Biography of Allamah Shamsul Haq Azimabadi
Allamah Azimabadi was a famous scholar from INDIA in 19th century(1857-1911). He is the student of another great scholar of his time Maulana Nazir Hussain Dehlawi. He authored the famous book “AWN-AL-MABUD” the sharah of Abu Dawud.
Name and Genealogy
Abu-al-Tayyab Muhammad Shams-al-Haq bin Shaikh Ameer ‘Ali bin Shaikh Maqsood ‘Ali bin Shaikh Ghulam Haidar bin Shaikh Hedayetullah bin Shaikh Muhammad Zahid bin Shaikh Noor Muhammad bin Shaikh ‘Ala’uddin.
His son Muhammad Idrees had a complete genealogical table, which shows that he, had a lineal application with the first Caliph Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (d. 13/634) Radhiallahu T‘ala ‘Anhu. His maternal lineage also descends from Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq Radhiallahu T‘ala ‘Anhu. In this way he is Siddiqi from both his paternal and maternal lineages. With regard to the place of birth and residence he is called “Azimabadi” and “Dianwi”. He is also well known as “Muhaddith Azimabadi, Muhaddith Dianwi” and “Allamah Azimabadi” and as the author of “AWN-AL-M‘ABUD” and “GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD”.
Birth and Childhood
He was born on 27 Zu-al-q‘dah 1273 (July 1857) at Azimabad (Patna). When he was five years old his mother brought him to Dianwan, where he stayed all of his life as his mother also lived there permanently. He was just eleven years old when his father died in 1284/1867. His mother, maternal grandmother and maternal uncle brought him up with great care and love. His eldest maternal uncle Muhammad Ahsan (d. 1310/1892) loved him very much and never left any of his desires unfulfilled. He took care of his education and other needs in such a decent way that he did not let ‘Azimabadi feel the loss of his father.
Education and Training
Moulana Muhammad Ibrahim Nagarnuhsawi (d. 1282) taught him for the first time with Surah Iqra’. Afterwards he got primary education in Dianwan from Hafiz Asghar ‘Ali Rampuri and other teachers of whom Moulvi Syed Rahat Hasnain Bethwi and Moulvi ‘Abdul Hakeem Shaikhupuri (d. 1295/1878) are particularly mentioned. Having completed a course in Persian he started learning Arabic from Lutf-al-‘Ali Bihari (d. 1296/1878) who also taught him SHARH-AL-JAMI,AL-QUTBI, AL-MAYBAZI, USUL-AL-SHASHI, NUR-AL-ANWAR, SHARH-AL-WIQAYAH, KANZ-AL-DAQA’IQ and JAMI‘-AL-TIRMIZI etc. In the mean time he also attained knowledge from maternal Uncle Noor Ahmad Dianwi (d. 1318/ 1900).
Journey for Education
He stepped out from Dianwan for the first time in 1292/1875 and traveled to Lukhnow where Fadhlullah Lakhnawi (d. 1311/1893) taught him logic for one year. He went to Muradabad on 26 Muharram 1293/1876 to complete the textbooks under the guidance of Bashiruddin Qannawji (d. 1296/1878). He stayed there for one year and returned home in Rabi‘-al-Awwal 1294/1877. Again on 20 Jumadi-al-’Ula, 1294, he reached Muradabad to learn from the same teacher logic, rhetoric and semantics apart from learning the translation of the Holy Qur’an, some parts of MISHKAT-AL-MASABIH and researching the issues regarding the Holy Qur’an, Hadith, Jurisprudence and doctrine.
In the beginning of Muharram 1295/1878 he went to Delhi where he learnt Hadith and Tafsir from Moulana Syed Nazir Hussain Muhaddith Dehlawi (d.1320/1902) and came back home in the end of Muharram 1296/1879, having received the seal of merit in Hadith and Tafsir to devote himself to the work of teaching and writing. After six years, in 1302/1864 his attraction for Syed Nazir Hussain Muhaddith Dehlawi again brought him to Delhi. After having received from him another seal of merit he came to Dianwan in 1303. During these period, he learnt from him the translation of the Holy Qur’an, TAFSIR-AL-JALALAIN, SIHAH SITTAH, MUWATTA’ MALIK, SUNAN-AL-DARIMI, SUNAN AL-DARAQUTNI and SHARH NUKHBAT-AL-FIKAR (NUZHAT-AL-NAZAR) lesson by lesson along with writing down the religious verdicts.
During his second journey to Delhi he also had the honor to visit Shaikh Hussain bin Muhsin Al-Yamani Al-Ansari (d. 1327/1909) and got his general permission by reading to him the footnotes of SIHAH SITTAH. Besides this, he casually visited him for ten or twelve times and benefited from him.
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi was fortunate enough to have benefited from the two great scholars of Hadith of his age. It was their blessing that made him devote his entire life to the propagation of science and art, learning and teaching, writing and research of religious sciences particularly Hadith
Zest for Adherence to Sunnah
He had a zeal for adhering to Sunnah from the very beginning. As regards beliefs and deeds he followed in the footprints of the Holy Prophet, his companions, followers of companions and those who came closely after them.
On his first return from Muradabad he was betrothed to the second daughter of ‘Abdul Latif Siddiqi of Chhapra (Saran) on 15 Rabi‘-al-Awwal 1294/1877. After the death of his wife in nearly 1309, he was married with another daughter of ‘Abdul Latif Siddiqi. Allah has given four (4) sons and one (1) daughter from the first wife, whereas three (3) daughters from the second wife.
Journey for Haj
He started from Dianwan for Haj on 10 Rajab 1311/1894. In this trip, apart from having the opportunity to visit Ka‘bah, he had a chance to meet a number of scholars and personalities of great excellence and learn from them.
The names of the Mashaikh who granted him the seals and letters of permission are as under.
1- Khairuddin Abul Barakat No‘man bin Mahmud Al-Alusi Al-Hanafi Al-Baghdadi (d. 1317/1899).
2- Ahmad bin Ibrahim bin ‘Isa Al-Najdi Al-Makki Al-Hanmbali (d.1329/1911).
3- Ahmad bin Ahmad bin ‘Ali Al-Maghribi Al-Tunisi Al-Makki (d.1314/1896).
4- ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin Saleh bin Murshid Al-Hanmbali Al-Sharqi (d.1324/1906).
5- ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Abdullah Al-Siraj Al-Hanafi Al-Ta’ifi (d.1315/1897).
6- Muhammad bin Sulaiman Hizbullah Al-Shafi‘i Al-Makki (d.1335/1916).
