English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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What a slave wishes should only be his Owner and his Owner's wish. He should have no wishes besides his Owner's wishes. If not so, he has cast off the shackles of slavery and escaped from being a slave. A slave who always pursues his own wishes is a slave of his own wishes. He is a slave of his nafs. He always does the commands of the accursed Devil. The blessing of being a slave to Allahu ta'ala is attained only after reaching the grade of Wilayat-i khassa. Becoming such a Wali falls to one's lot only after a complete fana and a perfect baqa.
Question: The Walis who are so have wishes, desires, too. For, they want various things. Also, the leader of Prophets, the Sultan of Walis, Hadrat Muhammad, liked cool, sweet sherbets. The Qur'an informs of the fact that he used to toil for the good of his Ummat. What is the reason for the existence of such wishes in the great?
Answer: Many wishes are the requirements of natural laws. So long as man is alive he cannot get rid of these wishes. When it is hot the body wants to get cool. And in cold weather appears the desire to get warm. The body's desire for the things indispensable to live is not contrary to being a slave. Such desires are not the desires of the nafs. They have nothing to do with the nafs. The Shariat has not prohibited these desires which are the outcomes of natural laws. Having these desires does not mean following the nafs. It is mubah to satisfy such desires. The nafs wants the mubahs more than needed. The mubahs more than indispensably needed are called fudul. Or, the nafs wants dubious things and things that are haram. Those things that are indispensably necessary for living do not have anything to do with the nafs. As it is seen, to follow the nafs, to do evil things, means to desire and do those things that are fudul. For, the mubahs more than necessary are close to the harams. If one, deceived by the Devil, goes a little further, one will fall down into the harams. For this reason, mubahs should be done as much as necessary. A little over- indulgence in doing so will cause you to slip and fall down into the fuduls. And if you slip as you enjoy the fuduls, you will end up in the harams.
Many inclinations do not exist in man. They come to man from without. Allahu ta'ala, who is very compassionate, sends man the useful ones of them. It is declared (in a long hadith): "Allahu ta'ala keeps a preacher in every man's heart." The harmful ones are sent by the Devil. The Devil always incites men to do evil and enmity. The hundred and twentieth ayat of Nisa Sura declares, "The Devil promises man many things and reminds him of many things. All the things which the Devil promises are lies." One day during my imprisonment in the fortress of Ghuwalyar, this faqir (Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani means himself) sat down silently after the morning prayer as it was customary on this path. Useless thoughts suffused me, so much so that I felt very uneasy. I could not collect my heart in any way. After some time, I managed to control myself with the help of Allahu ta'ala. I saw that the thoughts were gone like the dispersing of clouds. What had brought them to my heart went away together with them, leaving my heart free and pure. It was realized that those thoughts and wishes had come from the outside, that they had not originated from the inside. If they had originated from the inside, the case would have been incompatible with being a slave. In brief, the evil issuing from the nafs-i ammara are man's own diseases. They are fatal poisons and are incompatible with being a slave. Those diseases coming from the outside are among the transient diseases, though they are caused by the Devil. They can be cured with a little medicine. The seventy-sixth ayat of Nisa Sura declares: "The Devil's deceit is certainly weak." Our greatest enemy is our own nafs. Our mortal enemy is this ferocious friend of ours, who is always with us. Our enemy outside attacks us with the help of this enemy within us. He wounds us with his help. Of all beings, man's nafs is the most ignorant. For the nafs-i ammara feels hostility against itself. It always desires things which will annihilate itself. Its every wish is something which Allahu ta'ala has prohibited. Its every deed is somehow a revolt against Allahu ta'ala, its owner and the owner of everything. It always follows the Devil, its own mortal enemy.
It is very difficult for man to distinguish his own disease from the transient disease coming from the outside. It is very difficult to distinguish the evil inside from the evil coming from the outside. An ignoramus thinks of his own disease as the transient disease coming from the outside, thus becoming self-respecting and thinking of himself as perfect. And thus he may roll down into perdition. Frightened by this thought, I could not write about this subtle piece of information. I found it not right to explain it. I did not write about it for seventeen years. For, I had been confusing the evil inside and the evil coming from the outside with each other. But now Allahu ta'ala has separated the right from the wrong. For this and for many such blessings of His may hamd and thanks be to Allahu ta'ala! Another reason for explaining this secret piece of information is that it is intended to prevent short-sighted people, who see that desires coming from the outside exist in perfect people, from thinking that those great people are low. Those who think so cannot benefit from the barakats of those great people. Disbelievers' being deprived of the honor of following prophets were because of the existence of such attributes in these great people. An ayat in the sura of Taghabun purports, "They said, 'Are other men supposed to guide us?' Thus they became disbelievers." Our superiors said, "When an arif's own wishes are annihilated, Allahu ta'ala bestows on him a will and option from Himself." I will, inshallah, explain these words of mine at some other place. May Allahu ta'ala bless the travelers of the right way with salvation! Amin.