Shah Waliullah

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Islamic scholar
Shāh Walīullāh
Born (1703-02-21)21 February 1703 (1114 Hijri)
Delhi, Hindustan
Died 20 August 1762(1762-08-20) (aged 59) (1176 Hijri)
Delhi, Hindustan
Jurisprudence Shafi'ite
Creed Sunni Islam
Notable work(s) Hujjat Allah al-baligha (The Conclusive Argument from God)

Qutb-ud-Dīn Ahmad ibn 'Abdul Rahīm (Arabic: قطب الدین احمد ابن عبدالرحیم‎), better known as Shāh Walīullāh (1703–1762 CE / 1114–1176 AH) was an Islamic scholar, reformer and founder of modern Islamic thought who attempted to reassess Islamic theology in the light of modern changes.[1][2]


Shāh Walīullāh was born in 1703, four years before the death of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. His genealogy can be traced back to the family of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab.[3] He received a structured education and spiritual instruction at the madrasa (religious school) established by his father, Shah 'Abd al-Rahim, at Delhi. Along with the Qur'an, he studied Arabic and Persian grammar and literature and the higher philosophical, theological, metaphysical, mystical and juridical texts. He graduated from the school when he was barely fifteen years old; in the same year, his father initiated him into the famous Naqshbandi order. He began his career as a teacher at the Madrasa-e-Rahimia under the tutelage of his father; after the death of the latter in 1719, Shah Waliullah became the head of the madrasa, teaching all the current sciences at the school for about twelve years. During the same period he continued his own studies, growing in stature as a teacher and attracting students to his circle.[4][5]

In 1724 he went to the Hijaz on a pilgrimage (Hajj) and stayed there for eight years studying Hadith and Fiqh under such distinguished scholars as Abu Tahir bin ibrahim al-Kurdi al-Madani, Wafd Allah al-Makki, and Taj al-Din al-Qali. During this period he came into contact with people from all parts of the Muslim world and, thus, obtained first-hand information about the conditions then prevailing in the various Muslim countries.[3] During this time, he also saw the forty-seven spiritual visions which form the subject matter of his famous mystical work Fuyud al-haramayn (Emanations or Spiritual Visions of Makkah and Madina).[6]

He returned to Delhi in 1733, where he spent the rest of his life in producing numerous works till his death in 1763 during the reign of Shah Alam II. The most important of Shah Waliullah's works is his Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha in which he made an attempt to present the teachings of Islam in a spirit of scientific objectivity. The range of his works include: economic, political, social, meta-physical, as well as purely theological aspects.He presented what he considered pure and pristine Islam to the people.

He wrote letter to Ahmad Shah Abdali to come and conquer India from the rising Maratha domination.[7] He also translated the Quran from Arabic to Persian, so that more Muslims could be able to understand the teachings of the Quran.

List of works[edit]

