What Were The Elders Of Deoband?
The eminent Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah protect him) writes:
”The answer to this can also be given briefly in the following words: They were a reminder of the Khayr al-Qurun (the best of eras i.e. the era of the first three generations) and an example of the pious predecessors. They were a living picture of Islamic temperament and disposition.
However, if one were to attempt a detailed explanation of these brief words, volumes upon volumes would not suffice. The truth is that to limit their special qualities to words is not only difficult but near enough impossible. This is because their special qualities are, in reality, related to that temperament and disposition which illuminated the lives and the way of life of the honourable Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). Temperament and disposition are things that can be sensed but cannot be explained appropriately through words. Just as the scent of a rose can be smelt but not completely explained through words, similarly the temperament and disposition of these respected people can be understood by associating with them and hearing their stories. Logically describing them is, however, impossible.”
Akabir-e-Deoband Kiya Thay? (Karachi: Maktabah Ma’arif al-Qur’an, Jumada ‘l-Thaniyah 1424 AH / August 2003 CE ed. p. 87) by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.