8 — FIRST VOLUME, 76th LETTER
This letter, written to Kilinj Khan, explains that progress is possible only through wara’ and taqwâ. It advises that we cease from more than necessary mubâhs, or at least to refrain from the harâms and to pare down on the mubâhs. It also states that there are two ways of abstaining from the harâms:
May Allâhu ta’âlâ protect you against every kind of sorrow! May He protect you against every defect for the grace of the most superior human being ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’!
Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the seventh âyat of Sûrat-ul-Hashr: “… Take and obey the commands which My Messenger has brought for you! Avoid doing what he has prohibited!” As is seen, two things are necessary for escaping the disasters in the world and the torments of Hell in the next world: hold fast to the commands, and avoid the prohibitions! Of these two, the greater one, the more necessary one is the second one, which is called wara’ and taqwâ. In the presence of Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ they said that a person worshipped, struggled hard. When they said that another person abstained from what is prohibited very much, he stated: “Nothing can be like wara’.” That is, he said that it was more valuable to avoid doing the prohibitions. In a hadîth he stated: “Wara’ is the pillar of religion.” Man’s becoming superior to angels is due to wara’ and their progress, becoming exalted, is, again, owing to wara’. Angels also obey the commands. But angels cannot make progress. Therefore, holding fast to wara’ and having taqwâ is more necessary than anything else. In Islam the most valuable thing is taqwâ. The basis of the religion is taqwâ.
Wara’ and taqwâ means to refrain from the harâms. In order to be able to refrain from the harâms entirely, it is necessary to refrain from the more than necessary mubâhs. We should use the mubâhs as much as necessary. If a person does whatever he likes with the mubâhs, i.e., with the things which Islam has permitted, and if he uses the mubâhs exceedingly, he will begin to do what is doubtful. And the doubtful are close to things that are harâm. Man’s nafs is greedy, like a beast. He who walks around an abyss may fall down into the abyss one day. To be able to have wara’ and taqwâ properly, one should be abstemious in using the mubâhs, and should not exceed the limit of necessity. When using this amount, one should intend to use them in order to do one’s duties as a slave of Allah’s. It is sinful also to use them a little without intending so. It is harmful whether it is little or much. It is next to impossible to always abstain entirely from more than the necessary mubâhs, especially in this time. At least, one must abstain from the harâms and do one’s best to abstain from the more than necessary mubâhs. When the mubâhs are done more than needed, one must repent and make tawba. One should deem these deeds as the beginning of committing harâms. One must trust oneself to Allâhu ta’âlâ and beg Him. This repentance, asking for pardon and begging may stand for abstaining from more than the necessary mubâhs entirely, thus protecting one against the harm and mischief of such deeds. One of our superiors says: “Sinners’ hanging their heads seems better to me than worshippers’ swelling their chests.”
There are two kinds of abstention from the harâms. First, to abstain from those sins which only violate the rights of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Second, to abstain from those sins in which other people’s and creatures’ rights are also involved. The second kind is more important. Allâhu ta’âlâ does not need anything, and He is very merciful. But human beings not only need a lot of things but also are very stingy and mean. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said: “A person who has violated others’ rights or who has encroached on others’ property and chastity should pay the rights back and have himself forgiven before dying! For on that day gold and property will not have any value. On that day, his thawâbs will be taken away until the rights have been paid, or, if he does not have any thawâbs, the wronged person’s sins will be loaded on him.”
[Ibni ’Âbidîn ‘rahmatullâhi ’alaih’, while explaining the book Durr-ul-mukhtâr, says on the two hundred and ninety-fifth page of the chapter dealing with the subject of intending for namâz: “On the Day of Judgment, if the right-owner does not forgive his right, for a right worth one dank, seven hundred prayers of namâz that have been performed in jamâ’at and accepted will be taken away and will be given to the right-owner.” One dank is one-sixth of a dirham, about half a gram, of silver.]
One day, when Rasûlullah asked the Sahâba, “Do you know who is called bankrupt?” they said, “A person without any money or property left.” He stated, “Among my Ummat, a bankrupt is a person whose deed-book contains many thawâbs of namâz, fasting and zakât on the day of last judgment. But he has sworn at a person, slandered him and taken away his property. His thawâbs will be divided and distributed to such right-owners. If his thawâbs are finished before the rights are paid, the sins of the right-owners will be loaded upon him. Then he will be flung down into the fire of Hell.” [As this hadîth points out, he who speaks ill of or swears at any one of the Sahâba ‘ridwânullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’ will certainly be punished in the next world.]
It would still be of little consequence no matter how much we thanked you, no matter how grateful we felt towards you. Owing to your blessed existence, a great majority of the rules of Islam have been appearing and are being carried out in the big city of Lahore in such a time as this. In this city, Islam has been becoming strong and has settled. To this faqîr, Lahore city is like the heart of India. The usefulness and abundance of this city have been spreading all over the other cities of India. Islam’s becoming stronger in this city has been paving the way for its becoming strong in all the other cities. May Allâhu ta’âlâ increase your energy. May He help you in everything you do! Rasûlullah ‘sall- Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ said: “Of my Ummat, those who are in the right way will exist in every age. Those who are against them cannot do them any harm. They will do their tasks until the hour Allâhu ta’âlâ has predestined.” Thinking about your loyalty to my master, an ocean of knowledge, my most beloved one, I wanted to refresh that love through these few lines of mine. I write only this much lest I bother you. May Allâhu ta’âlâ bless your noble person with real fortunes and endless happiness. For the grace of His beloved Prophet ‘’alaihi wa ’alâ âlihissalawât wa-t-teslîmât’, may He accept this invocation of mine! Âmîn.