English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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[At several places in my book, I have explained the words and articles of the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat, revealing the greatness, the superiority of the Sahaba. Qayyum-i Rabbani Muhammad Mathum-i Faruqi Sarhandi, in answering the eighth question, says in the thirty- sixth letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:]
Hadrat Ali, who was mercy from head to foot, never cursed any Muslim, let alone his having cursed our Prophet's Sahaba, particularly Hadrat Muawiya, over whom he (Rasulullah) had pronounced benedictions various times. Hadrat Ali said about Muawiya and those who were with him, "Our brothers disagree with us. They are not disbelievers or sinners. They have acted upon their own ijtihad." This statement of his keeps disbelief and sinfulness away from them. Could it ever be the case, then, that he cursed them! It is not an act of worship in Islam to curse anybody, nor even a disbeliever. While it is necessary to send prayers after each of the five prayers of namaz each day, could he ever have uttered maledictions because of his personal enmity instead of praying? Do they think Hadrat Ali's nafs, which had reached the highest grade of Fana in tasawwuf and the end of itminan and which had gotten rid of personal desires, was steeped in a grudge, stubbornness and enmity, like their own nafses? They slander that very exalted person so basely. Hadrat Ali had reached the highest grades of Fana-fillah and muhabbat-i Rasulillah, and had sacrificed his life and property for his 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' sake. Why at that time of prayer didn't he curse Allahu ta'ala's and His Messenger's 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' enemies who had tormented our Master, the Prophet, the sultan of both worlds, by all methods of tormenting, but would curse his own enemies, instead? In actual fact, Hadrat Ali's statement, "They have acted upon their own ijtihad," shows that he was not their enemy.
Essentially, those wars and combats did not originate from enmity or a grudge. They originated from ijtihad, from knowledge of the din. Blame whatsoever, therefore, is out of place, let alone cursing them. If slandering a person or cursing him were an act of worship, it would be one of Islam's requirements to curse Iblis-i lain (the Devil), Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, and the furious disbelievers of the Quraish, who hurt, tormented and tortured our Master, the Prophet 'sallallahu alaihi wa sallam', and who were hostile, perfidious and perversely against Islam. Since it has not been commanded to curse the enemies, could it ever be (an act deserving) thawab to curse friends? Rasulullah 'sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' stated, "If a person curses the Devil, he (the Devil) says, 'I have already become accursed. This cursing will not harm me.' But if he says, 'O my Allah! Protect me against the Devil,' the Devil says, 'Alas! You have broken my backbone.' " And another hadith states, "Do not curse the Devil! Trust yourself to Allahu ta'ala against his harm." This means to say such words are slanders against Hadrat Ali and mean to traduce him. Furthermore, to say that Hadrat Muawiya began cursing Hadrat Ali, Hadrat Hasan, Hadrat Husain and others 'radiAllahu anhum ajmain' means to slander Hadrat Muawiya. They never cursed one another. The Madhhab of the Ahl as-sunnat wal-jamaat is such that it is not permissible to speak ill of Hadrat Muawiya and that that allegation is a slander against him. In addition, there is not one true report communicating it. If the historians say so, how can their words ever be a witness? Basic information of the din cannot be established on the words of historians. Here, the words of Imam-i azam Abu Hanifa and his companions are taken into consideration, not the words of historians or the information written in the tafsir of Kashshaf. The names of Hadrat Ali and Hadrat Muawiya are not mentioned in Kashshaf. There is not even a sign showing that those two superiors of the din cursed each other. Nevertheless, those pieces of writing in Kashshaf are true, too. There is no need to try to deduce good meanings from them, since there is nothing disagreeing with the Ahl as- sunnat in them? Yes, the Khalifas of Amawi (Umayyads) let the Ahl al-bayt be cursed for years on minbars. 'Umar bin Abdulaziz 'rahmatullahi alaih' put an end to it. May Allahu ta'ala reward him plentifully through our prayers! But, though Hadrat Muawiya was one of the Khalifas of the Umayyeds, he cannot be spoken ill of. If Hadrat Muawiya is cursed and slandered, a great number of the Sahaba, and even a few of the Ashara-i mubashshara, who were with him in those disagreements and combats, will have been cursed. And slandering those superiors of the din will abrogate the information of the din coming to us through them. No Muslim will tolerate or admit this.
The Shiis slander the three Khalifas and Hadrat Muawiya and those who followed him in ijtihad. They swear at them. They say that after our Master, the Prophet 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam', all the Sahaba with a few exceptions became renegades. But according to the Madhhab of the Ahl as-sunnat wal-jamaat, nothing but good terms can be said about all the Sahaba. None of them is bad or evil. While explaining the hadiths of Muslim, Imam-i Yahya bin Sharaf Nawawi says that in those combats the Sahaba parted into three groups. One group had ijtihad agreeing with that of Hadrat Ali 'radiAllahu anh'. It became wajib for them to choose the way suitable with their own ijtihad. They helped Hadrat Ali. The second group of the Sahaba could not distinguish the right side in their ijtihad. It became wajib for them not to interfere with anybody. The ijtihad of the third group agreed with that of those who opposed Hadrat Ali. It became wajib for those who had this ijtihad to help the opposing side. This means to say that each group acted suitably with their own ijtihad. For this reason, it is not right to blame any of them. However, Hadrat Ali and those who followed him, because their ijtihad agreed with his, found out what was right; those who were against them erred in their ijtihad. But they cannot be slandered because of their erring in ijtihad. Those who erred received one thawab. Those who found out what was right received ten thawabs. It is not right even to say they erred. Those who erred should also be remembered in good terms. This means to say that a person who dislikes Hadrat Muawiya 'radiAllahu anh' and curses him cannot be in the Ahl as-sunnat wal- jamaat, even if he has a good opinion of all the Sahaba and loves them. Even the Shiis do not like such a person. For, the Shiis to like a person requires his being hostile against the three Khalifas and swearing at them. Such a person, therefore, is neither Sunni nor Shii. He is in a third madhhab.
