26 — FIRST VOLUME, 46th LETTER
This letter, written to Naqîb Sayyid Shaikh Ferîd ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’, describes the existence and oneness of Allâhu ta’âlâ, explains that Hadrat Muhammad is His Messenger, and proves that these are such obvious facts that there is no need even to think them over.
May Allâhu ta’âlâ keep you on the way of your honoured ancestors. May our invocations and salâm be on the first of them, who is the highest, and on all of the rest! That Allâhu ta’âlâ exists and is one, that Hadrat Muhammad is His Messenger, and also that all of the commandments and teachings which he brought are true, are facts as clear as the sun. There is no need to think them over or to prove them. The heart’s believing these facts requires its not being out of order and its not having a spiritual illness. When the heart is ill and out of order, the heart’s believing them requires that it should be thought over and studied with mind. Thereby only will the heart attain tasfiya, which means its having gotten over the illness. These facts will be believed willingly if the spiritual curtain before the basîrat, i.e. the heart’s sight, goes up. For instance, a bilious patient does not feel the taste of sugar. It is necessary to tell him, to prove to him that sugar is sweet. But when he gets over the disease, there is no longer any need to verify. The necessity to verify because of an illness does not harm the fact that sugar is sweet. A cross-eyed person sees one man as two and thinks that there are two men before him. The ophthalmic disorder in the squinting person does not change the fact that there is one man before him into there being two. Although he sees two, there is only one man being seen. It is very difficult to prove that there is one. [A person who has the ophthalmic disorder called Doppelsehen is called ahwal.] [The heart’s belief is the only condition to be fulfilled for becoming a Muslim. Every Muslim’s heart, however, acquires illnesses that come to them both from their interior enemy, i.e. the nafs, and from their exterior enemies, i.e. the devils and evil company. The nafs is congenitally inimical towards the Ahkâm-i-islâmiyya. The heart’s being ill means [its following the nafs; in other words, it is its reluctance to obey Islam, which in turn surfaces in its] imperviousness to the commandments of Islam and relishing its prohibitions. That these prohibitions are called dunyâ (world) is written in the hundred and ninety-seventh letter (of the first volume of Maktûbât). Fondness for the world weakens the îmân in the heart. If a person distances himself from the company of insensible people who have been enslaved by their own nafses, and from their oral and written statements, publications and radio and television programs, and thereby helps his nafs to attain tezkiya, which in turn will mean its freedom from the illness of denial, diseases will no longer come to his heart from the interior and exterior enemies. And the present illness being wiped away by his obeying Islam and saying the prayer termed ‘istighfâr’, his heart will attain genuine îmân. The nafs’s tezkiya from its inbred illness and the heart’s tasfiya from the diseases coming from without will fall to a person’s lot if he attends the ‘sohbat’ of a Murshid-ikâmil, or reads his books, and adapts himself to the Ahkâm-iislâmiyya. Please see the thirty-first chapter of the first fascicle of Endless Bliss and also the nineteenth chapter of the current fascicle! ‘Murshid-i-kâmil’ means a Sunnî Islamic scholar who adheres to Islam in whatsoever he says and does. He has to be a profound scholar who know Islam well.]
It is not an easy job to make [the heart] believe the religious teachings by proving them mentally. For obtaining a certain, conscientious îmân, it is necessary to rid the heart of its illness rather than setting out to prove. As a matter of fact, to make the bilious person believe that sugar is sweet, it is necessary to cure him of the disease, rather than attempt to prove it. No matter how well it is proven that sugar is sweet, he cannot form a positive belief. Because he is ill, sugar tastes bitter to his mouth and his conscience deems it bitter.
[Sayyid ’Abdulhakîm Arwâsî ‘quddisa sirruh’ wrote that there are three groups of the forces of mudrika. The first group consists of the forces in the sense organs; examples of them are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting the flavour of food, sensing heat and feeling hardness; these exist in animals as well as in human beings. Were it not for these forces, men would be like wood or stone.
The second group, mental forces, consists of the forces in the invisible five sense organs, which are called hiss-i mushtarak (feelings), hâfiza (memory), wâhima (power of representation), mutasarrifa (will power) and hazânat-ul-hayâl (imagination). These forces exist in the human brain. These forces are proper to man; they do not exist in animals. These forces sense the existence of something by hearing some reliable news or by way of experience or calculation. They distinguish between good and bad. Scientific teachings and calculations are effected by these forces.
The third group consists of the force of the heart, which is peculiar to exalted and distinguished people. This spiritual force of comprehension in the heart is called basîrat. Religious knowledge, which is understood by means of this force cannot be comprehended by the forces of mind and feelings. If you tried for years, you would not be able to explain the things that can be comprehended through the forces of mind to a horse, which is the most developed animal. Likewise, these distingushed people could not explain to other men the knowledge that is understood through forces of the heart, [e.g. religious knowledge or Ma’rifatullah,] even if they tried to explain them for years. Higher than these are the distinguished of the distingushed. Higher than these are the Nabîs and higher than the Nabîs are the Rasûls and above these are the grades of Ulul-’azm. And above these are the grades of Kalîmiyyat, Rûhiyyat, Hillat and, lastly, Mahbûbiyyat, which is the highest and proper to our Master Muhammad Mustafâ ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’.] The force that is called ‘heart’ exists in the piece of flesh which, too, we term ‘heart’. It is like electricity live in a bulb or magnetic property existent in a reel of live wire.
The nafs-i-ammâra which is innate in the human nature denies religious knowledge because its creation and nature is unsuitable for Islam. [Therefore, to obey Islam tastes bitter to the nafs; it does not want to obey Islam. The heart, on the other hand, is pure and safe. However, the nafs’s illness of reluctance to obey Islam affects the heart, too, so that the heart also becomes reluctant to obey. Although it has belief in Islam, it tastes bitter to it to obey Islam.] It will be very difficult to form a positive belief in an ailing heart, no matter how hard you try to prove the correctness of Islam. [There being yaqîn (positive belief; belief as certain as if one saw what one believes) formed in the heart requires illness not coming to it from within or from without and the tasfiya (purging) of any illness that has come into it. And for attaining this state, there is no way other than managing tezkiya of the nafs, i.e. delivering it from denial, its congenital illness, and the heart from the devil and from evil company. Tezkiya of the nafs is managed by way of obeying the Ahkâm-i-islâmiyya and then a very frequent repetition of the expression, “Lâ ilâha il-l-Allah,” which is termed the ‘Kalima-itawhîd’, and then by attending the sohbat of a Walî and then by doing ‘râbita’ to him and then by reading his life story. That the tasfîya of the heart is possible by performing the acts of worship, of which the most important one is to perform the five obligatory (fard) prayers of namâz, and by saying the supplicatory prayer termed ‘istighfâr’, is written towards the end of the first chapter of the third fascicle of Endless Bliss and in the hundred and fiftyeighth page of the eighth edition of the book entitled Documents of the Right Word, (which is available from Hakîkat Kitâbevi in Istanbul.) As is written in the fifty-second and sevent-eighth letters (of the first volume of Maktûbât), whereas the heart will be purified with the methods which we have presently explained, the nafs will be purified by saying the Kalima-i-tawhîd. If classmates, colleagues, teachers, newspapers, television and radio programs have a corruptive influence on one’s morals, they should be considered to be evil company. The heart will attain tasfiya when it is safe against the evils and assaults of these three enemies, [i.e. the nafs, the devil, and evil company.] Love of Allah will spontaneously settle in it. It is like air’s filling a bottle as soon as water is poured out of it. The ninth âyat-i-kerîma of Wa-sh-shemsi Sûra purports: “He who has made tezkiya of his nafs has attained salvation. He who leaves his nafs in sinfulness, ignorance and aberration has lost.”
[It is written in the book of Tafsîr entitled Mawâkib: “When the nafs is purified the heart attains tasfiya. That is, when the nafs is purged from evil desires, the heart ceases from being attached to creatures. Translation of a Persian distich:
Unless the nafs ceases from yearning for the harâms,
The heart will never reflect the divine lights!
The evil and the filth of the nafs are the things which Islam detests and prohibits.” Today some people call some things fashion, modernism and progress, whereas Allâhu ta’âlâ calls them evil and prohibits them. They call the things which Allâhu ta’âlâ likes and commands ‘bigotry and ignorance.’ There are also people who call those who commit sins artists, modern people, and Muslims reactionary, retrogressive and fanatical. We should not believe them. We should learn the religion, Islam, from the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants.]
As is seen, a person who denies this pellucid and brilliant religion, Islam, is ill, like the bilious who cannot feel the taste of sugar. A Persian line in English:
If a person is blind why should we blame the sun?
The purpose of seyr and sulûk [making progress along a path of Tasawwuf] and the tezkiya of the nafs and the tasfiya of the heart is to remove spiritual afflictions and to cure the heart of illnesses. Unless the illness communicated in the tenth âyat of Baqara Sûra, “They have a disease in their hearts,” is cured, real îmân will not be obtained. When such pestilences exist, the îmân which is obtained in this state is only an appearance of îmân, for the nafs desires the opposite of îmân and persists and insists in disbelief. Such îmân is similar to the bilious patient’s believing that sugar is sweet. Although he says that he believes, his conscience deems sugar bitter. When bile becomes normal he will have a real belief in the sweetness of sugar. Likewise, real îmân occurs after the purification and suppression of the nafs. Such îmân will not be lost. The good news: “You should know that there is no fear of torment or worry of not getting the blessings for the Awliyâ of Allâhu ta’âlâ,” in the sixty-second âyat of Yûnus Sûra, is intended for the owners of such îmân. May Allâhu ta’âlâ honour us all with this perfect îmân! Âmîn. [Please re-read the third chapter!]
 Please see the sixtieth chapter of the first fascicle, the twenty-fifth chapter of the fourth fascicle, and the twenty-fifth chapter of the sixth fascicle, of Endless Bliss.
 Turkish version, rendered by Ismâ’îl Ferrûh Qirîmî (d. 1256 hijrî), or the book of Tafsîr entitled Mawâhib-i-’aliyya and written by Huseyn Wâ’idh-i-Kâshifî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ (d. 910 [1505 A.D.], Hirât.