Some time ago, on this blog, I announced my intention to post examples of Imam al-‘Asr ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri’s reverence for knowledge; his teachers and books of knowledge. Unfortunately, due to a combination of laziness and other obvious shortcomings, I was unable to do so.
Anyone who has studied the biography of ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri will know of his reverence for his teachers, particularly for the teacher whom he succeeded, the mujahid Shaykh al-Hind Mawlana Mahmud Hasan Deobandi. The ‘Allamah was a person of great humility and modesty. Many examples of this are found in his various biographies. He did not cease to lower himself in front of his masha’ikh and teachers and from serving them even after he had gained worldwide fame for his academic achievements. Below is one such example which I hope will portray this enviable trait. I pray that it is of benefit.
Hadrat Mawlana Anwar La’ilpuri, a prominent student of Imam al-‘Asr ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri, relates:
‘‘Hadrat [‘Allamah Anwar] Shah was the head teacher (sadar mudarris) of Dar al- ‘Ulum Deoband, the highest position in this educational institute. When Hadrat Shaykh al-Hind [Mawlana Mahmud Hasan] returned to Deoband after his imprisonment on the Island of Malta, I travelled there with my father in order to enrol at Dar al- ‘Ulum. I had not yet been able to see Hadrat [‘Allamah Anwar] Shah but the recognition of his academic greatness was dominant in my heart and mind after having heard of it from many of his students.
After reaching Deoband, my father led me to the residence of Shaykh al-Hind. It was the summer season and the Zuhr prayer had just ended. There was a crowd of people seated in Hadrat’s [Shaykh al-Hind] parlour, surrounding him from all directions. A person – whose illuminated face gave view to a combined state of light and innocence and academic (‘ilmi) grandeur and glory – was operating the fans which were hanging from the ceiling, whilst quietly urging people to move back so that Hadrat would not be caused discomfort. My father whispered in my ear, ‘‘the person operating the fans is Mawlana Anwar Shah, the head teacher of Dar al-‘Ulum.’’ After hearing this my feet fell beneath me [in amazement] at how this blessed person – whose academic fame was echoing around the world, and who despite having his own students in this gathering – was busy in the service of his teacher with such devotion and reverence (ihtiram).’’
Naqsh-e-Dawam (Deoband: Bayt al-Hikmat, 2nd ed. April 1996, p.104) by Mawlana Anzar Shah Mas‘udi Kashmiri ibn ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri.