Category Archives: Maktubat (letters) of Naseehat (advices) from Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi (rahimahullah)

The Best Medicine for Purifying the Heart is to Adhere to the Shari’at

FIRST VOLUME, 42 nd LETTER

This letter, written to Shaikh Darwish, explains that the best medicine for clearing away the rust of loving others from the heart is to hold on to the Sunnat-i saniyya (the Shari’at).

May Allah ta’ala give you salvation! As long as a man remains attached to various things his heart cannot be purified. As long as it remains foul it will remain deprived of and far from happiness. Loving things other than Allahu ta’ala blackens, stains the heart, which is called Haqiqat-i-Jamia [That which has accumulated everything within itself.]. This stain should be cleared away. The best cleaner is to follow, to obey, the Sunnat-i saniyya-i Mustafawiyya (‘ala masdariha-ssalatu was- salami wattahiyya). Following the Sunnat-i saniyya does away with the habits and the desires of the nafs that cause the heart to darken.

How lucky for those who are honored with receiving this blessing! Shame upon those who are deprived of this high luck! May Allahu ta’ala give salvation to you and to those who follow the righteous way!

[The word “sunnat” has three meanings in our religion. When “the Book and Sunnat” is said together, “the Book” means “the Qur’an” and “Sunnat” means “hadiths.” When referred to as “fard and sunnat” fard means “Allah’s commands” and “sunnat” means our “Prophet’s sunnat, that is, his commands”. When the word “sunnat” is used alone, it means “the Shari’at, that is, all the rules of Islam”. Fiqh books say that this is so. For instance, it is written in the book Mukhtasar al-Quduri, “He who knows the sunnat the best becomes the imam [When Muslims perform namaz in congregation (jamaat), one of them leads, conducts namaz. He is called the imam.].” In explaining this point, the book Jawhara says, “Here, ‘Sunnat’ means Islam’.”

It is understood that it is necessary to obey the Islam for purifying the heart. Obeying the Shariat means doing the commandments and abstaining from prohibitions and bidats.

Bid’ah means something that was invented afterwards. They are things that had not existed during the time of our Prophet and his four caliphs (radhiyallahu anhum) which were fabricated and done in the name of worships. For example, since it is necessary to recite the (ayat called) Ayat-al-Kursi [Verses in the Qur’an are called ayats. There are 6236 ayats in the Qur’an. “Ayat-ul- kursi” is one of them. It explains the greatness of Allah and that His power is infinite.] immediately after the (five daily prayers called) namaz, it is bidat to recite the (prayer termed) ‘Salatan Tunjina’ [The word salat means both namaz and prayer. Muslims send their prayers to Allah so that the Prophet’s grade will go up and he will be given more blessings. Such prayers are called salat, too. Allah loves those who pray so. He rescues them from trouble. Salat al-Tunjina means to ask a blessing on the Prophet in order to get rid of problems.] or to say other prayers. These must be recited after Ayat-ul-Kursi and telling the tasbihs [After namaz, it was the Prophet’s habit, so it is sunnat, to recite “Ayat-ul-kursi“, once, to say “subhanallah” thirty-three times, which means, ‘there is no defect in Allah,’ “alhamdulillah” thirty-three times, which means, ‘hamd, thanks done to everybody will have been done to Him, for He is the only One who sends every favor,’ “Allahu akbar” thirty-three times, which means, ‘Allah’s greatness cannot be comprehended through the mind, through knowledge or through thoughts.’ This procedure is called “telling one’s tasbihs,” or counting beads on a rosary of 3×33=99 beads.]. It is bidat to prostrate and then get up after finishing namaz and saying du’a (personal, individual prayer.) It is bidat to call the adhan [At prescribed prayer times, (morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night), a Muslim goes up the minaret and calls all Muslims to pray. This is called the “adhan.”] through loudspeakers. Every kind of change and reform in the religion is bidat.

There are three types of Bidat:

1 – It is the worst bidat to use things which Islam says are symbols of disbelief.

2 – Kinds of belief not conforming with what the Ahl as-sunnat scholars communicate are also bidats.

3 – Renovations and reforms done as worships are bidats and are grave sins.]

Couplet:
Faithfulness is what becomes a man, even when wronged;
If a person is true, Allah will him uphold.