Compiled, Translated and Annotated
Abu Rumaisah, Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansari
Taken from the Book ‘Every Innovation is Misguidance’
The Shaikhs Credentials
B.A. Islamic studies, M.A ʿArabic, Graduate of Dars Niẓāmī, Graduate of Madīnah University, Cheif Editor of Ṣirāt al-Mustaqīm, Managing Editor of The Straight Path, Secretary General of Jamʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth United Kingdom, General Secretary of Islamic Sharīʿah Council of Britain, Convenor of Majlis Tahafuẓ Maqāmāt Muqaddisah, Khaṭīb at Green Lane Masjid and Director of Birmingham Muslim Community Centre.
Alḥamdullilāhi Rabbil Aʿlamīn, Waṣalatu Wasalam Ala Rasūlillahil Karīm, Wa Baʿd
It is very difficult to introduce a book written by our teacher, the late esteemed Shaikh, Muhaqqiq, Muftī Mawlāna Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī rahimahullāh without stepping back into history and remembering the Shaikh, his efforts and struggle against the people of shirk and bidʿah. In this very brief introduction to the Shaikhs book on bidʿah I would like to mention two noble characteristics that our Shaikh possessed by the grace of Allāh and it is by these qualities that he tried to live his life and exert his efforts in the field of daʿwah.
The first of these characteristics is that of the Shaikh submitting and holding on firmly to the book of Allāh, Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (r) and way of the Salaf without compromise or being apologetic. The Shaikh in his ʿAqīdah and Manhaj walillahilḥamd was Ahl al-Ḥadīth and he openly proclaimed this by way of his words, actions and numerous writings and Fatāwa. Our Shaikh was a very simple man who had great wisdom and love for all of the Ummah seeking its rectification upon the correct creed and Manhaj of the Salaf. Where the Shaikh was gentle with the masses he remained steadfast and fervent in defending the book and the Sunnah not shying away from speaking the truth.
An example of the Shaikhs great wisdom and adherence to the Manhaj of the Salaf can be found in the hundreds of Islamic Fatāwa and verdicts that the Shaikh would be frequently asked about by the Ummah of the UK, Europe and beyond. A questioner from Wilbert in Western Germany, Iftikhār Aḥmad asked about the various sects such as the Barailwī’s, Deobandī’s, Jamāt al-Islāmī, the Qurʾānites and how the laymen can seek which is upon the truth. The Shaikh’s response is fairly detailed but we record below some extracts from the Shaikh’s response,
“Allāh informs us in the Qurʾān, he says “Do not split into sects” [Āle ʿImrān :103] as this divides the ummah and weakens it. Those sects and groups whom you have mentioned all claim to be the flagbearers of Islām and callers to the Book and Sunnah but we have to establish the validity of this. The problem occurs when a layperson from the masses goes around lending his ear to all these groups and it becomes difficult for him to decide whom he should listen to and whose call he should respond to. But like all other problems the Book and Sunnah have given us a solution to this problem despite the multitude of numerous sects and groups. Allāh says, “O you who believe! Obey Allāh and obey the Messenger and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allāh and His Messenger if you believe in Allāh and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” [al-Nisā:59] This āyah is clear in establishing that we should obey Allāh, his Messenger and the khalīfah and ruler of a muslim country so long as his sayings do not contravene the religion and in all disputes to refer back to the book and the Sunnah. In situations of dispute one will cannot follow his own desires, opions of others or the majority but he must refer back to the book and the Sunnah.
So let it be known that the Prophet (r) warned us about sects and groups, so no matter how large the sect is, and the noble claims that it may make about itself, or the noble names by which it may call itself with all this does not necessarily mean the sect is upon the truth in fact all such sects can be upon misguidance and deviation and the one true group of salvation can only be the one who adheres to the way of the prophet and his companions. So we do not look at the claims and slogans of these sects but look instead at their call and whether it is accordance with the Prophet (r) and Ṣahābah. It is incumbent in the presence of all these sects that the layperson stays well away from hizbiyyah (partisanship to a particular group/sect), blind following (taqlīd) and the customs and practices of the people and instead adhere to the way of the Book and the Sunnah and Ṣahābah. The group which calls to this specific way of daʿwah then one should accept its call and cooperate with it.
One should strive to study the Qurʾān with translation, books of Ḥadīth such as Bukhārī, Muslim and others and books of Sīrah and basic ʿAqīdah and beliefs and in this way a person can get a basic grounding in the religion. As for the Deobandī’s and Barailwī’s then these sects are from the Indian subcontinent and both are Ḥanafīs and two branches of same tree. Some Deobandī scholars differed with the Barailwī’s and in this way two groups emerged evolving into two separate sects.
