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Thursday, May 6, 2010

MIRACLES-ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE IN BRIEF-PART 12 Concluded.

From the Layman's Desk-7: Miracles -Islamic Perspective in Brief- 
Concluding Part-12. 


Miracles after Death:



Short relevant observations were already made before to show the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) as well as all other Prophets (a.s.) are alive in the Barzakh. I say “short” because this is a huge topic by itself and cannot be cited in details in our subject. However, that can be recapitulated in fine words of the great Mufassir of Quran and commentator of Sahih Muslim Imam al-Qurtubi (rah) who writes:


Translation: Death is not something which brings a total end to something, it is rather transferring from one station to another, the proof of this is that martyrs remain alive after getting killed or dying and they also get happy. “This is the quality of the people who are alive in this world,” so when martyrs are alive then “PROPHETS ARE MORE DESERVING OF LIFE THAN THEM” and it has come in Sahih hadith that Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets, and on the night of Miraaj the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gathered with all Prophets in Masjid ul Aqsa and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) also “SAW MUSA (A.S) PRAYING INSIDE HIS GRAVE” plus the Prophet has also provided the information that “ANYONE WHO SENDS SALUTATION UPON HIM, THEN HE REPLIES BACK”.Other than this, other ahadith also establish “TO CERTAINTY” that the meaning of death given to Prophets is that “THEY DISAPPEAR FROM OUR EYESIGHTS BUT IN REALITY THEY ARE ALIVE AND PRESENT” and their condition is like that of Angels, because Angels are also alive and “PRESENT” and nobody from human beings is able to see them, “EXCEPT FOR THE AWLIYA WHO THROUGH THEIR KARAMAH CAN EXPERIENCE THEM” [al-Mafhim lima Ashkala min Talkhis Kitab Sahih Muslim Volume 006, Page No. 233-4].


Let’s straightway then, come to the Karamaat-e-Awliya after the veil of departure from this world.
There is no disagreement with the fact that the believers souls in Paradise are capable of instantaneous connection with their graves, and the souls may meet and communicate with other souls of the dead and those sleeping.  It is commonly held by Sunni scholars and even Ibn Qayyim, (1292-1350 c.e.),    ibn Abid-Dunya, Ibn Abdul Barr and ash-Shanqeeti that the dead in their graves have the faculty of hearing a visitor's greetings, his speech, his supplications, et al.  The dead even know about the work of living amongst his relatives and brothers.   The power of the souls corresponds with their  own strength and weaknesses, as pertaining to closeness with Allah.  The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said ‘when you go to the graves of the dead, say ‘Assalamu alaikum ya ahlal quboor’ – meaning ‘peace be upon you O’ people of graves’.  Greetings are given to those who faculties are intact.  In short, there is an overwhelming evidence on this subject in favour, but we need to get on with ours at the moment.   


Those who attribute the working of miracles to the Jinn, should note that no doubt the Jinn manage to do great work. But they are not so perfect and strong as the souls and the angels. The soul being ethereal (Jism-i- Latifa) is not bound by space and time and comprehends events unperceived by sense organs. The souls are by their graves and are attached to their bodies in an unknown way. They are permitted to effect and dispose their bodies and also be present in their graves. According to Khwaja Muhammad Hasan Jan Sahib in Tarikh an-Najaat (1976), Mufassareen (exegetes) such as al-Baidawi, has stated in his Tafseer regarding the fifth verse of Surah Naziaat: “(I take an oath) on Those who do hard work” that the souls being immaterial, do the hard work along with the angels by permission of Allah. This is also mentioned in its commentary by Shaykhzada in Tafseer-i-‘Azizi, as well as in Tafseer Ruh al-Bayaan, and in Tafseer-i-Hussaini.


In the prophetic tradition, Ja’far ibn Abi Talib ® after his martyrdom, was seen among the angels and they were giving the glad tidings of the coming rains to the people of Beesha. According to another hadith, Ja’far ® came to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam)along with an angel and he had two wings which were blood-stained, and they were going to the valley of Beesha in Yemen. Then there is a long hadith that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) informed Asma’ bint ‘Umais how her husband, Ja’far, came to him (s) with Jibrail and Mikail (a.s.) and explained how he attained martyrdom; that he had two wings, and that Ja’far ® told him that he flies in and out of Paradise whenever he wished and he also eats the fruits of Paradise, and so on. Therefore, according to Imam Sayuti, the souls are permitted to attach to and dispose their bodies while they are at ‘Illiyin’ (the Seventh Heaven in which there are believers' souls). These ahadith also reveal that Allah Subhana Ta'la permits his martyrs and pious souls to do the useful deeds for people.


Shah Wali-Allah ad-Dahlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih), one of the great 'Ulama of India, wrote in his work Hujjatullahi 'l-baligha (vol. 1, p. 35), "When a human being passes away, no relation is left between his soul and the world of matter. The souls return to their origin, become like Angels, and, like them, give inspiration and help to men. They help in the dissemination and strengthening of Allahu Ta'ala's religion. They rush to help those who work for this path. It has been witnessed that they come to help in groups."

‘Abd al-Hakim Arwaasi, a great Islamic scholar and a Wali,  (R) points out that a Muslim who attaches his heart to a perfect (Kaamil) Wali will attain Allah’s “Faid” through the blessed heart of that Wali. Since the souls are not bound by time and place, the ‘kamaalaat’ (perfections) of the Wali do not depart from him even after his death. It makes no difference whether the Wali is alive or dead. The ‘tasarruf’ (disposal or personal initiative) of their souls is by Allah’s ‘tasarruf’ on them. Since the Awliya-Allah are able to perform miracles during their life, they able to do so even after leaving this material world.


Imam Abdullah an-Nasafi has written in Umdat al-Aqai’id that the soul does not change whether in sleep or in death. That is, in sleep as well as in death a Muslim remains a Muslim, a Prophet remains a Prophet. While commenting on the above, ‘Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulsi (Reh.) states in his Al-Hadiqa, that likewise an Awliya is an Awliya whether in sleep or in death, and they possess ‘karamaat’ after they die too.


‘Ali Ajhuri, an eminent Maaliki scholar of Egypt, said:  “A living Wai is like a sword in its scabbard. After his death, his influence becomes stronger in the manner of a sword that is out of its scabbard.”


The above statement is also quoted in Noor al-Hidaaya by Abu’Ali Sanji.


Therefore, the Mu’jizaat (miracles peculiar to prophets) and Karamah of Awliya do not cease after death.


According to Muhammad Thana’ullah al-Uthmani ad-Dehlvi, the author of Irshaad al-Talibeen, emanation of a ‘Faid’ (benefits) from Awliya does not end but even increases when they die, though for a deficient person to receive such ‘Faid’ sufficiently may be seldom possible.


Muhammad Haadimi (Reh) of Konya (d.1176H/1762 c.e.) who quoted ‘Ali Ajhuri and Abu ‘Ai Sanji in his book Bariqa, maintains the continuance of Mu’jiza and Karamah after death, and that hundred thousands of these have been reported in many valuable books, and that it is permissib le to pray to Allah Subhana Ta’la through Prophets and the Awliya.


According to Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti ® (530-627 Hijri/1135-1232 c.e.) the world-renowned Awliya of Ajmer in India, the miraculous performances of Awliya remain active and so also his benevolence to devotees after death in the same manner as they were during his lifetime. This is evident from the valuable sayings quoted in Khwaja-e-Aazam, a short biography by Sabri Ajmeri. In fact, in Spiritual Sovereign of India (by Syed altaf Hussein Chishti) it is mentioned that one of the British Viceroys of undivided India, Lord Curzon, has declared in his Memoirs: “There is a grave in India – which rules.” Perhaps he was bewildered by the throngs of hundreds of thousands devotees to Khwaja’s shrine each year and the miraculous power that Allah bestowed upon the spiritual sovereign of India even after his assuming the veil of departure from the material world.


Imam Ghazali (reh) says in Ihya…the spiritual knowledge of the believer is everlasting as the soul of the believer has got no death. By “believers” he means those having great spiritual knowledge and not just the ranks of Muslims with outward faith.


