English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi

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This letter, written to a pious lady, gives advice necessary for women:

The sura of Mumtahina contains an ayat that was revealed when the blessed city of Mecca was conquered and which informs of the fact that there are promises that women made to the Messenger of Allah. After the covenant with men, our Prophet made a covenant with women. But with women it was only through words, and his blessed hand did not touch the women's hands. Because women are more inclined than men to atrocities, more restrictions were imposed during the covenant with women. They were told that having done Allah's commands required observing these restrictions.

First restriction: not to worship anything besides Allahu ta'ala. If a person worships so that others will see him or if he worships Allahu ta'ala but likes it also when others see him or if, when worshipping, he expects a reward such as the expression "Well done" from others, this person has not gotten rid of shirk (polytheism) and cannot be a true muwahhid. Our Prophet stated, "Protect yourselves against small shirk!" When he was asked, "What is small shirk?" "Riya," he stated, that is, to worship in order to show yourself to others.

It is also shirk to imitate disbelievers during their festivals. A person who practices both Islam and the worship of disbelievers is a mushrik (polytheist). He who likes disbelief is also a mushrik. For being a Muslim it is necessary to avoid disbelief. For being a Believer it is a must to secure oneself against shirk.

It is shirk to expect help from idols, statues and priests to get rid of an illness, a widespread practice among Muslims. It is disbelief to ask for what one needs from idols and statues. Allahu ta'ala declares in the fifty-ninth ayat of Nisa Sura, "Though I told them not to believe the disbelievers, they have been acting upon the disbelievers' words. Shaytan has been deceiving them." Most women, not knowing the fact, catch this pestilence. Expecting help from some names of no meaning, they want to get rid of problems through them. They practice the customs of disbelievers and the signs of disbelief. Especially in cases of small-pox, this nuisance is seen on good ones as well as on bad ones. There are very few women who can escape this nuisance and who do not do any of the signs of disbelief. It is shirk to respect the festival days of Hindus [and the Christmas nights and Easter days of Christians] and to imitate their customs on those days. It causes disbelief. On festival days of disbelievers the ignorant ones of Muslims, especially the women, do as disbelievers do, think of those days to be Muslims' festivals and send presents to one another like disbelievers on those days; they ornament their furniture and meal tables like disbelievers. They distinguish those nights from other nights. All these are shirk, disbelief. Allahu ta'ala declares in the sura of Yusuf, "Most of those who say that they have believed the existence and the oneness of Allahu ta'ala and that He is the Creator of everything and that they have become Muslims, have become polytheists by worshipping and obeying others and by many other actions and utterances." [Please see the beginning of the seventeenth chapter in the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss.]

They vow sacrificials to shaikhs, to tombs. Then they take [the animals they have vowed] to the graves and kill them near the graves. Books of fiqh count this to be shirk. Some people even go further and say that such sacrifices become the sacrifices of genies. Our din forbids this and counts this as shirk. There are various ways of vowing. What is the use of vowing to sacrifice an animal, killing it and then saying that it has become the sacrifice of genies, thus becoming like those who worship genies? [See the fifth chapter of the fifth fascicle of Endless Bliss, and the Arabic book Hayat-ul-Haywan by Abdullah Damiri!]

The case is the same with their fasting for shaikhs. Concocting some names, they make their niyyat (intention) on them; at the times of iftar, they make it a condition to have a special meal and fix a definite day [for each fast]. They think that their problems are solved owing to such fasts. This is shirk in worships, and means to worship someone else for the solution of one's problems. We must realize how loathsome this situation is. A hadith al- qudsi purports, "Fasting is performed for Me. I shall give its reward," which means, "One fasts only for Me. None can be My partner in fasting." It is not permissible to attribute a partner to Allahu ta'ala in any worship, yet He has declared this only about fasting in order to emphasize the fact that we should be extra careful not to commit shirk in this. Some women deceitfully say that they fast for Allahu ta'ala and present the thawab for fasting to their shaikhs. If their word is true, why do they fix a certain day for their fasting, eat certain food at iftar and practice detestable acts at the time of iftar? Most of them commit haram at iftar. In order to fulfill these conditions they even commit beggary and believe that their problems are solved owing to these harams. All these are heresy, Satan's tricks.

