When the late Sayyid Abul-A‘la Maudūdī first visited the US in the mid-1970s for the purposes of medical treatment, his supporters intended to keep his secret low-key and out of the public eye in order to facilitate an environment conducive to rest and treatment. Upon his arrival in NY, a local brother was instructed to host a special guest for the night before heading to Syracuse for treatment. The host, totally unaware of the guest’s identity, later commented to his friends that he was struck by this person’s modesty and two unique things had stood out.
First, the guest had asked for a copy of the New York Times and demonstrated a deep awareness of political affairs in his conversations, even more so than the host who was from New York! The host did not expect this from a Maulana (traditional religious scholar). Secondly, he insisted on carrying his own bags and refused all the customary perks usually enjoyed by guests, especially those who were religious leaders. It was only later that the host was informed that the guest was none other than Maulana Maududi, but his visit and manners had left an indelible mark.
[Narrated by me, Abu Zayd, from my father who spent quite some time with Maududi in those days]