Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi

Khushtar Noorani

Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi (1212/1797- 1278/1861) was the son of Allama Fazle Imam Farooqi Khairabadi (d. 1244/ 1829), the Sadrus Sudoor of Delhi. Allama Fazle Haq receid his education in Islamic sciences from Shah Abdul Qadir (d. 1230/1815) and Shah Abdul Aziz, the Muhaddith of Delhi (d. 1239/1824) and in rational sciences from his father. At the age of 13, he completed his education and engaged himself in teaching. Then he took up service with the government in 1815.

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When, at the invitation of Faiz Mohammed Khan, the Nawab of Jhajjar (Punjab), he was leaving Delhi for Jhajjar, Bahadur Shah Zafar, expressing his deep sorrow and grief, gave him a Doshaala (an embroidered shawl/ a double folded shawl) and, with tearful eyes, saw him off.  He also said, “Since you are ready to leave, I have no choice but approve of your departure. But, Allah knows well that it is extremely difficult for me to utter the word ‘Good-bye’.”  (Yad Gaar-e- Ghalib, Delhi)

After his stay at Jhajjar, he was employed at Alwar, Tonk and Rampur. Then, he went to Lucknow and became the Sadrus Sudoor and Mohtamim-i-Huzoor-i- Tehsil (official in charge of a tehsil). He was also a sar-rishtadar (magistrate) in Delhi also. He held a post at Saharanpur too. He wrote some very important books. He also produced disciples who later on became well known scholars of their age.

There was a fast friendship among Mufti Sadruddin Azurda Dehlawi, Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi and Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib. It was Allama’s advice and selection that helped Ghalib arrange his ‘Diwan-i-Ghalib’. According to Mohammad Husain Azad, this is the very version which the readers hold dear these days. (Aab-i- Hayat, Delhi)  The houses of Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi and Mufti Sadruddin Azurda were the meeting-places of the Ulma, poets and literary figures.

When the revolt broke out in 1857, he came from Alwar to Delhi several times and met Bahadur Shah Zafar. This continued since May. Then, when  General Bakht Khan, along with his fourteen thousand soldiers, came from Bareilly to Delhi, according to Munshi Zakaullah of Delhi Allama delivered an speech in front of the Ulma in the Jama Masjid after Friday Prayer. He put forth an Istifta (query seeking legal advice on a point of religious importance) before the Ulma. The Fatwa (legal advice / opinion) was signed by Mufti Sadruddin Azurda, Maulvi Abdul Qadir, Qazi Faizullah Dehlawi, Maulana Faiz Ahmad Badauni, Dr. Maulvi Wazir Khan Akbarabadi, Syed Mubarak Shah Rampuri. As soon as this fatwa was published, disturbance and tumult intensified through the country. Some ninety thousand soldiers gathered in Delhi. ( Zak’ullah, Taarikh-i-urooj-i-Englishia, Delhi) When the English regained their control over Delhi, Allama Fazle Haq left Delhi and went to Awadh.  A case was filed against him in 1859. He was tried in a court for rebellion and was sentenced to imprisonment in Kaala Paani (Andaman Nicobar). He himself defended his case and declared in the court that it was he who issued the fatwa of Jihad and stuck to his stand. Maulana Abdul Haq (1244/1828-1316/1898) the son of Allama Fazle Haq, was the Principal of Madrasa Alia in Calcutta. W. W. Hunter writes about him: “He (Abdul Haq) is the son of the rebel Alim whom the government had sentenced to imprisonment in the Kaala Paani (Andaman Nicobar) and whose library was confiscated and brought to Calcutta. (W. W. Hunter, Hamare Hindustani Musalman, [Urdu] p. 203, Delhi)

Maulana Abdul Shahid Shervani of Aligarh, the biographer of Allama and translator of his famous book ‘Al-Sauratul Hindia’ (the Indian Mutiny) writes, “Maulana Abdul Haq Khairabadi had made his last will that he should be informed in his grave when the English would leave the country. Therefore, Syed Najmul Hasan Khairabadi, along with a big crowd, visited the grave in the Dargaah-i-Makhdoomia, at Khairabad in Sitapur and read Fatiha after Milaad Shareef. (muqaddimah (Introduction to) Zubdatul Hikmah, p. 12, Aligarh, 1949) Allama Fazle Haq passed away in Andaman Nicobar (Kaala Paani) in 1861 and was buried over there.

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