B I R T H : 6th Muharram-ul-haram 1333 Hijri (1914A.D.) At Daira -e- Shah Alamullah,Takiya Kalan, Rae Barely, (U.P. India)
Family: Scion of an illustrious family which has produced scholars and spiritual preceptors like Shah Alamullah Naqshbandi and Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed, the Maulana’s father, Hakim Sayyid AbulHai, was an eminent scholar of his time, immortalized by his encyclopedic work, Nuzhatul Khawatir, (in eight volumes) containing about5,000 biographical notes on Muslim scholars, theologians, jurists, etc. of India, apart from other notable works.
Sprituality: In his formative years, the Maulana was associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami for a few years after its establishment by Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi. Then he turned to the Tablighi Jamaat founded by Maulana Ilyasi’s. But the Maulana’s genius demanded a wider horizon for it’s unfolding. Spiritually disciple of Maulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri, the Maulana belonged to the Sufi Silsila Qadiriya Naqshbandia. He also wrote a book ” Sohbat-e- BaAhle Dil” based on Great Spiritual and Renowned Islamic Personality on Bhopal famously known as Peer Nanhe Mian Sahab”.
EDUCATION: His mother started his education with the Holy Quran, which was followedby regular Arabic and Urdu Education.
His father Hakeem Sayyid AbdulHai died in 1341 Hijri (1923 A.D.) when his age was a little more than 9 years. The responsibility of his upbringing and education fell on his mother and his elder brother Maulana Hakim Dr. Sayyid Abdul Ali who was himself studying at that time in a Medical college after completing his education at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama and Darul Uloom Deoband.
* Started learning Arabic from Allama Khaleel Arab Ansari Yamani, and in fact completed his education of Arabic language and literature under his guidance and supervision. In 1930 when Allama Taqiuddin Hilali (from Morocco) came to Nadwa Maulana was particularly benefited by him.
* Took admission in Lucknow University in 1927. He was then the youngest* Took admission in Lucknow University in 1927. He was then the youngest student of the University. He secured the Degree of Fazil-e-Adab – with Gold Medal – from the University in 1929.
* Took lessons of Islamic Law Al Fiqhul Islami from Maulana Shibli Jerajpuri in 1928.
* During 1928-30 he also paid special attention to the learning of English language. He utilized this in his literary works and call for ALLAH as well as during his travels to Europe and America afterwards. It also facilitated for him reading English references in the areas of history and Islamic studies
* His First article in Arabic about “The Movement of Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed
was published in the magazine “Almanar of Allama Sayyid Rasheed Radha Misri (Cairo-Egypt) in 1931. It was later brought out in a booklet form by the Allama Misri, the writer’s age was then 16 years.
* His first book in Urdu entitled “Sirat Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed (Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed life and mission) was published in 1938, and was warmly received by the religious circles of the United India. The writer was greatly encouraged and appreciated by the venerable personages and reformers of the time.
* Delivered a lecture in Jamia Millia Delhi at its invitation in 1942 which was* Delivered a lecture in Jamia Millia Delhi at its invitation in 1942 which was later published as “Religion and civilization”.* Compiled “Mukhtarat Min Adab-il-Arab” (a selection from Arabic literature) in 1940, and completed the volumes of “Qasa-sun Nabiyyeen” 345(stories of the Prophets) and Al-Qiraat-ur-Rashida (An Arabic Text book for children also) from 1942 to 1944. The former two books are included in the course of a number of educational institutions and Arabic Language Centers of the Arab world.*
Compiled from 1944 to 1947 his famous Arabic work “Maza Khaseral A`alamu Bin hititil Muslimeen (The effect of therise and fall of Muslims on the world, published in English with title ” Islam And The World”) The Arabic Manuscript of the book was with him when he went on his first Hajj pilgrimage in 1947, which was praised and admired by
Arab scholars in Haramain Sharifain. And the Urdu translation of the book was already published in India.
* Was invited as visiting Professor by Faculty of Shariah, Damascus in 1956. The lectures delivered on this occasion were later published in the first volume of “Rijalul fikre Waddawate Fil Islam = Tareekh-e-Dawat-wa-Azimat” ( published in English with the Title : Saviours of Islamic Spirit).
* Undertook his first long journey to Lahore in 1929, where he met the Ulama and the elite. Also called on Allama Iqbal whose poem ‘Chand’ (the Moon) he had earlier translated in Arabic.
* Went to Bombay in 1935 to invite the Dalit leader, Dr. Ambedkar to embrace Islam.
* Went on first Hajj pilgrimage in 1947 and stayed for some months in Hejaz
(MAKKA & MADEENA). This was his first foreign trip.
* Made his second journey to perform Hajj in 1951-52.
* His first visit to Egypt was in 1951. His book (Islam and the world) had already made a deep impression in literary circles
there. That proved to be a good introduction for Maulana Nadwi.
* During this journey also went to Palestine and visited Bait-ul-Maqdis and
Masjid-e-Aqsa. On his return journey also met King Abdullah, the king of
Jordan, and then visited Jordan again in 1973, then 1984, 1998.
* On this occasion  also went to Sudan, and Syria. Its account was later
published in Arabic titled “Mudhakkeratu Saeh Fish Sharqil Ausat
* visited Syria again – as a visiting Professor- in 1956, and stayed there three
months, On this occasion also went to Lebanon, and Tripoli etc.
On this occasion in 1956 also undertook his first journey to Turkey (Its
account was later published in Urdu titled “Do Haftay Turkey Main
Two weeks in Turkey”.) Later undertook many other journeys to Turkey
in 1964, then 1986,1989,1993,1996 the later four visits were on the invitation of
Universal League of Islamic Literature.
* Travelled to Burma in 1960.
* Visited Bangladesh in 1982, the lectures delivered in Bangladesh published in
title “Tuhfai Mashriq
* Visited Sri Lanka in 1982, and Malaysia in 1987.
* 1964, then 1978,1986, and last visit to Pakistan was 1n 1998. , The lectures
delivered in Pakistan published in title “Ahadeethe Pakistan %17,( O0)*” and “Tuhfay Pakistan
* Made several visits to Pakistan
* Undertook first journey to Kuwait in 1962, then visited Kuwait 1968, 1983,and 1987.
Undertook first visit to U.A.E. in1974 at the invitation of H.H. Sultan Bin
Mohammad Al Qasmi, then 1976,1983,1988,1993, and the last visit to U.A.E. was in 1998.
* Visited Qatar in 1990, then in 1995.
* Some lectures delivered in Gulf Countries published in title “Ahadeeth sareeha Ma`a Ikhwanenal Arabil Muslmeen .
* Visited Jordan again (after the first visit in1951) in 1973, then 1984, 1998.
* Visited Yemen in 1984. The lectures delivered in Jordan and Yemen in 1984
published in Arabic titled “Nafahatul Eeman Baina Sana`a Wa Amman
* Led a delegation of Rabit-a-tul-Alam-il Islami (Muslim World League) to
Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordon in 1973, (Its account was
later published in Arabic titled “Min Nahre Kabul Ila Nahril Yarmook and in Urdu titled “Daryai Kabuk Say Daryai Yarmook
* Visited Mughrib-e-Aqsa (Morocco) in 1976. Then again in 1996, Its account
was later published in Urdu titled “Doo Haftay Maghribe Aqsa Marakash
* Went to Al Jazair (Algeerea) in 1982, then again in 1986.
* Went on a tour of Europe in 1963, and visited Geneva, London, Paris,
Cambridge, Oxford and some major cities of Spain. During this tour met many
Arab Scholars and delivered many lectures.
* Visited Europe again in 1964, then 1969, the lectures delivered in Europe
published in title “Speaking plainly to the West”.
* After this had to undertake several journeys to Europe particularly on the
invitation of Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in 1983.
* Went to America in 1977, then again in 1993, the lectures delivered in
America published in title “From the Depth of The Heart In America”
* Visited Belgium in 1985.
* Visited Taskhent and Samarakand, and Bukhara in 1993.
Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi primarily wrote in Arabic, although also in Urdu, and wrote more than fifty books on history, theology, and biography, and thousands of seminar papers, articles, and recorded speeches.Most of his books in simple arabic come to fame by being taught in Al Azhar University.Books like ‘Qisas ul nabieen'(Incidents of Prophets) and ‘Al Qirat ur Rashida'(Best Literature) is being taught in most of the Islamic University. He also wrote a book ” Sohbat-e- BaAhle Dil” based on Great Spiritual and Renowned Islamic Personality on Bhopal famously known as Peer Nanhe Mian Sahab”.
His 1950 book Maza Khasiral Alam be Inhitat al-Muslimeen (lit. What did the world lose with the decline of Muslims?), translated into English as Islam and the World, was largely responsible for popularizing the concept of “modern Jahiliyya”, coined by his teacher Abul Ala Maududi. Expounding Mawdudi’s views, Nadwi argued that Muslims were to be held accountable for their predicament, because they came to rely on alien, un-Islamic institutions borrowed from the West. The Islamist author Syed Qutb commended Nadwi’s writings for his use of the word jahiliyya to describe not a particular age in history (as earlier Muslim scholars did) but a state of moral corruption and materialism.
Honours and awards
1962 Secretary of the first inaugural session and foundation of Muslim World League in Mecca.
- 1980 King Faisal Award
- 1980 Chairman of Islamic Centre Oxford.
- 1984 President of ‘League of Islamic Literature’.
- 1999 ‘Islamic Personality of Year’ award established by Sheikh Mohammed of United Arab Emirates
Access to the Kaabah
In 1951, during his second pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah the key-bearer of the Kaabah (Islam’s holiest building), opened its door for two days and allowed Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi to take anyone he chose inside. He was subsequently given the key to the Kaabah to allow him to enter whenever he chose during his pilgrimage.
Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi died on 23 Ramadan, 1420 AH (December 31, 1999) in Raebareli, India at the age of 85