Badi' ud-Din Shah al-Rashidi

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Badi' ud-Din Shah al-Rashidi
Born 10 July 1925
Hala, Sindh
Died 8 January 1996
Karachi
Resting place Pir Chanda
Nationality Pakistani
Ethnicity Sindhi
Region South Asia
Occupation Author, Bibliographer, Historiographer
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Zahiri
Creed Athari
Movement Ahl al-Hadith
Main interest(s) Hadith, Biographical evaluation

Sayyid Badee-ud-Deen Shah bin Ihsaanullaah bin Rashidullaah Shah bin Rasheed-ud-Deen Shah bin Muhammad Yaseen Shah bin Muhammad Raashid Shah ar-Raashidee al-Hussainee (علامه سيد بديعُ الدين شاه راشدي ), commonly known as Badi' ud-Din Shah al-Rashidi was a Muslim scholar, writer and book collector.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Rashidi was born in Hala, a town in province of Sindh in Pakistan. At the time, Hala was a part of Hyderabad district, though it is today a part of Matiari District.[1] His hometown, however, is usually referred to as Saeedabad Taluka; while the Rashidi clan from which he was descended has dwelled in Hala for generations, he spent more time in Saeedabad where his father had founded an Islamic school.[2]

Rashidi was a graduate of the madrasa system, as is common in the Indian subcontinent. With both his father and the Muslim scholarship in his home town. He was particularly interested in Hadith studies, having been taught Al-Kutub al-Sittah, Bulugh al-Maram, Mishkat al-Masabih and Muwatta Imam Malik, all considered to be canonical primary sources by Sunni Muslims.[3] His study of hadith earned him an authorisation to teach the subject, going through Syed Nazeer Husain via a chain of narration eventually leading back to Muhammad al-Bukhari by seventeen different routes; from there, Rashidi's chain of authorisation from student to teacher reached the prophet Muhammad by twenty different routes.[2] Rashidi was also a Hafiz, or a person who memorised entirety the Qur'an.

Activity in Pakistan[edit]

Rashidi, being a proponent of the Ahl al-Hadith movement among Sunni Muslims in South Asia, as opposed to what he saw as heresies practised in areas with strong influences by Sufism and Shia Islam. Rashidi earned the ire of some by equating of the practices of Ziyarat and Mazar, whereby practitioners of folk Islam visit the tombs of religious figures for veneration of the dead, to idolatry. His denunciation of the leaders of Sufi Orders as con artists defrauding rural laymen in particular causes his opponents to censor his views.[1]

After receiving death threats from the clerical leaders in such regions, Rashidi actually began engaging in public lectures and debates rather than shying away.[2] After one of these leaders constructed a false grave to lead villagers in sessions of ancestor worship, Rashidi and his allies demolished it; while the villagers filed a complaint with the government of Pakistan, no charges were ever filed as the grave never contained a real body.[1] Rashidi's efforts experienced a measure of success with the laymen among villages in his region, though actual attempts on his life eventually forced him to flee Hala for Saeedabad Taluka with his father.

After founding the madrasa in Saeedabad, Rashidi began to teach classes on Sahih al-Bukhari and Tafsir ibn Kathir, two significant books in the Muslim cannon. Among his students during this time was fellow Pakistani Zubair Ali Zai.[4]

Life abroad[edit]

Rashidi left for Saudi Arabia, where he taught Hadith studies at a government institute in Mecca for one year. After the first year, he began teaching in the Masjid al-Haram, Islam's holiest site, at the behest of former head of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia and chief justice of the country, Ibn Humaid.[1] Most of his lessons were on topics relating to biographical evaluation, though he also gave classes on Sunan Abu Dawood of Abu Dawood and Al-Muhalla ob Ibn Hazm, to whom Rashidi was sometimes compared, in addition to the canonical works of Bukhari and Ibn Kathir as he had in Pakistan.[2] Upon seeing Shi'ite missionaries from India, Iran and Pakistan setting up stalls in Mecca to promote their beliefs, Rashidi engaged in similar polemics to his previous efforts in Pakistan, causing the missionaries to take down their stalls.[1]

Rashidi was later relocated to Medina to deliver lessons in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Islam's second holiest site. Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, the country's grand mufti at the time, also invited Rashidi to teach at the Islamic University of Madinah, where Rashidi delivered classes both on hadith and on criticism of Sufism which were attended by both Bin Baz and Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani.[2] Practitioners of Sufism in Medina attempted to complain to the Saudi government to prevent his lessons from taking place, though upon attending the lessons to verify those complaints, government inspectors found nothing controversial or unorthodox and Rashidi was allowed to continue.[1] During his time in Medina, Rashidi was also a teacher of Rabee Al-Madkhali and Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi'i.[5]

Rashidi was also invited to Jordan, the UAE, Kuwait, the United Kingdom and the United States to speak to local Muslim communities.

Death[edit]

Rashidi died on 8 January 1996[1] in Karachi. His funeral procession and burial were held in his native area of Saeedabad Taluka (not to be confused with the Saeedabad neighbourhood in Karachi, where he died). The number of mourners became so large that a second funeral procession was held due to crowding.[2]

Works[edit]

Rashidi was a polyglot, having been fluent in Sindhi, Urdu and Arabic, in addition to proficiency with speaking and listening to Persian.[2] His book in Arabic called Wasool al-Alhaam Lasool al-Islaam was famous for being written without a single full stop.[1]

His works number over two hundred and fifty, written in Arabic, Urdu and Sindhi. Some of them are:

Book collection[edit]

Rashidi was a bibliophile, leaving behind a library containing what his students estimate to be between fifteen- to twenty-thousand books.[2] Having named his library "al-Maktabah al-Zahiriya" or "the Zahirite Library" after his preferred school of Islamic law, Rashidi also left behind a substantial library catalogue through annotated notes which are still used by students of Islamic studies in the area today.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Abu Hibbaan and Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari, "Allaamah Shaikh Badee-ud-Deen Shah as-Sindhee ar-Raashidee." 2001.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Abdullaah Nasir Rehmaani, "A Biography of Shaykh Badee-ud-Deen Shah Rashidee as-Sindhee." Trns. Abu Naasir and Abu Handhala. Prepared by al-Meezaan.com.
  3. ^ "Various Issues About Hadiths". Abc.se. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  4. ^ Dr. Khaalid Zafarullah, "The Biography and Works of Scholar of Ilm-ar-Rijal Shaykh Zubayr Alee Za'ee (hafidhahullah)." Ed. Raza Hassan.
  5. ^ Biography of Rabee al-Madkhali from Fatwa-Online.

External links[edit]