By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
30 July 2018
I was invited, on July 26, 2018, as a
speaker to participate in a condolence program held by Jamia Hazrat Nizamuddin
Aulia, a Sufi-Sunni affiliated Islamic seminary located at Zakir Nagar New
Delhi, on the sudden demise of Qazi al-Quzat (the greatest Qazi) of
India, Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari popularly known as Tajush Sharia and
Azhari Miyan. A number of Islamic clerics, scholars, graduates of Jamia
al-Azhar, Madrasa students and local residents, mostly with hidden tears in
their eyes, attended the program.
The condolence program was conducted under
chairmanship of Maulana Mahmood Azhari, the grandson of Allama Arshad ul Qadri
and director of Jamia Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia (JHNA). The program, headed by
Maulana Syed Atique Azhari, the principal of JHNA, began with recitation of the
Quran in voice of Hafiz Rehan Raza, the student of JHNA. Then Syed Minhajuddin,
Maulana Ali Imam and Mahboob Zafar Nizami sang Manqabat (a Sufi-devotional
poem) in loving memory of Allama Tajush Sharia.
In his address Maulana Imran Ahmed Azhari,
an Imam of Raza Masjid (Zakir Nagar) and teacher of JHNA, highlighted some
significant aspects of Tajush Sharia. He said Tajush Sharia practically
followed in the footsteps of the beloved Prophet and became a true lover of the
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He said Islamic scholars and Muftis from
across the world often gathered to learn from Tajush Sharia lessons of in-depth
understanding of Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Shariat and
Tariqat. His memory, Maulana Imran Azhari said, was so strong that whenever any
scholar or student mistakenly read out any Arabic passage of Tafsir or
Hadith-books, he immediately pointed out to the mistake.
In his speech, Maulana Faizan Ahmad Naeemi,
an Imam of Qadri Masjid Zakir Nagar, said Tajush Sharia was so influential that
35 to 40 million Muslims all across the world had become his Murids (seekers of
spiritual path or persons committed to a Murshid i.e. spiritual guide).
In his funeral prayer, he said, an overwhelming crowd of about six to seven
million Muslims participated and prayed for his Maghfirah (forgiveness)
and higher rank; which indeed bears witness to his spiritual acceptance and
Expressing his condolences over the death
of Tajush Sharia, Maulana Syed Atique Azhari said, Tajush Sharia has gone to
glory leaving us in this world but our feelings and emotions are not ready to
accept this truth.
In my address, I (Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi)
also enumerated some striking features of Tajush Sharia, the features that made
him acceptable to millions of Muslims across the world. It was an emotional
moment to express condolences for and recount virtues of Tajush Sharia, as he
was my spiritual guide (Murshid) and teacher. I would like to present some
aspects of Tajush Sharia here for the readers of newageislam.com in more
details than what I referred to in my speech at JHNA.
Tajush Sharia born in Bareilly was a true
heir of Sunni Islamic sciences represented by Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmad Raza. He
was successor of Mustafa Raza Khan known as Mufti-e-Azam of India. It was his Taqwa,
devotion and commitment to true teachings of Islam based on Shariat, Tariqat
and Marfat that made him beloved to millions of Muslims across the globe. Even
those belonging to other schools of thought (such as Deobandis and Shias) bear
witness to his mastery over Islamic Sciences, his spiritual and practical
commitment to Islam. For that matter, he did not have to walk on the path of
violence and extremism. What he did was that he practiced Islam the way the
great Sunni-Sufis of the past did.
In order to perform responsibility of
Sharia, It is essential for a good Mufti to be aware of the circumstances and
current affairs of the world. In 1995 when Election Commission of India had
made it necessary to have a photo identity card for all the Indian citizens, a
large number of Muslim clerics and scholars from the country sought fatwa from
Tajush Sharia, as taking photography of living things was then considered
absolutely and non-conditionally forbidden (Haram). When Allama Arshad ul Qadri
and other Islamic scholars held a meeting at Jamia Ashrafia Mubarakpur
Azamgarh, and sought fatwa from him, Tajush Sharia conditionally allowed taking
photo only for fulfillment of the required purpose such as identity card,
passport and license etc. But he did not justify taking unnecessary photos
other than the requirements. He took this step under the fiqhi maxim of
“excessive necessities cause the prohibited things to be permissible”, (الضرورات تبيح
Tajush Sharia kept himself away from
politics. Maulana Shahabuddin writes that once Indian Prime Minister P. V.
