EMPEROR AKBAR AND SHAIKH AHMAD SIRHINDI
Professor Nazeer Ahmed, in his work “Democracy, Pluralism and Minority Rights –Part 3”, published in the website www.irfi.org , affirms that the Emperor Mogul Akbar was “ the purest representation of Sufic Islam that grew up in Asia after the destruction wrought by the Mongols (1219-1258)”. Further he says that Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi “changed the direction of Islamic civilization from a Sufic orientation to a jurisprudence orientation. Through his letters (the maktubat) to Mogul and Ottoman courtiers he asserted the supremacy of the law over innovation. It was a salafi response from a Sufi quarter.”
Further he writes: “When Shah Jehan fell ill and the armies of Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoah met on the banks of the Jamuna in 1657 over succession rights to the Peacock throne, it was more than a battle between two princes. It was a contest of wills between Sufic Islam represented by Dara Shikoah and salafi Islam championed by Aurangzeb. In this contest, the salafis won and Muslim India charged off in the direction of exclusive pluralism and a rigid application of fiqh.”
Regarding Aurangzeb we have to remember that he was a disciple of hazrat Saifuddin Sirhindi, descendent of Ahmad Sirhindi, a Nakshbandi, so it is wrong to say that he was a representant of salafia, that was inexistent at that time .
The part about Ahmad Sirhindi is not correct, in the view of “ortodox sufi islam”, as we can read in the studies of shaikh Abul Hasan Zaied Farooqi Dehlawi (d. 1993/1414), a descendent of shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi. From his book Hazrat Mujaddid and his critics, (published by Progressive books, Lahore, 1982), a traslation from th urdu hazrat Mujaddid aur unkay naqedeen, we report the following pages. The first part is on the religiuos condition at the time of the emperor Akbar, the second is about some deeds done from hazrat Ahmad Sirhindi and the third on tariqa and haqiqa of the servants of sharia.
THE RELIGIOUS CONDITION AT THE TIME OF SHAIKH AHMAD SIRHINDI MUJADDID-I ALF –I THANI
In the history of India the period of emperor Akbar (964 A.H. to 1014 A.H.) was most critical and dangerous for Islam. Mulla Abdul Qader of Badayun has given an eye-witness account in his book, Muntakhib ul Tawareekh, which fully describes the helplessness of Islam. Maulana Syed Manazar Ahsan of Gilan, in his valuable treatise, has given some facts and conditions from the History of Mulla Abdul Qader. Gilani has reproduced the oath of the Mulla from page 264 of his book and says that "in view of the oath it is difficult to disbelieve it". Maulana has said that under the Sharia it is difficult to disbelieve, and what he has said is true. But what can be done that the research scholars of this age do not have that respect for the Maulana as they nave for Abul Fazl, the inventor of the 'Four Edicts' (giving Akbar certain un-precedented rights). Nevertheless, these research scholars admit that Maulana Mubarik presented an application em-powering Akbar to issue precepts after interpretation, and that he revered the sun, and he had special timings for its worship: sunrise, mid-day, sunset and mid-night. The reason for midnight worship was, says Abul Fazl:
"The direction of that which gives light to the world has turned towards devotion and those afflicted by the dark nights received the tidings of delight". For the approval of this wicked act, reliance was placed upon the Quranic Sura "The Sun".
It is not the subject matter of this book whether the irreligiousness of Akbar had reached infidelity. I only say in this regard that it is certainly a forerunner of destruction to give the reins of the problems of faith into the hands of an ignorant and illiterate man.
As regards the effect of Akbar's wrong-doing and the religious conditions of that period I quote some writings of Khwaja Ubaidullah, known as the Senior Khwaja (son of Khwaja Baqi Billah), Shaikh Abdul Haq, Muhaddith (narrator of Hadiths) of Delhi and the Mujaddid.
THE WRITING OF THE SENIOR KHWAJA (KHWAJA KALAN).
At the time of the death of Baqi Billah, the senior and junior khwaja were about a couple of years old. Khwaja Hasamuddin Ahmed brought up both the children. In the letter that Mujaddid wrote to his spiritual teacher's said sons, which I have reproduced earlier, he mentions the real facts: May Allah bless Khwaja Hasamuddin Ahmed that he has taken the burden of serving these boys and thus relieved us of our responsibility. w
Khwaja Hasamuddin's wife was the second daughter of Mulla Mubarik. Therefore, the statement of the Senior Khwaja regarding Mullah Mubarik and Abul Fazl is authentic and convincing. Under the capition 'Infidels' the Senior Khwaja has written in detail about Mahmud Basakhwan, Amir Sharif Ali and Abul Fazl. I give below the gist of that: Amir Sharif Amili was among the chiefs of the "Basakhwani faith". He came to India during Akbar's reign and became a companion of Abul Fazl. Due to his naturai wretchedness Amili did not fěnd solace in any faith. Finally he entered the circle of the infidels and was enticed by the system of Basakhwani. Incidentally he reached Akbar's court and amusing him obtained a 'Mansab' of a thousand. Becoming a Khalifa of the "Dargah", that is, a missionary of Akbar's religion he went to Bengal and busied himself in propagating Akbar's Four edicts, which were the fruit of Abdul Fazl's interpretation.
Abul Fazl was the son of Shaikh Mubarik Nagori. He Iearned the sciences and arts through his father and also in-herited spiritual confusion and astonishment from his father. Even since his youth he could not fix his mind on any religion and wanted to go out of India to study the religions of the Magians/Fire-worshipper, Nakhshabs, the 'alabis, Jews and Christians, etc., but could not leave due to his father. When he met Akbar he found that he too was in confusion, anxiety and doubt like himself. Therefore, considering Akbar's companionship a heaven sent boon he busied himself in fulfilment of his design. Collecting books on different rcligions from tother countreis through royal commands he studied them and calling Hindu Jogia and Pandits availed himself of their knowledge. Finally he met Shaikh Amili and this meeting aggrandized his irreligiouness and he entered the realm of infidelity.
THE WRITING OF MAULANA ZAKULLAH. In his book
the History of India, Maulana writes about the religious trend and the Four Edicts of Akbar from Abul Fazl’s book, Aeen-e-Akbari and the Akbarnama:
"The emperor has no regard for various opinions of the commoneres. He praises any pleasing mattcr in evcry religion and has often said that he who is just and adopts any thing of any group which is ractional is the true man and perhaps the lock whose key is lost will be opened. In this regard he so eulogised the seeking of reality of the Indians that for loyalty they sacrifice four things: property, life, honour and faith, and besides these four there is nothing in this world".
This statement of Abul Fazl, ruproduced by Maulana Zakaullah, fully supports what the Senior Khwaja has said. He writes: "he found Akbar also in confusion, anxiety and doubt", and Maulana has quoted this: “perhaps the lock, whose key is lost, will be opened." What will be one's faith when one gets in such a confusion, anxiety and doubt. And when the four Edicts which have been interpreted as property, life, honour and faith are conceded in favour of the emperor, what else remains.
THE WRITING OF SHAIKH ABDUL HAQ.
The Shaikh says about Faizi:
“Although Faizi was unparalleled in his rehetoric, elo-quence, linguistics and diction, unfortunately, falling into the pit of infidelity and straying from the true path, has so debased himself that it is not proper for the followers of the Holy Prophet to utter his name or the name of this abominable group.
From this short text of the Shaikh these important points come to light:
1. He used the verb "was" while mentioning Faizi, which means that he wrote it after his death.
2. He has admitted Faizi to be unparalleled in rhetoric, eloquence, linguistics and diction. In so doing he has indicated Faizi's commentary on the Quran written in Arabic by using only those letters of the Arabic alphabet that have no dot, which bears the name Swate ul_ ijham". No doubt writing a commentary on the Quran in such a manner is a unique aecomplishment . In spite of that peculiarity of using only letters without a dot, the commentary is of a high standard in respect of simplicity, fluency, rhetoric and eloquence. Faizi wrote this conimenlary in the year 1002 A.H. In 1274 A.H. Shaikh Mahmood Afandi, the Muftě of Damascus, wrote a commentary in the same manner, named Durrul Asrar. Probably Shaikh Mahmood might have come across Faizi's commentary and took advantage of it.
Still Faizi's commentary is far more comprehensible. Faizi has written one hundred and thirty "Swate" after the preface and all those "Swate" are like introductions. And at the end he has composed ninety nine chronograms, and finaliy thirty couplets in Arabic. All these are written in letters without a dot.”
Shaikh Mohammed Ikram thus writes about the manner of Shaikh. “Shaikh Abdul Haq had seen Faizi in those assemblies in Fatehpur Sikri where his dissolute behaviour and arrogance was at its zenith. At that time he was very intimate with Faizi but what he saw in those assemblies so disgusted him that he did not like to meet even that Faizi who had written that "Swate ul Ilham". Although not only the praise of the Holy Prophet in his Mathnawi, "Nal Daman", and the commentary, Swate ul Ilham, but also the Shaikh's letters written to Faizi, speak of the change in the way of thinking of Faizi, the Shaikh remined firm in his decision and thus wrote about Faizi in his Tazkerat-ul-Musannafeen-e-Delhi".
Here Shaikh Ikram has reproduced that writing which I have already given in translation.
Shaikh Ikram is justified in his astonishment as he has before him that writing of "Swate ul Ilham" in which there is praise of the Holy Prophet, the couplets of praise of the holy Prophet in "Nal Daman" and those letters of Faizi written to the Sheikh. And what the Shaikh has written is also true since according to him belief is admission by word of mouth and corroboration by the mind. That is, the mind should accept with all sincerity the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of the holy Prophet, Mohammed (Peace be on him). If doubt persists in the mind then there is no belief. That group which considers "he who is just and adopts any-thing of any group which is rational, is the true man, and perhaps the lock whose key is lost, will be opened" can have no regard for Faith? No doubt Faizi's commentary is a literary masterpiece. What was the idea behind writing the commentary adoration and love of the holy Prňphet, or a display of knowledge and learning? The love of the holy Prophet demands that there should not be the last decrease in the corroboration of the mind, despite any lack of action due to the weakness of human nature. Had Faizi got disgusted with that abominable group? Had He found the lost key of the lock, had he found the lost? Shaikh Abdul Haq's statement "not proper to utter his name or the name of his abominablc party" shows that Faizi had not abandoned that abonlinable group and had not turned to the right path. Allah alone knows the truth. The end justifěes the means.
3. According to the Shaikh that group with which Faizi was affiliated was such a bad example for the Muslims that even uttering his name was considered not proper for the Muslims.
4. That Faizi and the others had fallen into the pit of infidelity and straying from the true path. What a pity! "Whosoever is guided, is guided only for (thc good of) his soul, and whosoever erreth, erreth only against it" (Quran 10:108).
THE WRITINGS OF MUJADDID: From the pamphlets and letters of hazrat Mujaddid I quote his statement from his pamphlet Ithbat-e-Nubuvvat,:
"I notice that now-a-days people are losing confidence in their faith about prophethood itself and about establishment of the prophethood of any single person.This predicament has gone so far that those religious scholars, who were firm in their observance of the Sharia and their loyalty to the Holy Prophet were beheaded, and conditions have so deteriorated that even the name of the holy Prophet is discarded. If any body had been so named by his auspicious name it is now being changed. Cow-slaughter is impeded, although it is one of the chief rites of Islam in India. Mosques and shrines aro being demolished. The temples of the infidels and their eustoms are being venerated. In short, erasing the rites and procepts of Islam, the customs of the infidels and their vain faiths are being circulated in order to annihilate Islam.
I also notice that the circle of doubt and denial is widening. The doctors (MuslinuScholars) have themselves fallen ill (are defiled) and Allah's creatures are coming to their end. I have tested the faith of each and inquired of them about their doubts. Examining their inner thoughts and faiths I concluded that the reason of all this misery is that this era is far removed from the times of the holy Prophet, and the Indian Philosophers and the books of philosophy have come into vogue. I also discussed with people who have studied the books on philosophy and the books of the infidels and who profess to be learned (the hint is towards Abul Fazl). They have misguided mankind in researching the origin of prophethood, and the particular person for the proof thereof, they have gone astray and are themselves lost. They claim that the sole object of prophethood is wisdom, benefit and the correction of the external condition of mankind and preventing them from quarrelling and prohibiting them from indulging in sexual desires. -
This writing of Mujaddid pertains to the end of the tenth contury (of the Hijra calendar) when Akbar was patronizing this ominous group and had assembled those men of difforent faiths in his worshipping place who, proclaiming him to be the khalifa of the age, the perfect man and the manifestation of the truths, had raised him to the status of god and had proscribcd prostration before him.
Now I give some extraets from his letters. He wrote to Shaikh Badi'uddin:
1. The procepts of Sharia are one and the same for the novice and the accomplished, the most perfect dovotee and a common Muslim are equal in this rcgard. The immature Sufi and the inconsiderate infidel are struggling to got themselves exempted from the precepts of the Sharia. They consider the precepts of Sharia are for the common man and the chosen ones have only to acquire wisdom. They, due to their ignorance, consider the nobles and the kings are charged with justice and equity, and say that the object of following the precepts of Sharia is to acquire knowledge, and the moment knowledge is achieved thc precepts of Sharia lapse. They have relied upon "And serve thy Lord till the inevitable (death) (yaqin) cometh unto thee' (the last verse of Sura Al-Hijra. They have interpreted "inevitable" to mean knowlodge as has been done by Sahl Tastri. Whereas interpreting 'inevitable' to mean knowledge, means that sense of inconvenience in worship persists as long as knowledge is not achieved, and when ach-ieved the sense of inconvenience vanishes (and one feels tranquility), they have interpreted it to mean pretence and infidelity.
These people further say that the spiritual teacher worships not because he is obliged to do so but in order that his followers, so observing him, should also worship. They rely on this statement of the Shaikhs "unless the spiritual teacher is not a hypocrite the disciple cannot attain any benefit". 1 May Allah disgrace them, how ignorant they are! What worship the devotees need, the novices do not require even a tenth part of that, since the exaltation and their stages of nearness to Allah are associated with worship and precepts of Sharia. If the common men expect reward on the Day of Judgement the devotees received it today. Therefore they are bound by worship and confined to follow the precepts of Sharia.
He has written to Shaikh Nizam Thanesari:
2. It is known through reliable sources that the disciples of some of your Khalifas prostrate before them, not content with touching the ground before them. The evil of this act is quite apparent. You should strictly prohibit them from doing so. Everybody should abstain from such an act and especially one whom the people follow.
