Maktubat of Mujaddid Alf-Thani


These few extracts, as reproduced herein under, and as translated by Syed Iqbal Zaheer, are letters that Sheikh Ahmed al-Sirhindi (1564-1624CE), better known as Mujaddid al-Thani, wrote to his various disciples.


Letter 15/ 23: To Abdul Rahim Khankhana

“This world is the farmland of the Hereafter. His is a sad case who did not plant, but rather neglected his land, wasting away the seeds of his deeds. You should know that the land can be wasted away in two ways: one, not lay any seed in it, and two, sow the wrong and rotten seeds in it. In comparison, this second wasting away is more harmful than the first way of wasting. And, wrong and rotten seed consists in entering into bay`ah (pledge) with an imperfect peer (Sheikh).

“An imperfect peer suffers from greed and follows evil desires. He will pass on these qualities to his disciples. He himself is misguided. He can only misguide others. In contrast, an accomplished Sheikh is like elixir. His sight is medicine and his talk is cure.”


Letter 16/24: To Muhammad Qalij Khan

“Blessed is he whose heart loves none but Allah (swt); seeking none but Him. Such a man is in the company of Allah (swt), even if his physical being is busy with the creations.

“This is the state of the true Sufi. They perform good deeds seeking Allah’s pleasure. On the other hand, the pious (Abrar) do it to satisfy themselves. Accordingly, the deeds of those brought nigh (Muqrrabin) and of the pious (Abrar), follow the respective rules.”


Letter 17/25: To Khawja Jahan

“Attainment of every kind of perfection and achievements is dependent on the obedience of the Prophet and rightly guided caliphs (Khulafa’ al-Rashidin). They are the stars of guidance and the suns of Wilayah.

“Whosoever followed them was guided and whosoever disobeyed, missed the guidance.”


Letter 18/26: To Khawja `Amak

“According to a Qudsi hadith, the desire of the pious for the Beatific Vision increases. My own desire is greater than theirs. Thus, Allah (swt) has approved this desire for the pious. On the other hand, the Muqarribin, who are on higher pedestal of Wilayah, have not been mentioned. This is because the desire is always because of the distance and separation; not in the situation of proximity (Wisal).

“The pious are desirous of closeness because they miss proximity and, hence, their desire is strong. But those brought nigh (Muqarrabun) are not eager of what the Abrar hanker after.”

“Those who have attained perfection (Khas al-Khas) do not have the desire because they have already covered stations of Sifat and Shuyunat of the Being, and are now experiencing the appearances of the Divine essence (Tajalliyat-e-Dhat).

“Now, the appearance of the Divine essence brings about nothing but bewilderment and cluelessness, which leads to hopelessness. That explains why there is no desire when a person is in a state of bewilderment and cluelessness. So long as a man is in the state of desire he is not yet in proximity of the Being.”


Letter 19/29: To Sheikh Nizam Thanesari

“To carry out a single obligatory (fard) action is better than a thousand supererogatory (nafl) actions, even if the supererogatory acts are performed in complete sincerity, and even if those supererogatory acts are valuable ones such as Prayers, fasts, dhikr, etc.

“`Umar b. al-Khattab has said that rather than remaining awake the whole night (engaged in prayers) but missing the Fajr, it is better that one sleeps off the whole night but performs the Fajr prayer with the congregation. To offer a gram of gold as the obligatory Zakah is better than tons of gold as supererogatory charity.

“Further, to prostrate oneself before a peer is absolutely forbidden. The evilness of such an act is clearer than the brightness of the sun.”


[Translation: Syed Iqbal Zaheer]

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