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

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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