During his famous speech at Bahawalpur in 1983, Maulana Zia-ar-Rahman Farooqi رحمه الله narrated the following story concerning events after Hadhrat Shaykh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud al-Hasan’s رحمه الله passing :
Shaykh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud al-Hasan رحمه الله passed away in the year 1921 C.E. The body was lifted from the residence of Hakeem Ajmal Khan who was a well known Hakeem and a disciple of Shaykh al-Hind Maulana Mahmud al-Hasan رحمه الله . It was brought from Delhi to Deoband and when the cloth was removed from the waist for washing, it appeared that there was not flesh nor fat on it. The people began crying. When Sayyad Husain Ahmad Madni رحمه الله , who taught Hadeeth at Darul ‘Uloom Culcutta at the time came, the people related the matter to him. He wept and said, ”Shaykh al-Hind had prevented me from revealing this matter. In the jail of Malta, the British used to take my master to a lonely room and apply a red-hot rod to his waist and say, Mahmud al-Hasan! Deliver a fatwa in favour of the British. ” When he regained his senses he would say, ”O British! I am Bilal’s heir , my skin may melt away but I shall never deliver a fatwa in favour of the british. ”
After going through Hadhrat Maulana Husayn Ahmad Madni’s رحمه الله autobiography, I realised that Hadhrat Shaykh al-Hind رحمه الله actually passed away in 1920 C.E and not in 1921 C.E as was mentioned above. At the time of being exiled in Malta, he was in his late 60’s.
Who are the ‘Ulama of Deoband? (English translation of a lecture entitled علما؛ دیوبند کون اور کیا ھین؟ delivered by Maulana Zia ar-Rahman Farooqi), Page 33