In the Name of Allah, the Most Gra­cious, the Most Mer­ci­ful.

As-salā­mu ‘alaykum wa-rah­mat­ul­lāhi wa-barakā­tuh (Peace, Bless­ings & Mer­cy of Allah be upon You).

إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ

This state­ment is being issued on the 11th of July 2017 and super­sedes all pre­vi­ous state­ments on the sub­ject.

It has now has reached us with great regret and sad­ness that the eru­dite Hadeeth Schol­ar Shaykh Muham­mad Yunus Jown­puri (RA) just passed away at Saharun­pur (India). Death of a Schol­ar is a calami­ty in its own right but pass­ing away of a great per­son­al­i­ty such as Shaykh Shaykh Muham­mad Yunus Jown­puri (RA) is an irre­place­able loss to the Mus­lim Ummah. We make Dua for Allah Ta’ala to for­give his sins and grant him the par­adise (Ameen).


We are remind­ed of this blessed say­ing of Nabi (Sal­lal­la­ho Alai­he Was­sal­lam) at this occa­sion:

 

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ انْتِزَاعًا يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنْ الْعِبَادِ وَلَكِنْ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ بِقَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ حَتَّى إِذَا لَمْ يُبْقِ عَالِمًا اتَّخَذَ النَّاسُ رُءُوسًا جُهَّالًا فَسُئِلُوا فَأَفْتَوْا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ فَضَلُّوا وَأَضَلُّوا

Sayyid­i­na Abdul­lah ibn Amr (RA) report­ed: The Mes­sen­ger of Allah (Sal­lal­la­ho Alai­he Was­sal­lam) said, “Ver­i­ly, Allah does not take away knowl­edge by snatch­ing it from the peo­ple but rather he takes away knowl­edge with the death of the schol­ars until he leaves no schol­ar behind and the peo­ple turn to the igno­rant as their lead­ers. They are asked to give reli­gious judg­ments with­out knowl­edge, thus they are led astray and lead oth­ers astray.” [Bukhari]

Shaykh Shaykh Muhammad Yunus Jownpuri (RA)

By Mawlana Abdul­lah Khalid Khairaba­di

In the name of Allah, the Com­pas­sion­ate, the Mer­ci­ful

He (RA) was born the 25th of Rajab 1355 (AH), 2nd of Octo­ber 1938 at Kheta Sarai (Jaun­pur). His moth­er passed away when he was 5 years and 10 months old. He (RA) start­ed his ear­ly (Islam­ic) edu­ca­tion at the local Mak­tab in his vil­lage. At the age of 13, he was admit­ted to Madrasah Zaiul-Uloom (Mani Kalan, Jaun­pur). It is here that he stud­ied Per­sian and until Nurul-Anwar.

He (RA) entered Maza­hir­ul-uloom in Shaww­al 1377 (AH) and grad­u­at­ed in 138 (AH). He (RA) was appoint­ed as an assis­tant (teacher) in 1381 at Maza­hir­ul-uloom.

He (RA) was appoint­ed to the illus­tri­ous (teach­ing) posi­tion of Shaykhul-Hadeeth in 1388 (AH) at the same Darul-uloom.

In 1386 (AH) he became Bay’t to Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulanaa) Zakariyya Kand­hal­wi (RA) and was also giv­en Khi­lafah.

In 1396 (AH) on the 5th of Muharam he was also giv­en Khi­lafah from Maulana Shah As’adullah, the Naaz­im of Maza­hir­ul-uloom.

On Tues­day, the 16th of Shaww­al 1438 (AH) equiv­a­lent to the 11th of July 2017 after the Fajar Salah he devel­oped some queasi­ness and those respon­si­ble at the Darul-uloom took him to the Medi­gram hos­pi­tal. Doc­tors con­firmed his pass­ing away at 09:30.

His funer­al prayers will be held in the court­yard of the new build­ing after Asar (at 18:00).

Detailed biog­ra­phy and thoughts of Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Moham­mad Ayub Bande Ilahi (his stu­dent and com­pli­er of some of his works) to fol­low.


Obituary: Muhaddith al-Asr Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Yunus Jownpuri

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

It is with great sad­ness and sor­row we received the news of the demise of our teacher and the teacher of our teach­ers, Muḥad­dith al-ʿAṣr Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Yūnus Jown­pūrī (d. 1438/2017) this morn­ing at approx­i­mate­ly 5am British Sum­mer Time. When I retired to sleep just after 2am, I had received the news of the demise of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ismāʿīl Badāt a res­i­dent of the blessed city of Madī­nah, who like Shaykh Muḥam­mad Yūnus Jown­pūrī was a dis­ci­ple of Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kānd­hel­wī (d. 1402/1982). Peo­ple from across the world have expressed their sor­row and grief and shared their con­do­lences online and in per­son. My respect­ed father Mufti Shab­bīr Aḥmad (b. 1376/1957), who is one of the senior stu­dents and dis­ci­ples of Shaykh Muḥam­mad Yūnus Jown­pūrī, sug­gest­ed to me to pen a brief obit­u­ary. The truth is that words can­not do jus­tice to his per­son­al­i­ty but nonethe­less an attempt is made to pro­vide read­ers a brief insight into his life draw­ing from some of the pub­lished mate­r­i­al as well as my per­son­al expe­ri­ences and the expe­ri­ences of oth­ers, par­tic­u­lar­ly, my respect­ed father as well as Shaykh’s assis­tant and dis­ci­ple Mawlānā Yūnus Ran­derā who relent­less­ly served Shaykh over the past two decades.

Birth and Ear­ly Life

Muḥad­dith al-ʿAṣr Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Yūnus ibn Shab­bīr Aḥmad ibn Sher ʿAlī was born on Mon­day 25 Rajab 1355 / 2 Octo­ber 1937 in Jown­pur in Uttar Pradesh, India. At the age of five, his moth­er passed away and he was looked after by his mater­nal grand­moth­er who was extreme­ly pious and affec­tion­ate towards him. He under­took his ear­ly Islam­ic edu­ca­tion at Madrasah Ḍiyāʾ al-ʿUlūm Jown­pūr under the tute­lage of Mawlānā Ḍiyāʾ al-Ḥaq Fayḍʾābādī for whom Shaykh always expressed grat­i­tude. I heard Shaykh on numer­ous occa­sions praise and rec­ol­lect his encoun­ters with Mawlānā Ḍiyāʾ al-Ḥaq Fayḍʾābādī and recall his benev­o­lence towards him. After Mawlānā Ḍiyāʾ al-Ḥaq’s demise, some peo­ple claimed that he owed them some mon­ey based on a dis­pute. Shaykh asked Mufti Kifāy­at­ul­lāh and togeth­er gave the claimants what they were demand­ing.

Shaykh would reg­u­lar­ly men­tion how his father had intend­ed for him to work as a farmer or earn a liv­ing for the fam­i­ly through oth­er means, how­ev­er, he was inter­est­ed in acquir­ing Islam­ic edu­ca­tion. Thus, his pur­suit of knowl­edge start­ed in Jown­pūr where he stud­ied for sev­er­al years and in Shawwāl 1377, he trav­elled to Saha­ran­pur and enrolled at the famous sem­i­nary Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm from which he grad­u­at­ed in 1380. Dur­ing the three years, he stud­ied under great lumi­nar­ies most notably Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kānd­hel­wī (d. 1402/1982) and Mawlānā Asʿadul­lāh Rām­pūrī, both of whom also gave him Ijāzah in taṣawwuf and act­ed as his men­tor and guide. The lat­ter – Shaykh would reg­u­lar­ly refer to him as Nāẓim Ṣāḥib – played an impor­tant role in the nur­tur­ing of Shaykh and Shaykh would reg­u­lar­ly recall his encoun­ters with him and his dis­cours­es. Dur­ing his stud­ies, Shaykh fell severe­ly ill but per­se­vered and com­plet­ed his stud­ies. Through­out his life, Shaykh endured hard­ships and ill­ness­es but this did not pre­vent him from the pur­suit of knowl­edge and con­tin­u­ing to study and serve.

Teach­ers

In addi­tion to the three teach­ers men­tioned above, oth­er teach­ers of Shaykh include: Mawlānā Manẓūr Aḥmad Sahāran­pūrī, Mufti Muẓaf­far Ḥusayn and Mawlānā Amīr Aḥmad Kānd­hel­wī. Shaykh also acquired Ijāzah from many schol­ars includ­ing Mufti Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gan­go­hī, Shaykh Abū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī Nad­wī, Shaykh ʿAbd Allah al-Nākhibī, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fat­tāḥ Abū Ghud­dah, Shaykh Fakhr al-Dīn Murādābādī, Shaykh Aḥmad ʿAlī Surtī, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥ­man al-Kat­tānī and oth­ers. Along with his teach­ers, I heard Shaykh say on sev­er­al occa­sions that he ben­e­fit­ed great­ly par­tic­u­lar­ly in the sci­ence of ḥadīth from the fol­low­ing experts: ʿAl­lāmah Ibn Taymiyah (d. 728/1328), Ḥāfiẓ Dha­habī (d. 748/1348), Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Kathīr (d. 774/1373), Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Qayy­im (d. 751/1350), Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Rajab (d. 795/1393), Ḥāfiẓ Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī (d. 744/1343), Ḥāfiẓ Zay­laʿī (d. 762/1360) and Ḥāfiz Ibn Ḥajar (d. 852/1149).

Appoint­ment as teacher and Shaykh al-Ḥadīth

A year after his grad­u­a­tion in 1380, in Shawwāl 1381, Shaykh was for­mal­ly appoint­ed as a teacher in Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm Saha­ran­pur. For the next few years, Shaykh taught var­i­ous books includ­ing Sharḥ al-Wiqāyah, Hidāyah, Uṣūl al-Shāshī, Mukhtaṣar al-Maʿānī, Nūr al-Anwār, Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ, Sunan Abī Dāwūd, Sunan Ibn Mājah, Sunan al-Nasāʾī, Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim, Muwat­tāʾ Mālik, and Muwaṭṭāʾ Muḥam­mad. There­after, in Shawwāl 1388, at a rel­a­tive­ly young age whilst some of his teach­ers were also alive, he was appoint­ed by Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kānd­hel­wī (d. 1402/1982) as Shaykh al-Ḥadīth and hon­oured with the priv­i­lege of teach­ing Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, a role Shaykh con­tin­ued to ful­fil to date. Here­in is a les­son for Prin­ci­pals to appoint staff based on mer­it and com­pe­ten­cy and not sim­ply based on lin­eage, finan­cial sta­tus, eth­nic­i­ty or close­ness to the Prin­ci­pal. Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kāndhelwī’s appoint­ment demon­strates how the Amā­nah of lead­er­ship should be ful­filled. Shaykh taught the entire Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī for forty nine years and did so with an unprece­dent­ed lev­el of devo­tion, pas­sion and rigour, as clear­ly reflect­ed in his unpub­lished Urdu tran­scripts of his lessons as well as the first vol­ume of his Ara­bic com­men­tary on the Ṣaḥīḥ, a review of which is avail­able on this link. My respect­ed father often says that Shaykh speaks with the tongue of Imam Bukhārī as though he is express­ing his sen­ti­ments on his behalf. Shaykh would often advise his stu­dents to give char­i­ty on behalf of Imam Bukhārī.

It is worth not­ing that his appoint­ment as Shaykh al-Ḥadīth at a rel­a­tive­ly young age reflects the con­fi­dence of his teach­ers in him. Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kāndhelwī’s con­fi­dence in his stu­dent can be fur­ther gauged by the fact that he has quot­ed his student’s views in his al-Abwāb wa al-Tarājim in at least three places (1:268, 419; 6:788) as well as in his foot­notes on Lāmiʿ al-Dirārī (10:319), and he would reg­u­lar­ly con­sult him and refer senior schol­ars to him par­tic­u­lar­ly for ḥadīth relat­ed queries (see al-Yawāqīt al-Ghāliyah vols. 1 and 2). Schol­ars who would refer their queries to him include: Mufti Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gan­go­hī, Shaykh Abū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī Nad­wī, Mufti Yaḥyā, Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Jab­bār, Mawlānā ʿĀqil, Mawlānā Abrār al-Ḥaq, Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Jown­pūrī, Mawlānā Saʿīd Aḥmad Khānṣāḥib and many oth­ers. In fact, in 1387, Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kānd­hel­wī wrote a hand­writ­ten let­ter to Shaykh where­in he stat­ed that he will sur­pass him after forty sev­en years.

Shaykh Zakariyya's Letter Regarding Shaykh Yunus Jownpuri

A remark­able pre­dic­tion not least because no one would have envis­aged that Shaykh would live for this long due to his ill­ness­es. Indeed, as Shaykh would reg­u­lar­ly say in recent years that all my con­tem­po­raries have passed away. My respect­ed father Mufti Shab­bīr Aḥmad once said to Shaykh in response that this is a bless­ing of his attach­ment and devo­tion to ḥadīth for there is a famous Ara­bic say­ing that the schol­ars of ḥadīth live for long.

Stu­dents

Thus, from Shawwāl 1381 to 1438, Shaykh taught thou­sands of stu­dents from all over the world. For most of this peri­od from 1388 onwards, he taught Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī and Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim. It was only a few years ago that he request­ed his stu­dent the cur­rent rec­tor of the sem­i­nary, Mawlānā Salmān Ṣāḥib to teach Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim and Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī or appoint some­one to do so. Mawlānā Salmān Ṣāḥib insist­ed that Shaykh con­tin­ue to teach Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī and agreed to teach Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim. He told Shaykh that if he does not man­age to com­plete the Ṣaḥīḥ, he will assist him if nec­es­sary. May Allah Almighty reward Mawlānā Salmān Ṣāḥib for he played a piv­otal role in tak­ing care of Shaykh until the very end.

Thou­sands of Shaykh’s stu­dents are ben­e­fit­ing human­i­ty in dif­fer­ent ways and many are lead­ing schol­ars teach­ing Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. Due to Shaykh’s knowl­edge and self­less­ness, he pos­sessed uni­ver­sal appeal and attract­ed stu­dents from all over the world. Stu­dents from var­i­ous schools of thought both in terms of creed and jurispru­dence ben­e­fit­ed from him and held him in high esteem. Along with the thou­sands of stu­dents from the Indi­an sub-con­ti­nent, Shaykh has stu­dents in Sau­di Ara­bia, Qatar, Bahrain, Syr­ia, Soma­lia, Tunisia, Malaysia and many oth­er coun­tries. Many of the lead­ing schol­ars of the Mid­dle East ben­e­fit­ed from Shaykh’s knowl­edge and com­pa­ny. Some reg­u­lar­ly trav­elled to India whilst oth­ers would max­imise ben­e­fit dur­ing Shaykh’s vis­its to Sau­di Ara­bia for Hajj and Umrah. Some of Shaykh’s stu­dents include the fol­low­ing:

  1. Shaykh Salmān, the cur­rent rec­tor of Maẓahir al-ʿUlūm Saha­ran­pur, India.
  2. Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥāfiẓ Makkī of Sau­di Ara­bia who passed away sev­er­al months ago.
  3. Shaykh ʿAbd al-Waḥīd Makkī of Sau­di Ara­bia.
  4. Mawlānā Zubayr al-Ḥasan Kānd­hel­wī of Niza­mud­din Del­hi who passed away.
  5. Shaykh Nūr al-Ḥasan Rāshid of Kandhla, India.
  6. Shaykh Muḥam­mad Ayyūb Surtī of the UK, the com­pil­er of sev­er­al pub­li­ca­tions of Shaykh list­ed below.
  7. Mufti Shab­bir Aḥmad, the UK based Mufti and Ḥadīth lec­tur­er.
  8. Shaykh Muḥam­mad Bilāl, the UK based schol­ar and Ḥadīth lec­tur­er.
  9. Shaykh Yūsuf Motālā, the Prin­ci­pal of Darul Uloom Bury, UK.
  10. Mufti ʿAbd al-Ṣamad Aḥmad, the Prin­ci­pal of Darul Uloom Black­burn, UK.
  11. Shaykh Faḍl al-Ḥaq Wādī, the Prin­ci­pal of Jāmiʿah al-Kawthar Lan­cast­er, UK.
  12. Mufti Musṭafā, the Prin­ci­pal of Darul Uloom Lon­don, UK.
  13. Mufti Muḥam­mad Ṭāhir Wādī, the UK based Mufti and Ḥadīth lec­tur­er.
  14. Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥīm ibn Dāwūd, the UK based Ḥadīth lec­tur­er.
  15. Dr Muḥam­mad Akram Nad­wī, the UK based Ḥadīth lec­tur­er and com­pil­er of Shaykh’s thabt.
  16. Shaykh Ghulām Muḥam­mad Vastān­wī, the rec­tor of the famous sem­i­nary in Akkalkuwa, India.
  17. Shaykh Ḥanīf Luhār­wī, the Shaykh al-Ḥadīth of Darul Uloom Khar­od, India.
  18. Shaykh Yūsuf Tankār­wī, the Shaykh al-Ḥadīth of Darul Uloom Tad­kesh­war, India.
  19. Shaykh Zayd Nad­wī of Nad­wat­ul Ula­ma Luc­know.
  20. Shaykh Niẓām Yaʿqūbī of Bahrain.
  21. Shaykh Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al-Malik ʿĀshūr of Sau­di Ara­bia.
  22. Shaykh Dr ʿAbd Allah ibn Aḥmad al-Tūm of Sau­di Ara­bia.
  23. Shaykh Muḥam­mad ibn Aḥmad al-Ḥarīrī of Sau­di Ara­bia.
  24. Shaykh Farīd al-Bājī of Tunisia.
  25. Shaykh Nāṣir al-ʿAjmī of Kuwait.

Pub­li­ca­tions

Shaykh spent his entire life teach­ing the sacred sci­ences. I have heard Shaykh say on sev­er­al occa­sions that he nev­er thought of pub­lish­ing any of his works. Nev­er­the­less, attempts were made in recent years by his stu­dents to pub­lish them.

