The Siege of Ta’if and the Pangs of Hunger

Shaykh al-Islam Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī was under siege along with his teacher and mentor Shaykh al-Hind Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Maḥmūd al-Ḥasan for two months and twenty days in the vicinity of Taif, Saudi Arabia. The suffering and ordeal they endured is beyond description. There was a shortage of food and water, the entire vicinity was in agony. Despite this, these god-fearing servants of Allah, who were foreigners and undergoing much trouble, let alone imploring for aid, they did not even express their grief. On one side, they were faced with the pangs of hunger but on the other side they busied themselves in the worship of Allah.

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī after completing his devotions would attend and serve his teacher, Shaykh al-Hind Mawlānā Maḥmūd al-Ḥasan who at the time was extremely frail and weak. Shaykh al-Islam Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī would arrange whatever food he could for the entire convoy. He would place all the food on the tablecloth and when everyone would be engrossed in the meal, he would pardon himself and leave or eat so at a snail’s pace; such that eating and not eating would be the same. Favouring others over oneself was so that his teacher and fellow companions do not remain hungry. Many times, after spreading the tablecloth he would instruct them to eat and leave himself out, saying that I have already ate. It was likely possible that he only ate a meagre amount. This act of kindness lead to his weakness which made his voice indistinct and unclear.

One day, at the time lunch when he pardoned himself after eating very little, his mentor, Shaykh al-Hind became so furious that he began shuddering in anger. When noticing his teacher’s anger, this had such a profound effect on Ḥaḍrat Madanī that he broke into tears. Noticing the delicacy of the matter Shaykh al-Hind immediately subdued his anger and very sympathetically remarked, “Ḥusain Aḥmad! You are oppressing yourself and making us the oppressors.”

After this incident, Shaykh al-Hind instructed the others to remain watchful over Ḥaḍrat Madanī so that he always eats when we eat.

(Sawāniḥ-i Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī: 74)

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Categories: Memorable Episodes from the Lives of the ʿUlamā of DeobandTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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