SAYED ARIF HUSSAIN AL HUSSAINI
BIRTH & FAMILY BACKGROUND
Para Chinar Pewar is a village where Sayed Arif Hussain al Hussaini was born on November 25, 1946. His childhood was spent in the lanes and by-lanes of the village savoring the shades of the tall trees, climbing the hills and walking along the banks of the river. At a distance of 10 kilometres from Para Chinar is Pewar located at an elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level on Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Three tribes inhabit the area—Ghund Kheel, Ali Zayee and Daveer Zayee. Sayed Arif Hussain al Hussaini descended from famous Sufi Saint Sayed Mir Aqil Shah Ashraf Bu Ali Qalandar ibn e Makhroli of Daveer Zayee tribe. Sayed Arif was tenth in the line of descent from this Sufi Saint who was a scion of Hussain al Asghar ibn e Imam Zain al Abedin (a.s).
On November 25, 1946, at the time of the Adhaan for the morning- prayer Sayed Arif Hussain al Hussaini arrived in this world. It was a very auspicious day for his father, Sayed Fadl Hussain that he was endowed with a son who would be known for his learning and piety.
When Sayed Arif’s age was 5 years, his parents planned to start his education.. He was admitted to the Primary School at Pewar. They also arranged a tutor to teach him the Holy Quran at home. For 5 years Sayed Arif studied at the Pewar school.. Then he mved to the High School at Para Chinar from where he obtained his Matriculation Certificate. From his early childhood Sayed Arif was very close to his maternal uncle, Sayed Ghulam Abbas Shah. Once his mother complained why he spent most of his time with the elders.. He said that he enjoyed listening to the stories of the valorous deeds of his forbears from them.
From early childhood Sayed Arif was very punctual at offering his prayers. He used to sleep in his uncle’s room and also offered the Namaz e Shab along with him. The company of his uncle had such an effect on his nature that while he was still a child he abhorred the practice of song and dance during marriage functions. After the school hours he used to spend some time playing with his cousins. He liked taking the sheep to graze on the slopes of the hills. He would always take a book along to read while minding the flock.. He used to return home before the Maghrib Prayer which he offered along with his uncle. After dinner he would busy himself in his studies. From his early childhood Sayed Arif was very jovial and had a good sense of humor. He used to make others laugh with his repartee. At times when someone came from outside and found everyone laughing, he would certainly know that it was Sayed Arif who had created the laughter! From his early days he impressed his teachers as a pious, obedient and truthful child. If ever there was a dispute between the students in the class, the teacher would take action on the basis of his evidence. During his entire education days he was never angry or cross with any of his class-mates. In 1962, when he completed his Matriculation, his parents wanted to send him to a degree college. But he was more inclined towards religious education. It was the time when Haji Ghulam Jafar of Luqman Qeel had laid the foundation of Madrasa Jafaria in Para Chinar. In the beginning the Madrasa was located in a building of three rooms. Sayed Arif was one of the small group of students admitted to the Madrasa. The company of the other students and the Ulema at the Madrasa had a lasting impression on the mind of young Sayed Arif. He used to regularly offer the Tahajjud Prayer and recite the supplications. Sayed Arif had the urge to work for the uplift of the Karam Agency where his village Para Chinar was situated.
PROCEEDS TO NAJAF E ASHRAF.
. After spending some time in Para Chinar, Sayed Arif Hussaini thought of proceeding to Najaf e Ashraf for further studies. He therefore commenced his journey for the holy place along with his mentor, Maulana Ghulam Hussain Besuti Hazara. Maulana Ghulam Jafar gave some advice to young Sayed Arif about his stay in Najaf e Ashraf and also gave him a letter of introduction to a senior student, Maulana Gul Ali Para Chinar.
Sayed Arif Hussain left the environs of his village sometime in 1967 and reached Najaf e Ashraf. He delivered the letter of his mentor to Maulana Gul Ali who received him with warmth and after a few days took him to Ayatullah Sayed Mohsin Hakim. Aqai Mohsin Hakim was much impressed with the family background of the Sayed and his enthusiasm to pursue his studies. The Ayatullah prayed for the success of the young student and assured him of all possible help. The mentors under whom Sayed Arif Hussaini studied were: Aqai Sheik Ashrafi Isfahani, Shaheed e Mehrab Ayatullah Hazrat Madani, Aqai Lankarani and Ayatullah Murtadavi.