[In explaining the zabayih, it is written towards the end of Radd ul-muhtar, "It is haram to sacrifice an animal for the arrival of state authorities and rank occupiers. For, it is shirk to sacrifice an animal for anybody besides Allahu ta'ala. It is haram even if one mentions the name of Allah while killing the animal. But it is not haram if one kills it in order to give food to a visitor. For, it is the sunnat of Hadrat Ibrahim to give a feast to visitors. It brings thawab (blessings) to entertain one's guest. It is written in the fatwa book of Bazaziyya that it is wrong to say, 'To kill in order to give good food to a man means to kill for someone other than Allahu ta'ala, which is not halal.' Saying so is unreasonable and incompatible with the Qur'an and hadiths. For example, a butcher kills [animals] in order to earn money. None has said haram about the meat in a butcher's shop. If an animal killed for earning money were dirty, no butcher would kill animals. The ignorant person who says so should not buy meat from the butcher's or eat the meat of an animal killed (at some occasions such as) wedding parties or (supererogatory worships such as) aqiqa.

"If one offers the meat of the animal which one has killed for a visitor to the visitor, that is, if the visitor eats the meat, one has killed it for Allah and its use has been for the visitor. Also, what the butcher kills is for Allah's sake. And its use and earning are for the butcher. If one does not give the meat to the guest but gives it all to others, one has killed it for someone other than Allahu ta'ala, which is haram. As it is seen, whether an animal is killed for someone other than Allahu ta'ala in order to respect him or for Allah's sake is judged by whether or not the meat is given to the person to eat for whom the animal is killed. Hence , it is understood that it is halal to kill an animal when laying a foundation, when one becomes sick or when a sick person recovers. For, the meat is given to the poor to eat. Likewise says Hamawi. It is written in the book Bahr-ur-raiq that the case is the same with offering a sacrifice to Allahu ta'ala for the fulfillment of one's wish. But the meat must be given to the poor only. What is important is whether or not the visitor for whom the animal has been killed has been offered to eat from the meat. It is not important whether the meat is given entirely to him or to someone else. Others can be given meat from the animal from which he has eaten. Also, the person who has killed the animal can get a share from it. This is not important. Whether or not we must let him eat from the meat is dependent upon the intention when killing the animal. If we have not intended to respect him when killing the animal, it does not cause a haram not to give him from the meat and to give him something else to eat instead. For, when killing the animal we have intended to let him eat from the meat. Hence, it is understood that when killing an animal for the arrival of a government official, if we intend to respect and honor him it is not halal even if we give him meat from it to eat. If, as we kill the animal, we intend to offer him meat from it to eat, it is halal even if we do not give him meat from it but give him something else to eat.

"When it is haram to kill it, is it disbelief also, or not? It is written in Bazaziyya that both the opinions are valid [among savants]. Since intention is something secret we must not think ill of a Muslim; we must not stigmatize him with disbelief in discordant matters. A Muslim cannot be thought of as worshipping a person in order to approach him or to ingratiate himself with him. His killing the animal is intended to show his sympathy for him. By expressing his sympathy, he wants to approach him and get some worldly advantages. When killing for Allah's sake, it is haram to intend also to show reverence to a man, yet it cannot be said to be disbelief. Haram and disbelief are quite far apart from each other."]

The second condition on which women were made to promise is not to steal. Stealing is one of the grave sins. Most women have been seized by this sin. Very few women have escaped the subtle particulars of stealing. For this reason, it became the second condition to avoid stealing. Those women who spend their husbands' possessions without their husbands' permission become thieves. Thus, they commit a grave sin. Almost all women have this habit. This unfaithfulness exists in all of them. Only a very few women protected by Allahu ta'ala have escaped this. I wish they knew this was theft and sinful. Most of them deem this halal. It is feared greatly that those who deem it halal become disbelievers. After prohibiting them from shirk, Allahu ta'ala has prohibited women from theft. For, most of them become disbelievers because they deem this halal. Therefore, this sin has become graver for women than other sins. Because such women get used to unfaithfulness by taking away their husbands' possessions, the loathing of using others' possessions will leave their hearts. It will come slight to them to use others' possessions without their permission. Without hesitation, they will unfaithfully steal others' possessions. If we think well, we will realize that this is so. Then, it is very important in Islam to prohibit women from stealing. This has become the second ugliest thing for them after shirk. [In order to rescue his faithful wife from this grave sin, a Believer must give her permission in advance to spend his possessions as she likes.]

Addition: One day, asking his Sahaba, our Prophet 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' stated, "Do you know who the biggest thief is?" "Allah and his Prophet know better," they replied. Upon this he stated, "The biggest thief is the one who steals from his own namaz, because he does not carry out the rules of namaz precisely!" One must avoid this theft, too, thus securing oneself against becoming a big thief. One must intend to perform namaz without having anything in one's heart. If the intention is not correct the worship will not be accepted. One must recite the qiraat correctly, do the ruku', the sajdas, the qawma and jalsa in due itminan. In other words, after the ruku' one must stand upright and remain so as long as the duration in which one could say, "Subhanallah," and must sit upright and remain so as long as the same duration between the two sajdas. Thus, itminan [tumaninat] will be fulfilled in the qawma and jalsa. Those who do not do so become thieves and will be tormented bitterly.

[Ibni Abidin writes at the end of the subject of Luqata that Ibni Hajar and Nawawi and others say that to find something lost it is necessary to recite the prayer, "Ya Jamiannasi li- yawmin la rayba fihi innAllaha la yukhlif-ul mi-ad ijma' bayni wa bayna...," in which the name of the thing lost is inserted in place of the dots. It is written in Fatawa-i qari-ul- hidaya, "A person who has a wish must perform an ablution before going to bed, sit on a clean cloth, say a salawat three times, then recite the sura of Fatiha ten times saying the Basmala before each; then recite the sura of Ikhlas eleven times, and then, with his face towards the qibla and his right hand under his right cheek, lie down on his right side and go to sleep. With the permission of Allahu ta'ala, he will dream of how his wish will come true." As it is written at the end of Bostan-ul-'arifin, Ibn 'Umar said that a person who has lost something shall perform two rakats of namaz and, after saying the salam of namaz, recite the prayer, "Allahumma ya Hadi wa ya Raddaddallati, ardid 'alayya dallatee bi- izzatika was sultanika fainnaha min fadlika wa 'ataika."] The third condition women were asked to fulfill is not to commit fornication. Asking for this condition only from women is because the committing of this sin depends mostly on their consent and because they show [surrender] themselves to men. They are the first cause of this sin. Their consent is valid in this evil deed. Therefore, it became necessary to prohibit women more emphatically from this sin. For this reason, in the Qur'an al-karim Allahu ta'ala has mentioned women before men in respect of this sin and has declared: "Flog the woman and the man a hundred strokes!" This sin harms man both in this world and the next and has become ugly and prohibited in all dins. Our Prophet stated, "Fornication has three harms in the world. Firstly, it removes beauty and brightness. Secondly, it causes poverty. Thirdly, it causes one's life to become shorter. As for its three harms in the next world, firstly, it incurs Allah's wrath. Secondly, it causes the questioning and accounting (on Judgement Day) to be bad. Thirdly, it causes torment in the Hell-fire." Another hadith states, "looking at na-mahram women is fornication of the eyes. Touching them is fornication of hands. And going to them is fornication of the feet." Allahu ta'ala declares in the sura of Nur in the Qur'an: "Tell the Believers not to look at na-mahram women and not to commit fornication! And tell Muslim women not to look at na-mahram men and not to commit fornication!" The heart is dependent on the eyes. If the eyes do not avoid harams, it will be difficult to protect the heart. If the heart dives into the harams, it will be difficult to avoid fornication. Then, those who have iman, those who fear Allahu ta'ala, must not look at the harams. Only by this way can one protect oneself and thus escape dangers in this world and the next. Allahu ta'ala prohibits in the Qur'an women and girls to talk politely and with a soft voice to na-mahram men and to bring evil thoughts to the hearts of evil men by doing so, and commands them to talk in such a way as not to cause such things. He prohibits women to adorn themselves for na-mahram men. He commands them to walk slowly, silently lest the noise of their bracelets will be heard. That is, everything causing sins and evil is a sin. Then it is necessary to refrain from things that cause sins and harams. Only by this way will it be possible to escape the harams.

