From the Layman¶s Desk

:

Miracles

±Islamic perspective in brief: 1.

Forewords:

Of course, there is a plethora of literature on the subject written by the great scholars and stalwarts of Islam, both past and present, as well as by orientalists. Unfortunately, for those who know only English much of those great works are not readily available to cherish and savour except for abridged English versions of Kashful Mahjoob, Tadhkirat alawliya, the Ihya, some translations of the discourses of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ®, and a few others. Therefore, for those who are well-versed with the subject, I am afraid, they will be disappointed here. My only reason for foraying into this subject as a layman is that maybe my two cents will expiate some of my sins and earn me some reward from Allah who loves his Awliya whom I love for the sake of Allah.

Miracles are mentioned in all Religions and Cultures:
We do know that a miracle is an extraordinary act created by Allah outside his usual custom, i.e. beyond the scope of scientific and natural laws.

Miracles are common to all religion and culture. Old Testament and Hebrew scriptures contain many accounts of miracles. So does the Budhist and the Hindu scriptures. They attribute miracles to God, prophets, saints, sages, and holy men. In non-Islamic religions and cultures, we hardly find any distinction being made in the categories of so-called miracles. As far as working miracles by personalities are concerned, some religions believe that only the dead can work miracles and not the living ones whereafter they are canonized as saints. Sometimes the word ³Miracle´ is used in a metaphorical sense to the happenings in daily life whence the Hindi expression: ³Chamatkaar ko

Namaskaar Karna´. Sometimes, even magic, hypnotism, mesmerism, charlatanism, clairvoyance, out-of-body experience, and the like are termed as a ³Miracle´ by incredulous people. This is one of the reasons why there is such a proliferation of fake gurus or a µBabas¶ or µPirs¶ in our society. However, trickery and self-aggrandisement do not preclude the occurrence of real miracles. Islam too has a fair share of real miracles, but with a unique difference as we shall see in due course.

Miracles of the prophets are mentioned in the Holy Qur¶an and the ahadeeth (prophetic traditions) and Islamic hagiography which are generally accepted by the entire Muslim communities. However, as a minute section frowns upon the very mention of Awliya-Allah and their miracles, or deny their high-rank and status by imagining that every believer is of the status of a Friend of God, we shall be restricting ourselves to the miracles of Awliya-Allah. There is of course the general closeness of every believer to Allah, which is categorized as Wilayat-eAmma. This is because Allah declares in the Holy Qur¶an: We are nearer to him than his own jugular vein´ (Surah Qaaf, verse 16). So we need to get an idea of what or who is a Friend of God (Wali or saint).

Briefly, who are Awliya-Allah?
Scholars tells us that an Arabic word has a number of meaning, but for simplicity, let¶s restrict ourselves to the meaning of ³Awliya´ as the plural of ³Wali´ or Friend of God or Saint, and the word Wali being derived from ³Wilaya´ which means nearness or closeness (µQurb¶) or Sainthood. This word with different forms appear in the Holy Quran over 200 times in different context and also means ³Patronage, ´Protection,´ and even ³Intimacy´. The Holy Qur¶an also categorises the believers as µMuqarrabin¶ (i.e. those brought near or favourties of Allah), Sabireen (Patient Ones), Muttaqoon (God-conscious) Abrar (the Virtuous), Zuhhad (the Pious ones), Siddiqun (the Truthful ones),

Saalihoon (the Pious Ones), Qanitoon (The Obedient Ones), Mohsinoon (The Doer of Good), Zakiroon (Those who remember Allah much), Muminoon (the Believers), besides using the word Awliya-Allah. These qualities are found in the Awliya-Allah.

Generally, Surah Waqiah of the Holy Qur¶an gives the details of the categories of the believers. The highest position is for those who are called ³the foremost,´ ³those brought nigh,´ and ³these will be those who are nearest to Allah.´ In the middle position are those souls who attend to both the worlds who advance upward to the higher world by obeisance and devotion, and who sometimes descend to the lower world for administering their affairs and exercising sway over it. These are the people of the right-hand who will be given their records in their right hand. Most of the ³foremost´ and the ³Right-Hand´ will be from the first generation and comparatively fewer will be from the later generations. In Surah Nisa, verse 69, the categories of Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous People are mentioned.

A very famous verse of the Holy Qur¶an says about them: ³Ala, inna awliya Allah, la khawfun alayhim wala hum yah-zanoon!´ , i.e. "Lo! verily the friends of Allah! No fear comes upon them, nor shall they grieve." (Quran-10:62)

For an explanation of the above verse, let¶s refer to a prophetic tradition:

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once said after the salat:

µO people! Listen to this, understand it, and know it. Allah has servants who are neither Prophets nor martyrs and whom the Prophets and

martyrs yearn to be like, due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allah.´ One of the Bedouin Arabs who came from among the most isolated of people twisted his hand at the Prophet and said: µO Messenger of Allah! People from humankind who are neither Prophets nor martyrs and yet the Prophet's and the martyrs yearn to be like them due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allah?! Describe them for us!"¶

'The Prophet's face showed delight at the Bedouin's question and he said: ¶ ...

µThey are of the strangers from this and that place. They frequent this or that tribe without belonging to them. They do not have family connections among themselves. They love one another for Allah's sake. They are of pure intent towards one another. On the Day of Resurrection Allah will place for them pedestals of light upon which He will make them sit, and He will turn their faces and clothes into light. On the Day of Resurrection the people will be terrified but not those. They are Allah's Friends [Awliya'] upon whom fear comes not, nor do they grieve.¶

[Haythami in Majma'al-Zawa'id says: 'Ahmad relates it, and Tabrani relates something similar, and the men in its chain of transmission has been declared trustworthy." Also related through several chains by Abu Dawud, Ahmad, Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna, al-Hakim in the Mustadrak, Ibn 'Asakir, Ibn Abi al-Dunya in Kitab al-Ikhwan, Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Mardawayh, and others].

Now, in the well-known prophetic tradition where Allah states through the mouth of His Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasssallam) the above Quranic verse is further amplified:

"Allah said, 'I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper (walî) of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him (i.e. made µFard¶); and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing nawaafil (i.e. supererogatory prayers and doing extra deeds besides µFard¶) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him; and if he asks for My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him." (Narrated by Abu Huraira in Bukhari, vol8, hadith 509)

The above Quranic verses and the hadith shareef, surely sums up the definition not of an ordinary believer but that of a pious person who never ceases to strive for attaining the nearness (Qurb) of Allah by carrying out all the compulsory religious obligations, required of a pious believer, and topping that with additional prayers and good deeds to such an extent that he comes under the protection of Allah and attains the position of Wilayat and becomes a Wali. Then Allah becomes his sense of sight and hearing as well as his limbs, and if the Wali were to ask, Allah would surely give him, making him free from fear and grief.

Lest it be misconstrued, let me add that ³Becoming free from fear and grief´ for Awliya-Allah simply means that for the pleasure of Allah, they remain content with whatever state and condition they find themselves in. Otherwise it is well known that the lives of Friends of Allah were full

of incredible hardship, suffering and pain. Higher the rank, higher the trial.

The other meaning, as I see it is, Awliya-Allah always spoke fearlessly in the face of tyrants who oppressed and mistreated their subject. For example, Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyuddeen Abdul Qadir Jilani ® was one such Friend of Allah whose admonitions the Caliph or Governors of his time could not ignore. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti ® who settled down in Ajmer, India, against all odds, facing the might of the Raja, his army and his magicians all by himself with the aid of Allah of course . The last Khilji king of Delhi threatened to hang Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya ® who wouldn¶t attend his court, got killed in a court intrigue just before he could implement his order; or when a king of the next dynasty wanted the saint out of the Delhi suburbs before he reached Delhi, the saint uttered: Delhi is still far (Dilli hinoz duur ast). True enough, the king himself could not reach Delhi as he got crushed to death when the palace fell upon him. Thus, there are many such instances when an Awliya-Allah was not seized by the fear of tyrants but it was the other way about. Nor do they grieve even in personal tragedies, thus remaining content with the decree of Allah, as happened in the case of Mansur Hallaj whose mystical utterances of Ana al-Haqq (I am the Truth) was considered as heresy, leading to his imprisonment for 11 long years in Baghdad and final torture and execution in the public by the Abbasid Caliph, Al-Muqtadir. All the time during his trial and execution he remained unperturbed. Despite the fact that stones were thrown by the public at him, and his eyes were gorged out, his limbs were cut, his nose and ears were sliced off, his tongue was severed, and finally his head was chopped off, he forgave everyone who was present at his execution. He remained content with the decree of Allah! In passing it may be stated that Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh has drawn our attention to the fact that if the religion of Mansur Hallaj were suspect, Hazrat Shibli (a disciple of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi ®) would not have stated: ³Al-Hallaj and I are of one belief.´

In Kashful Mahjoob, Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh ® has beautifully explained the concept by quoting Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi ® on ³fear´ that a saint has no fear since it involves expectation of some future calamity or loss of a desired object whereas a saint is the Son of his Time (µibni waqtihi¶) who has no future to fear nor has any hope of relieving the misfortune or gaining an object of desire as that involves the future. Nor does the saint grieve because he is in the radiance of satisfaction (µRida¶) and in the garden of concord (µmuwaafaqat¶). According to Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh ®, Fear and Grief, Hope and Security belong to the interest of lower soul.

Awliya-Allah are known by various names, depending on their rank with Allah. To add some more: Muhaqqiq (Fully Realised), Aarifeen (sing.Arif ± Intimate or experiential knowers), Qutb (Pole or Axis), Awtaad (Pegs), Abdaal (Substitutes) and so on. A great scholar of Islam Imam al-Qastalani (Reh.) wrote:

"One of the karamat Allahu ta'ala has bestowed upon this umma is that there are qutbs, awtad, nujaba' and abdal among them.

Anas ibn Malik ® said that the abdal consists of forty persons. The hadith ash-Sharif quoted in al-Imam at-Tabarani's Awsat declares, 'There will always exist forty persons on the earth each of whom is blessed like Ibrahim (a.s.). It rains because of their baraka. Allahu ta'ala appoints another one when one of them dies. ' Ibn 'Adi said,

'Abdal embodies forty persons.'

The hadith ash-Sharif reported by Imam Ahmad declares, "There are always thirty persons among this umma each of whom is blessed like Ibrahim (a.s.)."

The hadith ash-Sharif reported by Abu Nuaym (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) in the book Hilya states, 'There exist some good people among my umma in every century. They are five hundred in number. Forty of them are abdal. They exist in every country.'

There are many other hadiths on this subject. The hadith ash-Sharif reported as marfu' again by Abu Nuaym in Hilya declares, 'There always exist forty persons among my umma. Their hearts are like Ibrahim's(a.s.) heart. Allahu ta'ala redeems His human servants from disasters for their sake. They are called abdal. They do not attain to that degree by performing salat, fasting or giving zakat.' Ibn Masud ® asked, 'Ya Rasul-Allah! By what means do they attain that degree?' 'They attain it by being generous and by advising Muslims,' said the Prophet. It was declared in another hadith ash-Sharif, 'The abdal among my umma do not curse anything.

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (Reh.) wrote in his book Ta'reekh al-Baghdad, 'The nuqaba' comprises three hundred persons. The nujaba' comprises seventy; the abdal forty; the akhyar seven and the 'amad represents four persons. There is one ghawth. When human beings need something, the nuqaba' pray first. If it is not granted [by Allahu ta'ala], then the nujaba' pray. And if not granted again the abdal, akhyar and 'amad pray sequentially. If all are not granted, the ghawth, whose

prayer will certainly be granted, prays.'

" [Translation of Al-mawahib al-ladunniyya, p. 512.]"

The prophets are infallible (masoom) and form the highest rank. Among the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) coming after the prophets (a.s.) the superior are the Sahabas (the Noble Companions of Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and the most superior amongst them are the Righteous Caliphs (Khulfa-eRaashideen) namely, Hazrat Abu Bakr ®, Hazrat Umar ®, Hazrat Uthman ® and Hazrat Ali ®. All the Sahaba, generally, are also Awliya. But all Awliya are not Sahaba. The family of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and the Ahe-e-Bayt also occupy a special place among the Awliya and deserve a separate topic. Thereafter comes the group of actual Awliya-Allah who founded the various Orders for spread of Islam throughout the world peacefully, headed by Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyuddeen Abdul Qadir Jilani Ghaus-ul-Azam of the Qadiri Order (Silsila).

The fact that there are many unknown saints whom even Hazrat Khizr (a.s.) don¶t know, is generally well-known. Also, some have been Awliya-Allah since their birth as in the case of Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyudeen Abdul Qadir Jilani ®. The Sufi Shaykh, Imam µAbdallah ibn µAlawi al-Haddad of Arabia, explains that possessor of supreme degree of veracity is called Qutb al-Ghawth. He adds, ³As for the Qutb (Pole), the Ghawth, he is one in each time. He is the all-comprehensive Fard, and is known among the People as the viceregent (Khalifa), and the Perfect Man (al-Insan al-Kamil). Pole were of three kinds, the Pole of Sciences, such as the Proof of Islam al-Ghazali, the Pole of Spiritual States, such as Abu Yazid al-Bistami, and the Pole of Spiritual Stations, such as Shaykh µAbdal-Qadir. Imam Abul-µAbbas al-Mursi is also reported to have said, ³Al-Junayd was the Pole of knowledge, Sahl the Pole of Stations, and Abu Yazid the Pole of States.´ In short, superiority of the status of Awliya is not dependant on miracle they work, but are dependant upon their proximity to Allah and His love for them and their desire to be with Allah to the exclusion of all others,

with no desire for the Jannah or the Houris or the world or the ability to work miracles, or for any other purpose . Awliya are the inheritors of Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) when he said, the scholars of the ummah are the inheritors of the prophets. Imam Sayuti said: The Awliya of Allah are those, if you see them, Allah is mentioned, and if they are absent, they are missed and if they come Allah will be mentioned´.

Regarding the statement in the hadith of Abu Huraira ® in Bukhari, vol8, 509, that we mentioned before: µI shall declare war on him who shows hostility to Wali of Mine«even the rigorous Ibn Taimiyya has gone to explain the statement to mean that Allah is expressing: "I will seek revenge like an aggressive lion against anyone who comes against My saints." (TO CONTINUE INSHA ALLLAH)

Miracles ±Islamic perspective in brief: Part 2.
In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. As we noted in Part 1 of our Article, Allah declares war on the enemy of His Friend. saints." Ibn Taimiyya said that Allah is expressing: "I will seek revenge like an aggressive lion against anyone who comes against My

There was a disciple of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi ® who bore him a grudge and therefore left him. One day, however, he returned to the Shaykh with the intention of testing him. Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi ® was aware of the intention. So he asked him, ³Do you need a formal answer or a spiritual one?´ ³Both,´ said the disciple. Replying to him, the Shaykh said: If you had tested yourself, you wouldn¶t have the need to test me. And the spiritual answer is, I depose you from the Saintship. The disciple¶s face turned black immediately and the light of certainty (µYaqeen´) also vanished from his heart. The disciple abandoned his foolish self-conceit and implored the Shaykh to forgive him. Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi ® told him: Don¶t you know that Awliya-Allah possess mysterious powers? You cannot endure their blows.´ Saying this, and considering the repentence of the disciple, the Shaykh blew a breath over his face and the disciple was restored to his original self. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti ® narrated that there was a man who hated the Awliya-Allah. After he died, he was placed in a grave where the people tried to turn his face towards the Qibla. To their astonishment, as much as they tried, that man¶s face always turned away from the Qibla. A voice from nowhere announced that it would be an exercise in futility trying to turn his face to the Qibla because that man used to turn his face in disgust on seeing the Awliya-Allah. ³I will turn away My face from him. He is a condemned soul, and on the Day of the Judgment such people would appear with faces of the donkeys.´ That is one of the ways how Allah deals with those who bear grudge against Awliya-Allah. Of course, there are also instances when Awliya-Allah suffer the ignominy heaped upon them but they bear it without complaint ± which goes to show their extreme forbearance, tolerance and patience with the ignorant for the µRida¶ of Allah, depending upon their ranks.

Awliya-Allah are the persons of Ahl-eTassawwuf:
Allah has exalted status of knowledge and power of the Awliya. Allah says about them: ³Whosoever mortifify themselves for Our sake, We will assuredly guide them in Our ways." (Qur¶an: 29:69).

Shaykh Hakim of Tirmidh in the second chapter of his Adab al-muridin

describes such mortification or striving as a kind of door which leads to nearness to Allah. Now attaining this nearness (which is not physical) is itself not easy because it requires the mastery of bringing the carnal soul (Nafs-e-Ammaara) under control which in itself is µJihaad-e-Akbar¶ ( the greater Jihad) as per the famous hadith of Mohammed Mustafa (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) which he (s) stated to his Companions while returning from a battle which he (s) merely termed as ³Jihaad-eAsghar´ (i.e. Lesser Jihad).
Observance of outer state by man is "mortification". "Guidance" consists in Allah's maintenance of man's spiritual feelings of Inner Truth or Inner Reality. Thus there are two aspects: The first is the Shariat consisting of the outer state or external ordinances. The second is what is at the heart of the revelation - which is called Haqiqat. Shariat cannot be maintained without the Haqiqat and conversely Haqiqat cannot be maintained without the Shariat. Those who uphold both Shariat and Haqiqat are called people of Tasawwuf or the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat that consists of the four schools of thoughts namely, the Hanafi, the Shafii, the Hanbali, and the Maliki. Again, regarding the Quranic verse, ittaqullah wa yu`allimukumullah ("Be aware of Allah, and Allah Himself will teach you" 2:282), Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® points out in Discourse 16 of Futuh al-Ghaib: And fear Allah and He will teach you, then He will invest you with the power of controlling the universe with a clear permission which will have no obscurity in it... and He has done this with many of His Prophets and awliya and people especially favored from among the children of Adam. Then there is the hadith shareef: ³ man `amila bi ma `alima warrathahullahu `ilma ma lam ya`lam ("Whoso acts upon what he knows, Allah will make him inherit a knowledge that he did not have"). Hazrat Bayazid of Bistam cited this hadith in response to a question: "From where and from whom did you get this knowledge which you claim to have?" Awliya-Allah are the people of Tasawwuf and are also called the "Sufis". They fulfill the requirements of the 'Deen' (Religion), which consists of Islam, Imaan and ihsaan, as aptly explained in the Hadith of Jibreel. With the evolvement of the language, it is "ihsaan" that came to be known as "Tasawwuf" in later centuries, and the two aspects of Ihsan came to be known as Mushahada and Muraqaba, i.e one where one worships God as if he sees God; and the other where one is unable to worships God in the first way, he at least worships God knowing that God sees him. AwliyaAllah are the most ardent defenders of Shariat, and their path from the

outer Shariat to the inner Haqiqat is known as "Tariqat". A qualified seeker can traverse this Islamic spiritual path but under the direction of the qualified guide known as Pir-O-Murshid who is well-versed with the Holy Quran and the prophetic traditions (ahadeeth), and practising the Shariat. Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh says that Law without Truth is ostentation, and Truth without Law is hypocrisy. Truth or Inner Reality means knowledge of Allah and such religious practices which are made perfect by sincerity. The word "Awliya" represent conformity with the revealed religion and as such to the truth. There is no heresy as there is no departure from the revealed religion or from the truth. Even orientalists such as Louis Massignon and others have irrefutably demonstrated that the doctrines and practices of the Sufis, i.e. the Awliya-Allah, are entirely based on and derived from the Holy Qur'an which is the very base of Islamic orthodoxy.

It is to be remembered that the word Sufi should be used only of the Awliya-Allah who have attained the proximity of Allah, though it has become a fashion nowadays to distinguish a Sunni Muslim by calling him a Sufi. Even a great Awliya such as Hazrat Abul Hasan Kharqani (R) used to say: "Don't call me Sufi." Such is the weightage of this word. The righteous 'ulema of the traditional four schools of thought are, more or less, Awliya-Allah or Sufis, and no Awliya-Allah are found in other sects.

Modern scholars and pseudo-sufis have based their school of thoughts on the teachings of the sufi stalwarts of Islam, but under their own labels. We need to reject the false Wali and seek the real Wali-Allah. It

is not easy to recognise a Wali-Allah. But as a general rule one way of recognizing them is to know that ³The friends of Allah are those who when they are seen, Allah is remembered´ (Majma¶uz Zawaid; Vol. 10, Pg. 78, Bazzaar). Another general way is to rectify our own heart and adopt his company. If his company generates thoughts and love of Allah in our heart then he is a Wali. If the heart indulges in worldly thoughts then he is not a Wali since it is said that the heart is a mirror of another heart. We must also note the observation of the Shariat in him, remembering that even the Sultan of Awliya, Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani Ghausul Azam, did not give up the Shariat, including the ritual prayers. Or the instance when Hazrat Bayasid Bistami (R) refused to accept a person as a Wali when he learnt that while entering the Masjid that person had put his left foot forward. There are many examples of such a nature. At the same time, we must not come to a swift conclusion in judging a person who is known as a Wali because we might commit an error of judgment, which reminds me of the anecdote of Hazrat Bayazid Bistami (R) who, while travelling to another town during the month of Ramadan, found that almost the entire town had come to receive him, an Awliya-Allah. Since he did not like it, he removed a khubooz (bread) from his sleeve and began to munch on it. Seeing this, all the people lost faith in him and went back home. To think about it, the Shaykh had done nothing wrong with the Shariah, since eating and drinking on a Ramadan day is allowed on travelling certain distances. He did that just to be left alone, but see how the people judged him hastily. Even Ibn Taimiyya who himself belonged to the Qadri Order, considered Bayazid as one of his masters. About him he said: "There are two categories of fana': one is for the perfect Prophets and saints, and one is for seekers from among the saints and pious people (saliheen). Bayazid al-Bistami is from the first category of those who experience fana', which means the complete renunciation of anything other than God. He accepts none except God. He worships none except Him, and he asks from none except Him." He continues, quoting Bayazid saying, "I want not to want except what He wants." Awliya-Allah have influenced other religions too. Quranic verses and the sayings of Baba Farid (Hazrat Shaykh Fariduddin Masood Ganj-eShakhar (R)) are found in the holy book of the Sikh, Adi Granth; while the Rosicrucian sect of Christianity has liberally borrowed from the

teaching of Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyuddeen Abdul Qadir Jilani. The lives of Muslim Saints are a source of inspiration to the Muslims all over the world - even in those pockets where their teachings are being suppressed. Their unswerving love of Allah, their Tawakkal (piety)and Tauheed (Unity of Allah), courage of conviction, strength of charcter, religious zeal and devotion to earning the pleasure of Allah, sprinkled with countless miracles at their hands, and their empowerment of Allah on this earth and the hereafter have earned them the title of Friends of Allah. To continue.... Miracles ±Islamic perspective in brief: Part 3. In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

Tasawwuf is not new to Islam:
We need to explain a few more things before we come to the "Miracles". We noted earlier that Deen consists of Islam, Iman and Ihsan. We further noted that Ihsan is what came to be known later as Tasawwuf. In other words, the reality of Tasawwuf existed during the time of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). Those who say that it is borrowed from other discipline simply want to mislead the Muslims. In the early period of Islam, the followers of Tasawwuf or Sufism were known as Muqarrabin (favourites of Allah) Sabirin (patient ones), Abrar (the virtuous), Zuhhad (the pious), Awliya-Allah (Friends of Allah), Siddiqun (Truthful) which were all the Quranic terms. Therefore, absence of the word ³Tasawwuf´ or ³Sufi´ does not indicate that the reality was not there. In fact, the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) was the first Sufi who used to retire to Ghaare Hira for Dhikr Allah. During the early years of his ministry forty-five men of Makkah joined as many others of Madinah the Radiant, took an oath of fidelity to the doctrines of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and formed a fraternity, engaging themselves in devotion, renouncing the active life of the world and engaging themselves in

prayers and meditation. They occupied the verandah of the Masjid and came to be known as the Ahle Suffa, whence came the word ³Sufi´. Earliest mention of those words has been made by Hasan Basri ® (d.110 A.H.) and by Sufyan al-Thawri the Islamic scholar, jurist, Hafiz who learnt various shades of meaning of 'Riya' (Ostentation) from a Sufi. The Sufis have also adopted themselves to the pattern of Hazrat Abu Bakr ® in stripping themselves of worldly things; to Hazrat Umar ® in wearing of the patched robe or Muraqqa and rigorously performing religious duties; to Hazrat Uthman ® in resigning their affairs to Allah, sincerity of devotion and sacrificing life and property; to Hazrat Ali ® in endurance of affliction, and in respect to the truth of outward expressions and subtleties of inward meanings, severance of all things from the heart except the remembrance of Allah who keeps his servants in whatever state He wills, and consideration of Divine Providence.

Imam Muhammed Mathum al-Faruqi ® has given us details on the subject in the 59th letter of the second volume of his Maktubat. According to him, all the paths of tasawwuf come from Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). The superiors of tasawwuf have attained the ma¶arif emanating from the blessed heart of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) through their Guides in every century. In fact all the external and the internal (spiritual) perfections were attained through the Holy Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). The external form of command and prohibition was transmitted by the learned scholars of the four schools of thoughts. The hidden knowledge relating to the heart and soul were conducted by the Sufis. Indeed the terms fana¶, baqa¶, jadhba, suluk and sair-i ila¶llah, which were used for attainments on the way of tasawwuf, were first used by the great leaders of tasawwuf.

Imam-e-Rabbani points out that it is written in the Sahih of al-Bukhari

that Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu ta¶ala ¶anh) said:

µI filled two cups from Rasulullah (sallallahu ¶alaihi wasallam). I have explained the contents of one of them. You would kill me if I disclosed the other.¶

{Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 121: where´ two cups´ are sometimes translated as ³two kinds´ or as G.F. Haddad recommends: ³Two vessels´. }

Those who don¶t believe in Tasawwuf, the above hadith has been the butt of frequent criticism. But it is there in Sahih Bukhari unless it has been expunged. For brevity's sake, I don't intend to go into background of this hadith shareef.

It is also written in the Sahih of al-Bukhari that when ¶Umar ® died, his son ¶Abdullah ® said that nine-tenths of knowledge had died and, seeing that the listeners were confused, added that he meant not the knowledge of fiqh (jurisprudence) but the knowledge of knowing Allah (Gnosis).

Sufi terminologies such as Tawajjuh (thinking deeply) of Allah Most High, the dhikrs of nafi (negation) and ithbat (affirmation) and muraqaba (meditation) existed during the time of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and that of as-Sahabat al-kiram ® . Although the above terms had not been heard from the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) but he did have the above states {ahwal (pl. of hal, spiritual state)}. According to Shah Waliyulla Dehelvi, the four periods of mysticism were to the liking of Allah. During the first and the second century of Islam,

the outcome of mysticism and the sum-total of the religion was Ihsan. The second began with Junaid Baghdadi ® when emphasis was put on the acquisition of attributes, i.e µTa¶alluq Billah¶ (attachment with Allah). The third began with Shaykh Abu Sa¶id Fazlullah Ibn abi¶l Khayr of Mayhana and with Abu¶l Hasan Kharqani ® when on crossing the bar of action the mystics acquired the degree of µ Jadhb¶ (Absorption). The fourth period began with ibn al-Arabi when other relevant problems of mysticism were discussed (such as ³Wahdat al-Wajud or Unity of Being). In passing it may be noted that later when Ahmad Sirhind Mujaddid Alf Sani confronted the Unity of Being with his own, Unity of Witnessing, (Wahdat al-Shuhud) it was Hazrat Shah Waliullah Dehelvi who brought about the reconciliation between the two doctrines (Maktoob-i-Madani; Lamhaat, Lamha 21). Care must be taken to remember that the differences, if any, were not theological ones as between Asharism and Mutazilaism, but merely "Irfani" (Gnostic) ones. Earlier it was Imam Ghazali (d.1111 c..) who brought about the reconciliation between the theological Islam and the mystic or sufistic Islam where it was necessary to get rid of evil dispositions, vile qualities and the appetites of the flesh. Then it was for the heart to be cleared of all except Allah and this could be done by Dhikr-Allah. This could not be acquired by learning but by inward transformation and actual experiencing. That was why Imam Ghazali detached himself from worldly ties and turned wholly to Allah. But that¶s another subject.

That brings us to the importance of loving Awliya-Allah. We have never seen the Awliya-Allah of the past but we do love them for the sake of Allah since they are the beloved of Allah.

IMPORTANCE OF LOVING AWLIYA-ALLAH:

We have to remember that Awliya-Allah have strived to help the

Ummah of our beloved Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). Everyone Muslim knows that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) has clearly indicated that on the Day of Resurrection, Hazrat Uwais al-Qarni ® would intercede for as many people of the Ummah as there were the sheep of Rabia and Muzzer tribe. Before the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) assumed the veil from this material world, he had also asked Hazrat Umar ® and Hazrat Ali ® to seek him and give him his mantle and also ask him to pray to Allah for forgiveness of both of them ± which they did. Generally, such is the status of Awliya-Allah.

Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyuddeen Abdul Qadir Jilani Ghousul Azam ® once said that if Allah grants him a station of honour in His sight, he would obtain from his Creator a covenant on behalf of his disciples, to be binding till the Day of Qiyamah, that none of them would die without being in a state of repentance, and that he would be the Surety for them in this regard.

Hazrat Bayazid Bistami ® too states that he had made a resolve to pray for all the creatures. However, then a thought came to him that the station of intercession belongs to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). So he observed his manner. He tells us that then he heard a voice saying, because of this one observance of good manners, I have exalted your name so that until the Resurrection, men shall call you the Sultan of the Gnostics.

Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti ® too prayed for the salavation of followers till the Day of Qiyamah (Last Day) and obtained it while he was absorbed in prayers at the Ka¶ba shareef in 583 A.H.

Without purifying our heart, it is very difficult to receive ³Faiz´ from Awliya-Allah. Once when someone asked Hazrat Bayazid Bistami ® the

reason why the former had not gained spiritually despite remaining in his company for so long, the Shaykh replied: ³It¶s because of your µNafs¶ (carnal self) which is not under your control. You do not regard honour the same as disgrace. Consider both of them equal.´

There was a person whose mother had been telling him off and on to offer supererogatory prayers (µnawaafil¶) and sit in the company of Bayazid Bistami ®. Like many of us today, he thought that if he has at all to offer additional prayers or do some extra good deeds, why not do it on our own and alone! The answer holds good today as it was then. The Faiz (Divine Effusion) of Allah would come to that person in his individual capacity which is not much compared to that he would get by sitting in the company of Awliya-Allah who have the µQurb´ (nearness) of Allah.

Allah has promised us that He will accept the prayers of those whom he Loves. We know that Messengers of Allah, Prophets, Siddiqeen (the Truthful), Shohda (Martyrs), Awliya-Allah (Friends of Allah) and the Saliheen (the Pious and Righteous people) are loved by Allah. ³Faiz´ and ³Marifa´ have been over-flowing from Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq to the great Sufi Masters and Awliya through Hazrat Abu Bakr ® and to those of other Orders (Silsilas) through Hazrat Ali ®.

A man asked Bayazid, "Show me a deed by which I will approach my Lord." He said, "Love the friends of Allah in order that they will love you. Love his saints until they love you. Because Allah looks at the hearts of His saints and He will see your name engraved in the heart of His saints and He will forgive you." For this reason, the Naqshbandi followers have been elevated by their love for their shaikhs. This love lifts them to a station of continuous pleasure and continuous presence in the heart of their beloved.

In his first letter, Shaykh Ahmad al-Badawi ® has indicated that ³no one who sits with them (i.e. the Awliya) is wretched,´ as reported in the Sahih. He quotes a hadith from Sahih Bukhari regarding the evidence against turning away from sitting with them: ³Shall I tell you about the three men? One of them took himself to Allah and Allah took him in. The other was shy, so Allah was shy with him. And the other turned away, so Allah turned away from him.´ Awliya-Allah are the endless treasure trove, impenetrable fortress, ³the universal interspace´ and the overflowing sea.

Therefore, we need to seek the company of such emancipated souls. No less a person than Hazrat Fariduddin Masood Ganj-e-Shakhar ® who is known in the sub-continent of India and Pakistan as Baba Farid and is the third Peer-O-Murshid in line of the Chishtiya Silsila, himself used to set out to meet saints, i.e. before he met Hazrat Qutub-ud-din Bhaktiyar Kaki.

³Uth Farida gaun kar duniyaa bekhan jay, Mat koyee bakshaa milanwajay tuu bhee bakshaa jay´

(Get up O Farid and roam about the world/Maybe in thy wandering ye may meet some emancipated soul, receive his blessings and achieve deliverance.)

Hazrat Baba Farid ® has narrated that a there was a sinful young man who died in Multan. It was revealed in a dream that the young man had been pardoned by Allah for the reason that one day when Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ul-aq Zakarriya Multani was taking a walk, the young man had kissed his hand with utmost respect. It was because of this gesture that he had been pardoned.

On the subject of Loving of Awliya-Allah, this is especially applicable to loving the Ahle Bayt or People of the House of Prophet (sallal laahu alahi wassallam). According to the prophetic traditions, not loving Hazrat Ali (R) is a sign of a hypocrite (Munafiq) and offending Hazrat Fatimah (R) is offending the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) whose dear daughter she is. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) has categorically shown his love for Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (may Allah be pleased with them both). According to a Sahih Hadith in Tirmidhi, the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) has said: "When I am loved, then my family members whom I love, should also be loved." Loving someone means having affinity with that person and having a strong affection for that person, and accepting the deeds and beliefs of that person. This should not be confused with the words: "although I have not acted like them.." which appears in Sahih Muslim, in a hadith reported by Anas bin Maalik in addition to the one, that when a person told the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) that "I have made no significant preparation with prayer and fasting and charity, but I however love Allah and His Messenger,' thereupon the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said: "you would be along with the one whom you love." These words underline that although I do not possess their strength of belief, their actions, their piety and their powerful proximity to Allah with their devotions, yet with all my faults and shortcoming in controlling my 'Nafs' (carnal soul or the lower self) and striving to do those deeds, I do love them while admitting that I have not acted like them. Allah tells us: Whoso obeyeth Allah and the messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favour, of the prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they! (Qur'an 4:69). In fact that this company begins from the Barzakh itself is also proven from the prophetic traditions. This will definitely bring out the paramount importance of loving those whom Allah has shown His favours though we may not to anything as far as their rank with Allah goes, or we may not even belong to their 'Jamaat', yet by loving them we can expect to be in their august company right after leaving this transitory world. As Allah says in the

next verse: That is bounty from Allah (Qur'an: 4:70). What a bounty it is! As it has been said ³Zikr-ul-Anbiah Ibada tun Wa Zikr-ul-Auliya Kafara tun´ i.e. Discussing about the Prophets of Allah is a form of Ibaadah, and discussing the Awliya is atonement. Mercy of Allah descends when His Awliya are discussed. To continue, Insha Allah«. Miracles ±Islamic Perspective in brief:Part 4 - Continued..... In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

³His command when He desires a thing is just to say to it, µBe!¶ and it is.´ (Surah Ya Sin, 82)

Allah is the Real Doer, Causator and Creator of Miracles:
Now before we come to ³Miracles´ it is important to draw the attention of the uninitiated non-muslim readers that while in non-Islamic religions ³miracles´ are usually directly attributed to the human agency that seems to be the author, this is not so in Islam because human attribution is not allowed. Imam Tahawi, who was one of the Salafs (not to be confused with modern Salafi sects), says: Nothing happens except what Allah wills. Everything happens according to His degree 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. Allah has been always the Creator and the originator and the Lord. Allah says in the Holy Quran: ³Allah is the Creator of all things.´ (Sûrah al-Zumar: 62 , and Sûrah al-Ra`d: 16). There are quite a few verses of this kind in the Holy Qur¶an that says that it is Allah the Almighty who is the Creator, Real Doer, Author, Originator and Causator. This applies not only to the creation of the universe and creatures and all that is there, but also to day to day activities and occurrences and miracles.

Everything takes place in the universe because of the decree of Allah. Therefore, the bottom-line is that while the miracles may be attributed, as the case may be, to prophets and the Awliya-Allah or a pious person, in our hearts we must always know and believe that it is Allah alone who is the Causator, Doer and Creator of Miracles. Therein remains our safety as far as the religion of Islam goes. Hazrat Bayazid Bistami ® stated that µMaarifat¶ (Gnosis) consists in knowing that without Allah¶s permission no one has the least control of his kingdom. It is Allah who creates the ability to act and puts the will to act in the heart since the human actions are metaphorical and Allah is the Real Causator. It is only when Allah gives strength that we are able to carry on the spiritual exercises. Bishr al-Hafi ® whom even Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal used to consult, stated that an individual and his actions are created by Allah. Allah being the Provider, if He makes a creature the means of giving you sustenance, consider it that it has come from Allah and not the creature.

Before we come to the "Miracles" there is one more aspect to be understood about the miracles. It is this:

Miracles are downplayed in Islam:
The Holy Qur¶an sent down upon the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) is the greatest sign sent down to mankind. Generally, not much weightage is given to miracles. The Holy Qur¶an says: And yet they say, ³Why are signs not sent down upon him from his Lord? Say: ³The signs are indeed with Allah, and I am but a clear warner.´ (29:50).

Indeed, Awliya-Allah have also not attached much significance to miracles and marvels.

When the great saint of Mayhana, Hazrat Abu Sa¶id Fazlullah ibn Abi¶l Khayr ® (967-1049 c.e.) was told that so- and-so walks on water, he replied that it was easy since frogs and water-fowls do it. When someone drew his attention that so-and-so flies through the air, he merely replied that so do the birds and insects. Again, when someone told him that somebody goes from one town to another in a moment, he replied that things such as these are of no great value since even Satan travels from East to the West in a moment. According to him, the true saint eats and sleeps and has social intercourse with the people. He even marries and lives among them. He carries on buying and selling in the market. However, he never forgets Allah even for a single moment. It is true that some of them renounced worldly activities in order to worship Allah unhindered. However, that was nothing new since we have the example of Ashab us-Suffa (People of the Verandah), i.e. the Companions of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) who resided in the verandah of the Masjidun Nabawi and who were extremely poor, and about whom it is mentioned in the Holy Qur¶an: ³Do not drive away those who call unto their Lord, at morn and eve, desiring His face´ (6:52). Despite their privations and sufferings, the Ahle Suffa were great lovers of Allah and His holy Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). It is significant to note that included among these are such famous names as Bilal ibn al-Rabah, Salman al-Farsi, Abu Dharr al-Ghiffari, Abdullah ibn-Masood, Abdullah ibn Umar, Abu Huraira, Muadh b. al-Haris and others (may Allah be pleased with them all), some of whom even attained martyrdom in several battles of nascent Islam. When Hazrat Bahaudin Naqshbandi was asked about showing miraculous power, he said: ³What more miraculous power do you want

than that we are still walking on this earth with all these sins upon us and around us.´ Hazrat Shihab ad-din Suhrawardi (d.632H/1234 c.e.) mentioned in his Awaarif Al-Ma¶arif that ³Marvels and Karamaat are of no value in comparision with the heart¶s dhikr of Allah´. Hazrat Bayazid Bistami ® says: I seek His Grace from the Bestower of Graces. I don¶t seek miracles. He also said that if you see a person sitting cross-legged in the air, don¶t be fooled by his act! Observe his approach and attitude to the compulsory acts (Faraaiz, Waajibaat) and prohibited acts (Haraam, Makrooh Tahreemi) and detestable acts (Makrooh) and other restrictions and etiquettes of the Shariah. (Risalah Qushayriya) Further, according to Imam Muhammad Mathum (d.1074H/1668 c.e.) of Sirhind, knowing Allah is more valuable than possessing Kashf and Karamah. The reason is that being a knower of Allah (Aarif Billah) entails the secret knowledge about Allah¶s Essence and Attributes; while Karamah or marvels manifest secret knowledge about creatures. Awliya-Allah don¶t want marvels because they don¶t desire knowledge about the creatures. As Allah loves his Awliya very much, He does not keep them preoccupied with creatures. Those who are addicted to the world cannot recognize and do not like men of Allah who can comprehend and reveal secrets about creatures better than others provided they choose to think about them. In short, it is important to realize that just as the pre-eminence of prophets depends not on miracles or evidentiary miracles but on their exalted ranks and being preserved from defilement of sin, similarly, working miracles or µKaraamaat¶ is not an end in itself for a Vali (Saint). As Dr. Tahir al-Qadri explains, Miracle is not Vilayat (Sainthood), and Vilayat is not miracle. Miracle is just a by-product of being a Vali because for a Vali a miracle is not a product. According to him, there is Ijma (consensus) among the scholars that a Karamat is ³Nafs-ki-Talab´ while ³Allah¶s Talab´ is Isteqaamat (remaining firm on the right path, or rectitude, steadfastness). Isteqaamat is higher than Karaamat. There have been many Friends of Allah who have had no miracles, and what is more, there are many unknown Awliya-Allah who are unknown to the world. As far as the Vilayat is concerned, all AwliyaAllah are equal, but they differ as far as the status is concerned.

To continue....

Miracles ±Islamic perspective in brief: Part 5 ± Continued«. In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

Karamaat of Awliya-Allah are true:
Believing in miracles of the Messengers of Allah, the prophets, and the Awliya-Allah is among the fundamentals of the people of Sunnah and the community. This is evident from the Holy Quran, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam), reports from the Sahaba, and the overwhelming majority of the Sunni scholars and the Sufi Shaykhs. According to the Islamic scholars, only the people of Bidah (innovations) and deviation and those of weak faith in Allah¶s attributes and actions deny the miracles of Awliya-Allah. Those who don¶t believe that Allah has given the power of disposition and effectiveness to His awliya, about such people the scholars of Ahle Sunnat had anticipated them by way of a Karamat and refuted them before hand by giving a fit reply. Such scholars included ibn al-Arabi and his successor Sadrudin Qunawi, Jalaludin Rumi and Ahmad al-Badawi among many others. The Holy Qur¶an establishes the fact that miracles are also vouchsafed to people other than the prophets, in which case they are called Karamaat. Let¶s see some of the very well-known Quranic examples of Karamaat:

Regarding Mary, mother of Jesus:
Whenever Zachariah (Zakaria a.s.) 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. (Qur¶an: 3:37) and

Regarding the People of the Cave and the Dog:
Or deemest thou that the People of the Cave and the Inscription are a wonder among Our portents ? When the young men fled for refuge to the Cave and said: Our Lord! Give us mercy from Thy presence, and shape for us right conduct in our plight. Then We sealed up their hearing in the Cave for a number of years. And afterward We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties would best calculate the time that they had tarried. (18:9-12) And thou mightest have seen the sun when it rose move away from their cave to the right, and when it set go past them on the left, and they were in the cleft thereof. That was (one) of the portents of Allah. (18:17)

