4 — JUSTICE, WISDOM, ÎMÂN, QADÂ and QADAR
This letter was written by Sayyid ’Abdulhakîm Arwâsî, ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’, who was a treasure of karâmats, virtues, and a paragon by whom to visualize how great the Sahâba and the Islamic scholars must have been. He bewildered specialists of every branch with his profound knowledge, manners, and statements.
Sir! The jewels of knowledge which you placed in your letter have pleased those who have read it, very much. For, it is the most pleasing task and a nutriment for the soul of this faqîr, me, to solve such religious problems and thereby clear away the confusions in the thoughts. Solving your questions and thus illuminating minds is possible by one of the (following) three ways: by knowledge, by dhawq, or by mind.
Answering them with knowledge requires basing them on the science of Îmân, so it is necessary to know the words used in the science of Kalâm with their meanings pertaining to this science. [Many words have different meanings in different branches of knowledge, (for different registers.) For example, the word zâlim (cruel) means disbeliever in the science of Tafsîr. In the science of Fiqh it means a person who trespasses upon others’ property. And in Tasawwuf it has another meaning. Then, reading and understanding a book in a branch of knowledge requires first knowing the words with their meanings peculiar to that branch. Otherwise, the situation will be as exemplified by the incorrect and harmful translations and interpretations done by those who have learned slang Arabic after staying in Egypt or in Baghdad for a few years and by those upstart and sham religious scholars who, taking a pocket dictionary in their hands, attempt to translate the Qur’ân and hadîths in order to earn money. Also, wrong and harmful are the words and writings of those men of tarîqat who teach Mathnawî and attempt to translate books of Tasawwuf without ripening, maturing, taking great pains, and wearing the elbows out for years in the presence of a savant of Tasawwuf.]
What do qadâ, qadar, halâl rizq (permitted food), harâm rizq (forbidden food), and the infinitude of the knowledge of Allâhu ta’âlâ mean? What are halâls, harâms, and the compassion of Allâhu ta’âlâ? What are justice and injustice, the justice of Allâhu ta’âlâ, and wisdom? What are parts of wisdom, ’aql-i selîm, ’aql-i saqîm, and how is Allah? Is anything above Allah necessary? Does Allah have to make things useful and suitable for creatures?
Comprehension of these branches of knowledge through dhawq is not possible by explaining them at great length or by explaining them or writing about them in detail. It is possible by means of a beautiful way that is full of faydh, i.e. by trusting and having a good opinion of someone who can solve the problems and by being together with him for a long time, and the length of that time varies with understanding capacity. This way does not require any proof or document or knowing the meanings of words. One will have a spontaneous knowledge developing within oneself. One will have a certain and conscientious belief. One will not need to prove them through the ’ulûm-i naqliyya, that is, through âyats and hadîths, or through the ’ulûm-i ’aqliyya (scientific knowledge). In fact, one will find the proofs and documents that are adduced as proofs far-fetched and foreign to the purpose. Without these conditions every document, every proof will be insufficient. The doubts, the erroneous thoughts that occur to the minds of the clever cannot be removed. On the contrary, they will escalate, and undermine their îmân. Examples of this are the semi-scientists. Learning experimental knowledge well, that is, the applied sciences, which is the second division of Islamic knowledge, helps and facilitates to understand easily and clearly those branches of religious knowledge that are deep and delicate. As for understanding them with mind; doing this requires first learning the ’ulûm-i ’aqliyya, that is, the knowledge which is based upon mind. What is this knowledge? How many divisions does it have? Which of them are related to matters of belief? Which of them are not connected to or do not depend on them? What are experimental physics, mathematical physics, metaphysics? Learning mathematical physics solidifies religious knowledge. It does not shock or contradict religious knowledge. Astronomy, arithmetic and geometry are sciences that help the religion. Everything in experimental physics, with the exception of a few theories and hypotheses, —which do not conform with the ones that have been experimented and proven— conforms with the religion and consolidates îmân. Of the learnings of metaphysics, the ones that are unsound and corrupt do not conform with the religion. When these sciences are learned, those parts of religious knowledge that conform with mental knowledge and those that cannot be solved through mental knowledge, together with reasons, will come to be known, and it will also be realized that those matters that do not seem to conform with mind and those which mind cannot grasp cannot be denied.
At the end of your valuable letter you say, “Doesn’t it seem to be incompatible with justice?” Sir, justice and its antonym, injustice have two definitions each:
1— Justice means to act within the limits of laws and regulations established by someone predominant or a ruler in order to govern a country. And injustice means to go beyond these laws, these limits, this circle. Allâhu ta’âlâ, our owner who created the universes out of nothing, is the ruler of rulers, the true owner and the only creator of everything. He does not have a commander, a ruler or an owner above Him to compel Him to act within some limits, to remain within a circle of rules, or to hold Him liable to some laws. He does not have a vizier, a counsellor or an assistant to warn Him, to guide Him to distinguish good from bad. For this reason, Allâhu ta’âlâ does not have anything to do with this definition of justice. Let alone the fact that the word injustice could not approach Him, it would not be suitable to say that He is just in the sense of this definition. The statement, “He is just,” would remind us of injustice. Referring to Allâhu ta’âlâ, it is not permissible to remember justice, let alone injustice, in accordance with this definition. A Name of Allâhu ta’âlâ’s is al-’Adl (Just). It is certain that He is just. This Name of His, like His other Names, is interpreted; it is adapted to a suitable meaning. That is, what is meant by justice is the purpose of justice. For example, ar-Rahmân and ar-Rahîm are Names of Allâhu ta’âlâ, too. They mean merciful and compassionate. The heart’s being inclined towards something is called rahm. But Allâhu ta’âlâ does not have a heart to be inclined towards any direction. The heart exists in a creature. Then, rahm means the purpose of rahm, that is, it means to bestow favours. And the purpose, the conclusion of the Name ‘Adl’ means He who does favours, He who gives the things that taste sweet to the nafs.
