B. Shedding light on few issues related to the status of Ambia and Awliya though Quran-o-Hadith as follows.
- Why should not we limit our selves only to the defined and obligatory Ibadah such as Salah, Quran etc and avoid ‘unimportant’ things? Why should Awliya be given importance or glorified?
- Why should some one approach the Pious when Allah says “Allah is nearer than jugular vein” (Quran 50:16)
- No one can help except Allah, asking help from anyone besides Allah is an act of shirk
- Even Prophets(including Prophet Muhammad peace be upon them) cannot help them selves during difficulties (Allah Forbid). So how can they help others?
- Asking material help from others is permissible but presuming that prophets/pious posses supernatural/mystical powers and can provide metaphysical help(Ghaibi madad) is “shirk”.
- It is logical & reasonable to call for help to those who is nearby & physically present, but how can someone help from far away? Believing in such mystical power of seeing and hearing from far is an act of shirk.
- It is permissible to ask help from alive. But calling the dead for help is shirk.
- What if more than one or many people call the Prophet or Awliya for help at the same time/instant? Believing that someone apart from Allah has such power to listen many people at the same time is shirk.
- People often call/scream the name of “Wali” in trouble considering that the wali has knowledge of their problem. This is shirk because only Allah knows what is hidden.
- 10 Does giving importance to the Pious/Awliya and loving them takes us away from Allah?
* * *
All praise is due to Allah (Subhanahu Wa tala), who is the creator of the Universe. Allah (Subhanahu Watala) is all Merciful and his love encompasses the whole of the creation. Among the creation Ambiya (Prophets of Allah) and Awliya (Friends of Allah) are His most beloved Servants. When Allah loves someone, he orders all his angels to do so and also instills the love of that beloved servant in the hearts of all the inhabitants of earth. [Sahih Bukhari Vol 4: Book54 : Hadith:431]
The obedient follow Allah’s orders and love the Pious servants of Allah while those who come under the spell of Devil move away from Allah by moving away from those who call towards Allah(Subhanahu Wa tala), namely the Prophets and the Friends of Allah
Considering the environment we live in, we believe that it would be helpful rather necessary to shed some light on status of Prophets and Awliya. In the forthcoming sections we present,discuss and clarify some general thoughts that come to mind due to consistent presence of Devil with every human being. Below is a brief description about“Awliya” followed by misconceptions and their clarifications.
Awliya are the chosen friends of Allah.They are those devoted and sincere bondsman on the earth who remember Allah ceaselessly and spend their life seeing inner purification through endeavor, toil, abstinence and prayer. They are the one who cease to depend on the”creation” and give themselves unto the creator, seeking sustenance from sources unimaginable, attain nearness to the divine light through constant worship and service to humanity. Their journey is continual and their reward is nothing less than the closeness to Allah.
* * *
1. Why should not we limit ourselves only to the defined and obligatory Ibadah such as Salah, Quran etc and avoid ‘unimportant’ things? Why should Awliya be given importance or glorified?
The importance given to Awliya is not something that is created by someone or some sect. Allah himself has granted this exalted position to Awliya by his Grace; this is evident from the following verses of Quran & Ahadith.
1.1 Quran on the excellence of Awliya Allah:
a. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’la)says, “Pay attention! Indeed the friends of Allah [Awliya Allah] neither have any fear, nor any grief”. [10:62]
b. In another verse Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’la) lists the people upon whom, he has bestowed his grace, Quran states: “Allah has bestowed grace upon Prophets, The Siddiqeen[Truthful],Martyrs and The Saliheen [Pious people] [ 4:69]
c. That Day (of judgment) neither wealth nor sons will benefit (anyone), but that person who comes to Allah with a reformed heart.” (26:88)
d. But as for those who struggle hard in our cause, we shall certainly guide them onto paths leading unto us: for, behold, God is indeed with the doers of good. (26:69)
e. None one can be its guardian except Al-Muttaqun (The pious, Saints) But most of them know not[8:34]
f. Even the Pet Dog of Ashab-e-kahf received bounties due to companionship of Allah’s Friends [And their dog is on the threshold of the cave, with its paws outstretched.[18:18]]
g. Quran, referring to Ashab-e-Kahf (people of the cave) states that, the sun changed direction not to disturb the friends of Allah sleeping in the cave for 309 years [Gist of Surah Kahf 18:17].
[Here we can notice one special sign of Allah that for His Friends, he changed the rules of rising and setting of the Sun, by which the change was incorporated in the overall system of the universe for long 309 years. He amended a fixed and predetermined heavenly system for 300 rotations of the Earth round the Sun with the sole purpose to keep His Friends safe from any possible damage. He changed the course of nature for His Friends This was the‘decision’ of the All-Powerful, All-Knowing]
h. Quran states that at the place where the Kidr (AS) was living, the cooked fish brought by Moses (peace be upon him) came alive and went into the water [Gist of Surah Kahaf18:61]
And so on, those who think that few Muslims are doing wrong and then show disrespect/enmity towards Awliya Allah need to give second thought as to whom they are fighting with, with bunch of wrong doers (as they imagine) or with Allah by disrespecting Awliya!!
1.2 Ahadith on the excellence of Awliya Allah:
a. Allah declares a ‘war’ against those who show ire/rage towards a Wali:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Tala) said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility [Anger] to a pious worshipper of Mine. [SahihBukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number509]
The expression of “Allah being at war “with the enemies of Allah shows us the intensity of the sin as such a serious expression has been used very in frequently in the Quran and only for the worst of sins.
b. Allah says “he becomes hands and legs” of His Pious worshiper.
I become his [the pious worshiper’s] sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight withwhich he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number509]
Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’la) does not take Human form [The Quran states “Allah is like no one”42:11]and it is obvious that this Hadith does not literally mean that Allah becomes His Worshiper’s hands and legs. This expression shows the specials powers Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’la) has bestowed to his Pious worshipers. Their seeing is not like ours. Their hearing is not like how we hear. They see what we cannot see and they hear what we cannot hear. One such example of extra ordinary seeing by Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) is given here.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)said:
“I certainly see you from my back as I see you (from front.)” [Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 411]
Examples of Awliya having such capabilities are given in other sections of the article.
c. Status of Awliya on the Day of Judgment:
It is narrated by ‘Umar bin al-Kahta (RA)that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Among Allah’s servants there are some who are neither prophets nor martyrs but, on the Day of Judgment the prophets and the martyrs will envy their grades. The Companions asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell us, who are those people?’ He replied: ‘those are the people who love one another on Allah’s count. They are neither related to one another nor do they have any property to exchange. I swear on Allah that they will have faces of light; they will be on pulpits of light. They will not have any fear when others will be afraid, they will not have any grief when others will be grieving’ Then he recited the verse from Quran (Which speaks of Awliya Allah):
Pay attention! Indeed the friends of Allah [Awliya Allah] neither have any fear, nor any grief.[AbuDawud, Sunan, book of ijarah3:288:3527]
All these Quranic verses and Ahadith show us the exalted status of Awliya Allah in this world and the hereafter. They are honored with enviable grades even on the day of judgment when all other souls remain in despair.
2. Why should someone approach the Pious when Allah says “Allah is nearer than jugular vein” (Quran 50:16)
The foremost reason for this is due to their closeness to Allah. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in a Hadith Qudsi that Allah(Subhanhu Wa Ta’la) says
“My Love is due for the people who Love each other only for the sake of My Love, Who sit close to each other only for my sake, Who go & meet each other only for My Willingness (Radha) and Who spend the money only for my Willingness “[Imam Al-Malik, Book 51, Hadith51.5.15),Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Al-Musnad: 5: 233: 22083]
In one more Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) asserts the excellence of Travelling to a far of place to meet a Pious person.
Abu Huraira(RA) reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: “A person visited his brother in another town and Allah deputed an Angel to wait for him on his way and when he came to him he said: Where do you intend to go? He said: I intend to go to my brother in this town. He said: Have you done any favor to him(the repayment of which you intend to get)? He said: No, except that I love Him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious. Thereupon he (The angel) said: I am a messenger to you from, Allah: (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake) (Sahih Muslim Book 32, Hadith6226)
Another reason to go near pious people is that Supplications made in their vicinity or at places attached to them are answered more readily.This is evident from following verses of Quran & Ahadith
2.1 Allah orders sinners to approach Prophet and seek forgiveness.
“And if when they do injustice to their souls, They should come to you [Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him] and then beg forgiveness of Allah and the messenger should also ask forgiveness for them then surely, they would find Allah Most Relenting, Merciful” .[Sura Nisa 4:64]
Allah is “Gafoor” (the one who forgives) and”Raheem”(Merciful).It is Allah who accepts our supplications [Duas] and forgives our sins, but Allah himself orders sinners to go near the Prophet and ask Allah for forgiveness.
This verse shows that going near the pious and supplicating (making dua) to Allah is “The Quranic way” of doing so.
2.2 Prophet Zakariya [Alaihis salam] praying at the place of Bibi Maryam (RA):
Prophet Zakariya [Alaihis salam] had asked Allah for a son many times [because he had no sons until very old age] but when He made Dua at the place of Bibi Maryam [ra], he had his dua answered immediately.
Allah says in Sura al-Imran:
Whenever Zakariya went to her [Maryam] place of prayer, he found new provisions [of food] with her. He said! O Maryam! Where from did this come to you? She spoke, ‘that is from Allah,’ No doubt, Allah gives whomsoever He pleases, without measure. Here [the Arabic word Hunalika: meaning here “at this very place”] Zakariya called his Lord, said, ‘O my Lord!Give me from yourself pure offspring; no doubt, You only are the Hearer of prayers. Then the angels called him and he was offering prayer standing at his place of worship (again at the same place Allah sent the glad tidings), no doubt Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya who shall confirm a word from Allah, a chief and chaste and Prophet from amongst Our righteous.[Quran 3:37-39]
This verse proves that Supplications that are made near a pious person are answered more readily.
2.3 Approaching blessed grave of Prophet to ask rain &relief from severe drought:
The people of Medina were gripped by a severe famine. They complained to Hazratha Aisha (RA) about their condition. She told them to go towards the blessed Prophet’s grave and open a window in the direction of the sky so that there is no curtain between the sky and the grave.The narrator says they did so. Then it started raining heavily, even the lush green grass sprang up (everywhere) and the camels had grown so fat (it seemed)they would burst out due to the over piling of blubber. So the year was named as the year of greenery and plenty.
[Sunan Darimi Volume 001, Page 227, Hadith Number 093; Muhammadbin ‘Alawi al-Maliki says: This Hadith has a sound chain of narrators]
3. No one can help except Allah, asking help from anyone besides Allah is an act of shirk
In order to clarify permissibility of seeking help from Prophets and Friends of Allah, let us first review couple of verses from Quran, In these are few verses where Quran states that “there are no helpers besides Allah” and on the other hand, a few instances where the Quran states “Prophets and practical believers are helpers”.
3.1. No Helpers besides Allah (Type 1):
a. Allah is sufficient as a Protector and Allah is Sufficient as a Helper(Sura Nisa4:45)
b. “You have no helper besides Allah” (Sura Sajda 32:4)
3.2. Prophets and Believers are helpers (Type 2):
c. Allah is his Maula [helper],and Gabriel, and the righteous believers and after that the angels are his helpers. [Quran 66:4]
d. Verily, your Wali (Protector or Helper) is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, – those who performAs-Salât(Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakat, and they bow down (submit them selveswith obedience to Allah in prayer).[Al-Maida 5:55 ]
e. The believers, men and women, are Awliya (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another,they enjoin(on the people) [At-Taubah9:71]
A similar Hadith stating Allah and his messenger are Helpers:
Narrated AbuHuraira: “The tribe of Quraish, the Ansar, the (people of the tribe of) Julhaina, Muzaina, Aslam, Ashja’, and Ghifar are my disciples and have no Maula (protectors, helpers) except Allah and His Apostle.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 707and 715, SahihMuslim, Book 031, Hadith 6120]
One group of people refer to only the first kind of verses, and say “There is no Helper except Allah” and makes no mention about The Other verses where Allah says even Prophets , angels,Gabriel and Momineen are Helpers.
Another group of people (Like Christians) say this is a contradiction in Quran because few verses say “There is no helper besides Allah” and few say”Prophets are Helpers” “Gabriel, angels and Momineen are helpers” too!
