Sh. Ahmad Ali al-Saharanpuri
Biographers mention that Sh. Ahmad Ali Ibn Lutfullah al-Saharanpuri did not engage in seeking sacred knowledge during his youth, rather he was known to have been more focussed towards sports and leisure activities.
It is recorded that the Jurist (Faqih) of Saharanpur, Mawlana Saadat Ali sent a person to Sh. Ahmad Ali to ask him regarding the meaning of some words which he was not able to answer. The resulting embarrassment stirred him to turn his attentions towards the seeking of knowledge. He subsequently travelled to Meerut where he memorized the Quran, he was close to 18 years old at the time.
Sh. Ahmad then returned back to Saharanpur and began the study of the beginners texts in the Islamic sciences with the Jurist of his area Mawlana Saadat Ali. Proceeding to study all the other works of the curriculum in Dehli with some of the foremost scholars of the time, namely Allamah Mamluk Ali and Mawlana Wassiyuddin al-Saharanpuri. He then travelled to the Hijaz and read hadith with Sh. Muhammad Ishaq al-Dehlawi in the pure land of Makka.
Having completed his studies Sh. Ahmad Ali began teaching whilst also opening a printing press named al-Matba’ah al-Ahmadiyyah in Dehli. He oversaw the printing of the books of hadith which he annotated with beneficial notes and commentary, not least his notes to Sahih al-Bukhari which gained wide recognition. He also authored some treatise amongst them being: ‘al-Dalil al-Qawi Ala Tark Qira’ah lil Muqtadi’.
The Indian Mutiny of 1857 caused Sh. Ahmad to return to his hometown of Saharanpur, where he took up a teaching position in the famous Madrassah ‘Mazahir al-Ulum’.
Sh. Ahmad Ali al-Saharanpuri passed away with six days remaining in the month of Jamadi al-Ula in the year 1297 at 72 years of age, may Allah (the Exalted) have mercy on him and all the scholars mentioned in this post.
For more details refer to: al-Ialam (7/50) of al-Hasani