Quran will stand witness to the martyrdom of Uthman

From the book: Travelling Across Central Asia
By: Hazrath Maulana Zulfiqar Ahmed Naqshbandi Mujaddedi
Translated by: Mohammed Aslam
Published by: Maktabat-ul-Faqeer, Pakistan
Chapter: Journey to Uzbekistan, Page 37 – 38

A View of Uthmani Script

“When I entered the Tala Shaykh building a young man told me that. it was a repository of hundreds of rare printed and script-copies of the Holy Qur‘aan. Uthman’s handwritten copy was the most rare. It was a Qur’aanic copy written on leather. Caliph Uthman (RA) had got it prepared during his reign of caliphate and he used to recite the same. Earlier this copy was present in another country but when Amir Timur conquered different countries he brought it to Samarkand. When the Russian Revolution took place in 1917 this copy was placed in the Leningrad Museum. Following the liberation of the Central Asian Republics from the Soviet yoke the Uzbekistan Government made a strong demand to Moscow that it should be returned to them. Accordingly, this Qur’aanic copy was brought to Tashkent with deep respect and reverence and placed in this building. Two doctors are deputed to check the room’s temperature and the quantity of moisture in the air and keep spraying different chemicals over this rare manuscript so as to save it from erosion.”

“When I saw this historic copy of the Qur’aan the passage written in the Kufic script was illegible to me. After pondering long enough I was able to understand two words, Gabriel and Michael. Then I started reading orally and the construction of the words became clearer and clearer to me. When I came to the words, But Allah will suffice thee against them (Surah 2: Verse 137), I found there a stain. I was told that when Caliph Uthman (RA) was martyred the blood emitting from his body had left this stain. Glory be to Allah! On the Day of Judgment the earth will bear witness to the martyrdom of somebody and a stone will bear witness to martyrdom in another case. But as for Uthman Ghani’s martyrdom the Book of Allah will stand witness to it. For a time I kept looking at this inestimable relic with an overwhelming sense of reverence and devotion. In the meantime, Dada Khan Nuri reached there and told me, “Hazrat, programmes about the Ferghana valley have been drawn up. It is too late and we should go home now.” ….

– Hazrath Maulana Zulfiqar Ahmed Naqshbandi Mujaddedi

Download the book: Travelling Across Central Asia.pdf

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Social Philosophy of Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Social Philosophy of Allama Muhammad Iqbal:
Views on Ummah and Islamic Society

A research paper by: Mohsin Afzal Dar, Ph.D Research Scholar, Department of Islamic Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
Original paper: Download here
Islam and Muslim Societies: A Social Science Journal. Vol.6, No.1-2013
http://www.muslimsocieties.org

Introduction
Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) belonged to the age of early twentieth century. He had a profound insight into the holy Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad and had delved deep into the Western thought. His Islamic knowledge and his study of philosophy in the West equipped him with a good access to the sources of both Islam and Western modernism. His approach to Islam is thus on broader basis than that of the traditional theologians and the Western educated Muslims. Iqbal’s later poetry particularly poetical works in Persian and the lectures, entitled “The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” testifies to his objective and dynamics. Keeping this in view, this paper discusses the Social Philosophy of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, with a special focus on his views on Ummah and Islamic Society.

Iqbal’s Views on the Concept of Ummah
The term Ummah, frequently interpreted as “Muslim community”, designates a basic concept in Islam. The Qur’anic concept of Ummah, occurring sixty four times in Quran, mostly designates a people to whom a Prophet was sent by God or a people who are objects of a divine plan of salvation. According to these analyses, the term Ummah refers to a single group sharing commonly religious orientation. As Community is generally defined as a group of people organized together in a space- time, so the Islamic community is one where its members share Islamic principles and duties in common. It is different from ‘nationality’ in the western sense of the term because it is against the territorial boundaries.

The Qur’anic words for Islamic community are ‘ummah’ and ‘millah’. Following verse of the Quran bear the wide and comprehensive nature of Islamic community, “Let there be of you an ummah which calls for the good, enjoins the good workers and prohibits the works of evil. Those are truly felicitous.”

Society is an association of individuals. But it is not a mere assemblage of individuals. It is like an organic whole. In an organic body, the part and the whole cannot remain separate from one another. The individual and society cannot remain separate from one another. Individuals and society act and react upon each other. A society is strong only if its individuals are strong, and the individuals are weakened if the society declines. While it is essential that one has to develop his individual ego, he has also to create in himself a social awareness. Man is a social animal. A proper relation between individual and society has to be established for the fruitful achievement of both. To develop personality is not to cut one’s relation with social affairs. Rather it is the duty of an individual to enrich the society by the wealth of his thoughts and actions otherwise his individual existence is worthless and meaningless. To Iqbal, an individual should not even refrain from any sacrifice if the society gains something from it. A Muslim is not a true Muslim apart from the Islamic Society. In Islam there is no gap between the spiritual and social order.

According to Iqbal “Islam is non-territorial in character, and its aim is to furnish a model for the final combination of humanity”. This community is of unique character in terms of its good and felicity and has its heritage in the past traditions of Prophets. Iqbal’s use of ‘millah’ in his Urdu and Persian poetical works and ‘community’ in his English writings is in this Qur’anic sense. 

On the basis of this Qur’anic version Iqbal develops his theory of Islamic community in logical and systematic manner and exposes its dynamics both to psychological and moral spheres of life for the actualization of the will of God. 

Iqbal believes in the universality of the Ummah (Muslim community) and is of the view that the body and soul of the Ummah are composed of a belief in the unity of God, and this very unity is the basis of the affinity of thought among Muslims. In similar manner Risalat (Prophethood) creates a spirit of oneness among the Muslims. It is because the Muslims received the message of God and the mission of life through the Prophet. In the view of Iqbal the commonness and solidarity of the Muslim Ummah depends on Prophethood and that millions of Believers are joined together into one religion because of the Prophet. The whole Muslim Ummah draws inspiration from him.

The main result of Tawhid and Risalat is that the Ummah is not circumscribed by territorial limitations. A Muslim does not belong to India, Rome, or Syria. His destiny is Islam; in other words, the Ummah demands unity of hearts and belief rather than that of race or territory.

This shows that Iqbal’s concept of Ummah is a universal community of Believers, crossing all barriers of caste, colour, race, nationality and territory. 

According to Iqbal, the community is an entity whose functions and activities are motivated by power and a spirit of triumph. The unity acquired through the emergence of several individuals gives the community a unique personality of its own. Iqbal’s theory of Ummah owes much to his concept of ego (self). Ego to Iqbal is the awareness of the individual about his own position and potentialities. According to him, a nation also has its Ego, which has all the attributes of the individual Ego. Vigour, force, power, determination, will to rise and move forward, and courage to fight, are the characteristics of the collective Ego of the community. Iqbal has drawn a graphic picture of the Muslim community in his famous poem entitled Shikwa (Complaint). In this poem he states that the Muslim Ummah at the time when it was endowed with a sense of purpose and spirit of triumph, during this period, though small in number, the Muslims fought with power and vigour to spread the message of God. They never hesitated to shed their blood provided the cause was righteous and the mission devoid of all ulterior motives.

Iqbal put forward ideals and the principles of Muslim Ummah with full efficacy in his poetical and prose works. In the eye of Iqbal, Tawhid (oneness of God), Risalah (prophethood) and Akhuwah (brotherhood) are the foundational principles of Muslim ummah.

Regarding Tawhid, Iqbal means stickness to the belief in one God (Allah), single value, single truth and moving forward to this single Divine goal. Tawhid, states Iqbal, is the fundamental principle that unites Muslims in a single community where they can have a proper and full expression of their divinely conscious life. Firm faith in Tawhid transforms uniformity in both thought and deeds of the members of the community.12 The following verse of the Quran refers to this ideal of the community: “Truly, this your Ummah is one religion, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me.”

According to Iqbal, Tawhid is the basic and fundamental principle that unites the entire Islamic world. Iqbal’s second basic guiding principle of Muslim ummah is Risalah (Prophethood). Iqbal had a firm conviction in Risalah. Iqbal views that it is an important duty to illustrate the truth and the validity of prophethood and its finality in the raising of Prophet Muhammad. Iqbal was against the materialistic ideals of the secular community, based on country, race and language and stands for Tawhid preached by Prophet Muhammad and considers it the solid and valid fabric of Islamic community.16
Iqbal considers the basis of Muslim Ummah in the adherence to Prophet Muhammad by stating:

“The essential difference between the Muslim community and other communities of the world consists in our peculiar conception of nationality. It is not the unity of language or country or the identity of economic interest that constitutes the basic principle of our nationality. It is because we all believe in a certain view of the universe, and participate in the same historical tradition that we are members of the society founded by the Prophet of Islam. Islam abhors all material limitations, and bases its nationality on a purely abstract idea, objectified in a potentially expansive group of concrete personalities. It is not dependent for its life principle on the character and genuine of a particular people, in its essence it is non- temporal, non-spatial”.

