Download PDF: [S] The Letter that had an Impact on the Sultan

It is reported that once, Sultan Harun Rashid sent a special letter to Hadrat Sufyan Thouri – may Allah be pleased with him – through his Chief Minister, Abaad Al Taalikaani.


Abaad narrates:


When I arrived at the court of the Saint, even though everyone knew who I was, no one even took the reins of the horse from my hands or welcomed me. I then managed to tie the horse myself. When I entered the blessed gathering of the Saint, no one even looked at me or paid any attention to me. In fact, when Hadrat Sayyiduna Sufyan Thouri – may Allah be pleased with him – saw me, he immediately commenced with Salaah. He then read a very long Surah from the Qur’an. I sensed that he wanted me to leave on my own.


I stood in this fashion for a long time without anyone even asking me to sit. Finally, I decided to sit on my own. When I realised that he did not even want to talk to me, I decided to leave this letter on the Mimbar and stood on one side. When he completed his Salaah, he took the letter and threw it to one of his students and told him to read the contents.


In this letter, Sultan Harun Rashid had written, “I have been nominated as the Ameerul Mo’mineen. Rich and influential people came to congratulate me and I spent a large amount of wealth in serving these guests of mine and I also handed many gifts. You were also my teacher at one time and I also waited for you to come and congratulate me but, until now, you have not come. Please come immediately.”


When the great Saint heard these words, he asked his student to write his answer on the other side of this letter. However, one of his students requested he use another piece of paper.


He replied, “If this paper was purchased with Halaal wealth, then his Halaal wealth would reach him and if it was purchased through Haraam wealth, then it is not permissible that such wealth remain with us.”


The great Saint then ordered the following to be written on the other side, “After my Salaams. You have informed me about spending wealth on useless people instead of spending it on the orphans and the needy. In this way, you have totally wasted this wealth. On the Day of Judgement I will be a witness to this that you had wasted the wealth of the Muslims. You say that you should be congratulated. In fact, this is a time when you should be given sympathy because very soon, great difficulty will come to you and you have no means of saving yourself from this.”


In this way, he continued to dictate his letter. He then instructed that this letter be given to me so I could return it to Sultan Harun Rashid.


Abaad continues:


When I left this gathering, I had lost appetite for this world and felt that I needed no house and anything from this world. I also wanted to leave everything and dedicate my entire existence to the Ibadah of Allah Almighty. When I came outside, I also began to weep. I also wanted to know whether anyone would take my royal clothes and give me his simple woollen clothes. Suddenly, poor people came forward and I handed all my royal clothes to these people including the gold jewellery which I had with me. I then held the reins of the horse and decided to walk back to the palace. Since the horse did not belong to me, I could not give it to anyone. I then reached the court of Sultan Harun in this Dervish fashion and presented this letter to him. When Sultan Harun began to read this letter, he wept uncontrollably and continued to kiss this letter.


He then took this letter and kept it near the Qur’an. Everyday thereafter, whenever he wanted to read the Qur’an, he first kissed this letter and then read the Qur’an. He used to also place this letter on his heart and until his last moments in the world, he continued to read this letter.


In the Ihya ul Uloom, pages 309 to 310, Abaad is said to have stated that, “When I reached the court of the Ameerul Mo’mineen, the guards at the entrance chased me away and finally they allowed me to enter the court. When Sultan Harun Rashid saw me, he stood up and then sat and again he stood and sat. He then began to smack his face and in great regret. He said, ‘The messenger has become blessed and has received spiritual grace while the one who sent the letter has robbed himself. What is the value of this great power which will finally end?’ I then handed him this letter and as he read the contents of this letter he wept without stopping.” This letter remained with Sultan Harun Rashid and he used to also read this letter before every Salaah. It remained with him until his final moments in this world. (Ihya ul Uloom, 2/311)