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.


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