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Mawlānā Hifz al-Rahmān Seohārvi: Scholar, Historian, Writer, & Leader

Mawlana Hifz al-Rahmān Seohārvi at a conference of Sīrat al-Nabi By Abu Tariq Hijazi

Edited by IlmGate

Mawlana Hifz al-Rahmān Seohārvi is a prominent name on the religio-political horizon of the Asian subcontinent for the last several decades. He was a multifaceted personality who lived mainly during the first half of the last century.

The shaykh was not only a freedom fighter but an Islamic scholar, a historian, a prolific writer and a religious and political leader of repute commanding respect from within India as well as Pakistan. He fought against British rule for a quarter century (1922-1947) and spent eight years in jail.

In post-Independent India, Mawlana Seohārvi played a crucial role in charting a road map for the Muslims in India. As a member of the Constituent Assembly, he played his part in claiming a rightful place for Muslims in the constitution of India, making the country a secular one, and thus rendering a dignified status to the Muslim community in the country that had suffered partition in the name of Islam.

Mawlana Hifz al-Rahmān Seohārvi served on several community organizations in different capacities like the Nadwat al-Musannifīn as patron, and Jamīat al-Ulama as its national secretary.

His Monumental Work

The Mawlana was known for his prolific writing through which he primarily aimed to reform the Muslim society by inculcating the values and ethics of Islam inspired by the Qur’an and Hadith.

His Qasas al-Qur’an, which is mainly based on the stories from the Holy Qur’an, in this respect comes first in mind to mention about as this ultimately proved to be his most popular and monumental work.
The author’s main aim is to draw the attention of the readers toward the moral of the stories, so as to enable Muslims to adopt a right path (Islamic way of life) for the great success in both the worlds.
These stories of the Qur’an were mentioned in the old scriptures too, but were adulterated by their communities with vested interest. They defamed Virgin Mary, blamed Prophet David and raised Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon both of them) to divinity.

The Holy Qur’an defied all these corruptions and reinstated the original and authentic versions. The Orientalists in the later period of the 19th century again tried to cast doubts about the truth revealed in the Holy Qur’an.

In this backdrop the Mawlana took it upon himself as an essential duty to refute these allegations and purify the minds of readers. Thus accepting the challenge Mawlana Hifz al-Rahmān Seohārvi engaged into bringing forth his marvelous monumental work that ran into staggering 1784 pages.

An effort in this direction was earlier made by ‘Allāmah Abd al-Wahhāb Najjār of Egypt who published a book with the same title – Qasas al-Qur’an – in Arabic, which were based on a series of his lectures that he had delivered at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, in 1930. But Allāmah Najjār confined himself to mainly dealing with the stories of the Prophets. He did not touch upon the Qur’an in citing similar many other stories. Mawlana Hifz al-Rahmān covered all important stories establishing them in the true form.

It is very heartening to note that this huge work of Mawlana Hifz al-Rahmān Seohārvi has been translated into English by Shakir Rizwani and Khalid Mahmood and was published in 2006 in two volumes by Idara Islamiat Lahore, Pakistan. The work, covering 1360 pages, has been divided into four parts that are basically based on the three main subjects that the Holy Qur’an deals with: Tawhīd (Oneness of Allah), Risālah (Prophethood), and Ākhirah (the Hereafter).

These subjects have been well elucidated and supported by narratives of various stories of the past Prophets (peace be upon them all) who were all preaching the Oneness of Almighty Allah and the promised gifts of the Hereafter.

  • Part 1, containing 410 pages, covers the stories of 13 Prophets including Adam, Nūh, Idrīs, Hūd, Sālih, Ibrāhīm, Ismāīl, Ishāq, Lūt, Ya’qūb, Yūsuf, Shu’aib and Mūsa (peace be upon them all).
  • Part 2, 204 pages, has 12 Prophets: Yūsha’, Hizkīl, Ilyās, al-Yasa’a, Shamwīl, Dawūd, Sulaimān, Ayyūb, Yūnus, Dhu al-Kifl, Uzair and Zakariyya (peace be upon them all).
  • Part 3, 348 pages, covers 12 different stories from the Holy Qur’an about Ashāb al-Kahf, Ashāb al-Fīl, Ashāb al-Sabt, Ashāb al-Rass, Ashāb al-Ukhdūd, Flood of Iram, Hakīm Luqmān, Dhu al-Qarnain and Al-Quds.
  • Part 4, 396 pages, is fully devoted to the detailed study of Prophet Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon both of them).

This removes all doubts and allegations about Virgin Mary and her son Prophet Jesus, proving that they were both true worshippers of Almighty Allah like Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him them all).
Commenting about the colossal book, Bahjat Najmi, the secretary of the Mawlana Hifz al-Rahmān Academy, which is active in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for many years, said, “Qasas al-Qur’an is the only authentic work on stories on the Prophets of Islam in the Asian subcontinent. Even those, who might differ with the ideology of the Mawlana, agree that this work of his is a truly genuine and worth reading.”

Najmi was all praise for the Idara Islamiyat of Lahore for consistently publishing these works of cultural importance, mainly the Qasas al-Qur’an, all these years.

“This is significant given the backdrop of a persistent indifference toward such rare works of our past ulema that has become customary of the Muslim society in general, and which is unfortunate,” he said.

The academy secretary also mentioned about other works of Mawlana on various subjects in Urdu: Islam ka Iqtisādi Nizām (The Economic System of Islam), Akhlāq & Falsafa-i-Akhlāq (Morality and its Philosophy); Balāgh Al-Mubīn (Evident Approach); and Nūr al-Bashar fi Sīrat Khair al-Bashar (Sīrah of Holy Prophet). Out of these, a research work on his Islam ka Iqtisādi Nizām is going on in the King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, he said.


Courtesy of Arab News (February 22, 2013)

Note: This article was edited for spelling, style, and grammar, in addition to a new title.

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