Friday, September 26, 2014


From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.17:        

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

Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, and blessings and peace of Allah upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), his Family and all his Companions.

As we have seen, Allah has Himself exalted the position of His Awliya not only in this world but also in the Hereafter.  The well-known  Quranic Ayahs and Ahadith attest to this sterling fact.  The purpose behind visiting the shrines of prophets and noble Shaykhs is to glorify , seeking blessings and intercession – seeking , because Allah (Mighty and sublime He be) calls for connection rather than disconnection . They are alive in their graves; therefore reaching them and glorifying them and evoking and interceding with them is agreed upon by the learned and the Imams of religion. Their blessing is valid during their life and after their death as well.   Some persons believe that it is Shirk (associating partners with Allah) if you call the Awliyah Allah (Saints) for help, for example, "Ya Ghous, Assist me" or "Ya Khwaja, Assist me". The Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama'at believes that it is permissible to call the Awliyah Allah (radi Allahu anhum) for assistance or help as this is not associating partners with Allah Ta’ala. We believe that Allah Ta’ala has given the Awliya Allah special powers to assist the creation with His permission.  Suffice it to say, the following verse among many of the other verses of the Holy Quran proves that one can also seek the assistance of the Awliya Allah: "Your helpers are Almighty Allah and His Rasool and those Muslims who perform Salaah and give alms and make Ruku" (Part 6, Ruku 6).  Besides, this Madad was asked by Musa (AS) from his countryman with the word istaghaatha “he asked for help” (28:15) and by Dhul-Qarnayan using the term "help me" in Surat al-Kahf (a`eenuni) (18:95) which is the same root as "we turn for help" (nasta`een) in the Fatiha.

Imam ibn Abideen Shaami (d. 1253 H) writes: "Saints hold differing ranks in the court of Allah and to those who visit them, they benefit them through their spiritual stations" (Raddul Muhtar, vol.1 p.604).  From these writings of the Imam, he has made his belief totally clear that according to their rank, saints gift their visitors with benefit and blessings.

According to an Islamic scholar, the ways of Awliya are not uniform: One eats heartily and sleeps soundly; another starves himself and keeps nightly vigils; one associates with people while another keeps aloof; one dresses in rags while another dons silk and fine linens; one keeps silent while another joins in conversations; one conceals his condition while another reveals it; one does service to all – devotee and fornicator alike – while another does not even answer the salaam of the latter; one receives gifts without asking, while another does not receive them!

Imam Hasan ibn Ibrahim al-Hallal [ra] has stated that whenever he had any urgent need, he would go to the grave of Imam Moosa ibn Ja'far [reh.] and make Tawassul through him. Allah (swt) would fulfil his need. (refer Taarikh Baghdad).

Ibn Hibban (reh) (d.354 A.H., the great Muhaddith from Salaf-as-Saaliheen) relates his own account of going to Al-Ridha’s (reh) grave, performing Tawassul through him and states that whenever “I was afflicted with a problem during my stay in Tus, I would visit the grave of Ali bin Musa [May Allah (swt)’s blessings be upon his grandfather and him] and ask Allah (swt) to relieve me of that problem and it (my dua) would be answered and the problem alleviated. And this is something I did, and found to work, many times." According to him, "This is such a reality that I found it to be true no matter how many times I did it.  May Allah grant us death in the true love for Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and his blessed Ahlul Bayt." [Ibn Hibban, Kitab uth-Thiqat Volume 008, Page No. 456-7 #14411]

Ibn Hajar (Tahdhib 7:339) narrates the account of the Imam of Ahlul-Hadith Ibn Khuzaymah, under the entry of the same Ali bin Musa Al-Ridha. He relates that Ibn Khuzaymah also performed tawassul at the grave of Al-Ridha.

Tajuddin al-Subki [reh.] has mentioned that the people would go to the grave of Imaam ibn Foorak (reh.), the teacher of Imaam Baihaqi, and make Du'a and their Du'as would get accepted.

Ibn al-Jawzi in his biographies of the awliya entitled Sifat al-Safwa lists many of those at whose graves tabarruk (seeking blessing) and tawassul is recommended. Among them:

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari: "al-Waqidi said: It has reached us that the Eastern Romans visit his grave and seek rain through his intercession when they suffer from droughts" (1:243). Mujahid said: "People would uncover the space above his grave and it would rain."

Ma`ruf al-Karkhi (d. 200H): "His grave can be seen in Baghdad, and one seeks blessings with it.  Al-Hafiz Ibrahim al-Harbi (d. 285H) -- Imam Ahmad's companion --  used to say: Ma`ruf's grave is proven medicine" (2:214) Ibn al-Jawzi adds: "We ourselves go to Ibrahim al-Harbi's grave and seek blessings with it" (2:410)

Al-hafiz al-Dhahabi also relates Ibrahim al-Harbi's saying about Ma`ruf al-Karkhi: "Ma`ruf's grave is proven medicine." Siyar a`lam al-nubala' (9:343).
Abu al-Hasan al-Daraqutni said: "We used to seek blessings from Abu al-Fath al-Qawasi's grave" (2:471).

Abu al-Qasim al-Wa`iz: "His grave can be seen in Ahmad ibn Hanbal's cemetary and it is sought for blessings." Related in the notice on `Abd al-Samad ibn `Umar ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq (2:482).

Al-Hafiz Abu al-Qasim Ibn `Asakir says in Musnad Abi `Uwana (1:430): "Abu `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn `Umar al-Saffar said to me that the grave of Abu `Uwana in Isfarayin [near Naysabur,i.e. Nishapur] is a place of visitation for the whole world (mazar al-`alam) and a place for obtaining blessing for the entire creation (mutabarrak al-khalq)."

Al-Hafiz Diya' al-Din al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali said in his book al-Hikayat al-manthura (Zahiriyya ms. 98, an autograph) that he heard the hafiz `Abd al-Ghani al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali say that something like an abscess appeared on his upper arm for which there was found no medicine. He came to Ahmad ibn Hanbal's grave and applied his arm against it, after which he found himself healed. Imam Kawthari said that he read this account in Diya' al-Din's own handwriting. See Maqalat al-Kawthari (Riyadh and Beirut: Dar al-ahnaf, 1414/1993) p. 407, 412.

Al-Hafiz Abu `Ali al-Ghassani relates in Ibn al-Subki’s Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya 2:234:  Abu al-Fath Nasr ibn al-Hasan al-Sakani al-Samarqandi came to us in 464 and said: “We had a drought in Samarqand some years ago. The people made the istisqa’ prayer but they did not get rain. A saintly man named al-Salah came to the judge and said to him: “I have an opinion I would like to show you. My opinion is that you come out followed by the people and that you all go to the grave of Imam Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari and make istisqa’ (prayer for rain) there. Perhaps Allah will give us rain.” The judge said: “What a good opinion you have.” He came out and the people followed him, and he prayed for rain in front of them at the grave while people wept and SOUGHT THE INTERCESSION OF THE ONE THAT WAS IN IT. Allah sent such heavy rain that those who were in Khartenk (where this took place, three miles away from Samarqand) could not reach Samarqand for seven days because of the rain’s abundance.

Hazrat Shamsuddeen Muhammad Hanafi (reh) was performing ablution in his room. He suddenly threw his wooden sandal into the air. It disappeared although there was no way for it to exit through the room. He gave the other sandal to his disciple and asked him to keep it until the first one returned. After some time a certain person from Syria arrived with the sandal and some money as gifts and said, "May Almighty Allah give you the thanks for this. The actual incident, which occurred, was that once when a thief sat on my chest and was about to slaughter me. In my heart I said, 'Ya Sayyidi Muhammadin Ya Hanafiyu.' Then suddenly, this sandal came and fell on the chest of the thief with such force that he became dazed and collapsed and Almighty Allah has saved me through your blessing." (Tabqaatul Kubra)

Before the passing away of Moulana Rumi (reh.)he revealed to his Mureeds a startling secret. He said: "Whatever conditions you may be in, remember me, so that I can be your protector and helper, irrespective of what state I may be in. In this world I have two types of relationships, one with my body and the other with you, and when, with the Mercy of Allah I am freed from this contact with my body and the world of loneliness is exposed to me, I will divert the attention of my soul to you."

The great Sufi Shaykh, Hamiduddin Nagori (D.677 A.H.), said that whoever has a need that he needs to be fulfilled, he should go to the grave of  his wife, Sayyidah Khadijah, and seek blessings there because she never turned anyone away (Sultan at-Tarikeen, p.93).  From these words of Khwaja Hamiduddin, we discover his belief that the chosen people of Allah can help people even from their graves. Muslims should go to the graves of the chosen servants of the Creator and seek the benefits from them.

Also, Shaykh Abdul Haq Dehlwi (d.1052 A.H.) writes: "Imam Shafi'i said that the grave of Hadrat Musa Kaazim ® is a place where supplications are accepted readily" (Ashi'atul Lum'aat, vol.1 p.715). 

From these writings, it is found that the belief of Imam Shafi'i was that to go to the graves of the pious and to seek blessings from them, to offer supplications near them graves and to believe the occupant of the grave to be a means of removing difficulties is totally permissible. The Imam also believed that some of these graves are a place where supplications are accepted.

We have noted above al-Wakidi’s and Mujahid’s account of Hadrat Abu Ayyub al-Ansari ® who was one of the great Companions of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  According to The History of al-Tabari, 39:40: Mujahid says: Whenever there is famine, people expose the grave, so it starts raining.  It was reported that the Greeks frequent his grave, renovate it, and pray there for rain in times of drought. Hafidh Ibn Kathir, Ibn abdul-Barr and Ibn Sa’ad, Ibn Athir write: 'Whenever there was a famine in Rome, then the Romans would supplicate by presenting the Waseela of Abu Ayyub Ansari RadhiAllahu 'anhu'. (Tareekh Ibn Kathir Tabakat Ibn Sa’d, Usdool-Gabah, Isteyab by Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Atheer and Abdul-Barr)  Hafidh Ibn Kathir made no critical comments with regards to this. When supplication was made through Abu Ayyub Ansari Radi Allaho making him the waseela, it did rain.  Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr does mention in al-Istiab fī ma‘rifat-il-ashāb (1:405)]: Thus, even the enemies were forced to revere his grave, and people soon came to know the blessings emanating from the grave. Whatever they prayed for at the grave was immediately granted. And Abū Ayyūb’s grave lies near the ramparts of the fort and everybody knows it... When people pray for rain there, it starts raining.  It would be interesting to see what the Historian Philips Hitti writes:  Tradition asserts that in the course of the siege Abu-Ayyūb  died of dysentery and was buried before the walls of Constantinople. His legendary tomb soon became a shrine even for the Christian Greeks, who made pilgrimages to it in times of drought to pray for rain. During the siege of Constantinople in 1453 by the Turks, the tomb was miraculously discovered by rays of light… and a mosque was built on the site. Thus did the Madīnese gentleman become a saint for three nations. (Hitti, History of the Arabs, 201-2)

Bab-Ul-Burdan Graveyard:
The Graveyard of Bab-ul-Burdan has a group of meritorious people.  At the Musalla prescribed for Salat-ul-‘Id, there was a grave known as the Grave of Nuthur (pl. of nathr) [An-Nathr is an oath to Allah by which one commits oneself to do any good deed which is not obligatory, such as fasting a certain number of days or paying charity.  It is obligatory to fulfil one's nathr.]. It is said that in it was buried a man who was a descendent of Ali Ibn Abi Talib. People perform Tabarruk by visiting him, and whoever had a need would come to him to have his need fulfilled.
Qadi Abul-Qasim Ali Ibn al-Muhsin at-Tannukhiyy told me; he said: My father told me; he said: I was sitting in the presence of Adud-ud-Dawlah while we were camping near the A’yad Musalla in the eastern part of the city of as-Salam aiming to go with him to Hamathan.  In the first day he attended the camp, his eye fell on the construction made on the Grave of Nuthur.  He said to me: What is this construction?  I said to him: This is the Mashhad (Grave) of Nuthur. I did not say grave, because I knew his superstition of this. He liked the wording and said: I knew this is the Grave of Nuthur, but I wanted its matter to be explained. I said: This is a grave, it is said, of Ubaydullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Umar Ibn Ali Ibn al-Husayn Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib. It is also said: It is the grave of Ubaydullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Umar Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib. It is said that one ruler wanted to have him killed secretly.  A ditch was made for him. He was taken on it without him knowing and fell into it. Then the sand was thrown over him while alive. The grave was famous as the Grave of Nuthur, because every single nathr made for him was valid, the nathir (one who performs the nathr) achieved what he wanted and is obligated to fulfil his nathr. I am one of those who made nathr for it many times that I cannot count for hard matters. I achieved them; fulfilling the nathr became obligatory upon me and I did fulfil it. He did not accept this saying and said what implicated that this occurred accidentally.  Then lay people marketed it magnified and spread false news about it.  I stopped talking.

A few days later while we were camping in our position, he sent after me in the afternoon. He said: Ride with me to the Mashhad of Nuthur.  We rode along with some of his retinues until we reached the place. He entered and visited the Grave.  There, he prayed rak’atan after which he made a sujud in which he made a long dua' in a such a way that no one heard him.  Then we rode back to his tent and stayed for days. Then we moved to Hamathan. We reached it and stayed with him for months.  Then he sent after me and said: Do you remember what you told me about the Mashhad of Nuthur in Baghdad?  I said: Yes, I do. He said: I addressed you with its meaning without that which was in me to have a good company with you.  What was in me is that all of what was said about the Grave was a lie.  A short time after that something occurred to me that I was afraid it would happen.  I worked hard to avoid its happening even if it amounted to spend all of what I had in my treasuries and employing my soldiers.  I could not find a way to that. Then I remembered what you told me about the nathr for the Graveyard of Nuthur. I said: Why do I not try that? I performed a nathr that if Allah protected me from that matter, I would carry 10,000 full Darahim to the box of this Mashhad.  Today I got the news of being protected from that matter.  I told Abul-Qasim Abd-ul-Aziz Ibn Yusuf -his writer- to write to Abur-Rayyan, who was his delegated ruler in Baghdad to carry them to the Graveyard. Then he looked at Abdul-Aziz who was present and said: Surely, I wrote that and the order in the letter was executed. [This is the end of the statement by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi.].

To reiterate, those who seek Baraka and tawassul do not believe in the originality and independence of these causes and agents but believe that they are the means and a channel or a route through which Allah (swt) in his infinite Mercy grants miracles and marvels for the sake of the honour of His Friends.  It is also worth remembering the general rule of thumb that all those Quranic verses which say “there is no Helper beside Allah” speak in relation to the Kuffar (Disbelievers) and those Quranic verses saying that there are many helpers are in relation to Believers.  Another general rule of thumb to remember is that Karamaat of Awliya-Allah are true, and steadfastness in the way of Allah is also a miracle.  This is further clarified by Imam Mujaddid Alf Thaani Ahmad al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi who writes, “It is not a condition for a Wali [that is, for a person whom Allah loves] to display karamat. As it is not necessary for the scholars to display karamat, so it is not necessary for the Awliya to display karamat, because Wilayah means qurb-e ilahi. [That is, it means to get closer to Allah, to know Him.” [Volume 2, 92nd Letter of his Maktubat]

After examining all the narrations and quotations, it is clear as the daylight that in every era the respect of the Tabarukaat and Wasila was in progress. The Sahaba-e-Kiraam, Akaabireen, A'imma-e-Mujtahideen, Awliyah and the Ulema have always respected and honoured the Tabarukaat. Those who showed disrespect towards it were engulfed by the Azaab (Punishment) of Almighty Allah. Thus, it is necessary upon the Muslims to respect and honour the Islamic relics.  We  owe it to the Prophets, `alaymmu-s-salam, and Awliya, who protected and spread the Deen of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, over the ages, that we visit their shrines, dress it with flowers if we wish to (as it is Sunnah) and make Dhikr there. A Nation, which does not honour its true servants and heroes, is an ungrateful Nation and is bound to land in confusion.   

Shaykh Abu Talib al-Makki Alayhi Rahma said, “If you are not from the righteous, see to it that you have love for them, for Allah Most High will look to their hearts, and perhaps He will see you in them and allow you to join them.” In another wording it says, “And perhaps He may look at your name and forgive you.”

To respect those things attributed to religion is also acceptable. Almighty Allah says, “For those who respect the signs of Allah, then this is from the piety of the hearts.” (Surah Al Haj, verse 32).  The shrines of Awliya-Allah are also among the signs of Allah.  We ask Allah  to fill our hearts with love for His beloved ones, namely the Blessed Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahabalkram, the mujtahideen, the Auliya-Allah, and that He blesses us with the ability to follow their path.  O Allah! We ask of you your love and the love of those whom you love.

Please remember: Performing the tawassul by the anbiya' and awliya' after their death and the tabarruk by visiting their graves hoping for the fulfillment of their du’a' (supplication, asking Allah) at their graves is the condition in which the Salaf were.  We shall now conclude with the Hadith ash-Sharif written in Sahihayn, the two genuine Hadith books, one by al-Bukhari and the other by Muslim states that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) visited the graves of the martyrs of Uhud exactly ONE YEAR after they died.  A minbar was BUILT in the graveyard for him to deliver a sermon. 'Uqba ibn Amir (radi-Allahu `anh), the relater of the Hadith ash-Sharif, said, 'Rasulullah (sall-Allahu Ta`ala `alaihi wa sallam), ascended the minbar. It was the last time I saw him on the minbar. He declared: "I do not fear whether you will become polytheists after I die. I fear that you, because of worldly interests, will kill one another and thus be destroyed like ancient tribes." ' 

Verily Allāh SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala and His Beloved Rasūl SallAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam knows best!



