Sadr-e-Shariat (“Chief of the Islamic Law”), Badr-e-Tariqat (Shining Moon of the Spiritual Mythology or Tariqah), Hadrat ‘Allama Mowlana Shah Amjad Ali Aazmi was born in Mohalla “Karimuddinpur” Ghosi, district Mau(old district Azamgarh) in India.
He received his elementary education from his grandfather. After that he studied books in general education for the beginners from his elder brother, Maulana Muhammad Siddique. At the end of the elementary course and on the advice of his elder brother, he was admitted to the “Madrasa-e-Hanfiyya” in Jaunpur, for further education under the supervision and guidance of Jami’ Ma’qulat wa Manqulat, Hadrat ‘Allama Moulana Hidayatullah Khan Rampuri, Jaunpuri (d. 1326 ah – 1908 AD – student of Imam al-Falsafa, Mujahid-e-Jalil, Hadrat ‘Allama Fadhl-e-Haqq Khayrabadi). At that time, there was no ‘proper’ rail system and it was also quite difficult to get hold of any transport by which Sadr al-Shari’ah could easily travel from Azamgarh to Jaunpur and vice versa. Hence, he would travel from Ghosi to A’zamgarh by foot. Then from there, he would reach Madrasa-e-Hanfiyya, Jaunpur, via a camel-driven carriage
During this time, AlaHadrat, the Great Reviver of Islam, Maulana Shah Ahmed Raza Khan fadhile-e-Bareilly needed the services of a teacher at the Darul-Uloom, Manzar-e-Islam, which he founded.
Maulana Amjad Ali then left his clinic and proceeded to Bareilly. At Bareilly, he first worked as a teacher. Later on he was also entrusted with the supervision of the Matbah-e-Ahle Sunnah (Printing Press), and was also given presidency of the Education branch of Tehreek Jam’at-e-Raza-e-Mustafa, in Bareilly. These responsibilities he conducted with great endeavour, devotion, in addition to this was the issuance of Fatawas (Juridical Opinions), which he continued as his newly acquired mission.
He took oath of allegiance (Baiy’at) on the hands of the great eminent scholar, faqih, Imam, Muhaddith, Mufakkir, Musannif, Mudabbir, al-Sheikh Mufti Hafiz-o-Qari Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Bareilly and was soon honoured with the bestowment of Khilafat (headship of the various mystical paths, e.g Silsila Qadriya, Chistiya, Soharwardiya, Naqshbandiya, Barkatiya, and so on). He derived affectionate blessings and guidance from his Chief Mentor (shaykh), and quickly rose to the heights and ranks of perfection.
ALLAH, blessed Mawlana Amjad Ali with the bestowment of many different sciences and branches of knowledge and craft to perfection, but he had an intrinsic inclination towards the knowledge, which is regarded as sacred, as Imam Shafi’ once stated:
"Every kind of knowledge except for that related to the Holy Qur’an is just a pastime... and except for Hadith, and Fiqh in the religion (Islamic Jurisprudence)".
He had a great inclination towards Tafseer, Hadith and Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence). He had the detailed, but complex Islamic rulings of many different topics, of the Fiqh on the top of his tongue. In recognition of his multi dimensional acquisition of the various branches and sciences of knowledge , Imam Ahmed Raza, the Great Reviver of Islam, has conferred the title “Sadr al-Shari’ah” to him during his stay at Dadun (District of Aligarh).
Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah started writing marginal notes (annotations or hawashi) on the voluminous book of Imam Abu Ja’far Tahawi (d. 321A.H./933A.D.) on hadith, entitled “Sharh Ma’an al-‘athar”, and in the short period of seven months, he completed a comprehensive annotation. The special feature and note of surprise is that the annotation was hand-written with a fine-pointed pen, and that too with one pen; it comprised 450 pages, each page consisting of 35-36 lines! It means that having retired after each days’ arduous preoccupation, which consumed and enormous time and energy he found the time to write about 2 ½ pages each day. The heart rendering tragedy in this connection is that that composition of the marginal notes (Annotation) could not remain preserved (if this masterpiece had survived, it would have surely revolutionised the word of Islamic erudition as a monument of universal acclaim. It is really unfortunate that the Muslim ummah has been deprived of an ever-lasting source of learning and guidance).
