A devastating loss for the Ummah as our beloved Sheikh Uzair passed away in Makkah due to a heart attack at the age of 65. We are hearing of many of our senior scholars passing away every other week. It is like a pearl necklace that has had its string broken and one pearl after the other is falling down. May Allah Protect us all in such times.
We all belong to Allah and to Him we will return.
The Sheikh was the epitome of a true Ahl al-Hadith scholar. Despite being a walking library, forget encyclopedia, the Sheikh was an embodiment of the highest adab and humility. It is said,
The death of a scholar is the death of the world.
bio of Shaykh Muhammad Ozair Shams
Shaykh Muhammad Ozair Shams was born in 1957 in the province of Bihar in India in the village of Bankto in the area of Madhoni. His father Shamsul Haq and grand father Razaullah were distinguished scholars of their area. His father named him Ozair but later on he added “Muhammad” before and “Shams” after, hence he was named “Muhammad Ozair Shams”
Shaykh Ozair Shams started his studies in the Madrasah Faidh Aam in Mao where he completed level of Persian. He started his Arabic studies in 1966 in Dar Al-Ulum Ahmadiyah Salafiyah (Darbanghah, Bihar). He completed the second year of Arabic in Dar Al-Hadith (Bail Dhangah, Murshidabad, Bengal). He did his third and fourth years of Arabic studies in Madrasah Rehmaniyah (Banaris).
In 1970, he entered Jamiyah Salafiyah Banaris, where he completed level of Alimiyat in 4 years and level of Fazeelat in 2 years and he graduated from there in 1976. He also studied English language among new topics.
After graduating from Jamiyah Salafiyah, he travelled for a year and a half visiting different libraries and universities in Delhi, Patna, Lukhnow, Aligarh, Calcutta and other cities. In this period, he met many scholars and observed closely many groups and organisations. During this period, he worked many days to establish the list of Arabic manuscripts of the famous library in Patna called “Khuda Bakhsh Library”.
During this time in which he was travelling to different libraries, he came to know that he was accepted in Madeenah University and he reached Madeenah in February 1978. There he completed his BA in 4 years in Arabic Adaab. For his MA, he was accepted both in Madeenah and Makkah Ummul Qura University, but he opted for Makkah where he studied for 4 years and completed his MA. His Maqalah was on the poetry of Hali.
What is to be mentioned is that he was first of his promotion each year in Madeenah and each year in Ummul Qura Makkah.
After he registered for his PHD on the topic “Arabic poetry in India, critical review” and he completed his Maqalah but could not submit it due to some differences with his superior. He returned home from Umm ul Qura University but returned to Makkah soon where he works for many universities and institutes such as Ummul Qura University, Majma Malak Fahd in Madeenah and Islami Fiqh academy in Jeddah and others.
His teachers in India include:
1) His father Shaykh Shamsul Haq Salafi
2) His uncle Shaykh Aynul Haq Salafi
3) Shaykh Noor Azeem Nadwi
4) Shaykh Muhammad Rais Nadwi
5) Shaykh Muhammad Idrees Azad Rehmani
6) Shaykh Abid Hasan Rehmani
7) Shaykh Abdul Mueed Banarsi
8) Shaykh AbdulWaheed Banarsi
9) Shaykh AbdusSalam Rehmani
10) Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmad Nadwi
11) Shaykh Quratul Ayn A’zami
12) Shaykh AbdusSalam Teebi
13) Shaykh AbdusSalam Madni
14) Shaykh AbdurRahman Tonki
15) Shaykh SafiurRahman Mubarakpuri
16) Shaykh Raees Rahman A’zami
17) Shaykh Abdul Hannan Bastawi
18) Shaykh Hadi Talibi
19) Master Manzoor Ahmad
20) Master Aftab
21) Master Shamsudin
Most of his teachers in Madeenah University were Azhari scholars:
1) Dr Abdul Azeem Ali Shanawi
2) Shaykh Izudin Ali As-Sayid
3) Shaykh Ahmad As-Sayid Ghali
4) Shaykh Muhammad Qanadah Abdullah
5) Shaykh Mahfooz Ibrahim Faraj
6) Shaykh AbdulAziz Muhammad Fakhir
7) Shaykh Ibrahim Muhammad AbdulHameed Abu Sakeen
8) Shaykh Muhammad Ahmad Al-Gharb
9) Shaykh Ahmad Jamal Al-Umri
10) Shaykh Salih Ahmad Bello
11) Shaykh Taha Abu Raythiyah
12) Shaykh Muhammad Bello Ahmad Abu Bakr
13) Shaykh Abbas Mahjub
14) Shaykh Abdul Basit Badr
15) Shaykh Ali Nasir Faqeehi
16) Shaykh Jibran
His teachers in UmmulQura University include:
1) Dr Hasan Muhammad Bajwah
2) Shaykh Mahmud Hasan Zayni
3) Shaykh Abdul Hakeem Hasaan
4) Dr Ahmad Makki Ansari
5) Shaykh Ali Muhammad Al-Imari
6) Shaykh Abdul Aziz Al-Kafradi
7) Shaykh Lutfi AbdulBadi’
8) Shaykh AbdusSalam Fahmi
9) Shaykh Nu’man Ameen Taha
10) Shaykh Abdul Aziz Kishk
His written, translated, edited books
Shaykh Ozair Shams did not do anything in his life other than reading and writing. Since young he used to read a lot as he came from a family of scholars. He read many books in different sciences in Arabic, Persian and English and gained a lot from them.
His works on books of Allamah Shamsul Haq Azeemabadi
1) During his studies in Jamiyah Salafiyah Banaris, by reading the books of Shaykh Masood Alam Nadwi, Shaykh Ozair Shams became interested in compiling biographies in Arabic and Urdu. As he was very impressed in Hadith by Allamah Shamsul Haq Azeemabadi, he wrote an article on his life which was published in 1975 in two parts in the magazine “Maarif” (A’zamgarh)
2) Shaykh Ozair Shams was also very impressed with the books of Shaykh Albani and his method of verification; hence Shaykh Ozair Shams published his first book upon the same methodology of verification. His first published book was his verification of “Raf Al-Iltibas min Ba’din Naas” (Arabic) of Allamah Shamsul Haq Azeemabadi and it was published by Idarah Al-Buhuth Al-Islamiyah bil Jamiyah Salafiyah bi Banaris in 213 pages.
3) Afterwards, Shaykh Ozair Shams wrote a biography of Allamah Shamsul Haq Azeembadi in Arabic entitled “Hayat Al-Muhadith Shams Al-Haqq wa A’maluhu” and it was published by Idarah Al-Buhuth Al-Islamiyah bil Jamiyah Salafiyah bi Banaris in 365 pages.
4) Later on Shaykh Ozair Shams wrote a summary of it in Urdu entitled “Molana Shamsul Haqq Azeemabadi, Hayat wa Khidmat” in 142 pages and it was published by Ilmi Academy Karachi with the introduction of Shaykh Ata’ullah Haneef Bhujiyani.
5) This Urdu summary was then translated in English by Suhail Ahmad Farooqi and published by Ilmi Academy in 175 pages under the name “Allamah Shams Al-Haq Azimabadi, Life and Works”. It is available in the West on Amazon.
6) Shaykh Ozair Shams also compiled epistles and the Persian and Urdu Fatwa of Allamah Shamsul Haq Azimabadi and this collection was published with his verification under name “Majmuah Maqalat wa Fatawa Allamah Shamsul Haq Azeemabadi” with the Takhrij of Hafiz Shahid Mahmood by Dar Abi Tayab of Shaykh Arif Javed Muhammadi under Jamiyah Ihya Turath Kuwait in 710 pages.
7) Shaykh Ozair Shams did Tahqiq of “Ghayat Al-Maqsood Sharh Sunnan Abi Dawood” of Shaykh Shamsul Haq Azeembadi
8) Shaykh Ozair Shamms translated into Arabic the book “Hidayah An-Najdayn” of Shaykh Shamsul Haq Azeemabadi, on shaking hands and hugging after Eed prayers.
9) He translated into Urdu a book of Allamah Shamsul Azimabadi on Aqiqah, and the Urdu translation is entitled “Aqiqah ke Ahkam wa Masail”
His works during his studies in Madeenah University
In Madeenah University, Shaykh Ozair Shams was particularly interested in 3 things:
1) Arabic Manuscripts: he spent 3 years compiling the Fihrist of these manuscripts and he found occasion to learn about and read rare books.
2) Arabic poetry and literature: This was his BA topic and he read many poems of time of Jahiliyah especially the poet Tabata Shara and he read many books of poetry to compile his Diwan.
3) Science of Hadith: He read many manuscripts regarding this topic. He edited the book “Al-Alali Al-Manshurah fil Ahadith Al-Mashurah” of Az-Zarkashi by comparing different manuscripts. He perfected his knowledge of books of narrators through this.
His works on books of Allamah Abdul Aziz Memoni
In UmmulQura University, he studied all the books and edited works of Allamah Abdul Aziz Memoni and he became very influenced by Allamah Memoni’s great knowledge of Arabic language. Hence he decided to compile all the different epistles and books of Allamah Memoni which he published in 2 volumes under the name “Buhuth wa Tahqiqat lil Allamah Abdul Aziz Al-Memoni”.
Shaykh Ozair Shams also translated in Urdu some Maqalat of Shaykh Abdul Aziz Memoni
His works on Shah Isma’eel Dehlwi
With Allamah Abdul Aziz Al-Memoni and Allamah Shamsul Haq Azeemabadi, Shaykh Ozair Shams also worked on another great scholar of India, Shaykh Ismaeel Shah Dehlwi Shaheed (Insha Allah). He intended to write a complete biography of him, which he did not complete yet. He also intended to publish all of Shah Ismaeel books with his verification but for the moment, he only published “Rad Al-Ishrak”, which was written by Shaykh Isma’eel Dehlwi in Arabic against the different forms of Shirk prevalent in India. Shaykh Ozair Shams verified this book and did Takhrij of the Ahadith and it was reviewed by Shaykh Ataullah Haneef Bhujiyani and has been published many times, recently by Dar Al-Khazanah.
Shaykh Ozair Shams started the translation in Arabic of “Idah Al-Haq As-Sareeh” of Shah Ismaeel Dehlawi but it is not completed yet.
His verification of other books
1) “Radai’ At-Turath”: A collection of 10 rare epistles.
2) “Tarikh Wafat Shuyukh alazina Adrakahum Al-Baghawi” of Abul Qasim Al-Baghawi
3) “Juzz fihi Istidrakat Aisha ala Sahabah” of Abu Mansur Al-Baghdadi
4) “Taqyid Al-Muhmal wa Tamyiz Al-Mushkal” of Abu Ali Hayani in 3 volumes.
His other translatons to Arabic:
1) “Musadas Hali” in prose
2) “Itihaf An-Nabeeh fima Yahtaju ilayhi Al-Muhadith wal Faqeeh” of Shah Waliyullah Muhadith Dehlawi, and Shaykh Atau’llah Haneef Bhujiyani added notes to it and published it by his Maktabah Salafiyah Lahore.
3) “Miyar Al-Haqq” of Shaykh Mian Nazeer Husayn Dehlawi, not completed yet
His other translations to Urdu:
1) “Parde ke Ahkam” of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Sindhi
2) “Qawaid Tarteel” published by Dar Al-Waseelah Jeddah
3) Resolutions and recommendations of Islami Fiqh Academy Jeddah
Recently, Hafiz Shahid Mahmood compiled the Maqalat of Shaykh Ozair Shams and published its first volume by “Dar Abi Tayab”, the organisation of Shaykh Arif Javed Muhammadi under Ihya Turath Kuwait. More volumes are being prepared and will soon be published insha Allah.
During his studies in Jamiyah Salafiyah Banaris, Shaykh Ozair Shams compiled the Tarjamah of more than 600 Ahl e Hadith scholars but he did not publish it yet.
His role in collecting the articles of Shaykh Ataullah Haneef Bhujiyani
Shaykh Ozair Shams had made the Fihrist of all articles and Fatawa written by Shaykh Ataullah Haneef Bhujiyani, and these articles and Fatawa have then been compiled by Shaykh Ahmad Shakir, son of Shaykh Ataullah Haneef Bhujiyani, and published in 4 volumes by Maktabah Salafiyah Lahore under the name “Athar Haneef Bhujiyani”
His works on books of Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah
Shaykh Ozair Shams did a lot of work on books of Shaykhul Islam Ahmad ibn Taymiyah and he became famous around the world for this until some scholars called him “The Ibn Taymiyah of our times”.
Shaykh Ozair Shams did the following works:
1) He compiled all mentions of scholars on Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah and his biography under name “Al-Jami li Seerah Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah” and put some notes on some who criticised him on some points. Shaykh Ali Al-Imran co-authored this work which was published by “Dar Alam Al-Fawaid”, under the supervision and with the introduction of Allamah Bakr Abu Zaid, 955 pages. Shaykh Ali Al-Imran added a second small volume to it under the name “Takmilah Al-Jami li Seerah shaykhil Islam ibn Taymiyah” in 164 pages.
2) He compiled a Fihrist of all published works in 14 and 15 centuries written on Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah, whether a book or articles or university Maqalah. This work is still underway.
3) He compiled a Fihrist of all manuscripts, different published editions and books translated in different languages of Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah. This Fihrist is still underway.
4) He selected and summarised some Fatawa of Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah, which were afterwards translated in Urdu by Hafiz Abdul Jabbar and published by Dar Abi Tayab under the name “Fatawa Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah” in 5 volumes.
5) He gathered and published many books and epistles of Shaykhul Islam for the first time, gathering manuscripts from Europe and other libraries. He published these books under the name “Jami Al-Masail li Shaykhil Islam Ahmad ibn AbdilHaleem ibn AbdisSalam ibn Taymiyah” under the Idarah “Dar Alam Al-Fawaid” established by Allamah Bakr Abu Zaid.
“Jami Al-Masail” has 9 volumes of epistles of Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah and all these volumes have been verified by Shaykh Ozair Shams apart the 7 and 9. Volume 7 of “Jami Al-Masail” has been verified by Shaykh Ali Al-Imran and volume 9 by Shaykh AbdurRahman ibn Hasan Qaaid.
“Dar Alam Al-Fawaid” also published other books of Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyah for the first time or in a complete manner, and some of these books have been verified by Shaykh Ozair Shams:
1) “Qaidah fil Ihtisan”
2) “Jawab Al-I’tiradhat Al-Misriyah ala Futiya Al-Hamawiyah”
3) “Tanbih Ar-Rajul Al-Aqil ala Tamwiyah Al-Jadal bil Batil” in company of Shaykh Ali Al-Imran in 2 volumes.
4) “Sharh Al-Umdah”: Shaykh Ozair Shams verified the 4th and 5th volumes which his student Shaykh Nabeel Nisar Sheikh Sindi did Takhrij of, while the first two volumes of “Sharh Al-Umdah” have been verified by Shaykh Ajmal Al-Islahi and the 3rd by Shaykh Ali Al-Imran
His verification of books of Hafiz ibn Al-Qayim
Allamah Bakr Abu Zaid wanted to publish all books of Hafiz ibn Qayim with a great standard of verification based on many manuscripts, so his Idarah Dar Alam Al-Fawaid republished all books of Hafiz ibn Al-Qayim, and many of these have been verified by Shaykh Ozair:
1) “Ar-Risalah At-Tabukiyah” (Within the volume “Majmoo Ar-Rasail)
3) “Rawdatul Muhibeen”
4) “Ighathah Al-Lahfan” in 2 volumes.
5) “Al-Kalam ala Masalah As-Sima”
6) “Ilam Al-Muqaiin (6 vol): Shaykh Ozair Shams verifed the 3rd and 4th volumes and the others were verified by Shaykh Ajmal Islahi.
7) “Zaad Al-Ma’ad” (7 vols): Shaykh Ozair Shams verified the 2nd and 6th completely and the 5th with Shaykh Ali Al-Imran, while Shaykh Ajmal Islahi verified the 1st and 4th and Shaykh Nabeel Nisar Sheikh Sindi verified the 3rd.
8) “Madarij As-Salikin” (4 vols): 3rd volume completely and 4th with others.
9)) “Ahkam Ahl Az-Zimmah” (2 vols): Shaykh Ozair Shams verified the 1st volume and Shaykh Nabeel Nisar Sheikh Sindi verified the 2nd.
2 volumes of “Faharis” of these books of Hafiz ibn Al-Qayim have also been compiled by Shaykh Ozair Shams alongside Shaykh Ali Al-Imran, Shaykh Ajmal Al-Islahi and Shaykh Nabeel Nisar Sheikh Sindi.
His verification of book of Allamah Al-Mu’allimi
Shaykh Bakr Abu Zaid also started the project of republishing all the books of Shaykh Al-Mu’allimi, hence they were published under the name “Athar Al-Allamah AbdurRahman ibn Yahya Al-Mualimi” by Dar Alam Al-Fawaid, and Shaykh Ozair Shams verified many books of this collection:
1) “Tahqiq Al-Kalam fil Masail Ath-Thalath” in company of Ali Al-Imran
2) “At-Tankeel” in company of Ali Al-Imran and Ajmal Islahi
3) “Majmu Rasail Al-Fiqh” (40 epistles)
4) “Majmu Rasail Usul Al-Fiqh” (5 epistles),
5) “Mujam Shawahid Ash-Sha’riyah”
His introduction to books
Shaykh Ozair Shams introduced many books and the list is too long, the noble Shaykh honoured Umm-ul-Qura Publications for introducing the following books:
1) “Difa Sahih Al-Bukhari” of Shaykh Abul Qasim Sayf Banarsi
2) “Ziarat e Qabr Nabawi” of Shaykh Basheer Sahsawani
3) “Lamhat” of Shaykh Rais Nadwi
4) “Ila Sunnan fil Mizan” (Arabic) of Shaykh Irshadul Haq Athari
5) “Quran Hakeem ki Muntakhab Ayat ki Tafsir” of Shaykh Haneef Nadwi
6) “Ahl e Hadith ka Dini Tasawwur” of Shaykh Haneef Nadwi.
We also had the honour to translate into English “Fatwa fil Ghawth Qutb Abdal wal Awtad” of Shaykhul Islam ibn Taymiyah with Shaykh Ozair’s lengthy introduction and Tahqiq. The name of the English translation is “The Fatwa regarding the Gawth, Qutbm Abdal and Awtad”
Source of biography: Adapted from “Qafilah Hadith” of Shaykh Ishaq Bhatti and others