Memories (Episode 35)

 

Our Respected Father’s First Heart Attack

Our respected father (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) suffered from bouts of various ailments since middle age. Physically as well, he was not much strong. However, through his spiritual and faith-induced strength, he would continuously remain busy in such tasks as would be envious even for us youngsters. His writing and da’wah-related activities would continue even in the midst of ailments and illnesses. As I have written before, for a more effective supervision of Darul Uloom he had left his comfortable house at Lasbela House to move into rooms in Darul Uloom made of red-clay tiles. These rooms did not even have attached bathrooms, and guest rooms were also at some distance from his bedroom. He spent years in these rooms. And since it was necessary to be linked to the city for Darul Uloom’s as well as the nation and Islam’s communal matters, he would have to travel to the city every two-to-three days. In this manner, his days and nights were being spent in a whirlwind of activities.

In Rabee uth-Thanee 1392H, circa June 1972, he felt severe chest pain. Initially, it was presumed to be gastric pain. Since our respected father (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) was used to Unani medicine from the start, I immediately went to Hakeem Naseer ud-Deen Nizami Sahib’s Nizami Dawakhana. He prescribed ginger vinegar and some medicines but the pain did not subside, so we tried the treatment from another Hakeem, Hakeem Yameen Sahib. However, the pain continued to increase. Finally, our respected father’s (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) friend the late Dr Sagheer ud-Deen Hashmi Sahib was called. As soon as he arrived, he expressed the possibility of a heart attack and told us that it was necessary to take him to a heart hospital immediately. Our respected father (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) detested being admitted into a hospital and it was difficult to persuade him regarding this. However, the late Dr Sahib not only persuaded him, he even personally stepped forward to help lay him on a stretcher. When we arrived at the hospital, it was confirmed to be a heart attack. The late Dr Shaukat Ali Sayyid Sahib told us that it was a clear heart attack but of medium intensity. He also explained that there was still risk for another twenty-four hours, and if Allah Ta’ala helped pass this time safely, then InshaAllah the risk would be less. However, any movement during this time could be severely detrimental. Allah Ta’ala benevolently let those twenty-four hours pass safely and his condition relatively improved. Dr Sayyid Aslam Sahib was his special doctor. May Allah Ta’ala recompense him, for he administered his treatment with much care and love. Thereafter our respected father (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) had to remain in hospital for several weeks. We brothers would divide our time to remain with him. Our Bhai Jaan also arrived from Lahore and did not leave any stone unturned in serving him.

Coincidentally, the famous Shia scholar Rasheed Turabi Sahib was also staying in the room in front of our respected father’s due to a heart attack. Our respected father (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) would sometimes send him some gifts. This was summer time and air coolers were not commonly available, so ice slabs were kept in Turabi Sahib’s room, and from time to time he would send cold water to our respected father’s (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) room. Our respected father (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) sent him the message: “Turabi Sahib! You have set up a Sabeel[1] here as well!”

The two doctors had told us that our respected father (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) would have to review all his daily activities and avoid tiring himself at all costs. Even after being discharged from the hospital, he would have to observe bed-rest for at least six weeks and would have to limit meeting people. The precautions they advised were not possible to implement in our present house, so two new rooms were quickly constructed and the house was re-arranged in such a manner that when needed, visitors could meet him in his bedroom. And the drawing room adjacent to this bedroom was converted into my office, so that any visitors would first come to me so that I could speak to them according to our respected father’s (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) condition, and if really necessary, I could take them to meet Hadhrat. On the other hand, our respected mother was also quite ill and her illness required different modes of care, so it was necessary to make the room adjacent to his as her bedroom. During construction of those two new rooms, our respected father (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) first stayed in the hospital, and thereafter in the house of our two elder brothers at Lasbela House. When construction of those rooms was completed, he moved to Darul Uloom. Thereafter his activities were limited to that room, but he would continue writing and compiling books, writing Fatwas and carrying out Darul Uloom’s administrative tasks from his charpoy in that room. Even the weekly Islahi gathering, which used to take place after Asr on Sundays, began taking place here. After some time, he would come out to the drawing room in the evenings after Asr, and would also walk inside the house after Fajr. Besides heart problems, he also had some other ailments during this time. Respected Dr Aslam Sahib would come to Darul Uloom from time to time to check on his heart, and respected Dr Sagheer Ahmad Hashmi Sahib would very lovingly treat the other ailments.