As for Jamāt al-Islāmī then it is a sect based upon political objectives calling to Islām and has within it people of all sects and groups. As for the Ahl al-Ḥadīth then they call to the pure way which is the book of Allāh, Sunnah of the Prophet (r) and the Ṣahābah. They call people to purify their belief in Tawḥīd of all kinds of major and minor shirk and to accept the Sunnah from all kinds of bidʿah. They do not blindly follow one Imām or a madhab like Ḥanafī’s, Shāfʿī’s, Mālikī’s and Hanbalī’s do and only accept verdicts of Imāms that are in accordance with the book and Sunnah.” End of the Shaikhs words. [Fatāwa Ṣirāt al-Mustaqīm [pp.519-522].
We say we learn a lot about our Shaikhs Manhaj of adhering to the truth without compromise or hiding the truth and there are many benefits that can be gained about the Shaikh’s Manhaj from this verdict alone including:
- The simplicity and directness of the Shaikh’s daʿwah.
- His hatred of splitting the ummah into sects and parties
- His mentioning of the names and the founders of deviant sects not hiding behind generalisations or unclear general speech.
- His importance not only to daʿwah which revolved around a positive call to Tawḥīd and Sunnah but his warning against falling into the opposites of shirk and bidʿah, thus, his daʿwah was not only of affirmation as done by some today but that of the Salaf by way of affirmation and negation.
- His fervour to refute the people of shirk and bidʿah and explains their mistakes openly even to the common man so that he does not fall into the error of the misguided sects.
- His adherence to the Manhaj of the Salaf in not performing muwāzanah (mentioning the good alongside the bad of a deviated sect) or muḍāhanah (to renounce or compromise something from the Religion to please those people [kufār or Ahl al-Bidʿah).
- His firmness making the Ahl al-Ḥadīth as a completely distinct and separate way from the innovated and misguided sects.
- His clear call that just to name oneself with Jamīyyah Ahl al-Ḥadīth, Salafī or other than that that with slogans etc is not enough for salvation as this only lies in following the book, Sunnah and way of the Salaf.
- His Manhaj of being against partisanship and hizbiyyah.
- His warning against all forms of taqlīd and blind following in opposition to the truth.
- His not judging truth based upon the majority, slogan and name of a sect but rather by its adherence to Islām.
- His Manhaj of not allowing the layperson to lend his ear or heart to people of shirk, bidʿah and misguidance.
- His call not being limited to book of Allāh and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (r) but also the way of the Ṣahābah [Salaf].
- His focus of daʿwah being upon knowledge and admonishing the people to read the Qurʾān and books of Ḥadīth and the righteous scholars of this Ummah.
- His deep rooted knowledge of the various sects of the subcontinent and then emanating this knowledge to the masses so that they can stay away from there evil.
- His adherence to the Manhaj of listening to and obeying the muslim ruler (that is not to rebel against them) thus opposing the Khawārij.
- His respect for the Imāms of the religion whilst holding that they were not infallible and committed mistakes.
The second noble characteristic that I would like to briefly mention of the noble Shaikh is his sticking and referring to the Kibār (senior) Salafī scholars of this ummah. I say this because the Shaikh was a very humble person and teacher and had great wisdom in uniting the people upon truth.
The Shaikh revolutionised the monthly magazine’s in Urdu and English medium from the 1980’s onwards which would be dispatched throughout the entire world spreading the daʿwah of the book and Sunnah. If one refers to these magazines then a person would be hard pressed to find any magazine published by the Shaikh which did not refer to the verdicts of the Kibār ʿUlamāʾ of Saudi ʿArabia such as Shaikh Ibn Bāz, Shaikh al-ʿUthaymīn and others of the Lajnah al-Dā’imah (counsel of senior scholars of Saudi ʿArabia) as well as the senior scholars of the subcontinent and they are too many to cite here It was due to his love of the senior scholars that the Shaikh invited them to the United Kingdom. The Shaikh’s love of the senior scholars of this Ummah played a pivotal role in nurturing thousands of youth and elders throughout Europe to love honour and respect the Scholars of Salafīyyah whilst at the same time introducing the daʿwah of these scholars to the masses.
The short treatise you have before you is a precise yet detailed work of the Shaikh on the subject of bidʿah so that to clarify to the masses the arguments and misguidance of the people of innovation. It is anticipated that there will be a detailed work on bidʿah including a precise refutation of the principles of the people of bidʿah and various misguided sects, In ShāʾAllāh.
In this treatse the brothers have added detailed beneficial notes increasing the comprehension of the treatise, as well as further references. All of the Shaikhs words are in the made body of the text and all footnotes are by the researchers. They have also compiled the most comprehensive and detailed biography of the Shaikh and included it as part of this treatise.
