English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written to Naqib Sayyid Shaikh Farid, informs us that 'ulama-i din should be respected:
May Allahu ta'ala, for the sake of the most exalted of Prophets "alaihi wa alihissalawat wattaslimat wattahiyyat', help you in your struggle against the enemies of din! We have been honored with reading your blessed letter, which pleases the faqirs and which you wrote out of mercy. You write that you have sent some money to be spent for youngsters who learn knowledge and who strive on the path of tasawwuf. We are glad to see that you give precedence to the students who study Islam over those who endeavor in tasawwuf in your writing. They said that the outward is an indicator of the inward. Inshallah, in your blessed heart also these students will take precedence.
Translation of an Arabic couplet:
Every container will leak out what is inside it!
Putting the students of knowledge in the front causes the Shariat to make progress. These are the guards of the Shariat. These will protect Hadrat Muhammad's din against the ignoble. On the Day of Judgement everybody will be questioned about the Shariat, not about tasawwuf. Entering Paradise, being rescued from Hell will be possible only by having followed the Shariat. Prophets "salawatullahi ta'ala wa taslimatuhu 'alaihim' who were the best, distinguished human beings, invited everybody to the Shariat. The way of salvation is the Shariat. Those great people were sent in order to teach the Shariat. Then, the most valuable worship, the greatest favor to be done to humanity is to strive so that the Shariat is learned and practiced and to recover one command of the Shariat. Causing one of the commands of Allahu ta'ala to be practiced brings more thawab than giving thousands, millions of dollars as alms, especially in a time when the enemies of Islam assault the religion furiously. [They try to change the namaz, the fast, the hajj, the zakat and other worships, say harams about the things that are halal, and beautiful, modern about the harams, call Islam bigotry, and disbelief and irreligiousness improvement and modernness, make fun of those who perform namaz and those who fast by calling them fanatics and idiots.] For, this small effort means to follow Prophets "alaihimussalawatu wattaslimat" and become their partners in their tasks. And these people, in their turn, are given the most valuable share from worships and their thawab. Giving millions as alms, doing many favors may fall to anybody's lot. Striving to uncover the Shariat is something which the nafs loathes. He who strives to do this will have performed jihad against his nafs. Yet doing favors may be liked by the nafs. But, no doubt, it is very valuable to spend money for the learning and practicing of the Shariat. Giving little with this intention is no less than giving millions without this intention.
Question: How can a student of knowledge who follows his nafs be superior to a sufi who struggles against his nafs?
Answer: Though the person who learns knowledge harms himself by following his nafs, everybody benefits from his knowledge. Though he burns himself, he causes others to be saved. For, the honor of learning the rules of the Shariat has fallen to his lot. But the sufi strives to save himself. He is not useful for others. Islam holds those who strive for the happiness of others superior to those who strive to save themselves.
Yes, if a devotee who makes progress on the path of tasawwuf reaches the stations of Fana and Baqa, is sent back to this world, and is honored with inviting people, he will have a share from the rank of prophethood. He will become one of those who teach the Shariat and who enable others to attain to happiness. He will be exalted and valuable like the savants of the Shariat. This is such a blessing of Allah's that He bestows it upon whomever He likes of the distinguished. His blessings are so great.