Shaikh Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi (Rahimahullah)
I would like to commence with the discussion of the demise of Hazrat Moulana (Rahimahullah). Hazrat Moulana had an enviable death. He passed away on Friday morning, 31/12/1999, 22 Ramadhaan 1420 A.H. at approximately 11:55 am, whilst reciting Surah Yaseen. He was reciting the Aayah: “Give him the glad-tidings of forgiveness and noble reward.”
The Hadith states “You will die upon the way you lived and you will be raised upon the way you died.” The death of a person often enables one to gauge the status of the person. Just imagine! He will rise up reciting Surah Yaseen!
Hazrat had many Ma'moolaat (daily practices). However, towards the end of his life he used to recite Surah Yaseen approximately 13 times daily. What comes to mind is that Surah Yaseen is the heart of the Quran and to link the heart of the body to the heart of the Quran, Surah Yaseen was recited excessively by Hazrat (Rahimahullah). Allah knows best.
Since I have been asked to speak about the specific topic of the factors for Hazrat's (Rahimahullah) Qubuliyyat (universal acclaim and acceptance), I briefly enumerate some of the factors of Qubuliyyat of Hazrat Moulana (Rahimahullah).
Factor 1: Tarbiyat of his mother and his elder brother. His respected mother, who had brought him up after his father's demise, did not compromise on 2 things: Salah and respect for everyone. This removed all vestiges of pride from his heart.
His elder brother Dr. Abdul Ali Sahib (Rahimahullah) also placed special emphasis on 2 things: Salah with Jamaat and he personally selected the Kitaabs which Hazrat would read and study.
Companionship of the Righteous
Factor 2: Suhbat of the Awliyaa. Hazrat spent time in the company of many senior Mashaaikh of his era. Amongst these Mashaaikh are Hazrat Moulana Ahmad Ali Lahori (Rahimahullah) from whom Hazrat received Khilafah. Hazrat Moulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri (Rahimahullah) from whom he also received Khilafah. He also had a very close bond with Hazrat Shaikh Zakariyya (Rahimahullah), Hazrat Moulana Ilyaas (Rahimahullah), Hazrat Shaikh Yaqoob Bhopali (Rahimahullah) and other elders. Later on he sat in the company of Shah Abrarul Haqq (Rahimahullah), Hazrat Moulana Ahmed Muhammad (Rahimahullah) and others.
He would actively make Mashwarah with these Ulama. He did not do anything major without Mashwarah of the elders. Moulana also had a very good Ta'alluq with the Arab Ulama which was the main gateway for the work of Tableegh entering Hijaaz in the initial days of the work.
Asceticism & Shunning the World
Factor 3: Istighna. Hazrat refused a gift of 40 gold coins from a very prominent Arab Aalim – Shaikh Aal Shaikh (Rahimahullah). He only took one coin so as to please him. The Arabs were impressed with this independence & austerity. Shaikh Yusuf Alqardawi has also spoken very highly of Hazrat regarding this aspect of istighnaa and zuhd in his life. Hazrat also spurned a very lucrative offer of teaching in a Syrian university. He distributed thousands of dinars and riyals which he received in awards to charity and Madrasahs around the world.
Factor 4: Tawadhu'. When Hazrat Moulana Manzoor Numaani (Rahimahullah) passed away, Hazrat in his address at the Ta'ziyati Jalsa commenced his talk by saying that Hazrat Moulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri (Rahimahullah) used to say, “If Allah had to ask me what I have brought, I will reply that I have brought two people. One is Moulana Manzoor Numaani.” Hazrat then continued with the talk without mentioning that the 2nd person was himself. This is just one example of his deep humility.
Factor 5: Zuhd. His food was very simple and little in quantity. Arab Scholars who visited him said that the food would not have sufficed for one person, yet the entire household ate from it. He also disliked staying in hotels during his travels, preferring to stay with relatives or acquaintances.
Factor 6: Prolific Writer. Hazrat wrote many books that achieved universal acclaim. Amongst them is Ta'reekh-e- Da'wat-o-Azeemat (Saviours of the Islamic Spirit). In this book, he illustrates how great personalities transformed nations and brought them closer to Deen.
Hazrat himself was a personification of this. It is as if he was a living example of what was written in his own book. Allah used him to infuse a new spirit in the Arabs. There is now a growing Islamic awakening in the Arab world as result of his efforts and his writings.
Wisdom and Pragmatism
Factor 7: Hazrat Moulana was a man who was endowed with deep wisdom and a pragmatic approach to solving the problems of the Ummah. He espoused the principle of combining ‘Qadeeme-Salih’ and ‘Jadeede-Nafi’ - “The best of the past and the beneficial of the present.” This is a universal principle of deep wisdom which if applied, yields maximum benefit. Also apply another advice of Hazrat Moulana – “Khuz ma Safaa wa Da' ma Kadur” (Take the good and leave the bad).
In conclusion, there is a message from Moulana to the Ulama and students of Deen of the imminent arrival of Allah's help, Insha Allah. There will be a manifestation of Suratun Nasr and other Aayaat of glad tidings of the rapid spread of Islam which will soon come, so prepare well for this. It is imperative for the young Ulama to acquire mastery and proficiency in Arabic, link themselves to the Akaabir for Tazkiyatun-Nafs and to gain Rusookh-fil-Ilm. The benefit of this will be that the world will fall at their feet. Therefore the young Ulama should read Hazrat’s works, ponder on his message and mission and prepare themselves accordingly for their dynamic role of serving Allah’s Deen and humanity in general.
May Allah grant us all the ability to follow these advices from Hazrat's (Rahimahullah) life and accept us for His Deen.
This is a transcription of a talk delivered by Mufti Zubair Bayat at Madrasa Taleemudeen, Isipingo Beach, Durban on Saturday, 14 January 2012 to a gathering of graduates of that institute and to Ulama in general.