In his short essay entitled Tuhfat al-Mujtahidin bi Asma’ al-Mujaddidin (“The Gem of the Striving Scholars: the Names of the Renewers of the Religion”) al-Suyût.î listed the Renewers as follows:
- 1st century: Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz
- 2nd century: Imam al-Shafi’i
- 3rd century: Imam Ibn Surayj and Imam al-Ash`ari
- 4th century: Al-Baqillani, Sahl al-Su`luki, and Abu Hamid al-Isfarayini
- 5th century: Imam al-Ghazzali
- 6th century: Imam Fakhraddin al-Razi and al-Rafi`i
- 7th century: Ibn Daqiq al-`Id (625-702)
- 8th century: Al-Bulqini and al-Iraqi
- 9th century: Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti (849-911 A.H)
The above mentioned centuries are according to the birth of those scholars. But a Mujaddid of a century is known to be the one who is born in the previous century but his Tajdid (revival) occurs in the next century. Hence the above names be considered the Mujaddids of the next centuries.
I will continue this list by the century in which the Mujaddid did the revival of Islam.
The first century of Hijri calendar marks the start of Islam. The line of Mujaddids starts from the 2nd century (after the first hundred years of the demise of Rasoolullah s.a.w.).
- The great caliph of Islam, Imam Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (61-101 AH) is widely acclaimed to be the very first Mujaddid of Islam. He was a caliph for a very short duration (1 to 2 years), but he did great works in that short while.
Other suggested names:
- Imam Abu Hanifa (80-148 A.H) – the greatest Imam of Fiqh
- The great Imam and founder of the 2nd largest Sunni school of jurisprudence, Imam al-Shafi’i
- Imam Ibn Surayj and Imam al-Ash`ari
- Al-Baqillani, Sahl al-Su`luki, and Abu Hamid al-Isfarayini (considered by Imam al-Suyuti)
- Imam al-Ghazzali (considered by Imam al-Suyuti)
- Hadhrat Abu Yusuf Hamadani (440-535 A.H) – He was the shaykh of Sayyidina Abdul Qadir Jilani, Khwaja Mueenuddin Ajmeri, as well as the grandsheikh of Naqshbandi tariqah Khwaja Abdul Khaliq Ghijdwani. All the major Sufi orders have directly benefited from him.
- Imam Fakhraddin al-Razi and al-Rafi`i (considered by Imam al-Suyuti)
- Khwaja Mueen al-Din al-Hasan al-Sanjri al-Ajmeri (535-633 A.H) – He was the Imam of the Chishti sufi tariqah, and with his efforts a significant part of the Indian population converted to Islam
- Ibn Daqiq al-`Id (625-702) (considered by al-Suyuti)
- Al-Bulqini and al-Iraqi (considered by al-Suyuti)
- Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti (849-911 AH)
- Shaykh Ahmad al-Faruqi of Sirhind, India (d. 1034) – unanimously accepted as the only Mujaddid of 11th century as well as the 2nd millennium of Islam, hence called Mujaddid Alf Thani (Mujaddid of the 2nd Millenium). He received this noble post of Mujaddid in 1010 AH, exactly after 1000 years of the demise of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. He is the Mujaddid of a millenium, not only a century.
- Al-Qutb `Abd Allah al-Haddad of Hadramawt, Yemen
- The great Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir Mujaddidi Masoomi of Delhi, India. He established the Islamic governance in India, and he was a murid (disciple) of Imam Muhammad Masum al-Sirhindi in the Naqshbandi path, and was also revered by most Sufi saints of his time.
- Hadhrat Abdullah Mujaddidi alias Shah Ghulam Ali Dehlavi of Delhi, India (1158-1240 A.H) – most widely acclaimed, as he was the Shaykh of Khalid al-Baghdadi and lived almost the same times
- Shaykh Khalid al-Baghdadi al-Mujaddidi of Damascus (1193-1242 A.H) – acclaimed by the Khalidi Naqshbandis
- Shaykh Muhammad Amin `Abidin (Ibn `Abidin) of Damascus – a student of Shaykh Khalid al-Baghdadi
(Shaykh G.F Haddad has named both of them, shaykh Khalid and his student Ibn Abidin, as the Mujaddids of 13th century)
- Shaykh Usman Dan Fodio (1168-1232 AH) who revived Islam in Africa and established Islamic government
- Imam Ahmad Rada Khan Barelvi of India, most widely acclaimed for his defending the right path of Ahl as-Sunnah against the widespread fitna of Wahhabism
- Shaykh Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari of Turkey
- Shaykh Badr al-Din al-Hasani of Damascus, Syria
- Sheikh Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-Alawi (1869–1934)
- Hadhrat Pir Fazal Ali Qureshi Naqshbandi of India (d.1934), the greatest Naqshbandi shaykh in India in the fourteenth century
Today, there are numerous great scholars of Islam continuously reviving the spirit of Islam and working hard day and night to reform the Muslims in the whole world. It is hard to decide or single out one of them, and only time will show the real Mujaddid or Mujaddids of 15th century.
Allah then His Prophet know better!