First Letter from Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi

(Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi was the student of Shaykh Moulay al-'Arabi al-Darqawi)

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, Most-Merciful

There is no power nor strength except by Allah, the High, the Immense, and may Allah bless our master and Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions and grant them peace abundantly until the Day of Rising

Allah. Allah. Allah.

To all the slaves of our Lord who follow us, wherever they are, especially our lords and masters of Ayt an-Nubu'a, and our lords and masters the scholars, and our lords and masters the descendants of the salihun whose ancestors were salihun, and our lords and masters who are the esteemed muqaddams and esteemed muqaddimat*, since they are our representatives who represent us and are our support and the pillars supporting our brothers. They are the dogs of the fuqara', barking at their heels and guarding them, bearing their loads and urging them on and never being irresolute. That is the reality of the muqaddims, so how great is their happiness and what good news for them because of that since as is reported, "The servant of the people is their master."

[*Women with the position of muqaddam.]

If you do not busy the nafs with the truth, you will busy it with the false. And anyone who does not serve the elite will be tried by having to serve thieves. May Allah make us people whose goal is Him alone since that is what is necessary for attaining the three stations of the deen: Islam, Iman and Ihsan. "So worship Allah making the deen sincerely His." The people of the station of Islam are distinguished by what goes from them to Allah. The people of the station of Iman are distinguished by what comes from Allah to them. And the people of the station of Ihsan are distinguished by what goes from Allah to Allah.

May Allah drown me and you in witnessing the oceans of the perfection of immensity as He has always drowned the people of purity and love in it. They are in three ranks: the rank of the knowledge of certainty, the rank of the eye of certainty, and the rank of the truth of certainty. In the first rank Allah makes you witness His nearness to you; in the second He makes you witness your non-existence through His existence; and in the third He makes you witness His existence without awareness of either your non-existence or your existence. "Allah was, and nothing was with Him. He is now as He was."

Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah ta'ala and His blessings, and also upon all those whose inner eye has been opened by Allah and whose secret He has illuminated so that they witness all existence as being from Him, annihilated in the present, past and future. Among them are those who only love Allah, only exist by Allah, are only occupied with Allah and remember Allah often without calculation or limit as Allah has commanded. Allah jalla wa 'ala says, "O you who believe, remember Allah much, and glorify Him in the morning and the evening." (33:41-42) Imam al-Wasiti, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "Never forget frequent remembrance."

Following on from that, the nub of my advice to you is: Always confirm your hold on your natural aptitude and intense yearning by serious study since it is the spirit of the Muhammadan Path. Constancy in it has an effect on the heart and elevates it to stations, stages and high degrees. Memorising two lines is better than bearing two heavy loads and two people engaged in study is better than both of these since your Lord, glory be to Him, is only worshipped through knowledge.

There are two types of knowledge: direct knowledge of Allah and knowledge of the command of Allah. The people of the Path of Allah are not concerned with anything other than these two. The fruit of knowledge of the command of Allah is direct knowledge of Allah. The fruit of direct knowledge of Allah is knowledge of the command of Allah. This rises in a continual spiral without end or cease for the one whom Allah makes firm.

The hadiths which have come about the excellence of knowledge and those who study and the reports of the righteous Salaf are numerous. They include the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "The angels lower their wings to the seeker of knowledge out of pleasure at what he does." "Allah guarantees the provision of the seeker of knowledge." "Gaining a point of knowledge is better than a year's worship." "The movement of a scholar in his bed is better than forty years of the worship of a worshipper without knowledge." "Anyone who attends a gathering of knowledge and does not understand anything at all gains six degrees." Imam as-Samarqandi, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, related that. It is also related that the gathering of knowledge is better than the worship of seventy years.

