It has been stated (by authorized scholars) that scientific study of stars, namely astronomy, is serviceable in the determination of prayer times. In other words, astronomy (al ’ilm-i-nujûm) is one of the branches of science contributory to the calculation of prayer times. However, this definiton should not be misconstrued as, “Prayer times cannot be determined without the knowledge of astronomy.” There is many a person who is unaware of astronomy and yet who knows prayer times better than those who have studied astronomy. The same applies to the other branches of science such as logic, mathematics and other subjects taught in high schools; if they are employed in modes enjoined by Islam, and, for instance, if al ’ilm-i-kelâm is utilized in proving the fact that Islam is the sole guide to felicity and civilization, they are permissible, [and they will even cause plenty of thawâb.]
If busying yourself with occupations approved by Islam keeps you from performing your religious duties termed wâjib and fard (or farz), are these occupations still approved and permitted (mubâh)? Of course, not! We must be reasonable. Accordingly, dealing with high school subjects before having learned Islam, îmân, acts that are fard and those which are harâm will keep you from acquiring these essential learnings.
[It is stated as follows in the section dealing with knowledge of the book Kimyâ-i-sa’âdat: Every Believer should learn a précis of the tenets of the Sunnî belief (the belief of Ahl as-sunnat); this is fard. Next, he should learn two things. One of them is the knowledge concerning the heart, and the other is the knowledge on the physical level. The knowledge on the physical level has two sub-branches. One of them consists of the commandments to be observed, while the other one teaches the prohibitions that a Muslim has to avoid. The following sequence is dictated in learning the commandments: If a person converts into Islam during the morning hours, it becomes fard immediately after the arrival of noon time that he learn those acts that are fard to do during ablution and namâz. At the same time, it becomes sunnat for him to learn the acts that are sunnat (to do during ablution and namâz). When the time for evening prayer arrives, it becomes fard for him to learn that the (compulsory, or fard, section of) evening prayer consists of three rak’ats. When the blessed month of Ramadân arrives, it becomes fard for him to learn those tenets of fast that are fard. One year after he attains, (if he does), the nisâb (the border which Islam prescribes a Muslim must financially reach in order to become canonically rich), it becomes fard for him to learn (the Islamic commandment termed) zakât. Learning (the commandment termed) hajj becomes fard when he (fulfils the conditions that make hajj compulsory for him and therefore he) is about to set out for hajj. Thus, as the time for each religious duty comes, it becomes fard-i-’ayn for him to learn it. For instance, when he wants to get married, it becomes fard for him to learn the teachings pertaining to nikâh (marriage contract prescribed by Islam), conjugal duties and rights, and periods of ’udhr (menstruation) of women. If he is to engage in trade or arts, it becomes fard for him to learn the dos and don’ts of these occupations, and especially the subtle particulars of interest. If he intends to specialize in a particular branch of art, it is fard for him to major in that art and learn the up-to-date teachings concerning that art. (For instance, if he is to become a dentist, it is fard for him to first graduate from a high school and then from the dental school and then to undergo a period of initiation and, finally, to specialize. This rule applies to every branch of art, trade and agriculture. It is fard for everybody to study and learn his branch of art. It is not fard for him to learn other branches, (except, of course, those aspects of other branches overlapping his own area). In a warlike situation, it is fard-i-’ayn to learn military subjects such as weaponry, to learn science and technology only adequately enough to make up-to-date weapons and to defend your country, and it is fard-i-kifâya to specialize in them.)
So is the case with learning the acts that are harâm; different people have to learn different harâms, (depending on times, conditions, trends, etc.). For instance, in places, (countries, towns) where men wear garments made of silk, it is fard for those who live in these places to learn that wearing silk clothes is harâm for men, and those who know this have to teach it to those who do not. (Synthetic silk is not harâm for men, either.) In places where people consume alcoholic drinks and pork, violate others’ rights, engage in interest and practise bribery, it is fard for those who live in these places to learn that bribery is harâm. In places where women and men sit together, it is fard for those who live in such societies to learn mahram and nâ-mahram women and what women one is permitted to look at and what women are forbidden for one to look at. [Muslims who live in places where women and girls go out without properly covering themselves, (parts of their body which Islam commands them to cover), and where men expose their thighs, have to learn what parts of their bodies it is fard for them to cover. As it is sinful to expose these parts of the body or to look at the exposed parts of others’ bodies, it is an additional sin not to know this prohibition.]
It is fard-i-’ayn for every man and every woman to learn the knowledge concerning the heart, that is, al ’ilm-i-akhlâq. For example, it is fard-i-’ayn for every Believer to learn that it is harâm to foster malices such as hiqd, which means ‘to bear a grudge’, hasad, [which means the feeling you have when you wish that the qualities or possessions that someone else has belonged to you instead of others. If you wish that you could have the same qualities and possessions and do not mind others’ having them, too, it is not hasad; it is ghibta (envy, yearning), which may cause thawâb], kibr, [which means arrogance, conceit. It is not arrogance to assume an expression of arrogance towards an arrogant person. It causes the same thawâb as if you gave alms], sû’i zân, [i.e. having a bad opinion of someone who is good]. As it is seen, it is fard-i-’ayn to learn îmân, i.e. the tenets of Sunnî belief in summary and to learn the good and bad habits. And it is fard-i-kifâya to learn how to perform the namâz of janâza, the services to be done to a dead person, the technicalities and methods of arts and trade, (and science well enough to make and use modern weapons). In other words, these learnings are fard only for those who are involved in these activities; they are not fard for other people. However, if an adequate number of people do not learn them, all the other Muslims living in the same place, as well as the government, will become sinful. By the same token, it is fard for a person who intends to be a doctor to receive high school and medical education, but it is not fard for a would-be engineer to study medicine. Ibni ’Âbidîn ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’ makes the following remarks in his preface to the explanation of the book Durr-ul-mukhtâr: “It is fard-i-’ayn to learn as much as you need of the ’ulûm-i-naqliyya, i.e. religious knowledge. It is fard-i-kifâya to learn more and also necessary amount of ’ulûm-i-’aqliyya (scientific knowledge).” He states as follows within his discourse on the performance of qirâ’at during namâz: “It is fard-i-’ayn for every Muslim to memorize one âyat. It is wâjib to learn the (sûra called) Fâtiha plus three âyats, or a short sûra (instead of three âyats). It is fard-i-kifâya to memorize the entire Qur’ân al-kerîm. Learning fiqh more than you need is preferable to becoming a hâfiz (committing the entire Qur’ân to your memory).” He makes the following observation in the fifth volume: “Learning fiqh with the intention of teaching it to others produces more thawâb than doing it for the purpose of practising what you have learned.”]
My son! Haqq ta’âlâ, Who is so generous, so magnanimous, blessed you with the exceptionally great honour of making tawba and affiliating yourself to the sohbat of a devoted follower of the Islamic scholars. I wonder if you, under the incessant and combined temptations of your nafs and the devil, and beset among religiously ignorant and malicious friends, have managed to retain that pure state of yours? With all the various methods of subversive activities carried on by the enemies of Islam for the purpose of misguiding the younger generation, it is not an easy task to survive the trials and quandaries without any impairments. It is the period of youth. In the present monetary affluence, it is easy to satisfy every desire of the nafs, and most of the friends are disingenuous! Translation of a Persian distich:
My dear son! Here is my sole piece of advice:
You are so young, and the alley is beset with vice.
My precious son! You must avoid excess in the free area of mubâh. You must use your recreation of mubâh only as much as you need. And this little amount you must utilize with the intention of doing your duties as a born slave of Allâhu ta’âlâ. For instance, as you eat something you must intend to provide energy for the observance of Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments, while dressing yourself, you must have in mind covering your parts of awrat and protecting yourself against cold or hot weather, and you must bear these altruistic motives whenever you are to begin an activity of mubâh, [e.g. when you study]. Our superiors preferred (the choice called) azîmat, and they kept as far away as they could from the rukhsats. (In other words, they preferred the more meritorious and difficult way and avoided having recourse to the facilitated way.) Another aspect of azîmat is moderation in using the mubâhs. If this fortune, this blessing proves to be beyond you, then at least you should not overflow the area of mubâh and trespass on the district of harâms and dubious acts. Allâhu ta’âlâ, who is very compassionate and generous towards His born slaves, allows them to entertain themselves within the promenade of mubâh. He has made so many things mubâh. What a gravely insolent behaviour it would be towards Allâhu ta’âlâ to leave aside all this multitude of varieties of pleasure that are halâl and to indulge into the few forbidden pleasures. Furthermore, He created the same flavour in the halâls as well as in the harâms; in fact, there is even more satisfaction in the halâls. Aside from the pleasure intrinsic in the various blessings that are halâl, what could be more enjoyable than doing something which one knows Allâhu ta’âlâ approves? And what could be more excruciating for a person than the consciousness that his master does not like his conduct? The moments when Allâhu ta’âlâ will express His approval in Paradise will be sweeter than all the other blessings of Paradise. On the other hand, the same moments, as Allâhu ta’âlâ will also manifest His reprimands in Hell, will be more poignant than all the other sorts of torment in Hell.
