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Shaykh Abu ’l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani Nadwi

Shaykh Abu ’l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani Nadwi (1332/1914–1420/1999), affectionately known as ‘Ali Miyan, was a leading intellectual and religious scholar of contemporary India. He wrote numerous books on history, biography, and contemporary affairs concerning both the Muslim community in India and Muslims abroad. He served as rector of the Nadwat al-‘Ulama’ seminary in Lucknow for a number of years, where he also taught Qur’anic exegesis, hadith, and Arabic literature, along with history and logic. He was a founding member of Rabitat al-Adab al-Islami al-‘Alamiyya (Universal League of Islamic Literature) in 1984 and was elected chairman of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board in 1985. A prolific writer, he penned a literary legacy of a few hundred works in both Arabic and Urdu. His works have been integrated into the curriculum in a number of universities in the Arab world. His most notable Arabic work, Ma-dha Khasir al-‘Alam bi ’nhitat al-Muslimin (What Did the World Lose by the Decline of the Muslims?), was widely acclaimed and carved a place for him in elite literary circles of the Arab world. Many of his works have since been translated into Arabic, English, Turkish, Bahasa Indonesia, Persian, and Tamil, among other languages. Karwan-i Zindagi, his eight-volume autobiography; Purane Chiragh (Ancient Lamps), comprising life sketches of contemporary personalities; his biographies of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid and Caliph ‘Ali (may Allah ennoble his countenance); and his Tarikh-i Da‘wat wa ‘Azimat (Saviours of Islamic Spirit) are seen as permanent contributions to Urdu literature. This monumental scholar passed away at the age of eighty-six on Friday 31 December 1999 (22 Ramadan 1420).
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