The following is a brief biography of Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi (الشيخ محمد رئس الندوي) [1937/1356 to 2009/1430], the great muhaddith of our times:
Many people come and go in this world but there are some whom Allah empowers with exceptional skills and extraordinary intelligence. Such people tend to bring a great revolution in their field, particularly when the field is related to knowledge. Knowledge is a great weapon of every intellect and if it is used properly, it can change the very perspective of a generation.
One such person was Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi (rahimuhullah), who was an eminent teacher, author and researcher. He was also the Sheikh-ul-Hadith & Mufti of Jamia Salafia Banaras, India. He was well-known both as one of the most valuable scholars of this era as well as a devout and pious worshiper with excellent manners. He was also an excellent debater which caused his enemies to fear him when it comes to debates on Islamic matters.
He worked very hard in eradicating shirk and bidah from within the Muslim ummah and hence establish Tawheed of Allah. He was fervent in addressing and replying to the grave errors of the deviated sects. He unveiled their realities and exposed their cover-ups with authentic evidences from Qur’an & Sunnah.
Without a shadow of a doubt, a lot of curtains (of doubt and deceit) have been lifted with his efforts and the exaggerated claims of people have been exposed. He consistently poured in an immense amount of hard work, sweat and effort in defending the way of the Muhaddith Imams and promoting the true Deen.
His family & lineage
He said that his family ancestry was not written down and thus not preserved. This was because his grandfathers were not connected to education. However, he said that according to his grandfather, the family ancestry is like this: Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi son of Sakhawat Ali son of Muhammad Baqir son
of Jahangir son of Rajab Ali.
He further added that the ancestry after this couldn’t be identified. He said that his family was called Ansari because of the ‘Islamic bonds’, meaning one of his ancestors became Muslim through an Ansari Sahabi. He further said that he was named by his grandfather who passed away in 1952 at the age of 120 years.
Sheikh used to look after his grand-parents in accordance to the advice and guidance of his mother. This was the reason why Sheikh was loved immensly by his grandparents who used to do a lot of charity.
[Imam Bukhari’s ancestors became Muslim through Yaman Ju’fi – so through this relation, he was called Yamani Ju’fi (attributed to him as accepting Islam on his hands).]
Childhood & Upbringing
According to Muhammad Raees Nadwi’s statement he was born on the 7th of July 1937 (28 Rabi al-thani 1356 Hijri) in his home town of Batya, District of Murutiya Baaz, Utter Pradesh, India. The district was the first part of the district of Gur Kapoor and now this district has been split into three separate districts.
In the time of the Shahidayn movement, a lot of people of knowledge dedicated them and attributed their names to this movement. The district’s Qari, Abdul Haq, and his father, grandfather and the Maulana of Mujwamir, Mir Ja’far etc. were widely regarded as mentors of this movement.
Sheikh recalls “My father traveled to Mujwamir during his studies and found out about the family of Mir Ja’far, however he also realized that no one from this village was Ahlul Hadith”.
Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi said: ‘A few days before he was born, a school was established in our village with the efforts and struggles of Maulana Pir Ali. On this occasion, the organizers of a religious conference that took place had invited only Salafi scholars such as Maulana Abdur Ra’uf Khan Jandanagari, Maulana Abd at-Tawab Multani, Maulana Abdul Ghafar Rafiq and Maulana Muhammad Zaman Rahmani and other than them.
He was just under five years old and his mother carefully and vigilantly encouraged him to perform the five daily prayers, the sheikh narrated that he never missed a prayer since that day with the mercy of Allah.
Additionally, she encouraged him to focus on studying at school where he lived in the village of his paternal family. He was also encouraged to study from his maternal grandfather. At that time, only two levels were taught in the two schools. Then he entered a primary school near the village and passed primary level.
At that time all the teachers in the primary school were non-Muslim. The teachers of the school were Secretary Moeen-Ul-Haq, Secretary Abdul Majid and secretary Riza. He passed junior high school in Murutiya. During the winter time, when he was studying at primary and junior high school, he had to study either in the teacher’s house or in the school building and they made a lot of effort to teach.
After junior high school, he attended and passed a private high school called Madrasa Badariya in the district of Paka Bazar (which was an offshoot branch of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow). Here is where he learnt religious Arabic and Persian and then in 1958 he entered Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow.
He ( رحمه الله ) said that from the famous teachers he had were:
Maulana Sayid Abul Hasan Nadwi, from which he gained Ijazah in chains of hadith that go through and reach Sheikh Ul-Kull Fil-Kull As-Sayyid Mian Nazeer Husain Ad-
Dehalvi ( رحمه الله ) and Sheikh-Ul-Hadith Abdur-Rahmãn Mubarakpuri ( (رحمه الله Maulana Abbas
Maulana Abdul Gafar Nadwi
Maulana Mahmud ul-Hasan Uthmani
Maulana Rabi’ Hasan Nadwi
Maulana Mufti Zuhur
CLASSES AND TEACHING
Raees Nadwi ( رحمه الله ) said: ‘After he finished Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama in 1960, he taught in Nadwa in accordance to the guidance and advice given by the director of Madrasa Badariya Paka Bazar, following this up with teaching at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, the teachers of the well-known scholar, Sayid Abul Hasan Nadwi.
Then he taught in Jamia Siraj al-Uloom Jandanagar with the advice from Maulana Abul Hasan Nadwi. After that, again under the advice of Maulana, he taught in Darul Uloom Ahmadiya Salafiya, Darbang, Bihar and in 1969 became appointed to teach and lecture in Markaz Darul Uloom Jamia Salafiya.