Sophism, that is, women's looking at other women or touching them lustfully, is haram like the looking or touching of na-mahram men. It is not permissible for women who fear Allahu ta'ala to adorn themselves for the na-mahram, no matter who they are, whether they are men or women. As pederasty, that is, looking at or touching boys lustfully, is haram for men, so lesbianism is haram for women, that is, looking at or touching other women lustfully. To escape perdition in this world and the next, it is necessary to observe these subtleties well. Men and women being of opposite sexes, it is difficult for them to come together. But it is easy for a woman to approach another woman. For this reason, a woman should be prohibited more emphatically from looking at or touching another woman than from looking at a man.

[It is written in the Turkish book Gayr-i tabi'i ashklar (Unnatural Lovers) published in 1343 (1925) by Doctor Fakhraddin Karim, that pederasty was common among the Romans and ancient Greeks.]

The fourth condition women were asked to fulfill is not to kill their children. At that time women, with fear of poverty, used to kill their daughters. This abominable action both means to have no pity on and to kill someone and is not to recognize the rights of children, both of which are grave sins. [So is abortion. It is written on the two hundred and seventy- sixth page of the fifth volume of Radd ul-muhtar, "Abortion without any excuse is haram no matter for what reason. In case there is an excuse which may cause the death of the mother or of another suckling, it is permissible if the limbs have not been formed yet. Harmless medicines which can take effect within a few days are sold on prescription in drugstores, including those kinds that can be injected intradermally or intramuscularly. It has been said that the limbs are formed after a hundred and twenty days." It is haram to have or cause the abortion of a living fetus. To prevent the child's formation, it is permissible to take precautions in advance, for instance, to use condoms. The fear of being unable to sustain and feed the child because of poverty cannot be a valid reason for an abortion. Fear of being unable to give the child information about the din or to educate it with Islamic teachings because it is prohibited by enemies of the din can be an excuse. As written at the end of Bostan-ul-'arifin, to give birth to a child in comfort and ease, Ibn 'Abbas said, "The prayer, 'Bismillahilladhi la ilaha illa huw al-halim-ul-Karim. Subhana Rabbil 'Arsh-il- 'azim Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil 'alamin,' then the last ayat of Nazi'at Sura and, beginning with 'Ka-anna-hum', the last ayat of Ahkaf Sura shall be written in Islamic letters on a dish or container, then water shall be put in it and, after the writing has dissolved, the mother shall drink it.]

It is stated on the two hundred and forty-ninth (249) page of the fifth volume of Ibni Abidin, and also in the chapters dealing with kinds of mischief incurred by one's genitals: "It is permissible to castrate beasts for slaughter in order to fatten them. It is haram to sterilize other animals or human beings."

The fifth condition asked from women is not to slander or calumniate. This sin being common mostly among women, it has been made a condition for them. Slandering is a grave and atrocious sin. It also includes lying, which is haram in every din. Also, it includes hurting a Believer, which is haram, too. In addition to these, slandering causes fitna, chaos on the earth, which is also haram.

The sixth condition is to obey every command of our Prophet. This condition means to carry out all the fard and sunnat actions and to avoid all prohibitions, and informs of the five principles of Islam.

