Biohgraphy of the Prophet (pbuh), his companions and the celebrated personalities of Islam became the main field of the specialization of Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy since its very inception and the enormous literature that it has produced in the area is unparalleled. Besides Sirat un Nabi that remains to be the magnum opus of the Academy, two other very important books on the biography of our Prophet (pbuh) were published from here; Khutbat-i Madras and Rahmat-i Alam which received great acclaim. Both the books were authored by Maulana Saiyid Sulaiman Nadvi, the builder of the Academy. Rahmat-i Alam was written for the children and those who were not highly educated. This was a great challenge for a scholar who was used to write highly scholarly books throughout his life. But he tackled this problem in a very commendable way and produced a book that received unprecedented popularity and acceptance. It was included in the syllabus of schools and madaris and was in great demand so much so that in those days a sum of Rs four thousands was contributed to the building fund of Nadwat ul Ulama from the proceeds of its sale. There was a time when the Academy was in the position of making contributions to other worthy causes.
The book continues to be as popular as it was at the time of its first publication. Besides the Academy, a number of other publishers are engaged in publishing pirated editions of the book. But many young Muslims for whom it was written are now unable to read Urdu. Authentic literature in Hindi as well as English particularly on Sirah and Islamic History is still limited. In this situation it becomes imperative for the community to provide healthy and authentic literature needed for proper mental growth and balanced development of the personality of our younger generation. Moreover, it is also our duty to bring this literature to the notice of our countrymen at large. Because of these reasons the need for rendering vast and valuable literature produced by the Academy into Hindi and English languages was long felt but this could not be undertaken due to a variety of reasons most important among these being acute paucity of necessary resources needed for the purposes. But as the time passed this need assumed urgency and it was felt that it could no longer be postponed. Putting faith in the divine help, the Academy decided to take up the project of translating Academy’s books into Hindi and English. As the Sirah of the Prophet (pbuh) is the main area of interest of the Academy, it was only appropriate to begin this project by translation of a book on the Sirah. The obvious choice was Rahmat-i Alam. The task of translating the book into Hindi was undertaken by Dr Ilyas Azmi and its publication was sponsored by Mr Anis Ahmad. With the publication of this book the programme of translating Academy’s books into Hindi and English languages has been launched. A brief biography of Maulana Shibli and translation of famous publication of the Academy on religious tolerance of Muslim rulers of India are in final stages of completion. This programme will continue, Insha Allah and more books will be translated as necessary resources become available. Similarly, the programme of the English translations of the books of the Academy is also under way. English translation of Sirat-i Ayesha (R) has been just completed and hopefully it will be published soon. The translation of Rahmat-i Alam is under way. Sponsorship for bearing the cost of translation or publication will be most welcome.