His second masterpiece is Fatawa Amjadia, which is a unique 4-volumed book, comprising of the various fatawa enquired in his service, as regards to many Islamic topics. One must note that these were only a few of the many questions that were asked to him, and most have not been recorded till date. Nonetheless, it is still quite a unique book of Academic Researches. Then he turned to writing books for the children, when the illustrated book of Primary education (in Urdu) was introduced, which contained pen-drawn pictures and drawings to illustrate the various letters of the Urdu alphabet.
Hadrat Amjad Ali wrote a primer (Urdu Qa’idah), containing pictures of lifeless objects. the Qa’idah had the blessing that the child experienced no difficulty in recognising and getting familiar with the alphabets. He could read the book of his standard in a much shorter time than through other methods.
He had the proficiency and skill of explaining very complex, and difficult passages in a simple and easy to understand language.
Bahâr-e-Sharî’at is that universally acclaimed book of Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah which can be justifiably called the Encyclopedia of the Hanafi Islamic Jurisprudence . Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah wrote 17 parts of the 20-chaptered book, and the other remaining 3 parts he could not write due to great subsequent sorrows of the death of members of his blessed family.
Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah had already been blessed by performing his first Hajj ritual in 1337/1922. For the second time, he accompanied his spouse, and set off from Ghosi on the 26th of Shawwal 1367 A.H. the events, which occurred before and also after the event are quite astonishing.
The candle of the love of the Holy Prophet which Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah had in his heart illuminated and burnt even more brightly in this particular journey to Haramain Sharifain (but, actually, the journey to the hereafter). He would ask people to recite the na’at sharif, and would feel emotional after hearing the beautiful verses of the na’at.
As scheduled, in the masses of hundreds of people waiting patiently to see Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah he came to the railway station. At the station in front of the masses of people, he delivered an inspirational speech. Then the car arrived, and Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah departed. From the very beginning of his departure from his house, he felt ill, and in addition to this fact was that rain fell immensely during this journey, which made him deteriorate in health even more. This was why he had a fever, to the extent that on reaching Bombay, he had pneumonia. At the Bombay station, his treatment started. Even after so many days of treatment, he would still be in the state of unconciousness.
Hudur Mufti-e-Aa’zam was also accompanying him on this journey, and because of his regular visit to meet Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah to ask as to how he was, mass of people always came with him.
Once during his visits, a person recited a na’at written by Imam Ahmed Raza, immediately hearing this, Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah opened his eyes, and stated to give him a pillow so that he could sit up. Throughout the time that the na’at was read, Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah sat there, in that position, as though he was meditating.
Hudur Mufti-e-Aa’zam-e-Hind and Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah both were going to depart in the same plane.
However, due to Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah’s illness, Hadrat Mufti-e-e-Aa’zam-e-Hind, after the Maghrib (Sunset) prayers came to pay his final visit and to meet Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah for his last time. With eyes full of sorrowful tears for this great personality, Hadrat Mufti-e-Aa’zam-e-Hind stated:
“Go on (Carry on the final stages of your spiritual journey), I shall follow behind you”
And then Hadrat Mufti-e-Aa’zam-e-Hind departed for his journey to Hajj, and after his departure, Hadrat Sadr al-Shari’ah’s health became even worse.
Finally, on the 2nd of Dhil Qa’dah 1367 A.H, coinciding Monday the 2nd of September 1949, at 12:26 P.M, this great scholar departed to a celestial journey; instead of the intended pilgrimage, upward to the heaven and as a prelude thereof.
We are belongings of ALLAH and we are to return to Him... Whatever He takes is His, whatever He gives is His, and there is a fixed period for everything.
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