My Time in the Blessed Company ofThe King of GnosticsHazrat `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri (RA)By Monawwar AteeqHAZRAT `Allamah `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri (Rahmatullahi alayh) was born in Mirzapur in thehome of Mouwlana Allah Ditta on 24th Sha’ban 1363h (13th August 1944). His family migratedto Lahore whilst he was a child and he started his primary education there. He thereafterstudied under the leading Ulama of his era among them were Muhadith-e-Azam PakistanMouwlana Sardar Ahmad Qadiri, the spiritual mentor of his mother, `Allamah Gulam RasoolRizwi commentator of Sahih Bukhari, Mufti-e-Azam Pakistan Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad Qadirison of Sayyid Deedar `Ali Shah Alwari, Mufti `Abdul Qayyum Hazarawi ex-President of JamiaNizamiya, and Ustaadh al-Ulama `Allamah `Ata Muhammad Bandyalawi, senior teacher atJamia Mazhariya Bandyal. He surpassed his peers in combining between the inner and outersciences and was renowned for his mastery in the rational sciences (ma`quwlat). Among hisliving peers are `Allamah `Ali Ahmad Sidehlwi the Musnid of Lahore and `Allamah Gulam RasoolSa`eedi the Muhadith of Karachi, who studied Jami` Tirmidhi together with him at JamiaMazhariya Bandyal.Hazrat was also a Muhadith and had a lot of interest in the chains of Hadith. He narrates fromthe abovementioned scholars and from Sayyid `Abdurahman Kattani of Morocco, the Mufti ofEgypt Muhammad `Ali Jum`ah, Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi Maliki, Shaykh Fadhl al-RahmanMadani, Mufti Hassan bin Muhammad al-Ghumari, Sayyid Malik al-`Arabi al-Sanusi al-Madani,Shaykh Muhammad `Ali Murad Shami al-Madani, `Allamah Shareef al-Haq Amjadi, Mufti AkhtarRaza Khan al-Azhari, Sayyid Ahmad Sa`eed Kazimi, Muhadith-e-Kabir Dhiya al-Mustafa Qadiri,`Allamah `Abdul Haq Bandyalawi and others.Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad became the Spiritual Mentor (Murshid) of Hazrat Sharaf and manyother Shuyukh also gave him khilafat in various Sufi pathways among them are: `AllamahRayhan Raza who received it from Hujjat al-Islam Hamid Raza and Mufti-e-Azam Hind MustafaRaza Khan both of whom received it from their father and from Sayyid Ahmad Nuri Barakati.Shaykh Fadhl al-Rahman Madani son of Qutb-e-Madina Dhiya al-Din Madani gave Hazrat Ijaza inhis father’s silsilah. Among the others are: Sayyid Mas`ud Ahmad Rizwi, Sayyid MuhammadAmeen Miya Barakati, Sayyid Ahmad `Ali Rizwi, Sayyid Ahmad Ashraf Ashrafi Geelani, Khawajah
Muhammad Sadiq of Gulhar Kotli, `Allamah Shareef al-Haq Amjadi, Sayyid Muratib Shah andSayyid Na’eem Ashraf.Hazrat’s Murshid: Sayyid Abul Barakat AhmadHazrat says in Shajarah Haiy Tariqat: “This needy of Allah was the head teacher at Daar al-UlumIslamiya Rahmaniya in Haripur Hazarah, when I pondered about seeking a perfect murshid. Afterconstant contemplation, I chose Sayyid Sahib (Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad Qadiri of Lahore) whowas a handsome embodiment of knowledge and practice, and was also the Khalifa of the Imamof Ahl al-Sunnah; Mouwlana Shah Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi. Thus, I traveled to Lahore andasked him to accept my request to which he replied: “come the day after tomorrow”. This was amanner of the Mashayikh as they would judge whether the seeker is a true one or not. Due totheir extra grace upon me, I was pretty frank therefore replied: “when a non-believer wants toutter the shahadah, it must not be delayed and he must be taught it straight away”, to which heremarked “la hawla wa la quwwata! What do you mean by this?” I said: “I want to repent onyour hands, and you are instructing me to come a day after the following” upon hearing this hesaid “fine, so come to me at this instant” and thereafter took my pledge in the prestigious RizwiSilsilah, this was on the 16th of Muharram 1395h, 25th March 1970.Similarly, I requested him to grant me permission in his chain of transmission in Hadith, andrecited some Hadiths of Tirmidhi before him. He was extremely benevolent with me andhonored me with it whilst documenting my name on it with his own pen writing “My brother inthe love of Allah, Muhammad Abdul Hakim son of Mouwlana Allah-Ditta Sahib of Lahore”Whereas Sayyid Sahib had a stringent procedure in giving his sanad. Mouwlana QadhiMuhammad Muzaffar Iqbal Rizwi, may Allah increase his noble life, head of Jamia Nu`maniya ofLahore, once informed me that when Sayyid Sahib used to teach at the Dehli Gate Madrasahhe