Shaykh al-Hind at the khanqah of Mawlana Gangohi

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It is said regarding Shaykh al-Hind Hadhrat Mawlana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi (may Allah have mercy on him), who was the head lecturer at Darul ‘Uloom Deoband, that every Thursday after classes would finish he would set off from Deoband to Gangoh. He would leave before ‘Asar or after ‘Asar and would offer the rest of his daily prayers at various stops along the way. The distance from Deoband to Gangoh was twenty-three miles and Shaykh al-Hind would walk the entire distance. This was his habit for many years. The journey was long and would take several hours; as a result he would reach the khanqah of Mawlana Gangohi late at night. If the gate were open he would enter otherwise he would spread a sheet of cloth there and then at the doorstep of the khanqah and offer prayers as much as he could. If he were to feel tired then he would rest a little while but would not knock on the gate. Towards the latter part of the night at the time of Tahajjud, the gatekeeper would come and find Shaykh al-Hind there. He would often ask him why he had not knocked or called out at which Shaykh al-Hind would simply reply saying he was anxious that doing so would disturb his shaykh and the other murids inside the khanqahand felt it better to simply remain at the door rather than disturb those inside.

Mawlana Gangohi (may Allah have mercy on him) also had a habit of holding a gathering for the general masses before the Friday prayers. This gathering was well attended with the majority in attendance being farmers and labourers from the surrounding areas of Gangoh who would arrive in the khanqah very early in the morning and gather at the front of the masjid awaiting the arrival of Mawlana Gangohi. By the time Mawlana Gangohi would come, the area at the front close to him would be full leaving many of his closemurids and khalifahs with only space to sit at the back close to the entrance. It is said that Shaykh al-Hind, who himself was one of the senior khalifahs of Mawlana Gangohi and the leading lecturer in hadith at Darul ‘Uloom Deoband, would humbly sit wherever he could at the back of the gathering without any inclination to come forward. He would only come forward if by chance Mawlana Gangohi noticed he was sitting at the back at which he would say, “Mahmud, come to the front.”

After the Friday prayers, Shaykh al-Hind would take permission from his shaykh and then return to Deoband on foot as he had arrived covering some twenty-three miles on the way back. Subhanallah, may Allah have mercy them. This was his habit for many years as long as his shaykh was alive. Look at this love, respect and honour for his shaykh. It was not the case that Shaykh al-Hind could not afford a means of transport; he could have got a horse or a cart. This he could have, but this is the hardship he underwent out of respect for his shaykh and he did this with such respect, reverence and honour. May Allah have mercy on them all.

Sourced from Important Discourses on Tasawwuf by by  on Deoband.Org


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