So after we had finished purchasing our books, we headed off to Shaykh Faraz’s brother-in-law’s house. This was the venue where the gathering would be held. Initially, we were set to start the event at 6:00 pm. It was 6:30 when we left the shop. The reason for this delay can be explained by what Mudasser stated: Us being in a bookstore was similar to a child in a candy-shop.
Khayr, there were supposed to be a number of other guests coming, including our very own Ahsan Irfan and Taha Syed. It did not take us long to reach the house and soon enough we were standing in front of the front door being led down to the basement. The basement was quite roomy and large, large enough to seat many individuals. There was no furniture down there, and it seemed to have been recently renovated.
Ironically, we were amongst the first few people there, even after being an hour late. Soon enough though all the guests came swarming in. It was really amazing. All these noble brothers, donned in thobes and jubbas and turbans, sitting down on the carpeted floor conversing with beautiful smiles. I saw Shaykh Faraz sitting near the stairs of the basement speaking in Arabic with a brother. However, unfortunately, I was unable to clearly make out the discussion because I was sitting on the opposite side of the room.
Since we were late it was decided that we would first eat and then pray maghrib. I initially did not intend to eat, but took a few morsels just to attain the baraka. Everyone was sitting in their own little circles, eating and chatting away. I was with Mudasser, Ahsan, Taha, Munawwar, and Hamza (i.e. Maniac Muslim) and we discussed numerous things such as the spiritual tariqa, the various shuyukh, Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam, some fiqh stuff and so forth. I was seated right next to Shaykh Faraz, my back was towards his back as we were sitting in separate circles. However, I could tell that Shaykh Faraz was overhearing our conversation for he would occasionally turn around and make a comment, mostly disagreeing with me on issues of difference between the Indian `Ulema and the Arabs.
The maghrib prayer was led by Shaykh Adnan, who was a graduate of Mahad al Fath. Shaykh Faraz introduced him to everyone as a scholar of the religion from the lands of Syria. He was a young man of medium height, fair complexion, very humble, a small beard, and amazing recitation. He initially hesitated to lead the prayer in the presence of Shaykh Faraz, but did so after some insistence. His recitation, as i mentioned, was amazing. It was clear that he was a man with a connection to Allah Most High as he would stutter when reciting a surah out of fear of his Lord. May Allah make us all people who are aware of His presence at all times and grant us khushu` in our prayers.
The time had finally arrived. We all sat in lines. In the front was Shaykh Faraz, Shaykh Adnan, and a few other brothers who would be leading the nasheed and dhikr. They were facing towards everyone else. I was in the very first row, just a few feet away from Shaykh Faraz. Right behind me were Mudasser and the rest of the guys.
The first thing we did was recite a section of the Qasida al Burda, the masterpiece in praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) written by Imam Busiri. One could feel the nur surrounding the room and its inhabitants as we all chanted away in praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). I peaked up at Shaykh Faraz a few times while we were reciting. He had his eyes closed, his head swaying gently from side to side, deep in concentration as if he was visualizing the figure of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in front of him.
Soon enough we ended the specific section(s) and Shaykh Faraz was asked to give a brief talk. It was indeed very brief, probably no more than 10 minutes. However, it had deep meanings. I cannot detail it because I am unable to recall the exact wordings the Shaykh used. la hawla wa la quwwuta ila billah.
After Shayk Faraz gave his talk we recited the Qasida al Muhammadiyah in whole and Shaykh Faraz translated it afterwards so as to give the audience a hint about its beauty and magnificence, and splendor in praise of the greatest of all creation.
The last thing to be recited was a nasheed by a brother entitled Fasalon ko Takalluf. It was in Urdu and simply stunning. My favorite lines were:
naam aqa jahan bhi lya jayai ga — dhikr un ka jahan bhi kya jayai ga
nur hi nur seeno mei bhar jayai ga — saari mehfil mei jalwai lapak jayai gai
It was truly amazing. The eyes flow with tears and the heart humbles itself in front of the mention of his (peace be upon him) name and the yearning and love increases so much so that one would sacrifice all just for a glimpse at the dust that touched his feet.
Shaykh Faraz gave the closing du`a. He started by praising the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and sending blessings on his family, companions, and the ummah. Then he began making general invocations for guidance and forgiveness. The most moving part of the invocation was when Shaykh Faraz prayed for Shaykh Yaqoubi’s wife who had recently passed away in a car accident (May Allah grant her the highest level of Paradise) and, right before that, for the victims who had been killed while holding a mawlid gathering in Pakistan. Shaykh Faraz stuttered when he got to this point and he cried out to Allah “Your Prophet is free of this” and it seemed as if the Shaykh could not hold in his feelings anymore because you could see the tears flowing down his cheeks and the emotion is his voice, and he wept, and seeing our teacher weep we also wept and wept until not a tear was left in our eyes. It was the first time I saw my ustaadh in such a state, and at that moment I was liek a child who would cry when he saw his mother cry even if he did not know what was going on. May Allah grant our teachers success in this life and the next and allow us to benefit with their baraka and follow in their footsteps, amin.
And so the milad ended, although it lived on in our hearts and in our daily lives, Insha’Allah. We stuck around for a while and then said our salam to everyone. I knew I would not see Shaykh Faraz for a while, thus I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness. I was quiet depressed actually. However, Allah chooses what is best for his slaves. This is tawakul. If He wills, the lover and the beloved shall be united, in this life or the next. We will carry on fulfilling His rights and walking the path regardless of whether we get what we want, for we know that whatever He sends, whatever He takes, whatever He gives, is divine will and has in it some divine wisdom contemplating which is beyond our capacity in most cases.
And May He grant us all success.