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Amin Ahsan Islahi

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Subject: Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Hamiduddin Farahi, Tahrif, Sahih al-Bukhari, Marriage in Islam
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Amin Ahsan Islahi

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi
Born 1904
Died 1997
Era Modern era
Region Indian subcontinent
School Sunni (non-Taqlidi)
Main interests
Qur'anic exegesis
Notable ideas
Concept of thematic and structural coherence in Quran

Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi (1904–1997) was a Pakistani Muslim scholar, famous for his Urdu exegeses of Quran, Tadabbur-i-Qur’an—an exegesis that he based on Hamiduddin Farahi's (1863–1930) idea of thematic and structural coherence in the Qur'an.

Early life

Imam Islahi was born in 1904 at Bamhur, a small village in Azamgarh, United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh), British India (now India). After graduating from Madrasah al-Islah in Azamgarh in 1922, he entered the field of journalism. He was son in law of Chaudhry Abdul Rehman Khan. First he worked as an associated editor in "Khoonch" a children magazine. Then he edited a newspaper "Madinah" at Bijnawr and also remained associated with "Sach", a newspaper taken out by Abdul Majid Daryabadi.

Inspiration from Hamiduddin Farahi

It was sometime in 1925 when Farahi offered Imam Islahi to come and study the Qur’an with him. Imam Islahi abandoned his journalistic career to benefit from this opportunity. It was in this forming period of his life in which he learnt from Farahi the principles of direct deliberation on the Book of Allah. During this time, he also taught the Qur’an and Arabic literature at the Madrasah.

After Farahi’s death, Imam Islahi studied Hadith from a celebrated scholar of this discipline, Abdu’l Rahman Muhaddith Mubarakpuri. In 1936, Imam Islahi founded the "Daira-i-Hamidiyyah", a small institute to disseminate the Qur’anic thought of Farahi. Under the auspices of this institute, he brought out a monthly journal "Al-Islah" in which he translated many portions of Farahi’s treatises written in Arabic. The journal was published till 1939, after which it was discontinued.

Association with Jamaat-e-Islami

Imam Islahi was among the founder members of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious party founded by the eminent Islamic scholar Mawdudi in 1941. During his seventeen-year stay in the party, he represented the intellectual element and remained a member of the central governing body, Majlis-i-Shura. During this period, he did the groundwork needed to write a commentary of the Qur’an – an objective which he had set before him early in life. In 1956, when the Government of Pakistan set up the Islamic Law Commission, Imam Islahi - also an eminent expert on Islamic law - served as a member until the commission was abolished in 1958 by the martial law regime of General Ayub Khan. In 1958, he abandoned the party after serious differences arose between him and Mawdudi on the nature of the constitution of the party.

Completion of Tadabbur-i-Qur’an

After leaving the Jamaat-e-Islami, he finally got the chance to achieve his goal of writing a commentary of the Qur’an. He also launched a monthly journal Mithaq in which portions of this commentary, Tadabbur-i-Qur’an were published. In 1961, he established a small study circle Halqa-i-Tadabbur-i- Qur’an for college students to whom he taught Arabic language and literature, the Qur’an and Sahih Muslim. In 1965, a tragic incident brought an end to the journal as well as to the study circle: Imam Islahi’s eldest son Abu Saleh died in a plane crash. However, work on the commentary continued. In 1970-71, Imam Islahi fell severely ill and had to discontinue all his intellectual pursuits. Later, he recovered quite miraculously. In 1972, he shifted to a countryside village near Sheikhupura, where he continued to work on the commentary till 1979, when he shifted back to Lahore. It was on the 29th of Ramadan 1400/August 12, 1980 that he finished his work on Tadabbur-i-Qur’an that took twenty-two years to complete.

In 1981 Imam Islahi founded the Idara-i-Tadabbur-i Qur’an-o Hadith, and appointed his close pupil Khalid Masud as first Nazam of the Idara. Now it is working under the supervision of Abdullah Ghulam Ahmed in Lahore Pakistan. It remained the centre of all his intellectual activities until his death (15 December 1997). A quarterly journal Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik in weekly sittings to a close circle of students and associates. After completing Al-Muwatta, he also taught some portions of Imam Bukhari’s Sahih Bukhari. Many of these lectures have been transcribed and published in the Tadabbur. Khalid Masud played a major role in coverting his speeches and lectures into publication for benefits of the Islamic scholars and public.


