This letter, written to Khân-i Khânân-i jihân, explains the belief of the Ahl as-sunnat, the five principles of Islam and tawba for one’s sins:
I begin my letter with the Basmala. [That is, I begin writing this letter in the blessed name of Allâhu ta’âlâ, Who pities all human beings by creating and sending them useful things in the world; Who forgives, as a favour in the Hereafter, those Believers who have deserved Hell, and Who creates all creatures, keeps them in existence every moment and protects them against fear and horror.] Salâms be to those good people whom He has selected and loved!
[It is written on the sixth page of the first volume of Ibni Âbidîn, “It is wâjib to say Bismillâh or Allâhu akbar when killing an animal (by cutting its throat), when shooting an arrow at a game animal, when sending a trained hound for the animal to be hunted. It is acceptable as well to say the Basmala completely. There are those who say that it is wâjib to say the Basmala before reciting the Fâtiha at each rak’at. Yet, more correctly, it is sunnat. It is sunnat to say the Basmala when beginning to perform an ablution, to eat, to drink and to do any useful work. It is either permissible or mustahab to say the Basmala between the Fâtiha and the sûra (which is to be recited after the Fâtiha while performing namâz). It is mubâh to say it when beginning to walk, when sitting down or standing up.
“It is makrûh to say the Basmala when opening one’s private parts, when entering a place where there is najâsat, when reciting Barâa Sûra immediately after the sûra previous to it, when beginning to smoke a cigarette or to eat something with a strong smell, such as onions or garlics, [and when beginning to shave. The fact that the cigarette is compared to things with a strong smell, such as onions and garlics, shows that tobacco is, like these things, tab’an makrûh, not shar’an makrûh.] It is harâm to say the Basmala when beginning to commit a harâm. In fact, it has been said that he who says the Basmala knowingly when beginning something which is certainly harâm becomes a disbeliever. It is harâm for a (person who is in the state of) junub to recite the Qur’ân with the intention of reciting the Qur’ân.
“It is wâjib to say hamd in namâz, and it is sunnat to say it in a khutba or before each du’â (prayer) or after eating and drinking. It is mubâh to say it whenever you remember it. It is makrûh to say it at dirty places, and it is harâm to say it after eating or drinking something which is harâm; it may even cause disbelief.”]
We have received your valuable letter, which you so kindly sent to us. Hamd and gratitude be to Allâhu ta’âlâ, because at such a time as this when doubts have been on the increase, you fortunate people, though you need nothing and though there is no occasion, have been taking notice of these faqîrs and thinking of us, who have been left, forgotten in the nook, thus showing that you have belief in this way, which befits your pure ancestry. It is such a great blessing that your various occupations and relations do not prevent you from this great fortune, nor do the confusing things you have to do hinder this love of yours. You should fulfil the thanks for this great blessing, and you should be hopeful, since it is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf, “In the Hereafter everybody will be with the person whom he loves in the world!”
O you valuable and fortunate man! Among the seventy-three groups, only (those people who are in) the Madhhab of Ahl as-sunnat wa ’l-Jamâ’at will be saved from Hell. Each Muslim has to learn the belief of Ahl as-sunnat and correct his îmân accordingly. The majority of the Muslims who have spread over the world for centuries have been in the Ahl as-sunnat Madhhab. Millions of books written by hundreds of thousands of Ahl as-sunnat savants who have come by have spread and promulgated Islam all over the world. He who wants to be saved from Hell has to find these correct books and correct his îmân by reading them. It is a heart-killing poison to set the heart on those evil, corrupt creeds and beliefs disagreeing with the belief written in the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants. It takes one to endless death, to eternal torment. If there is slackness in deeds and worships, it may be forgiven. But being slack in belief will never be forgiven. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares: “I shall never forgive shirk, that is, disbelief. I shall forgive all the other sins of those people whom I like.”
I shall explain the creed of the Ahl as-sunnat briefly and concisely. You must correct your belief accordingly. You must implore and beg Allâhu ta’âlâ to keep you fast to this creed.
Know that Allâhu ta’âlâ exists with His Eternal Person. He has created, made existent and let come out of non-existence everything other than He. He existed endlessly. He is eternal in the past. That is, He always existed. There cannot be nonexistence before His existence. Everything other than He was nonexistent. He created all afterwards. He who is eternal in the past will also be eternal in the future, everlastingly. He who is of recent occurrence and created will be transient; that is, he will cease to exist. Allâhu ta’âlâ is one. That is, only His existence is necessary. Only He, again, is worth being worshipped. Existence of all things other than He is unnecessary. It makes no difference whether or not they exist. Nothing other than He is worth being worshipped.
Allâhu ta’âlâ has perfect attributes. These attributes of His are Hayât, ’Ilm, Sam’, Basar, Qudrat, Irâda, Kalâm, and Takwîn. These attributes of His also are eternal, everlasting. Their existence is with Allâhu ta’âlâ Himself. Creation of creatures and changes that have occurred in them do not harm the fact that the attributes are eternal. The recent occurrence of those things which the attributes have connections with does not prevent the attributes from being eternal. Philosophers, depending on mind only and their minds being deficient, and the Mu’tazila group of Muslims, not seeing the fact well, only dismissed the matter by saying that since creatures were of recent occurrence, the attributes which created and handled them were of recent occurrence, too. Thus, they disbelieved the eternal Sifât-i kâmila. They said, “The attribute ‘knowledge’ does not penetrate into tiny motes. That is, Allâhu ta’âlâ does not know of tiny things. For, changes in things will make changes in the attribute ‘knowledge’. However, there cannot be change in something eternal.” They did not know that the attributes are eternal, but their relations with things are of recent occurrence.
