MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Third Volume, 31st Letter
This letter, written to Mulla Badraddin, gives information on alam-i arwah, alam-i mithal and alam-i ajsad, and explains the torment in the grave:
Thanks be to Allahu ta'ala. Salam to those people distinguished, loved by Him! You say that the soul was in the alam-i mithal before it was united with the body. "After leaving the body it will go back to the alam-i mithal. Torment in the grave, therefore, will take place in the alam-i mithal. The sorrows, pains in the alam-i mithal will be felt like feeling them in dreams. Furthermore, this information has various branches. I will write you much about this subject if you allow me to," you say.
Answer: Know that such illusions, rootless words are so far from being correct. I am afraid that such thoughts may lead you out of the right way. Though I hardly have time, I will force myself to write a few words on this subject. Allahu ta'ala, alone, makes men attain to the right way.
My dear brother! The world of mumkinat, that is, creatures, have been classified in three groups: alam-i arwah, alam-i mithal and alam-i ajsad. The alam-i mithal has also been called alam-i barzah. For, this alam is between the alam-i arwah and the alam-i ajsad. This alam is like a mirror. The real beings and meanings in the other two alams are seen in fine figures in this alam. For, a figure, a shape which is suitable with each real thing, each meaning in the two alams exists in this alam. This alam does not contain any real thing, any substance, any meaning that exists in itself. The figures, the shapes being here are all appearances which are reflected from the other alams. There is not a figure or a shape in a mirror. When a figure appears in a mirror, this appearance comes from some other place. So is the case with the alam-i- mithal. When this is realized well, we say that the soul also was in its own alam before getting attached to the body. The alam-i arwah is higher than the alam-i mithal. When the soul is united with the body it falls in love with the body and descends into this alam. It is not related with the alam-i mithal. As the soul has no relation with the alam-i mithal before it gets attached to the body, so it has no relation with the alam after the cessation of its connection with the body. Only, at times when Allahu ta'ala wishes, some states of the soul are seen in the mirror of this alam. This helps understand if the states of the soul are good or bad. Kashfs and dreams happen in this manner. Another event which has happened many times is that man has seen the figures in the alam-i mithal without losing his senses. When the soul parts from the body it goes up if it is high. If it is low it gets down. There is no connection between it and the alam-i mithal. The alam-i mithal is an alam in sight. It is not an alam of beings. There are two alams of beings. The alam-i arwah and the alam-i ajsad. In other words, the world of substances are the alams of beings. Things being in these are not only appearances. They themselves exist, too. But there is no being in the alam-i mithal. Only, it is like a mirror for the beings in the alam-i arwah and the alam-i ajsad. When dreaming, the sorrows, the pains, the troubles in the alam-i mithal are seen. This is seeing the appearance, in the alam-i mithal, the torment deserved by the one who sees it. It is shown to him in order to wake him up from unawareness so that he will pull himself together.
Torment in the grave is not seeing the visions in the alam-i mithal when dreaming. Torment in the grave is unlike dreams. Torment in the grave is not the appearing of torment. It is the torment itself. Moreover, even if it should be said that the pain, the torment which is seen when dreaming is the torment itself, it is still like worldly torment. But the torment in the grave is one of the torments of the next world. These are unlike each other. For, worldly torments are nothing when compared to torments in the next world. May Allahu ta'ala protect us against those torments! If a spark of the torments in the next world came to the world, it would burn, annihilate everything. To think that torment in the grave is like the torment seen in dreams results from not knowing, not understanding the torment in the grave. It originates from mistaking the torment itself and its vision from each other. This wrong thought may also be because of thinking that torment in the next world and worldly torment are the same. It is quite wrong to think so. It is obvious that it is wrong, corrupt.
Question: The forty-second ayat of Zumar Sura declares: "As man dies, Allahu ta'ala parts his soul from his body. Before he dies, He parts his soul as he sleeps, too." As it is understood from this ayat, as man's soul parts from him as he dies, so his soul parts from him when he goes to sleep. Accordingly, how could it ever be correct to deem the torment in dreams as one of the worldly torments while deeming the torment in the grave as one of the torments in the next world?
Answer: The soul's parting from the body when asleep is like a person's leaving his own country smilingly, with pleasure, in order to go on a journey or on a picnic; he will return to his home happily. The place where the soul will travel is the alam-i mithal. There are interesting, sweet things to be seen in this alam. Not so is the case with the soul's leaving the body when dying. This leaving is like that of a person who leaves his country because his country has been demolished, his houses, apartment houses have been destroyed. It is for this reason that there is no trouble or pain in its leaving the body when sleeping. On the contrary, there is happiness and comfort. But there are many pains, hardships in its leaving the body when dying. The sleeping person's country is the world. They practice on him the same exercises as those in the world. But the dead person's world has been demolished. He has migrated to the next world. They practice on him exercises pertaining to the next world. Therefore, a hadith [reported by Dailami] declares: "When a man dies his Doomsday has come."
Mind you, do not dissent from the belief taught by the savants of Ahl as-sunnat wal- jamaat by being deceived by the kashfs happening in the imagination and the things seen in the alam-i mithal! May Allahu ta'ala plentifully reward those great savants for their work! Do not believe in dreams, illusions! For, unless this Madhhab of salvation is followed escaping torment in the next world cannot be thought of. Those who want to be saved in the next world should give up their own opinions and do their utmost to follow those great people. A messenger's duty is to say what he knows. Seeing the slackness in your writing, I feared much that you might fall for your illusions and fall into the calamity of abandoning the good luck of following the great, that you might be seized by the current of your own kashfs. We trust ourselves to Allahu ta'ala against the evils of our nafs and the corruptness of our deeds. The Devil is our great enemy. You should be on the alert so that it will not make you deviate from the right way! It is not even a year that we have not seen each other, and yet what happened to your strictness in following Rasulullah's Sunnat, [that is, the way shown by the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat] and to your works showing that the only way to salvation is to cling to the way of those great people? How soon they were forgotten! You have been rolling behind your illusions. I understand that we will probably meet at a rather late date. You should regulate your daily life in such a way that the hope of saving yourself will not perish! O our Allah! Pity us! Bless us with good deeds! We send our salam to those who are on the right way.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Second Volume, 89th Letter
This letter, written to Sayyid Mir Muhibbullah, informs that in the world it is necessary to do what will be useful to the Hereafter.
Thanks be to Allahu ta'ala! May Allahu ta'ala keep you and us on the right way of your ancestors! As the alms of His beloved Prophet, the Highest of Mankind, may He accept our prayer! The states and the matters of the faqirs being here have been all right. We always offer our hamd and thanks to Allahu ta'ala, and we pronounce our infinite benedictions and salam over His Prophet. I pray to Allahu ta'ala that you may keep on being in safety, in good health, on the right way, and make progress. My dear and merciful Sir! The time of earning has been going past. Each moment past has been subtracting from your life, the time of death is approaching. If we do not pull ourselves together today, we will obtain nothing but sighing, wailing and repenting tomorrow. In this few-days' time of health, we should try to live suitably with the brilliant Shariat! In this way only are we hoped to get saved. Worldly life is the time of work. The time of comfort and pleasure is further ahead. The rewards of what is done in the world will be obtained there. To spend the time of work amusing oneself is like a farmer's eating his seeds, thus depriving himself of the harvest which he will get later on. I hesitate to write any more lest I cause your head to ache. May Allahu ta'ala make you attain the blessings of this world and the next!
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Second Volume, 19th Letter
This letter was written to Mir Muhibullah. It gives advice to hold fast to the Sunnat-i saniyya and to avoid bidats:
Hamd be to Allahu ta'ala! I pronounce my benedictions over His Prophets and send my salam to you. My dear brother, Sayyid Mir Muhibullah! The states, the guidance of the faqirs being here are very good. Infinite thanks are due to Allahu ta'ala for this reason. I pray to Allahu ta'ala for your salvation and so that your state will not change and you will make progress in the right way. Nowadays, you have not let us know of what situation you have been in. Your being so far makes it difficult for us to correspond. Giving advice is the first duty in our din and is to follow the Highest of Prophets (May our highest benedictions and salams be over him and all others!). Following him requires carrying out all his sunnats, that is, his commands and prohibitions, and avoiding the bidats, which he dislikes. Even if those bidats looked bright like the breaking of dawn that annihilates the darkness of night, it would be necessary to abstain from all of them. For, there is no nur, no light in any bidat, nor any cure for an ill person. They cannot be medicine for a sick person. For, each bidat either annihilates a sunnat, or it has nothing to do with the Sunnat. However, those bidats which have nothing to do with the Sunnat overflow the Sunnat and are superfluous. So they annihilate the Sunnat. For, to do any command more than commanded means to change the command. Hence, it is understood that each bidat, no matter how it is, annihilates the Sunnat, and is at loggerheads with the Sunnat. There is no goodness or beauty in any bidat. I wish I knew why and how they ever said 'beautiful' about some of the bidats which appeared after the blessings had been completed in this perfect din, Islam, which Allahu ta'ala likes. Why did they not know that when something has been perfected, completed and liked, supplements added to it cannot be beautiful? Any change made in something correct and right is deviation, heresy. If they realized the fact that to say beautiful about something which appeared later in this perfect and complete din would mean to say that the din did not reach perfection or the blessing was not completed, they would not say beautiful about any bidat. O our Allah! Do not call us to account for what we have forgotten or what we have erred on! I send my salam to you and to those being with you.
[The word sunnat has three different meanings in our din. When Book and Sunnat are said together, the Book means the Qur'an and the Sunnat means hadiths. When said Fard and Sunnat fard means Allah's commandments and sunnat means our Prophet's 'sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam' sunnats, that is, his commands. When the word Sunnat is used alone, it means the Shariat, that is, all the rules of Islam. Books of fiqh teach this fact. For example, it is written in Mukhtasar-i Quduri, "He who knows the Sunnat best will become the imam." When explaining this statement, the book Jawhara writes, "In this context Sunnat means the Shariat." See the fifteenth chapter of the third fascicle!
It has now been understood that for purifying the heart it is necessary to follow the Shariat. To follow the Shariat means to do the commandments and to refrain from the prohibitions and bidats.
Bidat means something which has been invented later. They are things which did not exist during the time of our Prophet 'sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam' and his four Khalifas 'radiAllahu 'anhum' and which have been invented later in the din and which people have been doing as worships. For example, since it is necessary to recite the Ayat-al-kursi immediately after each namaz, it is bidat to recite the Salatan tunjina or other prayers first. They should be recited after the Ayat-al- kursi and tasbihs. It is bidat to prostrate and then stand up after finishing the namaz. It is bidat to call the adhan through loudspeakers.
Any change or reform made in the din is bidat. But it is not bidat to use such things as forks, spoons, ties, to drink coffee, tea, or to smoke, for they are not worships; they are customs, habits, and are mubah. They are not haram. To do them does not cause one to omit what the religion commands or to do what it prohibits. It is written in Hadiqa-tun- nadiyya, "If the bidat is something not of the religion or worship but of custom, our religion does not reject it. If we do not intend to do worship, i.e., to attain closeness to Allahu ta'ala but only we think of doing something worldly in eating, drinking, dressing, getting vehicles, building, dwelling and home care, unless these do not prevent us from doing any worship or cause us to commit any prohibited thing, these are not bidat. Our religion does not prohibit them." There are three kinds of bidat:
1 - It is the worst bidat to use -without any darurat (compulsion)- those things which the Shariat says to be the signs of disbelief. On page 467 of Al-bariqa and 696 of Majma' al- anhur, it is written that the 'ulama' said, "It is permissible to use them to deceive (khud'a) the disbelievers in dar al-harb."
