His scholarship was rooted in humility, humor and concern for humanity.
Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Islahi, prominent Muslim scholar, author, lecturer and founder of several educational institutions, died in a hospital in Noida (UP) on December 21, 2021, after a short illness. However, he left behind a treasure trove of knowledge that would continue to benefit researchers around the world. Much of what he wrote and said was in Urdu, but thanks to his students scattered around the world, he reached audiences speaking different languages and cultures. Many of his students are in the United States. His book Assaan Fiqh (Easy case law) and Aadab-e Zindagi (Etiquettes de la vie) are his best-distributed books.
Born in Formulli, Attoc district (now Pakistan), in 1932, Maulana Islahi was a member of the Jamaat-e Islami Hind advisory body. In addition, he was the main sponsor of the Islamic Circle of North America’s “Why Islam” project. His thoughts were influenced by Maulana Maududi, Amin Ahsan Islahi and Abdul Hayy Lucknawi.
He received his primary education in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. Initially, he did Islamic studies in Mazaher ul-Uloom, Saharanpur district and graduate studies and Fazilat of Madarsatul-Islah, Sarai Mir. He memorized the Quran and also learned Tajweed. Then his father, Shaikh-ul-Hadees Maulana Abdul Qadim Khan, sent him to Madrasa Mazahirul Uloom, Saharanpur, to continue his studies. Later he joined Madarsatul Islah, Sarai Mir, Azamgarh. He spent four years under Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi and received Sanad Fazilat with distinction (graduation certificate). He was the brother-in-law of Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, a prominent American Muslim leader.
He became a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in 1953 and was in charge of various activities.
Yusuf Islahi also guided many educational and social institutions. He was the rector of Jamiatus-Salehat, Rampur, which Maulana Abdul -Hayy Lucknawi founded, as a unique and well-known institution for Arab and Islamic higher education for girls. More than a thousand students now reside on its sprawling campus spread over several hectares of land in the best locality of the city of Rampur. The number of local students is greater than those staying in hostels. Jamia has another campus, also the old one, where classes for the junior sections are held.
Markazi Darsgah-e-Islami Rampur has run under his leadership in recent years. Many other educational and social institutions have also sought his advice and guidance. He led a simple life and devoted his knowledge to the service of people.
His scholarship was rooted in humility, humor and concern for humanity. May Allah elevate his status in the Hereafter.