Zaynab Al-Ghazali

ZAYNAB AL-GHAZALI
1917-2005 

“Islam has provided everything for both men and women. It gave women everything —freedom, economic rights, political rights, social rights, public and private rights. Islam gave women rights in the family granted by no other society. Women may talk of liberation in Christian society, Jewish society, or pagan society, but in Islamic society it is a grave error to speak of the liberation of women. The Muslim woman must study Islam so she will know that it is Islam that has given her all her rights.”

EARLY LIFE

Influences and Historical Context
Zaynab al-Ghazali’s father, a local religious leader, encouraged her to be both a strong woman and integrate religion in every aspect of her life. Inspired by her father, her piety, and the milieu of Egyptian nationalism, al-Ghazali began her career as an Islamic feminist at the age of 16 by joining the Egyptian Feminist Union followed by her establishment of the Muslim Women’s association at the age of 18.

al-Ghazali’s activism emerged within the context of Egyptian women’s expanding agency and was influenced by three decades of the Egyptian nationalist movement. In response to the post-colonialism and the forming of Egyptian national identity, women expanded and asserted their social agency, especially in relation to women’s involvement in charitable associations. These forms of social activism marked women’s entry into public and political life. The emergence of a variety of women’s associations can generally be divided into two fields: secular feminism and Islamic feminism.

ACTIVISM

Muslim Women’s Association
Secular groups, such as the Egyptian Feminist Union, focused their discourse on gender issues and equal rights. In contrast, al-Ghazali asserted that Islam had provided women all the rights that secular feminists were concern with. She charged that the focus on the “woman question” was a reflection of a colonized mentality and Western values. In forming the Muslim Women’s Association, al-Ghazali oriented her activism within traditional Islamic contexts and broadened the goals of her movement to improve society from within. The Association’s concern with providing charitable services and educating women, especially in the field of Qur’anic exegesis, is meant to empower women to be active within the home as well as strengthen the community at large. In keeping with Islamic tradition, al-Ghazali insists that women should play an active role in the public, intellectual and political spheres, as long as such activities do not interfere with a women’s responsibilities to her immediate family. Although al-Ghazali’s discourse reflects similar language as the liberal feminists, the great success of her movement owes to her affirmation of Muslim women’s equality within Islamic tradition.

Cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood
In addition to her involvement as a writer and editor for the al-Da’wah mazagine, al-Ghazali spoke at Ibn Tulun Mosque weekly and established a following of thousands of Egyptian women. As she attained prominence as a female figure in the Islamic opposition to the government, al-Ghazali and the Muslim Women’s Association became affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the two organizations worked closely together, al-Ghazali’s declined Qutb’s invitation to merge the two groups, effectively maintaining autonomy for her organization. al-Ghazali did swear her loyalty to Qutb, but the separation of the organizations later proved beneficial in temporarily shielding the Muslim Women’s Association during the government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

IMPRISONMENT

After the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1964, al-Ghazali continued her opposition to the Egyptian government. In 1965, she was arrested and imprisoned on charges of conspiring to assassinate Sadat. During the first year, she was held at al-Qanatir, a men’s prison, along with other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Her memoir, Return of the Pharaoh, recounts the brutal torture inflicted upon her, as well as her mystical experiences that sustained her faith during her imprisonment. Return of the Pharaoh reinforces al-Ghazali’s stature as equivalent, if not stronger, than her male counterparts, as well as an ideal model of female piety and activism.

ISLAMIC FEMINISM

Gender Paradox
Academic criticism surrounds al-Ghazali’s paradoxical discourse in reference to the role of women. Although al-Ghazali asserted that women’s role within Islam was rooted within the family structure and responsibilities of the home, al-Ghazali’s activism and involvement in the public sphere challenged the very gender roles she urged other women to abide. Despite these apparent contradictions, al-Ghazali’s success lies in her framing of women’s role as related to the moral and physical responsibilities to the family instead of equal rights. Given her personal situation, as a child-less wife who is first and foremost devoted to God and fulfillment of da’wa, al-Ghazali is not burdened with the same responsibilities of other women, therefore allowing for her active participation in public life. In this way, al-Ghazali shifted her moral responsibility towards the community at large, effectively becoming the mother of the Egyptian Islamist movement.

