Ramadaan Inspiration from our Akabireen
The Ramadhaan of Ml Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (ra)
“His extreme exertion in spiritual exercises were such that onlookers felt pity for him. Such was he that in Ramadan, even when his age had advanced beyond seventy, he fasted the whole day and then in Owabeen, instead of six rakats, he used to perform twenty rakats, during which he never recited less than approximately two paras. So long did he stay in ruku and sujood that onlookers thought that he had forgotten himself. On finishing this salaah, he proceeded homeward to partake of the evening meal. Even during this time too he would not remain idle, but en route and waiting for the food etc, he also finished reciting several paras.
The Ramadan Of Hazrat Maulana Ilyaas Saheb – Punctuality in Zikr
Hazrat Sheikh ra writes” I have not seen any of my Elders so punctual about loud zikr as my late uncle. Before the last few years of his illness, he regularly recited the twelve tasbeehs and zikr of the ‘Ismi zaat’ in the latter part of the night, while in Ramadan he did so from Asr till Maghrib. “
Ramadaan – Hazrat Sheikh's Family
I have written in VIRTUES OF RAMADAN’ as well as in VIRTUES OF THE Quran ‘about the women and the girls of our household. May Allah grant them more strength to do more. In spite of their duties in connection with preparations for meals, and in spite of their manifold duties of rearing children of which each one of them had several children, they spend the nights of the month of Ramadan listening to various hafizes in salaah and during the day they each read (up to 14 or 15 paras per day. In this manner they competed with and emulated each other.
My paternal grandmother (as I have mentioned before) was herself a hafiza of the Quran. Hence it was her daily routine to recite one ‘manzil’ per day by heart. But during Ramadan she recited fourty paras daily. In other words, one full khatam plus ten more paras. Apart from that she also recited hundreds of various tasbeehs daily, which altogether totalled 17000. The details of all this is to be found in TAZKIRA-E-KHALIL.
Preference for Dates & Zam Zam – Ml Yahya
During his stay in Saharanpur, my father’s routine was that he spend most of his time in the Masjid of the shoemakers next to the house of Hakeem Yaqoob Saheb. This was apart from the time he used to spend in teaching. It was here that he performed iftar without any special preference for anything special. Of course, if there were some dates and zam-zam available, these were given preference over all other things. (At the iftar table of Hazrat Maulana Khaleel Ahmad Saheb great importance was given to having dates and zam-zam for iftar. Any dates and zam-zam brought to him by Hajis, as presents were stored away in tins and in bottles. In those days there was not this free availability of dates and zam-zam as is the case in our times when Allah made travel so fast and easy.
Ml Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri RA
As for Hazrat’s occasional reading of newspapers at other times, this was completely discarded in Ramadan. In fact apart from the last two or three years, when he made ‘daur’ with my late father, the tasbeeh was always in his hands and his tongue all the time busy with dhikr. “He always led the taraweeh prayers but later when his age went beyond seventy, it became increasingly difficult for him to continue doing so. He used to say: “When I go into ruku’ the thought comes into my mind that perhaps I will not be able to rise up again for the second raka. Then I take courage and with difficulty I come up. In this manner I finally complete twenty rakaat, fearing in every raka that I may collapse and fall down, and feeling all the time that rising up from the sujood to the standing position is tantamount to climbing a mountain.” “In this way two years passed with Hazrat not losing courage. Eventually, when his strength finally failed him, he stopped leading the taraweeh from the mehrab. Thereafter, he replaced it with listening to the readings of others and increased his own recitations of the Quran. During the holy month, he then used to recite from after Ishraq until eleven o’clock.”
Stories of Repentance #27
Zaazaan رحمة لله علیھ was a saint and a scholar of hadeeth. He was blessed to meet ‘Umar رضي الله عنه, ‘Ali رضي الله عنه and many other Sahaabah رضي الله عنه, and was one of the special students of ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood رضي الله عنه.
Before he became a great saint and scholar, Zaazaanرحمة لله علیھ was ‘living the life’ and was involved in sin. However, Allah Ta‘ala inspired him to repent and change his life at the hands of ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood رضي الله عنه.
The following is the personal story of Zaazaan رحمة لله علیھ in which he describes how Allah Ta‘ala guided him and inspired him to reform himself. He says:
When I was a youngster, I had a melodious voice and was talented in playing the drum. Once, I was with a group of friends who were listening to me singing songs. While we were enjoying our party, ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood رضي الله عنه happened to pass by. When he heard the singing and music, he came towards us and kicked the jugs of wine, causing all the wine to spill. He then snatched the drum from me and threw it on the ground, breaking it. Finally, he turned to me and said, “O youngster! If you used your melodious voice to recite the Quraan Majeed, you would really become something!” After saying that, he suddenly left.
I turned to my friend and asked him, “Who was this person?” He replied, “That was ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood رضي الله عنه.” At that moment, Allah Ta‘ala inspired me to repent. I ran after ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood رضي الله عنه with tears streaming down my face. He had just arrived at the door of his home and was about to enter when I reached him and held onto his clothing. He turned to me and asked, “Who are you?” I replied, “I am the person who was playing the drum.” ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood رضي الله عنه realized that I had come to repent and change my life, and so he hugged me and cried in joy and happiness. He then said, “Welcome to the one whom Allah Ta‘ala loves (and thus inspired to repent). Sit here!” ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ood رضي الله عنه then entered his home and brought some dates for me to eat saying, “Eat from these dates. If I had any food besides this, I would have served that to you as well.”