7- Ibrahim bin Ahmad bin Sulaiman Al-Maghribi Al-Makki
8- Muhammad Faleh bin Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah Al-Zahiri Al-Mihnawi Al-Maliki Al-Madani (d. 1328/1910).
Having benefited from the teaching of these scholars for six months and having performed Haj, he returned home on 10 Muharram 1312/1894.
On his first return from Delhi in 1296/1852, ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi took the profession of teaching along with his academic activities. On his last return from there in 1303/1885 he adorned the seat of teaching. A number of students from almost all parts of the country and also from Arabia and Iran attended his lectures and benefited from him. He treated his students with love and affection. He also provided them with boarding and lodging as well as books, and met their necessary expenditures. His lectures attracted a large number of people. After Syed Nazir Hussain Muhaddith Dehlawi, he was the only teacher whose lectures brought such a wide fame and was attended by a large crowd.
During his stay with Syed Nazir Hussain, he also performed the duties of Ifta’. Syed Nazir Hussain regularly engaged his promising students in writing “Fatawa”. He distributed the inquiries regarding religious matters generally to different students to write their replies, which he reviewed and corrected. ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi wrote a number of “Fatawa” during his stay for a period of two years and a half, but they are found nowhere. The two volumes of FATAWA NAZIRIAH yet published contain “Fatawa” of only a few years including his six “Fatawa” and six other “Fatawa” duly signed by him. At one place it has also a long document written by him in which he has criticized ‘Abdul Hai Lakhnawi (d. 1304/1886).
It shows that he had mastered in writing “Fatawa” when he was still a student. His “Fatawa” contained in FATAWA NAZIRIAH are very elaborate and reasonable. Some of them consist of even four and five parts.
After his return from Syed Nazir Hussain, he kept himself busy in the service of “Ifta’” and wrote numerous “Fatawa” in Arabic, Urdu and Persian ********s. To quote Moulana Abul Qasim Saif Banarasi he devoted most of his time to this noble deed. Unfortunately all of his “Fatawa” could not be preserved. There are only two incomplete collections under the title of TANQIH-AL-MASA’IL in Khuda Bukhsh Library under numbers 176, 177 (Urdu manuscripts new series). Besides these, he wrote some pamphlets in reply of the inquiries regarding religious matters (Istifta’).
Preaching and Persuasion towards Allah
In Dianwan, his favorite hobby, apart from study and teaching, was preaching and persuading towards the path of Allah. His preaching greatly influenced people in that most of them gave up wrong beliefs, thoughts leading to Bid‘ah, pagan customs and sinful habits. His mother under the influence of his preaching had given up certain habit subversive of Shari‘ah. Most of women from his locality gathered to listen to his preaching. His maternal grandmother often said, “When you tell us divine words you look very pious”.
Dissemination of Hadith Literature
The most important contribution of ‘Azimabadi is popularization and dissemination of Hadith and Hadith Literature. He had dedicated his wealth to this virtuous cause. The valuable services he rendered to Hadith in a short life span of 56 years is unprecedented. He undertook to publish several books of Ibn Taimiah, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Al-Zahabi and Al-Munziri with his own expenditure. He published MUKHTASAR-AL-SUNAN of Al-Munziri, TAHZIB-AL-SUNAN of Ibn Al-Qayyim and IS‘AF-AL-MUBATTA of Al-Suyuti etc., after correction and commentary. He had a keen desire to publish about 25 books of Qazi Shaikh Muhammad Machlishahri (d.1320/1902). They would have been published under ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s patronage but, for the reluctance of Shaikh’s son who did not like to give away the manuscripts in spite of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s insistence.
He had also the privilege of working on some major books of Hadith. Hence he corrected the text, of SUNAN ABI DAWUD and SUNAN AL-DARAQUTNI with the help of their various editions and published them with useful commentaries. He wrote a comprehensive commentary on SUNAN ABI DAWUD, which will be described later.
Support of Hadith and Religious Spirit
He was always steady to support Hadith and Sunnah and the beliefs of his predecessors and did not tolerate anything against them. He rebuked Dr. ‘Omar Karim Patnawi and Syed ‘Abdul Ghafoor ‘Azimabadi for their taunting remarks against Hadith, Muhaddithin and specially Al-Bukhari, by advising his favorite and famous scholar Moulana Abul Qasim Saif Banarasi (d. 1369/1949) to write a rejoinder and provided him with every academic and financial help. Not only that, he published all his writings HALL-E-MUSHKILAT-E-BUKHARI, AL-AMR-AL-MUBRAM, MA’-E-HA-MIM, SIRATE-MUSTAQIM, AL-RIH-AL-‘AQIM, AL-‘URJUN-AL-QADIM etc., at his own expense. Similarly when Shibli al-Nu‘mani (d. 1333/ 1914) criticized Muhaddithin in general and Al-Bukhari in particular in his book SIRAT-AL-NO‘MAN, the need was felt to write a complete book on the life and works of Al-Bukhari to bring into light his great personality and to encounter the objections of Shibli effectively. Therefore ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi persuaded the well- known scholar and researcher Moulana ‘Abdus Salam Mubarakpuri (d. 1342/1923) to write SIRAT-AL-BUKHARI. Apart from cooperating with him in writing this book, he also promised to purchase its hundred copies after publication but unfortunately he died a few years before the book was published in 1911. This book is matchless on its subject.
Besides Moulana ‘Abdus Salam Mubarakpuri, Moulana ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Rahimabadi (d. 1336/1918) also wrote his masterpiece HU-SN-AL-BAYAN to meet the challenge set forth by SIRAT-AL-NO‘MAN of Shibli. No Hanafite scholar yet had courage to criticize this book.
Another Hanafite scholar wrote a book BA‘DH-AL-NAS FI DAF‘-AL-WASWAS about Al-Bukhari where he vainly tried to answer the 24 objections on Abu Hanifah raised by Al-Bukhari. On that occasion also ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi contradicted him authentically by writing RAF‘-AL-ILTI-BAS ‘AN BA‘DH-AL-NAS and proved how Al-Bukhari was justified. But it does not mean that he refuted the claims of Abu Hanifah. He has rather admitted his greatness.
Likewise he has done complete justice to scholarly research by writing AL-KALAM-AL-MUBIN FI-AL-JAHR BI-AL-TA’MIN WA-AL-RADD ‘ALA-AL-QAWL-AL-MATIN on the issue of saying Amin aloud in the prayers, criticizing the pamphlet of Moulvi Muhammad ‘Ali Mirzapuri Hanafi captioned AL-QAWL-AL-MA-TIN FI IKHFA’ AL-TA’MIN.
