19 - The book says on page 300:
"Karamat is something bestowed by Allah upon those believers who fear Allah. He grants karama when one prays or worships. It does not occur as a result of the wali's wish or power. The one who says that he is a wali and knows the ghaib is not a wali but a Satan."
Here the author has not dared to deny the truth. However, it is a lie that awliya' make a show of their karamat. He dares to lie shamelessly so that he may write against the awliya' and tasawwuf. Because he does not know what wilaya and karama mean, he tries to smear great mutasawwifs with the corrupt, filthy words of zindiqs and of the irreligious. Let us see how the superiors of tasawwuf explained wilaya and karama. Imam Muhammad Mathum (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), a great scholar of Islam and a source of karamat and a leading wali, who passed away in Sirhind, India, in 1079 A.H. (1668), wrote:
"Knowing Allahu ta'ala is more valuable than possessing kashf and karama, because being an 'arif of Allahu ta'ala is the comprehension of the secret knowledge about His Person and Attributes. As for marvels and karamat, they manifest secret knowledge about creatures. The difference between obtaining marifa by knowing Allahu ta'ala and a marvel or karama is like the difference between the Creator and the creature. Marifa is to know Allahu ta'ala, whereas a marvel and karama consists of understanding creatures. True ma'arif strengthen and mature iman. Marvels and karamat cannot do so. The progress of a man does not depend on karamat. Yet it is true that karamat have been witnessed from most of the beloved servants of Allahu ta'ala. The superiority of awliya' to one another is to be measured not with their karamat but with regard to their spiritual qurb and ma'arif towards Allahu ta'ala. If marvels and karamat were more valuable than ma'arif, then the Indian priests called Jukiyya (Yogis) and Brahmins would have to be superior to awliya'. Because they undertake austerities (riyadat) and go against what the nafs's wishes, they obtain marvels; as for awliya', qurb and ma'arif have been granted, and they do not want marvels. They do not want the knowledge about creatures while there is the virtue of knowing Allahu ta'ala. Marvels or miracles may be displayed by any person who undertakes hunger and austerities. They have nothing to do with being Qarib (close) to Allahu ta'ala or with knowing Allahu ta'ala. A desire for kashf and karama is a desire to keep oneself busy with creatures. Poem:
From the ominous, damned Satan,
marvels occur every moment.
Comes in through a door and chimney
to settle in the flesh and heart.
Beware talking of tasawwuf!
Nor boast about nur or karamat!
Karamat should make one His slave!
Otherwise a stupid hypocrite!
"Man gains perfection and virtue by attaining fana' and by disconnecting the heart from everything. Performing 'ibadat, following the way of tasawwuf, and putting the nafs into austerity are all intended for man's realization of his utter insignificance and for understanding that existence and attributes of existence belong to Allahu ta'ala alone. If someone wants to be known as superior to others, works marvels and extraordinary acts and thus gathers people around him, he is conceited and arrogant and he will be deprived of the recompense for his 'ibadat, sair, suluk and riyadat. He cannot attain the marifa of Allahu ta'ala. Hadrat Shihab ad-din as-Suhrawardi [He was the disciple of Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala) and passed away in Baghdad in 632 A.H. (1234 A.D.).] (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), a great mutasawwif, wrote in his book 'Awarif al-ma'arif, 'Marvels and karamat are of no value in comparison with the heart's dhikr of Allahu ta'ala.'
"Shaikh al-Islam 'Abdullah al-Hirawi [Shaikh al-Islam Abdullah al-Ansari al-Hirawi passed away in Herat in 481 A.H. (1088 A.D.).] (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) said, 'The firasa (intuition, sagacity) or karama of the one who has marifa is the ability to distinguish those hearts which are suited for attaining the marifa of Allahu ta'ala from those which are not suited. As for those who undertake hunger and austerity, their firasa covers the secret knowledge about creatures; they cannot attain Allahu ta'ala's marifa. Awliya' who possess marifa always talk about Allahu ta'ala. However, people think that the one who tells secrets about creatures is a wali. [Unfortunately, the la-madhhabi author, too, takes such people as walis and, setting such vile people as examples, blames the Islamic 'ulama' and the great men of tasawwuf.] People do not believe the words of awliya' about the ma'arif of Allahu ta'ala. They say to themselves that if awliya' were really awliya' they would have known the secrets about creatures and that anyone who cannot know the secrets about creatures can never know Allahu ta'ala. They, being stuck in this wrong thought, do not believe awliya' (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala). Allahu ta'ala, because He loves His awliya' very much, does not let them be busy with creatures. He does not even make them remember creatures. Men of Allah do not like those who are fond of the world, and, likewise, those who are addicted to the world cannot recognize and do not like men of Allah, who, however, can comprehend and reveal the secrets about creatures better than others if they mean to think about them. Because the firasa of those who undertake austerities and hunger are of no value, they may occur on Muslims, Jews, Christians or on any person; firasa is not particular to men of Allah only.'
