Mufti Kifayatullah Dehlavi
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Hazrat Allama Mufti ul A'dham Moulana Kifayatullah ibn Inayatullah ibn Faidhullah ibn Khairullah ibn 'Ibadullah Dehlvi rahmatullahi alaiyh (1875 – December 31, 1952) was a prominent Muslim scholar of Islam in India. He occupied a prominent position among Indian Muslims and provided them with guidance through various spiritual and political turmoils for nearly fifty years. He was a leading educationist. His fataawa were remarkable for their impartiality, fearlessness, and grasp of the problem. The final years of his life were devoted to educational and social work.
Hazrat Mufti's ancestors hailed from Yemen, but his great-grandfathers were traders from Bahrain, who would travel to India to sell their goods. Once, his family was aboard a ship that ran into a storm and sank. There were no survivors except for a Shaikh Jamaluddin Yamani, who used a piece of debris to float to the shore. At the shore, he was found by a man from Bhopal, who adopted him. Shaikh Jamaluddin Yamani eventually married into a local family. The sinking of the ship is estimated to have occurred approximately three hundred years before Hazrat Mufti's birth. After Shaikh Jamaluddin Yamani, there is no detailed record of Hazrat Mufti's ancestors. At an unknown time, Hazrat Mufti's family shifted from Bhopal to Shahjahanpur. Hazrat Mufti's father, Shaikh Inayatullah, was an extremely noble and pious man. He had four sons and two daughters, but was rather poor.
Early life 
Hazrat Allama Mufti ul A'dham Moulana Kifayatullah ibn Inayatullah ibn Faidhullah ibn Khairullah ibn 'Ibadullah Dehlvi was born in Shahjahanpur, a district in Uttar Pradesh, India in 1875. At the age of five, he commenced his education at the maktab of Hafiz Barakatullah. There, he completed the Qur'an and obtained instruction in Urdu and elementary Persian from Hafiz Nasimullah. Thereafter, he enrolled at Madrasa 'Azeeziya. There, he completed his Persian studies, studying the most advanced kitab of Persian, Sikandar Naama, and commenced his Arabic studies under Hafiz Budhun Khan. Then, Hazrat Mufti was sent with a letter of recommendation from his teacher, Moulana 'Ubaidul Haq, to the administrator of the Madrasa 'Arabiya at Shahi Masjid in Muradabad. He was admitted and remained at the residence of Hafiz Muhammad Isma'il. Since his father was poor, Hazrat Mufti covered his educational expenses by weaving and selling topis. He studied there for two years. Hazrat Mufti then enrolled at Darul Uloom Deoband in 1895. Because of his memory and intelligence, he did not exert as much effort, but quickly overtook his classmates and earned the highest marks on his examinations. He completed his studies at Darul Uloom Deoband in 1898 at the age of twenty-two
Career as a Teacher 
After his graduation, Hazrat Mufti remained in Delhi for some time with his close friend, Moulana Aminuddin. Then, he returned to Shahjahanpur, where his former teacher, 'Ubaidul Haq, had founded Madrasa 'Ainul 'Ilm. Hazrat Mufti became a teacher there and handled the secretarial and administrative duties. Hazrat Mufti also taught Arabic and Persian. His salary was fifteen rupees per month. Along with his duties as a teacher and administrator, Hazrat Mufti started to answer fataawa during this period. In his answer to each fatwa, Hazrat Mufti was meticulous and cautious and would answer with well-written evidence. While at Madrasa 'Ainul 'Ilm, Hazrat Mufti also started a monthly periodical, Al Burhan, in response to the Ahmadis, known as Qadianis by mainstream Muslims. The first issue was published in Sha'baan of 1321 AH and made an attempt to refute Ahmadi beliefs.
Around this time, the financial condition of Madrasa 'Ainul 'Ilm started to deteriorate. Thus, in 1321 AH, the teachers' salaries were reduced. Hazrat Mufti's salary was reduced from eighteen to sixteen rupees per month. However, he remained at Madrasa 'Ainul 'Ilm for five more years until the death of his teacher, Maulana 'Ubaidul Haq Khan. Thereafter, Hazrat Mufti moved to Delhi and became a teacher at Madrasa Aminia. Besides teaching hadith and answering fataawa, Hadhrat Mufti managed the organizational affairs of the madrasa. His salary was twenty rupees per month. In Delhi, Hazrat Mufti quickly became renowned. Dignitaries and people of the upper-class would consult him in their political and religious affairs and would benefit from his advice. The courts of law benefited from his presence as well. After his arrival at Madrasa Aminia, Hazrat Mufti commenced a step-by-step implementation of beneficial reforms to the educational structure of the madrasa. Then, in 1328 AH, he initiated an assembly called Anjuman Islahul Kalaam. The purpose of this gathering was to teach students how to deliver speeches and debate. Every eighth day, each student had to deliver a speech or engage in a dialogue and Hazrat Mufti would help. This assembly was successful in its aim, but was eventually ended due to a lack of participation. After fifty years, Hazrat Mufti had answered hundreds of thousands of fataawa and his rulings are a treasure to fiqh. The fataawa of Hadhrat Mufti were extremely concise yet full of well-written evidence. His fataawa were always answered according to the intent of the questioner. It was for this reason that he was renowned among common folk as well as the officials of the courts of law, who would prefer his rulings in religious cases.
Political career 
On August 18, 1917, when Britain promised India self-rule and self-government, Hazrat Mufti realised that, if the 'Ulama did not join the political movements and direct the Muslims, then mistakes would result which could be harmful to the Muslims. Thus, with this motive, the Ulama joined the Muslim League at its eleventh convention in Delhi.