When Sayed Arif Hussaini was pursuing his studies with great determination at Najaf e Ashraf, Imam Khomeini was living a life of exile in the Holy City. The Imam used to lead the Maghrib-Isha prayers at the Madrasa of Ayatullah Barojardi. Sayed Arif Hussaini was one of the many students who made it a point to attend the prayers there! After the prayers, Ayatollah Khomeini used to give talks at the mosque which were of great interest for Sayed Arif. On returning to his hostel he used to recapitulate the talk of the great scholar to his hostel-mates and encouraged them to attend the talks of the Imam.
Maulana Sayed Arif Hussaini returned home and got married. After some time he again planned to go to Najaf e Ashraf. But the Iraqi Government refused hin entry to the country because of his association with the activities of Ayatollah Khomeini. His desire to visit Najaf e Ashraf and meet Ayatollah Khomeini made the young Sayed restless. He therefore proceeded to Qum after staying at home for a period of 8 months. There he received instructions in the discipline of Tareekh e Usool, Fiqh and Ilm e Kalam from Ayatollah Shaheed Murtada Muttahari, Ayatollah Nasir Makarim Shirazi, Ayatollah Waheed Khorasani, Ayatollah Tabrizi and Ayatollah Harm Panahi. On the advice of Aqai Harm Panahi the Sayed returned home in 1977 to work for the betterment of the people of the Karam Agency. He became very popular with the youth in the area because of his gentle disposition. He always said that a good mentor is a good friend, guide and philosopher! This was the reason that the students fearlessly communicated their problems and concerns to him. They aired their thoughts on the shortcomings of the Madrasa and the society in general to their mentor. The Sayed used to deliver his talks to the students sitting on the floor. He always propagated the concept of equality. Once he was giving a talk to the students sitting on a chair. The students too were on chairs listening with interest to his talk when a few more students entered the class and squatted down because there were no vacant chairs available. Seeing this, Sayed Arif desacended from his chair to the ground and continued his talk. The students sitting on the chairs too emulated their mentor and they squatted down to listen to the talk!
The whole day Sayed Arif spent giving talks to different groups of students. In the evenings he used to visit the students at their hostels to inquire about their welfare. One evening he went to a student’s room and found him groaning under the effect of high fever. The student had no room-mate with him at that time. The mentor sat near the student and pressed his head to soothe him. When the other students entered the room, they were much impressed to see the mentor nursing his sick student. The Sayed always treated his students kindly and with affection. He used to distribute half of his meager emoluments to the needy students.
It was the wish of Sayed Arif to enhance the repute of the Madaris Diniya. He used to tell to his friends and the teachers to train the students in such a manner that they didn’t just remain the Pesh Namaz (leaders of the Congregations) but rose to important positions in the service of the country. He therefore elevated the standards of the Madrasa Jafaria Para Chinar to a very high level. He used to say that an Alim e Deen has to keep an eye on the circumstances in the society and to reform the people. The blame for the ills in any society squarely rests on the Ulema there. Allama Sayed Arif Hussaini was becoming very popular with the people in the Karm Agency area.although the Political Agent was very strong and the Maliks were ruling with an iron fist. When his movement gained strength, Sayed Arif Hussaini advised the youth of the Alamdar Federation that in Karm Agency, and particularly in Para Chinar, they should start social service activities. He particularly insisted on the abolition of the habit of the use of intoxicants. He got a hospital established and provided facilities for the rehabilitation of the youths who had become compulsive users of intoxicants. He also devised a program to combat unemployment rampant among the youth in the area. He constituted a local Bayt al Maal and raised donations from the locals and also people residing in other countries. People contributed wholeheartedly to the fund that provided succor to the widows and the orphans in the area. It started giving scholarships to the deserving needy students and provided money for the marriages of poor girls. His close disciples say that Sayed Arif Hussaini used to visit the homes of the needy in the dark nights to leave provisions and money at their door steps. He used to tell his disciples not to say a word about this activity to others. Once a disciple asked him why he didn’t introduce himself to the beneficiaries of his help during the nightly visits of distribution, the mentor said, “. Hazrat Ali (a.s) used to regularly visit the hut of a blind person near Koofa to give him food and sweep the place. On 22nd Ramadan when a person passed that way, he found the blind person wailing:’ O my benefactor! I am hungry since the last three days!’ What did he know that on the 19th of Ramadan his great benefactor was struck by the enemy’s sword and on 21st Ramadan he had departed from the world!” After relating the incident Sayed Arif Hussaini’s eyes watered and he said, “I feel contentment when I follow the foot-steps of my forbears!” His thoughts and activities attracted the people of the Karm Agency and the tribals started flocking to him for the solution of their problems. Once the Iranian Foreign Minister, Aqai Wilayati, visited Peshawar when Sayed Arif Hussaini, along with thousands of people from Karm Agency, gave him a befitting reception. . At that time an important delegation asked Aqai Wilayati to get Sayed Arif appointed as the representative of Aqai Khomeini in Peshawar. When Aqai Wilayati mentioned this to Sayed Arif Hussaini, he said that the conditions in Karm Agency were such that he couldn’t possibly move away from there. He said that whenever he had an opportunity he did visit Peshawar but it wasn’t possible for him to move there on a permanent basis.