He had specially trained Muhammad Sa‘id Banarasi (d. 1322/1904) and Abul Makarim ‘Ali Mauwi (d. 1353/1935) and arranged for them a monthly financial grant from the State of Bhopal to criticize the pamphlets on the issues relating to Fiqh written by Moulana Zaheer Ahsan Shawq Nimwi Hanafi (d. 1322/1904). Therefore, they wrote rejoinders to a number of pamphlets. ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi had them published at his own expense and distributed them free of cost as it appears from prefaces and conclusions of those pamphlets.
These are few examples, which suggest his love for the beliefs and ways of his predecessors and deep attachment to Hadith and Sunnah.
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi had great zeal for religion. He did not like anything against Shari‘ah. He hated “Bid‘ah” and forbidden deeds and staunchly supported belief in the unity of Allah and pursuit of Sunnah.
In his age even Muslims, under the influence of Hindus, scorned the marriage of widows but he came forward to give a death blow to this illegitimate custom and initiated the marriage of widows in his own family.
Service to Community and Organization
‘Alamah ‘Azimabadi was an active member and leader of Jama‘at-e-Ahl-e-Hadith. Although he had a purely literary taste, yet he took a leading part in most of the organizational activities. After the foundation of All India Ahl-e-Hadith Conference in 1325/ December 1906, he actively participated in each of its programs and always made efforts for its development and expansion. He punctually attended the meetings of the Conference and also shouldered some of its administrative responsibilities, which he performed with great zeal and interest. He was the treasurer of the Conference till he breathed his last. He maintained its accounts very honestly. It can be well estimated from one of his letters to Thana’ullah Amritsari (d. 1368/1948) written on 14 March 1911 which was probably the last letter he wrote.
Apart from organizational activities of Ahl-e-Hadith Conference he also took part in some academic and reformist movements. He was one of the supporters of Nadwat-al-‘Ulama’ Movement and forwarded every assistance to its Dar-al-‘Uloom, academically and financially. Also, he aided other organizational and non-organizational schools and institutions. For a long period he was the secretary of Madrasah Islah-al-Muslimin (Patna), the foundation stone of which was laid by Moulana ‘Abdur Rahim Sadiqpuri in 1317/1899. As a leading member of Madrasah Ahmadiah, Arah which was founded in 1297/1879 by Moulana Ibrahim Arawi (d. 1319/1901), he occ-upied an important position in its annual meetings enthusiastically. His home in itself was a school, where hundreds of students benefited from him. ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi was also a member of managing committee of Da’irat-al-Ma‘arif, Hyderabad. TAHZIB-AL-TAHZIB of Ibn Hajar and TAZKIRAT-AL-HUFFAZ of al-Zahabi were published in consultation with him. Some of the publishers in Egypt also sought his counsel in connection with the publication of their books.
Intellectual Perfection and Excellence
He had a wide knowledge of logic and literature. Right from the time when he was a student he had formed a habit of inquisition, deep study and research. Allah had endowed him with extra ordinary intelligence and power of understanding. He had full command over the controversies among the schools of thoughts set by the “Imams” of Fiqh and their arguments. His writings are witness to his wide knowledge and deep insight. His devotion to study, regular contact with books and exceptional concentration on the science of Hadith gave him the vision of a Mujtahid and thus he had a remarkable capability to differentiate any two types of Hadith such as Sahih and Dha‘if, Rajih and Marjuh, Marfu‘ and Mawquf, Mahfuz and Mu‘allaq, Muttasil and Munqati‘ and other forms of Hadith. Among his contemporaries only few could equal him in understanding the books of Asma’ al-Rijal and classification of traditions etc., with his broad knowledge and vision he could find out any error, slight variation or controversy and immediately correct it. He had corrected the mistakes committed by Al-Shawkani (d. 1250/1834) in Asma’ al-Rijal of NAYL-AL-AWTAR in the foot notes of his own copy. He has corrected the mistakes made in the “Sanad” of “Bab-u-ma yaqulu iza kharaja min-al-khala” in the Indian edition of JAMI‘ AL-TIRMIZI “Haddathana Muhammad bin Ismail” (Al-Bukhari) in the footnotes of his personal manuscripts. But the uncorrected versions had been printed as “Haddathana Muhammad bin Humaid bin Isma‘il”. He was first to point out this obvious mistake and he proved by various evidence that the name written in the printed version is not correct. A number of such other instances show his deep insight, abundance of study and wide knowledge.
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s perfection and excellence is duly acknowledged by his contemporaries as well as teachers. Muhammad Zubair Dianwi writes:
“Scholars have composed epithets in Arabic and Persian in his praise which are mentioned in HIDAYAT-AL-TALIBIN ILA MAKATIB AL-KAMILIN”.
His perfection and excellence is also acknowledged in several Urdu, Persian and Arabic epithets regarding his death and publication of books contained in the end of various writings. Not only Ahl-e-Hadith scholars but scholars of other faiths too appreciated him. Even his teachers recognized his knowledge and perfection. Syed Nazir Hussain addressed him in many of his letters as “Jami‘-al-Hasanat Wa-al-Kamalat”, “Al-Fadhi’l-al-Nihrir”, “Saheb-al-Taqrir wa al-Tahrir” and “Al-Habr-al-Muwaffaq”. Another teacher of ‘Allamah Shams-al-Haq ‘Azimabadi, Hussain bin Mohsin al-Yamani complimented him as “Shaikh-al-Islam wa al-Muslimin”, “Imam-al-Muhaqqiqin wa al-A’immat-al-Mudaqqiqin”, “Saheb-al-Ta’lif-al-Majidah wa al-Tasnif al-Mufid-ah”, “Al-Mushtahir-bi-al-Fadha’il-fi-al-Afaq”, “Al-Muhriz Qasab-al-Kamal fi Midhmar-al-Sibaq”, “Al-’Allamah-al-Humam
Morals and Virtues
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi was, by nature, a gentle, amicable and sociable person and, therefore, maintained good relations with scholars and men of perfection of all faiths and sects. Truthfulness being the inherent characteristic of his temperament, he was never biased in recognizing the virtues of the people of other faiths and contradicting the false opinion of the scholars of his own faith. In RAF‘-AL-ILTIBAS he open heartedly recognized the knowledge and excellence of Imam Abu Hanifah, on the other hand, he dissented over some issues with Syed Nazir Hussain, his most respected teacher.
