The Ashrafi's are the descendants of the illustrious Sufi Saint Hazrat Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani who had settled at Kichhauchha Sharif (Ashrafpur Kichhauchha) in the Ambedkar Nagar District, Uttar Pradesh, India, after relinquishing his throne in Semnan ( Iran). His shrine is situated at Dargah, Rasoolpur between Kichaucha Sharif and Baskhari Sharif and is visited by thousands of devotees irrespective of caste, creed and sex. The Ashrafiyya family members' chief meeting place are Baskhari Sharif & Kichaucha Sharif, where their main family members reside. It is one of the most revered and authentic families of Hashemite Syeds residing in India.
Some prominent Ashrafi's are:
- Syed Abdur-Razzaq Nurul-Ain
- Syed Amin Ashraf (1930-2013)
- Syeda Ummehani Ashraf (1949-)
- Syed Mohammad Izhar Ashraf (1934-2012)
- Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi (1966-)
- Syed Waheed Ashraf (1933-)
Poets and their Works
Poetry has been one of the intellectual hobbies in the Ashrafi family since the very beginning. However the first publication of a poetic composition was in the first quarter of 20th century by Syed Ali Husain Ashrafi in a book entitled, Tahaife Ashrafi. A critical evaluation of his poetry has also been done by Syed Amin Ashraf (1931-2013) and the same is included in Amin Ashraf's book of critical essays entitled BargoBar. Syed Nazar Ashraf who was a Unani physician also penned poetry. His son Syed Muhammad Muhaddis also composed poetry which has been published in his poetic collection entitled, Farsh Par Arsh mainly containing 'Naats'. In the third generation of Syed Nazar Ashraf's offspring his grandson Syed Muhammad Madni too has brought out his own collection of Naat's.
A brief account of men of letters, poets and Sufis, in particular of the members of the Ashrafi clan residing in Kichaucha Sharif, is available in the preface of the book by Syed Waheed Ashraf entitled Rubai Vol. I. Syed Abdul Hai Ashraf who was Sajjada Nasheen residing in Baskhari was also a physician and a poet and had published his compositions. The poetic compositions in the early days were largely confined to the genre of 'Naat' and 'Manqabat'. But in recent times poets like Syed Amin Ashraf, Syed Waheed Ashraf and Syed Hasan Musanna Anwar have tried their hands at other forms like Ghazal, Nazm, Rubai, Qaseeda and Masnavi. Amin Ashraf has written Ghazals whereas Waheed Ashraf wrote Rubaiyat, Naats, Nazm, Munajat as well as Ghazals. Amin Ashraf has three poetic collections to his credit titled; Jaadae Shab, Bahare Eijaad and Qafase Rang, and his younger brother, a polyglot and a mystic, has published about ten collections in both Persian and Urdu on Ruba'i, Naat, Ghazal, Munajat, Nazm and Manqabat. Several awards have been conferred on the collections of these two brothers by various literary academies of India and abroad. Also many critical studies have come up eulogizing the poetic artistry of these two poets- Amin Ashraf and Waheed Ashraf. A study leading to the award of doctorate degree on Rubaiyaat's of Syed Waheed Ashraf titled,' Dr. Syed Waheed Ashraf ki Rubai Nigari' by Azhar Alam has surfaced in recent years.. In the present generation the elder and younger brothers - Syed Fareed Ashraf and Nurus Saiyyadain Madni Ashraf inheriting their poetic disposition from their father, Syed Waheed Ashraf, are composing poetry. Fareed Ashraf does poetry in Urdu while Nurus-Saiyyadain writes in English and has won many prizes in various poetic competitions in India.
Post independence there has been an inclination for seeking Islamic and Secular education among the Ashraf's and many of them have excelled in various fields.
- 'Hayate Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani' by Syed Waheed Ashraf, Published 1975
- 'Akhbarul Akhyar' By Abdal Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi [d.1052H-1642 CE ]. A short biography of the prominent Sufis of India have been mentioned in this book including that of Hazrat Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani
- 'Nurul-Ain' by Syeda Aal Fatima, Published 1974
- 'Sheikh Mubarak Budley Jaisi aur Awadh men Islam ki Nashr wa Ishaat men un ki khidmaat, by Mohsin Atique Khan Nadwi, Bright-Way Foundation, Lucknow, 2014
- http://www.ashrafesimna.org - Ashrafesimna Academy, is dedicated to great scholars of Ashrafi order...Hazrat Pir Ashraful-ulema Abul Hasan Shykh Saiyed Mohammed Ashraf Ashrafi-Jilani. Kichhouchvi