Sheikh-ul-Hind, Maulana Mahmood Hasan
d. Rabi'-ul-Oola 18, 1339H1 November 30, 1920
A renowned Aliim, distinguished freedom fighter of India and preceptor of the late 19th and early 20th" century.
On Muharram 15, 1283H(May 30, 1867) when Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband was started, he was its first
student. Later he became a teacher there. With his immense knowledge. dutifulness. devotion and commitment, he made this religious institute one of the central centres of learning in the entire
He had the deep knowledge of all the sciences of religious knowledge, but his lessons on Hadees were famous allover India.
Combining the rulings of fuq'aha and the words of Hadees was his speciality, which was the distinction of the style of teaching of the family of Hazrat Shah Waliullah RAHMATULLAH A"LAIHE.
Teacher of Maulana Ilyas............
Hazrat Maulana Muhammad lIyas RAHMATULLAH ALAHI studied Sahih Bukhari
and Tirmizi from him in Dar-ul-Uloorn Deoband.
In the second decade of 20" century, some such accidents took place due to which Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Hind RAHMATULLAH ALAHI had to take practical part in the active politics. Due to the break of war of Italy (1911-13) and then of the first World War (1914-18), Muslims all over the world got under heavy and ruthless spells. He played an
important political role in re-organising and renewing the militia of Syed Ahmad Shaheed RAHMATULLAH ALAHI
, and sent his delegates, consisting mostly of renowned ulama, to the various parts of the subcontinent, tribal areas and Europe to get their support for this cause.
He himself went to Hajj in August 1915 and got the support of the Governor of Makkah. Letters in this regard used to have been written on silk cloth. This underground movement is known to history as
'Silk-Cloth Movement', which the critics name as 'Silken Letters Conspiracies'. He was exiled from India on account of committing this 'sin' and was kept imprisoned in Malta (Cyprus) islands. In the days of imprisonment, he completed his commentary on the Qur'an, which is
very popular and has been translated into many languages. His health was on the decline and he died a few months after his release from
the exile and coming back to India, and was buried in the graveyard of Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband besides the grave of Maulana Muhammad
Qasim Nanotavi RAHMATULLAH ALAHI (d. Jamad-ul-Ukhra 4, 1297H/
May 15, 1880), the founder of Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband. Apparently this movement faced failure, but for the first time it made an attempt
to undermine the British rule in India.
Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Hind RAHMATULLAH ALAHI was basically a reformer,
a 'alim and spiritual guide. His actual work was teaching and reformation of the self. Due to particular situations and national needs he had to take active part in practical politics.
He considered the British regime in India the rigid enemy of Islam, and it was his faith that
by the time the British are ruling over India, their rule will remain over the entire Muslim world. He took the ulama out from their small rooms besides the masjids and from the circles of teaching and
blew in them the spirit of demanding freedom, national unity and
giving one's life in the path of the Truth. On account of raising the word of the Truth he had to see and suffer many horrible cruelties.
Practical politics made him wide-hearted and far-sighted. He recognised the rank and status of the ulama of his time. He used to say that 'we were ignorant, but the call of Al-Hilal (weekly
newspaper published by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad RAHMATULLAH ALAHI prepared us for action'. He specially loved the people of contemporary knowledge. His this saying is very popular that 'in the people of contemporary knowledge, there is a big potential of accepting the right.' From his circle of teaching, not hundreds but thousands of students got education and many of them earned name
and worked for the betterment of the Muslims.
In spite of being extremely busy with teaching in Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband and other world-wide political engagements he managed to
cut time for writing, and besides writing a commentary on the Qur'an, he has contributed works on Hadees, refuting the deniers of
the Truth, etc.
Taken with thanks from www.islamicbulletin.com book Reflection Maulana Ilyas.