The first most notable pub­li­ca­tion was the four vol­ume al-Yawāqīt al-Ghāliyah, a unique col­lec­tion of arti­cles, ques­tions and answers and trea­tis­es, most­ly per­tain­ing to ḥadīth mat­ters. It would be remiss of me if I do not men­tion the efforts of our beloved Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Ayyūb Surtī who worked tire­less­ly from 2006 onwards to make this col­lec­tion pub­lish­able. By the grace of Almighty Allah, I also had the hon­our of sup­port­ing him par­tic­u­lar­ly in the pub­li­ca­tion of vol­ume three, and all praise belongs to Allah alone. This col­lec­tion is invalu­able for stu­dents of knowl­edge and schol­ars par­tic­u­lar­ly the final vol­ume which is ded­i­cat­ed to review­ing all those nar­ra­tions in the four Sunan that have been cri­tiqued and deemed to be fab­ri­cat­ed nar­ra­tions. The third and fourth vol­umes are in Ara­bic whilst the first two vol­umes are a com­bi­na­tion of Urdu and Ara­bic. Work has begun to trans­late the first two vol­umes into Ara­bic for wider ben­e­fit.

More recent­ly, Shaykh had been work­ing tire­less­ly on his Ara­bic notes on Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. The first vol­ume of Nibrās al-Sārī ilā Riyāḍ al-Bukhārī was pub­lished a few months ago and the sec­ond and third vol­ume is due soon, with the will of Allah. We pray to Allah to give Shaykh’s stu­dents and in par­tic­u­lar Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Ayyūb Surtī the abil­i­ty to col­late the remain­ing notes on the Ṣaḥīḥ and pub­lish them. It is envis­aged that the com­men­tary will exceed ten vol­umes.

In addi­tion to this, Shaykh has invalu­able Ara­bic foot­notes on the four Sunan includ­ing Sunan al-Tir­mid­hī the only book from the Ṣiḥāḥ Sit­tah which he did not teach. In addi­tion, his foot­notes on Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ, Badhl al-Majhūd and Fatḥ al-Bārī deserve par­tic­u­lar atten­tion because they are invalu­able. Shaykh also has extreme­ly ben­e­fi­cial Ara­bic notes on the entire Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim which I have ben­e­fit­ed from and found use­ful. It focus­es pre­dom­i­nant­ly on that which is not in the preva­lent com­men­taries of Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim and there­by adds real val­ue. In addi­tion to this, my dear moth­er and Mawlānā Rashīd ibn Mawlānā Hāshim Ṣāḥib spent many years in writ­ing the Urdu com­men­tary of Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī from audio cas­settes. This also deserves atten­tion. We pray to Allah Almighty to make these and oth­er efforts of Shaykh see the light of the day in a pub­lished for­mat. Āmīn.

Ijazah of Hadith handwritten by Shaykh Yunus Sahib

Hadith Ijazah writ­ten by Shaykh Muham­mad Yunus Jown­puri

Mar­riage and fam­i­ly 

Shaykh’s com­mit­ment and devo­tion to the sacred sci­ences and in par­tic­u­lar the sci­ence of ḥadīth can be fur­ther gauged from the fact that he did not get mar­ried. He fol­lowed in the foot­steps of great lumi­nar­ies like Imam Nawawī, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and oth­ers who decid­ed not to mar­ry out of their com­mit­ment and devo­tion to the sacred sci­ences and to the ser­vice of the faith, not because they opposed mar­riage or regard­ed it as con­trary to the Sun­nah. Indeed, Shaykh express­ly writes that deny­ing the con­cept of mar­riage is akin to dis­be­lief. Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fat­tāḥ Abū Ghuddah’s famous trea­tise is worth read­ing in this regard. My respect­ed father Mufti Shab­bīr Aḥmad con­firms that it is a mis­con­cep­tion that Shaykh did not mar­ry because of some phys­i­cal ill­ness.

Shaykh leaves behind three nieces and eight nephews, four of whom are also schol­ars. Since his appoint­ment as a teacher, Shaykh always resided in the sem­i­nary and would say that my stu­dents are my fam­i­ly and encour­age them to give char­i­ty on his behalf after his demise. Shaykh lived a life of lone­li­ness, his moth­er passed away whilst he was five and his father passed away in 1987. Shaykh had one broth­er who also passed away in 1995.

Zuhd, piety and self­less­ness

Shaykh’s com­mit­ment to the Prophet­ic ḥadīths and his aca­d­e­m­ic cre­den­tials are well known. A facet of his life which is per­haps less well known is Shaykh’s piety, zuhd and self­less­ness. My respect­ed father Mufti Shab­bīr Aḥmad once said, “I have not seen any­one more self­less than Shaykh.” This morn­ing, before my respect­ed father depart­ed for India, he informed me that Shaykh would reg­u­lar­ly give him large amounts of mon­ey, some­times hun­dreds of thou­sands Indi­an Rupees and send him to Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm Qadīm as well as Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm Jadīd to donate the mon­ey. This was reg­u­lar and Shaykh would make sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to both insti­tutes. Under­stand­ing the con­text of this is nec­es­sary. In the 80s, the sem­i­nary split into two with Shaykh stay­ing at Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm Jadīd and major dif­fer­ences emerged with court bat­tles which unfor­tu­nate­ly con­tin­ue to date. Despite this, Shaykh always remained objec­tive and main­tained rela­tions by sup­port­ing the oth­er sem­i­nary with large amounts of funds too. In fact, Shaykh once men­tioned to my respect­ed father that he has donat­ed a house, which was gift­ed to him, to Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm Qadīm. On one occa­sion he men­tioned that for every book that has two copies, he has endowed a copy each to both sem­i­nar­ies. Shaykh’s pas­sion for char­i­ty was such that for the past few years he had informed Ḥājī Ajmal of Saha­ran­pur to sac­ri­fice a goat on his behalf every day and dis­trib­ute the meat to the poor.

House made Waqf by Shaykh Yunus Jownpuri Sahib

Shaykh’s sim­plic­i­ty and self­less­ness is such that he spent his entire life in a room with­in the sem­i­nary. Shaykh him­self men­tions that dur­ing the first few years of becom­ing a teacher, he would take a salary from the sem­i­nary. How­ev­er, he decid­ed after a few years to adopt the path of tawakkul (total reliance on Allah) and stopped tak­ing a salary. This proved extreme­ly dif­fi­cult for a few months and Allah Almighty opened oth­er doors and accept­ed his sup­pli­ca­tion. Over­all, Shaykh has endured lots of hard­ship and ill­ness­es and was also affect­ed by mag­ic. Over the past few years, he would sleep on the floor in his room sur­round­ed by books. Even when Shaykh would trav­el to Sau­di Ara­bia and stay in the Kaʿbah view apart­ments of Shaykh Bakr bin Laden, he would sleep on the floor.