Wednesday, September 24, 2014


From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.17:      

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

Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, and blessings and peace of Allah upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), his Family and all his Companions.

The Awliya Allah have spiritual powers (Tasarruf) but they are limited to their spiritual ranks.  A Shaykh is either Incomplete or Complete. i) An incomplete Shaykh is called a Majzoob. He can only distribute Worldly Faiz.  ii) A complete Shaykh called a Kamil Shaykh. There are three ranks of Kamil Shaykhs.  All the three can distribute BOTH deen and dunya Faiz. The three ranks are as follows:  1) A Kamil Shaykh: one who is complete; 2) A Mukammal Shaykh: one who is perfect; 3) An Akmal Shaykh: one who is the most perfect Wali. The difference is that an Akmal Shaykh, who is at the highest rank, can distribute Faiz to the lower Mukammal & Kamil Shaykhs. So it is often the case that a Kamil Shaykh will do bai'ah to an Akmal Shaykh just for Faiz. It may be added that unless there is Iman and the rules of Shariat are carried out, there can be no Tasawwuf or Tariqat or Awliya.  According to Imam Malik, anyone who dives into Tasawwuf without first learning the Fiqh becomes a Zindiq and anyone who learns Fiqh and abandons Tasawwuf goes astray.  An Awliya who is in high grade Tariqat or Wilaayat has to follow a Mujtahid like an ordinary Muslim.  Hence, Awliya Allah such as Hazrat Bistami, Hazrat Junaid, Hazrat ibn al-Arabi were raised in rank after having followed a Madhhab.  Hazrat Junaid was in the Madhhab of Sufyan Thauri, Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani was a Hanbali, Hazrat Abu Bakr Shibli was a Maliki, Haris-e-Muhasibi was a Shafi’I, Imam Rabbani was a Hanafi (May Allah be pleased with them all) and so on.  We also need to point out here that Ali Ajhuri, a prominent Maliki scholar of Egypt, said, ‘The wali, when he is alive, is like a sword in its sheath. After his death, his influence becomes stronger like that of a sword out of its sheath.’ This statement is also quoted by Abu ‘Ali Sanji in his book Nur al-hidaya. It is certified in the light of the Book (Qur’an al-karim), the Sunnat and ijma’ al-Umma that karama is true.  According to Hadrat 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.

It is a common knowledge that even Awliya Allah visit the graves of other Awliya Allah.  Once Hazrat Abul Hasan Ali bin Usman al-Hujveri (the celebrated author of Kashful Mahjub) was entangled in a spiritual mystery and wasn't able to solve it, so he went to the tomb of Hazrat Bayazid Bustami, where he meditated for many days. Due to the grace of Hazrat Bayazid Bustami, he eventually solved the mystery.  During his visit to Syria, he visited the tomb of Hazrat Bilal ®, the great Companion of the Rasulallah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). There he slept for a while, and in his dream he found himself in Makkah, where he saw the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) with an old man whom he didn't recognize. Then Hazrat Ali Hajveri fell at the feet of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and kissed them. The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knew what Hazrat Ali Hajveri had in his mind, so he told him: "This man is Abu Hanifa, your Imam." Another example: When Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (reh.) visited Lahore in 561 A.H (1165 AD), he stayed at the tomb of Hazrat Ali Hajveri for two weeks where he meditated. When he finished his meditation, he said a couplet in Farsi:  Ganj Bukhsh Faiz-e-Alam; Mazhar-e-Noor-e-Khuda/Naqisa-ra Pir-e-Kamil; Kamila-ra Rahnuma.  [Meaning: He is a bestower of treasure (Ganj Baksh) reflecting Divine Light for the salvation of mankind. To the unworthy he is a perfect guide, but to perfect souls, he is still a guide].  Thus Khwaja Ghareebun Nawaaz (reh.) informed the people that the mazaar was a fountainhead of spiritual blessings and that Makhduum Sayyid Ali Hujweri (reh.) is bestowing treasure upon treasure; and his blessings are overflowing.  Hadrat Nizamuddin Awliya, himself a very high-ranking saint, performed the Ziyaarat of Hadrat Qutubuddin Bakhtriya Kaki (reh.) several times and also of Hadrat Fariduddin Ganj-e-Shakkar seven times. (Muslim Saints of South Asia)  As we know, Shah Waliullah often used to visit the graves of awliya for maraqaba and Baraka. He used to visit grave of Shaykh Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (reh.) regularly. Shah Sahib also visited the grave of Shaykh Ghaus Gwaliari (rh), the Chief of Sattariya Silsila.  Shah sahib performed maraqaba at the grave of Sayyedina Abu dhar ghaffari (Radiallahu anhu) and the martyrs of Badr.  At one instance Shah Sahab was not able to take a decision. While doing maraqaba at the grave of a pious wali of Allah in the town of Phulat, Shah Sahib got the answer for his question. (Al qawl al jali, p, 232).  From these ( and many more like this) it is seen that Shah Sahab often used to visit the graves of awliya Allah to do maraqaba and get spiritual benefit.  Then, Imam Rabbani Hadrat Mujadad Alf Sani (رحمة الله عليه) while mentioning how the Kashafats of the Sufis may be dangerous for their Iman, speaks of his own experience where he himself suffered such problems for a long time and could not find a way out despite doing Tawbah and Istagfaar and praying before Allah a long time, in order that such Kashafats don't recur.  The resulting fear overpowered him and frustrated him, causing lots of uneasiness.   He says: "This condition remained for a long time.  One day, in this condition I went to the Mazaar (tomb/shrine) of an Awliya and I made the AWLIYA MY HELPER concerning this problem during which time the Mercy of Allah came and I was informed about the Reality of the issue.  And then the soul [Ruh] of Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم) who is Mercy for All worlds came and gave comfort to my heart.  This informed me that only Qurb of Allah is the real blessing. [Maktubat, Vol.3, page 220]"

Next, sometimes objections are raised by bringing in the subject of Destiny.  Of course, everything happens according to His decree and will, and His will is accomplished. The only will that people have is what He wills for them. What He wills for them occurs and what He does not will, does not occur. The destiny which has been termed as Taqdeer Mubarram Haqeeqi  by Islamic scholars is the Final Decision of Allah and is unchangeable – i.e. inevitable Fate!  However, Allah (Subhanahu Ta’la) also says: Allah effaceth what He will, and establisheth (what He will), and with Him is the source of ordinance. (Surah Ar-Rad: 39)  Therefore, it is clear that Allah removes Destiny when He Wills to or lets it remain unchanged in the Preserved Tablet which is with Him.  Hence, the form of destiny termed as Taqdeer Mubarram Ghair Haqeeqi  is changeable by Akabir Awliya Allah. It is in the first book of Bahaar-e-Shariat where it states that Sayyiduna Ghous-ul-A'zam Radi Allahu Anhu state that they have the authority to change 'Taqdeer Mubarram'.  Then, the destiny termed as Taqdeer Mu'allaq is changeable by most Awliya Allah, pious people, which may be with the Blessing of Allah Azzawajal or with the Authority of The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  It can change by taking care and serving parents and even by giving Sadaqah.  It is in Ahadith that only prayer can change destiny (Tirmidhi) and that indeed dua can change 'Qadha Mubarram' - (Dailimi).   "Nothing could change the qadar except du`a’." (musnad ahmad, vol. 5, hadith no. 277; sunan at-tirmidhi, vol. 3, hadith no. 139).  Ultimately, Destiny is in the Divine Power of Allah Azzawajal. If He Allows, then the Awliya Allah have the authority to change it.  So some may pray or just cast a glance to bring about a change in the fortunes and destiny.  As Dr Muhammad Iqbal said:

Nigaah-e-Mard-e-Momeen se badal jaatee haiN taqdeereN
Jo ho zauq-e-yaqeen paida toh kaTT jaatee haiN zanjeereN.

Next, since the subjects of Faiz, Marifah, Noor, etc.,  are inclusive while discussing about Awliya Allah, it would be relevant before that to discuss or quote in brief something about Tanasukh lest someone might attribute it the Awliya Allah.  At the outset, it should be noted that according to Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat there is no Metempsychosis and Tanaasukh or transmigration of soul.

