Sheikhul Hadith Moulana Zakariyya’s Boyhood Days

“I relate a personal experience to illustrate how one’s leisure hours, when divested of Allah’s blessings, seem to slip away at an unimaginably fast speed. In my boyhood days, I was very fond of holding a sort of poetic quiz competition, in which two teams competed with each other in reciting verses from memory. As my father Rahmatullah alaihe, who was otherwise a stern parent, did not object to these contests, our fondness for them increased as we advanced in years. I knew by heart, without any exaggeration, thousands of verses from the poetry of various languages (though have now escaped my memory). It was my favourite hobby whenever my best friends and relatives got together, we began many reciting verses, and started a contest. During the early days of my youth I happened to visit Kerana and stayed there for the night with one of my cousins who lived there and practised law. He was also fond of this recreation or rather, one might say, it was his weakness.

Some other relatives of mine, who heard of my visit, also very assembled there. After ‘Ishaa (night) prayers, the pastime began. It was winter and my cousin bought three seers of milk because he thought we would need it for making tea several times during the night, as the competition usually lasted throughout the night, We were busy in our pastime and the first course of tea had not yet been served when I felt like going to the toilet and got out of the room. We thought that it was the beginning of the game and that only two or three quarters of an hour had elapsed. Looking eastward, I saw a white radiance on the horizon and wondered what this white glow could mean. I called my companions. They came out and were also astonished to see the light. Everybody was making conjectures when, to our utter amazement, we heard the Azaan from all the four corners of the city. Then, of course, we realised that it was dawn. So, that long winter night had passed so swiftly and so imperceptibly! Throughout that day, I remained in a strange mood of amazement and, even today, whenever I remember it a strange sensation runs through my body. That night had been so frightfully divested of ‘Barakat’ (blessings) that it looked unimaginably short in duration. And now with age, my feelings of amazement at the incident have given way to a deep sense of remorse and self-admonition. I imagine that, like that night of Kerana, my whole life span, when viewed in retrospect after death, would seem to have slipped away so swiftly. The following night, my cousin dreamt that he saw his father (my uncle), Maulana Raziyy-ul-Hassan Rahmatullah alaihqq, who had learnt Hadith from Qutb-ul-Aalam, Maulana Gangohi Rahmatullah alaihe, saying to him,

“It looks strange that a pious man like Zakariyya should spend all night in such idle pursuits.”

Perhaps was owing to his blessed wishes and concern for my spiritual wellbeing that, since that day, I have never indulged in this pastime. The memory of that night spent in Kerana has filled me with astonishment, ever since. I have, however, drawn two conclusions from the incident, based on clear conceptions:

Firstly, I realised the truth of those incidents about some Divines who would stand in Nafl (supererogatory) prayers through out the night and others who, after their wudhu for Ishaa prayen did not need to make a fresh Wudhu (ablution) for Fajr prayers, they remained busy in their devotions, supplications, etc., to All Ta’ala during the entire night. All such incidents are true and stare to reason. As a matter of fact, when one is rapt in a mood of heavenly bliss, the long hours of night slip by unnoticed and sleep has no power over such raptures; as a special favour from Allah Ta’ala, such pious beings derive a peculiar delight from their devotions. Obviously, those who are denied this bliss find it hard to stay awake during the night.

Secondly, my experience of that night testifies to the truth of what has been said in a Hadith regarding the Day of Qiyamah (Resurrection), the span of which is fifty thousand years, but which will be made so short for some believers that it will be equal in duration to the time spent in performing one Salaat or (according to an alternate version) the time that elapses between two Salaats. Certainly, the virtuous men who have no sins reckoned against them shall have no fears and, by virtue of their A’maal (good deeds), they will enjoy the privileges promised to such people in the Quranic Verse:

“Lo! Verily, the friends of Allah are those on whom fear cometh not, nor do they grieve.” (Yunus: 62)

They will be seated in the shade of the ‘Arsh (the Throne of Allah Ta’ala), absorbed in enjoying the fruits of their A’maal. So, the length of that Day will appear to them like brief moments of fleeting joy.

Sheikhul Hadith Hadhrat Moulana Zakariyya Khandlawi Rahmatullahi Alaihi

Source: Fadhail-e-Sadaqaat pg 399

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