Allama Muhammad Madani Miya Ashrafi
Shaikh Al-Ashrafi, popularly known as Madani Miya, is the son of Hadhrat Sayyed Mohammad Kocchchawi (r). Hadrat's paternal grandfather was Mawlana Sayyad Shah Nadhar Ashraf (r) who was a renowned hakeem, Islamic scholar and a distinguished lecturer of the Persian language. He was also well respected for his debating skills and poetry.
Shaikh was born on the 1st of Rajab 1357 AH (After Hijri). He obtained his early Islamic education at Kocchocha until he 14. His father, then, admitted him to Darul Uloom Ashrafiya, (now known Jamia Ashrafiya) Mubarakpur. Here he studied Dars e Nizami and other books in Persian, Urdu and Arabic books. He spent ten years at Mubarakpur with the same integrity that had been a distinguishing feature of his childhood.
After being chosen as the successor to Hadrat Muhaddith al-A'zam al-Hind (r) Hadrat returned to Mubarakpur to complete his studies. After spending a further year at Mubarakpur, Hadrat's graduation took place at the hands of 'Hafiz e Millat' Mawlana Shah Abd 'al Aziz (r) in January 1963. His teachers* included, among others :
Hadrat was still a student at Mubarakpur, when his father passed away in Lucknow, UP, India in December 1961. He was chosen as successor to hisfather. Later, he became disciple of his maternal uncle. After the death of his uncle, he became disciple of Mufti Sayyad Muhammad Mukhtar Ashraf (r)
Hadrat does not have children, therefore he adopted a baby son. Sayyad Hamza Ashraf. Sayyad Hamza Ashraf is well known as a quiet but dedicated student who during his childhood accompanied his noble father across many states and cities of Asia.
His first visit to perform 'Hajj' took place in 1973 after which he did many Hajj, the last being in 2005.
He wrote extensively books in prose and poetry, which have been published at various times during the last thirty five years. Some of the books authoued by him are listed below.
Islam Ka Tasawwur-e-ilah aur Maududi Sahib (Islamic Concept of Deity and Maududi)
Din aur Iqamat-e-Din (Din and Establishing Din)
Mas'ala Hazir-o-Nazir (Issue of Hazir and Nazir)
Shari'ah (Islamic Law)
Khutbat-e-Bartaniya (Lecture Series: Tour of Britain)
Islam ka nazariya'ai ibadat aur Maududi Sahib (Islamic Concept of Worship & Maududi)
Dawat-e-Islami ka Tanqidi Ja'iza (Critical Review of Dawat-e-Islami)
Fariza'ai D'awat-o-Tabligh (Obligation of Calling and Preaching)
Video TV ka Shar'iy Ist'imal (Utilizing Video and TV according to Shari'ah)
Tafhim al-Hadith Sharh Mishkat Sharif (Elucidation of Hadith: a Commentary of Mishkat Sharif)
Islam ka nazriya'ai Khatm-e-Nubuwwat aur Tahzir un-Nas (Islamic Concept of Finality of Prophethood and Tahzir un-Nas)
Kanz ul-Iman aur Digar Tarajum-e-Qur'an ka Taqabuly Mutali'a (Comparitive Review of Kanz al-Iman and other Translations of the Qur'an)
'Asri Takaze (Modern demands)
Kitabat un-Niswa'n (Women: Legality to learn to write)
Mahabbat-e-Rasul Ruh-e-Iman (Love of the Messenger: The Essence of Faith)
Rasul-e-Akram kai Tashri'iy Ikhtiyarat (Legal Authority of the Noble Messenger)
Islam ka Nazriya'ai ibadat (Islamic Concept of Worship)
Khutbat-e-Hyderabad (Lecture Series: Tour of Hyderabad)
Ruh-e-Namaz (Spirit of Salah)
Sharh Hadith-e-Jibra'il (Hadith of Jibril - A Commentary)
Tafheem ul-Hadith - Sharh Arba'in Ahadith (Understanding Hadith - Commentary of Forty Ahadith)
Sahifa-e-Hidaya (Notes on Guidance)
He was also the architect in publishing Ma'ariful Qur'an ; which is the translation of the Qur'an al-kareem into Urdu by Hadrat Muhaddith al-Azam al-Hind Rahmatullahi alayh. This great translation was published along with notes in Gujerati and Hindi languages.
Strenuous efforts were made in the early 70's by Sunni Muslims to get Hadrat to come on a preaching mission and eventually the wishes of the Muslim Community were granted when Hadrat arrived in England for the first time in April 1974.
Hadrat made approximately thirty speeches on his first visit travelling all over the United Kingdom in very difficult surroundings. Most speeches were held in small and cramped venues with poor public address facilities. However, this was overcome with the way Hadrat captured the hearts of the people with his words of wisdom. The enthusiasts recorded every speech and these recordings remain evidence of the way Hadrat sought to transform the anti-Sunni climate that existed in England at that time with the spread of Wahabism.
