My Time in the Blessed Company of
The King of Gnostics
Hazrat `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri (RA)
By Monawwar Ateeq
HAZRAT `Allamah `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri (Rahmatullahi alayh) was born in Mirzapur in the home of Mouwlana Allah Ditta on 24th Sha’ban 1363h (13th August 1944). His family migrated to Lahore whilst he was a child and he started his primary education there. He thereafter studied under the leading Ulama of his era among them were Muhadith-e-Azam Pakistan Mouwlana Sardar Ahmad Qadiri, the spiritual mentor of his mother, `Allamah Gulam Rasool Rizwi commentator of Sahih Bukhari, Mufti-e-Azam Pakistan Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad Qadiri son of Sayyid Deedar `Ali Shah Alwari, Mufti `Abdul Qayyum Hazarawi ex-President of Jamia Nizamiya, and Ustaadh al-Ulama `Allamah `Ata Muhammad Bandyalawi, senior teacher at Jamia Mazhariya Bandyal. He surpassed his peers in combining between the inner and outer sciences and was renowned for his mastery in the rational sciences (ma`quwlat). Among his living peers are `Allamah `Ali Ahmad Sidehlwi the Musnid of Lahore and `Allamah Gulam Rasool Sa`eedi the Muhadith of Karachi, who studied Jami` Tirmidhi together with him at Jamia Mazhariya Bandyal.
Hazrat was also a Muhadith and had a lot of interest in the chains of Hadith. He narrates from the abovementioned scholars and from Sayyid `Abdurahman Kattani of Morocco, the Mufti of Egypt Muhammad `Ali Jum`ah, Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi Maliki, Shaykh Fadhl al-Rahman Madani, Mufti Hassan bin Muhammad al-Ghumari, Sayyid Malik al-`Arabi al-Sanusi al-Madani, Shaykh Muhammad `Ali Murad Shami al-Madani, `Allamah Shareef al-Haq Amjadi, Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan al-Azhari, Sayyid Ahmad Sa`eed Kazimi, Muhadith-e-Kabir Dhiya al-Mustafa Qadiri, `Allamah `Abdul Haq Bandyalawi and others.
Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad became the Spiritual Mentor (Murshid) of Hazrat Sharaf and many other Shuyukh also gave him khilafat in various Sufi pathways among them are: `Allamah Rayhan Raza who received it from Hujjat al-Islam Hamid Raza and Mufti-e-Azam Hind Mustafa Raza Khan both of whom received it from their father and from Sayyid Ahmad Nuri Barakati. Shaykh Fadhl al-Rahman Madani son of Qutb-e-Madina Dhiya al-Din Madani gave Hazrat Ijaza in his father’s silsilah. Among the others are: Sayyid Mas`ud Ahmad Rizwi, Sayyid Muhammad Ameen Miya Barakati, Sayyid Ahmad `Ali Rizwi, Sayyid Ahmad Ashraf Ashrafi Geelani, Khawajah Muhammad Sadiq of Gulhar Kotli, `Allamah Shareef al-Haq Amjadi, Sayyid Muratib Shah and Sayyid Na’eem Ashraf.
Hazrat’s Murshid: Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad
Hazrat says in Shajarah Haiy Tariqat: “This needy of Allah was the head teacher at Daar al-Ulum Islamiya Rahmaniya in Haripur Hazarah, when I pondered about seeking a perfect murshid. After constant contemplation, I chose Sayyid Sahib (Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad Qadiri of Lahore) who was a handsome embodiment of knowledge and practice, and was also the Khalifa of the Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah; Mouwlana Shah Ahmad Raza Khan Barelwi. Thus, I traveled to Lahore and asked him to accept my request to which he replied: “come the day after tomorrow”. This was a manner of the Mashayikh as they would judge whether the seeker is a true one or not. Due to their extra grace upon me, I was pretty frank therefore replied: “when a non-believer wants to utter the shahadah, it must not be delayed and he must be taught it straight away”, to which he remarked “la hawla wa la quwwata! What do you mean by this?” I said: “I want to repent on your hands, and you are instructing me to come a day after the following” upon hearing this he said “fine, so come to me at this instant” and thereafter took my pledge in the prestigious Rizwi Silsilah, this was on the 16th of Muharram 1395h, 25th March 1970.
