Shaykhul Hadeeth Mawlana Islamul Haqq Saheb

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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).

My Beloved Teacher – Hadhrat Mawlānā Ismā’īl Wādī sāhib rahimahullāh

by Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat Saheb (hafidhahullāh)

Once, ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu asked those around him of a hadīth of the Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam with regards to the trials and tribulations which were to fall upon the Ummah. Hudhayfah ibn Al-Yamān radhiyallāhu ‘anhu, who knew the hadīth, remarked, “Why do you worry about such a fitnah, O Amīr-al-Mu’minīn, when there is a closed door between it and yourself?” When asked who this ‘door’ was, Hudhayfah radhiyallāhu ‘anhu replied, “Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu.”

The existence of pious and righteous servants of Allāh ta‘ālā amongst us is a barrier that stops the torrents of evil from emerging and causing havoc. Upon their demise, the doors to these evils are opened, and the people are tested by trials and tribulations. That is why, as time draws nearer to the Day of Judgement (during which trials and tribulations will increase), the passing away of pious servants of Allāh ta‘ālā become more frequent.

In November 2012, a pious and righteous servant from amongst this category, my most honourable and beloved teacher, Hadhrat Mawlānā Ismā‘īl Wādī sāhib rahimahullāh, of Blackburn, UK, passed away. I had studied the revered subjects of ‘aqīdah, hadīth and fiqh under his tutelage when I was studying at Dār-al-‘Ulūm Bury.

My Last Meeting

Alhamdulillāh, I was fortunate to have visited him the weekend prior to his demise, after having been kept informed of his condition during the week. This was despite the fact that I myself was not in the best of health, but Allāh ta‘ālā favoured me greatly by granting me the courage to undertake this very important journey, accompanied by my dear Mawlānā Ahmad Patel and Muftī Ismail Bhayat.

Upon reaching Blackburn, I was treated as always, with love and respect by the members of the household, and was immediately taken upstairs into the room where Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh was resting. I was grieved to see him lying unconscious on his bed, which was set so that his face was facing the Qiblah, as is the sunnah for the one in his last moments. I was given the opportunity to sit right next to the bed and I sat, holding his hand, reciting surah Yāsīn, and due to love for Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh, tears began to roll down my cheeks. After a while, Muftī Saalih sāhib, the son-in-law of Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh and the Imām of Masjid Noorul Islam Blackburn, who loves me dearly, tried to awaken Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh by informing him of my arrival, but he did not respond. I was informed that he had been in this condition since the morning, and that the doctors had said that he was in his last moments. All his organs had started failing, but the serenity was apparent on his face. The medical experts were unanimous that they had not seen a patient in this condition, who was without any sign of pain, hence he was not administered with morphine. I stayed in the room for at least half-an-hour, silently reciting surah Yāsīn, salāt and salām, dhikr and making du‘ā when we were all asked to leave the room for a little while so that necessary medical checks could be carried out.

When we went back inside, Muftī Saalih sāhib again attempted to inform Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh of my presence, and this time to my fortune he opened his eyes. Everyone present became delighted. I greeted him with salām, to which he replied. He was made to sit up, and taking this opportunity I placed his hand on my head and requested him to make du‘ā for me and all, to which he obliged. My happiness knew no bounds. I was sure Allāh ta‘ālā had been extremely merciful to me.

This was the highlight of this journey and I was extremely delighted to have had the honour of greeting him and gaining his du‘ā. Thereafter, I advised Muftī Saalih sāhib that the menfolk should leave the room so that the household womenfolk could have an opportunity to visit Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh also, whilst he was conscious. We went downstairs and sat with the male family members, discussing the life and salient characteristics of Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh.

Birth and Childhood

Hadhrat Mawlānā Ismā‘īl Wādī sāhib rahimahullāh was born on 28th Jumādā Al-’Ūlā 1339AH/7th February 1921, in Lājpūr, Gujarat, India. He started his elementary Islamic education at the age of 8, started memorising the Qur’ān at 10, and finished in two years at the age of 12, in his home town.

Higher Education

In Shawwāl 1353AH/January 1935, at the age of thirteen, he enrolled in the renowned madrasah Jāmi‘ah Islāmiyyah in Dabhel, India, where he started his ‘Ālimiyyah course. This is where he completed his studies in Sha‘bān 1364/July 1945, except for a year in between during which he studied in Jāmi‘ah Husayniyyah in Rander, India.

During his time in Dabhel, he was blessed to have great luminaries as his teachers. He studied the Sahīh of Imām Al-Bukhārī under Muftī Shafī‘ Al-‘Uthmānī sāhib rahimahullāh and Mawlānā Shams-al-Haqq Al-Afghānī sāhib rahimahullāh; At-Tirmidhī under Mawlānā Zafar Ahmad At-Thānwī sāhib rahimahullāh; and Mishkāt-al-Masābīh and Jalālayn under Mawlānā Badr-‘Ālam Mīrthī sāhib `rahimahullāh. He then went on to further enhance his education at Dār-al-‘Ulūm Deoband, where he studied Ṣaḥīḥ-al-Bukhārī again under Shaykh-al-Islām Mawlānā Husayn Ahmad Al-Madanī sāhib rahimahullāh. He then went to Lahore in Sha‘bān – Ramadān 1365AH/July 1946, studying tafsīr under Shaykh-at-Tafsīr Mawlānā Ahmad ‘Alī Al-Lāhorī sāhib rahimahullāh.

Religious Service

After finishing his education, he returned to his hometown, Lājpūr, and started as an imam in his local masjid. He then travelled to Madagascar in 1952 and settled there, serving the Dīn of Allāh ta‘ālā for 21 years, until he arrived in the UK in 1973. He served as the Imām in Masjid Noorul Islam in Blackburn until he retired in 1988 due to weakness and old age. He also taught at Dār-al-‘Ulūm Bury from 1978-1988, without any remuneration.

Status in Academics

He was both pious and knowledgeable. His level of knowledge can be gauged from the fact that after his graduation he spent many years without having had the opportunity to teach Higher Islamic sciences. As it is common knowledge that after graduation in any field, if a long span of time was to pass by without practicing in that field, the graduate somewhat loses touch with the sciences learnt. However, Hadhrat Mawlānā Ismā‘īl Wādī sāhib rahimahullāh, despite such a lengthy gap between graduation and the opportunity to teach, taught these difficult subjects and satisfied his students.

Khilāfah

Hadhrat Mawlānā Ismā‘īl Wādī sāhib rahimahullāh was in his nineties at the time of his demise, and Allāh ta‘ālā had blessed him with a life of unimaginable steadfastness and piety. He attained khilāfah (discipleship) from the esteemed late Shaykh Ghulām Habīb sāhib rahimahullāh during hajj in 1974, and from Hadhrat Mawlānā Abrār Ahmad Ad-Dhulyawī sāhib rahimahullāh, who was the khalīfah of Qārī Muḥammad Tayyib sāhib rahimahullāh.

His ‘Ibādah (worship)

He was an embodiment of steadfastness, a true and dedicated Muslim who was always connected to the masjid, had true love for the Qur’ān and for standing in ṣalāh for long durations. He was very punctual in Tahajjud, reciting 10-12 Juz’ daily, which he increased to 15 in the latter stages of his life. This meant that he would complete approximately one recitation of the Qur’ān every day, including the portions he would read in other nawāfil and otherwise.

In winter, he would go to the masjid before Zuhr and return after ‘Ishā! He would remain engaged in ‘ibādah. He would stand in qiyām for hours. I once went to the masjid after Maghrib salāh to meet him, where I found him alone, engaged in salāh. I waited for him for approximately an hour, but there was no sign of him going into rukū‘ and I had to leave without meeting him, because of prior commitments.

Salāh with Jamā‘ah

Whilst he was the Imām at the masjid, he did not miss a single ṣalāh during the fifteen years, and even after retiring in 1988, for a full twenty years before his illness in 2008 did not miss a single takbīr-at-tahrīmah (The first takbīr of salāh).

Once, during the period after 2008, he arrived late into the masjid and missed one rak‘ah. He stood in qiyām of that one rak‘ah for so long that the masjid emptied. When he finished, he was asked regarding his lengthy qiyām, to which he replied that today, I missed one rak‘ah, so recited two and a half juz’, and reprimanded the nafs saying, “Even at this old age, you still cannot arrive on time for salāh?” This was when he was approximately 80 years old.

Adherence to the Sunnah

Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh was also very particular with regards to sunan, mustahabbāt and ādāb. Once, while in hospital and very weak, he felt the need to relieve himself. With the assistance of his son, he made his way to the toilet, which was at quite a distance. Upon reaching the toilet, he realised that he had forgotten his topī (head gear). He insisted and his son had to make him sit at an appropriate place, retrieve the topī from his bedside and it was only then that he entered the toilet.

Humbleness

Despite such excellent qualities found in his life, he lived a simple life very much unknown by the general public, and would dislike being brought into the limelight.

Hadhrat rahimahullāh and the IDA

He had much love for this humble one, and would always enquire and ask about the Islamic Da‘wah Academy and its progress. Rather, I regard his blessed du‘ā to be one of the main catalysts for the success of the Islamic Da‘wah Academy.

In 1996, a few days after the purchase of the property where the Islāmic Da‘wah Academy is today, we were fortunate that Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh visited Leicester. Upon my request, he came into the former building and asked for some seating arrangements to be made. As the building had just been purchased, there was no carpet inside, hence a piece of carpet was brought and Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh, myself, and the rest of those present sat down. Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh asked someone to recite a portion of the Qur’ān and thereafter gave a few advices. After his short talk ended, he sat looking downwards, deep in thought. He then suddenly looked up and said to me, “Mawlānā! Make an intention to initiate a Dar-al-‘Ulūm here!”

I was taken aback by this instruction, as this area and building had just been bought, for the sole intention of expanding the IDA’s da‘wah activities and to cater for the evening classes which were taking place at the time in the premises of the IDA on 186 Melbourne Road. For this reason, I did not reply, as I felt that it would be incorrect to make such a promise when the intention was not there. However, Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh continued to insist. At this point, I thought to myself that inshā’allāh, it would be possible to teach three or four years of the ‘Ālimiyyah course in the future, and mentioned accordingly to Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh. He replied, “No! You must continue until Al-Bukhārī and you must teach [Sahīh-] Al-Bukhārī!” Upon this, I thought that a very pious person is insisting on a pure and good cause, therefore I should follow his instruction, and eventually I made the intention and requested Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh to make du‘ā. He was so serious regarding this instruction of his that after this, whenever I would meet him, he would ask with regards the progress of the Dār-al-‘Ulūm and further emphasise that I must continue running the madrasah up until the final year wherein Sahīh Al-Bukhārī is taught, and to teach it myself.

Demise and funeral

This very affectionate teacher of mine breathed his last on Monday, the 6th of Muharram, coinciding with the 19th of November 2012, when the adhān of Maghrib salāh was being called out. I was grieved with this sad news. An announcement was made at the IDA for du‘ā and īsāl-ath-thawāb for the respected Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh, and the following day I, along with approximately eight members from the staff of the IDA arrived before Zuhr ṣalāh at Masjid Noorul Islam. There, in the foyer was my beloved teacher, resting in peace after his hard work of ninety years. Before ‘Asr, the salāh-al-Janāzah was led by Hadhrat Mawlānā rahimahullāh’s son, Shaykh Qasim hafizahullāh, and was attended by hundreds of people, including leading personalities from all over the UK. Finally, he was laid to rest just before Maghrib ṣalāh in Blackburn cemetery.

May Allāh ta‘ālā forgive his shortcomings, fill his grave with nūr and make it a garden from the gardens of Jannah, and elevate his rank in the Hereafter. It is my fervent desire that each associate of mine perform whatever good he/she can and ask Allāh ta‘ālā to write its reward in his book of deeds. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant him all the good of the Hereafter and the company of the Ambiyā, the Siddīqūn, the Shuhadā and the Sālihūn in Jannah-al-Firdaws. Āmīn.

Courtesy: Riyādul Jannah, Vol 22 Issue 1 (January 2013/ Rabī‘ul Awwal 1434)