Adherence to The Sunnah – Part 14

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (rahimahullah) – Part Four

Being Considerate to His Nephew

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (rahimahullah) once mentioned:

Who could be more under my authority than Moulana Shabbeer Ali? He is my nephew, and he has remained with me from his childhood. However, despite the close relationship, I show him such consideration that if I need to speak to him, I do not call for him and expect him to come to me, as it is possible that he may be engaged in some important work. Instead, I myself wake up and go to him.

In fact, I even go to this extent that if he comes to me for some need that he has, and at the same time, I also need to speak to him for some work of mine, then I do not make any mention of my work at that time and do not speak to him about it. Rather, I wait for him to complete speaking to me and return to his place, and only then will I go to him and speak to him regarding the work I require.

By me conducting in this manner, my nephew feels comfortable and free to come and speak to me at any time. He does not have any fear or apprehension that if he comes to speak to me, then I may unexpectedly burden him with some work or responsibility. (Seerat-e-Ashraf 1/373)

Being Considerate to Another Person’s Servant

Khaajah Azeezul Hasan (rahimahullah) writes the following:

On one occasion, I invited Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahimahullah) to my home for a meal. While we were partaking of the meal, one of Hazrat Thaanwi’s (rahimahullah) relatives addressed the servant and asked him for water saying, “Bring me water!”

As soon as he heard this, Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) corrected him and said, “You should not address the servant of the host in such an authoritative tone and ask for water. Rather, you should address him politely and say, ‘Please bring me a little water.’” (Seerat-e-Ashraf 1/374)

Being Considerate to His Brothers

Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (rahimahullah) once mentioned:

With the grace of Allah Ta‘ala, I enjoy such a good relationship with my brothers that such a relationship is seldom seen between brothers. The reason for us enjoying such a good relationship with each other is that we are all separate from one another. In this manner, no brother is made to bear the burden of another brother.

In fact, I even go to this extent in showing consideration to my brothers that I avoid borrowing any items from them. Rather, if the item is such that it can be hired or rented out then I hire or rent it from them. Hence, before the railway line was developed, whenever I needed to use my brother’s car, I would hire it from him.

The benefit of me doing this was that if he ever needed to use his car at the time when I wanted to use it, then he would not find it difficult to clearly say to me, “The car is not available at this time.” The reason why he was able to clearly decline my request is that he understood that by doing so, I would not suffer any loss, (as just as I was hiring from him, I could hire from another person). If I was borrowing the car from him, then he would not be able to clearly decline in this manner and he would feel burdened and reluctant.

In the same way, I never take any work from my brother’s servants as I do not wish this to lead to ill-feelings being created in the heart. In fact, I never even used fire wood from my brother’s home – even though fire wood is something of very little value. On one occasion, when my brother had a lot of extra fire wood, I ensured that I paid him and then took it from him. The reason for me doing this is that I did not wish to create the habit of taking things from him for free. If today I took fire wood for free, then tomorrow it will be onions, and the following day it will be vegetables, and this will continue (and may eventually lead to ill feelings). (Seerat-e-Ashraf 1/374-375)

Not Causing Inconvenience to Others

On one occasion, a certain ghair-muqallid (a person who does not follow a mazhab) came to Hazrat Moulana Thaanwi (rahimahullah) for some work. On returning from Thaanabhowan, he mentioned the following to one of his acquaintances:

“We only claim to follow and practise on the sunnah. True practise on the sunnah and emulation of the sunnah is what I saw there, in Thaanabhowan. I observed that when Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) required a certain kitaab from the library, then he personally went to the library and fetched the kitaab. He did not ask anyone else to go to the library to fetch it for him. He personally fulfilled his task and did not cause any inconvenience to others.”

Hazrat Thaanwi (rahimahullah) himself mentions, “Whenever I take a household item to use, then after I have completed using it, I ensure that I leave it back in its place. The reason is so that if any other person needs to use this item, then they will find it easily and will not have to undergo the inconvenience of searching for it.

“Similarly, before going to bed at night, I fill a utensil with water and keep it aside so that if I require any water during the night, the water will be readily available. Thereafter, if I use the water during the night, then I refill the utensil and return it to its designated place so that if any other person requires the water, they will find the utensil full and will not have to fill it before using it.” (Seerat-e-Ashraf 1/372-373)


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