The Meeting of Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi with Mawlana Fazlur Rahman Ganj Muradabadi

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيم

Hazrat Hakeem al Ummat (rah) says:

Twice I was blessed with the opportunity to present myself in the service of Hazrat Maulana Shah Fazlur Rahman saheb Ganj muradabadi (rah)… I cannot confidently recall the month and year but im quite sure that my first visit was in 1301 Hijri and the month was probably the month of Rabius Thani or Jamadul ula.

since I can only remember this visit to be after the period of my service at Kanpur..and it was my last journey during my association at Kanpur which was approaching the period of Meelad.. and people generally used to inquire about the masail of meelad.. being a fresh Mudarris I had arrived in Kanpur.. and after two months, owing to certain issues, I had resigned and made up my mind to return to Thanabhavan..

During this time when I intended to leave Kanpur, I had this thought about gaining the blessings of hazrat Maulana (rah) by visting him… Since I wasn’t sure if I would ever travel towards this place again…

There was talib e ilm named Mehdi Hassan who used to study the Qur’an.. taking him along I began my journey towards Moradabad..

Exhausted… We reached at last.. Isha salaah was already over.. and Maulana had retired to his room from the Masjid.. a message was sent through the khadim.. Hazrat asked for us and leaving my companion with the luggage I set forth alone with the khadim..

I remember faintly of a desk set in a corner next to which a rug was spread… and Hazrat Maulana was resting on a cot on the opposite side…

Standing before him I said my salaams.. answering me, he began to speak in his unique accent quite rapidly.. and in one go asked three questions.. Who are you..? Where have you come from..? Why have you come..?

Hazrat Maulana possessed a natural accent that was simple.. he bore a very down to earth temperament.. neither was he accustomed to artificial formalities.. Had a clear nature.. While conversing his tone would speed… especially with those who visited him with etiqad… the way I visited… and people would of course visit him with etiqad..

He spoke with such an accent that a stranger would easily mistaken it as if Maulana was angry.. but this wasn’t so.. those who would visit him twice or thrice..would understand by now that his accent was such. Even when he spoke with love and affection his accent remained the same…

So Maulana asked quickly in his unique accent… who are you..? where have you come from..? why have you come..?.. Respectfully, I answered his questions as.. I’am a Talib e Ilm.. I have come from Kanpur… I have come for ziarat..
Listening to this he became even more rapid in speech..


Bade aaye ziarat wale.. are ye koee waqt hai ziarat ka.. aise waqt kisi ki ziarat ko aaya karte hain.. aadmi ko chahiye ke zara sawere aaye.. doosra kuch roti waghera ka intezaam kar sake.. abh batlao tumhare liye khana kahan se laun.. tumhe khuda ka khauf nahin aaya… tum ko zameen na nigal gayee..

As if. .. Is this the time to visit.. does anyone visit at this hour.. a person should come early in the morning so that one can make due arrangements for food.. now tell me where from can I get you dinner.. weren’t you not afraid of god.. did the earth not swallow you..

Iam very much thankful to Allah  that after glancing at my heart I did not find any feeling of hurt or complain. Even if he had said anything more I wouldn’t have felt bad.
I had presented myself with great etiqad… and that itself was the motive…

But I felt it disrespectful to utter anything now.. this was a rebuke.. what could I answer.. so I stood silent.. after sometime he said … do you have any money.. I replied yes.. said ok you may leave now.. buy something from the market to eat.. and meet me in the morning.. I said very well.. after saying this he told the khadim to lodge me in a particular house.

” So we accompanied him and he showed us the place.. it looked like an ordinary dwelling.. Quite unsafe.. like a rest house.. anyway I reached there with the transport along with my companion and began to unload our belongings.. it was our intention that we get some eatables from bazaar then take leave in the morning as advised..

Just then a khadim arrived saying that Maulana wants to see me.. I said to myself he must have remembered something more.. anyway.. I have come here to listen it all.. so i went along and stood before Maulana..
He ordered me to sit down.. the accent was still the same.. but this time there was love and affection.. since we shall know later.. his accent was such.. owing to his very simple nature.. hearing this I sat near the Takht ( wooden seat like a diwan) on the coired mattress..

Said. .come here sit on the takht.. so I sat there as told.. then he asked the khadim to get me food from his daughters place.. and the khadim immediately returned with food..
In a vessel there was some gravy.. probably arhar daal (split red gram curry) atop which were kept some rotis..(Indian bread)..