Deficient attributes do not exist in Him. Allâhu ta’âlâ is free, far from the attributes of substances, objects, states, and from the things that are necessary for them. Allâhu ta’âlâ is not with time, with place or with direction. He is not at a place or at any side. He created time, places and directions. An ignorant person thinks that He is up on the Arsh. The Arsh, beings above it and below it are all His creatures. He created all these afterwards. Can something which has been created afterwards ever be a place for One who is eternal and always exists? Only, the Arsh is the most honoured of creatures. It is purer and more lightsome than anything else. Therefore, it is like a mirror. The greatness of Allâhu ta’âlâ is seen there. Hence, it is called Arshullah. But with relation to Allahu ta’âlâ the Arsh is like other things. They are all His creatures. Only, the Arsh is like a mirror. Other things do not have this ability. Can a man seen in a mirror be said to be in the mirror? Man’s relation to the mirror is like his relation to other things. Man’s relation to all is the same. Only, there is a difference between the mirror and other things. The mirror can reflect man’s image while other things cannot.
Allâhu ta’âlâ is not a substance, an object or a state. He is not limited; He does not have dimensions. He is not long, short, wide or narrow. We say that He is Wâsi, that is, wide. But this wideness is different from what we know and understand. He is Muhît; that is, He surrounds everything. But this surrounding is not like what we understand. He is Qarîb; that is, He is close to us, together with us, but unlike what we understand from it! We believe that He is wâsi, muhît, qarîb, and together with us. But we cannot know what these attributes mean. We say that everything which comes to the mind is wrong. Allâhu ta’âlâ does not unite with anything. Nothing unites with Him. Nothing enters Him. Nor does He enter anything. Allâhu ta’âlâ does not part, break into pieces, nor can He be analyzed or combined. He does not have a likeness or a partner. He does not have a wife or children. He is unlike the things which we know or which we think of. It cannot be understood or imagined how He is. There cannot be a likeness or an example for Him. We know thus far that Allâhu ta’âlâ exists. He has the attributes which He has communicated to us. Yet He is free, far from everything that comes to our mind and imagination about Him and His attributes. Men cannot understand Him. Translation of a Persian couplet:
When asked, “Am I not thine Allah?” those who understood
Him, said, “He exists,” and they said no more.
The names of Allâhu ta’âlâ are Tawqîfî. That is, they are dependent on the dictation of the Owner of the Sharî’at. Names dictated by the Sharî’at should be said. Names that are not dictated by the Sharî’at cannot be said. We should not say it no matter how perfect and beautiful a name it is. He can be called Jawâd. For, the Sharî’at has called Him Jawâd. But He cannot be called Sakhî, which, too, means generous. For the Sharî’at has not called Him Sakhî. [Then, He cannot be called god. Especially when doing an act of worship, such as calling the adhân, it is a grave sin to say god instead of the name Allah.]
The Qur’ân is the word of Allah. It is His speech. Placing His word into Islamic letters, and sounds, He sent it to our Prophet Hadrat Muhammad ‘sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam’. Through this He informed His slaves with His commands and prohibitions.
We creatures speak with our vocal cords, which are in our throats, with our tongues and palates. We change our desires into letters and sounds to reveal them. And Allâhu ta’âlâ, with His great power, sent His word to His slaves in letters and sounds without the vocal cords, mouth or tongue. He revealed His commands and prohibitions in letters and sounds. Both these kinds of speech (kalâm) belong to Him. That is, His Kalâm-i nafsî, which is the one before being changed into letters and sounds, and His Kalâm-i lafzî, which is in letters and sounds, are all His Word. It is correct to call both of them Kalâm. As a matter of fact, both of our nafsî and lafzî words are our speech. It is wrong to say that the nafsî is real and the lafzî is metaphorical, that is, similar to speech. For, metaphorical things may be denied. It is disbelief to deny Allah’s Kalâm-i lafzî and to say that it is not Allah’s word. Also, all the Books and Suhûf (small books) revealed to previous prophets ‘alâ nabiyyinâ wa alaihim-us-salâtu wattaslîmât’ are Allah’s word. All the contents of those books and the Qur’ân are the Ahkâm-i ilâhî. He sent to the people of each age the rules that were suitable for their age and made them responsible for them.
In Paradise Muslims will see Allâhu ta’âlâ without direction, without being opposite Him, without realizing how He is, without being surrounded, i.e., without being in any shape. We believe in seeing Allâhu ta’âlâ in the Hereafter. We do not think of how He will be seen. For, mind cannot understand seeing Him. We have no other choice but to believe. Shame upon philosophers, upon those Muslims called the Mu’tazila, and upon all the groups, except the Ahl as-sunnat, because they were too blind and were deprived of this belief. Attempting to liken something which they did not see or know to those things which they saw, they deprived themselves of the honour of îmân.
