Although the wise have declared: “One percent of honour is endowed and ninety-nine percent of it is obtained through toil and struggle,” Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi was among those esteemed personalities of the human race whose honour and awe were not the product of toil and struggle. Rather, it was Allah-given. In this regard Hazrat would say: “I never made effort in learning. Whatever Allah Ta’ala bestowed was bestowed by virtue of maintaining a relationship of respect and love for Ustaads and Buzrugs. And, Al-Hamdulillah, I can say that not for a minute did I make any Buzrug of mine unhappy. The degree of respect I have in my heart for the Buzrugaan-e-Deen, perhaps there may be no one today who has that much in his heart.”
5.9 Gaze of Asaatizah
The special gaze of his Asaatizah on him was also the product of his honour. In fact, his life and his ways in his student days automatically put the special gaze of his Asaatizah on him. They would be honoured that of thousands there is one [student] ready to take their place. Appearing hereunder are anecdotes in this regard.
5.10 Appreciation of Time
In this world there is nothing more precious than time. Time is such an astonishing bounty that once passed it cannot be reclaimed even by spending the entire world’s treasures. Whoever appreciates it is looked upon in high regard. In his student days he considered it to be a sin to waste even a minute. He would not mix with anyone. All the time he was engrossed in his studies. [Clarification: In section 5.8The Secret to Honour, Hazrat Moulana Thanwi’s statement of him never making effort in his student days, was mentioned. This seems contradictory to what is mentioned here. Actually there is no contradiction. According to Hazrat Thanwi, he made no effort. For him his continuous engrossment in his studies required no effort. It was natural. He had an inborn fervour for studies. It did not require any special effort on his part.] If he had some free time he would go and sit in the service of his special Ustaad, Moulana Muhammad Ya’qoob the most senior Mudarris. Once, Moulana was out of town. Now he had a valid reason for being unoccupied. However, he could not bear being unoccupied and he went to sit in the service of another of his Ustaads, Moulana Sa’eed Ahmad. He [Moulana Sa’eed Ahmad] was surprised at this irregular visit and enquired the reason to it. In perfect simplicity he [Hazrat Thanwi] honestly said: “Hazrat Moulana Ya’qoob Saheb has gone out. Therefore I have presented myself in your service so that my time is not wasted.”