A Glimpse Into The Life of A’la Hazrat Radiallahu Anh

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A’la Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat Ash Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was that ‘Rising Sun’ that shone upon the horizon of Islam, brightening and enlightening wherever darkness had set in. Every second of his life was entirely devoted and dedicated to the cause of Islam. He taught us a lesson of love, of undivided love for the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) stressing that love for the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is the cornerstone of Imaan. Thus A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) stood out conspicuously as a very great personality who became the leader of the Muslims not only in his lifetime but more so today, as millions of true Sunni Muslims see in A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) their teacher, their guide to the straight path, the path of the Prophets, the path of the Sahaabah and the path of the subsequent learned scholars of Islam. It is for this reason that A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) received the title of ‘A’la Hazrat’ on his first visit to Arabia, where his extraordinary personality moved even the greatest learned scholars in Arabia and they unanimously declared Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to be not just an ordinary ‘Hazrat’ but an ‘A’la Hazrat’ – a great Hazrat! Subhaanallah!

MARRIAGE AND BLESSED CHILDREN: In the year 1291 A.H. (1874), A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) married Sayyida Irshaad Begum (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) who was the beloved daughter of Shaikh Fadhl Hussain (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He was 18 years old at the time of his Nikah.

Almighty Allah blessed A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) with 7 beautiful children – 2 sons and 5 daughters. Both his sons became distinguished Islamic Scholars and great Awliya Allah. His sons were Hujjatul Islam Maulana Haamid Raza Khan and Ghausul Waqt Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam Hind (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum).

BAI’AT AND KHILAFAT: In the year 1294 A.H., at the age of 22 years, Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) became the Mureed of Imam-ul-Asfiya, Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool Mahrerawi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). The incident surrounding the Bai’at (Spiritual Allegiance) and Khilafat (Spiritual Successorship) of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was a remarkable one. Once Hazrat Maulana Abdul Qadir Badayouni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) came to Bareilly Shareef. He invited A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to go to Mahrerah Shareef with him. Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) accepted his invitation and they both set off to Mahrerah Shareef. When they arrived at the station in Marehrah Shareef, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “I am receiving the scent of my Murshid.” When they reached the Khanqah-e-Barakaati and entered, Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) saw A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and said, “Come in. I have been awaiting your presence for a long time.” Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) immediately made A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) a mureed and blessed him with Khilafat and I’jazat in all the Sufi silsilas.

Hazrat Sayyiduna Abul Hussain Noori Barakaati (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), who was also the Peer-o- Murshid of Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam Hind Maulana Mustafa Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), was also present in this spiritual gathering. He was also a great Wali and needed no introduction to Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). For the benefit of the others who were present and to make them aware of the exalted calibre and status of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), he asked Hazrat Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) a question. He asked, “Huzoor, the ritual here at Mahrerah Shareef is that if any person comes here, and after becoming a mureed desires to gain Khilafat and I’jazat, then we ask him to perform mujahida (struggle in the path of Allah). We also give him dry bread to eat as part of his spiritual training. After this, if we find him worthy enough, then we grant him Khilafat and I’jazat in one or two silsilas, but you have blessed this young man with Khilafat and I’jazat of all the silsilas, and even commanded him to look at and verify all the kitaabs which you have written. Why is this so?”

Sayyiduna Shah Aale Rasool (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) answered with the following words, “O People! you do not know Ahmad Raza. Others who come here need to be prepared before gaining I’jazat and Khilafat, but Ahmad Raza Khan has come prepared from Almighty Allah. All he needed was a link and this is why I made him mureed. I always teared through the fear of Almighty Allah that if on the day of Qiyaamah, he questioned me concerning what I had brought for him from the world, then I would have no answer. But today, that fear no longer exists. If on the day of Qiyaamah Almighty Allah asks, “O Aale Rasool! What have you brought for me?”, then I will immediately present Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to my Creator.” This highly spiritual incident alone gives us a glimpse into the status of A’la Hazrat, Azeemul Barkat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).

A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) possessed immense love for his Peer-o-Murshid and for the family members. He also displayed his love for all those who had contact with them and respected them. Whenever A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) went to Mahrerah Shareef to gain blessings from his Peer-o-Murshid, he would remove his shoes at the station and walk bare feet in Mahrerah Shareef. Whenever any person or representative from Mahrerah Shareef arrived in Bareilly Shareef to deliver a letter or parcel to A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), he would treat that person with great respect and dignity. He addressed the person with words of respect, such as, ‘Most Respected Representative’ and would not allow that person to leave without giving him something to eat. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) would personally go into the house to bring out food for that person. He showed so much respect that he even used to carry the dish or plate of food on his blessed head. Subhaanallah!

ADHERENCE TO THE SUNNAH: Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) laid great emphasis on following the Sunnah of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The following account clearly describes A’la Hazrat’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) great trust and faith upon the Sunnah. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates, “There was once a rumour in Bareilly, that the plague had appeared. Coincidently, at that moment, my gums became extremely inflamed. It continued to such proportions that it became difficult for me to open my mouth. I also had a high fever, coupled with inflamed glands. The doctor who was called, looked at me closely for a few minutes. He exclaimed that I had the plague. I could not speak at that moment, or else I would have told him that his diagnosis was incorrect and false.

