Abdur Rahman Kashgari

Abū az-Zibriqān ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī Dāmullā al-Kāshgharī an-Nadwī (Arabic: أبو الزبرقان عبد الرحمن بن عبد الهادي داملا الكاشغري الندوي; 15 September 1912 – March 1971), or simply Abdur Rahman Kashgari (Uyghur: ئابدۇرراھمان كاشغەرىي, Bengali: আব্দুর রহমান কাশগরী), was one of the leading scholars of the Arabic language and literature in the Indian subcontinent.[1] Of Uyghur background, Kashgari migrated from East Turkestan to India at an early age, completing his studies in Lucknow where he became an accomplished Islamic scholar, linguist, poet and author.[2] He then migrated to Bengal (present-day Bangladesh), where he eventually became the principal of Dhaka Alia Madrasa. Kashgari was also the first khatib of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, holding this role until his death.[3][4]

Abdur Rahman Kashgarhi

ئابدۇرراھمان كاشغەرىي
Born15 September 1912
DiedMarch 1971(1971-03-00) (aged 58)
Main interest(s)Linguistics
Alma materNadwatul Ulama, Lucknow
University of Lucknow
Khatib of Baitul Mukarram
In office
1963 – March 1971
Preceded byPost established
Succeeded byAmimul Ehsan Barkati
Head Mawlana of Dhaka Alia Madrasa
In office
1969 – March 1971
Preceded byAmimul Ehsan Barkati
Succeeded byAhmad Hossain Chowdhury
Arabic name
Personal (Ism)ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān
عبد الرحمن
Patronymic (Nasab)ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī
بن عبد الهادي
Teknonymic (Kunya)Abū az-Zibriqān
أبو الزبرقان
Epithet (Laqab)al-Lughawī
Toponymic (Nisba)Dāmullā
Muslim leader
TeacherAbdul Hye Hasani

Early life and educationEdit

Abdur Rahman was born in the village of Tashmiliq in Kashgar, East Turkestan (present-day Xinjiang, China). His father, Abdul Hadi Damolla,[note 1] was a local Uyghur mullah popularly referred to as Beit-Akhunum.[6] As a result of instability in their home region following the 1911 Revolution and the establishment of the Republic of China, his father, elder brother and two sisters were arrested by the new regime and the family property was taken away. His maternal uncle suggested to Abdur Rahman's mother that they join the Muslim refugee groups migrating to the subcontinent with the assistance of a guerrilla force. However, Abdur Rahman's mother hoped for her family to eventually be freed and so she remained in Kashgar though Abdur Rahman was keen on furthering his Islamic studies in India.[7]

Abdur Rahman's initial education began under the local Islamic scholars in Kashgar. After leaving behind his family in Kashgar, eleven-year old Abdur Rahman joined the caravan towards India. They passed through Karakol and the Pamir Mountains, eventually reaching a place called Dukhan in Afghanistan. From there, they reached a place called Barik near Fayzabad, Badakhshan. From there, they reached Chitral via Zebak where they received assistance from Mehtar Amir ul-Mulk, and subsequently went to Dargai. After months of walking on foot, they finally went from Dargai to Amritsar via rail. The adviser there appeared in the services of Maulana Abdullah Minhas, in whose name the Mehtar of Chitral had kindly written a letter of recommendation. According to the Mehtar's instructions, he served Abdul Hye Hasani, principal of the Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow, British India. Finding refuge in the Nadwatul Ulama orphanage in 1922, he became a student at the same institute up-to higher level, gaining a strong grounding in the Islamic sciences such as Hadith studies, tafsir, Arabic literature and other subjects under Abdul Hye Hasani. He graduated from Nadwatul Ulama in 1347 AH (1929 CE). He then went on to study at the University of Lucknow where he received a Fazil-e-Adab degree.[8] Kashgari received a certificate in the seven qira'at from the Madrasa-e-Furqania.[9]