The truth is different from the personal opinions of both the groups. If we read the chain of ayah and understand the topic where these verses are relayed it is obvious that, All those verses which say “there is no Helper beside Allah” speak about the Kuffar (Disbelievers) & Mushriks those who set & associate gods besides Allah and on the other hand the verses indicating prophets/pious as helpers were revealed in relation to the Believers. For example Quran states,
“The Kuffar say: “He (Muhammad SAW) has fabricated Quran?” [SuraSajda 32:3] and in the next verse Allah says that “You have no helpers besides Allah”
Thus Allah says to the Kuffar who have disbelieved in Quran And Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that “You have no Helper besides Allah” meaning “you think you will be saved by your idols and false gods even if you disbelieve my Prophets, and even if you reject my Deen?”..No! “You have no helpers besides Allah” [Sura Sajda 32:4]
And the verses which say that there are many helpers speak about the Momineen, for example the verse Sura Tahrim 66:4 referred in section3.2 speaks about The Prophets Wives (Ummahatul Momineen),
Mentioning that the Disbelievers (Kuffar) have no helpers besides Allah and at the same time stating that there are many helpers for the believers makes it clear that those who assume that the absolute power rests with creation and start claiming divinity for their false gods, will find no helper unless they come back to their only God, Allah. If anyone believes and considers their false Gods, Satan or even the Pious have their own independent power besides Allah, they are rejecters of Tawheed and the act is shirk. While those who believe that Ambiya and Awliya are ‘Means’ and the real help comes from Allah himself, claim no divinity for the pious, and do not assume that the absolute power rests with the creation are on the right path.
If someone says”Even if one assumes the absolute power remains with Allah, calling pious people for help is Shirk ” then his ruling goes against Sahaba, Tabaeenand the Imams of Hadith and such a claim would make the following people mushrik [Allah forbid]because all these Sahaba or Imams are reported to have sought help from Prophet even after his passing away from the world.
1.Abdullahbin Umar(RA) , because he said ” Ya Muhammada”
2.Imam Bukhari(RA) , because he made a chapter on “What to do when your leg goes numb” and included the above Hadith. [It means Imam Bukhari held the belief that it is advisable to seek help from Prophet even after his demise]
3.Imam ahmed(RA), because he said he acted upon the Hadith of”seeking help from men of unseen”
4.Imam Bayhaqi(RA), because he recorded the above incident and agreed with it.
5.Even Ibn-e-Taymiyya, because he too recorded the Incident of Sahaba calling ” Ya Muhammada” and agreed with it.(References to all these examples can be seen in Section 6 and 7) And many such examples can be seen, which will be discussed with references in the subsequent sections of this articles. If seeking help from anyone other than Allah is shirk, it means all these Sahaba did not know that and committed Shirk (Allah forbid), none of the Imams of Hadith knew that it was Shirk and therefore recorded such statements in their books.It means that the best generations of Islam (Sahaba, Tabaeen and Tabe Tabaeen)did not what shirk was and therefore were involved in it and only today peoplehave to come to know the actual meaning of Tawheed. Allah save us from such misguidance.
3.3 Prophet Muhammad (Sallelahu alaihiva sallam)and Hazrath Ali(Radi allahu anhu) are Helpers
Prophet Muhammad (Sallelahu alaihiva sallam) said :
“Whoever accepts me as Maula [master, Helper], Ali is his Maula [master, Helper] too”.
This Hadith shows us that Prophet Muhammad (Sallelahualaihiva sallam) and Hazrath Ali (RA) are helpers of believers (Momineen).
[[1.Tirmizi Jami al Sahih 6:79, Book of Virtues, No.3713 2.Fadail e Sahaba by Ahmad bin Hambal 2:959
3. Tibrani-Mujamul kabeer5:5071, 5096 4.Tahzeeb ul asma By Imam Nawawi1:347
5. Al bidaya wan nihaya By Ibn-e-katheer 5:463 6.Ibne HajarAl Asqalani in Tajeel al munfia1222]]
This Hadith is also recorded in many other books through multiplechains of narration- which means it is a ‘Mutawatir’ Hadith. Even Nasir uddin Albani (Revered SalafiAuthority) has declared it sahih. [Silsilatul Ahadith as-Sahiha, Volume No.4,Page No. 344]
3.4 Servants of Allah are Helpers too:
Narrated Ibne Abbas (RA), may Allah be pleased with Him, reported that our Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace),stated:
“If you ever find yourselves stranded alone in a desolate place or jungle, then say, ‘O servants of Allah! Help me, Allah have mercy on you.’”
