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HAZRAT MAULANA SYED FAKHRUDDIN AHMED (RA)
By Qari Ismail Soofie Desai Saheb (D.B)
Among the personalities who had a profound impact on the life of Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (RA) was his Ustaad of Hadith, Hazrath Maulana Syed Fakhruddin Ahmed (RA). Hazrath (RA) spoke very fondly of him. He also made great khidmat of his Ustaad.
The Hadith lessons were also conducted every night after Esha till late at night. Hazrath Maulana Yunus Saheb (RA) would daily walk along with his Ustaad from the room to the class and back to the room while holding the lantern to light the way. When the first Bukhari Shareef Khatum took place in Darul Uloom Falahe Daarain in Tadkeshwar, Hazrat Maulana Fakhruddin Saheb (RA) was invited to conduct the last lesson.
Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (RA) accompanied his Ustaad on this lengthy journey by train and made his khidmat all the way. Among the parting advices that this illustrious Ustaad gave Hazrath Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (RA) upon his graduation was “Remain steadfast on your Deen and the world will follow you”. Indeed Hazrath Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (RA) lived up to that advice and the world did follow him. Hereunder follows a brief biography of Hazrath Maulana Fakhruddin Saheb (RA).
His beloved native – place was Hapur. His ancestors, Syed Qutub and Syed Aalam (RA), along with their other two brothers, came to Delhi from Herat during Shah Jahan’s reign. These gentlemen were amongst the distinguished personalities of their time. Shah Jahan had even built a Madrasah for them at Hapur where they could teach. Syed Aalam’s (RA) genealogical chain, twenty six generations up, reaches back up to Hadhrat Sayyidina Hussain (RA).
Maulana Syed Fakhruddin Ahmed (RA) was born at Ajmer in 1307/1889. His grandfather, Syed Abdul Karim (RA), was a station house officer (thanedaar) in the Police Department there. His education began at the age of four years. He learnt the Holy Quraan under the instruction of his august mother and acquired knowledge of Persian from the elders of the family. At the age of twelve he began studying Arabic grammar and syntax under Maulana Khalid (RA), a buzrug of his own family. During this period his father thought of reviving his ancestral Madrasah, which had been destroyed in the upheaval of 1857. After receiving education in this Madrasah for some years, he was sent to Madrasah Manbaul Uloom at Gulaothi, where he studied some books under the instruction of Maulana Majid Ali (RA and thereafter went to Delhi with the same teacher. He studied books of the natural sciences in the Madrasah of Delhi.
In 1326/1908 when he came to Darul Uloom, Deoband, Hadhrat Shaikhul Hind (RA) tested him for admission and he passed with distinction in this test. According to Shaikhul Hind’s (RA) instruction he completed the Hadith Course (Daura-e-Hadith) in two years instead of one. During his student career at Darul Uloom, he had already begun to teach books of the rational sciences to the students. After graduation in 1328/1910 he became a teacher in Darul Uloom, Deoband. Sometime later the elders of Darul Uloom, in Shawaal, 1329/1911, sent him to Madrasah Shahi Moradabad, where he lived for nearly 48 years. During this long period of nearly half a century many students of Hadith derived benefit from him.
Among his great achievements was that he memorized the Holy Quraan in only twenty eight days. His father, who usually led the Taraweeh salaah, had passed away. Maulana was not a Hafiz, however, in the Ramadaan after his fathers demise, he daily learnt one portion of the Quraan and recited the same in Taraweeh. In this manner he completed his khatum on the twenty eighth night.
Since Hazrath Maulana was one of the favourite disciples of Hadrath Shaikhul Hind (RA) and Maulana Syed Anwar Shah Kashmiri (RA), his lessons of Hadith beautifully blended the style of both the glorious teachers. As such, his lectures on Bukhari Shareef used to be very wide ranging and detailed, discussing all the aspects of a Hadith at length. After presenting the different schools of thought (Mazahib) of the jurists (Fuqaha), he used to deduce such forceful arguments in elucidation of support to and preference for the jurisprudential tack of the Hanafis that thereafter not the slightest doubt was left in the mind of the audience. During his lecture, along with the different commentaries of the Sahih Bukhari, he also used to occasionally quote the sciences and deductions of his own teachers. In the teaching of Hadith his lecture used to be not only expansive and detailed but also easy and cogent, so that less gifted students too got a chance to derive the fullest advantage. The style of expression used to be very clear. Hence, his lectures on Bukhari Shareef had gained great fame and general popularity. In his time he was an unrivalled saint and a matchless professor of Hadith and the students used to take pride in being his pupils.
In 1377/1957, after Maulana Madani’s (RA) demise, the members of the Majlis-e-Shura of Darul Uloom chose him for the post of the Shaikhul Hadith in Darul Uloom, Deoband. Maulana Madani (RA) himself, during his terminal sickness, called him from Moradabad and appointed him in his own place for teaching Sahih Bukhari. Earlier too he had taught the Sahih Bukhari twice at Darul Uloom, Deoband during the period of Maulana Madani’s (RA) imprisonment and leave. In 1390/1970, as many as 275 students were attending his lectures on Hadith.
Besides the educational preoccupations, he was also connected with national politics since the time of the Khilafat Movement, as a result of which he too had to bear the hardships and rigours of imprisonment and shackles. During Maulana Madani’s (RA) presidentship of the Jamiat Ulema Hind, he acted twice as vice-president; thereafter he was appointed president and went on discharging the functions of president of this organization till his last breath. At the end of his life when health deteriorated, he was taken to Moradabad for change of climate, but the promised hour had come. After a brief illness at Moradabad, he passed away after midnight on 20th Safar, AH 1392 (5th April 1972).
Hadrath Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Saheb (RA), vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom, Deoband, led the funeral prayer and in the afternoon this world-illuminating sun of knowledge and learning set forever in the land of Moradabad. “Everyone that is thereon will pass away” (LV:26)