N.B. These translations are unedited, first drafts that have been uploaded for reader benefit and feedback. The detailed, revised and edited versions shall be uploaded as they come along. In view of the immediate needs of our readers, these translations have been presented here to give a very brief introduction to Farāhī’s life.
Mawlānā Hamīd al-Dīn Farāhī (ra) was born in 1280 A.H in Pehriha, a village in district Azamgarh, UP, India. Mawlānā’s family was amongst the well respected families of the district that were at that time, known for their education and worldly wisdom. Mawlānā Hamīd al-Dīn Farāhī (ra) and Mawlānā Shibli Nu‘mānī (ra) were maternal first cousins.
Mawlānā received his early education at home. At the onset he memorized (hifz) the Qur’ān, after which he learnt Persian and very soon became so well versed in the same that he began composing poetry in it. He learnt Arabic mostly from Mawlānā Shibli Nu‘mānī (ra).
After his indoctrination at the hands of Mawlānā Shibli Nu‘māni (ra), he decided to become beneficiary of the circle of the intellectual maestros. For a short period of time he participated in Mawlānā Abdul Hai’s teaching sessions, but from the very beginning his nature was more research inclined and Mawlānā Shibli’s company had helped accentuate this aspect of his interest.
At the age of twenty, after completing his lessons in Arabic and religious studies, he took admission in Aligarh College to learn English.
While at Aligarh besides English and other subjects he gave special attention to Modern philosophy and excelled in it. He received a BA degree from Allahabad University and although he prepared for MA but he did not sit for this examination.
Since the Mawlānā belonged to a well to do family he was not dependent on employment for a living but due to some personal reasons, after the completion of his education, thought it was best to do so. He got appointed as professor of Arabic at Madrasah tul Islām Karachi as his first teaching assignment. He worked there for many years.
During this time in 1900, the viceroy for India, Lord Curzon, decided to travel to the Arabian coast and Persian Gulf to improve political relations with the Arab chiefs. While traveling, he needed the services of an individual who was fluent in English and Arabic and could be his aide. For this task the Mawlānā was selected.
On his return from this travel assignment, Mawlānā was appointed professor of Arabic in Aligarh. After residing in Aligarh for a few years, Mawlānā was appointed professor of Arabic at Allahbad University and was later transferred to Hyderabad as Principal Dar-ul Uloom. Hyderabad was at the time the largest government run seminary, training individuals for different departments of the government.
After resigning from this job assignment, he came back to his native land, and since he was now relatively free, began to focus on Madrasah tul Islāh and Darul Musanifīn. He had always directly looked after the matters relating to administration, academics and teaching at these institutions from the very beginning. Madrasah tul Islāh is a school for religious studies in a small town, Sara-e Mīr, District Azamgarh, UP, India. This institute has been founded on the educational ideology presented by Mawlānā Hamīd al-Dīn Farāhī (ra) and Mawlānā Shibli Nu‘mānī (ra). The focus being research based education in Arabic literature and the Holy Qur’ān. For the last many years this institution has been serving this very mission and he devoted a great deal of time and effort for the service of this institution.
Although, during his life, the Mawlānā’s health was exceptionally good and he exercised regularly, but two diseases pulled him down time and again. Headaches were one, and whenever he had an attack he was totally incapacitated. The other was renal obstruction. He encountered this second ailment many times and following the last relapse, had to be operated upon. For this surgery he went from Azamgarh to Mithra where this operation was conducted but proved unsuccessful. He passed away on November 11, 1930, and was buried in a graveyard for the commoners.