Doret begardam (may I circle around you forever): a Persian phrase to express the highest affection and love for someone residing in the heart as the focal point, commonly used while addressing the parents, is what I utter whenever I remember Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin RA and relive the moments I spent in his presence during his visits to Chicago.
Of all the unforgettable instances, the most elating for me is what happened on the evening of the 4th of July, 1986.
It was the close of the day and Burhanuddin Moula RA, along with Busaheba Amatullah Aisaheba QR, was sitting in the backyard of our house over the evening snacks. Suddenly, the calm and stillness of a routine windy night in Chicago were interrupted by the loud booms and whistles of the fireworks.
With his eyes lit up, Moula RA inquired: “aa kena waste che”?. I responded: “Moula aaje 4th of July che, ehna fireworks che”.
“Mane lai jau”, Moula RA replied with a pearly smile.
I stood there rooted to the spot and only managed to utter “Jee Moula”. Like the state of anyone living in Chicago and driving to the downtown, I was consumed with the thought of the most trivial, yet critical issue: where would I find a parking spot for Moula RA to step out of the car? And considering it was the night of the 4th of July, I was convinced it was impossible.
My heart sank.
I entered downtown only to find that the situation was much more unfavorable than I had expected. With the police patrolling the entire area, I kept driving along in search of a place to stop the car briefly so that at least Moula RA could step out; however, in vain.
After a while, I managed to spot a place in a no-parking zone around Buckingham Fountain; panic-stricken and nervous I pulled the car over. The next moment, I was surrounded by the police sternly gesturing and directing me to get the car moving.
Numb and dejected, I attempted to talk through with the officer approaching the car in a cracking voice from my driving seat. Just as I began to talk, the officer interrupted and directed me to drive on in a tough tone.
Lost in bewilderment and desperate to seek a way so that Moula RA could step out, I uttered to the officer in a pleading voice: “Sir, I have an old man with me in the car“. The officer leaned forward and glanced at Moulana Mohammad Burhanuddin RA in the rear seat; Moula RA greeted him with a smile.
For a good few moments, the officer stood there in awe. Thereupon, reverently nodding, he gestured towards Moula RA to exit the car and drew back.
Calm and collected, Moula RA gracefully turned to step out; I was sweating and gasping for breath. Just before leaving the car, Moula RA placed his haath mubarak on my shoulder with a gentle grip, blessed me with a healing smile, and articulately stated: “old man na kaho”.
For the next hour or more, I was circling around Chicago’s downtown in my car with tears in my eyes revisiting what had just transpired as it resonated with Moulana Taher Saifuddin’s RA words for Moulana Mohammad Burhanuddin RA: ‘this eternally young [nawjawaan] is me, and a boundless carrier of knowledge’.
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Shk Ammar Bhai Moosaabhoy
In the means of shukr and zikr, anyone who is willing to share his/her’s acquaintance, incident or any experience with Moulana Muqaddas RA or Moulana Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS can mail it to email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org