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What is the appropriate way of writing a letter to Hudur (aba)?

This letter of Hadrat Khalifatul-Masih I ra, which the Promised Messiah as quoted, can be an inspiration.

Out of his letters, I reproduce below how far my brother Maulavi Hakim Nur-ud-Din, of Bhera, Physician to the State of Jammu, has advanced in the path of love and loyalty. The lines are here:

Our patron, guide and chief,

Assalamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Sir, my prayer is that I should ever be in your presence and learn everything the reformer of the day has been appointed to teach. If permitted, I am ready to resign my post and then day and night remain at your beck and call. Or,  if ordered so,  I would go and tour the world and call the people to the true faith and go on doing so until I lay down my life. May I be sacrificed in your way. What I have is not mine, it is yours. Honored leader and guide! I say this truly that if all my earnings are spent in the propagation of faith, I would think the end of my life achieved…I am ready to give everything I have for this cause. Pray my end may be the end of true and loyal believers.

(Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 3, p. 36; Victory of Islam, p. 22)

There are a few lessons in this letter:

  • The question may arise as to why Hadrat Nur-ud-Din ra repeated his pledge to the Promised Messiah as when he had already made it? The reason is that reaffirming our allegiance can be a source of great spiritual reformation, especially after we have returned home from visiting Hudur aba. When we are near Hudur aba, we have more spiritual enthusiasm, but when we return home, our enthusiasm may not be the same. We find this phenomenon at the time of the Holy Prophet sas as well: Hanzalah Al-Usayyidi ra reported, Abū Bakr ra and I went to Messenger of Allah sas and I said to him, “O Messenger of Allah sas, Hanzalah has turned hypocrite.” Thereupon Messenger of Allah sas said, “What has happened to you?” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, when we are in your company, and are reminded of Hell-fire and Jannah, we feel as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, much of these things go out of our minds.” Thereupon Messenger of Allah sas said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my life if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your roads; but Hanzalah, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time should be devoted (to prayer).” He sas said this thrice (Sahih Muslim, Book 50, Hadith 14).

When we return home from visiting Hudur aba, reaffirming our allegiance when enthusiasm is not as high has great value. Before writing to Hudur aba, we have to sit down and ask ourselves if we are fulfilling our bai‘at as we should be, and how we plan to fulfill it further in the future. If we occasionally write in the way Hadrat Nur-ud-Din ra wrote the above letter, the act of writing a letter to Hudur aba can in and of itself be a source of much-needed reflection and reformation.

  • There is a difference between love and lust. When we love, we wish to give, but when we lust, like lust for power, we wish to take. Hadrat Nur-ud-Din ra spent the majority of his letter affirming what he wished to give, not take. Only in the very end did he ask for something. This demonstrates the depth of his love for the Promised Messiah as. We can also reflect as to whether our letters are out of love, or out of a lust for the power that we think he aba has. Do we primarily speak of giving, or is our letter primarily filled with asking and taking? We can improve the quality of our love by reflecting on what we would like to give for the sake of Allah Almighty, whether it is our time, prayers, wealth, efforts, or lives. When we express to Hudur aba whatever we want to give out of love, the very act of writing to Hudur aba can be a means of increasing our love for Allah Almighty and Khilafat.
  • Hadrat Musleh Mau‘ud ra said that many people ask him to pray for various things that have to do with this world: However if any prayer can have the greatest priority, it is that we develop a relationship with Allah Almighty (Anwarul ‘Ulum, vol. 23, p. 125, Ta‘luq billah).

This is what we find in the letter of Hadrat Nur-ud-Din ra. He asked the Promised Messiah as to pray that his end be of true and loyal believers. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

And of men there are some who say, ‘Our Lord, grant us good things in this world;’ and such a one shall have no share in the Hereafter.

(Surah al-Baqarah, 2:201)

Those who pray only for worldly gain incur the displeasure of Allah. However:

And of them there are some who say: ‘Our Lord, grant us good in this world as well as good in the world to come, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.’ For these there shall be a goodly share because of what they have earned.

(Surah al-Baqarah, 2:202–203)

When we write our letters to Hudur aba, we can ask ourselves if our letter is for material gains or whether it is for spiritual gains. The letter of Hadrat Nur-ud-Din ra is a beautiful model in this regard.

One more point to remember when writing a letter to Hudur aba is that perfectionism causes procrastination. For example, when we want to give a gift to someone we love, if we try to find the perfect gift then we will probably feel overburdened and never get around to giving them anything. But, if we simply decide to give them something simple as a token of our affection, we will be more likely to give them something and they will be more likely to appreciate it. When we plan to write a letter to Hudur aba, what sometimes holds us back is the desire to write the perfect letter. Instead, it may be better to write a simple letter that comes from the heart. It is more likely we will actually write that letter, and it is likely to be more sincere.

Updated on February 2, 2019

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