Muhammad Taqi Usmani:
(Urdu: محمد تقی عثمانی, Muhammad Taqī ‘Usmāni, born 5 October 1943) (also spelled Uthmani) is aHanafi Islamic scholar from Pakistan. He served as a judge on the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan from 1981 to 1982 and the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan between 1982 and 2002. He is an expert in the fields of Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh), economics, Tasawwuf, and hadith. He also held a number of positions on the Shariah Boardsof prestigious Islamic institutions. He is the brother of Islamic scholars Muhammad Rafi Usmani, Muhammad Wali Razi, and Muhammad Razi Usmani, as well as of the Urdu poet Muhammad Zaki Kaifi. He translated of the Holy Qur’an in both English and Urdu language.
In 1958, Usmani passed the Fazil-e-Arabi (Arabic language examination) with distinction, administered by the Punjab Board. In 1959 he graduated from the `Alim course at Darul Uloom Karachi. He then specialised in fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) under the guidance of his father, the Mufti of Darul Uloom Karachi, Muhammad Shafi, receiving hisTakhassus degree (equivalent to a PhD) in fiqh and ifta (issuance of Islamic legal opinions) from Darul Uloom Karachi in 1961, earning the title of Mufti. He graduated from the University of Karachi with a Bachelor of Arts in 1964, then received aBachelor of Laws with distinction from the University of Karachi in 1967. He received a Master of Arts in Arabic literature, with distinction, from the University of Punjab in 1970.
Usmani received ijaza to teach hadith from Islamic scholars including Muhammad Shafi, Muhammad Idris Kandhlawi, Qari Muhammad Tayyib, Saleemullah Khan, Mufti Rashid Ahmad Ludhianvi, Sahban Mahmud, Zafar Ahmad Usmani,Muhammad Zakariya Kandhalvi, Hasan al-Mahshat, and others.
His Teachers also include Mufti Wali Hasan Tonki, the Grand Mufti of Jami’ ul Uloom Al-Islamiyyah. His elders include Shaikh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah.
In tradition to the scholars of Deoband, recognising the importance of Tasawwuf, he traversed the path under the guidance of his Shaikh Dr. Abdul Hai Arifi and Maulana Muhammad Masihullah Khan both khulafa of Hakeemul Ummat MaulanaAshraf Ali Thanwi (rahmetullah ajmaeen). He is authorized by both of his mentors in Silsila e Ashrafia: Chistiyyah, Naqshbandiyah, Qadiriyah and Suharwardiyah. In addition to his busy schedule he is himself a mentor to numerous spiritual aspirants all over the world.
Usmani pioneered the concept of Islamic banking in Pakistan when he established the Meezan Bank. Usmani has authored a number of books in Arabic, Urdu, and English on Islamic topics in addition to a large number of articles on Islamic banking and finance published in a number of journals and magazines.
In March 2004, United Arab Emirates Vice President and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented an award to Taqi Usmani in recognition of his lifetime service and achievement in Islamic finance during the annualInternational Islamic Finance Forum (IIFF) in Dubai.
In accordance with the tradition of the scholars of Deoband and recognising the importance of tasawwuf, Usmani’s bay’ahwas accepted by Abdul Hayy Arifi and Maseehullah Khan. Usmani is currently a mentor to numerous spiritual aspirants all over the world and delivers weekly lectures on self-improvement at Darul Uloom Karachi on Sundays between Asr Salaahand Maghrib Salaah.
He currently teaches Sahih al-Bukhari, fiqh, and Islamic economics at Darul Uloom Karachi and is known for his Islahi Khutbat. He was a key member of a team of scholars which helped declare Ahmadis (Qadianis), as non-Muslims by Pakistan’s National Assembly during the era of former Pakistani president, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in the 1970s. During the presidency of General Zia ul Haq, he was instrumental in drafting laws pertaining to Hudood, Qisas, and Dayiat.
He strongly opposed the Women’s Protection Bill, which he believes was designed to distract attention from issues such as flaws in the law enforcement system.
At a religious conference in 1984 he urged a more “dynamic attitude” towards the practice of ijtihad, arguing there is no shortage of fine minds capable of interpreting the sharia, but warning against the contamination of sharia by Western ideas such as the elimination of hudood penalties such as amputation and stoning.
Positions currently holding:
- Vice President and Shaykh al-Hadith, Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi
- Chairman, International Shariah Standard Council, Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, Bahrain.
- Permanent Member, Vice Chairman, International Islamic Fiqh Academy, Jeddah, organ of the OIC.
- Member, Islamic Fiqh Academy of Rabita-al-‘Alam-e-Islami, Makkah
- Permanent Member International Islamic Fiqh Academy, Jeddah, sponsored by OIC.
- Chairman Centre for Islamic Economics Pakistan since 1991
- Chairman Shariah Board Central Bank of Bahrain
- Chairman Shariah Board Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, U.A.E.
- Chairman Shariah Board Meezan Bank Ltd., Karachi, Pakistan
- Chairman Shariah Board International Islamic Rating Agency, Bahrain
- Chairman Shariah Board Pak-Kuwait Takaful, Karachi
- Chairman Shariah Board Pak-Qatar Takaful, Karachi
- Chairman Shariah Board JS Investments Islamic Fund, Karachi
- Chairman Shariah Board of JS Islamic Pension Savings Fund
- Chairman Shariah Board Arif Habib Investments – Pakistan International Islamic Fund, Karachi
- Member Shariah Board Arcapita Investment Fund, Bahrain
- Member Unified Shariah Board Islamic Development Bank Jeddah
- Member Shariah Board Guidance Financial Group, USA.