THE QUALIFIED MEN OF TASAWWUF

Some people called Sufi appeared among the true Muslims, in other words "Ahl-as-Sunnat" Muslims. A sufi is never involved in philosophy. They said that in order to be a real Muslim and in order to understand the Qur'an al-karim, it is necessary to carry out not only the orders and the prohibitions of our Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam), but also all of his manners as well as his moral principles. The fundamentals of Sufism are as follows:

1) poorness: "to know that man continuously needs Allahu ta'ala." No one but Allahu ta'ala can create anything. But, different things can become a means by which Allahu ta'ala creates various things. They have said the creator of everything is Allahu ta'ala.

2) Zuhd and takwa: "to adapt oneself to Islam; to carry out all the stipulations of Islam in one's daily life; to be helpful and to worship in one's spare time." Presently, the word "sofu" is used instead of "sufi" in reference to the people who are pious.

3) Tafakkur, silence and dhikr: "to think continuously about Allahu ta'ala and His blessings; not to speak unnecessarily; not to argue with anybody; to speak as little as possible, to continuously repeat to oneself the name of Allahu ta'ala."

4) Hal and makam: "to understand, by way of the light (knowledge) coming to him, what degree his heart and spirit have been purified." "To be aware of one's limitations"

The first and the most famous "sufi" was Hassan al-Basri (radi-Allahu ta'ala anh) 21-100 (624-727). Hassan al-Basri was so great an Islamic scholar that he has been accepted as an imam (mujtahid) by all Muslims. He is famous for his excellent character as well as his unattainable knowledge. He tried to put the fear of Allah into the hearts of his listeners while preaching. He was a great scholar of hadiths through whom many hadiths were transmitted. Vasil bin Ata, the founder of the Mutazila philosophy; was a disciple of Hassan-i Basri. But, he left al-Basri's teachings. Mu'tazil means separated. Another name used for Mutazila is Kaderiyya. It is used because they deny kader (fate). They claim: "A servant is the creator of what he does. Allah never creates evil. Man has the ability of will and creation. Thus, if he commits an evil deed he will be completely responsible for it. It is impossible to avoid this responsibility with the words fate or God's will." This thought, which is called "kaderiyya," was suggested by Vasil bin Ata, who was the disciple of Hassan al-Basri and who continuously attended his lessons. For this reason Hassan al-Basri, who believed in fate, did not accept him as his disciple.

According to "the people of tasawwuf," that is, the Sufis, real existence is only Allahu ta'ala. Allahu ta'ala is absolute existence, absolute goodness, absolute beauty. While He was a secret treasure He wanted to let Himself be known. This is why He created this world and everything on it. But Allahu ta'ala never penetrated into any of His creatures. (That is, He is not in any of them.) No one can attain Allahu ta'ala's position. He created the attributes of man similar to His own attributes. But, this similarity is so small that if we suppose His attributes to be the sea, the attributes of man can be compared only to the froth on that sea.