His humble and submissive nature prevented him from mentioning even his name in some of his own books. He welcomed everyone with a smiling face. Nothing whatsoever, uncomfortable and irksome annoyed him. To quote Thana’ullah Amritsari, he was so polite that not even a shrink was ever seen on his brow. Instead, he was an embodiment of the sacred Hadith, which says, “A smile on your face in front of your friend is a virtuous deed.” I have rarely seen such scholars who follow this Hadith.
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi was very hospitable, generous and had great respect for scholars. Students and scholars thronged his house. His library was at their disposal. He gifted or lent his personal books unhesitatingly to scholars. He happily gave the spare copies of his books to others. He had many copies of SHARH-AL-BUKHARI, one of which he gave away to the library of Islah-al-Muslimin and another to Moulwi Muhammad Saheb Patnawi, proprietor Ahmadi Press. Describing his character and qualities Muhammad Zubair Dianwi writes:
“He loved scholars and Muhaddithin very much. He embodied the qualities of truthfulness, modesty, generosity, piety, honesty, trustworthiness and justice and punctually performed Jumm‘ah and other prayers”.
Moulana ‘Abdul Hai Hassani writes:
“He was an affable, courteous, gentle and pious man with decent habits and had great love for scholars”.
Moulana Hakeem Syed ‘Abdul Hai had regular correspondence with him. Four of ‘Azimabadi’s letters addressed to him are still in Moulana Abul Hassan ‘Ali Nadwi’s house in Rai Baraily. His library proved to be of considerable help to Moulana ‘Abdul Hai in writing his book NUZHAT-AL-KHAWATIR and AL-THAQAFAT-AL-ISLAMIAH FI-AL-HIND. He himself writes:
“He loved me for the sake of Allah, and I loved him too. The correspondence between him and me continued till the day he died”.
Some other writers also have recognized his academic cooperation.
Illness and Death
In 1910-11 entire country was in the grip of the epidemic of plague. In Bihar, ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s district, Patna was severely hit by this disease. He has himself given a description of his own village Dianwan. He writes in a letter addressed to Thana’ullah Amritsari, seven days before his death on 13 Rabi‘-al-Awwal, 1329/14 March, 1911:
“I have been unwell for a long time feeling extreme weakness and eating very little diet. Therefore, just for the change of climate I set out from Dianwan with bag and baggage to stay first on Rajgir Hills and then after a month to go to Delhi. With this intention I granted leave to my students. But after I had left Dianwan the news came that Dianwan also has fallen prey to plague. Helplessly, in the state of utter surprise and grief I came back to see that the day had come when man will shun his brother. The small village is totally ruined. Allah save it from Doom and restore peace. All my servants have fallen ill and some of them have taken shelter at other places. What a disastrous state it is! My attorney, clerk and those who did my office work have left. In short, this small village has been evacuated. While writing this letter my mind is absolutely perturbed. May Allah save us, two or three deaths are reported everyday. People are nervous in their huts. Very few persons are remaining inside the house. This small village had the status of a township as all necessities of daily needs are available at any time. But these days even sugar cannot be purchased for a penny because the inhabitants have run away from the village”. May Allah help us.
A few days later he came to Dianwan on 13 Rabi‘-al-Awwal/15 March he had himself an attack of plague. Right after six days on 19 Rabi‘-al-Awwal 1329/21 March 1911 he expired on Tuesday at 6 O’clock in the morning at the age of 56 years. “To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.” (Al-Baqarah, 56).To quote Abul Qasim Saif Banarasi:
“At the same time the sun of this world was rising and the sun of the world of Islam (Shams-al-Haq) was setting”.
On his death, several learned persons wrote epithets, poet composed elegies in Urdu, Persian and Arabic and scholars wrote their impressions about him. Melancholic verses of Moulana Abul Qasim Saif Banarasi in three ********s and reviews written by Moulana Thana’ullah Amritsari, Moulana ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Rahimabadi, Moulana ‘Ainul Haq Phulwarwi and Moulana ‘Abdus Salam Mubarakpuri can particularly be mentioned.
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi had four daughters and four sons. The names of his sons are:
1) Muhammad Shu‘aib who died at the age of five months on 17 Rajab 1297/1880.
2) Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad Idrees. He was born on 16 Rajab 1298/1881. Having completed religious education he studied medicine and became famous as a great physician in his town and its neighborhood. It is said that he wrote a book, titled A‘DAL AL-AQWAL FI BAYAN-AL-ZULM ‘ALA-AL-‘IBAD. Some of his essays and articles have been published also in AHL-E-HADITH
(Amritsar). For a long spell he was manager of Madrasah Islah-al-Muslimin, Patna. Being a staunch supporter of Muslim League he migrated to Dhaka in the last years of his life where he died in 1380/December 1960. He had seven daughters and four sons. The names of his sons are Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullah (d. 1358/1939), ‘Abdul Basit (d. 1393/ 1973), ‘Abdul Mo‘ti (died in childhood) and ‘Abdul Mo‘iz.
3) ‘Abdul Fattah alias Muhammad Ayyub, was born on 7th Muharram 1305/1887. After memorizing the Holy Qur’an he received religious education. He accompanied his father, uncle (Moulana Muhammad Ashraf) and elder brother (Hakeem Muhammad Idrees) in 1312/1895 for Haj where he benefited from the scholars of Hijaz. He died in 1353/1934. He had three sons Muhammad Abul Qasim (d. 1398/1978), Muhammad Mohsin and Muhammad Ahsan Javed.
As described above, ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi was very fond of collecting books. His library was considered to be one of the best in India. It consisted of published and unpublished books on various sciences. Most of the libraries of that time were wanting in such a fine collection of books on the science of Hadith. The collection of manuscripts and rare books it had, could not be seen even in large libraries of Europe. The rare books displayed under the sponsor-ship of Nadwat-al-‘Ulama’ in the Town Hall of Banaras on 14 April, 1906 had among them some very old valuable books brought from the library of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi. Moulana Shibli No‘mani has mentioned the following books:
1. MUSNAD ‘ABD BIN HUMAID AL-KISSI
2- MUSNAD ABU ‘AWANAH
3- KASHF-AL-ASTAR ‘AN ZAWA’ID-E-MUSNAD ALBAZZ-AR, by Al-Haithami.
