After being assigned to khidmat in Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Karachi, a few years later I was summoned by Ameer al-Jamea Syedi Najmuddin Saheb QR to Surat.
Owing to tough financial circumstances, I had to borrow Qardan Hasana from several people during my stay in Surat. Although I was unsure about my return to Karachi, I believed I would have enough time to settle up the debts before heading back home.
Just when I had started to seek comfort in my confidence, I was informed that Burhanuddin Moula RA had instructed me to return to Karachi immediately after Imtehan, which were ending a few days later.
The thought of going back home to Karachi rushed a feeling of warmth, but my blood ran cold the very next moment thinking about the debt.
Not knowing where to go or what to do, I sought refuge in Qubbah Najmiyah, laid my head on the Qabr Mubarak of Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin RA and recited the following verse with tearful eyes.
واجهدني الفقر من مدة * فاعط العطايا يداً بيد
O Moula! Long have I been tested by hardships. Bestow upon me from your treasures without further delay.
Imtehan would end the next day, and I would leave the day after.
On the following day, Moulana RA presided over wada bethak and bestowed a ‘wada nu salam’ upon every talabat and khidmat guzar who attended Imtehaan.
Just like everyone else, I performed salam and Moulana RA handed me the ‘wada nu salam’.
At the time that I was leaving, Moulana RA turned towards Miyansaheb al-Shaikh Ibrahim Yamani Saheb and expressed a gesture which I could not comprehend.
Without any delay, Miyansaheb conveyed an envelope to Moulana RA, which Moulana RA then handed over to me with a broad smile.
Excited. Humbled. Overwhelmed. Puzzled. I performed shukr and left.
Expecting a letter or Misal Mubarak, I opened the other envelope.
Left dumbstruck, I fell on my knees. The envelope took in the precise amount I had needed to settle my debts.
How? I wondered with tears running down my cheeks. I relived what I had done the night before and got the answer.
Marhoom Janab Shk Ismail Bhai Mulla Ali Hussain Hoshangabadwala
Light-eyed, regular height, and a fair complexion; Janab Shk Ismail Bhai would never go unnoticed. He was a blend of both; discipline and tenderness. He would never forget to wear a smile, yet, his presence would be enough to straighten things at times. Given the status he held, some may think he would have been out of reach, however, he was always one of all.
Even in the final years of khidmat, when he was enduring severe medical difficulties, he always made a point to attend Aljamea. Every time when students would pay him a visit at his residence, he would always mention his desire to have the final breaths of his life in Aljamea. Such was his extraordinary love for a place that he served for fifty years.
Janab left us on 27th Rajab 1438 in Karachi at the time of Imtehan. Upon hearing the news of his end, Moulana Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS stated; “Ghani mohti raat lidi che”, “pachas waras lag khidmat kidi”.
As we celebrate fifty years of Aljamea’s campus in Karachi, we can perceive Janab’s presence among us. Someone of his sort can never be forgotten. Hence, he is not missed. Missed are those who leave.
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