Tuesday, May 4, 2010


From Layman's Desk 7: Miracles - Islamic Perspective in Brief- Part 11.

In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.


Hadrat Imam Moosa Kaazim (128-183 A.H.) was the son of Hadrat Imam Ja’far Saadiq ® and a blessed personality and ‘Kaamil Wali’.  Whomsoever took his name as a wasila, they found that all their duas were accepted. It is for this reason, that the people of Iraq referred to him as Baabul Hawaa’ij (The Door at which all their problems were answered). Hadrat Shafeeq Balkhi who was a contemporary of Imam Moosa Kaazim says: "On my way to Hajj in 149 Hijri, I stopped over at a town called Qaadisiya. I was looking at the behaviour and the manner of the people living there, when my sight fell upon a very handsome young man, who was wearing a Suf (blended cotton fabric) cloth over his clothes, and a pair of shoes. He sat away from the rest of the people. I began to think that he was a Sufi kind of person and wanted to be an obstacle in the way of the people. I thus went towards him to give him some advice. When he saw me coming towards him. He called my name and told me exactly what I was thinking. I then thought in my heart, that this is definitely a pious man, as he does not even know me, yet he called me by my name and said what was in my heart. I felt that I should meet with him and ask his forgiveness. I rushed to find him, but he had already gone away. I searched for a very long time, but could not find him. We stopped at a place called Fida during our journey, and again I saw him. He was in namaaz, and he was trembling and weeping. I walked towards him again, with the intention of asking him to forgive me, when he said, "O Shafeeq Read! Verily I am Compassionate towards him who repented and brought faith and did good deeds and then walked the straight path." He read this verse, and then walked away. I then began to think that he was from amongst the Abdaals (a station of Wilaayat), for he has read my heart twice already. Then we went to Mina, and I saw him again. He was standing at a well, with a huge bowl in his hand. He was intending to take some water. Then all of a sudden the bowl fell from his hands into the well. When this happened, he recited the following couplet: ‘You are my Sustainer, when I am thirsty for water, and You are my strength when I intend to eat.’ He then said, ‘O Allah! O my Creator! O my Lord! You know that with the exception of this bowl, I have nothing else. Do not deprive me of this bowl.’ By Allah, I saw that the water in the well reached the top of the well and he stretched out his hand and filled his bowl with water. He then performed wudhu and read four rakaats of Namaaz. After Namaaz, he filled sand into his bowl of water and began to stir it. He then began to drink the mixture of sand and water. I went close to him and said salaam. He returned my salaam. I then asked if he would bless me with some of the blessings which he has attained. He said, ‘O Shafeeq! My Lord has always bestowed his hidden and apparent bounties upon me, so always intend good from your Lord.’ He then handed his bowl over to me. When I drank out of it, by Allah it was a sweet drink, and never have I tasted something so delicious. The barkat of that meal was such, that I did not feel any hunger and thirst for many days. Then I did not see him until we entered Makkah Mukarramah. I again saw him late one night near the well of Zamzam, reading Namaaz, weeping and trembling. After his Namaaz he sat there for a long time and read tasbeeh. He then read his Fajr Salaah and went to the Haram to perform the Tawaaf. As he left the Haram, I followed him, but I was amazed to see him in a completely different situation to which I had seen him during our journey. I saw his friends, disciples and servants all around him. They sealed of the entire area around him as he arrived and they began to make his khidmat. Each one of them were making salaam to him with great love and respect. On seeing this, I asked one person, ‘Who is this young man?’ He said, ‘he is Moosa bin Jaafar bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Hussain bin Ali bin Abi Taalib.’ [Jaami' al-Manaaqib, Page 226/230] There are many miracles attributed to this blessed personality.

One day, while Imam 'Ali Rida ® [He was the eight of the twelve Imams and passed away in Tus, that is, Mashhad, in 203 A.H. (818 A.D.).] was sitting by a wall, a bird came flying and stood singing in front of him. "Do you understand what the bird is saying?" asked Hadrat Imam to the person sitting by him. "No," the person answered, "Allah, His Rasul and His Rasul's grandson know." Hazrat Imam said, "It complains that a snake has climbed close to its nest to eat its chicks. It wants us to rescue them from her enemy. You follow the bird and kill the snake." The person followed the bird and saw the snake as he was told.

The miracles of Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyuddeen Abdul Qadir Jilani are too many to recount here. We shall just mention a few, insha Allah. One of the major wonders was the role that Allah assigned Ghous-e-Paak for promoting Islam. In 1117 c.e., on a Friday, while on his way to Baghdad, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® was saluted by a frail and sick man in the customary Islamic greeting. As the Shaykh replied to the greeting, the frail man asked him to help him sit up. No sooner than the Shaykh helped him, that man started to grow tall in stature and informed him that he was the religion of his grandfather, adding that as a result of his help he stands revived. Later, at the Masjid where the Shaykh had gone to offer the Jummah Prayers, a man approached him and gave him a pair of shoes and addressed him as “Muhiyuddeen”, i.e. “Reviver of Religion”. Indeed, these incidents proved ominous and Islam received a great impetus owing to the guiding efforts of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® .

Other well-known miracles include (1) Transforming the entire gang of thieves and robbers to the right path by virtue of his being truthful which placed him in the rank of ‘Siddiqeen’ at the age of 18 years; (2) Transforming a thief, who had come to rob his house, into an ‘Abdaal’ or a high-ranking saint; (3) Rescuing the 16-year old beautiful daughter of Shaykh Abu Sa’id Abdulla from the clutches of a mischievous Jinn by summoning the king of Jinns; (4) Rescuing the sinking ship from the sea by placing his hand inside his cloak at the time when he himself was delivering lessons in his convent in Baghdad; (5) His cloak that protected against illness (cloak was given to Shaykh Ali bin Haiti’s disciple who never fell sick thereafter; (6) Seeing the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) with his physical eyes at the time Shaykh Ali bin Haiti fell asleep in his Majlis and was seeing the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) in his dream; Tearing and killing of the Shaykh Ahmad Jaam’s lion by an old and lean stray dog that used to sit outside the home of Ghaus-e-Paak and the saint’s consequent submission before Ghous-e-Paak; On requests of the citizens of Baghdad, putting his staff in River Tigress (ad-Dijla) to keep it from flooding Baghdad; commanding the rain to stop as people had started leaving the Majlis; being clairvoyant and knowing the conditions of heart of others, etc. Many, many other miracles have been recorded by the biographers the readers are urged to refer them for details. There are a host of books in Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, English and other languages.

Hazrat Abu Sa’id Fazlullah ibn Abi’l Khayr ® , the “Shahbaz-e-tariqa’” was known chiefly for “Extraordinary power of reading men’s secret thoughts.” To cite just a few miracles among the many:

1. According to one of his disciples, Abdul Samad, when the Shaykh went to Sarakhs for spiritual guidance from his own Shaykh Abul Fadl, he usually flew through the air but this phenomenon was witnessed by persons of mystical insight.

2. While passing by a number of children standing together in the street of the Christians in Tus, the Shaykh is said to have pointed out to one of the boys saying, “If you wish to look at the Prime Minister of the world, there he is!” He was referring to the future, and the celebrated Persian poet and Vizier of the Seljuq empire, Nizam ul-Mulk (1018-1092 c.e.) who became the Chief Administrator of the entire Khorasan province in 1058 c.e..

3. In Tus, while preaching to crowded gatherings, he moved them to tears. On one such occasion, an infant fell from the gallery that was occupied by women. Abu Sa’id said: “Save it” when a hand appeared and caught the infant in the air, placing it unhurt on the floor.

