Biography of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Al-Athari
Biography of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Al-Athari
Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq Bhatti mentioned in “Gulistan Hadith” p 458 that in 1968, Shaykh Abdullah Lailpuri and Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq Cheemah called a meeting between some scholars in which Shaykh Muhammad Haneef Nadwi requested Shaykh Bhatti to join them. The 6 scholars who met were Shaykh Abdullah Lailpuri, Shaykh Ishaq Cheemah, Shaykh Muhammad Abduh Falah, Hafiz Ahmadullah Budhimalvi, Shaykh Haneef Nadwi and Shaykh Bhatti. The aim of this meeting was that Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq Cheemah wanted to establish an institute for graduate students to study further and specialise by studying higher books. Shaykh Haneef Nadwi advised him to call this institute “Idarah Ulum Athariyah” so that those who study from there will be called “Athari” and this attribution is the authentic symbol of our school of thought. Shaykh Ishaq Bhatti was requested to write the aim of this institute and all scholars agreed on his writing.
Shaykh Irshadul Haqq Athari studied from this “Idarah Ulum Athariyah” after having completed his Dars Nizami, and he is today the director of “Idarah Ulum Athariyah”.
Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Al-Athari was born in 1948. His father’s name was Ghulam Rasool and he was residing in Chak N 72-7 Aare, Tahseel Faqeer Wali (area of Bahawal Nagar). When Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq was 2 years old, his father moved to Chak N 24 Liaqatpur. His father had studied up to middle school, he was reciting the Quran regularly and praying Tahajudd and involved in the remembrance of Allah. His family were all Brelwi but through his reading of books of Shaykh Mawdudi and linking himself to scholars of Deoband, Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq’s father became attached to the Deobandi school of thought.
Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Al-Athari when he reached the age of discernment, his father enrolled him to a middle school in Liaqatpur. In 1961, he gave the exams of middle and read the Quran from Molvi AbdulHafeez. Afterwards, he joined the Madrasah “Qasim Al-Ulum” in Liaqatpur. He studied beginners book from Shaykh Muhammad Basheer and Shaykh Muhammad Hayat, books of Persian, Arabic grammar and morphology, the Hanafi book of Fiqh “Quduri” and the book of Mantiq “Taysir Al-Mantiq”, and he studied these books in 2 years.
His teachers advised his father that for further studies, his son should go to “Madrasah Qasim Al-Ulum” in Faqeer Wali or “Jamiyah Rasheediyah” in Montgomery or “Khayr Al-Madaris” in Multan, but his father was not ready to send him that far. At the time Mufti AbdurRahman arrived in Liaqatpur and Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari’s father joined his circle. Mufti AbdurRahman was a class fellow of Shaykh Sharifullah Khan in the Madrasah Fathpur in Delhi and at this time Shaykh Sharifullah Khan, a reputed Hanafi scholar, was a teacher in Jamiyah Salafiyah Faisalabad, so Mufti AbdurRahman advised Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari’s father to send his son to Jamiyah Salafiyah. His father accepted this advice as his sister and other family members were leaving in Nurpur, near Jamiyah Salafiyah. Also among the reasons was that Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq’s father had visited Jamiyah Salafiyah and obtained spiritual tranquillity (Ruhani Taskeen) after visiting Hafiz Muhammad Gondalwi who was the Shaykh Al-Hadith of Jamiyah Salafiyah at this time, so he thought that his son would benefit a lot from such a great scholar, and hence he accepted the advice of Mufti AbdurRahman.
Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari joined Jamiyah Salafiyah Faisalabad in 1964, and at this time he was Hanafi. He studied from Hafiz Abdullah Budhimalvi, Peer Muhammad Ya’qub Jhelumi, Shaykh Sadiq Khalil, Shaykh Muhammad Haneef Salafi, Hafiz Muhammad Binyameen, Shaykh Abdullah Amjad and others. During his studies, sometimes he would discuss topics of Fiqh with other students but always with respect and none of his teachers pressurised him to change his school of thought, but when he started his third year of studies, through his own research and reading, especially the books of Shaykh AbdurRahman Mubarakpuri, he opted for the Ahl e Hadith school of thought.
Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari studied for 3 years in Jamiyah Salafiyah, but due to some reasons Hafiz Muhammad Binyameen left Jamiyah Salafiyah and went to teach in Katto, so Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq with other students went there as well, so he studied there Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawud, Daraqutni and others from Hafiz Muhammad Binyameen.
In 1968, Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari joined Jamiyah Islamiyah in Gujranwala, and he studied from Hafiz Muhammad Gondalwi and Shaykh Abul Barakat Ahmad and obtained his Sanad of completion.
In 1969, he joined Idarah Ulum Athariyah in Faisalabad and studied there from Shaykh Abdullah Lailpuri and Shaykh Muhammad Abduh Falah. Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari had a great fervour to read books and research, hence after his studies he became attached to Dar Ulum Athariyah and decided to reside permanently in Faisalabad. He is nowadays director of Dar Ulum Athariyah.
His Arabic works:
1) “Al-Ilal Al-Mutanahiyah fil Ahadith Al-Wahiyah” li ibn Jawzi: Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari did Tahqiq of this famous book of Imam ibn Jawzi which contains weak and fabricated narrations by comparing two manuscripts of it and it was published in 1979 in 2 volumes for the first time. It was published by Idarah Ulum Athariyah in partnership with Islamic Publishing House Lahore.
2) “I’lam Ahlil Asr bi Ahkam Rak’atay Al-Fajr” of Shaykh Shamsul Haqq Azeemabadi: This is a famous book of Shaykh Azeemabadi in Arabic on the rulings of the 2 Rak’ah of Fajr. Shaykh Athari republished it with his Tahqiq and notes in 1394 by Idarah Ulum Athariyah. Umm-ul-Qura Publications published this work again in recent times and added to it an epistle of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari on the same topic, after translating it from Urdu to Arabic under the supervision of Hafiz Sahid Mahmood.
3) “Musnad Imam Abi Ya’la Al-Mawsuli”: Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari did Tahqiq and Takhrij of this book of Hadith of Imam Abu Ya’la Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Muthana Al-Mawsuli (d 307 H) and it was published for the first time by Maktabah Dar Al-Qiblah li Thaqafah Al-Islamiyah Jeddah in 6 volumes. Shaykh Faydh Ar-Rahman Thawri joined him in this task up to approximately the first half of the book.
4) “Kitab Al-Mu’jam” of Imam Abu Ya’la Al-Mawsuli: Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari did Tahqiq of this book of Imam Abu Ya’la. It was published for the first time in 1407 H by Idarah Ulum Athariyah.
5) “Jala Al-Aynayn bi Takhrij Riwayat Al-Bukhari fi Juzz Rafil Yadayn”: This was the Arabic book of Shaykh Badiudin Shah Rashdi, Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq verified the book and added some notes to it from the copy of Shaykh Faydh Ar-Rahman’s Thawri’s Tahqiq of “Juzz Rafil Yadayn”. This book was published by Idarah Ulum Athariyah in 1983 and Shaykh Salahdin Maqbool Ahmed published it afterwards in Kuwait by Dar Al-Gheras.
6) “Fadhail Shahr Rajab” of Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad Al-Khallal Al-Baghdadi (d 439). Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari did Tahqiq and Takhrij of this epistle.
7) “Tabyin Al-Ujab bima Warada fi Fadhl Rajab” of Hafiz ibn Hajar Asqalani. Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq did Taqhqiq and Takhrij of this epistle and it was published together with the previous epistle of Imam Khallal by Idarah Ulum Athariyah in 1994.
8) “Al-Maqalah Al-Husna fi Sunniyah Al-Musahafah bil Yad Al-Yumna”: This was an Urdu epistle of Shaykh AbdurRahman Mubarakpuri on the Sunnah of shaking the hands with the right hand. It was translated from Urdu to Arabic by Shaykh Wasiullah Abbas and Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari did Tahqiq of it and published it under Idarah Ulum Athariyah.
9) “Musnad As-Siraj”: This is the Musnad of Imam Muhammad ibn Ishaq As-Siraj An-Nisapuri (d 313H). The complete manuscript of it is lost and only a part of it is present in Maktabah Zahiriyah in Damascus. Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari published it for the first time in 2002 with his Tahqiq and Takhrij by Idarah Ulum Athariyah in a single volume of 496 pages.
10) “Ta’qeeb ala At-Taqreeb”: These are notes of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq on “Taqreeb At-Tahzib” of Hafiz ibn Hajar and he added narrators which are on the conditions of “Taqreeb”. It was published by “Dar An-Nashar Al-Kutub Al-Islamiyah” Lahore in 1985.
11) “Al-Ahadith Al-Eediyah Al-Musalsalah”: It is the epistle of Imam Abu Tahir Ahmad ibn Muhammad As-Silafi Al-Asbahani, Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari did Tahqiq and Takhrij of it and it was published in 2008 by Dar Al-Bashair Al-Islamiyah Kuwait in 63 pages.
12) “Ghayah Al-Maqsad fi Zawaid Al-Musnad Imam Ahmad”: This is the book of Hafiz Nurudin Ali Ibn Abi Bakr Al-Haythami (d 807) in which he gathers all the narrations of Musnad Imam Ahmad which are not present in the Sihhah Sittah (6 famous books of Hadith) or are present with additions in the Musnad. Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari did Tahqiq and Takhrij of this book and it has been published by Maktabah Bayt As-Salam Riyadh in 4 volumes with the introductions of Shaykh Wasiullah Abbas, Shaykh Abul Ashbal Sagheer Ahmad Saghif and Shaykh Ozair Shams. Maktabah Bayt As-Salam is the Maktabah of Hafiz Abid Elahi Zaheer, the younger brother of Allamah Ihsan Elahi Zaheer.
13) “Majalis Al-Abrar”: This is a book of Allamah Turki, Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari did Tahqiq and Takhrij of it and it was published by Suhail Academy Lahore.
14) “Itmam Al-Manfa’ah bi Ta’jeel Al-Manfa’ah”: This book of Hafiz ibn Hajar contains the narrators which are not in “Tahzib At-Tahzib” from those the four Imams narrated: the narrators of Muwatta Malik, Musnad Imam Abu Hanifah, Musnad Imam Shafi’i and Musnad Imam Ahmad. But Hafiz ibn Hajar missed many of those narrators who are on such conditions and Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari added in this book 260 narrators with their Tarjamah to complete Hafiz ibn Hajar’s book. It was published by Idarah Ulum Athariyah with the introduction of Shaykh Abul Ashbal Ahmad Shaghif in 184 pages. Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari’s student Hafiz Muhammad Khubaib Ahmed helped him in this work.
15) Takhrij of “Izalah Al-Khafa ‘an Khilafah Al-Khulafah”: This famous book of Shah Waliyullah Muhadith Dehlwi was written in Persian to refute the doubts raised by the Shi’a on the first 3 caliphs. Shaykh Muhammad Basheer Sialkoti translated it into Arabic and published it by “Dar Al-Ilm” Islamabad in 2 large volumes with the Takhrij of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari.
16) “Ila As-Sunnan fil Mizan”: This book was originally written in Urdu refuting some principles of Hadith of Shaykh Zafar Ahmad Thanvi in his book “I’la As-Sunnan”. This was book was translated into Arabic under the supervision of Hafiz Shahid Mahmood and published by Umm-Ul-Qura Publications in 436 pages with the introductions of Shaykh Suhaib Hasan AbdulGhaffar and Shaykh Muhammad Ozair Shams. It was published afterwards by Maktabah Bayt As-Salam Riyadh.
17) “Asbab Ikhtilaf Al-Fuqaha”: This book was originally written in Urdu refuting the book “Athar Al-Hadith Ash-Sharif” of Shaykh Muhammad Awwamah and it was translated into Arabic under the supervision of Hafiz Shahid Mahmood and published by Umm-ul-Qura Publications with an article of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq translated as well in Arabic on the issue of the narration in Musanaff Ibn Abi Shaybah on putting the hands below the navel, refuting the verification of Shaykh Muhammad Awwamah. This Arabic translation was introduced by Shaykh Salahdin Maqbool Ahmed. It was published afterwards by Bayt As-Salam Riyadh.
18) Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari’s Urdu book “Mushajarat Sahabah or Salaf ka Mawqif” has also been translated in Arabic by Shaykh Rashid Hasan Mubarakpuri in India.
