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The following incident is taken from the Monthly Wasiyatul Irfan, published by the khanqah of Hazrat Maulana Shah Wasiullah sahab Ilahabadi .
(The Majlis of Hazrat Maslihul Ummat Maulana Shah Wasiullah sahab Ilahabadi )
P: 3-4; July 2009 issue.
Hakeem Bu Ali Sina in the service of a Buzurg
I heard this incident from Hazrat Maulana (Hazrat Hakeem ul ummat ) many a times that he would often narrate that Bu Ali Sina presented himself in the service of a Buzurg. While on return, he left one of his men there and instructed him to write back whatever Hazrat says about him...
after sometime, he inquired by writing to this man.. only to find that the Shaikh (buzurg) hasn't spoken anything about him..
Then he wrote this person to expressly seek the shaikh's opinion about him.. Such that he asked the shaikh " how is this person.. Bu Ali sina..?"
And he replied : "Mard Fazil ast.. wa le akhlaq nadarad.." meaning he is an Alim Fazil.. but doesn't keep Akhlaq (character).
Ilm and and Amal are both seperate entities :
The person wrote the same back to Bu Ali Sina. When he ( Bu Ali Sina) came to know of it.. he wrote a book on the ilm of Akhlaq and sent forth ..to be presented in the service of the shaikh.. when the shaikh cast his look on the book.. he laughed and knew that perhaps my statement has reached him and this was his answer to it..
He said "Man nagufta budam ke akhlaq nadanad.. balke gufta budam ke akhlaq nadarad.." Meaning that I never said that he did now 'Know' Akhlaq.. but that he doesn't 'keep' it..
It means that after writing the book.. the proof of knowing is established.. that he knows about Akhlaq..but what I meant was that he doesn't keep it.. i.e., he does'nt bear it.. And the reply also carried a remark that till now he does not understand the difference between Dashtan ( keeping) and Danastan ( knowing). Such that Dashtan is one thing and Danastan is something else.
And to establish the proof of danastan (knowing) it not necessary to present the proof of dashtan (keeping).
The Buzurg may have noted a lack of akhlaq in Bu Ali Sina.. so when he was inquired .. he thought it necessary to inform the truth and that's why he replied Akhlaq nadarad..
The Buzurgs of deen when entitled with a task.. reach it out to the people... such that he fulfilled his duty..and sent forth the message of Tareeq (sulook) to us... and they keep on sending it.. now it is left to us to understand or not..
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The Following is taken from Ma'arif Mathnavi , A commentary of the Mathnavi of Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi By Arif Billah Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammed Akhtar Sahab , Translated into English by Maulana Yousuf karan sahab db of cape Town, South Africa.
The story of Promising to do something Tomorrow
A certain man planted a thorn-tree in the path where people walked. As it grew bigger and stronger, the thorns started injuring those walking past.
The people started blaming the planter but it had no effect on him, except that he promised everytime that the following day he was going to remove the tree from the path. However, nothing was done about the tree. At last the matter reached the governor of that place.
The governor too ordered him to uproot the tree. The planter promised the governor that he would do so the following day, but again he failed to carry out his promise. The result was that the tree grew until it became very strong and sturdy, with its roots going very deep in the ground.
Now he was unable to uproot the Thorn-tree at all.
"The bad tree grew into a strong young tree
While the planter became old and weak.
The thorn tree was everyday becoming healthier
And the up-rooter was becoming daily weaker.
O listener, very often you have become grief-stricken over your evil deeds
And very often your evil deeds brought you regret and the desire to repent.
So often you have become helpless at the hands of your evil deeds and devastated..
Have you become senseless? You have become senseless to an overwhelming degree..
O you senseless one, arise and rectify your previous bad habits
Rise, take up an axe and attack like a man..
Like Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه who uprooted the gate of khaybar"
In this story Maulana gives the advice that a seeker of truth and seeker after Allah should should never put off for tomorrow the rectification of evil deeds and habits. Never should they say:
"I will rectify and change my habits tomorrow" and when tomorrow comes along, then again say the same.
