An Enviable End

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Imaam Abul Waqt As-Sajzi (rahimahullah) was born in the year 458 A.H. and commenced studying hadeeth at the tender age of seven! Allah Ta‘ala had accepted him to serve the blessed ahaadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and he was thus honoured to teach hadeeth in Khuraasaan, Asbahaan, Kirmaan, Hamazaan and Baghdad. Students would flock to him from every land and he was renowned as a great Muhaddith.  

Among his notable students were the likes of Haafiz Ibnu ‘Asaakir, Sam‘aani, Ibnul Jowzi and Ibnu Mandah (rahimahumullah).

His student, Ibnul Jowzi (rahimahullah), described him in the following words, “He was very pious and would exert himself in making abundant zikr, performing excessive Tahajjud Salaah and crying before Allah Ta‘ala. He possessed the qualities of the pious predecessors.”

Another of his students, Yusuf bin Ahmad Sheeraazi (rahimahullah), narrates the following:

When I set out and travelled to study under our Shaikh, Abul Waqt (rahimahullah), Allah Ta‘ala made it such that I met him near the border of the lands of Kirmaan. On meeting him, I made salaam, kissed him and sat before him. He then asked me, “What has brought you to these lands?” I replied, “You are the sole reason for which I have come. After depending on Allah Ta‘ala, I am dependent on you (to acquire the knowledge of hadeeth). I have written, with my pen, all of your ahaadeeth that have reached me. Now, I have come to you on foot so that I may acquire the blessing of your company and the good fortune of studying under you, receiving your high chain of hadeeth.”

The Shaikh replied (because of his deep humility), “May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all to do that which pleases Him, and may He make our efforts and our intentions be solely for Him. If you truly knew me for what I am, you would have neither made salaam to me nor would you have sat before me.” The Shaikh then began to cry and continued to weep for a lengthy period, due to which those who were present also began to weep. He then made du‘aa saying, “O Allah! Conceal us (our faults and sins) with your beautiful concealment, and make it such that even beneath the concealment and cover, we are pleasing to You.”

The Shaikh then said to me, “My son! You should know that I also travelled on foot with my father, to study hadeeth, all the way from Herat to Shaikh Dawoodi (rahimahullah) who was in the land of Booshanj (which was very far away). At the time, I was not yet ten years old. (While travelling on foot, in order to develop my strength and build my determination,) my father would place two rocks in my hands and instruct me to carry them. I would carry the rocks in my hands and walk while my father watched me. When my father would notice me tiring, he would instruct me to drop one of the rocks so that the load would become lighter. I would then continue walking until after some time, he would again notice me tiring. When he would again ask me if I was tired, out of fear for him, I would sometimes reply in the negative. My father would then ask me, “Then why are you lagging behind?” In response, I would hastily increase my pace before him, but would only manage to do this for a short period of time. When I would again tire, he would drop even the second rock, allowing me to walk without any burden. When I would completely tire of walking, he would pick me up and carry me.

While walking, we would often encounter farmers and other people who would offer my father, “O Shaikh! Allow us to give you and this child a ride to Booshanj!” However, my father would refuse and say, “Allah forbid! How can we ride a conveyance in the journey of acquiring the blessed ahaadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)? We will rather walk and when this child is tired, I will place him on my head. I do this out of respect for the ahaadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and with the hope of reward.” On account of my father’s efforts and his desire that I acquire the hadeeth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), I was blessed to study the ahaadeeth. Today, all my contemporaries have passed on, and so it is to me alone that students from various countries travel to acquire the knowledge of hadeeth.”

Yusuf bin Ahmad Sheeraazi (rahimahullah) describes the final moments of Shaikh Abul Waqt (rahimahullah) in the following words:

When he was in his final moments, I made him lie against my chest. During these moments, he was completely absorbed in making the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala. Muhammad bin Qaasim As-Soofi (rahimahullah) entered and (in order to make talqeen) said to the Shaikh, “My master! Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has said, ‘The person whose final words are La ilaaha illallah will enter Jannah.’” The Shaikh raised his gaze to Muhammed bin Qaasim (rahimahullah) and recited the following verse of the Quraan Majeed:

يَـٰلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٢٦﴾ بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ ٱلْمُكْرَمِينَ

If only my people knew (what I know), for that my Lord has forgiven me and made me among the honoured ones.

When they heard this, Muhammad bin Qaasim (rahimahullah) and those present were astonished and amazed. The Shaikh continued to recite the verses that followed (from Surah Yaseen) until he terminated the Surah. He then said, “Allah! Allah! Allah!” and passed away while seated on his musalla. (Safahaatun min Sabril ‘Ulama pgs. 75-78)

Lessons:

1. Every parent has aspirations for their children. Some parents urge their children to excel in their studies, hoping that they will secure a lucrative career on the basis of their academics. Other parents urge their children to excel on the sports field, hoping that they will forge a career in professional sports. However, all these careers are short lived as they will end with the death of the individual. How many of us show concern for the Deeni ‘career’ of our children that will secure their ‘future’ after they pass away?

2. The true ‘Ulama were always easily identified and recognized by their love for and adherence to zikr, Tahajjud Salaah, du‘aa and other ‘ibaadaat. Humility was their hallmark and respect and honour for the knowledge of Deen was something which they would never compromise.

3. ‘As you live, so you will die’. Shaikh Abul Waqt (rahimahullah) was blessed with an enviable end. However, he lived his life reciting the Quraan Majeed and making zikr, and thus passed away in the same manner.