Shah Wali-Ullah was a great Muslim saint of the 18th century. His real name was Qutbud-Din Ahmed but due to his spiritual virtues he was called Wali-ullah. He was born to a noble learned family of Delhi on 21st February 1703. His father Shah Abdur-Rahim was a renowned scholar of that period. Shah Wali-Ullah showed great promise at an early age. By the age of fifteen he had mastered the major branches of Islamic studies.. After the death of his father in 1719 he started delivering lectures in Madressah Rahimyah at the age of seventeen. Then in1733 he took over the charge of Madressah Rahimyah. There he wrote many books and rendered various services for Muslim Cause.
The contributions of Shah Wali-Ullah can be summarized as under: 1. Revival of Islamic Teachings and Values:
Shah Wali-ullah wanted the Muslims to understand their religion and practice it properly, as the increasing influence of non-Muslims had decayed the Muslim religious life and moral values. Wali-ullah translated the holy Quran into Persian to help Muslims in learning the teachings of Islam in their own language. Moreover Shah Wali-Ullah termed the Hadith collection by Imam Muttah as the most authentic and wrote its commentary in Arabic and Persian. Shah Wali-Ullah also arranged the Hadith in respect of their topics. In addition he wrote on many subjects and all of his writings are marked by scholarship and a realistic and balanced outlook. 2. Creation of Balance Between School-of-Thoughts:
He studied the writings of each school-of-thought to understand their point of view, and then wrote comprehensive volumes about what is fair and just in light of the teachings of Islam. He adopted an analytical and balanced approach towards four major school-of-thought of mysticism. In order to create a balance betweeen the four schools i.e. Hanafi, Malaki, Shafii, Hambali he wrote Al-Insaf-fi-bayan-sabab-al-Ikhtilaf. He worked out a system of thought,