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…


No comments:

Post a Comment