Syed Husain Ahmad Madani (6 October 1879 - 1957) was an Islamic scholar from the Indian subcontinent. His followers called him Shaykh al-Islāmto acknowledge his expertise in hadith and fiqh.
Education and spiritual training
In 1892, at the age of thirteen, he went to the Darul Uloom Deoband, where he studied under Mehmud Hasan. After completing the exoteric sciences, he became a disciple of Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, who later authorised him to initiate others in the Sufi path. Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi was also the pir (or spiritual teacher) of Mehmud Hasan and it was Mehmud Hasan who told Husain Ahmed to become Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi's disciple too. He was held among the seniorkhulafa (or successors) of Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi. Through him his spiritual lineage goes back to Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari who was the originator of the Chisti-Sabiri branch of the Chisti order. This spiritual chain is however strongly linked with the Naqshbandi order of sufism as well, because one of the ancestral pirs of Husain Ahmed had also accepted Syed Ahmad Shaheed as his master who belonged to the Naqshbandi order. Thus Husain Ahmed had the benefit of being linked to both the Naqshbandi and the Chisti order. While the former stressed on the exoteric, the latter was more focused on the esoteric aspects of Islam. His main school of thought, of whose litanies he practiced, was however Chisti-Sabiri.
After his teacher Mehmud Hasan was sentenced by the British for his role in the Silk Letter Conspiracy to a prison in the Island ofMalta, Madani volunteered to go with him so that he could look after him. He had personally not been convicted. He was imprisoned for three years. It so happened that holy Islamic month of Ramadan came and neither Mehmud Hasan nor Madani was Hafiz of the quran. At this instance, Mehmud Hasan said to his student (Madani) that in all of his life, he didnt had a Ramadan without listening to the complete quran in the special night prayers calles as Tarawih. Hussain Ahmed Madani, who respected his teachers very much, took this very sentence of his teacher seriously and started to memorize the Holy Quran in the prison itself. Daily, Madani used to memorize one Juz of the Holy Quranand recite it in the Tarawih. Continuing doing so, he memorized the whole Quran in the 30 days of Ramadan, thus saving his teacher Mehmud Hasan form being deprived of listening the Holy Quran, like every Ramadan. Such an example of respect of teachers.
After his release, he returned to India and became actively involved in India's freedom struggle. He had considerable influence over a section of the Muslims, more prominently those belonging to Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. He was against the two-nation theory, and predominantly due to this a large number of Muslims from Eastern U.P. and Bihar declined to migrate to Pakistan at the time of partition. He became the President of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a post he held until his death in 1957. (He also held the post of Shaikhul Hadith at Darul Uloom Deoband till his death).