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Tazkirah Muslihul Ummaat

Tazkirah Muslihul Ummaat 848x1229
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Muhaddith-e-Jalīl Abul Ma’āthir Hadrat Maulānā
Habīb ar-Rahmān Sāhib A‛zamī
The time which I spent in Khānqāh Imdādīyyah
Thānabhawan were extremely joyous and blessed
moments of my life. The first good fortune of presenting
myself there was at the time when I was a student at
Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband. It was most probably during the
Dhul Hijjah holidays of 1337 A.H. when I went there to
meet Hadrat Thānwī quddisa sirruhu. It was my good
fortune that I also acquired the honour of bay‛ah
(pledging allegiance) to him. Hadrat Maulānā Fatahpūrī
Sāhib [about whom this biography is written] and
Khwājah Sāhib (Majdhūb Takhallus) were people whom
I had known since before, and they were present in the
khānqāh at the time. Maulānā Fatahpūrī was instructed
to sit behind Hadrat Thānwī’s sitting place, to the right
of a small room. While seated there, he used to pen
down Hadrat’s statements.
I had the opportunity of observing Maulānā Fatahpūrī
for several days, meeting with him, and conversing with
him in our rooms. At the entrance of the khānqāh was a
tea shop. We had the occasion of meeting there after the
‛asr salāh, drinking tea and speaking to each other. I
had the honour of pledging bay‛ah to Hadrat Thānwī
after maghrib salāh on one of the nights of my stay
there. I think it was after the ‛asr salāh of the next day
that Hadrat Maulānā Fatahpūrī said to Khwājah Sāhib:
Khwājah Sāhib! We ought to get some
sweetmeats from Maulwī Habīb ar-Rahmān
Sāhib because Hadrat [Thānwī] accepted his
bay‛ah while he is still a student. Hadrat does
not normally do this. It is peculiar to him.
- 21 -
After this short period of meeting Maulānā Fatahpūrī
and being in his company, I did not get a similar
opportunity for several years. After many years, Hadrat
Fatahpūrī spent the month of Ramadān in the house of
Maulwī Habībullāh Sāhib, who was a teacher of Persian
in the Government School of Allāhābād and a khalīfah of
Hadrat Thānwī rahimahullāh. Maulwī Habībullāh’s
house was situated in Kiyārī Taulā, Mau, and Hadrat
Fatahpūrī performed the tarāwīh salāh for the entire
month in a nearby musjid.
Hadrat Fatahpūrī had not yet started a programme of
rectification at one particular place. To a large extent, it
was still a time of anonymity for him. At the time, he
used to conduct two lengthy assemblies daily. In
addition to Maulwī Habībullāh Sāhib and myself, these
assemblies were attended by Maulwī Faydul Hasan
Marhūm, and occasionally by Maulwī Wasīy Ahmad
Mau’ī Marhūm. I think this programme was held the
following year as well. During these occasions, I had the
opportunity of observing Hadrat Fatahpūrī’s practices
(ma‛mūlāt) and listening to his words from very close
and for many days.
Later on, Hadrat constructed a khānqāh in Fatahpūr,
and commenced the work of rectification of the ummah
with full determination and courage. Many of my
students and those who used to visit me frequently
began entering his circle, became his murīds, and began
going to Fatahpūr regularly. Hadrat appointed Hakīm
Habībullāh Marhūm and Hājī Sirājud Dīn Marhūm to
bring me with them to Fatahpūr. Hadrat went to pains
in levelling the road, and on my return, seated me on a
cycle (rickshaw) and instructed some people to hold the
cycle and walk on foot until I reach the spot where the
horse carriage was waiting. I think I spent one day and
night in Fatahpūr.
- 22 -
Then there came a time when Hadrat decided to confer
special honour to Mau. He would leave Allāhābād and
spend several days in Mau. I was teaching in Miftāhul
‛Ulūm Mau at the time. Hadrat would occasionally stay
at the house of Hājī Khalīl (whom people referred to as
Bābā Khālīl). But most of the time, he would stay in the
house of Fasīhullāh who was a son of Hājī ‛Abdur Rabb.
Hadrat would bless people with bay‛ah and
companionship, and would also deliver talks in the
Jāmi‛ Musjid.
