By Mawlana Yusuf Laher
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise belongs to Allah alone, and may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon our master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.
Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Ayyub A’zimi (may Allah have mercy on him) needs no introduction to those who studied or visited Madrasah Jami’ah Islamiyyah in Dabhel, India during the period between 1964 and 1984.
Fondly known as Shaykh Sahib to one and all, he served as shaykh al-hadith in Dabhel for twenty years. His students are spread throughout the world serving the din (religion). Shaykh A’zimi was a scholar of a very high calibre, an excellent teacher, a master in the science of hadith and a sufi.
For a very long time it has been my desire to write on the life of this great wali. I finally mustered the courage and started in the Name of Allah Most High. Information has been taken from the book, Tarikh Jami’ah Islamiyyah Dabhel, written on the history of the Jami’ah of Dabhel by Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Fadl al-Rahman A’zimi, former ustadh at Dabhel and currently shaykh al-hadith at Dar al-‘Ulum Azaadville, South Africa.
I have also received information via email from the shaykh’s son, Mawlana Sa’id al-Rahman, ustadh and currently chancellor at Nadwatul ‘Ulama, Lucknow, India, and from his eldest son Mawlana Hakim ‘Aziz al-Rahman. May Allah Most High reward the two brothers for taking out time from their extremely busy schedules to supply me with information. May Allah Most High also reward Mawlana Fadl al-Rahman in abundance. Amin.
Finally, some points recorded in this biography are those remembered by students during their stay in Dabhel. It is hoped that by reading this book, the love for Allah Most High and his pious servants will increase. May Allah Most High fill the Shaykh’s grave with nur and grant him a lofty stage in the hereafter. Amin. May He also accept this compilation. Amin.
I love the pious but I am not from among them
Perhaps Allah will bestow me with piety
(Because of my love for the pious ones).
May Allah Most High accept this du’a on behalf of us all. Amin.
Birth and lineage
Shaykh A’zimi was born in the month of Shawwal 1319 AH (1902 CE) at Mau Nat Bhanjan in the district of Azamgarh, U.P., India. His lineage is as follows: Muhammad Ayyub bin Muhammad Sabir bin Ahmad bin Jiwan bin Rawshan ‘Ali.
This family previously resided in a place called Bakhtiyar Ganj, which was approximately one and a half miles from Mau. His father moved to Ilah Dad Pura, Mau, to live close to his in-laws and remained there. This is where the shaykh was born.
There were many scholars and sufis in this family-Mawlana Ismatullah, ‘Abd al-Hakim, Mawlana Safi’ullah, Mawlana Muhammad Zahir. These great personalities are mentioned in the books Nuzhat al-Khawatir and Tadhkirah ‘Ulama Hadhaz Zaman by Yunus Bilgirami. There were also other great personalities-Mawlana Muhammad Salim, Mawlana Salamatullah, Mawlana Ata’ullah, etc. (may Allah have mercy on them all). The family kept a spiritual link with Sufi Wali Muhammad Ghoswi (may Allah have mercy on him). Ghosi is a small town in the district of Azamgarh.
The shaykh’s elementary education, learning to recite the Qur’an and Urdu was done at home. Thereafter for Farsi (Persian) and basic Arabic he went to Mehella Aurangabaad in Mau. There was a small madrasah in the compound of Hakim Mawlana Muhammad ‘Umar (may Allah have mercy on him). His teacher was Mawlana ‘Abd al-Rahman Aurangabadi (may Allah have mercy on him).
Thereafter he went to study under Mawlana ‘Abd al-Ghaffar Mauwi (may Allah have mercy on him) in the district of Balya where the madrasah was. He studied here for approximately a year. Mawlana ‘Abd al-Ghaffar was a prominent student of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (may Allah have mercy on him). ‘Allamah Balyawi and Mawlana Habib al-Rahman A’zimi (may Allah have mercy on them) were also from among his students. Mawlana wrote approximately forty books. Ten have been published and the rest have been lost. He passed away in 1351 ah (1933 ce) and is buried near the Eidgah of Mau.
