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Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi

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Ala Hazrat



Modern era

Ahmed Khan

British India

Hamid Raza Khan

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi with mustache and beard while wearing a green turban

14 June 1856 (age 65)
Bareilly, North-Western Provinces, British Indian Empire

Allama Mawlana Naqi Ali Khan

Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Hindustani Music - Instrumental (Been / Rudra Veena / Vichitra Veena)

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Muhammad Ilyas Qadri, Muhammad Owais Raza Qadri, Muhammad Tahir‑ul‑Qadri, Hamid Raza Khan, Syed Shujaat Ali Qadri

28 October 1921 (aged 65) Bareilly, United Provinces, British India

Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (RA) ki Hayat O Khidmat Part - 7

Ahmed Raza Khan (Arabic: أحمد رضا خان, Persian: احمد رضا خان, Urdu: احمد رضا خان ‎, Hindi: अहमद रज़ा खान), more commonly known as Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi, Ahmed Rida Khan in Arabic, or simply as "Ala-Hazrat" (14 June 1856 CE or 10 Shawwal 1272 AH – 28 October 1921 CE or 25 Safar 1340 AH), was an Islamic scholar, jurist, theologian, ascetic, Sufi, and reformer in British India, and the founder of the Barelvi movement. Raza Khan wrote on numerous topics, including law, religion, philosophy and the sciences, producing nearly 1,000 works in his lifetime.


Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi with mustache and beard while wearing a green turban

Islamic question answer about ala hazrat imam ahmed raza khan barelvi maulana ilyas qadri

Early life and family

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi's father, Naqi Ali Khan, was the son of Raza Ali Khan. Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi belonged to the Barech tribe of Pushtuns. The Barech formed a tribal grouping among the Rohilla Pushtuns of North India who founded the state of Rohilkhand. Khan's ancestors migrated from Qandahar during the Mughal rule and settled in Lahore.

Ahmad Raza Khan was born on 14 June 1856 in Mohallah Jasoli, Bareilly Sharif, the North-Western Provinces. His birth name was Muhammad. Khan used the appellation "Abdul Mustafa" ("servant of the chosen one") prior to signing his name in correspondence.

Ahmed Raza Khan saw an intellectual and moral decline of Muslims in British India.

His movement was a mass movement, defending popular Sufism, which grew in response to the influence of the Deobandi movement in South Asia and the Wahhabi movement elsewhere.

Today the movement is spread across the globe with followers in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, South Africa, United States, and UK among other countries. The movement now has over 200 million followers. Many religious schools, organizations and research institutions teach the ideas of Ahmed Raza Khan.

These ideas emphasize the primacy of Islamic law over adherence to Sufi practices and personal devotion to the Prophet Muhammad. The movement was largely a rural phenomenon when begun, but is currently popular among urban, educated Pakistanis and Indians as well as South Asian diaspora throughout the world.


Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi died on Friday 28 October 1921 CE (25th Safar 1340h) at the age of 65, in his home at Bareilly.


Ahmed Raza Khan wrote books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu, including the thirty-volume fatwa compilation Fatawa Razaviyya, and Kanzul Iman (Translation & Explanation of the Holy Qur'an). Several of his books have been translated into European and South Asian languages.

Kanzul Iman (translation of the Qur'an)

Kanzul Iman (Urdu and Arabic: کنزالایمان) is a 1910 Urdu paraphrase translation of the Qur'an by Khan. It is associated with the Hanafi jurisprudence within Sunni Islam, and is a widely read version of translation in the Indian Subcontinent. It has been subsequently translated into English, Hindi, Bengali, Dutch, Turkish, Sindhi, Gujarati and Pashto.

Husamul Haramain

Husamul Haramain or Husam al Harmain Ala Munhir kufr wal myvan (The Sword of the Haramayn at the throat of unbelief and falsehood) 1906, is a treatise which declared infidels the founders of the Deobandi, Ahle Hadith and Ahmadiyya movements on the basis that they did not have the proper veneration of the Prophet Muhammad and finality of Prophethood in their writings. In defense of his verdict he obtained confirmatory signatures from 268 traditional Sunni scholars in South Asia, and some from scholars in Mecca and Medina. The treatise is published in Arabic, Urdu, English, Turkish and Hindi.

