Biography on Muballighe-Islam Shah Abdul Aleem Siddiqui
Beauty of Stature: A Physical Description
Wide forehead, fair in complexion, a round dignified head, large
bright eyes, spectacles on the eyes, straight nose, broad chest,
well-defined lips and full dense beard. Teeth – small
pomegranate-like, inter-connected with a small gap in the
centre. When he smiled – oh what a sheer delightful view!
His moustache met his beard at the sides. An ancient-style
Sunnah turban, often of a dark hue adorned his head,
emphasizing the charm of his face. An Arabian-style tunic over
which a loose elegant ankle-length robe made from coarse
fabric, was often left open at the neck. A long scarf graced his
neck, with the two ends hanging on either side.
Later in life, a strikingly beautiful black or brown Tasbeeh
(prayer bead) would garland his neck, which, when visible,
amplified the charm of his visage. In his hand, a delicate staff.
Allah’s name I begin in, Most Beneficent, Very Merciful
Birth and Primary Years
Maulana was born on the 15th of Ramadan 1310 Hijri,
corresponding with 3rd April 1892 in Meerut U.P. India. His
father’s name was Maulana Shah Abdul Hakeem Siddiqi. He
came from a highly reputable family reigning from Mohallah
Mashāikhān, a locality noted for religious sciences, poetry and
literature. The name Mashaikhān itself suggested that this
neighbourhood was inhabited by pious, learned, and spiritual
people. As the trustee of ilmi inheritors, his pious lineage traced
itself back to Sayyeduna Abu Bakar Siddique Radi Allahu Ta’ala
anhu – the icon of truth and purity. This family was an example
His honourable father was an esteemed scholar and a fine poet
with a deep passion for esoteric sciences and the disciplines of
Tasawwuf. Under the tutelage of his father, He completed the
Holy Quran at the age of four years and ten months.
The compassionate shadow and guidance of his father were
lifted at the tender age of 12. After the demise of his father
Maulana Shah Abdul Hakeem Siddiqi, his mother took this
bright child in her maternal embrace. His elder brother Hazrat
Maulana Shah Ahmad Mukhtār Siddiqi Rahmatullahi Ta’ala
alaih took the responsibility for his education under his patronage.
He had not yet reached puberty, his education was still in its
infancy when the Muslims of Meerut discovered an amazing
talent in this nine-year-old Siddiqi prince. One day, during a
Meelad-un-Nabi Jalsah in the Jāma mosque Meerut, this
promising Siddiqi prince astonished the audience by delivering
a bayān (talk) for over an hour! Thus, distributing the Faiz
(spiritual blessings) of his ancestors. The congregation present
there witnessed his innate ability to conquer the minds of the
masses through the gift of speech.
His profound thirst for knowledge propelled him to complete
the Darse-Nizāmi syllabus and thus he graduated from the
Madrasa Qaumiyya Arabia, Meerut, at the young age of
sixteen. According to the family tradition as well as the customs
of the time, this level of education was more than sufficient.
This would conventionally be followed by research and
A New Direction in Education
Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi had now reached the age of
consciousness when one assumes and paves one’s way
forward. However, the requirements and demands of the
destination mapped by his progressive ambitions contrasted
with the customs and traditions of the time. He decided that to
benefit from modern sciences, mathematics, physics and
modern philosophy among other fields, it was necessary to
learn English. Initially, he made many personal efforts towards
this end. Eventually, he took admission in Itawa High School,
matriculating in the year 1913. This was followed by an
application for the Divisional College in Meerut. Hence, in 1917,
he successfully graduated from this institute with a Bachelor of
While the educational path he had selected acquainted him
with western sciences and ideologies, it also revealed the
secrets of western conspiracies against Islam, the Muslim
Ummah, eastern sciences, as well as religious and spiritual
values. The secrets of their intellectual betrayals were laid bare
before him! The deliberate erasure of the favours and
benevolence of Muslims upon western sciences, medicine and
the inventions of the Arab scholars and their services to
humanity had become exposed to him! These were the facts
that Maulana was not only well aware of but also wanted to
reach the bottom of and expose to the world.
A Persuasive Orator
His oratory talents had already become apparent at the age of
nine. Over time, as his knowledge and education matured, so
did this invaluable skill. Nature had already bestowed him with
a melodious voice. The Sincerity of his tone and the noble
aspirations of his life augmented it further, affecting the hearts
of his audience, mesmerizing them as his words gently travelled
Poetry in simple prose – His speeches that gave the pleasure of
rhythm and presented a unique style in preaching Islam, a style
that Maulana himself had pioneered, sadly, ended too with
In his foreword to a book authored by Maulana, “Cultivation of
Science by the Muslims “ (a lecture delivered by his eminence
on the 24th July 1936 at the Summer College of Tokyo Japan),
the Japanese Orientalist professor NH Berlas notes the
quaintness of his speech, proclaiming:
“For a fuller appreciation, one must hear Maulana
Siddiqi from the platform. One is sure to be charmed
like the audience here: by his magnetic personality and
oratorical powers, his loud and impressive but musical
voice and splendid delivery”.
Maulana’s speeches have been mentioned in several languages
by analysts. It can be realistically analysed though, that nature
itself had endowed Maulana with powerful memorization skills
and an acquisitive mind. When Maulana visited any country, he
was able to garner sufficient competence in the local language
required for the period of his stay. Later, as the need for
propagation arose, it gradually became a means of conveying
Allah Almighty has blessed inanimate objects with speech. Why
then, is it a wonder when He grants power over multiple
languages to His righteous servants for the sake of exalting the
word of truth?
Services and Achievements
After graduating, the norm would be to commence services
locally in the field of education. However, the sad state of
conditions regionally including the inefficient curricula of
educational institutions, an acute sense of negligence, a low
literacy rate amongst the Muslims, as well as the lack of highquality educational institutions nationally, demanded that
someone needed to address these issues with complete
sincerity, enthusiasm and passion.
National High School Pune – An
Maulana commenced his teaching struggles in Pune, an
historical city of Maharashtra near Mumbai, where he served
from 1920 to 1922. Taking his duties on as a principal of
National High School Pune, he outlined educational reforms.
The school’s western, unIslamic curriculum was not only
inappropriate for Muslim students but was also detrimental to
their moral values and conflicted with cultural values. Though
Maulana’s educational reformation efforts began in Pune, they
climaxed in the establishment of some major Islamic Arabic
universities in Malaysia and Africa.
The ups and downs in Indian Muslim politics over time and the
ill effects it had on Muslims had certainly dampened his spirits,
but they did not cause him to despair. Wherever he went, he
made Muslims aware of the importance of Islamic Education.
He wrote books and compiled curricula that continue to exist
to this day outside India.
It can be said that Maulana was one of the foremost leaders in
the national ideology of education, which led to the
establishment and development of Aligarh Muslim University in
Aligarh and then Jamia Islamia University in Delhi. However, his
name is nowhere recorded in their histories.
This theory of the writer can further be supported by the fact
that former Indian president Dr Zākir Hussain‘s name appeared
among Maulana’s old classmates who co-founded Jāmia Milia
“At the beginning of Jamiat Ulamae-Hind, he was the
Secretary and his name exists along with its founders.”
– Sipas Nāma (laudatory address), Mumbai, acknowledges it.