Shaykh’s assis­tant Mawlānā Yūnus Ran­derā informed me today that every year Shaykh would receive thou­sands of pounds of gifts from his vis­its to the UK and Ḥara­mayn. Shaykh would say to Mawlānā Yūnus to dis­trib­ute all the mon­ey for the taḥfīẓ project in Ḥara­mayn or for some oth­er good cause. In his most recent vis­it two months ago to Reunion, UK and Ḥara­mayn, Shaykh received a very large sum of mon­ey as gifts. All of this was donat­ed for the taḥ­fiẓ project and Shaykh did not take a sin­gle pen­ny back to India. Shaykh was very sup­port­ive of chil­dren mem­o­ris­ing the Qurʾān. In doing so, Shaykh was fol­low­ing the Sun­nah of the Prophet ﷺ who would imme­di­ate­ly dis­trib­ute what­ev­er he would receive. What is even more amaz­ing is that sev­er­al years ago, Shaykh vis­it­ed the UK and was informed that one of his stu­dents in the UK is in debt. Shaykh sent him £1,000 from his own mon­ey which he had received as gifts. I have nev­er heard of an Indi­an schol­ar, let alone a schol­ar who is not finan­cial­ly wealthy, gift mon­ey to a per­son in the UK. It is unheard of. Once Shaykh gave my father £3,500 that he had received and said, use it in the wed­ding of your daugh­ters. There are many more exam­ples of Shaykh’s detach­ment from the world and self­less­ness. Shaykh often described how in his ear­ly years he only pos­sessed one bowl and would use it for cook­ing, eat­ing, drink­ing, wash­ing and oth­er pur­pos­es. Shaykh was so poor that he did not have mon­ey to afford med­i­cine or even paper to write on. This is why so many of his invalu­able notes are writ­ten on the back of envelopes, post­cards and old diaries. As my respect­ed father says that Shaykh’s ear­ly life was spent in pover­ty with­out choice and Shaykh’s lat­ter life was also spent in pover­ty by his own choice. Mawlānā Khalīl ibn Mawlānā Ḥāshim nar­rates that in the 90s, Shaykh would vis­it Muftī Maḥmūd Ḥasan Gan­go­hī in Deoband every Thurs­day evening. He would trav­el via bus from Saha­ran­pur to Deoband and return on Fri­day morn­ing. He would gen­er­al­ly trav­el alone because he could not afford the nom­i­nal bus fare for an assis­tant to accom­pa­ny him. On one occa­sion, Mawlānā Khalīl men­tions that he accom­pa­nied Shaykh to the Deoband bus stop to drop him off. As they arrived at the bus stop, he decid­ed to give Shaykh sev­er­al hun­dred rupees by way of gift. Upon receiv­ing it, Shaykh com­ment­ed, “I was think­ing how I will afford the bus fare, as I do not have any mon­ey.”

Shaykh’s piety and taqwā is also worth men­tion­ing. Mawlānā Yūnus nar­rates that a few years ago when Shaykh fell extreme­ly ill, he phoned Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ṭalḥa Ṣāḥib, the son of Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kānd­hel­wī request­ing for­give­ness for a small piece of a news­pa­per which he had used in the era of his father from his house with­out his explic­it per­mis­sion. Shaykh explained that he has nev­er used anyone’s pos­ses­sions with­out their per­mis­sion except on this one occa­sion in the house of Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kānd­hel­wī when Shaykh came across a ref­er­ence and urgent­ly required paper to make a note of it. He had no paper so he cut the side of a news­pa­per with­out tak­ing express per­mis­sion from the own­er, Mawlānā Muḥam­mad Zakariyyā Kānd­hel­wī. Shaykh remem­bered this and sought for­give­ness from his son Mawlānā Ṭalḥa. This is a qual­i­ty we observed in Shaykh reg­u­lar­ly, to seek for­give­ness and encour­age oth­ers to for­give. Shaykh would reg­u­lar­ly quote the state­ment of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ṣid­dīq Bānd­wī who said, “For­give with­out being asked for for­give­ness.” Anoth­er exam­ple of Shaykh’s cau­tion is that a few years ago, Shaykh decid­ed to pur­chase sev­er­al new books for the seminary’s library despite those books exist­ing in the library. Shaykh explained that he would reg­u­lar­ly use some books from the library and some­times add some use­ful ref­er­ences and notes there­in. Whilst this was only adding val­ue to the books and is of immense ben­e­fit to the read­er, Shaykh decid­ed to pur­chase new books by way of pre­cau­tion. I have heard my respect­ed father men­tion on numer­ous occa­sions, and I have also expe­ri­enced this per­son­al­ly, that Shaykh gen­er­al­ly adopts the cau­tious view in mat­ters of jurispru­dence. On one occa­sion in 2004 in the month of Ramaḍān, I was present in Saha­ran­pur when a trav­eller led the Ḍhuhr Ṣalāh and did not short­en the Ṣalāh. When this was men­tioned to Shaykh most prob­a­bly at ʿAṣr time, despite his sta­tus and knowl­edge, he said con­sult with Mufti Shab­bīr. My father sug­gest­ed that there is no need to repeat the Ṣalāh not least because the per­son was a res­i­dent accord­ing to the oth­er schools of thought, a view shared by Shaykh, as he had already resided for more than four days. There­after, ʿAṣr Ṣalāh, Maghrib Ṣalāh and ʿIshāʾ Ṣalāh were per­formed. I recall before Tarāwiḥ Ṣalāh com­menced, Shaykh called my father and said that the major­i­ty of the peo­ple present are adher­ents of the Ḥanafī school of thought and although the oblig­a­tion of the time (farīḍat al-waqt) has bee ful­filled, we should repeat the Ṣalāh. Thus, all four prayers Dhuhr, ʿAṣr, Maghrib and ʿIshāʾ were repeat­ed. This demon­strates Shaykh’s cau­tion in such jurispru­den­tial mat­ters.

