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 those slaves of His whom He has chosen and loved! O Mawlana Arif Hutani! It is necessary first to annihilate the wrong and fabled gods and then to know the right ma'bud. Everything that is known how and which can be measured should be annihilated, and then one should have iman in one Allah, Who is not known how. What best expresses this annihilation in the mind and heart and having iman is the beautiful word "la ilaha illallah." Our Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) declared: "The best dhikr is to say 'la ilaha illallah.' " In another hadith he declared: "If the seven layers of the heavens and their contents and the seven layers of the earth are all measured with the word la ilaha illallah, the thawab in this word will weigh heavier." It certainly will, since one part of the word annihilates everything other than Allah - the earth, the heavens, the Arsh, the Kursi, the Lawh, the Kalam, all the classes of beings, and men - while its other part informs of the existence of the one and only one Creator of the earth and the heavens, one Who is rightfully worshipped. Everything other than Allah, whether in the afak (outside man) or in the anfus (inside man), can be understood and measured. So is everything which can be seen in the mirrors of afak and anfus. All such things should be known to be nonexistent. So are all the things which we know and learn, which we remember and imagine, and which affect our sense organs. They are all of recent occurrence, they are creatures. For everything which man knows and feels is his own work, what he himself has done. Our considering Allahu ta'ala free from defect and saying that He is unlike anything means to liken Him (to something). The greatness which we realize means inferiority. The kashfs, tajallis, mushahadas which happen to men of tasawwuf are all things other than Allahu ta'ala. Allahu ta'ala is wara-ul-wara. That is, He is beyond everything beyond. He is unlike anything. Hadrat Ibrahim said to the disbelievers, "Why do you worship the idols which you yourselves have made? Allahu ta'ala created you and all your deeds." The Qur'an relates this. All the things we do, whether we do them with our hands or we invent them with our mind and imagination, are Allah's creatures. None of them is worthy of worship. Allahu ta'ala, alone, is worthy of being worshipped. He is unlike any of the things which we know or which we find out by thinking. How He is cannot be understood. The mind and imagination cannot approach Him. Kashf and shuhud collapse before His greatness. There is no other way than believing such a high creator who is bi-chun and bi-chighuna [that is, who is unlike anything and who cannot be understood through the mind] through ghayb (without seeing or understanding). For, it will not be belief in Him to believe Him by attempting to understand Him by seeing or thinking. It will be to believe something made by us. And that something is His creature. We will have made it a partner to Him. In fact, perhaps, we will have believed something besides Him. We trust ourselves to Allahu ta'ala to protect us from falling into such a calamity. For having iman in the ghayb, it is necessary to believe a creator beyond the reach of the imagination and fancy. Nothing from Him should have a place in the imagination. This meaning is obtained after the grade of closeness which is outside the fancy and imagination is attained. For, the farther away something is, the easier will it become to comprehend through the imagination and the better will it be settled in a fancy. This blessing is only peculiar to prophets. Having iman through the ghayb has devolved only upon these great people. And they bestow it upon whomever they like of those who obey and follow them. The iman of all Believers through the way of the ghayb cannot rid the interference of the fancy. For, according to the ignorant 'wara- ul-wara' means remoteness. In such an understanding the fancy interferes with the matter. On the other hand, to those great people 'alaihimussalawatu wattaslimat' 'wara-ul-wara' is closeness. With this understanding the fancy cannot interfere with the matter. As long as the world survives and we live in a worldly life, there is no other way than believing through the ghayb. For, the iman which happens by seeing here is invalid. When life in the Hereafter begins, the fancy and imagination will no longer have any power and the iman-i Shuhudi, which happens by seeing, will become valuable. Fancy and imagination will not be able to mix evil with this iman. I think that because Rasulullah Muhammad 'alaihissalam' was honored with seeing Allahu ta'ala in the world it would be beautiful to say that his 'sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' iman is Shuhudi. Evil emanating from the fancy and imagination have not been mixed with this iman. For, the blessing that will be bestowed upon other Believers in the Hereafter fell to the lot of that exalted Prophet in the world. This is such a great gift from Allahu ta'ala. Allahu ta'ala bestows His gifts upon whomever He chooses. Allahu ta'ala is the giver of very many gifts.
It should be understood well that Khalilullah Ibrahim 'alaihissalam' explained very well the fact that it is wrong to worship things other than Allahu ta'ala. He thoroughly closed all the gates which would lead to disbelief. For this reason, he became the imam of prophets. He surpassed them all 'alaihi wa alaihimus-salawatu wattahiyyat'. For, the highest point of progress in worldly life is to realize well the fact that there is nothing to be worshipped other than Allahu ta'ala. For, the exact meaning of the saying, "Allahu ta'ala alone is worthy of being worshipped," which is communicated by the second part of the beautiful word "la ilaha illallah," will be understood only in the Hereafter. Nevertheless, because the last Prophet 'alaihi wa alaihimussalawatu wattaslimat' was honored with seeing Allahu ta'ala in this world, he attained many things of the exact meaning of that word in this world, too. It may be said that of that meaning what is possible in this world has been communicated with the coming of the exalted Prophet. We may say, again, that the tajalli of the Dhat-i Ilahi in this world has only fallen to the lot of the exalted Prophet. Others were informed that they will be blessed with this lot in the Hereafter. Salam to those who are on the right way and to those who follow Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa 'alaihi wa' ala alihi minassalawati afdaluha wa minattaslimati akmaluha'!