The Life of Haji Imdadullah Muhajir e Makki رحمه الله- Part 2

Some Miscellaneous Episodes

1) Hadhrat Maulana Thanwi رحمه الله narrates that a Sْufi said:
“Our proof for Haji Sahib being kaamil (spiritually perfect) is that the Ulama turn to him in abundance. Usually the Ulama oppose the Sufiyyah. Now when the Ulama have become followers, who can oppose?”

2) Daily after the lesson of Mathnawi Shareef by Hadhrat Haji Sahib, there would be a dua. He was asked:
“Hadhrat what should we make dua for?”

He replied: “Make dua that we too acquire what is written in it (Mathnawi).”

3) Once in the Musjid of Keraana, a pious butcher was sitting by Hadhrat Sahib. While sitting there the thought came to his mind: “Is the rank of Hadhrat Sahib higher or that of Hadhrat Haji Sahib?” Hadhrat immediately commented:

“It is disrespectful to compare the ranks of the Ahlullah: Who is big and who is small? Allah is aware who is more maqbool (accepted) by him. A good opinion should be held for all. What need do you have for this investigation?”

4) Hadhrat Maulana Muhibbuddeen Wilayati رحمه الله was Hadhrat’s khalifah. He was a man to whom occurred the incidence of kashf in abundance. Once the thought came to him that the Hadith mentions great virtues of a Namaaz for which a perfect wudhu was made and the Namaaz is performed without there being any stray thought in it. He was an Aalim as well. He lamented in his heart: “Alas! My whole life has passed without me achieving such a Namaaz. Let me at least make an attempt to perform such a Namaaz.” He was successful in the attempt. In view of the abundance of stray thoughts assaulting the mind, he had closed his eyes during the Namaaz because with open eyes generally a variety of thoughts enters the mind. Thus, by closing his eyes he was able to concentrate and all thoughts were blocked out.

He then desired to know of the form of that Namaaz in Aalam-e-Mithaal (the Spiritual Realm of Symbols). In his contemplation he saw that Namaaz in the form of an extremely beautiful women. She was beautiful in every respect. She had beautiful eyes too. When, however he looked carefully, he saw that she was blind. He was surprised and thaught of the possible defect which had caused his Namaaz to assume this form.

For clearing the doubt, he narrated this incident to Hadhrat Haji Sahib without explaining the method in which he had performed the Namaaz. He had only stated in brief that the Namaaz he had performed was completely devoid of thoughts. Haji Sahib spontaneously responded:
“It appears that in order to avoid the incidence of thoughts you had closed your eyes.”

After he had conceded this, Hadhrat said:
“Since it is in conflict with the Sunnah (i.e. the performance of Namaaz with closed eyes), the defect was shown to you in this form. The Namaaz performed with open eyes has greater acceptability because it conforms to the Sunnah regardless of the abundance of stray thoughts.”

5) Once a sum of money came to the Shareef of Makkah (The Turkish governor), which was for distribution among the Muhaajireen (those who had migrated to Makkah). Hadhrat Haji Sahib sent a message to him informing that he (Haji Sahib) being a Muhaajir was also entitled to a share. In response three annas (three cents) were sent as his share. At that time Maulana Muhammad Muneer Nanotwi was also present. Hadhrat said to Maulana:
“Of what benefit are three annas to me? Nevertheless, I considered it expedient to ask for my share because the peculiarity of this place is that when a man leads a life of some istighnaa (independence), people begin to become jealous for no reason whatever. Since it is my intention to live permanently here, I choose to live humbly to avoid projecting the image of the slightest bit of istighnaa.”

6) A labourer told Hadhrat that a jinn was interfering with his daughter, hence he should come. Hadhrat said that he was not an aamil (therefore his coming would be of no avail). However, on the insistence of the labourer, Hadhrat went. When Hadhrat entered, the jinn made Salaam and expressed his regret and shame because Hadhrat had to come. The jinn said that if Hadhrat had sent a paper with only his name written, he would have left. He further promised never again to cause any difficulty to those related to Hadhrat’s Silsilah.

