An amusing but beneficial excerpt from a speech of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanavi:
Once in Seohara, I felt very tired after a long journey and retired to bed to get some rest and close my eyes. A certain gentleman came over and in a very loud voice asked: ‘where is so-and-so (taking my name)’ The others told him that I was sleeping and thus to be quiet. He said ‘well, I need to meet with him now’ and despite their refusal he charged in and almost shouted ‘Assalamu alykum’. I was awake but deliberately kept my eyes shut (because this was the wise thing to do). Upon seeing that, he took my hand, rubbed it on his forehead and left and when outside he was reprimanded he retorted ‘Well what? I am departing for hajj soon and who knows when we will meet again!’ So he wants his hajj, what others want can go to the wind.
Shariat has stipulated such respect for the sleeping man that whenever the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) entered his house late he would say Salam in such a voice that the waking ones would hear whilst the sleeping ones would not be disturbed. Subhanallah! This is such a person that the Sahaba would give their lives for him, let alone sleep, and he gave so much thought to such things. And here the situation is that that a persons musafaha (hand-shake) is paramount, no matter how much commotion is caused.
In a ceremony at Deoband, I was to lead the salaah and as I walked to the front a man reached out from one of the rows, seized my hand, shook it and let it go saying now go! This was the only time he found for a musafaha?! No thought to another’s discomfort or rest and then when someone calls for some order and rules he’s labelled arrogant and authoritative.
Under me, such behaviour is reproached which is why many benefactors have bestowed quite a few titles upon me. One of them said to me, we don’t like these rules and regulations, they smack of Britishness. Sadly, he thought that organization is not part of Islam whereas in reality the kind of order and regulation that is in Islam is exemplary. Everything - salah, saum, hajj, zakaat, etc.- is done systematically. If Hajj, for instance is delayed even a day after its appointed time then one must wait till next year. Similarly, salah is timetabled and so does zakah have regulations, will anyone call that ‘Britishness’?
Similarly, there are rules for visiting an ill person: The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) commanded us to keep the visit brief because the ill person usually dislikes too much of a crowd around him. The fuqaha have understood the reality of this command and thus they prohibit anything that will cause the patient bother. For example if he believes visiting on a Wednesday is a bad omen then you should visit on another day. The ‘dry’ ulema will now say no we should visit on that exact day in order to prove that notion he holds as wrong.
Well friend, it is more a contention then a commiseration in that case.
The purpose of such a visit is to extend sympathy, whilst your opposition is going to add to his angst. In fact, he will be irked by the sight of you: oh why did this numpty descend today…who knows what bad luck he’s going to bring…
Just like once a deaf man went to visit an ill acquaintance. Now hear he couldn’t, so on the way there, he cooked up a conversation in which he set out the dialogue: I will say how are you and he’ll answer fine and I’ll say Alhamdulillah. Then I’ll ask which Doctor is he seeing and he’ll give me some name or other and I’ll answer Allah make his opinion blessed, Mashallah he has a great healing hand, keep to his medicine. Then I’ll say what remedy are you taking and he’ll say something to which I’ll answer Yes, it is extremely potent, may Allah run it through every vein. And so he got to the place and upon seeing him the patient was extremely annoyed as he was going to be a general nuisance, yapping away and not hearing a thing. So the gentleman starts off, asking ‘How are you feeling?’ to which the angry reply comes ‘Dying’. Oblivious, he answers ‘Oh Alhamdulillah’. Then he continues ‘Who is the Doctor?’
‘Oh May Allah make his steps blessed and Mashallah he has a wonderful healing hand, keep to his suggestions, and what remedy are you taking?’
‘Poison’ comes the acerbic reply, which obviously goes unheard.
‘Well May Allah run it through your every vein. It is Masha Allah very effective!’ So Friends there is no point in such a visit as instead of sympathy and condolence, you simply cause the patient more stress.
Such a person, like this deaf one, should not perform these visits if he’s going be a unhelpful. At most, he should go in a group of people, so as to earn the reward and not cause any trouble.
(continued next post insha allah)