35 - Hadrat 'Abd al-Ghani further wrote:
"Those who have learned a few things in 'ilm az-zahir but know nothing of 'ilm al-batin find 'arifs' words to be unbelief or heresy-causing words when they read books of tasawwuf. They disbelieve the knowledge of marifa which they do not understand. Thus, they disapprove of the great leaders of tasawwuf (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) such as Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi [d. Damascus, 638 A.H. (1240)], 'Umar ibn al-Farid [d. Egypt, 636 A.H. (1238)], Ibn Sab'in al-Ishbili [d. Mecca, 669 A.H. (1270)], 'Afif ad-din Sulaiman at-Talamsani [d. Damascus, 690 A.H. (1290)], 'Abd al-Qadir al-Geilani [d. Baghdad, 561 A.H. (1166)], Jalal ad-din Rumi [d. Konya, 672 A.H. (1237)], Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi, Ahmat at-Tijani [d. Morocco, 1230 A.H. (1815)], 'Abd al-Wahhab ash-Sharani and Sharaf ad-din Muhammad al-Busayri [d. Egypt, 695 A.H. (1295)]. They disbelieve batini sciences, thus, in fact, disbelieve the inner aspects of the religion of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). Such people are called ahl al-bidat or -dalala. Though they look like believers, they are like munafiqs. The hadith ash-Sharif related by al-Imam as-Suyuti and Khatib declares, "Religious knowledge has two parts: one part covers the useful knowledge in the heart. The second is the knowledge of zahir that can be expressed verbally.' Another hadith ash-Sharif, related by as-Suyuti and ad-Dailami, declares, 'The science of batin is one of Allahu ta'ala's mysteries and one of His orders. He gives it to the heart of His servant whom He wills.' Imam Malik said, 'He who possesses 'ilm az-zahir can attain 'ilm al-batin. If a person who has 'ilm az-zahir lives up to his 'ilm, Allahu ta'ala endows him with 'ilm al-batin.' Imam 'Umar al-Bulqini [Siraj ad-din al-Misri, d. 805 A.H. (1402)], who was astonished at the 'arifana (sagacious) statements of 'Ali ibn Muhammad Wafa' [d. Medina, 807 A.H. (1404)], asked him, 'Where did you learn all of these things?' 'Ali ibn Muhammad Wafa' recited the ayat al-karima of Surat al-Baqara, 'Fear Allah! Allahu ta'ala teaches those who fear Him what they do not know,' as an answer. Abu Talib Muhammad al-Makki [d. Baghdad, 386 A.H. (996)] wrote: ' 'Ilm az-zahir and 'ilm al-batin do not separate from each other but stay together like the body and the heart do. 'Ilm al-batin flows from the 'arif's heart to others' hearts. 'Ilm az-zahir is learnt through an alim's words. It reaches the ears but does not go into the heart.' A hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'The 'ulama' are the inheritors of prophets.' These 'ulama' are not those who possess only 'ilm az-zahir but those who live up to their 'ilm, possess taqwa and have attained to all the knowledge bestowed upon prophets. The light (nur) of knowledge does not enter the hearts and brains of those who possess only 'ilm az-zahir, since they have not become khalis in their resolutions and have not been rescued from the claws of shahwa (bodily desires, lust) yet. The fire of Hell will clear their hearts and brains. Al-Imam al-Munawi quoted al-Imam al-Ghazali (rahimahuma'llahu ta'ala): 'The knowledge about the other world is of two kinds. One of them is attained through kashf and is called 'ilm al-mukashafa or 'ilm al-batin. All sciences are only means or vehicles to attain this science. The second kind is called 'ilm-al-mu'amala. According to most 'arifs, there is the danger of dying in unbelief for those who have not got any share of 'ilm al-batin. The smallest share of this science is one's accepting to believe it. It does not fall to the lot of those who are men of bidat or are haughty. And those who have set their hearts on the world and follow the wishes of the nafs cannot attain anything of 'ilm al-batin even if they are very learned. 'Ilm al-batin is a light that occurs to purified hearts. Our Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) declared, "There are those 'ilms that are very secret; only people of marifa know them." This hadith ash-Sharif indicates 'ilm al-batin. 'Ilm az-zahir, which was defined by Imam Malik as a means to attain 'ilm al-batin, was the science that was known and lived up to in his time. It is not what is studied nowadays to earn worldly wealth and fame. The knowledge called 'ilm al-hal, which is necessary for everyone in order to obey Allahu ta'ala's orders and prohibitions, can be learnt easily in a very short time, and 'ilm al-batin may occur by practicing 'ilm al-hal.'
