Volume 1 Letter 124
From: Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Hadith Sahib (May his secret be sanctified)
To: Haji Naseem Sahib Elder of Tabligh and Merchant of Delhi
Date: 6 th Muharram 1389/24 th March 1969
There have been countless instances of disaccord that I have had the occasion to witness since the demise of Hazrat Gangohi (May his secret be sanctified). There have been so many instances that it would be difficult to enumerate them all. Nonetheless, these differences of opinion have been a great source of insight for me. The following are just a few examples:
No.1 Hazrat Gangohi had considerable differences with his spiritual brother Molvi Abd-us-Samee Bid’ati. In response to these he wrote a book entitled Barahin e Qatia wherein he revealed grave opposition to his statements. Nevertheless, once during a visit to Gangoh, Hazrat Gangohi invited him to a meal and went to great lengths for his guest. Subsequently, he even wrote to Hazrat Nanotvi to inform him of his arrival and meal, he also mentioned that they sat for a long time, conversed about various subject matter, but eschewed anything controversial.
No.2 You are all aware of the acute differences between the League and Congress prior to partition. Hazrat Thanvi (May his secret be sanctified) penned in an available publication that whosoever keeps acquaintance with Hazrat Madani should avoid acquaintanceship with me. Notwithstanding, on the occasion of Hazrat Madani’s arrest at Muzaffarnagar Station, who was subject to a ban on entering Delhi, embarked upon flouting the prohibition and was subsequently arrested at Muzaffarnagar and sent to prison. When news of the arrest was received in Hazrat Thanvi’s (May his secret be sanctified) gathering there was sadness, concern and grief throughout the duration of the Zuhr-Asr majlis. He even commented that he had not realised how much affinity he had with Molvi Husain Ahmed Sahib. A member of the gathering suggested that the government had not arrested him wrongfully; rather he wittingly set out to disobey the injunction. Hazrat Thanvi (May his secret be sanctified) responded, “Are you attempting to assuage me with that. Was Hazrat Imam Husain (Radhiallhu-Anhu) summoned by Yazid in order to kill him? He voluntarily set out to face death; notwithstanding, the Muslims through the ages have continued to mourn his martyrdom.” The aforesaid exchange is briefly recorded in Ifadhat Yawmiya. I was informed about the above episode by those present in the gathering and perhaps the excerpt is to be found somewhere here in my jungle.
No.3 In those days the late Moulana Shabbir Ahmed Sahib was a prominent personality in the League, one and all are aware of his unequivocal differences with Hazrat Madani (May his secret be sanctified). Nevertheless, on one occasion upon release from prison Hazrat Madani arrived in Deoband and despite objections from his attendants proceeded foremost to Moulana Shabbir Ahmed’s residence and thereupon to his own abode.
No.4 This useless-one’s residence has always been a hub for people with disparate viewpoints, to quote the late Sayed Ataullah Shah “Kacha Ghar is a crossroads and a platform for dissimilar trains”. Whether they are affiliated to League, Congress, Ihrar or Jam’iyat, despite the explicit differences Kacha Ghar has been lodgings for all our luminaries. On one occasion both Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib and Sheikh-ul-Islam Pakistan resided here over several days, and it was Hazrat Madani’s practice to stay here for an hour or two en route from Deoband.
Once, while I was within the student quarters someone notified me of Hazrat Madani’s arrival at Kacha Ghar, I remember it vividly as you could have knocked me down with a feather. In those days Hazrat Madani and Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib were delivering forceful and confrontational lectures from the pulpit which were daunting to listen to. I immediately rushed from the student quarters to the Old Madrassa where Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib was situated and proceeded to caution him thus, “Hazrat Ji has arrived and is residing at kacha Ghar, kindly make no attempt to come until you are called upon, Hazrat will only stay a few hours, and once Hazrat has finished eating and departed I will invite you to take food”. Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib disregarded my request and replied he would prefer to come immediately. I pressed him to reconsider; he again declined and retorted, “Should the Moulana care to expound on anything I will gladly listen.
Disheartened I made my way to Kacha Ghar and conveyed to Hazrat Madani that Hazrat Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib is also visiting and I have requested him to come here only after your departure. Hazrat Madani replied “Why? Call him now!” Hazrat Madani had not finished speaking when Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib entered. Hazrat Madani stood to welcome him and enunciated, “Abul-Deek when did you arrive?” Even before this period of controversy he would invariably refer to Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib as ‘Abul-Deek’ which is attributable to the bond of friendship between them.
The origins for this relate back to when Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib’s eldest son dearest Molvi Umar Ahmed Uthmani was born and someone gave him a date-specific name, namely ‘Murgh Muhammad’. Upon Hazrat Madani’s (May his secret be sanctified) arrival; in the presence of Moulana Zafar Ahmed, he learned of this name and proclaimed, “I see Abul-Deek is here?” Henceforth he was pronounced as such on occasion that they met. On the day in question, he greeted him with these same words. I hurriedly spread the tablecloth, both luminaries dined and the conversation was most cordial, with no mention of anything controversial.
