Ahmed Ali Banskandi

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Shaikhul Hadith, Mawlāna

Ahmed Ali Banskandi
2nd President of Assam State Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind
In office
1957 – 11 June 2000
Preceded byNoor Ali Badarpuri
Succeeded byMaulana Abdul Haque
Amir-e-Shariat, of Northeast India
In office
1990 – 11 June 2000
Badarpur, Assam, British India
Died11 June 2000(2000-06-11) (aged 84–85)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Resting placeIn the campus of Darul Uloom Banskandi, Banskandi
NationalityBritish India
Alma materDarul Uloom Deoband
TeachersHussain Ahmad Madani, Izaz Ali Amrohi

Ahmed Ali Banskandi (also known as Ahmed Ali Badarpuri or Ahmed Ali Assami; 1915–11 June 2000) was an Indian Islamic scholar, a freedom fighter, an educationist, and a great Jamiat leader. He served as the president of the Assam State Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind for 44 years.

Early life and education

Ahmed Ali Badarpuri was born in 1915 in Badarpur, Assam, into a Sufi family. His noble lineage reaches back to Manowar Khadim Yemeni, the attendant of Shah Shikandar Ghazi, a distinguished colleague of Shah Jalal Mujarrad Yemeni.[1] [2]

Badarpuri completed his primary education at Badarpur and then enrolled at the Sylhet Government Alia Madrassa in 1938. There he met Hussain Ahmad Madani first after his matriculation exam. In 1940, he completed his graduation in Islamic studies and took the oath of allegiance (bay'at) at the holy hand of Madani, who went to Sylhet with a view to spending Ramadan. In the same year, he attended Darul Uloom Deoband to re-complete his graduation, but came back home being attacked with the evil eye and having to suffer from a prolonged illness. Until independence, he involved himself in the freedom movement. In 1950, Assami started his journey again to Deoband. He had to study under famous teachers including Hussain Ahmad Madani, Izaz Ali Amrohi, Abdus Samee Deobandi, Abdul Ahad Deobandi, and Ziaul Hasan. He memorised the holy Qur'an in only two and a half months. He was known as Imam Bayhaqi and Jinne Mumin among his fellow students. He completed his graduation (Daura-e-Hadith) in 1950 and his explanatory course (Daura-e-Tafsir) in 1951.[3][4][5]

In 1952, Badarpuri went to Makkah and Madina for the enrichment of spiritual knowledge. There he spent one year, which gave him the opportunity to bring stones daily for the extension of Masjid an-Nabawi. He then returned to India with the knowledge of gnosis (ma'rifat). He attained the pinnacle of spiritual glory[6][7][8] and achieved successorship (khilafat) from Madani in 1954.[6][7][8][9][10][11]


Badarpuri started his career as a teacher at Darul Uloom Banskandi. In 1955, Hussain Ahmad Madani sent him there without any invitation from the institution. The madrassa authority refused to appoint him as a teacher. However, they later accepted him after they obtained a letter from Madani in which he called Ahmad Ali a great gift from Allah and also a man of absolute piety (taqwa) and a rare one. Madani even spent there the last two Ramadans of his life and inaugurated the Prophetic Tradition (Hadith) by himself.[12][13][14]

In 1957, Madani appointed him to the post of Shaykhul Hadith and entrusted to him the charge of the institution. Under his patronage, it turned into an Islamic university from a single cottage. Asami retained his position until his last breath. Thus, his glorious teaching career lasted for over 45 years.[12][13][14]

In 1957, he was unanimously elected president of the Assam State Jamiat Ulama-e Hind. Before it, he had to work as a secretary, convener, and simple worker. He proved his exceptional leadership quality by facing the Pakistani Deportation Movement, also known as the Bongal Kheda Movement, which intensified in the sixties and continued into the 1970s and 1980s.[15][16][17]

He raised a strong voice against the then Chaliha government and compelled it to stop inhuman tortures of minorities in the name of foreigners. He boldly faced the Assam Movement, which peaked with the Nellie massacre. He stood by the victims, providing quick relief. He forced Hiteswar Saikia, law minister Abdul Muhib Mazumdar, and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to provide some special protections for the minorities. The result was the IMDT Act of 1983.[15][16][17]

In the early 1990s, Badarpuri had to face another movement known as the Bodo Movement, which created a cruel massacre in lower Assam. He raised a strong demand with the government for the security and rehabilitation of the victims. He even shouldering the burden of 600 homeless orphans affected by this movement and sheltered them in Banskandi madrasa. Thus, he fought against any kind of injustice and finally against some communal remarks made by the government in arranging a historical Jamiat meeting at Guwahati on 1st April, 2000.[15][16][17]

Badarpuri participated in the freedom struggle, inspired by his teacher, Hussain Ahmad Madani. He was arrested and imprisoned several times for anti-British activities. He worked in support of the Jamiat and opposed the partition of India. He even took a bold step to get Sylhet into India during the Sylhet Referendum held in July 1947.[18][19][20][21]

He sacrificed his life for the welfare activities of the people and Islam. He founded thousands of mosques, madrasas, khanqahs, and finally the Gauhati Khanqah, where thousands of people visit every year seeking spiritual guidance. He opposed the hypocrisy and deviance of the Qadianis. He even wrote a book in bangla, named Khatme Nabuwwater O Qadianiater Gumrahir Akatya Dalil Samooh [22][23][24][25][26][27]

His dislike of worldly possessions and thousands of miracles (karamats) really surprised people. People irrespective of caste, creed, and community visited him. His visitors include even great political leaders like Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, and many others.[28]

Honours and Positions

The Ahmed Ali Banskandi Award is instituted by the Tarun Gogoi Government after Ahmed Ali Badarpuri. The award was accorded to honour this historic Muslim personality or legendary Sufi saint.[29][30][31][32] Since 1990, he also served as the president of Imarat-e-Sharia, or Amir-e-Shariat, of Northeast India until his death.[29][33][34]

Literary works

Badarpuri wrote a number of books in Bengali. These include:[35][36][37]

  • Alam-e-Barzakh (transl. The World Between Death and Resurrection)
  • Pabitra Haram Trayer Itihas (transl. The History of the Three Holy Mosques)
  • Fuyuz-e-Madani (transl. Blessings of Madani)
  • Jamiat-er Mul Katha (transl. Key Points of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind)
  • Elme Ma'rifater Bishista Bahantray O Mashaekh Charit (transl. The Three Main Vehicles of Gnosis and Biographies of Sufi Scholars)
  • Fazail-e-Shaban, Ramadan (transl. Virtues of Shaban and Ramadan)
  • Khatme Nabuwwater O Qadianiater Gumrahir Akatya Dalil Samooh (transl. Irrefutable Proofs of Khatme Nabuwwat and the Deviances of the Qadianis)
  • Salasil-e Tayyibah (transl. The Holy Chains of the Sufi Scholars)
  • Zuhur-e-Mahdi O Nuzool-e-Isa (transl. The Appearance of Imam Mahdi and the Arrival of the Prophet Isa Alaihis Salam)

Death and Legacy

On 11 June 2000, Badarpuri died in Mumbai. His dead body was flown to Assam. On 13 June, he was buried within the campus of Darul Uloom Banskandi. His funeral prayer was attended by more than 5 lakhs grieved people.[38][39][40][21][41]

He is survived by his son, Muhammad Yahya, who is Amir-e-Shariat of Northeast India.[42][43]

Many great personalities expressed deep shock in their condolence letters for him. As'ad Madani termed his death the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. Sonia Gandhi called him a freedom fighter who always tried to maintain peace and social harmony among the different sections of people. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, the then chief minister of Assam, called him a symbol of peace, love and social harmony. Santosh Mohan Dev opined that his death was a loss to the whole country.[44][21]


  1. Qasmi 2010, pp. 8–9.
  2. Banskandi 1992, p. 1.
  3. Banskandi 1992, pp. 1–8, 13.
  4. Ahmed 2000, pp. 6–7, 54–55.
  5. Qasmi 2010, pp. 10–14.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Banskandi 1997, p. 7.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Banskandi 1992, p. 12–13, 18.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Qasmi 2010, pp. 7, 16.
  9. Farqaleet, Mohammad Usman; Barni, Bahar, eds. (10 July 1998). "Shaikhul Islam Number (A special issue)". Al-Jam'iyyat Weekly (in اردو) (2nd ed.). Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi: Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind: 16.
  10. Al-Wahidi, Farid (1991). "Caliphs". Shaikhul Islam Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani: Ek Sawanihi O Tareekhi Mutala'a [Shaykh-ul-Islam Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani: A Biographical and Historical Study] (in اردو). Zakir Nagar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi: Qaumi Kitab Ghar. p. 828.
  11. Hanif, N. (2000). Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis: South Asia. Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi: Sarup and Sons. p. 357. ISBN 9788176250870.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Qasmi 2010, pp. 17–21.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Qasmi 2000, pp. 3–4.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Banskandi 1992, pp. 18–21.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Qasmi 2010, pp. 20–23, 39–42.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Raghibi & Mustafi 2000, pp. 41–47, 51.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Islam 2000, p. 9.
  18. Raghibi 1994, pp. 4–6.
  19. Banskandi 1992, pp. 4–5.
  20. Raghibi & Mustafi 2000, pp. 11–17, 51.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 "চিরনিদ্রায় মৌলানা আহমেদ আলি..." [Maulana Ahmad Ali in eternal sleep...]. Dainik Sonar Cachar (in Bengali). Cachar, Assam. 12 June 2000. p. 1.
  22. Ahmed, 2000 & 15, 38–39.
  23. Ali, Sayid Yasin (1998). Khanqah–A brief introduction (in অসমীয়া). Ali Nagar, Sijubari, Guwahati, Assam: Sayid Yasin Ali. pp. 2–5.
  24. Qasmi 2010, pp. 29–32.
  25. Raghibi & Mustafi 2000, pp. 27, 54.
  26. Banskandi 1998, pp. 21–38.
  27. Amini, Noor Alam Khalil, ed. (November–December 2013). "فضيلة الشيخ أحمد علي رحمه الله وجهوده التربوية والإصلاحية بولاية «آسام» الهندية؛ بقلم فريد الدين أحمد" [Sheikh Ahmed Ali and his educational and reform efforts in the Indian state of Assam by Fariduddin Ahmad]. Al-Da'i (in العربية). Deoband: Darul Uloom Deoband. 38 (1–2).
  28. Qasmi 2010, pp. 25–32.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Qasmi 2010, pp. 23–24, 98–100.
  30. "Ahmed Ali Baskandi Award presented". www.sentinelassam.com. The Sentinel. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  31. Khosa, Aasha (3 July 2022). "Assam revives awards in the name of historic Muslim personalities". www.awazthevoice.in. Awaz The Voice. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  32. "CM presents Ahmed Ali Baskandi Award". assamtribune.com. The Assam Tribune. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  33. Banskandi 1992, p. 26.
  34. Qasmi, Muhammadullah Khalili (October 2020). Darul Uloom Deoband Ki Jami' o Mukhtasar Tārīkh [A comprehensive and brief history of Darul Uloom Deoband] (in اردو) (3rd ed.). Deoband: Sheikh Ul Hind Academy, Darul Uloom Deoband. pp. 736–737.
  35. Raghibi & Mustafi 2000, pp. 65–66.
  36. Qasmi 2010, pp. 171–175.
  37. Islam 2000, p. 4.
  38. Qasmi 2010, p. 119.
  39. Islam 2000, p. 11.
  40. Raghibi & Mustafi 2000, p. 1.
  41. Ahmed 2000, p. 92.
  42. Qasmi, Tayyib Ahmed (2016). Khanquah (1st ed.). Ahmad Ali Nagar, Hatigaon, Guwahati, Assam: Khanquah Shaikhul Hadith Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Ali. p. 3.
  43. "Markazul Maarif Mumbai Holds its 18th Convocation". deoband.net. 7 April 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  44. Qasmi 2000, pp. 20–21.

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