Friday, August 29, 2008

HADHRAT UWAIS QARNI (rahmatullah alayh)

1. Regarding Uwais Qarni (rahmatullah alayh), Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said: "Uwais Qarni is the noblest of the Tabieen with ihsaan." (The highest stage of ihsaan is to worship Allah Ta'ala as if you are seeing Him.) Sometimes Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) would turn in the direction of Yemen and say: "I perceive the fragrance of love from Yemen." Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said: "Tomorrow on the Day of Qiyaamah Allah Ta'ala will create 70,000 malaa-ikah in the image of Uwais Qarni who will enter in their midst into Jannat. No one will recognise him except those whom Allah wishes." Since he engrossed himself in ibaadat in concealment, fleeing from people, Allah Ta'ala will preserve his concealment even in the Aakhirah. Allah Ta'ala has said: "My Auliyaa are under My Mantle. None besides Me knows them." Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said: "In my Ummat is a man whose shafaa'at (intercession) will be accepted on behalf of so many people whose number equals the hairs on the sheep/goats of the tribes of Rabeeh and Mudhir." These two Arab tribes possessed the most sheep and goats, hence the analogy. When the Sahaabah enquired about the identity of this man, Rasulullah (b) said: "A servant among the servants of Allah." The Sahaabah responded: "We all are the servants of Allah. What is his name?" Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said: "Uwais Qarni." Sahaabah: "Where is he?" Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ): "In Qarn." Sahaabah: "Have he seen you?" Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ): "Not with his physical eyes, but he has seen me with his spiritual eyes." Sahaabah: "Such an ardent lover, but why has he not entered into your companionship?" Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ): "There are two reasons. The first is ghalbah haal (i.e. he is always in a high spiritual state which makes him oblivious of everything besides Allah Ta'ala). The second is his profound observance of my Shariat. His mu'minah mother is extremely old and blind. He tends to camels and with his earnings he supports his mother." Sahaabah: "Can we see him?" Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (d): "You will not see him, but Umar and Ali will see him. His entire body is covered with hair. On the palm of his hand and left side is a white spot, the size of a dirham, which is not the mark of leprosy. When you meet him, convey my salaam to him and tell him to make dua for my Ummat. Among the Auliyaa those who are the Atqiyaa (a very loft category of Auliyaa), he is the holiest." Sahaabah: "Where shall we find him?" Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ): "In Yemen, he is a camel-herd known as Uwais. You should follow in his footsteps." As Rasulullah's ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) demise neared, the Sahaabah asked: "To whom shall we give your jubbah (cloak)?" Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said: "To Uwais Qarni." After the demise of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Ali (dma) journied to Kufa. After delivering a Khutbah, Hadhrat Umar (d) said: "O people of Najd, all of you stand up." Everyone obeyed. He then enquired: "Is any among you from Qaran?" When they said, 'yes', he asked for information about Uwais Qarni. They replied: "We do not know him. However, there is a madman who has become estranged from people. He flees from people. When Hadhrat Umar (d) enquired of his whereabouts, he was told that he (Uwais Qarni) tends to camels in Wadi Urnah. At night he eats dry bread. He does not enter the town. He does not speak to anyone. He does not eat what people generally eat. He does not know what is grief and happiness. When people laugh, he cries. When they cry, he laughs." Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Ali (ra) travelled to that valley (Wadi Urnah). Ultimately when they discovered him, he was engaged in Salaat. By the command of Allah, angels were tending to the camels. On perceiving the presence of human beings, Uwais terminated his Salaat, and said "Assalaamu Alaikum". Hadhrat Umar Farooq () replied: "Wa-Alaikum Salaam", and asked: "What is your name?" Uwais: "Abdullah (i.e. a slave of Allah)." Hadhrat Umar: "We all are the servants of Allah. What is your specific name?" Uwais: "Uwais". Hadhrat Umar: "Show me your right hand." When Hadhrat Uwais showed his hand, Hadhrat Umar (d) seeing the mark indicated by Rasulullah (b), kissed his hand, and said: "Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) has conveyed salaams to you; sent this cloak for you and commanded that you make dua for his Ummah." Uwais: "You are more qualified to make dua because there is no one nobler than you." Hadhrat Umar: "I am always engaged in this duty of dua. However, you have to comply with the order of Rasulullah (b)." Uwais: "O Umar! Think carefully. Perhaps Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) had in mind someone else besides myself." Hadhrat Umar: "All the signs indicated by Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) exist in you." Uwais: "Give me the cloak of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) so that I may make dua." Taking the cloak, Hadhrat Uwais said: "Wait here." He went a distance, fell into Sajdah and supplicated: "O Allah! I shall not don this mantle as long as You do not forgive the entire Ummah of Muhammad ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ), for he has presented this cloak. Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ), Umar Farooq and Ali Murtaza have discharged their duties." A Voice exclaimed: "We have forgiven a number by virtue of your intercession." Uwais: "O Allah! As long as You do not forgive all, I shall not don this mantle." The Voice: "I have forgiven thousands." Uwais: "I am petitioning for the forgiveness of all." This performance was enacted several times. Each time, The Voice announced an increase in the number of persons forgiven by virtue of Hadhrat Uwais' intercession. Meanwhile Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Ali () unable to hold their patience came near to Hadhrat Uwais to see what was happening. When Hadhrat Uwais saw them, he exclaimed: "Why have you come? I would not have donned this mantle as long as Allah Ta'ala had not forgiven the entire Ummah of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم )." Gazing at Hadhrat Uwais with deep intent and concern, Hadhrat Umar () perceived 18,000 spiritual kingdoms under the simple shawl Hadhrat Uwais was wearing at the time. Hadrat Umar (), now overwhelmed by spiritual enthusiasm, lost complete interest in himself and his Khilaafat. In an ecstatic mood he cried out: "Is there anyone prepared to accept my Khilaafat in exchange for a piece of bread?" Hadhrat Uwais said: "Only a man lacking in intelligence, will purchase it. What are you talking of buying and selling! Abandon it! Whoever wishes, can pick it up." Then donning the mantle of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ), Hadhrat Uwais said: "As a result of the barkat of this mantle and my intercession, the number of people of the Ummah of Muhammad (b) forgiven, equals the number of hairs on the bodies of the goats of the tribes of Rabeeah and Mudhirr." Hadhrat Umar: "O Uwais, why did you not meet Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم )?" Uwais: "Perhaps you saw the blessed forehead of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ). Tell me, were Rasulullah's (b) eye-brows fine or broad?" [Arabic in manuscript margin, bk 1, pg 31] Surprisingly, neither Hadhrat Umar () nor Hadhrat Ali () was able to describe Rasulullah's ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) eye-brows. Uwais: "You are he Companions of Muhammad ( صلى الله عايه وسالم )?" Hadhrat Umar: "Most certainly we are." Uwais: "On the day when the blessed tooth of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) was martyred, why did you not martyr your own teeth? The requirement of love was that you conformed." Hadhrat Uwais opened his mouth and they observed that all his teeth were missing. He said: "I broke my teeth without seeing the mubaarak face of Rasulullah (b). After having broken a tooth, I was not satisfied. Perhaps another tooth of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) was martyred, not the one I broke in my mouth. In this way I continued breaking my teeth until all were removed. Both Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Ali () were overcome with emotion. Now they learnt a new concept of love and devotion. They resolved to learn this devotion from Hadhrat Uwais. Hadhrat Umar () then said: "O Uwais, make dua for me." Uwais: "I have already made dua. You should not desire more. In the Tashahhud of every Salaat I say: "O Allah! Have mercy on all the believing men and women and forgive them." If you reach the grave with the safety of Imaan, then most certainly, you have obtained my dua. I do not want to destroy my dua. Hadhrat Umar: "Counsel me." Uwais: "Umar, have you recognized Allah Ta'ala?" Hadhrat Umar: "Yes, I recognized Him." Uwais: "It is best that you recognize only Allah Ta'ala and no one besides Him." Hadhrat Umar: "Say something more." Uwais: "Allah Ta'ala knows you. It is best that besides Allah Ta'ala, no one else knows you." Hadhrat Umar () then attempted to present a gift of some money to Hadhrat Uwais. Hadhrat Uwais producing two dirhams from his pocket, said: "This is my earning for tending camels. If you can vouch that these dirhams will be depleted before my death, I shall then accept more." Obviously, Hadhrat Umar () could not comply, hence Uwais refused the gift. Hadhrat Uwais: "Both of you had undergone considerable hardship to reach me. Now return. Qiyaamat is near. We shall then meet where there shall no longer be any separation. Presently I am in a dilemma. I am concerned with the preparations for this journey." They bid farewell and took leave with heavy hearts. 