We are born slaves. We are under the command of our Owner. We are not irresponsible vagrants. Nor are we free to do whatever we like. Let us think well! Let us be wise and far-sighted! Otherwise, on the Judgement Day we will obtain nothing but shame and regrets. The period of youth is the time of making profits. A virtuous person will realize the value of this period and will not waste it. Old age is not a period attained by everybody. Even if one attains it, the conditions are not always convenient and favourable. And even if one finds the favourable conditions, then old age is the age of feebleness and senility and what is done then is mostly ineffective. Today, when all the conditions are favourable, when you have the great blessing that both your parents are alive, when you are not burdened with a family to take care of, when you have all the necessary vigour and energy, I wonder what could be the excuse or the reason for this procrastination? Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “He who says, ‘I will do it tomorrow,’ loses, perishes.” It is good to postpone your worldly businesses until tomorrow and always do your businesses pertaining to the Hereafter today. And it is a very execrable option to do it the other way round.
During the young age, three enemies of Islam, your nafs, the devil, and harmful company, will try to misguide you. A few acts of worship despite these dissuasive factors will therefore be utterly valuable. Acts of worship performed during one’s old age, even if they are far superior in quantity to the former, will not be so valuable. When the enemy attacks, a minor act of valor on the part of the soldiers will be highly appreciated. During the peace time, however, drills of much wider capacity will not draw so much applause.
My son! Man, who is the essence, the epitome of all other beings, was not created in order that he could entertain himself, play and dance, eat and drink, go about, lead a comfortable life, or to live in luxury. He was created so that he should do his duties as a born slave, obey his Rabb, acknowledge his inferiority, weakness and neediness before Him, trust himself to Him, and supplicate to Him. All the modes of worship taught by Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ are useful for people. They have been commanded because they are useful to people, not because they will do any good to Allâhu ta’âlâ. Acts of worship should be done in a sincere and deep feeling of gratitude and reverence. The commandments should be done and the prohibitions should be avoided in perfect submission and with utmost exertion. Allâhu ta’âlâ does not need anything, yet He blessed His born slaves with the honour of His commandments and prohibitions. We, poor born slaves who are always in need, should express very profound gratitude for this tremendous blessing; and this expression of gratitude, in its turn, means our doing the commandments with the most ardent enthusiasm.
O my son! You know very well that in this world when a person occupying a high position or rank assigns an important task to one of his juniors, the latter will attach paramount importance and value to this task, though he knows that accomplishment of this task will be useful to his senior as well. He will take pride in the task because it has been assigned to him by someone he esteems highly, and will try to accomplish it willingly and with pleasure. Is it not right? How shameful a paradox! Is the greatness of Allâhu ta’âlâ inferior to the greatness of this senior that the commandments of Islam are not observed with such devotion? [Some people do not consider the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ as a duty. They say, “Duty is sacred. Duty first, and namâz next.” The fact, however, is that Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments should be considered as the first duty.]
We must be ashamed. We must rise from this slumber. There are two reasons for a person’s not doing Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments:
1- He does not believe in Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments and prohibitions. [He says, for instance, that these acts of worship are “intended for the Arabs. They are for the health of the desert people. Today, Swedish drills, therapeutic muscular exercises and massages fulfill the functions of namâz, and showers, baths and beaches do the cleaning in a more modern way than the ablution.”]
2- He slights Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments. He holds the greatness of these commandments inferior to the orders of people occupying ranks and positions. Whatsoever the reason, one or the other, we must think of the abjectness and meanness of not doing the acts of worship.
O my son! Supposing a notorious liar said, “Tonight the enemy is going to make a raid from that direction,” would not the people in command reflexively tend towards the wiser preference and begin thinking of their defence forces? Would not they say that one should be prudent, be precautious and on the alert at times of danger though they know that that man is a liar?
The mukhbir-i-sâdiq, that is, the ever-truthful, who is well-known for always telling the truth ‘alaihissalâtu wassalâm’, announced time and again the eternal torments of the next world. They do not believe him. Or, although they believe him, they do not think they should take the necessary precautions to save themselves. As a matter of fact, the mukhbir-i-sâdiq has shown the way of saving oneself, too. Then, what sort of îmân is it that they do not think as much of the words of the mukhbir-i-sâdiq as they would of the fibs of a liar? It will not save a person to be a Muslim, a Believer in words only. The heart itself should believe and develop yaqîn. But the present instance would be the last thing to be called ‘yaqîn’. It is not even surmise. Nor, perhaps, is it even a fancy. For it sometimes takes sagacity to take safety measures against an imagined danger.