Prof. Jalāluddin Ahmad Noori of Karachi University was very
clear on this matter in his dissertation. He writes:
“If it is said that Maulana Shah Abdul Aleem Siddiqi
Meeruthi is at the forefront of promoting and
developing political, economic, and religious relations
between the Arab world and the Muslim world then
there can be no denying it. “
COMMENCEMENT OF JOURNEYS
[Translation – The true God-seeker’s home, is
neither in the East nor in the West]
Maulana’s national travels began with an initial long journey to
the state of Bhopal. He then travelled to Surat, Mumbai and
Damman among other cities. Concerning his early travels
abroad, by this point, he had already completed two trips to
Rangoon in Burma during his college years. The first was in 1914
and the second in 1915.
Journey to the Sacred Lands
Maulana’s first journey to the Holy Lands was in the year 1919.
Coincidentally, an event took place that increased his interest
in Arab countries. During his stay in Makkah Muazzamah, he
met the Sharif of Makkah, Hussein bin Ali. While conversing
with him, the Sharif asked Maulana to inform him if he had
observed any Shara’ee flawsin his government. Maulana seized
the opportunity and documented a report, presenting it in his
second meeting with him. In it, he proved with Shara’ee
evidence, their (i.e. Saudi Government’s) wrongdoings against
the Ottoman Caliphate of Turkey by violating the sanctity of the
holy lands of Makkah Muazzamah and Madeenatul
Quite clearly, the outcome of such a declaration could have
been nothing but resentments. Maulana’s friends and wellwishers sensed danger and feared for him being punished.
However, with complete perseverance and steadfastness,
Maulana remained content with whatever was Allah’s will. He
made some travelling adjustments and stayed in the sacred
lands for a year.
He continued to benefit the locals and derive benefits from the
Ulama and Mashāikh there. He taught English to Arab youths
and gave Mishkāt and Jalālain lessonsto the local Arabs and the
expat community. He took a keen interest in the welfare of the
locals, especially the residents of Madeenatul Munawwarah.
There, he established an orphanage named “Darul Aytām”.
Thus, he gradually forged a place for himself in the hearts of the
mighty and influential there.
Due to the acknowledgement of his services, when Maulana
met Shah Saūd in 1946 with a delegation against the Hajj tax,
the Shah not only welcomed the delegation but also promised
to waive the Hajj tax.
Maulana briefly participated in Muslim politics too, but it did
not suit his temperament. His true mission was education,
propagation, and human welfare. His inclination towards
Spirituality and Tasawwuf from his early days matured with
age. These shades are evident in both his speech and his poetry.
His book Kitabut Tasawwuf (The Book of Sufism) is also a
reflection of this. In his lectures, he sometimes recited duets of
Kabir Dās and at other times, his own Kalāms.
[Translation – O soul of the world, O the moving spirit, just you remain and
not I. I am lost in you and you manifest in me, just you remain and not I.
Aleem says this day and night with a heavy heart and tearful eyes. O the
reflection of splendid lustres in the universe, just you remain and not I].
One can gauge Maulana’ssincere struggles by reading the news
of his mission in the Indian newspapers and magazines of that
time. Some of the publications that carry accounts of his
- Akhbār Al-Amān Delhi – 1936
- Alfiqhiyya Amritsar – 1929
- Khilāfat Mumbai – 1940
- Dabdabae Sikandari Rampur – 1945
It may sound odd now, but it is a fact that Maulana’s travels
were done at his own expense. In a letter, published in Akhbārul-Amān Delhi, he wrote from China to Muhammad
Mazharuddin, the secretary of the Jamiat Ulamāe-Hind:
“I alone know how I manage with the meagre nazrāna
(gifts) which is due to personal laxity, disinterest, and
eluding the wealthy. This insignificant and capital-less
Faqeer (beggar) has stepped into this field solely on the
trust of Allahجل جلاله“.
If friends like you and the readers of Al Amān and
Wahdat pray in your sacred times to Allah Almighty,
when agnosticism is rife, that He grant this humble
servant tawfeeq to serve His religion with sincerity and
to guide the misguided –then it will be a special favour
An Incomplete Outline of his Foreign Travels:
Burma – 1914
Burma – 1915
Hijāze Muqaddas – 1919
Ceylon/ Sri Lanka – Laid foundation stone in Hanafi
Jāmiah Masjid, Colombo – 1923
Hijāze Muqaddas – Second Haj 1924/ 25
China /Siam – 1927
Madagascar – 1928 /1929
Ceylon – 1929
Ceylon – 1931
Singapore – 1932
Hijāze Muqaddas – 1933
Ceylon – 1933
Kenya, Mombasa -1935
United Stated -1950
Hijāze-Muqaddas and Ceylon -1933
On his journey to the sacred Hijāz, Maulana established Dār AlYatāma in Madeena Shareef. In addition, another crucial task
of historical significance was accomplished. An ancient,
historical canal, The Zarqah Canal of Madeenatul Munawwarah
which was built during the reign of Hazrat Ameer Mu’awiyah
عنه الله رضي had been shut for a long period. Maulana persuaded
the people to clean and repair it, accepting responsibility at his
own expense. This was done for the Ahle-Madeena to benefit
from the canal and the irrigation so that their fields could
transform into green orchards.
Near Colombo, in the suburb of Maharagama in Ceylon, he
founded a religious institute called Ghafooria Arabic School.
Furthermore, he fortified the productivity of the existing
organization, The Muslim Missionary Society that was in
existence by establishing branches of it in various other
locations. This would spread Ilme-deen (Islamic teaching) from
house to house, giving maximum benefit to the locals.
In Kolhapur, one of Maulana’s loyal activists, Mr J Mājid, issued
an Islamic digest, “Star of Islam” which became a means of
publicising Islamic literature commonly, thus transmitting
Islamic teachings to the public.
Ceylon, Malaya & Mauritius– 1931/32
This journey saw Maulana accomplish many remarkable works.
He invented a unique way of preaching in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). It
became known as “The Green Pamphlet Movement”. Islamic
teachings and messages were spread across the country by
publishing messages in the form of brief, green flyers.
He launched an English Islamic magazine from Singapore and
suggested the name, ‘The Real Islam’ for it. This standard
magazine gained popularity in the United States, Britain, and
Africa. Non-Muslims read this publication with great interest as
He also founded the “All- Malaya Muslim Missionary Society”
in Malaysia. This society, with a dedicated group of Muslims,
proved to be effective and meticulous. They successfully
produced preachers who spread their message in the local
languages and delivered Islamic services throughout the
On this journey, he travelled to Mauritius as well. There, he
observed the need for a Muslim orphanage. Maulana
subsequently established Halqae Qādiriya Isha’ate-Islam to
meet this need and organized management to handle the work.
Indonesia – Confronting the Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore became the stimulus to the 1927 Burma
Rangoon Journey. He was a famous playwright, philosopher
and poet who possessed a unique style in English and Bengali
literature, but from within, he was extremely bigoted and
hostile towards Islam. A significant number of Hindus of Bengali
descent were based in Burma at that time and they were
prosperous. When Tagore visited the country in 1927, he came
as their guest. In a lecture he gave there, he motivated the
Indonesian Muslims to leave Islam and convert to Idolatry and
Hinduism, saying to them that it was the religion of their
forefathers. This was an open invitation to apostasy, which
enraged the Muslims. However, none of them dared to
challenge the so-called great philosopher, Tagore.
Maulana put a stop to the false and baseless arguments raised
by Tagore in his lectures, refuting them with convincing
historical references and philosophical replies. Thereupon, he
reinforced Islam and renewed the faith of the Indonesian
Muslims. A group of Indonesian Ulama, “Nahdatul Ulama”
(Revival of the Ulama) held a conference in appreciation of
Maulana’s action. It proved to be the country’s first historically
Maulana also revived an old Muslim Organization called AlJamiat-e-Muhammadiya. Thus, he helped make Indonesia a
stronghold of Islam and ensured a constructive plan in place
that would safeguard it for the future against the dangers of
Christianity and misguided religions such as Qādianism.
Alhamdulillah, Muslims up to this day are reaping the rewards
from the fruits of his labour and pray for their benefactor with
great devotion and respect.
[Translation -May Allahجل جلاله have mercy on the true lovers and pure souls]
Malaya, Indochina and China
Singapore is inhabited by people of Indian and East Asian
descent. The Muslims there were a minority, victims of
heedlessness and oblivious to matters of religion. The
ideologies of communism and materialism were emerging. In
hindsight, Maulana probably chose Singapore as a convenient
base to convey his message from there to Indonesia, Malaya
and China. The pressure of communism and Qādianism was
building in these countries, thus increasing the difficulties of
the Islamic-inclined people. Some Indonesian islands had fallen
victim to Christianity.
Maulana first undertook broadcasting and publication tasks in
Singapore. He founded the first Muslim magazine, ‘The
Genuine Islam’. This name was probably to distinguish it from
the Qādiyani literature which existed under the label of “Islam”.
As Qādianism was presenting itself under the guise of Islam,
Maulana kept a distinction, using the terms, “The Genuine” and
“The Real”, so that Qādianism might not be taken for “true
religion” as such.
This monthly magazine was published in English. Its standard
was superior and it became the ‘representative’ of Islam in the
world of journalism. It had a positive impact on the masses.
They began to awaken from their negligence. Alhamdulillah,
gradually the people repented of their misguidedness and their
beings began to shine with the light of Islam. From Singapore,
Maulana made a brief visit to Indochina on his way to Japan. He
wrote in his letter to the Newspaper Alamān Delhi, issue June
“On 22 April 1936, I became a passenger to Japan via a
French ship. The ship docked at Saigon port on the
afternoon of the 24th
. This region is a major port of
Indochina and a French colony. The city is very clean
and seems like Paris. So far, no preacher of Islam has
come to this land to raise the voice of Islam.
Tomorrow will be the first time to publicly deliver a
speech in English, which will be translated into French,
Insha-Allah. The following day, there will be another
speech. This afternoon is my Arabic speech for the
Arabs, and then at night in Urdu for the sake of the
Hindis, Punjabis and Peshawari brothers. I intend to
draw the attention of Madrasi Muslims by my daily
hour-long Tableeghi lectures, which will be translated
Japan – 1936
The visit to Japan, though brief, proved to be very productive.
To the literate society there, who had adopted Buddhism as the
religion of their ancestors, Maulana’s personality exuded new
charm. His intellectual, scientific-based arguments introduced
them to a new direction in their way of thinking about Islam.
In the famous city of Tokyo, he delivered his address entitled,
‘Cultivation of Science by the Muslims’. In it, he presented
historical facts in his distinct style that attracted the serious
minds of Japan who consequently acknowledged the
excellence of Islam.
Starting his lecture, after thanking the organizing society, The
Oriental Cultural Society Tokyo, he surprised the audience by
saying that his speech from the platform would neither be that
of a preacher of Islam, nor that of an advocate of a Muslim
cause. Rather, he reiterated that his purpose was merely to
scrutinize whether Muslim scholars had truly contributed to
Science in the light of historical study.
Later, the series of speeches continued in other major cities of
Osaka, Karume, Rawa, and Kobe. In Japan, the majority of those
whose hearts Allahجل جلاله inclined towards Islam were educated,
conscious, serious and civilized people. A new mosque was built
in Nagoya, known as Nagoya Mosque. Maulana laid its
foundation stone. This magnificent building gained popularity
throughout the region and, to this day, it represents a critical
milestone in Islam, serving the religion of Allah جل جلاله in Japan. He
persuaded a group of passionate Japanese Muslim youngsters
to attend Al- Azhar University for the training of Ad Dā’ee (The
preacher) and made necessary arrangements for it.
Commenting briefly on his Tableeghi tour to Indochina,
Maulana states in his letter to Mazhar ud Deen Saheb:
“A spectacular Juloos (procession) welcomed me when I
arrived at the mosque. This Masjide-awwal was built by
Muslims in 1867. And thus, it became the first house of
Allah جل جلالهin this land of non-believers. The building was
dilapidated. Therefore, in 1924 its modern construction
began. I was invited to lay the foundation stone on
September 1934. Instead, I went to South Africa for some
urgent work. Later on, I was called again in the middle of
1935. Owing to my wife’s illness and my own, I could not
attend. Now, these brothers have once again invited me to
Japan. Hence, I stayed here for five days so that I may
deliver my speech in this newly-built mosque.”
This letter reveals that Maulana’s stay in Japan was for merely
five days. The final part of the letter revealsthe amount of work
Maulana had achieved in these five days. It reads:
“Thanks to the Almighty جل جلاله, in this short period the
following work had been accomplished:
1. A Muslim Missionary Society was established;
which, in the future will continue with the
propagation work in Indochina.
2. 23 males and females embraced Islam. Amongst
them was a Tamil Hindu and 22 were of the Annam
nation of Buddhism faith”.
Alhamdulillah جل جلاله, Maulana alone had fulfilled an amount of
work in a matter of five days that an entire jamāt cannot
achieve in months. This was the endless grace of Allah جل جلاله and
His beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم.
Hijāze Muqaddas- Haj 1937
Having completed his Haj and Ziyārah to Madeena
Munawwarah, Maulana met Shah Ibn Saud in Makkah
Mu’azzamah and lodged a complaint about the difficulties the
new western reverts encountered and demanded its resolution
in the future.
Interfaith Conference Singapore – 1949
During his stay in Singapore In 1949, Maulana constructed a
plan to form a coalition with the followers of various faiths:
Christianity, Buddhism, Sikh, and Islam – all united against the
forces of communism and atheism. This is evidence of
Maulana’s wise preaching strategy. For the purpose of Dawah
& Tableegh, people needed to believe in God first!
He, therefore, gathered the leaders of the major religions, in
Victoria Memorial Hall in Singapore and cautioned them of the
danger that communism presented. Furthermore, he
motivated them to set up a defence system against the
common enemy. Singapore’s leading newspaper “The Straits
Times”, in its 19th March 1949 issue reported:
“Commissioner F MacDonald presided over the
conference, calling it ‘a necessity’ and ‘the first of its
kind’. Leaders of all religions agreed and assured their
The immediate outcome of this was positive and the atheist
forces retreated. This alliance, however, was not to last. As a
result of Maulana’s preaching strategy, the strength of the
opponents of Islam was divided and a friendly atmosphere
began to prevail.
Furthermore, In January 1950, Maulana sent a letter to Cairo’s
Egyptian Pope Ⅻ who was the most influential figure at the
Vatican headquarters in Rome. Drawing his attention to the
growing effects of communism, he pointed towards the
dangerous consequences of materialism and atheism on the
Christian world. He then suggested that the religious forces
unite solely based on worshipping God.
