Biography of Allamah Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer
Allamah Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer (Shaheed In-sha-Allah) (1945-1987)
Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer was born on the 31st May of 1945 in Sialkot. His father Haji Zahoor Ilahi was a religious and pious person. Shaykh Ihsan memorised the Quran in the Madrasah Dar Al-Ulum Ash-Shihabiyah in Sialkot. Then his father sent him to Al-Jamiyah Al-Islamiyah in Gujranwala, and then afterwards Shaykh Ihsan went to Al-Jamiyah As-Salafiyah in Fayslabad, and after in Madeenah University.
After completing his studies in Madeenah, the Shaykh went to Lahore were he became the Imam of Masjid Ahlul Hadith ChiniyaWali, which is a historical Ahlul Hadith Masjid in which Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Al-Batalwi, Shaykh Abdul Wahid Al-Ghaznawi and Shaykh Dawud Al-Ghaznawi used to be Khateeb.
After returning to Pakistan, the Shaykh obtained as well many Magister from Punjab University: in Arabic Language, in Persian, in Urdu, in English, in Philosophy, in Sharee’ah and in law and politics.
Also the Shaykh was chosen as the editor of the magazine “Al-Itisam” by Shaykh Isma’eel As-Salafi which was at the time the official magazine of Markazi Jamiyat Ahlil Hadith Pakistan, but after Shaykh Isma’eel As-Salafi passed away, some differences occurred with Shaykh Atatullah Al-Bhujiyani and Shaykh Ataullah took back the magazine under his control.
Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer then launched the magazine “Tarjuman Al-Hadith” which is still being published today.
Shaykh Ihsan played a great role in making the MJAH active and he would go and deliver lectures in all cities and villages of Pakistan.
Unfortunately, after some disputes with Mian Fazlul Haq and Shaykh Mueenudin Al-Lakhwi, Shaykh Ihsan established his own Jamiyat called “Jamiyat Ahlul Hadith Pakistan”, whose leader was Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abdullah and the Nazim Al-‘Ala was Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer.
In 1972, Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer joined the political party “Tahreek Al-Istiqlal”, which he left in 1978.
The Shaykh’s family
The Shaykh’s father was a rich businessman and he wanted his sons to devote all their time to Islam and he wanted to use his wealth as a way for his sons to propagate Islam, showing that with his wealth, he was also someone loving religious knowledge and the sitting with scholars. His father would regularly attend the lectures of Shaykh Muhammad Ibraheem Meer As-Sialkoti, who was a senior Ahlul Hadith scholar, and he was also very impressed by Shaykh Thanaullah Al-Amritsari, Shaykh Muhammad Isma’eel As-Salafi, Shaykh Dawud Al-Ghaznawi, Hafiz Abdullah Ar-Ropuri and others.
Shaykh Ihsan’s father was a great worshiper, who would regularly pray Salat Ad-Duha, and Qiyam Al-Layl and he would stress his children to pray Nawafil, and even young, it was not possible for one of his children to hear the Azan and not go to the Masjid. His father wanted his eldest son Shaykh Ihsan to be similar to Ibrahim Meer As-Sialkoti and Thanaullah Amritsari who wrote many books against sects and Christians, Hindus and others.
Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer wrote in “Al-Majallah Al-Arabiyah” n 87 that he memorised the Quran at the age of 9 and his father exhorted him to devote his time to study of religious knowledge only and gave him as a Waqf for Allah, and he exhorted him to focus on Da’wah towards Allah.
The Shaykh’s brothers:
1) Dr Fadl Ilahi, who was teacher in Jamiyah Al-Imam in Riyad in the Kulliyah of Da’wah. Shaykh Fadl Ilahi had done his magister in Punjab University, and he has also done a magister and Doctorate in Jamiyah Al-Imam Muhammad ibn Su’ud in Riyad. Dr Fadl Ilahi has many beneficial books in Arabic and Urdu.
