10 — FIRST VOLUME, 53rd LETTER
This letter, written to Sayyid Shaikh Ferîd again, states that lack of unison among savants will cause confusion.
May Allâhu ta’âlâ not separate you from the way of your blessed ancestor! We have heard that, having a pure heart suitable for Islam, you have selected four savants who love their faith and invited them to the palace to teach the commandments of Islam, so that nothing should be done in contradiction with Islam. May gratitude be to Allah for this news. What good news could be greater than this for Muslims? What news could be sweeter than this for those with afflicted hearts? This faqîr [Imâm-i Rabbânî ‘quddissa sirruh’ means himself] wanted to visit you in order that this useful deed could be done, and I wrote to you several times that I would come over. I therefore cannot help writing a few things now. Please forgive me! As the saying goes, “A person with determination is like a lunatic.” The most important thing that I would like to write to you about is that among today’s men of religion there is next to no one who does not desire rank and money and who strives only for the spreading of Islam and for the strengthening of Islam. When the desire of obtaining a post or seizing a chair is mixed with the matter, each man of religion will take a different way and try to show his own superiority. They will contradict one another and (exploit this situation to) ingratiate themselves with you. Sad to say, religious matters have become of secondary importance. In the time of the previous government, every catastrophe that befell the Muslims were caused by these so-called men of religion. [In order to curry favour, they wrote fabled translations of the Qur’ân, wrong fatwâs, and books which disagreed with the statements of Ahl as-sunnat savants. And the enemies of religion masked themselves as men of religion and wrote as they liked, misrepresenting Islam as if it were incompatible with mind, science and improvement.] We, Muslims, fear such a disaster now, too. We are afraid that Islam, let alone being improved, may be demolished again. May Allâhu ta’âlâ protect Muslims against the evils of these false men of religion! It will be difficult enough for you to find or choose a savant who loves his faith, which is a great blessing. For, the words and writings of the savant who thinks of the next world will bring everyone with wisdom and conscience round to the right course. They will affect the hearts. Where on earth is such a savant now? If you cannot find him, try to find the least harmful one from among others. There is a famous saying: “If something cannot be obtained altogether, it should not be given up altogether.” I am at a loss as to what to write. As the happiness of people is in the hands of savants, conversely, enemies of religion disguised as religious men will lead people towards perdition, towards Hell. A good man of religion is the best of people. And a man of religion who makes the religion a means for his worldly desires and who ruins others’ îmân is the worst in the world. Men’s happiness and destruction, their coming round to the right way and their leaving the right way are in the hands of men of religion. One of our superiors saw the devil sitting idly and asked him why. The devil said: “The religious men of today do our job. They do not leave us any work to misguide people.” Translation of a Persian couplet:
The person disguised as a religious man who hoards worldlies
Has lost his own way; how can he ever guide others?
For this reason, be very careful with your behavior. Once the chance has been missed it will not come back again. I should have felt ashamed to advise you. But I wrote this letter of mine deeming it a document for my salvation in the Hereafter. Wassalâm.