Though this post might be irrelevant in today’s era where Shaykh Mujaddid Alf Thani (rahimahullah) is revered and respected by each and every quarters of the Muslim Ummah, I am still posting this so that we come to understand that even such great personalities were targetted by their contemporary bid’atis.
Mujaddid Alf Thani (rahimahullah) was against all the prevalent bid’ah of his age and he objected them in his Maktubat (letters of naseehat which he sent to various chiefs), due to this, the bid’atis of his time opposed him and fabricated statements from his books and made takfir of him in various ways just like Ahmad Raza Khan would do to the Akabireen of Deoband in the preceding centuries. The pious Ulama of Hijaz too were made to issue the fatwa of Takir upon the Mujaddid due to mis-representations of his works.
The Bid’atis, due to having no academic proofs from the 4 Madhabs to defend their bid’ah stunts, tend to fabricate statements from the books of those who oppose their bid’ah and shirki beliefs, various mas’alah and statements from (other than opposing bid’ah) are made the targets so that the awaam never get to focus on the reason for their opposition of the bid’ah acts, their characters are assassinated. These bid’atis follow “through deceptions they shall attack others” kind of operations because of their in-ability to defend bid’ah and shirk.
Whatever their modus operandi might be, by the Grace of Allah Ta’ala these lies and fabrications of the bid’atis never lasted long enough and the truth prevailed always.
Following is an analysis taken from a treatise of Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (rahimahullah) in which he discusses in detail the conspiracies against the Mujaddid:
The character and thought of Shaikh Ahmad Mujaddid Sirhindi bring out his achievements which are definitely great and outstanding, but this appraisal would remain incomplete if a mention is not made of his adversaries who started opposing him in his own lifetime. Certain writings of the Mujaddid in his letters and other works, explaining higher reaches of the spiritual realm, did give rise to discordant notes against him.
The lasting fame and popularity achieved by the Mujaddid during his lifetime raised his prestige outside the country no less than the recognition accorded to him in the intellectual and ruling circles of India. Nevertheless, some of his teachings were so unfamiliar to the people in general that even the learned among them found it hard to accept them. They were shocked by his views which were against the accepted thought and inherited custom of the community. This reaction was not unusual: all those who are endowed with a nimble mind and vital impulse have to go beyond the current norms of thought and practice with the result that they find themselves at odds with their contemporaries. The Mujaddid had been preaching against the so-called virtuous innovations, respectful prostration to the mystic guides, musical recitation normally accepted as a means of inducing ecstasy, verbal repetition of the niyat (intention) before the prayers, congregational prayers of tahajjud, celebrations in connection with the prophet’s birthday, infallibility of intuitive insights and spiritual knowledge of the mystics as against the legal pronouncements of the celebrated jurists and similar other practices in vogue among almost all the sufi orders of his day which were then employed for drawing out the deepest spiritual emotions. And, to crown it all, he had the courage to criticise the Shaikh Akbar and his doctrine of Unity of Being which was then accepted as the acme of spiritual perfection and the highest achievement of gnostic intuition. He went even a step further and presented his own finding — the doctrine of Wahdat-us-shuhud — as a parallel mystical experience to that of Shaikh Akbar. It would have really been surprising — an event unheard of in the history of revivalist movements or even arts and literature — if no dissenting voice had been raised towards the end of his life span or immediately after his death.
The opposition to the Mujaddid can be classified under two broad headings:
1. One of it was caused either by misunderstanding or deliberate misrepresentation of his teachings and it vanished as soon as the misapprehension was removed or the false construction put on his ideas was detected.
2. The second type of antagonism was the product of a contrary belief or thought or else a personal antipathy to him.
SHAYKH ‘ABDUL HAQ’s RETRACTION
The friction between the Mujaddid and Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dihlawi (d. 1052/1642), a sincere and pious scholar, falls under the first category. He was also one of the spiritual successors of Khwaja Baqi Billah and thus allied to the Mujaddid, but he expressed surprise and resentment on certain views and statements of the Mujaddid and came out with them in one of his letters addressed to the latter. The views, attributed to the Mujaddid in the letter of Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dihlawi, have been found to be incorrect or distorted by those who have studied it at length. Actually this was a personal letter written by Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq to a colleague and it was not included by him in the compilation of his epistles known as the Al-Makatib wal-Rasail. According to Mirza Mazhar Janjanan, Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq had even directed his successors to destroy this letter.
The underlying idea in the letter of Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq was that certain statements of the Mujaddid were contemptuous of the great precursors who were unanimously held in esteem by the entire community;. This letter has, however, been examined more than once and the contention of Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq has been refuted by several scholars. The letters of the Mujaddid as well as his life-long endeavours give a lie to the charge against him. An important reason for Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq’s opposition to Shaikh Ahmad was his unbounded devotion and love for Shaikh ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani who has been, in a unique way, the inspirer of millions. Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq shared the ardent affection evoked by the lovesome spirituality of Shaikh ‘Abdul Qadir in the hearts of vast numbers and thus he could not countenance what he considered as the assertion of anybody’s superiority over Shaikh ‘Abdul Qadir. This point has also been extensively dealt with by several writers in a satisfactory manner.
It is not necessary to re-examine Mujaddid’s letter in question or the different issues that arise from it for one can go through the writings on the subject, some of which have been mentioned earlier. These studies prove, beyond any shadow of doubt, that most of the statements attributed to the Mujaddid were deliberate perversions or, at best, misconstructions on his sententious expressions. It is rather surprising bow Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq allowed himself to accept such reports and quoted them in his letter. Shah Ghulam ‘All Dihlawi who is typically solemn and sober-minded has after citing such concocted passages expressed his surprise in these words: “God forbid! What a monstrous lie and fake material! None of the Mujaddid’s letters include these passages. May Allah forgive the Shaikh.”
Since, however, Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq’s criticism of the Mujaddid was motivated by his sincerity and zeal for religion, he lost no time in making amends as soon as his misunderstanding was removed. His subsequent letters to the Mujaddid as well as other contemporary mystics bespeak of his admiration and high regard for the latter. In one of his letters written after his retraction from the criticism against the Mujaddid, Shaikh ‘Abdul Haq wrote to Khwaja Husam-ud-din of Delhi.
“May Allah keep you well and allow your sincere disciples to enjoy your gracious patronage. The reason for not being able to ascertain about your health during the last two or three days was either because of my sluggishness, a common human weakness, or my assumption that you would be alright in a few days. I hope that you would now let me know about your health.
“I am looking forward to the happy tidings from Shaikh Ahmad. I hope that the invocations of his adorers would be answered by God, and they would surely be efficacious. This poorling is nowadays feeling a close spiritual affinity with him; nothing of human dispositions and mental attitudes stand in-between us. I do not know why it is so. But apart from it, the right and proper course as well as the way dictated by prudence is that one should not bear any ill-will against such a venerable person. I find my own heart so very inclined towards him that it is difficult to express my attachment to him in words. God alone is capable of inclining the hearts and changing dispositions. Those who cannot see beyond the external appearances would not believe it, but I myself do not know what has happened to me and how it has come about. God knows best the truth of the matter.”
FATWA OF HIJAZ SCHOLARS ON MUJADDID ALF THANI
We may now turn to an Arab scholar of Hijaz, Shaikh Hasan al-Ujaimi, who respresents the second group of Shaikh Ahmad’s opponents. In the introduction of his book entitled As-Sarim al-Hindi fi Jawab-i-Sawal ‘an Kalamat-i-Sirhindi, it has been stated that a juristic opinion has been sought from the scholars of Mecca and Medina in regard to certain heterodox statements made by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi in his letters. “The enquirers have asked,” he writes, “to expound the view of the shari‘ah about any one making such unsound statements, or giving tongue to them, or entertaining a belief in them, or else preaching them.” Thereafter, the author says, “my revered teacher Shaikh Mulla Ibrahim b. Hasan Kaurani directed me to write a rejoinder giving legal opinions on the subject and also to mention the opinions expressed on the subject by other scholars of the two holy cities.” Shaikh Hasan has also copied the legal opinions of his teachers, Mulla Ibrahim Kaurani of Medina and Saiyid Jamal-ud-din Muhammad b. ‘Abdur-Rasul al-Barzanjl in his book.
It would be of interest to know something about the two scholars quoted by Shaikh Hasan. The former, that is, Mulla Ibrahim Kaurani of Medina finds a mention in the Anfas-ul-Arifin of Shah Wallullah. He was father of Shaikh Abu Tahir Kurdi, the scholar under whom Shah Wallullah studied hadith. He had accused an eminent scholar and mystic of his time, Shaikh Yahya Shawi, of having anthropomorphic view of God for which he was turned out of his court by a minister of the Turkish Empire. The incident is but an example of his being rash and short-tempered. Saiyid Muhammad al-Barzanji, the second jurist cited by Shaikh Hasan in his support, is stated to be sulky by Shah Waliullah.
It is also noteworthy that in a fatwa, the legal position stated in the light of Islamic law by a juris-consult is always based on facts narrated by an inquirer. The jurists are not judges, nor do they have time and resources to record the evidences or make personal enquiries before giving their opinions. It is also not incumbent on them to find out whether the oral of written statements attributed to a certain person and submitted to them for legal opinion are correct or not. Thus, there is – every reason to believe that the above-mentioned juris-consults would not have gone through the Maktubat of Shaikh Ahmad. It would have not been possible for them to spare some of their time spent in studies and teaching, to make enquiries about the beliefs and statements attributed to Shaikh Ahmad. There was no scholar having first-hand information about Shaikh Ahmad in Mecca or Medina in those days.
As for the mental grasp, truthfulness and conscientiousness of the inquirer seeking juristic opinion about Shaikh Ahmad is concerned, only one example is enough to illustrate his ignorance and improbity. The observation of Shaikh Ahmad about the essence of the K’aba affirmed by him as divulging spiritual secrets, has been interpreted by the inquirer as his denial to recognise its present structure as the sacred mosque which amounted to infidelity. He says in his presentment that one of his unsound utterances is the denial of the present, well-known edifice of K‘aba as the sacred mosque.
This assertion can now be compared with the fascination and zeal expressed by Shaikh Ahmad for paying a visit to the holy mosque written in a letter to Shaikh Taj-ud-din of Sanbhal just after the latter’s return from the pilgrimage.
“Just as the K’aba is, in the estimation of this humble self, the object of prostration for all form and bodies created by God (whether they be human beings or angels), its essence is also the sanctorum of divine service for the essences of all forms and bodies. Its reality surpasses all realities and its perfection predominates over all the realities of other things. It is like an intervening stage between the realities of the world and the celestial realities.”
The instance cited here fully illustrates the worth and soundness of the fatawa based on linguistically strained or even wilfully misrepresented writings of Shaikh Ahmad. Still, the jurists who declared Shaikh Ahmad to be an infidel also said that:
“However, it is not improbable that God might have bestowed His favour on the believer in these doctrines and the scriber of these writings, and he might have died as a true believer. This is what so often happens to His bondsmen: for, thus He demonstrates His mercy on several occasions. One of the grounds supporting this assumption is that some of his progeny who came for pilgrimage to the holy cities expressed their desire to qualify for the academic degree in hadith, and they told that their spiritual way consisted of following the sunnah of the Prophet and walking in his footsteps. They obtained the certificates of proficiency from the scholars of hachth like Imam Zainul ‘Abidin Tabari, and so highly satisfied and pleased was our Shaikh ‘Isa Muhammad b. al- Maghribi J’afri with them that he got himself initiated in the Naqshbandiyah order with a view to receiving the blessings of venerated mystics among the ancestors of the latter.”
The author’s solicitude for truthfulness is as much apparent from this quotation as it shows that his legal statements were based on distorted facts presented to him. It also divulges the diffidence of the jurisconsult in pronouncing an opinion hostile to Shaikh Ahmad, which, ultimately, had to be amended because of the noble behaviour and spiritual attainments of Khwaja Muhammad M’asum as later on witnessed by him in the two holy cities. In fact, one of the respected scholars of the place, Shaikh ‘Isa al-Maghribi took the oath of fealty on the hands of Khwaja M‘asum and was initiated in the Naqshbandiyah order. Shah Waliullah writes about Shaikh ‘Isa al-Maghribi in the Anfas ul-‘Arifin:
“In all respects he was a well-read scholar and teacher of great many theologians of the two holy cities. He was a colossus of knowledge pertaining to hadith and qirat. Saiyid Umar Ba Hasan used to say that if anybody wanted to see a saint, he ought to meet him.”
Shortly thereafter a scholar belonging to the Mujaddidyah order, Muhammad Beg al-Uzbeki went to Hijaz from India. He wrote Atiyat al-Wahhab al-Fasalah bayna al-Khata’ wa al- Sawab to defend Shaikh Ahmad in which, he demonstrated that the condemnation of Shaikh Ahmad was based on faulty translations and wilful misinterpretatfon of his writings. He cited several examples of such misrenderings with the result that a number of scholars in Arabia abandoned their erroneous notions and wrote books in the defence of Shaikh Ahmad. One of those who supported Muhammad Beg was Hasan b. Muhammad Murad Ullah al-Tunisi al-Makki whose ‘Al-‘Arf al-Nadi fi Nusrat-al-Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi brings out the unreliable testimony of wrong and misleading translations on which the campaign against Shaikh Ahmad was based by his detractors. Ahmad al-Yashishi al-Misri al-Azhari expressed his conviction that the Mujaddid had been condemned by certain scholars owing to their insufficient knowledge to understand the mystic terms used by the Shaikh or an erroneous conception of his thought. Muhammad Beg even defended Shaikh Ahmad in debates with the scholars of Hijaz which went a long way in clearing the mist of misunderstanding against the Mujaddid spread by al-Barzanji with the result that he had ultimately to write An-Nashirah al-Najirah lil-Firqah al-Fajirah in which he speaks of Muhammad Beg with scorn and contempt.
THE SCHOLARS OF SUB-CONTINENT
In India the Ma’arij ul-Wilayah by Shaikh ‘Abdullah Khesgi Qusuri (1043-1106/1633-1695) is a representative document showing the trend of thought among the sections not favourably inclined to the Mujaddid. Khesgi who was also known by the name of ‘Abdi, was a prolific writer, having several works to his credit, and a theologian allied to the Chishtiyah order. He was strongly inclined to the doctrine of Unity of Being. Khesgi’s teachers and mystic guides were mostly those who were opposed to the Mujaddid and had already signed the fatwa condemning him as a non-conformist. Some of them like Shaikh Ni’amat Ullah of Lahore and Qazi Nur ud-din, the Qazi of Qusur, seem to be unduly impressed by the Qadh-us-Zand whose author was then staying at Aurangabad. Khesgi wrote Ma’arij ul Wilayah in the same city in 1096/1688 by making use of another contemporary but apparently anonymous work entitled Kasir ul-Mukhalifin, which had been written to confute Shaikh Ahmad and his followers.
Khesgi’s Ma’arij ul-Wilayah evinces little scholarship and coherent thought as it would be seen by the few extracts of the book given here. Amongst the things considered objection able by him, one is that the Mujaddid did not consider it necessary to repeat the words of niyat or intention before offering a prayer. He writes:
“When he stood up for prayer, often he contemplated the niyat in his mind without repeating the formula, and claimed that it was the custom of the holy Prophet. He claimed that intention was a settling of purpose in the heart rather than something to be repeated by the tongue.”
How deeply has Khesgi studied the Maktubat and what sense of responsibility he exhibited in attributing ideas and statements to the Mujaddid can be seen from the following extract taken from the Ma’arij ul-Wilayah:
“Among the mystics of old those giving faith to the Unity of Being, such as Husain Mansur, Shaikh Muhyi-ud-din Ibn ‘Arabi and others, are regarded by him as agnostics and disbelievers. He has, on several occasions, denounced Muhyi-ud-din Ibn ‘Arabi as an apostate, attributed the beliefs of the M’utazilah to him, yet, he has also listed him amongst the elects of God in the Maktubat compiled in three volumes.”
Nowithstanding his criticism of the Mujaddid, Khesgi also pays tribute to him for his piety and spiritual attainments. He writes;
“(Hazrat Khwaja Baqi Billah) had given him leave to guide the seekers of truth whereby he imparted instruction in divinity to those who sought guidance from him; led the people to the way of God; instructed them to follow the commandments of the shari’ah; denounced those who did not live up to the demands of the law of Islam; and was pleased with those who walked on the path shown by the shari’ah.”
Khesgi appears, at several places in his writings, to be favourably inclined to the Mujaddid and even defends him by contradicting the constructions put upon the Mujaddid’s writings by his opponents. He reproduces a number of passages from the Maktubat held objectionable by the adversaries of the Mujaddid and then goes on to say:
“It is, however, not at all necessary that these passages , should be deemed to express the external (zahir) sense of the words ; if he intented, as already explained earlier, to convey some internal (batin) significance…… he should neither be blamed nor held up to reprobation.”
But the surrounding influence and the common talk he had swallowed soon make him to sing a different tune.
“Nonetheless, the fact of the matter is that any pronouncement which can be construed as disrespectful to the holy Prophet can never be deemed to be free from blame or guilt.”
MUJADDID ALF THANI & AURANGZEB
One of the reasons for attaching undue importance to the Ma’arij ul-Wilayah and its publicity is that the book is supposed to preserve the text of a decree of Shaikh-ul-Islam sent to Hidayat Ullah, the Qadi of Aurangabad, on the direction of Aurangzeb. This decree, claimed to have been sealed by Shaikh- ul-Islam and issued on Shawwal 27, 1090/December 1, 1679, directed the qadi to curb the ideas apparently opposed to the views of ahl al-sunnah wal jama‘ah which were reported to be contained io the Maktubat, and to check their publication among the people. The decree has been given undue importance in certain modern dissertations as if it were a discovery of unusual significance which demolishes the whole edifice of the devotional attitude of Aurangzeb to the Mujaddid and his spiritual affiliation with the Mujaddid’s descendants. One may refer to a recent work, the Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi by a Jewish orientalist of Germany, Yohanan Friedmann, by way of example, who speaks of irrefutable historical authenticity of this document merely because (1) Ma‘arij al-Wilayah was written in Aurangabad, the city to which the decree is claimed to have been despatched, (2) references to the decree are found in two more contemporary works and (3) the non-existence of any writing by a partisan of the Mujaddid rejecting it as a forged document. The two additional contemporary works cited in support, which make a reference to the document are the Qadh-us-Zand and the An-Nashirah al-Najirah, which were written by Muhammad b. ‘Abdur- Rasul al-Barzanji. The first of two works, Qadh-us-Zand wa Fadah al-Rand fi Radd Jihslat Ahl al-Sirhind is an Arabic work completed on Rajab 13, 1093 (July 20, 1682), according to Friedmann. As Friedmann says the book was written to answer the istifta (questionnaire) sent by the ‘Qadi of India’ styled as qadi al-qudat bid-dayar al-hindiyah who was probably the same person referred to in the decree as Shaikh-ul-Islam. It is also claimed in the Qadh-us-Zand that the enquirer sent the questions for legal opinion upon the instruction of the Emperor. Were it so, Al-Barzanji would have been in direct contact with the person issuing the said decree, yet he fails to give its text although he reproduces all the other questions said to have been referred to the scholars of Mecca and Medina for juristic opinion. As-Sarim al-Hindi was also allegedly written by Shaikh Hasan Ujaimi in response to the istifta’ from Indian scholars but it spoke neither of the qadi al-qudat nor of any decree issued by him. This leads to one conclusion only and it is that either the istifta’ was not sent by the qadi of India but by somebody else in his name or that no text of the decree existed by that time which would have surely been sent along with the istifta’ as a weighty document in support of the alleged claims against the Mujaddid. The other book an-Nashirah al-Najirah lil-Firqah al-Fajirah was completed by al-Barzanji on Muharram 7, 1095/December 26, 1683; that is, two years after the first one was written to counter the pro-Mujaddid campaign launched in Hijaz. In this book, too, he just mentions the existence of the said decree. Incidently, this reduces Friedmann’s two contemporary authorities to one only since both were written by the same author. However, against this solitary witness supporting Khesgi, none of the historians of Aurangzeb’s time make any reference to the decree of the highest religious and judicial authority of the country although they report such trivial matters as funeral procession of music (rag) taken out by the musicians and prohibition of the t‘azia procession following an altercation between two parties at Burhanpur. The decree in question does not also find a place in the published and unpublished collections of Aurangzeb’s edicts, nor Friedmann has given any reason for this omission in the meticulously recorded annals of the time. On the other hand, Friedmann brushes aside the voluminous evidence of intimate relationship between Aurangzeb and the descendents of the Mujaddid just by a casual remark that the whole affair is a matter of controversy.