Shaykh’s piety was such that I once heard him say that I have only uttered a lie thrice and all three occa­sions were dur­ing my youth, once in fear of my moth­er, once in fear of my father, and once in fear of my teacher Mawlānā Ḍiyāʾ al-Ḥaq. Apart from these occa­sions, I have nev­er lied.

Love of the Sun­nah

One of the qual­i­ties that Shaykh will be remem­bered for is his uncom­pro­mis­ing love of the Sun­nah and his devo­tion to the ḥadīths. So much can be writ­ten in this regard. Shaykh left no stone unturned when it came to fol­low­ing or prac­tis­ing or defend­ing the Sun­nah and refut­ing inno­va­tions. I have wit­nessed Shaykh rebuke those who trim or shave their beards cit­ing the Prophet­ic Sun­nah. Like­wise, Shaykh has no hes­i­ta­tion in refut­ing prac­tices or ḥadīths that are not sub­stan­ti­at­ed, for exam­ple, the sole fast of 15 Shaʿbān and regard­ing it as Sun­nah.

Mawlana Yūnus Ran­dera men­tioned to me that since 2002, he per­formed Hajj with Shaykh every year con­sec­u­tive­ly and thus per­formed six­teen Hajj with Shaykh and many ʿUm­rah. Pri­or to this, Shaykh per­formed Hajj on many occa­sions and it is my esti­mate that Shaykh per­formed approx­i­mate­ly forty Hajj if not more. I also had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to per­form Hajj with Shaykh once in 2002 and Shaykh stayed in our room. Shaykh would always reside in Mina on 13th Dhū al-Ḥij­jah in accor­dance with the Sun­nah. On one occa­sion, the 13th was a Fri­day and Shaykh said I will per­form the Jumuʿah Ṣalāḥ in Mina and not in Masjid al-Ḥarām because it is Sun­nah to stay in Mina on the 13th. Dur­ing Hajj, Shaykh would always per­form the ston­ing of the dev­il at the Sun­nah time and in the Sun­nah posi­tion. A few years ago when Shaykh was extreme­ly ill, he was advised to avoid the rush hour. He refused and said I will go and I will die if I have to die whilst prac­tis­ing the Sun­nah.

Two years ago, I also learnt that whilst trav­el­ling in Mad­i­nah Munawwarah, Shaykh would avoid using the AC and pre­fer to take in the blessed nat­ur­al air of Mad­i­nah. Shaykh’s love of the Sun­nah was such that despite his weak­ness he would vis­it the date trees orchard in Mad­i­nah Munawwarah. When he would con­sume the dates of Mad­i­nah Munawwarah, he would not throw the seeds in the bin but instruct for them to be buried out of respect.

Dreams regard­ing Shaykh    

It should there­fore not come as a sur­prise that many peo­ple have seen good dreams regard­ing Shaykh. A schol­ar from Tunisia saw a dream more than a decade ago where­in the Prophet ﷺ described Shaykh as Amīr al-Muʾminīn fī al-Ḥadīth (the leader of the believ­ers in ḥadīth).

A dream that is rel­e­vant to his demise was seen by his Arab stu­dent and dis­ci­ple Shaykh Muḥam­mad ibn Aḥmad al-Ḥarīrī. Three years ago, he saw the Prophet ﷺ in his dream cov­ered in a cloth, and when he uncov­ered his face, the per­son with the clos­est appear­ance was Shaykh. Today, Shaykh Ḥarīrī received the pho­tographs of Shaykh and the sur­round­ing sce­nary and sug­gest­ed that the image was exact­ly what he saw in his dream three years ago includ­ing the green­ery in the back­ground.

Sim­i­lar­ly, a local schol­ar from Man­ches­ter saw a dream today in which he saw Shaykh enter the Baqīʿ grave­yard in the blessed city of Madī­nah and rais­ing his hands to make duʿā.

Our teacher Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥīm ibn Dāwūd nar­rates that anoth­er schol­ar saw a dream that Shaykh is sit­ting with anoth­er pious saint on a bed. Both have a glass in their hands and are enjoy­ing the tasty drink.

Some per­son­al expe­ri­ences

My respect­ed father Mufti Shab­bīr Aḥmad was very close to Shaykh and Shaykh treat­ed us as though we were his fam­i­ly mem­bers and vice ver­sa. For us, he was a father­ly fig­ure who we would look up to since we were young and he would take a keen inter­est in our affairs. The close rela­tion­ship with my father began in Shawwāl 1398 when my father enrolled in the penul­ti­mate year of the Alim course at the sem­i­nary in Saha­ran­pur, where he also com­plet­ed the Iftāʾ pro­gramme. Dur­ing the three years, my father devel­oped a very close rela­tion­ship with Shaykh. He would cook for Shaykh dai­ly and attend to his oth­er needs. My father recalls that because of Shaykh’s pover­ty, he would instruct him to last a pigeon for two or three days when cook­ing food. Such was the rela­tion­ship that Shaykh would call my father into his room and seek his sup­port in mark­ing exam­i­na­tion papers for some of the class­es and would con­fide in him. My father would read the matn (text) of both Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī and Ṣaḥīḥ Mus­lim, and also read the entire Muwat­tāʾ Muḥam­mad on two occa­sions. It was through Shaykh’s bless­ings that my father devel­oped a close attach­ment with the ḥadīths. Shaykh was not ini­tial­ly hap­py at him doing Iftāʾ, how­ev­er, he advised him to stay con­nect­ed with the ḥadīths at all times, a very use­ful advice which my respect­ed father has always act­ed upon. When my father was leav­ing Saha­ran­pur at the end of the three years to return to Eng­land, Shaykh came on a cycle rick­shaw to Saha­ran­pur train sta­tion to bid him farewell. Shaykh Yūsuf Tankār­wī sug­gests that this is the only time Shaykh bid a stu­dent farewell in this man­ner.    