May Allāh bless the Shaikh for all his noble efforts and the translators and researchers of the Shaikhs work. May Allāh put this in their balance of good deeds and may it be a means of salvation for them in the ākhirah. Amīn.
Salafī Research Institute
Birmingham, England. Jumada al-Ūla 1437H / March 2016
He is the Shaikh, the ālim, the learned, Mahmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī bin Nūr Muḥammad bin Muḥammad Ḥasan.
The Shaikh had a prolific personality and a phenomenal standing within the community so much so and to such an extent that no one has rivalled him even remotely in Britain with regards to his Dīn, his socio-political activism and his visionary academic writings. He was indeed from amongst the first people who propagated the true call of Tawḥīd in forsaken Europe. He rejuventated the Ahl al-Ḥadīth in the United Kingdom and paved a way to call to the truth. He expounded the call to the Qurʾān and Sunnah without comprising the truth.
The Shaikh was born on the 6th of March 1945 corresponding to the 21st of Rabʿi ul-Awwal 1364H on a Tuesday. He was born in the area of Nagyāl, in Mirpūr district which is in present day Āzād Kashmīr. This general area is known as Panyām and has always been associated with the ideology of Ahl al-Ḥadīth for a long time. His Father was Shaikh Nūr Muḥammad who was very religious and learned. His grandfather was Hājī Muḥammed Ḥasan who was highly respected and known for his piety.
A few months after the Shaikhs birth his mother passed away and his maternal grandfather Muḥammad Ḥasan helped with his up bringing. After a few years the Shaikh’s father also passed away and he was orphaned.
The Shaikh was also an only child and thus had no siblings. The Shaikhs care resorted to his paternal uncle who started looking after him.
The Shaikh passed the 8th class at school in an area known as Chamāl which was local to him. The Shaikh had a very strong inclination for the Dīn from a very early age and would often recite the Qurʾān abundantly whilst at school. The Shaikhs father longed for him to study the sciences of the Dīn. When the Shaikh was a little older his family ie his uncle and grandfather aided his fathers wishes and encouraged his perusal of the sacred sciences. When the Shaikh passed his middle exams he was enrolled into the prestigious Institute and University of Gujranwāla known as Jāmia Islāmīyyah in Pākistān and this is where his Islamic education began.
At time the great scholar, al-Allāmah Muḥaddith Muḥammad Gondalwī and his student Shaikh Abuʾl Barkāt Aḥmad were teaching at Jāmia Islāmīyyah Gujranwāla. So the Shaikh studied with these two great scholars and luminaries of their time as well as other scholars. The Shaikh was active and possessed great zeal and fervour for the Dīn and the Manhaj of Ahl al-Ḥadīth. He would participate in knowledge based discussions, scholastic debates and would often write academic articles for the various magazines and journals.
When Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad was studying with these Shaikhs a number of well known scholar of the Ahl al-Ḥadīth were also studying at this prestigious institute. They included the likes of Shaikh Muḥammad Aʿẓam, Shaikh Ḥafīẓ ur-Rehmān Lakhawī, Allāmah Eḥsān Ilāhī Ẓahīr, Shaikh Thanāullāh Siālkotī and Shaikh Muḥammad Ḥayāt Dhaskawī and many others. From amongst the most well known was Shaikh Eḥsān Ilāhī Ẓahīr who was his senior, both Shaikhs got acquainted with each other and developed a close friendship and bond which continued until Shaikh Maḥmūds death. The closeness and strength of this friendship was further demonstrated with events that unfolded.
Shaikh Maḥmūd and Shaikh Thanāullāh Siālkotī also developed a close friendship which continued whilst both of them resided in England. Shaikh Thanāullāh also collated and compiled Shaikh Maḥmūd’s articles and Fatāwa. The Shaikh was very independent and astute, as well as studying the Dīn he always thought one should not rely on the Dīn to earn a source of income and hence set up a little business and started to make some clothes with a powered loom. The Shaikh continued this until he relocated, this was his source of income which he was very content with. The Shaikh received and continued his early education whilst he was in Jāmia Islāmīyyah in Gujranwāla and passed his ʿArabic scholar exams and his matriculation (equivalent to GCSE’s), whilst he studied with the likes of Shaikh Muḥammad Gondalwī and others. After graduating from Jāmia Islāmīyyah Gujranwāla the Shaikh enrolled at the Islamic University of Bahāwalpūr in pursuit of knowledge. The Shaikh studied here for a few years with teachers of other methodologies. The Shaikh became the vice president of the student union during his time and in this regard he also received the first position and prize in a competition for the best speech. The Shaikh graduated from the University with Bachelor of Arts.