One time a hemorrhoid developed in the lower part of his body, due to which even sitting on the charpoy became difficult. Various medicines were tried without much success. Finally, Dr Hashmi Sahib suggested that there seemed to be no way to remove it except by surgery. However, it would be a minor operation which did not require general anesthesia. He even made arrangements in the house itself so that our respected father would not have to go to the hospital for this. The pain was such that our respected father begrudgingly agreed. Arrangements for this were finalized in the house and it was decided that Dr Sahib would perform the surgery the next morning. With these arrangements in place, we went to sleep at night.

The next morning after Fajr, when I arrived in my respected father’s service, I found him smiling. At my curiosity, he explained: “I saw a strange dream last night. I saw that the late Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar Sahib was to visit our home, but suddenly his plan was cancelled. I interpreted this dream to mean that the surgical nishtar (scalpel) which was planned to come our house, its visit was cancelled. And with the grace of Allah Ta’ala, by morning the hemorrhoid burst and all the pus was drained. Apparently, now I do not need an operation.” Our happiness knew no bounds at this news. We informed Dr Sahib about this and he confirmed that surgery really was no longer required. In this manner, Allah Ta’ala not only saved his helpless slave from surgery, but even pre-informed him about it in a dream. سبحانه ما أعظم شأنه

Bhai Jaan’s Demise

In 1974, our respected father received a severe shock in the form of the demise of our eldest brother respected Muhammad Zaki Kaifi Sahib (may Allah’s mercy be upon him). After returning from Hajj, he suddenly had a severe heart attack and met his true Lord within a few hours. I have written the details of this incident in my article about Bhai Jaan, and it has also been included in my book Nuqoosh-e-Raftagan. Our respected father received the harrowing news of Bhai Jaan’s demise in such a state that besides weakness of heart, he was also suffering from hemorrhoid, while his hands were covered with blisters of herpetic whitlow. When the late Hakeem Muhammad Saeed Sahib came to visit, he remarked: “It is Hadhrat Mufti Sahib’s courage that he is bearing this pain. Otherwise, the kind of pain this kind of herpes causes is like placing embers on the body.” It is difficult to describe his patience and mental strength at the passing away of his beloved young son with any word other than miracle. I wrote two elegies at the passing away of my late brother, one of which was published in Al-Balagh. The other was not published. Though I did not recite the unpublished one to my respected father, I recited it to my other family members. One of its couplets was:

کیا خبر تھی یہ زہر بھی پینا ہوگا

آپ دنیا میں نہ ہونگے، ہمیں جینا ہوگا

Translation:

Who knew we would have to drink this poison

That we would have to live, while you would not be around

Somehow our respected father heard this couplet. Though he did not say anything about it to me, in those days when the late respected Agha Shorish Kashmiri Sahib visited our house for condolence, our respected father said: “Taqi has composed a couplet. Though he must have composed it as poetry, it accurately expresses my emotions.” And with these words, his eyes watered and his voice quavered a little.

Tehreek-e-Khatme Nubuwwat[2] 1974

The Tehreek-e-Khatme Nubuwwat began in 1974. From the beginning, Muslims had been demanding that since the Qadiyanis did not believe in the fundamental Islamic doctrine of Finality of Prophethood and considered a person like Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiyani as a Prophet, they were out of the fold of Islam and should be declared a non-Muslim minority. A national Movement had also begun in 1953 for this, in which thousands of Muslims offered their lives to protect the Sanctity of Prophethood. However, sadly due to some political reasons, though the late Khwaja Nazim ud-Deen’s government ended, the demands were not fulfilled.