Legacy and Contemporary Islamic Feminism 
al-Ghazali’s influence pervades Islamic feminist discourse and institutional structures. In transforming women’s family obligations to encompass the entire community and grounding women’s equality within the Islamic tradition, al-Ghazali dramatically increased women’s social agency within Egypt. Using Muslim charitable organizations as a public structure within which women could establish their place in the heart of Islamic society, al-Ghazali and the Muslim Women’s Association acted as models within which women affirmed their equality and expanded their influence. As a pioneer of Islamic Feminism, al-Ghazali’s “blend of conservatism, nationalism, feminism and spirituality” continue as the guiding principles of Islamic women today.

Return of the Pharoah relates how, falsely accused of conspiring to kill Jamal ‘Abd an-Nasr, the author was arrested and imprisoned. While awaiting trial she was subjected to the most terrible and inhumane torture. This book describes in a captivating manner the ordeal which this Muslim activist went through in the notorious Egyptian prisons. Instead of dampening her enthusiasm for Islaam and the Islamic movement, the afflictions and savageries in Nasir’s prisons increased her commitment and dedication to the cause of Islaam. This autobiographical work can be considered a historic document in that its author was an active witness to one of the most volatile periods of Egypt’s contemporary history.

The full PDF of this book can be accessed and downloaded from here (please be patient as the book loads).

Some excerpts from “Return of The Pharaoh” (“Ayyaam min Hayatee”):

The condition that she made to her husband prior to their marital bond is as follows:

“However, I believe one day I will take this step that I wish and dream of. If that day comes, and because of it, a clash is apparent between your personal interests and economic activities on the one hand, and my Islamic work on the other, and that I find my married life is standing in the way of Da’wah and the establishment of an Islamic state, then, each of us should go our own way.”

“I cannot ask you today to share with me this struggle, but it is my right on you not to stop me from jihad in the way of Allah. Moreover, you should not ask me about my activities with other Mujahideen, and let trust be full between us. A full trust between a man and a woman, a woman who, at the age of 18, gave her full life to Allah and Da’wah. In the event of any clash between the marriage contract’s interest and that of Da’wah, our marriage will end, but Da’wah will always remain rooted in me.”

“I accept that ordering me to listen to you is amongst your rights, but Allah is greater than ourselves. Besides, we are living in a dangerous phase of Da’wah.”

The response of her husband was: “Forgive me. Carry on your work with Allah’s blessing. If only I could live to see the establishment of an Islamic state and the Ikhwan’s goal achieved! If only I was still in my youth to work with you!”

Description of the persecution on her in prison:

“The next moment the door was locked and a bright light switched on. Now their purpose was revealed; the room was full of dogs! I could not count how many!

Scared, I closed my eyes and put my hands to my chest. Within second the snarling dogs were all over me and I could feel their teeth tearing into every part of my body. Clenching my hands tight into my armpits, I began to recount the Names of Allah, beginning with ‘O Allah! O Allah!’…. I expected that my clothes would be thoroughly stained with blood, for I was sure the dogs had bitten every part of my body. But, incredulously, there was not a single bloodstain on my clothes, as if the dogs had been in my imagination only.”

“I do not know how but I fell asleep while invoking Allah, and it was then that I experienced the first of four visions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that I was to see during my stay in prison. There in front of me, praise be to Allah, was a vast desert and camels with hawdahs as if made of light. On each hawdah were four men, all with luminous faces. I found myself behind this huge train of camels in that vast, endless desert, and standing behind a great, reverent man. This man was holding a halter, which passed through the neck of each camel. I wondered silently: ‘Could this man be the Prophet (peace be upon him)?'”

