Khalifah of A’la Hadrat, author of Bahar-e-Shari’at, Sadr-ush-Shari’ah, Badr-ut-Tareeqah, ‘Allamah Maulana Mufti Muhammad Amjad ‘Ali A’zami رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه passed away on the 2nd night of Zul-Qa’da-til-Haraam 1367 AH. (Tazkirah Sadr-ush-Shari’ah, pp. 39)
Sadr-ush-Shari’ah رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه dedicated his whole life to serve Deen-e-Mateen (Islam) by engaging himself in the religious activities such as ‘teaching and giving Dars’, ‘authoring and compiling books’ and ‘writing Fatawa’. Besides writing other Islamic books, it is a great favour of Sadr-ush-Shari’ah, Mufti Muhammad Amjad ‘Ali A’zami رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه upon the Muslim Ummah that he compiled the rulings of Fiqh spread in various large and heavy Arabic books of Hanafi Fiqh and prepared a glorious Urdu literary work, making it an Islamic encyclopaedia named ‘Bahar-e-Shari’at’. For expressing the blessings of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, he رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه himself stated, ‘If the King Aurangzeb Aalamgeer (رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه) had seen this book (i.e. Bahar-e-Shari’at), he would have weighed me in gold.’ (Tazkirah Sadr-ush-Shari’ah, pp. 46)
Bahar-e-Shari’at and Dawat-e-Islami
Upon the desire of Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat, ‘Allamah Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qaadiri دَامَتْ بَرَكَاتُـهُمُ الْعَالِيَـه, اَلْحَمْدُلِلّٰە the scholarly and research Majlis, ‘Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah’, a Majlis of Dawat-e-Islami, a Madani movement of devotees of Rasool, undertook the following tasks carried out on 20 parts of this excellent book: ‘Adding annotations and references, making text easier, indicating the correct writing style of old and new words, meanings of difficult words, explanation of terminologies and names, beneficial explanatory notes and a brief and detailed list’.
Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah incredibly performed the assigned task within just 7-year period whereas Maktaba-tul-Madinah, the publishing department of Dawat-e-Islami, has initially published it in 3 volumes according to modern publication standard. Let’s have a glance at the scholarly and research work of Majlis Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah carried out on Bahar-e-Shari’at:
First of all composing work of the glorious book ‘Bahar-e-Shari’at’ was done, in which efforts were made to maintain the style of the writing of the blessed author ‘Mufti Muhammad Amjad ‘Ali A’zami رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه’ as much as possible. After the preface of each volume, both new and old ways of writing have been mentioned opposite each other.
Every blessed Hadees and Islamic rulings have been started from a new line, and to facilitate all readers, ruling numbers have been mentioned along with each ruling. Quranic Ayahs have been made evident by placing the printed ‘﴿﴾’ brackets.
9 copies from 8 publishing houses were gathered from Mubarakpur India, Bab-ul-Madinah Karachi and Markaz-ul-Awliya Lahore. All these copies were minutely scrutinised and then comparison work was done on the basis of the copy received from Maktabah Razawiyyah, Aaram Bagh, Bab-ul-Madinah Karachi (an exact identical of the old copy published in India). Help was also sought from other copies where needed.
Adding references and annotations
References were not mentioned in the first part of Bahar-e-Shari’at whereas, in the second part, only the names of the reference books of Ahadees, and in other parts, only the names of the reference books of Ahadees and rulings of Fiqh were mentioned. Volume and page numbers etc., were not mentioned. So, the Madani ‘Ulama of Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah, with great efforts, added the complete references of Quranic Ayahs, blessed Ahadees, and rulings of Fiqh; references including name, chapter, section, volume, and page number of a book in footnotes. In the bibliography at the end of the book, author’s name, the year of his demise, publisher, and the year of publication have been mentioned.
Explanation of terminologies
All terminologies of Fiqh used in every volume have been compiled at one place after preface of every volume according to the alphabetical order as well as at the end of the terminologies; explanation of difficult names used in Bahar-e-Shari’at has been mentioned in an easy way after collecting them from different books.
Meanings of difficult words
Making it easy for readers, a list of meanings of difficult words has been added according to the alphabetical order after the explanation of terminologies and names in each volume. Different dictionaries were used for this purpose and the meanings of difficult words are also mentioned at some places in the footnote for understanding the sentences easily so that the correct Islamic ruling is memorised and no ambiguity is left.
After mentioning footnotes of the blessed author at the same page, ’۱۲ منہ’ has been mentioned as before whereas after consulting great Islamic scholars, Al-Madina-tul-Ilmiyyah (Dawat-e-Islami) has added footnotes at different places for the correction of rulings, Terjeeh [preference], explanation and Tatbeeq [reconciliation]. The word “Ilmiyyah” has also been mentioned at the end of the footnote to make it distinctively visible.
Bestowals of Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat
Upon the request of Majlis Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah (Dawat-e-Islami), Shaykh-e-Tareeqat, Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat دَامَتْ بَرَكَاتُـهُمُ الْعَالِيَـه authored a booklet named ‘Tazkirah Sadr-ush-Shari’ah’ on the blessed biography of the blessed writer of Bahar-e-Shari’at and it was added at the beginning of the first volume. He دَامَتْ بَرَكَاتُـهُمُ الْعَالِيَـه blessed the readers with 17 intentions for reading this glorious book. These have also been made the part of each volume. These bestowals are still continued. When the 3rd volume of Bahar-e-Shari’at was almost ready for publication, Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat دَامَتْ بَرَكَاتُـهُمُ الْعَالِيَـه sent a congratulatory message to Majlis Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah via a draft and encouraged the devotees of Rasool to read this book. This note has also been added at the beginning of the third volume.
When this glorious book came in the hands of the admirers and followers, many honourable Muftis and blessed Islamic scholars رَحِمَهُمُ اللّٰە from Pakistan and India appreciated the great Islamic services of Dawat-e-Islami and Majlis Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah and they even sent their views in writing. Some of them were published in the second (previous) edition.
اَلْحَمْدُلِلّٰە! Until now, this glorious book has been published by Maktaba-tul-Madinah, a publishing department of Dawat-e-Islami on plain paper and coloured paper as well. May Allah Almighty accept the efforts of Majlis Al-Madina-tul-‘Ilmiyyah, a Majlis of Dawat-e-Islami, and make it beneficial for its readers. May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ shower mercy on Sadr-ush-Shari’ah رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه and forgive us without accountability for his sake.
اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم