Aap Beti

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

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"My Father..." (3)

There were many points upon which my father and Hazrat Saharanpuri had differences of opinion. Because of the fact that they never had any enmity and open arguments, leave aside the general public, even the Ulama with close contact with them did not even know about these differences.

Allow me to write about one such difference of opinion by way of example: If in the case of an animal offered up jointly for Qurbani, two or three persons hold one share jointly to be offered on behalf of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, my father considered it permissible on condition that each of them have a share in the rest of the seven shares of the animal. Hazrat considered this as being not permissible.

During that time my father was staying upstairs and Hazrat was below, on the ground floor. I have seen many people come to Hazrat to ask about this same mas'ala. He would say to them: "In my opinion it is not permissible. Maulana Yahya considers it permissible. Go upstairs and ask him. If he gives you permission then accept and act accordingly."

In my opinion also it is permissible, while our Mufti (Mufti Saeed Ahmed Saheb) and the previous Nazim Maulana Abdul Lateef Saheb in accordance with Hazrat's opinion considered it as being not permissible. We knew about each other's views and have discussed the matter but the end result was that I did not accept their view and they did not accept mine. But never was there any pamphleteering against each other, nor any arguments. Regarding the burial of Hazrat Raipuri in Pakistan (instead of Raipur), I have always told people that there is no need for fighting over the issue, no need for taking out pamphlets against the other side, nor for debates, as always happens in cases of differences of opinion. No matter what the nature of the dispute, what need is there for fighting and arguments? There is no harm in explaining one's view with sanity, reason and calmness. If after that, the other party does not see his way clear towards accepting your view, then it is most inappropiate to resort to swearing and degrading them. I was so open-minded in this regard that I never even debated with Congress, League, Jami'at or Ahraar supporters.

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"My Father..." (2)

Another of his specialities was that he would not allow me to be taught Hadith and Fiqh by anyone other than himself and Hazrat Saharanpuri. Repeatedly he used to tell me that I am rude and if I was ill-mannered towards my Ustad, that knowledge would be lost to me. If any other subjects were lost to me, the loss would not be so grave.

While writing about Hazrat Madani I mentioned that I have never seen anyone crying aloud so much in the latter part of the night as Maulana Madani and my father. My father used to read the Quran a lot. Whenever he was free from work, he would start reciting from memory, during the latter part of the night. He used to recite loudly and with much weeping. He was also very strict that I should not have any free time or that any of my time go wasted. Through the barakat of these things, these same aspects have become standing habits of mine.

My father was also very particular about drawing up time-tables for his special students and for me. Every year, he used to tell me: "Draw up your time-table and show it to me." He also had a habit of giving money for distributing sweetmeats at the completion of every kitab and also took great care that I was not allowed to spend the money as I wished.

Because he was a very accomplished Aalim, Fiqh, Hadith and Adab (Arabic Literature) were to him such basic subjects like the Qaida Baghdadi. Up to now, this humble one has not been able to emulate him in anything.

Often he used to tell me: "There was a certain Maulana, who was an Allama like me. He had a son who was a no-good like you. When he was on his death-bed, he called his son and said: "You no-good! You have not done a thing! All my students and mureeds will come to you and ask: Sahebzada Saheb, why is this so and what is the reason for that? Then you must just say: 'The Ulama differ upon it.' If you say that, you will be saved from exposing your ignorance."

This statement of his made a great impression on me. When I started teaching Hadith in 1340, time and again I had to say those very same words: "The Imams have a difference of opinion on this. This Imam says this and that Imam says that."

I spoke about this in 'Al-Etidaal'. During the time when I was teaching Mishkat I once enumerated the number of differences of opinion concerning salaah consisting of four raka'ahs. I found more than two hundred differences of opinion. From that time onwards, I had no problem with the differences among the Ulama. It became a very easy thing for me to grasp. Therefore whenever I became aware of the differences of opinion among the Ulama, and saw people giving it a lot of importance, it caused me no distress. I always said: "Bhai, there will always be differences of opinion. Follow the view of whomsoever you find yourself having faith in his person. There is no need for debates, fights and arguments."

to be continued inshaa allah

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"My Father, Hazrat Maulana Yahya Saheb"

It was never my intention to write a biography of any of these Elders. All I wanted to do was quote some examples of how their relationship with me constituted their favours upon me, for which it is my duty to speak about Allah's ni'mats on me. The incidents mentioned are examples of those favours.

My father was a very intelligent and perceptive person from his young days. Some of his qualities have been mentioned in Tazkira-e-Khaleel. I have heard him say many times as he reported on the authority of his mother, my grandmother, that when he was born, his mother had no milk to feed him and subsequently a midwife fed him, but if she would not have a bath and apply scents daily, he would not drink milk from her. At the time of his being taken off breast-feeding at the age of two, he was already a Hafiz of three quarter para. He completed Hifz at the age of seven years. (I mentioned this in the section where I dealt with my early education.)...