(From what I know from Dr Fadl Ilahi, he was teacher in the Islamic University of Islamabad, and he faced many problems there in 2004 when the University wanted to promote modernist views, and the Shaykh was very outspoken. It is said that during the meetings with teachers and other officials at the university, at the time of prayer, the Shaykh would give a paper to those sitting next to him, a paper telling that praying Salah in congregation is obligatory, and he would stand and leave official meetings, which would irritate officials. The university technically sacked him giving him early retirement.)
2) Mahbub Ilahi Zaheer, and he is a businessman in Haydrabad
3) Shaykh Shakoor Ilahi Zaheer, he memorised the Quran and was helping his father in his business in the city of GujranWala
4) Shaykh Abid Ilahi Zaheer, who memorised the Quran, had a baccalaureate in Pakistan, then did his magister in Jami’ah Al-Imam Muhamma ibn Su’ud in Riyad, and he is now a book seller and distributor of Islamic books in Riyad with his Maktabah “Bayt As-Salam”.
Allamah Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer had three sons:
1) Ibtisam Ilahi Zaheer, who memorised the Quran and has read a great number of religious books, and he is engineer who has a Magister in the English language. He is actively involved in Da’wah.
2) Mu’tasim Ilahi Zaheer, who memorised the Quran and graduated from university
3) Ihtisham Ilahi Zaheer, who studied in Madeenah University.
Allamah Ihsan despite being very busy in his travels for Da’wah would givea great importance to the Tarbiyah of his children, and Shaykh Ibtisam said that he would at a young age attend religious gatherings with his father.
Shaykh Ihsan’s main teachers:
1) Hafiz Muhammad Al-Gondalwi, the Shaykh studied under him in Fayslabad and also in Madeeenah University. Shaykh Ihsan further married a daughter of Hafiz Al-Gondalwi and he considered that no other scholar had the same amount and deep knowledge as Hafiz Al-Gondalwi.
2) Shaykh Abdul Barakat Ahmad ibn Isma’eel Al-Madarsi, who taught him Hadith in Al-Jamiyah Al-Islamiyah in GujranWala
3) Shaykh Muhammad Shareefullah, who taught him philosophy, Mantiq and other similar topics, and this helped him refute misguided sects, Shaykh Atiyah Saalim said that shaykh ishan was very strong in Al-Mantiq.
4) Hafiz ‘AbdulWahab Al-Badheemalwi, who taught him in Fayslabad.
5) Shaykh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz. Shaykh Luqman As-Salafi who studied with Shaykh Ihsan said that he was a beloved student of Shaykh Ibn Baz, and Shaykh Ihsan would sit next to Shaykh Ibn Baz’s feet.
6) Shaykh Al-Albani, Shaykh Ihsan was his student in Madeenah University and Shaykh Ihsan would love Shaykh Al-Albani and sometimes debate with him on some issues of Fiqh with extreme respect. Shaykh Al-Albani would praise Shaykh Ihsan. Shaykh Abid Ilahi said that Shaykh Albani told him about Shaykh Ihsan: “He was among noble people, I cannot forget his etiquettes and his respect of me” and Shaykh Albani mentioned to him that he travelled with Shaykh Ihsan to London, and SHaykh Ihsan would give massage to Shaykh Albani’s feet.
7) Shaykh Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbad
8) Shaykh Muhammad Ameen Ash-Shanqiti, who taught him Tafsir in Madeenah University.
9) Shaykh ‘Atiyah ibn Muhammad ibn Saalim, who taught Shaykh Ihsan the book of comparative Fiqh “Bidayatul Mujtahid” and others
10) Shaykh Hammad ibn Muhammad Al-Ansari, who taught Shaykh Ihsan Ulum Al-Hadith.
