- Reasons For Deprivation
- Need for a Sheikh
- Da’wat And Tabligh
- The Reasons for Corruption
- Stray Thoughts
- Neglecting Zikr
- The Necessity of Bai’at
- Hazrath Faqihul Ummat (RA)
Reasons For Deprivation
Elaborating on the reasons for deprivation, Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) mentioned the following incident: Once Hazrath Thanwi (rahmatullah alaihi) was busy replying to his letters after zuhr salaah. During this time if anybody wished to enquire anything, they would do so. A person sitting in front had wished to ask something. Hazrath Thanwi (rahmatullah alaihi) would repeatedly look at him but would not say anything. This continued until Asr. Finally at Asr time Hazrath turned his attention to him. The person requested forgiveness (for causing the distraction). Hazrath Thanwi (rahmatullah alaihi) then said to him: “Every time I looked at you, the incident where you swore at me pierced me like a dagger in the heart. As a result I was greatly disturbed by this… when you have pierced the dagger into me, did you also do anything to help to heal the wound ?” The person replied: “You had clearly announced that you have forgiven all those who had abused you, etc. Hence I understood from this that I too have been forgiven.”
Upon this Hazrath Thanwi (rahmatullah alaihi) said: “Even now I say the same thing — that I have totally forgiven everyone including you. I will take no revenge, neither in this world nor in the hereafter. But what can I do about my heart? Whenever I want to turn my attention to you, the incident stabs me like a dagger. I have forgiven you, but what have you done to remedy the situation?” The person replied that he had made tawba from the act he had committed. Hazrath Thanwi (rahmatullah alaihi) further said: “It is fine that you have repented. However, did you inform me of this repentance? I was under the impression that you still hold the same views that you expressed at that time. Now you will not derive any benefit from me. It is best that you go to some other sheikh.” (Malfoozaat,v.8 pg.18)
A great lesson is to be taken from this incident. While the mashaaikh totally forgive those people who have harmed them and they harbour no malice for anyone, being human they are also hurt emotionally by the ill conduct of people. This natural feeling becomes a barrier for the mureed from deriving any benefit. May Allah Ta’ala save us from causing inconvenience to anyone, especially His special servants.
Need for a Sheikh
In reply to a question with regards to what is the need for a sheikh, Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) said:
“There are two aspects of the human — his zaahir (outer-self) and baatin (inner-self). The islaah (reformation) of the zaahir as well as the baatin is necessary. There are many laws of the Shariah which pertain to the zaahir while many aspects pertain to the baatin. Salaah, Zakaah, Haj, etc. pertain to the zaahir. Likewise, to adopt humility and regard oneself as inferior to others, not to become jealous over the bounties that Allah Ta’ala has granted others, etc. pertain to the baatin. Just as it is compulsory to fulfil the laws pertaining to the zaahir, similarly it is incumbent to fulfil the laws that relate to the baatin. As for the aspects which pertain to the zaahir, every Muslim knows them and easily understands them. For example, every Muslim knows that he must perform his five daily salaah, fast in the month of Ramadaan, etc. However, as for those aspects that pertain to the baatin, neither are they visible nor can every person understand them. Furthermore, often one is in need of an Aalim so that one may enquire from him the laws pertaining to the zaahir aspects. In this regard if one constantly refers to a specific Aalim for all one’s queries, it is much better. …
Likewise, in order to reform one’s inner-self and to fully comply with and to practice upon all the laws that pertain to the baatin, it is necessary that one chooses a guide who is well-versed with these aspects. Thus one constantly refers to him and seeks his guidance. According to one’s temperament, etc. he will prescribe remedies for the problems one experiences in those aspects.
In the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) would refer all their matters (pertaining to the zaahir and baatin) directly to him. The same procedure continued in the time of the Khulafa-e-Raashideen (the four righteous khalifas), the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) would refer all their matters to them. After the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) the attention of the people began shifting more towards the worldly aspects. Hence in the time of the Taabieen and Tab’ut-Taabieen (those who came after the Taabieen) many greatsheikhs existed who codified all the aspects pertaining to the baatin. Many other books were thereafter compiled of the same nature such as Ihya Ulumud Din, Risala Tasawwuf, etc. (Khulasa-e-Tasawwuf, pg.60)
Da’wat And Tabligh
Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) would time and again greatly emphasise the work of da’wat and tabligh. He personally has spent much time out in the jamaats with Hazrath Moulana Muhammad Ilyas Khandelwi (rahmatullah alaihi). In one talk delivered in South Africa, Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) said:
“….. Therefore this (work of Da’wat and tabligh) is a great bounty of Allah Ta’ala. Every person can take part in this work of tabligh. Those who dedicate their entire lives to this effort, what can then be said — it is nurun ala nur(absolutely excellent). Those who cannot do this can go for seven chillas or three chillas. Even those who spend just a little time will also benefit. However, to the extent of one’s sacrifice one will gain success.” (Mawaaiz – vol.8, pg.26)
In a letter addressed to Hazrath Sheikhul Hadith Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi), Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) writes:: “I was blessed with the ziyaarah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in a dream. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said to me: “Do two things, you will be my companion in Jannah —ta’leem and tabligh.” Hence I have commenced with tafseer of the Qur’an after fajar in a nearby musjid. Some musallies are also ready for tabligh. We have decided to commence this Thursday.” (dated 25 Rabius Thani 1372 A.H.)