At the time the Wahhabis (Ahle Hadees/deobandi/tablighi Jama'ati's) had established several bases and were propagating their heretical brand of Islam that sought to dilute the true love of the Most Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam and the Awliya-Allah. They attacked almost every Sunni belief associated with orthodox Sunni Islam that places the love of Allah's Most Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam as fundamental to a Muslim's faith. The Ahl al-Sunnah W'al Jama'ah ("Sunnis ") were nonplussed. Sunni Ulema appeared to have no answers as to how to stem the tide of Wahhabism, and while the ideological arguments against the Wahhabis had been won by Sunni scholars years ago - most notably by Imam-e-Ahl as-Sunnah Mujaddid-e-Deen 'o Millat Ala Hadhrat Ahmad Raza Khan (r), the work being done by the Wahhabis on the ground appeared almost impossible to combat.
The majority of the Sunni Ulema in Britain did not appear to be openly critical of the Wahhabi movement, and those who were critical achieved minimal success. Though scholars of repute had arrived with the waves of migrants in the 1960's and 1970's, no one person appeared to stand out as the undisputed leader of the Sunni Muslims of Britain to whom everyone could turn to for guidance and a saviour who would be able to take on the Wahhabis and other heretical and non Islamic movements such as the Sh'ia and Qadianis. Those Ulema who had sufficient knowledge were not competent orators which at the time was a necessity, while others simply refused to speak out against the Wahhabis for various reasons. Increasingly, Sunni Muslims started going to Wahhabi-controlled Mosques, the Sunnis that had just arrived from the Gujerat State of India. Sunnism was being corroded by the work of the heretical Tablighi Jamaat.
Hadrat spent the next thirty years in the true propagation of Islam through his speeches, spiritual gatherings, meetings with people and most notably by his impeccable behaviour and actions, exempliflying how a Muslim should conduct himself by harmonising the shariah with tariqat.
Hadrat made clear in his speeches why Sunni Muslims should refrain from following Wahhabi beliefs and why they were un-Islamic. Hadrat challenged the Wahhabis' to public debates to discuss his assertion that their beliefs were heretical and contrary to what is stated in the Qur'an al-Kareem and other religious books. This challenge was rarely accepted and on the occasions that it was, the Wahhabis would fail to show up. On the one occasion they did turn up, at Sutherland St Mosque in Leicester, they were comprehensively defeated by Hadrat who answered all the questions that the Wahhabis posed and when he asked a question in return, they could not answer and voluntarily left the Mosque in disgrace.
The leader that the Sunni Muslims of Britain had been yearning for was thus found in the shape of Hadrat. His speeches galvanised people into taking action; hundreds if not thousands became his disciples immediately, Sunnis started building their own Mosques, and other scholars started speaking out against Wahhabism and other heretical movements that had been established in Britain.
Hadrat Shaykh al-Islam probably saved thousands of people from the Wahhabi menace and ensured future generations did not fall prey to them. Hadrat was invited to preach by different communities, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Indians alike. Those Ulema that had established Mosques and Islamic Centres sought Hadrat with enthusiasm and Hadrat was welcomed with open arms by the likes of Hadrat Pir Allauddin Siddiqui, Hadrat Pir Maruf Hussain Shah Naushahi, Hadrat Allama Arif Ullah Siddiqui, Hadrat Pir Abdul Wahhab etc. However the Gujerati Sunni Muslim community owe a debt of graditude to Hadrat Shaykh al-Islam as he has bestowed particular blessings on them for the way they have attended him.
It wasnt long after Hadrat's name, speeches and character spread across many other countries as well as continents. Hadrat was sought and invited to other countries like Holland, Belgium and further afield.
One of the many achievements of Hadrat was that he was responsible for opening a primary school in his home town of Kicchocha for local children that not only provided conventional schooling but also basic Islamic education. This school achieved excellent results and gradually the school was changed to a high school and acquired a reputation for its pupils obtaining outstanding results.
Hadrat Shaykh al-Islam has also established a 'Darul Ifta' (place where fatawa's; religious edicts/rulings are issued) in Kicchocha. Muslims from throughout the region send questions relating to different aspects of sacred Islamic Law and are given answers in accordance with the Qur'an al-Kareem and Hadith. The head of the 'Markazi Darul Ifta Muhaddith al-A'zam al-Hind' is khalifa of Hadrat Shaykh al-Islam.
Muhaddith al-A'zam Worldwide Mission is a charitable public trust of Sunni Muslims. He is the sole chief, Founder and Patron of the Mission. He established this Mission in India to spread the message of love, peace and harmony, with the traditions of the Ahl as-Sunnat w'al Jama'at all in the memory of his Eminent father.
Madani Miya Arabic College, Hubli, Karnataka.
Hadrat laid the foundations for the Muhaddith al A'zam Mission's branch at the town of Hubli for the benefit of the entire Karnataka state. Under the auspices of the aforementioned Hubli Mission Branch, many learned Ulema and 'Khandaan ' family members of khanwada-e-Ashrafiya have been visting Karnataka State.