11) Shaykh Abu Bakr Al-Jazairi
12) Shaykh AbdulQadir Shaybah Al-Hamd
13) Shaykh Muhammad Al-Muntasir Al-Kattani
14) Shaykh Abdul Ghaffar Hasan
15) Shaykh Dr Muhammad Al-Ashqar
16) Shaykh Muhammad Shaqra
His Arabic books:
Ash-Shi’ah wa Ahlul Bayt
Ash-Shi’ah wa Sunnah
Ash-Shi’ah wa Tashayu’
Ash-Shi’ah wal Quran
Al-Qadiyaniyah (introduced by Shaykh Atiyah Saalim)
At-Tasawwuf, al-Mansh wal Masadeer
Bayna Shi’ah wa Ahlus Sunnah
Dirasah fi Tasawwuf (introduced by Sh Al-Luhaydan)
Many of the books above have been translated into Urdu, and the book “Ash-Shi’ah wa Sunnah” has also been translated into Persian and English. The book “Al-Bralwiyah” and “Al-Qadiyananiyah” has also been translated into English.
The Shaykh also wrote some books in Urdu: “Safar Namah Hijaz”, “Nabaz e Nabawi”, “Suqut e Dhakah” and others. The Shaykh also translated “Kitab At-Tawheed” in Urdu.
King Faysal, on his own spending ordered to buy all the books of Shaykh Ihsan and send them to all Maktabah and centres of Knowledge in the Kingdom and also in different countries, libraries and others.
On the 23 March of 1987, the Shaykh during a speech in Qil’ah Kishman Singh on Rawi Rd in Lahore, was injured after a bomb exploded. On the 29 March, upon the recommendation of Kind Fahd ibn AbdulAziz the Shaykh was transported to Faysal Miltary hospital in Riyad, but the Shaykh passed away 22 hours after and was buried in Madeenah in the cemetery of Al-Baqi’.
The bomb exploded under the platform in which scholars were sitting, killing 18 people and injuring 114. One third of Shaykh Ihsan’s body was injured, his left eye, left ear, left arm and left leg and left side, but the Shaykh injured still was resolved to carry on his Jihad for the supremacy of the Book and the Sunnah and refutation of Shirk and Bid’ah. After staying 4 days in an hospital in Lahore, the Shaykh was taken to Riyad for further treatment, and he spoke to journalist In Lahore airport saying that he would insha Allah come back and carry on his Da’wah, but unfortunately the Shaykh passed away in Riyad, his body was washed there, and Shaykh Ibn Baz prayed Salah Al-Janazah, and then the body of the Shaykh was transported to Madeenah, and scholars of Madeenah received the body of the Shaykh with Shaykh Atiyah Saalim at their head, and the people prayed his funeral prayer in the Prophetic Masjid, and afterwards, the Shaykh was buried in Al-Baqi’.
The people who went in his grave to put his body were his eldest son, his brothers, Shaykh Atiyah Saalim, Dr ‘Abdullah ibn Salih Al-‘Abeed and other senior scholars.”
Anecdotes from his studies in Madeenah
Shaykh Atiyah Saalim told Shaykh ‘Ali ibn Musa Az-Zahrani that Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer was more knowledgeable than some of his teachers in Madeenah University, as he had already studied in Pakistan from senior scholars.
Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer, while student on the Islamic university of Madeenah would refute his Hanafi teacher Noorudin Al-‘Itr with respect and etiquettes on some issues while he was teaching “Mustalah Al-Hadeeth”.
The Shaykh graduated from the Kuliyah Ash-Sharee’ah in Madeenah in 1967 and he graduated being the senior of all students with grade of 92.5 %, and he was offered to teach at the university after his graduation, but he refused as he felt he was more needed in Pakistan.
Shaykh Ihsan when studying in Madeenah when he wrote his first book “Al-Qadiyaniyah” and the Shaykh asked the heads of the University and Shaykh Ibn Baz was chancellor at that time, to write on the book after his name: “Graduated from Madeenah University” and they agreed. Shaykh Ihsan then told: “What would happen if I fail?” and Shaykh Ibn Baz said: “If you fail, I will close the gates of the University”, showing the respect Shaykh Ibn Baz had for his excelling student Shaykh Ihsan.
