Monday, December 5, 2022

Library Of Raja MahmoodAbad,Lucknow

 Library of Raja Mehmodabad


A group of Muslim scholars migrated to India from Baghdad during the reign of Moatasim Abbas (217-227 A.H.) and settled down in that country. Among them was Qazi Nasrollah who held the post of Qazi in Baghdad. After his arrival in India, he joined the court of Shahabuddin Ghori and the Sultan conferred the upon him the post of Qazi of Multan. This post continued to be in his family after the death of Qazi Nasrollah. In addition to holding this judicial post, his family indulged in promoting the Islamic teachings all over India and a large group embraced Islam. Among them was a tribe of Sindhis called Ghagar which totally became Muslim. After the death of Qazi, his sons migrated to Amroha and the post of Qazi was endorsed to them in that city too. One of the members of their family named Daud Khan joined the army during the reign of India’s powerful King Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar. Since he demonstrated his ability, he was given the title of “Khan Bahadur”. Hence, his children were known as “Khanzad”. Mahmoud Khan one of the grand children of Daud Khan, who was the of the Mughal army officers, developed a region in the vicinity of Lucknow and named it after his own name Mahmoudabad. Thereafter, his family members started residing in Mahmoudabad. One of his issues Bayazid Khan received the title of Omet-ol- Mawali Ghazanfar-o-dolleh, Nawab Jung during the reign of Jahangir and the King bestowed upon many gifts and presents including a swold which is still now available in his family. The tomb of Bayazid Khan is situated in Bolhara near Mahmoudabad. One of the children of Bayazid Khan named Mian Mazhar Ali Khan accepted the Shia faith as a result of contact with the Shia Ulema and Mujtahideen. His son Mian Amir Ali promoted the Shia faith after him. His two sons Raja Ebad Ali ruler of Bolhara and Raja Nawab Ali ruler of Mahmoudabad introduced mourning ceremonies with special formalities. Raja Nawab Ali Khan was a learned and a man of talent of the city. His poetic collection of ghazals and elegies titled “Kuliyat Sahr” is still now available in the Mahmoudabad Library. He received the title of “Moqeem-o-dollah Qiyam Jang” from the last ruler of Awadh Wajid Ali Shah. His son Amir Hasan Khan received the title of Amiroddleh Saeed-ol- Mulk, Mumtaz Jang from the Awadh government. He like his father too composed poetry and his pen name of “Habib”. He has composed more than one hundred elegies in description of the sufferings of pious Imams which are even now recited in the mourning sessions. During his journey he made to the holy places, he paid a visit to Shaikh Zain-ol- Abidin the religious authority of the time and the Shaikh showed much affection to him and gave the honour of title of “Nasir-ol- Millat va Din” and gave the gifts like a prayers mat, robe and a ring embossed with M.N.A…. A. which is according to the decree of late Shaikh is still now available in mourning hall (Hussainiyeh) of Mahmoudabad Fort. Raja Amir Hassan was a learned man and founded a library which exhibits his interest in education and learning. The Amirod-dolleh library situated in the “Qaiser Bagh” Lucknow, the residence of Wajid Ali Shah which is one of the academic works and named after him. It contains several thousand manuscripts and printed books. This library is presently under the administration of local government and total number of the books is about eleven thousand copies. But unfortunately only seventy two copies of manuscripts are left in the library. Likewise, Amirodolleh founded a school named Amirodolleh College in Lucknow in 1895. Apart from modern sciences, Islamic sciences also are taught in this school. This school still now exists with the same name in Lucknow. The Imaniyeh School is another academic works of Amirodolleh which was established on his desire under management of Maulana Abol Hassan Rezavi Kashmiri for teaching Islamic sciences. The management of the school was passed on to Allameh Hussain Kantori after the death of Maulana Abol Hassan. But the school was closed down after some time due to lack of proper attention and all the belongings and endowments were transferred to the Amirodolleh College. Raja Mohammed Ali Mohammed Khan his son succeeded after the death of Amirodolleh. He got familiarized with the modern science in addition to the religious studies. He was one of the founders of Aligarh Muslim University, Lucknow University and the medical college of the city and the first Vice - Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. While the light of science and knowledge in the Lucknow city, the centre of Islamic studies was going to be blown off after the British domination and the whole Islamic educational heritage was being plundered, many more books were being purchased by Raja Mohammed Ali Mohammed Khan and were transferred to the Mahmoudabad Library. Among these libraries, were the personal library of Hakeem Mirza Mehdi, Mirza Mohammed Hadi Aziz Saheb Tajliyat Abbas and the library of Mufti Mir Mohammed Abbas Shoshtari and library of great preacher (Vaez) Sibt Hussain the first director of the Madrasatol Vaezeen. After Raja Mohammed Ali Khan, his sons Raja Mohammed Amir Ahmed and Mahraj Kumar Mohammed Amir Haider Khan extended the library. They bought some of the nice and fine collection which were exposed to damage in and round and kept in the library. The library was given name Socrates library in the beginning but after some time later, this library was renamed as “Maktab-ol- Hussainiyeh”. Now it is known as Raja Mahmoudabad Library. Allameh Amini had recalled the library as Maktab-ol- Hussainiyeh Mahmoudabad. A number of books of this library was transferred to Najaf Ashraf and to Pakistan during the life of Mohammad Amir Ahmed Khan. The destiny of books sent to Najaf Ashraf is not known exactly while the books sent to Pakistan are available in Karachi. The numbers of books in Raja Mahmoudabad Library are about eighty thousand copies out of which two thousand and five hundred are manuscripts approximately. The manuscripts are kept in their family residence in Qaiser Bagh Lucknow while the printed copies are still in their huge library situated in the Mahmoudabad Fort.


Dr. Mehdi Khajeh Piri

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