  • "Hujjatullah Hil Baligha Arabic *"Hujjatullah Hil Baligha Urdu The magnum opus of Shah has been discussed in the seventh section of this work.
  • "Altaf al-quds" (The sacred knowledge of the higher functions of the mind: Altaf al-Quds)[8]
  • Al-Khayr al-kathir (The Abundant Good)[9]
  • Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha[5]
  • Sata'at (Manifestations)
  • Lamahat (Flashes of Lightning)
  • "Seerat E Rasool SAW" Urdu
  • "Sharah Hijbul Bahar Ma Hamah" Urdu
  • "Fuyuz Ul Haramain" Arabic & Urdu Fuyud al-haramayn (Emanations or Spiritual Visions of Makkah and Madina)[6]
  • "Tafheemat E Ilahiya" Al-Tafhimat (Instructions or Clear Understanding)
  • Al-Budur al-bazighah (The Full Moons Rising in Splendor)
  • "AL fauz Ul Kabeer" Urdu Al-Fauz Al-Kabir Fi Usul Al-Tafsir
  • Al-Irshad ila-Muhimmat-I-Ilm-al-Isnad (Arabic)- is about the scholars of Hejaz who taught Shah Waliullah.
  • Izalat al-Khafa 'an Khilafat al- Khulfa (Persian)
  • Al-Fauzul Kabir Fi Usoolu-Tafseer (Arabics)
  • "Al qaul Ul Jameel" Urdu
  • Atayyab al-naghm fi Madh-I-Saiyid al- Arab wal-Ajam (Arabic)- A collection of odes eulogizing the holy Prophet which speak of Shah's poetic talent and love towards Prophet.
  • Altaf al-Quds (Persian) - Deals with esoteric principles of mysticism.
  • Al-Imdad-o-fi Ma'athir al-Ajdad (Persian)- A brochure giving Shah Waliullah’s genealogical table and containing brief notices about some of his ancestors.
  • Al-Intibah-o-fi Salasil-il-Aulia Allah (Persian)- Gives the history and brief introduction of different mystic orders.
  • Insan al-ain fi Mashikh al-Haeamyn (Persian)
  • Al insaf-o-fi Bayan-I-Asbab al-Ikhtalaf (Arabic)
  • "Anfas ul Arifeen" Urdu Anfas aal Arifin (Persian)
  • Al-Budur al-Bazigha (Arabic)- This work on theology employs philosophical terminology in discussing human nature and social behavior.
  • Bawariq al-Wilayah (Persian)- The tract forms part of the Anfas al-Arifin in which the Shah has described the life and spiritual attainments of his father Shah Abdur Rahim.
  • Tawil al-ahadith (Arabic)- It recount the stories of different prophets mentioned in the Quran in order to draw out lessons and rules of Shariah from the Quranic describtion.
  • Tuhfatul Muwahhidin- It is a Persian tract explaining the creed of tauhid.
  • Tarajim-o-Abwab al-Bukhari (Arabic)- It expounds the principles which would be found helpful in understanding certain difficult portions of the Bukhari.
  • At-Tafhimat al-Ilahiyah (Arabic and Persian)- It's a mystical work, partly in Arabic and partly in Persian, giving the mystical experiences of Shah.
  • Al-Juz al-Latif fi- Tarjumata al-Abd al- Dhayif(Persian)
  • Hujjat Allah al-Baligha (Arabic)-
  • "AL Aqeeda tul Hasana" Arbeci & Urdu Husn al- Aqidah (Arabic)- The fundamental creed of Islam as accepted by the Ahli-I-Sunnat sect, has been expounded in this work in the light of Quran and Hadith.
  • Al-Khair al-Kathir(Arabic)- This work on philosophy of religion elucidates the concept of m'arifat and wisdom of Divine Names, revelation etc.
  • Ad-durrus Thamain fi-Mubashshiratil Nabi al-Amin (Arabic)- It is a collection of glad tidings the Shah and his ancestors had had from the holy Prophet.
  • Diwan-o-Ashar (Arabic)- A collection of the Arabic verses of the Shah.
  • Risalah- was written in reply to certain mystical issues raised by Shaikh 'Abdullah bin Abdul Baqi.
  • Risalah Danishmandi (Persian) - A valuable tract containing detailed directions in regard to methodology of teaching.
  • Zahrawayn- A commentary on the Surat-ul-Baqarah and Imran.
  • Surur al- Mahzun (Persia)- It is a concise Persian rendering of the Kitab Nur al-Uyun il-Amin *al-Mamun a well-known biography of the holy Prophet.
  • Sharh-o-Tarajim-I-Abwab-I-Sahih al-Bukhari (Arabic)- is an annotation on certain chapters of the Sahih of Bukhari.
  • Shifa al-Qulub (Persian)- is a tract of mysticism.
  • Shawariq al-Marifat (Persian)- a biography of the Shah's Uncle Shaikh Abdul Raza.
  • Al-Atiyatus Samadiyah Fi Anfas Al-Muhammadiyah (Persian)- this small brochure contains a biographical sketch of the Shah's maternal grandfather Shaikh Muhammad Phulti.
  • Iqd Al-Jid Fi-Aakham Al-Ijtihad Wat-Tajdid (Arabic)
  • Fath-ur-Rahman (Persian)-a translation of the Quran.
  • Fath-al-Kabir (Arabic)- A glossary of the intricate words of the Quran.
  • Fath al-Wadud-li-Marifata-al-Junud(Arabic)- it pertains to the ethics and mysticism.
  • Al fadhl Al-Mubin Fi Al-Musalsal Min Hadithin Nabi Al-Amin (Arabic)- It is about Hadith


  1. ^ Jalbani, G.N. (2006). Life of Shah Wali Allah (1st ed.). New Delhi, India: Kitab Bhavan. ISBN 9788171513703. 
  2. ^ S.M. Ikram (1964). "XIX. A Century of Political Decline: 1707-1803". In Ainslie T. Embree. Muslim civilization in India. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231025805. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Sharif, M. M. (1963). A History of Muslim Philosophy: With short accounts of other Disciplines and the Modern Renaissance in the Muslim Lands. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. ISBN 9788175361461. 
  4. ^ Husain, M Hidayat (1912). "Al-Juz' al-Latif fi Tarjamat al-'Abd al-Da'if (English translation from Persian text)". Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal 14: 161–175. 
  5. ^ a b Hermansen, transl. by Marcia K. (1996). The conclusive argument of God : Shāh Walī Allāh of Delhi's Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha. Leiden [u.a.]: Brill. ISBN 9789004102989. 
  6. ^ a b Waliullah, Shah. Fuyud al-haramayn (Emanations or Spiritual Visions of Makkah and Madina). 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Waliullah, Shah (1982). The sacred knowledge of the higher functions of the mind: Altaf al-Quds. London: Octagon Pr. ISBN 0900860936. 
  9. ^ Waliullah, Shah (1974). al-Khayr al-kathir. LCCN 75930338. 

External links[edit]