‘ITTEBA-E-SUNNAT: YAAD RAKKHO, YAAD RAKKHE JAOGE.
The following is the beginning of the translation of the book, ‘Itteba-e-Sunnat! Yaad Rakkho, Yaad Rakkhe Jaoge, by Al Haaj Shakil Ahmad Sahib (db). Hadrat has kindly given this sinner permission to translate this book into the English language for the benefit of those who do not know Urdu. Instead of a literal translation from the mother tongue into English, I have chosen a free form of translation that conveys the message of the original while avoiding prolixity and unnecessary repetition. The translation begins (as of now) directly from the meat of the book avoiding the taqriz, the index, the editor’s note etc which will be added later on. This is only the first draft of the translation and will undergo changes and betterment as time goes on, Inshallah. All mistakes are from Shaytan and me. May Allah accept this effort and make it a means for me in the Hereafter. Please inform me of any mistakes so that the translation can be corrected. Jazakamullahu khayra.
Every intelligent person seeks profit.
Respected elders and friends! Every person of intellect in this world wants profit, no one seeks loss. Anyone with even a modicum of understanding and intelligence rushes towards benefit and avoids damage to the maximum extent possible. This approach of avoiding doing deeds of no profit is common to all people of sense. Rather such a person works in a focused manner towards a fixed goal and benefit. These benefits are expected to accrue on the basis of experience. For e.g., xyz received this benefit from this work. Therefore, if we do the same, then we will also profit in the same way. This is the way of the world and if often happens that people achieve these gains according to their expectations.
However, the above is not an absolute and infallible law. Meaning that it is not necessary that that one will be able to benefit from doing what others have done before him and profited from. Sometimes, the opposite occurs and a person suffers a loss from the same work. But our nature is such that when we see people profiting from something our desires pull us towards that work in the hope of achieving the same profit; even if we are aware of the possibility of loss, indeed, even if we have experienced people suffering loss, we are pulled inevitably towards it. And when unaware of some profit-making business then we search for knowledgeable people, go to them and take advice from them, saying, “Brother! We would like to do some business but don’t know what line of work or what kind of business has the most profit nowadays and where there is the greatest possibility of progress. So, please guide us.” Then we follow his advice and start the business in the hope of making gains. It often happens that we earn profits and sometimes we suffer losses. This nature is not confined to us and you but to every man of sense. In short, this was an introduction to the fact that every sensible man seeks gain and avoids loss. Further, it was said that whatever we set out to do is not entirely free of risk despite giving profits most of the time.
The following question arises: Does everything that we do in this world carry the potential for gain and the risk for loss or is there a trade that offers 100% profit with no risk at all? When this question is placed before worldly people then they have no (satisfactory) answer for it. They say that we are unaware of any trade or business that offers 100% profit and zero risk.
100% Profitable Work
But when the same question is placed before the Creator and Owner of this world and His Final Prophet (saw), they guide us towards such a trade that offers 100% profit and no loss, not even a risk of loss. What do you think, when informed of such profitable deeds with no risk attached to them, will one want to do them or not? For sure, he will. Indeed, he will race towards it and be in a hurry to find out about it. Would you also like to know (what it is)? Then listen, it is to follow the Sunna of the Prophet (saw). Following the Prophetic example is that deed that gives a 100% return and never a loss.
The deeds of one who is loved by Allah (swt)
And obeying the Sunna not only gives a 100% return but also makes one beloved to the people; not only peoples’ love, but also the love of the angels; and not only the love of the angels but of the Messenger (saw) too. These bestowals and honors that one gets on following the Sunna are enough to show its importance – nothing more is required. (Even then) a special honor that is given to the follower of the Sunna is that Allah makes him beloved to Himself. This is not something ordinary – receiving Allah’s love and becoming beloved to Him- it is such an honor that no further bestowals are needed. I am not saying this from myself, it is proven from many verses of the Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet (saw). In the Qur’an, Allah says, “Say (O Prophet): “If you really love Allah, then follow me, and Allah shall love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” (Surah Aal-i-‘Imran, verse 31, English translation of Mufti Muhammad Taqi ‘Uthmani)
Two Priceless Gifts
Human nature contains an element of avariciousness so that after doing something he looks for some sort of return. And this potential and desire has been placed in him by Allah Himself who has taken it into consideration. Allah knows that his slave is greedy. When I (i.e. Allah) command him to do something, then he will definitely ask me, “O Sustainer! I will do this deed because you have ordered it, but tell me what will I get on doing it?” Hence keeping man’s disposition in mind, Allah answered his query in the next part of the verse quoted, that if you obey and follow my beloved then I will grant you two favors, both of which are such that none except me can grant them and they cannot be bought for anything in this world.
The First Gift
The first incomparable honor that I (Allah) will bestow on the one who follows the Sunna is that I will begin to love him and make him dear to Myself. The following part of the verse, “Yuhbibkumullah” bears witness to the fact that whoever loves Allah and follows the Holy Prophet (saw), is also loved by Allah who makes him His beloved. Allah has given us a deeper understanding of this favor through his Prophet’s (saw) saying that when I (Allah) love someone and make him dear to Me, then I do not leave him alone. Rather I tell My close angel, Jibril (as), “O Jibril! I love so-and-so. You too love him.” Then, Jibril also starts loving him and announces among all the angels that Allah loves such-and-such slave of His and has made him dear to Himself. Hence, O (Assembly of) Angels! All of you (also) love him. All of them then start loving him. The love of that person is then poured into the hearts of men and all the creatures that walk on the earth…..to be contd.