7.6 Effect of Lillahiyat
Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi was from the very beginning an embodiment of sincerity and considerateness. On the one hand employment was against his nature and on the other he did not view it correct to do the work of Allah Ta’ala taking a wage. Notwithstanding the fact that fatwa by the later Fuqaha exists on its permissibility, taqwa, however, demanded that if Deen is to be taught it should be taught Li Wajhillah [for nothing else but the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala]. He, therefore, came to the conclusion of acquiring education in Tibb at the consulting office of Hakeem Abdul Majeed Khan Marhoom Dehlwi so that together with teaching he can practise traditional healing and earn his livelihood.
Prior to going there, however, he sought the permission of his honourable father who happily consented to the idea. In fact, he was duly affected by the good fortune of his bright offspring and [later] stipend the income of one of his lands, Gadai Khairah for his expenses so that he can execute the service of Deen with peace of mind, without concern for his livelihood.
7.7 Education in Tibb
Out of fervour for teaching Deeni Education for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, he came to Delhi from Kanpur and commenced his studies in Tibb by Hakeem Abdul Majeed Khan Dehlwi. Hakeem Saheb was very independent in view of his affluence and nobility. But, despite being a nobleman and renowned, he was also touched by Hazrat’s Akhlaaq and Aadaab [character and etiquette]. He thus showed love and care for him.
Meanwhile the people of Kanpur were again unsettled at his departure and the Madrasah authorities came to him in Delhi. Putting forward the significance of the Madrasah they implored him to return. His colleague of student days, Hakeem Molvi Jameelud Deen Ghazipuri gave him this advice:
“Don’t engross yourself in Tibb at all. It is my experience that by practising the art of healing one can never do service to Deen and Ilm-e-Deen.”
Honouring the desires of these sincere friends he decided to return. However, following the adage:
آمدن بر ارادت رفتن بہ اجازت
Come on your own accord and take permission when leaving,
he regarded it to be against politeness and culture to merely abandon his tuition, moreover, in view of Hakeem Saheb’s excessive love and care. He, therefore, said to those that came to call him that if Hakeem Saheb grants permission then he is prepared to go. They came to Hakeem Saheb and requested him to allow Moulana Ashraf Ali to leave. Reluctantly Hakeem Saheb gave permission, saying:
“Well, if he does not want his own progress then he is free to leave.”
And so, after just fifteen days of studying Tibb he returned to Kanpur and resumed his teaching commitments. Muslims of Kanpur were overjoyed. Their barren garden started to bloom again.
7.8 Joy of the Spiritual Mentor
When news of this reached his Shaikh, Hazrat Haji Imdaadullah Saheb (Quddisa Sirruhul Azeez) then he expressed his happiness of the return in these words:
“I have learnt of your abandonment of medicine-practice and returning to Kanpur for Deeni Educational Practice. I am very happy. May Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu grant you barkat and may he shower grace and benefit upon all Muslims through your barakaat and faiz.
Previously I did give you mashwarah to hold onto the Deen firmly. The dunya will automatically present itself to you in a beautiful form. Nevertheless, you – the Ulama – are the heirs to the Ambiya. Allah Ta’ala created you[the Ulama] to guide creation and in this way He has conferred great favours upon you. Therefore, keep the thought of the goal before all else.”
(Maktoob-e-Imdaadiyah, No. 3)
Thereafter, he commenced his work with peace of mind and remained engaged in teaching for a full fourteen years.