In the name of God, the Most Graceful, the Most Merciful,
The death of Sheikh Yusuf Qarajah RA
by: Mohammad Akram al-Nadwi Oxford
I was surprised this morning (Thursday, May 9, 1442, 24 December 2020) with the obituary of Sheikh Yusuf Qarajah al-Nadwi, a prominent Turkish scholar, and one of its long-term advocates and great educators, We belong to God and to Him we shall return, and he returned to his lordship, where he will receive reward, a pure presence, forgiveness and mercy, and mercy of God is close to the benefactors.
Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf Saleh Qarajah, born in the village of Yishil Hasar, one of the important cities in Turkey, grew up and learned elementary lessons, the Koran and the principles of Arabic, memorized a quarter of the Holy Quran, and when he was 16 he left for Istanbul, and took lessons from Sheikh Tawfiq, He studied the book Beginning of Wishes in The Science by Sirajuddin Ali bin Othman Al-Oshi Al-Farjani Hanafi on Sheikh Abdul Aziz, and also benefited from Sheikh Mohammed Zahid Al-Kutko, one of the great scholars. Sheikh Yusuf was one of the first pupils of imam Khatib School in Istanbul, and studied there to middle school.
He was greatly impressed by Imam Abu al-Hassan Ali al-Hasani al-Nadwi, who was born in India, and studied at Nadwatul Ulama from 1959 to 1962, and graduated from it, and benefited from it, in particular, from Abu Al-Hassan al-Nadwi, from Sheikh Abdul Hafiz al-Bayawi, Prof. Dr. Saeed Al-Rahman al-Adhami, Sheikh Aweys al-Nadoi al-Nagrami, and Sheikh Mohammed Ishaq al-Sandilawi, and he mastered Arabic and Urdu.
After graduating from Nadwa, he returned to Turkey and continued to study at the Divine College, then became a teacher, taught in schools in Istanbul and high schools, studied in the schools of Imam Khatib, arabic, prophetic biography, brief investigations in interpretation, translation of Books of Islamic thought from Urdu to Turkish, and his translations, lectures and lessons played a major role in the Islamic revival in Turkey.
My connection to him: I visited Turkey many times, including in the second spring of 1440 on the occasion of attending a conference in Istanbul, and I had on Friday, Spring 12, 2012, an appointment to visit Sheikh Yusuf, and I was busy fulfilling other obligations, so I called him apologetically, and he spoke to me in the traditional Urdu language, so I admired his mastery of the language, although many of the graduates of the seminary are Indian scholars, and the Sheikh was encouraged to be there in Istanbul, and i regret that the interview did not take place, but I promised him that I would return to his town after about four months and stay there for ten days or more. He asked me to come to his house. It is a large house. I remember the Sheikh for the serenity of his heart and the sincerity of his love and respect, and his connection to Nadwa is very strong, and he is one of the closest people to our Sheikh Imam Abi Hassan Ali Al-Nadwi.
Then I visited Turkey on a scientific trip on 12 Shaaban 1440 with the students of the Institute of Peace, numbering about 100 students, and we visited Sheikh Yusuf, and he was pleased to see me and expressed his great joy, and this is the first time we met, and we presented the students, and he told us the history of Turkey in the modern era and the experience of the Turkish people, and their struggle for Islam, and we reported its translation, and his close connection with our Sheikh Abu al-Hassan Ali al-Nadwi, and his translation from Urdu to Turkish of the writings of Shibli al-Numani, Sayyid Suleiman al-Nadwi, Abu Al-Hassan al-Nadwi, Professor Abi Al-Alawi al-Mudoudi, and the book Fazail Amaaal by Sheikh Zakaria Al-Kandalawi, Dr. Iqbal's poetry, and the sheikh spoke in Classical Urdu.
"My writings in Turkey have been widely welcomed, and my books have not been received in any language as they have been received in Turkish, and twenty of my books have been translated into Turkish," says Sheikh Abu al-Hassan al-Nadwi, who talks about the impact of his writings in Turkish scientific and religious circles. "One of the secret reports of the Foreign Ministry (under the Ataturk government) stated that one of the factors of the Islamic awakening in Turkey is Taarikh Dawat o Azeemat," said Sheikh Yusuf Karajah.
One of his colleagues is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has studied Arabic for four years. The relationship between them is still close, and Sheikh Yusuf told us in his talk to the students of the Institute for Peace: A while ago in the month of Ramadan I went with the Turkish translation of the book "Pal Jibril" of Dr. Iqbal to President Erdoğan to present him, and was in the hospitality of breakfast on the sea coast, and the occasion gathered more than a thousand people, the President asked me after a I sent him a guard, and when I reached him he respected me, and I said, President of the Republic! Please stay seated, so many people look at us and I salute that you will rise from your place for me. He said, "No, professor, go ahead! Sit next to me."
May God bless you, The Faithful Sheikh of Turkey, and make you a dwelling place in His paradise, and sleep as a bride, with mercy from the Lord of the Worlds.