The Day I Met Ḥaḍrat Shaikh ul-Ḥadīth رَحْمَةُ الله عليه

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

It’s Wednesday 21st October 2020. Let’s talk about The Day I Met Ḥaḍrat Shaikh Mawlānā Muḥammad Zakarīyā Ṣāḥib, رَحْمَةُ الله عليه. 

Without a shadow of doubt, the Muslims of the UK, and many parts of the world, are indebted to one great personality whose knowledge, piety, and foresight remains a beacon of light even today.

If my memory serves me correctly, it was one evening in 1981, when as a youngster of 14, I went to Dārul Uloom Bury for the first time in my life. My older brother and a few elders from the Daisyfield area of Blackburn were going to Dārul Uloom and I joined them. The word on the streets was that ‘Ḥaḍrat Shaikh has arrived in Dārul Uloom’. I didn’t know much at all about Ḥaḍrat Shaikh, but there was a buzz in the area and every day after 5pm, many people would head towards Dārul Uloom.

As soon as we entered the grounds of the Dārul Uloom, you could feel the excitement. Thousands of Muslims had gathered for a very spiritual evening. A massive tent had been erected from where the programme was conducted. The highlight of the evening was when Ḥaḍrat Shaikh, رَحْمَةُ الله عليه, was carried on to the stage, on his wheelchair.

Thirty nine years have passed but I still remember the zeal and passion of each and every one present to get a glimpse of this pious saint. The gathering that followed was so spiritual. An announcement was made that it is the time for ‘Bachchaw ki Bismillāh’. In other words, all those who were intending to start their Ḥifẓ, all started with Sūrah Fātiḥa (I think), praying together.

Then, all those who wanted to perform Bay’at (oath of allegiance) with Ḥaḍrat Shaikh were requested to say the necessary words. My elder brother had prepared me for the Bismillāh; I was very fortunate indeed. During the whole programme, all eyes were transfixed on Ḥaḍrat Shaikh, رَحْمَةُ الله عليه, his face shining with radiance, ‏.مَا شَآءَ الله

The Majlis came to a conclusion with a very powerful Du’ā by Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā ‘Abdul Hafīz Makki Ṣāḥib, رَحْمَةُ الله عليه, who had travelled with Ḥaḍrat Shaikh, رَحْمَةُ الله عليه, from Madīnah al-Munawwarah, ‏.مَا شَآءَ الله

Once the gathering was over and Ḥaḍrat Shaikh was lifted away on his wheelchair, there was a rush towards the room where he was resting. As I arrived near the room, there was already a massive queue stretching well out, across the corridors. I can’t remember the length of the wait exactly, but it must have been between 30 to 45 minutes as people entered the room, shook Ḥaḍrat Shaikh’s hand saying Salām, and then moved on. Each person got maybe 10 to 20 seconds at the most with this great spiritual leader.

Finally, the memorable moment arrived for me. Ḥaḍrat Shaikh, رَحْمَةُ الله عليه, was sitting upright. He was wearing gloves and looking straight at me with open hands for me to shake. Without a shadow of doubt, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. I said Salām out quite loud and saw Ḥaḍrat Shaikh’s lips move as he responded. It had been well worth the wait.

Next, it was to the dining area where food was served for all the guests, after which we left for Blackburn. I had heard that Ḥaḍrat Shaikh, رَحْمَةُ الله عليه, had arrived in Dārul Uloom, ‏مَا شَآءَ الله, and today, I had the pleasure of meeting him in person.

Almighty Allāh shower His Mercy on the resting place of Ḥaḍrat Shaikh, رَحْمَةُ الله عليه, in Madīnah al-Munawwarah, and bless us all with the ability to benefit from his teachings, Āmeen.

جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
Request for Du’ās
وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala