Hazrat Shah Waliullah was born in Delhi on the 21 st of February 1703 A.D. His father, Shah Abdur Rahman was a great scholar and a mystic. He took special pain in the education and the training of his son.
At the special age of 15, Hazrat Shah Waliullah had completed his education and then became a disciple (mureed) of his father who gave him spiritual training. When he was 17, his father died, for 12 years he taught in the fashion of his father. Twice he performed the Hajj pilgrimage. He attained a certificate of Proficiency in Hadith from the famous scholar, Shaikh Abu Tahir Bin Ibrahim of Madina, when he was in Arabia, the marhatta turmoid was at its height and his friends advised Hazrat Shah Waliullah to stay in Arabia. As such he left Arabia in 1145 AH and reached Delhi on 14 Rajab 1145 AH.
On reaching Delhi, he devoted most of his time in writing books and to preaching in public meetings. The teaching activity was limited to the lessons of Hadith. The political and the moral degeneration of the Muslims had tremendous effects on the sensitive thinking mind of Hazrat Shah Waliullah. His famous book “Al-Tafheematul llahia” minutely pen points all the various defects, shortcomings and vices, which had taken roots in various sections of the Muslims. His aim, metaphorically speaking, was to destroy the rotten moral buildings and to reconstruct a new mansion over it. He bluntly wrote in one of his writings “I have arrived to destroy every old in region at present.
The most monumental task he performed was to translate the Quran from Arabic to Persian which was the language spoken by the Muslims at that time in India. His aim was that educated Muslims may have access to the Quran without depending on the scholars who had opposed his reformatory measures. The short sighted ullama gathered and wanted to kill him for his sin of translating the Quran from Arabic to Persian but he continued with his task till he completed it. This task was appreciated by Allah so much so that the Quran is translated to many languages.
Apart from the Holy Quran, Shah Waliullah also wrote authentic books on Hadith, the principles of Hadith, Tafseer and on mystical subjects. But the most popular book of “Hujatul Baligdh”. This book explains how Islam was found suitable for all races, cultures and people of the world and how successfully it solves social, moral, economic and political problems of human beings. He died in Delhi on the year 1176 AH corresponding to 1762 AD, behind the central jail. There is a vast ground and a graveyard known popularly as “Mehindin Kakhitta” which contains in it the grave of Shah Waliullah and his progeny.
Hazrat Shah Waliullah was fortunate of having children who were great scholars and god-fearing men like himself. His eldest son Shah Abdul Aziz was born in 1159 AH and died in 1238 AH corresponding to 1823 AD. At the age of 17 he had become an accomplished scholar and began teaching like his father. For 60 years, he continued teaching and preaching Islam. The blessing of his knowledge reached every corner of the Indian sub-continent. Because of his versatile genius he was giving the title “Ayatullah”, a sign of God.
The second of Shah Waliullah Rafi-uddin. He was born in 1163 AH and died in 1233 AH. His scholarly qualities may well be judged from the fact that when Shah Abdul Aziz had become to teach he passed on his responsibilities to Shah Rafi. Among the work of Shah Rafi his urdu translation of the Holy Quran.
The third son of Shah Sahib was Shah Abdul Qadir who was born in 1162 AH and died in 1230 AH. He was also a big scholar by his nature, he loved solitude, and he spent his whole life in a secluded room of Akbar Badi mosque. He did not much attend to literary writings, however, his urdu translation under the title of “Mozih ul Quran” was his monumental achievement which is recognised by scholarly circles.
His fourth son was Abdul Ghani. He was a saintly person. His son Shah Ismail Shaheed was a unique personality who had combined in himself all virtues of scholarly and mystical personalities.
In short, due to sincere and dedicated efforts of Shah Waliullah and his family the illustrious banner of Islam kept flying over the Indian sub continent despite the decline and fall of the Mughal empire. In Spain, the faith of Islam disappeared with disappearance of the Muslim rule. Many Muslims were killed and many were converted to Christianity. In India however the intention of the British Government did not realize and Muslim India did not convert to the faith of the ruling people despite missionary efforts of the British Government who spent millions of pounds on missionary activities and arranged lectures, debates and seminars to propagate their faith. The failure of the British Government in converting Muslim India was due to the dedicated efforts of Hazrat Shah Waliullah and his noble family.