Second Letter from Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi
(Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi was the student of Shaykh Moulay al-'Arabi al-Darqawi)
There is no power nor strength except by Allah, the High, the Immense
Our masters and friends, who have the greatest value and respect in our eyes, whose feet are on our neck, whose intercession with our Lord we hope for in this world and the Next; you are full moons, blessings, those who always act by the breezes of inspiration with both gravity and ecstasy, the light of the moment and its guidance, mercy and blessings; you are awliya' of Allah in truth and His chosen ones in sincerity, brothers in Allah and lovers in His essence; I refer to the people of Wadi Tafilat and the people of Tizimi, the people of Wadi ar-Ratb, the people of al-Fa'ija, the people of Amdaghra, the people of Jir, and everyone who follows us among the slaves our Lord. May Allah increase their number and His overflow of help to them, especially to the esteemed muqaddams and muqaddimats, our supports, pillars, and masters. May Allah crown me and you with the crown of those who are beloved until we see only Allah, love only Allah and worship only Allah and our cheeks are stepping stones for the sandals of the people of Allah, because Allah is jealously protective of them, even if they are liars. It is said that there are two forests which only a real hypocrite would poke about in: the forest of the people of the House of the Prophet and the forest of the people of Presence of Allah. We ask Allah for protection and peace.
It is necessary to submit to their most splendid presence, provided that that does not entail anything agreed to be forbidden, because we and they are one and unified in Allah. If someone splits us up into disparate groups or causes any separation among us, Allah is his reckoner and questioner and the One who will take revenge on him. "Those who do wrong will soon know the kind of reversal they will receive!" (26:227) We are the bedstone on which the millstone turns. Wherever the people of the presence of Allah are, they are the millstone, so whoever comes between us will be ground to dust. The one who comes between us is someone who says, "Shaykh Sidi so-and-so is greater than Shaykh Sidi so-and-so," or, "The people of Sidi of so-and-so are teachers of the people of Sidi so-and-so." This is terrible heedlessness, a blameworthy state, and a pretence at eliteness without having its reality. Woe, and again woe, to anyone who claims to be one of the elite when that is not the case. Delving into these matters is something completely renounced by the people of the Divine Presence because it is one aspect of the greatest affliction and not appropriate for their state or in harmony with their station, as our master and teacher said, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him. One of the signs that someone is a true Muslim is that he will ignore what does not concern him, whereas a hypocrite will seek out other people's faults, as is reported.
Peace be upon you and mercy of Allah Almighty and His blessings and on all of the blessed good circle and everyone who has a sound, forbearing heart, especially your sharifs, scholars, fuqaha', notable people, great people, those you love, and all of those who befriend you in Allah.
Following on from that, know, may Allah teach you well, that eliteness, or we could say the greatest siddiqiyya, or we could say perfect wilaya, is that a person who has it is never found doing anything prohibited and is never upset about having to exhaust himself in the Way of Allah, so emulate that, may Allah help you and make you firm. Study constantly because study in Allah makes you firm and makes you travel the path quickly and makes you firm when you arrive at realisation.
Receive good news and give good news of a tremendous overflowing of Divine help both in the sensory and meaning, and of protection, veiling, kindness, light and blessing, because the himma of the people of Allah is with you, and they are not separate from their himma, and their knowledge is not separate from their action. Allah, glory be to Him, does not disappoint them and is not disappointed by them. He enables them to obtain what they desire and protects them from those who attack them. O the happiness and good fortune of anyone who sees them and looks at them!
As for the one you see stationary, leave him like that.
If you abandon someone, his life is meaningless.
The one you travel with is reckoned to be one of you
and is drawing near.
O people of perfection! Allah has been generous to you.
Your love enriches.
Praise Allah greatly for joining you to the string of their necklace because a man has the deen of his close friend. Anyone who spends much time with the main body of a people is one of them and the people of Allah are such that no one who sits with them is wretched and all who love them will be gathered with them, as is related.
The two imams, al-Junayd and ash-Shadhili, may Allah be pleased with them both and help us by them, said, "Affirmation of the Path is itself wilaya." The shaykh of the shaykhs, Sidi Ibn 'Ata'illah, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "Glory be to Him who makes His friends known only because it is a way of making Himself known and only takes a person to them when He wants to bring them to Himself." Another of them, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "If you see someone affirming this Path, give him good news. If you see someone mastering the art of its people, envy him. If you see someone having an opening regarding the interpretation of its meanings, he is a star which is not attained and a sea which is never exhausted." It is also said that your reaching Allah is your reaching someone who knows Him. It is said, "Meet Me through the gnostic and meet Me in a sea of wrong actions."
So, my masters, be firm with respect to your contract with them and your love, honour and affection for them, preferring them and esteeming them. Surrender your will to them and close your eyes to any faults they may display. They are by Allah for Allah in all of their states. Be firm, "be steadfast; be supreme in steadfastness; be firm on the battlefield; and have taqwa of Allah; so that hopefully you will be successful." (3:200) If any of you experiences doubt about them, he should repent and renew his contract so that death does not overtake him in a state of doubt, causing him to lose the good of his life and its blessing and threatening him with an evil seal at his death.
If something comes to a person either in a dream or while they are awake inducing him to reject this glorious path, he should hold to the creed of the two shahadas and realise that it is the suggestion of a rebellious shaytan. He should seek refuge in Allah. Take this to heart, my illustrious friend, Sidi al-Hajj al-'Arabi ibn Sidi al-Hajj al-Ghali, and inform all your young people. Hold to it and do not desire anything other than it, so that you are not ruined after receiving this great gift, for that is worse than the fire of Jahannam, as is said. Repent to Allah for having let any such thought preoccupy you. Spit to your left three times and say, "O Allah, I seek refuge with you from the evil of what I have dreamt lest it harm me in my deen and this world." Then Allah will protect you from the evil of that, as is reported. Allah jalla wa 'ala says, "O you who believe, do not follow in the footsteps of Shaytan. Anyone who follows in Shaytan's footsteps should know that he commands indecency and wrongdoing." (24:21) He, tabaraka wa ta'ala, also says, "This is My Path and it is straight, so follow it. Do not follow other ways or you will become cut off from His Way." (6:154) Allah ta'ala further says, "Shaytan is your enemy so treat him as an enemy. He summons his party so they will be among the people of the Searing Blaze." (35:6) Always say "Ya Latif, Ya Hafidh, Ya Mani'."
You must accord the greatest honour to the brothers as expiation for your wrong actions and healing for any injury you have inflicted. We have recommended you to study. The Real, 'azza wa jalla, is only worshipped through knowledge and the angels lower their wings to the seeker of knowledge, pleased with what he does, as is reported, and Allah protects them.
The reality of the murid is that he gives up his will to his shaykh. Taking a dead shaykh is not valid except by way of seeking blessing. Beware of defaming the people of the Divine Presence because that amounts to denial of the Divine Itself and is an Israelite, shaytanic impulse. Beware of quarrelling, even if you are in the right. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone abandons quarrelling when he is in the right, Allah will build him a palace in the upper part of the Garden. If someone abandons it when he is in the wrong, Allah will build him a palace in the forecourt of the Garden." It is related that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace forbade us to indulge in chitchat and a lot of asking. Allah, jalla wa 'ala, says: "There is no good in much of their secret talk, except in the case of those who enjoin sadaqa, or what is right, or putting things right between people." (4:114) The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The believer is sparing of speech and grave." It is said that the believer has little speech and much action.
If someone criticises you for performing one the practices of the Path, be certain that he is a human shaytan. A human shaytan is worse than seventy shaytans of the jinn, as is said. Be silent [and do not speak] to him, and free your heart from him. Pray for good for him when he is absent because the majestic Path has is built on foundations whose pillars are reinforced by the Book, the Sunna and consensus. This is not a matter we have innovated. The practices of the Path - doing dhikr out loud, the circle of dhikr, the dance with ecstasy or without ecstasy, begging in residential areas and markets, wearing the muraqqa'a and the subha, using a staff, wearing green garments, sama', saying the takbir a lot and doing dhikr of the Name of Majesty alone, and breaking norms with the intention of lowering the self and abasing it, in the past and present, in ways which do not differ from the Book and the prescribed Sunna - these are all things which are done by the Poles, Ghawths, and Afrad and countless number of shaykhs and their followers.
Those noble outward scholars who criticised them were responded to by them, may Allah be pleased with them, and then they acknowledged the truth and were fair. Some of them took the path themselves while others of them recognised them and sought baraka from them. This was said by someone without whom the consensus of the scholars would have been impossible to achieve in his time, Sidi 'Izzu'd-din ibn 'Abdu's-Salam, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him.
By Allah, we have not seen anyone who truly abides by the rules of the indestructible Shari'a except for the Sufis. Whoever wants to verify and clarify that should read al-Ihya' by Imam al-Ghazzali, Sunan al-Muhtadin by Imam al-Mawwaq, the Risala of al-Qushayri, the Letters of Sidi Ibn 'Abbad, the Nusra of Imam as-Sanusi, the works of Imam ash-Shatibi, the Nusra of Imam Ibn Khajju, the Nusra and Mabahith of Imam at-Tujibi, the works of the Fes masters, especially the work of the greatest imam, Sidi Ahmad ibn Yusuf ibn as-Sama', the works of the Shaykh of Shaykhs, Ahmad Zarruq, the Risala of Imam ash-Shushtari and others who are too many to count, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them and make us benefit by their remembrance. Amin.
If you really want a summary of all that in chapter and verse then read al-Nusra by the accomplished scholar, the gnostic of Allah and guide to Him, Mawlana 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Hashim al-Madghri al-Hasani al-'Alawi, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him. We do not know of any book like it. It contains the gist of about a hundred and twenty works of the firmly rooted great scholars of the past who have combined the outward and the inward.
This book is in the possession of one who calls people to Allah with gravity, ecstasy and glory, the unique one of our age, Mawlana Ahmad ibn ash-Sha'rani, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him. Borrow it from him and keep it with you for as many days as Allah wishes, so that you can study it. Hearing about something is not the same as seeing with one's own eyes. Tell him from us that if he has not copied out the three folios which remain, he should hasten to do so and send the last half to our brothers, the people of Mdaghra. He should be made fully aware that if any benefit has been lost to the slaves of Allah as a result of this tardiness, its wrong action is on his neck and the neck of Sidi Muhammad al-'Arabi because it was divided up by us into sections to be circulated and copied. If someone wants a single folio to study that is all right. Some people of Fes, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them, asked us to do that. Ask him from us: "Where is your love of Allah? Where is your contract with Allah? Where is your connection to Allah?" All of our masters, the brothers, in every region should correspond and study. Some of them visit and after the first visit there is no more trace of them, no correspondence or even a faint whiff. We seek refuge with Allah from being overwhelmed by the intoxication of heedlessness!
Whoever does not apply himself to our Master applies himself to his own whims and desires. I have said that there can be no rest. We belong to Allah and we are returning to Him! If you do read the majestic Nusra, then study it together. As a result of this the lovers who affirm it will add belief to their belief and any critics will repent and so we will be a means of mercy for them. The All-Merciful shows mercy to the merciful. "Show mercy to those in the earth and you will be shown mercy by those in Heaven." All creatures are the dependants of Allah and the most beloved of creatures in the sight of Allah is the one who is most beneficial to his dependants, as is reported.
There is enough of a proof in those masters and strengthening for anyone who connects himself to them, especially in the scholars of the Community, such as the Proof of Islam, al-Ghazzali, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, and all the others who are too numerous to count. Enough of a proof among more recent masters can be found in Sidi Ahmad ibn al-Mubarak who took from Sidi 'Abdu'l-'Aziz ad-Dabbagh, Sidi Yusuf al-Fasi who took from Mawlana 'Abdu'r-Rahman al-Majdhub, Sidi at-Tawdi ibn Suda who took from Mawlana Ahmad as-Saqalli, Sidi 'Umar al-Fasi who took from the master of our master, Mawlana 'Ali al-Jamal, Sidi Ahmad al-Warzazi in Tetouan, and the clever knowledgeable one, Sidi Bujlal in the east. There are also the majestic fuqaha', Sidi Muhammad az-Zarwali, Sidi Ahmad Bunafi', Sidi Ahmad al-Malwi, Sidi Ahmad al-Kuhan, Sidi Ahmad ibn 'Abdullah al-Makudi in Taza, Sidi 'Abdu'l-Qadir al-Kuhan and others, and the great clever fuqaha' in Meknes az-Zaytun, Sale, Rabat al-Fath, Marrakech, as-Sawira and the east, all of whom took from our master and teacher, Mawlay al-'Arabi. Mawlana Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba, and his brother Sidi al-Hashimi took from the brother in Allah, Sidi Muhammad Buzidi, may Allah be pleased with all of them.
Imam Sidi at-Tayyib ibn Kiran took from our masters, the people of Wazzan. He used to attend their gatherings when they were doing dhikr with jalals in various melodies and he did not object to them doing that and there were tunes in some of them. He and our masters, the scholars, the people of Fes, attended our gatherings and his presence was most desired by them, by Allah. Sidi at-Tayyib ibn Kiran was our shaykh and guide. I used to study tafsir with him. When I divested myself, he used to yearn to meet us and sit with us. All the scholars of Fes espoused our tajrid since they knew that our gravity in our youth was by the support of Allah. But whoever is ignorant of a shaykh opposes him and yearning is only recognised by the one who has experienced it and passionate love by the one who has felt it, as is said. One thing they agree on is that tunes are not permitted intentionally unless it is in the form of the jalals. Then there is no harm. I said that the reason for that is because people's souls drink from those tunes when sung with good voices and are strengthened and escape from the sensory and rise to the presence of the Real, tabaraka wa ta'ala. This is essence of action and is the only thing for which actions are prescribed. It is also said that sama' is obligatory for the murids in their beginning.
They also agree on the permissibility of dancing even if no state is experienced, because the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If you do not weep, then imitate weeping." In the same way they agree about dhikr without presence because an action is not abandoned because of showing off. The greatest model, Sidi Muhammad ibn 'Abdu's-Salam al-Bannani, used to attend the hadra of a group of fuqara and did not object to it. They asked whether the dance was permitted when no state was experienced and he responded, "Are there any among you who experience the state?" They answered, "Most." He said, "Then dance, and there is nothing against you, because if someone has a state with Allah, those who are present with him are not separate from them, as is said."
The insignificant little Ahmad al-Badawi in the very heart of Fes, which is the treasury of knowledge, and all its scholars affirm the Path and are fair and seek blessing by it and some of them have themselves taken the Path. This also applies to the notable fuqaha' of the desert, most of whom have taken the Path, and the notable men of the fuqaha' of Makka and Madina who have also taken it. So listen to this and believe it, you who criticise, if you desire safety for yourselves and your belief and to obtain the baraka of your moment and the affection of the people of the presence of your Lord. Otherwise, the business is up to Allah. Allah guides to His light whomever He wishes. Anyone who criticises the people of Allah does so based on his own opinion, appetites and ignorance compounded together, and he is astray and leads others astray. He casts himself into every affliction. We read in a hadith qudsi, "Anyone who harms a friend of Mine has come out again Me in battle."
It is also feared that he will have an evil seal unless he repents and returns to Allah. Someone who repents of wrong action is like someone who has no wrong action, as is related, Allah willing. "Allah loves those who repent…" (the ayat 2:220). Something on which our masters the shaykhs agree, may Allah be pleased with them and help us by them, is that anyone who criticises us will die with an evil seal, even if they were lying. So resolve on this and stand by it, Sidi as-Salih ibn al-'Arabi. Do not listen to anything else. Repent to Allah of what echoes in the breast and give honour to the brothers as expiation for your wrong action and your listening to that criticism and your corresponding about it. Is there any doubt about Allah? Is here any doubt about Allah? Is there any doubt about Allah? Do you ask me about a man when he is like my father?
Travel the Path of the People and you will meet its good fortune
since the Book and Sunna define it.
This is a path of looking forward.
It is and will remain as long as time endures.
This Path is one of the most majestic paths,
so understand my words and imitate them in speech.
From al-Mabahith al-Asliyya.
Know, O greatest friend, clear famous guide to Allah, Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Makki al-Wighlafi, and honoured respected faqih Sidi as-Salih ibn al-'Arabi al-Bu'sami, that holding others in esteem is the greatest pillar on the Path and the loadstone of the secrets of gnosis and realisation, especially having respect for earlier afrad such as Mawlana 'Abdu'l-Qadir al-Jilani and those like him. It is an individual obligation (fard 'ayn). We hope that Allah will make us dust under the feet of his dog. Expiate your oath and repent of it with sincere tawba. Do not prefer us to any of our masters at all. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not prefer me to my brother, Yunus ibn Matta." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, also said, "If I had been Yusuf, I would have responded to the caller." This is teaching and humility on his part, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, although he was the master of the first and the last by consensus. Make esteem for the brothers expiation for your wrong action and esteem all of those ascribed to Allah wherever they are.
Beware and again beware of finding fault with anyone or his shaykh. Allah has as many paths as human creatures have breaths, each drinking from his own source. The Shaykh of Shaykhs, Sidi Ahmad Zarruq, may Allah be pleased and help us by him, said, "It is obligatory for us to submit to the people of the presence of Allah as long as they do not fall into something which is agreed upon to be haram. Whenever they come to you, honour them, esteem them and respect them. Do not impute any knowledge or action or state to them, out of esteem for their ascription to Allah. And do not travel to them except with the intention of visiting them and being in their presence and being patient in the face of what they say, as long as that does not conflict with the Book or Sunna. Otherwise, do not go."
I say that this is so that there is no debate and argument with them which would result in bad adab and reinforcing the nafs, which is one of the greatest wrong actions, for the faqir does not store up for himself and does not reinforce his nafs. Be like a bee. Alight wherever you find fragrant pasture. Bees eat what is good and produce what is good and spend the night in their hive. The power of horses derives from their pasture, as is said. May Allah guide you rightly and guide rightly by you and protect you outwardly and inwardly, in the same way that He preserves the Wise Reminder, and may He crown you with every noble prophetic quality by His favour. Amin.
Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Makki, our precious subha connects you to the company of the bearer of this letter and this is the form of our wird:
O Allah, bless our master Muhammad, Your slave and Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet and his family and Companions, and grant them peace abundantly in quantity as great Your creation, Your pleasure, the weight of Your Throne and the ink of Your words. I seek refuge with Allah, the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, from the Accursed Shaytan. In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, Most Merciful. There is no strength nor power except by Allah, the High, the Immense. (1)
I ask forgiveness of Allah. (100)
O Allah bless our master Muhammad, your slave and Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, and his family and Companions and grant him peace. (100)
There is no god but Allah alone without any partner. His is the kingdom and praise is His and He has power over all things. (100)
Glory be to Allah and by His praise. Glory be to Allah the Immense. (100)
Praise be to Allah and thanks to Allah. (100)
O Concealer (Ya Sattar) (101)
Begin it with "O Allah, O Concealer," and end it with "O Allah! There is no god but You. Glory be to You! I am one of the wrongdoers."
To that we have added Surat al-Ikhlas with the basmala (3).
Then seek refuge with the basmala, "There is no power nor strength except by Allah", and end with the prayer with which it begins once.
Recite this wird morning and evening, if you are able. If you are unable to do that, do the first three hundred. If that is not possible, do ten of every hundred, or ten of just of the first three hundred. The bare minimum is one hundred istighfar in order to keep anyone who is unable to do all of it on the path of the contract of the people of Allah, since the wird is the contract between the murid and his shaykh, Whoever abandons it, has broken his contract. Teach it to all who want it. We have given you idhn to do that. The idhn for it is baraka. Its adab, and the adab of dhikr in general, is the same as that for the prayer if it is feasible. Otherwise, the human being should remember Allah in every state.
The greatest imam, Sidi as-Suyuti, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "One thing on which all four schools and their scholars agree that in the case of everything other than the Qur'an, a human being can do dhikr in any state because the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to remember Allah at all times. Its ruling is similar to that of the prayer. In other words anyone who misses the wird at its appointed time should make it up as and when he can. He should also repeat the formula: "There is no god but Allah," without limit or number. At the end of every hundred he should say: "Our master Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."
Know, O single unique exile who guides to Allah with gravity, and ecstasy, the clear path and exact opinion, our pillar and blessing, Sidi Muhammad ibn at-Tahir al-Wallali, that I was absolutely delighted with what you mentioned in your wonderful letter with its gleaming lights and secrets about the earnestness of our masters and mawlas, our brothers in Allah and their constant striving in dhikru'llah and all that makes one draw near to Allah and their honouring of the people of the presence of Allah and particularly with their always feeding people in the Way of Allah, based on what is mentioned in the Book of Allah. Allah ta'ala says, "They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor and orphans and captives: We feed you only out of desire for the Face of Allah." (76:9-10) It is said that the pronoun in "love for it" refers to the food since it is dear to the nafs, and it is said that the word "it" can be read as "Him" referring to the Real, majestic is He.
So feed: feed people constantly and always. It is the source of success constantly and always. Whoever wears the robe of success always and constantly, will have success in whatever Allah desires for him and will be pleasing to Him constantly and always. Our masters, the scholars say that all success is by Allah's might and power as Allah states in His Might Book more than once. Allah jalla wa 'ala, says, "My success is with Allah alone." (11:88) One of the gnostics of Allah, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "We sought success for a long time and eventually found it in feeding people. There is no action which is equal to it." I say that it is the impenetrable fortress and the flowing sea. So hold fast to it.
There should be a lot of asking forgiveness, a lot of prayer on the Chosen Prophet, a lot of repetition of the words of Allah Almighty, "There is no god but You. Glory be to You. I am one of the wrongdoers," great intensity in supplication, and much visiting of the people of Allah. No day or night should be devoid of sadaqa on your part, even if it is only a date. By consensus these actions defend anyone who undertakes them from all afflictions and clothe him in the robes of privilege. If you are like that, you will be protected from the evil of this time and its affliction and the evil of its people, and will be helped and restored and have success, for it must be said that the time is not easy and it is getting worse. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Every day they are getting worse." And it is related that he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is no year but that the one after it is worse than it." And there is no month and no day which does not follow that pattern.
So strive, my masters, in making supplication for this Muhammadan community with great intensity! Its present state has appalled us greatly but we retain our good opinion of Allah, praying that He will help it, make it firm and unite the hearts of the Muslims in every good. May Allah place me and you among the party saved by His favour!
Exert yourself, O storehouse of sincerity, Sidi Muhammad ibn at-Tahir al-Wallali, in reminding the slaves about Allah and the Sunna of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and do so assiduously. The idhn for it is baraka. Encourage them to give sadaqa in all their villages wherever you stay with them. It counters afflictions and repels them until the Day of Rising. May Allah make you firm and make people firm by you.
Hold firmly to sincerity with Allah in all your states and actions because it is the greatest sword of Allah. Whenever it descends on something, it cuts through it. The Universal Ghawth, the master of our master, Sidi 'Ali Jamal, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said, "Someone who is sincere with Allah accomplishes a hundred things with one word, whereas someone without sincerity accomplishes nothing with a hundred words." Allah the immense speaks the truth: 'Being true to Allah would be better for them,' (47:21). '… so that So that Allah might recompense the sincere for their sincerity.' (33:24)
Be scrupulous in all your affairs. Righteousness in the deen depends on it as the greatest imam, Sidi al-Hasan al-Basri, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him, said. Ascend to Allah by means of your himma since what was going to happen has happened and what is decreed will certainly come about. By Allah, turning to creation is hidden shirk. The Prophet, 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 reckon." Prefer Allah to all things since things are by their nature transitory and vanishing. 'All things are passing except the face of Allah.'"
