Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb Memories

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W yaad bahut oh jab aaye, aaye yaad

Transcript of Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb Memories

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Wyaadbahut

ohjabaaye,aayeyaad

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“Har taraf zeest ki raaho mein kadi dhoop hai dost,Bus teri yaad ke saaye hai panaaho ki tarah!” - Faakir

From one generation to eternity

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A collection of first-hand experiences of people withSyedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb (AQ). On the occasion of

his 120th birth anniversary on 4 August 2008.Compiled by Mudar Patherya

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I N T R O D U C T I O N

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I will take a couple of minutes to explain how thiscollection of memories came to be compiled.I never quite met Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb; heexpired when I was three; I lived in a different city fromhim; during our brief ‘meeting’ when he visited Calcutta in1964, the family version is that he asked my name and myfather interjected with ‘Mudar’, whereupon he replied thatthe question had been posed to me and not him. The interaction may have been fleeting and perhaps evenone-sided. However, one could not quite escape hisinfluence. There were stories. There was bayaan. There wasfamily lore. There was a mother’s choke whenever his namewas mentioned. There was a sister’s speechless nod of thehead when a reference was made. There was a father’sanimated eloquence of what the man meant to him.And thence commenced one’s journey of discovery.Of ‘visiting’ him. Of ‘speaking’ to him. Of ‘entreating’him.He replied.Through the dream of a friend who called excited onemorning to say that “Muqaddas Maula yeh farmaayu chheyke nazrul maqaam maanjey” only to find that within a weekI had closed the biggest deal of my life.Through the dream of the same friend who called once tosay that “Muqaddas Maula yeh farmaayu chhey taneykehvaney ke Mumbai na ghar ni fikar na karjey, kaam thai

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jaasey”, only to acquire within a fortnight an apartmentthat one had been seeking for years.Through the dream of the same friend who once called tosay that “Muqaddas Maula yeh farmaayu chhey ke ehnaitna kaam karaavine aapu chhu ane Mumbai aavey chhey topehla maara paasey sukaam nahin aavto” as a sequel to myvisiting clients in Andheri, Bandra and Santa Cruz beforeproceeding downtown for ziyaarat. This then is a collection of interviews with the ostensibleobjective to perpetuate his memory and the latent desire tojust say ‘thank you’. If one could only be a minstrel singing his praise togenerations that never saw him and do little else, that initself would be a fulfilling existence. This booklet then isthe first step in that direction.

Created with awe.Produced with respect.But more importantly, with love, love,love, love and love.Sincerely,

Mudar Patherya4 August 2008

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U N F O R G E T T A B L EL A S T E V E N I N G

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Moulana na aakhri rajab ma mein Calcutta hato.Moulana yeh maney telegram moklo ke Mohammed jaldipachha aavo. I left for Bombay but by the time I reached,Huzurala had left for Matheran, so I left for Matheran aswell. Jumerat ni qadambosi ma Moulana yeh mane saat siaanth vaar haath aapo aney Sakina ne dus vaar aapo aneypachi farmayu ke jaao bhai Burhanuddin ne salaam karo.Jaati waqt Moulana yeh paacha humne farmayu ke meintaney aajey jaava ni raza to aapi deedhi chhey, magar tu aajena ja aney, kaale jaaje. Sakina haamela hataa to ehne hotelna jaman si doodh nhotu aavtu to Moulana yeh farmayu kejaman tamein bungalow par aavi ne jamjo. Hamein hotel sinikla to vuzu kari ne em neeyat keedhi ke Moulana nasaathe jumoa na rat ni namaaz naseeb thaai. Mein bungalowpar aayo to Moulana nhota. Baahar logon si khabar pari tomein Kanchwala na bungalow par gayo aney maneyMariyambensaab mila. Vaat karta-karta maghrib thayi gayito Mariyambensaab yeh poochu ‘Mohammed, namaaz nusu’, to mein yeh jawaab ma kahyu ke neeyat to keedhi chheyMoulana na saathe namaaz naseeb thayi. Mariyambensaabmaney Moulana na nazdeek layi gaya aney araz keedhi ke‘Moulana, Mohammed ne namaaz ni raza thaai’. Moulanayeh farmayu ke ‘Mohammed, namaaz vaaste toh aayo chheymagar masallo nathi layo’. Aney pachi aap yeh farmayu kemaara kursi par je masallo chhey yeh ehne aapo. Mein yehnamaaz pari. Moulaana yeh jaman tanawul keedhu teh waqthamein wahaan hata. Qaseedah padaya. Yeh dinKhuzemabhaisahib (today’s Mazoon Saheb) Moulana nihazrat ma Raasul Husain na photographs araz keedha toMoulana ghana khush! And that is how a remarkable dayended for us. The last time we ever saw him.- Shaikh Mohammedbhai Mama, Bombay

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T H A N K G O D , W E D I D N ’ TW I N T H E C O N T R A C T

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This story goes back to the early Sixties. We used tomanufacture carbon pieces used in short-circuit boxes thatprotect buildings from lightining. Ek tender bharvanohato. We had quoted 30 paise per piece and were quiteconfident that we would get the order. Syedna TaherSaifuddin Saheb, who used to take an interest in ourbusiness, instructed us to raise the amount to 39 paise perpiece. Hamein nazrul maqaam maani ne tender bharu. Surprisingly, we were not allotted the order as someonehad quoted 34 paise per piece. If we had stuck to ouroriginal price of 30 paise, we would have won the contract. Something interesting happened thereafter. In the UnionBudget that followed, the customs tariff was revised on theproduct with the effect that had we been allotted thecontract to supply at 30 paise per piece, we would have hadto incur a sizable loss. Finally, we showed the carbon pieceto Muqaddas Maula. He inspected it and advised us ketamein kai safed cheez nu business karo. So we enteredmica and did remarkably well thereafter. - Shaikh Abdulhusainbhai Mogul, Kolkata

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P R O D I G O U R E C A L L

Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb’s memory wasprodigious.• Many a time when His Holiness would refer to a certainbook in the library, he would just name one page fromwhich information would be required. At times if it wasnot found on the page named, then it would invariably befound on the previous or succeeding page.• Dr. Sk. Tayebhai expired in the train just before itreached Dohad from Delhi. His body was brought to Surataccording to His Holiness’s instructions. His Holinessdirected the aamil saheb that the burial should be in thekhubba at a particular place. The aamil saheb telephonedthat there was no vacant plot. His Holiness asked the aamilto look carefully, and yes, it was found that there was onlyone vacant plot which had been missed!• One day a lady came from a great distance and waitednear the entrance to the hall at Saifee Mahal. After HisHoliness entered and took his seat, to the surprise of allpresent, he asked the lady to be brought in first. He askedthe lady (whom he named) why had she come 3 years late!- Dr. Sk Mohsinbhai Basrai (from a speech, 1975)

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When I was a 17 year old, our family membersincluding cousins decided to go to Darjeeling for a holiday.Before leaving, someone from among us asked forMoulana’s raza. Surprisingly, he refused. I was upset onhearing this. My instinctive reaction was: why did we haveto ask him for raza? As it turned out, we droppedDarjeeling from the reckoning and went elsewhere. Whenwe returned, we realized that the train we were to board forDarjeeling had met with an accident and our compartmenthad been derailed!- Bahen Maimoona Bengali, Bombay