2 - Those beliefs which disagree with what is communicated by the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat are also evil bidats.
3 - Those reforms made in the name of worship are bidats in worships and are grave sins. Some 'ulama' divided the bidats in 'ibadat or 'amal into the hasana and sayyia. Al-Imam ar-Rabbani 'rahmatullahi 'alaih' did not say 'bidats' about those bidats which scholars termed 'hasana'. He called them 'sunnat-i-hasana'. He said 'bidats' about those which they termed 'bidat-i-sayyia', and he condemned such bidats. Wahhabis, on the other hand, say 'sayyia' about bidats termed 'hasana' and approved, and they call those who practice such bidats 'disbelievers', 'polytheists'.] [See Second Volume, 23rd letter in the second fascicle of Endless Bliss. ]
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Third Volume, 101st Letter
This letter, written to Shaikh Abdullah, informs that it is not permissible to interpret or explain away the ayats of the Qur'an as philosophers understand them: May Allahu ta'ala give you safety and protect you against calamities! You sent the book named Tabsir-ur- rahman. I have read some parts of it. I am sending it back. [Tabsir-ur-rahman wa Taysir-ul- mannan is a book of tafsir. It was written by Zayn-ud-din Ali bin Ahmad Armawi 'rahmat Allahi ta'ala 'alaih', one of the savants of the Hanbali Madhhab. He died in the year 710.] My dear brother! It is understood that the author of this book has deviated into the way of philosophers. He almost holds them equal to prophets. The meaning which he gave to an ayat of hud Sura has caught my eye. He interprets the ayat like philosophers, disagreeing with prophets' way. He holds prophets' word and philosophers' word equal as if they were of the same value, and says, "according to the unanimity of prophets and philosophers" about the ayat, "For them there is none in the next world," and says, "By feeling, or mentally, theoretically..." concerning the ayat, "Torment by fire only." What value would philosophers' unanimity ever have at a place where there is prophets' 'alaihimus-salawat-u wat-tahiyyat' unanimity? What importance could their words have which inform of the torment in the next world, especially when they disagree with prophets' words? Philosophers say that Hell torment is mental and theoretical, and he says so, too. These words of theirs show that they disbelieve the fact that the body will feel the torment. However, prophets have communicated unanimously that torment will be felt. The book, also in its other parts, writes the ayats of the Qur'an as philosophers say. On account of its writings which disagree with those who follow prophets' way, the book bears secret, even very obvious, harm. Seeing that it would be necessary to inform you of this fact, I have caused your head to ache with a few words. I send my salam.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Third Volume, 38th Letter
This letter, written to Mulla Ibrahim, explains the hadith which informs that this Ummat will part into seventy-three groups:
It is declared in a hadith that this Ummat will part into seventy-three groups, seventy-two of whom will go to Hell. This hadith informs that the seventy-two groups will be tormented in the fire of Hell. It does not inform that they will stay in torment eternally. Remaining in the torment of Hell-fire eternally is for those who do not have iman. That is, it is for disbelievers. The seventy- two groups, on account of their corrupt belief, will go to Hell and will burn as much as the corruptness of their belief. One group, the seventy-third, will be saved from Hell-fire because their belief is not corrupt. If among the members of this one group there are those who committed evil deeds and if these evil deeds of theirs have not been forgiven through tawba or shafaat, it is possible that these, too, will burn in Hell as much as their sins. All of those who are in the seventy-two groups will go to Hell. But none of them will remain in Hell eternally. Not all of those who are in this one group will go to Hell. Of these only those who have committed evil deeds will go to Hell. The seventy-two reported groups of bidat, which will go to Hell, should not all be called "disbelievers", because they are Ahl-i qibla. However, of these people, the ones who disbelieve those Islamic tenets that are indispensable to be believed, as well as those who deny those rules of the Shariat which every Muslim has heard and knows become disbelievers. The savants of the Ahl as-sunnat declare: "If a Muslim's statement signifies a hundred meanings ninety-nine of which causing disbelief and one showing that he is a Muslim, it is necessary to take this one meaning, thus saving him from the state of disbelief." Allahu ta'ala knows the truth of everything. His Word is the most reliable word.
It was informed that the poor ones of this Ummat would go to Paradise half a day before the rich ones. This half day is equal to five hundred worldly years. For, one day expressed by Allahu ta'ala is as long as a thousand worldly years. It is declared clearly in Hajj Sura that this is so. Allahu ta'ala, alone, knows why it is that long. For, the next world does not have the night, the day, the month or the year, which exist in the world. The poor people having the privilege of going to Paradise earlier are those poor people who obey the Shariat and who are patient. To obey the Shariat means to do what the Shariat commands and to avoid what it prohibits. And there are grades, degrees in poverty. The highest of grades is obtained in the rank of fana. A faqir who is in this grade knows everything other than Allahu ta'ala as poor, needy. [There is not a creature who does not need Allahu ta'ala, that is, who is not poor in front of Him.] He forgets all creatures. He remembers none of them. He who has attained all grades of poverty is superior to the one who has attained a few. It is for this reason that the state of a person who has reached the grade of fana and who is poor, needy outwardly is better, more valuable than that of a person who has reached the grade of fana but who is not poor outwardly.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 61st Letter
This letter, written to Sayyid Mahmud, states that it is necessary to find a perfect master and to avoid ignorant shaikhs.
May Allahu ta'ala increase the desire to look for Him! May He bless us with the fortune of avoiding the things that prevent us from attaining Him! The valuable letter, which is a favor of yours, has arrived. It is very pleasant because it indicates that you have been seeking Allahu ta'ala, that you have been consumed with love for Him. Wishing is the harbinger of attaining. Being consumed with love is a sort of beginning for attaining. One of our superiors says, "If He would not give, He would not give the wish." One should appreciate the value of the blessing of wishing and refrain from the things that will cause it to be lost. One must be careful lest the wish becomes slack or the fervor chilly. What helps most lest this blessing is lost is to thank (Allahu ta'ala) for it. He declares in the seventh ayat of Sura-i Ibrahim: "If you thank Me for My favors, I will certainly increase them." It is necessary both to thank Him and to entrust oneself to Him and to weep and beg Him lest one will love or wish for something else. If one does not feel like weeping, begging, one should force oneself to do so. "If you do not weep make yourself weep," has been said. Until you find an exalted person who is kamil and mukammil, [that is, who has reached perfection and who is able to make another reach perfection also], one should preserve this wish with all its fervor in one's heart. When such an exalted person is found, all wishes and desires should be delivered into his hands, one being like a corpse on a bench under a washer's hands. Fana -fi-sh-shaikh is first. This fana will then turn into fillah. [That is, when you find an exalted person who has reached the end of the way of tasawwuf and who is back in order to make others attain it also and who therefore looks like any ordinary person, you should surrender yourself to him. First, you should annihilate yourself in him; that is, you should obey not yourself but him. A person who does so will gradually be annihilated in Allahu ta'ala. That is, his own desires being annihilated, he will act according to Allahu ta'ala's will. He will no longer have any will of his own.] An exalted person who will take from Allahu ta'ala and give to men should be two-dimensional. Because man is very mean and evil-natured, he cannot have a relationship with Allahu ta'ala. A two-dimensional intermediary is necessary, and this intermediary is an insan-i kamil (perfect man).
The worst thing which slackens a talib's wish and which extinguishes his fervor is his surrendering himself to a naqis person who has not reached the end of the way. A naqis is a person who has not completed his way through suluk and jadhba but calls himself a shaikh, a murshid. A group of naqis shaikhs is called a samm-i qatil. He who surrenders himself to them ends up in perdition. Such groups derange the high tendency, the inclination of a talib. For example, if a patient takes the medicine of a doctor who is not specialized, who does not even have a diploma, he will, let alone become well, get sick all the more. He will even lose the tendency to heal. That medicine may first reduce his aches. But the aches are not felt because it disturbs, harms the nerves. This case is not a service, but a disservice. If this patient goes to a real doctor, this doctor will first try to do away with the harm of that medicine. Then he will begin to cure the disease.
The way of our superiors "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' is based on sohbat. Nothing is obtained by memorizing or by uttering a few words of the great men of tasawwuf. On the contrary, it slackens the wish of the talib. Hadrat Shaikh Taj "quddisa sirruh", who is an owner of marifats, lives close to you. His blessed presence is a great favor for the Muslims there. Do get in touch with him infrequently. Infrequent visits in a relationship bring no value. If you occasionally write about your state, we will not hesitate to answer. Thus, the chain of love and ikhlas will be stirred.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 23rd Letter
This letter, written in Arabic to Abdurrahim "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih', who was known by the name of Khan-i Khanan, prohibits learning the din from the ignorant and discusses choosing last names.
May Allahu ta'ala rescue us all from empty words and bless us with the lot of doing something. For the sake of the best of all people and the Prophet of all "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam', may He protect us against knowledge without practice, against useless information!
An Arabic couplet in English:
If a person says "amin' to this prayer,
Allahu ta'ala will have mercy upon him.
O my high-natured brother! May Allahu ta'ala bless the perfect qualities in your creation with becoming apparent! This world is the field for the next world. Shame upon those who do not sow their seeds here; who do not cultivate their potential capacity, which, like the earth, exist in their creation; who do not utilize this; and who thus miss the seeds of deeds and worships! Not to cultivate the growing capacity, which is like earth, means not to sow anything on it, or to sow harmful, poisonous seeds. The harm, the corruptness of this second type is much greater than the former. To sow poisonous, corrupt seeds is to learn the din and elements of din from those who know nothing of the din and to read them from the books [and magazines] of the enemies of the din. For the ignorant of the din follow their nafses and run after their pleasures. They explain the din as it suits their purposes. They also cause the nafs of the one who listens to them to go astray and his heart to darken. When giving religious lessons, [and when writing religious books] the ignorant of the din cannot distinguish what is suitable with the Shariat from what is not suitable with the Shariat. They cannot know what to teach and how to teach youngsters. Like themselves, they educate their disciples to become ignorant, too. By reading and memorizing many things, [by becoming an authority in other branches of knowledge, by becoming specialized in branches of science and arts], one cannot become a man of din, write books of din, or give knowledge of din.
When a savant of the din teaches the din to youngsters, first he finds out the fallacious propaganda and slanders instilled into them by the irreligious, by the enemies of Islam [and by the ignorant men of the din], and purifies their clean fresh minds of these poisons. He cures their poisoned souls. Then, in accordance with their ages and understanding, he places in them Islam and its virtues and benefits, the ultimate divine causes and subtleties in its commands and prohibitions, and the fact that it makes humankind attain happiness. Thus, fragrant flowers that are a panacea for cares and food for souls begin to grow in the spiritual gardens of youngsters. It is the greatest advantage to procure such a savant of the din. His look penetrates into souls. His words affect hearts. Only with the presentation of such a pure man of Allah could it be possible to embrace the Islamic din like a ready-made candy or a cool sherbet that would assuage you down to your lungs. May Allahu ta'ala keep us all in Hadrat Muhammad's "alaihissalatu wassalam" way! Amin. For it is this way only which makes men attain ease in this world and the next. The following Persian poem has been expressed so well. Its translation is:
Hadrat Muhammad "alaihi 's-salam", who was born in Arabia,
Is the highest in both worlds!
May he who will not become earth at his door
Remain under the earth all the time!
