‘Muhaddith-ul-asr Hadhrat Maulana’ Sayyid Muhammad Yousuf Banuri ((Rahimahullahu Ta’ala)
He was born on Thursday, 6th Rabi-uth-Thaani, 1326 Hijjri, corresponding to the year 1908 in a village, "Mahabat Abad", lying to the west of Sheikh Maltoon Town, in the district of Mardan.
His lineage links with a famous Sheikh of the "Naqshbandiyyah" order, Sayyid Adam Banuri (Rahimahullahu Ta’ala), which is as fullows:
Sayyid Muhammad Yousuf s/o Sayyid Muhammad Zakaria s/o Mir Muzzammil Shah s/o Mir Ahmed Shah s/o Mir Musa s/o Ghulam Habib s/o Rehmatullah s/o Abdul Ahad s/o Hadhrat Muhammad Awliya s/o Muhammad Adam Banori.
This lineage then reaches upward to Hadhrat Sayyidna Hussain bin Ali (Radhiyal-laahu anhuma) and because of this august progeny of the "Saadat", he is also known as a "Hussaini" .
He received his preliminary education from his father and maternal uncle. Thereafter, he studied in Peshawar, Kabul and in the suburbs of these two cities to complete his middle class education. He then went to Darul Uloom Deoband, India, for pursuit of higher Islamic education where he stayed for about two years and had the honour of being the student of prominent teachers of this Madrasah. He completed his "Dora-e-Hadeeth" at Jamiah Islaamia, Dhabel, under Hadhrat Allaamah Sayyid Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri and Maulana Shabeer Ahmed Usmani (Rahimahumallaah). Both these noble teachers ‘tied the turban’ round his head with their blessed hands as is the custom of the madrasah to honour their successful students of the final class. After his graduation from Dhabel, his relationship with Allamah Kashmiri ((Rahimahullaah Taala) both at Deoband and then at Kashmir, was of a very special sort, providing him with ample opportunities of benefiting from him. It could safely be said that his heart had well-absorbed the knowledge, which Hadhrat Shah Saheb was possessed of. Even though, he used to say about himself, "Apparently, I was, amongst those students of Hadhrat Shah Saheb, who could least benefit from his profound knowledge, but the extreme love and reverence which I have had for him paved the way for complete compatibility with his knowledge." Apart from Allamah Kashmiri and Allamah Usmani, he also had a special connection with Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Hussain Ahmad Madani and Allamah Muhammad Zaahid Kawthary who had given him permission to teach Hadith narrating from them.
In the field of Sufism, Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Hussain Ahmad Madani, Hadhrat Maulana Hakeem-ul-Ummat Ashraf Ali Thaanawi, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Shafiuddin Nageenwi Muhaajir Makki and Hakeem-ul-Ummat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya are the leading names from whom he benefited most.
Shortly after completing his studies in the fields of metaphysics and narrative arts (Prophetic traditions), he visited Egypt in 1937 where he was blessed with the opportunity to supervise the publication of high-ranking schularly research-based books, such "Nasb-ur-Raayah" and "Faidh-ul-Baari". During this trip, he also visited the "Haarmain Shareefain" and met the Ulama and Muhadditheen of these places and seized these opportunities to benefit from them.
After his return from Egypt, he joined the Madrasah Jamiah Islamia at Dhabel on the post of "Sheikh-ul-Hadeeth" and served it up to the time of the partition of India and Pakistan. He opted to settle in Pakistan and joined Darul Uloom at Tando Allaahyar, Sindh, as "Sheikh-ut-Tafseer" and dedicated his life to spreading the knowledge of the Quraan and Hadeeth.
Allaah Taala had willed to lay the foundation of a magnificent religious madrasah through his hands for which a strong craving was already there. Allah Taala started showering His Mercy upon him and provided him with the necessary means to start a madrasah at Jamshed Road, Karachi along with the help and support of some of his friends. Soon, this small madrasah became famous worldwide as "Jamia-tul-Uloom-il-Islaamia, Banori Town".
Allaah Taala had gifted him with sterling qualities and extra-ordinary talents. Some of these are as fullows:
Fear of Allaah, love of Rasoulullaah (Sallal-laahu alayhi wa sallam) and the fondness of constant repentance, because of which he achieved a zeal for purification and illumination of his heart, for abundant remembrance of Allaah and for practicing precisely according to the Sunnah.