4 MUSANNAF IBN ABI SHAIBAH
5 MA‘RIFAT-AL-SUNAN WA-AL-ATHAR, of Al-Baihaqi
6 MA‘ALIM-AL-SUNAN, by Al-Khattabi
7 SHARH SUNAN ABI DAWUD, by Ibn-al-Qayyim
Apart from these, there were hundreds of important manuscripts such as SAHIH IBN HIBBAN, MUSNAD BAZZAR, MUSNAD HU-MAIDI, AL-THIQAT of Ibn Hibban, TARIKH-AL-ISLAM of Al-Zahabi, QAYAM-AL-LAIL of Al-Marwazi, AL-ILMAM of Ibn Daqiq-al-‘Id, SHURUT-AL-A’IMMAT AL-KHAMSAH of Al-Hazimi, AL-TANQIH of Al-Zarkashi, NUR-AL-‘AYNAYN FI ITHBAT-I-RAF‘-AL-YADAYN of Abu Ishaq Al-Luhrawi Al-A‘zami, AL-TAMHID of Ibn ‘Abdul Barr, SHARH SHAMAI’L AL-TIRMIZI of Muhammad ‘Ashiq bin ‘Umar Al-Hanafi, TAQYID-AL-MUHMAL WA TAMYIZ AL-MUSHKIL of Abi ‘Ali Hussain bin Muhammad Al-Jayyani, AL-NAFAS-AL-YAMANI, AL-ATRAF of Al-Mizzi and AL-NUKAT-AL-ZIRAF ‘ALA-AL-ATRAF of Ibn Hajar. This library was the result of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s life long hard work and fruit of his God gifted zest for knowledge. Enumerating several books of this library, Abul Qasim Saif Banarasi writes:
“Unfortunately at present I cannot remember the names of other books in his library In short, his library was second to the library of Khuda Bukhsh Khan situated in Bankipur (Patna). But his library is the top most for the collection of Hadith, Tafsir and Asma’-al-Rijal”.
But this valuable library does not exist any more.
Muhammad Idrees had donated a considerable collection to Khuda Bukhsh Library, where it is still preserved under the title of “Dianwan collection”. There is an account of numerous books belonging to his library in the third volume of the catalogue of Arabic manuscripts (MIFTAH-AL-KUNUZ) of Khuda Bukhsh Library, Patna. The names of several books of his library are also seen in the fourth volume of unpublished catalogue.
Besides this safe collection of the library, remaining books were destroyed in two tragic incidents. The first incident took place in 1946 when people affected by anti Muslim riots in the suburbs of Dianwan took refuge in ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s ancestoral house. On that occasion they also lived in library rooms and due to their carelessness many rare books were misplaced and some consumed for cooking foods for refugees in that turmoil.
Another incident occurred, in 1971 with the beginning of the Bangladesh movement. Particularly in Mirpur (Dhaka), there took place massacre and bloodshed where after Muhammad Idrees, his son-in-law and nephew Muhammad Abul Qasim had unique books of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s library in his possesion. Nothing was known about them after the riots were over. Only Allah knows whether, they are still preserved some where, or destroyed. How such a great library met its pitiable end!!
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi had a fine taste of writing. He left behind him, apart from commentaries, researches, corrections and reviews on the books of Hadith, his writings on Fiqh, Ifta’, Rijal, history, memoirs and biography which shows vastness of his knowledge, integrity, farsightedness, insight into Hadith and Fiqh and perfection in the subjects of Rijal, Isnad, history and biography. A brief introduction to his writings follows.
1. GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD FI HALL-I-SUNAN ABI DAWUD
This is a comprehensive and complete commentary on SUNAN ABI DAWUD of which only one volume was published under the supervision of Moulana Talattuf Hussain ‘Azimabadi (d. 1334/ 1915) from Ansari Press, Delhi in 1305/1897. It is generally agreed that the book consists of 32 volumes all of which could not be written. ‘Azimabadi had rather intended to do so. The commentary remained incomplete till he died. According to Moulana ‘Abdus Salam Mubarakpuri d. 1342) GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD was completed probably upto 10 parts which finally would have been equal to the bulk of Sharh-al-Bukhari. But this statement does not sound correct as in the end of ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD the writer says under the title of “Fawaid Mutafarriqah”.
The writer of GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD has described the statement of Abu Dawud in “Bab-al-amradh-al-mukaffirah li-al-zunub” of “Kitab-al-janaiz” in the same manner as given in this commentary. Further in GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD he writes ‑‑‑‑.
This chapter referred to in the above statement occurs in the twentieth part of SUNAN ABI DAWUD and in the third volume of ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD. Even after that, the reference of GHAY-AT-AL-MAQSUD occurs at several places in ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD the last one being in the third volume in “Bab fi-al-du‘a li-al-mayyit iza wudhia fi qabrihi” (which is in the twenty first part of SUNAN ABI DAWUD. It proves that the commentary of GHAY-AT-AL-MAQSUD was completed at least upto the twenty first part. But unfortunately only two volumes of the written portion are preserved in Khuda Bukhsh Library, which consists of a complete commentary of “Kitab-al-Taharat” and a commentary of a few chapters of “Kitab-al-Salat”. Nothing can be said specifically about the remaining parts.
The published volume consists of 196 pages of large size. It has a commentary and explanation of 184 Ahadith written under 75 chapters of “kitab-al-Taharat”. The introduction consists of preface giving useful information about the life and achievements of Abu Dawud and his Sunan.
It is counted among most useful and very important commentaries of SUNAN ABI DAWUD. It is rather better than other commentaries of Sunan in many aspects. The famous Hanafite scholar and commentator of SUNAN ABI DAWUD Moulana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri also has recognised its importance and characteristics.
2. ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD ‘ALA SUNAN ABI DAWUD
This is also a commentary and actually a summary of GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD published on approximately 1900 pages of large size in four bulky volumes from Ansari Press, Delhi in 1318/1900 to 1323/1905. These four volumes are generally considered to be wri-tten by ‘Allamah Shamsul Haq ‘Azimabadi. Its explanation is there in the conclusion of the third volume and the introduction of the fourth volume. But the foreword and conclusion of the first volume and the conclusion of the second volume suggests that it is written by Moulana Sharf-al-Haq Muhammad Ashraf Dianwi (d. 1326/ 1908), younger brother of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi. It is for this reason that the writers of BAZL-AL-MAJHUD and MU‘JAM-AL-MATBU‘AT-AL-‘ARABIAH and some others confused while confirming Muhammad Ashraf as the writer of ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD. Therefore it is necessary to investigate this matter briefly.