As a young child from the age of five, I recall when my father would write let­ters to Shaykh, we sib­lings would also write to Shaykh in Eng­lish and sub­se­quent­ly in Urdu. My moth­er would always ensure we write some­thing in large Eng­lish fonts. I recall once writ­ing to Shaykh when I start­ed the penul­ti­mate year request­ing his sup­pli­ca­tions and ask­ing if he has the Isnads (chains) of Imam Tabrīzī, the author of Mishkāt al-Maṣābīh, to the authors of the books which he quotes from. Shaykh replied in the neg­a­tive. My first rec­ol­lec­tion of meet­ing Shaykh was in 1997 when our par­ents took us five broth­ers and sis­ters to India for two months to tour all the famous sem­i­nar­ies in Uttar Pradesh and else­where and meet with great saints and lumi­nar­ies. We stayed with Shaykh for sev­er­al weeks in Saha­ran­pur and also trav­elled with Shaykh to Ban­da on the train. Although I was only nine years old, I recall Shaykh’s affec­tion as he insist­ed we trav­el in a high­er class with AC whilst he decid­ed to trav­el in a low­er class. My moth­er, may Allah Almighty bless her, recalls that I and my younger sis­ter fell ill in Ban­da. Shaykh came espe­cial­ly to our room on the upper floor to pray for us and ful­fil the Sun­nah of vis­it­ing the sick. Through­out this vis­it and oth­er inter­ac­tions, Shaykh would fond­ly address my father sim­i­lar to how a father address­es his child and recall his stu­dent days, and also remem­ber our grand­par­ents. He would com­ment that our grand­fa­ther Aḥmad Ismāʿīl Patel (d. 1409/1988), who was very close to Mawlānā Badr ʿĀlam Mīrthī, has ṭabʿī taqad­dus (holi­ness by nature). In 2000, he also vis­it­ed his grave in Black­burn. Dur­ing this vis­it to India in 1997, we also vis­it­ed Jown­pūr and Shaykh’s birth place and had the hon­our of meet­ing Shaykh’s teacher Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Jown­pūrī. This is the same Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Jown­pūrī who advised my respect­ed father to fol­low his Shaykh refer­ring to Shaykh Yūnus Ṣāḥib in all mat­ters except in rela­tion to mar­riage. Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Jown­pūrī vis­it­ed the UK only once in 1985 and was very pleased to learn of the birth of my eldest broth­er Mawlānā Muḥam­mad.

As I grew up, there were many more oppor­tu­ni­ties in the UK and Sau­di Ara­bia to spend time with Shaykh and ben­e­fit from him. I vis­it­ed him many times in India and even when I was alone, he would be extreme­ly gen­er­ous and hos­pitable. He would not allow me to return except after feed­ing me. Shaykh vis­it­ed our parent’s house on many occa­sions and also stayed the night on more than one occa­sion. On one occa­sion, I recall that the fam­i­ly had baked a cake in the shape of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī and Shaykh did not hes­i­tate in sug­gest­ing this is not appro­pri­ate. On one of his vis­its, he told me father that I did not want to vis­it the UK but I only came because I heard you were not well. On one occa­sion in Shaʿbān 1434 (2013), I had the hon­our of recit­ing ten pages of Sunan al-Tir­mid­hī to Shaykh in Bolton at the res­i­dence of our late teacher Shaykh ʿUmar­jī (d. 1435/2014), a dis­ci­ple of Shaykh and some­one who had utmost respect and admi­ra­tion of Shaykh. Dur­ing this vis­it, Shaykh also vis­it­ed my house. Shaykh’s vis­its to the UK were an oppor­tu­ni­ty Shaykh ʿUmar­jī and oth­er asso­ciates of Shaykh would always look for­ward to. This was the only time when my respect­ed father would miss his teach­ing, he would not even miss his teach­ing duties dur­ing the birth of his chil­dren.

Shaykh has had a huge influ­ence on me both direct­ly and indi­rect­ly through my teach­ers, the major­i­ty of whom are also stu­dents of Shaykh or their stu­dents. Before I joined the final year of the Alim class, Shaykh placed his hand on my head, sup­pli­cat­ed for me and advised me in his room in India and said: When you read the ḥadīths, read it from the Prophet­ic lens­es, as though the Prophet ﷺ is instruct­ing you and talk­ing to you. Do not read the ḥadīths with any­one else’s lens­es. This advice is of par­tic­u­lar rel­e­vance for stu­dents and schol­ars and assist­ed me in my final year and beyond, and all praise belongs to Allah alone.

Demise

After com­plet­ing Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī in Saha­ran­pur two to three months ago, Shaykh trav­elled to the UK to par­tic­i­pate in the com­ple­tion of the Ṣaḥīḥ in Darul Uloom Black­burn and oth­er insti­tutes. May Allah reward our beloved Mufti ʿAbd al-Ṣamad Aḥmad for invit­ing Shaykh year on year and host­ing all the guests. From the UK, Shaykh trav­elled to Sau­di Ara­bia for Umrah where Mawlānā Yūnus and my elder broth­er Mawlānā Muḥam­mad accom­pa­nied him. After spend­ing a few days of Ramaḍān in Sau­di Ara­bia, he trav­elled to India and spent the remain­ing month in Saha­ran­pur. Dur­ing Ramaḍān, he fast­ed all the days and per­formed the night prayer. Dur­ing the final ten days, more than hun­dred stu­dents and asso­ciates spent time in the com­pa­ny of Shaykh. One of Shaykh’s final advices to the senior teach­ers in Saha­ran­pur on 7 Shawwāl was to stay away from fit­nah (tur­moil) as it is more severe than killing. On the Fri­day before Shaykh passed away, he under­took a bath and arrived at the mosque very ear­ly, it was always his habit on Fri­days to arrive at the mosque ear­ly.

On Sat­ur­day, we received reports that Shaykh has fall­en ill. It was not thought that the ill­ness was in any way life threat­en­ing. Allah is the best of plan­ners and He is the wis­est. This morn­ing at 7.30am local time, Shaykh became uncon­scious or semi-uncon­scious and was tak­en to hos­pi­tal and he passed away there. He passed away at approx­i­mate­ly 5am British Sum­mer Time (9.30am local time) on Tues­day 11 July 2017 / 17 Shawwāl 1438 (16 Shawwāl in India). Shaykh’s dis­ci­ple Qārī Ayyūb Ṣāḥib, who is based in Saha­ran­pur nar­rates that yes­ter­day (Mon­day) he vis­it­ed Shaykh and Shaykh con­fid­ed in him that he does not want any more med­ica­tion or treat­ment, because some­one came and informed him that do not do any treat­ment, oth­er­wise you will remain in this con­di­tion. Then he said to Qārī Ṣāḥib thrice: Have you under­stood this? He added do not tell any­one oth­er­wise they will take me to the doc­tors. The fol­low­ing day Shaykh pass­es away and does not leave any­thing behind except his invalu­able col­lec­tion of books. Shaykh’s assis­tant men­tions that a day before Shaykh passed away, he wrote some notes on Mus­nad Aḥmad.

