NEW DELHI — Born in 1943 in a hardcore Brahmin Hindu family of Bilarya Ganj, a village located in the district of Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh as Banke Lal, died as great scholar of Islam in the holy city of Madinah on the day of Arafat on July 30.
Shaikh Zia ur Rahman Azmi, formerly Banke Lal, who was laid to rest in Al Baqi al Gharqad, near the graves of the family and companions of the Prophet Muhammad, had converted to Islam when he was just 18.
After reading the Hindi translation of the Holy Quran and Islamic literature of Maulana Maududi, Banke Lal embraced Islam.
According to Muslim World Journal, Shaikh Zia-ur-Rahman authored an internationally recognised book titled “Quran Encyclopedia” which classified and explained the words of the Quran in alphabetic order. The book was translated into other languages.
He travelled to South India and studied in various Islamic seminaries of India. Then he joined Madina University in Madinah Munawwarah. He did MA from Umm Al-Qura University Makkah. He obtained PhD degree from Jamia Azhar, Cairo.
Prof Zia ur-Rahman Azmi retired as Dean of Faculty of Hadith at the famous Islamic University of Madinah. After retirement, he was appointed as a teacher at the Prophet’s Mosque by the decree of the Head of the Prophet’s Mosque Affairs in the year 2013.
Prof Azmi authored dozens of books on Islam. His works have been translated into different languages.
The most important of his works is the voluminous compilation of authentic Hadith titled “Al-Jami’ al-Kamil fi al-Hadith al-Sahih al-Shamil”. It is one of the most comprehensive books on Hadith by a single scholar since the dawn of Islam.
Azmi has taken pain to collect the authentic Hadiths dispersed in numerous classical books. He has compiled about 16,000 Hadiths. The compilation has more than 20 volumes.
Shaikh Zia-ur-Rehman Azmi was given honorary citizenship of Saudi Arabia, an honour which is rarely granted, for his contribution to Islamic literature.