Aap Beti

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

Friday, August 01, 2008

Respecting our Teachers

The hadeeth kitabs which were taught in the madressa by other teachers were always accompanied by long lectures. Whenever I saw these lectures being held, my mouth used to water to attend. I sought my father's permission to be allowed to listen to these lessons held by someone else, but he always refused permission most emphatically and every time he used to say:

"You are unmannered. You only repsect me because of the shoes with which I beat you and you honour Hazrat [ie. Hazrat Khalid Mahmood Saharanpuri رحمة الله عليه] by heart."

This is reference to a specific incident to which he referred to on many occasions saying: "You do not even go on to the roof of Hazrat's house (out of respect for him) but you are prepared to climb on my head."

The story is this: My father's room was the western-most room of the library, which is now included into the library. The outside area of it was empty (as already mentioned in connection with the reading of Sharah Tahzeeb). When one wished to come along the stairs to my father's room, one had to walk over the roof of Hazrat's room. To come to his room instead of crossing over Hazrat's roof I climbed over the wall alongside his roof. Actually this was done for show because I am not even in possession of good manners upto this day. This is the reason why my fahter said: "You are unmannered. If you should act unmannerly to a falsafa or mantiq teacher, that knowledge will leave you and it will be a calamity for me. But if you should act unmannerly to any hadeeth teacher, this will be completely unbearable and unacceptable to me because you will then be deprived of the blessings of hadeeth."

In this he was right. I have not been able to show due respect to my Ustads and in spite of my ill-manners, my Ustads have treated me with great love, sympathy and goodwill. May Allah grant them all high ranks. Except for Hazrat Saheb, all the rest of my teachers treated me as an equal as if I was their contemporary or class-mate.

A most pertinent talk on this topic can also be found on the Sacredlearning website [see links] titled 'Debt to our Teachers'.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assalamalaykum. Did you know: Aap Beti Volume 6 has recently been published in South Africa (I think by Khanqa Shaykh Muhammed Zakariyya) and is available to buy!

Here is a short extract:

Hazrat Ali, Radhiallahu Anhu, said: “I am a slave of him who has taught me one single letter. If he so wishes he may sell me or keep me as his slave.”

Allaamah Zarnooji writes in 'Taleemul Muta-allim': “I see the students and how they have not benefited by knowledge; the reason for this is the fact that they do not observe the rules pertaining to acquiring knowledge. Hence they are deprived.”

In this regard, he wrote a special chapter explaining the need for honouring one's ustads. He writes: “A student will never be able to acquire beneficial knowledge until such time that he shows respect to knowledge, the Ulama and his teachers. Whoever attained anything did so out of respectful behaviour towards them. And whosoever fell by the wayside, did so because of disrespect. The is the reason why a person does not become `kaafir' through sins, but does become ‘kaafir’ through showing disrespect to any part of the deen.”

Says the poet:

”From Allah we seek the taufeeq of proper adab. For the disrespectful one is deprived of Allah's grace. Indeed respect is a mighty, Divine-given crown. Wear it on your head and roam where you wish.”

Furthermore the saying is well known:

“He who has respect in him is fortunate. And he [who is] devoid of respect is one of the unfortunate.”

Imaam Sadruddin Shirazi writes: “I have heard the Shaikhs saying, ‘Whosoever desires that his son should become an aalim, should honour and respect the Ulama well, and serve them well. And if his son does not become an aalim, his grandson will!”

Irrraam Shamsuddin Halwani's story is quite well known. He once went to a certain village for some work. All his students who were living there came forward to meet him, except Qazi Abu Bakr, who could not come. Later, when they did meet, the ustad asked him [the reason].In reply he explained that he had to do something for his mother. The Shaikh replied: “You will be supplied with adequate provisions, but you will not be blessed with splendour in your teaching circles.” And so it happened.

Is generally known that service to parents brings blessings in rizq and service to ustads brings progress in knowledge.