"Men of religious authority who have not attained 'ilm al-batin do not believe the sciences they are ignorant of. What they know and say a 'ilm al-batin is either the hearsay they quote from ignoramuses like themselves or the words they have memorized from ignoramuses like themselves or the words they have memorized from the books of the 'ulama' of 'ilm al-batin. Their stained hearts have not opened (fat'h) and have not attained the Divine Light. The ignoramuses who talk as if they were experts in 'ilm al-batin are slaves of their minds. They misunderstand, by reasoning with their short minds, the words of those great 'ulama' just as they misunderstand the Qur'an al- Karim and the Hadith ash-Sharif. They write false, harmful books of tafsir and lead Muslims to ruin. The 40th ayat al-karima of Surat an-Nur, 'If Allahu ta'ala does not give nur to someone, he cannot become munawwar (enlightened),' refers to these ignoramuses."
[Attaining to, approaching, acknowledging and loving Allahu ta'ala; getting faid, enlightenment, becoming an 'arif or a possessor of 'ilm al-batin and similar things can be achieved through the heart. The intellect ('aql) cannot comprehend them. Allahu ta'ala has created a cause for attaining everything. It is necessary to hold fast to the cause of attaining anything. The cause of attaining to the above-mentioned things is to clear one's heart of creatures (masiwa), that is, to get rid of their existence of love from the heart. This is called fana' al-qalb. If the heart forgets about everything other than Allahu ta'ala, the heart is automatically filled with the above-mentioned things. The heart (al-qalb) is an invisible thing that cannot be touched. That is, it is not material and does not occupy space. It has a relation with the flesh known as the heart, similar to the intellect's relation with the brain. To fill a bottle with air, no effort is needed except emptying it of the liquid in it. As the liquid is poured, air enters spontaneously. It is the same for the heart. When the love, or thought, of creatures are removed from the heart, it is spontaneously filled with love for Allah, faid, nur and marifa. The faith of Ahl as-Sunnat, refraining from the harams and carrying out the halals and the supererogatory 'ibadat, however, are the causes to purify the heart of creatures. Among the supererogatory 'ibadat, performing the dhikr and keeping company with one of Allahu ta'ala's awliya' are the most effective and most rapid.]
