Bismil Laahir Rahman nir Raheem
An Unforgettable and Majestic Personality-
Hakeem Shaiekh Muhammad Sa’eed
Undoubtedly Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam (Allaah have mercy on him) is a celebrated personality. He was two to three years older than me in his worldly age. If you look at his status, in relation to his name, work, personality and attributes than even the highest are not equal to him. Allaah Kareem had bestowed him immensely. He was the pride and trust of us all.
I studied the Holy Qur’aan in the same masjid where he memorized the Holy Qur’aan in the early period of his life. Hazrat Haafiz Karam Ellaahi Saahib was the teacher of all the children and elders in our families in the city of Khem Karan. My respected father Hakeem Muhammad Husaien Marhoom had also read the Holy Qur’aan from him. And the respected father of Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam Haaji Karam Ellaahi Saahib had also received the knowledge of the holy Qur’aan from him. Then our time came. Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam was such an intelligent and competent child that by the teacher’s order, rather than permission, he would often teach us.
There was a large Muslim population in Khem Karan with a majority of them Shaiekh brothers. Navaan Kot was the popular area in this city, where there was a central masjid. Amongst the organizers of this masjid, prominent personalities included: the respected father of Hazrat Khatee- e-A’zam, Haaji Karam Ellaahi Saahib, and Haaji Jamaal-ud-deen Saahib. This masjid was also known as Bambalaan Waali Masjid and its organization was called Anjuman-e-Haanafiyah Islaamiyah. My respected father was the president of this masjid. Various gatherings were organized there as well as the congregation for the annual Jashn-e-Eid Meelaad-un-Nabee (Sallal Laahu ‘Alaiehi Wa Sallam) which was held on the ground of a nearby school. So enlightening to the faith and spiritually beneficial these gatherings were! Everyone would enthusiastically display their devotion, love and desire.
Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam was still young of age but the Almighty Allaah had blessed him greatly with clear beauty and grace. Fair and rosy complexion with luminance that is there was a great radiance. With beautiful features he also received a great share from the Lahan-e-Daawoodi (Voice of Hazrat Daawood (Salutation on him)). He was filled with the possession of a very pleasant voice and gracefully excellent interpretation. Whilst reading Qira’at or na’at it was as if he had cast some magic, everyone would be enthralled. His presence had become a necessity in every congregation and gatherings were held almost every day. Even at such a very young age he had become very popular.
Besides the annual gathering, there would sometimes be other na’at readers beside him. Amongst them was a young na’at reader named Muhammad Yoosuf Gujraati. According to Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam, “in the art of na’at reading I am also his teacher to some extent”. I have written “to an extent” because before meeting Muhammad Yoosuf Saahib, Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam would also recite na’at shareef in a particularly lovely style. Hazrat might have taken his views only as an opinion but besides this Hazrat considered him his teacher. This modesty and humility of Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam was a greatness that was an undisputed truth. Even as he shone like the sun in the skies of popularity he remembered every single person and without hesitation would mention anyone who had taught him anything, even from his childhood. Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam did not make na’at recitation his profession, as many people have now made it their habit. He worked hard with his respected father and for his religious devotion and spiritual harmony he would read na’at.
In the era of youthfulness he associated with the elevated abode of Sharaqpur Shareef. He was the favorite in the eyes of respected Hazrat Saani Saahib Sharqpur Shareef. There was no insincerity or arrogance in him. He was good natured and honest. His beard had not grown and yet he would outshine in any gatherings he attended. I can still recall the na’at he would read in those early days. How many tones and ways are his own inventions which are followed even now as though he was also the leader of this art? After his religious education when he started the series of debates and oration even then this jewel of beautiful recitation was most prominent. I will surely say this about one na’at shareef that only Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam has the expertise to read it. It is very difficult to create its melody and to read it eloquently. This na’at is known as: “Sweeter than honey is the name Muhammad (Sallal Laahu ‘Alaiehi Wa Sallam).” In each verse the four letters of the name of the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu ‘Alaiehi Wa Sallam) is mentioned. The first verse is:
Meem Say Hayn Mahboob Woh Rabb Kay
Haa Say Haakim Ajam o Arab Kay
Dousree Meem Say Maalik Sab Kay
Daal Say Daataa Douno Jahaan Kay
Juud Hay Un Kaa Aam
Shehed Say Meethhaa Muhammad Naam
The last two verses of this na’at shareef are to be read together with the opening verse (i.e. Shehed Say Meetha Muhammad Naam) in one breath with passion. Perhaps this ability was only in the persona of Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam because hardly any na’at reader could read it so well and which such great tune. Whenever Hazrat read this na’at a harmonious ambiance would pervade. The respected Hazrat Saani Saahib would greatly desire to listen to Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam read this Na’at Shareef. Hazrat has also read a lot of prose by A’laa Hazrat Faazil-e-Barelvi. He would read it with great comprehension and would also explain it expertly to listeners. When he clarified the meanings of na’at shareef verses then the pleasure from listening to them would somehow increase. He had his own style of reading Doyhay (couplets) and see harfee (tercet). How well he read the detailed poetry of the complete creation of the Kurtaa (from cotton seed to stitched shirt) and when he would recite the loree (na’at shareef) written he wrote then even the wind and atmosphere would feel joy. The people of Punjab would especially request he read the lullaby.
