Shibli Nomani

علامہ شبلی نعمانی

Shibli Nomani


Shibli Nomani, an Indian Muslim scholar and writer, lived from 1857 to 1914. His extensive biography of Prophet Muhammad, “Sirat-un-Nabi,” is his most well-known work. In addition to advocating for Islamic unity and leaving a long legacy in Islamic literature and academia, he was a key figure in the Aligarh Movement.

Resting place

The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is home to the tomb of famous Islamic philosopher, historian, and author Shibli Nomani, who lived in the city of Azamgarh. For individuals who are interested in Islamic literature and study, his grave is a place of historical and cultural significance. Shibli Nomani is well-known for his contributions to Islamic studies, especially his seminal work “Sirat-un-Nabi” (The Life of the Prophet) and his studies on the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Notable work

Prominent Indian Muslim scholar, historian, and author Shibli Nomani (1857–1914) is renowned for his writings on the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his contributions to Islamic literature. The magnum opus “Sirat-un-Nabi” (سόرσ النبٌ), sometimes referred to as “Sirat al-Nabi” or “The Life of the Prophet,” is among his most renowned compositions.

“Sirat-un-Nabi” is a thorough biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that is written in Urdu and is regarded as one of the most reputable and authoritative writings on the topic. This work, which took many years to write and research, is a major contribution to Islamic learning and was written by Shibli Nomani. In an effort to present a comprehensive and well-rounded picture of the Prophet’s life and mission, the work explores his teachings, character, and way of life.

Apart from his biography of the Prophet, Shibli Nomani authored other volumes and essays covering diverse facets of Islamic history, society, and literature. He was a well-known member of the Aligarh Movement, which in the late 19th and early 20th century aimed to revitalize Islamic scholarship in India and advance modern education.

The literary works and scholarly contributions of Shibli Nomani have had a long-lasting influence on the study of Islam and the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere.

Early life

Prominent Indian Islamic scholar, writer, and historian Shibli Nomani (1857–1914) is renowned for his contributions to Islamic literature and history. This is a synopsis of his early years:

1. Birth and Family: On June 3, 1857, in the Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, India, Shibli Nomani was born. He was raised in an esteemed, intellectually active household of Indian Muslims. His mother, Syeda Bi Bi, was descended from a line of intellectuals, and his father, Maulana Hadi, was a well-known religious scholar.

2. Early Education: Shibli Nomani had a conventional Islamic sciences education from an early age. His father and other local academics gave him his early education in the Quran and Hadith, as well as in Arabic and Persian literature.

3. Post-Primary Education: Shibli Nomani pursued post-primary education at a number of Islamic establishments. He studied under Allama Sayyid Hamid, a well-known scholar of the day, who he became a pupil of. Afterwards, he moved to Delhi and enrolled at Delhi College to further his studies in Persian and Arabic literature.

4. Literary and Scholarly Interests: In addition to her extensive knowledge of Islamic studies, Shibli Nomani has a keen interest in literature. In his early years, his writing abilities were acknowledged, and he demonstrated proficiency in both poetry and prose.

5. Career and Teaching: Shibli Nomani began his teaching career at Delhi College before moving on to Aligarh Muslim University as a professor. He was well-known for his capacity to make the connections between contemporary education and traditional Islamic education, and he was a major force behind the reform of Islamic education in India.

6. Scholarly Works: “Sirat-un-Nabi” (The Life of the Prophet), a thorough and erudite biography of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is Shibli Nomani’s most famous book. In addition, he published a great deal about Sufism and Islam’s past.

Early in life, Shibli Nomani possessed a strong foundation in Islamic education and a love of writing that would eventually make him one of the most significant Islamic academics and writers on the Indian subcontinent during his lifetime. Academicians and readers with an interest in Islamic history and literature continue to hold his contributions in the highest regard.


Prominent Indian Islamic scholar, historian, and writer Shibli Nomani (1857–1914). His important works on Islamic history, especially his biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), are what made him most famous. Among his noteworthy creations are:

1. “Sirat-un-Nabi” (The Life of the Prophet):

Among Shibli Nomani’s most well-known compositions. The biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is thorough and academic. The work is renowned for its meticulous historical research.

2. Shibli Nomani’s biography of Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second caliph of Islam, is titled “Al-Farooq” (The Life of Umar the Great). It examines Umar’s accomplishments and contributions during his caliphate.

3. “Al-Mamun”:

During the Islamic Golden Era, the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mamun was renowned for his curiosity about science and education. This is a biography of him.

4. “Al-Ghazali”:

The renowned Islamic philosopher and theologian Al-Ghazali was the subject of a biography written by Shibli Nomani. The life and contributions of Al-Ghazali to Islamic philosophy and thought are examined in this text.

5. “Sawanh-e-Khuda” (The Life of God):

Shibli Nomani explores the Islamic understanding of God and the characteristics of Allah in this work.

Shibli Nomani’s writings are regarded as important additions to Islamic literature and have influenced Islamic history and academia for a long time. Scholars and students of Islamic studies continue to examine and value his writings.


From the Indian subcontinent, Shibli Nomani (1857–1914) was a well-known Muslim scholar, historian, and author. His legacy is noteworthy, especially when considering South Asian intellectual history and Islamic studies. Aspects of Shibli Nomani’s legacy include the following:

1. Adjustments to the Scholarship of Islam

One of the greatest Islamic scholars of his day was Shibli Nomani. He made important advances in the study of Islamic theology, literature, and history. “Sirat-un-Nabi” (The Life of the Prophet), a biographical treatise about the life of Prophet Muhammad, is his most famous creation. Because of its thorough study and academic approach, this work is highly recognized.

2. Advancing Rationalist Thought:

Shibli Nomani was renowned for approaching Islamic scholarship with reason and criticality. He promoted the interpretation and comprehension of Islamic teachings via the application of logic and critical thinking. His method was regarded as a break from conservative readings and contributed to the reformist movements in Islamic studies.

3. Part in the Movement for Aligarh:

The Aligarh Movement, which sought to advance modern education and social reforms among Muslims in India, was intimately linked to Shibli Nomani. He was an instructor at Aligarh Muslim University (formerly known as Aligarh College), where he made significant contributions to the academic and intellectual growth of the establishment.

4. Encouraging the Language of Urdu:

Shibli Nomani was an accomplished Urdu writer. His works contributed to the advancement of Urdu as a literary and scholarly language, particularly in the context of Islamic studies.

5. Sufism’s Legacy:

Shibli Nomani had a strong interest in Sufism, and individuals who are curious about the mystical and spiritual aspects of Islam continue to study his writings on Sufi philosophy and poetry.

6. Influence on Thought in Islam:

The views and works of Shibli Nomani have had a long-lasting influence on Islamic philosophy, especially in the Indian subcontinent. His method of balancing Islamic tradition and modernity has impacted Muslim intellectuals and reformers in later generations.

7. Ongoing Significance:

Scholars, authors, and reformers in the Muslim world are still motivated by the ideals and writings of Shibli Nomani. His focus on rationality, critical thinking, and academic study is still applicable to conversations about Islam and its place in the modern world.

Scholars and thinkers interested in Islamic studies and South Asia’s intellectual history continue to honor and study Shibli Nomani’s legacy. His dedication to the intellectual investigation of Islamic history and his attempts to reconcile tradition and modernity have left a lasting impression.

See also


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