The one thing that I will never forget is that we used tobe very young – almost in our teens – and MuqaddasMaula would call us for a baithak at night. In fact, latenight. He would sit relaxed and keep talking for hours onend. The one thing that he would always be particularabout is how we would get home. Individually. He wouldsatisfy himself that each one had some way of gettinghome safe and if one didn’t then he would makearrangements. In his position, he probably didn’t need todo it. But he did. And that was the remarkable insight intohis mind. He cared deeply. Aap ne itno khayal hamaro. Andremarkably of all the things I have remembered across thedecades, it is those nameless little things that I havetreasured about his precious memory. - Bhai Adnan Kheyroola, Surat

C R E D D E E P L Y

S A V I O U R

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C O N T R A R Y T OP O P U L A R O P I N I O N

AM Rasiklal is our shop on 26 NS Road, Calcutta. Itwas set up in 1935 in partnership with a Gujarati. Duringthe Japanese bombings in Calcutta in 1942, he expressedhis desire to exit the partnership and migrate. Since theshop changed identity and ownership, we submitted an arzito Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb with three alternativenames. Huzurala asked us to retain the name of AMRasiklal. We were surprised. The power of Huzurala’sforesight was revealed during the communal riots of 1947when a number of shops on NS Road bearing Muslimnames were looted. AM Rasiklal was overlooked!- Bhai Faiyaz Badruddin Sibatra, Calcutta

W H A T A M E M O R Y !

At 16, my cousin’s hair turned grey. So in SaifeeMasjid after namaaz one morning he stood with a tel nibottle and when Moulana passed he submitted his humblearaz ke “Maula mara baal safed thayi gaya chhey, aney aaptel par shifa boliye.” Years later, my cousin went in Maulana’s hazrat and thefirst thing that Maulana asked was, “Taari tel ni bottlekhatam thayi gayi hase to beeji layo chhey?” He had aremarkable presence of mind. Haazir-jawaabi.- Bhai Fakhruddin Kagalwala, Bombay

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A B I L I T Y T O M A K EP E O P L E F E E L S P E C I A L

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The ability to make people feel special, really special.That us what I will remember Syedna Taher SaifuddinSaheb for. • During qadambosi in Karachi, aap yeh farmayu ke “Tuchali na jaaje, aney baahar khadi rehje”, the only one hementioned this to from our entire family. That one linehad such an electric effect! During that interaction he toldme ke “Havey si ambori (bun) na leje”. When reprimandedone would have normally sulked but the fact that he hadsingled me out for attention from among so many peoplemade me feel that Moulana ni itni nazar chhey maara upar. • I had gone to Matheran before my BA second year examresults. In the previous year year I had failed in French andaccording to the rule of the times repeated the class. So Irequested for dua for the results that were now to appearand Moulana yeh farmayu ke “Tu toh pehli time fail thayihathi ne?” He had remembered!• Once at Matheran we were the last family for qadambosi.When Moulana was passing, the family began to recite aqaseeda. I did not join in; the family did not think I had agood voice. As I was standing quietly, Moulana yeh poochuke tu kem nathi padti to mein yeh araz keedhi ke Moulanamaaro awaaz itno fine natthi. My father interjected with“Moulana ehne shauk natthi.” Hearing this, I burst intotears. Moulana yeh mane farmayu ke koshish toh kar, padsetoh taaro awaaz achho thayi jaase. On another occasion,when he heard I was upset about something toh Moulanayeh farmayu ke fikar su kaam kare chhey, khuda partawakkul raakh. Those words became a lesson for alifetime! - Bahen Khadija Nakhooda, Canada

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These are some of my recollections of how trulyamazing Muqaddas Maula was:* He could be a patient listener. He would talk for hourstill midnight or 1 am about my life. * I would at times request him to retire as would have hada long day with the prospect of another long one ahead,but he would always indicate that he was okay (chokedwith emotion). * He would never advise; he would only make mildsuggestions. * He never talked religion with me because he knew Iwasn’t very religious. He would subtly suggest that I takejust one step at a time. * He would ask me to narrate my experience after prayer. * Our conversation would finish late at night but he wouldnever rise and leave; he would wait until the maid hadarrived to take me home. * Despite the vast difference in our ages, he would be theonly person one could truly confide. * If I am deeply religious today, it is singularly because ofone man who deliberately did not talk religion with me.- Bahen Alefiya Haveliwala, Bombay

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L E G E N D A R YM A N M A N A G E R

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On one occasion, I was standing in the furthermostrow at a crowded Sakinabensaab (Charni Road). He justcouldn’t have seen me. Interestingly, one of the things thatI did pick up was Moulana turning in my direction andsaying “Ben Sugra aave chhey”. What does one make of it? Nothing. Because there arehundreds of other mumineen. Because he must have beentelling someone else. Because I wasn’t near him at all. Andthen he turned, our eyes met for just a moment and heacknowledged…with his brow and lift of the eye. And thenit struck me … my bhabhi Sugra was landing in Bombayfrom Colombo that day! A few questions here: How did Moulana know that mybhabhi – of all persons - was coming from Colombo? Evenif somebody told him, how did he remember? Even if hedid remember, how could he connect it to someonestanding almost anonymously in the thick crowd? Even ifhe could connect it, how did he remember just at thatpoint when there were hundreds demanding his attention?Such was the man!- Bahen Batul Chithiwala, Calcutta

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H E W O U L D N O T M I S SY O U I N A M I L L I O N

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I N S U R E D A G A I N TD I S E A S E

Our family had a history of an incurable ailment calledHatnuff’s Disease. Since my brother and sister had beenvictims, my mother was advised against a third child.However I just happened and since an abortion wasmedically advisable but not acceptable, my parentsapproached Bawasaheb for advice. He ordered aninteresting prescription: the delivery should not take placeeither in a maternity home/hospital or in our own familyhouse at Pathanwada (Surat) but in a rented flat facingwest where my pregnant mother should shift in her eightmonth. The mother's bed should be in such-and-suchdirection and it should be rotated 90 degrees clockwisewhen the delivery pains started. And of course there wererecitations of Quranic verses throughout the pre-natal andpost-natal periods.

