English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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Thanks be to Allahu ta'ala and salam to His distinguished, beloved slaves! I have had the honor of reading your valuable letter. You gathered and wrote the documents and witnesses informing that Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq's caliphate was rightful and that he was elected the Khalifa with the unanimity of the good people of the first [Islamic] century, the best century. By the same token, we have been so happy to read your statements explaining that the superiority of the four Khalifas to one another, who are called Khulafa-i rashidin, is in accordance with the sequence of their caliphates, and that we should not be vociferous and keep quiet concerning the disagreements and combats among the Sahaba, who were educated by the Highest of Mankind, Hadrat Muhammad 'alaihissalam'. Belief so far concerning the imams and Khalifas is sufficient. The savants of Ahl as-sunnat wal- jamaat state so. May Allahu ta'ala plentifully reward these savants for their work!
My merciful brother! Information about the imams, that is, caliphates, is not of the indispensable teachings of our din. That is, it is not from the usul-i din. It is from the furu'-i din. The indispensable teachings, that is, the daruriyyat-i din, are a different matter. They are the teachings on belief and deeds. In other words, first of all it is necessary to learn the facts to be believed and the deeds to be done. The former part of the indispensable information is called 'ilm-i kalam and the latter part is called 'ilm-i fiqh. To give up the indispensable and to busy with the unnecessary will mean to spend one's valuable lifetime on futile pursuits. A hadith declares: "What signifies Allah's disliking a slave of His is his destroying his time on futile pursuits." If it were from the indispensable usul-i din to deal with caliphates as the Shiites say, Allahu ta'ala would clearly declare in the Qur'an who would be the Khalifa after Rasulullah's death. And our Prophet 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' would command the caliphate of a certain person. Since the Qur'an or the hadiths do not lay importance on the matter, it is seen that dealing with Khalifas is not of the usul-i-din, but it is of the superfluous teachings of the din. Let those who like to spend their time on futilities busy with the superfluous teachings. The indispensable teachings of Islam are so many that one could hardly find time to be busy with the superfluous teachings. First of all, it is necessary to correct the belief. Of the teachings which our Prophet 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' brought from Allahu ta'ala, we should learn and believe the ones which are indispensable through tawatur! Thus, it is necessary to believe the hashr (assembling in the place of Judgement) and the nashr (dispersing after the Judgement to go to Paradise or to Hell), to believe the endless torments and rewards and the fact that such teachings are doubtlessly true. Unless one believes these one will not be saved in the Hereafter. After correcting the belief, it is necessary to learn the teachings of fiqh and do them. Thus, it is necessary to do fards and wajibs and even sunnats and mustahabs, to be careful about halals and harams, and not to overflow the limits of the Shariat. Thus only can one think of escaping torment in the Hereafter. When belief and deeds have become correct, the turn comes to the way of tasawwuf. Then begins the hope of attaining to perfections in Wilayat. Compared to these indispensable religious duties of the din, such concerns as 'Whom did the caliphate belong to by rights?' are unnecessary and useless. Only, because some corrupt and heretical people have misunderstood these things, behaved excessively and attempted to blemish the Sahaba of the Best of Mankind, it has become necessary to announce the information that will refute them. For, it is of the indispensables of the din to prevent faction, chaos in this perfect din. Wassalam.