In the city of Sharqpur Shareef the esteemed Hazrat Shayr-e-Rabbaani Miyaan Shayr Muhammad Saahib(Allaah have mercy on him) was a great holy man and spiritual succor (Ghaus) of his time. This incomparable and honorable Hazrat Miyaan Saahib gave the glad tidings of a personality to be born who would be of great status and grandeur. To give an idea of how much Almighty Allaah blessed this personality I narrate these words with total honesty and confidence.
My respected Hazrat Saahib Qiblah Maulana Muhammad Shafee Okarvi (Allaah have mercy on him) is remembered with the titles of Khateeb-e-A’zam, Ameer-e-Ahle Sunnat, Mujaddid-e-Maslak-e-Ahle Sunnat,Ghaazi-e-Deen-o-Millat, Muhaafiz-e-Naamoos-e-Risaalat and so on. People may think he was merely a unique orator and writer but I can say with complete honesty and sincerity that Hazrat Maulana Okarvi was truly a beloved of Almighty Allaah and the holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu ‘Alaiehi Wa Sallam). He was a friend of Allaah and a beautiful individual with many qualities. He was dignified and had very pleasant personality. He was not just one in a thousand or a million, rather he was one in a billion. Almighty Allaah made him excellent and elegant in appearance and nature and he alone undertook work that thousands of organizations and religious schools (Madaaris) combined could not do. The splendor and merit of the Ahle Sunnat seen today is the result of the efforts and struggles of our Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib.
|KARACHI RAILWAY STATION|
|PAAK PATTAN SHAREEF|
When he left this world, he took all joy with him and now Karachi seems lifeless without him. Even some of our own people resented and envied him because of the Divine qualities bestowed on my Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib. Rarely would he say anything after hearing their words but when he did it was, “All [these people] will remember me and will mourn.” Ten years have passed since Hazrat Okarvi Saahib left this world and still people say his absence is desperately felt. We were busy talking, Hazrat would work. Today everyone remembers him and grieves.
For the past four generation, he was the religious and spiritual guide as well as a holy man in my family. My elders consider him their guide and leader. Moreover, I have heard my elders say they had never seen or heard an orator like Hazrat Maulana Okarvi in their lives. That is why we can truly say that my Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib was an exceptional and distinct speaker and narrator. Only once in a century does someone like him appear. He was a unique disciple of an exceptional guide and Allaah Kareem turned this unique disciple into a perfect guide. I have seen and heard Hazrat Okarvi Saahib for quite a while and could perhaps compile an entire book if I wrote all I remember. However, I will only write about a few incidents I have witnessed.
1.) My sister, Rubina was eight years old at the time and as usual, would go to school every day. One day the school teacher sent some boys to our house saying, “Your daughter fainted so come and get her”. In great distress, my mother and sisters immediately ran to the school. We also came home from the market after receiving the news. My mother and sisters brought her home. She was unconscious and appeared as though lifeless. A local doctor was brought home who said, “Take her to the hospital immediately. You must not delay.” So at once, we reached the hospital where the doctors examined her. The doctors tried to give her an injection but when they attempted to give it this unconscious girl resisted so strongly that even six men collectively could not control her. The doctors tried various methods but could not succeed in giving her the injection. Finally, the doctors disappointed us by saying, “We are sorry but we couldn’t inject her and couldn’t revive her.”
We were so angry. The doctors had only proved their incompetence by expressing their regrets. What could we achieve by getting anger? When anger is mixed with misery, no proper thought comes to mind. We became suspicious that she might be under the effect of some magic or jinn. When disappointed with world, a person remembers Almighty Allaah. Since she could not get medical treatment, some kind of du’aa(supplication) had to be done for her. I thought of my Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib. Everyone said to talk to him immediately. He was the center of everyone’s hope. My mother began to say, “I don’t know why we did not think of him before.”
I immediately called Hazrat Okarvi Saahib. Perhaps due to his extensive religious research and other commitments Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib did not write ta’weez (protective amulet) or exorcise ill effects like others who did it professionally. Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib said, “I will pray. May Allaah Kareem cure this girl and I advise you to take her to a well-known peer saahib in Karachi.” I had heard the claims and stories of this peer sahib, whose name I will not mention, dealings with Jinns. I requested that Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib to contact this peer saahib on our behalf. Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib said, “You go there. I will inform him about you.”
We immediately went to the spiritual center (aastaanah) of this peer saahib. We were in immense distress and disturbance. Every moment felt like doomsdays. We waited nearly three hours there to meet the peer Saahib. Time passed with great difficulty. The peer saahib saw the girl, did damm (read some verses and blew air on her) and gave a ta’aweez but no benefit was evident on her. The peer sahib did damm a few times to dispel the illness but there was no affect and I was disappointed. The peer saahib said, “Take this girl home. She will be fine when she goes home”.
