The Auspicious Birth:
The Spiritual Guide, Shaikh e Tareeqat Ameer e Ahle Sunnat, the Honourable Hazrat Allama Maulana Abu Bilal Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadri Razavi was born on the 26th of Ramadan 1369 A.H. (1950) in Karachi, Pakistan.
Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri forefathers lived in the village of Kutiyana in Junagarh, India. His grandfather, Abdul Rahim (May Allah’s blessings be upon him) was renowned for his virtues and exemplary character. His parents migrated to Pakistan, after independence [from the British rule]. They initially lived in Hyderabad, Babul Islam [Sindh, Pakistan] but later moved to Babul Madina, Karachi.
Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri’s father Haji Abdur Rahman Qadiri (May Allah’s blessings be upon him) was steadfast on the Islamic guidelines and was a righteous individual, overall. He would often walk with a lowered gaze, and knew many Ahadis by heart. He never had a rapacious desire to gather the fleeting materialistic things of this world. He (May Allah’s blessings be upon him) was a disciple [Murid] in the esteemed Qadiriyyah Sufi Order.
Passion For Learning:
The Prophet of mankind, the peace of our heart and mind, the most generous and kind (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, “If Allah Wills goodness for someone; Allah Bestows understanding of Deen upon him.” (Sahih Bukhari, pp. 42, Hadis 71, Vol. 1)
Ameer ul Momineen, The Valiant Sayyiduna Ali said that the Noble Prophet (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever adopts averseness [and dislike] from the [materialistic] world, Allah Grants him knowledge without him having to seek it or learn it. Allah grants him assistance to tread on the right path without any apparent means for him to do so. Allah also bestows him foresight [basirah] and distances him from ignorance. (Al Jami’us Shaghir, pp. 528, Hadis 8725)
Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri had been adorned by religious knowledge right from his youth. The main sources of this knowledge were books and the affiliation of religious scholars, specifically the Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Shaykh Mufti Waqar ud Din Qadri Razavi. Ameer e Ahle Sunnat spent about twenty two years under the aegis of the Grand Shaikh and was graced with the honor of being his Khalifah [Spiritual Successor].
Zeal for Reading:
By the Grace of Allah, Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri is proficient in and well acquainted with the sacred Islamic laws, guidelines of spirituality [Tasawwuf] and code of morals and ethics due to his immense passion for reading and constant interaction with the prominent scholars.
Besides reading many Islamic books authored by several great and prominent scholars, his zeal to read, the Scribe of Islamic Law [Shariah], the Guiding light of Spirituality [Tariqah], Mufti Muhammad Amjad Ali Azmi’s prominent book “Bahar e Shariat” is exceptional. Moreover, he is keen in reading Imam Ahmed Raza Khan’s remarkable verdicts’ collection “Fatawa e Rizvia” for seeking knowledge. He extensively reads Imam Muhammad Ghazali’s books, especially “Ihya ul uloom” and also instructs his associates and disciples to do the same. Additionally, books authored by other eminent scholars are also being read by him.
Furthermore, he expertly elaborates and explains, in layman’s terms, complex topics like: Bearing patience [Ṣabr]; expressing gratitude [Shukr]; entrusting in the Divine Providence [Tawakkul]; having contentment [Qana’at]; bearing fear [Khauf]; adopting hope [Rija]; abstaining from lying, back-biting; and avoiding malice, rancour and heedlessness.
Master of Madinah, The Comforter of the Hearts, The Prophet of Rahmah, the Intercessor of Ummah, the Distributor of Na’mah, the Owner of Jannah (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, “When a person dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: ongoing charity [Sadqa e Jaria]; knowledge which benefits [others]; or a pious offspring, who supplicates [and prays] for him.” (Sahih Muslim, pp. 886, Hadis 1631)
By the Grace of Allah, Ameer e Ahle Sunnat is amongst those scholars who have authored books, in addition to other righteous activities, to reap the benefits of the actions listed in the aforementioned Hadis. He is one of the distinguished authors amongst his contemporaries. When he starts writing on any subject, he finishes it with immense perfection. That’s why masses from every walk of life have been inspired by his books, and in turn they strive to inspire others to read and distribute the literature authored by him in huge quantity.