Similarly, I requested him to grant me permission in his chain of transmission in Hadith, and recited some Hadiths of Tirmidhi before him. He was extremely benevolent with me and honored me with it whilst documenting my name on it with his own pen writing “My brother in the love of Allah, Muhammad Abdul Hakim son of Mouwlana Allah-Ditta Sahib of Lahore” Whereas Sayyid Sahib had a stringent procedure in giving his sanad. Mouwlana Qadhi Muhammad Muzaffar Iqbal Rizwi, may Allah increase his noble life, head of Jamia Nu`maniya of Lahore, once informed me that when Sayyid Sahib used to teach at the Dehli Gate Madrasah he would give the students who studied Hadith under him his Sanad certificate, but did not sign it until two or three years later! Upon my request, he also gave me Ijaza in reciting Dala’il al-Khayrat. May Allah most High have mercy on him and be pleased with him”
Sayyid Hamdullah Jaan Afgani, a skilled teacher of Arabic grammar who taught at Data Darbar for eighteen years, informed Hazrat Sharaf Sahib Rahmatullahi alayh that Mouwlana Muhammad Jaan Sabir of Deerah Ismail Khan used to study Hadith under Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad. In one of the lessons, Sayyid Sahib said “whosoever studying Hadith does not see the Messenger of Allah upon him be peace and blessings during his studies, should consider his studies unaccepted”. Muhammad Jaan Sabir had not seen the Messenger of Allah yet he had been studying for nearly eight months. One afternoon, after his classes, Mouwlana Sabir went to his room that was directly situated above Sayyid Sahibs, and sat their crying upon his loss and wept until he fell asleep in that state in which his eyes were blessed with the vision of Rasulullah (upon him be peace and blessings). From beneath, Sayyid Sahib exclaimed: “Mouwlana Sabir! So have you now been blessed with the noble vision? Congratulations!” “Yes! He was benevolent with me!” replied Mouwlana Sabir. 
Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad was the son of the massive Muhadith and Faqih of Alwar who later migrated to Lahore, Sayyid Deedar `Ali Shah Alwari. Sayyid Abul Barakat completed several classical texts in various disciplines with his father and graduated under Mouwlana Sayyid Muhammad Na`eemudin Muradabadi after having completed Qazi Mubarak, Hamdullah, al-Ufuq al-Mubeen, Sadra, Sharh al-Aqa’id, books in Medicine and the six books of Hadith with him in 1337h/1919. He thereafter completed the six books again with his father and received Ijaza in them. In the year of his graduation, he traveled to Bareily Shareef, India, with his father and they both took the Rizwi Silsilah and absolute Ijaza from the Unrivalled Imam, Shah Ahmad Raza Khan (may Allah have mercy on them all). Sayyid Sahib remained in Bareiley Shareef for a period of time and practiced Ifta under him, this is why his manner of writing has the same style as of the Great Imam of Bareily. In his appearance and beauty, Sayyid Sahib was similar to Sayyid `Ali Hussain Ashrafi Kachouchawi who was called “Shabeeh-e-Gawth-e-Azam” by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan in a Persian couplet.
Bear in mind that Sayyid Sahib’s Murshid in bay`ah was Sayyid `Ali Hussain Ashrafi and talab and Khilafat was with Imam-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Shah Ahmad Raza Khan. Likewise, Sayyid Sahib’s father, Sayyid Deedar `Ali Shah, better known as “Sanad al-Muhaditheen” chief of Hadith masters, was a Mureed of Shah Fadhl al-Rahman Muradabadi who was a student of Shah `Abdul `Aziz Dihlawi and Mureed and Khalifa of Shah Muhammad Afaq. From this fact we learn the high status and prestigious rank of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan that the leading Ulama would take Tariqa from him after they had completed their studies.
I have recorded detailed chains of Hadith for the father and son in my recent Arabic collection of chains of hadith of the Ahl al-Sunnah Ulama of the subcontinent, titled “Fat’h al-Qawiy” published recently in Damascus.
My Relation with Hazrat
`Allamah `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri’s affection towards me (May his grave be filled with tranquility and light) was of a similar nature of his Shaykh’s with him. I always considered him my spiritual father and Allah Most High has poured immense love of his into my heart. His knowledge combined with practice and humbleness made him shine out from among his peers. He was an embodiment of Sunna and Taqwa. Hazrat never complained about dunya and lived a simple life, though he could have enjoyed the luxuries of this life if he desired. I was told by an authentic source that Hazrat and his family spent over 20 years in a small 2 bedroom flat provided by Jamia Nizamiya when he taught there up until 2001!
In 2006, I was blessed to meet Hazrat in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal for the third time, and many times thereafter at his home in Lahore, at his Maktabah Qadiriya (Daata Darbar) and at the Madrasa of Mouwlana `Abdul Gafoor. I met Hazrat twice before in the UK in 2001 once at the Imam Ahmad Raza Conference in Bradford, having the memory of him sitting behind the stage crying with his eyes lowered (and this was his state at most times), and the second time was when he visited us at Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust and examined me in Fiqh, Bab al-Jana’iz from al-Ikhtiyaar.
