Shopping for the Elderly

As to Muftī ʿAzīz ur-Raḥmān’s stature, it should be borne in mind that he held the position of chief Muftī at Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband at a time when Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband had many luminaries on its staff. Yet he was an extremely simple and modest person, as is evident from the following report narrated by Muftī Muḥammad Shafīʿ:

It was not easy for one to perceive Muftī ʿAzīz ur-Raḥmān’s accomplishments, both inward and outward, as he was a sufi master and an outstanding scholar. However, he was so humble in his ways that he used to buy groceries for the widows and elderly women of his locality and settled their accounts. If it was a heavy package, he carried it under his arm and delivered the goods to their houses.

Muftī Muḥammad Shafīʿ related that often the elderly women would complain: “Mawlawī Saḥib, you have bought the wrong thing … and I did not ask for this amount … I asked for this.” Upon hearing this, he would immedieately go back to the market and resolve their complaints.

Muftī Muḥammad Shafīʿ shared with Muftī ʿAzīz ur-Raḥmān the same trait of humility. Notwithstanding his exalted scholarly standing, he did menial jobs for the poor in his locality and was never shy about doing any task. When Muftī Muḥammad Shafīʿ was given the post of Chief Muftī at Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband, Shaykh al-Islam Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī affectionately told him, “Mawlawī Saḥib, as you are now the Muftī of Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband, you should think about your high position which you now hold. You should not walk about in the market carrying pots.”

Mufti Muhammad Shafi recounted that one of his teachers told Mawlānā Ḥusain Aḥmad Madanī that Muftī ʿAzīz ur-Raḥmān used to behave in the same manner. Upon hearing this, Mawlānā Madanī smiled. He appreciated such simplicity. However, in view of some reasons, he advised some caution.

(Akābir-e Deoband Kya Thay)

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