About Us

What is Nur Publications?

Ours is a civilization of books. Just as the meanings of the Quran connect us to Allah, the meanings held within the books of our great scholars and people of Allah connect us to their hearts - and in their company we can find the secret to transforming our lives, reviving our hearts, and finding tranquility no matter what our circumstances.

At Nur Publications, we have two goals. First, to connect people to the transformative power of the books of the people of Allah, and of the scholars who received this knowledge from the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, through an unbroken chain of spiritual masters. Second, to revive the tradition of Islamic literacy that served as the backbone of our civilization. We are indeed a civilization of books. But even our literary tradition recognizes that books are not everything. It’s about reading with purpose; reading to grow, to change, and to find answers to life’s challenges by which we can become closer to Allah.

How do we accomplish our goals?

Essential knowledge should be easy to understand. This principle guides how we produce all of our books. A hallmark of the people of Allah is that they are concerned about everyone, and so with their spirit in mind, we try to translate, commentate and design our books in a way that makes it easy for most people to benefit.

There should be no barriers to accessing this knowledge. This is why we are a non-profit organization, and provide our books at no charge to our brothers who are incarcerated, those who cannot afford them, and others. We also provide our books at heavily discounted rates or at-cost for students, courses that want to teach from our books, and others. If you are interested in learning more about getting discounted books, please contact us.

  • Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi

    The many words of wisdom that fill the pages of the books we publish are in reality a reflection of the light of Allah’s love that exists within the hearts of the people of Allah. Due to their righteousness, piety, and intense adherence to the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), the light of guidance flows from their words and deeds; thus, becoming a source of direction for those who accompany them, listen to their words, and act upon their teachings. Through these words, Allah gives them a legacy that continues even after they have left this world. A legacy which serves as the greatest substitute for those who lack the good fortune of seeing them or being in their company.

    One such illustrious slave of Allah was Mawlana Muhammad Ashraf Ali Thanwi (may Allah have mercy upon him), who was an intellectual and spiritual master of his time, and whose transcribed works can fill volumes so that until this day the Ummah can benefit tremendously from his light, insight and guidance. To learn more about Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, also known as “Hakim al-Ummah”, the “Wise Healer of the Ummah”, click here.

  • Hadrat Mawlana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar

    The lover and knower of Allah, the shaykh of shaykhs, the Rumi of his time, Hakim Muḥammad Akhtar was born in 1927 in a small village in India called Athiya, in the Uttar Pradesh District of Partabargh. He was the only son - accompanied by two sisters - of a hard-working father and dedicated mother. Even as a child, he showed a God-given affinity towards piety and righteousness. His earliest memories, even in his infancy, were of being carried by his older sister to the local Imam of his masjid, who would bless him and pray for him. Hadrat quite affectionately remembered the Imam’s beard and white, shining clothes. Even at that tender age, Hadrat felt drawn to and had a deep connection with the people of piety.

    At the age of twelve, Hadrat would come to know the name of this local Imam – Hafiz Abul- Barakat – and would learn that he was a murid (spiritual aspirant) and khalifah (spiritual deputy) of Hakim al-Ummah, Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi. Upon realizing the qualifications and scholarly pedigree of his beloved Imam, he immediately requested initiation into the precise spiritual path that the Imam was engaged in, requesting that he personally grant him spiritual guidance. Hafiz Abul-Barakat, however, respectfully declined both propositions.

    “Hakim al-Ummah granted me khilafah to guide and assist laypersons and the general public, not the elite,” the Imam explained. “You are not a layperson and you will soon be initiated by someone who is a very special servant of Allah.”

  • Shaykh Tameem Ahmadi

    Shaykh Tameem Ahmadi (may Allah preserve him) is a Bay Area native. After initially studying at San Francisco State University he went on to pursue the higher calling of sacred knowledge. Over the greater part of the next decade, Shaykh Tameem engaged in a rigorous curriculum of religious knowledge, studying under some of the foremost scholars of North America, Africa, & South Asia.

    During this span Shaykh Tameem was granted numerous ijazat, surpassing the equivalent of a masters degree in the Islamic sciences including Fiqh, Hadith, Aqidah, Tafsir, Usul, Arabic language, Spirituality, and more. In addition he was granted ijazah with isnād in numerous books of hadiths including the Ṣiḥḥah Sittah, the 6 most authentic collections of hadith. Some of the illustrious scholars from whom he attained ijāzah of hadith are the likes of Mufti Taqi Usmani and Maulana Salimullah Khan, may Allah preserve them both.