These wordings are from Musnad Al bazzar and are narrated by Ibn Abbas(RA).This is even recorded by two leading Salafi authorities – IbnTaymiyya in Al-Kalim al-Tayyib, page 69 & Qadi Shawkani inTufhat ad-Dhakireen, page 130.
Even then, some people try to disregard this narration citing some weakness in the chain of narrators.
Therefore we present one more narration from a different chain and through Abdullah bin masud (RA):
“When you lose your means of transport in a jungle, you should call: O creatures of Allah! Help me, recover my transport! O servants of Allah! Help me, recover my transport! There are many of Allah’s creatures on this earth. They will help you recover it.”
[1.Tabarānī narrated it in al-Mujam-ul-kabir (10:217:10518) 3.Haythami, Majma-uz-zawaid (10:132)
2. Musnad Abu yala, (9:177) 4.Ibn Hajar‘Asqalānī in al-Matalib ul aliya (3:239:3375)]
To further strengthen the authenticity of the narration, we present the belief of various undisputed imams who have actually practiced it.
I. Ahmed bin Hambal (RA) says :
When I was going to Hajj on foot, I lost my way. I started to exclaim this: O Allah’s servants show me the way. I kept on repeating this until I came back on track. [Imam Baihaqi in Shu’aybul Iman, Volume 6, Page No 128, Tradition No. 7697]
ii. Imam Nawawi (RA)records the statement of a Scholar of his time–
‘I was once with a group of people and my animal fled and the people failed (to find it) and I said (the du’a) and I found the animal immediately without any means but this statement. [Kitab ul Adhkaar by Imam Nawawi, Page No. 370]
The fact that such great imams have practiced upon this Hadith,wards off such claims that the Hadith is weak and asking help from anyone other than Allah is Shirk.
3.5 Hazrath Umar (RA) says “Ya Gaus”to a Sahabi:
During the tenure of Hazrath Umar Farooq (RA) when they were facing a drought, he addressed Hazrath Umar bin Aas (RA) in a letter as
“Ya Gaus, come to my help”
[Imam Hakim in musadrak Vol 1,page 563., Sahih Ibne Khuzaimia, Vol4, page 68., Kanzul Umal ,Vol 12,pages 610,615 ., Tabaqatul kubra Vol3:page 389., Sunan ul Kubra Vol 6:page 577 [See the scan pages at the end of article]
Hazrath Umar (RA) himself calls a Sahabi “Ya Ghaus” meaning “O Helper” .Therefore saying that anyone who says “Ya Ghaus” is a mushrik means, labeling Hazrath Umar (RA) a Mushrik (May Allah Forbid).
4. Even Ambiya (including Prophet Muhammad peace be upon them) cannot help themselves during difficulties (Allah Forbid). So how can they help others?
Few people argue that the Prophets could not help even themselves when they suffered from physical ailments and worldly difficulties,for example:
· Hazrath Ayub (Alaihissalam) who suffered from severe physical ailment.
· Prophet Muhammad (Sallelahu Alaihva sallam) suffered from twice the fever as any one of us. [Sahih Bukhari, Book#70, Hadith #551].
· It said that prophets have the maximum sufferings among the creation [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Book ofAsceticism, Hadith 2398 and Ibne majah]… and so on…..
So when they could not come out of their own sufferings, how can they help others?
Answer to this question is, prophets suffering from such ailments and hardships does not mean that they had no power to come out of those things.It’s NOT because they were helpless for themselves. It’s due to
· The reason that those were the men with highest patience and preferred ‘suffering with patience’ to‘getting instantly cured’.
· To set an example for Ummah, to show how they have tolerated problems patiently and thanked Allah in difficult times.
