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Suhaib Hasan on His Father Abdal Ghaffar Hasan

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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:
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14th of Rabi Ul-Awwal (April 3, 2007)

Bismillah wa salaat 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 Imam and Khateeb.

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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 Muhammad 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 Imam from Yemen, Al-Shawkani and the Ameer ul-Momineen in Hadith – Muhammad ibn Isma’eel Al-Bukhari.

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-Quran 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 Madinah and two years later in 1964 a delegation from Saudi Arabia came to Pakistan to recruit scholars. They selected Hafidh Muhammad Gundelavi (the father in law of Al-‘Allama Ihsan Elahi Zaheer) and my father. My father then stayed in Madinah teaching Hadith sciences and other subjects for the next 18 years until he retired.

His classes in Madinah included principles of hadith, arguments related to isnad and other sciences of hadith. Through his time in Madinah 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 Allah.

While living in Madinah 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 Muhammad ibn Al-Ameen 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, Muhammad Basheer Sialkoti, Muhammad 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 Madinah 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 Dua’ 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 dawah 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 dawah 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

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. SrAnonymous

    April 5, 2007 at 12:24 PM

    His grand daughter Khola Hasan also shared something with the UK community:

    My grandfather, Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar Hasan, died on Thursday at the age of
    94 (in Islamabad). He was a scholar of Hadith and was lecturer of Hadith at
    Madina University before he retired. In fact, he was called to Madina when
    Sheikh Nasiruddin Albani retired, and so replaced his post. His students
    numbered thousands, including my father Sheikh Suhaib Hasan and Sheikh Safar
    Al Hawali. It is known that even Sheikh Ibn Baz would sometimes sit in his
    classes for his incredible knowledge of hadith.

    I went to see him 4 years ago and was amazed at the clarity of his mind and
    memory. He advised me to teach students in my own home (as my children were
    very young) which is how my Friday study circle came into being.

    I had the honour of translating his book “The rights and duties of women in
    Islam”

    His funeral took place in Islamabad after Jum’ah…my father led the prayer.

    May Allah give him Jannah.

    The decrease in true scholarship is one of the signs of the final
    Day…..Muslims cry when our shuyukh die, but do nothing to learn from them
    when they are alive.

    Wassalam

    _____________________________

    How true, we really don’t learn from the senior scholars when they are alive. Why is that?

  2. anonymous

    April 5, 2007 at 2:36 PM

    People dont realize the blessings they have until they are taken away from them..

  3. Hamdi

    April 5, 2007 at 5:57 PM

    I’m sorry to make this shameless promotion of my blog, but on this topic please also make du’aa for a Bosnian shaykh that recently passed away: http://muslimeurope.wordpress.com/2007/04/05/death-of-jusuf-barcic-rahimahullah/

  4. inexplicabletimelessness

    April 5, 2007 at 6:56 PM

    As salaamu alaikum

    MashaAllah, jazakAllahu khair for sharing. May Allah grant him Jannatul Firdous, ameen.

  5. Niqaabis

    April 6, 2007 at 7:06 PM

    “Allaah does not take away the knowledge by taking it from the people, but He takes it away by the death of the knowledgeable ones, until no knowledgeable one remains, then the people will take ignorant persons as their leaders, they will ask them, and they will give them fatwas without knowledge They are misguided and they misguide others.’”
    (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 98).

    “During his Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said: “Learn before knowledge is taken away or lifted up.” A Bedouin said, “How will it be lifted up?” He said, “Knowledge disappears when its bearers disappear” three times.”

  6. abu_sa1f

    April 8, 2007 at 2:43 AM

    Jazaaka Allahu Khayran for sharing this, I still don’t know much about Shaykh Suhaib Hassan, but now I know much about his father, rahima ullah. May Allah SWT grant him Jannah, aameen.

