MAKTUBAT IMAM RABBANI: Third Volume, 46th Letter, Part 3
Make dhikr, dhikr as long as you are alive
Your heart gets purified, into dhikr as you dive.
[Dhikr means to remember Allahu ta'ala. And this may well be done through the heart. When a person makes dhikr, his heart becomes purified. That is, love of the world leaves his heart and love of Allah takes its place. It is not dhikr for many persons to assemble together and to shout "Hay" or "Huy!" or to dance and whirl. Many things have been made up under the name of tariqat for a hundred years [see articles 35 and 40]. The way of the great men of religion, of the murshids of tasawwuf, of the Ashab-i kiram has been forgotten. The ignorant, and even the sinners have become shaikhs and have committed sins under the names of dhikr and worship. Especially recently, there has not been a Darwish convent left in which the haram and the Shiism have not asserted themselves. Today, there are almost no real savants of tasawwuf either in Istanbul, in Anatolia, or in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Hijaz or Pakistan, that is, in any of the Islamic countries. False and counterfeit murshids, those members of a tariqat exploiting Muslims, however are numerous.
We should read the old, real books of great men of religion and correct our worships, dhikr and thoughts in accordance with them. We should not believe the thieves of property and religion, who work behind the curtain of valuable names, such as, men of tariqat, shaikhs, murids; but we should avoid them.]
We should eat food not for pleasure or flavor, but for getting strong enough to do Allah's commands. If in the beginning you cannot intend so, force yourself to intend so at each meal. Entreat Allahu ta'ala so that you can develop a real intention! We should wear new and clean clothes, and, when dressing, we should intend to adorn ourselves for worship, for namaz. Allahu ta'ala declares in the Qur'an: "When performing each namaz, wear your adorned, clean, and favorite clothes!" We should not wear our clothes for ostentation in front of others; this is a sin. [Ibni Abidin, while explaining the makruhs in fasting, says that it is mubah to dress smartly.] All actions, work, words, reading and listening, [sending one's son to school] should always be for Allah's sake. One should try so that these will be compatible with His Shariat. Then each of one's limbs and one's heart will turn towards Allahu ta'ala. One's heart will mention Him [that is, it will remember Him]. For example, sleep, which is altogether a state of unawareness, will thoroughly be an act of worship when done with the intention of doing religious service with strength and soundness. For one has slept with the intention of worshipping. Our Prophet declared: "A savants' sleep is worship." Yes, I know, it will be difficult for you to do these today. For you are surrounded by various obstacles. You have been seized by customs and by fashion. You have been struck with such illusions as to feel shame because your self-respect will be injured. All these prevent you from carrying out the Shariat's commands. But, Allahu ta'ala sent the Shariat in order to abolish corrupt customs, loathsome fashions, and to tranquilize the madnesses of the nafs-i-ammara, such as egoism and self-respect. Yet, if it falls to your lot to remember Allahu ta'ala's name continuously through the heart, if you perform namaz five times each day without being slack by observing its conditions, and if you are careful about the halal and the haram as much as you can be, it may be hoped that you will get rid of these obstacles and will be allured towards doing everything for Allah's sake. The second reason why I have written down this advice is that it will be useful for you to realize your own defects and faults, even if you do not fulfill them, and this is a great blessing, too. We trust ourselves to Allahu ta'ala against the complacency of missing a blessing and yet being unaware of what we have missed, against not knowing of our fault, and against not being ashamed of not having done our duty. Such persons are the stubborn and ignorant persons who do not know the Shariat and who do not do their duties as worshippers.
[In the one hundred and fortieth letter of the second volume, Muhammad Mathum Sarhandi (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) says, "In a hadith al-qudsi it was stated: 'He who opposes any of my born servants who are Awliya will be at war with Me. Among the things [deeds] which get my born servant closer to Me, I like the fards best. I like very much my born servant who comes closer to Me by making nafila 'ibadat. I will be the ears which hear, the eyes which see, the hands which hold things, and the feet which walk, of my born servant whom I like very much. I will certainly give him whatever he wants. I will certainly protect him when he takes refuge with Me.' " This hadith al-qudsi has been explained in the third page of the seventeenth chapter of the second part and in the one hundred and eighty second page of the book Hadiqa, on the one hundred and sixty-fifth page of the Turkish book Kiyamat ve Ahiret, and also on the sixty-second page of the book The Sunni Path. The qurb (that is, to approach Allahu ta'ala) which come forth with fards, is more than the qurb which comes from the nafilas. But, the fards of taqwa owners when done with ikhlas cause qurb. Ikhlas means to do the worships because Allahu ta'ala commands them. Every Sunni Muslim has an amount of ikhlas. Depending on his taqwa and worshipping, pieces of information pertaining to heart and called fayd (fayz) will come to his heart. If he receives these fayds, which emanate from a Wali's heart, his ikhlas will grow stronger in a short time. Taqwa is to hate the harams and even not to think about doing a haram. It means a case of spiritual closeness to Allahu ta'ala, and to obtain His consent, and being loved by Him. [See the last paragraphs of the section Final Word of Se'adet-i Ebediyye in this book.]
The nurs and fayds, which Allahu ta'ala sends to Believers' hearts, will come more profusely to those who have stronger taqwa and who worship more. In other words, there will be an increase in such people's aptitude and tendency to receive fayd. Fayds emanate from Rasulullah's blessed heart. Receiving the fayds coming requires loving Rasulullah. And loving him, in its turn, requires learning his knowledge, beautiful moral properties, miracles and perfections. If Rasulullah, too, sees a person, his receiving fayds will become augmented. It is for this reason that those who attended his sohbat and saw his beautiful face and heard his sweet words received more fayd. And it is for this reason that the Ashab al-kiram received more fayd, their hearts were purified from worldly affections and they had ikhlas. The nurs and fayds they attained traveled through the hearts of the Awliya and reached our time. If a person knows a Wali living in his time, loves him, attends his sohbat and ingratiates himself with him, the nurs which emanated from Rasulullah's blessed heart and arrived into the Wali's heart will flow into his heart, too, and thus his heart will become purified. If he cannot attain his sohbat, he might as well do Rabita, that is, imagine the Wali's countenance, face, in which case he will be blessed as if he attained the Wali's sohbat. Mazhar-i-Jan-i-Janan, who was in Delhi, made tawajjuh towards Shah Behik, who was in Kabil (Kabul), and made him attain high grades despite the enormous distance. Hadrat Mazhar-i Jan-i Janan said, "I have attained all my blessings and faids because of my love for my masters. Can our defective ibadat be a means for our getting closer to Allahu ta'ala?" In order to get closer to Allahu ta'ala humans must perform ibadat with ikhlas. Ikhlas is possible only by receiving faid from the arifs. A hadith ash-Sharif written in Qunuz ad-daqaiq says, 'Everything has a source. The source of ikhlas and taqwa is the hearts of 'Arifs.' In order to be a wali, that is, to obtain spiritual closeness to Allahu ta'ala, that is, to attain love for Allahu ta'ala, the things that are fard must be performed. The first of the fard things is to have a belief as taught by Ahl as-sunnat scholars. The second step is to abstain from the things which are haram, to perform the worships which are fard].