Br. Irtiza Hasan sent this heartening words about time he spent with Shaykh Suhaib Hasan on a few days ago, and the Shaykh's remembrance of his great father, who recently passed away. Br. Irtiza also mentioned (off-topic) about the great heritage of Ahl Sunnah scholars from the Indo-Pakistan region, and how this heritage is sometimes overlooked when people refer to the great Islamic personalities. With that introduction, take the journey with Shaykh Suhaib through his father's life:
14th of Rabi Ul-Awwal (April 3, 2007)
Bismillah wa ṣalāh wa salaam aala Rasul illah wa ba'd:
Alhamdullillah I had the privilege of spending time today with Shaykh Suhaib Hasan ibn Abdul-Ghaffar. He is currently visiting Islamabad, Pakistan and only some days back his father, Al-'Allama Abdul-Ghaffar Hasan passed away, rahima ullah. Al-'Allama Abdul-Ghaffar Hasan's death marks the death of a great and unique scholar in our times – his life and accomplishments were remarkable and I had asked Shaykh Suhaib about him today after we prayed Dhur in masjid Tawheed, where the Shaykh's brother, Shaykh Suhail Hasan ibn Abdul-Ghaffar, is imām and Khateeb.
Shaykh Suhaib said about his father:His name was Abdul-Ghaffar ibn Abdus-Sattar ibn Abdul-Jabbar Hasan, Umarpuri – Umarpur is an area close to Dehli. He was born on the 10th of June 1913.
My father was educated in Dar Ul-Hadith Rahmaniyyah in Dehli and his sheyookh included great scholars of Hadith and Sunnah such as Shaykh Ahmad Ullah Partabgari, Shaykh Ubaidullah Rahmani Mubarakpoori, Shaykh Nazeer Ahmed Dehlavi, Shaykh Muḥammad bin Yusuf Soorati and Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Mubarakpoori the author of 'Tuhfa tul 'Ahbudi', the explanation of Sunan At-Tirmidhi.
His isnaad (chain) to Rasulillah, salallahu alaihee wa salam was through only 23 raawi (narrators) from him all the way back to Rasulillah, salallahu alaihee wa salam. This chain started from his Shaykh (Ahmad Ullah) and included the great hadith scholar, Nazeer Husayn, and Shah Abdul-'Aziz (the son of Shah Wali Ullah). The chain of narrators also included the great imām from Yemen, Al-Shawkani and the Ameer ul-Momineen in Hadith – Muḥammad ibn Isma'eel Bukhāri.
Having such an isnaad through such a small chain is quite rare in our times and there were many students of knowledge and scholars seeking ijazah from the Shaykh.
After my father finished his studies he began teaching hadith and tafseer at Jaamiya' Rahmaniyya Banaras and he taught there for 6 years. He later moved in 1942 to Malair Kotla in East Punjab where I (Shaykh Suhaib) was born. My father remained there for some years and after Pakistan was created he moved to Pakistan.
From 1941 to 1957 my father was very active in the affairs of 'Jamaat Islami' and he was made “Ameer” in the absence of Abul-Ala Maudoodi. In 1953 during the 'Khaatam Al-Nabuwat Movement' he was imprisoned for 11 months in the scorching hot city of Multan. This movement was against the apostate Qadiyanis (also called Ahmediyya). Maudoodi had written a treatise against them which resulted in many members of 'Jamaat Islami' being persecuted and arrested – they were later freed (and the ruling of disbelief against the Qadiyanis was upheld).
My father (Abdul-Ghaffar Hasan) was very involved with the 'Jamaat Tarbiya Programs' and for that purpose to benefit people he compiled and composed 'Intikhab Al-hadith' (Selections of Hadith) related to all aspects of Muslim life. This has been translated by Usama (son of Shaykh Suhaib).
He wrote many articles refuting the philosophy of denying the sunnah and hadith. This movement was initiated and propagated by Ghulam Ahmad Parvaiz (his followers are known as Parvaiziyyon or 'Quranniyoon' and they are a heretical group who).
In 1957 my father resigned from 'Jamaat Islami' due to his differences with Maudoodi, rahima ullah on certain issues. The main issue was should 'Jamaat Islami' focus on trying to establish an Islamic state by winning elections or by educating and cultivating the masses, which would result in an upright society which would then choose good Muslim leaders to rule Islamically. My father favored teaching and cultivating.
In fact the year before in 1956 'Jamaat Islami' participated in elections and all the members of 'Jamaat Islami' failed to win a single seat – they all lost. Only one man, from a town called Qasoor was elected and incidentally he was from 'Ahl ul-Hadith'.
Maudoodi himself used to favor educating people and he wrote about that in a treatise while he was in India. Maudoodi wrote the only way to bring about a Islamic society was to educate the masses and focus on that. He wrote “If the milk is good, the butter will be good.” However, later in his life his position on this matter seems to have changed, rahima ullah.
Then in 1957 my father, along with Shaykh Hakeem Abdur-Raheem Ashraf, established 'Jaamiya Taleemaat Islamiya' in Faisalabad. I was the first student at this school, which started from one room and is today a proper learning center with many teachers and students. At the jaamiya my father taught hadith sciences and tafsir and he also taught in 'Jaamiya Salafiyya' and 'Dar Al-Qurʾān wal-Hadith' – both in Faisalabad.
Later my father moved to Karachi where he taught in 'Madrassa Rahmaniyya' modeled after the 'Madrassa Rahmaniyya' in Dehli.
In 1962 I had started my studies in 'Al-Jaamiya Islamiya' in Madīnah and two years later in 1964 a delegation from Saudi Arabia came to Pakistan to recruit scholars. They selected Hafidh Muḥammad Gundelavi (the father in law of Al-'Allama Ihsan Elahi Zaheer) and my father. My father then stayed in Madīnah teaching Hadith sciences and other subjects for the next 18 years until he retired.
His classes in Madīnah included principles of hadith, arguments related to isnad and other sciences of hadith. Through his time in Madīnah he was able to benefit students from all over the world, thereby spreading his knowledge to different parts of the world as well and this was a blessing from Allāh.
While living in Madīnah my father conducted many speeches in Urdu to benefit people.
His contemporaries included some of the greatest scholars of the last century including the noble scholars Al-'Allama Abdul-'Aziz ibn Abdullah bin Baz, Al-'Allama Muḥammad ibn Al-āmīn Al-Shinqeeti, Shaykh Abdul-Mohsin Al-'Abbaad and of course Shaykh Hammad Al-Ansari. These scholars and my father had a good relationship and mutual respect for one another.
His notable students were many including his own sons (Shaykh Suhaib and his brother Suhail), Ihsan Elahi Zaheer, Abdur-Rahman Madini, Masood 'Alam, Muḥammad Basheer Sialkoti, Muḥammad Abdullah Faisalabadi, Safar Al-Hawali and Muqbil ibn Hadi Al-Wadee'. (Many of these men went on to become scholars in their own right.)
After he retired from his post in Madīnah he returned to Pakistan and was selected to the Council of Islamic Ideology in 1982 under the government of President Zia Ul-Haq. He served in the council for 3 terms. The council was responsible for analyzing and discussing various issues the Muslims were facing and giving the legal Islamic positions and advices on those matters.
My father authored numerous articles and periodicals. He also wrote the book 'Azmat Al-Hadith' (The Greatness of Hadith) and from the articles he wrote include 'Extremism in Matters of Religion', 'The Reality of du‘ā’' and 'The Model Muslim Woman'.
He died on March 22, 2007 (2nd of Rabi Ul-Awwal) and his janazah was held the following morning and I led the prayer.
Rasulillah, salallahu alaihee wa salam was asked, “Who amongst people is the best?” and he replied: “The one who lives long and does good deeds.”
My father (Abdul-Ghaffar) lived for 93 years and 8 months and he dedicated his life to da‘wah and teaching. My father left behind 8 children – 7 sons and 1 daughter, including Shu'aib who is a retired engineer, myself (Dr Suhaib Hasan – involved in da‘wah in England), Dr Khubayb who is a physician, Dr Suhail who is a lecturer at the Islamic University in Islamabad, Raghib who works with Raabita Islami (Muslim World League), Ahmad who works with an Islamic non-profit organization, Hamid who is a professor in Economic and his daughter, the wife of Abdur-Rabb who is an accountant.
Alhamdullillah, my father's family served the Hadith for 3 generations before him and 2 generations now after him with his children and grandchildren. In fact in 1905 my great Grandfather, Shaykh Abdul-Jabbar rahima ullah wrote a treatise refuting the Mawlid. I editted it in 1992 and published it in 'Siraat Al-Mustaqeem' – a magazine in Birmingham. The article can be translated as “Convincing Proofs in Refutation of the 'Illuminating Lights'” – 'Illuminating Lights' (Anwaar Sa'tiya') was a book someone had written to promote the practice of Mawlid.
Written By: Irtiza Hasan