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Biography - Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Al-Binnory (rahimahullah)

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Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Al-Binnory (rahimahullah)



Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf ibn Muhammad Zakariyya  Al-Binnory (rahimahullah) was a Sayyid; from the family of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). His lineage goes back to Musa Khazim ibn Ja’far As-Sadiq ibn Muhammad Al-Baqir ibn Ali Zaynul ‘Abidin ibn Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (radiyallahu ‘anhum). Moulana Muhammad Yusuf was called Al-Binnory because his grandfather stayed in the village of Binnor.

Shaykh’s father was a pious ‘Alim who also wrote several books.


Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) was born on Thursday, 6th Rabi’uth Thani in the year 1328-Hijri (1907 Gregorian) in the village of Muhabbatabad in the province of Peshawar, Pakistan. His family was known for piety, taqwa and knowledge. He grew up in Peshawar and also Kabul.



Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) started acquiring knowledge in the towns of Peshawar and Kabul, amongst his teachers were his father (Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya – rahimahullah), his uncle Moulana Fadhl Samdani Al-Binnory (rahimahullah), Moulana Abdullah ibn Khayr Al-Peshawary (rahimahullah), and others. Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) desired to further his studies, so he undertook extensive travel to meet the ‘Ulama of India and benefit from them. For higher education, he joined Darul Uloom Deoband in the year 1345-Hijri (1927) for two years, learning Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Usul of Hadith and Usul of Fiqh. Whilst in Deoband, he benefited from two senior ‘Ulama; ‘Allamah Shabir Ahmad Uthmani (rahimahullah) and ‘Allamah Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri (rahimahullah). In 1347 (1929), Moulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (rahimahullah) joined Jami’atul Islamiyyah in the town of Dhabel and Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) accompanied him and completed his course in knowledge of Hadith at Dhabel with a distinction. After completing, Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) wrote a letter in Arabic to his Teacher, Moulana  Anwar Shah Kashmiri (rahimahullah), requesting to accompany him and be his attendant. Moulana  Kashmiri was astonished with the eloquence of Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) and made him his attendant at his residence and during travel.


Shaykhul Hadith

Moulana Muhammad Yusuf (rahimahullah) returned to Peshawar and occupied himself with lessons and teaching whilst also engaging in political matters for four years, after which he felt remorse for using these four years in politics instead of pursuing further knowledge. After his Shaykh, Moulana Kashmiri (rahimahullah) passed away, 1352-Hijri, he was chosen as a teacher in Jami’atul Islamiyyah in Dhabel and he progressed in the institution until he became the Shaykhul Hadith. Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) was part of ‘Al-Majlisul ‘ilmi’ at the Madrasah in Dhabel. This was a research faculty that produced several scholarly works. He was also elected as the Ameer of the Jami’atul ‘Ulama in Gujrat.


Newtown, Karachi

In the year, 1370-Hijri (1951), Moulana (rahimahullah) migrated to Pakistan on the insistence of Moulana Shabir Ahmad Uthmani (rahimahullah) and Shaykh Badri ‘Alam (rahimahullah), becoming the Shaykh of Tafsir in Darul Uloom Islamiyyah in Sindh. He occupied this post for three years. Thereafter Moulana travelled to Karachi and established the foundations of Madrassatul Arabiyyatul Islamiyyah in Newtown which is now world renowned. Several senior ‘Ulama of our country had the honour of studying under Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) at his madrasah in Karachi.


His Academic Rank

Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) took great effect form his Teacher; ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Al-Kashmiri (rahimahullah). He was accepted as his senior student, despite spending approximately just one year in the company of Shaykh Kashmiri. Shaykh Binnnori (rahimahullah) authored several books in Arabic and Urdu, the most famous being his unique Arabic commentary of a portion of Sunan Tirmidhi, entitled: Ma’arifus Sunan. He was extremely fluent in the Arabic language, a fact that was acknowledged by several Arab scholars too. He had established a research faculty (Darut Tasnif) at his Madrasah in Karachi, from which several other books were published by his senior students. Our Darul Hadith Research Centre in Durban, South Africa is a product of the Shaykh’s vision of research. Our Ameer, my Honourable Father, Moulana Haroon Abasoomar saheb (hafizhahullah) is a student of Shaykh Binnori.


