[Ilm is not gained, it is given. For this privilege, one cannot simply rely on the minimum; rather they must go beyond the fard and embrace the sunnah, mustahab and the requisite etiquettes of which one is cleanliness. Verily Allah loves the repentant and the clean (Baqarah: 222). The prophet (peace be upon him) would encourage one to be in wudu even if it were just before going to sleep. Be clean, have wudu, when studying the din and seeking the love of Allah. - Saif]
It is an undeniable fact that ilm (knowledge) is not the name of information or high quantity of information. Rather knowledge is a light which is granted from Allah almighty in the heart of a sincere believer and true seeker. Imam Malik (رحمة الله عليه) says1,
إن العلم ليس بكثرة الرواية ، و إنما العلم نور يجعله القلب
Mulla Ali Qari (رحمة الله عليه) states:
العلم نور في قلب المؤمن مقتبس من مصابيح مشكاة النبوة من الأقوال المحمدية و الأفعال الأحمدية و الأحوال المحمودية يهتدي به إلي الله و صفاته و أفعاله و أحكامه
In regards to the matter which are considered to act as means to acquiring this light, amongst them is the attendance in class with wudu as well as ensuring not to touch the book without wudu. From the outset this seems to be a minuscule and meagre matter, however, in terms of outcome it has extreme impact.
In class, being in the state of wudu, makes the rocky valley of acquiring knowledge soft and easy to traverse. Due to it a door of light, and blessing from ilm and amal (practice) opens. As a result the beautiful sight of the cultivated autumn meadow and spring of knowledge start coming to sight. In every time, honourable people and accomplished students have adhered to remaining in wudu.
In the [Islamic] academic world, who would not be familiar with the name of Muhaddith al-Asr Allm. Anwar Shah Kashmiri. He was an ocean and wavy sea of knowledge and integrity. The Arab and the non-Arab have acknowledged the Allamah. His mark of knowledge has settled in the heart and mind of the academic world. The books emanating from [...] his flowing pen and his classroom lectures hold a unique status in the academic world. The state of his adherence to wudu to acquire is such that his able son, Hadrat Ml. Anzar Shah (Shaykh al-Hadith Dar al-Ulum, waqf, Deoband) quotes the scholar in question as follows, "I after the age of seven have never touched an Islamic book without wudu".2
Hakim al-Islam Hadrat Ml. Qari Muhammad Tayyib sahib (emeritus principle, Dar al-Ulum Deoband) says:
"Hadrat Ml. Anwar Shah Kashmiri was really a sign from the signs of Allah. In this era, Allah almighty has created, in terms of depth in hadith, fiqh and action, an example of the muhaddith of the past. He himself once said, although the matter is very small, however, when a person does it, adherence is very difficult. He said, after the age of five, when I have come to my senses, and today my age is sixty, I have not touched any Islamic book without wudu. This is not about the Quran, let it be the book of hadith, of fiqh, whichever is considered the topic of Islam, I do not touch it without wudu."3
Generally, a student should remain in wudu to acquire any Islamic knowledge, however, extra care should be taken when studying the Quran and Hadith. Care is taken anyway when studying the Quran and tafsir, [however], commitment and care should also be taken when studying the hadith of the prophet (peace be upon him) so that through its blessings the heart gains shine and brightness.
