Moulana Shah Muhammad Abdul Aleem Siddique Al-Qadiri
It was in the blessed month of Ramadan that the world welcomed the blessed soul and the physical being of Moulana Shah Muhammad Abdul Aleem Siddique Al-Qaderi, on 3rd of April 1892 (15th Ramadan 1310) at Meerut, India.
He was raised in a family that was pious and devout. From a small age, his father, Moulana Shah Muhammad Abdul Hakim and his mother were his inspiration and source of guidance and education in the teachings of Islam.
He was an exceptionally intelligent child, since his childhood and he proved to have an intellectual capacity beyond his years. He brilliantly finished the memorisation of the Holy Qur’an at the age of only 4 years. At the age of 9, his oratory skills matured and he consequently delivered his first public speech at the Jamma Mosque of Meerut and mesmerised the audience for 90 minutes with his captivating eloquence.
In 1908, at the age of 16, he graduated with a Degree and distinctions in Islamic Theology. He pursued his education at the Divisional College of Meerut where he studied modern subjects and Law for the next four years. His motivation to proliferate Islam inspired him to acquire more knowledge. He also acquired an advanced knowledge in Qur’anic Rules, Hadith, Tassawuf and the four Islamic laws in Mecca and Medina. Despite his academic exposure to secular and modern subjects, he did not neglect his duty as a Muslim in his everyday life.
He later met with Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan, a revered Islamic scholar, who agreed to become his mentor. During his apprenticeship with his mentor, he had the opportunity to absorb many lessons and teachings from this great scholar of Islam. He developed a greater depth of knowledge and experienced great spiritual development being under the learning auspices of Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan.
Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddique traveled continuously for 40 years to all parts of the globe until his labors of love for the spiritual reform and enlightenment of humanity covered a major part of the world. He was a great writer, poet, orator and scholar of Islam and modern sciences. He was renowned the world over for his spiritual guidance and his promulgation of the message of hope and peace.
Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddique came to Singapore in 1930 as a roving ambassador of peace and Islam, spreading the message of peace wherever he went. He pioneered the establishment of the All Malaya Muslim Missionary Society, now known as Jamiyah, in 1932. In early 1949, Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddique, together with other religious leaders, met with Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, Singapore’s then Commissioner-General, to discuss issues of solidarity amongst religions, as suggested by Moulana. In another similar meeting, a decision was made to set up an organisation for inter-religious understanding, later called Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO). In March 1949, IRO was formed to foster greater understanding between the faiths in Singapore and to promote the spirit and message of peace amongst the citizens of Singapore.
Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddique was instrumental in establishing the first Mosque in Canada with the help of the local Arab community. Al-Rashid Mosque, located in Edmonton, Alberta was constructed in 1938.
Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddique worked with single-minded devotion for the cause of Islam and humanity. Hundreds of thousands of people belonging to diverse races and nationalities in Asia, Africa, Europe and America received spiritual blessings through his dynamic and refulgent personality. Numerous Islamic missionary societies (e.g. Jamiyah in Singapore), Mosques, schools, hospitals, libraries, infirmaries, orphanages and periodicals sprang up in the wake of his immortal missionary work.
His contribution to literary and academic discourses was also astounding. In 1935, in Mombassa (Kenya), Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddique met with the famous European playwright and intellectual, Sir George Bernard Shaw, and in that meeting, they both enjoyed a wonderful exchange of thoughts. So stimulating was the discourse that Sir George Bernard Shaw said, “I have been very pleased to make your acquaintance, and it will be the most precious of all memories of this trip of mine” and he also called Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddique “a learned sage”.
Moulana Abdul Aleem Siddique was an extraordinary exponent who personify in a distinguished manner the causes he cherish and uphold, and his labours for the cause form a landmark in human history. His noble soul soared beyond the limitations of territory and race. Imbibing Islamic as well as Western education, he rose to combine the best in ancient and modern disciplines and became a distinguished advocate of the message of Islam and peace. The most distinctive aspect of his personality was the spiritual magnetism that he radiated which captivated the minds and hearts of all who crossed his path.
On 22 ZulHijjah (August 22, 1954) at the age of 63, after a last visit to the grave of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Moulana Shah Abdul Aleem Siddique Al Qadiri (may Allah Bless his soul) left this world for the hereafter. His body rests peacefully at the Jannatul Baqqi in Medina.
In recognition of Moulana Shah Abdul Aleem Siddique’s immortal work of spreading the faith and the message of peace, Abdul Aleem Siddique Mosque was established in Singapore, in 1954.