English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, sent to Khwaja Sharafaddin Husain, discusses avoiding the haram and adhering to the Shariat.
O our Allah! Make us know the world as it is and place in our hearts the greatness, the importance of the next world! O my clever son! Do not ever fall for the decoration, the ornaments of the harams; do not get deceived by their transient, exhaustible flavors! Be extra careful so that all your actions, thoughts and behavior are compatible with the Shariat! Try to live under its lights! First of all, it is necessary to learn the belief which the Ahl-i-sunnat savants - may Allahu ta'ala give them many blessings for their ceaseless efforts - communicate and write in books, and to correct the iman in accordance with it. Then we should learn the rules of fiqh (the commands and prohibitions of the Shariat). We should adhere to doing the fard and be careful about the halal (permitted) and haram (forbidden).
Supererogatory worships are worth nothing when compared to the fard. The Muslims of our time abandon the fard and give their utmost to supererogatory worships; they value doing supererogatory worships [e.g. reading mawlid, sitting together with men and women, building mosques, giving alms and doing favors], while they deem it unnecessary and unimportant to do the fard [e.g. performing the five times of namaz each day; fasting in the month of Ramadan; giving zakat; giving 'ushr [A kind of zakat. Ushur is given from the things that grow on a field watered by rains or by streams. It is explained in detail towards the end of the first part.]; paying one's debts, learning what halal and haram is; girls and women covering up their heads, hair, arms, and legs; not listening to the words of those men on the radio or television who are the enemies of our religion and who try to corrupt our beliefs and good morals.]
[Gerard, the major of a town called Charvieu in the providence of Lyon in France, upon seeing that the number of Muslims going to the mosque was increasing every day but that the number of Frenchmen going to church was decreasing became rabid as a dog and had the mosque destroyed with a bulldozer. Newspapers dated 8-18-89 reported this madness, this abomination. Neither books, radios, nor televisions of this type of ignorant, stupid, inferior, dirty disbeliever, who attacks Islam, who is unaware of Islam's brilliant way, and who has never read Islam's books, should be put into our houses, and we must protect our women and innocent children from lies and slander. We should not be deceived by gilded lies which praise freedom of religion, human rights and mutual support!]
Nevertheless, they do not understand that to give one cent of zakat to the proper people (declared in the Qur'an) is more blessed than giving thousands of dollars as alms. To give zakat is to do Allah's command. But alms and favors are mostly intended to earn fame, reverence and the sensual desires of the nafs. When one does the fard, hypocrisy or ostentation do not get mixed with the action. But there is a lot of ostentation in supererogatory worships. It is for this reason that zakat should be given publicly. In this way one will be safe from being slandered. The supererogatory alms should be given secretly, which will increase the probability that it will be accepted [by Allah]. In short, to be safe from the harm of the world, there is no other way than doing the rules of the Shariat. Those who cannot cease from worldly pleasures completely should relinquish them at least supposedly, that is, they should think of themselves as having forsaken the world. And for doing this, one should adapt one's every action and each word to the Shariat.
[Disbelievers and murtads', [These persons who were born as Muslims because their parents were Muslims but who then turned disbelievers.] performing deeds compatible with the Shariat in order to get some of their desires may be useful for them and cause them to live happily in comfort in the world, yet it will not give them any benefit in the Hereafter, for they have not been honored with iman. It is necessary to have iman so that one's worships may be accepted and one may earn rewards for one's good deeds. It is said in Ifsah, "The most valuable of worships are those that are fard-i ayn. After the fard the most valuable ones are the Sunnat salat in the Shafi'i madhhab, jihad in the Hanbali madhhab, learning and teaching knowledge and then jihad in the Hanafi and Maliki madhhabs."]