Aap Beti

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

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Death of Sheikhul Hind (rah)

Then I saw the funeral of Hazrat Sheikhul Hind. Look at Allah's ways. I have only had a few chances of being present in Hazrat Sheikhul Hind's presence and yet I was privileged to have joined in his funeral preparations, kafan and burial. Then there is my great benefactor, Sheikhul Islam Maulana Madani who had been Hazrat's companion everywhere, on travel, at home, in Malta's jail and never left him. Maulana Madani leaves his side for one day and could not be present at his funeral and burial! What a lesson!

A debate had been organised in Amroha between the Sunnis and the Shias. Posters had been put up everywhere and newspapers had already given it a lot of prominence. From Luckhnow, Maulana Abdul Shakoor came and from Saharanpur, my Hazrat. Both were well known for their debating skills on this topic. When the Shias knew of the arrival of these two stalwarts, they tried their utmost to avoid the debate, hoping that it would be put off on request by the Sunnis. Hence they sent a person to Dehli to call Maulana Muhammad Ali Jowar who for 24 hours gave lectures in various gatherings against the holding of the debate, stressing the need for mutual understanding and co-operation.

This was the first time in my life that I had seen Maulana Muhammad Ali Jowar. I do not remember seeing him again thereafter. I told him: "For a long time I have been longing to see you."

I hoped that even though he did not know me, he would give me a minute or two of his time. But he was very angry at what Maulana Abdul Shakoor and I had organised. Hence in an angry tone he said: "Call off this thing and we shall meet."

For a whole day the argument continued about the debate. On the second day, 14th Rabbi-ul Awwal 1339 Hijri, my Hazrat sent me a note to Hazrat Sheikhul Hind in which it was written: The situation over here is like this...For the Sunnis it is on no account advisable to postpone the debate or to put it off. Please send me an urgent note saying that the debate must go on and not be postponed.

With this short note I left Amroha for Dehli and when I reached the station, I met a few people who greeted me. I asked them for the reason for their coming to the station and they replied, "Hazrat Sheikul Islam is coming by train enroute to Calcutta. We have come to meet him here at Amroha station."

I had no pencil nor paper with me. I picked up a piece of paper from the station and a piece of coal and wrote a note to my Hazrat: Maulana Madani is arriving enroute to Calcutta. Make him get off there [in Amroha].

I gave this note to those people to give to Hazra Maulana Khaleel and I left for Dehli. Hazrat sent a man to the station requesting Maulana Madani to get off the train. Although Maulana Madani had a ticket for Calcutta, and his luggage was with him, he immediately alighted at Amroha. The manner in which I have seen Maulana Madani answering the requests of Elders, I have not seen in anyone else. No matter how much it was against his own opinions, he always bent his head in front of their orders. In those lectures, he advised both parties that this was not a time for inflaming the emotions of people and for polarisation. At this time it is of utmost necessitty even to have reconcillation and mutual understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, instead of getting involved in arguments and fights.

I reached Hazrat Sheihul Hind's residence in Dehli near Maghrib time. At that time, Hazrat Sheikhul Hind was seriously ill, so ill that there was no time to present the note to him. He passed away the next morning. Telephone calls were made to all places.

Telegrams addressed to Maulana Madani were sent to various stations around Calcutta, to places where according to the opinion of people, the train must have reached. I told them to send a telegram to Amroha aswell. All of them looked upon me as being a fool for this suggestion. They thought I wanted to send a telegram to Hazrat Saharanpuri using Maulana Madani as an excuse. They wanted to know what connection there was between Maulana Madani and Amroha. I said, "Send a telegram in case he may be there."

Maulana Mufti Kifaayatullah, the president of the Jamiatul Ulema (may Allah grant him very high rank), although I was in opposition to his politics, was very kind to me. He used to treat my views and suggestions with a lot of respect and dignity. In many religious and political questions he used ot quote my views with repect although they differed from his: "Some sincere scholars of this opinion. I believe..." Such kind words were even used in his pamphlets. There are many occasions when he quoted my views respectfully although they opposed his views.

On this occasion, seeing my insistence on a telegram to Amroha and the other people's refusal, he said, "When this man repeatedly asked for a telegram to Amroha aswell, what objection have you got against one more telegram?"

The telegram was sent. I think it was not sent 'urgent' because the senders were against it. The telegram arrived the next day. Hazrat Madani arrived at Sheikhul Hind's house the morning of the third day.

The time of his arrival will always remain indelibly imprinted in my mind. He stepped forward in complete silence, his feet hardly lifting from the ground. He came forward as if at every step he was going to fall down. One or two people came forward to shake his hand. Everyone stood quietly in their places. He went to sit down on the step infront of Sheikhul Hind's house, silent. A few of those who were in the house came to sit down with him.

I stood there thinking of Allah's ways. The man who had been the companion of Sheikhul Hind at all times, even on travel and in exile, has come to his grave one day after his burial. And, the man who had never had the opportunity of being present has the opportunity of accompanying the deceased from Dehli right up to the burial.

"Lord, how wonderful the exhibition of Your Qudrah."
The salatul janaaza for Sheikhul Hind was performed in Dehli by my uncle, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas. Hazrat's own brother, Maulana Muhammad Hussain did not join in the funeral prayers so that the salaah may be performed again with him as the 'wali'. He performed the janaza salaah after arrival in Deoband.

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