Imam Raza Ahmed Khan (1272-1340 A.H)(1856-1921 A.D)
Imam Ahmed Raza Khan was born on a Monday, the 10th of Shawaal 1272 A.H. (14th June 1856), at the time of Zohar Salaah in a place called Jasoli, which is in the city of Bareilly Shareef, India.
A few days before the birth of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan , his father, Allamah Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, had a wonderful dream. He immediately disclosed this dream to his father, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan, who interpreted this dream by saying: "This is a sign that you are going to be the father of a child, a boy, who will grow up to be pious and knowledgable. His name will gain prominence from East to West."
The name that was given to him at birth was the beautiful name of "Mohammed." His grandfather, a great Scholar of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan, also gave the young child the beautiful name of "Ahmed Raza." It was by this name that he was famously known. Much later in his life, A'la Hadrat added the title "Abdul Mustafa" to his name signifying his great love and respect for Sayyiduna Rasulullah (salal laahu alaihi wasallam).
The Grand Mufti of Makkatul Mukarramah, Sheikh Hussain bin Saleh Makki, also gave him the title of "Zia'udeen Ahmed."
The great forefathers of A'la Hadrat migrated from Qandhar (Kabul) during the Mogul rule and settled in Lahore. Allamah Mawlana Sa'eedullah Khan, the first forefather of A'la Hadrat, held a high government post when he arrived in the Indo-Pak sub-continent. His son, Allamah Mawlana Sa'adat Yaar Khan, after gaining victory in the city of Ruhailah, was elected as the Governor of that city.
Allamah Mawlana Hafiz Kaazim Ali Khan, the son of Mawlana Mohammed Azam Khan, was a Tax-collector in the city of Badayun. His son, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan , the illustrious grandfather of A'la Hadrat, did not serve in the Government. It was from this generation that the heads of the family began to adopt Tassawuf as their way of life.
HIS FATHER: A'la Hadrat's father, Hadrat Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan, received his education at the hands of his father, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan. He wrote more than 50 books, among them, "Suroorul Quloob fi Zikri Mouloodul Mahboob", which received a very high distinctive position amongst Islamic literature. The treatise is characteristic in its condemnation of the enemies of Islam, both internally and externally. A'la Hadrat's father passed away in 1297 A.H. (1880) when he was 24 years old.
HIS GRANDFATHER: One of the greatest Sufis of his time, Allamah Mawlana Raza Ali Khan was born in the year 1224 A.H. He was also a great warrior and fought with General Bakht Khan against English invaders in the year 1834. He received his early education at the hands of Molwi Khaleerur Rahman. At the age of 23, he had already completed his Islamic education, earning certificates of distinction in various fields of knowledge. He passed away in the month of Jamaadi-ul-Awwal in the year 1282 A.H. (1866). A'la Hadrat was at this time only 10 years old.
Imam Ahmed Razas Piety
as a Child:
Another incident which happened in the Month of Ramadaan also s hows A'la Hadrat's piety and fear of Allah. Fasting was not Fardh (obligatory) upon him because he was still a child, but on that day he intended to keep fast. It should be known that for a little child to keep fast in India during the summer season was very difficult. The average temperature on a summer's day rises to approximately 50 degrees Celsius. On that day, the heat of the sun was intense. Hadrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan took his young son, A'la Hadrat, into a room where sweets were kept. He closed the door and said, "There, eat the sweets." A'la Hadrat replied that he was fasting. His father then said, "The fasting of children is always like this. The door is closed and no one is looking. Now you may eat." On hearing this, the young A'la Hadrat respectfully said, "Through Whose command I am fasting, He is Seeing me." On hearing this answer from a little child, tears began to flow from the eyes of Hadrat Allamah Naqi Ali Khan . He then left the room with A'la Hadrat.
Imam Ahmed Razas First
His Intelligence as a Child
Once, his teacher asked him, "Mia! Are you a Jinn or a human being? It takes me much time to teach a lesson, but it does not take you much time to learn the same lesson." A'la Hadrat answered, "Praise be to Allah that I am a human."
When he was 8 years old, A'la Hadrat wrote a Mas'ala concerning Fara'idh (Fards). When his father looked at the answer, he happily remarked, "If only some adult could answer in this manner."