The great Indian mystic, theologian and Naqshbandi Sufi Imam-I Rabbani Mujaddid –e Alf Sani  Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi (1564-1624 c.e.) wrote, in his renowned Persian work ‘Maktubat-i imam Rabbani’ (SECOND VOLUME, 58 th LETTER):  Metempsychosis means that a man's soul has had a connection with another body before it entered his own body. It is not a matter of metempsychosis for a soul to take the shape of a body. ALSO, ANGELS AND GENIES DO MANY THINGS BY DISGUISING THEMSELVES AS MEN, WHICH IS NOT TRANSMIGRATION AT ALL. IT IS NOT REINCARNATION. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF TRANSMIGRATING INTO ANOTHER BODY.  IT IS NOT METEMPSYCHOSIS FOR A WALI TO DO KUMUN AND BURUZ. For in metempsychosis the soul connects with another body to enliven it, to make it sensitive and active. In Buruz,  a soul's connecting with another body is not intended to do this, but it is to perfect that body and exalt its grade. As a matter of fact, a genie can also connect with a man's body and appear in him. But this type of connection is not intended to enliven that person, for that person is alive and is able to hear and move before the genie connects with him. After the connection, some of that person's actions and words are the appearances of the attributes and actions of that genie. By saying nothing about kumun and buruz, great shaikhs avoided causing those ignorant to be dragged into wrong beliefs. Thus Hadrat Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi has made it clear that the doctrine of Buruz has nothing to do with Metempsychosis and Tanaasukh.

In the physical world, some pious believers who include the Awliya-Allah are able to traverse great distances in moments. Imam ar-Rabbani mentions in his Letters that some awliya were seen far from the place where they lived, and that it was the appearance of their soul in bodily forms. For example, Habib al-'Ajami [d.120H/737 c.e.) who was the disciple of Hasan al-Basri (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala alaih) was seen in Basra on the Tarwiya Day and in 'Arafat on the following day, the 'Arafa Day [the eighth and ninth days of the month Dhu'l-Hijja]. Also, it is commonly known that a Kaamil Wali through the faculty of “Tayy al-Makaan” is able to come to the aid of his disciples wherever by overcoming the spatial restrictions.  In cases of danger the Shaykh might suddenly appear in the midst of a band of robbers to drive them away or assume the shape of the ruler in order to protect a disciple who called for help, or the master might appear, in spiritualized form, at a sick person's bed in order to cure him or at least relieve him temporarily from his pain.  Tayy al-Makaan has been discussed at some length by me at http://tinyurl.com/om84ord

According to the hadith shareef found in Tabarani and Tirmidhi, the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: Beware of the insight (Firasa) of the believer for verily he sees by God’s light.  Thus it is known that through his insight, a Shaykh is able to peep into his disciple's heart and tell his secret wishes, hopes, and dislikes and to understand signs of spiritual pride or hypocricy. During our visit to a shrine we often hear the phrase: nazr-e inaayat ho.  Or if you remember the famous qawwali: Ho nigaah-e-karam.  Here we are speaking of Tawajjuh which literally means focusing with intention or spiritual concentration of the mazaar-e-saahib over his seeker who by such transmission of energy is then lifted from his fallen state.  Of course, as we have often repeated, everything is by the Will of Allah Who is the actual Doer.  The Wali is an instrument through whom the grace flows and through whose inner state the transformation takes place.  Therefore, blessings emanated from the soul of a righteous believer or saint, are reflected into the heart of a person who visits his grave, or accompanies him during his life, or uses him as a Wasila. The weaker of the two souls gains strength, just like the reflection of light is able to eliminate darkness from the surface of a mirror.  In the words of an Islamic scholar: The tawajjuh  (concentration) is received when you come to these awliya with love for them for Allah's sake, where you regard them from your heart as your mirrors, and wish for them what you wish for your own self, preferring their will to yours, and in that spirit, greeting them, sitting by their side, and praying for them that may Allah elevate their ranks, and also perhaps reading Quran, sending Salawat or giving charity, all for the love of Allah and seeking Him, and then asking Allah to send the rewards gained to them..and also doing your remembrance of Allah for your own miraj/elevation to Allah in their presence, and all of this will inshallah be causes of connection with their hearts, transmitting their lights to yours, and seeing Allah (swt) through their hearts, may Allah grant us the love of His Prophets, and His Friends/Awliya, and benefit us from their stations and lights.

It may be stated that the reality of Tawajjuh is nothing new.  The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) himself practiced it and there are many accounts about it;   but which cannot be mentioned here for reasons of space limitation.  Therefore, the intermediaries through whom the grace of Allah transmits are not only the Awliya Allah but also the Messengers of Allah and enlightened human being or Insan Kamil.

As an Islamic scholar points out: Similarly Faiz (noor) also gives "life", but in this case it gives life to one's success in this life and/or the next. There are two types of Faiz:  1) Faiz for the World (Dunya Faiz) Low Power: This helps one to have children if one does not have any, be successful in business, become rich, famous etc. 2) Faiz for one's Religion (Deen Faiz) High Power: This helps one succeed in being steadfast in performing Prayer, Conforming to Shariah, Acting upon the Sunnah, Refraining from sinful activities etc. Distribution of Faiz:  A Shaykh can only distribute Faiz according to his status.

According to a great scholar and Wali, Sayyid Abdul Hakim Arwaasi (reh.) (1865-1943 c.e.), faid, marifa and nur flow from the hearts of the men of Allah, who are like the gate of Allahu ta'ala's endless ocean of faid, to the hearts of Muslims who love and remember them.  A Muslim who attaches himself to the heart of a perfect (kaamil) wali will attain Allahu ta'ala's faid  through the blessed heart of that wali.  It does not make any difference for the heart's attaining  faid  and marifa whether the man of Allah is alive or dead. His perfections (kamalat) never depart from his soul. And the soul is not bound by time, place, death or life. Until a man can receive faid  from Allahu ta'ala without a mediator (wasita), he needs a mediator whom Allahu ta'ala loves and who can receive and transmit faid to his disciples.

At this stage,  we shall very briefly broach a word or two about knowledge of the Unseen which is the prerogative of Allah as to upon whom he shall bestow.  In Surah al-Jinn, verses 26-27, of the Holy Qu’ran it is mentioned: He (alone knows the Unseen, nor does He make anyone acquainted with His mysteries, except an Apostle whom He has chosen (Prophet Muhammed sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  Explaining the above, Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani stated as follows: “It follows from this verse that Prophets can see some of the Unseen, and so do the Awliya Allah  (saints) that follow each particular Prophet also, as each takes from his Prophet and is gifted (yukram) with his knowledge. The difference between the two is that the Prophet looks at this knowledge through all kinds of revelation, while the saint does not look upon it except in dreams or through inspiration and Allah knows best.”

Ibn Hajar quotes al-Qurtubi's words confirming this:  The truthful, righteous Muslim (al-muslim al-sadiq al-salih) is he whose state matches that of Prophets and thereby is bestowed (ukrima) some of the same kind of gift they were, and that is to behold the unseen (wa huwa al-ittila` `ala al-ghayb). As for the disbeliever (al-kafir), the corrupt person (al-fasiq), and the contentious one who confuses matters for the listeners (al-mikhlat)-- then no.   (al-Qurtubi as quoted by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (1989 ed.) 12:449.)

The gist of the above explanations by Ibn Hajr and Qurtubi is that, those who do not believe in the Knowledge of Unseen of Prophets and Awliya Allah are Kafir, Fasiq  and Controversial Troublemakers in the guise of Muslims  groups.

This is no place for a detailed digression on the Knowledge of Unseen that involves the many Quranaic ayahs and ahadith that show that the sources of knowledge of Unseen of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) are: (a) Direct, (b) Indirect, and (c) Prophetic Vision. Ibn Abbas reported that Khidr (a.s.) was a man who did all his work with the knowledge of the Ghayb because he knew the Ghayb. [Tafsir Tabari, Tafsir Qurtabi, Tafsir Fathul Qadir, by Imam Tabari, Qurtabi and Qadi Shawkani]. The above statement proves from a narration from a Sahabi, which is accepted by leading and reputable classical authorities, that it is permissible to say about Khidhr (a.s.) that he knew the Ghayb, so how can it possibly be wrong to say that Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) also knows the Ghayb!!  The bottom line is if our Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) did not know about the future events up to the Day of Judgment and even after, how else could he have told us about the Mahdi, the Dajjal, the second coming of Jesus, the questions to be asked in the grave, the bridge over Hell which everyone will have to cross to get to Heaven, the Meezan (scales) where everyone’s actions will be weighed etc etc. To quote just three Ahadith Shareef: 1. In the Musnad of imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal by the narration of Abu dharr Ghifaari (radhi allah anhu):  ‘The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) has left us in this state: that not even a bird flaps its wing, but he has already told us about it’. 2.“..in Sharh of Muwaahib al-laduniyya by al Zarqaani, there is this narration of hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar (radhi allah anhu):  Allah taala presented the whole world before me.  Thus, I am seeing this world and everything which is to happen in it till Judgement Day, as if I am looking at this hand of mine.’ 3. In Mishkah ul Masabih, Vol2, Chapter on Karamaat, followed by the Chapter Wafaat al Nabi alaihisalaam, it is written: ‘Your meeting place is the Hawd-e-Kauthar (Fount of Kauthar). I am seeing it from this very place.’