...Many people who saw how he treated me were under the impression that I was not his child but my mother's child from a previous marriage. This was not so, because my mother was for the first time in her life married to my father. He, however, had been previously married to my aunt, who was my mother's elder sister who had passed away soon after marriage.

My father used to tell me that after the death of my aunt, he had prayed to get married to my mother because he had seen the beauty and good character of her sister. After much effort, he succeeded. Thereafter, it was only natural that he should love me. But in my case, his love for me was hidden by the stern upbringing he gave me. That was in conformity with the Hadith:

"Never does a father give his son anything better than good character." (Mishkat)

"That a man shall teach his child good manners will be better for him than to give one saa' (three and a half sier) in charity." (Mishkat, Tirmidhi)

Because of these Hadith, my father believed that his love for me was to teach me proper behaviour, good manners and good character. No doubt at that time I was very dissatisfied as one would naturally expect from a child. But now, I only make lots of dua for him for his favours, because it was because of his harshness and stern attitude that I am now a human being. Had it not been this way, I wonder where I would have landed, despised and disgraced.

to be continued inshaa allah

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Death Of Maulana Yusuf (rah): Part 3

During that day there was such a lot of activity that there was hardly any time for talking. On the second day, Maulana Inamul Hasan said to me: "It was through your advice that the body was brought here. During the argument over Hazrat Raipuri's janaza, as to where he should be buried, Maulana Yusuf Saheb always used to tell me on various occasions: Do not remove my corpse to any place. If I should die on the train, then take me off at the next station and bury me there. Do not even move me to the place where I had purchased a ticket."

I said to him: "My dear man, when the deceased had given you this 'wasiyat' why did you not act upon it? Why did you not carry it out?"

Maulana Inamul Hasan replied: "The situation was so fraught with excitement and riot and the possibility was such that a tremendous disturbance could be caused. But when your name was mentioned all became quiet. The people of Lahore were adamant that Maulana should be buried in the graveyard of Maulana Ahmad Ali. The tableeghi brothers wanted him buried in Raiwind. And the Mewatis and Indian brothers insisted that he should be brought back to Delhi, because they felt if that was not done, we would have a riot here in Delhi. When your name was mentioned, all three parties remained silent. Hafiz Siddeeq said that they would never be able to act contrary to your order."

I said: "But then, the least you should have done was to inform me of Maulana Yusuf's 'wasiyat' by phone. I did not know of that. Had I known, I would never have called for the janaza to be brought here."

In these seventy four years of mine, I have seen a lot, heard a lot. A long story can still be told with lots of warning and lessons.

It set me thinking deeply about the wonders created by Allah.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Death Of Maulana Yusuf (rah): Part 2

As I went out of the house towards the madressa, the crowd was very dense. In a crying voice I said to them: "I have to go and sit down to recite something which is very necessary. You people can sit down here in the masjd. Sit here, sit in the madressa and have a nice conversation! When are you to get such free time again?"

They heard and they understood my meaning and dispersed. I went to sit down in the masjid, but even the voices of those talking outside reached me. About half an hour after Asr, Talha came along and informed me of another telephone call. They said there was a big argument over where Maulana Yusuf was to be buried. Hafiz Siddeeq, the Indian brothers and the Mewatis were adamant that Hazrat-ji's body should be brought to Delhi for burial. On the other hand, the local brothers (in Lahore) wanted him to buried there. The final verdict was left to me to decide. I did not have any idea as to how his corpse and coffin were to reach Delhi. At the time of the death of Maulana Raipuri in Pakistan, I had been made to believe that there was no way of bringing the corpse to Raipur. And yet Hazrat had expressed his desire to be buried in Raipur, and had taken a promise to that effect from his attendents, especially from his nephew, Maulana Abdul Jaleel. He had said, in front of all, that his burial in Raipur should not be prevented.

Later when I asked those attendents and mureeds why Hazrat's request was not carried out, and why he was buried in Pakistan, they told me that there was no way of bringing the body back.

In very clear terms, and with much conviction they wrote back to me that for the following reasons it would not be possible:

a) It would be necessary to acquire the permission of the relevant authorities (of both India and Pakistan);
b) It would require the permission of doctors and health authorities;
c) It would be necessary before transporting the body, to inject a special chemical substance into the brain, the shoulders, the two sides of the neck, the breast and thighs, after making the necessary openings.
d) In spite of all these precautions it will not be possible for the body to reach Raipur without giving off a smell.

