English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written as a response to Muhammad Taqiy, gives information about alam-i mithal and states that metempsychosis is not true and that human souls do not transmigrate; it also explains what kumun and buruz mean.
Praise be to Allahu ta'ala, who is the creator and owner of all classes of beings, and salams to Hadrat Muhammad, who is the highest of His Prophets, and to all his absolutely pure relatives and Ashab! We were honored with reading your precious letter, a work of your good thoughts and beautiful moral character. May Allahu ta'ala protect you against all faults and defects! You ask about Shaikh Muhyiddin-i Arabi's 'quddisa sirruh' quoting a hadith in his book Futuhat-i Makkiyya. Our Prophet (sall Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) says in this hadith, "Allahu ta'ala created a hundred thousand Adams." Muhyiddin-i Arabi 'rahmatullahi alaih' writes a few things which he has seen in alam-i mithal and says, "As I was making a tawaf around the Kaba, there were some persons by my side. I did not know them at all. While performing tawaf they recited two Arabic couplets. The meaning of the couplet was:
As you do now, we for years
All visited this residence.
Upon hearing the couplet, it occurred to me that those persons might be from alam-i mithal. While thinking so, one of them looked at me and said, 'I am one of your grandfathers.' I said, "How long has it been since you died?' 'More than forty thousand years,' he answered. Being astonished at these words of his, I said, 'Historians say that not even seven thousand years have passed since Adam, the first father of human beings'. He said, 'Which Adam 'alaihis-salam' are you talking about? I am one of the sons of Adam, who lived at a time long before than seven thousand years ago'. When hearing this, I remembered the hadith ash-Sharif mentioned above."
[Warning: Ancient astronomers said that the age of the globe, that is, the duration of time from its creation until its end, was equal to the number of planets around the sun in terms of thousands, that is, the earth was seven thousand years old; for they thought that the number of planets was seven. The seven thousand years that is written in many history books and that has been transferred into some religious books originates from this. Some of them said that the earth's age was equal to the number of constellations, twelve thousand years, and some others said it equalled three hundred and sixty (360, the number of meridians) thousand years; these three numbers are no more than suppositions and theories.
Hadrat Idris (a prophet) said, "We did not know the world's age though we were prophets."
The earth's age is written as (360000x360000), that is, a hundred and twenty-nine billion and six hundred million years, in the book entitled Mukhtasar, which Abd-ul-wahhab-i Sharani (Quddisa sirruh) has outlined from Tazkira by Abu Abdullah-i Qurtubi, an Andalusian (old Muslim Spain) savant.
Today's scientists estimate that the age of the earth is not less than four billion and five hundred million years, through a method called "radioactivity dating." For example, by finding out the ratios of lead and uranium minerals existing in the ore of pitch-blends in strata now and estimating the time which is necessary for the formation of so much lead out of the amount of uranium that has decayed into lead and the existing amount of uranium, by means of the decay constant of uranium I scientists can make such estimations.]
My dear son! The information which Allahu ta'ala has bestowed upon the lot of this poor person [Imam-i Rabbani refers to himself] is as follows: The Adams who lived before Hadrat Adam, who is the first man and the first prophet, were all in alam-i-mithal. They were not in alam-i shahadat. There was only one Adam in alam-i shahadat, that is, in this world of matter which we see, and he was a prophet. Angles prostrated in front of him. Allahu ta'ala had made a man's statue from sticky mud and had changed it into flesh and bones.
[As we know today, Allahu ta'ala changes earthen substances, nitrates and phosphates, into proteins in the factory of plants, and changes these vegetable proteins into flesh and bones and limbs in an animal's body. Not only science can realize this today, but also with the help of substances which we call catalysts, we can conduct chemical reactions quickly, in a second, that normally takes years. While men can do thousands of years of work in a moment, and as we know that Allahu ta'ala changes earthen substances into substances of flesh and bones in a few years, it is easy to realize through science that He can do it in a moment as well. Just as Allahu ta'ala changed earthen substances into organs in a moment, attached the soul to the body and created Adam, the first man, so on the Day of Resurrection He will re-gather these elements in a moment, will make men's bodies, and will give these bodies the souls that existed. A person's dying means that the soul leaves the body. The soul does not die. On the Day of Resurrection, together with everything else, the souls will be annihilated and then they will be recreated. Today, an intelligent person who can realize Allah's power well through the branches of sciences, such as physics, chemistry, physiology and astronomy, can also realize easily as a scientific fact that Hadrat Adam and all men and animals will be brought out of the soil on the Day of Resurrection. A century ago, Muslims believed this without any understanding. But today, we see it as a simple scientific fact and believe it without needing further proof.
Allahu ta'ala created Paradise and Hell and declared that He will fill both of them with people. For this reason, since Hadrat Adam, who was the first man, the earth has always had on itself Believers and disbelievers, who have quarreled with each other. The irreligious have worshipped the things which they have invented, but the Believers have adapted themselves to the Prophets and books sent by Allahu ta'ala. Contrary to what some historians suppose and what is seen in the motion pictures made up by the enemies of Islam, our ancient predecessors were not unclothe, wild and naked people lacking knowledge and science. Yes, among the ancient peoples there were those who lived ignorantly and simply, as they do today in the deserts of Asia and Africa. Even in the forests of America savage people live like those of the Bronze Age. But neither all of today's people nor all of the earlier people can be said to be savages just for this reason. Hadrat Adam ('alaihis-salam) and those who followed him lived in cities. They knew how to read and write. They had such crafts as blacksmithing, making threads, weaving clothes, farming and making bread. Hadrat Adam, whose age and height could not be known exactly, lived for a thousand years and became a prophet when he was five hundred years old according to a report. Allahu ta'ala sent him ten books. Hadrat Jabrail ('alaihis-salam) came to him twelve times. In these books, the things to be believed in, dictionaries in different languages, performing salat one time a day. (A book by Ibni Abidin says this salat was the morning salat); to make a ghusl abdast; to fast; not to eat a carcass, blood, pork; many branches of crafts; knowledge of medicine, medicinal substances, arithmetics and geometry were included. They even minted gold money, operated mines and made tools. The Qur'an al-karim communicates clearly that Hadrat Noah's ship moved with the force of the steam from its boiler that was heated by means of fire. Not based on any document or observation but for the sheer purpose of denying religions and belittling prophets, some historians say that the people of ancient civilizations were savages and that they did not know anything. In this way, they want to represent each of the Prophets, such as Adam, Shist [Sheet] and Idris ('alaihimussalam) as if they were from a silly tale or a superstition, and thereby train Muslim children to be irreligious and devoid of iman.
Another group of the enemies of religion pretend to be scientists, and broadcast their corrupt thoughts in the disguise of science. For example, they say such things as, "The cell, which is the building stone of all living things, happened incidentally by itself, and then in the process of time there came into being small plants and animals in the sea, then those on the land, and finally it evolved into man." Thus, they mean to say that Hadrat Adam was not created from the soil, that the Qur'an al-karim and other holy books are fairy tales [Allah forbid!] , and that it would be contrary to science to believe in the existence of the Supreme Power, who created the first living thing. These kinds of disbelievers are called Dahri. Those Dahris who present themselves as Muslims are called Zindiqs and Science fanatics.
How wretched these sham scientists are! Yes, the physiologist Haldene suggested the probability that "Millions of years ago, in hot seas, affected by the ultraviolet rays coming from the sun, inorganic gases turned into organic compounds and, at the same time, the first molecule with an equiproductive quality, that is, the cellular molecule that changes food substances into living form like itself, was constructed incidentally by itself." But, this is a hypothesis, not an experiment, not even a theory. Today there is no information or even a theory showing how a molecule with an equiproductive quality is constructed. Scientific knowledge is the knowledge of observation and examination. A scientific fact is first observed with organs of perception or with the tools which strengthen them, and the causes of this fact are conjectured. Then, this fact is experimented on again, and the effects and roles of these causes are confirmed. If the cause of an event and the way it has happened are known, we believe it. But there are also events the causes of which cannot be understood through experimentation. Many ideas are put forth as their cause. These ideas are not certain. Also, different people may interpret a single event differently.
A general idea which can explain all of the various events that are explained through the same cause is called a hypothesis. By explaining many events through one or more hypotheses, by concluding new events and by testing these events and by experimenting and observing these events, among these hypotheses the ones that are decided to be correct are called theories. The perfection of a theory is gauged by how few hypotheses it relies on and at the same time how many events it can explain. Haldene's idea is a hypothesis after all, and is very far from being a theory. If people do not remain in this grade, but acquire correct knowledge about how the first living creatures were created, it will be useful for Islam, not harmful. Everything, living or lifeless, was nonexistent and was created later. Allahu ta'ala declares: "Research how I created everything and see the order, the delicacy in My work! Thus believe in Me and in the fact that My power and knowledge are infinite!" Yes, the enemies of religion not only say that the first living things came into existence by themselves, but they also proclaim that the solar system, stars, and various physical, chemical and biological events all came into existence by themselves. Ahl as-sunnat savants gave them the necessary answers in thousands of their books, thus silencing them all. They proved with documents that they are wrong. We have explained in the first and third chapters of the Second Fascicle how these fake scientists, who look upon themselves as scientists, are wrong. Our religion declares that Hadrat Adam was created from sticky mud. It does not explain in what manner other animals and plants were created. How can Haldene's hypothesis harm the religion them? Whether he says it or Darwin or Ibni Sina (Avicenna) says it, Allahu ta'ala, alone, moves, makes and creates everything. All forms of energy are the manifestations of His power.
What undermines the iman is to hold the belief that events happened by themselves and to say that animals evolved from one another initially from a one-celled organisms into higher structures and finally to man; science does not prove it true, nor do scientists say so.
A passage from the book Tahafut-ul-Falasife by Imam-i Ghazali has been translated from Arabic into Turkish and has been written on the forty-fifth page of the book Marifatnama. There, he says, "Scientists' words are of three types. Their words of the first type explain the facts which scientific experiments have discovered. Though these words of theirs agree with Islam, their wording is wrong. For instance, they say, 'Nothing can move by itself. There is a power which makes everything move. This power is a natural force. Everything is made by nature.' On the other hand, Islam says, 'Nothing can move by itself. There is a power that makes every object move. This power is Allah's power. Everything is made by Allahu ta'ala.' It can be understood that Islam and science agree on the same thing; there is only one difference; appellations. We do not object to these words of theirs. Only, we admit them only after altering the names. Their words of the second type are about things which Islam does not explain, but commands, 'Research and find out!' Whether we believe their words of this type or not, it does not cause the iman to be lost. For example, they say that a lunar eclipse is a result of our earth coming between the sun and the moon, and they can predict its time, for the moon looks very bright when it is facing the sun. When the earth's shadow is cast on the moon, it becomes obscure and indistinct, being unable to receive any light from the sun. And a solar eclipse is caused by the moon coming in between the earth and the sun, and thereby obstructing the sun from being seen from the earth. They say that a lunar eclipse takes place in the middle of the Arabic months, and a solar eclipse happens on the first or the last night of a month." [The sun, earth and moon are spherical-shaped, like a water melon, and they all move in the first heaven. Ancient physicists said that each of the seven planets was in one heaven. On the other hand, it is declared in Surat-ul-Mulk that all the stars are in the first heaven, which also consists of the earth].
"We do not object to either of these views of scientists, which are of the second type. A person who objects to them by saying that Muslims should not believe such words as these will have striven to harm the religion and to demolish Islam. If one says that they do not agree with the Shariat, while the rules and experiments of arithmetics, physics and chemistry prove that these words are correct, scientists will doubt the correctness of the Shariat, thinking that Islam disagrees with science, instead of doubting such a person's words. It has been experienced that the harm done by an ignorant person who wants to help Islam by using illogical methods is greater than the harm done by those who attack Islam systematically." [Also, Muhammad 'Uthman Effendi of Medina, in his book Basirat-us- salikin, printed in 1341 (1923 A.D.) in Istanbul, rejected the rotation of the earth by saying mawdu' about sahih hadiths. He mislead the youth. In contrast, in many books, Islamic scholars, for instance Abu Bakr Razi in his books Kuriyat-ul-Ard (Kuriyet-ul-Erd) and Sharh-i Mawaqif, has proven that the earth is a rotating spherical globe. Fiqh 'ulama' have written cases on this fact. The sacred meaning of the 22 nd ayat of Sura Baqara is, 'Your Rabb has made the earth just like a bed for you.' Tafsir-i Azizi says, ' He made it calm and motionless for you to sit and to sleep on.' The sacred meaning of the fifteenth ayat of Sura Nahl is: 'I put the mountains on the earth lest it would shake you.' Tafsir Sawi explains this as, 'He created the mountains lest the earth could move and cause you trouble.' And the book Baidawi says, 'Before the creation of the mountains, the earth was a globe without any rocky areas on its face. While rotating or during any other movement it would shake. When the mountains were created, they prevented it from moving, suffering and shaking.' 64 th ayat of sura Mumin is, 'Allah is He who made the earth a resting-place for you.'
Shaikhzada says, 'Abdullah ibni Abbas said that a resting-place means the place of destination, and station.' It is seen that the ayats of Qur'an al-karim and the tafsir books inform us that the surface of the earth is like a saddle, a mattress, motionless and comfortable. It will not be true to deduct that the earth is motionless, and, therefore, it does not rotate on its axis and that does not move around the sun. Today, these two movements of the earth are known for certain and the prayer times are thereby calculated. Please see the sixty-fourth chapter of the third Part of the Turkish original of Endless Bliss (Se'adet-i ebediyye)]. Imam-i Ghazali goes on and says. "When met with events that are understood to be certain and true through calculation and experimentation, it is necessary to interpret ayats and hadiths, that is, to adapt their meanings according to them. Many interpretations have been done in this way." Let us mention also that is not a job for the ignorant, such as ourselves, to give meanings to ayats and hadiths. To be a religious savant, that is, to have a say in the religion, it is necessary to go up to the degree of ijtihad [see article 26]. There is no such exalted savant in the world today. Now the non-savants write religious books for various purposes, and by giving ayats and hadiths meanings at random, they say that Allahu ta'ala says so, or that the Prophet 'sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam' commands so and so. They change Islam into a game. We should not buy or read religious books of this sort. We should find and read books that contain the unchanged words of religious savants. But, it is a pity, such religious books are almost nonexistent today. On the other hand, it is deplorably seen that most of the books that carry the names of great Islamic savants and which are sold as translations from them contain harmful additions, deletions and changes. What is even more pathetic to realize about these existing books, some of which are quite well-known, is that a number of ignorant people have been carrying on this business of writing books for centuries, adapting some ayats and hadiths to the wrong scientific teachings of their times and thereby giving them wrong and funny meanings. What pleases the enemies of the religion most is to see Muslims deny (because of some ignorant do-gooders) facts that are proven through science and which are evident. For this will help them mislead younger generations. If scientists say that matter, the cell, the living and the lifeless came to being later while they had been nonexistent, it does not harm Islam whether they came to existence incidentally in the sea or through some other way; for it is Allahu ta'ala who makes everything.
"Their ideas of the third type are those which disagree with what is declared clearly in the Shariat. All of these things are hypotheses, that is, suppositions or fabrications under the curtain of science, fruits of sheer bigotry and ignorance. That everything was created out of nothing, that Hadrat Adam's body, which was made from sticky mud, came to life by changing into flesh and bones, that Allahu ta'ala exists with His Attributes, the things that will happen at the end of the world, and the Resurrection are all within the principles of iman. One should not believe in thoughts that disagree with these or that will ruin the belief in these realities. A real scientist will not utter words disagreeing with these beliefs because they are not things which disagree with science. It is necessary to persuade everybody to believe in them and to refute those who oppose them."
Hadrat Adam's children multiplied and spread over Arabia, Egypt, Anatolia and India. During the time of Hadrat Noah (Nuh) 'alaihis-salam', they were all drowned in the Flood; only those on board the ship were saved. People multiplied from these survivors. As a result of their numbers increasing in the course of time, they spread over Asia, Africa, Europe, America and Oceania, that is all over the world. This migration was both by land and by sea on large ships. Perhaps there were roads from Asia to America and to the Oceanic Islands in those times.
As science makes progress, facts which Muslims used to believe in without seeing or comprehending are being understood one by one through science. Today, for example, the following theories are being taught in schools in Europe and in America: "It has been admitted that there were roads between the southern continents during ancient geological ages. The famous meteorologist Alfred Wegener established the theory of "Kontinentenverschiebung' (the sliding of continents) and said that the five [six today] continents had been attached to one another formerly, and later they parted. By relying on zoogeographic experiments, another professor claimed that there used to be pieces of land between continents like bridges. According to Wegener, continents were adjacent to one another in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic ages. Until the end of the Paleozoicum, animals traveled by land between south America and Africa, between Asia (directly from India) and Australia; animals that lived in Africa after the Eocene passed over to south America by land."
It can be understood scientifically as well that Hadrat Adam 'alaihis-salam' was created from soil, and that people migrated over the earth from Syria, Iraq and central Asia. While some historians, who write not about facts but about propaganda, and who run not towards the truth but towards political advantages, are still obstinate in slandering Islam and Islamic superiors blindly, scientists and scientific knowledge can see and understand the greatness, the correctness of Islam more closely every day.]
Allahu ta'ala created a sample of everything in Hadrat Adam 'alaihis-salam'. He has many latifas, forces. Long before creating him, Allahu ta'ala created one of his latifas, attributes, in his shape for a long time in alam-i mithal and revealed all his deeds and all his descendants that will come until the end of the world together with their names. They all lived when their time came. When their end came, they were called to account, and they went either into Paradise or into hell. After a very long time, as Allahu ta'ala wished, another one of Hadrat Adam's attributes was created in alam-i mithal like before, and when its time was over, there began the term of the third one. And when its time was over, the fourth attribute was put in alam-i mithal. When all his attributes and latifas were finished, finally, Hadrat Adam, who had accumulated all the attributes and latifas within himself, was created in alam-i shahadat, that is, in the world of matter. Allahu ta'ala made him valuable. The hundreds of Adams that had come before were all archetypes of Hadrat Adam. [It can be compared with the rays of the sun coming before the actual sunrise. Its rays, attributes, gradually become visible.].
Muhyiddin'i Arabi's 'quddisa sirruh' grandfather, who died forty thousand years ago, existence in alam-i mithal as one of the latifas, attributes, of his grandfather in alam-i shahadat. He visited the Kaba al-muazzama in alam-i mithal, for the Kaba al-muazzama has a copy, a likeness in alam-i mithal, as everything has. Though this poor person [Imam-i Rabbani refers to himself] thinks and analyses very much, I cannot see more than one Adam in Alam-i shahadat. I can see nothing but the shadows in alam-i mithal. The person who said that he lived forty thousand years before and that "I am one of your grandfathers" was indicating that the Adams existing before Adam 'alaihis-salam' were the shadows (archetypes) of Adam's 'alaihis-salam' latifas and attributes. They are not beings other than Adam 'alaihis-salam' himself. For another of Adam's 'alaihis-salam' sons cannot be the grandfather of this son of Adam 'alaihis-salam'.
Upon hearing of this event and the like, people with sick hearts and little knowledge suppose that it is metempsychosis. Thus, they say that beings were eternal in the past, that they were not created later, and they reject the fact that they will be annihilated again and the end of the world will come. Some irreligious people, who count themselves as shaikhs and murshids, believe in metempsychosis. They say that when a soul leaves its body before reaching perfection it transmigrates into another body. They believe that souls will not pass through another body any further after reaching perfection, that they reach perfection through transmigration, and they fable many stories about metempsychosis. However, it is an act of disbelief to believe in metempsychosis, which means that a dead man's soul passes into another child and comes to life again. He who says that there is metempsychosis disbelieves in the Islamic religion. That is, he will cease to be a Muslim. They never understand; if souls reach perfection through metempsychosis, for whom is Hell, who will be tormented? To believe it means to deny Hell, and even, to reject the resurrection after death. For according to their belief the soul will no more need its body, which has already been a means for its maturing. Why should it be resurrected together with the body, then? These false shaikhs' words are identical with the words of ancient philosophers [and of today's spiritualists and mediums]. Ancient philosophers did not believe that the dead would resurrect. They said that blessings in Paradise and torments in Hell will happen only to souls. They are even worse than philosophers. For, on the pretext of metempsychosis, they deny the torment in the next world and say that it is taking place only in the world in order to perfect souls. [It has been witnessed that genies enter statues, sick people and children and talk. They suppose that those who talk in that manner are double-souled. This supposition also indicates belief in metempsychosis.]
Question: According to some reports coming from the Amir (Hadrat Ali) 'karram-Allahu wajhah' and from some Awliya 'qaddas-Allahu asrarahum-ul-'aziz', they had done astonishing work years before coming to the world. If we state that metempsychosis is not true, how can we believe these events?
Answer: The work that was done by these great men of religion, was done only by their souls. Allahu ta'ala put their souls into men's shapes and these shapes did work like men. Their blessed souls did not enter other bodies. But, metempsychosis means that a man's soul has had a connection with another body before it entered his own body. It is not a matter of metempsychosis for a soul to take the shape of a body. Also, angels and genies do many things by disguising themselves as men, which is not transmigration at all. It is not reincarnation. It is not a matter of transmigrating into another body.
As Allahu ta'ala gives angels and genies the strength to take various shapes, He also gives this strength to the souls of His born servants whom He loves very much. There is no need for another body. [Air always contains an amount of invisible moisture. The white steam coming out of boiling water or out of the pipe of a cauldron is not moisture. It is only tiny drops of water. Colorless gases are not visible. As colorless atmospheric moisture condenses into drops in cold weather, which we call dew, in a similar way souls can take various shapes]. According to what we hear and read, most Awliya have been seen at various places at the same time and have participated in different activities. Here also, their souls and other latifas disguise themselves as men and take the shapes of different bodies. Likewise, for instance, some hajjis said that they had seen a Wali at the Kaba and had talked with him, others said that they had seen him in Baghdad on the same day, and some other people said that they had met the same Wali in Istanbul on the same day. But that particular Wali lived, let us say, in India and never left his hometown. It was that Wali's latifas that took various shapes. Sometimes that Wali does not know of these events. When they tell him that they have seen him, he answers them, "You are wrong; I was at home at that time; I did not go to those countries; I do not know those cities, and I do not know who you are, either." Likewise, some people asked for help from a few Awliya so that they might escape trouble and danger. They would see that those great people were there immediately and had come to rescue them. Sometimes these Awliya 'qaddas-Allahu asrarahum-ul-'aziz' know of the aid they have given, and sometimes they do not know of it. [This fact has been witnessed especially in battles.] It is the souls and latifas of those great men of the religion that did these useful deeds. Their latifas take shapes sometimes in alam- i shahadat, and sometimes in alam-i mithal. As a matter of fact, thousands of people at the same time every night dream of our Prophet and get something of value from him. All of what they see are his latifas and attributes taking shapes in alam-i mithal. Likewise, in the past, devotees received help from their murshid's appearances in alam-i mithal; with their help they got rid of their problems.
Ahizada Abdulhalim Effendi, in his book Riyadussadat fi ithbat-il-karamat lil-Awliya-i hal-al-hayat wa ba'dal-mamat, has proven that the Awliya have karamats (miracles) even after their deaths.
It is not metempsychosis for a Wali to do kumun and buruz [The lexical meaning of kumun is to hide somewhere, and that of buruz is to reappear from a hiding place.]. For in metempsychosis the soul connects with another body to enliven it, to make it sensitive and active. But in buruz a soul's connecting with another body is not intended to do this, but it is to perfect that body and exalt its grade. As a matter of fact, a genie can also connect with a man's body and appear in him. But this type of connection is not intended to enliven that person, for that person is alive and is able to hear and move before the genie connects with him. After the connection, some of that person's actions and words are the appearances of the attributes and actions of that genie. By saying nothing about kumun and buruz, great shaikhs avoided causing those ignorant to be dragged into wrong beliefs.
To this humble person, kumun and buruz are unnecessary. For treating and training those who are ignorant, a murshid-i kamil [The fortunate person who has reached the grade explained in article 37 First volume, 99 th letter.] can make his own high qualities be reflected on that person with the strength given to him by Allahu ta'ala, without superimposing his will on him (buruz). Through tawajjuh and iltifat, he can place those high qualities in him. Thus, that low-grade person will become exalted and will reach perfection. Getting rid of base attributes, he will attain good attributes. Doing this does not require kumun and buruz at all. This is such a great blessing which Allahu ta'ala endows upon people whom He chooses. His blessings and gifts are so many.
Some people say that souls transmigrate. They say that when a soul reaches perfection, it can leave its own body and pass into another body. They give the following story as an example: A young man died who was the neighbor of a person who had reached perfection and who had acquired this power. That person's soul left its own body, which was old, and passed into the young man's dead body. The old man's body died and the young man came back to life. These words are untrue. They are stories about metempsychosis. A soul entering a dead body in order to enliven it is metempsychosis. The difference between transmigration and metempsychosis is that those who believe in metempsychosis suppose that the soul is defective and it reaches perfection through metempsychosis, while the former considers the soul perfect and says that it can transmigrate into another body after reaching perfection. According to this poor person, belief in the transmigration of a soul is worse than believing in metempsychosis. This is so because they say that metempsychosis is for perfecting the soul. These words of theirs are wrong. Moreover, why should the soul pass into another body after reaching perfection? Why should the person who has reached perfection pass into young bodies for watching and enjoying the world? The soul that has reached perfection would not want to enter a body; on the contrary, such a soul would avoid another incarnation: the purpose of a soul entering a body has been achieved and perfection has been attained. Moreover, in the soul's transmigration the first body dies and the second body comes to life. However, the first body has to be rewarded or tormented in the grave. If the second body comes back to life it means that for that body the end of the world has come while in the world and it has been judged in the world. I do not know if those who believe in transmigration believe in the torment of the grave and the day of the Last Judgment? It is a pity, these disbelievers have counted themselves among religious men and have attempted to teach Islam to people through their books and magazines. They are trying to make youngsters irreligious like themselves. O our Allah, protect us from believing such writings and from going wrong! Do not separate us from our dear religion, from our valuable iman! Only Thou can protect one from disbelief and aberration! Appendix: By the way, let me give some information about alam-i mithal. Alam-i mithal is the largest of all the classes of beings. Each of all the things in all the classes of beings has a copy, an appearance, in alam-i mithal. Also, each of the things, meanings, and thoughts that occur to mind and imagination has a copy in that alam. Our savants said that Allahu ta'ala does not have an equivalent, a likeness, but He has an example. To his poor person, as I have written in my letters, as He does not have a mithl in the grade of perfect tanzih, the Divine Person (Allah Himself) does not have an example, either. The ayat al- karima which purports, "Do not give examples concerning Allahu ta'ala," in Nahl sura, implies this grade. Man is called "Alam-i saghir." Everything in alam-i kabir has a copy in man. And the copy of alam-i mithal in alam-i saghir is man's imagination. For everything has a copy in our imagination. Also, each of the states or grades of the devotees making progress in the way of tasawwuf has a copy in the imagination. It is the imagination which informs the devotees about their states. If it weren't for the imagination, or if the imagination did not do its duty, sufis would not know of their own states. It is for this reason that those who reach the grades beyond the zils [Shades.] and appearances, become ignorant and bewildered about their own states, for man's imagination can represent a copy of the zils. The imagination cannot go beyond the zils. We have said that the Divine Person does not have a copy in alam-i mithal. Can there be a divine copy in the imagination which is a copy of alam-i mithal? For this reason, what falls to man's lot from the Divine Person is only ignorance and unawareness. Nothing can be said about something which is not known. Therefore, it has been said, "Those who know Allahu ta'ala are incapable of talking." Something which is known can be explained. Therefore, many things are said when in the world of zils. Those who go beyond zils become speechless. So are the states of those who go up to the zils and origins (asls) of Allah's Deeds, Attributes and Names. So it is understood that all the things that can exist in the imagination originate from the zil. But, since they are the signs, the symptoms of the matlub (the Divine Person), they make up a branch of knowledge called "Ilm-ul-yaqin." But the knowledge called "Ayn-ul- yaqin" and the knowledge called "Haq-qul-yaqin" occurs above the zils, beyond the imagination. To escape the knowledge of the imagination, it is necessary to pass beyond the way and grades which tasawwuf calls "Sayr-i anfusi" [ 'Sayr' means 'to go, to make progress', 'Anfus' means 'inside man', 'Sayr-i anfusi' means 'man's progress inside himself'.] as well as the way called "Sayr-i afaqi" [ 'Afaq' means 'outside man'. 'Sayr-i afaqi means 'man's making progress outside himself'.], and to make progress beyond afaq and anfus. Most Awliya reach there only after death. It is impossible for them to get rid of the fancy in this world. A very few selected ones from among the great ones of the awliya were bestowed upon this blessing when they are alive in this world. Their knowledge is not mixed with fantasy, though they are in the world. They attain the matlub without the fantasy, coming in between. Manifestations of the Divine Person, which flash like lightning for others, are permanent for these great people. They attain Wasl-i uryani.
May it be to the good health of those who get the blessing, Let the poor lovers be content with a few morsels!
Question: Some people dream of the copies of alam-i mithal and fantasy, while asleep, and dream that they become very rich or that they occupy a high-ranking position. Or they dream that they become a great religious savant and all people gather around them in order to learn knowledge. On the other hand, none of these happens in alam-i shahadat, that is when awake. Are such dreams true, or are they without a foundation?
Answer: Such dreams are not vain or without a foundation. It means that the person who dreams so has the tendency and talents to become a rank owner or a savant. But, this tendency is not so strong as to become a fact in alam-i shahadat. If this tendency become strong in the course of time, with Allahu ta'ala's blessings, it will take place in alam-i shahadat, too. If it does not become strong enough to happen in alam-i shahadat, it remains as it has appeared in alam-i mithal. It appears there as long as it is strong enough. The case is the same with the dreams of the devotees on the way of tasawwuf. They dream that they are in high grades, the grades of Awliya. If this state falls to their lot in alam-i shahadat, it is a very great blessing. Otherwise, it remains as it was seen in alam-i mithal; it is worth nothing. Dustmen and porters dream of themselves as judges or generals. But they get nothing when they wake up. Their dreams are of no avail, except that they cause sorrow and repentance. Then, we should not trust in dreams, but we should be pleased with that we obtain while awake.
I love the sun, it is my favorite subject;
No business with night, what should I do with a dream.
1. For this reason, our superiors did not attach any importance to dreams, and they considered it unnecessary to interpret the dreams of their disciples. They valued what was obtained while awake. Therefore, they respected permanent appearances and deemed the state of feeling Allah's presence that never fades as an advantage. It was quite common for them to forget everything except Allahu ta'ala and not to remember anything else. Attaining this spiritual maturity is not too difficult, or it is not too far away from those who, in the beginning, have tasted the things which can be attained in the end.