Despite the eighteenth âyat of Hujurât sûra, which purports, “Allâhu ta’âlâ continuously observes your behaviours,” they keep committing harâm. However, they would immediately stop doing these atrocities lest an ordinary person should see them in the act, even if it were a mere probability. This state has two possible reasons: Either they do not believe in the declaration of Allâhu ta’âlâ, or they just ignore the fact that Allâhu ta’âlâ sees them. One or the other, does either one of these cases signify îmân, or disbelief?
My son! You should renew your îmân! Our Prophet ‘alaihis-salâtu wassalâm’ stated:“Renew your îmân by saying, ‘Lâ ilâha illâllah.’ ” Next, you should make tawba and cease from your habits that Allâhu ta’âlâ disapproves. You should avoid doing what Allâhu ta’âlâ has forbidden, i.e. the harâms. You should perform the five daily prayers of namâz in jamâ’at. And, if you can, it will be a great fortune to perform the post-midnight prayer, i.e. the namâz termed tahajjud.
Acts of worship performed on special nights, such as the nights called Jum’a, ’Arafa, ’Iyd, Qadr, Barât, Mi’râj, ’Ashûra, Mawlid and Raghâib, produce many blessings. Mawlânâ Muhammad Rabhâmî ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’ states on the hundred and seventy-second page of the Indian edition of the book Riyâd-un-nâsihîn that the great Islamic scholar Imâm-i-Nawawî ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’ writes in his book Azkâr that enriching one-twelfth of the night, (which makes about one hour), that is, reading Qur’ân al-kerîm, performing namâz, or praying during that time, stands for enriching the entire night. It makes no difference whether it is a summer night or a winter night. The passage on the four hundred and sixty-first (461) page of the book Ibni ’Âbidîn confirms this. It is stated in the book Haqâiq-i-manzûma: “The word ‘hour’ mentioned in the books of fiqh means ‘a length of time’. Nawawî is a mujtahid in the Shâfi’î Madhhab. Enriching the night in this wise is advisable also to people who are in the Hanafî Madhhab.” The book Haqâiq-i-manzûma, by Mahmûd-i-Bukhârî, consists of ten volumes and is an explanation of the book Manzûma-i-Nasafî. It is a valuable book of fiqh. Mahmûd-i-Bukhârî passed away in Bukhâra in 671 [A.D. 1271].
One of the five tenets of Islam is to pay zakât. It is definitely necessary to pay zakât. [It is a fact stated in many books, e.g. on the fourteenth page of the book Surra-tul-fatâwâ, which exists at number 1113 in the library of Murâd Molla, that “If a person who is liable to pay zakât postpones it without any good reason to do so, (if he does not give it that year, for instance), he will be sinful and he will be canonically discredited as a witness.”] To pay zakât without any difficulty, once a year, [for instance, in the blessed month of Ramadân], you measure out and reserve the poor’s due, i.e. one-fortieth of your gold and/or silver and/or commercial property with the intention of zakât. Then, choosing one (or more) of the people canonically eligible for zakât, you give it to them any time during the entire year. It is not necessary to intend for zakât each time you give it. The intention you make while putting aside the amount of zakât will suffice. Everybody knows the amount that he is to pay to the poor or to those who are eligible for zakât every year. He sets aside this amount and keeps it. If he does not make his intention while putting it aside, the amount he gives to the poor is not zakât. [It becomes supererogatory alms.] By paying zakât, you will, at the same time, have helped the people in need. If the amount you have given to the poor is less than the amount you reserved for zakât, you must keep the remaining amount separately from your property, mix it with the following year’s amount of zakât, and give the entire mixture in that year. It is permissible to follow this same procedure, i.e. to preserve the amount of zakât beforehand and to pay it to the poor sporadically during the next year. My son! Man’s nafs is stingy, miserly, avaricious. It is recalcitrant towards doing the commandments of Allâhu ta’âlâ. That is why this letter of mine may sound somewhat overemphasized. In fact, our possessions, lives and property are His gifts. Who on earth could have the right to lay hands on something given by Him? Then, zakât and ’ushr must be paid willingly.
We must perform every act of worship enthusiastically. We must be strict in avoiding having others’ rights upon us, and in paying them their dues. We must be extra careful so that there should not be any rights or dues left unpaid! It is easy to pay a debt in the world. And it is possible to apologize and have ourselves forgiven by means of kind and soft words. Not so is the case in the next world. Once you get there, it will be very difficult to rid yourself of others’ rights, and you will be helpless.
