Take Yourself to Account
My father respected Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) would say, one day in a year business people close their businesses, to take account of the whole year’s business and to find out how much loss and profit was made. In the same way we need as well to take account of how much we have studied through out the year and how much we practiced upon and what changes came. Not that it’ll be like this…
“As a small donkey he came and as a big donkey he left.”
The Goal of ‘Ilm is ‘Amal
Hadhrat Sufiyan Thauri (rahimullah) – who was a big Imam, Muttaqi and Sufi ‘Alim – says, that when you hear a Hadith then practice upon it at one or another time.
“Not that one knows about something, but things to tell it in a speech or to tell it in a gathering.”
What is our Hadhraat Akabir ‘Ulema-e-Deoband’s special characteristic? What is the distinction of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband? In the world exist big, big research institutions, whose name we would hear earlier, and Allah Ta’ala showed me, really in sense of knowledge and honour higher than high institutions can be seen. Leaving the Islamic world aside, in the West orientalists sit writing books about Islam and giving references to such important books you’ll not even have heard of their names. But all this knowledge in the essential meaning of ‘Ilm is unreal and soulless. The special characteristic of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband is that along knowledge and research every single of it’s person wanted, that the knowledge that he was acquiring should be applied to his life.
The Distinction of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband
My grandfather Maulana Muhammad Ya’seen Sahab (rahmatullah alayh), who was one of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband’s earlier men, would said: “I’ve seen such a time of Darul ‘Uloom as well, in which from the Shaikhul Hadith till an inferior doorkeeper every single person was a Waliullah.” Regarding that age it was told: “The gate of Madrassa, but inside Khanqah.”
When going into the rooms of teachers or students at night-time, one felt like worshipping devotees had gathered. And when going at day-time then the sounds of “Qala Allah wa Qala Rasul” were echoing.
That’s what you call Caution
Hadhrat Shaikhul Hadeeth (rahimullah ta’ala) has written in his Aap Beeti [autobiography] a story of Darul ‘Uloom Deoband rector Maulana Muneer Ahmed Sahab (rahmatullah alayh). For donations of the Madrassa Maulana Muneer Ahmed Sahab (rahmatullah alayh) went to Delhi and there he raised 300 rupees. 300 rupees of that time were not less than 300-thousand rupees of this time. On the way some Zalim stole it, so Maulana became very distressed and sold all his assets at the Madrassa, the amount of collected compensation became too much and people saw, that through giving all his belongings to the Madrassa Maulana will be effected by poverty and hunger, although this was Amanat and he did no injustice, so according to Shariah no compensation was compulsory for him. So, the people wrote a letter to Maulana Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) regarding this incident and Maulana Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) wrote a letter to Maulana Muneer Ahmed (rahmatullah alayh), that no fault happened to you, therefore from the aspect of Shariah there’s no compensation needed from you. When this letter arrived Maulana said, “Wah wah, Maulana Gangohi has read the whole Fiqh [jurispredence] for me.” And the thing he further said shows his status. He said, “Hadhrat Gangohi Sahab, the ruling you’ve already told, but take your hand at your heart for a while and look if this happened to you what would you’ve done?” He was so convinced, that if this incident happened to Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh), then he couldn’t sit peacefully without compensating, either. These were the ‘Ulema of Deoband, to who we today relate ourselves. Not only this story, but the complete life of these men, every single action, every single movement was applied to Deen.
Humanity and Sacrifice
Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Asghar Hussein Sahab (rahmatullah alayh) was my respected father’s teacher and was known by the name of Hadhrat Mian Sahab. My father told,
“One day I was at his services, when I saw that his house was dough-baked and whenever rain came it would break down. And Hadhrat Mian Sahab (rahmatullah alayh) would repair sometimes something here or something there. I said, ‘Hadhrat, why don’t you build once baked?’ Then Hadhrat replied, ‘Wah Muhammad Shafi’, you’ve said something intelligent, but I’ve become old and not understood that yet.’ I said, ‘Hadhrat, you’ve become angry. I’ve made a mistake – pardon me.’ Then Hadhrat took me with him outside through the door and said, ‘Look, from one corner of this alley to another is a single house baked? When my neighbours have no baked house, then how can I make one?'”
This is not just a single story of our ‘Ulema of Deoband, Allah Tabaraka wa Ta’ala has granted every single person of them with a different quality, which refreshes the memory of Sahabah Kiram’s (ridhwanullah ajma’een) age.
Hadhrat Nanotwi’s (rahimullah) ‘Uloom
Look at Hadhrat Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh) about who Hadhrat Thanvi (rahimullah) said, “I stay deprived of benefit when reading his books, because for a little time I understand and when he reaches the heavens and says such things which are out of my understanding. So, without understanding concepts of philosophy and theology, it becomes hard to understand his speech, and I am not accustomed to the intricacies of theology.” So, Hadhrat Thanvi (rahimullah) went to Hadhrat Hajji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (rahmatullah alayh), who was not even a graduate of the Dars-e-Nizami. And when going to him said, “Hadhrat, make my Islah [rectification].” From the other way an ‘Alim like Hadhrat Gangohi (rahimullah) as well went to Hadhrat Hajji Sahab (rahmatullah alayh) for his Islah. The two were asked by someone, “You went to Hajji Sahab, who is not even a complete scholar, concluding he should’ve come to you.” Both replied, that it’s example is like that of a person who has never eaten Gulab Jaman, but he knows the whole history of Gulab Jaman by heart, that it’s made in such-and-such country and it’s made out of such-and-such, you tell him to write a memoir about it and he will. And another one is who doesn’t know the history of Gulab Jaman, but eats it daily. Who’s the better one of them? So, it’s obvious that the better one is who has eaten Gulab Jaman. So, our example is like that the ‘Uloom we were studying was simply literatal, letters and signs and when we went at his service these letters and signs became Ruh [soul].
What to gain from Ahlullah?
This is gained through going to the Ahlullah, I don’t know what innovations and absurdities people have put into Tasawwuf and established what kind of suppositions. The state’s reality is that going to an Ahlullah to get ones heart and ego and internal rectified. From Hadhrat Nanotwi (rahimullah) till Hadhrat Madni (rahimullah) and Hadhrat Usmani (rahimullah) there was not such an individual who wouldn’t after attaining graduation wouldn’t have let his rectification be made by an Ahlullah. Nowadays in our atmosphere these things have become strange, about whoever is practicing that people say became a Sufi. The result out of that instead of ones Islah is that the heart is completly filled with love of Dunya, love for fame and love for wealth. For this reason the invitation of any Da’ee [inviter towards Deen] is unbeneficial. Concluding, a very big reasong for the failing of all our struggle and efforts is that we left the fikr [worry] of our Islah.
[“Islahi Mawaiz: ‘Ilm Par Amal Karen” by Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani]