By Shaykh Muhammad Asam Shaykhpuri
One more shining star is lost by Mawlana Muhammad Aslam Shaykupuri
“Neither I have vain imaginations about myself nor do I make tall claims. However, I openly accept my shortcomings, and educational and practical weaknesses. But, I would be justified to say that on account of my outspoken nature, speaking only truth, pointing out the wrong and injustice, and fighting the evil have caused a lot of discomfort and agony to me during the past four years particularly the period when I reached the upper house as an elected Member of the National Assembly (MNA). It would not be an exaggeration to mention that no one in the 56-year history of Pakistan has ever endured the hardships which I experienced during the short span of time. With the blessings of Allah Almighty I am proud of myself that I never gave priority to the glittering world, I never compromised on my mission, never accepted higher posts in the power lobby, and never opted for any sort of monetary benefits. My character, my past and my present are clear and no one can point out that I have ever indulged in anti-Islam activities. I am loyal to my leaders and so would never leave my mission.”
These were the view of a martyr, a general of Sipah-e-Sahaba, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad `Azam Tariq (rahimahullah), who was martyred in Islamabad in 2003. He was a human being. A human being who can commit sin, whose views can be opposed, who can be influenced by the environment and surroundings, and who can be overwhelmed by emotions. There is a possibility that some points or logics were beyond apprehension of his opponents but his character, simplicity, loyalty to the mission, courage, and other high qualities cannot be ignored. He lived a life for 42 years only. During which he faced hardships, imprisonment, police torture, illegal confinement, a lot of dangers, besides walking through the volley of bullets and fire of canons. He had about 80 scars of bullet wounds on his body. When he was released from the jail, most of the time he spent in traveling within the country and abroad. He devoted every single moment of his life in solving problems of common people and attending public meetings. This proves that Shaheed Maulana `Azam Tariq never saw the comfort of life.
However, real life, full of fun and pleasure began on the evening of Sha’aban 9 when his life ended with the sunset. He was a star that continued shining for about 20 years to warm up the hearts of Muslims and set many examples. He was a shining star who taught that when real faith of religion of Islam slips deep down in the heart, nothing like hardships, torture, glittering world, love for children and wife can change the courage. It was not true that he was unaware of all such things. But the path he chose for his own life, he had chosen when he stepped into the battlefield of Jhang when he stood in between the graves of two martyrs and he saw the future and fate. Under this situation when he approached the leadership and sought their opinion, he was told, “As long as one does not step into the battlefield, he has all choice to choose any path, but once he selects the choice between two and opts for Jihad then he should not run away. So, you should be steadfast, leave everything to Allah Almighty Who has given you life and Who will take it back. Allah saved you from those who wanted to take your life. He will protect you from all evils everywhere.”
Therefore, this Mujahid-e-Islam took this lesson and vowed to face every hardship and would never compromise on his mission. There he began with his campaign that contained sacrifices and nothing else. He was the man who was put into torture cell, who faced inhuman treatment, who staged hunger strikes against the brutalities and who never bowed before the evil designs. Shaheed `Azam Tariq’s history reminds the era of those who rendered sacrifices for the cause of Islam and never bowed before the state terrorism.
Maulana `Azam Tariq was so influenced by Imam Ahmad bin Junbal (noorullah marqadahu) and considered him his ideal. It was all his affection with Imam Ahmad that he proved himself a strong and courageous Muslim. During imprisonment, recitation of Holy Qur’an was the source of unbeatable courage for him.
At one place he wrote, “Recitation of Holy Qur’an was my routine during imprisonment and facing severe torture in the torture cell. In the first ten days of my imprisonment during which I was subjected to severe torture I could recite complete Qur’an for twice as I was taken out from the imprisonment a number of times during a day for investigations. But, later it was my routine to recite complete Qur’an and 15 Paras every day for sixteen days. Many times I could finish Qur’an twice a day. With the blessings of Allah Almighty during my 108-day imprisonment, I recited complete Holy Qur’an for 108 times besides going through the meanings and translation of the Qur’anic verses.
This story came to an end when Mujahid-e-Islam was martyred at a place which was so close to the power lobby. He sustained forty bullets and embraced Shahadah (martyrdom) The mission of Maulana Azam Tariq Shaheed is still alive today and that day of success is near.
Notes by Saad (SF):
‘Allamah Azam Tariq Shahid was khalifah of Mawlana Yusuf Ludhinawi Shahid . He granted him khilafah in 1998 while ‘Allamah was in Attock Jail. I was in Pakistan at that time.
‘Allamah Azam Tariq Shahid and his jamat has the backing of top Deobandi Akabir, such as Muhaqqiq ‘Allamah Sarfraz Khan Safdar, Dr. ‘Allamah Khalid Mahmood, Mawlana Manzur Ahmed Chinoti [in fact Mawlana Chinoti treated him like his son] , Mawlana Muahmmed ‘Abdullah Shahid [of Lal Masjid], Mawlana Mazur Ahmad Nu’mani , Mufti Rashid Ahmad Ludhinawi , Mawlana Muhammed Makki Hijazi, Mawlana ‘Aslam Shaykupuri, Mawlana Zia ul-Qasmi and these names are enough for now.
His Janazah was led by Mawlana Fida ur-Rahman Darkhawasti, who is the son of hafiz al-hadith Mawlana ‘Abdullah Darkhawasti (may Allah have mercy on him). Interestingly, Mawlana ‘Abdullah Darkhawasti led the janazah salat of Mawlana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi Shahid .
After his janazah, Mawlana Fida ur-Rahman Darkhawasti gave a speech, [thousands of people and many ‘ulama were present]. He narrated his dream that he saw. He said he saw a dream where he saw our Mother ‘Aishah , and she was walking back and forth. So he asked the Mother, what is the matter? So she replied, I am waiting for my son Azam Tariq. He said, right after he woke up, few murids came to him and gave him the news of shahdat of Azam Tariq. Another senior scholar from Baluchistan [can’t recall is name], narrated a similar dream.
Few months before his death, Mawlana went to Dar al-Ulum Karachi to meet Mufti Rafi ‘Usmani. So they discussed the issue of MMA and why they decided not to join MMA. So he says, after I explained my position and our mission to Mufti Rafi ‘Usmani, he stood up and hug me. He said, “my son even if the whole World turns against you, stay stead fast on your mission.”
This mawlana who I know personally, was present at the janazah of Azam Tariq. He said I was with his body whole night, and there was sweet fragrance coming from his body. Azam Tariq was hit by 53 bullets but he said blood was still flowing when they laid him in the grave after 24 hours.
Once Azam Tariq Shahid insisted on carrying Imam Ahl al-Sunnat on his shoulders for tawaf ziyarat. ‘Allamah Sarfaraz smiled and said I want to do it on my own.
Hafiz Shams al-Din Khan Talah (grandson of Shaykh Sarfaraz) mentions that ‘Allamah Sarfaraz would refer to Azam Tariq as ‘crown and honor’ of Ulama of Deoband and cried a lot at the Shahadat of Azam Tariq Shahid (may Allah have mercy on them).
Yes, they both studied in Jamia Ulum Islamia Binori Town under Allamah Yusuf Ludhianwi shaheed .
There is a famous incident [reported by many scholars like ‘Mawlana Yahya Abbasi, etc,] that when Nawaz Shariff was the Prime Minister, he went to Raiwand to Mawlana Hajji ‘Abdul Wahhab [head of Raiwad Markaz] for dua, etc. He said I like Tablighi Jamat as they are very peaceful but there is one jamat called Sipah-i-Sahabah, I don’t like them as they are very strict. They also talk against my government. Please do something about them. So Hajji sahab told him, Sipah-i-Sahaba is also our jamat and they are also doing the work of Deen. Then he gave him example of light bulb. He said there are two connections to it, a blue and red. Both are needed to light the bulb. Tablighi Jamat is like blue and Sipah-i-Sahaba is like red. Allamah Azam Tariq Shahid was also very close to Hajji Sahib and would regularly go and meet him.
But, of course Azam Tariq can’t be replaced. He was an alim, mujahid, politician, leader, and beloved by Sunnis. Many people would refer to him as “Hanbal-i-Sani”. Last time, when he ran for the elections while he was in Jail. He still won by big margin. His opponents were top Shia land-lords of Jhang.
