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Tazkiratul Awliya’

(Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)
(1310-1374 H, 1892-1954 C.E)

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Shah Muhammad ‘Abdul ‘Alim Siddiqui al-Qadiri al-Madani (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) is a direct descendant of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (Rady Allahu ‘Anhu), who is the first Khalifa of Sayyiduna wa Nabiyyuna wa Habibuna wa Mawlana Muhammad ibni ‘Abdillah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam).

He was born in Meerut, India on 15 Ramadan 1310 H, 1892 C.E.

Naf‘anAllahu bih (may Allah make us benefit from him). Amin.

His first teacher was his father Mawlana ‘Abdul Hakim Siddiqui al-Qadiri (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh). The mawlana became a Hafiz al-Qur’an and an ‘alim at a very young age.

Naf‘anAllahu bih (may Allah make us benefit from him). Amin

One of the ‘ulama he learned from was A‘la Hazrat, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh).

Naf‘anAllahu bihima (may Allah make us benefit from them both). Amin

When he went for the ziyara of RasulAllah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) in Madina after performing Hajj, he was inspired to propagate Islam which he did for 30 years, travelling to dozens of countries all over the world for this purpose.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

He was a sufi master in the Ahl as-Sunnah tradition with deep spiritual inner-sight (basira).

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

His love for Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) is shown in his hamd (hymn) which begins:

Zarrah zarrah may tu he tu
O Allah! You, only You are in every atom.

His love for our Beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) is shown in his eulogy (naat) which begins:

Ilaahi wo zabaan dhay jo thana khwaan-e Muhammad ho
O Allah! Bestow such a tongue which praises Prophet Muhammad
(Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam).

His love for RasulAllah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) is also shown in his salams (salutations) on him whose opening couplets are:

Sayyid-e awlad-e-Adam
Rahmat-e ‘aalam mujassam
Haazir-e darbaar hain hum
‘Arz yeh kartay hain payhum

O master of the children of Adam
Mercy for the whole world
We are present in your court
Putting forward our request at all times

His love for Muslims is shown in his du‘a (supplication) for the Muslims. It is a mathnawi in Urdu whose opening couplet is:

Momino ‘ijzo iltija kay saath
Ab du‘a kay liye uthaao haath

O Muslim believers! With submissive humility
Now raise your hands beseeching Allah.

This du‘a used to be memorized by Muslim children in Mombasa.

His hamd, naat, salaam and du‘a form the basic rich components of a blessed Milad-un-Nabi Program which he loved.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

He loved RasulAllah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) so much that the nur (spiritual light) of the love of RasulAllah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) shone from his forehead.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

He also received the fuyud and barakaat (blessings) of A‘la Hazrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh). He became one of his khalifas (deputy) and composed a poem (manqabat) in his honour. A‘la Hazrat responded by composing a couplet in his honour.

He was ad-Da‘i al-Kamil (Accomplished inviter to Islam) and a visionary who travelled to dozens of countries all over the world to teach Islam to Muslims and to propagate Islam among non-Muslims. Among the countries he visited were Egypt in Africa; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan and China in Asia; England in Europe; Canada in North America; and Guyana in South America. He was a pioneer da‘i in many countries, giving weight to the assertion that it is the sufi masters who have spread Islam all over the world.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

Audio recordings of his talks in public places and of Milad an-Nabi programs in masajid are available. When we hear the salams that he rendered on our Beloved Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam), it appears he is addressing him directly, such was his personal connection with him.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

One of his many accomplishments was that he worked together with the leading Sunni ‘ulama and personalities of his time to create a country for the Muslims called Pakistan. His stand was that Pakistan should be based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam). When Pakistan was established, he led the first Salat al-‘Id in independent Pakistan in Karachi. Among those who prayed the Salah behind him was Qaid-e-A‘zam Muhammad ‘Ali Jinnah.

The miracles of the mawlana are less talked about but his miracles in faith-healing, especially in Mauritius are well-known. Many people were cured of their diseases through faith-healing.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

The mawlana was multi-lingual. He was fluent in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and English, and knew other languages as well. He was at ease, composed and dignified in the company of young and old, ‘ulama, Christian priests and politicians.

He was an intellectual who with his command of the English language could appeal with sound reasoning to non-Muslims to convince them about the beauties of the teachings of Islam. He did this in his writings, in his talks and in personal conversations. One such person who was impressed was George Bernard Shaw, the British author. The mawlana was Sultan-ul-Waaizin (Sultan of the sermonizers), well-known for his oratory. He stood up against the heretical beliefs of the Qadianis. He brought to the non-Muslims a message of peace and good-will. Non-Muslims were very much impressed by his talks, his pleasant and dynamic personality, and his piety, and many accepted Islam, only Allah knows the exact number.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

His books in the English language have been published by the World Islamic Mission from Karachi, whose President was his equally blessed son, Mawlana Shah Ahmad Noorani Siddiqui al-Qadiri (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) who continued the noble work of his father and also became a world-renowned ‘aalim and muballigh (propagator of Islam).

Mawlana Shah Muhammad ‘Abdul ‘Alim Siddiqui (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) also wrote books in Urdu, the most well-known of which is Zikr-e-Habib (The Remembrance of the Beloved Prophet, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) which has been published by his illustrious daughter, Dr. Farida Ahmad, a great ‘aalimah in the sufi tradition, and leader of the Women Islamic Mission. When we recite this kitab, we find that the mawlana was a sufi master in Tariqa al-Qadiriyya, with a special attachment and love for Muhyiddin Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (Rady Allahu ‘Anhu) in whose honour he wrote a poem (manqabat).

Dr. Fazlur-Rahman Ansari al-Qadiri (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh), his son-in-law and personal secretary accompanied the mawlana on some of his travels to gain the barakaat (blessings) of the companionship of such a great Wali Allah.

His qualities as a teacher are manifested in his book titled Elementary Teachings of Islam which is necessary reading for school children. He was truly a great ‘aalim ul-‘allamah in the Hanafi school of sacred Muslim law.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

His books and articles have been published and republished in Pakistan, Trinidad, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Sri Lanka, among other countries.

He founded many masajid, madrasas, orphanages, and Muslim libraries as well as Muslim journals in many countries. One such well-known masjid is the Mawlana ‘Abdul ‘Alim Siddiqui Masjid in Singapore which has been named after him.

Naf‘anAllahu bih.

World Islamic Mission Canada has won our hearts by establishing the Mawlana ‘Abdul ‘Alim Siddiqui Library in Masjid Noor-ul-Haram in Toronto.

Mawlana Shah Muhammad ‘Abdul ‘Alim Siddiqui (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) met Mawlana ‘Abdullah Shah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) of Kenya in Nairobi who requested him to have him buried in Jannatul Baqi‘ in Madina. Mawlana ‘Abdul ‘Alim Siddiqui (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) fulfilled his wish and flew his body for burial there. Mawlana Osman ‘Abdul Karim of Mombasa, popularly known as Osman Wali, versified on this in this way.

Ab Madina Paak may hai laashay aqdas jaa rahee
Dafn hongay jis jageh rahmat ki chaltee hai hawa

Hain janaza lay kay tayyarah may rukhasat ho rahay
Naamay naami jin ka hai ‘Abdul ‘Alim-e khush liqa

Now his blessed body is going to Madina the Pure
He will be buried where the wind of mercy blows

Going with his bier in a plane
Is the one whose illustrious name is ‘Abdul ‘Alim of happy complexion

Naf‘anAllahu bihim (may Allah make us benefit from them). Amin.

The mawlana’s own wish was that Jannatul Baqi‘ in Madina should become his final resting place. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) accepted his du‘a (supplication). He breathed his last while looking at the Rawda of RasulAllah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) in Masjid Nabawi, on 22 Dhul Hijjah 1374 H, 1954 C.E. His muridin and muhibbin (loving disciples) from Kenya were among those who gave him ghusl, and he was laid to rest in Jannatul Baqi‘ at the feet of mother of faithful Muslim believers Sayyidatina ‘Aisha Siddiqah (Rady Allahu ‘Anha).

His ‘Urs (Anniversary) to celebrate his achievements in promoting piety is held on 22 Dhul Hijjah by his murideen and muhibbin all over the world with love and devotion.

Naf‘anAllahu bih (may Allah make us benefit from him). Amin.

Siddiq Osman Noormuhammad.
Toronto, 1432 H, 2011 C.E.

Reference: Mawlana Shah Muhammad ‘Abdul ‘Alim Siddiqui al-Qadiri al-Madani, Zikr-e-Habib, (The Remembrance of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam), Women Islamic Mission, Karachi, n.d.