Mawlana Zafar Ahmad Thanawi relates,
‘‘When, in 1328 AH, Hadrat (Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri) travelled for Hajj and arrived at al-Masjid al-Haram for the Tawaf-e-Qudum (the circumambulation of arrival), I was sitting near Mawlana Muhibb al-Din (a senior khalifah of Haji [Imdad Allah]). At the time, Mawlana Muhibb al-Din was reciting salawat from a book, when suddenly he turned towards me and asked, ‘‘who has just entered the Haram, that it has become filled with light?’’ I remained silent. After a little while, having completed his circumambulation, Hadrat walked towards the Gate of Safa to perform sa‘i and came to Mawlana Muhibb al-Din as this was his sitting place. Mawlana stood up and, while laughing, remarked, ‘‘I was wondering who had arrived in the Haram today.’’ He then shook his hands (musafahah) and embraced him (mu‘anaqah). Hadrat left to perform his sa‘i. Mawlana Muhibb al-Din sat down in his place and remarked, ‘‘Zafar! Mawlana Khalil Ahmad is radiance embodied. There is nothing but light in him.’’ He then said, ‘‘I did not see Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, and I was told that he was Qutb al-Irshad. However, I have realised by seeing his successors that he really was Qutb al-Irshad, having trained such proficient (kamil) people.
Ma‘arif-e-Shaykh al-Hadith, (Karachi: Zam Zam Publishers, June 2007 ed.), p.78-79, compiled by Hafiz Muhammad Akbar Shah Bukhari
 ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani – most well-known for his masterpiece in the Hanafi madh-hab, I‘la’ al-Sunan, one of the greatest works authored in recent centuries – had ijazah in tasawwuf from Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri and is also among his senior students, having studied hadith under his tutelage at Mazahir-e-‘Ulum in Saharanpur.