Manazir Ahsan Gilani
Manazir Ahsan Gilani (born September 1892) was an Islamic scholar from the Deobandi school of thought, which is one of the major Islamic schools in Indian subcontinent. Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilani is often referred as Muhaqiqe Islam (the researcher of Islam), Sultanul Qalam (King of the Pen) and Mutakallime Millat (The Philosopher of the Nation). He was born on the 9th of Rabiul Awal 1310 H (September 1892) in a village called Gilaan in Bihar (present-day India). His father’s name was Abul Khair. Their Arab descendants reached the Indian subcontinent about three centuries ago via Iran and finally settled in a village which came to be known as Gilaan. His elementary education was at home and then he stayed in Tonk for six years studying under the revered Maulana Syed Hakeem Barakaat Ahmad. Thereafter, he was admitted in Darul Uloom Deoband (1331-1332 AH) and studied Bukhari and Tirmizhi from Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mehmood-ul-Hasan (Rahmatullahi Ta’ala) and also accepted Shaikhul Hind as his spiritual mentor. He also studied Muslim from Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri. His other teachers at Darul Uloom Deoband include: Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani, Mufti Azizur Rahman Usmani, Maulana Habibur Rahman Usmani and Maulana Syed Ashghar Hussain Deobandi. While at Darul Uloom Deoband, he was noticed by his teachers to have special qualities which outshined him from the rest of the students.
After graduating from Darul Uloom Deoband in 1332 AH, he stayed in Deoband until 1338 H working for the monthly organ “Al-Qasim” of the Darul Uloom. During this time his literary works such as “Savanih-e-Abu Zar Ghifari” and “Kynaat-e-Roohaani” made him famous amongst the academic and literary circles of the Ulama of the Indian subcontinent. The next twenty-five years of Maulana Gilani’s life were spent in Hyderabad, where he was the head of the religious department in Osmania University. During this time, thousands of people benefited from his precious personality and matchless knowledge. In 1368 AH, he retired from Osmania University and returned to his homeland of Gilaan, where he devoted most of his time to writing.
Maulana Gilani was a master of the Urdu language and a talented and prolific writer. He enlightened the hearts and minds of thousands with his unique style of writing and speech. After reading his first book “Savanih-e-Abu Zar Ghifari”, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi said: “The writer of this book will prove to be a great researcher of Islam.“ His most famous works are :
- Musalmano ka Nizame Taleem-o-Tarbiat
- Islami Muashiyaat
- An-Nabiul Khatim
- Imam Abu Hanifa ki Siasi Zindagi
- Ad-deenul Qayyim
- Tafseer-e-Soorah Kahf
- Tazkara-e-Shah Waliullah
- Musalmano ki Firqabandio ka Afsanaa
- Rahmatulil Alameen
His last book was the biography of the founder of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotawi, called “Savanihe Qasmi”. Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Saheb Says: “When I requested him (Maulana Gilani) to write the biography of Maulana Qasim Nanotawi, he accepted it very happily and he replied to me: ‘My academic career began with Al-Qasim (the monthly organ of Darul Uloom Deoband) and looks like my academic career will end on Al-Qasim (meaning Maulana Qasim Nanotawi).’ Indeed this is what happened, he had only written five pages of the fourth volume of this book, when his temporary life ended on Al-Qasim”.
Maulan Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi says: “Maulana Gilani was an organization in himself. He was the scholar of scholars, writer of writers, historian of historians, jurist of jurists, Muhaddith (Hadith Scholar) of Muhadditheen, Mufassir (Scholar of Quraanic Interpretation) of Mufassireen, and researcher of researchers.” Maulana Abdul Hasan Ali Nadwi further says: “It can be said without exaggeration that finding a like of him (Maulana Gilaani) in the present-day Muslim World in respect to his broadmindedness, enormity of study and depth and vastness of knowledge and piety is very hard.”
Maulana Syed Ataullah Shah Bukhari says about this book: “When I studied “Tadween-e-Hadith” of Maulana Manazir Ahsan Gilaani, condition of wajd and jazb came over me. When Hazrat Gilaani was writing this book, I thought as if all curtains between him and Rasulullah were lifted and as if he was writing the words of Rasulullah himself. “Tadween-e-Hadith” is the last complete and successful thing against the fitna of Inkar al-Hadith (denial of the Hadith).”
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi says about Maulana Gilaani: “All of the Manazir (academic arguments) of Manazir Ahsan are Ahsan (excellent)”.
He wrote many books. Some of his books in Urdu language are:
- “An-Nabiul Khatim”
- “Rahmatulil Alameen”.
- “Savanih-e-Abu Zar Ghifari”
- “Savanih-e-Awais Qarni”
- “Imam Abu Hanifa ki Siasi Zindagi”
- “Tazkara-e-Shah Waliullah”
- “Savanihe Qasmi” - biography of Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi
- “Musalmano ka Nizame Taleem-o-Tarbiat”
- “Islami Muashiyaat”
- “Ad-deenul Qayyim”
- “Tafseer-e-Soorah Kahf”
- “Musalmano ki Firqabandio ka Afsanaa”
- “Hazar(1000) Saal Pehley”.