A Seeker of knowledge: The Life of Shaikha Sajida Faruqui
Translated By: Amina Elahi
The Blessed Prophet ﷺ said: Whoever treads a path in search of knowledge, Allah makes him tread a path from the paths of paradise. Indeed the angels spread their wings in delight at the seeker of knowledge. The inhabitants of the heavens and earth and the fish in the depths of the sea seek forgiveness for the scholar. The superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like that of the full moon over the stars. Scholars are the heirs of the Prophets’ peace upon them.
The Muslim ummah has suffered a tremendous loss upon the demise of the blessed and honored teacher, Shaikha Sajida Faruqui, daughter of Ahmad Zafar Faruqui. She was the granddaughter of the 4th Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chaudhry Mohammed Ali, and the principal of Madrassa Ayesha Siddiqua Lil Banat in Karachi, Pakistan. She passed away on the night of Friday, 23rd Jumadi s Sani, 1442 AH, 5th February 2021. May Allah have mercy upon her and engulf her in His infinite forgiveness and pardon all her sins and admit her into the vast, lush gardens of Paradise. Ameen.
We would like to present an excerpt regarding her scholarly attainments and services to Islam. This excerpt has been taken from the book, THE LIFE OF THE MUHADDIS, SHEIKH MOHAMMED ABD UR RASHEED NOMANI, (may Allah have mercy upon him) written by his son, Dr. Abd us Shaheed Nomani.
“Madrassa Ayesha Siddiqua is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding madrassas for girls in Pakistan and has the distinction of being the first of its kind. It was founded by the Chaudhry Mohammed Ali trust, which was set up by Dr. Amjad Ali, the son of Chaudhry Mohammed Ali, former Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Madrassa Ayesha Siddiqua was founded in 1989 under the supervision and tutelage of Shaikha Sajida Faruqui. She possessed a remarkable intellect, swift to grasp intellectual subtleties, and a phenomenal retentive memory. Highly disciplined and dedicated, she was the epitome of obedience to Allah. She learnt the science of Hadith from my blessed father and studied under his tutelage for eight years. Throughout this time, she would come to him daily, traversing a considerable distance with dedicated determination.
Thus, she studied the following books with him “AL HISN UL HASEEN” by Imam Shamsuddin Abul Khair Muhammad Bin Muhammad Bin Ali al Jazri, “ULOOM UL HADITH IL MAROOF BI MUQADAMA IBN IS SALAH” by Imam Hafiz Abi Amr Usman ibn Abdur Rahman As Shaheer ibn is Salah, “NUKHBATUL FIKR FI MUSTALAHA AHL IL ASR” by Hafiz Ibn Hajar al Asqalani and the preface to “SAHIH MUSLIM” along with Kitab ul Iman, Kitab ul Ilm as well as selected chapters from the book, “SHARH MA’ANI AL ASAR” and from the book, “KITAB UL HUJJAH ALA AHL IL MADINA”. Furthermore, she studied the entire “SAHIH BUKHARI” from the beginning to the end.
She was extremely proficient in Arabic, the science of Hadith, Usool ul Hadith and Islamic Jurisprudence. She wrote a book on Arabic Grammar, entitled LISAN UL QURAN. Her students helped in its writing. This textbook comprises three volumes. She also wrote a treatise on fiqh entitled, “BAYUH AL AINATI WAL AJAAL”.
The renowned scholar, Mohammed Taqi Usmani has said regarding this treatise:
“The proficient sister has condensed all that has been written about this topic in the books of fiqh, she has elucidated the different opinions regarding this topic according to the different schools of thought (madhahib) and she has also elaborated the differences of opinion between the scholars regarding the permissibility and unlawfulness therein. All of this has been set forth with remarkable lucidity so as to facilitate understanding and to completely obviate any confusion or misunderstanding for the reader.
It is my firm conviction that this treatise will prove invaluable for any seeking to comprehend the rulings of such transactions. May Allah recompense her and reward her abundantly in the world and the Hereafter. May Allah grant her the enabling grace to perform many such pure deeds, from which people and nations may benefit and Allah is the Possessor of tawfiq.
Indeed she is of the righteous, obedient worshippers of Allah. She took Bayah in the four Silsilas from Sheikh Nomani. After she took the Tareeq from him, she traversed the different stages of the spiritual path. She dedicated her entire life to the service of the madrassa and focused on raising devoted students of deen whose sole purpose was to invite people to Allah. Her students were from the upper strata of society, she taught them and guided them to the path of Sacred knowledge and guidance. She was so pure that she refused to put her name on the books she wrote. Such was her dislike of fame and renown that she always sought to conceal herself.
She founded Madrassa Ayesha in order to train young Muslim girls in Arabic, the Islamic sciences and to acquaint them with true Islamic values, and give them an upbringing in accordance with the traditions of our pious predecessors. The fundamental purpose along with others is to teach the students proficiency in Arabic and to propagate it in Pakistan thereby facilitating an understanding of the Holy Quran as well as other Islamic texts.
Madrassa Ayesha Siddiqua begins from the Montessori level and by the final level, the students have acquired mastery over Arabic and the Islamic sciences. Indeed it is the surpassing excellence of Arabic in the students which makes Madrassa Ayesha so unique.
Sheikh Nomani also taught “SAHIH BUKHARI” and “SHARH MA’ANI AL ASAR” to the final year students of Madrassa Ayesha and he highly praised their intelligence, perseverance, and proficiency in Arabic.