As was his Ma’mool (daily practice), Hadhrat would take a walk after Fajr Salaah. Sometimes he would walk in the compound where the Majlis Khana was located. At other times he would stroll in the Majlis Khana itself.

It was the time when the people of the village would come and greet him. After a brief Salaam, they would amass precious Du’aas and leave with smiling faces. Only two or three Ustaads, a Khaadim or so, and Hadhrat’s son and son-in-law would be permitted to walk with him. Out of respect, they always walked a little behind him.

This is the time when Hadhrat Rahmatullahi Alayh would treat us with some informal conversation and discussion. As per the Sunnah, he would inquire of any new and events etc. which were taking place in the world or sometimes, the Tafseer of an Aayat or at other times just remain silent.

One morning, Hadhrat sadly remarked: “Aaj kal, Jaanwar jangal me ye bi kehte honge, ke: ‘E Insaan me tum se accha hu!’” (Nowadays, the animals in the jungle must be saying that ‘O humans, we are better than you!’)

This was said almost a quarter of a century ago when Hadhrat was simply flooded with the problems of people. At the time of Asr when he would stand up for Wudhu, he would forlornly observe: “Whichever letter I open, there is only grief, accept for a very few. From the morning till the evening, it’s only tales of sorrow that people narrate. At the end of the day, I am also human and thus I am affected.”

Once he mentioned to this writer: “In my entire life, I cannot recall ever sleeping after Fajr Salaah. Even when ill, I would merely lay down on the rug. But, I cannot remember ever getting back into bed. The air just before sunrise has the quality of making a person feel drowsy. However, this period and phase is very brief. Thereafter, all thoughts of sleep fade away.”

Allahu-Akbar, the age of seventy-five and no sleeping after Fajr. Illnesses and journeys, celebrations and grief, tiredness and fatigue – nothing moved him to cast aside his daily routine.

By Allah, Hadhrat was shy and modest. It was the duty of the Khaadims to decipher the meaning behind his words. For this, one had to have a ready ear and an even more willing heart.

Before allowing anyone into his personal Khidmat, Hadhrat would sum and assess him and subsequently train and teach him if he discerned any sincerity. However, anyone could not simply barge in and become a Khaadim. There was a system in place and that system would not tolerate any disturbances.

Being in the service of such Auliya is everyone’s wish and desire. However, plenty are the tests and trials which if one is not careful about, could ruin one’s Dunya and Aakhirah.

There is a famous saying: “To desire is easy but to maintain a relationship is difficult”.

The summer of September 1986 was approaching to a close. A couple of geese were quacking their daily morning greetings. In an ever so nonchalant manner, Hadhrat, whilst strolling, suddenly stopped and looked at this writer: “Many heart felt letters have come from Pakistan, inviting me to attend the Siyaanatul-Muslimeen Jalsa. This organization promotes the teachings of my Sheikh Moulana Thanwi Rahmatullahi Alayh.”

(to be continued Insha-Allah)