The The United Ulama Council of South Africa was truly honoured to have had a special Ulama sitting with the world renowned muhaddithun Sheik Mohammad Akram Nadwi, who was on a 10 day whistle stop tour in South Africa. The UK based alim addressed the ulema, students, professionals, and the public on specialist subjects such as Hadith, Fiqh, Tafsir and its application in society. He had programs in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town.
Nadwi who hails from the Indian city of Jaunpur, is a graduate of the world renowned Nadwatul Ulama (India) where he studied and taught Shariah. As a world renowned and respected Muhadditun scholar of the highest calibre, he specialised in the study of the narrators of Hadith and has Ijaza (licenses) from many of the most renowned scholars of our time, including Sheik Abul Hasan Ali Al-Nadwi, Sheik Abdul-Fattah Abu Ghuddah and Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.
In addition, Nadwi has a doctorate in Arabic Language and has authored and translated over 25 titles on Language, Jurisprudence, Qur’an and Hadith. In May 2010, he completed a monumental 53-volume work on the lives of female scholars of Hadith in Islamic History. Expecting to find a handful, after eight years he had discovered more than 8000, from as long ago as Umm al-Darda, the wife of one of the companions of the Prophet .
Shaykh Akram's knowledge is both broad and deep, his training is traditional, his presentation is lively and relevant to our lives today, and one feels that his intention is truly to raise the level of every Muslim. His work on the women scholars of Islam is timely and inspirational, revealing the little-known fact that many thousands of women scholars were involved in developing and maintaining the tradition of scholarship in Islam. This was the case right from the earliest community in Madina until only about 200 years ago.
During his address at the Muslim Judicial Council, Shaykh Nadwi stated that whilst he does not advocate unrestricted mixing of the sexes he acknowledges that Muslim societies and families often limit the potential of their girls and women. He compares this limitation to the "live burial" (i.e. female infanticide) practiced in pre-Islamic Arabia. He further warned that this phenomenon could be attributed to the "decline of every aspect of Islam" and is fuelled by an insecurity and weakness which leads to these restrictions on girls' education and women's rights.
His al-Fiqh al-Islami vol 1 published by Angelwing Media is an original compilation of the fiqh (the codified legal rulings) of Imam Abu Hanifah and his school. For the first time in the English language, the detailed rulings of this school are presented together with the evidence on which they are based; every argument is fully and carefully referenced. Also, the author has taken present day circumstances into consideration, making al-Fiqh al-Islami the first authentic, reliable and relevant account of Hanafi practice in the English language.
The alim is the recipient of the Allama Iqbal prize for contribution to Islamic thought. As a leading scholar steeped in traditional Islamic learning and in modern academia, Shaykh Akram is currently a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford. His Nadwi Foundation in Manchester, England, is a newly established organisation which seeks to disseminate classical Islamic knowledge through the teachings of high calibre scholars
After the initial sitting at the Muslim Judicial Council the Shaykh was hosted at the Islamia College in Lansdown, Darun Naeem in Wynberg, Fatima al Zahrah ladies school in Pelican Heights and the Darul Ulum al Arabia al Islamic in Strand.