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Biography - Shaykh Zakariyya Kandhalwi

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Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi [1315 - 1402 A.H.]

He was born in the village of Kandhla (in Uttar Pradesh, India) on Ramadan 10, 1315 ah (February 12, 1898 CE). His full name was Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Muhammad Yahya ibn Muhammad Isma’il, and his lineage continues all the way back to Abu Bakr (R.A.), the great Companion of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
Shaykh Abu l-Hasan Nadwi said about him, ‘Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya was born into a household rooted in knowledge and passion for Islam. His immediate family and his predecessors were distinguished by firm resolve, perseverance, steadfastness, and adherence to religion. His family included many notable scholars and his grandmother memorized the entire Qur�an while nursing her son [shaykh Zakariyya's father].’

His father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, was among the great scholars of India in both the Related (manqulat) and Logical sciences (ma’qulat). His primary teacher in hadith was Shaykh Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Under him he studied Sahih al-Bukhari, Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja and others of the six famous authentic books of hadith (Sihah sitta). Shaykh Yahya went on to teach at Madrasa Mazahir Ulum, in the district of Saharanpur, but did not accept any payment for his services. He instead made his living through his own book-publishing business.
As a young boy, Shaykh Zakariyya moved with his father to the village of Gangoh, in the district of Saharanpur. Since his father and Shaykh Gangohi had a close relationship, Shaykh Zakariyya quickly earned the affection of his father’s teacher.

Growing up in this virtuous environment, he began learning how to read with Hakim Abd al-Rahman of Muzaffarnagar. He memorized the Qur’an with his father and also studied books in Persian and the introductory Arabic books with his uncle Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas (founder of the Tabligh movement). He stayed with his father in the company of Shaykh Gangohi until age eight, when the shaykh passed away. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi says, ‘He was brought up in the best of environments in this era; the most adhering to the conduct and the sunna and the furthest from the corruption that had begun to spread in the world.’

At the age of twelve, Shaykh Zakariyya traveled with his father to Mazahir Ulum. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yahya [his father] bathed and performed two rak’ats of prayer and began teaching Mishkat al-Masabih. He then made a lengthy prayer for himself and his son. From that day on, hadith became the main focus and goal of Shaykh Zakariyya’s life. There, under his father, he advanced his study of Arabic, tackling many classical texts on Arabic morphology, grammar, literature, and also logic. But by the time he was seventeen, hadith became the main focus of his life. He studied five of the six authentic books of hadith with his father, and then he studied Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Tirmidhi (for a second time) with the honorable Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. Out of his immense respect for h adith, Shaykh Zakariyya was extremely particular about always studying the hadith narrations with wudu.

On Dhu l-Qa’da 10, 1334 ah, when Shaykh Zakariyya was just nineteen, his dear father passed away. This event was extremely traumatic for Shaykh Zakariyya, as he lost not only a father but also a teacher and mentor. His deep sorrow remained with him for the rest of his life.

Teachers

Shaykh Zakariyya was blessed to live and learn in an era considered by many to be one of great achievements in Islamic knowledge by scholars in the Indian subcontinent. He studied with few but select teachers who reached the highest levels of learning, research, authorship, and piety. One of his most influential teachers was his own father, Shaykh Muhammad Yahya, born in 1287 ah. Shaykh Zakariyya memorized the Qur’an at the age of seven, then as per his father’s instruction he would recite the whole Qur’an each morning. In addition to his father and uncle (Shaykh Muhammad Ilyas), he studied under the hadith scholar Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, author of the Badhl al-Majhud, a commentary on Sunan Abi Dawud. Shaykh Zakariyya acquired a hadith authorization from him and remained his student until Shaykh Khalil’s death in Madina Munawwara in 1346 ah.

