Syed Abul Ala Maudoodi (Left) being presented with the 1st King Faisal Prize for his service to Islam by HRH Prince Mohammed bin Faisal Al Saud (Right).
My late father’s maternal Grandfather’s name was “Mohsin ud Daula Nawab Ahmad Mirza Khan” who was sentenced to death and hanged during the Indian rebellion of 1857. The Chishti Order began in Chisht under its founder Abu Ishaq Shami, the first in the Chishti lineage to settle in Chisht and to adopt the name. The Chishtiyyah lineage continued through Abu Ishaq Shami's disciple Abu Ahmad Abdal, who was born in Ramadan 260 AH during the reign of Al-Mu’tasim Bi’llah, the 8th Abbasid Caliph and passed away in 355 AH. He was survived by his son and disciple Abu Muhammad Chishti, a contemporary of Mahmud Ghaznavi and joined ranks with him in his conquest of the Indian Subcontinent. It is narrated in some accounts that Mahmud was his disciple as well. He passed away in 421 AH. Here forth the lineage passed down to Nasir-ud-Deen Abu Yusuf Chishti who was a successor to his maternal uncle and master Abu Muḥammad Chishti as Caliph.
Khawaja Nasir-ud-Deen Abu Yusuf Chishti from his maternal side belonged to the Hasani lineage, which descended from Hasan al-Muthanna the son of Imam al-Hasan. From his paternal side he was a descendant of Imam Ali Taqi and Imam Husain. He passed away in 459 AH.
Here forth the lineage passed down to Khwaja Qutubuddin Mawdud Chishti who was the son and Mureed of Khawaja Abu Yusuf Chishti, later on inheriting the Caliphate. His works include two books Minhaaj ul Arifeen and Khulasat ul Shariah, which remain extinct till date. He passed away at the age of 97 in 533 AH during the reign of Sultan Sanjar bin Malik Shah.
I hail from the family tree of the Maudood lineage, our first ancestor who came to settle in India was Khwaja Maudood Thani who since the last six generations was a descendant of Khwaja Qutubuddin Mawdud Chishti, his son Khwaja Ali later settled near Panipat. However, his son Muhammad Shah Khwajgi later went back to settle in Chisht. Whilst he was there the Emperor Khurasan chose to conjugate his daughter in matrimony with him which resulted in the birth of Hazrat Abul Ala Maudoodi in 869 AH who once reaching adulthood chose to migrate back to India. This took place during the era of Sikandar Lodi who at that time was in war against the Raja of Narwar. Having took place in the Battle, the Raja met his fate due to his spear. Impressed by his valor and success, Sikandar Lodi awarded 12 villages to be governed under his jurisdiction. Hazrat Abul Ala Maudoodi passed away in 935 AH.
Khwaja Karam Ilahi was the first from Hazrat Abul Ala Maudoodi’s descendants to hail from Delhi due to his marriage with the daughter of Sheikh e Tareeqat Shah Mohammad Aman, who also hailed from Delhi. Syed Karam Ilahi’s son Syed Waris Ali Shah was betrothed to the daughter of Khwaja Naqshband urf Khwaja Nathoo’s daughter who was also the granddaughter of Nawab Faiz ullah Baig Khan Bahadur Arif Jang, the Nawab of Mewat. Their child was Syed Hasan Maudoodi who later wed the daughter of Mohsin ud Daula Ahmad Mirza Khan, their eldest son Syed Ahmad Hasan being my father who was born merely two years before the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was my fathers maternal Uncle. My father was one of the very few pupils to be considered eligible for admission when Sir Syed Ahmed Khan laid the foundation of Aligarh Muslim College, amongst those few were also Sir Muhammad Rafiq and Sir Buland Jang’s son in law as well. My late father was only able to study till his F.A level of education at Aligarh. After dropping out of Aligarh he moved to Allahabad to gain his education and degree in law, which one could attain whilst not being a graduate.
After attaining his degree in Law, he practiced it in various cities notably Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bulandshahr etc. He also served as a mentor to the Crown Prince of the State of Rajputana for a brief period of time. By the end of the 19th Century i.e 1894 he moved to Hyderabad following which he chose to finally settle in Aurangabad Deccan whilst practicing law.
My late father during his initial days in Aurangabad was leading his lifestyle as an individual inspired by the west and in their manner, his relation with religion was similar to that of what he and his peers had obtained whilst attaining education at Aligarh, the ills of the world had become a part of his life. While in Aurangabad he was introduced to Molvi Mohyuddin who at that time was serving as a Session Judge in the city. Molvi Mohyuddin was the son of Molvi Rashiduddin Khan, the same notable person who had served as a mentor to Molvi Mumlook Ali. Molvi Ahmad Ali Saharanpuri, Molvi Muhammad Qasim Nanutavi, Molvi Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi and Molvi Muhammad Yaqub(the First President of Dar ul Uloom Deoband). All these individuals had the honor of being the disciples of Molvi Mumlook Ali.
My late father’s life drastically started to change and overhauled whilst being in the company of Molvi Mohyuddin which led him to discover solace in his religion, drawing more towards it than ever before. This change led him to bid farewell to the ills and pleasures of the world, abandoning the western way of life and instead growing a beard. This epiphany had resulted in abstaining from the ills of the world which led him to differentiate between Halal & Haram. He started leading a pious way of life, praying five times a day and would seek solace in remembrance of the Almighty. This was about the same time when I was born in September 1903, Rajab 1321 AH. Six months following my birth my father took the extremely difficult decision of parting ways with his profession as a lawyer. As I believe he was disheartened by it to the extent that he even chose to disassociate himself from the earnings of his time spent in that profession. He later moved on to settle in a village named Arab Serai near Delhi which was in the vicinity of Humayuns Tomb leading a modest and simple lifestyle as compared with his younger days.
At times I wonder if the area is still known by its name and importance as it was at that time.