2. After the departure of these two eminent Sahaabah, people began to honour Hadhrat Uwais. Since their excessive veneration agitated him, he fled from that place. Thereafter he was not seen again by anyone except once by Hiram Ibn Hibbaan (rahmatullah alayh) who gave the following account of his encounter with Hadhrat Uwais (rahmatullah alayh): "When I heard of the status of the Shafa'at (Intercession) of Hadhrat Uwais, I was overtaken by an intense yearning to meet him. I went to Kufaa and set out in search of him. It was my great fortune to locate him making wudhu on the banks of the river Euphrates. I found him fitting the description of him I had heard. After exchange of Salute actions, he looked intently at me. I desired to shake his hands, but he refused. I said: "Uwais, may Allah have mercy on you and forgive you." His physical weakness and forlornness reduced me to tears in profusion. Uwais (rahmatullah alayh) also wept and said: "Hiram Ibn Hibban, may Allah Ta'ala grant you a good reward. What has brought you here? Who showed you the road to me?" Hiram Ibn Hibban: "How do you know my name and the name of my father? You have never met me before." Hadhrat Uwais: "He Whose Knowledge is all-encompassing has informed me. My rooh has recognized your rooh because the arwaah (souls) of the Mu'mineen recognize each other." Hiram: "Narrate a Hadith of Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) to me." Hadhrat Uwais: "I did not meet Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ), but I have heard of his attributes from others. I have no desire to be a Muhaddith or a Mufti or a narrator because I am engrossed in an abundance of activity." Hiram: "Recite an aayat of the Qur'aan so that I hear it from your blessed tongue." Uwais: After reciting he wept uncontrollably and recited: "I did not create jinn and man except that they worship Me." Then he let out such a frightening screech that I thought he had become insane. He said: "O Ibn Hibban, what has brought you here?" I replied: "To become your friend and to reform myself." Hadhrat Uwais commented: "I cannot even think of a man who has recognized Allah Ta'ala, having any love and desire for others and deriving comfort from others besides Allah." I said: "Give me some naseehat".He replied: "Keep Maut under your pillow when sleeping. When you wake up, don't cherish hope of life. Never consider sin as being minor. If you consider sin as being minor, know that you are considering Allah Ta'ala as being insignificant." I asked: "Where should I take up residence?" He said: "In the Land of Shaam." I said: "How shall I earn my living there?" Hadhrat Uwais said: "Alas! Pity those souls who are beset with doubt and uncertainty and refrain from accepting naseehat." I said: "Give me more naseehat." He said: "O son of Hibban! Your father has died. Aadam, Hawwaa, Nooh, Ibraaheem, Musaa, Daawood (alayhimus salaam), all have died. Muhammad ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) too have died. Abu Bakr, the first Khalifah has also died and my brother Umar has departed from this earthly abode. Oh Umar! Oh Umar!" I said: "May Allah have mercy on you. Umar has not yet departed." Hadhrat Uwais said: "Allah Ta'ala has informed me of his demise. You and I are among the dead." He then recited Durood and made some dua, and added: "It is my advice that you cling to the Kitaab of Allah and adopt the path of Islaah (moral reformation). Never for a moment be forgetful of Maut. Never take even one step beyond the fold of the Jama'ah of the Ummah of Muhammad ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ), for then, Allah forbid, you will become without Deen and land in Jahannum." After making dua, he said: "Son of Hibban, go! Neither will you see me again, nor will I see you. Remember me in your dua. I too shall remember you in my dua. Now don't follow me, I am going." I desired to accompany him a few steps, but he refused. He wept and so did I. I gazed long after him until he disappeared from sight. Thereafter, I never again heard of him. 3. Hadhrat Rabee' (rahmatullah alayh) gives the following narrative of his encounter with Hadhrat Uwais Qarni (rahmatullah alayh): "I set out with a yearning to meet Uwais. I found him engaged in Fajr Salaat. As he completed his Salaat, he immediately commenced thikr. He continued with thikr until Zuhr. After Zuhr he again became involved in thikr until Asr. In this way he continued until Fajr of the next day. He maintained this practice for three days. During this entire period he neither ate nor slept. On the fourth night he took a short nap. He suddenly awoke with a start, jumped up and supplicated: "O Allah! I seek Your protection from sleeping to the satisfaction of the eyes and from eating to the satiation of the stomach." On hearing this, I decided that I had seen enough and returned." 4. His practice was to remain awake in ibaadat the entire night. He would say: 'Tonight is the night of Sajdah; tonight is the night of Ruku'; tonight is the night of Qiyaam.' In the way would he spend the nights worshipping Allah Ta'ala. 5. Someone asked: "How should Salaat be performed?" Hadhrat Uwais said: "I desire that before completing in Sajdah (during the night) it is already morning. Ibaadat should be like the worship of the Angels." 6. Someone asked: "What is khushu' (concentration in Salaat)?" He replied: "If you are struck with a spear, you remain oblivious of it." 7. He was asked: "How are you?" He said: "Like one who gets up in the morning, not knowing if Maut will grant him respite until the evening." 8. Hadhrat Uwais said: "A man who loves three things, Jahannum is closer to him than his jugular vein: Delicious food; fine garments and association with the rich." (This naseehat does not apply to the masses who find it difficult to abstain from even haraam on account of extreme deficiency of Imaan. The advice of Hadhrat Uwais–(rahmatullah alayh)–is directed to Auliyaa of high rank. As far as weaklings engrossed in material pursuits are concerned, the minimum demand is to eat, drink and participate in worldly affairs within the permitted confines of the Shariah–in moderation.) 9. People said to Hadhrat Uwais: "There is a man nearby who has been sitting in a grave with a kafan for the past 30 years, weeping profusely." On his request, Uwais was taken to view this man in the grave. The man was reduced to a skeleton. He was like a dried out weed and was crying. Hadhrat Uwais said: "The kafan and the qabar have diverted you from Allah. Both these objects constitute a veil for you in the Path (leading to Allah Ta'ala)." His statement struck a responsive chord in the heart of the man. His spiritual eyes opened and he realised his folly. He let out a terrible scream and expired in that grave in which he had spent 30 years. If even the grave can become a veil and an obstacle in the path of spiritual progress, what is the effect of the numerous other pursuits and objects of the material world? 10. Once for three days he was without food. On the fourth day he found a dinaar (gold coin) laying on the ground. Thinking it to be the lost property of someone, he left it. As he walked on, a wolf with a loaf of bread in its mouth approached him. The wolf left the bread infront of him. Uwais thought that the wolf had snatched the bread belonging to someone. As he thought, the wolf said: "I am the servant of the Same Being Whose servant you are." The wolf then disappeared. Hadhrat Uwais realising that the bread was sent by Allah Ta'ala, ate it. 11. Hadhrat Uwais said: "Nothing remains hidden from a person who has recognized Allah Ta'ala." "Safety is in solitude. True solitude is that there is no room in the heart for thinking of others. Solitude in which the mind is occupied with the thoughts of others is defective." "When two people gather to indulge in futility, shaitaan departs because he has achieved his objective. There is no longer a need for his presence since these two are sufficient to deceive each other. Both are forgetful of Allah Ta'ala." "Keep your heart alert so that aliens do not gain entry." (i.e. Always remember Allah Ta'ala, for Thikrullah prevents shaitaan from entering the heart of man.) "I searched for glory and I found it in humility. I searched for kingdom and I found it in admonishing people (i.e. giving them naseehat). I searched for culture and found it in truth. I searched for holiness and found it in poverty. I searched for Nisbat and found it in piety. (Nisbat refers to a special relationship of proximity with Allah Ta'ala.)I searched for honour and I found it in contentment (i.e. contentment with whatever Allah Ta'ala has ordained). I searched for comfort and found it in zuhd (abstinence –renunciation of the world). I searched for independence and found it in tawakkul (trust in Allah)." 12. When Hadhrat Uwais walked in the road, mischievous children considering him to be a mad man would pelt him with stones, mocking and jeering. He would say: "Pelt me with small stones. Big stones draw blood which breaks my wudhu." 13. It is narrated that towards the close of his life he joined Hadhrat Ali (d) in the Battle of Siffeen and was martyred. Among the Auliyaa there is a category called Uwaisiyyah. Those in this class do not need a Shaikh (Spiritual Mentor). Just like Hadhrat Uwais, they acquire spiritual elevation without the medium of a Shaikh. Hadhrat Uwais (rahmatullah alayh), despite not having physically associated with Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) gained spiritual elevation by virtue of Nabi-e-Kareem's (b) baatini (spiritual) medium. This pedestal occupied by these Auliyaa is extremely lofty. Only Allah Ta'ala decides who is to be favoured with this rank.

Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi)

Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) was born in 1248 AH (1852 AD) and passed away at a young age of 49 in 1297 AH (1901 AD). The name of Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) seems older than his life due to his prominence. In reality, this is barakah that Allah Ta’ala had granted him in his life.
Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi’s title was Hujjatul Islam (the proof of Islam). Generally this title is given to such a person who has such great qualities that if such a person was a Muslim and practiced upon Islam, this itself is a proof that Islam is the true religion. Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi’s ancestral background reaches up to Abu Bakr Siddique (Radiyallahu anhu). Therefore, he is known as Siddiqi.
