1—FIRST VOLUME, 266th LETTER
In the two hundred and sixty-sixth letter, which Hadrat Imâmi Rabbânî wrote to Khwâja ’Ubaydullah and Khwâja ’Abdullah, sons of his master Muhammed Bâqî Billah, he explains ’Ilm-i kalâm, that is belief, which was inspired to his blessed heart by ilhâm and firâsat. Although he did not have recourse to books or any mental contemplation for writing this information, it all concurs with the words of the savants of Ahl as-sunnat wa-ljamâ’at. May Allâhu ta’âlâ reward those savants with the highest blessings, who worked ceaselessly by spending their lives and sacrificing their rest!
Imâm-i Rabbânî Mujaddid-i elf-i thânî Shaikh Ahmad Fârûqî had only newly dived into the ocean of knowledge, when he dreamed of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, who said to him, “You will become a mujtahid in the science of Kalâm.” He told his master about his dream. From that day on he had different ijtihâd and views on each matter of ’Ilm-i kalâm. Yet on the majority of matters he was in agreement with our leader of Mâ-Turîdiyya. Refuting the words of philosophers, which were against Islam, he proved that they were wrong, and he exposed the disgrace of those ignorant idiots who, being unable to recognize the great men of Tasawwuf and to understand their words, deviated from the right way, and who, thinking of themselves as religious men, misled others as well. In this letter, he explains also a few matters of Fiqh concerning salât, the value and the high grade of Tasawwuf, and states that great men who have made progress on this way are fully adherent to Islam and that the slanders of those who are unable to recognize them should not be believed, [and advises not to listen to music, not to go dancing or playing], in addition to a few other things:
Praise be to Allâhu ta’âlâ. May all benedictions and blessings be on Muhammad Mustafâ ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, who is His Prophet and Beloved, and who is the most beautiful and the most superior of all people in every respect, and on all of those who love and follow him! May Allâhu ta’âlâ bless you, my dear master’s children, with endless bliss.
O you beloved children of my master, my dear teacher, who caused me to attain the blessings of this world and the next! You should know that this poor brother of yours, who is needy in every respect, that is, I, am bathing from head to foot in the alms and favours given by that exalted father of yours. From him did I learn the alphabet of humanity. With him did I read the words revealing high grades. In his presence, under his supervision did I attain certain grades in a short time, which would take others years of labour. All merits that embellish men with virtues and superiorities were sprinkled on me as the prizes for my serving him. This poor person, who used to be good for nothing and who used to know nothing of humanity, matured under his luminous observation in two and a half months, thus joining the path of the superiors, and attaining the grades closer to Allâhu ta’âlâ, which were peculiar to them. In such a short time, the secret advantages, tasted by men of Tasawwuf, and which were expressed in such terms as tajallî, zuhûr, nûr, hâl and kayfiyyat, were scattered before me like drops from the ocean in your father’s brilliant heart. Which one of these shall I explain? He being so kind and so merciful to this poor person, none of the ma’rifats or subtle pieces of knowledge remained unlearned, which men of Tasawwuf have tried to explain with such words as Tawhîd (to know as one), Qurb (closeness), Ma’iyyat (togetherness), Ihâtat (to surround everywhere), Sarayân (to exist in every mote). Nothing of their essence remained unfamiliar to me. To see the greatness of Allâhu ta’âlâ in everything —which they call Wahdat-i wujûd— and to find kathrat (plurality) in wahdat (unity) are the beginnings of these subtle pieces of knowledge. It would be ignorance and idiocy to attempt to explain the knowledge which Islamic superiors reach and know through the expression of words. The grades which they reach and attain are very high. The knowledge and the occult zeal which they enjoy and acquire are very subtle. Not every pedlar of knowledge reaches or even approaches that high level, nor do those people who are looked on as superior guides.
Even if I rub my face on your servants’ feet till I die in return for the favours and gifts of that exalted father of yours, to this faqîr, I would have done nothing towards you. Which one of my defects shall I expose? Which one of my humiliating and shameful traits shall I reveal? May Allâhu ta’âlâ reward Husâmaddîn Ahmad for taking our duty, our debt towards you upon himself, and for being honoured with taking service with you, thus causing us to breathe freely. A couplet translated into English:
Were all the hairs on me to begin speaking;
They would still fall short of due thanksgiving!
I was honoured three times with kissing the threshold of the door of that treasure of values, [who centuries could not educate once again, nor could the human mind assess]. At the third time he said, “I have become enfeebled. My hope for living has decreased. After me, watch over my children!” They brought you. You were children carried in arms then. He commanded me to pay tawajjuh on you. His command being obeyed then and there in his presence, you were paid so much tawajjuh that its effect soon showed itself. Then he said, “Now pay tawajjuh on their mother in her absence.” As she was absent, she, too, was paid tawajjuh on. As it was done with his command and in his presence, I hope that the tawajjuh will yield many benefits.
Do not worry that I may be forgetful or oblivious of your father’s commands, which must be done in any case, or of his advice, which has to be fulfilled no matter what it costs. Is that ever possible? I have been awaiting a small signal from you. For the time being I am writing a few lines of advice. Listen with rapt attention! May Allâhu ta’âlâ bless both of you with endless bliss.
Every Muslim must first correct his belief; that is, he must believe as the savants of Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at have described. May Allâhu ta’âlâ profusely reward those savants who worked incessantly, undauntedly! They and their followers, alone, shall escape the eternal, infinite torment of Hell. Of the tenets of belief which they taught I shall explain the ones that have been forgotten:
[The principles of îmân are six: The first one is to believe in Allâhu ta’âlâ]. Allâhu ta’âlâ exists with His own being. Everything other than He came into being as a result of His creating. He Himself, His attributes, and His deeds are unique. [That is, nothing resembles Allâhu ta’âlâ in any respect.] As He does not have a companion or partner in existing, He does not have any likeness in any respect. Resemblance is only in names and words. His attributes and deeds, like He Himself, cannot be comprehended mentally, nor can they be explained; they do not have any resemblance to or analogy with men’s attributes and deeds. [He has eight attributes, which are called Sifât-i thubûtiyya.] One of them is His attribute knowledge, (i.e. He knows. This attribute of His is, like He Himself, eternal, that is, it is not hâdith, i.e. [something] that came into existence from nonexistence.) It always exists and is elementary, [that is, in one state. It never changes, it is indivisible, it never increases.] The things which He knows change, and He knows every change. But there is no change in His knowledge or in the relation of His knowledge with these things. He knows [every change from eternity in the past to eternity in the future through only one knowledge. In other words, in one moment He knows everything in eternity,] both the largest and the tiniest motes, with their aspects similar and dissimilar to one another, each existing in its own time. For example, both a person’s existence and nonexistence, his states before existence, his childhood, youth, old age, his standing, sitting, leaning, lying, laughing and crying, his being in pleasures and blessings or in pain and sorrow, in honour and esteem or disgrace and degradation, in the grave, at the place of assembly (after Rising), at the place of judgment, and, let us say, among the blessings in Paradise; He knows all these at one time and in one state. There is no change, neither in His knowledge nor in the relation of His knowledge with these things. If there would be a change, there would be a change in the structure of time, too. However, at that rank there is an unbreakable moment from eternity in the past to eternity in the future. Or, rather, Allâhu ta’âlâ is free from time; there is not ‘being before’ or ‘being after.’ If we say that His knowledge reaches all things, He knows all things by knowing them as one and by one relation of His knowledge with them. This one knowledge and relation is above mind’s capacity. I find the following example appropriate for explaining this to mind. Man can think of various cases of a word and its different forms at one moment. At one moment he can know one word in the nominal form, in the verbal form, as a mass of letters, in the past form, in the future form, in the imperative form, in the negative imperative form, with particles, without particles, in the affirmative form, in the negative form. He may say that he sees various forms of a word at the same moment. When it is possible for a man to gather various different cases together in his knowledge, and even in his seeing, why should it not be possible for Allâhu ta’âlâ? Moreover, in His knowledge, the state of two opposites at the same place together is only in appearance. In fact, there is no oppositeness there. For example, He knows a person both as existent and as nonexistent at the same moment. But, at that same moment He knows his existence, let us say a thousand years after the Hegira, and his first nonexistence before this existence, and his second nonexistence, for example a hundred years after this existence. Then, there is no oppositeness there. For, the time of the existence and that of the nonexistence are different. Therefore; though Allâhu ta’âlâ knows separate, different things at one moment, no change takes place in His knowledge. Contrary to what philosophers suppose, nothing happens in His attribute knowledge afterwards. For, the knowledge of something does not originate from the knowledge of something else that precedes it; why should there be change in the knowledge, then? Since He knows everything at the same one moment, no change or novelty takes place in His knowledge. Then, in explaining that there is no change in the knowledge, it would be unnecessary to say that the knowledge has been attached to things through various bonds and that these bonds change. As a matter of fact, to refute philosophers, some of our superiors said so. It would be pertinent to say that change occurs in the attachment of these bonds to things.
Another sifât-i thubûtiyya of Allâhu ta’âlâ is His attribute Kalâm. His attribute Kalâm, that is, His Word, is an elementary word; He is the speaker of that one word from eternity in the past to eternity in the future. All the commands, all the prohibitions, all that is communicated, all the questions, all the requests are in that one word. All the books and pages that He has sent are of that one elementary word. The Torah originated from it. And the Qur’ân, too, originated from it.
[Another sifât-i thubûtiyya of Allâhu ta’âlâ is His attribute Takwîn. That is, He is creative.] All that He created, all that He made are of one deed, of one making; all His creations, from His first creation to eternity, are created through that one deed. The âyat, “We made everything in the twinkling of an eye,” shows this fact. His giving life and taking life are through that one deed. His creating and annihilating, too, are of that one deed. There are not various attachments to His deed, either. Perhaps, with one attachment He creates all the things in the beginnings and in the ends, each coming about in its own time. Since mind cannot understand His deed, it cannot comprehend the attachments of the deed. Mind does not have access to that realm. Even Abul-Hasan Esh’arî, one of the savants of Ahl as-sunnat, being unable to understand the deed of Allâhu ta’âlâ, said that His attribute Takwîn, that is, His creating, was hâdith. That is, he said that His making of each thing happens when He makes it. However, all the deeds that have been done in process of time are the works, appearances of that deed in the eternal past. They are not the deed itself. So, of the great men of Tasawwuf, those who say, “We see His deeds, we have attained the Tajallî-yi af’âl,” are wrong. They presume that they see the deed of Allâhu ta’âlâ in everything. However, those manifestations, appearances are not the deed itself, but they are its works. For, since Allâhu ta’âlâ cannot be seen, His deed cannot be seen, felt, thought of or understood by mind, either. His deed and all His attributes are eternal. They are not hâdith. With Him they always exist. His deed is called Takwîn; it does not go in the mirror of creatures, nor is it seen there. A Persian couplet translated into English:
How can meaning go into the shape and form of a cup, which is Narrow?
What is a Sultan’s business in a beggar’s cottage?
According to this faqîr (Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî), unless Allâhu ta’âlâ becomes manifest, His attributes and deeds cannot become manifest. How can His attributes and deeds ever become manifest without His own manifestation, in the light of the fact that they do not part from Him? What parts from Him are the shades, reflections and visions of His attributes and deeds. Not everybody can understand these. Only to those slaves of His whom He loves does Allâhu ta’âlâ impart this subtle knowledge. His blessings are multifarious.
Now we come back to the point under discussion: Allâhu ta’âlâ does not enter anything. He does not penetrate any substance. Nothing penetrates Him. However, Allâhu ta’âlâ surrounds everything, is close to everything and is together with everything. Yet these are not like the surrounding and the closeness and the togetherness which we understand and with which we are familiar. They are not worthy of Him. Nor is the surrounding, the closeness or the togetherness, which the Awliyâ sense through kashf, worthy of Him. For, none of these poor creatures can understand His attributes and deeds. They must be believed without understanding. A Persian couplet in English:
Phoenix cannot be hunted, undo your trap!
Air, only, this hunting is going to trap.
It will be pertinent to quote the following distich from my exalted murshid’s ‘qaddas-Allâhu sirrah-ul’azîz’ Persian Mathnawî by translating it into English:
The destination is far away;
“I’ve attained,” would be wrong to say.
We believe that Allâhu ta’âlâ surrounds everything, that He is close to everything, and that He is together with everything. But we cannot know what this surrounding, this closeness, this togetherness mean. To say that His knowledge surrounds, or that His knowledge is close, would mean to translate the outward meanings in Qur’ân al-kerîm. We do not approve of such translations.