    After completing the highly regarded Dars Nizami curriculum and being granted the Shahadah ‘Alimiyyah (recognition of Islamic scholarship), Shaykh Tameem immersed himself in the study of the Islamic Spiritual Sciences of the Heart under the private tutelage of one of the most honorable Spiritual Masters of our time, focusing on the subject of tazkiyah and tarbiyah (purification and development of the Heart). Being granted the mantle of authorization to teach, he returned to the Bay Area under the advice and suggestion of his Shaykh.

    Since his return to the Bay Area, Shaykh Tameem has dedicated himself to teaching and benefiting the community with what he had mastered abroad. Shaykh Tameem currently teaches classes on Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Aqidah, Tazkiya, and Arabic Grammar. He is a regular lecturer at numerous Masajid and Halaqahs throughout Northern California. He has translated a number of books and articles, and continues to strive in his literary efforts.

    The respected Shaykh currently heads many scholarly efforts and is a counselor and mentor for religious seekers of all ages, teaching both the dedicated student of knowledge and the casual learner. He is fluent in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, and English.

    He currently resides in Union City, California with his family.

  • Shaykh Abdul Hafiz Makki

    Shaykh Abdul Hafiz Makki (1946-2017), may Allah have mercy on him, was one of the foremost khalifahs and students of Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalwi (1898-1982). Born in Amritsar in pre-partition India, Shaykh Abdul Hafiz’s family was originally from Kashmir. During partition in 1947, the family migrated to Pakistan and then in 1953 to Makkah where the shaykh pursued both his religious and secular education. During his formative years, Shaykh Abdul Hafiz spent time in Tabligh Jama‘ah with leading scions of the movement, including Shaykh Zakariyya, Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf Kandhalwi (1917-1965) and Mawlana Inamul-Hasan Kandhalwi (1918-1995). In 1968 Shaykh Abdul Hafiz completed the study of the six books of hadith at Mazahir al-Ulum Saharanpur. This was the final year in which Shaykh Zakariyya lectured on Imam al-Bukhari’s Sahih. Shaykh ‘Abdul Hafiz was also blessed with coming first in the final year exams and thereafter took up a teaching position at Makkah’s Al-Madrasah al-Sawlatiyyah.

    At the age of twenty in 1966, Shaykh Zakariyya granted Shaykh ‘Abdul Hafiz permission (khilafah) in the Chishti, Naqshbandi, Suharwardi and Qadri tariqahs. This occurred during the Ramadan Itikaf in Saharanpur. During his shaykh’s lifetime, Shaykh Abdul Hafiz spent time in Egypt supervising the publishing of his shaykh’s commentary on Imam Malik’s Al-Muwatta called Awjaz al-Masalik, and Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri’s commentary on Sunan Abu Dawud called Badhl al-Majhud. Following his shaykh’s demise, Shaykh Abdul Hafiz kept alive his shaykh’s academic and spiritual legacy by publishing various Arabic and Urdu books, including a twenty-four volume commentary of Imam al-Bukhari’s Sahih entitled Al-Kanz al-Mutawari. More recently Shaykh Abdul Hafiz oversaw the publishing of several works on hadith including Musnad al-Imam al-Tahawi in ten volumes and an encyclopaedia of hadiths narrated by Imam Abu Hanifah entitled Al-Mawsu‘ah al-Hadithiyyah li Marwiyyat al-Imam Abi Hanifah.

    Having lived in the Hijaz the majority of his life, Shaykh Abdul Hafiz was constantly involved in enlightening the Arab world about the academic efforts of the elders of Deoband and their mode of Tasawwuf. His murids and those who have obtained permission to narrate hadith from him number in thousands. Beyond the Hijaz, Shaykh Abdul Hafiz would often travel the world regularly calling people to Tasawwuf. It was during one of these trips to South Africa that shaykh passed away, on Monday 16 January 2017, at Pietermaritzburg after the Maghrib prayers. His funeral prayer was held after Fajr prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah on Thursday 19 January and he was laid to rest in Jannat al-Baqi, a short distance from the final resting place of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and in close proximity to Shaykh Zakariyya.

  • Mawlana Ismaeel Nakhuda

    Mawlana Ismaeel Nakhuda is a freelance writer and translator. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum Bury, UK, in 2001, after which he completed a BA in Journalism & Linguistics and an MA in Magazine Journalism from the University of Central Lancashire, UK. Mawlana Ismaeel has previously worked in print journalism, including at Islamica Magazine in Jordan and the Arab News in Saudi Arabia. He presently works in communications and PR and has taken on media roles at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi Arabia. Mawlana Ismaeel has had a specific interest in Sufism since his early teens and takes instruction in the tariqah of Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalwi.