The Compiler's(Maulana Manzur Numani) Introduction to the Author of these discourses(Maulan Ilyas)
I have heard Maulana's name (may Allah have mercy on him) during my student days, but the opportunity of meeting him personally
occurred perhaps in Ramadaan 1353 A.H.
After this for four to five years without any special object and desire, just as the occasion allowed, I had the opportunity of meeting him many times. From these casual and cursory meetings I did not understand much, but that he was
a sincere and learned man of olden times and also a model of a pious, except being unacquainted with the needs of the present times and the problems of the age. Inspite of this, he had the zeal and spirit for
the reformation of the Muslims.
In any case, during these meetings 1 was not much impressed with the Maulana's personality, neither did I have any special consideration for his movement towards Deeni dawat (religious invitation) until 1358 A.H. when a great learned man, well versed with the needs of the times.
a man with great intellect and an author who himself met Maulana llyas (Rahrnattilluhi alaihi), saw the benefits of the work and wrote about it
in an article.
As far as I can remember, more or less, it was for the first time, that through this article the importance of this work dawned on me.
After a few days, I intended to visit the Maulana with the idea to get a deeper insight and acquaintance of his striving and struggling for
tabligh by going to Delhi with my friends, Maulana Abul Hassan Nadwi and another companion Molvi Adbul Wahid Sahib RA.
It so happened
that on reaching Delhi, a telegram came from home requesting for rny return, upon which I left my two companions and returned.
On this journey, my two friends had for the first time made a substantial acquaintance with the Maulana and went to Mewaat to experience the method, results and efforts of his tabligh work.
Maulana Abul Hassan
Nadwi, by his special innate natural disposition. on the first meeting returned impressed with the Maulana and his work.
Through his letters, he also tried to impress me and draw my attention it. Because I had seen Maulana many times and on account of my
weak insight, I was still not much impressed. Therefore, Maulana Ali's
letters did not create any special effect on me. Yes, his letters did
necessarily increase my initial urge and love to become more
substantial and I gained a deeper acquaintance with Maulana's Deeni
After some days a large ijtima (gathering) was decided to be held in the
area of Mewaat. I was also requested to attend it. Out of my own
enthusiasm, I attended it.
1 remember that on this journey, on different occasions, I listened to the
Maulana's talks and having seen with my own eyes the extra-ordinary
changes that had entered in the Mewaati people, I now, for the first
time, perceived the loftiness of the tablighi movement. However, the
impression was to that extent that it could make me decide to do the
Before continuing with this subject, 1 wish to relate my own incident. Truly Hazrat Mujaddid Alfe Thani, Hazrat Shah Waliullah, Hazrat Sayed Ahmad Shaheed, Hazrat Shah Ismail Shaheed, Hazrat Rashid Ahmad Ghangohi were great sheikhs and leaders of the spiritual and mystical path whom I hold in high esteem and in whom I have
The love for these personalities had soaked into my heart and mind, yet with tasawwuf (spiritual reformation of the soul) I was discontented. My inner disposition was perturbed about it and in my
mind there were academic objections against it.
At the beginning of 1362, Allah predetermined an occurrence. I happened to be in the service of a noted sage, whom I considered to be
of those special to Allah and a man of faith and sincerity, for about a week. A wonderful opportunity arose for me to discuss the special activities and methods of tassawwuf according to my understanding, notto re-assure myself with vanity but to reform the frame of thinking of
that sage in this line. But this servant of Allah found a wonderful way to cure me from this malady. The details of which is much and this is
not the occasion to go into it. Briefly having listened to him for two or three days, all those objections and misunderstandings were removed and I came to know that these were insinuations and the objections were I on account of my wrong notions.
These few days that I had spent in the company of this saint were a
turning-point in my life. When I was about to depart from him, with
affection and love he impressed upon me saying, "You should go often
to Hazrat Delhwi and keep meeting him." This sage called Maulana
Muhammad llyas by the title of 'Hazrat Dehlawi'. I said, "1 had been
many times in his company, I have in my heart the greatest respect for
him but I was not impressed much." Having heard these words coming
from my tongue, that saint referred to Hazrat Maulana in exalting terms
whose substance was that there are many who have a special link with
Allah, but a very special link amidst other special connections also
occurs and, in my view, Hazrat Dehlawi has an extra special link with
Allah in this era.
