Cipher)
45. Za'ircha (Horoscope)
About these 14 disciplines of learning he writes: "I give Ijaza in these which I have not learnt from any useful teacher, either by reading or by listening or by mutual conversation."
Lastly Imam Ahle Sunnat Shah Ahmad Raza Khan (may Allah be pleased with him) says: "The knowledge of these 19 disciplines I received by the Heavenly Blessings."
46. Nazm-i-Arabi (Arabic poetry)
47. Nazm-i-Farsi (Persian poetry)
48. Nazm-i-Ilindi (Urdu poetry)
49. Nathr-i-Arabi (Arabic prose)
50. Nathr-i-Farsi (Persian prose)
51. Nathr-i-Ilindi (Urdu prose)
52. Khath-i-Naskh (Arabic Calligraphy)
53. Khath-i-Nastha 'liqh (Persian Calligraphy)
54. Tilawath Ma'Tajwid (Recitation of Holy Quran with correct pronunciation)
55. Ilm al-Fara'iz (Knowledge of Inheritance)
After listing these disciplines Imam Ahmad Raza writes:
"I seek Allah's refuge that I have not said these things as a matter of pride or to promote myself, but i have counted the blessings of the Munificent [bountiful] Allah. It is not my claim that I am an expert in these discipline."
Imam Ahmad Raza Khan had exceptional insight into most of the disciplines he has mentioned. This can be testified by his published books and unpublished manuscripts. The Xerox copies of more than one hundred manuscripts are in my [Prof. Dr. Masud Ahmed's] personal library at Karachi [Sindh, Pakistan]
One can thus deduce that Imam Ahle Sunnat Ahmad Raza Khan (may Allah be pleased with him) possessed Gnostic knowledge (esoteric revelation).