Hazrat is the teacher of both of my teachers, `Allamah Rasul Bakhsh Sa`eedi (founder of Madrasa Faizan-e-Rasul, Birmingham) from whom I took Sarf, Nahw, Adab, Usul al-Fiqh, Fiqh, Usul al-Hadith, Hadith, Tafsir, Mantiq, and Mufti Yar Muhammad Qadiri (senior teacher at Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust, Birmingham) with whom I studied major books in Tafsir, Balagah, Fiqh, Aqa’id, Usul al-Fiqh, Falsafah and Mantiq.
Before I traveled to Pakistan in 2006, I had been in contact with Hazrat via telephone and had earned many of his duas supporting me to spread the teachings of Ahl al-Sunnah. In my first conversation that I noted in my diary dated 18th of December 2005 at 2pm I informed Hazrat that I am his Grand Student and informed him of the Sunnaconnect projects to which he replied “you are the sign of the acceptance of my efforts”. Hazrat said a similar statement to `Allamah Rasul Bakhsh Sa`eedi, my teacher and Hazrat’s student, over a telephone conversation regarding my stay in Lahore, as we finished dhikr on a Thursday at the Madrasa of Mouwlana `Abdul Gafoor saying “I have witnessed the signs of acceptance of my efforts in the likes of Monawwar Ateeq”.
After several visits to Hazrat’s house and many days of suhbah and learning various Dhikr with perseverance, I requested Hazrat to accept my talab in the prestigious Rizwi Silsilah. He asked about my bay`ah and I informed him that it was with my righteous father. He brought out his Ijazah and wrote in it my name with his pen in the following manner “I give Ijazat and Khilafat to Mouwalna `Allamah Monawwar Ateeq May Allah preserve him, son of Mouwlana Muhammad Abdullah Ateeq Sahib May Allah prolong his life, from Azad Kashmir, living in Birmingham, in the Qadiri Rizwi Barakati, Naqshbandi Mujaddidi, Shadhili, Rifa`i, and Ashrafi paths” I feel undeserving of these words and unworthy of the kindness of Hazrat Rahmatullahi alayh, but believe they are a dua for me that will Insha Allah be accepted. He also gave Khilafat and Ijaza to my Noble father Shaykhi wa sayyidi Muhammad Abdullah Ateeq (may Allah prolong his life with health more ibadah). This was on the 3rd of Rabi` al-Awwal 1427h.
As for Ijaza in Hadith and the entire Islamic sciences, I asked Hazrat to kindly present it to me so I can be connected to the great luminaries of the Ahl al-Sunnah through him, so he offered it to me and wrote “the pious son Muhammad Monawwar Ateeq Rizwi may Allah- Most Blessed and Elevated- employ him to spread the propagation of Islam” and this was a day before I received Khilafat from him on 2nd Rabi` al-Awwal 1427h. This Ijaza is numbered 937.
It was the mere love and enormous affection of Hazrat for me that during my last visit to Lahore, he called me to his abode and deputised (tawkeel) me in giving Ijaza of Hadith and in the Islamic Sciences on his behalf to the Ulama, and penned this on his personalised letterhead with a beautiful wording. This gift is dated 22nd Jamadi al-Uwla 1427h in Hazrat’s handwriting, Rahmatullah alayh. The wording is:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله وحده والصلوة والسلام على من لا نبي بعده وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين أما بعد:
فقد وكلت أخي الفاضل منور عتيق حفظه الله تعالى أن يعطي عني إجازة رواية الحديث الشريف والعلوم الدينية من هو أهله من العلماء كما أجازني به المشايخ الكبار وتفصيل أسامهم مسطور في الجواهر الغالية من الأسانيد العالية، والله الموفق.
وأوصيه باتباع ما جاء به سيدنا ومولانا محمد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وجرى به السلف الصالح رحمهم الله تعالى
وكتبه محمد عبد الحكيم شرف القادري
المقيم بمدينة لاهور باكستان
I received numerous Ijazas from Hazrat (Rahmatullahi alayh). Four of them Hazrat gave me directly and the others came to me recently through the post by courtesy of my teacher and Hazrat’s dear colleague the Musnid of Lahore `Ali Ahmad Sindehlwi (May Allah prolong his life and extend his benefit to all).
