The Ramadhaan of Moulana Muhammed Ilyaas (rahimahullah)
Hazrat Sheikhul Hadith, Moulana Muhammed Zakariyya (rahimahullah) mentioned the following, describing the manner in which his uncle, Hazrat Moulana Muhammed Ilyaas (rahimahullah), would spend his time in the month of Ramadhaan:
It was the general habit of my uncle, Moulana Muhammed Ilyaas (rahimahullah), that whatever he was going to eat at night was eaten at the time of iftaar (i.e. he did not eat again after taraweeh). He did not have a habit of drinking tea. His meal was indeed a simple one. It sometimes consisted of only one piece of roti.
It was always his habit, from a young age, to perform lengthy rakaats of nafl salaah after maghrib, but in Ramadhaan, his nafl salaah used to be so lengthy that he would only finish close to the time of Esha. He would then lie down for a while in the musjid while some of his attendants pressed his legs to restore his strength (as he had suffered ill health and weakness from a young age).
The Esha and Taraweeh would be performed approximately half an hour later, and he himself would lead the people as the imaam. After the Taraweeh, he would lie down for a while without any majlis taking place. He often mentioned to me that after making the salaam of the witr salaah, when he would lie down to rest, he would fall asleep as soon as he placed his head on the pillow (due to his extreme tiredness).
Occasionally, I (i.e. Hazrat Sheikh Moulana Muhammed Zakariyya [rahimahullah]) would be there at his place (in Nizaamuddeen), and my routine was to have supper after Taraweeh, with which puris and other similar foods would be prepared. Fruit, which would be brought by friends, would be served at this time. (Despite being tired and needing to rest,) Hazrat Moulana Ilyaas (rahimahullah) would ensure that he sat with us for a short time. I would insist that he go and rest, but despite my insistence, he would first spend fifteen to twenty minutes with us before going to sleep.
Tahajjud Salaah and Sehri
It was his fixed routine to wake up at 12 am. He would first eat two boiled eggs and then engage in Tahajjud Salaah. He would remain engaged in Tahajjud until the last moments of sehri. There were times when I saw him with a morsel of food in his right hand while requesting someone to bring him some water (to rinse his mouth). Thereafter, he would instruct someone to call out the azaan, and while the mu’azzin would be ascending onto the roof, he would finish that last morsel. Thus, he would complete his sehri just before the azaan was called out.
Zikr after Fajr and Ishraaq Salaah
In Ramadhaan, Moulana (rahimahullah) did not have the habit of giving lectures after the Fajr Salaah. The after Fajr lectures in Ramadhaan were initiated by Moulana Muhammed Yusuf (rahimahullah). After Fajr, Hazrat Moulana Muhammed Ilyaas (rahimahullah) would remain seated on his musallah until the time of ishraaq, engaging in zikr and reciting wazeefahs (duas and azkaar). Thereafter, he would perform his Ishraaq Salaah.
Generally, he would feel tired at this time, and if he had the opportunity, he would lie down for some time. Otherwise, he would give some advice to the Jamaats who were about to leave for Mewat or he would speak to a few of the guests.
He treated his visitors in accordance to their standing, took care of them and personally bore the expense of hosting and entertaining them. At times, he would even change his routine of ma’moolaat to accommodate his guests.
Moulana (rahimahullah) had the habit of sleeping for two to three hours before the Zuhr Salaah. The time between Zuhr and Asr would be spent with visitors in his room. If he had arranged to teach a student any kitaab, he would teach it at this time.
After Asr, he would engage in loud Zikr and would continue his zikr until Maghrib. Out of Ramadhaan, he would make this Zikr after his Tahajjud until Fajr. I have not seen any of my elders so punctual upon loud Zikr as my uncle was. Prior to the last few years of his illness, he regularly recited the twelve Tasbeehs and made zikr of Ism-e-Zaat in the latter portion of the night. (Akaabir ka Ramadhaan pg. 76-80)
May Allah Ta‘ala grant us the tawfeeq to show appreciation and value every moment of this blessed month of Ramadhaan.