Muhammad Ilyas Kandhlawi

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Muhammad Ilyas Kandhlawi
محمد الیاس کاندھلوی
1st Amir of Tablighi Jamaat
Succeeded by Muhammad Yusuf Kandhlawi
Title Hazrat Ji
Born Akhtar Ilyas
1885 (1302 Hijri year)
Kandhla, North-Western Provinces, British India (in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India)
Died 13 July 1944 (1363 Hijri year)
Nizamuddin, Delhi
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Indian
Occupation Da'i
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Hanafi
Movement Deobandi
Main interest(s) Da'wah
Notable work(s) Tablighi Jamaat
Alma mater Darul Uloom Deoband
Sufi order Chishti-Nizami
Disciple of Rashid Ahmad Gangohi
Muhammad Ismail Kandhlawi
Muhammad Yahya Kandhlawi

Muḥammad Ilyās ibn Muḥammad Ismā‘īl Kāndhlawī Dihlawī (Urdu: محمد الیاس بن محمد اسماعیل کاندھلوی دہلوی‎) was an Indian Islamic scholar and Sufi who founded the Tablighi Jamaat Islamic revivalist movement.

Name and lineage[edit]

He was Muhammad Ilyas ibn Muhammad Ismail, Kandhlawi (of Kandhla) by birth and origin, then Dihlawi (of Delhi).

Early life and education[edit]

Muhammad Ilyas was born in 1303 AH (1885/1886) in the village of Kandhla, Muzaffarnagar district, North-West Provinces, British India (in present-day Shamli district, Uttar Pradesh, India). His year of birth can be computed by the tarikhi (chronogrammatic) name "Akhtar Ilyas" (اختر الیاس) using abjad numerals.[1]

He was the son of Muhammad Ismail and his second wife, Safiyah.[1]

In a local maktab he memorized one and a quarter ajza' of the Qur'an, and he completed memorizing the Qur'an under his father in Nizamuddin area, Delhi. Thereafter, he studied the elementary books of Arabic and Persian language mostly under his father.[1]

Later on helived with and studied under Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. In 1905, the death of Rashid Ahmad Gangohi occurred, when Ilyas was 20. In 1908, Ilyas enrolled in Darul Uloom Deoband.

Foundation of Tablighi Jamaat[edit]

In the early 1920s, he prepared a team of young madrasah graduates from Deoband and Saharanpur and sent them to Mewat to establish a network of mosques and Islamic schools movement but once said that if he had to attribute a name to his movement, it would have been Tehreek-e-Imaan (Imaan/Faith movement'). The people of South Asia started calling the devotees Tableeghi and this name became popularised eventually.



  1. ^ a b c Sayyid Abul-Ḥasan ‘Alī Nadwī (n.d.) [First published c. 1947]. حضرت مولانا محمد الیاس اور ان کی دینی دعوت / Ḥaẓrat Maulānā Muḥammad Ilyās aur un kī dīnī da‘wat (in Urdu). Rā’ewind [Raiwind]: Maktabah Maḥmūdīyah. 

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