He then proceeded to Madrasah Mazhar al-‘Ulum in Benares under the tutorship of Mawlana Amanullah (may Allah have mercy on him). Mawlana Amanullah was one of the high-ranking students of Mawlana ‘Abd al-Hayy Farangi-Mahalli Lucknowi (may Allah have mercy on him). The shaykh stayed here for about two years. He studied Kafiyah, Sharh al-Jami’, Kubra, Sughra, Mizan, Mantiq, Sharh al-Tahzib, etc. here under Mawlana Amanullah.
Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband
After going through so many stages, his father now sent him to Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband at a tender age and he stayed here many years. He studied the various sciences and textbooks under the teachers of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband-‘Allamah Balyawi, Mawlana I’zaz ‘Ali, Mawlana ‘Abd al-Sami’, Mawlana Rasul Khan, etc (may Allah have mercy on them all).
While studying Sharh al-Jami’ he, along with other students, attended the lessons of Shaykh al-Hind Mawlana Mahmud al-Hasan (may Allah have mercy on him) on the Sunan of Imam Tirmidhi. Shaykh al-Hind was about to embark on his journey to the Hijaz and commenced the teaching of this book for the sake of barakah. He studied up to the second last year and returned later for the final year studies.
Logic and Philosophy
The subjects of logic and ancient philosophy were already on the decline but still sought by a few. Shaykh A’zimi now had the desire to study these. The famous teacher of the time of these subjects was Mawlana Majid ‘Ali Jaunpuri (may Allah have mercy on him) who was in a place called Meindh in the district of Aligarh. His place was a refuge for those interested in these subjects. The shaykh also came here and stayed four years studying the famous and current books on these two subjects.
He also studied a few rare books such as Sharh Isharat of Muhaqqiq Tusi, Muhakamat, a few parts of Ufuq al-Mubin, Mir Baqir and a few parts of the Shifa of Abu ‘Ali Sina (The Book of Healing by Avicenna). At that time, the latter two books were not available in printed form. The teacher had a few parts and the students would copy it (write it) from the teacher’s copy. He also studied here under Mawlana Lutfullah ‘Aligarhi (may Allah have mercy on him).
Return to Dar Al-‘Ulum Deoband
After completing the study of logic and philosophy, he returned to Deoband. He now entered the final year (Dawrah Hadith). Shaykh al-Hind had not as yet returned from his imprisonment in Malta. Subsequently ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri (may Allah have mercy on him) filled his place. Shaykh A’zimi studied Sahih al-Bukhari under this great personality.
He studied Sunan al-Nasai and Sahih Muslim under ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani (may Allah have mercy on him) and Sunan Abu Dawud by Mawlana Sayyid Asghar Husayn (may Allah have mercy on him). Muwatta Imam Muhammad and Muwatta Imam Malik were taught by Mufti A’zam Mawlana ‘Aziz al-Rahman (may Allah have mercy on him). This was in the Islamic year 1338 ah (1920 ce).
After completing Dawrah Hadith at Deoband, he now began preparations for Fadil Lahore, which was considered with high regard at that time. This was a special course followed by an exam written by scholars during that era. Meanwhile Shaykh al-Hind was freed and returned from Malta in 1338 AH (1920 CE). The issue of khilafah was at its peak. A meeting of the Jam’iyyat al-‘Ulama took place in Delhi under the chairmanship of Shaykh al-Hind. Five hundred ‘ulama attended. Resolutions were passed in this meeting to cut ties with the British and also to totally boycott all British and foreign goods. Due to the importance of this meeting, shaykh abandoned the idea of taking part in the Fadil Lahore exam and joined the movement.
A brief history of a few of his teachers
Mawlana Mahmud al-Hasan was popularly known as Shaykh al-Hind. He was born in 1268 AH (1851 CE). His home is Deoband and he is from the lineage of Sayyiduna ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him). He was the first student of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband. He started teaching at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband and later on was appointed as shaykh al-hadith. He taught for forty-four years.