I was certain that I did not have the plague or any other major disease, simply because I had already recited a Dua as explained by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), who said that if one sees a serious and deadly illness, he should recite that Dua, which would protect the person from such an illness. Whenever I saw a serious illness, I recited this Dua, therefore I was protected against it, including the plague. Thereafter, with extreme respect I proclaimed aloud, “O Allah! Prove that the words of your Beloved Habeeb (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is true, and that the words of the doctor is false.” At that moment a voice on my right advised me to use the Miswaak and black pepper. With a little difficulty, I performed brushing with the Miswaak and kept the black pepper on my tongue as a tablet. Infinite indeed, is the Mercy of Almighty Allah! Within a few minutes, I had gained my strength and sent the doctor away by proving that his diagnosis was false and baseless.”

A similar incident showing the great trust that A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had in Almighty Allah and His Beloved Habeeb (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is recorded by Maulana Muhammad Shareef. He says, “Once, when A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was returning from Hajj by ship with his father, there was a great storm. The storm reached such intensity that the captain advised the passengers to wear their kafans (shrouds), for he could see no escape from such a storm. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), noticing the concern on the face of his father, inquired as to what had transpired. His father replied, “My beloved son, I have no concern for myself, rather it is for you that I am sad.” The young A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied, “O father, if the captain has lost hope then let him do so. We should have complete faith in Allah and His Beloved Habeeb Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). In accordance with the commands of the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), when entering this ship, I recited the Dua ‘Subhaanal lazi sakh khara lana haaza wa maa kunna lahu muq rineen wa inna ila Rabbina la mun qaliboon’. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has stated that, “Whosoever recites this Dua when entering a ship (any mode of transport), that ship would not be destroyed. Therefore I have absolute certainty that generations may change, yet this ship would never sink.” A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had merely spoken these words, when the captain arrived and began informing the passengers that the storm is subsiding and that there was no need for concern!” Subhaanallah!

HAFIZ-UL-QUR’AN: A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was initially not a Hafiz-ul-Qur’an. Once, someone wrote a letter to Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and addressed him as ‘Hafiz’. When A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) saw this, he became depressed for he felt that he was not worthy of such a title. He immediately decided to become a Hafiz of the Holy Qur’an. How did he become a Hafiz-ul-Quran? During the month of Ramadaan, Sadrush Shariah Hazrat Allama Mufti Amjad Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) would recite one para (chapter) to A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) between the Azaan and Jamaat of Esha. Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) would listen to it and, thereafter, recite the same para in the Taraweeh Salaah. He continued this routine for 30 days, and by the end of Ramadaan, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had memorised the entire Qur’an Shareef. Subhaanallah!

WRITINGS OF A’LA HAZRAT (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh): To date, it has not been fully ascertained as to exactly how many books A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) wrote. In 1887, At the age of 30 years, he had completed 75 Books and treatises. In 1909, at the age of 43 years, this number increased up to 500. However, it has been estimated that the number of books written by Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) exceed 1 000 encompassing more than fifty branches of knowledge. Apart from these contributions, he had written annotations and commentaries on more than 150 books pertaining to various branches of learning.

A’LA HAZRAT’S (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) ADVICE BEFORE HIS DEMISE:

1. Nothing with photos of living objects should be near me when my Rooh (Soul) leaves.

2. Recite Surah Yaseen and Sura Ra’ad beside me.

3. Recite Durood Shareef in abundance.

4. Keep those who are weeping away from me.

5. Give my Ghusl according to the Sunnah.

6. Either Maulana Haamid Raza or Allamah Amjad Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum) should perform my Janaazah Salaah.

7. Do not delay my Janaazah.

8. When taking my Janaazah, recite “Kaabe ke Badru Duja Thum pe Karoro Durood.”

9. Do not read anything in my praise.

10. Place me softly in the grave.

12. My grave should be dug according to my height.

13. My kafan should be according to the Sunnah.

14. The food of my Fatiha must be given to the poor.

15. Haamid Raza must give a fair share of everything to Chote Mia (Huzoor Mufti-e-Azam Hind). If not, my Rooh will be displeased. (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum)

16. All of you must remain steadfast on Deen. Do not leave the path of Shariah. Stay on the Deen on which I was.

WISAAL: The date of the Wisaal of Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was actually deduced by himself from the Holy Qur’an four months and twenty days prior to his passing away.

Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat, Mujaddide Deen-o-Millat, Imam Ahle Sunnat Ash Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) left this mundane world on Friday, the 25th of Safar 1340 A.H. (28 October 1921) at 2.38 p.m. while the Jummah Azaan was being given. His rooh undertook the eternal journey exactly at the moment when the words ‘Hayya Alal Falah’ (Come to Success) were being recited. This was a fitting tribute to the rooh of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), as it were to enter the abode of the successful!

At the time of the demise of Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), a certain saint of Syria, while in Baitul Mukaddas, dreamt of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). In his dream, the saint saw many Sahaabah-Ikraam (Ridwaanullahi Ta’ala Alaihim Ajma’een) seated around the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). All of them seemed to be waiting for someone. The saint was curious at the silence in the gathering and says that, in his dream, he asked, “Ya Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), whose presence is being awaited?” The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “We are waiting for Ahmad Raza.” The blessed saint then asked, “Who is Ahmad Raza?” The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) answered, “An Aalim from Bareilly in India.” When this saint awoke, he immediately journeyed from Syria to Bareilly Shareef to meet A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), but to his dismay, he learnt that A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had already departed from this world.

MAZAAR SHAREEF: The Mazaar Shareef of Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) is situated in Mohallah Saudagaran, Bareilly Shareef in India. Each year, in the month of Safar, during the Urs Shareef of Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all over the world present themselves in Bareilly Shareef to partake in the Urs Shareef of the Mujaddid of Islam, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).

May Allah Ta’ala grant us all Insha Allah the opportunity to present ourselves in the Darbaar of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to make Ziyaarat of his blessed Mazaar Shareef, Ameen.