Syed Mohammad Ashraf

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Syed Mohammad Ashraf
Born Haryana
Residence Sakras, Haryana
Known for Ulama, Faqih

Qazi Syed Mohammad Ashraf (died in 1815) was a very influential person in the region of Mewat of Alwar during British India.

Biography[edit]

Qazi Syed (Saiyid) Mohammad Ashraf was one of the prominent men from the region of Mewat. He was a ulama, faqih and well versed in sharia law. He worked for Islamic dawah and did tabligh the whole life. As qadi, he not only followed Islamic legal jurisprudence himself but also asked from others very strictly. At that time, qadi was not supposed to perform the marriage ceremonies only but also to look after all the administrative and managerial affairs of the city. In addition, he gave many judgments as Islamic lawyer.

He was also master in Horses in warfare and horse breeding which he carried out from his family stable located at small town 'Sakras', District Gurgaon now a part of Ferozepur Jhirka, District Mewat, (Haryana). He used to travel far from Delhi to Aurangabad for business purpose.

Because of his influential personality in the region, he was assassinated in 1814 by local Meo community leaders at Sakras (Haryana). According to Major P.W. Powlett (late settlement officer of Ulwar), in 1805, after the defeat of the Mahrattas, most of the parts of Mewat including Tijara, with other parganas, was conferred on the adopted son and distant relative of Pratap Singh Prabhakar of Alwar, Rao Raja Bakhtawar Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1791–1815), this led to much fighting with the Meos for years, especially in 1229 AH / 1814 AD. Meo population of the Mewat was very rebellious in these years. They were large in number and hence attacked many other residents including many Saiyid families.[1][2][3]

Family and Legacy[edit]

Qazi Syed Mohammad Ashraf had many family relatives in several places of nearby states of Haryana and Rajasthan such as Khairthal, Rewari, Ferozepur Jhirka, Bahadur Pur and Tijara. Many of them held important offices at princely state of Alwar and Jaipur. His brother Syed Mohammad Shamsuddin, worked with him and was an equal business partner.

Syed Mohammad Ashraf was first married to Bibi Saleha daughter of Amiruddin (son of Moizuddin ibn Qazi Ghulam Murtaza) and maternal granddaughter of Abu Turab, who died on Friday 13th Rajab 1205 AH/17 March 1790AD during the delivery of a daughter. Following is a Qat'a, a form of poetry in Persian, narrated on her death.

از جہا ں رفتہ آں بعہد شبا ب

خوش انداز انوار آسود ہ

سیزد ہ روز شد ز ما ہ رجب

رفت خوبی بگور بر بود ہ

سال رحلت جو جستہ ام ازجا ں

گفت ہا تف اونیک ذ ات بود ہ

From Bibi Saleha, he had one son, Haji Mir Mohammad Zainuddin, who during the reign of Raghuji Bapusaheb Bhonsle III, migrated to Nagpur from Tijara in 1818 as a noble man and became Faujdar.

After the death of Bibi Saleha, Qazi Syed Mohammad Ashraf remarried with Karam Daulat, daughter of Aminuddin ibn Azimuddin ibn Mufti Saifuddin of Rewari. Two children were born from the second marriage, a daughter, namely Bibi Gauhni (married to Hisamuddin ibn Shaikh Mahmood ibn Hafiz Hasan ibn Mohammad Wajihuddin brother Mohammad Raza of Rewari) and a son namely Qazi Mir Imdad Ali (a military officer at Nagpur).

Syed Mohammad Ashraf trained the arts of horse riding and horse breeding to both his sons Mir Mohammad Zainuddin and Qazi Mir Imdad Ali and that is the reason, both rose to peak in their professional life.

Family History[edit]

After the Changez khan’s massacre in Iran (Destruction under the Mongol Empire), his family members migrated from Mashhad (Iran) to Sabzwar and then to India via Gardēz (Afghanistan) during the reign of Sultan Shams-ud-din Iltutmish (1211-1235). In India, this family was acclaimed later on as Gardēzī Sadaat and received many honorific titles from Mughal emperors.

