Rashid Ahmad Gangohi

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Rashid Ahmad Gangohi
رشید احمد گنگوہی
Born 11 May 1829
Gangoh, British India
Died 11 August 1905 (aged 76)
Gangoh, British India
Nationality Indian
Denomination Sunni Islam
Jurisprudence Hanafi
Movement Deobandi
Main interest(s) Aqidah, Tafsir, Tasawwuf, Hadith, Fiqh
Notable idea(s) Darul Uloom Deoband
Sufi order Chishti (Sabiri-Imdadi)
Disciple of Haji Imdadullah

Rashīd Aḥmad ibn Hidāyat Aḥmad Ayyūbī Anṣārī Gangohī (Urdu: رشید احمد بن ہدایت احمد ایوبی انصاری گنگوہی‎‎ ; 11 May 1829 – 11 August 1905) was an Indian Sunni Islamic scholar, a leading figure of the Deobandi movement, a Hanafi jurist, a scholar of hadith, and a Sufi of the Indian Chisti order. Along with Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi he was a pupil of Maulana Mamluk Ali. Both studied the books of hadith under Shah Abdul Ghani and later became Sufi disciples of Haji Imdadullah.[1]

His lectures on Sahih al-Bukhari and Jami` at-Tirmidhi were recorded by his student Muhammad Yahya Kandhlawi, later edited, arranged, and commented on by Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi, and published as Lami` ad-Darari `ala Jami` al-Bukhari and al-Kawkab ad-Durri `ala Jami` at-Tirmidhi.

Name[edit]

In Tazkiratur Rashid his name and nasab is given as follows: Maulānā Rashīd Aḥmad ibn Maulānā Hidāyat Aḥmad[note 1] ibn Qāẓī Pīr Bak͟hsh ibn Qāẓī G͟hulām Ḥasan ibn Qāẓī G͟hulām ‘Alī ibn Qāẓī ‘Alī Akbar ibn Qāẓī Muḥammad Aslam al-Anṣārī al-Ayyūbī.[2] In the biographical work Nuzhat al-Khawatir he is mentioned with the nisbats "al-Anṣārī, al-Ḥanafī, ar-Rāmpūrī then al-Gangohī".[3][4] In the introduction to al-Kawkab ad-Durri he is mentioned as "Mawlānā Abī Mas‘ūd Rashīd Aḥmad al-Anṣārī al-Ayyūbī al-Kankawhī al-Ḥanafī al-Jishtī an-Naqshbandī al-Qādirī as-Suhrawardī".[5]

His given name was Rashid Ahmad; Abu Masud was his kunya.

Biography[edit]

Rashid Ahmad was born on Monday, 6 Dhu al-Qi'dah 1244 AH (11 May 1829) at the time of chasht (between sunrise and midday) in Gangoh, Saharanpur District, Ceded and Conquered Provinces, British India (in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India).[2][3][4][6][note 2] He was born in the mahallah of Sarai, close to the tomb of Abdul Quddus Gangohi.[2] Both his father Maulana Hidayat Ahmad and his mother Karimun Nisa belonged to Ansari Ayyubi families, claiming descent from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari.[2] His ancestral village was Rampur, but his grandfather Qazi Pir Bakhsh had settled in Gangoh.[2]

Hidayat Ahmad was an Islamic scholar connected to the Waliullahi tradition,[2] and in tasawwuf (Sufism) an authorized khalifah (successor) of Shah Ghulam Ali Mujaddidi Dihlawi.[2][9] He died in 1252 AH (1836) at the age of 35, when Rashid was seven.[2] A few years later Rashid's younger brother Sa'id Ahmad also died, at the age of nine.

After the death of Hidayat Ahmad the responsibility for Rashid's upbringing fell to his grandfather Qazi Pir Bakhsh.[2][6] He also had four maternal uncles: Maulana Maulana Muhammad Naqi, Maulana Muhammad Taqi, Maulana Abdul Ghani, and Maulana Muhammad Shafi.[2] He was especially close to Abdul Ghani, who took on a fatherly role for him. He also had a close friendship with his younger cousin, Abun Nasr, son of Abdul Ghani's.

Rashid Ahmad received his elementary education from a local teacher, Miyanji Qutb Bakhsh Gangohi.[6] He read the Qur'an in Gangoh, probably at home with his mother.[6] Then he studied the primary Persian books with his older brother Maulana Inayat Ahmad.[2][7] He completed Persian studies in Karnal with his maternal uncle Maulana Muhammad Taqi,[2][3] and also partly with Maulana Muhammad Ghaus.[2] Afterwards he studied the primary books of Arabic grammar (sarf and nahw) with Maulana Muhammad Bakhsh Rampuri,[2][3] on whose encouragement he then traveled to Delhi in pursuit of knowledge in 1261 AH (1845), at the age of 17.[2]

After arriving in Delhi he studied Arabic with Qazi Ahmaduddin Panjabi Jahlami.[2][3][4][7] Afterwards he attended the classes of different teachers before becoming a pupil of Maulana Mamluk Ali Nanautawi, a scholar of the Waliullahi line, and a professor at Delhi College. It was in this period that Rashid Ahmad met and developed a close companionship with Mamluk Ali's nephew, Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi. Both were private pupils of Mamluk Ali rather than enrolled students at Delhi College. After he completed his studies with Mamluk Ali, he stayed a few more years in Delhi to study under other teachers. He became a pupil of Mufti Sadruddin Azurdah, with whom he studied some books of the ulum-i aqliyah (rational sciences).[8][9] He studied the books of hadith and tafsir under Shah Abdul Ghani Mujaddidi. Shah Ahmad Sa'id, the older brother of Shah Abdul Ghani, was also among his teachers.[2][3][4]

After four years in Delhi, Rashid returned home to Gangoh. He married Khadijah, daughter of his uncle Maulana Muhammad Naqi, at the age of 21. It was not until after his marriage that he memorized the Qur'an, in the short period of one year. He then travelled to Thana Bhawan, where he gave bay'ah (allegiance) at the hand of Haji Imdadullah in the Sufi path. He remained in Imdadullah's company and service for 42 days. When he prepared to leave for Gangoh, Imdadullah held his hand and gave him permission to take disciples.

