INCIDENTS OF SERVITUDE (State of Being a Slave)

Al-‘Uboodiyah, literally, is that state in which a person subdues himself with humility and love to the will of someone else. One can easily enslave himself to any created being. This type of ‘Uboodiyah surely leads to sadness, humiliation, and transgression; it is then the enslavement by false idols.
But devoting oneself to the Creator (اللَّه سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) of all the beings and submitting to His Command leads to nothing but happiness, nobility and justice; and that is the beloved ‘Uboodiyah.

Hadhrat Moulana Qari Mohammed Tayyab Saheb رحمه الله (the principal of Deoband) said that his father, Hadhrat Moulana Hafiz
Muhammad Ahmad Saheb رحمه الله , had mentioned that he had seen
many pious people. However, there were three among them whom he
had not only seen, but, in fact, the memories of their lives were very
clear and apparent before him:

The first of these three men was Haji Imdaadullah Saheb رحمه الله

Whenever he experienced any minor difficulty, he would moan and
groan excessively. Someone once said to him, “Hadhrat, outwardly
this seems to be against submission to the will of Allah طائلة and is
a sign of expressing intolerance. We ought to be patient with the
decree of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى . Your reaction is totally opposite.”
Hadhrat replied: “Do you wish me to be bold in front of my
Allah ? Should I display such boldness that I can withstand any
calamity that He places me in? Instead, I rather express my humility
and submission that:- ‘O Allah, I am not worthy of being tested. I do
not have any strength at all. Forgive me without engaging me in any
trial. Therefore, I express my helplessness, inability and my
dependence on you.’ To express one’s helplessness, inability and
dependence is actual servitude.”

Hadhrat Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi Saheb’s رحمه الله

“The second pious person was my father Hadhrat Moulana Qaasim
Nanotwi Saheb رحمه الله . His practice was that no matter how big a
calamity he may be afflicted with, he would never disclose it to
anyone. He tolerated it. After many months, he would say, ‘I had
experienced such and such difficulty.’ Then only would we come to
know that he went through such severe difficulties. He used to say:
‘Whatever comes from the friend is best.’ In other words, whatever
difficulty a person experiences from Allah طائلة , he should exercise
patience. If sickness comes, he should be patient. If he is afflicted
with any calamity then too he should be patient. Thereafter, he used
to explain that this is the true meaning of servitude.”

Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi Saheb’s
expression of servitude

“The third pious person was Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmad
Gangohi Saheb who was my ustaadh (teacher) as well as my
murabbi (spiritual guide). If he was afflicted with the slightest
sickness, he would not complain. However, he would be extremely
particular about medication.
‘Call the doctor! Bring the medicine! What food should be eaten?
What food should be refrained from? Now the doctor/hakim is
coming for treatment’ These were some of the statements he would
constantly make. The people would comment: ‘Hadhrat, this
apparently seems to be against Tawakkul. (Reliance on Allah ). So
much concern for such a small sickness! This is against the very
essence of Tawakkul.’
Hadhrat would reply: ‘This body of ours is a machine from
the (divine) Government. We are not the owners of it. The real owner
is Allah  and to look after it is fardh. This body is an amaanah
(trust). Look after it so that you will be saved from khiyaanat
1‘When a person gets sick it is sunnah to adopt the means to cure
himself so that this machine will function well. To look after oneself
is fardh.’ Thereafter he would say: ‘Ittibaa-e-sunnah (following of
the sunnah) is in fact true servitude.’
Thereafter, my father would say: “I saw all these three saints. One
would moan and groan like Haji Saheb , one would keep silent
like Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi Saheb and one would take his
precautions so that he may follow the sunnah.”
In one instance servitude is to express one’s inability. In another
instance it is tafweedh (submission to the will of Allah ). In yet a
third instance, it is in the following of the sunnah by resorting to
treatment. All these are expressions of servitude.
May Allah  give us the taufeeq of following the sunnah.