Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullah Alayh) received his higher Islamic education at Darul-Uloom Deoband during the period 1962 – 1969. Hazrat Maulana studied the first volume of Sahih al-Bukhari under the tutorship of Hazrat Maulana Fakhruddeen (Rahmatullah Alayh) and the second volume under Hazrat Mufti Mahmood ((Rahmatullah Alayh) ). In Hazrat Maulana’s final year of studies, he would accompany Mufti Mahmood (Rahmatullah Alayh) on Thursdays and Fridays, to sit in the company of Shaykhul Hadith, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahmatullah Alayh) After completing his studies, he was advised by Mufti Mahmood Saheb (Rahmatullah Alayh), his Ustaad, to derive benefit from Hazrat Maulana Abrarul Haq Hardoi (Rahmatullah Alayh) . Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullah Alayh َ) thus proceeded to Hardoi and stayed there for seven or eight days. Hazrat Maulana Abrarul Haq (ََRahmatullah Alayhَ) showed great compassion towards him during his stay.
Hazrat Maulana’s heart was still inclined towards Shaykhul Hadith, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahmatullah Alayhَ) and he had a deep and strong desire to take bay’at at his hands. Hence, on his return, he took bay’at upon the hands of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahmatullah Alayh)
After the demise of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya (Rahmatullah Alayh), Maulana expressed his wish to take bay`at to Mufti Mahmood Saheb (Rahmatullah Alayh). Mufti Saheb remarked: “There is no need for you to do so immediately. Continue following the advices and teachings of Hazrat Shaykh (ََRahmatullah Alayh َ).”
Hazrat Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh) followed through with Mufti Saheb’s advice, but his burning desire to gain spiritual guidance under a mentor, intensified.
First Meeting and Bay`at with Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (RA)
Hazrat Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh)’s gaze fell on the blessed face of Aarif Billah Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb for the first time in 1994, at the Darul Uloom Azaadville Jalsa.
Without even listening to any of Hazrat’s lectures, Hazrat Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh) felt a strong and intense inclination to take the bay’at at the hands of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb.
After that particular Jalsa, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar (Rahmatullah Alayh) visited Durban and lectured at various places in Durban.
Durban is one of the bigger cities in South Africa. It is where Maulana Yunus Patel (ََRahmatullah Alayh َ) resided. He was the Imam of Masjid-e-Noor in the suburb of Asherville. Many lectures by Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (DB) were also held at this Masjid.
Just before Hazrat’s departure from South Africa, whilst at the airport, Maulana expressed his desire for bay’at. Hazrat seated the people and with great happiness initiated the bay’at. He thereafter said to Hazrat Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh): ‘You will Insha Allah ‘fly’ (spiritually).’
A few months later, on hearing the news of Mufti Mahmood (Rahmatullah Alayh)’s illness, Maulana travelled to Deoband to visit his respected Ustaadh. Maulana also intended spending some time in the company of Hazrat in Karachi during this same trip.
Upon Maulana’s arrival in Deoband, Mufti Sahib remarked: ‘How is it that you come now in Shawwaal and not in Ramadaan?’
Maulana explained that on hearing the news of his illness, he wished to visit him.
Mufti Saheb replied: “Actually it was the desire of my heart that drew you here so that I may give you ijaazat (khilafat).”
Maulana began to tear and said: ‘I am not worthy of it.’
Mufti Saheb said: ‘This is how you should feel about yourself, but I know who is deserving of it.’
After this visit, Maulana travelled to Karachi and related this incident to Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Saheb, seeking his advice.
Hazrat advised Maulana to treat the Ijaazat of Mufti Saheb as a blessing…
Shortly after Maulana returned home, he received a letter from Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb, wherein Hazrat wrote : “I grant you ijaazat (khilafat).”
In his subsequent visits to South Africa, Hazrat (RA) would stay for a longer time in Durban. Hazrat, his companions and associates stayed at Maulana’s Madrasah. Hazrat was overjoyed on witnessing the arrangements made for him, as well as the enthusiasm of the people.
During Hazrat’s stay, the Madrasah became extraordinarily luminous.
A Tribute to the city of Durban
On one occasion, whilst traveling to Cape Town, Hazrat requested his most special attendant, Hazrat Ishrat Jameel Meer Saheb (DB) to allow Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh) to sit in his place, next to Hazrat, and that he should sit in Maulana’s place.
Meer Saheb did as requested and informed Maulana that Hazrat wanted him to sit next to him. Maulana went and sat next to Hazrat. Hazrat then took a note-book out of his pocket and began writing… and Maulana watched as Hazrat wrote.
Hazrat’s poetry was ‘Ilhaam’ (Divine Inspiration), so there was no requirement of pondering over rhyme, verse and stanza. Hazrat was inspired with this poetry aboard the aircraft.
When the poem ‘Dar yaade Durban’ was complete, Hazrat handed it over to Maulana saying: "Show this poetry to Meer Saheb." Maulana then showed it to Meer Saheb.
In this poem, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (ra) praises Durban, which is one of the major cities in South Africa :
“We imagined DURBAN to be some wilderness But friends, when we visited it, It turned out to be a garden to be envied. My heart and soul are pleased with my friends there; With the Grace of Allah, Durban brings joy and happiness to our hearts.”
