English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written to Qadi Nasrullah, explains the difference between the istidlals of the 'ulama-i rasikhin and that of other Islamic scholars: Istidlal means to infer the existence of the doer of the work by seeing the work, that is, to know the existence of the Creator by seeing creatures. The 'ulama-i rasikhin and the 'ulama-i zahir always perform istidlal and say that creatures have been communicating [the existence of] the Creator. Those savants who, as stated in a hadith, are prophets' inheritors are called 'ulama-i rasikhin. Not all the Islamic scholars are so. Those savants who are not rasikh understand the existence of the Creator by knowing the existence of creatures. They say that the existence of the work communicates existence of the doer. Thus, they believe in the existence of the doer. But the 'ulama'-i rasikhin have passed beyond all the high grades of Wilayat, that is, of being Awliya, and have reached the grade of da'wat (call, invitation), which is peculiar to prophets. After the happening of tajallis and mushahadas in them, they, too, deduce the doer from the work. And through this way they believe the real doer, that is, have iman in the existence of Allahu ta'ala. After reaching the end, they realize that everything which they have found out through mushahada and tajalli is not the real being but one of the shades of the appearances of the real being. "It cannot be believed as the real being. One cannot have iman in the real being without istidlal," they say. By doing istidlal, they go on searching for the real being without the shades coming between. Because they love the real being only and because they will sacrifice everything else for the real being, they attain to the real being through such istidlal. As it is stated in the hadith, "A person will be together with whom he loves," they attain to the real being, who actually exists beyond the tajallis and zuhurs, which are mixed with shades. Being pulled with the rope of love, these great people reach the true origin in person while the savants of zahir reach there in knowledge only. An attainment happens which cannot be understood. The difference between these two types of attainments comes from love. He who loves and ceases from everything other than his beloved attains to his beloved. But he who does not have such a love only learns, knows about this attainment and considers this knowledge of his as a great blessing. However, such savants do not know precisely the grade which those great superiors have reached. And the ones who know only know the way that leads to that grade. Those who have reached have reached, attained completely, and have become united.
As expressed by the following Arabic line, one of those superiors states:
The slave's attaining to his Creator is like sugar's being mixed with milk.