It was almost evening when we reached home and my sister did not regain consciousness and the whole day worn on in depression. Again, I called the esteemed Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib and gave him all the details and I requested to bring my sister to him. He agreed and I went straight to Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib’s home. I lay my unconscious sister on a bed in his house. Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib came from his sitting room and held her little finger in his hand. He may have read something quietly but I did not see it. Under oath I say this that it was only a matter of the touch of Hazrat Okarvi Saahib’s hand and she instantly regained consciousness and sat up fully revived. Tears of happiness glittered in my eyes and I said, “Why did you send us elsewhere? The whole day we were worried and coming to you our misery is dispelled with the blink of an eye, Maa Shaa Allaah!" Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib said, “There is nothing to worry about. With the Grace of Allaah this girl is absolutely fine.” I insisted that a ta’weez be given so that my sister would not faint like this again. Hazrat Okarvi Saahib said, “Rest assured and take the girl. In Shaa Allaah she will be fine and if required I will write a ta’weez later.” Al Hamdu Lil Laah, we came home happy. To this day, my sister is fine. Hazrat Okarvi Saahib never gave any ta’weez nor was it required, Maa Shaa Allaah!
2.) I had this reoccurring problem where small boils would appear on parts of my body and would rupture, meaning pus would come out. I tried different medicines from the doctors but this condition would not go away. I was exhausted with the doctors. One day I called Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib and during the conversation, I apologized that I could not visit and mentioned this illness. I requested that he keep his gracious glance on me as I was always upset because of this complaint and I was not getting any proper comfort from any medicine. The respected Hazrat Okarvi Saahib said, “I will tell you a simple and smallwazeefah (verses to read as a daily practice). If you read regularly you will never need any medicine or doctor.”
Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib taught me the small wazeefah and the methodology of reading it. I followed his instructions and surely Allaah bestowed graciousness and my ailment started disappearing. Now when I follow the same practice on any other sick person he is also cured with the Grace of Allaah Kareem, to the extent that even severe wounds are also healed. Anytime I told Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib any of my miseries or difficulties, he would just say, “Do not worry, Allaah Kareem will bestow kindness it will be fine.” And indeed success would come.
3.) I once had the chance to go to Paak Pattan Shareef with the respected Hazrat Okarvi Saahib. We travelled by train and reached Sahiwal in the morning and from there we went to Paak Pattan Shareef. Those who have had the pleasure of Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib’s company will know very well that you do not feel the journey while travelling with him. Sometimes he would narrate the events of his own spiritual leader and other times events about other respected Friends of Allaah. Sometimes he would teach many important issues with questions and answers. Moreover, when another scholar travelled along the discussion would be very academic. I was travelling to Paak Pattan Shareef for the first time. I had heard of the renown of Hazrat Saiyyidinaa Baabaa Fareed Ganj e Shakar (Allaah be pleased with him) from Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib. I was overjoyed to visit this great sacred shrine in Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib’s company.
We reached Paak Pattan Shareef in the night having spent the whole day in Sahiwal. There too Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib has many devotees as he used to lead Friday prayers in Sahiwal’s Muhaajireen Masjid before coming to Karachi. The degree of love and devotion exhibited by the people of Sahiwal when he announced his departure to Karachi may never have been seen for anyone else before. People lay on the railway tracks with the intention of stopping Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib from leaving. With the Grace of Allaah Kareem, my Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib is well-known and loved everywhere.
The silence of the night had spread in Paak Pattan Shareef and it was approximately 10 pm although in this area, it seemed as if it was midnight. Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib said, “We have to pay homage at the sacred shrine of Hazrat Baabaa Fareed (Allaah have mercy on him) before sitting in the house”. Hazrat Okarvi Saahib kept his luggage at his dear sister’s home where he met close relatives who were present. From his respected sister’s house, he started walking towards the holy court of Baabaa Fareed. As we reached the boundaries of the sacred shrine, [we saw] the doors of the hujrah (sacred chamber) were already locked and the khaadim (caretaker) was returning after locking them. Seeing us he said, “The door is locked. You can come in the morning.” It was my first visit and I was desperate. Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib said to the khaadim, “Let us only give our salaam (salutations).” However, the khaadim would not listen. Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib said, “It does not matter if we say salaam from outside, these walls are no veil for Hazrat Baabaa Saahib.”
Therefore, from a distance Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib stood with his arms folded and presented salaam. However, I was deeply disheartened and depressed as I had come with great devotion and love. I felt very dejected because I was denied my first visit to the sacred shrine. Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib was still busy in salutation while the khaadim who had locked the doors was standing near the hujrah, perhaps he was waiting for us to leave. Suddenly he sprinted to the door as if someone had called him. Then he walked quickly towards Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib and asked, “Are you Maulana Okarvi Saahib? Please come, Hazrat Baabaa Saahib is calling you.” He opened the doors of the sacred hujrah. At that instant I began to shiver. I was in a strange state of happiness. For the first time in my life, I was witnessing a miracle with my own eyes.
