Explaining the importance that Hadhrat Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Saharanpuri rahmatullahi alaih showed to the performance of Salaah with jamaat especially in the Haram Shareef, Mufti Aashiq Ilaahi Meeruti rahmatullahi alaih writes:
“At all times, Salaah with jamaat would be the source of pleasure and joy for Hadhrat Moulana Khaleel Ahmad Sahib rahmatullahi alaih. One can well imagine what would have been the extent of joy when it came to Salaah in the Haram Shareef.
It would be impossible for any one of Hadhrat’s associates to declare that he had witnessed Hadhrat either missing the takbeer-e-ula, the first saff or standing on the right of the imaam. Despite the heat being so intense that by merely placing one’s foot on the ground blisters would begin to appear, yet Hadhrat would hurriedly walk to the Haram Shareef so that he may perform his Salaah in the first saff near the imaam.
I remember very clearly that we once experienced torrential rain after Maghrib Salaah. On seeing the heavy downpour, some of the companions began saying that the concession of:
ألا صلوا في رحالكم (Perform your Salaah at home i.e. due to the severe rain.) could now be practised. However, no sooner did the sound of the azaan fall on Hadhrat’s ears, he turned to me and said: ‘Come, let us go for namaaz.’ Despite my spirits being low at that time, I plucked up the courage to accompany Hadhrat. I took a lantern whilst Hadhrat took a container of water. This confounded me, for Hadhrat had already made wudhu. However, Hadhrat then said: ‘It is possible that our feet will get soiled with mud. Hence, we shall wash our feet at the entrance of the Musjid so as not to soil the Haram Shareef.’
Hadhrat Qaari Siddeeq Baandwi rahmatullahi alaih mentioned an incident that had taken place in his days of khidmah of his shaikh Hadhrat Moulana As`adullah Sahib rahmatullahi alaih. He says, “I used to help Hadhrat Naazim Sahib rahmatullahi alaih to make wudhu. Hadhrat was very particular about performing every Salaah with jamaat. Throughout my student days I did not see Hadhrat ever missing out one Salaah with takbeer-e-ula. He always went to the Musjid immediately after the azaan was given. After Maghrib Salaah he would remain standing in Awwaabeen Salaah for long periods. I would sit behind him. Sometimes, he would ask for water to drink in between but would only have one sip. I imagined that he was just checking to see if I was there or not.”
Once, a meeting was held with the shurah members of the Madrasah. Hadhrat rahmatullahi alaih was also a member of the shurah. During the meeting, the azaan was called out and the time for jamaat commenced. Hadhrat could not leave the meeting immediately for some reason. The meeting terminated exactly at the time of the Salaah. Hadhrat’s office was some distance away from the Musjid. Hence, I became very perplexed and did not know what to do. I filled the water jug and waited for Hadhrat. The jamaat had already commenced when I saw Hadhrat walking very fast towards me. Immediately I began pouring water for him to make wudhu. The Salaah was almost over when Hadhrat asked me, ‘Is there any Musjid where we can perform our Salaah with takbeer-e-ula?’ Someone mentioned that perhaps we may get the takbeer-e-ula at a Musjid near the Madrasah. We immediately set off for that Musjid but found that, unfortunately, the Salaah there was completed as well. Hadhrat was extremely grieved. Another person told him that perhaps there was hope of getting the jamaat in another Musjid. We immediately rushed off to that Musjid but unfortunately, here too, the Salaah was over. Hadhrat was even more grieved. Eventually, someone told him that in a certain orchard there is a Musjid where Salaah is performed very late. Very few people gather there for Salaah.
Hadhrat heard this and it was as though a new life had come into him. That orchard was approximately 200 meters away. On that day we witnessed how fast Hadhrat could walk. He walked so swiftly that I had to literally run behind him to keep up. As we approached the orchard, we saw some people standing up. From a distance he indicated to them to wait a while. When Hadhrat reached the Musjid, the people told him that they were waiting for a servant of Allah to arrive and lead the Salaah. Hadhrat performed his Salaah with jamaat, with the takbeer-e-ula and returned to the Madrasah. (Hayaat-e-Siddeeq – English, p. 102)
Hadhrat Qaari Siddeeq Ahmad Baandwi rahmatullahi alaih once mentioned regarding his shaikh Hadhrat Moulana As`adullah Sahib rahmatullahi alaih:
“Hadhrat Naazim Sahib (Moulana As`adullah) rahmatullahi alaih seldom travelled, fearing he would miss his Salaah with jamaat and his takbeer-e-ula. Once he had to go to Deoband to visit Hadhrat Qaari Muhammad Tayyib Sahib rahmatullahi alaih. Prior to the journey he drew up an itinerary for the journey. He first found out the times for the trains. Those trains wherein there was a possibility of missing out Salaah with jamaat were then avoided. It was his habit to travel only on those trains wherein he would not miss his Salaah with jamaat.
Thus we travelled to Deoband in this manner. After meeting with Hadhrat Qaari Muhammad Tayyib Sahib rahmatullahi alaih we quickly returned. On our return he was also very careful that no Salaah was missed with takbeer-e-ula.” (Hayaat-e-Siddeeq – English, p. 105)
Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafee` Sahib rahmatullahi alaih writes regarding his father Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Yaseen Sahib rahmatullahi alaih:
Punctuality on jamaat Salaah was a distinctive feature in all the mureeds of Hadhrat Moulana Gangohi rahmatullahi alaih. My father also placed a lot of emphasis on it according to the teaching of his shaikh. He would not allow his jamaat Salaah to be missed even at the time of heavy rain. When the path to the Musjid would be dark and muddy because of the rain at the time of Esha and Fajr, he would go to the Musjid holding an umbrella in one hand and a lantern in the other.
Once there was a heavy downpour at the time of Fajr. By then I had completed my formal studies and had begun teaching in Darul Uloom Deoband. I did not have the courage to go to the Musjid due to the torrential rain. Thus, thinking this to be a valid shar`ee excuse I performed my Salaah at home. However, even in this condition my father went to the Musjid. Upon reaching the Musjid he found that there was no one else besides the mu’azzin. Hence, both of them performed Salaah with jamaat. When he returned home, he reprimanded me saying: “Masha Allah! You have become an aalim. You are able to quote the Ahaadeeth of rukhsat (concession) but, tell me, if the Ulama continue looking for concessions, who will then practise upon azeemat? These masaajid will remain deserted.” (Mere waalid maajid, p. 22)
Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafee` Sahib rahmatullahi alaih writes explaining the daily routine of his father Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Yaseen Sahib rahmatullahi alaih:
“After lunch, he would never have his qailulah (siesta) at home. Rather, he would rest in a room adjacent to the Musjid so that nothing may become an obstacle in the performance of Zuhr Salaah with jamaat. This was his routine for his entire life. Towards the latter part of his life when he had become exceptionally weak, it became extremely difficult for him to leave the home in the severe heat and hot wind. Thereafter, on the insistence of some close ones he would rest at home. Despite this, he still deemed it necessary to go to the Musjid for Zuhr Salaah. (Mere waalid maajid, p. 22)