4. Once at Nishapur at his instance a feast was being prepared when large bundles of aloes-wood were burnt in the oven so that the entire neighbourhood could enjoy the perfume. A great numbers of candles were lighted though it was daytime. A powerful police inspector of rationalistic views who detested the Sufis came into the Khanqah (monastery) and said that burning the whole lot of aloes-wood and lighting candles during the day was against the law. The Shaykh told him that he did not know that.  He told him to blow out the candles. Though the inspector huffed and puffed at the candles, the flame flared over is face, his hair as well as his clothes. Most of his body got burnt. “When someone tries to blow out the candle that has been lighted by God, his moustache gets burnt,” said the Saint. The inspector thence onwards revised his opinions of the Sufiya.

5. Once two friends, a weaver and a tailor, wanted to test the Shaykh if he could identify their professions. According to them, the Shaykh was an imposter. Disguising themselves, they went to the Shaykh who at once recognized them and their profession. They soon repented and fell at his feet.

6. In Nishapur there was an ascetic woman, named Ishi, who had not gone out of her home in forty years and people used to come to her for seeking her blessings. She used to give eye-salves to the people. When Hazrat Abu Sa’id came to Nishapur, reports of his miracles reached her ears. So she sent her nurse to gather reports about his preachings. However, the nurse could remember nothing of the speech of the Shaykh but merely recited some verses of revelry hearing which Ishi told her to wash her mouth for she could not bring herself to believe that ascetics and divines could speak such words. That night onwards she began to have nightmares and her eyes began to ache and even her own eye-salves were of little avail. No physician could cure her and her pain went on increasing. One night she dreamed that if she wanted a cure she must win the favour of the Shaykh of Mayhana. The next day, she gave a thousand Dinars to her nurse and bade her to present them to the Shaykh after his sermon. After the sermon it was customary with the Shaykh to have some bread and use a toothpick thereafter. So when the nurse had heard the sermon, she presented the purse to the Shaykh. When she was about to depart he called her addressing her as a nurse. He told her to take that toothpick of his to her lady who must stir some water with it and then wash her eyes with that water in order to cure her outward eye. He also bade her tell her that she must remove all doubts and suspicions about the Sufis so that her inner eyes may be cured too. Ishi did accordingly and was cured. In short, she gave up her house, and brought all her dresses, ornaments and jewellery to the Shaykh who accepted her as a disciple on her repentence. She was conducted to the mother of his eldest son for donning of a khirqa and after serving the women of this fraternity she became a leader of the Sufis in her own right.

7. Now Hazrat Abu Sa’id was known for holding feast for the dervishes and for Sama'.  This invited the jealousy of his opponents who spared no efforts to complaint to higher authorities.  However, their efforts always proved futile.  Often the feast and Sama' would even make some travelling sufis come to erroneous judgments.  Once, an arrogant ascetic who knew nothing about the Shaykh’s forty years of initial austerities and strivings challenged him to a forty days’ fast for he assumed that the Shaykh had always lived like that. He wanted to shame the Shaykh by his challenge and at the same time rise in esteem of others. The challenge was accepted with “May it be blessed”. While the ascetic used to break the fast as per the practice by eating a little amount of food, the Shaykh did nothing of the kind but yet seemed to growing stronger and fatter and ruddier. All the time the dervishes feasted under their gaze and indulged in Sama. The ascetic went on becoming paler, thinner and weaker, with the rich feast of the dervishes working more on him. As time went on, he could scarcely perform his obligatory prayers. He realized his folly and made repentence. After the forty days had passed, the Shaykh told him that he had complied with his request but he should now comply with his: namely, that while they fasted they had been going to the privy, and now they should sit and never go to the privy. Though the ascetic had doubts about this feat, the Shaykh proved him wrong and the ascetic became his disciple.

