Maseehullah Khan RA, an Epitome of Sufi Islam - 2
By Dr Basheer Ahmed Khan
Garden Grove, CA
When I visited the boarding of the Madrassa run by Maseehullah Khan RA, I was surprised to see Taj Uddin a boy from my hometown, who was studying there. I met a retired employee of Indian Telegraph who was teaching Urdu to the students at the Madrassa. He also used to wait on Maulana at night when he was assigned for it. He told me that in the night when he is there to watch over him he sees that Maulana has very little sleep. Even when he is sleeping I hear some tuktuk. Perhaps he is in wireless communication with Allah, he said, and smiled.
When I went after Asr prayer for the pre-dusk talk which he gave in the veranda of his office, I found him addressing some teachers and students. Some of the things that I heard from him in this sitting still reverberate in my consciousness. I am paraphrasing the gist of what I understood from his talk.
Talking about the treatment of Riya (show of) and the way to develop Ikhlas (doing things to please Allah), Maulana said: Riya is a disease which develops because we want to establish ourselves as pious people. Therefore, we try to impress people by prolonging our prayers when people are watching and hurry it up when we are alone. We can cure this disease and develop Ikhlas with the realization that people have nothing to reward us. Only God will reward us and He is watching over us more keenly than people. We don’t need to prolong our prayers because people are watching, but we should be conscious of Allah even in our solitude. The mat on which we pray is watching us and has the capacity to report to Allah about the state of our prayer more than these men. Without the consciousness of the Omnipresence and Omniscience of Allah, our prayer will remain a ritual and will not prevent us from committing wrong. He quoted verse 45 from Chapter 29 to support his observation. In this day and age when we are able to record and view our actions on various audio and video devices it should not be difficult for us to develop this consciousness that Allah is watching us wherever we are, he said.
Quoting the verse 53 from Chapter 8 of the Qur’an, the maulana said: Allah says in this verse that Allah does not take away His blessings which He has bestowed on us but we alone lose them by our wrong actions. Explaining this verse, he showed the car that was parked in his yard covered with a car cover. He said that this is an expensive car which a rich landlord of a distant town gave him so that he could visit him and pray for him when he was terminally ill. He died after a few months and ever since then this car is parked here. The heirs of the deceased have not come to take the car despite his repeated requests. When an ordinary rich person of the world does not take away what he has gifted to someone, how will the Allah who is the owner and master of everything under the sun and Who gives everything to everyone take away what He has given except when we lose it by our own follies, Maulana exclaimed with a deep sigh, perhaps recollecting the causes of the dismal state of Muslims in the world.
Talking about the causes of ineffectiveness of religion in solving problems of mankind and the solution to it, Maulana said: Logic has its own explanations but we stretch it too far to explain the thing in accordance with our understanding, convenience and preference. Elucidating this point, Maulana said: Logic says that if you throw a mustard seed to stop a falling boulder, it should stop the boulder at the point of contact for a moment. But this is theoretical and we have taken it as empirical and practical. We are throwing mustard seeds of our weak faith and imperfect deeds at the falling boulders in the hope of stopping them. No, this will not work, he said; we will have to come to the teachings of prophets and return to a life of piety, he said. He quoted verses from the Qur’an that love between people in a society can develop only when the people have faith in accountability before God and correct their actions and always speak the truth (Ch20 V96 & Ch33. V70-71).
I was returning to the Madrassa, where I had to spend the night after listening to Maulana’s talk, when a jeep entered the gate. Looking at a stranger the person driving the jeep stopped and enquired about me. I learnt that he was the son of the Maulana. He was a scholar but was engaged in agriculture. He was taking care of his lands and the income from it was an important source of income for the school. As we were talking a dog, which was kept to watch the premises, came close by on seeing its master return. He kept the dog away from me. When I thought about how the dog which was created by God to watch over our property came into our bedrooms, the answer fascinated me. When we stripped man of his spiritual existence and degraded him to a social animal and when this social animal started to behave worse than animals then man lost faith in man and brought dogs into the room as he found it to be more trustworthy than man.
I slept outside the mosque to get some cool air on that hot night risking attack from the army of mosquitos. As I was tired I slept like a log and in the night around four AM I was woken up by the loud Zikr (chanting) of “La Ila ha Il Al lahoo” by the principal of the Madrassa. This is the age-old practice of all Sufis who chant this statement of faith focusing on its meaning in their minds and in their hearts and become ecstatic. This chanting brings the consciousness that nobody has any power to which one can turn to in the hour of his need except the One to whom everything belongs, that is Allahoo. When the meaning of these words permeate their heart and establish as reality they raise their voice; and some who can’t control themselves, dance and even tear their clothes. I saw this age-old practice in action that night. The principal who was making this chant did not dance or tear his clothes but was only swinging his head and body as he was sitting on the floor and chanting it.
I was extremely happy to learn that the house of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi and his final resting place are close by in the village of Thana Bhavan. I hired a cycle rickshaw and went there. I got a very valuable lesson in importance of simple living for higher learning by visiting this place and by looking at the simple house and the nearby graveyard where this great scholar was buried along with his family and some companions. I was shocked to learn that some years back this resting place of a scholar was vandalized by some miscreants.