The Qadiyanis founded a city named “Rabwah” on the coast of River Chenab. It entirely consisted of Qadiyanis. On 29 May 1974, the incident occurred that while a group of students from Nishtar Medical College Multan were on a train which stopped at Rabwah station, the Qadiyanis attacked them, which resulted in heavy bodily injuries to the group of students. This incident ignited the sentiments of the entire nation and once again the demand to declare Qadinayis non-Muslims rose with renewed force. In those days, Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf Binnori Sahib (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) had been designated as the Ameer (leader) of the “Majlis Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nubuwwat”, and this Movement restarted under his leadership with great power and glory. A series of rallies and gatherings began in every part of the country, for which Hadhrat toured the breadth and width of the country, and using his God-gifted insight, he kept the Movement peaceful while presenting a fine example of balance between passion and sanity. Constitutionally declaring Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s followers as non-Muslims could only be possible if an Amendment were introduced in the Constitution declaring them non-Muslim minorities. For this, Alhamdulillah besides the “Majlis-e-Khatme Nubuwwat”, among the religiopolitical parties the Jamiyat Ulama-e-Islam under the leadership of Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Mahmood Sahib, the Jamiyat Ulama-e-Pakistan under Hadhrat Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani Sahib and Jamaat-e-Islami under Miyan Tufail Muhammad Sahib did not leave any stone unturned for this. And eventually, thirty-eight members of the National Assembly belonging to each and every Islamic political party presented the historic Resolution demanding for this, which had signatures of the below members of the Assembly:

Signatories of the Resolution

  1. (Signature) Maulana Mufti Mahmood
  2. (Signature) Maulana Abdul Mustafa Azhari
  3. (Signature) Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani Siddiqui
  4. (Signature) Professor Ghafoor Ahmad
  5. (Signature) Maulana Syed Muhammad Ali Rizvi
  6. (Signature) Maulana Abdul Haq (Akora Khattak)
  7. (Signature) Chowdry Zahoor Ilahi
  8. (Signature) Sardar Sher Baaz Khan Mazari
  9. (Signature) Maulana Zafar Ahmad Ansari
  10. (Signature) Mr Abdul Hameed Jatoi
  11. (Signature) Sahibzada Ahmad Raza Khan Qasoori
  12. (Signature) Mr Mahmood Azam Farooqui
  13. (Signature) Maulana Sadr ush-Shaheed
  14. (Signature) Maulana Naimatullah
  15. (Signature) Mr Umar Khan
  16. (Signature) Makhdoom Noor Muhammad
  17. (Signature) Mr Ghulam Farooq
  18. (Signature) Sardar Maula Baksh Soomro
  19. (Signature) Sardar Shoukat Hayat Khan
  20. (Signature) Haji Ali Ahmad Talpur
  21. (Signature) Mr Rao Khurshid Ali Khan
  22. (Signature) Mr Rais Ata Muhammad Khan Muree

Note: Afterwards, below members also signed the Resolution.

  1. (Signature) Nawabzada Mian Muhammad Zakir Qureshi
  2. (Signature) Mr Ghulam Hasan Khan Dhandala
  3. (Signature) Mr Karam Baksh A’wan
  4. (Signature) Sahibzada Muhammad Nazeer Sultan
  5. (Signature) Mehar Ghulam Haider Bharwana
  6. (Signature) Mian Muhammad Ibrahim Barq
  7. (Signature) Sahibzada Safiullah
  8. (Signature) Sahibzada Naimatullah Khan Shinwari
  9. (Signature) Malik Jehangir Khan
  10. (Signature) Mr Abdus Subhan Khan
  11. (Signature) Mr Akbar Khan Mohmand
  12. (Signature) Major General Jamaldar
  13. (Signature) Haji Salih Khan
  14. (Signature) Mr Abdul Malik Khan
  15. (Signature) Khawaja Jamal Muhammad Koreja

This Resolution was only a demand. For its implementation, a Constitutional Amendment had to be presented in the Assembly. Since the People’s Party was in majority and the government was also under them, it would be impossible for any such Amendment to be presented without their support. To this end, on the one hand Hadhrat Binnori (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) gathered scholars and thinkers of all schools of thought on one platform and orientated their opinions in favour of that unanimous demand. On the other hand, meetings with various leaders were also conducted. For this, he also met the Prime Minister of the time, the late respected Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Sahib. In that meeting, my elder brother Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani Sahib also accompanied Hadhrat. He informed that in that meeting, Hadhrat also mentioned to the late Bhutto Sahib the various conspiracies the Qadiyanis had plotted against Muslims. On this point, he also mentioned that the Qadiyanis had also martyred several Muslim leaders or had been the cause of it. At this Bhutto Sahib joked: “So Maulana! Do you want me to get martyred?” Hadhrat spontaneously replied: “Get martyred, for the sake of Allah.” Anyway! Hadhrat employed both counsel as well as protests in this Movement, and gatherings in support of his da’wah were organized throughout the nation in which Sunni, Shia, Ahl-e-Hadith, Barelvi; scholars of all schools of thought raised their voices in support of this demand in complete unity.

When this Movement began, our respected father had already suffered his first heart attack and was consigned to his sickbed. I had even made my office next to his bedroom, such that whoever came to visit him would have to meet me first, and I could arrange for the meeting based on Hadhrat’s health situation. With this arrangement, it was also convenient for our respected father to call me and give me instructions. In a way, in this respect I served as our respected father’s secretary in those days, and after completing my teaching responsibilities, I would carry out all my tasks in that office. In these circumstances, any travel out of Karachi would weigh heavily upon me as well as my respected father. On the other hand, I wished that if I could contribute to this blessed effort of protecting the sanctity of Prophethood, then it would be a great blessing for me, and my respected father had also told me not to hesitate in assisting Hadhrat Binnori (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) in this work whenever the need arose. In this regard, one day when Hadhrat Binnori came to meet our respected father, I presented my request to him with the words: “If you feel that I could be of any service to this Movement, then please do bestow the opportunity to me.” In this respect, one time Hadhrat Binnori (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) took me along on a trip to Quetta, and I received the honour of travelling with Hadhrat. There Hadhrat stayed in the Madrasa of Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Wahid Sahib (may Allah’s mercy be upon him), Principal of Madrasa Matla ul-Uloom Barori Road Quetta, and during the day met the Khan of Kalat, who was then the Governor of Balochistan. The same night, he addressed a grand public gathering. Before his speech, he also gave me the opportunity to deliver a brief speech on the topic of Finality of Prophethood. When it was finally time for Hadhrat’s speech, the people filled with passion and zeal expected a similarly passionate speech from Hadhrat. However, in his entire speech Hadhrat emphasized upon sincerity, lillahiyyat[3] and rujoo’ ilallah[4]. He explained that this Movement should be carried out purely for the sake of Allah’s pleasure, and that this was more a religious Movement than a political one, which could not attain success without a strong bond with Allah Ta’ala. Due to the extraordinary kindness Hadhrat would bestow upon me, I would sometimes be stuck in difficult scenarios. Hadhrat insisted that I should sleep in Hadhrat’s room at night, and for this Hadhrat had my charpoy laid in front of his. Due to Hadhrat’s high stature, I would feel embarrassed at this arrangement so I expressed my desire to sleep in some companion’s room outside, but Hadhrat did not permit this, so I laid curled up in front of Hadhrat’s charpoy. After Fajr, local newspapers were brought to Hadhrat in which Hadhrat’s speeches and meetings were mentioned in bold headlines. After a cursory glance at those newspapers, he mentioned something along these lines: “Such public Movements sometimes ensnare people into the traps of fame and the desire for high status in society. One should continuously seek Allah’s refuge from this.”

Some time after this trip to Quetta, it was learned that Hadhrat had gone to Rawalpindi, and that discussions were going on with those members of the Assembly who had presented the Resolution. At that time, the Prime Minister of Pakistan late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Sahib had made the entire Assembly into an investigative committee to examine this matter, which had also been accorded legal rights, so that they could hear the positions of both Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s followers as well as Muslims, and after necessary investigations it could reach some conclusion.

