Shaikhul Hind Moulana Mahmoodul Hasan Deobandi (rahimahullah) was a great saint and scholar of his time. He would tend to his qurbaani cow for the entire year. He would personally wash and feed the animal. The cow would also become very attached to him. When he would leave his home to deliver the lessons of Saheeh Bukhaari and other books of hadeeth at Darul ‘Uloom Deoband, it would follow him right to the madrasah gate where it would sit down. When he would return at noon after lessons, it would follow him back home.
When the days of qurbaani drew near, he would lessen its normal feed, which was grass, and substitute it with bucketfuls of milk and jalebi (sweetmeat). He would also apply mhendi (henna) to it, place flowers on its back and beautify it because Allah Ta‘ala commands that one’s most beloved wealth should be spent in the path of Allah Ta‘ala. Thus, he would begin to love the animal very deeply. After the ‘Eidul Adha Salaah, he would sacrifice it and cry a little as well. Then he would immediately purchase another cow for the following ‘Eid. (Maslak-e-Ulama-e-Deoband aur Hubbe Rasul [sallallahu alaihi wasallam]).
Once he kept a cow which he fed the entire year. He would take it to the jungle after ‘Asr and make it run in order to make it healthy. It became so healthy that he received offers of up to 80 rupees, whereas a healthy cow in those days would cost approximately 10 to 15 rupees. But he did not accept any offer. (Khutubaate Hakimul Ummat, vol. 17, pg. 154).
Since it was his habit to offer a few qurbaani every year, he desired to do the same while he was imprisoned at Malta because of waging jihaad against the oppressive English rule. Though prisoners are not allowed to slaughter, he nevertheless forwarded the request that an animal must be made available to him and that he should be allowed to slaughter it. Something which comes out from the heart definitely has its effect. Hence, they were affected and sold him a sheep for 7 genies which he paid very happily. On the 10th of Zul Hijjah, he offered the qurbaani calling out the takbeer in a loud voice in that land of kufr where the sunnah of Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) had not been carried out since the fall of the Islamic rule. (Hayaate Shaikhul Hind – Akaabire Deoband aur `ishke Rasul [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam], pg. 32).
Lesson: One of the main reasons for us ‘singing the praises’ of our Akaabir (senior ‘Ulama) of Deoband is the strict adherence to the sunnah that was outstanding in their lives. The above incident is one more example of the same.
May Allah Ta‘ala also inspire us to fulfill this great act and every other sunnah of our Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with the greatest passion, and allow us to follow in the footsteps of these illustrious personalities, aameen.