This letter was sent from Mushare Albustani, Cairo, Egypt on
20th January 1950 where Maulana stayed with his friend, Alhāj
Muhammad Salem. This letter was later published in several
An underdeveloped and poor nation, stricken with natural
disasters, the Philippines was an archipelago that was once a
Muslim-majority country in ancient times. Spain had defeated
the Muslim rulers and colonised the Philippines Islands,
launching a campaign to convert Muslims to Christianity
through forced apostasy. Spain was both powerful and rich.
They were supporters of bigoted Roman Catholic beliefs. They
had ruled for more than three centuries, during which time
they converted about 80 to 90 percent of the Muslim
population. Fortunately,some of the islands were inhabited by
Muslims of Arab descent, who lived a simple tribal life in the
These devout Muslims had managed to safeguard their faith.
They fought against British and American colonialism. They
killed and were killed but did not surrender their faith. They
were alienated from the Muslim world and were unknown to
people outside. They were not in a position to ask anyone for
help, nor could anyone provide them with any aid.
It was during this period, that Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi had
arrived in the Philippines on his lengthy missionary tour,
accompanied by his son-in-law Dr Ansari. The Christian fanatics
of the Catholic sect were all over the place. In one of his
dissertations, which was published in English in Minaret, Dr
We arrived in Cotabato- the main city of the Philippines
during Maulana’s Tableeghi 1949 world tour. A lecture
program was scheduled after an event. Thisfunction was
planned to take place in an open field. After Zohar, the
weather suddenly changed. The sky began to become
overcast. It got cloudy and darkness spread all over. I
went to his room and informed him about the weather.
With great satisfaction, he remarked;
“Son! We have come here to convey the message of
Allahجل جلاله . Be it clouds or rain, we are all bound by His
command. If He wills that we convey His message to His
servants then the weather will clear”. – Minaret 1985
The time had come for this representative of Mustafaصلى الله عليه وسلم‘s
Kingdom to show the world the manifestation of his Sultan’s
rule. Thus the late Dr Ansari writes further:
After Maghrib (evening prayer), we reached the place.
It was a vast, open ground packed with audiences. The
Governor presided over the meeting and the chief
justice was also present. As Maulana commenced his
lecture, large raindrops started falling. The crowd
stirred up due to this. Maulana paused and then
addressed them, saying;
“Friends! Don’t worry at all. The rain will stop soon”.
And sure enough, the rain did come to a complete halt!
“It will not rain for as long as the function goes on, and
when we have concluded, you will have ten minutes to
For as long as the Jalsah lasted, not a drop of rain fell.
Maulana’s lecture lasted for an hour and a half. The
assembly sat motionless. In between, some thundering
and rumbling of the clouds were heard. However, the
audience remained seated, satisfied and having
witnessed the spectacle of Maulana’s spiritual strength.
When the lecture concluded, the chairman thanked
everyone and the meeting was adjourned. The crowd
rushed to shake hands with Maulana. Maulana’s voice
“Friends, please, you have ten minutes. Return home
soon, I’m going to my hotel too”.
Ten minutes later, it began to rain heavily. The next
morning, the streets were almost flooded. Thousands of
Catholics witnessed this miracle and embraced Islam.
This was the special favour of Mustafae Kareem صلى الله عليه وسلم on
this representative of the Saltanate-Mustafa صلى الله عليه وسلم.
Alhamdulillah, as a result, Christianity in the country
was dealt a blow. Their boldness in preaching
Christianity blatantly weakened and the morale of the
Muslims escalated. The pastor’s business came to a
decline. The churches’ crowd disintegrated. The
construction of mosques began. Madāris and schools
began to be established to propagate the teachings of
the Holy Qur’an.
The United States – 1950
Maulana’s first trip to the United States took place in the year
1950 during his tablēghi world tour. The details of this tour can
be gathered from the pamphlet issued by ‘The Muslim Society
of America’ on Maulana’s visit. This introductory pamphlet in
English detailed his accomplishments and carried an
announcement of the programmes and events planned in the
United States. It reads:
“Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddiqi, the Ambassador of Peace
and Goodwill, arrived in the United States of America
through Pan American Airways on 19th of August 1950 at
5 pm via Trinidad. He is not a preacher of any new sect.
Rather, he is a representative of Ahle-Sunnah wal-
Jama’ah and a renowned scholar in English and modern
sciences. Al Azhar University, Cairo had welcomed him
with a grand reception in his honour. He is here to deliver
a message of Peace and Tolerance, as well as to teach us,
the people of America, spirituality. Maulana is strongly
against communism and atheism. He will be delivering a
series of lectures in the United States and Canada. His
program is planned by the Islamic Mission of America.
Maulana will depart from New York for Washington on
24th August. After the meeting, he will leave for
Youngstown, Ohio to participate in ‘The Muslim
Convention’, where he will be meeting the ambassadors
of Egypt and Pakistan”.
The United States had not yet become a superpower in 1950.
The threat of Russian communism was looming. The deviant
sects, such as the Qādianis and the Bahāis, were taking
advantage of America’s support in the name of Islam. In this
environment, Muballighe-Islam had an ideal opportunity in the
United States to initiate a true revival and eradicate the deviant
sects. As a result, the number of Muslims began to rise and true
Islam gradually gained momentum. Politically, the United
States at that time supported any movement that was antiRussian and an enemy of communism.
Southern Africa & East AfricaMozambique, Zanzibar, Kenya and
South Africa -1934/35
In Islamic history, Africa has been of great significance due to
its diverse characteristics and changing political situation.
When European powers were in conflict with each other for
control over Africa, Islam faced instability as a result. Italy,
France, Germany, Netherlands, Britain and Portugal each
wanted to dominate Africa. There, they had material interests.
Black African Muslims at the time were orthodox in their beliefs
and accustomed to patience and steadfastness. Arab
civilization and religious values were deeply rooted in them.
Western colonialism had snatched everything from them.
However, by the grace of the Almighty جل جلاله, they managed to
save their faith.
Islam was committed to the abolition of slavery and the trade
of slaves but the colonial powers and the western nations
sought to promote it for their material gain and economic
When African Muslim slaves were traded, with them Islam
went along. When his European master oppressed him, Allah’s
name spontaneously appeared on his lips. He had shackles on
his legs and chains on his hands but his conscience was
liberated, his heart and vision enlightened with Tawheed.
[Translation – Tawheed is a treasure for which they sacrifice themselves to
the noose. It is not the flower that is sold in the streets and markets].
This spirit of steadfastness thus developed and paved a way
forward, creating attraction for others towards Islam.
Maulana visited African countries regularly, sojourning often in
Mauritius. Slowly, the islanders became subordinated by his
sincere services, as if he was their widely approved spiritual
leader. The effects of this were felt in other African countries,
especially South Africa.
Maulana first visited South Africa in 1934. His itinerary included
visits to other countries as well. Therefore, his stay in South
Africa was brief. Mr Makki, who had previously spent time in
Maulana’a hometown Meerut and benefitted from his
company, harboured a passion for propagating Deen. After
returning from Meerut, he set up his own publishing house
called Makki Publication. For its inauguration, he invited
For the inauguration, Maulana programmed and planned to
publish an Islamic digest, as well as pamphlets on a plethora of
religious topics. He delivered Urdu talks in the Jāma Masjid in
Durban. Some private functions were held in Pretoria by
gentlemen from the Kathiawari Memon community. It was a
period of white government rule and the laws on racial
discrimination were rigid. Muslims were in a minority, and
mainly of Indian descent. There was no organised structure for
religious education. The needs were dire and required plenty of
time to address. However, there was no room at the time to fit
it all into Maulana’s program.