It is a confirmed instruction that wherever you find gatherings of knowledge, you should attend them. Our shaykhs, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them and give us great benefit through them, gave us idhn for that. Mawlana al-Junayd, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "Stories told about the righteous are one of the armies of Allah by which Allah strengthens the truthful." He recited the words of Allah, 'azza wa jalla, "We have given you all this news about the Messengers so We can make your heart firm by means of it." (11:120) Our master and teacher, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "I have not seen anyone who dives into the mercy of Allah tabaraka wa ta'ala like someone who attends a gathering of knowledge. Strive for that. Strive to the utmost in the study of the books of the people of Allah, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them. We were also given idhn for that."

The secret that we ourselves found in doing that is beyond description. One of the gnostics, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "My brother, so-and-so lived a life of great luxury and Allah inspired him to study the books of the People and that elevated him to a high station without any action or striving on his part." Our master and teacher, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "Someone who persists in studying the books of the People and memorising their words can change his state and reach Allah without a shaykh."

But, my masters and brothers, may Allah be pleased with you and help us by you, study the books of the famous perfect ones, such as the Qut al-Qulub, and the al-Ihya', by the great imams, Abu Talib al-Makki and the Proof of Islam, Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali. Also Sunan al-Muhtadin and the Tabaqat by the great Imam ash-Sha'rani, al-Mabahith and its commentary by the great Imam at-Tadili, and the Sharishiyya in ra' and its commentary, The Antimony of the Eyes, by Mawlana Ahmad al-Fasi, the Hikam al-'Ata'iyya and its commentary by the majestic imam, Ibn 'Abbad, and the Tanwir Lata'if al-Minan by the imam, the shaykh of the shaykhs, Ibn 'Ata'illah, and similar books of the perfected masters, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them.

Beware and again beware of studying the books of the two great imams, Mawlana Ibn al-'Arabi al-Hatimi and Mawlana al-Jili and those who follow them in the way they write, except for what they write on the adab of dhikr and its excellence and the order of travelling through the stations of Islam, Iman and Ihsan. I say this because, although their words, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them, are fine and deep, from the source of the Divine Presence and the Muhammadan presence, they can only be understood safely by someone who has reached their station. As for the beginner, he will not benefit from them at all. Rather it is feared that the opposite might happen. Allah jalla wa 'azza says, "The fact is that they have denied something which their knowledge does not embrace and the meaning of which has not yet reached them." (10:39) "No one knows its inner meaning but Allah. Those firmly rooted in knowledge say, 'We believe in it. All of it is from our Lord. But only people of intelligence pay heed.'" (3:7) And the fact is that someone who has arrived at understanding of their words, no longer needs them because he is enriched by Allah and effaced in witnessing Him.

Do you then show me the knowledge of tawhid

 when here are seas which are unexplored?

This is the station of the people of tajrid

 who stand in the presence of my Lord.

Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, was asked about what a gnostic is and he said, "He is here and he has gone." The greatest master, Sidi Ibn 'Ata'illah, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "The gnostic is not someone who makes an indication and then finds Allah nearer to him than his indication. The gnostic is without indication - by his annihilation in His existence and his total absorption in witnessing Him." Our master, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "The gnostic of Allah is unfettered, not bound, and he is water itself, meaning submitted, remembering Allah constantly."

Beware and again beware of speaking about the ruh. Speaking about it is of no use to anyone. Rather someone who does that has wasted his life uselessly because only Allah - majestic is He - He who created it, knows its reality. Enough proof of the prohibition of doing that is the words of the Jews, may Allah curse them, when they wanted to ask the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about it. If he answered them he was not a Prophet. If he did not answer, he was a Prophet. He did not answer them and Allah revealed to him, "They will ask you about the Ruh. Say: 'The Ruh is my Lord's concern. You have only been given a little knowledge.'" (17:85) The righteous Salaf, may Allah be pleased with them, did not speak about it at all and the later ones have followed them in not doing it, and they had more knowledge of Allah and the command of Allah than those who came later. It is, however, true that some of the great guides of the Sufis and others among our masters, the scholars of the people of the outward, have spoken about it. There is evidence supporting both positions and there is mercy in the disagreement of our masters.