In this way, shaytan causes that promise of tomorrow to continue, until the time of death arrives. Then the intender will enter the grave without rectification and disappointed. Shaytan will rejoice.
Just as the thorny tree which was planted, could in the end not be uprooted by the planter, in the same way, the longer a person takes to discard or rectify bad habits, those bad habits will become stronger at the roots.
As the days and nights pass by you will become older and weaker which will make the discarding and rectification of evil habits very difficult.
For this reason, rise up without any delay and procrastination. Grab an axe of courage and uproot the door of evils, just like Hazrat Ali رضي الله عنه was granted great help being in the company of Rasulullah , you should join forces with the saints of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, the friends of Rasulullah . Through their company, acquire the help and bounty of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.
Hazrat Maulana Thanwi says:
"Even these days no position of Wilayat (sainthood) is open and unoccupied; whether it is the rank of Qutub, Ghowth or Abdaal. All these ranks even today are filled".
These saints, who in your sight are looked upon as being of wretched condition and are considered worthless, after a hundred years of history they will be looked upon as Junaid, Rumi, Attar and Shibli (Rahmatullahi alaihi ajmaen) of this age.
It is foolish to argue like this: "where do you find saintly men today like those in the past?"
This is a shaytani deception which wishes to keep us deprived of the blessings of these men. Do we find anyone complaining today that for physical ailments: "where do we find a Jalinoos or a Socrates or a plato? No, we go to the present day doctors for treatment."
Similarly, in the event of spiritual or internal illnesses and for their rectification, we should contact the present day followers of sunnah who have been granted permission by the elders to initiate others into an oath of allegiance (Bay'at). We should consult them and start our self-rectification.
Neither should we delay rectification until the oath of Bay'at because Bay'at is sunnat ghair muakkada, while the idea of rectification of the self is an obligatory duty.
However, after starting the process of rectification, if one finds himself agreeable to it, he should also enter into 'Bay'at' considering it sunnah because through 'Bay'at' a special connection is formed which increases the benefit.
Once a peacock was busy pulling out its beautiful feathers and throwing them away. A hakeem happened to pass that way.
He saw this and asked: "O Peacock, why are you pulling out such beautiful feathers ? what ingratitude is this?"
The Peacock replied:
"Don't you see that numerous calamities come to me from all sides,
Due to these wings and feathers..
Unjust hunters place traps in all places
Just to get hold of these feathers and wings..
When by day iam unable to keep myself..
Safe and protected against those calamities and trails,
It is better that I remove those feathers from me..
And make my apprearence unsightly.
So as to make myself without worries in the mountains and meadows..
It is my opinion that it is more important for me to save my life than my outer form..
For if the life is safe, what harm is there if the form is unseemly?"
This is the reason why the saintly ones keep themselves away from fame and pomp as Maulana explains in another couplet:
"keep yourself unknown and without name or fame and be like an indigent one..
So that this condition should keep you far removed from fame..
For fame takes away all bounds of comfort and brings many calamities in its wake".
However, when Allah سبحانه وتعالى himself makes a saintly one famous, then his protection is like a shade over him. The bad form of fame is that form, where a person himself works for it and tried purposely to acquire it.
Hazrat Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki used to say:
"Iam sitting here without name and without any sign.
Who is it that has spread my fame about?"
In annihilating oneself and leading simple lives, our elders found peace and comfort.
I have heard of a story from my Shaikh Hazrat Phoolpuri , that Hazrat Maulana Qasim Nanotawi , the founder of Darul Uloom Deoband, was going somewhere dressed in a lungi and a very simple 'kurta' (shirt). A man who saw him dressed so simply considered him a yarn spinner.
He asked him: "what is the price of cotton thread in the market today?". Maulana replied: "I did not go to the market today". He did not say: "Do you consider me a yarn spinner?". Because that would have seemed as if there is some insulting reference to the spinners. After all, with Allah سبحانه وتعالى the criterion for honour and respect lies only in "Taqwa" that a person has.