On one of my early visits in Rabi` al-Awwal, Hazrat gave me his revised and edited manuscript on Hadith chains titled “al-Durr al-Manzum fi Asaneed Bahr al-Ulum” by Muhammad Ateeq Ansari Lakhnouwi on the chains of transmissions of Bahr al-Ulum `Abdul `Ali Lackhnouwi. He opened the last two pages and told me to read from the manuscript. So I did, and it was an astounding account of Bahr al-Ulum’s meeting with the Noble Prophet (upon him be pace and blessings). Here is the translation of the Arabic passage I recited before Hazrat:
“Bahr al-Ulum’s bay`ah: he gave his pledge directly on the hands of Allah’s Messenger may Allah give him mercy and blessings, in consciousness by meeting him through means of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique, and he used to say “Abu Bakr is my means to Rasulullah”. The incident narrated by some of his students among them is his son in law Mulla `Ala`uddin, is as follows: when he migrated from Lakhnouw to Shahjahanfur and settled there, he was once studying late night in the upper floor of his home as usual whilst his students were busy in their studies in the lower floor, a handsome Arab man in his old age who had a lot of presence around him appeared and asked about Mouwlana. The students told him that he is in the upper floor so he went upstairs and gave salam, Bahr al-Ulum replied with greetings and continued studying. The old man said “do you not honour your guest?” Upon hearing this Bahr al-Ulum closed his book and attended him. The man said, “Stand, and accompany me, for somebody great is calling you”. So he did, and the man led him to a garden, and under a tree he saw a horseman who had veiled his face. Bahr al-Ulum was overwhelmed by the awe of this person. Without removing his veil, the horseman asked: “do you know the Satan cannot resemble the form of your Prophet may Allah send blessings upon him?” Bahr al-Ulum replied: “that is established in an authentic Hadith”. Then the horseman asked: “have you memorised the description (hilya) of your Prophet may Allah send peace upon him?” Bahr replied: “yes”. The Horseman removed the veil from his noble face and said: “I am your Prophet, and this is Abu Bakr”. Then Rasulullah placed his mantle on the ground and they all sat on it and he ordered Bahr to take bay`ah so he stretched his hand to the noble hand and done so. One of the students had also followed in secrecy and witnessed this event from far without being noticed. Upon returning to his home, the student was eager to know and asked about this unusual event after Fajr prayer. Bahr al-Ulum denied informing anyone but the student insisted and indicated towards some of the things he saw. Bahr al-Ulum told him of the incident, the student regretted over his loss and wept over the failure to attain this enormous gift. Whenever somebody insisted to take this pathway of bay`ah from Bahr al-Ulum he would give it and would say “`Abdul `Ali took it from Siddique al-Akbar who took it from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah send peace and blessings upon him”. And great benevolence and enormous gift is not given to except the major Gnostics, and there is no doubt in the authenticity of this bay`ah, since the consensus of the Awliya is established on this and the reports of this kind are mass-transmitted. The author of Manahil said: “this consensus affirms the events when he saw the souls of the martyrs in many nights, mounted on horses meeting the people of this dunya and speaking with them”.”
Hazrat said: “Subhanllah! Loot at this amazing incident!” thereafter he taught me a wazifa to meet Rasulullah upon him be peace and blessings, which he received from Muhadith-e-Azam Pakistan Mouwlana Sardar Ahmad rahmatullahi alayh.
Allah Allah! This was Hazrat’s love for his servant.
When I visited Hazrat on the 8th of Jamadi al-Uwla 1427h at his home, he gifted me his newly released book titled “Muqaddimaat-e-Rizwiyyah” collated by Mouwlana Abdusattar Tahir Mas’udi in which the latter collected all of Hazrat’s forwards written to books pertaining to the great Imam of India; Imam Ahmad Raza Khan. I remember Hazrat was extremely joyful on that day and took me through it smiling, may Allah shower mercy on his grave. In its front cover he wrote the following passage in Arabic
إهداء إلى العالم الناشئ والولد الذي نحسبه صالحا والله حسيبه ولا نزكي على الله أحدا، إلى ابننا العزيز مولانا محمد منور عنيق الرضوي سخره الله لرفع رأية الإسلام عالية خفاقة. وأنا الفقير إلى ربه الغني محمد عبد الحكيم شرف القادري لاهور باكستان. 8 من جمادي الأولى 1427هـ
It was time for Salat al-Maghrib and Hazrat instructed me to lead the prayer. I, feeling awfully uncomfortable to stand before the Great Imam of Shariah and Tariqa of his era, hesitated from this but this was not the first time he ordered me to lead so I stepped ahead since “command preponderates etiquette”. He would instruct me to lead even if his student or son was praying with us and a couple of times he lead the prayer himself. It was Hazrat’s spiritual aid that lead me to the mat ahead and encouraged me to recite otherwise I never attempt to take lead even on a daily basis.