· If they wanted they could have opted for trouble free life but, the residents of Makah at that time, the non-believers and even the Ummah would have complained that the prophets have carried out such great tasks, because they never had any trouble.
The following references advocate that prophets preferred patience to getting instantly cured :
4.1 Prophet asking a black lady to be patient in times of suffering.
A black lady came to the Prophet and said ‘I get attacks of epilepsy (fits) and my body becomes uncovered; please invoke Allah for me.’ The Prophet said (to her), ‘If you wish, be patient and you will enter Paradise; and if you wish, I will invoke Allah to cure you.’ She said, ‘I will remain patient,’ and added,’but I become uncovered, so please invoke Allah for me that I may not become uncovered.’So he invoked Allah for her.” [Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 70, Number 555]
4.2 Prophet asking a blind man to remain patient even though he could get his eyesight restored immediately.
In another Hadith, when a blind man came to the Prophet(SallelahuAlaihiva sallam) and said:
“Pray to Allah to heal me.” He said: “If you wish to store your reward for the Hereafter that is better (meaning if you remain patient it’s better),or if you wish I will supplicate for you.” He said:”Supplicate.”Thereafter Prophet taught him a dua and his eyesight was immediately restored.
[Nisai, Amal-ul-yawm wal-laylah (p.418#660), Ahmad bin Hambal, Musnad (4:138), Bayhaqī, Dalā’il-un-nubuwwah (6:166-7), Qastalani al-Mawahib-ul-laduniyyah(4:594), Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wan-nihaya (4:559),Hakim in al-Mustadrak(1:313,519) declared it “SAHIH“]
The following references advocate that prophets had the power to remove sufferings :
4.3 Prophet cured eyes of Hazrath Ali (RA).
Hazrath ‘Ali (RA) was suffering from eye-trouble. So, he ordered them to bring ‘Ali (RA) in front of him. Then the Prophet spat in his eyes and his eyes were cured immediately as if he had never any eye-trouble. [Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 192]
4.3 Prophet helped Abu Huraira (RA) to improve his memory and mental performance.
Abu Huraira (RA) narrates “I said to Allah’s Apostle “I hear many narrations (Hadiths) from you but I forget them. “Allah’s Apostle said, “Spread your Rida’ (garment).” I did accordingly and then he moved his hands as if filling them with something (and emptied them in my Rida’) and then said, “Take and wrap this sheet over your body.” I did it and after that I never forgot anything” [Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3,Number 119]
Similarly, there are many narrations where Prophet had removed the sufferings of his companions with just a touch of a hand. So, considering that the Prophets could not help themselves and had no control over anything is a gross disrespect towards Prophet, May Allah forbid.
Prophet of Allah was not only able to cure others but he also has the ability to give treasures of world and hereafter, which is evident form Quran and Ahadith, few of which are quoted below.
4.4 The earth belongs to Allah(SWT) and Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him):
A Hadith in Sahih Bukhari states “You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle.” [Sahih Bukhari, Vol 4, Book53, Hadith392 & Vol 9, Book 85, Hadith 77]
4.5. The treasures of earth belong to Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him):
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “While I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.” [Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220]
By Allah! I see my Fount (Kauthar) just now and I have been given the keys of all the treasures of the earth (or the keys of the earth) [Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 23, Number 428]
4.6 Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) can make”Ghani” (enrich)
Allah says in the Quran“And they were not resentful except[for the fact] that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His bounty” [Quran 9:74]
5. Asking material help from others is permissible but presuming that prophets/pious posses supernatural/mystical powers and can provide metaphysical help (Ghaibi madad) is”shirk”.
Some people see no problem in asking a doctor for help but say asking saint for help is “”shirk”. The reason they say is doctor offers ‘Physical Help’ and asking a saint to grant health is asking‘Metaphysical Help’ (Ghaibi madad) and asking metaphysical help is shirk. This type of classification can nowhere be found in Quran and Hadith. People claiming to follow just Quran and Hadith should not distinguish between the two and even asking a doctor for help should be shirk.
