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Sharia, tariqah and haqiqah - Shaykh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi

Sharia, tariqah and haqiqah - speech by Shaykh Said Afandi al-Chirkawi ad-Daghestani

Everyone is aware of the history and background of our religion. Nonetheless the fact that no one could change a word or even a letter in the Qur’an for over than 1400 years proves the trueness of our religion saved in its original form. This is obvious for people who give thought. Knowing people are aware of how the Prophet (pbuh) spread Islam, what were his companions like, how much blood they shed.

Our state trampled on religion for 70 years. Thank Allah, He was so graceful to us. But we praise Him very little, we are not grateful enough. Allah says: “I will grant more to those who are grateful. And I will take away from those who do not thank!” [Ibrahim 14-7]

May Allah help us to praise Him, be grateful to Him!

This world, my brothers in faith, is like a field. We must plant seeds and cultivate land to gather the harvest in the next life. And this life is also like a person going into business; whatever he is selling – meat, fabrics or sunflower seeds – he must consider and estimate his business’ results. If someone is trading without thinking about his profits and losses, what are we going to call him?

Thus we must take into consideration the religious regulations and think our deeds over to decide if they are good or bad, are they beneficial or harmful to us, what we need to do to achieve our goal. And then we should choose the most suitable and the most beneficial option.

There are many disputes about Tariqa either. Some people repudiate it; others say it is the straight path. And the latter are divided into different movements. Tariqa is a way leading to Allah. People who want to make hajj can reach Mecca in different ways using planes, buses or going on foot. But they all have the same goal to reach Mecca. That is the sense of Tariqa. Its goal is to reach Allah, i.e. to advance on Allah’s way.

Tariqa is a way for a person who wants to advance on Allah’s way. The great ‘arifuns – people who are advanced on Allah’s way and who are much more intelligent than we – consider entering Tariqa path compulsory. Let us list some reasons why they think so and quote some of their sayings.

The base of Naqshbandi Tariqa, its content and its arguments are comprised of Sunni views – ahlu sunna wa al-jama’a. Imam Rabbani said: “Tariqa is essential to make Shariah perfect.” Abu Ali Daqaq says: “A tree that was not planted by anyone and is grown on its own does not bear fruits, and if it does, then these fruits are tasteless.”

Parents are the reason a child is born. Similarly Allah attributed everything to a reason. Spiritual heritage cannot exist without spiritual leaders same way as there would be no next generation if there were no parents. al-Risala al-Makkiya says that if a person has no spiritual teacher, then his spiritual teacher (shaykh) is shaytan.  This does not mean you are not permitted to worship if you have no teacher. You are, but you will not benefit much, because shaytan runs over your body just like blood circulates within the body through blood vessels.

Led by shaytan a person unconsciously starts thinking highly of himself (‘ujbu), showing off (riya), becomes vain (kibru). All these ruin his worships. A way to protect yourself from this is to enter Tariqa, to put yourself under shaykh’s care.

Bookal-Hadiqat un-nadiyat says that learning of secret knowledge (‘ilmu batin) is a duty for everyone (al-farz ul-‘ain) except for the people whom Allah granted a sound heart and soul.

If anyone asks about secret knowledge, then say that it is a science warning a person against faults and it is a science of avoiding them. And this science tells about the ways of people who keep themselves away from these faults.

All of the greatest ulama consider learning of secret knowledge a duty for every person. And there are very few people whom Allah granted a sound heart and put to the straight path. Kunta-haji can be given as example.

Knowing obvious knowledge is not enough to master the innermost science. Ulama of all madhabs confirm this:

the Hanafi madhab ulama like Ibnu Hammam, Shabali, Sharnabali, Khayrudin Ramali Hashimi;

the Shafi’i madhab ulama like `Izzuddin ibn `Abd us-Salam who was called the king of ulama, imam al-Ghazali, Tajuddin Subuki, Suyuti, shaykh ul-Islam Zakarya al-Ansari, Ibn Hajjar al-Haytami al-Makkiy;

the Maliki madhab ulama like Abu al-Hasan Shazali, Abul Abbas al-Mursi, Ibn Ataillah al-Iskandari, Ibn Abi Hamzat, Nasiruddin Ahmad Zarruq;

the Hanbali madhab ulama like `Abdul Qadir Geylani, shaykh ul-Islam Abdulla al-Ansari, Ibn Majjar al-Futuhi, etc.

All of them say learning obvious Shariah knowledge is not sufficient and learning of secret knowledgeis essential. Great ulama like Abul Hasan Shazali, imamu Rabbani, Abdul Qadir Geylani,who followed imams of the four madhabs, studied Tariqa after they accomplished their knowledge in Shariah sciences. They insisted that being familiar with obvious knowledge is not enough as well.

Imam Sha’rani affirms that all the scholars who are advanced on Allah’s way have this common stand that it is compulsory for every person to have a spiritual teacher. Shaykh will help to get rid of qualities that interfere with getting closer to Allah, i.e. getting to know Him. If anyone asks why it was essential, then here is the answer – means, without which the obligatory is not performed - are obligatory as well. For instance, you need a pen or a pencil to take notes on a paper, because you cannot write without a pen. If there was any possibility to write without a pen (with a finger, e.g.), then we would not say that a pen was necessary. This is the way following Tariqa path, having a spiritual teacher is compulsory. It is impossible to perfectly accomplish Shariah without following Tariqa. That is why they say having Shaykh as a spiritual teacher is vital. People deal with Tariqa to improve their Shariah, to fully perform their duties. That is the goal of Tariqa.

Some ayahs and hadiths tell to purify hearts from vile things like self-conceit, showing off, strong attachments to worldly matters, envy, hypocrisy, thus proving the obligatoriness of getting rid of these qualities. According to Qur’an and hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) it is obligatory to get rid of these vile qualities that are situated in hearts. This is what great ulama say and give reasoned arguments. Who does not do this, i.e. does not have a shaykh, a spiritual teacher who helps to fight against bad qualities, does not obey Allah and His Messenger (pbuh), because lack of vices is a quality of the Prophet (pbuh). A person cannot be cured of these illnesses unless he turns to a shaykh. A person who has learnt by heart thousands of books on theological law, but has not entered Tariqa is like a person who has read lots of books on medicine, but has learnt nothing. Listening to him you would imagine him to be a great scholar, but if anyone asks him to cure a disease, then it will turn out that he is ignorant in practice.

We have mentioned above great ulama like imam al-Gazali, Ramali, Ibn Hajjar, Abdul Qadir Geylani. You have certainly heard of them and, you know, they have followed the four madhabs and they needed them. But nowadays we see some people who consider madhabs unnecessary for themselves.

Sha’rani says: “Oh my brother in faith, find yourself a spiritual teacher, who will lead you to cleansing of vices, and accept my precepts. Stay away from those who say that the Prophet (pbuh) have not mentioned and Allah said nothing about Tariqa in the Qur’an and from the people who say that Tariqa has nothing to do with them [Allah and the Prophet (pbuh)], because these kind of allegations indicate lack of faith (kufr). As we said, Tariqa is a way to purify hearts from vices. Purity of heart and soul - is a quality of the Prophet (pbuh). And we try to become like our Prophet (pbuh). Denial and rejectionofthisiscertainlyconsideredkufr”.

The same book quotes Sha’rani’s narration that Prophet (pbuh) still in pre-eternity (al-azal) ordered us not to be deceived by our knowledge that teaches us the way we should behave. This means we should not deceive ourselves by learning. When we learn something, we should act according to our knowledge. And if we do not, then we are deceived by learning that knowledge. Our Prophet (pbuh) warned us against this kind of self-deception.

Then Sha’rani cites a quotation from sayings of Zakariya al-Ansari who compared an Islamic law expert (faqih) that never met Sufis to a stale bread. Great alim Ali al-Khawas, similar to other great ulama mentioned here said that anyone who is in search of knowledge could attain perfection only after he met a Tariqa Shaykh. Shaykh Najmuddin al-Kubra compared Shariah to a ship, Tariqa to a sea and the truth (haqiqa) to a pearl that is at the sea bed. If anybody wants to get the pearl, then he must go on board and put to sea, where he can finally get it. And there is no other way to pick up that pearl.

Shariah laws include deeds like major ablution and minor ablution, fasting, praying etc. Salah, fasting and zakat are the pillars of Islam and void of them there is no Tariqa. First of all you must perform them and after that Tariqa. If a person does not enter Tariqa, he is like someone who went on board of a ship, but did not put to sea. How can he get the pearl from the sea bed if he does not sail on sea? And if he does not use a ship, then he will probably drown! Thereby when somebody wants to get a pearl, he must go on board and sail on sea. He must do both of these to find a pearl. If he does not do one of them, he will not get the pearl, i.e. will not discern the truth (haqiqa).

Tariqa and Shariah are like belly and back or like ship and sea. They cannot exist without each other and there is no use of them apart. Tariqa is a way of fearing God and rising to higher levels (maqam). For instance, a person heading to Mecca travels long distances, crosses borders of different states and visits different countries. Tariqa is a path like this. And the truth (haqiqa) is achieving a goal you were heading to through all the distances, borders, states etc. I.e. Tariqa is a path and haqiqa is a destination (in our case the destination is Mecca). And mushahada is observing Allah’s light (nur), it is related to secret knowledge (‘ilm ul-batyn).