After prayer, Hazrat performed dhikr and taught me it whilst I sat in a specific way as he placed his hand on my heart (Lateefa al-Qalb) for approximately twenty minutes. Hazrat’s servant and student who stayed at his house, Riyadh al-Din of India, accompanied me. On completing the dhikr session Hazrat said, “I was once sitting with a scholar when Mushtaq (Hazrat’s son) came up to me and complained of a severe headache. The Shaykh asked for some water, recited a few words and blew in it, ordering Mushtaq to drink from it. After a sip, the shaykh asked “has the pain finished?” I sitting besides him remarked astonishingly “what did you recite?” he replied “I recited these words constantly 125, 000 times in one masjid for one and a half months”. After narrating this incident Hazrat said “SubhanAllah! These are the blessings of performing dhikr with persistence and especially the Divine names of Allah. If one has permission from Shuyukh and is persistent in dhikr, he reaps all of its benefits.”
Following Dhikr, Hazrat ordered Riyadh al-Din, to read out the masterful Persian couplets of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan in rejoice of the birth of Sayyid Ibrahim Miyan Marahrawi’s son, and their excellent elaborating commentary by himself published towards the end of “Muqaddimat-e-Rizwiyya”. The whole poem is written compromising terms used in the nomenclature of Mantiq and is extremely difficult to understand. Hazrat Sahib verbally commented on all of it and mentioned that he made istikhara and special dua for spiritual opening for many days before he was given the meanings of the poem! Hazrat’s Urdu commentary and understanding of this difficult poem is a clear sign of his mastery in the rational sciences. The reason why Imam Ahmad Raza wrote the poem in this manner was because he was teaching Mantiq when he heard of the good news of the birth of this son, from Balgram, as he mentions in the opening couplets. The poem consists of terms such as wadha and hamal with their abbreviations (jeem and baa, both with long madds), Shakl, Qiyas Iqtirani, Natijah, Tasdeeq, Hujja, Aks Mustawi.
Hazrat loved his students equally to his sons. He considered them his spiritual progeny and honoured them, illustrated kindness towards them and always offered them Nasihah. Once Hazrat came into the room around Zuhr time smiling and said “Aisha says something” Aisha is Hazrat’s grand daughter, the child of Dr Mumtaz the eldest son, and then called her and told her to repeat what she said. Aisha in a shy tone repeated “I will take Munawwar Chachu to Madina with me” (chachu is an affectionate way of saying uncle in Urdu) Hazrat continued smiling and made Dua for the acceptance of this word. On my numerous visits to his home, or via telephone, Hazrat reminded me of the words of Aisha.
When my marriage date had been decided, I invited Hazrat to my wedding in Kashmir. He apologised and I continually insisted that he should come and I ensured the comfort of his journey but Hazrat apologised due to the length of the journey (approximately 7 hours by car). After my marriage, Hazrat invited me and my wife to his home in Lahore, to compensate for missing the wedding, and we remained as guests in his home for two nights, but seemed like his children. He was tremendously pleased of our visit and made numerous supplications for us.
I have lost count on how many times Hazrat taught me Dhikr (talqeen). It must have been around fifteen times. The first time he placed his hand on my heart and taught me the special manner of sitting in Dhikr to keep the satanic influence away, Hazrat sang many couplets of Shaykh Attar, Jami and Rumi in Persian. I got into a state of ibtihaal whilst Hazrat was crying and singing in a frail tune. This was at the Madrasah of his dear friend, the servant of Ustadh `Ata Muhammad Bandyalwi; Mouwlana `Abdul Gafoor, on the day he invited us for food. My father in-law was present in this sitting.
Before making dhikr, Hazrat gave me the following nasiha, “the Ulama must master three things:
1. Oratory and publics sermons; this is important so that they can enjoin people in Good and Forbid Evil. But, words will diffuse into thin air and they have a short term effect on the laymen.
2. Authoring and writing; they must not ignore this important area of their duty. Words that are lost in thin air during sermons can be preserved by ink in books.
3. Dhikr and spirituality; the Ulama of the outward sciences usually ignore this aspect and remain in the conflicts of qeela wa qaal. Your realisation and proximity with Allah is the goal of your knowledge. You must practice Dhikr to bring life to the secrets hidden in your chest (referring to the Lata’if; Qalb, Ruh, Sirr, Khafi & Akhafa) when they are awake, then the entire creation attaches to you, and you attach to the throne in the realm of Light. Do you not ponder how many years it has been since Daata `Ali Hujwayri’s demise? But his shrine is attended all day and night, even the pigeons live on its roof, it is because his Lata’if are alive and are very powerful due to immense practice of Dhikr”.
On another occasion at his abode, Hazrat explained the details of Lata’if, their colours and secrets to me, and illustrated and taught me the five manners of performing Dhikr that are not enclosed to the public and are usually discussed with signs among people of Tariqah.