Luminaries like Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi, Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani, ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani, ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri, etc. (may Allah have mercy on them all) studied under him.
He received khilafah from Haji Imdadullah Muhajjir Makki and Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. He played a major role in expelling the British from India. He was imprisoned by the British at Malta. During his imprisonment, he wrote a translation of the Holy Qur’an, which he completed in a year. He passed away in 1339 AH (1921 CE) and is buried in Deoband.
‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri
‘Allamah Anwar Shah’s family originally hailed from Baghdad and eventually settled in Kashmir. He studied at home, thereafter in Hazarah and then at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband. His spiritual link was with Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. He taught for a while at Madrasah Aminiyyah in Delhi. He established Madrasah Fayze ‘Am in Kashmir where he taught for three years.
Thereafter he taught at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband. He taught Sunan Abu Dawud and Sahih Muslim for many years without remuneration. When Shaykh al-Hind left for Makkah, he was appointed shaykh al-hadith.
He was known for his phenomenal memory. Mawlana Idris Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said that his memory was so unique that whatever he heard or read once was forever etched in his memory. He was also known as a ‘mobile library’. Indian and Arab ‘ulama were in awe of him.
He had many students. Among them; Mawlana ‘Abd al-Qadir Raipuri, Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ ‘Uthmani , Mawlana Badr al-‘Alam Mirathi, ‘Allamah Yusuf Binnori, Qari Tayyib Qasmi, etc (may Allah have mercy on them all).
He has written many books; the most famous is Fayd al-Bari, a commentary on Sahih al-Bukhaari. He also taught at Jami’ah Dabhel for a while. He passed away in 1352 ah (1934 ce) and is buried in Deoband.
‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani
Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani was born in Bijnor in 1305 AH (1888 CE). He is a student of Shaykh al-Hind. He taught in Deoband, Madrasah Fatehpur in Delhi and Dabhel. He was known for his eloquent speech and in-depth knowledge. He played a major role in the formation of Pakistan. He later immigrated to Karachi. He has written many books. The famous two are the Tafsir ‘Uthmani and Fath al-Mulhim, a commentary on Sahih Muslim.
He passed away in 1369 AH (December 1949 CE) and is buried in Karachi. More than two hundred thousand people attended his funeral prayer. He was accepted as an authority on the religion by sub-continental and Arab ‘ulama alike. His brother Mufti ‘Aziz al-Rahman ‘Uthmani was also among the teachers of Shaykh A’zimi and the Mufti of Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband.
‘Allamah Ibrahim Balyawi
He was born in 1304 AH (1886 CE). He began studies at home under his father, Mawlana ‘Abd al-Rahim (may Allah have mercy on him). Thereafter he went to Jaunpur for further studies. Later on, he took admission at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband. He was very attached to Shaykh al-Hind and also gave baya’ to him.
He taught at Madrasah ‘Aliyah in Fatehpur, Azamgarh, Jami’ah Dabhel, Bengal and Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband. Shaykh A’zimi was very attached to him.
Shaykh’s son, Mawlana ‘Aziz al-Rahman, also enjoyed a close proximity with ‘Allamah Balyawi. He taught for sixty years, passed away in Ramadan 1387 AH (December 1967 CE), and is buried in Deoband.
When the Khilafah movement subsided and conditions normalized, Shaykh A’zimi now had the desire to teach. Coincidentally, there was a vacancy for a chief teacher (sadar mudarris) at Madrasah ‘Aliyah near Calcutta. He was appointed in this position. He started teaching the major books of the sciences. He was still young at this time and his beard and moustache were just starting to grow. This madrasah had teachers with white beards teaching for many years. Therefore, for him to fulfil the post of chief teacher (at such a young age, with older teachers present) was not easy. He became uneasy and agitated, but he made du’a unto Allah Most High and worked hard. In a short time, they placed their trust in him and both teachers and students expressed their love and respect for him.
He stayed here for five years and two groups of students qualified in this time. Through divine aid, he was granted acceptance and recognition. Due to unsuitable climatic conditions, he became ill and had to leave the madrasah. He returned home.
Anjuman Islamiyyah – Dewriya
Not long after that (a few months), the principal of Anjuman Islamiyyah Hakim ‘Alimullah and Mawlana Abu Bakr Ghazipuri visited him at home and urged him to accept the post of chief teacher (sadr mudarris) at the madrasah. He served here for three years and taught Sahih al-Bukhari to a huge class. Among this class were Hakim Mustafa Ghazipuri and Mawlana Hidayatullah Ma ‘rufi (may Allah have mercy on them).
Madrasah Miftah al-‘Ulum
During this period, Madrasah Miftah al-‘Ulum was established in Mau, Azamgarh. Mawlana Imam al-Din Punjabi (may Allah have mercy on him) who was a khalifah of Mawlana Fadl al-Rahman Ganj-Muradabadi (may Allah have mercy on him) established it. This madrasah was situated in Ilah Dad Pura, the locality of Shaykh A’zimi.
Due to the major influx of students, the madrasah moved to a masjid at the Royal Market Area. Jehanara, the daughter of King Jehan, constructed this marketplace and masjid. The great Muhaddith Mawlana Habib al-Rahman A’zimi and Mawlana ‘Abd al-Latif Nu’mani were teaching here (may Allah have mercy on them).
When departing for Dewriya, the people lied down in front of the horse-cart and said that we cannot allow you to leave us and go to Dewriya! Also, on the insistence of Mawlana Habib al-Rahman and Mawlana ‘Abd al-Latif, Shaykh A’zimi left Dewriya and joined them at Miftah al-‘Ulum.
The trustees of the madrasah compelled him to take over the running and administration of the madrasah. Against his will, he was forced to accept this position. He served Miftah al-‘Ulum in this position for thirty-four years. During his period of administration, the madrasah progressed greatly. The roll of the madrasah increased rapidly to four thousand. No other madrasah had such a huge roll at that time. This was the fruit of his effort and sincerity.
During this period, he travelled to many places for the purpose of soliciting funds for the madrasah. During this period, he also delivered lectures inviting the people towards religion. He also wrote articles and essays. An essay titled Falsafa Mawt was well received. Later it was published by Al-Jam’iyyat and Molwi Monthly.
He also taught during the administration period. The book Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani was stipulated for his teaching. At times, he would also teach Hidayah Awwalayn, Hidayah Akhirayn, Mishkat al-Masabih and Tafsir al-Jalalayn.
Tafsir of the Qur’an
He delivered tafsir (exegesis) of the Qur’an lessons in the Jami’ Masjid of Mau. It took him nineteen years to complete it. At the completion of the tafsir, to express his happiness, he invited people for a meal.
Shaykh A’zimi possessed a beautiful voice and a unique style of lecturing and teaching. Once he was invited to lecture at a madrasah in Yusufpur, Muhammadabad. Due to his melodious voice, the audience insisted that he first recite a ruku’ from the Holy Qur’an before lecturing. His melodious voice remained with him till the end.
After being relieved of the responsibility of administration, he remained seven more years at Miftah al-‘Ulum and served as chief teacher (sadar mudarris) and shaykh al-hadith.
During this period, Mawlana Habib al-Rahman and Mawlana ‘Abd al-Latif left Miftah al-‘Ulum to study the MLA course. During their absence, the shaykh had to fill their places and taught Sahih al-Bukhari and Tirmidhi for seven years (as mentioned above). A difference of opinion developed with the administration during this period.
During this very period, Mawlana Wasi’ullah (may Allah have mercy on him) visited Mau and although Shaykh A’zimi was a khalifah in the Naqshbandi silsilah, he became bay’at to Mawlana in the Chishti silsilah. He sought advice from mawlana regarding the situation at the madrasah. Mawlana advised him to resign from the madrasah and maintain silence. By doing this, “Your income will not decrease, nor your dignity and honour.” He practiced on this advice and returned home.
He was also approached and offered the position of sadar mudarris at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband, but he did not accept this position.