Keep your tongues still except in dhikru'llah. The disasters of the tongue are numerous. A man may speak one word which he finds inconsequential but because of it fall into the fire of Jahannam for seventy years, as is related. All words which are not dhikr are a distraction and there is no hour in which a person does not remember Allah tabaraka wa ta'ala which will not be a regret for him on the Day of Rising, as is related. So beware and again beware of sitting with the people of this world and socialising with them except out of legal necessity. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not sit with the dead or your hearts will die." He was asked, "Who are the dead, Messenger of Allah?" He answered, "Those who love this world and desire it." Allah jalla wa 'ala, said, "So turn away from him who turns away from Our remembrance and desires nothing but the life of this world." (53:29)
In short, limit your hopes so that you seize the opportunity of the rest of your life and recognise Allah Almighty, tabaraka wa ta'ala, in times of comfort by recognising Him in times of hardship. Seek Allah's help and He will help you. May Allah have mercy on you, be mindful of your states! Do not mirror the states of the people of our time who trivialise their lives. Hurry and again hurry, to construct zawiyyas in your villages. A zawiyya is a nest for the development of love of Allah, a place for the attainment of every desire and an anchorage for all good, both in the sensory and the meaning.
Repay us by mentioning us in your supplication to Allah constantly and always. Supplication is the core of worship. May Allah repay you likewise. I have received, O storehouses of sincerity, meaning our brothers among the people of Tafilalet, your glorious precious letters illuminated by the light of sincerity and love brought by visitors, mentioning each one by his name. May Allah increase your numbers and make help overflow to you. I have acquainted myself with their contents. The same applies to the most welcome letter from the clear famous remarkable blessing, Sidi Muhammad al-Makki Uyiddan, and what it contains. May Allah accept us and you and turn to you with His favour, Amin.
I have also received and read the letter of the storehouse of sincerity, Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Hajj Arbiti al-Qati in az-Zarifat, and that of Sidi Muhammad Ubaba al-Aghrisi al-Halmimi and have acquainted myself with their contents. Also five measures of good dates from Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Hajj and a basket of good dates from Sidi Muhammad Ubabab, may Allah increase their good, pour forth His help to them and make their feet firm and give them, for every date, a good deed the size of the Throne, accepted by His favour. Amen.
One of our confirmed stressed commands to you, our might, boast and honour of our father, Sidi Muhammad ibn at-Tahir al-Wallali, is that you look for one of our brothers, a noble faqih, to read this letter to you from beginning to end with great clarity, slowly and carefully, so that you learn what it contains. Then take it immediately to every single village of your brothers, the people of Wadi Tafilalat, the people of Tizimi and the people of ar-Ratb. Read it to all of them with great clarity and with a loud voice. Honour it greatly out of thankfulness to Allah, 'azza wa jalla, and end it by mentioning the names of Allah "the Kind" (al-Latif) "the Great" (al-Kabir) and His name, "the Concealer" (as-Sattar). Then do one hundred of Ya Mu'izz, one hundred of Ya Mutakabbir, and one hundred of Ya 'Adhim. These latter three hundred were something which our heart has been inspired to repeat by something tremendous which came us and as a specific dhikr for this time. Allah instructs it and the expansion of the breast is idhn.
All the villages of our brothers should make a copy of it in a clear and large script and the writer should be someone with a good knowledge of grammar, even if someone has to be paid to do it, and it should be kept carefully in each village and read regularly. Sidi Muhammad Uyyadan should copy it and it should be stored in his house and honoured out of thankfulness to Allah 'azza wa jalla. He should praise Allah for the kindness of the people of Allah. O the happiness of the one who sees it! Write, Sidi, Muhammad ibn at-Tahir with care, a copy for our brothers, the people of al-Fa'ija. Send it with anyone among them who comes to visit or with someone trustworthy and reliable. Praise Allah for the kindness of the people of Allah. Their kindness is the kindness of Allah, by Allah.
If any of you is concerned about a matter, whatever it is, whether the matter is outward or inward, about the affairs of his deen, this world or the Next World, he should be particularly careful not to delay the prayer beyond its time, especially the 'Isha' and Subh prayers. If ever he should commit a wrong action he should follow it by immediate repentance. He should often say, "There is no strength nor power except by Allah the High, the Immense" and he will see marvels in all his affairs. May Allah support you and support others by you! Amin.
Inform us of the arrival of this letter and send us your news whatever it may be with the first reliable person who comes to visit us. Your precious cloak has reached me, Sidi Muhammad ibn at-Tahir. May Allah clothe you in the robe of the greatest ghawthiyya followed with His favour Amin.