The following is taken from Malfuzaat Faqih ul Ummat ( The sayings of Faqih ul ummat Hazrat Mufti Mahmud Hasan sahab Gangohi ) compiled by Hazrat Maulana Masood Ahmed sahab Qasmi db ( Nazim, Mahmud ul Madaris, Ghaziabad,U.P,India).
Hunting the Falcon
Narrated that a guest arrived at Hazrat Thanwi 's place. Hazrat was about to leave for Lucknow for his treatment. This guest was met by a dervish Majzoob who gestured him to come near.
When he drew close the Majzub asked " do you know where Hazrat is going..?" the guest replied " he is is travelling to lucknow for treatment.." on this the Majzub dervesh replied "it is not so.. he is actually setting out to hunt a falcon and he shall succeed in doing so.. he shall bring back the hunt"
The meaning of Shahbaz (falcon) was Hazrat Maulana Syed Sulaiman sahab Nadwi who in this very journey was bayat to Hazrat Thanwi and then later also became his khalifa and Majaz.
The Visit of Mufakkir e Islam Hazrat Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali sahab Nadwi to Thana Bhawan and meeting Hazrat Hakeem ul Ummat Thanwi
At last the day approached when I had the nobility to present myself at Thanabhawan, the tales of which were narrated by several visitors since past many years...
Now I had the opportunity to behold it myself... it is said that a flower reveals its true shape resting on the twig or in the garden...
Apparently it was 1942 and the month of May or June.. I remember the intense hot weather and the blowing heatwave.. I was travelling along with Maulana Ilyas sahab on the narrow gauge Railway line.. which ran from Shahdara to Saharanpur..
Along the way lied all those places and hamlets... which were historically attached to the Mashaikh of Deoband.. for eg, Kandhla.. Thana Bhawan..Nanota..Rampur Maniharan..
I do not quite recollect whether it was preplanned or the thought evolved during the course of journey that a trip to Thana bhawan should also be made. The schedule was such that after resting in Kandhla along with Maulana ilyas sahab , which was his native, I had to reach Rampur maniharan. Thana Bhawan lied in between Kandhla and Rampur.
I took permission from Maulana Ilyas sahab that I shall be leaving a day advance from Kandhla... and after spending 24 hours at Thana Bhawan, board the same train on which Maulana would leave for Rampur.
Maulana himself was amongst the votaries of Thana Bhawan and considered Maulana Thanwi to be from the rows of his Mashaikh... he was very pleased to hear that and permitted me with great vivacity and happiness..
Some known person from Thana bhawan was on his way back and I intended to hand him the letter informing of my arrival. That he could present there himself. He replied saying it was against etiquettes.I then requested him to drop it in the post box to which he agreed.
I stayed at Kandhla for a day and left for Thana Bhawan. Exactly at 2'o clock noon.. The train reached Thana Bhawan. The Khanqah Imdadiya wasn't much far away from the station. Taking a coolie along.. I walked towards the Khanqah.
After hearing so much about the rules.. regulations.. decorum.. and having being narrated tales of accountability and penance.. anxiously I set my foot in the Khanqah.
The feeling was more like a student gaining entry into a Madrassa.
There was a prevailing stillness around.. more so because of the heat and being noon time. Residents of the Khanqah were resting in their rooms. Keeping my luggage at one place, I settled down. After sometime the Azaan for zuhr was called. Maulana entered.. performed wudhu.. I did not feel it proper to introduce myself at this moment..
The portion at the entrance lying south of the Masjid was the gathering place of Hazrat Maulana after zuhr, ... The Majlis had just progressed.. only a select few were present.. I recognized Khwaja Azizul hasan sahab Majzoob among them.. I drew near and sat at one corner..
The moment I reached Seh-dari (the place where he was seated, literally meaning a portion that opened to three doors) my eyes were fixed on the desk before Maulana... on which were placed letters and stationery... and kept in between them was a copy of Seerat sayyid Ahmed Shaheed which was published three years back..