The Tablighi Jamat
He was also linked to the tabligh movement of Nizamuddin. Holding the position of amir (leader) of the jamat in his area, he drew people to the work of tabligh. These were the initial years of the Tablighi Jamat and people were not acquainted with the work.
Nadwat al-‘Ulama – Lucknow
After leaving Miftah al-‘Ulum, he taught at Nadwat al-‘Ulama Lucknow as shaykh al-hadith for approximately two years.
During this period, he went for Hajj. During Hajj, he met the Principal of Jami’ah Dabhel and Mawlana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi in Makkah (may Allah have mercy on them). Qari Tayyib said to him: “Ta’lim al-Din (Jami’ah Dabhel) is our madrasah. If you go there and accept the post of sadar mudarris, it will please me greatly.” He accepted immediately in Makkah, and after his return, proceeded to Dabhel.
He started at Dabhel in 1384 AH (1964 CE) and remained as shaykh al-hadith and sadr mudarris there till the end of his life. His teachers; ‘Allamah Kashmiri, ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani. Mufti ‘Aziz al-Rahman, ‘Allamah Ibrahim Balyawi, etc. also taught there.
Hundreds of students qualified under him during his twenty years in Dabhel and they are spread throughout the world serving the religion.
Shaykh A’zimi’s father, Mawlana Sufi Muhammad Sabir (may Allah have mercy on him), was the khalifah of Mawlana Wali Ghoswi (may Allah have mercy on him). He initiated murids in the Naqshbandi path. His murids were from far and wide-Rangoon, Burma, Gujarat. Sindh, etc.
His paternal cousin, Mawlana Ismatullah ‘Abd al-Hakim, was the khalifah of the great Naqshbandi shaykh, Mawlana Fadl al-Rahman Ganj-Muradabadi (may Allah have mercy on him).
Another paternal cousin, Hafiz Ghayathullah, was also a khalifah. This family was linked to the Naqshbandi silsilah and Shaykh A’zimi also received khilafah in this silsilah.
Later on, he developed a spiritual relationship with Muslih al-Ummah Mawlana Wasi’ullah (may Allah have mercy on him), a senior khalifah of Mawlana Thanawi. He also received khilafah from him, but he never took bay’ah from anyone.
Muslih Al-Ummah Mawlana Muhammad Wasi’ullah
Mawlana Wasi’ullah (may Allah have mercy on him) was born in Fatehpur, India in 1314 AH (1897 CE). By the age of twelve, he completed hifz (memorization) of the Noble Qur’an and began studying elementary Arabic and Persian at home. He took admission at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband in 1328 AH (1910 CE) and qualified in 1335 AH (1917 CE). Among his teachers were ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri, ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani, Mawlana Sayyid Asghar Husayn, etc.
He developed a spiritual link with Mawlana Thanawi during his student days and very swiftly passed through the stages of suluk. In a short while, he received khilafah from Mawlana Thanawi and became one of his senior khalifahs. Many turned to him for spiritual reformation after the demise of Mawlana Thanawi.
From Fatehpur he moved to Gaurakhpur and from there to Ilahabad. He became very famous during his stay in Ilahabad. Many turned towards him, including the ‘ulama, barristers, lawyers, judges, the rich, and the poor. His khanqah became a haven for those seeking proximity to Allah Most High. He would deal with each person according to the person’s understanding and capability.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ ‘Uthmani (may Allah have mercy on him) has the following to say regarding Mawlana Wasi’ullah: ” Mawlana Wasi’ullah is considered to be among the senior khalifahs of Mawlana Thanawi. Mawlana Thanawi granted him his special attention. From 1346 AH he regularly attended both the general majlis (majlis ‘am) and the special majlis (majlis khas). One day while speaking very affectionately and lovingly about him, Mawlana Thanawi asked me ‘Do you know him?’ This stay in Thanabawan made me realize that my colleague Mawlana Wasi’ullah had excelled and surpassed me and it became a point of aspiration. At the same time, it made me remorseful over my procrastination. Thereafter I always held this friend who was also a classmate of mine in high esteem.”