As Allâhu ta’âlâ creates men, so He creates men’s deeds. All the good and bad things are by His decree and will. Yet He likes good deeds and dislikes bad deeds. Though every deed, good or evil, is by His will and creation, it would be impertinence to name Him only as the creator of one evil thing. We should not say that He is the creator of evil. We should say that He is the Creator of good and evil things. For example, we should say that He is the creator of everything. But we should not say that He is the creator of filth and swine. This is a practice of good manners towards Him. So coarsely think the group of Mu’tazila [and some aberrant people]. They say that man creates his every deed, good or bad. Both mind and the Sharî’at show that this is wrong. Those savants who told the truth, that is, the great ones of the Ahl as-sunnat ‘rahmatullâhi alaihim ajma’în’ said that man’s own power also affects something he does, and they called this effect kasb (acquiring). For, there is certainly a difference between the hand’s vibration and its being raised optionally. Man’s power and acquiring do not interfere with the vibrations. But they interfere with the optional actions. And this much interference on their part causes questioning and punishment, and man either earns thawâb or becomes sinful. He who disbelieves man’s power and option and thinks that men are incapable and compelled has not understood the words of the savants of dîn. These great poeple’s saying that man has power and will does not mean that man does what he wishes and does not do what he does not wish to. Being so is very far from being a slave. The words of these great people mean that man can do what he is commanded to do. For example, he can perform namâz five times each day. He can give one-fortieth of his property as zakât. He can fast one month of the twelve months. He who has money enough for the journey and food can perform the hajj once in his lifetime. Likewise, he can do all the rules of the Sharî’at. Allâhu ta’âlâ, being so merciful, with men being so weak and frail, has commanded the lightest and easiest ones of all kinds of worships. He has declared in the Qur’ân, “Allâhu ta’âlâ wishes facilities for you, not hardships.” And He declares in another âyat, “Allâhu ta’âlâ wants to command you what is light and easy. Men are created weak and powerless.”
[This is the meaning of the saying, ‘There is no oppression, hardship in the dîn.’ That is, it means, ‘Allâhu ta’âlâ has commanded facility.’ However, it does not mean, ‘Let everybody do what he likes and not do what comes difficult to his nafs, let him change the worships as he wishes into comfortable, easy ways.’ It is disbelief, irreligiousness to make an insignificant alteration in the dîn.]
Prophets are people selected and sent by Allâhu ta’âlâ. They were sent to call their ummats to Allâhu ta’âlâ and pull them out of excessive, wrong ways into the way of salvation. They gave the good news of Paradise to those who accepted their invitation while intimidating with Hell torment those who disbelieved them. All the information which they brought from Allâhu ta’âlâ is right. There is no error in any of it. The last Prophet is Hadrat Muhammad ‘sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam’. His dîn has transformed, abrogated all others. His book is the best of the heavenly books. His Sharî’at will remain valid until the end of the world. It will not be changed by anybody. Hadrat Isâ (Jesus) will descend from heaven, yet he will follow Hadrat Muhammad’s Sharî’at; that is, he will join his Ummat.
[Some people say that a religion will change in the process of time, that laws of the Sharî’at have become obsolencent, old, that a religion is needed to meet the needs of our age. Yes, the religion changes in the course of time. But its owner, Allâhu ta’âlâ, changes it. As a matter of fact, He has changed it many times since Hadrat Adam and finally sent Hadrat Muhammad’s Sharî’at as the most perfect, the highest religion which will meet all requirements and needs until the end of the world. Could the poor human beings make a religion which is better than the one which Allâhu ta’âlâ says to be perfect? Yes, a nation’s laws will change in the process of time, but only the National Assembly can change them, not any guard or shepherd. It is written in the thirty-ninth chapter of Majalla and in its explanation, “The rules will change in the process of time. Rules that are dependent upon customs and traditions will change. Rules that are derived from the Nass (âyats with clear meanings) do not change in the process of time.”]
All of what Hadrat Muhammad has informed about the Rising Day is true. It is right and true that there will be torment in the grave, that the grave will squeeze the dead person; that two angels named Munkar and Nakîr will ask questions in the grave; that everything will be annihilated on Doomsday; that the sky will crack; that the stars will get out of their orbits and disperse; that the globe and its mountains will break into pieces; that all people will be resurrected from their graves and will assemble in the place of Mahshar, that is, souls will return to their bodies; that there will be an earthquake, fear, horror on Doomsday; that there will be questioning and accounting on the Resurrection; that hands, feet and limbs will bear witness to what has been done in the world; that record books of good and evil deeds will be revealed, and they will fly towards their owners from their right and left sides; and that good deeds and sins will be weighed on a pair of scales peculiar to the hereafter. There, those whose thawâb weighs heavier will be saved from Hell, and those with little thawâb will suffer loss. The pair of scales there is an unknown one, and its weighing heavier or lighter is opposite to that of worldly scales. The scale which goes up is the heavier one and that which goes down is the lighter. [There is no earthly gravitation there.]
There, first the Prophets and then pious Muslims, that is, the Awliyâ, will, with Allah’s permission, intercede for those Believers with many sins. Our Prophet declared: “Of my Ummat, I will intercede for the ones with grave sins.” There is the Sirât Bridge over Hell. Believers will pass this bridge to go to Paradise. Disbelievers will slip and fall down into Hell.
[When mentioning the Sirât Bridge, we should not suppose that it is like bridges which we know. As a matter of fact, we say that it is necessary to pass the bridge of examination in order to pass the course. Every student will pass the bridge of examination. We call it a bridge because all students have to pass it. However, an examination is in no way similar to a bridge. There are those who can pass the bridge of examination, and there are also those who cannot pass it and fall down. But this is unlike falling down into the sea from a bridge. Only those who have passed the bridge of examination know how it is. Likewise, everybody will have to pass the Sirât Bridge, and others, being unable to pass, will fall down into Hell. But this bridge, passing it or falling down into Hell, is not like worldly bridges or the bridge of examination. It has no aspects resembling them.]
Paradise, which has been prepared for rewards and blessings for Believers, and Hell, which has been prepared for tormenting disbelievers, exist [now]. Allâhu ta’âlâ created both from nothing. They will exist eternally [after everything has been annihilated and created again on the Resurrection] and will never cease to exist. Believers, when they enter Paradise after the questioning and calling to account, will stay there eternally and will never leave Paradise. Likewise, disbelievers, after entering Hell, will remain there eternally and will suffer torment eternally. It is not possible that their torment be diminished. Ibni Taymiyya denies the fact that disbelievers will remain in Hell eternally. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares: “Their torment will not be diminished, they will never get help.” Those with the tiniest îmân in their heart will perhaps be put into Hell if their sins are many. They will be tormented as much as their sins, yet, at last, they will be taken out of Hell, their faces not being black. Disbelievers’ faces will be made black. Believers will not be chained in Hell. Thus, the value of the tiniest îmân in their hearts will be seen. But disbelievers will be handcuffed and chained.
Angels are Allah’s dear slaves. It is not possible for them to disobey Allah’s commands. They do what they are commanded. They do not get married. They do not bear children or multiply. Allâhu ta’âlâ has chosen some of them as prophets. He has honoured them with the task of carrying wahy. They are those who brought the Books and Suhûf to prophets. [For example, An’âm Sûra was brought by Hadrat Jebrâil (Gabriel) together with seventy thousand angels.] They do not make any mistakes, nor do they ever forget. They do not play tricks or deceive. What they bring from Allâhu ta’âlâ is always true. It is never doubtful, nor does it depend upon probabilities. Angels are afraid of Allah’s grandeur, wrath and greatness. They have no other work than doing what they are commanded.
‘ÎMÂN’ means to believe the teachings coming from our Prophet, which are written in the books of Ahl as-sunnat savants, and to express one’s belief. Worships are not from îmân. But they perfect and beautify îmân. Imâm-i a’zâm Abû Hanîfa ‘alaihirrahma’ said that îmân does not increase or decrease. For, îmân means the heart’s confirmation, admitting and believing. There is not scarcity or abundance in îmân. Belief which has its decrease and increase is not called îmân, but it is called supposition and illusion. Îmân’s being much or little means muchness or scarcity in worships. When a person worships much, he is said to have much perfection in his îmân. Then, the îmâns of all Believers are unlike the îmâns of prophets. For, prophets’ îmân has reached the summit of perfection on account of worships. The îmân of other Believers cannot reach there. But both have the common quality of being îmân. The former has become different through worships. It is as if there were no resemblance between them. All Believers and prophets share the property of being human. But other values, superiorities have made prophets reach high grades. Their humanity has become sort of different. In a way, they are higher human beings than the common humanity. Perhaps, they only are human beings. Others, as it were, are not human beings.
Imâm-i A’zam Abû Hanîfa ‘alaihirrahma’ said that one should say, “I am certainly a Believer.” And Imâm-i Shâfi’î ‘alaihirrahma’ said that one should say, “I am, inshâallah, a Believer.” Both are true. When one expresses one’s present îmân one should say, “I am certainly a Believer.” When expressing one’s îmân at one’s last breath, one will say, “I am, inshâallah, a Believer.” However, in this case, here, too, it is better to say, ‘certainly’ than saying it with some doubt.
A Believer’s îmân does not go away no matter how grave a sin he commits. He does not become a disbeliever. I have heard that one day Imâm-i a’zam and the great savants of Baghdad were sitting somewhere, when somebody came up and said, “If a Believer kills his father unjustly, breaks open his head, drinks wine from his skull and then, getting drunk, commits fornication with his mother, will his îmân go away?” All the savants who heard this became angry with that Believer. “It is unnecessary even to ask this,” they said. Imâm-i a’zam said, “That person is still a Believer. His îmân does not go away by his committing sins.” The savants disliked this answer and castigated Imâm-i a’zam. But when the Imâm proved his word true, they all admitted it. If a Believer with a lot of sins repents before his last breath comes up to his throat, he will most likely be saved. For Allâhu ta’âlâ promised that He would accept the tawba (repentance). If he has not attained the honour of tawba, his state is up to Allah only. If He wishes, He will forgive all his sins and put him into Paradise, or He will torment him with the Hell-fire or through troubles as much as his sins. But at last he will be saved and enter Paradise again. For, it is only disbelievers who will not attain Allah’s mercy in the next world. He who has the tiniest îmân will attain His compassion. If he cannot attain His compassion because of his sins, he will at last attain it through Allah’s blessing and favour. O Allah! After giving us guidance to the right way and showing us the right way, protect us so that our hearts will not deviate onto the renegades’ side! Have mercy upon us! Pity us poor creatures! Thou, alone, can protect us against the darkness of disbelief and apostasy!
