Posted on

It was the summer of 1935. A certain Muslim family from Baroda was in Mussoorie. Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab of the Baroda High Court, his wife, and his daughter, Rehana Tyyab.
Rehana had been given Shri Nathji’s book, “Payaame Muhabbat” to read in Baroda and her heart had yearned to meet Shri Nathji. However she did not know where he was.
That summer the Tyyab family decided to go to Mussoorie for the vacations. When in Mussoorie, Rehana visited a bookshop, Cash Book Depot, at Library, and saw Shri Nathji’s book, “Zahoore Haqueeqat”, lying there. Her heart thrilled with happiness when she found out that Shri Nathji was at Mussoorie and would be giving a lecture at the Rialto Theatre. It was as if Shri Nathji were calling out to her in the depths of her soul.
The father and the daughter had always clashed over religion. While the father was hostile towards other religious faiths in general, the daughter was greatly attracted to Hinduism. Quite naturally, a conflict developed between the two over Shri Nathji’s sermon at the Rialto. At first Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab would not go and had stopped his daughter from going.  However on the morning of the lecture, even as a disconsolate Rehana prayed, a miracle occurred–her father herself came to her room and asked her to get ready to go to the lecture!
And it was thus that Rehana and her father, Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab, went to the Rialto Theatre to listen to Shri Nathji’s lecture.
Shri Nathji was to deliver a sermon on Islam at the Rialto Theatre. The hall was packed to capacity. The Muslims were eager to hear what a Hindu had to say about Islam, whilst the Hindus were anxious to hear what Shri Nathji had to say. Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab and Rehana were able to secure seats in the front row of the cinema theatre.
Shri Nathji’s sermon that day was electrifying, the divine aura around him inexpressively strong, and the intoxication in his words such that all forgot themselves. God-Consciousness pervaded the hall.
Suddenly there was the sound of loud and sustained weeping in the hall. Shri Nathji had to stop his sermon and wait. It was Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab.
The outburst was one that came direct from his soul; it was the outburst of a long lost soul that had suddenly found its Beloved.
Hazrat,” said Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab to Shri Nathji, after the speech, I shall come and see you later, my heart is too full now for me to speak.
The next day Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab came to the residence of Shri Nathji at Kahkashan and saluted him with great respect. He said to Shri Nathji:
I had never heard such a lecture on Islam in my whole life. Can you write it out for me?”
He continued: “Aapne mere aur mere Khudaa men soyi huyi bhook jagaa dee.
“You have awakened the latent thirst within me for Allah! I also find that I see the differences between Rama and Allah disappearing in your presence! If I were a believer in reincarnation, I would say of you that you were a great prophet of Arabia incarnated again!
Thereafter Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab and his wife and daughter, Rehana, became greatly devoted to Shri Nathji.
On that first meeting with Shri Nathji at the Rialto Theatre, Rehana Tyyab had had one of the most thrilling experiences of her life.
As she was to say, later: I cannot tell you what I felt when I first entered Shri Nathji’s presence…
a face, strong, gentle, innocent and radiant with sweetness that was not of this world. But something more I saw–in that instinctively humble body I felt a presence so great that my eyes were, of a sudden, weighed down with an overpowering reverence, and, for the first time in my life, I felt entirely unable to look a fellow creature in the face! He was all graciousness and kindness. Within, I was prostrate at the feet of that which had revealed itself to my seeking gaze in that first, flashing glimpse.
“Miracles showered upon us, thick and fast. My father completely lost his heart to Shri Nathji. To me the whole thing was a fairy tale–my parents’ placid acceptance, the sudden desire my friends began to feel to have Swamji’s darshan, and my own absolute contentment.
“Every slightest inflection and cadence of that gentle voice contained for me all the Vedas and Puranas and Scriptures of the Universe compressed into a half-tone, a half-note, a half-breath. For me, he was a manifestation of the Divine!
About Shri Nathji’s famous book in Urdu and Persian, Rehana Tyyab had this to say:
In 1933 a friend lent me a book to read:  Payaam-e-Mohabbat, A Message of Love, by Swami Bhola Nathji Maharaj. As I read it, delight grew in me and a reverence, and a strange sense of familiarity, of recognition. It was not a book I read, it was my own heart, revealed to my startled and delighted gaze with all its ideals… I felt I knew Shri Nathji and I longed to meet him….”
The Tyyab family began to visit Shri Nathji frequently at his residence, Kahkashan, in Mussoorie.  Rehana Tyyab found herself lost in a spiritual bliss that was difficult to define.
Rehana would often sit in the verandah of Kahkashan, darning Shri Nathji’s socks and lost in a blissful meditation.
Bahen Rehana! Shri Nathji would call out.
And she would reply, Labek Maharaj! Yes, Maharaj!
There was a time when she peeped inside the dining room of the house. Shri Nathji was sitting all alone, quietly by himself. He seemed to be lost in thought. As Rehana cast her eyes upon the silent Figure in the room, a strange revelation came upon her in the stillness of the atmosphere– the figure on the chair was running the entire Universe. In His thought rested all of Creation. Shri Nathji was none other than the Grand Creator.
Whenever Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab would walk on the Mall Road with Shri Nathji, people would turn to stare at the two. Here was Shri Nathji, a handsome young man, a Hindu, walking with an aged Muslim.
Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab would say: People must be wondering who this old man is, walking with Shri Nathji! 
And Shri Nathji would reply with his characteristic humility: Everyone knows who the old man is–it is only the young man with him who is unknown.
Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab used to say frequently to Shri Nathji:
When you walk on the road spiritual benedictions drop along your path.
“Jab aap chalte hain to ruhaaniyat sarrkon par barasti hai!
At one time Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab said to Shri Nathji:
I am an old man, advanced in years, and I have seen the world. Hazrat, I am greatly worried about you! You are so innocent that I am afraid someone may practice one of the greatest deceits of life on you!
“Hazrat, aap itne seedhe hain, mujhe dar hai koyi zindagi men aapko barraa bhaari dhokaa naa de jaaye!”
It was the love and affection of an elderly man for a young man. Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab loved Shri Nathji greatly and at the same time gave him the greatest possible respect.
He would say to Shri Nathji: God has given you a greatly elevated spiritual status!
“Khudaa ne aapko barraa tabakhtur de rakkaa hai!
Rehana, Justice Abbas Ali Tyyab, her father used to say, we can never forget what Shri Nathji has done for us. We must never forget him for the rest of our lives.
Later, after he had gone to Baroda, he wrote to Shri Nathji and said:
Sir, I am indebted to you for your kindness. I realise that on this spiritual path there is the need for a guide – can you help me?
“Iss raaste pe dastgeer kee zaroorat hai. Kyaaa aap meri madad kar sakte hain?
When the Tyyab family left Mussoorie, this is what Rehana Tyyab had to say:
As I bade him farewell and left Kahkashan, he stood in the open balcony to see the last of me. He was in his home clothes, the orange turban on his head. And as I turned for a last look, His form took on a sudden brilliance, more dazzling than that of a flaming sunset when it turns the west into a sea of blinding Flame. I saw Him afterwards, but that is the picture that is etched on my very heart and soul, and I pray that it may never fade–even unto death and beyond …