7) Once a man asked to be shown a wazifah (thikr formula) which will enable him to see Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم) in a dream. Hadhrat said:
“You have high aspirations. I am not worthy of gaining the honour of making ziyaarat (in a dream) of even the gracious Dome (over Rasulullah’s Grave).”

8) Haji Abdur Raheem who was Hadhrat’s close khaadim said:
“Once black shoes were presented to Hadhrat. Hadhrat gave the shoes to me. I said:
‘The gifts you bestow to us khuddaam are a great treasure and a barkat. But people make gifts to Hadhrat so that you make use thereof. Therefore, if Hadhrat gives it to me after having used it for a few days, then I too will be honoured and the people will also be happy.’
However, Hadhrat said: ‘Go! You don’t know.’
When I pressed him for an explanation, Hadhrat said:
‘From the time I saw the black ghilaaf (cloth) of the Ka’bah, I lack the courage to wear black shoes. The thought of the Ka’bah’s colour and my feet come to mind. Similarly, I saw the green curtains of Rasulullah’s Raudah At’har (The Purest Grave), I refrained from wearing shoes of green cloth.”

9) Haji Abdur Raheem also said:
“I served Hadhrat for ages, during the night and day. I never saw Hadhrat stretching out his legs when sleeping. His legs would always be drawn in. At first I never took notice of this. But after a considerable time in which he never even occasionally stretched his legs, I realised that his style of sleeping was by deliberate design. Finally I asked him for the reason, saying that there can hardly be any sleep or comfort in that position. Hadhrat said: ‘Simpleton! Go and wander around with comfort. Don’t you know that it is disrespectful to stretch your legs in the presence of your Mahboob (Beloved)?’ ”

10) Someone faked a letter in Hadhrat’s name and succeeded in obtaining some money on it’s basis from a wealthy person. A man informed Hadhrat and advised him to admonish the person who had frauded the letter in Hadhrat’s name. Hadhrat responded:
“Brother! I have been unable to pass on Deeni benefit to anyone. If someone can acquire the carrion of this world through my agency, I feel ashamed of myself in Allah’s presence for being niggardly in even this respect.”

11) Once a man from Hindustan sent some money as a gift for Hadhrat via the agency of a trader in Makkah Muazzamah. The trader sent a message informing Hadhrat of the arrival of the money. His message had also requested Hadhrat to send someone to collect the money from the shop. With great istighnaa (independence), Hadhrat responded:
“I have not asked for money from Hindustan nor will I send for money to the shop. The Allah Who has delivered the money from Hindustan to Makkah Muazzamah will deliver it from the shop to me.”

The trader felt highly ashamed of himself and immediately sent the money.

12) When Hadhrat was once sick and alone, others heard him laughing loudly. They were surprised to hear him laugh in solitude, all by himself. Sometime thereafter, when he was well, he was asked for the reason of the laughter of that occasion. Hadhrat responded:
“I experienced so much pleasure in my illness that I laughed uncontrollably.”

13) Hadhrat said:
“Every person sees me in a different colour (according to his understanding) while in fact I have no colour. I am like water which appears to have the colour of the bottle in which it is filled.”

14) “Stray thoughts (in Salaat) which agitate people, and refuse to disappear, should not be actively combated. Rather say: ‘Allahu Akbar! How wonderful is the power of Allah. He has created such a constant stream of thoughts which cannot be eliminated.’ This method is suitable for the Saalik. Become engrossed in the contemplation of Allah’s Qudrat.”

15) Regarding the Hadith: “Gheebat is worse than zina.”, Hadhrat commented:
“Zina is a humiliating sin of lust while gheebat is a sin motivated by pride. Kibr (pride is worse than shahwat (lust).”

Hadhrat Aqdas Thanwi further commented:
“Such subtleties are found by our Seniors.”

16) Once someone said: “Whatever spiritual benefit has been achieved, was by virtue of Hadhrat’s barkat.” Hadhrat responded: “Whatever has been gained, is in fact, in you. But, you should think that the benefit has been gained from the Shaikh otherwise you will suffer harm.”

17) Hadhrat said:
“Allah Ta’ala bestows a tongue to some of his servants who are not academically speaking Ulama. Thus, the tongue bestowed to Hadhrat Shams Tabrez was Maulana Rْmi who had elaborated the Uloom (Knowledge) of Hadhrat Shams Tabrez in great detail. In the same way I have received as a tongue Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi.”

18) Hadhrat would say:
“I don’t want to make anyone my servant. I desire to transform people into Allah’s servants.”

Hadhrat would publicly announce:
“I have presented whatever I had. Now everyone has my permission to go anywhere where they feel the Maqsad (Purpose) is attainable. I am not tying anyone to myself.”

19) Once Hadhrat said:
“I am tired of being the one followed by people. I take oath by Allah and say that my heart desires that people brand me a heretic and an infidel and abandon me so that I could be free to engross myself with my Mahboob. Your confidence in me has ruined my time.”

20) Hadhrat said:
“It is better for the heart to be in Makkah Muazzamah and the body in Hindustan than the body in Makkah Muazzamah and the heart in Hindustan.”

21) “There is no barkat in the ta’leem of a Shaikh who himself does not practise even though he may not be in need thereof. But, he should engage in some thikr and shaghl with the intention of receiving (spiritual benefit) so that he may pass it on to others. If he does not receive, he will not be able to give.”

22) When a man complained of not realising any benefit of his thikr, Hadhrat said:
“Is your constancy in thikr slight benefit? You have been given the taufeeq of engaging in thikr.”
(This by itself is a great benefit.)

23) Hadhrat said:
“Even if you are doing an act (of goodness) for the sake of riyaa (show), don’t abandon it. While initially it will be riyaa, later (by constancy) it will be transformed into aadat (habit). Ultimately, the aadat will become ibaadat.”

24) “Drink cold water so that ‘Alhamdulillah!’, emanates from the innermost recesses of the heart.”

25) “I take on mureeds with this intention: If mercy is bestowed to the Shaikh, he will take the mureeds along with him to Jannat, and if mercy is the lot of the mureeds, they will drag their Shaikh to Jannat.”

26) “I regard those who come to me as the medium of my salvation.”

27) A durwaish asked: “Hadhrat when the mind fails to concentrate (in Namaaz), of what benefit are the (external) movements of getting up and sitting?”

Hadhrat responded:
“The value of this getting up and sitting will be appreciated there (i.e. in Qiyaamah). In fact, these movements are everything. If Allah Ta’ala grants the taufeeq for these actions, they constitute a valuable treasure even without concentration.”

28) Regarding one’s Shaikh, one should hold the belief that among those Masha-ikh who are living, one is unable to find a Shaikh who is more beneficial than one’s Shaikh for one’s own islah.

29) When any mureed asked Hadhrat whether he should renounce the world, he (Hadhrat) would say:
“If the dunya (world) is halaal, don’t abandon it of your own accord. Engage in the Name of Allah (i.e. Thikrullah). When His Name becomes dominant in a person, the dunya itself will abandon one.”

30) Hadhrat said:
“I dislike taking service from three types of persons – an Aalim, a Sayyid and an old man.”

31) He said:
“The search for fame from people is reprehensible to all. But, according to the Muhaqqiqeen (the Auliya), the quest for fame from even Allah Ta’ala is dislikeable because in such a quest there is a degree of personal vanity, hence the feeling of worthiness which makes one feel that one is holding some lofty rank by Allah. This attitude is in negation of Abdiyat (being a slave of Allah). Abdiyat is lowliness and humility.

32) Hafiz Abdur Raheem Thanwi narrates that Hadhrat Haji Sahib said:
“I do not refuse bay’t to anyone for the fear of him becoming entrapped in the clutches of some Bid’ati. Then, Allah Ta’ala may apprehend me and demand:
‘He had come to you. Why did you reject him? On account of your rejection he became ensnared.’ ”

33) Hadhrat said:
“The searcher of the world should become the renouncer of the world.”

