It should have been a day to joyously celebrate but the gold linings, glitter of shining thaalis and sips of sweet sharbat could not hide the sombre pall that was evident during Imam-ul-Zaman’s (as) milad mubarak.
The loss of a beloved father, revered leader, the sudden ending of an era, the passing of a Mola who was the only one known to an entire generation of Mumineen is still barely believable – no more settled in their hearts than the soil is that was replaced in the grave where one Shams ul Duaatil Mutlaqeen (ra) was laid to rest by the side of another.
The mood was sombre, not aided by the tremors being felt from disruptive activity taking place at the fringes of the Dawat.
Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin (tus) took his rightful place upon the takhat of Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin (ra) and one that four previous Duaat had sat upon to take their first oath of ‘mithaaq’ as Dai.
He began the waaz mubarak by reminding us that the Dai was the ‘muezzin’ of Dawat, the one to give the azaan – call – to the faithful towards the Dawat of Truth. He is the one who repeats twice over, hayya ala-l-salaat, hayya alal-falah, hayya ala khairil amal.
Syedna-l-Qadi al-Nauman (ra) writes in the D’aaimul Islam that it was being said amongst the people that the azaan was revealed in a dream dreamt by Abdullah bin Zayd who then relayed that dream to Rasulallah (sa) and Rasulallah (sa) instructed that this azaan be adopted. Imam Husain (as) incredulously responds by saying that, “Wahy (divine instruction) is revealed to your prophet and you believe that he adopts the azaan from Abdullah bin Zayd! And the azaan is the face of your faith!”
In fact the azaan was delivered by an angel on the night of the m’eraaj, one who had never been seen before and not seen since and Jibraeel (as) then instructed Rasulallah (sa) that this is to be the azaan of your salaat.
Following this Molana (tus) spoke of how the azaan is our defence against the ghoulish miscreants who would throw us off from our course, misguide us; when we appear to be losing our way we should recite aloud the azaan so that we may find our path again.
As Dail Mutlaq, the 53rd incumbent Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (tus) was the muezzin who repeatedly called us during this waaz and his call was towards the memory and love of our beloved Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (ra). So many times, how many times, he repeated the name, a tasbih filled with longing, emotion and deep, deep loss.
It was with that raw emotion that he recounted the fateful day of 16th Rabiul Awwal when he received the call of Abdulqadir bhaisaheb in Colombo and listened as he spoke, “Bismillahi-l-rahmaan il-raheem, Inna lillahe wa inna ilayhe rajeoon.”
Molana (tus) returned immediately and when he reached the chamber where Aqamola Burhanuddin (ra) lay in his final sleep he hesitated, he could not enter, how could he enter that room? Molana (tus) spoke of the infant who had asked, “Mola nini?” and tilted his head towards a hand slanting to indicate resting on a pillow.
Molana (tus) spoke of the vast crowds, thousands of Mumineen who thronged Saifee Mahal in the aftermath of the news. Many thousands came for a last glimpse of Mola, uncaring of any difficulty or frailness and indeed some lost their lives and joined their Mola instantly.
Mola (tus) recalled the morning of the next day, the janaza procession and how Mumineen reached out to get a touch of the sacred bier or even the hearse upon which it was being carried. They lamented on the noble hopes now lost, of qadambosi, of ziyafat, of deedaar.
Mola (tus) spoke of how he stood unable to imagine how he could perform the final janaza namaaz and then how when he climbed down to the grave he saw himself that here truly was a garden of paradise.
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s (tus) first waaz as Dai al-Mutlaq resounded with the force and power of his high office. Here there was no need to brandish a Quran or wave evidence of a claim; here understated but utterly incontrovertible was the assurance of absolute authority, the serenity of truth and the nobility of ismat (infallibility). Syedna (tus) confirmed the nass upon him, mentioned the nass by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (ra) upon him as witnessed by Shahzadas Qaidjohar bhaisaheb Ezzuddin (dm) and Malekul Ashtar bhaisaheb Shujauddin (dm) in London and that witnessed by three Shahzadas – Shahzada Idris bhaisaheb, Shahzada Qusai bhaisaheb and Shahzada Ammar bhaisaheb as well as Shahzadi Husaina baisaheba, Dr Moiz bhaisaheb and Abdulqadir bhaisaheb again in London in 1432AH.
Then, with great intensity, Molana (tus) challenged anyone that might dare to suggest that these Shahzadas of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (ra) would tell anything other than the absolute truth! To suggest such a thing was tantamount to an attack on Mola Burhanuddin (ra) himself for it was he who had nurtured them, he who had brought them up!
Molana Saifuddin (tus) spoke for the first time of an instance when Molana Burhanuddin (tus) called him to accompany him in his private reading and prayer chamber. In this room was an antique cupboard made of teak wood which no one was permitted to access except for Molana (ra) himself. On this occasion some 4 or 5 years ago, Molana (tus) was beckoned and told to open the cupboard. He was instructed to take out a particular book and read from it. As he read it Mola (tus) was stunned by what was written – it was the nass as witnessed by Shaikh Ibrahim al-Yamani and 2 others in a private meeting with Molana Burhanuddin (ra) in 1388AH and with firm orders to keep it secret.
So many proofs of actual nass, imparted calmly and conclusively to the worldwide audience of Mumineen. There was no room left for doubt, no room left for doubters – only those who were in jealous desire of office could possibly deny a truth as bright as the day.
And it was perhaps in this context that we heard the narratives of history in which as Molana Ali (as) attended to the last rites and burial of Mohammed Rasulallah (sa) others had gathered to usurp the leadership of the Muslim ummah.
He cast a whole new light on the well known narrative of Rasulallah (sa) carrying his grandsons Imam Hasan and Husain (as) upon his shoulders. Why, one thinks, should anyone envy a grandfather carrying his children in this playful manner but the meaning of this action was known exactly to the speaker of the words when he said – addressing the young Imams, “Your steed is very worthy!”
Rasulallah (sa) recognizing this as an attack upon them – one that Mola (tus) likened to a mountainous wave – responded by telling him that the riders were equally worthy. They would stand as powerfully and steadfast against the opponents of Dawat as Rasulallah (sa) himself.
Towards the end of this historic and remarkable waaz Molana (tus) briefly recounted the shahadat of Panjatan Paak (as). Then, as he delivered the shahadat of Imam Husain (as) he stated that the dua in the final sajda was for the 52 Duaat Mutlaqeen and – with a voice weighted with the responsibility of Dawat and the knowledge of the gravity of this charge – he declared that that dua included himself – Mufaddal Saifuddin.
May Allah t’aala grant our beloved Aqa and Mola Mufaddal Saifuddin (tus) long and healthy life until Qiyamat, may every true Mumin be embraced by his love, his mithaaq and lay down a thousand lives upon him.
4th Rabiul Aakhar 1435AH
Bhendi Bazaar, Mumbai