Scholarly work of Dr. Abunnasr Khalidi published in Arabic

By staff reporter,

New Delhi: Writers like Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi and Abul Ala Maudidi have been published in Arabic but scholarly work by Indian Muslims in Arabic to be published in Arab countries is rare.

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Dr. Abunnasr Muhammad Khalidi’s 1949 doctoral dissertation on al-Mukhtar Abi Ubayd al-Thafaqi (622-87 CE), the leading figure of early Islamic era who avenged the death of Imam Husayn in Karbala was recently published in Egypt.

El-Ain Publishers in Cairo, brought out Dr. Khalidi’s thesis with the revised title of Tawabi al-Fitna al-Kubra: Thawrat al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi. The book contains preface by Gamal El-Ghitani, who hailed it as an original work in impeccable modern literary Arabic. Gamal also published a review in El-Akhbar El-Adab, the widely-read journal.

The book details the event surrounding the tragic incidents of Karbala where Prophet’s grandsons and their family were brutally murdered. Dr. Khalidi’s investigation reveals that a schism happened among Muslims because the ruling elite of the time was unable to constitute a system or institution of accountability to bring justice to the killers of Imam Husayn, leading to disorder. According to Dr. Khalidi, the inability of the ummah to collective establish and sustain a system of justice is the root of recurring instability in the political system in the Islamic world.

Educated in Hyderabad, Dr. Abunnasr Muhammad Khalidi graduated from Osmania University in 1934, followed by a Master’s degree in History from the same University two years later. His master’s thesis on Umayyad history received accolade from renowned scholars of his time such as Allama Abdullah Imadi.

Osmania’s famed Dar al-Tarjuma hired him soon after he obtained the Master’s. Among the famous people under whom he worked were Abdullah Imadi, Baba-i-Urdu Maulvi Abdul Haq and Josh Maliahabadi (d. 1982).

In 1939, the Anjuman-i Tarraqi Urdu published his Taqwim-i Isawi wa Hijri, comparative tables of Hijri and Gregorian calendars. He translated the Russian author V.V. Bartold’s book on Islamic culture into Urdu as Musalmanon ki Tahzib in 1946.

In July 1946, he received scholarship to study Islamic history through original sources in Egypt at King Fuad I University.

Upon return to India in July 1949, he resumed duties at Osmania University.

In the 1960s and early 1970s he prepared new editions of Persian histories of the Deccan. The critical edition of Tarikh-i Adil Shahi, a history of Bijapur. 1974 his book Musalmanon ki Bahri Sargarmiyan was published by Nadwat al-Musanifin, Delhi.

Dr. Khalidi continued the work of research and writing after his retirement. He died on 3 November 1985 in Hyderabad.

His unpublished works in Urdu were published between 2002 and 2006 by Shah Waliullah Institute. These works on Quranic studies are Zamair al-Quran, al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair fi al-Quran al-Majid, and Qur’ani Tashbihat wa Istiaarat. In addition, Wafiyat-i Ayan al-Hind, a compendium of original sources for the dates of death of medieval Indian Muslim elite was also published.

His collected works have been published as Mazamin-i Khalidi, on various aspects of Islamic studies and Deccani Kalam aur Tahzibi Tarikh, on Deccani poetry and cultural history.

Dr. Omar Khalidi, famous scholar of MIT is the son of Dr. Abunnasr Muhammad Khalidi.