Sayed Arif Hussaini made plans for the establishment of a good hospital and a public school in Para Chinar. Dr Abid Hussain extended his full support to the Sayed’s efforts and the people of Para Chinar donated a good piece of land for the construction of the school.
SOME ACHIEVEMENTS OF SAYED ARIF AL hUSSAINI
Once, two days prior to Idd al Adha, Sayed Arif Hussain returned to Peshawar after a tour of some important city. He called Abbas, the cheauffer, and gave him Rs 500 to go to the bazaar and buy some materials for taking to his mother in Para Chinar. After giving the money to the person he retired to his room for rest. Abbas sat for a while in the Madrasa brooding that the master hadn’t given him his wages for the past two months and even he hadn’t given him any money for the ensuing Idd. He sat brooding on the steps of the building that he had no money to buy anything for his children for the celebration of the Idd. He wondered from whom he could get a loan to meet his urgent need. He then thought that he would go to the secretary of the Madrasa to ask for a Rs 2,000 loan with a promise that he would give back the money after he got his outstanding wages. The driver was immersed in his thoughts when he heard the foot-steps of someone descending the staircase. He saw that Sayed Arif Hussaini was coming down the stairs. He took out some money from his pocket and gave him and said that he should do some shopping for the Idd for his children!
Abbas also related that once Allama Arif Hussaini was in proceeding to Para Chinar to celebrate the Idd with his children. Those days it rained heavily and there were floods in the Karm Agency. A big stream was flowing furiously a few miles from Para Chinar that had obstructed the flow of the traffic. On both sides of the stream many vehicles were stranded. . Hundreds of persons were eagerly waiting to reach their destinations for the Idd. Observing this the driver, Abbas, too was worried. At that moment Sayed Arif Hussain asked him to step into the stream and gauge its depth and flow. After the inspection Abbas said that it would be impossible to negotiate the stream in the car. The Sayed thought for some time and told Abbas to say Bismillah and continue the journey. When he brought the car to the bank of the stream the people waiting there pleaded not to embark on the hazardous adventure. They said that the car would be washed away by the furious waves of the flood. After a while Abbas looked at his master in desperation. But Sayed Arif had his eyes closed and was reciting some verses. Abbas says that he felt that someone picked up the car and put it on the other side of the stream!
.Allama Sayed Arif Hussain al Hussaini was martyred on the morning of August 15, 1988 at the Madrasa Jameat al Aarif al Islamia, Peshawar. Although he was elevated to the august status of martyrdom, the Community lost an enlightened, pious and dedicated leader. After completing his morning prayers, the Sayed went to the upper floor of the building when the Ibn e Muljim of the time stealthily crept up to shed his innocent blood. The man was crouching on the staircase when the Sayed was climbing down. The fiend fired with his pistol on the chest of his victim and fled the sacene. Allama Sayed Javed, who was performing the ablution on the higher floor, heard the thud of someone falling down. He hurried down to find the Sayed in a state of Tashhahud. He thought that the Sayed had fallen down the staircase. He took hold of him and tried to raise him up. But to his dismay he noticed blood gushing out from the Sayed’s chest. He started beating his head and shouted that the Community had been orphaned. One of the students of the Madrasa, Sayed Tauseef Haider, had seen the culprit running away from the scene of the crime. The other persons too rushed out of their rooms and found their mentor fatally injured. They couldn’t control their emotions and started beating their heads and chests. The Sayed looked at the walls of the building with feeling of adieus and looked ready for departure from the transient world. He was rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital where he breathed his last!