Muftī Taqī ʿUthmānī narrates that I have often experienced my father that in the midst of anger whilst scolding or reprimanding an individual, he were to discover his fault, he would immediately acknowledge his mistake and ask for forgiveness. This may be easy to say but to see it practically is another thing altogether. Unless a person does not subjugate his desires and carry out spiritual exercises under the supervision of a qualified Shaykh (spiritual mentor), it is almost impossible to instil this quality [of humility].
This practice of my late father (Muftī Muḥammad Shafīʿ) was in fact acquired [spiritually] from his Shaykh (spiritual mentor). Muftī Taqī ʿUthmānī mentions that I have heard the incident of Ḥakīm al-Ummat Mawlānā Ashraf ʿĀlī Thānwī from my late father and Shaykh (Doctor ʿAbdul Ḥayy ʿAyādh) on many occasions, the story goes that Ḥaḍrat Thānwī had a special attendant by the name of Niyāz Ṣāḥib. Once, some people complained to Ḥaḍrat Thānwī that Niyāz Ṣāḥib spoke harshly to someone without reason. A few moments later Niyāz Ṣāḥib arrived upon which Ḥaḍrat Thānwī scolded him saying:
“Why, Niyāz do you go on quarrelling with others?”
Upon this Niyāz Ṣāḥib cried out,
“Ḥaḍrat! Fear Allah and do not lie”
Imagine today, if in the presence of any scholar or respected personality, a subordinate or assistant was to utter these words, the fury and rage ignited is somewhat evident. However, in this situation, Ḥaḍrat Thānwī who when hearing the phrase “fear Allah” from his assistant, controlled his anger. He immediately lowered his head saying astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah (Allah forgive me). In actual fact, when Ḥaḍrat Thānwī heard this statement from his attendant, he grew conscious that when scolding Niyāz Ṣāḥib, he had only heard one side of the incident, whereas both sides were ought to be heard. Hence, upon becoming aware, he immediately reversed his approach
Someone has said regarding ʿUmar r.a.:
وكَانَ وَقَّافًا عِنْدَ كِتَابِ اللهِ تَعَالَى
“He always adhered strictly to the Book of Allah.”
My respected father (Muftī Muḥammad Shafīʿ) often stated when relating the above account of ʿUmar r.a. that this quality (i.e. adhering strictly to the Book of Allah) which transpired in the life of Ḥaḍrat Thānwī was rare to be seen in anyone else.
(Mere Wālid Mere Shaykh)