Following Hazrat Madani’s departure Moulana Zafar Ahmed Sahib exclaimed, “Proffer some sweetmeat!” to which I replied” By all means, though, Hazrat had more right to sweetmeat, having refrained from any sort of reprove.” To that, Moulana replied, “Had Hazrat reproved me I would have listened calmly without replying, by the grace of Allah there is no change in the way I feel about Hazrat, but when it comes to matters of League and Congress we have fundamental differences. I believe congress to be detrimental for Muslims because of the short-sighted Hindus, hence I am obliged to counter it and protect the Muslims.
No.5 Everyone is aware of the disagreements between Hazrat Thanvi and Hazrat Madani (May Allah enlighten their respective resting places) relating to the League and Congress. Within my own treatise Al I’tidaal, which incidentally, was printed during that period, I have elected to briefly recount the episode. I have already discussed Hazrat Thanvi above in No.2; Hazrat Madani would frequently visit Thana Bhavan, and when this worthless-one insolently remarked if Hazrat was fond of being lambasted, Hazrat Madani (May his secret be sanctified) would let out a deep sigh and reply “Providently there are no more luminaries left besides Hazrat. Hazrat Saharanpuri is no longer with us and Hazrat Deobandi too has departed, there is only Hazrat left from our group, anything he says I will gladly give heed to.”
On occasion, Hazrat Madani volunteered his foremost students for Hazrat Thanvi’s service. Accordingly, Moulana Abdul-Bari Sahib Nadvi and Moulana Abdul-Majid Dariabadi were bay’at with Hazrat Madani, yet he presented the forenamed to his service. There are many similar accounts too numerous to relate.
No. 6 I had numerous opportunity to witness the manner in which my father (May Allah enlighten his resting place) and my uncle (May Allah enlighten his resting place) conducted themselves toward oppositionists, they would acquit themselves in a way onlookers would assume them to be friends. My father had a relentless adversary who lived here in the Madrassa; he would interminably look for an opportunity to discredit him. For all that, if perchance he entered when tea or lunch was about to be taken, my father would entertain him most genially. By the grace of Allah, father’s patience took effect and that person was castigated by Hazrat (May his secret be sanctified) and severely so. At the time, this useless-one acted as Hazrat’s scribe, in the course of writing I selflessly petitioned Hazrat on his behalf. Hazrat was well aware of what had previously come to pass, he was somewhat surprised, and asked why I was petitioning him in his stead. With good intention, I replied that it is conceivable that his religious life be ruined as a result of Hazrat’s displeasure. I remember it clearly; I noticed that my solicitation brought a smile to Hazrat’s noble countenance.
No. 7 To my knowledge there are innumerable such incidents relating to our elders. Furthermore, the life of our Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the Companions (May Allah be pleased with them) are replete with such incidents. One must not be too harsh in the treatment of one’s opponent. To show aversion is required by Shari’ Law but being tolerant is also something that we must consider.
Abu Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) relates in Bukhari Shareef that we received some people cordially while our hearts were cursing them, i.e. they despised them on account of their transgression and disobedience, yet behaved amicably in the interest of religious conciliation. Since we are required to act to such a degree with sinners and transgressors, then accordingly, we must aspire to embody a high degree of benevolence, courtesy, and indulgence with our fellow Muslims. Abdullah bin Masood (May Allah be pleased with him) relates in Bukhari Shareef: consort with people but let it not harm your religion. The point being that conciliation is necessary, but without any trace of adulation. Be mindful never to view an irreligious standpoint of an unbeliever as religious or exercise quietude in the face of sin. Conciliation is one thing, adulation another. Kindly keep in mind this distinction.
In view of this, there is a lengthy hadith transmitted by way of Hazrat Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) related in Bukhari Shareef, she recounts how on one occasion a man arrived requesting an audience with the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him). Upon seeking permission, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) granted it, adding that he was a very evil-man. When he entered in the presence of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) he (the Prophet), spoke to him very politely. After he had departed, our Mother Aisha could not keep silent and said “O Prophet of Allah prior to his entrance you said he was an evil man and yet you communed with him in that manner. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “The worst of people are those whom the people leave undisturbed in order to be safe from their vile tongue”.
The rationale behind the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) declaring him to be an evil man was to forewarn the companions. They were not to consider the man a sincere person by the manner in which the Prophet conversed with him and then utter something deemed inappropriate in front of evil men, nor were they to regard him as trustworthy. Therefore, it is correct to alert our close friends and associates as to who is reliable and who is not. However, resorting to derisive language or demeaning anyone is something this sinner does not condone. I hold fast to these principals myself, they were adopted by my elders and I advise my friends thus.
This is letter is not confidential, should you wish to show it to your close friends then unquestionably do so. It is my heartfelt desire for you to show it to all sagacious elders of the varying factions. Who knows perchance the rigidity that is prevalent today may wane.
That is all. Salaam
Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Hadith Sahib
Dictated to Abdur-Raheem
6 th Muharram-ul-Haraam 1389
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