A’la Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) is not only a Wali of Allah but the Mujaddid (Reformer) of the last century. And in order for him to fulfil his mission as a Mujaddid, Allah Ta’ala granted him with such heights of knowledge that has not been seen in many eras. Insha Allah hereunder we will briefly discuss his knowledge and all one can say in amazement is Subhaanallah!
A’la Hazrat’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) phenomenal knowledge and learning was seen from the time of his childhood. At the age of five, he delivered his first lecture; at twelve he wrote his first book in Arabic, a commentary of the book Hidayat-un-Nahw, which deals with Arabic Syntax. At the age of thirteen Dastar (Accomplishment of Islamic studies) was conferred upon him. On this very day, he wrote a Fatwa on the issue of foster-brotherhood and presented it to his respected father, Hazrat Muhammad Naqi Ali Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), who was a great Mufassir of his time. His father found it to be absolutely correct and at the age of thirteen, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) became a fully-fledged Mufti.
A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) learnt and became proficient in 20 branches of knowledge at the feet of his father including Tafseer of the Holy Quran, Principles of Ahadith (Usool-e-Hadith), Islamic Jurisprudence, Dialectics, Principles of Debate, Arabic Syntax, Principles of Rhetoric, Logistics, Debates, Philosophy and Politics, Rhetoric Devices, Physics, Physical Engineering. [Al Ijaazatul Mutayyanah] He learnt other branches of knowledge such as Arithmetic, Algebra, the Twelve Branches of Mathematics, Modern Astronomy, Science of Inheritance, Science of Prosody, Astronomy, Science of History, In-depth Study of Arabic and In-depth Study of Persian Writing without a teacher. When he was questioned about his amazing capabilities in solving intricate and confusing Mathematical theories, and as to who his mentor was, he replied, “I did not have a teacher in this field. Whatever you see, I achieved within the four walls of my room. This is indeed through the Grace of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).” [Al Mizaan]
Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was a great authority of his time in subjects of Ahadith and Usool-e-Ahadith. He knew the names of almost every Hadith narrator. When he was questioned concerning details of a certain narrator, he was able to give a complete biography of the narrator. When he studied any Hadith he was able to explain the type of Hadith, its benefits and the reasons behind that Hadith.
Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) is that branch of knowledge that is derived from the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Only that person can be a proper Jurist who is well-versed in both the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith. Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was regarded as the greatest Jurist of his era. The greatest proof of his position in the world of Fiqh can be understood from his answers concerning the Shariat-e-Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), which was compiled into 12 large volumes, comprising of approximately 12 000 pages to form the famous book, “Fatawa-e-Razawiyyah” which is used in every Darul Ifta (Fatawa Departments) around the world today.
A’la Hazrat’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) knowledge of Qur’an and Tafseer was phenomenal. Commenting only on “Bismillah hir Rahman nir Rahim”, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) presented such a lengthy lecture on this simple phrase that it was compiled into a complete book and published under the title, “Al Meeladun Nabwiya.”
Once, during an Urs Shareef A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) delivered a lecture on Surah Wad-Duha from 9 a.m. in the morning right till 3 p.m. in the afternoon. This lecture on Surah Wad-Duha alone, which only consists of 11 short verses, lasted for 6 hours. Eventually A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) compiled a book on the Tafseer of this Surah which exceeded 600 pages. Subhaanallah! What can be said about the knowledge of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh)?
A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was a great Scientist and Philosopher. He understood Science and Philosophy better than anyone in his time. He was a master of Ancient and Modern Sciences. He proved through research that various concepts of the modern day science are illogical and against the theories of the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) wrote many books on Science and Physics. One of his famous books, “Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen”, using the Holy Qur’an as its guidelines, proves that the earth is not rotating but is stationary. He also proved that the entire Universe is revolving around the earth. Modern theories believe that the earth is rotating on its axis and that all the planets, including the earth, are revolving around the sun.
A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was also a great Mathematician. He used to solve the most difficult mathematical problems in a short space of time. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Logarithms, and other branches of Mathematics which are normally handled with great difficulty even by mathematics students, was like ordinary addition and subtraction to him.
Once, Sir Professor Ziauddeen, a famous Mathematician, was in a predicament with regards to a mathematical question which was so complicated that he could not solve it despite all his efforts. He thus decided to go to Berlin in Germany to seek a solution to this intricate problem. It so happened that a certain Maulana from the famous Aligarh University advised Sir Ziauddeen to visit A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to seek a solution for his mathematical problem. But, Sir Ziauddeen, not sounding very convinced said, “What will an ordinary Maulana be able to solve? This is not a question of Islamic Science, it is a question of Mathematics that will have even the mathematicians baffled. He hasn’t even gone out of his city to gain knowledge, so it is obvious that his knowledge is very limited.” Nevertherless, after some convincing, he agreed to visit A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). When he arrived in Bareilly Shareef, he immediately went to A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). Presenting the intricate mathematical problem to A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) he said, “I am now going to Germany. I will come back for the answer, that is, if you do manage to solve it.” As he was speaking, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was on his way to the Musjid. Before entering the Masjid A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) answered his question. When Sir Ziauddeen read what was written on the paper, he realised that it contained the solution to his mathematical problem that had him so confused. Sir Ziauddeen then said, “I have heard of Ilm-e-Ladunni (inspired knowledge) but today I have seen it with my own eyes. Glorious mathematicians are vainglorious. The real genius is A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) who took no time to solve an insoluble question for which I have been languishing since long.”