Located on the southeast coast of Africa, Mozambique is rich in
natural resources and has a pleasant climate. The city of
Maputo (previously called Lourenço Marques) serves as its
At the time of Maulana’s visit, the country was ruled by the
Portuguese. Indigenous Africans included both Christians and
Muslims. They were often caught up in irreligiosity and tribal
lifestyles. Islam, according to history, had arrived here with “the
Arab traders and tourists”. It had thus already been introduced
and well-integrated into society. A magnificent mosque built
by some Memon gentlemen existed as well. Maulana’s elder
brother, Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Mukhtar Siddiqi had been its
honourable Khateeb. A majority of the indigenous people,
which included a significant number of Muslims lived a life of
poverty and resided in dilapidated and impoverished rural
areas. Maulana directed his special attention towards them,
awakening their suppressed emotions. He supplicated for their
patience and perseverance. He advised them to move to cities
and start small businesses and he appealed to Kathiawari
Memon traders to assist them financially and involve them in
Coincidentally, this writer had an opportunity to visit a village
near Maputo. After getting off the main road, a frail old man
appeared on a dirt road. Having exchanged greetings, he
enquired about my homeland. Upon hearing that I was from
India, his face lit up. “Do you know Maulana Abdul Aleem
Siddiqi”? He asked. I replied in the affirmative. He held my hand
and brought me close to a tree. Speaking partly in Arabic and
English, he narrated that Maulana had come there too and
stood there alone under the tree, reciting verses from the
Quran. His voice was heard in nearby houses. People – men,
women and children, came out and started to gather here.
Then Maulana began to preach. He elaborated on the true
meaning of “Imān in the Hereafter”. Many Muslims began to
cry. They repented at his hands and many non-Muslims took
[Translation – You may have many lovers, but none will be the
likes of majnu]
Zanzibar – 1935
Zanzibar is a sovereign island off the Indian Ocean in East Africa,
whose ruler back at the time was a Muslim and its national
language was Arabic. Islamic Arabic civilization, with all its
peculiarities, prevailed there. The Sultān of Zanzibar gave
Maulana a royal welcome. Maulana was the first Muslim leader
and religious guide to receive this honour. In his special meeting
with the Sultan, Maulana discussed the issues pertaining to
Muslim nations such as the obstacles in the path of Tableegh,
the advancement of western dictatorial powers and the
influence of Qādianism in African countries, among other
issues. He also briefed the Sultān on his future plans.
A decade prior, Maulana had undertaken a tour to Mauritius.
He had graced Mauritius with his arrival for the first time in
December 1928 due to the repeated endeavours and
invitations of Sir Abdur Razzāq Muhammad, who was a
businessman and the mayor of Port Louis at that time. As a
result, the entire Island had been transformed. He reached Port
Louis in 1938 via Colombo by Ship. He delivered talks in villages
and towns. Thousands of people repented and benefitted from
his Bai’ah (allegiance to a Sufi order) and his discourses. The
Qādiāni Fitna, which was on the rise, baffled many naive
Muslims. Maulana’s wise and mystical talks severed the roots
of this misguided sect for good. And hence, the faith of the
masses was protected.
A grand Jalsah on the topic of ‘Tawheed of Allah جل جلاله ‘was held at
Peer Muhammad’s bungalow. In addition to the general public,
a large number of elites were invited to hear the speech on this
topic. Mr Alfred Gill KC Francis, President of the Town area
Board chaired the programme in English and in the opinion of
these westerners, it was the first time that the true concept of
monotheism had been made explicitly clear, leaving no room
for its denial. Maulana’s knowledge, devotion and love
manifested in every nook and corner of Mauritius. He delivered
talks considering his audience’s taste, need and intelligence
level. If he went to a village and the audience was of Indian
descent, he would sometimes deliver Islahi (reformatory) talks
in the Bhojpuri language. Special attention was given to
Second Visit to Mauritius – 1931
On 26th September 1931, Maulana arrived in Mauritius directly
from Indonesia. At that time, Muslim businessmen and national
leaders needed to send a delegation to the financial
commissioner to resolve a national issue and it was to be led by
Maulana. Maulana conveyed the matter to the government
with sagacious tact. It proved to be in favour of the Muslims,
as, in the near future, when a Muslim orphanage was
established, the government provided financial aid for it.
Having completed this, Maulana set out for Tableeghi meetings
and tours. When the month of Muharram arrived, he started a
series of ten consecutive discourses which were broadcast daily
on the local radio throughout the first ten days. Muslims and
non-Muslims alike listened to these with great enthusiasm and
interest, taking many lessons from the events of Karbala.
This visit was captured beautifully by the newspaper “Al-Faqih
Amritsar” and published in its 14th March 1933 edition under
“The sun of Islam shines on the Island of Mauritius. A
British shipping officer embraces Islam”.
“With the visit of Maulana Shah Abdul Aleem Siddiqi – a
native of Meerut India – to the Island of Mauritius, the
entire Island is experiencing amazing blessings! The
island has been organised systematically. The Muslims
have united as one Jamiat (group) on the island. Every
mosque is adorned with worshippers. In settlements
where there was neither worshipper nor place of
worship, mosques are being built. Even non-Muslims
come in droves to listen to the inspiring talks of Hazrat
Maulana, and those destined for guidance, embrace
Islam. Many Hindus, Christians, men and women,
inspired by the Faiz (blessings) of his discourses had
embraced Islam already. Recently on January 1933,
while his ship was anchored at the port, a European
officer of the Union Line Ship paid a random visit to the
Jāma Masjid, Port Louis. Coincidentally, he met Maulana
there. After a brief conversation, Maulana presented the
truth and simplicity of Islam to him in such a delightful
manner that he had no choice but to convert to Islam”.
[Alfaqeeh Amritsar, 14th March 1933].
Third Visit to Mauritius – 1939
This tour saw two important tasks accomplished:
Not only did Maulana demand that “Muslim Personal Law”, i.e.
The Shariah law of Muslim marriages, divorces, and Islamic
inheritance be implemented for Muslims but also that the
government enforce it. He outlined a complete draft and
negotiated the plan with the government, ensuring its success.
This application was approved. Secondly, the Islamic law of
awqāf (charitable endowments) for Muslims was passed in
favour of their mosques and religious institutions.
Last trip to Mauritius -1949
Maulana’s last trip to Mauritius began in May 1949 and lasted
for 3 months. On the 12th of August, he left for Réunion. Halqae
Qādriyah Isha’at-e-Islam of England reported a detailed
account of this journey in English, with pictures in souvenir
form. From it, it seems that every tree that Islam had planted
in Mauritius was blossoming lush green. It was as if Islam was
the conqueror of the island and Muballighe-Islam was its
Eventually, the time came for Maulana to take hisleave and the
th of August 1949 was designated as the date for his farewell
ceremony. Halqae Qādriyah Isha’ate-Islam (the Jama’at of
Hazrat Maulana’s disciples and intermediaries) began the
arrangements for the ceremony. Invitations were distributed.