The books on Sufism are being read in your assemblies. Books on theology should also be read. There are many books on theology in Persian, as Majmu-e-Khani, Umdat ul Islam and Fasi Kanz. There is no harm if books on Sufism are not read as they relate to ecstacy and ecstacy cannot be put to words. It is harmful not to read the books on theology. (Couplet-translated): I bave narrated briefly my grievancy to you as I am afriad you may mind it, otherewise there is much to say.
3. He has written to Lala Baig :
May Allah increase the sense of honour of Islam in you and us. Since a century, such humility has spread over Islam that the infidels, not content with issuing pagan orders in the Islamic regions, are trying to completely wipe out Islamic precepts, so that even Islam and the terms Muslim should not remain. If any Muslim follows any rite of Islam he is beheaded."
4. He wrote to Shaikh Farid Bukhari :
May Allah keep you fěrm in the System of your ances'tors. For the country the king is like the heart in the body. The body is in order if the heart is so and if the heart is vicious so shall be the body. You know what has befallen Islam in the past. When Islam had freshly arrived in the early period its weakness and humility had only been that the Muslims retained their faith and the infidels their's. But in the past (in Akbar's reign) the infidels openly used to issue pagan orders in Islamic regions, and the Muslims were unable to observe the precepts of Islam. If they did they were beheaded. Alas, one hundred regrets for this calamity. Those confinning the prophethood of the holy Prophet, Mohammed, Peace be on him, were brought low and disgraced and those denying him were honoured and revered. The Muslims with injured hearts were busy with mourning for Islam, and their oppressors were sprinkling fuel on the fěre by their buffoonery. The sun of guidance was eclipsed by the clouds of irreligion and the light of truth was dimmed by the veil of falsehood.
Today, the tidings of the perishing of the opposer of Islam (the hint is towards Akbar) and the glad tidings of the accession to the throne of the Islamic ruler have reached the public. The Muslims have resolved that they shall assist the
ruler and cooperate with him in propagating the Sharia and strengthening the faith. They shall help him, be it orally or physically. Most important is the assistance in the matter of the theories of Sharia, that the written beliefs are expressed according to the Quran, Hadith and the consensus of the faithful and no innovator or wanderer from the path should hinder the programme. This assistance is associated with the true scholars who care for the Hereafter. The company of those scholars who are after the material world is poisonous and their evil infectious.
That religious scholar who cares for the material world and his own living has himself gone astray how can he guide others?
Whatever hard times the Muslims had to face in the past were due to the ominousness of this party alone. They misled the rulers. These ill-intentioned scholars were the leaders of the seventy two sects who have gone astray. If others than the ill-intentioned scholars go astray their misleading is not so harmful. Many Sufi-like ignorant ones of this day are in the same category of ill-intentioned scholars as their vice is also infectious.
Allah has bestowed upon you good health and made you a courtier, therefore it is expected of you that you should strive to propagate the Sharia of the Holy Prophet, Muhammad, Peace be on him, in all matters, internal and external, and extricate the Muslims from their humility and disgrace. "
5. He has also written to Shaikh Farid Bukhari:
“Sir, the gist of all sermons and counsels is that association and relation should be maintained with men of faith and followers of Sharia. The connection of faith and the following of Sharia is with those who adhere to the way of the Sunni Muslims, as only that sect of Islam is the elected sect. Salvation cannot be attained except by following these saints, and there is no betterment apart from their opinions. This is established by rational, traditional and inspirational proofs beyond the possibility of any differences. If any one is found to have strayed by an atom from his way then his company and assembly should be considered poisonous. It is necessary that the fearless searchers for knowledge should avoid unclean persons of any sect, as they are thieves of religion. All the misery that crept into the faith is due to their viciousness. For the gains of this unworthy world they spoilt their hereafter life. "These are they who purchase error at the cost of guidance so their commerce does not prosper neither are they guided “(Quran-2:16). Seeing Iblis sitting at ease somebody inquired as to why he has restrained himself from kidnapping and misleading. He replied that, the ill-intentioned scholars of the day have taken over his job and are looking after the kidnapping and misleading".
He has written a lengthy letter running into fěfteen pages to Khan-e-Jehan in which he had described the creed of the Sunni Muslims and the five basic precepts of Islam. At the end he says:
“The public is ignorant of the favour that Allah has bestowed upon you people. Probably you also do not realise it. The ruler is a Muslim and of Sunni Muslim creed and of the Hanafi school of law for the last seven generations. Though for a few years, in these days that are near the Judgement Day and distant from the days of the Holy Prophet, some seekers of knowledge (religious scholars) who are evil-minded and greedy and pursuers of the company of nobles and rulers, have created doubts in the Islamic faith and misled the simple folk. When this mighty Emperor listens to and accepts your counsel then you should put before him, expressly or impliedly, the truth of Islam, according to the Sunni Muslim creed.”
