There is no dearth in Islamic History of such versatile personalities who have benefited the world with their knowledge, wisdom, innovative ideas, intelligence and insight. Imam Ahmad Raza Khan son of Naqi Ali Khan was one of such illustrious personalities who was born in Bareilly (India) on 14th June 1856 A.D. (10th Shawal-al-Mukarram 1272 A.H.). He, in fact, surprised the world with the power of his wisdom and his complete command in different fields of knowledge. A born genius and a man of multidimensional personality as he was, in a short period of time he earned the world wide fame and was adorned with such titles, as Imam-e-Ahle-Sunnat, Aalahazrat and Fazil Breilvi. He acquired basic education in fiqah and hadith mostly from his learned father and his spiritual master (Sheikh) Sayyid Shah Al-e-Rasool of Marahra. But he acquired supremacy and command in almost 55 (fifty-five) branches of knowledge of religious and secular fields on account of his self effort, superb intelligence, and high degree of understanding. He had a God-gifted talent and was indeed a disciple of the Beneficient (Allah). To put in his own language:
"acquisition of all these knowledges is the beneficence of my master the last prophet of Allah Muhammad Mustafa sallalahu-alah-e-wasallum"
Imam was an expert Jurist of his time in the courses of Quran, Sunnah, Islamic Jurisprudence, Philosophy, Logic Mathematics, History, Mysticism, Ethics, Astronomy, Astrology, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Logarithm, Persian, Arabic, Urdu and Hindi literatures (Prose and Poetry), and many other fields and had written more than 1000 (One thousand) Books on different subjects.
He had a remarkable quality of fast reading with understanding and spontaneous writing with message and meaning.
Like Shaikh Akber Mohiuddin Ibn al-Arabi, the great Scholar and Mystic of his time, he wrote many books out of the warmth of his knowledge and not for his ego or for fame.
But, above all, the most important characteristic which earned him a distinction among men of letter and Scholars of reputation of his time, was his resolute faith in "Allah and committed love for His last Prophet Muhammad Mustafa, Ahmad Mujtaba (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam).
It was this "Love for Prophet" which has been reflected in every aspect of his life, every angle of his thoughts and every line of his writings. It was the light of this pure shining "Love for Prophet" which illuminated his personality as a "Beacon of Light" for all Muslims.
He drew all strength, satisfaction and inspiration from this "Source of Light". He himself says in one of his verses in the praise of beloved Prophet of ALLAH (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam).
(O Raza! Dont be frightened!
Lo!. Thou art the slave of the most selected person of Allah. Thou art protected. Indeed thou art protected).
He had a thorough knowledge of Quran, Sunnah and the related fields. He understood the real temperament of the revelation of Quranic Verses and its style of address. He knew that the message of Holy Quran cannot be understood without the light of illuminative traditions of our Master the Revered Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum). Imam Ahmad Raza Khan knew the secret by which the companions of Prophet became devoted Muslims. The secret was the profound love they had for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum). He took the words of the Quran literally to heart that the faith of Muslim is not perfect unless he holds him dearer than his self.
He depicts the picture of the life of all those who embraced Islam on the hands of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum) in following verses:
(That, who once gave his hand to the Beauty of universe, spontaneously sacrificed his life for him as if he was so captivated by the charming lines of his hand).
Realizing that this is the essence of Islam, he prays to ALLAH.
(Love for the selected Holy Prophet is the LifeBlood for me. May ALLAH nourish and flourish it forever).
Thus Imam Raza Khan has learned this lesson of "Love" from the Companions of Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum) and their followers, (Radhiallah-e-Anhum) and he made this "Love for Prophet" not only a motto for his life but also a mission for his life. According to him the fundamental faith. For the Muslims, he is the holiest of the holy as he was the beloved of Allah Almighty Himself who has lavished praises on him again and again in the Holy Quran in boundless measures. It is, therefore, incumbent on every believer to become an obedient slave of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum) in order to become an obedient creature of ALLAH as Holy Quran puts it.
(O Beloved Prophet tell the believers if you have been loving ALLAH, then follow me, ALLAH will then love you). He is the means of communication of the final universal message of ALLAH, the Greatest Blessing and Mercy for the mankind, nay, for the whole universe.
The guidance from the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum) is to be sought not only for the welfare of this mundane world but also for the ultimate salvation in the hereafter. Imam Ahmad Raza emphasizes that in fact we owe our Faith and all the blessings of life, spiritual and material to him. This demands that out devotion to him should be so great that we place him and his reverence above every-thing and we should be prepared to lay down even our lives for him. Imam Ahmad Raza has also learned from the history of Islam that since the days of Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum) and afterwards; the anti-Islamic forces like Hypocrites, Jews and Christians are determined to bring down the fall of Muslims. Failing in their efforts to win over them by force they tried to weaken their ideology and faith in Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum) by preaching and propagating such ideas as undermining the sanctity, love and the importance of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum). For they realized that the Muslims always hold the Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum) in reverence to the utmost limits and held him in such a high esteem that they do not care to sacrifice even their lives for him. He is of course, a unifying force for Muslim Ummah, which differs sharply in race, colour, language, caste and creed.
These anti-Islamic forces penetrated into the Muslim Society in disguise of "newly converted Muslims" and tried to divide the Muslim Ummah on the basis of linguistic unity, nationality, caste and creed, new faiths and beliefs. To give weight to their ideas they propagated that:
The introduction of above and similar obscene ideas in the Muslim Society were the result of Zionist-Christian conspiracy against the Universal Religion Islam and the greatest and most sacred personality of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallum).
Not satisfied with this, they tried even to lift out the sacred body of the beloved Prophet of ALLAH during the days of Sultan Nooruddin Zangi, which was foiled by him at the nick of time.
The Zionist-Christian conspiracy though weakened the power of Islamic State during the course of time on many occasions and succeeded in creating many new sects in Islam out of Ahle-Sunnah-wal-Jamaah, but they however, could not succeed in checking the spread of Islam and expansion of its geographical territories.
Annoyed with the situation, Zionist-Christian conspirators have changed their strategy and drew up well thought systematic plan in the beginning of the Eighteenth Century. The plan was prepared in London and enjoyed full backing of all anti-Islamic forces of the time.
This was aimed to dismantle the Usmania Dynasty, which was the symbol of Muslim strength and unity at that time. For this the discarded religious Muslim Minorities, Jews and Christians residing in the Usmania Dynasty were used as agent. They included:
The plan reads as follows:
The pages of History have proved that the Zionist-Christian forces acting according to their plan have succeeded not only in dismantling into small pieces the greatest Muslim State of Usmania Dynasty but also in bringing into power such fascist-cum-anti-Islamic personalities and discarded religious Muslims minorities which fully served their purposes and gave a fatal blow to the unity of Muslim Ummah. The most unfortunate happening as a result of this conspiracy was the establishment of Zionist State in Palestine and Christian-cum-other minorities dominated State in Lebanon, the soil which was ruled by Muslims since the days of Hazarat Umar Farooq (Radhiallah-o-Anhu).
During the end of the eighteenth century the Wahabi ideas were also imported into Indian sub-continent when some Indian Ulemas like Syed Ismail Dehelvi, Syed Ahmad of Raibareily and Rahseed Ahmad Gangohi, etc. were influenced by Wahabi thoughts after they developed contacts with the followers of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab during their pilgrimage of Makkahtul Mukarramah. The thoughts of this school were further introduced in the sub-continent through the translation of Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahabs books into Persian and Urdu by Ismail Dehelvi and his followers followed by their own writings on the subject.
Following are the names of some of the renowned and learned religious Scholars of the Muslim World who took exception to the ideas of this movement which encouraged the sacrilege of ALLAH, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) and his traditions. They resisted the movement with full force of their knowledge by holding public debates and writing books:
Some of the glaring examples of the sacrilege of the sanctity of Almighty ALLAH and the hallowed Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) are as following:
2. "In the opinion of general public the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) was the last of all Prophets because he was born in the last of all previous Prophets of ALLAH. However, intellectuals know that the quality of being last or first (time wise) is not a matter of prestige by itself . Even if, we suppose, the emergence of a Prophet after the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) it will not make any difference to his specialty of being last".
(Takhzeerunnas Page 3 and 28 by Molvi Qasim Nanutwi of Deoband)
(Braheen-e-Qatea, Page 51 Molvi Khalil Ahmad Ambethvi)
I am the announcer of good news of the Prophet who will follow me and whose name is Ahmad".
(Ek Ghalati Ka Izala Page 673 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadyani)
(Fatwa-e-Rasheediah, Page 10 by Molvi Rashid Ahmad Gangohi)
(Taqwiat-ul-Iman Page 23 by Ismail Dehelvi)
(Hifzul Iman Page 8 By Moulvi Ashraf Ali Thanvi)
A simple reading of the above will surely spark the flame of anger and agony in the heart of every Muslim who has slightest love for Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam).
Imam Ahmad Raza has performed his duties while defending the honor of ALLAH and the Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) and checked the attack on the honor of ALLAH and His beloved Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam). This was also admitted by many among the disparagers themselves. Moulvi Ashraf Ali Thanvi remarked that Ahmad Raza was a true lover of Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) and he rightly condemned his (Thanvis) writings in that spirit. Moulvi Sanaullah Amratsari admitted that it was incumbent of Moulana Ahmad Raza Khan to issue condemnation on aspersive writings of Wahabis as the interpretation of these writings were understood by him deserved it.
An analysis of the Wahabi literature whether written by the Wahabis of Najd or their counterparts in the Sub-Continent of Indo-Pak shows that it always embraces three special characteristics:
The propagation of Wahabi thoughts and the circulation of their literature have irritated the Muslims all over the world and invited tremendous uproar in the general Muslim masses and immense resistance and opposition from the venues of Ulemas, Mashaikhs and renowned Muslim Scholars.
The entire intellectual and literary strength of the Muslim world which could better be utilized for Socio-political improvement, Economic development and Educational betterment of Muslim Societies was thus deliberately diverted by the anti-Islamic-Zionist-Christian forces to fight against each other on the internal front.
During the last two centuries Imam Ahmad Raza appears to be the only personality who realized the spectrum of anti-Islamic and anti-Prophet forces and stood firm in their ways to meet their challenge.
He resisted all those movements, which were in any way against Islam and the dignity of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam). He always upheld the Flag of the honor and reverence of the Holy Prophet as over hoisting on the highest altitude.
The pivot of his own personality, the centre of al his known ledge and the achievement of his life was the excellent conduct of Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) and a devoted profound love for him.
He understood and made others understood the real perspective of this Quranic verse:
"That the Prophet has been created on excellent conduct"
To put in his own words:
"My interest in life is the performance of three jobs
This he proved throughout his life. He taught on all counts of life with the enemies of Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) the enemies outside the Muslims and the enemies within the ranks of Muslims.
Bestowed with fervent love for Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) he became a symbol of an International Movement for preservation of love and upholding the sanctity of the Last Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam).
Muslims all over the world who love ALLAH and His beloved Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) and follow the path of Quran and Sunnah are Proud to call themselves Ahle Sunnat wa Jamaat or "Bareilvi" after his name, irrespective of the age and place. It is not without striking significance that Muslims of today derive inspiration and sustenance from the shining examples of his self sacrifices in the path of Shariah and upholding the values of the traditions of Hallowed Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam). For decades Imam Ahmad Raza had been watching two trends in Muslim Society.
For half a century Imam himself had also been seeing convert and overt developments culminating in the uprising of such Zionist-character elements, within and outside the Muslims, who had started undermining the importance of Prophets personality as the unifying force of Muslim Ummah and tried to sacrilege the honor of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam).
He stood like rock in the way of those who lost the sense of reverence and spoke in disparaging terms about ALLAH and His Hallowed Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam). He refuted their ideas with undeniable arguments in the light of Quran and Sunnah.
Imam Ahamd Raza denounced in the strongest terms the reprehensible attitude of such elements. If this is a crime, he committed it.
Imam Ahmad Raza, in fact, served as a strong fort for the defense of Islamic Shariah and the sanctity of Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam).
While giving caution to the Muslim brethren not to mix up with the enemies of Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) he admonishes in one of the letters in the following ways:
"Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) is checking you. He is more well wisher of your soul than your own-self.
His heart feels pain on you, trouble.
By God He is more affectionate to you than a beloved mother to her only son.
Listen Him. Hold his hands. Clinch to his feet. He orders you to be aloof from them and keep them aloof from yourself.
Lest they may not prevail upon you to make you astray and to put you into trouble.
In another place he shakes the heedless Muslim Ummah in the following words:
"What a pity? If someone calls bad names to your father you are after his blood. You hate him like anything. You are bent upon to kill him if you could catch hold of him. You are not prepared to listen any other argument or further explanation of what is said. But alas? You do listen all such and similar abuses and obscenity in case of your Master, the beloved Prophet of ALLAH Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) and remain unmoved! And still you treat the reprehended a responsible man and call him your Imam, leader and well wisher! Not only that but you become hostile to those who are critical of such lunatic persons. To support them you try out lame excuses false interpretations and uncalled for explanations of their filthy remarks, knowingly that all this is being done at the cost of the honor and prestige of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam).