When the khadim placed the food before me, Maulana looked on.. even though the lamp was dim and I was sitting at a distance.. his eyesight was quite good even at this age.. looking at the food he said to the khadim.. ill-mannered fellow..! is this how you serve food to guests.. you could have brought the roti in another plate.. and gravy in a separate vessel.. how could you bring the roti on top of a vessel..?

Khadim replied that he searched but could not find the plate.. said now you lie ! it not placed on that particular rack..? this he may have said by kashf..

Maulana was known for his kashf.. hearing this khadim hurried and fetched the plate..
orelse I had to eat all those rotis holding in my hand.. when I began to eat he asked me what is the food..?

I said hazrat its arhar daal and roti.. he replied Subhan Allah this is a great blessing..! You are learned man.. And you studied under Maulvi Muhammed Yaqoob.. Maulana had kashf.. said he was a very good man.. this was the heaviest praise Maulana could offer.. since Maulana abstained from exaggeration in praise..

Saying that he was a very good person was itself a heavy praise…this also proved the relation between Maulana and Hazrat Maulana Muhammed Yaqoob sahab..
Said You are a learned man.. you know how the condition of sahabah radhi Allahu anhum was.. simply eating a dried date they would go for jihad and fight the whole day.. when he began to mention about the sahaba radhi Allahu anhum he got excited and stood up.. it was his habit to become excited whenever the mention of akabireen came upon..

Now excited by the mention of sahaba e karam he stood near me resting his hand on my shoulders speaking on the virtues of sahaba.. I continued to eat.. I do remember him recite even a couplet or two…

Then he asked me if I would eat berries.. I replied it was hazrat’s tabarruk.. said leave aside tabarruk and all that .. tell me if your stomach gets upset on eating berries.. I said no.. then he reached for a vessel that contained some large berries and he offered me to eat,.. then he said jokingly You could have said to urself that I ate it all and did not bother about the guest..

When I was done with the food he gave me permission to leave.. said sleep after praying isha.. now we shall meet in the morning.. Maulana then went inside.. I offered my prayers and prepared to sleep at my place…

Fajr prayer was offered behind Maulana.. he lead the prayer and recited short surahs.. then he sat facing towards us.. after a while he got up turning his attention towards someone who appeared to be a rich man from his disposition.. it would be quite evident in winters if one was rich or a commoner just from his clothing…

Anyway Maulana turned towards him and asked… When will you leave? He said after praying Jum’a… Asked what shall happen if you pray Jum’a here..?
He said where else could I pray Jum’a. . he seemed to be an old acquaintance.. who visited him often..

Maulana said:

Hume kya khabar kahaan padhoge..? hum koee thekedaar hain tumhare Jum’a ke.. logon ko sharm nahin aati munh par dadhee laga kar paraye tukdon par padhte hain..

How do I know where you shall pray? Am I responsible for your Jum’a,, people are not ashamed even after keeping a beard they want to eat at others expense.. he too seemed to be very informal.. said he is not leaving anyhow.. hearing this Maulana took him by the arm forcefully and said just get out of here.. so he left..

Not sure if he left the town or not.. I wondered if I was next in line, so I took his permission to leave.. said very well..
I began to walk and Maulana too came along.. I wondered he might be incidentally walking in the same direction due to some need…neither did I think nor felt myself worthy that he would give me company… but later it was known that he did come to see me off.. So whenever a guest house would pass by he asked me do you stay here…?

Finally we reached the guesthouse.. I stopped there and Maulana too stood back.. told me to get a transport and mount the luggage..
I stretched my hands for the farewell Musafah and requested Maulana to make dua for me.. he said I have already made dua for you..

Then I requested him to give me something to recite.. said read Qulhu Allahu and subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi..200 times each.. I had learnt that he prescribed this even to the students since there was great virtue in its recitation as mentioned in hadees shareef..

Since I was a traveler Jum’a was not an obligation and there was no remorse in letting it go… having returned from there, the foundation of Madrassa Jamiat ul Uloom was laid and I was requested to stay on in kanpur.. otherwise I had decided to leave Kanpur while making my trip towards Hazrat.. doubtful of any visit in future.. so ultimately I settled in Kanpur..”

Yadgaar Mulaqaten p 354 – 359


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