First of all there is the late Qari Mufti Saeed Ahmed Saheb. He was born at Subuh on Eidul Adha day in the year 1320 or 1321 hijri at Ujrara. He mentioned that the correct year of his birth was written somewhere in Ujrara but in spite of searching for it, he could not find it. Moulvy Athar once said that according to Qari Saheb his age was fifty-five and when we worked out the year of his birth, it turned out to be 1322 hijri. This was what he himself had written on the Haashiya (side notes) of ‘Rasmul M ufti’.
He had acquired his initial Quranic education at the hands of Hafiz Muhammad Hussain of Ujrara and was very proud of it, and also received his, initial Farsi and Arabic at Ujrara. In Shawwaal 1337 hijri, he entered Mazahirul Uloom, studying the initial books by me. After graduating, he was appointed a teacher of Qira’at in 1343. Later he was appointed assistant Mufti in 1347 and Grand Mufti in 1352.
In the first year I was his teacher of many of his kitabs. At that time quite a few Ujrara students came to the Madressa. Because Qari Saheb had introduced himself to me as a pupil of Janab Al- Haaj Hafiz Muhammad Hussain Ujrarwy. There was a definite trace of Sahebzadi in him, which was something through the barakat of my father’s shoes, I detested. Therefore he was always at odds with me and I with him.
From 1347 hijri onwards he was appointed as an assistant Mufti. When I came back from Hejaz and must have had thoughts about my own greatness, I asked him to listen to my one pars, daily after Zuhr in Ramadan, he once told me quite frankly that, that was Madressa time and as such he could not. In those days in Ramadan, the offices as well as Darul Iftaa were open in the mornings and the afternoon.
He said: “If Nazim Saheb gives me permission, I will listen to you, otherwise not.”
I was certain that in view of the close relationship I had with Hazrat Nazim Saheb (Maulana Abdul Lateef), if I should ask him, he would most readily give Mufti Saeed Ahmed permission. I was very pleased with Qari Saheb’s answer and told him: “May Allah reward you. You gave me a very good answer.ti
A few months later something else happened. Hazrat Nazim Saheb and I were the Sarparasts (Executors) of the Ujrara Madressa and I always attended their annual Jalsas regularly. This time I had not informed them of my inability to attend well in advance. But then at the last moment Nazim Saheb was also unable to go. He came to discuss the matter with me. I told him: “Qari Saeed is well acquainted with the situation over there. Let him go on our behalf. Write them a letter signed by both of us that Qari Saheb represents both of us, and has the right to finalise matters on our behalf. If there should be anything which does require our personal attention, let him bring the papers back and we will reply from here.
Nazim Saheb approved of this. Qari Saheb objected: “I am a member of that community. Please rather send someone else.” I replied: “But another person will not be acquainted with the local situation. We do not know what decisions he may make.
You know the area and the people. You are the most appropriate person.”
After our demand on him, he left. At that time I was in fine health and through Hazrat’s advice I considered Madressa affairs to be my responsibility although I never directly gave any orders.
Whatever I had to write or order was done through Nazim Saheb. For this reason some fools spread the rumour that the actual administrator was I and Nazim Saheb was merely my scribe and clerk. Allah forbid!
After a few months I went into the library for something or other, and as was my habit, I also had a careful look at the attendance register of the teachers, so that if I saw any registered absences beyond what is reasonable, I would ask the librarian about it. Should there be a need I would also in writing seek an explanation from Nazim Saheb.
When I checked on Qari Saeed’s attendance, I found that the days for which we had sent him and for which he had been absent, were written as days of absence with leave. Because we had sent him. He was actually on duty and thus not absent. I asked the librarian about it. He said: “Qari Saheb had it written down that he was absent.”
On the way back I called upon Qari Saheb. In those days he resided in the room which today is guests’ room. It is on the roof of Madressa’s offices. That was also the Darul Iftaa in those days.
I told him: “Qari Saheb, you were sent to Ujrara on behalf of the Madressa, to do Madressa work. Why did you then have those days marked as absent?” I can still remember my question, his answer, and my reply to that very clearly.
He said: “The point is that my house is also there, and on going to Ujrara, I also went home.”
I replied: “You know, you have turned out to be quite a good young man. From tomorrow you shall eat with me.”
May Allah reward him well and grant a position of honour in the Hereafter. He stuck to his bargain lifelong and except for the time during his final illness, when he was too weak to get up from his bed, he never missed his afternoon meal with me. In fact even when he received his own guests, then too he had them eat with us and sent for their food from my house. Alternately, when I received any guests, then he instead of I, acted as their host.
Later the relationship became more and more close, so much so, that he became my companion on my journeys. In this he was a true friend. I continue to pray for his departed soul. He remained ill for a long time. There was even a diagnosis of sihr together with various other illnesses, and he finally passed away on Monday 22nd Shawwaal 1377 at Fajr time. (0 Allah pardon him, have mercy on him and grant him honour in the Hereafter).
He had one general routine on Eid days. After leading the Eid Namaaz in the Old Madressa Musjid, he would come straight to my place for breakfast of dates and tea. Thereafter he always had a very delicious pulao sent to us from his home, which we used to eat in that majlis before he went home.
On the 1st of Shawwaal 1348, 1 received a note from him: “For twenty eight years, no Eid has passed when I did not after Eid Salaah come to your house. I have a great sorrow that because of my severe illness I will not be able to be there today. The amount of sorrow I feel will be known to you.”
Reading this note made me very heart-sore. Hence, even before the Eid salaah, I went to meet him. With grief, he began crying bitterly and also made me shed tears.
If I want to write about all his good qualities, I would require a special volume. He had towards the end, become my permanent companion on my journeys to Raipur. Hazrat had a great liking for him and if ever I went there without him, Hazrat asked about his absence. When, after the death of Maulana Ashraf Ahmed, Hazrat wanted to put a special system into operation in his Madressa, he mentioned Qari Saheb’s name as one of the Sarparasts. Unfortunately the new system did not become operative.