May our salams be on the highest and the most superior of Prophets "ala nabiyyina wa 'alaihimussalawatu wattaslimat'
To my astonishment, I have heard that one of the poets who had been honored with your valuable tawajjuh adopted a disbeliever's name as his surname. Moreover, he is one of the Sayyids, one of those great people whom we are to love. I wish I had not heard about this. I wonder why he accepted this base name? I can never see why he should. It is necessary to beware of accepting such names more than bewaring of dreadful lions. Such names should be deemed uglier than anything ugly. For these names and their owners are the enemies of Allahu ta'ala. They are His Prophet's "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' enemies. Muslims have been commanded to deem all disbelievers as enemies [whether they be Christians or Jews or disbelievers without a book]. It is wajib for every Muslim not to give such dirty names to his children. Tell him on my behalf to change that name! Let him replace it with a name that is better and which becomes a Muslim! What suits a Muslim is to accept a Muslim name. It is this only which Allahu ta'ala likes, which His Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' likes, and which is suitable for the position of a person who has been honored with being in the Islamic din.
[Abu Dawud and Ibni Habban communicate that Rasulullah "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' declared: "On the Day of Resurrection you will be called with your names and with the names of your fathers. Therefore, accept beautiful names!" As Tirmuzi communicates, Hadrat Aisha "radi-Allahu 'anha' said that Rasulullah "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' used to change ugly names.]
Tirmuzi and Ibni Maja "rahmatullahi 'alaihima' communicate: Abdullah bin 'Umar "radi- Allahu 'anhuma' said that one of Hadrat 'Umar's daughters was Asiya (meaning rebellious). Rasulullah "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' changed it. He replaced it with Jamila. Also, Abu Dawud reported that he replaced the names of many another man, place and street with those names suitable for Muslims. Muslims have been commanded: "Keep away from the places that will cause you to be under suspicion!" It is every Muslim's duty to avoid accepting the names, [uttering the words, using the instruments and doing the actions], that are the symptoms of irreligiousness or which provoke this suspicion. Allahu ta'ala declares in the two hundred and twenty-first ayat of Baqara sura: "A slave who is a Believer is more valuable than a master who is a disbeliever!" May Allahu ta'ala give safety to those who follow Hadrat Muhammad's "alaihi 's-salam" way! Amin.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 80th Letter
This letter, written to Mirza Fathullah Hakim, informs us that of the seventy-three groups declared in the hadith, the one group that will be saved is the Ahl as-sunnat group.
May Allahu ta'ala bless you with the fortune of walking along the street of Shariat-i Mustafawiyya "ala sahibissalatu wassalam"!
Persian line in English:
This matters, nothing else!
A hadith declares that Muslims will break up into seventy-three groups. Each of these seventy-three groups claims to obey the Shariat. Each group says that it is the one that will be saved from Hell. It is declared in the fifty-fourth ayat of Muminun Sura and in the thirty- second ayat of Rum Sura: "Each group is happy thinking that it is in the right way." However, among these various groups, the sign, the symptom of the one that will be saved is given by our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' as follows: "Those who are in this group are those who follow the way which I and my Sahaba follow." After mentioning himself, the owner of the Shariat did not need to mention the Sahaba "ridwanullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain; yet his mentioning them may come to mean: "My way is the way which my Sahaba follow. The way to salvation is only the way which my Sahaba follow." As a matter of fact, it is declared in the seventy-ninth ayat of Nisa Sura: "He who obeys my Messenger has certainly obeyed Allahu ta'ala." Obeying the Messenger is obeying Allahu ta'ala. Disobeying him is disobeying Allahu ta'ala. Declaring: "They want to differentiate between the way of Allahu ta'ala and the way of His Messenger. They say, "We believe some of what you say but we do not believe other aspects.' They want to open a different way between the two. Certainly they are disbelievers," about those who presume that obeying Allahu ta'ala is different from obeying His Messenger, in the hundred and forty- ninth ayat of Nisa Sura, He informs us that they are disbelievers. He who says that he follows the Prophet "alaihissalatu wassalam" though he does not follow the way of the Sahaba "ridwanullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' is wrong. He has not followed him "sall- Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam', but he has disobeyed him. He who has taken such a way will not be rescued in the Hereafter. In the eighteenth ayat of Mujadala Sura, "They think they are doing something right. Be it known that they are liars, disbelievers," He shows how such people are.
Those who follow the way of the Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' are no doubt the group of the Ahl as-sunnat wal-jamaat. May Allahu ta'ala give plenty of rewards to the superiors of this group, who worked undauntedly without falling tired! The group that will be saved from Hell is only this one. For, he who speaks ill of our Prophet's "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' is certainly deprived of following them. Such is the case for the sect of Shiite and the group of Khariji.
[There are twelve groups of Rafidis. Each group has parted into sub-groups. Some of them lead a life without an ablution, without a ghusl. Few of them perform namaz. They all hold heretical beliefs. They hold the Rafidi belief. They call themselves Alawi. But Alawi means a person who loves and follows the Ahl al-bayt. Imam-i Ali and his children from Hadrat Fatima are called the Ahl al-bayt. The honor of loving the Ahl al-bayt has fallen to the lot of the Ahl as-sunnat, who have said that loving and following them is a sign of dying with iman. Then, the Alawis are the Ahl as-sunnat, not the Shiis. Therefore, a person who wants to be an Alawi has to be Sunni. Today, Rafidis, zindiqs, and people who have no relationship with Islam appropriate the name of Alawi, stealing it from the Ahl as-sunnat. Under the shade of this beautiful name, they try to mislead the youth from Rasulullah's way.]
The Mutazila group appeared later. Wasil bin Ata, its founder, used to be a disciple of Hadrat Hasan-i Basri "rahmatullahi 'alaih'; because he dissented from Hasan-i Basri's way by saying that there was a third aspect between iman and kufr, Hasan-i Basri said, "I'tazala anna," about him, which means, "He dissented from us." All the other groups, appeared later.
To slander the Sahaba means to slander Allahu ta'ala's Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'. As declared: "He who disrespects the Sahaba does not have iman in Allahu ta'ala's Messenger." For, to slander them means to slander their owner, their master "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'. May Allahu ta'ala protect us against falling into such a dirty creed. It is the Sahaba who brought us the Shariat, which originated from the Qur'an and from hadiths. When they are slandered, the thing which they brought loses its value. The Shariat was not brought to us by a few certain persons among the Sahaba. Each of them has a service, a share in this. They are all equal in trueness, in justice and in (the authenticity of) their teaching. When any one of the Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' is slandered, the Islamic din has been slandered, sworn at. May Allahu ta'ala protect us all from falling into such a loathsome situation!
If those who swear at the Sahaba say, "We still follow the Sahaba. It is not necessary to follow them all. In fact, it is not possible, for their words do not agree with each other. Their ways are different," We will answer them as follows:
To have followed some of the Sahaba, it is necessary not to deny any of them. When some of them are disliked, the others have not been followed. Amir [Ali "radi-Allahu 'anh'], for instance, respected the other three Khalifas, deemed them great and knew that they were worth obeying. He obeyed them willingly and accepted them as Khalifas. Unless the other three Khalifas are loved, it will be a lie, a slander to say that one follows Hadrat Ali "radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum'. In fact, it will mean to dislike Hadrat Ali and to refute his words. It would be a stupid and ignorant word to say about Hadrat Ali "radi-Allahu 'anh', who is Allahu ta'ala's Lion, that he handled them, that he only smiled at them. Which wisdom could admit that Allah's Lion, despite his great knowledge and bravery, concealed his enmity against the three Khalifas, pretended to be friends with them and established a superficial friendship with them for a full thirty years. Even the lowest Muslim could not manage such hypocrisy. We should recognize the ugliness of such words which belittle Hadrat Amir to such an extent and which make him impotent, deceitful and a munafiq. Even if we could admit for a moment that Hadrat Amir "radi-Allahu 'anh' was so -may Allah forbid- what would they say about the fact that our Master the Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' praised these three Khalifas, lauded them and esteemed them throughout his life? Would they say that our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' was hypocritical, too? Never! It is impossible. It is wajib for the Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' to tell the truth. He who says that he was handling them becomes a zindiq, becomes irreligious. Allahu ta'ala declares in the seventieth ayat of Maida Sura: "O My dear Messenger! Communicate what was sent down to you from your Allah to everybody! If you do not communicate this message correctly, you will not have done your duty as a Prophet! Allahu ta'ala will protect you against those who want to bear enmity towards you." The disbelievers had been saying that Hadrat Muhammad "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' had been communicating whatever suited his purpose and not communicating whatever did not suit his purpose of the Qur'an that had been revealed to him. Upon this, this ayat descended to declare that he had been telling the truth. Our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' praised the three Khalifas and held them above all others until he honored the Hereafter with his presence. This means to say that it cannot be an error or wrong to praise them and to hold them superior.
It is necessary to follow all of the Sahaba in the tenets to be believed, for there is no difference among them in the things to be believed. There may be a difference in the furu', that is, in the actions to be done.
The person who speaks ill of one of the Sahaba "ridwanullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' has blemished all of them. For, the iman, the belief of all of them is the same. He who slanders one of them has followed none of them. He has said that they disagreed with one another and that there was no unity among them. To slander one of them means to disbelieve what he said. Let us say once more that all the Sahaba communicated the Shariat. Each of them is just and right. There is something in the Shariat communicated by each of them. By each one communicating ayats, the Qur'an was collected. He who dislikes some of them will have disliked the one who communicated the Shariat. As it is seen, this person will have not acted in accordance with all of the Shariat. Can such a person be saved from Hell? Allahu ta'ala declares in the eighty-fifth ayat of Baqara Sura: "Do you believe some of the Qur'an and disbelieve some of it! The punishment of those who do so is to be disgraced and to be a subject of scorn in the world. And in the Hereafter they will be hurled down into the most vehement torment."
The Qur'an was collected by Hadrat 'Uthman "radi-Allahu 'anh'. In fact, it was collected by Abu Bakr-i Siddiq and 'Umar Faruq "radi-Allahu 'anhuma'. The Qur'an that was collected by Hadrat Amir was other than this one. As it can be understood, slandering these great people goes as far as slandering the Qur'an. May Allahu ta'ala protect all Muslims from falling into such a nuisance! One of the mujtahids of the Shiite sect was asked, "The Qur'an was collected by Hadrat 'Uthman "radi-Allahu 'anh'. What would you say about the Qur'an collected by him?" He answered, "I do not see any use in finding fault with the Qur'an, for slandering the Qur'an causes the din to be demolished."
Certainly, a wise person cannot say that all the Sahaba "radi-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' agreed about a wrong decision on the day when our Master the Prophet "sall- Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' died. In fact, on that day thirty-three thousand of the Sahaba unanimously made Hadrat Abu Bakr-i Siddiq "radi-Allahu 'anhum' the Khalifa willingly. It is impossible for thirty-three thousand Sahabis to agree on a mistake. As a matter of fact, our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' had declared: "My Ummat never agrees concerning a wrong decision." The reason why Hadrat Amir was first sorry was because he was not called to those talks. He himself conveyed that this was so and said, "I was sorry because I was called to the talks late. But I know well that Abu Bakr "radi-Allahu 'anh' is superior to us all." There was a reason why he was called late. That is, he was then among the Ahl al-bayt; he was consoling them.
The disagreements among the Sahabis "radi-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' of our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' were not because of the desires of the nafs or for evil thoughts, for their blessed nafses had been purged and become quite pure. They had gotten rid of being ammara and attained itminan (to believe and understand the truth). Their only desire was to obey the Shariat. Their disagreements were out of a difference of ijtihad. Their intention was to find out what was right. Allahu ta'ala will give one grade of thawab to those who erred, too. There is at least two grades of thawab for those who were right. We should not hurt any of those great people with our tongues! We should mention each of them with good terms. Hadrat Imam-i Shafi'i "rahmatullahi 'alaih', who was one of the greatest savants of the Ahl as-sunnat, said, "Allahu ta'ala did not smear our hands with their blood. So let us not smear our tongues!" Again, he said, "After Rasulullah, the Sahaba pondered very much. Finding no one on earth superior to Abu Bakr-i Siddiq, they made him the Khalifa. They accepted serving under him." This statement of Imam-i Shafi'i also shows that Hadrat Ali was never hypocritical and that he willingly accepted Abu Bakr-i Siddiq the Khalifa.
Mayan Shaikh Abulkhayr's son, Mayan Sayyid, is a descendant of great and noble people. Also, he was in your service in the Dakkan campaign. It is hoped that he will be blessed with your help and kind treatment. Mawlana Muhammad Arif is also a student of knowledge and a descendant of the great. His father is dead. He was a khodja. He came to you in order to receive his salary. It is hoped that Your Highness will help him. Wassalam wal-ikram!
[Islamic savants wrote very many books in order to prove that the Shiites have deviated from the right path and that especially the Rafidis, the most unbridled and the most excessive of their twenty groups, have altogether dissented from Islam; they have even been striving to demolish Islam. The names of some of them together with their authors have been given below. On behalf of religious brotherhood and humanity, I pray to Allahu ta'ala that our brothers in Islam who say that they are Alawi will read these books carefully and will observe the difference between the Ahl as-sunnat and Rafidis and choose the right way through wisdom, conscience and reason and not believe the lies and slanders of the factious ignoramuses. In this way they will attain happiness in this world and in the Hereafter by holding fast to the way of safety and salvation.
Of the books written by Islamic savants in order to advise the Shiites, here are a few:
1- The book Ibtal-ul-Manhaj-il batil was written by Fadl bin Ruzbahan. It refutes the book Minhaj-ul-karama by Ibn-ul-Mutahhir, one of the Shiite savants, and rebuts its errors through documents. He wrote the book in Isfahan in 852 A.H.
2- The book Nuzhat-ul-isna ashariyya, written by Mirza Ahmad bin Abdurrahim-i Hindi. It gives information about Shiites. He passed away in 1255 [A.D. 1839].
3- The book Nawaqid was written by Mirza Mahdum. The book An-nawaqid lil- Rawafid was written by Sayyid Muhammad bin AbdurRasul Barzanji, who was drowned in the sea in 1103 [1711 A.D.].
4- The book Muhtasar-i Nawaqid is a summary of the book Nawaqid. It was summarized by Muhammad bin AbdurRasul-i Barzanji.
5- The book Sayf-ul-batir li-riqab-ushshat-i warrafida-til-kawafir was written by Shaikh Ali bin Ahmad Hiti in Istanbul in 1025 A.H.
6- The book Ajwiba-tul Iraqiyya Alal'as'ilatil-Iraniyya was written by Shihabuddin Sayyid Mahmud bin Abdullah Alusi.
7- The book Ajwiba-tul Iraqiyya Alal'as'ilatil-Lahoriyya was written by Alusi. Also, Haydari wrote a similar book.
8- The book Nafahat-ul-qudsiyya fi mabahis-il-imamiyya fi-radd-ish-Shia, written by Alusi, refutes the Shiites.
9- The book Nahj-us-salama also was written by Shihabuddin Alusi.
10- The book Sarim-ul-hadid was written by Muhammad Amin bin Ali Baghdadi. It responds to the slanders of Ibni Abil-Hadid.
11- The book Raddu-alal-imamiyya was written by Ali bin Muhammad Suwaydi Baghdadi. He was in the Shafi'i Madhhab. He passed away in Damascus in 1237 [1822 A.D.].
12- The book Hadiqa-tus-sarair was written by Abdullah bin Muhammad Bitushi. He was a Shafi'i and Baghdadi, and passed away in Basra in 1211 [1797 A.D.].
13- The book Tuhfa-i isna ashariyya fi radd-ir-rawafid was written in Persian by Shah Abdulaziz-i Dahlawi. He passed away in 1239 [1824 A.D.]. Its Arabic translation was abridged by Shukri Alusi and printed with the title Mukhtasar-i Tuhfa in Baghdad, and it was reproduced in Istanbul in 1976.
14- The book Minha-tul-ilahiyya mukhtasar-i Tuhfa-i isna ashariyya was written by Mahmud Shukri Alusi. It was printed in Cairo in 1373 A.H.
15- Imam-i Rabbani "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' explains the superiorities of the Sahaba very well through documents and disgraces the Shiites in his book Maktubat.
16- The book Hujaj-i qatiyya was written in Arabic by Abdullah-i Suwaydi. It was printed together with the Arabic book An-Nahiya an'ta'n-i-Amir-ul-Muminin Muawiya in Istanbul in 1981.
17- In the books Milal-Nihal by Shihristani "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' and in its Turkish, English, French and Latin versions, Shiism is explained in detail and answers are given.
18- The Turkish book Tazkiya-i Ahl al-bayt gives beautiful answers to the Shiites. It was written by 'Uthman Bey, who was the Shaikh of Topkapi Mevlevihanesi, and it was printed in Istanbul in 1295 A.H. Along with Hujaj-i Qatiyya, it was printed in the Latin alphabet in the Turkish book Hak Yolun Vesikalari in Istanbul.
19- Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani's "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' book Radd-i-Rawafid is in Persian and its Turkish version has been printed in the Latin alphabet in the book Hak Yolun Vesikalari in Istanbul.
20- The great savant Ibni Hajar-i Haitami "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' proves that Shiites are wrong through ayats and hadiths in his book Sava'iq-ul-muhriqa.
21- Ibni Hajar, again, proves very well that Hadrat Muawiyya "radi-Allahu 'anh' cannot be spoken ill of in his book Tathir-ul-janan wallisan an Muawiya-tabni-Abi Sufyan.
22- Ibni Taymiyya, in his book Minhajus-sunnat-tinnabawiyya fi naqdi kalam-ish-Shias wal-qadariyya, refutes the book Minhaj-ul-karama by Ibnil-Mutahhir, one of the Shiite savants, through strong documents.
23- Ibni Taymiyya, again, explains the superiorities of the Sahaba, through strong documents in his book Fadail-i Abu Bakr wa 'Umar.
24- In the translation of Mawahib-i ladunniyya and in Mirat-i kainat the glory of the Sahaba is explained.
25- The Turkish pamphlet captioned Sahaba-t-al kiram by Sayyid Abdulhakim-i Arwasi "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' was printed in Istanbul.
26- The book Nur-ul-Huda, written by Qaraqashzada 'Umar bin Muhammad Bursawi Halwati in 1005 A.H. [1597 A.D.], answers the Shiites and Baktashis. It was printed in Istanbul in 1286 A.H. He passed away in Edirne in 1047 [1638 A.D.].
27- Manaqib-i Jihar yar-i guzin, which is in Turkish, explains the superiorities of the Sahaba "radi-Allahu 'anhum ajmain' very well. It was written by Sayyid Ayyub bin Siddiq Urmawi. It was reprinted various times. The edition of 1264 A.H. is very beautiful.
28- Shiism is explained and the advice which Islamic savants gave to them are explained in full length in the books Ashab-i kiram, Hak Yolun Vesikalari, Herkese Lazim Olan Iman, and Faideli Bilgiler, which have been edited various times in Istanbul. [Of these three books, the second one, Hak Sozun Vesikalari, was rendered into English in 1992. The English version, entitled Documents of the Right Word, consists of 480 pages and is vastly informative and competently corroborative.]
29- It is written in the books Bariqa and Hadiqa that those who believe in transmigration and those who hold the belief that Allah entered a certain person's body are disbelievers.
30- Yusuf Nabhani, in the final part of his book Shawahid-ul-haqq, gives very beautiful responses through documents to the Shiites.
31- Sayyid Ahmad Dahlan "rahmatullahi 'alaih' vehemently refutes the Shiites in his book Al-fat-hul-mubin. This book of his was printed as an addition at the end of Hujaj-i qatiyya by Suwaydi. (Please see item 18.)
32- Shah Waliyyullah-i Dahlawi "rahmatullahi 'alaih' refutes the Shiites through strong documents and praises Hadrat Muawiya very much in his book Izalat-ul-hafa an khilafat-ul- khulafa. The book, in Persian, was printed in Pakistan in 1392 [1972 A.D.] together with its Urdu translation. It is of two volumes.]
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 59th Letter
This letter, written to Sayyid Mahmud, communicates that those who disagree with the Ahl as-sunnat wal-jamaat "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' will not escape from going to Hell.
May Allahu ta'ala bless us all with walking on the path of the Shariat. May He enslave us to Himself! Your valuable letter and your sweet writings pleased these faqirs very much. We were happy to read about your love for our superiors and your ikhlas towards them. May Allahu ta'ala increase this blessing of His. You ask for advice. My son! To attain endless salvation, three things are absolutely necessary: 'Ilm, 'amal, ikhlas. 'Ilm is of two parts. The first one is to learn the things to be done. The knowledge that conveys these is called 'Ilm-i fiqh. The second one is the knowledge of the things to be believed in with the heart. The knowledge which conveys these is called 'Ilm-i kalam. 'Ilm-i kalam consists of the knowledge which the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat wal-jamaat have understood from Qur'an al-karim and hadith ash-Sharifs. Only these savants will be saved from Hell. He who does not follow them will not escape from going into Hell. It has been understood through the kashf of the Awliya and through the inspirations coming to their hearts that it is a great danger to dissent from the way of these great people as much as a hair's breadth. There is no likelihood of any mistake. How lucky for those who follow the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat and who keep on their path. Shame upon those who disagree with them, who deviate from their way, who dislike their knowledge, and who dissent from them! They dissented and also misled others. There were those who disbelieved the fact that Believers will see Allahu ta'ala in Paradise. There were those who disbelieved the fact that on the Day of Resurrection the good will intercede for the sinful. There were those who could not realize the value and the exaltedness of the Sahaba "alaihimurridwan', and also those who disliked the Ahl al-bayt-i Rasul "radi-Allahu 'anhum'.
The savants of the Ahl as-sunnat "rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' stated that, "The Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' unanimously said that the highest of them was Hadrat Abu Bakr-i Siddiq. Imam-i Idris bin Shafi'i "rahmatullahi 'alaih', one of the savants of the Ahl as- sunnat with very dependable information about the Sahaba, says that when Hadrat Rasulullah "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' honored the next world with his presence, the Sahaba were not able to find on earth someone superior to Hadrat Abu Bakr-i Siddiq, though they searched for one very assiduously. After making him the Khalifa, they accepted service under him. These words show that the Sahaba agreed on the fact that Hadrat Abu Bakr-i Siddiq was the highest of them. That is, they manifested that there is ijma'i ummat on the fact that he is the highest of the Sahaba. Ijma'i ummat is a document; there cannot be any doubt about it.
As for the Ahl al-bayt, the hadith, "My Ahl al-bayt are like Noah's "alaihi 's-salam" arch. He who gets on board it will be saved. He who does not will get drowned," about them will suffice. Some of our superiors have said that our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' likened the Sahaba to stars. He who follows a star will find the way. And he likened the Ahl al-bayt to a ship. For he who boards the ship should advance under the guidance of the stars. The ship will not get to the shore if it does not follow the stars. As it is seen, since both the ship and the stars are indispensable for being saved, it is necessary to love and respect all of the Sahaba as well as all of the Ahl al-bayt. To dislike one of them means to dislike all of them. For all of them have the virtue of having been honored with the company of the Best of mankind. And the virtue of this company, which is called Sohbat, is superior to all virtues.
[Sohbat means to be in the company of someone at least once. It is written in Khazanat- ur-riwayat that it is also written in Mudmarat that being in the sohbat of a savant of the din for one hour is more useful than worshipping for seven hundred years. Amir-ul-Muminin Ali "radi-Allahu 'anh' stated in one of his admonitions that he had heard Rasulullah "sall- Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' say, "The heart of the person who has not been in the company of a savant of the din will darken. He will begin to commit big sins, for knowledge animates the heart. There can be no worship without knowledge. Worship without knowledge is not good!" It is declared in the hadiths in Kunuz-ud-daqaiq: "It is worship to be in the company with a savant," and "To attend a gathering concerning the knowledge of fiqh is more useful than one year's worship," and "When seeing the Awliya, Allah is remembered," and "Everything has a source. The source of taqwa is the hearts of 'arifs," and "It is worship to look at a savant's face," and "He who stays together with them does not become evil," and "Respect the savants of my Ummat! They are the stars of the earth." These hadiths show that the real guides of life are Islamic savants.]
It is for this reason that Ways-al Qarani, who was the highest of the Tabiin, was not able to reach the grade of the lowest one from the Sahaba. [Those who saw our Prophet "sall- Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' when they had iman are called Sahaba. Those who were not able to see him but who saw one of the Sahaba are called Tabiin.] No superiority can be as high as the superiority provided by sohbat. For the iman of those who were blessed with sohbat, [that is, of the Sahaba], is so strong it is as if they had seen, owing to the abundance of sohbat, owing to the barakat of the wahy. None of their successors had such exalted iman. Deeds and worships are dependent upon iman and their significance is like the significance of iman.
The disagreements or battles among the Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' were because of good thoughts and mature perspectives. They were not because of the desires of the nafs or out of ignorance. They were from knowledge. They were due to the difference in ijtihad. Yes, some of them were erroneous in their ijtihad. But Allahu ta'ala gives one thawab also to the one who errs in ijtihad.
Thus, the way which the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat have chosen concerning the Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' is this medial way. That is, neither being excessive nor being too slack, they have told the truth. This is the safest and the soundest way.
[Rafidis, that is, Shiites, became excessive in their love for the Ahl al-bayt. They said that to love the Ahl al-bayt it is necessary to dislike the three Khalifas and all of those Sahaba "radi-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' who obeyed them and to be hostile towards them all. On the other hand, Kharijis, that is, Yazidis, were slack in this love. They became hostile against the Ahl al-bayt.]
'Ilm and 'amal are explained by the Shariat. To obtain ikhlas, which represents the soul, the root of 'ilm and 'amal, it is necessary to make progress on the way of tasawwuf. Without Sayr-i ilallah, that is, walking on the way towards Allahu ta'ala, perfect ikhlas cannot be obtained. The maturity of a mukhlis cannot be reached. Yes, all Believers can obtain some ikhlas, though little, with difficulty in some of their worships. But the ikhlas which we are discussing about is the one which always occurs easily and automatically in every word, in every action, in every motion, and in every motionlessness. [Ikhlas means to make real and pure, to purify the intention, to act only for Allah's sake.] For the formation of such ikhlas, one should not worship or be fond of anything besides Allahu ta'ala, whether inside of oneself or outside of oneself. And this is a fortune which can be obtained only after fana and baqa and after attaining wilayat-i khassa. The ikhlas which is obtained with difficulty is not permanent, but it will disappear. The ikhlas which is obtained without taking pains is permanent and it is realized at the station of Haqq-ul-yaqin. Thus, whatever the Awliya "radi-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' who have reached this station do, they do it for Allah's sake. They do nothing for their nafs. For their nafs has been sacrificed for Allah's sake. They do not need to intend for obtaining ikhlas. After being exalted to the grades of Fana-fillah and Baqa-billah, their intention becomes pure. As a person who follows his nafs does everything for his nafs and does not need to intend for doing this, so he will do everything for Allah's sake when he no longer follows his nafs and falls in love with Allahu ta'ala. He does not need to intend at all. Intention is necessary for doubtful things. It is not necessary to make certain by intending for those things that are certain already. This is such a blessing which Allahu ta'ala gives to those slaves of His whom He loves. Owners of permanent ikhlas are called Mukhlas. Those who have inconsistent ikhlas and who strive to obtain ikhlas are called Mukhlis. There is a great difference between the mukhlas and the mukhlis. Those who make progress on the way of tasawwuf have advantages in 'ilm and 'amal, too. The knowledge of kalam, which others obtain by studying, learning, and understanding, comes to these through kashf. Deeds and worships are done easily, willingly, with no laziness or slackness being left, which were from the nafs and from the devil. Sins, things that are haram, seem ugly and loathsome.
A Persian line in English:
We wonder whom they will give this great fortune.
I send my infinite salams.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 97th Letter
This letter, written to Shaikh Darwish, discloses that we were commanded to worship so that we might attain positive, mutlaq iman:
May Allahu ta'ala, for the sake of the Highest of His prophets "salawatullahi 'alaihim', let us, who are good for nothing, know real iman! Men were created to perform the worships commanded. Performing the commands is done to obtain yaqin (positive iman), which is the truth of iman. The meaning of the last ayat of Hijr Sura may be: "Worship your Allah so that you may obtain yaqin." The word "hatta' may come to mean, "to cause' as well as "until, so far.' In a way, the iman which is obtained before worshipping is not iman itself but its shape. It is declared in an ayat, "for obtaining yaqin", that is, "so that you may obtain iman itself." It is declared in the one hundred and thirty-fifth ayat of Nisa Sura: "O, thou who have iman! Have iman!" Its meaning is "O those who have obtained the shape of iman! Attain iman itself by worshipping!"
Wilayat, that is, being Awliya, means to reach the two grades called fana and baqa. Reaching fana and baqa is intended to obtain this yaqin. But it is ilhad and zindiqness (going out of the din) to believe such things as uniting with Allahu ta'ala or entering Him by saying fanafillah and baqabillah.
[It is written in the third volume of Ibni Abidin: Those who claim to be Muslims though they are not Muslims but disbelievers, are called munafiq, zindiq, dahri and mulhid. Among them there are also those who sometimes perform namaz, fast and even perform hajj. A munafiq is in another religion. He does not admit that Hadrat Muhammad is a Prophet. A dahri does not even admit that Allahu ta'ala exists; he denies Him. A mulhid says that he believes both of them, but he has slipped down into disbelief and dissented from the Shariat. His belief is corrupt. He views himself as a good Muslim. He calls those who are not like him kafirun (disbelievers). A zindiq does not believe in Allahu ta'ala, the Shariat, the harams and halals. He does not have any faith. He says that he believes Hadrat Muhammad "alaihi 's-salam". Of such people, those who introduce their profane ideas as Islam are very dangerous. A murtad is a person who has renegaded from Islam. He does not conceal the fact that he is a kafir. Communists and Masons belong to the Dahri group.]
Yes, when making progress on the way of tasawwuf some excitement like intoxication occurs because of the excessive love towards Allahu ta'ala. At such moments some information is misunderstood. Such excitement should be passed, jumped over. It is necessary to repent, to beg Allahu ta'ala's pardon for such understandings. Ibrahim bin Shayban-i Qazwini "qaddasallahu ta'ala arwahahum', one of the great men of tasawwuf, says, "An understanding of fana and baqa exists in those who have a true belief in the fact that Allahu ta'ala is one and who do their worships correctly. Whatever others say about fana and baqa is a lie and zindiqness." This word of his is exactly right and shows that he is in the right way.
Fana-fillah means to become fani in the things which Allahu ta'ala likes. That is, it means to love only His lovers, to make His lovers one's own love. This is the meaning of words such as Sayr-i ilallah and Sayr-i fillah. Mayan Shaikhullah Bakhsh is a person embellished with salah, taqwa, and other virtues. The people with him are numerous. If he asks for your help, it will be kind of you to facilitate him. Salams to you and to those who are on the right way!
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 46th Letter
This letter, written to Naqib Sayyid Shaikh Farid "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih', describes the existence and oneness of Allahu ta'ala, explains that Hadrat Muhammad is His Messenger, and proves that these are such obvious facts that there is no need even to think them over.
May Allahu ta'ala keep you on the way of your honored ancestors. May our prayers and salam be on the first of them, who is the highest, and on all of the rest! That Allahu ta'ala exists and is one, that Hadrat Muhammad is His Messenger, and also that all of the commands and information which he brought are true, are facts as conspicuous as the sun. There is no need to think them over or to prove them. But seeing this requires not having a diseased mudrika [comprehension] or any other kind of spiritual illness. When the comprehension is faulty, unhealthy, it is necessary to think, to observe. Yet, if the heart gets rid of its illness and the curtains before the eyes go away, one will see these clearly. For instance, a bilious patient does not feel the taste of sugar. It is necessary to tell him, to prove to him that sugar is sweet. But when he gets rid of the disease, there is no longer any need to verify. The necessity to verify because of an illness does not harm the fact that sugar is sweet. A squint-eyed person sees one man as two and thinks that there are two men before him. The eye illness in the squinting person does not require the one man in front of him to be two. Though he sees two, there is only one man being seen. There is no need to prove that there is one. [A person who has the eye illness called Doppelsehen is called ahwal. Today we mostly use the term "squint-eyed," which is wrong. An ahwal sees one thing as two.]
Not everything can easily be made believable by proving it through the mind. For obtaining a certain, conscientious iman, it is necessary to rid the heart of its illness instead of taking to proving. As a matter of fact, to make the bilious person believe that sugar is sweet, it is necessary to cure him of the disease, rather than attempt to prove it. No matter how well it is proven that sugar is sweet, he cannot form a positive belief. Because he is ill, sugar tastes bitter to his mouth and his conscience deems it bitter.
[Sayyid Abdulhakim Arwasi "quddisa sirruh" wrote that the forces of mudrika are of three groups. The first group consists of the forces in sense organs; these exist in animals as well as in human beings.
The second group, mental forces, consists of the forces in the invisible five sense organs, which are called hiss-i mushtarak (feelings), hafiza (memory), wahima (power of representation), mutasarrifa (will power) and hazanat-ul-hayal (imagination). These forces are proper to man; they do not exist in animals.
The third group consists of the spiritual forces peculiar to exalted and distinguished people. The things that are understood through spiritual forces cannot be comprehended by the forces of the mind and feelings. If you tried for years, you could not explain the things that can be comprehended through the forces of the mind to a horse, which is the most developed animal. Likewise, these distinguished people could not explain to other men the things that are understood through spiritual forces, e.g. knowledge pertaining to Allahu ta'ala, even if they tried to explain them for years. Higher than these are the distinguished of the distinguished. Higher than these are the Nabis and higher than the Nabis are the Rasuls and above these are the grades of Ulul-'azm. And above these are the grades of Kalimiyyat, Ruhiyyat, Hillat and, lastly, Mahbubiyyat, which is the highest and proper to our Master Muhammad Mustafa "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'.]
By the same token, the nafs-i ammara disbelieves the rules of the Shariat because its creation and nature is unsuitable for the Shariat. When a man's nafs and conscience deny the Shariat, it will be very difficult to make him believe positively, no matter how hard you try to prove the correctness of the Shariat. To form a certain belief, there is no other way than to purify the nafs and to rid it of evil, which is called tazkiya. Without tazkiya it is very difficult to obtain a positive belief. It is purported in the nineteenth ayat of Washshamsi Sura: "He who has done tazkiya to his nafs [that is, he who has purified it of evil and filled it with virtues] has been saved. He who has left his nafs in sin, ignorance and aberration has suffered a loss."
[It is written in an explanation of Mawakib: "When the nafs is purified the heart finds tasfiya. That is, when the nafs is purged from evil desires, the heart ceases from being attached to creatures.
Translation of a Persian distich:
Unless the nafs ceases from desiring for the harams,
The heart will never reflect the divine lights!
The evil and filth of the nafs are the things which the Shariat dislikes and prohibits." Today some people call something fashion, modernism and progress, whereas Allahu ta'ala calls them evil and prohibits them. They call the things which Allahu ta'ala likes and commands "bigotry and ignorance.' There are also those who call those who commit sins artists, modern people, and Muslims reactionary, retrogressive and fanatical. We should not believe them. We should learn the din, Islam, from the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants.]
As it is seen, the person who disbelieves this clear and brilliant Shariat is ill, like the bilious who cannot feel the taste of sugar.
A Persian line in English:
If a person is blind why should we blame the sun?
The purpose of sayr and suluk [making progress on the way of tasawwuf] and the tazkiya of the nafs and the tasfiya of the heart is to remove spiritual afflictions and to cure the heart of illnesses. Unless the illness communicated in the ninth ayat of Baqara Sura, "They have a disease in their hearts," is cured, real iman will not be obtained. When such pestilences exist, the iman which is obtained in this state is only the appearance of iman, for the nafs desires the opposite of iman and persists and insists in disbelief. Such iman is similar to the bilious patient's believing that sugar is sweet. Though he says that he believes, his conscience deems sugar bitter. When bile becomes normal he will have a real belief in the sweetness of sugar. Likewise, real iman occurs after the purification and tranquillization of the nafs. Such iman will not be lost. The good news: "Be it known that there is no fear of torment or worry of not getting the blessings for the Awliya of Allahu ta'ala." This, the sixty-second ayat of Yunus Sura, is intended for the owners of such iman. May Allahu ta'ala honor us all with this perfect iman! Amin.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 40th Letter
This letter, written to Muhammad Chatri again, mentions the importance of ikhlas.
Thanks be to Allahu ta'ala. Prayers and salam be on His Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'. My son! After passing beyond the grades of jadhba and suluk, it has become clear that the purpose in jadhba and suluk, that is, the purpose of the way of tasawwuf is to reach the grade of ikhlas. To reach the grade of ikhlas, it is necessary to get rid of worshipping the idols inside and outside of man. Ikhlas is one of the three aspects of the Shariat. The Shariat has three parts: 'Ilm (knowledge), 'amal (worship) and ikhlas (doing everything for Allah's sake). As it is seen, tariqat and haqiqat are useful in obtaining ikhlas, the third facet of the Shariat, that is, they are the Shariat's assistants. This is the truth. Unfortunately, not everybody can understand this. Others deceive themselves being content with dreams and fancies. Like children, they waste their time with walnuts. What could such people ever know of the superiority and subtlety of the Shariat? How could they ever know what tariqat and haqiqat are? Thinking of the Shariat as a mere cover, like the shell of a walnut, they say that the walnut's kernel is the tariqat and haqiqat. Being unable to see the essence of the matter, they have their attentions distracted by the words which they heard that were memorized about love and dhawq. They ardently desire to attain hals and grades. They think of these as something. May Allahu ta'ala bless them with seeing the right way. May He give safety to us, to you and to all His devoted slaves! Amin.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 39th Letter
This letter, written to Muhammad Chatri, states that the heart is important and that those worships done only as habits are useless.
May Allahu ta'ala bless you with the lot of turning away from things other than Him and turning towards Him! The heart is essential. If the heart has fallen in love with anybody other than Allahu ta'ala, it has been ruined; it is good for nothing. Unless the intention is sincere, beneficent deeds, help and worships done as a mere formality will be of no avail. It is also necessary for the heart to gain safety and not to be fond of anything besides Allahu ta'ala. [That is, everything done should have been done because He commands or likes it. Anything which He dislikes should be avoided. Everything should be for His sake.] Both the heart's safety and the body's doing pious actions must be together. Unless the body does pious actions, it will be vain to say, "My heart is safe, [my heart is pure, look at my heart]." It will mean to deceive oneself. In this world, as there cannot be a soul without a body, so the heart cannot be pure unless the body worships and refrains from sins. Most of the irreligious and blasphemous people of our time do not worship and claim that their hearts have gained safety and that they even have kashfs. In this way, they deceive credulous Muslims. May Allahu ta'ala, as an alms of His beloved Prophet "alaihissalatu wassalamu wattahiyya', protect us all against believing such heretics! Amin.
[Things which Islam prohibits are vehement poisons. When Allahu ta'ala created people, He commanded useful things and prohibited harmful things for them. He commanded, as absolutely necessary, those with definite uses. It became Fard to do them. And, of the things that are useful, those that are not as necessary became sunnat. Since it is absolutely necessary to cease from those which are definitely harmful, they became haram. And it being not as necessary to refrain from some others, they became makruh. It has been left to man's option to do or not to do some other actions; these became mubah. If mubahs are done with a goodwill, they will be given thawab. If not done with a goodwill, they are sins.]
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 37th Letter
This letter, written to Muhammad Chatri, informs us that it is necessary to obey the Sunnat, and praises tasawwuf.
We have been honored with the elegant letter you have bestowed upon us. You write about your belief and love towards our superiors. Upon reading this, I thanked Allahu ta'ala. May Allahu ta'ala, through the barakat and blessedness of the superiors of this way, bless you with endless exaltedness! Their way is more valuable than anything else. It is to obey the Sunnat-i saniyya "'ala sahibihassalatu wassalam". Owing to this way, for a long time they have been pouring information, marifats, hals, and ranks like April rain on this faqir (Imam-i Rabbani). With the grace of Allahu ta'ala, they did exactly all they could do. My whole desire now is to uncover one of the forgotten sunnats of our prophet. Let the hals, mawajid [losing consciousness], raptures, and dhawqs of tasawwuf be owned by those who desire them! The most important thing to be done is to make the batin [heart and soul] live with the love of our superiors and ornament the zahir [senses and actions] with obeying the sunnats.
Translation of a Persian line:
This matters, nothing else!
You should perform the prayer of namaz five times each day as soon as their times arrive. It is mustahab to delay only the night prayer until one-third of the night has passed in winter. In doing this, I cannot control myself. When the time of namaz arrives, I do not want to delay it as long as a hair's breadth. Of course, the times of incapacitation because of human weaknesses are exceptional
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Second Volume, 23rd Letter
This letter, written to Khwaja Muhammad Abdullah "sallamahullahu wa abkahu wa awsalahu ila ghayati ma yata-mannahu', his master Muhammad Baqi Billah's "quddisa sirruh" son, says that the first thing to do is to hold fast to the sunnat-i saniyya and to refrain from bidats, and many other things.
Praise be to Allahu ta'ala. I pray to Him to bestow salvation and goodness upon those people whom He has chosen. My dear son! The primary advice that I will give you and to the other beloved friends is to hold fast to the sunnat-i saniyya and to refrain from bidats. The Islamic din has been becoming gharib and weak. Muslims are now forlorn. From now on it will go on being gharib, too. This will go so far that there will not be anybody left on earth to say "Allah." It has been said that Doomsday will come when there are no longer any good people on the earth and evil has spread everywhere.
[Our Prophet stated: "There will come such a time when only the name of Islam will remain on my Ummat. Believers will do only a few Islamic customs, and they will not have any iman left. Qur'an al-karim will only be recited. They will not even know of the commandments and prohibitions. Their only thought will be about eating and drinking. They will forget about Allahu ta'ala. They will worship money only. They will become women's slaves. They will not be contented with earning a little, nor will they be satisfied with earning much."
Hadrat Abdulwahhab-i Sharani "rahmat-Allahi 'alaih' says in his brief explanation of the Mukhtasar-i Tazkira-i Qurtubi: "It is declared in a hadith quoted by Ibni Maja: "There will come such a time when Islam, as the color, the beauty of a dress fades, will fade away from the earth so much so that namaz, fasting, hajj and alms will be forgotten. None of the Qur'an's ayats will be left on the earth.' " Imam-i Qurtubi states: "The forgetting of Islam will occur after Hadrat Isa's (Jesus) descent from heaven and death. Before that, Muslims will be gharib (forlorn). Though Qur'an al-karim will not be obeyed, it will not be forgotten altogether." It is written in Marifatnama, "There are many presages of Doomsday. Mosques will be plentiful, but the jamaat (congregation of Muslims in mosques) will be small. Buildings will be tall, dresses thin, and women will be domineering. Men will become effeminate."]
The happiest, the most fortunate person is he who recovers one of the forgotten sunnats and annihilates one of the widespread bidats during a time when irreligiousness is on the increase. We are now in such a time when a thousand years have elapsed after the Best of Mankind (Hadrat Muhammad "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'). As we distance from the time of happiness of our Prophet, the sunnats are gradually being buried and, lies being on the increase, bidats are spreading. A hero is needed who will uphold the sunnats and stop, expel the bidats. To spread bidats is to demolish Islam. To respect those who make up and commit bidats, to deem them great will cause Islam to perish. It is declared in a hadith: "He who says "great' about those who commit bidats has helped the demolition of Islam." The meaning of this should be given due consideration. Utmost energy should be spent in striving to uncover one sunnat and to annihilate one bidat. To strengthen Islam anytime, especially when Islam has become so weak, it is necessary to spread the sunnats and demolish the bidats. Former Islamic savants, maybe having seen some beauty in the bidats, gave some of them the name of hasana [beautiful]. But this faqir [Imam-i Rabbani] does not follow them in this respect; I do not regard any of the bidats as beautiful. I see all of them as dark and cloudy. Our Prophet declared: "All bidats are aberration, deviation from the right way." During such a time as this when Islam has become weak, I see that salvation and escaping from Hell depends on holding fast to the sunnat; and the destruction of the din is, no matter how, in falling for any bidat. I understand that each bidat is like a pickaxe used to demolish the building of Islam and all sunnats are like brilliant stars guiding you on a dark night. May Allahu ta'ala give enough reason to the hodjas of our time so that they will not say that any bidat is beautiful or permit any bidat to be committed. They should not tolerate bidats even if they seem to illuminate darkness like the rising of the sun! For, the satans do their work easily outside the sunnats. In earlier times, Islam being strong, the darkness of bidats were not conspicuous, but, maybe, along with the world-wide powerful light of Islam, some of the darkness passed as being bright. Therefore, they were said to be beautiful. In fact, those bidats did not have any brightness or beauty, either. But now, Islam having become weak and disbelievers' customs and even the symptoms of disbelief having become settled [as fashion] among Muslims, each bidat has displayed its harm, and Islam, without anyone noticing it, has been slipping away. Our hodjas should be most vigilant in this respect, and they should not pioneer the spreading of bidats by saying, "It is permissible to do so and so," or "Such and such things are not harmful," by putting forward old fatwas. As the saying goes, "The din will change in the process of time." It is wrong for disbelievers to use this saying as tongs for demolishing Islam and for establishing bidats and disbelief. The bidats having covered all the world, this age looks like a dark night. The sunnats being on the decrease, their lights blink like fire-flies flying here and there in the dark night. As the committing of bidats increases, the darkness of the night has been increasing and the light of the sunnat has been decreasing. But the increasing of the sunnats would decrease the darkness and increase the light. He who wishes may increase the darkness of bidat, thus strengthening the devil's army! And he who wishes may increase the light of the sunnat, thus strengthening the soldiers of Allahu ta'ala! Know well that the end of the followers of the devil is calamity, loss. He who is in the army of Allahu ta'ala will attain endless bliss.