I learnt that MaulanaMehtar Sahib (DamathBarkathuhum) who was the Religious Director of Cypress Mosque, was the student of MaulanaMaseehullah Khan RA and his representative. I thought that I should meet him and share my experience of his teacher and learn more about him. My fondness and respect of MaulanaMaseehullah Khan grew much more from what I heard about him from MaulanaMehtar DB.
He told me that when he was a student the accommodation for students was not enough. Therefore, the school decided to convert a part of the kitchen, which was very big, into a boarding place. As the soot covering the wall of the kitchen over years was hard to remove, it took longer than expected to whit wash the walls and the students were inconvenienced for a few days. When MaulanaMaseehullah Khan RA inaugurated the new boarding place he said: You must have seen how cumbersome was the job of clearing the soot on the wall and whitewash this place to make sure that it is pleasant enough for you to stay. Imagine how much effort we should put on our hearts to cleanse it of the hatred, jealousies, greed, lust and other evils of the heart so that it is clean enough for Allah to reside in it. Your parents have sent you to this school for this and I hope and pray that Allah makes it easy on us to cleanse our hearts of its moral and spiritual diseases as we put effort to enrich our minds with His knowledge. When I told MaulanaMehtar about MaulanaMaseehullah Khan’s son and how he had become a farmer, tears flowed through his eyes and he told me that Bhai Sahib died a few years back. This was the relationship which students had not only with their teacher but also with their children.
As I recount the memories about this and such other genuine religious teachers and guides of the past generation and their influence on me the truth of the following couplets of Allama Iqbal dawns on me:
DeenMaJooAndarKutub O Be-khabar
Ilm o Hikmath Dar Kutub, DeenAzNazar
Deen Ma Ra KhabarOo Ra Nazar
OoDaroon e Khana Ma Biroon e Dar
O you who are looking for religion in books, you can get only knowledge through books and the actual religion comes in the company of truly pious people. For us religion is information and for truly religious people it is a vision. They live in the house of religion and we are outside at its doorstep trying to understand it. That is why Allah says KunuMa’AsSadiqeen (Be with truthful people).
At the time of parting I presented to the Maulana a check for few hundred rupees and made it payable to him to give him the benefit to use it however he deemed it fit. He asked me if it was from Zakath. I said no, it was a gift. When he did not cash it I was perturbed. The possible reason why he did not cash my check that made me a bit relaxed and enhanced my respect for him was that he might have considered my gift as the boarding and lodging charges for my stay at his place.
These noble souls do not do anything for money. They do everything to please Allah and help mankind. Such thoughtful, knowledgeable souls were the soul of Islam and Islam and Muslims are suffering not for anything else today but because of lack of such scholars.
Short Bases Have Long History of Failure, Look for Large Bases
By Saghir Aslam
(The following information is provided solely to educate the Muslim community about investing and financial planning. It is hoped that the Ummah will benefit from this effort through greater financial empowerment, enabling the community to live with dignity and fulfill their moral obligations towards charitable activities)
Without a solid foundation, even the finest mansion stands on shaky grounds.
For much the same reason, investors should avoid buying rising stocks lacking proper bases. Otherwise, they could put their financial house in disorder.
In the current rally, scads of leading stocks have raced ahead like runaway trains. They haven’t given investors much of a chance to get on board.
Such pullbacks may seem like a good time to get into these stocks. But it’s a risky tactic.
In most cases, stocks should consolidate at least seven or eight weeks before breaking out. The only major exception is a flat base, which can take as little as five weeks.
These are bare minimums. Stocks can base for more than a year.
Stocks coming out of short consolidations are much more likely to blow up in your face. After a small run, they may retrace most or all of their gains.
If you buy a stock on the initial breakout, you might have a big enough profit cushion to ride out a correction. But from an extended buy point, a correcting stock can quickly put you more than 8% in the red before nearing its old base.
Always sell if you’re down 7% to 8% no matter what. Don’t compound a bad buying decision by letting your losses mount.
If you’re not fully invested by the time a market rally is in full swing, you may be too late. The stocks breaking out at this point, for example, are probably laggards.
Investing in such stocks lowers the odds of catching a big winner while raising the risk of picking losers.
Like farmers preparing for spring planting during winter, investors should get ready for the next rally during a market correction.
Keep a list of top-notch stocks. Insist on companies with superior share price and fundamental performance. They should be leaders in growing industries and enjoy support by mutual funds and other big institutional investors. These large institutions are the key to success. Have a plan, follow the plan.
The watch and wait. Once the market bottoms, pounce on your target stocks as they break out of sound bases on strong volume. Follow this formula and Insha Allah the reward will be handsome.
Remember what I have written many times. You must have a plan, a long term plan. Do your home work. Do research and research thoroughly.
Once your research has been completed and it meets all of your plans then go ahead and pull the trigger (invest). Once you invest with a plan, you will win but you must have solid plan and you must be patience.
(Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and formulas that he has been using. He is merely providing information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr Aslam does not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, or any investment at all, nor does he suggest that anyone will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial planner. Mr Aslam does not have anything for sale.)