When the day arrived, a congregation of devotees and disciples
exceeding 10,000 in number, gathered in the Grand Hall of
Janāb A. R Mohammed Saheb delivered the farewell speech. In
his address to the gathering, Maulana advised them to set up a
separate fund – “Tableegh Fund” for preaching and publishing
purposes in the region. The people responded by raising an
amount of Rs 2500 on the spot,thus establishing,the “Tableegh
Maulana invited large and small Muslim organisations and
institutions from various regions and encouraged them all and
even the non-Muslims did not lag behind. In this part of the
island, where the majority were Europeans and senior
government officials, the Civil Commissioner invited Maulana
and held a ceremony in acknowledgement of his national
accomplishments and his spiritual blessings on the island.
Officers of the army and civil service, managers of the British
companies, and members of the ruling class Europeans
gathered there with their hearts and minds, to see and hear
Maulana. On this occasion, Maulana reminded the materialist
mind about the Creator of the Universe in language that they
could identify with, admonishing them in his Siddiqi grace by
“This life will end eventually. So, remember The Giver of
this life. The tribulations of this world are due to us
forgetting our Creator. Don’t anger Him. He will shower
His mercy upon you”.
The time for parting had arrived. His departure was on the 5
of August 1949. With sad eyes and heavy hearts, people came
to say their goodbyes. Maulana expressed prayers and gave
instructions and guidance to all. The guidance he gave was for
the betterment of this world and the hereafter. Before leaving
for the airport, he bade farewell to the crowd of friends and
devotees with greetings and duās (supplications)
[Translation – Throwing a string around my neck, my friend takes it wherever
Beauty in Speech
Maulana took great advantage of his oratorical talents for the
purpose of Da’wah & Propagation. This alone proved to be his
most effective tool in accomplishing the work of an entire team
single-handedly! It was a great blessing and a divine gift that
others would generally utilise to source talent and fame.
Maulana used this God-gifted talent very aptly to propagate the
deen of Islam. Official pieces of evidence exist of his speeches
in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and English – the languages he had
With regards to his Persian speeches, one witness, Hazrat
Maulana Muhammad Athar Naeemi (a teacher in Jāmia
Naeemia Karachi and a son of Mufti Muhammad Umar Naeemi
Muradabadi Alaihir Rahmah) writes in his thesis:
“He had once visited Karachi where a function was held
in his honour in “Aram Bagh”. There, Hazrat Maulana
had delivered an impromptu speech in Persian, as a
native of the language would have delivered”.
Regarding his speeches in Arabic, Maulana has himself used it
in his posts and the Arabs bore testimony to that.
Commenting on Maulana’s speeches in English, a senior South
African professor of Arabic & Islamic Philosophy, at the
University of Western Cape, Dr Yāsien Mohamed has compiled
a 145-page book on Maulana’s lectures in English, titled, The
Roving Ambassador of Peace. He comments:
“Maulana never delivers speeches with the help of
notes written beforehand – he establishes evidence
from the Qur’an and Hadith. He abstains from
impulsiveness or loudness”.
“Far from artificiality and arrogance, he speaks
standard English. His style is personal and he does not
imitate anyone. Fluctuations in his voice are relevant to
the subject. Despite being emotional, his body
movements are subtle. The emphasis is on the heart
and soul. The audience never becomes a victim of
boredom. He does not mock anyone. He criticizes and
satirizes very sincerely and soberly, such, that one does
not feel resentments and rather allows them a chance
to reconsider, tapping their conscience”.
The same is true of his Urdu speeches, which the writer has
heard with the aid of audio cassettes. One wishes to hear them
over and over again. English speeches have been transcribed
with the help of audio cassettes and published by two
institutions in South Africa. They gained much popularity
amongst the masses and among scholars. The second
collection, ‘Thy mention of Islam’ is published, in two volumes
by Raza Academy of Durban. These are some of the sermons
whose records are available. The number of his unrecorded
sermons is numerous.
Recordings of Lectures
Due to the limited recording facilities in his time, we are
deprived of a great many of Maulana’s ilmi (academic) gems.
When Maulana visited South Africa in 1952, a devoted disciple
of Maulana, the late Haji Ibraheem Nāz Muhammad who was a
trader hailing from the Memon community, recorded Urdu and
English speeches using an ancient and rare recording
technique, i.e. “wire”. This was then transferred to tape
cassettes. Gradually, copies of these became commonly
available. Below is a short excerpt of a speech in Urdu which
was copied to cassette:
“…There are principles to division in humanity.
Remember this principle. What is the principle? On one
hand, a human being is he who says, I know and my life
knows. I will run my life the way I want. Keep in mind
the division of humanity – a human being is he who
understands that, ‘I am a man and that I have intellect.
I have consciousness. I have nothing to do with anyone.
No relations with anyone. I am my own master. I can run
my life the way I want. I can eat whatever I want, wear
what I want, laugh whenever I want and befriend
whomsoever I want. If I want to make enemies with
anyone, I can do so. Whatever law I make, I am free to
follow. I have nothing to do with anyone. As human
beings, we have the right to make laws for ourselves.
We have no such power over us, under which we should
live and whose laws we should follow.’”
This speech was delivered at the Jama Masjid, Durban – a
cosmopolitan city in South Africa. The subject was, “The status
of Humanity”. At that time, South Africa’s political system was
experiencing tensions based on colour and race. Against this
backdrop of racial segregation, Maulana’s discourses consisted
of a few episodes. His lectures bear testimony to the fact that
the laws of racial discrimination are un-Islamic and inhumane.
The Mathnavi of Maulana Rumi and Na’ats by A’la Hazrat Imam
Ahmad Raza Khan were common references during his Urdu
speeches. At times, he adopted his kalāms and sometimes he
would recite the kalāms of his father – Maulana Abdul Hakeem
Josh. The manner and pleasure he recited with would set the
mood, enveloping the entire atmosphere in love and Noor. The
effect of Ishqe –Risalah (love for the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم (that Maulana
was immersed in would send the audiences into a trance, thus
purifying their hearts.
Owing to its abundance of natural and mineral resources, South
Africa was the most prosperous country in the region of
Southern Africa. Therefore, it was the centre of the European
materialists’ attention. The conflict between the colonial
powers resulted in a lack of stability in life. The indigenous
population, i.e. the black South Africans, despite being in the
majority, long suffered poverty, a lack of education and
exclusion. The laws at the time consigned them to live in farout and rural areas. The majority of indigenous South Africans
at the time generally adhered to tribal customs and practices.
Maulana completed his international tour and visited South
Africa in 1952. Here, he gave his full attention to religious,
political, and contemporary issues. He reorganized the Muslims
living here, drawing their attention to religious education. At
the same time, Maulana’s insights speculated on the future of
the country. He called for better treatment of black Africans. In
a speech, he addressed ‘Indian Muslims’ and issued a stern
“You employ Africans and make them work in your
shops and houses. You instruct them to wash clothes
and dishes. Had you taught them the words of Islam
and the Islamic way of Ghusl and ablution, treated
them equally, alleviating their pain and suffering, they
would have then, definitely, entered into the fold of
Islam and become your brothers and friends. Helping
the oppressed attracts Allahجل جلاله’s mercy”. [The gist of
the speech delivered in Pretoria]
Now that the country has gained its freedom, people reminisce
about Maulana’s words with a sense of remorse, opining that
had they followed Maulana’s advice, Islam may have had a
much larger presence in the country.