Again 'Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulusi wrote:
"Jamaat is rahma, that is, the union of Muslims on truth brings forth Allahu ta'ala's Compassion. Tafriqa is 'adhab, that is, separation from the community of Muslims brings about punishment from Allahu ta'ala. Hence, it is necessary for every Muslim to unite with those who are on the right path. He must join and believe like them even if they are only a small group. The right path is the path of as-Sahabat al-kiram. Those who follow this path are called Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. It should not confuse us that many heretical groups appeared after the time of the as-Sahabat al-kiram. Al-Imam al-Baihaki said, 'When Muslims go astray, you should follow the right path of those who came before them! You should not give up that path even if you are left alone on that path!' Najm ad-din al-Ghazzi wrote: 'Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat are those 'ulama' who keep on the right path of Rasulullah and as-Sahabat al-kiram. As-siwad al-azam, that is, the majority of the Islamic 'ulama', have followed this right path. The Firqat an-najiyya which was defined to be the group of salvation among the seventy-three groups is this true jamaat.' The Qur'an al-karim declares, 'Do not disunite!' This ayat karima means 'Do not disunite in itiqad, in the teachings of belief!' Most 'ulama', for example, 'Abdullah ibn Masud, interpreted this ayat karima as above and said that it meant 'Do not deviate from the right path by following your nafses and corrupt ideas.' This ayat karima does not mean that there should be no disagreement in the knowledge of fiqh. It forbids separation which causes discord and dissension in the knowledge of itiqad. The disagreement in the knowledge [of fiqh] derived through ijtihad in the field of practices (a'mal) is not a discord, because such disagreement has brought to sight the rights, the fards and the subtle teachings in a'mal and 'ibadat. As-Sahabat al-kiram, too, differed from one another in those teachings that explained daily life, but there was no disagreement among them in the knowledge of itiqad. A hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'Disagreement among my umma is [Allah's] compassion.' The disagreement in the teachings of a'mal, among the four madhhabs is of this kind. Their existence [in the present age] is Allahu ta'ala's guidance and mercy. They have all attained thawab. The same amount of thawab attained by the followers of each of these four madhhabs is given to the imam of that madhhab until the Resurrection. The different specialization of 'ulama' in various branches of knowledge on a'mal is another example [of what the hadith ash-Sharif refers to]; thus, many 'ulama' have specialized in separate sciences of hadith, tafsir, fiqh and Arabic. It is compatible with this hadith ash-Sharif, too, that mutasawwifs have followed different methods in undertaking riyada and in training the students, that various Tariqas have formed. Najm ad-din al-Kubra [He was martyred by the soldiers of Genghis in Harezm in 618 A.H. (1221).] (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) said, 'There are as many ways of approaching Allahu ta'ala as the number of human beings.' This statement, too, points to the difference between the methods of training the students, but not to any difference in itiqad. All awliya' have had the same itiqad. They all have been in the itiqad of Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. The multiplicity of craftsmen practicing different crafts is rahma, too. But disunion in itiqad is the opposite, for Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, 'Jamaat is rahma; tafriqa is 'adhab.'"[Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulusi, Al-hadiqat an-Nadiyya, v. II. p. 103.]
Hadrat 'Abd al-Ghani further wrote:
"Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) declared, 'One will be with whom one loves.' As written in Muslim's book, someone asked Rasulullah about the next world, and Rasulullah asked, 'What have you prepared for the next world?' That person said, 'I have prepared my love for Allah and for His Rasul.' Rasulullah said, 'You will be with those whom you love.' Al-Imam an-Nawawi, in comment to this hadith ash-Sharif, wrote: 'This hadith ash-Sharif reveals the value and use of loving Allahu ta'ala, His Rasul and dead or living pious and charitable people.' Loving Allahu ta'ala and His Rasul means obeying the orders, abstaining from the prohibitions and being observant of and respectful to them. It is not necessary to do what the pious [salih or awliya'] do in order to love them and to get benefit from them, because, when one does what they do, he becomes one of them. A hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'A person may love a jamaat but not become one of them.' 'To be with them' does not mean 'to have been promoted to their high degrees'. A hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'He who loves a jamaat will be resurrected among them.' Abu Dharr (radi-Allahu 'anh) asked, 'Oh Rasul-Allah! If a person who loves a jamaat cannot do what they do, how will he be?' Rasulullah declared, 'Oh Aba Dharr! You will be with those whom you love.' However, Hadrat Hasan al-Basri (radi-Allahu 'anh) said, 'You should not misunderstand these hadiths! You may approach good people only by doing their good deeds! Although Jews and Christians love their prophets, they will not approach their prophets for they are not like their prophets.' About this statement, al-Imam al-Ghazali (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) said, 'One will not be with them by merely loving them unless he performs a few or all of their good deeds.' In summary, a person who loves a jamaat belongs to one of these three types: he who adopts all their good deeds and manners;  he who adopts none of them; and  he who adopts a few of them and leaves aside or does the opposite of the remaining. He who does all of them  becomes one of them and is among them. His love for them has made him completely like them. He has attained the highest degree of love and is certainly one of them. He who does not ever follow or look like those whom he loves  can never be one of them. Al-Imam al-Ghazali meant that Hasan al-Basri had referred to this type of persons. [Such love remains only in words and does not reside in the heart, which is the place for love. Love in mere words is not called love at all. His saying 'I love' is not true.] As for the one who follows a few deeds of the people he loves , he cannot be one of them if he does not have the same faith. He is never sincere when he says he loves. There is no love but hostility towards them in his heart. No enmity is greater than the enmity against faith. An example for this case is the Jews' and Christians' saying that they love their prophets. As for him who claims that he believes like those whom he loves do, but does not follow them fully in ta'a and 'ibadat, his claim to love is of no avail if he does not follow them just because he dislikes those deeds [3i]. He cannot be with those whom he says he loves. But, if he cannot fully follow them because he is not powerful enough or is unable to take control of his nafs [3ii], there is nothing to prevent him from being with them. The hadiths refer to this second group [3ii] and were said for the one who loved a jamaat but who could not fully be like them. The hadith ash-Sharif addressed to Abu Dharr illustrates this openly and makes [us, this type of] Muslims very happy [increases the hope of salvation]. In his last breath, Muhammad ibn as-Sammak [(rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), d. Kufa, 183 A.H. (799)] prayed saying, 'Oh Allah! I have always disobeyed You. But, I have loved those who obey You. Forgive me on account of this love [Sayyid Abdulhakim-i Arwasi used to pray saying, "Oh my Allah! I have done nothing for You worthy of mentioning. I come to Your Audience with my face in shame! But, I have borne hostility towards those who want to destroy and annihilate Your Religion, Islam! Forgive me on account of this hostility of mine on Your behalf!"] of mine!' Najm ad-din al-Ghazzi [ash-Shafi'i (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), d. 1061 A.H. (1651)] likened cruel people's love for the pious to the love of the first group of the third type [3i], that is, those who believe as those whom they love but who do not want to follow them in their deeds and manners; he said that this love and help of the cruel for the pious was of no use to them. But, to us, the love of the cruel is like that of the second group [3ii], that is, they believe as those whom they love but cannot become like them in all respects. Ibn as-Sammak, too, expressed this viewpoint in his prayer. The cruel have tyrannized by following the nafs, but they love the pious and try to win their prayers." [Al-hadiqa, v. II, p. 113.]
Hadrat 'Abd al-Ghani went on:
"Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) declared, 'One will be with whom one loves.' We will attain the blessings of this good news if we love Salaf as-salihin, that is, the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat, even though we are not like them. A person who loves dead or alive ones among those whom Allahu ta'ala loves and those who love Allahu ta'ala attains great bliss and virtue. To love them is, for example, to praise and defend them against their enemies and the ignorant people who speak ill of them. The worst of those who set their hearts on the world are those who speak ill of awliya' whom Allahu ta'ala loves. Addiction to the world gives way to all evil deeds and causes one to commit harams such as jealousy, theft, bribery and haughtiness. The haughtiness of ignorant men of a religious profession arises from their addiction to the world. Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi personally said that the opening (fat'h) of his heart, or his attaining the sciences of batin, was due to his love for the great leaders of tasawwuf and the defense he made on behalf of them. It is written in his book Ruh al-quds: 'Al-hamdu li'llah! I have always defended mutasawwifs against ignorant men of a religious profession. And I will go on defending them till I die. I have been endowed with the knowledge of the heart due to this deed of mine. He who attacks them and, mentioning their names, slanders them exposes his ignorance. This person will fall into ruin in the end.'
"Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) wrote in his commentary to his book Al-wasiyyat al-Yusufiyya that he dreamt of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), who asked, 'Do you know how you have attained this favor of Allahu ta'ala?' 'No, I do not know,' he answered. The Prophet said, 'You attained them due to your respect towards those who said they were men of Allah!' Whether they told the truth or not, his respect towards them caused him to attain bliss.