A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) also gained great expertise in the field of Astronomy and Astrology. Once, a person by the name of Maulana Ghulam Hussain Sahib, who used to regard himself as an authority in Astrology visited A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) asked him, “So, what is the situation of the rain?” After working out the position of the stars, Maulana Ghulam Sahib drew-up an astronomical table and said, “In this month there will be no rain. It will only rain in the following month.” Maulana Sahib then handed over the astronomical table to A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), who examined it and said, “All the Power is by Allah. If He pleases, then it may rain now.” Maulana Ghulam Hussain then said, “Are you not observing the astronomical table?” A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “I am observing everything.” He then looked towards the clock and asked, “What time is it?” Maulana Ghulam Hussain replied, “Quarter past eleven.” Sayyiduna A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then said, “That means that there is three quarters of an hour left for twelve o’ clock.” Saying this, he walked up to the grandfather clock that was in the room, and with his finger he moved the big needle of the clock until it was on the twelve, thus showing twelve o’clock. The clock began to chime. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then said, “You said that it would take three quarters of an hour for the needle to come to twelve o’ clock.” The Maulana Sahib replied, “But you were responsible for altering the position of the needle.” On hearing this, Imam Ahle Sunnat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “Almighty Allah is All-Powerful and He may alter the position of the stars whenever he wishes.” A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) had not yet completed his sentence when it began to rain uncontrollably. Subhaanallah!
“Ilm-e-Jafar” refers to the Knowledge and Art of Prediction and not all persons are blessed with such knowledge by Almighty Allah. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was no doubt blessed with this gift and the two incidents below bear testament to it.
Once, a certain person asked A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) concerning the approach of Qiyaamah and the arrival of Imam Mahdi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) in the future. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said that Almighty Allah and His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) know best. After saying this A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) substantiated these facts by quoting many verses of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith. He then said, “I feel that in 1837 Hijri there will be no Islamic government left on earth, and Imam Mahdi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) will appear 63 years later, around 1900 Hijri.” After hearing this answer, someone asked A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) if he had gained this answer through Ilm-e-Jafar. He replied that he did.
In another incident, the king of Rampur had a wife who was very sick. He loved her very much and was very attached to her. This king, who was a “Badd Mazhab” (one who does not follow the religion properly), sent a messenger to Bareilly Shareef with a special request. He requested A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to predict the time and place of the death of his wife. The king’s wife was, at that moment, not at her house in Rampur, but she was in a place called Nainital. A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) told the messenger to tell the king that his wife will die in Rampur in the month of Muharram. When the messenger returned to the king, he gave him the message of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). With this message at the back of his mind, the king tried very hard to keep his wife away from Rampur. He did not want her to be in any way near Rampur. It so happened that rioting broke out in Rampur. It concerned the affairs of the Kanpur Shaheed Ganj Musjid. The Governor summoned the King to meet with him urgently in Rampur. The King decided to go on his own, but his wife insisted on joining him. As soon as they reached Rampur, the king’s wife suddenly died… and it was the month of Muharram.
A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) also spent much of his valuable time writing poetry. His poetry mostly consisted of Naath Shareef in praise of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and Manqabats. In all the Naath Shareefs that was written by him, it is evident that his heart and soul was drowned in the love of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). His Naaths were written within the boundaries of the Shariah. Each verse and stanza of his poetry is the Tafseer (Commentary) of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). His poetry was mainly in the Arabic, Urdu, and Persian languages. A’la Hazrat’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) poetry was compiled to form the famous book, “Hadaa’iqe Bakhshish” (Gardens of Forgiveness). Due to his unparalleled compilation of Naaths, he is known as Imam-ul-Kalaam and his Naaths are recited throughout the world today. Insha Allah it will continue to be recited till the Day of Qiyaamah.
If we study the life of A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), we will discover that his proficiency in various subjects totalled over fifty branches of knowledge and he wrote over 1000 books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu, that are still being researched, understood and translated up to this day. Is it possible today, to find an Islamic scholar or even a non-Muslim professor, scientist or a Nobel Prize owner who possesses such qualifications? Definitely not!
This brief account does not do justice to the vast knowledge possessed by A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), on which volumes can be written. The objective of this discussion however, is firstly to appreciate the gift that Allah Ta’ala has bestowed upon A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) through the Sadaqah of our Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and secondly, to make us realize that if this is the knowledge of one of the most humble slaves of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), then who can even imagine or comprehend the knowledge of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) himself?
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to follow the advice and teachings of A’la Hazrat Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh and may Allah Ta’ala in His Infinite Mercy grant us even an ounce of the Ishq-e-Rasool (Love of Rasoolullah) Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam that was possessed by A’la Hazrat Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh, Ameen.