World Renowned

Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) also had the opportunity to travel to several parts of the world, thereby meeting the ‘Ulama of these countries too. In so doing, he managed to attain ijazah in Hadith from several senior Hadith scholars in the Arab world. He also issued ijazah to many others in those countries. He had a special attachment to the Haramayn and travelled there frequently. In the latter part of his life, Shaykh would observe i’tikaf annually in Masjid Nabawi. Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) visited our country, South Africa as well. While he was here, he visited the academic establishments, and also addressed the Tablighi Ijtima’ (gathering). Shaykh (rahimahullah) visited Egypt on several occasions. He maintained a close relationship with the ‘Ulama there as well. Namely; the Great Hanafi scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Zahid Al-Kawthari (rahimahullah) and the Rector of Al-Azhar at that time, Shaykh ‘Abdul Halim Mahmud (rahimahullah). When he would visit the Arab world, he had the habit of taking books written by the ‘Ulama of the Indo Pak subcontinent as gifts for the ‘Ulama there. In this manner he bridged the gap between the seniors of these schools. He was widely praised by ‘Ulama from around the world. In addition to the ‘Ulama of the Indo Pak Subcontinent, he was acknowledged by ‘Ulama from the Haramayn, Syria, Egypt and Turkey. He became known as ‘Muhaddithul ‘Asr’ (The Great Hadith Master of his era).


His excellent qualities

Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) was known for his istighna (reticence), his tawakkul, his outstanding memory, his concern for establishing the Truth and defending it against the deviant groups. He is admired for his ability to combine all avenues of Spiritual Islam; He was a Sufi (ascetic), a Muhaddith, a Mufassir, a Faqih, a Muballigh (preacher), and a Musannif (author).


He was also a pillar of steadfastness in promoting the Truth, fearing none besides Allah. He made untold sacrifices in tackling deviated sects, especially Qadianism. He also enjoyed the credit of introducing the Akabir (seniors) of Deoband to the Arab world.



Shaykh Binnory passed away on 17 October, 1977 (3 Dhul Qa’dah, 1397 A.H.) at the age of 71. He was buried in the precincts of the Madrasah in Binnory Town, Karachi. May Allah Ta’ala fill his grave with nur and bestow him the highest stages in Jannah. May He also enable us to follow in the footsteps of our seniors.



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  • 3 months later...


Shaykh Binnory; in the eyes of the Senior ‘Ulama


Among the signs of divine acceptance, is that Allah Ta’ala places love for an individual in the hearts [and tongues] of his fellow pious contemporaries and the generations that follow.


‘Allamah Muhammad Yusuf Al-Binnory (rahimahullah) was a world renowned Scholar. His high academic rank was approved by one and all.


For our own inspiration, hereunder are a few quotations from the ‘Ulama of his era – outside the Indo Pak subcontinent- who had acknowledged his excellence. Each one of these Scholars were luminaries par excellence.


1. ‘Allamah Kawthari (rahimahullah):

Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) had a close and lengthy relationship with the Grand Hanafi Scholar, ‘Allamah Muhammad Zahid Al-Kawthari (rahimahullah). They had exchanged several letters over many years.


‘Allamah Binnory (rahimahullah) was actually the student of Shaykh Kawthari (rahimahullah). Despite this, ‘Allamah Kawthari (rahimahullah) held Shaykh Binnory in high regard addressing him with words such as:


Mujahid in the path of Allah Ta’ala, Muhaqqiq (researcher), ‘Allamah (Great Scholar), unique Muhaddith (Hadith Master), Genius of the time, the coolness of the Scholar’s eyes, may Allah keep you alive for the service of knowledge and the benefit of the ummah etc.


A few months before passing away, ‘Allamah Kawthari (rahimahullah) ended his last letter to Moulana Binnory with the following words: ‘Every beginning has its end [referring to his own life coming to an end, thus the end of their long relationship in this temporary abode]. May my soul be with you, I make du’a that all good accompany you, Wa’alaykumus Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.’


This collection of letters have recently been published. The many words of praise, in addition to the heaps of du’as that ‘Allamah Kawthari (rahimahullah) had for Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) are too many to be quoted in this brief article.


May Allah Ta’ala bless their souls.


2. Shaykh ‘Abdul Halim Mahmud (rahimahullah)  -The rector of Al Azhar University at that time:

‘I was fortunate to meet my honourable brother, Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Al-Binnory. In Egypt we view him as a high ranking senior ‘Alim of the Muslim world, and as a Muhaddith (Hadith Master) in an era when there are so few Hadith Masters.’

(Introduction to Al-Qasaidul Binnoriyyah, pg.18)


3. Shaykh Tantawi (rahimahullah):

When ‘Allamah Binnory (rahimahullah) expressed his critical, yet constructive views on the tafsir (commentary of Quran) that Shaykh Tantawi (rahimahullah) had authored, Shaykh Tantawi responded:


‘O Shaykh! you are not just any Indian Scholar. Rather You are an Angel from the sky that Allah has sent to correct me.’

