Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (RA) performed his first Haj in the year 1944. His luggage for Haj consisted of one pillowcase holding two sets of clothing, one lungi, two pieces of Ihraam and one lota. In one hand he held the pillowcase and in the other hand an umbrella. In this manner, he left for Haj. On the way, he met some people who asked him where he was going to. Hadhrat (RA) picked up his umbrella and pointed towards the Qiblah saying, “I’m going to Makkah Mukarramah.” It seemed impossible to them that he was embarking on such a great journey with so little luggage. Outwardly it seemed as though he had nothing with him but in reality, he possessed an enormous amount of tawakkul (trust) in Allah Ta’ala which brings the help of Allah Ta’ala in every step of life. The entire trip cost Hadhrat (RA) Rs1 000. In those days it cost 75 paisa to travel from Deoband to Delhi.
Salaah in Musjid-e-Nabawi
When Hadhrat (RA) arrived in Madinah Munawwarah, he ensured that he read all his salaah in the first saff in Musjid-e-Nabawi. Whilst he was there his entire body broke out into boils due to the excessive heat and it became difficult for Hadhrat (RA) to expose himself to the sun. Everyone insisted that he perform his salaah at his residence as he had a valid excuse. Hadhrat (RA) still performed all his salaah in the Haram Shareef ensuring that he was in the first saff. He mentioned to his friends that how can it be possible that we are here in Madinah Shareef and not perform our salaah in the Haram Shareef.
The spirit with which Hadhrat (RA) performed his haj was unique. The difficulties and hardships that he underwent were indeed a sign of his deep love for the mubaarak lands. He travelled by ship which made him dizzy but despite this with great difficulty, he would stand and perform all his salaah. One person who travelled with Hadhrat (RA) for Haj says, “My seat was very close to Hadhrat’s seat on the ship. Throughout the night, he would be engaged in salaah. I tried very hard to find him asleep but not once did this happen.” One can well imagine that if this was his mujaahadah (sacrifice) on his way to the beloved, what must have been his condition when he reached the Holy lands. A very reliable source once mentioned that Hadhrat Mufti Saahib (RA) often made upto 50 tawaafs in a day and on some days he made upto 70 tawaafs.
In Mina, Hadhrat (RA) was so immersed in the muhabbat and love of Allah Ta’ala that he became completely oblivious of what was happening around him. Those who witnessed this were amazed at the manner in which he spent his time. His entire day and night was spent in zikr, tilaawat, dua and weeping before Allah Ta’ala. Many people just by observing Hadhrat’s (RA) program in Mina, were so impressed with him, that this became a means of their islaah and the islaah of their entire family.
Uneasiness upon his return
On returning from the Haramain, Hadhrat (RA) would be extremely grief stricken. Despite being a mountain of strength and support he would break down into tears when leaving the Haram Shareef. He was always anxious about when he would be able to return. His enthusiasm increased when he heard or met someone who was leaving for the Holy Lands. Once he was asked why does he not stay longer in the holy lands. Hadhrat (RA) with a deep sigh replied, “One has to have great courage to live there. My actions, manners and habits are all evil. How can an evil person live here? This is a place for good people. Therefore I prefer to complete my rites and return home quickly. Just as a person is rewarded tremendously for the good deeds that he does in these places, he is also punished severely for the sins committed in these places.”