Hamiduddin Farahi 18 November — 11 November was an Indian Islamic scholar known for his work on the concept of nazm , or coherence, in the Qur'an. He was instrumental in producing scholarly work on the theory that the verses of the Quran are interconnected in such a way that each surah , or chapter, of the Qu'ran forms a coherent structure, having its own central theme, which he called umood. He also started writing his own exegesis, or tafsir of the Quran which was left incomplete on his death in The muqaddimah , or introduction to this is an important work on the theory of Nazm-ul-Quran. Farahi was born in Phariya hence the name "Farahi" , a village in the district of Azamgarh district , Uttar Pradesh , India.
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Preface It has always been the need of our mission that people be introduced to the personalities of the Farahi school of thought. He has given a brief biographical sketch of these personalities and introduced their major works and also has presented a comparative analysis of their scholarly contributions. The objective of the author was to present the contributions of these personalities in the revival and renewal of religious sciences and thought in Islam in the modern age.
We hope that this work will play an important role in doing so. This religion was revealed to and conveyed by Muhammad sws as the final Prophet and Messenger of this religion and also the seal of the Prophets. The natural result of this acceptance is to know that Islam is the religion of all times and place. Thus, it implies that just as this message was acceptable and applicable in the ancient times when it was revealed it is also in this age and time. It is a matter of fact that our age has made leaps and bounds in social and technological sciences.
These advances have taken a toll on all past knowledge of religion, philosophy, arts, and science. Islam has also been deeply affected by the onslaught of these advancements. On one hand, it is our belief that Islam and its teaching are eternally applicable while on the other hand the narratives of Islam that are being presented to us make Islam practically unacceptable and inapplicable in this age and time.
Based on the advancements of our age, questions are being raised on some aspects of Islam and Islamic Sharia Law. Many people are questioning the various narratives of Islam that are being presented to them.
Issues like the status of women in Islam, relations between Muslims and Non-Muslims, the Penal code of Islamic Sharia and the Islamic view on the modern economic system create confusion and anxiety within and without the existing narratives of Islam.
Islam is not only the true religion but also the only truly preserved religion. Allah has taken upon Himself to preserve this religion until the Last Day as it has presented by His final Messenger sws. This perseveration is in the form of the Quran and Sunnah.
After the Last Prophet sws , Allah has raised luminous scholars of His religion over the centuries who have always tried to explain and present the Message of Allah according to needs and challenges of their times. In this book, we shall present a brief introduction to the life and groundbreaking works of Imam Hamiduddin Farahi, his student Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi and then his student Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. We will try to point out their individual scholarly contributions and show how these contributions have helped answer many serious doubts raised against the true religion of Allah.
Chapter 1. Personalities of the Farahi School 1. He was a luminary of his age. It is a tragic story that not just ordinary people, but even religious scholars failed to recognize and appreciate his presence. His brilliance is very unlikely to be surpassed now and his comprehensive command of oriental and occidental disciplines is indeed a miracle of this era. It is a matter of great sorrow that such a brilliant personality graced the world and then perished, but the world could not recognize its grandeur.
Hamiduddin Farahi was born in in the Azamgarh district of India. He then went on to study Arabic and Persian and graduated from the studying the religious sciences at the age of twenty. He traveled to the major centers of religious academia in India to specialize in Arabic and other religious sciences.
He studied with the major scholars of his time. After completing his studies in the traditional sciences he went on to obtain a B. A from M. O College at Aligarh. At Aligarh, he met Thomas Walker Arnold and studied modern philosophy under him. During his stay at Aligarh, Imam Farahi was introduced to the new philosophical enquires of the age.
It was a time of new inventions, discoveries, and philosophies. These inquiries had raised some serious questions on the integrity of Islam. The people who shut themselves off from learning the philosophy and sciences of the new age could not answer or counter these allegations effectively due to their lack of knowledge in them. The people who were versed in the arguments and philosophy of the modern world lacked insight into the traditional religious knowledge. The effect of these philosophies on this section was so profound that some tried hard to align their faith to the needs and questions of the modern world.
While Imam Farahi saw these developments as a natural result of British supremacy and rule in India , he also noticed that the traditional system of study and instruction of the Quran prevalent within the Muslim was not only wrong but also of no value. This hopeless system of education of the Quran made the Muslim intelligentsia gullible and easily disposed to any foreign influence. Consequently, the Imam tried to present his framework for the study of the Quran, separating from the traditional approach, through his exegetical work.
Imam Farahi started his professional career as a teacher at the Madrastul Sindh, Karachi. He lived in Karachi form to It was during this period that he devoted much of time to rethink the fundamentals of understanding of the Quran. His collection of Tafsir and other works are mostly from this period. The Imam later went on to lecture at M. He later moved back to his ancestral home to take up the position of Principal at the Madrastul Islah Sarai-Mir, Azamgarh.
