Illustrious Person



Life Sketch of Hazrat Alhaj Mawlana Shah Hafez Ahmad (R)

Hazrat Alhaj Mawlana Shah Hafez Ahmad (R), a real lover of the prophet (sm) and reformer of Mahfil-e-Siratunnabi (sm), known as Chunati Shah Saheb (R) was born in a conservative noble family of Chunati, a reputed village of South Chittagong in 1907 according to an opinion. His ancestors are the decedents of Hazrat Omar (RA). His father is Hazrat Mawlana Sayed Ahmad; grandfather is Hazrat Kazi Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf Ali (R). One of his ancestors Hazrat Allamah Shah Alam Al-Muhazir Al-Muballig Al Arabi migrated to Chittagong from the holy land of Arab. He stayed shortly at the village of Gahira, Anwara Upazilla wherefrom he came to Kalipur of Banskhali and started living there. It was his competent son of Hazrat Ibrahim Khandakar who transformed his residence to this Chunati village and settled there. His son was Muhammad Abdur Rashid Talukdar, father of Muhammad Abdul Gani Sikdar, Father of Sufi Muhammad Muqim, father of Munshi Kasem Ali Sikdar.

Munshi Kasem Ali Sikdar had two sons and one daughter: (1) Hazrat Mawlana Kazi Muhammad Yusuf Ali (R). ( Grandfather of Hazrat Shah Shaheb), (2) Munshi Wahed Ali ( Father of Khan Bahadur Muhammad Hasan). The only daughter of Munshi Kasem Ali, Musammat Farhatunnisa’s husband was Khan Bahadur Waziullah Sami.

Kazi Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf Ali, the honourable grandfather of Shah Saheb was the renowned zemindar of Akiab. He accompanied by Hazrat Mawlana Sayed Ahmed, father of Hazrat Shah Saheb went on a pilgrimage in 1907. There at the time of performing hajj, Kazi Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf Ali ( R) passed away. Since boyhood, Hazrat Shah Saheb has been brought up under the care and supervision of his own father and noble elders. He received his primary education at his native village. Then finished his study up to class Haptum at Sathkania Afzal Nagar Madrasah, and next went to Banskhali Chanua Madrasah. At that time the head teacher of the Madrasah was Mawlana Fazlul Haq (R), one of the aged Khalifas of Hazrat Azamgari (R), living at Chunati. There, studying for one year under the care of Mawlana Fazlul Haq, Hazrat Shah Saheb enrolled in Darul Ulum Alia Madrasah in Chittagong Town. Thereafter he took admission to Kalkata Alia Madrasah and successfully completed his student life. On returning home, he wished to get married and took Musammat Mahmoda Khatun, the eldest daughter of his uncle Hazrat Mawlana Bashir Ahmad (R) in marriage.

After marriage he had been rendering service of an Imam in the Zemindar Bari Mosque of his maternal grandfather-in-law at Ilishia, Chakaria.

Hazrat Azamgari (R) used to come to Chunati once a year and stayed at Shah Saheb’s residence. Taking advantage of maintaining the zemindary of his father, Hazrat Shah Saheb’s uncle Hazrat Mawlana Foyez Ahmad (R) became familiar with Hazrat Azamgari (R) coming from the Nothern Province of India, during the latter’s stay at his work-place Akiab. Thereupon became his follower being attracted to his guidelines and Principles. Hazrat Azamgari used to preach the doctrines of Tariquat on his way to Akiab from the Nothern Province. In those days, Hazrat Shah Saheb’s uncle Hazrat Mawlana Foyez Ahmad (R) used to take his honourable peer from Chittagong town to Chunati, firstly by river-way , then by train via Dohazari in the purpose of proclaiming the principles of Tariquat. This religious tour continued till 1938 without interruption.

Hazrat Shah Saheb had been kept in home when he was found insance and abnormal for some days after Shah Jamal Ahmad was born. At that time Hazrat Azamgari (R) appeared and affirmed Shah Saheb to be heal and hearty and out of mental disorder and asked to set him free, and on getting fully recovered he visited their Zemindery estate at Akiab. Thereafter he was appointed Imam for the short term at Bammu town in Myanmar. Again on the 27th of Ramadan in the holy night of Qadar, he sank into the state Mazjub (an oblivious state of the saints). Thereupon, having got the news, his younger brother Mawlana Saleh Ahmad started for Bammu immediately and took Shah Saheb back to Chunati undertaking great pains and sufferings. Then exercised various sorts of treatment upon him but all efforts were in vain to prove true Hazrat Azamgari’s assurance that Shah Saheb had not lost his normal state or had gone mad. He spent nearly 20/25 years loitering about in the woods and jungles, appearing at times in public. Later, he was seen suddenly turns up in any public place or nearby areas of South Chittagong or Cox’s Bazar chanting the famous following couplet composed in honour of the holy Prophet (sm):

Ham mazare Muhammad (sm) , peh mar jayenge
Zindegi me yahi kam kar jayenge.
[I’ll die on the shrine to Muhammad (sm)
That is the very task I’ll perform in life.]