The purpose of tasawwuf is to attain to "Marifat-i ilahiyya." Marifat-i ilahiyya means to know the attributes of Allahu ta'ala. It is impossible for a human being to know His personality. Our Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: "Do not think about the personality of Allahu ta'ala. Think about His blessings." That is, we should not think about what Allahu ta'ala is, but about His attributes and His blessings granted to humanity. Once he said: "When you think about the personality of Allahu ta'ala, whatever comes to your mind is not Allah." The capacity and the ability of a man's wisdom is limited. He cannot understand the things outside this limit. If he thinks about them he will go astray. He cannot attain the truth. Human wisdom and thought understand the secrets and the intricacies of religious knowledge. That is why the people who mixed philosophy with religious knowledge deviated from the true path shown by Islam and, hence, became "heretical people" or "renegades." Heretical people are not kafirun (disbelievers), they are Muslims. But, they have deviated from the right way, and they have become one of the seventy two corrupted groups. Since these victims of philosophy are Muslim, their false understanding about the Qur'an al-karim does not cause them to become disbelievers. We should think like this: "There is no such things as an Islamic philosophy. There are some people who have mixed philosophy with Islam." According to the Ahl as-sunnat scholars the source for Islamic knowledges is muhkam ayats (the ones with clear meanings) and hadiths, not human wisdom or human thought. The fundamental of "tasawwuf" is that of knowing yourself (to know your own weakness and inefficiency). Tasawwuf is also based on love for Allah, the Sublime Passion. This can be attained only by adapting one's self to Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). When someone is advancing on the path called tasawwuf, numerous events occur in his heart. One of them is "wahdat-i wujud," that is: "Existent is One; creatures are the appearance of Allah." Yes, as it is revealed in the Qur'an al-karim, Allahu ta'ala manifests Himself in the hearts of humanity. But, this manifestation is only the manifestation of His attributes. It has no connection with wisdom. The men of tasawwuf feel the manifestation of Allahu ta'ala in their hearts. That is why death is not a disaster for them, but something nice and sweet. It means returning back to Allahu ta'ala; it causes them to be happy. Mavlana Jalaleddini Rumi (rahimahullahu ta'ala), the great mutasawwuf (the great man of tasawwuf), called death "Shab-i Aruz" (the wedding night). There is no sorrow or hopelessness in the way of tasawwuf. There is love and manifestations only. Mawlana says: "Our gate is not the gate of hopeless people." His original words are: "Baza, Baza, Her anie hestee, Baza" (Come, Come, whomever you are come, come even if you are a dualist, a Zoroastrian or an idolater. Here is not the gate of hopelessness. Come here even if you broke your vow a hundred times.) There are some great awliya (saints) among the men of tasawwuf, such as Imam-i Rabbani, Junaid-i Baghdadi, Abdulkadir-i Geilani, Mawlana Jalaleddin-i rumi (81) and some lovers of Allah such as Sultan Weled, Yunus Emre, Mawlana Khalid al-Baghdadi. "Wahdat-i Wujud" is not the aim or the last step of tasawwuf. But, this is the inspiration which occurs in the hearts of those on the way to the real purpose, which has no connection with wisdom, thought or materialism. These are not in the heart, but they are manifested in the heart. That is why it is better to say "wahdat-i shuhud" instead of "wahdat-i wujud." When the human heart is purified it becomes like a mirror. Those things manifested in the heart are not the personality of Allahu ta'ala. They are not even His attributes either. They are the shades, images of His attributes. Allahu ta'ala has granted human beings some attributes similar to His own real attributes, such as Sam (Hearing), Basar (seeing), Ilm (Omniscience). The ones granted by Him are not the same as His own attributes. His seeing is eternal, everlasting. He continuously sees everything. He sees without any means, tools. Human sight is not like this. That is why His seeing is the real seeing. We say that human seeing is an image, the shade of that real seeing. As the shade of His seeing or hearing manifests itself through human eyes, or ears, respectively. The shades of His many attributes, such as His loving, His knowing are manifested in human hearts. As the eyes should not be ailing or diseased in order to see, it is necessary for the heart not to be ill in order to attain those manifestations.

The medicine needed to cure the heart is made of three things. These are having the true faith, communicated by the Ahl-as-Sunnat scholars, worshipping, and avoiding (abstaining) from things prohibited. Unfortunately, those who do not know what the Islamic religion or tasawwuf is use the religion as a means for obtaining worldly benefits. These unpolished ones (yobazes) have mixed music with tasawwuf while worshipping under the name of mysticism. Moving, twisting and so on have been considered by them to be ceremonial acts (darvish ceremonies). The whirling darvishes with cylindrical caps on their heads which resemble tombstones, raise up their right hands toward the heaven and lower their left hands. They claim that the meaning given by this is that they are sending to the world what they have obtained from heaven. These kinds of ceremonies are presented as Islam, but there is no connection between them. No relation is there between these ceremonies and any ayats (verses) or traditions of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam). Our Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and none of his Companions (Sahabi ['radi-Allahu ta'ala anhum ajmain]) performed any ceremonies like this. There was tasawwuf (mysticism) in their time. But, there were no darvishes ceremonies. Now, a lot of foreign people from all over the world come to Turkey to see these ceremonies. This heretical philosophy is mentioned in all the foreign books written on tasawwuf. Imam-i Ghazali (rahima hullahu ta'ala) was a great Islamic scholar in the knowledge of "kalam" as well as a true expert in the field of tasawwuf. It is said that Abussuud Effendi (rahima hullahu ta'ala) 896-982 (1490-1574), the great Islamic scholar, the Shaikh-ul Islam for Sultan Sulaiman the Magnificent (rahima hullahu ta'ala), treated the men of tasawwuf harshly; he even rendered a formal decision for them to be put to death by hanging. This assertion is not true. Abussuud Effendi treated harshly those deviated darvishes who were mixed among the true men of tasawwuf or those claiming that: "The people who have reached high degrees in tasawwuf do not have to obey religious precepts. They need not concern themselves with whether something is permissible or prohibited. It does not make any difference for them." Abussuud Effendi gave a formal decision of death for those who committed the sin of causing discord and trouble throughout the country.

The leader of the people who rejected those who mixed philosophy with Islamic knowledge is the Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam). This hadith ash-Sharif is well-known: "My umma (all followers) will part into seventy-three groups. Seventy-two of them will burn in the hellish-Fire, and only one group will be safe. They are those who follow me and my Sahaba (companions)." This hadith ash-Sharif, which predicts the future, is a great mujiza (miracle). It happened as he had predicted. The Sunni Islamic scholars have described in detail these seventy-two heretical groups, who mixed philosophy with Islamic beliefs and so deviated from the true path of the as-Sahabat al-kiram. Under the light of the above-mentioned tradition (hadith) of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), Islamic scholars rejected them with countless proofs. One of these great Islamic scholars is Sayyid Sharif Jurjani (82) (rahima hullahu ta'ala). This profound Islamic scholar, who had reached the degree of wilayat in tasawwuf, died in Shiraz in 816 (1413). His book Sharh-i Mawaqif is full of these kinds of proofs. Also, Sadaddin-i Taftazani, (rahima-hullahu ta'ala), who had attained the highest degree in the knowledge of kalam, eradicated heretical philosophy with his very valuable book Sharh-i aqaid. He died in Samarkand in 792 (1389). And the book Al-Milal van nihal by Muhammad Shehrestani (rahima hullahu ta'ala), who died in Baghdad in 548 (1153), is full of refutations. This Arabic book and its Turkish translation were published again and again. It was translated into European languages by UNESCO; therefore, it has been understood by the entire world that there is no philosophy in original Islam, and it is not accurate to say "Islamic philosophy."

Imam-i Muhammad Ghazali (rahima-hullahu ta'ala) examined both tasawwuf and metaphysics and explained in his books Al-munkiz and At-tahafut-ul falasifa that those philosophers depended on intellect only, that they were terribly mistaken, and that the men of tasawwuf, following ayats and hadiths, attained true faith and endless bliss. He examined each of the philosophies of the seventy-two heretical groups mentioned above and whom we assert are Muslim, and saw that all those groups had been influenced by Greek philosophers. However, while Greek philosophy mostly addresses: "Is there existence?" and "Is knowledge possible?" the philosophies and metaphysics of heretical groups addressed: "There is existence," "knowledge is possible, but how is it? In what way can it be obtained?" In all the philosophies of the heretical groups, God is the All-mighty and the All-sacred; Islam is the most reliable and the most perfect shelter; and man is a holy creature created by Allahu ta'ala with attributes which are similar to His own attributes. While Christian philosophy accepts everybody as sinful, a vulgar creature, the philosophies of all the heretical Muslims are contradictory. This fact is written in the books of kalam by Ahl as-Sunnat scholars. If we are honest we will clearly see that the philosophies of the so-called "heretical groups" are not compatible with the truth, that is, the Qur'an al-Karim and the Hadith ash-Sharifs. In our century, old Greek philosophy is not given so much importance. If we compare the philosophies of the heretical groups with one another, we shall see that they all agree with each other in the facts that Allahu ta'ala is One, All-mighty; everything comes from Him; He is the absolute ruler; Islam is the truest and the latest religion; the Qur'an al-karim is the word of Allahu ta'ala, and Muhammad (alaihi' 's-salam) is His final Prophet. All these facts have been communicated by all those heretical groups. They deem a human being to be a sacred creature, not "sinful" as the Christians do. So, all of the seventy-two heretical groups are mumin and Muslim. However, intellect, philosophy and religion are deemed to be the same from their point of view. That is why there are some differences in their beliefs. Since they depended on different philosophies, some nonsensical divisions and struggles have erupted between them. Which one of them is right can be understood by comparing them with correct information and with the hadith ash-Sharifs (traditions of Muhammad). It is impossible to discern the right group with the use of force or by being enemies or by condemning each other as corrupt. According to Islamic scholars, the religion of Islam prohibits attacking five things. These are: 1) Life, 2) Property, 3) Intelligence, 4) Progeny, 5) Religion. If a heretic says that his philosophy is the truest of all and for this reason he kills and destroys mercilessly and never listens to any advice, then in that case, we say that he is a person who is short of either religion or intelligence.

Now, let us examine once more what Allahu ta'ala expects from a true Muslim and what He ordered Him to do through ayats in the Qur'an al-karim while leaving this philosophy mixed with the knowledge of faith by heretical people behind. As a matter of fact, there is no philosophy in Islam. The seventy-two heretical groups wounded Islam by mixing philosophy with it. On the one hand, they mixed the old Greek philosophy with Islamic beliefs, and, on the other hand, they changed religious beliefs according to their own thoughts and points of view. But, the Islamic group called "Ahl as-Sunnat wal Jamat" that was predicted to go to Paradise by Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) has followed the religious beliefs they heard from the Companions of Muhammad (as-Sabahat al-Kiram [radi-Allahu ta'ala anhum ajmain]) without mixing Greek philosophy and their own thoughts with them. They deemed this belief to be superior to the beliefs of other religions, philosophies, and their own intelligence. This is because Islamic belief corresponds with common sense. If someone's wisdom doubts the truth of anything in Islam, it can be understood that his wisdom is sakeem (defective), not salim (sane). Naturally, any wisdom or thought that considers Islam to be incomplete and thereby tries to complete it with philosophy must be understood as defective. If a disbeliever follows his own common sense, his morality and deeds will be compatible with the orders of Allahu ta'ala. It is stated at the end of the sixth chapter of the tafsir book (an interpretative book) Ruh-ul Bayan by Ismail Hakki (83) that Allahu ta'ala will grant him the true faith. The Ahl as-Sunnat scholars (rahima humullahu ta'ala) mentioned the Greek philosophers in their books only to reject and criticize them. Heretical and deviated groups tried to mix Greek philosophy with Islamic beliefs, but the Ahl as-Sunnat group tried to separate and keep them out of the religion of Islam. Then he who wants to learn Islam correctly in order to understand what Allahu ta'ala has meant with His words has to read the books written by Ahl as-Sunnat wa Jamat scholars.

Sura Yunus 44: Verily Allah will not deal unjustly with man in aught. It is man that wrongs his own soul."

Sura Rad 11: Verily never will Allah change the condition of people until they change themselves."

Sura Yunus 108: Those who receive guidance, do so for the good of their own souls. Those who stray, do so to their own loss."

Then, what sort of a man must we be? Allahu ta'ala describes the people who believe in Him.

Sura Furqan 63-73: And the servants of Allah, the Most Gracious, are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!" [be upon you.] They are those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord, prostrate and standing. They are those who say, "Our Lord! Avert from us the wrath of Hell, for its wrath is indeed an affliction, grievous." They are those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just balance between those extremes. They are those who are not unjust. They are those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah had made sacred, except for just cause, [yet, they punish the guilty ones.] nor commit fornication. -And any that does this not only meets punishment but the penalty on the Day of Judgement will be doubled for him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy- Unless he repents, believers and works righteous deeds. For Allah will change the evil of such people into goodness. And whoever repents and does good, has truly turned to Allah with an acceptable conversation. -They are those who witness no falsehood. And, if they pass by futility, they pass by it with an honorable [avoidance]. They are those who, when they are admonished with the signs of their Lord, listen to them carefully and do the things that are expected from them by way of those ayats."

Sura Maida 8: The hatred of others for you makes you swerve towards what is wrong and depart from justice. Be just."

Sura Maida 89: Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths."

The interpretative meaning of some chapters, such as Naml and Baqara is: Allah is with those who have patience. You be patient. Be patient. It is for Allah's sake."

Sura Baqara 217: Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter."

Sura Baqara 262: Do not follow up your gifts with reminders of your generosity, or with injury."

Sura Baqara 271: But if ye conceal your [acts of] charity and make it reach those [really] in need, that is best for you."

Sura Anam 151 and Sura Furqan, 68: Take not life."

Sura: Araf 31: Eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters."

Sura: Araf 56: Make not mischief on the earth after it has been set in order."

Sura Tauba 7: Allah loves those who are careful in keeping a treaty."

Sura Abraham 26: 'And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree: It is torn up by the root from the surface of the earth: It has no stability."

Sura Nahl 90: Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin. He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion."

Sura Al-Isra 23-24 and Ahqaf, 15: Be kind to your parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: 'My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood."

Sura Isra 26: And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift."

Sura Isra 28: And even if thou hast to turn away from them, in pursuit of the mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness."

Sura Ta-Ha 131: Nor strain thine eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to parties of them, the splendor of the life of this world, through which We test them. But the provision of thy Lord is better and more enduring."

Sura room 31-32: And be not ye among those who join gods with Allah, -those who split up their religion, and become (mere) sects -each party rejoicing in that which is with itself."

Sura Shura 13: You should remain steadfast in religion. And make no divisions therein."

Sura Jathiya 18-19: And follow not the desires of those who know not. They will be of no use to thee in the sight of Allah. It is only wrong doers (that stand as) protectors of one another. But Allah is the Protector of the Righteous."

Sura Fath 29: Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great reward"

Sura Hujurat 9: If two parties among the believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them."

Sura Shura 40: The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto, (in degree), but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah."

Sura Hujurat 6: Ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done."

Sura Hujurat 10: The believers are but a single brotherhood. So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers. And fear Allah, that ye may receive mercy."

Sura Hadid 23: Do not despair over matters that pass you by, nor exalt over favors bestowed upon you. For Allah loveth not any vain glorious boaster."

Sura Al-Isra 35: Give full measure when ye measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight."

Sura Rahman 9: So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance."

Sura al-Mutaffifin 1-5: Woe to those that deal in fraud, those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure. But, when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account on a Mighty Day?"

Furthermore, although His servants may pay attention to His orders, He knows that they will, as a human beings, fall into error, and he informs us through the Qur'an al-karim that He will treat them with justice and mercy.

Sura Nahl 61: If Allah were to punish men for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on the (earth) a single living creature."

Sura Ankabut 7: Those who believe and work righteous deeds-from them shall we blot out all evil (that may be) in them. And we shall reward them according to the best of their deeds."

Sura Zumar 35: Allah will turn off from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done."

Sura Shura 25-26: He is the One that accepts repentance from His servants and forgives sins. And He knows all that you do. And He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and gives them increase from His Bounty. But, for the unbelievers there is a terrible penalty."

Sura Muhammad 2: But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and believe in the (Revelation) sent down to Muhammad-for it is the Truth from their Lord -He will remove from them their ills and improve their condition."

Sura Najm 32: He rewards those who do good, with what is best, those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults -verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness."

Sura Nazi'at 40: And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, their abode will be the Garden."

Sura Saba 17: And never do we give requital except to such as are ungrateful rejecters."

In short, the fundamental of Islam is to obey these exalted orders of Allahu ta'ala, which give a hearty comfort, purify the soul, and are easy for everybody to understand. The fundamentals of philosophy consist of human thoughts, only. We should read them only to reject them, yet we should accept and fulfill the orders of Allahu ta'ala written in the Qur'an al-karim. This is true Islam. Allahu ta'ala prohibited Muslims from having a different faith, to form different groups, or to have any differences in belief among themselves. Especially, He prohibited Muslims from having secret meetings, to form secret associations, or to busy themselves with the prohibited things, such as calumny and backbiting. The ayats on this matter are as follows:

Sura Mujadila 9-10: Ye who believe! When ye hold secret counsel, do it not for iniquity and hostility, and disobedience to the Prophet [indirectly, the officials governing Muslims]. But do it for righteousness and self-restraints. Secret counsels are only (inspired) by the Evil One, in order that he may cause grief among the believers."

Sura Jathiya 17: And We granted them clear signs in affairs of religion. It was only after knowledge had been granted to them that they fell into schisms, through insolent envy among themselves. Verily thy Lord will judge between them on the Day of Judgement as to those matters in which they set up differences."

Sura room 32: Do not split up your religion into sects, each exulting in its own beliefs."

Sura Hadid 20: Know that this worldly life is merely a sport and a pastime [involving] worldly show and competition among yourselves, as well as rivalry in wealth and children. It may be compared to those showers that help plants to grow and the planters are happy with them. But later, those plants wither away and you see them turning yellow. soon they will be just stubble. In the Hereafter [for these kinds of worldly-minded men] there will be severe and eternal torments. But for those who have lived in the world adapting themselves to the orders of Allahu ta'ala, there will be His forgiveness and approval. The era of worldly life is deceptive and temporary."

Is there another word, better than this, to explain the fact that this world is the means to win the second world? We should adapt ourselves wholeheartedly to the orders of our religion, Islam, instead of being deceived by worldly pleasures and thereby go astray. A Muslim who has correct faith and correct religious knowledge and who has not been deceived by those who have deviated from the true path is expected to be an honest man, a real scholar, a citizen who is patriotic and loyal to the laws of his country. He is good for himself and for his nation as well.

Man is respected in Islam. Allahu ta'ala declared: I have created man as the best." The life of a man is very important in His sight. Allahu ta'ala ordered: Take not life." Christians claim that man is an infamous creature, born sinful, but this assertion is severely rejected by the religion of Islam. All human beings are born suited to be Muslim. They are also born pure and clean. The holy meaning of the forty-first ayat of Sura Zumar is: Verily We have revealed the Book to thee in truth, for (instructing) mankind. He, then, that receives guidance, benefits his own soul. But he that strays, injures his own soul." Allahu ta'ala sent His most beloved servant (Muhammad ['alaeihi 's-salam]) as a prophet and his greatest book (the Qur'an al-karim) as a guide to mankind. Those who do not follow the way clearly shown by the Qur'an al-karim and the final Prophet Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) because they do not like it will be subjected to a great penalty. Let us pay attention to the ayats below, (Sura Sad 87): This (Qur'an) is no less than an admonition to mankind."

Sura Al-Isra 15: Who receiveth guidance, receiveth it for his own benefit. Who goeth astray, doth so to his own loss. No soul shall bear another's burden. Nor do We punish a nation until We have sent forth a Messenger to warn them."

Then, we must invoke Allahu ta'ala so that He will guide us to the true faith. For this to happen, it is necessary for us to grasp wholeheartedly to the Islamic religion, which is the truest and the final religion, and to read the books written by "Ahl as-Sunnat" scholars (rahima humullahu ta'ala), who have correctly described Islamic sciences.

Allahu ta'ala does not have to make human beings Muslim or Mumin. Both His mercy and His penalty are eternal. His justice is eternal too. If Allahu ta'ala wills, He bestows on any of His servants the true faith, without any reason or any demand from that person. It has been reported above that He will grant the true and valid faith to those whose deeds and morality are good by following his own common sense. It will be understood at his last breath if a man has past away with faith. A man who has faith during his lifetime but loses his faith during his final days dies without faith and will be among the faithless on the Resurrection Day. We must implore Allahu ta'ala, every day to grant us death with faith. Since Allahu ta'ala has eternal mercy, He sent prophets to His servants to inform mankind about His existence and oneness, and the things that He wanted His servants to believe in. Faith means to accept what the Prophet (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) has conveyed. Anyone who does not believe in the Prophet or does not accept the things that the Prophet reported will be a disbeliever. Disbelievers will be burned eternally in Hell-Fire. The man who never heard of the Prophet ('alaihissalawatu wattaslimat) but thought and believed to himself that "Allah exists and is One" and died having only this faith, will go to Paradise too. If he did not have any thought or faith similar to this, he will go neither to Paradise nor to Hell since he had not denied the Prophet ('alaihis-salewatu wattaslimat). He will become non-existent after being judged on the Resurrection Day. Burning in Hell eternally is the consequence of denying the Prophet ('alaihissalawatu wattaslimat), even though one has heard about him. However, there are some great Islamic scholars (rahimahumullahu ta'ala) who claim, "Anyone, who does not think and believe in the existence of Allahu ta'ala, will go to Hell," but their words mean the one who does not think after hearing about the Prophet (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). Anyone who is clever enough will not deny the Prophet ('alaihissalawatu wattaslimat). He will immediately believe without hesitation. If he is deceived by others, follows his sensual passions, not his intellect, he will deny.

Why do you think that not everybody will accept this true and most logical religion, Islam, though they see its acceptability? No doubt their old established traditions have undue influence on them. It is written in detail in history books and in our Turkish book Islam Ahlaki that even Abu Talib, who was the uncle of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) and who always stated that he loved Muhammad more than his own children and who wrote poems in praise of Muhammad, was deprived of having faith. The Prophet greatly implored him to become a Muslim while near his bed before he died, but it was too difficult for him to leave his traditions. Our mania for following traditions and fashions is one of the tricks of our nafs (a negative force within man). Plenty of people have been deprived of great happiness and great benefits because they are entrapped by their own nafs. Accordingly, it was revealed that Allahu ta'ala declared through a Hadith al-qudsi (a kind of tradition from Muhammad ['alaihi 's-salam] ): Know your nafs to be your enemy because it is my enemy."

Anyone who is born a Christian and educated by Christians (in other words, deceived unduly by having been brainwashed) cannot easily avert that influence. His friends may look at him with contempt or his family may ostracize him if he changes his religion. Maybe he will lose his job or post if he becomes a Muslim. Of course, each example above is a reason, but the most important reason is: The Muslims cannot propagate Islam very well. Moreover, misinformation about Islam; corrupt interpretations; myths and fables by religious fanatics; ignoramuses; the deviated ones who fell into one of the seventy-two heretical groups; as well as slanders, calumnious texts written by scientific disbelievers under the name of science; and also some places which may be called houses of laziness and hypocrisy make a bad impression on non-Muslims and cause them to feel antipathy for this pure, bright, logical, humane and true religion. On the other hand, whenever we talk to an educated Christian on matters written is this book, we see that he feels great admiration for Islam. If we do not take into account the men of the seventy-two heretical groups, who mixed among true Muslims a century ago, plenty of Ahl as-Sunnat scholars (rahimahumullahu ta'ala) appeared. Ishaq Effendi from Harput, Turkey, for example, compared Islam to Christianity with full impartiality while showing many scientific proofs. Unfortunately, their works were not translated into foreign languages; consequently, the followers of other religions could not read their books.