[A good and correct understanding of the disagreements among the Sahaba requires reading those books on belief which explain all the particulars clearly, and one by one. We should not believe in recently written histories, incoherent, unsound words, encyclopedias or magazines!
It is surprising that Javdat Pasha says in his book Qisas-i anbiya (History of Prophets), "Upon seeing that his own government was weakening and Muawiya's power increasing, Hadrat Ali became sorry and worried, and began to utter maledictions against Muawiya and six others. And, hearing of this, Muawiya also uttered maledictions against Hadrat Ali, Ibni Abbas, Hasan and Husain." While narrating the events of Camel and Siffin, he uses unbecoming terms about some Sahabis. Also, Shamsaddin Sami, in his book Qamus-ul- alam, shows disrespect toward Hadrat Muawiya and some other Sahabis by uttering such sentences as a Muslim could not utter about them. His showing such disrespect is not so surprising. For, he shows disrespect toward Allahu ta'ala, too, in his book titled Toprak. He does not hesitate to demote Allahu ta'ala to the low grade of a slave, a substance. But Javdat Pasha's credulity in believing in the Abbasid histories and the Rafidi books astonishes us. For, his Qisas-i anbiya is a dependable and valuable book which narrates Rasulullah's life and Islamic history in detail and explicitly and which is known to be true. It ranks first among the books to be recommended to those who would like to learn Islamic history. He also writes reasonably and correctly about the combats among the Sahaba and their reasons. For example, he says on the 438th page, "Abruptly, the danger of apostasy grew great. Terror was everywhere. The officials in Yaman and in other places began to return, bringing bad news with them. The Muslims were all confused like a flock of sheep caught by heavy rain on a dark night. Compared with the number of renegades, the Muslims were very few. But Rasulullah's Khalifa resolved never to change the improvements of the time of saadat (Hadrat Muhammad's time), and to fulfill Rasulullah's intentions. He resigned himself to fighting the renegades. He sent troops everywhere. Making a vehement night attack on the enemy who had been getting ready to attack Medina, he fought until morning. He dispersed them all. He mounted his camel together with his soldiers to go to war against those disbelievers who were far away. But Hadrat Ali 'radiallahu anh' held the halter of the Khalifa's camel, and said, 'O you, the Messenger's Khalifa! Where are you going? Let me repeat to you what Rasulullah told you during the war of Uhud. That day he said to you, "Put your sword back into its sheath! Don't burn us with your death!" I swear by Allah that if something should happen to you the Muslims will not be put in order after you.' All the Sahaba endorsed Hadrat Ali. Upon this Hadrat Khalifa went back to Medina.
See their love for each other, especially right after their harsh talks during the Khalifa election! Allah's lion, Hadrat Ali, who would never submit himself to anybody, and who had delayed the voting for Hadrat Abu Bakr because he had not been invited to the Khalifa election was preventing him from going to war. If his heart bore a tiny mote of grudge against him he would think, 'Let the Khalifa go to war. I will take his place if something happens to him,' or at least it would not interest him that he was going.
And such a high person as Abu Bakr 'radi-Allahu anh' who would never hesitate to give away his life for the sake of the din, would obviously never listen to anybody's request to give up as he was beginning such an important worship as jihad, but now he gave up his intention just because, no doubt, he believed in the rightness of Hadrat Ali's opinion and word and listened to him. Hence, it is understood that the thoughts and the talks of all of them were intended to serve the Islamic din.
If those eccentric people who think and write that some of the Sahaba were fond of the world studied these examples of their behavior with attention, they would secure themselves against the sin of having an ill opinion of these great people."
In order to ingratiate themselves with Sultans and to obtain property and posts, the Abbasid historians did not hesitate to distort the facts or to falsify the written accounts of events, and they began cruelly to slander the Umayyads. Because the Abbasid Khalifas were hostile against the Umayyads, the historians, in order to obtain worldly advantages, sacrificed knowledge for the sake of politics. The Ottomans being closer to the Abbasids with respect to time and being their neighbor in respect of land, ignorant historians translated the Abbasid histories word for word; even Javdat Pasha could not avoid this trend. Historians, on the one hand, the Shiis, on the other hand, who were the dregs of Shah Ismail's routed army and who took refuge in the Darwish convents, imbued the Turks with Rafidism and with hostility against the Sahaba. Those who escaped the calamity were only those who learned the truth of the matter from the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants. May Allahu ta'ala help those who are on the right way! Amin.
It is written in Maraj-ul-bahrayn that Hakim bin Tirmuzi says, "Though there has been an increase in my knowledge, in my good deeds and in my struggling for Islam as I get older, I can no longer find any of those nurs and effects which I attained in my youth. This is something which I could not understand until recently, when it was inspired into my heart that because the time of my youth was closer (than now) to the time of Hadrat Muhammad the state which I was in then was higher." Since the times closer to that time are so valuable, we should realize how valuable that time itself was. It is for this reason that it is written in Qut-ul-qulub, "To see that blessed face of Rasulullah's once, or to sit in his presence only for a while, makes one attain such blessings as cannot be obtained in halwats or arbains, which means mortification of the flesh for forty days, at other times." Also the great Walis who were matured at other times were promoted by receiving fayd from the spiritual sohbat of Rasulullah.]