Qazi Saiyid Nurullah Shushtari His life and works



Dargah Alia Mahdaviya Library:

The third part of this catalogue belongs to Dargah Alia Mahdaviya Library located at Palanpur city .In view of the importance of books preserved in this library and also keeping in mind the Mahdavi movement's importance, it would be better to provide adequate informations about Sayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri and the Mahdavi movement. Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf, son of Sayyid Khan known as Baddah Owaisi Hussaini was born on 14th of Jamadi -ul- Awwal (847 A.H.) in Jaunpur city which falls in U.P. and is famous as Shiraz of India. He went to school at the age of four years and memorised Quran in his childhood. He joined Sheikh Daniyal Bin Hasan Balkhi at the age of 15 years. Being keenly interested in learning and fully devoted to his studies, his teacher
awarded him the title of Asad -ul- Ulema" in a very short period of time. During his Haj pilgrimage, while passing through the cities on his way to Mecca, he preached the people. He reached Mecca in 901 A.H. During his stay in Mecca, one day, he stood close to Hajar -e- Aswad and declared himself before the fellow pilgrims as Mahdi, the promised The religious scholars of Mecca did not pay any attentiorf to his declaration. He later returned to his home-town and kept himself engaged in prayer at a lonely place out of the city and beyond the reach of people. After some time, he went to Chanderi and engaged himself in preaching and providing guidance to the people. In the meantime, he again proclaimed to be Mahdi and a large number of people joined him as his true followers. Many influential people, including nobles and high ranking rulers even Sultan Ghayas uddin Khilji, came under his influence and accepted his claim. Sayyid Muhammad, in his letter addressed to the rulers of various region, mentioned that his and his father's name were exactly the same as the name of Prophet of Islam and of his father. He was the last successor of Prophet Muhammad i.e. the promised Mahdi whose reappearance was promised to many prophets including Prophet. Muhammad (P .B .U .H). Later he invited the people towards him, and told them that they could get salvation by following him as Mahdi.
Sayyid Muhammad delivered speeches, which attracted the masses and the ruling class. During the rule of Nizam -ul- Mulk Burhanuddin, the ruler of Ahmad Nagar, thousands of the people affirmed their allegiance to Sayyid Muhammad and Ahmad Nager was converted into a base of Mahdavi sect. Jsmail Nezam Shah was also one of the followers of Sayyid Muhammad. The writer of Muntakhab -ul- Tawarikh, Mullah Abdul Qadir Badayoni writes about the soldiers of Islamil Nezam Shah "Twelve thousand soldiers belonging to Mahdavi group were residing at a place like a fort and not only a single person of any other sect was allowed to enter the region".
The scholars and religious personalities have different views about
the belief and the revolt of Sayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri. Some of them believe that undoubtedly, he was a scholar and pious personality possessing miraculous power but committed mistake in choosing the path and the course of his action. Another group of the great religious personalities have described him as the innovator ofa new religious sect. Mullah Abdul Qadir found him a sincere person of exalted position with strong belief in truth.
The writer of Khazinat -ul- Asfia writes about him that he declared himself Mahdi in a state of intoxication like some others who even claimed to be God and supreme being in such condition. But after returning to normal state, they used to repent. But the followers, who used to listen the utterances of their spiritual heads believed them. Likewise, the followers of Sayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri insisted upon his Mahdavism.
In this way, many ignorant people got astrayed from their right path and they innovated a new sect and attributed that to Sayyid Muhammad. Muhammad Shahjahanpuri, in his book Hadiya -e~ Mahdaviya rejects all the statements made in favour and support of Sayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri and further writes "Sayyid Muhammad never objected to his followers who called him the promised Mahdi. Contrary to it, he wrote books on the principles of his religion, which are quite contradictory and violative of the Islamic belief and its noble commandments. Later, the writer of Hadiya -e- Mahdaviya, further refers to some of the principles of Mahdaviya sect and further writes that Sayyid Muhammad used to consider him the promised Mahdi and used to consider himself better and superior than not only the caliphs but also much better than the prophets like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Christ. As regards his religious and spiritual status, he considered himself equal to Prophet Muhammad. He was of the belief that one who does not witness the divine light with his own eyes, precept in mind or observe in dream, can not be true believer and strong devotee. The writer ultimately concludes that he was an abnormal person deviated from the right path and had discovered some thing new and strange. A number of Ulema and Scholars wrote books rejecting the claim of Sayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri. Some of them are quoted saying as under:
Sheikh Ali Muttaqi, who is famous for his book Kanz -ul- A'mal, wrote a book namely " Al-Burhan fi ' Alamat Mahdi Akhar -uz- Zaman to reject the ideas ofSayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri. .Sheikh Ali Qari (died 1016 A.D.) also wrote a book rejecting the claim of Mahdavi sect and proving the existence of Hazrat Imam -e- Mahdi. Likewise, Asad -ul- Makki compiled his book Shahab -e- Muharreqa in order to reject Sayyid Muhammad's claim of being the promised Mahdi. As a result of a number of books written by the great Islamic scholars in condemnation of Sayyid Muhammad's claim, his followers were divided. Some of them defended the cause of Sayyid Muhammad by countering the objections.
In his old age, Sayyid Muhammad migrated to Khurasan province, Sultan Husain Mirza, the governor of that province, deputed a group of Islamic scholars to find out the beliefs of Sayyid Muhammad. These scholars had a meeting with him and came under the influence of his ideas. Mullah Badayoni says "these scholars were so impressed that they forgot to continue their academic debate and discussion and became his companions".
Later, Sayyid Muhammad went to Farah region, which is in present day Afghanistan. After living an eventful life, he breathed his last on 19th Ziqadeh 910 A.H. at the age of 63 years after suffering from prolonged fever. He was buried there and his son Miran Sayyid Mahmood was declared his successor with the title of Mahdi II, who finally persuaded the mission ofhis father. After Mahdi 11, his caliphs were named as "Da'i" i.e. the proclaimer, who propagated Mahdavi movement in different parts of India.
Now, the followers of Mahdavi movement are very much active in the southern and western regions of India such as Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Palanpur cities. The present leader of Mahdavi movement is Daud Alam whose headquarter is in Palanpur, a city in Gujarat State, which was earlier a centre of Sayyid Muhammad's preachings.
Keeping this fact in mind that Daud Alam' s library will be full of such manuscripts, which will help in proving the disappearance as well as reappearance of the promised Mahdi with the help of oldest and most authenticated resources, efforts were made to meet Daud Alam and seek his permission to make microfilm of the rare manuscripts. Ultimately, the efforts were proved fruitful and he permitted us to make the microfilm of the valuable manuscripts available in his library. We are really grateful to him for his kind permission. The third part of this catalogue consists of the microfilms of the manuscripts of Dargah -e- ' Alia -e- Mahdavieh library .
At the end. I would like to express sincere thanks to my colleagues Dr. Abdul Latif Talibi, Dr. Zohra Khatoon Farooqi, Dr. Bahram Yamani and the microfilm technician Zubaid Haider. In fact, this catalogue is the result of continuous efforts made for years together with the grace of Almighty. I accept that this work might be having some shortcomings which can be removed by the suggestions received from the experts and learned scholars.

Dr. Mehdi Khwajeh Piri
15th Aban 1380 A.H. (Solar)/6th November 2001 A.D.

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