7. He has written to Mohammed Ma'soom, his third son:
'' Some Shaikhs have used the terms absorbtion and dis-solution. And by that they meant the visual and ecstatic absorbtion and dissolution which the traveller experiences in a state of submission. And at that time he is unable to feel his establishment. The Shaikhs do not mean the absorbtion and dissolution in the source,that in reality its source becomes absorbed in God’s essence as taht will be pretence and infidelity. A group of ignorant ones has come to believe in absorbtion in the source, and hence they denied the reward and punishment of the Hereafter. They consider that as in unity diversity has entered, so from finite, in that same way, one must reach the unity fromthe diversity. And then diversity is absorbed and dissolved in the unity. A group among these dissidents considers absorbtion the Day of Judgement and have denied Resurrection, Rising, Reckonirig, the Bridge, and the Scale. They went astray and mislead many others.
8. Explaining the world of likenesses and the Hadith, quoted by Shaikh Akbar Ibn Arabi, that "Allah created eleven hundred universes" he wrote to Khwaja Mohammed Taqi:
9. He wrote a letter running into eleven pages to his eldest son, Mohammed Sadeeq. At page eight he says:
' The immature Sufis consider Zikr and thought to be important and are lazy in performing the obligation and Sunna. Adopting the practice of making offerings to Husain and the other martyrs on the 40th day after the war of Kerbala, and abstinence, they skip the congregational and Friday prayers. They fail to understand that performing a single obligation with the congregation surpasses a thousand forty day’s seclusions. Of course Zikr and thought (ofGod),which are performed according to the precepts of Sharia are worth performing. Foolish religious scholars strive in the performance of superarogatory prayers and impair and damage their obligatory prayers, as the prayer on the tenth day of the month of Moharram, which is not established as having been observed by the Holy Prophet, they perform this prayer in congregation, knowing all the while that, according to the authorities of the theological law, it is absolutely loathsome. "
10. With regard to the following of the Sunna and the stages of sainthood he wrote a letter to Syed Shah Mohammed saying :
“I consider adherence to Sunna and abstinence from innovations begets satisfaction of mind and the ability to do good deeds, as long as the good innovation, also the inoffensive, is not considred the same as evil-innovation and not avoided, this bounty cannot be achieved. This is hard to perform these days as the world has gone deep in innovations. People find solace in the darkness of innovations. Nobody dares attempt to remove the innovations or think of reviving the Sunna. The present religious scholars are those who are propagating the innovations and erasing the Sunna. They are approving those innovations which are in practice as they are being acted upon and thus are leading the people to schism by their religious verdicts.'
11. He wrote to Shaikh Fareed Bukhari :
“I have heared that the Muslěm King, due to his natural piety has asked you to select four pious religious scholars to state the Islamic precepts so that no order against the Sharia be' passed. It is an occasion to praise Allah and offer our thanks. No tidings can be so welcome. This humble self is addressing you in the same connection and had also written several times before. I cannot help descrbing myself as humble and hope you will excuse me. An interested person seeks all means to accomplish his purpose. It is submitted that it is hard to find such pious and religious scholars who have nothing in mind save to propagate the Sharia, as they are very rare. If there be the slightest love of dignity in the selected scholars, then, in order to exhibit their superiority, they shall indulge in controversial problems to gain the king's favour and it shall be disastrous for the faith. It was the difference betwcen the religious scholars alone which had caused trouble to the world. History is repeating itself. In such conditions the faith shall deteriorate and not spread. May Allah save us from such a situation and from the evil of the ill-intentioned religious scholars. Hence it shall be advisible to select a single scholar. So much the better if that scholar has a fear of the Hereafter. Association with him shall be a boon. If such a scholar cannot be found then select the next best.
12. He wrote to Khan-e-Azam:
“The holy Prophet has said: Islam was weak and destitute in the beginning and shall revert to the same in the near future!' Hence greetings to the destitute and poor who follow the Quran and adhere to the Sunna. The weakness and destitution of Islam has gone so far that the infidels openly taunt Islam and its followers. They issue pagan precepts to the public and praise the infidels, while the Muslims are debarred from issuing precepts of Islam and performing acts of Sharia.
The glory of Sharia had been associated with the kings, but now it has turned the other way round. What a pity and shame! These days we consider your presence a boon and know that you are the warrior on this defeated field. Allah shall assist you. Today is the day when the least action is accepted with a full reward. The people living in the cave had done nothing else except to migrate, but it was commended as being done at the right moment. When the enemy is overpowering, and little endeavour by the soldiers is commended whereas in peace time it is not valued. This spoken crusade which you handle today is the great crusade. You should consider it a favour and ask for more, and consider this spoken crusade superior to crusade of action. Helpless destitutes like me are not favoured with this boon. "
I request you that as by the grace or the regard that you have for the elders of this Naqshbandi family, Allah has made your word effective and people respect your faith. You shall strive that at least the major precepts of infidelity that have taken root in the Muslims should end, and they be saved from the denials (of Islam). May Allah reward you on my behalf and on behalf of the Muslims. In the earlier government there was opposition and enmity for the faith of the Holy Prophet, but not in this government. And evcn if there is, it is due to ignorance. I am afraid lest such conditions creep into this government as they did in the earlier one and that the Muslims may fěnd it hard to live.
