The Mighty Pen of Imam Ahmad Raza RadiAllahu Anh

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The personality of A’la Hazrat Imām Ahle Sunnat Shah Imām Ahmad Raza Khan Fāzil-e-Bareilwi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) is remarkable in itself. However, when one looks at just his literary work, in every aspect one is left awestruck with regard to the amazing ability that he was granted by Allah Ta’ala. This is why Hazrat Allamah Ibrāhim Khushtar Siddiqui Qādri Razvi (Alaihir Rahmah) states,  

اس    زمانے   میں   کوئی   تجھ   سا نہ   دیکھا    نہ   سُنا

 غوثِ     اعظم      کی    کرامت    تھی     سراپا     تیرا

In this era, no one has seen nor heard of anyone like you

You were the miracle of Ghaus-e-Āzam in your entirety 


Whether it was writing books to defend the honour of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), or writing responses to defend Islam, or writing Fatāwa to answer queries from the Muslims, or writing praises of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), his literary work was just phenomenal.  

A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) himself states, “Those skills of mine in which I take great interest, which I was blessed with, to the extent of devotedly loving it, were three: 

  1. The first one, the best one, the greatest one and the most valuable skill is that when any wretched Wahābi shows insolence with disrespectful words towards the honour of the Leader of the Messengers, then I become ready to defend Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). If my Lord accepts that, then that is sufficient for me. I have hope in the Mercy of my Lord that He will accept it because He has stated that, “I deal with My bondsman according to what he thinks with regard to Me.”
  2. Then in the second place, besides the Wahabis, to refute the false beliefs of, and cause grief to all those innovators who despite being claimants of the religion, keep creating discord in the religion.
  3. Then in the third place, submissively issuing Fatāwa (religious verdicts) according to the Hanafi creed, that creed which is firm and also evident.

So these three maintain the rank of my refuge and in these is my hope.” {Tazkira-e-Jameel}

When the insulters and enemies of Allah Ta’ala and His Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) refused to retract their vile and blasphemous statements, Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) came onto the literary battlefield with his mighty pen, with the Holy Qur’an in one hand, the Hadith of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the other, and the shadow of the help of Allah Ta’ala upon his head. {A’la Hazrat Ka Qalami Jihād}

With regard to point (1) alone, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) wrote more than two hundred books in refutation of the blasphemous and corrupt beliefs of the Wahābis and Deobandis. In his refutations he would provide numerous proofs from the Holy Qur’an, Ahadith, Jurists, Scholars and Pious Predecessors to such an extent that he would not only close the door to the corrupt belief being presented but also to any other possible objections that might arise on the same topic.  In certain instances he provided more than two hundred proofs for a single query. {A’la Hazrat Ka Qalami Jihād}

He was one person yet an entire army by himself. The use of his mighty pen was more effective than a sword and he single-handedly destroyed all the deviant sects and became a saviour of the Imān of the believers till the Day of Judgement. 

کلکِ    ر ؔ ضا      ہے     خنجرِ        خونخوار      برق         بار

اعدا         سے کہدو         خیر منائیں     نہ        شر        کریں

The pen of Raza is a blood-thirsty dagger that strikes fiercely

Warn the enemies to neither rejoice nor to spread any discord 


 کارِ       تجدید    ا د ا     کرتا     تھا      خامہ       تیرا

سر     پہ    باطل  کے    اٹھا    کرتا   تھا    تیغا    تیرا

Your pen was executing the work of revival 

The blade of your sword was lifting at the head of falsehood


A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) not only refuted the various deviant sects, and false claimants that emerged during that era, but also answered many queries that were presented to him relating to many different sciences of knowledge. As an example, when he was presented with a query about a priest claiming that no one knows what is in the womb of a pregnant mother except for an instrument that had been invented, A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) wrote a book  in refutation of that claim, covering sciences  of knowledge like Ilm-e-Kalaam, Physics, Geometry, Biology, Embryology, Zoology, Astrology and Theology. {As-Samsāmu ‘Ala Mushakkikin Fī Āyati ‘Uloom-il-Arhām}

SubhānAllah! If he covered so many different sciences in just one book, what will we understand about the extent of his knowledge and expertise, which spanned more than sixty branches of knowledge and more than one thousand books that he wrote.

