Shaykh Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi)
[1233 – 1317 AH] (1814 – 1896 AD)
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was such a great personality that the title given to him by his contemporary Ulama was “Sheikhul Mashaikh” which means the leader of leaders.
His personality was well respected by the Ulama of the sub continent India and Pakistan and also by the Arab Ulama. That is why his title was also Sheikhul Arab wa Ajam (the leader of the Arabs and non-Arabs).
Haji Sahib’s background and education
Haji Imdadullah Muhaajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was born in 1233 AH (1814 AD) in Nanota, a town in the district of Saharanpur, India U.P. He father was Hafiz Muhammad Amin (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) and by lineage and ancestral background, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was a Farooqi, a descendent of Hadhrat Umar Farooq (Radiyallahu anhu).
When he was born, his father Hafiz Muhammad Amin (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) kept his son’s name Imdad Hussein. When the famous Muhaddith, Shah Muhammad Ishaaq Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) heard this name, he didn’t like it and he changed the name to Imdadullah. Imdad Hussein means the assistance of Hussein. All assistance comes from Allah. So there was a form of shirk in this name.
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) also used to attribute the name Khuda Bakhsh to himself. Some say his name was Imdadullah and others say his name was Khuda Bakhsh (gifted by Allah). Both names are close in meaning. In some places Haji Sahib calls himself Abdul Kareem (the slave of Kareem).
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) had three brothers and one sister. He grew up without motherly care as his mother passed away when he was seven years old. Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) started his education very early but he acquired very little education.
When Haji Sahib was 16 years of age, he studied Sarf, Nahw, Farsi and one quarter of Mishkaat Shareef by Maulana Mamlook Ali Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) of Delhi. Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki didn’t study Bukhari and the other books of Sihah Sitta, but Allah Ta’ala blessed Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) with Ilm Ladunni. One is that knowledge that a person acquires. He studies different subjects and books. Another form of knowledge is from Allah Ta’ala without studying.
When Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) would talk to the Ulama, he would resolve such intricate issues with the insight that Allah Ta’ala had given him. However, he would not use the Istilaahi language (academic terminologies). This is Ilm La Dunni.
When he was 18 years of age he took bayat upon the hands of Maulana Naseeruddin Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) who was the student and son-in-law of Shah Ishaaq Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). When Maulana Naseeruddin Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) passed away, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was looking for another person to give him guidance and advice in life.
This is where we learn of the famous Sheikh and the spiritual guide, Hadhrat Maulana Mayanji Noor Muhammad (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). Haji Sahib took bayat on his hands. At the age of 28, Haji Imdadullah (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) performed Hajj. When he returned after Hajj, his heart and mind remained attached to the Haram Shareef. He had a burning desire to return to Makkah Mukarramah. When he returned from Hajj, he made a firm intention that one day he will make Hijrah and go back to Makkah Mukarramah.
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) came back to his town in a place near Thanabawan. Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), and other great Ulama used to frequent Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) and they had taken Bayat on his hands.
Generally when one hears of these Ulama, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), one would think that these were great saints just sitting in the corner of a Musjid. That was not the case. These were personalities that had complete E’tidal (moderation) in their life.
Hardships whilst in Makkah Mukarramah
When he reached Makkah Mukarramah he had much difficulty. For nine days he had no food at all. He only lived on Zamzam water. He became extremely weak. When it was the tenth day he requested help from people he knew but no one assisted him until one person came and gave him 100 riyals. From that month on, every month of his life, he used to get 100 riyals. He never suffered after that for his needs. Allah arranges for his pious slaves in strange ways.
There is an incident of four Mohammads who were experts in Hadith and Tafseer; Muhammad ibn Jareer Tabri, Mohammad ibn Haroon, Mohammad ibn Nasaf and Mohammad ibn Ishaaq. These four Mohammads were traveling and became stranded. They conducted a raffle among themselves for the person who will be responsible to arrange for food. The name of Mohammad ibn Ishaaq came out.
Mohammad ibn Ishaaq never spread his hands before anybody. So he engaged himself in salaah. Suddenly, one person tapped at the door and he asked for Mohammad ibn Jareer. The person then presented fifty riyals for him on behalf of the governor of Egypt. He took the name of Mohammad ibn Haroon and presented fifty riyals for him. He gave Mohammad ibn Nasaf Zafar fifty riyals. He also gave Mohammad ibn Ishaaq fifty riyals. Then he said that the governor of Egypt was sleeping and in his sleep he was ordered to assist four Mohammads that are stranded.
Haji Imdadullah (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was also stranded. He says that he knew that this was a test from the side of Allah. If you love the Haram Shareef, you have to undergo difficulties and hardships, so you pay the price to be there. Haji Sahib became very popular in the Arab world.
There were approximately 500 or more Ulama who have taken bayat upon the hands of Haji Imdadullah Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). Not one Alim, 10 Alims or 100 but 500 Ulama. When we look at the lives of the Akaabir we don’t find so many Ulama who have taken bayat upon somebody who outwardly and apparently has very little traditional knowledge.
Some special qualities of Haji Sahib
One very outstanding quality of Haji Sahib was that he was a person who was very facilitating and very tolerant. That is why in his majlis people who didn’t subscribe to Ahle Sunnat wa Jammat used to attend Haji Sahib’s majlis (gathering). Haji sahib never picked on them. His only concern was Islah and to take the people and make them closer to Allah.
One person who was very close to Haji Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). He was a very powerful orator. The British were also looking for him. He also escaped and reached Makkah Mukarramah with Haji Sahib. Ahmad Deedat (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) benefited from the book Izhaarul Haqq of Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi).
There is a Madressah named Madressah Saulatiyyah in Makkah Mukarramah. Saulatiyyah is derived from the word Saulat. When Maulana was going to Makkah Mukarramah he requested some people for help to establish a Madressah in Makkah Mukarramah. So one woman from Calcutta, Saulat, gave money. Maulana established the Madressah in Makkah Mukarramah with her money and that is why the Madressah is named Saulatiyyah. Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) stayed very close to Haji Sahib in Makkah Mukarramah and that is where both of them passed away.
Marriages and demise of Haji Sahib
Haji Sahib married at the very old age of 55. He married three times. The first wife passed away. The second wife was blind. The third was a woman who wanted to make his khidmat (serve him). But, all his marriages were in old age and he only married with this intention that you can’t be a true Wali of Allah until you don’t make Nikah.
Haji Sahib passed away in 1317 AH (1896 AD) at the ripe old age of 84. In his inheritance he had one stick, two sets of winter clothes and two sets of summer clothes. Haji Sahib is buried in Makkah Mukarramah in Jannatul Maala.
May Allah Ta’ala elevate the status of Haji Sahib. Ameen.
Source: Al Mahmood
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi
Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi
Maulana Abdul Hayy Lucknawi