Shaykh’s Janāzah Ṣalāh was led by Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ṭalḥa Ṣāḥib, with whom he enjoyed a very good and open rela­tion­ship, in the Ḥājī Shāh grave­yard after ʿAṣr Ṣalāh. Reports sug­gest that the Janāzah Ṣalāh was attend­ed by approx­i­mate­ly 1 mil­lion peo­ple. This has been con­firmed by Mawlānā Junaid Ṣāḥib, the son in law of Mawlānā ʿĀqil Ṣāḥib. Oth­er esti­mates sug­gest 200,000 peo­ple though this appears to be an under­es­ti­ma­tion. A more accu­rate esti­mate sug­gests 450,000. Either way, this reminds us of the Janāzah of Imam Aḥmad ibn Ḥan­bal in Bagh­dad that was attend­ed by 800,000 peo­ple and the Janāzah of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah in Dam­as­cus that was attend­ed by 200,000 peo­ple. Shaykh had immense love for both Imams. Qārī Ayyūb Ṣāḥib, one of Shaykh’s dis­ci­ples, who was also present in the Ghusl of Shaykh describes how the num­bers of peo­ple were such that peo­ple were unable to pick up what was dropped. There were slip­pers and oth­er pos­ses­sions found lat­er in the area. Local peo­ple sug­gest that Saha­ran­pur has nev­er seen such a Janāzah. This despite the fact that many peo­ple from oth­er parts of India and else­where were unable to reach Saha­ran­pur. The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘If Allah loves a per­son, He calls Jibrīl: “Allah loves so and so, O Jibrīl, love him.” So Jib­ril loves him, and then Jibrīl makes an announce­ment among the res­i­dents of the Heav­en, “Indeed, Allah loves so-and-so, there­fore, you love him.” So, all the res­i­dents of the Heav­en love him and then he is grant­ed the accep­tance among the peo­ple of the earth’ (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 6040). Shaykh is clear­ly an exam­ple of this. There were no rel­a­tives or fam­i­ly mem­bers present in his Janāzah Ṣalāh. Here­in is a les­son for some peo­ple who in the past accused Shaykh of not adher­ing to the way of the elders. As Imam Aḥmad ibn Ḥan­bal is report­ed to have said, ‘Say to the Peo­ple of Inno­va­tion, “between you and us is the funer­als”’ (Manāqib al-Imām Aḥmad, p.560).

Shaykh was buried as per his wish­es close to his beloved teacher Mawlānā Asʿadul­lāh Rām­pūrī. It was Shaykh’s waṣiyyah that Sūrah al-Fātiḥah be recit­ed in the Janāzah Ṣalāh. It was also Shaykh’s Waṣiyyah to place a piece of the Kaʿbah’s cloth and soil from the blessed city of Madī­nah in his grave, this was duly act­ed upon and has been actioned.

May Allah Almighty show­er his mer­cy on Shaykh, grant him an abode in par­adise and res­ur­rect him with the Prophets, mar­tyrs and pious peo­ple. Shaykh was always opposed to pho­tos of all kinds. He request­ed Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muḥam­mad Taqī ʿUth­mānī Ṣāḥib on two sep­a­rate occa­sions to re-con­sid­er the issue. It is there­fore request­ed from all well wish­ers to avoid cir­cu­lat­ing pho­tos or images of Shaykh whether tak­en before or after his demise.

Con­clu­sion

It has been dif­fi­cult to pen some of the above as the news of Shaykh’s demise is still being digest­ed and the real­i­ty is sink­ing in. The death of a schol­ar is the death of the world. You only ful­ly appre­ci­ate a boun­ty when it does not exist. The fol­low­ing are some thoughts that come to mind to ben­e­fit Shaykh and build on his lega­cy:

First­ly, it was Shaykh’s desire and instruc­tion to his stu­dents to give char­i­ty on his behalf. Thus, all stu­dents, well wish­ers and read­ers are request­ed to donate what­ev­er pos­si­ble on behalf of Shaykh for the projects of their choice. Char­i­ty is the most pow­er­ful way of assist­ing and ben­e­fit­ing the deceased. With the will of Almighty Allah and after con­sult­ing with Shaykh’s senior stu­dents, Insha Allah, we will be aim­ing to build a mosque on Shaykh’s behalf with the option for peo­ple from all over the world to con­tribute towards this. Insha Allah, the details will be shared with­in the next few days.

Sec­ond­ly, we need to reflect on Shaykh’s life and take heed accord­ing­ly. Shaykh’s life long ser­vice and love of the Sun­nah, oppo­si­tion to inno­va­tions, com­mit­ment to the ḥadīths and oppo­si­tion to fab­ri­cat­ed or base­less nar­ra­tions and prac­tices, cham­pi­oning estab­lished prac­tices, his piety, adab and respect, self­less­ness, char­i­ta­ble endeav­our and zuhd are all part of his lega­cy. Some of his dis­cours­es are avail­able on this link for those who are inter­est­ed in read­ing more. Undoubt­ed­ly, more will be shared over the course of next few days for peo­ple to reflect and pon­der upon.

Third­ly, it would be good for a group of Shaykh’s stu­dents to form a team to pub­lish his works in a coor­di­nat­ed man­ner under the super­vi­sion of the senior stu­dents of Shaykh. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant because many of Shaykh’s writ­ings were not orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten for pub­li­ca­tion, and the same applies to his audio record­ings.

May Allah Almighty show­er his mer­cy on Shaykh, grant him an abode in par­adise and res­ur­rect him with the Prophets, mar­tyrs and pious peo­ple. May Allah bless Maẓāhir al-ʿUlūm Saha­ran­pur with a good replace­ment and pro­tect it from all forms of evil and tur­moils. Āmīn.

Yusuf Shab­bir

17 Shawwāl 1438 / 11 July 2017

www.nawadir.org