Allâhu ta’âlâ does not unite with anything. Nor does anything unite with Him. Great men of Tasawwuf uttered some words which we would interpret as uniting. But they meant something else. For example, by their statement, “When faqr is completed, one becomes Allâhu ta’âlâ,” they meant: “Nothing exists. Allâhu ta’âlâ exists only.” They did not mean to say that the faqîr unites with Allâhu ta’âlâ. It would be disbelief, zindiqness to say so. Allâhu ta’âlâ is unlike what disbelievers suppose Him to be. My master said: The meaning of Hallâj-i Mansûr’s word, “I am Haqq,” is: “I am not. Only Allah is.” [Such statements said by those who obey Islam must be judged with a good opinion and with ta’wîl.]
Allâhu ta’âlâ Himself does not change; nor do His attributes and deeds. No change takes place in Him, in His attributes or in His deeds when actions, movements take place, or when He creates things. Those who maintain that there is wahdat-i wujûd say that Allâhu ta’âlâ created beings in five grades, which they call Tanazzulât-i khams; yet this does not have a meaning so as to indicate a change in Him. If a person expresses it in this meaning, he diverges from the right way and becomes a disbeliever. These great people say that there have been five grades downwards in the manifestation of Allah’s attributes, which means that there is no change in Allâhu ta’âlâ’s attributes and deeds.
Allâhu ta’âlâ is Ghaniyy-i mutlaq. That is, He does not need anything for anything. Nothing is necessary for Him, for His attributes, for His deeds, in any respect. As they do not have a need in existence, they do not have a need in appearing, or in being known. Those words of the great ones of the Sôfiyya-i ’aliyya which imply meanings such as, “Allâhu ta’âlâ needs us in order to display His names and attributes” seem very humiliating to me, the faqîr. Being created, we have been valued, honoured. Nothing has increased in Allâhu ta’âlâ. Such words are quite impertinent and very loathsome. He declares: “I created genies and human beings only so that they should worship Me.” This means to say that the creation of genies and human beings is intended for them to know Allâhu ta’âlâ; this is an honour, a fortune for them. It is not intended for Him to gain something. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in a hadîth-i qudsî, [that is, through the Prophet’s blessed tongue,] “I created everything to be known,” which means, “…so that they may be honoured by knowing me.” It does not mean, “…..so that I may be known and through their recognition reach perfection.” This meaning is not worthy of Allâhu ta’âlâ.
Allâhu ta’âlâ does not have the attributes of imperfection or the peculiarities and symptoms of creatures. He is not matter. He is not a substance. He is free from place; [that is, He does not occupy a place.] He is free from time; [as He does not have a place, likewise He does not have time.] The attributes of perfection and the indeficiencies only exist in Him. He has declared that He has eight attributes of perfection, which are: Hayât (being alive), ’Ilm (knowing), Qudrat (being powerful), Irâdat (will), Sem’ (hearing), Basar (seeing), Kalâm (saying), Takwîn (creating). These attributes of His exist separately from Himself. Their existence is not in knowledge only. That is, they are not only said to exist theoretically, but they exist separately and actually. As He Himself exists, so these attributes of His exist separately. What those sôfiyya-i aliyya who believe in wahdat-i wujûd suppose, and their words, such as, In mind and thought the attributes are separate; But in reality they are all nothing but Himself, mean is: to deny, to disbelieve the attributes. Of Muslims, the Mu’tazila group, who deny the attributes, and of unbelievers, the ancient philosophers say that though His attributes are theoretically separate from Himself, only He exists in reality. [That is,] they do not deny that His attributes are [theoretically] separate from Himself. For example, they do not say that the meaning of the attribute knowledge is the same as that of His own Self. Nor do they say that His attributes Qudrat and Irâdat are the same in meaning. But they say that their existences individually are one and the same. Then, for safety from the denial of attributes, it is necessary to believe that each one of them exists separately and actually. It is not good to believe them to be separate theoretically.
Allâhu ta’âlâ is Qadîm. [That is, His existence does not have a beginning. He was never nonexistent before His existence; He always existed.] He is Azalî. [That is, He was never nonexistent.] No being other than He is qadîm or azalî. Owners of faith, owners of heavenly books have always held this belief and have said that those who deem anybody besides Allâhu ta’âlâ as qadîm and azalî are polytheists. For this reason, the Hujjat-ul islâm Imâm-i Muhammad Ghazâlî ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ has said that Ibni Sînâ and Fârâbî and a few others were disbelievers; for they believed that the Primordial matter, [which they said was the initial state of mind, soul and matter,] was eternal, and that the heavens, together with their contents, were eternal.
[It is written in the book Akhlâq-i-’alâ’î: “Ibni Sînâ (Avicenna) denied the rising after death in his book Mu’âd. Though it is rumoured that towards his death he performed a ghusl ablution and did penance for the cruelties he had done when he had been a vizier, it is said (by savants) that the ghusl, the namâz and the prayers of a person with the wrong belief will not be accepted.”]
My master said, “Shaikh-i akbar Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî’s statement, ‘The souls of great people are eternal,’ should be adapted to the unanimous beliefs and statements of savants: its outward meaning should not be considered.”
Allâhu ta’âlâ is Qâdîr-i mukhtâr. [That is, He can do whatever He wills to. Unlike natural forces, He is not compelled [to do things].
Ancient Greek philosophers, being unable to comprehend the matter, presumed that it would be perfection, greatness, to have to act, create, thus denying the choice of Allâhu ta’âlâ. They said that He had to act. These idiots said that Allâhu ta’âlâ had to create one thing, and that he had not created anything else. They called that fabulous thing the first intellect and said that it was making everything.
What they call ’Aql-i fa’âl (the first intellect) is only a fancy that exists in their imagination. According to their profane belief, “Allâhu ta’âlâ does not do anything. When man is in trouble, he invokes ’Aql-i fa’âl. He does not ask anything of Allâhu ta’âlâ. For Allâhu ta’âlâ is not interested in what is going on on earth. Everything is made, created by ’Aql-i fa’âl.” In fact, they do not invoke ’Aql-i fa’âl, either. For, they do not consider it to have a will or option for freeing them from trouble. These unfortunate people are the lowest of all the heretical groups in idiocy and stupidity. Disbelievers trust themselves to Allâhu ta’âlâ in everything they do. They supplicate to Him for the elimination of disasters. But these base people do not do so. Two evils exist in these unfortunate people in a greater degree than in any other group of heresy and idiocy. First, they do not believe the messages sent by Allâhu ta’âlâ; they show an obstinate and hostile attitude towards Prophets’ ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ communications. Second, they advance profane theories. Putting forward groundless, untenable proofs and documents, they attempt to prove their null and heretical ideas. In their attempts to prove their heretical thoughts, they make so many mistakes that no other ignoble individuals have done a thing so wrongly and unsoundly. They say that everything done on earth is done by the changing motions and states of the heavens and stars, which move and turn ceaselessly. They cannot see the One Who created the heavens, Who designed the stars, and Who makes them move and regulates their motions. They suppose that He does not meddle with anything; they are so stolid, so base! And those who consider them to be wise and who believe their words are even baser. They even go so far as to say that, “geometry is a mentally contrived and arranged science, which is good neither for worldly prosperity nor for eternal salvation. What use will humanity get from saying and proving that the sum of the interior angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles?” [Unless scientific knowledge, modern machines, electronic apparatuses and other new discoveries are made and used by believing people whose hearts have been purified and whose morals have been beautified by obeying Allâhu ta’âlâ’s Prophet, they will render no great advantage; they will not provide for human rights, ease and peace; they will not be used for eliminating wars and destitution. Instead, they will be a means for cruelty and torment.]
[Imâm-i Ghazâlî ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ classified the irreligious people, who think of themselves as intelligent and unerring men of knowledge, in three groups. The first group are the Dahriyyûn and the materialists, who existed centuries before Greek philosophers. Some idiots who pass for scientists today are in this group. Denying the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ, they say that beings came into existence by themselves and events will go on likewise, that they do not have a creator, that the living multiply from one another and this will go on everlastingly. [May Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us against such heresy!] The second group are the naturalists, who, seeing the stupefying order and delicacies in living and non-living beings, had to confirm the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ; yet they denied the Rising, the Hereafter, Paradise and Hell. The third group are Greek philosophers, who date later, and who include Socrates and his disciple Plato, and Aristotle, who was a disciple of the latter, and both their philosophies. Refuting the Dahriyyûn and the naturalists, they said so many things about them that in describing their wrong and base way, others do not have to say anything any more. But they didn’t escape disbelief, either. These three groups and their followers are all disbelievers. It is appalling to hear that some credulous people think of them as religious men and even laud them to the grade of prophethood by fabling hadîths about them. Disbelievers may say anything. But it is a pitious fact that some people who are supposed to be Muslims cannot distinguish imân from kufr.]
All these three groups of disbelievers [and also the Renaissance leaders such as Luther Martin, Calvin, Voltaire, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx and Durcheim, who are today called men of knowledge and praised as the founders of modern philosophy and sociology but who in actual fact have nothing in their stocks of religious knowledge except the Christianity that was born from the desecration of the Injil by Jews and priests and a few made-up books written by Islam’s enemies], excelled all others in idiocy and ignominy, thus leaving all the other classes of disbelievers behind. All these people both deny religions and bear obstinacy and hostility against Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wassalâm’ and adduce untenable proofs and documents for deceiving one another and others with their concocted sayings about family, society and religion. They say wrong, ludicrous things, so much so that no other ignoramus, no other idiot has shown such baseness. They are so stupid, so poor; and those who consider them to be clever are even more wretched and more unfortunate than they are. They stole much of their valuable information from Prophets’ ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ books, in which they inserted other things.
Imâm-i Ghazâlî ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ explains these in detail in his book Al munqidh ’an-id-dalâl. If holders of faith, those who follow Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’, make mistakes while proving that something is true, they will not expose themselves to harm or danger, for they follow them in all the teachings and deeds of Prophets and try to prove their words true. Their following Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wassalâm’ suffices to indicate that they are true. But those wretched people call it retrogression to follow Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-tteslîmât’, and try to adapt their statements to mind. No doubt, they go wrong in facts that are beyond mind’s grasp. When Plato, who is considered to be the greatest of them, heard about the teachings of hadrat ’Îsâ (Jesus), who was the Prophet of Allâhu ta’âlâ, he said, “We are pure, mature and modern people. We do not need anyone to guide us to the right way.” However, he should have gone to see and observe a person whom he had heard to have enlivened the dead, opened the eyes of the blind and cured leprosy, which their own science and experiments had fallen short of doing. But he answered so without seeing or finding out. His statements disclose that he was a blithering idiot. [As is seen, Plato lived in the time of ’Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ (Jesus).
It is stated in books written in Europe and in their translations that Plato had died 384 years before Hadrat ’Îsâ honoured the world with his presence. Since the teachings of this Greek philosopher were famous, the time of his death is tenable. Yet because Hadrat ’Îsâ was born secretly, stayed only for a short time in the world and was taken to heaven, and because only twelve apostles believed in him and the ’Îsâwîs, who were few in number, lived secretly for centuries, his birth, that is, Christmas Eve, could not be determined precisely. His birth day is thought to be the twenty-fifth of December or the sixth or so of January. It is written as well in books of various languages that today’s Chirstian years have one to four years missing. Then, unlike the hijrî year, which is the Muslim year, the Christian year is not correct and precise; it is incorrect in daily terms as well as in its year. According to Imâm-i Rabbânî, it has more than three hundred years missing, and the duration of time between Hadrat ’Îsâ and Hadrat Muhammad is no less than a thousand years. It is written in the third chapter of the second volume of Mawâhib-i ladunniyya: “As Ibni Asâkir reports on the authority of Sha’bî, there are 963 years between ’Îsâ ‘alaihissalâm’ and Muhammad ‘’alaihissalâm’.”] According to historians, Muhammad ‘’alaihi-ssalâm’ entered a cave on mount Sawr, towards sunset, on the last Thursday of the month of Safer [Gregorian Calendar year 622], as he was immigrating to the city of Medîna. On the night previous to the following Monday, he left the cave and entered Kubâ, a suburb of Medîna, on Monday the twentieth day of September according to the European calendar, which concurred with the seventh day of September as per the Greek Calendar. The day of his arrival became the new year’s day for Muslims Hijrî Shamsî. The Shamsî (Solar) year of Persians starts six months earlier, i.e. on March 20th, which coincides with the celebration day of Magians. This day was the 8th of Rabî’ul-awwal. That year, the beginning of Muharram was accepted as the new year’s day of Hijrî Qamarî (lunar) calendar. That year, the lunar new year’s day coincided with May 16th, Friday. He stayed in Kubâ for four days and left that Friday, arriving in Medîna on the same day. Accordingly, every Hijrî Shamsî year is 622 years behind, as per the beginning of the Gregorian year with which it coincides. On the other hand, a Gregorian year is 621 years ahead in accordance to the beginning of the Hijrî Shamsî year it concurs with.]
