English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written in response to a letter from Shaikh Hasan-i Barki, encourages to recover the forgotten sunnats and to abstain from bidats.
I begin to write this letter with the Basmala. May hamd (grateful praise) be to Allahu ta'ala. I send my salams to and prayers for the good people chosen by Allahu ta'ala. I was very much pleased to read the letter from my brother Shaikh Hasan. Valuable pieces of knowledge and marifats were written in it. When I understood them, I became quite pleased. Thanks be to Allahu ta'ala, all the knowledge and kashfs which you wrote are correct. They are all agreeable with the Qur'an and hadiths. So are the right beliefs of the savants of Ahl as-sunnat. May Allahu ta'ala keep you on the right way. May He bless you with attaining high grades! You write that you have been striving to do away with the bidats that are so widespread. At such a time as this, when the darknesses of bidats are so prevalent, it is a very great blessing to bring about the annihilation of one bidat and to recover one of the forgotten sunnats. Our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' states in a sahih hadith: "He who recovers one of my forgotten sunnats will receive as many thawabs as a hundred martyrs will receive!" The greatness of this deed must be inferred from this hadith. But, when doing this, there is an important subtlety to be observed. That is, while trying to recover one sunnat, we should not cause any fitna; one goodness should not give birth to a variety of problems or evils, for we are in the latest time. We are in a century when Muslims are weak and forlorn.
[It is written in Hadiqa, in its chapter about fitna, "Fitna means to cause faction among Muslims, to cause them to fall into trouble, harms and sins, to instigate the people to revolt against the State. It is wajib to obey the government even if it is a cruel one. [In Bariqa, on page ninety-one, it is stated: "It is wajib to obey the orders of the ruler in charge, if they are in conformity to the rules of Shariat, even if he is as low and as despicable and common as an Abyssinian slave. If his orders are not agreeable with the rules of the Shariat, it is still better to obey him, not to cause fitna and fasad."] Also, it will cause fitna for men of din to give people fatwas that they will not be able to carry out. So is the case with telling a villager or an old person that he cannot perform namaz without tajwid. For, such people can no longer learn it and may cease from namaz altogether. In fact, there are those (savants) who give the fatwa that namaz can be performed without tajwid. This fatwa is weak, yet it is better than not performing namaz at all. Considering that it is permissible to follow another Madhhab when there is kharaj, we should not produce hardships for the ignorant or the incapable. The book Sharh-ul-ma'fuwat explains this fact. We should not prevent them from visiting graves and tombs or from votive offerings for the Awliya or from asking for blessings by going to tombs. We should not deny the fact that the Awliya have karamat also after their death, for there are fatwas that say that it is permissible. [In Bariqa, on page 270, it states: "It is permissible to make means of prophets or pious people while praying to Allahu ta'ala, or ask them to be a means, because a mujiza or miracle does not cease with death. Ramli also explained that a miracle will not become void by death. Ajhuri informed us that the power of Awliya will increase after their death, and when alive, they are like swords in their sheath, whereas the sword is drawn when they die."] We should not give advice that will cause fitna. If he who has power and authority does not advise, it will be Mudahana, haram. If he does not advise lest he will cause fitna though he has enough power it will be Mudara, permissible. In fact, it will be mustahab (an action which is liked by Allahu ta'ala). To use power is the duty of state authorities. Those who ridicule and harm Islam should not be advised. Advice should not be thrown to the face of a person, but it should be given generally, indirectly. We should not quarrel with anybody. A person came to Rasulullah. Upon seeing him from the distance, he (Rasulullah) said, "He is the worst of his tribe." When he entered the room, he met him with a smile, praised him. When he had gone, Hadrat Aisha asked Rasulullah why. He said, "The worst of people is the person who is not approached in order to be safe from his harm." He was a munafiq presiding over some Muslims. In order to protect Muslims against his harm, Rasulullah implemented mudara. Hence it is understood that it is not ghiybat (backbiting) to tell others about a person whose sins, indecencies and cruelty are public, that is, well known among people, and that mudara is permissible in order to be safe from his harm. It is declared in a hadith in Kunuz, by 'Abd-ur-Ra'uf-i Munawi: "I was sent in order to apply mudara for people." It is called Mudara to give what is worldly in order to protect the din and the world. It is called Mudahana to give the din in order to obtain what is worldly. To please someone's heart through soft words, favors and even lies is to give what is worldly. When seeing Muslims' grave sins, [which they have committed secretly], it is necessary to conceal them. It is qazf to tell them to others. It is a greater sin to reveal them to other people out of supposition or slander."]
Do your best to educate and to bring up so as to be well-mannered and well-learned the late Mawlana Ahmad's "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' children. Teach them spiritual and bodily adabs! Be an example for everybody you know and meet and even all your brothers- in-Islam there by obeying the Shariat and holding fast to the sunnat! Tell everybody about the harms of committing bidat, of disbelief! May Allahu ta'ala bless you with the lot of doing good deeds! May He give success to those who strive for the spreading of the Islamic din and for teaching it to the youngsters! May He protect us and our children against going astray by being deceived by the enemies of the din and virtue, by those who strive to demolish the Islamic din and steal the iman and morals of the pure youth, and by those who try to deceive the youngsters through lies and slanders! Amin.
Imam-i Rabbani "rahmatullahi 'alaih', in his 68th letter in the second volume of Maktubat, says that in a hadith it was declared: "Until the earth is covered by kufr, and kufr and disbelief is prevalent everywhere, Hadrat-i Mahdi will not come." From this, it is understood that before Hadrat-i Mahdi, kufr and disbelief will cover the whole earth and Muslims and the Islamic religion will be gharib. Our Prophet "sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' informed us that towards the end of the world Muslims will become gharib, and he said "Harj, worship done during the time of fitna will be similar to an immigration [from Mecca to Madina] to me." During fitna and fasad times, everybody knows how valuable a small manoeuvre made by the police and soldiers is when compared to big and organized manoeuvres made during times of peace. Their heroism when there is no fitna will have almost no value at all. Thus, the most precious of all prayers are those performed during times of fitna. If you want to be among those saved on the Day of Resurrection and be valuable at such a time, do the things which Allahu ta'ala has approved of and the things He likes! Grasp the sunnat-i saniyya, that is, the path of Muhammad "sallallahu alaihi wa sallam'. Do nothing incompatible with this way. Ashab-i Kahf "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain', by immigrating when fitna became widespread, attained a high rank. You are the Ummat (followers) of Muhammad "alaihissalam", the best Ummat of all. Do not waste your time in lahv and la'b, that is, in games and fun. Like children, do not spend your time kicking a ball!
My son! When fitna is widespread and fasads are abundant, it is time to repent and make istighfar. You must keep aloof and not participate in fitna. Fitna is growing and spreading each day. Our beloved Prophet "sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' said: "As the Doomsday approaches, fitna will increase. It will resemble the increase in darkness as night begins. Many who leave their homes in the morning as Muslim, will return home as kafirs in the evening. While they are Muslim in the evening, they will lose their belief during the night at places of amusement. During such times, to stay at home is better than being involved in fitna. Those who stay aloof are better than those who attack and lead in front. On that day, break your arrows! Leave your weapons and swords! Address everybody with a smiling face and sweet words! Do not leave your house!" This is the end of the translations from Maktubat. Muslims should follow this advice. They should not be deceived by the books and fake interpretations that are harmful and encourage fitna and rebellion and which are written by ignorant heretics and La-Madhhabis, such as Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb. Jihad means the war conducted by the state with armed forces against enemies, against kafirs and those who are corrupt. Whether it is an Islamic state or a non-Muslim state, whether it is just or cruel, it is not possible to call a rebellion against the state and the killing of citizens as jihad. It could only be called fitna, and fasad. Our Prophet "sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam' said: "May Allahu ta'ala damn those who cause fitna." Muslims do not rebel against the state. They do not take part in fitna and rebellions. They do not disobey the laws. [Ahl as- sunnat savants were never involved in politics, never accepted governmental duties, and they always advised state staff with their writings and words and in this way showed them the correct and just ways of ruling. Some ignorant religious people joined in state affairs by deviating from the way of the Ahl as-sunnat savants; they abandoned the job of learning and teaching, which were their main duties; and thus they brought no advantages for themselves or for Muslims. Mustafa Sabri Effendi, one of the latest Ottoman Shaikh-ul- Islams, worked for a political party named I'tilaf Firkasi. Husamaddin Pachali, who was a shaikh of a dargah, asserted in his interpretation that the members of the political party named Ittihad and Tarakki were praised in the Qur'an, especially in the 111th chapter (Sura Lahab). Musa Kazim, Shaikh-ul-Islam, and Mustafa Hayri Effendi, from the town of Urgub, were members of the political party Ittihad and Tarakki, and were also freemasons. Semseddin Gunaltay, from the city of Erzincan, was a professor of the history of religions, yet after becoming a member of the Ittihad an Tarakki party, first he became a member of parliment and then the Prime Minister of Turkey. Yahya Galib was a shaikh of the dargah, namely Ummi Sinan Tekkesi in Ayyub Sultan in Istanbul, but he went into politics, and then became the deputy of the city of Kirsehir. Mustafa Fevzi, from the town of Akhisar, was a minister of religious affairs, but he entered a political party named Halk Firkasi, and became a member of parliment and also the head of a committee of judges. Fahmi Effendi, the son of Ziyauddin Effendi, from the city of Gumushane and a man of sufism, was the Mufti of Istanbul, but he joined the Halk Firkasi, a political party of that time. Sayyid Abd- ul-qadir Effendi, who was a member of ayan [the Senate] during the time of Sultan AbdulHamid Khan, and Mustafa Sabri Effendi, the last Ottoman Shaikh-ul-Islam, were Sunni scholars. They struggled against those venal statesmen who had sold themselves to the British and those men of the Din who strove to demolish Islam from within.]