At that time I considered all these reports to be true. I knew that among Hazrat's attendents there were numerous men of influence, counsellers, officers and doctors who would know the situation. Moreover, they all knew of Hazrat's desire of where he wanted to be buried. And yet his janaza could not be transported! I had no idea of its being possible and in the case of Maulana Yusuf, too, I had no idea that it could be done.

I thereupon sent a message to Hafiz Sideeq, against my own opinion, that: "If there is any possibility of the corpse being brought to Nizamuddin, then by all means that will be preferable, otherwise bury him in the madressa at Raiwind."

Great indeed was my surprise when at eight o'clock that evening, a third telephone call came through informing us that the funeral bier was ready to be transported to Delhi by air. It would leave Lahore at 11 pm and arrive in Delhi at 1am. At that time, I stopped thinking about Maulana Yusuf and was immersed in pondering over Maulana Raipuri's affair, that in spite of his intense desire, in spite of his attendents' love and devotion, they still failed to do the same thing for him.

As promised, I went home after Esha and found Haroon and Babu Ayaz having arrived by car. In Nizamuddin they had only received scanty news of the death with no further details at Asr time.

I asked Haroon: "What are you doing here? The corpse will be arriving in Delhi soon."

But I understood this was Allah's way of sending a car for me to go to Delhi, otherwise there would have been no way in which I could have reached Delhi. I asked Haroon to have something to eat, but he said he had already eaten after Jumua. I told them to first perform Esha salaah and in the meantime tea will be ready. They performed Esha hastily and tea was quickly prepared. We left Saharanpur at 11 o'clock and reached Nizamuddin at 3 am. The road was quite empty and we enjoyed the roar of the car's engine as we sped along. At three places we dound he booms over railway lines closed. At the first one at Rurky, they closed it off well in advance of the train's crossing. We begged the attendant to let us cross as the train was still a long way off but to no avail, with the result that we had to wait almost half an hour.

When we arrived in Delhi, we came to know that the arrival of the corpse had also been delayed somewhat and that it arrived at home in Nizamuddin a little before us. The rest of the details have already been published in booklets and in newspapers. But what I must state is that in spite of the persistant request for people not to come for taziat, a special plea was made by the Markaz people and myself for people to come, that my previous principle in this regard went overboard. But this calling of people for taziat was even more effective and beneficial than my previous principle, because thousands came along daily and they were made into jamaats and sent out in the path of Allah for the esaale sawaab of Maulana Yusuf Saheb.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Death Of Maulana Yusuf (rah)

Sheikhul Hadeeth (rahmatullahi 'alayh) spends a long time discussing the death of his son-in-law. There are many lessons that can be taken from his attitude to the death of a beloved. Inshaa Allah, my intention is to post the entire story over a few posts.

On Friday the 29th Zil Qada 1384 Hijri (2nd April 1965) we received news of the intended arrival of Maulana Yusuf Saheb in Saharanpur. But that very same morning, a telegram arrived telling of his illness. I became very angry with my Pakistani brothers because this is what they continuously do in the case of Maulana Yusuf and especially Hazrat Raipuri. Just at the time when they are expected to arrive, a telegram would arrive to tell us of their illness. This would mean that his return is again postponed and delayed for another week or ten days. And it was nothing for them to delay Hazrat Raipuri for up to eight months.

I did not believe that Maulana Yusuf was indeed sick. Having performed my Jumuah salaah I took my lunch and went to lie down with the intention of sleeping. At four o' clock, Talha came to wake me up with the news that a man sent by Sabri Saheb had brought the news that a telephone call was received from Lahore. Maulana Yusuf had passed away!

For death, there is no specific time and for it to occur is not a surprising thing. I got up, made wudoo and went to sit in the madressa masjid. I started performing salaah. As soon as Talha's news reached me, a large crowd started gathering around. I was always terrified of having to answer useless questions like: "What happened?", "What sickness did he have?", "When did it happen?", "Who brought the news?" etc. I resented having to be asked such questions as this time was a very precious time when a person is cut off from this world and joined in communion with Allah. To perform tilawat, zikr and to meditate at such moments is of great value.

The crowd became bigger and the masjid, madressa and the whole street were filling with people. I did not terminate my salaah right up to the takbeer for the commencement of Asr salaah. Then I went home, but by that time the news had already reached there. (May Allah reward all my children very well. May He guide them to all that pleases Him and protect them against all that displeases). They had all become accustomed to a line of action for such times. At such moments, they all get busy with tilawat or tasbeeh. And when anyone arrived they would either put an extra tasbeeh in front of that person or hand over the one in hand and continue mking tasbeeh without it.

From the door, I said in a stuttering voice: "You have all heard of this great bereavement. Remain busy with you good works. I will come to you after Esha. Up to then, remain busy with whatever ibadat you are making."

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