English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written to Mirza Fathullah Hakim, informs us that of the seventy-three groups declared in the hadith, the one group that will be saved is the Ahl as-sunnat group.
May Allahu ta'ala bless you with the fortune of walking along the street of Shariat-i Mustafawiyya "ala sahibissalatu wassalam"!
Persian line in English:
This matters, nothing else!
A hadith declares that Muslims will break up into seventy-three groups. Each of these seventy-three groups claims to obey the Shariat. Each group says that it is the one that will be saved from Hell. It is declared in the fifty-fourth ayat of Muminun Sura and in the thirty- second ayat of Rum Sura: "Each group is happy thinking that it is in the right way." However, among these various groups, the sign, the symptom of the one that will be saved is given by our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' as follows: "Those who are in this group are those who follow the way which I and my Sahaba follow." After mentioning himself, the owner of the Shariat did not need to mention the Sahaba "ridwanullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain; yet his mentioning them may come to mean: "My way is the way which my Sahaba follow. The way to salvation is only the way which my Sahaba follow." As a matter of fact, it is declared in the seventy-ninth ayat of Nisa Sura: "He who obeys my Messenger has certainly obeyed Allahu ta'ala." Obeying the Messenger is obeying Allahu ta'ala. Disobeying him is disobeying Allahu ta'ala. Declaring: "They want to differentiate between the way of Allahu ta'ala and the way of His Messenger. They say, "We believe some of what you say but we do not believe other aspects.' They want to open a different way between the two. Certainly they are disbelievers," about those who presume that obeying Allahu ta'ala is different from obeying His Messenger, in the hundred and forty- ninth ayat of Nisa Sura, He informs us that they are disbelievers. He who says that he follows the Prophet "alaihissalatu wassalam" though he does not follow the way of the Sahaba "ridwanullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' is wrong. He has not followed him "sall- Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam', but he has disobeyed him. He who has taken such a way will not be rescued in the Hereafter. In the eighteenth ayat of Mujadala Sura, "They think they are doing something right. Be it known that they are liars, disbelievers," He shows how such people are.
Those who follow the way of the Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' are no doubt the group of the Ahl as-sunnat wal-jamaat. May Allahu ta'ala give plenty of rewards to the superiors of this group, who worked undauntedly without falling tired! The group that will be saved from Hell is only this one. For, he who speaks ill of our Prophet's "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' is certainly deprived of following them. Such is the case for the sect of Shiite and the group of Khariji.
[There are twelve groups of Rafidis. Each group has parted into sub-groups. Some of them lead a life without an ablution, without a ghusl. Few of them perform namaz. They all hold heretical beliefs. They hold the Rafidi belief. They call themselves Alawi. But Alawi means a person who loves and follows the Ahl al-bayt. Imam-i Ali and his children from Hadrat Fatima are called the Ahl al-bayt. The honor of loving the Ahl al-bayt has fallen to the lot of the Ahl as-sunnat, who have said that loving and following them is a sign of dying with iman. Then, the Alawis are the Ahl as-sunnat, not the Shiis. Therefore, a person who wants to be an Alawi has to be Sunni. Today, Rafidis, zindiqs, and people who have no relationship with Islam appropriate the name of Alawi, stealing it from the Ahl as-sunnat. Under the shade of this beautiful name, they try to mislead the youth from Rasulullah's way.]
The Mutazila group appeared later. Wasil bin Ata, its founder, used to be a disciple of Hadrat Hasan-i Basri "rahmatullahi 'alaih'; because he dissented from Hasan-i Basri's way by saying that there was a third aspect between iman and kufr, Hasan-i Basri said, "I'tazala anna," about him, which means, "He dissented from us." All the other groups, appeared later.
To slander the Sahaba means to slander Allahu ta'ala's Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'. As declared: "He who disrespects the Sahaba does not have iman in Allahu ta'ala's Messenger." For, to slander them means to slander their owner, their master "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'. May Allahu ta'ala protect us against falling into such a dirty creed. It is the Sahaba who brought us the Shariat, which originated from the Qur'an and from hadiths. When they are slandered, the thing which they brought loses its value. The Shariat was not brought to us by a few certain persons among the Sahaba. Each of them has a service, a share in this. They are all equal in trueness, in justice and in (the authenticity of) their teaching. When any one of the Sahaba "alaihimurridwan' is slandered, the Islamic din has been slandered, sworn at. May Allahu ta'ala protect us all from falling into such a loathsome situation!
If those who swear at the Sahaba say, "We still follow the Sahaba. It is not necessary to follow them all. In fact, it is not possible, for their words do not agree with each other. Their ways are different," We will answer them as follows:
To have followed some of the Sahaba, it is necessary not to deny any of them. When some of them are disliked, the others have not been followed. Amir [Ali "radi-Allahu 'anh'], for instance, respected the other three Khalifas, deemed them great and knew that they were worth obeying. He obeyed them willingly and accepted them as Khalifas. Unless the other three Khalifas are loved, it will be a lie, a slander to say that one follows Hadrat Ali "radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum'. In fact, it will mean to dislike Hadrat Ali and to refute his words. It would be a stupid and ignorant word to say about Hadrat Ali "radi-Allahu 'anh', who is Allahu ta'ala's Lion, that he handled them, that he only smiled at them. Which wisdom could admit that Allah's Lion, despite his great knowledge and bravery, concealed his enmity against the three Khalifas, pretended to be friends with them and established a superficial friendship with them for a full thirty years. Even the lowest Muslim could not manage such hypocrisy. We should recognize the ugliness of such words which belittle Hadrat Amir to such an extent and which make him impotent, deceitful and a munafiq. Even if we could admit for a moment that Hadrat Amir "radi-Allahu 'anh' was so -may Allah forbid- what would they say about the fact that our Master the Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' praised these three Khalifas, lauded them and esteemed them throughout his life? Would they say that our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' was hypocritical, too? Never! It is impossible. It is wajib for the Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' to tell the truth. He who says that he was handling them becomes a zindiq, becomes irreligious. Allahu ta'ala declares in the seventieth ayat of Maida Sura: "O My dear Messenger! Communicate what was sent down to you from your Allah to everybody! If you do not communicate this message correctly, you will not have done your duty as a Prophet! Allahu ta'ala will protect you against those who want to bear enmity towards you." The disbelievers had been saying that Hadrat Muhammad "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' had been communicating whatever suited his purpose and not communicating whatever did not suit his purpose of the Qur'an that had been revealed to him. Upon this, this ayat descended to declare that he had been telling the truth. Our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' praised the three Khalifas and held them above all others until he honored the Hereafter with his presence. This means to say that it cannot be an error or wrong to praise them and to hold them superior.
It is necessary to follow all of the Sahaba in the tenets to be believed, for there is no difference among them in the things to be believed. There may be a difference in the furu', that is, in the actions to be done.
The person who speaks ill of one of the Sahaba "ridwanullahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' has blemished all of them. For, the iman, the belief of all of them is the same. He who slanders one of them has followed none of them. He has said that they disagreed with one another and that there was no unity among them. To slander one of them means to disbelieve what he said. Let us say once more that all the Sahaba communicated the Shariat. Each of them is just and right. There is something in the Shariat communicated by each of them. By each one communicating ayats, the Qur'an was collected. He who dislikes some of them will have disliked the one who communicated the Shariat. As it is seen, this person will have not acted in accordance with all of the Shariat. Can such a person be saved from Hell? Allahu ta'ala declares in the eighty-fifth ayat of Baqara Sura: "Do you believe some of the Qur'an and disbelieve some of it! The punishment of those who do so is to be disgraced and to be a subject of scorn in the world. And in the Hereafter they will be hurled down into the most vehement torment."
The Qur'an was collected by Hadrat 'Uthman "radi-Allahu 'anh'. In fact, it was collected by Abu Bakr-i Siddiq and 'Umar Faruq "radi-Allahu 'anhuma'. The Qur'an that was collected by Hadrat Amir was other than this one. As it can be understood, slandering these great people goes as far as slandering the Qur'an. May Allahu ta'ala protect all Muslims from falling into such a nuisance! One of the mujtahids of the Shiite sect was asked, "The Qur'an was collected by Hadrat 'Uthman "radi-Allahu 'anh'. What would you say about the Qur'an collected by him?" He answered, "I do not see any use in finding fault with the Qur'an, for slandering the Qur'an causes the din to be demolished."
Certainly, a wise person cannot say that all the Sahaba "radi-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' agreed about a wrong decision on the day when our Master the Prophet "sall- Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' died. In fact, on that day thirty-three thousand of the Sahaba unanimously made Hadrat Abu Bakr-i Siddiq "radi-Allahu 'anhum' the Khalifa willingly. It is impossible for thirty-three thousand Sahabis to agree on a mistake. As a matter of fact, our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' had declared: "My Ummat never agrees concerning a wrong decision." The reason why Hadrat Amir was first sorry was because he was not called to those talks. He himself conveyed that this was so and said, "I was sorry because I was called to the talks late. But I know well that Abu Bakr "radi-Allahu 'anh' is superior to us all." There was a reason why he was called late. That is, he was then among the Ahl al-bayt; he was consoling them.
The disagreements among the Sahabis "radi-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain' of our Prophet "sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' were not because of the desires of the nafs or for evil thoughts, for their blessed nafses had been purged and become quite pure. They had gotten rid of being ammara and attained itminan (to believe and understand the truth). Their only desire was to obey the Shariat. Their disagreements were out of a difference of ijtihad. Their intention was to find out what was right. Allahu ta'ala will give one grade of thawab to those who erred, too. There is at least two grades of thawab for those who were right. We should not hurt any of those great people with our tongues! We should mention each of them with good terms. Hadrat Imam-i Shafi'i "rahmatullahi 'alaih', who was one of the greatest savants of the Ahl as-sunnat, said, "Allahu ta'ala did not smear our hands with their blood. So let us not smear our tongues!" Again, he said, "After Rasulullah, the Sahaba pondered very much. Finding no one on earth superior to Abu Bakr-i Siddiq, they made him the Khalifa. They accepted serving under him." This statement of Imam-i Shafi'i also shows that Hadrat Ali was never hypocritical and that he willingly accepted Abu Bakr-i Siddiq the Khalifa.
Mayan Shaikh Abulkhayr's son, Mayan Sayyid, is a descendant of great and noble people. Also, he was in your service in the Dakkan campaign. It is hoped that he will be blessed with your help and kind treatment. Mawlana Muhammad Arif is also a student of knowledge and a descendant of the great. His father is dead. He was a khodja. He came to you in order to receive his salary. It is hoped that Your Highness will help him. Wassalam wal-ikram!
[Islamic savants wrote very many books in order to prove that the Shiites have deviated from the right path and that especially the Rafidis, the most unbridled and the most excessive of their twenty groups, have altogether dissented from Islam; they have even been striving to demolish Islam. The names of some of them together with their authors have been given below. On behalf of religious brotherhood and humanity, I pray to Allahu ta'ala that our brothers in Islam who say that they are Alawi will read these books carefully and will observe the difference between the Ahl as-sunnat and Rafidis and choose the right way through wisdom, conscience and reason and not believe the lies and slanders of the factious ignoramuses. In this way they will attain happiness in this world and in the Hereafter by holding fast to the way of safety and salvation.
Of the books written by Islamic savants in order to advise the Shiites, here are a few:
1- The book Ibtal-ul-Manhaj-il batil was written by Fadl bin Ruzbahan. It refutes the book Minhaj-ul-karama by Ibn-ul-Mutahhir, one of the Shiite savants, and rebuts its errors through documents. He wrote the book in Isfahan in 852 A.H.
2- The book Nuzhat-ul-isna ashariyya, written by Mirza Ahmad bin Abdurrahim-i Hindi. It gives information about Shiites. He passed away in 1255 [A.D. 1839].
3- The book Nawaqid was written by Mirza Mahdum. The book An-nawaqid lil- Rawafid was written by Sayyid Muhammad bin AbdurRasul Barzanji, who was drowned in the sea in 1103 [1711 A.D.].
4- The book Muhtasar-i Nawaqid is a summary of the book Nawaqid. It was summarized by Muhammad bin AbdurRasul-i Barzanji.
5- The book Sayf-ul-batir li-riqab-ushshat-i warrafida-til-kawafir was written by Shaikh Ali bin Ahmad Hiti in Istanbul in 1025 A.H.
6- The book Ajwiba-tul Iraqiyya Alal'as'ilatil-Iraniyya was written by Shihabuddin Sayyid Mahmud bin Abdullah Alusi.
7- The book Ajwiba-tul Iraqiyya Alal'as'ilatil-Lahoriyya was written by Alusi. Also, Haydari wrote a similar book.
8- The book Nafahat-ul-qudsiyya fi mabahis-il-imamiyya fi-radd-ish-Shia, written by Alusi, refutes the Shiites.
9- The book Nahj-us-salama also was written by Shihabuddin Alusi.
10- The book Sarim-ul-hadid was written by Muhammad Amin bin Ali Baghdadi. It responds to the slanders of Ibni Abil-Hadid.
11- The book Raddu-alal-imamiyya was written by Ali bin Muhammad Suwaydi Baghdadi. He was in the Shafi'i Madhhab. He passed away in Damascus in 1237 [1822 A.D.].
12- The book Hadiqa-tus-sarair was written by Abdullah bin Muhammad Bitushi. He was a Shafi'i and Baghdadi, and passed away in Basra in 1211 [1797 A.D.].
13- The book Tuhfa-i isna ashariyya fi radd-ir-rawafid was written in Persian by Shah Abdulaziz-i Dahlawi. He passed away in 1239 [1824 A.D.]. Its Arabic translation was abridged by Shukri Alusi and printed with the title Mukhtasar-i Tuhfa in Baghdad, and it was reproduced in Istanbul in 1976.
14- The book Minha-tul-ilahiyya mukhtasar-i Tuhfa-i isna ashariyya was written by Mahmud Shukri Alusi. It was printed in Cairo in 1373 A.H.
15- Imam-i Rabbani "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' explains the superiorities of the Sahaba very well through documents and disgraces the Shiites in his book Maktubat.
16- The book Hujaj-i qatiyya was written in Arabic by Abdullah-i Suwaydi. It was printed together with the Arabic book An-Nahiya an'ta'n-i-Amir-ul-Muminin Muawiya in Istanbul in 1981.
17- In the books Milal-Nihal by Shihristani "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' and in its Turkish, English, French and Latin versions, Shiism is explained in detail and answers are given.
18- The Turkish book Tazkiya-i Ahl al-bayt gives beautiful answers to the Shiites. It was written by 'Uthman Bey, who was the Shaikh of Topkapi Mevlevihanesi, and it was printed in Istanbul in 1295 A.H. Along with Hujaj-i Qatiyya, it was printed in the Latin alphabet in the Turkish book Hak Yolun Vesikalari in Istanbul.
19- Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani's "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' book Radd-i-Rawafid is in Persian and its Turkish version has been printed in the Latin alphabet in the book Hak Yolun Vesikalari in Istanbul.
20- The great savant Ibni Hajar-i Haitami "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' proves that Shiites are wrong through ayats and hadiths in his book Sava'iq-ul-muhriqa.
21- Ibni Hajar, again, proves very well that Hadrat Muawiyya "radi-Allahu 'anh' cannot be spoken ill of in his book Tathir-ul-janan wallisan an Muawiya-tabni-Abi Sufyan.
22- Ibni Taymiyya, in his book Minhajus-sunnat-tinnabawiyya fi naqdi kalam-ish-Shias wal-qadariyya, refutes the book Minhaj-ul-karama by Ibnil-Mutahhir, one of the Shiite savants, through strong documents.
23- Ibni Taymiyya, again, explains the superiorities of the Sahaba, through strong documents in his book Fadail-i Abu Bakr wa 'Umar.
24- In the translation of Mawahib-i ladunniyya and in Mirat-i kainat the glory of the Sahaba is explained.
25- The Turkish pamphlet captioned Sahaba-t-al kiram by Sayyid Abdulhakim-i Arwasi "rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih' was printed in Istanbul.
26- The book Nur-ul-Huda, written by Qaraqashzada 'Umar bin Muhammad Bursawi Halwati in 1005 A.H. [1597 A.D.], answers the Shiites and Baktashis. It was printed in Istanbul in 1286 A.H. He passed away in Edirne in 1047 [1638 A.D.].
27- Manaqib-i Jihar yar-i guzin, which is in Turkish, explains the superiorities of the Sahaba "radi-Allahu 'anhum ajmain' very well. It was written by Sayyid Ayyub bin Siddiq Urmawi. It was reprinted various times. The edition of 1264 A.H. is very beautiful.
28- Shiism is explained and the advice which Islamic savants gave to them are explained in full length in the books Ashab-i kiram, Hak Yolun Vesikalari, Herkese Lazim Olan Iman, and Faideli Bilgiler, which have been edited various times in Istanbul. [Of these three books, the second one, Hak Sozun Vesikalari, was rendered into English in 1992. The English version, entitled Documents of the Right Word, consists of 480 pages and is vastly informative and competently corroborative.]
29- It is written in the books Bariqa and Hadiqa that those who believe in transmigration and those who hold the belief that Allah entered a certain person's body are disbelievers.
30- Yusuf Nabhani, in the final part of his book Shawahid-ul-haqq, gives very beautiful responses through documents to the Shiites.
31- Sayyid Ahmad Dahlan "rahmatullahi 'alaih' vehemently refutes the Shiites in his book Al-fat-hul-mubin. This book of his was printed as an addition at the end of Hujaj-i qatiyya by Suwaydi. (Please see item 18.)
32- Shah Waliyyullah-i Dahlawi "rahmatullahi 'alaih' refutes the Shiites through strong documents and praises Hadrat Muawiya very much in his book Izalat-ul-hafa an khilafat-ul- khulafa. The book, in Persian, was printed in Pakistan in 1392 [1972 A.D.] together with its Urdu translation. It is of two volumes.]