Fatawa Radawiyyah

Fatawa-e-Razvia or Fatawa-e-Radaviyyah is the main fatwa (Islamic verdicts on various issues) book of his movement. It has been published in 30 volumes and in approx. 22,000 pages. It contains solution to daily problems from religion to business and from war to marriage.

Hadayake Bakhshish

He wrote devotional poetry in praise of the Prophet Muhammad and always discussed him in the present tense. His main book of poetry is Hidayake Bakhshish. His poems, which deal for the most part with the qualities of the Prophet, often have a simplicity and directness. They reportedly created a favorable climate for na'at writing. His Urdu couplets, entitled Mustafa jaane rahmat pe lakhon salaam (Millions of salutations on Mustafa, the Paragon of mercy), are read in movements mosques. They contain praise of the Prophet, his physical appearance (verses 33 to 80), his life and times, praise of his family and companions, praise of the awliya and saleheen (the saints and the pious).


His other works include:

  • Ad Daulatul Makkiya Bil Madatul Ghaibiya
  • Al Mu'tamadul Mustanad
  • Al Amn o wa Ula
  • Alkaukabatush Shahabiya
  • Al Istimdaad
  • Al Fuyoozul Makkiyah
  • Al Meeladun Nabawiyyah
  • Fauze Mubeen Dar Harkate Zameen
  • Subhaanus Subooh
  • Sallus Say yaaful Hindiya
  • Ahkaam-e-Shariat
  • Az Zubdatuz Zakkiya
  • Abna ul Mustafa
  • Tamheed-e-Imaan
  • Angotthe Choomne ka Masla
  • Beliefs

    Ahmed Raza Khan was A Muslim scholar, belonging to Sufi traditions. He supported Tawassul, Mawlid, the Prophet's awareness of all things unseen, and other Sufi practices which were opposed by Wahabi and Deobandis.

    In this context he supported the following beliefs:

  • Muhammad, although is insan-e-kamil (perfect human), possessed a nūr or "light" that predates creation. This contrasts with the Deobandi view that Muhammad, was only a insan-e-kamil ("complete man"), a respected but physically typical human just like other humans which is totally against Barelvi beliefs.
  • Muhammad is haazir naazir (can be see many places at the same time and reach on desired place by the power given by Almighty Allah, :
  • We do not hold that anyone can equal the knowledge of Allah Most High, or possess it independently, nor do we assert that Allah's giving of knowledge to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is anything but a part. But what a patent and tremendous difference between one part [the Prophet's] and another [anyone else's]: like the difference between the sky and the earth, or rather even greater and more immense.

    He reached judgements with regard to certain practices and faith in his book [[Fatawa-e-Razvia], including:

  • Islamic Law Shari'ah is the ultimate law and following it is obligatory for all Muslims;
  • To refrain from Bid'ah is essential;
  • A Sufi without knowledge or a Shaykh without actions is a tool in the hands of the devil;
  • It is impermissible to imitate the kuffar, to mingle with the misguided [and heretics] and to participate in their festivals.
  • Permissibility of currency notes

    In 1905, Khan, on the request of contemporaries from Hijaz, wrote a verdict on the permissibility of using paper as form of currency, entitled Kifl-ul-Faqeehil fehim Fe Ahkam-e-Kirtas Drahim.


    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi awaited by some Muslims as well as a Ummati Nabi, a subordinate prophet to Muhammad who came to restore Islam to the Pristine form as practiced by Muhammad and early Sahaba. Khan declared Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a heretic and apostate and called him and his followers as disbelievers or kuffar.


    When Ahmed Raza visited Mecca and Medina for pilgrimage in 1905, he prepared a draft document entitled Al Motamad Al Mustanad ("The Reliable Proofs"). In this work, Ahmad Raza branded Deobandi leaders such as Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, and Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi and those who followed them as kuffar. Ahmed Raza Khan collected opinions of the ulama of the Hejaz and compiled them in an Arabic language compendium with the title, Husam al Harmain ("The Sword of Two Sanctuaries"), a work containing 34 verdicts from 33 ulama (20 Meccan and 13 Medinese). This work, initiated a reciprocal series of fatwas between Barelvis and Deobandis lasting to the present.


    Khan wrote various books against beliefs and faith of Shia community and declared various practices of Shia as Kufr (Infidelity). According to Imam Ahmad Raza, most Shiites of his day were apostates because they, according to him, repudiated necessities of religion.


    Ahmed Raza Khan declared Wahabis as Kuffar and collected many fatwas of various scholars against the Wahabbi Movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab who was predominant in the Arabian peninsula, just as he had done with the Ahmadis and Deobandis.

    Political views

    Unlike other Muslim leaders in the region at the time, Khan and his movement opposed the Indian independence movement due to its leadership under Mahatma Gandhi, who was not a Muslim.

    Khan declared that India was Dar al-Islam and that Muslims enjoyed religious freedom there. According to him, those arguing the contrary merely wanted to take advantage of the provisions allowing Muslims living under non-Muslim rule to collect interest from commercial transactions and had no desire to fight Jihad or perform Hijra. Therefore, he opposed labeling British India to be Dar al-Harb ("land of war"), which meant that waging holy war against and migrating from India were inadmissible as they would cause disaster to the community. This view of Khan's was similar to other reformers Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Ubaidullah Ubaidi Suharwardy.

    The Muslim League mobilized the Muslim masses to campaign for Pakistan, and many of Khan's followers played a significant and active role in the Pakistan Movement at educational and political fronts. This is evident in the fact that the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, had a private meetings with many jurists, including Ahmad Raza Khan, asking for their support in the Pakistan movement. Jinnah was affirmed full support in the Pakistan movement by Khan and also given political advice.


  • On 21 June 2010, Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, a cleric and Sufi from Syria, declared on Takbeer TV's programme Sunni Talk that the Mujaddid of the Indian subcontinent was Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, and said that a follower of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah can be identified by his love of Khan, and that those outside of that those outside the Ahlus Sunnah are identified by their attacks on him.
  • Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938), a poet and philosopher, said: "I have carefully studied the decrees of Imam Ahmed Raza and thereby formed this opinion; and his Fatawa bear testimony to his acumen, intellectual caliber, the quality of his creative thinking, his excellent jurisdiction and his ocean-like Islamic knowledge. Once Imam Ahmed Raza forms an opinion he stays firm on it; he expresses his opinion after a sober reflection. Therefore, the need never arises to withdraw any of his religious decrees and judgments. With all this, by nature he was hot tempered, and if this was not in the way, then Shah Ahmed Raza would have been the Imam Abu Hanifa of his age." In another place he says, "Such a genius and intelligent jurist did not emerge."
  • ‘Ali bin Hassan Maliki, Mufti of Mecca, called Khan the encyclopaedia of all religious sciences.
  • Ziauddin Ahmad, who was the head of department of Mathematics at Aligarh University, was once unable to find solutions to some mathematic algorithms, even after he took help from the mathematicians abroad. On the request of his friend who was also the murred (disciple) of Ahmed Raza, Ziauddin visited Ahmed Raza on special visit to get answers to his difficult questions, and under guidance of Ahmed Raza he finally succeeded in its solutions and was able to complete his PhD.
  • Justice Naeemud'deen, Supreme Court of Pakistan: "Imam Ahmad Raza's grand personality, a representation of our most esteem ancestors, is history making, and a history uni-central in his self. ... You may estimate his high status from the fact that he spent all his lifetime in expressing the praise of the great and auspicious Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), in defending his veneration, in delivering speeches regarding his unique conduct, and in promoting and spreading the Law of Shariah which was revealed upon him for the entire humanity of all times. His renowned name is 'Muhammad' (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the Prophet of Almighty Allah. ... The valuable books written by a encyclopedic scholar like Imam Ahmed Raza, in my view, are the lamps of light which will keep enlightened and radiant the hearts and minds of the men of knowledge and insight for a long time."
  • Academic dissertations

    PhD thesis on Ahmed Raza Khan written by various candidates around the world include:

  • Hasan Raza Khan (1979), Faqih-e Islam, Urdu, Patna Univeristy, Patna, India.
  • Usha Sanyal (1990), In the Path of the Prophet: Maulana Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and the Ahl-e-Sunnat wa Jama'at Movement in British India, c. 1870-1921, Columbia University, New York (USA).
  • Syed Jamal (1992), Alahazrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan aur Unki Naat Goi, Hari Singh University, Sagar MP, India.
  • Muhammad Imam ud-Din Johar Shafiabadi (1992), Hazrat Raza Barelvi Bahesiat Shair-e Naat, Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, India
  • Tayyab Raza (1993), Imam Ahmad Raza Khan: Hayat-o Karname, Banaras Hindu University, Banaras, India.
  • Majeedullah Qadri (1993), Kanz-ul Iman aur Digar Maruf Urdu Tarajim ka Taqabuli Jaiza, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Abdul Bari Siddiqui (1993), Imam Ahmad Raza jo Halat, Afkar ae Islahi Karnamo, Sindh University, Jamshoro, Pakistan.
  • Abd-un Naeem Azizi (1994), Urdu Naat Goi aur Fazil-e Barelvi, Rohailkhand University, Bareilly, India.
  • Siraj Ahmad Bastavi (1995), Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan ki Naatia Shairi, Kanpur University, Kanpur, India.
  • Amjad Raza Qadri (1998), Imam Ahmad Raza ki Fikri Tanqiden, Virkanwar Singh University, Ara, Bihar, India.
  • Muhammad Anwar Khan (1998), Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan ki Fiqahi Khidmat, Sindh University, Jamshoro, Pakistan.
  • Raza-ur-Rehman Akif Sambhali (2003), Rohailkhand kay Nasri Irtiqa men Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan ka Hissa, Rohailkhand University, Bareilly, India.
  • Ghulam Mustafa Najm-ul Qadri (2002), Imam Ahmad Raza ka Tasawwur-e Ishq, Mesur University, Mesur, India.
  • Ghulam Ghaus Qadri (2003), Imam Ahmad Raza ki Insha Pardazi, Ranchi University, India
  • Tanzim-ul Firdos (2003), Urdu ki Natia Shairi men Maulana Ahmad Raza ki Infradiat-o Ahmiat, PhD thesis, University of Karachi, Karachi.
  • Syed Shahid Ali Noorani (2004), Ash-Sheikh Ahmad Raza Shairum Arabiun ma Tadvin Diwan-ul Arabi, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Ghulam Jabir Shams (2004), Imam Ahmad Raza aur Unke Maktubat, Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, India
  • Manzur Ahmad Saeedi (2008), Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan ki Khidmat-e Ulum-e Hadith ka Tehqiqi-o Tanqidi Jaiza, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Ashfaq Ahmad Jalali (2009), Az-Zalal-ul Anqi min Bahr Sabqat-ul Atqi (lil Sheikh Ahmad Raza Khan), Arabic, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Hasan Imam (2008), Tehrik-e Pakistan men Khulafa-e Imam Ahmad Raza ka Kirdar (1920-47), PhD thesis, University of Karachi, Karachi.
  • Zafar Iqbal Jalali (2011), Asr-ul Saqafat-ul Arabia fil Madh-un Nabvia Al-Audia lil Sheikh Ahmad Raza Khan, The University of Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  • Teachers

    Ahmed Raza Khan's teachers included: :

  • Shaykh bin Zayn Dahlan Makki (d.1299/1881)
  • Shah Aal e Rasul (d.1297/1879) (also Murshid of Ahmed Raza Khan)
  • Shaykh Abd al-Rehman Makki (d.1301/1883)  
  • Shaykh Hussain bin Saleh (d.1302/1884)
  • Shah Abu al-Hasan Ahmad (d.1324/1906)
  • Societal influence

  • Ala Hazrat Express is an express train belonging to Indian Railways that runs between Bareilly and Bhuj in India.
  • The Indian government issued a commemorative postal stamp in honour of Ahmad Raza Khan on 31 December 1995.
  • Spiritual successors

    Ahmed Raza Khan holds eight ijaza (permission licenses to add people in a Silsila) in Sufi salasil.

    He had many disciples and successors, including 30 in the Indian subcontinent and 35 elsewhere.

    Currently the Dargah of Ahmed Raza is headed by SubhanAllah Raza Khan while the Darul afta is headed by Akhtar Raza Khan who is also known as the current Mufti Azam or Grand Mufti of India.


    Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi Wikipedia