The bond between Ustaad and Shaagird resembles that of father and son, and strength in this relationship is confined to respect and obedience, by virtue of which the care and love of the Ustaad intensify. Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi took his pupils to be dearer to him than his mureeds, and he would meet them with much love and care. He would see that others also respect and honour them, and he would not allow anyone to look down upon them. He would neither take personal work from them nor would he allow others to take work from them. He would not allow them [students of his Madrasah] to go and fetch food from other peoples’ homes or allow them to go to da’wats like needy and poor people. In short, he would promote their respect and dignity. And often he would say: “The degree of bond I have with my pupils, I do not have that much with my devotees. This is because one does not feel free with devotees as one feels with pupils.”
This was also due to the fact that students would have almost passionate love for Hazrat.
9. Suhbat of the Buzrugs
9.1 The Effect of Suhbat
Experts on education and psychology, who are slaves of human intelligence, have only now uncovered the mystery that minds cannot be changed solely by writings and speeches, as long as special surroundings and training centres are not established for this purpose. Here, students would have to learn to stay for a period of time alone, following one central way and thought. For this reason in today’s administration of education provision is made for a system of training. However, the lovers of the Candle of Nubuwwat [i.e. the Sahaabah] found this mystery from the first day. For this reason they devoted much of their time in the Majlis-e-Nabawi and thus acquired practical skill in the Teachings of Islam. In fact, the As-haab-e-Suffah adopted permanent residence there for the same reason, that they derive as much benefit from the Suhbatof Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as possible. From then on the foundation was laid of searching for the Suhbat of Buzrugs, for the mysteries and lessons of knowledge and divine-perception that can be derived from them, cannot be gained from pages, and the stages that can be ascended through the gaze and attention of Buzrugs, cannot possibly be reached by just struggling against the nafs and engaging in spiritual exercises, even after years. Even Hazrat Thanwi discloses the secret to his success to be the Suhbat of the Buzrugs. He says: “Neither did I ever make effort in my student days nor did I undergo mujaahadah and riyaazaat in the Path, [the Path of Sulook or Tasawwuf]. Whatever Allah Ta’ala has bestowed is the fruits of my illustrious Asaatizahs’ and Mashaaikhs’ du’aas and tawajjuh, and the excessive respect and good faith from my side. I never for a moment also, trouble any Buzrug.”