Neglected legacy

Translated by:

[Ihsan is a disposition that allows one to correctly transfer what one knows to action properly and consistently. This is developed through interaction with and reading about guided pious scholars who have dedicated their life in the pursuit of emulating the prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) and living in accordance to the Shariah. The prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) is an example for all time and those who adopt his example find success in all the realms. The stories, character and achievements of the elders (akabir) of Deoband is a sample of this endeavour from the not too distance past - Saif

Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Taqi Usmani in an advice to the students of Jamiah Riyadh al-Ulum, Leicester says:]

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم – الحمد لله رب العالمين، و الصلاة و السلام علي رسوله الكريم، و علي آله و أصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد:

There is no opportunity to speak at length. For that matter, issue of din do not need long discussions. If Allah almighty grants sincerity, even a little amount is of use. May Allah save us, if that is not gained, even long discussions will be of no use.

Nowadays, I find a strong motivation within myself to push our fellow students on a matter. I want to spread and convey this message as much as possible, especially amongst our student brethren. The [message] is that Allah almighty through his grace has associated us with such Akabir whom we can truly say that, Insha-Allah they are an example of ‘ما أنا عليه و أصحابي’ for that time. To that effect, the understanding of the din and practice of the din that these eminent Akabir presented are in reality a very great asset for us. It is the grace of Allah that he has associated us with them. We use their namesake.

However, I see a deep lacking and weakness within our circles. That is the continual slackening of familiarity with the nature, temperament, and biographies of the Akabir. We study the Dars Nizami, we even try to remember it; we do everything. However, it is not enough to merely gain the knowledge of this Dars Nizami. Rather we must absorb the special temperament and feel that was within the Akabir, Ulama of Deoband, and the Ulama of Saharanpur. The result is that the ways of Ulama Deoband portrayed through our practice is not in reality the full correct picture.

Allah almighty has placed great effect and enlightenment in the biographies, pronouncements (malfuzat), and the teachings of these distinguished [people]. However, when I go to our fellow student brethren, sometimes when I speak to the students and teachers, so many for instance do not know about Hadrat Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi (رحمة لله عليه), they are not familiar of the conditions of Hadrat Gangohi (رحمة لله عليه). In one place, I asked, ‘Brother! Do you know you know who Hadrat Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (رحمة لله عليه) is?’ Some person answered that he was the head teacher of Darul Uloom Deoband; now that is not even known.

So due to not knowing the lives, biographies, and conditions of these eminent [people] we have understood something else altogether. That feel and character which was meant to be acquired is reducing. So some impetus builds in my heart that I press my brethren that, ‘Brother! That which you study, study it, may Allah almighty along with strength provide ability also. However, with it, grasp the conditions, writing and pronouncements of our elders.’

Hadhrat Nanotwi(رحمة لله عليه), Hadrat Gangohi(رحمة لله عليه), Hadharat Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri(رحمة لله عليه), Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi(رحمة لله عليه), Hadhrat Madani (رحمة لله عليه); make [reading] their conditions and pronouncements a lifetime routine; their statements and biographies.

I tell you with certainty that merely reading their biographies, there will be immense benefit Insha-Allah. Make this a lifetime routine and include within your regular practice. Among these books is the Ab Biti of Hadrat Shaykh al-Hadith. He has contained within it a large treasure. Although known as an autobiography, it in reality is the remembrances of many saints.

Enough! I want to make a simple request to my brothers and colleagues that you consider your association with these elders a great blessing. Value it by always familiarising with their biographies, writings and pronouncements. As a result, Insha-Allah, Allah almighty will also provide the radiance of knowledge. Moreover, this an excellent method of remaining protected against the trials of the time. May Allah almighty grant us the ability.

و آخر دعوانا أن الحمد لله رب العالمين

Shaykh al-Islam Mufti  Taqi Usmani
Jamiah Riyadh al-Ulum (Leicester, UK)
4 Sha’ban 1433 AH
25 June 2012 CE

Mufti Taqi Usmani (1433/2012). Ek Aham Paygham. 4 Sha’ban 1433 (25 June 2012). Translated from Urdu into English by Muhammad Saifur Rahman. Neglected legacy. 25 Muharram 1434 (9 December 2012). Available online:


Usmani, Mufti Muhammad Taqi. (2013). Neglected legacy (Nawhami, Muhammad Saifur Rahman, Trans.). Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Number 2. Available at