Iam not sure whether Maulana had brought it out on the same day just to cheer me or increase familiarity...or may be this was the place where it was usually kept... looking at it I felt as if a very dear friend was present there for my introduction and assent.. its presence made a considerable difference in subduing the feeling of alienness..
Maulana was busy replying to the letters... after a few minutes he turned towards khwaja sahab and said "Khwaja sahab..! the brother of Dr Abdul Aliyy sahab was supposed to come.. hasn't he arrived..?"
Now I did not feel it appropriate to remain silent..i stepped forward and affirmed my presence.. said.. "you did not tell me..come forwards.." and stretched his hand forward for musafah (handshake).. I said "speculating hazrat's constraints I remained quite.." said " what could have been a greater constraint that I remained unaware of your arrival.. I would have felt ashamed.. regretful.. sorrowed.." said few more words in continuity..
And most the astonishing thing he said was "Because of You, today I had completed most of my letter work in advance... so that I had the chance to peacefully converse with you..." this infact was an extreme favour and honour from Hazrat.. which was beyond the wildest dreams of this anonymous youngster..
Then after asking about my well being.. with great affection he inquired if I had any other companion along.. about my dietary habits.. restraints to any particular food....
I could now understand that Hazrat would make me his own guest...
This also went against common reports and general observations... also, the great affection and exclusive treatment of the guest... that upon informing him of being free from any abstentions of food... he expressed remorse saying "I wouldn't be able to join you at lunch due to my wavering health... please do not mind..". then he inquired as for how long did I intend to stay and I informed of my departure the next day noon..
He said.. "For such a brief stay.." then continued "I do not strain my friends to stay longer.. that it may not lead to inconvenience.. and the persons who come even for such a short interval may not get overwhelmed" Then the Majlisi discourse began.. much of the talk centered around the Family of Hazrat Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlwi ..Hazrat Shah Abdul Aziz and Hazrat Shah Ismail Shaheed ..
Dinner arrived from the house of Hazrat Maulana.. the food consisted of delicacies cooked with refinement. early in the morning, after Fajr prayers , khwaja sahib reached with a message from hazrat informing that such a time is reserved for me.. wherein only a select few are permitted to attend.. but if deemed necessary,I could even offer some exclusive time for you.. I replied saying I have nothing personal to converse..i have come only to gain blessings and for a visit.. that I shall attend this special gathering..
At around Dhuha (chasht) I presented myself at his service..there were about four people..i remember Khwaja Azeeul Hasan sahab among them.. Hazrat said to khwaja sahib:
"Khwaja sahib bring along my Jaal (dragnet)..!"
khwaja sahib rose to abide.. but did not understand.. Hazrat said "Khwaja sahab do you understand what my jaal is..?" Khwaja sahab replied in negative.. to which he replied
" Tasbeeh...! (misbah).. this is the dragnet of ours.. through which we trap people.."
The Majlis was covered with great liveliness from beginning till the end.. leave aside any harshness, there wasn't even any sign of desiccation or parchedness..
Cheerfulness... comforting oration.. vibrance.. and revealing of subtleties blossomed the Majlis to a garden in spring..
The supposition regarding Thana Bhawan which was conceived, as far the personality of Hazrat Maulana was concerned, had an element of exaggeration and misunderstanding.. surely there were regulations but exceptions were also made.. and owing to students and those under tutelage.. there was accountability and penance..
But for visitors and those who attended occasionally, also persons not under his Islahi training .. were treated with benevolence and affection.
The environs of Khanqah, in absoluteness, as I gauged, were not in parity with the temperament and nature of Hazrat . Neither was it a total reflection of his Jamiyyat (collectivity) and wisdom.
Also, it wasn't a wholesome representation of Hazrat Maulana or a visual translation of his personality. Possibly, the credit for Thanabhawan's fame that spread across the country... of wielding dread and awe... and that of accountability... attributed much to the role of these inhabitants that posed as the anointers of rigidity...