would give the students who studied Hadith under him his Sanad certificate, but did not signit until two or three years later! Upon my request, he also gave me Ijaza in reciting Dala’il al-Khayrat. May Allah most High have mercy on him and be pleased with him”Sayyid Hamdullah Jaan Afgani, a skilled teacher of Arabic grammar who taught at Data Darbarfor eighteen years, informed Hazrat Sharaf Sahib Rahmatullahi alayh that MouwlanaMuhammad Jaan Sabir of Deerah Ismail Khan used to study Hadith under Sayyid Abul BarakatAhmad. In one of the lessons, Sayyid Sahib said “whosoever studying Hadith does not see theMessenger of Allah upon him be peace and blessings during his studies, should consider hisstudies unaccepted”. Muhammad Jaan Sabir had not seen the Messenger of Allah yet he hadbeen studying for nearly eight months. One afternoon, after his classes, Mouwlana Sabir wentto his room that was directly situated above Sayyid Sahibs, and sat their crying upon his loss and
wept until he fell asleep in that state in which his eyes were blessed with the vision of Rasulullah(upon him be peace and blessings). From beneath, Sayyid Sahib exclaimed: “Mouwlana Sabir! Sohave you now been blessed with the noble vision? Congratulations!” “Yes! He was benevolentwith me!” replied Mouwlana Sabir. Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad was the son of the massive Muhadith and Faqih of Alwar who latermigrated to Lahore, Sayyid Deedar `Ali Shah Alwari. Sayyid Abul Barakat completed severalclassical texts in various disciplines with his father and graduated under Mouwlana SayyidMuhammad Na`eemudin Muradabadi after having completed Qazi Mubarak, Hamdullah, al-Ufuq al-Mubeen, Sadra, Sharh al-Aqa’id, books in Medicine and the six books of Hadith with himin 1337h/1919. He thereafter completed the six books again with his father and received Ijaza inthem. In the year of his graduation, he traveled to Bareily Shareef, India, with his father and theyboth took the Rizwi Silsilah and absolute Ijaza from the Unrivalled Imam, Shah Ahmad RazaKhan (may Allah have mercy on them all). Sayyid Sahib remained in Bareiley Shareef for a periodof time and practiced Ifta under him, this is why his manner of writing has the same style as ofthe Great Imam of Bareily. In his appearance and beauty, Sayyid Sahib was similar to Sayyid `AliHussain Ashrafi Kachouchawi who was called “Shabeeh-e-Gawth-e-Azam” by Imam Ahmad RazaKhan in a Persian couplet.Bear in mind that Sayyid Sahib’s Murshid in bay`ah was Sayyid `Ali Hussain Ashrafi and talab andKhilafat was with Imam-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Shah Ahmad Raza Khan. Likewise, Sayyid Sahib’s father,Sayyid Deedar `Ali Shah, better known as “Sanad al-Muhaditheen” chief of Hadith masters, wasa Mureed of Shah Fadhl al-Rahman Muradabadi who was a student of Shah `Abdul `Aziz Dihlawiand Mureed and Khalifa of Shah Muhammad Afaq. From this fact we learn the high status andprestigious rank of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan that the leading Ulama would take Tariqa from himafter they had completed their studies.I have recorded detailed chains of Hadith for the father and son in my recent Arabic collection ofchains of hadith of the Ahl al-Sunnah Ulama of the subcontinent, titled “Fat’h al-Qawiy”published recently in Damascus.My Relation with Hazrat`Allamah `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri’s affection towards me (May his grave be filled withtranquility and light) was of a similar nature of his Shaykh’s with him. I always considered him
my spiritual father and Allah Most High has poured immense love of his into my heart. Hisknowledge combined with practice and humbleness made him shine out from among his peers.He was an embodiment of Sunna and Taqwa. Hazrat never complained about dunya and lived asimple life, though he could have enjoyed the luxuries of this life if he desired. I was told by anauthentic source that Hazrat and his family spent over 20 years in a small 2 bedroom flatprovided by Jamia Nizamiya when he taught there up until 2001!In 2006, I was blessed to meet Hazrat in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal for the third time, andmany times thereafter at his home in Lahore, at his Maktabah Qadiriya (Daata Darbar) and atthe Madrasa of Mouwlana `Abdul Gafoor. I met Hazrat twice before in the UK in 2001 once atthe Imam Ahmad Raza Conference in Bradford, having the memory of him sitting behind thestage crying with his eyes lowered (and this was his