(Mother of Moulana Sayyid Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi [rahimahumallah] – Part Two)

The mother of Moulana Abul Hasan (rahimahullah) was born in 1296 A.H. (1878) and was appropriately named “Khairun Nisaa” – the best of women.

She was blessed with a very pious father whose piety and saintliness rubbed off on her. In fact, the signs of piety were already evident in her from a young age. When her father would awaken at the time of tahajjud and descend from the upper story of their home to proceed to the masjid, her eyes would open and she too would awake. Then she, together with her middle sister, Saalihah, would ascend to the upper story where they would engage in performing nafl salaah with their mother.

Another factor that contributed to her upbringing and helped to instil noble qualities in her was a special practice they upheld in their home, which was common in many other homes of the past as well. Her son, Moulana (rahimahullah), writes regarding this system:

“In those days, it was a common practice among prominent families for women who were widows or old, and either had nobody to care for them or wished to devote the remainder of their lives to the worship of Allah Ta‘ala, to leave their homes and settle into the homes of their relatives. They would thereafter spend the remainder of their lives with respect, engaging in the zikr of Allah Ta‘ala and preparing for the Hereafter.

In our family, almost every home had such a woman who would live there for some years. The home of my nana (maternal grandfather) and his brother were among the most prominent and well to-do homes and it was their home that housed the greatest number of these old women, the majority of whom were either bay‘at (a pledge to follow the teachings of the spiritual mentor for one’s self-reformation) to my nana or some other saint of the family.

These women had very firm imaan, were very particular regarding their time and were sources of immense barakah and blessings. Their presence in the homes enhanced the Deeni discussions and activities of the home and had a very positive influence on the young girls of the family.”


1. The habits and ways that are instilled into a person during their childhood generally remain with them throughout their life as these are their formative years which pave the way to their future progress. Similarly, what a child observes and experiences serves to mould the mindset and outlook of the child. Thus, when a child receives an upbringing of this nature, where her very first sight, on awakening, is that of her father proceeding for salaah, and her first action on awakening is to perform Tahajjud Salaah, we can well imagine the piety of that child later in life.

2. How unfortunate it is that today, let alone other elderly women, even our own parents and grandparents are not welcome in our homes and are thrown into old-age homes! These old people should not be viewed as burdens to be offloaded elsewhere. The reality of the matter is that serving these old people, caring for them and seeing to their comfort, with love and respect, is the means for immense barakah (blessings) to enter the home and to secure the special mercy of Allah Ta‘ala. While caring for the old was once a common practice, it has sadly become near-extinct. Hence, instead of the children in the home being taught the quality of compassion and to care for the weak, they are taught to be selfish and self-centred, and to place their comforts before the needs of anyone else.