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.
A collection of letters between three leading ‘ulama detailing the need and importance of establishing gatherings of dhikr in madrasahs. Consisting of letters between the Grand Mufti of Pakistan Mufti Muhammad Shafi’, Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi and Muhaddith al-‘Asr Mawlana Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf Binnori (may Allah enlighten their graves).
Question: To my sayyid, my mawla (may Allah increase your piety), Al-Salam ‘alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh, Your dear letter arrived on 15 Dhu ‘l-Hijjah. I am regretful for not being able to present myself in the service of Maulwi ‘Abd al-Rahman. What are the detailed circumstances of the destitute that I may convey to you? The road to here, however, is very dangerous. Do not, at all, take the trouble [to visit]. This would be very difficult on this lowly one.