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Mahmud Al-Hasan
Full name Mahmud Al-Hasan
Born 1851 AD
Died 1920 AD
Era Modern era
Region India
Main interests Aqeedah, Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh

Shaykh-ul-Hind Maulana Mehmud Al-Hasan (Urdu: شیخ الہند مولانا محمود حسن) was an eminent Islamic Scholar who made tireless efforts in the freedom struggle during the British Rule in India. He was conferred upon by the title 'Shaykh-ul-Hind' which means the leading scholar of India. (1851–November 30, 1920)


Early life

Mehmud Hasan was born in the town of Bareilly (in modern Uttar Pradesh). His father Maulana Zulfeqar Ali was an expert and scholar of the Arabic language, and worked in the education department of the British East India Company's administration in the region. Hasan received a traditional Islamic education with a strong emphasis on the study of Islam, the Persian language and Urdu. His father sent him to the newly established Darul Uloom of Deoband school, where he was reputedly the very first student. The school was established by Eminent Muslim scholars of that time, and Hasan studied under the famous Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi, a distinguished religious scholar and founding president of Darul Uloom Deoband. Hasan completed his education in 1873, and began working as a teacher at the school. In 1890, he was appointed the Head Teacher of the school he graduated from, the Darul Uloom Deoband

In Husain Ahmed Madani's Words

Shaykhul Islam Maulana Husain Ahmed Madani writes:

"Whoever saw Shaikhul Hind and observed his moral standing from close quarters must have known that the Nature's generosity had bestowed upon him such a large heart that it would have taken the seven seas in its fold. He got benefited from Bahr-e Imdadi (great Sufi saint Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki).but didn't harangue it. He drank to the fullest of his capacity from the Qasmi fountain of knowledge (Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi) and digested it. He puffed in the mist unlimited from (Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi) cloud but never got inebriated. He never boasted of himself, never indulged in profane talk, never let steadfastness go out from the hand and never left the path of Shariah in his life. He never rested although he became thin due to the hard work."

Revolutionary activities

Although focused on his work at the school, Hasan developed an interest in the political environment of British India and the world. When the Ottoman Empire entered World War I against the British Empire, Muslims across the world were concerned of the future of the Sultan of Ottoman Empire, who was the caliph of Islam and spiritual leader of the global Muslim community. Known as the Khilafat struggle, its leaders Maulana Mohammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali organised protests across the country (see: partitioning of the Ottoman Empire). Hasan was fervently active in encouraging Muslim students to join the movement. Hasan organised efforts to start an armed revolution against British rule from both within and outside India. He launched a programme to train volunteers from among his disciples in India and abroad who joined this movement in a large number. The most eminent among them were Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi and Maulana Mohammad Mian Mansoor Ansari. Sending Maulana Sindhi to Kabul and Ansari to the North-West Frontier Province to mobilize popular support and recruit volunteers, Hasan himself travelled to Hijaz to secure Turkish support. Obtaining the Turkish governor Ghalib Pasha's signature on a declaration of war against the British, Hasan planned to return to India via Baghdad and Baluchistan to start the rebellion. The plan, referred to as the Silk Letter Conspiracy, however, was captured by Punjab CID, and he was arrested in Mecca. He was imprisoned in Malta, Malta exiles, for more than three years before his release in 1920.


Hasan's endeavours won him the admiration not only of Muslims but of Indians across the religious and political spectrum. He became an icon of the Indian independence movement, and was given the title of 'Shaikhul Hind'. Upon his release, Hasan returned to India to find the nation on the verge of revolt over the Rowlatt Acts. Hasan issued a fatwa making it the duty of all Indian Muslims to support and participate with Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress, who had prescribed a policy of non-cooperation — mass civil disobedience through non-violence. He laid the foundation stone of the Jamia Millia Islamia, a university founded by Indian nationalists Hakim Ajmal Khan, Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari to develop an institution independent of British control.He also wrote a marvelous and famous Translation of the Holy Qur'an, the commentary on which was written by one of his students, Shaykh al-Islam Allamah Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. Hasan died on November 30, 1920.


The Exegesis (Tafsir) of the Holy Qur'aan, called Tafsir-e-Usmani in Urdu Language(Translated in English also) together with Shaykhul Islam Shabbir Ahmad Usmani was a marvel by the two eminent scholars of the Indian subcontinent. [1]

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