Birth and early years:
My father was born on the 15th of January in 1942 in a town called Nowgawan Sadat , district Moradabad , India. He abstained from playing and amusements in his early years and the thirst for acquiring religious knowledge kept growing inside him. To learn from the teachings of the elders and the scholars was one of his habits and enjoyments and practised Saum & Salaat regularly since the age of 7-8 years. The low knowledgeable environment at home pushed my father forward to attain learning and wisdom. That was why he spent most of his time at the Boarding of Madarresahe Baab-ul-Ilm with the other students. In his precious home-town there were two religious schools at that time. 1.Baab-ul-Ilm , 2. Aaliya-e-Jafariya. Baab-ul-Ilm was founded by Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Syed Sibte Nabi Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) in 1914. The principal of this school then was Maulana Syed Aqa Haider Saheb Qibla Baarhwi (Taaba Therah) Mumtazul-Afazil who was a pious student of Sarkar Najmul Uluma (Taaba Therah) founder of Madarresahe Nazmiya and Madarresat-ul-Waaizeen.
The years of his studies:
The Arabic lessons were given by Maulana Syed Aqa Haider Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) and Maulana Syed Raza Husain Saheb Qibla Nowganwi (Taaba Therah) . My father was honoured to be a student of them both. Persian was taught by Maulana Syed Jawad Asghar Saheb Qibla Natiq (Taaba Therah) . Through the favours of his mentors my father passed the degree of Maulwi Arabic , Munshi and Munshi Kamil by great numbers in Persian language. During these days also managed to complete the course of “Adeeb , Adeeb-e-Mahir” and “Adeeb-e-Kamil” in the school of Jamia-Urdu in Ali-Garlh. But the financial status at home was not good. My grandmother Marhooma Maghfoora passed away in his childhood after a long period of illness. And because most of the spared money were spent for the medicines , the situation at home became worse each day. My father was captured by grief and worries for this poverty. Therefore when he finished the degree of Maulwi he decided to break off the studies. But my respected late grandfather Janab Ghafoor Ahmed Saheb and the honourable mentors encouraged my father to continue.
The poverty had chained his feet and the elders kept giving him more and more encouragement and support to keep on with his studies. By this confusion of what to decide one night my father had a dream in which he saw a great doyen who explained the value of the teachings of Islam . An interpretation of this dream revealed that the Imam of our Age (a.s) had guided him. After this vision my father repented to Allah and asked for forgiveness for the thought of breaking off with his education. After completing the degree of Aalim he came to Lucknow and there at the Nazmia Arabic College passed by second number in Qabil Faazil and by 1rst number in Mumtazul Afaazil and was approved at the test of Fiqh. His reputable teachers were Maulana Syed Rasool Ahmed Saheb (Taaba Therah) who taught “Arabic Adab” , Maulana Syed Ayyub Husain Saheb (philosophy) (Taaba Therah) , Maulana Hakeem Syed Muhammad Athar Saheb (Taaba Therah) (Muntiq) , Maulana Syed Murtuza Husain Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) (Ilm-e-Haiyat) , Maulana Muhammad Husain Saheb Najafi (Taaba Therah) (Usool-e-Fiqh) , Maulana Syed Murtuza Saheb Naqvi (Taaba Therah) (Fiqh).
Among his other teachers were also Maulana Syed Muhammad Shakir Saheb Qibla Amrohwi who taught “Ma’qoolaat” in private. “Riyaz-ul-Masail”(Sharah Kabeer) , “Rasail” and “Makasib” lessons were given by Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Mufti Ahmed Ali Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) and also lessons in private were given by Mohsin-ul-Millat Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Syed Mohsin Nawab Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) who taught Shareh Luma and “Qawaneen”. “Rasail” was taught by Sarkar Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Syed Ali Naqi Saheb (Taaba Therah). When my father studied in the Shia Arabic College his teacher there was Fakhr-ul-Uluma Maulana Sa’adat Husain Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) . He also passed the exams of “Emad-ut-Tafseer” ( 1rst nr.) , “Fazil-e-Tafseer” in the University of Lucknow , “Fazil-Fiqh” privately in Allahabad Board and also passed by great numbers in a writing course of the Bible (Injeel) in Haiderabad-Deccan. Mumtazul Afazil is the final degree of the School of Nazmia.
