Shibli’s “Al Farooq” and Tablachi –

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“Zikr-e-Azad” is a book based on the memoirs of Abdul Razzaq Malih Abadi.

These are the memories of the thirty-eight years in which the author spent time with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a high-ranking personality of the subcontinent. In this book, he has narrated an interesting incident of Maulana Shibli Naumani in the words of Maulana Azad. See

One day in jail, Maulana (Abul Kalam Azad) told a funny joke about late Shibli Naumani. They said, Maulana Shibli was a very lively man of taste, he was also a fan of beauty and he was deeply interested in music and other arts, but he was a cleric, he was afraid of public opinion and he fulfilled his taste very carefully.

Once the said Hakeem Ajmal Khan was staying with the deceased in Delhi when Khawaja Hasan Nizami came to meet him and said, today I have a Qawwali, a famous prostitute of Delhi (I have forgotten the name) will sing. The party is very special, there will be no one there except me and you.

Maulana Shibli accepted the invitation, put on a Kashmiri shawl, changed his posture, sat in a closed car and reached Khwaja Sahib. Indeed no third man was invited, the Qawwali began and Maulana, finding himself safe from the ombudsmen, acted with more freedom than was necessary. Sung heartily and praised the singer. Laughed at the prostitutes and teased her.

Tablachi of the prostitutes was a fat and old man. There were straps on the head and a big square beard on the mouth, the straps and the beard were getting brown with bleach. When the gathering began to be dismissed, the tablachi reached towards Maulana with both his hands extended and held Maulana’s hands with great enthusiasm, kissed them, made eye contact and said with enthusiasm, “How can I thank God that the longing of a lifetime is today?” Done, Maulana Subhan Allah, Masha Allah, you have done what no one else could have done by writing “Al-Farooq”. God, you have broken the pen, how much the servant wished to be honored by the visit of Hazrat, so today, thanks to Baiji and Khwaja Sahib, this blessing has been given to this sinner.

Maulana Azad said, Allama Shibli was very intelligent, this unexpected event made all his happiness go away. Sweating with shame, I didn’t know what to do. What answer to the drummer? How to disappear from the game? They sat like lifeless idols. Khawaja Sahib felt the fragility of the occasion and sent the group away, but Allama had suffered a severe mental shock and could not recover for weeks.

Maulana said, Allama Shibli himself narrated this incident to him. He was also affected while narrating and used to say again and again, I wish “Al-Farooq” had not come out from my pen and if it had come out, then the Tablachi who read it would have disappeared before this Qawwali, otherwise I would have died because of this. He would have been saved from humiliation.”

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