Remembering Sheikh Muhammad Ilyas Barabankawi (1936-2022)

Born in Mela Raiganj, Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh in 1936, Maulana Mohammed Ilyas was among those scholars who lit an ideal candle for girls’ education. After getting early education at his native village, he began his academic journey from Madarsa Noorul Uloom in Bahraich and later got enrolled at the famous institution Darul Uloom, Deoband where he sought guidance from its distinguished teachers. He started teaching in Jamia Imdadul Uloom on the advice of the scholars of Darul Uloom Deoband.

He composed useful explanations on several books of hadith, such as: ‘Al Adab Al Mufrad’ by Imam Al-Bukhari, ‘Riyad Al-Salihin’ by Imam Al-Nawawi, ‘The Selected Doors of the Lantern of Lamps’ by Sheikh Muhammad Elias Al-Kandhalavi, and ‘The Life of the Companions’ by Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf Al-Kandhlawi. And God wrote the last book with great acceptance and wide popularity until it was known among scholars and preachers as: ‘Explanation of the Life of the Companions.’

While continuing his academic journey, he laid foundation of the institution ‘Idara Talim-wa-Tarbiat’ in his home town Barabanki.

Jamia Tul Banat al-Islamia was established with humble beginnings Khusro Nagar, Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi in 1996, with initiation of just two students. In a short span of time Jamia gained extraordinary progress. The strength of students increased up to 200. In view of increasing number of students as well as their lodging and fooding, another building of Jamia was constructed at Shaheen Bagh, Okhla which has become an ideal institution for the girls’ education in its present shape after five years of hard struggle

Among the most important advantages of his work in explaining these books: that he took care of documenting texts, clarifying closed phrases, explaining the meanings of strange words, and conveying unique benefits and valuable jokes from the books of hadith scholars in India with important comments, and complete control with extreme accuracy.

Maulana Mohammed Ilyas passed away on the evening of the 8th of February 2022. He was, may Allah Almighty have mercy on him, one of the most prominent practitioners of the Prophet’s hadith, teaching, authoring and investigating, and one of the leading working scholars and sincere preachers in India. May Allah’s prayers and mercy be upon him and may his works and legacy inspire his family, relatives, students and acquaintances with patience and solace, and to compensate the nation with good for his loss. He will always be missed but the institutions he built and the legacy he left behind shall always live amongst us. May Allah bless him with the vastness of his mercy, forgiveness and satisfaction and dwell him in his vast paradise.

We belong to God and to Him we shall return.