Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is’haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)
Were we to reflect over
various incidents in the annals of our history, we find that without fail,
shaytaan whispers negative thoughts in the hearts and minds of people, whereby
many incline towards objecting and fault-finding.
In the time of Nabi
(Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), the people said that they want a Nabi like Musa
(Alaihis Salaam) who received his Kitaab in one tablet form. They also
presented other objections and baseless reasons in not accepting Nabi
(Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam): The Quraish questioned why Nubuwwah was not
given to one of their leaders; why an angel was not sent down; and the Jews
turned away because the final Nabi descended from Hadhrat Isma`eel (Alaihis Salaam) and not
Hadhrat Is`haq (Alaihis Salaam).
They also say: 'Why was this Qur'an not
revealed to some mighty man
from the two towns'?
"They also say: 'How is it that this
Messenger eats and walks about the markets? Why has no angel been sent down
with him to warn us? Or, why has no treasure been thrown to him, or a garden
for him to eat from?' And the harm doers say: 'The man you follow is surely
[Surah Al-Furqaan 25:7−8]
With the choosing of the
Khulafa in the history of Islam, we find objections. …This is what happens all
the time. This fitnah has always prevailed…
We find the same trend and
pattern being followed in every generation, at different levels. The Sheikh
passes away andshaitaan
places objections in the people, regarding those who are Khulafah. The Mureed
thinks or even says: “There is no one to
guide me! …I don’t find anyone fit for me. There is no one worthy for me to
take Bay`ah, to continue with, on this path…”
Is there any humility in this kind of
thinking? …There is no humility in this. This kind of thinking smacks of pride!
person’s thinking discloses that he considers himself such a person, such an
important and great person that presently in the entire world, there is no one
good enough to be a means of guidance and assistance on this path to Allah
When Hadhrat Moulana
Muhammad Ilyas (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) passed away, people said that the work of
Tabligh was dead – there is no one to continue. Allah Ta’ala disproved their
conclusions by bringing Hadhrat Moulana Yusuf (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) into the
work, and Masha-Allah, he made the work flourish in the world. When he passed
away, the people said there is nobody to continue. Hadhrat Moulana Inaamul
Hasan (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) then continued the work. He too passed away and
still the work continues – everywhere.
This is the effort of
shaytaan, where people think: ‘Now there is nobody!’
Sheikhul Hadith, Hadhrat
Moulana Muhammad Zakariyyah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) would say: “Make a connection with a Sheikh who is
here today, because tomorrow he too will not be here. Appreciate (make qadr)
before even the present day Mashaa`ik are gone.”
There are many who compare
the present day Mashaa’ik with the Mashaa’ik and Auliya Allah of the past, and
in their comparison, they consider and even describe the present day Ahlullah
as ‘3rd class’, as ‘low grade’ or as inferior. …How easily we forget
what our own condition is and to what class we belong to...
Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah
(Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had given an apt analogy: A person wants to travel from
Bombay to Delhi, but he arrives late and the train has already started moving.
He has a first class ticket but the first class coach has already moved ahead.
If he says: ‘I only travel first class. I will never consider traveling third
class.’ – Then he must not expect to reach his destination.
…The train is slowly moving
out and picking up speed. There is still the opportunity to get onto the third
class coach. If he does not, he will not
reach Delhi. The person will just stay where he is.
He should rather board the
third class coach, despite the inferior and inadequate facilities. It may be
that the windows do not close, or the fans do not work or the seats are loose,
or the hinges are broken. However, despite all of these conditions and the
discomfort, if he boards, he will reach
It is a known fact that the destination of
the first class coach is the destination of the third class – even though not
Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah (Rahmatullahi
‘alayh) then said that the truth is, that there is never a case where the
Auliya Allah are third class.
…Your thinking is third class. They are not
third class. They are all first class.
It is the Mureed’s bad thinking:
‘They are not fit for me; not good enough
for me!’ This train of thoughts reveals pride.
Allah Ta’ala not only
informs us that there will always be His Truthful and Sincere Friends, He
commands us to keep their company, to be with them. This proves the need for a
Sheikh and to relate to him.
“O You who Believe,
Fear Allah and join the company of the Truthful ones
(the pious, the Auliya
[Surah Taubah 9 : 119]
It is essential to have a
sheikh and a living sheikh. Hadhrat
Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said that he
considered it necessary upon every
individual to connect himself to a reliable, experienced spiritual guide (and undergo the process of Islaah and Tazkiyyah).
Here too, we should keep in
mind the following: Not only is there a
need to have a Sheikh who is living, but a Sheikh who we can make Mashwarah
It is to the benefit of the individual if he links up with some
Sheikh-e-Kaamil. Without a Sheikh, the Mureed/Saalik will not draw the full blessings of
Also: It should not be that Bay`ah is taken and
nothing follows thereafter.
Of course, great caution needs to be exercised in choosing a
Sheikh and a person should seek a Sheikh, making sincere Dua to Allah Ta’ala to
guide to the one who will benefit the most. One should not be hasty in regard
to taking Bay`ah. It would also only be to one’s benefit if Mashwarah is made
and Istikharah is read, when there is an inclination towards any Sheikh of
Furthermore: It is sadly a reality that some
Khulafa also, become negligent or lax after the demise of their Sheikh –
sometimes, even during the lifetime of the Sheikh. They then do not also make
suitable guides for others. May Allah Ta’ala save us all.
It was for this reason that Hadhrat Moulana
Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) would present a yearly list of his
Khulafa, so that people are aware who could be taken as a worthy spiritual
guide. Anyone whose Khilafat was withdrawn – due to laxity or some other valid
reason, would not be included in the list.
May Allah Ta’ala guide us all and grant us the appreciation of our Mashaa'ik.
Moulana Abdul Hamid Is’haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)
When we were in Jamaat, in about the
year 1400 Hijri (1979), we met an elderly priest, who had accepted Islam. He
was about 80 years of age and was from France. Prior to his acceptance of Islam, he
was drawn to and loved Islam and the Muslims very greatly and very dearly. On
that basis, he built a Masjid for the Muslims in his locality, since the
Muslims had no place of worship.
On completion of the Masjid, he handed
the keys of the Masjid to them so that they could establish their Salaah in congregation. …Sadly, as is common, those Muslims
began to fight amongst themselves as to who would be the chairman, the
The priest then took the keys back
and said to them: “I did not have the Masjid built for arguments and fights. I had it
build for the Ibaadah (worship) of Allah (Jalla Jalaaluhu)!”
Alhamdulillah, Allah Ta’ala opened
all doors for his Hidayah (Guidance) and he accepted Islam. On meeting him, he
shared with us three special advices. They were:
“NEVER GIVE UP THE AZAAN. …Wherever
you are, always call out the Azaan. You people do not know what effect the
Azaan has on Christians! We enjoy hearing the words of Azaan!"
Of course, this does not mean that we
increase the volume of our mike-systems and wake up the entire neighbourhood at
the time of Fajr. There must be consideration also for the non-Muslims, who
will be sleeping.
At such a time, the mike system should
not be used. Disturbing them – especially in the early hours of the
morning, when they are asleep – creates animosity towards Islam and Muslims.
They then object to us having Masaajid and having our programmes, because of
our inconsideration. Then we are a poor reflection of the noble teachings of
Islam! May Allah Ta'ala guide us and give us the understanding.
“ALWAYS PERFORM YOUR SALAAH – WHEREVER YOU ARE! …Whether it is the Masjid, at a filling
station, railway station, airport terminal, etc., perform your Salaah. …The postures of Salaah
have a tremendous effect on our hearts. The Ruku – the posture of bowing down,
and the Sajdah – the posture of prostrating, impacts upon our hearts greatly.”
…On one occasion, after spending time
with my Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi
‘alayh), I was returning home from Nigel. Since the Salaah time had set in, I
stopped at a filling station and read my Salaah on one side. After completing
the Salaah, the petrol attendant came up to me and asked me: “What were you doing?”
I explained to him about Salaah and
he responded: “This is wonderful! I love
it! I will also do this every night before going to bed!”
On another occasion, when returning
from Durban, by air, we arrived at sunset. When I entered the terminal building
of the O.R. Tambo airport, I completed my Maghrib Salaah, on one side. Not aware,
but the security guard was observing me all the time. After the Salaah, he
approached me and enquired from me as to what I was doing.
Again, I explained to him that I was
praying, etc. He also expressed his great appreciation at such a wonderful
prayer, with such beautiful postures! Sadly, we do not appreciate what Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu and His Rasul
(Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) have given to us, of this beautiful and perfect
The enemies of Islam, understanding
the effect of our Salaah, have deliberately accommodated us with prayer rooms
at airport terminals and other places. This is with the intention that our
prayers be concealed and hidden away from the people; otherwise the Salaah, on
its own, is a great means of Da’wah and invitation to Islam. We think it is a
noble gesture that they grant us facilities for Salaah but the reality is that
they do not want our Salaah to be seen – because of its great influence and
sway on hearts!
The third advice given by the elderly
French Muslim was:
“NEVER GIVE UP YOUR ISLAMIC DRESSING. ...You do not realise it, but this dressing leaves a deep impression on our hearts
and has a very great influence upon us! …The Sunnah Libaas and the beard have
always been the dressing of the Men of Allah and its beauty and Noor draws
hearts…. The same effect is found when seeing the Muslim women covered in
their modest and concealing dressing (that is, the Hijaab and Niqaab).”
These were the advices of a learned
priest who had accepted Islam. He was not making any assumptions. He was
presenting these advices from experience and observation.
Many first hand experiences prove
these same advices to be so true.