Allâhu ta’âlâ does not have to render justice. If He had to administer justice He would not be absolute; that is, He would not have a will. He who does not have a will has to act under compulsion. On the basis of this definition one cannot say, “Such and such a thing is not compatible with justice.” Allâhu ta’âlâ cannot be said to be just in this sense, nor does He have to dispense such justice.
2— A higher definition of justice is: “To use what is one’s own property.” And injustice means to trespass on others’ property or possessions. This is the definition of justice in our religion. All classes of beings, low, high, material, symptomatic, anatomical, spiritual, angelic, human beings, genies, animals, plants, lifeless beings, skies, stars, big and small objects, the ’Arsh and the Kursî, elements and minerals, material and immaterial worlds, all and all are the incapable, needy creatures and the property of Allâhu ta’âlâ; He is their one and only Creator, their independent Owner. He is perfect in every case, in every respect. Why should it be necessary to complete Him while He has no imperfection? Everything other than He, is His property and creature. As the possessions, the creatures cannot be partners with the Owner, the Creator in possessing and creating, so they do not own anything. In accordance with both of the definitions, there is nothing “incompatible with justice” concerning the deeds of Allâhu ta’âlâ. To think so would mean to liken the Creator to the things which He has created, in some respects. And this, in its turn, would be the very injustice. The Creator does not resemble His creatures in any respect.
[Question: Muslim children who are born in Muslim countries become Muslims by seeing and learning from their parents, neighbors, teachers. But non-Muslim children, who are in other countries, are brought up as disbelievers, thus being deprived of Islam. If they also were brought up with an Islamic education they would become Muslims and would enter Paradise. Isn’t it injustice to put those who are brought up in such a manner into Hell?
Answer: We should not confuse justice with favour. Allâhu ta’âlâ has done more than due justice to His slaves brought up in every country. That is, He will not put non-Muslim children who died before the age of puberty into Hell. Nor will He torment disbelievers who, though having reached the age of puberty, died without having heard of Hadrat Muhammad’s religion. If they, after hearing of the Islamic religion, of Paradise and Hell, do not want to learn it, or if they are too obstinate to believe it, then they will be tormented. People who have reached puberty will not be influenced by the former effects of their parents and environments. If they would, hundreds of thousands of Muslim children, who had been brought up under an Islamic education in Muslim countries, would not have become irreligious renegades and even enemies of Islam being deceived by the lies and slanders of Islam’s enemies. These people go out of Islam and even become enemies of Islam, and even take the lead in hostility against Islam after reaching the age of puberty, even after forty years of age, and even after having become khodjas or hâfizes. They mock their parents, neighbors and relatives and call them fanatical, retrogressive, reactionary fuddy-duddies, upholders of Religious Law, and extreme rightists. These very dismal examples clearly display the fact that the effects of a family education are not permanent. It is for this reason that today apostating from the religion has become a nuisance, a grievous pandemic prevalent over the entire world. Young or old, there are few people left who have not been seized by this plague. On the other hand, we see many disbelievers, men of knowledge and science being converted to Islam. It is a fact that there are people who have not changed their faith —though they are very few—, which shows that family education may be permanent sometimes. However, a child’s being a Muslim and being brought up with a Muslim education is a favour from Allâhu ta’âlâ, and He does not do this favour to disbelievers’ children. He does not have to do favours to anybody. It is not injustice not to do favours. For example, if we buy a pound of rice at the grocer’s it will be justice for the grocer to weigh it and give us exactly a pound of it. If he gives less, it will be injustice. If he gives a little more, it will be a favour. No one has the right to demand this favour. Likewise, it is a great favour from Allâhu ta’âlâ that He brings (some people) up with an Islamic education. He bestows it upon whomever He likes. It is not injustice for Him not to do this favour to non-Muslim children. If those who have been blessed with this favour become disbelievers, their punishment, torment will be very much greater. Imâm-i Rabbânî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ states as follows in his two hundred and fifty-ninth letter: “According to this faqîr, — Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî means himself— those polytheists who grew up in the mountains and who worship idols because they have not heard of any heavenly religions will not enter Paradise or Hell; after the settling of accounts they will suffer as much torment as they deserve for their wrongdoings, (if any). Then they will be annihilated like animals. The same applies to disbelievers’ small children if they die under the age of discretion and those people who are unaware of Prophets.”]
A DEFINITION of WISDOM
Wisdom (’aql) is a Quwwa-i derrâka, i.e. a comprehensive power. It has been created so as to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, useful from harmful. Therefore, wisdom has been created in human beings, genies and angels, who may mistake right for wrong. There cannot be confusion between right and wrong regarding the Person of Allâhu ta’âlâ or in the knowledge pertaining to Him. Therefore, in that knowledge, wisdom, alone, cannot be a means for documentation by itself. Since it is possible to confuse right and wrong with each other in the knowledge concerning creatures, it is appropriate for wisdom to interfere with the knowledge at that level. Since mistaking right and wrong for each other is out of place in the knowledge pertaining to Allâhu ta’âlâ, wisdom cannot walk on that road of knowledge. Creativeness has to be one in every respect. There cannot be difference there. For this reason, wisdom has no business there.
Wisdom is a gauge. There cannot be a qiyâs [comparison] in the knowledge pertaining to Allâhu ta’âlâ. But there is a comparison in the knowledge about creatures; therefore, a correct comparison will deserve thawâb, while an incorrect comparison will be rewarded with forgiveness. If there were comparison in the knowledge pertaining to Allâhu ta’âlâ, it would be necessary to try to infer what is unknown by comparing it to what is known, which would mean to try to juxtapose what is incomprehensible with that which is known. All wise and learned people say in consensus that it would be an unsound way to try to understand the unknown by comparing it to the known. Only in proving the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ does wisdom have some function. This knowledge is profound and difficult. First, let us see if wisdom is musheqqiq or mutawâtî. What does mutawâtî mean? Mutawâtî means an attribute which exists in equal amounts in all the individuals of the same species, like the attributes of humanity or animality. Humanity is equal in the highest and the lowest of human beings. For example, the humanity of a Prophet is equal to that of a disbeliever. Humanity is not more or greater in a Prophet. There is no difference between the humanity of a Prophet and that of a disbeliever. The humanity of such a great emperor as Jemshîd is the same as the humanity of a village shepherd. That is, the humanity of Jamshid is no more than that of a shepherd. With respect to being human, both are the same.
Musheqqiq is an attribute which does not exist in equal amounts in all the individuals of the same species; like knowledge. Knowledge exists in smaller amounts in some savants than it does in other savants. The knowledge of an Islamic savant who is at the same time a great scientist is certainly more, vaster and brighter than that of a village khodja.
Then, which scholar’s knowledge is more dependable in religious teachings? Certainly more dependable is the knowledge of that scholar who is greater and who has more knowledge and who has studied and done experiments in various branches of science. Any scholar superior to him would certainly be even more reliable.
Is wisdom mutawâtî like humanity, or is it musheqqiq like knowledge? For certain it is musheqqiq. That is, it does not exist equally in the individuals of the same species. Then, there are thousands of grades between the highest wisdom and the lowest wisdom. Then, how can the expression, “The one that wisdom will admit,” be appropriate? And whose wisdom is meant; that of the person who is the wisest, or that of anybody who is said to be wise?
There are two principal kinds of wisdom: ’Aql-i selîm, ’Aql-i saqîm. Both of these are forms of wisdom. The wisdom which is selîm never goes wrong and never errs. It never does anything to entail repentance. It does not make mistakes in the things it considers. It always follows the course of actions that are good and that turn out good. It thinks properly, and finds the right way. Its deeds are always correct. This wisdom existed in Prophets only. They were successful in every activity they had started. They would not do anything that would make them repent or that would harm them. The one which is close to theirs is the wisdom of the Sahâba, of the Tâbi’ûn, of the Taba-i tâbi’ûn, and of the religious imâms. Theirs was a wisdom that was suitable for the rules of Islam. For this reason, Islam spread far and wide in their times; the number of Muslims increased. He who knows history well will see this fact very clearly. The wisdom that is saqîm is quite the opposite. It errs in its acts and thoughts, which always incur sorrow, repentance, harm and trouble.
Between these two kinds of wisdom there are numerous grades. It should not go without saying that as Believers have religious wisdom and worldly wisdom, unbelievers also have religious wisdom and worldly wisdom. As an unbeliever’s worldly wisdom is superior to his religious wisdom, so a Believer’s wisdom to comprehend matters pertaining to the Hereafter is superior to his wisdom to comprehend worldly affairs. But this state is not perpetual. The world is transient. The wisdom which is useful in transient affairs could not be more valuable than the wisdom which is useful in continuous, everlasting matters.
[Wisdom and intelligence should not be mistaken for each other. It is an act of intelligence to understand the relationships, the resemblances and the differences between cause and effect. Claparede, a Swiss, defined intelligence as “Mind’s best ability to adjust itself to new requirements and circumstances.” That is, it is a power that helps us adapt ourselves to our surroundings. Single-celled animals are affected by their surroundings and change their states by adjusting themselves to those effects. In arthropoda, which are more developed, instincts join those effects. In vertebrates, these two forces are joined by habits. And in the most developed animals and human beings a new activity, a new attitude for adjusting themselves to their surroundings appears: this is the intelligence. Bergson says, “Of the early people, and of the people of every century, the stranded ones made tools in order to adjust themselves to nature, to establish communications between themselves and animals. Those tools were made owing to intellect.” As is seen, making tools, making technical progress, is a symptom of intelligence, not of wisdom. William Stern, a German psychologist and pedagogue, says, “Intelligence means to adjust the thoughts to new conditions of life.” That is, it is the power of solving problems, matters. And Terman, an American, says, “Intelligence means to think with concrete thoughts.” All these definitions show that intelligence is a state of mind which is above instincts and below wisdom. The intellect, which is the executant of wisdom, is developed before wisdom. Owners of wisdom put forward theoretical methods and rules. An intelligent person practises, executes them. But if he is not wise enough, he only uses what he has learned from the owners of wisdom, and cannot reach the necessary and universal principles by himself. In other words, his mind does not function well, and he cannot deduce correctly. The intellect is the power of thinking. But wisdom is necessary for the thoughts to be correct.
An intelligent person needs a number of principles for having correct thoughts. It is wisdom that formulates these principles. Then, it would be incorrect to think that every intelligent person is wise too. An intelligent person can become a great commander. By adapting the methods which he has learned from the wise to new situations of war, he can conquer continents. But, if he has little wisdom, one error may turn his accomplishments into disasters. Obvious examples of this are Napoleon’s intellectually brilliant military plans and victories, versus the disasters that were the results of his lack of wisdom. It is written on the pages of history how Napoleon fled from Syria after the defeat he had suffered against Muslim armies in the era of Sultan Selîm Khan III. If the lion’s intellect were as strong as the human intellect it would be ten thousand times as dreadful as it is now. Likewise, the more power and intellect an unwise and irreligious person has the greater will be the danger that he constitutes for society.]
