THE AMAZING EXAMPLE OF HAZRAT ALLĀMAH SAYYID SULAIMAN NADWI رحمه الله
Sheikhul Islam Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmāni Sahib حفظه الله has shared the incident of Hazrat Allāmah Sayyid Sulaiman Nadwi Sahib رحمه الله who was a renowned Aalim respected for his knowledge and academic accomplishments. The noble saint has related his story that when he completed the biography of (Sayyiduna) Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم in six volumes, a question had continuously arisen in his heart whether there was any reflection in his own life of the blessed example of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم (whose biography he had compiled). He contemplated as to how he could be a reflection of the prophetic example. For this purpose, he thought of attaching himself to a pious servant of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله. He had learnt of Hakeemul Ummah Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Sahib رحمه الله who helped people in their journey to Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله and he thereafter went to Thana Bhawan (UP; India) and stayed in his company for a few days. At the time of his departure, Hazrat Allāmah Sahib رحمه الله asked Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Sahib رحمه الله for some advice. We need to realise that Hazrat Allāmah Sahib رحمه الله was an ocean of knowledge and an accomplished Aalim; Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Sahib رحمه الله made a duaa unto Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله that He inspire him to say something which could be beneficial to both of them. Thereafter, Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Sahib رحمه الله addressed Hazrat Allāmah Sahib رحمه الله saying: “Self effacement is the first and final panacea in our system of spiritual discipline.”
Hazrat Allāmah Sayyid Sulaiman Nadwi Sahib رحمه الله said that while uttering these words, Hazrat Thaanwi Sahib رحمه الله placed his hand on his chest and brought it down with such a strong force that Hazrat Allāmah Sahib رحمه الله felt something like a shock on his heart.
Ārif Billāh Hazrat Dr Abdul Hayy Sahib رحمه الله has said that after this incident, Hazrat Allāmah Sahib رحمه الله totally annihilated himself to the extent that it is difficult to find another example. Hazrat Dr Abdul Hayy Sahib رحمه الله has personally related that on one occasion, he saw Hazrat Allāmah Sahib رحمه الله straightening the shoes of the visitors who had come to visit Hazrat Thaanwi Sahib رحمه الله. By virtue of his self dedication, Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله adorned him with the bounty of modesty. What was the result? Hazrat Allāmah Sayyid Sulaiman Nadwi Sahib رحمه الله became the fragrance of guidance and Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله had raised him to great spiritual heights.
In this road to Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله, if the trait of vanity remains in the heart, one’s personality will lack refinement. Refinement will only be achieved when the opinions of the Nafs are annihilated and adorned with self dedication. This simply means that an individual should remove from all aspects of his life the spiritual maladies of pride and arrogance; thereafter becoming submissive and intensely aware of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله. This is the road to success. Pride is the greatest hurdle for the Saalik (seeker). Honour and respect is the sole prerogative of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله; He جل جلاله grants honour to those that are humble and disgraces those who are proud.