Shaykh Ihsan during his studies in Madeenah, during Israel fights with Arabs when the lights of Al-Haram Al-Madni were shut for the first time fearing an Israeli attack, Shaykh Ihsan was giving a speech in the Masjid An-Nabawi exhorting Muslims to fight Israel. Shaykh Mustafa As-Siba’i who was visiting Madeenah at that time went to see Shaykh Ihsan after his speech and asked him who he was, and the Shaykh replied: Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer. Shaykh Mustafa As-Siba’i had some articles of Shaykh Ihsan against Qadiyanis and others in his magazine “Hadharah Al-Islam” but did not meet him yet, and Shaykh As-Siba’i said: You are the one writing in my magazine” and Shaykh Ihsan replied: yes. Shaykh As-Siba’I said to Shaykh Ihsan: I was thinking before that I was the best Arabic orator, but today after listening to you, I know that you are the best Arabic orator.”
The Shaykh was a great orator, and even his opponents admitted to his great oratory skills. (For me, he was the best Urdu orator I have ever heard)
Shaykh Nasir Al-‘Uboodi said that when Shaykh Ihsan would give a lecture or a speech, people will be amazed as if he was created to be a Khateeb.
King Faysal when once he went to Pakistan, Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer, who was at the time student in Madeenah, gave a speech in Arabic and King Faysal was amazed at the Shaykh’s speech and asked Shaykh Ihsan who he was, and Shaykh Ihsan replied that he was a student at the Islamic University of Madeenah.
His courage and qualities
Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer was a courageous man, not fearing the threats of the misguided sects he would refute. He wrote in the book “At-Tasawwuf Al-Mansha Wal masadeer” p 5: “My soul, body, wealth and honour are all for Allah’s face and for seeking His pleasure.”
Shaykh Muhammad As-Subayyal said to Shaykh Ali ibn Musa Az-Zahrani about Shaykh Ihsan: “He was courageous, brave, outspoken, he would not keep things in the heart and would not fear the blame of the blamer.”
Shaykh ‘AbdulQadir Shaybah Al-Hamd said to Shaykh Ali ibn Musa Az-Zahrani about Shaykh Ihsan: “I don’t know any young person that was more rushing than him in making the truth clear and declaring openly the call to Allah (‘Azza wa Jalla), and he would not care of whoever would oppose him, whether he was among responsible or others, and there is no doubt about his courage.”
Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer was a religious adviser of General Zia ul Haq, but he left his post after seeing things he did not like. He said to general Zia ul haq: “I will never oppose you if you apply the Islamic Shariah in practice and not in words only”
Shaykh Ihsan was given many favours and ministries that he refused for the sake of Da’wah as it would prevent him from his call to the Sharee’ah. Zulfiker Ali Bhutto offered him when he was prime minister to be ambassador in whichever Arab country he liked. General Zia Al-Haq offered him to become minister of religious affairs
At the time of Zulfiker Ali Bhutto, his governor of Punjab, who was a communist, gathered a group of scholars and criticised them harshly, and when he finished his speech, Shaykh Ihsan stood and refuted him in front of people, and he was praised for his courageous action towards this misguided communist.
Later on, there was a governor of Punjab who was a Sufi, and he would publicly wash the grave of Ali Al-Hujweiri in Lahore and seek Tabarruk from it, and Shaykh Ihsan made it clear to him that such an action was Shirk and is contradicting the Shari’ah.
The Imam of the Isma’eelis, Kareem Agha Khan, (who was a billionaire), invited Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer to England in order to advise him not to write a book against Isma’eelis, and he was ready to send his private plane to Pakistan to pick the Shaykh, but Shaykh Ihsan refused this offer, so Kareem Agha Khan sent him a letter saying: “You should write something on gathering the ranks of Muslims and not on dividing them” and Shaykh Ihsan replied to this letter saying: “How good is the unity of the ranks of Muslims believers in Allah only and in His Messenger and in their teachings, and not the unity of the ranks of Muslims with the disbelievers who deny the finality of Prophethood of Muhammad (saw) or the believers in the Risalah of Muhammad ibn Isma’eel.”
