Mufti-i-Azam Shah Muhammad Mazhar Allah was the famous
grand son of Shah Muhammad Mas‘ud Muhaddis Dehlavi
(1309/1892) and the son of Maulana Muhammad Sa‘id (d.
1307 / l889). He was “Hanafi” and “Naqshbandi Mujaddidi”.
He was born on 15th Rajab l 303 Hijri corresponding 21st
April 1886 at Delhi. When he was just four years he lost
the paternal affection, after one or too years the
auspicious shelter of his mother also left. At the early
stages of his life he became orphan & motherless. After
the death of his parents he was brought up by his grand
father Shah Muhammad Mas‘ud but he was also died after
two years then he was brought up by his paternal uncle
Allama Muhammad Abdul Majeed (d. l 364 / 1944).
His paternal family was a centre of knowledge and bounty
but his maternal were also distinguished. His maternal
grand father Hafiz Abdul Aziz belonged to a reputed
family of the state of Jahjar, His birth took place on
1246/1830. After the revolution of 1857, when the state
dismembered he was migrated to the state of Patodi
(India) and became the teacher of the Nawabs of the
state & other after that posted on the distinguished
post of secretary. Al1 these details have been written
by a cousin of him. Late Mr. Abdul Rasheed (Magistrate
Class 1, state of Patodi, India) in a preface of a
1. EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE
Mufti-i-Azam started his education with the study of
Qura‘an-i-Hakim and in a short period he learnt it by
heart and attained the perfection in Tajwid and Qir’at
(art of recitation of Holy Qura‘an). The national and
traditional knowledge was gained by his uncle Allama
Muhammad Abdul Majeed whose succession of Hadith
(tradition) belongs to Shah Wali Allah. Besides him he
also got education from other contemporary scholars and
got the proficiency by personal study. He started
verdict writing at the age of sixteen or seventeen.
Mufti-i-Azam had great proficiency in different subjects
for example Qura‘anic Commentary and Fundamentals of
Commentary, Jurisprudence and Fundamentals of
Jurisprudence, Logic, Philosophy, Mathematics, Geometry,
Literature, Grammar, Tasawwuf (Islamic Mysticism),
Knowledge of Inheritance, Poetry etc. But he devoted all
his life to serve Islam.
2. DISCIPLESHIP & SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE
At the age of fourteen Mufti-i-Azam set off from Delhi
with Maulana Shah Rukn al-Din Alwari in the service of
sayyid Sadiq Ali Shah (d. 1317 / 1899) resident of
district Gordaspur (India). Shah Sahib was the pupil of
Shah Muhammad Mas‘ud and was the elder son of Sayyid
Imam Ali Shah (d. 1282/1865). At that time Mufti-i-Azam
was of fourteen years, when Sadiq Ali Shah had admitted
him as a disciple in the Naqshbandiyya Mujaddidiya
order. Since then after two years of discipleship his
gracious guide died. Where upon his spiritual training
was taken up by Shah Rukn al-Din Alwari. He granted him
Ijaza or permission of Bay'a, allegiance in all four
orders i.e. Qadiria, Chishtia, Naqshabandia and
Suhrwardia. Mufti-i-Azam generally took Bay'a in the
Naqshbandia order but some disciples also took Bay’a in
the orders according, to their natural inclination and
aptitude. A good number of devotees and followers of
Mufti-i-Azam are spread in Pakistan and India. Mufti-i-Azam
was a perfect man endowed with spiritual miracles, which
have been recorded in a book entitled Karamat-i-Mazhari
(Karachi 1995). Rukhsana Khan Ch. (London) has
translated it into English. His religious, scientific
and spiritual services are unforgettable.
3. IMAMAT (RELIGIOUS CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP)
Mufti-i-Azam was the Royal Imam of Shah Jahani Mosque
Fatehpuri, Delhi. That chain of Imamat has been
transferred to him as a royal legacy from his grand
father Shah Muhammad Mas‘ud Muhaddis Dehlavi to him.
