What Can he Take From Me?

During the time prior to the partition (of India and Pakistan), Ḥaḍrat Madnī was a very loyal supporter of the Congress political party. His remarkable commitments to the Congress are known to all. Opposing them was, Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānwī and Mawlānā Ẓafar Ahmad, who were staunch supporters of the Muslim League political party. They were, in their passion and enthusiasm, all equal. They used to counteract each other’s views from their respected platforms and with the help of the media. The bitterness and severe nature of the conflict was apparent to all.

Shaykh-ul-Ḥadīth Haḍrat Mawlānā Muḥammad Zakariyya Kandelwhī says that, it so happened that fate decided for both Mawlānā Madni and Mawlānā Ẓafar to be my guests. Whenever, Mawlānā Ẓafar visited me, he always stayed for a few days. Whereas, Mawlānā Madnī had quick visits, lasting hours or at times, even minutes.

Once, during the period of political opposition, Mawlānā Ẓafar remained my guest for a few days and he was residing in the Madrasah guest room. I was gone to the student accommodation building when a student came to inform me that Ḥaḍrat Madnī had arrived and he was at my residence. I felt as if the earth was removed from beneath my feet. Even when writing this, I feel the apprehension and fear for what could have become a tremendous outburst. I hurried to Mawlānā Ẓafar and told him that Mawlānā Madnī was around for only an hour or so. I pleaded him not to come towards my residence and that I would call him after he had eaten and left.

He asked me, “Why should I wait? What harm is there in my presence? I will come along immediately.”

I practically begged him not to come along, but the more I tried to persuade him against it, the more adamant he became. He said, “Do not worry. Ḥaḍrat Madnī is my elder. If he says anything, then I will not reply and remain silent.”

Seeing no other choice, I went to Mawlānā Madni and informed him, “Mawlānā Ẓafar has been my guest for a few days. I have asked him to come along after you leave.” Ḥaḍrat Madnī answered, “Why wait for me leave? What can he take from me and what can I take from him?”

As this conversation was going on, Mawlānā Ẓafar entered. As soon as Ḥaḍrat Madnī’s eyes fell on him, he got up, gleaming with pleasure, shook hands with him, jokingly saying, “So Ab-ul-Dik is here (Ab-ul-Dik means ‘father of the rooster’. When Mawlānā Ẓafar’s son, Mawlānā Umar Aḥmad was born, Mawlānā Madnī jokingly referred to Mawlānā Ẓafar Aḥmad as “the father of the rooster” upon meeting him).

Mawlānā Ẓafar kissed Ḥaḍrat Madnī’s hands and they began talking like close friends; asking about each other’s health and families. I was still quite apprehensive fearing an outburst and supplicating in my heart:

یا رب سلم

(O Allah, protect us)

Mawlānā Madnī left about 45 minutes later and only then I was able to relax. Not a single word of politics was uttered. Mawlānā Ẓafar said, “Bring mithai (sweets from the Indian subcontinent)!” I said to him, “Certainly, but I am still thinking that Ḥaḍrat Madnī is more closer to me than you are and I was frightened that if Mawlānā Madnī had uttered one word of criticism, then what could have happened?” Mawlānā Ẓafar answered, “But I told you from before that I would keep quiet; even if he would rebuke me, I would not say a word. He further added, I do not for a moment doubt Mawlānā Madnī’s high position and greatness, but what can I do? I consider the support of the Congress political group to be harmful for the interests of Muslims. For this reason we feel forced to oppose his views in newspapers, pamphlets and lectures.”

(Āap Bītī)

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