Hadrat Ml. Manzur Nu'mani (may Allah have mercy upon him) relates a story from his student years about Ml. Siraj Ahmad Rashidi, a teacher in Dar al-Ulum Deoband:
"Often it would be that when someone would die in Deoband, they would bring them to the Darul Uloom to pray janazah. The classes would be informed that a janazah has come for salah and there will be salah of janazah at the end of that period. One day the lesson of Mishkat was being ongoing, it was the first period, and the announcement of janazah was came. Upon the first period finishing Hadrat Mawlana (Siraj Ahmad Sahi Rashidi) said to us, 'Come, let us pray the salah for janazah. [As Mishkat lessons lasted for two continuous periods] he said, “The remainder of the lesson [will continue] thereafter.” There may have been 35-40 students in that class, amongst them, only around four or five run towards the masjid for wudu. The rest followed Hadrat mawlana to the courtyard where the salah was about to happen. After salah, hadrat mawlana and all of us returned to the class. Before even starting the lesson, Mawlana with a lot sorrow and sadness said, "Today I was hurt in seeing this that some of you run towards the masjid to do wudu. It indicates that some of you sit in the lesson of hadith without wudu. This is not the way of our pious. The blessings of hadith can only be acquired when it is studied with etiquette. The statement of Hadrat Mawlana had a profound impact on all the students, and I think that thereafter all adhered to doing wudu."4
Hadrat Ml. Ashiq Ilahi Sahib Mirati (نور الله مرقده), writes regarding Qutb al-Alam Hadrat Ml. Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (قدس سره):
"Hadrat Imam Rabbani was always in wudu, however, he would take special precaution during lesson during lesson times that from beginning to end not one letter be uttered without wudu. Furthermore, he would overtly and covertly encourage students to remain in wudu."5
Shaykh al-Hadith Hadrat Ml. Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandalwi (رحمه الله) for whom the knowledge of Hadith was not a mere academic endeavour. Rather it had become his sense and state due to which, from the mouth of a creation becoming [like] a decree, he was conferred the title of Shaykh al-Hadith [so much so that] this title has become a necessary of his actual name. Read his own account of his adherence to remain in wudu during his student days in the dora hadith year6 and spur yourself to action:
"[My classmate Hasan Ahmad] (deceased) and I had two considerations in the dora [hadith] lesson of [my] father, [Hadrat Ml. Muhammad Yahya] - نور الله مرقده. One is that there should be no hadith which was not heard from the teacher. The second is that no hadith be read without wudu. My and the deceased's habit was that whenever one of us had the need for wudu due to the lessons running for 5-6 hours continuously, one of us would nudge the other with his elbow and then leave straight away and the other would immediately present some objection to father. This would happen rarely, perhaps once in a month or two as the health was good. This unworthy soul for years had a habit of praying Isha with the wudu of Zuhr at that time. Even then sometimes the need would arise. Father understood in the first instance. [Seeing] that the peer has left and in a minute is returning rushed whilst rolling down the sleeve, he realised it also. He was happy about it also. Once Hasan Ahmad (deceased) - may Allah raise him in ranks - elbowed me and immediately stood. As soon as he stood I said to father (نور الله مرقده) that, "Hadrat! It is written in Fath al-Qadir such...". I said it without any thought, nothing was on my mind as to what was written in Fath al-Qadir. However, on saying, "Hadrat! It is written in Fath al-Qadir such...", my father spontaneously laughed. He placed a marker on the book, shut it and then said, "Until Hasan Ahmad returns, I will tell you a story, to what extent would I fight with you Fath al-Qadir". In any event, father told me a story instead of Fath al-Qadir. After that, it was the routine of father (نور الله مرقده) that whenever one of us would get up, father would tell a story."7
[The advice which] Shaykh al-Hadith Hadrat Ml. Muhammad Zakariyya Sahib (نور الله مرقده) gave to Hadrat Hadrat Ml. Anzar Shah (Shaykh al-Hadith Darul Uloom Deoband) in his dora hadith year is that in order to become engulfed in the light and blessings of hadith, the beneficial and fruitful course of action which was suggested was ensuring to be in wudu. Hadrat Ml. Anzar Shah Sahib (مد ظله) states:
"The year that was my dora hadith, the specific advice given was that do not partake in class without wudu. He suggested that if that was adhered to, you will notice an a unique lightness."8
Every year of the Dars Nizami holds a special feature. In that manner, the Dora Hadith year is the year of the jovial call of “قال الرسول” and repeated mention of “صلي الله عليه وسلم”. It is the year of relieving the work and words [as well as] scenting the breath’s smell through the kiss of utterance on repeatedly remembrance of beloved of the creator of the universe. Akbar Ilahbadi states,
|It is the name which refines the dust to pure||ہے وہ نام خاک کو پاک کرے نکھار کر|
|It is the name which prunes the thorn to blossom||ہے وہ نام خار کو پھول کرے سنوار کر|
|It is the name which pulls the earth to azure||ہے وہ نام ارض کو کردے سماء ابھار کر|
|Akbar, recite this in earnest to no sum||اکبر اسی کا ورد تو صدق سے بے شمار کر|
The case of our senior figure such as Arif Billah Hadrat Dr. Abd al-Hayy Arifi (may Allah have mercy upon him) was that when he remembered the prophet of Allah (peace be upon him), he would go into a trance and state. His state was observable. Despite being mountainously stoic and resolute, the voice will become shaky and eyes soft (Maqalat Yusufi, Shakhsiyat wa Ta’assurat, p. 217 v. 1). Regarding Hujjat al-Islam Hadrat Ml. Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi (قدس سره), his gifted student Ml. Mansur Ali Khan Sahib Haydrabadi says, “He will get goose bumps upon hearing the name of the prophet (peace be upon him), his colour of his face will change and it will be an extraordinary sight which I am not able to describe.” (Sawanih Qasimi p. 282 v. 1). It is [stated] in ‘al-Imam al-Sadiq’ via Allm. Abu Zahrah, that Imam Malik (رحمه الله) said regarding Ja’far b. Muhammad, the son of Muhammad b. Baqir (رحمه الله) - the pride and joy of the prophet’s family), “I used to go to Ja’far b. Muhammad (رحمه الله). He would always have a smile. However, when the name of prophet of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) would be taken, his colour would become yellow or green.
The respect of the name of the prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) is such that,
|Musk and rose, thousands of time, the mouth is swept||ہزار ہا بشویم دہن ز مشک و گلاب|
|Yet, to say the name is still wholly inept||ہنوز نام تو گفتن کمال بے ادبی است|
It is [stated] in Tarikh Farishta,
"The name of a fellow of (Sultan) Nasir al-Din (Mahmud) was Muhammad. The king will always call by that name. One day Nasir al-Din called him by saying ‘Taj al-Din’. This fellow at that time complied with the king but then left to his house and did not present himself in the king’s court for three days. Nasir al-Din called for this fellow and asked him the reason for his absence. The fellow answered, “You always call me by the name ‘Muhammad’, however, that day against your habit you called me ‘Taj al-Din’. I concluded that perhaps in your heart you have developed a suspicion against me. Hence, I was not present at your service three days and have spent the entire time in worry and restlessness”. The king taking an oath said, “I am absolutely not suspicious of you. However, when I called you by the name ‘Taj al-Din’, at that time, I was without wudu. I did not think it appropriate that I take the honourable name of ‘Muhammad’ without wudu."9
This story, especially for the student of Hadith, is a milestone and landmark.
It is needed that they adhere and commit to attending the lesson of hadith with wudu. If this is implemented, one will openly observe the light and blessing of knowledge. ان شاء الله العزيز
و الله الموفق
Shaykh al-Hadith Mufti Umar Faruq Lawharwi
Dars Hadith Me Ba Wudu Ihtimam
In Fiqhi Jawahir. 1429. 1st Ed. Vol 4, p. 24-31.
Kosamba, India; Jamia Abu Hurayrah.
Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami (Translator)
16 Shawwal, 1434
24 August 2013
- 1. Ibn Kathir p. 516 v. 2
- 2. Naqsh Dawam p. 108
- 3. Khutbat Hakim al-Islam p. 155 v. 5
- 4. Tahdith Ni'mat p. 32-33
- 5. Tazkirat Rashid p. 90 v.1
- 6. Dora hadith in the final year of study in which the books of hadith are studied. See Curriculum Vitae – Alim - Saif
- 7. Ap Biti p.106-107 v.1
- 8. Lala' wa Gul p. 93
- 9. Tarikh Farishta p. 189 v.1