Allama Syed Zeeshan Haider Rizvi was a prominent Islamic scholar of our time. He was popularly known as Allama Jawadi. He was an unbounded sea of knowledge. His vast study, coupled with his rich and consummate experience, had definitely made his personality prominent. He was gifted with a rich vision but he was never soaring and ethereal.
He was always realistic and down-to-earth in his attitude. He had his views about things that were developed from the teachings of Islam, Holy Prophet(s) and his Progeny (a). These views did not exist in vacuum; they were always supported by cogent and convincing arguments and by his actions. Indeed very few have his depth of vision and insight. It is very rare to find all the blessed talents in one person, but due to grace of Allah, Allama was an eloquent orator, great philosopher, impressive writer and a natural poet devoted to Allah (swt) and His Ma'súmín (a) and above all a devoted social reformer.
Allama Jawadi was born in Allahabad on 17th September 1938. He started his Islamic education at Jamia Nazimia in Lucknow and after finishing his studies there, Allama moved to Najaf-e-Ashraf (Iraq) for higher studies, as Najaf was the best Islamic learning centre of that time and he stayed under the patronage of his brother Maulana Syedd Ali Abid Rizvi until 1961. Then he returned to Allahabad and got married, and returned Najaf after six months, for his further studies.
He studied in Najaf under the guidance of highly learned Shí`ah scholars of his time. His knowledge was nurtured by some of the renowned personalities of the time like late Aqai Mohsin Hakeem and late Aqa-i-Khui, late Ayatollah Baqir as Sadr, Ayatollah Asad Ali Madani and Sheikh Mohammad Ali Mudarrisi to name a few. Out of his sincere dedication and quest for knowledge he himself became a prominent scholar under the guidance of these towering personalities who were best in their field.
Being an intelligent person Allama utilised all the time of his life in serving the cause. Just to narrate one incident, once during one of his unaccountable journeys, the flight got late for few hours at Frankfurt Airport and Allama utilised this time to write a book named "Taqaza-e-Islam" (duties of Muslims). Other than his literary traits, he was very well known for his presence of mind, witty answers and classic sense of humour.
As part of his commitment towards social reformation, he joined hands with Mawlana Syed Ghulam Askari Sahib (may his soul rest in peace) to establish a network of 900 Madrasas all over India under the banner of "Tanzeem ul Makatib".
Syed Jawadi also started a religious school by name "Houzia Illmia Anwar-ul-Uloom" for young scholars at Allahabad, whose principal is currently Mawlana Jawad Hayder Jawadi. The objective of establishing this network was to produce Islamic scholars and preachers for the ever-growing need of the society. In addition to these by his orations, writings and interactions he has established innumerable Madrasas in the hearts and minds of people, which shall be multiplying to serve humanity.
On the international level, he was serving the community in Abu Dhabi for last two decades. He had been Imam of Masjid "Rasool-e-Azam" during which he inculcated Islamic values and the basic essence of Islam in the minds of his followers. During his stay he not only adorned the Mihrab but also was propagating values and message of Islam from pulpit.
Senior residents of Abu Dhabi are witnesses to the dynamic role he played in transforming a polarised community into a community of devoted and practising Muslims. He also responded to the growing needs of the community in Europe and America as well. He used to travel far and wide to propagate Islam and its teachings.
What all has been summed up so far about his life is more than enough to substantiate that he indeed "Lived like Ali (a)" and the way death overtook him due to command of Allah, compel us to say that indeed he "Died Like Husayn (a)".
As he has been doing for last so many years, this year also he was fortunate to accomplish the Hajj rituals and assisted many to perform their Hajj in its right spirit. He returned from Hajj in nascent state of salvation and purity to address Muharram majalis in Abu Dhabi. The theme of his last ten speeches at Abu Dhabi was "Tauheed" -The oneness of God. Even the last hour of his life he was busy reciting Majlis-e-Ashura in which he narrated the details of the tragedy of Karbala, and its message for the humanity.
This great Islamic scholar of this millennium left for his heavenly abode at the very hour of Asr-e-Ashur i.e. 10th Muharram, 1421 Hijri (15th April 2000) in Abu Dhabi. His mortal remain were laid to rest on 18th April 2000 at Allahabad. The news of his sad demise spread like wild fire all over the world wherever believers know him. Since the word spread all over the world, believers have been praying to Allah (swt) to bestow Sabr-e-Jameel to his family members to bear this irreparable loss and place the noble soul in the vicinity of Ma'sumin (a).
Allama Jawadi translated more than 100 original works from Arabic and Persian to Urdu. These included translation/interpretation of the Holy Qur'ân, The Nahjul Balaghah, Mafatih-ul-Jinan, Sahifa-e-Sajjadia.
Apart from this Allama himself authored numerous books, booklets and articles. Books like Naqoosh-e-Ismat and Zikr-o-Fikr need a special mention among the lot. Allama was also a God gifted poet dedicated to praise of Allah, prophet, and Ma'súmin as to convey message of Islam. His work has been published in number of collections such as Salaam-e-Kaleem, Kalam-e-Kaleem, and Soz-o-Salam.