A tribute to the legendary scholar-Moulana Abdul Bari Fakardey Nadwi Rahmatullah Alaihi

By Fatima SM

Fifty years ago, during the initial years of Jamia Islamia Bhatkal, a boy who was merely just six years old, would stand outside his house and would say the khutbah. Passerby's would stop and listen and enjoy his this innocent act. But, who then knew that this little boy would one day turn out to be a legendary scholar and orator, such that his demise would be regarded as a huge loss not only for the people of his town Bhatkal, but also for the Muslim Ummah.

A man who even on his death bed gave dawah to a nurse who was looking after him and appealed to her to accept the religion of peace, who spent his entire life praying to Allah to give Hidayah to people, who took the responsibility of educating many thousands of students under his wing and would win the hearts of people with his humbleness and kindness, who did not distinguish people on any grounds, who refused the offer of one of his well wisher of having a car along with a driver for himself to make his daily travelling woes easy for him, who ruled over the hearts of people and made every student and every person he came across feel special, who followed what he preached, who posessed some of the highest and virtuous qualities that the most righteous slaves of Allah SWT posessed, this man was none other than Moulana Abdul Bari Fakardey Nadwi, and what a legend this man was and what legacy he carried had been proved time and again. But, his true worth and what a valuable gem he was, his funeral procession that was attended by so many thousands of people, biggest in the history of Bhatkal, has proved what this man actually was for the people of his town and for all those who knew him. People from Saudi, U.A.E and other gulf countries including many parts of India arrived in Bhatkal in huge numbers to attend his funeral.

Moulana Abdul Bari was born in November 16, 1961. His initial schooling was done in Jamia Islamia Bhatkal. It is said that Moulana and Jamia grew almost together simultaneously. For further studies, he went to Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow. He was the vice principal of Jamia Islamia Bhatkal from 1995-2000 and principal from 2000 till the time of his demise. He was the vice president of Ali Public School and Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi Islamic Academy. He was also the head of Masjide Muaz.

He was a great scholar and orator of his time. His Friday sermons are not only heard in India, but also in U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and many other places far and wide such as even in Europe and US. The voice that he was blessed with, his oration and his fluency and eloquence of the Arabic language would put people in a maze and left many people who were not aware of his nationality perplexed and would ask him if he was an Arab national.

He rejected every offer that came his way even with the highest pay from people of other nationalities also and always said that what he was doing, it is only for Allah SWT, for the religion of Islam and for his community and not for gaining the pleasures of this world that is only temporary. He never had love for this world and never believed in accumulation of wealth and property.

He carried a panache on his face and had a light on his face that would attract people towards him. He was caring and truly genuine and was an instant head turner and his descriptive speeches and unique style and simple logical explanations and solutions would turn a person's heart instantly towards him and towards the religion of Islam. He was praised by the Arabs for his oration and sermons.

He was truly a man of words and a true slave of Allah SWT and an ardent follower of Islam and he proved this even on his death bed when he kept saying "la ilaha illallah muhammadur rasulullah" and some other verses of the Qur'an at a time when he was is tremendous pain. He welcomed his death with a smile on his face and few minutes before his soul departed from this world, he kept saying "walaikum as salam" which his sons believe was may be his reply to the salutation of the angels as it is said that angels greet the righteous slaves of Allah SWT.

A day before his death he said to one of his sisters "hey balli sakth ashey" meaning this is very difficult and pointed to his right and then to his left and said that the small one is troubling a lot, which according to his sons would be in reference to the satan. When his doctors would come and enquire about his health and ask him if he was having any trouble or pain, he would say "alhumdulillah, I am good. How about you? Did you have your food?", even though it had been almost three months since he had almost consumed not a single proper morsel of food himself. A day before his death he gave the jumah khutbah and two days before his death he said a fifteen minute prayer that would have shaken the soul of every believer which unfortunately was not recorded. It is said that the prayer was such that if it would have been recorded, it would have been enough to guide the coming generations for decades and decades.

In his dua, he appealed to Allah SWT and said that he taught people for His sake and not to show off to anyone and that whatever he did, he did it for Him alone and that not a single morsel of haram did he ever feed his wife and children and asked Allah to take care of his aged parents. A day before his death he told his family members that we have been sent on this earth to spread Kalima Tayyab and to make it common among the people. It was with this kalima on his lips that he breathed his last. Though he lived a short life of 54 years, he carried tremendous amount of responsibilities on his shoulder and did such a huge amount of work which would have taken two centuries to be completed and it is because of this contribution of his towards promoting Islam that after his death, he is being conferred with the highest and honourable title of Rahmatullah Alaihi.

Even in this era of technology and gadgets, he did not believe in owning them and his son Abdul Ahad Nadwi refers this to be one of the causes of his success, as he never even owned a cell phone though he was gifted with many and some of the best and latest handsets. He knew how precious time was and made maximum use of it. He never missed a tahajjud and always prayed his fajr prayers in the mosque even if he had a cold and even in heavy monsoons.

After fajr prayers he would take classes of the Hadith book "Riyaz us Saliheen and had completed it three times. And every Wednesdays he took Tafseer e Qur'an classes and had also finished that two times. From the young age of 22 or 26 years he had been giving darz to college students and had continued with it till he fell ill three months ago. Almost every night he would have people visiting him or calling him to their homes to share with them their major personal problem with hope of receiving a perfect solution. He had tremendous respect for people of all religions and backgrounds. He even made the most pauper human feel rich with his affection and love and had the knack to win the hearts of every human he came across and knew how to carry them along with him whether they were his student, colleagues or just an acquaintance.

He had visited almost all big cities and states and many many small towns and villages of India and had also been to many gulf countries, but none of his visits were for pleasure. All these trips were made by him sans his wife and sometimes with may be either one of his sons, which was again quite a rare thing, for spreading the message of Allah SWT and inviting people to the religion of Islam for the sole purpose of doing Dawah.

A man of such caliber, Bhatkal has truly lost its greatest son, its brightest shining star. His worth and his value can be felt by us today after we have lost him. He was not an author himself, but under his guidance many did become authors. He has left a legacy behind him. It is only after his death that it has been come to be known that this righteous human not only prayed for the welfare and guidance of the Ummah of Muhammad Pbuh, but that in the darkness of the night, before the fajr azan, after tahajjud, ones or twice a week, he would go to visit the graveyard and pray for the deceased and in the early hours of the morning of Eid, as he believed that not only do the humans who are walking on earth are in need of prayers, but also those who have passed away and are lying in their grave. It is this noble act of his, of which even his family was not aware of. Such a man was he who did charity work much more than one can imagine without letting anyone know.

A very obedient son, a great husband, a protective father, a caring and humble human being, a very thankful and generous slave who even on his death bed never complained to the doctors that he was in pain. He lived his life with utmost simplicity and never made even a beggar who would come to his door feel inferior. He was even accepted by people of all groups like by the Salafis, shaafis, hanafis, tableeghi etc and was respected by all. He would always be a part of every important functions and meetings of Bhatkal and nearby areas. In a hundred years, a man of such high morals may not have been born in the face of Bhatkal. This generous and forgiving man on his death bed asked his people and staff to forgive him for any mistake or short comings that he must have committed and praised his wife and other family members for taking care of him.

May Allah SWT grant this righteous man a lofty place in Jannatul Firdous and give his family and his loved ones the patience to bear with his loss and give us the hidayah to follow what he said and our sons the hidayah to follow on his footsteps.