AlaHadrat Imam Ahmad Rida radi allahu anhu’s entire life was adorned with meticulous following of the Shari’ah and Sunnah of the Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam and his taqwa had reached an elevated level. I shall present some incidents from his life that show that he not only had taqwa but had also attained the rank of wara’a [Abandoning a part of the permissible for fear of falling into the impermissible]. In accordance to the verse, No men can be its guardians except the pious, he was a perfect muttaqi [Pious and Godfearing] and a gnostic.
1. The last Ramadan in his life was in 1339 AH. The weather in Bareilly was very hot and he was weak and ill, as these were his final years. The Shari’ah exempts an old man [Al-Shaykh al-Fanī: an old man who cannot fast now, and cannot hope to expiate in the future either] from fasting and expiate by charity instead and for the ailing, they are allowed to expiate when they are healthy again [To fulfil an obligation at a later time]. Despite these dispensations, AlaHadrat’s taqwa demanded otherwise. This was not his fatwa but his taqwa. He said:
The hot weather in Bareilly will not allow me to fast but the weather in mountainous regions is cooler. Nainital is not far from here and I can fast in the mountains of Bhowali [83 miles north of Bareilly]. And I am able to go there; hence, it is obligatory for me to do so.
He spent the whole of Ramadan there and fasted the whole of Ramadan.
2. He passed away on the 25th Safar 1340 AH. He was ill for months and in the last months, he could not even walk. The Shari’ah permits that in such conditions, one can pray at home but AlaHadrat would pray in the congregation. Four men would carry him on a chair to the masjid and he continued to participate thus as long as he was physically able to do so. Read the rest of this entry »