After completing his studies, Kashgari became a teacher at his alma mater, the Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama.[8] At the request of A. K. Fazlul Huq, the Prime Minister of Bengal, who visited him in Lucknow, Kashgari moved to Bengal where he became a teacher at the Calcutta Alia Madrasa in 1938.[7] In Calcutta, he taught Islamic jurisprudence and its principles. After the Partition of Bengal in 1947, Kashgari moved to Dacca, East Bengal. He began teaching at the Dhaka Alia Madrasa where he also served as a hostel superintendent. In 1955, he was promoted to assistant head mawlana of the institution, and became the head mawlana (principal) from 1969 until his death.[9] Among his students were Muhammad Fakhruddin (bn), Muhiuddin Khan,[10] Nurul Islam Hashemi, Syed Fazlur Rahman and Abu Mahfuz Al-Karim Masumi.[1] In 1963, he was appointed as the first khatib of the newly-built Baitul Mukarram National Mosque and he served in this position until the end of his life. Kashgari was also a member of the Anjuman Mufidul Islam organisation.


Kashgari has written many works pertaining to Arabic language and has also composed Islamic poetry in Arabic. Among his books are:

Personal lifeEdit

Kashgarhi remained a bachelor for his entire life.[8] He had pet kittens.[7]


Kashgarhi died towards the end of March 1971, in Dacca, East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh). He was buried in Azimpur Graveyard.[7] One of his students, Abu Mahfuz Al-Karim Masumi, wrote a lengthy obituary for the fortnightly Al-Raid in Lucknow.[citation needed]


  1. ^ According to Muhammad Qasim Hajim, his father's name was ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥakīm ibn Bakr.[5]


  1. ^ a b Al-Azami (2017).
  2. ^ رویداد اجلاس سوم, Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, 1928
  3. ^ "কালের কিংবদন্তি আল্লামা আব্দুর রহমান কাশগরি রহ" (in Bengali). Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  4. ^ দিগন্ত, Daily Nayadiganta-নয়া. "স্ম র ণ : অধ্যক্ষ আল্লামা মুহাম্মদ ফখরুদ্দীন (রহ:)". Daily Nayadiganta (নয়া দিগন্ত) : Most Popular Bangla Newspaper (in Bengali). Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  5. ^ Hajim, Muhammad Qasim. مەشھۇر تۈركىستان كىشىلىرىنى تونۇشتۇرۇش دېگەن كىتابىدا [An introduction of notable Turkestanis] (in Uyghur).
  6. ^ Masoumi, Karim Investigations and Reprimands
  7. ^ a b c d Khan, Muhiuddin. জীবনের খেলাঘরে [In the playhouse of life] (in Bengali). Madina Publications. pp. 153–158.
  8. ^ a b c d e Alam, AKM Nurul (2012). "Kashgarhi, Abdur Rahman". In Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir (eds.). Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  9. ^ a b c al-Kumillai, Muhammad Hifzur Rahman (2018). "الشيخ الفاضل مولانا العلامة اللغوي عبد الرحمن الكاشْغَري، رحمه الله تعالى" [The honourable Shaykh, Mawlana, the Allamah, the linguist, Abd ar-Rahman al-Kashghari, may Allah, the Most High, have mercy on him]. كتاب البدور المضية في تراجم الحنفية (in Arabic). Cairo, Egypt: Dar al-Salih.
  10. ^ "মাওলানা মুহিউদ্দীন খান : বাংলায় ইসলামী সাহিত্যের এক কিংবদন্তি". Daily Jalalabad (in Bengali). 8 August 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  11. ^ Muslehuddin, ATM (2012). "Arabic". In Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir (eds.). Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  12. ^ Kashgari, Abdur Rahman. "Introduction". In Nadvi, Masud (ed.). Az-Zahrāt. Lucknow. pp. 17–29.۔

Further readingEdit

  • Al-Azami, Abd al-Hadi (2017). عبد الرحمن الكاشغري حياته وآثاره [Abdur Rahman Kashgari, his life and his works] (in Arabic).