The Grand Muhaddith of Pakistan
Asif Jahanzayb Attari Madani
The world has seen several radiant souls who spent their lives in the pursuit of higher goals and whose light continues to shine even after their departure. The grand muhaddith of Pakistan, Mawlana Abu’l Fazl Muhammad Sardār Aḥmad Chishtī Qādirī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه is one such astonishing individual. Born in 1323/1905, he received his initial education locally before moving to Lahore for intermediate studies. From there, he met Mawlana Ḥāmid Razā Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه and travelled to Bareilly in pursuit of sacred knowledge. Although renowned as an expert of hadith, he was also proficient in many other disciplines. He said, “People consume medicine when they fall ill, whereas I read the hadith of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and gain relief.” He spent most of his life teaching hadith as this is where his passion lay. For ten years, he taught in Dar-ul-Uloom Mazhar-e-Islam in Bareilly, India. Post-partition, he migrated to Pakistan and taught hadith at Jamia Razawiyyah Mazhar-e-Islam in Faisalabad till the final moments of his life. In the course of his extensive teaching career, countless scholars of hadith trained under him, affording him the sobriquet Muhaddith Azam (the Grand Muhaddith) of Pakistan. He internalised the Prophet’s hadith, emerging as a mirror of the hadith tradition and an embodiment of the Sunnah. He would smile when reading a hadith about the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم smiling and cry if it was about the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم crying. Witnesses confirmed that while he would teach, a light would appear that would dim the sun’s light.
Once he accepted a dinner invitation. After the meal, he told the servers, “Eat more, eat more.” Thus, the servants ate again as per his wish. He then remarked, “Today, I acted upon the Sunnah of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم with regards to his blessed conduct with Sayyiduna Abū Hurayra.” He was referring to the miraculous event in which the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم hosted seventy Companions عَـلَيْهِمُ الرِّضْوَانْ to drink to their fill from a single bowl of milk. Once they had all finished drinking, he commanded Sayyidunā Abū Hurayra رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ, “Drink!” He also drank to his fill. He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Drink!” again. He thus drank more. The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم once again said, “Drink!”
Mawlana Sardār Aḥmad رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه achieved a great status in the science of hadith. The breadth and depth of his expertise is evident from his published research. For example, he collected:
* 220 Hadith on proving the Prophet’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم knowledge of the unseen.
* 150 Hadith on the virtues and excellences of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
* 50 Hadith about miracles.
* 40 Hadith about the merits of the Companions.
* 150 Hadith relating to hadith methodology (uṣūl al-ḥadīth), biographical evaluation (asmāʾ al-rijāl), and legal adherence (taqlīd).
He gathered all of this from only the first volume of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī.
Due to his fame and skill in Hadith, commentators like Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه desired to study Hadith under him. Ulema from across the world authorised him in hadith, and his students became great scholars of Hadith. He wrote commentaries on the Six Canonical Collections of hadith, and his students wrote commentaries on the hadith and the Quran. Some noteworthy people who benefitted from his blessings are: commentator of Bukhari, Mufti Muhammad Shareef ul-Haq Amjadi; commentator of the Quran, Allamah Muhammad Riyaz ul-Din Qadiri; author and translator of many books, Allamah Mufti Fayz Ahmad Owaisi; commentator of the Quran, Allamah Jalal ul-Din Qadiri; Mufti Abdul Mustafa Azhari; Mufti Abdul Qayyoom Hazarvi; commentator of Bukhari, Allamah Ghulam Rasool Razavi; Maulana Muhammad Abdul Rashid Jhangvi; Allamah Abdul Mustafa A’zami and Mufti A’zam Pakistan, Mufti Muhammad Waqar-ul-Din Qadiri Razavi رَحِمَهُمُ الـلّٰـهُ. After being engaged in teaching and serving Hadith his entire life, he passed away on 1st Sha’baan 1382AH. His shrine is next to the Sunni Razavi Jamia, Faisalabad.
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 27
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 33
 Tazkirah Muhaddis A’zam Pakistan, vol. 2, p. 35
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 153
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 54
 Tazkirah Muhaddis A’zam Pakistan, vol. 2, p. 11
 Tazkirah Muhaddis A’zam Pakistan, vol. 1, p. 13
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 65
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 62
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 63
 Tazkirah Muhaddis A’zam Pakistan, p. 228
 Bukhari, vol. 4, p. 234, Hadith 6452
 Tazkirah Muhaddis A’zam Pakistan, vol. 2, p. 36
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 137
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 62
 Tazkirah Muhaddis A’zam Pakistan, vol. 2, p. 10
 Tazkirah Muhaddis A’zam Pakistan, vol. 2, p. 43, Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, p. 65
 Hayat Muhaddis A’zam, pp. 334 - 339