Shaykh ul Islam
Allama Pir Sayed Muhammad Madani Ashrafi al-Jilani (May Allah preserve & protect him) is no ordinary Alim (scholar) amongst todays masses of ‘Imams, Sufis and Allamas’. Shaikh ul-Islam has many unique & special qualities, as well as characteristics. These are very much noticeable whenever one is lucky enough to sit in one of his blessed gatherings. The Shaikh’s presence and persona is such that many first time visitors and guests have become totally in awe and many times as a result have become Shaikh ul-Islam’s murid (disciple) instantaneously.
There are no records on the exact number of murid’s Shaikh ul-Islam has but a conservative estimate puts it in excess of 5 million people. Such is his reputation and following not just in the South Asian countries but throughout the globe.
The taqwa (piety) of Hazrat Shaikh ul-Islam is completely different to the taqwa of the ordinary scholar. One of the most often repeated phrases by his contemporaries is that Shaikh ul-Islam is a kamil-wali’ (a perfect saint).
Another unique gift of Shaikh ul-Islam is his ability to express profound truths in a brief, yet astoundingly clear way. The combination of these gifts has made his speeches, writings and poetry amongst the most practically useful sources for the Muslims of our time.
Born on the 1st of Rajab 1357AH, Shaykh ul Islam was the third of Mohaddise Azam Hind‘s six children.
Shaykh ul Islam gained his early Islamic education at ‘Jamia Ashraf’ in Kicchocha Shareef. He remained here until the age of 14, at which point he was entered into Darul Uloom Ashrafiya, Mubarakpur under the tutelage of Hafiz-e-Millat Shah Abdul Aziz. At this time the university was considered as the pre-eminent place of study of Islamic Sciences.
Shaykh ul Islam was considered a model student during his time at university, reading all available material in Farsi, Urdu and Arabic, even if not a set text of his Dars-e-Nizami course.
Shaykh ul Islam was still a student when his father, Mohaddise Azam Hind, passed away. Forty days after his father’s passing, at the age of just 25, Shaykh ul Islam was named his father’s ‘Janasheen’ (Spiritual Successor). He was now responsible for his father’s spiritual responsibilities, including his father’s mureeds (disciples).
Shaykh ul Islam then returned to university, completing his extensive further education a year later.
Shaykh ul Islam’s personal wish was to become his father’s mureed. However on the occasions he apporoached his father on the subject he was rebuked. Mohaddise Azam told him that he would have to do as he had done, and become the mureed of his maternal uncle. After his father’s passing, Shaykh ul Islam did exactly that, becoming the mureed of his maternal uncle, Sarkar-e-Kalan Sayed Mukhtar Ashraf.
Shaykh ul Islam is also a prolific author, penning multiple books on a wide range of subjects. One very important book was the Fatwa (religious ruling) on the permissibility of the Islamic use of TV and radio. This fatwa lead to him being honoured with the title ‘Raees al-Muhaqiqin’ by Gazzali-e-Doran Shaykh al-Hadith Sayed Ahmad Saeed Kazmi. Muslims around the world almost universally rely on this fatwa when recording religious programmes.
However, Shaykh ul Islam is known most in the UK for his tireless work in rebutting the rise of Wahhabism during the 1970’s. He tirelessly toured the UK often giving multiple speeches a day with the aim of purifying people’s aaqida (core beliefs). Loyal mureeds would tour with the great scholar recording the speeches audio (in the days before the fatwa on TV and radio) and video after permission was attained. A vast library of these are currently being uploaded to the MA Mission London YouTube page.
For a more in depth biography please visit the Spiritual Foundation page.
In 2013, Shaykh ul Islam completed his magnum opus, fulfilling his father’s ambition of writing a Tafsir (commentary) of The Holy Quran. Entitled “Tafsir-e-Ashrafi” the ten volume commentary is written in easy to understand Urdu, aiming to simplify complicated Islamic concepts for the layman. Physical copies are available now.
Tafseer-e-Ashrafi is also in the process of being made into an Urdu audio book. This will allow people who understand Urdu but do not read it to enjoy the book too. Currently six parts are available.
Work has also commenced on a English translation. Volume one is expected in early 2016.
For more information on acquiring either the physical books, audio books contact us on email@example.com.