Such a man of high grandeur and status was my Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib. How beloved he was of Allaah and the people of Allaah. Hazrat Okarvi Saahib had a secret conversation with the respected Baabaa Saahib and yet he was also paying respect; a model of humbleness and humility. I, on the other hand, was in a peculiar state of elation. Hazrat Okarvi Saahib did some recitation, supplicated then kissed the holy grave and said, “Let’s go” but I did not feel like leaving. The khaadim told us, “Baabaa Saahib took the name of Maulana Okarvi Saahib and ordered the door be opened for him.” He shook Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib’s hand with great devotion. The delight of this occasion endured for a long time and left a lasting impression in my heart. I think there are few people who are chosen like my respected Maulana Okarvi Saahib. Not every scholar or orator gets such acceptance and honor. Undoubtedly, he was a perfect Friend of Allaah Kareem, a portrait of truth and sincerity.
Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib passed away a short while after this. On his departure my tears were never ending, he left the whole city deserted.Hazrat Baabaa Jee Karmaa Waalay said, “The state of the city of Karachi after Maulana Okarvi Saahib is like that of a woman who has lost her husband.” When Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib was in Karachi there were gatherings every day, there was cheerfulness. Even after his departure, I remember him when I have any worldly worry and beg him for help and am benefitted from his spiritual powers. Most often, I see the respected Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib in my dreams smiling in luminous attire. Once in a dream, I saw him present in the Friday prayer congregation in Jaame Masjid Gulzar-e-Habeeb. After performing his salaat, he went to his sacred tomb and said to me, “I am very peaceful here.”
My Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib would shower such kindness while he was alive in this world, I do not have the words to describe it. Al Hamdu Lil Laah from everything he taught me I received bounties and benefits and have succeeded at every stage.
4.) Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib once had a program in Thatta (Sindh) and I had the opportunity to accompany him. He spoke openly of the wrongful beliefs of the Shiites sect according to Qur’aan and Sunnah. During his speech, threats written by opponents on slips of paper were passed forward that said, “You will not be going back from here today.” Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib completed his speech very peacefully. I was disturbed by the threats from these opponents and was afraid. After the speech, I said to Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib, “Stay here overnight, at dawn we will go back to Karachi so there will be no danger.” Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib said, “No, we will definitely go back right now”. It was Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib’s habit to immediately return [back home] after functions, even if it required travelling at night. I was uneasy to the extent that driving was difficult. Respected Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib sat next to me in the car and said, “Drive peacefully, don’t be sacred. In Shaa Allaah everything will be fine.”
It was a miracle of my Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib that we reached Karachi safe and sound even though I suspected some evil person would try to harass or harm him but Allaah Kareem protected him. In such situations, he would tell his close friends that the holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu ‘Alaiehi Wa Sallam) has assured him, “No one will be able to kill you.” How devoted he was to his beloved holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu ‘Alaiehi Wa Sallam) and how strongly he trusted him (the beloved holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alaiehi Wa Sallam).
5.) I was very happy to hear that three or four years ago my Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib’s successor Allamah Kaukab Noorani Saahib, his eldest son, went to pay homage to different holy shrines in Delhi (India) accompanied by some visitors from South Africa and a Saiyyid Saahib from Karachi. When he reached the shrine of Hazrat Khawaajah Baaqi Billaah (Allaah have mercy on him), after visiting other shrines, it was night and the khaadimeen (caretakers) were closing the door of the boundary wall. I heard that Kaukab Saahib said to these khaadimeen, “We have to return home in the morning. Let us only give our salaam(salutations).” However, the khaadimeen said, “This shrine cannot be opened after it is closed until morning and never has it been opened before morning.”
Kaukab Saahib said, “He is my peer (spiritual master), how can he disappoint me?” The South African visitors were sad that they came so late and could not pay their respects. Kaukab Saahib said to the guests, “It is our mistake that we were delayed, you can present your salutation and pray from here [outside].” During this time a majzoob (a person drawn towards Allaah with divine mediation) sitting inside by the shrine called loudly one of the khaadim and said, “Khawaajah Saahib says to open the doors for the Maulana.” Therefore, the khaadim opened all the locks and said that this was the first time in his life that the sacred shrine has been opened immediately after closing at night. Thanks to Almighty Allaah, the spiritual powers and blessings of my Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib carries on to his successor. The mission of my Hazrat Maulana Okarvi Saahib continues in the same way by Brother Kaukab Saahib.
Many years have passed yet he is remembered and praised everywhere. I miss my Hazrat Qiblah Okarvi Saahib a great deal. To this day I still wonder why he left us so soon…….
Haaji Muhammad Haneef Naqshbandi