A Man Among the Men of
Allah: Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan
Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan (may Allah preserve him) has produced a number of first-rate works/translations in various Islamic disciplines. Among them are (non-exhaustive list):
4) [Fiqh/Hadith] The Shaykh dictated the translation to Imam Ahmad Riza Khan’s magnum opus work on the issue of combining prayers titled “Haajiz al-Bahrayn al-Waaqi an al-Jam bayn al-Salatayn” into Arabic. The work combines Fiqh with Hadith and perfectly illustrates how a faqih analyses Hadith evidences. It will perhaps be the largest work on the topic when published.
This book can be obtained from Dar al-Faqih in Abu Dhabi, Dar al-Dhiya lil-Nashr in Kuwait, Maktabah Tarim al-Hadithah in Tarim, Dar al-Salam in Cairo, Maktabah al-Tamam in Beirut and Dar al-Ulum al-Islamiyya in Indonesia.
Six Ulama endorsed it with their remarks. They are:
Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifa’i (p. 240-1) thanks the Shaykh for producing the translation of a work that was much needed in the Arabic language such that it now “fills an empty area in the library of the Ah al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah” and addressed him saying “al-Allamah al-Mukarram al-Akh al-Shaykh al-Mubajjal al-Shaykh Akhtar Ridha” and “al-Allamah al-Hafid al-Da’iyah”.
Shaykh Mahmud al-Huwt (p. 244-5) refers to the Shaykh as “al-Imam” and “Taaj al-Shari’ah” and claims that "he has never seen a work of its kind" saying,
Shaykh Musa Abduh Yusuf al-Is’haqi (p. 236) calls the Shaykh “Mawlana wa-Ustadhuna al-Fadhil” among other revering names. Here is the Arabic,
6) [Aqidah] Mufti Akhtar Raza dictated the complete Arabic translation of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan’s “al-Amnu wa al-Ula li-Naa’iti al-Mustafa bi-Daafi al-Bala” (Protection and Eminence for the Person who Praises the Chosen One as an Eliminator of Calamity) which was published Dar al-Nu’man, Damascus, 2009. This work is a scholarly refutation of Muftis that considered the “Salat Taajiyah” shirk on the basis that is impermissible to call anyone other than Allah “Daafi al-Balaa”. It categorically refutes the Wahhabi stance using numerous verses of al-Qur’an al-Karim and its commentaries and two hundred and eighteen Hadiths of the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) with their sources on the topic making it an encyclopaedic work. The muqaddima contains an excellent explanation to the types of Isnad and Nisbah highlighting the correct usage of this title for the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him ad give him peace). The Shaykh put excellent Hadith notes to this work and his student created its bibliographical references.
It contains a three page endorsement by the great fadhil and adeeb, Abdul Jaleel Ata in which he addresses the Shaykh with titles such as “Fadilat al-Allamah al-Jalil al-Shaykh Muhammad Akhtar Raza Khan”, “Taaj al-Shari’ah”, “Fadilat al-Shaykh al-Jalil al-Murabbi al-Fadil” and praises the scholarly activities of the Shaykh saying,
7) [Aqidah] Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan dictated the full translation of Shah Fazl al-Rasul Badayouni’s “al-Mu’taqad al-Muntaqad” from the Arabic into Urdu, and its commentary “al-Mu’tamad al-Mustanad” by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan. Those teaching Aqidah know how difficult of a text this work is. It contains many intricate discussions on Asma wa-Sifaat yet the Shaykh has effectively translated the work which when read in Urdu seems as though it was originally written in Urdu! The Shaykh translated this work throughout the car and aeroplane journey to Sri Lanka in 2003 and completed it within six months. This single example is sufficient to establish to our readers the immensity of the Shaykh’s knowledge and determined efforts to teach.
8) [Asma wa-Sifat] The Shaykh is currently dictating the translation to Imam Ahmad Riza Khan’s “Subhan al-Subbuh an Ayb Kadhib Maqbuh” into Arabic. I sat in one of awe-filling majalis to listen to the Shaykh’s mastery in the subject and translation of the text. This will be the largest known work on establishing the sifah of truth (sidq) for Allah Most Sublime and refuting the view of Imkan al-Kadhib. It shall shatter - by the aid of the Most Truthful - the Deobandi stance in Arabic when released. The work is a masterpiece in Asma wa-Sifat containing a wealth of rational and transmitted proofs. The translation is near completion, wal-hamdulillah. None other than an expert can embark such a task.
10) [Qasaid/Madih] During my stay in Jeddah in Dhul Hijjah (2009) after the completion of Haj, I visited Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan in Jeddah and witnessed his knowledge and piety. He gave his daily commentary on Qasidah Burdah (verses 90-91) fluently in Arabic which was being recorded (I personally possess 3 unedited audio cds).
The Shaykh has memorised the entire Qasidah Burdah and Dalai’il al-Khayrat by heart. Every morning after Fajr, he recites the entire Burdah till sunrise. After every Asr prayer, he recites a section from Dala’il al-Khayrat. This has been his wird-occupation since teenage years. I witnessed this on the 13th morning of Dhul Hijja in Mina and after Asr in Jeddah.
The Shaykh has a Diwan to his name titled “Safinah-e-Bakhshish” which contains several qasaid and mada’ih on the Noble Prophet (upon him peace and blessings) and the chosen people, some of which are in Arabic too. One of his famous Qasidahs is which he recited in his majlis with the Ulama of Damascus in August 2008 and in Jeddah 2009 (partial):
When the Shaykh recited the last verse, Sayyid Abdul Aziz Khatib (Damascus) began profoundly saying (as heard from students that were present):
Expressing his yearning for the Noble Habib (may Allah give him peace and blessing) Mufti Akhtar raza writes (partial):
A Notice: The reader must keep in mind that Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan is visually impaired and cannot read or write. He listens to a text and dictates the translation and those occupied in translating know how difficult of a task this is especially when translating difficult texts in Islamic disciplines!
This majlis was attended by Shaykh Abdur-Razzaq Halabi, Shaykh Hussam al-Din Farfour, Shaykh Abdul Fattah Bizm, Shaykh Abdul Aziz Khateeb, Shaykh Hisham Burhani, Shaykh Abdul Hadi Kharsah and many others.
3) The Azhar Journal titled “Sawt al-Azhar” (May Issue 2009) referred to the Shaykh as “Mufti al-Hind” (see attachment). In this visit, the Shaykh met with Shaykh al-Azhar in his office for an hour and who presented him an Azhar award for his scholarly achievements and activities.
He then added, speaking of a miracle he experienced, that when the Shaykh invited him to Bareilly he was in two minds about travelling even to the moment of submitting his passport. For some reason, the visa was not issued. Upon collecting the passport, he mentioned that Shaykh Akhtar rang him and said, “If you make a firm intention, Allah will make the means easy”. Mufti Abdul Fattah said, “This struck my heart and I came to realise that the Shaykh is aware of the state of my heart”. Thereafter, I made a firm intention and re-submitted my passport and received the visa”.
Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan has been the Shaykh of the silsilah and head Mufti there for many years. The claim that he is not known among India’s people is clearly a lie intended to discredit the Shaykh. A 700 page book has been compiled on the life, works and activities of the Shaykh titled “Tajalliyaat Taaj al-Shariah” containing the comments, letters, articles of hundreds of ulama from around the world to the Shaykh and their views about him. Majority of these articles, letters, qasa’id are in Urdu by scholars of India and Pakistan. It includes articles on the Shaykh’s travels within India and meetings with its people that shatter the false notion.
Mufti Abdul Fattah Bizm has witnessed the annual urs event at Bareilly in the month of Safar whose remarks I presented above. The Manhaj of Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan in Love and Hate. It would be not be a hyperbolic comment if I were to assert that Mufti Akhtar Raza is an embodiment of the Hadith “Love for the sake of Allah and Hate for the sake Allah”. He loves the awliya of the entire world and hates the enemies of Allah and His Messenger (upon him peace and blessings). He does not unite with those who “offend” Allah and His Messenger with comments that are by nature “repulsive”, “repugnant”, “below the standards of scholarly discourse”, “indefensible breaches of proper respect” and thus “unacceptable to Muslims around the world” and neither does he have compassion for those who shamelessly destroy the graves of the companions and Ahlul Bayt, demolish Muslim sites and heritage whilst preserving Jewish landmarks and relics of their Kings in their museums, and speak with minimal respect about the Noble Habib (may Allah bless him and give him peace), his companions, kin, and the majority of the Ummah whom they consider misguided. He has no love for those who consider it permissible to shout out Shirk and kufr slogans to those who recite the Burdah and Dalai’il.
He has written and spoken against such people and their beliefs as this is the duty (wajib dini) of every upright scholar from Ahlus-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, and is not a hobby as some may assert, to warn people from wavering and falling into the trap of the Shaytan. As for the claim that the Shaykh makes takfir of everyone other than himself and those affiliated with him is another exaggeration, rather, a lie that stems from animosity. The Shaykh has replied to this accusation in Arabic in his “Mira’at al-Najdiyyah” published by the name “Haqiqat al-Barelwiyyah”, which is the reply to Qadhi Atiyyah’s endorsement to Ihsan Ali Zahir’s “al-Barelwiyyah” (Published in Egypt by Dar al-Muqattam, 2009) asking him to produce a single nas of our ulama in which they have made takfir of Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Abdul Wahhab and their followers. Rather, it is these people who make takfir and tadlil of the entire ummah. This accusation is the popular one found in “Nuzhat al-Khawatir” and “al-Barelwiyyah” about Barelwis and is false.