The Blessed Childhood of A’la Hazrat Radiallahu Anh

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POSITION IN THE SILSILA: Shaikhul Islam wal Muslimeen, Burhaanul Awliyah, Haami-e-Sunnat, Qaami-e-Bid’at, Mujadid-e-Deen-o-Millat A’la Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat Ash Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Qadri Barakaati Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh is the thirty-ninth Shaikh of the Silsila Aaliyah Qadriyah Barakaatiyah Razaviyah Nooriyah.

BIRTH: Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was born on a Monday, the 10th of Shawaal 1272 A.H. (14th June 1856), at the time of Zohr Salaah in a place called Jasoli, which is in the city of Bareilly Shareef, India.

A few days before the birth of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), his father, Allamah Maulana Naqi Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih), had a wonderful dream. He immediately disclosed this dream to his father, Allamah Maulana Raza Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih), who interpreted this dream by saying: “This is a sign that you are going to be the father of a child, a male, who will grow up to be pious and knowledgeable. His name will gain prominence from East to West.”

This was the good news that was given to Maulana Naqi Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih) concerning the birth of none other than the “Emerald from amongst the Treasures of Almighty Allah”, the “Sweet-scented Rose from the fragrant garden of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)”, Imam Ahle Sunnat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).

BLESSED NAME: The name that was given to him at birth was the beautiful name of “Muhammad”. The name corresponding to that year of his birth was “Al Mukhtaar”. His grandfather, a great Scholar of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jama’ah, Maulana Raza Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih), also gave the young child the beautiful name of “Ahmad Raza”. It was by this name that he was famously known. Much later in his life, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) added the title “Abdul Mustafa” to his name signifying his great love and respect for Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

ASTONISHING EVENTS: At the age of 3, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was once standing outside the Raza Masjid in Bareilly Shareef. An unknown person, attired in an Arabian garb, approached him and spoke to him in the Arabic language. Those who were present and witnessed this incident heard the young A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) converse with the person in pure Arabic. They were astounded. The person who spoke to A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was never seen again in Bareilly Shareef.

A Majzoob (one drowned in the love of Almighty Allah) by the name of Hazrat Basheeruddeen Sahib (Rahmatullah Alaih) used to live at the Akhoon Zada Masjid in Bareilly Shareef. He spoke harshly to anyone who visited him. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) wished to meet this Majzoob. One night, at about 11 o’clock, he set off alone to meet him. He sat respectfully for about 15 minutes outside the Majzoob’s house. After some time, the Majzoob became aware of him and asked, “Who are you to Maulana Raza Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih)?” A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied that he was the grandson of Maulana Raza Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih). The Majzoob immediately embraced him and took him into his little room. He asked A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) if he had come for any specific matter, but A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said that he had come to ask him to make Dua for him. On hearing this, the Majzoob, for approximately half an hour, made the following Dua: “May Allah have mercy on you, May Allah bless you.”

PIETY AS A CHILD: A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was a child of 4 years when this incident took place. On that particular day, he was dressed in a long kurta. As he stepped out of his house, a few female prostitutes walked past him. In order to cover his eyes, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) quickly held the bottom of his kurta with both his hands and lifted the kurta over his face. When one of the prostitutes saw what he did, she said, “Well! Young man. You covered your eyes, but allowed your Satr to be shown.” With his face and eyes still covered, the young A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied, “When the eyes are tempted, then the heart becomes tempted. When the heart is tempted, then the concealed parts become tempted.” So shocked and affected was this woman on hearing such a reply from a child that she lost consciousness.

Another incident which happened in the Month of Ramadaan also shows A’la Hazrat’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) piety and fear of Allah. Fasting was not Fardh (obligatory) upon him because he was still a child, but on that day he intended to keep fast. It should be known that for a little child to keep fast in India during the summer season was very difficult. The average temperature on a summer’s day rises to approximately 50 degrees Celsius. On that day, the heat of the sun was intense. Maulana Naqi Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih) took his young son, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), into a room where sweets were kept. He closed the door and said, “There, eat the sweets.” A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied that he was fasting. His father then said, “The fasting of children is always like this. The door is closed and no one is looking. Now you may eat.” On hearing this, the young A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) respectfully said, “Through Whose command I am fasting, He is seeing me.” On hearing this answer from a little child, tears began to flow from the eyes of Maulana Naqi Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih). He then left the room with A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).

FIRST LECTURE: Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) delivered his first lecture at the age of 6 years. It was during the glorious month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) stood on the Mimbar (Pulpit) and delivered a lecture before a very large gathering which also consisted of Ulama. His lecture lasted for approximately 2 hours and he spoke on the Wilaadat (Birth) of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He brightened the hearts of the listeners with the love of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The people listening were thoroughly impressed by the maturity and eloquence of this lecture which was being delivered by a 6 year old child!

INTELLIGENCE AS A CHILD: A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was only 4 years old when he completed the recitation of the Holy Qur’an. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was so gifted and intelligent that there was no need for him to study beyond the fourth kitaab of his course under the tutorship of any of his teachers. He studied the remaining kitaabs by himself and used to later ask his teachers to test him.

Sayyid Ayub Ali (Rahmatullah Alaih) states that when A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was a young child, a Maulana used to come to his house to teach him. One day the Maulana was telling him repeatedly to say a word but A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) could not pronounce it. The Maulana was pronouncing the word with a zabr but A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was pronouncing the same word with a zer. It happened time and time again. The grandfather of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), Maulana Raza Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih) also witnessed this incident and called A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to him and asked for the Holy Qur’an. Maulana Raza Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih) noticed that the copyist had accidently placed a zabr instead of a zer and was astonished to see that the pronunciation of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was actually perfectly correct. His respected grandfather asked, “Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh)! Why did you not obey your teacher?” A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) politely replied, “I tried my best to follow the pronunciation of my teacher but I had no control over my tongue.”

After witnessing this and other peculiar incidences, especially the fact that it did not take A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) much time to learn a lesson which took much time to teach, the Maulana once privately asked A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), “Son, be honest with me, I promise I will not tell anyone. Are you a human or a jinn?” A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied, “All praise be to Allah that I am a human, however, the Grace and Generosity of Allah Ta’ala accompanies me all the time.”

When he was 8 years old, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) wrote a Mas’ala concerning Fara’idh (Fardh). When his father looked at the answer, he happily remarked, “If only some adult could answer in this manner.”

At the age of 10, when he was studying the kitaab, “I’lm-us-Thuboot”, under the guidance of his father, he noticed a few objections and answers of his father on the side of the page. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) studied this book carefully and wrote such a well- explained footnote that even the need for an objection was ruled out. His father came across his research on that objection. He was so delighted that he stood up and held the young A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to his heart and said, “Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh)! You do not learn from me, but you teach me.”

Due to the extraordinary intelligence bestowed upon him by Almighty Allah, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) completed his Islamic education at the very young age of 13 years, 10 months and 5 days. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that, “I completed my religious education during the middle of the month of Shabaan in the year 1286 A.H. I was 13 years, 10 months and 5 days old at that time. It was also at this time that Salaah became Fardh upon me and I began to have great interest in the Laws of Shariah”.

A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) gained his basic knowledge at home. He later continued his studies under the guidance of certain noted teachers. He studied under his father, Maulana Naqi Ali Khan (Rahmatullah Alaih). He completed his primary education under Janaab Mirza Ghulam Qader Baig, by whom he studied the book, “Mizaane Munsha’ab”. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then studied under the guidance of luminous personalities such as Shaikh-e-Kabeer, Hazrat Sayyid Shah Abul Hassan Ahmad Noori (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and Shaikh-e-Tariqat, Hazrat Shah Aale Rasool Mahrehrawi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).

FIRST FATAWAH: In a letter sent to his illustrious Khalifa, Hazrat Maulana Zafaruddeen Bihaari (Rahmatullah Alaih), A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) wrote, “With the Grace of Almighty Allah, this servant wrote his first Fatawah at the age of 13. It is also at this age that I completed my religious education and gained a certificate of proficiency in this field. On this day, a question was put forward to me as to whether milk, if reaching the belly of a child, would prove fosterage or not? I replied that even if milk reached the child’s belly, either through the nose or mouth, fosterage would be proven, therefore, making it Haraam upon the child to marry this woman”. [Al Malfooz Shareef]

His father was so amazed and delighted by this in-depth reply that he assigned the young A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) the task of issuing Fatawahs (Islamic Verdicts). For many years, thereafter, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) carried this very important duty with absolute dignity and responsibility. He began answering hundreds of Fatawahs daily. He received them in all languages – Arabic, Urdu, Persian, English and many other languages.

This highly spiritual incident alone explains the status of A’la Hazrat Azeemul Barkat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). May Almighty Allah grant us true love for Imam Ahle Sunnat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and the Taufeeq to follow in his footsteps, Ameen.

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