Book Foreword: A Biography of Barakat al-ʿAṣr Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Hashim Patel Ṣāḥib
In the name of Allah, The Beneficent The Merciful
There are some personalities whose efforts and contributions have had a transformational impact on Islam and Muslims in the UK. Some of these personalities are well known whilst there are some unsung heroes whose efforts and contributions are not as widely known. One of these personalities is our respected teacher Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Hāshim Patel Ṣāḥib (b. 1363/1944) who stood side by side with our respected teacher Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Yusuf Motala Ṣāḥib (d. 1441/2019) during the establishment of Darul Uloom Bury in the 1970s and thereafter for the next five decades until his health deteriorated a few years ago. He is thus from the founders of the Darul Uloom and is the only founding Trustee alive, along with being the founder of several institutes in India.
Allah Almighty has blessed Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā with many qualities. During my student days in Darul Uloom Bury, I vividly recall his attachment with the Sunnah. If a student did not recite the Masnūn recitation in Fajr Ṣalāh on Friday, Mawlānā would invite the student and express his displeasure. During the lessons of Sunan Abī Dāwūd and parts of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, Mawlānā would read the text (ʿIbārat) of the books himself along with explaining the text. The dominant practice is for students to undertake the reading whilst the teacher explains the text. Many times, Mawlānā would teach for two hours, all the time sat on a chair due to his health. He would rarely miss his lesson. Mawlānā would also enquire from all the students in the final year if they had any outstanding Qaḍā Ṣalāh and would follow this up regularly.
In the 1970s, Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā moved from Bolton to Ramsbottom, near the Darul Uloom. His was the only Muslim house in the area. Subsequently, he sold the house and transferred within the Darul Uloom compound in the early 2000s. A few years ago, he moved to Blackburn, three doors from my residence. I have thus had the opportunity over the past few years to visit him on countless occasions not least because Mawlānā is married to my paternal aunt. Mawlānā’s health continues to deteriorate. However, when prompted to perform Ṣalāh or read a Sūrah of the Quran or a supplication, Mawlānā does so proficiently and without any hesitation. Subḥānallāh! This is a result of his lifelong attachment with acts of worship particularly Dhikr.
A few weeks ago, I was very pleased to learn that my dear friend Mawlānā Khalil Ahmed Kazi Ṣāḥib has penned a profile of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā in Urdu which has been translated into English. Mawlānā requested me to write a foreword, which is an honour for me. May Allah Almighty accept this work and make it a springboard for a detailed biography. I repeat what I wrote in a foreword to a book on Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Yusuf Motala Ṣāḥib that it is of paramount importance to document the history of Darul Uloom Bury in detail before it is too late and vital information is lost. The history of British Islam is incomplete without this.
May Allah Almighty grant ʿĀfiyah to Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Hāṣhim Ṣāḥib and accept all his noble endeavours.
Dr Yusuf Shabbir
6 Shawwāl 1443 / 7 May 2022