Taju Shariat Alhaj Imam Muhammed Akhtar Raza Khan Azhari Barelvi (Feb. 02, 1941- July 20, 2018), a descendant (great grandson) ot Ahmed Raza Khan, founder of the Barelvi movement, was a Renowned Indian Muslim Scholar and Mufti who was well known for his teachings based on Sufism. He was acknowledged as the Grand Mufti of India by the Barelvi Muslims in country and as a most influential scholar for the world. He was a regular visitor to Medina (Saudi Arabia). His fatwas pronounced from time to time at Barelvi on various issues were highly valued by his followers. His father and grand fathers were also highly regarded figures and participated in anti-British colonial actions. He remained non-political throughout his life and maintained distance from politicians and avoided meeting with political leaders/bureaucrats of the country. He always insisted upon his followers to follow the path shown by the Allah and the Prophet Mohammad.
He was initiated into religious studies at the age of 4 yrs., completed his Dars-e-Nizami from Darul-ul-Uloom Manzar-e-lslam Bareilly Shareef (UP) and went to Jamia-tul-Azhar, Cairo, Egypt in 1963, where he acquired knowledge in Quran and Hadith. He graduated from Jamia-ul- Azhar in 1966 and was awarded with ‘Jamiah Azhar Award’ upon securing first position. He was the author of more than 50 books on Islamic theoloqy and thought. He wrote extensively in Arabic, Urdu, Persian and Hindi and also published in English. He pursued his higher studies at Al-Azhar University. Egypt and won the Al-Azhar Award (Fakhr-e-Azhar) He ounded an Islamic Seminary Centre of Islamic Studies (Jamiat -ur- Raza) at Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. His excellence in religious studies and his school of thought promoting Sufi Culture had brought recognition to India. He died on July 20, 2018 and his last rites were attended by lakhs of people from all religions.