In 1919, a gathering of 'Ulama was held, in which twenty-five men participated. They were unanimous upon a plan to establish a united body of the 'Ulama of India, the name of which should be Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind. Hazrat Mufti was selected as the temporary head. Upon the invitation of Moulana Sayyid Mahmud Dawud Ghazwani, the first assembly of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind was scheduled for December in Amritsar. Thus, at the end of the year of 1919, a conference of the Muslim League and Indian National Congress was held in Amritsar, along with the second meeting of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, in which seventy to eighty of the most prominent 'Ulama of India were present. Though this was a private meeting, the matters of the constitution and future methodology of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind were settled. With regards to the charter, constitution, and future directions of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, there were differences among the 'Ulama. However, Hazrat Mufti utilized his statesmanship and unmatched acumen to resolve all of the disputes within a few hours.
After the rise of the Shuddhi Movement in 1922, as a result of which thousands of Muslims were forced to convert to Hinduism, Hazrat Mufti dispatched the first deputation for tabligh to the areas where the Arya Samaj movement had been most active. However, still not satisfied, he decided to travel himself with a deputation to the area of Achchitra. Hazrat Mufti's manner in speech and mode of address was according to the level of intellect of the villagers. They were much affected by Hazrat Mufti's impressive yet simple speech and returned to Islam.
In 1926, it was proposed that a representative gathering of Muslims from all over the world would be held. The conference was planned for June 7, 1926. It was to be attended by selected delegates from all of the Muslim countries. Hazrat Mufti demanded of Sultan Ibn Sa'ud that the conference also address the formation of the government of Hijaz. Thus, this issue was added to the agenda. In May 1926, the delegation of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind departed from Bombay aboard a ship called Akbar with the delegates of the Khilafat Committee. Hazrat Mufti enthusiastically participated in the proceedings of the conference, presenting various suggestions for the establishment of the administrative structure of Hijaz to its scholars and Sultan Ibn Sa'ud himself.
Though Hazrat Mufti had not engaged in any illegal activities during his political endeavours, he was imprisoned twice, first in 1930 and then in 1932, on account of his outspoken speeches and involvement in civil disobedience and rallies. The first time he was imprisoned, he remained in Delhi for a few days, but was then moved to Gujrat. The second time he was arrested, he remained in Multan. While in prison, Hazrat Mufti engaged in teaching his fellow prisoners and even stitching the clothes of others. Moulana Ahmad Sa'id Dehlvi relates that various religious and political meetings were held among the prisoners.
In support of the oppressed Palestinians, Hazrat Mufti and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind established Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Filisteen, which collected funds to support their cause. On August 26, 1938, all of India held a "Palestine Day" of rallies and protests against the Partition of Palestine and it was decided that there would be a world gathering of Muslims to protest this action. Thus, on October 17, 1938, a Palestine Conference was held in Cairo. However, Hazrat Mufti became ill on the journey to Egypt and was unable to participate in the conference. Thus, he was represented and his speech was read by Moulana 'Abdul Haq Madani.
Noble Characteristics 
Hazrat Mufti was the example of a true and sincere Alim. He was of a respectable and solemn nature, yet he was kind and polite to people. He conformed to the Sunnah and would do his work by himself. He was always ready to help the poor. From an early age, Hazrat Mufti displayed such self-respect and self-restraint that, even in dire financial conditions, he did not accept financial aid from anyone but worked himself to earn a livelihood. As a teacher, he passed his life with a low salary. He was of simple nature and would not only buy his own groceries from the market by himself, but would also buy his neighbours' groceries. He would cook his own food and stitch his own clothes and, in prison, he did the same for his fellow prisoners.
His wonderful qualities have been best enumerated by those who accompanied him on his travels for Hajj and to Egypt or who were with him in the prisons of Gujrat and Multan. They report that, en route for Hajj, Hazrat Mufti helped and served his fellow travellers as much as he could. He would even wash their clothes and hang them to dry. During Hajj, Hadhrat Mufti would secretly perform Tahajjud Salah and always remain in silent worship. At night, he would stroll through the streets of Mecca and Medina, distributing alms.
Literary career 
From an early age, Hazrat Mufti enjoyed reading and writing. His first major endeavour was the magazine, Al Burhan, which he wrote in refutation of the Ahmadi beliefs, also known as Qadiani by mainstream Muslims. His second major work was an Arabic poem, Raudur Rayyaahin, which was published in 1909. It was first presented at the annual convention of Madrasa Aminia in 1908. The eloquence and grandeur of the poem was such that Hazrat Mufti was requested to and produced an Urdu translation with footnotes, providing more details than and explaining difficult words from the original. Hazrat Mufti's most renowned publication is Ta'limul Islam, four volumes of questions and answers for children in simple language. This contained details of the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam. Hadhrat Mufti wrote various other religious treatises which were published as books, but are no longer available. Though Hadhrat Mufti was a prominent scholar and able writer, his literary works are few. The reason is that his teaching, political activities, domestic activities, and answering fataawa busied him to such an extent that he had no time to write.
Final Years & Death 
During the final years of his life, due to the deterioration of the immoralities of the society, clashes between Hindus and Muslims, and various other reasons, Hazrat Mufti completely withdrew himself from politics. For the final ten years of his life, Hazrat Mufti was completely reclusive. He was much disturbed by the events occurring in the India and refrained from even commenting. The final months of his life were marked by severe illness due to the swelling of his liver. It showed no improvement despite the best medical treatment. Finally, on December 31, 1952, Hazrat Mufti died at 10:30 PM, at the age of seventy-seven. The following day, his Salaatul Janaaza was attended by 100 000 Muslims from Delhi. Hadhrat Mufti was buried near Hadhrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, in Mehrauli, Delhi.