A short biography of Shaykh Mawlana Manazir Ahsan Gilaani (RA)

              Mawlana 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 Mawlana Syed Hakeem Barakaat Ahmad. Thereafter, he was admitted in Darul Uloom Deoband (1331-1332 AH) and studied Bukhari and Tirmizhi from Shaikhul Hind Mawlana Mehmood-ul-Hasan (RA) and also accepted Shaikhul Hind as his spiritual mentor. He also studied Muslim from Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (RA). His other teachers at Darul Uloom Deoband include: Mawlana Shabir Ahmad Usmani (RA), Mufti Azizur Rahman Usmani (RA), Mawlana Habibur Rahman Usmani and Mawlana Syed Ashghar Hussain Deobandi (RA). 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 Mawlana 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. Mawlana 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”, Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi said: “The writer of this book will prove to be a great researcher of Islam.“ His most famous works are : - An-Nabiul Khatim- Musalmano ka Nizame Taleem-o-Tarbiat- Islami Muashiyaat- Imam Abu Hanifa ki Siasi Zindagi- Tadween-e-Hadith- Ad-deenul Qayyim- Tadween-e-Quran- Tadween-e-Fiqh- Muqalaat-e-Ahsani- 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, Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanotawi, called “Savanihe Qasmi”. Mawlana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Saheb Says: “When I requested him (Mawlana Gilani) to write the biography of Mawlana 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 Mawlana 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”. Mawlana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi says: “Mawlana 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.” Indeed Allah Ta’ala had blessed him with all these qualities. He belonged to that group of Muslim elites who revolutionized the Muslim thought and upheld the truths of Islam in the Indian subcontinent in such a time when both the British and the Hindus were against Islam and Muslims. His writings are a proof of his unrivaled scholarship and knowledge. The Ulama of Islam gave the masses knowledge of the revelation and the Sunnah through their writings and speeches and this knowledge would strengthen their faith and conviction and would serve as their most powerful weapon against the internal (nafs [ego] and shaytan [devil]) and external enemies of Islam. Mawlana Abdul Hasan Ali Nadwi further says: “It can be said without exaggeration that finding a like of him (Mawlana 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.” Ulama of Islam meet the challenges posed by the demurers of Islam by their heavenly knowldege. They are the inheritors of the Prophets of Allah, who used to respond to the challenges of people by means of miracles, likewise the Ulama defend Islam by means of their knowledge, which they inherited from the Prophets. Knowledge is the Karamat or miracle of the Ulama. Ulama have always fortified Islam and did Jihaad against all innovations and misconceptions with their pens and moving speeches, which illuminated the hearts of the Muslim masses and safeguarded them from falling in the traps set by the enemies of Islam. One of the misconceptions that the astrayed tried to create in the minds of the Muslims was to create doubt in the authenticity of the Ahadith of Rasulullah. They are called Munkareen-e-Hadith (those who deny the Ahadith or their authenticity). This chaos not only confused the common Muslims but also posed a threat to the devoted Muslims. The Ulama of Deoband combated this fitna with full force and opposition. Mawlana Gilaani’s book “Tadween-e-Hadith” (the Compilation of Hadith) has defended the Ahadith of Rasulullah to such an extent that after a Muslim studies this book, not only his misconceptions will be erased but he will have plenty proof to establish the legitimacy of the sanctified sayings of Rasulullah. Mawlana Syed Ataullah Shah Bukhari says about this book: “When I studied “Tadween-e-Hadith” of Mawlana 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).”

Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi says about Mawlana Gilaani: “All of the Manazir (academic arguments) of Manazir Ahsan are Ahsan (excellent)”.