On the basis of his experience Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi would state to students: “If you make incumbent upon yourself three things then I guarantee and take responsibility that you will achieve Ilmi potential.
1. Without fail make mutaala’ah of the sabaq you are going to take. And mutaala’ah is no stiff task because the purpose of mutaala’ah is simply to recognise what you know from what you do not. Don’t dig further than that.
2. Understand the lesson thoroughly from the Ustaad. Don’t go forward without understanding. If the Ustaad is not in a mood to explain then ask on another occasion.
3. Thereafter lecture the lessons once yourself.
That is all. After abiding to these three principles then rest at ease, whether you remember or not. Insha Allah, isti’daad [aptitude] will certainly be inculcated.
These three things are mandatory. And there is one other thing which is preferable. That is, to revise previous work (aamokhta) daily.”
7.11 Asaatizah Joining the Talaba
Hazrat Thanwi had a command over teaching. It was as a result of perfect skill in academic knowledge that after taking the Seat of Irshaad [Spiritual and Deeni Guardianship] many students, and in fact, Asaatizah as well would come to Thanabawan during Madrasah vacation. This was because Hazrat would speak, there too, on many things invaluable to students. He would touch on such academic intricacies and subtleties that would solve the problems of the Asaatizah. Seeing Ulama and Asaatizah departing for Thanabawan during the Madrasah holidays some ignorant ones would question the Asaatizah saying: “Why do you go to Thanabawan during the Madrasah vacation? Why don’t you stay here and make mutaala’ah through which your wealth of knowledge will increase? This question was also posed to our Mufti-e-A’zam of Pakistan, Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Saheb Deobandi who related it verbatim to Hazrat. Hazrat posed the question: “Well, leave aside the benefits pertaining to spiritual matters, tell me, after your relationship with us, have you found help in teaching your kitaabs compared to before?” In answer Mufti Saheb replied: “Hazrat, I have found immense help and perceived a glaring difference.” Thereupon Hazrat said: “It is sufficient to tell them: “I go there also for mutaala’ah.”