English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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Imam-i Rabbani wrote this letter to his son Hadrat Khwaja Muhammad Said "rahmatullahi 'alaih', who was exalted in religious knowledge as well as in science. It expounds the benefits in the sending of Prophets "alaihimussalawatu wattaslimat", explains that the mind falls short of knowing Allahu ta'ala, communicates how those unbelievers who lived in mountains or during the times of ignorance will be treated, and informs us that to people all over the world, e.g. to ancient Indians, Prophets were sent.
Infinite thanks be to Allahu ta'ala, He gave us the honor of being Muslims. If He had not shown the right way, who on earth could find it? We believe in His Prophets "alaihimussalawatu wassalam". They all told the truth.
Sending Prophets "alaihimussalawatu wassalam" to men is the greatest favor of Allahu ta'ala. What tongue is able to express thanks for this favor? What heart could comprehend the goodness in sending them? What body or limb could do anything that could convey the thanks for these favors? Had it not been for the existence of those great people, who could prove the existence of the Creator to us short-sighted people? Though the ancient Greek philosophers [and the fake scientists who have existed everywhere in every age] were clever and shrewd, they could not realize the existence of the Creator. They said, "This universe has come incidentally, and so will it go on. The living will multiply from one another, and this will go on and so forth." The era of ignorance having ended and the world being illuminated with the nurs of the invitation by new Prophets "alaihimussalawatu wattaslimat" the succeeding Greek philosophers were awakened by the lights of those nurs, and refuted their masters' words. They wrote in their books that there is one Creator, and proved that He is one. Then, unless the human mind is illuminated with the nurs of those great people, it cannot discover this fact. Without Prophets "alaihimussalawatu wattahiyyat', our thoughts cannot approach the right way. I wonder why Abu Mansur Maturidi "rahmatullahi 'alaih' and the great people educated by him said that the mind could discern the existence and the oneness of Allahu ta'ala by itself? They said that those who grew up in mountains or in deserts and who worshipped idols would go to Hell even if they did not know of Prophets. They said that those people should have realized the fact with their minds. We do not understand the matter as such. We say that unless they are informed with the fact, they will not become unbelievers. And the fact, in its turn, is communicated through Prophets. Yes, Allahu ta'ala has created the mind so that it will find the right way, but it cannot find it by itself. Unless the mind is informed of that way, torment is out of the question.
Question: If those who grew up in mountains and worship idols will not remain in Hell eternally, they ought to enter Paradise. Yet this is impossible, for, Paradise is haram, prohibited for polytheists; Hell is their place. As a matter of fact, Allahu ta'ala declares in the seventy-fifth ayat of the Surat-al-Maida that Hadrat Isa "alaihi's-salam" said, "Those who worship beings other than Allahu ta'ala and those who hold others' words above His commandments cannot enter Paradise. Hell is the place where they will end up." The next world does not contain a place other than Paradise and Hell. Those who stay at Araf (limbo) will go to Paradise after a while. The place to remain eternally is either Paradise or Hell! In which one will those people stay?
Answer: It is very difficult to answer this! My dear son! You know, you asked me about this various times. An answer to soothe the heart could not be found. As a solution to this problem, the statement, "Our Prophet "sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' will invite them to Islam on the Day of Resurrection. Those who accept it will be put in Paradise, and those who refuse it will be sent to Hell," by the author of Futuhat-i Makkiyya [Muhyiddin-i 'Arabi], does not sound tenable to this faqir. For, the next world is the place of rewards and accounts. It is not a place of commandments or deeds; why should the Prophet be sent there on a mission, then! After a long time, Allahu ta'ala pitied me, and blessed me with the solution for this matter. I was informed that those unbelievers will not remain either in Paradise or in Hell, but, after being resurrected in the next world, they will be called to account, and will suffer as much torment as their crimes require at the place of Judgement. After everyone is given his rights, they will be annihilated like all animals. They will not remain forever at any place. If this answer of ours were said in the presence of Prophets "alaihimussalawatu wattaslimat", they all would like and approve of it. He (Allahu ta'ala) knows the truth of everything. With the human mind so susceptible to confusion and error even in worldly affairs, it would be very offensive, according to this faqir, to say that our Owner, whose goodness and mercy are boundless, will burn them eternally in the fire without informing them through His Prophets only because they could not find out by using their minds. As it is out of place to say that such unbelievers will remain eternally in Hell, so it is out of place to say that they will suffer eternal torment. As a matter of fact, our second imam in iman, Abul-Hasan Ali Ashari, says that they will not enter Hell, yet this statement of his means that they will remain in Paradise. For, there is no place other than the two. Then, the true answer is the one that has been revealed to us. That is, after their accounts are settled on the Day of Judgement they will be annihilated. According to this faqir, the same will be done to disbelievers' children, for, Paradise is accessible with iman. A person should either have iman or, (if he is a child), should be a Muslim's child or have remained in Dar-ul-Islam when both of his parents became renegades; then he should be considered as having iman. The children of those polytheists living in Dar-ul-Islam and zimmis' children are like children of those disbelievers living in Dar-ul-harb and those children that do not have iman. They cannot enter Paradise. Remaining eternally in Hell is the retribution for disbelieving after the invitation. But the child is not liable. After being resurrected and their accounts being settled, they will be annihilated like animals. Also, those ancient people who did not hear of any Prophet because they lived in a time when a religion had been forgotten after being defiled by the cruel a very long time after a Prophet's death, will be annihilated in a similar procedure in the next world.
