From the book: Ideal Mother
By Maulana MuhammadHaneef Abdul Majeed
Published by Idara Impex
Letter of Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi’s mother to her son
My beloved Son, Ali Assalamualaikum,
Our duas are with you. I have not received a single letter from you as yet. Daily I await your letter. (Since you have not written) I am forced to write to you. Please inform me of your conditions as soon as possible.
Abdul Ali’s arrival has definitely put me at ease but a letter from you would have surely given me more peace of mind. Abdul Ali had mentioned that you fell ill once again. He mentioned that you are not concerned about your health and that you utilize your free time also for studying. I asked him why did not prevented you and he replied that he mentioned this to you but you are not bothered about looking after yourself. I am very concerned about this. Initially it was your disregard and naivete and now your inappropriately-timed hard work. This is very distressing to me.
I had always hoped that you would not pursue English (Secular Education) education but contrary to my hope you have also pursued this path and now you have to work extra hard to accomodate this as well. Nonetheless, we hope everything turns out for the best. This is also the wisdom of Allah Taala provided it is coupled with your istikhara in this matter.
I have no inclination whatsover towards English (secular) education. Infact I have an aversion towards it. However I accept whatever makes you happy. Ali, the conditions of the world are frightening. People pursuing Islamic education are floundering in their beleifs, so you can very well imagine the conditions of those pursuing secular education. Ali, people are of the opinion that students of secular knowledge are acquiring some status or the other. They feel that they can become a deputy, a judge or atleast an attorney or barrister. However I am totally opposed to this. I regard people who pursue secular education as ignorant and the knowledge itself as useless. Especially in these times, do you know what type of knowledge is required? Perhaps there was a need of secular education in the past.
Everyone can achieve status. Who is deprived of some status or the other? You should acquire that which is presently rare and is not pursued by everyone. You should pursue that knowledge for which tears flow in aspiration, for which the ears stand up in longing and knowledge that the heart yearns for. Such knowledge should be pursued but this is very rare.
Alas, we are living in such times. Ali, dont be fooled by anyone. If you want acquire the pleasure of Allah and you really want to fulfill my rights, look at those who have passed their entire lives in the pursuit of religious knowledge. What status did they enjoy? Look at the status of Shah Waliyullah and look at you own seniors like Khajah Ahmad Sahib and Maulana Muhammad Amin Sahib Marhum whose lives and deaths were something to be envied. What status did they enjoy in this world and with what grandeur did they leave this world.
How can you achieve this status? There are so many in your own family and there will be in the future also, those who have gained name and fame through secular education but not the status of aforementioned saints. These saints had no inclination towards secular education. As far as secular education is concerned, they were ignorant. How and why did they achieve such a high rank?
Ali, if I had a hundred children, I would have issued each one of them with the same instructions. Now you are the only child left. May Allah Taala grant me the blessings of this sincere intention by making me acheive the virtues of one hundred children through you alone. And may He make me successful in both the worlds and a woman of reputable character and a woman with many virtuous children. Amin.
May Allah Taala elevate you to the same status as that of these pious people as well and may He keep you steadfast. Amin. I do not have any other desire. I will offer just one more word of advice provided you take heed. Make extensive use of the books of your seniors. Be very cautious. If you do not have any book, purchase it with the advice of Abdul Ali. The books that you have are also quite sufficient. These books will expose your good fortune and the books also will not be in vain. This will also be very pleasing to your seniors. I am very desirious of you attaining this good fortune in that you make good use of these books. Whatever you spend, spend it only where necessary or you may buy something to eat.
Do not ever resort to debt. If you have it spend it otherwise exercise patience. Students of deen acquire knowledge in this very manner. Your seniors of the past suffered great many hardships in the pursuit of knowledge. Consider your present difficulties as a source of pride and honour. If you require anything, write to me and let me know. I will try to meet your requirements, as Allah Taala is the Provider. However avoid debt, as debt is destructive. If you are able to pay it when due, there is no problem. The Sahabah also incurred debt but they paid their dues promptly. Who are we, Ali? It will also be your good fortune to take heed of my advices.
The halwa is not ready yet. Inshallah the moment I get an oppurtunity. I will prepare and send it over to you.
Write to me and inform me of your conditions as soon as possible. If you delay, I will consider the delay as an indication that you found my advice unpalatable. Inshallah in Ramadan I will make you deliver a lecture (here in Lucknow). May Allah Taala grant you the guidance to speak well beyond my expectations and may He make your speech impressive and a source of attaining His pleasure. Amin.
Everything else is fine. Be prepared with the mercy of Allah Taala and remember you have promised me about this as well.