The Salah consists of khidmah (serving), qurbah (closeness) and wuslah (achieving). Serving (khidmah) is related to Shariah, praying person is serving Allah. Closeness (qurbah) is related to Tariqa. Achieving (wuslah) is related to haqiqa. All of the above must be present in Salah. Let me explain what I mean. Shariah is a way to serve Allah; a praying person is worshiping Allah physically. Tariqa is thoughts about Allah, i.e. a person must remember the Almighty while praying. Haqiqa is getting closer to Allah. If you do not have the latter two [Tariqa and Haqiqa], then your worshiping is just technical, it does not involve your soul.

The Prophet [pbuh] said: "Sharia is narration of words, tariqa is an implementation of what is told, and ma`rifah is what you aspire, the goal which you want to reach". So, in Sharia ablution is done by water, if there is no water, use the soil; in tariqa ablution is suppression of the passions and desires; and in haqiqah ablution is emptying of heart from everything except the Supreme Allah. It is obvious that in absence of tariqa and haqiqah a prayer is reduced to an external [physical] form only.

The pillars of Salah are just like bodyparts. You cannot survive without them. For instance, if you cut out someone’s heart, kidneys, head, then this person will die. So are the pillars of Salah – if you lose one of them, then your Salah will not be accepted. There are some other parts of Salah that are not as important as pillars, but you get less reward if you do not perform them.

What is the use of a soulless body even though it is a full-grown body with all the organs? This is what a Tariqa-less and Haqiqa-less Salah (and other forms of worshiping) like. Remembrance of Allah is the soul of Salah. No matter how gorgeous and large a body is, it would be useless if it were soulless. And Salah is useless if there is no remembrance of Allah. The more you remember Allah during your Salah, the higher is the reward.

We have already mentioned a man running a business and that he must care about his incomes and losses. Same way a praying person must not just technically perform Salah. According to Shariah laws he will not be punished if he prays, i.e. he will avoid punishment, but neither will he get a reward. But the more this person remembers Allah during his Salah, the higher is the reward he gets.

Very often people do not realize how important are some things that they have only heard about. That is why there are always some people who do not accept Tariqa. Before `Izuddin ibn `Abd as-Salam met Abu al-Hasan Shazali he used to say: “Is there any knowledge that is more exalted and brings closer to Allah than Fiqh (theological law)?” But after he met Abu al-Hasan Shazali, he entered Tariqa path and admitted that Tariqa people are following the straight path and adhere to the bases of Shariah. Karamats (miracles) of Sufis’ could be cited in support of this argumentation. Faqih ulama do not reach that level, no matter how hard they work on it. Izuddin ibn `Abd as-Salam had only admitted advantages of Tariqa after meeting Abu al-Hasan Shazali, but he had rejected it until then. Imam Ahmad used to say to his son Abdullah: “Oh my son, beware of people who call themselves Sufis. They are ignorant and they do not know any religious canons”. But after Imam Ahmad met Abu al-Hamzat from Baghdad he said to his son: “Oh my son, stay close to Sufis, because they have deeper knowledge of religion and better in trying to know and serving Allah than us.”

In the same book Sha’rani writes that imam Shafi’i used to meet Sufis often and said that it is essential for Islamic law experts to associate with Tariqa people, because Sufis can give some secret knowledge to them. That is why imam Shafi’i often turned to Tariqa people.

Sha’rani writes: “You cannot say that Tariqa has no grounds just because great ulama have not mentioned it in their books. As well as you cannot say that there is no need to get rid of vices, vanity and showing off, because these are not mentioned in the books of great imams, Prophet’s Companions (pbuh) and their followers.” They did not write it, because these vices showed up later. At the times of these ulama there were none of these vices, and if there were, imams would have mentioned them and the ways to get rid of them.

The arguments given above make it clear that we must find ourselves an Ustaz (a mentor) who will help to deal with these vices. If there is no Ustaz in your town, you should look for him in your region. If you find no one, you should start on a journey to find a spiritual teacher. It is said that you may spent your Hajj-money on this trip, because finding a person who will put you on the right path is essential.

Spiritual diseases that a person cannot cure on his own appeared at the end of third and the beginning of fourth century of Hijra. There were none at the times of the Prophet (pbuh) and in the second and third century of Hijra. Sermons impressed pure Muslim hearts the very first time they were preached, because these hearts were ready for them. The diseases we have mentioned appeared after Prophet’s companions (pbuh) and their contemporaries Tabi’ins. That was the end of third and the beginning of fourth century of Hijra. AndTariqapeople had to cure these diseases.

Actually no smart person would say that there was no Tariqa, because Tariqa exists as long as Islam exists. Let us give the one argument that will be enough to prove this. Everyone knows that Allah sent the Prophet (pbuh) the Qur’an through angel Jibril (pbuh) while the Almighty could actually suggest him the Qur’an directly and there would be no need for angels. All the prophets got divine revelations through Jibril (pbuh). Could Allah give them the Holy Scripts and other knowledge without intermediaries? Of course, He could. But all the creatures have their predestination. For instance, angel Azrael (pbuh) takes away souls, angel Jibril (pbuh) gives divine revelations. So are other angels, they perform the things they are created for. Actually Allah does all these through His angels.

Imam Shafi’i and Imam Ahmad used to visit gatherings of Tariqa people and made zikr with them. Imams answered questions of ordinary people who asked for the reason why would such great ulama attend zikr gathering, that Sufis are masters, i.e. they know the religion – Islam – better. Religion means here love to the Almighty, knowing Allah and piety. Think about it. This is what Imams and their followers like Abdul Qadir Geylani, Abu al-Hasan Shazali say about Tariqa. So how smart are people who do not accept Tariqa?

The majority is not aware of lives and miracles of pious people, because our people did not get enough information about Islam for 70 years long. Nowadays the situation is different, but because of heresy spread by Wahhabis people still do not know the essence of Islam. Let me tell you what the persons who strengthened Islam were like. Shamsuddin al-Hanafi said: “Allah showed me the levels of Abdul Qadir Geylani and Abu al-Hasan Shazali. I realized that Abu al-Hasan Shazali was higher than Abdul Qadir Geylani. And if you wonder why, then here is the answer. Someone asked Abdul Qadir Geylani who his Shaykh was. And he answered: “Previously Muhammad Dabasi was my Ustaz. But now there are two sources that slake my thirst. These are the Prophet (pbuh) and Ali Ashab [ra].” Abu al-Hasan Shazali answered the same question like this: “Previously Abd as-Salam bin Mashish was my Ustaz. But now there are ten sources that slake my divine thirst. Five of them are in heaven and five of them are on earth. Jibril, Mikail, Israfil, Azrail and Ruh are the ones in heaven. These are the greatest angels and they teach me and slake my divine thirst. Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, may Allah be pleased with them, and the Prophet (pbuh) are the ones on earth. You see, these are the ten sources in heaven and earth that slake my divine thirst.”

Abu al-‘Abbas al-Mursi was a ma’zun, an apprentice and a successor of Abu al-Hasan Shazali. He told that once he saw Abu Madyan in heaven holding a column of al-`Arsh and asked him about his knowledge and his level. Abu Madyan answered: “I have learnt 71 branches of knowledge and have reached the level of the fourth Caliph (Ali Ashab [ra]) and the stage of the head of seven `Abdal.” Abu al-‘Abbas asked: “What can you say about Shaykh Shazali?” And Abu Madyan answered: “He has learned 41 branches of knowledge more than I have. He is like a sea of knowledge that we cannot cover.” Are these people and the things they say a lie that is unacceptable for Wahhabis?!

Abu al-‘Abbas al-Mursi says: “My Ustaz Abu al-Hasan Shazali once said: “If you need Allah’s help, then ask Him through me.” Abu al-‘Abbas swears that anytime he was in need of something he asked Allah through the Ustaz. And there was not a single time when his supplication was rejected, every time he got his relief. And he advises to ask Allah for anything through Abu al-Hasan Shazali, may Allah bless his soul.

Abdullah Shatibi, who was a contemporary of Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Shazali, says: “I worked hard every day seeking Abu al-Hasan’s pleasure. And I used to address my supplications to Allah through my Ustaz. Allah always responded to my supplications and solved my problems. Once I have dreamt of the Prophet (pbuh) and I said him: “Oh Messenger of Allah, every evening I pray for you and try to please Abu al-Hasan, may Allah bless his soul. What do you say?” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Abu al-Hasan Shazali is my son both physically and spiritually (This means, the Prophet (pbuh) is his spiritual father, because Abu al-Hasan was following Tariqa path. And they are also in a blood relationship, because Abu al-Hasan is a descendant of Fatima, may Allah be pleased with her, Prophet’s daughter). The son is a part of his father, and if anyone holds on to a part, he holds on to the whole. For example, if you hold on to my finger, this means you hold on to me.”

Abu al-Hasan Shazali said: “I saw the Prophet (pbuh) and asked him what the true follower should be like. And the Prophet (pbuh) answered: “The true follower must observe the One, whom he is following. He must observe Allah every time and everywhere.” If you think of what Sufi people say, then you will understand that their goal is to cure spiritual diseases of human hearts, to turn to Allah and to always remember Him. These are the desires and goals of these people.

