Al-Ghazali letter to Sa'adat Khan

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Al-Ghazali letter to Mujir-ud-Deen
by Abu Hamid al-Ghazālī
This letter was translated by Allah.com, who releases them into the public domain.

To His Excellency Sa'adat Khan

"And there is not a thing but with Us are its treasuries, and We do not send it down except in a known measure." Koran, Chapter 15 verse 21.

The treasures belonging to kings are limited while the treasure house of bounties belong to the Owner of the Kingdoms of earth and heave are infinite. One of these treasures is His blessings and the other His curse, and both of them are mysteriously hidden.

There are two keys to them. One is called obedience and the other sin. These keys lie in the two treasures of Allah to whom all mysterious things are disclosed. One of these keys is also known as Divine guidance and the other disappointment.

The pearls of success and failure are contained in other mysterious treasures. One of them is widely known as contentment and the other anger. The pearls of contentment and anger are also found in the two treasures, which are beyond the reach of the common man who cannot even catch a glimpse of these pearls. There are mysteries about spiritual realities which will always remain unexplored. These are in the state of ecstasy, inspiration and illumination which is a most glorious attainment that cannot be expressed by knowledge.

In respect of the Hereafter, as for most of the learned and the enlightened, they are not preeminent for an authentic first hand intimate personal knowledge of Allah. The inner secrets of faith are purposely shrouded in mystery and careful hidden from the learned. The mysterious gift of mystic apprehension is bestowed upon elect souls, not for their own glory but for the sake of all humanity; to gauge the mysteries we must gauge them with the mystics, for the ground of mysteries and the mystics are one and the same. Allah refers to them thus: "But those to whom We have given the most finest (rank) shall be far removed from it (Hell)." Koran, Chapter 21 verse 101. These are the people who know the secrets of these treasures. Besides, those of whom: "The Phrase has become obligatory upon most of them" Koran, Chapter 36 verse 7 has been said are competent enough to disclose those things. Both of these holy verses refer to a secret which is the most wonderful of all mysteries. The height of wisdom is to remain quite dumb and silent about these realities. There must be an absolute stillness and distraction must cease.

One should be carefully watchful of ones utterance in this respect. Fate is a secret of Allah which should never be disclosed at all costs.

There is another treasure lying beyond these closely guarded treasures from which all treasures originate. Words fail to convey what this really is. The Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, reached this stage step by step. First he said after making the profession of faith: "Through Your pardon my soul seeks refuge with You." Then he said: "With You I will seek refuge from Your Wrath." Then he was visited by spiritual forces which he had never known before and he said: "I seek refuge from You in You." Then he was promoted to a higher rank and said: "I cannot praise You. You are as glorious as You have praised Yourself."

The learned attain to the rank explained in ARABIC PAGE 104

They cannot reach beyond this, and the prophets alone have access to the inmost and highest secrets of being as mentioned in ARABIC PAGE 104. There is another world beyond all this where neither the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, can reach, nor the most learned. It is their steady and unremitting struggle with themselves which enables them in the end to catch a glimpse of this wonderful world to their utter astonishment and fear. Soon they begin to be consumed in the fire of humiliation and misery, as a result of the love they bear for their Beloved and begin to declare steadily: "The Most Praise-worthy! The Most Holy!" Our Holy Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, confessed in these words: "I cannot praise You. You are as Glorious as You have praised Yourself."

Abu Bakr Siddiq, who was the most faithful witness of the truth used to state: "My power has failed me and the transcendent truths of the spiritual world are quite beyond any natural apprehension."

Sometimes he suffered seriously due to extreme humility and powerlessness, which on other occasions, mistaking modesty for natural apprehension, his joy knew no bounds.

This is an account of the treasures belonging to the King of heaven and earth and these are the exhilarating sights relating to them. So far as the hoards of silver and gold in the possession of the kings of the world are concerned, suffice it to say that they are the keys to hell.

The worshippers of gold and silver will certainly perish.

A proclamation will be made on the Day of Judgement, "Open the doors of the treasures of hell, and bring those to Our court whose names are mentioned in the records maintained by Our angels."

Suppose the poor Sa'aadat Khan finds his name included therein what will he do? Neither the Sultan of the Seljuk Empire will support him that day, nor the amirs and viziers will come to help him, as they would themselves, stand in need of supporters.

Your Excellency's humble servant
Al Ghazali
This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
 
Translation:
This work is in the public domain worldwide because it has been so released by the copyright holder.