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Madrasah Sawlatiyya


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The Forgotten History of Madrasah Sawlatiyya (Islamic school) in Makkah Mukarramah.


As salaamu alaii kumm wa rahmatullahi wa barakath,


Maulana Rahmatullah Kayranvi (may Allah have mercy on him) (1818-1891) – the Indian origin scholar of the Islamic sciences including jurisprudence best known for his magnum opus Izhar ul Huq or The Truth Revealed! was a honorable warrior in the battle for freedom (also known as the Sepoy Mutiny or The 1857 Uprising) from the British occupied India which took place in 1857. The uprising failed due to various reasons, and Maulana Kayranvi who also happens to be a descendant of the third caliph of Muslims, Caliph Usman bin Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) migrated to Makkah Mukarrama via Mocha, Yemen (where he arrived aboard a ship from Bombay, India). He actually walked the distance of about 600 miles (970 kilometers) from Mocha, Yemen to Makkah which took him about 2 years !!


After having migrated to the sacred land, he intended to set up an Islamic seminary but scarcity of resources proved to be a real hurdle.


Then the help of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala descended.


Begum Sawlatunnisa (may Allah have mercy on her), a woman known for her generosity and a descendant of the pious Muslim ruler of the  erstwhile kingdom of Mysore in South India, Hadrath Tipu Sultan (may Allah have mercy on him) (1750-1799) who fought against the hegemony of the English till his last breath (he died a martyr on the battlefield fighting against them in the fourth Anglo Mysore war) and who is said to be the descendant of the tribe of Quraish of Makkah (the tribe the last Prophet of God, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) belonged to) happened to visit the Holy land (probably for the pilgrimage) around that time.


While there, she received news regarding the setting up of the institution. She supported the proposal and donated a considerable amount of 30,000 (currency is not known, even though 30,000 rupees at that time too would have been a lot of money) for the noble cause. It was then that Maulana Rahmatullah Kayranvi attributed the school to her and named it ‘Madrasah Sawlatiyya’ (founded in 1875 / 1292 H) which continues to exist even to this day (a span of 138 years) and tens of thousands have been educated in the Islamic sciences since then.


The.Ijtema Conclusion

“He who guides to what is good will have a reward equivalent to that of him who acts upon it” (Mishkaat Shariff, No. 209)


Maulana Kayranvi passed away 16 years later in 1891. Not much is known about Begum Sawlattunnisa after this, not even her death. Probably, she’ll be nothing more than a mere footnote in the pages of history. Yet, in the light of the Glorious Quran and the above Ahadith among many, I leave it to you to calculate the rewards they have and continue to acquire in the hereafter.



madrasah sawlatiyya.jpg  madrasah sawlatiyya 2.jpg




1. مسلمان خواتین کی دینی اور علمی خدمات

2. Pg. No. 208, ‘Leading Ladies Who Made a Difference in the Lives of Others’ by Mufti Abdul Qadir.

3. Pg. No. 36, ‘Women and Waqf – A Series of Translations on Philanthropic and Voluntary Work’ by Imam Mohammad Al Humaidan, Dept. of Studies and External Relations (Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation).

4. Wikipedia

5. Image courtesy: Internet.


Wa alaii kumm as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakath






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