Namaz is one of the five principles of Islam. We should perform namaz five times each day willingly without feeling reluctance. We should willingly give the zakat of our property to people nominated (by Islam). Fasting in the holy month of Ramadan causes forgiveness of a year's sins. We must enjoy fasting. Our Prophet stated, "The past sins of a person who performs hajj will be pardoned." Visiting the Kaba-i muazzama and performing hajj should be deemed as a great advantage. We should not neglect wara' and taqwa. Our Prophet stated, "Wara' is the pillar of our din."

We must not have alcoholic drinks. Everything intoxicant is haram like wine. We must also abstain from music, which is lawh and la'b, that is, something useless desired by the nafs and is haram. A hadith states, "Music causes fornication." Backbiting Muslims, talking from behind a Muslim in order to slander him or passing one Muslim's word on to another Muslim is a graver sin than music. [It is written in the book Bahjat-ul-fatawa that backbiting a zimmi is also haram.] These actions must be avoided. Also, it is haram to make fun of a Muslim and hurt his heart, and it must be avoided.

We must not believe in ill omen or that it has any effect. While giving an explanation to the thirty-seventh ayat of Surat al-Tawba in the Qur'an al-karim, the book Ruh-ul-bayan says, "After Rasulullah 'sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' honored the earth with his presence there were no longer inauspicious days ahead of Muslims." We must not admit that a disease will certainly be caught by a healthy man. It will be caught if Allahu ta'ala decrees and will not be caught if He does not wish it to be caught. Our Prophet stated, "Islam does not include ill omen or that a disease will certainly infect a healthy man." [Nevertheless, it is wajib to keep away from dangerous things and doubtful places. We must the take precautions not to catch a disease.] We must not believe fortunetellers or soothsayers. We must not ask them about the unknown things. We must not think they know about the unknown. [It is written at the beginning of the book Sharh-i aqaid, "Man's knowing something is by means of his sense organs, by dependable information or by the mind. There are five sense organs. There are two kinds of dependable information: tawatur and prophetical information. Tawatur is a report unanimously given by all the dependable people of every century. There are two kinds of mental understanding. Knowing something spontaneously without thinking is called badihi (intuitive, self-evident). If it is known by thinking it is called istidlali (inferred). That everything is bigger than its own part is badihi. Information which is acquired by calculation is istidlali. Information which is acquired by the sense organs and mind together is tajrubi (experimental)." As it is understood from all these, things that are not communicated by Islam, by calculations or by experiments are called ghayb (unknown). No one but Allahu ta'ala and people informed by Him know the ghayb.]

We must not practice sorcery, nor have someone else practice it. It is haram, the worst haram, and it is closest to disbelief. We must be extra careful not to do the tiniest action which is close to sorcery. A hadith states, "A Muslim cannot practice sorcery. His sorcery will take effect not before his iman -may Allah protect us- is gone." Sorcery and iman are sort of opposite of each other; when sorcery is practiced iman is gone.

[Imam-i Nawawi said, "If a statement or action causing disbelief takes place when practicing sorcery, it is disbelief. If there is no such statement or action it is a grave sin." Sorcery makes people sick. It causes discord and hatred. That is, it affects both the body and the soul. Sorcery affects women and children more. The effect of sorcery is not for certain. Like the effect of medicine, Allahu ta'ala creates its effect if He wills. But if He does not will, He does not make it effective. A spell that is cast by disbelievers who have subjected themselves to hunger and other inconveniences and thus mortified their nafs to a state of unwillingness to commit haram are effective. Therefore, priests in this group have been successful in removing spells, too. Today's priests, being fond of worldly pleasures and their nafses being unbridled, cannot cast or remove spells.