Once, an Ayatollah came from Iran to visit the Shaykh in his house, and invited him on behalf of Al-Khomeini to visit Iran, saying that Al-Khomeini liked the book “Al-Baabiyah” and “Al-Bahaiyah” of Shaykh Ihsan, but Shaykh Ihsan refused and criticised harshly Al-Khomeini.
Also among his courage, he would rush in Pakistan wherever he heard that innovators try to take by force a Ahlul Hadith Masjid, and the Shaykh would make sure that the Masjid would be returned to Ahlul Hadith.
Shaykh Nasir Al-‘Uboodi said that once the Indian president Zakir Husayn who was Muslim came to Madeenah and was to visit the university and Shaykh Nasir Al-Uboodi wanted to take Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer, who was studying at that time, with him, but Shaykh Ihsan said that we should mention to him the injustice of India on Kashmir, who by force want it to be part of India, while its people want to be part of Pakistan, and Shaykh Nasir Al-‘Uboodi replied that such was not possible as he was a guest of the country, and such a matter should be raised by the Saudi embassy in India and not by the responsible of the Islamic University, and this shows Shaykh Ihsan’s courage and care of the plight of the Muslim Ummah.
Shaykh Luqman As-Salafi said: “The Shaykh would travel from a Masjid to another, from a platform to another, and he was almost like the greatest advocate of Islam of his time.”
The Shaykh received many threats by letters and by phone, and people tried to kill him in America. Shaykh Ata Ar-Rahman Ash-Shaykhupuri said that one day a person came to give him a letter for Shaykh Ihsan, and the letter said: “We will certainly kill you, and I don’t know from where it will come.”
Al-Khomeyni had put a price of 100 000 dollars on the Shaykh’s head, and despite these threats, the Shaykh would walk in the streets not fearing anyone except Allah. The Shaykh was even shot many times and he survived these attacks by Allah’s permission.
Shaykh ‘AbdulQadir Shaybah Al-Hamd said to Shaykh Ali ibn Musa Az-Zahrani about Shaykh Ihsan: “I visited him in Pakistan once when he was wounded, and he was threatened many times by Ahlul Hawa (people of desires), as they have not seen in living people after Shaykh Muhibudin Al-Khateeb someone who harmed them more than him.”
Praise of the scholars of Shaykh Ihsan:
Shaykh ibn Baz said to Shaykh Ali ibn Musa Az-Zahrani about Shaykh Ihsan: “What an excellent person he was! He is known to us with knowledge, nobility and correct creed”
Shaykh Ibn Baz also said in another meeting with Az-Zahrani: “What an excellent person and what an excellent call to Allah! May Allah reward him and forgive him!”
Shaykh Ibn Baz also said, and it is recorded in a tape (and on youtube) about Shaykh Ihsan:
“Our brother Shaykh Hafiz Ihsan is known to the elite of the people of knowledge, he has many books refuting the Shi’ah and refuting the Brelwis idolaters, and refuting other sects of Kufr and misguidance, and he is a Mujahid, may Allah have mercy upon him. He graduated from the Islamic University in Madeenah and devoted his time to the Da’wah to Allah in Pakistan and other places, he was travelling for the Da’wah to Allah, teaching and refuting the opponents to Islam. He had a beautiful influence and beneficial books.”
Shaykh ‘Abdullah Al-Jibreen said to Shaykh Az-Zahrani regarding shaykh Ihsan and he checked and approved his written sayings:
“I knew the noble Shaykh named Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer Al-Pakistani, (Rahimahullah), I sat with him and listened from him some pieces of knowledge, manifesting his creed and his etiquettes, his proficiency in religious sciences, his adherence to the Prophetic Sunnah and the creed of the Salaf of this Ummah and its Imams. I perceived through his books, articles, his talks and efforts in defending the creed of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah, that his society was tested by many deviations and evil innovations, and that innovators there are very strong, and their arguments have spread and their forces are strengthened, and they are without doubt widespread in corners of this country (Pakistan). The Shaykh (Rahimahullah) dedicated his efforts in refuting innovators and defending the Sunnah and giving victory to it, and the innovation he refuted the most was the innovation of Rafd and Tashayu’…and these enemies among Rawafid despised (his efforts) and they made a stratagem until they killed him unjustly and Allah ended him with martyrdom on the hands of the enemies of this community and the religion, and He determined that the Ahlus Sunnah from the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) would pray funerals on him and that he would be buried in Al-Baqee’ in Al-Madeenah Al-Munawarrah, and we had the honour to be part in the funerals prayer on him in the Masjid Al-Jami’ Al-Kabeer in the city of Riyad, and major scholars prayed his funerals…”
Shaykh Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbad said to Shaykh Az-Zahrani, and he approved his written speech:
“Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer was one of the students that graduated from the Islamic University of Al-Madeenah Al-Munawarrah among his first classes. He was very skilled in speeches and writing, and he displayed excellent efforts in refuting the people of innovation and unveiling their falsehood, and he has many books in this field and he was careful in returning to the books of the people of innovation, and quoting what falsehood they contain, and referring these quotes accurately leaving thus no possibility for the innovators to disown their innovations.”
Shaykh Abu Bakr Al-Jazairi said to Shaykh Az-Zahrani, and he approved his written speech:
“In the name of Allah, I was questioned regarding Al-Ustaz, the Caller, the reformer Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer Al-Pakistani, and I say according to my knowledge that he was a pious student of knowledge who studied in the Islamic University of Madeenah, and he listened to my lectures on Tafsir in the Kuliyah As-Sharee’ah and he accompanied me during his studies in the Jamiyah. It reached me that he became angry for Allah’s sake and wrote a book disgracing the Shi’ah and he exposed their filth, corruption, and tricks towards Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah, and when this book appeared, they plotted and killed him, and he died as a martyr, may Allah make us join the pious martyrs!”
Shaykh Salih Al-Luhydan introduced the book “Dirasaat fi Tasawwuf” of Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer and he wrote in it as translated by some brothers: “His enthusiasm and agitation in defending the aqeedah had a huge impact in Pakistan and other places, and anyone who was concerned with monitoring the activities of the people of innovation within these last ten years is not ignorant to this fact. I had been closely linked to the late Shaykh over the years and I had a close relationship with him. I often insisted for him to exert caution and not to disseminate his activities and movements so as not to increase hostility. So they plotted a plan from Shaytaan against him, for indeed Shaytaan is a clear enemy unto man.”
Shaykh Salih Al-Luhaydan also said to Shaykh Az-Zahrani, and he approved his written speech:
“I knew in him zeal and firmness to defend the truth and harshness upon the people of innovation. I have read many of his books during his lifetime, and I saw him being careful in quoting from the books of those he would refute, and he would not rely on quotes of other (indirect) books…He was a Mujahid with his tongue and his pen…”
Shaykh ‘AbdurRahman Al-Barrak said to Shaykh Az-Zahrani:
“Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer (Rahimahullah) became famous for his Jihad against the Rafidah, and this is why he increased his writings disgracing them and exposing their filth, and there is not doubt that the care to refute the innovators, especially the people of innovation is from the Jihad in Allah’s way…May Allah reward Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer for his Jihad with the best reward and may Allah make his books beneficial!”
