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Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) was so particular about those aadaab (etiquettes) which we generally consider insignificant. For example, when making wudhu, Hazrat Mufti Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) would always wash his hands from the fingertips down to the elbows and not vice versa. The Fuqahaa have written that this is mustahab and more virtuous. Similarly, he ensured that whilst washing his feet, he would wash them from the toes to the heels as the Fuqahaa have written that this is the mustahab method. When Hazrat Mufti Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) became old and sick, then too he would instruct the khuddaam (attendants) to wash his hands and feet in this manner. When a new attendant came and tried to wash his limbs ‘incorrectly’, Hazrat Mufti Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) would immediately pull that limb away and ask, “Who are you?” This was Hazrat Mufti Saheb’s (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) way of admonishing them.
(Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) – His life and works, pg. 116)
One day after Fajr when a big congregation of in this effort [of Dawah & Tabligh] actively part-taking gathered in Nizamuddin’s Masjid and Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalvi‘s Ra health was so weak, that laying on bed he could not even utter three four words in an audible voice, he demanded a special servant through who he conducted the whole congregation:
“All your Tabligh activities will be of no avail if, along with them, you do not pay proper attention to Ilm (knowledge) and Dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Ilm and Dhikr are the two wings without which one cannot fly in these surroundings. What is more, if Ilm and Dhikr are neglected, this endeavour may become a new source of mischief. Without Ilm, Islam and Iman are a mere formality, and without Dhikr, Ilm is darkness. Effluence is produced in Ilm by Dhikr and the real fruits of Dhikr are gained only when Ilm, too, is there. The Devil often makes the ignorant sufis his tools. The importance of Ilm and Dhikr should therefore, not be overlooked in this regard otherwise the Tablighi endeavour will end up in waywardness, and, Allah forbid, you will be in great loss.”
Hadhrat Maulana’s meaning of this guidance was that the ones working on this path should not understand the effort and struggles, the journey and migrations and the offering and sacrifices in line of Tabligh-o-Dawat as the essential work like nowadays it has become common. Instead learning and teaching of Deen and bringing the habit of Allah’s remembrance and understanding the building of a connection with these as one’s important obligation. In other words they should not become only “Sipahi” [Soldier] or Muballigh [Propagator] instead seekers of Deen’s knowledge and Allah-remembering servants, too.
[Malfoozat Hadhrat Maulana Ilyas Kandhalvi Ra by Maulana Muhammad Mansoor Nu'mani, pg. 38, Malfoozat 35
Hazrat Qari Siddeeq Ahmad Baandwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) mentioned the following regarding the poverty that was prevalent in his childhood:
“On several occasions we did not even have money to purchase paraffin for the lamps. My grandmother used to spin yarn in the moonlight and my mother used to sew kurtas for two paisas. If we had food for one meal, we stayed hungry for the next. We would regard it as a day of great joy if we got chutney and roti to eat for two meals in a row. Such a time had also come upon us where we had to break leaves from the trees, boil them and eat them.
This was a time of poverty and constraint. My father had already passed away. My two sisters who were younger than me had also passed away in this condition of poverty and hunger. I remember clearly that people would bring cotton seeds from the fields and boil them. Everyone used to eat from it. In those days there used to be lots of berries growing in the jungles. People would pluck them and survive on this. This was not only the condition in my home, it was the condition in most of the homes. Every second day people would stay hungry. Some of the elderly folk in my family had mentioned that at times people used to grind the bark of the Seemer tree into flour and make bread out of it. The entire area suffered abject poverty.
That period however was still much better than this period. There was no fighting and quarrelling, no fitnah and corruption. Whatever people found, they ate and survived. The rest of their time they spent in making the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala. When the floodgates of wealth opened up, it brought along with it much fitnah and corruption.”
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