“Silence has no safeguard with the Prophet, who replied: ‘Zaynab! You are following in the footsteps of Muhammad, Allah’s Servant and Messenger.'”`

“I remained in my cell for six consecutive days: from Friday 20th August to Thursday 26th August 1965. My cell door, during these six days was never opened. I was given neither food, drink, allowed to go to the toilet nor any contact with the outside world, except my warder who, now and then, peeped through the small hole in my cell door. You can imagine, dear reader, how a person can live in such circumstances.”

“Write down the names of all your acquaintances on the face of this earth. If you don’t, we will shoot you where you stand. Write down the names of all your Ikhwan acquaintances and everything about your relationship with them.

They then left the cell, closing the door behind them. I wrote: ‘I have many friends, in many countries, who have known me through Islamic da’wah. Our movements on this earth are for Allah, and He leads those who choose His path. This path is the same as that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions followed before us. Our aim is to spread Allah’s message and to call for the implementation of His rule. I call you, in the Name of Allah, to leave your Jahiliyyah, renew your Islam, pronounce the Shahadah and submit and repent to Allah from this darkness that has swathed your hearts, and which prevents you from doing any good deed. If you do so, perhaps Allah will take you out of this abyss of Jahiliyyah and bring you to the light of Islam.”

“Then, at the Adhan of Fajr, I prayed, raising my hands and invoking Allah: “O Allah! If You are not angry with me I don’t care, but Your grace is more befitting to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face, That which has enlightened darkness and on Whom the matters of this life and the Hereafter have settled, that Your Curse does not befall me. To You is our obedience until You are pleased and there is no might or strength except with You.”

“His whips found every part of my body, the cruelest thing that Jahiliyyah had known both in terms of cruelty and bestiality. As the torture and pain intensified, I could not suppress my screams any longer; I raised my voice to Allah. I repeated His great Name: ‘O Allah! O Allah!’ Whilst the whips tore into my body, my heart found contentment and affinity with Allah. I lost consciousness but they tried to arouse me to take more punishment. Blood poured from my feet, and unable to pull myself up, I tried to lean on the wall. Safwat persisted with his whip. I begged to be allowed to sit on the floor but Shams Badran shouted: “No! No! Where is your God now? Call Him to save you from my hands! Answer me, where is your God?”

 

The Servant of the Greatest (SWT)

muhammad-ali

A small tribute to a great boxer – Muhammad Ali RH

THE LOUISVILLE LIP

Cassius Clay Sr. gifted his son a new red-and-white Schwinn in 1954, which was promptly stolen. The 12-year-old, 89-pound Cassius Clay vowed “I’m gonna whup whoever stole my bike!” A policeman, Joe Martin, told young Cassius Clay that he better learn how to fight before he challenged anyone. After 6 months of training with Joe Martin, Cassius won his debut match in a three-round decision. Young Cassius Clay dedicated himself to boxing and training with an unmatched fervor. According to Joe Martin, Clay set himself apart by two things: He was “sassy,” and he outworked all the other boys.

“BOXING WAS JUST A MEANS TO INTRODUCE ME TO THE WORLD”

Muhammad Ali participated in the light-heavyweight class Golden Gloves tournament for novices in 1956. It took him three years, but finally in 1959, Ali was named Golden Gloves Champion and earned the Amateur Athletic Union’s national title in the light-heavyweight division.

Shortly after his high school graduation, 18 year-old Cassius Clay began his journey towards greatness at the 1960 Rome Olympics. His expansive personality and larger-than-life spirit earned him the nickname “The Mayor of Olympic Village.”

The future 3-time Heavyweight World Champion nearly missed the trip to Rome due to his fear of airplane travel; he insisted on bringing a parachute on the plane with him.

On September 5, 1960, “The Greatest” proved his dominance in the Light Heavyweight Boxing Division by beating Zigzy Pietrzykowski of Poland, capturing the Olympic Gold Medal. Sports Illustrated praised Clay’s “supreme confidence” and “intricate dance steps.”

“IT’S A LACK OF FAITH THAT MAKES PEOPLE AFRAID OF MEETING CHALLENGES, AND I BELIEVE IN MYSELF”

— Ali, on beating Foreman in Zaire

When Muhammad Ali refused to enter the Vietnam War draft he was stripped of his championship titles, passport, and boxing licenses. He lost an initial court battle and was facing a 5-year prison term. Muhammad Ali was the first national figure to speak out against the war in Vietnam. During his 3 ½ year layoff, Ali earned a living speaking at colleges. In 1970, with the mood of the country changing, Ali staged his comeback; first against Jerry Quarry in Atlanta, and then Oscar Bonavena at Madison Square Garden. In his next match, billed as “The Fight of the Century”, Ali faced undefeated Champion, Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971.

Ali fought valiantly, but lost. Months later, however, he won one of the biggest fights of his life – the Supreme Court reversed his conviction and upheld his conscientious objector claim. Ali was free of the specter of prison, and once again able to box anywhere in the world.

“THE MORE WE HELP OTHERS, THE MORE WE HELP OURSELVES”
“MY NAME IS MUHAMMAD ALI”

While training for his title bout against the fearsome heavyweight champion, Sonny Liston, Cassius Clay met Malcolm X. Malcolm became young Clay’s mentor and brought him into the Nation of Islam. Despite the 7-1 odds, Clay defeated Sonny Liston in Miami and became Heavyweight Champion of the world in 1964. Shortly after, he announced to the world that he was a member of the NOI and that his name was now Muhammad Ali. Weeks later, Malcolm X left the NOI and their friendship ended. Howard Cosell was one of the few journalists who acknowledged Ali’s name change at the time.

In 1984, Muhammad Ali publicly announced that he had Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological condition. Following his diagnosis, he created and raised funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.

“HE WHO IS NOT COURAGEOUS ENOUGH TO TAKE RISKS WILL ACCOMPLISH NOTHING IN LIFE”

Golden Quotes

22 Shawwal 1437

An Angel of Mercy

Productivity Inspired by Abdul Sattar Edhi: The Richest Poor Man of Pakistan

This is a story that carries many life lessons for all of us. The story of Abdul Sattar Edhi, and the legacy he left behind.

‘Edhi’ became a synonym for love, humanitarian service, and selflessness in Pakistan. He commanded respect from Pakistanis and from millions across the world. He won several prominent international prizes for his outstanding humanitarian services. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize several times. He was decorated with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, which is the highest honor given to any civilian in Pakistan for their achievements towards world recognition of Pakistan or an outstanding service to the country.

News of his illness in the last few months made many Pakistanis pray wholeheartedly for his health. His death shocked many in the nation. He was given the state funeral attended by thousands of people, including the President, chiefs of military, navy and air force, a large number of politicians, diplomats, civil servants, businessmen, etc.

He was called an Angel of Mercy. Some thought he was the greatest living humanitarian. We know that the Edhi Foundation runs 330 welfare centers across Pakistan and more than 1500 ambulances. But we do not exactly know the number of people (which could be millions without exaggeration) who have directly and indirectly benefited from Edhi ambulances, food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children, and clinics for the mentally handicapped. Edhi Foundation does not just operate in Pakistan, it has carried out relief operations in Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, Eastern Europe and the United States. Edhi never differentiated between people, their faith, race or color. He helped everyone who needed help. He humbly requested donations from everyone who could give. He changed the face of welfare work in Pakistan and established an organization which is trusted by everyone, poor and rich, illiterate and educated, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The purpose of this article is not to write a biographical account of Edhi’s life. Rather, I want to list some key qualities which made him the person he was. I want every one of us to learn from Edhi. I wish we can peek through his life and emulate some of his qualities and traits so that we can also reach out to the poor and needy in the way he did. I also hope our children would be inspired by his story, and be motivated to follow suit when they grow up.

Practical compassion

Edhi’s compassion drove him to help the helpless, give shelter to the homeless women, give a roof to the street children, feed the hungry, treat the sick and bury the dead… He himself drove an ambulance for 45 years and never drove any other car throughout his life. His heart was always with the needy and deserving and he was constantly thinking about how best to help those most in need. His compassionate heart has a lot to do with serving his own mother. She was paralyzed from a stroke when Edhi was only 11 years old. Looking after his mother and seeing her suffer inspired Edhi to develop services for the aged, immobile people, and physically challenged persons. His mother taught him selflessness also when she used to give him 2 paisas, one for himself and the other for a needy person on the street. This training to be compassionate at an early age had a lot to do with what Edhi became eventually.

Living a life of simplicity

Edhi lived a very simple life. He was known for his ascetic lifestyle. He never owned more than two pairs of simple clothes and shoes. He lived in a simple home with his family. His own office remained a small room with minimum furniture. He never drove any other car except the ambulance. He never took a salary from his foundation. He inculcated this trait in his wife and children who continue to live a life without frills. Edhi remained a focus of local and international media for decades, but this attention never got him distracted or carried away. He kept to his simplicity and true authentic self. This simplicity earned him a lot of respect among the masses.

Upholding a true sense of integrity

Being the largest charitable organization in Pakistan, Edhi Foundation attracted millions of dollars of donations. In its more than five decades of existence, Edhi Foundation never came under scrutiny for misappropriation of funds. Its volunteers, staff, and management are also inspired by Edhi’s own integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness. Edhi realized that maintaining his personal, as well as organizational integrity was central to the success of his humanitarian activities which entirely depended on donations.

Dedication to one’s mission

Edhi was a full-time humanitarian worker, organizer, and mobilizer. He dedicated his whole life to the welfare work. Such was the level of his dedication to the causes he supported that he paid no heed to any kind of threats or obstacles in his way. He was criticized by some fundamentalists for supporting babies born out-of-wedlock. His ambulances were attacked by some interest groups. But nothing could deter him from serving humanity.

Being patriotic

Edhi was a true patriot. He had migrated to Pakistan from India during the partition of 1947. He believed in the country he chose to live in. Such was the level of his patriotism that he chose to be treated only in Pakistan despite offers from many for treatment abroad. He wanted to live and die in the country he loved so much. He never took donations from anyone except Pakistanis. He believed that native people can solve the problems of their country, and he proved it through the work he did that he sought help only from Pakistanis to solve issues of Pakistanis.

Taking the means and being optimistic

Edhi was a true impatient optimist. He knew that several problems of our world can be solved if we start finding solutions. He started his foundation with a second-hand ambulance. He then felt that the aged who had no one to look after needed his support. He built nursing homes for the aged. He found that children born out-of-wedlock were left on the street without any support, so he went on to put baby cradles outside the Edhi Foundation Centers. He then noticed the misery of divorced women, single mothers, and financially challenged women. He built shelters for them. He started supporting the relief work locally, as well as internationally. Edhi kept on discovering social needs and found simple solutions. Lack of formal education never stood in his way. He was able to find solutions to the social problems as he was truly immersed in the communities and was living the experience of the poor every day.

Being trustworthy out-pours the funds

He never thought that scarcity of resources would be a constraint for his foundation which is involved in a range of humanitarian activities. In fact, resources poured in for every cause he touched. He just stood in the streets and people handed him small and big notes. Children gave him their pocket money. Women gave him their jewelry. Poor gave him their savings. Rich gave him their properties. Everyone donated to Edhi and his foundation. His simplicity, integrity, dedication, and patriotism greatly helped him raise funds from the people. More importantly, his foundation delivered results and demonstrated social impact on the ground.

Sincere, calm and efficient leadership

The Edhi Foundation runs some of the most complex emergency and relief operations as its routine business. Edhi ambulances are the first to reach any emergency. Edhi himself was first to be seen on the site of natural disasters. Be it floods, earthquakes, hurricanes or man-made disasters, Edhi Foundation response time is minimum. Thousands of people volunteer for Edhi Foundation in its relief centers, as well as during emergency situations. This requires a huge and sophisticated logistical operation. A simple man that Edhi was, it is inconceivable how he spearheaded this complexity in a completely unnoticeable manner. Edhi single-handedly masterminded it with the will of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). He mobilized millions of dollars without sophisticated media, marketing or communication strategy. His branding was his simplicity, honesty, and integrity.

Edhi himself/his foundation never made any big deal out of the massive relief work they accomplished. He received nearly 250 local and international prizes in recognition of his phenomenal work, but he hardly ever mentioned them with pride. All the pride he took was in the work he did. He was nominated for Nobel Prize several times. But people like him are beyond Nobel Prize. No prize can truly acknowledge their services or contribution to the world we live in. He silently led a large foundation which helped millions through helplessness, sickness, and emergency. According to his own words,

“Whatever I’ve done for the poor, the destitute, the orphans and the less fortunate is not for any person or even myself, it’s for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). I’ve always aimed to please Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).”

Edhi was regularly invited to speak on media, but he never appeared to be pretentious or attention seeker. He did not have a charismatic personality, an articulate speech or deep vocabulary. He spoke in a simple manner but spoke his heart. His message for humanity touched every heart and people believed him without hesitation.

A deep concern for humanity

In the early years of Edhi Foundation, Edhi was often criticized by his community for helping others. But it was very clear that he would extend help to every human in need, regardless of religion, race or color. Edhi lived in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan and one of the largest metropolises of the world. His world vision was also very cosmopolitan. He was of the view that humanity was above everything and he was a true humanitarian for everyone.

Edhi is at peace in his grave, but his eyes continue to see the world as he donated his organs after his death (but due to his poor health, only corneas could be donated). His corneas were transplanted for two blind people who were waiting for an eye donation. This is what he meant to teach each one of us, even after he is no more among us. He is justifiably referred to as ‘the richest poor man’.

Share with us how this story inspired you to be more productive and in service to all those in need around you?

Shaykhul Hadeeth Mawlana Islamul Haqq Saheb

kitab

Hadhrat Shaykh’s Teaching

Hadhrat Shaykhul Hadeeth Mawlana Islamul Haq Sahib RH, before his appointment as a Shaykhul Hadeeth of Bukhari Shareef at Darul Uloom, Holcombe, Bury, UK, taught Mishkaat Shareef at Madresa Ameeniya during the reign of Mufti Kifayatullah Sahib and gave lectures on Hadeeth at Darul Uloom, Rampura and Jamiah Hussainiya, Rander. He devoted his last fifteen years teaching Bukhari Shareef at Darul Uloom, Holcombe, Bury, UK. Despite his various illnesses, he participated in many public gatherings and made speeches at important functions. His vacations in the month of Ramadhan-ul-Mubarak were spent in Makkah Mukarrama and Madinah Munawwara (Al Haramayn Sharifayn), places he loved dearly, and many a times upon his return journey would visit Baitul Maqdis and Egypt.

The journey towards the beloved country.

This year (1996), although he was unwell and weak, he had the same determination and desire to take up the long and tiring journey and spend his holidays in the sacred places. Prior to his departure he was often heard saying, “My health is quiet bad and I have hardly any strength.” Nevertheless, on 18th January 1996, three days before Ramadhan-ul-Mubarak, he left his home in Bolton, U.K. and set off for the blessed journey with his youngest son Mawlana Nurul Haq. He spent a couple of days at his daughters house in London and during his stay managed to deliver a short speech at Balham Mosque, being his farewell speech. On Saturday 20th January 1996, after performing the Maghrib Salah and long Nawaafil, he bid farewell to his friends and relatives and left for Heathrow Airport. At the airport he felt very restless and repeatedly enquired about the sighting of the moon. Upon hearing of the sighting it brought him a lot of joy and then he relaxed. During the flight, although he felt tired and weak, he ate something for Sehri and kept the first fast of Ramadhan-ul-Mubarak.

