Great Islamic personalities
Khalifah-e-A’la Hadrat Mufti Muhammad Noor Qadiri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه
Maulana Abu Majid Muhammad Shahid Attari Madani
It was a blessed night in Muharram 1331 AH when a righteous young scholar of Islam was resting in Madina. As he fell asleep, he beheld the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and his two closest Companions Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Sayyiduna Umar al-Farooq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عنهما, who then left, leaving him alone with the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. As the dream continues, the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم places his hands on the young man’s chest, and they begin walking. He asks three questions about Islamic beliefs, one after the other. The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم answers each question and then says, ‘Whatever Ahmad Raza Khan says, it is the truth.’
Moved by what he had seen, the man was eager to visit Imam Ahmad Raza Khan in Bareilly, (Ulama` ‘Arab kay khutoot fazl Baraylvi kay naam, p. 111). Returning to India, he presented himself before A’la Hadrat, entered the ranks of his students, and obtained authorisation from him in hadith and the Qadiriyyah Razawiyyah Order, (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 120). This young and blessed scholar was from the village of Odherwal and Chacora in Chakwal District (Punjab, Pakistan), and his name was Muhammad Noor Qadiri.
Mufti Abul Fakhr Muhammad Noor Qadiri Sunni Hanafi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه was born on 13 Rajab 1307 AH/5 March 1890 CE, in the area of Odherwal to a scholarly family tracing its lineage to the Quraysh of Hijaz. His noble father was Maulana Qadi Alam Noor Qurayshi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, and his grandfather was Hafiz Muhammad Sardar Ahmad Qurayshi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه. According to the family tree recorded in his personal diary, he was a descendent of the Beloved Prophet’s uncle Sayyiduna Abbas رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 118).
The lantern of a scholarly family
Scholarship and erudition were hallmarks of his family which produced several scholars across generations. His paternal grandfather, Allamah Muhammad Sardar Ahmad Qurayshi was a student of Bahr-ul-Uloom Hafiz Muhammad Azeem Peshawari رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, a great scholar, researcher, and the teacher of scholars. Shaykh-e-Tareeqat Khuwajah Hafiz Ghulam Nabi Lillahi, Maulana Hafiz Abdul Haleem Karyalwi, and the father of Allamah Muhammad Noor, Maulana Alam Noor Qurayshi, were his students.
Education and training
Despite weak eyesight, he was naturally inclined to the pursuit of knowledge. After completing initial studies with his father, he studied under local scholars before travelling to Shahjahanpur, UP, India and other cities for the pursuit of sacred knowledge. He was very intelligent and smart. Along with excelling in multiple disciplines, he gained mastery in Arabic as evident from his correspondences with his peers, (Tareekh-ul-Dawat-ul-Makkiyyah p. 68).
Journey to Baghdad
Driven by his unbound love for knowledge and scholars, he sojourned in Baghdad circa 1328 AH where he gained authorisation from senior scholars and Sufi masters, (Baraheen Qatia’h, Pas-Manzar p. 47).
Visiting the Two Holy Sanctuaries
He was honoured to perform Hajj in Shawwal 1329 AH/October 1911 CE. He received authorisation in all sciences and litanies from the Qutb of Makkah and Muhaddith of Ilahabad, Abdul Haq Siddeeqi Naqshbandi Hanafi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه. He then resided in Madina for three years, basking in the Muhammadan lights, reaping the company of its scholars, (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 119). He was famously known with the title of Sufi there. There, he met Maulana Sayyid Ahmad Ali Rampuri and Maulana Kareemullah Punjabi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهِمَا in 1330 AH. They hosted him and read parts of ad-Dawlat-ul-Makkiyyah to him which he was pleased to hear. Maulana Kareemullah requested him to write an endorsement, but he said that he would soon return to India where he will meet A’la Hadrat and write a proper endorsement, (‘Ulama` Arab kay Khutoot Fazil Baraylvi kay naam, p. 111). Allamah Ahmad Ali gifted him a signed copy of Allamah Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani’s رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه book Jawahir-ul-Bihar, (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 119).
Return to India
In Dhul Qa’da 1331 AH/October 1913 CE, the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم instructed him via a dream to perform Hajj and return to his family. Thus, bidding farewell to Madina before departing for Hajj, he penned a heart-wrenching ode which can be found in his diary. After returning home , he remained in correspondence with Maulana Kareemullah, but there is no indication of an endorsement to ad-Dawlat-ul-Makkiyyah. However, he did an independent work on the same topic, entitled النّیرُ الوضی فِی علمِ النَّبی, (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 119, Tareekh-ul-Dawlat-ul-Makkiyyah, p. 69).
Spiritual pledge and authorisation
During his younger days, he had the honour of sitting in the company of, and possibly giving the spiritual pledge to, a sayyid from the Chishti Order, (‘Ulama` Arab kay khutoot Fazil Baraylvi kay naam, p. 110). He also received authorisation from the head representative of the Qadiriyyah Geelaniyah Order in Baghdad, Shaykh Syed Ali Qadiri Geelani. As stated earlier, he was authorised by A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Qadiri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه too. The signed copy of al-ijazat al-matina that A’la Hadrat gifted to him is still in the possession of his heirs.
