Maulana Sanaullah Amritsari was an Ahl-e-Hadith (Wahabi) Muslim from British India, he was born into a family of Kashmiri descent. He was born on June 12, 1868 and died on March 15, 1948 in Sarghoda, Pakistan. He was a major opponent of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the early Ahmadiyya movement. Sanaullah Amritsari served as the general secretary of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith Hind form 1906 to 1947. He was also the editor of the “”Ahle Hadees”” magazine. He moved to Pakistan at the Partition, losing his son in the process, and himself dying in Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan, in 1948, after suffering from a stroke. Syed Muhammad Hussain Batalvi was also an Ahl-e-Hadith scholar who beefed with MGA uptil about 1902, Sanaullah seems to have stepped up for the Ahl-e-Hadith of India as they battled vs. Ahmadiyya. In 1907, he refused to enter into a Mubahila challenge vs. MGA, instead, MGA prayed that if he was a false prophet, he would die in the lifetime of Sanaullah. He had many debates and arguments with various Ahmadi leaders, he eventually wrote many books, the most famous book in terms of his battles with Ahmadiyya is Ilhamat-e-Mirza (1928)– a critical account of the ‘revelations’ of Mirza. He was also the main editor and owner of a monthly magazine called, “Muraqqa-Qadiani” which lasted from 1907 until MGA died in May of 1908.
Its articles were compiled in the shape of book titled “Muraqqa Qadiani” published in 1917.
He seems to have also written the famous “”Tafsir Thana’i””, also spelled as Tafsir Sanai or Tafeer Sanai. This was published before 1908. MGA referred to it in Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya Vol. 5, MGA lied and claimed that Maulana Sanaullah had also written that Abu Hurairya was deficient in knowledge.
MGa writes in Izala Auham that a Muslim cannot have a Mubahila with another Muslim. He contradicts himself a few months later.
MGA mentions Maulvi Sanaullah by name in the Appendix of Anjam e Athim.
MGA is ordered by the British Government to never do a Mubahila challenge ever again.
He published his famous commentary of the Quran called Tafseer Sanai. MGA quoted this book in 1902, as MGA called Abu Hurairah as stupid, since this commentary quotes a hadith from Sahih Bukhari wherein Abu Hurairah proved that 4:159 meant that Esa (As) hadn’t died yet. He gets into a debate vs. some Ahmadi’s. MGA mentions all of this in his book, Ijaz i Ahmadi. This debate was to be held on October 29, 30, 1902. Syed Muhammad Sarwar Shah and Maulavi Abdullah Kashmiri were to represent the Ahmadis at the debate, and Maulavi Sanaullah the other party. The debate was held in the open under a banyan tree. There were only three Ahmadis at the debate and over 600 non-Ahmadis were present. Maulavi Sanaullah
Amritsari fanned the feelings of the villagers by asserting that the Ahmadis were afraid of debates. When the terms were being settled Maulavi Sanaullah insisted that nobody should speak for more than 20 minutes despite the protest by Syed Sarwar Shah that the time fixed (20 minutes) was woefully inadequate.
Maulvi Sanullah visits Qadian. He writes:
‘Bismillah Al-Rehman Al-Raheem. To Janab Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Saheb, Raees-e-Qadian.
This humble self, according to your invitation mentioned in Aijaz-e-Ahmadi pp. 11-13, I am presently here in Qadian. Until now, Ramadhan prevented me from accepting your invitation, otherwise I would not have delayed it. I swear upon God that I do not have any personal grievance or animosity against you. Since according to you, you are appointed on such a high position which is for the guidance of all humanity in general and for sincere persons like me especially, therefore I firmly hope that you will not spare any effort to make me understand, and as promised, you will give me permission that I will express in front of people my thoughts about your prophecies. Once again I remind you of my sincerity and the trouble that I have taken to travel all the way, and by virtue of the grand position, please give me a chance.’ …. from Abu al-Wafa Sanaullah. dated 10th January 1903.’ (Tareekh-e-Mirza by Maulana Sanaullah Amratsari p. 61).
