10th November 2014 / 17th Muharram 1436
“Hold on to your Salah and Uphold Good Character”
The Final Message of Hadhrat Mawlana Ismail Manubari Sahib (RA)
Hadhrat Mawlana Ismail Sahib (RA) was truly a great man who sacrificed much more than most of us will ever know about.
In one way or another, he has touched and positively benefited each of our lives. The Muslim community of United Kingdom and India specifically, and the wider world more generally, will be forever indebted to him.
Hadhrat Mawlana Sahib (RA) departed this world on Monday 10th November 2014 at approximately 9.25am, UK time, and 2.55pm local India time. The world is so much poorer in every sense today – the death of a scholar is a loss to the whole Universe.
Over the last few months, Hadhrat’s health had deteriorated. Last week, he insisted on returning to India. He left the UK on the morning of Sunday 2ndNovember, accompanied by his son Mufti Abdus-Samad Sahib.
He arrived at Darul Uloom Kantharia on Monday 3rd November and spent the final days of his life there. Hadhrat (RA) devoted his life to the Darul Uloom for several decades.
Despite his poor health, on Thursday 6th November he asked to visit Bachchon ka Ghar Amod, Darul Uloom Jambusar and then on to the village of Kavi where Hadhrat has established a Darul Uloom. It was a tradition of Hadhrat Mawlana Sahib (RA) that, whenever he would visit India, his first trip would be to the village of Kavi and then he would undertake all other journeys.
During his final 4 or 5 days, Hadhrat Mawlana (RA) continued to advise visitors and well-wishers with one of the most important objectives of the Prophet’s (saw) mission – to improve and uphold one’s character.
On Friday 7th November, he travelled to Manubar where Mawlana Ismail Bhuta visited him and asked for advice. Hadhrat Mawlana (RA) replied, “Read the Qur’aan – the whole of the Qur’aan is full of advice.” Mawlana Bhuta insisted that he adds something more. To which, Hadhrat Mawlana (RA) replied, “Uphold your character and conditions of the ummah, as a whole, will improve”. Then Hadhrat Mawlana Sahib (RA) gave examples of how those who were not Muslims were convinced of the truthfulness and merits of Islam as a result of the character of the Prophet (SAW) and his Companions (RA).
This was a consistent message that Hadhrat Mawlana Sahib (RA) relayed throughout his final days.
Hadhrat’s (RA) bed was in the guest room of Darul Uloom Kantharia. On Sunday 9th November, he asked for it to be moved in to the office where he spent countless days and nights as Principal.
On the morning of his last day (Monday 10thNovember), Hadhrat’s son Shafi Bhai and grandson Moulana Rizwan arrived from the UK. He raised his hand to acknowledge them.
At the time of Zuhr, Hadhrat (RA) advised his son Khalid bhai, and others gathered around him, to remain steadfast on Salaah. He instructed all of them to go and offer their Zuhr prayers with jama’at, as this was more important and fruitful than sitting in his company.
Hadhrat Umar (RA) would say, “Hold onto your Salah because if you lose that, you lose everything else.”
Mufti Abdus Samad Sahib described Hadhrat’s last moments as similar to the last moments of our beloved Prophet (SAW).
A few minutes before Hadhrat’s (RA) sad demise from this temporary world to his eternal abode; he asked for his limbs to be straightened and then asked his son Hafidh Sanaullah to turn his face towards the Qiblah. 5 minutes later, he departed from this world – (Innaalillaahi Wainnaailaihi Raaji’oon).
Hadhrat’s janaazah took place at Darul Uloom Kantharia after Isha (Monday 10th November 2014) and Hadhrat was placed to rest in Manubar next to his beloved brother and Founder of Darul Uloom Kantharia Hadhrat Mawlana Adam Sahib (RA). Hadhrat Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri Sahib (DB) insisted that Hadhrat’s son Mufti Abdus-Samad Sahib leads the Janaza prayer that was attended by approximately fifty thousand mourners.
How true are the noble words of the Prophet (SAW), ‘You will die as you lived and you will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment as you died’.
Hadhrat was truly a father figure to all. A most humble, dedicated, sincere, kind, loving, passionate, smiling … person. He always used to address even the youngest in a most respectful way. Very particular about practising the sunnahs of our beloved Prophet (SAW). May he remain happy and smiling forever.
In addition to the thousands of students and ‘Ulama who have graced the numerous institutions founded and overseen by Hadhrat (RA) , he leaves behind a wife, eight children and 99 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
May Allah (SWT) reward him and his family, with the highest abode in Jannah. May He grant the family, particularly his loving wife Bibi Apa, who has also sacrificed everything for his mission, sabr jameel, and the whole ummah a ni’malbadal, Ameen.
So, his final message to the Muslim Ummah across the world sums up Hadhrat’s own life so well –remain steadfast on your salaah (fulfil the rights of Allah) and uphold good character (fulfil the rights of his creation). This final advice captures the essence of Islam. It is sufficient to reconnect all of us with our Lord, restore the love and respect for Islam and improve the conditions of humanity across the Globe.
To Allah we belong and to him we shall return.
Written by an Alim who wishes to remain anonymous.