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The result: I was born on 12 Jamadil Akhir 1351. I wasborn normal but when I was around 20, I suffered fromchronic skin eruptions on the back of my right palm. I wastreated by experts for almost two months, who burned myaffected skin with zinc oxide every 15 days. No effect. Theskin erupted like a volcano every fortnight. So my fathertook me to a Dr. R.C. Rebello in Bombay who questionedmy father on my relationship with the two children (mysiblings who had since expired as predicted in thediagnosis). When told that I was their brother and the yearof diagnosis was 1932, Dr. Rebello called out the diariesfor 1930 and 1931, located the details of the diagnosis,referred to a voluminous medical book and whisperedwhether I was used to praying. His words: "God and Godalone can cure you, my boy !" His pronouncement: my skinbelonged to Xero Derma Pigmentasso Group, akin to theincurable Hatnuff’s Disease. I asked my father to take me straight to Saifee Mahal andwept at the feet of Maulanal Muqadda seeking hisbenedictions. The effect of the dua is that nothinghappened thereafter and I am still alive to tell the story!- Bhai Mohsin Mogri, Surat

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Moulana had a remarkable ability in thathe could size up a person in no time. I meanyou would just enter the room and in thosefew seconds he would have completed hisanalysis of your personality. Completely.Accurately. There is something else that stays in mymind. When he was young he used to workquite hard; when he grew older he workedeven harder. I mean in his seventies heprobably worked harder than most in theirthirties. From early morning till late intothe night. Every night. - Shaikh Fakhruddinbhai Khorakiwala, Mumbai

W O R K E D H A R D E RT H A N A L L O F U S

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H U M A N E A N DC O N I D E R A T E

When my daughter was tiny, Syedna Taher SaifuddinSaheb gave me an appointment for an audience at 11.30pm at Saifee Mahal. I replied, “Maulana, mari dikri naanichey, aney sui jaase.” This was a practical problem – therewould be no one to take care of her at home if I went forthe audience. So Maulana replied that since in hishousehold too there were a number of children he wouldmake arrangements. So off I went with my tiny daughter. By the time wereached Saifee Mahal she had gone to sleep. Moulana askedshehzada sahibs standing in attendance ke takiyo lai neaavo. One of them brought a baithak no takiyo, the one weput against the wall. Moulana immediately said “Na aanahin, soova no takiyo lai ne aavo.” I was beginning to getembarrassed by the amount of attention that this matterwas getting. Then Moulana yeh farmayu ke ehne mara pagpaase sulaavo. And that is how my daughter spent the nexthour. Blissfully asleep at Moulana’s feet! This was theextent to which he would go to accomodate people into hisbusy schedule. - Bahen Farida Tawawala, Bombay

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E M O T I O N A L A N DF I N A N C I A L S U P P O R T

Mara shaadi na second night par Moulana yeh hamneaapna Zainy Bungalow makaan par bulaaya aney hamneakkhi raat pote batayu ke aap yeh kai tarah life bitaavi…right to the extent of teaching us how to seko rotis! We weren’t very well-off in those days and Moulana,acutely aware of this, would financially support us.Moulana ne hamein salaam karva jaiyye to aap hamaarapaase si salaam na le, magar hamne return ma paisa aape –around Rs 50 a month - ane eh misal aapey ke koi nekhabar na pare. Ehma si hamaaru ghar chaaley!After marriage, Moulana instructed us to settle in Bombay.Yusuf (husband) yeh araz keedhi ke Moulana mara paaseytoh kai natthi to Moulanayeh farmayu ke hamna tusanatorium ma reh and that is where we stayed for aboutnine months. That is not all; Moulana yeh hamnesanatorium ma room pan joyi ne aapo hato ane farmayuhathu ke tamein room number chaar ma rehjo. That caring!- Bahen Haani Muchhala, Bombay

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D E E P L Y P A S S I O N A T EA N D I N T E R E S T E D

I used to be an enthusiastic photographer. Moulana yehmane Zainy Bungalow bulayo photograph vaste. Mein gayoaney Moulana na photogaraph leedha with all myphotographic equipment. There was a mirror nearby andMoulana yeh dekhu toh mane poochu ke aa kaanch chheytoh reflection nahin aave? That is how particular he wasabout the finest detail. Pachhi Moulana yeh mane farmayuke Feroz photograph aaram si le, tu taaro time le. Moulanane lighting ma, photograph na angle ma, sagla ma interest! - Shaikh Ferozbhai Sarkar, Surat

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W H A T I S T H I S L I F EI F F U L L O F C A R E , I FW E C A N N O T S T A N D

A N D S T A R E

Huzurala was in Calcutta in October 1964. I was only14 but had been given the responsibility to run errands atthe bungalow where he stayed in Alipore. One of ourresponsibilities was to cart the chair and table in a van tothe location of Huzurala’s maghrib-isha namaaz. Not toour masjid, but the maidan skirting the Race Course.That’s right. Each evening Muqaddas Maula wouldconduct the evening prayers in the open on the field. Onthe field!I would reach early, help in setting up the place and thenhe would arrive. Well in advance of the mumineen drivingin, he would would conduct his ‘office’ in the open –attending to files, looking at correspondence, signingpapers, dispensing with raza. It was interesting seeing himat work – a side few got the opportunity to see – andliquidate his backlog before getting ready for namaaz. My precious memory is not just that. It is of him taking abreak between attending to his work …aimlessly lookingsideways into the distance, one leg crossed across the otherwhile sitting on a chair, at peace with himself, not a soul tointerrupt him, wonder he must be thinking, then quietlygetting back to work.It’s amazing how something so innocous about someone sograndfatherly can make my eyes go moist today. - Bhai Aquil Busrai, New Delhi

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I N F L U E N C E C U T A C R O S SC A S T E A N D C O M M U N I T Y

Mein hamna jahaan rahu choo mara upar ek Gujaratibehen rehta, Padmabehen Modi. Mara ghare MuqaddasMoula ni tasweer. Ek din mara ghare yeh Gujarati behenaaya ane mane kahyu ke aa tamaara mullaji chhey yeh marasapna ma aaya ane aa misal maala layi ne khada hata jem aatasweer ma che. Mein yeh ehne kahyu ke tamein ghananaseebwala ke tamein Muqaddas Moula na deedar keedha. Havey aa behen ni ek dikri che je saawli jowa ma aneyeducation ma pan khas nahin. Exam na result nikla to ehnidikri B.Com ma first division si pass thayi. Havey aa dikrinu kai jagaah shaadi thaai nahi. Aa Gujarati behen neMuqaddas Maula ma ghanu yakeen aney yakeen itnu thayigayu ke roz mara ghare aavey aney Muqaddas Moula nitasveer na samne khada rahi ne haath jodi ne dua kare. Thoda din pachhi aa behen paachha aavi ne kahyu ke ehnasapna ma Moulana na deedar thaya. Yeh mane kahyutamara guruji na pase layi ne jao. Mein yeh ehne kahyu ketamaru je thaase achhu thaase. Ehni dikri ni shaadi thayi toyeh mane kahyu ke mein yeh sochu pan nhotu ke ehni itni

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achhi jagah shaadi thaase. Pachhi shaadi na baad paachuehne sapnu aayu ane Muqaddas Moula ehna sapna matashreef laya. Havey ehna dikri na dikra ne heart ma hole hato. Doctoryeh kahyu ke tamne operation vaaste America jaoo padse.Itna rupiah nahin ke America jai sake. Ehne kai samajh napade. Pachhi Aqa Moula ehna sapna ma padhara ane ehnefarmayu ke taara ghare je paper aave chhey tu ehmaadvertisement aap. Yeh advertisement aapu ane ehne ghanihelp mili. Yeh pachi America gaya ane ehni treatmentkeedhi. Aaje yeh ekdum barabar chhey. Kehva ni garaz yehchhey ke aap khali apna Moula nathi, khalaayak na Moulachhey. Aa Padmabehen yeh ghani jagah janam patri bataavihathi magar kai thayu nahin magar jahaan ehna sapna maMoula padahara ehni mushkil aasan thayi gayi! EhneMoulana ma ghanu yakeen … yeh em kahyu ke beeja janamma mein tamara dharam ni thayi ne aaoon.- Bahen Khadija Pagdiwala, Bombay