Reading these statements with attention will show clearly that wisdom cannot be relied on in every matter, particularly in religious matters, which cannot be measured with wisdom. Religious matters cannot be built upon wisdom. For, wisdom does not remain in the same state. Every person does not have the same wisdom, and, while a man’s wisdom which is not selîm finds what is right occasionally, it errs more often than not. Let alone religious matters, a person who is said to be the wisest makes many mistakes even in the worldly affairs in which he has an expertise. How can wisdom, which is so prone to err, be relied on? How can wisdom be followed in the matters pertaining to the next world, which are continuous and everlasting?
As men’s figures and habits are different from one another, so are their wisdoms, natures and knowledge. Something that seems suitable to the wisdom of someone may seem not suitable at all to the wisdom of someone else. Something which is compatible with the nature of one person may not be compatible with the nature of another. Therefore, in religious matters, wisdom cannot be a precise scale or a sound judge. Only, wisdom and Islam together can make up a precise and sound scale and witness. For this reason, Islamic savants said: “Do not commit your faith and îmân to the deductions of human thoughts, and do not adapt them to the conclusions reached by reasoning!”
Yes, wisdom is a judge, and shows the right way. But, it is only the wisdom which is selîm, not every wisdom. In conclusion, since the wisdom which is not selîm errs so often, its denying a fact or finding it unsuitable is of no value. The wisdom which is selîm, which is the wisdom of Prophets, sees clearly that all the religious rules are very suitable and correct. Every word of Islam is very obvious and extremely clear to this wisdom. It does not need any documents or proofs, nor even being warned or advised.
HALÂLS AND HARÂMS
Everything is created by Allâhu ta’âlâ. He is the owner of everything. Things which He has permitted us to use are halâl, and things which He has forbidden are harâm. For example, He has made it halâl for a man to marry one of two (or more) sisters. He has made it harâm to marry the second one, too. Harâm means something which Allâhu ta’âlâ, who is the owner, the possessor, has forbidden us to use. And halâl means to untie the knot of prohibition. Something may be halâl for someone and at the same time harâm for someone else.
A person who commits a harâm in the world will be deprived of it in the next world. People who use the things that are halâl here will be blessed with the genuine ones of these things there. For example, if a man wears silk, which is harâm (for men) to wear in this world, he will be deprived of wearing silk in the next world. Silk is an attirement for Paradise. Then, it comes to mean that he cannot enter Paradise unless he is purified of this sin. And a person who does not enter Paradise will enter Hell. For, there is no place besides these two in the next world.
Matters of the next world are not like earthly affairs in any respect. This world was created to be annihilated. And it will be annihilated. The next world was created to remain eternally and in such a manner as to be eternal. There is as much difference between this world and the next with respect to their matters and constitutions as there must be between something that will remain eternally and something else which will be annihilated soon. Only their names and descriptions are similar. For instance, the word Jannat (Paradise) means garden in the world, while in the next world it means the place which is called Jannat and where infinite blessings exist. Jahannam (Hell) means a deep pit of fire here, while there, it is a place which is full of torment.
Sir! At the beginning of your letter you say, “The îmân which is perfect…” When îmân comes into being it is perfect already. For, there cannot be paucity in îmân. Îmân itself cannot be great or small. What is great or small is îmân’s brightness, clearness.
Îmân itself is: Without consulting mind, experience or philosophy, to confirm, to believe the facts which hadrat Muhammad, the master of both worlds, stated as the Prophet. If one confirms them because they are reasonable, one has confirmed mind and the Messenger together, in which case the Prophet has not been trusted completely. When confidence is incomplete, there is not îmân. For îmân cannot be broken. If a mind finds what the Messenger brought as reasonable, it will be understood that this mind is selîm, perfect.
If, concerning a fact which is to be believed, one consults experimental knowledge and believes it when it is suitable with experiments but denies or doubts it when one cannot prove it through experiments, one has believed experiments, not the Messenger. Such îmân, let alone being perfect, is not îmân itself. For îmân cannot be broken. It cannot be great or small. If one attempts to measure religious knowledge with philosophy, one has believed the philosopher, not the Prophet.
[Yes, mind, philosophical and experimental knowledge are of great help in realizing that Allâhu ta’âlâ exists and that Muhammad ‘’alaihissalâm’ is Allah’s Prophet. But, after believing the Prophet with their help, it is not right to consult mind, philosophy, or experimental knowledge about any of the facts stated by him. For, as is shown by some examples appearing in literature, many of the facts acquired through mind, philosophy and experimentation change in the process of time, and when new ones are found old ones are discarded.] Then: Îmân is to trust and believe all the commandments which our master Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’, as the Prophet, brought and conveyed to all people from Allâhu ta’âlâ. It is kufr to deny or doubt any of these commandments and teachings. For, to deny or distrust the Messenger means to say that He is a liar.
Lying is a fault. A faulty person cannot be a Prophet. [Îmân means to believe all the facts that are stated clearly in the Nass, i.e. in the Qur’ân al-kerîm and in the hadîths that are known through ijmâ’ and believed indispensably. Here, Ijma’ means the consensus of the Sahâba. If something has not been stated with consensus by the Sahâba, the consensus of the Tâbi’ûn becomes ijmâ’ for that thing. If it has not been explained unanimously by the Tâbi’ûn, either, the consensus of the Taba-i tâbi’ûn becomes ijmâ’ for it. For, the savants and mujtahids of those three centuries are praised in a hadîth-i sherîf. They are called the Salaf-i sâlihîn. It is written in the chapter dealing with becoming a Qâdî in Ibni ’Âbidîn that the Sahâba and the Tâbi’ûn and the Taba-i tâbi’ûn are called the Salaf-i sâlihîn. It is stated unanimously by the succeeding scholars that hundreds of thousands of hadîths in Bukhârî and Muslîm and in the other four of the six books called the Kutub-i sitta are sahîh. (See Kinds of Hadîth-i sherîfs in the sixth chapter.) To be known commonly means to be widespread information that has been heard by the majority of Muslims in every century. Not knowing it is not excusable.