On one occasion, while in Jamaat, I related to Hadhratjee, Moulana In'aamul Hasan Saheb (Rahmatullahi 'alayh), an incident of a lady, in our locality, who accepted Islam solely on the basis of the Islamic dressing of the Muslims. She said herself, "It came strongly into my heart that this is the dressing of the righteous, the pious and the Men of God (Allah Ta'ala."
After my studies, when I returned to
South Africa, I had to travel by bus, from Primrose to Germiston Location,
where I was teaching. On the third day, a lady also boarded the bus at the same
point. She asked me, with astonishment and admiration: “Are you Jesus?!”
Subhanallah! They have such
admiration and appreciation for this honourable dress. Sadly and most unfortunately, we Muslims have lost our spiritual
bearings and are taken with the immodest fashion and dress of the non-Muslims!
In the early days, in Germiston, I
had decided to buy a washing machine. In those days, washing machines were hardly
being used. Clothes were washed by hand. However, we did not want to keep a
helper, so I thought to make the household chores lighter, by buying a washing
On the morning of one Jumu’ah, I went
to have a look at the different washing machines. In one shop, there were two
very elderly white ladies, who belonged to the church. When I entered the shop, they were so
taken by my dressing – the Kurta Libaas - that they virtually made Tawaaf
around me and with much regard, joy and amazement, they expressed their
great appreciation at the dressing.
Really, Allah Ta’ala has blessed us with extremely great favours, but we
just take them for granted; otherwise we show such ingratitude that we
totally discard this beautiful way of life of Islam for a rotten life which the enemies
of Islam are also sick and tired of!
A very great and pious Aalim, Moulana
Sulaiman Aananwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) was visiting his friends in Hekpoort,
who were also very pious people. It was a Saturday afternoon and he
expressed his desire to take a walk down to the river. The others tried to
discourage him because, on the way, there were Afrikaner people residing and they
would probably be sitting on the stoep at the front of their houses. They thought that if these Afrikaner people saw them and Moulana dressed in the Sunnah clothing, they would laugh and make a mockery of them!
However, Moulana was persistent, and
so they went, and as they approached the house, the Afrikaner people
called them. These Muslim brothers were sure that they would be laughed at and
teased. …But what did they say?!
They said: “As long as you people dressed
like this – in the way of your Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) - we
had great respect for you people. …When you would do hawking, we invited you
into our homes, and gave you coffee to drink, since you would not have eaten
our food. We gave you places in our homes to sleep and called you Abraam (a term of great respect for the followers
of Hadhrat Ibraheem (Alaihis Salaam)).
However, when you started dressing like this, pointing to the other people, in
shirt and trousers, we lost all respect for you people and started calling you
'koolies' (a very derogatory term)!”
In the early days, I had to take
Aapaa, my wife, for passport photographs. I chose to take her to a photo studio
which was owned by a lady. My wife related that when the lady saw her in her
complete Burqaa, she was astonished and amazed and said: “I read about this in books but
never imagined I would see anybody dressing like this!”
She asked to have an interview with
Aapa and asked for details about the Islamic dressing and how Aapa managed to
wear this kind of dress, etc. Alhamdulillah,
at the end of the conversation, she accepted that this is the most ideal, the
safest and the perfect way of dressing for a woman.
The same lady also told us that
around that time, about 1972, the ruling Nationalist Government was considering
giving Muslims, more rights, for their honourable character and values of life.
However, for various reasons they found it difficult to implement.
In those days, there were only a very
few Muslim ladies wearing the Burqah and were fully covered. To the best of
what I can remember, in those days, where we lived, Aapaa was the only Muslimah in Hijaab and
Burqa. Later, I came to know that Moulana Sulaiman Aananwi’s
(Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) wife was also in Hijaab; fully covered. Thereafter, it was
mentioned of a certain lady, in Natal, who also dressed in full Hijaab and
Around 1977, we were in Karachi, in
Jamaat. We were told of an American lady who accepted Islam and came to
Pakistan to spend time. Seeing the Islamic dressing of the Muslim women there, she also put on a Burqa. When she looked at herself in the
mirror, she cried profusely. On being asked why she was crying so much, she
replied: “This is the first time I look at myself as a woman!” …She was
just too delighted and pleased!
These are just a few incidents, and
others have had similar experiences. People have accepted Islam on hearing the
beautiful Azaan, seeing the humility of Muslims in Salaah, and the noble
postures of Ruku and Sujood. People have accepted Islam on seeing the dignified
dressing of the Muslim – but we who are Muslims do not have that kind of spirit
and zeal to implement the same in our lives. We do not have that concern of
being flag-bearers of Islam and of the Sunnah. Yet, if we did, then without any speeches, we would be giving Da’wah and
inviting the world to Islam, wherever we went! If only we ourselves appreciated!
May Allah Ta’ala give us the
understanding, the concern, and the Taufeeq of practising on Dien, entirely.
And may Allah Ta’ala make our practice of Islam a means of Hidayah for whoever
comes into contact with us. And nothing is difficult for Allah Ta'ala.