||Maulana Wahiduddin Khan|
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- Maulana Ilyas
- Early circumstances
- The sincere devotion
- Absolute trust in divine succour
- An appeal to the heart
- Stressing on the basics
- The use of pen
- Total involvement
- The call
- Method of working
- Shunning publicity
- Call to non-muslims
- Tabligh movement
- Table of contents
- A divine gift
- Taste for learning
- Ummah-ness islamic brotherhood
- Two days in nizamuddin
- An active training camp
It was a cold day in winter. The year 1966. I alighted from a train at a station on the North Eastern Railway.
On my way back home, I was struck by something rather remarkable in the appearance of a group of pedestrians who were hurrying to cross the street.
Dressed in coarse, simple clothes, with bags and beddings on their shoulders, they somehow had a religious aura about them as they pressed onwards. In those now far-off days they looked like creatures from another world, but nowadays they have become such a familiar sight that they hardly need description.
Innumerable people of this kind travelling in caravans have opted for the hard way to serve the cause of God. Many such groups, by turns, are constantly on the move.
This great movement generally known as Tablighi Jama’at, has inspired in people a new fervour, a new zeal to serve the divine cause.
Its founder surprisingly was a slight, short-statured individual, rather unimpressive in personality.
There were times when he found it difficult to express himself because of his bad stammer due to the impediment in his speech.
It was this extraordinary figure, known as Maulana Ilyas, who founded the Tablighi Jama’at, which was to inspire in thousands of people a religious zeal which had been unknown for centuries.
Although frail to the point of physical weakness, he possessed great inner strength which provided solutions to every problem he was confronted with.
His indomitable will and staunchness of purpose in guiding people along the right path lead him to exert himself in a manner which many a physically stronger person would have found arduous.
If one climbed a high building in Delhi at the turn of the 19th century, one could see a few buildings scattered here and there in the vicinity of sprawling jungles.
This was the place famous for the shrine of Nizamuddin Aulia, which has given its name to the place.
Maulana Mohd. Ismail, a religious scholar, who died in 1898, lived there. In his eagerness to help the people, he had taken to seeking out labourers in that forsaken place, offering them his help, and fetching water for them to drink.
Then he would say a prayer of thanks that God had granted him the opportunity to serve His servants.
It was this saintly person who was the father of Maulana Ilyas.
This family traced its descent to the Valiullahi family, who had been chosen by God to rectify the distorted picture of Islam which had resulted from the Taimur family’s wrong attitude towards religion.
He was born into a family where there was no need to have recourse to make-believe stories for inspiration, as there had been a whole series of such devoted people in his family whose true stories of sacrifice in the path of God very well served the purpose.
Even the women would tell their babies the stories of their forefathers who had, at all costs, dedicated themselves to the divine path. Religion was practised to the letter.
The mothers in this family naturally did not wish material success for their children.
On seeing extraordinary abilities in them, they did not say, like common people, “This child will be rich and great.”
They said rather, “This child reminds me of the companions of the prophet. We wish he could follow the same path.” It was in such an atmosphere that the Maulana grew up.
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