Recently my son Muhammad Ma’thûm ‘quddisa sirruh’ has completed the book Sharh-i mawâqif. During his studies he has come to understand well the mistakes and faults of these so-called wise people, and he has learned a great deal. Gratitude be to Allâhu ta’âlâ, Who did not confine us within the narrow frame of mind, and Who guided us to the right way. If He had not guided us to the right way through His Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wassalâm’, we, too, like these wretched people, would base our beliefs on suppositions concerning facts that are beyond mind’s grasp, and thus we would end up in perdition.
[Imâm-i Muhammad Ghazâlî, Imâm-i Ahmad Rabbânî, and many other Islamic superiors studied Greek philosophy very minutely and explained that those philosophers were quite ignorant and stupid disbelievers. They wrote in many of their books that Muslims must not admit or believe such unbelievers.
Then, it is quite out of place and wrong for unbelievers, for renegades, for the enemies of Islam to say, “Islamic savants, men of Tasawwuf, were influenced by Greek philosophers, by Roman mystics, by the school of Ptolemy.” Such statements are slanders that are perpetrated in hostility in order to belittle Islamic savants by representing them as their pupils and imitators. The truth is that Islamic savants have rebutted Greek and Roman philosophies and laws with their own very subtle and powerful knowledge, have downed them to the ground, and have explained that, of their statements on law, ethics and medicine, the ones that are true were stolen from the books of ancient Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wat- teslîmât’. The words of the Sôfiyya-i ’aliyya on Tasawwuf, contrary to what the ignorant idiots suppose, are not taken from books, learned from others or imitated, but they are ma’rifats which they acquired through kashf; in other words, those subtle pieces of spiritual information, (called ‘ma’rifats’,) flowed into their blessed hearts, into their pure souls. Most of the letters of Maktûbât explain these facts very well and clearly.
Ancient Greek Philosophers were people who attempted to understand everything mentally, to adapt everything to mind, and who believed only what mind approved of. They could find out what was right in matters which mind could comprehend; but they went wrong in many matters beyond mind’s reach. As a matter of fact, they reproved one another, earlier ones being censured by their successors.
As for Islamic savants; after studying contemporary scientific knowledge and learning the eight branches of knowledge well, they opened their hearts and purged their nafses in the manner taught by Islam, thus finding out what was right and attaining haqîqat. To call Islamic savants philosophers would mean to downgrade them. Philosophers are people who are slaves, prisoners of mind, which is ever susceptible to erring. When they express their opinions without experimenting, and when they follow their illusions in explaining the experiments, they are wrong and harmful. For this reason, and because they cannot transcend mind, they cannot become exalted like Islamic savants.
He who is without mind is insane. He who does not use his mind is dissolute. It is wretchedness not to act compatibly with mind. He who has little mind is an idiot. And a person who follows and trusts mind only, and who errs in matters that mind cannot grasp, is a philosopher. And those exalted people who trust mind in matters that it can grasp, and who guide mind to what is right under the light of the Qur’ân al-kerîm in those matters that mind would fall short of comprehending and thus would go wrong, are Islamic savants. Then, there is no philosophy in Islam; there is no such thing as Islamic philosophy or an Islamic philosopher. There is Islamic knowledge, which is above philosophy, and there are Islamic savants, who are above philosophers.]
Also, Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî’s ‘quddisa sirruh’ books bear the impression that Allâhu ta’âlâ, like natural forces, does everything without a will. It is seen that in explaining the power of Allâhu ta’âlâ he agrees with philosophers. He does not say, “He does not do if He does not will to do,” but he says, “He has to do.” How disappointing it is that Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî, whom our superiors love and deem as great, has uttered such incorrect words disagreeing with the true statements of the savants of Ahl assunnat. Since his errors are within his kashf, in the knowledge that comes to the heart, they will probably not be deemed crimes. He cannot be blamed, for his errors are like errors in ijtihâd. Only I, the faqîr, say that he is great and his errors cannot be considered crimes. I deem him great and I love him. But those words of his that do not agree with the savants of Ahl as-sunnat I deem wrong and harmful. Some of the Sôfiyya-i ’aliyya dislike him and utter unpleasant words about him. They consider all his information to be wrong and heretical. And some others, following him, take all his information, all his statements for granted. They consider all of them to be correct and strive to prove that they are correct. Both of these two groups are wrong and unfair. One group overflows the measure. And the other is altogether deprived. Could Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî ‘quddisa sirruh’, who is one of the greatest Awliyâ, be refused altogether on account of his errors in kashf? And yet, could his erroneous information, which disagrees with the true words of the savants of Ahl as-sunnat, be accepted, and everything else of his be admitted? The right path here is the medial one, which does not diverge from the track in either direction, and which has been bestowed upon us by Allâhu ta’âlâ. [Hadrat Imâm-i Suyûti, in his Tenbîh-ul-ghabî, proves the greatness of Hadrat Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî with documents. It is written in the fatwâs of Abussu’ûd Efendi that he cannot be spoken ill of.] It is obvious that in the knowledge of wahdat-i wujûd most of the Sôfiyya-i-’aliyya are concordant with Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî. He has chosen a peculiar way here, too; yet they share the same basis. This knowledge of his, too, seems to disagree with the belief of Ahl as-sunnat, but it is easy to adapt and possible to compromise them. I, the faqîr, while explaining my master’s Rubâiyyât, have compromised this knowledge with the belief of Ahl as-sunnat with the help of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Pointing out that the difference between them is only in words and expressions, I have illuminated the places on which both sides feel doubt so well that those who read it will no longer have any doubt. It will be understood when seen.
O thou Muslim! Be it known that everything you see and hear, everything that comes into being, matter, all substances and their properties, minds, thoughts, the heavens, the stars, elements and compounds used to be nonexistent. They all came into existence with the decree of Allâhu ta’âlâ, by His creating. As they came into being from nothing through His creating, so they need His will, His power, every moment so that they may keep on existing, lest they will be annihilated. [Men’s combining substances with one another, formation of new substances] by the variation of events and conditions, veils and conceals Allah’s deed, His making, from us. In order that His might, His power will appear, He has applied some means for His making and creating. A person who has wisdom, who is vigilant and who has salved, polished his heart’s eye by obeying Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wassalâm’, will perceive that these causes and means, too, have been created by Allâhu ta’âlâ, that they need His might every moment, that they were created by Him and are kept in existence by Him, that they are lifeless, ineffectual, inactive and inert, that they cannot affect others, which are like themselves, and that they cannot create others, which are, again, like themselves. He will realize that behind these causes and means there is an almighty power who creates them and who gives them effectuality, strength and energy. When a wise person sees something lifeless moving he infers the existence of some power that makes it move. He knows that an object at rest cannot move by itself, and that only some exterior force can make it move. This means that the motion of a lifeless object does not conceal from wise people the existence of some agent, some power that sets it into motion. That the moving object is inert informs the clever about the existence of an agent, of a power owner. Thus, all causes and means proclaim the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ and His power to wise people. But idiots, seeing the object move, and unable to see or infer the existence of the agent, of the power owner, suppose that it moves by itself. Being unwise, they think that the moving lifeless object has power. Denying the agent and the power that makes it move, they become unbelievers. Allah’s making and creating everything through causes and means causes idiots, the unwise to deny, to disbelieve. It shows to the owners of wisdom and common sense the way to salvation. To understand the existence and the oneness and the power of Allâhu ta’âlâ by seeing the causes and means is possible only with Prophets’ ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wassalâm’ guiding and awakening. The human mind cannot understand these by itself. Some people suppose that it would be more compatible with greatness if the media did not exist and everything was created without means. They say that there is no effectuality in the media, and that without the means interfering everything comes to being directly by Allâhu ta’âlâ’s creating. They do not realize that to annul the media would mean to defile the hikmat, [that is, what Allâhu ta’âlâ decides to be good,] and His law. There is many a use in this hikmat. O our Allah! In this existence Thou hast not made anything without hikmat, out of place, or unbecoming! All Thine Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ adhered to the media in all their actions. However, they begged Allâhu ta’âlâ for the creation of the actions. For example, when Hadrat Ya’qûb (Jacob) ‘’alaihis-salâm’ sent his children from Syria to Egypt, he advised them, “Do not enter through one gate altogether. Enter by different gates” lest they would be harmed by evil eye. Nevertheless, he begged Allâhu ta’âlâ to protect them against evil eye, and said, “By giving this advice I cannot change what Allâhu ta’âlâ has decreed about you, for precaution cannot change destiny. Always what He wills happens. I trust you to Him. So should everybody: trust only Him in whatever they do. He will certainly come to the rescue of those who, thinking that everybody is nothing but a poor means, depend upon Him only,” Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the Qur’ân-i kerîm, in the sixty-eighth ayât of Yûsuf Sûra, that He likes this case, and says that He gave that knowledge to him: “He was learned; he knew My qadâ and qadar. I let him know: but most people do not know My qadâ and qadar.” [A couplet translated into English:
Man takes measures, clings to media, but doesn’t know the decree;
Man’s precaution won’t change Allah’s decree.]
Allâhu ta’âlâ declares: “O my beloved Prophet! Allâhu ta’âlâ and, of Believers, those who obey you will suffice for you!” in the sixty-fourth âyat of Anfâl Sûra, and thus commands also Hadrat Muhammad, our Prophet, to adhere to means.
As for the effectuality of the means; Allâhu ta’âlâ sometimes creates effectuality, that is, power enough to do some work, in some means. Therefore they do that work. And sometimes He does not create that effectuality in the same means, so they cannot do the work. Everybody witnesses this fact many a time and oft. We all witness that some means sometimes can do certain work and sometimes cannot do the same work. To say that there is no effectuality in the means would mean to blindly ignore experience and the events. We should believe their effectuality. But we should know that this effectuality in the means, like the means themselves, is Allah’s creation. This is what I, the faqîr, would say on this matter. This means to say that adhering to means does not deter one from tawakkul (trusting oneself to Allâhu ta’âlâ). The devotees of Tasawwuf who have not made enough progress will say so; the fact, however is that the highest level of tawakkul, (i.e. putting one’s trust in Allâhu ta’âlâ,) is to adhere to means, to use means. Hadrat Ya’qûb both adhered to the means and trusted himself to Allâhu ta’âlâ. [When lungs expand, clean air goes in. When they contract dirty air goes out. This process continues every minute, and thereby we can continue living. People of wisdom who observe the phenomenon wherein a source of power that moves the lungs also perpetuates constant percentages of nitrogen and oxigen in the air, seventy-nine and twenty-one, respectively, immediately realize the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Moreover, the Creator Himself declares His existence, and states that He will eternally burn the deniers.]
[One of the six principles of îmân is to believe in qadar, that good and evil are from Allâhu ta’âlâ.] Allâhu ta’âlâ decrees, wills, and creates good and evil. He is the Creator of both the good and the evil. Yet He is pleased with the good and displeased with the evil; in other words, He dislikes the evil. Will and approval are different from each other. Only the savants of Ahl-as-sunnat were able to see the difference between them. The other seventy-two groups, being unable to understand this distinction, remained in heresy, all losing their way. For example, the Mu’tazila group presumed that everybody was the creator of their own actions, stated that so and so created such and such an action, and stated that men created their own îmân and kufr. [Because they deduce this belief from âyats and hadîths, they do not become unbelievers; but since they do not accept what is right they will be scorched for a while in Hell. But it is unbelief for those who know nothing of âyats, hadîths, religion or îmân to say, “You created,” in order to flatter occupiers of rank and sultans and thus earn their sympathy. It is very dangerous to say, “He created,” about a person other than Allâhu ta’âlâ. The Râfidîs, who live outside of our country (Turkey) and who are also called Alawîs —or Shi’ites— say that men create sins, and Allâhu ta’âlâ creates goodness only. Shi’ites’ misstatements are quoted and beautifully confuted in Sahâba ‘the blessed’ and in Documents of the Right Word, two books published in Istanbul.]
As is understood from the books of Shaikh-i akber Muhyiddîni ’Arabî and his followers, “Hâdî, one of the Names of Allâhu ta’âlâ, likes îmân and worships; likewise, Mudill, another Name of His, likes kufr and sins.” These words of theirs also disagree with the Sunnî creed and verge on denying the Will. It is similar to saying that the sun is pleased with its job of illuminating.
