Translated by Muhammad Habib
A letter written by Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki to Shah Rafi’ al-Din Deobandi
[Below is translation of a portion of a letter from Shaykh al-‘Ulama’ Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki to Shah Rafi’ al-Din Deobandi ‘Uthmani ((Shah Rafi’ al-Din Deobandi ibn Mawlana Farid al-Din ‘Uthmani, the second principal of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband, was among the awliya of his age. He was born in Deoband on 29 Ramadhan 1250 AH into a renowned ‘Uthmani family famed for its religiosity, piety and knowledge. Three of his four paternal uncles were martyred in the Battle of Balakot alongside Sayyid Ahmad Shahid (may Allah shower His mercy on them all).
Shah Rafi’ al-Din Deobandi was a khalifah of Mawlana Shah ‘Abd al-Ghani Mujaddidi, the hadith scholar of Delhi. He also received an honorary ijazah in Tasawwuf from Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki. The grand Mufti of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband, Mufti ‘Aziz al-Rahman ‘Uthmani, traversed the path of suluk under his guidance. Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi would say regarding him, ”Mawlana Rafi’ al-Din is no less than Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi in spiritual rank; their difference is only in knowledge. Knowledge is there (Mawlana Rashid Ahmad) and not here (Mawlana Rafi’ al-Din)”. [This refers to the fact that although Mawlana Rafi’ al-Din was a man of knowledge, he was not of the same level as Mawlana Rashid Ahmad who was known as a faqih al-nafs. (For an explanation of faqih al-nafs see The Rank of Recent Hanafi Jurists)].
He migrated to the illuminated city of Madinah in 1306 AH and passed away there two years later on 12 Jumada ‘l-Thaniyah 1308 AH. He lays buried in al-Baqi’ at the feet of his shaykh, Mawlana Shah ‘Abd al-Ghani Mujaddidi, the hadith scholar of Delhi close to the resting place of his ancestor, the Companion of the Prophet Dhu ‘l-Nurayn Sayyiduna ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) (Translator). )) in which he emphasises his love for Shaykh al-Sunnah Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (may Allah shower them with His mercy) and highlights his dim view of those who bear enmity towards him. The letter is also a manifestation of Haji Imdadullah’s high level of humility – a quality distinctly found in him and those affiliated to his tariqah.]
… And that which I have written in favour of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad [Gangohi] – by way of divine inspiration (ilham) – in Diya’ al-Qulub is that whoever has devotion and love for this faqir also has love for Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. And whoever opposes him and is his enemy is also my enemy. From among the brothers ((The mashayikh often refer to their murids as brothers rather than murids out of humility.)) of this faqir there is no one who is now superior (fadilat) to Molwi [Rashid Ahmad]. And whosoever claims that this faqir has disconnected himself from mawlana is a liar (kadhdhab). This faqir considers his love for mawlana the means of his salvation. That is all. May salam and du’as be accepted on behalf of all friends. I desire that you ask Allah to lift me up from this world as a believer and that He grants me a good death by His favour and generosity.
And I will also say that I consider Molwi Rashid Ahmad to be in place of my spiritual guide (pir). This faqir has written this letter with great difficulty. Due to my weak eyesight, reading and writing is difficult.
End of Dhu ‘l-Hijjah 1305 AH.
Maktubat-e-Akabir-e-Deoband (Multan: Kutub Khana Majidia) p. 27-2
Read Part Two