He began oration at a young age and would explain matters in an exceptionally superior way with great passion. Explaining his topics for hours without tiring and with solid reasoning was his quality. Additionally from the start to the end he would stay on topic and would not leave anyone thirsty for more meaning he would fulfill the rights of that topic.
In those days most people were true believers, Sunni Hanaafi Muslims. In our area only three people were Wahaabi (i.e. not the followers of the Imaam). Furthermore only four to five were called Deobandis but they were in hiding because they did not have the guts to say wrong and immoral things in front of the public. A majority of the families in Khem Karan had great love and devotion for the People of Allaah Aastaanah-e-Aaliyah. The elevated abode of Sharqpur, Aastaanah-e -Aaliyah of Naqshbandiyah Karmuun Waalaa in the Ferozepur district was established in Pakistan with the name of Hazrat Karaman wala near Okara. These people were associated with Aastaanah-e-Aaliyah ‘Alee pur Shareef.
Elections were held in 1964 and in their area a resident of Baaghbaan puurah Lahore named Miyaan Iftikhaar-ud-deen was a candidate of Muslim League. It is possible he had an association with the respected Hazrat Saani Saahib Sharqpuri who was doing great services in the Pakistan Movement. He would say, “That person who cannot make Muslim League successful has nothing to do with us. That person should not consider himself connected to the Aastaanah-e-Aaliyah of Sharqpur Shareef.” A similar statement was also spoken from Aastaanah-e-Aaliyah ‘Aleepuur Shareef. Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam had the responsibility to carry out the obligation of delivering the message of the respected Hazrat Saani Saahib of Sharqpur Shareef to every corner. With him a few people also joined this movement. In Masaajid, Madaarsis and gathering Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam would present the accomplishment of beautiful eloquence and brilliant speech and would also deliver this message. He had also composed very good slogans for Pakistan and the Muslim League.I remember a huge gathering for the Muslim league election campaign in which a very high stage was built. In this gathering Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam read a Punjabi poem in relation to the Muslim League in a very good voice. Everyone in the crowd began reading with him. The first verse of it was something like this:
Charcha Huyaa Aeh Muslim League Daa
Wich Hindustaan Diyaan Galiyaan
I remember vividly the condition of the crowd and their level of zeal and fervor was worth viewing. Other orators praised this poem highly in their speeches as well as the way of Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam’s reading.
In the central Masjid of Khem Karan in Nawacourt Shabeenah was held for only one night in the sacred month of Ramadaan, in which the complete recitation of Qur’aan Shareef was presented in the nawaafil. This incident occurred a couple of years before the founding of Pakistan; I listened to the first ten parts in the nawaafil then I could not stop the desire to sleep and so slept there for some time. When I opened my eyes I realized the recitation of the last part was about to start. I did my ablution and joined in it. Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam was doing Qira’at with great eloquence as he presented the thirtieth part in two rak’aat. The Masjid was full during this time and later he did the du’aa. It is very difficult to explain the brilliance and blessing of the delightful experience.
Amongst the friends of the respected Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam was Muhammad Aalam son of Jamaal-ud-deen (Puur Khaana) who died in 1994 in Sahiwaal. Gracious Allaah grant salvation to him. He was an admirer and follower of Hazrat and also an honest friend. He had promised me he would also write his views and experiences with Hazrat but some negligence prevailed and I could not document his statement. Therefore I do not know how many stories remained in his heart.
Before the establishment of Pakistan Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam came to Okara and even after migration he chose that city whereas we chose Montgomery (Sahiwaal). Along with the respected Hazrat Saani Saahib, Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam took part in the Pakistan Movement with complete passion and in August 1947 he remained fully active during the migration of immigrants and their rehabilitation.
The respected Hazrat Saani Saahib Sharqpuri established a religious school with the name of “Jaami'ah Hazrat Miyaan Saahib” in Sharqpur Shareef. By the orders of respected Hazrat Saani Saahib Hazrat Khateeb -e-A’zam would go to friends for assistance and therefore often come again and again to Sahiwaal. In Sahiwaal on the roundabout of Beree Waalaa, Masjid-e-Muhaajireen remained a center of Ahle Sunnat Wa Jama’aat. The residents of Sahiwaal asked Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam (who was at that time known as the Eloquent Speaker of Punjab) to lead the Friday prayers there and also bless them with his heartwarming speech. Hazrat accepted the request and started leading the Friday prayers there. In the beginning Hazrat would come on Friday at around 11 or 12 am and would remain there until three o’clock in the afternoon.