Stories of Repentance #26
Ibn Jowzi رحمة لله علیھ narrates that once he went to Egypt and saw an amazing sight. I saw a blacksmith who would take the glowing iron out of his furnace using his bare hands! He would even place the iron on his anvil and turn it with his hands, not feeling any pain from the heat of the glowing iron!
When I saw this extraordinary sight, I thought to myself, “This must be a very pious man! After all, the fire is unable to burn him!” I then went up to him and greeted him with salaam. I thereafter said, “O my master! I ask you in the name of that Being who blessed you with this miracle to please make du‘aa for me!” Hearing my request, the blacksmith began to cry and exclaimed, “My brother! By Allah! I am not the pious person that you think I am!” I replied, “O my brother! This miracle which I saw you perform is something that only pious people are able to do.” The blacksmith answered, “There is a strange incident behind this miracle.” The blacksmith thereafter narrated the following incident:
I was once busy in my business when I suddenly realized that there was a woman in front of me. When I looked up, I saw that her face was the most beautiful face that I had ever seen before. The woman began to beg me saying, “O my brother! Do you have anything to give us for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala?” I was captivated by her sight and infatuated by her beauty. I replied, “Why don’t you come to my home? There I will give you something and see to your needs.” On hearing my suggestion, she looked at me in silence for some time. Eventually, she turned and left. After some time, however, she returned and said, “Desperation has forced me to accept your offer,” So I locked my business and took her home.
When we reached my home, she begged me saying, “I have children that I left in starvation. Please give me something and allow me to go and feed them! I will return after they have eaten.” After making her promise that she would return, I gave her some silver coins and watched as she left to feed her children. When she returned, I led her into my home and turned to lock the door. “Why are you locking the door?” she asked. “I fear the people.” I replied. “And why do you not fear the Lord of all the people?” she asked. “He is Forgiving and Merciful.” I said. I then made advances towards her and found that tears were streaming down her cheeks and she was trembling, just as palm leaves tremble in the wind. “Why are you trembling and crying?” I asked. “Out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala.” she answered.
The woman then turned to me and begged, “If you leave me for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, I will stand guarantee that Allah Ta‘ala will not punish you with fire in this world and in the next.” When I heard her say this, I was shaken. I immediately stood and gave her all my wealth saying, “I have left you because I fear Allah Ta‘ala!”
After some time, I fell asleep and had a dream. In the dream, I saw a woman wearing a crown of red rubies. She had the most beautiful face that I had ever seen. She said to me, “May Allah Ta‘ala give you a good reward on our behalf.” “Who are you?” I asked. “I am the mother of the girl whom you left out of the fear of Allah Ta‘ala. May Alah Ta‘ala never punish you with fire, neither in this world nor the next.” I next said to her, “Please tell me who she is and which family she is from.” The woman replied, “She is from the family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).”
When I awoke from my sleep, I found that the fire of this world could not harm me. I have hope that the fire of the Hereafter will not harm me as well.
Stories of Repentance #25
During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar bin al-Khattabرضي الله عنه, Hazrat Sa'eed bin 'Amirرضي الله عنه was the governor of Hims, a city in Shaam. When Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه visited Hims to see how things were going there, he was met by a large group of people who began to complain to him about Hazrat Sa'eed رضي الله عنه.
They found fault with him in four matters. First, they said, he would not come out to them until mid-morning. Second, he would refuse to answer any caller during the night. Third, once a month, he would stay away from the people. And fourth, once in a while, Sa'eed رضي الله عنه would faint and lose consciousness for no apparent reason.
Hazrat Umar رضي الله عنه asked Hazrat Sa'eed رضي الله عنه to respond to their complaints.
In regard to the first complaint, Hazrat Sa'eed رضي الله عنه explained that he had no servant and that, every morning, he had to crush his own wheat in order to make bread. As soon as he would finish making his bread, he said, he would then go out to serve the people.
As for not answering any callers during the night, he said that he dedicated his days to serving the people and his nights to worshipping Allah.
As for not going out to the people once a month, he explained that he had only one garment and that he washed it once a month and had to then wait until it dried.
As for passing out every so often, he gave this explanation:
"When I was a mushrik, I witnessed the brutal execution of Hazrat Habib al-Ansaari رضي الله عنه in Makkah. I saw how Quraish cut up his flesh little by little. They said to Habib رضي الله عنه , 'Do you now want Muhammad to take your place?' He said, 'By Allah, I would not want to be safe with myself, my family and my children if Muhammadﷺ were even to be pricked by a thorn.' Every time I remember that day and how I refrained from helping Hazrat Habib رضي الله عنه, for I was a mushrik and did not believe in Allah, the All-Mighty- I begin to think that Allah Ta’ala, the Possessor of Might and Majesty, will never forgive me. It is then that I faint, O Leader of the Believers."