Beware and again beware of speaking about mutashabih ayats and mutashabih hadiths. Our ancestors, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them, were also silent about that. They said, "We believe in them as they have come," as they also say about belief in Allah and in His Messenger: "We believe in Allah as our master the Messenger of Allah has commanded us to and we believe in the Messenger of Allah as Allah has commanded us to." What a majestic statement! How radiant and perfect! They were snatched from the mires of tawhid and saved from doubts and uncertainties. May Allah repay them with immense good on our behalf and on behalf of this community.

The slave of his Lord, Ahmad, (the writer) says, affirming the creed of his great predecessors: I am a slave of Allah believing what our master, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, believed regarding Allah and himself, and holding to his intention, and his forms of worship, his acts of devotion and his customs. Our noble excellent master gave an excellent notification to us, "How excellent are the divested brothers, the masters!"

Beware and again beware of speaking about the essence (kunh) of Divine Sovereignty and the Message. Speaking about them wastes the moment in trying to do what is impossible and displays bad adab towards the Great Highly Exalted Lord. The Universal Ghawth, the master of our master, 'Ali al-Jamal, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by it, forbade that frequently and with great force.

Beware and again beware of speaking about quarrels between the Companions, Tabi'un, and Tabi'i't-Tabi'in because they had clear reasons for the disagreements between them, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them. "The one who strives to come to the truth and is right has a double reward, and the one who strives and is not right has one reward." The testimony of the Messenger about them is sufficient evidence of their worth and importance and rank to prove that that they are the best of the community when he said, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "The best of you is my generation and then the one after them and then the one after them."

Beware and again beware of preferring this person to that one. That is the worst of bad adab and results in hatred and destruction, except in the case of someone who is merely clarifying their rank and only the firmly rooted scholars are able to do that. Allah jalla wa 'ala said, "We preferred some Prophets over others." That is how the awliya' are also ranked. Some are perfect and some more perfect.

Beware and again beware of turning away from the company of the people of Allah. They are the treasure trove that has no end, the impenetrable fortress, the universal interspace and the overflowing sea. Their gathering contains all good, in both the sensory and the meaning. Sufficient evidence for their excellence is that they are the people, of whom it is said that "no one who sits with them is wretched," as is reported in the Sahih. Enough evidence against turning away from sitting with them can be found in the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in Sahih al-Bukhari, "Shall I tell you about the three men? One of them took himself to Allah and Allah took him in. The other was shy, so Allah was shy with him. And the other turned away, so Allah turned away from him."

Part of my complete counsel to you is only to leave their company if you have a strong legal need to do so. The connection of your sensory to their sensory guarantees the connection of your meaning to their meaning and that will result for you in the love of Allah which is the source of every good and will erase love of this world, which, as has been reported, is the source of every evil, from your hearts.

Strive as hard as possible to have a good opinion of Allah and the awliya' of Allah. The one who is truly deprived is the one who is deprived of the baraka of the awliya' of his time. Anyone who denies true wilaya has disbelieved by consensus as was stated by the greatest imam, Sahl ibn 'Abdullah at-Tustari, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, because he has denied the light of Prophethood. An aspect of the kindness of Allah to this community, however, is that the reality of wilaya is rarely definitively known. Its qualities are well-known but its seal is unclear. Its true stamp is that of which there is no proof: the collapse of lower desires and having love for the Master, as the Universal Ghawth, Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said. Our master, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "Whoever turns from his lower desires and advances towards his Master is a wali of Allah." The majestic imam, ash-Sharishi, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said:

His signs are that he does not incline to passion.

 His world is wrapped up and his other world is in the gathering.

