From the book ASIRA’N -E- MALTA (Prisoners of Malta)
by Maulana Syed Mohammed Mian
Translated by Mohammad Anwer Hussain and Hasan Imam
You ask me : What is difficult?
I tell you, it is easy to go for asceticism (Zuhd) and live the life of a recluse for years and enjoy its ecstasy. It is easy to opt for study of voluminous books for years and show the power of deep knowledge. It is also easy to sit in the corner of a monastery or sit in the chair of a lectureship of a university.
Ask me now: What is more difficult?
I tell you, difficult it is to submit before your Creator (Allah) and with devotion and piety, render selfless service to His people’s well being. That is to say, to have a passionate and a restless heart that sometimes takes you to the mosque, that sometimes takes you to a study circle; that takes you to the pulpit to preach and caution people; and that sometimes also takes you to political platform for the greater well being of your community and for upholding the truth.
And then your deeds earns you abuse from your own people, and fetters and a dark cell from you oppressive enemy. The well being of people keep you engaged and disturbed in the day and then, in the darkness of night, you stand before God like a monk. Indeed, difficult it is to sympathize with common people and bear the pain and pangs of Muslims that take away sleep from your night!
And when the twilight of the dawn takes the wing, one becomes engaged in seeking the forgiveness from his Lord. And then his religious, educational and political engagements bring to him the twilight of evening. Soon darkness spreads its wings. Tired from the day’s work, people are hurrying to their homes so that in the laughter of their loved ones they may soothe their nerves and release their tensions. But what about the one who has been overwhelmed by the grief at the suffering of his people? Or, one who has taken a long journey? Or, one who is exhausting his energy in writing articles, or is engaged in calling people towards his Creator? Or, one who himself is crying in His remembrance, seeking His forgiveness and soliciting His blessings?
Indeed, this is the most difficult Sunnah (tradition of the Holy Prophet SAWS) and also true inheritance of the Prophet SAWS. And according to the theme of the Prophet’s sayings, this is the similarity between the Prophets who have gone by. Such a man is the true follower of the Prophet SAWS. He is the reformer of his time; he is the intellectual of his time; he is the true guide; he is the epicenter of the world, and his life is the model for the world, worthy to be emulated – rather obligatory for every Muslim to emulate.
Have you seen any elder leading such a pious life – the one whom we can call the epicenter of the Muslim world, spiritual guide, friend and the leader of entire humanity? The writer had not only had the opportunity to view such pious and a praiseworthy person, but also had the honour to serve and see him from a very close quarter. The honourable man is no one else but the topic of our discussion here i.e. Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani, whom Muslim visionaries called by the title of Shaikul Islam. (May Allah bless his soul!)
– MAULANA SYED MOHAMMED MIAN