Some of them were civil and some electrical engineers; some were doctors, others IT professionals. Some earned 15 thousand per month and others 40; employed in national or multinational companies, having their own business or running their own company………. But when they saw the advertisement in the papers that the Muslim ummah needed young men who felt for their brothers, who were highly intelligent, who held educational degrees in worldly arts, and who were willing to squat on the floor to gain the knowledge of deen for four years………all to meet the challenges faced by the Muslim ummah today, and to serve the Muslim Community on an international level…these exemplary young men spontaneously cried out "Labbayk!" (Here I come!) to this call. They knew the chasm between the environs of the life they had previously led and the life they were committing their selves to…that was home, this would be foreign territory; there had been loved ones, here would be strangers; there had been meals of choice, here would be the humblest of fares; there had been freedom ……….of dress, living, leisure times, and here would be the chains of discipline; unassuming dress, sports only that Faith allowed; strict timings of going to bed and getting up…even knowing all this they stepped onto this highway with a new environment, new life, and a new objective.
Their move tells a story: that the ashes of colleges and universities still hold in them numerous live embers. Their free environs still hold youths whose hearts are filled with love of deen and the respect of the people of deen, who smoulder at the decline of the ummah, and cry at the dominance of kufr. These youths are eager to have their share in the resurrection of the nation; who value not only the materialistic but are well aware of the worth of the heart and soul, who are seekers of not just the world but also the Hereafter. The need of the day is of men who will poke among the ashes and look for such embers that can be blown into flames by some keen-sighted person who can spin darkness to light.
Not long into the past was such a man who wanted to save the Muslim ummah from the siege of the kuffar. A man who disregarded the hardships his old and ailing body faced in his journey from Hindustan to Malta and back again. He overlooked the trials of prison, of long and hard journeys, of hunger and strife, of disrespect and unfair charges. This slave of Allah, just a month before his death, undertook the journey to Aligarh with his frail health and old limbs to lay the foundation of Muslim National University. There, representing him, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani (rahimahullahu) gave a speech, a memorable passage of which was as following:
"Disregarding my old age, illness, and frailty, I said yes to your invitation for coming here because I am hopeful of finding some lost goods here. There are many pious people whose faces give out the light of prayer and the glow of the remembrance of Allah, but when they are asked to get up for God's sake and save the lost ummah from the hold of the kuffar, then their hearts are gripped by fear…not of God, but of a few impure beings and their weapons of war and strike."
He further said,
"O the children of my nation! When I saw that the sympathizers of my pain, the pain that is softening my bones, are to be found lesser in the khanqahs and greater in the colleges, I and some other sincere men, stepped towards Aligarh and forged a bond between two historical places, Deoband and Aligarh."
Here are some other passages that are very comprehensive and can help dispel misunderstandings:
"Those of you who are learned and well-informed must know that my elders never at any time gave the decree of kufr on learning any foreign language, skills and knowledge. But yes! We did say that the end result of having an English education was that which we see most commonly…that people take up the ways of the Christians, or make fun of their own religion or the religious, or idolize the present (British) government… then it is better for a Muslim to remain illiterate than have such an education."
Echoing the sentiments of Hadhrat Shaykh-ul-Hind (rahimahullahu) the Jami`ah-tur-Rashid invited gifted graduates to come and gain the knowledge of deen in a typical way so they could serve their religion on an international level. In response 250 young men applied for admission in "Kulya tush Shari'ah" (University of Shari`ah) while the available seats were only 25. The unfortunate responders who did not gain admission are sending such emotional letters that move one say, "Dear God! Do such living embers hide our ashes still?"
On the other hand it is a matter of regret why until now these youths were ignored by the madaris when the truth is that whether it is the call for jihad, or dawah, any political call, or Tehrik-e-Khatme Nubuwwat, or any other cause…these youths have never let the `Ulama down. Because of being brought up in a certain environment, their social life does reflect a shade of westernization but the light of Faith hidden in their hearts makes them rebel against this influence under proper environs and guidance. There is also no dearth of youths that have saved themselves from foreign inspirations while living in the same atmosphere. Their beards, their head coverings, and their religious way of living are made fun of by the sarcasm and mockery of the clowns of this Islamic State…but this does not deter them from giving up even the sunnah they follow let alone the faraidh (obligations). These youths have rightfully complained to the scholars of Islam about not providing them with facilities enough to make them able to learn the right religion and fulfill their roles as true Muslims when the wrong kind of factions and groups entice people with attractive stipends and beckoning amenities of life.
The correspondence alluded to above also contained the letters of some women who had assured their husbands that they would prefer living in a single room instead of a bungalow, eat humbly, travel by bus or taxi instead of their own car, dress modestly instead of craving after the newest fashion, adorn themselves with good manners and deeds instead of gold and silver ornaments…………..and in return for this sacrifice, they only wanted their husbands to dedicate themselves to acquire the brightness from the illumination of the Book and Sunnah.
Would be that all the madaris stretched out in the country were able to appreciate the sentiments of these young people and provide arrangements so that no youth would be seen complaining of the yearning for knowledge or exclusion from it.