The Shaikh then enrolled in the ʿArabic Oriental College, Punjāb University in Lahore, Pākistān and graduated with an M.A. (Master of Arts) in ʿArabic with Honours with a first in 1971. After graduating the Shaikh worked as the editor of a weekly Ahl al-Ḥadīth newspaper called ‘Ahle Ḥadīth’ in 1971, published in Lahore. At the same time time the Shaikh was also the Khaṭīb of the grand Ahl al-Ḥadīth Masjid in Begum Kot in Lahore. Another close friend and colleague of Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī and another teacher of ours, Shaikh Dr. Bahā al-Dīn Muḥammad Suleimān; the famous author and historian of the Ahl al-Ḥadīth, both studied together at the ʿArabic Oriental College. When both Shaikhs came to England Shaikh Maḥmūd requested Dr. Bahā al-Dīn Muḥammad Suleimān to move to Birmingham from Edinburgh to aid and assist the daʿwah.
Shaikh Maḥmūd then received a scholarship in late 1971 for the prestigious and illustrious Madīnah University, where he completed his further studies. Whilst at the University he studied with the great scholars of Madīnah and other than them who were living there at the time. The Shaikh then spent the following 5 years at the University and graduted in 1976 from the faculty of Sharīʿah.
Whilst the Shaikh was in Madīnah he learnt and spent time with some of the great luminaries of this ummah as well as other great scholars in their own right. These include the likes of Shaikh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī, Shaikh ʿAbdul ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Bāz, Shaikh Muḥammad bin ʿAbdul Wahhāb al-Banna, Shaikh Maḥfūz ar Rahman Zainallāh and many others.
After graduating he was sent to England from Saudi ʿArabia. Now the Shaikh was in new territory which was alien to him. The Shaikh with his extensive knowledge, wisdom, intelligence and amazing interpersonal and communication skills spread the message of Tawḥīd, adhering to the Sunnah and the clear pristine Salafī Manhaj.
The Shaikh learnt directly from many great scholars who were well known for their knowledge and upholding the Sunnah. The speciality of the Shaikh also was that he called to pure daʿwah Salafīyyah and pushed the Manhaj of Ahl al-Ḥadīth. What is further amazing about the Shaikh is that he also learnt from scholars who were from the deviant backgrounds whilst at Bahāwalpūr University yet he was firm and strong as they were teaching at the University and not by choice.
From his numerous teachers were the likes of,
1. Shaikh al-Ḥadīth the Imām Ḥāfiẓ Muḥammed Gondalwī
2. Shaikh al-Ḥadīth Abuʾl Barkāt Aḥmad
3. Shaikh Nazīr Aḥmad Khokar
4. Shaikh ʿAbdul Gaffār Ḥasan
5. Shaikh Ḥammād al-Anṣārī
6. Shaikh Muḥammed Amān al-Jāmī
7. Shaikh ʿAbdul Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād
8. Shaikh Aḥmad Majzūb
The following teachers were not from an Ahl al-Ḥadīth background and the Shaikh studied with them whilst they were teaching at the Islamic University of Bahāwalpūr,
9. Shams al-Ḥaqq Afghānī
10. ʿAbdur Rashīd Nuʿmānī
11. Aḥmed Saʿīd Kāzimī
He also benefited from the various teachers who were teaching in Madīnah University and Punjāb University whilst he was studying there.
He also benefited from the likes of Shaikh Badʿi al-Dīn Sindhī, Shaikh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī, Shaikh ʿAbdul ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Bāz, Shaikh ʿAbdul Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād, Shaikh ʿAbdul Ghaffār Ḥasan Rehmānī, Shaikh Muḥammad bin ʿAbdul Wahhāb al-Banna, Shaikh Eḥsān Ilāhī Zahīr and many others.
The Shaikh travelled to numerous countries calling people to Allāh and raised the call of Ahl al-Ḥadīth ie the Qurʾān and Sunnah. Some of these travels were to Islamic conferences as well as research seminars.
He travelled to Saudi ʿArabia, Egypt, Syria, Indonesia, U.A.E., Holland, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Pākistān and participated in numerous Islamic symposiums where he expounded the call of the Qurʾān and Sunnah. In 1982 he attended a seminar in Pākistān on Qaḍa ie being a Qaḍī, issuing rulings and Fatāwa. He informed the scholars of his activities and daʿwah efforts. Everyone was happy and pleased with him, his efforts and his accomplishments in the west.
Early History of the Daʿwah in England
Prior to Shaikh Maḥmūds arrival in England, Shaikh Faḍal Karīm Āʿṣim and Mawlana ʿAbdul Karīm Thāqib had already set up Markazī Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth and had a few branches elsewhere under which the organisation was fulfilling its duty of daʿwah. There was however no formal structure or any specific organisation.