His stay was mostly in the major cities of Durban, Pretoria, and
Cape Town. Periodically, he would also visit nearby smaller
cities such as Pietermaritzburg, Ladysmith and Newcastle,
igniting the lamp of guidance and enlightenment everywhere.
His stay in South Africa on this trip lasted for six months.
Thousands of misguided people found their way to guidance.
Those who were far from Islam drew closer to Islam. If the
enemies of Islam did not reconcile, then at least their enmity
Herewith is a description of some of Maulana’s important
achievements on his last trip:
A. Maulana launched the English monthly magazine, “The
Muslim Digest”, under the editorship of late Mr
Muhammad Makki, his trustworthy student who was an
English-language journalist and was industrious in the
work of preaching Islam. This publication showcased
Maulana’s messages and chronicled the activities of all
the movements that he had established.
Consequently, Islam was at the forefront, confronting
the enemy forces. The cover page of every issue was
adorned with Maulana’s name as the founder of the
Digest. A special edition, “Ramadan Annual” was
published during the month of Ramadan. It retained its
historical significance even after Maulana’s physical
demise. The Makki Publication ran successfully
throughout Europe, America, and Africa for almost
seven decades. This monthly digest saw cessation
following the demise of Mr Makki.
B. He communicated with the Minister of Education and
requested him to facilitate Islamic studies for Muslims
in the government schools. The curriculum was drafted,
presented, and finally approved. Abu Sulaiman, Qāsim
Uthmān Ali, as well as the journalist and editor of
“Muslim Digest”, Mr Muhammad Makki were present.
The fruits of this great historical achievement continue
to be reaped up to this day. Whenever the history of
significant Islamic developments in South Africa is
written, this initiative of Maulana will be at the
Cape Town, known as “The Mother City”, i.e. South Africa’s first
city, is at an ancient and historic confluence of two oceans.
Sunday, 12th October 1952 saw Maulana arrive at the Cape
Town International Airport. The Muslims of Cape Town had put
together a majestic historical reception. The English
newspaper, “Cape Times”, carried the headline:
“First Memorable Reception of a Religious Guide”.
A reception committee was formed with Imam Ismail Tālib as
its chairman. The manner in which the entire Muslim
community of Cape Town received the prestigious and
established religious guide is unprecedented in the history of
The Councilor Saleh Doli of the Cape Town City Council and
social worker Mr Sayyed Abdul Qādir led the plans for
Maulana’s reception. A procession of young men parading in
rows with drums, flags, and trumpets made their way from the
airport to the residence, advancing amidst the echo of Duroodo- salām. Indeed, a spectacular sight to behold!
Outside the airport, the procession advanced at a leisurely
pace. Amidst that, Maulana was in an open car together with
Mr Sayyed Mansoor Rafā’i. Both the commoners and the
notables moved along each side of the road as they watched
their spiritual leader in awe.
The procession passed Marine Drive and halted at Adderley
Street. Maulana was then escorted into a six horse-drawn
carriage. People cheered him in their multitudes from their
buildings and balconies, welcoming their spiritual guide with
admiration. Eventually, the caravan reached the massive Grand
Parade, where the crowd had gathered to welcome Maulana.
He was present with a guard of honour.
Hazrat’s face gleamed with noor (spiritual light), with his dark
brown turban and grey beard swaying, mesmerising the
onlookers. The colour of determination and zest added with
triumphant dignity was apparent on the face of this noble guide
of Islamic spiritual forces. He stood there poised as he
exchanged greetings and salutations with Muslims.
Stepping onto the platform, in somewhat of an emotional state,
Maulana thanked everyone sincerely in his unique style. He
“I have come to the shores of South Africa to serve all
mankind, irrespective of their colour – white, black,
yellow or brown because all are equal in God’s
He went on to say:
“I think the people of Cape Town did not welcome me
as Abdul Aleem Siddiqi, but as an Ambassador of the
Kingdom of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa
People cheered unequivocally, expressing their love for the
holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم boldly.
Condemning the accusation levelled against Islam that it was
spread at the point of the sword, he said:
“History tells us that Muslims ruled India for more than
700 years. Had they used the sword, there would not
have been a single non-Muslim left on the continent.
Contrary to that, India is a Muslim minority country
even today. In the past, if Muslims have raised the
sword, it was only to exercise their right to religion or in
defence of their life, property and honour”.
Maulana then concluded with duā (supplication). He gave the
vote of thanks and appreciation to all, and thus, the reception
ended. Mr Moosa Hāshim from Kloof Street was Maulana’s host
in Cape Town.
The echo of the exemplary and memorable reception in Cape
Town was heard not only nationally but even in the
neighbouring African countries.
Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha) is a small industrial city in the
Eastern Cape Province with a significant working-class
population of Malaysian descent. Among them were Muslims,
non-Muslims and new Muslims who were devotees of
Maulana. The love for Maulana was etched in their hearts.
Hence, upon their invitation, Maulana visited Port Elizabeth.
His visit gave the poor, labourer and the new Muslims a zest for
life, reviving their spirit of godliness and hatred for evil. The
Deputy Mayor expressed his appreciation in an
acknowledgement of Maulana’s services. In a function held
there, he accredited:
“We are facing an atmosphere of hostility and war in the
world at the moment. To protect humanity, Maulana is
working as a force”.
This visit to South Africa was followed by Maulana’s world tour,
which lasted for two and a half years. It began in Karachi on the
1st of October 1948 and ended in Karachi on May 1951. This
was a time when the entire world was gravely affected by
World War II, experiencing the destruction of life and property.
The sighs and sobs were still in the air when Hazrat Maulana
came as a spiritual messiah, healing the wounds of humanity,
visiting cities, villages and settlements, as well as distributing
the wealth of solace to the grieving hearts.
On the 12
th of January 1953 – before the farewell programme,
this historic city marked a grand function to commemorate the
blessings and fruits of Maulana’s Tableeghi world tour. The
function was held to bring Maulana’s noble achievements to
light to the public, i.e. spreading the Islamic message of peace
and reconciliation at a time when the earth was thirsty. The
non-Muslims too showed much interest and gathered there
with their families to see Maulana.
The Chief Magistrate of Eastern Natal congratulated him on his
world tour, while the Mayor of the city expressed his
appreciation for Maulana’s efforts in establishing world peace.
In his introductory address, Mr MN Khan mentioned the “InterReligious Rābta committee” which was founded by Maulana.
This committee had its headquarters in Singapore, Malaya, and
Malaysia. Mr Khan proclaimed it to be, “a need of time” and “a
great achievement of Maulana”.
Cautioning the religious leaders and preachers of Christianity,
Maulana suggested that atheism should be barred from all
sides and that they should be mindful of the threats that
communism posed. Thus far, another of Maulana’s significant
achievements! For the grieving community, he proposed
shelter homes, orphanages, and widow homes. A plan to set up
a separate hospital for Muslim women was initiated.
Mr Khan elaborated that, based on Maulana’s services, he was
bestowed with the title, “Roving Ambassador of Peace”. He
then concluded with a duā, supplicating, “We beseech for your
long life and good health”. This lecture was recorded. Dr AH
Sadar hosted Maulana in Ladysmith.
