Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi

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Not to be confused with Syed Ahmad.
Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
Title Ala Hazrat
Born 14 June 1856[1]
Muhallah Jasoli, Bareilly, NWP, British Indian Empire
Died 28 October 1921(1921-10-28) (aged 65)
Muhallah Sodagraan, Bareilly, UP, British Indian Empire
Nationality India
Ethnicity Pashtuns
Era Modern era
Region South Asia
Jurisprudence Hanafi[citation needed]
Creed Sunni[citation needed]
Main interest(s) Aqeedah, Fiqh, Tasawwuf
Website [1]

Part of a series on
The Barelvi movement
Tomb of Ahmed Raza Khan
Central figures

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
Shah Waliullah
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki
Meher Ali Shah

Mufti Amjad Ali Aazmi
Hamid Raza Khan

Sufism (Chishti, Qadiri and Suhrawardi orders)


Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, Pakistan
Sunni Tehreek, Pakistan
Sunni Ittehad Council, Pakistan
Dawat-e-Islami, International
World Islamic Mission, International
Sunni Dawat-e-Islami, International


Jamiatur Raza (Bareily, UP, India)
Al Jamiatul Ashrafia (Azamgarh, UP, India)
Manzar-e-Islam (Bakri, UP, India)
Al-Jame-atul-Islamia (Faizabad, UP, India)

Notable Scholars

Sarfraz Ahmed Naeemi, Pakistan
Ilyas Qadri, Pakistan
Muhammad Muslehuddin Siddiqui, Pakistan
Allama Arshadul Qaudri, India

Literature & Media

Kanzul Iman, translation of the Qur'an
Madani Channel

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (Urdu: احمد رضاخان بریلوی‎, Hindi: अहमद रज़ा खान, Born: 14 june 1856 AD or 10 Shawwal 1272 AH in Muhallah Jasoli Bareilly, UP[2] __Died: 28 October 1921 AD or 25 Safar 1340 AH in Bareilly, UP[3]), known as Aala Hazrat, was an extremist Sufi known for his Takfeer (declaring Kufr) and extremely heretical beliefs, and the founder and Imam of the Barelawis.[4]

Early life

His father was Naqi Ali Khan, his grand father was Raza Ali Khan and his great-grandfather Shah Kazim Ali Khan.[5] His ancestors were Pashtuns from Kandahar.[6]

Ahmad was born on 14 June 1856 in Jasuli, one of the areas of Bareilly Sharif, united India. His birth name is Mohammad however his grandfather called him Ahmad Raza and his mother named him Amman Miyān. He became famous with the name which was kept by his grandfather.[7] Khan used the appellation "Abdul Mustafa" (slave [or servant] of Mustafa) prior to signing his name in correspondence.[8]


Ahmed Raza Khan's beliefs regarding Muhammad include:

  • That Muhammad, although human, possessed a nūr or "light" that predates creation. was insan-e-kamil ("the complete man"), a respected but physically typical human.

We do not hold that anyone can equal the knowledge of Allah Most High, or possess it independently, nor do we assert that Allah’s giving of knowledge to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is anything but a part. But what a patent and tremendous difference between one part [the Prophet’s] and another [anyone else’s]: like the difference between the sky and the earth, or rather even greater and more immense.

—Ahmed Raza Khan, al-Dawla al-Makkiyya (c00), 291.

Ahmad Raza Khan (Barelvi) has noted the beliefs of Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi (founder of the school at Deoband) and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (of Deoband), and then added:

  • "They are all murtadd [apostate] according to the unanimous view (ijma) of Muslims."
  • "He who doubts that they are kafirs, is himself a kafir."[9]
  • "He who doubts about the unbelief of the Deobandi's is also an unbeliever."[10]
  • "If anyone has the same beliefs as the Deobandi's have, he is also an unbeliever."[11]
  • "If anyone prays behind anyone of the Deobandi's, he is also not a Muslim."[12]
  • "If anyone admires Darul-Ulum Deoband, or does not believe in the corruption of Deobandi's and does not scorn them, then this is sufficient to make a judgement for him to be a non-Muslim."[13]
  • "Any person who doubts the kufr of these people (Deobandis) will themselves become kaafirs!"[14]
  • "Any person who would not call them (Deobandis) disbelievers or would maintain friendship with them, or would take into consideration their positions as teachers or relatives or friends will also definitely become one of them. He is a disbeliever like them. On the Day of Judgement, he will also be tied with them in the same rope. Whatever lame excuses and fraudulent arguments they give here are invalid and false."[15]
  • "If there is a gathering of Hindu's, Christian's, Qadiyani's and Deobandi's, the Deobandi's alone should be rejected, for they have come out of the fold of Islam and defected from it. Agreement with the unbelievers is far better than the agreement with the apostates!!"[16]
  • "The works of the Deobandi's are more unclean than the various works of the Hindu's. The doubt about the heresy of Ashraf Ali Deobandi and suspicion about his punishment is also unbelief. To cleanse the impurity with the papers of the works produced by the Deobandi's is not lawful, not because of the respect for their books, but because of the reverence of the letters with which they have been written."[17]
  • "The Wahhabi's are more contemptuous than Iblis, indeed more mischievous and more straying than he, for the Shaytan does not tell a lie, but they tell a lie!!"[18]
  • "The Wahhabi's are more wicked, harmful, and impure than the Jews and the Christians."[19]
  • "If anyone believes that the Wahhabi's are Muslims, he becomes an unbeliever. It is not lawful to pray behind him..."[20]
  • "He who hesitates in declaring Ashraf Ali (Thanawi) to be an unbeliever is himself an unbeliever."[21]
  • "The author of Behishti Zewar (by Maulana Thanawi) is an unbeliever. It is forbidden for a Muslim to look into it."[22]
  • "A woman is capable of committing fornication. Then according to the opinion of your leader and teacher, it is necessary that your God too should be capable of committing fornication - otherwise the prostitutes of the brothers of the Deobandi's would laugh at Him and say: 'How do you claim for Godhead? You are not capable of doing which even we can do?' This naturally implies that your God must possess a female sexual organ - otherwise where will be the sexual intercourse?"[23]

Opposition to other sects

Ahmed Raza himself painstakingly developed refutations of Ahmadiyya, the Deobandis, the Ahl al-Hadith and Wahhabism.[24]


Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian claimed to be the Mahdi awaited by Muslims as well as a Ummati Nabi, a subordinate prophet to Muhammad who brings no new Sharia but instead restore Islam to its pure form.[25] Ahmed Raza branded Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a heretic and apostate and called him and his followers kuffar.[26]


When Ahmed Raza visited Mecca and Medina for pilgrimage in 1905, he prepared a draft document entitled Al Motamad Al Mustanad "The Reliable Proofs" for presentation to the scholars there. Ahmed Raza Khan collected opinions of the ulama of the Hejaz and compiled them in an compendium with the title "Sword of the Two Sanctuaries" (Urdu: حسام الحرمین‎, a work containing 34 verdicts from 33 ulama, 20 Meccan and 13 Medinese. In that work, which was to inspire a reciprocal series of fatwas between Barelvis and Deobandis continuing to the present, Ahmad Reza Khan denounced as kuffar the Deobandi leaders Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, and Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi.[27]

Political quietism

Unlike most other Muslim leaders in the region at the time, Khan and his movement opposed the Indian independence movement due to its leadership under Mahatma Gandhi, who was not a Muslim.[28]


  1. • The influences of Shi’ism on the founder of the Barelawi school of thought.
  2. • The easiness with which they declare Kufr on their opponents.
  3. • Their giving superstitions, baseless talk, unfounded stories and fables, the garb of religion.
  4. • Their distortion (Tahreef) and misinterpretation of the Book and the Sunnah to support their beliefs.

