From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.17:
Part 4: THERE’S BARAKA IN THE AWLIYA-ALLAH'S GRAVES.
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.
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.’
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…