Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi

  (Redirected from Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi)

Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi (1832 – 15 April 1880) (Urdu: مولانا محمد قاسم نانوتوی) was an Indian Sunni Hanafi Islamic Scholar, theologian and a Sufi who was one of the main founders of the Deobandi Movement, starting from the Darul Uloom Deoband.[1] He is known with the title of Hujjat al-Islam among his followers.

Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi
Died15 April 1880(1880-04-15) (aged 47–48)
ChildrenHafiz Muhammad Ahmad (son)
EraModern era
RegionIndian Subcontinent
Main interest(s)Aqidah, Tafsir, Tasawwuf, Hadith, Fiqh, Kifaya, Usul, Ma'aani, Mantiq, Falsafa, Hai'aath, Riyali, Ma'luqat
Notable idea(s)Widow Re-marriage, Darul Uloom Deoband, Madrasa Thanabhavan, Madrasa Meerut, Madrasah Galautti, Madrasa Danpur, Madrasa Shahi, Moradabad
RelativesQari Muhammad Tayyib (grandson), Muhammad Salim Qasmi (great-grandson), Muhammad Sufyan Qasmi (great-great-grandson)
Senior posting

Name and lineageEdit

His ism (given name) was Muhammad Qasim. His nasab (patronymic) is: Muhammad Qāsim ibn Asad Ali ibn Ghulam Shāh ibn Muhammad Bakhsh ibn Alāuddīn ibn Muhammad Fateh ibn Muhammad Mufti ibn Abd al-Samī[a] ibn Muhammad Hāshim[3]ibn Shah Muhammad ibn Qadhi Taha ibn Mubarak ibn Amanullah ibn Jamaluddin ibn Qadhi Meeran ibn Mazharuddin ibn Najmuddin Saani ibn Nuruddin Rab'i ibn Qiyamuddin ibn Ziya-ud-din ibn Nuruddin Salis ibn Najmuddin ibn Nuruddin Saani ibn Ruknuddin ibn Rafi-ud-Din ibn Baha'uddin ibn Shihabuddin ibn Khwaja Yusuf ibn Khalil ibn Sadruddin ibn Ruknuddin Samarqandi ibn Sadruddin al-Haaj ibn Ismaeel ash-Shaheed ibn Nuruddin al-Qitaal ibn Mahmood ibn Baha-ud-din ibn Abdullah ibn Zakariyyah ibn Nur ibn Sirah ibn Shadi as-Siddiqi ibn Waheeduddin ibn Masood ibn Abd al-Razaq ibn Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr.[2]

The "nasab" meets Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr after 44 links.[4]

Early life and educationEdit

During Shah Jahan's era, Muḥammad Hāshim from the fore fathers of Nanautavi had arrived to India from Balkh and settled in Nanauta.[5]

Nanautavi was born in 1832 (either in Sha'ban or Ramadan, 1248 AH) in Nanauta, a town near Saharanpur, India.[6]

He completed his early education in his hometown Nanauta and Deoband[6], where he studied in Mahtab Ali's madrassa. Then he traveled to Saharanpur, where he lived with his maternal grandfather. There he studied elementary books (kitabs) of Arabic grammar and syntax under Maulvi Nawaz. At the end of 1843, Mamlook Ali escorted him to Delhi. There, he studied various Islamic books. Later he was admitted to Madrassa Gaziuddin Khan.[7]

His close relative, Muhammad Yaqub Nanautavi wrote:

My late father enrolled him at the Arabic Madrasa and said, 'Study Euclid yourself and complete the arithmetical exercises.' After a few days, he had attended all of the ordinary discourses and completed the arithmetical exercises. Munshi Zakatullah asked a few questions of him, which were difficult. Because he was able to solve them, he became well-known. When the annual examination drew near, he did not write it and left the madrasa. The whole staff of the madrasa, particularly the headmaster, regretted this very much.

Prior to his enrollment at Madrassa Gaziuddin Khan, he had studied books on logic, philosophy, and scholastic theology under Mamlook Ali at his house. He joined a study circle, which possessed a central position in India with regards to the teaching of the Qur'an and hadith. He studied hadith under Abdul Ghani Mujaddidi and he became a formal follower of Imdadullah Muhajir Makki.[8]


Academic careerEdit

After the completion of his education, Nanautavi became the editor of the press at Matbah-e-Ahmadi. During this period, at Ahmad Ali's insistence, he wrote a scholium on the last few portions of Sahihul Bukhari. Before the establishment of Darul Uloom Deoband, he taught Euclid for some time at the Chhatta Masjid. His lectures were delivered at the printing press. His teaching produced a group of accomplished Ulama, the example of which had not been seen since Shah Abdul Ghani's time.

In 1860, he performed Hajj and, on his return, he accepted a profession of collating books at Matbah-e-Mujtaba in Meerut. Nanautavi remained attached to this press until 1868. He performed Hajj for the second time and then accepted a job at Matbah-e-Hashimi in Meerut.

Polemical debatesEdit

On 8 May 1876, a "Fair for God-Consciousness" was held at Chandapur village, near Shahjahanpur (U. P.), under the auspices of the local Zamindar, Piyare Lal Kabir-panthi and Padre Knowles, and with the support and permission of the collector of Shahjahanpur, Robert George. Christians, Hindus, and Muslims were invited through posters to attend and prove the truthfulness of their respective religions. At the suggestion of Muhammad Munir Nanautavi and Maulvi Ilahi Bakhsh Rangin Bareillwi, Nanautavi, accompanied by numerous colleagues, also participated. All of these Ulama delivered speeches at the fair. Nanautavi repudiated the Doctrine of the Trinity, speaking in support of the Islamic conception of God. One newspaper wrote:

In the gathering of 8 May of the current year (1876), Muhammad Qasim gave a lecture and stated the merits of Islam. The Padre Sahib explained the Trinity in a strange manner, saying that in a line are found three attributes: length, breadth and depth, and thus Trinity is proven in every way. The said Maulawi Sahib confuted it promptly. Then, while the Padre Sahib and the Maulawi Sahib were debating regarding the speech, the meeting broke up, and in the vicinity and on all sides arose the outcry that the Muslims had won. Wherever a religious divine of Islam stood, thousands of men would gather around him. In the meeting of the first day, the Christians did not reply to the objections raised by the followers of Islam, while the Muslims replied the Christians word by word and won.

Political and revolutionary activitiesEdit

He participated in the Indian Rebellion of 1857 in the Battle of Shamli between the British and the anti-colonialist ulema. The scholars were ultimately defeated at that battle.[9][1]

Establishment of Islamic schoolsEdit

He established Darul Uloom Deoband in 1866 with the financial help and funding of the Muslim states within India and the rich individuals of the Muslim Indian community.[10][9]

He conformed to the Shari'a and worked to motivate other people to do so. It was through his work that a prominent madrasa was established in Deoband and a mosque was built in 1868. Through his efforts, Islamic schools were established at various other locations as well.[8]

His greatest achievement was the revival of an educational movement for the renaissance of religious sciences in India and the creation of guiding principles for the madaris (schools). Under his attention and supervision, madaris were established in areas such as Thanabhavan, Galautti, Kerana, Danapur, Meerut, and Muradabad. Most of them still exist, rendering educational and religious services in their vicinity. Funding of these religious schools initially was done by the rulers of the Muslim states and the rich individuals of the Muslim Indian community.[10][8]

Under Muhammad Qasim Nanautvi's guidance, these religious schools, at least in the beginning, remained distant from politics and devoted their services to providing only religious education to Muslim children. The curriculum at these schools was studying the Quran, Hadith, Islamic law, and logic.[10]

Jamia Qasmia Madrasa Shahi was established under his supervision.[11]

Death and legacyEdit

Qasim Nanautavi died on 15 April 1880 at the age of 47. His grave is to the north of the Darul-Uloom. Since Qasim Nanautavi is buried there, the place is known as Qabrastan-e-Qasimi, where countless Deobandi scholars, students, and others are buried.[12] His son Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad was a Grand Mufti of Hyderabad State from 1922 to 1925[13][14] and served as the Vice Chancellor of Deoband seminary for thirty five years.[15]

Nanautawi's grandson Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi served as the Vice Chancellor of Deoband seminary for more than five decades and co-founded the All India Muslim Personal Law Board[16], while Tayyib's son Muhammad Salim Qasmi founded the Darul Uloom Waqf seminary.[17] Salim's son Muhammad Sufyan Qasmi is the rector of Darul Uloom Waqf.[18]

Well-known Muslim educationist of that time Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had great respect for Muhammad Qasim Nanottvi and wrote an emotional and long article on his death.[12]

He has been given the title of Hujjat al-Islam by his followers.[19] [20]



Maulana Abd al-Hayy Lucknowi writes regarding Maulana Qasim Nanautavi:

He was the most ascetic of people, the most pious amongst them, and the most frequent in dhikr and contemplation from them, and the furthest of them from the dress of the ‘ulama’ and clothes of the students of jurisprudence, like the turban, shawl etc. At that time he would not issue fatwa or preach, but engaged in the remembrance of Allah (Glorified is He) and His meditation, until the doors of the realities and sciences were opened to him. The aforementioned Shaykh Imdad Allah bestowed successorship to him, and praised him saying that “the like of Qasim is not found except in a bygone age.”[22]


  1. ^ At Abd al-Samī, the nasab of Nanautawi meets with that of Mamluk Ali Nanautawi.[2]

