Shaykh Salman al-Husayni al-Nadwi
Birth and Lineage
Salman ibn Tahir al-Husayni al-Nadwi, born in 1954 AD in the city of Lucknow, was born into a pious, noble, and erudite family of scholars. His lineage can be traced back to Sayyiduna Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), whose noble progeny would become famous for its tireless services in propagating the religion and sacrifice in the path of Allah, the likes of the great mujahid Imam Ahmad ibn ‘Irfan al-Shahid (died 1246 AH) and the great mufakkir ‘Allamah Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani al-Nadwi (died 1420 AH).
Shaykh Salman began his elementary education at a branch school of Nadwat al-‘Ulama where he memorized the Qur’an at an early age. After completing a middle school level education of Islamic studies, he matriculated to a graduate program at the College of Shari‘ah and Usul al-Din in Dar al-‘Ulum Nadwat al-‘Ulama’. After graduation in 1974 AD, he, alongside a group of other graduates, established the Jam‘iat Shabab al-Islam (Muslim Youth Assembly), an organization that is considered today to be one of the largest and most active Islamic organizations in India.
Shaykh Salman completed a masters degree in Hadith (al-Hadith al-Sharif wa ‘Ulumuhu) from Nadwat al-‘Ulama’ in 1976 AD. A year later, he was admitted into the College of Usul al-Din at the Jami‘at al-Imam Muhammad ibn Sa‘ud al-Islamiyyah (Riyadh) and continued to pursue higher education in the field of Hadith. He received his masters degree in Hadith studies with high recognition in 1980. His dissertation, Jam‘ Alfaz al-Jarh wa ‘l-Ta‘dil wa Dirasatuha min Kitab Tahdhib al-Tahdhib li ‘l-Hafiz Ibn Hajar, was completed under the supervision of the erudite hadith and usul scholar, ‘Allamah ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah (may Allah shower mercy on him). Shaykh Salman benefited heavily from Shaykh Abu Ghuddah in the field of hadith studies during his stay at the Jami‘ah and was amongst his most distinguished and beloved students.
Upon his return to India, Shaykh Salman was appointed a lecturer on Hadith at Dar al-‘Ulum Nadwat al-‘Ulama’ and later a full-time professor of Hadith. Eventually, he was chosen to be director of faculty for both the Shari‘ah and Usul al-Din colleges.
Shaykh Salman has traveled extensively throughout the world for the sake of Islam. He has served as a guest lecturer at numerous universities and Islamic institutions in dozens of Muslim and non-Muslim countries around the world. As a representative and now substitute for his indirect grandfather, ‘Allamah Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwi (may Allah shower His mercy on him), he has attended countless Islamic conferences and spoken on a wide variety of topics, the Arabic speeches of which are always delivered in eloquent, fluid Arabic. His tender and mild character, boldness upon the truth, and purity of language have captured the hearts of audiences wherever he has traveled. Coupled with the eloquence of his tongue and the magnificence of his speech, Shaykh Salman is also a true inheritor of his grandfather’s academic prowess and zeal for da‘wah.
Shaykh Salman has served the Muslim community in India through various methods and Islamic institutions over the years. Amongst his most lasting and significant contributions has been the establishment of the Madrasat al-Imam Ahmad ibn ‘Irfan al-Shahid al-Islamiyyah in 1975 AD, one of India’s largest and most successful institutions of Islamic learning today.
He has likewise helped to lay the foundations for a large number of other religious and secular schools, institutes of technology for Muslim children, and free hospitals for the poor and needy.
Despite the Shaykh’s numerous travels and time constraints, many academic works in both Urdu and Arabic can be attributed to his name. Likewise, he has contributed greatly to the publication of many of his grandfather’s (‘Allamah Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwi) works and their translation into Arabic. Below is a brief list of some of Shaykh Salman’s works:
1. Jam‘ Alfaz al-Jarh wa ‘l-Ta‘dil wa Dirasatuha min Kitab Tahdhib al-Tahdhib li ‘l-Hafiz Ibn Hajar
2. Al-Amanah fi Daw’ al-Qur’an
3. Al-Ta‘rif al-Wajiz bi Kutub al-Hadith
4. Al-Imam al-Dihlawi wa Ara’uhu fi al-Tashri‘ al-Islami
5. Lamhah ‘an ‘Ilm al-Jarh wa ‘l-Ta‘dil
6. Muqaddimah fi Usul al-Hadith li ‘l-Muhaddith al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haqq al-Dihlawi (editing , annotation, and brief marginal notes)
7. Al-Fawz al-Kabir fi Usul al-Tafsir li ‘l-Imam Shah Wali Allah al-Dihlawi (translation from Farsi to Arabic and marginal notes)
Some of ‘Allamah Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwi’s books that have been translated into Arabic by Shaykh Salman include:
8. Rijal al-Fikr wa ‘l-Da‘wah fi ‘l-Islam (Imam Sarhindi volume)
9. Rijal al-Fikr wa ‘l-Da‘wah fi ‘l-Islam (Imam Shah Wali Allah al-Dihlawi volume)
10. Fi Masirat al-Hayat (Volumes 1 and 2)
(For more detail, see his thorough biography and list of sanads in al-‘Iqd al-Lujayni fi Asanid al-Shaykh Salman al-Husayni by Dr. Akram Nadwi, Dar al-Gharb al-Islami, Beirut. This biography was adapted by Bilal Ali Ansari from Shaykh ‘Abd al-Majid al-Ghawri’s brief biographical mention of Shaykh Salman al-Nadwi in the introduction to his edited version of Muqaddimah fi Usul al-Hadith li ‘l-Muhaddith al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-Haqq al-Dihlawi)
Bilal Ali is a teacher of Islamic studies by profession and a researcher in the Islamic sciences. He currently serves as a full-time instructor of the Arabic language, Islamic law, Hadith, and Islamic Doctrine at the Institute of Islamic Education in Elgin, IL and teaches Islamic law and history part-time for Darul Hikmah. His fields of specialization include Islamic law, hadith, and education.