Coming to the Awliya Allah, Shaykh Ibn Taimiyya who, quoting the saying of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam),  considered the Sufis as “Martyrs of Allah on Earth” and as leaders of humanity who called to what is Right, forbidding what is Wrong has this to say about the Unveiling of Appearances in his Majmu’a Fataawa (volume 11, page 313): "Allah Almighty will unveil to his saints states that have never been given before and give them support without measure.... If that saint will begin to speak from the things of the unseen, past or present or future it is considered from "Bab al'ilm al-khaariq" the miraculous unseen knowledge.... Anything that a saint does which is from unveiling to people or to listeners or curing or healing or teaching knowledge, it is accepted... and we have to thank Allah for it."

We shall only be citing just one instance to point out the knowledge of the Unseen granted by Allah to his Awliya Allah. However, before that lets see this hadith shareef: 
Imam Abu Hanifa ® in Fiqh al Akbar and Allama Jalal ud din Suyuti in Jama’ al-Kabeer report from Harith ibn Nu’maan:  ‘Once I (Harith ibn Nu’maan radhi Allah anhu) went to visit the Holy Prophet alayhi salato salaam and the Holy Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, asked me, ‘O Harith, how did you find the day?’ I replied ‘By being a true momin (believer).’ The Messenger alaihi salaam said, ‘What is the reality of your Iman (faith)?’ I replied, ‘ As if I AM SEEING THE DIVINE THRONE MANIFESTLY. AND AS IF I AM SEEING THE DWELLERS OF PARADISE GREETING EACH OTHER AND THE DWELLERS OF HELL MAKING NOISE.’  So this was the state of a Sahabi (R)!   Maulana Rumi very aptly alludes to this in his Masnavi: When that is the state of an Atom of the Sun’s’ vision (meaning Hazrat Harith) that he sees Heaven, Hell, the Throne, the Earth, People of heaven and hell with his own eyes, what can one say about the vision of the Sun of the Universe (meaning the Holy Prophet) sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam? “ (p. 148)

 Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Naqshbandi (reh.) [1703-1762] writes that his father, Shah Abdur Raheem, said that he once went to the shrine of Hadrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtyar Kaaki (rahmatullah `alaih). The soul of Bakhtyar Kaaki became apparent and told me that I shall have a son and that I should name him Qutbuddin Ahmad. At this time, my wife had become elderly and was beyond child bearing age.  On hearing this, I thought to myself that maybe I shall have a grandson. The soul of Bakhtyar Kaaki got to know of my thinking and removed my doubt and said that it did not give me tidings of a grandson, rather, this child will be my very own. Sometime later, I married again and from this marriage was born (Shah) Waliullah. At the time of my birth, my father had forgotten about this event and named me Waliullah.  When he came to recall this event, he gave a second name of Qutbuddin Ahmad. (Anfaas al-`Arifeen, p.110).  By writing about this incident, the belief of Shah Waliullah Dehlwi is clear. He believed that to go to the shrines of the pious is permissible and even after their demise, the saints are still given the knowledge of the unseen because Qutbuddin Bakhtyar Kaaki knew about the birth of a son a year before it happened. Also, the inmate of the grave also knew the feelings of his visitor's heart.

The fact that Prophets and Awliya’ have knowledge of the Unseen (and other miraculous abilitis) is attested to by the Qur’an and Sunna and the experience of the righteous Muslims throughout the centuries of the history of Islam, and does not constitute, as some misguided Muslims claim, kufr or shirk.

Continued in Part 5…


Wednesday, September 17, 2014


From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.17:        

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

Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, and blessings and peace of Allah upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), his Family and all his Companions.

According to the Ahlu’s Sunnah, after death, it is forbidden for the Earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets ‘alaihimu’s salam. The bodies and even the shrouds of the Awliya and Shuhada are intact and they are given sustenance. Imam Subki writes in Shifa’ al-Siqam that: The life of the martyrs is very superior. The promise of life and sustenance is not given to anyone else but them. The life of the Prophets is the most superior because they are alive physically and spiritually as they were in this world and this will continue forever [Shifa’ al-Siqam, p.206].

Imam Mulla ‘Ali Qari writes: There is no real difference in the two states [life and death] of the Awliya. This is why it has been said that they do not die, rather, they go from one home to another [Mirqat Sharh Mishkat, vol.3, p.241].  

Shaykh al-Hind Muhaddith Dihlawi writes: The friends of Allah go from the finite world to the eternal world. They are alive with their Lord and are given sustenance. They are happy but people cannot comprehend this [Ashi’atu’l Lum’aat Sharh Mishkat, vol.3, p.402]. 

Qadi Thana’ Ullah Pani Patti writes:

The Awliya say that our souls are our bodies, meaning, their souls perform the work of body and sometimes the bodies become so fine that they appear as the souls. It is said that RasulAllah sallAllahu 'alaihi wasallam did not possess a shadow. Their souls go wherever they wish in the heavens and the Earth and paradise. This is because the Earth does not consume their bodies and even their shrouds are untouched. Ibn Abi’d Dunya narrates from Malik that the souls of the believers go where they please. By believers is meant the accomplished [kamileen]. Allah gives their bodies the power of souls, hence, they offer Salah, perform Dhikr and recite the Qu’an in their graves [Tadhkiratu’l Mawta wa’l Qubur, p.75].

Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti has written some reliable reports regarding the life of the Awliya after their demise. Some are presented here: 

Imam Abu’l Qasim Qushairi writes with his own sanad that Sayyidina Abu Sa’eed Kharraz said that I was once in Makka when I saw a youth lying dead at the Baab Bani Shayba. When I looked towards him, he saw me and smiled and then said: Oh Abu Sa’eed! Do you not know that the beloved of Allah are alive even when they die? They are only taken from one home to the other [Sharh al-Sudur, p.86].  The same person narrates from Sayyidi Abu ‘Ali that: I lowered a poor man into his grave. I opened his shroud and placed his head on the Earth so that Allah shows kindness due to his poverty. The man opened his eyes and said to me: Oh Abu ‘Ali! You dishonour me in front of Him who honours me. I said: Oh my leader! Is there life after death? He said: I am alive and all of Allah’s beloved ones are alive. Indeed I will help you on the day of judgement due to the esteem that will be granted to me on that day [Sharh al-Sudur, p.86].  

The same person narrates from Ibrahim bin Shayban that: A young disciple of mine passed away and this caused great sadness for me. I began performing his bathing and due to my despondency, I started from the left. The youth turned around and bought his right side towards me. I said: My son! You are right and I was wrong [Sharh al-Sudur, p.86]. The same person narrates from Abu Ya’qub Sosi Nahrjori that: I placed one of my disciples on a board in order to bathe him. He grabbed my thumb. I said: My son! I know you are not dead, this is simply going from one abode to another. Let go of my hand [Sharh al-Sudur, p.86]. The same person narrates from the same person that: A disciple of mine said to me in Makka that: Oh guide of mine! I will die at the time of Dhuhr tomorrow. Take one Ashrafi [currency]; spend half on my burial and half on my shrouding. The next day, the disciple came and performed tawaf. He then moved away from the Ka’ba and lay down himself and his soul was taken. I lowered him into the grave and he opened his eyes. I asked: Is there life after death? He replied: I am alive and every friend of Allah is alive [Sharh al-Sudur, p.86].

The pious can talk after passing away:

Hafidh Ibn Kathir writes: Zaid bin Kharjah was one of the pious that talked after his death. When he died and was placed in his coffin, he started to talk, and he said I bear witness that Muhammad is Prophet of Allah and his name Ahmad was mentioned in the previous scriptures. (Old Testament and New Testament) and Abu Bakr and Umar were two Caliphs and now it is Usman’s government. Four years have passed and there are two years to go and conflicts will come and Muslims will become weak. A lot of scholars verify this narration including Imam Bukhari and Imam Bayhaqi. There was another pious person who talked after his death. Abdullah Ansari reports that in the time of Ali’s caliphate I was walking among the martyred and a person spoke: That Muhammad (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), and  Abu-Bakar and Usman are all true. A group of Scholars says that talking after passing away is true and these are authentic narrations. 

[Tareek Ibn Kathir and Sirat un-Nabi, chapter Al-Mujazaat by Hafidhh Ibn Kathir. Also Tareekh ul Kabeer, Tareekh Bagdad, Al-Jahrhu-Tadeel, Tahdeed al Tahdeeb, Usdul Gaba, Al Asabah biography of Zaid bin Kharjah by Imam Bukhari, Khateeb Ibn abi Hatam, Hafidhh Ibn Hajr Asqalani, Imam Ibn Atheer].

Hafidhh Ibn Kathir writes: That there was a Tabi’ee called Ribee bin Harraash, and he said I will not laugh until I know whether I am going to go to Heaven or Hell. When he died, and was bathed and placed in the coffin, he started to smile and started to talk. He said, “I met Allah and He was pleased with me and I asked him to give me permission to go back to the people and tell them that Allah is pleased with me, and He gave me permission. I am going back. “This is in accordance with saying of the, Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), he said that, there will be a follower and after his death he will speak and he will be the best among the tabi’een. 

[Tareekh Ibn Kathir, Sirat un Nabi chapter on Miracles, Tareekh e Bagdad, Tahdeeb at Tahdeeb, Al Jahr hu wa Ta’deel by Hafidhh Ibn Kathir, Khateeb Baghdadi, Hafidhh Asqalani, Imam Ibn abi Khatam, biography of Ribee bin Harraash].

Hafidh Ibn Kathir writes:  A young person used to come to the Mosque for his prayers. One day a woman with bad intentions invited him to her house, when he was in her house he recited a verse from the Holy Qur’an loudly and collapsed and died from the fear of Allah. The people prayed the funeral prayer and buried him. Umar may Allah be well pleased with him, asked: ‘Where is that young individual who used to come to the Mosque for his prayers?' They replied: 'He passed away and we have buried him'. Umar May Allah be well pleased with him, went to his grave and called out to him and recited a verse from the Holy Qur’an: ‘But for him who fears to stand before his Lord there are two Paradises' (Surah Al-Rahman, verse 46) The young man replied from his grave ‘Indeed Allah has given me two Paradises’. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir under Surah Al-’Araf, verse 202]

Baihaqi conveys from Abdullah-i-Ansari that Thabit bin Qays was martyred in the Battle of Yamama, and as we interred him we heard a voice saying: Muhammadun Rasoolullah, wa Abu bakr-i Siddiq wa Umar-i-Shaheed wa Uthman-i-Raheem. (Endless Bliss, 5th facsimile).  

Calling upon someone who is absent, present, dead or alive is not Shirk.  The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) taught us to call for help.  Ibn Taymiyya and Qadi Shawkani quote the following hadith: 'Abd Allah bin Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with Him, reported that our Beloved Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), stated: "If you ever find yourselves stranded alone in a desolate place or jungle, then say, 'O servants of Allah! Help me, Allah have mercy on you.'" [Al-Kalim al-Tayyib, page 69, by ibn Taymiyya, and Qadi Shawkani in Tufhat ad-Dhakireen, page 130. Ibn Sunni, Imam Bazaar, Hafidh al Hasamim and Imam Nawawi all quote this hadith also in their various books.]  There are many Hadiths on this subject but this is not our purpose to show here.  Suffice it to say that to think that Allah can only give when that saint is alive, and that when he is dead Allah does not give anymore, is to say that the source is the person and not Allah in the first place! But in reality it is Allah who is giving help in both cases: life or death.

One of the earliest examples in Islamic history regarding the seeking of Baraka is that of Hadrat Abu Bakr ® when he was buried near the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  The second example is that of Hadrat Umar ® who had specifically requested that he be buried near the Holy Prophet (sal Alayhi wasallam) and Abu Bakr ®.  When he finally got the confirmation of his burial next to Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) grave, he said: "There was nothing more important to me than that." [Recorded by Imam Bukhari in his Sahih (Kitab al-Jana'iz, #1305, also 3424).]  Why was that? This was because he knew greatest blessings emanated from those graves and he did not want to be deprived of those blessings.  The foremost of the Companions would never indulge in any polytheistic act or Shirk, would they?  As in life, they sought his (s) company in death knowing full well that the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) is alive in his grave.  If there is no Barakah in the Rawdah of Rasool Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam), then why all the Companions wanted to get buried near him (s) in the house of Aisha ®? Why all Sahaba considered the Rawdah of Rasool Allah (sal Allah alayhi wassallam) as sanctuary, instead of an idol place?  Now do you see of the lies that are being perpetrated against Rasool-Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wassallam) and his Noble Companions ®?  Ibn Hajar said in commentary on this Hadith (Fath 3:258, see also: 3:207), "From it we gain (the praise-worthiness) of having the desire for the proximity of the righteous in their graves, out of one's aspiration and hope for receiving the divine Mercy when it descends upon them, and (receiving) the Du'a of those who visit them among the pious living." Then he said this Hadith was also recorded: Muslim (#879), Ibn Sa'd (Tabaqat 3:363), Hakim (3:93), Tabarani in Mu'jam al-Awsat (from Ibn 'Umar, Sahih), Harith Ibn Abi Usama and Ibn abi Umar al-'Adabi in their Musnads, Abu Ya'la, Ibn Hibban, Abdur-Razzaq (5:474-80 #9775) and Ibn Abi Shayba (8:576-82).

In Ihya ul-Ulum it is stated that it is mustahab to visit the graves for remembering death and taking admonition from the dead and for receiving Baraka from the graves of Awliya and pious Muslims.  Imam Shams-ud-din Sakhawi (ra) writes about the grave of Hamza ® that a “Qubba” (Tomb) was made on his grave and it was visited and was source of blessings (Barakah). [Sakhawi, Al-Tohfa-tul-Latifa 1:307]

Shah Abdul Azeez Dehlawi (d. 1239 H) writes: "It is in Sharh Maqasid that visiting graves is beneficial and the souls of the pious cause benefit. Indeed, after death the soul has a connection with the body and the grave. Hence, when someone comes to visit this shrine and turns towards the soul of the inmate, then the two souls (of the visitor and the inmate) form a connection. It is a point of contention whether the help of the living is stronger or that of the deceased. Some scholars have said that the deceased can help more and some have proved this from a narration from the dear Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) that when you need help in a matter, seek it from the people of the grave. The great Shaykh, Shah Abdul Haq Dehlwi (rahmatullah `alaih) has stated in Sharh Mishkat that there is nothing in the Qur'an and Sunnah nor the sayings of the Salaf which contradicts this position and forms a proof against it. (Fatawa Aziziya, vol.2 p.108).  From this excerpt from the Fatawa of Shah Abdul Azeez, it is evident that to visit the graves of the pious is a meritorious act and to seek help from the person of the grave is totally permissible in the Shari'ah.

It is narrated in Sharh as-Sudur (Ch.51) by Imam Al-Suyuti that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said that when one visits the graves, he should read Surah al-Ikhlas, Surah at-Takathur and Surah al-Fatiha, and present the reward of the recitations as a gift to the inhabitants of the graves. He also explained that these souls then ask forgiveness for him, asking Allah to forgive and bless him. This shows that the souls of the departed have the ability to make Du'a for the living, asking Allah to help those who visit them. This, then, is the source of the blessings gained by visiting the graves of the righteous.   In a Hadith in (Kanzul Ummal by al-Imam al-Muttaqi) it is narrated by Sayyidina 'Ali ® that the Nabi Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Whoever goes to a graveyard or passes by a graveyard and recites Surat al-Ikhlas eleven times and gives the thawab (reward) of the recital to the dead buried there, will receive the same thawab for it as the dead people.  We are thus encouraged to recite surat al-Ikhlas and present the thawab of  it as a gift to the dead when we visit them. Today, some people are saying that making Dhikr at the graves is Bid`a!!! They must go and study Hadith.

Now, one of the reasons to go near pious people is because Allah loves them and we in turn love the pious and the Awliya Allah for the sake of Allah. Many such examples could be cited to show the importance of being near a pious person which brings Baraka: 

To cite an example from the Holy Qur’an:  Bibi Maryam was a Siddiqa and Prophet Zakariya (a.s.) noticed that Allah (swt) had granted her many miracles.  As mentioned in Surah Aal-e-Imraan: “Whenever Zachariah went into the sanctuary where she was, he found that she had food. He said: O Mary! Whence cometh unto thee this (food) ? She answered: It is from Allah. Allah giveth without stint to whom He will.  Then Zachariah prayed unto his Lord and said: My Lord! Bestow upon me of Thy bounty goodly offspring. Lo! Thou art the Hearer of Prayer.  And the angels called to him as he stood praying in the sanctuary: Allah giveth thee glad tidings of (a son whose name is) John, (who cometh) to confirm a word from Allah lordly, chaste, a prophet of the righteous.” (3:37-39)  So we see here that Prophet Zakaria (a.s.) prayed for a son in the sanctuary of Bibi Maryam and his prayers were answered immediately. 

Then, we know that Imam Abu Hanifa (reh.) attended the Sohbat of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq for two years.  Why? Because in the words of the Imam-e-Azam: “Numan (i.e. he himself) would have perished if it weren’t for those two years.”  Likewise, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal used to seek the company of Bishr al-Hafi (reh.) in matters of Tasawwuf and even legal rulings.  All of them were exemplers of piety! Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal were absolute Mujtahids and yet they chose to be with superiors of tasawwuf and attained Marifa and its fruits Iman al-Haqiqi.  Even Imam Shafi’i, after he had shifted to Egypt, sought Nafisa at-Tahira ® to learn Ahadith and seek her prayers and blessings especially at times when he fell ill.  He would then send a messenger to her with a request for Dua’  and the by the time the messenger returned he would find Imam Shafii already cured.  It is evident that when Imam Shafi`i was in Baghdad, he would visit the grave of Imam Abu Hanifa, give him salam, and then ask Allah for the fulfillment of his need through his means(yatawassal ilallah ta`ala bihi fi qada' hajatihi).  Imam Kawthari mentioned in his Maqalat (p. 412) that the hafiz al-Khatib al-Baghdadi mentions Shafi`i's tawassul through Abu Hanifa in the beginning of his Tarikh Baghdad with a sound chain. 

Haytami also said in many places in his book al-Sawa`iq al-muhriqa li ahl al-dalal wa al-zandaqa: "Imam Shafi`i made tawassul through the Family of the Prophet [Ahl al-bayt] when he said: 
Al al-nabi dhari`ati wa hum ilayhi wasilati 
arju bihim u`ta ghadan bi yadi al-yamini sahifati 
The Family of the Prophet are my means and my 
intermediary to him. Through them I hope to be 
given my record with the right hand tomorrow. 

Now, sitting in the company of Awliya Allah when they are alive or sitting near their tombs or shrines after the passing away of Awliya Allah is the same.  Their company sets the heart at rest and drives away many confusions and fears.  Owing to our love and affection in the heart and also because supplications made there or near their grave are answered more readily.  When Sayyidi Shamsudeen Hanafi was on his death-bed, he called his Mureeds and said: "If anyone has any wish or need, he should come to my grave, I will indeed help him in fulfilling it. Remember between you and me, there is merely a handful of sand, and how can a mere handful of sand be a screen between a Murshid and his Mureed. If the sand does become a screen, then the Murshid cannot be a perfect Man (Insaan-e-Kaamil)."  Sayyidi Mohammed Farghal states: "I am indeed amongst those Saints who can assist you from the grave. If, therefore, you have any wish or need come to my grave and facing me, mention your requirements. I will fulfill them."

Abdullah-i-Dahlawi  (reh.) (1745-1825 c.e.) says in the 8th letter of his Maktubat: "Strive to increase the Nisbat [attachment] in your heart! By doing much dhikr, that is, repeating (with your heart) the name of Allah and the Kalima-i ahlil very often, and sometimes by saying the salawat or reading the Qur'an l-karim, try to approach Allahu ta'ala! If you feel any languor during these efforts, turn your tawajjuh to this faqir's soul [the great savant means himself]! Or, visit Mirza Mazhar- i-Jan-i Janan's grave! Paying tawajjuh to him causes great progress. The benefits to be received from him will be many more than those to be received from a thousand living ones. Also, meditate over Gaws-us saqalayn Abdulqadir Geilani and Bahaaddin-i Bukhari!" It is written in detail in the book At-tawassul-u bin-Nabi wa i-ssalihin,"and in Mawlana Hamdullah Saharanpuri's book Al-basair li-munkirit- tawassul-i bi-ahl-il- maqabir that it is permissible to visit the graves of salih (pious) Muslims and to pray through them. These two books were reproduced in Arabic by Isik Kitabevi in Istanbul in 1395 Hijri [1975].

Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thani (rahmatullah alayhi) made a very relevant observation in his Maktubaat that if respect, love and service for the Shaykh are in one's heart and deeds, then it does not matter how physically distant one is from the Shaykh, the faiz (flow of spiritual benefits) will surely reach him.  In the absence of Adab, a person cannot obtain these benefits even if he sits regularly in his company.

Ibn Taymiyya writes: Some people came to the grave of our Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), and requested something, and their needs were fulfilled. In the like manner, the pious people can also fulfill the needs of people - and we do not deny this.  [[Iqtida as Sirat al-Mustaqim, - page 373, Ibn Taymiyya]

Continued in Part 4....


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Part 2: There's Baraka in the Awliya Allah's Graves.


From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.17:
In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, and blessings and peace of Allah upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), his Family and all his Companions.

Allah has bestowed upon His favorites, a great importance, and therefore, our Shariah urges Muslims to be in touch with the pious persons and wants to remain this connection till the last moment of life.  It is the consensus of the Muslim scholars that the miracles of saints are absolutely true and correct.  In various places the Qur’an has pointed out the miracles, and the Ahadith of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) have mentioned them, and only innovators and their followers are the people who deny the miraculous power of saints.  [al-Mukhtasar al-Fatawa al-Masriyya by Ibn Taimiyya]

Imam Sawi, while commenting on the verse "And seek a means of approach to him" ( 5:35 ), writes: "To say that Muslims who visit the graves of the saints are Kaafir because you believe they are worshipping other than Allah is a sign of clear heresy. To visit the saints is not worshipping other than Allah, rather it is a sign of loving those whom Allah loves" (Tafseer Sawi, vol.1 p.245).  Therefore, from the commentary of Imam Sawi we learn that visiting the graves of the saints is permissible, and that it is not worshipping other than Allah but it is loving those whom Allah loves.  As Shah Waliyullah states: “To love the symbols of Allah the Exalted, means to love the Qur’an, the Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta’ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) , and the Ka’ba, or to love anything that reminds us of Allah the Exalted. To love the Awliya of Allah is the same.”  [Hujjat Allahi’l Baaligha;  Altaaf al-Quds – The Sacred Knowledge (Persian)]

Shaykh Abdul Haq Dehlwi (d. 1052 H.) writes: "To visit graves is by consensus a mustahab (preferable) action" (Ashi'atul Lum'aat, vol.1, p.715)  He also writes: "When visiting the dead, respecting them is Wajib (necessary) especially where the pious are concerned. As it was necessary to respect them whilst they were alive, similarly, it is important to show them respect at their graves. This is because the help which the pious give depends on the respect that people who visit them show to them". (Ashi'atul Lum'aat, vol.1 p.720).  From these writing, it is absolutely manifest that the belief of Shaykh Abdul Haq was that to visit the graves is neither Shirk nor Bid'ah. Moreover, it is a preferable act and the visitor is blessed with the help of the inmate of the grave.

Shah Waliullah Dehlvi in his book Faizul Haramain, Page No: 57  states:  "If someone achieves mystical knowledge then his soul become so powerful that Tariqah, Maslak, Saintly chain, Lineage, Genealogy, Relations and everything connected with that person comes into the range of his favor and inclination.  The favor of Allah reflects through his spiritual attention".  And in his Persian book, Hama’at:  "This guarantees for the regular attending on death anniversaries (Urs) of the saints.  Regular visits to their  shrines  to recite Fatiha there, distribution of charity, to honor his offspring, relations and relics are lawful in Shariah; and also these are supererogative (Nafl and Mustahab) actions."

To say that Shah Waliullah muhaddith (rh) criticized those who visited the mazaars is but attributing lies to him.  According to the experts,    the deviants have attributed false books (such as al-balagh al-mubeen), as well as carried out mass fabrications, interpolations, extrapolations and deletions in Shah Waliullah Dehelvi’s books such as the Persian book al-Tafhimat al-Ilahiyya. This was done with a view to making his works agree with the teachings of the Najdi Shaykh as well as Shah Ismail whose followers were in the forefront in committing these forgeries.    However, even a staunch Wahhabi such as Suleiman Nadwi has, in his own books, admitted to these fabrications.  The fact remains that Shah Waliullah followed the Naqshbandi silsila,  celeberated mawlid, visited graves of awliya often for maraqaba, used to recite dua ( supplication) having words of Istighatha, did fatiha on food , used to give amulets containing verses from Qu'ran and Hadith.  And so did his more famous son, Shah Abdulaziz Muhaddith al-Dehlwi.

Therefore, when we track the Islamic hagiography including the Classications and Generations (Tabaqaat), Remembrances, Recollections (Tadhkira), Marvellous Deeds or Feats (Manaqib),  Spiritual qualities (Fadhail) of Prophets and Saints, and Life Story (Sira) of Hadith Masters (Muhaddithun) and persons of religious knowledge (Ulama’) we do come across instances in many of them that the burial place of so and so Wali-Allah or a Hadith scholar or a pious person, is full of Baraka where the dua’ is accepted by Allah.

The graveyards become more blessed when pious people are buried there.  This in turn strengthens the motive to visit such a graveyard to participate in and obtain some of those blessings and divine mercy.  That’s the reason why some graveyards such as Jannatul Baqi and Jannatul Mua’la are held in highest esteem.  In his book "al-Hisn-ul-Hasin" and its summary "Uddat-ul-Hisn-il-Hasin", Hafiz, Muhaddith, the Shaykh of the Qurra' (Reciters of al-Qur'an) and student of Ibn Kathir, Shams-ud-Din Ibn al-Jazari,   mentioned that the graves of the righteous are among the places of having the dua' fulfilled.

A Hadith which demonstrates the existence of blessing at the graves of the righteous is the one wherein the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) says that every person'a grave would either be a garden from Paradise, or a pit from the pits of Hell.
[Tirmidhi (Kitab Sifat al-Qiyama, #2384) with a Da'if chain, Bayhaqi in his Shu'ab (1:360) and 'Adhab al-Qabr, Tabarani in his Kabir (from Abu Sa'id) and Awsat (8:273 #8613), Abu Nu'aym (8:87), Ibn 'Asakir (42:497), Ibn Abi Dunya (K.Qubur, #122), Ibn Mandah, and Daylami (Firdaws, 1:438 #1445, 3:283 #4717, 4:471 #6861).]  Cf. Sakhawi's Maqasid (#758), where he says it is Da'if. However, there are numerous supporting narrations that strengthen the meaning of this Hadith (such as Abu Ya'la #6644, Ibn Hibban #3122, Muslim #5110).

Sayyidi Arwaasi (reh) informs us that '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 answers 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.  It is necessary to believe that the tasarruf (disposal, possession) of their souls is by Allahu ta'ala's tasarruf on them.

Imam Maalik stated: “I have learned that souls are free. They come and go wherever they wish.” [Narrated by Ibn Abi-al-Dunya in his book Dhikr al-Mawt and confirmed by Ibn-Taymiyyah in his Majmu al-Fatawa 4/294].

The soul can and does come. Events and observations bear witness to this fact.   According to Salman al-Farsi ® “The Arwaah of Mum’inin live between heaven and earth (i.e. the dimension of Barzakh) and they can go wherever they want.” [Narrated by Ibn-al-Qayyim in Kitab-ar-Ruh, p. 144).

This is also confirmed by Ibn Hajar Haytami and Imam Suyuti – among many others. Ibn Hajar Haytami states in his Fatawa Hadithiyya (Pg: 393): “Imam Yafi`i said: ‘… And they [the awliya] saw the Prophets (Allah bless them all) … which was like the vision of our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) towards the congregation of Prophets in the heavens – and he heard and spoke to them. Verily, whatever is permitted for the Prophets as a miracle is permitted for the Saints as a miracle also.’ 

Ibn Mulaqin said: ”There have been numerous visions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), both in a state of wakefulness and sleep. The narrations in connection to this regarding [the vision of] the Friends of Allah are extremely plentiful and none denies them except one who is stubborn and dead.”  Ibn Hajar goes on to discuss the modality of such a vision, the permission of the souls of the Prophets to leave their graves, the fact that the vision of numerous people of a given prophet at a given moment is possible (he contrasts it to the sun), and how this does not make one a companion.  This is the position of those spiritually realized… They have removed the veils from their eyes within this world such that their “vision is piercing” (Quran) and therefore witness and see what many of us cannot.

Allamah Alusi (reh.) has proven that many pious people have seen the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) in the state of wakefulness and received knowledge from him. In Ruh al-Ma’ni he mentions such instances and the references that involved Hadrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ®, Shaykh Ibn Ataullah and Shaykh Abul Abbas al-Mursi. Imam Ghazali (reh) stated: “Countless matters were disclosed to me during these seclusions. What I will mention though for the benefit of others is that I realized for sure that the Sufis are the seekers in Allah's Way, and their conduct is the best conduct, and their way is the best way, and their manners are the most sanctified....and indeed they witness the Angels and the SOULS OF THE PROPHETS while awake, and they hears their sounds, and derive benefits from them." (al-Munqidh min al-Dalal, p. 131).

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani writes: Abd al-Wajid says that I saw the Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), in a dream with his companions waiting at this place, like they were waiting for someone. I said, "As Salaam 'alaykum," after the reply to the salaam I asked "what or who are you waiting for?" The reply was we are waiting for Imam Bukhari, and that was the day Imam Bukhari passed away. [Fath al Bari, chapter on the death of Imam Bukhari, and Tarikh Baghdad by Hafidh Asqalani and Khateeb Baghdadi] 

In Tarikh ibn Kathir in the Chapter on Karbala, Hafidh Ibn Kathir writes: Abdullah Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with Him, said that in his dream he saw the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), and upon him there was dust from travelling. In his hand’ was a bottle in which there was blood, I asked him: “what is this?” He replied, “My grandson Hussain and his companions have been martyred, and I have collected the blood spilt by them and I shall present this blood to Allah Ta'ala.” This is an authentic narration.   Ibn Kathir also mentions that Ummul Mu’ mineen Salma states: I saw the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), in my dream, there was dust upon his hair and beard, I asked him: “O Messenger of Allah why is there dust on you?” He replied: 'I am returning from Kerbala. Of course, there are many such instances right from the time of the Sahaba, as is evident from the many ahadith and other Islamic litertures.

Incumbent upon all Muslims to respect the Awliya-Allah:

The scholars list tormenting or troubling the Awliya-Allah as a major sin since doing so can lead to kufr and is foreshadowed with a dire threat. Imam Dhahabi writes in his book Kitabul-Kabair, "The 51st major sin is tormenting the Awliya-Allah and bearing malice against them. Allah says: Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating punishment. And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin. (Ahzaab 57:58) The Blessed Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) stated that Allah said, "I have declared war upon him who makes an enemy of my wali." (Bukhari) And in another narration of Bukhari, "He invites Me (Allah) to war." And really, what could be a greater threat than the fact that one is inciting war with Allah? Nothing indeed is so damning as to declare war against Allah except for the person who deals in usury. It is obvious that a person whom Allah declares His enemy can never succeed (may Allah I save us). The consequences of declaration of war against Allah Subhanahu Ta’la can be nothing less than dying in kufr. May Allah save us from this through his infinite kindness and mercy.

It is incumbent upon all Muslims to respect the sanctity of the Awliya-Allah and not to disregard their relics. One day shortly after the insurrection began against him, Uthman (R) was delivering a Khutbah in Masjid Nabawi.  A Ghafari man stood up, snatched the staff from the hand of Uthman ® and snapped it in half on his knee. Not a year had passed after that the the lost the sensation in his leg and died soon thereafter. (Sunan Saeed Bin Sakan)

In his Jami’ul Karamat il-Awliya Imam Nabhani mentions that Imam `Abdul Wahab Sh`arani stated, “Our brother Shaykh Salih al-Hajj Ahmed Halabi [may Allah sanctify his secret] informed me that his house was in the vicinity of the blessed mausoleum of Shaykh Muhyuddin ibn `Arabi.  It was visible from his house.  One night after the `Isha prayer, a person advanced towards the tomb with a fiery torch in his hand, with the intention of burning the bier.  When he was 8-9 metres away from the grave, he started sinking into the ground, so much so that he disappeared in the ground. Late night, when his family members could not find him anywhere, they started looking out or him. When the shaykh narrated them the entire incident, they reached the place where he had sunk. When they dug up the place, they found his head. But as they went on digging, his body kept sinking on further. After much digging up, they finally gave up, covered his body with mud and went away.”

Hazrat Khwaja  Moinuddin Hasan Chishti Sanjari ® has narrated:

“There was a man who hated the Awliya.  When he died, and was placed in the grave, the people tried to turn his face towards the Qibla, but it would always turn away from that direction. The people were astonished at this action.  There was a voice from nowhere announcing, ‘It would be a futile  exercise to try to turn his face toward the Qibla, because he used to turn  his face away at seeing the Awliya, and that he who would turn his face in disgust from My friends, I will turn My face on him.  He is a condemned soul, and on the day of judgement, such people will appear with faces of donkeys.” 

A miscreant relieved himself on the grave of Hasan (R).  Right after that he went mad and died.  (Endless Bliss, 5the facs.)  

The above are just a very incidents that warn us against harbouring evil thoughts or insults towards Allah Awliya.  But they are enough to show that the wrath of Allah does visit on the enemies of Awliya-Allah. 

As an Islamic scholar states:  The hearts that are in Allah rememberance are alive even when they depart to the barzakh, they are like fish in water, and the aura/radiation of certain dead awliya are so profound and strong, that even lay people when visiting them in their graves, feel their personality qualities and characteristics when they were in this world, for example sayidina Moinuddeen Chisti, those who visit his grave in Ajmer, find a dominating effect of parental love, attention and care directed at them in that place, which was a character of Sayidina Chisti to those around him when he was present in this world.

Continued in Part 3.