Many miraculous incidents (Karamat) are revealed from him during the 20/25 year long period of his state of Mazjub. Consequently people could break their mistake about him that he was a mad realizing that he had been a real lover of the prophet (sm) and a self-denying saint on the way of his holy messenger (sm). Since the demise of Hazrat Mawlana Nazir Ahmad (R), Hazrat Arkani (R) used to visit Chunati most often with a view to preaching the teachings of Tablig-E-Tariquat. He was one of the most renowned Khalifas of Hazrat Azamgari (R). He said many a time that Hazrat Shah Saheb’s state of Mazjub would not last long. He would regain his normal state and his saintliness would spread far and wide, and that prediction came true.

At the end of 50th decade he got back his normalcy. In 1959 his present house was transformed from the ancient paternal homestead to the present one. He took attempt to develop Chunati Madrasah from Fazil level to Kamil, but it was hampered by political unrest of the time. During the liberation war and the post war period people belongings to both the groups found shelter in his house. He performed hajj six times in his life, first time in 1970, second in 1972, third in 1974, fourth in 1976 via India getting hajj visa from Delhi, fifth in 1978 and the sixth time in 1979 as a state-guest of Zia government. He visited India individually in 1980. In 1972 he started the first 1 day long Mahfil-e-Siratunnabi (sm) that is still going on with every cash and comfort.

In 1976 he succeeded in getting Chunati Madrasah improved into Kamil level from Fazil by taking attempt anew. Though till 1976 Mahfil-e-Siratunnabi (sm) had been held beside the southern part of his house (Shah Manzil), it was got to held on a newly bought hilly side over a spacious area of 32 kani that was reshaped into a level ground in order to gain a firm foothold for the Mahfil. With the exception of the field of Tongi World Iztema, such a big and vast field for any religious meeting is not found all over the country. Side by side this Mahfil-e-Siratunnabi (sm), Hazrat Shah Saheb also commenced the discussion meeting on Mirazunnabi (sm), Lailatul Barat, Lailatul Qadar and so on during his lifetime that are going on till now.

We get to know that Maulana Abdul Hakim (R) had four more children, of whom the names of three could be collected- Maulana Ubaidullah (R), Maulana Eyakub (R) and the youngest, Maulana Kaji Ismail (R).

He is the first man to introduce Mahfil-e-Siratunnabi (sm) in public surroundings instead of holding it in homebound setting. Besides, it could be said, coming of religious propagandists from the remote areas of the country to Chittagong and visiting of overseas religious orators to attend numerous regional and international Mahfils in the country was set in motion by this Mahfil-e-Siratunnabi (sm). In a word, truly speaking, it was Hazrat Shah Saheb who made a way for the communication in between the religious persons home and and abroad in local and international sphere. Throughout its 35 years of continuity, a good number of religious individuals including Presidents, Ministers and Chief Justices attended the Mahfil. Side by side, a large number of renowned religious scholars of different opinions along with peers and mashayekhs also attended this gigantic religious festival. It is presently counted as a karamat on part of Hazrat Shah Saheb that ever since his death, this 19-day long Mahfil-e-Siratunnabi (sm) has been going on very nicely and smoothly. He dreamt a dream of setting up a mosque and on the west of the vast field for the Mahfil-e-Siratunnabi (sm) he started the work of its construction that was later completed after his demise. This great saint took departure in 1983, on the 23rd Safar, 1404.

In a report published by Chunati Madrasah in 1963, a few interesting facts about Maulana Abdul Hakim (R) were revealed. These are mentioned here with necessary comments:

I remain very grateful to Allah for enabling me to finish writing a biography of this great man after 24 years of his departure that is going to be published very soon.

Source : Asheke Rasul (S) Mujaddede Mahfile Siratunnabi (S.) Hazrat Hafez Ahmad Shah Shaheb (Rh.), Chunati, Written by Ahmadul Islam Chowdhury

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