While Nanautawi and Gangohi are often mentioned as co-founders of Darul Uloom Deoband, Rizvi writes that there is no historical evidence that Gangohi played a role in its establishment 1283 AH. However, due to his close relationship with Nanautawi and others involved, it is unlikely that he was unaware of its founding. Rizvi cites a record of Gangohi's written inspection of the madrasah on 3 Rajab 1285 AH as the earliest evidence for his formal relation with the madrasah. It was also common for graduates of the madrasah to attend Rashid Ahmad's hadith lectures in Gangoh.

In 1297 AH, after the death of Qasim, Rashid was made sarparast (patron) of Darul Uloom Deoband. From 1314 AH he was also sarparast of the Darul Uloom's sister madrasah, Mazahir Uloom Saharanpur.

He died on Friday, 8 Jumada II 1323 AH (11 August 1905) after the adhan of Jumuah.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Arabic: هدايت أحمد‎, Hidāyat Aḥmad, or هداية أحمد, Hidāyah Aḥmad
  2. ^ 6 Dhu al-Qi'dah 1244 AH (c. 10 May 1829) is the date given in Tazkiratur Rashid, Nuzhat al-Khawatir, and Tarikh Masha'ikh-i Chisht. In Tazkirat and Tarikh the day is said to have been a Monday, which corresponds to 11 May 1829.[2][3] In Akabir Ulama Deoband Bukhari has given the day as Sunday, and in Tarikh Darul Ulum Deoband Rizvi has given the year as 1242 AH.[7][8][9] Both cite Tazkirat but make no mention of the discrepancy with the dates that they give. Also, in History of the Mashaikh of Chisht the translator has mistranslated do shanbah (Monday) as Sunday.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brannon Ingram (University of North Carolina), Sufis, Scholars and Scapegoats: Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and the Deobandi Critique of Sufism, p 479.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r ‘Āshiq Ilāhī Mīraṭhī (1908). تذکرۃ الرشید / Taẕkiratur-Rashīd (in Urdu). Sāḍhaurah: Bilālī Sṭīm [Bilali Steam]. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g ‘Abd al-Ḥayy ibn Fakhr ad-Dīn al-Ḥasanī; Abū al-Ḥasan ‘Alī al-Ḥasanī an-Nadwī (1999). "الشيخ العلامة رشيد أحمد الگنگوهي / ash-Shaykh al-‘Allāmah Rashīd Aḥmad al-Gangohī". نزهة الخواطر وبهجة المسامع والنواظر / Nuzhat al-khawāṭir wa-bahjat al-masāmi‘ wa-al-nawāẓir (in Arabic). Vol. 8 (1st ed.). Bayrūt: Dār Ibn Ḥazm. pp. 1229–1231. 
  4. ^ a b c d "The Epitome of Shari'ah and Tariqah: Shaykh Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi". Deoband.org. Translated by Ismaeel Nakhuda. 26 April 2009.  Excerpted from ‘Abd al-Hayy ibn Fakhr ad-Din al-Hasani; Abu ’l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani an-Nadwi. Nuzhat al-Khawatir.
  5. ^ Muhammad Yahya ibn Muhammad Ismail al-Kandahlawi; Rashid Ahmad al-Kankawhi; Muhammad Zakariya al-Kandahlawi. "مقدمة المحشي / Muqaddimat al-Muhashshi". الكوكب الدري على جامع الترمذي / al-Kawkab ad-durrī ‘alá Jāmi‘ at-Tirmidhī (in Arabic). p. 12. 
  6. ^ a b c d Muḥammad Zakarīyā Kāndhlawī (1973). "حضرت اقدس مولانا رشید احمد صاحب گنگوہی / Haẓrat Aqdas Maulānā Rashīd Aḥmad Ṣaḥib Gangohī". تاریخ مشائخ چشت / Tārīk͟h Mashā’ik͟h-i Chisht (in Urdu). Biharabad, Karachi: Maktabatush-Shaik͟h. 
  7. ^ a b c Muḥammad Akbar Shāh Buk͟hārī (1999). "حضرت مولانا رشید احمد گنگوہی / Haẓrat Maulānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī". Akābir ‘Ulamā’-i Deoband (in Urdu). Lāhaur: Idārah Islāmiyāt. pp. 27–32. 
  8. ^ a b Sayyid Maḥbūb Riẓvī (2005) [1976]. تاریخ دار العلوم دیوبند / Tārīk͟h Dārul-‘Ulūm Deoband (in Urdu). Vol. 1. Urdū Bāzār, Lāhaur: al-Mīzān. 
  9. ^ a b c Sayyid Mahbub Rizvi (1980). History of the Dar al-Ulum Deoband. Vol. 1. Translated by Murtaz Husain F. Quraishi. Dar al-Ulum, Deoband: Idara-e Ihtemam. 
  10. ^ Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi. "Hadhrat Aqdas Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi". The Mashaikh of Chisht. Translated by Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa. theMajlis.net.