(Khususi Number, pg.498)


4. Shaykh Muhammad Abu Zuhrah (rahimahullah) – a leading Scholar of Al-Azhar in his time:

Shaykh Abu Zuhrah (rahimahullah) was a great admirer of ‘Allamah Binnory’s in-depth knowledge and exemplary character. He would give special attention to ‘Allamah Binnory’s students who studied at Al-Azhar university.

(Khususi Number, pg.499)


5. Shaykh Hasan Mashat (rahimahullah) – Hadith teacher in Makkah Mukarramah in his lifetime:

‘[shaykh Binnory is] our very learned Shaykh, the Muhaddith (Hadith Master) of India and a serious researcher in all branches of knowledge, especially Hadith and poetry.’

(Muqaddimah: Rasailul Kawthari, pg.28)


6. Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah):

‘[shaykh Binnory] was a treasure of knowledge and a virtue for every beneficiary and questioner. His opinion was incisive and his pondering was vast, illuminating the path for the one seeking knowledge and guidance. As for his wealth of knowledge and his strong memory, it was a sweet, pure ocean and a clear pond…The Yusuf of this era…’

(Muqaddimah: Rasailul Kawthari, pg.29)


When Shaykh ‘Abdul Fattah (rahimahullah) annotated and prepared his work on: ‘Mabadi ‘ilmil Hadith‘ (which is the book of ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani -rahimahullah), He dedicated it to Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Al-Binnory (rahimahullah) with the following words:


‘To the soul of my teacher [i dedicate the rewards of this work]; the great scholar (‘Allamah), Hadith Master, meticulous intelligent researcher, the genius well grounded faqih (Jurist), one who invited to Allah Ta’ala by his words and actions, Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Al-Binnory, the founder of [the madrasah] Jami’atul ‘Ulumil Islamiyyah in Karachi. May Allah Ta’ala raise his stages and repay him most generously in the Hereafter.’

(Introduction to Mabadi ‘ilmil Hadith, pg.7)


7. Shaykh ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) :

‘I have immense love for Shaykh Binnory, despite not seeing him even.’


Shaykh ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) always listens to anecdotes about ‘Allamah Binnory’s life with immense enthusiasm, often asking for them to be repeated to him. This demonstrates further, the love that he had for Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah).


As stated at the beginning of this article; among the signs of divine acceptance, is that Allah Ta’ala places love for an individual in the hearts [and tongues] of his fellow pious contemporaries and the generations that follow.


May Allah Ta’ala bless the soul of Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Al-Binnory (rahimahullah), and may Allah allow us to appreciate his efforts (and the efforts of all our senior ‘Ulama).


May Allah Ta’ala also allow us to follow in their footsteps and to uphold their legacy, which is -sadly- being ignored in our era.




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  • 11 months later...

Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah)'s staunchness (steadfastness) on the truth

Shaykh Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Binnory (rahimahullah) was never lenient in religious matters. Shaykh (rahimahullah) never shied away from saying the harsh truth whenever the necessity arose. Moulana's dignity, sincerity, academic stature, saintly and fearless demeanour made it clear to the leaders that no one can buy him over or make him say or do anything that he is not happy about.

On the occasion when President Jamal 'Abdun Nasir asked to take a group photo with different 'Ulama, Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) was probably the only one who did not accede to his request. Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) went up to him, held his hand and said in firm words: Allah Ta'ala blessed you with a strong and brave heart. Use it to serve Islam!

(Jamale Yusuf, pgs.159-161)


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Shaykh Binnory’s (rahimahullah) dislike for fame

Hazrat Shaykh, Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Binnory (rahimahullah) had an intense dislike for fame.

He closed every door and avenue that could lead to fame to the extent that the madrasah in Karachi never even held a graduation ceremony (Jalsah).

During the issue of the Khatm Nubuwwat and the Qadiyanis (the Qadiyanis do not accept Nabi -sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam- as the final Messenger) Moulana (rahimahullah) gave a full 100 days of sacrifice [to combat this evil sect].

Here too, Moulana (rahimahullah) had the same fevor of sacrificing only for Allah Ta’ala and not to do anything for show.

(Khususi Number, pg. 451)


Dr Abdur Razzaq Iskandar (hafizahullah) writes:

Shaykh Binnory (rahimahullah) laid the foundation for Madrasah Islamia (in Karachi) himself [i.e, He was the founder] and it is due to him that the institute reached this level. However, out of humility, Hazrat Binnory (rahimahullah) disliked having the title of Principle next to his name.

(Jamale Yusuf, pg.143-144)


May Allah Ta’ala bless us all with these sublime qualities. Amin.

  • Ameen 1
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