See alsoEdit


  • Naeem, Fuad S (2015). Interreligious Debates, Rational Theology, and the ʿUlamaʾ in the Public Sphere: Muḥammad Qāsim Nānautvī and the Making of Modern Islam in South Asia (PhD). Georgetown University. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  • `Abd Allah bin Muhammad al-Afriqui. Introducing Imam Muhammad Qasim al-Nanautwi (July 2013 ed.). Johannesburg: Imam Gangohi Academy of Research. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  • Thānwi, Muhammad Asad (30 September 2005). Moulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi ki Dīni wa Ilmi Khidmāt Ka Tehqeeqi Mutāla [The Religious and Educational Services of Moulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi] (PhD). University of Karachi. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  • Qasmi, Mohd. Azam (1988). Molana Mohd. Qasim Nanautvi's. Contribution to Islamic Thought With Special Reference to Al-Kalam (PDF) (PhD). Aligarh Muslim University. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  • Adrawi, Nizāmuddīn Asīr. Maulānā Muḥammad Qāsim Nānautvī, ḥayāt aur kārnāme [Mawlāna Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi: Life and Works] (in Urdu) (2015 ed.). Darul Uloom Deoband: Shaikhul Hind Academy.


  1. ^ a b The Clash of Academic Civilizations on BRICS Business Magazine website Retrieved 16 August 2018
  2. ^ a b Professor Nur al-Hasan Sherkoti. "Hadhrat Mawlāna Muhammad Yāqūb Nanautawi". In Deobandi, Nawaz (ed.). Sawaneh Ulama-e-Deoband (in Urdu). 2 (January 2000 ed.). Deoband: Nawaz Publications. pp. 90–214.
  3. ^ Gīlānī, Manāzir Ahsan. Sawānih Qāsmi [Biography of Qāsim] (in Urdu). 1. Deoband: Maktaba Darul Uloom Deoband. p. 113.
  4. ^ Adrawi, Nizāmuddīn Asīr. Maulānā Muḥammad Qāsim Nānautvī, ḥayāt aur kārnāme [Mawlāna Muhammad Qasim Nanautawi: Life and Works]] (in Urdu) (2015 ed.). p. 42.
  5. ^ Thānwi, Muhammad Asad. Moulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi ki Dīni wa Ilmi Khidmāt Ka Tehqeeqi Mutāla [The Religious and Educational Services of Moulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi] (PhD). p. 29. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b Qasmi, Mohd. Azam (1988). Molana Mohd. Qasim Nanautvi's. Contribution to Islamic Thought With Special Reference to Al-Kalam (PDF) (PhD). p. 72. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  7. ^ Thānwi, Muhammad Asad. Moulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi ki Dīni wa Ilmi Khidmāt Ka Tehqeeqi Mutāla [The Religious and Educational Services of Moulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi] (PhD). p. 32. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d Profile of Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi on website Retrieved 16 August 2018
  9. ^ a b Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajidi (18 February 2012). "Sir Syed and Maulana Qasim Nanotvi". website. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Past present: Resentment in response (founders of Deoband Movement) Dawn (newspaper), Published 11 March 2012, Retrieved 4 March 2019
  11. ^ Syed Mehboob Rizwi. Tarikh Darul Uloom Deoband [History of The Dar al-Ulum Deoband]. 1. Translated by Prof. Murtaz Hussain F. Quraishi. Deoband: Idara-e-Ehtemam, Dar al-Ulum Deoband. p. 361.
  12. ^ a b c d e Profile of Maula Mohammad Qasim Nanotvi on website Retrieved 4 March 2019
  13. ^ Adrawi, Asir. Tazkirah Mashahir-e-Hind: Karwan-e-Rafta (in Urdu) (1st, 1994 ed.). Deoband: Darul Muallifeen. p. 17.
  14. ^ Muhammad Miyan Deobandi. "Hafiz Muhammad Ahmad". Ulama-e-Haq awr Unke Mujahidana Kaarname (in Urdu). 1. Deoband: Faisal International. pp. 162–163.
  15. ^ Syed Mehboob Rizwi. Tārīkh Darul Uloom Deoband [History of The Dar al-Ulum Deoband]. 2. Translated by Prof. Murtaz Husain F. Quraishi (1981 ed.). Dar al-Ulum Deoband: Idara-e-Ehtemam. p. 37-38, 170-174.
  16. ^ Noor Alam Khalil Amini. Pas-e-Marg-e-Zindah (in Urdu). Idara Ilm-o-Adab, Deoband. pp. 108–172.
  17. ^ Butt, John. A Talib's Tale: The Life and Times of a Pashtoon Englishman (2020 ed.). Penguin Random House. p. 173. ISBN 9788184004397.
  18. ^ "A Condolence Meet of Hazrat Maulana Salim Qasmi and Mufti Abdullah Kapodri". Baseerat Online. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Asir Adrawi, Maulana Qasim Nanautawi Hayat awr Karnamy, Deoband: Shaykh al-Hind Academy
  21. ^ a b c Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi books on Archived link Retrieved 16 August 2018
  22. ^ Lucknowi, Abd al-Hayy. "Nuzhat al-Khawatir". Translated by Zameelur Rahman.

Further readingEdit