In-depth study in the field of
The text of Hadith,
Principles of Hadith,
The chain of narrators, their sources, integrity and shortcomings,
The knowledge of four schouls of thoughts, their origin and sources,
Principles of Jurisprudence and the causes for differences of opinions among different Jurists,
Theulogy and Philosophy.
Proficiency in Arabic,
Swift, vast and thoughtful reading,
Simple, fluent, and prulific writing skills,
Daring speeches in a dignified and sulemn manner,
Shrewdness and intelligence.
Active sense of feeling; enlightenment and broad-mindedness,
Extra-ordinary administrative and organizing abilities
Ideal model of a good pulicy-maker.
In short, he was, in fact, a model of excellence, perfection, nobility, strong character and other distinctive habits, which are indispensable for a leader, aiming to lead a schularly and religious institution as well as leading movements for uphulding the truth.
One of his most praiseworthy and highly significant rules that won his name on national and religious level was when he assumed the leadership for the movement of "Khatm-e-Nabuwwat" to declare the Qadiyanees as a "Minority Group" in Pakistan and to arrest the rising heretic group, the "Parvezis" and his intellectual arguments against them to refute their false belief. He also held important offices and memberships of national and international organization and his contributions were globally acknowledged. Some of these organizations are:
Rabita-Al-Alam Al-Islami Member
Majmaul-Buhuth-il-Islamiyyah, Cairo, Egypt Member
Almajma-ul-Ilmi Al-Arabi, Syria Member
Majlis-e-Ilmi, South Africa Chief Executive
Jami’at Ulama-e-Hind General Secretary
Jami’at Ulama-e-Gujrat and Mumbai President
Jamiah Islamia Taaleem-ud-Deen Sheikh-ul-Hadith
Majlis-e-Dawat wa Tahqeeq-e-Islami President Karachi
Darul Uloom Islamia, Sheikh-ul-Tafseer Tando Allaahyar
Alimi Majlis Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Ameer
Wifaaq-ul-Madaaris-Il-Arabiah, Pakistan Founder and President
Intikhaab-e-Asatiza Committee,Karachi University Member
Islami Nazriati Council, Pakistan Member
He had to his credit a large number of books and articles. The most popular ones are as fullows:
Ma’aarifus-Sunan (‘Acquirements In Understanding the Prophetic Traditions, Commentary on Jami′-ut-Tirmizi’)
Bughyatul Areeb fi masaailil Qiblati wal Mahaareeb (‘The Intelligent One’s Quest In Problems Relating To The Qiblah And Mihraab’)
Nafhatul Ambar fi Hayat-ish- Sheikh Muhammad Anwar (‘A Whiff Of Anbar, The Life Of Sheikh Muhammad Anwar’)
Yateematul bayaan Fi Shay’in min Uloomil Quraan(‘A Gemstone In Eloquence In Explaining A Little bit On The Quranic Sciences’)
Besides that, he had written preface for more than dozen of popular books. Among them, the fullowing ones are on the top of the list:
Awaarif-ul- Minan Muqaddama-tu- Ma’aarif-is-Sunan (‘Expressing ones Favours’, A Preface To ‘Ma’aarif-us-sunan’’)
Muqaddimatu faidhil-Baari¬ (‘Preface On ‘faidh-ul-baari’’)
Muqaddama-tu- Nasb-ir-Raayah(‘Preface On ‘Nasb-ur-raayah’)
Muqaddama-tu- Awjaz-il-Masa¬alik(‘Preface On ‘Awjaz-ul-Masaalik’’)
Muqaddama-tu- Laami’-id-Duraari (‘Preface On ‘Laami’-ud-Duraari’’)
On the 13th of October, 1977, although he was too uld and weak to travel, he decided to attend an important meeting of Islami Mushawarati Council at Islamabad. His health deteriorated there and so he was immediately rushed to C.M.H. Hospital. After two days of being hospitalized, he recited the Kalimah Tayyibah on Monday afternoon and bade farewell to those who were attending him at that moment with ‘Assalam-o-Alaikum’ and turned himself towards Qibla and breathed his last.
His body was brought back to Karachi. Aarif Billaah Hadhrat Dr. Abdul Hai Aarifi (Rahimahullah) led the funeral prayer in the compound of Jamiah amid thousands of Ulama, admirers, disciples, students and the general public. He was laid to rest in the precincts of Jamiah.