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The 213th Letter by Imam Rabbani

This letter, written to Hadrat Naqib Shaikh Farid by Imam Rabbani Ahmad al-Faruqi al-Sarhandi, preaches, gives advice, and recommends following the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah:

May Allahu ta’ala protect you against anything that would be incommensurate with your personality. May He accept this prayer of mine for the sake of your honorable forefather (‘alaihi wa ’ala alihis-salawatu wa-t-taslimat). The 60th verse of Surat ar-Rahman says (what means): “Goodness will be returned only with goodness.” I am at a loss as to what kindness I should offer in return for all your kindnesses. Only, I have been trying to take every sacred time as an opportunity to pray for your religious and worldly salvation. Praise be to Allah, this task, beyond me as it is, falls to my lot. Another kindness (on our part) that would (only) mean a reward (for us) would be (to offer you some) preaches and advice. It would be such a great blessing for us if you would be kind enough to accept it.

O my noble and honorable sir! The essence of all preaches and the most valuable piece of advice is to meet men of Allah and to keep them company. And being a man of Allah, and adhering to Islam, in its turn, depends on holding fast to the right way guided by the Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah, who, among various groups, are the only group blessed with the good news that they are the group of salvation. Unless you follow the way guided by these great people, there cannot be salvation. Unless you adapt yourself to the principles that these people inferred (from the Qur’an al-karim and hadith-i sharifs), you cannot attain happiness. These statements of ours are confirmed by owners of wisdom, by scientists, and by the kashfs[1] of Awliya. There is no mistaking. One should deem it lethal poison to be friends with a person who has swerved as trivially as a grain of mustard from the right way of these great people. One should deem it as horrifying as a snake’s bite to talk to him/her. Men of knowledge who do not fear Allah are thieves of religion, regardless of the branch they belong to. Such people also should be kept away from. All sorts of mischief that have been undermining Islam, all the ferocious attacks directed against the religion are the evils aroused by these people. In order to obtain worldly advantages, they have assisted in the demolition of the religion. The 16th verse of Surat al-Baqarah says (what means), “They have purchased misguidance in exchange for guidance. They have earned nothing in this [business of] buying and selling. They have not found the right way.” This verse describes these people.

One day an exalted person saw the Devil sitting idly and happily without trying to deceive anyone and asked him why he was sitting idly instead of misleading people. His answer was: “Today’s malicious men of religion are doing my job very well; they have left no work for me to do to deceive people.” Mawlana ’Umar, one of the disciples stationed there, is a good person by creation. Only, he should be backed and supported so that he can tell the truth. Also, Hafid Imam has committed all his thoughts to the spreading of Islam. In fact, every Muslim has to be so. It is stated in a hadith-i-sharif, “Unless a person is said to be crazy, his faith will not be perfect.” You know that I have been striving to explain the importance of talking with good people in all my speeches and writings. Without becoming weary, I keep saying time and again to avoid evil company, for these two things form the basis of the matter. It is our business to give advice and yours to take it. Or, rather, all the business belongs to Allahu ta’ala. How lucky are those people whom Allahu ta’ala employs as benefactors.

The greatness of the number of your generous kindnesses causes us to write all these things and makes us oblivious to the fact that we might give you a headache and boredom. Wa-s-salam. (Vol. 1, Letter 213)

The following poem is the translation of a part of the Persian diwan (a collection of poems) by Mawlana Diya’ ad-Din Khalid al-Baghdadi:

Oh What A Pity!

I’ve idled my life away, oh what a pity!
Never thought of the morrow, oh what a pity!

I’ve set the building in the air so foolishly,
My faith on weak foundation, oh what a pity!

I’ve gone too far saying His Mercy is endless,
Forgotten His Name “Qahhar,” oh what a pity!

I’ve dived into sins and never done any good,
Why gone astray the right path, oh what a pity!

I’ve struggled to win the world and worldly virtue,
And missed the endless blessings, oh what a pity!

The road is rough and dark, the Devil leads the way,
Sins are heavy, I weep all day, oh what a pity!

Without a single virtue to appear in my deed-book,
How will this Khalid be saved, oh what a pity!

[1] Kashf: Wali (pl. Awliya) means a person loved by Allahu ta’ala. For being a wali, it is necessary to obey Islam strictly and to make progress in the path of Sufism. After reaching a certain grade, very subtle, inexplicable pieces of knowledge begin to pour into a wali’s heart. These pieces of information are called kashf.
 
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22 Ocak 2017 Pazar
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