One of the Students of my Honourable Teacher; Al-‘Allamatul Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) who had visited the Shaykh (13 February 2021), to pay his respects and condolence after the demise of Shaykh’s wife (may Allah raise her ranks), witnessed Shaykh headed to his office on foot in the deep snow of Istanbul. (A picture of this scene was widely circulated on social media. Istanbul didn’t experience such heavy snowfall in close to twenty years.)
It being the day after the demise and burial of his wife (his companion for 57 years), this seemed odd to the visitor, so after Shaykh was seated at his desk in the office, he enquired from him:
‘Isn’t it time for you to take some rest after the passing of your wife, especially in the currently extreme cold conditions, and your ill-health?
The grief [of her loss] is also still fresh’
Shaykh (hafizahullah) replied, ‘My son, Insha Allah [I have hope that] I will die with these books, in the path of Allah, serving the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and protecting His Sunnah!’
After saying this, Shaykh (hafizahullah) turned back to his desk and continued writing.
Such is Shaykh’s dedication to the Mubarak Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), at the ripe age of 83!
Having had the honour of being with my Honourable Teacher for the past 13 months here in Istanbul, (May Allah grant -and accept from- me many more months and years in his esteemed company) I do not regard the above as strange in the least!
One who witnesses Shaykh dedicate a minimum of 8 hours a day, for 6 days a week, through ill-health, lockdown, heat, cold, rain and snow, whilst having to bear the separation from his Beloved city of Madinah Munawwarah, as well as separation from most of his family who reside in K.S.A. This pain of separation [as Shaykh mentioned to me himself a few months ago] is something he contends with constantly!
One who witnesses the above on a daily basis, will not merely see the occurrence under discussion above as normal, but actually expected. After all, it is further proof of his sincerity and genuine dedication!
The point to actually note is [as the student who made the observation above wrote]:
‘We should all take lesson from the lofty courage of Shaykh (hafizahullah), especially those who have ascended superficial pedestals of knowledge, da’wah and reformation for its prestige, with nothing to show for it besides seemingly righteous attire!
May Allah guide us all, and preserve Shaykh for many more years to come, for the broader benefit of the Ummah.
اللهم الطف بشيخنا، وبأمة سيدنا محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
On the topic of Shaykh’s (hafizahullah) separation from Madinah Munawwarah, he once mentioned to me:
‘I consider it a very great favour of Allah on me for allowing me to serve the Tradition of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) for forty years in the city of his Beloved Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam),
The next best favour of Allah on me is that he has allowed me to serve Islam from the last Capital of the Islamic [Ottoman] Empire; Istanbul. In the same vein, I consider myself fortunate to have visited the lands of Bukhara, Samarqand etc. (in Uzbekistan – 2018), for those lands are amplified reminders of the rich history of Islamic knowledge. I view that an honour from Allah equal to the previous one.’
While recalling his visit to those lands, Shaykh often says [and he also said this to me on the same night that he mentioned the above]:
These lands [of Uzbekistan] are such that every brick and stone speaks of [the history of] knowledge, nay every leaf on every tree does so!
Shaykh’s son; my dear friend; Dr Muhyuddeen ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) has penned graphic details of their trip to Uzbekistan. The book is currently in its latter stages of publication.