He who says and believes that a sorcerer does whatever he likes by sorcery and that sorcery is certainly effective becomes a disbeliever. We must say that sorcery can take effect if Allahu ta'ala has predestined it. If a spell-bound person recites after the morning and late afternoon prayers for seven days and hangs and carries on his neck the ayats and the prayers on the hundred and eighty-seventh page of the second volume of Mawahib-i ladunniyya, and also the Ayat-i-hirz, which is written at the end of the Arabic book Tashil- ul-manafi', he will recover health. We must say the Ayat-al-kursi, the Ikhlas and the Mu'awwizatayn and breathe onto some water. Then the spell-bound person must have three gulps from it and perform a ghusl with the remainder. He will recover health. The book Ibni Abidin in the section dealing with divorce because of illness, the book Zarqani on its pages number 7-104, and in the translation of Mawahib-i ladunniyya say as follows: "Pulverize seven green leaves of the tree named sidr between two stones. Mix it with water. Recite the Ayat-al-kursi, Ikhlas and the suras Qul-a'udhu, then breathe onto that water. Drink three mouthfuls of it. Then, make a ghusl (have a bath) with that water," Sidr is the name of a wild cherry called lotus. In the letter number 96 of the book Makatib- i- Sharifa, it is said, "In order to attain what you need, perform two rakats of salat, and give its thawab as a gift to the souls of those scholars in the line called Silsila-i aliyya, and then pray to Allahu ta'ala to give what you need for the sake of them."

Mawlana Muhammad 'Uthman Sahib says at the end of the hundred and third page of his book Fawaid-i 'Osmaniyya, "For getting rid of the disasters caused by witchery and sorcery, say the Salawat-i-Sharifa three times, the Fatiha seven times, the Ayat-al-kursi seven times, the Kafirun seven times, the Ikhlas-i Sharif seven times, the Falaq seven times and the Nas seven times and breathe them on you and on the sick person. Then, saying them once more, breathe them on the room and bed of the spell-bound person, on all the house including the garden. Inshallahu ta'ala, he will be saved from the spell. [You must not get any payment for this.] This is good for all other illnesses, too. In order that a barakat will come upon the field, give the 'ushr (zakat) of the crops, then write the names of the Ashab-i kahf on four different pieces of paper and wrap them up separately and bury them separately at four different untrodden corners of the field. After the namaz of morning and night, if you mention the names of the Silsila-i aliyya, say the Fatiha-i Sharifa and breathe it to their souls, any prayer which you do through them will be accepted; this has been experienced very often." And it is written on its hundred and forty-eighth page and in Ruh- ul-bayan, "It will also protect and give barakat to carry a piece of paper containing the names of the Ashab-i kahf or to keep it in the home." Domitianus, or Docianus, one of the Roman Emperors, was a wicked, unjust idolater. He declared himself to be a god and was killed in 95. While he was in Ephesus (Tarsus), seven young men who would not renounce 'Isa's 'alaihissalam' religion took refuge in a cave 15 km north-west of the town. They slept in it continuously for three hundred years. During the time of the Emperor Theodus, they woke and talked with Arius's disciples. They slept again. Theodus defeated idolatry, spread Nasraniyyat and went to the cave and talked with the Ashab-i kahf and attained their benedictions. He built a place for praying in front of the cave and passed away in 395. Mamun, Kharun Rashid's son and the seventh Abbasid caliph, rests in his grave in Tarsus. The names of the Ashab-i kahf were Yamliha, Maksalina, Mislina, Marnush, Dabarnush, Shazanush, Kafashtatayyush and their dog Qitmir.

Evil eye is true. That is, illness caused by evil eye is true. When some people look at something and like it, the rays coming out from their eyes are harmful and cause damage to everything whether it is living or lifeless. This has many examples. Perhaps some day science will be able to find out these rays and their effects. When a person sees something he likes, he should say "Masha- Allah" before expressing his admiration so that his looks should not give harm. Saying "Masha-Allah" will avert the evil eye. It is written in Fatawa-i hindiyya that to cure a child who has been harmed by evil eye or who has been frightened, it is permissible to burn straws and fumigate him by turning them around him or to pour melted wax (or lead) into cold water over his head. In Mawahib and Madarij, Abdullah bin Wahab Quraishi, a Maliki savant who died in 197 (813), says, "According to Imam-i Malik, it is makruh to do ruqya with iron, with salt, by knotting two pieces of thread or with the seal of Sulaiman."