Another basic and important principle of Muslim Ummah is Akhuwah (Brotherhood). Humankind, an entity of interrelationships and the Islam’s guidance, is of full significance in this domain. Akhuwah (Brotherhood) is thus taught to make firmer equality, peace and harmony in the world. It teaches love and brotherhood among believers and is sought to realize the God’s will in all spheres of life harmoniously. Akhuwah does not teach material dominance and pride of one over the other Muslim. In terms of faith and moral obligations the whole Muslim world is interrelated. This ideal of Akhuwah is repeatedly propounded in the writings of Iqbal both in poetry and prose.

Iqbal states in this regard in the following verse:

“This is the destiny of nature; this is the secret of Islam;
World-wide brotherhood and abundance of love;
Break the idols of colour and blood and become lost in the community;
Let neither Turanians, nor Iranians nor do Afghans remain.”

Iqbal talks of this ideal dynamically and vigorously. In his “Islam as a Moral and Political Ideal”, he states:

“Islam is a unity in which there is no distinction, and this unity is secured by making men believe in two simple propositions – the unity of God and the mission of the Prophet propositions which are certainly of supernatural character but which, based as they are on the general religious experience of mankind, are intensely true to average human nature. Now this principle of equality of all believers made early Musalmans the greatest political power in the world. Islam worked as a living force; it gave the individual a sense of his inward power; it elevated those who were socially low”.

Finally, it can be said that, the sort of society which Islam preaches and which Iqbal wants to expound in his writings, we find it to be quite different in its ideal from any other society in the world. The aim which the Islamic society has in view is not the propagation of learning, or the preservation of peace or the consideration of means for the increase of wealth, power or fame; but something above all these, something higher and nobler in quality and to which all these aims may be subordinated. It is the propagation of true religion in the world. It is this ideal which unites all its members. This ideal is the most universal and includes within it all other ideals which can be useful for a group of people. This is, in short, the fountain head of all benefits. In this law lies the peculiarity of Islam.

Conclusion
Iqbal was a firm believer in religion without which the social system cannot work properly. That is why he focused his efforts on the revival of Islam and the protection of Islamic society. He believed Islam to be the most valuable contribution to world thought. Islamic society has a permanent element in its structure of thought, such as the unity of God, the finality of Prophethood, the sharia’t, the Islamic code of law and Akhuwah, (Brotherhood). To Iqbal, the stable character of a society directly depends upon the essential regard for the ultimate realities that govern life. From the above assessment of Iqbal’s views it can be said that Iqbal defines Tawhid, Risalah, and Akhuwah as the foundational and basic principles of Ummah (Muslim community). For him, if a community deviates from any of these principles, it will deviate from the actual goals.

Thus, Iqbal was the most dynamic scholar-philosopher of the twentieth century, who gave many valuable ideas and vehemently emphasized that Muslims should hold fast to the teachings of the Qur’an in order to progress in life.

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Fatherly affection and concern during dawah

From the book: Maariful Quran
By: Maulana Muhammed Shafi Usmani
Volume 4, Page 493
Surah Taubah, Commentary of Verse 122

Surah Taubah, Verse 122

Surah Taubah, Verse 122

The essential duty of Alim after he acquires the knowledge of Din

Holy Qur’an has put the essential duty of an Alim (Islamic Scholar) in one single sentence:  “so that they may warn their people (against the disobedience of Allah).” At this place as well, it is worth attention that the sentence has identified “the warning of a people” as a duty of the Alim. The Arabic word: (indhar) is usually translated into English as warning in the sense of putting the fear of something into someone, though it still does not convey the ultimate sense in full. The truth of the matter is that such warning or putting the fear of what must be avoided can take many forms. For instance, one may warn against an enemy, thief, robber or some beast or poisonous creeper. Secondly, there is the kind of warning a father would give, out of his affection and concern for his children, against things that hurt, like the fire, poisonous insects and unhealthy food. This is based on love, and on the desire to protect which has a special tone and temper, totally different from the former.