"He who looks for his own faults and tries to correct himself cannot find time to see the faults of others. He always sees Muslims as better than himself. In other words, he regards every Muslim he encounters as better than himself. He believes that he who says that he is a wali is telling the truth. [See above article 22, where it is meant that a wali, unlike a prophet, is not permitted to tell to the friend or the enemy that he is a wali. But as meant here, a wali, who has been given the duty to guide (irshad), has to tell by implying (e.g., "Insha-Allah, you will obtain faid,") that he is a wali, a rehber, and has to prescribe assignments (wazifa) to the disciple who comes with ikhlas to him to obtain faid. He who, though with sincerity and devotion, affiliates with and carries out the wazifa given by one who is not a real wali, will be harmed rather than get any faid or good from him.] He who looks for others' faults and does not see his own faults does not believe the wali.
"Najm ad-din ad-Ghazzi wrote in his book Husn at-tanabbuh: 'You must love, attend the sohbat of, visit and attain blessings through the sulaha' who are awliya'.' Shah al-Karmani said, 'There is no 'ibada more valuable than loving awliya'. Love for awliya' leads to love for Allahu ta'ala. And Allahu ta'ala loves the one who loves Him.' Abu 'Uthman Khayri said, 'He who attains the sohbat of awliya' finds the way to approach Allahu ta'ala.' Yahya ibn Muaz (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) said, 'A faithful person who attains the sohbat of awliya' forgets about everything. He is with Allahu ta'ala. He can never approach Allahu ta'ala otherwise.' Muhammad [ibn 'Ali ash-Shami] ibn Iraq wrote in his book As-safinat al-'Iraqiyya: 'Muhammad ibn Husain al-Bajli, a faqih, saw Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) in his dream and asked him which deed was the most beneficial. Rasulullah said, "Being in the audience of a wali among the awliya' of Allah" And when he asked, "If we cannot find a living one?" Rasulullah answered, "Loving and thinking of him is the same whether he is alive or dead." '
"Imam Muhammad al-Birghiwi [(rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), d. Birgi, Anatolia, 981 A.H. (1573)] used to pray saying, 'Oh the Best of the helpers! Oh the Shelter of the hopeless people! Oh the Most Merciful of the merciful! Oh my Allah who veils sins and who is very compassionate! Pity us, who are very sinful, for the love of Your Habib, Your Beloved Prophet, and for the love of all prophets, angels, companions of Your Prophet and the Tabiin! Forgive our sins!' It is permissible and lawful to pray to Allahu ta'ala for the love of His Prophet (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), as-Sahabat al-kiram (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum ajmain) and the Tabiin and to have recourse to them so that the prayers may be accepted. This way of praying is nothing but asking for their intercession which is regarded as permissible by the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat. The Mutazila did not accept this. The prayer said by taking a wali as a wasila is accepted by Allahu ta'ala out of its being a karama of that wali, which shows that karama occurs on awliya' after their death, too. Heretics, the people of bidat, do not believe this fact.
"In the commentary to Jami' as-saghir, al-Imam al-Munawi (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) quoted al-Imam as-Subki (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) as having said, 'It is good to make Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) a wasila, to seek intercession through him and to ask for his help in prayers. None of Salaf as-salihin and the 'ulama' who came after them opposed this, except Ibn Taymiyya, who denied it and departed from the right path. He turned off into a way which no alim before him had ever followed. He gained fame in the Muslim world for his heresy.' Our 'ulama' said that, as a superiority peculiar to Rasulullah, it was permissible to pray through Rasulullah but not others. However, al-Imam al-Qushairi (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) wrote: 'Maruf al-Karkhi (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) said to his disciples that they should pray through him, that he was a mediator between Allahu ta'ala and them. Because, awliya' are the inheritors of Rasulullah, and an inheritor attains all superiorities of the person of whom he is an inheritor.'" [Al-hadiqa, v. II, p. 124. See also the article 20.]
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