Regarding the one with the knowledge of the scripture: (Asif Barkhiya)
One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: I will bring it thee before thy gaze returneth unto thee. And when he saw it set in his presence. (Qur¶an: 27:40). Now, Mary (Maryam a.s.) is not an apostle. Owing to her piety and devotion, Allah raised her in rank as one of the best women. Her story in the Holy Quran is one of the best stories ever told. The entire Chapter is devoted to her - something that is not found even in the Christian Bible. In fact she was very young and miraculously pregnant with child Jesus. When the pangs of parturition drove her to the palm tree the miraculous child told her: And shake the trunk of the palm-tree toward thee, thou wilt cause ripe dates to fall upon thee. (Qur¶an: 19:25). He also told her that ³Thy Lord has placed a rivulet beneath thee.´(19:24) Zakariya a.s. (Zachariah) had taken charge of her. Whenever Zakariya (a.s.) went into the sanctuary (Hujra) where she was, he found her with provisions. In fact, in summer he saw her with the winter fruit,

such as culms of corn, and in winter he saw that she had summer fruit, such as the grapes. When he asked her from where did she get it, she answered that Allah sends this from Paradise and that Jibrail (a.s.) (Gabriel) brought it to her. As for the People of the Cave, they were in the cave for 309 years. The cave was an open-ended one so that the sunlight could come both at sunrise and sunset. But Allah commanded the sun to change its path so that the the men did not feel the heat of the sun. Shaykul Islam Dr. Tahir al-Qadri explains that if someone says that the course of the sun was natural, the answer to that would be then there was no need for Allah to mention it in the Holy Qur¶an. This was the sign of Allah (Ayatillah), just as Mary¶s conception as well as the She-camel of Allah were far from the natural process. According to him, Imam Nasafi is an authority and he says in Tafseer Nasafi that the sun used to bend one side. Moreover, there was also a dog outside the cave for all those years. µLahuti¶ nutrition was provided for the Ashab. During their sleep, they used to change sides every six months. Even the dog correspondingly changed sides with them, stretching out his paw on the threshold. Imam Qurtubi in his Tafseer and Imam Razi in Tafseer alKabeer say that the dog did not belong to the µAshab¶. It had joined them on the way. The Ashab were hiding from the tyrant king and were afraid that the dog would bark and expose their hideout. They threw stones at it to drive it away. The dog prayed to Allah to give the power of speech which was granted. The dog asked them why did they hurl stones at him. They said: ³You¶ll bark!´ The dog informed them that he was not a barking dog. The dog had ³Muhabbat´, ³Mutabiyat´, and ³Isteqamat´. There was no change in their condition. So a speaker asked ³How long have you tarried´ (18:19). They had tarried in the Cave for 309 years (18:25). As for the one with knowledge of the scripture, it was Asif bin Barkhiya, a righteous individual who had the knowledge of µIsm-e-Azam¶ (Allah¶s Greatest Names). When these are invoked in a supplication for something it is immediately granted . He said that he would bring the throne of Bilqis (the queen of Sheba) before the glance of Solomon

returned to him. The Afreet Jinn told Solomon to look up heaven-wards, which he did. As soon as the glance returned to the normal, i.e. in front of him, he found the throne of Bilqis. What had happened was, that as soon as Solomon looked upwards to heaven Asif bin Barkhiya, by invoking the Ism-e-Azam, supplicated to God that He bring it there. This was done when the throne travelled under the earth until it sprung up below Solomon¶s seat. Allamah Sayyad Mahmood Alusi states that Shaykh al-Akbar said that Asif bin Barkhiya did µTasarruf¶ with the throne of Bilqis. He made the throne disappear from its location and appear before Sulaiman (a.s.) before anyone could realize it, except for Him who knows everything. Everything happened in a moment. Chronologically speaking, Asif bin Barkhiya performed only one action since the accomplished persons gain a state where their speech is granted immediate action by the announcement of ³Kun´ (Be!) by Allah. Thus the Holy Qur¶an bears testimony to the fact that not only Allah loves His Awliya, but He also creates whatever they want through them to honour them. The miracles of the saint too helps the religion of Allah - as happened with Bilqis who was the sun-worshipper but adopted the Abrahamaic religion after meeting Solomon. Shaykh al-Akbar, Ibn al- µArabi explains the phenomenon of a miracle as of two types: Apparent (Hissi) and Spiritual (Ma¶nawi). The first type is generally seen by the common people, such as flying through the air, walking on water, foretelling future events, traversing hundreds of kilometers in a step and so on. The second type of miracle can only be seen and perceived by special people it consists in controlling the carnal desires, adopting virtues through divine guidance, refraining from corrupt practices, and punctually practicing all the compulsory acts (Waajibaat). According to Al-Aqidah al-Wasitiyah of ibn Taimiyya, Allah created supernatural acts through the Awliya in all aspects of life, revelations (Mukashafaat), power and impressions. This is known of ancient nations in Surat al-Kahf (Chapter 18 of the Holy Qur¶an) and in other Quranic chapters, and is known of the early men of this Ummah

amongst the Sahabas (Companions of the Prophet sallal laahu alaihi wassallam), and the Tabiian (Successors of Sahabas) and also among the rest of the generations of this Ummah. It will be with them till the Day of Resurrection. In Majmu¶a Fataawa, Ibn Taimiyaa says: It is said that after the Seal of Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) revelation does descend but it is not called so. Rather it is called as what the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) referred to as the ³Light of God´. The believer sees with the Light of God. When the believer sees through the Light of God he sees all things ± the First and the Last; the Present and the Absent. How can anything be concealed from God¶s light? And, if something does appear concealed, then it is not the Light of God. Therefore, the meaning of revelation exists even if it is not called so. Further, according to him: What is considered as a saint¶s miracle, is that sometimes the saint hears what others do not hear or sees something that others do not see ± not while he is asleep, but in a wakened state of vision. He even knows things that others cannot know, through revelation or inspiration ± not while he is asleep, but in a wakened state of vision. He even knows things that others cannot know through revelation or inspiration. In a book published by al-Madani Publishing House, namely Mukhtasar al-Fatawa al-Misriyya, the statements of ibn Taimiyya are: The miracles of saints are absolutely true and correct, and the Muslim scholars have acknowledged it. The Qur¶an has pointed to them at various places. The Hadiths of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) too point them. Whoever denies the miraculous powers of saints are either people of µBidah¶ (innovators) or those who follow the innovators. Ibn Taimiyya said (Vol.11 p.313): Allah the Almighty unveils to his saints states that have never been unveiled before and He gives them support without measure. If that saint begins to speak from the things of the unseen ± past, present or future ± that constitutes miraculous knowledge. Therefore, we have to accept anything that a saint does, as coming from the unseen, for the people or listeners, of healing or

teaching knowledge. According to ibn Taimiyya, we must thank Allah for the unveiling of the appearances. Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyuddeen Abdul Qadir Jilani ® said in Discourse 9 of his Futuh al-ghayb: To awliya' and abdal (Substitute-saints) are disclosed such workings of Allah in the course of kashf and mushahada as overwhelm the reasoning power of man and shatter into pieces all habits and customs. Nor is it impossible that some saints of the Prophet's Community, like the Prophet himself, do know the Unseen except for what Allah hides from them and reserves to others of His creatures -- such as angels -or exclusively to Himself, according to His will. Allamah Nasafi (d.1013 c.e.) has also said that the charismatic miracles of the Friends of Allah are true ± ³Karamaat al-Awliya haqqun´. To continue« Miracles±Islamic perspective in brief: Part 6 ± Continued«. In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. ³And thou (Muhammad) threwest not when thou didst throw (a handful of dust in the Battle of Badr), but Allah threw.´(Quran: 8:17)

Mujizah and Karamah are two broad categories of Miracles in Islam:
A miracle is broadly categorized as µMujizah¶ and µKaramah¶, and as stated before, are actually the actions of Allah. In Islam, the phenomena that happen beyond the laws of causation are distinguished by their sources, that is at whose hands they are shown, as we shall see below:

1. The miracles wrought by Prophets and Messengers of Allah are called Mujizaat. The literal meaning of Mujizah is something that ³incapacitates´, i.e. it is derived from the word µijaaz¶ which means ³inability´ 2. The miracles or marvels attributed to Awliya-Allah are called ³Karamah´ or ³Karamaat´ which is a gift of Grace or a ³token of honour´. In English language the word is commonly termed as miracle. However, some orientalists do make a distinction by terming Mujizah as ³Evidentiary Miracle´ and Karamah as ³ non-evidentiary miracle, Marvel, etc´. Generally, no Wali claims that he can work miracles and can make on attain whatever one wishes. 3. Those that happen through the disbelievers are called ³Sihr´ i.e. magic. 4. Those that happen at the hands of those whose sins are many (Fasiqs) are called ³Istidraj´ which proves the person to be an imposter and are a means to degrade and demote him gradually. The marvelous acts related to Shaddad, Nimrod and Pharaoh fall under divine deception. So also the extraordinary acts of Dajjal that are related from many ahadeeth (prophetic traditions) about the future events fall under Divine deception. 5. Those that happen in any community from people who are not Awliya-Allah (Friends of God) is called Firasat (say, Clairvoyance). However, if it is the effect of the light which Allah sets in the purified heart of the Awliya-Allah, Firasa is reckoned among the gifts and is accepted as evidence of holiness. The exalted position of the Awliya¶s ³Firasat´ is evident from the hadith: ³Beware of the vision of the believer, for he sees with the light of Allah.´ The miracles of Hazrat Abu Sa¶id Fazlullah ibn Abi¶l Khayr mainly consisted of the powers of Firasa. 6. µKashf¶ or spiritual unveilings are the knowledge disclosed to the soul of the one who constantly remembers and worships Allah. Kashf

consists, according to al-Sharif al-Jurjani's definition in his Kitab alta`rifat, in "apprehending beyond the veil of ordinary phenomena, whether by vision or experience, the meanings and realities that pertain to the unseen. It is a kind of intuitive knowledge or discovery that exemplifies Awliya-Allah whose ranks are raised by Allah with the affirmation. The reality of Kashf is established in Sacred Law and it refers to a hidden knowledge of a tremendous nature - what has also been called the ³Secrets of Allah the Exalted.´ Kashf is reliable if it is in conformity with Islam. The vision seen while one is awake is Kashf and that seen in a dream is called Ru¶ya. The purer and the cleaner the mirror of the mind is, the more correct and reliable is the Kashf and the Ru¶ya. Prophet¶s dream are absolutely reliable, and most dreams of Awliya too are reliable since their µbaatins¶ (states of inner conditions) are polished like bright mirrors because of their obedience to prophets. Allah mentions in the Qur'an thus: "Allah has fulfilled the vision (ru'ya) for his Messenger in very truth" (48:27). The Prophet said: The vision or dream (al-ru'ya) is one-fortysixth part of prophecy. 7. The process of receiving the gift (karamah) for the saint is through ilham (inspiration). In addition to those mentioned above, the others are mubashshira (glad tidings from Allah), mushahada (mutual vision) or mukhataba (divine conversation).

Distinction between Mujizah and Karamah: Just a few points:
The holy Qur¶an as well as the prophetic traditions are replete with the examples of Mujizaat worked by the Prophets and Messengers. The Holy Qur¶an ratifies the miracles of Moses and Jesus, including the Virgin Birth of Jesus, amongst those of other prophets of Bani Isra¶il. Since there are no disagreements regarding the Mujizaat, we won¶t delve into these. We have mentioned before that the miracles worked by Messengers and Prophets of Allah are called Mujizaat and those worked by other than

Prophets and Messengers, such as Awliya-Allah, are called Karamaat. In his celebrated Kashful Mahjoob (Unveiling of the Veiled), Hazrat Ali bin Uthman al-Hajwiri, who is also known as Data Ganj Baksh ® in the sub-continent of India and Pakistan, has dealt with this subject at length nearly a thousand years ago. To put it very succinctly, this is what he says: Mujizaat involve publicity since they affect others. Karamaat involve secrecy since they are peculiar to the person by whom they are performed. The doer of Mujizaat is quite sure that he has worked a miracle while the doer of Karamaat is not sure, whether he has really worked a miracle. According to Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh ®, however, the quality of ijaaz (inimitability) is the same as in the other and not affected. He gives a classic example: When the infidels were putting Khubaib ® on the gallows in Makkah, the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) who was with his Companions in the Masjid at Madinah Munawwara told them what was happening to Khubaib ®. Allah also lifted the veil from the eyes of Khubaib ® so that he saw the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and greeted him (s). Allah caused the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) to hear that salutation so that he gave the answer, and He also caused Khubaib ® to hear that answer. Both were extraordinary acts but one was an example of Mujiza and the other, that of a Karaamat. Data Ganj Baksh ® makes another important statement: There is no difference in absence in time and absence in space. For Khubaib ® the Karaamat was wrought when he was absent from the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) in space. The later days miracles were performed by those who were absent from the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) in time. Data Ganj Baksh ® says that this is a clear proof that a Karaamat cannot be in contradiction with µijaaz, i.e. the miracles performed by prophets. Karamaat are not established unless and until they testify to the truth of the one performing the mujizaat. Therefore, Karamaat are not given except to a pious believer who gives such testimony. The Muslim saints are witnesses to the truth of the mission of Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) and

therefore, it is impossible that Karamaat may be worked by unbelievers because as the law of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) is permanent, so must the proof (hujjat) be also permanent. All Karamaat of a saint or Wali are the mujizaat of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). To continue Insha Allah«. Miracles - Islamic Perspective in Brief - Part 7. Continued.... Regarding the Awliya-Allah, one of the Islamic doctrines mentioned in Tahawi¶s Aqida is: ³We believe in what has appeared regarding their marvels and such narrations of them as have been authentically reported from trustworthy persons. In order to deny the Karamaat, some ignorantly claim that the Sahabas did not work any miracles. Nothing could be further from the truth as the following examples from the prophetic traditions will show: 1. 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud ® narrated: "A man from among the humans went out and was met by a man from among the jinn, who said: "Will you wrestle with me? If you throw me to the ground, I will teach you a verse which, if you recite it when you enter your house, no devil will enter." So, he wrestled with him and threw him to the ground. He said: "I see that you are very small and your forearms are like the front paws of a dog. Are all the jinn like this, or only you?" He said: "I am strong amongst them. Let us wrestle again." So, they wrestled again and the human threw him to the ground. So, the jinn said: "Recite Ayat al-Kursi, for no one recites it when he enters his house except that Satan leaves, passing wind like a donkey."" It was said to Ibn Mas'ud ® : "Was that man 'Umar ®?" He said: "Who else could it have been, other than 'Umar?" ['Majma' az-Zawa'id'; 9/71] 2. When the bodies of the martyrs of Uhud were being relocated forty years after their burial (during the reign of Mu'awiyah), the foot of Hamzah bin 'Abd al-Mutallib ® was scratched in the process of being

moved, and it started gushing blood. ['al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah'; 4/43] 3. Ibn 'Abbas ® died in at-Ta'if, and a bird, the likes of which had never been seen before, was seen at his funeral. The bird entered the hole in the ground where Ibn 'Abbas was to be buried. So, we looked and waited to see if it would come out, and it didn't. When his body was finally placed in the ground, we could hear the verse {"O, the one in rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord, Well-pleased and wellpleasing!"} [al-Fajr; 27-8] being recited from the edge of his grave, but we were unable to find out who had recited it. (Authentically reported by al-Hakim in 'al-Mustadrak' 3/543) 4. Khayshamah narrated: "Khalid bin al-Walid ® came to a man carrying a jug of alcohol, so, he said: "O Allah! Turn it into honey!" So, it turned into honey." [Reported by Ibn Hajar in 'al-Isabah fi Ma'rifat as-Sahabah'; p. 414] 5. The Romans imprisoned a son of the Companion, Abu Qurfasah ®. So, whenever it was time for prayer, Abu Qurfasah would climb the wall of 'Asqalan (in Syria) and call out: "O, son! It is time to pray!" And, his son would hear him all the way from the land of the Romans." ['Majma' azZawa'id' (9/396)] 6. When Sa'd and the Muslim army arrived at the Tigris River during the battle of Qadisiyyah, Salman stopped and said: "A river from the rivers of Allah. Will it not carry the soldiers of Allah?" So, he took Sa'd by the hand and stepped onto the water, leading all 30,000 soldiers across the Tigris River on foot. The Persians saw this and escaped, saying: µThe demons have arrived! The demons have arrived!¶" [Reported by at-Tabari in 'at-Tarikh' (3/123), and Ibn Kathir in 'alBidayah wan-Nihayah' (7/64)] 7. During the khilafah of 'Umar ®, the governor of Egypt wrote to him asking for help as the river Nile had failed to flood. 'Umar ® wrote a letter in return, addressing the Nile itself. This was then placed in the Nile, and no sooner this was done, than the Nile's water began to flood.

[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, volumes 1 and 8, chapter on Rivers and chapter on Khilafah of 'Umar, ® 8. Abu Hurairah narrated: "al-'Ala' al-Hadrami supplicated for rain, and it then began to rain in the middle of the desert. In another incident, he supplicated, and we were able to walk over the water in the Arabian Peninsula (near Bahrain), without even the bottom of our feet getting wet. When he died, we buried him, and after a while, we opened up his grave to find that he was not there." ('Majma' az-Zawa'id'; 9/276) 9. During the Caliphate of Hazrat of 'Umar ®, a fire was noticed in the desert. Hazrat 'Umar ®, asked Tamim al-Dari ® to assist him. They approached the area of the fire when Tamim al-Dari ® began to gather the fire with his hands and started shoving the fire into a hole in the ground. This was a karamah of Tamim al-Dari ®. (Tarikh Ibn Kathir, Vol. 6, chapter on Miracles, and Sirat un-Nabi, Ibn Kathir, chapter on Mu'jizat) 10. Sa'id bin al-Musayyib, a famous Tabi, narrated: "Zayd bin Kharijah al-Ansari died during the reign of 'Uthman bin 'Affan. When he was wrapped in a shroud in preparation of the burial, a gurgling sound was heard coming from his chest. Then Zayd got up and said: "Ahmad! Ahmad! He is in the first Book! Abu Bakr has spoken the truth! 'Umar has spoken the truth! 'Uthman has spoken the truth!" [Authentically reported in 'al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah'; 6/293] 11. Sa'id then said: "Then, another man died shortly thereafter. When he was wrapped in a shroud in preparation of the burial, a gurgling sound was heard coming from his chest. The man then got up and said: "Zayd bin Kharijah has spoken the truth!´ ['Majma' az-Zawa'id'; 8/230] 12. A Sahaba once pitched his tent on a plot of ground without realizing that he was doing so over a grave. After a while, he realized that his tent was over a grave for he could hear the recital of the Surah Mulk.

He related the entire episode to the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), who replied that the recital of Surah Mulk indeed assists the person within the grave and protects him from pain and punishment. (Tirmidhi Shareef) From this episode, we see that the beloved servants of Allah are still alive within their graves, or else the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) would have merely disregarded the entire incident. But he did not do so. Rather, he commented on the excellences of the Sura Mulk, which means that he also accepted that the beloved servants of Allah Ta'ala are still alive within their graves. 13. It is recorded that in the period of Hazrat Mu'awiya (R) a canal was dug between Mecca and Medina. Co-incidentally, the canal passed through that plot of land where the Shuhada (Martyrs) of Uhud lay buried. A person while digging accidentally cut the foot of a Shaheed with a spade. As a result of this, blood began to flow from the blessed foot. We learn from this incident that aside from their souls, even the bodies of these great and beloved servants of Allah are alive. (Jazbul Quloob, Sharahus Sudr)

Imam an-Nawawi was a wali and a great scholar who authored many works. A karamah of his states that when the lantern extinguished for want of oil, Allah illuminated his finger for him at night so he could see and continue writing about the Religion. Imam Nawawi has mentioned some miraculous incidents of the Sahaba in his Riyadh as-Saliheen (Meadows of the Righteous):

1. Quraish ordered µUqbah bin Al-Harith, whose father had been killed by Khubaib ® himself, to execute him. They also appointed someone to guard his corpse. Al-Harith¶s daughter reported that shortly before his execution, Khubaib ® was seen eating a bunch of grapes when no fruit

was available in Makkah at that time. [In fact, it was nothing but sustenance bestowed upon him by Allâh.]

2. µAsim ibn Thabit, who had previously slain one of the Chieftans of Quraysh in the Battle of Badar. When the Quraysh were told that he had been slain, they sent a few of their men to bring something that might identify him. To their disappointment, they could not reach his corpse because a large swarm of hornets had been shielding him against any malicious mutilation. µAsim had already sought his Lord¶s pledge to protect his body from mutilations by the polytheists. He had also kept aloof from any contact with the enemies of Allâh. On hearing this piece of news, µUmar ® exclaimed, ³Allâh verily protects His believing slave after death just as He does during his lifespan.´ ( from al- Bukhari)

3. Ibn Umar ® said that he never heard from µUmar say about anything that I conceive to be thus and thus, but that it turned out to be in accordance with what he had conceived.

4. Jabir bin Abdullah ® related that his father called him on the eve of Uhad and said: µI believe I¶ll be the first among the Sahaba to be killed, and after the Holy Prophet (s) you¶re the one most dear to me. Discharge my debts and treat your sisters well. The next morning, he was among the first to be killed and I buried him along with another in the same grave. Thereafter, I was not happy that I should leave him with another in the same grave. So I dug up his body after six months, and he was in the same condition as he was on the day I had buried him but for his ear. Then I buried him in a separate grave. (Bukhari)

5. Anas related that Holy Prophet¶s (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) two companions (Usaid ibn Huzair and Abbad ibn Bishar) left the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) late one dark night and perceived as if there were two lights in front of them. And, when they

separated each had one light before him till the time he reached home.

6. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "In the nations before you there were people who were spoken to (by Allah). If there was to be such a man among my community, it would be 'Umar." [al-Bukhari. Muslim transmits it from 'A'isha.]

7. 'Urwa ibn az-Zubayr reported that Sa'id ibn Zayd ibn 'Umar ibn Nufayl had litigation instigated against him by Arwa bint Aws before Marwan ibn al-Hakam. She claimed that he had taken some of her land. Sa'id said, "Would I take any of her land after what I heard from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?" He said, "What did you hear from the Messenger of Allah?" He said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Anyone who wrongfully takes a hand's width of land will wear it round his neck down through seven earths.'" Marwan said to him, "I will not ask you for evidence after this." Sa'id said, "O Allah, if she is lying, make her lose her eyesight and kill her in her land!" He said, "She did not die before her eyesight had gone, and while she was walking in her land, she fell into a pit and died." [Agreed upon] A variant of Muslim from Muhammad ibn Zayd ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar has something to the same effect and says that he saw her blind, groping for the wall, saying, "The invocation of Sa'id has struck me." She passed by a well in the house regarding which she had litigated and fell into it and it became her grave. To continue, Insha Allah« Miracles ±Islamic perspective in brief: Part 8 ± Continued«. In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

From Shawahid an-Nabuwwa of Noorudin al-Jami (d.1492 c.e.) also, we learn of the karamaat of Sahaba al-Kiraam and the Tabiian, and a few of which are mentioned below: 1. Abu Bakr ® the first Caliph of Islam, willed at the time he was about to leave the world that his children would be looked after by Aisha ®. He said: My son and two daughters, I entrust them to you.´ Now other than Aisha ® he had only one daughter named Asma. Aisha ® asked: ³ I have only one sister, who is the other sister of mine?´ He said, ³My wife is pregnant. I think she will have a baby-girl.´ Indeed, after his demise, a baby-girl was born to his wife as he had said. [This is also reported by ash-Shatibi in 'al-Muwafaqat' (4/85), and Ibn Taymiyyah in 'Majmu' alFatawa' (11/318)]

2. When he was about to die, Hazrat Ali ® instructed his son, Husain ®: ³Take my coffin to a place called µArnanin where you will see a luminous white rock. Dig up a grave and bury me there.´ They carried out the instruction and actually saw what Hazrat Ali ® had told. 3. While travelling with µAbdullah ibn Zubair ®, Hazrat Hasan ® stopped to take rest at a date grove. The date palms having withered, ibn Zubair ® said: ³How nice it would have been if there were dates on the tree!´ Thereupon, Hazrat Hasan ® supplicated to Allah. Soon a palm bloomed into clusters of dates. Seeing this, the people around him said: ³This is magic´! Hasan ® said: ³No, it is not. Allah the Exalted created it because of the supplication of the grandson of the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam)´.

4. Abdullah ibn Umar ® while travelling once met some wayfarers who were waiting on the road. He asked them what had held them there. A traveler replied: ³We¶ve heard that there is a lion on the way. That¶s why no one can traverse further. Abdullah ibn Umar ()R) went up to the lion and patting its back, removed it away from the road.

5. According to an account stated by Safina ®, an ex-slave having been set free by the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam), he was travelling by ship when a tempest set in and the ship was wrecked. He clung to a log and was driven ashore by waves. He now had to cross a forest on his inland. A lion came out of the forest. He told the lion that he was a Companion of the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). The lion bowed its neck and led him out of the forest. The lion murmured something at the time of parting. He understood that the murmuring as bidding a farewell to him. 6. Once Ali ibn Husain (also known as Zain al-Abidin ®) was dining in the countryside along with the members of his household. A gazelle approached and stood waiting. He said: ³O gazelle! I¶m Ali ibn Husain ibn Ali, and my mother is Fatima the daughter of Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). Come and eat too.´ The gazelle did eat after which it went away. The children begged him to call the gazelle again. He said: ³I shall, only if you will not disturb it.´ The children agreed. He called out the gazelle again. The gazelle came up to them, and ate its fill. Only when one of the children patted its back, that it shied away from them. 7. A blind Muslim came to Abdullah ibn Mubarak (d.181H/797 c.e.) and begged him to pray for his sight. Abdullah prayed long, and soon the blind man gained his sight. Many people witnessed this incident. Among those who saw the blind man coming to Abdullah ibn Mubarak was alFudhail bin Iyadh. 8. Hamid at-Tawil narrated: A brick fell when closing the grave of Thabit al-Banani (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala)after his burial. They saw alBanani performing µsalaat¶ (the ritual prayer or Namaaz) in the grave. Thereupon, they went to his house and inquired from his daughter about her father. She informed them that her father performed salaat late every night for fifty years and habitually supplicated before dawn: ³O my Allah! If you have granted the performance of salaat in the grave to anyone besides the prophets, let it fall to my lot too.´

9. Once Ayyub as-Sahtiyani (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) had a hard time in the desert with his friend who was so thirsty that his tongue hung from his mouth. "Do you have a problem?" he asked. "I am about to die of thirst," his friend said. "If you will not tell anybody, I may find you water," he said. His friend swore that he would not. Then, he stamped his foot on the ground and a spring gushed out. They drank to their fill. His friend did not explain the event to anybody until Ayyub died.

Let us now turn to Yusuf an-Nabhani (1849-1932 c.e.) who wrote fortyseven valuable books has also documented the Karamaat of fifty-four as-Sahaaba, corroborated by eye-witness account, in his book twovolume Jami¶ al-Karamat-al- Awliya [Compendium of Miraculous Gifts of Friend of Allah]. Some of these Karamaat are in fact well known: 1. During the time of Caliphate of Hazrat µUmar ® the Muslim army was engaging a huge army of the Persians who outnumbered them five to one. Sariya, the commander of the Muslim army, engaged the Persians on the plain of Nehavend (A.H.23). Just at the time when the Persian army was about to encircle the Muslim army, Hazrat Umar ® who was delivering a µKhutba¶ (sermon) on the minbar of the Masjid at alMadinah, came to know about the condition of the Muslim army. He cried out: Ya Sariya! To the hill! To the hill! Sariya and his companions heard the Caliph¶s voice and backed off to the hill. Reorganizing themselves from there, they attacked the enemies on the plain, completely routing the Persians. (This incident is also reported in Bayhaqi¶s Irshaad at-Taalibin on the authority of ibn Umar ®, and also by Ibn Katheer in Taareekh). It may be noted that when Sariya had heard the voice of Umar ® he was at a distance of two months¶ journey from Madinah the Radiant, and Muslim army were in fact outnumber to the ratio of 1:5. 2. During the time of Hazrat µUthman ® caliphate, Anas ibn Maalik ® visited him, and seeing him Hazrat Uthman ® remarked ³I see there is a sign of µZina¶ (fornication) in your eyes. On his way to the Caliph, Anas had cast glances on a woman. This fornication of the eye became

apparent to Hazrat µUthman ® and hence constitutes a miracle. (This incident is also mentioned in Maktubat III, 19th letter, of Muhammad Mathum al-Farooqi). Briefly, there are more miraculous incidents involving the Sahaba or Tabiian and others: 1. Hadith al-Ghaar: Story of three friends who were blocked in a cave by a huge rock, and how the rock shifted gradually on its own each time one of them narrated his good deeds, and finally they were freed when the rock moved completely aside. 2. A tradition related by Abu Huraira ® of infants who were miraculously endowed with speech (i.e. other than Jesus): A child who exculpated the monk Jurayj (Gregory) when he was falsely accused by a harlot; a child who divined the characters of a horseman and a woman. 3. The story of Khalid b. Waleed ® who said ³Bismillah´ and drank a deadly poison which did not harm him. 4. Hazrat Umar ® being saved by two lions when a Persian assassin was about to kill him. 5. The fire refusing to burn Abu Muslim al-Khawlani who was thrown into a burning fire when he had refused to acknowledge al-Aswad alAnsi of Yemen as prophet. After being banished, Abu Muslim came to Madinah the Radiant and met Hazrat Umar ® who praised Allah for letting him see the man who had performed the same miracle as Ibrahim a.s. (recorded by Shaykh Abdullah Ayad al-Qarni). To Continue, Insha Allah«.

Miracles, Islamic Perspective in Brief: Part 9

continued....

In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. Those slain in Allah's Path are alive:
In addition to the Karamaat of Awliya-Allah that have been mentioned in the Holy Qur¶an, µMutwatir¶ (recurrent) accounts have come down to us by truthful and reliable narrators of the prophetic traditions, Islamic literature and eye-witnesses about the bodies of the martyrs who sacrificed their life in the way of Allah. Their bodies did not decompose and the colour of the skin did not change. Their bodies still bled and when positions of their hands went back to their original position if it were changed. Musk of smell emanated from graves. The bodies were growing beards too, and were not devoured by animals or birds and remained in tact despite remaining in the desert and being exposed to the harsh climatic conditions for years. Allah says in the Holy Qur¶an: ³And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: µThey are dead¶. Nay, they are living though you perceive it not.´ (2:154) This is further emphasized to wipe out any doubt about their ³living´, by the fact of their being provided for: ³Think not of those slain in Allah¶s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance from their Lord. They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah´ (3:169-170).The martyrs in the cause of Truth are not dead. They are alive in a much beautiful and joyous life than that on this material earth. The general idea of decomposition of the dead bodies do not apply to the Martyrs and other notable exceptions that are above the rank of the Martyrs generally, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful or the Awliya-Allah whose isthmus life is stronger than that of the Martyrs. Thus they are also alive in body and soul. Allah categorically states: ³you perceive it not´ (2:154) which means that we are unable to comprehend the life in Barzakh (lit. ³Partition between the material life on earth and the Day

of Resurrection´ or the world of grave) where every person has a special kind of life receiving punishment for sins or enjoying rewards of good deeds. In fact we noted before that Allah states Surah Nisa, verse 69 of the Holy Qur¶an that whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be in the company of those whom Allah has shown favour, namely, prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the Saliheen. Remember, this companionship is not of Paradise alone but rather it begins in the Barzakh itself. According to ibn Qayyim the companionship is established in this µDunya¶ and is resumed in the Barzakh and in the Hereafter. Therefore, it is impossible that while the Martyrs remain alive and receive sustenance from their Lord, the prophets (Ambiya), who are of the highest rank and much nearer to Allah, should be deprived of it. Similarly, the rank of Awliya-Allah too is higher than the general category of the martyrs. Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Reh.) states in his monumental commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, Fath al-Bari: "When life of the martyrs is proven from the text of the Qur¶an, then this is also proven from a analogical point of view. And the Prophets are superior then the martyrs" (Fath al-Bari, Volume 006: Page No. 379). Also, Qadi Shawkawni writes: "In the Qur'an it is mentioned that martyrs are alive and food is provided for them. The Prophets and righteous people are a lot higher in status than them so what will be their place? It has been proven through Ahadith that Prophets are alive in their graves. Both Imam at-Tirmidhi and Imam al-Bayhaqi have said that these are authentic Ahadith" (Nayl al-Awtar, Volume 003, Page No. 82).No doubt, Allah has stated: Every soul must taste of death (Qu¶ran 21:35. But that¶s momentarily. After the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) had assumed the veil of departure from this material world, Hazrat Abu Bakr ® while kissing his cheek said: You have tasted the death which God had decreed: a second death will never overtake you. Insha Allah, we shall discuss about this when we begin a new subject sometimes in the future. For the moment, suffice it to say that Prophetic traditions as well as the annotator of the Tahawi Belief

mentioned that: ³Allah orders the earth not to decompose the Prophets¶ bodies and that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) is alive in the grave has been proven beyond doubt by the Sunni Shaykhs and Righteous Ulema. According to Mulla Ali Qari (d.1014 c.e.) since the bodies of the prophets have been made µHaraam¶ to the earth, there is no difference in the conditions pertaining to life and death of the prophets. He further says that this means that µSalawaat¶ (benedictions) are presented to both soul and body of the the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). Regarding ³nourishment´ he clarifies that it can mean both material and spiritual one, which cannot be seen or felt by the ordinary senses. .

The Martyrs of Uhud:

The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said: ³When your brethren were martyred at Uhud, Allah placed their souls inside green birds which drink from the rivers of Paradise, eat of its fruits and seek shelter in gold-lamps that are suspended in the shade of the µArsh¶ (Throne). When they saw how beautiful their food, drink and the abode was, they pleaded, µWho will tell our brothers about us, that we are alive in Paradise and being amply provided for, so that they will not turn away from Jihad or abandon the battlefields. Allah ta¶la said: µI shall tell them!¶ The verse was then sent down: ³Think not of those slain in Allah¶s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance from their Lord. They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah´ (3:169170)In his series (Story of the End) Dr. Tariq Suwaidan mentioned that Sheikh Muhammad As-Sawwaf, one of the scholars who were chosen to

rebury the martyrs of Uhud after the flood that uncovered the bodies, told him that their bodies did not change, decompose, or rot even after 1400 years from their death. Sheikh Muhammad As-Sawwaf said that: ³Among the bodies was that of Hamza (may Allah be pleased with him). He was big and his nose and ears were cut. His abdomen was ripped apart and he put his hand on it. When we took his hand up, blood flew down as if he died one hour ago.

The Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] supervised the martyrs¶ burial and said: "I bear witness that anyone who is wounded in the way of Allâh, Allâh will resurrect him with his wound bleeding a liquid which is blood-like in colour but musk-like in scent." [Ibn Hisham 2/98]

Similar instance had also occurred as we noted before that when the bodies of the martyrs of Uhud were being relocated forty years after their burial, the foot of Hamzah bin 'Abd al-Mutalli b ® was scratched in the process of being moved, and it started gushing blood. ['al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah'; 4/43] The above incident is also evident from a hadith shareef in Sahih Muslim where it was mentioned that Muslim historians had reported, when Mu¶awiyah ruled, he was planning for a water channel to be built in Madinah. In order for this development to be achieved, the channel had to be routed through the middle of the Madinah cemetery. Therefore, he ordered the remains of the dead in the graves to be

transferred to another place. In the midst of the dismantling and relocation process, the people found that the corpses were still in their original states. When one of the shovels they used accidentally hit and slashed the leg of Hamzah bin Abdul Mutalib, blood was seen flowing from the cut. Whereas, that occurrence had already surpassed the Battle of Uhud by 50 years. At the same time, in Sahih Al-Bukhari, it was mentioned that µAmr bin Jamuh and Abdullah bin µAmir, both from the Ansar, had been buried in one grave during the Battle of Uhud, and when once the area was hit by a big flood due to very heavy rains, their grave was washed away by the current. The people of Madinah were forced to take the grave apart in order to relocate it to a safer place and the moment their grave was taken apart, the people discovered that the conditions of their corpses did not change at all, as though they had only died the day before. In actual fact, when they were digging up the grave for the relocation, it had already been 46 years since the corpses were buried in the grave, ie. since the Battle of Uhud. It so happened that one of them was found placing his hand over the wound of which he had died but he was buried in the same position. When the grave had given way, people noticed that his body was still in the same position with the hand over the wound. When some of them tried to reposition the hand, the hand came back to the original position over the wound. Jabir bin Abdullah ® whose father had attained martyrdom in the Battle of Uhud, wanted to dig out the remains of his father Abdillah for relocation to another place. He also noticed that the body of his martyred father was in the state as if it had been buried days before.

'Umar bin Abdul Khattab:
In an article submitted by one ³Mujahid´ to a website, we are informed that ³In one genuine incident, from the people of Madinah it was related that during the rule of Khalifah Al-Walid bin Abdul Malik, one

shocking incident occurred unexpectedly when one of the walls retaining the grave of Rasulullah SAW caved in. A lot of people were shocked in this incident when they saw a pair of legs popping out from one of the areas in the burial site. They were worried if they were the legs of Rasulullah SAW. Sa¶id bin Al-Musaiyib immediately came forward and narrated a hadith which mentioned that the bodies of the Prophets were not let by Allah SWT to remain in the grave for more than 40 days since the day of the burial, they were raised by Allah SWT thereafter. Then, Salim bin Abdillah bin Umar bin Khattab arrived and informed the crowd that the legs belonged to his grandfather, Umar bin Al-Khattab RA.´

Amazing incident about Hazrat Abdullah and Hazifa Yamani (R):

Jabir

bin

Thirty kilometers east of Baghdad there is the Salman Park where there are the tombs of Hazrat Abdullah bin Jabir, Hazifa Yamani, and Salman Farsi, may Allah be pleased with them all. Actually the bodies of the first two companions of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) have been relocated during the reign of Shah Faisal 1 (1885-1933) of Iraq. Iraq was carved out in 1920 by the British from the Ottomon Empire in 1920 after Turkey¶s defeat in World War 1. The article about the relocation I had read many years ago and I came across the same article on websites, which I reproduce below. This too goes to show without a shadow of doubt again that by Allah¶s grace, the bodies of martyrs remain intact even centuries after their burial. ³In 1932 A.D. (1351 A.H.) the then ruling King of Iraq Shah Faisal I, dreamt that he was being addressed by Hudhaifa al-Yamani, who said :"O king ! Remove Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari and me from the bank of river Tigris and bury us at some safe place because my grave is already water-logged, while Jabir's grave is slowly getting water-logged." This dream was repeated again the next night but King Faisal I, did not pay attention to it on account of his pre-occupation with state affairs. On

the third night Hazrat Hudhaifa was seen in the dream by the grand Mufti of Iraq. Hazrat Hudhaifa said to the grand Mufti :- 'I have been directing the king since two nights to transfer our Bodies but he has not paid any heed. Tell him emphatically to arrange for the transfer of our graves!' "So after discussing this matter, the King, his Prime Minister and the Grand Mufti decided to carry out this work. It was decided that the Grand Mufti should issue a fatwa(religious ruling) on this matter and the Prime Minister will issue the fatwa to the press, so that the public may know about this great event. It was declared that on 10th Zilhajj after noon prayers the graves shall be opened and the holy bodies shall be transferred to another place. "As it was Hajj season, pilgrims had gathered in Mecca. They requested King Faisal to postpone the event for a few days so that they all could attend the event after performing the Hajj. Hence, the King postponed this event to 20th Zilhajj. "After noon prayers, on 20th Zilhajj 1351 A.H. a large number of Muslims and non-Muslims gathered in Baghdad, and the city was heavily crowded. First when the grave of Hazrat Hudhaifa was opened water was fond inside. The body was lifted with a crane in such a way that it safely came on a stretcher. Then the stretcher was lifted by the King, the Grand Mufti, the Prime Minister and Prince Farooq of Egypt and brought to a glass coffin box made especially to keep the holy bodies. The body of Hazrat Jabir was also transferred to the glass box in the same scrupulous manner. "The most marvelous spectacle was now seen by the huge crowd that had gathered to witness this great event. Both the holy bodies of these true companions of the Holy Prophet (SAWW) were fresh and intact while their open eyes issued forth such divine light that the spectator's eyes were dazzled. Furthermore, their coffin, clothes, kaffan were also intact and at first glance, it appeared as if these heroes of Islam were alive. The two bodies were then taken away and buried afresh near the

grave of another great hero of Islam, Salman-e-Farsi, in Salman Park which is 30 miles from Baghdad. This miracle amazed the scientists, philosophers and doctors. They were all bewildered and spellbound to witness this great miracle. "A German physiologist who had been showing a lot of interest in this was so impressed by the conditions of the bodies, which were buried for more than a thousand years, that he immediately came to the Grand Mufti, held up his hands and said, "What more evidence can there be in support of Islam. I embrace Islam so teach me about it!" Thus before thousands of people this German doctor became a Muslim. His example was followed by many Christians and Jews and for a long time it continued in Baghdad and a large number of people became Muslims as a result of this miracle. "Some of the material above was published in a Pakistani newspaper, "Daily Jung" on 7th June 1970.´ To continue «Insha Allah.

Miracles,Islamic Perspective in Brief: Part 10. Continued:

In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.
If Allah does not give Noor to someone, he cannot become enlightened (³Munawwar´)Qur¶an, Surah Noor, v.40

Let us refer to some more miracles: Tayy alMusaafa:
Shaykh Abd al-Haqq Muhaddith Dehelwi states in Madarijun Nabuwat:

³Allah the Exalted has given the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) the strength and power to go anywhere he likes; he can go with his own body or only in soul, on the earth, in the sky, in the grave, while maintaining connection with his own shrine.´

In Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan, it is mentioned that Imam Ghazali said: The Holy Prophet (s) and his Companions¶ souls have been the right to travel the world and many Awliya-Allah have seen the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam). Hence, the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) is conscious of the believers and observes them by Divine leave.

In the physical world, some pious believers who include the AwliyaAllah are able to traverse great distances in moments. This is called Tayy al-Musaafa. But as we are not discussing prophets and angels miracles about the speed and so we won¶t cite those examples, including the incident of Night of Isra and Ascension.

In the book, Wahhabiyya, it is written: ³Traversing long distance in a moment is a Karama bestowed upon Awliya. It is µWajib¶ to believe in this.´

Therefore, prophets and Awliya, as well as angels are able to traverse great distances within short time. Spiritual power being unconstrained by space and time such occurrences also occur with the permission of Allah in the cases of prophets and Awliya and pious people who have assumed a veil of departure from this material world.

Sahl bin Abdullah, a great and venerable Sufi, was known for his self-mortification and ascetic training. He has been quoted as saying that he heard from a saint (Wali) called Abdallah bin Salih that every µKaamil¶ (complete) saint gather in Makkah every Thursday evening, i.e. the night of Jumma¶ and it was for that and the reason that countless blessings and mercies descend on the city when angels perform the µTawaaf¶ (circumambulation) of the Baitullah day and night, and since he has seen wonders there that he had stayed awhile longer than his practice. Among the wonders he haad seen was regarding one called Maalik bin Qasim Jili whom he asked why did his hand smell of cooked meat when he replied that he had in fact not eaten for the entire week but that he had just fed his mother way back home and buried back to catch the Fajr prayer with the gathering. He had in fact travelled 900 µFarsakh¶ or 2700 miles between his home and Makkah in a short span of time. After relating this wonder, Abdullah bin Salih asked Hazrat Sahl bin Abdullah whether he believes him. When the latter replied in the affirmative, the former exclaimed: ³Praise be to Allah! I have found one Mumin person.