According to savants of the Ahl as-sunnat - may Allâhu ta’âlâ reward them abundantly for their hard work - it is not a piece of basic Islamic knowledge to talk about the caliphate. That is, it is not something based upon îmân. However, because Shiites were excessive in this respect [and a few ignorant people who disguised themselves as hodjas named themselves Alawîs and poisoned Muslims with their slanderous words, books and magazines], savants of true Muslims have included the information about the caliphate into the knowledge of Kalâm, that is, into the information of îmân, and communicated the truth of the matter. After the last Prophet Muhammad Mustafâ, the Khalîfa of Muslims, that is, our Prophet’s representative and the Muslims’ leader is Hadrat Abû Bakr-i Siddîq. After him comes Hadrat ’Umar ul Fârûq. Next comes Hadrat ’Uthmân-i Zinnûrein, and then Alî bin Abî Tâlib. The order of superiority among these four is analogous to the order of their caliphates. All the Sahâba and the Tâbi’ûn said that of these the Shaikhayn [the first two] were higher than the other two. This unanimity has been communicated by our îmâms of dîn. For example, Imâm-i Shâfi’î’s saying is well known. Abul-Hasan-i Ash’arî, one of the leaders of the Ahl as-sunnat, said, “It is certain that the Shaikhayn are higher than all the Ummat. He who disbelieves this fact is either ignorant or stubborn.” Imâm-i Alî said, “He who holds me superior to Abû Bakr and ’Umar is a slanderer. As slanderers are to be beaten, I will beat him.” Hadrat Abdulqâdir-i Geilânî reported in his book Gunya-tut-tâlibîn: Our Prophet said, “I asked of Allâhu ta’âlâ that Alî become the Khalîfa after me. Angels said: ‘‘O Muhammad! It will happen as Allâhu ta’âlâ wills. Abû Bakr-i Siddîq is the Khalîfa after you.” Abdulqâdîr-i Geilânî reported again: Hadrat Alî said that the Prophet said to him, “After me Abû Bakr will become the Khalîfa. Then ’Umar, then ’Uthmân and then you will become the Khalîfa.”
Imâm-i Hasan ‘radiy-Allâhu anh’ is higher than Imâm-i Husayn. (These two people are Hadrat Alî’s sons.) The savants of Ahl as-sunnat have declared that in knowledge and ijtihâd Hadrat Âisha (the Prophet’s blessed wife, our mother) is superior to Hadrat Fâtima (the Prophet’s blessed daughter, and Hadrat Alî’s blessed wife). Hadrat Abdulqâdir-i Geilânî wrote in his book Gunya, “Hadrat Aisha is higher.” To this faqîr (Imâm-i Rabbânî means himself), in knowledge and ijtihâd Hadrat Âisha is higher, but in zuhd and in withdrawing from the world Hadrat Fâtima is higher. It is for this reason that Hadrat Fâtima was called Betûl (very pure). As for Hadrat Âisha, she used to teach the Sharî’at to the Sahâba. The Sahâba used to learn the Sharî’at by asking her.
The combats among the Sahâba, e.g., the event of Camel and the event of Siffîn, were done with good intentions and for pious reasons, not for the desires of the nafs, with obstinacy or hostility. For, they all were great. Their hearts had been purified in the sohbat (company) of our Master, the Prophet, and with his blessed looks, no evils such as avarice, grudge or hostility have been left. Both their peace and their opposition or combats were for the truth. Each of them acted in accordance with his own ijtihâd. They differed from those who did not agree with their ijtihâd, but without bearing obstinacy or hostility against them. There are two or ten thawâbs for those with correct ijtihâd, and one thawâb for those who erred. Then, we should not speak ill of those who erred as we do not speak ill of those who were right. For, these, too, received thawâb. The savants of Ahl as-sunnat declare that the Amîr (Hadrat Alî) was right in these combats. Those ijtihâds which disagreed with his were wrong. But none of them can be spoken ill of, nonetheless for calling any one of them a ‘disbeliever’ or ‘sinner’. Hadrat Alî declared in these combats, “Our brethren have parted from us. They are not disbelievers, nor sinners. For, they have been acting in accordance with their ijtihâd.” Our Prophet‘sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam’ declared: “Avoid speaking ill of my Sahâba!” Then, we have to deem all the Sahâba of the Prophet as great and speak about them with reverence and good will. We should not think ill of any of these great people! We should consider the combats among them to be better than others’ peace. This is the way to salvation. For, loving the Sahâba arises from loving our Master, the Prophet. Enmity against them means enmity against him. The great savant Abû Bakr-i Shiblî said, “A person who does not respect the Sahâba does not have îmân in Muhammad ‘alaihissalâm’.”