It is written on the hundred and eleventh page of Hadîqa: “It is not permissible to do ijtihâd in those religious fields that have been stated through ijmâ’ and which are indispensably believed and practised. For, those who deny any of them will become a non-Muslim (kâfir). People who believe them are called Mu’mins or Muslims. They become the Ummat of Muhammad ‘’alaihissalâm’. The Ummat of Muhammad ‘’alaihissalâm’ parted into seventy-three groups. It is permissible to do ijtihâd in those fields that are to be believed and practised and yet which have not been stated clearly in the Qur’ân al-kerîm or in hadîth-i sherîfs, as well as in those clear ones whose meanings have not been understood through ijmâ’ and indispensably. Of them, to do wrong ijtihâd in those matters that are to be believed is a grave sin, though it is not kufr. Seventy-two of the seventy-three groups of Muslims have thus gone wrong, dissented from the right way, and have become holders of bid’at. They will go to Hell as a punishment for their faulty credo. But since they are Muslims, they will not remain in Hell eternally, and will be taken out after some torment. The group with correct îmân who do not do wrong ijtihâd in those tenets of belief that have not been explained overtly (in the Qur’ân al-kerîm or hadîth-i-sherîfs), are called Ahl as-sunnat. It is not sinful to do wrong ijtihâd while finding out whether those acts are halâl or harâm which have not been stated through ijmâ’ or commonly; it yields thawâb. In this way the four right Madhhabs parted from one another with respect to acts; these Madhhabs make up (the group called) the Ahl as-sunnat and hold the same tenets of belief. It is written in the 36th letter of second volume of Maktûbât that it is a must to believe an ijmâ’ which is common in the ijtihâds of the four Madhhabs; and those who deny such an ijmâ’ become kâfirs.
Muslims who are in the way of the Salaf-i sâlihin ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’ are called Ahl as-sunnat. Heretical people, who are not Sunnî, and who reject the learnings that are not clearly stated in the Nass but which contain the rules deduced by the Sunnî savants, and who claim their own understanding, which they obtain by misinterpreting the Nass, to be the way of the Salaf-i sâlihîn, are called Silfiyya or Salafiyya. The bid’at termed Silfiyya was first invented by the notorious heretic named Ibni Taymiyya and advocated by Wahhabis. These people maintain that they are in the way of the Sahâba. Deriving wrong and depraved meanings from the Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîth-i sherîfs, they slander the true Sunnite Muslims. (Please see chap. 36.)
It is declared in a hadîth-i sherîf: “Do not say kâfir about the people of Lâ ilâ-ha il-lal-lah! He who calls them kâfirs becomes a kâfir himself.” This hadîth-i sherîf means that when a person of lâ ilâ-ha il-lal-lah, that is, a person of the qibla, dissents from the right way of Ahl as-sunnat by misinterpreting the unclear Nass in those matters to be believed that have not been communicated through ijmâ’ or commonly, or when he commits another grave sin, he does not become a kâfir. Yet, if a person has dissented from the Ahl as-sunnat and denies one of those religious tenets that are learned commonly through tawâtur (consensus), he is not called a person of Lâ ilâ-ha il-lal-lah. Such a person becomes a kâfir. This fact is written also in the three hundred and seventyseventh page of Ibni ’Âbidîn. It is written at the end of its second part: “He who holds Hadrat ’Alî superior to the other three Khalîfas is called a Shi’î. He who curses the Sahâba is called a Mulhid.” The Shi’î is a person of qibla. But the Râfidî has become a kâfir. Today, Mulhids are also called Kızılbash (in Turkey). Shi’îs call themselves Ja’ferî today. As is seen, a person of Lâ ilâ-ha il-lal-lah or a person of the qibla means a person who believes all religious facts that are known through tawâtur (consensus) and is a person who is a Muslim. Such a person does not become a kâfir because of his aberrant belief.
It is written in the hundred and fifty-fourth page of Hadîqa: “It is not necessary to believe a hadîth-i sherîf communicated by one person, but if its meaning has been communicated through tawâtur (consensus), it is necessary to believe the ijmâ’.” It is written in the sixty-ninth page of the translation of the book Milel-Nihal: “Al-imâm al-a’zam Abû Hanîfa and al-imâmush- Shâfi’î said that a person of the qibla cannot be called a kâfir.
This statement means that the person of qibla does not become a kâfir by committing sins. Savants of the seventy-two groups and their followers are Ahl-ul-qibla. Since they erred in the interpretation of the unclear documents in which ijtihâd is permissible, they cannot be called disbelievers. Yet, because ijtihâd is not permissible in those religious learnings that are indispensable and which have been communicated through tawâtur (consensus), he who disbelieves such learnings becomes a kâfir according to the consensus (of savants). For, he who disbelieves them has disbelieved Rasûlullah. Îmân means to believe those commonly known learnings which Rasûlullah brought from Allâhu ta’âlâ. It is kufr to disbelieve even one of these learnings. Every word, every action signifying disbelief, even if it is done in a jocular manner or unwillingly, is kufr. If it is done under duress or inadvertently, it is not kufr.”
It is written in the preface of the first part of Ibni Âbidîn that philosophy is a Greek word. Formerly its meaning used to be to tell one’s thoughts which one accepts as facts, to make them believable through falsely-adorned and exciting words. They are words which are right outwardly; but most of them are wrong. Personal thoughts that are not based upon experimentation or calculation are called philosophy. An example of them is to say that beings were not created from nothing, or that this is the way it has come and so will it go, or that it is retrogression to believe in things to be believed or in those that are halâl or harâm. It is written in Ihyâ-ul-’ulûm: “Ancient Greek philosophy is not a principal branch of knowledge. There were many mathematicians, —especially those who studied geometry and logic,— biologists and doctors, who had fell into philosophy. They spoke according to their own minds and points of view on theology, that is, on Allâhu ta’âlâ, on His Attributes, on His commandments and prohibitions. However, it is mubâh (permitted) to learn arithmetics, geometry, biology, physics, chemistry and medicine. It is useful to specialize in them. They are necessary for strengthening îmân, for national progress, for ease and comfort, for jihâd, and for spreading Islam. They are all Islamic sciences. But it is philosophy to make these a means for one’s corrupt thoughts and to use them in order to deceive youngsters.” As is seen, it is useful, it is thawâb to learn scientific knowledge for serving humanity. It is philosophy, it is harâm to learn it for disturbing or troubling people, for annihilating human rights, for exploiting people, for spoiling their îmân and morals. In short, it is thawâb to use scientific knowledge for meliorative purposes. It is sinful to use it as a means of subversion. Sciences that are necessary to learn and those that are prohibited are written in detail in al-Hadîqa. It is appended to the Arabic book Khulâsatut- tahqîq fî hukm-it-taqlîd wat-talfîq, which was published in Istanbul.
It is written in the three hundred and seventy-seventh page of the fifth volume of Fatâwâ-i Hindiyya that it is fard for everybody to learn the tenets of belief, the tenets to be practised and those to be avoided, and the knowledge of the profession in which he earns his living. To learn more than this is not fard, yet it is good, it yields thawâb. He will not be sinful if he does not learn more. Also, it is thawâb to learn the branches of knowledge such as astronomy, which are auxiliary to the branches that are fard. It is harâm to learn what is not useful, or to learn for subversive purposes. A person who learns only (the knowledge of) hadîth without learning Fiqh goes bankrupt. It is not permissible to learn the knowledge of Kalâm, that is, the knowledge of îmân, in order to become famous or to obtain a post. It causes the spreading of bid’at and fitna. Sadrul-Islâm Abul-Yusr says: “I have seen some philosophical information in some books of Kalâm and Tawhîd. Such are the books of Ishâq Kindî Baghdâdî and those of Istiqrârî. These people are heretics who have deviated from the true way guided by Islam. It is not permissible to read such heretical books [before learning the teachings of Ahl as-sunnat.]
Also, books written by votaries of the heretical sect of Mu’tazila, such as ’Abd-ul-Jabbâr Râdî, Abû ’Alî Jubbâî, Kâ’bî, Nezzâm Ibrâhîm bin Yesâr Basrî and his disciple ’Amr Jâhiz Mu’tazilî teem with the corrupt thoughts of ancient Greek philosophers. Reading such books will be harmful to young people. So are the books of the votaries of the sect called Mujassima, such as Muhammad bin Hîsûm. They are the worst of the groups of bid’at. Also, formerly Abul-Hasan-i Esh’arî wrote many books to spread the belief of Mu’tazila. After Allâhu ta’âlâ guided him to the right way, he spread his books censuring his former ideas. Reading these books will not be harmful to those who can see his errors. Savants of the Shâfi’î Madhhab derived their knowledge of îmân from the books of Abu’l Hasan-i Esh’arî. Abû Muhammad ’Abdullah bin Sa’îd’s works explaining these books are quite harmless. In short, youngsters should not be allowed to read books written by ancient philosophers. It will be permissible for them to read them after having learned the belief of Ahl assunnat.”
So is the case with the revolutionary writings of Hasan al-Bannâ, an Egyptian lâ-madhhabî, the founder of the group called Ikhwân-ul-muslimîn, who was killed in 1368 [1949 A.D.], the book Fîzilâl-il-Qur’ân, which is a misleading interpretation of the Qur’ân by Sayyid Qutb, and his other works, some books by Muhammad Siddîq Khân, a Wahhâbî in India, and books written by Mawdûdî and Hamîdullah, as well as those by Algerian Ibni Bâdis, who died in 1359 [1940 A.D.]; these books are all in this same corrupt category. Those who want to learn Islam should not read these heretical books.]
A person who feels uncertain about something taught by our religion must say, “I believe whatever Allâhu ta’âlâ and His Prophet mean by this.” He must immediately begin searching for a religious savant to dispel his doubt. He must look for and find an exalted person who is dependable as to his knowledge and has loyalty to his faith, who is intelligent and ’ârif, who avoids the harâms, knows the subtleties in religious teachings, and is able to solve problems. When the answer he gets from him removes his doubt, he must believe in the way shown. It is fard to look for such an exalted person. He should not leave it to chance, but should begin looking for him as soon as possible. If he cannot find him, or if he cannot get rid of his doubt though he finds him, he should say, “I believe as Allâhu ta’âlâ and His Messenger would like me to believe” and should pray, entreat to Allâhu ta’âlâ for the elimination of his doubt. For this reason, it is fard-i kifâya for there to be an exalted person who can solve problems in every city. There has to be a religious savant who can confront philosophers’ misrepresentations on scientific and philosophical grounds, who can tackle the objections raised by sham scientists with scientific methods, who can refute the wrong statements of disbelievers with heavenly books by disproving the unsound parts of their books, who can extinguish the fire of mischief caused by heretical people such as Shiites, Râfidîs, Mu’tazilas and Wahhabis, who has learned world’s history well, who has powerful mathematical knowledge, and who has penetrated the depths of Islamic knowledge. Islamic countries used to educate scholars at that level. If there is not one such religious savant, Islam will become a plaything in the hands of the enemies of religion. They will write religious books as they wish, which in turn will result in a younger generation brought up irreligiously. The establishment of Islam in a country, and the nation’s surviving in the right way, depends first of all upon educating religious savants. If there are no religious savants, enemies of Islam will mask themselves as religious men, publish books and magazines, make orations, speeches, preaches, khutbas and lectures, and thus steal away the faith and îmân of the people. Without anyone getting wise to the atrophy, they will demolish Islam easily and rapidly. “Sheref-ul insân bi-l-’ilm-i wa-l-adab, lâ bi-l-mâl-i wa-l haseb,” which means, “A man’s honour and value is measured against his knowledge and adab; not against his property or fathers and grandfathers.”
