11.4 Format of Lectures

Hazrat Thanwi would always commence a wa’z by reciting the Khutba-e-Maathoorah [the Sunnat Khutbah] and then an Aayat or Hadeeth. Thereafter he would mention related and important issues which were studded with articulate, impressive, essential and sophisticated words. In conclusion he would repeat the translation of the Aayat or Hadeeth and express a du’aa. [This du’aa was not the customary lengthy, loud, ostentatious, hand-risen ‘du’aa’ in vogue nowadays.]

Every lecture was a collection of facts pertaining to realities and divine perception, and bore the hue of Tasawwuf. Although he would not think of a topic or prepare beforehand, rather he would commence the wa’z informally with whatever that came into his heart, it would not be haphazard, however. In fact he would speak with such sequence and fluency as though he was reading from a book.

Neither would he delve into unnecessary topics and poems, nor flowery speech to kill time for the sake of the listeners. In fact, time would run out with the contents yet incomplete. In this regard, Hakeem Muhammad Mustafa Saheb who would record Hazrat’s lectures, said:
“Ahqar heard a Hadeeth being spoken about on fifty occasions at least. Yet the content matter was not at all repeated.”

In the course of the lecture he would also, as encouragement or warning, mention anecdotes and parables in the pattern of Hazrat Jalaalud Deen Roomi (Rahmatullahi alaih). Even from common jokes and folk tales he would, in a cultured and sophisticated way, deduce such conclusions and lessons that would at times reduce the audience to tears and at times bring it to laughter. Adorning Hazrat’s lectures in Fiqhi-order, Hakeem Muhammad Mustafa Saheb has published the stories separately in two volumes with the title Amthaal-e-Ibrat [Parables of Admonition]. It contains over five hundred stories.

Similarly, in the course of his talk he would recite such opportune Arabic, Persian and Urdu poems that added life to the contents. The listeners would be moved. They would become ecstatic and emotional. They would say: “When Hazrat recites poems he captivates the heart.”

It would appear then as if the poem was said for that occasion. However, he did not adopt musical tones in his poems. If he recalled a poem on an appropriate occasion he would recite it naturally in his own distinct way. Although Hazrat never made it a point to memorize poems, then too, Hakeem Muhammad Mustafa Saheb counted close to one thousand three hundred poems from Hazrat’s lectures. They have been published with the name Abyaat-e-Hikmat [Odes of Wisdom].