English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written to Mir Muhammad Numan 'qaddas-Allahu ta'ala sirrah ul-'aziz', informs that the troubles and pains coming from the Beloved are, to the lover, sweeter than His blessings and sweets.
Hamd be to Allahu ta'ala and salam to those people beloved and chosen by Him! My dear sayyid brother! Listen with attention! I have heard that our good-willed brothers have had recourse to all kinds of remedies so that we mightrid ourselves of our grief and that none has availed. The hadith ash-Sharif, "There is khayr, goodness in what Allahu ta'ala creates and sends," is well-known. Being human, for some time we sorrowed over the events that had befallen us; we felt annoyed. But after a few days, with the favor of Allahu ta'ala, the sorrows and grievances disappeared, not a bit of them being left. They left their places to joy and relief; for, those who have been disturbing us have been wishing and doing what Allahu ta'ala wills. Hence, it has been realized that it would be useless to feel sorry or grieved and that a person who claims to love Allahu ta'ala must not feel so. For, the afflictions which the will of the Beloved sends upon the lover must be, like the favors coming from Him, endearing and sweet to the lover. As the Beloved's favors come sweet, so should His hurting. In fact, one must find more pleasure in the bitterness than in the sweetness coming from Him. For, pains and distresses do not please the nafs. The nafs does not like such things. When Allahu ta'ala, who is beautiful in every respect and beautiful from every aspect, wills to hurt this slave of His, His will must, certainly, come sweet to the slave. As a matter of fact, he must take delight in it. Because the wills and wishes of those who have been disturbing us concur with Allahu ta'ala's will, because their will indicates the will of the Beloved, what they will and do also is certainly beautiful and sweet. A person's work indicating the Beloved's work is, like the Beloved's work, endearing and sweet to the lover. Therefore, that person also becomes beloved for the lover. Amazing to say, the greater the pain and torture that person inflicts on the lover, the sweeter they come to the lover. For, the tortures inflicted by him show that the Beloved is like an enemy. The doings of those who have gone out of their minds in this way are beyond the mind's grasp. In summary, to retort upon that person, or to loathe him, is repugnant with loving the Beloved. For, that person is like a mirror reflecting the Beloved's deeds. Those who disturb and hurt us seem more lovable than others. Tell our brothers and friends! They must not be sorry or worried about us. They must not loathe those who hurt us. And they must not hurt them! (On the contrary), it will be quite right if they are happy about what those people have been doing. Yes, we have been commanded to pray. Allahu ta'ala likes those who pray, who hang their heads before Him, who beg and invoke Him. Such behavior pleases Him. Pray for the dispelling of the pestilence and trouble! Beg for forgiveness and good health!
I have said that that person's hurting us presents the Beloved as an enemy. It is the case, because the Beloved's enmity is for enemies; His enmity towards His friends is only in appearance; and this indicates His mercy and pitying. Such outward enmity of His are of so many benefits to the lover that they could not be tallied. Furthermore, His displaying such behavior, which seems like enmity to His friends, destroys those who do not believe these facts and brings ruination to them. Muhyiddin-i Arabi 'qaddas-Allahu ta'ala sirrah ul-'aziz' says, "The Arif does not have an intention or purpose," which means, "A person who knows Allahu ta'ala does not have recourse to anything for getting relief from a nuisance." The meaning of this statement must be learned well. For, he (the Arif) knows that distresses and calamities come from the Beloved, that they are His will. Now, does he want to part with something sent by the Beloved and yearn for its deserting him? Yes, he prays and entreats for it to go away; but this he does to obey the command that he must pray. Actually, he does not wish it to go away at all. Everything coming from Him pleases him and comes sweet to him. May Allahu ta'ala give salvation to the adherents of the right way! Amin.