ans Imam Muhammad al-Ghazali (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) wrote in Kimya-yi saadat: "It is fard for a Muslim to know and believe primarily the meaning of the phrase La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadun Rasul-Allah. This phrase is called kalimat at-tawhid. It is sufficient for every Muslim to believe without any doubt what this phrase means. It is not fard for him to prove it with evidence or to satisfy his mind. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) did not command the Arabs to know or mention the relevant proofs or to search and clarify any possible doubt. He commanded them to believe only and not to doubt. It is enough for everybody also to believe briefly. Yet it is fard kifaya that there should exist a few 'alims in every town. It is wajib for these 'alims to know the proofs, to remove the doubts, and to answer the questions. They are like shepherds for Muslims. On the one hand, they teach them the knowledge of iman, which is the knowledge of belief, and, on the other hand, they answer the slanders of the enemies of Islam." "The Qur'an al-karim stated the meaning of kalimat at-tawhid and Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) explained what is declared in it. All as-Sahabat al-kiram learned these explanations and communicated them to those who came after them. The exalted scholars who conveyed to us what the as-Sahabat al-kiram had communicated, by committing them to their books without making any alterations in them, are called Ahl as-Sunnat. Everybody has to learn the itiqad of the Ahl as-Sunnat and to unite and love one another. The seed of happiness is this itiqad and this unification." "The 'ulama' of the Ahl as-Sunnat explain the meaning of kalimat at-tawhid as follows: Men were nonexistent. They were created later. They have one Creator. He is the One who has created everything. The Creator is one. He does not have a partner or a likeness. There is no second creator. He has been ever-existent; His existence did not have a beginning. He will be ever-existent; there is no end to His existence. He will not cease to exist. His existence is always necessary. His nonexistence is impossible. His existence is of Himself. He does not need any means. There is nothing that will not need Him. He is the One who creates everything and makes it go on existing. He is not material or a thing. He is not at a place or in any substance. He does not have a shape and cannot be measured. It cannot be asked how He is; when we say 'He,' none of the things which occur to the mind or which we can imagine is He. He is unlike these. All of them are His creatures. He is not like His creatures. He is the creator of everything that occurs to the mind and of every illusion and of every delusion. He is not above, below or at one side. He does not have a place. Every being is below the 'Arsh. And the 'Arsh is under His Power, under His Omnipotence. He is above the 'Arsh. Yet this does not mean that the 'Arsh carries Him. The 'Arsh exists with His Favor and in His Omnipotence. Now He is the same as He way in eternity, in eternal past. He will always be the same in the everlasting future as He had been before creating the 'Arsh. No change occurs in Him. He has His own Attributes. His Attributes called as- Sifat ath-Thubutiyya are eight: Hayat (life) 'Ilm (Omniscience), Sam' (Hearing), Basar (Seeing), Qudra (Omnipotence), Irada (Will), Kalam (Speech, Word) and Takwin (Creativeness). No change ever occurs in these Attributes of His. Change implies deficiency. He has no deficiency or defect. Though He does not resemble any of His creatures, it is possible to know Him in this world as much as He makes Himself known and to see Him in the next world. In the present world He is known without realizing how He is, and in the Hereafter, He will be seen in an incomprehensible way. "Allahu ta'ala sent prophets ('alaihimu 's-salam) to His human creatures. Through these great people, He showed His human creatures the deeds that bring happiness and those which cause ruination. The most exalted prophet is Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam), the Last Prophet. He was sent as the Prophet for every person, pious or irreligious, for every place and for every nation on the earth. He is the Prophet for all human beings, angels and genies. In every corner of the world, everybody has to follow him and adapt himself to this exalted Prophet." [Kimya' as-Saada. Muhammad al-Ghazali (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) was one of the greatest Islamic scholars. He wrote hundreds of books. All his books are very valuable. He was born in 450/1068 in Tus, i.e. Meshhed, Persia, and passed away there in 505/1111.] The great scholar and Murshid-i-kamil Sayyid 'Abdulhakim-i Arwasi [He was born in Baskal'a in 1281/1864 and passed away in Ankara in 1362/1943.] (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) said: "Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) had three tasks: the first one was to communicate and make known (tabligh) the rules of the Qur'an al-karim, that is, the knowledge of iman and of ahkam fiqhiyya, to all human beings. Ahkam fiqhiyya is composed of the actions commanded and actions prohibited. His second task was to transmit the spiritual rules of the Qur'an al-karim, the knowledge