Friday, August 6, 2010

Sayyed Sulaiman Nadvi; The Great Islamic Scholar and Urdu Writer

Allama Sayyed Sulaiman Nadvi (Urdu: سید سلیمان ندوی) (November 22, 1884 - November 22, 1953) was an eminent Indian and Pakistani historian, biographer, littérateur and scholar of Islam. He is the author of monumental works, Sirat-un-Nabi (Life of Holy Prophet) and Khutbat-e-Madras.
Sulaiman Nadvi was born on November 22, 1884 in Desna village of Patna, British India. His father, Hakeem Sayyed Abdul Hasan was a pious Sufi.

His first teachers were Khalifa Anwar Ali of Desna and Maulvi Maqsood Ali of Ookhdi. Later he received his education from his elder brother, Hakeem Sayyed Abu Habeeb and his father, who was a physician at Islampur near Patna. In 1899 he went to Phulwari Sharif (Bihar) where at the famous Khanqah-e-Mojeebia he became a disciple of Maulana Mohiuddin and of Shah Sulaiman Phulwari. From there he went to Darbhanga where he studied for a few months at Madrasa-e-Imdadia.

In 1901, he was admitted into Dar-ul-Uloom Nadva at Lucknow. He studied for seven years at Nadva. He was also appointed sub-editor of the journal, An-Nadwa. Young Sulaiman's first article, Waqt (Time) was published in the monthly Urdu Journal Makhzan edited by Sir Sheikh Abdul Qadir. In 1906, he graduated from the Nadva. In 1908, Sulaiman Nadvi was appointed an instructor of Modern Arabic and Dogmatic Theology at Dar-ul-Uloom Nadva.

Aligarh Muslim University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctorate of Literature (DLitt) in 1940.

In 1910, Shibli Nomani had begun the monumental task of writing Sirat-un-Nabi (biography of Muhammad in Urdu), but could not complete it. Sulaiman Nadvi after death of his mentor Maulana Shibli on November 18, 1914, left the job of Professor in Deccan College, Pune and came over to Azamgarh. Sulaiman not only edited and published the two volumes of Sirat-un-Nabi penned by Shibli but also himself wrote and published third, fourth, fifth and sixth volume of this Magnum Opus. The work started through the munificence of late Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum of Bhopal and later through the aid of Nizam of Hyderabad. It is the grandest biography of Muhammed ever attempted in any language of the world.

In October-November 1925, Sulaiman Nadvi delivered a series of eight lectures on the life of Muhammad at Madras. These lectures which are a masterpiece of erudition later published as Khutbat-e-Madras.

In 1940, he published Rahmat-e-Aalam, a book written for children on the life of Muhammad.

In 1933, he brought out his monumental work, Khayyam. The nucleus of this book was an article on noted Persian scholar and poet Omar Khayyam.

Syed Sulaiman Nadwi and some other thinkers who wanted Hindu-Muslim unity in British India even suggested that the term ‘Urdu’ be abandoned in favour of ‘Hindustani’ because the former conjured up the image of a military conquest and war whereas the latter had no such symbolic baggage.

Sulaiman Nadvi founded Dar-ul-Mosannefeen (Academy of Authors) also known as the Shibli Academy at Azamgarh. The first book published was Ard-ul-Quran (2 volumes).

After partition of India, Sayyaed Sulaiman Nadvi migrated to Pakistan in June 1950 and settled in Karachi. He was appointed Chairman of Taleemat-e-Islami Board to advise the Islamic aspects of Pakistan's constitution. He died on November 22, 1953 in Karachi at the age of 69.

Sayyid Sulaiman Nadvi has written many valuable books and some of his books proved to be best selling. Till now people across the globe get guidance and light of knowledge from his books. Some of his books are mentioned below:

• Sirat-un-Nabi

• Durûs-ul-Adab

• Khutbat-e-Madras

• Rahmat-e-Aalam

• Naqûsh-e-Sulaimân

• Hayât Imâm Mâlik

• Ahl-us-Sunnah-wal-Jamâ'ah
• Yâd-e-Raftagân

• Barîd Farang

• Seir-e-Afghânistân

• Maqâlât-e-Sulaimân

• Umar Khayyam

• Rahmat E Aalam

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