The Hajj Journey
When Abdul Haq Sahib Rampْri had decided to go for Hajj, he invited Hadhrat Imaam Rabbani to accompany him. Considering this a divine gift, Hadhrat happily accepted and expressed his profound gratitude to Allah Ta’ala. In the beginning of 1280 Hijri he departed on the journey. On this journey were also Hakim Ziyauddin, Hafiz Wahiuddin, Haji Alauddin, Haji Muhammad Yusuf and Hadhrat’s maternal cousin, Maulana Abun Nasr.
In Makkah Muazzamah, Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah received them with tremendous affection and showered his love and hospitality on them. As long as they were in Makkah, they remained Haji Sahib’s guests. In Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafaat, Hadhrat Haji Sahib’s camel was always alongside Hadhrat Gangohi’s camel.
During his stay in Makkah Muazzamah, Imaam Rabbani saw in a dream a caravan of Ahl-e-Khidmat on the move. In his dream he made this dua:
“O Allah! Join me with them.”
After making this dua, he ran after them and linked up with them. In the morning when he narrated his dream to Hadhrat Haji Sahib, he (Haji Sahib) smiled and said: “What else do you desire? You have already linked up.”
Also during his stay in Makkah Muazzamah he developed a rash. Initially it was a dry rash. Later it became watery. He embarked on board a ship for the return voyage in this condition. On board, his condition became extremely bad. He contracted such a severe fever that he remained unconscious for three days. He suffered extreme diarrhoea. During his lengthy illness, he was cared for by his maternal cousin, Maulana Abun Nasr. He alone gained the limitless thawaab for his unflinching and devoted service to Hadhrat. Frequently, Imaam Rabbani would say about him:
“Even a blood-brother is unable to do what Abun Nasr had done for me. He tended to me like a loving mother…”
On the seventh day, the ship docked at Bombay. The sickness had become so deeply-rooted during this time that there was absolutely no change in Hadhrat’s condition. After treatment by different people in Bombay, there appeared a slight improvement, but nothing satisfactory. During this duration he would lapse into convulsions. His already weakened body suffered further. His last physician was Hakim Muhammad A’zam Khan, the author of Ikseer-e-A’zam. At that time Hakim Sahib was living in Indore as the physician to the Raja, earning a monthly salary of 1000 rupees. Hakim Sahib came to the place where Hadhrat was staying and after a very thorough examination, treatment commenced. From the very next day an improvement in Hadhrat’s condition was perceivable. Hakim Sahib would daily visit Hadhrat, without any motive of monetary consideration. He would come on foot. Gradually Hadhrat’s condition improved although he was unable to sit. Hakim Sahib now being confident of recovery advised that Hadhrat be taken home. Thus, Maulana Abun Nasr arrived safely with Hadhrat in Gangoh during Muharram 1282. In Gangoh, Hadhrat recovered completely.
Imaam Rabbani went on his second Hajj in 1294 Hijri. This was the time when hostilities had erupted between Turkey and Russia. Among the people circulated the rumour that the Hajj journey was merely an excuse and that the actual purpose of the trip was to organise an army for a Jihaad campaign in aid of Turkey. But this rumour was utterly baseless. Hadhrat’s sole intention was to visit Baitullah and the City of Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم).
He left from Sahaaranpْr on 12th Shawwaal accompanied by a large group of Ulama. In this blessed caravan were the following illustrious Ulama:
Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi, Hakim Ziyauddin, Maulana Muhammad Mazhar with his wife, Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb, Maulana Rafiuddin, Maulana Mahmْd Hasan, Maulana Hakim Muhammad Hasan and Molvi Muhammad Ismail.
The group consisted of approximately a hundred members who travelled by train to Bombay. Along the way a number of miraculous events transpired with this holy group. Molvi Azizur Rahman who is the nephew of Imaam Rabbani narrates that when the train halted at one station, it was time for Fajr Namaaz. Imaam Rabbani alighted and after wudhu performed two raka’ts Sunnat. Seeing that he had resolved to perform the Salaat with Jamaat, almost all the Muslims came out of the train, quickly made wudhu and joined the Jamaat. A very large number of people had joined the Namaaz on the station platform. Meanwhile, the whistle announcing the train’s departure was sounded. Many people broke their Namaaz and hurried into the train. But Imaam Rabbani continued calmly with the Namaaz. There was absolutely no change in the manner in which he was conducting the Namaaz. Although the train made several attempts to move ahead, it failed. After a full 15 minutes, Imaam Rabbani completed the Namaaz and climbed into the train. As he took his seat, the train moved. The 15 minutes delay was made good by the train increasing speed. This was a conspicuous karaamat of Imaam Rabbani.
