5. Acquisition of Knowledge

5.1 Wonderful Selection

Just as the Directives of the Ambiya (Alaihimus Salaam) were based on Divine Revelation, similarly the glad tidings of the Awliya-Ullah enjoy Divine Support and from the unseen means are forthcoming for their completion.

The augury which Hazrat Hafiz Ghulaam Murtaza Panipati made of Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi becoming a Molvi and Hafiz was realized through the unseen in the following way: His honourable father, who was a wealthy person of his time, selected him for Deeni Ta’leem and his younger son, Munshi Akbar Ali Marhoom for worldly education, namely English studies. Whereas, the rich and famous on a large scale regard it to be of honour and pride to send their children for secular education and they consider Deeni Ta’leem to be a cause of embarrassment.

The grand and pure childhood of Hazrat, furthermore, demanded that he should be taught a pure education by virtue of which the honourable qualities which the All-Powerful embedded in his nature come to the fore.

5.2 Arabic Education

His educational course commenced with Ta’leem of the Qur’aan of which a few paarahs he did by Akhun Jee, a resident of Khatoli in the district of Meerath. Thereafter he did Hifz of the Qur’aan by Hafiz Husain Ali who was from Meerath and residing in Meerath.

He learnt the elementary Arabic text books in his hometown of Thanabawan by Moulana Fatah Muhammad. However, only upon reaching Darul Uloom Deoband did he systematically pursue the course with Mishkaat Shareef, Mukhtasarul Ma’aani, Noorul Anwaar and Mulla Hasan. He enrolled at Darul Uloom at the end of Zul Qa’dah 1295 Hijri and early in 1301 Hijri, that is the duration of approximately five years when his age was just 19 or 20 years, he graduated.

5.3 Persian Education

His initial education in the Persian Language was at the hands of Ustaads from Meerath. The intermediary text books were studied in Thanabawan by Moulana Fatah Muhammad who was an accomplished teacher in Persian Literature. The higher text books till Abul Fazl were studied by his maternal uncle, Waajid Ali who was also an accomplished Persian teacher.

When he came to Deoband he studied Panj Ruq’ah, Qasaa’id-e-Urfi, Sikandar Naamah, etc. by Moulana Manfa’at Ali Deobandi and thus completed his Persian studies.

Whilst studying, at the age of only 18 years he compiled Mathnawi Rezobam and with this his career as an author began.