Our Fruitful Forefathers
أَ لْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَكَفَى وَ سَلاَمٌ عَلَى عِبَا دِ هِ الَّذِ يْنَ ا صْطَفَى اَ مَّا بَعْدُ فَاَ عُوُذُ بِا للّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَا نِ الرَّ جِيْم،
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ اللرَّ حمآنِ الرَّ حِيْم،
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ ْ
“One of the things that really surprises me even to this day is how the people of Allah, the Ahlullah, those people who are close to Allah Ta’ala and have a connection with Allah Ta’ala, how they’re able to make whatever is in their heart transitive. In other words, how are they able to make that transfer occur? This is one of the unique things regarding them and Rasulullah (S). The only issue that comes in between is that it’s not a one-way street. There has to be a two-sided mutual agreement or effort, to come up with that result. So in one ayah, Allah Ta’ala tells the believers to adopt taqwa, and the way to that is, as Allah Ta’ala says right after, be with those who are righteous or truthful in their taqwa. On the other hand, Allah tells Nabi (S) “wasbir nafsaka ma’aldhina yuridoona wajhahu” that cling yourself with those people, or be patient with those people who remember Allah Ta’ala morning and evening. Their job is basically, they’re mureeds; they desire and have the goal to attain Allah (SWT). Nabi (S) then got up when this ayah was revealed and came out of his house, and went to the masjid. He saw a group of Sahaba sitting down and asked them what they were doing. They said that they were making zikr of Allah Ta’ala. So the Prophet (S) asked them how they were doing it, so one said they were speaking about the greatness of Allah, the other one said they’re speaking of this and that, another one said they’re actually making zikr, etc. So Nabi (S) sat down with them and told them that he was commanded by Allah Ta’ala to sit in their company. So like I said, it’s a two way street in order for that effect to be transitive, it has to come from both sides.
SubhanaAllah, it’s just amazing how sometimes we put ourselves in a complex of that of inferiority or get influenced by others that our shaykh’s don’t know anything. So number one, we need to understand where we come from. If you don’t know where you come from, then you’re like an orphan. If you’ve seen an orphan, they’re just lost. Their whole lives are just lost and it becomes a journey of seeking something out which they can never attain because it wasn’t decreed for them. They try to get a sense of belonging and they fail because they don’t have parents unfortunately. Alhamdulillah, Allah has not left us “yateem” and has given us parents, relatives, those people to look after, etc. So Allah Ta’ala has basically given us somebody to make sure we don’t falter. And if you do falter, then they’re always there to pick you up. This is what I’ve seen happen time and again with my own Shaykh and my own life. Anytime I have fallen in a ditch or anytime anything bad has happened, then there are always people that Allah Ta’ala had given me for a means of upliftment, whether morally, emotionally, spiritually, or even physically. They’ve always been there to help me out. The only thing is that since obviously these people are not God, they don’t know everything that goes on. So number one, they need to be informed.
Like I was saying, we don’t know where we come from. We come from a legacy of such masha’ikh that its amazing. I was listening to a live majlis from Karachi this morning, and someone was speaking about my shaykh (DB) and were saying a poem that was written about my Shaykh (DB). The title of that poem was that “Even in Karachi, there’s a Thana Bawan.” Thana Bawan was actually Mawlana Thanwi (RA)’s and his shaykh’s center for his Khanqah. People would go there and spend numerous amounts of days and even months for self-rectification. One of Mawlana Thanwi’s mureeds, Nawab Qaysar (DB), is one of the few living disciples of Mawlana Thanwi living today. When Mawlana Thanwi passed away, his wife was distributing his heirlooms to other people. So Nawab Qaysar (DB) took the woolen socks of his Shaykh and just imagine the love he had for his shaykh. He took those socks and had his wife take them apart. He had her make a topi out of it in the design that Mawlana Thanwi would wear his topis, and would wear that. Anyway, so Nawab Qaysar, when he would visit the khanqah of my Shaykh, he would naturally get this feeling and made the comment that “even in Karachi there’s a Thana Bawan.” In fact, the Shaykh of my Shaykh, Maulana Abrar-ul-Haq (RA) used to say that whenever he comes to Karachi, he always remembers the atmosphere of the Thana Bawan in India. So this is the shaykh praising the mureed’s khanqah. This is just an example of who my shaykh is. Beyond that, Maulana Abrul Haq (RA), Maulana Shah Abdul Ghani Phulpuri (RA), and even Maulana Mohammed Ahmed (RA), are the three sources from where my Shaykh derived his learning and teaching from. Just a little bit about them.
Maulana Mohammed Ahmed (RA) was a big shaykh in the Naqshbandi Silsila. Maulana Abdul Ghani Phulpuri (RA) was actually offered the dean of faculty for Darul ‘Uloom Deoband, but later declined for his own various reasons. Nonetheless, he was a man with such knowledge that he would be offered that. On end, his routine would be that he wouldn’t eat breakfast and only lunch. From three in the morning, he would make du’a and pray tahajjud until Fajr. Then after Fajr, he would go for a walk for a little while, and then continue reading Quran till zuhr, and then teach. My shaykh (DB) spent 15 plus years of his youth with Maulana Shah Ghani Phulpuri (RA), who was 50 plus years older than my shaykh. So this is where we come from. It’s not something to be ashamed of, but something to be proud of. Very few people on earth ever achieved anything of that sort. You ask any of these masha’ikh that roam around here, none of them can say that “my shaykh has spent 15 years plus directly in the suhbat of their shaykh.”
Beyond that, Maulana Abrarul Haq (RA) was the student in hadeeth of Maulana Zakariyya (RA). Maulana Zakariyya (RA) would say about him that he has recognized that this man is a wali at the age of 18 (referring to Maulana Abrarul Haq). On his vacation, Maulana Abrarul Haq wouldn’t go home; rather he would go spend time with Mawlana Thanwi who was his shaykh. Before he actually graduated, Mawlana Thanwi gave him khilafat and he was the youngest khalifah of Mawlana Thanwi. In fact, the age difference between him and my shaykh was about 5-7 years. Nonetheless, my shaykh took him on as his own shaykh when his first shaykh passed away. Maulana Abrarul Haq (RA) was given the title by ‘Ulema all around as “Muhiyus-Sunnah”, the reviver of the Sunnah. In fact, one ‘alim from dusebury England, emailed me just the other day and told me how he remembered when Maulana Abrarul Haq (RA) was coming to the masjid, not only did the students do the work to clean up and make it nice, but also the teachers so that everyone would be perfect. Then when Maulana Abrarul Haq came to the masjid, he opened the door and took a step inside very slowly with his right foot, and said “Bismillahi, as-salatu wa-salamu ‘ala rasullullahi, allahumma-ftahli abwaabu rahmatika” and then entered. He then turned around and said to the people that this is the sunnah method of entering the masjid. Even at that time when people were welcoming him, he was stern and strict in following the Sunnah and that’s how he lived his life. He could not tolerate any disrespect to the sunnah of Rasulullah (S) or the Quran. In fact he had so much respect for the Quran that the hifz classes I was in, were better than the classes of the ‘ulema. At the end, our Shaykh would say that he learned from his shaykh Maulana Abrarul Haq that what people do in the ‘alim course, is to understand what the little kids do in the hifz class. So that’s the original and every branch goes back to it’s original roots.
Then the master of masters, Hakeem-ul-Ummat, Mujaddid-ul-Millat, the reviver of his time, Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Nawarallahu Marqadahu); may Allah Ta’ala illuminate his grave with noor. There aren’t enough words to describe this man. This man had an expertise in every aspect of deen, fiqh, hadeeth, tazkiya, you name it. In fact his very simple book, “Bahishti Zewar” has every aspect of deen, and since it was catered to women, there are recipes on how to make food and instructions on how to sow as well. There is everything in there to make a female live a blissful life. Not only that, but the book also has fiqh matters In fact there was a person whose job was to sell achaar, but every night he would read 10 pages of the book and once he finished, he would read it again. So at gatherings where people would think they’re ‘ulama, this man would interject and say what the true way is for certain things. This ended up developing further and further that people would refer to him even though he wasn’t a scholar, and would later get the title as Mufti achaar. I mean it would be sufficient for us to say that we have some spiritual connection with Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (NM). Beyond that, one of the coolest things is that the shaykh of Mawlana Thanwi (RA), Haji Imdadullah (RA) had ijazah in all 4 silsilas. This is just a simple background of where we come from and this is something to have fakhr about. All of you should be proud that you are connected to these Akaabir one way or the other and hopefully through their blessings, Allah Ta’ala can transfer whatever was in their hearts into our hearts.
We pray that Allah Ta’ala grant you and me the tawfeeq InshaAllah to gain whatever quality and quantity of ihsaan we can and to benefit from there ‘uloom and their knowledge and their barakaat, so that whatever they had could be instilled in our lives as well.
وَ آ خِرُدَعْوَا نَا اَنِ الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ربِّ الْعَا لَميْن