I shall recount my own experience.. that after taking leave from Maulana's Majlis, the wait for the train was quite long. There was a Madrassa at the northern portion of the khanqah, where a Maulvi sahab was teaching a lesson.
being not habituated to sitting idle or aimless.. and the old ailment of being a student.. , I sat down in a corner.
The Mudarris gestured a student towards a slate hanging on the wall that was inscribed on with the words 'Attendance is Prohibited for visitors while the class is in progress'.
He carried the slate forwards and displayed it to me.. I stood up feeling embarrassed. Likewise, I inquired someone about the opening hours of the library.. and instead of answering himself.., said that the time table is written on the slate and to read it myself..
Perhaps this verbal rigidity and imposing regulations were appalling for many strangers and conflicting this very stance.., Maulana was the master of these protocols. he wasn't subjugated by it. He was the legislator but not bound by it. Wherever and to whomsoever he wished, relaxed these protocols and deemed it as the favored protocol for the occasion.
A gem from Mawaiz of Faqeeh ul Ummat Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi
Hadhrat Raipuri and Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth
Once, Moulana Raipuri came to Saharanpur. It was the period of struggle for political power between the Majlis-e-Ahraar and the Muslim league. Moulana Habeeb-ur-Rahman Ludhyanwi , leader of the Ahraar had also arrived. A khaadim of Moulana Raipuri , who was a resident of Baht and a supporter of the Muslim League, entered the room. Moulana Raipuri stood up out of respect for him. Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth Moulana Zakariyya also stood up. (At that time he was able to walk easily.)
This khaadim paid no attention to Moulana Habeeb-ur-Rahman nor did he shake hands with him. He completed his work with Moulana Raipuri and left. Afterwards, Moulana Habeeb-ur- Rahman said: "I think I have erred. When such a buzurg stood up out of respect, I should have also stood up. The point that prevented me from doing so was a Hadeeth of Baihaqi which states that whoever humbles himself before a wealthy person, a portion of his Deen is destroyed."
Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth remarked: "It is mentioned in another Hadeeth:
When an honourable person of a community comes to you, then honour him."
Moulana Habeeb-ur-Rahman then said, "Hadhrat, there seems to be a contradiction between these two Ahaadeeth. How do you reconcile between them?"
Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth requested Moulana Raipuri to elucidate on this matter. However, Moulana Raipuri insisted on Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth explaining the matter and reconciling between the two Ahaadeeth. Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth agreed to reconcile between the two Ahaadeeth on condition that Moulana Raipuri freely criticises his answer if need be.
"If the answer is correct, how can I say that it is incorrect?" objected Moulana Raipuri . "I shall have to agree with it". Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth then explained, "The Hadeeth of Baihaqi states:
"Whoever humbles himself for an affluent person due to his affluence, two thirds of his Deen has been ruined."
One Hadeeth uses the word 'tawaadhu`' (to humble oneself) and the other has the word 'ikraam' (to honour someone).Humility is an action related to the heart. The heart has been created to humble itself, subjugate itself to Allah Ta`ala alone. As far as honouring someone is concerned, that is related to the external limbs.
Therefore, humbling oneself and honouring someone are two totally different actions. Thus no contradiction remains between the two Ahaadeeth." All were extremely happy with this answer.
"I become so elated whenever I am able to reconcile between two apparently contradictory Ahaadeeth that I do not experience such elation in anything else," admitted Shaikh-ul-Hadeeth .
This is what an aalim's outlook towards Deen should be. At every moment of our life, be it whilst walking, talking, sitting or eating, at every juncture, we must discuss `ilmi points and then point out the practice of Rasulullah for that specific action. The result of this will be that the lifestyle of Rasulullah will always be in front of us and we will realise that we have been created to lead our lives only in the manner shown to us by Rasulullah .