Allâhu ta’âlâ has given His slaves strength, power, and will. They do what they wish. Men do their actions themselves, and Allâhu ta’âlâ creates them. Allah’s hikmat, law, is as follows: When man wants to do something Allâhu ta’âlâ creates his action. Because that action has been created upon man’s wish and option, responsibility for the action, its reward or penalty, lies with man. If those who say that man’s option is weak or quite limited mean to say that it is weaker than Allah’s will, they are right. But if they mean that it is not sufficient for doing the commandments, they are wrong. Allâhu ta’âlâ has not commanded His slaves to do anything they are incapable of doing. He has always commanded what is easy. He has not commanded what is difficult. He has willed to inflict everlasting torment for a short time’s disbelief and to give endless blessings for a short time’s îmân. We cannot understand its reason. With the aid of Allâhu ta’âlâ we know enough to say that denying such a being as Allah, Who has given men all the visible and invisible blessings and goodnesses, Who is the Creator of the earths and the heavens and the motes, and Who is the only possessor of perfection, indeficiency, will certainly incur very bitter torment, which means eternal furnace of Hell. Believing such an owner of blessings without seeing Him, and trusting Him despite the tricks of the nafs, of the Satan and of the enemies of religion, will result in a great reward, which means staying eternally in the blessings and pleasures of Paradise. Most of the mashâyikh-i kirâm said: “Entering Paradise is only Allah’s mercy and kindness. The reason why îmân has been pointed out as the basis for entering Paradise is because there is more flavour in a blessing that is earned.” To me, the faqîr, entering Paradise depends on îmân; but îmân is a favour from Allâhu ta’âlâ. And entering Hell is the result of kufr, which, in its turn, is born from the desires of the nafs-i ammâra. As a matter of fact, it is purported in the Qur’ân-i kerîm; in the seventy-ninth âyat of Nisâ Sûra: “Everything beautiful, good, comes to you from Allâhu ta’âlâ. And everything loathsome, evil, is caused by your nafs.” Making the attainment of entering Paradise dependent on îmân is intended to indicate the value of îmân; and this shows the value and the importance of the tenets to be believed. Likewise, making Hell dependent on kufr is intended to insult kufr; which shows the value of the tenets that are not believed, since such great torment is inflicted for not believing them. This subtlety does not exist in other explanations made by other mashâyikh.
A person who goes to the other world from this world with îmân will see Allâhu ta’âlâ without a direction, without a mode, without likening Him to anything, and without finding any reminiscence in Him. Of the seventy-three groups of Muslims, only the Ahl as-sunnat have believed this. The rest have denied it, saying that it is impossible to see Allâhu ta’âlâ without a direction and without a mode. In fact, Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî stated that it is Tajallî-i sûrî to see Allâhu ta’âlâ in the Hereafter. [That is, he says that it is not a matter of seeing Allâhu ta’âlâ but a matter of seeing His vision], and that it is impossible to see Him otherwise. One day my master said that Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî had said: “If the Mu’tazila group had not said that Allâhu ta’âlâ would be seen without direction or mode through a seeing which mind cannot comprehend, if they had said that He would be seen as other things are seen, if they had deemed seeing Him in a manner called tajallî-i sûrî, they would not have denied the fact that He will be seen by saying that He cannot be seen. That is, they do not believe that He will be seen without a direction and without a mode. For, there is a direction and a mode in seeing the vision.” However, to say that it is the manifestation of the vision that is involved in seeing Allâhu ta’âlâ in the Hereafter is to deny the fact that He will be seen. Though the manifestation of the vision there is unlike the appearance of the visions of things in the world, still it is not (identical with) seeing Him.
An Arabic couplet translated into English:
In heaven, all Believers will see Allâhu ta’âlâ, but without a direction or a mode.
It is impossible to describe that vision.
[The fourth principle of îmân is to believe in Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’]. Pitying His slaves, Allâhu ta’âlâ sent them Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’. Had not those great people been sent, who would have proclaimed Him and His Attributes to people who had lost their way? Who could distinguish what He likes from what He dislikes? The human mind, being deficient, cannot know these, nor can it distinguish them unless it is illuminated with the light of the invitation of those great people. Since our comprehension is imperfect we will go wrong and be confused about understanding them unless we follow those great people. Yes, mind is a gauge for distinguishing what is right from what is wrong. But it is an imperfect gauge. It is completed with the invitation, with the information of those great people. The reward or the torment in the next world will be fair only after this invitation and declaration.
[Mind is like the eye, and Islam is like a light. That is, man’s mind, like his eyes, was created weak. Our eyes cannot see in the dark. Allâhu ta’âlâ has created the sun and the light, so that we may utilize our sense of sight. Were it not for the light of the sun or of various other sources, our eyes would be good for nothing, and we would not be able to avoid dangerous things and places, nor could we find useful things. Yes, a person who does not open his eyes, or whose eyes do not function, cannot utilize the sun. But he does not have the right to blame the sun.
Likewise our mind cannot recognize spiritual things, useful or harmful things by itself. Allâhu ta’âlâ created Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’, the light of Islam, so that we may utilize our mind. If Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wassalâm’ had not shown the way to be comfortable in this world and in the Hereafter, our minds could not have found it, thus being of no use; we could not have avoided dangers or hazards. Yes, people who do not adapt themselves to Islam, or who have little mind, cannot benefit from Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’. They cannot avoid dangers and harm in this world and the next. No matter how numerous the scientific means, how much the money, how high the grades and ranks owned; no individual, no society can be happy without following the way taught by Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’. Very happy and pleased as they may seem, inwardly they weep bitterly. Those who live comfortably and happily in both this world and the next are only those who obey Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-tteslîmât’. It should also be known that for attaining comfort and happiness, it is not enough to claim to be a Muslim or to pretend to be a Muslim; it is necessary to learn Islam well, to understand it correctly, to practise it correctly and to obey it.]
Question: Since the infinite torment in the next world depends on the invitation of Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’, how can sending them be compassion for different ’âlams?
Answer: Sending them is intended by Allâhu ta’âlâ to proclaim Himself and His attributes. And this knowledge is the cause of se’âdet-i ebediyye, that is, the endless blessings of this world and the next. By declaring what acts should be done towards Allâhu ta’âlâ, they have distinguished them from those that would be unsuitable. For, our blind and lame intellects have been created from nothing, and they will not remain in existence; they will be annihilated. Then, could mind ever find out what would be suitable for the eternal, real Being, in Whom there is no non-existence, and Whose Names, Attributes and Deeds exist eternally? Could it ever explore what would be worthy of Him? Could it distinguish what would be unsuitable to say to Him so that we might avoid saying so? On the contrary, being deficient ourselves, most of the time we would think of perfection as deficiency, and vice versa. Prophets’ ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-tteslîmât’ teaching and distinguishing them is, to this faqîr, above all the other favours and blessings. Who could be baser than those who would consider the attributes that are unsuitable for Allâhu ta’âlâ —e.g. non-existence— to be worthy of Him? It is the statements of those great people which distinguish what is wrong from what is right, what is false from what is true, and those who are not worthy of being worshipped or obeyed from the One who is indispensably worthy of being worshipped. By their statements does Allâhu ta’âlâ invite people to the right way. By their mediation does He bless His slaves with the great fortune of approaching Him. By means of them is it made easy to learn what Allâhu ta’âlâ likes. Owing to their teachings is it understood which of His creatures, how and how much, Allâhu ta’âlâ, the Creator and the Owner of all these beings seen and known, permits us to use and which ones He does not permit us to use. In addition to these benefits which we have cited, Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ have many other benefits. Then, the sending of those great people is certainly compassion, and a favour. Yet if a person, obeying his nafs-i ammâra, following the accursed Satan, [and being deceived by the concocted publications of the irreligious,] does not believe Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’, does not read books that are written by real religious savants and religious experts and which communicate Prophets’ ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ words and does not do their commands, what is the Prophets’ ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ sin and why should they not be compassion for this reason?
Question: Mind, being incomplete in its early state, when it is created, is not capable of comprehending facts pertaining to Allâhu ta’âlâ. But could it not establish some connection with Him, perhaps by making progress, by purifying itself in the course of time? Without the information coming to Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ through an angel, could man not receive through his mind the facts pertaining to the eternal and real Being directly from Him?
Answer: Mind could establish such a connection. But as long as mind remains in this world, it remains attached to the body, too. It cannot free itself from this attachment. Its connection with this temporary being cannot be cancelled. Delusions always cluster around mind, and fancies stay with it. Wrath (ghadâb) and lust (shahwat), that is, desires of the nafs, always stay with it. Ambitions and personal concerns do not leave it alone. Confusion and oblivion, the indispensable signs of being human, never leave it to itself. Going wrong and erring, which are properties peculiar to this world, do not just slip away from it. Then, how can mind be believed in everything? Mind’s decisions and commands cannot escape the interference of delusions or the influence of fancies, nor can they be protected against the danger of oblivion and confusion, whereas none of these defects exists in angels. These stains and evils do not exist in them. For this reason, angels certainly never make errors. Angels can be trusted and relied upon. The interference of delusions, the danger of oblivion, the probalitity of confusion cannot influence the reports that an angel brings. Sometimes when I want to convey some information which has come from the soul through the sense organs, I feel that some untrue origins come out by way of delusion and fancy and that against my will they get mixed with the information coming from the soul, so that I cannot distinguish them. And sometimes I am inspired as to how to distinguish them. So, as a result of errors getting mixed with the information coming through the soul, it all becomes unreliable. Another answer would be as follows: The progress and the purgation of mind is possible only by doing the acts which Allâhu ta’âlâ likes, that is, by learning and practising the rules of Islam. And this, in its turn, requires learning and doing what Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wassalâm’ say and teach. Unless they inform us, mind cannot make progress or purify itself. The signs of purity and brightness, which some disbelievers seem to have, are not the brightness of the heart; they are the brightness of the nafs. And the brightness of the nafs brings nothing but digression, damage and loss. It is called Istidrâj when disbelievers and sinners are informed with some unknown things, when their nafs shine. It is intended to entice them to utter perdition, to torment, gradually, slowly. May Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us all against such perdition. For the sake of the greatest of Prophets ‘’alaihi wa ’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât wa ’alâ âlihi wa âli kullin’, may He protect us against such things!
This comes to mean that all the rules of Islam, which Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ taught, are compassion and goodness. Contrary to what mulhids, zindiqs, [renegades and freemasons] think and say about them, these commandments and injunctions are not burdens, torments or tortures, and they are not unreasonable at all. Such words as, “Is it mercy to command His slaves difficult things and then say, you will enter Paradise if you do these? He shouldn’t have commanded anything. He should have left all people to themselves, and they should have been eating and drinking, going about and having fun, and living as they wished. This would be mercy,” which they say often, are quite heinous and utterly idiotic. Do they never think that it is a mental requirement to thank those who do favours, to acknowledge that you are pleased? The rules of Islam teach us how to thank Allâhu ta’âlâ, Who creates all blessings and favours and sends them. Then, the rules of Islam, the divine commandments are mental requirements. Furthermore, the order of one’s world, of one’s life is possible by obeying these commandments. If Allâhu ta’âlâ had left everybody to themselves, nothing but evil and chaos would happen. Were it not for the prohibitions of Allâhu ta’âlâ, those who run after their nafs and their pleasures would assault others’ property, lives and chastity, which would lead to chaos. Both the assaulter and his victims would suffer harm and would end up in annihilation. [Development in countries and comfort for human beings, that is, civilization would not take place and humanity would turn to savagery. Even today, we see that most of Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments occupy places in the laws of those societies who deny Allâhu ta’âlâ; yet they never appreciate Islam; but they boast about themselves, which is the result of their ignorance. It is seen that the more people ignore the principles of Islam the more they writhe under incompatibility, misery, trouble and torture. Although scientific media and modern apparatuses have been improved amazingly, the uneasiness in the world and the distresses in humanity have not decreased; on the contrary, there has been a substantial increase in such things’ changing for the worse. Allâhu ta’âlâ has commanded such things as will cause human beings to attain happiness. He has prohibited things which will drift them to ruination. The more a person observes these commandments and prohibitions, the more will he, either a believer or a disbeliever, with or without a conscience, live happily and comfortably in this world. This is similar to the fact that whoever uses the medicine known to be good for his illness will recover. We see that irreligious people and nations are successful in many business fields. They are successful because they work compatibly with the Qur’ân al-kerîm. However, it is necessary to believe in the Qur’ân al-kerîm and to follow it with the intention of attaining the happiness of the next world, too.] The 179th âyat of the Sûrat-ul-Baqara in Qur’ân al-kerîm, which purports: “O those who have reason; only think! You will see that My command, (Kill the murderer), bears life, not death!” corroborates our argument.
A Persian couplet translated into English:
If the judge didn’t have a cudgel hidden behind him,
The drunk, base-born would vomit into the Ka’ba.
We will also mention the fact that Allâhu ta’âlâ is the absolute owner of everything, of all of us. All people are His creatures, slaves. It is always reasonable and useful for Him to use every command He gives His slaves and everything as He wishes. There cannot be cruelty or malice in this. People of lower rank or slaves cannot ask their superiors, their masters the reasons for their commands and attitudes.
If He were to put all people into Hell and torment them eternally, who would have the right to object? For, He would be using His property which He Himself had created and raised. How could it be said to be cruelty while there is no transgression to someone else’s property, because there is no someone else? However, the possessions which people use and which they boast about belong in actual fact not to themselves but to Him. Indeed, it is injustice for us to lay hands on them, to interfere with them. For the order of this world and for some other uses, Allâhu ta’âlâ has assigned them to our possession, yet in fact they are all His. Then what is proper for us to do is to use them as much as their real owner allows us to.
All the facts, all the commandments which Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ conveyed to us from Allâhu ta’âlâ are true. For unbelievers and for the disobedient ones of those who die with imân there will be torment in the grave. Mukhbir-i Sâdiq (he who always told the truth) ‘’alaihi wa ’alâ âlihissalâtu wassalâm’ conveyed this information. When unbelievers and Believers [or only Believers] are interred, two angels named Munkar and Nakîr will come and question them. The grave being a bridge, a pass between this world and the next, torment in the grave is in one way like worldly torment; it is not eternal. In another way it is like the torment of the next world; it is of the same kind. The forty-sixth âyat of Sûra-t-ul Mu’mîn, “In mornings and evenings they will be tormented with fire,” of the Qur’ân-i kerîm, reports the torment in the grave. Likewise, the blessings in the grave are both like worldly comforts and like those in the Hereafter.
A good person, a fortunate person is one whose faults, sins, being forgiven through grace and mercy, are not cast in his teeth. If a person’s sins are cast in his teeth, and if, being pitied for this reason, he is made to suffer only worldly torment and thus becomes purified of his sins, he, too, is quite fortunate. Also a person who, not being purified with this only, suffers the grave’s squeezing and tormenting for the rest of his sins, and who is taken without any sins to the place where people will gather on the Day of Judgment, is very lucky. If instead of this he is punished in the next world, it is still mercy and justice. But, on that day those with sins, those who are in an embarrassing position, those with dark faces will be in a very difficult position. But of those people, the ones who are Muslims will still be pitied, and will attain mercy at last, being freed from the eternal torment of Hell; and this is a very great blessing, too. O our Allah! Do not extinguish the light of îmân which Thou hast bestowed upon us. Cover our defects! Thou canst do everything!
[The fifth principle of îmân is to believe in the next world.] Doomsday certainly exists. That day the heavens, the stars, the earth which we live on, mountains, seas, animals, plants, metals and, in short everything, matter and energy will be annihilated. The skies will break into pieces, the stars will disperse, the earth and mountains will turn into dust and will be blown about. This annihilation will take place with the first signal of the Sûr. With its second blowing everything will be re-created, people will rise from their graves, and will assemble at the place of Mahsher. Philosophers [and those who claim to be positive scientists], that is, who strive to solve everything with their minds, say that the heavens and stars will not be annihilated. [By saying that science does not accept that they will be annihilated and that everything will go on existing as it is, they slander the knowledge of science, which is based on observation, research and experimentation. The intellects of some of them do not function at all, but they call themselves Muslims. They obey most of the rules of Islam. What is even more consternating is that some Muslims who believe their statements and books think of them as Muslims and even as Islamic savants, religious superiors. They become angry with anyone who says that those people are disbelievers. They praise and defend those disbelivers. However, those people deny the Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîths, and gainsay what all Prophets stated in consensus. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the Qur’ân al-kerîm, in the Sûrat-ul-Tekwîr: “When the sun, having no light any more, gets dark, and the stars fade away,… .” Another âyat in the Sûrat-ul- Inshiqaq, declares: “When the skies crack and hear the voice of their Rabb [Allah],” and “The skies positively obey the commands of Allâhu ta’âlâ,” and another âyat in the Sûrat-un- Naba declares: “That day the skies will certainly crack.” There are many such âyats. These people do not know that to be a Muslim it is not sufficient to say the Kalimat-ush-shahâdat only. Being a Muslim requires believing and confirming all the facts that are to be believed, avoiding kufr and everything that may cause kufr, and disliking unbelievers. This is the only way to be a Muslim. One cannot be a Muslim unless one fulfils these conditions.
In the next world there is questioning on the actions done in the world. There is a pair of scales, in its own nature peculiar to the next world, and a pass which is called Sirât Bridge. The Mukhbir-i Sâdiq ‘’alaihi wa ’alâ âlihissalâtu wassalâm’ has stated these facts. Some ignorant people’s denying them —because they do not know what Prophethood means— does not prove that they are nonexistent. It is null and void to say non-existent about existing things. The rank of Prophethood is above mind. To try to adapt the true statements of Prophets to mind would mean distrust and disbelief in Prophethood. It is necessary, without asking one’s mind, to obey and follow Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-tteslîmât’ in matters pertaining to the next world. The rank of prophethood is beyond and above mind’s capacity. Mind thinks of things beyond its grasp as disagreeable with itself. Unless mind adapts itself to Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ it will never attain high grades. Not conforming, that is, disagreeing, is different from not comprehending, or from not understanding. In fact, one may disagree with something only after understanding it.
Paradise and Hell exist. On the Day of Judgment after the settling of accounts, many people will be sent to Paradise, and many others will be put into Hell. The rewards, the blessings of Paradise, and the torment of Hell are eternal, everlasting. These facts are declared clearly in the Qur’ân al-kerîm and in hadîth-i sherîfs. Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî ‘quddisa sirruh’ says in his book, Fusûs: “At last everybody will attain compassion,” and, quoting the âyat, “My Mercy has covered everything.” He says: “After disbelievers stay in Hell for three thousand years, Hell will become cool and comfortable for disbelievers, exactly as the fire was salvation for Ibrahim ‘’alaihissalâm’ in the world. Allâhu ta’âlâ may go back on His promise concerning torment.” By saying, “None of the ’ârifs said that disbelievers will remain in Hell eternally,” he diverges from the right way here, too. He did not realize that the âyat, “My Mercy includes everything,” indicates that in the world there is mercy both upon Muslims and upon disbelievers. In the next world there will not be even a mote of mercy upon disbelievers. Allâhu ta’âlâ intimates this fact in the Qur’ân al-kerîm, and after declaring: “My Mercy covers everything,” He also declares: “My Mercy is upon those who, fearing Me, forbear the forbidden, pay their zakât, and believe My Qur’ân.” Muhyiddîn-i Arabî ‘quddisa sirruh’ reads the beginning of the âyat and omits the latter part. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the fifty-sixth âyat of Sûrat-ul-A’râf: “My Mercy is upon those with îmân and goodness.” The forty-seventh âyat of Sûra Ibrâhîm: “Do not think Allâhu ta’âlâ may go back on His promise which He has given to Prophets,” does not imply that He may go back on that which He has given to others. Perhaps His declaring only that He will not go back on His promise which He has given to Prophets, is meant to promise that His Prophets will be more powerful than disbelievers and will overcome them; thus He has promised both Prophets and their enemies, disbelievers. Then, this âyat declares that He will never go back on His word, neither with Prophets nor with disbelievers; thus this âyat, which he quotes in order to prove his thesis, exposes the fact that he is wrong. We should also remember that His going back on His word which He has given to His enemies, like His going back on the word given to His beloved ones, would be mendacity, an attribute which would be quite offensive to ascribe to Allâhu ta’âlâ. For, it would be very repulsive to say that for some uses Allâhu ta’âlâ said that He would torment disbelievers eternally though He knew He would not torment them. And the ’ârifs’ saying that disbelievers will not remain in Hell is one of the statements which Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî ‘qaddasallâhu ta’âlâ sirrahul ’azîz’ makes through kashf, that is, by sensing through heart. There are often errors in things that come to the heart. Such kashfs of the great religious superiors, which contradict what they write by following our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ and the Sahâba ‘ridwânullâhi ’alaihim ajma’în’, are without any value or importance. [Also, Ibni Taymiyya denies the fact that disbelievers will remain eternally in Hell.]
[The second principle of imân is to believe in angels.] Angels are the created slaves of Allâhu ta’âlâ. They do not commit sins or make errors or forget. The sixth âyat of Tahrîm Sûra purports: “Angels do not disobey Allâhu ta’âlâ in what they are commanded, and they do what they are commanded.” They do not eat or drink. [That is, they do not need to eat or to drink.] They are not male or female. The Qur’ân al-kerîm describes angels by words and letters proper to men, beacuse men are more honoured and higher than women. As a matter of fact, Allâhu ta’âlâ represents Himself by such words and letters for this same reason.
As Allâhu ta’âlâ selected some people as Prophets, likewise He distinguished some angels as Prophets. Most of the Ahl assunnat savants said that the great ones from among humans are higher than the great ones of angels. Imâm-i Ghazâlî, Imâm-i Mâlik, and Shaikh Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî said that the great ones from among angels are higher. To the understanding of this faqîr (Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî means himself), the wilâyat side of angels is superior to that of Prophets. But there is a grade which Nabîs and Rasûls can reach but angels cannot. This honoured grade has come to Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ from the substances of the earth. And this is peculiar to man only. Again, as it has been revealed to this faqîr, the exaltedness of the Awliyâ, when compared with the exaltedness of Prophets, is nothing, not even a drop of water compared with an ocean. Then, the superiority which is gained by way of Prophethood is very much superior to that which is gained through Wilâyat. So, a collection of superiorities in all respects belong to Prophets, while a superiority in one respect belongs to angels. The correct word is what most of the Ahl as-sunnat savants said. May Allâhu ta’âlâ bestow upon them abundant rewards for their work! This means to say that none of the Awliyâ can ever reach the grade of any Prophet. A Walî’s head is always below a Prophet’s feet.
What should be known very well is that when there is disagreement between savants and men of Tasawwuf it will be seen that savants are right if the matter is considered well and minutely. Its reason is: because savants follow Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ they look at their grades of Prophethood and the knowledge in these grades. They acquire their knowledge from there. But men of Tasawwuf look at Prophets’ grades in Wilâyat and at the ma’rifats that are there. The knowledge derived from the grade of Prophethood is certainly more precise than the knowledge which is received from the grade of Wilâyat. I explained this statement of mine more profoundly and more detailedly in letter 260 —which I wrote to Muhammad Sâdiq, my dear son, who has a superior intellect and knowledge, and who has realized the facts and attained blessings and fayd from Allâhu ta’âlâ. [Murshîd-i kâmils, being exalted savants in the grade of ijtihâd have both knowledge and ma’rifat. Namely they are Zul-Janâhayn.]
ÎMÂN: Means the heart’s confirming, admitting and believing the facts which the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’ stated to be of Islam, that is, which have to be believed. They said that what the heart believes also has to be expressed with the tongue. [Yet this expressing is not the îmân itself, but it is the statement of the îmân existing in the heart. He who does not express îmân while there is not a hindrance becomes a disbeliver. Scholars said: “In case a person is threatened with death or with mutilation or forced with bitter persecution, he may excusably hide his îmân; he who does not express his îmân or who expresses the opposite in such a case does not become a disbeliver.” We have derived this supplement from the book Milal-Nihâl.]
The symptom of îmân’s existence in the heart is to abstain from disbelief and from wearing the zunnâr around the waist, and from other signs of disbelief. To abstain from disbelief means to dislike the enemies of Allâhu ta’âlâ and to deem them as enemies. When disbelievers are powerful and attain ascendancy, so that they may inflict punishment, they must be disliked with the heart, and when there is no such fear it is necessary to be against them both by heart and by all kinds of means. In the Qur’ân, Allâhu ta’âlâ commands His beloved Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ to fight against disbelievers and munâfiqs and to gain ascendancy over them by working to this end. For, unless one bears hostility against the enemies of Allâhu ta’âlâ and His Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, one will not have loved Him and His Messenger, nor will one have the right to say that one loves them. If a person says that he has îmân but does not avoid disbelief, he has believed both Islam and disbelief, thus having two religions; such people are called murtadd (renegade); they must be looked upon as munâfiqs. Îmân’s existence in the heart certainly necessitates avoiding disbelief. The lowest grade of this avoidance is with the heart. And its highest grade is that which is done both with the heart and with the body. That is, it is to show the heart’s spurning by words and manners. A Persian line in English:
Unless there is enmity there will not be friendship!
Some people misuse this condition of love by loving only the Ahl-i Bayt ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhum’, [who are the relatives, grandsons of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’]. They say that loving them necessitates enmity against our Prophet’s three Khalîfas ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum’ and against most Muslims. This assertion is quite wrong. For, the symptom of love is enmity against the enemies of the beloved, which does not mean to be hostile against everybody other than the beloved. Anybody with wisdom and an intellect functioning properly can realize that our Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ Sahâba ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum’ were not hostile against the Ahl-i Bayt. Especially those three Khalîfas, the greatest of the Sahâba, would have sacrificed their property and lives for the sake of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. They would forgo their ranks, fame, and advantages for him. In the Qur’ân, Muslims are commanded clearly to love the Ahl-i Bayt. As a thanksgiving, a recompense for Rasûlullah’s ‘sall- Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ inviting and bringing them to endless bliss, love of the Ahl-i Bayt ‘ridwânullâhi ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în’ is demanded from them. Then, how could those great people ever be thought or said to have been hostile against the Ahl-i Bayt?
The reason why Ibrâhîm ‘’alaihissalâm’ was so exalted, why he won the second rank from top among all human beings, and why he was honoured with being the father of Prophets, was because he kept clear of the enemies of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the Sûrat-ul-Mumtahina of the Qur’ân: “O Believers! Follow the beautiful way shown by Ibrâhîm ‘’alaihissalâm’! That is, you too should become like him and those Believers who were with him! They said to the disbelievers: Don’t expect sympathy from us! For, you disobey Allâhu ta’âlâ and worship others. We don’t love those whom you worship, either. We don’t believe your bogus religion. This difference has caused enmity between us. Unless you believe that Allâhu ta’âlâ is One and obey His commandments, this adversity will not be erased from our hearts, but it will show itself in every manner.”
According to this faqir ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’, there is no deed, no worship as good as avoiding disbelief for gaining Allâhu ta’âlâ’s grace and love. Allâhu ta’âlâ Himself is hostile against disbelievers and kufr. All the idols they worship and those who worship them are the enemies of Allâhu ta’âlâ Himself. Eternal burning in Hell is the punishment for this base deed. But the desires of the nafs, and all other kinds of sins are not so. Allah’s enmity towards them is not from His Own Self but from His Attributes. Allah’s Wrath and Anger against sinners does not originate from His Own Wrath but from His Attribute Wrath. His tormenting and abhorring them is always through His Deeds and Attributes. It is for this reason that sinners will not remain in Hell eternally, and He will forgive most of them if He wills. Since Allah’s enmity against disbelief and disbelievers is from His Own Self, His Attributes Mercy and Compassion will not reach disbelievers in the next world; and His Attribute Mercy will not be able to cancel the enmity of His Own Self. Enmity of the Self is more powerful than the mercy of the Attribute. What is done through the Attribute cannot change what is done by the Self. It is purported in a hadîth-i qudsî: “My Mercy has surpassed My Wrath.” Its meaning is: “My Attribute Mercy has surpassed My Attribute Wrath. That is, it has overwhelmed My Wrath towards the sinful ones of Believers.” It does not mean that His Attribute Mercy surpasses the Self’s Wrath, which is directed towards disbelievers and polytheists.
Question: Allâhu ta’âlâ pities disbelievers in the world. As a matter of fact, this has been mentioned above. Then doesn’t His Attribute Mercy surpass the Self’s Wrath in the world?
Answer: Pitying disbelievers in the world is only in appearance. That is, it is an istidrâj, a trick that seems like mercy. As a matter of fact, He declares in the Sûrat-ul-Mu’minûn of the Qur’ân al-kerîm: “By giving disbelievers plenty of property and children; are We helping them, are We doing them favours? Do they presume that in return for their disbelief We are sending numerous blessings, one soon after another? No, it is not the case. This helping is not a favour to them, but perhaps an istidrâj. It is intended so that they go astray, become excessive, and then go to Hell.” Also, the âyat, “I am bringing them piecemeal to torment. This they are unaware of. As they overflow the measure, I am giving them opportunities by giving them worldly blessings on the increase. They are being beguiled. The torment which I have prepared for them is very bitter,” in the sûras of A’râf and Nûn, shows this fact clearly.
NOTE: Remaining eternally in Hell is the retribution for disbelief. Now the following question may arise: Our savants say that if a person, though having îmân, practises the rites and customs of disbelievers, he will lose his îmân and become a murtadd. [For, such behavior means not to avoid disbelief]. Most of today’s Muslims have caught this nuisance. According to that statement of our savants, most of those people who are said to be Muslims today are going to suffer eternal torment in Hell. On the other hand, our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “He who has a mote of îmân in his heart will not remain in Hell eternally; he will be taken out.” What would you say about this?
Answer: We would say that if a person denies, doubts about or disapproves even one of the Islamic tenets that are to be believed, his îmân goes away; he becomes a kâfir. He will be burned eternally in Hell. If a person expresses the word tawhîd, believes its meaning, says that hadrat Muhammad is Allah’s Prophet and that whatever he has said is true, and believes that those who disagree with the Prophet are wrong and evil, and takes his last breath in this faith and goes to the other world with this îmân; but if he practises the customs, rites and ceremonies peculiar to disbelievers, and on the days and nights which disbelievers hold sacred does as they do, he will go to Hell. But, having a mote of îmân in his heart, —that is, since he believes briefly as we have explained—, he will not remain eternally in Hell. [To believe briefly means, when hearing about one of the religious facts that have to be believed, to believe it without doubt.] One day this faqîr —Imâm-i-Rabbânî— visited a sick acquaintance. He was about to die. I paid tawajjuh towards his heart. His heart had darkened. I did my best to clear away the filth; it was of no avail. Meditating deeply for a long while, I came to realize that that blackness was the contagion and symptom of disbelief, and that they were caused by his relationships and friendly ways with disbelievers and disbelief. Try hard as I would, that filth could not be celared away. It was then realized that that evil would be cleared away only with the fire of Hell, the punishment for disbelief. Yet, since a tiny light of îmân was seen in his heart, owing to this he will be taken out of Hell. Having seen the sick person in that manner, I went deep into meditating whether I should perform the namâz of janâza for him. After searching my heart for a long time, I realized that it would be necessary to perform it. This means that we should perform the namâz of janâza for those who, though having îmân in their hearts, are intimate with disbelievers and follow their ceremonies and Easters, [and this rule applies even if they do so when they are not somehow compelled to do so.] We should not look on them as disbelievers. As a matter of fact, such people are so treated today. We should believe that owing to their îmân these people will be taken out of Hell. But there is no pardon or forgiveness for those who do not have îmân, [for those who do not like the words and habits of Muhammad ‘’alaihissalâm’, even if it is only a single word or act of behaviour of his that they dislike;] in return for their disbelief they will remain in Hell’s torment eternally. [Please read the four hundred and eighty-first page of the fifth volume of Ibni ’Âbidîn. If enemies of religion try to deceive Muslims by concealing the fact that disbelievers’ customs and rites are disbelief and saying that they are Muslims’ customs and Muslims’ holy days, young and pure Muslims should not believe them. They should learn the facts by asking real Muslims they trust, or their relatives who perform their five daily prayers of namâz, or their fathers’ friends who know Islam. All over the world today ignorance is not a valid excuse, neither for not knowing îmân and kufr nor for not performing the acts of worship correctly. Any person who is deceived because of not knowing Islam will not escape Hell. Today Allâhu ta’âlâ has made His religion known all over the world, and it has become very easy to learn îmân, halâls, harâms and the fards. It is fard to learn these as well as necessary.]
In short, if a person who attends disbelievers’ festivals has a mote of îmân, [that is, if he has believed the meaning of the kalima-i-tawhîd concisely, and if he has not done or said anything that would remove his îmân,] he will not remain in Hell eternally, though he will enter Hell for torment. As for those Believers who have grave sins; Allâhu ta’âlâ will forgive those sins if He wills. Or He will torment them in Hell until they are purified of their sins, if He wills. According to the understanding of this faqîr ‘qaddasallâhu ta’âlâ sirrahul’azîz’, Hell fire, whether endless or temporary, is for disbelief and for the symptoms and contagions of disbelief. The grave sins committed by those Believers who shun disbelief will be forgiven either through Allâhu ta’âlâ’s Compassion for the sake of their îmân or by their repenting or being blessed with shafâ’at. People who are not forgiven by such means will be purified through worldly problems and cares or through the throes which they will suffer while dying. If they are not purified with these either, some of them will attain forgiveness by suffering torment in their graves. And others will be forgiven through the torment and suffering in the grave in addition to the vehemence of the Day of Rising; they thereby being without sins, there will be no need for them to be purified through Hell’s torment. As a matter of fact, Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the eighty-second âyat of the Sûrat-ul- An’âm of the Qur’ân al-kerîm: “People who have îmân and who do not smear their îmân with polytheism are secured against remaining eternally in Hell. There is not such fear for them,” which proves our word to be correct. For, in this âyat, zulm means shirk (polytheism). Allâhu ta’âlâ alone knows the truth of everything.
Question: “Allâhu ta’âlâ declares that also those who commit some sins other than disbelief will enter Hell. For example, the punishment for killing a Believer on purpose is to remain in Hell eternally, He says. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ states: ‘He who does not perform one prayer of namâz within its prescribed time and omits it on purpose will suffer torment for one huqba in Hell.’ [One huqba means eighty years of the next world.] Then, Hell’s torment is not only for disbelievers.” If we were told so, we would answer as follows: Hell’s torment is for those who ignore the fact that it is harâm to kill a Muslim and who will kill a Muslim by saying that it is halâl (permitted). As a matter of fact, the savants of Ahl as-sunnat ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’ gave it this meaning in their tafsîrs (explanations of the Qur’ân al-kerîm). The report informing us that there is torment in Hell also for sins other than disbelief is always intended to explain that there is contagion of disbelief in these sins. Examples of these would be to commit a sin floutingly or with a deaf ear to its importance, not to perform namâz or to commit sins because one thinks that Islam’s commandments are not important at all. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “O my Ummat, I shall do shafâ’at for those who commit grave sins.” And he stated once: “Allah’s compassion is for my Ummat. In the next world there is no torment for them.” Also, the âyat whose meaning we have written above puts stress on the truth of our statements. [Suicide, that is, (intentional) self-killing, is a graver sin than killing someone else.]
In a letter I wrote to my son Muhammad Sa’îd ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ I explained in detail what treatment will be applied in the next world to disbelievers’ children who die before reaching the age of discretion and puberty, to those who, having been born and grown up in mountains or wildernesses, die without having heard of a religion, and to those irreligious people who lived in ancient times when one religion was changed and defiled by disbelievers and died before the advent of another Prophet. Please read it to learn the matter! [Please read the second chapter in this book!]
Our savants gave different deduced reports on the increasing and decreasing of îmân. Hadrat al-imâm-ul-a’zam Abû Hanifa ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ said that îmân does not increase or decrease; Hadrat al-imâm-ush-Shâfi’î ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ said that it increases and decreases. Since îmân is a confirmation and belief in the heart, there is no increase or decrease in it. Belief that increases and decreases cannot be îmân. It is called supposition. By performing the acts of worship, the actions which Allâhu ta’âlâ loves, îmân gets polished, becomes luminous, and shines. When harâms are committed it becomes blurred. Then an increase or decrease occurs in the lustre of the îmân on account of behavior. It does not happen in itself. Some (savants) said that the îmân which is bright is very much greater than that which is not bright. They almost did not consider some beliefs that are not bright as îmân. And about some lustrous ones they said that they were îmân but they were small. This comparison between two different versions of îmân is like that of two mirrors standing opposite each other and with different brightnesses. It is similar to saying that the one which is more lustrous and reflects the things opposite itself more brightly is greater than the one that reflects less brightly. And another person, for example, says that the two mirrors are equal. They are different only in brightness, in reflecting the things opposite themselves; that is, their properties, qualities are different. Of the two persons, the latter’s opinion is keener and more correct. The former has looked at the appearance, and has not penetrated into the essence. This example, which has fallen to this faqîr’s ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ lot to give, has disproved the words of those who would not believe the fact that îmân does not increase or decrease; and at the same time the îmân of any Muslim has not been likened to the îmân of Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-tteslîmât’ in every respect. For, their îmân, being very luminous and very bright, will provide much more fruit, much more benefit than the dark and cloudy îmân of their ummats. It is stated in a hadîth: “The îmân of Abû Bakr-i Siddîq ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ is heavier than the total sum of the îmâns of all this Ummat.” And this is in regard to the nûr, the lustre of îmân. Being greater is not in the essence, in the basis, but in the qualities. As a matter of fact Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’ are human beings, like anybody else. There is no difference with respect to being human. The difference arises from perfect, superior attributes. One who is without superior qualities is in one way different from those who have them. They are all the same, however, in being human. They are not more or less than one another. Humanity cannot be said to be increasing or decreasing. Some (savants), in describing îmân, said that it is to confirm, to express with the tongue; in which case both belief and supposition must be îmân, and îmân must be susceptible of increase and decrease. Nevertheless, the essence of îmân is the heart’s confirming, believing. Supposition or doubt cannot be called îmân.
Al-imâm-ul-a’zâm Abû Hanîfa ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ says that one should say, “I am rightfully, that is, certainly a Mu’min (Believer).” But al-imâm-ush-Shâfi’î ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ says that one should say, “I am a Mu’min, inshâ-Allah.” The difference between these two is only in words. For, one should say, “I am a Mu’min certainly,” when expressing one’s present îmân. And when speaking of one’s îmân at one’s last breath one should say “Inshâ-Allah, I am a Mu’min then, too.” But, instead of basing it on a condition by saying, “inshâ-Allah,” it is more provident and more proper to say, “certainly,” in all situations.
It is necessary to believe in the karâmât of the Awliyâ ‘qaddas- Allâhu ta’âlâ asrârahum’. Allâhu ta’âlâ creates everything through His divine law of causation in this world. [That is, He creates them through the law, order and harmony that are learned in science lessons.] Through the hands of His Awliyâ, [that is, people whom He loves,] He creates, makes some things outside of His law of causation, which is called karâmat. He who denies the karâmat has denied the events that have been seen many a time and oft all over the world and which have spread from mouth to mouth. Allah’s creating some things which no one can do through the hands and words of Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-tteslîmât’, by suspending His law of causation temporarily is called a mu’jiza; a person who performs a mu’jiza declares his prophethood. But a person who performs a karâmat says that he is not a Prophet but is following a Prophet. [Mu’jiza is appropriate for Prophets ‘’alaihimussalawâtu wa-t-teslîmât’. It is not permissible to use this word for anyone besides them.]
Superiority of the Khulafâ-i-râshidîn, [that is, of the four Khalîfas who succeeded our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’,] to one another is as per the order of their caliphates. All the Sahâba and all the Tâbi’în said that Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ were superior to all other Muslims. Most of our religious leaders wrote these statements in their books. One of them is Hadrat al-imâm-ush-Shâfi’î. The great savant Abul- Hasan-il-Ash’arî, who gathered and recorded the belief of Ahl assunnat, says: “It is obvious and certain that first Abû Bakr and then ’Umar are higher than all Believers.” Al-imâm-uz-Zahabî, one of the greatest savants, says: “We have been told by more than eighty people that they heard Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ say to a large crowd of Muslims: ‘Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhuma’ are the highest of this Ummat.’ ” Giving the names of most of them, he says: “Râfidîs, that is, people who do not believe this are very heinous and evil people. Allâhu ta’âlâ will meet them very harshly in the Hereafter.” Al-imâm-ul-Bukhârî, the author of the book Bukhârî-i-sherîf, which in Islam is the second most dependable and most valuable book after the Qur’ân-i kerîm, says: “Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ said, ‘After our Prophet ‘sall- Allâhu alaihi wa sallam’, the best, the highest of this Ummat is Abû Bakr. Then comes ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, and then somebody else.’ At that moment his son Muhammad ibnu Hanafiyya said, ‘And it’s you.’ Upon this he said, ‘Like any other Muslim, I am one of this Ummat.’ ” Al-imâm-uz-Zahabî and other savants said: “Hadrat Alî said: Be careful, listen well! I have heard that some people have been holding me superior to Abû Bakr and ’Umar. If I catch any one of them I shall inflict upon him the chastisement for slanderers. For he is a slanderer.” Dâra Qutnî says: “Imâm-i Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ said: If I catch a person who cherishes me above Abû Bakr and ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’, I shall punish him by beating him, as I do so with slanderers.” There are so many of such reports from the Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘radiy- Allâhu ’anhum’ that no one could find a possible way to deny the fact. Even ’Abdurrazzâq, one of the great Shiite scholars, says: “Since hadrat Alî holds Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ superior to himself, I hold them superior, too. For, if I did not hold them superior I would have disagreed with Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, though I love him very much; and that would be a grave sin for me.”
[A Jew named Murtadâ writes false stories in his book entitled Husniyya, and says that those three Khalîfas are disbelievers. He has been given beautiful answers in my books entitled Documents of the Right Word and Sahâba ‘the Blessed’. The true Alawîs who have been following Hadrat Alî have never been heard to utter such ugly and base words.] We have extracted what we have written about Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat ’Umar ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ from the book Sawâiq-ul-mukhriqa, by the great savant Ibnu Hajar-i Haytamî ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’. As for the fact that Imâm-i ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ is higher than Imâm-i Alî; most of the savants of Ahl as-sunnat said: “After the Shaikhayn, [that is, after Abû Bakr and ’Umar,] the highest Muslim is ’Uthmân. After him the highest is Alî ‘radiy- Allâhu ’anh’.” So did the imâms of the four Madhhabs say. Though al-imâm-i Mâlik is said to have doubted about the superiority of Hadrat ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, Qâdî Iyâd, the author of the book Shifâ, says that later he said that hadrat ’Uthmân is higher. Also, Imâm-i Qurtubî says: “Inshâ-Allah, this is the truth of the matter.” Some (savants) say that it is inferrable by his statement, “The sign of being Sunnî is to believe the superiority of the Shaikhayn and to love the two sons-in-law,” that al-imâm-ul-a’zam Abû Hanîfa does not hold any of the two sons-in-law ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ superior to the other; but, to the understanding of this faqîr, there were other reasons why the imâm said so. That is, seeing the discord, the frustration in the hearts because of the chaos and faction that had begun during the caliphates of the two sons-in-law ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’, the imâm deemed the phrase “loving the two sons-in-law” pertinent, and said that loving them is the sign of being Sunnî. Could alimâm- ul-a’zam Abû Hanîfa be said to have had doubts on the superiority of Hadrat ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’, while the books of the savants of the Hanafî Madhhab teem with statements like “Superiority is in accordance with the order of caliphate”? In short, the superiority of the Shaikhayn is definite. But, that Hadrat ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ is higher than Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ is not so definite. Yet we must avoid saying ‘disbelievers’ about those who deny the superiority of Hadrat ’Uthmân and even of the Shaikhayn. We must look upon them as holders of bid’at, as divergent Muslims. For, one party of our savants did not say that they were disbelievers. The case with them is like the case with the base Yazîd, who our savants have forbidden us to curse, for circumspection.
Offending our Prophet by way of hating the Khulafâ-i râshidîn is identical to offending him by way of disliking Imâm-i Hasan and Imâm-i Husayn. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “Fear Allâhu ta’âlâ in case you should ever hurt my Sahâba! After me, do not think ill of them. He who loves them does so because he loves me. He who bears hostility against them has borne hostility against me. He who hurts them hurts me. He who hurts me has hurt Allâhu ta’âlâ; hence He will torment him for that.” Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the Qur’ân al-kerîm, in the fifty-seventh âyat of Sûrat-ul-Ahzâb: “Those who offend Allâhu ta’âlâ and His Prophet; may they be accursed in this world and in the Hereafter!” The great Islamic savant Sa’daddîn-i Taftâzânî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’, (722 [1322 A.D.], Taftâzân, Khorasan – 792 , Samarkand) says: “We should be reasonable in this order of superiority,” in his commentary to ’Aqâid-i Nasafiyya; but his statement is unreasonable, and his doubt is out of place. For, our savants state that in this context ‘superior’ means ‘the one with more thawâbs’. It does not mean the one who is more useful to others with his goodness and trueness. A wise person will not value such things. The Sahâba and the Tâbi’ûn informed us about so many cases and events manifesting the goodnesses of Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ as they did not communicate about any other Sahabî. On the other hand, they, again, said that the other three Khalîfas were higher than he. As is seen, being superior is not because of the maniness of merits and epics. Superiority arises from other reasons. Who can understand these reasons are only those chosen fortunate people who have been honoured with seeing the wahy, that is, the coming of the angel. They have understood the reasons of superiority by seeing them clearly or through some denotations. And they are the Sahâba of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Then, it is out of the place for the commentator of ’Aqâid-i Nasafî to say, “If the meaning of superiority is the numerousness of thawâbs, this is the place to doubt about the order of superiority.” For, if the order of superiority had not been stated clearly by the owner of Islam, there would be a place for doubt. Why should he doubt after it has been stated? If the Sahâba had not understood this superiority clearly or through some implication, would they have reported it? What is out of place is for those who consider all the four (Khalîfas) to be equal to say that superiority among them is out of place. Could there be a statement more out of place, more useless than saying, “It is out of place,” about the consensus of Islamic superiors? Or does the word (superior) cause them to discuss such nonsense? Nor does Muhyiddîn-i ’Arabî’s statement, “The order of their caliphates was in accordance with the order of their lives,” show that they are equal. For, being the Khalîfa is different from being superior. We might as well say that he said so with regard to superiority; but then it is not a statement that can be taken as a document; it is one of his erroneous statements. A few of his kashfs, findings, which do not conform with the words of the savants of Ahl as-sunnat, are incorrect. Only psychopaths or the sick-hearted or those who imitate everything blindly will follow such statements.
It is necessary to believe that the combats, the disagreements among the Sahâba were out of good will, that they were not intended for earthly blessings or for the desires of the nafs. Though Sa’daddîn-i Taftâzânî is one of those who loves Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ excessively, he says: “Their disagreements and combats were not for the caliphate. They arose from an error in ijtihâd.” [Hadrat Ahmad Khayâlî, a savant during the era of Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror Khan, wrote a very valuable annotation on the long commentary written by Sa’daddîn-i Taftâzânî for ’Umar Nasafi’s book, ’Aqâid-i Nasafî.] Khayâlî says in that annotation of his: “Hadrat Mu’âwiyya ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ and those who were with him did not agree with Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’. However, they knew and said that he was the highest of the time’s people, and that the caliphate rightfully belonged to him. They revolted because he would not catch and punish those who had martyred Hadrat ’Uthmân ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’.” In its annotation by Qaramânî, [that is, in the notes which he wrote on the page margins of the book Sharh-i ’aqâid], it states that Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ said, “Our brothers would not agree with us. But they are not disbelievers. Nor are they sinners. They have been doing as they understand from the religion, from Islam.” It is doubtless that it is not a sin to make a mistake in ijtihâd, and it is not something to be blamed. Considering that the Sahâba were educated in the company and by the teachings of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ we should have a good opinion of all of them, and we should respect them all. Since we love our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ we should love them all. For, he ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “He who loves them does so because he loves me; and he who is their enemy is so because he is my enemy,” which means, “Loving my Sahâba is loving me, and hostility against them is hostility against me.” Those Sahabîs who fought against Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ are not our relatives or acquaintances. On the contrary, those combats between them cause us sorrow and hurt us. Yet, because they are the Sahâba of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, we have been commanded to love them. We have been prohibited from offending any of them, from bearing hostility against them. Then, we have to love all of them. We love them because we love our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. We avoid treating them inimically and tormenting them, for, hostility against them or hurting them would end up with our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’. Only, we can say who was right and who was wrong. Namely, hadrat Emîr (Alî) ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ was right. Those who were against him were wrong. It would be wrong to say more than that. Please read the letter for Muhammad Ashraf! [251st letter.]
ACTS of WORSHIP — After correcting our îmân, our beliefs, it is certainly necessary to learn the rules of Fiqh, that is, the acts which our religion commands and prohibits. We have to learn the fards, the wâjibs, the halâls, the harâms, the sunnats, the makrûhs, and the doubtful things, and act in accord with this knowledge of ours. It is obligatory for every Muslim to read and learn books of Fiqh. [One cannot be a Muslim without knowing these things.] We have to do the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ, and live as He likes us to. What He likes best for us to do is to perform namâz five times daily, which He commands time and again. Namâz is the archstone of Islam. I will inform you about a few facts on the importance of namâz, and on how it must be performed. Listen with rapt attention. First, we should perform abdast (ablution) compatibly with the sunnat, [precisely as it is prescribed in books of Fiqh.] While performing an ablution, we should be extra careful to wash the prescribed parts three times, and wash them completely each time. Thus we will have performed an ablution compatibly with the sunnat. While rubbing the head with the hands we should pass them over the entire head. The ears and the back of the neck should be wiped well. While applying khilâl to the toes, [that is, while washing between the toes.] it has been recommended that we insert the small finger of the left hand between the toes from underneath. We should be serious about this, and not dismiss it by thinking that it is only a mustahab. We should not slight the mustahabs. They are acts loved by Allâhu ta’âlâ. Were it known that a certain act He loves could be done only by sacrificing the entire world, anyone who could do it would make a great profit, like receiving a precious diamond in return for a few pieces of a broken flower-pot, or similar to resuscitating one’s dead darling by giving away a few pieces of gravel.
After performing an abdast in the commanded manner, we come to the namâz in its turn, which is the Mi’râj for Believers. That is, the blessings which were bestowed on our Prophet on the night of Mi’raj are given only in namâz to his Ummat, to taste in the world. Men should take great care to perform the fard namâz in jamâ’at, and not to miss making even the first takbîr together with the îmâm. [It is sinful for women to enter a mosque where men are, whatever the reason for doing so, such as to perform the namâz in jamâ’at, to listen to the reciters of the Qur’ân or mawlid, or to perform Friday prayer to earn more thawâb.]
We should perform the prayers of namâz at their mustahab times. [That is, when we perform namâz alone we should perform each namâz at its early time, but the late afternoon and night prayers at their times prescribed by al-Imâm-ul-a’zam. The later the namâz is performed the less thawâb will be given. The times that are mustahab are intended for performing the namâz in jamâ’at by attending at the mosque. If the prescribed time is over and one still has not performed the namâz, one has committed a sin as grave as murder. This sin will not be forgiven when one performs it later; only the debt will be paid then. To have the sin pardoned, one should either do tawba-i nasûh or perform an acceptable hajj. (Ibni Âbidîn)
In namâz the Qur’ân should be recited as much as the sunnat prescribes. It is necessary to remain motionless at rukû’ (bowing with the hands on the knees), and at sajda (prostrating), for, it is either fard or wâjib. When straightening up after rukû’ one should stand so straight that one’s bones settle. And, it has been said (by savants) that it is either fard or wâjib or sunnat to remain straight for a while. So is the case with sitting upright between the two sajdas. These should always be given much care. At rukû’ and at sajda the tesbîh must be said at least three times and at most seven to eleven times. For the imâm, it depends on the state of the jamâ’at. It is very disgraceful for a healthy person to say the tesbîh a minimum of times when performing the namâz on his own, especially when he is not in a difficulty; he should say it at least five times. While making the sajda one should put his limb which is closer to the ground first on the ground. Accordingly, first the knees, the hands, then the nose, and then the forehead should be put on the ground. Of the knees and hands, the right ones should be put on the ground before (the left ones). When getting up from the sajda the upper limb should be raised first. That is, the forehead should be raised first. One should look at the place of sajda while standing, at one’s feet while bowing for rukû’, at the point of one’s nose while prostrating, and at one’s hands or lap while sitting. If one looks at these places without one’s eyes squinting around, the namâz can be performed with a heart free from worldly thoughts. Thus khushû’ (devoted reverence) can be enjoyed. As a matter of fact, our Prophet said so. It is sunnat to open the fingers at rukû’, and to attach them to each other during the sajda. These should be done with care. It is not without reasons or vain to keep the fingers apart or attached. The owner of Islam, [that is, our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’,] did so considering its benefits. For us there is no other advantage as great as obeying the owner of Islam. These words of ours are intended to incite, to awake the desire to practise the tenets taught in the books of Fiqh. May Allâhu ta’âlâ bless us and you with doing the acceptable deeds shown by Islam! For the sake of the sayyid, the master, the best, the highest of Prophets, may He accept this invocation of ours! Âmîn. After correcting your îmân, if you want to understand the use of the namâz and the superiorities peculiar to it, read three other letters which I wrote, i.e. those which I wrote to my son Muhammad Sâdiq, to Mîr Muhammad Nu’mân, and to Hadrat Tâjuddîn. [They are the 260th, the 261st, and the 263rd letters in the first volume of Maktûbât. Translation of the second one, 261st letter, occupies the 34th chapter of the third fascicle of Endless Bliss.]
If we liken man’s promotion, his attainment of endless bliss, to the flying of an aircraft, faith and deeds, that is, îmân and worships, are like its body and engines. And making progress on the way of Tasawwuf is like its source of energy, its fuel. For reaching the goal, the plane is obtained. That is, îmân and worships are acquired. For starting it, it is necessary to get the fuel, that is, to make progress along the way of Tasawwuf.]
Tasawwuf is not intended to obtain things other than the creed of Ahl as-sunnat or the commandments of Islam. Tasawwuf is intended to make the creed of Ahl as-sunnat secure and conscientious and firm, lest it should be undermined by effects raising doubt. The îmân which is strengthened through mind, through evidence, through proofs cannot be so firm. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the Qur’ân al-kerîm, in the twenty-eighth âyat of the Sûrat-ul-Ra’d: “Îmân’s penetration and settlement in hearts is possible only and only by dhikr.” The second purpose of Tasawwuf is to facilitate worshipping, to bring about enthusiasm, and to do away with the indolence, the reluctance inherent in the nafs-i ammâra. It ought to be realized well that having recourse to Tasawwuf is not intended to acquire ability to see what others do not know, to inform others with the unknown, to perceive nûrs, spirits, or to enjoy valuable dreams. All these are vain, useless things. What is not in the everyday light, in the various colours, in the natural beauties, that should coax man to leave these and look for other things at the cost of suffering so many inconveniences? After all, both this light and those nûrs, both these beautiful shapes and those other things are all the creations of Allâhu ta’âlâ and bear witness to His existence and to the fact that He is the Almighty.
There are many paths of Tasawwuf. The most important and the most suitable of them is the path of those great people who adhere to the sunnat and avoid bid’ats. As long as those great people obey the sunnat in everything they say and do, they do not worry even if no kashfs, karâmats, hâls, seeings or knowings happen on them. Yet if they become sluggish in obeying the sunnat while all these things happen on them, they repel these things. It is for this reason that in their path such things as music and dancing are prohibited. They do not value the flavours and hâls originating from such things. In fact, they say that it is bid’at to mention Allah’s name aloud. They do not turn to look at things emanating from this. One day I was serving a meal in the presence of my exalted master, when Shaikh Kamâl, who was one of his admirers, said the Basmala aloud in his presence before starting to eat. Being quite displeased with that, he severely prohibited him from doing so, and told us to tell him not to eat with him any more. As I have heard from my master, Khwâja Muhammad Bahâuddîn-i Bukhârî gathered the savants of Bukhâra and took them to the home of his master, Sayyid Emîr Ghilâl. And they said to him, (i.e. to Sayyid Emîr Ghilâl), “It is bid’at to say Allah’s name aloud. Give this up.” It being his habit to receive a correct word willingly no matter whence it came, Hadrat Sayyid admitted it, saying, “I won’t do it again.” [Also, Hadrat Celâleddin-i Rûmî writes in his Mathnawî that dhikr should be done silently with the heart.] As the superiors of this way prohibit even saying Allah’s name aloud, what would they not say against such things as music, dancing, cavorting, bouncing about, yelling and shouting?
To this faqîr, all the hâls and dhawqs born from things prohibited by Islam are istidrâj. For, those hâls happen to disbelievers, too, and they, too, learn such things as tawhîd and kashf, which occur to them in the mirror of the universe. Those hâls are seen on Greek philosophers, on jûkis [dervishes of Brahmin religion], on Brahmin priests and Hindu beggars. What represents the true hâl is its compatibility with Islam, and its issuing not from things that are harâm. Music and dancing involve playing. The sixth âyat Lahw-al-hadîth in the Sûrat-u Luqmân was revealed in order to prohibit reading (the Qur’ân) melodiously. Al-imâm-i Mujâhid, one of the disciples of ’Abdullah ibni ’Abbâs, is one of the greatest of the Tâbi’ûn. He stated that this âyat prohibited music. It is written in Tafsîr-i Medârik, [and in the great savant Thanâullah Pânî’s Tafsîr-i Mazharî, which consists of ten volumes,] that Lahw-al-hadîth means music. ’Abdullah ibni ’Abbâs and ’Abdullah ibni Mas’ûd ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anhumâ’ swore that the âyat is about music. Alimâm- i Mujâhid said that the seventy-second âyat of the Sûrat al- Furqân purports: “A group of those whose sins shall be pardoned are those who do not stay at a place where music and songs are being sung.” It is written in books that the imâm of our Madhhab in belief, Abû Mansûr-i Mâ-turîdî, said: “If a person hears the tunes of (one of) our time’s melodious reciters of Qur’ân al-kerîm and says (to him), ‘Your recitation is so beautiful,’ he becomes a disbeliever. His wife becomes divorced. He loses the thawâbs for all the prayers he has done until that time.” Abu Nasr–i Dabbûsî says that Qâdî Zahîraddîn-i Harazmî said: “If a person listens to a song from a singer or at some other occasion, or commits some other harâm, and then says, ‘So beautiful,’ though he does not like it, [and even if he does not know that it is harâm], his îmân goes away then and there. For, he has ignored Allah’s command. All mujtahids state in consensus that he who ignores Allah’s commands becomes a disbeliever. Worships of such people will not be accepted. The thawâbs that they have earned will be annihilated. We trust ourselves to the care of Allâhu ta’âlâ against such calamities.”
The âyats, the hadîths, the statements of savants of Fiqh declaring that music is harâm are so numerous that it would be difficult to tally them. If a mansûkh hadîth or a fatwâ explaining that music is permissible is found, we should ignore it. For, not a single savant has ever given a fatwâ on that music or dancing is permissible. Al-imâm-i Diyâaddîn ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’ writes so in his book Multaqit.
Something done or avoided by men of Tasawwuf is not necessarily halâl or harâm. Nor do we blame them for doing (or avoiding) it. We consider them excused. Allâhu ta’âlâ knows their state, and will meet them as He likes. For knowing whether something is halâl or harâm, we look at the words of al-imâm ala’zam Abû Hanîfa, of al-imâm-i Yûsuf Ansârî, and of al-imâm-i Muhammad Shaybânî; we do not try to find out whether or not the great men of Tasawwuf such as Abû Bakr-i Shiblî, Abul Husayn-i Nûrî and Junayd-i Baghdâdî did it. [But all their teachings regarding Islam are true. It is necessary to believe and to follow all their teachings.] The unripe sufis who know nothing of Islam or of the Tarîqat have turned it into a religion of crying and yelling, playing music and dancing on the pretext that their masters used to do so. They suppose that they earn thawâbs by doing so. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the seventieth âyat of Sûrat-ul- An’âm and in the fifty-first âyat of Sûrat-ul-A’râf: “O My beloved Prophet! Keep away from those who turn their faith and worships into playing and amusement [by singing and playing music]. They shall go to Hell.”
As is understood from what is said above, he who approves things that are certainly harâm becomes a disbeliever. He is not a Muslim. He has turned into a renegade. [But those who do the harâms with regret and knowing that they are foul though they may taste sweet, do not become disbelievers.] Then, only imagine the case of those who value the harâms and who consider them as acts of worship. May infinite gratitude be to Allâhu ta’âlâ, because our superiors, who educated us, did not smear themselves with this filth. And because we obeyed them, they protected us from doing such disgraceful things. I hear that the worthy sons of my master have been listening to music, making it a habit to assemble together on Friday nights and to recite ilâhîs and qasîdas; and most of our acquaintances being there have been following them, and attending the gatherings. I am surprised, very much surprised to hear this. The disciples of others do as their masters did on the pretext that their masters did so. They hush up the prohibitions of Islam by saying that their masters did so. Wrong as they are, they take shelter behind their masters. But I wonder what idle pretext our friends could put forward to cover their guilt? Not only does Islam prohibit it but also our superiors avoided it. Both Islam and Tasawwuf disapprove this act. Even if Islam did not prohibit it, it would still be very disgraceful to do something which has no place on the path of our superiors. Since Islam also prohibits it, we should think of how grave the disgrace is. I send my salâm to you all.
[In the seventy-second letter of the third volume Hadrat Imam-i Rabbânî says to Khwâja Husâmaddîn Ahmad:
“It is permissible to recite (or read) the Qur’ân al-kerîm, qasîdas, mawlids with a mellifluous voice. What is harâm is to tune up the voice to musical pitches, in which case the letters are changed and the meaning is defiled. It is permissible to read these without tunes but with a beautiful voice, provided that it is done for Allah’s sake. However, since those who do not spare their faith will not observe these conditions, it seems more suitable to this faqîr not to permit this either.” Another condition is that men and women should not be in the same place together.]
 insight, foresight.
 Please see the first five chapters of the sixth fascicle of Endless Bliss.
 Please see the thirty-fifth chapter for ‘shafâ’at’.
 Written by Nasafî Najm-ud-dîn Abû Hafs ’Umar bin Muhammad ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’, (461 [1068 A.D.], Nasaf, Fâris, Iran – 537 , Samarkand.)
 Our Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ ascent to heaven, one year before the Hegira, on the twenty-seventh night (the night between 26th and 27th days) of Rajab. Please see the sixtieth chapter of the third fascicle of Endless Bliss.
 It is written as follows in the thousand and eighty-fifth page of the Turkish book Se’âdet-i-ebediyye: He, (i.e. Hadrat Celâleddîn-i- Rûmî,) did not play musical instruments such as flutes and drums. He did not whirl or dance, either. Hence the concocted term ‘whirling dervishes’.