Sacrifices of a True Talib
In this excerpt, there lies a lesson for all those who are seeking knowledge today. The actions of our elders were not mere formalities; rather, their actions were a reflection of the purity of their hearts.
During his student days, my father was deeply engrossed in his studies. Once the doctors warned him about becoming afflicted by blindness through an eye disease (nuzool-e-ab); and that he should read less, especially at night. He says: "Thereafter for quite a few months I read books profusely, with this in mind that my eyes were going away. And whatever there was to look up should be looked up then while i still had them."
My father used to stay in Nizamuddin and used to study in Madressa Hussain Baksh. He says that he used to come to the Madressa in the mornings after Fajr, and in the afternoons, after classes, he went back to Nizamuddin. Thereafter he used to come back after Zuhr and returned after Asr – a total of fourteen miles daily, because each journey was about three and a half miles long...
...In Nizamuddin he stayed in Maulana Yusuf's room on the western side of the masjid. Now the room has been very fine. In those days it was very dilapidated with a very low roof. The door is still where it was in those days, but where today the window of the ladies section is, there used to be a door. Today, where the ladies section is situated, there used to be so many trees that it was difficult to walk there. I have seen it in this condition that there used to be a little canal of dirty water flowing through it with an endless stream of mosquitoes.
This was where my father stayed. My grandfather had two students, who had to fill two lotas with water and bring it to this door leading to the bush at every Azaan time. They would also receive their meals from there. My father says that on finishing his sunnat salaahs, he used to remain in the closed room studying until the time for takbeer. Then he opened and joined the Jamaat. On finishing his salah he again entered the room and performed his sunnats there. He says, "During that time a telegram arrived which told of my proposal of marriage. The people of Nizamuddin sent it back, saying that for quite a few months, I was not there. Perhaps I would be at the home of my father." But this telegram was in fact sent by his father (my grandfather).
My father further said, "Within a period of six months I studied Bukhari, Seerat Ibn Hisham, Tahawy, Hidaya and Fathul Qadeer, so thoroughly that the examiners were surprised. Maulana Khaleel Ahmed examined me in Bukhari, Sheikhul Hind examined me in Tirmizi and Maulana Ahmed Hasan and others did the other kitabs. At the time of eating these Elders were all together. Hazrat Maulana Khaleel Ahmed told my father, "Your son wrote such replies which even some experienced teachers are incapable of giving."