What Islam is this?
Is it Islam?"
Imam Ahmad Raza has devoted his life to inculcate that the believers should bow in reverence to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) in terms of the teaching of Quran and place him above everything in point of reverence and devotion. They should, in fact, send salutation to him. To Imam Ahmad Raza, the lest appearance of lack of difference to the Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) has been intolerable. Aspersion of the sacred personality of the beloved Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) is more serious than injury to his own person. Explaining why he could not be stopped from condemning the disparagers, he said that he got satisfaction from the fact that he had at least succeeded in diverting them from profanation of the sanctity of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) at the cost of his own humiliation and defamation at the hands of such elements.
Imam Ahmad Raza has recalled the teaching of Quran to respect Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) and cautions the Muslims that this is not respecting or revering a mere human being but as the greatest and noblest person ever sent by ALLAH to the mankind to serve as a model and perfect man. Imam Ahmad Raza has delivered the message of Quran that our Master Holy Prophet (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) is the greatest blessing of ALLAH on the earth. There could be no greater sin than saying or doing anything, which has the slightest lack of respect to him. Therefore, accordingly, anything which reflects on him in any way is a heinous sin which invites the greatest wrath of the Almighty ALLAH and leads to depreciators external condemnation.
As a matter of fact, Imam Ahmad Raza symbolizes defiance in the face of the Zionist-cum-Christian anti-Islamic formidable forces and standing up to the shrewd and powerful opponents of "THE PATH OF MUSTAFA" ("NIZAM-E-MUSTAFA") and "THE POSITION OF MUSTAFA" ("MAQAM-E-MUSTAFA") regardless of the cost. To quote Allama Abdul Hameed, Vice Chancellor of Nizamia Universtity, Hyderabad Daccan (India).
"It is beneficences on the Muslims that he inculcated in their hearts the sentiments of greatness and extreme respect for their Master Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam). His efforts also served as a monitoring and controlling lever on the temperament of the opponents resulting in the improvement in their attitude towards ALLAH and the Prophet of ALLAH (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) and decline in the use of irresponsible languages and filthy metaphors used in their religious speeches and writings".
This is a historical truth that positive results were produced of the sincere efforts of Imam Ahmad Raza. This was witnessed by the return of many Muslims to the Path of The Favoured which included personalities like, Maulana Abdul Bari Farangi Mahali, Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Maulana Suleman Shah Phulwari, Maulana Syed Shah Abu Suleman, Mohammad Abdul Mannan Qadri Azimabadi, Sirajul Fuqaha, Maulana Jarer Shah Phulwari and many others.
It is necessary that the universal appeal of Imam Ahmad Razas message of "Love and Slavery of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam)" is emphasized and purveyors of sectarianism, which is the result of International Zionist-cum-Christian conspiracy, are held in check so that essential unity of Muslim Ummah is preserved and strengthened for the greater good of Muslim world and for the benefit for the mankind as a whole.
Imam Ahmad Raza once said; "The love for ALLAh the Merciful and His Prophet the Mercy for universe is so deep in my heart that f I cut my heart into two pieces you will, InshaAllah find engraved the name "ALLAH" on one piece and that of MUHAMMAD" (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) on the other."
The following verses of the Holy Quran testify his claim and narrate in short his biography.
"And those who believe in ALLAH and the Last day of Judgment shall not be found friendly with those who are enemies of ALLAH and his Prophet even if they happen to be their fathers, sons, brothers and kith and kin. "With those He will engrave faith on their hearts, assist them with a spirit from Himself". They are people in whose heart ALLAH has engraved faith and extended His support through sacred spirit."
(From the underlined portion of these verses he computed his year of birth: 1272 A.H.)
This day demands deep reflection and asks for renewed dedication to the ideals that Alahazrat Imam Ahmad Raza (May peace be upon him) Rehmatullah Alaih lived and died for.
Unless the "Millat" responds to the call that Imam Ahmad Raza held supreme and dearer than his life any homage to him, however passionately expressed, will only create a stir on the surface without touching the soul.
In fact, he lived for a mission and died for a cause. He breathed his last while whispering Kalma-e-Tayyaba on Friday the 25th of Safar 1340 A.H. (October 28th, 1921 A.D.) at the time of Jumah Prayer when PROCLAIMER OF PRAYER (MOAZZIN) was calling "Come to Prayer", "Come to Welfare". May ALLAH bestow upon his grave blessings of His own and of His beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alaih-e-Wasallam) (Ameen)!