The Imam spent the rest of his life nurturing the Madrasa. Imam Farahi left this temporary abode in November of Imam Farahi left a huge sum of scholarly work.
Some of his work was published during his life but most of them were published after his death. Almost of all of his work were in Arabic except for a few in Urdu and Farsi. In his final years, the Imam singled out and trained these two able students from the Madrastul Islah personally.
Amin Ahsan Islahi moved to Pakistan and spent nearly all his life in preserving and developing the works of his illustrious teacher by way of his amazing scholarly and literary skills. It is through the works of Amin Ahsan Islahi that Allah manifested to the world the treasure that was Hamiduddin Farahi. Imam Farahi or his works did not become as renowned as his scholarship deserved due to his scholarly asceticism.
As for Imam Islahi, he was a man ahead of his time. Due to this attitude, he was isolated from and neglected by his peers. However, this isolation was a small price compared to the new breakthroughs he achieved which cleared the apparent haze of confusion and accusation surrounding Islam. Amin Ahsan was born in a village in Azamgarh in the year He belonged to a large landowning family. He stared his initial study in a government school in his village.
He studied the Quran and learned Farsi at school before moving on to study at Madrastul Islah. He got his education in the Arabic language and other religious disciplines there.
The Madrasa was directed by Allamah Shibli Noumani at the time. MadarIslah was never associated with any particular school of thought. He was however thought by some of the other great teachers present there, among which Allama Shibli and Maulana Abdurehman Bilgrami are foremost. By , Imam Farahi had taken charge of Madrastul Islah. Imam Farahi had opened the doors to a new world through his research. However, in a culture of fixated norms and rote learning, it was going to be difficult to present his work to the common folk of academia.
By now, Imam Farahi had entered the final stages of his life. It was not possible for him to present his findings to the world alone. So Imam Farahi sought to build an environment at the Madrasa to nurture skills beyond Fiqh in the Madrasa. His efforts were surely fruitful. During this period the Madrasa produced some great scholars of their time. Along with this, Imam Farahi sought to find a student who had the intellectual capability of directly inheriting his research. He sought a student who not only had an excellent sense of language and flair for knowledge but had an equally eloquent speech and mastery with the pen.
For this purpose, he chose Amin Ahsan as his hire and time proved his choice right. However, on the insistence of other teachers at the Madrasa, Amin Ahsan studied and lived with the Imam at the Madrasa.
Imam Amin Ahsan also taught at the Madrasa while studying with the Imam. Thus, Imam Amin Ahsan was also trained in the science of Hadith criticism by an established scholar.
The Jamat e Islami was formed in For the next 2 decades, Imam Islahi dedicated his energy to the Jamat e Islami. During this time he even served as its vice chairman and council member. He left his hometown and migrated to Lahore for the sake of the Jamat e Islami. However, God had different plans in store for him. Due to some differences among the leadership of the Jamat e Islami, Imam Amin Ahsan parted ways with the organization.
From then on he dedicated all his time to the study and teaching of the Quran. He taught the Quran and Hadith to people in those circles. He was able to finish his Tafseer in After this, he turned to review Hadith studies. In his final years, he taught the hadith works of Bukhari and the Muwatta of Imam Malik. Allah gave the Imam a long life and enough time to take his services for His religions.
The Imam lived 90 years of his life in good and sound health and kept teaching till that age. For the last 3 years of his life, he was bedridden. The Imam died on the 12 th of December, Other than the Tafseer, the Imam authored nearly 2 dozen works.
Hamiduddin Farahi 18 November — 11 November was a celebrated Islamic scholar of South Asia known for his groundbreaking work on the concept of Nazm, or Coherence, in the Quran. He was instrumental in producing scholarly work that proved that the verses of the Quran are interconnected in such a way that each Surah, or Chapter, of the Quran forms a coherent structure, having its own central theme, which he called umood the theme which stands out. He also started writing his own exegesis, or tafsir, of the Quran which was left incomplete due to his death in The Muqaddimah, or the Introduction, to this tafsir is an extremely important work on the theory of Nazm-ul-Quran.
Imam Hamiduddin Farahi -
Preface It has always been the need of our mission that people be introduced to the personalities of the Farahi school of thought. He has given a brief biographical sketch of these personalities and introduced their major works and also has presented a comparative analysis of their scholarly contributions. The objective of the author was to present the contributions of these personalities in the revival and renewal of religious sciences and thought in Islam in the modern age. We hope that this work will play an important role in doing so. This religion was revealed to and conveyed by Muhammad sws as the final Prophet and Messenger of this religion and also the seal of the Prophets. The natural result of this acceptance is to know that Islam is the religion of all times and place.
The Farahi School of Thought – Personalities and Contributions