English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written to Darwish Habib Hadim, explains the reason for the abundance or scarcity of khariqas and karamats:
Diving into an excess of mubahs (actions permitted by the din) causes a decrease in karamats. Especially if one reaches down to the doubtful actions and thence, may Allah protect, approaches the harams, karamats and khariqas will disappear altogether. When mubahs are infrequently used, not more than necessary, there will be an increase in the occurrence of karamats and khariqas. The exhibition of khariqas (wonders) is necessary in prophethood. It is not necessary in Wilayat. For, prophethood must be declared to everybody. But it is not wajib to declare the fact that one is a Wali. On the contrary, it is better to cover the fact. For, prophethood is to invite people to Allahu ta'ala. But being a Wali is to get close to Allahu ta'ala. Everybody knows that inviting people requires advertising oneself. But approaching is to be done secretly. If many karamats are seen on a Wali, this does not show that he is higher than another Wali who has few karamats. A Wali who has no karamats seen may be more exalted than the Awliya who exhibit many khariqas. Author of the book Awarif [Hadrat Shihabuddin-i Suhrawardi], who is one of the greatest Awliya, wrote this fact in detail. While prophets' exhibiting many or few khariqas does not denote their being higher or lower in degree despite the fact that it is a condition for them to exhibit miracles, how could it ever show superiority in a Wali though it is not a condition? In my opinion, prophets doing riyadat and mujahada and using even the mubahs in the least degree was intended to exhibit miracles. For, it is wajib for them to exhibit miracles and it is a condition of prophethood. It was not intended to go up to the grades close to Allahu ta'ala. For, prophets 'alaihimussalawatu wattahiyyat' are the beloved leaders who have been chosen for the way of ijtiba. Allahu ta'ala, by catching hold of them with the hook of love, pulled them up to Himself. Thus, they were made to reach the grades of closeness without taking pains. Doing riyadat and mujahada and struggling in order to reach the grades of closeness to Allahu ta'ala are peculiar to the way of inabat and iradat, which is the way for murids. But the way of ijtiba through which prophets are taken is the way of murads. Murids proceed by suffering hardships. But murads are made to proceed by fondling, by endearments. They are made to reach the grades of closeness without any hardships.
In the way of inabat and iradat, it is necessary to put up with riyadats and mujahadas. In the way of ijtiba these are unnecessary. They are useful, however. If a person who is being made to proceed through fondlings and services struggles himself and facilitates his progress, he reaches the purpose faster and goes further up. If he himself does not struggle, his progress will not be so easy and fast. Yes, Allahu ta'ala pulls a person whom He likes up so fast that he goes faster than all. In short, in the way of ijtiba struggling or suffering hardships is not necessary either for reaching the goal or for going faster and further up. But sometimes these are useful. Riyadat and mujahada means to use the mubahs as much as necessary [and not to do the excessive desires of the nafs]; these things provide those who are in the way of ijtiba with other benefits. Among these benefits are jihad-i akbar and the purification of the heart from mundane dirts.
Using things which one needs as much as necessary or working to obtain them does not mean to set one's heart on the world. What is worldly is the fudhul (excess), that is, things useless and more than necessary. [Even these things are not considered to be worldly if they are earned and spent in a manner approved by Allahu ta'ala.] Another great benefit of riyadat, that is, of using things that are mubah as much as necessary, is that they will shorten and facilitate one's accounting on the Day of Last Judgement. It also causes one's promotion in the next world. The more one suffers in the world the more comfortable will he be in the next world. For this reason, too, did the Prophets suffer mortifications. All these sum up to mean that though it is not necessary in the way of ijtiba to suffer riyadats or to use the mubahs as much as necessary, these are still good and useful. Considering their numerous benefits, we might as well say that they are necessary, and indispensable. O our Allah, have mercy upon us! Bless us with the lot of righteous and useful deeds! Salam to those who are on the right way!