[One should be careful about disbelievers’ rights, too. A person who lives in a country of disbelievers should not infringe on disbelievers’ property, lives or chastity. And he should obey their laws, too.] One should learn Islam by asking those true scholars who know Islam well and who keep the next world in their minds. The statements and books of such blessed people are influential. Owing to their blessed breaths, it will be easy to keep their advice. [One should run away from robbers of faith and their books because these people write religious books and make speeches in order to earn money, to influence votes, or to seize a post, and they smile at Muslims in order to deceive them.] In places where true scholars cannot be found and dependable books are not available, these fake scholars can be asked questions only when it is inevitable. Yet even in such cases one should not listen to their preaches and speeches.
O my son! What business do we, faqîrs, have with the abovementioned lovers of this world that we should be interested in their good or bad behaviours? Allâhu ta’âlâ’s Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ has given all the necessary pieces of advice and left behind nothing unsaid. Yet, since this dear child came to us, faqîrs, and asked for advice and help, my heart has been receiving frequently (and in a spiritual way) the information how this dear child is doing and in what states he is. It is this connection that has occasioned these lines to be written. I know that this dear child has heard words of this nature myriad of times. Yet one will not attain anything only by hearing. It is necessary to practise what one hears and learns. A patient may know what medicine he needs. Yet he will not recover unless he uses the medicine. Knowing the medicine cannot cure him. The millions of statements made by all the Prophets ‘alaihim-us-salâm’ and the thousands of books written by the multitude of savants ‘rahimah-um-Allah’ are intended for being put into practice. Knowing will not be a beneficent intercessor in the next world, but it will be a document, a testimony serving as a ground for torment. Our master, the Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “On the Day of Judgement, the person who will suffer from the most vehement and the worst torment is the savant who did not benefit from his knowledge and whose behaviours did not keep pace with his knowledge.”
My son! You, too, know that tawba on that day will be futile! For the life you have led away from those who love and never forget Allâhu ta’âlâ has prevented that bud of happiness from blossoming into a flower. Yet the fact that that bud has not decayed indicates that this dear child is an absolute gem who will immaculately respond to tuition. For the barakat of that tawba and attachment, it is hoped that Allâhu ta’âlâ will sooner or later bless this dear child with the path He has chosen and loves. Whatever the cost, do not lose your love for those who follow the path guiding towards (love of) Allah! Place in your heart the earnestness to trust yourself to their care and to be in their company! Entreat Allâhu ta’âlâ to bless you for the sake of your love for those great people and place His very love in your heart and, protecting you against attaching yourself to the rubbishy concerns of this world, to attract you entirely to Himself! Translation of a Persian stanza:
Love is such a fire that when ablaze,
All but the darling it burns into ashes.
Draw your sword of LÂ to kill all but Haqq;
Say LÂ, and then look if anything remains.
All’s gone, everything, except IL-L-ALLAH;
Rejoice, o love! No partner to Haqq remains!
Entries related to tasawwuf can be learned best from Hadrat Ahmad al-Fârûqî as-Sirhindî’s Maktûbât.
adhân: the Muslim call to prayer.
adilla (ash-Shar’iyya): the sources from which Islamic rules were derived: the Book, the Sunna, qiyâs al-fuqahâ and ijmâ’ al-Umma.
Ahd-i atik: the old testament.
Ahd-i jadid: the new testament.
ahkâm: rules, conclusions Ahkâm ash-Shar’iyya: the rules of Islam.
Ahl al-Bayt: immediate relatives of the Prophet.
Ahl as-Sunna (wa’l-Jamâ’a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahâbat al-kirâm. These are called Sunnî Muslims. A Sunnî Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These Madhhabs are Hanafî, Mâlikî, Shâfi’î and Hanbalî.
Allâhu ta’âlâ: Allah the Most High.
amru bi’l-ma’rûf (wa ’n-nahyu ’ani’l-munkar): duty to teach Allâhu ta’âlâ’s commandments and prohibitions.
’Arsh: the end of matter bordering the seven skies and the Kursî which is outside the seventh sky and inside the ’Arsh.
As’hâb-i kirâm: (as-Sahâbat al-kirâm); the Companions of Rasûlullah.
Awâmir-i ashara: the ten commandments which Allâhu ta’âlâ gave Mûsâ (alaihi ’s-salâm) on Mount Tur.
Awliyâ: pl. of Walî which means a person very much beloved to Allâhu ta’âlâ.
âyat: a verse of al-Qur’ân al-kerîm; al-âyat al-kerîma.
Azrâ’il: one of the four archangels, who takes the souls of human beings.
Banî Israil: sons of Israel; Israelites; Jews.
Basmala: the Arabic phrase “Bismi’llâhi ’r-Rahmâni ’r-Rahîm” (In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful).
bid’a: (pl. bida’) heresy; false, disliked belief or practice that did not exist in the four sources of Islam, but has been introduced later as an Islamic belief or ’ibâda in expectation of thawâb (blessings).