That is why Hazrat Allamah Ibrāhim Khushtar Siddiqui (Alaihir Rahmah) states,

تجھ     کو  اللہ     نے    ہر    فضل   عطا   فر   ما  یا

 کون   سا علم   کہ   جس    میں   نہیں   حصّہ     تیرا

Allah Ta’ala has blessed you with every favour

Which (branch of) knowledge is there in which you do not have a share

ان     کے     مقابل    جو      کوئی        آیا      وار      یقیناً     اس  نے      کھایا

یہ    تھی     ان     کے   علم       کی       ہیبت       رضی       اللہ      تعالی ٰ   عنہ

Anyone who came in opposition to him, he certainly received a blow

This was the awe of his knowledge, may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him


Maulana Kausar Niyāzi (Alaihir Rahmah) states, “My connection with pen and paper was not a matter of just a few years but rather half a century. During that time I had the opportunity of  sitting in the company of great learned Scholars and Mashaaikh of the time and benefitting from them. I was present in their lessons and according to my capacity I attained knowledge from them. In my life I have not eaten as many breads as the number of books that I have read. In my personal library I have more than ten thousand books and I have read through all of them. During my study of all these books I never came across the books of Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). 

I felt that I had attained the treasures of knowledge, I had crossed the ocean of knowledge and that I had reached every dimension of knowledge. However, when I read the books of Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and I knocked on the door of his knowledge and benefitted from it, then I felt and recognised my ignorance. I felt like all this time I was standing at the shores of the ocean of knowledge just picking up shells. The ocean of knowledge is actually the personality of Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). The more I read the books of the Imām, the more dumbfounded my mind becomes and I cannot remain without saying that Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) is a miracle from the miracles of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), to whom Allah Ta’ala has granted such extensive knowledge and sent him in the world, that there is not a dimension of knowledge that he did not attain mastery in and did not write a book on.” {Al Haqaaiq Fil Hadaaiq, Vol. 4}

With regard to the mastery of Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) in Arabic, Maulana Kausar Niyāzi (Alaihir Rahmah) states that he has read Arabic literature of great scholars and masters in the Arabic language, however he has not come across something more amazing than the Arabic prologue of Fatāwa Razaviyya (an encyclopaedia of Fiqh) written by Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). In this prologue A’la Hazrat (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) correlated the books of Fiqh and the names of their authors in such a manner that leaves the mind awestruck. He arranged the names of ninety books of Fiqh in such a way that the Hamd (Praise) of Allah Ta’ala was also achieved, the Naat (praise) of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was also achieved, and salutations were also sent upon the blessed Sahābah-e-Kirām and Ahle Bayt of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). SubhānAllah! {Al Haqaaiq Fil Hadaaiq, Vol. 4}

With regard to his mastery and amazing capability in Fiqh, one just needs to look at Fatāwa Razaviyya, which was initially published in 12 large volumes consisting of  approximately twelve thousand pages and including more than 6800 questions and answers. This incredible feat can be understood by comparing the two authoritative manuals of Hanafi Fiqh written in Hindustan. The one is Fatāwa Ālamgīri, which is comprehensive in itself and was compiled through the combined efforts of forty scholars. The other is Fatāwa Razaviyya, whose distinction is that the efforts that forty scholars had to put together, Imām Ahmad Raza single-handedly wrote, to such an extent that it is even more comprehensive than Fatāwa Ālamgīri. SubhānAllah! {Al Haqaaiq Fil Hadaaiq, Vol. 4}

ہر   ورق     تیرا   شریعت    کی   دلیلِ   روشن 

ایک     قا نو نِ     مکمل   ہے    فتا وٰ ی     تیرا

Every page of yours is the manifest proof of Shari’ah

Your Fatāwa are an entire legislation in itself


And if one looks at the poetry that Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) penned in praise of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), it is a manifestation of not only his mastery in the field, but also an attestation of how much his heart was drowned in the love of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The stanzas of his praises are poetic explanations of the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith. The depth of his poetic brilliance can be understood from the fact that there have been volumes of books published, trying to explain the detailed commentary of his poetic verses.

SubhānAllah! The Maqaam of Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and the writing ability granted to him by Allah Ta’ala is beyond our understanding. His pen was mightier than the sword and he achieved with his pen what others would not achieve even with the sword. He not only saved the Imān of the Muslims with his pen, but also infused in our hearts  the unconditional love and honour of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

May Allah Ta’ala elevate the status of A’la Hazrat Imām Ahmad Raza (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), grant us true love for him, and  grant us steadfastness upon Maslak-e-A’la Hazrat, Allahumma Ameen.

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