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Thread: Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlavi

  1. #1
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    Default Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlavi

    Shah Waliullah

    Name: Shah Waliullah
    Birth: 1703
    Death: 1762
    School/tradition: Hanafi/Naqshabandi [citation needed]

    Influences: Al-Ghazali [1]

    Influenced: Shah Abdul Aziz, Shah abdul Qadir, his son's [citation needed].

    Shah Waliullah Dehlavi (Arabic/Persian/Urdu: شاہ ولی الله دهلوی) also known as Shah Waliullah of Delhi (1703–1762)[citation needed] was an important Islamic reformer who worked for the revival of Muslim rule and intellectual learning in the South Asia, hoping to restore the ulama's former power and influence. He despised the divisions and deviations within Islam and its practice in the Indian subcontinent and hoped to 'purify' the religion and unify all Indian Muslims under the banner of the 'truth' (Haq).


    • 1 Biography
    • 2 Legacy
    o 2.1 Works
    • 3 See also
    • 4 References


    Shah Waliullah was born in 1703 CE four years before the death of Aurangzeb on 14 Shawwal 1114 H.E. The morning Sun welcomed this great man to our world in the town of Phulat in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. His father, Shah Abdur Raheem, was foretold of the birth of a pious and obedient son by the king of Saints, Hazrath Qutubuddin Bakhteyaar-e-Kaaki, who made Shah Abdur Raheem promise that the boy will be named after him as Qutubuddin Ahmad. So he named his boy Qutubuddin Ahmad.The name Shah Waliullah is given to him by people because Waliulla means close to God as he was very pious man, . So his complete name was Shah Waliullah Qutubuddin Ahmad. His genealogy can be traced back to the second Caliph of Islam, Hazrath Umar Farooq (RA) from the paternal side and to Hazrath Musa Kazin (RAH) on the maternal side. His grandfather, Sheikh Wajihuddin, was an important officer in the army of Shah Jahan who supported Prince Aurangzeb in the war of succession. The forefathers of Shah Waliullah, Shaikh Shamsuddin Mufti came to the subcontinent and settled in Rothak during the initial period of Islamic rule. Although the mark of identification of this family was their command over religious sciences of Islam, one of his family members, Shaikh Mehmood, adopted the profession of a soldier after which tales of remarkable bravery remained associated with this family for a long time.

    His father, Shah Abdur Raheem was among the leading Hanafi jurists and a distinguished scholar of Islam in Delhi. An expert in theology, he was a student of Allama Meer Zahid Haravi. He never sought the comfort of the material world and was always in pursuit of rewards of the hereafter, a quality that he passed on to his son and his progeny.

    Education & Training:

    Shah Waliullah was introduced to Islamic education at the age of five and completed the recitation of the Qura’an by the age of seven. By the end of his seventh year, he had started taking introductory lessons in Persian and Arabic and completed them in one year. After that he concentrated on grammar and syntax, and by the age of ten he was reading the most acclaimed book of grammar,"Interpretation by Ja’mi". He completed the study of philosophy and theology by the age of 15 and started teaching. He acquired the knowledge of Logic, Fiqah, Hadith, specially Tibb (Eastern medicine) and ma-an (meaning), Algebra, Mathematics, and oratory from his father.

    During the course of his education, he learned many of his books from his father and was inducted in the tradition of bayath (sacred vows) by his father and by the age of 17 was permitted by his father to provide spiritual guidance and reform his fellow Muslims.

