Mustafa Raza Khan: Saint and Scholar رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه

Our Pious Predecessors

Mustafa Raza Khan: Saint and Scholar

 رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه 

Rashid Ali Attari Madani

 The son of Imām Amad Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, Mufti Muṣṭafā Razā Khān Nūrī Razawī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه was born in Bareilly on 22 Dhu al-ijjah, 1310 AH.[1]

His Name

When he was born, his father was in Marehra, the city of his spiritual guide. Shah Abū al-usayn Ahmad Nūrī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه suggested the name “Abū al-Barakāt Muyi al-Dīn Jīlānī”. Then he was named Muhammad, but was called Muṣṭafā Razā Khān, and “Mufti-e- Aam Hind” was his title.[2]

Glad Tidings

When the senior saint Shah Abū al-usayn Ahmad Nūrī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه visited Bareilly to congratulate Imām Amad Razā Khān upon the birth of his son, he declared, “This child will serve Islam, and Allah’s people will benefit immensely from him. This child is a saint and millions of people will be guided through his efforts. He will be a river of blessings.” At that very moment, he was granted authorisation and successorship in all the Sufi spiritual orders.[3]


His Bismilla ceremony[4] took place at the age of 4 years, 4 months, and 4 days at the hands of his noble father. Imām Amad Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه then appointed his eldest son, Mawlānā Hāmid Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه to oversee his education, and said to him, “You are aware of my commitments, so teach your brother.” Mawlānā Muṣṭafā Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه graduated from his studies at the age of 18, having developed an expertise in around 40 sciences.[5]

First Legal Edict

In the year 1328 AH, at the age of only 18, he issued his first fatwa regarding an issue of breastfeeding. He issued legal rulings continuously for 12 years from 1328 AH-1340 AH under the tutelage of his father. He continued this until he passed away.[6]

As a Teacher

Mufti-e-Aam Hind Muṣṭafā Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه started teaching in Jamia Razawiyyah Manzar-e-Islam in the year 1328 AH. However, due to being occupied with the Dar al-Ifta and issuing fatwas, he only taught select students.[7]

Training Jurists

He had a unique approach to teaching the art of issuing fatwa. He adopted a holistic style, ensuring that students not only understood particulars of Islam but grasped the scriptural evidence and jurisprudential basis for each legal ruling. Analysing this in light of universal principles, he would then give examples from the works of Fiqh. For further validation, he would present passages from Fatāwā Razawiyyah or the sayings of Imām Amad Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه.

If there was a difference of opinion, the preferred opinion would be determined on the merit of its supporting evidence. In light of fatwa-issuing principles, he would identify the opinion upon which the fatwa was given, which was then supported by a statement or fatwa of Imām Amad Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه. He would generally emphasise that answers be given in a simple and concise manner. However, if a scholar asked a question and requested details, he instructed that an answer be given accordingly.[8]

Proficiency of Mufti Muṣṭafā Razā Khān

The commentator of aī al-Bukhārī, Mufti Muhammad Sharīf al-aqq Amjadī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه writes:

I stayed in the company of Mufti-e- Aam Hind رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه for 11 years, 2 months and 3 days. He gave me the responsibilities of teaching and issuing legal verdicts. I taught in the madrassa until noon and I would write fatwas after Zuhr salah. Every day after Isha salah, I would go to him (Mufti-e- Aam Hind) for rectification. He would point out my mistakes and tell me what I should have written instead. Sometimes our question-and-answer sessions would go on for hours.

Love and Compassion for Students

Mawlānā Muṣṭafā Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه was an embodiment of love and compassion towards his students. He extended his support to them in various ways, going beyond the typical paradigm of a teacher-student relationship. He made meal arrangements for students and teachers after graduation ceremonies. One of his acts of kindness was discreetly providing financial assistance to students who were in need, enabling them to meet their expenses and pursue their studies without hardship. He fed students on occasions of happiness, and there were many students who ate twice a day at his home. Mawlānā Muṣṭafā Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه even allowed some hardworking students to live in his home, generously providing them with food and accommodation. The students benefitted greatly from his knowledge and spiritual blessings.[9]

Refraining from Exaggeration

He spoke eloquently and avoided exaggeration. Once, a letter of condolence required responding to. So, he requested Mufti Mujīb al-Islam to pen it and said that he would sign it. The Mufti wrote: “I received your letter and I am very saddened upon hearing about the death of your son.” When he heard the word very, he said, “Yes, we were saddened, but not very saddened.”[10]

Literary Contributions

Despite his busy schedule, Mawlānā Muṣṭafā Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه wrote many books on various topics. They are a proof of his academic prowess and proficiency in Islamic law. His style of writing and level of research reflected that of his father’s. Here are the names of some of his books: Nūr al-Irfān, al-Rumal-Dayyānī Ꜥalā Raˈs al-Waswās al-Shayānī, al-Qawl al-ꜤAjīb fī Jawāz al-Tathwīb, Sayf al-Qahhār alā al-Abīd al-Kuffār, Maqtal Kidhb wa Kayd, Daarī ka Masalah and Fatāwā Mustafawiyyah.[11]

Passion for Poetry

He was a master poet and a worthy heir to the literary legacy of his father. Following in the footsteps of his noble father, he wrote poetry in praise of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. He assigned himself the pseudonym “Nūrī” after the pseudonym of his spiritual guide.

1.   Tū sham risālat hai ālam terā parwānā

2.   Yeh kis shahanshāh-e-wālā kī āmad āmad hai

3.   Habīb-e-Khudā kā nazārā karūn mei

And many more poems such as these reflect his love for the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.


This master of the Islamic sciences and exemplar of Prophetic love passed away on Friday, 14 Muarram 1402 AH[12] at 1:40am.[13]

May Allah Almighty have mercy upon Imām Amad Razā Khān, his sons and all those who love them, and may we be forgiven without accountability for their sakes.

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ خاتَمِ النَّبِیّیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم


[1] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.64

[2] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.64

[3] Tajaliyat-e-Khulafa-e-Alahazrat, p.114

[4] Before the child’s Islamic education begins, a pious man teaches the child how to recite بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ and more. This ceremony is known as Rasm-e-Tasmiyyah.

[5] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.64-65

[6] Mufti-e-Azam Hind, p.81

[7] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.107

[8] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.112

[9] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.113

[10] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.319

[11] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.128-129

[12] Days in the lunar calendar end after sunset. So, the date of death would be the 15th of Muarram. This is why some biographers have written 15 Muarram as the date of his passing. 

[13] Jahan-e-Mufti-e-Azam, p.130




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