13. He wrote to Mir Sadr-e-Jehan:
It is rumoured that the Muslim king has called for better qualified scholars. It is a favour from Allah. You know that the misery that had befallen in the past was due to the ill-intentioned scholars. Therefore you should be careful in the selection of scholars. The ill-intcntioned scholars are thieves of religion. They are only after respect, esteem and domi-nation. Allah save us from their creed.
14. He again wrote to Mir Sadr-e-Jehan:
Now that the government has changed and the resistance of the opposing parties has given way then it is the duty of the followers of Islam, be they ministers of state or religious scholars, to strive to their utmost for the propagation of the Sharia and restoration of the fallen pillers of Islam. It is not wise to delay. The Muslims are perturbed and they remember the hard times they have undergone. Do not let the change slip and add to the misery of Islam. When the king is not concerned for the propagation of the holy Prophet's way and this courties exusing themselves from this task, seek after their earthly good, then how shall the matters of the Muslims not be ruined."
15. He wrote to Haji Mohammed of Lahore:
“The love of the earthly life is a blot on the religious scholars. If the people profit from such world-seeking scholars, and the Sharia and the faith are strengthened by them, their knowledge is not beneficial to them; as Allah strengthens the faith even through sinners. The holy Prophet has said: “Verily_Allah_ shall get the faith strengthened by some sinner”. Such scholars are like a touch-stone, copper or iron coming into contaci with it shall turn into gold. But it shall remain the same stone. The same is the case of the fire which is hidden in stone and bamboo, as people derive benefit by it but that stone and bamboo cannot have any benefit from it. I say that the knowledge of such scholars is harmful to them as it shall be the basis of an argument against them. The holy Prophet has said: The hardest punishmenf on the Day of Judgement shall be meted out by Allah to that religious scholar who had not reaped any benefit from his own knowledge.
Teaching and giving out verdicts shall be useful only when it is done solely for Allah's pleasure and should be devoid of all love of dignity, dominion and hoarding of wealth and eminence. ''
16. He has written a letter running into eight pages to a pious lady, which is the fortyfirst letter in the first volume, in which are mentioned all innovations and vices in which women-folk are generally involved, such as respect for the customs of the idolaters, seeking the help of being other than Allah for the cure of small-pox and other diseases, believe in ghosts and devils, making a vow to any deity, slaughtering animals at shrines, fasting in the name of some saints and saintly ladies and breaking the fast by ways not sanctioned by the Sharia, etc.
17. Another letter running into sixteen pages is to an-other pious lady which is the sevententh letter in the third
volume, in which he has dealt in detail about the creeds and prayers.
The writings of Mujaddid are a treasure of mysteries and knowledge, every word revealing his inner agony and passion of faith. He was aloof from worldly politics and had no connection with the government. All connection he had was with the faith and he longed for its flourishing. He wished that Muslims should become true Muslims and he was busy till the last for its achievement.
Allah is all wise and knowing. He says: "Allah knoweth best with whom to place his message" (Qurah-6:124). He |bestows those qualities upon that man for the job which He wishes him to undertake. He intended to extract from the Mujaddid the task of rejuvenation and correction of the faith. Hence He bestowcd upon him the capacity for that,like an efticient physician he searched for the causes and reasons which had weakened the feith. He has mentioned in his pamphlet, Ithbat e Nubuvvat: “I am observing that the circle of doubt and denial is widening. The physicians themselves have fallen ill and the creatures of Allah are nearing their end. I searched the beliefsof each of them and inquired of them about their doubts.”
THE DETAILS OF THE VICES :
From his statement the following vices come to light :
About the Government :
1. In Akbar's reign there was enmity against Islam
2. The name of the holy Prophet was abandoned and whoever had that name, changed it.
3. The people of opposing parties (i.e. Opposed to Mujaddid) were opposing Islam.
4. The customs of the infidels were introduced.
5. The pillars of Islam were being obliterated.
6. Mosques and shrines were being dismantled.
7. Religious scholars who followed the Sharia were being beheaded.
8. Islam was being taunted publicly.
9. Discord had developed in minds regarding prophet-hood.
10. Philosophy and benefit were considered the essence of prophethood.
The condition of the scholars:
1. Ill-intentioned religious scholars.
2. World-seeking sinful scholars.
3. Slack, fearless and indiscreet scholars.
The condition of the Sufěs:
1. negligence of obligations and inclination towards far-fetched endeavours and abstinence.
2. Wrong interpretation of the quotations of the shaikhs and co-operation with the infidels.
3. Abandoning the ways of Sunna, indulging in innovat ions.
4. The disciples used to prostrate before their spiritual teacher.
5. Some atheists had become spiritual teachers.
The condition of the public:
1. Indulgence in innovations.
2. Performance of idolatrous customs.
3. Practice of Hindu Charms.
Along with these vices were the ways of the Shias, who were a major faction misleading the ignorant ones in the name of the kithe and kin of the holy Prophet.
Mujaddid strived to remove all these causes, and Allah made him a successful reformer. The public gave him the title of Mujaddid and Allah bestowed upon him this position.
TESTIMONIES OF RENEWAL
Said the holy Prophet: "Narrate the good deeds of your dead". hence I narrate those good deeds of Mujaddid which relate to the renewal of the faith.
1. ERADICATION OF INFIDELTY OF AKBAR:
Mujaddid wrote letters to the nobels and officers ofthe state, describing the destitution of Islam in such a fashion as to infuse sympathy for Islam in their hearts. At the death of Akbar when Jehangir became the ruler, the nobles got the opportunity to speak about Islam before him. Meanwhile "it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you" (Quran—2, 216) manifested itself and Mujaddid was imprisoned by Jehangir and kept a prisoner for three years and ten months. Jehangir used to visit him in the jail and his warmth of heart melted Jehangir. Thus the faith refreshed once again. The infidels and the distracted were distressed and the infidelity which was being patronized by the ruler of a vast empire was so torn to pieces by the sincerity and efforts of a penniless fakir that none remained who could rccollect it.
2. THE INFIDEL SUFIES. These are the people who have gained the title of Shaikh, and misinterpretating the sayings of the orthodox shaikhs are misleading the people. Mujaddid wrote many letters refuting them and explained that these distracted ones are explaining the sayings of those orthodox shaikhs in the mode of the Batiniyya group (a sect of the Shias) and infidel philosophers. He pointed out the evil and impudence of their explanations.
3. THE DARING SCHOLARS: He declared the daring scholars to be thieves. He says that they are likc the touchstone which remains a mere stone while iron and brass rubbing against it turn into gold. The public is benefitted by their sermons but they themselves remain deprived of benefit. And even their knowledge shall be used as an argumont against them on the Judgment Day.
4. COUNSEL TO IGNORANT SUFIS: He counselled the ignorant Sufis to follow the Sharia. The interrogation on the Judgment Day shall be about Sharia, and not Tariqat. Sharia has been established by the divine revelation which is final and definite and Tariqat by inspiration which is presumptive. Presumption cannot be comparod with the definite. One should not be fascinated by the trumpets of the shaikhs. He says: "do not be flattered by the spiritualism and assistance of the shaikhs". He says: compare all the sayings and actions of the shaikhs with those of the holy Prophet. If they tally so much the better. Otherwise interpret them fairly as these sayings and actions were manifested by them when they were in the stage of the heart. That is, when their sainthood had not attained higher spheres and intoxication was predominant on them.
He further says: people are fascinated by such merits and manners of the saints which are altogether apart from their original merits and manners. Note that it is said of Shaikh Farid Shakr Gunj that whenever he was apprised of the death of any of his children he was unaffected and used to say, 'a puppy has died, throw it away'. Now consider that the holy Prophet shed tears at the death of his son and said : "O Ibrahim! verily we are grieved by your separation". But the general public prefer tne behaviour of Shakr Gunj as it shows non-connection. May Allah protcct us from their evil beliefs.
TARIQAT AND REALITY OF THE SERVANTS OF SHARIA 
Allah is all wise, He bestowed upou Mujaddid wisdom and prudence. It was fully disclosed to him that those who deviate and are inflicted in heart consider tariqat and reality (haqiqat) superior to Sharia. And he says that they are propagating distraction and the ways of the Batiniyya sect in the name of reality. He so completely put an end to all this vice that no vice could be raised against it. In this regard he writes :
"After accomplishing the stages of the path (unto Allah) and covering the stages of attraction it has dawned upon me that the gist and object of all traversing and journey (unto Allah) is to achieve the stage of purity which is based on the annihilation of all earthly and physical idols. There are three ingredients of Sharia: knowledge, action and purity. Tariqat and reality are subservient to purity (that is, the more the planes of tariqat and reality shall be traversed the stronger the purity shall be). What I have said is based on truth, but it is beyond the reach of every body's comprehension as he is a slave of delusion, and is content with trifles. He has neither understood the perfections of Sharia nor has fathomed the depths of tariqat and reality. He thinks Sharia is the skin and reality is the puip. He is ignorant of the main purpose. He is fascinated by the idle talk of Sufis and beguiled by states and stages. May Allah show them the straight path, and peace of Allah be on us and on the virtuous subjects of Allah".
He further says:
“Two things are essential: one should have no connection save with Allah and should strive to perform those acts which are corporal and ordained by Sharia. A claim of peace of mind without corporal conduct is false. As in the earthly life there can be no spirit without a body, and it cannot even be presumed, so also the manifestation of the states of the heart is not feasible without corporal conduct. Many present day infidels make such claims. May Allah protect us from their evil beliefs".
