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Sulaiman Nadvi

Sulaiman Nadvi

Indian academic
Sulaiman Nadvi
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Indian academic
Was Writer Author Historian Biographer
From India
Type Literature Science Social science
Gender male
Birth 22 November 1884
Death 22 November 1953 (aged 69 years)
Sulaiman Nadvi
The details


Sulaiman Nadvi (Urdu: سید سلیمان ندوی‎—Sayyid Sulaimān Nadwī; November 22, 1884 – November 23, 1953) was an eminent Indian historian, biographer, littérateur and scholar of Islam. He co-authored Sirat-un-Nabi and wrote Khutbat-e-Madras.

Early life and education

Nadvi was born on November 22, 1884 in the Desna, Bihar a village of Patna (then in British India). His father, Hakeem Sayyed Abul Hasan was a Sufi.

His first teachers were Khalifa Anwar Ali of Desna and Maqsood Ali of Ookhdi. Later he received his education both from his elder brother, Hakeem Sayyed Abu Habeeb and his father. His father was a physician at Islampur near Patna and was a highly respected person in the local community. In 1899, he went to Phulwari Sharif (Bihar) where he became a disciple of Maulana Mohiuddin and Sulaiman Phulwari. From there, he went to Darbhanga where he studied for a few months at Madrasa-e-Imdadia.

In 1901, he was admitted into Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama at Lucknow. He studied for seven years at Nadva. He was also appointed sub-editor of the journal, An-Nadwa. His first article, Waqt (Time) was published in the monthly Urdu Journal Makhzan edited by Abdul Qadir. Maulana Shibli Nomani came to Lucknow and was appointed as 'Secretary of Nadva'. Sulaiman Nadvi was highly influenced by Maulana Shibli Nomani at Lucknow. In 1906, he graduated from the Nadva. In 1908, Nadvi was appointed an instructor of Modern Arabic and Theology at Dar-ul-Uloom Nadva. His contemporary at Nadva was none other than Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who had come from Calcutta and also joined the Nadwa. It is interesting to note here that both Sulaiman Nadvi and Abul Kalam Azad were favorite pupils of Maulana Shibli Nomani. Maulana Sulaiman Nadvi was later destined to become one of the great biographers of the Prophet of Islam and a great historian during his own lifetime.

Aligarh Muslim University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctorate of Literature (DLitt) in 1941.

Contribution to Islamic literature

In 1910, Shibli Nomani began writing Sirat-un-Nabi in Urdu, but died before completing it. After Nomani's death in 1914, Nadvi left his position as a professor at Deccan College, Pune and traveled to Azamgarh. There he edited and published the two first volumes of Sirat-un-Nabi penned by Nomani, and completed the remaining four volumes himself. The work was initially funded by Sultan Jehan Begum of Bhopal, and later by Nizam of Hyderabad.

In October and November 1925, Nadvi delivered a series of eight lectures on the life Muhammad at Madras. These lectures were later published as Khutbat-e-Madras.

In 1933, he published one of his major works, Khayyam. The nucleus of this book was an article on noted Persian scholar and poet Omar Khayyam.

In 1940, he published Rahmat-e-Aalam, a children's book about Muhammad.

Nadvi, along with others who favored Hindu-Muslim unity in British India, suggested that the term "Urdu" be abandoned in favour of "Hindustani" because the former conjured up the image of a military conquest and war whereas the latter had no such symbolic baggage.

Nadvi founded Dar-ul-Mosannefeen (Academy of Authors), also known as the Shibli Academy, at Azamgarh. The first book published there was Ard-ul-Quran (2 volumes).

Emigration to Pakistan and death

One of Sulaiman Nadvi's biographers writes,"He is scholarly and objective in his treatment of history, which appeals more to the mind than to the heart. The brutal persecution of the Muslims in India by the Hindu majority community compelled him to migrate to Pakistan in 1950."

In June 1950 (after the partition of India), Nadvi moved to Pakistan and settled in Karachi. He was appointed Chairman of Taleemat-e-Islami Board to advise on the Islamic aspects of Pakistan's constitution. He died on November 22, 1953 in Karachi at the age of 69.

Literary work

The following is a list of some of the most famous works of Hazrat Syed Sulaiman Nadvi.

  • Sirat-un-Nabi (Life of the Holy Prophet) by first Shibli Nomani, the teacher of Sulaiman Nadvi. Shibli started writing this book, which was later finished by Sulaiman Nadvi after Shibli's death in 1914
  • Ardh al-Quran
  • Seerat-e-Aisha
  • Durûs-ul-Adab
  • Khutbat-e-Madras
  • Rahmat-e-Aalam
  • Naqûsh-e-Sulaimân
  • Hayât Imâm Mâlik
  • Ahl-us-Sunnah-wal-Jamâ'ah
  • Yâd-e-Raftagân
  • Barîd Farang
  • Seir-e-Afghânistân
  • Maqâlât-e-Sulaimân
  • Khayyam (about the contributions of Omar Khayyam, published in 1933)
  • Hayat-e-Shibli (1943)

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