The so-called decree issued by the qadi of India begins with the words, “It has reached this august and holy location that some passages in the Maktubat of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi are apparently opposed to the views of ahl-al-sunnah wal-jama’at.” Unlike his predecessors, Aurangzeb was widely read and an accurate scholar who kept up his love of books to his dying day. His extensive correspondence proves his mastery of Arabic and Persian literature, both secular and Sacred. His interest in mystical discipline and association with the saintly men of God of his time are facts too well-known to every historian ofthe Mughal period. It would, therfore, be unreasonable to suppose that Aurangzeb was not conversant with the writings of the Mujaddid which had been deliberated upon by a large number of scholars of India and the holy cities ever since they had been penned by the Mujaddid, nor did he care, to go through the book adversely reported to him despite his deep interest in all matters pertaining to religion. It is equally fallacious to suppose that Aurangzeb would have given orders to curb its contents just on hearsay reports. In fact, had any such report been received by Aurangzeb, the religious aspect of the matter could never have escaped his notice for there was hardly any one more competent than he to bring in a verdict on the falseness or otherwise of the contents of the Maktubat. In any case the order would have never been issued on the basis of reports reaching ‘his august and holy location’; it would have rather been his own judgement to curb the publication of the Maktubat throughout his kingdom than in Aurangabad only. After a similar incident of local nature already referred to earlier, Aurangzeb had issued orders to all the subas prohibiting the manufacture and taking out of the Tazia (of Imam Husain) instead of issuing a prohibitory order for Burhanpur only.
Even if we assume that the decree in question is authentic, its importance has evidently been overestimated to strain the truth. The primary business of a king, even if he were religious- minded like Aurangzeb, would be to see that the people did not fall into polemical wranglings and mental dissention. Thus, if any order was in fact given by Aurangzeb fot curbing the publication of intricate mystical thought contained in the Maktubat among the illiterate masses of Aurangabad, which had then be come a centre of anti-Mujaddid activities, it would have been of the nature of instructions by many a mystic guide upholding the doctrine of Wahdat ul-wujud but asking their disciples not to go through the works of Ibn ‘Arabi. In other words, even if this decree were accepted as authentic,- it would not be helpful in drawing the inference that Aurangzeb disagreed with the Mujaddid’s forceful pleadings for enforcing the shari’ah as the law of the land. For this was Aurangzeb’s accepted policy and his life-long endeavour as unmistakably demonstrated by the deliberate steps taken by him to nullify the religious eclecticism of Akbar, and the reaffirmation of the distinct and unique character of Islamic thought and conduct — all these were completely in accord with the teachings of Mujaddid and his virtuous descendants who were in close contact with him.
Be that as it may, the popular opposition stirred up by rivals of the Mujaddid after his death, in order to condemn and contradict the mystical thoughts contained in the Maktubat, died away in the first quarter of the twelfth century A.H. although it was initially supported by a number of scholars and jurists, The traces of these wranglings can now be seen only on the pages of historical writings, some of which are still unpublished, destined to be preserved in the archives. On the other hand a number of cloisters of Mujaddidyah order were set up by that time from India to Turkistan. The scholars and mystics allied to the Mujaddid’s order propagated his thought and made the Arabic version of the Maktubat available to the Arab world. Shaikh Muhammad Mutad al-Makki Qazzani acquainted the Turk and Arab scholars with the mystical thought of the Mujaddid by writing the Zail ur-Rushahat. The Arabic translation of the Maktubat was made available under the title of Ad-Darr al- Maknunat al-Nafisi. Shaikh Muhammad Nur-ud-din Uzbeki wrote the ‘Atiyat al-Wuhhab al-Fasilah bayrta ul-Khata wa as- Sawab. The book was popularly received in the Arab countries and Turkey and it helped to clear the mist of misunderstanding about the Mujaddid. The response to these concerted efforts is adequately demonstrated by the complimentary remarks of a renowned scholar Shihab-ud-din Mahmud Alusi al-Baghdadi (d. 1270/1854) about Shaikh Ahmad in his Ruh-ul-Ma’ani in which he has profusely quoted from the Maktubat. By that time the flutter of opposition to Shaikh Ahmad among the circle of scholars had completely passed away.
“As for the foam, it passeth away as scum upon the banks, while as for that which is of use to mankind, it remaineth in the earth. Thus Allah coineth the similitude.” [Qur’an]
The scholars who had played a leading role in the dis- pargement of Shaikh Ahmad in Hijaz were all Kurdis. Shaikh Ibrahim al-Kaurani was a Kurd and so was Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Rasul al-Barzanji who belonged to Shahrzor. Strange to say that Maulana Khalid, also of Shahrzor, was selected by God to propagate the mystic order of Shaikh Ahmad who succeeded in spreading it to Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan and Turkey in a way unprecedented in the history of mysticism.
Taken from: Saviours of Islamic Spirit