Then, when I said:
Guide us to the Straight Path, * The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your bounty,(1:5-6)
I saw among the convoys of mankind that were travelling towards the past, was the luminous, radiant caravan of the prophets, the veracious ones, the martyrs, the saints, and the righteous. They were scattering the darkness of the future and travelling the road to post-eternity on a straight way, a direct highway. The phrase was showing me the way to join the caravan, indeed, it was joining me to it. Suddenly I exclaimed: “Glory be to God! Anyone with an iota of intelligence must know what a loss it is not to join that long, light-scattering caravan which is illuminating the future and travelling in perfect safety. Where can one who deviates from it by creating innovations find a light; which road can he take?” Our guide, God’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) decreed: “All innovations are misguidance, and all misguidance is in Hell-fire.”1
What advantage do those wretches worthy of the epithet “corrupt religious scholars” find in the face of this certain statement? What fatwa do they issue so that unnecessarily and harmfully they oppose the clear matters of the marks of Islam (şeâir-i İslâmiye), and deem it possible to change them? It must be that a temporary awakening caused by a fleeting manifestation of meaning deceived those corrupt scholars. For example, if an animal or fruit is stripped of its skin, it briefly appears to be fresh, but quickly the delicate flesh and delicious fruit go black and rot, with their skins now estranged, withered, thick, and extraneous. In exactly the same way, the prophetic and divine phrases of the marks of Islam are like a living, meritorious skin. On being stripped away, the luminosity of the meanings is temporarily naked and somewhat visible. But like a fruit that has been peeled of its skin, the spirit of those blessed meanings flies away leaving behind the human skin in darkened hearts and minds. The light flies away; just the smoke lingers. However…
A principle concerning reality needs to be explained, which is related to this. It is as follows:
Just as there are two sort of rights, personal rights and general rights, which are held to be God’s rights of a sort; so too among the matters of the
Muslim, Jum’a 43; Abu Da’ud, Sunna 5; Nasa’i, ‘Idayn 22; Ibn Maja, Muqaddima 6-7; Darimi, Muqaddima 16, 23; Musnad iii, 310, 371; iv, 126-7.