Memories (Episode 12)
The Land Near Allama Usmani’s (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) Grave
A notable event took place in that academic year (i.e. 1374H, equivalent to 1955) which I feel is necessary to mention in some detail:
At that time there did not exist any big Madrasa in Karachi except Darul Uloom, due to which the number of students was constantly increasing, and the existing building in Nanak Warah became cramped. Everyone felt the need for the Madrasa to be shifted to a larger space. Who would have felt this need more than our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him)? Hence, he was actively searching for a bigger place. After a prolonged effort, he obtained the big piece of land which was lying empty near the grave of Shaykhul Islam Hazrat Allama Shabbir Ahmad Sahab Usmani (May Allah’s mercy be upon him).
The events leading up to obtaining this piece of land, and thereafter giving it up, are an extraordinary chapter of our respected father’s (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) life. Regarding these events I heard my Shaykh (spiritual mentor) Aarif Billah Hazrat Dr Abdul Hayy Sahab Aarifi and Hazrat Allama Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf Binnori (May Allah’s mercy be upon them both) and several other scholars say that this single act of Hazrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) was enough proof of the exaltedness of his character, and his truthfulness and sincerity. The details of this event have not been published until now, even though they are extremely instructive, so I will narrate this incident in some detail.
Our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) was a student of Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani (May his secret be sanctified) and also his companion in the Pakistan Movement and other efforts. Furthermore, he was a distant relative of our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) in that Hazrat Allama used to call our paternal grandmother (May Allah’s mercy be upon her) “Mumani” (maternal aunt), meaning that our respected father was his distant maternal cousin. Hazrat Allama’s family members used to affectionately call him “Phool Abba” (Flower dad), and his respected wife (May Allah’s mercy be upon her) “Phool Amma” (Flower mom). They were childless. His brother, late respected Fazal Haq Sahab Fazli had attained worldly, instead of religious, education, as a result of which he was an officer in the Postal Department of Deoband. Hazrat Allama had adopted his daughter, who was married to Maulana Muhammad Yahya (May Allah’s mercy be upon him). Maulana Muhammad Yahya Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) was a competent scholar.
At the time of Hazrat Allama’s passing away, the then-Prime Minister respected Liaquat Ali Khan Sahab had allocated a piece of land for his grave. A vast piece of land lay empty near the grave. On the one hand, our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) wished for a Darul Uloom to be established, befitting Hazrat Allama’s stature, adjacent to his grave. On the other hand, in view of the services rendered to Pakistan by Hazrat Allama (May his secret be sanctified), it was his right that his respected wife, his adopted daughter and his brother, who had migrated to Pakistan because of him and had left behind their properties in India, should be provided some place for residence. Therefore our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), on behalf of the above-mentioned relatives of Hazrat Allama and a few other prominent individuals, sent an application to the Government for the establishment of a Darul Uloom on that location, in memory of Hazrat Allama Usmani (May his secret be sanctified), and that Hazrat Allama’s relatives should also be provided residence in that area. This application was filed on behalf of a few individuals, and as is the norm in governmental institutions, it remained in the cold storage and no action was taken on it for years, until a place was found in Nanak Warah for Darul Uloom. When the place in Nanak Warah became cramped and need of a new place was felt, our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) was given the recommendation that no action had been taken by the government regarding the land near the grave of Allama Usmani (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) because the application was a
personal one on behalf of a few individuals. Now that Darul Uloom was no longer just a dream, rather it was an officially registered institution, if the application were to be filed by Darul Uloom itself, to obtain the land for itself, it was hoped that the application would be successful. Thus our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), after informing Hazrat Allama’s relatives, invited the Chief Commissioner of Karachi to Darul Uloom Nanak Warah, so that he could personally witness and appreciate the lack of space and Darul Uloom’s need. At that point the above-mentioned relatives of Hazrat Allama (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) were also present, and a verbal proposal was made, in their presence, that that piece of land should be allotted to Darul Uloom as a memorial of Hazrat Allama, and Hazrat Allama’s wife and relatives should also be allotted residential plots in that land. Thereafter a formal application was sent to the Chief Commissioner on 3rd July 1953, about which Hazrat Allama’s relatives were aware. Talks with various government officials continued, and it was learnt that this application could not go through without approval from the Municipal Corporation. Consequently an application was submitted to the Municipal Corporation on 5th January 1954 in which, besides the request to allot the land to Darul Uloom, it was also requested that Hazrat Allama’s respected wife, his adopted daughter’s husband, and his brother should also be allotted residential plots of 800 square yards each in a section of that land. Further, five of Hazrat Allama’s distant relatives
were also included in that list, for whom residential plots were requested. After a long struggle, on 3rd May 1954, the Municipal Corporation’s Standing Committee gave a letter of recommendation for this application to be accepted. Thereafter, on 23rd July 1954, the Land Manager of the Corporation accepted this application with some conditions attached. After our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) accepted those conditions, on 16 July 1954 the Corporation formally accepted both parts of the application in its Resolution #486.
According to this Resolution, 16200 square yards were to be allotted to Darul Uloom while 2548 square yards were to be allotted to Hazrat Allama’s respected wife and other relatives. The land to be allotted to Darul Uloom was granted on lease, and it was stipulated that if Darul Uloom did not fulfil the conditions of lease the government had the right to reclaim that land. However the residential plots to be granted to Hazrat Allama’s respected wife and relatives were freehold, i.e. they would be made owners of those plots. In the same Resolution, our respected father, as principal of Darul Uloom, and Hazrat Maulana Nur Ahmad Sahab in his capacity of Coordinator of Darul Uloom, were granted plots stretching 800 and 500 square yards respectively. However, our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) filed an application that he and Hazrat Maulana Nur Ahmad Sahab did not wish to take any land for their personal residence, and that the land allotted to them as their personal properties should also be allocated to Darul Uloom.
For legal follow-up of this Resolution it was sent to the Chief Commissioner of Karachi. The Chief Commissioner, in his acceptance of this Resolution, wrote that 16200 square yard of the land was allotted to Darul Uloom, and the residential plots allotted to Hazrat Allama’s respected wife, son-in-law and brother by the Municipal Corporation are also accepted. However the plots allotted to Hazrat Mufti Shafi Sahab (Principal of Darul Uloom Karachi) and Maulana Nur Ahmad Sahab (Coordinator of Darul Uloom Karachi), since they had themselves applied to forgo them, they are also to be allotted to Darul Uloom. However, the application to grant residential plots to the five distant relatives of Hazrat Allama is rejected. (This order of the Chief Commissioner, with reference number L.c.g.L 1.54, was released on 7 December 1954, with the Resolution from the Karachi Municipal Corporation’s Land Manager Office attached with it. This order and Resolution, along with all related documents are preserved in Darul Uloom).
Having fulfilled all legal procedures, our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) announced the construction of Darul Uloom at that place. A board was erected on that land saying: “Darul Uloom Karachi, in memory of Shaykhul Islam Hazrat Allama Shabbir Ahmad
Usmani”. Allah Ta’ala had bestowed the special traits of relentless struggle, being proactive,
and getting the most difficult jobs done in a short period of time upon Hazrat Maulana Nur Ahmad Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him). It was he who had striven day and night in getting that piece of land. And when the land was obtained, he had had a few rooms quickly built so that construction works could be monitored and tracked from those rooms.
Furthermore, to allow ease of communication he had a telephone line installed, and also got an electricity connection.
Our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) desired the official groundbreaking ceremony to be done by the senior Ahlullah scholars of the country. Thus Hazrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Hasan Sahab, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Idrees Sahab Kandhlavi and
Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Ali Sahab Lahori (May Allah’s mercy be upon them) from Lahore, Hazrat
Maulana Khair Muhammad Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) from Multan, and Hazrat Maulana Athar Ali Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) from East Pakistan were invited, and a two-day annual gathering was announced for Sunday 26th and Monday 27th Jumaduth Thaniya 1374H, equivalent to 20 and 21 February 1955, in which the foundation stone of the new building would be laid.
Our respected father had also sent a letter of invitation to Hakeem Ul Islam Hazrat Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyab Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), rector of Darul Uloom Deoband, to which Hazrat replied:
The Office of Darul Uloom Deoband, District Saharanpur
My respected brother, may Allah Ta’ala increase your exalted honour.
I humbly present the Prophetic greetings (Salam). I was obliged by receiving your honourable letter. Firstly, I present my utmost delight and congratulations at the fantastic news (laying of foundation of Darul Uloom). During my stay in Karachi I used to hear the names of various Darul Ulooms. Some of them were successfully created, while for others people dreamed of their creation. All of them expressed their desire to attribute them to the mission of Hazrat Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him). However, it is strange that the heart would not accept all those plans with this attribution. It was firmly established in the heart that if a Darul Uloom would be established under this mission, then it would only be Maulana Mufti
Muhammad Shafi Sahab who would establish it. When you informed about the creation of Darul Uloom, and I also received a brief tract regarding it, my happiness knew no bounds, because I felt that that mission had finally commenced today and that it would progress with time. Today, this worthless one’s dream has become a reality. At the same time, I had fantasized that this Darul Uloom should be built at the same place as Hazrat Allama’s resting place. I would look at that place longingly; it felt as if that place desired for Darul Uloom to be built on it. All thanks is for Allah who let me hear the wonderful news that the planned Darul Uloom will be constructed near the one who planned for it, and that it reached the place where it would receive constant spiritual support.
Darul Uloom Deoband also began functioning first, and only later were the foundations of its building laid. The same is happening with this Darul Uloom. This similarity is a good omen. If that Darul Uloom was established by its notable sincere custodians, then this Darul Uloom is being established by their true successors, who are following in their footsteps in terms of knowledge and actions.
I will try my utmost to participate in that blessed ceremony, but you know that this is not in one’s control, especially within a limited time. Please do dua that Allah Ta’ala makes me successful in this. السيع منا و الإتمام من الله (Making an effort is our job and making it happen is from Allah).
Please accept my thanks for remembering me, to you and members of Darul Uloom. If all of us exert in our duas (prayers) then every difficulty will become easy. The exertion will be from the passion of our hearts. Please convey my Salam (greetings) to Khalifa Jee . I make dua for your children. Please convey my Salam and my request for dua to your respected mother and wife. With Salam,
From Deoband, 27/5/1374H
Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Idris Sahab Kandhlavi (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) replied:
Respected, May your bounties and blessings continue forever,
I offer you the Sunnah greetings (Salam). I received your letter, which was a source of felicity for me. Inshallah (If Allah Wills) I will be present with my heart and soul. However I would like to request that firstly, if a topic could be specified on which to talk then I could prepare for it. When Hazrat Farooq-e-Azam, before a speech, said “ زوَّرتٌ في نفسي مقالة” (I prepared, in my heart, what I wanted to speak) then what to mention about us good-for-nothings.
Secondly, it would be good if the gathering could take place in front of the grave of Hazrat Maulana Usmani.
Thirdly, I would like to request to free me in two days, so that after the gathering I could do something else. I am awaiting your reply.
Muhammad Idris (May he be forgiven)
Hazrat Maulana Khair Muhammad Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) replied:
The Office of Madrasa Arabiyya Khairul Madaris Multan, Pakistan
My noble and honourable Mufti Sahab, May your blessings continue forever,
Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu,
After asking about your wellbeing, I would like to say:
Though such a long journey in February seems very difficult, but as they say الضرورات تبيح”
“المحظورات (Necessity knows no laws). In compliance to your instructions I will depart from Punjab on Friday, 18 February, and Inshallah reach Karachi on Saturday, 19 February. And I will stay at Maulvi Aftab Ahmad Sahab’s place, at Madrasatul Islam Sindh. I will present myself in your service by myself at some time. Please don’t make any arrangements for my reception. With Salam.
Requesting dua, lowly Khair Muhammad (May he be forgiven) from Multan 12 February 1955
Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Ali Sahab Lahori (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) wrote:
Anjuman Khuddamud Deen
Sheranwala Gate, Lahore
My master and the master of scholars and the learned, Hazrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi
Sahab, May your blessings continue forever,
Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu,
Getting land for the establishment of Darul Uloom is a great blessing. Inshallah Ta’ala this land will be a source of guidance for Muslims. I humbly do dua in the court of Allah that Allah Ta’ala takes it to its utmost completion during your blessed life, and that this spring of life satiates students of Islamic knowledge for ever and ever, and that God-fearing Islamic scholars, who are accepted in the Court of Allah, should continue being produced from it forever. و ما ذلك على اللهبعزيز (And that is not difficult for Allah). Due to my constraints, I am unable to attend. Please forgive me.
