English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi

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This letter, written to Muhammad Murad-i Badahshi, says to be careful about the tadil-i arkan and the tumaninat in namaz, about putting in order the lines (of worshippers) in a mosque, about correcting one's intention when going out to fight against disbelievers, about the namaz of tahajjud (the namaz which is performed after midnight) and about choosing one's food from what is halal (permitted by Islam):

Thanks be to Allahu ta'ala. Salam, solace to those human slaves of His whom He has chosen and loved! Your letter has arrived. It pleases us to know that our friends and those whom we love have not deviated from the right way. May Allahu ta'ala increase your being and remaining on the right way! "We and our friends have been continuing to do the duty which you assigned to us. We have been performing namaz five times each day in a congregation of fifty to sixty people," you say. May hamd-u thana be to Allahu ta'ala for this! What a great blessing it is when the heart is with Allahu ta'ala and the body, together with all the limbs, is embellished with doing the rules of the Shariat. Recently, most people have been slack in performing namaz. They have been slighting the tumaninat and the tadil-i arkan. For this reason, I have to warn you, my beloved ones, about this matter. Listen well! Our Prophet 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' declared: "The worst thief is the person who steals from his own namaz." When he was asked, "O Rasulallah! How can a person steal from his own namaz?" he said, "By not doing the ruku and sajda of the namaz properly." At some other time he declared: "Allahu ta'ala does not accept the namaz of a person who does not bring his waist into its proper position and remain so for a while in ruku and sajda." Once, upon seeing a person not doing the ruku and the sajda properly while performing namaz, our Prophet 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' said, "Aren't you afraid you may die in some other religion than Hadrat Muhammad's 'alaihissalatu wassalam' din because you perform your prayers of namaz in this manner?" Once again, he said, "When performing namaz, if you do not straighten up your body completely after the ruku', if your each limb does not rest at its position for a while when you are standing, your namaz will not be complete." Once again, he said, "Unless you sit upright between the two sajdas your namaz will remain incomplete." One day, upon seeing someone not observing the rules and rukns of salat, not standing upright after the ruku' and not sitting between the sajdas, our Prophet 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' said, "If you go on performing your prayers of namaz in this manner, on the Day of Resurrection you will not be said to be of my Ummat." At some other time he said, "If you go on in this manner and die, you shall not have died in the religion of Muhammad (alaihissalam)." Abu Huraira 'radiAllahu 'anh' says, "The person who has performed all his prayers of namaz for sixty years but whose namaz has never been accepted is the person who has not done the ruku' and sajda properly." Zayd ibni Wahab saw someone performing namaz but not doing the ruku' and sajda properly. He called him out and asked him, "How long have you been performing namaz in this manner?" When the latter answered, "Forty years," he said, "You have not performed the namaz for forty years. If you die now you will not die in the Sunnat (Shariat) of Hadrat Muhammad."

It is said in the book Awsat by Tabarani 'rahmat Allahi ta'ala 'alaih' that if a Believer performs his namaz beautifully and does its ruku' and sajda properly, the namaz will become happy and will be full of nur. Angels will take the namaz up to heavens. The namaz will pronounce a benediction on the person who has performed it and will say, "As you have protected me against being defective, may Allahu ta'ala protect you." If the namaz is not performed well it will become black. Angels will snub that namaz and will not take it up to the heavens. The namaz will curse the person who has performed it and will say, "As you have wasted me and put me into a bad position, may Allahu ta'ala waste you." Then, we should try to perform our prayers of namaz properly, observe the tadil-i arkan, do the ruku', the sajda, the qawma (standing upright after the ruku') and the jalsa (sitting upright between the two sajdas) well. Also, we should warn others if we see them do these defectively. We should help our brothers-in-Islam perform namaz properly. We should be an example in observing the tadil-i arkan and the tumaninat. Most Muslims have been depriving themselves of the honor of doing this. This blessing has already been lost. It is very important to revivify this good deed. Our Prophet declared: "He who resuscitates any one of my forgotten sunnats will be given the thawab of a hundred martyrs."

Also, we should pay attention to put the lines in order when performing namaz in jamaat. We should not stand ahead of or behind the line we belong to. Everybody should try to stand on the same straight line. Our Prophet 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' would first straighten the lines and then begin namaz. "Straightening the lines is a part of namaz," he would say. O our Allah! Give us a share from Thine Infinite Treasure of Mercy! Do not let any of us deviate from the right way!

O my lucky, fortunate brother! Deeds and worship will be valid with the intention. When going out for war against disbelievers one should first check one's intention. After this only will one get the thawab. One's purpose in going to war should be to spread and exalt Allah's name, din, and to defeat and weaken the enemies of the din. [It should be to communicate Allah's din to His slaves, to rescue people from disbelief, from ignorance, to make them attain iman, and endless bliss. One should not go out for jihad (holy war) in order to kill or hurt men. Jihad is to rescue disbelievers from disbelief by force.] For, we Muslims have been commanded this, and this is what jihad means. One should not deprive oneself of the thawab of jihad by intending for other things. The Ghazis' (fighters for Islam) receiving a salary from the Baytulmal (treasury of an Islamic State) does not do away with the jihad or the thawab for jihad. [All other worships also are acceptable on condition that they be done for Allah's sake and you intend so.] Evil purposes will defile the worship. One should check one's intention, take the salary and go out for the jihad, and then expect the thawab of ghazi and shahid (martyr). I admire you for the state you are in. You have been honored with your heart's being with Allahu ta'ala and your all limbs' performing namaz in jamaat and also performing jihad against the enemies of the din and disbelievers [and spreading Allah's din among disbelievers]. He who comes back from ghaza alive becomes a ghazi, a mujahid. He who becomes a martyr gets many thawabs, many blessings. I should repeat, however, that these are only after one has purified one's intention. If pure intention will not come to your heart, compel yourself to intend so and pray to Allahu ta'ala earnestly so that such an intention will be inspired into your heart!

O our Allah! Increase Thine nur, Thine blessings which Thou hast bestowed on us. Cover our sins, our faults! We have so many faults, sins. Yet Thou art capable of everything. Thou canst do everything!

Another piece of advice which I would like to give my beloved friends being there is that you should perform the namaz of tahajjud. [That is, you should perform namaz towards the end of the night.] Our superiors always performed this kind of namaz. As I told you when you were here, if you cannot wake up at that time, tell others in the house to wake you. Tell them not to let you remain in the sleep of unawareness. Thus, after practicing this getting up for a few nights, you will get used to getting up by yourself easily and will attain this great fortune.

One more piece of advice is that you should be careful about the morsels you eat. It is not good for a Muslim to eat anything he finds at any place. He should consider if the morsels are coming to him through the halal or haram. Man is not so absolute as to do everything he plans, everything which occurs to his mind. We have our Owner, our Creator. There are His commandments and prohibitions. He has informed us of the things He likes and those He dislikes through His Prophets 'alaihimussalatu wattaslimat', who are His compassion for all classes of beings. So unfortunate and miserable is the person who craves for what his Owner reproves. He wants to use everything without his Owner's permission. Shame on such people; they do not use anything without asking its transitory owner in this world if they may use it; they observe the rights of these unreal owners; but, though the real Owner of these things has vehemently and so strictly prohibited the things He reproves and has threatened those who do them with heavy punishments, they take no heed of His word; they just ignore His word. Is this the state of being Muslim, or is it disbelief? One should think seriously! Now the time of death has not come, and the opportunity has not been missed yet. It is possible to rectify, to correct one's past faults. For the hadith, "He who performs tawba (asking for Allah's forgiveness) for his sin becomes as if he did not sin at all," is glad tidings for those who have faults. But if a man commits sins on purpose, tells everybody that he does so, and does not feel ashamed, he becomes a munafiq. His false pretense to be a Muslim will not save him from torment. What is the need of saying more words, more offensive words? A signal would do for a wise person.

Let me add that at dreadful places and when facing the enemy you should recite the sura of 'Li ilafi' so that you feel safe and comfortable. It has been experienced. Every day and every night you should say it, at least eleven times. A hadith declares: "If a person who arrives at some places says the prayer 'A'udhu bikalimatillahi' t-tammati min sharri ma khalaqa' nothing will harm him until he leaves the place." [In order to get rid of something dreadful or to get your wish, you should write from the thirty-seventh ayat up to the end of the thirty-ninth ayat of the sura of Taha in ink on a sheet of paper, then wrap it up seven times with some material, and keep it. Its benefit has been experienced many times.] May Allahu ta'ala give safety to those who follow the right way! Amin.