Bi’that: the year in which Hadrat Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu alaihi wa sallam’ was informed that he was the Prophet.
Burâq: the animal of Paradise which took Rasûlullah from Mekka to Jerusalem during the Mi’râj event. It was white, very fast, sexless, smaller than a mule, and bigger than an ass.
dalâla: deviation from the true path of the Ahl as-Sunna.
dirham: weight unit of three grams.
efendi: a title given by the Ottoman state to a statesmen and especially to religious scholars; a form of address, meaning “Your Great Personage.”
emân: pardon; protection; guarantee.
fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allâhu ta’âlâ in al-Qur’ân al-kerîm.
Fard ’ayn: an obligation for every Muslim.
Fard kifâya: a fard that must be done at least by one Muslim in a community.
fermân: command, especially given by the Ottoman Sultans.
fatwâ: ijtihâd (of a mujtahid); a conclusion (of a muftî) from books of fiqh concerning whether something not shown in them is permitted or not; answer to religious questions by Islamic scholars; rukhsa.
fiqh: knowledge dealing with what Muslims should do and should not do; actions, deeds, ’ibâdât.
ghazâ: a battle against non-Muslims.
hadîth: a saying of the Prophet ‘alaih’s-salâm’ al-Hadîth ash-sherîf: all the hadîths as a whole.
hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like prophets and Islamic scholars.
hajj: pilgrimage to Mekka, performance of which once in one’s lifetime becomes fard under certain conditions and circumstances prescribed by the Islamic Sharî’at.
harâm: not permitted in Islam.
hegira: the emigration of the Prophet ‘alaihi ’s-salâm’ from Mekka to Medina.
’ibâda: worship, rite; act for which blessings will be given in the next world.
’ibâdât: (pl. of ’ibâda).
ijtihâd: (meaning or conclusion drawn by a mujtahid by) endeavouring to understand the hidden meaning in an âyat or a hadîth.
’ilm al-hâl: books of Islamic teachings (of one Madhhab) used to teach Muslims their religion.
îmân: faith, beliefs of Islam; kalâm, i’tiqâd.
iqâmat: the words recited while standing before beginning one of the five daily fard prayers.
irshâd: enlightenment; guiding; inspiring.
i’tikâf: retreat, religious seclusion during Ramadân.
jâriya: non-Muslim female slave captured in war.
jihâd: war against non-Muslims (or the nafs) to convert them (it) to Islam.
jizya: tax imposed on the non-Muslim citizens living in an Islamic country (Dâr al-Islâm).
Ka’ba (t-al-mu’azzama): the big room in the great mosque in Mekka.
kâfir: a disbeliever, a non-Muslim.
kalâm: the knowledge of îmân (belief).
karâma: miracle worked by Allâhu ta’âlâ through a Walî.
karâmât: (pl. of karâma).
Khutba: the homily delivered at the pulpit by the imâm during the prayers of Friday and during Islamic festivals, which must be read in Arabic all over the world (it is sinful to read it in another language).
kufr: being in disbelief, (intention, statement or action) causing disbelief.
lâ-madhhabî: a person without a madhhab.
madhhab: all of what a profound ’âlim of (especially) Fiqh (usually one of the four-Hanafî, Shafi’î, Mâlikî, Hanbalî) or îmân (one of the two, namely Ash-arî, Mâturîdî) communicated.
madrasa: school where Islamic knowledge is taught.
Makrûh: (an act) improper, disliked or abstained by the Prophet.
makrûh-tahrîma: prohibited with much stress.
makrûh-tanzîhî: makrûh of a lesser degree.
masah: rubbing one’s wet hands (on one’s mests, which are soft, soleless, and waterproof shoes that cover the feet) while performing an ablution.
mawlid: the Prophet’s birthday; writings that describe the superiorities and excellences of the Prophet.
minbar: the high pulpit in a mosque climbed with stairs where the khutba is performed.
Mi’râj: the Prophet’s ascension from Jerusalem to heaven.
mubâh: an act neither ordered nor prohibited.
mu’jiza: miracle peculiar to prophets alone.
munâfiq: hypocrite; one who disguises himself as a Muslim though he believes in another religion.
murshid: guide, director.
murshid al-kâmil: great guide who has attained perfection and is able to assist others.
mustahab: (an act) for which there is thawâb (a blessing) and if omitted there is no sin.
nâfila: the supererogatory, additional; in the Sharî’at non-fard and non-wâjib ’ibâdât; the sunnat salâts accompanying the daily five salâts or any ’ibâdât one can perform whenever one wishes.
nafs: a negative force within man that prompts him to do evil.
nass: (general term for) an âyat or a hadîth; an âyat or a hadîth that openly states whether something is ordered or prohibited.
nisâb: minimum quantity of specified wealth making one liable to do certain duties.
pâsha: title given by the Ottoman State to a statesmen, governor and espe-cially officers of high rank (now general or admiral).
qâdi: Muslim judge.