Sunnah Inspiring Bayanat [Speeches]:
Speeches are an effective means to enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong. By the Grace of Allah, Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri is from amongst that group of scholars, whose lectures leave a lasting impression on the hearts of Muslims. People flock in huge numbers to The Universal and non-political movement of Quran and Sunnah, Dawat-e-Islami’s Annual-International Ijtima [congregation] and other provincial [State-level] congregations to benefit from his sermons, filled with wisdom and guidance. Hundreds of thousands of people listen to his speeches in these congregations at a time. In addition to physical attendance, his speeches are also relayed over the telephone and streamed over the internet. Moreover, his recorded speeches are produced on audio cassettes and CDs [on DVDs and VCDs] and released by Maktaba tul-Madinah. They are also televised on Dawat-e-Islami’s Madani Channel. These are widely available and listened to in many circles including homes, shops, Masajid and universities.
He is an excellent orator and his speeches are so lucid and his style is so sympathetic that it deeply impacts the listeners and fosters a change within them. As a result countless individuals have forgone their sinful and disobedient ways and now tread on the path of righteousness. Here is an example to highlight this very fact:
The Praying Pirate:
A responsible Islamic brother of Babul Madina, Karachi [Pakistan] said:
“A close and dear friend of mine was a chronic drunkard and a gambler and was very bold in committing wrong doings and sins. Although he was a resident of Babul Madina [Karachi], he would occasionally travel to Colombo, C Lanka [Sri Lanka] and had married a local woman there as well.
One time I slipped an audio cassette of a sermon of Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri, entitled Namazi Daku [The Pirate who Prayed] in his luggage before he left for Colombo. After arriving at Colombo he listened to it and the spiritual words of Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri pierced his heart. He went through a righteous Madani transformation and adorned his face with a beard and permanently made the turban [Imamah] part of his attire. He has since engaged himself in performing the righteous Madani works of Dawat-e-Islami and has also become a disciple of Ameer e Ahle Sunnat & became Attari.
On the July 10, 2003 he passed away after reciting the testimonial phrase [the Kalimah] loudly.
Love of Rasulullah:
Companion Hazrat Sayyiduna Anas narrated that the Rehmat ul lil Alameen, the Holy Prophet (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, “Anyone from amongst you, cannot be a true believer [momin] until I am more dearer to him than his father, his children and all the people.” (Sahih Bukhari, pp. 17, Ḥadis 14, vol. 1)
Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri’s life is an embodiment of following the Sunnahs because of his deep rooted and profound love for the Makki Madani Mustafa (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri is, therefore, known as Ashiq e Madinah [Devotee of Madinah].
He has often been observed to be incessantly shedding tears and at times becomes so restless in devotion to the Makki Madani Mustafa (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) that the observer involuntarily begins to shed tears on seeing such out-pour of love. His ecstatic condition is beyond words during the Ijtima [congregations] of Zikr remembering Allah and the Naat poem recitals.
In the quest of the footprint of the Holy Prophet (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) Is the tear drop of my eye which has departed?
First Invitation of His Wedding: Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri sent the first invitation of his wedding to the Noble Prophet (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). How this came to pass is that he handed an invitational letter to an Islamic brother who was going to the Holy City of Madinah who read it out before the Golden Grill at the sacred court of the Holy Prophet (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri later commented, “At the time of my Nikah I was longing and thinking as to when the Exalted Prophet (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) will grace us with his presence. It was the blessings of these unique and captivating thoughts that the wedding ceremony took place righteously (whereas people, at large, have been observed to infringe upon and violate the sacred Islamic laws during marriage ceremonies).”
Initiation into a Spiritual Sufi Order:
Out of deep admiration for Imam e Ahle Sunnat, Reviver of the Religion, Shaykh Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (May Allah’s blessings be upon him), Ameer e Ahle Sunnat had longed to make Bait [initiation] into the Shaykh’s Spiritual Sufi Order [Silsilah]. He wrote about this: “Neither was there any shortage of Shuyukh [Spiritual Guides] among the Ahle Sunnat at that time, nor is there any shortage today, but there was only one personality that came to mind (when I decided to become a Mureed and be initiated into a Sufi Order).
Pasand apni apni, khayal apna apna (Different people have different choices)
One advantage of having him as my spiritual leader was that he was only one link away from [the great spiritual guide] Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (May Allah’s blessings be upon him). The other thing that drew me to him was that he lived close to (the Green Dome of the Prophet’s [May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him] Masjid in Madinah). This esteemed person that I am referring to is Shaykh-ul-Fadilah, The Light of Razawiyyah, Beacon for the People, Mureed and Khalifah [disciple and Spiritual successor] of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (May Allah’s blessings be upon him). The Teacher of Spirituality, The Guide of Sacred Law, Shaykh of Arabs and non-Arabs, Host of the Guests of Madinah, Qutb of Madinah, Honorable Shaykh Zia-ud-Din Ahmad Madani Qadri Razavi (May Allah’s blessings be upon him).”
