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Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi

Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi (1832 – 15 April 1880) (Urdu: مولانا محمد قاسم نانوتوی) was an Indian Sunni Hanafi Islamic Scholar and was one of the main founders of the Deobandi Movement, starting from the Darul Uloom Deoband.[1][2] He also had the title Hujjat al-Islam.

Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi
Born1832
DiedApril 15, 1880(1880-04-15) (aged 47–48)
EraModern era
RegionDeobandi scholar
Main interests
Aqidah, Tafsir, Tasawwuf, Hadith, Fiqh, Kifaya, Usul, Ma'aani, Mantiq, Falsafa, Hai'aath, Riyali, Ma'luqat
Notable ideas
Widow Re-marriage, Darul Uloom Deoband, Madrasa Thanabhavan, Madrasa Meerut, Madrasah Galautti, Madrasa Danpur, Madrasa Muradabad

Early lifeEdit

Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi was born in a noble Gujjar family descended from Hindu converts[3][4] in 1833 in Nanauta, a Town near Saharanpur, India.

He went on to establish 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.[1][5]

He conformed to the Shari'a and Sunnah and worked to motivate other people to do so as well. It was through his work that a prominent madrasa was established in Deoband and a masjid was built in 1868. Through his efforts, Islamic schools were established at various other locations as well.[3]

EducationEdit

He completed his early education in his hometown (Nanauta) and then he was sent to Deoband, where he studied in Maulvi 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.[citation needed]

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.[3]

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.[citation needed]

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. In repudiation of the Doctrine of Trinity and polytheism, and on the affirmation of Divine Unity (monotheism), Nanautavi spoke very well. 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 ulema were ultimately defeated at that battle.[5][2]

Establishment of Islamic schoolsEdit

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.[1][3]

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.[1]

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.[6]

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.[6]

PublicationsEdit

  • Aab-i Hayat (commentary on the life of the prophet Muhammad[3][6]
  • Tahzir al-Nas[7]
  • Mubahisah Shahjahanpur[7][6]
  • Tasfiyat al-Aqa'id[7]
  • Tauseeq-ul-Kalam[6]

PietyEdit

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.”[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Past present: Resentment in response (founders of Deoband Movement) Dawn (newspaper), Published 11 March 2012, Retrieved 4 March 2019
  2. ^ a b The Clash of Academic Civilizations on BRICS Business Magazine website Retrieved 16 August 2018
  3. ^ a b c d e Profile of Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi on haqislam.org website Retrieved 16 August 2018
  4. ^ Nuzuhat al-Khawatir By Hakim Abdul Hai Hasani, Dar-e-Ibn Hazm Beirut, 1999, Vol. 7 p. 1067
  5. ^ a b Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajidi (18 February 2012). "Sir Syed and Maulana Qasim Nanotvi". TwoCircles.net website. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Profile of Maula Mohammad Qasim Nanotvi on storyofpakistan.com website Retrieved 4 March 2019
  7. ^ a b c Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi books on Archived link Retrieved 16 August 2018
  8. ^ Lucknowi, Abd al-Hayy. "Nuzhat al-Khawatir". Translated by Zameelur Rahman.

Further readingEdit