The lowliest of all creatures, Ahmad Ali (May he be forgiven)
Our respected father’s (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) teacher, Hazrat Maulana Rasool Khan Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) wrote:
Honourable Maulana Sahab, May your bounties and blessings continue forever,
Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu,
I received your venerable letter. It was a source of great honour and pride for me. May Allah Ta’ala continue giving you success in terms of Deen (religious affairs) and Dunya (worldly affairs) forever. Ameen.
I’m ready to come with pleasure. I consider participation in this gathering a blessing. However, you know about my daughter’s court case. Next hearing is on 7th February 1955. If that does not cause a hindrance, I will definitely take part in this blessing, Inshallah.
Please do not send my transportation cost. If there is no impediment, I will not be deprived from this groundbreaking ceremony. I am extremely thankful for remembering me. With Salam.
If you happen to meet respected Haji Wajeehud Deen, convey Assalam from me. Muhammad Rasool Khan (May the Most Merciful forgive him)
Maulana Azhar Shah Qaiser Sahab, the son of Imamul Asr (Leader of the era) Hazrat Allama Anwar Shah Sahab Kashmiri (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) replied:
Respected, may your bounties continue forever. I present the Sunnah Salam.
I received the gazette of Darul Uloom and the invitation for the gathering. I express my heartfelt gratitude. I read the announcement regarding the building with great satisfaction. What is the worth of my opinion? But I would at least say that on one hand an offshoot of the community of (scholars of) Deoband branched off and went to the people of Gujarat and Kathiawar, and they spread the Deen as far as Africa. On the other hand, at a later time they were entrusted with the responsibility of protecting Islamic practices in the newly-created country. Fortunate is the ground which opened its arms for Maulana Usmani, and blessed is the piece of land which got such a driven achiever as Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi Sahab. If the people of Pakistan were to ponder, they would realize that the groundbreaking and construction of Darul Uloom is a major event taking place in their country, towards which all, the rich and the poor, should contribute according to their means. With Salam. Sayyid Muhammad Azhar Shah Qaiser
Consequently, those who had promised to come came. Together with addresses by senior scholars, speeches and plays by students of Darul Uloom were also organized. I was twelve years old, and Ustadh Ahmadul Ahmad had prepared me, with much affection, for an Arabic speech. And perhaps I was also included in an Arabic play performed by students. Due to my young age my speech was much appreciated.
The first sitting, held on 20 February, was convened under the chairmanship of the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, respected Abdul Hameed Al-Khateeb (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), who was himself a good scholar. The second sitting was presided over by Hazrat Maulana Khair Muhammad Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), the third sitting, on 21 February, was held under the chairmanship of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Hasan Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) and the fourth sitting under Hazrat Maulana Athar Ali Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him). Besides them, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Idris Sahab Kandhlavi (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), Hazrat Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf Binnori Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), Khalifa Abdul Haq Sahab from Quetta, and Hazrat Maulana Sher Muhammad Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) from NWFP also addressed the gathering. Besides them, respected Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar Sahab, Abu Hossain Sarkar Sahab and Doctor Malik Sahab from amongst State Ministers, and also Speaker of the Constitutional Assembly respected Maulvi Tameezud Deen Sahab, the Ambassador of Syria respected Jawwad Al-Murabit Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon all of them) also attended.
