Shah Abdul Aziz, full name Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlavi was a well know Sunni Muslim scholar. He was a popular and well-respected Sunni Theologian and a Mystic. Shah Abdul Aziz was born on 25 Ramadan 1159 or lunar date 11 October 1746 in Delhi during the rule of Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. He belonged to a respectable military and academic background family and developed an interest in hadith. His father Shah Waliullah died when he was only 16 or 17 years old. He learned Quran at a very young age and got his education from his father and after him, his most eminent disciples. He took over his father’s seat in Madrasa Rahimiya as a teacher of Hadith.
Shah Abdul Aziz belonged to the Hanafi school of thought and was a Muhaddith, mufassir, and mujtahid. He received permission in Qadriya, Chishtiya, Suhrwardya, and the Naqshbandiya orders of Sufism.
Position of Importance
The spiritual ideas of Shah Abdul Aziz had an exquisite impact on the theological outlook of his times. Indeed, no person stirred the Muslim intelligentsia of overdue 18th-early nineteenth-century north India extra deeply than Shah Abdul Aziz did. He held an important position in the Indo-Persian elite of Delhi and that is approved by the fact that most of the important Theologians were either his disciples or the people that admired his work. Indian schools of hadith learning still present has the name of Shah Abdul Aziz as their education pedigree’s head. He was the most well-respected Theologian whose Fatwas were always accepted by all schools.
Religious Views on Shi’a
Shah Abdul Aziz strongly criticized Shi’as. He didn’t think of them in high regard and thought of them as lesser human beings than Sunni Muslims. Therefore, He didn’t agree with their religious beliefs and strongly condemned their practices. Shah Aziz wrote his famous book in Persian “Toḥfa-ye eṯnā ʿašarīya”, in which he openly shared his ideas and it was the most elaborated Shia-Sunni relationship and Indian Sunni reaction to the theologian postulates and ritual observances of the Eṯnā ʿAšarīya.
The book he wrote sparked tension and bitter controversy between the two sects and many books were written in reaction to that but that didn’t change Shah Abdul Aziz’s ideas about Shi’as.
In a letter, he advised Sunni not to greet Shi’as first and if Shi’as greet them first, they can respond in a cold manner. And also not to eat animals slaughtered by a Shia. At first, he heavily criticized the making of Taziya and other art linked with Muharram.
Shah Abdul Aziz views against British Rule:
The religious point of view of Shah Abdul Aziz performed a widespread role in Muslim opposition to British rule. His judicial pronouncement that British India changed into the land of infidels turned into without delay radical and decisive.
He declared India as Darul Hub (land of war) under British Rule and said it was obligatory for Muslims and Hindus to start a war against them for freedom, justice, and inequality. He wrote a fatwa stating that the main objective of both the parties would be to oust the British then decided to rule in conjunction or separately. For this, he was known as the pioneer of the Indian Freedom Movement.
Viewpoint on Modern Knowledge
Unlike the customary theory regarding the English language and foreign conquers, he turned into pretty moderate in his perspective. He understood the cost of English and was never adverse to its learning. He was of the view that Muslims should not refrain from learning the modern scientific and technical achievements of the British.
Moreover, he timely-honored a positive degree of collaboration with the British as not best inevitable but advisable; in every other decree, he said it permissible for Muslims to be looking for employment in any civilian capacity under the British which might not lead them to devote to capital sins.
Shah Abdul Aziz translated Quran in the Urdu language just like his father did in Persian because Urdu was slowly replacing Persian and it was a need of time. Just like this, he wrote and dictated many other books.
Famous books of Shah Abdul Aziz:
His famous books include:
- 1.Fatawa Aziz
Death of Shah Abdul Aziz:
He died on the morning of 7thShawwal/ 5 June 1824 in Delhi.
He was a great Islamic scholar and provided great work. Despite having radical views, he never imposed anything on anyone and did not try to make an apologetic defense of religion. His bold and controversial ideas stirred a sense of revolution and fellowship in many people. He was open to all solutions and ideas within the preview on Quran and Hadith.