Maulana Hifzur Rahman Seoharvi is a prominent name on the religio-political horizon of the Asian subcontinent for the last several decades. He was a multifaceted personality who lived mainly during the first half of the last century.
The sheikh was not only a freedom fighter but an Islamic scholar, a historian, a prolific writer and a religious and political leader of repute commanding respect from within India as well as Pakistan. He fought against British rule for a quarter century (1922-1947) and spent eight years in jail.
In post-Independent India, Maulana Seoharvi played a crucial role in charting a road map for the Muslims in India. As a member of the Constituent Assembly, he played his part in claiming a rightful place for Muslims in the constitution of India, making the country a secular one, and thus rendering a dignified status to the Muslim community in the country that had suffered partition in the name of Islam.
Sheikh Hifzur Rahman served on several community organizations in different capacities like the Nadwatul Musannifeen as patron, and Jamiatul Ulama as its national secretary.
His monumental work
The maulana was known for his prolific writing through which he primarily aimed to reform the Muslim society by inculcating the values and ethics of Islam inspired by the Qur’an and Hadith.
His Qasas-ul-Qur’an, which is mainly based on the stories from the Holy Qur’an, in this respect comes first in mind to mention about as this ultimately proved to be his most popular and monumental work.
The author’s main aim is to draw the attention of the readers toward the moral of the stories, so as to enable Muslims to adopt a right path (Islamic way of life) for the great success in both the worlds.
These stories of the Qur’an were mentioned in the old scriptures too, but were adulterated by their communities with vested interest. They defamed Virgin Mary, blamed Prophet David and raised Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon both of them) to divinity.
The Holy Qur’an defied all these corruptions and reinstated the original and authentic versions. The Orientalists in the later period of the 19th century again tried to cast doubts about the truth revealed in the Holy Qur’an.
In this backdrop the maulana took it upon himself as an essential duty to refute these allegations and purify the minds of readers. Thus accepting the challenge Maulana Hifzur Rahman engaged into bringing forth his marvelous monumental work that ran into staggering 1784 pages,
An effort in this direction was earlier made by Allama Abdul Wahab Najjar of Egypt who published a book with the same title, ‘Qasas-ul-Qur’an,’ in Arabic, which were based on a series of his lectures that he had delivered at Al Azhar University, Cairo, in 1930. But Allama Najjar confined himself to mainly dealing with the stories of the Prophets. He did not touch upon the Qur’an in citing similar many other stories. Maulana Hifzur Rahman covered all important stories establishing them in the true form.
It is very heartening to note that this huge work of Maulana Hifzur Rahman has been translated into English by Shakir Rizwani and Khalid Mahmood and which was published in 2006 in two volumes by Idara Islamiat Lahore, Pakistan. The work covering 1360 pages has been divided into four parts that are basically based on the three main subjects that the Holy Qur’an deals with — Tawheed (Oneness of Allah), Risaalat (Prophethood) and Aakharat (the Hereafter).
These subjects have been well elucidated and supported by narratives of various stories of the past Prophets (peace be upon them all) who were all preaching the Oneness of Almighty Allah and the promised gifts of the Hereafter.
Part 1 containing 410 pages covers the stories of 13 Prophets including Adam, Nooh, Idrees, Houd, Saleh, Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Lut, Yaqub, Yousuf, Shoaib and Musa (peace be upon them all).
Part 2 (204 pages) has 12 Prophets — Prophet Yousha, Hizkiel, Ilyaas, Al Yasaa, Shamvel, Dawood, Sulaiman, Ayyub, Yunus, Dhul Kifl, Ozair and Zakaria (peace be upon them all).
Part 3 (348 pages) cover 12 different stories from the Holy Qur’an about Ashab Kahaf, Ashaab Fil, Ashaab Sabt, Ashaab Rass, Ashaab Ukhdood, Flood of Iram, Hakeem Luqmaan, Dhul Qarnain and Al-Quds.
Part 4 (396 pages) is fully devoted to the detailed study of Prophet Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon both of them).
This removes all doubts and allegations about Virgin Mary and her son Prophet Jesus, proving that they were both true worshippers of Almighty Allah like Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him them all).
Commenting about the colossal book, Bahjat Najmi, the secretary of the Maulana Hifzur Rahman Academy, which is active in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for many years, said, “Qasas-ul-Qur’an is the only authentic work on stories on the Prophets of Islam in the Asian subcontinent. Even those, who might differ with the ideology of the maulana, agree that this work of his is a truly genuine and worth reading.”
Najmi was all praise for the Idara Islamiyat of Lahore for consistently publishing these works of cultural importance, mainly the Qasas-ul-Qur’an, all these years.
“This is significant given the backdrop of a persistent indifference toward such rare works of our past ulema that has become customary of the Muslim society in general, and which is unfortunate, he said.
The academy secretary also mentioned about other works of maulana on various subjects in Urdu: Islam ka Iqtesaadi Nizam (The Economic System of Islam); Akhlaq & Falsafa-i-Akhlaq (Morality and its Philosophy); Balagh Al-Mubeen (Evident Approach); and Noorul Basar fi Seerat Khairul Bashar (Seerat of Holy Prophet). Out of which, a research work on his ‘Islam ka Iqtesaadi Nizam’ is going on in the King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, he said.