Shaykh ‘Abdullah Al-Ghunayman said to Shaykh Az-Zahrani, and he approved his written speech:
“What I know from the Shaykh, caller to the Sunnah Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer since he was a student in the Islamic University of Madeenah is his seriousness in searching for the truth and his courage if refuting falsehood not paying attention to whatever consequence he would face for such, and after his studies from the Islamic University, he displayed efforts in the call to Allah and became the editor of the magazine “Tarjuman Al-Hadeeth” in Lahore, and he made efforts in refuting the people of innovation especially the Rafidah, and he increased refuting them through writings and speeches and seminaries, and he relied in this on their relied upon books, and this angered them a lot until they ploted to assassinate him and he died in this way as a Mujahid eradicating falsehood and manifesting the truth, and Ahlus Sunnah faced a loss as we find few people similar to him in courage against falsehood and refuting it with convincing evidences. His Jihad was not restricted to the Rafidah, rather he refuted the Isma’eelis, the Sufiyah, the Quburiyah, the Qadiyaniyah and others from people of deviation and misguidance, and he left behind him many books…”
Shaykh Dr Wasiullah Muhammad Abbas said to Shaykh Az-Zahrani, and he approved his written speech:
“I knew Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi in the Islamic University of Madeenah Al-Nabawiyah when he was studying there, but he was not like other students, rather he was excelling others in studying, surpassing them in speeches and admonition, a memoriser of the Book and many of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw), a flame blazing Iman and certitude, dedicated in the love of the Salafi creed and the scholars of the Salaf, daring with the truth and for the truth, he would not fear for Allah the blame of the blamer, beloved by his teachers and especially by Imam Al-Asr Allamah Shaykh AbdulAzizi ibn Abdillah Ibn Baz (Rahimaullah), vice chancellor of the University at that time. He was caring and compassionate with the younger students…
When he graduated from the Islamic University, he turned towards Pakistan, and Shaykh Al-’Allamah Muhammad Isma’eel As-Salafi (Rahimahullah) gave hims some responsibilities in the Jamiyah Ahlul Hadith, and he was a model of sincerity and sacrifice in calling to Allah through journalism (magazine), speeches in Masajid and public gatherings, and he has a huge role in turning the youth to the Salafi Aqeedah and many long trips in the way of Da’wah, and people were very desirous to listen his admonitions and speeches, and they would come from far to the Masjid in which the Shaykh would lecture, and this even in Europe, Africa and others.
Shaykh Ihsan had many efforts in requesting the application of the Islamic Sharee’ah in Pakistan, his efforts are remembered and he is thanked for them, and it is not far that at the end of his life, he was the most proficient of people in this matter.
In the last part of his life, he was like a blazing meteor in the skies of Pakistan, he was pointed at for his political Islamic efforts and his opposition to the misguided sects, and the disbelievers Qadiyanis through precious books, until some people loving him said to him in Makkah: “You have reached a level in knowledge, action, successful efforts in such a manner that we are fearful for you know” and he replied: “: “O Allah, bestow me martyrdom in your way and make me die in the city of Your Messenger” and he insha Allah reached that and was successful.”
Shaykh Rabee Al-Madkhali said to Shaykh Az-Zahrani, and he approved the written speech, as translated by some brothers:
“”I knew shaykh Ihsaan from the Islamic university of Madeenah when he was a student of knowledge there, he rahimahullah was from the most prominent students of this university and he was intelligent and had understanding, he used to discuss with some of the Ulama with understanding and skill, taking and giving knowledge. I knew him as a Mujahid in the field of Aqeedah, giving dawah to it and defending it, he was the one who carried it from the Sahabah and those who followed them in goodness from the Ahlul Hadeeth and the imams of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah. He was also known for refuting the opposing sects of misguidance from the Rawafid, Qadyanis, Bahaiyyah and the Barelwiyah. He enriched the Salafi bookstores with ammunition which was of great value.”
Shaykh Abdul Aziz Al-Qari gave a lengthy praise of Shaykh Ihsan to Shaykh Az-Zahrani and he said at the end:
“May Allah reward our dear brother, Ash-Shaheed (martyr), the scholar, Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer, may Allah have abundant mercy on him.”
Shaykh Nasir Al-‘Uboodi wrote to Shaykh Az-Zahrani:
“I knew Shaykh Ihsan since he joined as a student the Islamic University of Madeenah Al-Munawarrah, and after he graduated from it, he tarted his active life and it was all devoted to knowledge, he would write and spread books against the sects of innovation and misguidance, and his personality had distinctive and apparent marks, the most important of them were his extreme ardour and care for the creed, his extreme vehemence on those who opposed it, and he would not linger in this nor be slowly wakened in this, and he would do Jihad in that with his tongue and his pen and body. Also among them, he was very concerned of the affairs of his Muslim brothers that remained in India, and he would follow their news, and he would ask me and others to point at what needs to be ointed about their conditions and that we reject the operations of the Indian government especially against the Muslims in Kashmir, and it refused a resolution of united nations on this which favoured the Kashmiris.
Also among these characteristics, he was a poet, he would read many books of poetry, and he would amaze me with his excellent Arabic poetry until he would memorise a good portion if it, and he would borrow from me books of poetry that he would return after reading them. And it is possible that it was what helped him writing whatever books he wrote, as taste in poetry helps writing books as it is known.
Shaykh Ihsan leaved a praiseworthy life and passed away martyr insha Allah…”
Shaykh Dr ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Nasir Al-Faqeehi wrote to Shaykh Az-Zahrani:
“I met Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer when he would visit the University after graduating from it and when he started writing his books that call to the Manhaj of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah and refute the Rafidah. He was, as he appeared to me, a pious person, calling to good, he has efforts in defending the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw), the noble Sahabah, and he is thanked for such.”
Shaykh Muhammad Al-Muntasir Al-Kattani, teacher of Shaykh Ihsan in Madeenah University, wrote in the introduction of “Al-Qadiyaniyah” of shaykh Ihsan:
“Hence, the Ustaz Ihsan was among the Mujahideen with his tongue before spearhead, with his pen before his sword in unveiling the reality of this British claimant to Prophethood (meaning Ghulam Ahmad Mirza)…”
Shaykh Ihsan wrote that in adolescence, he would start refuting misguided sects. Once he told on his way to his Jamiyah, he heard a Bahai gathering, and he listened to this gathering for 8 days as he had no prior knowledge of this sect, and after 8 days he understood their creed in detail and started to refute them and warn people of the neighbourhood against them, which lead to the closure of this gathering.
Shaykh Ihsan when studying in GujranWala would also when he would return on Thursday and Firday to Sialkot sometimes go the Qadiyani centre and debate them, show them quotes from their books and others.
The Shaykh travelled to many countries to find books and manuscripts of books he needed, and he even went to America to find some pieces of knowledge. Before his books against Shi’ah, the Shaykh went to Iran to buy books and he even claimed to be a Shi’i to face no problems in bringing a huge quantity back to Pakistan, and war with such people allows lying.
Shaykh Ihsan mentioned that once in the city of Samra, he met a group of Rifa’i Sufis in the house of a brother, and they mentioned him that they had karamat and they could cut themselves with weapons and not be injured, and Shaykh Ihsan challenged them that if they had such powers, why they don’t use them in Jihad, and that you should fight in Iraq (against Iran), and they were defeated and could not explain why such Karamat could not happen in Jihad.
Shaykh Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer travelled for Da’wah to London, US, France, Kuweit, Emirates, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, Italia, Germany, Yugoslavia, Ghana, Kenya, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, China, most Arabic countries.
Shaykh Ihsan met the president of South Korea, when he came to inaugurate a Masjid in Seoul that was financed by an Islamic country, and Shaykh Ihsan invited him to Islam.
Shaykh Ihsan also came many times to Iraq to speak against Shi’ah on behalf of Iraqi state.
Shaykh Ihsan was imprisoned many times during the reign of Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Zulfiker Ali Bhutto in Pakistan, and he was also tortured on some occasions in jail.
Once the president of the bank “Sharq Al-Awsat” in Oman offered Shaykh Ihsan to build his “Markaz Ahlul Hadith” which costed millions of Riyal if he stopped speaking against the Shi’ah, but like offers of Agha Khan and Al-Khomeyni to buy him, this is impossible to buy him or any other Ahlul Hadith scholars.
“Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer, manhajuhu wa Juhuduhu fi Taqrir Al-Aqidah wa Rad Alal Firaq Al-Mukhalafah” of Dr Ali ibn Musa Az-Zahrani
“40 Ulema Hadith” of Shaykh AbdurRahseed ‘Iraqee
May Allah send Salah and Salam on the Prophet, his family and companions!