Sayed Ma’roof Hussain Shah (Arif Qadri Naushahi) is the founder of Jamiyat Tabligh-ul-Islam, an organisation which literally means: ‘Uniting Humanity to Promote Peace’.
He has been an instrumental figure in the Muslim community from as early as 1960s. His guidance and support has been well received by all generations of the British Muslims living in the UK.
He is a direct descendent of the fourth caliph, Hazrat Ali (may God be please with him), who was the first cousin of the Prophet, peace be upon him.
He is a strong advocate of peaceful Islam and represents the Islamic sufi tradition believed by the vast majority of Muslims from the indo-subcontinent living in the UK.
In the 1960’s, British Muslims who emigrated to fill the vacuums of many industries and factories, were confronted by new challenges of living in a very different culture. In these times, a leader and role model was needed to offer guidance and support. Syed Ma’roof Hussain Shah taught in the community once he finished his work in the textile mills.For many, he was a shining light on how to harmonise one’s Islamic faith with the new responsibilities of living and working in the UK.
He has worked primarily in Bradford, although his message and teachings have been disseminated to many worldwide projects and charitable movements.
His service to the community is spread over five decades and has resulted in the development of more than 20 centres of teaching and worship in the community. Some of these projects have costed millions of pounds, for example the beautifully designed Central Mosque of Bradford. In terms of education, he is well grounded in the knowledge of Islamic tradition and sciences, and has proficiency in Urdu, Persian and Classical Arabic languages. Sayed Ma’roof Hussain Shah is from a noble family of Islamic scholars and learned people, many of whom were beacons of light and spirituality in their communities.
In 1962, a year after he arrived in the UK, Syed Ma’roof Hussain Shah first established the charitable mission of Jamiyat Tabligh-ul-Islam. He offered his own house to become a source of learning and worship (during Ramadan and Eid) and he would work in the factories during the night and teach during the day and weekends. Syed Ma’roof Hussain Shah worked night shifts in factories for more than twenty years.
Sayed Ma’roof Hussain Shah has actively promoted the traditional understanding of the Islamic faith and has been a strong critic of those who use Islam to sow discord, hatred and disunity. He has directed the organisation and its mission to be vocal about the British Muslim’s responsibilities to embrace British values of tolerance, respect and tradition and to denounce any form to divisive behaviours propagated by fringe extremist groups. Enriched by his sufi tradition, Syed Ma’roof Hussain Shah would like to see the silent majority of British Muslims to become more focused in educating their children about the challenges of radicalization.
SCHOLARSHIP AND RESEARCH
Passionate about education and sensitive to the real threat of extremist ideologies and their potential impact on the Muslim community, Syed Ma’roof Hussain has supported many educational projects:
- The Islamic Times (an English magazine) which is published regularly in collaboration with a Manchester/Stock port organisation.
- Translation work of one of the greatest Indian scholar Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi, who was a foremost critic of Wahabi ideologies and its harms to society. This includes the Translation of The Holy Quran, some sixty books on various topics, and the publication of a new version of Fatwa-I-Rizvia, a huge compendium of Islamic jurisprudence written by Imam Ahmad Raza al Barelwi.
- The setting up and the stocking of classical Islamic libraries in the UK and abroad – ideal for research for UK Imams and students interested in Islamic sciences
- Promoting the development and teaching of islamic citizenship education resources for the mosques and madrassahs
Sayed is a keen reader of Sufism and being part of the Qadiritariqa, (one of the branches of Sufism) he is passionate about mysticism, poetry(especially of Rumi and Attar) and Sufi literature of Qushayri, Ghazali and Hujwiri.
A number of centres have been developed under the supervision and direction of Sayed Ma’roof Hussain Shah who has been passionate about alleviating poverty and offering children life chance and opportunities, especially those who are orphans and come from poor background in Pakistan.
The centres Darbar Aaliya act as safe houses and schools for many of these children. Children and young people are given food, shelter and education.
Sayed Ma’roof Hussain Shah is happily married and lives with his five children.