Besides Tadabbur-i-Qur’an,Complete Text of Tadabbur-i-Quran Imam Islahi has written a number of articles and authored a number of books on various topics of Islam, which includes:

Some of the works of Amin Ahsan Islahi
  1. ‘تزكيہ نفس’ (Tazkiyah-i-Nafs: Purification of the Soul)
  2. ‘حقيقت شرك’ (Haqiqat-i-Shirk: The Essence of Polytheism)
  3. ‘حقيقت توحيد’ (Haqiqat-i-Tawhid: The Essence of Monotheism)
  4. (Haqeeqat-e- Risalath: The Essence of Prophethood)
  5. Haqeeqath-e- Ma-aad : The Essence of Herafter
  6. ‘دعوت دين اور اس كا طريقہ كار’ (Da‘wat-i-Din awr us ka Tariqah-i-Kar: Islamic Message and the Mode of its Preaching)
  7. ‘اسلامى قانون كى تدوين’ (Islami Qanun ki Tadwin: Codification of Islamic law)
  8. ‘اسلامى رياست’ (Islami Riyasat: The Islamic State)
  9. ‘اسلامى معاشره ميں عورت كا مقام’ (Islami Mu‘asharay mayn ‘Awrat ka Muqam: The Status of Women in an Islamic Society)
  10. ‘حقيقت نماز’ (Haqiqat-i-Namaz: The Essence of the Prayer)
  11. ‘حقيقت تقوى’ (Haqiqat-i-Taqwah: The Essence of Piousness)
  12. ‘اسلامي رياست ميں فقہى اختلافات كا حل’ (Islami Riyasat mayn Fiqhi Ikhtilafat ka Hal: Solution of Juristic Differences in an Islamic State)
  13. ‘مبادي تدبر قرآن’ (Mabadi Tadabbur-i-Qur’an: Principles of Understanding the Qur’an)
  14. ‘مبادي تدبر حديث’ (Mabadi Tadabbur-i-Hadith: Principles of Understanding the Hadith)[1]
  15. ‘تنقيدات’ (Tanqidat: A collection of critical essays)
  16. ‘توضيحات’ (Tawdihat: A collection of general explanatory essays)
  17. ‘مقالات اصلاحي’ (Maqalat-i-Islahi: A miscellaneous collection of articles)
  18. ‘قرآن ميں پرده كے احكامات’ (Qur’an mayn Parday kay Ahkamat: The Directives of Hijab in the Qur’an)
  19. ‘تفہيم دين’ (Tafhim-i-Din: Understanding Islam)
  20. ‘فلسفـے كے مسائل قرآن كى روشنى ميں’ (Falsafay kay Matha’il Qur’an ki Rawshani mayn: Philosophical Issues in the Light of the Qur’an)
  21. Tadabbur -e- Hadeedh [2]

Imam Islahi also translated Farahi’s commentary consisting of fourteen Surahs of the Qur’an, as well as his following books from Arabic:

  1. ‘في من هو الذبيح’ (Fi man huwa al-Dhabih: Which of Abraham’s son was Sacrificed?)
  2. ‘اقسام القرآن’ (Aqsamu’l-Qur’an: Oaths of the Qur’an)[3]


Some of the notable students in Pakistan are Khalid Masud, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi [4], Mahbub Subhani, Mahmud Ahmad Lodhi, Majid Khawar, Abdullah Ghulam Ahmad, Saeed Ahmad and Muhammad Da'ud.

After his death Janab Khalid Masud was made responsible for his school of thought as his successor. Being in charge of Idara Taddabur e Quran o Hadith, Janab Khalid Masud made a remarkable job in converting and presenting Imam Islahi's school of thought to general public.

See also


  • A Brief Biographical Sketch of Islahi, Renaissance - Monthly Islamic Journal, Volume 8, Number 1-2, January & February 1998.
  • Mir, Mustansir. Coherence in the Qur’an: A Study of Islahi’s Concept of Nazm in Tadabbur-i Qur'an. Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1986. ISBN 0-89259-065-3.
  • Robinson, Neal. Discovering the Qur’an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text. London: SCM Press, 1996. ISBN 0-334-02649-0.
  • Khalid Masud: Amin Ahsan Islahi's Intellectual Heir (1935 — 2003) (pdf), The Mission Newsletter, Volume 9, Issue 3-4, March–April 2004.

External links

  • Amin Ahsan Islahi, Dar-ut-Tazkeer
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