Hadhrat Maulana acquired his knowledge at a very young age and he was known to be very brilliant. He traveled to Delhi with Hadhrat Maulana Mamlook Ali Sahib (Rahmatullah Alayhi) who was a very great Alim of that time. Previously we discussed that Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki Sahib (Rahmatullah Alayhi) also benefited from Hadhrat Maulana Mamlook Ali (Rahmatullah Alayhi).
Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) acquired his education in all fields Sarf, Nahwa, Tafseer, etc. from Hadhrat Maulana Mamlook Ali (Rahmatullah Alayhi) but acquired Hadith from Shah Abdul Ghani Muhaddith Delwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi). Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) was with him in acquiring Hadith from Shah Abdul Ghani (Rahmatullah Alayhi).
Some dreams of Hadhrat Maulana Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) used to see many pious dreams. Once he saw a dream that he was sitting on top of the Kabah Shareef and many streams were flowing from his hands to many parts of the world. He related this dream to his Ustadh Hadhrat Maulana Mamlook Ali (Rahmatullah Alayhi) who interpreted the dream that the world will benefit from the knowledge of Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi).
Hadhrat Maulana founded Darul Uloom Deoband and the branches of Darul Uloom Deoband are spread throughout the different parts of the world. Once he also saw a dream that he was sitting above the Kabah Shareef and facing towards Baghdad. There was a stream flowing from there, which touched his feet. The dream was interpreted that the Hanafi Madhhab would spread through Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi). Imam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullah Alayhi) was from Baghdad and the Hanafi Madhhab was established from there.
Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) had taken bay ‘at on the hands of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullah Alayhi). Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi’s Uloom was very deep. Maulana Yaqub Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) who was the first Ustadh of Darul Uloom Deoband and a great Muhaddith said that he read Aab-e-Hayat of Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) six times and has understood some of it.
One can imagine what depth of Uloom and what insight was in that kitab. Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) says that Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) wrote such kitabs that if his name was not written on those kitabs, and if it was translated into Arabic then the Arab Ulama would have thought that Imam Razi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) or Imam Ghazali (Rahmatullah Alayhi) wrote those kitabs.
Imam Razi and Imam Ghazali (Rahmatullah Alayhi) were great thinkers and philosophers of their times. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s depth of Uloom is also well known. He says, “I read the books of Maulana Qasim Nanotwi RA and I don’t understand them.” He says, “Somebody has to put a lot of pressure on one’s mind to understand some of what Maulana Qasim meant but I didn’t have the habit to put pressure on my mind to understand it. So I consoled myself by saying that there are other simple kitabs and I acquired my knowledge from there.”
Hadhrat Maulana Qasim (Rahmatullah Alayhi) used to work in the library of Hadhrat Maulana Ahmad Ali Saharanpuri (Rahmatullah Alayhi) and make tasheeh (correction) of kitabs. He always had this inclination towards kitabs and anything to do with academics. Hadhrat Maulana memorized the Quran late in life in two Ramadhans. Effectively in two months. In the following Ramadhan he would perform one and a quarter juz and the listener would think that he is an old Hafiz.
Debating skills of Hadhrat Maulana Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) was a great debater and very witty. The British sent many Christian missionaries to India to propagate Christianity. They were proud that they have sent the world’s best missionaries to India to propagate Christianity. One person arranged a debate and called all the Ulama. He also called Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi). The Hindus were also invited but they did not participate because this was a debate between the Islam and Christianity. They were there as observers.
Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) presented such a powerful speech in substantiation of Islam against Christianity that the Christian Missionaries who were regarded to be world-renowned missionaries were severely defeated. They stated that they have gone to so many debates and conferences and they haven’t heard the like of Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi). Some Hindu pundits also started debates with Muslims. They felt that if Christian missionaries can debate with the Muslims then we too could debate with Muslims. One pundit arranged a debate. When this pundit heard that Maulana Qasim Nanotwi was going to address this debate, he fled.
Hadhrat Maulana was very simple. If someone were to look at him they would have thought that he was a villager. The British were also misled because of Maulana’s simplicity. When a warrant of arrest was issued by the British against Hadhrat Maulana, they were looking for a person who would be well dressed. They saw a person with simple clothing and thought that he was a villager.
