Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Islahi, a prominent Muslim scholar, author, speaker, and founder of several educational institutions, passed away in India on Tuesday 21 December 2021, after a short illness. However, he left behind a treasure of knowledge that would continue to benefit its seekers worldwide.
Much of what he wrote and said was in Urdu, but through his students scattered all over the world, he reached an audience speaking different languages and belonging to different cultures. Many of his students are in the United States as well as in Australia.
His book Asan Fiqh (Easy Jurisprudence) and Adab-e Zindagi (Etiquettes of Life) are his best-circulated books.
He frequently visited Australia on invitation by Islamic Forum for Australian Muslims (IFAM) and was a popular speaker at its family camps and conferences.
Born at Formulli, Attock district, in 1932, Maulana Islahi was a member of the consultative body of Jamat-e-Islamic Hind. He was also the chief patron of project Why Islam of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
Attock (Urdu and Punjabi: ضلع اٹک) is a district in Pothohar Plateau of the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Its capital is Attock city. He was greatly influenced by the thoughts of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi, and Maulana Abdul Hayy.
He received his primary education in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, British India. Initially, he got educated in Islamic Studies from Mazaher ul-Uloom, Saharanpur District and Higher studies, and Fazilat from Madarsat ul-Islah, Sarai Mir.
He memorized Qur’an and also learned Tajweed. Then, his father, Shaikh-ul-Hadees Maulana Abdul Qadim Khan, sent him to Madrasa Mazahir ul Uloom, Saharanpur, for further education.
Later he joined Madarsat ul Islah, Sarai Mir, Azamgarh. He spent four years under Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi and received Sanad Fazilat with distinction (Certificate of Graduation).
He was part of one of the most distinguished families in India that served Islam through their scholarship. Maulana Islahi was the brother-in-law of Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, former President of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and a prominent Muslim American leader, scholar, and an iconic figure among Muslim thinkers.
Dr Muzammil Siddiqui’s father, Maulana Tawassul Hussain Siddiqi, who dedicated his life to serving Islam through Jamat-e-Islami Hind succeeded Mualana Abdul Hai as the in-charge of Jamiatul Salehat.
Dr Muzammil Siddiqui is the son-in-law of Maulana Abdul Hai.
Maulana Abdul Hai was the editor of Butool, a woman’s magazine, Hasanat, a journal of Islamic thoughts, Noor, a children’s magazine, and Hadi a magazine in simple Hindi on Islamic subjects.
He left behind him a publication house dedicated to the publication of Islamic books.
Maulana Yusuf Islahi was married to Dr Muzammil’s eldest sister, who passed away a few years ago and had eight children. His youngest daughter is settled on the East Coast of USA.
Following the footsteps of many Muslim scholars of his time, Maulana Islahi became a member of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in 1953 and served Islam and the organisation through various activities.
Maulana Yusuf Islahi was also guiding many educational and welfare institutions. He was the Rector of Jamiat us-Salehat, Rampur, which Maulana Abdu Hayy founded) as a unique and very well-known institution for girls’ higher Arabic and Islamic education.
More than a thousand students now reside in the sprawling campus spread on several acres of land in the best locality of Rampur city. The number of hostlers who come from the city to the new campus alone is more than three times.
Markazi Darsgah-e-Islami, Rampur has been running under his guidance for the last few years. Many other educational and welfare institutions also sought advice and guidance from him.
He led a simple life and devoted his knowledge to serving people. His scholarship was rooted in humility, humor, and care for humanity.
May Allah elevate his status in the life hereafter.