Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi

احمد رضاخان بریلوی‎,‬

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi


Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (1856-1921) was a prominent Islamic scholar and theologian in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is known for his role in the Sunni Barelvi movement, defending Sunni orthodoxy, and issuing influential religious edicts (fatwas). His legacy endures in the South Asian Islamic landscape.

Resting place

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, a prominent Sunni Islamic scholar and founder of the Barelvi movement in Sunni Islam, is buried in the city of Bareilly, located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. His shrine, known as the Dargah Ala Hazrat, is a significant pilgrimage site for Sunni Muslims and a center for religious and scholarly activities. The shrine is a place of reverence and devotion for his followers, who visit to pay their respects and seek blessings.

Notable work

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (1856-1921) was a prominent Islamic scholar and religious leader in British India. He is best known for his contributions to the Barelvi movement, a revivalist and reformist movement within Sunni Islam. Some of his notable works and contributions include:

1. Fatawa Razawiyya: This is one of his most significant works. It is a comprehensive collection of Islamic legal opinions (fatwas) covering a wide range of issues. The Fatawa Razawiyya is considered an authoritative source of Islamic jurisprudence within the Barelvi tradition.

2. Kanz-ul-Iman: Ahmed Raza Khan translated and interpreted the Quran into Urdu in a work known as Kanz-ul-Iman (The Treasure of Faith). This translation is highly regarded within the Barelvi movement and is known for its accessibility and clarity.

3. Naat Poetry: Ahmed Raza Khan was a prolific writer of Naat poetry, which is a form of Islamic devotional poetry praising the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). His poetry has had a significant impact on the devotional practices and traditions of the Barelvi movement.

4. Defense of Sunni Beliefs: Ahmed Raza Khan was known for his staunch defense of Sunni beliefs and practices, particularly in opposition to what he saw as unorthodox and heretical beliefs. He wrote extensively on topics related to Sunni theology and refuted what he considered to be deviant beliefs within Islam.

5. Opposition to Deobandism: He engaged in debates and polemics with scholars of the Deobandi movement, which was a rival revivalist movement in British India. These debates and writings on theological differences between Barelvis and Deobandis are an important aspect of his legacy.

Ahmed Raza Khan’s influence is most pronounced within the Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, and his works continue to be studied and revered by his followers to this day. It’s important to note that his influence is primarily within the South Asian subcontinent, and his works are often a source of controversy and debate within the broader Muslim community.

Early life

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, also known as Imam Ahmed Raza Khan, was a prominent Islamic scholar and leader in South Asia. He was born on June 14, 1856, in the Bareilly district of British India, which is now part of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He belonged to a Sunni Muslim family known for its religious scholarship and piety.

Here is a brief overview of the early life of Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi:

1. Family Background: Ahmed Raza Khan came from a family of Islamic scholars and jurists. His father, Naqi Ali Khan, and grandfather, Raza Ali Khan, were respected religious scholars, and they played a significant role in shaping Ahmed Raza Khan’s religious education and upbringing.

2. Early Education: Ahmed Raza Khan received his initial education in Islamic studies and the Quran from his family members. He displayed exceptional talent and a deep passion for religious learning from a young age.

3. Writings and Scholarship: As he grew older, Ahmed Raza Khan became a prolific writer and scholar. He authored numerous books and treatises on various aspects of Islamic theology, jurisprudence, and spirituality. His writings were well-received within the Barelvi school of Sunni Islam.

4. Religious Leadership: Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi became a prominent leader within the Barelvi movement, which is a subsect of Sunni Islam known for its devotion to the Prophet Muhammad and the promotion of Sufi practices. He was a staunch defender of the traditional practices and beliefs of the Barelvi school.

5. Opposition to Reform Movements: He was critical of various Islamic reform movements in British India, particularly those that sought to introduce what he saw as “innovations” in Islamic practice. He engaged in debates and issued religious verdicts (fatwas) against those who he believed deviated from what he considered orthodox Sunni beliefs and practices.