about Allahu ta'ala Himself and His Attributes, into the hearts of only the highest ones of his Umma. His first task, tabligh, should not be confused with his second task. The la-madhhabi reject the second task. But, Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu 'anh), said, 'I learned two types of knowledge from Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam). I told you one of them. You would kill me if I divulged the second one. This word of Abu Huraira's is reported in the 267 th and 268 th letters of the Turkish book Mujdeci Mektublar, and also in those books namely Bukhari, Mishkat, and Hadiqa. The third task was carried out upon those Muslims who failed to adhere to the advice and warnings concerning carrying out the ahkam fiqhiyya. Even the use of force is to be applied to get them to obey the ahkam fiqhiyya. "After Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam), each of the four Khalifas (radi-Allahu 'anhum) accomplished these three tasks perfectly. During the time of Hadrat Hasan (radi- Allahu 'anh), fitnas and bidats increased. Islam had spread out over three continents. The spiritual light of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) had receded away from the earth. The as-Sahabat al-kiram (radi-Allahu 'anhum) had decreased in number. Later, no one was able to do all these three tasks together by himself. Therefore, these tasks were undertaken by three groups of people. The task of communicating iman and ahkam fiqhiyya was assigned to religious leaders called mujtahids. Amongst these mujtahids, those who communicated iman were called mutakallimun, and those who communicated fiqh were called fuqaha. The second task, that is, making those willing Muslims understand the spiritual rules of Qur'an al-karim, was assigned to the Twelve Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim) and to great men of tasawwuf. Sirri (Sari) as-Saqati (d. 251 in Baghdad) and al-Junaid al-Baghdadi (b. 207/821 and d. 298/911 in Baghdad) were two of them (rahmat-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihima). [Scholars of Ahl-as-sunnat, learning this second task of our master the Messenger of Allah from the Twelve Imams, established the (branch of) knowledge (called) Tasawwuf. Some people do not believe in the Awliya, in karamats, in Tasawwuf. This denial of theirs indicates that they have nothing to do with the Twelve Imams. If hey had been following the way taught by the Ahl al-bayt, they would have learned this second task of Rasulullah from the Twelve Imams and scholars of Tasawwuf, Walis would have been educated among them. Not only were no such people educated among them, but also they do not believe in the existence of such people. As it is seen, the Twelve Imams are the imams of the Ahl al- bayt. And the people who love the Ahl al-bayt and follow the Twelve Imams are the Ahl as-sunnat. For being an Islamic scholar it is necessary to be an inheritor of the Messenger of Allah in these two tasks of his. In other words, it is necessary to become specialized in both these two branches of knowledge. Abd-ul-Ghani Nabulusi, one of such great scholars, quotes the hadith ash-Sharifs showing the spiritual principles taught in Qur'an al-karim on the two hundred and thirty-third and later pages, and also on the six hundred and forty-ninth page of his book Hadiqat-un-nadiyya, and writes that denying this fact is sheer ignorance and lack of good luck.] "The third task, having the rules of the religion done by force and authority, was assigned to sultans, i.e. governments. The sections of the first class were called madhhabs. Sections of the second one were called Tariqas, and the third one was called huquq (laws). Madhhabs that define iman are called madhhabs in itiqad. Our Prophet (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa salam) had prophesied that Muslims would part into seventy-three groups in respect to iman, and that only one of them would be right and the others wrong. And so it happened. The group that was given the good news of being on the right path is called the Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. The remaining seventy-two groups, which were declared to be wrong, are called the groups of bidat, that is, heretics. None of them are disbelievers. All of them are Muslims. But, if a Muslim who says he belongs to one of the seventy-two groups disbelieves any information that has been declared clearly in the Qur'an al-karim and the Hadith ash-Sharif and that has spread among the Muslims, he becomes a disbeliever. There are many people today who, while carrying Muslim names, have already dissented from the madhhab of the Ahl as-Sunnat and have become heretics or non- Muslims." This is the end of our quotation from Abdulhakim Effendi. Muslims have to keep on learning from birth to death. The knowledge which Muslims have to learn is called al-'ulum al-Islamiyya (Islamic sciences), which consist of two parts: (1) al-'ulum an-naqliyya; (2) al-'ulum al-'aqliyya. 1) Al-'ulum an-naqliyya (also called 'religious sciences'): These sciences are acquired by reading books of the 'ulama' of the Ahl as-Sunnat. The 'ulama' of Islam derived these sciences from four main sources. These four sources are called al-adillat ash-Shariyya. They are al-Qur'an al-karim, al-Hadith ash-Sharif, ijma al-Umma and qiyas al-fuqaha'.