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 popularity.
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 المحظورات).
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 ones are:
1) Al Haqqul Mubeen 2 volumes,
2) Difa-e-Kanzul Iman,
3) Miratun Najdia Bi Jawaabil Bareilwiyah
4) Tasweero Ka Shari Hukm
5) Sharah Hadith-e-Niyah,
6) Hadrat Ibrahim Ke Waalid Tariq Ya Aazar
7) Taqdimu Tajjali Aslam
8) Hashia Sharah Qasidah Burdah
9) Kya Deen Ki Mahm Poori Ho Chuki
10) Jashne Eid-e-Meelad -Un-Nabi,
11) Taaleeqat al-Azhari ala Saheeh al-Bukhari
12) Translation of al-amn wal ula li naa-e-til Mustafa bi dafeil Bala
13) Commentary on Qawareul Qahhar Fi Raddil Mujassamatil Fujjar
14) Saddul Mashare,
15) Al-Sahaba nujum al-Ihtida etc.
Two 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 (Tasawwuf).