[Alûsî says in his book Ghâliyya, “Allâhu ta’âlâ praises the Sahâba in the Qur’ân. He declares that He loves those who migrated first, the Ansâr, and those who follow them in goodness. Allâhu ta’âlâ likes only that slave of His whom He knows will die in îmân. It is impossible for Him to have declared that He loved a certain slave of His even though He knew that he would die as a disbeliever. Therefore, âyats which praise the Sahâba refute those who say that they were unjust and that they became renegades after Rasûlullah’s death, thus informing that such people who say so are malevolent. There are many hadîths praising all the Sahâba. One of the well-known ones of these is the hadîth, ‘My Sahâba are like the stars. If you follow any one of them, you will attain guidance to the right way!’ which is communicated by Dârimî and Ibni Adî.” The book Uns-ut-tâibînby Ahmad Nâmiqî Jâmî ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’ is in Persian. In its forty-fourth page of the Tehran edition printed during the time of Shah Ridâ, the names of four Khalîfas are written, and these Khalîfas and all of the Ashâb-i kirâm are praised well, and we are advised to love them all. Those heretics who cannot realize the value, the greatness of the Sahâba and who slander these great people and compare them to themselves, are called Râfidîs. Râfidîs are the worst of the seventy-two groups of bid’at, which it has been declared will go to Hell. Today Râfidîs name themselves Alawî. Saying that they follow Hadrat Alî, they deceive the innocent younger generations. Spreading the concocted legends fibbed in a certain book, which they printed in Istanbul in 1958 A.D. and entitled Hüsniye, among ignorant and mostly female villagers, they slander the great people of Islam. It is written in the book Tuhfa that this book, which teems with lies and very loathsome slanders, was concocted by a Jew named Murtezâ. It is written in the book Esmâ-ul-muellifîn that this book, (Hüsniye), was translated into Persian by a Hurûfî named Ibrâhîm Esterabâdî, who died in 958 [A.D. 1551]. It has fallen to my lot to refute those heretical writings, abominable slanders with documents, thus disgracing them in Eshâb-ı kirâm (in Turkish) and in the chapter captioned Tezkiya-i-Ahl-i-Bayt of the book Hak Sözün Vesîkaları (Turkish). (The latter was translated into English in 1992, under the title Documents of the Right Word, and is available from Hakîkât Kitâbevi, Dârüşşefeka Cad. No: 57/A P.K. 35, 34262, Fâtih-İstanbul-Türkiye). The Jewish convert Murtezâ, its author, died in Baghdad in 436 . And his brother Radi bin Tâhir was born in 359 and died in Baghdad in 406. The book Manâqib-i-Jihâr Yâr-i-Ghuzîn, (by Eyyûb bin Siddîq), gives a detailed account of the superior virtues of the Ashâb-i-kirâm.
Of all the many characteristics whereby the Shi’a group differ from the Sunnites, what makes the Shiites worst is the fact that they bear the creed of Hurûfî. Those who are excessive in the creed of Râfidî become disbelievers. Râfidîs were few and were about to perish, when Shâh Ismâ’îl, one of them, established a state; so they increased in number. The creed infiltrated into our country, too; almost all the dervish convents came into contact with it, and many innocent people caught this contagion and tumbled down into eternal death. May Allâhu ta’âlâ not let us dissent from the right, pure belief of the Ahl as-Sunnat. May He protect us against the perils called Wahhabism and Shiism, which instigate faction among Muslims! Âmîn. It is written on the initial pages of Tuhfa-i ithnâ ’ashariyya: The founder of Shiism was a Jew from Yemen, namely, Abdullah bin Saba, who was exiled to Madâyin by Hadrat Alî because he called him a god. [It is written in Munjid that he was a Jew who came from Egypt to Medina in 34 A.H. (657) and became a Muslim.] This group of heresy took a different shape in every century, was put into a definite shape during the time of Shâh Ismâ’îl, and books were written. Shiism was established during the time of Hadrat Alî. Its spreading among people began afterwards. In the sixtieth year of the Hegira, the Kisâniyya sect, in the sixty-sixth year the Mukhtâriyya sect, and in the hundred and ninth year the Hishâmiyya sect appeared, yet they could not catch on and perished. The Zaydiyya sect, which has been distracting Muslims from the right way for centuries, appeared in the hundred and twelfth year, and all the other sects appeared later. We may say briefly that all sects of bid’at which have been instigating faction among Muslims appeared after the deaths of all the Sahâba. The beliefs of all the Shî’a sects come together in three groups:
1) Tafdîliyya: they say that Hadrat Alî is the highest of the Sahâba.
2) Sabbiyya: they say that the Sahâba, with a few exceptions, became cruel disbelievers. They speak ill of them.
3) Ghulât-i shî’a: they say that Hadrat Alî is a god. So do the groups of Sabaiyya and Nusayriyya. They do not practice any worshipping.
These people have always gathered around one of the grandsons of Hadrad Alî and Hadrat Abbâs and differed into various sects. When Imâm-i Zainal’âbidîn passed away most of them came together around his son Zayd and while enroute to fight Yûsuf-i Saqâfî, who had been assigned the governor of Iraq by the Emevî (Umayyad) ruler Hishâm bin Abdulmalik, some of them dissented from Zayd. Zayd called them Râfidî. But they named themselves Imâmiyya. Those who remained with Zayd were called Zaydî. Both groups said, “After Rasûlullah, the caliphate belongs to the twelve îmâms.”
The Twelve imâms are Alî bin Abî Tâlib, Hasan, Huseyn, Zainal’âbidîn, Muhammad Bâqir, Ja’far-i-Sâdiq, Mûsâ Kâzim, Alî Ridâ, Muhammad Jawad Taqiy, Alî Naqiy, Hasan Askarî Zakiy and Muhammad Mahdî. Attaching themselves to various sons of these twelve imâms, they parted into different groups. Today the majority of them are Imâmiyya and hold the first of the three main kinds of creed, yet there have been changes in their beliefs over the course of time. They now call themselves Ja’farî. There is lengthy information about the Ja’farîs in the entry Ja’fari Sâdiq, the hundred and eighty-third entry of the word list at the end of the Turkish origin of Endless Bliss.]
All of what the Mukhbir-i sâdiq (he who always tells the truth)
reported about the symptoms of Doomsday are true. There can be no errors. That day the sun, contrary to its usual course, will rise in the west. Hadrat Mahdî will appear, Hadrat Îsâ (Jesus) will descend from heaven. The Dajjal will appear, people called Ya’jûj and Ma’jûj (Gog and Magog) will spread on the earth.
[It is written in Hujjat-ullâhi ’alal’âlamîn, “People called Ya’jûj and Ma’jûj are descendants of Yâfas (Japheth), the (third) son of Nûh (Noah) ‘alaihissalâm’. They have flat and wide faces, small eyes and big ears, and they are short. Each has a thousand children. Nine - tenths of the number of genies and men are Ya’jûj and Ma’jûj. Every day they make a hole in the wall they have been left behind. But at night the wall becomes the same as it was before. They are unbelievers. When they get beyond the wall, they will attack people. People will take refuge in cities and in buildings. They will eat up animals and drain rivers. Îsâ ‘alaihissalâm’ and his Sahâba will invoke against them. A wound will appear on the neck of each, and they will all die in one night. Eating them, animals will multiply. Their stink will make the earth impossible to live on.” It is written in the Qur’ân that Gog and Magog are two evil peoples which were left behind a wall at a very ancient time and that they will spread on the earth towards Doomsday. Considering that archaelogical research discovers cities buried under the ground and sea fossils on the peaks of mountains, that wall does not have to be in the open, nor do those people have to be numerous today. As a matter of fact, it could be thought that as thousands of millions of people today have originated from two people, so those two peoples will spread on the earth by multiplying out of a few people and none knows where these people are.]
The beast called Dâbbatulard will appear, the sky will be covered with smoke, which will reach all the people and will hurt them; due to its pain everybody will pray, “Yâ Rabbî! Remove this torment from us. We now believe in Thee!” The last symptom is a fire, which will break out in Aden [which is in Yemen]. Somebody in India claimed to be the Mahdî, and he was believed by many ignorant people. According to them Hadrat Mahdî came, died, and his grave is in Fara city. [Also, some ignorant people in our country call those who say and write what they translate from the books of tasawwuf “Mahdi”. They think that those people write their own inspirations.] However, a hadîth declares, “There will be a cloud just above Mahdî’s head. An Angel from the cloud will say: ‘This is Mahdî. Believe what he says!,” Another hadîth declares: “Of all the people you have heard about, four persons took possession of the earth, [that is, most of the countries known]. Two of them were Believers and the other two were disbelievers. The two Believers were Hadrat Zulqarnein and Hadrat Suleymân. And the two disbelievers were Nemrûd (Nimrod) and Buhtunnassar (Nebuchadnezzar). Fifthly, the earth will be owned by one of my descendants, Mahdî.”
A hadîth declares: “Before Doomsday, Allâhu ta’âlâ will create one of my descendants, whose name, father’s name and mother’s name will be the same as those of mine, and who will fill the world with justice. The earth, which will have been filled with cruelty before him, will be filled with justice during his time.”Another hadîth declares: “The As’hâb-i kahf will be Mahdî’s assistants and Îsâ (Jesus)will descend from heaven during his time. As Îsâ fights the Dajjâl, Mahdî will be with him. During his reign, unusually, contrary to calculations, there will be a solar eclipse on the fourteenth day of the blessed month of Ramadân and there will be a lunar eclipse on its first night.” Then, let them be reasonable enough to see if these symptoms exist [in those people whom the ignorant suppose to be Mahdî or] in that abovementioned dead man. Many other symptoms of Hadrat Mahdî have been predicted by Mukhbir-i Sâdiq ‘alaihissalâtu wassalâm’. Hadrat Ahmad ibni Hajar-i Makkî wrote almost two hundred symptoms of Hadrat Mahdî in his book Alqawlulmukhtasâr fî-alâmât-il-Mahdî. While the symptoms of the reported Mahdî are so obvious, those who think of others as Mahdî are so ignorant. May Allâhu ta’âlâ bless them with the lot of seeing the truth! [The book Juz’un minal-ahâdith wa’l-âsâr-il-wâridati fî-haqq-il-Mahdî, by Jalâladdin-i Suyûtî, informs with the symptoms of hadrat Mahdî].
Our Prophet ‘sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam’ declared: “The Beni-Isrâil (Sons of Israel) parted into seventy-one groups. Seventy of these went to Hell and only one of them was saved. And the Nasârâ parted into seventy-two groups, seventy-one of which went to Hell and one was saved. After some time, my Ummat also will part into seventy-three groups. Seventy-two of these will go to Hell and one will be saved.” When asked by the Sahâba who were this one group, “The group which will be saved from Hell are those who follow my Sahâba’s way,” he said. [It is written in the translation of Milal-Nihal that this hadîth exists in the four books called Sunan.] The saved group is the Ahl as-sunnat wa ’l-jamâ’at, who have held fast to the way of the best of mankind. O our Allah! Do not make us dissent from the îmân, from the belief communicated by the savants of the Ahl as-sunnat! Take us out of this world as we are together with them! Yâ Rabbî! Let us be together with them on the Day of Resurrection. After being guided into the true faith, do not let our hearts slip away from the right way and give us rahmat from Your High Kingdom. You are the greatest of those who give blessings.
