Moulana Thaanwi’s Practice Of Ending Khilaafat


Sheikhul Hadith- Hadhrat Moulana Zakariyya Khandlawi Rahmatullahi Alaihi wrote about Hakeemul Ummah Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Rahmatullahi Alaihi:

Maulana Thanwy (Rahmatullah Alayh) used to print a wasiyat (legacy) of warnings every year. In it, he used to state that so- and-so has now become involved in other things, or is now no more fit to be a Khalifah, and from now onwards is no longer fit to be a recipient of Ijazat.

Hadhrat Sheikhul Islam wrote in his ‘Makaateeb’ Vol. 4, pg 166: “For the sake of granting anyone Ijazat, the Sheikh need not be a recipient of ‘ilhaam’ (Divine Inspiration) and ‘kashf (disclosure of the Unseen).”

It is possible that this quality was present in the previous Saints. However, incompetent and incapable ones like us do not possess that quality.

Ijazat depends upon ability and talent. In the case of Maulana Thanwy, the granting of Ijazat was based upon the following:

He writes in ‘Marqoomaat-e-Imdaadiyah’ pg 309:

“The criteria upon which Khilaafat is based are:

  • Outward competence to a satisfactory degree.
  • Involvement with the path – academically and in action.
  • The expectations of continued progress and becoming firm therein.

However, in the case of Hadhrat Gangohi, these things alone were not sufficient. He never gave Ijazat unless a person had involved himself sufficiently in the quality of ‘Yaad-Daasht (constant remembrance).

The definition of ‘yaad daasht’ is mentioned in ‘Siraat Mustaqeem’ in the following words:

“What is required is that, at all times, ones attention should be focused on Allah and it should be imprinted in the mind at all times, without any physical dimensions, that Allah has all perfections and that He is Pure and free from all faults. He knows everything and sees everything at all times, and that Allah is near and present at all times. To perpetually and continuously embed this in your mind and thoughts, and to always remember this, is called ‘yaad-daasht’. One should develop this quality in yourself at all times, in all your worldly affairs, as well as while fulfilling your Deeni duties and worship.”


In short, the effect that it should have on a person – as was stated by both Hadhrat Shah Saheb and Hadhrat Madani (Rahmatullah ‘Alayhimma) – should be the same as that which is experienced by a fasting person on a scorching hot day. Such a person experiences great thirst. Such is the effect that is required.


Pg 137, Vol 7 – Aap Beti

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