Within a few days after the Friday Masjid-e- Muhaajireen became popular near and far and it starting looking like Eid. All the lanes and roads around the masjid would be filled with the crowd and 40 - 50 tents were not enough. It was as if the world had come over to hear the speech of Hazrat, not just the city. The masjid would fill before the arrival of Hazrat and Hazrat had to spend the all of Friday there. In the night also there would be gathering in one area or the other. This kept happening not for a month or two but for many years, until the Deputy Commissioner allotted a larger plot so that a bigger masjid could be build for the people to pray in. In this new area Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam laid the foundation of a new Madinah Masjid.
During this time in 1952 the Finality of the Prophet Movement began. Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam was the Chief of District in this movement. Nowhere in the whole district would there be a gathering like the one in Masjid Muhaajireen. In those days the speeches which were made by Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam against the Mirzaaiyyat and the Dajaal Qaadiani. I wish those speeches were preserved. Due to Hazrat every Muslim became a soldier filled with passion. Why would the ruler accept this? They ordered his arrest but Hazrat did not give himself up immediately. It was after th inauguration of a great gathering in Eidgah in Okara. Along with Hazrat several other people also gave themselves up. The organizers accepted Hazrat’s popularity and were surprised to see the passion of the people.
Many renowned Mullaas and leaders were released after they signed legal documents for forgiveness. Two young sons of Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam died one after the other but this did not bring any change in the steadfastness of Hazrat, who refused to sign the legal document for forgiveness. Therefore he was kept prisoner for ten months and released in the end. On the day of his release Hazrat’s welcoming was worth seeing. In the form of a procession devotees came from Sahiwaal to Okara. After the release Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam said in the Friday gathering that in the prison he gathered all the explanation of Hazrat Moosaa from the holy Qur’aan and has put them in order. At that time of affliction he did not even have an index of the Holy Quran to find every reference of Hazrat Moosaa (salutation on him) therefore he spent his days conducting his own research and hard work. Not only this, he had also summarized some of the footnotes of Masnavi by Maulana Ruum. The guards of the prison spoke of how Hazrat remained busy in worshiping the whole night and in reading and writing the whole day. For a long time in Masjid-e-Mahaajireen Hazrat kept explaining the details and incidents of Hazrat Moosaa (Salutation on him) according to the order of his efforts.
Nearly every day Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam had to go to one city or another to speak. The series of his programs would continue in villages, towns and cities. Once regarding the rak’aat of taraweeh salaat the non-following Wahaabis sent a challenge of Munaazarah (argumentation) to Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam which Hazrat accepted without hesitation. The Wahaabi point of view of was that [total] Taraweeh rak’aat are eight while the Ahle Sunnat view is they are twenty. The schedule was decided, the day determined was also Friday, and the place decided was Masjid –e-Mahaajireen. The Wahaabi gave the name of eight of their scholars while Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam was by himself. Before the lecture of Friday it was announced that after the Salaat-o-Salaam Munazarah with take place according to the rules. After the salaat the last du’aa, two people came and left saying they will come back and bring the rest of their people in ten to fifteen minutes. But Hazrat waited until ‘Asr Salaat yet no one came. Even those two people did not come back. The next Friday Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam also explained the same issue with evidences. He was an excellent example of genuine speaking and steadfastness.
The construction of Sahiwaal’s Madinah Masjid had not even start when the people of Karachi called Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam. When Hazrat announced he is leaving for Karachi people started crying. The scene on the day Hazrat had to depart was unforgettable as people lay on the train tracks [saying] we will not let go. Gracious Allaah had to also take a lot of work from Hazrat in Karachi for Maslak-e-Haqq (The True Path). In Karachi the gatherings of Masjid Noor were like Masjid-e-Mahaajireen. After Hazrat the same kind of Friday gathering was never witnessed again. It is said and heard about other people that one of their speeches is very good and successful but Hazrat Khateeb-e-A’zam Pakistan is so famous and respected that every one of his speeches and every one of his gatherings would be successful and he would be listened to again and again.
In his private life he was also very simple and pious. Amongst the friends and family his personality was sacred, respected and popular. He was very good natured and cordial. In relation to his qualities and virtues he was without any doubt impossible to ignore and In Shaa Allaah will remain impossible to ignore. May Gracious Allaah elevate his status. His worthy son is indeed his true heir and has kept the mission of his respected father in the same way. May Allaah grant the Light of Maslaak and Deen on this family and let there be light in every direction.
Hakeem Shaiekh Muhammad Sa’eed