His manner of teaching Dhikr was powerful and one would be awed by it. He sat in front of me in the same manner that is cross legged, as I held tight “rag-e-keemas” with my right toe, placing his two fingers the index and middle finger on my heart “latifa-e-Qalb” and holding my crossed hands with his left hand or my right knee moving it rapidly, chanting Dhikr as I would look at his forehead. Hazrat once explained that there was a golden secret in this manner and later disclosed it to me. Then Hazrat would sing couplets on tawba and then shout “Huw Huw Huw” throwing a hand full of thin air at my heart, and crying out “Ya Sayyid Abul Barakat!” Alhamdulillah, I took this from of Dhikr on every visit and in most of my sittings with him, and on my last but one visit in 2006 Hazrat instructed me to start this form of Dhikr on Thursdays or Mondays with a circle of true seekers and told me that the doors of blessings had been opened for me.
I mentioned Hazrat’s passionate singing. Hazrat was a teacher of the rational arts such as Hikma with all of its subsidiary sciences, Mantiq, modern philosophy, and later he abandoned its teaching and diverted his attention towards teaching the mother books of Hadith. Hazrat was an Uslui (methodologist), Mutakallim (theologian), Faqih (jurist), Muhadith (master of Hadith) and Mufassir (Master of Quranic Exegesis) of the top rank. After having taught for approximately forty years, he secluded himself in his home where he rested his tired and ill body and occupied all of his time in `Ibadah, Dhikr, and writing when he was well. Hazrat was a persistent reader of Dala’il al-Khayrat since the time his Murshid; Sayyid Abul Barakat Ahmad Qadiri gave him permission and the Noble Qur’an on a daily basis. His spirituality increased immensely in the latter part of his life due to these reasons and therefore would sit singing Persian couplets of vast meanings compromising remorse and turning to Allah, humility and shame before Allah, munajat such as the following verses which Hazrat jotted down in my personal diary in his handwriting
عاجزي وانكسار آورده ام
بار عصيان بي شمار آورده ام
هم دو جيز آورده ام در باركاه
مو سبيد و رو سيه آورده ام
عفو تقصيرات خواهم اي معين
از طفيل رحمة للعلمين
از طفيل أنبياء وأولياء
از طفيل اسم رب العلمين
(by Mouwlana Jami)
بادشاها جرم مارا در كزار
ما كنهكاريم و تو آمر زكار
تو نكاري وما بد كر ده ايم
جرم بي اندازه بي حد كرده ايم
بر دو آمد بنده بكر يخته
آبروي خود بعصيان ريحته
(by Shaykh `Attar)
And other couplets:
صد كتاب وصد ورق در نار كن
روي دل را جانـب دلدار كن
در كنز وهدايه نتوان يافت خدارا
در صفحهء دل بين كه كتابي به ازين نسيت
آئينهء سكندر جام جم است بنكر
تابر تو عرصه كردد احوال ملك دارا
On one occasion, Hazrat gave me the manuscript of Awa’il Sunbuliyya, a text in Hadith, and told me he had completed sama` for it from a scholar in Makkah who gave him a copy of the original. Upon hearing this, I was overwhelmed with joy and eager to recite it before him and hear some of it from him. As I held it in my hand without placing it on the table, Hazrat realised what I intended. After a short while, he said: “put the book aside. You must occupy yourself only and only in the Dhikr I taught you”. I later realised that Hazrat wanted me to focus more on my inward as I had always restricted myself to words and texts. He knew I must purify my inner self for these Hadith to give their fruits. Even though I did not attain the sama` of the Awa’il from him, he did not deprive me of its Ijaza and recently sent a signed Ijaza for it through Shaykh `Ali Ahmad Sindehlwi signed by the latter too.
Hazrat was graceful upon me and also narrated to me Hadith al- Rahmah without my prior request.
Just before Hazrat’s demise, I spoke to him over the telephone and informed him that I had completed the transcription of the unpublished endorsements of the Ulama of Shaam on al-Dawla al-Makkiyya and that I sent him a copy of the published book through Mouwlana Akram Azhari, head of Bhera Sharif Branch in Lahore. Upon hearing this great news of futuh and success, Hazrat was delighted and made Dua for the betterment of my dunya and akhira. This was the last Dua I heard from Hazrat’s mouth and my chest has secured it as my ears heard it. This Arabic research is titled “Taqareez Ulama al-Shaam” and it received a forward by Dr Mumtaz Sadeedi, Hazrat’s son and Hazrat himself dictated some of it to me over the phone and the rest of it was dictated to me before him.
May Allah Ta`la reward him for His love, affection, and charity and join us with him in the company of Rasulullah in the hereafter, upon him be peace and blessings.
Writings & Translations
Hazrat is the author of numerous books. His commentary on “al-Mirqat” in the principles of Mantiq (Logic) is renowned in student and scholarly circles. Hazrat informed me that he was recently working on three things, a translation of the Qur`an in Urdu that was different to other translations as it disclosed all pronouns by mentioning the subjects in brackets, a commentary on the Divine names of Allah and he was using a rare epistle on the topic by the great Indian Muhadith who died at sea Muhammad Irtidha `Ali Khan al-Safawi, and a commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari.