And people who do not understand this, worship Allah just physically. It is like they only perform a part of the prayer. Al-Risalat al-Qushairiya says: “Love for Allah is like a fire which burns to ashes all the bad qualities that Allah does not like.” Performing zikr is a way to gain love for Allah. And to perform zikr you need Tariqa. The Almighty said to the prophet Isa (pbuh): “I look into the heart of my slave. If I do not find there any love for worldly and eternal things, then I fill it with love for Me.” For example, we can read in books about rewards people would get if they do good deeds, pray and read Qur’an. If anyone worships Allah just for a reward, then he is like someone working just for payment. If a worker is paid, then he works. If he is not paid, then he does not work. Worshipping for reward is just like this. To get rid of love for worldly and eternal goods a person needs Tariqa. A person can make it only after he enters Tariqa and gets rid of the diseases hidden in his heart. Otherwise you would only get rid of love for worldly goods, but love for the Eternity will remain in your heart.

The true goal of a person who had entered Tariqa is to get to know Allah better and to obtain His pleasure – ilahi anta maqsudi wa rizaka matlubi. The meaning is “My Lord! (Ilahi) My only goal is to know You, not to enter Heaven or save myself from Hell fire, but just to know You (anta maqsudi). And all I am seeking is Your pleasure and nothing else (wa rizaka matlubi)”.

A person can achieve this level of spirituality only after he enters Tariqa. That is the reason these great people who got to know Allah better admonish us. A person loving Allah is like a flying bird. And a person worshipping hard is like someone going on foot. And there is a huge difference between a flying bird and a person going on foot! The power (maqam) of love is very strong.

Ja'far al-Sadiq says: “Awliya[1] are never under the delusion of the fact that Allah answers their supplications, even if it is through a miracle (karamat[2]). They beware of things like walking on water, shortening of distances and flying in the air, because Allah sometimes answers the supplications of unbelievers either. The Satan, which is walking around the earth, can shorten distances; Dajjal is capable of this as well. Birds can fly in the sky, as well as any creature that has wings. Fishswiminwater. Allah granted these abilities to animals, that is why Awliya do not pay attention to them.”

Usually people consider to be pious only those who are granted karamats. But what I try to make clear is that karamats are not an indicator of piousness. There can be a karamat or there can be none. There is no real difference between people having and not having one. On the contrary, some books say that karamat-less people are more worthy. The only necessary condition for anyone to be pious is to have good behavior and to follow Shariah (istiqamat).

No religious books contain any evidence of the fact that Allah rewards people for flying or walking on water. Tariqa people say this neither. It is said that certain deeds are to be rewarded. But karamats are like candies that adults give to children to calm them down. I do not repudiate karamats, because Allah sometimes advances a person with the help of karamat. Butdangerinheresinitaswell. If Allah gives a person gifts like ability to fly or walk on water, then this person can be simply deceived by this. Anyways a person is a weak creature and he can make mistakes. That is why it is better not to be given karamats.

Muhammad Naqshbandi, may Allah bless his soul, said: “Allah created me and wanted me to reject all the worldly goods. But people want me to serve these goods.” And he said: “Awliya absorb people’s energy to help them improve themselves and thus to get to know Allah better.” There is no pious person (wali) whose heart Allah does not look into every day. Muhammad Naqshbandi says that if anyone takes a look at a wali whose heart is mercifully watched by Allah, then he gets divine grace. How can this be not true?!

And it is said that Allah looks at a wali’s heart 70 times. Some alim asked Muhammad Bukhari, may Allah bless his soul: “How can anyone not distract from Allah during Salah?” And he answered: “To achieve this state a person must eat halal and remember Allah beyond prayers, while making ablution and expressing the intention (niyat) to pray.” These things are mentioned to make us think about Allah more often and to make us improve ourselves. That is the goal of pious persons.

Muhammad al-Bukhari, may Allah bless his soul, says: “Prayers, fasts and self-cultivation are the ways to get closer to Allah. Butself-knowledge(nafiwujud) istheshortestone.”

Nafyi wujudis an essential spiritual stage. An important part of it is paying less attention to yourself, i.e. to see your deeds small, insignificant.

Once a Murid asked his Ustaz: “When will I reach your level?” And the Ustaz answered: “That is going to happen right after you recognize me in the most low-level Murid of mine.” Sufis do not consider anyone a person he who does not put himself lower than a pharaoh. A diligent worshipping is an obligation, but it cannot be realized unless a person gets rid of his carnal desires. A person can reach the level of nafi wujud just after he realizes that he has nothing to do with his good deeds. The most close to Allah are the people who could get rid of their self-conceit, who are not deceived by their services and do not follow carnal desires. Nowadays there are some ulama that consider themselves to be the most clever and judge others.

Once someone asked Muhammad Naqshbandi, may Allah bless his soul, to show a karamat. And Ustaz answered: “Allah allows us to live on earth with all the sins we commit. That is a karamat. Can anyone name any other karamat that would be greater than this one?” Think about it, he did not just say words; he spoke from his heart, because he did not consider himself a pious person.