    Pilgrimage to Makkah:

    1143 H.E. was the year when the 23 year old Shah Waliullah decided to perform the pilgrimage to Makkah and despite the perils that lay on the journey; he reached the holy city of Makkah on 14 Dhul Qadha 1143 H.E. and performed the Hajj. He went to the holy city of the Prophet SAWS, the destination of affections of Muslims, Madinah Al Munawwara. There, he attended the discourses on Sahih Al Bukhari from Sheikh Abu Tahir Muhammad Bin Ibraheem Kurdi Madani. The Sheikh directed him in the study of the six Sahihs (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Nasa’ai, Ibn Ma’ajah), Muwatta Imam Maalik, Musnad Da’armee and Imam Muhammad’s Al A’saar. He returned to Makkah, performed the hajj again and learned the Muwatta Imam Maalik from Sheikh Wafadullah Maliki Makki, attended the discourses on Sahih Al Bukhari from Sheikh Tajuddin Hanafi Qalaei Makki for a few days and learned the six Sahihs from him. He was granted permission to teach all the books of hadith by Sheikh Tajuddin.

    After 14 months of stay in Arabia, two hajj pilgrimages and learning the books of hadith from the scholars of the holy cities, Shah Waliullah finally returned to India in early 1145 H.E. the journey home lasted six months and he reached Delhi on Friday 14 Rajab 1145 H.E. on reaching home, he started teaching again and writing until his death three decades later.


    He had devoted himself to the teaching and writing of Islamic books. On 29 Muharram 1176 H.E. (20 August, 1762) he left this world and left a gaping void in the hearts of thousands of students and admirers. He was buried in the famous graveyard “Munhadiyan” beside his father Shah Abdur Raheem.


    He had a son, Sheikh Muhammad and a daughter, Ammatul Azeez, from his first wife. His second wife, the daughter of Shah Sanaullah, bore him four

    Shah Abdul Azeez Muhaddith Dehlavi,
    Shah Rafiuddin,
    Shah Abdul Qadir,
    and Shah Abdul Ghani.

    After the death of Shah Waliullah, his son Shah Abdul Azeez took his place and brought up his siblings . Each one of Shah Waliullah’s descendants were the bright suns and shining stars of the Islamic academia during their times.

    His Personality:

    It is interesting to note that Shah Waliullah is respected and revered greatly by all Muslims in the South Asia and beyond, including the Barelvi, Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadeeth groups and movements of Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, who include both Sufis and Salafis. The Deoband movement as well as the Ahl-e-Hadeeth both claim to espouse the ideology and thought of Shah Waliullah and the Barelvi movement follow his spiritual tradition.

    One of his main desires was to intellectually revive Islamic learning and he did so by emphasising studies in madrassas (Islamic schools), especially his own, Madrassa-i Rahimiyya. Waliullah advocated the strenuous study of the Islamic "sciences of revelation", which comprised studies of the Hadith (the oral tradition of the sayings of the Prophet) and the Qur'an (the Islamic holy scripture). Shah Waliullah attempted to simplify the texts in order to spread their message to Muslims of every educated class. In addition, Waliullah was a powerful advocate of the establishment of Urdu as a mainstream literary and liturgical language, citing it as the lingual link among all Indian Muslims. Shah Waliullah's approach to learning and his Muslim revivalist agenda inspired the Deobandi movement, who claim their scholastic heritage and lineage back to Shah Waliullah).

    Shah Waliullah was also a key protagonist in initiating the spiritual revival of Muslims through tasawwaf and Sufism (Islamic spirituality). He spread the message of Islamic spiritualism to the Indian masses and emphasised Da'wah and Tableegh (Islamic propagation) to his students and he supported the well-established tradition of the Sufis in the South Asia, while at the same time condemning external influences and innovations (bid'a) in Sufi practices, advocating the idea of a pure Islam devoid of such influences on the basis that Muslims should assert an independent identity free from the influence of Hindu polytheists. In this respect as well as others, Shah Waliullah was a follower of the Ghazalian tradition of Imam Al-Ghazali.

    The times of Shah Waliullah:

    Shah Waliullah lived during the times that can best be described as disastrous for India. The descendants of the Moghal emperor Aurangzeb were squandering the wealth amassed by their forefathers on entertainment, dance, music and wasteful constructions. The Shiites exercised significant influence on the court. The kingdom was reeling under the severe spells of droughts, poverty, hunger, hopelessness and blatant indifference and cruelty at the hands of their rulers. The character of the people had fallen to the lowest levels of civilised behavior and from a religious point of view the condition of Muslims was unspeakable.