Qur’ân al-kerîm: the Holy Koran.
Ramadân: a Sacred Month in the Muslim Calendar.
Rasûlullah: (Rasûl-Allah); Muhammad ‘alaihi ’s-salâm’, the Prophet of Allâhu ta’âlâ.
Sahâbî: (pl.as-Sahâbat al-kirâm) a Muslim who saw the Prophet ‘alaihi ’s-salâm’ at least once; the companions.
Salaf (as-sâlihîn): as-Sahâba and the distinguished ones among the Tabi’în and Taba’at-Tâbi’în.
Shaikh: an âlim of high rank; expert in zâhirî or bâtinî knowledge; master, murshid; amîr, head.
Shaikh al-Islâm: Head of the Religious Affairs Office in an Islamic State.
sirât: the bridge in the Hereafter.
Sunna: act, thing, though not commanded by Allâhu ta’âlâ, done and liked by the Prophet ‘alaihi ’s-salâm’ as an ’ibâda; there is thawâb if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it is a sin if continually omitted and disbelief if despised.
sûra: a chapter of Qur’ân al-kerîm.
tafsîr: a book of the science of interpreting the Qur’ân.
taqwâ: fearing Allâhu ta’âlâ; abstention from harâms; practising azîmas.
tasawwuf: Islamic science of spiritual progress or sufism. [See the book Maktûbât by Ahmad al-Farûqî as-Sirhindî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’aleyh’.]
tawakkul: trust in, expectation of everything from Allâhu ta’âlâ exclusively; expecting from Allâhu ta’âlâ the effectiveness of the cause (sabab) after working or holding on to the cause-before which tawakkul is unadvised.
tawhîd: (belief in) the oneness, unity, of Allâhu ta’âlâ.
tekke: (Turkish) a place, building, where a murshid trains his murîds or sâliks; darghâh or Khânaghâh (Persian), Zâwiya (Arabic).
thawâb: the (unit of) reward which has been promised and will be given in the Hereafter by Allâhu ta’âlâ as a recompense for doing and saying what He likes.
umma: the community, the body of believers, of a prophet.
Umma (al-Muhammadiyya): the Muslim Umma; followers of Muhammad ‘alaihi ’s-salâm’.
Wahhâbî: people in Arabia whose beliefs originate from the heresies of Ibn Taymiyya. (See the books Endless Bliss and Advice for the Muslim.)
wâjib: (a belief or act) almost as compulsory as a fard and not to be omitted; something never omitted by the Prophet ‘alaihi ’s-salâm’.
Walî: (pl. Awliyâ’) one who is loved and protected (by Allâhu ta’âlâ).
wara’: (after avoiding harâms) abstention from doubtful things (mushtabihât).
zakât: (fard duty of giving annually) a certain amount of certain kinds of property given to certain kinds of people, whereby the remaining property becomes purified and blessed, and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser.
zindîq: an atheist who pretends to be a Muslim.
Resûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: “When fasâd (mischief, instigation, disunion, tumult) runs rife among my Ummat (Muslims), a person who abides by my Sunnat will acquire blessings equal to the amount deserved by a hundred martyrs.” Scholars affiliated with any one of the four Madhhabs, (which are, namely, Hanafî, Mâlikî, Shâfi’î and Hanbalî,) are called Scholars of Ahl as-Sunna. The leader of the scholars of Ahl as-Sunna is al-Imâm al-a’zam Abû Hanîfa. These scholars recorded what they had heard from the Sahâba-i-kirâm, who, in their turn, had told them what they had heard from the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’.
The earth is populated by three groups of people today:
1– Disbelievers. These people say that they are not Muslims. Jews and Christians are in this group.
2– The Sunnî Muslims. These people exist with an ever-increasing population in every country.
3– (Hypocrites called) Munâfiqs. They say that they are Muslims. With respect to îmân and some acts of worship, they are not comparable to the Ahl as-Sunnat. They are not true Muslims.
Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated, “A person whom Allâhu ta’âlâ loves very much is one who learns his religion and teaches it to others. Learn your religion from the mouths of Islamic scholars!”