Mufti-i-Azam has been holding that legacy for seventy
years and gave great bounty to the world. This chain of
lmamat has been in vogue since the rule of Mughal
Emperors. At present the grand son of Mufti-i-Azam,
Allama, Dr. Mufti Muhammad Mukarram Ahmed is the Imam of
Fatehpuri Mosque and Mufti (the jurist of Islamic law)
4. SUBMISSION TO SHARI'A
Mufti-i-Azam followed the Sunna i. e. the tradition of
Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) at every step. The love
of Holy Prophet reflected as mirror on every aspect of
his personal and practical life leaving no trace of any
lacuna or void in his words and deeds. His prayers
business, behaviour, and life all were transmitted full
of love of Allah nd the Holy Prophet.
He had performed the prayers of Tahajjud (midnight
additional sunna prayers) since to age of fourteen till
the last moment of his life. Fulfillment of obligations
was well diffused by the Holy love. Though he was too
old and physically infirm yet he never missed to keep
fast in Ramdan al-Mubarak. More astonishing is that in
those days special energy was observed in his physique.
He offered the Tarawih prayers with congregation and
seemed more active at the times of prayers than the
ordinary days. Love of Allah and the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)
was on the peak when in 1945 he went for to Pilgrimage
of Holy Ka‘aba and performed Hajj. Due to fascination
and absorption of the Holy places, even the names of the
children seemed to affaced from his heart, and he could
not correctly identify and recognize his own sons.
Mufti-i-Azam always acted on determination and
resolution of will (Azimat). Determination and courage
were the distinguishable qualities of his auspicious
nature. Many incidents were observed; regarding his
determination some incidents must be noted.
1. Nawab of Hyderabad Deccan (India) Mir Usman Ali Khan
(d.1384 / 1967) invited him twice at his court (Darbar)
but both the times he had refused the invitation and
said, “If he wants to see me he may come but I have no
need to see him”. These events are mentioned by Allama
Akhlaq Hussain Dehlavi in Monthly ‘Aqidat (New Delhi,
India) and Mr. Irtiza Hussain (Mulla Wahidi) in monthly
2. In 1945 when he was present in the sacred place of
Mecca to perform Hajj special invitations of royal
banquet were presented to him by Shah Sa‘ud, but he had
refused it by saying, “One who has come in the court of
world's emperor doesn't need to attend any other court”.
3. During the time of British Rule Government
invitations were often brought to him but Mufti-i-Azam
never paid attention. After the partition of India he
received official invitations many times but he did not
attend and led his life fearlessly.
4. A splendid example of determination and extreme moral
courage was witnessed when his scholarly charming young
son Maulana Munawwar Ahmed expired in 1943 who took up
the speck can feel its severity. When the dead body of
Maulnna Munawwar Ahmed was shrouded and lied down Mufti-i-Azam
stood on his head side kept on smiling and said, “O”
Lord if you want to examine your servant will never feel
afflicted, he is willing to abide your will”. Similarly
the same unparalleled patience and perseverance were
seen at the time of death of his young son Maulana
Manzoor Ahmed who died at Hyderabad, Sindh (Pakistan) in
5. During the disturbance of 1947 he showed a marvellous
determination and constancy which ought to be written
with the letters of gold in the history of determination
and moral valour. From 1947 to 1958 non-Muslim enemies
hurled bounds and explosives on Fatepur Mosque
approximately six or seven times but his firmness did
not flinch at any stage. The most critical moments were
in September 1947 when mosque was besieged by the
enemies. At this critical juncture it was unexpectedly
fear stricken people could be transferred to a secure
place under the supervision of army. Mufti-i-Azam was
requested to leave the mosque but he said “You all are
permitted to go but leave me here. If Allah would say at
the Day of Judgement that I had entrusted my house to
you, on whose mercy and favour you left it? Then what
answer shall 1 give”. Hearing this answer all the people
were expressed their readiness and willingness to die in
the House of Allah. Mufti-i-Azam had ascended to the
pinnacles of glory where man becomes fearless and casts
dangers and evils from his heart.
6. If the preaching of Islam Mufti-i-Azam proved himself
so determined and courageous which hasn't any example.
