Allamah Rasheed Turabi, One of the leading orators of the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On December 18, 1973 AD, one of the leading orators of the Subcontinent, Allamah Rasheed Turabi, passed away in Karachi, Pakistan, at the age of 65. He was a religious scholar, a poet, and a philosopher. He was born in Haiderabad-Deccan. After obtaining BA from Osmania University in Haiderabad and MA in Philosophy from Allahbad University, he learned religious sciences, and mastered Urdu, Persian and Arabic literature. His Persian teachers were Mohsin Shirazi, Ali Haider Nazm Tabatabai, and Mohammed Kirmani, while his Arabic language teachers were Tahir bin Mohammad, and Mowlana Sadeq Hussain Majjan.
On the political side, he started his career as a member of the working committee of the Haiderabad Legislative Assembly. Later on, he was nominated by the Founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, as a member of the working committee of All India Muslim League. In 1949, following the fall of Haiderabad-Deccan to Indian forces in 1948, a year after independence from British rule, he migrated to Pakistan, where he left active politics, and devoted himself to religious erudition, especially discourses on Imam Husain (AS) and the tragedy of Karbala.
His great knowledge of hadith, jurisprudence, and exegesis of the holy Qur’an brought him Ijaza (permission to related hadith) from Ayatollah Shaikh Mohammed Mohsin Tehrani, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsin al-Hakeem Tabatabai, Ayatollah Seyyed Hibbatuddin Shahristani, Ayatollah Seyyed Hadi Milani, and Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Borujerdi.
He delivered more than 5,000 religious lectures and speeches over a period of 57 years that he spent out of his 65 years of total life in the service of the Ahl al-Bayt, introducing many dimensions to the art of oratory. The most sought after Urdu public speaker of his times, he was indeed a persuasive and brilliant orator.
He was a prolific author as well, and among his works is the book, “Tibb e Ma’soomeen” which is a composition of antidotes from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the 12 Infallible Imams. He also wrote the 2-volume book "The Forests of Haiderabad" on the jungles of the Deccan.
Another of his work is the idiomatic translation of Imam Ali’s (AS) famous Letter of Instructions to his governor of the then Christian-majority Egypt, Malik Ashtar. This epistle is a guiding light for just and fair governance. Turabi’s masterpiece on “Ilm Rijal” or biographical evaluation of narrators of hadith, which he titled "Wasl-e Qowl" was published after his death in Karachi.