Mawlana Muhammad Ihtisham al-Hasan Kandhlawi writes:


‘‘Hadrat Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn Kandhlawi[1] would divide the night into three parts. In the first part of the night he would teach the translation of the Qur’an to his second wife, who had previously been widowed. In the second part of the night, he would teach his daughters the translation of the Qur’an. The third part of the night was reserved for his wife from Kirana at whose house he would offer tahajjud prayer.’’[2]

[1] Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn Kandhlawi [1220-1283] was a wali of Allah who was renowned for his simplicity, humility, piety, ascetism, abundant worship, fear of and love for Allah, and adherence to the sunnah. His teachers and shaykhs include his uncle Mufti Ilahi Bakhsh Kandhlawi, Mawlana Shah Kamal al-Din and the beloved grandsons of Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Dehlawi — Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dehlawi and Shah Muhammad Ya‘qub Dehlawi. He was also blessed with the company (suhbah) of Sayyid Ahmad Shahid, from whom he benefited greatly.


His shaykh Shah Muhammad Ya‘qub Dehlawi once said that whoever desires to see the conduct, clothing, appearance and lifestyle of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) should observe Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn. His speeches were simple, yet heart-penetrating; they would remove doubts and cleanse hearts. It would seem as if the mercy of Allah was descending like rain from the heavens, causing dead hearts to flourish. He strove hard throughout his life to revive the sunnah. He was among those scholars who strongly advocated the marrying of widows, something that was taboo owing to local Hindu culture. Many people from all over India would come to him for spiritual guidance. His disciples were known for their love of and adherence to the Qur’an and sunnah. Hafiz Muhammad Yusuf, the maternal grandfather of Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya, and his brother Hafiz Muhammad Yunus would say that one of the miracles and blessings of Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn was that his disciples would never miss their tahajjud prayer.


Senior scholars such as Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi and Mawlana Ya‘qub Nanautwi loved and revered him, and considered him their senior. In fact, it was under Mawlana Muzaffar Husayn Kandhlawi’s guidance and encouragement that Mawlana Qasim Nanautwi delivered his first public speech.


He performed Hajj on foot on several occasions. At the end of his life, upon his shaykh’s instruction, he migrated to the Hijaz and passed away on reaching the illuminated city of Madinah on 10 Muharram 1283/25 May 1866. He lays buried in Jannat al-Baqi‘ near the resting place of Sayyiduna ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan (may Allah be pleased with him).


May Allah enlighten his resting place, shower His mercy on him and grant him, his teachers, students, and all those mentioned above the highest stations in Paradise. Amin.  (Adapted by the translator from Nuzhat al-Khawatir and an article by Mawlana Muhammad Ihtisham al-Hasan Kandhlawi).


[2] Sawanih ‘Ulama’-e-Deoband (Deoband: Nawaz publications) Vol. 1, p. 238, compiled by Dr. Nawaz Deobandi.