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 "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih', describes the existence and oneness of Allahu ta'ala, explains that Hadrat Muhammad is His Messenger, and proves that these are such obvious facts that there is no need even to think them over.
May Allahu ta'ala keep you on the way of your honored ancestors. May our prayers and salam be on the first of them, who is the highest, and on all of the rest! That Allahu ta'ala exists and is one, that Hadrat Muhammad is His Messenger, and also that all of the commands and information which he brought are true, are facts as conspicuous as the sun. There is no need to think them over or to prove them. But seeing this requires not having a diseased mudrika [comprehension] or any other kind of spiritual illness. When the comprehension is faulty, unhealthy, it is necessary to think, to observe. Yet, if the heart gets rid of its illness and the curtains before the eyes go away, one will see these clearly. For instance, a bilious patient does not feel the taste of sugar. It is necessary to tell him, to prove to him that sugar is sweet. But when he gets rid of the disease, there is no longer any need to verify. The necessity to verify because of an illness does not harm the fact that sugar is sweet. A squint-eyed person sees one man as two and thinks that there are two men before him. The eye illness in the squinting person does not require the one man in front of him to be two. Though he sees two, there is only one man being seen. There is no need to prove that there is one. [A person who has the eye illness called Doppelsehen is called ahwal. Today we mostly use the term "squint-eyed," which is wrong. An ahwal sees one thing as two.]
Not everything can easily be made believable by proving it through the mind. For obtaining a certain, conscientious iman, it is necessary to rid the heart of its illness instead of taking to proving. As a matter of fact, to make the bilious person believe that sugar is sweet, it is necessary to cure him of the disease, rather than attempt to prove it. No matter how well it is proven that sugar is sweet, he cannot form a positive belief. Because he is ill, sugar tastes bitter to his mouth and his conscience deems it bitter.
[Sayyid Abdulhakim Arwasi "quddisa sirruh" wrote that the forces of mudrika are of three groups. The first group consists of the forces in sense organs; these exist in animals as well as in human beings.
The second group, mental forces, consists of the forces in the invisible five sense organs, which are called hiss-i mushtarak (feelings), hafiza (memory), wahima (power of representation), mutasarrifa (will power) and hazanat-ul-hayal (imagination). These forces are proper to man; they do not exist in animals.
The third group consists of the spiritual forces peculiar to exalted and distinguished people. The things that are understood through spiritual forces cannot be comprehended by the forces of the mind and feelings. If you tried for years, you could not explain the things that can be comprehended through the forces of the mind to a horse, which is the most developed animal. Likewise, these distinguished people could not explain to other men the things that are understood through spiritual forces, e.g. knowledge pertaining to Allahu ta'ala, even if they tried to explain them for years. Higher than these are the distinguished of the distinguished. Higher than these are the Nabis and higher than the Nabis are the Rasuls and above these are the grades of Ulul-'azm. And above these are the grades of Kalimiyyat, Ruhiyyat, Hillat and, lastly, Mahbubiyyat, which is the highest and proper to our Master Muhammad Mustafa "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'.]
By the same token, the nafs-i ammara disbelieves the rules of the Shariat because its creation and nature is unsuitable for the Shariat. When a man's nafs and conscience deny the Shariat, it will be very difficult to make him believe positively, no matter how hard you try to prove the correctness of the Shariat. To form a certain belief, there is no other way than to purify the nafs and to rid it of evil, which is called tazkiya. Without tazkiya it is very difficult to obtain a positive belief. It is purported in the nineteenth ayat of Washshamsi Sura: "He who has done tazkiya to his nafs [that is, he who has purified it of evil and filled it with virtues] has been saved. He who has left his nafs in sin, ignorance and aberration has suffered a loss."
[It is written in an explanation of Mawakib: "When the nafs is purified the heart finds tasfiya. That is, when the nafs is purged from evil desires, the heart ceases from being attached to creatures.
Translation of a Persian distich:
Unless the nafs ceases from desiring for the harams,
The heart will never reflect the divine lights!
The evil and filth of the nafs are the things which the Shariat dislikes and prohibits." Today some people call something fashion, modernism and progress, whereas Allahu ta'ala calls them evil and prohibits them. They call the things which Allahu ta'ala likes and commands "bigotry and ignorance.' There are also those who call those who commit sins artists, modern people, and Muslims reactionary, retrogressive and fanatical. We should not believe them. We should learn the din, Islam, from the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants.]
As it is seen, the person who disbelieves this clear and brilliant Shariat is ill, like the bilious who cannot feel the taste of sugar.
A Persian line in English:
If a person is blind why should we blame the sun?
The purpose of sayr and suluk [making progress on the way of tasawwuf] and the tazkiya of the nafs and the tasfiya of the heart is to remove spiritual afflictions and to cure the heart of illnesses. Unless the illness communicated in the ninth ayat of Baqara Sura, "They have a disease in their hearts," is cured, real iman will not be obtained. When such pestilences exist, the iman which is obtained in this state is only the appearance of iman, for the nafs desires the opposite of iman and persists and insists in disbelief. Such iman is similar to the bilious patient's believing that sugar is sweet. Though he says that he believes, his conscience deems sugar bitter. When bile becomes normal he will have a real belief in the sweetness of sugar. Likewise, real iman occurs after the purification and tranquillization of the nafs. Such iman will not be lost. The good news: "Be it known that there is no fear of torment or worry of not getting the blessings for the Awliya of Allahu ta'ala." This, the sixty-second ayat of Yunus Sura, is intended for the owners of such iman. May Allahu ta'ala honor us all with this perfect iman! Amin.