Spiritual Successor-ship and Permissions:
Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri is the Khalifah [Spiritual Successor] of Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Shaykh Mufti Waqar-ud-Din (May Allah’s blessings be upon him). The Commentator of Sahih Bukhari, Grand Master of Jurisprudence of India Mufti Shariful Haq Amjadi (May Allah’s blessings be upon him) has also granted Ameer e Ahle Sunnat with his Khalifah [Successor-ship] of the four major Spiritual Sufi Orders [Salasil], Qadiriyah, Chishtiya, Naqshbandiyya, and Suhrawardiyya. He also granted him permission of transmission of the books of Hadis, and dissemination of Islamic knowledge etc. Furthermore, the Khalifah of Sayyidi Qutb of Madinah, Shaykh Fadlur Rahman (May Allah’s blessings be upon him) granted him Khalifah and authorized him with his permission [Ijazah] of transmission of the books of Hadis. Furthermore, he has received Khalifah from other great Shuyukhs and scholars as well.
Initiating Others and Spiritual Guiding:
Even though he had the permission and Khalifah to initiate others, out of humility, Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri did not make people his own Mureed [disciples of his own Sufi Order] for several years. He would instead initiate them into his Shaykh’s order at the time of initiation. It was only after his Shaykh, Qutb of Madinah, Hazrat Ziauddin Madani’s passing away that he started initiations into his own Spiritual Sufi Order of Qadriyyah, Razawiyya, Attaria, thus making his disciples Attari.
Later on, he also began initiations [Bait] in large Sunnah-Inspiring congregations; following the footsteps of eminent scholars such as the successor and the son of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, Maulana Mustafa Raza Khan (May Allah’s blessings be upon him).
Dawat-e-Islami is a worldwide, non-political movement of propagating Quran & Sunnah. In the era of evils, when the tides of decadent ways are rising throughout the world, when mass media is using its resources to spread indecency, when the majority of Muslims continue to adopt immodesty in the name of fashion. In times like these, when the Muslims are eager to gain merely worldly knowledge and are completely heedless of acquiring the knowledge of their noble religion; as these dark clouds of the irreligiousness loom overhead: the enemies of Islam are plotting to slander our fabulous religion; decadence is creeping into our Masjids; atheism and misguidance are in full swing; homes are turning into movie theaters, and Muslims are wasting their precious time in music, movies, alcohol, and gambling.
In these trying times, the Shaykh, The Founder of Dawat-e-Islami the Spiritual Guide, Ameer e Ahle Sunnat, the Honorable Shaykh, Abu Bilal Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadri Razavi Ziaee revived the work of Calling to righteousness. He inspired each and every individual through his personal efforts and gave them an ambition that, as a Muslim, “I must strive to reform myself and the people of the entire world!”
In 1401 A.H., he founded this momentous organization, called Dawat-e-Islami, for the propagation of Quranic knowledge and Sunnah. By the Grace of Allah, by Shaykh’s endless efforts, in a short span, the work of Dawat-e-Islami has reached over 186 countries [at the time of writing] across the globe. Hundreds of thousands of “Devotees of the Rasul” have devoted themselves to calling to righteousness, [as if they have brought a cool breeze with them to comfort the hearts of the ailing Ummah].
In various countries, many non-Muslims are continuing to embrace the beautiful religion of Islam at the hands of the Muballighs [Preachers] of Dawat-e-Islami. By the diligent efforts of Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri, a righteous Madani revolution has entered into the lives of hundreds of thousands of Muslims, especially the young Muslims, who have become steadfast in performing the Fard and Wajib matters in Islam. Furthermore, they crown their heads with green turbans [Imamah] and adorn their faces with beards, in accordance to the Sunnah of Sayyid-ul-Mursalin, the Prophet of mankind, the peace of our heart and mind, the most generous and kind, our beloved Rasul (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). These noble accomplishments of Ameer e Ahle Sunnat Hazrat Allama Maulana Ilyas Qadri are evident by the number of areas Dawat-e-Islami is working in. Many of these were direly needed for safeguarding the religion and faiths of the Ummah of the Exalted Prophet (May Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him).