Arriving at Makkah Mukarramah

After arriving at Makkah Mukarramah Hadhrat sahib joined the party from Darul Uloom who were staying at Darus Salaam Hotel. He was always so keen on performing Umrah that during his stay he would perform one a day and two on Fridays. However, on this occasion he could only manage one Umrah after three days when he felt better. He performed his prayers in Haram Sharif if he felt better, otherwise in his room, but the Taraweeh prayers were always performed in Haram Sharif whilst remaining seated.

In Makkah Mukarramah

In Makkah Mukarramah Hazrat sahib’s health deteriorated and he suffered from severe pains in the chest and had a fever. Doctor Shoaib Wajid of Durban, South Africa (May Allah reward him) was called who came immediately and prescribed some medication which gave him some relief. On the 17th of Ramadhan-ul-Mubarak Hadhrat sahib together with the Darul-Uloom party left Makkah Mukarramah and arrived in Madina Munawwarah (may Allah Ta’ala send his salutations and blessings upon its occupier).

The holy city of the Prophet peace be upon him

In Madina Munawwarah despite his ill-health, he performed Maghrib,Isha and Fajr Salah in Masjid-e Nabawi and spent his time between Asr and Maghreb salaah in front of the blessed tomb of Hadhrat Mohammed peace be upon him sending salutations. Again in Madina he suffered from severe pains in the chest which made him restless and was frequently heard saying “May Allah forgive me, Oh my Allah forgive me.” Seeing Hadhrat sahib in this state, the colleagues around him were contemplating to take him to hospital. Overhearing the conversation, Hadhrat sahib grievously and painfully said, “ The hospital staff will only delay my departing time.” It seems as if his instincts had indicated to him that his departure from this world had drawn near.Nevertheless, after the Isha prayer Hadhrat was taken to the hospital for medical check-up. X-rays were taken and after receiving some medicine to stabilize his condition he was discharged.

The last moments of Hadhrat Shaykh RH

The next few days Hadhrat continued his daily routine of going to Masjide Nabawi as and when he could. On the evening of 27th of Ramadhan-ul-Mubarak he returned to the hotel after the Taraweeh prayers and had some light refreshments. He looked fine and with the help of his son (Mawlana Nurul Haq ) packed all the luggage and said, “Nothing now remains to be packed for you except for the clothes that we are to remove on Eid day.” His son offered to massage his head but he refused and said, “ Go and have some rest.” So they both retired to bed at 4:15 a.m. His son immediately fell asleep and was awaken by the telephone call for sehri at 4:45 a.m. He got up, and to his amazement, did not see Hadhrat sahib on his bed. He looked around and saw Hadhrat sahib in the state of prostration (sajdah). He called, “Oh Father! Oh Father!” but to his disbelief he saw no movement nor did he hear any reply. It seems  that he felt some pain in the stomach and sat on the floor as one would sit in qa’dah in salaah which was his usual habit. In this state his rooh (soul) was taken away due to which he fell forth in a position which seemed like a sajdah. Hazrat Aqdas Moulana Yusuf Motala Sahib (May Allah Ta’ala lengthen his life) was called who upon seeing Hazrat sahib declared that the blessed soul had departed and he had reached his beloved friend (Allah).

“ Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raajioon.” ( We belong to Allah and to him we return).

It surely belongs to Allah Ta’ala what ever He takes and surely belongs to Allah Ta’ala what ever He gives. According to Him everything has a specified time. O Allah! Reward us in our calamity. We are pleased in turning towards our Creator. O Allah! Forgive him and shower mercy upon him and reside him in Paradise. Make his grave a Garden of Paradise. O Allah! Wash him with water and cleanse him from sins just as a white cloth is cleaned from dirtiness. O Allah! Keep him away from his sins at a distance of east and west. O Allah! Accept his coming to You and widen his entering place (grave) through Your mercy. O the Most Merciful, the Ever-lasting, the Greatest and the Most Honoured through the honour of our leader Muhammad peace be upon him O Allah! Do not lead us astray after him and do not deprive us of his reward and save us from falling in to mischief after him. Ameen. Please accept our prayer through the honour of our leader and Intercessor Muhammad peace be upon him.

