Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) said,
“During my early days of studying in Darul Uloom, the the Darul Uloom was located so far away from the city center that it was like an island cut off from the rest of the world. I would go home on Thursdays, which used to be holiday. Our house had 5 rooms out of which 2 contained cupboards filled with books. My holiday routine was to browse through those books. I would open a book, read a few pages then move on to another book. For some books I would only read the author’s name and few pages, some I would read half and some books complete. All praise is for Allah (Alhamdulillah) I read all kinds of books, including about Seerah, Tasawwuf, etc. After reading all those books I say from the depth of my heart that the books which benefited me most were the Spiritual discourses (Mawaiz) of Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him).
My respected father used to encourage me to read the Mawaiz but initially I used to be more interested in literary texts. Also, I would find the language of the Mawaiz too difficult and sophisticated. It wasn’t that I would not understand the language, but I would find it too sophisticated for my taste. I would read them sometimes, but would not find them interesting.
One day I told my respected father the following state of my heart: “Among my elders, the amount of affinity and fondness I find in my heart for respected Shaykh al-Hind (i.e. Maulana Mahmudul Hasan) and Maulana Anwar Shah Sahab Kashmiri is more than for Hakim Al Umma (Allah have mercy on them)”.
It is obvious that all of them are our elders. However, it seemed as if my respected father felt a shock, and replied, (to the near meaning):
“Taqi miyan (میاں), you are still stuck in the knowledge of alfaz-o-nuqoosh (words and designs). You have not even started to have the concern for correction (islah) of your nafs.” He said this with a sense of longing and regret. This is despite my respected father’s deep attachment to those two elders.
When my respected father said these words, it had effect on me and I started reading Hakim al Umma’s Mawaiz with importance. Later on, when I established Islahi correspondence with respected (Shaikh Dr Abdul-Hayy) ‘Arifi (Allah have mercy on him) he instructed me to fix 1 to 2 pages for daily reading. Alhamdulillah now perhaps there is none of the Mawaiz left which I have not read.”
Ramadan 1439, malfuzaat collated by Br KaiserNizamani #6