Translated by Ibrahim Khan
[The invaluable ijazah of tasawwuf which was granted by Imam al-Mujahidin Sayyid Ahmad Shahid (may Allah have mercy on him) to one of his disciples is preserved and a translation of some of its key components is as follows:]
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Those who are travellers in the path of Allah and in particular those friends of Sayyid Ahmad, whether they are present or not, should know that those who through bay‘ah (pledge) become murids at the hands of blessed souls, their aim is to acquire the pleasure of Allah. This is dependent upon obeying the commands of His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). He who believes that the path towards Divine Pleasure can be obtained without obeying the Shari‘ah of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) is on falsehood and is deceived. His claim is false and unworthy of any attention.
The Prophetic Shari‘ah is established upon two principles:
(1) Not attributing the attributes (sifat) of the Creator to any of the creation.
(2) Abstaining and refraining from customs and rituals which were not established at the time of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his caliphs (may Allah be pleased with them all).
The first condition entails (a) not believing in the fact that angels, souls of spiritual guides (pir-o-murshid), teachers, seekers of knowledge, messengers or saints can remove any hardship, (b) abstaining from seeking aid from any of these [aforementioned] personalities in order to fulfil a desire or a goal, (c) denying the fact that any of them have the ability to help or defend anyone from harm and (d) considering them just as powerless (or dependent) and unaware upon the domain and sovereignty of Allah as oneself – in fact, to consider them as merely the beloved of Allah and mere guides who show the way towards the pleasure of Allah.
The second condition is to ensure that innovations (i.e. newly invented matters) do not enter the religion. This includes (a) strictly abiding in our social etiquette by all the acts of worship, customs and habits that were the practice during the era of Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), (b) refraining from innovations such as the customs of marriage, the glorification of graves, the building of large structures on graves, the spending of money on death anniversaries, ta‘ziyyah1 and (c) putting an end to these customs as much as possible.
It is appropriate for all those who desire Allah Most High to keep these principles at their forefront and to cooperate with each other in acting upon these matters. You should specifically act upon them with the cooperation of Shah Muhammad Husayn, who, by pledging to me, has agreed about these [issues]. I have explained these matters to him in complete detail and have also given him the authority to take this agreement from you and to teach you these pure habits and rituals in my place. Therefore, it is appropriate for Shah Muhammad Husayn to adopt the injunctions which have been given to him and to turn to Allah Most High with his body and soul and brush off any dust of shirk (polytheism) and bid‘ah which may be on him by acting upon these orders externally and internally. He should make people desirous … to give bay‘ah to him.
May Allah make me and all my companions from the group which [wholeheartedly] submits to tawhid (monotheism) and is adherent to the Shari‘ah.
[Sayyid] Ahmad [Shahid], 1235 AH
Hindustan Mai Wahhabi Tahrik, (Karachi; Nafis Academy, 1980) p.75-76.
- Ta‘ziyyah is a model of the tomb of either of the martyred grandsons of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), made of large, decorated paper and bamboo. It is paraded with during the month of Muharram. [↩]