The treasure of wilaya is immense and great beyond "howness", description or quality. True are the words of the one who said, "The wali is the one whom Allah takes as a friend, whose quality is covered by His quality and whose attribute is covered by His attribute. The wali is the word of Allah which does not run out. Even if the trees had been pens and the sea ink and all creatures were to write, they would not be able to write the amount of a gleam which occurs to the heart of the wali of Allah, 'azza wa jalla." How and again how, can the person with this sublime state be recognised? The key of this treasure belongs to those whom Allah prepares for it by choice and preference so that they leave this world and devote themselves completely to Allah in secret and in public. Our master, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "All who go without this world, by Allah, join the awliya'."p> The substance of my advice to you all is to hold as strongly as possible to giving up any hopes of this world and to abandon it and its people. Only take of it what is absolutely necessary, since when someone takes more than what is enough for him, Allah blinds the eye of his heart, as is reported. Do not mix with its people at all. The Universal Ghawth, the master of masters, 'Ali al-Jamal, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "The leper should be kept a spear's length away from you but the lover of this world should be kept two spears length away." Allah Almighty says, "So turn away from him who turns away from Our remembrance and desires nothing but the life of this world." (53:29) The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, "Do not sit with the dead or that will make your hearts die." He was asked, "Messenger of Allah, who are the dead?" He replied, "Those who love this world and desire it."

Part of the instruction which the Qutb of Qutbs, Mawlana 'Abd's-Salam ibn Mashish gave to his student, Imam ash-Shadhili, may Allah be pleased with both of them and help us by them, was, "My son, Allah Allah Allah. People! Free your tongue from mentioning them and your heart from images of them and prepare for their coming to you at night and shunning you in the day. Do you not see that when they come, they are test?" A poet has said, and, by Allah, it is the most majestic of what is said:

Fear the people of your species and be afraid of them,

 as you fear wild animals and leopards.

Beware of them and stay away from them,

 and be like the Samiri saying, "Do not touch."

Take Allah's earth as a companion,

 and leave people aside.

All people, if you examine them, are scorpions.

Say 'Allah' and leave existence and what it contains

 if you want to reach perfection.

Allah jalla wa 'ala, said addressing His Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Say: 'Allah!' Then leave them engrossed in playing their games." (6:92)

If you are sincere in your tawba, then you will be successful with those who are successful, be saved with those who are saved and reach the stations of the awliya' of Allah who are brought near. The greatest Imam, Mawlana ash-Sharishi, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said:

All the stations are in tawba and zuhd.

 A sweet fragrance spreads from their meadows.

And one must constantly and always have certainty by Allah and reliance on Allah, trusting in the truth of His promise and threat. Allah jalla wa 'ala says, "Whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him." (65:3), meaning He will give him what is adequate for his needs and help him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If you were to rely on Allah as He should be relied on, He would provide for you as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning hungry and return in the evening full." We read in the Sahih Collection, "Seventy thousand will enter the Garden without reckoning. They are people who did not have themselves cauterised or use incantations or seek omens and they put their trust in their Lord."

Enough proof of the excellence of having trust in Allah is escaping the Reckoning and Allah's representing His slave and being enough for him, looking after his needs and enriching his children after him. It is reported that a poor person who relied on Allah and did not store up and did not own anything will stand before Allah at the Standing and He will ask him, "My slave, how did you leave your family?" He will reply, "My Lord, I left them poor." He - glory be to Him - will say to him, "I have made them rich after you." The rich man who relied on means and his worldly portion will stand and Allah - glory be to Him - will ask him, "How did you leave your family?" and he will reply, "Lord, I left them rich." He will say, "I have made them poor after you."

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "O Allah, let me die poor. Do not let me die rich." He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone devotes himself to Allah, Allah will spare him every burden and provide for him from where he does not expect. If someone devotes himself to this world, Allah will entrust him to it." It is said that the true faqir is someone who does not store up for himself and does not seek help. The faqir is the one who is in need of Allah's power, strength and existence and enriched by witnessing the One he worships. Our master and teacher, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, used to say, "By Allah, and there is no god but Him, everything except devotion to Allah is play and falsehood." He said, "By Allah, we have specified what we have specified and that is devotion to Allah, 'azza wa jalla, since there is no delay in gaining a goal you seek by your Lord and a goal you seek by yourself is never easy to achieve, as is said." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The truest phrase a poet has said is the words of Labid, 'Everything except Allah is false.'"