Elaborating this statement, Hadhrat Thanwi said:
“The world cannot be acquired by hankering after it. The way of its acquisition is to shun it. He will then gain it.”

34) Hadhrat said:
“The basis of unity is tawaadhu’ (humility). Those who have humility, will enjoy unity.”

35) Once Hadhrat said:
“There came two students to me. The one claimed that there is no Salaat without concentration which is the apparent meaning of the Hadith:
لا صلوةَ الا بحضور القلب
(There is no Salaat except with the presence of the heart.)

The other student countered with the saying of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu):
لأجهّز جيشي و انا في الصّلوة
(I organise my army while I am in Salaat.)

Who can claim that Hadhrat Umar’s Salaat is defective despite the lack of concentration? Most certainly, thinking of the army and preparing it while performing Salaat is obviously negatory of the presence of the heart in Salaat. It therefore follows that presence of mind (or concentration) is not among the essentials of the perfection of Salaat. The other student was unable to effectively answer this explanation. I told them that Hadhrat Umar’s preparation of the army is not negatory of hudhoor-e-qalb (presence of heart). On the contrary, it is in fact hudhoor-e-qalb. When a king has assigned a rank to a person and imposes on him a duty then when he is present in the royal court, the perfect state of his proximity to the king is for him to present a report of his assignments and await further directives. Similarly, the rank of khilaafate was bestowed to him by Allah Ta’ala. The time of Salaat is the time of presence in the Divine Court. At this juncture, for him to have sought Allah’s counsel and directive regarding the duties entrusted to him, is in fact, hudhoor-e-qalb. Thus, Hadhrat Umar’s involvement in the duty of preparing the army was by ilhaam (inspiration) from Allah Ta’ala. It is baseless and erroneous to compare Hadhrat Umar’s ilhaam with our wasaawis (shaitaani thoughts). Such thoughts are bu’d (remoteness, i.e. being far from Allah) while his inspirational cognition was qurb (Divine Proximity).”

This explanation satisfied both students. After writing this episode, Hadhrat Aqdas Thanwi commented:
“Subhaanallah! In what a simple and clear way has Hadhrat eliminated the conflict! Truly, customary knowledge is mere worship of words. Comprehen-sion of the meanings and recognition of the realities are the capital of only these sages.”

36) Whenever Haji Sahib would discuss a question of Haqaa-iq (spiritual realities) in the presence of Ulama, he would say:
“Brothers, I am unaware. You are the Ulama. I have explained whatever has crossed my heart. If there is anything in conflict with the Kitaab (Qur’aan) and Sunnah, don’t be inhibited. Inform me. On the Day of Qiyaamah I shall say:
‘I had told them, but they had not informed me.’ ”

37) Hadhrat Haji Sahib would occasionally say:
“My khulafaa are of two kinds. The one kind consists of those to whom I gave Ijaazat (Permission) to take bay’t (i.e. to initiate mureeds into the Silsilah). This Ijaazat I gave without their requesting. In reality, they are the true khulafaa. The second type consists of those who themselves requested to show others the Name of Allah (i.e. ways of thikr). On their request I granted them Ijaazat. This latter Ijaazat is not like the first kind (in quality).”

His Khulafaa

Those who acquired khilaafate and ijaazat from the court of Haji Sahib are the following:

Imaam-e-Rabbani Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi, Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat Maulana Shah Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Maulana Ahmad Hasan Amrohi, Maulana Muhyuddin Khatir, Maulana Jaleel Ahmad, Haji Sayyid Muhammad Deobandi, Maulana Manthْr Ahmad, Maulana Nْr Muhammad and Maulana Abdul Wahid Bengali.

Since the auspicious name of Imaam-e-Rabbani Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi appears in our Shajarah, he will now be the subject of discussion.