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A BIOGRAPHY of IMÂM-I- AHMAD RABBÂNÎ ‘quddisa sirruh’ (II)

Great Walîs such as Mawlânâ Ahmad Nâmiqî Jâmi and Halîlullah-i-Bedahshî had foretold the advent of Imâm-i-Rabbânî ‘quiddisa sirruh’. In fact, our master, the Messenger of Allah ‘sall- Allâhu alaihi wa sallam’ had given the good news that he would come. The hadîth-i-sherîf expressing this good news is written in the book Jam’ul jawâmî’, by Imâm-i-Suyûtî, who quotes it from Ibni Mes’ûd Abd-ur-Rahmân ibni Yezîd, and who quotes it from hadrat Jâbir ‘radiy-Allâhu anhum’. The hadîth-i-sherîf purports: “From among my Ummat (Muslims), someone called Sila will appear. Many, many people will enter Paradise through his shafâ’at (intercession).” ‘Sila’ means ‘conjoiner’, ‘uniter’, ‘unifier’. Later, he was called so on account of his unifying two branches of knowledge, i.e. Tasawwuf and Fiqh. Scholars contemporary with him addressed him with this nickname. As a matter of fact, in a letter he wrote to his son Muhammad Ma’thûm ‘quddisa sirruh’, he says, “I pay my hamd (gratitude, laud and praise) to my Rabb (Allâhu ta’âlâ), who has made me a sila between two oceans.”

He honoured the world with his presence in the hijrî lunar year 971, and passed away on the twenty-ninth, Tuesday, of the month of Safar in 1034 [A.D. 1624]. He was only a child when lights of maturity, wilâyat and hidâyat shone on his blessed, pure forehead. As a small child he was honoured with fruitfull inspirations to the heart from Shâh Kemâl Kihtalî-yi-Qâdirî ‘rahmatullâhi aleyh’, who directly inspired into him the nisbat-i-qâdiriyya.

It took him only a short time to memorize the Qur’ân al-kerîm. Then, acquiring knowledge from his father and from the time’s greatest scholars, he became a great scholar. He derived great benefit from his father and attained ma’rifats of Tawhîd in his presence. He received the ijâzat (certificate) of Irshâd (guiding disciples in the way of Tasawwuf) in the paths of Cheshtiyya and Qâdiriyya. He became a substitute for his father. When he was seventeen years old he became a master in zâhirî and bâtinî (pertaining to heart) knowledge. He began to publish his knowledge and educate disciples in the two great branches. He would read books written by great leaders of Naqshbendiyya order with great enthusiasm and looked forward to meeting one of the superiors of this order. He kept this yearning and zeal in his heart till he eventually attained the matchless sohbat and company of Khwâja Muhammad Bâkî ‘quddisa sirruh’, one of the greatest leaders of this order, an owner of irshâd (guidance) and hidâyat (guidance to and attainment of the right way), a corroborator of Islam, an owner of haqîqats.