Know that tawba has three degrees: the tawba of the common, which is on account of wrong actions; the tawba of the elite which is on account of being occupied with stations, stages and degrees rather than the Beloved; and the tawba of the elite of the elite which is on account of lapses due to pricks from Shaytan and moments of heedlessness, since no one possesses constant awareness of the Real, majestic is He. Firmness of election does not demand absence of the quality of humanness, as is said.

My Master inspired me with something from Him which I did not take from anyone and which I have not heard from anyone else. It is to say: "O Lord, the only thing You have given me to rely on is success and generosity from You in having been able to perform all sorts of righteous actions and acts which have brought me nearness to You. This is in any case conditional on Your beautiful veiling of my faults since if it had not been for the beauty of Allah's veiling, there would be no action worthy of acceptance. I have divided these actions into a hundred parts. Ninety-eight are a gift for our master, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. One goes to the people of the house of the Prophet and the shaykhs, scholars, martyrs, righteous and all the believers. One quarter of the remaining part is for anyone who has a right against us, a second quarter is for my parents, a third quarter is for the rulers of the Muslims, and the remaining quarter for everything else which Allah 'azza wa jalla created, seeking mercy from Him, each according to his state and station.

The dedicated, humble, sinful, insignificant slave Ahmad, who has nothing and is bankrupt before You, says with a tongue of supplication, abasement, weakness and need:

I have all faults; that is my quality.

 You have all praise and lauding.

Grace, kindness and generosity come from You.

 Poverty, bankruptcy and non-existence are my contribution.

My God, if someone's realities are merely claims, how can his claims not be claims? If someone's good qualities are evil qualities, how can his evil qualities not be evil qualities? My Lord, I hope for Your mercy through Your mercy and the intercession of your Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, by Your generosity and nobility. There is no god but You. Glory be to You, truly I am one of the wrongdoers.

It is certain that the best of your moments is the moment in which you admit to your absolute poverty and return to your abasement and in which you are safe from the suggestions of your lower selves and people are safe from your bad opinion since there are two characteristics which are not surpassed by any other good quality: having a good opinion of Allah and a good opinion of the slaves of Allah; and there are two qualities than which there is nothing worse: having a bad opinion of Allah and a bad opinion of the slaves of Allah, as is reported. Allah jalla wa 'azza says, "O you who believe, avoid most suspicion. Indeed some suspicion is a crime. And do not spy and do not backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat his brother's dead flesh? No, you would hate it. And fear Allah." (49: 12)

Our master and teacher, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "We may see the water of the fuqara' being held back and the reason for that is bad opinion and arrogance. If they were to have a good opinion and lower their heads, then Allah would release their water. May Allah curse the one who denies them." Be also certain, then, that any words that are not dhikr are a distraction. That is why the Messenger, may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him, never spoke except to remember Allah. Allah jalla wa 'ala says, "You who believe! do not let your wealth or children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. Whoever does that is lost." (63:9)

In short, put all your efforts into belittling this world and disdaining it and being content with little of it, and do not store up anything beyond your food for the following day, relying on Allah. Be content with everything that comes to you from Allah. Always be sad about acts of obedience to Allah you have missed. Do not talk about what does not concern you and only mention Allah. Fill your hearts with hope for success and fear of Allah. Close your eyes to the faults of others, dismiss their slips and overlook their evil deeds and repay them with good actions. Accept people's intercession and excuses. Purify your hearts of avarice and maintain ties of kinship and put things right between yourselves. Unite and do not separate. There is no good in those who are not friendly. Respect your brothers and honour them and receive them in every state. They are your support. Meet them with kindness and do not meet them with knowledge. Kindness makes people friendly and knowledge alienates. Leave what pains people's hearts.

Hasten to what is obligatory and recommended. Stop trying to look after yourself in all states. Looking after the self is bad news and inclining to it is a sign of hypocrisy in the heart. Self-satisfied people have the gates of mercy locked in their face and they are veiled from the secrets of the Unseen.

Keep contact with those who cut you off and give to those who refuse to give to you. Pardon those who wrong you. Give sadaqa to all believers in Allah. Always always keep your bodies, garments, places of worship, zawiyyas and houses clean. Be scrupulous with regard to istibra' and be extravagant in istinja' and encourage your wives to be extravagant in it. Every harm which afflicts your family in terms of serious illness, madness, the itch, leprosy and other such things comes from deficiency in doing istinja'. Do not allow your wives any laxness regarding purification from janaba. Every harm which comes to a woman with respect to her honour comes from her failure to ensure purity from janaba. When that happens the shaytans gain control of her and lead her by the forelock to every evil. It is related that janaba is hiding under every hair is and there is a shaytan connected to every state of janaba. It is also related that the angels do not go near anyone in janaba until they are purified.

[Istibra': a process used by a man to ensure he is free of urine.
istinja': washing the private parts with water.
janaba: impurity resulting from sexual intercourse.

Every harm which comes to a believing man or woman is the result of delaying the Subh prayer beyond its time since it is related that shaytan urinates in the ear of anyone who delays it and because of this the lower self begins to be lazy. Perform the prayer and pay the zakat. The prayer of someone who does not pay zakat is not accepted, as is related. Pay it with resolve at the end of the year and do not distribute it on the basis of your own opinion to other than those who are entitled to it. Those who are entitled to it consist of eight categories. Allah jalla wa 'ala said, "Zakat is for: the poor, the destitute, those who collect it, reconciling people's hearts, freeing slaves, those in debt, spending in the Way of Allah, and travellers. It is a legal obligation from Allah." (9:61) Do not be overcome by shaytan, your appetites and your nafs so that you fail to pay it, or let this world distract you so that you abandon the prayer or delay it beyond its time. Allah jalla wa 'ala, says, "As for those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in the Way of Allah, give them the news of a painful punishment on the Day it is heated up in the fire of Hell their foreheads, sides and backs are branded with it: This is what you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you were hoarding!" (9:34-35)

Anyone who abandons the prayer should be executed for unbelief according to the position of hadith scholars and that is also the position in our school in the opinion of Imam Ibn Habib, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah does not bless any work which distracts one from the prayer."

Fear Allah in respect of your women and what your right hands own [i.e. slaves]. That was the last instruction of the Messenger, may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him. Fear Allah in respect of the prayer. "Fear Allah in respect of women. Fear Allah in respect of what your right hands own." Do not ever turn away a beggar disappointed. If the beggar is truthful, whoever repels him will not prosper, as has been reported. Do not prefer your sons over your daughters in respect of gifts and waqfs, based on opinion and appetite. There is an immense sin in doing that except in an instance when the Shari'a demands that boys be singled out. "Do not let the life of this world delude you and do not let the Deluder delude you about Allah." (35:5) "As for him who overstepped the bounds and preferred the life of this world, the Blazing Fire will be his refuge." (79:37-38) Anyone who does not accept good advice should prepare for disgrace in this world and the Next. Those who oppose Allah's command should beware of a trial smiting them or a painful punishment striking them.

Feed people - no action is equal to feeding people in the way of Allah. Its rewards and special qualities are countless, beyond number in this world and in the Next, as is confirmed by the Book and Sunna and the consensus of all the Muslims. One of its qualities is that it makes property grow and causes no decrease since property is never decreased by sadaqa. Another is that anything spent in the way of Allah is multiplied by ten up to seventy times and even up to seven hundred times to numbers without end. Another is that it is source of shade for you in this world and the Next. Another is that Allah makes it grow for you until the Last Hour. Another is that it distances you from the Fire. Another is that it extinguishes the anger of the Lord and brings the fruit of His pleasure. Another is that it brings about love and nearness to Allah and the Garden and other people. Another is that power will be with the poor and the very poor at the time of the Immense Standing since they will have the right of intercession at that time, as is related. Another is that it makes hearts soft, brings about strength of certainty and belief, expands provision and increases good character in the case of those who are lacking in good character.

