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Shaykh ul-Tafsir, Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) was among those true UIama whose every moment was subservient to the pleasure of the Almighty Allah. He was an authentic scholar of religion, a matchless exegete, thinker and arife-kamil (one who was perfect in his recognition of Allah).

Early Life

Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) was born on 2 Ramadan 1304 AH. in Gujranwala. As a consequence of being born in the month of the revelation of the Qur’an, he continued dispersing the pearls of wisdom from the book of guidance throughout his life. His father, Shaykh Habibullah (ra) was bay'at in the Chistiyyah line of spirituality. He was a pious saint. As soon as he began to understand, his mother began educating him. Thereafter he lived in the shadow of a great saint, Maulana Abdul Haqq (ra). He nurtured him perfectly with complete compassion and love. He handed him over to his spiritual mentor, Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Dinpuri (ra). Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) was also endowed with the spirit of valour and jihad by the brave warrior of Islam, Maulana Taj Mahmud (ra).


When Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra) established his institute of higher Islamic studies, namely Darul-Rashid in Gothpirjhanda, he admitted Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) as a student there. Here the latter studied Islamic studies with great zeal and enthusiasm for six years. He qualified in 1927.


After qualifying, he was appointed as a lecturer in the same institute. Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra) handed over his daughter to him in marriage. For three years he taught at Darul-Rashid with extreme sacrifice and exertion. When Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra) established Jamiyyatul-Ansar, he called Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) to prepare a group of Ulama and educated men. The aim of this group was to continue the mission of tabligh according t the needs of the time. Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) assisted Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra) in organising this group.

Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) subsequently went to a madrasah in Nawabshah on the instruction of Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra). He was taught in Aligarh on the orders of Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra). When Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra) had to emigrate to Afghanistan, he appointed Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) as the supervisor of the Jamiyyatul-Ansar. While Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra) was in Afghanistan, he sent some letters to him. These letters were intercepted and Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi (ra) was arrested as a result.


The British government subsequently began trampling this movement. Had Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi's movement, whose only aim was to obtain freedom for the homeland been successful, Pakistan would have come into existence several years before 1947. When the letters were intercepted, Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) was also arrested. From Delhi he was brought to Shamlah where he was imprisoned. The prison warden in charge of him was so impressed by his good character and merits, that he tried to give Maulana (ra) all the freedom and facilities he could. He would provide clean water for ablution. Sometimes he would bring sweetmeats. He also brought a bed from home for him. From Shamlah, Maulana (ra) was taken to Lahore and from there to Jalandhar.


After his release, he began disseminating the teachings of the Qur'an. Gradually an organization, the Anjuman Khuddamud-din came into existence through the assistance of friends for the propagation of the Qur'an and the progress of Islam. Later on, a weekly magazine by the name of Khuddamud-din was initiated and it continues to be published till today.

Maulana Ahmad Ali (ra) also established the Madrasah Qasimul Uloom where the speciality was that the Tafsir of the Qur’an and was taught to the Ulama. Presently this institute is run by Maulana's son, Maulana Ubaidullah Anwar (ra).


Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (ra) assisted the nation in every adversity. He underwent the tortures of imprisonment. On every occasion he uttered the truth. He emphasised the practice of the Qur'an and the sunnah. If any discord erupted in the Ummah, he would stand up to confront it head-on. He took full participation in the movement Tahrik Khatme Nubuwwat. If the government carried out any act against Shari’ah, he would not fear anyone and spoke out openly against it. Sometimes he would be arrested for speaking out as in 1931 when he spoke against the English principal of a law college in Lahore, who had uttered unsuitable words about Rasulullah (SAW). Later the government regretted its action and released him honourably.

Maulana (ra) also authored some thirty four booklets on different Islamic topics. He once said that the jewels found in the shoes of the saints cannot be found in the treasures of kings. He also said that the heart becomes soft no matter how hard it may be with the dhikr of Allah just as the continuous dripping of water on a stone causes it to become hollow.


Maulana (ra) passed away on 17th Ramadhan 1382 A.H. Thousands of people participated in his janazah salah. He was laid to rest the Miani Qabrastan. A fragrant scent could be perceived for long time from his grave.


Eminent Ulama, pp.125-129, Karachi: Altaf & Sons.