English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi

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Wara' and taqwa'. A symptom of true worship

This letter, written to Muhammad Murad, gives advice and praises wara' and taqwa.

Hamd be to Allahu ta'ala and salam to the people whom He chooses and loves! I am afraid that my dear friends might have been deceived by the decorated and ornamented sins of the world. I get worried thinking that they might fall for its pretty and sweet appearance, like children. I feel anxious that with the prodding of the accursed devil and the human satans they may cease from what is mubah (permitted) and do what is dubious or dive into the haram, thus falling down to a shameful state in the presence of our Owner. It is necessary to repent and ask for Allah's pardon and entreat Him. Things that are haram or dubious should be known as fatal poisons.

In short, what is there to tell you but,
You are a child, and the way is dreadful.

Being very bounteous, generous and merciful, Allahu ta'ala made many things mubah (permissible) for His born servants; He gave us permission to do many things. So wretched and poor are those who, not being satisfied with the mubah because of their sick souls and corrupt hearts, exceed the borders of Islam and go as far as to do the dubious or haram things, leaving off so many inexhaustible mubah choices. It is necessary to observe the borders of Islam and not to go beyond it. There are many people who perform namaz and who fast customarily and habitually. But those who observe the borders of Islam and who pay attention so as not to fall into the haram and dubious activities are very few. The distinction that differentiates those who worship correctly and sincerely from those who worship habitually and insincerely is observing the commandments of Allahu ta'ala. The sincere namaz and fast are outwardly the same as those that are done insincerely. Our prophet declared: "The basic pillar of our religion is wara." He declared in a hadith: "Nothing can be compared to wara."

[While describing the conditions for being an imam, Ibni Abidin says, "It is called wara' to abstain from the dubious. It is called taqwa to abstain from the haram. It is called zuhd to abstain from the majority of the mubah for fear that they may be dubious."

At the end of the book Hadiqa it says, "In our time having wara' and taqwa is very difficult. At present, those who keep their hearts, tongues and other organs from the harams and those who do not torture humans nor animals and who do not take away others' possessions without paying for them and those who know that everything which belongs to others is their halal property are said to have taqwa. Property is said to be halal, unless it is known for sure that specific goods were usurped, stolen, acquired by way of interest, [gambling, bribery], torture, treachery, or that the items themselves are haram. This is the case even if it is known that a certain person has a history of acquiring property by haram means. If one gives it to another party, accepting it is jaiz, though the property is tainted (mulk-i habis). If the gifted property is known to be haram in any case, it will not be jaiz to accept it. If one mixes all of the haram goods taken from various people with one's own halal property of with the things left in a trust, and if one cannot easily distinguish the haram ones from the others, this mixture becomes one's own property. This mixture is called mulk-i habis. However, if one is able to distinguish the haram goods, one should give them back to their owners or their heirs. But if one is unable to do so, one should reimburse the owner (s). Compensation is possible by giving back its mithl (similar, equal) from one's halal zakat goods. If one does not have the mithl, one should pay the value of the goods at the time when one usurped them. After indemnification, it becomes mubah for one to use. [The zakat of it should be given. But, in case one knows the owner, one cannot use it before reimbursing the owner, or one can give it as alms or as a present. And it is not necessary to add it to the amount for zakat. If one does not know the owner or his heir, it will become wajib to give away all the haram property and the tainted mixture as alms. If the owner happens to come forth later, the owner should be compensated as well.]. It won't be jaiz (permissible) if one knows that the property is haram itself to get it from the owner who gives it away by selling, gifting, renting, loaning, paying debts, or any other way. If a poor person, whom one gave the haram good as alms, gives it back to one as present, one can use it as well. It is not jaiz to acquire any dirty goods when the owner is known, by way of buying or renting, nor is it not jaiz to receive them as alms or as donations. The tainted property won't become halal by these methods. One who has got tainted items, money for example, if the owner is known, one should give it back to him. If the owner is unknown the item should be given to a poor person as alms. It will be a sin to give it to anyone else. Accepting this item is not jaiz for anybody, except the poor. It has been judged that inheritance could be accepted by a heir who knows that it is haram property. Please see the beginning of the seventy-eighth chapter in the Turkish version. For practical purposes in buying and selling, the fatwa was given according to Imam-i Karhi's inference. That is, after an item has been sold, if the seller is paid with haram money, but he did not know the buyer would pay him with haram money, in this case the seller can accept it, and that item will be halal for the buyer to use. If the buyer says before buying something that he will give something haram or entrusted, and the seller promises that he will accept it, in this case the item bought won't be halal for the buyer to use. If the buyer says he will pay for an item with something haram, but he pays with something else, or if the buyer says that he won't pay with something haram, but he actually pays with something haram, in this case, the thing bought won't be haram or tainted." While explaining usurpation, Ibn Abidin (rahmat-Allahu ta'ala 'alaih) says, "Usurpation is to take someone's property by force, or to deny the thing entrusted. Usurpation is a grave sin. If the item changed its form, the owner can ask to be given his property together with the amount of value changed, or to be paid its real value. One should give it back at the place where one usurped it. After compensation, it is jaiz for the usurper to use the item, but the profit which he obtained by selling it won't be halal. The profit should be given as alms. If the goods usurped from various individuals were mixed with each other, or with usurper's own property, and if they cannot be separated, all of them will be the usurper's tainted property. But, it is not halal for him to use them unless he compensates for them. Compensation does not cause that sin to be forgiven." In the commentary of the book Durar, Sharnblali says, "If the cruel man mixes the usurped goods with his own goods, they become his own property. If his own halal property left is to equal the amount of nisab after he has given them for compensation, he should give zakat for all the mixture before the compensation. If the mixture equals the amount of nisab, or his own halal property is not enough to compensate for it, or the amount left after compensation is not equal to the nisab, zakat will not be necessary."]

Though our beloved ones there are interested in sweet meals and smart dresses, real pleasure is in what the people of wara' eat and wear.

He who gave that to rank occupiers
Gives this to the men of wara'.

The difference between 'that' and 'this' is very great. For Allahu ta'ala does not like 'that,' but He likes 'this.' Moreover, on the Day of Resurrection the accounting for 'that' will be difficult, while the accounting for 'this' will be easy. O Allah! Have mercy upon us! Do not allow us to deviate from the right way!