state at most times), and the second timewas when he visited us at Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust and examined me in Fiqh, Bab al-Jana’iz fromal-Ikhtiyaar.Hazrat is the teacher of both of my teachers, `Allamah Rasul Bakhsh Sa`eedi (founder ofMadrasa Faizan-e-Rasul, Birmingham) from whom I took Sarf, Nahw, Adab, Usul al-Fiqh, Fiqh,Usul al-Hadith, Hadith, Tafsir, Mantiq, and Mufti Yar Muhammad Qadiri (senior teacher atHazrat Sultan Bahu Trust, Birmingham) with whom I studied major books in Tafsir, Balagah, Fiqh,Aqa’id, Usul al-Fiqh, Falsafah and Mantiq.Before I traveled to Pakistan in 2006, I had been in contact with Hazrat via telephone and hadearned many of his duas supporting me to spread the teachings of Ahl al-Sunnah. In my firstconversation that I noted in my diary dated 18th of December 2005 at 2pm I informed Hazratthat I am his Grand Student and informed him of the Sunnaconnect projects to which he replied“you are the sign of the acceptance of my efforts”. Hazrat said a similar statement to `AllamahRasul Bakhsh Sa`eedi, my teacher and Hazrat’s student, over a telephone conversation regardingmy stay in Lahore, as we finished dhikr on a Thursday at the Madrasa of Mouwlana `AbdulGafoor saying “I have witnessed the signs of acceptance of my efforts in the likes of MonawwarAteeq”.After several visits to Hazrat’s house and many days of suhbah and learning various Dhikr withperseverance, I requested Hazrat to accept my talab in the prestigious Rizwi Silsilah. He askedabout my bay`ah and I informed him that it was with my righteous father. He brought out hisIjazah and wrote in it my name with his pen in the following manner “I give Ijazat and Khilafat toMouwalna `Allamah Monawwar Ateeq May Allah preserve him, son of Mouwlana Muhammad
Abdullah Ateeq Sahib May Allah prolong his life, from Azad Kashmir, living in Birmingham, in theQadiri Rizwi Barakati, Naqshbandi Mujaddidi, Shadhili, Rifa`i, and Ashrafi paths” I feelundeserving of these words and unworthy of the kindness of Hazrat Rahmatullahi alayh, butbelieve they are a dua for me that will Insha Allah be accepted. He also gave Khilafat and Ijaza tomy Noble father Shaykhi wa sayyidi Muhammad Abdullah Ateeq (may Allah prolong his life withhealth more ibadah). This was on the 3rd of Rabi` al-Awwal 1427h.As for Ijaza in Hadith and the entire Islamic sciences, I asked Hazrat to kindly present it to me soI can be connected to the great luminaries of the Ahl al-Sunnah through him, so he offered it tome and wrote “the pious son Muhammad Monawwar Ateeq Rizwi may Allah- Most Blessed andElevated- employ him to spread the propagation of Islam” and this was a day before I receivedKhilafat from him on 2nd Rabi` al-Awwal 1427h. This Ijaza is numbered 937.It was the mere love and enormous affection of Hazrat for me that during my last visit to Lahore,he called me to his abode and deputised (tawkeel) me in giving Ijaza of Hadith and in the IslamicSciences on his behalf to the Ulama, and penned this on his personalised letterhead with abeautiful wording. This gift is dated 22nd Jamadi al-Uwla 1427h in Hazrat’s handwriting,Rahmatullah alayh. The wording is:بسم ا الرحمن الرحيم:الحمد لله وحده والصلوة والسلم على من ل نبي بعده وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين أما بعدفقد وكلت أخي الفاضل منور عتيق حفظه ا تعالى أن يعطي عني إجازة رواية الحديثالشريف والعلوم الدينية من هو أهله من العلماء كما أجازني به المشايخ الكبار وتفصيل أسامهم.مسطور في الجواهر الغالية من السانيد العالية، وا الموفقوأوصيه باتباع ما جاء به سيدنا ومولنا محمد رسول ا صلى ا عليه وسلم وجرى به السلفالصالح رحمهم ا تعالىوكتبه محمد عبد الحكيم شرف القادريالمقيم بمدينة لهور باكستان
I received numerous Ijazas from Hazrat (Rahmatullahi alayh). Four of them Hazrat gaveme directly and the others came to me recently through the post by courtesy of myteacher and Hazrat’s dear colleague the Musnid of Lahore `Ali Ahmad Sindehlwi (MayAllah prolong his life and extend his benefit to all).On one of my early visits in Rabi` al-Awwal, Hazrat gave me his revised and editedmanuscript on Hadith chains titled “al-Durr al-Manzum fi Asaneed Bahr al-Ulum” byMuhammad Ateeq Ansari Lakhnouwi on the chains of transmissions of Bahr al-Ulum`Abdul `Ali Lackhnouwi. He opened the last two pages and told me to read from themanuscript. So I did, and it was an astounding account of Bahr al-Ulum’s meeting withthe Noble Prophet (upon him be pace and blessings). Here is the translation of theArabic passage I recited before Hazrat:“Bahr al-Ulum’s bay`ah: he gave his pledge directly on the hands of Allah’s Messengermay Allah give him mercy and blessings, in consciousness by meeting him throughmeans of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique, and he used to say “Abu Bakr is my means toRasulullah”. The incident narrated by some of his students among them is his son in lawMulla `Ala`uddin, is as follows: when he migrated from Lakhnouw to Shahjahanfur andsettled there, he was once studying late night in the upper floor of his home as usualwhilst his students were busy in their studies in the lower floor, a handsome Arab man inhis old age who had a lot of presence around him appeared and asked about Mouwlana.The students told him that he is in the upper floor so he went upstairs and gave salam,Bahr al-Ulum replied with greetings and continued studying. The old man said “do younot honour your guest?” Upon hearing this Bahr al-Ulum closed his book and attendedhim. The man said, “Stand, and accompany me, for somebody great is calling you”. Sohe did, and the man led him to a garden, and under a tree he saw a horseman who hadveiled his face. Bahr al-Ulum was overwhelmed by the awe of this person. Withoutremoving his veil, the horseman asked: “do you know the Satan cannot resemble theform of your Prophet may Allah send blessings upon him?” Bahr al-Ulum replied: “that isestablished in an authentic Hadith”. Then the horseman asked: “have you memorisedthe description (hilya) of your Prophet may Allah send peace upon him?” Bahr replied:“yes”. The Horseman removed the veil from his noble face and said: “I am your Prophet,and this is Abu Bakr”. Then Rasulullah placed his mantle on the ground and they all saton it and he ordered Bahr to take bay`ah so he stretched his hand to the noble hand anddone so. One of the students had also followed in secrecy and witnessed this eventfrom far without being noticed. Upon returning to his home, the student was eager toknow and asked about this unusual event after Fajr prayer. Bahr al-Ulum deniedinforming anyone but the student insisted and indicated towards some of the things hesaw. Bahr al-Ulum told him of the incident, the student regretted over his loss and weptover the failure to attain this enormous gift. Whenever somebody insisted to take thispathway of bay`ah from Bahr al-Ulum he would give it and would say “`Abdul `Ali took it
from Siddique al-Akbar who took it from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah send peaceand blessings upon him”. And great benevolence and enormous gift is not given toexcept the major Gnostics, and there is no doubt in the authenticity of this bay`ah, sincethe consensus of the Awliya is established on this and the reports of this kind are mass-transmitted. The author of Manahil said: “this consensus affirms the events when he sawthe souls of the martyrs in many nights, mounted on horses meeting the people of thisdunya and speaking with them”.”Hazrat said: “Subhanllah! Loot at this amazing incident!” thereafter he taught me awazifa to meet Rasulullah upon him be peace and blessings, which he received fromMuhadith-e-Azam Pakistan Mouwlana Sardar Ahmad rahmatullahi alayh.Allah Allah! This was Hazrat’s love for his servant.When I visited Hazrat on the 8th of Jamadi al-Uwla 1427h at his home, he gifted me hisnewly released book titled “Muqaddimaat-e-Rizwiyyah” collated by Mouwlana AbdusattarTahir Mas’udi in which the latter collected all of Hazrat’s forwards written to bookspertaining to the great Imam of India; Imam Ahmad Raza Khan. I remember Hazrat wasextremely joyful on that day and took me through it smiling, may Allah shower mercy onhis grave. In its front cover he wrote the following passage in Arabicإهداء إلى العالم الناشئ والولد الذي نحسبه صالحا وا حسيبه ول نزكي على ا أحدا، إلىابننا العزيز مولنا محمد منور عنيق الرضوي سخره ا لرفع رأية السلم عالية خفاقة. وأناالفقير إلى ربه الغني محمد عبد الحكيم شرف القادري لهور باكستان. 8 من جمادي الولى7241هـIt was time for Salat al-Maghrib and Hazrat instructed me to lead the prayer. I, feelingawfully uncomfortable to stand before the Great Imam of Shariah and Tariqa of his era,hesitated from this but this was not the first time he ordered me to lead so I steppedahead since “command preponderates etiquette”. He would instruct me to lead even ifhis student or son was praying with us and a couple of times he lead the prayer himself.It was Hazrat’s spiritual aid that lead me to the mat ahead and encouraged me to reciteotherwise I never attempt to take lead even on a daily basis.