Hazrat’s translation of Imam Fakhrudin Razi’s exegesis on the Noble Quran titled “al-Tafsir al-Kabir”, translation of `Allamah Mahdi al-Fasi’s Persian commentary on Dala’il al-Khayrat titled “Matali` al-Masarrat” and Urdu translation of `Allamah Fadh al-Haq’s Persian text “Tahqeeq al-Fatwa” in refutation of Shah Ismail, are three other notable works.
Hazrat’s interests in Hadith transmissions increased in the latter part of his life. It seems that this change occurred after his first visit to Egypt when over one hundred Ulama and students took Ijazas from him. Thus, in 2005, he authored his own Thabat titled “al-Jawahir al-Galiya min al-Asaneed al-Aaliya” in Arabic in which he penned the details of his Shuyukh in the various Islamic Sciences and their channels of transmission. Hazrat instructed me to proof read this work, re-organise it and publish it in more detail. I believe my Shaykh’s spiritual attention is towards me to make this affair and the other responsibilities given to me easy.
Among his other writings, Hazrat’s major concern in authoring was highlighting the blameworthy acts and practices that had creped into the Minbars, prayer mats and sermons of the Ahl al-Sunnah. He warned of narrating extremely weak and fabricated reports in Miraj and Mawlid talks, and stressed that people had lost adab with Allah Most High in their worship, Duas and sermons. His excellent and late work on this topic is “khuda kuw yaad kar piyarey” three quarters of which he himself recited to me.
Hazrat had an excellent style of penning biographies and is renowned for collating memoirs of the Ulama Ahl al-Sunnah in Urdu and Arabic. Hazrat once showed me a large document in which he penned Arabic biographies of the Sunni Ulama of the subcontinent in alphabetical order and had not finished with alif! He said he wrote these for them to be published in an encyclopedia in Jordan. Hazrat instructed me to continue this work from where he had left off. He also insisted that Dr Mumtaz Sadeedi shall proof read this work. Alhamdulillah, I penned three detailed biographies in Arabic for Muhadith-e-Wasiy Ahmad Suwrti, Sayyid Aal-e-Rasul Marahrawi and Sayyid Abul Hussain Nuri, may Allah have mercy on all of them, and sent them to Hazrat, he endorsed the work, was glad of the start and prayed for its completion.
Hazrat was also excellent in reading manuscripts and indexing classical books. On one of my visits, Hazrat gave me his copy of the Thabat of Bahr al-Ulum `Abdul `Ali Lakhnouwi in Arabic that he had proof read and solved ambiguities of its original text, and instructed me to work on it along with the Thabat of Shah Na’eem al-Din Muradabadi and al-Nuru wa al-Baha by Sayyid Abul Hussain Nuri and publish it with footnotes. All of these are manuscripts that Hazrat gave to me to work on. Books such as al-Nibras (sharh of sharh al-Aqa`id) and al-Ta`leeq al-Mujalli (a marginal note on Munya al-Musalli) of Muhadith-e-Surti are indexed by Hazrat. Both of these texts are very delicate and are annotations of mother books.
Meetings with Arab Ulama
`Allamah `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri met several Arab Ulama. In his last visit to the Haramayn during the first days of Ramadhan 2006, he met with Shaykh Muhammad `Awwama, Sayyid Malik al-`Arabi Sanusi and many other Ulama. In his earlier travels, he visited Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi Maliki Makki at his home in Makka for the first time where Hazrat delivered a khutba at a Mawlid. Sayyid Muhammad `Alawi had great love for Hazrat and met him in Jamia Na`eemiya when he went to Lahore and thirdly in Karachi. Hazrat told me that he took Ijaza in Hadith from Sayyid Muammad `Alawi on the second meeting in Lahore. Hazrat said “I was sitting near him in the ceremony at Na’eemiya. He placed something in the Ijaza and gave it to me. Later, upon opening the Ijaza, I saw a few hundred dollars and was shocked by the generosity of the Sayyid!” Hazrat narrated this incident and smiled. “Look at the akhlaq of the Sunni Ulama in the Arabs. It is very high and they are excellent examples” remarked Hazrat. Thereafter Hazrat praised the akhlaq of Sayyid Yusuf Hashim Rifa`i who was a dear friend of his, and encouraged me to adopt the top akhlaq of these Ulama.
`Allamah `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri travelled to Egypt twice to meet the Ulama of Azhar the last of the two journeys was in 2004 when his elder son Dr Mumtaz received his PhD from al-Azhar on the Arabic poetry of Mouwlana Fadhl al-Haq al-Khayrabadi and his services in Arabic literature.