The written Arabic statement of Allamah Noor Muhammad Qadiri can be found in this, the translation of which is as follows:
“This Faqir (may Allah Almighty be pleased with him) says: May Allah Almighty preserve our master and shaykh; the presenter of undeniable proofs; the supporter of the pure religion; the author of works that benefit the masses; the scholar of the Ahl al-Sunnah; the one distinguished in knowledge and gnosis; the exegete; the hadith specialist; and the Hafiz, Haji Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi; the one who exhorts to good and discourages evils; and the true devotee of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. He has first granted me authorisation in his book al-ijazat al-matina in the following places with the following words: from page 12 ‘بِسْمِ الـلّٰـهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْم’ till page 13 ‘وھو یرید العدوان من بعد’. Then from his statement ‘اَلْحَمْدُ لـلّٰـهِ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِین’ till his final authorisation, till ‘اَلْاِجَازَاتُ الْمَتِيْنَه’ on page 23. Indeed, the authorisations I have received (in Al-Ijazat-ul-Matina) and authorisations I have been granted by Maulana Shaykh Muhammad Abdul Haq Makki and other Mashaaikh رَحِمَهُمُ الـلّٰـه, I grant authorisation in all of them to my children and to my dear ones with the conditions that are mentioned in their relevant places. O Allah! Accept this from us; indeed, you are the All-Hearing and All-Knowing, and may Allah Almighty send Salat and Salam upon our master Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and upon his honourable family.
The one in need of his Lord, the resident of Odherwal, Jhelum District, Muhammad Noor Sunni Hanafi Qadiri, wrote this with his own hand on 23 Rajab 1332 AH. May Allah Almighty be pleased with him for the sake of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who commands good and forbids evil.”
From this we learn that he received this authorisation after Dhul Qa’da 1331 AH/October 1913 CE, and before 23 Rajab 1332 AH/17 June 1914 CE.
Scholarly rank and correspondences with peers
He was an erudite scholar, a seasoned jurist of Islam, a Sufi master, a poet, and an author. He had complete mastery over Arabic, Urdu, and Punjabi, in both poetry and prosody. Many of his legal edicts (fatawa) were published in the well-known weekly newspaper Siraaj-ul-Akhbar, (Siraaj-ul-Akhbar, 6-Febuary-1915, p. 17). He would also exchange letters with the scholars of ahl al-Sunnah. Some of the scholars that he was in contact with include Peer Mahr Ali Shah Golrawi, Peer Syed Jama’at Ali Shah Muhaddis Ali poori, Allamah Na’eem-ud-Din Muradabadi, and Allamah Fayd-ul-Hassan Fayd رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهِمَ, (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 120). Whenever a book of A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه would be published in Bareilly, it would be sent to him, (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 120).
Religious services and authorship
He had devoted his entire life to acquiring and spreading sacred knowledge. He penned fifteen books in Arabic, Urdu, and Punjabi as both poetry and prose. They include:
1. دفع الجہال عن تکرار الجماعة (Urdu / Arabic)
2. ردّ الشہاب علی المفتری الکذاب (Urdu)
3. مجموعۃ المورد الروی فی المولد النبی (Punjabi, poetry)
4. المراة الحلیہ للحلیة النبویة (Punjabi, poetry)
5. سلوک اکمل السبیل یا التوجہ الی افضل الرسول (Punjabi, poetry)
6. احسن النغم فی مدح الغوث الاعظم (Punjabi, poetry)
7. الخزی المزید (Urdu /published)
8. التوضیحات لمافی اشعة اللمعات (Arabic)
9. النیر الوضی فی علم النبی (Arabic / published) (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 120)
Marriage and children
He married into a scholarly family from Chacora (Chakwal District). After this, he became a permanent resident of Chacora. His son, Maulana Qadi Hakim Ahmad Chacorawi was a renowned herbalist and his heir. Likewise, Maulana Hakim Muhammad Farooq, from his household, is a seasoned herbalist and the Imam of Jami Masjid Chacora.
Death and burial
Towards the end of 1914 CE and the beginning of 1915 CE, there was an outbreak of plague in Chakwal, during which many homes were left bare, and it was during this outbreak that he passed away in Safar or Rabi-ul-Awwal 1333 AH/January 1915, (Tazkirah Ulama-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Zila’ Chakwal, p. 122), with the Testimony of Faith on his lips. Six women from his family also passed away on that day, and their funeral prayer took place together. He was buried in the graveyard of Miyan Sahib Baba Abdul-Shakur رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه in Odherwal, (Siraaj-ul-Akhbar, 6-February-1915, p. 17), and his shrine is still located there today.
Accounts from attending the shrine of Allamah Muhammad Noor Qadiri
The author (of this document) has been researching about the students and vicegerents of A’la Hadrat, meeting with their associates and visiting their shrines. Most of the information regarding Allamah Mufti Qadi Muhammad Noor Qadiri was acquired from the head of Bahauddin Zakariyya Library Chakwal, Peer Zadah Abid Husain Shah, (Tareekh-ul-Dawlat-ul-Makkiyyah, p 68).
 A treatise by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه on the vast knowledge of the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
 A book containing the various chains of transmissions of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه and the requests for authorisation that were sent to him by Ulama from Makkah, and Madinah. It was compiled by A’la Hadrat’s son Maulana Hamid Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه in 1324 AH.