From the above incident it is evident that even in the physical world of ours it is possible for a Friend of Allah or a pious believer to travel long distances in a short period of time or within moments.

In fact there are numerous accounts given in the Rowdh and other Islamic literature where not only the time for travel is reduced to

moments but the ground beneath the feet itself is not felt or if felt, it is as if walking on the ³rolling waves´; or the shoes being dry despite walking on the rain-soaked muddy mire (e.g. as stated by Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh about his Shaykh.) In Kashful Mahjub, he mentions the narration of Abu Warraq¶s regarding his journey along with his Shaykh al-Hakim (Muhammad bin Ali Tirmidhi) from Tirmidh to the Desert of Bani Isra¶il and back within a short time so that the disciple could not restrain himself from asking his Master: O Shaykh, O Shaykh, how did we reach the Desert of Bani Isra¶il from Tirmidh in such a short time?´ The answer that he got was: It is your business to arrive (µrasidan¶) and not to ask questions (µpursidan¶).

We are informed by the author of Kashful Mahjub, Hazrat Ali bin Uthman al-Hajweri (Data Ganj Baksh ®) that once he went to pay his respects to Baab µUmar and his old wife Fatima so that the Shaykh who was one of the Awtaad (high-ranking saints or officers of the Divine Court who have the power to loose and bind) might look on him with kindness. For this he had to travel from Uzkand to a remote village Ashlaatak in Farghana. He was surprised to learn that the Shaykh had been continually seeing him from the day of his initiation to the path. The Shaykh also informed him that travelling distance (Tayy al-musaafa or sipardan-e-musaafat) is child¶s play. He bade his wife to bring them something to eat, when she brought some fruits which could not have been procured during that season and in that village. The Shaykh advised him to pay visits by means of thought.

Ibn Hajar Haytami (Reh.) wrote in his Fatwa: ³The number of those who have said that if a Wali goes to a very distant place in the west (in a short time) after having performed the evening salaat, and if the sun has not set there yet, he does not need to perform the evening salaat for the second time at that place, are many.´ 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. Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyudden Abdul Qadir Jilani Ghousul Azam ® too had spiritual powers to go to the far-flung places instantly to the rescue of the ones in distress who appealed for his aid. In fact, even his maternal grandfather, Abdullah as-Sawma¶i, was known for numerous miracles and people used to ask for his spiritual intervention in times of distress as stated in the introduction of Jila¶ al-Khatir (Purification of the Mind) which contains edited discourses of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ®. Once a caravan of group of merchants of Jilaan while heading for Samarkand was accosted by bandits. The merchants who were unable to defend themselves invoked the intercession of the saint. Suddenly, they saw µAbdullah as-Sawma¶i in their midst. He was reciting the formula. The bandits took to their heels and the saint disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared among them. When the merchants related the story to the people of Jilaan, they told them that the saint in fact had never left Jilaan during the time of their journey.

In his book, Lawaaqi-ul Anwaar Fi Tabqaatil Akhyaar (The Infused Lights of the Biographies of the Righteous), Shaykh Abdul Wahab Sha¶rani (reh.) records an incident to show that Awliya can appear at far off places from their actual location. A disciple of Sayyidi Muhammad Ghamri ® was once passing through the bazaar when the foot of the animal on which he rode, slipped. In extreme panic he screamed: ³Ya Sayyedi Muhammad, Ya Ghamri!´ As if by co-incidence, Ibne Omar Saeed the ruler, who had been made a prisoner by Sultan Chiq¶miq was also passing through the bazaar at the same time. He too heard the screams. He inquired of the disciple as to who was Sayyidi Muhammed ®. When he was informed about him he also screamed: ³Ya Sayyedi Muhammad, Ya Ghamri!´ No sooner he had proclaimed the name, than the great Wali and spiritual master appeared and drove away his captors, freeing the captured ruler. The Shaykh then departed, blessing the ruler.

Hazrat Habib al-Ajmi, the disciple of Hasan Basri ® was another AwliyaAllah who was known for Tayy al-Musaafa. Many times during the Haj season he was seen at Basra (Iraq) on the 8th day of the lunar month of Dhu¶l Hijja, and on the next day on the 9th he was spotted at the plains of Arafat near Makkah. This is mentioned in Jami¶s Shawahid anNabuwa that documents the miracles of Sahaba and Tabiian. The distance between Basra and Makkah by flight is at least 1,238 kilometres or over 769 miles. Imagine then, that those were the days of caravan and how many months it used to take to cover that distance on land! Dhows were the other mode of transport. There is another classic case of Tayy al-Musafaa and this relates to Khwaja Abdul Wahid bin Zaid Abul Fadhal (d.793 c.e.) a student of Imam Abu Hanifa and disciple of Hazrat Hasan Basri and Master of Hazrat Fudhail bin Ayadh. Abdul Wahid Bin Zaid relates: I purchased a slave on the condition that he serves me. Once, when it became dark I looked for him in the house, but could not find him. Early in the morning he came and presented me with a dirham. I asked, ³Where did you get it from?´ He replied, ³I receive a dirham daily and will only give it to you on the condition that you do not ask for me at night.´ He would disappear every night and return in the morning with a dirham. One day my neighbours approached me and shrieked, ³O Abdul Wahid sell

your slave. He is a grave digger!´ This news depressed me. After this I decided to keep a vigilant eye on him. That night after Isha Salah, the slave stood up to leave, he pointed to the door and it opened. He made his way to the second door and did the same and then the same again to the door from which I was watching him. He left the house so I followed him till he reached a stretch of barren land. He took off his clothes and put on a cloth sack and prayed till Fajr. He then lifted his hand towards the heaven and said, ³Oh my Master, give me my small masters pay´. A dirham then fell from the sky. I was mystified and amazed at this. I stood up and performed two rakats and sought forgiveness from Allah, from the evil thought that had crossed my mind. I promised myself that on returning, I would free him. As I made by way back I looked for him but could not find him. He was no where to be seen. All of a sudden a knight on an armoured horse appeared. He asked, ³Oh Abdul Wahid what are you doing here?´ I related the incident to him. He then inquired, ³Do you know the distance from here to your city?´ Oblivious to where I was, I replied in the negative. He informed me that I was approximately two years travelling distance from home. He then said, ³Do not move from here till your slave returns tonight´. When it became dark my slave came. He came with a tray full of food and greeted me with joy and said, ³Eat my master, you should not have followed me here´. I ate while he prayed till Fajr. Once he had finished he held my hand and walked a few steps. Instantly we were back to my house. He said, ³Oh master now that we are back, did you not make the intention to free me?´ I replied affirmatively. He added, ´Free me and take the money you paid for me and you will be rewarded´. He then picked up a stone and gave it to me. I looked at it. Astonishingly it had turned into gold. He had come to realize that his slave was not a grave-digger but a 'Noor' digger. Those who refuse to understand the powers that Allah bestows upon his pious believers and Awliya (not to speak of the high-ranking prophets and messengers a.s.) come out with a convenient answer that there is a Jinn (genie) behind miracles. While it is true that according to Mishkaat the Iblis on hearing the call for prayers runs thirty-six miles away from that place and comes back in an instant after the completion

of the call, it is misleading to attribute the Karamaat of Awliya to the deeds of deceiving Jinns. This assertion about the Jinn being behind the miracles is far-fetched and not true. Tayy al-masaafa is one of the powers, among others, bestowed on the Friends of Allah by the Creator Himself and so it cannot be the handiwork of a Jinn as the deniers of Karamaat would have us believe. We have noted in the last post how Asif bin Barkhiya was not of the Jinn but a human being, ³one who had the knowledge of the Book,´ and yet he was instrumental in bringing the throne of the Queen of Sheba (Bilqis) before Sulaiman (a.s.) in twinkling of an eye, and thus leaving the wonders of the Jinns far behind. This is also called ³Tayy al-Ardh´ (Folding up of earth) that is, instead of taking a step forward towards the object, the earth turns towards the traveler rapidly no matter how far the distance. Islamic scholars have defined this as ³The ceasing and termination of the matter in the initial location, and its reappearance and creation in its final location.´ Otherwise too, the physical world may be restricted but the spiritual world is free from the restriction of time and place. In short, Awliya-Allah of high ranks are able to travel great distances in a short time. The term they use is ³Tayy al-Makaan´. Ibn Taimiyya says: ³Sometimes the Jinn will take the form of those admired and stand at µArafat and who believe well of him will think that he actually stood in µArafat. Many others have also been actually carried by the devils to µArafat and other sacred places.´ He further says: ³Satan is able to make such misdeeds appealing to them by convincing them that they are among the Karamaat of the righteous«´ (AlFurqaan Bayna Awliyaa ar-Rahmaan wa Awliyaa ash-Shaytaan) Now, at the outset the question arises why would the Satan do that by making people think that they have sighted an ³admired one?´ Wouldn¶t that, on the contrary, strengthen the belief in miracles? Anyway, it is significant to remember that a perfect Wali is an inheritor of the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam), his status being proportional to the degree of Allah¶s love for him. Hence the

Karamaat of the perfect Wali can never be in contradiction of the Islamic letter and spirit ± this too we have noted before. Suggesting that a Jinn may take the form of a Wali is mischievous and misleading. According to Sayyidi Abdulhakim Arwasi (Reh.), the Shafi¶i scholar, Allamah al-Jaili, wrote in his commentary to Sahih al-Bukhari: ³The Devil cannot appear in the shapes of perfect Walis who are Rasool-Allah (s) inheritors, just as it cannot take Rasool-Allah¶s (s) shape.´ Once it is accepted that a Jinn cannot impersonate a perfect Wali, the theory of Jinn impersonating Awliya-Allah for misleading people falls flat to the ground. Sayyidi Abdulhakim Arwasi (reh.) also informs us that according to jurisprudence and principles thereof, the µulema and Awliya among the community of the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) are the inheritors of his every ³Haal´ save those which are among his ³Khasais´ (i.e. peculiar or special to him). To continue«Insha Allah!

Miracles - Islamic Perspective in Brief- Part 11. Continued...

In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. SOME MORE MIRACLES:

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

The miracles of Hazrat Shaykh Muhiyuddeen Abdul Qadir Jilani are too many to recount here. We shall just mention a few, insha Allah. One of the major wonders was the role that Allah assigned Ghous-e-Paak for promoting Islam. In 1117 c.e., on a Friday, while on his way to Baghdad, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® was saluted by a frail and sick man in the customary Islamic greeting. As the Shaykh replied to the greeting, the frail man asked him to help him sit up. No sooner than the

Shaykh helped him, that man started to grow tall in stature and informed him that he was the religion of his grandfather, adding that as a result of his help he stands revived. Later, at the Masjid where the Shaykh had gone to offer the Jummah Prayers, a man approached him and gave him a pair of shoes and addressed him as ³Muhiyuddeen´, i.e. ³Reviver of Religion´. Indeed, these incidents proved ominous and Islam received a great impetus owing to the guiding efforts of Hazrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani ® .

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

Hazrat Abu Sa¶id Fazlullah ibn Abi¶l Khayr ® , the ³Shahbaz-e-tariqa¶´ was known chiefly for ³Extraordinary power of reading men¶s secret thoughts.´ To cite just a few miracles among the many:

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

2. While passing by a number of children standing together in the street of the Christians in Tus, the Shaykh is said to have pointed out to one of the boys saying, ³If you wish to look at the Prime Minister of the world, there he is!´ He was referring to the future, and the celebrated Persian poet and Vizier of the Seljuq empire, Nizam ul-Mulk (1018-1092 c.e.) who became the Chief Administrator of the entire Khorasan province in 1058 c.e..

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

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

³When someone tries to blow out the candle that has been lighted by God, his moustache gets burnt,´ said the Saint. The inspector thence onwards revised his opinions of the Sufiya.

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

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

Shaykh who accepted her as a disciple on her repentence. She was conducted to the mother of his eldest son for donning of a khirqa and after serving the women of this fraternity she became a leader of the Sufis in her own right. 7. Now Hazrat Abu Sa¶id was known for holding feast for the dervishes and for Sama'. This invited the jealousy of his opponents who spared no efforts to complaint to higher authorities. However, their efforts always proved futile. Often the feast and Sama' would even make some travelling sufis come to erroneous judgments. Once, an arrogant ascetic who knew nothing about the Shaykh¶s forty years of initial austerities and strivings challenged him to a forty days¶ fast for he assumed that the Shaykh had always lived like that. He wanted to shame the Shaykh by his challenge and at the same time rise in esteem of others. The challenge was accepted with ³May it be blessed´. While the ascetic used to break the fast as per the practice by eating a little amount of food, the Shaykh did nothing of the kind but yet seemed to growing stronger and fatter and ruddier. All the time the dervishes feasted under their gaze and indulged in Sama. The ascetic went on becoming paler, thinner and weaker, with the rich feast of the dervishes working more on him. As time went on, he could scarcely perform his obligatory prayers. He realized his folly and made repentence. After the forty days had passed, the Shaykh told him that he had complied with his request but he should now comply with his: namely, that while they fasted they had been going to the privy, and now they should sit and never go to the privy. Though the ascetic had doubts about this feat, the Shaykh proved him wrong and the ascetic became his disciple. There are many more astounding miracles of Hazrat Abi¶l Khayr , such as his meeting with Khidr (a.s.), reading thoughts and even anticipating events, but he never encouraged the writing of such anecdotes but told his disciples to be such a man that anecdotes be told of them. He placed the hidden and unrecognized saints above the saints manifest and known. According to him, when people come to him renouncing wickedness, vowing penance, sacrificing wealth, and filled with burning

love from the end of the world seeking God, what miracle could be greater than this! He said: ³Whosoever belongs entirely to Karim (Giver), all his acts are gifts´ (miracles). 8. Next, it is written in Farid ad-din al-Attar's (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) Persian Tadhkirat al-awliya that Ahmad ibn Hanbal attended the lectures of many mashayikhs, for example, Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri's and Bishr al-Hafi's (150-277). A crippled woman sent her son to Imam Ahmad and asked him to pray for her. The Imam performed an ablution (wudu) and salat and prayed. The son found his mother welcoming him at the gate when he returned home. She recovered her health through the blessing of Imam Ahmad's prayer. 9. Talking about Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, it is mentioned in the Kashful Mahjub that when the Mutazilites were in power at Baghdad they wanted him to say that the Qur¶an was ³created´. Though he was an old man by then, they put him in the rack and gave him thousand lashes to make him say that. But he would not. During the punishment, his µizaar¶ became loose. Since his own hands were fettered he could not tie the µizaar¶. At that time another hand appeared and tied it. Seeing this evidence they let him go. Despite this, he said that he would not claim redress from them on the Day of Resurrection for ³mere blows´ since they had flogged him for Allah¶s sake, thinking he was wrong. Such was his magnanimity! 10. Abu¶l Abbas Muhammed al-Qassab ® (1126-1196 c.e.) the son of a meat-vendor, was one of those uneducated persons whom Allah by His bounties raised to such a status that he was able to answer any question that related to the principles of religion, including µTauhid¶ (Unification). His association with the leading Shaykhs of Transoxania benefitted him a lot. He was known for his ascetic practices, and lofty spiritual gifts and rose to great eminence in his time. He was also known for his abundant miracles one of which is given below: One day a boy with a heavily-laden camel was navigating the bazaar of Amul which used to be always filled with slime. The camel slipped and broke its leg. People who gathered there thought of unburdening the beast

