Maulana Syed Imam Haider Zaidi

Maulana Syed Imam Haider Zaidi is an Indian Shia scholar who has spent decades of his life researching and preaching the tenets of Shia Islamic doctrines.

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Early life and Education of Maulana Syed Imam Haider Zaidi

Syed is an Indian Shia scholar and religious preacher, from Mohammadabad, a Qasba in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district. His father, himself a religious preacher, instilled in him a deep passion for Islamic studies from a young age. This influence, coupled with Zaidi’s own intellectual curiosity, set him on a remarkable journey of learning.

From Lucknow to Qom:

Following his middle school education in Allahabad, Syed embarked on his formal religious education at the prestigious Tanzeemul-Makatib in Lucknow. Furthermore, his thirst for knowledge led him to seek further opportunities abroad. In 1986, he aced the entrance exam for Madarasatul Waizeen in Iran. This exceptional achievement earned him a direct invitation to continue his studies in Qom, a renowned center for Islamic scholarship.

A Decade of Immersion:

In 1988, Syed embarked on a ten-year odyssey in Iran. Immersing himself in the depths of Shia Islamic studies at the esteemed Madarsay Hujjatya. Under the tutelage of luminaries like Ayatollah Wijdani, Ayatollah Waheed Khurasani, and Ayatollah Nasir Makarim Shirazi. He honed his expertise in Arabic grammar and delved into psychology, even attending advanced “dars-e kharij” lectures equivalent to postgraduate studies.

Returning Home with Renewed Purpose:

In 1999, Zaidi returned to India with his wife and daughter, equipped with a wealth of knowledge and ready to serve his community. As a certified religious preacher, he embarked on a new chapter, sharing his insights and guiding others on their spiritual paths. His pursuit of knowledge, however, did not cease. Upon his return, he went on to complete his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Arabic from Lucknow University.

Khetabat Ka Aghaz (Commencement of Zaidi as the Religious Preacher)

Syed’s Unwavering Path as a Religious Scholar: From Gorakhpur to Global Stages

Syed’s journey as a religious scholar wasn’t merely ignited in Iran. He already begun to spark at the tender age of 17. Even then, he took the bold step of delivering his first set of Islamic lectures, spanning 10 days during the month of Muharram in Gorakhpur, District of Uttar Pradesh.

This marked the initial embers of his passion for sharing knowledge and guiding others.

  • His pursuit of scholarship continued unabated during his time in Iran. In 1994, he returned to Banaras, India, once again dedicating 10 days of Muharram to delivering insightful lectures. Just a year after completing his studies, his reputation as a scholar transcended borders. He received an invitation to Canada in 2000, where he shared his knowledge during the month of Muharram.

  • This marked the beginning of his global outreach. In the following years, his commitment to spreading knowledge took him to diverse countries like Tanzania, Madagascar, Oman, Dubai, and England. He preached and delivered lectures at various Islamic institutes, touching the lives of countless individuals with his wisdom and teachings.

Invitation to Jarfi Islamic Centre in Toronto, Canada

In 2006, Syed was again invited to Jarfi Islamic Centre in Toronto, Canada, where he gave lectures in the months of Muharram.

The Shia community of Canada invited him yet again. This time at the Babul Hawaij Islamic Centre, Mississauga in 2008, where he was revered to such an extent that he continued to preach there in the months of Ramadan and Muharram for more than a decade.

Now, he holds a record in North America for giving lectures for 13 years at the same center for both Muharram and Ramadan. Furthermore, he continued his scholarly journey at the Babul Hawaij Islamic Centre until 2022.

Study at the renowned Madarsay Hujjatya

Syed Imam Haider Zaidi left for Iran on 11 November 1988 where he stayed for a decade, studying at the renowned Madarsay Hujjatya until 22 October 1999.

For ten years he studied, researched, and explored the depths of Shia Islamic studies under various eminent scholars namely Late Ayatollah Wijdani (Rahm), Ayatollah Waheed Khurasani, Ayatollah Nasir Makarim Shirazi, Ayatollah Hayati, Ayatollah Husaini Bo Shahari.

Syed excelled in Arabi Grammar and studied psychology under their tutelage along with attending the dars-e kharij (ijtihad lectures equal to post-graduate studies).

Syed’s Return to India

Syed came back to India in 1999  and began his journey as a religious preacher of the Shia community.

After coming back from Iran, he continued his studies in India as well where he finished his bachelor’s. Thereafter, completed his master’s in Arabic from Lucknow University, Uttar Pradesh.

He is a world-known and renowned lecturer of scholarly Shia Islamic studies. He holds the aspiration to deepen his knowledge along with educating more and more people across the globe.

Other Milestones of Maulana Syed Imam Haider Zaidi

Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Maulana Syed Imam Haider Zaidi extends his dedication to social causes. Notably, he has supported the education of many children, assisting them in achieving their academic goals. Furthermore, while residing in Mumbai, he launched a noteworthy initiative at the Shia Jama Masjid in Kurla West. This program, a four-day religious seminar featuring esteemed scholars from across the country, has not only gained momentum but also flourished for over a decade under his guidance.

Maulana Syed Imam Haider Zaidi was a Member of the Haj Committee of India

Serving beyond religious scholarship, Syed held a prestigious position on the Haj Committee of India under the Central Government from 2009 to 2011.

In this role, he played a crucial role in overseeing the planning and arrangements for hundreds of Hajis on their pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Notably, as a member of the committee, he collaborated with Vice Chairman Mr. Hasan Ahmad and spearheaded a groundbreaking initiative: organizing a dedicated flight to Mecca specifically for Shia community members.

This marked a first for the committee and demonstrated Syed’s commitment to serving the specific needs of his community.

Furthermore, in 2010, with God’s blessing, he fulfilled his own Haj pilgrimage alongside his family and younger brother.

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