English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written to Sayyid Shaikh Farid "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih', who was Naqib, i.e. Chief of Religious Affairs, complains about the excessiveness of the disbelievers of the past years, and states that it is necessary to invoke blessings on the Ruler who grants religious freedom:
May Allahu ta'ala keep you on the way of your ancestors, who are the best of the good, and make our prayers and salams reach first the highest of them [Hadrat Muhammad "alaihissalatu wassalam"] and then all the others!
An Islamic savant, when compared with the people, is like the heart in a body. When the heart is pure, good, the body does good deeds. When the heart is ill all the limbs always do evil deeds. Likewise, if the Islamic savant is good, the people will be good, too. They will improve. If he is corrupt, the people will be corrupt, too. They will head towards disasters. In the time of Akbar Shah's government many troubles and disasters came upon the people. We all know of them. As thousand years ago, when Muslims were very few and weak, the greatest discomfort they suffered was that Muslims would be in their own din and disbelievers would keep to their own ways. As a matter of fact, Kafirun sura reveals this fact. But a few years before now, the enemies of din did their irreligiousness openly in front of Muslims, and in this blessed Muslim country, that is, India, Muslims could not practice the rules of the Shariat. What a dismal and terrible villainy it was to persecute those who believed and followed the lightsome way of Hadrat Muhammad "alaihissalam", who is the Beloved of Allahu ta'ala, the owner of the earth and heavens, and every kind of energy, and to esteem and sympathize with those who disbelieved him, those who were his enemies. With injured hearts, Muslims endured them patiently. Mocking, assailing furiously, ferociously, [with written and oral invectives, state power, law oppression and every kind of means], the enemies of Islam put salt on the wounds. Hidayat, the sun of happiness, was covered with the clouds of heresy and apostasy, and the lights of right and virtue were pushed behind the curtains of injustice and immorality.
When the Muslims heard about the deaths of Islam's enemies and their successors' goodwill to recognize Muslims' rights and freedom, they took it on themselves as a debt to offer the newcomers all sorts of help and service. Taking advantage of the newly gained freedom, they deemed it the most sacred duty to struggle for this worthy, noble-blooded nation's holding fast to the Shariat and for the strengthening of the din. It is wajib for all Muslims to help this new president through words, writings, hands and work. The most valuable and the most important of these is to revivify the belief of Ahl as-sunnat and the rules of the Shariat, [write answers to the books, newspapers and magazines issued in order to defile the belief of Ahl as-sunnat wal jamaat], and extinguish the fire of corruption and fitna [incited by communists, masons, and those without a madhhab, and thereby prevent the thieves of faith, Jews, Christians and renegades from deceiving Muslim children.] Those who will assist Islam, the government and the people, are only those savants who walk on the right way. Such savants do not deal with politics. They do not make the din a means for gaining property, rank or fame. Lovers of property and post who name themselves religious men and write translations of the Qur'an and other Islamic books are not savants of the next world, but they are hoarders of worldlies. Their books, magazines and words are poisonous. They derange the faith and iman, and instigate corruption and faction among the people.
Translation of a Persian couplet:
The person who in the guise of a religious man worships the world
Have lost his own way, how can he guide others to the next world?
All the catastrophes that befell Muslims in the time of Akbar Shah were incurred by such irreligious people disguised as religious men. It was always their books and newspapers that provoked the people. And it was always these wicked men of religion who misguided others under the name of Muslims. If a person who is not known as a religious savant deviates from the right way, this deviation will not spread among others, or it may spread to a very small extent. Also, today's men of tariqat mislead Muslims off the right way. Like the writings of false men of din [in books, magazines and newspapers], these people undermine the faith and belief of younger generations. So, if each Muslim does not do his best today and if Islam falls under oppression and into disesteem again, everyone who withholds his help while he could help will be responsible in the next world. For this reason, this faqir [Imam-i Rabbani "rahmatullahi 'alaih' means himself] desires to run to help, though I do not have enough power. I seek a way to overcome the difficulties and to do some service to Islam, small as it may be. "He who wants good people to increase in number will be counted as one of them," is a saying. I have the expectation that this poor person will be touched by the drops of the great thawabs which will fall to the lot of the just state authorities who give Muslims freedom and who protect their rights. I liken myself to the old woman who went out to the market place in order to buy Hadrat Yusuf (Prophet Joseph) with a few pieces of thread.
Nowadays I have been hoping to be honored with your presence. Allahu ta'ala has bestowed upon you the opportunity to talk to the Sultan frequently. We earnestly request that whenever you meet with him you encourage him to allow the Muslims to learn their din easily and comfortably and do their worships [and to prevent the renegades from attacking Muslims.] I pray to Allahu ta'ala for your attaining transient fortunes as well as eternal ones.
[Islam consists of the commandments of Allahu ta'ala. The Ruler is Allahu ta'ala. And His command is the Qur'an. The Shariat has left the earth. It can no longer be found anywhere in the world. Allahu ta'ala sent down the Qur'an not only so that it would be read, but also so that it would be practiced, so that we would do what the religious savants inferred from it and wrote in books of fiqh. It is the true religious scholars who will do these practices and make others do as they do. They are called Ahl as-sunnat scholars. People in Egypt, Syria and Iraq began to imitate a European way of life a long time ago. French and English intruders, who occupied these lands after the First World War, brought hostility against Islam, immorality and cruelty. In the name of freedom of ideas and opinions, they formed various groups and political parties inimical towards one another. They disintegrated their national unity. As they left these countries after the Second World War, they handed the job of keeping Muslims under their sway over to cruel and religiously ignorant people. So these irreligious governments destroyed true religious scholars in dungeons or on gibbets. In the meantime, reformists, people without a certain Madhhab, and bogus men of religion such as Muhammad Abduh, Rashid Rida and Sayyid Qutb annihilated true Islamic knowledge and the Sunnite teachings with their books, magazines and newspapers. As Islam is based on knowledge, when knowledge and scholars were gone, Islam lost cohesion. Expecting rain from a cloudless sky is like awaiting a miracle. Allahu ta'ala has the power to do it. Yet it is not His divine habit to do so. Education of an Islamic scholar requires first of all rediscovery and publication of Islamic teachings a hundred years in advance.
A Muslim does not revolt against the government of the country where he lives. Nor does he engage in subversion. He keeps away from incendiary, anarchical people. He tries to correct his own belief, worships, habits and behaviors. He does not read books or magazines belonging to la-madhhabis and munafiqs. He tries to learn and teach the knowledge of Ahl as-sunnat. He does not bear malice towards anybody. He does not transgress against anyone's life, property, rights, chastity or honor. He leads a life in conformity with the Shariat and laws. All the above-said facts exist in true religious books written by scholars of Ahl as-sunnat.]