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R I G H T W O R D S A TT H E R I G H T T I M E

I needed to go to Nagpur for my studies and went toMuqaddas Maula for raza mubarak. Mein yeh moulana nekahyu ke maney hostel ma rehvu padse. Muqaddas Maulaimmediately turned to Shk Ebrahim Yamani nearby andsaid ke Shk Mohammedbhai ne Nagpur phone karo ane aapyeh em farmayu ke mara ghar na dikra wahaan padva neaavse, tamein ehno khayaal raakhjo. Look at the selection of words. ‘Mara ghar na dikra’ and‘khayaal raakhjo’. The result was that Shk Mohammedbhaiwas my host for four years. He treated me like a familymember. He would keep track of my every little need. Iwould be expected to report where I would be going andwhat time I would be returning at night. During my stay in Nagpur, Moulana came twice to thecity. Shaikh Mohammedbhai jem potaana family namembers ne lai jaai qadambosi na leedhey, ej misal manepan lai jaai and Moulana would smile and say ke maarafarman na vaaste Mazhar ne ghar na logo mutaabikkadambosi karva ne laayo chhey?- Bhai Mazhar Karachiwala, Surat

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S E E R

Huzuraala mara mamaji Taiyebji ne Haj par jaava nufarmayu… beeja ko ne nahin. Mamaji Haj par si aayaane chaalis din ma wafaat thayi gaya. Koi bimari hatinahin. Te waqat Moulana yeh waaz ma farmyu hatu kemane khabar hati ke Taiyebji ni zindagi khatam thayigayi chhey, teh si mein yeh ehne Haj par jaava nufarmayu!- Bahen Khursheed Faizullabhoy, Bombay

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U N F O R G E T T A B L EM E M O R Y – I N M O R ES E N S E S T H A N O N E

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In 1947, Muqaddas Maula came to Sidhpur and a largecrowd gathered on the station to receive him. There was aconsiderable difference between the level of the train andthe platform, so the jamaat had created a paatlo so that hecould step on it and alight without inconvenience. But the train rolled and overshot the intended mark wherethe paatlo had been positioned. Besides, in all theexcitement, mumineen surged ahead towards the bogie inwhich Huzurala was present and completely forgot that thepaatlo had been left behind. So when Huzurala came near the door of the train, half themumineen were transfixed watching him, half themumineen were watching the platform and suddenly theyrealized… paatlo! Some even shouting ‘Kahaan chheypaatlo?’ and ‘Arre bhai, paatlo laavo’ and ‘Paatlo, paatlo!’I saw opportunity. I was merely seven years old but ran outof the crowd, bent down on my knees to where the paatlowould have been placed and offered my back – peeth – forHuzurala to step and alight. Huzurala took a light stepand alighted. Nine years later, when I went for qadambosi in Bombay,Huzurala asked me my name and family background. Andthen he asked whether I had bent down and offered myback for him to step off the train in Sidhpur. You could forget things. He wouldn’t! - Shaikh Mohammedbhai Darbar, Karachi

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T H E F A C E T H A TS T A R T E D T H ET U R N A R O U N D

To understand one of the most moving moments in mylife, one would need to know where we came from. We werein Africa in the early Sixties. Sagla moomenin ne cigarette,sharab and vyaaj ni aadat. Besides, we had never seen what aSyedna had looked like. And it changed in one magicmoment …when we saw his face at the airport after helanded. That one glimpse of the noorani chehra convincedus that aap dawat-ul-haq na dai chey. It is from thatmoment that the turnaround in Africa began.- Jaffar Bhai Khan Bhai, USA

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H E A L E R

My brother Shabbir was born in 1943 and within sixmonths lost his hearing and speech following the impact ofthe blast in the Bombay docks. The building where we usedto stay was totally damaged. There was a doctor who had come from abroad and weenlisted Shabbir for an operation. Operation na ek dinpehle my mother thought ke Aqa Moula ni raza levi joiye.Huzur ni hazrat ma maara bhai ne layi gaya to eh Moulanana saamne pehli vaar ‘maa’ bolo. Operation ni humey arazkeedhi toh Aqa Moula yeh farmayu ke 18-warsey bolse. Amazingly, he recovered his speech and hearing when hewas 18. Today he speaks quite well, runs his own factoryand communicates normally with his children andgrandchildren. Miracle.- Bhai Moiz Bootwala, Bombay

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The one indelible memory of Syedna Taher SaifuddinSaheb that I will always cherish is that even after sevenyears of marriage I had no children and made an araz fordua. He told me something that has remained clearlyetched in my memory: “Shafa-witar-julus ni namaz adaapadhje aney Imam Husain ni zyarat vaaste jaajey.” I went to Karbala and there my wife conceived. One of myfriends – also childless – made a similar arzi. Huzuralaasked for sugar, aap Maulana-e khaan par shifa boli aneyfarmayu ke ehna bairo ne kehjo ke aa le. The surprise wasthat the friend responded with ‘Aana si su thase?’ and isstill childless. - Shaikh Murtazabhai Raja, USA

D I V I N EI N T E R C E S S O R

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Friend. That is what Syedna Taher Saifuddin was tohundreds of youngsters like us. And that is because he would speak to us not on weightymatters but everyday issues. For instance, if bawaji wouldwant me to discontinue my studies, Moulana would insistthat I study further. If I was confused about my subjects,he would advise (French nahin, Arabi le). How we shouldnot shun our parents when we grew up. How we shouldnot – I heard him say this sternly – consign our bawajis ina corner in the office with a pension but seek their advice.How we should not spend the money we got in meher butkeep it for difficult times as ehma ghani barakat chhey.Small things…. Except that when you put the experiencetogether there was a really big picture to it. - Bahen Rabab Chikani, Dubai

F R I E N D .P H I L O S O P H E R . G U I D E .

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I stay diagonally across Badri Mahal. Hamein masjid napadosi pun masjid ma namaaz padva fakad pehli raatey aneyjumma ni raatey jaiyye. One night I dreamt of SyednaTaher Saifuddin Saheb telling me that ‘Saifuddin, tu yehBadri Mahal ma maari vasiyat joi chhey?’ I replied in mydream that ‘Ji na Maula’ and the vision faded. One day, the thought began to nag me that Bawasaheb nakalaam – even if it happened only in a dream – ma koi nakoi hikmat to howi joiyye, so I went down to the BadriMahal masjid and started looking around on the walls fortelltale signs of what the vasiyat could be. Suddenly, I sawSk Abdulqadir and I ventured to ask him. And the firstthing he said was ‘Aa rahi’ and there on the wall of BadriMahal was a frame. Just a frame, which I had overlookedfor decades. And it was a ‘vasiyat’ to mumineen fromMuqaddas Maula on how they should regularly pray in themasjid. Today, I pray in the masjid every day. - Bhai Saifuddin Kopty, Bombay

S T I L L T H E R E

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O N E O F U

I had gone to Surat for a wedding. Mohammed, mymasi’s son, had also come. He liked me, must have gone forqadambosi and confided to Huzurala following whichHuzurala spoke to Mohammed’s parents about it. WhenHuzurala came to Karachi, I went for qadambosi and hecasually enquired whether I had met anyone that I hadliked in Surat. I said ‘no’. The next day Muqaddas Maulaand Burhanuddin Maula came to my house to see bawaji –who was unwell - and there Syedna yeh farmayu ke “MeinMohammed nu mangnu tamaari dikri vaaste laayo chhu.”My mother asked for a few days so that she circulate thiswithin the family and seek a consensus but Moulana wasadamant. “Na muney hamna jawab aapo, je poochvu hoyibawaji si poocho.” Thereafter, Moulana asked me for mydecision and all I said was ‘Moulana ni je khushi hoyi’.Moulana yeh haan farmayu and I was engaged in a few days. - Bahen Sakina Mama, Bombay

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T R A N S F O R M E R O FD E S T I N I E S

Moulana na chella rajab ma mein aapne dus-mi taarikhsalaam karva gayi. Normally, mein Moulana ne ek rupiyosalaam karti kem ke hamaari haalat saari nhoti. Mein jaaresalaam keedho toh moulana yeh maara haath ma rupiyopaachho muki deedho aney mara chehra par haath phiraayo.He had never done this before. Pachi mane farmayu kekaale aavje. Beeja divasey mein gayi aney beeja din punMoulana yeh mara haath ma rupiyo paacho mooki deedhoaney mara chehra par haath phiraayo. Ane paachu farmayuke kale aavje. Next day jumoa no din hato ane ehna pachhi ayaam ul beeztoh mein yeh vichaaru ke jaees to miasaab mane bolse anddid not go. Pachi Moulana 12 mi Matheran padhaari gayaa.19 mi rajab yeh khabar aavi ke Moulana wafaat thayi gaya;mane itno afsos ke mein su kahu! Pun tamein maano nahin,woh rupiah aapva na baad maney koi din rupiah ni tangi koidivas na thayi!- Salmabai Sikandar, Bombay

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I was pregnant with Rabab and I went toTaher Saifuddin Maula’s hazrat forqadambosi. He asked me to come again thefollowing morning but I replied that by thenI would be leaving for Surat by the FlyingRani train. So he extended his hand forsalaam and simply said, “Taarey havey tumaney nahin mile.” After a few days he wasno more. - Bahen Shameem Kaka, Melbourne

K N O W E R O F E C R E T S

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H E C O U L D S E EF U R T H E R T H A N A N Y

O N E O F U S

In 1965 my bawaji Sk Abbasbhai was in Mumbai for abrief visit and went to Moulana for raza to leave forCalcutta. Moulana replied, “Kaaley aavjey”. So bawaji wentthe next day and again, Moulana replied “Kaaley aavje”.This happened for a few days in succession and on oneoccasion, bawaji must have said that he really needed to goto Calcutta immediately. Moulana zara naraz thaya andsaid, “Mein yeh naa keedhu ne.” Bawaji was innocentlypersistent; he stood beside Shk Ebrahim Yamani,requesting if he could put in a word on the ground thatnot only was it urgent but there was nobody to manage theshop. Finally, Moulana gave raza but wasn’t too happyabout it.Bawaji got his train tickets booked, travelling with mysister’s mother-in-law, mother and brotherMohammedbhai. He got down on the first station to buy

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fruit and there accidentally met Shk Alihusainbhai Shakir(also of Calcutta). Bawaji was relieved; he now hadsomebody’s saath. That night, bawaji fell unconscious in the train. This wasof serious concern to the family; there was still a longjourney ahead, the family could not get off the train andeven if they did, what would they do with an unconsciousman as they did not know anyone en route?Since I received a message that the family would be arrivingby train, I went to the station to recieve the family. Wetook father home and then to hospital where it wasconfirmed that bawaji was suffering from a bad bout ofmeningitis with a 10,000:1 survival chance. It was due toMoulana’s dua mubarak that bawaji continues to live.Much later, Shk Alihusainbhai narrated his part of thestory: that he had gone to get raza for his mother to travelto Calcutta but Huzurala insisted that he accompany hismother and travel only on a specific date. ShkAlihusainbhai wondered how it would be possible to getreservations for first-class travel but Moulana said ke“Thai jaase” and that was that. Moulana with hisremarkable vision had ensured that Shk Alihusainbhaiwould be on the same train (when he was not to betraveling in the first place), would look after our family,provide support and get them safely to Calcutta!– Shaikh Nooruddinbhai Calcuttawala, Dubai

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L O Y A L .M I N D R E A D E R .

Loyal. That is what he was. Once Syedna asked me thatif he was out of town at the time of my nikaah what wouldI do. I replied adamantly that then there would be nonikaah. Now it so happened that Moulana was in Dhanerawhen the date - 19 Jamadil-ula - of my nikaah was fixed. Isent him a telegram. The next morning, Moulana returnedto Bombay and presided over my nikaah. He told me,“Dhanera ma ghanu kaam hatu aney moomein ghana royajaare mein aayo, pun mein fakad taara vaaste aayo chhu.”

Mindreader. That is what he was. Bunayyat ni ziaafat hatiSaifee Mahal ma and I was on the staircase adjoining thegarden. When Syedna saw me he gave me a million dollarsmile. That is when a thought passed my mind: how nice itwould be if Moulana extended me his hand for salaam. Atthat very instant, he stopped, turned and extended hishand. Just for me from among hundreds of people. Onanother instance, following my nikaah, Moulana performedqadam in my room. A thought flashed through my mindthat something was amiss; Moulana had not given me apresent befitting the occasion. Just then Moulana asked us– husband and wife - to be present at Saifee Mahal thenext day. And there Syedna gave me a white embroideredcloth and my husband a sherwani piece with an alarm clock.- Bahen Shirin Vahanwala, Bombay

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H E C O U L D R E A D T H EP A T A N D T E L L T H E

F U T U R E

Once when I went for qadamosi to Syedna TaherSaifuddin Saheb, he asked me to come again the followingday. When I went the next day, he asked me to come again.This continued for 40 days in succession. During my presence in the queue for qadambosi I wouldnotice a moomin bhai. Sometimes he would be in front andsometimes behind me. He would submit his araz thatMoulana muney barakat nathi thati, mahina na ending ma100 rupiah udhar thayi jaai chhey ane udhari wadhti-wadhti 500 rupiah thayi gayi chhey. One day, Moulana yeh ehni arzi suni ne ehne farmayu kekaale tu taara chopra layi ne aavje. When he presented hisbooks of account, he looked into how much he spent onhis daily grocery, how much he spent on things likechillies, onions, etc. Moulana yeh ek red pencil leedhi aneyehna si kitni cheez mark karaavi aney farmayu ke aa na lavjehavey si. In the space of few minutes, Moulana had madesavings of Rs 35 rupees in his monthly budget. Moulana’smessage: jitli chaadar hoyi itlooj pug phelavvu zaroori! Teh baad Huzuarala eh bhai ne poochu ke taara maakahaan chhey. He replied ke guzri gaya chhey. Moulana yehehne farmayu: “Tu tara maa na qabar par ja ane maafimaang; agar yeh maaf karse to tane barakat thaase!” - Shaikh Murtazabhai Birq, Bombay

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F I R S T - R A T EP S Y C H O L O G I T

The remarkable thing about Syedna Taher SaifuddinSaheb was his attention to detail – not necessarily tothings that pertained directly to him but to things thatpertained to our personal lives. The one incident that isstamped on my mind about Syedna Taher Saifuddin Sahebconcerns my decision to migrate from Surat to Ahmedabadin search for a living as a lawyer. At that time my brotherin law Aziz had a good legal practice in Ahmedabad and Ifelt that I would be making a safe decision in deciding togo there rather than to Bombay, where I would have nolegal benefactor. Everything was decided accordingly except for one issue.Syedna Taher Saifuddin would hear none of it. Hissingular insistence: Bombay! He would keep calling me forpersonal audiences at night and each time he would try andbring up the discussion of my moving to Bombay. Aftersome time, it boiled down a question of my will orSyedna’s advice. I trusted the latter and left for Bombay. While I was in Bombay, Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb didsomething interesting behind my back. He did his

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homework and found out that Esaji Vahanvaty was theleading counsel in the Bombay High Court at that time. SoHuzurala called Bhai Eban Faizullabhoy and asked him totake a personal message to Esaji Vahanvaty with the wordsthat “Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb yeh tamne salaampahunchhayo chhey!”Bhai Eban later told me graphically that when he walked upto Esaji Vahanvaty and told him this, Esaji literally jumpedout of his chair with the words: “Does Syedna TaherSaifuddin Saheb know that someone by the name of EsajiVahanvaty even exists?!”To cut a long story short, Esaji sought a personal audiencewith Huzurala for the favour of being remembered andsomewhere Huzurala must have woven my mention intothe conversation. The result was that Esaji Vahanwaty tookme on, I worked in his chamber for 13 years and learnt alot under him. It has been years, one has grown in one’s profession,acquired izzat, success and prominence and it is humblingto remember that all this has happened because of oneman’s considerable foresight on the one hand and a deepinterest in the welfare of his moomin subjects on the other. In retrospect, I will also concede that Syedna asked me tomigrate to Mumbai because he would have foreseen that Iwould have always been under the shadow of my moresuccessful brother-in-law and wouldn’t have been able todevelop an independent image of my own.- Shaikh Yusufbhai Muchhala, Bombay

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M E S S I H

One of the experiences I will never forget is that ofwhen Moulana called me to Syedna Qutbuddin Shaheed’squbba mubarak in Ahmedabad. I had a persistant headacheand sinus problem. I complained to Moulana about it. Heasked me to keep my head on his knee and massaged myhead. The headache and sinus disappeared immediately andI have never faced the problem again!- Shaikh Taherbhai Tambawala, Bombay

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C O M M A N D E D T H ET I D E S T O T U R N

Banaao su bano ke Africa ni safar ma MoulanaMadagascar ma masjid ma padhaara. Maqdam ni majlispachhi moomenin Moulana ne araz keedhi ke paasey dariyochhey, ehnu paani aagal aavtu jaai chhey aney nazdeek mamasjid ma paani aavi jaase aney aa masjid band thayi jaisake chhey, pachi yahaan koi nahin aavi sakey. Moulana yeh farmayu ke mane wahaan layi jaao. Moulanadariya na nazdeek padhaara ane farmayu ke miyaana neneeche rakho. Aney pachhi maney farmayu ke tu ek loto layine ja, aney dariya nu pani layi ne aao. Mein pani layi neaayo ane moulana-ye ehma haath naakhi ane shifa boli.Ehna pachhi aap yeh mane farmayu ke aa paani layi ne jaaoaney tamaara ma jitni taakat hoyi itnoo door aa pani nenakhi ne aavo. Mein gayo ane pani naakhi ne aayo. Havey logon kahe chhey ke raatey baar waagey ek patthartodwaani aawaaz aavi. Savaare joyu toh eh jagah par eknatural deewar ghana mhota patthar ni bani gayi hathi.Aajey pan yeh masjid maujood chhey!”- Miyasaheb Shaikh Yusufbhai Rampurawala, Bombay

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S U P P O R T I N D I S T R E S S

Aa vaqiya 1944 ma bano. Tey waqat maari umar 12 ya14 waras hati. Hamey te waqt Khasawala Building ma firstfloor par rehta. Wahaan 1944 ma dhamako thayo aneyghana moomenin nu nuksaan thayu. Teh waqt MuqaddasMaulana rasta par aavi ne moomenin na otla par jayi-jayi nemoomenin ne sahaaro aapo, dilaso aapo aney farmayu ketamey fikar na karo, mein tamaro Dai chhu, khuda tamarasaathe chhey aney mein tamaara vaastey dua karis. Moulananu farman hatu ke tamein tamaara ghar chhodi ne na jaajoaney yahaanj vastaa rehjo!- Bhai Shujauddin Ujjainwala, Calcutta

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D I V I N E P A I N K I L L E R

Maney kaan ma ghanu dard, itnu ke rehvai na. Maramaa ne ghani fikar. Maari haalat itni kharab ke maneyhospital ma admit karva ma aayu aney maaru operationfixed thayu. Eh din ghanu warsad aney doctor na aayo.Havey eh waqt mara masi na sapna ma Syedna tashreef layaaney farmayu ke tu taari bahen ne keh ke fikar na kare,saglu barabar thaase. Aa sapnu thayu aney mara kaan madard ban thayi gayu! Beejey din I was back home. Nooperation! Yeh din pachhi maney koi din takleef nathithayu! Beejo instance. Mara masi na peshani par ek tumour hatu.Tumour itnu mhotu ke odhni ma si jovaai. Maasi rozraatey Moulana ni tasbeeh kari ne sui. Doctor ehne kaheyke tamein operation karaavi lo, magar maasi kahey ke maraMaula ghana mhota doctor chhey. Aney ek vaar em thayuke savarey utha to eh tumour nhotu. Aa hamara joveli vaat!- Bhai Siraj Calcuttawala, Calcutta

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S T I L L S P E K S

This happened about four years ago. As per ourlongstanding family tradition, we send cooked fish toHuzurala, Syedi Mazoon Saheb and Syedi Mukasir Sahebon the first of every month (mahina ni pehli taarikh). Onthe first of Mohurrum on this occasion, I purchased threefish and prepared to take one to Surat to present toHuzurala and send one one to Dubai for Mukasir Saheb. Iwent to Raudat Tahera for ziyarat at 8.30 before sendingthe fish for cooking and taking the 11.30 train to Surat. Ihad just about put my head on the the marbled floor whenI heard Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s unmistakable voice:“Mazoon sahib ne tu machchi devaney bhuli gayo chhey!” Irose with a start, completed my ziyarat, ran out of RaudatTahera, sought someone’s help to take the second fish toSyedi Mazoon Saheb with apologies and drove off toBandra to catch my train!- Shaikh Turabbhai Potia, Bombay

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B R O U G H T P E O P L EC L O E T O H I M

With Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb’s raza, I went tostudy in England in 1955, returning in 1958. Once back, Idecided that it would be better to settle down in Englandand what I remember is Huzurala’s open-ended “Taneypachhi jaavoo chhey key yahaan rahi ja…” It was aninteresting use of words. He didn’t say “No, don’t go toEngland”. He only quietly suggested …Four years later, I made up my mind that I would like to goback to England once and for all. I went to Huzurala inSurat for the customary raza mubarak. Since Mazoon-ud-Dawat (now Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb) hadjust returned from Yemen, there were a number ofcelebratory programmes in Surat. Huzurala asked me tostay in Surat for a while, after which he simply said“Mumbai aav”. So off I went to Bombay hoping that in acouple of days the raza would be granted and I would be onmy way. Curiously, he would call me to Saifee Mahal in the

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morning, I would perform qadambosi and he would ask meto return in the evening. When I would go in the evening,he would ask me to come the following morning. And so itcontinued. Considering that he would call me in for anaudience only at around three in the morning, I oncereached well after the appointed time of 9.30 pm because Iwas secure in the knowledge that Huzurala wouldinevitably call me in last. That night, he must have askedfor me right away and had to be told that I was not there.When I reached and was sent in I told him why I wasdeliberately late: that anyway he would call me late so I didnot see any point in coming early. Why I was able to tellhim this was because of his ability, despite his position, toget at a fairly personal equation with people. I remember an extension of this sequence. One night,Moulana was fairly delayed in returning from a ziyaafat –must have been around two o’clock or so - and since he hadasked me to come, I was doubly apprehensive of leavingwithout meeting him. I must have been one of three orfour people still waiting at Saifee Mahal when Huzurala’s

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car rolled in during the wee hours. When he saw that I hadwaited patiently for him, he beamed an unforgettablemillion dollar smile – the kind of smile the memory ofwhich one carries for a life time – and said “Tu hujeechhey?”Ghani waqat raatey mein jaaoon toh Moulana maneyfarmave ke tu aajey jhonko layee ne aayo chhey? He wouldget fairly informal, telling me that he was used to stayingawake well beyond 2:30 am every day. During thoseoccasions, one of the things that I noticed was Moulanacontinuing to talk to us while holding a cup of tea anddrinking through spoonfuls – not through the cup directly. The result of these extended visits was that a few weekslater, I voluntarily decided that it would be in the broaderinterests of the family if I stayed back in India. Huzuralacould well have issued a diktat; on the contrary, he notonly empowered me to take my decision but also gave methe benefit of his character-influencing proximity. - Bhai Yusuf Chitthiwala (expired), Calcutta

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B O N D S F O R AL I F E T I M E

When Muqaddas Maula came to Hong Kong aroundfive decades ago, he asked Tyeb (husband) to find a house.Tyeb said he had no money to buy one. Moulana yehfarmaayu ke mein fakat ghar dhoondva ne kahoo chhu. Hetold Tyeb: “Tamein savaar si layi ne shaam lag ghardhoondjo, shaam lag tamne ghar mili jaasey.” Much againsthis desire, Tyeb left home-hunting at 7 am, walked into thethird floor of a building, liked it, insisted he wantedpossession by the evening, the lady said ok, did not discussany rental, vacated everything, took a nominal advance andleft a sofa and table as goodwill! By evening, when wepresented our small victory to Moulana, he had anotherchallenge ahead of us: he smiled and said ke raatey qadamna leedhey aavsu aney sagla raeeso ne bhi izan aapjo. Now we were stuck. No money. New house. No furniture.This is how we responded: Moulana na leedhey ek baithakkeedhi aney ehna paasey suva na takiya mooka. Beechhavavaaste kai nhotu toh mara nikaah nu kapdu hatu ehbichhayu aney ehna paasey ek beeju kapdu bichhayu. Whatwould we serve? Rasola ma toh koi vaaasan nahin! Raatey Moulana aney Burhanuudin Moula padhara tun

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daadar chadi ne. Aap yeh pooru ghar phiri ne joyu, aneypachi aap yeh dua tun-vaar farmavi ke khuda tamnekhusho-khurram raakhe, tamaari har dua tamam kare,tamara har umoor sehel kari aape. Three times! We stayedin that house for 17 years and that qadam mubarak of thetwo Maulas marked a turning point of our presence in thatcity. Vada na waqat moulana yeh maney ek photograph aapojema Burhanuddin Maula aap nazdeek baitha chhey. Healso gave me a ghar nu model, aney farmayu ke sambhaaline raakhje. Mein ghare gayi to ehne showcase ma mookididhoo. More than fours years later, Moulana wafaat thaya,ghanu ranj thayu, toh Moulana je sagli cheezo aapi hatiehne mein nikali ne jou. Je waqt mein aa ghar ne phirayu toehna neeche si ek chitthi nikli ane ehma Syedna ni signhati. Aney jey aa ghar Moulana yeh aapu ehna chaardarwaza jem qubba mubarak hoyi chhey em wachma modelma khali hatu aney ehna aagal ek kyaro hato. Moulana yehchaar waras pehla maney khabar aapi deedhi hati ke meinhavey taney nahin milu!- Bahen Amina Cadir, Hong Kong

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Each time we would go for qadambosi, Syedna TaherSaifuddin Saheb would inevitably say ‘Kaaley aavjo’. WhenI went on 18 Rajab for qadambosi in Matheran, he wassurprised to see me. After qadambosi, I found it strangethat he never said ‘Kaaley aavjo’ and we – my father and I –actually discussed this point back from the qadambosi andon the way to our bungalow. We said that since he did notask us to be present the following day we were free to goback to Bombay. The next morning, I received a frantic callfrom my husband who was in Bombay that Huzurala hadexpired. - Bahen Kulsoom Shipchandler, Bombay

D I D N ’ T U S S K T OR E T U R N

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A fortnight after the liberation of Bangaldesh in 1971,we were at home in Dhaka and suddenly Mukti Bahinisoldiers stormed in. They wanted to clean our place outand kill us. One of them jammed his rifle into me waitingto pull the trigger. They asked us to take them around thehouse to where the valuable were kept. En route, we passeda photograph of Syedna Taher Saifuiddin Saheb. I turnedand exclaimed: “Haq na sahib chho to madad karva neyaavo!” That very instant, there was a call – ‘Choley aai!’ -from the leader of the group. The man who had jammedthe rifle into me, turned and ran. Within a few seconds,they had left, never to return again. After this incident, acopy of Moulana’s photograph became a rage in Dhakaamong expatriate families. When I related this incident toMoulana Burhanuddin in Surat, he wept.- Bahen Sakina Vasi, Karachi

