Bitter, bittersweet. The two words milad and mubarak just don’t seem to go together the way they should at the moment. The annual celebration of our beloved Aqamola Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin’s (ra) milad this year became a commemoration of his long and magnificent life as Dai al-Mutlaq. Where there would have been both pomp and ceremony – there was ceremony and an abundance of heartache.
Syedna Burhanuddin’s (ra) mansoos, the 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin Mola (tus) presided over the waaz of his and all Mumineen’s late father’s milad anniversary barely 3 weeks after Mola Burhanuddin’s sad passing.
The waaz began with reference to what it means to be truly intelligent – the route to entering the realm of ‘uquul, Aalamul Aql’, was through knowing and acknowledging Saheb ul Zamaan (as).
Molana’s (tus) central theme was that of ‘mowhibat’ – which began with the quoting of the aayah sharifah; “Our Lord! Cause not our hearts to stray after Thou hast guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Thy Presence. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Bestower.”
9, Aale Imran
In this aayat is the verb ‘habb’ from which the word ‘mowhibat’ is derived – a word which Molana (tus) translated on more than one occasion as ‘gift’. The word and the theme of ‘gift’ seemed particularly apt on this day of milad – the giving of gifts being common across all cultures on birthdays.
The ultimate gifts bequeathed to humanity are the awliyaullah (as) themselves, Mohammed Rasulallah (sa), Panjatan Paak, Aimmat Tahereen and Duat Mutlaqeen. They are such gifts to the world that give us the opportunity to escape this material existence.
Rasulallah was gifted to mankind as a mercy to them – ‘rahmatan lil-aalameen’. Molana (tus) described Fatema (as) as a bequest to Ali (as) and Ali (as) as the same to Fatema (as).
When he was born Imam Husain (as) gifted the power of flight to the wings of the fallen angel who had crawled to him for shifa. Similarly in this way awliyaullah (as) grant us all the power to rise from this world to the next.
That gift is given to those with ‘mohabbat’ in their hearts. Even a seed’s worth of love for awliya is sufficient to compensate for all other deficiencies. This love came to the fore in the aftermath of Molana Burhanuddin Aqa’s (ra) passing when from across the world Mumineen flocked for a last glimpse of their beloved Dai. Molana (tus) counted the old, the young, the frail, people simply left everything without a thought or a care. Those who normally never leave their homes came out and the masses of Mumineen were seen around Saifee Mahal and along the path the janaza took for Molana Burhanudin’s (ra) final journey on this earth.
It was the mohabbat and love encapsulated in the oft heard zikr of Ziyad al-Aswad who travelled scores of miles to visit Imam Mohammed al-Baqir (as) whom he had not seen for a long time. He made the journey on foot, unable to afford a camel strong enough to support both him and his provisions. Molana (tus) made the point that the ‘intelligent’ thing to do was to wait until such time as he could afford such a steed but he was given the inspiration of tawfeeq that comes of true mohabbat and thus he just left, without a thought for anything except to reach his Imam’s presence. The reward of this act was the gift from his Mola – “Hal il-deeno illal hub” – faith is nought but love.
Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (ra) was the personification of true aql and to love and recognize him is to show the highest form of intelligence. The Arabic word of ‘gift’ continued to weave this waaz mubarak together as Molana Saifuddin Aqa (tus) quoted Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s (ra) verse in which he speaks of Molana Burhanuddin (ra):
‘O’ Wali of Allah you have bequeathed this gift to me, through which the evidence of true guidance became apparent’
And thus Huzurala (tus) recounted many notable chapters in the life of our late Dai many of which were rare personal insights and recollections. There was the vivid depiction of Molana Burhanuddin Aqa’s (tus) 5th birthday, one that is usually celebrated with more pomp. The young Burhanuddin Mola was dressed in red, by his hand salaam was done to the mashaikh and the talabatul ilm.
There was the incident where a car in which Molana Burhanuddin (ra) was travelling had an accident on a bridge in Colombo. The car crashed though the bridge wall and stopped hanging by just one wheel from falling off the bridge altogether. It was very much a miracle of Molana Burhanuddin (ra).
There was the 1944 wartime explosion in Mumbai which devastated the docks and wide areas around it where both Molas Saifuddin and Burhanuddin (ra) walked to the areas engulfed in fire and shifa water was sprinkled there. All forms of support was given to those stricken by the tragedy and ultimately it came to be known that only one elderly Mumina bai was left unaccounted for.
Mufaddal Mola (tus) highlighted the aspect of Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s (ra) financial support for the wartime effort of the British. At the time the British were borrowing money in India with the promise of returning the sums after the war with interest. Molana-l-Muqaddas (ra), however, refused to accept any interest on the loans which he gave to them. He adhered strictly to the Shar’iah regulations forbidding interest transactions of any kind.
Throughout his lifetime this aspect stands out that Molana Saifuddin Aqa and Molana Burhanuddin Aqa were invariably together, side by side. This togetherness began on the day he was born; the day of Molana Saifuddin’s (ra) ascension to the throne of Dawat – istiwa – and remained till his last day in Matheran.
It was seen in the way both Dais on occasion sat together on the takht for waaz and in the way they were always together in any notable event during Molana Saifuddin’s (ra) tenure.
There were of-course those times when Molana Burhanuddin (ra) was sent in Molana Saifuddin’s (ra) stead. The first visit to London to prepare the way for the expansion of Mumineen in the West ad of-course the famous visit to the Yemen.
On one occasion Molana Burhanuddin (ra) was in Ujjain when his shahzada Qusai bhaisaheb was born. A submission was made for Molana Burhanuddin (ra) to return to perform the aqiqa but Molana Saifuddin (ra) determined that he should remain to continue the khidmat and the aqiqa was delegated to another sahib. For Molana-l-Muqaddas (ra) the khidmat of Dawat and of Mumineen superceded any personal matter.
During the waaz Molana Saifuddin Aqa (tus) spoke of the passing of Syedna Burhanuddin’s (ra) mother – Husaina Aaisaheba (qr) – whose janaza in Surat was also met with such a vast throng of Mumineen that it became difficult for it to progress. Molana (tus) also told us that on one occasion three of the aqeelas of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (ra) made rotis with their own hand for the students of the Dars-e-Saifee (Al-Jamea). His words then took on more force as he challenged those who pour scorn on the call for women in the community to make roti with their own hand demanding of them if they thought that it was trivial of these noble ladies to do so with their own hands as well?
Huzurala’s (tus) waaz mubarak was in itself a supreme ‘mowhibat’ to all Mumineen. It glistened with the repeated tasbeeh of the name of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (ra) no more so than in the final shahadat of Imam Husain (as) – this legacy of remembrance of Karbala being the loftiest of gifts bequeathed by our departed Mola to all subsequent generations of Mumineen to come.
As he read from the words of his revered father he came to the point where Husain (as) forces his slayer to get up in order for him to enact his final sajda; “he had to get up for this is Husain! Husain is Husain! Husain is Husain! Husain is Husain!”
Then – with the pages of Molana Burhanuddin (ra) before him Molana repeated with ever ascending passion, “Burhanuddin Mola is Burhanuddin Mola! Burhanuddin Mola IS Burhanuddin Mola! Burhanuddin Mola IS Burhanuddin Mola!”
And Mufaddal Mola IS Burhanuddin Mola!
May Allah t’aala grant our beloved Aqamola (tus) a long and healthy life until qiyamat.