Awakening spiritual guides
QUESTION: Why do you attack the spiritual guides of the time? There are saints among them. Do you not fear that you attack them ignorantly and are you not regretful about what you have done?
ANSWER: God the Almighty, Exalted is His Majesty, inscribed the truth on their elevated forehead with His Power. My purpose is to awaken those who are thirsty for this inscription of truth.
They cannot prevent me from my way with threats. I am determined to take every risk on my way to my goal. While an ordinary non-Muslim sacrifices their life for their nation, my bond with my life is extremely weak. My life has, to date, almost flown from my hand seven times, but it has been left in my hand. I have no right to put anyone under obligation by giving my life for the sake of my cause. Although my spirit desires to fly from its cage onto the tree, and my mind wants to flee from my head into despair, they have been left in their places so that I might sacrifice them later. So it is in vain to threaten me with death. They also threaten me with losing the afterlife. No matter! I am burning in the fire of sorrows and sighs for our present condition, and resound with regret at our neglect and loss. If I burn in Hellfire due to their malediction, my conscience will feel paradisiacal happiness at being saved from this fire of sorrows, sighs, and regrets, and my imagination will build a paradise out of hope and aspiration. Let everyone know that I am carrying my two lives – this and the next – in my two hands, and am preoccupied with fighting against two enemies at the fronts. Let no one with only one life come up against me!
QUESTION: What do you want from the present guides?
ANSWER: I want them to have sincerity or purity of intention which they always mention; I want them to exert themselves to fight against their souls – the major jihad – which is their duty in their military job – spiritual purification, to abandon pursuing their personal interests and to lead an austere life, which is their claim and distinguishing mark, and to love each other, which they always claim and advise, and which is the essence of an Islamic disposition. They have received their wages by employing us, now it is their duty to serve us.
QUESTION: How should they act?
ANSWER: They should either give up claiming guidance or remove obstinacy, backbiting, and bias from among themselves. Some innovative guides have caused the formation of certain schools of deviation and innovation.
QUESTION: How can they be united while some deny the others?
ANSWER: Have you not heard and understood that “The believers are but only brothers (and sisters) (49:10)” is a Divine principle, and do you not see that “No one among you will believe unless he desires for his brother (sister) what he desires for himself”71 is a Prophetic principle? How could it be that denial of others is able to abrogate these two firm, essential foundations? Even if they deny each other, it is not a Divine word so that it cannot be abrogated. Moreover, since its harm surpasses its benefit, then time has abrogated it. It is not permissible to act according to a rule that is already abrogated.
QUESTION: Their mutual dislike may be due to the evils they have suffered at each other’s hand.
ANSWER: How can this be? According to what justice and fairness? How could it be that the love resulting from and required by belief, by being Muslims, and by fellowship in humanity, has been overcome by the hostility caused by some petty un-Islamic acts and ways of treatment, which is no more than a childish pretext? Being Muslims and being part of humanity, which require mutual love, are like Mount Uhud in weight, while the causes that give rise to hostility are like pebbles. Defeating love by hostility is so idiotic an act that it means reducing Mount Uhud to the lightness of a few pebbles. Like light and darkness, love and hostility cannot exist together. If hostility wins, love changes into flattery and hypocrisy; if love overcomes then hostility is transformed into pity and compassion. My way is loving love and being hostile to hostility. What I love most in the world is love and what I resent most is hostility.
QUESTION: What is the difference between a saintly guide and one who claims to guide?
ANSWER: If one’s purpose is to combine the Islamic light of heart with the light of mind, if their way is based on love and characterized by humility or modesty, if the distinguishing mark of their way is selflessness and avoidance of pursuing personal interests, and if one acts out of Islamic zeal and for the victory of Islam – then we may hope that such a one is a true guide. However, if their way is characterized by criticizing others to show themselves as meritorious and virtuous, by trying to inculcate their love by cherishing hostility toward others, and by bias or partiality – which causes division of power, and if their love depends on hostility toward others, which gives rise to backbiting, then such a one is a seditious, misguiding claimer of guidance, and a wolf in pursuit of plunder. They drum on the spiritual way with their hands instead of playing the drum so that they may be tipped and receive gifts. They attempt to hunt the world with the Religion. They have been deceived either by a poisonous pleasure or a lowly fancy or a wrong reasoning and deduction, thus they suppose themselves to be great and have opened the way to having an ill-opinion of truly great guides and holy persons.
(From Munazarat [“Discussions”])
71 al-Bukhari, “Iman” 6; Muslim, “Iman” 71.