The funeral

Hadhrat Shaykhul Hadeeth Mawlana Islamul Haq Saheb departed from this world on the 28th of Ramadhan-ul-Mubarak at sehri time after completing 27 days of fasting. The night he passed away, he prayed salutation to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him two times which was against his normal practice of praying once only. His family members, relatives and close friends were notified immediately and within five minutes the news of his death spread like lightening. Special prayers were said, after Fajr Salah, in the mosques in Britain and the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, in Madinah Munawwarah the arrangements for the funeral were being made. Mawlana Nurul Haq, Yunus Bhai, Mawlana Zubair Malik and one of the organizers gave Hadhrat sahib a bath and prepared the body for burial. Just before Dhuhr salah the janazah was brought to Masjid-e-Nabwi peace be upon himand Shaykh ibn Zahim performed Namaze-Janazah after Dhuhr salah. The janazah was then taken to the graveyard (Janatul Baqee) to rest the blessed soul of Hadhrat Shaykhul Hadeeth. His son, Mawlana Nurul Haq stepped in to the grave to lay his body and pay his last respects. In reality Hadhrat rahmatullahi alaihe had much love and affection of both sacred places and a very strong desire to be buried in Janatul Baqee. Allah Ta’ala fulfilled his desire. All praises be to Him for this.

The great loss.

The loss of Hadhrat rahmatullahi alaihe in actual fact is a great calamity for myself, my brothers and sisters, in-laws, friends, relatives and the students and staff of Darul Uloom. We are all deprived of his valuable knowledge, spiritual bounties, beneficial suggestions, supplications, special considerations and not forgetting his limitless kindness. May Allah Ta’ala comfort us with the best of patience and favour us with special reward, as Allah Ta’ala is our real Cherisher and Guardian. My family members and I request all our elders and friends to pray for Hadhrat rahmatullahi alaihe’s  increase of status and may Allah Ta’ala give us the divine strength to spread his knowledge, religious and spiritual bounties, Ameen.
By Mawlana Zia ul Haq

Glad tidings

1. The clothes in which Hadhrat died held a special fragrance. It was not Hadhrat’s habit to use Itr (perfume). Also this smell was throughout the whole Qamees which is an indication that it was from the unseen. If Itr had been applied then the fragrance would have been in that one particular spot. The clothes are still available at Hadhrat’s house and can be observed by yourself. I think that this was an honour for Hadhrat and the barakah of teaching Ahadeeth throughout his entire life. The same is narrated regarding Imam Bukhari rahmatullahi alaihe that his grave produced  such a strong pleasant fragrance that people started taking the soil away which resulted in the Ulama fencing his grave.

2. Various people have seen Hadhrat rahmatullahi alaihe in their dreams after his death.

Mawlana Yusuf Mamoon states that he saw in a dream that Hadhrat is looking like a young person and he is returning home at a great speed from Masjide Ar-Rahmaan, Bolton  with a Tasbeeh in his hand. Mawlana Yusuf  Mamoon asked, “Have you not died?” He replied, “No (I am still alive).”

Mawlana Yusuf Motala Saheb (Muddazillahu) gave an interpretation of this dream and stated that the ulama have said that seeing a person alive after his death means that he has achieved the status of martyrdom. The Quran states that,

“The martyrs are alive.” It should be noted that there are different grades of martyrdom as can be understood from the following Hadeeth:

The Prophet peace be upon him once asked the sahaba, “What is your understanding of martyrdom?” They replied, “Being killed in the path of Allah.” The prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Then the martyrs of my ummah shall be very few. Being killed in the Path of Allah is martyrdom, death through illness in the stomach (and its surroundings) is martyrdom, death in fire is martyrdom, drowning is martyrdom, death due to the collapse of a building is martyrdom, death due to Pleurisy, a woman’s death in labour pains is martyrdom. (Nasai Vol.2 P.66).

Obituary of Hadhrat Mawlana Ismail Manubari (Rahmatullahi Alayhi)

10th November 2014 / 17th Muharram 1436

“Hold on to your Salah and Uphold Good Character”dhikr

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.