His Urdu Books:
19) Imam Daraqutni: This is a biography of Imam Abul Hasan Ali ibn Umar Daraqutni and it contains the names of his 62 books with a brief description of them. This was the first book written by Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari and it has recently been reprinted within the Shaykh’s Maqalat with additions in Maqalat vol. 5
20) “Sihhah Sittah or un ke Mualifin”: This was the first book published by Idarah Ulum Athariyah and most of it was due to the efforts of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq
21) “Qadiyanu Kafir Kiyun”: A 127 pages book against Qadianism.
22) “Masalah Raful Yadayn par Ek Nai Kawish ka Jaizah” also called “At-Tahqiq wal Idah li Labs ma fi Nur As-Sabah”. This book refutes new evidences presented in the book “Nur As-Sabah” on not raising hands before and after Ruku. Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Al-Athari wrote this book on the request of Shaykh Ata’ullah Haneef Bhujiyani and it was printed by Dar Ad-Da’wah Salafiyah in 1981.
23) “Tawdih Al-Kalam fi Wujub Qira’ah Khalf Al-Imam”: This book in 1032 pages is a reply to “Ahsan Al-Kalam” of Shaykh Sarfraz Khan Safdar, on the obligation to recite Surah Fatihah behind the Imam.
24) “Tanqih Al-Kalam fi Tayid Tawdih Al-Kalam”: a 392 pages book which replies to the book “Tawdih Al-Kalam par ek Nazar” which was authored by Shaykh Habibullah Derwi, a student of Shaykh Sarfraz Khan Safdar, and in which Shaykh Derwi levelled objections against the book “Tawdih Al-Kalam”.
25) “Pakohind mein Ullama Ahl e Hadith ki Khidmat Hadith”: a 144 pages book on the efforts on Ahl e Hadith on Hadith.
26) “Asbab Ikhtilaf Fuqaha”: A 128 pages book refuting “Athar Al-Hadith Sharif” of Shaykh Muhammad Awammah.
27) “Ahadith Hidayah, Fanni wa Tahqiqi Haythiyat”: 112 pages book mentioning some weak and fabricated Ahadith in the Hanafi book of Fiqh “Al-Hidayah”
28) “Ahadith Sahih Bukhari or Muslim Mein Perwezi Tashkik ka Ilmi Jaaizah”: A 224 pages book refuting Perwezis objections against many Ahadith of the Sahihayn, and as well some of Shaykh Habib Ar-Rahman Kandhelwi’s rejection of some Ahadith due to his rationalist tendencies.
29) “Molana Sarfraz Safdar Apni Tasanif ke Ainah mein”: A 278 pages book showing some mistakes and contradictions of Shaykh Sarfraz Safdar Khan in many of his books.
30) “Ainah un ko Dekhaya to Bura Man Gaye”: When Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari showed contradictions in the books of Shaykh Sarfraz Khan Safdar, his son wrote a reply entitled “Majzubanah Wa Wela”, and Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq replied to him in this book.
31) Imam Bukhari par Ba’d Itirazat ka Jaaizah”: A 126 pages book in reply to some criticism of Shaykh Habeebullah Derwi on some Ahadith of Sahih Bukhari. After Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq had shown the status of Ahadith in the book “Hidayah”, Shaykh Habeebullah Derwi in reply tried to criticise some narrations of Sahih Al-Bukhari.
32) “Afat e Nazar or un ka Ilaj”: A 95 pages book on the evil eye and how to cure from it.
33) “Maslak Ahnaf or Molana Abul Hai Lukhnawi”: This 160 pages book shows dozens of cases in which Shaykh Abdul Hai Lukhnawi left the Hanafi Madhab and chose to act upon Hadith.
34) “Mushajarat Sahabah or Salaf ka Mawqif”: A 120 pages book showing the position of the Salaf on the conflicts between the companions. This book has been translated into English by Umm-ul-Qura Publications.
35) “Falah ki Rahein”: This 192 pages book explains the first 11 verses of Surah Muminun.
36) “Piyare Rasul ki Piyari Namaz”: A small book describing the prayer of the Prophet (saw).