In the meanwhile, Hadhrat Binnori (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) informed me by phone that both groups of the Mirzais had presented their positions via detailed signed documents. The Qadiyani group’s documents consisted of hundreds of pages and the Lahori group’s was also of similar length. It had been decided through mutual discussions in Rawalpindi that the Muslims’ position should also be elucidated through detailed evidences, which should also contain rebuttals to both of their documents. Hadhrat informed that for compiling this document on behalf of the Muslims, my name had been proposed, and that I would have to go to Rawalpindi for this for some days because the expert scholars of this topic had all arrived there, and that they would assist me in writing the document. Though this was a great good fortune and blessing for me, it was a doubly severe trial as well. On the one hand, compiling an extremely prudent document on behalf of all the Muslims was a difficult task on its own, and on the other hand due to my respected father being consigned to his sickbed, it naturally weighed heavily on me to leave him for an indefinite period of time. However, when I mentioned Hadhrat Binnori’s (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) phone call to my respected father, in view of the importance of this work, he told that I should go. As for his health, he said that Alhamdulillah it had improved, and that my elder brothers, especially Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Rafi Sahib, were available to tend to me. At receiving my respected father’s permission, I immediately prepared for this trip and departed for Rawalpindi. In those days, whenever I had to travel to Rawalpindi, I would normally stay in a room in the Madrasa of Hadhrat Maulana Abdur Rahman Sahib Kamilpuri’s (may his secret be sanctified) son, Hadhrat Maulana Qari Saeed ur-Rahman Sahib (may Allah’s mercy be upon him). We also had brotherly informality with each other. At reaching Rawalpindi, I headed straight for his Madrasa. At that time Hadhrat was staying in a hotel next to the Madrasa, named Kamran Hotel. When I presented myself in his service, my joy increased on learning that dear honourable Maulana Samee ul-Haq Sahib would also be part of this work. Also, that Hadhrat Maulana Hayat Sahib (may Allah’s mercy be upon him), who had almost memorized all of Mirza’s books and had participated in smashing debates in Qadiyan, had also arrived with all his reference materials. And besides him, the Director of Multan’s Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nubuwwat, respected Maulana Abdur Raheem Ash’ar Sahib (may Allah’s mercy be upon him), was also present with his treasure-trove of reference books, and that all of them would be available to assist us in writing the document. On the other hand, for help in writing the political aspect of the document Hadhrat Maulana Taj Mahmood Sahib and Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Shareef Jalandhary Sahib were available.

At this point, Hadhrat Binnori (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) told me: “I wished from the beginning that our stance should be written by you, but I left this matter to mutual consultation. And I was very happy that when various names were put forth for this, it was Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Mahmood Sahib (may his secret be sanctified) who first proposed your name. I wished for this from the start, so I backed this proposal and finally this is what was decided.”

A vast space was needed to carry out this work, so that the entire team could stay together. Furthermore, it was also necessary to gather those members of the Assembly on whose behalf the Resolution had been put forth, so that they could muse over it. The Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nubuwwat possessed limited resources and Hadhrat Binnori wished to spend them cautiously, so it was difficult to carry out this work in a large hotel. One of Hadhrat Maulana Mufti Muhammad Hasan Sahib’s (may his secret be sanctified) followers was a famous elderly businessman, the late respected Butt Sahib. His sons owned a hotel near Mall Road in Rawalpindi (perhaps it was named Park Hotel). It was an old hotel, but it was designed in old barracks-style over a large area, (it does not exist now) and it contained a reasonable number of separate rooms. Its owners emptied it and presented it for us to use. Hadhrat Binnori (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) accepted this offer and all of use moved in. Though this was a rundown sort of hotel, it fulfilled the requirements of a peaceful space needed for this work. When we moved in the first night, Hadhrat Binnori (may Allah’s mercy be upon him), as in Quetta, had my charpoy placed in his room and ordered me to stay there. I re-iterated my excuse but Hadhrat stated: “Safeguarding the writers is also a crucial need, so this place is appropriate for you as there are appropriate security arrangements here”. I complied to this command the first night, but then submitted: “I am used to staying awake till late so I would be working at night as well, but I would not be able to work freely here.” At this Hadhrat permitted me to move to an adjacent room.

Hadhrat had decided that the religious part of the document, in which religious evidences would be presented regarding Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his followers, would be written by myself, whereas regarding the political harms that they had inflicted upon the communal goals of the Muslims and the way in which they had separated themselves from the Muslim Ummah in terms of political goals, details of that part would be written by Maulana Samee ul-Haq Sahib. Thereafter work began according to this.

[1] Translator: Sabeel: A kiosk set up by Shias during Muharram serving water or sweet drinks
[2] Translator: Tehreek-e-Khatme Nubuwwat: Movement for the Protection of Finality of Prophethood
[3] Translator: Lillahiyyat: Single-minded devotion to Allah
[4] Translator: Rujoo’ Ilallah: Turning to Allah in all matters

…………….(Continued)…………….