The Ulama-e-Farangi Mahal is the only family in the world to have produced Islamic Scholars consistently for the last about 1,000 years. These Islamic Scholars trace their lineage back as far as to the time of the Prophet (pbuh). The ancestors of Farangi Mahlis migrated to India in the 11th Century. The first evidence of the existence of the family lies in a revenue-free grant made to an ancestor Allam Hafiz in 1559. It is Emperor Akbar's first known 'farman' (edict). The Islamic Scholars of this family can be traced through similar documents down to the time in 1692 when the Allama's great-great grandson, Qutub-ud-din, was murdered at Sehali near Barabanki in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Emperor Aurangzeb was highly influenced by the Islamic scholars of Farangi Mahal, so when he heard about the murder of Allama Qutub-ud-din Shaheed, he immediately ordered the family of Allama be shifted to a safer place in the city of Lucknow.
In 1695, the family shifted to the palace occupied by a French merchant, hence this Palace being famous by the name of 'Farangi Mahal'. This is how the family came to be known as Ulama-e-Farangi Mahal.
The Scholars became famous throughout the Islamic world when Allama Nizam-ud-din Farangi Mahliformulated a syllabus for the Islamic Madrasas. This syllabus was widely accepted by all the Ulamas of different sects and even after 300 years. This is followed with only certain changes in both the Deobandiand the Barelvi sects of Madrasas. Allama Nizam-ud-din became famous largely because of his Islamic knowledge and intelligence. Besides from across India, as many as 700 students from far-off countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China used to study at Farangi Mahal. In the light of this fact, Farangi Mahl can be regarded as the first madrasa of India, better known as Darul Uloom Nizamiya Farangi Mahal, regarding which famous witer and Islamic Scholar Allama Shibly Naumani wrote: "Farangi Mahal was the biggest Darul Uloom of India and is the founder of Dars-e-Nizami".
Allama also wrote a number of books on different topics.Maulana Abdul Bari Farangi Mahli (born on April 14, 1878) was another most famous Islamic scholar of India hailing from the Farangi Mahal. Not only did he play a very important role in the religious field but also in the Freedom Struggle of India. He was among the first to raise the slogan of Muslim-Hindu Unity in the country, as a result of which Mahatma Gandhi visited Farangi Mahal in March 1919 and stayed there.
The world witneesed Maulana Bari's political influence especially during 1919 and 1920. He also established a newspaper 'Akhuwat' to focus on Islamic issues. As a proof of his growing influence, he succeeded to win over Mahatma Gandhi, who came to stay in Farangi Mahal in March 1919, and got him interested in theKhilafat Movement. In September 1919, he held an All India Conference in Lucknow which led to the foundation of the All India Central Khilafat Committee. Maulana, along with the help of famous lawyer Chaudhari Khaliq-uz-Zaman, formulated the constitution. In November, at the Khilafat Conference at Delhi, he took the first step towards getting non-cooperation with the British adopted as a policy and began the process of cutting a public deal with Mahatma Gandhi. Maulana Abdul Bari also formed the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-e-Hind and he presided over the first session of Jamiat-ul Ulama at Amritsar. From February to June he devoted enormous effort first towards pursuading the Khilafat Committee to adopt non-cooperation as a policy and second at the Allahabad meeting in June to persuading the committee to accept Gandhi as chair of the group which was to put non-cooperation into action.
Maulana Abdul Bari devoted his energies to ensuring that there was a vast Muslim presence at the Calcutta special congress which enabled Mahatma Gandhi and their non-cooperation agenda to capture the organization of India nationalism.
His contribution to driving forward the strategy which led to the extraordinary outcome of that Congress, is demonstrated in his dynamic activity and in the hundreds of letters and telegrams in his private papers. He was also a graet teacher and a spiritual leader too, as he was the product of a family which had been responsible for India's greatest continuous family tradition of Islamic scholarship.These were some of the reasons because of which learned personalities such as Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Shukat Ali Jauhar, famous poet Akbar Allahabadi and the nawabs of Rampur, Jahangirabad, Hydrabad were highly impressed by him and also got very close to him. Maulana Farangi Mahli went for Haj three times and soon after returning from the third pilgrimage to Mecca and trips to Cairo and Baghdad in 1912, he founded the Anjuman-i-Khuddam-i-Kaaba. His ingenuity and intelligence can be judged from the fact that in spite of his involvement in political and social movements, he wrote about 110 books on various subjects such as Tafseer, Hadees, Fiqh, Usool-e-Fiqh,Faraiz, Tasawwuf, Adab, Kalaam, Mandiq, Hikmat, Ilm-e-Nahu, Ilm-e-sarf. So much in a short life span of only 44 years, the age at which he died on January 17, 1926.
Allamah Abdul Hai Farangi Mahli (Born in 1264 Hijri and died in 1304 /1886 ) was one of the illustrious literary figure of not only the Farangi Mahal but of the entire Islamic World. He was the most intelligent personality after Allama Bahrul Uloom. He died at the age of 39, before he could surpass the greatest Islamic scholars of all times Even in such a short span of time he wrote 120 books.