The sad demise of Sheikh Akhtar Raza Khan, a 21st century Jewel of Qadri Barkati Razwi order in South Asia
Chal diye tum aankh me ashqun ka dariya chhor kar
Ranje Furqat ka har ek sine me shola chhor kar
Rahnuma e Raahe Jannat Hai Tera Naqshe Qadam
Rahe Jannat teh naa Hogi Tera Rastah Chhor kar
Ho sake to Akhtar Dekh Baghe Jannat me use
Woh gaya taron se age aashiana choor kar
On 20th July 2018/ 06th Dhulqada/1439 Hijri Sheikh Maulana Akhtar Raza Khan Qadri passing away shocked the entire fraternity of Islamic world that includes millions of his lovers & disciples (Mureeds) spread across the globe. Sitting in the blessed company of Hazrat Syed Shahid Noori at Rampur, I was showing the picture of the grave of my beloved friend Hazrat Aqib Farid Qadri (Dada) who was buried at 4.00 pm (UAE time) at Al Qouz cemetery 2 in Dubai. Suddenly the phone rang & Mufti Shahid Sahab went outside the room to receive the call. It was the shocking news regarding the departure of Hazrat Sheikh Maulana Akhtar Raza Khan. It might be a coincidence or the love between the spiritual successor (Khalifa) Hazrat Aqib Farid Dada & Tajush Sharia, that the soul of the spiritual master left this world hardly one & half hour after the burial of Hazrat Aqib Farid Qadri (May Allah be please with him). Within the minutes, the news has been spread across the globe on social media (Twitter, Whats app & facebook). Born on 02nd February 1942 at Mohalla Saudagran, Bareilly, he was the great-grandson of 20th-century Islamic scholar & revivalist, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan ( May Allah be please with him). He completed his early education under the guidance of his blessed father, Maulana Ibrahim Raza Khan, mother & maternal grandfather, Maulana Mustafa Raza Khan widely popular as Mufti Azam e Hind (Alaihir Rahmah).
For studying Tafseer & Hadith ( Branches of Islamic studies), he went to the oldest surviving University of the Middle East, the Al Azhar at Cario, Egypt in 1963. On the completion of the degree, he was awarded the Jamia Azhar award that is bestowed on the meritorious scholars and students. From his maternal grandfather up to the teachers of Al Azhar, he was blessed with the tutelage of notable Islamic scholars of his time for studying Islamic sciences & Arabic language. During his lifetime, he has compiled more than fifty books in Arabic, Urdu & English language covering diverse topics of Islamic Studies. His Fatwas issued in English has been compiled with the name of “Azharul Fatawa” in two volumes covering more than five thousand jurisdictions (Fatwas) related to all walks of life. A great lover of Prophet (Peace be Upon him), he continued the centuries-old tradition of writing poetry (Naats) in the praise of Prophet (Peace be Upon him). Also compiled Qasidas in the praise of many beloved friends (Auliya) of Almighty God. He used Urdu, Arabic & English for the compilation of naats. One of the famous Urdu Naat ‘Daaghe Furqat Taiba” was written by him in 1986 when he was detained by the authorities at Makkah. He was detained for eleven days and then deported back to India without allowing him to visit Madinah Munnawara. At this moment, he wrote the verses:
Daagh-e furqat-e Tayba Qalb muzmahil jaata
Kaash Ghumbad-e Khazra dekhne ko mil jaata
The spot caused by the separation of Madinah, causes my heart to shudder.
Oh! How I wish I could have seen the Green Dome (of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam)
Dum mera nikal jaata unke Aastane par
Unke Aastaane ki khaak meh mein mil jaata
My last breath should have been breathed at his Shrine.
It would have allowed me to be mixed with sand of his Shrine
After a huge protest in UK, India, & Pakistan, the authorities at the embassy in Delhi issued a visa in May 1987 & he performed his Umrah with a visit to Holy Prophet ( Peace be Upon Him). During 2008 & 2009, he traveled extensively especially to the Levant (Syria, Jordan & Palestine) & Egypt. Here he visited the holy shrines of many Sahaba & other notable Islamic personalities. The meetings with the scholars of the Middle East revived the centuries-old connections of South Asian Sufism with scholars of Syria & Egypt. Some of those great scholars who wrote reflections & eulogies after the visit were Sheikh Ramdan Saied Al Bauti, Shiekh Abdul Huda Al Yaqubi, Shiekh Abdul Fattah Bazzam (Then Grand Mufti of Damascus), and Shiekh Muhammad Khair Tarshan (May Allah be please with them). In 2009, the Egypt trip also included the spiritual & scholarly exchange along with lectures in International conferences attended by the participants from more than sixty countries. Sheikh Sayyad Tantawi, the ex-grand Imam of Al Azhar, Shiekh Ali Gomaa (18th Grand Mufti of Egypt), & Sheikh Yusri were some of the renowned scholars who exchanged Ijazah & blessed with reciprocal gains from him. Tajush Sharia left a huge body of work & chain of the students who were spreading the tolerant message of Islam at different corners of the globe including the UK, United States, and European countries. “The world Muslim 500” issued by Jordan Royal society & the National Library of Jordan cited his name for four consecutive years in the list of world top fifty Muslims who influenced the Islamic world. The 2018 issue ranked him on 24th position among the top fifty Muslim across the globe. Among his followers, he was bestowed with many titles. Some of the famous among them Tajush Sharia (Crown of Sharia), Mufti e Azam, Qazi E Quza Hind (Cheif Justice of India for Islamic jurispedence).
