Sunday, December 24, 2006

A little faith

There was a professor of philosophy who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn't exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him.
Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever really gone against him because of his reputation. At the end of every semester on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!"

In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, "Because anyone who believes in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can't do it."

And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students would do nothing but stop and stare. Most of the students thought that God couldn't exist. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago there was a freshman that happened to enrol. He was a Muslim, and had heard the stories about his professor. He was required to take the class for his major, and he was afraid. But for three months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said, or what the class thought. Nothing they said could ever shatter his faith...he hoped. Finally, the day came. The professor said, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!" The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, "You FOOL!!! If God existed, he would keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it
hit the ground!"

He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken. The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man, and then ran out of the lecture hall. The young man, who had stood, proceeded to walk to the front of the room and shared his faith in Islam for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of Allah's love for them and to be the followers of our beloved prophet Mohammed (pbuh).

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dentist Appointment

A few weeks ago I had an appointment with the dentist for a routine check up. The check up revealed that a tooth of mine needed extensive work doing on it or have it extracted. Faced with a tough decision, my immediate reaction was to avoid having the tooth removed in order to:
1, avoid the pain and
2, keep as many of my teeth for as long as possible.

Having had time to think about the choices before coming to a decision, I soon concluded that it was better to have the tooth removed and forego the perceived short term benefit, of keeping the tooth, in exchange for the longer term advantage of not having infections and complications develop with the passage of time.

Upon consideration of the above incident we find that our lives are somewhat reflected by the above experience. We tend to become engrossed in this dunyah which is only short term and lose sight of the long term, which is the life of the hereafter. In our conduct, actions and activities we incline to carry them out based on temporary and worldly benefits and forget to even consider the religious long term impact that they may have.

A Muslim should keep his gaze fixed on the akhirah and pass by some of the luxuries of this dunyah in anticipation and hope of pleasing Allah and achieving the end reward, Jannah. Indeed there are those who have indulged in what has been forbidden for them in this dunyah and the Shariah has clearly laid out the repercussions of such behaviour and acts. Many a times these forbidden acts may even seem alluring but the Muslim will acknowledge the genuine danger this poses to him/ her and will take precautions to avoid them in order to please Allah.

May Allah Almighty grant, firstly, me and the readers to take lessons and act upon the above, ameen.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Shaykh Haji Imdadullah Makki

Shaykh Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi)
[1233 – 1317 AH] (1814 – 1896 AD)

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was such a great personality that the title given to him by his contemporary Ulama was “Sheikhul Mashaikh” which means the leader of leaders.

His personality was well respected by the Ulama of the sub continent India and Pakistan and also by the Arab Ulama. That is why his title was also Sheikhul Arab wa Ajam (the leader of the Arabs and non-Arabs).

Haji Sahib’s background and education
Haji Imdadullah Muhaajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was born in 1233 AH (1814 AD) in Nanota, a town in the district of Saharanpur, India U.P. He father was Hafiz Muhammad Amin (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) and by lineage and ancestral background, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was a Farooqi, a descendent of Hadhrat Umar Farooq (Radiyallahu anhu).
When he was born, his father Hafiz Muhammad Amin (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) kept his son’s name Imdad Hussein. When the famous Muhaddith, Shah Muhammad Ishaaq Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) heard this name, he didn’t like it and he changed the name to Imdadullah. Imdad Hussein means the assistance of Hussein. All assistance comes from Allah. So there was a form of shirk in this name.

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) also used to attribute the name Khuda Bakhsh to himself. Some say his name was Imdadullah and others say his name was Khuda Bakhsh (gifted by Allah). Both names are close in meaning. In some places Haji Sahib calls himself Abdul Kareem (the slave of Kareem).

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) had three brothers and one sister. He grew up without motherly care as his mother passed away when he was seven years old. Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) started his education very early but he acquired very little education.

When Haji Sahib was 16 years of age, he studied Sarf, Nahw, Farsi and one quarter of Mishkaat Shareef by Maulana Mamlook Ali Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) of Delhi. Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki didn’t study Bukhari and the other books of Sihah Sitta, but Allah Ta’ala blessed Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) with Ilm Ladunni. One is that knowledge that a person acquires. He studies different subjects and books. Another form of knowledge is from Allah Ta’ala without studying.

When Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) would talk to the Ulama, he would resolve such intricate issues with the insight that Allah Ta’ala had given him. However, he would not use the Istilaahi language (academic terminologies). This is Ilm La Dunni.

When he was 18 years of age he took bayat upon the hands of Maulana Naseeruddin Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) who was the student and son-in-law of Shah Ishaaq Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). When Maulana Naseeruddin Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) passed away, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was looking for another person to give him guidance and advice in life.

This is where we learn of the famous Sheikh and the spiritual guide, Hadhrat Maulana Mayanji Noor Muhammad (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). Haji Sahib took bayat on his hands. At the age of 28, Haji Imdadullah (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) performed Hajj. When he returned after Hajj, his heart and mind remained attached to the Haram Shareef. He had a burning desire to return to Makkah Mukarramah. When he returned from Hajj, he made a firm intention that one day he will make Hijrah and go back to Makkah Mukarramah.

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) came back to his town in a place near Thanabawan. Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), and other great Ulama used to frequent Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) and they had taken Bayat on his hands.

Generally when one hears of these Ulama, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), one would think that these were great saints just sitting in the corner of a Musjid. That was not the case. These were personalities that had complete E’tidal (moderation) in their life.

Hardships whilst in Makkah Mukarramah
When he reached Makkah Mukarramah he had much difficulty. For nine days he had no food at all. He only lived on Zamzam water. He became extremely weak. When it was the tenth day he requested help from people he knew but no one assisted him until one person came and gave him 100 riyals. From that month on, every month of his life, he used to get 100 riyals. He never suffered after that for his needs. Allah arranges for his pious slaves in strange ways.

There is an incident of four Mohammads who were experts in Hadith and Tafseer; Muhammad ibn Jareer Tabri, Mohammad ibn Haroon, Mohammad ibn Nasaf and Mohammad ibn Ishaaq. These four Mohammads were traveling and became stranded. They conducted a raffle among themselves for the person who will be responsible to arrange for food. The name of Mohammad ibn Ishaaq came out.

Mohammad ibn Ishaaq never spread his hands before anybody. So he engaged himself in salaah. Suddenly, one person tapped at the door and he asked for Mohammad ibn Jareer. The person then presented fifty riyals for him on behalf of the governor of Egypt. He took the name of Mohammad ibn Haroon and presented fifty riyals for him. He gave Mohammad ibn Nasaf Zafar fifty riyals. He also gave Mohammad ibn Ishaaq fifty riyals. Then he said that the governor of Egypt was sleeping and in his sleep he was ordered to assist four Mohammads that are stranded.

Haji Imdadullah (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was also stranded. He says that he knew that this was a test from the side of Allah. If you love the Haram Shareef, you have to undergo difficulties and hardships, so you pay the price to be there. Haji Sahib became very popular in the Arab world.

There were approximately 500 or more Ulama who have taken bayat upon the hands of Haji Imdadullah Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). Not one Alim, 10 Alims or 100 but 500 Ulama. When we look at the lives of the Akaabir we don’t find so many Ulama who have taken bayat upon somebody who outwardly and apparently has very little traditional knowledge.

Some special qualities of Haji Sahib
One very outstanding quality of Haji Sahib was that he was a person who was very facilitating and very tolerant. That is why in his majlis people who didn’t subscribe to Ahle Sunnat wa Jammat used to attend Haji Sahib’s majlis (gathering). Haji sahib never picked on them. His only concern was Islah and to take the people and make them closer to Allah.

One person who was very close to Haji Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). He was a very powerful orator. The British were also looking for him. He also escaped and reached Makkah Mukarramah with Haji Sahib. Ahmad Deedat (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) benefited from the book Izhaarul Haqq of Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi).

There is a Madressah named Madressah Saulatiyyah in Makkah Mukarramah. Saulatiyyah is derived from the word Saulat. When Maulana was going to Makkah Mukarramah he requested some people for help to establish a Madressah in Makkah Mukarramah. So one woman from Calcutta, Saulat, gave money. Maulana established the Madressah in Makkah Mukarramah with her money and that is why the Madressah is named Saulatiyyah. Maulana Rahmatullah Kiranwi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) stayed very close to Haji Sahib in Makkah Mukarramah and that is where both of them passed away.

Marriages and demise of Haji Sahib
Haji Sahib married at the very old age of 55. He married three times. The first wife passed away. The second wife was blind. The third was a woman who wanted to make his khidmat (serve him). But, all his marriages were in old age and he only married with this intention that you can’t be a true Wali of Allah until you don’t make Nikah.

Haji Sahib passed away in 1317 AH (1896 AD) at the ripe old age of 84. In his inheritance he had one stick, two sets of winter clothes and two sets of summer clothes. Haji Sahib is buried in Makkah Mukarramah in Jannatul Maala.

May Allah Ta’ala elevate the status of Haji Sahib. Ameen.

Source: Al Mahmood

Related posts:
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi
Shaykh al-Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi
Maulana Abdul Hayy Lucknawi

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Kings Dream

Shaykh Maseehullah rahmatullahi alayh relates,

‘Once a king had a dream wherein he observed a very large tray containing many varieties, shapes and sizes of flowers. Suddenly a knife appeared from above and cut these flowers; it would cut both large and small flowers.