Indhar is the name of warning given in that manner and with that motive. Therefore, prophets and messengers of Allah have been given the title of (nadhir: one who warns) and this duty of warning people assigned to the Alim is really nothing but a part of the legacy left by prophets which, according to the binding authority of Hadith, the Alim inherits.

At this point, we may also wish to consider that the blessed prophets are known by two appellations: Bashir and Nadhir. You already know the meaning of nadhir (warner) from the preceding discussion. Bashir means one who gives basharah, that is, good news or glad tidings. It is a part of the mission of blessed prophets that they give glad tidings to those who act righteously. Though, at this place too, what has been mentioned is Indhar or warning explicitly, yet, other textual imperatives show that it is also the duty of an Alim that he should give good news of rewards too for those who do good deeds. Now that the mention of indhar (warning) has been considered sufficient at this place has its reason. Actually, it indicates that man is charged with two things. One: that he elects to do what is beneficial for him in this world and in the world to come. Two: that he avoids doing things likely to bring harm to him. People of learning and people of wisdom both agree that the latter of the two has the higher priority. In the terminology of Muslim jurists, this is known as ‘bringing benefit’ and ‘repelling harm’ and the latter has been given precedence to the former. In addition to that, when harm is repelled, it serves the purpose of bringing benefit in its own way, because if someone abandons what is beneficial and necessary for him, it brings harm. Given this situation, whoever makes the effort to stay safe from the harmful effects of bad deeds, will also make the effort not to abandon what one must do necessarily.

From here we also learn the main reason why religious sermons and acts of dawah generally remain ineffective in our time. We have seen a glimpse of the cardinal etiquette (Adab-e-Dil) of indhar or warning, as given above. Contemporary sermons and acts of dawah seem to miss the manners, something that would exude care, concern, attachment, mercy and the earnest wish to give out what is really good for the listeners, not only in words but through the style of address and the empathy of tone and diction as well. It would be wonderful if the addressee comes to believe that the things the speaker is saying do not aim at disgracing him or settling scores against him, in fact, this person is telling me what he thinks is good and beneficial for me just out of love. If the tabligh we do today or the dawah we carry to correct people who violate commandments of the Shariah were to adopt this pattern of behavior, it is absolutely certain that it will bring forth at least one immediate response: the addressees will not be apprehensive, irritated, dogmatic or obstinate about our submission. They would not worry about confronting us. Everyone would, rather, become attuned to himself and start sorting out his own doings and thinking about what was going to happen to him. And if this effort continues, the time is to come, sooner or later, when such a person will be even willing to accept what had been presented before him. The second outcome of this attitude is that it will not, at least, generate mutual hatred and altercation, something which holds contemporary Muslims in its grips.

In the end, by saying: (that they may be cautious), it was also indicated that the duty of an Alim was not simply limited to putting the fear of Allah’s punishment in the hearts of people. Instead, he also has to watch and assess the extent and measure of the effect generated by his tabligh and dawah. May be it did not work the first time. If so, let him do it again and again, until he sees its result: with his own eyes, which means that his people have become cautious and have started staying away from sins. Allah knows best.

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The voice of will is louder than any other voice – The Story of Ammar

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Advice to a new Judge – Instructions of Imam Abu Hanifah to Qadi Abu Yusuf

From the Book: Sirat-e-Nu’mani (Imam Abu Hanifah, Life and Work)
By Allahma Shibli Numani
Translated by M.Hadi Hussain
Published by: Kitab Bhavan

 

Qadi Abu Yusuf, a student of Imam Abu Hanifah was appointed as the Minister of Justice by Caliph Harun Rashid. Abu Yusuf’s good management gave his ministry an organization which was not only unprecedented but remained unsurpassed under later regimes. Abu Yusuf owed all this to the training he received from Imam Abu Hanifah.

Imam Abu Hanifah gave Abu Yusuf a written set of instructions designed to be guidelines in all important religious and secular matters. The gist of the instructions is given below:

*These instruction might appear strange to a common person. But these instructions were being given to a newly appointed Qadi (Supreme Court Judge) – who has an immense reputation to protect. All his words and actions would be monitored. He would be under constant observation due to the post he holds.

