First Volume, 22Nd Letter

May Allahu ta'ala bless thee with the honour of making progress in the true way of the Shari'at [1]! The end of the world has drawn near. Darknesses of disbelief and wrongdoing have covered everywhere. All people are caught in the storms caused by these darknesses. We have been looking for a hero to recover one Sunnat [2] and to eliminate bid'ats [3]. The right way cannot be found without the lights of our Prophet's Sunnats. There cannot be salvation without adapting ourselves to the Messenger of Allah. Making progress in a path of Tasawwuf [4] and thus attaining love of Allahu ta'ala requires following the Habib (Darling, Beloved one) of Allahu ta'ala. The thirty-first ayat-i-karima [5] of Al-i-'Imran sura [6], which purports, "If you love Allahu ta'ala adapt yourselves to me! Allahu ta'ala loves those who follow me," is a witness confirming our statements. A person's attaining happiness depends on his adapting himself to the chief of all religious and worldly leaders in all his habits and worships and, in short, whatsoever he may be doing. As we so often witness in worldly affairs, one always feels a strong affection for those who resemble one's darling. One likes the people liked by one's darling and hates the darling's enemies. All the perfections and high ranks to be attained physically and spiritually are dependent upon loving the Messenger of Allah. This is the only criterion to assess the degree of a person's maturity. By the same token, the most valuable deed and worship is to love the Awliya [7], the people loved by Allahu ta'ala, and to hate His enemies. For this is the greatest sign of love. The feeling of sympathy for the friend's friends and antipathy for his enemies occurs spontaneously. A lover is like a mad person in this respect. It was said: "Unless a person is said to be insane, his iman will not be perfect." A person who is not so cannot have had a share from love. In this respect, the saying, "There cannot be closeness (to one of two opposites) unless one is far (from the other)." Some ignorant people say in this connection that a person who loves hadrat [8] Ali ought to hate the greater ones of the Ashab-i-kiram [9]. This allegation is quite wrong. For, what a lover should hate is the darling's enemies, not the darling's friends. Allahu ta'ala says about the As-hab-ikiram, as is purported in the twenty-ninth ayat of the Fat-h sura: "They are very merciful towards one another." He informs that they are merciful to one another. This ayat-i-karima shows clearly that the As-hab-i-kiram had very tender and continuous mercy on one another and informs that such things as animosity, grudge, envy and hostility, which are quite incompatible with love, never existed among them. A hadith-i sharif states, "The most merciful person among my Ummat [10] is Abu Bakr." Could it ever be supposed that the most merciful member of this Ummat had fostered hatred and enmity towards this Ummat?

Allahu ta'ala said to Musa (Moses) 'alaihis-salam': "Hast thou ever performed a good deed for Mine sake?" He replied, "Ya Rabbi! I have performed salat [11], fasted, given the (alms called) zakat [12], and made dhikr (remembering Allahu taala) of Thine Name for Thine sake." Upon this Allahu ta'ala declared, "Thine salat is burhan for thee [it is a token to show that you are a Believer]. Fasting is a curtain [protecting you from Hell fire]. Zakat is a zil (shadow). Dhikr is a nur (light, halo). What hast thou done for Me?" When hadrat Musa asked, "Ya Rabbi! What is the good deed to be done for Thee," the divine answer came: "Hast thou loved those whom I love? Hast thou become hostile to Mine enemies?" Upon this, Musa 'alaihis-salam' realized that the deed Allahu ta'ala loved best was Hubb-i-fi'llah and bughd-i-fi'llah (Love for the sake of Allah and enmity for the sake of Allah).

If any Wali [13] appears to you or helps you (when you are in a difficult position), you should ascribe this to your own Murshid [14]. You should focus your tawajjuh on one source (Murshid).

It is sunnat to attend an invitation. However, there are stipulations for this. For instance, the dinner party should not be intended for ostentation or fame; the food offered should be halal [15]; there should not be any lahw [musical instruments] or lu'b [dances, women]; the feast should be open to the public. If these conditions are observed in a dinner party, one should attend it with the intention of performing a deed which is sunnat and not in order, for instance, to satiate one's hunger or for other purposes. Sufyan-i-Sawri states, "If a person invites (others) to a dinner without making niyyat (intention), one sin will be recorded (in his book of deeds). If a person attends an invitation for dinner without making niyyat, two sins will be recorded for him." It is not sunnat to attend an invitation one of whose conditions has not been fulfilled.

You write that your darling son has passed away. "Inna lillah wa inna ilaihi raji'un." May Haqq ta'ala bless you with great rewads in return (for your bereavement)! May He equip you with patience and bless you with complete acquiescence in the Qada-i-ilahi (destiny preordained by Allahu ta'ala)! The real loss would be to deprive oneself of the thawab (which Allahu ta'ala gives Believers for patience). It is stated in a hadith-i sharif, "The qada [16] befalling a Believer is (an) amazing (event). When something good befalls him he makes hamd and thanks. When a disaster befalls he makes hamd and shows patience. A Believer is given thawab (reward) for everything, even for offering a piece of food to his wife's mouth."

The symptom of iman's existence in a heart is that it dislikes disbelievers. [Disliking is done by the heart only. We should live in harmony with disbelievers or any others; while we should not cause harm to anybody, we should always keep in with everbody that it is required by our religion and harming/hurting disbelievers is certainly prohibited.]

[1] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.
[2] sunnat: i) (when used alone) The Shari'at; ii) (when used together with the name Book) The hadith of the Prophet. iii) (when used together with the word Fard) Any action, word or thought liked and commanded by the Prophet.
[3] bid'at: (pl. bida') heresy; false, disliked belief or practice that did not exist in the four sources of Islam but which has been introduced later as an Islamic belief or 'ibada in expectation of thawab (blessings) ; heresy.
[4] tasawwuf: (Islamic sufism as defined by Islam) knowledge and (after adapting oneself to fiqh) practice of the manners of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) which strengthens iman, makes the practice of fiqh easy and provides one to attain ma'rifa; 'ilm at-tasawwuf. [See the book Maktubat by Ahmad al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi (rahmatullahi ta'ala 'alaih)].
[5] ayat: A verse of al-Qur'an al-karim; al-ayat al-karima.
[6] suura(t): a Qur'anic chapter [a chapter of the Qur'an].
[7] awliya: (pl. of Wali) a person loved by Allahu ta'ala.
[8] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[9] As'hab-i kiram: (as-Sahabat al-kiram); the Companions of Rasulullah.
[10] umma(t) followers of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam); the community, body of believers, of a prophet.
[11] salat: i) prayer; (with salam)= salawat; ii) ritual prayer of at least two rak'as; "namaz", in Persian; salat janaza: funeral prayer.
[12] zakat: (fard duty of giving annually) certain amount of certain kinds of property to certain kinds of people, by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser. See chapter 1 in Endless Bliss V.
[13] wali: (pl. Awliya') one who is loved and protected by Allahu ta'ala; a salih who has also corrected his nafs.
[14] murshid: guide, director.
[15] halal: (act, thing) permitted in Islam.
[16] qada: the instance of happening or creation of what is predestined; qadar, predestination of everything as Allahu ta'ala has decreed from eternity.