When my father had completed his education and was graduated almost all the scholars in Lucknow signed his certificates of leading prayers. Their names are : Janab Hujjat-ul-Islam Mufti Syed Ahmed Ali Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) ex-principal of Jamia Nazmia Lucknow, Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Syed Mohsin Nawab Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) , Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Syed Muhammad Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) ex-principal of Sultan-ul-Madaris , Nadiruz-Zaman Maulana Syed Ibne Hasan Saheb Qibla Naunahrwi (Taaba Therah) ex-principal of Madarresatul-Waaizeen , Hujjatul Islam Maulana Syed Muhammad Husain Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) , Hujjat-ul-Islam Sa’eedul-Millat Maulana Syed Muhammad Sa’eed Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) , Hujjatul Islam Maulana Syed Kalbe Husain Saheb Mujtahid (Taaba Therah) , Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Sa’adat Husain Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah), Hujjat-ul-Islam Maulana Syed Ali Naqi Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah). The other scholars and friends who also graduated this year were : Maulana Riyasat Husain Saheb Qibla Sethali , Maulana Syed Hasan Haider Saheb Qibla (Taaba Therah) , Maulana Sheikh Shabbir Hasan Saheb Azmi , Maulana Syed Sa’eed Akhtar Saheb Kazmi and Maulana Syed Sakhi Ahmed Saheb Qibla Sirsiwi (Taaba Therah).
The responsibilities of the propagation from the pulpit and the niche:
As mentioned above my father completed his studies in 1962 , graduated from the Nazmia Arabic College in Lucknow. His first service as an aalim began in the town of Kutch in Kera as he accepted the invitation of the momeneen. He continued to fulfil the duties as a shia scholar for 3 years. During these years 4-5 Agha-khwani families converted to the creed of Jafariya.
The journey to Africa:
In 1965 my father was getting ready to travel to the Eastern Africa and this trip was the result of the organizing of his dear and honourable companion Hujjatul-Islam Maulana Syed Ali Abid Saheb Qibla Rizvi Kararvi Mujtahid-ul-Asr and the invitation of the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Supreme Council. But before he went to Africa he obeyed his father’s wish to get married. The marriage ceremony was conducted but yet the depart (rukhsati) was left. This was performed 2 years later in 1967. When he arrived to the eastern Africa in 1965 he was offered to work as a shia scholar in different jamaats. During his stay in Uganda (Saroti) marhoom Haji Hasan Ali Bata and Ramzan Ali Bata embraced the religion of Truth in 1967. In 1969 on the 16th of nov. my eldest sister Azra Khatoon was born in Tanga (Tanzania) and soon after that in 1970 my father was granted the opportunity to go to the ziarat of Hajj-e-Baytullah and Madina-e-Muawwara . In 1971 on the 15th of march in the same town of Tanga (Tanzania) my elder brother, Mohammad Husain (Shameem Raza) was born. 7 months later my father left Africa with his family to go back to his homeland. When he returned to India he came to Nagalpur and worked in a khoja jamaat for 2 months nov. and dec. But his dearest and closest friend Marhoom Maulana Syed Feroz Haider Saheb continuously pushed him to come to Rampur (u.p) to perform the religious duties there. At first my father wasn’t ready to do that but the insistence of his friend made him leave Nagalpur and come to where he belonged.
The period of the propagation in Rampur:
From dec.1971-dec.1975 my father was offered a royal employment by the state of Rampur in the Masjid Maqbarah Janabe Aaliya. He offered the duties of the congregational prayers and other religious responsibilities. Together with that he had also the opportunity to benefit by the most famous library “Raza Library”. And by the support of his great elders : Marhoom Major Khursheed Saheb Kashmiri , Janab Syed Ali Muhammad Saheb Abidi and Marhoom Janab Syed Muhammad Sa’eed Saheb Sa’eed Zaidi he managed to continue with his literary works.