The instructions, at the outset, treat of relations with the ruling monarch. “Go rarely to see him”, says the Imam, “and be aware of him as if he were fire. Never go to court expect for some specific purpose, lest you  lose the respect you enjoy there. Avoid it especially when there are present there people whom you do not know, for since you are not aware of their rank, you might speak them in a manner inappropriate to their position. If they are higher than you and you do not show due regard for this, it will be considered as bad manners. If, on the other hand, they are ordinary people and you show them too much respect, you will lower yourself in the king’s eyes. Should the king offer you the post of Qadi (Judge), Do not accept it without making sure that he approves of your exercising your personal judgement, lest you should have to act against it under official pressure. Never accept a position which you are not fit to hold.”

Al though a lot of emphasis has been laid in the instructions on showing respect to the king, yet at the same time complete freedom has been enjoined in expressing the truth. “If” say the instructions “You find some guilty of improper innovation in matters of Shariah, point out his error, so that others are discouraged from following his example. Never mind if the man is powerful or wealthy, for in declaring the truth, God will support you, since He is the Guardian and Protector of the faith. Even if it is the king himself whom you find doing something improper, do not hesitate to call his attention to it. Tell him frankly that though as his Qadi, you are subordinate to him, yet it is your duty to point out to him his errors. If he pays no heed to this, speak to him in private and explain to him that the action in question is contrary to Quran and Sunnah. If he realizes his mistake, well and good; otherwise, pray to god to save you from the evil that is in him.”

There are useful tips, too, about the daily tasks of life. “Consider the acquisition of knowledge as your primary task. After you have completed it, turn to acquiring wealth by legitimate means; for knowledge and wealth cannot be acquired simultaneously. Thereafter, marry, but only if you are sure you will be able to shoulder the responsibility of looking after a family. Do not marry a woman who has children by a former husband. Mix sparingly with the common people and the rich, the latter might think that you expect something from them and might be led by this to offer you bribes. Strictly avoid going to bazaar, sitting with shopkeepers, eating in the streets and mosques, drinking at public watering places or drinking water served by water-carriers and the like. When someone seeks a ruling from you, confine yourself to answering his question and do not add anything unsolicited. Do not discuss the questions of belief with common people. Treat your pupils with such sincerity and kindness that strangers are led to think that they are your own children. Avoid engaging in debate with common people and people of inferior rank. When you visit a city other than your own, conduct yourself towards the men of learning there in such a way that they do not look you upon as a rival.

When you discourse on learned subjects, speak after due reflection and say on that of which you can produce sufficient proof. In debating, be courageous and steadfast; if you have the slightest fear in your heart, you will not be able to keep your thought collected and your tongue will stammer. Never get involved in discussion with people who do not know the rules of debate or who become unpleasant. During a debate never get angry and do laugh a little, for laughter can hurt your adversary’s susceptibilities. Do everything in a calm and collected manner and with dignity. Unless a person accosts you face to face, do not reply to him, for accosting from behind is a habit peculiar to animals. When walking do not look right or left. When you go to a hammam (public bathing place), pay more than the common people. Never do any shopping yourself, let the servants do it for you. Leave your domestic management in the hands of trustworthy servants, so you have enough time for your proper duties. Never reside in the vicinity of the royal court. Let everything you do or say  demonstrate your indifference to worldly matters and personal interests: keep this up even in poverty. Never deliver a sermon to gatherings of common people, for in addressing such gatherings one is often compelled to tell lies. If you permit any of your pupils to take a Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) class, attend his lectures in order to form an estimate of his ability. Should he make a mistake, point it out at once, otherwise those present might think that what he said was correct. In subjects other than Fiqh, you need not personally attend classes taken by your pupils, but you should depute your trusted friends or pupils to bring you a report.”

“Let piety and faithfulness mark every action of yours. Have the same relation with God inwardly as you profess outwardly. As soon as you hear the adhaan get ready for saying your prayer. Reserve three or four days for fasting in every month. After every prayer recite a wazifah (tasbeeh). Never miss reading the Quran. Do not incline much to the world. Go frequently to the graveyard. Abstain from pleasure-seeking and amusement. If you see any defects in your neighbor, try to hide them. Avoid the company of heretical innovators. Do not be the imam of prayers until you are asked to do so. When people come to see you, converse them on scholarly subjects: If they are scholars, they will gain something; If not, they will at least learn to respect you.”

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Letter of Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi’s mother to her son

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.

Your Mother.

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What is easy and What is difficult? – An introduction to Hussain Ahmed Madani

From the book ASIRA’N -E- MALTA (Prisoners of Malta)
by Maulana Syed Mohammed Mian
Translated by Mohammad Anwer Hussain and Hasan Imam
Manak Publications.

 

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

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