The Humility of Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahimahullah) – Adherence to The Sunnah – Part 40

Among the beautiful qualities which could be seen in the life of Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahimahullah) was the quality of humility. This quality of humility was a special quality in the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahimahullah) always remained humble and never attributed any greatness, excellence or achievement to himself, despite the fact that he was held in esteem by all and people would show him great respect and honour, as he was the senior Mufti in Daarul Uloom Deoband, and was regarded as the spiritual reformer of the ummah.

There are many incidents which highlight the deep level of Hazrat Mufti Saheb’s humility. Some of these have been mentioned below:

Disliking Titles

Once, a certain person wrote a letter to Hazrat (rahimahullah), and in the letter, he addressed him as, “The successor of Hazrat Sheikhul Hadith (rahimahullah).”

To this, Hazrat Mufti Saheb (rahimahullah) replied, “This lowly servant (referring to himself) is in no way the successor of Hazrat Sheikhul Hadith (rahimahullah). In fact, I am not even equal to the dust on his shoes.” (Hayaat-e-Mahmood 2/232)

Regarding His Contemporaries to be Greater than Him

Once, after the demise of Hazrat Sheikh (rahimahullah), a person who had been bay’at to Hazrat Sheikh (rahimahullah) (i.e. he was a mureed of Hazrat Sheikh (rahimahullah) and would carry out his self-reformation under his guidance) wrote a letter to Hazrat Mufti Saheb (rahimahullah) asking him whether he could continue his islaah (spiritual self-reformation) under the supervision of Hazrat Mufti Saheb (rahimahullah). However, in his letter, he also wrote the following. He said, “After Hazrat Sheikhul Hadith (rahimahullah), only one door remains from which we may derive benefit and blessings (referring to Hazrat Mufti Saheb [rahimahullah]).”

Hazrat Mufti Saheb (rahimahullah) replied, “Please do not confine the great bounties and blessings which Allah Ta‘ala had rained upon Hazrat Sheikhul Hadith (rahimahullah) to just one person (i.e. to myself). There are 110 such people who have taken great benefit from Hazrat Sheikh (rahimahullah) (referring to his Khulafaa) whose shoes I am not even worthy of straightening.” (Hayaat-e-Mahmood 2/233)

Regarding Himself to be Unworthy of Residing in Madinah Munawwarah

At the time when Hazrat Mufti Saheb (rahimahullah) had become old and weak, and his eyesight had deteriorated, many of his attendants suggested that he make hijrah and settle down in Madinah Munawwarah so that he could remain there for the remainder of his life. However, Hazrat (rahimahullah) despite his deep and ardent love for Madinah Munawwarah, and his desire to live there, he was reluctant to do so.

Hazrat (rahimahullah) mentioned, “To reside in Madinah Munawwarah, one should possess great, sublime and noble qualities, and I am completely bereft of such great, sublime and noble qualities.” (Hayaat-e-Mahmood 2/253)

Declining the Post of Head Mufti

When the Shura committee and the seniors of Darul Uloom Deoband appointed Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahimahullah) as the head of the Iftaa department and as the Head Mufti, he declined and said to Hazrat Mufti Nizaamud Deen Saheb (rahimahullah), “You will be the Head Mufti and person in charge of the Iftaa department and I will work under you.”

Initially, Hazrat Mufti Nizaamud Deen Saheb (rahimahullah) refused to accept this position saying, “In your presence, how can someone else be the Head Mufti – especially when you have officially been appointed to this position from the side of the Shura?” Finally, when Hazrat Mufti Nizaamud Deen (rahimahullah) continued to refuse, Hazrat (rahimahullah) said to him, “If you do not accept the position, then I will not remain here. I will resign and leave Darul Uloom Deoband.”

In this manner, when Hazrat Mufti Nizaamud Deen Saheb (rahimahullah) saw that Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb (rahimahullah) would not change his stance, then he finally accepted the post. Thereafter, Hazrat (rahimahullah) worked in the Iftaa department under Mufti Nizaamud Deen Saheb (rahimahullah), and in every way, he showed that he was the sub-ordinate. (Hayaat-e-Mahmood 2/248-249)

Disliking Being Served by People

Hazrat (rahimahullah) did not like anyone to carry his belongings. Hence, when proceeding to the Darul Iftaa, he would personally carry the bag containing his correspondences. Hazrat did not like any of the attendants to carry the bag for him, however if someone insisted, then he did not stop them.

Similarly, Hazrat (rahimahullah) would also carry his own shoes and place them on the ground to wear them. He did not like for any of the khuddaam (attendants) to carry his shoes, and he would try to carry his shoes before any of the attendants could carry them. However, if any of the students quickly picked up his shoes before he could pick them up, and carried them out for him and placed them on the ground for him to wear, then he would not stop them. (Hayaat-e-Mahmood 1/392)

Dislike for Being Given Special Treatment

Once, during i’tikaaf, Hazrat (rahimahullah) instructed the khaadim (attendant) to place a straw mat down as his bedding where he was going to sleep, together with a shawl and a pillow. However, another khaadim then came and placed a mattress down for Hazrat (rahimahullah) to sleep on.

When Hazrat (rahimahullah) saw this, he became angry and asked who had put the mattress and for what reason. The attendant replied, “Hazrat! Sleeping on the ground with only a straw mat under you will be uncomfortable. I placed this mattress on the floor so that you may rest comfortably.”

Hazrat (rahimahullah) asked him, “Do all the people who are in i’tikaaf also have mattresses?” When he was told that everyone did not have mattresses, Hazrat (rahimahullah) responded, “How can I then sleep on this mattress? It is not possible for me to arrange mattresses for everyone, however it is easy for me to take this mattress away and sleep on the floor.” (Hayaat-e-Mahmood 2/228-229)

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