He was an eminent and excellent Aalim, perfect dervish, embodiment of the Deen, exceptionally blessed and a Saahib-e-Nisbat Buzrug [a saintly person with a strong bond with Allah Ta’ala]. First he was bai’t to Hazrat Nawab Qutbud Deen Khan Dehlwi (Rahmatullahi alaih). After Nawab Qutbud Deen’s demise, for perfection in Sulook [Tasawwuf] he turned to Shaikhul Arab wal Ajam, Hazrat Haji Imdaadullah Muhaajir-e-Makki and he was conferred with Khilaafat. He was the first Ustaad of Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, by whom Hazrat studied the elementary Persian and Arabic text books. It was the good fortune of Hazrat, or the beautiful order of creation, that in his early age when his heart was pure from all contamination Hazrat received such a perfect Ustaad whose Ta’leem and Tarbiyat proved to be a key to blessings and fortune and a handle for goodness and piety for Hazrat. Through the spiritual blessings of his company, love for the Deen was inculcated in his heart. Thus Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi in acknowledgement says: “The true capital, that is Love for Deen, I acquired through the faiz of the suhbat of Moulana because Moulana was an Aashiq of the Deen. Through the barkat of Moulana my enthusiasm for Deen increased to such a level that as a minor I started to read Tahajjud.”
6.3 The Ustaad’s Display of Special Honour
Where Moulana Fatah Muhammad Saheb was so comprehensive in his academic and spiritual knowledge, in physique and stature he was slight. Furthermore, he was humble in nature and simple in dress. Outwardly therefore, it was not a simple matter to gauge his rank. Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi also had a special inclination and affection for his Ustaad. Once, a visitor came to Hazrat. He took the visitor to meet his Ustaad. In view of Moulana being a person with insight and he could see that today’s student will be the Ustaad of tomorrow, therefore, notwithstanding him being the Ustaad he would honour and respect Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi much. Accordingly, when Hazrat came in the presence of Moulana along with the visitor, Moulana met him with the usual honour and respect; as one meets a Buzrug. They spoke casual talk and close to Maghrib he returned. The visitor said: “You told me you are taking me to your Ustaad. Are you not going there?” Hazrat replied: “That’s where we have been.” The visitor was astonished and he remarked: “That’s your Ustaad!!! He cannot be distinguished from even a Shaagird [pupil].”
6.4 Apology of the Ustaad
In student days the Ustaad, out of care and urge for improvement, sometimes raises his hands on the student. Moulana Fatah Muhammad, who was all-out Muttaqi, once came to his dutiful pupil and said: “When two people live together then a relationship develops between them and due to this relationship some rights are also established. These rights tend to be neglected. Therefore, I must have been also neglectful. For this I apologise.” Hazrat understood at once that reference was to his student days when Moulana may have on a rare occasion hit him. For this he was apologising in this subtle way. He therefore replied: “Hazrat! I understand what you are asking maaf for. Hazrat! Taubah, Taubah! That was the essence of care and mercy. There is no need to ask maaf for that. This little which I have learnt was through the barkat of that.” Moulana said: “Just make maaf.” Hazrat tried to evade, however Moulana relented, to which Hazrat said: “I have made maaf.” Moulana then became very pleased.