This letter, written to the mother of Mîr Muhammad Nu’mân, gives some advice:

The first piece of advice is to correct the belief in accordance with the tenets which the Ahl-i sunnat savants teach in their books. For, it is this group only that will be saved from Hell. May Allâhu ta’âlâ give those great people plenty of rewards for their work! [Scholars of the four Madhhabs who have attained the grade of ijtihâd and the great scholars educated by them are called scholars of Ahl as-sunnat.] After correcting the belief (îmân), it is necessary to perform the acts of worship taught in the science of Fiqh, i.e. to do the commandments of Islam and to avoid what it prohibits. One should perform namâz five times daily without reluctance or slackness, observing its conditions and the ta’dîl-i arkân.

He who has as much money as nisâb should pay zakât.

Imâm-i a’zâm Abû Hanîfa says: “Also, it is necessary to pay the zakât of gold and silver which women use as ornaments.”

A person with îmân should not waste his time [playing musical instruments]. He should not waste his valuable life even on unnecessary mubâhs. It is more conclusively necessary not to waste it on the harâms. We should not busy ourselves with taghannî, singing, or songs. We should not be deceived by the pleasure they give our nafses. They are poisons mixed with honey and covered with sugar. One should not commit giybat. Giybat is harâm. [Giybat means to talk about a Muslim’s or a dhimmî’s[1] secret faults behind his back. It is necessary to tell Muslims about the faults of harbîs[2] and bid’at holders, about the sins of those who commit these crimes in public, about the evil deeds of those who abuse Muslims. Such efforts help Muslims to be aware of their harm. Also to reveal  those who slander and intentionally misrepresent Islam in their writings is not a sin; this is not giybat (backbiting). Radd-ul Muhtâr: 5-263).]

Namîma, that is, gossip, carrying words among Muslims, should not be done. It has been declared that various kinds of torments will be inflicted on those who commit these two kinds of sins. Also, it is harâm to lie and to slander; it must be avoided. These two evils were harâm in every religion. Their punishments are very heavy. It is very thawâb[3] to conceal Muslims’ defects, not to spread their secret sins, and to forgive them. One should pity one’s inferiors, those under one’s command, [such as, wives, children, students, soldiers] and the poor. One should not reproach them for their faults. One should not hurt or beat or swear at those unfortunate people for trivial reasons. [One should not violate anybody’s religion, property, life, honour or chastity, and should pay one’s debts to individuals and to the State. It is harâm to take or give a bribe. Only, it would not be bribery to give money unwillingly in order to shun being persecuted by a cruel ruler or under duress. However, it is harâm to accept something offered as such. Everybody should see his own defects, and should every hour think of the faults which he has committed against Allâhu ta’âlâ. He should always bear in mind that Allâhu ta’âlâ does not hurry in punishing him, nor does He cut off his sustenance. Parent’s and the State’s orders compatible with Islam must be obeyed, but the ones incompatible with Islam must not be rejected or refused outright. We should not cause fitna (discord and trouble). See the 123rd letter in the second volume of the book Maktûbât-i Ma’thûmiyya.]

After correcting the belief and doing the commands of Fiqh, one should spend all one’s time dhikring Allâhu ta’âlâ. One should continue remembering and mentioning Allâhu ta’âlâ in a manner taught by great religious guides. By feeling hostility towards all the things that will prevent the heart from remembering Allâhu ta’âlâ, i.e., from dhikr, one should avoid them. The more you adhere to Islam, the more delicious will it taste to make dhikr of Him. When indolence and laziness increase in obeying Islam, that flavour will gradually decrease, eventually vanishing altogether. There are kinds of dhikr. One of them is to say, “Allâhu akbar. Allâhu akbar. Lâ ilâha il-l-Allâhu wallâhu akbar, Allâhu akbar wa lillâhulhamd.” It is also called Takbîr-i-teshrîk. It must be said daily. Another very useful kind of dhikr is (to say) the prayer termed İstighfâr, (which is said as follows: “Estaghfirullah al-’azîm al-ledhî lâ ilâha illâ Huwa-l-hayy-al qayyûm wa etûbu ileyh.”) One should not believe the slanders concocted by the enemies of Islam and should be extremely wakeful not to fall into their traps.] What should I write more than what I have written already? It will be enough for a reasonable person. May Allâhu ta’âlâ bless us all with doing the things that will make us attain eternal happiness! Âmîn. What is sweet besides dhikring Him whatsoever; Is poison for the soul, even if it were sugar!

 [1] The Islamic religion recognizes two kinds of countries in the world: 1) The Muslim country called “Dâr-ul-Islâm”; 2) The country of disbelievers called “Dâr-ul-harb,” Those disbelievers who live in “Dâr-ul-Islam” and who have submitted to pay the jizya (tax imposed on non-Muslims living in an Islamic country), are called “ahl-idhimmet” or ‘dhimmî.” They live comfortably and peacefully enjoying Muslims’ rights and freedom fully. They perform their worships freely. See our book entitled Islam’s Reformers, chapter No. 49

[2] Those disbelievers who live in Dâr-ul-harb and who are not under Islam’s authority are called “harbîs.”

[3] Muslims will be rewarded in the next world for all their pious acts which they have done in the world. The rewards which Muslims will be given in the next world are called “thawâb.” The word is used as an adjective as well as a noun. For example, when we say that an act is very thawâb, it means that Allah will give many rewards for that act.