It is stated as follows in the chapter captioned ‘Kerâhiyyat’ of the book entitled Bezzâziyya: “If a person who constantly performs his prayers worries that his belief may be undermined and thinks that he has many sins and that his prayers will not rescue him, this comes to mean that he has a firm belief. Anybody who has doubts about the continuation of his belief becomes a kâfir. If he does not want to fall in such doubts, and dislikes it, this means that he is a Believer.” [Ibni ’Âbidîn, in its section captioned ‘Murtadd’, says: “There are five groups of kâfirs:
Dahriyya, Sanawiyya, Felâsifa, Wasaniyya and Ahl-i kitâb (People of the Book). The first four kâfirs are without any heavenly books. That is, they do not have any holy book to follow. Brahmins, who are widespread in India today, and votaries of Buddhism, which was founded by Buddha Gautama (d. 542 B.C.) and was based on a modified Brahminical cult, worship wasanî, that is, idols. In these religions, it has been observed that there is some highly valuable information adopted from the books and statements of some ancient Prophet who had lived there. Brahmanism and Buddhism, like Christianity, are corrupted and changed forms of correct religions taught by ancient Prophets ‘’alaihimussalâm’. Mazhâr-i Jân-i Jânân ‘quddisa sirruh’ states in his fourteenth letter: “Allâhu ta’âlâ, when He created man, sent a book named Bîd and Vidâ to India through an angel named Birmîhâ [or Brahma]. The book consisted of four sections. Scholars of that time derived six Madhhabs out of that book, and divided people into four groups, called Jûqs. They all believed that Allâhu ta’âlâ is one, that He created man, in the Rising Day, in Heaven and Hell and in Tasawwuf. Years later, other Prophets were sent. We do not have information about those Prophets in our books. In process of time, people subverted their religion. In memory of their Prophets, souls of Awliyâ and angels, they made sculptures, icons. To benefit from them, they prostrated themselves (made sajda) before those idols. [Yet they are not polytheists. They are Ahl-i-kitâb, i.e. disbelievers with a heavenly book.] The idolaters in Saudî Arabia [and Christians] are unlike them. They believe in idols as creators. They make sajda before idols and call them their God. [This makes them polytheists.] On the other hand, Brahmins’ doing so is intended to show their respect and gratitude. Thus, corrupt Brahmins who lived before Muhammad ‘’alaihi-s-salâm’ cannot be called kafîrs.
But, today everybody living in any place on earth has to believe in Muhammad ‘’alaihi-s-salâm’ and become a Muslim. Today, anybody who is not a Muslim is called a kâfir.” [Sikhs, in India, are disbelievers adherent to a sect founded by a Hindu named Baba Nanek (d. 400 [A.D. 1539]) by mixing Islam and Brahminism with each other. Sayyid Sherîf-i Jurjânî says in the third chapter of the final part of Sharh-i mawâqif: “A person who denies the fact that Muhammad ‘’alaihissalâm’ is the Prophet of Allah becomes a kâfir (disbeliever). Of such people, Jews, Christians, Brahmins and Buddhists believe in other Prophets ‘salawâtullâhi ta’âlâ wa teslîmâtuhu ’alaihim ajma’în’. They read the heavenly books that were revealed to those Prophets and which were interpolated in process of time. Hence these disbelievers are to be called Ahl-i-kitâb. People who do not believe other Prophets, either, are polytheists, even if they believe the existence of a creator. As for the Dahriyya (materialists); they do not believe in Allâhu ta’âlâ, either. They say that everything comes into existence through natural forces, and that there is no creator, and that things change themselves in process of dahr (time).” Magians are among the Sanawiyya (mentioned above). They believe in two gods, and polytheists and idolaters believe in many gods. All of them are disbelievers without a heavenly book.
For, they do not believe in any of the Prophets, and they do not read any heavenly books. Communists and Masons are irreligious, godless unbelievers and they are grouped with the Dahriyya. Brahmins, Buddhists, Jews and Christians, who are theoretically among the People of the Book (Ahl-i-kitâb), become polytheists (mushriks) with time. Today the earth carries
only one unchanged, true religion: Islam, which was brought by Muhammad ‘’alaihissalâm’. Allâhu ta’âlâ has promised that this religion shall remain pristine and true until the end of the world. Respecting, honouring or cherishing a human picture or statue means putting it at a high place, standing towards it, bowing before it, prostrating oneself before it, lauding it, or supplicating it. And this, in its turn, may be done for two reasons:
1 – You may be respecting a picture because you believe that it belongs to your father or teacher or commander or a Prophet or a Walî or someone who has served your religion or nation. In this case you do not deify the owner of the picture; in other words, you do not believe that he possesses one of the attributes belonging to Allâhu ta’âlâ. You know him as a creature. Imitating others, you respect the picture to show your love for the owner of the picture or to please him. A person who shows this kind of respect does not become a disbeliever. Only, he has committed a harâm. However, he who denies the fact that it is harâm becomes a disbeliever. On the other hand, paying respect to a disbeliever’s picture is kufr (disbelief).
