Students of sacred knowledge are best known by the noble and erudite teachers with whom they study. Like parents (who were my first teachers and spiritual guides), teachers of the sacred sciences merit any and all credit for what their students achieve.
Though I have little achievement to my name and am embarrassed to be considered in any way representative of my teachers and parents, I can think of no better way to describe myself than to mention the many noble, pious, and scholarly souls who have been most influential in my life and to whom I owe the utmost gratitude.
My studies in the Islamic sciences began at Madrasat al-Hasanayn in 2000 under the guidance and supervision of its founder, Mawlana Tariq Jameel (may Allah preserve him). There, I studied the Arabic language and Islamic sciences under a long list of compassionate, erudite, and spiritually accomplished ‘ulama. I have listed their names below with the sciences I was fortunate enough to study with them:
Mawlānā Shabbīr Aḥmad (may Allah have mercy on him): Arabic Speech and Composition
Mawlānā Zubayr Kohātī: Arabic Morphology, Arabic Literature, Hadīth Terminology
Shaykh Ramzī al-Habīb al-Tūnisī: Arabic Syntax, Arabic Rhetoric, Arabic Literature
Mawlānā ʿUbayd Allāh: Islamic Creed, Islamic Jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), Logic, Sunan Abi Dawud, Principles of Tafsīr
Muftī Aḥmad ʿAlī: Islamic Law, Principles of Issuing Fatwa, History of Islamic Law, Legal Maxims, Inheritance Law, Sunan al-Tirmidhi
Mawlānā Tāriq Jamīl: Prophetic Biography
For my final year of Dars Niẓāmī studies, I transferred to the large Islamic university in Karachi, Jāmiʿah Dār al-ʿUlūm Karachi and completed the dawrat al-ḥadīth year with:
Mawlānā Rasḥīd Ashraf al-Sayfī: Sunan al-Tirmidhī, Muwaṭṭā Mālik, Muwaṭṭā Muḥammad, Tadrīb al-Rāwī
Muftī ʿAbdullāh al-Burmī: Sunan al-Tirmidhī, Shamāʾil al-Tirmidhī, ʿIlal al-Tirmidhī
Mawlānā Iftikhār Aḥmad al-Aʿẓamī: Sunan al-Nasāʾī, Sunan Ibn Mājah, Sharḥ Maʿānī al-Athār
Mawlāna ʿAzīz al-Raḥmān: Sunan Abī Dāwūd
Muftī ʿAbd al-Raʿūf al-Sikarhwi: Saḥīḥ Muslim
Muftī Muḥammad Rafī al-ʿUthmānī: Muqaddamah Saḥīḥ Muslim, Saḥīḥ Muslim, Saḥīḥ al-Bukhārī
Muftī Maḥmūd Ashraf al-ʿUthmānī: Saḥīḥ al-Bukhārī
Muftī Muḥammad Taqī al-ʿUthmānī: Saḥīḥ al-Bukhārī
Upon graduation, I was fortunate enough to collect ijāzahs in ḥadīth from several notable masters of ḥadīth and students of the polymath, Shaykh al-Islam Husayn Aḥmad al-Madanī, including:
Mawlānā Salīm Allāh Khan
Mawlānā Sarfarāz Khan Safdar (may Allah have mercy on him)
Mawlānā ‘Abd al-Hamīd Sawātī (may Allah have mercy on him)
Khwājā Khān Muḥammad (may Allah have mercy on him), who was also my shaykh al-ṭarīqah
Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Halīm Chishti al-Nuʿmānī
All of the above shuyūkh were direct students of Shaykh al-Islām and amongst the most senior scholars in the subcontinent. Upon meeting Mawlana ʿAbd al-Halim Chishti, I was fortunate to be allowed to study in a post-graduate (takhaṣṣuṣ) program with him. Along with various research projects and heavy reading assignments, our course work including the following ḥadīth studies texts: Sharḥ Nukhbat al-Fikar, Muqaddamah Ibn Salāḥ, Al-Rafʿ waʾl-Takmīl, Shurūt al-Aʿimmah al-Khamsah, and Shurūṭ al-Aʿimmah al-Sittah.
Upon returning to the United States, I have been able to continue studies both in the sacred sciences and in the applied behavioral sciences, and have had the good fortune of being able to work with and interact with several prominent scholarly personalities, including:
Shaykh al-Tafsīr Mawlānā Muḥammad Naʿīm (may Allah have mercy on him), with whom I intended to study the Quranic sciences before his passing but was not able to do so.
I have been wonderfully blessed by Allah to be pursuing studies in Islamic Theology, Dialectics, and Philosophy through Darul Qasim under:
Mawlānā Mohammed Amīn Kholwadia: Tabṣirat al-Adillah , Hujjat Allāh al-Bālighah
Most recently, I have had the good fortune to study parts of Al-Muwāfaqāt, Tafsīr al-Bayḍāwī, and Saḥīḥ al-Bukhārī with:
Shaykh Sāmir al-Naṣṣ
To list the many great personalities I have met over the years would be exhaustive, so I suffice with these personalities who have been essential in positively influencing me and tirelessly working towards my education and spiritual development.
Of course, it goes without saying that I owe everything to the most compassionate, caring, and cultured people I have met in my life: my parents. Without their kind and diligent upbringing, I would not have been able to accomplish anything. May Allah reward both of them eternally and infinitely, especially my mother, Dr. Tallat Anwar Ali (may Allah have mercy on her and enlighten her grave). I continue to benefit from the support and care of my honorable father, Dr. Muhammad Ali (al-Ansari), and I pray that Allah grants him a long, healthy, and happy life.
This is the short and most important part of my biography. The rest are minor details.