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Sayyid Abu’l Hasan ‘Alī Nadwī The Fragrance of the East Fades Away
Radiance Viewsweekly


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 Urdu.

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 soon.

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.

Courtesy: ‘The Radiance Viewsweekly’, Delhi, India

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