Before his death, Shaykh Khalil A h mad expressed his desire to write Badhl al-Majhud, and he sought Shaykh Zakariyya’s assistance as his right-hand man. This was the beginning of his good fortune and the route to his excellence. His work earned him a special position with his Shaykh. The shaykh would direct him towards the possible texts and religious sources from which he could take the subject matter. Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya would collect the information and present them to his Shaykh, who would then select from the collection whatever he required. Thereafter he would dictate it to Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya who would write it down. This is how the completion of Badhl al-Majhud fi hall Abi Dawud took place. This experience revealed Shaykh Zakariyya’s gift of penmanship and, furthermore, expanded his insight in the science of hadith. He worked hard on the project, He undertook the task of publishing his shayk’s work in the Indian press and devoted his attention to its correction, publishing it with complete sincerity. He attained the pleasure and trust of his shaykh, He became a successor (khalifa) and representative (na’ib) of his shaykh and was even mentioned by name in the commentary.

Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri mentions in the introduction of Badhl al-Majhud, ‘I was helped by some of my friends, notable amongst whom is my relative and the coolness of my eyes and heart, Hajj Hafiz Molwi Muhammad Zakariyya ibn Mawlana Hafiz Molwi Muhammad Yahya Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him). I was incapable of writing or pursuing it (without his help), due to the shaking of my hand and due to weakness in mind and vision. I would dictate to him and he would write. He would search for the difficult subject matter from the sources, thus facilitating the dictation for me. I thank Allah for his effort and ask Him to grant him the best reward for whatever he spent of his effort. Allah has gifted him with intrinsic and apparent knowledge, beneficial in this world and in the hereafter, and with accepted, illuminated, good deeds.’
This indeed opened the door to Shaykh Zakariyya’s authoring many literary works and treatises over the course of his life.

Teaching Career

In Muharram 1335 ah he was appointed as a teacher at Madrasa Mazahir Ulum, where he was assigned to teach books on Arabic grammar, morphology, and literature, as well as a number of primary texts of Islamic jurisprudence. In 1341 ah he was assigned to teach three sections of Sahih al-Bukhari upon the insistence of Shaykh Khalil Ahmad. He also taught Mishkat al-Masabih until 1344 ah. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadwi said, �Although he was one of the youngest teachers at the school, he was selected to teach works generally not assigned to those of his age, nor to anyone in the early stages of his teaching career. Nevertheless, he showed that he was not only an able, but an exceptional teacher.

In 1345 ah he traveled to Madina Munawwara, the city of Allah’s Messenger (upon him be peace) where he resided for one year. There he taught Sunan Abi Dawud at Madrasa al-Ulum al-Shar’iyya. While in Madina, he began working on Awjaz al-Masalik ila Muwatta’ Imam Malik, a commentary on Imam Malik‘s Muwatta. He was twenty-nine at the time.

When he returned to India, he resumed teaching at Mazahir Ulum. He began teaching Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan al-Nasa’i, the Muwatta of Imam Muhammad, and the second half of Sahih al-Bukhari. The school’s principle taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari, and after his death, Shaykh Zakariyya was given the honor of teaching the entire work.

In all, he taught the first half of Sahih al-Bukhari twenty-five times, the complete Sahih al-Bukhari sixteen times, and Sunan Abi Dawud thirty times. He did not just teach hadith as a matter of routine; the work of hadith had become his passion, and he put his heart and soul into it. Shaykh Zakariyya taught until 1388 ah, when he was forced to give up teaching after developing eye cataracts.
Sincere Love for Allah and the Prophet

Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya inherited piety, honesty, and good character from his father (may Allah be pleased with him). He aspired to follow the Qur’an and Sunna in all matters, big and small, with a passion not found in many scholars. He had extreme love for the Prophet (upon him be peace) and the blessed city of Madina. His students have related that whenever the death of the Messenger (upon him be peace) was mentioned during a lecture on Sunan Abi Dawud or Sahih al-Bukhari, his eyes would well up with tears, his voice would choke up, and he would be overcome with crying. So evocative were his tears that his students could do nothing but weep with raised voices.

He was often tested with regard to his sincerity. He was offered many teaching jobs at two or three times the salary that was customarily given at Mazahir Ulum, but he always graciously declined the offers. For most of his teaching career, Shaykh Zakariyya never accepted any money for his services at Mazahir Ulum; he did the work voluntarily, seeking Allah’s pleasure. Although he did accept a small salary at the beginning of his career, he later totaled up the amount and paid it back in its entirety.
Daily Routine

Shaykh Zakariyya organized his time meticulously. He would rise an hour before dawn and occupy himself in tahajjud and recitation of Qur’an before performing the Fajr prayer in the masjid. After Fajr, he would read his morning supplications and litany until sunrise. Thereafter he would go to meet with some people and drink tea (but never ate anything with it). He would then return to his quarters to read. During this time he would also research and compile his literary works, and, with few exceptions, no one was allowed to visit him at this time. When it was time for lunch he would come out and sit with his guests, who were from all walks of life; he would respect and treat them well, irrespective of who they were. After Zuhr prayer, he would take a siesta and then spend some time listening to his correspondence (which amounted to around forty or fifty letters daily from different places) and dictating replies. He also taught for two hours before Asr. After Asr, he would sit with a large group of people, offering them tea. After performing Maghrib, he would remain devoted in solitude to optional prayer and to supplication. He did not take an evening meal except to entertain an important guest.

Death
He had always hoped to meet Allah while in the city of the Messenger (upon him be peace); Allah granted his wish. He died there on Monday Sha’ban 1, 1402 ah (May 24, 1982 CE) and was buried in Jannat al-Baqi’, in the company of the Companions and the noble family members of the Messenger (upon him be peace). His funeral procession was followed by a large number of people and he was buried in the Baqi’ graveyard next to his teacher Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. May Allah forgive him, grant mercy, and elevate his status. Amin.

 

The source of this extracted information and more details of Shaykhs works, students, teachers and his status amongst scholars can be found at:Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi provided by White Thread Press publications.

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His Personality

 

Who was Shaikh Zakariyya ®? It can be stated without fear of contradiction that Shaikh Zakariyya was among the greatest of saints in the century. He hailed from a family of  spiritual masters and saints. Besides the men, even his mother, grandmother and other ladies in his family were very saintly persons. Brought up in this pious environment, he grew up in the lap of saintly people. From his childhood, he displayed signs of greatness and piety. All the saints of the time showed deep love and affection for him. He was continuously blessed by their Duas.

 

After completing his formal education, he began to serve Islam in earnest. His sterling services to Islam, spanning more than half a century, are acclaimed by all scholars. His love for studying and teaching Hadith was such, that he was given the title of “Shaikhul-Hadith”.
He was also a prolific author whose works gained such acceptance due to his intense

sincerity that after the Holy Qur’an, his books are the most read in the world today. His works have been translated into several languages. Such was the lofty spiritual status he reached, that he was blessed with the title of “Qutbul-Aqtaab” – “The Saint of all Saints”.

 

Such was his acceptance in the world that hundreds of thousands of people loved him and
benefited from his company. He was a centerpiece of attraction, receiving hundreds of visitors daily from all parts of the world. Such was his burning and ardent love for Rasul-Paak (sallallahu-alayhi-wasallam) that he emigrated permanently to Madinah Shareef towards the latter part of his life (about 15-16 years). Subsequently he passed on in this blessed city and rests in the graveyard of Jannatul-Baqi alongside his spiritual mentor and guide, Hazrat Maulana Khalil Ahmed ®.

 

His Travels

 

After having settled in Madinah Shareef, it was his desire not to go anywhere but to die in this blessed city. He was old and frail and had served the Deen for decades. However, Allah Ta’ala desired to take great work of Deen from him and despite his old age, ill health and infirmities, he was directed to visit different parts of the world to establish the gatherings of Zikr so that people could become connected to Allah Ta’ala and they could become spiritually cleansed and elevated. In this connection he traveled to several countries of the world such as Pakistan, UK, Zambia, Reunion and South Africa. His visit to Stanger, South Africa in the Ramadan of 1402-1981 was for this very purpose.

