moulana Muhammad Ilyas al-Kandhlawi (Arabic: ???? ????? ?????????) was the founder of the Islamic revivalist movement Tablighi Jamaat. Born in 1885 to a family of religious scholars, his early education was completed at home.
He was then sent to study at the famous centre of Islamic learning, Darul Uloom Deoband, where he studied under several famous Ulema. After completing his studies, he taught at various madrassas. In the late 1920s founded Tablighi Jamaat.
Early Life and Childhood
Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Khandalwi was born in Khandala in 1303 Hijri. His birth name was Ikhtar Ilyas. His father Maulana Muhammad Ismaeel Sahib died in 1315 Hijri. He had two brothers, Maulana Muhammad Yahya Sahib 15 years younger and 12 years older Hazrat Shaykh-ul-Hadeeth Sahib. His Mother Bibi Safiyyah memorised entire Qur’an after marriage. She knew the Quran so well and prayed it so much that in Ramadan she would pray one Quran and 10 paras every day. In this way she would pray 40 Qurans every Ramadan. Maulana Yahya was his older brother who took care of him after the death of their father. Shaikhul hadees was his nephew not his brother.
He spent the first part of his childhood in Khandala and after that he was in the service of his father in Nizamuddin – Delhi. He memorised the entire Qur’an at a very young age. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas gained his early knowledge from Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Ibrahim. After that was in the service of Hazrat Gangohi. At this time he was only 10 or 11 years old. Hazrat Gangohi died in Zul – Hijjah 1323. At this time Maulana Muhammad Ilyas was 20 years old. From this it can be seen that he was in the service of Gangohi for approximately 10 years.
When he used to learn any Kitaab(book), he would do Mutalla in such a way that when the lesson was being taught it would be as if he had already done it before. Sometimes because his Mutalla was good, the teacher would tell him to teach the class. In this way he was a student as well as a teacher.
In 1326 Hijri Maulana Muhammad Ilyas learnt Bukhari and Tirmidhi from Hazrat Shaykh – ul- Hind Maulana Muhammad – ul – Hasan Sahib. It took him only 4 months to do this. Then he taught in Mazahir – Uloom (for 8 years)
Maulana Yahya was his older brother who took care of him after the death of their father. Shaikhul hadees was his nephew not his brother