[Let us repeat that those beliefs, words, actions, manners and customs which did not exist during the time of our Prophet or during the times of his four Khalifas, but which were made up, invented later in the din are called bidat. It is bidat to make up all these under the name of the din and worship, and to say about the things which the din holds important, "They are outside of the din, they do not concern the din." Some of the bidats are disbelief. Some others are grave sins. One of these bidats is to read (or recite) Qur'an al-karim or to say the adhan through loud-speakers or radios.
It is written in the explanation of the hundred and eighty-sixth letter of the Arabic and Persian versions of the book Maktubat, "Most Islamic savants classified the bidats of deeds into two groups: Those renovations and reforms that were not against the Sunnat, i.e., those that had an origin in the first century, were called bidat-i hasana. And those that had no origin were called bidat-i sayyia. But Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani would not smear the ones with origin with the name bidat. So he called them sunnat-i hasana. Examples of these are performing the Mawlid and building minarets and tombs. He gave the name bidat only to those without an origin. Wahhabis called these bidat-i hasanas bidat-i sayyia, too. They said that sunnat-i hasanas also were shirk (polytheism). On the other hand, ignorant men of the din called most of the bidat-i sayyias bidat-i hasana, and thus caused these atrocious bidats to become widespread. In censuring bidats, Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani is not against the Islamic savants, but he is against the ignorant men of the din."]
Also, today's men of tasawwuf should come to reason and, realizing that Islam is so weak and concocted things have turned into faith and worships, they should not imitate those actions of their master Darwishes which are not suitable with the Sunnat. They should not adopt those things that are not in the din as faith and worships for themselves only because their masters did them. Holding fast to the Sunnat will certainly rescue you and will make you attain blessings and happiness. Imitating the things other than the Sunnat will lead you to dangers and disasters. Our duty is to inform you of what is right. Everybody may do what he likes, and will get the deserts of what he has done. [Every sane man who has reached the age of puberty is responsible for his own actions.]
May Allahu ta'ala greatly reward our superiors who educated us in order to protect us, the ignorant, against bidats. They did not lead us, who were following them, to dark dangers or an abyss. They did not show us any way other than the Sunnat. They guided us to no way but that of obeying the owner of the Shariat and avoiding even the doubtful acts as well as the harams. For this reason, the blessings of these great people are considerable. The grades which they attained to are very high. They did not even turn to music and dancing, nor did they pay any attention to raptures and ecstasies. They deemed the hals, which others saw and found through the heart and considered great, as far from the purpose and other than what is desired; they expelled and refused the fancies which others fell for. Their deeds are not the kind which can be understood by seeing, finding or learning. They are above knowledge, fancy, tajallis, zuhurs, kashfs and views. Others try to find something, to attain something. But these great people do not want anything other than Allahu ta'ala; they expel all others. Others' expressing the word tawhid again and again is intended to approach Allahu ta'ala. By expressing the word tawhid [la ilaha il-lal-lah], they try to find, to see Allahu ta'ala in this universe, which is only an incapable creature of Allahu ta'ala and which does not have any other relation with Allahu ta'ala. But these great people repeat the word La ilaha il-lal-lah in order to know everything as non-existent, to refuse, to deem non-existent all views, findings, understandings and fancies when saying La; refusing anything which they feel in existence, they do not remember anything. [Half of this letter has been translated. Its latter half has not been translated.]
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Third Volume, 105th Letter
This letter, written in response to a letter from Shaikh Hasan-i Barki, encourages to recover the forgotten sunnats and to abstain from bidats.
I begin to write this letter with the Basmala. May hamd (grateful praise) be to Allahu ta'ala. I send my salams to and prayers for the good people chosen by Allahu ta'ala. I was very much pleased to read the letter from my brother Shaikh Hasan. Valuable pieces of knowledge and marifats were written in it. When I understood them, I became quite pleased. Thanks be to Allahu ta'ala, all the knowledge and kashfs which you wrote are correct. They are all agreeable with the Qur'an and hadiths. So are the right beliefs of the savants of Ahl as-sunnat. May Allahu ta'ala keep you on the right way. May He bless you with attaining high grades! You write that you have been striving to do away with the bidats that are so widespread. At such a time as this, when the darknesses of bidats are so prevalent, it is a very great blessing to bring about the annihilation of one bidat and to recover one of the forgotten sunnats. Our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' states in a sahih hadith: "He who recovers one of my forgotten sunnats will receive as many thawabs as a hundred martyrs will receive!" The greatness of this deed must be inferred from this hadith. But, when doing this, there is an important subtlety to be observed. That is, while trying to recover one sunnat, we should not cause any fitna; one goodness should not give birth to a variety of problems or evils, for we are in the latest time. We are in a century when Muslims are weak and forlorn.
[It is written in Hadiqa, in its chapter about fitna, "Fitna means to cause faction among Muslims, to cause them to fall into trouble, harms and sins, to instigate the people to revolt against the State. It is wajib to obey the government even if it is a cruel one. [In Bariqa, on page ninety-one, it is stated: "It is wajib to obey the orders of the ruler in charge, if they are in conformity to the rules of Shariat, even if he is as low and as despicable and common as an Abyssinian slave. If his orders are not agreeable with the rules of the Shariat, it is still better to obey him, not to cause fitna and fasad."] Also, it will cause fitna for men of din to give people fatwas that they will not be able to carry out. So is the case with telling a villager or an old person that he cannot perform namaz without tajwid. For, such people can no longer learn it and may cease from namaz altogether. In fact, there are those (savants) who give the fatwa that namaz can be performed without tajwid. This fatwa is weak, yet it is better than not performing namaz at all. Considering that it is permissible to follow another Madhhab when there is kharaj, we should not produce hardships for the ignorant or the incapable. The book Sharh-ul-ma'fuwat explains this fact. We should not prevent them from visiting graves and tombs or from votive offerings for the Awliya or from asking for blessings by going to tombs. We should not deny the fact that the Awliya have karamat also after their death, for there are fatwas that say that it is permissible. [In Bariqa, on page 270, it states: "It is permissible to make means of prophets or pious people while praying to Allahu ta'ala, or ask them to be a means, because a mujiza or miracle does not cease with death. Ramli also explained that a miracle will not become void by death. Ajhuri informed us that the power of Awliya will increase after their death, and when alive, they are like swords in their sheath, whereas the sword is drawn when they die."] We should not give advice that will cause fitna. If he who has power and authority does not advise, it will be Mudahana, haram. If he does not advise lest he will cause fitna though he has enough power it will be Mudara, permissible. In fact, it will be mustahab (an action which is liked by Allahu ta'ala). To use power is the duty of state authorities. Those who ridicule and harm Islam should not be advised. Advice should not be thrown to the face of a person, but it should be given generally, indirectly. We should not quarrel with anybody. A person came to Rasulullah. Upon seeing him from the distance, he (Rasulullah) said, "He is the worst of his tribe." When he entered the room, he met him with a smile, praised him. When he had gone, Hadrat Aisha asked Rasulullah why. He said, "The worst of people is the person who is not approached in order to be safe from his harm." He was a munafiq presiding over some Muslims. In order to protect Muslims against his harm, Rasulullah implemented mudara. Hence it is understood that it is not ghiybat (backbiting) to tell others about a person whose sins, indecencies and cruelty are public, that is, well known among people, and that mudara is permissible in order to be safe from his harm. It is declared in a hadith in Kunuz, by 'Abd-ur-Ra'uf-i Munawi: "I was sent in order to apply mudara for people." It is called Mudara to give what is worldly in order to protect the din and the world. It is called Mudahana to give the din in order to obtain what is worldly. To please someone's heart through soft words, favors and even lies is to give what is worldly. When seeing Muslims' grave sins, [which they have committed secretly], it is necessary to conceal them. It is qazf to tell them to others. It is a greater sin to reveal them to other people out of supposition or slander."]
Do your best to educate and to bring up so as to be well-mannered and well-learned the late Mawlana Ahmad's "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' children. Teach them spiritual and bodily adabs! Be an example for everybody you know and meet and even all your brothers- in-Islam there by obeying the Shariat and holding fast to the sunnat! Tell everybody about the harms of committing bidat, of disbelief! May Allahu ta'ala bless you with the lot of doing good deeds! May He give success to those who strive for the spreading of the Islamic din and for teaching it to the youngsters! May He protect us and our children against going astray by being deceived by the enemies of the din and virtue, by those who strive to demolish the Islamic din and steal the iman and morals of the pure youth, and by those who try to deceive the youngsters through lies and slanders! Amin.
Imam-i Rabbani "rahmatullahi 'alaih', in his 68th letter in the second volume of Maktubat, says that in a hadith it was declared: "Until the earth is covered by kufr, and kufr and disbelief is prevalent everywhere, Hadrat-i Mahdi will not come." From this, it is understood that before Hadrat-i Mahdi, kufr and disbelief will cover the whole earth and Muslims and the Islamic religion will be gharib. Our Prophet "sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' informed us that towards the end of the world Muslims will become gharib, and he said "Harj, worship done during the time of fitna will be similar to an immigration [from Mecca to Madina] to me." During fitna and fasad times, everybody knows how valuable a small manoeuvre made by the police and soldiers is when compared to big and organized manoeuvres made during times of peace. Their heroism when there is no fitna will have almost no value at all. Thus, the most precious of all prayers are those performed during times of fitna. If you want to be among those saved on the Day of Resurrection and be valuable at such a time, do the things which Allahu ta'ala has approved of and the things He likes! Grasp the sunnat-i saniyya, that is, the path of Muhammad "sallallahu alaihi wa sallam'. Do nothing incompatible with this way. Ashab-i Kahf "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain', by immigrating when fitna became widespread, attained a high rank. You are the Ummat (followers) of Muhammad "alaihissalam", the best Ummat of all. Do not waste your time in lahv and la'b, that is, in games and fun. Like children, do not spend your time kicking a ball!
