An Introduction

نہ گنجد در بیانِ وصفِ کمالش 
A bayaan cannot adequately cover the description of his perfection
کنم طبع آزمائی با خیالش
I have tested myself according to his way of reflection



The Biographical Character’s Life in His Own Words

A commissioned police officer in Thanabawan requested bai’t from Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi alaih). In response, Hazrat Thanwi wrote, introducing himself:

“I am a dry student. Nowadays, things which are considered to be necessities of being a durwaish, like the gatherings of meelaad, urs, aghyarwi,[1] niyaaz, Faatihah, qawwaali and the like, I am removed of all of it and I prefer to keep my friends on this dry path.

Neither am I one who receives kashf and performs karaamat, nor am I a person who has some mystical powers and nor am I an aamil. I only make known the Ahkaam of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasool (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam).

I do not inconvenience my friends in any way with regard to my condition or any of my teachings, and neither do I wish to conceal any suggestion or advice about matters pertaining to the Deen. I do not force anyone to make amal. Yes, I certainly become happy seeing someone make amal and sad at someone remain aloof from amal [practice].

I do not ask anyone to intercede on my behalf nor do I intercede on anyone else’s behalf. For this reason some people have the opinion of me of being dull. My outlook is that, for the sake of one person another should not be troubled, even if it is verbal.

The greatest care I exercise for myself and for my friends is that no one should be troubled in anyway. Whether it is physical; like fighting, or monetary; like suppressing the right of someone or taking something without right, whether it has to do with honour; like belittling someone, back-biting someone or whether in feelings; like troubling someone or dealing in an unbecoming way causing grief. If by mistake something of this sort transpired, then one should not sneer at seeking forgiveness.

I pay so much attention to these things that seeing someone’s dress and appearance in conflict with the Shariah I merely have a cause for complaint. However, seeing wrongs in these things, horrifies me and I make du’aa that Allah Ta’ala grants salvation from it. This is my life in full. People think:

منش کردہ ام رستم پہلوان
I have displayed myself as the wrestler, Rustam
وگر  نہ بلے بود در سیستاں
But, where was I in Seestaan (the home of Rustam)?

[End of Hazrat Thanwi’s account of himself.]

ہم جس پہ مر ر ہے ہیں ، وہ ہے بات ہی کچھ اور
Whom we are dying over, he is something else
عالم میں تم سے لاکھ سہی ،تم مگر کہاں
In the world there may be millions of others, but where like you!

[1] The bid’ah custom of feeding for the sake of Shaikh Abdul Qaadir Jeelaani on the eleventh of Rabee’ul Aakhir.