The following was published in Daily Jang on 21st February 1955:
Contributions Totalling Rs. 93000 Announced for Darul Uloom
Karachi: 20 February – Today the Opening Ceremony of Darul Uloom took place under the chairmanship of the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, As-Sayyid Abdul Hameed Al-Khateeb. Besides large numbers of residents of Karachi, several notable scholars from around Pakistan, including Maulana Mufti Muhammad Hasan (Lahore), Maulana Khair Muhammad (Multan), Khalifa Abdul Haq (Quetta), Maulana Athar Ali the president of Nizamul Islam party (East Pakistan), as well as local scholars participated. Ambassador of Syria respected Jawwad Al-Murabit Sahab, Maulvi Tameezud Deen Khan Sahab and Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar Sahab also attended. Students who had learned Arabic through novel teaching methods gave speeches in Arabic , which the audience greatly appreciated. The chairperson of the meeting expressed his heartfelt delight at the establishment of Darul Uloom, which would become a means of acquiring and furthering knowledge of Islamic studies. He also elaborated on the significance and eminence of knowledge, and did dua (prayers) for the success of Darul Uloom. During the gathering a businessman from Karachi, respected Seth Abdul Latif Bawani, pledged Rs. 93000 towards the construction of Darul Uloom. Before the chairperson’s address Maulana Muhammad Idris Sahab Kandhlavi, Shaykhul Hadith of Jamiya Ashrafiya Lahore, and Ustadh Ahmadul Ahmad of Syria gave speeches. The second sitting of the convention took place after Isha. The third sitting was convened from 2:30pm to 5pm today. And the fourth sitting took place today after Isha, in which Maulana Mufti Muhammad Hasan and other scholars gave speeches.”
(Daily Jang, 21 February 1955)
But in an unexpected turn of events, someone sowed the misconception among the relatives of Hazrat Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani (May his secret be sanctified) that you have the foremost right over this land near Hazrat Allama’s burial place, and that Mufti Muhammad Shafi Sahab is usurping that which is rightly yours, and so he must be stopped from this. It is not appropriate to delve into the identities of those who fanned the flames of this matter because they have all returned to Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala forgive all their sins. However, the situation deteriorated to such an extent that Hazrat Shaykhul Islam’s (May his secret be sanctified) respected wife, who was a simple domestic lady and had no concern for worldly matters, even her ears we filled against our respected father, and a letter was published in Jang newspaper with her name, and a poster was also published against our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him).
When news of these developments reached our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) he visited the respected wife of Hazrat Allama and tried to clarify the situation. However, she was a simple household lady in whose heart the seed of mistrust was sown. As a result, she did not give any positive reply. And the matter escalated to such an extent that it was published in newspapers that she would personally hold a protest at where the Opening Ceremony was taking place.
I have written before that when the Chief Commissioner was invited to Darul Uloom, a verbal request was made in the presence of the aforementioned relatives of Hazrat Allama Usmani (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) that that piece of land should be allotted to Darul Uloom as a memorial of Hazrat Allama Usmani. And later an official application was sent to the Chief Commissioner on 3rd July 1953, about which Hazrat’s relatives were aware but no protest was lodged from their side at that time. Now, when all legal procedures had been duly completed with their full awareness, out of the blue this protest was launched.
When our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) came to know of all this, he made a decision which is unimaginable in today’s atmosphere. Our respected father said: “I’m opening this madrasa for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala; I’m not opening a shop for doing business. And I don’t want to establish a madrasa by displeasing my teacher’s wife. So the foundation stone of Darul Uloom will not be laid in this Ceremony. However, since leading scholars and other leaders of the nation have come from far and wide, this gathering will continue as planned, so that people can benefit from their addresses. But this is not the groundbreaking ceremony of the madrasa, rather this will be an ordinary annual gathering. And construction of the madrasa will remain suspended until this contention is resolved with approval from Hazrat’s respected wife.
Consequently, the following news was published regarding the Ceremony in Naee Roshni, dated 23 February 1955:
The Businessman Who Does Not Serve the Deen and the Nation is Guilty of Ingratitude
Issues Faced in Promoting Arabic Language Deliberated over in Darul Uloom’s Convention
Karachi: 22 February (Special Correspondent) – His Excellency Sayyid Abdul Hameed AlKhateeb, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, announced the groundbreaking of new building of Darul Uloom, a magnificent Islamic seminary similar in model to Jamiya Azhar, built as a memorial of Shaykhul Islam Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) in the capital of Pakistan. The announcement was made in a grand ceremony in which elite Islamic scholars and intellectuals from all over Pakistan participated. Among them were Hazrat
Maulana Athar Ali Sahab, president of Jamiyatul Ulama-e-Islam and Nizam-e-Islam Party East Pakistan, Maulana Khair Muhammad Sahab from Multan, Mufti Muhammad Hassan Sahab from Punjab, Shaykhul Hadith Allama Muhammad Idris Qasmi from Lahore, Shaykhul Qurra Qari Hamid Husain Sahab, Hazrat Khalifa Abdul Haq Sahab from Balochistan, Hazrat Maulana Sher Muhammad Sahab from NWFP, and others.