Before the partition of India he made thousands of
non-Muslims embraced Islam with the same zeal and spirit
he continued even after partition when no one had
courage to do so due to Hindu domination. He preached
and made the non-Muslims embrace Islam fearlessly in the
midst of numerous hurdles and obstacles.
Mufti-i-Azam had never been influenced or overawed by
any superior authorities and never approached them for
personal benefits with the result all respected him.
Fatehpuri Mosque (Delhi) was the great centre of
Ahl-i-Sunna i.e. Sunni. Scholars and saints call on him
in a large number and paid reverence to Mufti-i-Azam.
Before partition during their stay at Delhi,
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Shaheed-i-Millat
Liaquat Ali Khan gave him great respect and Dr. Zakir
Hussain (President of Republic of India) also showed
dignity and honour to him.
6. ARRIVAL IN PAKISTAN
After partition he did not come to Pakistan for long
time because in his opinion photography was unlawful
according to Sharia’. Mufti-i-Azam came to Pakistan
first time in October 1961. On his arrival at Karachi
Airport thousands of followers and disciples accorded a
zealous welcome. During his stay in Karachi there was
always a crowd of visitors and homage payers at his
residence. Thousand of people were blessed and
benefited. His devotees proved their love by giving him
invitations. Allama Abdul Hamid Badayuni (President
Central Society of Tabligh al-Islam) invited him at a
grand reception in Karachi and in this great
congregation the scholars addressed in praise of him and
appreciated Mufti-i-Azam’s religious, spiritual as well
as educational services. Different people had presented
the Manqaba (poems in praise of Mufti-i-Azam) in which
the following names may be particularly mentioned:
Maulana Ziya al-Qadri Badayuni, Aziz al-Mulk; Maulana
Muhammad Yousuf Sulaymani Jaipuri, Maulana ‘Abd a1-Salam
Bandvi and Qazi Muhammad Himayatullah. Mufti-i-Azam also
went to Hyderabad at the invitation of Allama Mufti
Muhammnd Mahmood Alwari and Lahore and had a warm
welcome on both places. Scholars, spiritual leaders and
saintly persons also attended the gathering, the
following persons presented the Manqabat at Lahore.
Hazrat Zeba Narvi, Maulana Muhammnd Ahmed Quraishi.
After two months stay in Pakistan Mufti-i-Azam left for
Delhi in the end of November 1961.
In July 1964 he came again in Pakistan but it proved to
be his last visit. At that time also warm welcome had
witnessed everywhere. He visited several places like
Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpur Khas, Bahawalpur, Multan,
Khanewal, Sahiwal, Sharaqpur, Lahore, Rawalpindi Muree
etc. At all these places many disciples and devotees
were present in appreciable number.
7. SAD DEMISE
A few years before his death Mufti-i-Azam had such an
overwhelming domination of Allah's Love in his heart and
mind that love of all creatures even of his children
emptied. The last moment of departure reached and on
14th Shaban al-Mu‘azzam 1386 on Monday (28th November
1966) at the time of evening the sun of knowledge and
wisdom set down once and for all.
The holy shrine of
Mufti-i-Azam is in the courtyard of Fatehpuri Mosque.
It is the venue of visit for all
people regardless of their caste and creed; certainly it
is the reward for his determination, unparalleled
constancy and firmness of faith and brief which he
demonstrated for seventy years especially in the period
of turmoil in 1947.
The news of his death was announced by All India Radio
on the same day and spread like a wild fee in Indo-Pak
subcontinent. Many newspapers and periodical magazines
also published this prominently upteen columns were
written which shed light on his virtues and qualities.
Some of them also published the chronogramic verses (Qat‘at-i-Tarikh).
On this tragic Incident of demise, Azhar Dehlavi
(Lahore), also had written a long dirge of mourning,
various newspapers and magazines had written about
Mufti-i-Azam details of which were published in
Hiyat-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 1974) and
Tazkara-i-Mazhar-i-mas‘ud (Karachi, 1969).
