IOS Kolkata Chapter organises an online International Symposium on The Life and Contributions of Maulana Mahboobur Rahman Azhari (r.a.)
An online international symposium was organized on the life and contributions of Maulana Mahboobur Rahman Azhari Nadvi by the Kolkata Chapter of the Institute of Objective Studies on 18th September 2021. The webinar was presided over by Maulana Khalid Ghazipuri Nadvi of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow with Abdul Basit Ismail, coordinator at IOS Kolkata chapter who performed the role of anchor. It was one of those rare occasions when the scholars from East and West Europe and Asia had gathered on a single platform just to benefit from the appealing personality of Maulana Mahboobur Rahman Azhari and his selfless services towards the community and nation. The notable attendees of the program were; Dr. Saleem Rehman Khan Nadvi, professor of Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan; Dr Md Anas Nadvi, member - Australian National Imam Council, Australia; Son of Maulana Mahboobur Rahaman Azhari - Dr Saeedur Rahman Faizi Nadvi, president- Al Nadwa Education Centre, Canada and Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman- Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi. Maulana Md Rabey Hasani Nadvi, President AIMPLB sent his video message for the event that was played for the audience.
Kolkata Chapter of IOS has been organising a series of symposiums under the theme -“Remembering the 20th Century Islamic Scholars of West Bengal“. This symposium was the third in the series. Well-researched papers and lectures were presented by scholars on different aspects of the life of Maulana Mahboobur Rahman Azhari (r.a.).
Maulana Mahboobur Rahman Azhari is a highly respectable name in the assembly of scholars from Kolkata, West Bengal. Born in 1919 in Lucknow, Maulana completed memorization of the Quran when he was 9. After the completion of Hifz and Tajweed he learnt the basics of Arabic language from his teacher, Mufti Mohammed Zuhoor Bihari. In the year 1935, he travelled to Mecca for higher education and studied at Madrasa Sualatia for 3 years. Later, to quench his thirst for knowledge, he travelled to Cairo and got admission in the faculty of theology at Cairo University. After his return to India he was appointed as a senior teacher at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow in 1943. In 1949, Maulana shifted to Kolkata and started teaching at the historical institution, Madrasa Alia, Calcutta. During his stay of long 28 years in Kolkata Maulana did remarkable works in academic fields. After his retirement from Madrasa Alia, Calcutta in 1977, he re-joined Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow. Maulana passed away in the year 2009. Maulana Azhari will surely be remembered for his writings, his movement, and efforts against Qadiyaniyat, and his tireless efforts for social reforms.
Maulana Khalid Ghazipuri Nadvi, in his presidential remarks of the symposium, appreciated the initiative taken by the Institute of Objective Studies. Congratulating the members of IOS for conducting the series of symposiums on the life and contributions of Muslim scholars of 20th century, he said, “such programs will not only make today's generations aware of the glorious history of the sacrifices and contributions of Muslim scholars but it will also help them in dealing with different social, political and religious issues faced by their elders.” He added, “Maulana Mahboobur Rahman Azhari lived an ideal life. He was a senior teacher of higher studies. Quran was the central subject of his research and teaching and for the propagation of which he dedicated his life. One of the biggest contributions of Maulana towards the Muslim community is thousands of his students who are serving humanity in different parts of the world.”
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman of IOS said, “Maulana Mahboobur Rahman Azhari, as his name suggests, was a spiritual person dear to God. One of the qualities that make him stand out is that he faced several challenges of his time very bravely and wisely. Apart from being a good scholar and a successful teacher he was also a good human being. Being the heir of his academic and humanitarian activities and services, it is our responsibility to pass on his teachings and values to the next generation.”
The symposium began with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Maulana Ahmad Ali Qasmi. The recitation was followed by the speech of Maulana Dr Saleemur Rahman Khan Nadvi where he said, “Maulana Mahboobur Rahman belonged to a noble family of Kerana of Muzaffarnagar, and he has been an untiring servant of education and humanity.” Dr Mohammad Anas Nadvi, Australia, praised the efforts of IOS led by Dr Md Manzoor Alam in the field of research and social reforms. He added, “Maulana Azhari was a person of high morals and values. He was the teachers of teachers, rather if a list of teacher of teachers is made Maulana Azhari will surely be on the top of that list.”
Maulana Wazir Ahmad Nadvi, UAE, said, “Maulana Azhari’s works will always be remembered like his famous book, Al Muntakhabatul Arabiyyah, and his research work against misleading religious groups. Maulana Alauddin Nadvi, in his paper presentation on the symposium said, “Generally there are three factors which make a person a good human being; ancestral traditions, atmosphere and education and Maulana was lucky enough to have all these three.” Dr Farman Nadvi said that Maulana Azhari had three unique qualities; he was a sincere Da’ee of Islam, was an expert of Arabic language, and a great scholar of Islam.
Maulana Azhari's son, Dr Maulana Saeedur Rahman Faizi Nadwi said, "My father lived his life as a good human being. He always cared for his neighbours and relatives. He was a true well-wisher of humanity and an ambassador of peace. Mufti Sarwar Farooqui mentioned some of the Dawah activities of the Maulana and said that he was a “great Da’ee of Islam”.
During the symposium, a video of Maulana Syed Mohammed Rabey Nadvi was shared in which Maulana praised the services and contributions of Maulana Azhari. Mentioning his teaching skills he said, “When Maulana Azhari returned from Cairo after completing his education and joined Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow as a teacher of Arabic, back then, he had invented some unique and modern methods to teach language, which proved to be very effective and unique at that time.”
The symposium started with the introductory speech of Dr Sabah Ismail Nadvi, member-Madrasah Service Commission, Government of West Bengal. Afnaan Akhzar presented the vote of thanks. IOS Kolkata Chapter will soon be organsing its next symposium of the series on Pir Abu Bakr Siddiqui (r.a.) of Furfura who was one of the most learned, revered and influential Sufis of the nineteenth century Bengal.