Textes de Sirhindi


Extraits de l’étude sur Sirhindî par Friedmann. 2

My hand is a substitute for the hand of God. 2

The controversial utterances of the Sûfis such as anâ al-haqq. 2

Preference for sobriety. 3

His rather catholic attitude towards the Sûfîs. 3

The Naqshbandi order 4

Un choix d’extraits des lettres de Sirhindî (Maktubat) 4

Extrait de la Préface du traducteur situant ses sources. 4

Lettre § 32, 1.65  To spread the Shariat 5

Lettre § 35 Answer to a university student 5

Lettre § 37, 1.99 Soul and nafs. 6

Lettre 45, 3.01 All creatures are the shades, reflections, and images of Allah. 7

Lettre 46, 3.46 He does not cut off the sustenance of His born servants on account of their sins. 8

Lettre 1, 1.266 We cannot know what this surrounding, this closeness, this togetherness mean. 8

… all the rules of the Shariat are compassion and goodness. 10

…La “prière” de Sarhindî 10

Lettre 10, 1.68 “…a share from the rank of prophethood.”. 10

Lettre 13, 1.73, contient le commentaire fort critique du traducteur suivant : 11

Lettre 13, 1.45 "Death is a bridge which makes two lovers meet each other.". 11

Lettre 22, 2.84 “The sunnats being on the decrease, their lights blink like fire-flies flying here and there in the dark night.”  11

Lettre 31, 1.100 “If one does not feel like weeping, begging, one should force oneself to do so.”. 12

Lettre 42, 1.73 “The world is decorated with false sequins”. 12

Lettre 6 , 3.31 There is not a figure or a shape in a mirror…... 12

Lettre 14, 2.20 Namaz. One should observe…... 13

Lettre 15 , 2.87 “… he will not enter Paradise unless he returns this one cent.”. 13

Lettre 17, 2.09  “He is beyond everything beyond. He is unlike anything.”. 14

Lettre 18, 3.47 Soldiers of the army of prayers. 14

Lettre 19, 3.13 “…it is prohibited in this path to do the dhikr aloud.”. 15

Lettre 23, 2.29 “The heart's sickness means its having fallen in love with somebody other than He.”  15

Lettre 26, 3.27  “The body's desire for the things indispensable to live is not contrary to being a slave.”  15

Lettre 29, 5.36 “It is not an act of worship in Islam to curse anybody, nor even a disbeliever.”. 16

Lettre 3, 2.99 “It is like going to see the palaces and villas of sultans and princes in the world…”  16

“…Hardships are the Beloved's lasso.”. 17

The mirror of 'adam... 17

“Fana means to forget everything other than Allah…”. 17

“…the shade forgets about himself and returns to his origin…’ 18

Lettre 3, 2.28 “Hadrat Adam's clay was kneaded by angels.”. 18

Lettre 34, 1.261 The inner nature of namaz. 18

Lettre 41, 2.33 “It is loved when it hurts the lover as well as when it does him a favor.”. 19

Lettre 43, 2.62 “If man were not needy, he would be disobedient, excessive, unbridled.”. 19

“…enlivening the dead is of no value when compared with enlivening hearts and souls.”. 19

Lettre 50, 3.62 “…he is 'adam only. And 'adam is nothing.”. 20

Lettre 51, 3.98 “The beauty of creatures, also have come from the Divine Being by way of shades.”  20

Lettre 53, 3.44. 20



Extraits de l’étude sur Sirhindî par Friedmann[1]

My hand is a substitute for the hand of God

“I am both the disciple of God and His desire. The chain of my discipleship is connected with God without any mediation. My hand is a substitute for the hand of God. I am a disciple of Muhammad connected with him through many intermediaries: in the Naqshbandi order there are twentyone intermediaries in between; in the Qâdiri, twenty-five; and in the Chishti, twenty-seven; but my relationship with God as a disciple is not subject to any mediation, as has already been related. Hence I am both the disciple of Muhammad the Messenger of God and his co-disciple (we arc both disciples of the same master: God). Though I am a parasite at the table of this wealth, sitting near the Prophet, yet I have sot come uninvited; though I am a follower, I am not without a share of genuineness ; though I am a common believer, I am sharing in the wealth. This is not a sharing from which a claim of equality would arise; this would be infidelity. It is a sharing of a servant with a master. Until he called, I did not come to the table of this wealth and until he expressed his wish, I did not stretch my arm to partake in it. Though I am an Uwaysi [a sûfi who does not need an instructor], I have an Omnipresent and All-Seeing Instructor. Though in the Naqshbandi order my instructor is `Abd al-Bâqi, yet the One who has undertaken my instruction is the Everlasting One (al-bâqi). His glory is great and His munificence all-pervading. I have received my instruction through (His) grace and I have gone the way of the elect.[2] (27-28)

The controversial utterances of the Sûfis such as anâ al-haqq

The controversial utterances of the Sûfis, says Sirhindi, have to be understood in terms of Unity of Appearance, which is not inconsistent with proper Islamic belief. These utterances, such as anâ al-haqq and subhânî, were made when ecstasy prevented the Sûfis from seeing anything except God. They, therefore, do not affirm the existence of anything except Him. Anâ al-haqq means " God exists, not I." He [al-Hallâj] does not see himself and therefore does not affirm [his own existence] ; it does not mean that he sees himself and considers himself God. Lack of affirmation, says Sirhindî, is not tantamount to denial. In another passage, he approvingly quotes his mentor al-Bâqî bi-Allâh, who said that anâ al-haqq does not mean ` I am God ' (man haqqam), but ` I do not exist, what exists is God '. […] A similar effort is discernible in his interpretation of subhânî. This utterance aims in Sirhindï's view at the tanzih of God, not of Abu Yazid. Both these explanations have to be read in conjunction with Sirhindi's theory of the `man of perfect knowledge', who has attained subsistence in the Essence' and therefore never uses the word ` I ' (anâ) for himself. They are also comparable to the explanation of Suhrawardî, who thought that al-Hallâj had said anâ al-haqq by way of narrative,' speaking not for himself, but in the name of God ' [3] (60).

Sirhindî's views of the ecstatic utterances of the early Sûfîs should also be understood in the light of his description of the various degrees of religious consciousness, with which we have alrcady dealt. The utterances are to be seen as expressions of the stage of  Sûfî infidelity  (kufr-i tariqat), legitimate in themselves, but not insurpassable. It is, therefore, not surprising that Sirhindi envisages a stage beyond that arrived at by these intoxicated Sûfîs. The way by which their spiritual achievements can be improved upon is explained in Sirhindi's discussion of Râbi-ah al-Adawîyah in Mabda ô Ma`âd. This passage is characteristic of the interplay of Sunni and Sufî ideas in Sirhindi's thought and exemplifies his theoretical preference for sobriety over intoxication. It deserves to be translated in full :

Preference for sobriety

“Once upon a time a group of Sûfîs were sitting together. I spoke of my love for the companions of the Prophet in the following words : ` I have been overwhelmed by the love of the Prophet to such an extent that I love God [only] because He is the Master of Muhammad.' Those present were amazed at this talk, but they could not express their opposition. This statement [of mine] is contrary to that of Râbi`ah who said : ` I told the Prophet in a dream : I have been overwhelmed by the love of God to such an extent that there remains no room for loving you.' Both statements indicate [that they have been made in the stage of] intoxication, but my statement has genuineness (asâlah); she spoke in the very midst of intoxication ; I spoke at the beginning of sobriety. She spoke [while being] at the stage of Attributes; I spoke after returning from the stage of the Essence. At the stage of the Essence there is no room for this kind of love. No relationship can reach this stage; everything there is either bewilderment (hayrah) or ignorance (jahl). Moreover, [the Sûfî] by his dhawq denies love at this stage and does not consider himself deserving to love God in any way. Love and gnosis exist at the stage of Attributes only. [Regarding] the love of the Essence (mahabbat-i dhâtî) about which they [the Sûfîs] spoke: its meaning is not the Essence of Oneness (dhât-i ahadiyah), but the Essence with several of its Attributes. Thus the love of Râbi`ah is at the stage of Attributes. God inspires the truth.”

His rather catholic attitude towards the Sûfîs

Thus Sirhindï refrains from censuring the early Sûfîs for their ecstatic utterances though he is convinced of their deficiency. His guiding principle is to refrain from creating dissension in the community. This attitude is significantly different from Sirhindi's views in the days before he joined the Naqshbandi order and when he wrote such violent denunciations of dissenters as the Epistle on the Refutation of the Shî`ah. His rather catholic attitude towards the Sûfîs reaches its fullest expression when he has to defend himself against critics who resented his own ecstatic statements. At the end of letter 121 of the third volume, which is a reply to `Abd al-Haqq Dihlawi's criticism of Sirhindi's claim to spiritual eminence, Sirhindî says that utterances divulging secrets have always been made by the Sûfîs. He continues:

“Thus, what is all this commotion ? If a statement has been made whose outward meaning does not conform to the shar`î sciences, it should be turned away from its outward meaning and made to conform [with the shar`î sciences] out of consideration [for him who uttered it]. One must not level accusations against a Muslim. To expose a whore or a sinner is always forbidden and blameworthy according to the shari'ah; how then can a Muslim be put to shame on the basis of mere ambiguity ? What kind of religiosity is it to spread [unfounded rumours about him] from town to town ? The way of Islâm and kindness is first to find out who made the utterance whose outward meaning contradicts the shar`î sciences. If he is a heretic, it should be refuted and no effort should be made to correct him. [But] if he who made the utterance is a Muslim and believes in God and the Prophet, an effort must be made to emend his words, to give them correct explanation or to ask for an explanation from him. If he is unable to furnish a correct explanation, one must give him good advice. It is desirable to enjoin good and forbid evil in a gentle way, because this is likely to bring about repentance. If the objective of repentance is not reached and it is necessary to expose the matter, this is another thing.” [4] (62)

The Naqshbandi order

As we have seen, Sirhindi was initiated into the Naqshbandi order by Khwâjah al-Bâqî bi-Allâh in 1008/1599-1600. This initiation was an event of major importance in his life. His religious outlook was transformed; and he became convinced that the Naqshbandi discipline was the shortest, fastest, and only way to the pinnacle of spiritual achievement. The Naqshbandis, says Sirhindi, begin their spiritual jouney where the other Sûfîs end theirs. This ‘inclusion of the end in the beginning' is the leitmotiv in Sirhindi's descriptions of Naqshbandi superiority. Sirhindi explains, however, that this does not imply equality between a beginner in the Naqshbandi order and an advanced disciple in another one ; it merely means that the Naqshbandi shaykh shares his advanced stage with his beginning disciple. This early sharing has in turn a salutary effect on the final achievements of the Naqshbandis. The way of the Naqshbandis is absolutely identical with that of the Companions, and they have the same rank. One step in their way is better than seven in any other one; this is the way leading to the perfections of prophecy, white the other ways have to be content with the attainment of sainthood. Though certain innovations have crept even into the Naqshbandîyah, this order is still superior to the others which are guilty of many reprehensible customs, such as listening to music. That custom is unable to induce any real spiritual achievement and is characteristic of people suffering from spiritual instability. Practices associated with it, such as dancing, singing and ecstatic sessions (wajd, tawâjud) are also objectionable. (68)

Un choix d’extraits des lettres de Sirhindî (Maktubat)

Extrait de la Préface du traducteur [5]situant ses sources

[biographie de l'éditeur-traducteur né en 1911, devenu chimiste ; sa « conversion ». Il introduit au Maktûbât. Voici la fin sans omissions de sa présentation. Elle offre un aperçu de l’esprit traditionnel  régnant chez des sûfîs réputés ouverts…]

...The fiqh information in my book Se'adet-i Ebediyye, that is, Tam Ilm-I hal (a perfect book of Ilm-I hal [Endless Bliss]), has been written according to the Hanafi Madhhab and was translated from the book Radd-ul-Mukhtar by Muhammad Amin ibn 'Abidin, which was published in Egypt by the Bulaq printing house in 1272/1856 in five volumes, and the quotations' page numbers in my book refer to that edition. The book Radd-ul-mukhtar, the most dependable reference book among the fiqh books in the Hanafi Madhhab, was translated into Turkish by dear Ahmad Davudoglu and published in thirteen volumes by the Shamil Bookstore between the years 1982-1986. There is no translation of Ayat-i karimas (Quranic verses) but only their explanations.

When a mujtahid explained concisely what he understood from an ayat, this explanation is called a meal. When an ayat is said word for word in any foreign language, it is called a translation. Ayat-i karimas cannot be translated into concise and proper forms. Islamic 'alims tried to explain Ayat-i karimas by using long tafsirs, not by translating. In my book, I have mostly used explanations from Tafsir-i Husaini. I have placed the sequence of the numbers of the Ayat-i karimas as they appear in the mushaf by Khattat Hafiz 'Uthman (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih).

He who reads this book will accurately learn the faith of his ancestors; he will not be taken in by the slanders of the enemies of the religion; he will escape from the superstitions of the ignorant and from the material and spiritual exploitation of those who poison the names of sufis (the great men of tasawwuf). They will be united on the right path and will become beloved brothers of one another.

A Muslim is the one who is an honest and serious-minded man. A true Muslim always carries out the orders of Allahu ta'ala. It would be a sin if we did not obey even one of the orders of Allahu ta'ala. A Muslim tries to pay the rights a human has on him, and also his debts to the state. He never resists the laws of his state. It would be a crime to violate the laws of one's state.

A Muslim commits neither sins nor crimes. He loves his country, nation and his flag. He does favors to everybody. He gives good advice to those who act wrongly. Such Muslims are loved both by Allahu ta'ala and by His born servants. They lead a happy and peaceful life. The forty-eighth edition of all three volumes of the Turkish version of Se'adet-i Ebediyye and the eighth edition of the English version of its major sections in the five fascicles has now been printed. There are ninety-eight chapters in the first volume, seventy-two chapters in the second volume and seventy in the third volume. Of these two hundred and forty (240) chapters, one hundred and eight (108) chapters have been compiled from Maktubat, Vol. II and III by Imam-i Rabbani mujaddid-i alf-i Thani, Ahmad-i Faruqi, a great Islamic alim, a source of knowledge for tasawwuf and spiritual pleasures, a real spiritual heir of Muhammad (alaihis'-salam), and 132 chapters from the books of authorized Islamic scholars. The complete first volume of Maktubat was translated into Turkish by Mustaqimzada Sulaiman Sadaddin Effendi. I thanked my Allah by seeing to it that the Waqf Ikhlas Co. published it under the name of Mujdeci Mektublar (Letters of Glad-tidings). I have heard As-Sayyid Abdulhakim-i Arwasi, an ocean of Islamic science and an expert of marifats of tasawwuf, say many times, "The highest of the Islamic books after the Holy Qur'an and the books of hadith is the book Maktubat by Imam-i Rabbani." and "No other book as valuable as the Maktubat by Imam-i Rabbani was written in the Islamic world."

Actually, the book Mathnawi is the most unique of those books explaining the greatness of wilayat. However, the book Maktubat is superior to it in explaining the greatness of wilayat and nubuwwat. Concerning the greatness of both, wilayat seems to be nothing in comparison to nubuwwat. The nine hundred and ninety-nine names written in the book, with their biographies, have been appended to the original Endless Bliss (Se'adet-i Ebediyye).

This is a book of knowledge. Islamic knowledge has its own terminology like other branches of science. The meanings of those technical words have been explained in the book when needed. You will have learned them after you have read the book completely. The knowledge in this book cannot be understood by an ignorant person who does not strive to learn these words. In that case, he has no right to claim that "this book is incomprehensible" because it is his own fault. "An ignorant person does not like what he cannot comprehend" is a common saying. A rose is appreciated by nightingales only. A jeweler can recognize pure gold. Achemist can discover what minerals are in a stone. We should try to comprehend well the meaning of each of its sentences, repeat each chapter, and fix its outline into memory. We should teach it to our children, to our acquaintances. We should study and improve in this way. Our Prophet (Muhammad [sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam]) said, "He who has remained in the same state for two days, (that is, he who has not improved,) has made a mistake; he is suffering a loss." It is seen that the Islamic religion rejects not only retrogression but also stagnation. It always commands us to make progress, to improve. All the thawab that will be gained as a reward for the preparation and publication of this book and all the benedictions that will be pronounced by Muslims who will read this book I donate as a gift to the blessed soul of Sayyid Abdulhakim Arwasi. I know it as a source of happiness for myself to a slave of his accompanying him on the Day of Judgement. WAQF IKHLAS Miladi (1993) Hijri Shamsi (1372) Hijri Kamari (1414)

[suivent des textes sur la pratique de l'Islam, des lettres à partir du § 32:]

Lettre § 32, 1.65 [6] To spread the Shariat

Khwaja-i Ahrar [Ubaidullah-i Tashkandi] said [on Sirhindî], "If I became a shaikh, no other shaikh would find a murid (disciple) at any place. But I was assigned to do another task. This task is to spread the Shariat and strengthen Islam." For this reason, he used to visit sultans [presidents, members of parliment] and give them advice. Through his persuasive words, he brought all of them around to the right course.

Lettre § 35 Answer to a university student

[Cette lettre moderne qui n’appartient pas au Maktubat traduit la pression qui s’exerce depuis toujours et aujourd’hui visant à convertir à l’Islam – ici de la part d’un soufi modéré, notre traducteur.]

As you have not come from nonexistence to this world of existence by yourself, so you cannot go there by yourself. The eyes with which you see, the ears with which you hear, the organs with which you perceive, the intellect with which you think, the hands and feet you use, all the roads you will pass, all the places you will go, in short, all the members and systems connected with your body and soul, all of them, are Allahu ta'ala's possessions and creatures. You cannot misappropriate anything from Him! He is Hayy and Qayyum, that is, He sees, knows and hears, and He for every moment keeps in existence everything that exists. Even for a moment, He is not unaware of the state of all and controlling all. He does not let anybody steal His property. He is never incapable of punishing those who disobey His commands.

Do you think of your state before and when you were born? Where were you, in what were you, during the creation of this globe on which you live, eat and drink, go about, amuse and divert yourself, discover the means that are remedies for your diseases, and the means to protect yourself from the attacks of wild and poisonous animals and enemies? Where were you while the stones and soil of this globe were being baked on fires in the ovens of creation and while its water and air were being distilled in the chemistry laboratories of the Omnipotence? Have you ever thought? Where were you while the lands, which you claim to be yours today, were gliding away from the seas, while mountains, rivers, plateaus and hills were being laid down? Where and how were you while, by means of Allahu ta'ala's Omnipotence, the salty waters of seas evaporated and formed clouds in the sky, and while rains, falling from those clouds, took substances [for nourishment prepared by lightning and waves of power and energy in the sky] into the motes of burnt, dried soil, and while these substances, stirred [by the influence from rays of height and heat], vibrated and nourished the cells of life? Today, they say that you are of monkey descent, and you believe it. When they say that Allahu ta'ala has created you, enables you to live, causes you to die and that He alone makes everything, you don't want to believe. O man! What are you?

Lettre § 37, 1.99 Soul and nafs

Man's soul used to be incapable of making progress before uniting with this body. It was fastened, imprisoned in its private grade. But, after descending into this body, it was given the ability and strength to get promoted. This quality made it superior to and more honored than an angel. Through His mercy and blessing, Allahu ta'ala united the soul with this insensible, unmoving, good-for-nothing, dark body. Allahu ta'ala[7], who has united the light of the soul with a dark body and who keeps the soul, which is unsubstantial and without time and place, with the body, which is made of matter, is very great. All greatness, all superiorities are peculiar to Him only. No defect can exist in Him. The meaning of this word should be comprehended well.

Because the soul and the body are quite opposite to each other, Allahu ta'ala made the soul fall in love with the body so that they might stay together. This love caused them to remain at the same place together. The Qur'an al-karim informs us with this fact by declaring: "We created man's soul in a beautiful shape, and then later demoted it to the lowest grade," in Surat-u-Wat-teen. The soul's demotion to this grade and its falling in love is an act of promotion in the guise of demotion. Thus, because of its interest in and its love for the nafs, the soul threw itself down into the world of the nafs and became a follower, a slave of the nafs. In fact, it got beside itself, it forgot about itself. It took the shape of the nafs-i ammara, as if it became the nafs-i ammara. Because the soul is finer than everything, because it is not even matter, it takes the state, shape and color of whatever it unites with. Because it forgot about itself, it forgot its knowledge of Allahu ta'ala, which it had had formerly when it was in its own world, in its own grade. It became ignorant and unaware. Like the nafs, it darkened with the darkness of ignorance. Since Allahu ta'ala is very merciful, He sent prophets, and through these great people, He called the soul to Himself and commanded it not to follow, not to obey the nafs, which is its sweetheart and darling. If the soul, obeying this command, disobeys the nafs and turns its face away from it, it will be saved from perdition. Otherwise, if it does not raise its head and if it prefers to stay with the nafs and not leave the world, it will lose its way and it happiness. It is understood from these words of ours that the soul has united with the nafs, and, even, that it has become the nafs, forgetting itself. Therefore, as long as the soul remains in this state, the unawareness and the ignorance of the nafs will be the unawareness and ignorance of the soul. But, if the soul turns away from the nafs, ceases to care for it and loves Allahu ta'ala instead of it, and if it, getting rid of the love for a creature like itself, falls in love with the Real Eternal, who exists endlessly, and becomes beside itself with this love, the unawareness and ignorance of the outside, that is the nafs, will not infect the inside, that is, the soul. It will not forget Allahu ta'ala for even a moment. How can the unawareness of the nafs ever influence it, while it has parted from the nafs completely? Nothing has penetrated the inside from the outside; in this case, while the outside is in heedlessness, the inside is aware, awake. It is always aware of its Rabb. For example, as long as almond oil is in the pip of the almond, they are like one and the same thing. But when the oil parts from the sediment, they become two different things in every respect, each having different qualities. Thus, a happy, fortunate person who has been promoted to this position is sometimes made to descend back into this world. While he knows Allahu ta'ala, he is made to return to this world, and, through his honored and blessed being, the world is rescued from the darkness and ignorance of the nafs. Such a blessed person lives among the people. Outwardly, he is like everybody. But his soul is not dependent upon anything; its sole companion is his knowledge of and love for Allahu ta'ala. He has been returned to this world despite his reluctance.

Great men of Tasawwuf explained the grade of guidance differently. Most of them said, "It is being together with Allah, while being among people." This difference among their remarks is because the states and the grades of those who have a say in this matter are different from one another. Each of them spoke in accordance with his own grade. Allahu ta'ala knows the truth of everything. Sayyid-ul-taifa Junaid-i Baghdadi's word: "Reaching the end is a return to the beginning," is an explanation suitable with the grade of guidance, which we have described above, for in the beginning only creatures are seen and loved.

Lettre 45, 3.01 All creatures are the shades, reflections, and images of Allah

This word of ours is not valid when shade is considered. The shade of something, or its reflection or fancy, or its image on a mirror, has become a shade, or a reflection, etc., not with its own nature, but with the nature of the original that causes it to be formed, for a shade, or an image, does not have a nature of its own. The nature that exists in the shade is the nature of the original thing that forms it. Then, the original is closer to its shade than the shade is to itself, for the shade has become the shade with the nature of its original, that is, with the original, not with its own nature; for it does not posses its own nature.

Since all classes of beings, all creatures are the shades, reflections, and images of Allahu ta'ala's deeds, these works, which are the originals of these beings, are closer to these beings than these beings are to themselves. And since these deeds are the shades of the Divine Attributes, Allahu ta'ala's Attributes are closer to the beings than the beings and the deeds, that is, the originals of the beings, for they are the originals of originals. And since the Divine Attributes are the shades of the Divine Person (Zat-i ilahi), and since Allahu ta'ala Himself is the original of all the originals, the Person of Allahu ta'ala is closer to the beings than the beings themselves, the Divine Deeds, and the Divine Attributes. The intellectual individuals, who will understand these by reading them carefully, will admit our word, if they are reasonable enough. If there should be any person who does not believe us, it is not important at all, for our word is not intended for them. [8].

Lettre 46, 3.46 He does not cut off the sustenance of His born servants on account of their sins.

This letter, written to a very pious lady, explains beliefs and encourages worship: May hamd-u-thena [Thanking, praising and lauding] be to Allahu ta'ala, who sends us all the conspicuous and invisible blessings, who shows us the way to safety, and who honors us by making us an Ummat of His beloved Muhammad. Allahu ta'ala is the only one who gives every blessing, every goodness to all creatures. He is the One who creates everything and who gives the blessing of existence. He is also the One who keeps everything in existence every moment. Perfect and good attributes are given to men through His mercy, through His sympathy. Our attributes of life, knowledge, hearing, seeing, power and speech are all from Him. He, alone, sends innumerable blessings. He is the One who saves people from troubles. He is the One who accepts prayers and rescues people from disasters. He is such a Razzaq [He who gives sustenance, food.] that He does not cut off the sustenance of His born servants on account of their sins. His forgiveness and mercy is so plentiful that He does not disclose the ugliness of the faces of sinners. He is so patient that He does not hurry in punishing His born servants. He is so bounteous that He showers His favors and blessings upon everybody, whether beloved or hostile. And, as the most honorable, most valuable and highest of all His blessings, He communicates Islam to His born servants clearly, and shows them the way He likes. He deigns to command them to attain endless bliss by following the highest of creatures. Thus, His blessings and favors are clearer than the sun and more conspicuous than the moon. Also, He is the One who sends the blessings that come through others. Others' favors are similar to the custodian depositing something with a person. To ask anything from somebody else means to expect something from a poor person. An ignorant person as well as a learned one knows this. A blockhead as well as a clever person understands it.

Lettre 1[9], 1.266 We cannot know what this surrounding, this closeness, this togetherness mean.

To Khwaja Ubaidullah and Khwaja Abdullah, sons of his master Muhammad Baqi Billah.


O you beloved children of my master, my dear teacher, who caused me to attain the blessings of this world and the next! Be it known that this poor brother of yours, who is needy in every respect, that is, I, am bathing from head to foot in the alms and favors given by that exalted father of yours. From him did I learn the alphabet of humanity. With him did I read the words revealing high grades. In his presence, under his supervision did I attain certain grades in a short time, which would take others years of labor.

Now we come back to the point under discussion: Allahu ta'ala does not enter anything. He does not penetrate any substance. Nothing penetrates Him. But Allahu ta'ala surrounds everything, is close to everything and is together with everything. Yet these are not like the surrounding and the closeness and the togetherness which we understand and with which we are familiar. They are not worthy of Him. Nor is the surrounding, the closeness or the togetherness, which the Awliya sense through kashf, worthy of Him. For, none of these poor creatures can understand His attributes and deeds. They must be believed without understanding. A Persian couplet in English:

The phoenix cannot be hunted, undo your trap!

Air, only, this hunting is going to trap.

It will be pertinent to quote the following distich from my exalted murshid's "qaddas- Allahu sirrah-ul'aziz" Persian Mathnawi by translating it into English:

The destination is far away;

"I've attained", would be wrong to say.

We believe that Allahu ta'ala surrounds everything, that He is close to everything and that He is together with everything. But we cannot know what this surrounding, this closeness, this togetherness mean. To say that His knowledge surrounds, or that His knowledge is close, would mean to translate the outward meanings in Qur'an al-karim. We do not approve of such translations. Allahu ta'ala does not unite with anything. Nor does anything unite with Him. Great men of tasawwuf uttered some words which we would interpret as uniting. But they meant something else. For example, by their statement, "When faqr is completed, one becomes Allahu ta'ala," they meant: "Nothing exists. Allahu ta'ala exists only." They did not mean to say that the faqir unites with Allahu ta'ala. It would be disbelief, zindiqness to say so. Allahu ta'ala is not like what disbelievers suppose Him to be. My master said: The meaning of Hallaj-i Mansur's word, "I am Haqq", is, "I am not. Only Allah is."


Allahu ta'ala does not have the attributes of imperfection or the peculiarities and symptoms of creatures. He is not matter. He is not a substance. He is free from place; [that is, He does not occupy a place]. He is free from time; [as He does not have a place, so He does not have time]. The attributes of perfection and the indeficiencies only exist in Him. He has declared that He has eight attributes of perfection, which are: Hayat (being alive), 'Ilm (knowing), Qudrat (being powerful), Iradat (will), Sam' (hearing), Basar (seeing), Kalam (saying), Takwin (creating).

These attributes of His exist separately from Himself. Their existence is not in knowledge only. That is, they are not only said to exist theoretically, but they exist separately and actually. As He Himself exists, so these attributes of His exist separately. What those sufiyya-i aliyya who believe in wahdat-i wujud suppose, and their words, such as, In mind and thought the attributes are separate; But in reality they are all nothing but Himself, mean is: to deny, to disbelieve the attributes. Of Muslims, the Mutazila group, who deny the attributes, and of unbelievers, the ancient philosophers say that though His attributes are theoretically separate from Himself, only He exists in reality.

…no other ignoble individuals have done a thing so wrongly and unsoundly[10]. They say that everything done on earth is done by the changing motions and states of the heavens and stars, which move and turn ceaselessly. They cannot see the One Who created the heavens, Who designed the stars, and Who makes them move and regulates their motions. They suppose that He does not meddle with anything; they are so stolid, so base! And those who consider them to be wise and who believe their words are even baser. One of their mentally contrived and arranged sciences is geometry, which is good neither for worldly prosperity nor for eternal salvation. What use will humanity get from saying and proving that the sum of the interior angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles? [11].

… all the rules of the Shariat are compassion and goodness.

This comes to mean that all the rules of the Shariat, which Prophets communicated, are compassion and goodness. Contrary to what mulhids, zindiqs, [renegades and freemasons] think and say about them, these commandments and injunctions are not burdens, torments or tortures, and they are not unreasonable at all. Such words as, "Is it mercy to command His slaves difficult things and then say, you will enter Paradise if you do these? He shouldn't have commanded anything. He should have left all the people to themselves, and they should have been eating and drinking, going about and having fun, and living as they wish. This would be mercy," which they say often, are quite heinous and quite stupid. Do they never think that it is a mental requirement to thank those who do favors, to acknowledge that you are pleased? The rules of the Shariat teach us how to thank Allahu ta'ala, Who creates all blessings and favors and sends them. Then, the rules of the Shariat, the divine commandments are mental requirements. Furthermore, the order of one's world, of one's life is possible by doing these commandments. If Allahu ta'ala had left everybody to himself, nothing but evil and chaos would happen. Were it not for the prohibitions of Allahu ta'ala, those who run after their nafs and their pleasures would assault others' possessions, lives and chastity, which would lead to chaos. Both the assaulter and his victims would suffer harm and would end up in annihilation.

…La “prière” de Sarhindî

One day this faqir -Imam-i-Rabbani- [Sarhindî] visited a sick acquaintance. He was about to die. I paid tawajjuh towards his heart. His heart had darkened. I did my best to clear away the filth; it was of no avail. Meditating deeply for a long while, I came to realize that that blackness was the contagion and symptom of disbelief, and that they were caused by his relationships and friendliness with disbelievers and disbelief. Try hard as I would, that filth could not be cleared away. It was then realized that that evil would be cleared away only with the fire of Hell, the punishment for disbelief. Yet, since a tiny light of iman was seen in his heart, owing to this he will be taken out of Hell. Having seen the sick person in that manner, I went deep into meditating whether I should perform the namaz of janaza for him. After searching my heart for a long time, I realized that it would be necessary to perform it. This means that we should perform the namaz of janaza for those who, though having iman in their hearts, are intimate with disbelievers and follow their ceremonies and Easters. We should not look on them as disbelievers. As a matter of fact, such people are so treated today. We should believe that owing to their iman these people will be taken out of Hell. But there is no pardon or forgiveness for those who do not have iman, [for those who do not like even the words and habits of Muhammad]; in return for their disbelief they will remain in Hell's torment eternally.

Lettre 10, 1.68 “…a share from the rank of prophethood.”

Question: How can a student of knowledge who follows his nafs be superior to a sufi who struggles against his nafs?

Answer: Though the person who learns knowledge harms himself by following his nafs, everybody benefits from his knowledge. Though he burns himself, he causes others to be saved. For, the honor of learning the rules of the Shariat has fallen to his lot. But the sufi strives to save himself. He is not useful for others. Islam holds those who strive for the happiness of others superior to those who strive to save themselves. Yes, if a devotee who makes progress on the path of tasawwuf reaches the stations of Fana and Baqa, is sent back to this world, and is honored with inviting people, he will have a share from the rank of prophethood. He will become one of those who teach the Shariat and who enable others to attain to happiness. He will be exalted and valuable like the savants of the Shariat.

Lettre 13, 1.73, contient le commentaire fort critique du traducteur suivant :

People in Egypt, Syria and Iraq began to imitate a European way of life a long time ago. French and English intruders, who occupied these lands after the First World War, brought hostility against Islam, immorality and cruelty. In the name of freedom of ideas and opinions, they formed various groups and political parties inimical towards one another. They disintegrated their national unity. As they left these countries after the Second World War, they handed the job of keeping Muslims under their sway over to cruel and religiously ignorant people. So these irreligious governments destroyed true religious scholars in dungeons or on gibbets. In the meantime, reformists, people without a certain Madhhab, and bogus men of religion such as Muhammad Abduh, Rashid Rida and Sayyid Qutb annihilated true Islamic knowledge and the Sunnite teachings with their books, magazines and newspapers. As Islam is based on knowledge, when knowledge and scholars were gone, Islam lost cohesion.

Lettre 13, 1.45 "Death is a bridge which makes two lovers meet each other."

May Allahu ta'ala not separate you from the way of your grandfathers, who are so valuable! May He keep you away from the deeds with regretful results! Amin. Those who love Allahu ta'ala are together with Allahu ta'ala. For it was stated, "One is together with the person whom one loves." Man's essence is his soul. The soul's combining with the body prevents it from being together with Allahu ta'ala. When it leaves the body and gets rid of this dark place, it becomes together with and close to Allahu ta'ala. For this reason it was stated, "Death is a bridge which makes two lovers meet each other."

Lettre 22, 2.84 “The sunnats being on the decrease, their lights blink like fire-flies flying here and there in the dark night.”

The happiest, the most fortunate person is he who recovers one of the forgotten sunnats and annihilates one of the widespread bidats[12] during a time when irreligiousness is on the increase. We are now in such a time when a thousand years have elapsed after the Best of Mankind (Hadrat Muhammad). As we distance from the time of happiness of our Prophet, the sunnats are gradually being buried and, lies being on the increase, bidats are spreading. A hero is needed who will uphold the sunnats and stop, expel the bidats.

The bidats having covered all the world, this age looks like a dark night. The sunnats being on the decrease, their lights blink like fire-flies flying here and there in the dark night. As the committing of bidats increases, the darkness of the night has been increasing and the light of the sunnat has been decreasing. But the increasing of the sunnats would decrease the darkness and increase the light. He who wishes may increase the darkness of bidat, thus strengthening the devil's army! And he who wishes may increase the light of the sunnat, thus strengthening the soldiers of Allahu ta'ala!

Lettre 31, 1.100 “If one does not feel like weeping, begging, one should force oneself to do so.”

Being consumed with love is a sort of beginning for attaining. One of our superiors says, "If He would not give, He would not give the wish." One should appreciate the value of the blessing of wishing and refrain from the things that will cause it to be lost. One must be careful lest the wish becomes slack or the fervor chilly. What helps most lest this blessing is lost is to thank (Allahu ta'ala) for it. He declares in the seventh ayat of Sura-i Ibrahim: "If you thank Me for My favors, I will certainly increase them." It is necessary both to thank Him and to entrust oneself to Him and to weep and beg Him lest one will love or wish for something else. If one does not feel like weeping, begging, one should force oneself to do so. "If you do not weep make yourself weep," has been said. Until you find an exalted person who is kamil and mukammil [13], one should preserve this wish with all its fervor in one's heart. When such an exalted person is found, all wishes and desires should be delivered into his hands, one being like a corpse on a bench under a washer's hands. Fana -fi-sh-shaikh is first. This fana will then turn into fillah [14]. An exalted person who will take from Allahu ta'ala and give to men should be two-dimensional. Because man is very mean and evil-natured, he cannot have a relationship with Allahu ta'ala. A two-dimensional intermediary is necessary, and this intermediary is an insan-i kamil (perfect man).

Lettre 42, 1.73 “The world is decorated with false sequins”.[15]

 O my son! This world is a testing place. Apparently, the world is decorated with false sequins. It resembles an unchaste woman. Its face is a portrait with attractively dyed hair, eye-brows, and a beauty-spot. Its appearance is sweet. It looks fresh, pretty, and crisp. Yet, in fact, it is like a corpse dabbed with fragrant perfumes. So to speak, it is a carrion, a rubbish heap beset with insects and scorpions. It is a mirage of water. It is like a poisoned sweetmeat. In essence it is ruination, and by nature it is evanescent. It is implacably ruthless towards its sympathizers and pursuers and will inflict the worst types of harm on them. He who has fallen for it is stupid, enchanted. Its lovers are fooled lunatics. He who falls for its appearance will end up in an endless disaster.

Lettre 6 [16], 3.31 There is not a figure or a shape in a mirror…

… My dear brother! The world of mumkinat, that is, creatures, have been classified in three groups: alam-i arwah, alam-i mithal and alam-i ajsad. The alam-i mithal has also been called alam-i barzah. For, this alam is between the alam-i arwah and the alam-i ajsad. This alam is like a mirror. The real beings and meanings in the other two alams are seen in fine figures in this alam. For, a figure, a shape which is suitable with each real thing, each meaning in the two alams exists in this alam. This alam does not contain any real thing, any substance, any meaning that exists in itself. The figures, the shapes being here are all appearances which are reflected from the other alams. There is not a figure or a shape in a mirror. When a figure appears in a mirror, this appearance comes from some other place. So is the case with the alam-i- mithal. When this is realized well, we say that the soul also was in its own alam before getting attached to the body. The alam-i arwah is higher than the alam-i mithal. When the soul is united with the body it falls in love with the body and descends into this alam. It is not related with the alam-i mithal. As the soul has no relation with the alam-i mithal before it gets attached to the body, so it has no relation with the alam after the cessation of its connection with the body. Only, at times when Allahu ta'ala wishes, some states of the soul are seen in the mirror of this alam. This helps understand if the states of the soul are good or bad. Kashfs and dreams happen in this manner.

Another event which has happened many times is that man has seen the figures in the alam-i mithal without losing his senses. When the soul parts from the body it goes up if it is high. If it is low it gets down. There is no connection between it and the alam-i mithal. The alam-i mithal is an alam in sight. It is not an alam of beings. There are two alams of beings. The alam-i arwah and the alam-i ajsad. In other words, the world of substances are the alams of beings. Things being in these are not only appearances. They themselves exist, too. But there is no being in the alam-i mithal. Only, it is like a mirror for the beings in the alam-i arwah and the alam-i ajsad. When dreaming, the sorrows, the pains, the troubles in the alam-i mithal are seen. This is seeing the appearance, in the alam-i mithal, the torment deserved by the one who sees it. It is shown to him in order to wake him up from unawareness so that he will pull himself together. …

Lettre 14, 2.20 Namaz. One should observe…

We are sorry to know that you have been ill. We are awaiting the news informing of your recovery. Send us the letter informing of your recovery by those who will come here. Work hard for your task! Write to us about the hals which you will be experiencing! O My Dear Brother! This world is the place for work. The next world is the place for getting wages. Strive to do pious actions! The most useful of these actions, the most superior worship is to perform namaz. Namaz is the archstone of the din. It is the miraj for Believers. Then, one should do one's best to perform it well. One should observe its precepts, its conditions, its sunnats and adabs in a manner liked and suitable. When performing namaz, one should be careful about its tumaninat[17]. Many people, paying no attention to these, have been ruining their prayers of namaz. They have been neglecting the tumaninat and the tadil-i arkan. It was informed that they will be tormented. When namaz is performed correctly the hope of salvation will increase. For, the archstone of the din will then have been erected. The plane to fly to endless bliss will have been boarded.

Lettre 15 , 2.87 “… he will not enter Paradise unless he returns this one cent.”

Returning one cent to its owner which has been extorted unjustly, by violence and without any reason from a person, deserves far more thawab than giving hundreds of dollars as alms. It has somebody else's one cent, he will not enter Paradise unless he returns this one cent. It is also a human right upon the man to pay the mahr to the woman whom he has divorced[18]. In short, all our limbs should be embellished with practicing the rules of the Shariat. Then we should take care of our heart so that the deed should not be overcast with the slumber of oblivion! Without the heart's aid it will be difficult for the limbs to cling to the Shariat. The savants give the fatwa and say that something should be so or should not be so. But it devolves on men of Allah to place these into the heart. To strive to purify and enlighten the heart causes all the limbs to hold fast to the Shariat.

Lettre 17, 2.09  “He is beyond everything beyond. He is unlike anything.”

It is necessary first to annihilate the wrong and fabled gods and then to know the right ma'bud. Everything that is known how and which can be measured should be annihilated, and then one should have iman in one Allah, Who is not known how. What best expresses this annihilation in the mind and heart and having iman is the beautiful word "la ilaha illallah." Our Prophet (sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam) declared: "The best dhikr is to say 'la ilaha illallah.' " In another hadith he declared: "If the seven layers of the heavens and their contents and the seven layers of the earth are all measured with the word la ilaha illallah, the thawab in this word will weigh heavier." It certainly will, since one part of the word annihilates everything other than Allah - the earth, the heavens, the Arsh, the Kursi, the Lawh, the Kalam, all the classes of beings, and men - while its other part informs of the existence of the one and only one Creator of the earth and the heavens, one Who is rightfully worshipped. Everything other than Allah, whether in the afak (outside man) or in the anfus (inside man), can be understood and measured. So is everything which can be seen in the mirrors of afak and anfus. All such things should be known to be nonexistent. So are all the things which we know and learn, which we remember and imagine, and which affect our sense organs. They are all of recent occurrence, they are creatures. For everything which man knows and feels is his own work, what he himself has done. Our considering Allahu ta'ala free from defect and saying that He is unlike anything means to liken Him (to something). The greatness which we realize means inferiority. The kashfs, tajallis, mushahadas which happen to men of tasawwuf are all things other than Allahu ta'ala. Allahu ta'ala is wara-ul-wara. That is, He is beyond everything beyond. He is unlike anything. Hadrat Ibrahim said to the disbelievers, "Why do you worship the idols which you yourselves have made? Allahu ta'ala created you and all your deeds." The Qur'an relates this. All the things we do, whether we do them with our hands or we invent them with our mind and imagination, are Allah's creatures. None of them is worthy of worship. Allahu ta'ala, alone, is worthy of being worshipped. He is unlike any of the things which we know or which we find out by thinking. How He is cannot be understood. The mind and imagination cannot approach Him. Kashf and shuhud collapse before His greatness. There is no other way than believing such a high creator who is bi-chun and bi-chighuna [that is, who is unlike anything and who cannot be understood through the mind] through ghayb (without seeing or understanding). For, it will not be belief in Him to believe Him by attempting to understand Him by seeing or thinking. It will be to believe something made by us. And that something is His creature. We will have made it a partner to Him. In fact, perhaps, we will have believed something besides Him. We trust ourselves to Allahu ta'ala to protect us from falling into such a calamity.

Lettre 18, 3.47 Soldiers of the army of prayers

[This letter was written to the then Sultan Salim Jihanghir Khan 'rahmatullahi ta'ala alaih'. ]

I, Ahmad 'rahmatullahi ta'ala alaih', the lowest of your humble servants who have been praying for you, present my humiliation and my benedictions to your exalted place of refuge and to the door of your superior servants. I offer my thanks for the promotion of slaves and for the blessings that everybody, ignorant and learned alike, whether near or far, has been living free from fear and in comfort.

… As it is seen, soldiers of the army of prayers, weak and broken-hearted as they are, are more important than soldiers of the fighting army. Soldiers of the army of prayers are sort of the souls of the soldiers of the fighting army.

Lettre 19, 3.13 “…it is prohibited in this path to do the dhikr aloud.”

Your writing, which begins by saying that you are hopeless because of hardships has been understood. It is disbelief to give up hope of Allahu ta'ala. Be hopeful. If two things exist in you, do not worry! The first one is to obey the Owner of this brilliant Shariat 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam', and the second one is to believe in the greatness of the exalted person from whom you have learned the din and to love him. Trust yourself to Allahu ta'ala and entreat Him so that there will not be slackness in these two blessings. When these two exist, it is easy to correct the other things. As I wrote to you before, if you feel uncomfortable from being in Manipur[19] go to the place called Allah-abad and settle there. It is expected that the place will be found blessed. You understood the opposite. Even the word "blessed" did not help you understand our purpose. And now I say so again. Tonight it came to my heart that your belongings were sort of taken from Manqpur to Ilah-abad. Go there and settle at a remote place and illuminate the place with the dhikr of Allahu ta'ala! Do not be friends with anybody! Perform the dhikr of nafy and ithbat very much! When repeating that beautiful word, expel all your wishes and thoughts from your heart! Let your purpose, your beloved, and your wish not be more than one! If you cannot perform the dhikr with your heart do it with your tongue! But you should do it silently. For, it is prohibited in this path to do the dhikr aloud. You know the other things to be done on this path.

Lettre 23, 2.29 “The heart's sickness means its having fallen in love with somebody other than He.”

My Dear Sir. The coming of disasters may be unpleasant outwardly, but it is expected that they will be blessings. The world's most valuable stock is (collected from) sorrows and afflictions. The most delicious food on the world's meal table is (made up of) problems and calamities. These sweet blessings are covered with bitter medicine. Therefore, calamities and disasters are showered on the beloved ones. Those who are fortunate and wise see the sweets placed in them. They chew the bitter covers on them as if they were sweet. They take flavor from the bitter. Why shouldn't they, since everything coming from the Beloved will be sweet. Those who are sick do not feel their taste. The heart's sickness means its having fallen in love with somebody other than He. The fortunate ones take so much flavor from the troubles coming from the Beloved One that they do not taste the same flavor in His favors.

Lettre 26, 3.27  “The body's desire for the things indispensable to live is not contrary to being a slave.”

What a slave wishes should only be his Owner and his Owner's wish. He should have no wishes besides his Owner's wishes. If not so, he has cast off the shackles of slavery and escaped from being a slave. A slave who always pursues his own wishes is a slave of his own wishes.

Question: The Walis who are so have wishes, desires, too. For, they want various things. Also, the leader of Prophets, the Sultan of Walis, Hadrat Muhammad, liked cool, sweet sherbets. The Qur'an informs of the fact that he used to toil for the good of his Ummat. What is the reason for the existence of such wishes in the great?

Answer: Many wishes are the requirements of natural laws. So long as man is alive he cannot get rid of these wishes. When it is hot the body wants to get cool. And in cold weather appears the desire to get warm. The body's desire for the things indispensable to live is not contrary to being a slave. Such desires are not the desires of the nafs. They have nothing to do with the nafs. The Shariat has not prohibited these desires which are the outcomes of natural laws.

Lettre 29, 5.36 “It is not an act of worship in Islam to curse anybody, nor even a disbeliever.”

The combats among the Sahaba were because of disagreements in ijtihad. Those who fought one another loved one another, too. It was like parents beating their children.


Hadrat Ali, who was mercy from head to foot, never cursed any Muslim, let alone his having cursed our Prophet's Sahaba, particularly Hadrat Muawiya, over whom he (Rasulullah) had pronounced benedictions various times. Hadrat Ali said about Muawiya[20] and those who were with him, "Our brothers disagree with us. They are not disbelievers or sinners. They have acted upon their own ijtihad." This statement of his keeps disbelief and sinfulness away from them. Could it ever be the case, then, that he cursed them! It is not an act of worship in Islam to curse anybody, nor even a disbeliever.

Lettre 3, 2.99 “It is like going to see the palaces and villas of sultans and princes in the world…”

Question: As a salik makes progress on a path of tasawwuf, he sometimes visualizes himself in the grade of the Sahaba, who are superior to him with the unanimity. He even sees himself in the grade of prophets. How does that happen? Some people think that the salik says he is in the grade of the owners of those ranks. So they do not believe what the salik says. They even censure him. What is its reason?

Answer: Low people going up to the grades of the high is like poor people going to the doors of the rich or to the homes of the owners of favors, asking for what they need from them, and attaining their favors. Those who think that such people going up to those grades means to become equal to the owners of the grades must be ignorant. This promotion of theirs is sometimes intended for them to see the grades and yearn for them. It is like going to see the palaces and villas of sultans and princes in the world. It would be idiocy to think that such people have become equal to sultans and princes. Servants enter their master's private rooms to serve them. To sweep or dust, they approach the sultans.

It is such a great blessing that the very bitter torments in Hell are eliminated with a few days' trouble and that causes are sent in the world to clear away sins. He postpones the accounting of others' sins until the next world. Then, He should place many calamities and disasters upon the beloved ones in the world. Others are not worthy of this blessing. For, they commit sins but do not entreat Him or hang their heads in shame or trust themselves to Him.

“…Hardships are the Beloved's lasso.”

Answer 6: Hardships are the Beloved's lasso. [It is a lasso thrown by the Beloved One to pull the lover to Himself]. It is like a whip protecting the lovers from looking at things other than the Beloved One. It makes the lovers return to the Beloved One. Then, anxiety and disasters should be sent upon the lovers. Disasters protect the lovers against the sin of being fond of things other than the Beloved One. Others are not worthy of this blessing. They pull the lovers to the Beloved One by force. They pull those whom they like through anxiety and disasters. And those whom they dislike they let free like vagabonds. Among them, he who is worthy of endless bliss will come round to the right course by himself, will strive hard, thus attaining favor and blessing.

Question: Sometimes a lover becomes sorry when disasters and hardships come upon him, a case which shows that he dislikes them. What is its reason?

Answer: That kind of sorrow and reluctance is in appearance. It originates from his nature, from his construction. There are benefits in this reluctance. For, if it weren't for this reluctance one could not be hostile or fight against one's nafs. The trouble which our Prophet was seen suffering when he was about to die was the final parts of the jihad against the nafs. Thus, even his last breath was given out struggling against the enemy.

The mirror of 'adam

Question: Again, you ask: 'adam means nonexistence in every respect. It has no connection with existence. Then, how is it possible that 'adam exists in the mind, in knowledge? How can something existing in the mind go out of the imagination?

Answer: Yes, 'adam means nonexistence. But all creatures were made from it; owing to its serving as a mirror, everything came into being. The appearances of Allah's names in the 'Ilm-i ilahi were reflected in the mirror of 'adam, divided it into 'adams and caused it to exist in knowledge. Thus 'adam, escaping nonexistence in every respect, became the origin of creatures. These creatures exist outside of knowledge, too. They are in the grade of sense and illusion. They do not cease to exist when sense and illusion cease to exist. In fact, they may be said to exist outside. Why should you marvel at this progress of 'adam? All the events of this universe are based on 'adam. We should realize the greatness of the power of Allahu ta'ala, who has based the universe on 'adam. He has manifested the perfections in the existence through its defects.

“Fana means to forget everything other than Allah…”

Question: You ask about Fana and Baqa.

Answer: I have written about them in my various letters and booklets. If there are any unintelligible places left, we have to see each other, sit together to understand them well. Their essential explanation will not go into writing. Even if it went into writing, it would not be right to write. For, who on earth would comprehend, understand them? Fana and Baqa are Shuhudi, not wujudi[21]; Man, who is nothing, cannot become Allah. He does not unite with Allah. Man is always man. And Allah is always Allah. If a person thinks Fana and Baqa are wujudi and, removing man's ta'ayyun-i wujudi, says that man will unite with the real being who is free from ta'ayyun and from likeness and that man himself will cease to exist and then will exist eternally with Allah, he becomes a zindiq. To say that man will get rid of all dependencies and bonds and will unite with the independent, like a drop of water leaving its place and dropping into the sea, is to be a zindiq. We trust ourselves to Allah's protection against such a rotten belief. Fana means to forget everything other than Allahu ta'ala, not to set one's heart on others and to purify one's heart of all one's wishes. Being a born slave consists of these. And Baqa means man's adapting himself to Allah's will and adapting his wishes to Allah's wishes.

“…the shade forgets about himself and returns to his origin…’

Anfus (inside man), like afak (outside of man), is the shade, image of names. If, through Allah's grace, the shade forgets about himself and returns to his origin and begins to love his origin, he finds himself as his origin, as is stated in the hadith, "Everyone will be together with whomever he loves." ...

Lettre 3, 2.28 “Hadrat Adam's clay was kneaded by angels.”

Hadrat Adam's clay was kneaded by angels. It is understood that as this task was assigned to angels, so Baba Abriz's soul was assigned the task of pouring water. When his own body came to the world or, rather, when he reached perfection, he was informed that his soul had done the task. It is possible for Allahu ta'ala to give souls the power of taking the shapes of objects and acting like the living before entering their bodies or after leaving their bodies. Some great men of din stated that they had done important great duties centuries before they had come to the world; these events happened in the same manner. That is, their souls did these deeds without bodies, and they were informed of the task after coming to the world.

Lettre 34, 1.261 The inner nature of namaz

Most of the followers of the way of tasawwuf looked for the medicine for their diseases in other places because they were not informed of the inner nature of namaz, because they were not taught the virtues peculiar to namaz. They held fast to other things in order to get to their purpose. Some of them even considered namaz as extraneous to this way, as having nothing to do with the purpose. They considered fasting superior to namaz. The author of the book Futuhat [Hadrat Muhyiddin-i Arabi 'quddisa sirruh'] said: "Fast, being an abstinence from eating and drinking, is to be qualified with Allah's attributes, to approach to Him. But namaz is to become different, to get away, to establish the difference between the worshipper and the worshipped one." This statement, as it is seen, arises from the matter of tawhid-i wujudi, which is a manifestation of the intoxication by the Divine Love. Many others who could not realize the inner nature of namaz looked for the pacification of their sufferings and for the consolation of their souls in music, in rapture, in becoming unconscious. They supposed that the Beloved One was behind musical notes. For this reason, they held fast to dancing. However, they had heard about the hadith, "Allahu ta'ala has not created a healing effect in haram." Yes, an inexperienced swimmer who is about to drown will snatch at any herb. Love of something deafens, blinds the lover. If they had been made to taste something of the virtues of namaz, they would never mention music, nor would they even think of rapture.

Lettre 41, 2.33 “It is loved when it hurts the lover as well as when it does him a favor.”

O Mawlana Muhammad Salih, my dear brother! Know that something loved, in the eyes of the lover, and even actually, is beloved always, no matter in whatever state it is. It is loved when it hurts the lover as well as when it does him a favor. Many of those who have been honored with the blessing of loving and who have tasted loving love even more whenever they receive a gift from the Beloved One. Or their love never changes when He hurts them as well as when He does them favors. Among these lovers, however, there are very few whose love is increased by the Beloved's hurting them. Attaining this most valuable blessing requires having a good opinion about the Beloved.

Lettre 43, 2.62 “If man were not needy, he would be disobedient, excessive, unbridled.”

For, man has been created so as to be civilized. In order to be civilized and live, he needs others. Allahu ta'ala declares in the sixty-fourth ayat of Anfal Sura, "O my Prophet! Allahu ta'ala and the Believers who are with you are sufficient for you!" Thus, He informs that the Believers are sufficient for helping the Best of Mankind. Hence, it is understood that it is necessary to help others. Rich people of our time think that being a Darwish is not to need anybody else. It is a wrong understanding. Man means needy. Not only men but also all creatures are needy. In fact, man's goodness, beauty, arises from his being needy. Also, man's being a slave, his broken heart are the results of his being needy. If man were not needy, he would be disobedient, excessive, unbridled. Allahu ta'ala declares in the sura of Iqra', "When man is without any needs, for certain he will become excessive!"

“…enlivening the dead is of no value when compared with enlivening hearts and souls.”

They especially ask us to busy ourselves with dhikr-i ilahi all the time, incessantly. By doing so, one's body will altogether be suffused with the dhikr, and the heart will contain nothing but Allahu ta'ala. Everything else will be forgotten so utterly that one will not be able to remember anything besides Allahu ta'ala however hard he may try to do so. Why should it be necessary for the Awliya to exhibit wonders for these two kinds of invitations? Guiding means to give these two kinds of invitations. Miracles and wonders have no place here. We must also say that a vigilant disciple perceives many of his master's miracles and wonders as he makes progress on the way of tasawwuf. In that unknown way every moment he has recourse to his [master's] help and is always blessed with his help. Yes, it is not necessary for him [his master] to exhibit wonders to others. But to his disciples he exhibits miracles every moment and wonders come upon them one right after another. Can it ever be that the disciple will not feel the wonders of his master, who has enlivened his dead heart? He has made him attain mushahadas and kashfs. The ignorant think it is a great miracle to enliven a dead man and resurrect him out of his grave. But the great superiors have especially dwelt upon curing sick souls. Khwaja Muhammad Parisa, one of the greatest Sufiyya-i aliyya, notes, "Because most people think of someone who enlivens the dead as great, those who are close to Allahu ta'ala have not wished to do this but have enlivened dead souls and have tried to enliven the dead hearts of their disciples. Indeed, enlivening the dead is of no value when compared with enlivening hearts and souls

Lettre 50, 3.62 “…he is 'adam only. And 'adam is nothing.”

Man's essence, person, that is, man himself, is his nafs. This is called nafs-i natiqa. When man says "I," he points to his nafs. And the essence, the origin of this nafs-i natiqa is, in its turn, 'adam (nonexistence). Because lights and attributes of wujud (existence) fell upon 'adam, he thinks of himself as existent. He thinks of himself as alive, knowing and capable. He thinks that such beautiful attributes as life and knowledge belong to him and that he is the cause of their existence. For this reason, he deems himself mature and good. He has forgotten about the evil and defects which came to him from 'adam, the source of all evil and which became his own property. If a person, attaining Allah's kindness and blessing, gets rid of his manifold ignorance and his wrong belief, he will realize that the goodness and beauty existing in him are not his own property, that they have come from some other place, and that he is not the cause of their remaining in existence. He will believe that his own essence is 'adam, which is the source of all evil. If, as a blessing from Allahu ta'ala, this belief of his becomes stronger, if he returns the perfection and goodness in him to their owner and delivers these beautiful deposits to their proper place, he will know himself to be 'adam only. He will not see any type of goodness in himself. Then neither his name nor his fame or sign will remain. Neither his substance nor his trace will be left. For, he is 'adam only. And 'adam is nothing. He is nonexistent in every respect. For, if he were existent in any respect, he would not say that all beauty and goodness did not exist in him. For, it is beauty to exist. In fact, it is the origin, the source of all beauty. As it is understood from all that has been said, formation of a complete fana, that is, nonexistence, in man, does not necessitate his own ceasing to exist. Why should he be thought to cease to exist while he is already nonexistent? He is nonexistent thinking of himself as existent. If he gets rid of this wrong supposition and does not deem himself existent, he will realize that he is 'adam. This means to say that zawal-i Shuhudi [Ceasing to exist in ideation, conception.] is necessary to attain fana.

Lettre 51, 3.98 “The beauty of creatures, also have come from the Divine Being by way of shades.”

Beauty, no matter where it is, is from the wujud, that is, from the real existence. Wujud, that is, existence, is the source of every goodness, every beauty. Only Allahu ta'ala exists. The existence of creatures has originated from Allahu ta'ala by way of shades. The beauty of creatures, also have come from the Divine Being by way of shades.

Lettre 53, 3.44

 For, every beauty existing in creatures is a reflection, a manifestation of a beauty existing in Allahu ta'ala. It is something impossible for a beauty that exists in creatures not to exist in the Wajib-ul-Wujud (Allahu ta'ala). For, creatures are nothing but evil and defects. Every perfection, every beauty seen in them has been lent to them for temporary use by the rank of Wujub (Allahu ta'ala). For, the rank of Wujub is only perfection and beauty. A Persian couplet in English:

I have nothing brought from home;

I and all I have are only, merely from You!

Another answer which we would give to the first question is that the reason which you assert is a dangerous way of thinking concerning Allah's existence. To say that it is impossible to see Him means that His existence also is impossible. This is not a reasonable thought. For, according to this reasoning, when Allahu ta'ala exists He must exist in one direction of this alam. He must be above or beneath, in front or behind, on the right or on the left. And this, in its turn, means His being surrounded, limited, which is a defect. But Allah must have no defects. [22]

[1] Yohanan Friedmann, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindî, An outline of his thought and a study of his image in the eyes of posterity, McGill Univ. press, 1971. – Les extraits sont surtout des rares citations de Sirhindî.

[2] Extrait du Maktûbât III, pages 27-29 de Friedmann.

[3] Friedmann.

[4] Maktûbât 3.230.

[5] hizmetbooks.org, Waqf Ikhlas publications, « Endless Bliss », http://www.hizmetbooks.org, Fascicles-1 à 3 (sur 5) : « Bliss 1.pdf ».


[6] no du § hizmeth - no du volume Maktubat suivi du no de la lettre

[7] Nous omettons souvent les italiques après la première occurrence du terme.

[8] Cf. le modèle du miroir situé entre le monde divin et le monde matériel.

[9] Première du fichier “Bliss 2.pdf »

[10] Astrologues.

[11] !

[12] Those beliefs, words, actions, manners and customs which did not exist during the time of our Prophet or during the times of his four Khalifas, but which were made up, invented later in the din are called bidat.” (NdT).

[13] That is, who has reached perfection and who is able to make another reach perfection also (NdT).

[14] That is, when you find an exalted person who has reached the end of the way of tasawwuf and who is back in order to make others attain it also and who therefore looks like any ordinary person, you should surrender yourself to him. First, you should annihilate yourself in him; that is, you should obey not yourself but him. A person who does so will gradually be annihilated in Allahu ta'ala. That is, his own desires being annihilated, he will act according to Allahu ta'ala's will. He will no longer have any will of his own. (NdT).

[15] Lettre décevante qui termine le recueil « Bliss 2.pdf » après des pièces étrangères. Elle souligne l'esprit assez étroit du traducteur. Il faut donc être prudent  dans l’appréciation de Sirhindî dont il  nous présente un choix.

[16] Bliss 3.pdf

[17] Keeping all one's limbs motionless in ruku (bowing during namaz), in sajda (prostration), in qawma (standing for a while after straightening up from the bowing position), in jalsa (sitting for a while between the two sajdas), and about the tadil-i-arkan (to remain motionless for a while after becoming calm at these four places) (NdT).

[18] It is said on the two hundred and seventy-sixth page of the fifth volume of Ibni Abidin, "It is not permissible to beat somebody else's child even if the child's father commands you to do so. The khodja (teacher) may beat his pupil three times with his hand in order to make him study. He is not permitted to beat it with a stick." (NdT).

[19] ?Mangpur  et  ?Ilah-abad selon la source pdf.

[20] Voir l’histoire conflictuelle des quatre premier califes et de Mu’âwiya par ex. dans Laoust, Les schismes dans l’Islam, 1965.

[21] In other words, Fana is to deem oneself as nonexistent. It is not to cease to exist. And so is Baqa. (NdT).

[22] Fin. Les fascicules Bliss 4 & 5 ne contiennent pas de lettres de Sirhindî. – Nous ne connaissons pas d’autre traduction en langue occidentale que la présente issue d’un ingénieur turc né en 1911.