There is no need to introduce Shaikhul-Hadith Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Zakariy (May Allah enlighten his grave). He is known to all ; he was very simple man and every common man is beneficiary of his great service. His compiled book "Fadha-e-A'mal" is read worldwide.
Shaikhul-Hadith was born on 11th Ramadan 1315 A.H. at night to a deeply religious, pious family at "Kandhla" Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, when his grandfather Maulana Mohammad Ismail used to teach the children Qur'an in "Bangl-e-Wali" Mosque at Nizamuddin, Delhi and was unanimously a great scholar. No sooner he heard the news of his grandson birth than suddenly uttered that his substitute has arrived. He (Maulana Mohd. Ismail) died in the month of "Shawwal" of the same year.
As per the family custom, at the tender age of 7th, he started memorizing the Holy Qur'an. The teaching method of his father was quite unique that he taught one page a day and asked the students "Revise it hundred times and enjoy rest of the day.
He studied "Bahishti Zaiwar", elementary books, magazine and booklet in Urdu and Persian languages before his uncle, Maulana Mohammad Ilyas at Gangoh. After the death of Hazrat Gangohi as well as his own father, he (Zakariya) moved to Saharanpur. Then he started to study Arabic education. He was taught the current syllabus of Syntax and Conjugation of Grammar (Arabic grammar) with some exclusive changes. His father would select the books required each year. His father Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Yahya taught him the books of Islamic Jurisprudence and other teachers taught him other books. He completed "Fazeelat course" (Islamic studies) in 1333 A.H.
Maulana Khaleel Ahmad (a close friend of his father), asked him to restudy "Bukhari" and "Tirmidhi" under his supervision after returning from Hijaz, so, he did with complete concentration. Seeing that, the kind teacher Maulana Ahmad turned his eyes to him and selected him in the team working on "Budhlul-Majhood-Fi-Halli-Abi-Dawood" an important book.
It is obvious that his father's demise, in 1334 A.H. was a great setback for him. Allah (S.W.T) bestowed on him patience, resolution, self-sufficiency and firm belief. He faced every challenge with courage and never gave up. When his father died, he was in grave debt. It was the most critical issue to pay off debts; as his salary was merely 15 rupees a month. Though, plenty good jobs were offered to him from different places, as: from Hyderabad and Bangladesh but he did not pay any attention to them. He continued teaching and writing Hadith in all the circumstances. Gradually, things got better.
He accompanied Hazrat from Saharanpur (Khaleel Ahmad) on his second journey to pilgrimage in 1344 A.H. As Hazrat from Saharanpur had already planned to migrate, he sent Maulana Zakariyya back with "Khilafat" of the four orders of Sufism (Four Sil-sila). Due to that a large number of people turned to him for getting pledged on his hand. Succeeding that, every Murabbi or Shaikh (Khalifah) died, recommended his followers to get pledged to him.
There used to be a mass gathering of devotees at his residence that newcomers would thought of a function, but it was the scene of every day. His teaching career was as busy as bee. He started teaching in 1335 A.H. and continued till 1388 A.H. He always taught the high level (Important) books of Hadith and spent 35 years of his life in this profession. At the last stage of life he suffered from eye problem and underwent the surgery of the right eye in Aligarh in 1970 A.D. Staying in Aligarh he dictated his autobiography.
Hazrat Shaikh had always a great desire to be buried near the prophet (SAW) whom (SAW) he loved very much and whose traditions served and spread throughout his life, as it is the most priority of a lover to meet his own beloved. Shaikh travelled to sacred
"Hijaz" on 18th "Rabi-ul-Awwal" 1393 A.H. corresponding to 1973 A.D. to migrate to Madina in the same journey. Hence, he stayed almost 10 years in Madina. Staying in Madina, he visited India, Pakistan, Africa, England and some
other countries, but he had permanently settled in Madina. After a prolonged illness, this wizard of practical knowledge died on 2nd "Sha'ban" 1402 A.H. in Madina between Asar and Maghrib.
May Allah be pleased with him!