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Madina: India’s former Hindu Brahmin Banke Lal, who later turned into a famous Hadith sciences scholar Professor Shaykh Zia-ur-Rehman Azmi (77), died during the noon prayer call ‘Azaan’ in the Prophet Mohammed’s city of Medina in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Professor Azmi was born in 1943 in a Hindu Brahmin family of Bilarya Ganj village of Azamgarh in north-India’s Uttar Pradesh. He became Muslim at the age of 16. Later, he escaped from his village to avoid societal threats and joined an Islamic school which imparted free education and food.

After his formal training in Islamic sciences, he was enlisted into the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia. It's accounted for that he was the first Hindu believer to Islam whose confirmation was acknowledged in the Medina University.

Professor Azmi was serving as the Dean of Faculty of Hadith at the Islamic University of Medina, and after his retirement, he was appointed as a teacher in the Prophet’s mosque.

One of the Professor Azmi’s exemplary works on the Hadith sciences is ‘Al Jami Al Kamil fil-Hadith al-Sahih al-Shamil’ in 20 volumes, which contains over 16,800+ authentic Prophet’s narrations without any repetition. It’s said, that he referred to over 200 Hadith books to sift the authentic and fabricated narrations.

Another magnificent work Professor Azmi left is ‘Encyclopedia of the Glorious Quran” in the Hindi language.

‘From Ganga to Zamzam’ is his famous biography in Urdu where he detailed his life struggles and his journey from Hinduism to Islam, and how he was finally settled in Islam’s holiest city of Medina.
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