Muhammad Taqi Usmani was born on 1943 in Deoband, India to the Mufti Muhammad Shafi. He is known to have lineage leading back to the Third Caliph Uthman. Mufti Taqi emigrated to Karachi, Pakistan when he was four years old and was taught Islamic studies by his scholarly parents. His father then founded a madrassa and he continued studying there to receive an Aalim degree and then a Mufti degree.
Mufti Taqi then turned to secular studies gaining BA in Economic and Politics and an LLB in Law. In 1970 he obtained a MA in Arabic Language and Literature from the University of Punjab. He served as Judge of the Shari’at Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan from 1982 to May 2002.
He has translated the Qur’an both into English and Urdu. He is the author of a six volume Arabic Hadith commentary on Sahih Muslim. He is the Chief Editor of both the Urdu and English monthly magazine Albalagh, and regularly contributes articles to leading Pakistani newspapers on a range of issues.
Current Occupation: Chief Justice of Pakistan
Education: BA in Economic and Polictics, LLB in Law, MA in Arabic
Preferred Subject: Tassawuf
Notable Teachers: Mufti Wali Hasan Tonki, Muhammad Shafi, Muhammad Idris Kandhlawi, Muhammad Shafi
His views and fatwas are taken as the final word by Deobandi scholars globally including those at the Deoband seminary in India.
Usmani’s other influence comes from his position as a global authority on Islamic finance. Usmani pioneered the concept of Islamic banking in Pakistan when he established the Meezan Bank. He has served on the boards, and as chairman, of over a dozen Islamic banks and financial institutions, and currently leads the International Shariah Council for the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) in Bahrain. He is also a permanent member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, one of the highest legal bodies in the Muslim world.
His legal edicts (fatwas), written over the period of 45 years, are published in 4 large volumes. He has authored more than 80 books in Arabic, English, and Urdu.
He is currently directly supervising The Hadith Encyclopaedia, a masterful, pioneering compilation which will provide a universal number to each Hadith in a manner that will make referencing any Hadith as easy as it is to refer to an Ayat of the Quran. The Encyclopaedia will be over 300 volumes.
A second major work recently published is entitled The Jurisprudence (Fiqh) of Trade. The Book concludes with a proposed Code of Islamic Law of Sale of Goods and Transfer of Property, which serves as a powerful call to action for regulators and standard setting organizations alike.
He also is a Shaykh in Tassawuf under Shaikh Dr. Abdul Hai Arifi and Maulana Muhammad Masihullah Khan both Khalifas of Ashraf Ali Thanwi. thus ijaza in Chistiya, Naqshbandia, Qadriya and Suharwardiya.
Awards and Honors
- 2004: Emir Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktum Award
- 2010: Wisam al-Istiqlal (Order of Independence), 1st class, conferred by the King of Jordan
- 2011: King Abdullah II Award
- 2011: Lifetime Achievement Award, Islamic Business & Finance Magazine
- 2014: Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Prize in Islamic Banking and Finance
- 2016: Lifetime Achievement Award, Islamic Finance Forum of South Asia (IFFSA)
- 2017: The Global Islamic Finance Report ranks Usmani 2nd most influential person in the global Islamic financial services industry
- 2017: Lifetime Achievement Award, Islamic Finance Excellence Awards (IFEA), Center of Islamic Finance at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Lahore
- 2019: Sitara-i Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) in the field of public service, conferred by the President of Pakistan
- 2019: The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre ranks Usmani 1st in the 2020 edition of The 500 Most Influential Muslims. He has been included in the top 50 in every edition of the publication since its inception in 2009.
Books and Articles
- The Authority of Sunnah 1990.
- Islamic Months: Merits and Precepts 1996.
- The Language of the Friday Khutbah 1998.
- An Introduction to Islamic Finance 1999.
- The Concept of Musharakah and Its Application as an Islamic Method of Financing.
- The Principal of Limited Liability.
- Musharakah and Mudarabah as Modes of Finance
- Islamic Banking & Finance: Shariah Guidance on Principles and Practices. 2008.
- Contemporary Fataawa. Durban: M.S. Omar, 1999
- The Historic Judgment on Interest Delivered in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
- The Meanings of the Noble Qur’an with explanatory notes.
- Post Crisis Reforms: Some Points to Ponder
- According to The Muslim 500 website, he is a leading scholar of Islamic Finance
- On March 22, 2019, as Mufti Taqi was on his way to deliver a Friday sermon, gunmen riding three motorbikes opened fire on his and an accompanying car. The Mufti, his wife and two grandchildren (a girl aged seven and boy aged five), survived the shower of bullets untouched, but two people lost their lives and a further two were severely injured.