However my father was fond of writing articles in his early years. At the age of 15 years old his first article "Ajr-e-Risalat" was published in the Moharram nr. of the magazine "Waseeqa-Daar" Lucknow. After that his articles proceeded to be published in magazines like Sarfraz , Weekly Lucknow , Raza-Kaar Lahore , Payame Amal , Al-Jawad Banaras , Al-Waez , Nazzarah and
The Journey to Europe:
No matter how much my father enjoyed his stay in Rampur he didn't knew that one day he would have to leave his homeland for another journey , to Europe and this time for good. Upon the insistence of marhoom Haji Rajab Ali S.Maoji and marhoom Haji Br.Habeeb Waalji my father left Rampur in Dec.1975 and came to London with his trust in the real Provider , Allah. After a week of his stay in London my father continued to Sweden (Trollhattan). The first year of waiting for the permit to stay and for the salary agreement were the most heavy and trying days. However everything was sorted out in July 1977 when the Swedish Government finally agreed and approved to pay for his salary and for that my father once again offered his thanks to Allah s.w.t. Alhamdolillah. On the 5th of nov. in 1977 my younger brother was born , the dearest Dr.Ali Husain (Maroof Raza).
The first congregational prayers in the history of Sweden were performed in Trollhattan in the house of a muslim brother , the Majalis of the first Ashra-e-Moharram were delivered in the classroom of a school and in 1976 the first Nikah performed on Shia Islamic conditions was enacted in Jonkoping. The Jamaat of Trollhattan which then were a group of 45 members hired a local for the religious activities. Slowly the Jamaat of Trollhattan increased when brothers joined us from other cities and some sunni Agha-Khwani families converted to the religion of Truth. My father performed the religious duties as an Islamic scholar not only in Sweden but also did his best to serve the momeneen in the neighbour countries as Norway and Denmark because at that time there was no other shia scholar present in Scandinavia except my father.
In 1979 on the 26th of May my grandfather left this mortal world but unfortunately due to many reasons my father was prevented from going to India. On the 18th of dec. in 1979 Allah granted my younger sister Shahina Khatoon. In Feb.1983 the Irani Government invited my father to Iran to partake in the celebration of the ceremony of the 4th year of the Revolution. He was blessed with the opportunity to travel to this country and to visit the holy places. When he returned from this great journey he picked up his pen again and wrote down the complete journey. The memories of this journey were now safe in this book titled as "Sweden se Tehran tak" which was printed and published by the Ahbab Publishers Lucknow in Feb.1984. In dec.1983 the whole family went to India and after a year in dec.1984 we all went to Iran for ziarat. In dec. 1986 we performed Umrah and in 1987 on the 28th of sept. my youngest sister Malika Nargis Khatoon was born.
The construction of the first Shia Mosque:
Since the first day of my father’s arrival in Trollhattan he had the desire and a wish for a Shia Masjid and Imambargah to be built. Together with the endeavours of the Jamaat of Trollhattan this dream came true on the 15th of March in 1985 when we cut the first sod for the construction of our Shia Mosque and alhamdolillah by the grace of Allah the opening ceremony of the first Shia Masjid in Scandinavia was held on the 14th of Sept.1985. Trollhattan was now titled as the "Mecca" of Scandinavia. Unfortunately this masjid was set on fire in Aug.1993 but was rebuilt again and the opening ceremony of this second masjid was held on the 28th of Aug.in 1994.
In 1998 my father completed his latest book "Islam ki Ghulam Nawazi" which was printed and published by the Abbas Book Agency in Lucknow , this is the latest literary work but yet some books are standing in line waiting for being printed. Inshallah. Now as the Imam-e-Juma & Jamaat of the momeneen in Trollhattan my father continues with the religious services not only in Sweden but has given the opportunity to propagate Islam during the months of Moharram and Ramazan in Canada and several countries of Europe. By the grace of Allah he is also the founder and patron of the Idara S.H.I.A (Scandinavian Husaini Islamic Association).
Since 1975 Alhamdolillah my hon.father is continuing to serve the momeneen in Trollhattan and therefore I pray to my Lord , Allah the Almighty to give him more strength , ability and opportunity to continue with his duties i.e. Tableeghe Deen-e-Islam!
I would like to end this introduction by praying for my Respected father and for all Honorable Uluma-e-Karam who devote their lives for the propagation of the Religion of Truth. May Allah grant them a long , prosperous life and may Imam-e-Zamana A.S continue to guide and protect them. The great scholars of Islam will always be remembered and alive even when they are no longer in our midst and what's keeping them alive but their fight and struggle for the protection of Islam! Finally I raise my hands in supplication and pray to my Lord that may I follow my father's footsteps and succeed in my endeavours performed to follow the straight path of Deen-e-Haqq!! Ameen Thumma Ameen .