On several occasions while in South Africa, despite his ill health Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) travelled all the way from Johannesburg to Cape Town specifically to attend the Ijtima there. At many Ijtimas he addressed the gathering and encouraged them to take part in this work.
Thus Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) was himself at the forefront of the effort of da’wat and tabligh as well. May Allah Ta’ala enable us to emulate his example. Aameen.
The Reasons for Corruption
On one of his visits to South Africa Hazrath (rahhmatullah alaihi) was asked as to what is the reason for the corruption and anarchy that is prevalent throughout the world. Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) replied: “The type of food that is consumed, that is the type of effect that will become apparent. Generally the attention of people does not go towards the type of food that is being consumed, whether it is halaal or a mixture of halaal and haraam. If the food is from halaal sources, insha-Allah there will be no problems.” (Malfoozaat – vol.3, pg.42)
Together with practically and verbaly teaching the lesson of utmost humility, Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) would constantly severely warn his mureeds of pride. His informal talks, letters and lectures bear ample testimony to this. On one occasion Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) said:
“In the soul is a disease of pride. Pride means to regard oneself as better than the next person and to regard the next person as inferior to one. This is a disease — an extremely dangerous disease. This disease can be (spiritually) fatal. In the hadith it is mentioned that the person who has a speck of pride in him will not enter jannah until he rids himself of it.”(Mawaa’iz – vol.8, pg.19)
On another occasion, describing the evils of pride Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) said: “Despite tremendous progress (in the line of sulook), pride causes a person to fall to such depths that it will be difficult to rise up from there.” (Khulasaa-e-Tasawwuf, pg. 97)
Further elucidating this point, Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) writes: “If one can overcome pride (i.e. rid oneself of it) then insha-Allah one will be saved from numerous external and inner sins. One resorts to speaking lies due to pride. Greed and jealousy also occur due to pride.
Hazrath Faqihul Ummah (rahmatullah alaihi) was indeed an embodiment of humility. His teachings are filled with lessons of humility. The desire for name and fame was nowhere to be seen. The following incidents from his life are a lesson to one and all, especially to those who were associated with him:
Mufti Kifaayatullah Gangohi Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) was appointed as the mufti of Deoband. At that time Hazrath Faqihul Ummah (rahmatullah alaihi) was the assistant mufti of Mazahirul Uloom, Saharanpur. On one occasion when Mufti Kifaayatullah (rahmatullah alaihi) met Hazrath Faqihul Ummah (rahmatullah alaihi), he said to him: “There are thousands of letters and queries that are lying unanswered in the Darul Ifta of Darul Uloom Deoband.” Hazrath Faqihul Ummah (rahmatullah alaihi) replied: “Every week send a hundred or so letters to me. If you cannot arrange this, I will have somebody collect a hundred letters from you every week. At the end of the week he will bring back the replies of the first hundred and collect the next hundred. I will write the replies and leave the place for the signature blank. You can sign them and send them off.” (Introduction to Fataawa Mahmoodia, vol.3)
This incident is filled with great lessons for us. The extent of compassion, the eagerness to assist others, the readiness to undertake difficulty upon oneself for the cause of Deen and shunning name and fame is all apparent from the above. Thus we also have to follow in these footsteps. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the ability to do so.Aameen.
Hazrath (R.A.) greatly stressed punctuality upon the ma’mulaat (daily practices such as salaah, zikr, tilaawat, etc. In reply to a letter he writes:
“…This practice of sometimes completing one’s ma’mulaat and at other times neglecting them, must be completely refrained from. One cannot progress in this manner. Punctuality is absolutely necessary. According to the Hadith, the best of actions is that upon which one is punctual. Without this constancy one cannot achieve the islah of one’snafs (the purification and reformation of the inner-self).
Many people are often extremely perturbed by stray thoughts that engulf the mind at the time of zikr, salaah, etc. In this regard Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) gives the following advice:
“Some people at times think that since the mind is filled with stray thoughts while engaged in zikr, what benefit is there in such zikr. One should not entertain such thoughts. Even such zikr (where the mind is preoccupied with stray thoughts) has great benefit. It is Allah Ta’ala that has engaged the tongue in His remembrance. Upon this one should make shukr to Him. At the same time make dua that He engages the heart as well in His remembrance. The heart is also in the control of Allah Ta’ala. The tongue is also in his control. Beseech him to engage one’s heart also in his remembrance just as he granted the tawfeeq (ability) to one’s tongue to engage in zikr. If one cannot personally experience the effects of this zikr, one should have trust in those who have experienced it.” (Khulasa-e-Tasawwuf – pg.126)
Explaining the harms of neglecting zikr Hazrath (rahmatullah alahi) mentioned:
“This is an extremely dangerous thing. As soon as zikr is neglected, sins engulf one. The evils of the heart once again become manifest. Zikr is the weapon with which one fights off shaitaan. It is by means of this zikr that we manage to ward off shaitaan. When one neglects one’s zikr, shaitaan attacks with full force. Shaitaan then takes control and leads one to commit sins.”