Because I was greatly impressed with this sage and having heard from
his lips these words about Hazrat Maulana Muhammad llyas 1 made
the intention that from there Insha-Allah I will go to Delhi to visit the
Maulana and then return home. Hence from there 1 went straight to
Delhi. Hazrat Maulana was sick for quite some time, and had not eaten
for many days. So weaC was this learned man, that if he got up a little.
his legs quivered. 1 went to meet him. 1 stretched out my hand. but
instead of taking my hand, he stood up from the bed taking the support
of my two hands. I insisted on him, "Please do sit down and relax, your
condition is still weak." qe said, "It does not matter, it is your people's
sickness that worries me. It is because of you that I am harassed. You
should come here and do the work of Deen. Insha Allah 1 will he
To be brief, Maulana did not leave my hand until I promised that I shallcome and give some time. As far as I can remember, at that time I
spent only a night and a day in his service. lnspite of his severe
sickness and weakness, Maulana's overwhelming wony for Deen and
involvement made a great impression upon me. I thus made the decision
that when 1 return, and hopefully by then Maulana will be cured of
his sickness, I will participate in the work and give some time in his
service. After the period of sickness, just after Jumadal Ukhra 1362,
another ljtima was being held. After being informed about it, this weak
soul came to Delhi and my friend Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi also
arrived. Allah must reward Maulana Ihtishamul Hasan with goodness,
it was he who decided that both of us must go in one car with Maulana
Ilyas. This was the car of a very sincere beloved one of Maulana Ilyas,
Muhammad Shafi Sahib Quraishi R.A. It was a very small car in which
only Hazrat Maulana, the two of us and the driver Quraishi Sahib could
The car left Nizamuddin and Hazrat Maulana started to speak. It then
occurred to me that his words were worthy of remembering and
conveying to others and therefore, ought to be written down. Thus, in
the car, I took out my pencil and paper from my pocket and started to
note down his special sayings. This continued until we reached our
destination. This is the first chapter of Maulana's sayings which 1 wrote
on this journey. One part of it was published in the 'A1 Furqan' with his
permission, when he was still healthy, in Rajab 1362, and the second
part after many months in the 'Al Furqan' of Rabiul Awwal and Rabiul
Akhir 1363. In this collection, the first and second chapter consists of
Nearly one month after this, Maulana made a trip to Lucknow and
Kanpur. In this trip I spent one week with him. In this journey also 1
noted the Maulana's sayings which are included in the third chapter of
this edition. After sometime, Maulana fell ill and was bedridden. This
lasted until he passed awRy in Rajab 1363. May Allah have mercy
upon him, the same mercy that He has upon the holy and the pious.
Four months before his demise, on the first of Rabiul Awwal or Rabiu
Thani, when I was informed of his extreme sickness and weakness. Ipresented my weak self in his service. in those days. rn), niaster and
patron saint who had stressed upon my meeting Maulana llyas was also
there to attend to him. When he was about to depart - he called me
aside and said, "Molvi Sahib, other work you will be able to do
throughout your life. Soon this great man will undertake a journey of
a thousand miles and days. Therefore remain with him for as long as
Thus, 1 decided that I shall, lnsha Allah remain with Maulana during
his sickness and after about a week or 10 days I will go and see to the
needs of my publications at the office for about 2,3 or 4 days in Bareli.
(Those days I was staying in Bareli from where I used to publish the 'Al
Furqan'). This used to be my normal practice. Altogether. I spent more
than two months with Maulana during his last illness. Besides the
journeys to Mewaat in Jumaadal Ukhra 1362 and Rajab 1362 to
Lucknow and Kanpur, all his advice was recorded during his illness
before his demise. However, all the sayings in the fourth chapter were
arranged by Zafar Ahmad Sahib Thanwi. The latter Maulana spent one
month in Nizamuddin and used to note down the Maulana's sayings
Maulana's condition and disposition was a reminder of incidents in the
lives of the pious predecessors whose narrations we read but were
unassured of their authenticity. Many aspects which I could not accept
intellectually, but after witnessing them in Maulana with my own eyes,
I acknowledged them. 1 have related my impressions of those times. in
my article "My lifes' experiences". However, personalities and
especially these personalities (like Maulana Ilyas) do not have any
regard for what is written in their favour. In any case, it is hoped that if
the reader peruses the biography written by my friend Maulana Sayed
Abul Hasan Ali, and this short compilation of Maulana's sayings, he
might be able, Insha Allah, to acquire some degree of enlightenment
about Maulana (on whom be Allah's mercy).
That effort to bring life and spirit into the religious life of Muslims which he had started with a special method and for which he sacrificed
his life, is the invitation to Deen and is, in reality, a monument of his
stature. All thanks are due to Allah that after the demise of Maulana
(upon whom be Allah's mercy), this system has increased tenfold,
numerically and in degree of effectiveness and is continuing to make
progress. Basically those responsible for preserving this work and who
are specially linked with this movement (Imaan and Ihtisaab i.e. introspection)
must observe the principles and the spirit of this da'wah
(invitation). It is neccessary for them to pay greater attention to this
facet. In this series, guidance and direction could be gained from this
collection of sayings and, in essence, this is the special object of this
Allah has spoken the truth and guides to His path and all thanks to
Allah in the beginning and the end.
Muhammad Manzoor Numani. (May Allah be gracious to him.)
Ramadaan 1369 A.H.