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Maulana Habeebul-Al-rahman Azmi as a Historian in the light of his popular book ” Islamic relics of Ayodhya”

Dr. Sumayya Reyaz Falahi

Arazibagh, Azamgarh

Historiography is an art that has been the focus of scholars and writers since ancient times, because it is history that acquaints the new generation with the deeds of their ancestors. It is the history by which ups and downs of nations and the causes and factors of progress and decline are known. That is why every living and conscious nation strives to make its history and to promote it as much as possible. Its greatness can be viewed from the fact that the Divine Book Qur’an, which is the pioneer of knowledge and guidance and the true standard of the straight path, covers a lot of pages to mention of previous nations, the misguidances of the kings of the world and the indiscretions of the heedless nations.

It is well known that the country of India, which has been the confluence of the Ganges and Jamni civilizations and is adorned with the virtues of unity in abundance, has seen from its horizon such suns and moons of knowledge and grace that the world has seen the rays of many scholars.

Among these scholars , a star of knowledge and grace appears in 1941 from a populous and prosperous area of ​​Azamgarh, in the field of knowledge and literature in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

When Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Qasmi (may Allah have mercy on him) opened his eyes in the city which is called the beautiful combination of knowledge and literature, he left a deep impression in India and abroad.

He received his early education from a school in his village Jagdishpur. Later he got his secondary education from Madrasa Baitul Uloom Sarai Mir. Then gradually, after completing the senior secondary education  from Mau, he entered  in Darul Uloom Deoband and by diving into the sea of ​​knowledge there, he came out as a gem whose radiance illuminated a place and the rays of thought erupted.

Various biographies reveal that he was interested in reading books. He created various perfections in himself by studying the same tastes. So far-sighted,alert-minded, broad thinking political-conscious, quick-witted, bold and fearless are his  characteristics. After a long struggle, due to these mentioned qualities , he became a source of knowledge and art in this desert of India. Therefore, his personality is an example of this poem of Allama Iqbal:

ہزاروں سال نرگس اپنی بے نوری پہ روتی ہے

بڑی مشکل سے ہوتا ہے چمن میں دیدہ ور پیدا

It means as the Nargis weeps for thousands of years, due to lack of light and the lighting comes with very difficulty ,thus the great intellectuals come rare but with great and numerous  struggles.

Regardless of his life and  literary and Islamic services, I want to discuss his efforts in the field of history, despite my  lack of knowledge,  I am daring to write something.

Inspired by his teaching method, some students shared their impressions. Therefore, Fuzail Ahmad Nasir(A great teacher of Jamia Imam Muhammad Anwar Shah writes: “I have read Mishkatt and Abu Dawud Sharif from Hazrat. His lessons were very dignified and glorious. He focused to discuss each and every part of the hadith”.[1]

Through these microscopic abilities, he has been keeping a close eye on the history of India. Therefore, he strived to bring the Islamic civilization and culture to the forefront and summed up the great narrations and history of his predecessor. His book “Islamic Relics of Ayodhya” is an important link in this series in which he has taken the part to dive in the land of science and art as such as he choosed the great land of Ayodhya as a subject of his deep studies, because Ayodhya has been the important land of India from where many scholars and elders have learned. They became a diver and spread pearls of knowledge all over the world. That is why this land remained the focus of the enemies of religion and it became the target of their nefarious intentions and deep conspiracies. Therefore, by compiling this book, he has discussed the history of the controversial land Ayodhya, based on his personal observations and references that are enough to open the eyes of any nation.

The book consists of three chapters in which the first chapter gives a brief account of about 27 famous scholars and mystics who raised the banner of monotheism in the land of Ayodhya. Chapter II contains detailed information on several of the most important mosques of Ayodhya to which Islamic history is associated. Also, accurate details and authentic history on the complete history of Babri Masjid have been presented. Chapter 3 mentions in detail the numerous monasteries of the above-mentioned scholars and shaykhs, their tombs and mausoleums in which are rich treasures of knowledge and great perceptions and Shari’ah and Tareeqah. All these details are given along with the date of establishment with authentic and reliable references.

Therefore, with reference to this book, Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri expresses his views saying: “After the scholarly and research efforts of Maulana, a permanent book called” Islamic Relics of Ayodhya “is coming before us in which the scholars and elders of Ayodhya, mosques and all Islamic relics etc. There is a lot of authentic and reliable information about the tombs which shows the intellectual, religious and spiritual attachment of the Muslims to this place”.[2]

In terms of subject matter, this book is also very important because it contains a lot of facts, while the Indian people are completely deaf and oblivious to it. And in the present age when the land of Ayodhya has been a contentious issue for historians and especially because of the Babri Masjid and the Ram Janmabhoomi case, the veil of prejudice and sectarianism has been removed from the face of reality.

And through the biased decision of sectarianism and as a result the issue of Babri Masjid has become a global issue.

The importance of this book is further enhanced by the fact that the author has recorded, among other details, some of the observations and experiments he has seen in connection with the Ayodhya and Babri Masjid which he has seen with the naked eye and has adopted a research style to highlight it. He tried to prove that there was no issue about anti religion and  maintained Hindu-Muslim National Solidarity in Ayodhya before 1857 but then the British made this land and mosque a contentious issue by lusting after it so that the Indian people would be divided apart and the war of independence would be over so that they could succeed in their mission  in their nefarious conspiracies. In this regard, the author has written not only the writings of Muslim intellectuals and writers but also quoted the famous prominent Hindu historians and leaders of the nation themselves in order to restore the confidence of the readers and to accept that before 1857 this issue was not a controversial issue but a product of the British.