Durban – Farewell
Farewell programs for Maulana were in progressin Durban. The
Capetonians already had their grand Meelad-un-Nabi
celebration followed by a farewell ceremony. Everyone was
bidding farewell to their spiritual guide with a heart full of
gratitude. The thought of parting with Maulana made people
sad. They were deriving blessings by keeping as close an
association with Maulana as possible.
On this occasion, becoming somewhat emotional in his
address, Maulana extended both his hands wide towards the
audience and thanked them. He supplicated for them and said
that their celebration of “Meelad un Nabi” was Maqbool
(accepted) in the court of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi
Wasallam, attracting mercies and blessings from Madeena
This was the first time that Maulana had given six months of his
valuable time and advice to South Africa. For Islam and the
bright future of Muslims, he devised a practical and
constructive plan and handed it over to them. He made some
predictions too, which transpired as he had said. Some
insightful observers sensed that this might be Maulana’s last
Durban’s farewell ceremony began with a vote of thanks. In
reply, Maulana counselled the Muslims and non-Muslims
present there that had come to seek spiritual blessings;
“Rise early in the morning, take a bath and wear clean
clothes. Remember to beseech your Lord that He guides
you on the straight path”.
He urged the Muslims to observe the five daily prayers. In his
final admonition, Maulana said:
“Every national leader tells his people to keep moving
forward, to not look back. I will say to all my listeners;
Revert to God, let’s go back to the original religion and
follow the predecessors. Success will embrace you”.
[Translation – Replay backwards, O the alternation of days!]
He requested, “Convey this message of the Qur’an to the
troubled world and keep doing this again and yet again for
“Indeed, in the remembrance of Allah جل جلالهdo hearts find peace”.
He continued; “I feel that my end time is near, I am an old man
now and I have completed my work. I request you to supplicate
for me and when my final time is near, how I
wish that Allahجل جلالهtakes me to Madeena Munawwarah
and honours me with burial in the city of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم“!
The attendees responded with Amēn and many broke down
into tears. This farewell program was held in Durban’s Avalon
Hall on Sunday 11 January 1953. After the farewell, Maulana
boarded a flight from Johannesburg, via Mauritius, back to his
Maulana’s plane departed on the 23rd of January 1953.
Following this, the editorial in the January issue of the monthly
magazine, The Muslim Digest, had the headline, “Allah be with
him”. Praising Maulana’s personality and services, it mentions
of a notable incident in Durban as well. For the interest of the
readers, we present it here. There is a lesson as well for today’s
“During his six-month visit, Maulana did not receive any
Nazrāna or gifts. A few days before his departure, a
Durban capitalist and businessman gifted Maulana an
amount of £250. Hazrat accepted it and then returning
it to him, remarked, ‘Deposit it in the Abdul Aleem Sābir
Scholarship Fund.’ This is a reality.”
[Muslim Digest. January 1953 issue. Page 3]
This is just one incident we know of, revealing the great
character of Muballighe-Islam. One wonders how many other
such examples have not reached us. There are no records
available of them, nor are there any narrators present now to
relate them. Salute the nobility of his character, again and
Observe the effects that this nobility manifested in his dynamic
personality, in his voice that attracted people, and above all, in
his advice and admonitions that were so powerful that an
entire generation embraced them and adhered to them. This
writer’s elder brother, Allamah Shameem Ashraf Azhari of
Mauritius shared his experience, stating:
“I have not seen another place like Mauritius where
Muslims are so committed to their early morning
routine. This is through the blessings of the final
admonition of Muballighe-Islam; “Rise early in the
He had inspired and won the hearts of the masses and the
nobles so much so, that, to this day, people affectionately name
their children Abdul Aleem.
In South Africa, there are mosques and other institutions
named, Abdul Aleem Siddiqi Masjid, Abdul Aleem House,
Siddiqi Manzil and Siddiqi Masjid to name a few. Ahle
Sunnah’s first Darul-ul- Uloom established in Durban was
named Darul Uloom Aleemiya Razwiyyah. A Street in Durban
is named Meerut Road, after Muballighe-Islam’s birthplace.
[Translation -More difficult than the conquest of the world, is the task of
seeing the world. When the heart is reduced to blood, only then, does the
In the Embrace of the Beloved
After migrating to Pakistan, Maulana spent his life renting in a
humble dwelling. According to Maulana Zafar Ali Nu’māni;
“Whenever we conversed regarding buying a house,
Maulana eluded the topic.”
Towards the end of his life, when he reached Madeena, he
bought a simple house in his name just so that he could be
amongst the ‘citizens of Madeena’.
He had an ardent desire to be buried in Jannatul Baqee
Shareef. He says in a verse of his Kalām:
[Translation- Aleem is agonized due to the pain of separation. O Lord when
will the day come for him to be the Guest of (beloved) Muhammadصلى الله عليه وسلم[
Allah Tabārak wa Ta’ala fulfilled his desire. After a brief illness,
he passed away in Madeenatul Munawwarah on the 22nd of
August 1954 (22 DhuHijjah) in such a way that GumbadeKhadra (the green dome) was before his eyes and that blessed
view became the final imprint of his physical life.
“Surely, to Allah, we belong and verily to Him we shall return.”
[Translation – From the entire world, I have chosen you alone; Tender your
grace (upon me) as I sit alone]
Indochina – French Indochina in the 1940s was divided into five
protectorates: Cambodia, Laos, Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina. The latter
three made up Vietnam.
Annam – a former kingdom and French protectorate along the east coast of
French Indochina; now part of Vietnam.
Singapore — after being expelled from Malaysia, Singapore became
independent as the ‘Republic of Singapore’ on 9 August 1965
Ahle – people of
Aalim – Islamic Scholar
Dā’ee – preacher/caller
Da’wah – propagation
Deen – religion
Fitna – trial /unrest
Hazrat –sir (a respectful term)
Ilm – knowledge
Imān – belief
Jalsah – assembly/ convocation
Jama’at – group/party
Kalaam – poetical writing /work
Muballigh – preacher
Mustafa – ‘chosen’, referring to
صلى الله عليه وسلم Prophet
Mathnawi – extensive
religious poetry of spiritual
Naat – poetry in praise of the
Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم
Safeer– ambassador /envoy
Saltanat – kingdom
Shahadah – declaration of faith
Sultān – king /ruler
Tawheed -the indivisible oneness
concept of monotheism in Islam
Tableegh – to convey the Divine
His Eminence, Allamah Shah Abdul Aleem Siddiqi
Qadiri (1892-1954), a Khalifa of A’ala Hazrat Imam Ahmad
Raza Khan, was a man of vision and a man on a mission.
His noble mission took him around the globe serving humanity,
propagating Islam and spreading the noble Sufi traditions for
almost four decades. Along the way, he earned titles such as
“The Roving Ambassador of Peace”, “Muballighe-Islam”
(preacher of Islam), and “Safeere-Islam” (ambassador of Islam).
In his book “Saltanate Mustafa صلى الله عليه وسلم ka Safeer” the writer, Mufti
Naseem Ashraf Habibi, has highlighted some of Muballighe
Islam’s services around the globe detailing his work in Southern
As an Islamic scholar himself who served in the Southern
African region for decades, Mufti Saheb’s knowledge on the
subject matter as well as his personal interest and his association
with the Aleemi families gave him unique insights into this great
Muballigh of Islam. This translation work is our humble attempt
to bring Mufti Saheb’s book to an English audience.