Hadrat Maulānā Qārī Muhammad Ahsan Sāhib Qāsimī
(Nāzim of Madrasah Tajwīd al-Qur’ān, Fatahpūr, U.P.)
بِسْمِ ا ه لل ال رحْم ه ن ال ر ه حيْ ه م
حا ه مدًا و م ص ه لِّيًا و م س ه لِّمًا
The last verse of Sūrah Yūsuf commences thus:
ل قدْ كَ ن ه فِْ ق ص ه ص ه همْ ه ع بْةً هِّ لَّو ه لِ ا لَّ لْا ه ب
Surely in their [the Prophets ‛alayhimus salām and their nations] stories there is admonition for people of intelligence [and they immediately realize the consequences of obedience and disobedience].1
The Qur’ān relates many stories of Hadrat Yūsuf ‛alayhis salām, his father, Hadrat Ya‛qūb ‛alayhis salām, and many of the other Prophets ‛alayhimus salām of the past and the nations to which they were sent. Moreover, several admonitory stories and instructive incidents of non-Prophets are also related. The words of advice of Luqmān-the Wise-to his son are mentioned in much detail. General references are made to some Sahābah radiyallāhu ‛anhum and Hadrat Zayd radiyallāhu ‛anhu is mentioned by name. In all this, there is an extraordinary treasure of admonition and advice for people of understanding.
The collection of hundreds and thousands of blessed Ahādīth is known as Hadīth. This is the second sanctified treasure of the Sharī‛ah. Muslims focussed on its codification and preservation with the attention that was due to it. Apart from the designated name for the
1 Sūrah Yūsuf, 12: 111.
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words, actions and tacit approvals of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam [Hadīth], it would not be wrong for us to take the linguistic meaning and refer to it as Aqwāl-e-Salaf. After Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam, his Sahābah radiyallāhu ‛anhum, the Tābi‛ūn, Taba‛ Tābi‛ūn, his deputies, the ‛ulamā’ of the ummah, the righteous, the auliyā’ of Allāh ta‛ālā, and the erudite imāms are our Salaf-e-Sālihīn (pious predecessors). Their statements, biographies and admonitory incidents from their lives were also collated and preserved with due importance.
The sanctified treasures of the Noble Qur’ān and blessed Ahādīth neither permit any subtractions and additions, nor is there any need for this. The extent and nature of the needs of man are all fulfilled by the Qur’ān and Hadīth. The sanctified treasure of the Qur’ān and Hadīth was handed over to the Muslims. A huge section of the ummah explained and expounded on it by words and actions. These people adopted it in their lives, character, and mannerisms; they moulded their entire selves according to the teachings and instructions of the Qur’ān and Hadīth, and in so doing, they could be referred to as living examples of Islam. They practised on every Sunnah of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam and moulded themselves according to his every act. In so doing, they opened a new door at the threshold of love. It is the lives of such people which is a lighthouse for the ummah. Emulating them would enable a person to find the straight path. By falling at their feet, following in their footsteps and obliterating one’s self, a person will be able to acquire the love of Allāh ta‛ālā.
It is these very Sufis and righteous of the ummah whose lives and ways are elixirs for the ailments of those seeking rectitude. Every word which emanates from their mouths can change entire lives. Their single
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“magical” gaze can cure a spiritually sick person and provide solace to restless hearts. When the world is deprived of their blessed presence, the souls obtain nourishment from reading and studying their lives and statements, and their ailments are removed.
The purpose behind quoting that verse at the beginning of this introduction was to make reference to this fact that even the Qur’ān and Hadīth clearly mention the benefits of the statements of the pious predecessors. Bearing in mind this benefit, the ‛ulamā’ penned the biographies of the righteous, the Sufis, the mashā’ikh and other senior personalities. They collated their priceless statements and thereby provided the means for the removal of the spiritual maladies of the ummah and the awakening of their heedless lives. The following are some of the books on this subject: Aqwāl-e-Salaf, Akhkāq-e-Salaf, A‛māl-e-Salaf, Tabaqāt as-Sūfīyyah of ‛Abd ar-Rahmān Shāmī, at-Tabaqāt Akbarī of Ibn Sa‛d and Tabaqāt Kubrā of Imām Sha‛rānī.
In our present era, a scholarly writer, a man of the heart and a man of affinity with Allāh ta‛ālā – Murshidī Hadrat Aqdas Maulānā Shāh Muhammad Qamaruz Zamān Sāhib Allāhābādī dāmat barakātuhum – has written a phenomenal book on this subject and gave it the title, Aqwāl-e-Salaf. This is one of the most distinguished books on the subject which comprises of several volumes.
It is an undeniable fact that it is not possible for an author to encompass all the biographies and priceless statements of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam, the Sahābah radiyallāhu ‛anhum, the Tābi‛ūn, the Taba‛ Tābi‛ūn, and the sulahā’ (righteous), Sufis, mashā’ikh, imāms and ‛ulamā’. However, to my knowledge, there is no book like Aqwāl-e-Salaf in the Urdu language wherein the lives and biographies of the holy
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personalities are related, the manner in which these have been arranged, the excellent way in which they were selected, and the notes and comments which were added.
The unique effect of this book and its benefits have been expressed by senior and erudite ‛ulamā’ of our time. Their impressions and thoughts serve as just testimonies to the greatness and benefit of this book. Rarely would one find so many testimonies for a book.
The circle of acceptance of this phenomenal book has really expanded. Let alone in India, it has been widely accepted throughout the world. The impact of its contents has affected the auliyā’ Allāh, Sufis, mashā’ikh and world-renowned ‛ulamā’ of our time and compelled them to acknowledge its effectiveness and influence. It was not possible for everyone to gain access to jewels which were spread over thousands of pages. These very same pearls, jewels and sapphires have been compiled by a senior personality of our time – Shaykh al-Mashā’ikh Hadrat Aqdas Murshidī Maulānā Shāh Muhammad Qamaruz Zamān Sāhib dāmat barakātuhum – whose expert writing capabilities and beautiful arrangement presented this book to the Urdu speaking public and thereby made it easy for it to have access to this treasure. May Allāh ta‛ālā reward him with the best of rewards.
It is my humble view that if the contents of this book are read before a pious personality, then if the reader’s heart has not become totally and absolutely black because of sins, then he will notice his heart receiving an illuminating revolution after reading just a few lines – inshā Allāh.
There is no need for me to write any further on the effectiveness of this book. It is now in your hands. Read
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it and experience it for yourself. Inspiration is from Allāh ta‛ālā alone.
Muhammad Ahsan Qāsimī
Servant of Jāmi‛ah Tajwīd al-Qur’ān
Āzādnagar, Fatahpūr, U.P.