and the boy began to implore Allah¶s help. Abu¶l Abbas happened to pass by at that time. The people apprised him of the incident. He picked up the rein of the camel and prayed to Allah that the camel may become fit, adding ³if You will not do so, then why have You let the heart of Qassab (i.e. a butcher) be melted by the tears of a lad?´ No sooner had he finished his prayers than the camel immediately got up and moved on its way in a perfectly healthy condition. It may be noted that the Shaykh of Mayhana, Abu Sa¶id, looked to Abu¶l Abbas al-Qassab for spiritual guidance after the death of his own Shaykh, Abu¶l Fadl. 11. According to Imam Metawalli ash-Sha'rawi's (1911-1998) "The Light of Ahl al-Bayt: My Spiritual Experiences Unveiled," Nafisa atTahira (145-208 Hijri) who was a descendent of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) has many miracles both while she was alive and after she passed away from this world. (In fact, Imam ibn Hajar al-Asqalani too wrote about her miracles.) One of her miracles includes making the River Nile to overflow at a time (201H/816 c.e.) when the river had failed to flood as was its custom thus making it a bleak season for the crops. When the people went to Nafisa atTahira (R) and asked her to pray so that Allah may cause the Nile to over-flow its bank, she gave them the veil that used to cover her face, telling them to throw it into the Nile which "will flood by Allah's grace." They followed her instructions, and by the grace of Allah the River Nile began to overflow its banks. Owing to one of her other miracles, the entire non-Muslim tribe in her neighbourbood entered Islam. This was when the water of her wudhu cured the Christian girl who was paralyzed from the waist downwards. Her miracles continued even after her death.

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

I take this opportunity of only mentioning the names of the Walis in my hometown of Mumbai and around such as Hazrat Haji Abdul Rehman ³Dulha´ Malang Shah Baba whose origin is lost in antiquity but probably the Sufi saint had arrived about 700-800 years ago; Hazrat Makhdoom Shah Baba (1372-1431 c.e.) Hazrat Bahauddin Shah Asfraini (over 300 years old Dargah) , Hazrat ³Pedro´ Shah Baba, Hazrat Bismillah Baba, Hazrat Shaykh Hasan Shah Ghazali, Hazrat Shaykh Momin Shah Ghazali, Hazrat Haji Ali Baba Bokhari, Hazrat Abdul Rehman Shah Baba, Hazrat Shakrullah Baba, Hazrat Ghaiban Shah Baba, Hazrat Chand Shah Wali, Hazrat Gulab Shah Baba, Hazrat Noor Ali Shah Baba, Hazrat Ishaq Shah Baba and many others, where supplications are accepted by Allah and His 'Faid' (favours and bounties) is received. To continue, Insha Allah.

From the Layman's Desk-7: Miracles -Islamic Perspective in BriefConcluding Part-12.

Miracles after Death:

Short relevant observations were already made before to show the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) as well as all other Prophets (a.s.) are alive in the Barzakh. I say ³short´ because this is a huge topic by itself and cannot be cited in details in our subject. However, that can be recapitulated in fine words of the great Mufassir of Quran and commentator of Sahih Muslim Imam al-Qurtubi (rah) who writes:

Translation: Death is not something which brings a total end to something, it is rather transferring from one station to another, the proof of this is that martyrs remain alive after getting killed or dying and they also get happy. ³This is the quality of the people who are alive in this world,´ so when martyrs are alive then ³PROPHETS ARE MORE DESERVING OF LIFE THAN THEM´ and it has come in Sahih hadith that Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets, and on the night of Miraaj the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gathered with all Prophets in Masjid ul Aqsa and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) also ³SAW MUSA (A.S) PRAYING INSIDE HIS GRAVE´ plus the Prophet has also provided the information that ³ANYONE WHO SENDS SALUTATION UPON HIM, THEN HE REPLIES BACK´.Other than this, other ahadith also establish ³TO CERTAINTY´ that the meaning of death given to Prophets is that ³THEY DISAPPEAR FROM OUR EYESIGHTS BUT IN REALITY THEY ARE ALIVE AND PRESENT´ and their condition is like that of Angels, because Angels are also alive and ³PRESENT´ and nobody from human beings is able to see them, ³EXCEPT FOR THE AWLIYA WHO THROUGH THEIR KARAMAH CAN EXPERIENCE THEM´ [alMafhim lima Ashkala min Talkhis Kitab Sahih Muslim Volume 006, Page No. 233-4].

Let¶s straightway then, come to the Karamaat-e-Awliya after the veil of departure from this world. There is no disagreement with the fact that the believers souls in

Paradise are capable of instantaneous connection with their graves, and the souls may meet and communicate with other souls of the dead and those sleeping. It is commonly held by Sunni scholars and even Ibn Qayyim, (1292-1350 c.e.), ibn Abid-Dunya, Ibn Abdul Barr and ash-Shanqeeti that the dead in their graves have the faculty of hearing a visitor's greetings, his speech, his supplications, et al. The dead even know about the work of living amongst his relatives and brothers. power of the souls corresponds with their own strength and weaknesses, as pertaining to closeness with Allah. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said µwhen you go to the graves of the dead, say µAssalamu alaikum ya ahlal quboor¶ ± meaning µpeace be upon you O¶ people of graves¶. Greetings are given to those who faculties are intact. In short, there is an overwhelming evidence on this subject in favour, but we need to get on with ours at the moment. The

Those who attribute the working of miracles to the Jinn, should note that no doubt the Jinn manage to do great work. But they are not so perfect and strong as the souls and the angels. The soul being ethereal (Jism-i- Latifa) is not bound by space and time and comprehends events unperceived by sense organs. The souls are by their graves and are attached to their bodies in an unknown way. They are permitted to effect and dispose their bodies and also be present in their graves. According to Khwaja Muhammad Hasan Jan Sahib in Tarikh an-Najaat (1976), Mufassareen (exegetes) such as al-Baidawi, has stated in his Tafseer regarding the fifth verse of Surah Naziaat: ³(I take an oath) on Those who do hard work´ that the souls being immaterial, do the hard work along with the angels by permission of Allah. This is also mentioned in its commentary by Shaykhzada in Tafseer-i-µAzizi, as well as in Tafseer Ruh al-Bayaan, and in Tafseer-i-Hussaini.

In the prophetic tradition, Ja¶far ibn Abi Talib ® after his martyrdom, was seen among the angels and they were giving the glad tidings of the coming rains to the people of Beesha. According to another hadith, Ja¶far ® came to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam)along

with an angel and he had two wings which were blood-stained, and they were going to the valley of Beesha in Yemen. Then there is a long hadith that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) informed Asma¶ bint µUmais how her husband, Ja¶far, came to him (s) with Jibrail and Mikail (a.s.) and explained how he attained martyrdom; that he had two wings, and that Ja¶far ® told him that he flies in and out of Paradise whenever he wished and he also eats the fruits of Paradise, and so on. Therefore, according to Imam Sayuti, the souls are permitted to attach to and dispose their bodies while they are at µIlliyin¶ (the Seventh Heaven in which there are believers' souls). These ahadith also reveal that Allah Subhana Ta'la permits his martyrs and pious souls to do the useful deeds for people.

Shah Wali-Allah ad-Dahlawi (rahmat allahi 'alaih), one of the great 'Ulama of India, wrote in his work Hujjatullahi 'l-baligha (vol. 1, p. 35), "When a human being passes away, no relation is left between his soul and the world of matter. The souls return to their origin, become like Angels, and, like them, give inspiration and help to men. They help in the dissemination and strengthening of Allahu Ta'ala's religion. They rush to help those who work for this path. It has been witnessed that they come to help in groups." µAbd al-Hakim Arwaasi, a great Islamic scholar and a Wali, (R) points out that a Muslim who attaches his heart to a perfect (Kaamil) Wali will attain Allah¶s ³Faid´ through the blessed heart of that Wali. Since the souls are not bound by time and place, the µkamaalaat¶ (perfections) of the Wali do not depart from him even after his death. It makes no difference whether the Wali is alive or dead. The µtasarruf¶ (disposal or personal initiative) of their souls is by Allah¶s µtasarruf¶ on them. Since the Awliya-Allah are able to perform miracles during their life, they able to do so even after leaving this material world. Imam Abdullah an-Nasafi has written in Umdat al-Aqai¶id that the soul does not change whether in sleep or in death. That is, in sleep as well as in death a Muslim remains a Muslim, a Prophet remains a Prophet. While commenting on the above, µAbd al-Ghani an-Nabulsi (Reh.) states

in his Al-Hadiqa, that likewise an Awliya is an Awliya whether in sleep or in death, and they possess µkaramaat¶ after they die too. µAli Ajhuri, an eminent Maaliki scholar of Egypt, said: ³A living Wali is like a sword in its scabbard. After his death, his influence becomes stronger in the manner of a sword that is out of its scabbard.´ The above statement is also quoted in Noor al-Hidaaya by Abu¶Ali Sanji. Therefore, the Mu¶jizaat (miracles peculiar to prophets) and Karamah of Awliya do not cease after death. According to Muhammad Thana¶ullah al-Uthmani ad-Dehlvi, the author of Irshaad al-Talibeen, emanation of a µFaid¶ (benefits) from Awliya does not end but even increases when they die, though for a deficient person to receive such µFaid¶ sufficiently may be seldom possible. Muhammad Haadimi (Reh) of Konya (d.1176H/1762 c.e.) who quoted µAli Ajhuri and Abu µAi Sanji in his book Bariqa, maintains the continuance of Mu¶jiza and Karamah after death, and that hundred thousands of these have been reported in many valuable books, and that it is permissib le to pray to Allah Subhana Ta¶la through Prophets and the Awliya. According to Hazrat 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. In fact, in Spiritual Sovereign of India (by Syed altaf Hussein Chishti) it is mentioned that one of the British Viceroys of undivided India, Lord Curzon, has declared in his Memoirs: ³There is a grave in India ± which rules.´ Perhaps he was bewildered by the throngs of hundreds of thousands devotees to Khwaja¶s shrine each year and the miraculous power that Allah bestowed upon the spiritual sovereign of India even after his

assuming the veil of departure from the material world. Imam Ghazali (reh) says in Ihya«the spiritual knowledge of the believer is everlasting as the soul of the believer has got no death. By ³believers´ he means those having great spiritual knowledge and not just the ranks of Muslims with outward faith. '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 alala 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 anwers 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. Sayyid Ahmad al-Hamawi al-Misri [d.1686 c.e. ], a Hanafi alim and the annotator of the book Ashbah, noted in his book Nafakhat al-qurb walittisal bi-ithbati 't-tasarrufi li awliya'i'llahi ta'ala wal-karamati ba'd alintiqal that the ruhaniyya (spirituality) of awliya' was more powerful than their jismaniyya (physical existence), and they therefore could be seen in different places at the same moment. He quoted the following hadith ash-Sharif as a document for his words: 'There are people who will enter Paradise through every gate. Each gate will call them to itself,' upon which Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi-Allahu 'anh) asked, 'Will there be anyone to enter through all of the eight gates, oh Rasulullah?' and Rasulullah (sallal lahu alaihi wasallam) answered, ³ I hope you will be one of them.´ One can appear in different places at the same moment when his soul acquires the power of having connection with his original position in 'alam al-amr. Since the soul's interest in the world decreases when a man dies, his soul becomes more powerful. It becomes easier for him to appear in different places at the same moment. Jalal ad-din as-Suyuti, a Shafi'i scholar, says in his book AtTabaqat al-Kubra, 'The twenty-second kind of karamat is that awliya' can appear in forms of different persons. "Khalil ibn Ishaq al-Jandee (reh. death 1365 c.e.) a Maliki scholar and author of the book

Mukhtasar, wrote, 'The ability to appear in various forms is given by Allahu ta'ala to a wali when he becomes perfect. This is not impossible, because the images that are seen in different shapes are non-material; the body is not seen. Souls are not material and do not occupy a place in space.'A tradition reported in Musnad of al-Bazzaaz with a fair (µHasan¶) chain on the authority of Anas ® which is also cited by Sakhawi says that the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wassallam) said: ³Allah has servants who know (the truth of about people) through reading the signs (tawassum). The above hadith has been reported by others too. Accordingly to Shaykh µAli Mahfooz (d.1361/1942), a scholar of AlAzhar University, stated in his Al-Ibda¶ that irrespective of the fact that the Awliya are dead or alive, Allah the Exalted blesses the ones whom He will, and through their µkaramaat¶ He cures the ill, rescues those who about to be drowned, helps those who are against the enemy and makes lost things found. He considers this not only logical but also supported by the teachings of the Holy Qur¶an. Imam Ghazali (reh) that a person who was made an intermediary and gave 'faid' could be made an intermediary and he could give 'faid' after his death, too. One of the superior great shaikhs said that he had seen four great Awliya who were active after death as well as when they were alive: two of these were Hazrat Maruf-i Karkhi and Hazrat Abd-ulQadir Jilani ®. I will have to conclude the topic at this stage since it will otherwise be stepping into the realm of Soul, Visiting the Graves, Wasila, istaghasa and intercession all of which are interlinked and true, and which are huge topics by themselves. However, do take care not to fall a victim to those who belittle the Awliya-Allah and their miracles or those who say that no miracles were vouchsafed to the Sahaba and early Muslims, and those who belittle the miracles by explaining them as a natural causations. Allah and His Rasool know best.

O Allah pray on our Master Muhammad a prayer by means of which we will be saved from every awe-inspiring harmful thing, and that will take care of all of our needs, and purify us by means of it from all of our ugly qualities and characteristics and raise us and purify us by means of it from all of our ugly qualities and characteristics and raise us up by means of it in Your Presence to the highest of degrees, and cause us to reach by means of it the extremes of all goodness in our life and after our death and this prayer be upon his family and his companions and may he be given safety and much salaam.

CONCLUDED: NASIR

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