Anyone who wishes to further study this subject should refer to this book called, ‘Barelawis – History and Beliefs’. Another excellent book that explicitly exposes the corrupted beliefs and actions of the Barelwis is, ‘The Book of Unity or Oneness of Allah’ compiled by Muhammad Iqbaal Kailani.[29]

  • The Barelvi movement was a radical movement which did not accept the views of the Deoband Ulama, the Ahl-eHadith and some others.[30]
  • Ahmad Raza Khan was the founder the the Barelvi sect who are not from among Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, therefore one should abstain from his works.[2]
  • Raza opposed labeling British India to be Dar al-Harb ("land of war"), thus opposing the Deobandi interpretation of jihad (struggle) or hijrat (migration to escape) against the proposed plans of the Deobandiyya Movement who wished to begin jihaad. Raza's stance was opposed by Deobandi scholars such as Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi.[31]

See also


  1. ^ Hayat-e-Aala Hadhrat, vol.1 p.1
  2. ^ http://www.raza.org.za/the_mujaddid_imam_ahmed_raza_childhood.html
  3. ^ http://www.raza.org.za/the_mujaddid_imam_ahmed_raza_demise.html
  4. ^ The Jamaat Tableegh and the Deobandis: A Critical Analysis of their Beliefs, Books and Dawah by Sajid Abdul-Kayum
  5. ^ Usha Sanyal (1996). Devotional Islam and politics in British India: Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and his movement, 1870–1920. Oxford University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-19-563699-4. 
  6. ^ Usha Sanyal, Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi: In the Path of the Prophet, Oneworld Publications (2012), p. 52
  7. ^ Ala Hadhrat by Bastawi, p. 25
  8. ^ Man huwa Ahmed Rida by Shaja'at Ali al-Qadri, p.15
  9. ^ (Hisam al-Haramain, pp. 100 and 113)
  10. ^ (Fatawa Ridwiyya, 6/82)
  11. ^ (Fatawa Ridwiyya, 6/43)
  12. ^ (Fatawa Ridwiyya, 6/77)
  13. ^ (Fatawa Ridwiyya, 6/110)
  14. ^ (See the preface to Ahmed Raza Khan's Tamheed-e-Iman, p. v, by the South African Barelvi who called himself the "Khadim-e-Raza: servant of Rida Khan", Mohammed Bana, dated 19/10/87)
  15. ^ (Ahmed Raza Khan in the last page of his Tamheed-e-Iman)
  16. ^ (Ahmed Raza Khan in his Malfuzat pp. 325-6)
  17. ^ (Fatawa Ridwiyya, 2/136, Faisalabad, Pakistan)
  18. ^ (Ahkam-e-Shariat p. 112)
  19. ^ (Ahkam-e-Shariat, 1/80).
  20. ^ (Fatawa Ridwiyya, 6/80-91)
  21. ^ (Fatawa al-Ifriqiyya, p. 124)
  22. ^ (Fatawa Ridwiyya, 6/56)
  23. ^ (Subhan al-Subbuh, p. 142)
  24. ^ http://www.hudson.org/research/9848-the-assertion-of-barelvi-extremism
  25. ^ http://www.reviewofreligions.org/1599/my%E2%80%88claim-to-promised-messiahship/
  26. ^ Zahid Aziz, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam (2008) A survey of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement: history, beliefs, aims and work. A.a.i.i.l. (u.k.), ISBN 978-1-906109-03-5. p. 43
  27. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=6w7JVOlDIokC&pg=PA282&dq=Khan++deobandi+husam&hl=en&sa=X&ei=h3LgUb-DDaj84AOOq4G4Ag&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Khan%20%20deobandi%20husam&f=false
  28. ^ R. Upadhyay, Barelvis and Deobandhis: "Birds of the Same Feather". Eurasia Review, courtesy of the South Asia Analysis Group. 28 January 2011.
  29. ^ The Jamaat Tableegh and the Deobandis: A Critical Analysis of their Beliefs, Books and Dawah by Sajid Abdul-Kayum
  30. ^ Islam in Britain: Past, Present and the Future by Mohammad Shahid Raza
  31. ^ M. Naeem Qureshi. Pan-Islam in British Indian politics: a study of the Khilafat Movement, 1918–1924. BRILL, 1999. ISBN 978-90-04-11371-8. p. 179

Further reading

External links