Aap Beti

Autobiography of Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi 'alayh)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dealing with Differences of Opinion (3)

This is an extract from when Sheikhul Hadeeth, his uncle Maulana Ilyas [founder of the Tabligh movement] and Hazrat Raipuri (rahmatullahi 'alayh) made a visit to Maulana Meeruty enroute to Saharanpur. Sheikhul Hadeeth was against the idea, for reasons we shall soon see...

It was summer. Under his house, Maulana Meeruty, who knew a lot about building houses, had a basement room which was very cool. It had two flights of stairs leading to it, one from the ladies' side and one from the men's side. If it was to be used by the women at any time, all that needed to be done was for the door to be closed and the male stairway would be sealed. Maulana sprinkled the floor with water, organised beds and cool grass carpets in it.

After having had lunch, we went down to the basment and wanted to lie down but Maulana Meeruty told my uncle: "Maulana, for a ling time I have been wanting to discuss something with you, but you never came this way and for a long time I have not been to visit you. Now, at this moment, these Elders are also present so I would like to trouble you all for a short while."

We were seated, Hazrat Raipuri and myself on one side sitting side by side, facing Hazrat Meerity and my uncle who sat side by side. Hazrat Meeruty started speaking: "Hazrat, Tableegh is something which we can accept with open arms, heart and soul. And no one can deny the need for it and the benefits in it. But the fanatcism you have attached to it is completely against the ways of our Elders. You have made even our dressing and lying down a part of Tableegh. You do not show any importance for the Madressas nor the Khanqahs."

My Uncle became enraged, and said: "When you yourself consider it as necessary, why don't you yourself take part in it? And why does no one do it? I have to give everyone's share of the Fardh Kifaaya."

The two elders flew at each other and the words became stronger and harsher. Hazra Raipuri and I remained silent. He felt tremendous anguish and distress at the argument before him. While the argument was going on, I softly said to Hazrat Raipuri so that the others could not hear: "Meerut utrenge, Meerut utrenge (we should get off at Meerut, we should get off at Meerut)".

I softly repeated these words quite a few times. When later the force of the argument had died down, and all of them became silent, I said: "May I say something?"
All three of them said, "Certainly, go ahead."
Hazrat Raipuri said: "You have sat down silently for such a long time. Why did you not speak earlier?"

I said to Hazrat Meeruty: "You are quite aware of the fact that in all those objections, I am with you and agree with you."

Hearing this, my uncle became very angry but said nothing. Then I continued: "Whether something is being done for Deen or for Dunya, it is done for some objective. All work that is done with the company of others is only attained by following it and taking part in it."
Hazrat Raipuri agreed with me: "Very true."
I said, "Wait a bit."

At some time in the past, Hazrat Saharanpur had reprimanded and rebuked Hazrat Meeruty. Only Hazrat Meeruty and I knew about it. "Do you not remember Hazrat Saharanpuri's statement: 'To have contact with me means contact with the Madressa. And as much as is the concern of anyone for the Madressa, so much is his concern for me.' Now tell me, is there no other Madressa in this world except Mazaahirul Uloom?"

I told him a few more stories of where the person became so absorbed in his work, for example the death of Imam Muslim and a few others, wherein the person completely identifies himself with his life's task.

Then I said: "My uncle in this field is 'Maghloob' (overwhelmed). You know it and we know it. Moreover, no work ever gets done without self identification of the doer (ghalba-i-haal) and subjection to his own 'colour'."

Suddenly Hazrat Meeruty stated laughing. I do not know why. My uncle also started to laugh. They both were only too keen to put an end to the unpleasantness.

Hazrat Raipuri said: "You see, this is why I always want to take you with me at all times, because we need you."

Then he said to Hazrat Meeruty: "You have fed us to such an extent that we can hardly sit up. Now leave us and allow us to take a rest."

Hazrat Meeruty left immediately and as soon as he had left I said to them: "This is the reason why I requested you to go straight through."
Hazrat Raipuri said, "It is true, if we had listened to you it would have been better."

My uncle said: "No, what happened was very good. I have finally also found the opportunity of speaking out clearly and straight. I have waited for this chance and I would never have got a better chance. That is why I insisted upon your coming with us."

After Zuhr, the same feeling of pleasure and joy was prevalant. In the afternoon at tea, it was the same and even Hazrat himself said at the time we parted: "It was very nice that the conversation took place in your presence. If the argument had terminated on a bad note, I would have been greatly disturbed and distressed, but because of your speech it ended well."


Monday, June 26, 2006

Dealing with Differences of Opinion (2)

The 'Maulana Asad Madani' mentioned in this story is none other than the son of Hazrat Hussain Ahmad Madani (rahmatullahi 'alayh), who had only recently passed away in February of this year at the age of 78 (innaalillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'oon...the ummah has lost a great man of Allah). It is requested that you make du'aa for Allah to raise his ranks in Jannah, as well as everyone else's.

Now listen to the follow up story. It was at a time when there was a massive dispute between the Jami'at and the Mushaawarat (Consultative Executive), about 2 or 3 years ago. Maulana Manzoor Nu'mani was my guest. He asked to see me in private and I fixed an appointment for after Zuhr. I was performing my Fardh Salaah in the Masjid and a boy came to sit by my right side and told me that Maulana Asad Madani had arrived. On my left, another gave me the same news with the addition that he was in the kachaa ghar. I told him: "The camel has already gone out from under the mountain. Go away."

I finished my Sunnats and sent a message to Maulana Manzoor Saheb that Maulana Asad had arrived, but like his father, his visits were only for an hour or half an hour. I would call him later.

I went home and told Maulana Asad that this time had been promised to Maulana Manzoor for a private audience. He was then in he guest house. However, if he wanted to discuss something in private, there would be no problem. He replied that he needed only ten minutes of my time and I asked other attendants to exuse us. After this private audience I called Maulana Manzoor and made him and his retinue meet Maulana Asad Madani and his friends.

I told them how I had felt at Zuhr time, as though a storm had broken loose over my head. Then I told them the story of Hazrat Madani and Maulana Zafar Ahmed, but at that moment I had no more fears that people of such diverse views could be present in the same gathering in my presence.The Elders were gone and only my friends were left behind. May Allah grant all my Elders great reward and high rank.

Afterwards, when it did happen that arguments arose over some dispute, I used to tell them, "The cocks should go outside if the want to fight. But if they want to eat, then eat, otherwise Khuda - Hafiz - farewell."

I have a great disliking for fighting over questions about which there is a difference of opinion. I look upon the differences among the 'Ulama as a mercy, as I have said in Al-E'tidaal.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Dealing with Differences of Opinion

Much can be said on this topic, given today's political and indeed religious climate. We need to learn from those who know better that most of the time it is not a case of 'I'm right and you're wrong', but that differences are natural and can be a mercy upon the Ummah. More detail on the topic can be found in Shaykh's (rahmatuallahi 'alayh) 'Al E'tidaal'.

I recall a very interesting incident in this regard. During the time prior to Partition [the division of India into India and Pakistan] Hazrat Madani was a very staunch supporter of the Congress [a political party opposing the partition of India]. Everybody till today knows of his commitment to the Congress. On the opposite side, we had Maulana Thanwy and Maulana Zafar Ahmed, the present Sheikhul-Islam of Pakistan, who were staunch supporters of the League [a political party supporting the partition]. They were in no way any step behind Maulana Madani in their ardour. They used to attack each others' views from the mimbar, in Jalsas, pamphlets etc. The bitterness and severe nature of the fight was evident for all to see.

But as fate would have it, both Maulana Madani and Maulana Zafar Ahmed were my guests. When Maulana Zafar Ahmed visited me, he always stayed for a few days , whereas Hazrat Madani always had flying visits, sometimes lasting hours, or at times even just minutes.

Once during that era of political opposition, Hazrat Zafar Ahmed was my guest for a few days. Although he was my guest, he was residing in the Madrassa guest room.

I had gone to the Darul Talaba. A boy came to inform me that Hazrat Madani had arrived and he was at the kachaa ghar [a label given to Sheikhul Hadeeth's home due to its simplicity]. I felt as if the earth had been removed from under my feet. Even now when I think about it, I feel the apprehension and fear for what could become a tremendous outburst. Quickly, I went to the old Madrassa and told Maulana Zafar Ahmed that Maulana Madani was also around and was at home: "Hazrat will only stay for an hour or half an hour - not more. Please do not come there. After he has eaten, I will call you."

May Allah reward Maulana Zafar Ahmed Saheb well! He asked me: "Why is that so? What harm will there be due to my presence? I will come along now."

I practically begged him not to come but the more I tried to persuade him against it, the more adamant he became. He said: "Do not worry. Hazrat Madani is my Elder. If he should say anything, then I will not reply and will remain silent."

Finding him very adamant, I went to the kachaa ghar and told Maulana Madani: "Hazrat Zafar Ahmed has been here with me for a few days. He is my guest. I have asked him not to come along and that I would call him after you leave." Hazrat Madani answered: "Why? What can he steal from me and what can I steal from him?"

As this conversation was going on, Maulana Zafar Ahmed entered. When Hazrat saw him, he got up with pleasure all over his face, shook hands with him saying: "O, so Abbul Deek is also here?" (Deek means a cock. When Maulana Zafar's son, Maulana Umar Ahmed, was born, then Maulana Madani jokingly referred to Maulana Zafar Ahmed as Abbul Deek on meeting him).

Maulana Zafar Ahmed kissed Maulana Madani's hands and they began talking like friends, asking each other about their health and their families. I was still quite apprehensive, fearing an outburst and reading to myself, "Ya Rabbi Sallim" (O Lord, protect us from a calamity).

Hazrat Madani left about three quarters of an hour later and only then was I able to relax. Not a single word of politics was uttered. Maulana Zafar Ahmed said: "Bring mithai!"

I said to him: "Certainly, but Hazrat Madani is more close to me than you are. I was frightened; if Maulana Madani had uttered one threat or scolding, then what could have happened?"

Maulana answered, "But I told you from before that I would keep quiet. Even if he should attack me, I would not have said a word. I do not for a moment doubt Maulana's high position and greatness, but what can we do? We consider the support of Congress to be harmful to the interests of Muslims. For this reason we feel ourselves forced to oppose his views in newspapers, pamphlets, posters and lectures from the mimbar."

Labels: ,