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A prolific writer and eminent scholar of the Indian Subcontinent, Shaykh ‘Ashiq Ilahi al-Bulandshehri (or al-Barni) was born in 1343 AH in Bulandshehr of Uttar Pradesh. After attaining his primary education at Madrasa Imdadiyya Moradabad and Jami‘ Masjid Aligarh, he traveled to Mazahir ‘Ulum Saharanpur in pursuit of higher knowledge. After completing his studies, he taught various subjects at Ferozpur Jhirka, Hayat al-Ulum Moradabad, and at different madrasas throughout Calcutta. He later taught at Dar al-‘Ulum Karachi for several years at the request of Mufti Muhammad Shafi’, where he assumed responsibility of the fatwa department and taught students hadith and tafsir. The Shaykh later migrated to Madina, where he spent the last 25 years of his life. He was a disciple of the hadith scholar Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi. Dozens of his books have been well received in many countries. Tohfa-e khawatin (Gift for women), Marne ke bad kya hōga? (What is going to happen after death?), Islami adab (Islamic conduct), Huquq al-walidayn (Rights of parents), and Anwar al-bayan (Illuminating discourses on the Holy Qur’an), a voluminous commentary of the Qur’an, are among the well-known books he authored. In the field of hadith, he authored Zad al-talibin (Provisions for the seekers) and Al-Fawa’id al-saniyya fi sharh al-Arba‘in al-Nawawiyya (The lofty beneficial points in the explanation of Nawawi’s Forty Hadiths). As for jurisprudence, he is the author of Al-Tashil al-daruri fi masa’il al-Quduri (The necessary facilitation of the laws of Quduri), as well as dozens of reformative booklets and articles. He passed away in the illuminated city of Madina at the age of 80 and was buried there in the Baqi‘ graveyard, as had been his desire.
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