Shaikh Faḍal Karīm Āʿṣim with the aide of some associates started to use a house in Alum Rock, Birmingham for their activities and also established a madrassah in 1975. It so happened that in the same year in the summer of 1975 a Saudi delegation on the order of Dār al-Daʿwah waʾl-Irshād waʾl Iftā, whose president was Shaikh ʿAbdul ʿAziz ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Bāz, was sent to the United Kingdom for research and daʿwah.
The head of this delegation was the great Shaikh Muḥammad ʿAbdul Wahhāb al-Banna and he was accompanied by the well known Albanian Ḥadīth Master, Shaikh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī. They were also accompanied by translators who were students of knowledge in their own right and studying in Madīnah University at the time. They were asked to accompany the delegation because of the large exodus of the Asian community from the subcontinent.
The delegation was accompanied by Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī, Shaikh Major Muḥammad Aslam and Sharīf Aḥmad Ḥāfiẓ. Shaikh Faẓal Karīm Āʿṣim tirelessly helped them whilst they engaged in daʿwah and propagated the call of Tawḥīd. The delegation was highly impressed and pleased with Shaikh Faẓal Karīm Āʿṣim’s efforts and diligence and acknowledged the speed and rate of his work.
They also noticed the need for further callers to help Shaikh Faẓal Karīm Āʿṣim and he also expressed the need for young active yet knowledgable callers to come to the United Kingdom and assist with daʿwah to the rapidly growing Muslim community in their thousands. The delegation advised him to go and meet Shaikh ʿAbdul ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Bāz and request further assistance as he was the Head of Dār al-Iftā.
During December of the same year ie 1975 Shaikh Faḍal Karīm Āʿṣim went for Ḥajj and also met Shaikh Ibn Bāz and he mentioned his request for help. He explained the need for daʿwah and the growing Muslim population and how western society was influencing them and how the Muslims were contravening a dejected path.
Shaikh Ibn Bāz asked Shaikh Faḍal Karīm Āʿṣim how he could help him. Shaikh Faḍal Karīm Āʿṣim said the three students that came with the Islamic University delegation during the summer could they be sent to the United Kingdom to him. Shaikh Ibn Bāz was very pleased with the request and sent Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī and Sharīf Aḥmad Ḥāfiẓ to United Kingdom for Daʿwah and teaching at the behest of al-Daʿwah waʾl Irshād waʾl Iftā during the latter part of 1976 when they both had completed their studies.
At the time Shaikh ʿAbdul Karīm Thāqib was already in England and graduated from the Islamic University of Madīnah and and had already started working with Shaikh Faḍal Karīm Āʿṣim. After coming to England the Shaikh further expounded the call of Ahl al-Ḥadīth with the aid and help of some close friends and people on the Qurʾān and Sunnah. They started the work of daʿwah in Birmingham in Alum Rock and then moved to Green Lane Masjid. Slowly but surely the daʿwah efforts which started in Birmingham spread to other cities and a number of masjids started being built.
At the very onset Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī formed an organised structure with relevant departments. He gathered all the people upon the methodology of Ahl al-Ḥadīth and presented his vision and direction for the Ahl al-Ḥadīth There is no doubt the Shaikh was a visionary and an illuminary with an aim and goal for future generations.
Shaikh Maḥmūd then travelled up and down the country and his life had become in establishing an organisation based on the Qurʾān and Sunnah and he spent a lot of his time on it. He visited many different cities and towns giving the people daʿwah and informing them of the great benefits and rewards in calling to Allāh and spreading the message of Tawḥīd.
With the Shaikhs hard work branches were set up in all major cities and then teaching institutes followed where thousands of students would gain knowledge of the Dīn. This trend became stronger and the organisations strength grew and it became well established and solid in it’s core belief and ideology so much so that it was the only organisation to grow so quick and strong and an example compared to any other organisation in the whole of Europe.
Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī was also instrumental and played a central role in forming and establishing the ‘Islamic Sharīʿah Council’ which was set up to deal with the domestic issues of the Muslims whilst living in the United Kingdom. These issues ranged from marriage, divorce, Khula etc.
The Shaikh would instigate the organisation of conferences and seminars throughout the United Kingdom. He would also organise regular conferences wherein the Shaikh would call renowned scholars, dignitaries and other people of standing.
We have already mentioned the Shaikh had great respect for the senior scholars and thus in this regard he invited the likes of Shaikh Badʿi al-Dīn Sindhī, Shaikh Eḥsān Ilāhi Ẓahīr, Shaikh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh al-Subayyal, Shaikh ʿAzīz Zubaidī, Shaikh Sāleḥ Ibn al-Ḥumaid, Shaikh Ṣafī al-Rahman al-Mubārakpūrī, Shaikh Ṣalāh al-Dīn Yūsuf, Shaikh Irshād al-Ḥaq al-Atharī, Shaikh ʿAbdul Wakīl Ḥashmī, Shaikh Muḥammad Ḥussain Shaikhupūrī, Qāri ʿAbdul Ḥafīẓ, Shaikh Faẓal Ḥaq and others.
Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm and The Straight Path
Prior to Shaikh Maḥmūd coming to England, Shaikh Faḍal Karīm Āʿṣim and Shaikh ʿAbdul Karīm Thāqib had already set up and started the Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm magazine. They would painstakingly write it out by hand and then have it printed. Shaikh Maḥmūd transformed the magazine; he changed the language style, the range of articles, its design, layout and printing quality. Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm is still in production to this day.
The Shaikh felt the need to work on the English speaking community and thus began publishing an English monthly magazine called ‘The Straight Path.’ This magazine became very popular and very effective during its time.
The Shaikh was a prolific writer and over the years he penned hundred of writings. The Shaikh would write in every issue of the Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm journal on monthly basis. In the early days the magazine went through changes where it would be published weekly and fortnightly. The Shaikh would answer questions in the magazine and he also had a regular column where he would share his thought on current issues which were direct and to the point. The Shaikh was also the editor in chief and would thus write beneficial and thought provoking editorials which are also considered to be part of his writing skills and journalism.
The Shaikh would also write scholastic articles in various magazines, when he was in Pākistān and in Saudi ʿArabia. Most of his writings in the Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm have been collated and published by his close companion and friend Shaikh Thanāullāh and they are as follows
This was first published 8 years after the Shaikhs death in 1996 and consists of four treatise’s over 200 pages.
(a) Every Innovation is Misguidance
(b) The Fitnah of the Rejectors of Ḥadīth
(c) The Emergence of the Maḥdī
(d) The Unlawfulness of Interest.
2. Fatāwa Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm.
This was first published in approximately 1996 and consists of Fatāwa on a wide range of issues spanning 570 pages. It was reprinted in 1999 and in 2001. It has also been selectively rendered into English by Shaikh ʿAbdul Hādī al-ʿUmarī In 1998
2. Talkh Wa Shīrī (The Bitter and Sweet)
These were the Shaikhs commentaries, notes and opinions on a wide range of issues from socio-political, daily life, events etc. The Shaikh started writing this in his monthly column in the Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm magazine from 1986. This was also published 8 years afrer his death in 1996 and it spans 439 pages.
The Shaikh in the later years of his life also wanted to write a Tafsīr of the Qurʾān. The Shaikh had numerous other articles as mentioned in the various magazines from the days when he was a student in Jāmia Islāmīyyah Gujranwāla as well as when he was the editor of the weekly Ahle Ḥadīth newspaper. Shaikh also had a fervour to publish and distribute books. In this regard he aided the publication of numerous books the most notable of was a book on the legal status of the Sunnah of Shaikh ʿAbdul Ghaffār Ḥasan Rehmānī.
His Etiquettes and Manners
He was extremely pleasant in his nature. He would always be well dressed and would be softly spoken with a gentle voice. He would always speak kindly and nicely to people and whoever he would speak to would he highly influenced by his kind nature and personality. His face would often reflect his outstanding level of intelligence and intellect. He was extremely articulate and precise in his speech in how he addressed people and crowds. He was one of the most effective propagators and callers to Islām in the west in the last 25 years.
The Shaikh very much adopted the teachings of the Qurʾān and Ḥadīth and would try his utmost best to reconcile between differing parties. There are numerous examples of this but the most notable is when the Shaikh invited Shaikh Eḥsān Ilāhi Ẓahīr and Shaikh Faẓal Ḥaq to the United Kingdom with sole intent of bringing about reconciliation between them after a disagreement arose between them regarding the Jamāʿah. This was successful but then eventually fizzled out due to a perioid of inactivity.
Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī had great love and reverence for the people of Ḥadīth and likewise and similarly he would be very upset and saddened by the various unnecessary differences amongst the Ahl al-Ḥadīth so much so that on one occasion he travelled to Pākistān to facilitate a reconciliation between two opposing parties. This shows how much concern and adoration he had for his fellow Salafīs. The Shaikh was always inclined to bring about good and praiseworthy outcomes in any situation which was a refection of his concern for the people of the Sunnah and the Ahl al-Ḥadīth.
The Shaikh had great taqwa and great humility which was universally known about him. He was humble, down to earth, friendly and approcable. He despised praise and all unwarranted acclaim. There are numerous examples of this, we recall that once we spoke to the great historian of the Salafīs and Ahl al-Ḥadīth, Shaikh Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn Yūsuf who narrated to us that Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī once said to him that if you ever need to mention me then do so without any great detail or honoury titles. This was indeed from the humility and humbleness of our Shaikh, Rahimahullāh.
