Being Content with a Mud House

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Mawlānā Sayyid Aṣghar Ḥusain was a role model in terms of discharging his duties and being considerate towards his relatives, friends and neighbours. His house was made of mud, which needed reinforcement every year. While doing so he had to take all of his household items. On one occasion Muftī Muḥammad Shafīʿ told him that he was going through to too much hassle and expense every year and instead of strengthening the house every year he could have had a proper cement house built with the money. He did not dismiss his idea outright, as he appreciated it as a sincere suggestion. Nonetheless, he asked, “Do you imagine I have grown so old without ever having thought of this?” He briefly explained how he could easily save on this expenditure, and within five years have a proper house built instead. However, after a silence, he added that his neighbours, also, have mud houses, and he did not want something for himself that would be a constant reminder to them of their less fortunate financial circumstance.

It was then I realised the exceptional refinement of his moral sensibilities. The motives behind the action of such individuals are rarely the most obvious ones. One can only imagine the deep concern that Miyan Sahib had for his neighbours and the poor. He continued living in the same mud house, and it was only when his neighbours built cement houses, did he also build one.

He was undoubtedly a glowing reminder of the early Muslims. It is recorded in the history books that once, during Caliph Umar’s reign, the price of ghee (clarified butter) went up. Umar announced that he would have ghee only when the common people of Madina could afford it. This is the standard of conduct that was reflected in Miyān Sahib’s (Mawlānā Sayyid Aṣghar Ḥusain) behaviour throughout his life; a life brimming with selflessness, empathy and consideration for the feelings of others. (Akābire Deoband Kyā Thai)

Categories: Memorable Episodes from the Lives of the ʿUlamā of Deoband

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