A GLIMPSE OF THE RAMADAN OF HAKEEMUL UMMAH MAULANA ASHRAF ALI THANWI (Part One)

Sheikhul Hadith Moulana Zakariyya Rahmatullahi alaih states:

Even at the time when I was writing “VIRTUES OF RAMADAN” I tried to acquire through friends, the information of how Hazrat Thanwy spent his Ramadan. I consider it my ill-fortune that I could never spend Ramadan in Hazrat Thanwi’s company.

During Hazrat Thanwi’s lifetime I (Moulana Zakariyya Saheb) wrote a letter to brother Khwaja Azizul Hasan Saheb, which is quoted in AAP BEETI as well as in this booklet (Akaabir Ki Ramaadhaan), where I discussed the Ramadan of Hazrat Saharanpun. And even now while I write this, I have asked various persons, who had spent some part of Ramadan or all of it in Hazrat’s company, but to date I have not been fortunate enough to obtain this information. However in “MA’MOOLAAT ASHRAFIAY” this article appeared:

“During Ramadan Hazrat himself used to recite the Quran in taraweeh. Without any good reason as an excuse he never left it. He used to recite 1-1/4 paras per night up to the first half of Ramadan and then one para per night, finishing a khatam on the 27th night.

The beauty of Hazrat’s recitation could be fully appreciated by listening to him. He recited with “tarteel”, which is normally found in the recitation of the ordinary salaahs. If for some reason or other he did recite fast, it was still done with full consideration for the correctness of the pronunciation of “huroof’ in the same manner as if he was reciting slowly. As far as his consideration for ‘waqafs’ and tuning were concerned. this was definitely such as most readers do not have. His memory was good and it was only very seldom that he ever became confused by ‘mutashaabihaat’.

His relationship with the Quran was such that one got the impression as if he was reciting with the Quran open in front of him. If ever he was asked where such-and-such a verse was, he would immediately reply correctly.

While in Kanpur, so many people came for taraweeh behind him that those who came to perform maghrib and only returned to the mosque after having gone home to eat something could not find place inside the masjid. So great was the crowd that there was difficulty in performing the sajida-e-tilawat because of not knowing what was going on, there was danger that the salaah of some musallees became spoiled. For this reason he once acted upon the mas-alah, that if shortly after reciting the sajda, one goes into rukoo, then the sajida-e tilawat would be considered to have been performed together with the sujood of the salaah. In any case in spite of Hazrat’s comfortable style of recitation, his salaah was not unduly longer than the salaah of others.

During Ramadan Hazrat generally performed iftar in the madressa together with his guests. Azaan used to be called at the first correct moment of maghrib. Iftar was then performed without haste and after rinsing the mouth and washing the hands, the salaah was performed without any rush. So much time was allowed to pass between azaan and the salaah that if anyone wished to perform his wudoo comfortably, he would still not miss the first takbeer. The people living in the vicinity of the mosque could perform their iftar at home and still come to the mosque to join the salaah at the first takbeer.

After having performed maghrib salaah together with the ‘wazeefas’ according to his normal prctice, he ate his evening meal. Then near the time for Esha he would rise. Taraweeh was performed at a comfortable pace. In the rest periods in between every four raka-‘ahs (‘tarweehas’) he recited the sunnat zikr. The length of the rukoo’ and the sujood in taraweeh was of the same length as during the other salaahs. During tahajjud Hazrat sometimes recited audibly and sometimes softly.

To be continued……….

                                   

  Adapted From “The Ramadhaan Of The Saintly Elders”

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