'Allama Shams ad-din ibn an-Nuaym (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih), a Hanafi scholar, wrote in Kitab ar-Ruh, 'Souls may be in a different state other than when they are in their bodies. The souls of awliya' are at Rafiq al-ala and also have a relation with their dead bodies. If a person visits such a wali's grave and greets him, his soul at Rafiq al-ala anwers that person.' This is also noted in al-Imam as-Suyuti's Kitab al-Munjali. All these proofs show that awliya' have powerful tasarruf (disposal) and influence after their death in a way which we may not know.


Sayyid Ahmad al-Hamawi al-Misri [d.1686 c.e. ], a Hanafi alim and the annotator of the book Ashbah, noted in his book Nafakhat al-qurb wal-ittisal bi-ithbati 't-tasarrufi li awliya'i'llahi ta'ala wal-karamati ba'd al-intiqal that the ruhaniyya (spirituality) of awliya' was more powerful than their jismaniyya (physical existence), and they therefore could be seen in different places at the same moment. He quoted the following hadith ash-Sharif as a document for his words: 'There are people who will enter Paradise through every gate. Each gate will call them to itself,' upon which Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi-Allahu 'anh) asked, 'Will there be anyone to enter through all of the eight gates, oh Rasulullah?' and Rasulullah (sallal lahu alaihi wasallam) answered, “ I hope you will be one of them.” One can appear in different places at the same moment when his soul acquires the power of having connection with his original position in 'alam al-amr. Since the soul's interest in the world decreases when a man dies, his soul becomes more powerful. It becomes easier for him to appear in different places at the same moment.  Jalal ad-din as-Suyuti, a Shafi'i scholar, says in his book At-Tabaqat al-Kubra, 'The twenty-second kind of karamat is that awliya' can appear in forms of different persons.   "Khalil ibn Ishaq al-Jandee (reh. death 1365 c.e.) a Maliki scholar and author of the book Mukhtasar, wrote, 'The ability to appear in various forms is given by Allahu ta'ala to a wali when he becomes perfect. This is not impossible, because the images that are seen in different shapes are non-material; the body is not seen. Souls are not material and do not occupy a place in space.'A tradition reported in Musnad of al-Bazzaaz with a fair (‘Hasan’) chain on the authority of Anas ® which is also cited by Sakhawi says that the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said: “Allah has servants who know (the truth of  about people) through reading the signs (tawassum). The above hadith has been reported by others too.


According  to Shaykh ‘Ali Mahfooz (d.1361/1942), a scholar of Al-Azhar University, stated in his Al-Ibda’ that irrespective of the fact that the Awliya are dead or alive, Allah the Exalted blesses the ones whom He will, and through their ‘karamaat’ He cures the ill, rescues those who about to be drowned, helps those who are against the enemy and makes lost things found. He considers this not only logical but also supported by the teachings of the Holy Qur’an.


Imam Ghazali (reh) that a person who was made an intermediary and gave 'faid' could be made an intermediary and he could give 'faid'  after his death, too.   One of the superior great shaikhs said that he had seen four great Awliya who were active after death as well as when they were alive:  two of these were Hazrat Maruf-i Karkhi and Hazrat Abd-ul-Qadir Jilani ®.


I will have to conclude the topic at this stage since it will otherwise be stepping into the realm of Soul, Visiting the Graves, Wasila, istaghasa and intercession all of which are interlinked  and true, and which are huge topics by themselves.  However, do take care not to fall a victim to those who belittle the Awliya-Allah and their miracles or those who say that no miracles were vouchsafed  to the Sahaba and early Muslims, and those who belittle the miracles by explaining them as a natural causations.     


Allah and His Rasool know best.


CONCLUDED


O Allah pray on our Master Muhammad a prayer by means of which we will be saved from every awe-inspiring harmful thing, 
and that will take care of all of our needs,
and purify us by means of it from all of our ugly qualities and characteristics
and raise us and purify us by means of it from all of our ugly qualities and characteristics
and raise us up by means of it in Your Presence to the highest of degrees,
and cause us to reach by means of it the extremes of all goodness in our life and after our death
and this prayer be upon his family and his companions
and may he be given safety and much salaam.


NASIR

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