Generally, the pious servants of Allah do not show any attachment to any specific town or area. Their affiliation to any place is solely on the basis of the Deen that flourishes in that
particular place and the pious people who reside there. …As was in the case of Majnoon who had no real regard or connection with the town of his beloved Layla. He began to love and revere her home-town solely because she resided there.
Since Hazrat Wala has many esteemed followers in Durban, he made mention of Durban in his poem.
Hazrat explains : Based on our knowledge of the Urdu language, we assumed Durban to be some jungle or wilderness, because the word 'ban' (Durban) in Urdu means, "a jungle". Moreover, the syllables 'dur' (Durban) means “fear”. Joined to 'ban', the name gave the impression of a wilderness or a lonely uninhabited place. However, when I arrived there, I discovered Durban to be contrary to my expectations. It turned out to be like a beautiful garden that was a source of envy… because there was a large group of sincere, devoted people residing there, who had great love and affection for the sake of Allah. Hence, I began to admire these people and a strong bond was established with them.
A Tribute to Hazrat Maulana (RA)
In this poem, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (MZ) praises Hazrat Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh):
“In Durban, is a servant of Deen, Molvi Yunus Who is the means of propagating my cry and pain
(of the love of Allah Ta’ala) And who interprets the pain of my heart into English, And then spreads it in the west, as is the demand of Imaan.”
Hazrat further explains : In this beautiful city, resides a very faithful and pious servant of Allah Ta’ala, who serves the Deen with great devotion. He is Maulana Yunus Patel.
Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh) was endowed with the mantle of Khilafat and Ijaazat by Hazrat.
By listening to Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh)’s talks, one realizes that these lines of poetry, composed by an Aarif Billah, are so apt in regards to Maulana.
Maulana Yunus had become the translator and the means of transmitting and spreading the concern, cry and pain that Hazrat has. Maulana had been conveying the knowledge which he had attained from Hazrat in an excellent manner.
Due to the fact that English is one of the most commonly spoken languages in South Africa – as well as the rest of the world, Maulana Yunus, with that same pain and cry, imparted Hazrat’s lectures, advices and sayings in an outstanding, exceptional and impressive manner. Maulana’s tongue was the translator of the burning love for Allah Ta’ala that Hazrat Wala (RA )possesses. It was as if his heart was talking.
Maulana’s special task was to convey Hazrat Wala’s teachings to the western world, via the means of the internet, radio, or in the written or spoken form. It was regarding this kind of dissemination of Hazrat's teachings that Hazrat said: This is the demand of faith (Imaan) and the true fulfilment of the relationship towards one's spiritual mentor.
Maulana Yunus Patel had the honour of accompanying Hazrat on his travels both locally and internationally : Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Mauritius, and other parts of the world.
When Hazrat was proceeding to Turkey, with the intention of visiting the mausoleum of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (Rahmatullah Alayh) in the company of many Khulafa, Mureedeen and Khuddaam, Maulana (Rahmatullah Alayh َ) also prepared to accompany him. However, just before the impending trip, Maulana suffered a major heart attack on the 10th of Muharram and could not accompany Hazrat.
During this period of recovery, Maulana saw a dream, which has been recorded in Hazrat’s book “Tarbiyat Aashiqaan-e- Khuda”. The dream, with its interpretation, is reproduced hereunder:
Dear and most honourable mentor, As-Salaamu ‘alaykum waRahmatullahi waBarakaatuh I had a dream wherein I see Hazrat residing in some part of England. When I arrived, I met respected Ishrat Jameel Meer Saheb at the door. He said to me, “Hasten, as Hazrat is waiting for you.” I hurried to Hazrat. Smiling at me, Hazrat extended both arms and embraced me. I then requested that Hazrat transfer ‘something’ (some of the burning love for Allah Ta’ala that Hazrat possesses) from his heart to mine. Hazrat replied, “I am doing so.” Hazrat then instructed me to align my heart with his. I complied by bringing my heart in line with that of Hazrat’s heart until I could feel Hazrat’s heartbeat in tandem with my heartbeat.
The sound of “Allah Allah” was emanating from Hazrat’s heart. Hazrat then began saying “Allah Allah” with his tongue. After a short while “Allah Allah” began emanating from my heart and thereafter, upon my tongue.
After a while, thinking that Hazrat must be getting tired, I tried to end the embrace, but Hazrat tightened his grip. …I then awakened from my sleep.
When my eyes opened, my heart was racing, and for some time thereafter, “Allah Allah” was resounding from my heart. After this I felt that my body had gained strength. I felt rejuvenated and at total peace. It is my hope that Hazrat will interpret this dream of mine.
Reply from Hazrat Wala (ra):
Respected Maulana Yunus Patel
(May your status and your desire for good increase)
Wa ‘alaykumus Salaam waRahmatullahi waBarakaatuh,
On reading your letter, I was overtaken by a state of ecstasy. The interpretation of this dream is that of acquiring the spiritual rank of “Nisbat Ittihaadiyyah” (The highest form of spiritual connection with one’s Shaykh). Insha’Allah, through you, the flames of the love of Allah Ta’ala will be ignited in the hearts of the servants of Allah. Congratulations!
May Allah bless you, your family and all of us as well.
Turkey, Istanbul - after Fajr Salaah
[Alhamdulillah, work on Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel (Rahmatullah Alayh)’s complete biography has commenced. Insha-Allah, this will be published in due time.]