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One of the great Muslim heroes of the world, a great Islamic scholar of the East, a flag bearer of Tauhid and the Sunnah, was Allama Syed Ali Hasan Nadvi, who was the Rector of the University of Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow. He was a learned scholar in both the Qur’an and Hadith and, at the same time, an extremely dedicated sufi. His role was that of a torchbearer for Islam and for the Muslims. He was as forerunner of the cause of the Muslim Ummah around the world.

 

A follower of Syed Ahmed Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed he fought with his pen. A powerful pen that he used to spread the light of Islam by writing several hundred books. He was a mujahid with a dedicated pen, and he was a well-versed in at least four languages – Arabic, Urdu, Persian and English.

 

He was born in 1914 in Takia Kala in the district of Rai Barelli in UP. His primary education began with Qur’an reading with his mother. Then he started his studies in Urdu and Arabic. In 1923 his father Syed Hakim Abdul Hayy died and then the responsibility of his studies fell on his mother and his elder brother Maulana Hakim Syed Abdul Ali. He himself at that time was a student at medical college after having completed his primary studies in the Nadwatul Ulama and the Darul Ulum Deoband. In 1924 he became a student of Allama Khalil in Arabic with whom he attained a high level of proficiency.

 

In 1926 a conference was held in Kanpur of the Nadwatul Ulama and Syed Hasan gave a speech in Arabic that pleased the audience immensely. As a result several Arab tourists and teachers engaged him as a guide. In 1927 he was admitted into the University of Lucknow and was the youngest student there. He graduated with a degree in Arabic literature. While he was learning Arabic he was also studying Urdu literature, and was particularly interested in the many serious books by Urdu writers.

 

In 1939 he toured the whole of Northern India to familiarize himself with the activities of madrasahs in those places. During this time he came into contact with Maulana Raipuri and Maulana Illyas Kandalavi. From Maulana Illyas Kandalavi he got the inspiration for da’wah. In 1943 he established the Anjuman-i-Talimate Deen through which he used to give lectures on the Qur’an and Hadith. In 1945 he became a member of the Executive Committee and later in the same year he was made as assistant Director.

 

In 1954, after the death of Maulana Sulaiman Nadvi, he became a full Director. Then in 1961, after the death of his elder brother Dr Syed Abdul Ali Hasan, he became Rector.In the nineties when the Allama Shibli Academy published the eight volumes Seeratun Nabi, with his opening introduction he was awarded one hundred thousand rupees by President Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan. He donated half of the money to the Darul Musannifin of Azamgarh and the other half to the widow of Syed Sulayman Nadvi who was the author of the Seerat. In 1999 Oxford University published his eight-volume history book Tarikh-i-Da’wah, and for this the Sultan of Brunei gave him twenty million Indian rupees which he distributed among the poor people in India and friends around his circle.

 

Allama Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi has written more than one hundred books on different aspects of Islamic articles, essays, pamphlets and booklets. Which if counted would amount to more than two hundred titles. In addition his lectures, seminars, symposia, meetings and discussion are now being published in book form many places around the world. Although he wrote all his article in Urdu and Arabic these have been translated into English, French, Turkish, Hindi, German, Malay and other languages.

 

He had many students and admirers around the world. As he was a visiting Professor in Many Universities of the world he created many friends in those Universities and institutions. Wherever he went and lectured the people became his followers by listening to his learned and inspiring speech. His deep knowledge, his vast coverage of many fields of knowledge, his reassured approach to the many problems of the ummah and above all his unique personality attracted people all over the world.

 

In the field of tasawwuf he was a follower of Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori and Maulana A. Qader Raipuri. He died on Friday December 31, 1999, and was buried in his family graveyard.