After prayer, Hazrat performed dhikr and taught me it whilst I sat in a specific way as heplaced his hand on my heart (Lateefa al-Qalb) for approximately twenty minutes.Hazrat’s servant and student who stayed at his house, Riyadh al-Din of India,accompanied me. On completing the dhikr session Hazrat said, “I was once sitting with ascholar when Mushtaq (Hazrat’s son) came up to me and complained of a severeheadache. The Shaykh asked for some water, recited a few words and blew in it,ordering Mushtaq to drink from it. After a sip, the shaykh asked “has the pain finished?” Isitting besides him remarked astonishingly “what did you recite?” he replied “I recitedthese words constantly 125, 000 times in one masjid for one and a half months”. Afternarrating this incident Hazrat said “SubhanAllah! These are the blessings of performingdhikr with persistence and especially the Divine names of Allah. If one has permissionfrom Shuyukh and is persistent in dhikr, he reaps all of its benefits.”Following Dhikr, Hazrat ordered Riyadh al-Din, to read out the masterful Persiancouplets of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan in rejoice of the birth of Sayyid Ibrahim MiyanMarahrawi’s son, and their excellent elaborating commentary by himself publishedtowards the end of “Muqaddimat-e-Rizwiyya”. The whole poem is written compromisingterms used in the nomenclature of Mantiq and is extremely difficult to understand. HazratSahib verbally commented on all of it and mentioned that he made istikhara and specialdua for spiritual opening for many days before he was given the meanings of the poem!Hazrat’s Urdu commentary and understanding of this difficult poem is a clear sign of hismastery in the rational sciences. The reason why Imam Ahmad Raza wrote the poem inthis manner was because he was teaching Mantiq when he heard of the good news ofthe birth of this son, from Balgram, as he mentions in the opening couplets. The poemconsists of terms such as wadha and hamal with their abbreviations (jeem and baa, bothwith long madds), Shakl, Qiyas Iqtirani, Natijah, Tasdeeq, Hujja, Aks Mustawi.Hazrat loved his students equally to his sons. He considered them his spiritual progenyand honoured them, illustrated kindness towards them and always offered themNasihah. Once Hazrat came into the room around Zuhr time smiling and said “Aishasays something” Aisha is Hazrat’s grand daughter, the child of Dr Mumtaz the eldestson, and then called her and told her to repeat what she said. Aisha in a shy tonerepeated “I will take Munawwar Chachu to Madina with me” (chachu is an affectionateway of saying uncle in Urdu) Hazrat continued smiling and made Dua for the acceptanceof this word. On my numerous visits to his home, or via telephone, Hazrat reminded meof the words of Aisha.When my marriage date had been decided, I invited Hazrat to my wedding in Kashmir.He apologised and I continually insisted that he should come and I ensured the comfortof his journey but Hazrat apologised due to the length of the journey (approximately 7
hours by car). After my marriage, Hazrat invited me and my wife to his home in Lahore,to compensate for missing the wedding, and we remained as guests in his home for twonights, but seemed like his children. He was tremendously pleased of our visit and madenumerous supplications for us.I have lost count on how many times Hazrat taught me Dhikr (talqeen). It must havebeen around fifteen times. The first time he placed his hand on my heart and taught methe special manner of sitting in Dhikr to keep the satanic influence away, Hazrat sangmany couplets of Shaykh Attar, Jami and Rumi in Persian. I got into a state of ibtihaalwhilst Hazrat was crying and singing in a frail tune. This was at the Madrasah of his dearfriend, the servant of Ustadh `Ata Muhammad Bandyalwi; Mouwlana `Abdul Gafoor, onthe day he invited us for food. My father in-law was present in this sitting.Before making dhikr, Hazrat gave me the following nasiha, “the Ulama must masterthree things:1. Oratory and publics sermons; this is important so that they can enjoin people in Goodand Forbid Evil. But, words will diffuse into thin air and they have a short term effect onthe laymen.2. Authoring and writing; they must not ignore this important area of their duty. Wordsthat are lost in thin air during sermons can be preserved by ink in books.3. Dhikr and spirituality; the Ulama of the outward sciences usually ignore this aspectand remain in the conflicts of qeela wa qaal. Your realisation and proximity with Allah isthe goal of your knowledge. You must practice Dhikr to bring life to the secrets hidden inyour chest (referring to the Lata’if; Qalb, Ruh, Sirr, Khafi & Akhafa) when they are awake,then the entire creation attaches to you, and you attach to the throne in the realm ofLight. Do you not ponder how many years it has been since Daata `Ali Hujwayri’sdemise? But his shrine is attended all day and night, even the pigeons live on its roof, itis because his Lata’if are alive and are very powerful due to immense practice of Dhikr”.On another occasion at his abode, Hazrat explained the details of Lata’if, their coloursand secrets to me, and illustrated and taught me the five manners of performing Dhikrthat are not enclosed to the public and are usually discussed with signs among people ofTariqah.His manner of teaching Dhikr was powerful and one would be awed by it. He sat in front
of me in the same manner that is cross legged, as I held tight “rag-e-keemas” with myright toe, placing his two fingers the index and middle finger on my heart “latifa-e-Qalb”and holding my crossed hands with his left hand or my right knee moving it rapidly,chanting Dhikr as I would look at his forehead. Hazrat once explained that there was agolden secret in this manner and later disclosed it to me. Then Hazrat would singcouplets on tawba and then shout “Huw Huw Huw” throwing a hand full of thin air at myheart, and crying out “Ya Sayyid Abul Barakat!” Alhamdulillah, I took this from of Dhikr onevery visit and in most of my sittings with him, and on my last but one visit in 2006Hazrat instructed me to start this form of Dhikr on Thursdays or Mondays with a circle oftrue seekers and told me that the doors of blessings had been opened for me.I mentioned Hazrat’s passionate singing. Hazrat was a teacher of the rational arts suchas Hikma with all of its subsidiary sciences, Mantiq, modern philosophy, and later heabandoned its teaching and diverted his attention towards teaching the mother books ofHadith. Hazrat was an Uslui (methodologist), Mutakallim (theologian), Faqih (jurist),Muhadith (master of Hadith) and Mufassir (Master of Quranic Exegesis) of the top rank.After having taught for approximately forty years, he secluded himself in his home wherehe rested his tired and ill body and occupied all of his time in `Ibadah, Dhikr, and writingwhen he was well. Hazrat was a persistent reader of Dala’il al-Khayrat since the time hisMurshid; Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad Qadiri gave him permission and the Noble Qur’anon a daily basis. His spirituality increased immensely in the latter part of his life due tothese reasons and therefore would sit singing Persian couplets of vast meaningscompromising remorse and turning to Allah, humility and shame before Allah, munajatsuch as the following verses which Hazrat jotted down in my personal diary in hishandwritingعاجزي وانكسار آورده امبار عصيان بي شمار آورده امهم دو جيز آورده ام در باركاهمو سبيد و رو سيه آورده امعفو تقصيرات خواهم اي معيناز طفيل رحمة للعلميناز طفيل أنبياء وأولياء
از طفيل اسم رب العلمين)(by Mouwlana Jamiبادشاها جرم مارا در كزارما كنهكاريم و تو آمر زكارتو نكاري وما بد كر ده ايمجرم بي اندازه بي حد كرده ايمبر دو آمد بنده بكر يختهآبروي خود بعصيان ريحته)(by Shaykh `Attar:And other coupletsصد كتاب وصد ورق در نار كنروي دل را جانـب دلدار كندر كنز وهدايه نتوان يافت خدارادر صفحهء دل بين كه كتابي به ازين نسيتآئينهء سكندر جام جم است بنكرتابر تو عرصه كردد احوال ملك دارا
On one occasion, Hazrat gave me the manuscript of Awa’il Sunbuliyya, a text in Hadith,and told me he had completed sama` for it from a scholar in Makkah who gave him acopy of the original. Upon hearing this, I was overwhelmed with joy and eager to recite itbefore him and hear some of it from him. As I held it in my hand without placing it on thetable, Hazrat realised what I intended. After a short while, he said: “put the book aside.You must occupy yourself only and only in the Dhikr I taught you”. I later realised thatHazrat wanted me to focus more on my inward as I had always restricted myself towords and texts. He knew I must purify my inner self for these Hadith to give their fruits.Even though I did not attain the sama` of the Awa’il from him, he did not deprive me of itsIjaza and recently sent a signed Ijaza for it through Shaykh `Ali Ahmad Sindehlwi signedby the latter too.Hazrat was graceful upon me and also narrated to me Hadith al- Rahmah without myprior request.Just before Hazrat’s demise, I spoke to him over the telephone and informed him that Ihad completed the transcription of the unpublished endorsements of the Ulama ofShaam on al-Dawla al-Makkiyya and that I sent him a copy of the published bookthrough Mouwlana Akram Azhari, head of Bhera Sharif Branch in Lahore. Upon hearingthis great news of futuh and success, Hazrat was delighted and made Dua for thebetterment of my dunya and akhira. This was the last Dua I heard from Hazrat’s mouthand my chest has secured it as my ears heard it. This Arabic research is titled “TaqareezUlama al-Shaam” and it received a forward by Dr Mumtaz Sadeedi, Hazrat’s son andHazrat himself dictated some of it to me over the phone and the rest of it was dictated tome before him.May Allah Ta`la reward him for His love, affection, and charity and join us with him in thecompany of Rasulullah in the hereafter, upon him be peace and blessings.Writings & TranslationsHazrat is the author of numerous books. His commentary on “al-Mirqat” in the principlesof Mantiq (Logic) is renowned in student and scholarly circles. Hazrat informed me thathe was recently working on three things, a translation of the Qur`an in Urdu that wasdifferent to other translations as it disclosed all pronouns by mentioning the subjects inbrackets, a commentary on the Divine names of Allah and he was using a rare epistle onthe topic by the great Indian Muhadith who died at sea Muhammad Irtidha `Ali Khan al-