Ruqya means to say prayers and breathe on something or to carry on oneself. Doing ruqya with ayats and with the prayers coming down from Rasulullah is called tawiz. Tawiz is permissible and gives use to the person who believes and trusts. As written in Halabi and in Durr ul- mukhtar, at the end of the chapter about taharat (cleanliness) [p. 119], after wrapping up the amulet containing tawiz with such waterproof things as tarpaulin and nylon, it is permissible for a junub to bear it or to go to the rest room with it on. It is called afsun (incantation) to say a ruqya the meaning of which is not known or which causes disbelief. Carrying this or other things called nazarlik (anything worn in order to avert the evil eye) on oneself is called tamima. Those ruqyas made in order to cause affection and love are called tiwala. A hadith, which exists on the two hundred and thirty-second and the two hundred and seventy-fifth pages of the fifth volume of Radd ul-muhtar and which is also written in the books Mawahib and Madarij, states, "Tamima and tiwala are shirk." At the same place Ibni Abidin informs that it is permissible to put bones or animal skulls in a field to avert the evil eye. A person who looks at the field will first see these things and then the field. Hence, it is understood that carrying such things as blue beads and others with this intention is not tamima; so it is permissible. It is written in the Persian book Madarij-un- nubuwwa and on the hundred and seventy-ninth page of the second volume of Mawahib-i ladunniyya that for curing a person harmed by evil eye it is certainly helpful to recite the Ayat-al-kursi, the Fatiha, the Mu'awwaza-tayn and the end of noon Sura. It is also useful to recite the prayers written in these two books and on page 200 of the book Tas'hil- ul-manafi'. The most valuable and the most useful prayer is the sura of Fatiha. It is written on the last page of Tafsir-i Mazhari, "A hadith written in Ibni Maja and communicated by Hadrat Ali states, 'The best medicine is the Qur'an.' If it is recited and breathed on the ill person, he will feel better." If his death time has not come yet, he will recover health. If it is his death time, it will become easy for him to surrender his soul. For ridding sorrow, anxiety and annoyance, Rasulullah used to say the prayer, "La ilaha illAllahul-'azim-ul- halim la ilaha illAllahu Rabb-ul-'Arsh-il-'azim la ilaha illAllahu Rabb-us-samawati wa Rabb-ul-Ardi Rabb-ul- 'Arsh-il-karim." It has been communicated by Anas bin Malik that it is good for neuralgia and for all other sicknesses to say the prayer, "Bismillahirrahmanir- rahim wa la-hawla wa la-quwwata illa billahil 'aliyyil 'azim." The prayer of a person who commits haram and whose heart is unaware will not be accepted. The reciting (these prayers) by a person who does not have the belief of the Ahl as-sunnat will not be useful. Allahu ta'ala creates everything through a means. One who wants to attain something should cling to its means. Praying, giving alms, and taking medicine are things created by Allahu ta'ala as means to give health to His born slaves or to restore them to health. An ayat al- karima or a prayer is written in a pot. Or it is written on a piece of paper, which is then put into the pot. Then it is filled with some water. When the writing is washed off and mixed with the water in the pot, one drinks some of it every day. Another way is to make an amulet of the paper and carry it on you. Another way is to read it and blow it on your both palms. Then you rub your palms gently on your body. Prayers or medicine will not lengthen one's lifetime. Nor will it save someone whose time of death has come. Since such things as lifetime and time of death are unknown to us, we should pray and use medicine. A person whose time of death has not come yet will regain his health and strength. One should expect the healing not from the medicine, but from Allahu ta'ala. Muhammad Mathum 'rahmatullahi alaih' states in Maktubat, "It has been stated (by savants) that to attain your wish you should take permission and read the ayat-i- karima or the prayer (prescribed)." The person who gives the permission will have deputed you (by giving permission). A well-known savant's or Wali's having written that you "should read" in his book shows (that he has given) permission. If you imagine (yourself) the owner of the permission as you read (the ayat al-karima or the prayer), it will be as useful and as effective as if it were read by that exalted person. It is a grave sin to read the (ayat from) Qur'an al-karim or the prayer in return for money, that is, to charge for it beforehand. It is forbidden to ask for a wage and the money taken will be haram, nor will the person concerned benefit from what has been read. Payment not demanded beforehand but offered afterwards is a gift. And a gift, in its turn, is permissible and can therefore be taken. It is stated on the thirty-seventh [37] page of Fatawa-i-fiqhiyya, "It is permissible to write one or two ayats of Qur'an al-karim in a letter sent to disbelievers. No more than that should be written. And the (permission for) one or two ayats is intended for admonishing them and (will serve) as documentation (for your having admonished them). Even if a disbeliever believes in the use of an amulet, it is not permissible to give him an amulet containing an ayat al-karima or blessed names. It is haram. It is not permissible even if the letters are written separately. No matter whether an amulet is written by a Muslim or by a disbeliever, using it requires knowing that it does not contain any writing meaning disbelief or haram." It is stated in Mawahib-i- ladunniyya, "Ruqya is permissible when it meets three conditions. It must contain an ayat al-karima or names of Allahu ta'ala. It must be written in the Arabic language or in an intelligible language. It must be believed that ruqya is like medicine, that it will be effective if Allahu ta'ala wills, and that Allahu ta'ala gives the effect. The following incantation, taught by our Master, the Prophet, should be uttered on a person harmed by evil eye: 'A'udhu bi-kalimatillah-it- tammati min sherri kulli shaytanin wa hammatin wa min sherri kulli 'aynin lammatin.' If this incantation is uttered and breathed on oneself and on one's household daily, three times in the morning and three times in the afternoon, it will protect them against evil eye, against the harms of shaytans and beasts." When it is uttered on one person (other than yourself), you say u'eedhuka instead of a'udhu. When it is uttered on two people, u'eedhu-kuma is said, and when the people are more than two you say u'eedhu kum (instead of the first word - a'udhu - in the incantation)]. In short, we must do our best to carry out whatever the Mukhbir-i sadiq (he who has always told the truth, the Prophet) communicated and whatever the savants of Ahl as-sunnat wrote in books of the Shariat. We must know that doing the opposite is a vehement poison and will cause endless death. That is, it will cause eternal and various torments.