I think it was during this time when Hadrat instructed
Hājī ‛Abdur Rabb and Hājī Khalīl to bring me to
Allāhābād in Hājī Sāhib’s vehicle. In addition to this,
Hadrat would occasionally call me to Allāhābād and
sometimes to Utrā’ū. Depending on whatever time was
available to me, I would remain in Hadrat’s company as
his guest.
I observed Hadrat’s character, habits and practices, and
participated fully in his assemblies and lessons. Hadrat
also took me to Bhimraulī on one occasion. I had the
honour of remaining with him for several days. I saw
him a lot under different situations. He would instruct
me to sit on the same platform on which he was seated
when delivering his talk. When he used to go on
leisurely rides on a rickshaw in Allāhābād and Mau, he
would ask me to accompany him. I used to correspond
with him, and Hadrat too would commence by writing to
me or dictating letters to me. He would use me as an
intermediary to subtly direct erudite scholars towards
rectification of the self. He would ask me to read special
texts from certain books.
In short, I closely studied Hadrat during different eras,
in different places, in privacy and public, while on a
journey and when at home, when travelling by train and
ship, in the musjid and the madrasah, in his
assemblies, and in his programmes of rectification and
- 23 -
training. I testify that Hadrat had a lot of pain and
feeling in his heart for Islam and the Muslims.
He had the quality of being very affectionate towards
friends, and polite towards enemies. He was very
concerned about the rectification of the ‛ulamā’ and
madāris. He followed Hadrat Thānwī rahimahullāh at
every step of the way, and was from among his most
senior khulafā’. He enjoyed a distinguished position in
knowledge, cognition, asceticism, abstention, dhikr wa
shughl (remembrance of Allāh ta‛ālā and other spiritual
practices), rectification and training, emulating the
Sunnah, respect for the Sharī‛ah, and piety and
devoutness. He surpassed many of his contemporaries
in this regard.
By writing this biography, my respected Maulānā
Qamaruz Zamān sallamahullāh has fulfilled an
obligation which had been resting on my shoulders and
the shoulders of ‛Alī Miyā [Maulānā Abul Hasan ‛Alī
Nadwī] and Maulānā Manzūr Nu‛mānī. May Allāh ta‛ālā
reward him with the best of rewards.
It is best that he [Maulānā Qamaruz Zamān] wrote this
biography because he has been trained and tutored by
Hadrat, he remained in his company by day and night,
he studied under him, pledged bay‛ah at his hands, and
benefited for many years from his internal and external
He is not writing this biography as a narrator, but a
witness and testimony to his life. He is relating an eyewitness
account, not a story.
This is all that comes to my mind. All praise is due to
Allāh ta‛ālā in the beginning and the end.
Habīb ar-Rahmān al-A‛zamī
5th Rabī‛ ath-Thānī 1403 A.H.
- 24 -
Family and Birth
His family belonged to Muslim Rāputs. He was born in
1312 A.H./1895 in Fatahpūr Tālnarjā, district Mau. His
respected father’s name was Muhammad Ya‛qūb Khān
who was a hāfiz of the Qur’ān and a respectable man in
the community. His mother too was a very pious
woman. May Allāh ta‛ālā be pleased with them.
His initial education commenced in the maktab (primary
madrasah) of his village. And the honour of memorizing
the Qur’ān was under the tutelage of Hāfiz Walī
Muhammad Sāhib (who was a pious man in line with
his name. Walī means a close friend of Allāh ta‛ālā). On
seeing the capabilities of his righteous student, Hāfiz
Walī Muhammad Sāhib advised him: “Look, my son! You
must go and study Arabic.” With this in mind, Hadrat
proceeded to Kānpūr with Maulānā Muhammad
‛Uthmān Sāhib Fatahpūrī, and commenced his early
studies there.
Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband
He then proceeded to Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband in 1328
A.H. with the same Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad
‛Uthmān Sāhib, and took admission there. He completed
the Daurah Hadīth (the final year of the ‛ālim course) in
1336 A.H. and studied Bukhārī Sharīf under the
distinguished Hadīth scholar, Hadrat Maulānā Anwar
Shāh Kashmīrī rahimahullāh. There were other senior
‛ulamā’ who were from among his teachers. For
example, Maulānā Sayyid Asghar Husayn Sāhib
Deobandī, Hadrat Maulānā Muftī ‛Azīz ar-Rahmān Sāhib