A life sketch of Sayyeda Khairunnisa, the mother of Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi.

Maulana’s mother was a hafidhah (committed Holy Quran into memory), a scholar and a poetess. A few of her books, including two poetry collections, have been published. She enjoyed good command over the women of the village and hence led the Taravih prayers for the ladies. She worked for building religious awareness among women and was one of the blessed ones who had immediate answer for duas.

She was a pious lady who was actively involved in various forms of Ibadah and was fortunate to have the vision of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam in the dream many times during her lifetime. Maulana has himself mentioned that his mother was fortunate to have pledged allegiance to the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam in the dream. She played a key role in shaping the personality of the Maulana. It was the little Ali’s religious progress that filled her heart during the solitary prayers at midnight when tears rolled in the remembrance of her Lord.

She perpetually prayed to Allah to inculcate in her son the qualities of the Companions and the Caliphs. She ensured that qualities such as congregation prayers, unalloyed faith in the Oneness of Allah, heart overflowing with Prophetic Love and everyday practice of the important chapters and prayers from Holy Quran were part of his personality. Maulana used to say that his mother’s education to apologize publicly before the housemaids was an inspiration for him to express regrets when would commit faults in the later life.

Actively interested in the education of her son, she was his primary teacher in memorizing the Holy Book. During the student years of Maulana in Lucknow when he began English education and began to show inclination in English works, it was his mother who dissuaded him from it and guided him to study in depth the Islamic and Arabic literatures. She maintained that English education was required only to the basic requirements.

After living for about 93 noble years, she passed away in 1968. It was just before her death that Maulana reached Rai bareli from Bhopal. On arriving home, she called him beside her and said “Son! I saw in a dream that each hair in my body was glorifying God and I was overjoyed by it”. Hearing this, he replied, “This dream is blessed and needs no interpretation.”

He writes, “The day she died, she was seen very happy. She kept reciting Dhikr counting on her fingers. At this moment she was gradually walking into the fold of death. Then she was heard saying “Allah…” As the cry ended, we were convinced that she had migrated to the hereafter.

Posted : Nov 22 2007