The first principle of Islam is belief in Allâhu ta’âlâ and His Prophet. That is, it is to love them, like and admit their words.
After correcting the belief, it is certainly necessary to do the commands of the Sharî’at, to refrain from its prohibitions, that is, to carry out the rules of Islam. One should perform namâz five times without being slack or lazy. One should perform it with ta’dil-i arkân and in jamâ’at. “It is namâz which distinguishes the Muslim from the kâfir.” [A person who performs namâz correctly and well is a Muslim. If a person performs namâz incorrectly or does not perform it at all, his being a Muslim is doubtful.] When a person performs namâz correctly and well, he has held fast to Islam’s rope. For, namâz is the second of Islam’s five principles.
Islam’s third principle is to pay zakât.
Islam’s fourth principle is to fast every day in the blessed month of Ramadân.
Its fifth principle is to perform hajj by making tawâf around the Ka’ba-i mu’azzama.
Islam’s first principle, îmân, is to believe with the heart and express it with the tongue. And the other four principles are the worships that are to be done with the body and intended with the heart. Namâz, which has accumulated all worships in itself, is the highest of all. On the Day of Judgement the first questioning will be on namâz. If namâz is correct, all the other questions, with the help of Allâhu ta’âlâ, will pass easily.
We should avoid the harâms as well as possible. We should deem the things which Allâhu ta’âlâ dislikes as fatal poisons. Thinking about our faults, we should feel ashamed, embarrassed for having done them. We should repent and be sorry. This only becomes His slaves. He who talks and acts in a manner which Allâhu ta’âlâ dislikes without being ashamed, embarrassed, has been persistently opposing Allâhu ta’âlâ. Their obstinacies will almost drive them out of Islam, and will include them among His enemies. O our Allah! Have mercy on us. Through Thine Favour and Mercy, do not let us leave the right way.
[It is written in the third paragraph of the second chapter of the fourth section of the book Riyâd-un-nâsihîn, “Though the harâms have been divided into two classes, grave sins, and small sins, we should avoid the small sins as well as we avoid the grave ones, nor should we slight any sin. For Allâhu ta’âlâ is muntaqîm and ghanî (independent). He does not fear anybody in doing what He wishes. He has concealed His wrath, His enmity in sins. Any sin which is supposed to be small may cause His vengeance, His wrath.”
It is written in the first paragraph of the third chapter of Riyâd-un-nâsihîn, “Sins other than disbelief and bid’at are classified in two groups. The first group are sins that are between Allâhu ta’âlâ and man. Having alcoholic drinks, not performing namâz and the like. Of these sins, we should very much avoid the small ones as well as the grave ones. Resûlullah declared: “Avoiding a mote of [very small] sin is better than the worships of all genies and men.” All sins are grave because sin means not doing Allah’s command. However, some of them seem small when compared to others. For example, looking lustfully at a nâmahram woman is less sinful than committing fornication. [What is less sinful than both is to satisfy one’s desire with one’s hand.] Not doing a small sin is more valuable than the supererogatory worships of the whole world. For, it is not fard to do supererogatory worships, whereas it is fard for everbody to avoid sins. It is permissible to commit a small sin in order to avoid a graver sin, when there is no other way.
After any sin committed, it is fard to make tawba (to repent and beg Allâhu ta’âlâ for forgiveness). Whatsoever the sin, the tawba will be accepted. It is written in Kimyâ-i sa’âdat: “A prayer of tawba that is done suitably with its conditions will certainly be accepted. We should not doubt if the tawba will be accepted. We should doubt if the tawba meets its conditions.” Allâhu ta’âlâ may avenge for any sin which has not been repented for. For, Allah’s wrath is hidden in sins. Allâhu ta’âlâ is very very powerful, victorious over everybody, and He is vindictive. He may refuse eternally a liked slave of His who has been worshipping for a hundred thousand years for one single sin, nor does He fear anything. The Qur’ân informs of this fact and communicates that the Devil [Shaytân], who had been obeying Him for two hundred thousand years, became eternally accursed because he was too arrogant to prostrate. A son of Hadrat Adam’s, His representative on the earth, was eternally expelled by Him because he killed a man. Bal’âm-i Bâûrâ, during the time of Hadrat Mûsâ, knew the Ism-i a’zâm. Every prayer of his would be accepted (by Allâhu ta’âlâ). His knowledge and worshipping were in such a high degree that two thousand people would be present with him with their pens and ink pots in order to write what he said and benefit from his words. This Bal’âm, showing a little inclination towards one harâm of Allah’s, died without îmân. He became the subject of public talk which said, “Those who are like him are like dogs.” Qârûn was a relative of Hadrat Mûsâ’s. Having been blessed with the benedictions of Hadrat Mûsâ, and being taught the knowledge of chemistry by him, he had become so rich that only the keys of his treasuries would be carried by forty mules. Because he did not pay the zakât, which was worth a few cents, he was made to go under the earth together with his entire property. Sa’laba, among the Sahâba, was very zâhid. He used to worship very much, so much so that he would not go out of the mosque. Because of one breach of promise he lost his chance to attain the grade of being Sahabî, and died without îmân. Our Master, the Prophet, was commanded not to invoke any blessings on him. Allâhu ta’âlâ has avenged upon many other people like these on account of one sin. Then each Believer should be very much afraid of committing sins. Upon committing one small sin he should repent, say istighfâr and beg for forgiveness.”