 

It was his heart-felt desire that the gatherings of Zikr must become established everywhere so that people could move away from crass materialism towards spiritual rejuvenation. Not only did Hazrat Shaikh consider this practice to be extremely beneficial for the general public, but he also considered it important for the Madaris and for the Tablighi-Jamaats.

 

This matter has been covered in captivating detail by the senior Khalifah of Hazrat Shaikh, Sufi Iqbal Muhajir-Madani in his work Majalis-Zikr-aur-Hazrat-Shaikh. It is worthwhile reading this work, especially about the famous dream wherein Rasulullah (sallallahualayhi-wasallam) gave certain instructions to Hazrat Shaikh, after which he concentrated his full attention on this aspect (of Zikr-Majalis and Khanqahs).

 

In the very last stages of his life, when a new Islamic century was dawning, Hazrat Shaikh applied all his energy and strength towards enlivening this branch of Islam. Despite his infirmity, old age and being unaccustomed to travelling all his life, he undertook long and arduous journeys for the sake of this great mission. Untold sacrifices were made in this direction. The result and outcome of this effort was a new spiritual life that infused the Ummah.

 

So consumed was he by the passion to accomplish this great mission, he wrote in one letter to Shaikh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi ® thus: “It is my firm conviction that the remedy for all evils is the Zikr of Allah. For this very aim I am wandering from country to country, because the Khanqahs have become extinct all over the world.” May Allah perpetuate the spiritual legacy of this great man for centuries.

 

Aameen.

(Mufti Zubair Bayat)

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The connection between Hazrat Shaikhul Hadith sahab (rah) & Imam Malik (rah)

 

Posted by dr76 Sahib on muftisays.com

 

The following was originally shared by @PearlsofHaqq on twitter. its an excerpt from the book Mere bhaijaan by Hazrat Maulana Yousuf Motala sahab (db).

I found it interesting to be translated and shared.

 

urdu.png

 

urdu2.png

 

bism.png
 
The connection between Hazrat Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Zakariya sahab rahimahullah.gif & Imam Malik rahimahullah.gif


Once Shaikh Alawi Maliki rahimahullah.gif came to visit Hazrat Shaikhul Hadith rahimahullah.gif at Madinah Munawwarah. While he was about to return.. Hazrat Shaikh rahimahullah.gif sent us Khuddam (attendants) to escort him.

Shaikh Alawi commented “I feel deep envy for you Khuddam , that By Allah.. you are in the service of Imam Malik rahimahullah.gif of our times, it is my claim for which I even have daleel (proof). See..how much unanimity we find between Imam Malik rahimahullah.gif and Hazrat Shaikh rahimahullah.gif.

Imam Malik rahimahullah.gif had love for Madinah Munawwarah, similarly Hazrat Shaikh rahimahullah.gif has love for Madinah Munawwarah.

Secondly, the preoccupation with Noble Hadith of Rasulullh saw.gif and its love by Imam Malik rahimahullah.gif is also possessed by Hazrat Shaikh rahimahullah.gif.

Thirdly, Muwatta by our Imam Malik rahimahullah.gif has been considered amongst the excellent books all over the world. The best commentary of Muwatta available today with par excellence from commentaries of the books of Hadith is Awjaz ul Masalik ila Muwatta Imam Malik by Hazrat Shaikh rahimahullah.gif.

And the Fourth shall also be إن شاء الله completed such that Imam Malik rahimahullah.gif lays buried in Jannat ul baqi’i and Hazrat Shaikh rahimahullah.gif shall also be buried at Baqi’i.”

When I narrated this incident to Mufti Hussain kamani, he added a fifth point from his side that the manner in which Imam Malik rahimahullah.gif was buried along with his Shaikh and Ustadh Hazrat Naf’i ra.gif at jannat ul Baqi.., Hazrat Shaikh rahimahullah.gif also rests there alongside his Shaikh and Ustadh Hazrat Maulana Khaleel Ahmed Saharanpuri rahimahullah.gif.

END
 
 

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