No doubt, ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD is the original commentary written by ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi. He had assigned the task of summarizing the first two volumes and making it shorter than GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD to his younger brother Moulana Muhammad Ashraf (d. 1326/1908) and some other scholars such as Moulana ‘Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri (d. 1353/ 1935), Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Idrees Dianwi, Moulana ‘Abdul Jabbar Dianwi, Qadhi Yusuf Hussain Khanpuri etc., and they extended every sort of help to ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi for this cause. Therefore, just as a gesture of encouragement he dedicated the first two volumes to his brother as Moulana ‘Abdul Hai Hassani (d. 1341/1923) writes in the memoir of Moulana Muhammad Ashraf.
“Shams-al-Haq has dedicated the authorship of the first volume of ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD to his brother. He himself told me this fact.”
In the same way, entire circle of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s friends and students have established that ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD was written by ‘Allamah Shams-al-Haq. The publisher of ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD, Moulana Talattuf Hussain and other rewievers also maintain the view that Shams-al-Haq only was the author of the all four volumes.
It is revealed from the above explanation that ‘Allamah Shams-al- Haq ‘Azimabadi alone is the author of ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD. While, writing a detailed commentery of SUNAN ABI DAWUD he concieved the idea of compiling also a short commentary of it. Since he had already written detailed commentary after two volumes, therefore he assigned the comparatively easy task for summarizing to his brother and other scholars, which they performed under his guidance and assistance. Thus, even after these two volumes, ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi did the work of compiling and writing in collaboration with these scholars. This commentary was completed in seven years. Syed Shahjahan Dehlawi says in his epithet.
“After great devotion and material expenses it is, after all, completed in seven years”.
This commentary also bears all characteristics of GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD. The only difference between the two is that one is elaborate and the other is brief. At some places ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD too has long discussions. In the opinion of scholars, in this book the obscurities of Asanid and text of SUNAN ABI DAWUD are solved. Moreover, it is a collection of numerous delicate and complicated issues and discussions based on outstanding researches and scholarly findings. This is beneficial in spite of its brevity.
‘Allamah Muhammad Munir Dimashqi (d. 1369/1949) writes.
“After the writer, all scholars of India and outside India have benefited from his commentary”.
One of its important peculiarities is that it also includes the most exact text of SUNAN ABI DAWUD.
This commentary has been published, besides India, also from Lebanon and Pakistan on photo-offset and from Saudi Arabia on type. This last edition was published in fourteen volumes of medium size with corrections made by ‘Abdur Rahman Muhammad ‘Uthman from Al-Maktabah-al-Salafiah, Al-Madinah al-Munawwarah in 1968-69. Diacritical marks are put on the text of this edition, and the Ahadith in every chapter are duly numbered but unfortunately a number of mistakes in print can be seen in it.
3. AL-TA‘LIQ-AL-MUGHNI ‘ALA SUNAN AL-DARAQUTNI
One of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s significant achievements is that he was first to publish the text of the great book SUNAN AL-DARA-QUTNI with his useful notes. The text is compiled with the help of three handwritten manuscripts. The nature of his notes and reviews can be well estimated by his following statement.
“I will describe the motives of some traditions while criticising them and will also explain the meaning of some of them”.
The preface of this book contains useful information about Al-Daraqutni and his Sunan. It was published in two volumes of large size from Farooqi Press, Delhi for the first time in 1310/1892. It is also published from Pakistan on photo block. Its another, edition has been published with corrections of ‘Abdullah Hashim Yamani from Al-Madinah al-Munawwarah in 1966, the photo edition of which has been published several times from Lebanon and Pakistan.
4. RAF‘-AL-ILTIBAS ‘AN BA‘DH-AL-NAS
This pamphlet containing 34 pages of large size was published from Farooqi Press, Delhi. This pamphlet is a rejoinder to BADH‘-AL-NAS FI DAF‘-AL-WASWAS which was written to refute the objections raised by Al-Bukhari on Hanafites. But it is free from sectarian prejudice. As a matter of fact he has generously recog nized the scholarship and profundity of Imaam Abu Hanifah. Its second edition was published by Abdut Tawwab Multani (d. 1366/1946) from Multan in 1358/1939. The third edition corrected by Muhammad ‘Ozair with all footnotes was published on type from Banaras in 1396/1976.
5. I‘LAMU AHL-AL-‘ASR BI AHKAM-I-RAK‘ATAY-AL-FAJR
Ansari Press, Delhi, published it as a book consisting of 67 pages in large size in 1305/1887. The subject is apparent from the title. Most of the scholars agree that there is no better work on this subject as yet. Idarat-al-‘uloom-al-Athariah, Faisalabad (Pakistan) has republished it with footnotes of Irshadul Haq Al-Athari on fine type in 1974. A manuscript in the hand written form of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 501.
6. AL-MAKTUB-AL-LATIF ILA-AL-MUHADDITH-AL-SHARIF
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi had written a long letter to Syed Nazir Hussain Muhaddith Dehlawi from Makkah al-Mukarramah in 1312/1894 asking him certain questions about “Al-Ijazat-al-‘Ammah”. This book contains, along with ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi’s letter, the reply from Mian Saheb, which was published in the form of a collection of six books from Ansari Press, Delhi in 1314 Hijrah. Its handwritten manuscript is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 3125/5.
This is a brief pamphlet consisting of 6 pages in Persian ******** published with ‘ILAMU AHL-AL-‘ASR. The writer has given elaborate answer of the following question.
“Is it lawful in Islam to procrastinate Halal animals in order to make them fat and good looking?”
This pamphlet is a collection of Ahadith on this subject, sources, verdicts of ancient and modern scholars and useful comments based on Hadith. The manuscripts in the handwriting of the author are in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 3180/4.
8. ‘UQUD-AL-JUMAN FI JAWAZ-I-TA‘LIM-AL-KITABATI-LI-AL-NISWAN
This pamphlet also is in Persian. It was first published with SUB-UL-AL-SALAM SHARH BULUGH-AL-MARAM from Farooqi Press, Delhi. It was translated into Arabic by someone whose, name is not known. This translation was published with the notes of Muhammad bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin Mani‘ in typed letters from Damascus in 1961. Its another, Arabic translation has been published, with the notes of Dr. Wasiullah Muhammad ‘Abbas Bastawi from ‘Ilmi Academy Foundation, Karachi in 1408. In this book the author has established that it is lawful in Islam to teach reading and writing to women. An original manuscript of the Persian pamphlet in the handwriting of the author is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 3180/7.
9. AL-AQWAL-AL-SAHIHAH FI AHKAM-AL-NASIKAH
The date of its composition is derived from the phrase [‘Ajib Gharib] (1294/1877). It discusses, apart from the significance asserted by Sunnah about “ ‘Aqiqah” and calling “Azan” at the time of the birth of a child, on what day to chose a name for the new born. Originally in Persian, this pamphlet was published from Farooqi Press, Delhi in 1297/1879.
