Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari (23 November 1943 – 20 July 2018), also known as Tajush Shari'ah or Azhari Miya, was an Indian Barelvi Muslim scholar, cleric and mufti. He was the great grandson of Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi who was considered to be a Mujaddid by his followers and was the founder of the Barelvi movement. He was recognised by Barelvi Muslims as the Grand Mufti of India. He was ranked 22nd on the list of The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the world (2014–15 edition), compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. He had tens of millions of followers in India.
Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan
|Grand Mufti of India|
|Preceded by||Mustafa Raza Khan Qadri|
|Succeeded by||Asjad Raza Khan|
Muhammad Ismail Raza
23 November 1943
|Died||20 July 2018 (aged 74)
(7 Zul-Qaida 1439)|
|Resting place||Bareilly Sharif Dargah|
|Children||6, including Asjad Raza Khan|
|Alma mater||Manzar-e-Islam (Bareilly), Islamia Inter College, Bareilly, Al-Azhar University 1963 -1966|
|Known for||Fatawa Taajush Shariah|
|Other names||Azhari Miya|
|Relatives||Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (great-grandfather)|
Grand Mufti styles
|Religious style||Mufti Azam-e-Hind, and Mufti al-Diyar al-Hindiyyah and Shaykh al-Islām in Arabic|
|Alternative style||Hadrat, Sheikh and Sahib-ul-Ma'ali|
|Founder of||Jamiatur Raza|
|Awards||"Fakhre Azhar" (Pride of Azhar)|
|Literary works||Book list|
He went to school at the Manzar-e-Islam madrassa of the Dargah Aala Hazrat, and then at Islamia Inter College, Bareilly. He studied at Al-Azhar University in Egypt from 1963–66, where he won the "Fakhre Azhar" (pride of Azhar) award.
In 1967, he became a teacher at the Manzar-e-Islam madrasa in Bareilly.
He was considered by his followers as the Grand Mufti of India. He had been ranked 22nd on the list of The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the world (2014–15 edition), compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. He had tens of millions of followers in India.
He died following a long illness on 20 July 2018, aged 74. The estimated attendance at his funeral was just under one million. His funeral occurred on 22 July 2018 at Islamia Inter College, Bareilly. The prayer was led by his son and successor Asjad Raza Khan.
After his death Mohammad Salim Noori, spokesperson of the Dargah Aala Hazrat, said Azhari was "the lone cleric in India to get a title of 'Tajushariya'" and "one of the few prominent persons across the world to be allowed to visit the inside [of the] Kaaba in Mecca."
His Urdu-language fatwa collection was known as Majmu'ah Fatawa. His English collection is named Azharul Fatawa.[full citation needed] One of his fatwas was his edict on the interest given to a Muslim by a non-Muslim:
When there is a dealing between a Muslim and a Muslim or a Muslim and a Zimmi Kaffir (a non-Muslim living in the safety of an Islamic state), the taking more money than loaned is considered as interest and such a dealing will be unlawful. However, if this condition does not exist, this excess money will not be considered as interest and will be legitimate for a Muslim as it is unanimous that there is no interest applicable when there is dealing between a Muslim and a Harbi Kaafir (a non-Muslim who is not living in the safety of an Islamic State).
He was the author of "more than 50 books on Islamic theology and thought in Urdu and Arabic", including:
|Raza Ali Khan|
|first marriage||second marriage|
|I. Khanum (daughter)||Naqi Ali Khan||Mustajab Begum||Bibi Jaan|
|Ahmed Raza Khan||Hassan Raza Khan|
|Hamid Raza Khan||Mustafa Raza Khan||Hussain Raza Khan||Hasnain Raza Khan|
|Ibrahim Raza Khan||Murtaza Raza Khan|
|Akhtar Raza Khan||Uvais Raza Khan|
|Asjad Raza Khan||Shoeib Raza Khan|
|Faiz Raza Khan||Kaif Raza Khan|
- Khan, Taajush Shari'ah Mufti Akhtar Raza (2018). "Brief synopsis of the life of Taj al-Shariah, by Muhammad Kalim". Safeena-e-Bakshish. TheSunniWay. pp. 17–22 – via Google Books.
- "Bareilly cleric among world's most influential Muslims | Bareilly News - Times of India". The Times of India.
- "First urs-e-tajusharia to be observed on July 9–10 | Bareilly News". Times of India. 3 May 2019.
- "Azahri miyan urs: अजहरी मियां के पहले उर्स का हुआ आगाज". 9 July 2019.
- "अजहरी मियां 10 मार्च को मकराना में-" [Azhari Miyan at Makranah on 10 March] (in Hindi). 8 March 2014.
- Mufti Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan by Muhammad Tariq Lahori Sunni Hanafi jannati Barelwi| archive.org
- "World's 500 'Most Influential Muslims': 24 Indians in the list; Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan, Mahmood Madani in first 50 117". TwoCircles.net. 16 October 2014.
He is the great-grandson of Ahmed Raza Khan (d. 1921), who founded the Barelwi movement in South Asia
- Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (2018).
- Tiwari, Mrigank (20 October 2014). "Barelvi cleric in 'most powerful Muslims' list". The Times of India.
- Agarwal, Priyangi (21 July 2018). "Noted Barelvi cleric Azhari Miyan dies". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- Sanyal, Usha (2008). "Ahl-i Sunnat Madrasas: the Madrasa Manzar-i Islam, Bareilly, and Jamia Ashrafiyya, Mubarakpur". In Malik, Jamal (ed.). Madrasas in South Asia: Teaching terror?. Routledge. ISBN 9780415442473.
- Plan to develop Bareilly's Jamiatur Raza into an Arabic Persian University By NA Ansari, The Milli Gazette "Maulana Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari set up Madrasa Jamiatur Raza in 2000 in the city's CB Ganj area with the ultimate objective of imparting all types of education."
- Usha Sanyal. Generational Changes in the Leadership of the Ahl-e Sunnat Movement in North India during the Twentieth Century. Modern Asian Studies (1998), Cambridge University Press.
- "अजहरी मियां के जनाजे में दिखा जो जनसैलाब, आपने कभी नहीं देखा होगा, देखें तस्वीरें". www.patrika.com. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- "ताजुशरिया के आखिरी सफर में उमड़ा जनसैलाब". Dainik Jagran. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
- "10 lakh people attend funeral of Taajush Shariah Mufti Mohammad Akhtar Raza Khan Quadri". The Siasat Daily - Archive. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- Fatawa Tajushhariyah (in four volumes) by Dar al-Ishaat al-Islamiyya, Jamia al-Raza, Bareilly Sharif.
- "Ahlesunnat.net – Safina E Bakhshish (Jild 8)". books.ahlesunnat.net. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2019.