The women who were in the presence of Rasulullah accepted all these and took an oath only by words. Rasulullah asked blessings on them and asked for Allah's pardon on their behalf. It must be hoped completely that these prayers have been accepted and so all of them will be forgiven. Hadrat Hind, who was Abu Sufyan's wife and Hadrat Muawiya's mother was among them and acted as their spokeswoman. She spoke on behalf of them. On account of her oath and her attaining that prayer of istighfar, it is greatly hoped that she won her next world.

If any Muslim woman accepts these conditions and follows them, she will be included to this solemn promise and will get her share from this prayer. Allahu ta'ala declares in the hundred and forty-seventh ayat of Nisa Sura: "If you have iman and give your thanks for the blessings of Allahu ta'ala, why should Allah torment you?" that is, "He shall not torment you." To give thanks to Allahu ta'ala means to admit and carry out His Shariat. To be saved from Hell there is no other way than obeying the owner of the Shariat 'sallallahu alaihi wa sallam' in belief and in deeds. The purpose in looking for a master is to learn the Shariat, and to obtain facility in belief and in following the Shariat by observing him. You could not expect to do and eat whatever you like and then escape torment by merely clinging to the master's arm. Such a supposition is to be fed on sheer illusions. On the Day of Resurrection, no one will intercede for anyone without being allowed to do so. And he who is allowed will intercede for the one whom he likes. To get his consent it is necessary to obey the Shariat. After this, only those faults done out of human weaknesses will be forgiven through intercession.

Question: Is it possible that a faulty, sinful person will be liked?

Answer: If Allahu ta'ala wills to forgive him and places the means to forgive him, he will for sure be among those who are liked, though outwardly he seems to have a lot of sins. May Allahu ta'ala include us all among those slaves of His whom He likes! Amin.