Hazrat Moulana Thanwi has written that the aim of sitting in the company of the pious is not to gain knowledge but rather the drive to practise upon knowledge acquired. Hazrat Moulana Gangohi has written that when Ulama take bay`at at the hands of one who is not an aalim, their aim is not to learn masaa'il from him. No! Their aim is that the knowledge, which they had gained and were not practicing upon due to the laziness of their nafs, will become easy to practise after establishing contact with a friend of Allah Ta`ala.
The Meeting of Hazrat Mufti Muhammed Shafi sahab with Hazrat Maulana Syed Mian Asghar Hussain sahab Deobandi
Hazrat Maulana Mufti Muhammed Taqi Uthmani sahab db narrates that his respected father ( Hazrat Mufti Muhammed Shafi sahab .) had a teacher at Darul Uloom Deoband by the name of Hazrat Maulana Syed Asghar Hussain sahab who was popularly known as "Hazrat Mian sahab".
He was a saint of distinct nature... learning his incidents revives the memories of the era of sahabah .. My respected father relates that..
"Once I presented myself at his service... he said it was lunch time & asked me to join in.. so I sat alongside for the meal.. when we were done with the food, I began rolling up the dastarkhwan (Table cloth) that I may whisk it outside..
Hazrat Mian sahab grabbed my hand, said: 'what are you doing..?'
I replied 'Hazrat I shall wipe the dastarkhwan outside..' and Hazrat asked 'Do you know how to wipe the dastarkhwan..?'
I said 'Hazrat what knowledge or skill does it take to wipe a dastarkhwan.. that it may require any specific training.. I shall wipe it outside...'
Hazrat Mian sahab replied 'That was exactly why I asked.. do you know how to wipe the dastarkhwan..?'
'So we learn that you do not know how to wipe a dastarkhwan..', and I said ' then teach me how to..'
He replied 'Yes..wiping dastarkhwan is also a skill..'
Then he reopened the dastarkhwan .. the remnants of meat.. or particles of it.. he kept aside.. and pieces of bone which had some meat on it, he parted aside.., also shreds of Roti (Indian bread) were kept aside.. and the finer grains of Roti.. he kept separately..
Then he told me ' see.. these are four things.. and there are four places reserved at my place for each of them..'
'Pieces of meat should be kept at a certain place... the cat knows that after a meal, bits of meat are kept here.. and it fills its share..
The bones should be kept at a certain place... dogs from neighborhood know the place well.. they come and eat away.., and the shreds of Roti.., I keep on that wall.. birds..eagles & crows perch there and take it away..'
For the finer grains of Roti.., I have an anthill at my place and I keep it there.. the ants feed upon it..
Then he said 'This is a Rizq from Allah سبحانه وتعالى and no part of it should get wasted..'
My respected Father would comment 'on that day we learnt that wiping dastarkhwan was also a skill that should be learnt..'
May Allah سبحانه وتعالى fill their Quboor with Noor.. ameen..
The following incident is taken from Yaadgar Mulaqaten P:323
The Meeting of Hakeem ul Ummat Thanwi with a Railway guard
Once Hazrat Hakeem ul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi was travelling from Saharanpur to Kanpur. He also carried some sugarcane with him. He intended to weigh them and pay the freight.
Those who came to see him off dissuaded against it.. even the Station officials remarked:
" You may take it along..there is no need to pay the freight.. we shall inform the guard not to trouble you anyway.."
Hazrat Thanwi inquired how far shall this guard come along.. and answer was ..'Till Ghaziabad..' Hazrat Thanwi asked 'what shall happen ahead..' and the reply was.. 'That guard shall inform the next guard..' Hazrat Thanwi again inquired.. 'And what shall happen later..'
"The next stop is at Kanpur and the journey ends there.." came the reply.
To which Hazrat replied "No.. the journey ahead is of the hereafter.. and when I reach there.., there shall be interrogation and scrutiny.. Would the guard then come to my rescue..?"
This silenced everyone.. and had a profound effect on the station master and the freight was taken.. well they had forgotten about the hereafter..
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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