Concealing One’s Actual Condition

The generosity and kindness of Shaykh al-Islam Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī was not due to being wealthy or well-off. He was himself poor and needy, however, experienced delight and pleasure in acting upon the sunna (way) of Rasūlullāh ﷺ.

Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā ʿĀbdul Haq Madanī narrates that:

“The inhabitants of Madina revered and respected Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī to a measure which no other ʿĀlim (conventional scholar) possessed. In spite of all this, Ḥaḍrat Madanī would fast days on end without a proper meal in Ramaḍān and no one would have the slightest hint about it.”

Mawlānā ʿĀbdul Haq Madanī recalls, “I once had the yearning to partake of the suḥūr (pre-dawn meal) and ifṭār (sunset meal) with Ḥaḍrat Madanī. Thus, I prepared some food to bring along with me to the Masjid al-Ḥaram. I expected some more food to arrive from Ḥaḍrat Madanī’s house. The time of Maghrib (sunset prayer) was approaching and still nothing came. I laid out the dining cloth and requested him to partake of the food. He replied, “You start without me, I will break my fast with dates and water.” I pleaded, “Ḥaḍrat! I only came because I thought I will be eating with you. Therefore, if you are going to eat only dates then I will also suffice on dates.” After much compelling and persuading, Ḥaḍrat ate a little to fulfil my wish and quickly engaged in nafl Ṣalāh (optional prayer). He continued praying till the ʿIshā (evening prayer). After the completion of Tarāwīḥ (Ramaḍān night prayer), I was again adamant for him to join me in the suḥūr (pre-dawn meal) meal. He casually remarked, “We will see at the time of suḥūr (pre-dawn meal).” After saying this he engaged himself in worship till suḥūr (pre-dawn meal). Nearer to the time, he then woke me up and instructed me to eat. It was then when I enquired as to why no food came from his house; neither at the time of suḥūr (pre-dawn meal) nor ifṭār (sunset meal)? Ḥaḍrat attempted to evade the question and change the topic of discussion, but I remained adamant and resolute in my quest to unearthing the reality. Ḥaḍrat would laugh and try his utmost to divert the conversation but I forced him to reveal the truth. In the end, all he said was, “Maybe there was nothing at home today.” I compelled Ḥaḍrat to join me. Whilst partaking of the food, he turned to me and addressing me in a sincere manner, “ʿĀbdul Haq! The sunna (way) of Rasūlullāh ﷺ ought to be practiced upon at times!” Then he implored and pleaded me saying, “Promise me not to inform anyone about the condition of my home.”

Ḥaḍrat would many times we suffice on cooking lentils and would pick up watermelon peels off the streets, place it water and drink it.”

(Sawāniḥ-i Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī, pg:73)

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

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