Each year National library of Jordan published a magazine titled “The Muslim 500” with Prof. S Abdallah Schliefer as…
كلمة التعزية لشيخ الطريقة القادرية والشاذلية الدرقاوية اللحفية الإمام عبد العزيز الخطيب حفظه الله تعالىعلى وفاة تاج الشريعة وشيخ الطريقة القادرية في الهند ، الإمام محمد اختر رضا خان رضي الله عنه
Gepostet von دار الإمام يوسف النبهاني am Freitag, 20. Juli 2018
After his journey to the next world, the condolences came from different parts of the world. Al-Sheikh Imam Abdul Aziz (Alaih Rahma), the speaker of Nabhani foundation spoke in details. I had pasted the Arabic link for his condolence speech. He said: “the departure of respected Shiekh Allama Mufti I Hind, Akhtar Rida Khan Al Barelvi is the great loss for the entire Islamic world. This news has tarnished my heart. On the other side, the death of such an eminent person is the gift from the Almighty God where a lover is going to meet the beloved. Here beloved mean, the Prophet (Peace be Upon him). This is a great time of the test & patience for the Islamic world. My heart is weeping to imagine that I would not able to see him in this world again. But his blessed soul has departed to meet his great ancestor, Imam Ahmad Rida Khan ( Alaih Rahma). May God elevate his levels in paradise“. The essential Islam, an esteemed organization from the United Kingdom tweeted his departure to the next world in these words.
•● To Allah we belong and to Him is our Return ●••
With great sadness, a heavy heart, and in contentment with the decree of Allah, we sadly announce the passing of the great grandson of Sayyidi Ala Hazrat, Taj al-Shariah; Shaykh Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan. pic.twitter.com/9HfT44kiOR
— Essential Islam (@essentialislam) July 20, 2018
The Grand Mufti of Turkey also offered his condolences and supplicate for him. One of our brother Mr. Qasim Hussain from the United Kingdom tweeted the condolence offered by Shaikh Sayyid Muhammad Al Yaqoubi.
From India, the descendant of Sufi Saint Hazrat Sayyad Ashraf Jahangir Semnani, Shaykh Ul Islam, Sayyad Muhammad Madni aka Madni Miyan wrote delivered his heart-wrenching condolences in the form of poetry. Here are the few couplets & I also used one of the verse as the title of this obituary.
Dekhne ko hi tarsti gayin aakhen meri
Aye Akhtar Raza Khan Kahaan Tum Chal Diye
Hal chal si mach gayi hai Sun ke Dil mere Yeh
Aye Hamare Rahbare Millat Kahan Tum Chal diye
In 1990, at the age of eleven, my father took me to the great Shaykh & as a long tradition of “Bait/Allegiance ” in Sufism, I was entered in Qadri order on hand of Tajush Sharia. From then I was blessed to saw him only twice, once at Bareilly (2014) & next time at Madinah Munawwara by the help of my late friend, Hazrat Aqib Farid Qadri and Professor Iqbal in 2015. Tomorrow at 10.00 am, the funeral prayer will be held at the Islamia College ground at Bareilly. His resting place will be the Azhari Guesthouse at Mohalla Saudagran at Bareilly where his great ancestors were buried in the close by location. Hundred of the thousands of his followers will be rushing from a different part of the globe to attend his funeral prayers. Indeed parting of the great scholar & savant of Islam will be highly missed in different corners of the world. Ending my write up with few couplets of Shaykh on his death.
Meri mayyat pe yeh ahbab ka matam kaisa hai
Shor kaisa hai aur yeh zarie paiham kaisa hai
Kuch bigadta to nahi maut se apni yaron
Hum safiran gulistan naa rahe hum kia hain
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Syed Faizan Raza Son of Mufti Sayyad Shahid Raza Noori who helped in giving the translation of Al Shiekh Abdul Aziz condolence speech. He is currently studying at Al Azhar University, Cario, Egypt.