Dr. Sayyid Abdul Hai Hasani Rh (1869 – 1923) was the father of Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi Rh and a prominent historian, a renowned muhaddis and a God-fearing scholar of Islam.
He was born on 18th of Ramadhan Al-Mubarak 1286 Hijri at village Daera-e-Shah Alamullah (Takiya Kalan) in district Raebareli. He was nurtured in a literary and religious environment where scholars like Shah Ziaun Nabi Rh and his father Sayyid Fakhruddin Khayali were present in hometown; and in maternal home of Haswa, Fatehpur, the presence of Hazrat Shah Sayyid Abdus Salaam Rh disciple of Shah Ahmad Saeed Dehlavi Naqshbandi Rh was the center of religious knowledge for everyone.
He achieved his primary education in his maternal home in Haswa. For further education he went to Lucknow and then Bhopal where he studied various subjects from their experts. He learnt Hadiths from Shaikh Husain bin Hasan Al-Ansari. During school age, he became the disciple of Fazlur Rahman Ganj Muradabadi, there he attained special attention, and completed his exercise under Shah Ziaun Nabi and granted with Ijazat, and even Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki granted him with Ijazat.
He started his service to Nadwatul Ulama from 1313 Hijri and for a period of time, remained Vice-Rector without benefit with patience and perseverance, later upon the emphasis of members, he started taking the salary, which continued for ten years. Subsequently, he started his own clinic for livelihood.
When the conflict in Nadwatul Ulama rose to its peak, he was chosen the Rector of Nadwatul Ulama by mutual consent. The period of his rectorate was spent in erasing the effects of conflicts, restoration of the institution’s glory and ending its financial crisis.
Allah had granted him a sensitive heart. He usually supported with his heart and soul the efforts concerning reformation and vicissitudes. His temperament was of solitary nature and complete devotion to Allah. He dedicated most of his time in studying and writing books. He also continued his lectures: he used to impart lectures in Commentary of Quran, Hadith, Arabic Literature as well as medicine. Lectures on Hadith continued to the day he died and he did not miss even that day.
He had complete command on Urdu, Persian and Arabic Literatures. He has a deep interest in history and he maintains an expert’s reputation regarding Islamic history of India. He had a good taste in commentary of Quran and Hadith. During his last days, his interest in Hadith rose to great heights. He left behind many masterpiece literary works, among which “Nuzhatul Khawatir” is remarkable consisting of eight expansive volumes, it constitutes short biographies of about four thousands and five hundreds famous and prominent personalities. Furthermore, among his noteworthy works are “Al-Hind Fi Ahd Al-Islami” and “Al-Saqafah Al-Islamiya Fil-Hind” were also published and commonly acclaimed. In Hadith, he compiled an excellent collection by the name of “Talkhees Al-Akhbaar” and this has been included into the syllabus of various madrasas by the name of “Tehzeeb Al-Akhlaq”.
He died on 15th of Jumadil-Akhirah 1341 Hijri about February 1923 CE. He left behind two sons: Dr. Sayyid Abdul Ali Hasani, Sheikh Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi and three daughters. Both of the sons became prominent for their literary and religious works, and daughters also made efficient contributions in the service to Islam.