There are many more astounding miracles of Hazrat Abi’l Khayr , such as his meeting with Khidr (a.s.), reading thoughts and even anticipating events, but he never encouraged the writing of such anecdotes but told his disciples to become  such men that anecdotes be told of them.  He placed the hidden and unrecognized saints above the saints manifest and known. According to him, when people come to him renouncing wickedness, vowing penance, sacrificing wealth, and filled with burning love from the end of the world seeking God, what miracle could be greater than this! He said: “Whosoever belongs entirely to Karim (Giver), all his acts are gifts” (miracles).

Next, it is written in Farid ad-din al-Attar's (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) Persian Tadhkirat al-awliya that Ahmad ibn Hanbal attended the lectures of many mashayikhs, for example, Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri's and Bishr al-Hafi's (150-277). A crippled woman sent her son to Imam Ahmad and asked him to pray for her. The Imam performed an ablution (wudu) and salat and prayed. The son found his mother welcoming him at the gate when he returned home. She recovered her health through the blessing of Imam Ahmad's prayer.

Talking about Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, it is mentioned in the Kashful Mahjub that when the Mutazilites were in power at Baghdad they wanted him to say that the Qur’an was “created”. Though he was an old man by then, they put him in the rack and gave him thousand lashes to make him say that. But he would not. During the punishment, his ‘izaar’ became loose. Since his own hands were fettered he could not tie the ‘izaar’. At that time another hand appeared and tied it. Seeing this evidence they let him go.  Despite this, he said that he would not claim redress from them on the Day of Resurrection for “mere blows” since they had flogged him for Allah’s sake, thinking he was wrong. Such was his magnanimity!

At his tomb in Baghdad, Ibn Hanbal was heard continuing the recitation of the Qur’an when one of the visitors who were reciting had forgotten the wording.

[as-Shirazi in “Sadd al Hzar”, p.23]

Abu’l Abbas Muhammed al-Qassab ® (1126-1196 c.e.) the son of a meat-vendor, was one of those uneducated persons whom Allah by His bounties raised to such a status that he was able to answer any question that related to the principles of religion, including ‘Tauhid’ (Unification). His association with the leading Shaykhs of Transoxania benefitted him a lot. He was known for his ascetic practices, and lofty spiritual gifts and rose to great eminence in his time. He was also known for his abundant miracles one of which is given below: One day a boy with a heavily-laden camel was navigating the bazaar of Amul which used to be always filled with slime. The camel slipped and broke its leg. People who gathered there thought of unburdening the beast and the boy began to implore Allah’s help. Abu’l Abbas happened to pass by at that time. The people apprised him of the incident. He picked up the rein of the camel and prayed to Allah that the camel may become fit, adding “if You will not do so, then why have You let the heart of Qassab (i.e. a butcher) be melted by the tears of a lad?” No sooner had he finished his prayers than the camel immediately got up and moved on its way in a perfectly healthy condition. It may be noted that the Shaykh of Mayhana, Abu Sa’id, looked to Abu’l Abbas al-Qassab for spiritual guidance after the death of his own Shaykh, Abu’l Fadl.

According to Imam Metawalli ash-Sha'rawi's (1911-1998) "The Light of Ahl al-Bayt: My Spiritual Experiences Unveiled,"  Nafisa at-Tahira (145-208 Hijri) who was a descendent of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) has many miracles both while she was alive and after she passed away from this world.  (In fact, Imam ibn Hajar al-Asqalani too wrote about her miracles.) One of her miracles includes making the River Nile to overflow at a time (201H/816 c.e.) when the river had failed to flood as was its custom thus making it a bleak season for the crops.  When the people went to Nafisa at-Tahira (R) and asked her to pray so that Allah may cause the Nile to over-flow its bank, she gave them the veil that used to cover her face, telling them to throw it into the Nile which "will flood by Allah's grace."  They followed her instructions, and by the grace of Allah the River Nile began to overflow its banks.   Owing to one of her other miracles, the entire non-Muslim tribe in her neighbourbood entered Islam.  This was when the water of her wudhu cured the Christian girl who was paralyzed from the waist downwards.  Her miracles continued even after her death.

 Hasan al-Anwar was the father of Lady Nafeesa and the son of Zaid Al Ablaj, son of Hasan, son of Ali (May Allah bless them all). He was an extremely pious man and was blessed by Allah in a way that whatever he prayed for, Allah would accept his request immediately. It is narrated that while a woman was traveling in the desert, an eagle swooped down and snatched her baby from her lap. She came to Hasan and asked him to pray to Allah for the return of her baby. Hasan raised his hands in dua, and a little while later, the woman's child was thrown back into her arms, unharmed. Hasan was famous for his riches and wealth in Medina.

[ahl Al Bait Fi Misr  Maraqid Ahl Al Bait Fil Qaherah]

 Once a certain Shaykh passed by the sage, Habib al-Rai who was a companion of Salman Farsi (R).  He found him engrossed in prayers.  At that time, he saw a wolf guarding his sheep.  Since he wanted to know the reason, he resolved to visit him.  After the customary salutations, he  asked  him the reason for the harmony of the wolf with the sheep.  Replied Habib al-Rai: "That's because the shepherd is in harmony with Allah."  Saying this he held a wooden bowl under a rock  whence two fountains gushed forth: one of  milk and the other of honey.  He bade him drink when the visitor again asked him the reason for his attaining to such a degree.  The sage answered:  "By obeying Muhammed the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam)."  He further explained:  "My son, the rock gave water to the Ummah of Moosa (a.s.) despite the fact that they disobeyed him and although Moosa (a.s.) is not equal in rank to Muhammed (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam).    Since I am obedient to Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) who is superior to Moosa (a.s.) why should the rock not give milk and honey to me?"

When someone once recited the Surah al-Baqarah at the tomb of Abu ‘Umar Ibn Qudamah al-Hanbali (d. 607H) in Damascus, “the sheikh replied to me from his tomb. Fear befell me and I started to quiver and tremble and ran away’. This reciter died some days after that event, and all that is a famous story. On another occassion, someone recited the surah al-Kahf at al-Muwaffaq Ibn Qudamah’s tomb and then heard a voice from within the grave: ‘There is no God but God!'”

[Ibn Rajab in “Adh-Dhayl ‘alaa Tabaqat al-Hanabilah”, II p.60]

Citing miracles of Awliya-Allah can take up volumes. Also, even the miracles of the Awliya-Allah such as Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti (Ata-e-Rasool), Hazrat Khwaja Kutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (Qutubul Aqtaab), Hazrat Khwaja Fareedudin Masood (Ganj-e-Shakar) Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Awliya (Mehboob-e-Ilahi)  (May Allah be pleased with them all) of the Chishtiya Silsila, Hazrat Bu Ali Shah Qalandar,  Lal Shah Baaz Qalandar, and others  in the sub-continent of India and Pakistan too are very well known and therefore they are not being repeated here.

I take this opportunity of only mentioning the names  of the Walis in my hometown of Mumbai and around such as Hazrat Haji Abdul Rehman “Dulha” Malang Shah Baba whose origin is lost in antiquity but probably the Sufi saint had arrived about 700-800 years ago;  Hazrat Makhdoom Shah Baba (1372-1431 c.e.)  Hazrat Bahauddin Shah Asfraini (over 300 years old Dargah) , Hazrat “Pedro” Shah Baba, Hazrat Bismillah Baba, Hazrat Shaykh Hasan Shah Ghazali, Hazrat Shaykh Momin Shah Ghazali, Hazrat Haji Ali Baba Bokhari,  Hazrat Abdul Rehman Shah Baba, Hazrat Shakrullah Baba, Hazrat Ghaiban Shah Baba, Hazrat Chand Shah Wali, Hazrat Gulab Shah Baba, Hazrat Noor Ali Shah Baba, Hazrat Ishaq Shah Baba and many others,  where supplications are accepted by Allah and His 'Faid' (favours and bounties)  is received.

To continue …isha Allah.


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