The following lines are a selected translation of a biography of Amir-ul-Hind Maulana sayyid As’ad Madani, written by his eldest daughter, in which she explains how her noble father saw to her upbringing, how he would conduct himself with his children and how he would spare no efforts in seeing to their needs and keeping them happy.
On the one hand he undertook the burden of seeing to the needs of not only the nation, but more, yet still found the time to fulfill the rights of his family as well. At the end, the advice Maulana As’ad rendered to his daughter in a letter after her marriage has also been presented.
Indeed the advices in this letter are so valuable that it would be most appropriate if it could be framed and given to every newly-married girl to hang in her house and reflect on daily.
The daughter writes:
1) What can i say regarding the favours he showered upon me! If his love, compassion, and sacrifice for strangers knew no bounds, one can only imagine the depth of his conduct towards his daughter.
2) My beloved father paid great attention to my nurturing. He taught me the laws of salah, sawm, zakah and hajj; how to entertain; look after one’s home; importance of modesty and the veil. In short, my father played a role in every aspect of my life. From an early age he instilled within us the importance of salah. Even on journeys he would never allow us to delay our salah. He himself would stand with us behind a covering and pour water for us. It is for this reason that, delaying salah has become practically impossible for us.
3) He instilled a love for fasting in our hearts from a young age. Every Eid, he would inquire about the number of fasts we had observed, rewarding us with a rupee for each fast.
4) He himself taught me the etiquettes of entertaining, of talking and even how to cook. He would sit with me in the kitchen and show me how to make various different dishes. For this reason, I today, find no greater enjoyment than what i find in the kitchen.
5) whenever i would fall ill, especially during pregnancy my father would call me home immediately. He would personally see to all my medical needs and expenses.
6) After getting married, my father sent me the following letter:
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيم (In the name of اَللّهُ, most beneficent most merciful)
My beloved daughter! May اَللّهُ keep you happy in this world as well as in the next. O my daughter! This world will only last for a few days. Thus, it would indeed be most foolish if one were to destroy his ever-lasting abode in its pursuit. From now on you are responsible for your own life. We have become old, and one’s parents can not remain with one forever.
Thus, before doing anything, ponder over its benefits and harms. Those who love you understand well the advantages and disadvantages of what you wish to do and اَللّهُ is the one who loves you the most and understands you the best. (Thus, always follow his commands). Your family inheritance was never a criteria nor kinship, rather it is piety and connection with اَللّهُ. Thus if you suffer a setback in dunya (wealth etc) you have not lost a great deal. You are now going to a new family. Every action and word of yours will be scrutinized. Regarding clothing, shun fashion and blind imitating, rather let modesty and piety guide you in choosing your clothing.
Avoid mingling with others excessively. Talking less and mixing less has always saved one from difficulties. Associate only with those whom your seniors are pleased with. Always present yourself in front of others with a smiling face, good character and humility. Regard yourself as the most inferior, no matter how evil others appear to be. If you take your in-laws as your seniors and regard them to be your well wishers, you shall never be disgraced. “Before marriage, After Allah and RasulAllah, the rank of your mother and father was the highest. However, now after marriage, the rank of the husband takes third place (i.e above your parents as well). Never act against his wishes. If you do your own work whilst serving others, all shall respect you. And if you prefer luxury, rest and taking work from others, you will drop in the eyes of all.
Take care of the items in your house as well. Do not allow anything to get lost. Keep everything clean, and in its place. After using anything stored in bottles, ensure that their lids are closed properly. Place them in the same spot you took them from. Have set places for all items, clothing etc, so that you may find it whenever you need it. Instill within yourself the habit of performing salah at its fixed times, with proper devotion and concentration. Ungratefulness and backbiting are the worst habits of women. Avoid the completely.
In conclusion, the daughter expresses that the advice from Maulana As’ad is so valuable that it should be framed and displayed in the homes of newly-married girls for daily reflection.