The rûh [spirit] which remained uneasy due to separation, the nafs [soul]
which remained desirous of the Hereafter, the saint who lived like a traveller
as commanded in the hadîth, the epitome of simplicity, the one whose heart
brimmed with the love of Allâh, finally bade farewell to this transitory abode
on 23 Rabî’uth-Thani 1418 A.H. (28 August 1997) on a Thursday in Lucknow, India.
Siddiq Ahmed wars born in approximately 1341 AH. in Hathora District Bandah. His
ancestors had migrated from Mousil iin Iraq to India. He was still very young
when his father passed away. His mother made arrangements for him to travel to
Kanpur to further his studies. For some reason or the other, he did not partake
of the madrasah food.
For the first few days he survived on the food his mother had given him.
However, the supply was exhausted after a few days. Thereafter Allâh Ta’âla
provided an opportunity for him to earn a meal. One of his teachers asked him to
run the errand of bringing some water daily from the municipal tap to his house.
In exchange for this errand, he would provide him with some food. For a whole
year he survived in this manner on one meal only. In fact, later on, one of his
colleagues from Bandah joined him. Now there were two of them partaking of the
same ration. A third companion arrived but he could not endure such hardship and
left shortly thereafter.
He obtained his initial education including the Qirat course at Panipat. Here
he used to have lessons the whole day and night till 1:00 p.m. the next morning.
Thereafter the students were allowed to sleep for two hours and were then
awakened for tahajjud. Hadrat used to say that whatever difficult work he
managed in later life was a result of the utmost exertion he endured during his
After completing his initial education, he took admission at Mazahirul Uloom
in Saharanpur in 1359 A.H. He studied his final year of Hadîth in 1363 A.H.
After graduating, he served Dîn in the fields of Tablîgh, Da‘wah and writing.
There was so much poverty in the village where Hadrat lived that the children
used to be sent to the fields from the morning. There, they would eat whatever
they could find during the day. When Hadrat started Hifz [memorising the Qur’ân],
he used to receive some bread. His two younger sisters would also be sent to the
pastures and when he intended to share his bread with them, no one would listen
to him. The two sisters passed away at an early age. Hadrat's whole life was one
of difficulty and agony. Perhaps there isn't a great scholar like him today who
endured such rigour.
Opinion of his superiors:
He had a very close relationship with Moulana Asadullah Saheb, the successor
of Hadrat Thanwi and was conferred the mantle of khilafah by him. Once Moulana
Asadullah told Moulana Taqiuddeen NadvA that he (the former) was ill. Moulana
Siddiq came to visit him. Moulana Asadullah told him to read and blow on his
body. Moulana Asadullah relates that wherever Moulana Siddiq read and blew, he
immediately perceived some relief. Mufti Mahmood (Rahmatullah) used to say that
if Allâh Ta’âla asked him on the Day of Judgement what he brought, he would
present Moulana Siddiq Ahmed.
The need for an institute:
The district of Bandah had neither a madrasah, an Islâmic institute worth
mentioning nor was there any religious personality that worked there for some
time. The religious condition of the people was thus deplorable. A large
percentage of the Muslims were Muslims in name only. They had absolutely no
relationship with Islâm. After the independence of India, the people of the
Shuddi movement began converting these weak Muslims into Hinduism. A wave of
irtidâd [reneging from Islâm] swept across the area. Thousands of Muslims left
the fold of Islâm.
Moulana was teaching at the Madrasah Islâmiyah in Fatehpur at the time. He
had been receiving news about the people of Bandah. One night, as he prepared to
sleep, he pondered over the fact that Allâh would not ask him about the books he
taught but would question him about his efforts to stem the tide of irtidâd. His
sleep disappeared and he spent the whole night in anxiety and concern. Before
the morning he had already decided that he would work among his people and worry
about their imân. He took permission from the madrasah authorities and resigned.
He began travelling to all the nearby villages and settlements to tell the
people about Deen. His effort was solo. Sometimes he would spend the night in a
bale of hay and sometimes he had to sleep in a footpath on someone's farm. After
working for several months in this manner, he perceived the need for a madrasah
that could be used as a centre for all the work. The locals were not interested
in a madrasah and thus no one offered him assistance. Nevertheless, he worked
alone and managed to establish a madrasah in his village. All the villagers were
extremely poor. Their homes were made of mud and the masjid was very small and
in a pitiable condition. Initially when the madrasah was made of mud, it used to
collapse every year in the rain. None of this discouraged him from urging on. He
together with some ustâdh and students built the madrasah with their own hands.
When mixing the cement and sand, their hands used to bleed. This building not
only includes the perspiration of the teachers and students, but also their
blood. In this manner he toiled until he established and financially supported
approximately one hundred elementary madâris. He was appointed a member of the
Shura of Nadwatul Ulama in 1387H (27 August 1967).
Hadrat was an icon of humility. Moulana Zakariyya Sambhali who was an ustadh
at Hadrat's institute writes that the uncultured students of the village used to
mess the toilets of the madrasah and leave them in an atrocious condition.
However, one noticed that every morning the toilets used to be spotlessly clean.
No one had any idea who was responsible for this. One morning at about 2:30
a.m., Moulana Zakariyya had to answer the call of nature. When he approached the
toilets, he saw a person collecting water from the wudhu khana in a bucket and
washing the toilets. On closer inspection he realised it was Hadrat himself.
Thereafter Hadrat went to the well and took a bath after which he performed
tahajjud salâh in the courtyard of the masjid. Allâh knows best what rewards
such a saint could achieve.
Wherever he went, all he carried was a shawl, a bag made of material which
contained a jug, a lungi and one set of clothes. Even when he travelled from
Bombay to Johannesburg, this was all he carried. People at Bombay airport
insisted that he takes an attaché case but he refused.
Hadrat was a model of the pious predecessors in his independence, trust in
Allâh, abstinence and piety. Moulana Abul Hasan Nadwi used to urge him not to
undergo such strain by undertaking long journeys but he did not submit and this
eventually affected his health adversely. His acceptance among the people can be
gauged from the fact that thousands of people from far and wide came to attend
hid funeral. May Allâh Ta’âla shower his grave with nûr Âmîn.