Our late chief and our spiritual preceptor Maulana Hazrat Shaikh al-Hadith (may his shadow never grow less!) writes at one place that when Hazrat Hasan was given poison and it began to act, he sent his younger brother, Hazrat Husain , to Hazrat 'Ayesha to seek her permission to be buried in her house near his maternal grandfather . Though a severe battle, like the battle of Jamal had taken place between her and Hazrat Ali , Hazrat Hasan’s father, she gladly gave permission. Thereafter Hazrat Hasan said to Hazrat Husain, "Perhaps, in my lifetime, due to having a sense of modesty and consideration for me, she may have permitted, but seek her permission again after my death. If she willingly permits, then bury me there, otherwise bury me in the general grave-yard.”
When Hazrat Husain sought her permission again after his brother's death, she said, "Yes, yes, with greatest respect".
Observance of personal respect and discipline remained order of life, even during conflicts and mutual antagonism. Banu Umayya (tribe) members opposed burial of Harrat Hasan next to the grave of prophet saying that Hazrat Usman (the third khalif) was deprived of this privilege, and so should Harrat Hasan.
But despite this Hazrat Husain pushed forward the ruler of Madina, Sa'eed bin al-Aas (who was an Ummayad), to lead the funeral prayer, and said, "This is the Sunnah.”
Do we also, in regard for Sunnah, deal like this with our enemies? To ostracise from the localities and sack from imamate for ordinary, flimsy reasons is a daily event with us. If there are a few such incidents, one may enumerate them but where incidents of this type be thousands and millions, how long can one count them? (AI-I’tedaI)
He was a genuine Fatimid Sayyid, but to obliterate the pride of lineage practically, he had married his daughter to a slave and he himself married a slave-girl after having set her free.
When Caliph Abd al-Malik came to know of it he wrote him a letter and rebuked him for this act. Hazrat Imam wrote the reply on it as under: -"The Holy Prophet's good conduct is a pattern for us. Having set free Safia bint Hayy bin Akhtab who was a slave-woman, he had married her himself, and manumitting his own slave, Zaid bin Harith, Holy prophet had given his cousin (father's sister's daughter), Zainab bint Hajash, in marriage to him (A slave). And we are not more honourable than the Apostle of Allah .”
May we be sacrificed over these august men's fervour for conformance that if the Holy Prophet set free a slave-woman and married her, he also did exactly the same. Similarly if the Holy Prophet gave a near relative in marriage to a freed slave, he also, in conformance to the Sunnah, married his nearest relative, that is, a daughter, to a slave. Although he was himself a descendant of the Prophet , and Allah had given him a worldly position so high that he could marry his daughter to the caliph's son or could have taken a wife from wherever he liked.
When the time of his death came near and the symptoms of death appeared, his son ripped his clothes. When he saw this, he said: "Son! This you are doing against the Sunnah and this is a sign of hypocrisy".
As the Holy Prophet has said, ‘that whatever is present in the vessel, that only will drip from it?’ Look, how enviable are the lives of these gentlemen that throughout their lives they managed to conform to the Sunnah. Even in the agony of death when a man is at his wit's end, let alone himself, he does not even like someone else to violate the Sunnah!
It is reported from Bashar Bin Harith that he saw the Holy Prophet in a dream, who asked of him: "O Bashar! Do you know why Allah Most High hath given you superiority over your contemporaries"? He said: "0 Apostle of Allah! I do not know. The Holy Prophet said: "You have been exalted to the position of the Abrar a category of (saints) for your conforming to my sunnah, serving the pious, advising your brethren and for loving my Companions and my household".
Regarding his conformance to the Sunnah Maulana Ali Miah Nadvi (may his shadow never grow less!) writes in his 'Da'wat wa Azimat’ that the beginning of his popularity and of being a Siddiq is in conformance to the sunnah and its end too is consummate conformance to the sunnah.
Even his opponents admit Ibn Taimiah’s interest and engrossment in Hadith and Sunnah. But this interest and engrossment was not merely academic and theoretical; it was practical and external also. His contemporaries depose that the respect and reverence for the prophetic position and respect for conformance to the sunnah which they witnessed at Ibn Taimiah' s place was not seen at any other man's place.
Hafiz Siraj al-Din says on oath that, "By Allah! I have not seen any man who respects and reveres the Holy Prophet and who is so fond of conforming to the Sunnah and helping his religion as Ibn Taimiah." Seeing such dominance and consistency, an observer could only say, “this is what you call conformance to Sunnah.”
Allamah Madi al-Din al-Wassiti says, "in our time we found only Ibn Taimiah such a person that the light of Muhammad's prophethood was conspicuous in his life and conformance to the Sunnah in his words and deeds. A Layman’s feelings testified it to be a specimen of conformance and perfect following only.
He died at the age of six score and one (61). On the day he expired, in spite of so much weakness and old age he took off his shirt and asked for water for ablution. He rolled up his sleeves and demanded the miswak and loudly uttering Bismillah started making ablution. At every part and every action he was reciting the usual invocations. He washed both the hands up to the elbows but committed a lapse in washing the face.
Shaikh Khalil reminded him. So he performed the ablution afresh. He was uttering the Tasmiah (Bismillah-hir-Rahman-nir-rahim) beginning in the name of Allah and the invocations in their proper sequence very carefully and the people who were present there were wondering that he was so careful even in such an old age.
Qazi Zahid, extending his hand, tried to help him in washing the right foot but he stopped him and performed the ablution with his own hands. Then he demanded the comb and combed the beard. Then he asked for the prayer-carpet and said two rak'ahs of (nafl) prayer.
When he was departing from this world an attendant was helping him perform ablution at the time of death. He forgot to make him scour the beard with his fingers. Hazrat Junayd caught his hand in order to make him perform the Sunnah. People said: "Hazrat, isn't such triviality overlooked at such a time'.'? He said, "We have reached Allah by the blessing of this (conformance to Sunnah) only.”
He died at the age of 77 years of which the last nine days passed in severe illness, so much so that be had begun urinating blood also. When the physician was asked about it, he said, ‘Sorrow and worry have broken the abdomen into pieces.’ One day he was very much indisposed. His disciple, Imam Merwazi says that on that day he assisted him to perform the ablution. "Even in that critical condition he instructed me to make him scrub the fingers."
These gentlemen had grasped Allah's Book and the Holy Prophet's sunnah so firmly that the severest tyranny and oppression and the greatest devilish power could not budge them from their stand.
Accordingly, it is stated in, ‘Tarikh-e D'awat wa 'Azimat,’ that opposition to the question of the Quran's being created, defence of the correct belief and the responsibility of facing the contemporary government had to be borne alone by Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal who was then the Imam of the group of traditionalists and the trustee of the Sunnah and the Shari'ah (Amongst renovators sprung mischief that the Quran was part of creation, where as Imam Hambal insisted that the Quran is word of Allah. He refused to opine any further).
The intrepid Imam was brought from Riqqa to Baghdad. His feet were heavy with four fetters. For three days a polemical discussion was held with him on this question but he did not flinch from his doctrine. On the fourth he was taken to the governor of Baghdad. The governor said to him: "Ahmed! Is your own life so burdensome to you? The caliph will not kill you with his own sword but he has sworn an oath that if you did not accept his word you would be scourged again and again and you would be thrown at such a place where sun would never show itself'' (solitary confinement).
Thereafter the Imam was brought before Caliph Mu'atasim and he was given 28 cuts of scourge for that denial and insistence of his. A fresh executioner used to lash only twice and then another executioner would be called. At every lash Imam Ahmed used to say, "Produce something from Allah's Book or the Apostle's Sunnah so that I may admit it.”
At one place the venerable Imam describes his condition as under: - “After nineteen lashes Mu'atasim himself came to me and said: ‘Ahmed! Why are you after your own life? By Allah! I have great regard for you.’ A man named Ajif was often prodding me with the handle of his sword and was saying, ‘You want to overcome all of them.’ Another would say, ‘Allah's slave! The caliph is standing near you.’ Someone would say, ‘0 Commander of the Faithful! You are observing a fast and yet you are standing in the sun.’ Then Mu'atasim would talk to me and I would give the same reply, ‘Produce something from Allah's Book or the Apostle's Sunnah so that I may admit it.’”
Then the caliph would order the executioner to whip me with full force. Meanwhile I became unconscious. When I came to, I saw that the fetters had been removed. A man from amongst those who were present said, "We had felled you with your face downward and we trampled you".
Imam Ahmed says that I did not feel anything. The Muslims and non-Muslims of that time, hearing and seeing these particulars of the Imam's ordeal used to cry and Muslims and non-Muslims all invoked Allah for him and wept.
His disciples finding it unbearable, enquired, “Hazrat! Isn’t this the time to act upon the Quranic Instruction, ‘Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith.”(XVI: 106)
May Allah fill the respectable Imam's grave with light and shower billions of mercies upon him that for the ummah, particularly for the leaders of the community and the divines of the ummah what an excellent lesson he has left! He said, “Previously there have been some people that a saw would be put on their heads and they would be sawn into two but they would not budge from their religion. This is not merely a personal matter of mine that there may be something in my heart and I may utter something else with my tongue. What will happen to the faith and belief of these millions of Muslims whose eyes are gazing at my lips? Hence at this time I am responsible for their belief also".
These gentlemen were more concerned about Islam and the protection of the Muslims' beliefs than about their own persons and for which they endured everything and sacrificing everything guarded the Quran and the Holy Apostle's sunnah. May Allah give them on our behalf and on behalf of all the Muslims the best rewards! Ameen!
The fourth gathering (Graduation ceremony - similar to modern university degree award ceremony) of Darul-Uloom, Deoband, for conferring the turbans of proficiency was held A.H. 1301, and the turbans were conferred at his hands. One day, on this occasion, when he went most probably for the Asr prayer, the takbir had already been said. As such, after saying salaam, he was marked to be in a very distressed condition and he was saying: "Alas! I have missed the first takbir today after 22 years".
Hazrat Gangohi was also staunch in following the Sunnah. It is a prophetic method to emerge from the mosque, stepping left foot first - while always to wear anything beginning from the right, including shoes. Curious observers noticed this combination Sunnah performed by him in one go - Maulana stepped left foot out of the mosque on top of the left sandal and followed right step straight into right sandal. Allah the Praise worthy always inspires the willing. Self-denial and personal humility, a great teacher of his calibre leaves for every Muslim to ponder upon.
Once during an outdoor teaching session, a sudden burst of rain caused panic among the students to run for shelter. Everyone hurried indoors with books and tripods, while Maulana collected everybody’s shoes. Most students were red faced and highly embarrassed. Some were even overcome emotionally. Maulana modestly remarked, “It says in the Hadith that, ‘Ants in their holes and fishes in water pray for students, angels spread their wings under their feet.’ Serving such people I have achieved good fortune, why do you deprive me of such felicity.”
As other elders had participated against the rule of colonialism in 1857 , Maulana Nanautavi too had personally taken part in the stuggles of Shamli and had also been wounded. When those of power in the Raj issued warrants of arrest for Maulana Haji Imdadullah, Maulana Nanautavi and Maulana Gangohi and rewards too were announced for arresting them, people started searching for them.
But since Allah Most High had endowed Maulana Nanautavi with perfect intrepidity, perseverance and courage, he used to go about publicly, unconcerned with all sorts of consequences. However, when relatives and sympathisers intensely insisted upon him to go into hiding in view of the critical nature of the time, he went into hiding for three days, but as soon as three days were over, he emerged from the hiding and began to go here and there openly. When people again begged him earnestly to go underground, he said: "To go into hiding for more than three days is not proven from the sunnah, because the Holy Prophet too had remained hidden in the Cave of Thaur, at the time of migration, for three days only".
He is the famous glorious Follower (Tabi'i), and a very great conformer to the Sunnah. For 50 years he never missed a single congregational prayer; not even the First Takbir. And for 40 years there was given no prayer-call for any prayer before which he might not be present in the mosque; and for 50 years he said the pre-dawn prayer (Fair) with the ablution of the previous Isha prayer.
As regards him it is stated in the book entitled Masha'ikh-e Kandhla that Maulana Mahmud Bakhsh left behind him a son named Maulana Muzaffar Husain who in asceticism and piety and conformance to the sunnah was a matchless person and a renowned august man.
It is stated further in the said book that Maulana Muzaffar Husain never deviated from obedience to Allah and conformance to the prophetic sunnah and used to arrange all his religious and secular affairs, and the external and internal tasks and problems in accordance with the Book and the Hadith. He always used to be active in discharging the people's rights and used to devote all his efforts and endeavours in reviving the prophetic Sunnah. He used to try not to do anything against Allah's and the Holy Apostle's a pleasure, nor take a single step contrary to the Sunnah.
His followers and proselytes have written about him that the process of allegiance and inculcation or initiation (taiqin) was also current at Maulana Muzaffar Husain's place and everywhere many people who became his proselytes (murid) used to become enamoured of the Book and the sunnah.
Hafiz Muhammad Yusuf and Hafiz Muhammad Yunus (Shaik al-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariya's maternal grandfather) used to say that Maulana Muzaffar Husain's special miracle (karamah) and blessing was this that whoever became his proselyte, he then never missed the Tahajjud prayer.
Every proselyte of his who this insignificant author happened to meet, found them habitual of Tahajjud and other traditional nafl prayers. Illumination of faith beaconed visibly from their faces.