At the age of 10, when he was studying the Kitaab, "I'lm-us- Thuboot," under the guidance of his father, he noticed a few objections and answers of his father on the side of the page. A'la Hadrat studied this book carefully and wrote such a well- explained footnote that even the need for an objection was ruled out. His father came across his research on that objection. He was so delighted that he stood up and held the young A'la Hadrat to his heart and said, "Ahmad Raza! You do not learn from me, but you teach me."
At the age of 3, A'la Hadrat was once standing outside the Raza Musjid in Bareilly Shareef. An "unknown" person, attired in an Arabian garb, approached him and spoke to him in the Arabic language. Those who were present and witnessed this incident heard the young A'la Hadrat converse with the person in pure Arabic. They were surprised. The person who spoke to A'la Hadrat was never seen again in Bareilly Shareef!
A Majzoob (one drowned in his love for Almighty Allah) by the name of Hadrat Basheeruddeen Sahib used to live at the Akhoon Zada Musjid in Bareilly Shareef. He spoke harshly to anyone who visited him. A'la Hadrat wished to meet this Majzoob. One night, at about 11 o'clock, he set off alone to meet him. He sat respectfully for about 15 minutes outside the Majzoob's house. After some time, the Majzoob became aware of him and asked, "Who are you to Mawlana Raza Ali Khan." A'la Hadrat replied that he was the grandson of Hadrat Raza Ali Khan. The Majzoob immediately embraced him and took him into his little room. He asked A'la Hadrat if he had come for any specific matter, but A'la Hadrat said that he had come to ask him to make Dua for him. On hearing this, the Majzoob, for approximately half an hour, made the following Dua: "May Allah have mercy on you, May Allah bless you."
Allamah Abdul Hamid, Vice Chancellor
of Al Jamia Al-Nizamiyya:
Justice Allamah Mufti Sayyid Shuja'at Ali Qadri , Shariah Court, Government of Pakistan (Islamabad), said: "He was pious like Ahmad bin Hambal and Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani. He had true acumen and insight of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Abu Yusuf. He commanded the force of logic like Imam Razi and Imam Ghazzali, bold enough like Mujaddid Alf Thaani and Mansoor Hallaj to proclaim the truth. Indeed, he was intolerant to non-believers, kind and sympathetic to devotees, and the affectionates of the Holy Prophet(PBUH) ."
Comments by the Noble Ulema
of Makkatul Mukarramah:
Ustaad Ulema-e-Haram, Allamah
Allamah Mufti Muhammad Saleh
Comments by the Noble Ulema of Madinatul Munawwarah:
Mufti Taaj'udDeen Ilyaas Hanafi:
Sheikh Malikiya, Allamah Sayed
Allamah Khaleel bin Ebrahim
Allamah Mawlana Umar bin Hamdaan:
Imam Ahmed Raza in the Eyes of Others:
The Poet, Doctor Iqbal:
Abul Ula Maudoodi:
Imam Ahmed Razas Final
Advice before his Passing Away:
Demise ( Wisaal ) of Imam
At the time of the demise of Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat, a certain Saint of Syria, dreamt of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) while he was in the Baitul Mukaddas. In his dream, the Saint saw many Sahaba-Ikraam (radi Allahu anhum ajma'in) seated around the Holy Prophet (PBUH). All of them seemed to be waiting for someone. The Saint says that, in his dream, he asked, "Ya Rasoolallah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! Whose presence is being awaited?" The Holy Prophet replied, "Ahmed Raza Khan." The blessed Saint then asked, "Who is Ahmed Raza Khan?" The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) answered, "An Aalim from Bareilly."
When this Saint awoke, he immediately journeyed from Syria to Bareilly Shareef to meet A'la Hadrat, but to his dismay, he learnt that A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) had already departed from this world.
Once, A'la Hadrat personally said: "THE TIME OF DEMISE IS CLOSE AND INDIA IS INDIA. BUT, I DO NOT EVEN FEEL LIKE PASSING AWAY IN MAKKAH. MY DESIRE IS THIS, THAT I SHOULD PASS AWAY WITH IMAAN IN MADINATUL MUNAW'WARA AND THEN BE BURIED WITH KINDNESS IN JANNATUL BAQI. ALMIGHTY ALLAH IS MOST POWERFUL."