Besides leading Islamic scholars, Maulana Tameez Ud-Deen Khan Sahab, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Abul Husain Sarkar (State Minister), Abdul Muttalib Malik (State Minister), Sayyid
Ameen Al-Misry, His Excellency the Ambassador of Syria, Seth Abdul Latif Bawani, Mr A.M.
Qureshi (former president of Muslim League, and president of Ikhwan Pakistan) are especially worthy of mention.
Maulana Mufti Muhammad Mateen Al-Khateeb presented Darul Uloom’s charter, and also a brief yearly gazette, which explained that Darul Uloom was established in the form of a trust in memory of Hazrat Shaykhul Islam Allam Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. He mentioned that Seth Bawani, Hakeem Muhammad Saeed (owner of Hamdard Laboratories), Khan Bahadur Fazal Kareem, Khan Bahadur Haji Wajeehud Deen, Seth Haji Sharif and Mufti Muhammad Shafi Sahab were appointed trustees, and the trust was registered with the Government of Pakistan which had granted it tax-exemption. The Municipal Corporation had allotted the land, with recommendation of the Honourable Chief Commissioner, to this registered trust. The government had also gifted land extending 800 square yards, other than the land allotted to Darul Uloom, to Shaykhul Islam’s widowed wife, and another 800 square yards to Shaykhul Islam’s brother.
The proceedings began with recitation of the Noble Quran. Thereafter, in line with Darul
Uloom’s campaign towards promoting Arabic language, various speakers gave speeches in
Arabic. These speeches were aimed at promoting Islamic knowledge, and also at encouraging Muslims to benefit from modern worldly knowledge, in accordance with the needs of today’s times. The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, in his opening address, gave a scholastic sermon about Tawheed (Oneness of God) and the beliefs of a Muslim, and advised Muslims to become united and organized on the basis of Tawheed (Oneness of God) and Risalat (belief in the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)). Regarding Darul Uloom he said that he felt proud to be given the honour of inaugurating it.
It was announced at the end of the first day’s sitting that the ceremony of laying the foundation stone would be postponed due to some recommendations from the wife of Allama Usmani being under consideration of the Trust. Seth Haji Abdul Latif Bawani donated Rs. 93000 in Darul Uloom’s building fund, and construction works have started. Eight lakhs (800,000) would be spent on the building, and as a result the construction of a great Islamic seminary would be completed in an Islamic state. Seth Bawani said that he is a businessman, and it is incumbent upon a businessman to spend from the blessings that Allah Ta’ala has bestowed on him in service of his country and his Deen, and that if a businessman does not fulfill this obligation then he was being ungrateful. All Islamic scholars and speakers emphasized on promoting Arabic language, and said that it was of utmost importance for the Muslims of Pakistan to learn Arabic. (Naee Roshni, 23 February 1955).
Those who heard from our respected father that he had suspended construction of Darul Uloom were left bewildered. People said that this land has been allotted to Darul Uloom, and nobody has the legal right to impede its construction. The governmental machinery has also assured of its full cooperation. Blueprints of the building have been officially approved, some rooms have been constructed, Haji Abdul Latif Bawani Sahab has pledged Rs. 93000 for its construction, notable Islamic scholars from around the country have arrived, and a groundbreaking ceremony has been conducted in their presence. Relinquishing this land in the present situation, when the building in Nanak Warah has become extremely cramped, will be a cause of much dejection and disrepute. However, our respected father said that he could not base the foundation of Darul Uloom on dispute with the respected wife of his teacher. My elder brother, Hazrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani Sahab says that our respected father went on to tell the Board of Trustees that since the land has been allotted to you, you have the full right to proceed with the legal actions necessary to continue the construction, but I will not be part of it. I will continue my work in my madrasa in Nanak Warah until I get a piece of land without involving myself in any dispute.