"Allahu ta'ala disposes His wali to display karama when necessary. An evil person, pretending to be a wali by telling the ma'arif he has heard, cannot stain these ma'arif. A gem will not lose its value when it falls into rubbish.
"A rehber is a must on the way of tasawwuf, through whom comes the faid. The way cannot be found if he is not a real rehber. As-Sahabat al-kiram (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum ajmain) attained to high degrees in tasawwuf through the blessings in the sohbat of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam)." [Muhammad Masum al-Faruqi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), Maktubat, I, 50th letter.]
"It is declared in the 56th ayat al-karima of Surat adh-Dhariyat, 'I have created genies and men so that they should perform 'ibada [for Me].' Some great men of tasawwuf understand this ayat as 'I have created them to know Me.' If a deep thought is given, it will be seen that both statements have the same meaning, because the best 'ibada is to perform dhikr. The highest degree of dhikr is that in which one forgets oneself because of the deep thought of the One remembered. And this is what marifa is. As it is seen, marifa is attained at the highest degree of worship. The order in this ayat is that 'ibada should be performed with ikhlas, without the interference of the nafs or Satan. And this cannot be achieved without attaining fana' and marifa. So, the performance of 'ibadat cannot be khalis without marifa." [Muhammad Masum al-Faruqi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), Maktubat, I, 51st letter.]
Al-Imam ar-Rabbani Mujaddid al-Alf ath-Thani Ahmad al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in the ninety-second letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:
"It is not a condition for a wali [that is, for a person whom Allahu ta'ala loves] to display karamat. As it is not necessary for the 'ulama' to display karamat and hariqas, so it is not necessary for the awliya' to display karamat and hariqas, because wilaya means qurb-i ilahi. [That is, it means to get closer to Allahu ta'ala, to become an 'arif of His, to know Him. Al-Imam ar-Rabbani wrote in the 266th letter that the ayat al-karima in Surat adh-Dhariyat, 'I have created men and genies so that they should perform 'ibada [for Me],' means, 'I have created them so that they should be an 'arif of Mine.' As it is seen, the creation of men and genies is intended for them to attain marifa, to reach perfection by knowing Him.]
"While qurb-i ilahi is given to someone, no karama may be given to him. For example, he does not know of things concerning the ghaib. Another person may be given both the qurb and karamat. A third person is given not the qurb but the hariqas and the competence to give information from the ghaib. This third person is not a wali. He is a possessor of istidraj. The polishing of his nafs has caused him to know of the ghaib, to fall into heresy, to deviate from the right path. The first two persons have been honored with the gift of qurb; they have become walis. The superiority of the awliya' to one another is indicated by the degrees of their qurb."
Muhammad Mathum-al-Faruqi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in the 140th letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:
"A hadith qudsi declares, 'One who bears enmity to one of My awliya' will have fought against Me. Among the things that bring My servant close to Me, the ones I love best are the things that I have made fard. When My servant does the supererogatory (nafila) 'ibadat, he gets very close to Me so much so that I love him very much. When I love him, I become his hearing ear, seeing eye, holding hand and walking foot. I give him whatever he wishes. When he invokes Me for help, I rescue him at once.' According to this hadith qudsi, among the things that make man attain the blessing of qurb, what Allahu ta'ala loves best is the 'ibadat that are fard. [It is fard, too, to refrain from harams. In fact, it is the most important fard.] The qurb proceeding from the fards is more perfect and more bounteous. But for fards to cause qurb and progress requires their being in a'mal-i muqarribeen. And this, in its turn, requires doing the supererogatory 'ibadat on the way of tasawwuf. As the salat requires an ablution first, so the fards to cause qurb requires making progress on the way of tasawwuf first. Unless the heart and the soul are purified [by doing the duties prescribed by rehbers, the experts of tasawwuf], one cannot attain the qurb of the fards and so the honor of being a wali."
Muhammad Mathum al-Faruqi, in the 17th letter of the third volume of his Maktubat, wrote, "The essence of our way is to hold fast to the Sunnat and to refrain from bidat. [In other words, it is to hold fast to the fards and sunnas and to avoid the things that have been concocted in the name of 'ibadat afterwards.]
"A hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'A person who revives a forgotten sunnat of mine will get the thawab of a hundred martyrs.' To revive it to others, thus causing them to do it, too. This second way of reviving Islam is the sublime way. It is more valuable than the first way, which is common. [good news to those who revive the Sunnat in the sublime way, that is, to those who write and promulgate the belief of Ahl as-Sunnat, the fards, harams, sunnas and makruhs, in short, the books of 'ilm al-hal, and those who help them financially and who adapt themselves to them, too! It has been explained in the books Se'adet-i Ebediyye (Endless Bliss) and in Islam Ahlaki how zakat and qurban are given compatibly with Islam to those who write and promulgate the knowledge of Ahl as-Sunnat.]
"Attaining Allahu ta'ala's love and making progress in the stages of qurb is possible only by holding fast to the Sunnat [that is, Rasulullah]. The command, 'Say unto them: if you love Allah, follow me! So Allah will love you,' which is the 31st ayat of Surat Al'Imran, proves our statement. [This ayat karima shows clearly that the word 'sunnat' in the hadith ash-Sharif means 'Islam,' that is, all the Rules (Ahkam) of Islam.]
"We should strictly avoid bidat. We should not make friends with holders of bidat; we should not even talk to them. [That is, we should not talk to those Muslims with heretical beliefs, the la-madhhabi and those who commit bidat'. For example, it is bidat to grow a beard shorter than a handful and then to claim to carry out the sunnat of growing a beard, for, 'growing a long beard' was commanded. It is written in al-Bariqa and in other books that this command means not to grow a beard less than a handful. A handful of beard means that which is grasped from the border of the lower lip and is trimmed at the lower border of the hand. Bidat means to do, as an 'ibada, something which is not a command, or a command which has been changed. It is not a bidat not to do a command, but it is a sin (fisq). A sinner believes not that he is worshiping but that he is guilty. Shaving a beard without an excuse ('udhr) is not a bidat but a sin. Shaving because of an excuse is not even a sin. To commit a bidat is the worst sin. It is a graver sin than murdering a man. Also, it is bidat to perform 'ibada with loudspeakers, to recite the Qur'an al-karim, salawat and ilahis or to perform dhikr with musical instruments. We should not consider a person who commits bidat' and who causes others to commit them to be a man of religious authority; we should not request information from him or read his books.]
"A hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'Holders of bidat are the dogs of those who are in Hell.' "
Muhammad Mathum al-Faruqi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in the 313th letter of the second volume: "There are five kinds of duties to be done with the heart; the first one is the dhikr of the name of Allahu ta'ala. Man's heart contains a latifa called qalb. [Latifa is something which does not contain matter and is not an object.Soul, too, is a latifa. Qalb is translated as 'heart' in the text.] Without any sound, 'Allah, Allah....' is said through the imagination in the heart. The second duty is to perform the dhikr of the Kalimat at-tawhid, again through the imagination. In both kinds of dhikr no sound should be produced. The third duty is wuquf-i qalbi. This, too, is to meditate always upon the heart and to be utterly intent not to remember anything other than Allahu ta'ala. The latifa called the heart can never remain vacant. A heart that has been purified from the thoughts of creatures will spontaneously turn towards Allahu ta'ala. [It is like the air's automatically filling a bottle while being emptied of its contents.] It has been said, 'Empty your heart of the enemy! Then there will be no need to invite the beloved to the heart.' The fourth duty is muraqaba, which is also called jamiyya or aghahi. It is to think always that Allahu ta'ala sees and knows everything every moment. The fifth duty is rabita. It is to think that one is in front of an exalted person who perfectly follows the practice of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) and that he is looking at his face. Thinking so ensures one to have permanent adab toward him. Adab and love attach the hearts to each other. It causes the faid and baraka in that person's heart to flow into one's heart. The easiest and the most useful of these five duties is rabita. If somebody who does not perfectly obey Rasulullah has somebody else perform rabita towards him, it harms both of them."
Al-Imam ar-Rabbani (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) wrote in the 286th letter of the first volume of his Maktubat:
"Making progress on the way of tasawwuf requires the tawajjuh and guidance of a rehber who knows the kamil and mukammil way. It is a very great blessing to have found such a true rehber, who gives one a duty suitable with one's talents. As well, it is jaiz for him to deem it sufficient for one only to attend his sohbat instead of giving a duty suitable with one's talents. He commands what he deems suitable with one's state. The rehber's sohbat and tawajjuh are more beneficial than other duties."
The above-mentioned five duties and the sohbat are intended to facilitate following the practice of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). Unless one lives up to Islam, these duties and the sohbat do not give any benefits.
As it is understood from the various letters quoted above, men's first duty is to attain Allahu ta'ala's qurb, that is, His marifa, rida' and love. And its only way is to follow Rasulullah and to avoid bidat'. Following Rasulullah easily and correctly requires ikhlas. 'Ibadat done without ikhlas will not be beneficial. They will not be accepted (maqbul). They will not make one attain the blessing of qurb. And ikhlas, in its turn, is attainable by striving on the way of tasawwuf. As it is seen, doing the duties prescribed by tasawwuf is intended to do 'ibadat with ikhlas so that they will be accepted. 'Ibadat that are accepted will make one attain Allahu ta'ala's qurb, marifa and love. All the Sahabat al-kiram attained the highest grade of ikhlas by doing the duties of sohbat and rabita. The value of their giving one handful of barley as alms became more valuable than others' giving gold as big as mountains. As it is seen, the way of tasawwuf is not a bidat. It is one of the fundamentals of the Islamic religion. The Sahabat al-kiram (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum ajmain) did the duties on the way of tasawwuf and thus became the highest ones of this umma.
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