A teacher’s wish

[This was an email written to a group of students]

I came across this printed booklet entitled Gulshan Falah Darayn. It is a wonderful speech of Ml. Saleem Dhorat (حفظه الله) to the students of Falah al-Darayn; the alma matta of our teacher, Hadrat Shaykh Ml. Saleem Nawab sahib. Ml. Saleem Dhorat says,1

A teacher is very caring, very caring. My very beloved mentor Hadrat Haji Muhammad Faruq Sahib (رحمة الله عليه) used to say, ‘A millionaire father wishes for his son to become a billionaire’. So he used to say, ‘Similarly, this is the same for a shaykh and teacher’. When the teacher sits to teach, the taught does not pass his mind that I am teaching Tirmidhi so my student should only teach until Mishkat. In his heart is the wish that, I have reached Tirmidhi, I wish my student reaches Bukhari. The spiritual level that a shaykh reaches, it never crosses their heart that my adherent should be lower than me. In his heart the wish is always there that may my adherent excel beyond me. They are very caring. They sometimes chastise us, become angry to gain attention, to warn us, to wake us from a neglectful dream. They are not our enemy.

There was once upon a time that when a teacher warned a student, rebuke them, the student will feel happy that the teacher notices me. The other students will see him with envy. Now the time is such that if the teacher rebukes we become sad and if he does not rebuke we feel happy. In the old days when an honourable student due to his honour was not rebuked by a teacher for two to three months, he would get worried that I am not being rectified in anything. [They would think], I hope the teacher have not stopped caring about me.

A point of note. Ponder on the objective of your study of the Din. Your success is not determined by how much you know but rather how much you practice. The increase of knowledge is praiseworthy only if your actions increases accordingly. The success of those under one’s remit is the success of those that are in charge. I pray that you excel beyond us.

The Sahabi asked the prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) one advice which will free of all other. He (صلي الله عليه و سلم) said, say ‘La ilaha illa Allah and then stay firm’. I beseech, stay firm and use the shariah as guidance in all things. We have invested within you for our hereafter. That will only come to fruition only if you end your life well and on istiqamah.

Above all else thank Allah with utterance and actions. If you wish to thank the teacher, then know this that more than gifts and food, it is your practice upon the shariah, which is ample thanks for that is a something insha-Allah will be shown to us in the hereafter. Pray for us and we shall pray especially that you excel. We are your past and you are our future.

Muhammad Saifur Rahman
13 Safar 1434
27 December 2012

1. Gulshan Falah Darayn

[Cite key: 121227501]

Mufti Shafi Usmani’s day

The pious Ulama achieved greatness through dedication to Allah and maintenance of their duties to themselves and others for the sake of Allah. They made time for ibadat as well as fulfilling the rights of their body, family and meeting financial and social obligations. Here is a glimpse of one such man from the not too distant past.

In 24 Shawwal 1344 AH,1 the future grand Mufti Muhammad Shafi Usmani (d. 1399) wrote to Hakim al-Ummat Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi outlining his daily routine at the onset of the new academic year. He writes,

“As Hidayah generally goes unfinished during class hours I have planned to start teaching after the morning salah, an hour before the lesson, from Kitab al-Nikah and during the lesson from the beginning [of the Kitab]. [I will teach] Hidayah in the first period, preparation of Hidayah in the second, Arabic writing practice in the third, and Maqamat in the fourth. After this, [I will spend] one and a half to two hours in business2 and [then] an hour of rest (Qaylulah). After Zuhar Salah I will recite one juz of the Quran and thereafter write an article or thesis for an hour. [This will be] followed by one period of teaching Hammasa. After Asr I will go out for leisure. After Maghrib as per instruction zikr of Allah’s name; to which now [I] adhere to for twelve Tasbihs and sometimes more. After Isha, the reading of books.”3

Note how his timetable revolves around salah. After every salah there is a concrete action followed by a task that is flexible. The best actions are those that are measured and consistent.


Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
9 Jumada II 1433
1 May 2012


1. That would make him 30 years old at the time of writing
2. He used to run a book store
3. Hayat Mufti A’zam. (1415). Mufti Rafi Usmani. Idarat al-Ma’arif; Karachi, Pakistan. p. 60