Memories of My Mentor: Mawlānā Dr. ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm al-Nuʿmāni Chishtī

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Most Mercy-Giving.

Upon the passing of my mentor and intellectual guide, Mawlānā ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Chishtī Ṣāḥib (al-Nuʿmānī), who his students affectionally call Ustādh Jī or just Haḍrat Chishtī Ṣāḥib, I find myself struggling to find the right way of expressing my grief and loss. It is, no doubt, the personal loss of my mentor and compassionate motivator, but also the general loss of the entire ummah, which has become orphaned of an intellectual parent whose value it did not fully appreciate.

My initial reaction to the news of Haḍrat’s passing has not been shock so much as a retreat into silence. Despite my innate desire to be alone when grieving, the many sincere condolences of family, well-wishers, students, and acquaintances, whose loving messages only demonstrate how much I was able to convey my appreciation for my teacher, have brought me comfort and reminded me of the need to further acquaint them with my mentor.

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When the Skies Wept: The Janazah of Shaykh al-Tafsir Mawlana Muhammad Na’im

Unfortunately, we in the West sometimes remain aloof of the magnificent personalities who surround us and who hold together the fragile threads that bind our communities. The fact that this great scholar lived amongst us for so long in the U.S. and that people remained oblivious of his presence and stature, his merit and academic prowess, baffles the mind.

This was a man who had taught the highest level books of hadith at Darul Uloom Deoband for decades. He was named Shaykh al-Hadith by his own teacher and Ustadh of Bukhari at Darul Uloom Deoband, Mawlana Fakhrul Hasan al-Muradabadi (rh). His twelve-volume tafseer of the Qur’an, Anwar al-Qur’an, is unparalleled in the urdu language. His commentary on Tafseer al-Jalalayn, entitled al-Kamalayn, is a standard reference book for students of tafseer. Continue reading