The Shaikh was also very active and instrumental in some of the socio-political issues of his era. He was at the forefront during the Rushdi affair and vehemently opposed the imprudent and slanderous accusation against Saudi ʿArabia. He would highlight and regularly talk about the issue of Palestine and even more so he was actively involved in the Kashmīr liberation movement.
What the Scholars said about him when he died
Shaikh Badʿi al-Dīn Shāh al-Rāshidī al-Sindhī wrote, “I was very shocked after hearing the news of the tragic death of Faḍīlat ul-Shaykh Mawlāna Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī. May Allāh accept his efforts and service with regards to propagating and spreading Islām in the foreign lands, May Allāh forgive his mistakes, raise his status and grant the whole Jamāʿah strength to cope with this tragedy. Amīn, as the whole Jamāʿah is equally grieving and may Allāh allow us to die upon Islām.”
Shaikh ʿAbdul ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbd Allāh Bāz said, “The news of the tragic death of Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī reached me. May Allāh forgive the Shaikhs shortcomings and grant him mercy and may he grant you wholesome patience. May Allāh give the Shaikhs children guidance and success to tread upon his path and grant us an equal replacement, Amīn. We all belong to Allāh to him we shall return.” (ʿAbdul ʿAzīz bin ʿAbd Allāh bin Bāz – Dār al-Iftā, Riyāḍh)
Shaikh ʿAbdul Qādir Ḥabībullāh al-Sindhī wrote: “Me, my father and my household are all grieving with you. Kindly convey my condolences to the Jamāʿah, the Shaikhs family and children, as I am also a member of this Jamāʿah. I praise the efforts of Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth United Kingdom. I was impressed with the Shaikh’s praiseworthy and noble efforts and I ask Allāh to accept this from him and to replace him with someone beneficial for the Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth. May Allāh also grant success in further propapagting the Dīn and its teachings and may he give you and all of us patience. Amīn.” (Shaikh ʿAbdul Qādir Ḥabībullāh al-Sindhī – Professor Islamic University Madīnah)
Shaikh Ṣafī al-Rahman al-Mubārakpūrī wrote, “The Shaikh had raised the knowledge of Islām in the land of kufr and upheld the burden of rectification in this land of anarchy. Due to his effort, struggle, understanding, contemplations, wisdom and intelligence he raised the rank of the Ahl al-Ḥadīth of Britain from being virtually unknown and non-existant to the epitomy and vast stature of society. Without doubt everyone played a role in this formation and InshaʾAllāh everyone will be rewarded accordingly for their efforts. Thus the pivotal role the Shaikh played is not in need of any clarification. We have hope in our Rabb the most generous and oft giving and we supplicate to him that he grants the Shaikh the loftiest of stations and that he is blessed, favoured, forgiven and compassion. My heart pains after contantly thinking that a very capable and an adept visionary leader passed away. Death is undoubtedly a stark reality and its time and place is also definitive and so when a tragic event like this occurs the heart is affected and old thoughts become active. I pray to Allāh that he grants the Shaikh his special blessings and that he grants his close relatives virtuous patience and that he replaces the Shaikh with someone beneficial for all of us.” (Shaikh Ṣafī al-Rahman al-Mubārakpūrī – Markaz Khidmah al-Sunnah Waʾl Sīrah al-Nabawīyyah – Islamic University Madīnah)
Shaikh Dr. ʿAbd Allāh bin ʿAbdul Muḥsin al-Turkī said, “I have receieved news in great sorrow of the tragic death of Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī, his son Faiṣal and his mother in law who returned to Allāh and also the news that some of the family members were injured. I would like to offer my deep condolences to the family on the deaths of the family members. I am aware and well acquainted with Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad efforts in repelling atheism and propagating the true Islamic teachings and I salute him for his outstanding efforts. (Summarised)” (Dr. ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbdul Muḥsin al-Turkī – Director Imām Muḥammad bin Saʿud University)
Shaikh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh al-Subayyal said, “I heard of the grief stricken death of the Secretary General of the Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī with great sadness and sorrow. We all belong to Allāh and to Him we shall return. May Allāh give him a lofty place in His infinite Paradise and he give you and the Shaikh’s family patience. Amīn.” (Shaikh Muḥammad bin ʿAbd Allāh al-Subayyal – Imām and Khaṭīb of Haram Makkah.)
