(1894 AD – 1975 AD)
Sheikhul Islam Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Hussein Ahmad Madani Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was a descendant of Rasulullah (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam). His father’s name was Sayyid Habibullah Sahib. He was a headmaster of a school. Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Ahmad Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) commenced his Nazirah (reading of Quran) at a very early age. He completed approximately five juz of his Nazirah by his mother.
Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Ahmad Madani’s mother was a very pious woman. She would recite Surah Ikhlas 200 times daily and offer that as Isaale Thawab to Rasulullah (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam). He completed the remainder of his Nazirah by his father. Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Ahmad Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) had two brothers, Maulana Ahmad and Maulana Muhammad Siddique. They were elder than Hadhrat Maulana and were already studying in Darul Uloom Deoband.
His father decided to send Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Ahmad Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) to Darul Uloom Deoband with his two brothers to study there. Hadhrat Maulana studied his Darsi Nizami (general syllabus) in Darul Uloom Deoband and qualified at the very young age of 21. Maulana’s Father, Sayyid Habibullah Sahib, was bayat to Hadhrat Maulana Fazlurahman Ganj Moradabadi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). Allah Ta’ala had blessed Hadhrat Maulana Fazlurahman Sahib with a very long life. He had passed away at the age of 105. He was a very great saint and pious person.
When Maulana Fazlurahman passed away, Sayyid Habibullah said, “Now there is no enjoyment for us to stay in India” and made the intention to migrate to Madinah Munawwarah. That was the place where they originally came from because they are Sayyids, descendants of Rasulullah (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam), and for 19 generations they were in Hindustan.
When they left for Madinah Munawwarah, Sheikhul Hind (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) and the ustadh of Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), went to leave him at the station. At the time of leaving him he emphasized, “Never ever leave dars and tadrees (teaching)!”
When Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) came to Madinah Munawwarah, upon the instruction of his ustadh, he started teaching. Initially he had difficulty in the Arabic language. This was due to him not being an Arab, but within a short period of time, he got a grip of the Arabic language and slowly his class began expanding.
Ulama from different places such as Madinah Munawwarah, Syria, Yemen etc. started sitting in his discourses. Hadhrat Maulana conducted lessons in Hadith for approximately 18 years in Masjid Nabawi (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam). Once he and his brother decided to go to Gangoh to visit Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). It was during this visit that Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) bestowed them with khilaafat.
They then returned to Madinah Munawwarah. Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) continued with his discourses in Masjid Nabawi (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and it was during this time that Sheikhul Hind (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) came for Hajj. He stayed in Madinah Munawwarah by Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). It was only then that Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) came to learn of Sheikhul Hind’s plan to liberate India.
Sheikhul Hind (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was then arrested thereafter and taken to Jeddah and thereafter taken to Malta. Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) had so much love and reliance upon his ustadh that he was prepared to sacrifice his comfort teaching in Madinah Munawwarah and handed himself over voluntarily to be arrested in order to be with his ustadh so that he could make the khidmat of Sheikhul Hind (Rahmatullahi Alayhi).
He remained with Sheikhul Hind in Malta for approximately three years. One can imagine what a great sacrifice this was. With such a sacrifice how could such a person not get barakah in his uloom? Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) and Sheikhul Hind (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) were freed together from Malta.
After Sheikhul Hind passed away, Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was in the forefront of the liberation struggle. He was the essence of this entire movement. Sheikhul Hind started this struggle at an old age towards the end of his life and thereafter Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) followed it up until India was liberated.
When India was liberated, Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) left everything aside but he carried on with his Dars and Tadrees. Normally what happens after a person takes part in a liberation struggle and they achieve their objective is that the issue of position and status plays its role. However, Maulana wasn’t interested in such things. His objective was the liberation of India and since it was liberated his objective was achieved. If he wanted he could have received the highest position that any person could have received but Maulana left all of that and went to Darul Uloom Deoband and dedicated himself to teaching.
When the time came for distribution of awards and honors to those who partook in the liberation struggle, then the call was also made for Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). This was a very prestigious honor whereby his name would have become elevated throughout the world. Yet, Maulana declined to go forward to accept such an award. He explained his refusal by simply mentioning that this was against the way of our pious predecessors. This is a prime example of Ikhlas (sincerity). He took part in the struggle solely for the pleasure of Allah and not because of attaining a position in society.
Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani’s (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) very outstanding quality was hospitality. One person had observed that on an average there would be at least 50 people in the house of Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). In 1946, one person by the name of Sanul Haqq Siddiqui met Hadhrat Maulana. While staying at Maulana Madani’s home, Sanaul Haqq Siddiqui mentions regarding the first night that while he was trying to sleep, at about midnight the people were waking up and the sounds of “Allah, Allah” could be heard from Maulana’s house.
The following morning he had mentioned to Maulana, “It’s a real pleasure for me to stay here. My islah could be made very quickly and I could inculcate all the good habits and qualities that all those people who stay around you have; waking up for tahajjud in the middle of the night, making zikr and so forth but the only thing is that my nature can not tolerate it. I must have my sleep at night. By everyone waking up in the middle of the night, I can’t sleep and I can not keep up to their standards.” So Maulana understood and arranged a separate room for him to sleep.
Maulana did not impose upon him the trend that was taking place there. He then stated that one night a very strange thing happened. He says that he happened to be walking around the whole day and thus he became very tired and went to sleep. And whilst he was sleeping he noticed that someone was pressing his legs. He was in the midst of enjoying this treatment when suddenly he just happened to turn and he saw none other than Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) himself pressing his legs. He woke up in a shock and actually held Maulana’s hand and said, “What are you doing!” Hadhrat Maulana replied and said, “You are tired. The whole day your were walking around. I feel pity for you and here I got a chance to make some khidmat for you and here you are stopping me for which I am very upset because you are depriving me of thawaab.”
Here Sheikhul Islam is making the khidmat of an ordinary visitor who can’t even wake up for tahajjud and zikr whereby separate arrangements had to be made for him and still too with all that comfort Sheikhul Islam goes to press his legs.
Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) was the Sheikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Deoband for approximately 28 years. One can imagine the level of his discourses especially after having taught in Masjid un Nabawi (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) for 18 years before that. There, different types of students would come to him from the different parts of the world and after that he taught at Darul Uloom Deoband for another 28 years.
He was accustomed to a hectic way of life. As a politician he would travel the length and breadth of India and when he would reach Deoband, no matter what time of the day or night, be it the middle of the night, when the bell would ring then the students of Daur-e-Hadith would have to come to attend their classes. After his long arduous journeys as a politician, without any sleep, he would come to the classroom and conduct his lesson on Bukhari Sharif. Considering all this it is mentioned that his lessons were a detailed Dars. Even after the lesson he would conduct a question and answer session for the students in case they had any question to ask. Then too, very patiently he would listen to the students and answer them in complete detail. Once the students were completely satisfied and contented only then would he terminate the lesson and go. How fitting is the poem of the poet boasting about his forefathers,
Oh Jareer, these are my forefathers,
So bring forth of their likeness
When the assemblies unite us.
One noteworthy point about Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) is that whenever he would travel around India he would never travel in first class or second class. He would always travel in the third class. One can imagine how often he would have to travel as a politician, continuously traversing the different regions of India for years on end. Some allegations were made that the Congress was paying Hadhrat Maulana but this is incorrect, as Maulana wouldn’t take even a single cent.
It was Hadhrat Maulana’s habit to always travel in the third class compartment and would never travel in the first class or second class. This in itself is proof because if one has to see the conditions of the third class compartments then they would understand the reality of this situation. In the third class compartment, rarely does a person find a seat. For hours on end he would have to remain standing. Then to he would be lucky to find a sufficient place to stand comfortably being surrounding by hoards of people. If Hadhrat Maulana wished, he could have booked first or second-class tickets at the expense of the Congress, but he never did that.
Hadhrat Maulana reached a high position in regards to Sulook as well. In spite of him being a great politician, many people had ascended the heights of spirituality under his guidance. When he passed away, he had approximately 167 khulafaa.
It is also mentioned that one of his habits were that whenever he was invited for any program, he would make sure that there were no acts of Bid’ah or un-Islamic activity taking place. If he were invited to a Nikah also, he would make sure that no innovated traditions taking place there. This was especially rampant in the customs of India. Upon witnessing such nikahs in India one would wonder if the participants were Muslim or not. It was also special habit that he would only attend such a Nikah where the husband agreed to give the wife Mehr Fatimi.
Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) passed away in 1975 at the age of 81. He was buried in Darul Uloom Deoband next to his ustadh Sheikhul Hind (Rahmatullahi Alayhi). The name of the graveyard there is Maqbar-e-Qasimi.
May Allah Ta’ala fill the qabr of Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) with noor and allow us to benefit from his roohaniyah. Ameen.
Source: Al Mahmood