Narasimha Rao was inspired by Tajush Sharia and therefore wanted to meet him.
Tajush Sharia said “I am a religious man. I am always busy performing the tasks
assigned to me by my pious saints. I am not a political man. Muslims are angry
with him (P.V. Narasimha) for the demolition of Babri Masjid. For such reasons,
I do not want to meet him. However, if he wants to visit Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat,
he can come and visit it”. Maulana Shahabuddin says Tajush Sharia did not meet
him while the PM P. V. Narasimha Rao kept waiting for about 8 hours in the
circuit house of Bareilly. (Shahabuddin Razvi, Biography of Tajush Sharia)
On May 05 1985, Tajush Sharia along with
Allama Arshad ul Qadri participated in international Hijaz Conference in order
to address the rising problems of Muslim world. He presided over the conference
and made a remarkable speech on his subject. Besides he participated in several
international programs to solve issues of Muslim community.
For his religious and intellectual
services, Tajush Sharia was given a special award of Jamia al-Azhar called
“Pride of Performance”. This award is specifically given to the most
influential Islamic personality. Not only the non-Arab scholars of Islam but
also the great scholars of Arab world did appreciate his mastery of Islamic
sciences, his piousness and Taqwa.
It is reported that Shaikh al-Azhar Allama
Syed Tantawi and Tajush Sharia had different views on two religious issues but
when they discussed together, Shaikh al-Azhar had to finally support Tajush
Sharia’s views. For example, Shaikh al-Azhar regarded the hadith “My Companions
are like the stars, whichever of them you follow you will be rightly guided” as
fabricated (Mauzu) but after discussion Shaikh al-Azhar supported Tajush
Sharia’s view, that is, “This Hadith is acceptable with the principle of Talaqqa
bil Qubul and hence not fabricated”. Shaikh al-Azhar Allama Tantawi also
accepted another research of Tajush Sharia that the father of Hazrat Ibrahim
was Tarih and not Aazar who was actually parental uncle of Hazrat
Ibrahim (peace be upon him) under the lengthy clarification of Arabic word “ab”
mentioned in the Quranic verse (6:74)
Due to his excessive travel and a large
number of programs all across the world, Tajush Sharia had very little time for
writing. His Fatawa (religious decrees) are put aside for his attention
and they are mostly answered while he is on a journey. However he has written,
compiled, edited and translated dozens of Islamic books. Some of the famous
Al Haqqul Mubeen 2 volumes,
3) Miratun Najdia Bi Jawaabil Bareilwiyah
4) Tasweero Ka Shari Hukm
Hadrat Ibrahim Ke Waalid Tariq Ya Aazar
Taqdimu Tajjali Aslam
8) Hashia Sharah Qasidah Burdah
Kya Deen Ki Mahm Poori Ho Chuki
10) Jashne Eid-e-Meelad -Un-Nabi,
Taaleeqat al-Azhari ala Saheeh al-Bukhari
12) Translation of al-amn wal ula li
naa-e-til Mustafa bi dafeil Bala
Commentary on Qawareul Qahhar Fi Raddil Mujassamatil Fujjar
Al-Sahaba nujum al-Ihtida etc.
volumes of his Fatawa titled “Fatawa Tajush Sharia” have been published.
Three years ago, in its report dated Dec 09
2015, the leading newspaper, Times of India said “70,000 clerics issued fatwa
against terrorism, 15 Lakh Muslims support it”. This fatwa was actually
inspired by Tajush Sharia Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan.
During the condolence program, I briefly
referred to Tajush Sharia’s fatwa against terrorism. But here for readers of
newageislam.com, I would like to present full copies of Tajush Sharia’s fatwa
issued against terrorist organizations such as “ISIS” also known as “Daesh” in
Arabic with its translation in English.
Arabic copy of Tajush Sharia’s Fatwa
Issued on April 20, 2015 against Terrorist organizations like ISIS aka Daesh
English Translation of Tajush Sharia’s Fatwa Issued April 20, 2015
against Terrorist organizations like ISIS aka Daesh
(Courtesy The Sunni Way)
The more we go in details, the more virtues
of Tajush Sharia we find. It would be no exaggeration to say that Tajush Sharia
was a true embodiment of Shariat and Tariqat in this age. His death is an irreparable loss to the Muslims’ spiritual and scholarly world, especially in
India. May Allah Almighty grant him special proximity and bounty and give
patience to his family, relatives and followers across the world!
