Jaunpuri, Abdul Awal

Jaunpuri, Abdul Awal (1867-1921) writer and Islamic scholar. Son of Maulana karamat ali jaunpuri and Batul Bibi, Abdul Awal was born in 1867 in Sandwip, Chittagong. He memorised the quran at the early age of 13. After completing studies at Lucknow and Calcutta he pursued higher studies at Saulatia Madrasah in Makka from 1887 to 1889. In 1889, on his return to Jaunpur, he dedicated himself to preaching of Islam, social reforms and the revival of the Muslim spirit. He travelled in towns and villages to curb the infiltrating practices of polytheism and Hinduism in the Muslim society and delivered speeches in order to eradicate existing religious prejudices and social evils.

Abdul Awal, a gifted writer, wrote a total of 121 books, of which 89 have been published, on the fundamentals and history of islam, sufism, general knowledge and biographies in several languages including Arabic, Urdu and Persian. He established schools and madrasahs in different parts of the country. At the beginning of the twentieth century he established at Armanitola, Dhaka, the 'Madrasah-i-Hammadia' to commemorate his son Hammad (d. 1314 AH). In 1940, the madrasah was turned in to a school. He received certificates from the British government and the Dhaka nawabs in recognition of his services to the country and the people. Abdul Awal Jaunpuri died on 18 June 1921 and was buried at Maniktala, Calcutta. [M Afaz Uddin]