Commenting on Indian archaeologist Cunningham’s writings, he writes: “Cunningham makes it clear that most of temples built in Ayodhya are on the site of ancient temples that were demolished by Muslims. But historically there is no proof of this claim. He is telling this self-made story in order to create hatred in the hearts of Hindus by Muslims, yet he does not mention it at all that Babar demolished the Ram Janam Asthan temple and built a mosque What is known as the Babri Masjid, but on the contrary, he writes that “there is a temple of the birthplace in the heart of the city at a distance of 5 miles from Lakshman Ghat.” Then how can be said that Babri Masjid was built by demolishing it. While we see that this temple of the same name still exists in Ayodhya”.[3]

Similarly, keeping in view the place of Rama’s birth and the differing views about him, he tried to highlight the date of Rama’s birth which they believe to be two and a half thousand years before Christ did not exist In this regard, he quotes non-Muslim intellectuals as saying: “From the thirteenth century AD, Ram Bhagti began to spread among the people and gradually its tradition gained momentum with the development of the Ram Nandi sect and the arrangement of the Ram story in Hindi. And there were no more followers of Ram Bhaghti ,but Shiv Bhagti was more important here than Ram Bhagti. “[4]

Similarly, the eminent historian, quoting the claim of Dr. Ram Saran Sharma, the author writes : ” that no Ram temple has been found in any place not only in Ayodhya but in the whole of Uttar Pradesh before the sixteenth century because Ram Bhagti did not exist at that time. “.[5]

Further, as evidence in this regard, he quotes Dr. Ramesh Prasad Garg as follows: The demolition of Atala Devi temple in Jaunpur and construction of Atala mosque, demolition of Bandomadhu temple and construction of Dharahra mosque is a fabricated story which has nothing to do with reality. Its purpose is to endanger the peace and order of the country. It is no wonder that these sectarian organizations are also getting support from foreign countries which are bent on making mosques as temples.”[6]

Also, various statements in support of the mosque give more authentication and strengthen the history of the mosque. At the same time, the glory of masque appears and disclose all  invalid doubts  by quoting the banners writing on the wall in the mosque while reveals as the original  constructor  of the mosque  Mir Baqi,  who was an amir of its original founder Babar, and invalidate the tradition attributed to Babar.

The theory of the construction of the mosque and its history automatically clarifies the whole aspects to the readers.

Furthermore, the scholars and elders who sacrificed their lives and properties in Ayodhya and in the light of all the negative and positive arguments, while adopting a research style on every object made of different views , reveal all facts.

In the same way, in this city, the son of Adam (peace be upon him) he expresses his views  on the basis of his observational argument about the tomb of Hazrat Sheeth (peace be upon him) as follows: In the case of Hazrat Adam, some one mentioned about the grave in Balabakk and some one told that was in Sarandeep near Adam’s grave ( peace be upon him) but a few years ago when I came to know that his tomb was at Faizabad near Ayodhya, I returned from Hajj for research and went there and found the tomb there. Yes, all Hindus and Muslims, common and ordinary, have been hearing this from generation to generation, and are calling by three names.

Sheeth 2) Sheeth devta 3) SheethHy Prophet from Faizabad whose ancient name is Bangla. … …. “.[7]

This book is a primary reference and resource book for the complete history of Ayodhya and despite my lack of knowledge and experience in the field of history I  have been able to conclude from my analytical study that the book on history is endowed with the following features:

  • The scholars and elders who are the leaders of the nation and the source of knowledge and guidance, so their brief mention in the light of history is the highest standard of research and investigation.
  • Explaining the history of various mosques, especially the Babri Masjid, from the beginning to the present day, in the light of the unanimous and different arguments of their followers is an important part of art history which plays an important role in authenticating the book.
  • It is an important element of history to combine the petitions and other proofs of the past and the present and to offer a reasoned and analyzed theory by comparing them.
  • It is a graceful feature of art history to cover the facts and figures before and after this period .
  • The style of expression is very literary in an easy way and consist of brief and concise that can be easily understood by people which helps to promote interest.
  • In order to maintain the confidence of the readers, all the things have been mentioned with authentic and reliable references and the research of the relationships and the location of the places have also been done in an excellent manner.

In the light of all these revelations, it can be said that this work of the famous historian of the time Maulana Azmi is a masterpiece which is a reference in the art of history and important in blocking all negative perceptions regarding the history of Ayodhya. It also plays a major role for history students and will be greatly beneficial in this regard.

Books of References

  • Islamic relics of Ayodhya, Maulana Habibur Rahman Azmi, Academy of shaikhul hind, Darul Uloom Deoband
  • Monthly magazine ” Almas ” Anwar jama masjid, Mumbai , August 2021

[1] Paper entitled مولانا اعظمی ایک نادرۂ روزگار شخصیت , written by Asa’dullah bin Suhail Ahmed Azmi,Monthly magazine ” Almas” 144.

[2] Preface of the book ” Islamic relics of Ayodhya ” Qazi Athar Mubarakpuri, 8

[3] Islamic relics of Ayodhya, Maulana Habibur Rahman Azmi, 98

[4] Ibid, 24

[5] Ibid, 25

[6] Ibid, 104

[7] Ibid , for more details see the p.177-182