  7. Abu Bakr

    April 8, 2007 at 3:54 AM

    May Allah have mercy on Shaykh Abdul Ghaffar, it is truly sad to see the passing of a scholar who taught so many of the scholars that we now learn from… inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

  8. Amad

    April 14, 2007 at 7:25 PM

    Sister UmA forwarded this biography on the Shaykh.

    In Memoriam: Shaykh Abdul Ghaffar Hasan

  9. nayeda/daughter of Zahur Ahmed

    April 14, 2007 at 10:26 PM

    May Allah grant Shaikh Abdul Ghaffar Hasan and all our beloved ones who have left this world, Junnat ul Firdous. Indeed he was an intelligent man who led a pious and fruitful life. Amazing that he raised 8 children, all of whom have contributed remarkably to society.

  10. Muslim

    June 9, 2007 at 9:29 AM

    Assalam.o.Alaikum wr wb, do any of you have suhaib hassan lectures in urdu??? if you do please email me at my_deen_iz_islam@yahoo.com
    JazakaAllah khair.May Allah bless you all.Ameen.plz email me Suahib hassan audios in urdu..Ma saalama

  11. Nuzair Hasan

    June 9, 2007 at 10:09 AM

    Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah.
    My name is Nuzair Hasan. I’m Shaykh’s grandson living in Islamabad, Pakistan. My grandfather lived his last part of life with us. Infact all of his sons in Pakistan are not very far apart his home and they used to do a gathering with him atleast weekly. My grandfather was always a humble man and had very high-patience. even throughout his illness, he never utterd a word of complaint abt any meal or any other thing. we really don’t see people in such an old age with illness, have this kind of patience and tolerance. it was all Allah’s blessing on him and upon us. certainly he remained among us as Allah’s REHMAT. He taught all of his children and following generations the true spirit of Islam and that the real thing to concentrate on is to grow interest in studying KITAB-O-SUNNAH and to dedicated efforts and time for this cause. Alhamdulillah from his teachings we all have interest in Islamic knowledge and Da’wa. May his soul rest in Heaven (Ameen)

  12. Amad

    June 9, 2007 at 6:34 PM

    asalamalikum br Nuzair… jazakallahkhair for taking the time to talk about your grandfather. Indeed he was a great man, with scholars among his progeny.

    I am sure many of us would love to hear more from you… perhaps any interesting stories and incidents to give us more of a glimpse in his daily life..

  13. Ahmed Ali

    June 10, 2007 at 9:38 AM

    Assalam.o.Alaikum wr wb brNuzair,
    do you have any lectures (In Urdu) by SHeikh Suhaib Hassan Hafizaullah? If you do please let me know.JazakaAllah khair.May Allah take your granfather to Jannah Ameen
    Ma salaama

  14. Tahir

    June 11, 2007 at 9:36 AM

    I was a student of Shaikh Suhaib 20 years ago. I try to go to his classes in his mosque in East London after I cam back to the UK but it is very difficult and it may have to stop if I have to return to Malaysia.

    Yes, in this age of the Internet, people just don’t realise how miniscule the info on the net is compared to the knowledge of these scholars. My inability to be with Shaikh Suhaib is a source of great sadness for me

  15. RESPOND

    July 29, 2007 at 11:07 PM

    CAN U PLEASE RECORD SPEECHES BY THIS SHEIKH, JAZAKaLLAH

  16. Abu Abdurrahman

    July 30, 2007 at 10:05 AM

    Bismillah..

    I should be seeing the shaykh either tomorrow or on the regular Friday circle, so I’ll try to find out if there are any websites with his discourses in Urdu – I know there are a handful of lectures in English available on the web – and that there are DVD’s of his tafseer of almost the whole Quran (he’s on al tahreem right now I believe) available. I believe some sessions of fataawa, amongst other things, on Islam Channel, so you can refer to their website inshallah.

    I can’t gaurantee tomorrow, as he’s about an hour and a bit away from where I am, but inshallah Friday should be fine to report back!

    May Allah reward him for all his efforts, ameen.

    Wassalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah

  17. respond

    August 9, 2007 at 8:15 PM

    when u go, please record the speech in Urdu and send it to me (ASAP)…May Allah Bless u..Aameen

  18. respond

    August 9, 2007 at 8:15 PM

    my message was to brother Abu Abdurrahman please respond. ASAP

  19. Abu Abdurrahman

    August 10, 2007 at 1:06 PM

    Apologies, about the delay – unfortunately/fortunately I don’t come on the internet as often as some – but that’s still not an excuse, so please accept my apologies nonetheless. There are a few lectures of Shaykh Suhaib in Urdu on the net, while the majority I believe are in English.

    The regular duroos at the majid are in English or Arabic.

    Therefore I wouldn’t be able to record anything in Urdu. But insh’Allah I have a meeting with him tonight about some uni stuff so I’ll try and get some slightly more specific details if poss…

    Once again I’m really sorry –

    Wassalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah

    Yours In Islam

  20. respond

    August 15, 2007 at 5:32 PM

    Salams again. if u know any website that have suahib Hassan lectures in urdu. please send it to me ASAP…JazakaAllah khair…

    p.s: my message to Abu Abdurrahman….Say Salam to Suhaib Hassan, Thanks

  21. Hassan H. Warfa

    September 29, 2008 at 6:11 PM

    I was a student from Somalia in Islamabad when i first met with Allama Abdul-ghaffar Hassan. His son Dr Suhail was my sheikh, we used to be neighbourhood for more than two years. Iam sure that the muslim ummah will suffer more when their ulama passing away 1fter other. May Allah mercies his soul. He contributed a lot 2 the Hadiht sciences, but alhamdullilah his offspring can occupy that vacuum.
    Allah Yarhamuh.
    Wassalam.
    Warfa.

  22. Dunia's Stranger

    December 17, 2008 at 9:19 PM

    I know I’m late but I’d pay my respects to one of great scholars of our time.

    May Allah have mercy upon him.

  23. ali

    April 6, 2009 at 5:09 AM

    as selam aleikum are they some audio durus from the Sheikh Rahim ALLAH ?

  24. Hydtech

    August 2, 2009 at 3:57 AM

    did Br. Irtiza remember all this info including the names of scholars or was this recorded?

  25. Irtiza

    August 22, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    salam Hydtech,
    It was all recorded.. I met sh Suhaib for Dhur at Masjid Tawheed, and then we walked next door to his brother’s home and he spoke while I wrote..

  26. Ammar

    December 23, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Assalam o Alaikum
    I have recently uploaded durus(in urdu) of Maulana Abdulghaffar Hasan Rahimahullah, Dr. Suhaib Hasan and Dr. Suhail Hasan on http://www.masjidattawheed.webs.com. Please do visit the site.

    • Ahmed

      December 23, 2009 at 7:37 PM

      JazakaAllah Khair br. Ammar,

      I have been looking for his lectures for a long time,
      can you please always update your site if he Gives any Urdu lectures?
      jazakaAllah Khair,
      Salam alaikum

  27. Ammar

    December 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    Barakallah
    No its not possible to update lectures regularly , I ‘ve only lectures that he delivers during his visit to pakistan.

    wassalam

  28. Justice Ali Hameed Mohamed

    November 19, 2010 at 9:49 PM

    Shaikh AbdulGhaffar hassan was one of the most important pillars of islsmic education not only for the sub continent,but enttire the Ummah as whole.Being a student of the eminent grand shaikh from the (REP OF MALDIVES (MAALDHEEP) I am v.sorry to learn about his death,may Allahs blessing and mercy on him and reward him AL-Firdhaus Al- Ulyaa Ameen! And may Allah the creater and owner of the universe grant sabr and sakeena to the noble family of the eminent shaikh , specialy sh. Suhail and Shuaib and RAghib whom I have been in touch with! And nothing but INNAA LILLAAHI WA INNAAILAIHI RAAJIOON!!

    ALI HAMEED MOHAMED

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