Mawlānā Abu’l Hasan ‘Alī Nadwī, an
Islamic scholar of global repute, breathed his last at his native village in Rai
Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh on December 31, 1999. He was 85.
President of All India Muslim Personal
Board (AIMPLB) and founder member of the Makkah-based Rābitah al-‘Ālam al-Islāmī,
Mawlānā Abu’l Hasan ‘Alī, popularly known as ‘Alī Miyān, rendered invaluable
services in the various educational, literary and research fields in Arabic and
Born in a devout Muslim family of Rae
Bareilly in January 1914, Mawlānā Abu’l Hasan ‘Alī Nadwī was initiated into
theology by his father Mawlānā Hakīm Sayyid ‘Abdu’l Ha’i Hasanī Nadwī, who was
himself an eminent scholar of his time. His father died when he was only nine
leaving the young ‘Alī under the guidance of his elder brother Dr Sayyid ‘Abu’l
‘Alī Hasanī. Besides his brother, those who moulded his personality include his
revered mother, Mawlānā Ahmad ‘Alī Lāhorī, Mawlānā ‘Abdu’l Qādir Rā’ipurī, and
his teacher Khalīl Ibn ‘Arab and Mawlānā Haydar Hasan Khān.
His grasp of Islamic history and
brilliant writings earned ‘Alī Miyān a distinguished position among the Muslim
intelligentsia quite early in his life. After completing his education at
Lucknow-based Dāru’l ‘Ulūm Nadwatu’l ‘Ulamā, he joined Nadwah as a teacher of
Arabic and Tafsīr literature and served this premier institution in this
capacity for about 10 years. Then he succeeded his elder brother as Secretary of
Nadwah and later held the responsibility of Rectorship of Nadwah till the last
breath of his life. Besides, he also rendered his services as deputy Editor of
the Urdu journal, Al-Nadwah.
Mawlānā Abu’l Hasan ‘Alī was a prolific
author with about 80 books of scholarly and research nature to his credit, many
of which have been rendered into different languages. He made his debut in the
literary field at the age of 17 with an Arabic work on Sayyid Ahmad Shahīd which
was published in the Egyptian newspaper, Al-Manār. It was followed by Sīrah
Sayyid Ahmad Shahīd in Urdu written in 1939-40. His masterpiece, Mā Dhā Khasira
al-‘Alam Bi Inhitāti’l Muslimīn was so widely acclaimed that it carved out a
place for him in the literary circles of the Arabic world. His other eminent
works include Western Civilisation; Islam and Muslims; Faith versus Materialism;
Nabī-i-Rahmat; Islamic Concept of Prophethood; Muslims in India; Tarīkh
Da‘wat-u-‘Azīmat; Qadiyanism: A Critical Study; Daryā-i-Kābul Say Daryā-i-Yarmūk
Tak; Purānayn Chirāgh, besides his biography, Kārwān-i-Zindagī.
The late Mawlānā was associated with a
number of religious, literary, research and cultural institutions in India and
abroad. He was president of Dīnī Ta‘līmī Council, UP; chairman of the Managing
Committee of Dāru’l Musannifīn, Azamgarh, UP; president of the Board of
Trustees, Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford University, UK; member of the
Academy of Arts and Letters, Damascus; member Higher Council of Madīnah
University; member Executive Committee of the Islamic Universities Federation,
Rabat, Morocco; and member of the Academy of Arabic Language, Amman, Jordan.
He had also been Visiting Professor at
the Damascus and Madīnah Universities. Some of his works have the distinction of
being prescribed in the syllabi of numerous universities.
Mawlānā Abu’l Hasan ‘Alī Nadwī was also
one of the recipients of Malik Faisal International Award for his services to
the cause of Islam in 1980. The Mawlānā was also associated with
Jamā‘at-i-Islāmī during 1940s but dissociated himself from the Jamā‘at fold
Though he was issueless, the late
Mawlānā left a large number of his associates and disciples behind him.
His funeral prayer was led by Mawlānā
Rābi‘ Hasan Nadwī and attended by a large number of his associates and
well-wishers. He was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard late in the night
of December 31.
Radiance Viewsweekly’, Delhi, India