6. Legacy: Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi’s influence and legacy continue to be significant, particularly within the Barelvi community in South Asia. He is remembered for his prolific writings, religious leadership, and his defense of traditional Sunni beliefs and practices.

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi passed away on October 28, 1921, but his teachings and the Barelvi movement continue to have a lasting impact on Islamic thought and practice in the region.


Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (1856-1921) was a prominent Islamic scholar and theologian in the Indian subcontinent. He is known for his extensive writings and contributions to Islamic scholarship, particularly within the Sunni Barelvi tradition. Some of his notable works include:

1. Fatawa Razaviyya: This is one of his most famous and comprehensive works, consisting of several volumes. It contains his legal opinions (fatwas) on a wide range of issues related to Islamic jurisprudence, theology, and everyday matters.

2. Al-Dawat ul Makkiyah: In this work, he presents his beliefs and religious views, defending the practices of the Barelvi Sufi movement. It also discusses the concept of the finality of Prophethood (Khatm-e-Nabuwwat).

3. Al-Malfoozat: This book is a collection of his sayings, teachings, and conversations on various religious and social issues. It provides insights into his spiritual and theological thoughts.

4. Kanzul Iman: Ahmed Raza Khan is renowned for his translation and commentary on the Quran. Kanzul Iman is his translation of the Quran into Urdu, accompanied by his interpretation and explanations.

5. Asar al-Sanadid: This work focuses on the study of Islamic architecture and historical sites, particularly in the Indian subcontinent.

6. Khutbat-e-Razawiyya: A collection of his sermons and speeches on various religious and social topics, emphasizing the importance of following traditional Islamic practices.

7. Bulbul-e-Madinah: A collection of his poetry, mainly in praise of the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (the family of the Prophet).



Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, often referred to as Imam Ahmed Raza Khan or simply as Ala Hazrat, was a prominent Islamic scholar and theologian in South Asia. He is known for his significant contributions to the Barelvi movement within Sunni Islam. His legacy has had a profound impact on Islamic thought and practice, particularly in the Indian subcontinent. Here are some key aspects of his legacy:

1. Scholarship: Ahmed Raza Khan was a prolific Islamic scholar. He authored numerous books on various aspects of Islamic jurisprudence, theology, and Sufism. His works are widely studied and followed by his followers.

2. Promotion of the Barelvi School: He was a staunch advocate of the Barelvi school of thought, which emphasizes the veneration of Sufi saints, intercession, and the love of the Prophet Muhammad. His teachings played a crucial role in shaping the Barelvi movement, which remains a significant branch of Sunni Islam in the Indian subcontinent.

3. Defender of Sunni Orthodoxy: Ahmed Raza Khan was known for his efforts to defend what he saw as Sunni orthodoxy against what he considered to be heterodox beliefs and practices. He engaged in theological debates and authored works to counter what he perceived as threats to Sunni beliefs.

4. Poetry and Naats: He was also a poet and wrote many devotional poems and Naats (poems in praise of the Prophet Muhammad). These poems and Naats continue to be recited and celebrated during religious gatherings and festivals.

5. Spiritual and Sufi Influence: Ahmed Raza Khan was deeply involved in Sufi practices and emphasized the importance of spiritual connection with God. He encouraged followers to follow the path of Sufism, fostering a strong spiritual tradition within the Barelvi movement.

6. Cultural Influence: His legacy is not limited to theological or religious spheres. His teachings and the Barelvi movement have had a significant cultural impact in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in Pakistan and India. They have influenced art, music, and various traditions associated with Sufism.

7. Controversies: While revered by his followers, Ahmed Raza Khan’s strict adherence to Sunni orthodoxy and his strong criticism of other Islamic sects led to controversies and disagreements with scholars from different schools of thought. His views on issues like intercession, saint veneration, and the status of the Prophet Muhammad are still topics of debate and contention.

In summary, Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi’s legacy primarily revolves around his contributions to the Barelvi movement, his scholarly work, and his role as a prominent Islamic theologian

See also


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