Biography of Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi


Indeed there are some remnants of the scholars of past generations living today among the scholars of today’s generation. They have been guided to praiseworthy efforts in multiple religious sciences, such as jurisprudence; they are on par with the previous generations in their knowledge, excellence, fear of Allah, and piety; they stir up memories of the blessed golden age of scholarship. Among these scholars is a unique figure envied for his excellence in knowledge and action, the author of outstanding, beneficial works and of beautiful, superb commentaries: Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi Saharanpuri.

Shaykh Sa‘id Ahmad, the head of Islamic studies at the University of Aligarh, UP, relates,

It is evident to one who takes a look at his works that he had a brilliancy, both in knowledge and with the pen, like that of Ibn al-Jawzi and Imam Ghazali. Of the scholars of his era, I know of no one comparable to him in this regard, except Imam ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Farangi Mahalli (of Lucknow).

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda said regarding him,

“The Shaykh, the Imam, the honorable, the Jurist, the scholar, the noble, the fragrant flower and sweet basil of India and Hijaz (Rayhanat al-Hind wa’l-Hijaz), the exponent of spiritual realities (haqiqa) and allusions (majaz), our leader, and our blessing.”

Doctor Sayyid Muhammad Ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki relates,

“His Moral excellence (Sahib al-Fadila), the hadith scholar, the remnant of the predecessors and adornment of the successors, the blessed Imam, caller to Allah, my leader (sayyidi) and my teacher: Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya.”

The hadith scholar, Hafiz al-Tijani portrayed him in the following words:

“The scholar of hadith, most erudite of the honorable, (Hadrat ‘Allama), Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi, most erudite, the outstanding (fadil), the meticulous, the inquirer (muhaqqiq).”

‘Allama Sayyid Sulayman Nadwi mentioned upon his trip to Hijaz,

“In the 1369 ah, I met the honorable Shaykh Sayyid ‘Alawi al-Maliki, who was praising the work Awjaz al-masalik and its author. He was saying, “There is no literary work comparable to this in the works of the predecessors (mutaqaddimin).”

I have personally heard of such acceptance and illumination in books of authors such as, none other than Imam Nawawi and Imam al-Ghazali. May Allah illuminate Shaykh Zakariyya’s grave the way his books have illuminated the lives of so many. Amin

The full biography of Shaykh Zakariyya has been added to our Inner Dimensions Library [in reverse chronological order – please scroll down]


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