Safawi, and a commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari.Hazrat’s translation of Imam Fakhrudin Razi’s exegesis on the Noble Quran titled “al-Tafsir al-Kabir”, translation of `Allamah Mahdi al-Fasi’s Persian commentary on Dala’il al-Khayrat titled “Matali` al-Masarrat” and Urdu translation of `Allamah Fadh al-Haq’sPersian text “Tahqeeq al-Fatwa” in refutation of Shah Ismail, are three other notableworks.Hazrat’s interests in Hadith transmissions increased in the latter part of his life. It seemsthat this change occurred after his first visit to Egypt when over one hundred Ulama andstudents took Ijazas from him. Thus, in 2005, he authored his own Thabat titled “al-Jawahir al-Galiya min al-Asaneed al-Aaliya” in Arabic in which he penned the details ofhis Shuyukh in the various Islamic Sciences and their channels of transmission. Hazratinstructed me to proof read this work, re-organise it and publish it in more detail. Ibelieve my Shaykh’s spiritual attention is towards me to make this affair and the otherresponsibilities given to me easy.Among his other writings, Hazrat’s major concern in authoring was highlighting theblameworthy acts and practices that had creped into the Minbars, prayer mats andsermons of the Ahl al-Sunnah. He warned of narrating extremely weak and fabricatedreports in Miraj and Mawlid talks, and stressed that people had lost adab with Allah MostHigh in their worship, Duas and sermons. His excellent and late work on this topic is“khuda kuw yaad kar piyarey” three quarters of which he himself recited to me.Hazrat had an excellent style of penning biographies and is renowned for collatingmemoirs of the Ulama Ahl al-Sunnah in Urdu and Arabic. Hazrat once showed me alarge document in which he penned Arabic biographies of the Sunni Ulama of thesubcontinent in alphabetical order and had not finished with alif! He said he wrote thesefor them to be published in an encyclopedia in Jordan. Hazrat instructed me to continuethis work from where he had left off. He also insisted that Dr Mumtaz Sadeedi shall proofread this work. Alhamdulillah, I penned three detailed biographies in Arabic for Muhadith-e-Wasiy Ahmad Suwrti, Sayyid Aal-e-Rasul Marahrawi and Sayyid Abul Hussain Nuri,may Allah have mercy on all of them, and sent them to Hazrat, he endorsed the work,was glad of the start and prayed for its completion.Hazrat was also excellent in reading manuscripts and indexing classical books. On oneof my visits, Hazrat gave me his copy of the Thabat of Bahr al-Ulum `Abdul `Ali
Lakhnouwi in Arabic that he had proof read and solved ambiguities of its original text,and instructed me to work on it along with the Thabat of Shah Na’eem al-DinMuradabadi and al-Nuru wa al-Baha by Sayyid Abul Hussain Nuri and publish it withfootnotes. All of these are manuscripts that Hazrat gave to me to work on. Books suchas al-Nibras (sharh of sharh al-Aqa`id) and al-Ta`leeq al-Mujalli (a marginal note onMunya al-Musalli) of Muhadith-e-Surti are indexed by Hazrat. Both of these texts arevery delicate and are annotations of mother books.Meetings with Arab Ulama`Allamah `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri met several Arab Ulama. In his last visit to theHaramayn during the first days of Ramadhan 2006, he met with Shaykh Muhammad`Awwama, Sayyid Malik al-`Arabi Sanusi and many other Ulama. In his earlier travels, hevisited Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi Maliki Makki at his home in Makka for the first timewhere Hazrat delivered a khutba at a Mawlid. Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi had great lovefor Hazrat and met him in Jamia Na`eemiya when he went to Lahore and thirdly inKarachi. Hazrat told me that he took Ijaza in Hadith from Sayyid Muammad `Alawi on thesecond meeting in Lahore. Hazrat said “I was sitting near him in the ceremony atNa’eemiya. He placed something in the Ijaza and gave it to me. Later, upon openingthe Ijaza, I saw a few hundred dollars and was shocked by the generosity of the Sayyid!”Hazrat narrated this incident and smiled. “Look at the akhlaq of the Sunni Ulama in theArabs. It is very high and they are excellent examples” remarked Hazrat. ThereafterHazrat praised the akhlaq of Sayyid Yusuf Hashim Rifa`i who was a dear friend of his,and encouraged me to adopt the top akhlaq of these Ulama.`Allamah `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri travelled to Egypt twice to meet the Ulama ofAzhar the last of the two journeys was in 2004 when his elder son Dr Mumtaz receivedhis PhD from al-Azhar on the Arabic poetry of Mouwlana Fadhl al-Haq al-Khayrabadiand his services in Arabic literature.On one of my visits I asked Hazrat to spare some time to visit Damascus and he wasdelighted by this news. We agreed that later this year or latest next year, we must visitthe schools and Ulama of Shaam with Dr Mumtaz and the costs of two persons will becovered by Sunnaconnect. On one of my later telephone conversations last year, DrMumtaz stressed that Hazrat wanted to travel to Damascus but unfortunately thisprogramme of ours was delayed and an opportunity has been missed, and Allah knowsbest.The Demise…
