Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi

  (Redirected from Syed Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi)

Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi (24 November 1914 – 31 December 1999) also spelt Abul Hasan Ali al Hasani an Nadvi (affectionately called 'Ali Miyan'[3])[4] was a leading Indian Islamic scholar and author of over fifty books in various languages.[5][6] He was a theorist of the revivalist movement.[7]

Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi
Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi.jpg
Born24 November 1914
Died31 December 1999 (aged 85)
DenominationSunni Islam
Main interest(s)History, Islamic revivalism
Notable idea(s)Islamic democracy[citation needed], Interfaith dialogue[1][better source needed]
Alma materDarul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama[1]
Muslim leader
AwardsKing Faisal International Prize[2] (1980)


He was born on 24 November 1914.[citation needed] He received his early education at his home in Takia, Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, India. His mother initiated his early training in Quranic studies; he later entered formal education in Arabic, Persian and Urdu.[6]

Ali was born to a family known for its scholarly and spiritual services. The family traced its ancestry to Imam Hasan bin Ali (grandson of the prophet Muhammad) through Sayyid Abdullah al-Ashtar[8] His father, Hakim Syed Abdul Hai, wrote an 8-volumes Arabic encyclopedia called Nuzhat al Khawatir (biographical notices of more than 5,000 theologian and jurists of the Sub-continent).[9] His mother was also a pious and learned woman who composed her own poetry that was published by the title of 'Kaleed-i-Bab-i-Rehmat'[10] His elder brother, Maulana Dr. Sayyid Abdul Ali Hasani, was also a prominent Islamic scholar and a Medical Doctor.[10]

Nadwi received most of his advanced education at the Dar al-'Ulum of the Nadwat al-'Ulama in Lucknow.[11] He also received a gold medal from Allahabad University and also took lessons at the famous, Darul Uloom Deoband.[10]


Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi primarily wrote in Arabic, although also in Urdu, and wrote more than fifty books on history, theology, and biography, and thousands of seminar papers, articles, and recorded speeches.[5][12]

His 1950 book Maza Khasiral Alam be Inhitat al-Muslimeen (lit. What did the world lose with the decline of Muslims?), translated into English as Islam and the World, was largely responsible for popularizing the concept of "modern Jahiliyya"[13][4] The Islamist author Syed Qutb commended Nadwi's writings for his use of the word jahiliyya to describe not a particular age in history (as earlier Muslim scholars did) but a state of moral corruption and materialism.[14]

He wrote 'Qisas al-Nabiyeen' (translated as ‘Stories of the Prophets’) for his nephew that became famous among the Arabic learners and the book was soon included in the syllabi for teaching Arabic at various institutions around the globe[10]. Being a fan of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Ali Nadwi also undertook the task of introducing Iqbal and his Islamic thoughts to the Arab world. Thus, he wrote 'Rawa'i' Iqbal' which was subsequently rendered in to Urdu as 'Nuqoosh-i-Iqbal'[10].

He wrote a detailed biography of his father in Urdu entitled ‘Hayat-e-Abdul Haiy’. He also wrote a biographical account of his mother in ‘Zikr-e-Khayr’. While he also penned his autobiography, ‘Karawan-e-Zindagi’, in 7 volumes[10].

An adherent of pan-Islamism, he opposed secular Arab nationalism and pan-Arabism. He also had a lifelong association with the Tablighi Jamaat.[4]

Dr. Shah has summarized some of his salient thoughts in the following words:

'Maulana Ali Nadwi sincerely and staunchly believed that the real threat to the modern world, especially the Muslim world, is neither the lack of material development nor the political disturbances, rather it’s the moral and spiritual decline. He firmly believed that Islam alone has the ability to overturn this and thus Muslims must wake up to make an effort in this regard. By staying back, he argued, the Muslims were not only failing themselves rather the entire humanity! He stressed on Muslims, especially those living in a Muslim majority countries (like Pakistan), to develop a society based on Islamic principles that could become a model (for its moral and spiritual values) for the rest of the world. He was a strong critic of nationalism and stressed upon working for the humanity, collectively. He also laid much emphasis on the crucial role women for upholding the teachings of Islam in a society. Instead of trying to shut their doors for the incoming western influence, he believed that the intellectual Muslims should study the contemporary Western ideologies and form their own ideology in its response, withholding the ‘superior moral values of Islam’. He opposed ‘Islamic groups’ from clashing with the ‘secular elite’ in Muslim majority countries and instead encouraged for an ‘inclusive approach’ wherein the ‘secular elite’ could be gradually and positively called towards Islam, without causing any chaos in the society. Similarly, he also urged Muslims living as a minority to maintain peace and create a valuable position for themselves through hard work and exemplary morals.'[10]

Honours and awardsEdit

After his death, the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI), Pakistan, arranged a seminar in his honor and published the speeches and articles presented therein as ‘Maulana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi – Hayat-o-Afkar Kay Chand Pehlu[10]

Access to the KaabaEdit

In 1951, during his second pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah the key-bearer of the Kaaba (Islam's holiest building), opened its door for two days and allowed Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi to take anyone he chose inside.

He was given the key to the Kaaba to allow him to enter whenever he chose during his pilgrimage.[18]


Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi died on 23 Ramadan, 1420 AH (31 December 1999) in Raebareli, India at the age of 85.[19]

See AlsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Biography" (PDF).
  2. ^ "King Faisal International Prize". Archived from the original on 11 August 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  3. ^ David Arnold, Stuart H. Blackburn, Telling Lives in India: Biography, Autobiography, and Life History, p 127. ISBN 025321727X
  4. ^ a b c d "Profile of Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi". Oxford Islamic Studies Online website. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b Syed Ziaur Rahman, Maulana Ali Mian – Life, Works and Association with My Family, We and You (A monthly magazine), Aligarh, April 2000, p. 16-18
  6. ^ a b c d e "Profile of Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi". Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  7. ^ Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.234. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  8. ^ Talhah, Sayyid (21 December 2018). "Remembering Maulana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi". Musings of a Muslim Doctor. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  9. ^ Sayed Khatab, The Political Thought of Sayyid Qutb: The Theory of Jahiliyyah, Routledge (2006), p. 207
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Shah, Syed Talha (20 December 2018). "Remembering Maulana Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi". Daily Times (newspaper). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  11. ^ Roxanne Leslie Euben, Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden, p 107. ISBN 9780691135885
  12. ^ "The Great Muslims of the 20th Century India" By Mohsin Atique Khan
  13. ^ Eleanor Abdella Doumato (rev. Byron D. Cannon) (2009). "Jāhilīyah". In John L. Esposito (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  14. ^ Roxanne Leslie Euben, Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden, p 108. ISBN 9780691135885
  15. ^ John L. Esposito, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, p 226. ISBN 0195125592
  16. ^ Roxanne Leslie Euben, Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden, p 110. ISBN 9780691135885
  17. ^ Roxanne Leslie Euben, Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden, p 109. ISBN 9780691135885
  18. ^ a b Jamil Akhter (19 July 1999). "Ali Mian wins award from Sultan of Brunei for Islamic studies". Rediff On The Net website. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  19. ^ Miriam Cooke, Bruce B. Lawrence, Muslim Networks from Hajj to Hip Hop, p90. ISBN 0807876313

External linksEdit