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is a Classical scholar of Islamic Sciences
(Theology, Fiqh, Tafsir and Hadith), English-Arabic-Urdu Writer and Translator.
So far he has written more than a hundred articles, especially on subjects like
de-radicalization, counter-terrorism, Peaceful coexistence, Islamic Mysticism
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in
Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In
Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women
in West, Islam Women and Feminism
Whether the father of Hazrat Ibrahim was Tarih or Aazar is another needless controversy. The Quran says
Aazar but the Jews say it is Tarih. The Jews have systematically documented the
genealogy of the Prophets and therefore it is difficult to show them to be
wrong with any scholarly work independent of the Quran. The Muslims have no independent
record of the previous prophets because their religious history starts with
It is a fact that father’s elder brother
is also called father and his wife mother (Bade Baap and Badi Maa) in many
cultures to this day. The apparent discrepancy is therefore explained as Aazar
refers to Hazrat Ibrahim’s Taya (father’s elder brother), while Tarih was his
father’s name. This is a plausible explanation and may be true, but it hardly
matters whether Aazar refers to the father or the uncle. Also, the scholarship
of the Jews is not without defect and deliberate manipulation and the Quran
could be right and the Jews wrong. The Jewish scholarship is blank on the
genealogy of Prophet Job (Ayyub), simply because it does not trace back to Isaac,
and in their theology, only the progeny of Jacob (one of the sons of Isaac) can
be a prophet. They could however not deny that Job was a prophet because he was
the ideal “servant of God” who passed every test and therefore they simply blanked
out all information on his genealogy. This genealogy business is partly fact
and partly a concocted farce and it is best to ignore it. I have seen the
family tree of Muhammad (pbuh) tracing his genealogy all the way to Adam!
Muslim scholarship indirectly subscribes
to the Jewish theory, that prophets can only be from among the children of
Ibrahim (pbuh). The Jews have of course further narrowed down the scope and
confine it to only Isaac who was the second son of Ibrahim, Isaac’s son Jacob, and
Jacob’s progeny. This may be as an after-thought perhaps to deny that Muhammad
(pbuh), with claims to having descended form Ibrahim’s first son Ismail, is
also a prophet. The Quran is completely silent on the question of Muhammad’s
genealogy and strongly hints that he may have been from among the local Arabs.
Consider the following verses:
(127) And remember Abraham and Isma´il raised the foundations of
the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us:
For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.
(128) "Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will),
and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place
for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art
the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
(2:129) "Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their
own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and
wisdom, and sanctify them: For Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise."
Verse 2:129 has Ibrahim and Ismail
praying “send among them a messenger of their own” and not a messenger from
among my/our children. Abraham and Ismail were also messengers of Allah, but
not from among the local people. Most of the Muslims, because of their pre-Islamic
culture, are firm believers in succession based on birth, and therefore overly
involved with genealogy, most of which is fabricated falsehood.
“My Companions are like the stars,
whichever of them you follow you will be rightly guided”. What is the
definition of companion? Did the Prophet (pbuh) name his companions and say
these alone are my companions? Or were some limited number generally recognized
as the companions of the Prophet? If companion merely means all those who saw
the Prophet, accepted Islam and died Muslim, then it includes the
Munafiqin too and the hadith is false. If the names of those who are considered the
companions of the prophet are well-known, and this is a small number, then the
hadith could be true.
As far as I know, there is no authentic
list of all those considered as the companions of the Prophet and it means all
those who saw the Prophet, believed in him, accepted Islam and died Muslim,
which includes all those who accepted Islam after the conquest of Mecca.
The Quran only talks
about the vanguard Muslims وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ
وَالْأَنصَارِ. These are those who migrated to
Medina with the Prophet and among the Ansars and perhaps all those who fought
alongside the Prophet in the battle of Badr but not anyone from a later period.
The hadith however does not refer to such a clearly identifiable group of the
Prophet’s companions and is therefore false, concocted to make what all the
people of his times attribute to the Prophet, accepted as authentic hadith. This
is the problem with Islamic scholarship. It deals with ill-defined terms.