My son! When fitna is widespread and fasads are abundant, it is time to repent and make istighfar. You must keep aloof and not participate in fitna. Fitna is growing and spreading each day. Our beloved Prophet "sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' said: "As the Doomsday approaches, fitna will increase. It will resemble the increase in darkness as night begins. Many who leave their homes in the morning as Muslim, will return home as kafirs in the evening. While they are Muslim in the evening, they will lose their belief during the night at places of amusement. During such times, to stay at home is better than being involved in fitna. Those who stay aloof are better than those who attack and lead in front. On that day, break your arrows! Leave your weapons and swords! Address everybody with a smiling face and sweet words! Do not leave your house!" This is the end of the translations from Maktubat. Muslims should follow this advice. They should not be deceived by the books and fake interpretations that are harmful and encourage fitna and rebellion and which are written by ignorant heretics and La-Madhhabis, such as Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb. Jihad means the war conducted by the state with armed forces against enemies, against kafirs and those who are corrupt. Whether it is an Islamic state or a non-Muslim state, whether it is just or cruel, it is not possible to call a rebellion against the state and the killing of citizens as jihad. It could only be called fitna, and fasad. Our Prophet "sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam' said: "May Allahu ta'ala damn those who cause fitna." Muslims do not rebel against the state. They do not take part in fitna and rebellions. They do not disobey the laws. [Ahl as- sunnat savants were never involved in politics, never accepted governmental duties, and they always advised state staff with their writings and words and in this way showed them the correct and just ways of ruling. Some ignorant religious people joined in state affairs by deviating from the way of the Ahl as-sunnat savants; they abandoned the job of learning and teaching, which were their main duties; and thus they brought no advantages for themselves or for Muslims. Mustafa Sabri Effendi, one of the latest Ottoman Shaikh-ul- Islams, worked for a political party named I'tilaf Firkasi. Husamaddin Pachali, who was a shaikh of a dargah, asserted in his interpretation that the members of the political party named Ittihad and Tarakki were praised in the Qur'an, especially in the 111th chapter (Sura Lahab). Musa Kazim, Shaikh-ul-Islam, and Mustafa Hayri Effendi, from the town of Urgub, were members of the political party Ittihad and Tarakki, and were also freemasons. Semseddin Gunaltay, from the city of Erzincan, was a professor of the history of religions, yet after becoming a member of the Ittihad an Tarakki party, first he became a member of parliment and then the Prime Minister of Turkey. Yahya Galib was a shaikh of the dargah, namely Ummi Sinan Tekkesi in Ayyub Sultan in Istanbul, but he went into politics, and then became the deputy of the city of Kirsehir. Mustafa Fevzi, from the town of Akhisar, was a minister of religious affairs, but he entered a political party named Halk Firkasi, and became a member of parliment and also the head of a committee of judges. Fahmi Effendi, the son of Ziyauddin Effendi, from the city of Gumushane and a man of sufism, was the Mufti of Istanbul, but he joined the Halk Firkasi, a political party of that time. Sayyid Abd- ul-qadir Effendi, who was a member of ayan [the Senate] during the time of Sultan AbdulHamid Khan, and Mustafa Sabri Effendi, the last Ottoman Shaikh-ul-Islam, were Sunni scholars. They struggled against those venal statesmen who had sold themselves to the British and those men of the Din who strove to demolish Islam from within.]
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Second Volume, 25thLetter
This letter, written to Khwaja Sharafaddin-i Husain, explains that everything done following Rasulullah is dhikr:
Alhamdu lillahi wa salamun ibadihil ladhi-n-astafa. The letter which my dear son sent through Mawlana AbdurRashid and Mawlana Jan Muhammad has reached us, together with the sum of the votive offering. May Allahu ta'ala bestow the best things upon you in return! We are glad to hear that you are in good health.
O my son! This time of yours is a chance. And chance is a great blessing. Time that is spent in good health and without care is a rare blessing. Every hour should be spent remembering Allahu ta'ala. Everything, even buying and selling, done by following Rasulullah, will become dhikr. Then, every action, every attitude should be adapted to Rasulullah. Thus all of them will become dhikr. Dhikr means to expel unawareness. That is, it means to remember Allahu ta'ala. When one observes Allah's commands and prohibitions in one's every action, every deed, one will be secure against forgetting about the Owner of the commandments and prohibitions and will always remember Him.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 52nd Letter
This letter, written to Sayyid Shaikh Farid, explains the evil of the nafs-i ammara, the illness peculiar to it, and its medicine.
We have been honored with reading your blessed letter, which you mercifully offered to your inferiors who pray for you. May Allahu ta'ala, for the sake of your great ancestor (Muhammad) "alaihis-salam", increase your rewards, exalt your degree, enlarge your chest, which is a source of knowledge, and facilitate your work! May Allahu ta'ala keep our body and soul in his way and forgive those who say "Amin" after our prayer! Amin. You complain about the existence of evil-spirited people who want to sow discord and arouse instigation among your officials. My dear son! Man's nafs-i ammara has the ambition to seize a post, to come to the fore. Its only desire is to be the chief so that everybody will bow his head in front of it. It does not like to need anybody or to be under someone else's command. These desires of the nafs mean that it wants to be a god, an idol, so that everybody will worship it. It wants to be a partner with Allahu ta'ala. Even more, the nafs is so base that it does not like partnership but wants to be the only ruler, commander, with everybody under its command. Allahu ta'ala declares in a hadith al- qudsi: "Bear hostility against your nafs! For, your nafs is My enemy." This means to say that to strengthen the nafs, to gratify its desires to obtain property, positions, ranks, to be superior to everybody and to abhor everybody, would mean to help and strengthen this enemy of Allahu ta'ala; it should be realized what a terrible, horrible felony this is. Allahu ta'ala declares in a hadith al-qudsi: "Greatness, superiority are peculiar to Me. He who wants to be My partner in these two is My great enemy. Without pitying him, I shall fling him into Hell fire." [As is seen, such worldly wealth as property, rank, post, commandership and leadership should be desired not for following the nafs but for doing and practicing Allah's commands, for serving people and Muslims. It will be a great act of worship to desire them with this intention and to do them.]
The reason why Allahu ta'ala is hostile against the world, why the world is so base, is because it causes the nafs to get its desires and because it strengthens the nafs. He who helps the nafs, which is Allah's enemy, will certainly be Allah's enemy. Our Prophet praised being poor, for poverty does not allow the nafs to obtain its desires. It does not listen to it. It takes its conceit out of it. The sending of Prophets, the Shariat's commands and prohibitions are all intended to break, to crush the nafs, and to prevent its excessive activities. The more the Shariat is obeyed, the fewer desires the nafs will have. It is for this reason that doing one command of the Shariat is more effective in annihilating the desires of the nafs than thousands of years of riyazat and mujahada done on one's own.
[Riyazat means not to do the desires of the nafs. Mujahada means to struggle against the nafs, to do what the nafs dislikes]. In fact, those riyazats and mujahadas that are not suitable with the Shariat augment the desires of the nafs. They cause it to become inordinate. The priests of Brahmin in India and the magicians called jukiyya went quite far into riyazat and mujahada; yet all these endeavors proved useless. In fact, they made their nafs even more thoroughgoing and outrageous.
[Irreligious people in India call the highest of the four spiritual classes Brahmin, which means the chief of the Hindu priestly caste of Brahmin. Juki is the name given to the Darwishes of Hindu disbelievers.]
For example, giving one cent of zakat, which the Shariat commands, to people prescribed by the Shariat, destroys the nafs very much more than giving thousands of gold coins as alms or by doing favors on one's own. On the day of Bayram (Iyd), eating and drinking instead of fasting, because the Shariat commands us to do so, is more useful than fasting for years. Performing the two rakats of morning prayer in jamaat is better than performing supererogatory prayers all night till morning and then (falling asleep and) not performing morning prayer in jamaat.
In short, unless the nafs is purified and wakes up from the dream of being a chief, being superior, it is impossible to escape perdition. Before going to endless death, it is necessary to consider saving the nafs from this illness. The blessed word La ilaha il-l-Allah dispels all the mendacious idols inside and outside of man, and so it is the most useful, the most effective medicine for purifying the nafs. Great men of tasawwuf chose this word for the purification of the nafs.
MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 51st Letter
This letter, written again to Sayyid Shaikh Farid "rahmatullahi alaih', encourages to spread Islam.
I pray to Allahu ta'ala that the Islamic sun will shine with the help of that great family! May the beauty of the divine rules spread far and near!
Translation of a Persian line:
This matters, nothing else!
And today, when Muslims are so forlorn, the hope of their salvation from this whirlpool of heresy is on the ship of the sons of the Best of Mankind. It is stated in a hadith: "My Ahl al-bayt, that is, my sons, are like Hadrat Noah's ship. Those who take refuge with them will be saved." Strive hard so that you may attain to this great fortune! So much thanks be to Allahu ta'ala. He has given you such blessings as rank, power, and influential speech. The honor of your own person being added to these, it will be very easy for you to surpass all of your peers in the field of salvation. [Hadrat Ali and Hadrat Fatima "radi-Allahu 'anhuma' and their children and all of their descendants are called Ahl al-bayt.]
This faqir (Imam-i Rabbani means himself) attempted to be honored with your exalted service in order to say words like these which are useful for strengthening and spreading this true Shariat. The crescent of the blessed month of Ramadan was seen when I was in Delhi. It was seen that your honorable mother wanted us to remain in Delhi; therefore we remained there to listen to the khatm of the Qur'an. The commander is Allahu ta'ala. I pray to Allahu ta'ala for your happiness in this world and the next.
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MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: First Volume, 36th Letter
This letter, written to Hajji Muhammad Lahori, states that the Shariat bears the happiness of this world and the next, that there is no happiness obtained outside the Shariat, and that tariqat and haqiqat are the helpers of the Shariat.
May Allahu ta'ala let us all know the haqiqat of the Shariat of our Master Muhammad Mustafa "sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam', and bless us with attaining this haqiqat! Amin.
The Shariat consists of three constituents: 'Ilm, 'amal and ikhlas, [that is, to learn the teachings of the Shariat, to do what is learned, and to do everything for Allah's sake]. The person who has not attained these three blessings has not attained the Shariat. When a person attains the Shariat, Allahu ta'ala likes him. The fifteenth ayat of 'Imran sura and the seventy-third ayat of Tawba sura purport that being liked by Allahu ta'ala is the highest, the most valuable of all the fortunes of this world and the next. Then, the Shariat is the capital that makes one obtain all the fortunes of this world and the next. There is no goodness to be looked for, to be desired outside the Shariat. Tariqat and haqiqat, which are attained by great men of tasawwuf, are the assistants, servants of the Shariat, and are useful in attaining ikhlas, which is the third constituent of the Shariat. They are not intended to obtain something beyond the Shariat. The hals, the mawajid, the 'Ulum and the marifats, which the wayfarers of tasawwuf see on their way, are not things to be aspired after. They all, like illusions and fancies, are transient. They are nothing but a means for training and improving those wayfarers. It is necessary to pass all these, to leave them behind, and to reach the grade of rida. The end of the grades, stages on the way of suluk and jadhba is the grade of rida. For the aim of the way of tariqat and haqiqat is to attain ikhlas, which happens at the grade of rida. They honor only one out of tens of thousands of the travelers of tasawwuf with attaining ikhlas and the grade of rida by rescuing him from three kinds of tajallis and from the mushahadas that are based on marifats. Those poor people who cannot see the truth think of hals and mawajids as something. They yearn for mushahadas and tajallis. Thus, they get stranded on the way, being unable to get rid of delusions and fancies and reach perfection in the Shariat. It is purported in the thirteenth ayat of Shura sura, "Allahu ta'ala chooses whomever He likes of His slaves for Himself. To those who turn away from others and want Him only, He shows the way to attain to Him." Yes, to reach the grade of ikhlas and rida, it is necessary to go through these hals and mawajid and to acquire these information and marifats. These are the way that guides to the purpose. They are the beginning of the purpose. Only after ten years' travel on this way was this faqir (Imam-i Rabbani) enabled to know that this was so. Not before then did the beauty named Shariat show its glory as the alms of His beloved Prophet "sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam'. I had not gotten stuck in the hals and mawajid before, either. I had had no other desire than that of attaining the haqiqat of the Shariat. But the sun of haqiqat rose only ten years later. Many thanks be to Allahu ta'ala for this favor of His.
The death of Mayan Shaikh Jamal "quddisa sirruh", who attained Allahu ta'ala's forgiveness, has caused sorrow among all the Muslims. I request that you offer condolence to his children and recite the Fatiha on behalf of this faqir, and I send my salam. While your soul is in your body, perform dhikr. Cleaning the heart is through dhikr of Rahman.
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