This letter was written to Mulla Ârif Hutanî Badahshî by Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî Mujaddid-i Alf-i thânî 'qaddasallâhu ta'âlâ asrârahul 'azîz'. It gives information about the superiorities of the word 'lâ ilâha illallah,' about the grade of tanzîh and about the Îmân-i ghaybî:
Thanks be to Allâhu ta'âlâ and salâm to those slaves of His whom He has chosen and loved! O Mawlânâ Ârif Hutanî! It is necessary first to annihilate the wrong and fabled gods and then to know the right ma'bûd. Everything that is known how and which can be measured should be annihilated, and then one should have îmân in one Allah, Who is not known how. What best expresses this annihilation in mind and heart and having îmân is the beautiful word "lâ ilâha illallah." Our Prophet (sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam) declared: "The best dhikr is to say 'lâ ilâha illallah.' " In another hadîth he declared: "If the seven layers of the heavens and their contents and the seven layers of the earth are all measured with the word lâ ilâha illallah, the thawâb in this word will weigh heavier." It certainly will, since one part of the word annihilates everything other than Allah — the earth, the heavens, the Arsh, the Kursî, the Lawh, the Kalam, all the classes of beings, and men — while its latter part informs of the existence of the one and only one Creator of the earth and the heavens, one Who is rightfully worshipped. Everything other than Allah, whether in the âfâk (outside man) or in the anfus (inside man), can be understood and measured. So is everything which can be seen in the mirrors of âfâk and anfus. All such things should be known to be nonexistent. So are all the things which we know and learn, which we remember and imagine, and which affect our sense organs. They are all of recent occurrence, they are creatures. For everything which man knows and feels is his own work, what he himself has done. Our considering Allâhu ta'âlâ free from defect and saying that He is unlike anything means to liken Him (to something). The greatness which we realize means inferiority. The kashfs, tajallîs, mushâhadas which happen to men of tasawwuf are all things other than Allâhu ta'âlâ. Allâhu ta'âlâ is warâ-ul-warâ. That is, He is beyond everything beyond. He is unlike anything. Hadrat Ibrâhîm said to the disbelievers, "Why do you worship the idols which you yourselves have made? Allâhu ta'âlâ created you and all your deeds." The Qur'ân relates this. All the things we do, whether we do them with our hands or we invent them with our mind and imagination, are Allah's creatures. None of them is worthy of worship. Allâhu ta'âlâ, alone, is worthy of being worshipped. He is unlike any of the things which we know or which we find out by thinking. How He is cannot be understood. Mind and imagination cannot approach Him. Kashf and shuhûd collapse before His greatness. There is no other way than believing such a high creator who is bî-chûn and bî-chighûna [that is, who is unlike anything and who cannot be understood through mind] through ghayb (without seeing or understanding). For, it will not be belief in Him to believe Him by attempting to understand Him by seeing or thinking. It will be to believe something made by us. And that something is His creature. We will have made it a partner to Him. In fact, perhaps, we will have believed something besides Him. We trust ourselves to Allâhu ta'âlâ to protect us from falling into such a calamity. For having îmân in the ghayb, it is necessary to believe a creator beyond the reach of the imagination and fancy. Nothing from Him should have a place in the imagination. This meaning is obtained after the grade of closeness, which is outside fancy and imagination. For, the farther away something is, the easier will it become to comprehend through the imagination and the better will it be settled in a fancy. This blessing is only peculiar to prophets. Having îmân through the ghayb has devolved only upon these great people. And they bestow it upon whomever they like of those who obey and follow them. The îmân of all Believers through the way of the ghayb cannot rid the interference of the fancy. For, according to the ignorant 'warâ-ul-warâ' means remoteness. In such an understanding the fancy interferes with the matter. On the other hand, to those great people 'alaihimussalawâtu wattaslîmât' 'warâ-ul-warâ' is closeness. With this understanding the fancy cannot interfere with the matter. As long as the world survives and we live in a worldly life, there is no other way than believing through the ghayb. For, the îmân which happens by seeing here is invalid. When life in the Hereafter begins, fancy and imagination will no longer have any power and the îmân-i shuhûdî, which happens by seeing, will become valuable. Fancy and imagination will not be able to mix evil with this îmân. I think that because Rasûlullah Muhammad 'alaihissalâm' was honoured with seeing Allâhu ta'âlâ in the world it would be beautiful to say that his 'sallallâhu alaihi wa sallam' îmân is shuhûdî. Evil emanating from the fancy and imagination have not been mixed with this îmân. For, the blessing that will be bestowed upon other Believers in the Hereafter fell to the lot of that exalted Prophet in the world. This is such a great gift from Allâhu ta'âlâ. Allâhu ta'âlâ bestows His gifts upon whomever He chooses. Allâhu ta'âlâ is the giver of very many gifts.
It should be understood well that Khalîlullah Ibrâhîm 'alaihissalâm' explained very well the fact that it is wrong to worship things other than Allâhu ta'âlâ. He thoroughly closed all the gates which would lead to disbelief. For this reason, he became the imâm of prophets. He surpassed them all 'alaihi wa alaihimussalawâtu wattahiyyât'. For, the highest point of progress in worldly life is to realize well the fact that there is nothing to be worshipped other than Allâhu ta'âlâ. For, the exact meaning of the saying, "Allâhu ta'âlâ alone is worthy of being worshipped," which is communicated by the second part of the beautiful word"lâ ilâha illallah," will be understood only in the Hereafter. Nevertheless, because the last Prophet 'alaihi wa alaihimussalawâtu wattaslîmât' was honoured with seeing Allâhu ta'âlâ in this world, he attained many things of the exact meaning of that word in this world, too. It may be said that of that meaning what is possible in this world has been communicated with the coming of the exalted Prophet. We may say, again, that the tajallî of the Dhât-i Ilâhî in this world has only fallen to the lot of the exalted Prophet. Others were informed that they will be blessed with this lot in the Hereafter. Salâm to those who are on the right way and to those who follow Hadrat Muhammad Mustafâ 'alaihi wa 'alâ âlihî minassalawâti afdaluhâ wa minattaslîmâti akmaluhâ'!