Lessons from a Meeting with Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

 

Maulana Rūmi has remarked in his ‘Masnavi’, “A moment in the company of the Awliyā’ (friends of Allah) is better than a hundred years of (voluntary) worshiping”. According to its commentators, he made such a claim because the company of the pious can teach a person numerous invaluable lessons that he may, otherwise, remain unaware of; even if he engages himself in voluntary (Nafl) worshiping for extended periods of time.

One fortunate day, I was blessed with the opportunity to accompany Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani on a Nikah ceremony that was to be conducted in a vicinity near Darul’Uloom Karachi (1).

To obtain his permission for accompanying him, I was waiting for him outside his residence. His car was parked at his doorstep and in its direction, his driver had opened a car door in anticipation of his arrival.

When he stepped out of of his home, l quickly moved towards him to seek his permission. As soon as he saw me approaching towards the car, he moved around the car while leaving the opened door for me. Seeing this, I was absolutely dumbfounded and I tried to gather my confidence to utter ‘Hazrat can I accompany you?’. He plainly replied ‘Yes, sure!’, while indicating towards the opened door. While I was still gazing at him in amazement, he casually opened the door on his side and got in to the car. Feeling immensely humbled, I too followed the suit by using the door that had originally been opened for him.

Thus I sat with the Shaykh on the back seat of the car (Alhamdulillāh for such a privilege). I had planned to consult him regarding a personal matter in brief but I thought to wait for him to settle well in the car before beginning to talk. Meanwhile, I was hoping that my amazement and excitement will also settle, allowing me to start the talk.

However, I noticed that as soon as the Shaykh entered the car, he didn’t let a minute of his to go in vain. He quickly started reading out some Du’aas (for protection) from a booklet. Immediately afterwards, he took out his smart phone and started reciting Qur’an on it! Since my matter wasn’t urgent, I thought to wait for him to get free.

When we reached the Masjid, where the Nikah was to be held, the Shaykh was welcomed by a crowd (which appeared large in that congested locality). He led the ‘Asr Salāh which was followed by the Nikāh. Thereafter, the same crowd accompanied him towards the car.

In a zigzag fashion, I too navigated my way through the crowd to reach the car, eager to find the Shaykh available to talk this time. Interestingly, but no longer surprisingly, he resumed his recitation as soon as he reentered the car.

It was when we entered Darul’Uloom again (and thus were about to reach Shaykh’s residence in a minute), the Shaykh finally kept his cell phone back in his pocket. Fearing that he might engage in another form of Zikr (remembrance of Allah), I took a quick breath, gathered my strength and and spoke up to put forth my query to him, while gasping between my broken words. He listened patiently and then replied to me in a polite and satisfactory manner.

Alhamdulillāh, thus I was able to experience a brief, yet an immensely lesson full, meeting with Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani (may Allah Ta’ālā preserve him and allow us to benefit from him).

 

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(1) Jāmi’ah Darul’Uloom Karachi is a renowned and outstanding University for traditional Islamic studies in Karachi, Pakistan. It is currently headed by Hazrat Mufti Taqi Usmani and his elder brother, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani.

‘Maulana Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani’ framed outside Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani’s office in Darul’Uloom Karachi
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Istikhārah or Istikhbārah?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

Despite being revered and widespread among Muslim community, Istikhārah has been mystified by a number of misconceptions. This brief post addresses the most common and basic misconception regarding it.

 

Maulānā Musharraf Ali Saheb Thānwī (رحمه الله) mentioned in a gathering that Shari’ah has encouraged us to do Istikhārah in our matters. Istikhārah (إستخارة) means ‘to seek Khair (خير) i.e. goodness (from Allah Ta’ālā)’. This is different than seeking a news – regarding whether something is expected to be good or not; which could be called ‘Istikhbarah’ (إستخبارة) meaning ‘to seek Khabr (خبر) i.e news’. Maulānā continued saying that we usually (try to) do Istikhārah (as per the encouragement from Shari’ah) but we expect it to be Istikhbārah and therefore try to seek some sort of answer (1)

Similarly, Sayyidi, Muftī Muhammad Taqī Usmānī (حفظه الله) also once mentioned during a lecture on Sahīh al Bukhārī (in Darul Hadith, Darul ‘Uloom Karachi) that in Urdu we use a wrong phrase, ‘Istikharah nikaalna’ (استخارہ نکالنا) (literally: ‘to take out Istikharah’), which indicates that we are seeking to take some information out of it (which is not what Shari’ah expects us to do).

(1) Maulana Musharraf Ali Thānwī was the step grandson of Hazrat Maulānā Ashraf Ali Saheb Thanwī (Rahimahullāh), son of Maulānā Jameel Ahmad Thānwī and son in law of Maulānā Idrees Kandhelwī. He gained Ijāzah (to initiate Murīdīn for Islāh through Bai’ah) from Hazrat Dr Abdul Haiy Ārifī. Besides, he had also been in close company of many other illustratious ‘Ulāmā’ and Mashā’ik. He headed Darul’Ulūm al Islāmiyah in Lahore. He passed away in Madīnah Munawwarah during Sha’bān (2018) and was laid to rest in the al Baqī’ graveyard. رحمه الله رحمة واسعة

An aesthetic view of Jāmi’ah Darul ‘Uloom Karachi’s Masjid at night