Imam Rabbani, mujaddid alf thani, may Allah bless his soul, is a descendant of Umar, may Allah be pleased with him. He was born in 971. Ibn Abd al-Ahad and other great ulama of that time were his teachers. He entered three Tariqas – Qadiri Tariqa, Suhrawardi Tariqa and Chishti Tariqa. He became Ma’zun of these Tariqas, when he was 17. Even though he had good knowledge of these three Tariqas, he kept dreaming of Naqshbandi Tariqa, because he had heard a lot about its superiority from ulama. And one day he met Shaykh Muhammad Baqi, may Allah bless his soul, and thank him entered Naqshbandi Tariqa.

People call Imam Rabbani an eminent person (qutbu). And no wonder, the word of him had come right from the Prophet (pbuh). The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “There will be a person in my Ummah who people will call sillet. And he will patronize many people.” Imam Rabbani, may Allah bless his soul, confirms these words of the Prophet (pbuh). Once he was preaching a sermon and he said: “All the praises to Allah, who made me a sillet.” One of the best Ma’zuns of Muhammad Baqi, may Allah bless his soul, Izamuddin said: “Once I dreamt of the Prophet (pbuh). He was sitting on minbar and preaching. And he said: “I am very happy, that there is a person like Ahmad Faruq (Imam Rabbani) in my community. Allah created him to renew my religion.” The great people were happy to foretell that there will be such a person like Imam Rabbani. One of them – Ahmad Jami said: “There will come 17 great Tariqa persons named Ahmad after me. Actually there will be many people, but only 17 of them will be called Ahmad. The last Ahmad will come at the end of the millennium. And will be the most eminent one.” And that is Imam Rabbani, may Allah bless his soul. Is this also a lie?! Certainly, Wahhabis are never going to accept this.

Imam Rabbani, may Allah bless his soul, said: “The Prophet (pbuh) made me happy to hear that I was a Mujtahid. This means I have a right to pass judgment on the matters concerning fikr and fiqh and that I will patronize a thousand people on the Day of Judgment.” This is what Imam Rabbani said. Is this also not true? And then he said: “The Prophet himself (pbuh) wrote me ijazah[3] and said that he had never done that before.” Ahmad Faruq was the first person authorized by the Prophet himself (pbuh).

As it was already mentioned above, he is a descendant of Prophet’s companion (pbuh) Umar, may Allah be pleased with him. It turns out that once Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, saw an image of Imam Rabbani and asked: “I guess, this boy is the one.” Imam Rabbani said: “Allah showed me the list of names of all people who will be in my Tariqa-chain.” And he also said: “Allah granted me the power to guide others to the straight path. And if I do Tawajjuh[4] to a dead tree, then it will turn green.” However opponents of Tariqa will consider this a lie.

Imam Rabbani said: “My Tariqa will exist - thank my spiritual successors - until the Day of Judgement. And Imam Mahdi will enter this Tariqa.” And he also said: “Naqshbandi Tariqa is just like pure gold.” (That means it is as worthy as this jewel) This is the way of those who follow the Prophet (pbuh). Participation in Tariqa purifies souls the same way as Shariah cleanses physical appearances.

I guess you know that imam al-Ghazali followed Shafi’i madhab, Yusuf al-Hamadani followed Abu Hanifa madhab, Abdul Qadir Geylani followed the madhab of Imam Ahmad, Abu al-Hasan Shazali followed Maliki madhab, Muhammad al-Bukhari followed Imam Abu Hanifa, Khalid Shah followed Imam Shafi’i and imam Rabbani followed Imam Abu Hanifa. Just think about this – Imam al-Ghazali, Yusuf al-Hamadani, Abdul Qadir Geylani, Abu al-Hasan Shazali, Muhammad Naqshbandi, Khalid Shah and Imam Rabbani followed mazhabs and needed them. And nowadays there are some know-it-all that do not need any of these. May Allah keep us away from this kind of people!

Many people ask: “The ones who reject Tariqa read books either. Why do not they realize this? [importance of tariqa]” Allah created both the deed and the person do this deed. Everyone performs the things he is created for. We cannot make a person follow the right path, if Allah does not want this to happen. Ka’b al-Ahbar, who was a great Alim and a companion of the Prophet (pbuh), said that Iblis (Satan) used to be the curator of the heavenly treasure for 40,000 years, lived among angels for 80,000 years, preached to angels for 20,000 years, was the head of cherubim for 30,000 years and of rawhanis for 1,000 years and circumambulated al-‘Arsh for 14,000 years. In the first heaven his name was ‘Abid (the worshipper), in the second one Zahid (the ascetic), in the third one ‘Arif (the knower), in the fourth one Waliy (the sacred one), in the fifth Taqiy (the god-fearing one), in the sixth one Khazin (the custodian), in the seventh one Azil. His name in Lahf al-Mahfuz was written as Iblis. The Satan spent so many years being so high and had no idea what would his ending be like. What was wrong with him, why was he deluded? His arrogance and haughtiness became the reason.

