IT is a strange scheme of things the Creator and Administrator of the universe employs. He nourishes a priceless pearl in the belly of a worthless shell and sets it in the crown of a king; He hides a diamond in the countless grains of sand of a desert that is then coveted by the richest and wealthiest; He places a stone in the heart of mountains that reaches the height of fame once through the hands of a jeweler; He blossoms flowers with so sweet a fragrance that draws every traveler. The respected person who has recently joined the caravan of martyrdom was one such hidden flower and one such invaluable jewel.
He was born in a little known, underdeveloped village where the children tend goats to boost their hungry parents’ income, or enter public school with dispirited dreams. The people who suggested the name “Nizamuddin” would have had their best wishes at heart, but even they would never have dreamed the share the Distributor had written for him for disciplining an ummah torn with confusion and disunity and of serving deen and people of deen.
Only he who is master of His decisions knew the future. He may deprive the sons of claimants of knowledge and wisdom for the service of deen and He may accept the posterity of workers, unlettered people, even sons of Hindus and Sikhs for the service and propagation of His deen. He does not look at the family tree nor intellect or acumen; He does not consider wealth, lands or beauty; but yes, true desire is what counts. The desire-less remains deprived even if they seem to have much and the desirous are given even if they seem to have naught. Vanity bows to their humbleness and wealth curtseys to their poverty.
What else but true desire held the hand of this poor and unknown lad of Shamazai and took him to the pillars of knowledge of the time in Karachi. He came there as a student and traveler and then made Karachi his own………sadly, Karachi did not own him. This city that yesterday made men, now takes men. The land of Karachi has guzzled the blood of countless humans but is still thirsty for more. There was a time when jungles were scary, now cities are creepy. What else but fear and terror will reign in a city that does not value its benefactors, educators, and builders?
The higher-ups of knowledge, the alchemists, whose company turned ordinary stone to the philosopher’s stone, recognized the hidden worth of this young man who had come to Karachi with the true desire for knowledge. The years went by and the process of turning into a philosopher’s stone continued and at last the time came when the taught became the teacher, when the decreed was elevated to the position of the decreer, when the student of the knowledge of Hadith was crowned with the coronet of Sheikh ul Hadith (teacher of Hadith).
Lots of `Ulama become well known and respected and a haven for people, but very few of them would have had the fortune to gain the position in so short a time that Hazrat Mufti Shamazai (rahimahullahu) gained. Generally speaking, he was renowned in the fields of teaching and verdict giving when he was in Jamiah Farooqia, but it reached legendary heights in Jamiah Uloom Islamiyyah Binnori Town. Allama Shamazai was in charge of Specialization in Jurisdiction, the Head of Darul Ifta, and Sheikul Hadith. But his person was not bound to the Jamiah alone, but the whole of Pakistan was reaping his benefits. What movement was not linked to him? What religious institution did not call him their patron? What mujahid, preacher, or faithful server of deen was isolated from his affections? He did not own a madrasah but all madaris were his, he did not belong to a group but all groups were his. He was naturally content, open-handed, and polite…humiliation, discouragement, hate, and enmity were forbidden in his sect. He never turned anyone empty-handed. Other scholars of the day tried many a time to caution him, some openly criticized that such a degree of courteousness that any and everyone was using his name, was claiming his patron ship for his group, was writing his name on their letterheads, was claiming his book to be “approved” by him, was inadvisable. But Mufti Sahib was powerless at the hands of his good manners and politeness; he would say, “What can I do? I just can’t say no.” Many a worker of Islamic organizations were helped secretly without anyone the wiser.
Distance lends charm, but the proof of any person’s good nature is when the people living with him day and night attest to his piousness, forbearance, dignity, big-heartedness, and purity. Today’s code is to blow one’s own trumpet, to boast of one’s real or imagined achievements. To show a good nature in a gathering, in a journey, for some days or weeks before guests or companions is easy, but to maintain this good nature and moral superiority in the crests and troughs of life through long years, through the ups and downs of existence, is difficult. Here the proof is given by a personality who is far from hypocricy or hyperbole. I mean respected teacher, Dr. Abdur Razzaq Iskandar. He says, “I have never seen Mufti Sahib in anger in a long companionship.” This does not mean that he never got angry; his passion at the sacrilege of deen and those of deen was something to see. But for his own being, or the disregard of his suggestions, he was immune to anger. You only need to look at the last press release of his life that was given in response to the “pronouncements” of a despotic ruler who urges the people to stay away from religious leaders, targets madaris for criticism, assigns Hudood (Islamic Law) to human ingenuity, uses the words “religious fanatics” again and again for the sincere lovers of Islam. Have another look at the press release. You will find each and every sentence bursting with the honor of Imaan and you will feel that in a country where no one has the right to hold up his head, it’s a wonder he was allowed to live for so long.
Consider; a person who issues decrees of jihad against America sitting on his mat, the servant of Allah who publicly denounces those demeaning Islam, and who was openly and internationally considered an ally of those who drink deeply from the vessel of Islam; how long would he be tolerated? How long can a dauntless being be allowed to walk the streets and criticize an enslaved country? This passion and fervor was all for Right and Righteous; for his self, he was unflustered. In spite of being appointed on several designations of honor and esteem in the prized Binnori Town University, humbleness and self-sacrifice was apparent in each gesture. Close companions tell that in the life of Shaheed-e-Islam, Hazrat Ludhyanwi (rahimahullahu), after delivering his dars on Sahih Bukhari, Mufti Shamazai used to proceed to “Babur Rahmat” to serve him. This humility and poise was apparent also in his conversation and speeches. He used to discuss even the most grave and serious topic in a dignified way. It was not his way to shout and be out of control. He talked in a rational and clear manner that went from the ear straight to the heart and even the contestants were moved to concede the depth of meaning and truth.
The righteous, their hearts heavy with the going of one scholar after the other, were glad and thankful to Allah to have a leader that guided them from the khanqah to the darsgah, from politics to jihad, from the persecution of mistaken sects to matters of jurisdiction and discourse; a guide who was aware of internal and external enemies; who was alert to the intrigue of hypocrites. But who knew that the righteous would be deprived of this merciful protection so soon and the burden on their souls would be made heavier?
It is another matter that the departed, departed in such a manner that the remaining are envious. Supplication and entreaties with his Lord during the night, dhikr and recitation of the Quran at daybreak, the tongue fragranced, the heart luminous, an intention of teaching the most righteous book after the Quran…and then eve descended on the one who gave the lessons of light……….oh! But what does my pen write? Why eve? This is the beginning of a new life………a life that will never see the end, a life that has a dawn but no dusk, a life that is apparently death but which is actually a nations salvation.