In anticipation of our upcoming meeting with one of the great living scholars of ḥadīth in India, I am releasing a brief biography. I ask Allah to grant us immense barakah in this upcoming tour.
Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿUbaydullah Mubārakpūrī
Born in the Indian city of Mubārakpūr, Azamghar district in UP state in 1354H, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Mubārakpūrī is a graduate of the esteemed Raḥmāniyyah Seminary who studied under the renowned scholars of India, starting with his father Maulānā ʿUbaydullah b. Muḥammad Raḥmānī Mubārakpūrī author of the popular 9-volume commentary on the ḥadīth work Mishkāt al-Maṣābīḥ entitled Mirʿāt al-Mafātīḥ. His maternal uncle and father-in-law ʿAbd al-Ṣamad b. Muḥammad Akbar was the most distinguished student of the great ḥadīth scholar Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Mubārakpūrī, well-known author of the best commentary on Tirmidhī entitled Tuḥfat al-Aḥwadhī. His paternal grandfather ʿAllāmah Abul-Hudā ʿAbd al-Salām Mubārakpūrī was also a great scholar who authored a biography on Imām Bukhārī.
Shaykh ʿAbd al-Raḥmān memorized portions of the Qurʾān and learned basic Islamic studies from his mother, then enrolled in the Islamic seminary in Mubārakpūr which was founded by the previously mentioned ḥadīth scholar ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Mubārakpūrī.
After his primary studies, he proceeded to learn the Arabic language and its sciences in detail as well as lessons in Bulūgh al-Marām from his father, and then enrolled in the Islamic University in the industrial town of Maunath Bhanjan, formerly known as Mau. There he spent 4 years and studied various texts and sciences under a number of scholars such as Shaykh Muḥammad Aḥmad, Muḥammad ʿAbdullah Shāʾiq, Muḥammad Sulaymān al-Miʾawī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Miʾawī, Jamīl Aḥmad al-Miʾawī, ʿAbd al-Subḥān, Ḥabīb al-Raḥmān, Shaykh ʿAẓīmullah and others.
He moved next to the famous Raḥmāniyyah Seminary in the city of Benares, also known as Varanasi, where he spent another 4 years, studying Bukhārī, Muslim, the other books of ḥadīth, Shāh Waliullah’s Ḥujjatullah al-Bālighah and al-Fawz al-Kabīr, as well as other texts under the teaching of Shaykh Nadhīr Ḥusayn Raḥmānī, Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ʿUmarī, Shaykh Faḍl al-Raḥmān Miʾawī, and Shaykh ʿAbd al-Laṭīf Ḥarīrī. He was awarded the ʿĀlamiyyah degree in 1375H/1956, and next spent 4 years teaching in the Islamic University in Mau.
During this time, he was also able to spend 4 months in the renowned Iṣlāḥ Seminary and benefited from the likes of Maulānā Akhtar Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī and other scholars such as Niẓām al-Dīn Iṣlāḥī, Ṣaghīr Aḥmad Iṣlāḥī and Sulṭān Aḥmad.
He returned to serve his father for a number of years, assisting him in the writing of his commentary, until 1962, when he learned of the new establishment of the Islamic University of Madīnah. After securing his father’s permission, he left for the City of the Prophet, where he enrolled in the College of Sharīʿah, the only portion that was open at the time. There he studied Bulūgh al-Marām under the esteemed Muftī of the Kingdom Shaykh Ibn Bāz in the first year, and then under the famous ḥadīth scholar Shaykh Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī in the second and third years. He also studied tafsīr with Shaykh Muḥammad al-Amīn al-Shanqīṭī the renowned author of Aḍwāʾ al-Bayān, theology with Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād, fiqh and rhetoric with Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir Shaybah al-Ḥamd, grammar with Shaykh Muḥammad al-Ashqar and Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Shuqrah, Arabic literature and daʿwah with Shaykh ʿAṭṭiyah Muḥammad Sālim, ḥadīth sciences with Shaykh Muḥammad Ghandlawī, ḥadīth terminology with Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ghaffār Ḥasan, rhetoric with Shaykh Muḥammad Niẓām al-Dīn Nadwī, and other subjects under Muḥammad al-Majdūb. Following his formal studies, he spent additional time studying the principles of judging under the esteemed scholar and judge-turned-teacher Shaykh ʿAbd al-Laṭīf. Following his studies, he also spent valuable time with and particularly benefitted from the company of the great traveler and prolific author of 160 works Shaykh Muḥammad b. Nāṣir al-ʿAbūdī, the rector of the University of Madīnah at the time, who gifted him with valuable books about his travels, gave him exclusive time despite his busy schedule and left an indelible impression upon him.
After enrolling in an English language program and being awarded an Intermediate Certificate in English, he was sent by Dār al-Iftāʾ under the personal selection of Shaykh Ibn Bāz to the Republic of Rodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, as a teacher and guide in the capital city of Salisbury, where he remained from 1967 to 1971.
In 1971, he returned to serve his father in his final days, where he helped his father complete his commentary and other books. After testing him, his father granted him Ijāzah to narrate from him and carry on his legacy.
Today, many of the leading scholars and shuyūkh in the world have received ḥadīth Ijāzahs from him, including Shaykh ʿUmar Muḥammad Fullāta, Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl al-Muqaddim, Abū Isḥāq al-Huwaynī, Muḥammad Ḥasān, Aḥmad Farīd, Waleed Edrees al-Maneesī, Muḥammad Ziyād al-Tuklah and others.
He has taught in Masjid al-Ḥarām in Makkah during the Ḥajj season at the bequest of the late Shaykh Ṣāliḥ b. Ḥumayd as well as in the permanent chair of the ḥadīth scholar of Makkah Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq al-Hāshimī. He has had the unique honor of praying inside the Kaʿbah, where he prayed based upon the descriptions of the Prophet’s prayer therein from the books of ḥadīth. The Shaykh has seven children, three sons, all of whom are graduates from the College of Ḥadīth in Madīnah University, and four daughters, some of whom are graduates of Fāṭimah ZahrāʾCollege in Maunath. He no longer teaches formally but travels throughout the world for scholarly conferences and lectures.