Here are two majestic treatises of great value that have come to us by the favour of the Real, tabaraka wa ta'ala. The text of the first is:
To everyone who follows us - may Allah increase your number and pour out His help to you without qualification or limit and grant you firmness until certainty comes - the essence of my advice is that you strive constantly and always in travelling the path of eliteness, which involves being stripped of this world and its people as a sheep is stripped of its skin. You should have a good opinion of Allah and the slaves of Allah and creation, prefer others to yourselves, be calm under the passage of the decree. Restrain yourselves from harming others and endure injury secretly and publicly. Keep your tongue still except in dhikru'llah, the Mighty, the Compeller, and be scrupulous regarding your words and your deeds. Reduce your hopes of this world until it is as if you were undergoing the throes of death. Prepare to meet the Forbearing, the Forgiving. All of the people of nearness obtain might from Allah and from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and from all the circle of the people of Allah who are certain that there is no rest at all in this world.
Anyone who does not strive in the path of eliteness strives in the path of commonality many times over. He misses out on might from Allah and from His Messenger and from the circle of the people of Allah in both abodes. He is scorned by all of creation. As an Arab saying goes: "Argue and you will be despised."
Even the smallest amount of eliteness involves undergoing abasement and humiliation and feeling fear all the time, especially at the moment of death. All the prerogatives of eliteness seek the one who seeks it beyond his wildest desires. All things seek him in abasement and humiliation. There is no attachment in his heart to that, since if someone prefers Allah to all things, He enriches him, suffices him and brings him near. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If anyone has the Next World for his goal, Allah will put wealth in his heart and make his property sufficient for him and this world will come to him in spite of itself. If anyone has this world for his goal, Allah will make it run from him and place poverty in front of him and only what is decreed for him of this world will come to him." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If anyone is sad for the sake of this world, Allah will be angry with him." May Allah give you success and guide you by His favour. Amin.
The following is a supplication of immense value which results in health, happiness, and honour for the one who uses it. I use it after the obligatory prayers and at propitious moments. Teach it to all of those who are your friends. Its text is:
O Allah, purify our hearts of hypocrisy and our genitals of indecency and immerse us completely in the source of the seas of the perfection of the immensity of Your Essence so that we do not see or hear or find or feel except by You until certainty comes. Amin. Amin. Amin.
May Allah support you. Peace.
The text of the second is:
A confirmed definite command for everyone who follows us is that he should add one hundred and one "Ya Sattar" to his wird morning and evening. Whoever has this instruction reach him should pass it on to anyone it has not reached in his area and to all the people of his region. We have given idhn for that as something which Allah desires. We ask Allah for kindness. We ask Allah for kindness. We ask Allah for kindness.
Lord, be kind to us by Makka and as-Safa!
Hear our supplication by Muhammad!
Know, may Allah teach you direct knowledge of Him, that what is with Allah is only obtained by obeying Allah. Allah will deliver those who are godfearing and are humble before Him and will preserve them. If you desire kindness and help from everyone then treat the slaves of Allah how you want to be treated and repay them with kindness. He is the All-Wise, All-Knowing. We know that the most merciful of people to others is someone who shows mercy to a person who is not merciful to him. A person with great forbearance almost reaches the standing of a Prophet. A wali of Allah is fashioned from forbearance and generosity, as is reported, "Ibrahim was forbearing, compassionate, penitent." (11:75)
Another confirmed, definite command for you is to do the Suway'a alone as a dhikr. It was the chant of the shaykh of our shaykhs, the Qutb, Sidi Yusuf al-Fasi, may Allah be pleased with him and help us by him. Its text is:
I ask for Allah's forgiveness and I turn to Allah, Glory be to Allah and praise be to Allah. There is no god but Allah and Allah is greater. There is no power nor strength except by Allah."
Astaghfiru'llaha wa atubu ila'llah wa subhana'llahi wa'l-hamdu lillahi wa la ilaha illa'llah wa'llahu akbar. wa la hawla wala quwwata illa billah.
It is a dhikr for all dhikrs and all good deeds. May Allah guide you right. Amin.
21 Safar 1268.
The most insignificant of the insignificant, the dog of the people of the presence of Allah, Ahmad al-Badawi, Zawatin. Allah is his friend.
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