THE SAINT OF JALALABAD
Just as a blind person’s sense of joy is enhanced by the description of a sweet smelling flower, so too will a brief description of Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Rahmatullah Alayh undeniably increase the adoration of those who had the good fortune to meet him.
Envisage in the eye of your mind an extremely handsome person of about seventy years of age (this was at the time when this writer commenced his studies in Jalalabad). Fair in complexion, medium in height, light as a feather in weight without being skeletal, piercing grey-brown eyes with a tinge of a constant smile, a prominent slight-bridged nose, an average forehead which glittered with Nur, a full, well-kept white beard and a mouth from which the deliciousness of the sweetness of Allah Ta’aala’s Thikr continuously seemed to drip.
Add to the above the spectacle of a man who never allowed circumstances to overpower him, nor awe of anyone to overwhelm him. His was in engagement with the affairs of the creation, yet he remained in constant meditation of his Creator. Once he remarked to this writer:
“Alhamdulillah, even whilst asleep my heart is engrossed with Thikrullah.” Allahu Akbar!
Sometimes his silence would be worth volumes of unspoken words, and at other times his gestures, especially when conducting his Majlis (discourse), would seem as if he was summoning some celestial creation. Hard to believe, but his words were measured, weighed according to the scale of the listener’s intelligence, evaluated according to the occasion and spoken carefully with simplicity and clarity. Thus, his advice would leave a lasting impression!
If he observed Istiqaamat (steadfastness) in even the most seemingly trivial of actions such as making certain that his pen was in its appropriate place for as long as anyone could remember, then what must the condition of his Istiqaamat upon the Shariah and the Sunnah have been? From the age of twelve, he NEVER missed a single Tahajjud until his demise at the ripe old age of eighty-four! Nor did the piercing cold nights deter him from waking him up, nor the tiredness of lengthy travels, nor the grief upon the demise of his six sons.
Kindness and compassion for the errant and the sinful was his trademark. Like a mother lamb who fearfully and desperately cries out for her little lost lamb somewhere in a valley teeming with wolves, so would he, in a heart wrenching tone cry out to his audience: “Ar-e bacho, bacho…” (O, children, save yourselves…).
At other, times, out of sheer desperation at the seemingly hopeless situation of this fallen Ummah, he would sorrowfully and frantically lament:
“Kyaa kahu, kiss se kahoo, koyi sunne wala be to ho?” (What shall I say…to whom shall I speak to…is there even anyone out their listening.?)
Like the ocean, he would allow people to tap into his boundless kindness. Not only humankind, but even cats and cows, buffaloes and horses would graze from his gracious shores. The rights of the much abused dogs of the village were unscrupulously fulfilled in no less than that of others. Insha Allah specific incidents will be narrated at a later stage. On the Day of Qiyamah in the Divine Court of Allah Azza Wajal these animals will indeed bear witness to the Insaaniyat of the Saint of Jalalabad.
And then, there was the Hindu pundit who administered a temple. O yes, he had problems and worries. Who else did he turn to other than to the Saint of Jalalabad! He would heave away his sorrow to an ear which was ever willing to listen to his complaints and the mistreatment meted out to him by his community. The cold was killing him. He was an old man. He did not even possess a jersey. He was hungry. “Here is some money. Go buy something to keep yourself warm!” This is Islam – the True Islam. This is the Sunnah of Rahmatul Aalameen (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) – the True Sunnah. This was practical Daawah. So little was said, so much was done. Whether he accepted Islam or not it is not known. What is known is that the day the Janaazah of the Saint of Jalalabad was passing by, the Hindu pundit was seen sitting on the high boundary walls of his temple crying. Crying for the lost compassion and crying for a lost friend.
Indeed, Hadhrat’s stated policy of “No one comes to the door of this Faqeer crying and leaves accept laughing” was honoured until his very last days.
Every oppressed could approach him and find a willing shoulder to lean upon. Errant husbands were warned by their wives’ dare that they would inform Hadhrajee. This was enough to bring the husband to heel and to subdue the Shaytaan which overwhelmed him.
Sincerity was his guide and his strength. Tolerance was his weapon by which many a foe was won over. Yes, when anyone attempted to temper with the Shariah, then he indeed would be as firm as a mountain. Tolerance would be displaced by a raging fire of Allah’s Love. There were occasions where he would simply walk alone in issues where the Shariah was violated. He cared not for the criticism of the sceptic, or the mockery of the cynic. And why should he care when he knew that he had His Allah on his side? And why should he care when he had totally annihilated himself in the Divine Love of Allah?
Being from the family of Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam merely drove him to a higher degree of observing intricate Sunnats. The Sunnah was his cloak and his mantle. Again, the numerous mind boggling adherence to the Sunnah of Sayyidina Muhammed Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam will be narrated elsewhere, Insha Allah. For now, suffice to know that time and again he was blessed with the vision of Rasoollullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam in his dreams. On a certain occasion, a person wrote to the Saint stating that that Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam had advised him in a dream to take bay’at at the hands of Moulana Maseehullah Rahmatullahi Alayh.
His mere smooth touch was electrifying, his smile was endearing and his sense of humour exhilarating. The more those who thought they knew him, the more they understood that they did not know him. A faithful friend to strangers and a sincere relative to travellers he was. Amongst the Mashaaikh of the time he was the Sheikh Abdul-Qadir Jilani, and amongst the Aabideen the Junaid Baghdadi. When with Ulama, he turned into a Ghazaali who easily spilled treasures of pearls of knowledge. His crown was his humble independence and his throne a treasured rug. He could relate to anyone at any given time – child or adult, rich or poor, ignorant or learned, politician or postmen. Like a glass of sweet water he was, transparent yet so very apparent.
“Was this Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Rahmatullahi Alayh not Allah’s gift unto us and The Ummah?”
“Yes”, would those who knew him reply unhesitatingly.
“Is there not a lesson for us in the compassion he had for one and all, even for non-Muslims? Is that life not much more worth living, which revolves around pleasing Allah and His Rasool Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam?”
(to be continued Insha-Allah)