One of my stressed and confirmed commands is that any of you who has an opening to any of knowledge of haqiqa should bury it and conceal it and not speak about it except by using subtle indications to its people. When you see people from among you or others divulging it, shun them, do not speak to them and do not be connected to them. Close connection with them is a poison which will penetrate your hearts, because such people are hated, disappointed zindiqs and suffer disgrace in this world and the Next unless they repent. Anyone who repents of wrong action is like someone who has no wrong action, as is related. Allah jalla wa 'ala said, "Say to those who disbelieve that if they stop, they will be forgiven what is past." (8:38) The Qutb, Mawlana 'Abdu'l-Warith al-Yasluti, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said:

Those who divulge the haqiqa to ordinary people

 are zindiqs. There is no god but Allah.

Do not divulge the secrets of your deen and this world except to a true brother. In the case of others, do not do so. Our master and teacher, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "Do not divulge your secrets to anyone, even if he is loved by you, because he also has someone he loves who in turn has someone he loves who in turn has someone he loves and so on. So your secret will be spread among people everywhere and corruption will spread. That might lead to harm unless Allah prevents it."

Bury your secret seventy feet deep in the earth and level it.

 Let people complain to Him on the Day of Rising.

May Allah give you success and guide you and give us happiness in both the worlds. May He relieve us of our cares and give us the best of both the worlds. May He cover us always in might, well-being, taqwa and righteous action which pleases Him and with which He is pleased, until certainty comes and we are with the Highest Companion, our master, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his party in this world and the Next. His greatest pleasure results in total delight with no anger after it ever. May He grant us health and well-being in the deen and this world and the Next World. May He preserve us from punishment. May our evil deeds be transformed into good deeds and may we receive the greatest intercession and gain the upper hand in this world and the Next World by Allah's pure mercy, generosity and forbearance. Amin. Amin. Amin.

We end our supplication with the words: Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, there is no power nor strength except from Allah, the High, the Immense. My success is only from Allah. I have relied on Him and I repent to Him. "Glory be to You. We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. You are the All-Knowing, All-Wise." If You do not forgive me and have mercy on me, I will be among the losers.

This letter should be recited out loud slowly and clearly to all the brothers and sisters whom it reaches. Each and every group should honour it greatly out of thanks to Allah, 'azza wa jalla, and follow it by doing the great dhikr of al-Latif and of His name, as-Sattar, according to the numerical value of its letters. Each group should write a copy of this letter in a clear script and the writer should be both a faqih and grammarian. It should be given to anyone who wishes to copy it. The master copy should be given to our relation by marriage, the source of great blessing, the wali of Allah Almighty, Sidi Muhammad ibn 'Umar, to be kept in his house and shown to the brothers and sisters as a special honour with thankfulness to Allah 'azza wa jalla. This should be done quickly.

There must also be much visiting - it is an immense pillar in the Path of Allah - especially visiting your daughters because maintaining ties of kinship increases life. It is related that kinship is suspended from the Throne which says, "Whoever joins me, Allah joins him. Whoever severs me, Allah severs him." May Allah support you and make you firm. As soon as this arrives letter send me your news with the first trustworthy person to come. May Allah guard you.

Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah Almighty and His blessing with a complete universal and general peace and on your blessed happy circle. May Allah put it right and put others right by it and clothe us all in the immense ghawthiyya until the Day of Rising by His grace. Amin. Amin. Amin.

At the end of Shawwal 1268.

The most insignificant of the insignificant, the dog of the people of the presence of Allah, Ahmad al-Badawi. Allah is his Guardian.

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