8. FAMILY AND DESCENDANTS
In respect of descendants Late Mufti-i-Azam were
profusely blessed with bounty and grace of Allah. By
mere a glance at his children and the children of his
children and their offspring the famous verse of the
Holy Qura‘an come unto the lips as if through a
spontaneous utterance surging from the depth of the
Like a Holy Tree Whose Root is
Firms standing and Branches are in the Heaven
The descendants of Mufti-i-Azam are spread in the
different cities of Pakistan, India and abroad. The
first wedding of Mufti-i-Azam was solemnized in 1903 but
after few years his spouse expired, he married again in
1909. After two or three years his second wife also died
in 1916 then he married third time but she too died in
1367 / 1947 in Delhi. He was blessed with seven sons and
nine daughters by three wives. Among them four daughters
and only one son are still alive by the Grace of Allah.
The names of his sons are given below:
Allama Mufti Muhammad Muzaffar Ahmed Karachi (d. 1970)
Mufti Muhammad Musharraf Ahmed, Dehli (d.1981).
Hafiz Qari Dr.Muhammad Ahmed, Delhi (d. 1970)
Maulana Munawwar Ahmed, Delhi (d.1943)
Maulana Manzoor Ahmed, Hyderabad, Sindh (d.1949)
Prof Dr. Muhammad Mas‘ud Ahmed, Karachi (b.1930).
Maulana Dr. Muhammad Sa‘id Ahmed, Delhi. (d. 1996).
CALIPHS & SPIRITUAL REPRESENTATIVES
The circle of his devotees is too
vast and they are widely spread all over Pakistan and
India. Some of his caliphs and spiritual representative
are as follows:
1) Allama Abdal-Majid, Ajmer, India
2) Allama Mufti Hafiz Qari Muhammad Muzaffar Ahmed,
3) Allama Hafiz Qari Mufti Muhammad Musharraf Ahmed,
4) Alhaj Qari Hafiz Muhammad Hafiz Al-Rehman, Bahawalpur,
5) Maulana Qari Hafiz Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, Delhi, India.
6) Dr, Abu al-Khair Muhammad Zubair, Hyderabad,
7) Dr. Abd al-Karim Chittauri, India.
8) Mufti Maqbool al-Rehman Sevharvi, India.
9) Janab Muhammad Usman Tonki. India etc.
I. Hakim Muhammad Zakir, Karachi, Pakistan
II. Janab Bashir al-Din, Karachi, Pakistan.
III. Janab Muhammad Yousuf, Karachi, Pakistan
IV. Hafiz Muhammad Saulihin, Karachi, Pakistan
V. Sufi Fazal-i-Ahmed, Karachi, Pakistan.
VI. Janab Safdar Hassan, Lahore, Pakistan.
VII. Mawlana Muhammad Ahmed Qureshi, Lahore, Pakistan.
VIII. Prof Abul Kamal Shamsi Tehrani, Aligarh, India.
IX. Sufi Muhammad Ibrahim, Karachi, Pakistan.
X. Sayyid Nawab Ali, Hyderabad, Sindh.
XI. Hakim Muhammad Aaqil Dhampuri, India.
XII. Maulana Ghulam Ahmed Tonki, India etc.
Among the writings of Mufti-i-Azam, the Urdu
translation of the Holy Qur‘an is the most prominent. It
was published from Delhi before partition. Now the Zia
al-Qur‘an Publication, Lahore is publishing its second
edition in the near future. The top most among his
writings are those verdicts, which he had been writing
for nearly seventy years. These are unique in foresight
and prudence and spread in the different parts of
Pakistan and India. Its first and second volume had been
published by the title Fatawa-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 1970).
Now the third volume has been included in the new
edition (Karachi,1999). The academic and religious
importance of his verdicts is admitted by the scholars
of all schools of thought. The second great
contributions are those letters which are preserved in
India and Pakistan by many of his disciples and
devotees. Its first volume has been published entitled
Makatib-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 1969). Now the revised
edition has been published combined I and II volumes
(Karachi, 1999). In addition to this some treatises are
also included in his writings. The titles of some
treatises are given below:
Arakan-i-Din, printed by Hilali press, Delhi, 1331 /
Mazhar al-Aqa‘id, printed by Hilali Press, Delhi, 1331 /
Mazhar al-Aqa‘id, printed by Hilali Press, Delhi, 1331 /
Kashf al-Hijab ‘an-Masa‘ala al-Bina al-Qubab,
Printed by Jayyid Press, Delhi, 1344 / 1925.