A person who cannot find a true scholar must learn by reading books written by the scholars of Ahl as-sunna, and try hard to spread these books. A Muslim who has ’ilm (knowledge), ’amal (practising what one knows; obeying Islam’s commandments and prohibitions), and ikhlâs (doing everything only to please Allâhu ta’âlâ) is called an Islamic scholar. A person who represents himself as an Islamic scholar though he lacks any one of these qualifications is called an ‘evil religious scholar’, or an ‘impostor’. An Islamic scholar is a guard who protects Islam. An impostor is Satan’s accomplice.
 Insight, foresight and hindsight.
 Documents of the Right Word, first edition, 496 pp., 1993, Hakîkat Kitâbevi, Fâtih, Istanbul.
 Our Prophet’s ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ ascent to heaven, one year before the Hegira, on the twenty-seventh night (the night between 26th and 27th days) of Rajab.
 Science dealing with explanation of the Qur’ân al-kerîm.
 Please see the book Why Did They Become Muslims, available from Hakîkat Kitâbevi, Istanbul.
 Fourth King of the Persian Pishdadiyan dynasty, called also Jam.
 It goes without saying that this prohibition remains valid as long as the person concerned remains married to one of these girls.
 By indispensable, (darûrî is the word used in the original text), we mean, ‘a tenet of belief or practice which is so obvious that it is believed and practiced commonly by Muslims.’
 These four subbranches deal with, 1) acts of worship; 2) marriages, etc.; 3) Muslims’ dealing with one another; 4) penal codes, respectively.
 Units 3, 7, and 8.
 Shams-ud-dîn Sahâwî ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’, (830 , Sahâ, Egypt -902 , Medîna).
 Qâdî Muhammad bin Alî Shawkânî (1173 , Shawkân, San’a -1250 , San’a, central Yemen).
 Allâma Abul-Qâsim Mahmûd Jârullah bin ’Umar, (467 , Zemahshar, Hâradhm - 538  Jurjâniyya).
 Qâdî Abdullah bin ’Umar ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’, (685 , Baydâ, Shîrâz, Iran — Tabrîz).
 Muhammad bin ’Umar ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’, 544 , Rey - 606 , Herat).
 Alâ’uddîn-i Baghdâdî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’aleyh’, (678, Baghdâd - 741 , Aleppo, Syria).
 Please see chapter 7.
 Muhammad bin Muhammad Ghazâlî ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’, (450  - 505 , Ghazâl, Mashhad, N.E. Iran).
 Please see par. 5 in the following chapter.
 Please see par. 8 in the following chapter.
 In 1997, when a U.S. dollar costs 120.000 T.L.
 Immutable, unalterable.
 Turmoil, commotion, confusion.
 This book was translated into English in 1992. The English version, entitled Documents of the Right Word, is available from Hakîkat Kitâbevi, Darüşşefeka Cad. 57/A P.K. 35 34262 Fâtih-Istanbul-Türkiye.
 Documents of the Right Word; first edition, 1992; 480 pp.; available from Hakîkat Kitâbevi, Fâtih, Istanbul, Turkey.
 Chief Military Judge.
 Not Shams-ud-dîn Muhammad Kirmânî, who passed away in 786 [1384 A.D.].
 Abdurrashîd Efendi passed away in Japan in 1944.
 To revolt against the Ulul’amr means to disobey those commandments of a Muslim commander, (chief, president or superior) which are not disagreeable with the Sharî’at.
 The Mystery of Bektâshî.
 Friedrich Engels (1820-95).
 Hadrat Muhammad and the Qur’ân, Part I, Chapter 1; London.
 Weekly Periodical, The Muslim World, Pakistan, August 26, 1972.
 Jean Mocheim, German theologian and historian, d. .
 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon; edited by Dero A. Saunders, 1952, chap. 16, div. 2, p. 653.
 With respect to comprehensiveness, there are two kinds of fard. When something is compulsory for each individual Muslim, it is called fard-i-’ayn. If the obligation of a fard lapses from other Muslims when one Muslim performs it, that is, if other Muslims do not have to perform it when it is carried out by one Muslim, and if all Muslims are responsible and become sinful when no Muslim performs it, this kind of fard is called fard-i-kifâya.
 Anything permitted by Islam.
 Yaqîn means absolute belief: belief which is as positive as the conviction that you feel when you have seen something you are to believe.
 Knowledge that is acquired not for the purpose of practising it with ikhlâs, will not be beneficial. Please see the 366 th and 367 th pages of the first volume of Hadîqa, and also the 36th and the 40 th and the 59 th letters in the first volume of Maktûbât. (The English versions of these letters exist in the 16th and the 25 th and the 28 th chapters, respectively, of the second fascicle of Endless Bliss).