O my dear son, meditating on a broad and deep scale, I, the faqir, conclude that the earth has no place left where our Prophet "alaihi wa 'ala alihissalatu wassalam" has not been heard of. It can be seen that the whole world is shining like the sun with the nur of his invitation. It has even reached the Yajuj and Majuj [Gog and Magog], who are behind the wall.
In ancient times as well, there was almost no place on earth where Prophets were not sent. Even in India, which is supposed to be the most deprived in this respect, Prophets were appointed from among Indians, and through them Allah's commands were announced. It is understood that in some parts of India the nurs of Prophets "alaihimussalawatu wattaslimat" shone like stars in the darkness of unbelief. If you want to know I can give you the names of those cities. Some Prophets were not believed in by even one person; no one admitted them. There were also Prophets who were believed by only one person. And some others were believed by a few people. India has not seen a Prophet who was believed by more than three people. In other words, there was no Prophet who had an ummat of four people. The writings about the existence and the attributes of Allahu ta'ala which appear in the books of some people worshipped by Hindus are all reflections of the lights of those Prophets. For, in every century every ummat was sent a Prophet who communicated Allah's existence and attributes. Had it not been for their blessed beings, minds, which had been fouled with the filth of disbelief and sin, could not have attained the fortune of iman. With their invalid minds, idiots misled all people, forced people to worship them, and, [saying, "We saved you. You owe your lives to us."] they supposed that there was no power besides them. As a matter of fact, the Egyptian pharaohs said, "If you worship anybody other than me I shall imprison you." And others, having heard that the universe had a creator, and realizing that they could not have themselves called the creator [the eternal guide], said that one creator existed and that the creator had entered themselves, thus striving to have the people worship them by this fraud.
[It has been observed that in the religions called Brahmanism and Buddhism, which are quite well spread in India today, there is highly valuable knowledge derived from the books and sayings of the Prophets who lived there in ancient times. Buddhism and Brahmanism, like Christianity, are corrupted and revised versions of the correct religions communicated by old prophets "'alaihimu 's-salam". They are all kafirs (disbelievers) since they do not believe in prophethood of Muhammad "'alaihi 's-salam". Sayyid Sharif Jurjani "rahmat-Allah-i 'alaih' states as follows in the third chapter of the final part of his book Sharh-i-mawaqif: "Those who disbelieve the prophethood of Muhammad "alaihi's- salam' become kafirs. Out of them, Jews and Christians do believe in other Prophets. [That is why these two groups are called owners of a Book, that is kafirs with a Holy Book]. Out of those who do not believe in any other prophets, Brahmins believe in Allahu ta'ala. Another group who deny (the existence of) Allahu ta'ala are the Dahriyya; these people assert that everything comes into existence through natural laws; they say that "there is no Creator. As the dahr [time] goes by, everything is transforming.' Magians believe in two Gods, whereas mushriqs and idolaters believe in multi-Gods. Brahmins, Magians and idolaters are kafirs without a Book, because they do not believe in a prophet and they do not read a holy book. Communists are kafirs without a religion and without a God, and thus they are like the Dahriyya. Today, the only correct and preserved religion on earth is the Islamic religion brought by Muhammad "'alaihi 's-salam". Allahu ta'ala promised that until the end of the world (doomsday) this religion will stay correct and intact.]
Question: If Prophets had been sent to India, we would have heard about them. Having been talked about far and wide, the fact would have spread everywhere?
Answer: They were not sent all over India. Some of them were sent to a city, or even to a village. choosing the best member of a nation or city, Allahu ta'ala would honor him with this fortune, (that is, prophethood), and assign him the duty of informing the people about the existence and oneness of Allahu ta'ala, His commandments, and the fact that nobody other than He can create anything. Yet the people belied, denied him. Saying that he was ignorant, false, crazy, they mocked him. As a result of increasing their outrage and torment on him, Allahu ta'ala destroyed them. Years later He sent another Prophet in the same way, and the same thing happened again. In India many ruined cities can be seen that were thus destroyed. The true story of a Prophet having been sent and cities having been destroyed on account of his disignored invitation would be told about among the local people, lasting as the topic of public talk for a long time. Had many people believed those Prophets and had the believers remained dominant, we would know about them. But if one person advised people for a few days and then went away without being believed by anybody, and if another one is believed by only one or two people, how could this news reach us? For, the disbelievers, resenting the suggested religion because it did not conform with their fathers' way, would strive to extinguish the religion. Who could communicate it, and who could he tell about it? Furthermore, the words Rasul, Nabi and Peygamber are Persian and Arabic. The Indian language did not have these words; how could those Prophets have been given these names, then? Finally, what remains for us to say is that, supposing India also had places where no Prophets came and the right way was not shown, the people who were in those places, like those disbelievers who grew up in mountains or deserts, will not enter Hell to be tormented eternally, even if they persisted and had others to worship them. Such people entering Hell would conflict with accurate thinking, nor would unerring kashfs accept the idea. But we see that of such people a group who persisted went to Hell. Only Allahu ta'ala knows the truth of everything.