Thereafter, the late Hakeem Muhammad Saeed and Khan Bahadur Fazal Kareem Sahab were sent to discuss the matter with the relatives of Hazrat Allama Usmani. Our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) accepted most of their demands. For example, their first proposal was that the Madrasa should be established with the name of Hazrat Allama Usmani (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), which was already being done. The board erected on the construction site had “In memory of Shaykhul Islam Hazrat Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani” clearly written on it. Their second condition was that respected Fazal Haq Sahab be made the trustee of Hazrat Allama’s burial place and the Masjid near it. Our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) accepted this condition as well. However, their third demand was that the Trust of Darul Uloom should be altered and re-named Allama Usmani Trust which would constitute of the heirs of Hazrat Allama Usmani (May Allah’s mercy be upon him). This point was incorrect in principle, firstly because a Waqf (endowed) educational institution could not be permanently established on the basis of heredity. Secondly, the land had been allotted to the Board of Trustees of Darul Uloom which would have to be disbanded to fulfil this condition, which was practically impossible in the current situation, and governmental circles also disapproved of it. Thirdly, from among Hazrat’s heirs, only Maulana Muhammad Yahya Sahab (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) was a scholar, and so he was the only one who could be concerned about the operations of Darul Uloom. Therefore, our respected father offered to include him in the Board of Trustees of Darul Uloom. However, it seems that those people who were instigating them neither desired to establish a madrasa, and nor were they well-wishers of Hazrat’s relatives. As a result, the objections continued despite accepting all their demands. And our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) maintained his stance that I do not wish to lay the foundation of the Madrasa on dispute, especially by hurting my teacher’s respected wife.
Our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) used to often quote the Hadith of the Noble Messenger (Peace be upon him): أنا زعيم ببيت في وسط الج ن ة لمن ترك الم ارء وهو مح ق
Meaning: “I guarantee a house in the middle of Paradise for the one who gives up a dispute, despite being in the right.”
We always found our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) acting upon this Hadith, but this was a juncture at which persisting in one’s habit of giving up one’s right required extraordinary courage. We were all heartbroken at the outcome. It seemed an almost certainty that a Darul Uloom befitting the stature of Hazrat Allama would not be built at this place, and God knows what this place would come to be used for. And it so transpired that neither could a religious seminary be constructed at that place, nor did Hazrat Allama’s relatives get any residential plots, and nor was Hazrat’s brother made the trustee of his burial place and the nearby Masjid. Rather when these relatives of Hazrat could not consent to Darul Uloom’s construction by any means, and our respected father ultimately relinquished all his rights from the land, Mr A.M. Qureshi Sahab (in whose house Hazrat Shaykhul Islam and his respected wife had been residing) constructed his private institute named Islamia College on this land, where worldly education was imparted at a fees. This college did not mention having any link to Hazrat Allama in any way at all. Hazrat Allama’s grave remained in the compound of this college for years in such a derelict state that even reaching it was difficult. The college’s administration also did not have much concern for keeping it clean. Years later, on my request, the late General Ziaul Haq Sahab had a separate road made for it after which it became accessible.
Consequently, if one of us was in our respected father’s position he could easily furnish the argument that if we leave this place it is possible for it to be used for something which is contrary to Hazrat Allama’s dignity. However, the heart which contained no considerations except the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala decided that it was incorrect to lay the foundation of Darul Uloom upon dispute. This is what our respected father (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) had learned from his elders.
Qutbul Irshad Hazrat Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (May his secret be sanctified) had also brought to life the desolate Khanqah of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Quddus Gangohi (May Allah’s mercy be upon him), and initiated classes for learning the Quran and Hadith. However, when Hazrat’s inheritors objected to this he shifted the Madrasa, which had been running for years, to the nearby Masjid without even a moment’s hesitation. Our respected father was his spiritual successor. Thus, however astonishing and heartbreaking his decision may have been for us, for him it was a routine decision. He used to think that if Allah Ta’ala wished, He would provide another better place for Darul Uloom. It was due to this that I heard big scholars say that this single act of Hazrat Mufti Sahab (May his secret be sanctified) was enough proof of the exaltedness of his character, and his truthfulness and sincerity.
This event regarding the land near Allama Usmani’s (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) grave took place in Jumaduth Thaniya 1374H. Our academic year ended after it in Sha’ ban, and the new academic year began in Shawwal 1374H. However, it was due to the blessings of our respected father’s (May Allah’s mercy be upon him) sincerity and trust in Allah that just a few months later Allah Ta’ala provided a much bigger land in Sharafi Goth, the details of which I will mention later Inshallah.