At this point the king awoke and began to ponder upon the meaning of this strange dream. He related it to his Court Mu’abbirs (interpreters) but they all dismissed it as a product of the mind’s imagination. Unconvinced and worried, the king ordered that no cooking would take place in the kingdom until this dream is interpreted!

Coincidentally, a soldier returned home on leave... and asked for food. His mother replied,
‘Dear, there has been no food cooked for three days, it is the king’s command. Police patrols are going around, any sign of cooking smoke and instant arrest!’

Her son replied,
‘Well I do not care what great dream the king is supposed to have seen, I am famished, please cook a meal for me, if the smoke gets noticed and the king summons me we shall take it from there.’

Accordingly, the mother lit her stove and began cooking. Noticing smoke arising from chimney, the Royal spies arrived and arrested the soldier and took him into the kings presence who asked, ‘Why this disobedience?’ The soldier replied, ‘I am starving... anyway please relate your dream.’ The king described his dream. ‘Allow me to eat and three days grace...if by then I do not bring an interpretation you may kill me,’ commented the soldier. The king agreed.

After having eaten, the soldier mounted his horse and roamed from city to city, town to town in trying to find an interpretation...but to no avail.

Fatigued, he stopped at a small hamlet to request a drink of water from a young maiden spinning cloth in her porch way. The pious purdah nasheen lady brought a pitcher of water and left it by the gateway. Puzzled, the soldier dismounted and drank the water. Then he asked, ‘Madam you appear to be alone, where is your mother?’ The young lady answered from inside her porch way,

‘My mother has gone to deliver two from one!’
Dumbfounded, the soldier thought,
‘O heck! As if one dream to interpret wasn't bad enough...what does she mean by delivering two from one?’

Thereafter he asked, ‘Well, where is your father?’
The young lady replied, ‘My father has gone to enjoin clay with clay.’

Just then the father appeared and the soldier commented,
‘Your daughter is amazing, I asked her two simple questions and she gave such strange replies!’
Father: ‘What did she say?’
Soldier: ‘Well, first I asked her for a drink of water and she left some at the gateway.’
Father: ‘My daughter is purdah nasheen, shy and very modest. How could she possibly hand something to a non-mahram?’
Soldier: ‘Secondly, I asked her, ‘Where is your mother?’ She replied, ‘she has gone to deliver two from one!’
Father: ‘Yes, my wife is a midwife, she was called to deliver a baby, this is what she meant by delivering two from one!’
At this point, the soldier began to think, ‘Hold on, we appear to have something very special here...’
Soldier: ‘Thereafter, I asked her about you and she replied, ‘My father has gone to enjoin clay with clay.’’
Father: ‘A local has passed-away and I attended his funeral, anyhow, who are you and where have you come from?’

The soldier related his whole predicament of interpreting the king’s dream within 3 days or face the death penalty and the kings command forbidding any cooking in the kingdom. Addressing his daughter, the father asked, ‘Dear, did you hear the dream?’ ‘Yes father I heard.’ ‘Well, what do you say?’ ‘It is the king’s dream, I wish to hear it directly from him before giving the interpretation.’
Accordingly, all three left for the king’s palace...

Soldier: ‘Your Majesty, the girl who is to interpret your dream has arrived, please give a command allowing all your subjects to cook...should you find the meaning not to your liking, your majesty is king and may do as he wishes!’

A Royal Proclamation was given allowing people to cook again. Thereafter, when all had eaten, the young lady arrived and from behind a screen listened to the king’s dream and then commented...

‘The interpretation of this dream is as follows. The tray refers to earth, whilst its covering is the Heavens, the flowers therein are people and the knife represents death...which travels upon earth; ‘cutting’ some people in young age whilst others in later life. Some die in childhood, others in their teens, middle and old age. This knife keeps appearing and taking the souls of creation. Herein Allah Ta’?l? is warning you that it is not wise for Insaan [man] to remain neglectful of death: because it may appear at any time in life. These are the meanings of the tray, flowers and knife!’

The king was overjoyed on hearing this interpretation and showered gifts as a sign of his appreciation.

So dear reader, we too must be ever-careful and conscious of our own death. Nobody knows how long they are to live and the best way of being prepared is to live every minute of our life in complete accordance to the Sunnat of our beloved Nabee sallallahu alayhi wasallam who commented:

‘In whichever way you live your life, in this very state will arrive your death. Moreover, in whatever way your death appears, in this very state will you be resurrected!’
May Allah Ta'ala grant all of us Tawfeeq. Ameen.

Reproduced from Ashraf’s Advice Upon Death of a Muslim.