He passed away on 25 November 1967 while travelling by ship during a Hajj trip. He was buried at sea. May Allah have mercy on him.
Final sickness and demise
Piles had developed a few months prior to the end of the academic year, which ends in the month of Sha’ban. Different forms of remedy were adopted but the blood did not stop. Many times, due to excessive loss of blood, physical strength decreased. At times, some strength would return.
Shaykh A’zimi returned home (Azamgarh) on the 11th of Sha’ban after the annual jalsa. There also, the piles were treated but to no avail. He developed a fever just prior to the month of Ramadan, which resulted in even more weakness. He was now hardly eating. Due to excessive weakness, he had to forego a few fasts of Ramadan. Finally, towards the end of Ramadan he underwent a piles operation. Although after the operation he did experience relief, but the blood did not stop completely. He was now considered to be out of a critical condition.
On the day of ‘Id, he was preparing to leave the house for the ‘Id salah when all of a sudden he experienced a severe pain in his chest. Because of this pain, he could not attend the ‘Id salah. A doctor was called who attributed this pain to a gastric disorder and began treating the shaykh.
Discussions were on regarding his return to Dabhel. The opinion was that as soon as he felt better, train reservations would be made for the return to Dabhel. The shaykh called his sons and expressed his desire to return to Dabhel. He also told them that he would now only teach the first volume of Sahih al-Bukhari and would not accept a salary anymore. The sons seconded his opinion and expressed their happiness at his decisions.
The chest pain did not cease completely but still recurred occasionally. For two days, the pain would begin at 3.30 am but would dissipate after taking an injection and medication. The pain again started at the same time on Friday the 6th of Shawwal. Medicine was administered but he spewed out the medicine. He was also given an injection but his condition did not improve.
His final time was drawing close and without being prompted, he started the dhikr of the Kalimah Tayyibah. At approximately 4.45 am (which was the time of congregational salah in the masjid), this servant of Allah who had served the religion for approximately sixty-five years left this worldly abode. His shahadah finger was attached to his thumb in a pointing position.
This was Friday 6th Shawwaal 1404 AH (6th July 1984). To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. He lived for approximately eighty-five years.
Death on a Friday
Allah Most High blessed the shaykh with death on a Friday. This is a great favour of Allah. The following hadith explains this great gift.
Sayyiduna Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Whoever dies Thursday night or Friday will be freed from punishment of the grave and will appear on the Day of Judgment with the stamp of the martyrs on him.” (Sharh al-Sudur, p. 136)
The demise of Shaykh A’zimi was announced over the loudspeakers in Azamgarh. In a short while, this news spread to the surrounding areas too. The city came to a standstill and shops remained closed. The time for the janazah salah was fixed at 1.45 pm, after the Friday salah.
People converged from all areas after the Friday salah to the vast open field of the Jami’ Masjid for the janazah salah. This field was packed and to get place became difficult. His old friend and colleague, Mawlana Habib al-Rahman, performed the salah. Thereafter he was put to rest at the local graveyard.
May Allah grant him maghfirah and special mercies. Amin.
A blessed graveyard
This graveyard is considered to be a very blessed graveyard. Shaykh Az’imi’s son Mawlana ‘Aziz al-Rahman saw a dream. He saw that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was present in this graveyard near the graves of the ancestors of the shaykh. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) was sitting on a chair under a tree. People were rushing to meet and shake hands with Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). Mawlana ‘Aziz al-Rahman also shook the blessed hands of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). Therefore, Mawlana says that he considers this graveyard to be a blessed place.
Update: Part TwoReferences:
- This book (Shifa) is based on logic, metaphysics, psychology, natural sciences, and a few other subjects. [↩]
- Mawlana Thanawi made a special trip to Ganj Muradabad to meet Mawlana Fadl al-Rahman and thereafter wrote a booklet regarding his meeting with him. Mawlana Fadl al-Rahman was quite old at this time and Mawlana Thanawi was still young. [↩]