Maulana wouldn’t make imaamat and he always preferred to be a muqtadi and follow the Imam. He also wouldn’t even give talks, but because of the need of the time he used to go and join the debates. He was so humble that once he said, “I am disgraced among the Sufis.” My understanding of this is, what a Sufi is supposed to be, he stated, “I did not live up to the expectation of the Sufis, or to the expectations of the people about the Sufis.” He also mentioned, “I have a stain of being a Molvi on myself.” He further mentions, “Had it not been for the stain of being a Molvi, even the sand wouldn’t have known of Qasim Nanotwi.”
When there is a fruit tree and the branch is laden with fruits then it goes more down. When a branch is laden with fruits and because of the heaviness of the fruits, the branch also lowers itself. If Hadhrat Maulana perceived some pride in some student then he would make that particular student pick somebody else’s shoes to make the student’s Islah. But at the same time if he saw humbleness in any student, then Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi himself would pick up the shoes of that particular student. Who would do that today?
Hadhrat Maulana passed away in Deoband at the young age of 49. May Allah Ta’ala put Noor in the Qabr of Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) and may Allah Ta’ala give us the benefit and roohaaniyat of Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) and grant him a great reward for establishing Darul Uloom Deoband and spreading Uloom in the different parts of the world. (Ameen)

Hazrat Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki(rah)

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was such a great personality that the title given to him by his contemporary Ulama was “Sheikhul Mashaikh” which means the leader of leaders.
His personality was well respected by the Ulama of the sub continent India and Pakistan and also by the Arab Ulama. That is why his title was also Sheikhul Arab wa Ajam (the leader of the Arabs and non-Arabs).
Haji Sahib’s background and educationHaji Imdadullah Muhaajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was born in 1233 AH (1814 AD) in Nanota, a town in the district of Saharanpur, India U.P. He father was Hafiz Muhammad Amin (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) and by lineage and ancestral background, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was a Farooqi, a descendent of Hadhrat Umar Farooq (Radiyallahu anhu).When he was born, his father Hafiz Muhammad Amin (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) kept his son’s name Imdad Hussein. When the famous Muhaddith, Shah Muhammad Ishaaq Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) heard this name, he didn’t like it and he changed the name to Imdadullah. Imdad Hussein means the assistance of Hussein. All assistance comes from Allah. So there was a form of shirk in this name.
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) also used to attribute the name Khuda Bakhsh to himself. Some say his name was Imdadullah and others say his name was Khuda Bakhsh (gifted by Allah). Both names are close in meaning. In some places Haji Sahib calls himself Abdul Kareem (the slave of Kareem).
Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) had three brothers and one sister. He grew up without motherly care as his mother passed away when he was seven years old. Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) started his education very early but he acquired very little education.
When Haji Sahib was 16 years of age, he studied Sarf, Nahw, Farsi and one quarter of Mishkaat Shareef by Maulana Mamlook Ali Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) of Delhi. Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki didn’t study Bukhari and the other books of Sihah Sitta, but Allah Ta’ala blessed Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) with Ilm Ladunni. One is that knowledge that a person acquires. He studies different subjects and books. Another form of knowledge is from Allah Ta’ala without studying.
When Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) would talk to the Ulama, he would resolve such intricate issues with the insight that Allah Ta’ala had given him. However, he would not use the Istilaahi language (academic terminologies). This is Ilm La Dunni.
When he was 18 years of age he took bayat upon the hands of Maulana Naseeruddin Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) who was the student and son-in-law of Shah Ishaaq Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). When Maulana Naseeruddin Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) passed away, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was looking for another person to give him guidance and advice in life.
This is where we learn of the famous Sheikh and the spiritual guide, Hadhrat Maulana Mayanji Noor Muhammad (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). Haji Sahib took bayat on his hands. At the age of 28, Haji Imdadullah (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) performed Hajj. When he returned after Hajj, his heart and mind remained attached to the Haram Shareef. He had a burning desire to return to Makkah Mukarramah. When he returned from Hajj, he made a firm intention that one day he will make Hijrah and go back to Makkah Mukarramah.
There were approximately 500 or more Ulama who have taken bayat upon the hands of Haji Imdadullah Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). Not one Alim, 10 Alims or 100 but 500 Ulama. When we look at the lives of the Akaabir we don’t find so many Ulama who have taken bayat upon somebody who outwardly and apparently has very little traditional knowledge.
Haji Sahib married at the very old age of 55. He married three times. The first wife passed away. The second wife was blind. The third was a woman who wanted to make his khidmat (serve him). But, all his marriages were in old age and he only married with this intention that you can’t be a true Wali of Allah until you don’t make Nikah.