S A V E D M E F R O MB E I N G S H O T

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In 1963, Sakina, my wife, had observed Moharram inMumbai with Muqaddas Moulana. As soon as he gaveSakina raza to leave Bombay for Calcutta, he sent me atelegram stating that Sakina and Odad would reach on14th Mohurrum. He sent!The following year, when Sakina was expecting Luvai,Moulana was in Calcutta. The problem was that there wasno room free in any reasonable nursing home in Bombay atthat time. This was conveyed to Huzurala. He sent amessage to approach a prominent nursing home in SouthBombay where one room would always be reserved formembers of his family. The doctor advised an operationfor 24 September but Moulana did not give permission.The family felt we should schedule the caesarian for 30September. I was in Karachi and was asked to sendHuzurala a telegram for raza. His reply was decisive: “DONOT WORRY SAKINA WILL DELIVERNORMALLY.” On 8 October, a good fortnight after thedoctor had recommended an urgent operation, Sakina gavebirth to a baby boy. The amazing thing is that I received atelegram from Moulana (!) that said,” THANK GODSAKINA DELIVERED NORMALLY A BABY BOY.” Hehad got the news even before the father had!- Shaikh Mohammedbhai Zoomkawala, Karachi

H E W A S L I K E AM E M B E R O F T H E F M I L Y

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B E Y O N D T I M EA N D P A C E

There is a remarkable story researched and written byBahen Rashida Abdulhusain in her book ‘A stoiry of faith’(page 66). There were attempts by the local population ofa certain part of Africa in the late Sixties (after MuqaddasMaula had passed away) to forcibly marry youngmumineen women. The community responded by sending anumber of girls to other cities and countries of thecontinent where they would be safer. One of the moomena,who was still to leave, feared being forcibly picked up andcoerced into marriage. She called the local Amil sahib withthese words: “I know it is four o’clock in the morning but Iswear that I am neither asleep nor dreaming. I am standinghere in my balcony and before me on the road, I can seeSyedna Taher Saifuddin leading Syedna MohammedBurhanuddin by the hand and they are walking through thestreets, Amil sahib!”In Yemen, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin was told ofthe miracle of Syedna Taher Saifuddin and himself on thestreets. Maula put his handkerchief to his face and wept.“Indeed,” he said, as he wiped away his tears, “that was theway my father was. Whenever one remembers him, he isthere.”- Courtesy: A story of faith by Bahen Rashida Abdulhusain

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T U R N E D M E I N T OA B E L I E V E R

I was married into the community, so Syedna TaherSaifuddin Saheb was initially a distant influence, limited toa picture on the wall. Until one night when he appeared tome in a dream. He told me that my hands were soft andasked me to fetch water. I filled a lota of water, wenttowards him, realized that the water was dirty and threw itaway, went for a refill and returned. Thereafter the dreamfaded. The next morning, I narrated the dream to myhusband with the provision that ‘it wasn’t this Syedna’. Isaw some pictures before I could ascertain that it wasSyedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb. The dream was writtendown and narrated to Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinSaheb in Bombay that very day. He pronounced that ‘Behenne kehjo ke jeh ehna dil ma vaat chhey eh poori thaase.’Shifa nu paani was provided. Within a fortnight I hadconceived. My daughter was born on 18 Rajab. How couldone not be a believer thereafter? - Sameena Patherya, Calcutta

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I am 100 now and had the good fortune to interact withSyedna Taher Saifuddin on many an occasion. I was withHuzurala during his famous journey across Kathiawar. Wewere in a small town and suddenly Huzurala resolved thathe must leave for Amreli. A number of mumineenrequested him to pray his maghrib-isha and then leave forAmreli but he decided otherwise and prayed namaaz enroute. That night a big fire broke out in Amreli and theentire mohalla where he was staying was threatened.Moulana refused to vacate aney shifa nu paani chhadku andgradually the fire subsided. It is then that we realized thereason behind his urgency to leave for Amreli.- Janab Hasanbhaisaheb Vajihuddin, Surat

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S V E D A T O W N F R O MB U R N I N G

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I was married at 14, went to live with my husband at 17and was widowed at 21 with three children. For a numberof people in my position – financially dependent, living indifficult circumstances and faced with the challenge ofseeing through my own lifetime and much of that of mychildren – that would have been the virtual end. Today in my eighties I can state with gratitude that if therewas one man who got me through the biggest ordeal of mylife it was Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb. He was advisor, rock, support, counsel, sounding board.Everything. Some of his advice were not just lines, theywere lifelines: * “Na ghabraao, mein chhoo. Takleef hoi, maney lakhjo”which he would tell me time and again.* “Eh logo ne kehjo ke roz maara paasey aavey” as advice Ishould give to my children who were moving from Surat toBombay for pursuring their studies. * “Aa ghar to ek mehel jeevu chhey” when he saw my sisterAmina’s humble house in Surat.* “Wadhharey kharcho na karjo” after insisting on seeingthe vardi for his ziaafat.* “Silaai nu kaam karso toh thodi aamdani thai jaasey andmahina no kharcho nikli jaasaey”* “Sukaam bachchao majlis ma late aaaya?” after pickingout the late entry of my children in the majlis from acrowd of hundreds - Bahen Fatema Muchhala, Surat (expired)

R O C K

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P R E M O N I T I O N

It was the Rajab of 1385. One night I received a call at130 am from Saifee Mahal with the message the MuqaddasMaula wanted me to be present there immediately. I wasasked to take a copy of the letter that that had been draftedas a response to the Egyptian government’s invitation toMoulana on the occasion of the iftitaah of Raasul Husain’szari which Maulana had proposed, funded and supervised.When I reached Saifee Mahal late at night, Maulana askedme read the letter again. Read a letter at this time of thenight? It broadly indicated that he had received theinvitation, was grateful for it and would attend theinauguration. Huzurala now said he needed to make animportant change before it could be sent to the Egyptiangovernment. I got ready to make extensive alterations.Interestingly, Huzurala indicated that he only wanted toadd one word. Just after the place where it was mentionedthat he had accepted the invitation and would be present,he instructed me to add the word ‘insha-allah’. Within afew days he was no more. - Shaikh Tayebally A.A. Davoodbhoy (expired), Bombay

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This document has been printed with the raza of Janab YunusbhaiSaheb Zainuddin, the Aamil of Calcutta. These interviews werepersonally conducted by Mudar Patherya. In some instances, thenarratives have been translated into English withoutcompromising either the content or the emphasis. The narrativeshave been selectively extracted from larger interviews. I am gratefulto Rabab Rupawala for the transcription. I am also deeply gratefulto Sk Mohammedbhai Zoomkawala with whom the idea of such acompilation was first discussed. Readers are absolutely welcome toto send in their personal memories of Syedna Taher SaifuddinSaheb (or refer others who have distinctive memories) [email protected] or call him at +919830072720. Hekeeps collecting!

Purano shei diner kothaBhoolbi ki re, haaye o shei

Chokher dekha, praaner kathaShei ki bhola jaaye?

The memories of the days of oldHow can one forget?

The meeting of the eyes, the heart-to-heart exchangesCan they ever be forgotten?

- Rabindranath Tagore (in Bengali)

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“Hoo-bahoo Saifedin chhey Mohammed,Em baseerat si dekhoo dikhaaoo!”

- Miyasaheb Shaikh Ebrahim Yamani

A [email protected]

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