This short Arabic pamphlet has been published with AL-MU‘JAM-AL-SAGHIR LI-AL-TABARANI (pp. 249-263) from Ansari Press, Delhi in 1311/1893. Its second edition also was published in typed letter from Al-Maktabah-al-Salafiah, al-Madinah-al-Munawwarah in 1968 of which several photo editions are published. A manuscript of it in the handwriting of the author is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under accession No. 3180/6. It discusses three issues related with Hadith and Fiqh.
11. TA‘LIQAT ‘ALA IS‘AF-AL-MUBATTA BI RIJAL AL-MUWATTA’
This is a useful brief note by ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi on the famous book of Al-Suyuti (d. 911/1505) IS‘AF-AL-MUBATTA. It has also certain additions to the statements of Al-Suyuti and at places corrections of his errors. ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi published this rare book of Al-Suyuti with his notes after correcting and comparing it with a number of manuscripts from Ansari Press, Delhi in 1320. Its author’s handwritten manuscript is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under accession No. 3180/2.
12. AL-KALAM-AL-MUBIN FI-AL-JAHRI BI-AL-TA’MIN WA-AL-RADD-I-‘ALA-AL-QAWL AL-MATIN
Written in Urdu as a rejoinder to the pamphlet AL-QAWL-AL-MATIN FI IKHFA’-AL-TA’MIN of Muhammad ‘Ali Mirzapuri. This book consisted of 44 pages of medium size and was published from Ansari Press, Delhi in 1303/1885.
13. AL-TAHQIQAT-AL-‘ULA BI ITHBAT-I-FARDHIYYAT-AL-JUMU‘AT-I-FI-AL-QURA
This book too was in Urdu and published from Ahmadi Press, Patna in 1309/1891. Its subject is apparent from the title. Its manuscript written by the author is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under accession No. 3180.
14. HIDAYAT-AL-NAJDAIN ILA HUKM-AL-MU‘ANAQATI WA-AL-MUSAFAHAT-I-BA‘D-AL-‘IDAIN
This book written in Urdu contains the reply of an enquiry published by Waliullah Khan from Ahsan-al-Matabi‘ Press Gobind ‘Attar, Patna. Its Arabic translation is included in HAYAT-AL-MUHADDITH (pp. 220-227). This is a unique writing on its subject. Its hand written manuscript
is included in the collection of his Fatawa in Khuda Bukhsh Library.
15. FATWA RADD-E-TA‘ZIAHDARI
Written in Urdu and published from Sa‘id-al-Matabi‘ Press, Banaras, this is also a unique writing on its subject. It does not bear the date of publication.
Besides these published books there are a number of unpublished books and pamphlets written by ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi. The unpublished volumes of GHAYAT-AL-MAQSUD have been mentioned above. Handwritten manuscripts of the following four of the remaining unpublished books are in Khuda Bukhsh Library.
This is the collection of his Fatawa which he could not compile and complete in his life. Fortunately its two collections are preserved in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 176 & 177 (Urdu manuscript) consisting of numerous Fatawa in Arabic, Urdu and Persian. They shed light on his academic and scholarly attitude and his peculiar style in writing Fatawa. By the grace of Allah, a collection of all of his existing and scattered Fatawa has been published from ‘Ilmi Academy Foundation, Karachi in 1989, which is a precious presentation for scholars.
17. AL-RISALAH FI-AL-FIQH
A copy of it written by him in 1311/1893 is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 1380/5. This is also a part of his Fatawa.
18. HADIAT-AL-LAWZA‘I BI NIKAT-AL-TIRMIZI
Most of the scholars have talked about this book An incomplete version of it consisting of twelve pages is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 4229. Actually it occupies the place of preface to JAMI‘-AL-TIRMIZI, like lengthy academic and scholarly prefaces written by ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi in the beginning of GHAYATAL-MAQSUD and AL-TA‘LIQ-AL-MUGHNI. ‘Allamah Azimabadi had divided it in seven chapters. The handwritten version consists of the first three complete and the fourth incomplete chapters. Whether he had completed it or not is unknown.
Moulana ‘Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri (d.1353/1935) gained advantage of this book in his MUQADDIMAT TUHFAT-AL-AHWAZI.
Quoting a long passage from this regarding the adoption of Kunniyah Abu ‘Isa, Mubarakpuri, instead of explaining the name of ‘Allamah Shamsul Haq ‘Azimabadi, has sufficed to write ba‘dh-al-a‘lam for unknown reasons.
19. AL-WIJAZAH FI-AL-IJAZAH
In this book ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi has gathered Isnad of Hadith books along with their writers. In the beginning he gave an account of his eleven teachers and wrote that three of them were Indians (Moulana Bashiruddin Qannawji, Moulana Syed Nazir Hussain Muhaddith Dehlawi and Shaikh Hussain bin Mohsin Al-Yamani Al-Ansari) and remaining eight were Arabs from whom he recieved Sanad of Hadith in Hijaz. Each of them had granted permission to him to relate Hadith from all orders of Isnad.
Two handwritten copies are in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 3264 and 3265, one of which is in the handwriting of the author.
He used to lend it to his students so that they could have the opportunity of relating the books of Ahadith on his behalf. Therefore, on one of both the above mentioned copies bear the name of Shaikh “Isma‘il Khateeb bin Syed Ibrahim Hassani Al-Qadiri nasaban, Al-Salafi Al-Hadithi mashraban, Al-Is‘irdi baladan wa mahallatan, Al-Qahiri Al-Azhari rihlatan”, and the other bears
the name of “Shaikh ‘Abdul Hafeez bin Shaikh Muhammad Tahir Al-Fihri nasaban, Al-Fasi daran” to whom he had sent the collection of his Asanid (Credentials). This book has been published from ‘Ilmi Academy Foundation, Karachi in 1988 with the research of Dr. Badruz Zaman Muhammad Shafi‘ Nepali.
Having mentioned the published and handwritten material discussed above, I would like to refer to those works, which are mentioned by ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi himself or his biographers, although they are untraceable.
20. FADHL-AL-BARI SHARH THULATHIAT-AL-BUKHARI
Moulana ‘Obaidullah Rahmani Mubarakpuri writes:
“It is unfortunate that ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi could not complete this commentary in his life.
21. AL-NAJM-AL-WAHHAJ FI SHARH MUQADDIMAT-AL-SAHIH LI MUSLIM BIN AL-HAJJAJ
As apparent from the title this preface is a detailed commentary on Muqaddimah of SAHIH MUSLIM. ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi has himself mentioned about this book. Others also refer to it.
22. TA‘LIQAT ‘ALA SUNAN-AL-NASA’I
It deals with solving the difficulties that occur in SUNAN-AL-NASA’I.
In this book he had written the life and works of ancient and modern scholars in the Persian ********. A long passage from this comprising of the biography of Syed Nazir Hussain Muhaddith Dehlawi occurs in AL-HAYAT BA‘D-AL-MAMAT. Its reference is found also in the conclusion of MUQADDIMAT TUHFAT-AL-AHWAZI.
24. TAZKIRAT-AL-NUBALA’ FI TARAJIM-AL-‘ULAMA’
This work is also available in Persian and various writers refer to it. The author had given away this book to Moulana Hakeem Syed ‘Abdul Hai Hassani to provide material for NUZHAT-AL-KHAWATIR and its compilation. Therefore, his references are seen here and there particularly in last two volumes.
Similarly, Muhammad Idrees Nigrami has made use of it in his TAZKIRAH-‘ULAMA’-E-HAL. He also admits the fact that ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi helped the writer for the collection of the life histories of so many people. In Fadhl Hussain’s AL-HAYAT BA‘D-AL-MAMAT also one finds references made to TAZKIRAT-AL-NUBALA’ with regard to the life and achievements of Ahmad bin Ahmad bin ‘Ali Al-Tunisi Al-Maghribi (d. 1314/ 1896).
25. NIHAYAT-AL-RUSUKH FI MU‘JAM-AL-SHUYUKH
This book was in Arabic in which he has written about the lives of his teachers and “Shuyukh” of his “Silsilat-al-Isnad”. In the preface of ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD brief life histories of eleven scholars are taken from this book. According to Nizami Badayuni, this book was left incomplete.
26. TAFRIH-AL-MUTAZAKKIRIN BI ZIKR-I-KUTUB-AL-MUTA’AKHKHIRIN
This important book was in Persian. Probably this book was one of the sources of AL-THAQAFAT-AL-ISLAMIAH FI-AL-HIND written by ‘Abdul Hai Hassani. Unfortunately it was left incomplete and not even a single copy has been seen anywhere.
27. AL-NUR-AL-LAMI‘ FI AKHBAR-I-SALAT-AL-JUMU-‘AT-I-AN-AL-NABI-AL-SHAFI‘
The subject matter is self evident. He wrote this book in Arabic but unfortunately could not complete it. He has mentioned about this book in his AL-TAHQIQAT-AL-‘ULA BI ITHBAT-I-FARDIYY-AT-AL-JUMU‘AT-I-FI-AL-QURA.
28. TUHFAT-AL-MUTAHAJJIDIN-AL-ABRAR FI AKHBAR-I-SALAT-AL-WITR-I-WAQIAM-I-RAMADHAN AN-AL-NA-BI AL-MUKHTAR.
‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi collected in it, Ahadith about “Witr” and “Prayer during Ramadhan” and discussed them scholarly. This too unfortunately could not be completed. According to biographers it was also written in Arabic.
29. GHAYAT-AL-BAYAN FI HUKM-I-ISTI‘MAL-AL-‘AMBAR- I-WA-AL-ZA‘FRAN
As he himself described in ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD that he intended to write a book of this title. It is not known whether he could translate this thought into action. Nevertheless, a detailed discussion of it occurs in ‘AWN-AL-MA‘BUD from which we can guess his ideologies.
30. SAWANIH ‘UMRI MOULANA ‘ABDULLAH JHA’U MIAN ALLAHABADI
Giving an account of this book Abu Dhia Muhammad Qamaruddin Allahabadi writes that ‘Allamah‘Azimabadi collected the life history of Jha’u Mian but could not publish as it was incomplete. It would have been extremely rewarding if someone had published it in AHL-E-HADITH (Amritsar) by copying it from his own manuscript preserved in his library. If the manuscript is too lengthy I would like him to send it to me so that I can summarize and publish it. It is not certain whether it was a full fledged book, yet it should be pointed out that he had written a more detailed life history of Jha’u Mian in TAZKIRAT-AL-NUBALA’ which has been quoted by ‘Abdul Hai Hassani in NUZHAT-AL-KHAWATIR. In this way the biographical accounts collected by ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi are preserved in a complete or incomplete form.
31. FATH-AL-MO‘IN FI-AL-RADD-AL-BALAGH-AL-MOBIN FI IKHFA’-AL-TAMIN
This book is in the refute of the pamphelet of Muhammad Shah Punjabi and related to the verdict of saying “Amin”. ‘Allamah Azimabadi has himself described about this book on page 37 of first publication of his book AL-KALAM AL-MOBIN. This book was published before 1303 in Urdu ********.
32. JAWABAT ILZAMAT AL-DARAQUTNI ‘ALA-AL-SAHIHAIN
Imam Daraqutni had raised some objections on Sahihain (Al-Bukhari and Muslim). This book was consisting replies of those objections. Unfortunately this book is no more available. Moulana Abul Qasim Saif Banarasi had described the same for the first time in his books AL-RIH-AL-‘AQIM on page 21 and in HALL-I-MUSHKILAT-AL-BUKHARI on page 54 respectively.
Apart from the above mentioned books he had also written footnotes and reviews on a number of books. A collection of his writings entitled MAJMU‘AH TASWIDAT can be particularly mentioned here which is in Khuda Bukhsh Library under No. 3834. It contains valuable notes of ‘Allamah ‘Azimabadi, his criticism of some writers such as Al-Zaila‘i, his ideologies about a few issues and his arguments about some Ahadith.
The above write up has been taken by Abdur Raquib bin Abdul Basit bin Muhammad Idrees bin Muhammad Shamsul Haq Azimabadi from the following unpublished book.
Name of Book: ‘Allamah Abu Tayyab Muhammad Shams-al-Haq ‘Azimabadi – Life and Works [English version]
Written by Muhammad ‘Ozair Shams, M.A. (Umm-al-Qura), [Originally in Urdu in the name of “Maulana Shamsul Haq Azimabadi – Hayat Aur Khidmat.”].
English translation by Suhail Ahmad Farooqi, M.A. (Alig)
Review by Dr. Azfar Hussain, Ph.D. (London)
Foreword by Moulana ‘Atau’llah Hanif Bhojiani
Introduction by Moulana ‘Abdul Quddus Hashmi