I have, in my own experience, seen that even the English students who had been beaten up by their teachers, made much progress Inter on and finally obtained prominent positions. The goals for which they studied were attained. But then I have seen those who disrespected their teachers, even if they had managed somehow to obtain their degrees, have had to roam around looking for recommendations. And then, when they did manage to obtain employment, they remained in problems.

Anyway, no matter what kind of knowledge it may be, one cannot derive benefit from it unless one honours and shows respect to the teachers of it.

In 'Kitaab Adabul Deen wad Dunya' it is written: “It is necessary for a student to become humble and subservient to his ustad. If he chooses this line of action, he will reap benefit and if he does not, he will become deprived.”

Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, is reported to have said: “Except for a student, it is not allowed for a believer to act flatteringly to anyone.”

Hazrat Ibn Abbas, Radhiallahu Anhu, says: “At the time of seeking knowledge, I became humble. That is why at the time of having attained it, I became honoured.”

Some wise men are reported to have said: “Whosoever does not bear the humiliation attached to seeking knowledge, will always remain in the humiliation of ignorance.” - AI-Itidaal, p. 38.

At another place in `AI-Itidaal' it is written that Imaam Ghazali had said that there are many requirements for a student, but among them are ten very important ones. One of them is this: Not to allow yourself to become involved with other things. Go far away from your home and family to seek knowledge, so that domestic affairs do not take up your attention, because relationships always cause one to deviate.”

Allah Ta'ala says:

"Allah has not made any man with two hearts in his breast.... "

There is another famous saying: "Knowledge does not give you a part of itself, until such time that you give your whole self to it."

The heart which is busy with various things at one time is like that of the water channels of a field which are not arranged in an orderly fashion. The water will flow in all directions with some parts being so dry that the wind will take away the topsoil. - AI-Itidaal, p. 42.

I have heard a short story many times from my father during my childhood days: A certain married person with family responsibilities started to study the Arabic-deeni course. However he was greatly troubled by the needs and demands of the family, with the result he could not concentrate on his lessons properly. Hence in his great enthusiasm to acquire knowledge, he left home and traveled far afield to pursue his studies.

Initially his family did not know where he was, but soon they obtained his address and the letters, demands and requests started coming in. He read a few of them wherein he was told of their extreme difficulties, their demand that he come back, etc. This upset him deeply. He then picked up a broken clay pot from the bathroom and brought it to his room. Thereafter every letter which arrived was placed inside the pot without being read. This lasted for eight years.

When he finished his studies he turned the clay-pot upside down and started reading the letters one by one in proper sequence as they had arrived. Some informed him of the illness of his child, how the child longed for him, some told of his wife's illness, his wife's death, his mother's death, his father's death. When he saw that all his near relatives had passed away, he thought to himself: "What am I going to go and do there now? There is nothing to return to now!"

Finally he remained there and started teaching. From a shari'at and Fiqh point of view the Ulama will have much to say about the correctness of his action or otherwise. But this spirit is the type of requirement needed for attaining success.

[Aap-Beti – Autobiography of Shaikhul Hadith Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (Rahmatullah Alayhi) Vol. 6. Pages 60-63]

Now there is one final volume remaining to be published inshaAllah.

11:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please keep updating!!

1:27 pm  
Blogger seeker of spiritual progress said...

please make dua Allah puts barakah in my time

6:53 am  
Blogger dying2die4islam said...

Assalam Alaikum

Allah u akbar kabeerah - May Allah SWT teach us all to respect our teachers I myself a very ruthless student, who happened to visit madaaris via the personal recommendation of HAzrat Wala Damat barakatuhum's family, and I go there and all the Ustads treat me as though i am their peers but Allah alone knows i don't even have the knowledge of their nail tip and Ustad of Hadeeth actually fed me with his hands and I just sat at his feet and i can never respect them the way they should be. Allah SWT teach me the right way to do so.. Allahumma aameeen

9:27 pm  

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