This group stayed 22 days in Bombay awaiting the arrival of the ship. But, the ship did not arrive. Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqْb said:
“Today it transpired that Molvi Muhammad Qasim has been the cause for the delay of the whole group. Several of his associates have still to come from Muzaffarnagar. As long as they are not here, the ship will not arrive.”
And so it happened. The very day the group arrived from Muzaffarnagar, Haji Qasim, the agent, started selling tickets for a German shipping company. The very next day the ship left from Bombay. On the eight day, the ship dropped anchor at Aden. After a day and a night in Aden, they sailed for Hijaaz. On the fourteenth day they arrived at Jiddah. After a stay of four days in Jiddah, they left on 20th Thil Qa’dh and reached Makkah Muazzamah the next evening.
Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah was already informed of the coming of this party. He therefore came in great elation to welcome them. As the caravan entered all saw Hadhrat Haji Sahib with a girdle around his waist standing at Baab-e-Makkah (The Portal of Makkah). Imaam Rabbani immediately dismounted and embraced Haji Sahib who took the entire caravan to his ribaat (lodge) where they all stayed. In the morning he invited everyone for meals. Inspite of Imaam Rabbani’s protests, saying that the party was very large, Haji Sahib adamantly said that his pleasure was in the whole party eating with him.
After Hajj, Imaam Rabbani left with the whole party for Madinah Munawwarah where they stayed for about twenty days before returning to Makkah. After a month’s stay in Makkah Mukarramah some of Hadhrat’s close associates decided that it was time to leave. But no one had the courage to speak to Hadhrat on this issue. Finally, a few associates who were in need, approached Hadhrat Haji Sahib and requested him to instruct Imaam Rabbani to leave. Haji Sahib accepting their request, said to Imaam Rabbani:
“Maulana, although my heart does not wish to separate from you, your companions have very little funds. Furthermore, the benefit which the people of Hindustan gain from you is apparent. It therefore seems best that now you leave for Hindustan.”
In obedience to this instruction, Imaam Rabbani took leave. The ship was about to sail from Jiddah. Although there was very little place available on board, Imaam Rabbani decided to buy the tickets and leave immediately. He said:
“Now that Makkah is lost, it is pointless lingering in Jiddah thinking of comfort.”
The ship sailed that same evening and on the thirteenth day docked safely at Bombay. From Bombay they arrived safely in Gangoh.
In 1299, Hadhrat Gangohi made preparations for his third Hajj. Everything happened suddenly. Early preparations had not been made and so little time was left that many people thought that they would not be able to participate in the Hajj.
On the 4th Thil Qa’dh, Hadhrat left for Bombay where he discovered that all the Hujjaaj had already left. Only a handful was seen. These few persons had lingered around hoping for some development which could open up a way for them to go for Hajj. Friends advised that tickets for Jiddah should not be purchased as this would be futile. Extremely little time was left. The new quarantine law of 10 days complicated the matter further. However, Imaam Rabbani was adamant. He purchased his ticket and boarded the ship.
The ship sailed from Bombay and on the seventh day docked at Aden. After a stop of a few hours, the ship sailed for Hijaaz. On the ninth day the ship dropped anchor in Jiddah. The passengers alighted into small boats and went ashore. No one here even knew of the Quarantine law. However, the ship-owners encountered some problem for having violated the quarantine law.
The Hajj was accomplished in peace and comfort. For the third time Imaam Rabbani had the good fortune and honour of meeting Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah.
This was Imaam Rabbani’s last Hajj. Thereafter, he fully engrossed himself with teaching, tarbiyat and tazkiyah (i.e. tending to the moral reformation of his mureeds).