Hazrat passed away to the mercy of his Lord on Saturday 1st September, 19th Sha`ban1428h, at 2pm at his home in Lahore. His funeral took place the same night at DaataDarbar at 10pm, filled by scholars and students of the Sacred Deen who traveled fromdifferent parts of the subcontinent upon hearing the sudden demise, and was buriedbesides his home, in Lalah Zaar Phase 2, Thouwkar Lahore, at midnight. The area ofland in which Hazrat is buried in was the area on which Hazrat was intending toestablish a Madrasah. It was recently agreed by the Ulama and Hazrat’s sons thatHazrat’s shrine will be situated in the new building of the Madrasah.Hazrat’s second son, my beloved brother `Allamah Mushtaq Ahmad informed me twodays after the funeral prayer that Hazrat had indirectly informed them of his demiserecently. He said “we wanted to fix the date of Nisaar Ahmad’s wedding (the youngestson who takes care of the Maktabah Qadiriya) as soon as possible after Ramadhan. Weinsisted that the marriage should be finalised for Sunday 21st of October, a week afterEid. Hazrat also stressed that the marriage must take place as soon as possible butcontinually denounced this date and told us we will not be celebrating on that date!”Allahu Akbar! Now, Hazrat’s fatihah and major Khatm is fixed on this date.Hazrat `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri has left behind tens of thousands of students, someof whom are founders of Islamic schools of learning; others are senior teachers andlecturers at Islamic Universities and tens of thousands of disciples and devotees. This ismy story of joy and sadness both of which came to me at once, and there are manyother accounts too, but this one is the personal account of a child who lost his father.May Allah have mercy on him and be pleased with him, reward him on behalf of theDeen and the Umma the best of rewards, and give his family, students and murideenpatience in this tremendously painful time, Ameen.Please recite fatiha for Hazrat every time you read this account.Dog at the door of Sharaf,Monawwar AteeqLuton, UK06/09/07
Footnotes Hazrat in al-Jawahir al-Gaaliya mentioned that he served Ustaaz `Ata Muhammadand accompanied him for nearly four years (from1958 onwards) in which he studiedNahw, Balagah, Mantiq, Falsafah, Hay`at, Kalam, Handsah, Fiqh, Usul, Munazarah,Tafsir Jalalayn, Tafsir Baydhawi, Mishkat al-Masabih and Jami` Tirmidhi. The scholars who combined between diraya and riwaya are found to have strictpolicies in giving ijazas. Sayyid `Isaam `Arrar Hassani of Damascus, may Allah mostHigh increase his life with good health and more obedience, told me and Shaykh GibrilHaddad, on our visit to his abode in 2006 that Sayyid Muhammad Makki Kattani gavehim ijaza after seventeen years of continuous suhbah and studies under him in Makkaand thereafter in Damascus. Alhamdulillah, he recited the entire ijaza aloud to us whichis framed in an extra-large frame in the handwriting of the Shaykh. This is also thereason why the Ulama of Ahl al-Sunnah of the Subcontinent are not renowned for givingijazas merely based on riwaya or barakah. Old Hizb al-Ahnaf (qadeem) in Lahore which later moved next to Daata Darbar andremains there today Shajarah Haey Tariqat, p10 -12 Shajarah haiy Tariqat p 14-15 An incomplete photocopy of it is in print in Hazrat Sharaf Sahib’s “Tazkira Ulama-e-Ahle-Sunnat”. He is the author of many unrivalled books. “Fawatih al-Rahamuwt”, the commentaryon Musallam al-Thubuwt is his renowned work. He is among Imam Ahmad Raza Khan’sgreat grand teachers and Bahr al-Ulum’s father Mulla Nizamduin was the founder of therenowned Dars-e-Nizami course. Imam Ahmad Raza penned a five hundred pagedannotation on Fawatih that I have a copy of in manuscript form, Alhamdulillah. Hazrat Sharaf Rahmatullah alah in a note mentioned that this incident occurred in agarden of Rampur. Allahu Akbar! Bahr al-Ulum would see the souls of people who are in their sleepsmeeting the souls of the shuhada, in a state of consciousness. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya has mentioned in Kitab al-Ruh that this is true and souls do meet in thismanner. One of the shuyukh of Sayyid Ahmad bin Zayni Dahlan in Hadith. I think he said Ijaza, or may have said an envelope.