Shaikh ʿAzīz Zubaidī said, “I read today in the newspaper that my beloved friend and the Secretary general of Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth Britain, Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī passed away, To Allāh we below and to him we will return. Shaikh Mirpūrī was returning from a Daʿwah programme and such journeys had become the norm in his life. This news shocked me and what is more upsetting is that I do not know who to offer my condolences to…(summarized)”
Shaikh Muḥammad ibn Qaʿud and Shaikh ʿAlī ibn Fahd ibn Gaith said, “We received news with extreme sadness of the tragic death of Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī in a car accident. May Allāh shade the Shaikh in His Mercy and Pardon, may He forgive him, you and us and give us an equally good representative. We hope that you will convey our emotions to the family and his colleagues. We all belong to Allāh and to Him we will return.” (Shaikh Muḥammad bin Ibrāhīm bin Qaʿud, Shaikh Fahd bin Gaith – Dār al-Iftā, Riyaḍh)
Numerous other great scholars of Ahl al-Ḥadīth and other than them offered their condolences. As the Shaikh was very active and had a dynamic personality he thus had a phenomenol amount of interaction between a wide range of people. Some of the learned people and dignatories who offered their condolences include the likes of Shaikh ʿAbdul Ḥamīd Reḥmāni – Abuʿl Kalām Islamic Centre India, Shaikh ʿAbdur Rahman Salafī – Amīr Jamāʿah Ghurabā Ahl al-Ḥadīth, Shaikh ʿAbdur Salām Reḥmanī – Sec. Gen. Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth India, Shaikh Maḥmūd Murād – Quran & Sunnah Society Canada, Shaikh Mian Faḍal Ḥaq – Gen. Sec Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth Pākistān, Shaikh ʿAbdur Rashīd Butt – Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth Jammu Kashmīr, Shaikh ʿAbdul Mālik Mujāḥid – Dar us-Salām Books,Shaikh Bashīr Anṣārī – Editor al-Islām, Shaikh ʿAbd Allāh Gurdāspūrī – Jamāʿah Ahl al-Ḥadīth Pākistān, Shaikh Muḥammad Ḥussain Shaikhupūrī – The orator of Pākistān, Shaikh Ṣalaḥ al-Dīn Yūsuf – Famous author from Pākistān, Prince Bandār bin Sulṭān bin ʿAbdul ʿAzīz- Saudi Ambassador to US, Prince Muḥammad bin Faiṣal bin Turkī – Director of religious affairs and many others.
The Shaikhs Family
The Shaikh had three sons, Faiṣal Maḥmūd, Abdul Awwal Maḥmūd and Aqeel Maḥmūd.
Faiṣal Maḥmūd was born in 1981. The two compilers of this biography were in the same class as Faiṣal. Even at a young age Faiṣal had exemplary manners and ettiquetes. He was astute, vibrant and very kind. He would always share sweets with us in class. He is dearly missed by all those who knew him pray that Allāh grants him a place in Jannah. Amīn
ʿAbdul Awwal, the eldest was born in 1978. He has always been active in daʿwah and religious affairs. He studied in Jāmia Islāmīyyah Madīnah for a while from 1999 until 2002, he had to terminate his studies due to unforeseen circumstances. He also managed the English journal, ‘The Straight Path’ for a short while from 2005 until 2007. He has migrated from the United Kingdom and is still active in daʿwah.
Aqeel was born in 1984. He is very active in daʿwah and conducts regular lessons and seminars throughout the United Kingdom. He graduated from Jāmia Islāmīyyah Madīnah from the faculty of Shariʿah in 2011, the same faculty as his father, the Shaikh. He is also a Ḥāfiẓ of the Qurʾān and currently lives with his family in Birmingham.
The Shaikhs Death
The Shaikh was travelling from Newcastle to Birmingham in the early hours of the morning with his family. The Shaikhs car had broken down in the middle lane of the M6 motorway in Cheshire and a large vehicle ploughed into them. The Shaikh, his eldest son, Faiṣal and his mother in law died instantly in the accident. The Shaikhs wife and son, Aqeel sustained serious injuries and were taken to hospital.
We still remember the day vividly when our Shaikh Rahimahullāh died on 10th October 1988. when the Shaikh was only 43 years old.
This is a very brief biography of our teacher, Shaikh Maḥmūd Aḥmad Mirpūrī and it by no means serves justice to the life, works and efforts of this visionary reformer of the Salafi’s and Ahl al-Ḥadīth in the United Kingdom. He Rahimahullāh left behind a great legacy and hundreds of students who continue his legacy. We make Duʿā and supplicate to Allāh Jalo Wa Aʿla that he grants our Shaikh, his family and all the Muslims a place in Jannah. Amīn
By the two students of the Shaikh
who are in dire need of your Duʿā’s
Abū Ḥibbān Malak
Abū Khuzaimah ʿImrān Masoom Anṣārī
30th Jumada al-Ūla 1437H / Thursday 10th March 2016
Jazakullah khairan. May Allah reward all the brothers in their efforts ameen