Tasawwuf was the special focus of the seniors of Deoband who, on completion of their exoteric studies, would not rest until they had achieved proficiency in the esoteric sciences to become ‘ulama who embodied the two wings of Shari‘ah and Tariqah. The letters of the seniors of Deoband are replete with discussions on Tasawwuf and highlight the importance that they gave to spiritual reformation. The following is a collection of three letters between Imam Rabbani Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri. These letters are of twelve that appear in Tadhkirat al-Rashid and Tadhkirat al-Khalil. Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya would advise his murids, especially those who had been granted khilafah, to read these letters diligently. These three letters were also reproduced in Shaykh al-Hadith’s introduction to Ikmal al-Shiyam. They provide excellent insight into our seniors and exemplify the way they lowered themselves in front of their spiritual guides to reform themselves. Incidentally, Ikmal al-Shiyam is to be soon published by White Thread Press together with Shaykh al-Hadith’s introduction.
Author Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi
The beginning [of something] is referred to as ra’s therefore a mujaddid would be at the beginning of a century although the beginning of a century is also the end of the century that preceded it because it is possible someone may refer to it as the end [of that preceding century]. Anyway, in whichever century he comes he will be there at the beginning of that [particular] century so that the effect of his tajdid remains until the end.
The signs of a mujaddid are that through his speeches and writings and through his endeavors and efforts innovations (bid’ahs) are abolished, the Sunnah is spread [far and wide] and those sunnahs which were [considered] dead are revived. It is not necessary for his name to include “Ahmad” of “Muhammad” in it nor is this known from any [authentic] hadith.
Question: Can the ‘ulama comment on the issue as to why we read al-salamu ‘alayka ayyuhannabiy (peace be upon you, O Prophet) in tashahhud and not al-salamu ‘alannabiy (peace be upon the Prophet) with the sayings of the Islamic jurists and hadith scholars please?