Adherence to The Sunnah – Part 12

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (rahimahullah) – Part Two

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (rahimahullah) was very particular about upholding every sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) throughout his life, and in particular – the sunnah of not causing any inconvenience to any person.

The teaching of the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is that there are certain rights which the guest has over the host, and likewise, there are certain rights that the host has over the guest. Similarly, there are certain important etiquettes that each should observe in respect to the other. It is important for one to learn and understand these rights and etiquettes so that each person can fulfill the rights of the next without causing him any inconvenience.

Below is an incident explaining how Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahimahullah) conducted while traveling, highlighting the great consideration he showed to the host, and his concern that he should not be the means of the host undergoing any type of difficulty.

Not Placing a Burden on the Host

When Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahimahullah) would travel and was being hosted at anyone’s home, then he would only take one person with him as his companion on the journey. Explaining the reason why he would do this, Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) mentioned, “It is my habit that when I travel, then I only take one person as my companion, and I inform the host, in advance, that I have a companion with me. The reason for me doing this is so that the host will be free (and not feel burdened), as he will only have myself and one other person to see to.”

At times, while traveling, certain people would see Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah), and out of love for him, they would join him and travel with him. Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) would address these people and clearly say to them, “You must make your own arrangements for accommodation and meals. Do not stay in the same place where I am staying, rather you should stay at a traveller’s inn or at whichever place is easy for you. Furthermore, you should arrange for your own food from a place that sells food.

“If you wish to meet me, then come in the morning or in the evening. In this manner, my host will not feel that you are travelling with me (and thus feel obliged to host you as well). Thereafter, if my host invites you for meals of his own accord then you should look at your commitments and schedule, and as you wish, you may accept or decline the invitation. Do not become an uninvited guest and eat the food of the host on my accord.

“If at any time, my host has to say to me, “I also wish to invite these companions of yours,” then I will clearly say to him, “I do not have any companions with me, as I did not invite anyone to travel with me.”

(Seerat-e-Ashraf 1/212-213)

Performing Salaah with Jamaat

While traveling, Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahimahullah) was very particular regarding performing all his salaah on time with jamaat. Even if Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) traveled by train, the salaah would be performed with jamaat, in such a manner that the other people in the train would not be inconvenienced. To avoid causing inconvenience to people, Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) would tell the musallis to perform their salaah with jamaat in his compartment, as generally, there would be space available in his compartment.

At times, when there was a need to hasten during the journey, then Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) would practice on the concession for a musaafir to omit the sunnah mu’akkadah salaah (besides the sunnah mu’akkadah of fajr). In this regard, Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) mentioned, “While on a journey, the position of the sunnah salaah becomes that of nafl. Hence, when there is a need while traveling, it is permissible to omit performing the sunnah salaah. In fact, to not practice on the concession which the Shari‘ah has granted, when one has the need to do so, is to unnecessarily impose difficulty upon oneself. To some extent, this is also a form of ingratitude to Allah Ta‘ala (for not accepting the concession that Allah Ta‘ala has blessed one with).”

(Seerat-e-Ashraf 1/215-216)

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