Haji Sahib passed away in 1317 AH (1896 AD) at the ripe old age of 84. In his inheritance he had one stick, two sets of winter clothes and two sets of summer clothes. Haji Sahib is buried in Makkah Mukarramah in Jannatul Maala.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phulpuri (RA)

Hazrat Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phulpuri (RA) was born in 1293 AH in Azamgarh, but spent most of his life in Phulpur. That is why he became known as “Phulpuri”. His father sent him to Jaunpur, India to start his religious education. He started his studies under Maulana Abu Al-Khair Makki who was the son of Maulana Sakhawat Ali the Khalifah of Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed (RA). Two years later, he studied under Maulana Sayyid Ameenuddin Naseerabad. He then went to Jami’ul Uloom Kanpur and completed his studies. After graduating, he decided to become bay’at to Hazrat Thanwi (RA). He started teaching in Madrasah Arabiah Sitapur for some time, then went to Jaunpur and taught as the Sadr Mudarris for five years. It was during this time that he presented himself in the service of Hazrat Thanwi (RA) and formally started on the path of sulook. Hazrat Thanwi (RA) went to Sara-e-Meer, Azamgarh where Hazrat Thanwi (RA) had to deliver a lecture. It was then in the Eid-Gah (plane where the Eid Salat is prayed) where Hazrat Thanwi (RA) had granted Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phulpuri (RA) Khilafat. Before that in 1336 AH Hazrat Thanwi (RA) had advised him to form a madrasah, Raudhat-ul-Uloom in Phulpur. Hazrat Thanwi (RA) himself had laid the foundation for this institute. Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phulpuri (RA) had founded another madrasah in Sara-e-Meer by the name of Bait-ul-Uloom in 1340 AH. Hazrat Thanwi (RA) had accepted to supervise this madrasah as well. In order maintain this madrasah, Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phulpuri (RA) would travel five miles coming and going from his home in Phulpur to Sara-e-Meer. He would take his own flour and salt and would not even take a salary. Solely for the pleasure of Allah, he would travel ten miles everyday. Hazrat Thanwi (RA) used say regarding his simplicity, “Maulana Abdul Ghani Phulpuri (RA) Masha Allah is like a soldier and is very competent. His ‘ilmi and ‘amali achievements aside, just by looking at him, one would not be able to tell that this is someone of great caliber.”From the very beginning, Hazrat Phulpuri had a great interest in jihad and striving in the path of Allah. For this very reason, he had acquired military training on how to be a soldier. He even taught some ‘Ulamaa in Thanabhawan how to fight with a staff. On seeing his talent in this field, Hazrat Thanwi (RA) would remark with joy, encouragement and enthusiasm saying, “Our Molvi Abdul Ghani alone is enough to face an army of a thousand men, and if we ever were in need of an army, then our army is in Azamgarh” (referring to Hazrat Phulpuri by referring to Hazrat Phulpuri’s place of residence).On seeing things being done contrary to the teaching of Islam, Hazrat Phulpuri’s nature would change, and he would immediately rectify the wrong he saw being done without any hesitation. Once someone complained to Hazrat Thanwi (RA) regarding Hazrat Phulpuri’s (RA) temper and Hazrat Thanwi (RA) replied, “Amongst our men, we require someone of this sort, otherwise the enemy would devour us.”The level of his zuhd and taqwa was such that he would have his clothes washed at home, and, if perchance, his clothes had to be sent to the washman for laundry, then upon their return, he would wash them himself again, and then wear them after they had dried, and would say, “This is not my fatwa (in reference to the clothes being washed a second time). I have a special relationship with Allah. If I go against this, then my tongue does not move when I make zikr. I make this arrangement to supervise my own nafs.”The special status that he had with Hazrat Thanwi (RA) can be understood by the fact that once Hazrat Phulpuri (RA) wrote to Hazrat Thanwi (RA) to seek permission (as was Hazrat Thanwi’s (RA) custom that permission be sought) to come to visit him in Thanabhawan. In his reply, Hazrat Thanwi (RA) wrote, “Your arrival is a means of hundreds of happiness.” Similarly, Hazrat Thanwi (RA) once wrote, “What is the meaning of permission; rather it is a yearning that I have to meet you.”Once Hazrat Phulpuri (RA) came to Thanabhawan unannounced. At that time, Hazrat Thanwi was resting. Upon seeing him, Hazrat Thanwi (RA) out of joy rose up, walked many steps, hugged him, and said, “An unexpected and unanticipated blessing has arrived.”In any case, Hazrat Phulpuri occupied a special place in the heart of his Shaikh, Hazrat Thanwi (RA), and had a special bond and a relationship of mutual love with him. Besides teaching, and making in effort for the reformation of the masses, he had authored a few books, namely, Ma’rifat-e-Ilaahiyah, Ma’iyat-e-Ilaahiyah, Siraat-e-Mustaqeem, Baraaheen-e-Qaati’ah, and many others.Hazrat Phulpuri (RA) passed on to the mercy of Allah on August 12, 1963, and is buried in Paposhnagar, Karachi, Pakistan.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi)

When Hadhrat Maulana was 21 years of age, he married his cousin. Generally it is noticed that when a person gets married, his life before marriage is different from his life after marriage.
Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was not a Hafiz before marriage but surprisingly soon after marriage within a period of one year Hadhrat Maulana became a Hafiz all by himself. Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) memorized the Quran in approximately one year and in the following year, he performed Taraweeh.
Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) like Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) took bayat on the hands of Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). When he went to take bayat, his intention was to stay for a very short while but he remained there for forty-two days. He became very attached to Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi).
His depth and insight in Ilm was very great and very high. Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) stated that Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) is Abu Hanifa al Athar, (the Abu Hanifa of this time).
Hadhrat Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was a miracle from the miracles of Allah Ta’ala. He was known as Chalta Pirta Kutub Khana (a rotating library). Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) states that if Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) is not higher that Allamah Shami then he is not lesser either. Any Alim who knows Shaami will know what is the maqaam of Shaami otherwise known as Raddul Muhtar.
Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri’s statement shows the great Ilmi maqaam of Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). Whenever the Ulama were stranded and had any Ilmi ishkaals (questions), they would present it to Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). He would give them such answers that would satisfy them. One very great Alim, Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ganj Muraadabaani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) said that Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) is such a personality that he has taken in oceans of Ma’rifat (recognition) of Allah but he doesn’t even belch.
Maulana Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) mentioned, “Mujaahadaat aur Riyaadhaat key baad agar yi baat haasil ho jaaey key ham ku kuch haasil naa huwa tu bas sab kuch haasil ho gayaa.”
Maulana says that after effort and sacrifices, a person exerts himself in different things such as nafl salah, tilawat of the Quran Kareem, zikr and exercising taqwa and restraint. If after doing all this for the pleasure of Allah, he feels that he didn’t achieve anything, Hadhrat Maulana encourages and says, “Don’t think that you didn’t achieve anything, the fact that you feel negative regarding all your efforts, that alone is a great achievement hence he says, “Sab kuch haasil ho gayaa." (You achieved everything.)
One of Hadhrat Maulana’s advices is, “Kisi tahammul set ziyaadah apney zimmey kaam na lo.” If one is given a responsibility then he should take only that which he can manage and which is within his capacity. A person should not take that which is not within his responsibility as he will then be accountable.
Another advice of Hadhrat Maulana is, “Kisi sey kisi qism key tawaqqu mat rako chunanchey muj sey mat rako yay baat deen wa dunya ka gur hey.” He says that don’t expect anything from anyone at anytime.
Once someone told Maulana about a certain lecturer who was very harsh in speech. Maulana said, “Wo mutashadid bahut hey, is qadir tashadud say islah nahi hu tiy hay.” Some young Ulama who have josh condemn issues left, right and center.
This era is of targheeb (encouragement). This is not an era of tarheeb (admonishment). Tarheeb should be done with a lot of hikmah and wisdom. Hadhrat Maulana stated, “In that way you cannot make Islah of the people, you have to be soft, loving, compassionate and in a diplomatic way try to make the islah of people.”
Once Hadhrat Maulana quoted his ustadh from which he had acquired hadith. He has stated, “Jis qadr apney nafs sey doori hay isi qadr qurb Haqq Ta’ala haasil hey.” meaning that to the extent that a person is far from his nafs, a person is close to Allah.
The closer one is to his nafs, the more distant he will be from Allah. How true are these statements! This can be understood from so many verses of the Quran Kareem, for example, “Don’t follow your desires; you’ll go far away from Allah Ta’ala.”
In another instance he mentions, “Tamam azkar wa ashghal wa muraqabaat ka khulaasah yeh hay key insaan ko Allah Ta’ala ki huzoori har waqt muyassar rahey.” “What’s the essence of all these efforts and sacrifices in the line of sulook and tasawwuf, what do we want to achieve from it? So Maulana says, “All the concern, all the engrossment and all the muraaqabah is that a person attains the consciousness of Allah Ta’ala all the time.” This is why it is required for a person to make zikr and to exert himself.