English translation of Maktubat Imam Rabbani (selective 100) | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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This letter, written to his blessed son Muhammad Mathum 'madda zilluhul'ali', informs that man's origin is 'adam and that there is no goodness in 'adam:
Man's essence, person, that is, man himself, is his nafs. This is called nafs-i natiqa. When man says "I," he points to his nafs. And the essence, the origin of this nafs-i natiqa is, in its turn, 'adam (nonexistence). Because lights and attributes of wujud (existence) fell upon 'adam, he thinks of himself as existent. He thinks of himself as alive, knowing and capable. He thinks that such beautiful attributes as life and knowledge belong to him and that he is the cause of their existence. For this reason, he deems himself mature and good. He has forgotten about the evil and defects which came to him from 'adam, the source of all evil and which became his own property. If a person, attaining Allah's kindness and blessing, gets rid of his manifold ignorance and his wrong belief, he will realize that the goodness and beauty existing in him are not his own property, that they have come from some other place, and that he is not the cause of their remaining in existence. He will believe that his own essence is 'adam, which is the source of all evil. If, as a blessing from Allahu ta'ala, this belief of his becomes stronger, if he returns the perfection and goodness in him to their owner and delivers these beautiful deposits to their proper place, he will know himself to be 'adam only. He will not see any type of goodness in himself. Then neither his name nor his fame or sign will remain. Neither his substance nor his trace will be left. For, he is 'adam only. And 'adam is nothing. He is nonexistent in every respect. For, if he were existent in any respect, he would not say that all beauty and goodness did not exist in him. For, it is beauty to exist. In fact, it is the origin, the source of all beauty.
As it is understood from all that has been said, formation of a complete fana, that is, nonexistence, in man, does not necessitate his own ceasing to exist. Why should he be thought to cease to exist while he is already nonexistent? He is nonexistent thinking of himself as existent. If he gets rid of this wrong supposition and does not deem himself existent, he will realize that he is 'adam. This means to say that zawal-i Shuhudi [Ceasing to exist in ideation, conception.] is necessary to attain fana. Zawal-i wujudi [Ceasing to exist physically.] is not necessary at all. Allahu ta'ala, alone, knows the truth of every matter. [All the vices of 'adam have been accumulated in the nafs-i-ammara. The nafs-i-ammara hates doing good. It always wishes to do evil. It loves things that will do harm to itself or to others. In order to attain felicity in the world and in the Hereafter, man has to oppose his nafs, enervate it and subjugate it to harmlessness. The primary medicine to sap the nafs is to obey the Shariat. All kinds of harams, fondness for worldly property and position, and self-indulgence are the essential nutrients for the nafs. They feed and strengthen it. When the nafs becomes strong, it attacks Islam, the source of all sorts of goodness, moral beauty, science and civilization. It makes fun of Islam, iman, and the commandments of Allahu ta'ala. It wishes others to follow its example and become excessive and eccentric, commit injustice, do evil and perpetrate savagery. It calls people who are like it 'neoteric,' and those who are unlike it 'regressive.' Man's arch enemy is his own nafs, and people who have overfed and unbridled their nafs are unaware, ignorant people.]