According to Akhbarul Akhyar by Shaikh Abdul-Haqq Dehlavi, the two brothers Mir Syed Shahabuddin and Mir Syed Shamsuddin Daod who belonged to Gardezi Sadaat came to Delhi during Iltutmish times. The family of Mir Syed Shahabuddin was settled in Manikpur while the family of Mir Syed Shamsuddin Daod stayed at the region of Mewat. From the family of Manikpur, Raji Hamid Shah (caliph Shaikh Hisamuddin Manikpuri) was a famous scholar.[4] The Lineal descendant of both these brothers in Mewat and Manikpur are remembered as Gardezi Sadaat. According to Tarikhul Aimma fi Zikr Khulafai Ummah by Mir Mahboob Ali, "some family members of Syed Shamsuddin Daod were settled in Sabzwar, and hence also known as Syed Sabzwari".[5]

In relation to Gardez, Sultan Iltumish knew the family of Mir Syed Shamsuddin very well especially his father 'Mir Zainuddin' from Gardez. Sultan allowed to marry his sister with Mir Syed Shamsuddin. After the demise of his sister, his daughter got married with Mir Syed Shamsuddin. In this way, Mir Syed Shamsuddin enjoyed the royal courtship and remained with Sultan Iltumish. He had two sons Mir Imaduddin and Mir Azduddin. Mir Syed Shamsuddin died either during the reign of Nasir ud din Mahmud or in the period of Ghiyas ud din Balban. Because of close association with Sultan Iltumish, his family members were sent to jail during the reign of Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji and then Alauddin Khilji. When Alauddin Khilji killed his uncle Jalaluddin Khilji in 1295 AD/ 695 AH, many prisoners ran away from the jails and many were killed. In this mayhem and confusion, Mir Imaduddin with his nephew Burhanuddin ran away and fled Delhi to Ranthambore with Muhammad Shah, a rebel general of Sultan Alauddin Khilji in 1299 AD. At that time, Hammir Dev Chauhan was the king of Ranthambore Fort. During the attack of Alauddin Khilji in 701AH/1301AD, both Mir Imaduddin and Burhanuddin were martyred and buried near the gate of Ranthambore Fort.[6]

After Mir Imaduddin’s martyr, his family members including his son Syed Shamsuddin Sani (alias Syed Chajju Jagat Jaut) remained in Ranthambore for few more decades. According to Tarikh-i-Firuz_Shahi by Ziauddin Barani, the families that belonged in the period of Sultan Iltutmish and remained in the period of Ghiyas ud din Balban were also from ancestors of Syed Chajju.[7]

The history during and after Syed Chajju Jagat Jaut is not very distinguishable and traceable. According to Hakim Syed Karam Husain, the family of Syed Chajju were later on bestowed with vast lands by many kings near the areas of Mewat in return for their great services. Apart from Sakras (Mewat), some members of Mir Imaduddin and Mir Burhanuddin were also settled in Gujarat and Deccan. From the Gujarat family, Qazi Mahmood (846 AH / 1442 AD - 925 AH / 1519 AD) got a reputation as scholar about whom Abdul-Haqq Dehlavi (d.1642 c.e.) mentioned in his manuscript as a great 'Sufi Shaikh' of Gujarat.[8] Qazi Mahmood lived a good life during the Sultanate period of Gujarat at Ahmedabad at the times of Sultan Shams-ud Din Muzaffar Shah II (son of Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah I). From Ahmedabad, he shifted to his native place 'Sarpore' (Gujarat) in 920 AH / 1514 AD where he lived till death.

The great grandson of Syed Shamsuddin Sani (alias Syed Chajju Jagat Jaut), Qazi Syed Rafi Mohammad (alias Qazi Dasondhi) was a prominent ulama from Sakras (Haryana) - a region of Mewat. After his demise, his second son Qazi Syed Inayatullah took over his family profession as qadi. Qazi Syed Hayatullah and Qazi Syed Mohammad Zaman respectively were the son and grandson of Qazi Syed Inayatullah, and were the great personalities of their times.

The father of Syed Mohammad Ashraf, Qazi Syed Mohammad Rafi was the son of Qazi Syed Mohammad Zaman.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Major P.W. Powlett. Gazetteer of Ulwar, London: Trubner and Co. Ludgate Hill, 1878
  2. ^ "Biography". 
  3. ^ Hayat Karam Hussain (Biography). Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences, Aligarh, India, 2nd Ed. 2008. 
  4. ^ Akhbarul Akhyar, Abdul-Haqq Dehlavi (d.1642 c.e.), Manuscript p 153
  5. ^ Tarikhul Aimma fi Zikr Khulafal Ummah, Mir Mahboob Ali (died 1863 AD/1280 AH), Manuscript p 236
  6. ^ Nuzhatul Khawatir, Hakim Syed Abdul Hai Lukhnawi (see Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi), Volume 1, p 170
  7. ^ Tarikh-i-Firuz_Shahi, Ziauddin Barani, pp 111
  8. ^ Akhbarul Akhyar, Shaikh Abdul-Haqq Muhaddis Dehlavi, Manuscript dated 22 Rabiul Awwal 1158 AH / 1745 AD