TEACHING QURAN AND HADITH
Mufti Raees Nadwi ( رحمه الله ) reported: In the years of when he was a student of knowledge, it was his privilege that Maulana Sayid Abdul Gafar Nadwi Nagrami went home in the year’s 3 months holiday. So in accordance with the command of the Maulana, I taught Quran lessons after Fajr prayer in the Jamia Masjid Paka Bazar (during these 3 months).
This series of teaching continued in Jamia Siraj ul-Uloom, Jandanagar until people used to come from quite a few kilometers away to sit in my Quran lessons. Maulana Jandanagari himself sat in the classes and took notes. This continued in Darul Uloom Salafia, Darbang Alhamdulillah.
LECTURES (SPEECHES, JUMU’AH KHUTBAS)
He ( رحمه الله ) said: Whilst he was in Jandanagar, he delivered Juma Khutbas (sermons). Even during his time as a student of knowledge, he would lead Juma prayer and deliver Juma Khutbas. However because of several heart attacks and an ongoing illness, upon advice from his therapists (doctors), he decided he would stop giving speeches and delivering Khutbas.
In the final year of university at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, it was necessary to complete a dissertation thesis (research paper). Therefore Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi ( رحمه الله) wrote a thesis entitled “the Jews in the Quran”. His teachers pRaeesed this work after seeing it.
Maulana Ali Miya Nadwi advised him to write a book about the Jews and promised him to provide religious sources and books to assist this effort – to the extent that he handed over his personal book library Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi ( رحمه الله ). So in his time as a student of knowledge, Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi ( رحمه الله ) wrote 4 volumes on this topic with a lot of effort, in addition to writing more than half of the 5th volume.
This book consisted of almost 3,000 pages. However, unfortunately someone put their evil eye on this important book that Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi ( رحمه الله ) wrote and before it could become published, it was lost and went missing. Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi ( رحمه الله ) said that he didn’t have the ability to re-write the book because he became deprived of the benefits and companionship of Maulana Sayid Ali Nadwi.
When he went to Jandanagar, Maulana Abdur Ra’uf told him to write a book in reply to a Barailwee innovator on the issue of the Messenger of Allah being omnipresent, so he wrote it and it is called “Tashih Aqaid Biabtal Shawahid Ash-Shahid”, which is published and available. This was published by Jamia Salafia with a new version and more additional notes and pages.
THE REST OF THE NAMES OF THE BOOKS ARE:
1. “AL-LAMHAT ILA MA FI ANWAR UL-BARI MIN ADH-DHULUMAT” – 5 volumes of this have been published the 6th and final volume was being written.
2. “THE COMMAND OF THE JUMA PRAYER IN ISLAM” – this book has been published.
3. “GAYATU AT-TAHQIQ FI TADHIYA AYAM AT-TASHRIQ” – this book has been published many times in many different places and has been translated into English by my two companions Abu Khuzaimah & Abu Hibban.
4. “TAHWIL QIBLA” – this book was published by a group of Ahlul Hadith in Kashmir.
5. “TANWIR UL-AFAQ FI MAS’ALA AT-TALAQ” – this book is also published.
6. “BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM IBN HAZM” – published.
7. “A FRANK DIALOGUE WITH ALAWI MALIKI” – published
8. “BIOGRAPHY OF THE MOTHER OF THE BELIEVERS KHADIJA AL-KUBRA” – this book is also published by Jamia Salafia.
9. “ZAMIR KA BURHAN” – this is also published by Jamia Salafia.
10. “STORY OF THE DAY OF QURBANI” – this book has been published in Delhi by Hafiz Shakil Ahmad Merthi.
11. “THE RAK’AT OF TARÂWÎH” – this book has been published in 6 parts in the Ahlul Hadith magazine Dehli by Maulana Sehwani.
12. “IBANAH” – this book has been published in Darbang. It is more than 300 pages.
13. “MAFQUD AL-KHABR THE SHARIA COMMAND OF THE HUSBAND”
14. “THE CONDITIONS FOR BEING A COMPATIBLE WALI IN ORDER FOR A VALID NIKAH”
15. “HISTORY OF THE AHLUL HADITH IN INDIA” – published
16. “LECTURES ON THE HADITH OF SINGING” this has been published by Jamia Muhamadia Maligaw.
17. “BIOGRAPHY OF ADAM (ALAYHISALAM)”
18. “BOOK OF AQIQA”
19. “BIOGRAPHY OF THE GREAT SCHOLAR NAZIR AHMAD AMLAWI RAHMANI”
20. “A SALAFI OVERVIEW OF THE DEOBANDI PRESERVING THE SUNNAH CONFERENCE” – this book has been published in Mumbai.
Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Raees Nadwi ( رحمه الله ) got married twice. From the first wife he only has one daughter. From the second wife he has five daughters and one son called Abdul Haq.
Sheikh Dr Razaullah Mubarakpuri
Sheikh Asgar Ali Imam Mahdi Salafi
Sheikh Salahudin Maqbul
Sheikh Shahid Junaid Salafi
Sheikh Abdullah Sa’ud Salafi
Sheikh Wasiullah Muhammad Abbas (Makkah)
Sheikh Abdul Bari Fathullah, (Riyadh)
Sheikh Uzayr Shams Madani (Makkah)
Sheikh Dr Abdul Jabar Firyaway Madani (Riyadh)
He had thousands of students many being scholars and have spread all over India and the middle-east, propagating the Salafee Da’wah.
He passed away on Saturday, the 9th May 2009 (13 Jumada al-awwal- 1430 Hijri).
Allah Subḥānahū Wa-Taʿālā grants him a place in Jannat ul Firdaus.
[Source: صوت الأمة، جمادى الآخرة ١٤٣٠ ه]