Mirza was stunned. He never thought in his wildest dreams that Molvi Sanaullah Saheb would ever come to Qadian. He replied, trying to avoid facing him. He wrote:
“””I have promised God that I would never debate with those people (opponents). Thus that way which is quite far away from debates is that to clear this stage you will have to promise that you will not go out of the ‘Minhaj-e-Nabuwwat – way of the prophethood’ ……. 2nd condition is that you will not be allowed to speak at all. You will only give a written objection, one line or two lines, that this is your objection. Then in the gathering, a detailed reply would be given. For objection, there is no need to write in detail, just a line or two is enough. 3rd condition is that you would raise only ONE objection per day. Since you have not informed us of your coming, rather you have sneaked in like a thief, because of lack of free time and work of printing the book, we cannot spend more than three hours. Remember that this will never be allowed that you give a long lecture like a sermon in front of public, instead you will have to absolutely keep your mouth shut, as deaf and dumb, so that the talk does not turn into a debate. First you will ask only regarding one prophecy. For three hours I can give its reply, and at each you will be cautioned that even if now you are not satisfied then write it down. It would not be your task to let (people) hear your objection. We will read ourselves, but it should not be more than two or three lines. This way, you will not suffer, since you have come to clear your doubts, this way is excellent to remove doubts. I will announce to the people that regarding this prophecy, such and such doubt has come into the heart of Molvi Saheb, and this is its reply. This way all the doubts will be cleared. But if you want that like a debate you are allowed to talk, then this will never happen. (Mirza repeated the same conditions at least two more times in the next paragraph) …. From my side, I swear upon God, that I would not go out of this, and will not hear anything, you will not dare to utter a single word from your mouth. And I bind you also with the swear of God, that if you have come with a true heart, then be bound to it and do not spend your life in creating trouble and disturbance. And whosoever among the two of us, breaks this oath, then God’s curse be on him, and may God will that he sees the fruit of this curse in his life. Ameen….. by the pen of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad by his own hand”””” (Tareekh-e-Mirza pp.62-64).
One would have thought that Molvi Sanaullah would have given up after reading such absurd conditions where he is not even allowed to say a single word. But Allah had given him long patience. He wrote back to Mirza Saheb:
“”””I received your long letter. Alas! what is the expectations of the whole country, same thing has happened. Respected Sir! When I have come according to your invitation mentioned in Aijaz-e-Ahmadi, and in clear words I have given reference of the same pages, then such long talk from you …. me dear Sir, it is so sad that on the one hand you invite me to come to do research, that I prove your prophecies wrong to get the cash reward Rs. 100 for each, and then in your letter you are binding me to write just one or two lines whereas for your self you propose to have three hours!!!
Is this the way of research that I write one or two lines and you make a speech for three hours? This shows clearly that you are now regretting having invited me, and is denying your own invitation, and refraining from research, for which you had invited me on page 23. Dear Sir! Did you invite me to your house write these two lines only? I could have done better sitting in Amratsir, and am doing it already. But remembering the troubles of my journey, I do not want to go empty handed, therefore I accept your injustice as well and will write only two three lines, and you can no doubt speak for three hours. However I would request this much alteration that I would read my two three lines to the audience, and after every hour of your speech, I would express my thoughts about your speech for 5 minutes, maximum 10 minutes. Since you do not like public audience, therefore the gathering from sides would be limited to 25 persons. You akin my coming without informing you to be like a thief! Is this how you greet your guests? There was no condition that you have to be informed in advance. Moreover, you would have received the news from heavens. Whatever speech you are going to make, kindly give it to me then, and proceedings will start from today. After I receive your reply, I will send you my brief question. As far as the talk about cursing is concern, it is the same which is mentioned in hadith…. from Sanaullah dated 11th January 1903″””” (Tareekh-e-Mirza p.65) (Hadith about Curse: If the person who has been cursed, does not deserve the curse, then it returns to the one who has cursed).
Mirza Ghulam A Qadiani did not reply to this letter, instead instructed his disciple Mohammed Ahsan Amrohi to write the reply:
“”””Molvi Sanaullah Saheb, your letter was read to Hazrat-e-Aqdas, Imam-uz-Zaman, Maseeh Mowood … since its contents were purely racist and hateful, which is far away from seeking the truth, therefore this reply is enough from Hazrat-e-Aqdas (Mirza) that you do not want to investigate the truth … Hazrat has sworn that he would not enter into any debate with his opponents, how can an appointee of Allah go against his promise of God?… therefore your proposals are absolutely not acceptable…. From Mohammed Ahsan by order of Hazrat Imam-uz-Zaman dated 11th January 1903″””” (Tareekh-e-Mirza p.66).
MGA claims that Maulvi Thana’ullah was present at the famous Karam Din case (see Haqiqatul Wahy, online english edition).
Maulvi Sanaullah seems to have been challenging Ahmadi’s to a debate,
Ahmadi.answers.com quotes the AhleHadees newspaper as saying:
“”””Mirza’is! If you are truthful then come; and bring your people with you. The same Eid-Gah is ready where you did a mubahala with Sufi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi and were faced with heavenly disgrace And bring the man who has invited me for a Mubahalah in his book Anjam-e-Atham”””” (Ahl-e-Hadith, 29 March 1907 Page 10).
He responds to MGA’s request for a Mubahila. He refuses to enter into a Mubahila with MGA.
“””“I give the good news to Maulvi Sanaullah that Mirza Sahib has accepted his challenge of Mubahalah. Undoubtedly(you) swear that this man (i.e Mirza Sahib) is false in his claim and then openly state that if I am false in this claim then “May the curse of Allah be upon those who lie”. The verse of the Holy Qur’an upon which the foundation of Mubahalah is set only states that both parties should say, “May the curse of Allah be upon those who lie”””” (Badr, 14 April 1907).
MGA publishes his famous announcement vs. Sanaullah, entitled, “The Final Judgement with Sanaullah”. In this announcement MGA prays to his God that he should die within the lifetime of Sanaulah, if he (MGA) is indeed a liar and a false prophet.
“”“I did not invite you to a Mubahalah, I only expressed my intent to make a sworn statement. However, you call this a Mubahalah, whereas a Mubahalah is when both parties swear against each other. I have only agreed to take an oath not to engage in a Mubahalah. A sworn statement is something else and a Mubahalah is something else”””(Ahl-e-Hadith 19 April 1907).
Maulvi Sanaullah published MGA’s prayer in his newspaper (the Ahl e Hadees) to God that he should die within the lifetime of Maulvi Sanaullah if he (MGA) is indeed a false prophet. He also wrote:
“”””Your writing is not acceptable to me and neither can any sane person accept it.”””
(Akhbar Ahli Hadees, Amratsar, 26th April, 1907).
“””In case I die, what argument is my death going to resolve for other people?”””
(Akhbar Ahli Hadees, Amratsar, 26th April, 1907, p. 5).
See also—The Review of Religions, February 1992
Haqiqatul Wahy is published by MGA. Maulvi Sanaullah’s name is mentioned 9 times, however, it is spelled as Thana’ullah. MGA connects Saadullah with Sanaullah, it seems that the two knew each other. Saadullah died in February of 1907.
In terms of a Mubahila Challenge, Maulvi Sanaullah wrote:
(Moraqqai Qadiani, August 1907)
“””The Holy Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, in spite of being a true prophet, passed away before Maseelma Kazzab. Maseelma in spite of being a liar died after the true person but because he finally died in disappointment and frustration, therefore, there is no doubt in the authenticity of the prayer.”””
MGA dies in Lahore of cholera.
In his magazine, “Murraqqa Qadiani”, he states:
“””The Krishan of Qadian published an announcement of Mubahalah on 15 April 1907″””(Muraqqa-e-Qadiani, June 1908, Page 18).
Maulvi Sanaullah is mentioned in the Ahmadi newspaper Al-Hakam, as he argued that MGA’s prophethood only lasted 6 1/2 years, since it started in 1901.
Maulvi Sanaullah has a debate with top Ahmadi’s in Rampur. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq and Maulvi Ahsan Amrohi were there representing Ahmadi’s.
1911, roughly April or May
Maulvi Sanaullah comments on Mirza Basheer ud Din’s famous essay wherein the Mirza calls all Muslims as Kafirs (see Truth about the Split).
Muraqqaʻ-i Qadiani (The Qadiani Mosaic), 1917, 64 pages is published.
He debated Ahmadi’s in Kartarpur, British-India.
“Shahadat-e-Mirza” is published, Maulvi Sanaullah also published a 6-month challenge to all Ahmadi’s to respond. Tarikh-i Mirza (History of Mirza), 1923, 64 pages is also published.
In a 3-day conference held in Qadian on April 1-3, 1924, by non-Ahmadis, Maulavi Sanaullah boasted about his challenge and his books and claimed that no one had written a rebuttal (See Hidden Treasures). Jalal-ud-Din Shams when writing the introduction of Hudur’s book says: I came to know in December 1923 about the existence of this book, and when I came to Qadian I inquired whether anyone had received a copy of this book. As no one knew about it, I had to trace this book and wrote a strong rebuttal that appeared in the issue of April 1924 of the Review of Religions. Qadi Muhammed Zahooruddin Akmal, the editor of Review of Religions, in an introductory remarks to the rebuttal, said that he received the manuscript on January 31, 1924. The daily al-Fadl in its issue of April 8, 1924, carried the news that a copy of the issue containing the rebuttal of the book was sent to Maulavi Sanaullah under registered cover.
Nikat-i Mirza, 1926, 40 pages is published.
ʻAqaʼid-i Mirza (Beliefs of Mirza), 1928, 8 pages is published. “ilhamat-e-Mirza” is also published.
The Lahori -Ahamdi’s would often send Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi, while that local organisation would also have obtained the services of Maulana Sanaullah. So Maulana Sanaullah was on the same platform and in the same team representing Muslims with a well known Lahori Ahmadi scholar (who had taken the bai`at at the hands of the Promised Messiah in 1907)! As an example, we have a booklet entitled Munazira, published by the Anjuman Nusrat-ul-Islam of Hyderabad, Sind (an orthodox Muslim body), being the account of a debate between the Arya Samaj and Muslim representatives in January 1929.