On one of my visits I asked Hazrat to spare some time to visit Damascus and he was delighted by this news. We agreed that later this year or latest next year, we must visit the schools and Ulama of Shaam with Dr Mumtaz and the costs of two persons will be covered by Sunnaconnect. On one of my later telephone conversations last year, Dr Mumtaz stressed that Hazrat wanted to travel to Damascus but unfortunately this programme of ours was delayed and an opportunity has been missed, and Allah knows best.
Hazrat passed away to the mercy of his Lord on Saturday 1st September, 19th Sha`ban 1428h, at 2pm at his home in Lahore. His funeral took place the same night at Daata Darbar at 10pm, filled by scholars and students of the Sacred Deen who traveled from different parts of the subcontinent upon hearing the sudden demise, and was buried besides his home, in Lalah Zaar Phase 2, Thouwkar Lahore, at midnight. The area of land in which Hazrat is buried in was the area on which Hazrat was intending to establish a Madrasah. It was recently agreed by the Ulama and Hazrat’s sons that Hazrat’s shrine will be situated in the new building of the Madrasah.
Hazrat’s second son, my beloved brother `Allamah Mushtaq Ahmad informed me two days after the funeral prayer that Hazrat had indirectly informed them of his demise recently. He said “we wanted to fix the date of Nisaar Ahmad’s wedding (the youngest son who takes care of the Maktabah Qadiriya) as soon as possible after Ramadhan. We insisted that the marriage should be finalised for Sunday 21st of October, a week after Eid. Hazrat also stressed that the marriage must take place as soon as possible but continually denounced this date and told us we will not be celebrating on that date!” Allahu Akbar! Now, Hazrat’s fatihah and major Khatm is fixed on this date.
Hazrat `Abdul Hakim Sharaf Qadiri has left behind tens of thousands of students, some of whom are founders of Islamic schools of learning; others are senior teachers and lecturers at Islamic Universities and tens of thousands of disciples and devotees. This is my story of joy and sadness both of which came to me at once, and there are many other accounts too, but this one is the personal account of a child who lost his father.
May Allah have mercy on him and be pleased with him, reward him on behalf of the Deen and the Umma the best of rewards, and give his family, students and murideen patience in this tremendously painful time, Ameen.
Please recite fatiha for Hazrat every time you read this account.
Dog at the door of Sharaf,
 Hazrat in al-Jawahir al-Gaaliya mentioned that he served Ustaaz `Ata Muhammad and accompanied him for nearly four years (from1958 onwards) in which he studied Nahw, Balagah, Mantiq, Falsafah, Hay`at, Kalam, Handsah, Fiqh, Usul, Munazarah, Tafsir Jalalayn, Tafsir Baydhawi, Mishkat al-Masabih and Jami` Tirmidhi.
 The scholars who combined between diraya and riwaya are found to have strict policies in giving ijazas. Sayyid `Isaam `Arrar Hassani of Damascus, may Allah most High increase his life with good health and more obedience, told me and Shaykh Gibril Haddad, on our visit to his abode in 2006 that Sayyid Muhammad Makki Kattani gave him ijaza after seventeen years of continuous suhbah and studies under him in Makka and thereafter in Damascus. Alhamdulillah, he recited the entire ijaza aloud to us which is framed in an extra-large frame in the handwriting of the Shaykh. This is also the reason why the Ulama of Ahl al-Sunnah of the Subcontinent are not renowned for giving ijazas merely based on riwaya or barakah.
 Old Hizb al-Ahnaf (qadeem) in Lahore which later moved next to Daata Darbar and remains there today
 Shajarah Haey Tariqat, p10 -12
 Shajarah haiy Tariqat p 14-15
 An incomplete photocopy of it is in print in Hazrat Sharaf Sahib’s “Tazkira Ulama-e-Ahle-Sunnat”.
 He is the author of many unrivalled books. “Fawatih al-Rahamuwt”, the commentary on Musallam al-Thubuwt is his renowned work. He is among Imam Ahmad Raza Khan’s great grand teachers and Bahr al-Ulum’s father Mulla Nizamduin was the founder of the renowned Dars-e-Nizami course. Imam Ahmad Raza penned a five hundred paged annotation on Fawatih that I have a copy of in manuscript form, Alhamdulillah.
 Hazrat Sharaf Rahmatullah alah in a note mentioned that this incident occurred in a garden of Rampur.
 Allahu Akbar! Bahr al-Ulum would see the souls of people who are in their sleeps meeting the souls of the shuhada, in a state of consciousness. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya has mentioned in Kitab al-Ruh that this is true and souls do meet in this manner.
 One of the shuyukh of Sayyid Ahmad bin Zayni Dahlan in Hadith.
 I think he said Ijaza, or may have said an envelope.