The Necessity of Bai’at
In reply to a question as to whether complete islaah (reformation and inner-self purification) can take place without becoming associated with a sheikh-e-kaamil, Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) writes:
“Firstly, without associating oneself with a wali-ekaamil, generally one does not manage to practice fully on all aspects of the Shariah. Secondly, without such an association, true sincerity is not attained in one’s actions. It is for this reason that after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) the Sahaaba (radhiallahu anhum) took bai’at on the hands of Hazrath Abu Bakr (radhiallahu anhu), thereafter on the hands of Hazrath Umar (radhiallahu anhu) and so on. This bai’at was not only for allegiance to the khilafah. It was also for strengthening the purification of the inner-self. It is also for this very reason that all senior Ulama of every era, despite being masters in the field of Deeni knowledge, felt the necessity to take bai’at on the hands of a spiritual mentor…..” (Fatawa Mahmoodiyya – vol. 1, pg.134)
The Purpose of Bai’at
Explaining the various reasons for bai’at, Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) mentioned the following:
“Among the reasons for taking bai’at is to tread the path of sulook. What this means is that a person wishes attainma’rifat (the recognition of Allah Ta’ala) and gain Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure. Hence he makes an effort to rid himself of all evil actions and habits and adopts good character and noble actions. Also, in the pursuit of this goal he wholeheartedly follows the advice of the sheikh and happily undertakes whatever mujaahadah (striving against the nafs) the sheikh prescribes for the purpose of islaahe nafs (inner-self purification). As a result he eliminates from himself the desire for the perishable things of this world. Rather, he develops a strong and deep connection with Allah Ta’ala and becomes forever concious of his Creator. In order to guide him on this path, the sheikh, by the medium of his mashaikh
Hazrath Faqihul Ummat (RA)
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “Qiyaamah will not be established until knowledge will be taken away (by the death of the Ulama). Earthquakes will be frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you.” (Sahih Bukhari)
The signs of Qiyaamah are indeed apparent all around us. However, in this latter period of time, the demise of the personality who was aptly titled “Faqihul Ummah” is a clear sign that the knowledge of Deen is being taken away. The heart-rending demise of Hazrath Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) on 19 Rabius Thani 1417 (2 September 1996) at 7:30 p.m. is a clear sign that we have come very close to the Last Day. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raajioon. May Allah Ta’ala Grant Hazrath Faqihul Ummah (rahmatullah alaihi) a lofty rank in the hereafter and enable us to continue implementing his advices and teachings. Aameen.
Describing the personality of Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) is an almost impossible task. The most eloquent words would hopelessly fail in truly describing the knowledge, brilliance, piety, kindness, compassion, humility and the numerous other qualities which he embodied. He was an ustaad to thousands of students, a mentor to thousands of diciples and a kind and compassionate father to all who came into contact with him. His compassion and kindness knew no bounds. It was indeed his first nature. Every year he personally took care of the monthly expenses and of the various needs of numerous students of Darul Uloom Deoband, Saharanpur and other institutions. There were instances when he gave away his valuable personal kitaabs … and there were occasions where he even gave away the clothing he had been wearing at that time. Despite this, he never regarded himself as having shown any favour to anyone. He greatly loved the poor, he loved being with them and he loved living and even passing away like them. Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) was also forever concerned about the Deeni progress of others, especially the poor.
It was the normal practice of Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) for many years that daily he would recite 15 paras or more in salaah. During the month of Ramadaan, he would complete one Qur’an daily.
Nothing, and simply nothing, can truly convey the extent to how much poorer the world has become with the demise of Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi). It is not the demise of just one individual. Rather, it is the demise of an entire “world” as the Arabic saying goes:“Mautul Aalim, mautul aalam” (the death of an Aalim is the death of the world).
Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) taught Bukhari Sharief for many years at Kanpur as well as at Darul Uloom Deoband. Besides teaching Bukhari Sharief and other books of hadith at Deoband, he also graced the distinguished position of Grand Mufti of that august institution for many years.
To date 22 thick volumes of his fatwas have been published (further volumes are still being published). Besides the fatwas he authored several books and booklets. Upon his instruction the publication of many magazines and newsletters was undertaken by various institutions. [The publication of AL-HAADI was also commenced upon his advice. The name was also chosen by Hazrath (rahmatullah alaihi) himself].
Together with this Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) travelled to many countries for the purpose of disseminating the Deen of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). South Africa was particularly fortunate that Hazrath Mufti Saheb (rahmatullah alaihi) repeatedly blessed our shores with his presence and benifitted the Ummah with his teachings. It was also the good fortune of South Africa that this country was blessed with the last days of the life of this great luminary of Islam.
While the hearts of thousands are greatly grieved at the loss of their guide and mentor, the point to consider at this juncture is: What would have pleased Hazrath Faqihul Ummah (rahmatullah alaihi) had he been present?” The simple reply is: “Implementing his teachings and practicing on his advices.” In this light, the ensuing pages are dedicated to various aspects which are important for one and all to keep in mind.