He still further says :
“May Allah, by the honour of the Prophet, who was safe from deviation of distortion, saving us from indulging in any thing beside Him, and disengaging us from Him, bestow upon us steadfastness on the path of Sharia. Listen to the meaning Sharia and truth are in fact the source of each other, and there is no repugnance between them. The difference is only in the abstract and detail, inspiration and reason, inapparent and evidence, action and inaction. Those orders and sciences which became known externally from the Shariat, are those very orders and sciences which, when having been verified by the reality of absolute certainty, are revealed in detail and come into witness from the unknown. At that time no difficulty remains in grasping and acting on them. The sign of reaching the stage of the reality or sure certainty (haqq-ul yaqin) is that the knowledge and sciences of that stage should fully tally with those of Sharia. The sliglitesl difference therein is proof of not reaching the truth of truths, that is, the root thereof. Any of the Shaikh's disgressions from the Sharia in knowledge or action was due to divine intoxication and unconsciousness which occurs in the course of journey unto Allah. Those who reached the climax always remain in their senses. They have subdued time. Ecstasy and place follow and obey their perfection.
When this is the position as narrated by me, then the un-steadiness of those who declared Sharia as skin, and truth as pulp, is apparent. If they meant summary and detail by skin and pulp, then it is altogether a different thing, as summary is condensed detail, and thus it was named pulp. Likewise those eminent ones, whose deeds are steadfast do not say' such things which create misunderstanding. On the other hand they state the difference of Sharia and tariqat in detail with arguments and revelations. Some one asked Khwaja Naqsh-band the purpose of traversing and journey (unto Allah) to which he replied that the knowledgc which is brief and based on reason should become detailed and revelatory.
He still further says:
“The three ingredients of Sharia are knoledge, action and purity. As long as they are not proved, Sharia is not provcd. At the proof of Sharia, Allah's acquiescence could be obtained which is the highest among the worldly and hereafter happinesses. Allah says: Allah's acquieseence is the higest (Quran, 5, 22). The Sharia is a security of all happiness be it wordly or of the hereafter. Therefore we are concerned only with Sharia and nothing else.
The distinction of Sufis is due to tariqat and reality and both are subject to Sharia, whose function is to serve the third ingredient of Sharia which is purity. The object of gaining tariqat and truth is nothing else than fulfilment of Sharia. : The states and trances and wisdom and scienees which the Sufis find in their way are desired and intended, but are only fancy and imagination which please the novice in tariqat and thus the novice disciples progress. The stage of acceptance is reached after passing through all these states and trances which is the last among the Ievels of attraction and journey (unto Allah). After the three illuminations, that is, ofa Acts, of Attributes and of the Essence, visions and mystical observations, one among thousand reaches the munificence of attachment, purity and the stage of acceptance. Ignorant people have misunderstood states and trances as the objective, and observations and illuminations as the goal. And getting entangled in, whim and fancy are deprived of perfections of Sharia.
"Dreadful for the idolators is that unto which thou callest " them. Allah chooseth for himself whom He will and guideth unto Himself him who turneth (towards Him)" (Quran -42: l3;). The lfact is that obtaining the level of attachment and reaching the stage of acceptance is associated with verifying crossing over the states and trances and verifying this knowledge and sciences. All these things are the means for reaching the goal. Fully after ten years by the charity of the holy Prophet this truth was revealed to me and the witness of Sharia appeared.
Shah Abdul Qader, after giving the translation of the above verse (of Quran) has given this explation in Mozah e Quran : "the true faith is always one only; it shall be established; Allah has appointed different modes every time."
The respectful admiration Mujaddid had for the Prophet at last had its effect. and after fuil ten years the truth of the matter manifested itself by sure vision that tariqat and truth of which the Sufis boast are only subject to Sharia. "Surely pure religion is for Allah only" (Quran – 39:3). This proclamation of his closed the doors of all distractions. The faith was refreshed and Allah, enrobing him with the mantel of renovation, crowned him with the crown of Sila.”
As we have read hazrat Ahmad Sirhindi is the purest center of sufi islam of the second millennium (he is Mujaddid-i alf-i Thani, the renewer of the second millennium). The association of his work with the definition of “salafi” is completly wrong and out of place, moreover the salafia is something historically born in the last century and nowadays it has a negative connotation.
It is not correct to think that observance of sharia is opposed to the sufi way, on the contrary the observance of sharia is necessary for all muslims and specially for the followers of tasawwuf, there is no contrast between sharia and haqiqa, moreover the later supports and explain the former and this one is the touchstone for the experiences done from the sufi in his way to God.
Other studies corroborate a correct knowledge of the role of shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi as a sufi leader and the relationship between sharia, tariqa and haqiqa:
Johannan Friedmann: Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi. An outline of his thought and a study of his immage inthe eyes of posterity. Montrela – London, 1971.
‘Abdul Haq Ansari: Sufism and shari’ah. A study of shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi’s effort to reform sufism. Leicester, 1986.
J.G. J. ter Haar: Follower and Heir of the Profet, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi as mystic. Het Oosters Instituut, Leiden, 1992.
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