When Azam Tariq was in Attock jail and he was being relocated to another jail by the police, they stopped at a Masjid on the way to perform salat. Well, Mawlana Tariq Jameel was visiting that masjid with jamat. So when Mawlana Tariq Jameel saw Azam Tariq hand-cuffed, so he asked “Mawlana yeh kiya hai.?” [Mawlana what is going on?]. So Azam Tariq said, these things come in the way of Allah. He said you are also doing work of din, so are we. You people [Tableegh] are like police and we are like fauji (soldiers). We protect the borders of Islam and you people work inside. When you are protecting the borders of Islam from enemies, these things come upon you and you know that even your life can be lost during this.
Ustad al-Ulama Shaykh Musa Khan al-Ruhani al-Bazis’ (may Allah have mercy on him) views regarding Azam Tariq:
Dr. Mufti Manzur Ahmad Mangal, Shaykh al-Hadith as Jamia Faruqia Karachi, writes:
Mawlana Abdul Qudus Tirmidhi, son of Shaykh Mufti Abdul Shakur Tirimidi (may Allah have mercy on him), mentioned that once ustad al-Ulama Mawlana Musa al-Ruhani al-Bazi while sitting in his hadith class, said there will be no hadith dars but today we will welcome an individual who is, by Allah, the greatest alim on the face of this earth. We were all wondering who could this individual be? When we went outside we found out it was fakhr al-Ulama Mawlana Shams ul-Haq Afghani (may Allah have mercy on him). Similarly, once while giving dars of Tirimidi, all of sudden Shaykh al-Bazi said,
“Lets go Mujahid-i-Azam [great mujahid] is here, lets us welcome him.”
Shaykh Musa stopped the dars of hadith and when we went out, it was Azam Tariq standing there.
Azam Tariq Shahid used to say that from all our akabir, Shaykh Musa is the most affectionate to us. He mentions that whenever I visited Shaykh Musa al-Bazi, he would take me to his house and have food prepared for me. Then he would bring sweets and tea and serve me with his own hands! This also shows the great humbleness of Shayk Musa, even though he was senior to Azam Tariq in age, ‘ilm, amal, taqwa but he himself came to welcome Azam Tariq. He had full support for Azam Tariq, his jamat and the great work they were doing.
Mufti ‘Abdul Shakur Tirmidi was the student of Shaykh al-Islam ‘Allamah Zaffar Ahmad ‘Usmani and Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (may Allah have mercy on them).
Mawlana Shams ul-Haq Afghani had memorized whole Tasfir al-Kabir by heart, which consists of 32 volumes.
‘Allamah Afghani giving interview to Radio Pakistan.
Allamah Sarfraz Khan Safdar once said about Azam Tariq:
“He is the honor/dignity of akabir ‘Ulama-i-Deoband.”
[Khilafat-i-Rashida – p.387]
Once during the hajj many of our ‘Ulama were present there in their camps in Mina. The likes of ‘Allamah Sarfaraz Khan Safdar, Khawaja Khan Muhammad Sahib, Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, Mawlana Saad Kandhalwi, Mawlana Asad Madani, Mawlana Makki Hijazi, Mawlana Tariq Jameel, Mawlana Manzur Ahmad Chinoti, Mawlana ‘Aziz al-Rahman Hazarwi, etc. had all came for hajj. Azam Tariq met these Ulama and then went to see Mawlana Haji Abdul Wahhab in his camp. When Azam Tariq was introduced to Hajji Sahib, he gently slapped Azam Tariq’s face with love and said,
“Oh, so this is Azam Tariq!”
Haji Sahib had heard a lot of him but never had a chance to meet him in person. After this meeting they became very close and Hjji Sahib always treated him like his son and lend his support to him.
[Khilafat-i-Rashida – p.240]
Hajji ‘Abdul Wahab Sahib said in mid 2000 at Mawlana Raipuri’s (may Allah have mercy on him) place that Azam Tariq’s jamat is performing the Fardh Kifayah on Ummah’s behalf.