    According to Hazrath Salman Nadwi, the condition of the country was
    “The sway of the Moghal Empire was only namesake, Muslims were engulfed in wrongful and unnecessary traditions, frauds and scoundrels had kidnapped the graves of the pious and became their custodians, the seminaries were disputing on the topics of philosophy and wisdom, religious edicts were being literally interpreted by jurists. Leave alone the common men; even scholars were ignorant of the meanings and teachings of the Qura’an, hadith and theology.”

    Service to Mankind:

    After returning from the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the miserable condition of Indian Muslims inspired him to improve their character, buck up their morale, inculcate the feeling of selflessness and love for their fellows.
    He overhauled the existing education system, separated the faith from unlawful invented traditions (bidaat), unnecessary and unwanted suspicions regarding Islam and its holy books. He presented what he considered pure and pristine Islam to the people.

    Literary works:

    The biographers of Shah Waliullah place the number of his published literary works at above fifty. Shah Waliullah was a prolific writer who wrote extensively on several Islamic topics. The famous among them are:

    1.Fath ur Rahmaan Fee Tarjumatul Qura’an, a translation of the Holy Qura’an in Persian.
    2.Al Fauzul Kabeer Fee Usool at Tafseer, a booklet in Persian that follows his Persian translation of the Holy Qura’an. It contains the nucleus of the holy Qura’an, the rules for interpretation, and interpretations of the holy Qura’an by other famous scholars.
    3.Hujjatullahil Baaligha, is the most renowned book by Shah Waliullah whose title is taken from the holy Qura’an (Surah Al Anaam: 149). It is a two volume Arabic manuscript and elaborates about the jurisprudence from the hadith and necessities of the shari’ah and is taught in many seminaries. Its Urdu illustration is “Rahmatullahil Waasiya” by Hazrath Mufti Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri and published by Maktaba Hijaz.

    His Final Will:

    “The final will of this humble servant of Allah is that always hold tightly to the Qura’an and Sunnath in your beliefs and acts. Regularly evaluate yourself against them. Read them regularly and if you can’t, then find someone who can and listen to at least a couple of pages everyday.”



    A partial list [2]:

    1. Arbain (Arabic)- A collection of 40 ahadith which are brief yet of inclusive character.
    2. Al-Irshad ila-Muhimmat-I-Ilm-al-Isnad (Arabic)- is about the scholars of Hejaz who taught Shah Waliullah.
    3. Izalat al-Khafa 'an Khilafat al- Khulfa (Persian)
    4. Al-Fauzul Kabir Fi Usoolu-Tafseer (Arabics)
    5. Atayyab al-naghm fi Madh-I-Saiyid al- Arab wal-Ajam (Arabic)- A collection of odes eulogizing the holy Prophet which speak of Shah's poetic talent and love towards Prophet.
    6. Altaf al-Quds (Persian) - Deals with esoteric principles of mysticism.
    7. Al-Imdad-o-fi Ma'athir al-Ajdad (Persian)- A brochure giving Shah Waliullah’s genealogical table and containing brief notices about some of his ancestors.
    8. Al-Intibah-o-fi Salasil-il-Aulia Allah (Persian)- Gives the history and brief introduction of different mystic orders.
    9. Insan al-ain fi Mashikh al-Haeamyn (Persian)
    10. Al insaf-o-fi Bayan-I-Asbab al-Ikhtalaf (Arabic)
    11. Anfas aal Arifin (Persian)
    12. Al-Budur al-Bazigha (Arabic)- This work on theology employs philosophical terminology in discussing human nature and social behavior.
    13. Bawariq al-Wilayah (Persian)- The tract forms part of the Anfas al-Arifin in which the Shah has described the life and spiritual attainments of his father Shah Abdur Rahim.
    14. Tawil al-ahadith (Arabic)- It recount the stories of different prophets mentioned in the Quran in order to draw out lessons and rules of Shariah from the Quranic describtion.
    15. Tuhfatul Muwahhidin- It is a Persian tract explaining the creed of tauhid.
    16. Tarajim-o-Abwab al-Bukhari (Arabic)- It expounds the principles which would be found helpful in understanding certain difficult portions of the Bukhari.
    17. At-Tafhimat al-Ilahiyah (Arabic and Persian)- It's a mystical work, partly in Arabic and partly in Persian, giving the mystical experiences of Shah.
    18. Al-Juz al-Latif fi- Tarjumata al-Abd al- Dhayif(Persian)
    19. Hujjat Allah al-Baligha (Arabic)- The magnum opus of Shah has been discussed in the seventh section of this work.
    20. Husn al- Aqidah (Arabic)- The fundamental creed of Islam as accepted by the Ahli-I-Sunnat sect, has been expounded in this work in the light of Quran and Hadith.
    21. Al-Khair al-Kathir(Arabic)- This work on philosophy of religion elucidates the concept of m'arifat and wisdom of Divine Names, revelation etc
    22. Ad-durrus Thamain fi-Mubashshiratil Nabi al-Amin (Arabic)- It is a collection of glad tidings the Shah and his ancestors had had from the holy Prophet.
    23. Diwan-o-Ashar (Arabic)- A collection of the Arabic verses of the Shah.
    24. Risalah- was written in reply to certain mystical issues raised by Shaikh 'Abdullah bin Abdul Baqi.
    25. Risalah Danishmandi (Persian) - A valuable tract containing detailed directions in regard to methodology of teaching.
    26. Zahrawayn- A commentary on the Surat-ul-Baqarah and Imran.
    27. Surur al- Mahzun (Persia)- It is a concise Persian rendering of the Kitab Nur al-Uyun il-Amin al-Mamun a well-known biography of the holy Prophet.
    28. Sharh-o-Tarajim-I-Abwab-I-Sahih al-Bukhari (Arabic)- is an annotation on certain chapters of the Sahih of Bukhari.
    29. Shifa al-Qulub (Persian)- is a tract of mysticism.
    30. Shawariq al-Marifat (Persian)- a biography of the Shah's Uncle Shaikh Abdul Raza.
    31. Al-Atiyatus Samadiyah Fi Anfas Al-Muhammadiyah (Persian)- this small brochure contains a biographical sketch of the Shah's maternal grandfather Shaikh Muhammad Phulti.
    32. Iqd Al-Jid Fi-Aakham Al-Ijtihad Wat-Tajdid (Arabic)
    33. Fath-ur-Rahman (Persian)-a translation of the Quran.
    34. Fath-al-Kabir (Arabic)- A glossary of the intricate words of the Quran.
    35. Fath al-Wadud-li-Marifata-al-Junud(Arabic)- it pertains to the ethics and mysticism.
    36. Al fadhl Al-Mubin Fi Al-Musalsal Min Hadithin Nabi Al-Amin (Arabic)- It is about Hadith.
    Haq Char Yaar


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    jazakALLAH for the article bro.

    If I remember correctly - the first person to teach Hadeeth in India was Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi rahimahullah. Is it true?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdusSalam View Post
    jazakALLAH for the article bro.

    If I remember correctly - the first person to teach Hadeeth in India was Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi rahimahullah. Is it true?
    He revived it as the 'ilm of Hadith was dying all over the World and especially in India but there were other Muhaddiths that were before him.
    Haq Char Yaar


    Ahlel Bayt

    Free Books

    Chand say Tashbih daina, yeh bhi koi Insaf hai
    Us kay Munh pay Chayan, Madani ka Chahra Saf hai

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlavi

    what a great waliullah

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