Here is the link. (Opens in new window)
On the first day, Maulana Sanaullah appeared against a Pandit (see p. 14). On the second day, Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi appeared against another pandit (see p. 24). The speeches of all the representatives are reproduced.
Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi told us (including me) many anecdotes about Sanaullah’s replies at the debates which were sometimes silly. For example, an Arya asked “Can Allah create another God like Him if He is all-powerful?”, implying of course that there would then be two Gods. Sanaullah replied: Yes, Allah can create another God like Him, but the created God will say ‘I am not the real God’, so there would still be only one God. Maulana Abdul Haq said to us: I knew what a blistering reply the Arya would give to this foolish response, and so he did. The Arya said: This means that either the first God is wrong because he didn’t manage to create a God like him, or the created God is wrong because he is saying I am not a real God! So there is a conflict between the two Gods, one saying “I have created a God like Me”, and the other saying “No, I am not the real God”!
Once Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi published a challenge addressing Sanaullah and saying: You said in a gathering in my presence: “I (Sanaullah) have made a lot of money by opposing Mirza”. Can you deny saying this?
Maulvi Sanaullah had many public debates with an Ahmadi-Mullah named Maulana Abul ‘Ata Jallundhari. Maulana Abul ‘Ata Jallundhari was born in district Jallundhar in 1904. At the age of eleven his father brought him to Qadian for studies, where he completed his Honours in Arabic with distinction. For five years he served as the Missionary In-charge for Palestine, and acquired great proficiency in Arabic. He started al-Bushra magazine in 1933 and also started the magazine al- Furqan. He wrote numerous books in Urdu and Arabic. He served as the Principal of Jami‘ah Ahmadiyyah and Jami‘atul- Mubashshirin from 1944 to 1958. He was also one of the members of the delegations of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jama‘at in 1953 and 1974 to the Government of Pakistan. He also served as a member of the Ifta’ [Jurisprudence] Committee for many years until his death. He is one of the three members of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jama‘at who have been given the title, “Khalid-e-Ahmadiyyat” by Hadrat Musleh-e-Mau‘udra.(See Nubuwwat and Khilafat, 1966).
ʻAjaʼibat Mirza risālah “ʻIlm-i Kalam-i Mirza” ka doosra hissa (The Oddities of the booklet ‘Writings of Mirza as Literature’, part two), 1933, 25 pages is published.
What seems to be his final comments on Ahmadiyya were given in the Ahl-e-Hadees newspaper of 1944. The British had just won WW-2 and the idea of a Muslim state was always in the press.
“In August 1947, Amritsar was the scene of a mini-doomsday. The death-afflicting storm of rioting completely enfolded the residence of Maulana, and even though he succeeded in evacuating himself and his family out into safety, his only youthful son Ataullah was cruelly slaughtered under his very eyes and the horror of that grief minced his heart into pieces.” (Al Aitzan June, 15 1962 page 10).
Maulvi Abdul Majid Sohdarvi, biographer of Maulvi Sanaullah, writes: “The moment he left his house, vagabonds and looters who were waiting for the opportunity swept in and took everything, including all the household items, cash and jewelry. After looting and robbing, they put the house on fire. That was, however, not the end of it; the looters also put on fire and turned to ashes Maulana’s most precious and valuable collection of books which included some very rare publications worth thousands of rupees and which he had brought together after great pains and expense. The loss of these books was no less distressing to Maulana than the loss of his only son. Those books were the most valuable estate of his life and some of them were so rare that it was not only difficult but impossible to replace them” … “This violent grief remained with Maulana until his death and, in fact, these two tragic incidents were the major cause of his sudden death. The sudden loss of his only son and the burning of his most precious collection of books, and the affliction of both of these misfortunes over a short while claimed his life (Seerati Sanai, Maqbool Aam Press, Lahore).
Screen Shot attached.
Links and Related Essays
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- “Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind”. Archived from the original on 2017-10-12.
- “Biography of Shaykh Al-Islam Thanaullah Amritsari”
- “Sanaullah Amritsari – wiki”. wiki.qern.org. Archived from the original on 2016-10-02.
- “Tafseer Sanai (By Molana Sana ullah Amritsary) — Australian Islamic Library”. AUSTRALIAN ISLAMIC LIBRARY. Archived from the original on 2016-09-30.
- Faz̤lurraḥmān bin Muḥammad. (11 February 1988). “Hazrat Maulana Sanaullah Amritsari”. Archived from the original on 11 February 2018 – via Hathi Trust.
- Qureshi, Aqeel (25 April 2016). “Seerat sanai(Hazrat Molana Sanaullah Amritsari RA) ~ Siqarah Public Library islam pora jabber”. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016.