Tahqiq al-Haq, printed by A‘la Press, Delhi, 1346 /
Risala Dar Ilm-i-Tauqit, 1350 / 193l.
Khazina al-Kharyrat, Printed by A‘la Press,
lntifa al-Mihal fi Ruya al-Hilal, Printed by Jayyid
Barqi Press, Dali, 1370 / 1980.
Fatwa Ruya al-Hilal, Printed by Jayyid Barqi Press,
Delhi 1378 / 1959.
Qasd al-Sabil, Printed by A‘la Press Delhi, 1379 / 1959.
Shajra-i-Manzum, Khandan-i-Aliya Naqshbandia Mujaddidiya
Mazhariyya, Printed by Imperial Press, Delhi, etc.
Treatise No. l to 3 have been published by
Idara-i-Mas‘udia, Karachi, in 1998 in one volume
entitled Zia' al-Islam, its English version will be
published with the title of “Light of Islam” in the near
future Insha Allah. Treatise no.5 published from Delhi
in 1926, Abu al-Suroor Muhammad Masroor Ahmed has
re-edited it and new edition has been published by
Idara-i-Mas‘udia, Karachi, in 2000. Treatises No. 4, 8,
9 and 10 have been included in Fatawa-i-Mazhari
EPILOGUE BY SA'IMA FAISAL
For thorough and detailed study on Shaykh al-Islam
Mufti-i-Azam Shah Muhammad Mazharullah of Delhi end his
descendants please see the following references.
Shah Muhammad Mas‘ud Muhadith Dehlavi
i) Fatwa-i-Mas‘udi (Karachi, 1987).
Shah Muhammad Mazharullah
i) Fatwa-i-Mazhariyya (Karachi, 1999)
ii) Makatib-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 1999)
iii) Mawa‘iz-i-Mazhari (Karachi 1969)
iv) Baqiyat-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 2002)
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mas‘ud Ahmed Karachi, 1969)
I. Tazkara-i-Mazhar-i-Mas‘ud (Karachi, 1969)
II. Faqih al-Hind (Karachi 1996)
III. Hayat-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 1974)
IV. Mah-o-Anjum (Sialkot, 1983)
Dr. Abul Khar Muhammad Zubair
i) Bazam-i-Janan (Hyderabad, 1988)
ii) Sindh Key Sufiya-i-Naqshband (Hyderabad, 1997).
Dr. Sayyid S.M. Arif
i) Aashiq-i-Rasool (Bhawalpur 1997)
Dr. Abd-al-Naim Azlz.
i) Dr. Mas‘ud Ahmed Aur Nathr-i-Urdu (Karachi, 2002)
i) Jahan-i-Mas‘ud (Karachi, 1 985)
M. Abd-al-Sattar Tahir
i) Manzil ba Manzil (Karachi, 1991)
ii) Takhasussat-i-Mas‘ud-i-Millat (Lahore,1994)
iii) Tizkar-i-Mas‘ud-i-Millat (Lahore, 1999).
iv) Makatib-i-Mas‘udi (Karachi, 2002)
Muhammad Masroor Ahmed
i) Mas‘ud-i-Millat Kay Aathar-i-Ilmiyya (Karachi 1997)
ii) Imam Ahmed Riza Aur Harat-i-Naqshbandia (Karachi,
10. Dr. Ijaz Anjum Latifi
i) Dr. Mas‘ud Ahmed life and works, Bihar University,
India (Karachi, 2002)
11. Jawaid Iqbal Mazhari
i) Malfoozat-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 1990)
ii) Manaqib-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 1999)
12. Late Haji Muhammad Younus Bari
i) Anwar-i-Mazhariyya (Karachi, 1990)
13. Haji Muhammad Ilyas
i) Karamat-i-Mazhari (Karachi, 1990)
14. Prof. Nabila lshaque Ch.
i) Imam Ahmed Raza Aur Mas‘ud Millat (Karachi, 2000)