On the subject of introducing Islam incorrectly, Islamic states that are not Ahl as-Sunnat have been very harmful. Deviated men of religion in some Islamic countries, which are numbered as high as thirty, have caused the world to have incorrect information and wrong impressions about Islam. The Qur'an al-Karim is being interpreted incorrectly in the Islamic countries that are not Ahl as-Sunnat. Moreover, some Prophets, ('alaihimussalewatu wattaslimat), Adam ('alaihi 's-salam), for example, are being denied. No doubt, in the course of time, government officials in these countries will recognize the truth and abandon those erroneous ways and will find the right path shown by millions of precious books written by Ahl as-Sunnat scholars (rahima-humullahu ta'ala). But, for the present, because of their false dogmas and the way they are governed, which is rather primitive, they do Islam great harm.

Our holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa-sallam) reported that anyone who has no faith will be burned eternally in a Hellish Fire. This message is surely true. It is necessary to believe in this message as we believe that Allahu ta'ala exists and is One. What does burning eternally in Hell mean? Anyone who considers the calamity of being burned in fire eternally may be expected to lose his mind for fear of it. At least, he should try to find ways of avoiding this terrifying disaster. The remedy for it is very simple. "To believe that Allahu ta'ala exists and is One; Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) is His final Prophet, and whatever he reported is true" protects man from that eternal catastrophe. If anyone says that he does not believe in such a calamity of being burned in fire eternally, that he is not afraid of something like that, and that he is not trying to find a way of avoiding it, we will ask him: Have you any proofs or evidences not to believe it? Which fact or scientific proof prevents you from believing this message?" Surely, he cannot put forth any proofs. How can a word which is not based on any proofs or evidences be called knowledge or science? This word is called supposition or probability. Is it not necessary to avoid such a frightful calamity of "being burned eternally" in a fire even if there is only one-in-a-million or one-in-a-billion chance of it happening? Should not a man try to avoid it even if he is small-minded? Does he not try to find a way of protecting himself from this probability of being burned in a fire eternally? As you see, every intelligent man has to have faith. In order to have faith, you do not have to bear troubles, such as paying taxes or giving property; to bear the burden and the trouble of worshipping, or to refrain from the sweet and enjoyable things. It is enough to believe by heart sincerely and genuinely. You do not have to declare your faith to disbelievers. Since they are human beings and intelligent creatures, the people who do not believe in an eternal fire are expected, at least, to admit its probability. Against the probability of being burned in fire eternally, is it not foolish and even a great absurdity to abstain from having FAITH, which is the only and definite remedy for this calamity?

Sanaullah Pani-Puti (rahmatullahi alaih) stated in his book (Huquq-ul-Islam): The existence of Allahu ta'ala, His attributes and the things accepted and appreciated by Him could only be understood through the message of the Prophets (alaihi mussalam). They could not be comprehended through reason. Muhammad alaihissalam communicated these to us. They were disseminated everywhere by efforts of the Khulafa-i Rashidin. Each of the Ashab-al-Kiram had learned some of the knowledge. They gathered this knowledge. In this regard, Ashab-i Kiram have considerable rights on us. (We are greatly indebted to the Ashab-i Kiram). For this reason, we are ordered to love, appreciate and obey all of them (ridvanullahi ta'ala alaihim ajmain)." This book, in Persian, was published in Lahore, and also in Istanbul in 1410 [A.D. 1990] by Hakikat Bookstore.

FOOTNOTES

(81) Jalaleddin-i Rumi, passed away in Konya in 672 (1273 A.D.).

(82) Sayyid Sharif, passed away in Shiraz in 816 (1413 A.D.).

(83) Ismail Hakki passed away in 1137 (1725 A.D.) Courtesy: HizmetBooks 1998

Tasawwuf and Shariah: An approach to the ignorants of sufism who snort at it without knowledge from the perspective of scholars of classical islam.

Islamic spirituality: Understanding of the islamic spirituality; a remedy for wounds of contemporary muslim ummah.

Qualified man of Tasawwuf: Distinguishes the true men of tasawwuf and their nature from the devils of deception.

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