2 – It is kufr to respect an icon or a cross or a star or the sun or a cow by deifying it or the person it represents, that is, believing that it is capable of creating whatever it likes and doing whatever it chooses, and curing, for instance, any kind of disease. It is polytheism, and a person who holds this belief becomes a polytheist. His respecting becomes worshipping. And the picture or the icon or whatsoever he respects becomes a pagan deity. Christians become polytheists because they say that Jesus is the son of God and angels are His daughters and worship icons and statues of boys and girls. Adherents of Barnabas’s sect and Arians, who do not hold this heretical belief, are not polytheists. They are among the Ahl-i-kitâb. However, since they deny Muhammad ‘’alaihis-salâm’ they are disbelievers.]
QADÂ AND QADAR
The fifth of the six fundamentals of îmân is to believe in qadâ and qadar. Qadâ and qadar is the knowledge about which the intelligent are confused the most. These confusions arise from not comprehending qadâ and qadar well. If what qadar means is comprehended well, no intelligent person will doubt it any more, and will have a firm îmân.
The Creator of all classes of beings knows all the things which He has created and will create, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, all from motes to the ’Arsh, material and immaterial ones alike. He knows them altogether and at the same time. He knew all of them before creating them.
Everything has two kinds of existence. One of them is its existence in knowledge; and the other is its material existence in the outside. Al-imâm al-Ghazâlî explains this with the following example: A civil engineer first plans in his mind the shape and all the particulars of the building he is going to construct. Then he draws this plan on paper, and gives the project to the foremen. They construct the building according to the plan. The plan on paper is the building’s existence in knowledge, and has the shape and form as envisaged before. This is called (existence in knowledge, or in mind, or in imagination). And the building which is made of lumber, stones, mortar and bricks is its existence in the outside. The shape which the architect forms in his mind, that is, his knowledge about its shape, is his qadar of the building. Because the knowledge of qadâ and qadar is intricate, reading
about it may evoke some wrong ideas, delusions and fancies. For this reason, our superiors explained qadâ and qadar in several ways. Thus, people who read or listen will utilize one of the definitions according to the course and manner of the words, and will be secure against doubt.
Qadar is Allâhu ta’âlâ’s knowing in the eternal past the things that will be created afterwards. Allâhu ta’âlâ creates everything with His power and knowledge. This knowledge is qadar. Qadar is the relationship between Allâhu ta’âlâ’s Attribute ‘Knowledge’ and creatures before anything was created. The thirteenth letter by Mazhar-i Jân-i Jânân explains the knowledge of qadâ and qadar very well. See the final paragraph of the thirtyfifth (35) chapter in the third fascicle of Endless Bliss!
The Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at believed in qadar, and said that it is a principle of îmân. In other words, they said that he who denies qadar is not a Believer.
Qadar is always from Allâhu ta’âlâ, whether it is good or bad, sweet or dismal. For, qadar means to create what one knows. [The words qadar and qadâ are used interchangeably. Qadâ is used instead of qadar.]
Great savant Al-imâm-ul-Baghawî says: “The knowledge of qadâ and qadar is one of the secrets which Allâhu ta’âlâ has hidden from His slaves. He has not disclosed this knowledge to the closest angels, nor even to Prophets ‘’alaihimussalâm’ who were owners of dispensations! This knowledge is a great ocean. No one is permitted to dive into this ocean, or to talk about qadar. We must know thus far: Allâhu ta’âlâ creates human beings. Some of them are shaqî, and will stay in Hell. Others are sa’îd, and will enter Paradise. When a person asked hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ’anh’ about qadar, he said, “It is a dark way. Do not walk on this way!” When he was asked again, he said, “It is a deep sea.” He was asked again. This time he said: “Qadar is Allâhu ta’âlâ’s secret. He has hidden this knowledge from you.”
Without knowledge, Islam will certainly perish away.
Then, ridding the shame of ignorance is the only way,
Which, sure, should be done, and nation-wide, too.
Will you still not learn from the latest woe?
If you thought over the cost of that catastrophic lesson,
Your brain would melt, and your eyes would shed it in lamentation.
Would that you knew what the recent events meant!
Should people still not learn, they all will repent!
For, a new commotion will be relentless;
For, this time sleep will mean death, you’ll be helpless.
Conducts should be improved, and science studied hard.
Adherence to faith under atomic guard.
Power is a ‘must’, in religious lore and in warfare;
These two, alone, are required for people’s welfare.
 Science dealing with explanation of the Qur’ân al-kerîm.
 Please see the book entitled Why Did They Become Muslims, available from Hakîkat Kitâbevi, Istanbul.
 Fourth King of the Persian Pishdadiyan dynasty, called also Jem. He lived a thousand years eight hundred of which he spent as the King. For five hundred years during his severeignty nobody in Iran became ill, which he exploited by making people worship him. He declared March 21st, the date of his ascencion to the throne, Persian New Year’s Day (Nawrûs), which is still being celebrated in Iran as of today, and also in many another Muslim country, a misdeed boosted by British plotters.
 It goes without saying that this prohibition remains valid as long as the person concerned remains married to one of these girls. Please see the eighth chapter of the fourth fascicle, the twelfth chapter of the fifth fascicle, and the inital nine chapters of the sixth fascicle, of Endless Bliss.
 By indispensable, (darûrî is the word used in the original text), we mean, ‘a tenet of belief or practice which is so widely known that it is believed and practised commonly by Muslims.’