Aap Beti

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Discussions of the Literate

Below is just a couple of examples of Sheikhul Hadeeth's (rahmatullahi 'alayh) literacy, and beyond that, proficiency, in the science of Hadeeth. Indeed, the title 'Sheikhul Hadeeth' was not for no reason.

I still remember my academic (ilmi) discussions with Hazrat Madani and my academic debates with him. Many such topics have been written and collected by me under the name of 'Ifaa'daat Hussaini' about which I have already written in the chapter on my writings. During the writing and compilation of his 'Khutbaat' which Hazrat use to write to me a lot, he often sent a student with a note asking for the source reference of certain Hadiths. I would then with great diligence look up the Hadith, write it and send the reference to him.

Hazrat Madani was very opposed to hand fans and if anyone got up to wave a hand fan over him, he would scold that person and if I insisted on doing it, he even scolded me too.
Once Hazrat loudly asked: "Is there any reference in the Hadith in support of this fact (the usage of hand fans)?"
I replied: "I could not even find proof in the Hadith to the effect that the electric fan in Hazrat's room is permissible."
Hazrat started laughing. Thereafter I sent him a Hadith wherein is mentioned about Hazrat Bilal waving a fan over the people in a Musjid. Then, when Hazrat visited me again I told one student to fan him when he arrives, because now the use of a fan has been proven. What objection can he have now?

Hazrat said: "You have sent a Hadith from a little known kitab."
I asked: "Do you mean to say that all the Hadith are only to be found in the well known kitabs?"

Similarly, he once asked: "Where is the Shari'at proof for this pressing (massaging) of the body?"
I replied: "It is difficult to find a Hadith which substantiates all the things which are permissible. But I will search for the Hadith and send it to you."
The next day I sent the Hadith at the hands of one student.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Benefits of Good Company

Good company is something truly to be envied. Here, Sheikhul Hadeeth (rahmatullahi 'alayh) speaks of the company and the spiritual attention he received from his Shaykh, Maulana Khaleel Ahmed Saharanpuri (rahmatullahi 'alayh). Indeed, the golden opportunity to merely be his Shaykh's scribe for his grand work, Bazlul Majhood, allowed Sheikhul Hadeeth (rahmatullahi 'alayh) an insight to the world of hadeeth from early on. May Allah (subhanahu wa ta'aalaa) bless us with company that is better than solitude!

It was Hazrat's habit in Medina as well as in India that when he used to eat, he often used to take out pieces of meat from a kebab with his own hand and give it to me with great kindness. I never imagined that his loving kindness to me could be greater than that. In Medina I used to have both meals with Hazrat. Hazrat Raipuri also sometimes joined us for meals.

Hazrat Raipuri once said: "I envy you indeed, because whenever Hazrat Saharanpuri gives you something to eat, he always casts a thorough gaze at it and then gives it to you. If only he would do the same for me."

After that, I took notice and Hazrat really did look at it thoroughly (as if casting his spiritual attention at it). If only that spiritual attention had had beneficial affects upon this hard-hearted one! In Medina, while writing 'Bazlul Majhood', I used to spend almost six hours from after the early morning tea in Hazrat's company. One day, while I was writing, I do not know what I was thinking of but I became lost in thought.

Hazrat, while dictating said, in a stern but calm voice, "I am busy with you and you are thinking of Amar and Zaid."

Whenever that scene appears before me, I still feel a loud noise in my ears. But as Hazrat said that, I felt myself breaking out in a sweat. My kurta and pants became soaked with my perspiration. At that time, and later, I thought about it, but I just could not remember what I was thinking about.

If these attentions of Hazrat had fallen on some capable one, one wonders how far he would have progressed spiritually. But I have always acted ill-manneredly towards my Elders. My father spoke the truth when he said: "You are ill -mannered and if you should study Hadith by anyone other than Hazrat, your behaviour would be insulting and your knowledge concerning Hadith will come to nothing, which will be a great calamity."

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fear Playing the Shame Game

In this respect I remember something very important and I always warn my friends about it. In the Hadith we are warned against shaming a person for a sin committed and if one does that, he never dies until he himself becomes involved in that same sin. I have from experience found this to be very true and have warned my friends never to disgrace or shame people for sins committed by them. This is a very grave matter. It is a completely different aspect to warn them against such deeds or to advise against it or to preach to them to discard such acts.

I thought of this Hadith at this stage because of the following: In my childhood I noticed Hazrat had no teeth and that Hazrat used to take tobacco with this 'paan', which after four or five minutes he took out of his mouth to put into a spittoon. I used to think that if he takes it out again as he put it in, then what was the reason for putting it into his mouth in the first place. He has no need to eat paan! Since he did not have the habit of chewing paan, I thought this was foolish. But I pay the price myself. My teeth are gone and I am still addicted to paan-eating. Now I have to cut the paan into small thin pieces before eating it and I blame myself for the habit.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

True Friends

There is another story which I was not going to write down, but my friends pursuaded me to do so. Hazrat's [i.e. Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani rahmatullahi 'alayh] favours on me were numerous and as his favours increased, so my ill-mannered ways increased. Once a discussion took place on 'the Elders and Jannat' and I said: "Hazrat, you shall not enter Jannat without me."
Hazrat replied without any hesitation: "Yes, certainly."

About a year or so later, after I had forgotten this conversation, Hazrat came here while I was in Darul Talaba. A man came to call me. While I was still coming, another person took Hazrat away with him to eat mangoes at his house near the Madressa. When I came from the Darul Talaba, I heard that Hazrat had gone there. When I followed him there, I found Hazrat sitting with the mangoes already in cold water waiting for me. I asked: "What was so urgent that Hazrat had to come earlier; I could have come with you."
Hazrat replied: "I did not promise to take you everwhere, the place I promised to take you, there I will take you."

Hearing this, I was very pleased that after a year, Hazrat still remembered. Since then, insha Allah, my spirits have been lifted a lot. Prior to that, the fear exuded by the verse:

"Wamtaazul yawma ayyuhal mujrimun"
"Stand aside today, O you evil doers"

was uppermost in my mind. May Allah grant me a place among the shoes of those Elders. [Aameen!]. This is not a far expectation of His mercy.

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