Let me give an example to make the meaning of Tariqa clear. Let us assume that I was told to prepare a winter supply of walnuts and fruits. And then I started to collect nuts. People say there was a man living in west-Dagestan, who tasted a green husk - bitter skin of a fresh walnut and threw away the whole walnut, saying that if this was a good fruit, then it would not have such a big stone. This is what ignorance leads to. But I collected every walnut, no matter if it had or did not have skin. And then my Ustaz said to me: “What you collected is no walnuts.” - What is it then? “Walnuts are not collected like this.” - What way should anyone collect them then? “You must peel off the green husk.” Then I peeled off the skin. This was right. But Ustaz said: “What you prepared is no walnuts.” - What is the matter? “You must sort them, because there are some bad ones among them”. And he taught me how to sort them. I was very happy that I learned how to. But then Ustaz said: “This is not what you need. You must crack them, because nuts are inside. And what you see is just their shells.” - How do I crack them? My teacher showed me how to and I found kernels of walnuts inside. Theteacherwasright. But Ustaz said: “What you see is not the nut itself. To see it you need to peel of the thin layer it is covered with.” And after I peeled off that layer my Ustaz said: “So these are the nuts. But you still do not know the way they taste. You need to take a bite of them to learn the taste.” I followed his directions and tasted them. Now I know what a walnut is. So if I collected walnuts the way I was taught to and you collected everything, what would be the difference between our supplies? Whose winter supply would be better if you had a small bag of unsorted nuts and I had three handfuls of sorted ones?

Thus we can realize that there are essential distinctions between self-taught and Ustaz-taught worshipping. And that is natural, because the world is like a field which we cultivate for the sake of the next life. We plant the seeds in spring time and see the result in autumn while harvesting. We are going to find out the result just after we arrive there.

Let us imagine that someone is building a house on an illegally occupied land, and he is using stolen building materials for it and has no appropriate documentation. And imagine that there is another person who has built a house on his own land using building materials he has bought. Some stranger will see no difference between these two houses, because lands and materials are very similar. At first sight no difference can be seen. But if one day board of survey comes to check the houses, then it will see that the second house is built within the bounds of the law and its owner will be safe. And it will also find out that the land where the first house is built is misappropriated and the materials have no documentation. This is the point, the differences between these two houses will become apparent, isn’t it? In akhirah – the next life – the difference between worships of different people will become apparent. May Allah help us all!

A British spy Hempher wrote a book about Muhammad bin Abd ul-Wahhab. The enemies of the Ottoman Empire were aware of the fact that they had no enough power to destroy it physically. Unbelievers knew that Islam is an enormous power and they thought of ways to destroy it. They trained a great number of spies – including women – and put them into Arab community. That is how Wahhabism was founded. Apparently Hempher who wrote the book based on the documents was one of the best spies. He tells all the details and describes the events with high accuracy. I made an abstract of this book and wrote down some quotes. After Hempher got down to business, he started looking for an appropriate native to help him. He writes: “I noticed that Abd ul-Wahhab has nothing against Shiism. He hated the Ottoman Empire; that is why he did not suppose Persians as enemies. Also he liked commenting on Qur’an and Hadiths according to his own conclusions and he spoke ill of Shaykhs of his times and imams of the existing four mazhabs. And besides he spoke ill of Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with them. He completely ignored the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa, used bad language while speaking about Imam and considered himself more competent.

Everyone is familiar with the Sahih al-Bukhari book. Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab insisted that half of this book is false. And then the spy says: “I studied him for a long time and tested him and once I said that is was not obligatory to pray. He asked why and I answered that Allah says in Qur’an: “You pray to remember Me”. So this means you may just remember Allah instead of praying. Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab agreed with this and said that he had heard some alim saying that it was enough just to remember Allah during Salah and praying is not obligatory then”. Certainly, Hempher was very happy to see his response and continued working over Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab’s beliefs till he was sure that Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab was much under these delusions. After that Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab had not paid the proper attention to Salah. He prayed sometimes and sometimes he did not. The majority of the morning prayers he did not perform at all.

The spy says: “Once I convinced him that I dreamed of the Prophet (pbuh) sitting on a minbar surrounded by people. I told Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab that he entered the mosque and the Prophet (pbuh) saw him and his shiny face. Then, I said, the Prophet (pbuh) raised himself and started praising him, then Prophet (pbuh) kissed his forehead and said: “Oh Muhammad, you are named after me and you inherited my knowledge. You are my deputy and support of the religion and the peace.” And I said Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab’s answer was: “Oh Messenger of Allah, I am afraid to share my knowledge with people!” Prophet(pbuh) said: “Fearnot! Surely, youwillhavetheupperhand.” (These are the words Allah said to prophet Moses (pbuh), who was going to see pharaoh). When Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab heard this story from me, his heart filled with joy. Afterwards he asked me again and again if I really dreamed of this and I assured him that I did. I guess this made Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab finally decide to fulfill his mission. That was the time I obtained an order from London that I must leave for Karbil…

The whole story and its sequel can be found in Confessions of a British Spy. If anyone is interested, then he can read it. So the British founded Wahhabi movement by deceiving and controlling Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab.

The latter Mufti of Mecca and Shafi’i mazhab alim Ahmad ibn Zayni Dahlan wrote in Durar us-Saniyat that Muhammad bin Abd ul-Wahhab would preach sermons in Dar’iyat mosque and every sermon he would mention that anyone asking Allah for something through the Prophet (pbuh) is a kafir (we have mentioned above a supplication through Abu al-Hasan Shazali.)

Muhammad ibn Abd ul-Wahhab had a brother whose name was Sulayman. Sulayman was an alim and opposed his brother’s delusions not accepting them and not following Muhammad. Once Sulayman asked him how many pillars Islam had. Muhammad answered: “There are five pillars.” Then Sulayman said: “You brought in the sixth one. You accuse of disbelief anyone who does not follow you.

Some Muslim asked ibn Abd ul-Wahhab: “How many people are freed by the Almighty from Hell fire every night of Ramadan?” And he answered that every night of the holy month 100,000 people are released from Hell fire and the last night as many people are released as many were released during the whole Ramadan. And the Muslim said: “The number of people following you do not make even the tenth of the people freed from Hell fire in Ramadan. So who are the other forgiven Muslims whom you accuse of disbelief because they do not follow you?” There was nothing for Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab to answer!

Another Muslim coming from a large clan - whom Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab could not harm - asked him: “If an honest person who you trust says that there were people behind a mountain who want to attack and kill you, but thousand horsemen you send find out that there is no one, who would you believe? Would you believe thousand horsemen who went to the place or would you believe a man who told you about the enemies?” Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab answered he would believe the horsemen. And then the Muslim said: “I believe all the ulama dead and alive, but I do not believe you, because they all disprove you and your teachings.”

Some other Muslim asked Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab if his teachings were coming right from the Prophet (pbuh) through a chain of spiritual teachers. And he answered: “My teachers and teachers of my teachers who lived after 600 were mushrikin (heathens).” “Then your religious teachings have nothing to do with the Prophet (pbuh). Where did you get them from if you had no teachers?” And he answered: “I got them from inspiration and imagination. Just like Khidr did.

Ibn Abd ul-Wahab forbade reading salawats for sake of the Prophet (pbuh), including Thursday nights. He forbade reading books of the ulama who came before him. He burned great number of Islamic law volumes, Hadith collections and Qur’an tafsirs (commentaries). He allowed using one's own discretion when commenting on the Qur’an (irrespective of appropriate knowledge). Sometimes he said that there is no need of the four madhabs at all, but sometimes he accepted them to excuse himself.

He was born in 1111 and died in 1206. It was 1143 when he started propagating his teachings in Najd. These teachings became wide-spread in the 1150s. It is obvious, that he even aspired to the position of a prophet. At the beginning of his activities Ibn Abd ul-Wahhab read books about pseudo-prophets like Musailamat al-Kazzab, Sajjah, Aswad, Tulayhat and others. If he had a chance to announce himself a prophet, there is no doubt that he would’ve done that. He said to people: “I brought you a new religion”. Is not this a claim on prophecy? If you look at his sayings and deeds you will see his propensity for pseudo-prophecy. Ulama of all the madhabs paid great attention to issuing books that dispelled and opposed his teachings. Since the Prophet (pbuh) said: “If ulama say nothing when a bad innovation is introduced, they are cursed by Allah, by His angels and by all the people.”

Anyways no one will step aside from the actions Allah has predestined. We speak much about Wahhabis, but considering that a person will never give up the things he is created for, the goal of our conversations on this topic is to create awareness and prevent ordinary people from following them and making them able to warn others. And the Wahhabiyah will continue doing what they do, because Allah created them for that. May Allah help us all!

[1]Awliya (pl. for wali) are people who are under the protection of Allah, who are close to Allah; Sufis, who have a good knowledge of Allah.

[2]Karamat is a miracle Allah grants to His slave – for instance, like a person having supernatural powers – either to exalt or to test a person.

[3]Ijazah is an authorization which indicates that one has been authorized by a higher authority to teach others on the Tariqa path.

[4]Tawajjuh means orientation and refers to the turning of one's heart to Allah the Almighty.