37) “Islam or Musiqi, Shubuhat wa Mughaltat ka Izalah”: A 136 pages showing that Music is forbidden and refuting some doubts regarding it.
38) “Islam or Musiqi par Ishraq ke Itiradhat ka Jaaizah”: Refutation of some objections raised in the magazine Ishraq and by Ahmed Javed Ghamdi on music.
39) “Maqam Sahabah”: A 173 pages on the noble status of the Companions.
40) “Tafsir Surah Qaf”: 200 pages.
41) “Tafsir Surah Fatir”: 323 pages
42) “Tafsir Surah Yaseen”: 442 pages
43) “Tafsir Surah As-Safat”: 456 pages
44) “Ila As-Sunnan fil Mizan”: A 432 pages refuting the principles of Hadith of Shaykh Zafar Ahmed Thanvi in his “I’la As-Sunnan”. This book does not discuss topics of jurisprudence but only principles of Hadith.
45) “Sharh Hadith ibn Abbas”: A 175 pages explanation of the famous Hadith in which the Prophet (saw) advised Abdullah ibn Abbas.
46) “Dhawabit Jarh wa Ta’deel”: A 118 pages book compiled by Hafiz Muhammad Yunus Athari from a series of lectures of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari on principles of Jarh wa Ta’deel. This book was published by “Al-Madinah Islamic Research Centre” Karachi.
47) “Hirz Al-Mumin”: A small pocket size 80 pages booklet on invocations, published by Idarah Ulum Athariyah.
48) “Maqalat” 5 volumes: These collect all the articles of Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari in “Al-Itisam” and others on diverse issues such as jurisprudence, history, biographies, principles of Hadith, creed and other topics.
49) “Maqalat Mubarakpuri”: It contains many Urdu epistles of Shaykh AbdurRahman Mubarakpuri, upon which Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari and his student Hafiz Muhammad Khubaib Ahmed added some notes.
50) Tahqiq and notes on “Al-Amr Al-Mubram li Ibtal Al-Kalam Al-Muhkam” of Shaykh Abul Qasim Sayf Banarsi, which has been included in “Difa Sahih Bukhari” by Hafiz Shahid Mahmood who compiled all the epistles of Shaykh Abul Qasim Banarsi written against the Hanafi Umar Kareem Patni who attacked Sahih Al-Bukhari.
With this Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari reviewed many books such as:
a) The Urdu translation of “Bulugh Al-Maram” with the explanation of Shaykh SafiurRahman Mubarakpuri in 2 volumes printed by Darussalam,
b) The Arabic text of Ahadith in “Zia Al-Kalam fi Sharh Umdah Al-Ahkam” of Shaykh Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar,
c) The Seerah Encyclopaedia published by Darussalam in 11 volumes entitled “Al-Lulu Al-Maknun”, which is nowadays being translated into English; the first volume has been printed.
d) “Gustakh Rasul ki Saza or us ka Anjam” of Shaykh Muhammad Zubair, published by Maktabah Islamiyah.
And many other works which he revised.
His other services:
The Shaykh with his research and writing has also been teaching in “Markaz Tarbiyah Al-Islamiyah” Faisalabad established by Hafiz Muhammad Shareef and he has been very active lecturing in Pakistan and around the world.
From 1998 to 1999, Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Al-Athari was member of the Islami Nazriyati Council (Islamic ideological council) which is a governmental body whose aim is to scrutinise the bills presented in the parliament whether they are conform to the Book and the Sunnah.
Shaykh Irshad Al-Haqq Athari has occupied the different positions:
a) Director of Idarah Ulum Athariyah Faisalabad
b) Khateeb Masjid Mubarak Faisalabad
c) Member of the Majlis Idarat of the magazine “Al-Itisam”
d) Nazim Majlis Ifta of Markazi Jamiyat Ahl e Hadith Pakistan
e) Member of the Majlis Fuqaha Shar’iyah America (AMJA: Association of the Muslim Jurists of America)
f) Member of Majlis Idarat Al-Haramayn Jhelum.
g) Nazim e Tab’ wa Talif Markazi Jami’yat Ahl e Hadith Pakistan.
Source: Adapted from “Gulistan Hadith” of Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq Bhatti and other sources.