Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (ra)

Maulana Wasiyyullah rahimahullāh used to say: “Everyone can become a Wali (friend) of Allah, but everyone cannot become a Shaykh.”

A Wali will be told to take a particular medication and asked to abstain from certain actions, but this is restricted to himself. However, a Shaykh has to relate to the problems of others. He is required to diagnose different ailments and then to treat each one of them accordingly. Thereafter, he will have to correctly guide them to the truth. This task cannot be accomplished by one and all.

[Malfoozaat, by Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi rahimahullāh]

Imaam Shafi’i rahimahullāh went to a barber at a certain place to cut his hair. (This place was adjacent to Baghdad and was called Surra Man Ra’aa which the Khalifa inhabited and turned into a capital city.)

Upon seeing him dressed in such old clothes, the barber thought to himself that this person would not be able to pay him. Hence, he refused to cut his hair as he was accustomed to charging a high fee since he was the barber of kings and rulers. Why should he then bother about cutting the hair of this poor person?

Hadhrat Imaam Shafi’i rahimahullāh perceived this and, being a mujtahid, he was extremely intelligent and full of wisdom. He asked his slave: “How much do you have with you?” The slave replied: “Ten gold coins.” Imaam Shafi’i rahimahullāh then said: “Give it to the barber!” The slave gave it to the barber and they left without the haircut.

Read more: It Is Incorrect To Gauge A Person By His Outer Appearace

A group of shias intended playing a prank on a buzurg. One of them pretended to be dead and was placed on a bier.

The buzurg was then requested to perform the janaazah salaah. It was planned that after the second or third takbeer this person will spring out and jump onto the buzurg. The buzurg asked them to give ghusl to the dead person. They replied, “We have already given him a ghusl.”

He told them, “That ghusl is not valid. Repeat the ghusl.” Hence, they moved the bier away and took it back to their place. Upon opening the bier they found that he had indeed died.

It was for this reason that the buzurg had ordered them to repeat the ghusl because the ghusl that is done whilst alive is not valid. The ghusl has to be given after death.

NOTE: These people had intended playing a prank on the buzurg and Allah Ta`ala had taken revenge on behalf of the buzurg. One should always fear harassing and harming the pious because even their actions that seem to be mistakes are actually correct. It appears in a hadeeth-e-qudsi: “I declare war against those who harm My friends.” (Bukhaari) (Malfoozaat of Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi , vol. 1, p. 423)

Someone had written to Moulana Thanwi Rahmatullah Alay:

I make zikr silently. I do this for two reasons: (1) I fear that if I make zikr audibly I will disturb those who are asleep. (2) People will begin to think of  me as a buzurg and this will create pride within me.

Hadhrat Thanwi  Rahmatullah Alay replied: Continue making zikr aloud. The solution to the first problem is that you should make zikr in a place where there isn’t anybody sleeping e.g. the Musjid. However, do not  make zikr so loudly that the people of the area will be disturbed.

As far as the second problem, then ponder over the fact that when you will begin to sway your head whilst making zikr people will not think you to be a buzurg but an insane person. Your nafs has advised you that people should not think you to be a buzurg. However, it has in fact devised a plan whereby people would begin to think of you as a buzurg. The reason for this is that when you will lower your head and engage in zikr-e-Sirri people will think that you have now reached the level of the angels. The nuktah (subtle point) in this is that it is difficult to remain punctual and constant on a devotional practice.

If you will make zikr-e-jahri a few people will come to know that you wake up in the latter portion of the night to make zikr, such as the muazzin of the musjid. At times you will be overcome by sleep and laziness and perhaps miss out making zikr on that day. The muazzin will come to know that today Mr so and so did not wake up. However, if you make zikr-e-Sirri nobody will know whether you got up or not and in this way your laziness and weakness will remain concealed.

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