Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi
||This article may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (March 2012)|
|Main interests||Aqidah, Tafsir, Tasawwuf, Hadith, Fiqh, Kifaya, Usul, Ma'aani, Mantiq, Falsafa, Hai'aath, Riyali, Ma'luqat|
|Notable ideas||Widow's Re-marriage, Darul Uloom Deoband, Madrasah Thanabhavan, Madrasah Meerut, Madrasah Galautti, Madrasa Danpur, Madrasa Muradabad|
Darul Uloom Deoband, India
Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi was an Islamic Scholar and one of the main people responsible for establishing the Deobandi movement. Nanotvi was born in 1833 in Nanota, a village near Saharanpur, India. He completed his primary education in his hometown and then he was sent to Deoband, where he studied in Maulvi Mahtab Ali's primary school. Then, he travelled to Saharanpur, where he remained with his maternal grandfather. In Saharanpur, he studied elementary kitabs of Arabic grammar and syntax under Maulvi Nawaz. At the end of 1843, Mamluk-Ul-Ali escorted him to Delhi. There, he studied Kafia and various kitabs. Later he was admitted to Delhi College, without having written the annual examination.
his close relative, Muhammad Yaqub Nanotvi wrote:
"My late father enrolled him at the Government Arabic Madrasa and said, 'Study Euclid yourself and complete the arithmetical exercises.' After a few days, he had attended all of the ordinary discourses and completed the arithmetical exercises. Munshi Zakatullah asked a few questions of him, which were difficult. Because he was able to solve them, he became well-known. When the annual examination drew near, he did not write it and left the madrasa. The whole staff of the madrasa, particularly the headmaster, regretted this very much".
Prior to his enrollment at Delhi College, he had studied kitabs on logic, philosophy, and scholastic theology under Mamluk Ali at his house. he joined a study circle, which possessed a central position in India with regards to the teaching of the sciences of the Qur'an and Hadith. He studied hadith under Abdul Ghani Mujaddidi.
After the completion of his education, he became the editor of the press at Matbah-e-Ahmadi. During this period, at Ahmad Ali's insistence, He wrote a scholium on the last few portions of Sahihul Bukhari. Before the establishment of Darul Uloom Deoband, he taught Euclid for some time at the Chhatta Masjid. His lectures were delivered within the printing press and attended by a few people only. his teaching produced a group of accomplished Ulama, the example of which had not been seen since Shah Abul Ghani's time. went on to establish Darul Uloom Deoband.
In 1860, he performed Hajj and, on his return, he accepted a profession of collating books at Matbah-e-Mujtaba in Meerut. He remained attached to this press until 1868. he performed Hajj for the second time and, thereafter, he accepted a job at Matbah-e-Hashimi in Meerut.
He conformed to the Shari'a and Sunnah and tried his best to motivate people to do so as well. It was through his efforts that a prominent madrasa for impartation of Islamic education of religious sciences was established in Deoband and a fine masjid was built. Besides this, through his efforts and endeavours, Islamic madaris were established at various other locations as well.
View on Seal of Prophet
According to the layman, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings on him, being Khatam is supposed to have appeared after all the other prophets. But men of understanding and the wise know it very well that being the first or the last, chronologically, does not carry any weight. How could, therefore, the words of the Holy Qur'an "'But he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of Prophets" (33:40) mean to glorify him? But I know very well that none from among the Muslims would be prepared to agree with the common men.
"In short, if the meaning of the word Finality is accepted as explained, then his Finality of Prophethood will not be exclusively attached to the past Prophet. But even if for instance another Prophet appeared during the era of the Prophet then too, him being the Final Prophet remains intact as normal."
"If for instance even after the era of the Prophet any Prophet is born, then too it will not make any difference to the Finality of Prophethood of the Prophet."
The above passage is often utilized by Ahmedi missionaries to imply that Maulana Nanotvi did not believe that the Prophet of Islam was the final prophet of God, however this is untrue, this is merely an initial argument and in the same booklet he goes on to prove the finality of the Prophet (in time) in various other ways.
scholars have taken a more simplistic view of this concept and they support their belief by quoting Qasim Nanotvi himself where he declared:
"That Finality of time is something on which there is Ijmah"
"It's my firm Belief that after Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) there is NO chance of a prophet, Who has a belief against this, I consider him as a Kafir"
Establishment of the madaris
His greatest achievement was the revival of an educational movement for the renaissance of religious sciences in India and the creation of guiding principles for the madaris on which their survival depends. Under his attention and supervision, madaris were established in various areas such as Thanabhavan, Galautti, Kerana, Danapur, Meerut, and Muradabad. Most of them continue to exist, rendering educational and religious services in their vicinity. During his lifetime, Christianity began to rise in India and prodigious efforts were made to convert the people of India to Christianity in every possible way. When he, during his sojourn in Delhi, witnessed this situation, he ordered his pupils to stand in the bazaars and deliver sermons against Christianity. One day, he himself, without introduction or the statement of his name, attended a gathering and repulsed Christianity publicly in the bazaar.
On May 8, 1876, a "Fair for God-Consciousness" was held at Chandapur village, near Shahjahanpur (U.P.), under the auspices of the local Zamindar, Piyare Lal Kabir-panthi, under the management of Padre Knowles, and with the support and permission of the collector of Shahjahanpur, Mr. Robert George. Representatives of all the three religions, Christian, Hindu and Muslim, were invited through posters to attend and prove the truthfulness of their respective religions. At the suggestion of Muhammad Munir Nanautawi and Maulawi Ilahi Bakhsh Rangin Bareillwi, Nanautawi, accompanied by numerous colleagues also participated. All these Ulama delivered speeches at this fair, causing the desired effect. In repudiation of the Doctrine of Trinity and Polytheism, and on affirmation of Divine Unity (Monotheism), he Nanautawi spoke so well that the audience, both those who were against and those who were for him, were convinced. One newspaper wrote:
"In the gathering of 8 May of the current year (1876), Muhammad Qasim gave a lecture and stated the merits of Islam. The Padre Sahib explained the Trinity in a strange manner, saying that in a line are found three attributes: length, breadth and depth, and thus Trinity is proven in every way. The said Maulawi Sahib confuted it promptly. Then, while the Padre Sahib and the Maulawi Sahib were debating regarding the speech, the meeting broke up, and in the vicinity and on all sides arose the outcry that the Muslims had won. Wherever a religious divine of Islam stood, thousands of men would gather around him. In the meeting of the first day the Christians did not reply to the objections raised by the followers of Islam, while the Muslims replied the Christians word by word and won."
Next year this "fair" was held again in March 1877. On this occasion, Prof. Muhammad Ayyub Qadiri, writing in Ahmed Hasan Nanautawi's biography, wrote that:
"One thing specially deserves deliberation here that the fair for God consciousness at Shahjahanpur was held consecutively for two years with announcement and publicity, throwing in a way.
Nanotvi died in 1880, aged 47. His grave is to the north of the Darul-Uloom. This place is known as Qabrastan-e-Qasimi, where countless Deobandi scholars, students, and others are buried.