Advice for unity
I have an idea of how this unity of purpose may be acquired. One manner, in which this may be achieved, is that men of understanding who are fully conversant with the conditions and problems and who are fully acquainted with the demands of Shariah should come forward. These men, who should also be tolerant, patient and forebearing, must come forward to hold extensive talks with both parties, listening and explaining the true situation and seek a proper solution. Insha.Allah at some time or other, the disagreement will disappear. Those who are not able to do this, should, like myself, feel sorry for their inability. But, as for swearing and heaping ridicule on these elders, this is not a permissible act for the general Muslim public. We have already quoted the authentic Hadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
¡°Swearing any believer is iniquity…¡±
This Hadeeth has been reported by eminent Sahaba like Sayyidina Abdullah bin Masood, Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah, Sayyiddina Saad, Sayyidina Abdullah bin Mughaffal, Sayyidina Amr bin Al-Nu.man and Sayyidina Jabir (Radiallahu anhum) (See Jami-ul-Sagheer).
Now, in using disgraceful, insulting language against the saintly elders, what are those people doing except this that they do themselves a great disservice, thereby bringing themselves to the brink of self-ruin and destruction.
Verifying the friends of Allah
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is also reported to have said that Allah says: ¡°I declare war on anyone who causes any hurt to any of my saintly friends.¡± Now think for yourself, who can ever be successful in this world when he had engaged Allah in combat? We are not even mentioning what loss he will surely suffer in the Hereafter. The contents of this Hadeeth have been repeated in numerous Ahaadeeth in different wording. This clearly shows that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had said the same thing in different words on various occasions in order to stress the point. The wording above is that taken from a Hadeeth by Hazrat Abu Hurayrah (Radiallahu anhu) quoted in Bukhari Shareef. The same has been reported by Sayyida Aysha, Sayyida Mymoonah, Sayyidina Ma.az, Sayyidina Anas, Sayyidma Abu Ama.mah, and Sayyidina Wahb bin Munabbah (Radiallahu anhum).
In some of these reports Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said that Allah says: ¡°Whosoever troubles any of my saints has declared war against me.¡± According to other reports the wording is: ¡°Whosoever degraded any of my saints has proceeded in battle against Me.¡± (See Fathul-Bari)
Once Sayyidina Umar (Radiallahu anhu), on entering the Mosque of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in Medina. saw Sayyidina Ma.az bin Jabal (Radiallahu anhu) sitting near the grave of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) weeping bitterly. Hazrat Umar inquired of him: ¡°0 Ma.az what causes you to cry?¡± He replied: ¡°Verily I had once heard the inmate of this Holy grave say something and it is this saying of his which brings me to tears (as I fear for myself).¡± I heard him say ¡°Even doing something for a little show is also a form of shirk (idolatry) and whosoever shows enmity to any of Allah.s saints, has entered into battle against Allah.¡± (Mustadrak of Haakim).
In another Hadeeth Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said that Jibraeel (Alayhis Salaam) had reported that Allah says: ..whosoever insults or slanders any of My saints has come forth in battle against Me. I am so angered at attacks on them that in their defence I am like an enraged lion (looking for revenge):. (Durr-Manthoor)
What a dangerous affair to attack the elders! Where will there be any refuge for him who has to face Allah in battle? If, in punishment, it is a matter of merely losing an arm or leg, or an eye or having an ear cut off, then it is still an easy matter. The war-monger would have come off very lightly for these are worldly setbacks and with regard to the setbacks of the world one may still hope for repentance and forgiveness. But if the result of our acts leads to such results as loss of faith and irreligiousness, then what can ever be done?
The Ulema say that for all the sins a man may commit, none has been considered tantamount to a declaration of war against Allah except this one (of insulting and degrading the saintly elders), and of taking interest. Against these two alone does Allah declare war. This definitely shows how grave these two sins are. There is even fear for these people of coming to an evil end outside Imaan. (Mirqaat ul Mafaateeh – Commentary of Mishkaat ul Masaabeeh).
The author of Mazahir Haq also wrote that Allah.s war against a person is an indication of that person coming to a bad ending. For a Muslim to find himself coming to a good ending (on Imaan) is a tremendously, non-passing bounty from Allah. Now you may ponder by yourself how dangerous will be that deed which can cause a bounty to be lost.
In this book Jami-ul-Usool Shaikh Ahmed (Rahmatullah Alayh) wrote: ¡°The act of insulting and the use of derogatory words (language) against those saintly sufis who are the true followers of the Sunnat and destroyers of bid.at (innovations) and especially those elders who are possessors of the Beneficial Knowledge of Islam and performers of righteous deeds, and bearers of the Knowledge of Allah, is indeed a grave and dangerous act which inevitably leads to self destruction and severe loss. Grave warnings have been given in this regard. it is indeed a dangerous practice. It is a sign of the perpetrator.s heart being turned away from Allah and it is a sign of the heart being filled with diseases. There is a real fear of such a person coming to a bad ending.¡±
Having written this, Shaikh Ahmed (Rahmatullah Alayh) discussed the same sinful act in great detail. Unfortunately we have not the space to repeat his words. In any case, I once again advise and warn all these who have any sort of relationship with me and I will continue to warn them that under no circumstances should they bear any malice in their hearts against any of the saintly elders and Godfearing servants of Allah. Otherwise they should have no connection with me. Even my late father (may he rest in peace) also stressed this point.
The most learned Shah Abdul Aziz (Rahmutullah Alayh), in writing his tafseer of the Quran, came upon the verse:
¡°That was because they sinned and exceeded the limits.¡± In his commentary on this verse, he wrote: ¡°The Jews received courage for their disbelief and for killing the Prophets through continuous disobedience.¡±
¡°It was only after continuous disobedience of the Prophets that the Jews finally scraped together enough courage for actual rejection of the Prophets. This disobedience grew within them step by step, gradually becoming a fixed habit and so they began to exceed the limits in all sins. Finally it reached the stage where sinful acts began to look good in their eyes with the result that those who came to preach to them against such sins were considered as their enemies. The Prophets continued to urge them against evil and earnestly sought that they change their ways. These Prophets were considered archenemies and thus the Jews killed them. Such is the consequences of sin. It changes one.s outlook and one.s very nature and belief. For this reason the Ulema of Tariqat laid great stress on the avoidance of sin because as one malces a habit thereof, it gradually becomes such that one looks upon it as something praiseworthy, enjoyable, and nice, so much so that anyone or anything which seeks to stop it. is looked upon with scorn, resentment and hatred. The result may even be that it leads one right into kufr (disbelief- rejection of faith).¡±
For this reason there is a famous saying of the sufis:
.Whosoever purposely and scornfully underestimates any Islamic ethics, is deprived of hidayat to follow the Sunnat. And whosoever looks lightly at the Sunnat is deprived of the hidayat of performing the obligatory duties. And whosoever looks lightly upon the obligatory duties is deprived of Knowledge of Allah.¡± This goes to show the danger of undermining any of the minor details of Shariat. One should never scornfully consider anything of Shariat to be of no consequence or of no importance. Now, the respect and honour that is due to the sainly elders is one of the major etiquettes of Islam. How can one consider it as being unimportant? And when it is such a thing that can lead to being deprived of the obligatory duties of the Shariat and even to kufr, you can well imagine how dangerous this affair is.
People often look upon sin lightly and treat it as if it is completely unimportant. They to not understand that each part of the deen is so closely connected and inter-related to the rest of the deen that one part supports and relies upon the other. Hence Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said: ¡°When people adopt any bida.t (innovation) Allah removes one Sunnat from among them which never ever returns to them till the day of Qiyamat.¡± (Mishkat).
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said: ¡°When Allah decides to destroy any people, he first of all removes from their hearts all shame. And when they become shameless, you will see them become hateful and disliked in the eyes of people. When this happens, honesty will disappear from them and they will become deceitful till they will openly commit acts of dishonesty and deceit. And when they had reached this stage mercy will be removed from their hearts and they will not show any mercy to other creatures. When they had reached this stage they will become rejected and accursed in the sight of people. And when they had reached this stage you will see the rope of Islam will fall off from their necks.¡±
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said: ¡°Whosoever causes hurt and injury to the heart of any Muslim, has hurt me. And whosoever hurts me, has hurt Allah.¡± (Jami-us-Sagheer).
Just imagine what a grave warning! If one harms any ordinary Muslim, it is tantamount to having caused hurt to Allah. How much more grave is the situation if the unjustly harmed person is a true saintly Muslim? Allama Sha.raani (Rahmatullah Aiayh) writes in his book Tabqaat-al-Kubraa: ¡°Imam Abu Turab (Rahmatullah Alayh) who is one of the sufi elders said: .When a person turns his heart away from Allah, he gets as his companion the habit of criticising and degrading the saints of Allah.¡±
A Persian couplet:
When Allah desires to disgrace and expose the evil minded one, He fills his heart with evil thought against the saintly friends of His. Shaikh Abul Hasan Shahzaly (Rahmatullah Alayh) one of the greats among the sufis, says: ¡°The saintly
elders of Allah had always been troubled by those who degrade and criticise them. Some of these critics have been those who outwardly professed love and devotion to the saints but regarding some saints we hear them say: ¡°How can this one ever be considered a wali (saint)?¡± In this way they seek to deny that person.s sainthood. Now, I ask you, can that person who is completely unacquainted with sainthood (and its demands) deny the sainthood of anyone?¡±
The Shaikh wrote further: ¡°Some sufi saints remain out of the public.s eyes for this reason that they mix freely in the circles of the rulers and the rich. Now the critics find opportunity to criticise their actions by saying: ¡°If this was really a saint, he would have secluded himself and remained drawn into Ibaadah, and the quest after knowledge and the spread thereof.¡± If this critic was really serious about the welfare of his deen, he would first, before criticising, have asked himself this question: ¡°Is this man, who associates with the rulers and governors, meeting these people for his own selfish ends or for the sake of fulfilling some deeni need? Is he not perhaps doing it for the welfare of all Muslims or with the purpose of rectifying some wrong? There are also times when it is compulsory for the saints and elders to approach the ruling class and the wealthy and when it would be prohibited for them to stay aloof from them.¡± (Tabqaat).
At this stage you must please understand one more thing. Sometimes it does happen that saints take revenge on their critics. Such revenge often leads others to further criticise them with the result that people begin to think that these people are just like ordinary people who become enraged and led by their emotions. This is not so. Often this revenge is for the good of the critic himself. Hazrat Mirza Mazhar Jani Janaau (Rahmatullah Alayh) wrote in his ¡°Makaateeb¡± that it so happened that a certain woman once openly insulted Shaikh Abdul Ahad, the father of Shaikh Mujaddid (Ahmed Sirhindi).The recpected Shaikh was forebearing and remained silent. At that moment the Shaikh (with his spiritual eye) saw the wrath of Allah about to descend upon this woman in revenge. He immediately commanded a person to give this woman a smack. However the person hesitated in confusion. The woman fell down dead. There are many similar incidents in the lives of the saints. I have already written that to be punished like this for insulting Allah.s friends, is to come off lightly in comparison to what could happen. Shaikh Au Khawas (Rahmatullah Alayh) – another of the famous saints – writes: ¡°Save yourself from even lending out your ears to that person who (without any sound reason accepted by Shariat) criticizes and raises objections against the sufi elders. Keep yourself away from him so that you unlike him do not become degraded in the sight of Allah, in which case you are bound to be taken hold of by Allah.s anger and displeasure.¡± (Tabaqa-ul-Kubra)