By Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Hadhrat Maulana Ghulam Rasool Khamosh passed away in Deoband on 8 October 2010 Friday at 5:15 pm. Maulana was the Acting Mohtamim (rector) of Darul Uloom, prominent member its Majlis Shura (Governing Body), the Mohtamim of Darul Uloom Chhapi and a senior member of Tablighi Jama’at.
Maulana Khamosh was suffering from respiratory disorder and anaemia for several past days. He was ill, but he left for his heavenly abode so suddenly at a time when no one was expecting him to depart. He passed in a critical juncture when Hadhrat Maulana Margoobur Rahman, Mohtamim Darul Uloom, lay bedridden and seriously ill in his late nineties. This was the time when Darul Uloom needed him the most, but Allah the Almighty had decided the otherwise.
Maulana was born in Mahta village near Chhapi, district Banaskantha in northeast Gujarat in 1940 in a religious family. His father has a surname ‘Khamosh’ which later became his family surname as per the tradition is the state. He was educated in Darul Uloom Chhapi and attended the final class of Dawrah in Darul Uloom Bannuri Town Karachi when he visited Karachi after the Partition with his grandmother who went there to see his uncle who migrated to Pakistan. In Karachi he benefited from the great scholar of Hadith, Allama Yusuf Binnnori, one of the prominent students of Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri. His family and the then Ulama of Gujarat were well-attached with Allama Yusuf Binnori as he served as teacher in Dabhel Madrasa before Partition.
Having completed his education and training, he engaged himself in religious activities of teaching and preaching along with operating business in Mumbai and Gujarat. His business prospered and later he turned big tea merchant and established his trade in the heart of Mumbai.
He earned good reputation and popularity in Gujarat where he dedicated himself for the great task of dawah and tabligh (preaching and reformation). He headed the local reform committees aimed at socio-religious upbringing and awareness in Banaskantha and surrounding areas. He was an active and senior member of the world renowned Tablighi Jama’at at Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Maulana Khamosh served his alma mater, Darul Uloom Chhapi, for several years without a tag and title. He discharged as the responsibilities and duties as Mohtamim (rector) of the madrasa, while the Mohtamim de facto was Maulana Habib Sahib. He was officially designated for the post of Mohtamim in Darul Uloom Chhapi only after he was selected for the membership of Majlis Shura of Darul Uloom Deoband.
Darul Uloom Deoband
For his noble activities and good reputation, the Majlis Shura, Darul Uloom Deoband selected him for its membership in its meeting held in Safar 1409 AH = 1989 AD. Being on the list on Majlis Shura of Darul Uloom Deoband was great accreditation of his personality and recognition of his achievements, as the Majlis consists of selected Muslim figures of religious fields from across the country. It adds more surprise that he was not even educated directly at Deoband.
Later in 2004, owing to the deteriorating health and old age of Darul Uloom’s present Mohtamim Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Khamosh was appointed as Acting Mohtamim with full power as Mohtamim. It was a new feather in his crown, as it was the rarest position in the history of Darul Uloom Deoband and that too was allotted to a non-Qasmi scholar.
Maulana served as member of Majlis Shura for 21 years and as Acting Mohtamim for seven years. In connection with Deoband, the last seven years of his life were very dynamic, alive and active. He used to frequent between Chhapi and Deoband for 10-15 days a month. As there was no direct train from his station to Deoband, he sought extension of Ahmadabad to Delhi train to Hardwar via Deoband which was granted by the then Railway Minister Laloo Parsad Yadav.
He worked as Mohtamim of Darul Uloom in the absence of Hadhrat Maulana Margoobur Rahman, the Mohtamim of Darul Uloom Deoband. He had matchless love and dedication towards Darul Uloom. He never ran after title and fame, rather preferred to serve silently. He received no salary from Darul Uloom, rather spent all journey expenses, food, lodge and so on from his pocket. He used to utilize his personality in order to fetch large donations from affluent Muslims to Darul Uloom’s educational and constructions projects.
Maualana was very pious, honest and God-fearing. He was so punctual of salah and other daily religious practices. His personality was kind-hearted and passionate as well as scrupulous and disciplined. He used to treat everyone with respect and dignity and paid attentive ear patiently to the grievances and concerns of his staff.
His ultimate love for Darul Uloom and his lifelong mission of serving the community was granted by Allah as he set out on his eternal journey while serving Darul Uloom to his last breath. Only four to five hours before his departure, he actively participated in the meeting of the Academic Council which lasted for more than two hours.
The funeral prayer was offered the next day on 9 Oct 2010 at 8:00 am in Darul Uloom, his elder son Maulana Nizamuddin led the prayer. Thousands of Ulama and students carried his coffin to Mazar Qasmi (Qasmi graveyard) where he was laid to rest.
His death meant a great loss for Darul Uloom. For long, he will be remembered for his piety, selfless services, dedication, affection, prudence and discipline. Maulana is no longer among us, but he left bright examples from his pure life that shall continue to light up the path for his successors.
May Allah shower His blessings upon him and grant him Jannat al-Firdaus!