Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi is well-known for his groundbreaking research on female Islamic scholars who studied hadith. The 57-volume compilation, which details and analyzes the biographies of over 9,000 female intellectuals from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present, is the culmination of a 15-year-long research project. This work is praised as a distinctive masterpiece in Islamic history.
He started his Islamic education in Madrasah al-Islah, a madrasah that was started by the great Indian scholar and thinker, Moulana Hamiduddin Al-Farahi. After completing his initial studies there, he went on to join the prestigious seminary, Nadwatul ‘Ulama. He completed his BA ‘Alimiyyah Degree and MA in Hadith Studies with first-class honours and was top of his class. He was directly appointed to teach at the Institute by the then-director, Shaykh Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi. While teaching at Nadwatul ‘Ulama, Dr Nadwi pursued further studies at Lucknow University in the field of economics (BA) and he then completed a PhD programme in Arabic Literature. At the request of Shaykh Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi, he joined the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford, as a research fellow in 1989. In addition to numerous research papers, he has authored and translated over 30 titles on Language, Jurisprudence, Qur’an, and Hadith. In 2013, he relinquished his post at the University of Oxford to focus on his own writings which include a comprehensive explanation of the classical hadith masterpiece Sahih Muslim.
Dr. Nadwi has over 30 years of writing and instructing expertise. His introductory publications on Arabic Grammar (Al-Nahw), Morphology (Al-Sarf), and Principles (Usul) of Tafsir, Hadith, and Fiqh are taught to ‘Alimiyyah (Islamic scholarship degree) students in madrasahs, Islamic institutes, and colleges around the world. He has also helped numerous Islamic colleges construct their curricula.
Akram Nadwi Books
The notion that all modern madrasahs are terrorist factories is a falsehood based on ignorance. This book reveals the daily routine of one well-known madrasah in India and so lifts the veil on that ignorance. It is an account that academics, journalists, pundits and all those concerned with current events and issues should read. It demonstrates that students in a traditional madrasah are given grounding in religious life without any weakening of intellectual breadth and refinement. Above all, the students learn to tolerate and accept different arguments and points of view and to appreciate different human temperament.
Shaykh ‘Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī Nadwī (1914-1999/1332-1419 AH), one of the most widely read and influential scholars of our time, was likened by his intellectual peers to the exemplary scholars of the earliest generations of Islam. His writings have been translated from Arabic or Urdu into all of the major languages of the world and remain popular from one generation to the next. In this account by a former student, various aspects of Shaykh ‘Abū al-Hasan’s life and works are presented – his education and upbringing, his role as a leader and guide, his writings, and his da’wah and tarbiyah (calling people to Islam and training others to do so). This biography sets out his response to groups and movements that did not share his distinctive approach to issues of concern to Muslims. The unifying theme of the book is Shaykh Nadwī’s timeless commitment, as a scholar and dā’ī, to the spiritual well-being of Muslims, emphasising their relationship with God and each other, and their response to Western cultural influences. The book coveres all the various aspects of the life and works of Shaykh ‘Abū al-Hasan ‘Alī Nadwī including the background of Muslims in India and the rest of the Muslim world from a political, intellectual and educational perspective, his life and influences upon his life such as his lineage, birth, upbringing, studies, journeys, teachers and key books, the biography then details his learning and writings in all aspects of da’wah and tarbiyah, the journeys he undertook for da’wah, the establishment and mission of Nadwat ‘Ulamā’, and then his leadership of Muslims in India, his handling of contemporary Islamic groups, and the positions and honours he held. The biography ends by describing Shaykh Nadwī’s character and death, his physical appearance, common habits, his daily routine and finally his death.
If the Oceans were Ink
If the Oceans Were Ink is Carla Power’s eye-opening story of how she and her long-time friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities. Their friendship-between a secular American and a madrasa – trained sheikh – had always seemed unlikely, but now they were frustrated and bewildered by the battles being fought in their names. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder; respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the controversial text. A journalist who grew up in the Midwest and the Middle East, Power offers her unique vantage point on the Quran’s most provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafes, family gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations filled with both good humour and powerful insights. Their story takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage sites in Mecca, as they encounter politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative scholars.Armed with a new understanding of each other’s worldviews, Power and Akram offer eye-opening perspectives, destroy long-held myths, and reveal startling connections between worlds that have seemed hopelessly divided for far too long.
Lessons Learned: Treasures from Nadwah’s Sages
“I joined Nadwat al-ʿUlamāʾ and felt as if I had been raised from the dusty ground to the stars up above, from the level earth to the high heavens. I came across ancient books and studied with great teachers who were knowledgeable scholars, learned scribes and pious worshippers. . . .” This is how Moḥammad Akram Nadwī fondly recalls his alma matter in the heart of Lucknow. Lessons Learned is a celebration of his journey of discovery, by sharing the biographies of some of his senior teachers along with lessons and insights learned along the way. The book is arranged topically as a critical survey of the Islamic sciences, and he selects one key teacher from each discipline he has chosen to highlight, giving us glimpses into their lives, personalities, habits and more. Some of these teachers are still alive, and many long gone but certainly not forgotten. All of this provides a poignant snapshot of life and scholarship at Nadwah and the Muslim literary and intellectual world of the Indian subcontinent.
Abu Hanifah: His Life, Legal Method & Legacy
“Based on primary sources, this study…surveys the evolution of Hanafi legal reasoning (fiqh) in the Islamic world and assesses its historical distinctiveness.” -Islamic Horizons
Abu Hanifah Nu’man ibn Thabit was one of the greatest pioneers in the history of Islamic Law, particularly in legal reasoning. The Hanafi Legal School that he founded has become the most widely followed among the world’s Muslims. Based on primary sources, this study of the life and legacy of Abu Hanifah also surveys the evolution of Hanafi legal reasoning (fiqh) in different regions of the Islamic world and assesses its historical distinctiveness.
Ibn Hazm On The Lawfulness Of Women Attending Prayers In The Mosque (Second Extended Edition)
Questions about the status of women, anti the evident injustice in Islamic societies of arrangements that claim to rest on the authority of the religion, are not only a ‘modem’ concern. The same questions can be, and were, asked from within the religion, and on its behalf. An example is the right of women to attend the prayers in the mosques, and what right (if any) others have to forbid that. ‘All ibn Hazm (d. 1064), the great Andalusian jurist, poet, and intellectual champion of the Zahiri school, discussed this issue in his Muhalla. In the text translated here, he demonstrates, on the basis of sound Prophetic and Companion hadiths, that it is lawful and commended for women (young or old) to attend the prayers in the mosques, and unlawful (for any reason, private or public) to stop them doing so.
Journey to Andalus
“Dr Akram has compiled a journal of his trip to Spain in the best series of the Muslim travelogue tradition.. What he has produced is a blazing journal a travel chronicle written straight from the heart, compiled with the stinging pen of emotion. It is filled with a rich combination of historical anecdotes, spiritual lessons and citations of verses from the best of Arabic and Urdu poets” – Dr. Abu Zayd, Translator