Various verses of Quran and Ahadith prove that pious people offered metaphysical help. (See Section 4 for Ahadith – Hazrath Ali (RA)getting his eyes cured just with the touch of a hand and Hazrath Abu Huraira(RA) getting good memory are all examples of‘Metaphysical help’)
Proofs from Quran:
5.1 Regain of Eyesight by Hazrath Yusuf’s (As) shirt
“Take my shirt and lay it on the face of my father(Ya‘qub), he will regain his sight.” (Sura Yusuf12:93)
When the bearer of glad tidings arrived, he laid the shirt on the face of Yaqub and his sight returned immediately (Qur’an Yusuf12:96)
5.2 Hazrath Eesa(AS)use to cure the sick:
Hazrath Eesa (AS) curing the leper, born blind, and raising the dead is well known. [Sura Al Imran 3:49]
Few say that these are miracles that Allah has given only to the Prophets;here is an example of a Non-Prophet, Wali offering metaphysical help.
5.3 Asif bin Barkhiya(RA) brought throne of Bilqis (RA) in blink of the eye
Asif Bin Barkhiya, A wali and member of court of Hazrath Suleiman(AS) brought the Throne of Hazrath Bilqis (RA) from thousands of miles away in no time.
“He said: I would bring the throne of Bilqis to you before the blink of your eye. And when [Solomon] saw it placed before him, he (Solomon)said,” This is from the favor of my Lord…” [SuraNaml 27:40].
All these verses prove that Allah himself has granted His Beloved Servants some extraordinary powers, and they are powerful by the grant of Allah and the real comes from Allah alone.
Some say it’s logical to ask physical help to creation and metaphysical help to the Allah, that’s wrong because even physical help is given only by Allah. Thinking that anyone among the creation has absolute power over anything be it physical or metaphysical, is Shirk. Because it is Allah alone, who has the Absolute power over everything. It is Allah alone who offers material help and it is Allah alone who offers metaphysical help. But just as Allah has granted some of his creation the power to help physically, he has granted His Pious worshipers (Ambiya and Awliya) the power to help metaphysically. In both the cases the actual helps comes from Allah himself.
Anyone who believes absolute power rests with Allah;and Momineen can help by the grant of Allah is justified by the following verse:
Allah is his Maula [helper], and Gabriel, and the righteous believers and after that the angels are his helpers. [Sura Tahreem 66:4]
6. It is logical & reasonable to call for help to those who is nearby & physically present, but how can someone help from far away? Believing in such mystical power of seeing and hearing from far is an act of shirk
There is no single Quranic verse or Hadith that says believing that pious possess the power to see or hear from far is shirk. There are many incidents where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)saw far away places while he was still in Medina al Munawwara.
“I saw everything promised to me by Allah and I saw (Paradise) and I wanted to pluck a bunch (of grapes)there from, at the time when you saw me stepping forward”. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 22, Number303]
This Hadith proves that physical distances mean nothing to the Pious; they can not only see what happening faraway but also can physically reach the place. This is not an isolated incident, various Ahadith in Sahih Bukhari prove Prophet seeing Mecca from Medina (Vol 4, Book 52, Number 281),Seeing a battle field faraway from Medina (Vol 5, Book 59, Number 561). Creating such boundaries of near and far with regard to Prophets,Pious people and to declare that “hearing or seeing from far is shirk”, is Bidah (an innovation) in religion.
6.1 Prophet helping a Sahabi from far:
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was performing ablution for Tahajjud Salah at the home of Hazratha Umme Maimuna (Radi Allahu anha). He suddenly called out three times, “Labbaik, Labbaik, Labbaik!” (Here I am) and “Nusirtu, Nusirtu, Nusirtu!” (I helped you). Hazratha Umme Maimuna (Radi Allahu anha) further asked him why he had called out those words”. He replied: “Raajiz (a sahabi from far) was calling me because Quraish wanted to kill him”[Imam Tabarani in Mujam as-Sagheer,Volume No.2, Hadith # 968]
6.2 Hadrat Umar (Radi Allahu anhu) helping Sahaba (RA) from 1000 miles away:
When Umar Ibn Khattab(RA) sent out an army, he appointed a man named Sariyah as their leader. Then while Umar (RA) was delivering the Khutbah he started shouting, “O Sariyah, the mountain! O Sariyah, the mountain, the mountain!’ Then a messenger from the army came and he [Hazrat Umar (RA)] questioned him [concerning the army], he said,’O Leader of the Believers! We met with the enemy and they had [almost] defeated us, then a voice proclaimed, ‘O Sariyah, the mountain!’ So we put ourbacks against the mountain and Allah vanquished them.’
[Baihaqi dalail un naubuwwah 6:370. Ahmed bin Hambal in fadail e Sahaba1:219:300 .,
Ibn Taymiyya, The Decisive Criterion between the Friends of Allah and the Friends of Shaitain page 316]
6.3 Ibn Taymiyya regarding special hearing and seeing powers of Pious:
“What is considered as a miracle for a saint is that sometimes the saint might hear something that others do not hear and they might see something that others do not see, while not in a sleeping state, but in a wakened state of vision. And he can know something that others cannot know, through revelation or inspiration.” [Majmu’a Fatawa IbnTaymiyya, Vol. 11,p. 314].
Further Quran states special powers bestowed on Prophet Suleiman (peace be upon him),Prophet’s control over worldly elements, hearing the conversation of ants is recorded in Quran [Refer Sura, As-Saad38:36, Al-Ambiya 21:18, Naml 27:18/19]. This incident proves that these special qualities of hearing from far, responding, and control over worldly elements etc do not advocate divinity.
7. It is permissible to ask help from alive.But calling the dead for help is shirk.
This type of division too has no basis in Quran and Ahadith. An act which is Shirk will be Shirk whether it is done for a living person or a dead one. For instance if a person does “Prostration(Sajda)” to someone, it is shirk irrespective of whether he does it to a living person or a dead body.
Here are some proofs the pious can help and can be called for help even after their disappearance from this world.
7.1 Sahaba proclaimed “Ya Muhammada (Peace be upon him)” after Prophet’s demise.
Sayyeduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Umar (RA) once suffered from a cramp.Someone advised him to remember the person whom he loved the most. He proclaimed loudly, “Ya Muhammada” (peace be upon him)!” He was immediately relieved.
[Imam al-Bukhari in Adab al-Mufrad Hadith No.964 see the scanned page at the end of article.. Imam Nawawi in Kitab alAdhkar page 370 Ibne Taymiyya …scanned page at the end of article]
Similar practice recorded from other Sahaba [ Narrated by Ibne Taymiyya, regarded as ‘Supreme authority’ by Salafis]
“In the same way as ‘Abd Allah Ibn Umar’s foot became numb and he remembered the one he loves the most, ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abbas’s foot also became numb. Someone also advised him to remember the one who he loves the most, whereupon ‘AbdAllah Ibn’ Abbas exclaimed ‘Ya Muhammad’ (peace be upon him) and his foot immediately recovered from numbness” [Ibn Taymiyya, Al Kalim alTayyib, chapter on ‘Khadirat Rijluhu’]
7.2 A visitor requested food to Prophet after demise and Prophet fulfilled his wish. (Narrated Ibn-e-Taymiyya)
A person came to the blessed grave of the Prophet and requested food from the Prophet and sat down. After a while a Hashmi [a member of the Prophet’s family] came to him. He had with him a tray of food, and said, “this food has been sent by the Prophet and with it he gave a message: Eat it and leave from here because whoever loves us does not make this kind of desire”. (Iqtida as-Siratal Mustaqim, page 290 by Ibn Taymiyya).
7.3 “Ya Muhammada” was the war cry of Sahaba to win battles after Prophets Demise. [Narrated Ibn Kathir, Ibn al Athir]
“During the Khilafa of Abu Bakr as-Siddique (may Allah be pleased with him) there was a battle against the false Prophet, Musaylima of Najd. When the battle commenced, the Muslims lost their footing at which point Khalid bin Walid (may Allah be pleased with him) and the rest of the Companions called out ‘Ya Muhammad!’ (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and proceeded to win the battle“
[Tabari, Ta’rikh at-Tabari; Ibn Kathir, Ta’rikh Ibn Kathir; andIbn al-Athir and Ibn Jarir, Ta’rikh Qamil, chapter on ‘Musaylima Kazzab’]
7.4 Hazrath Moosa (AS) helped Ummat-E-Muhammadia[Sahih Bukhari]:
Prophet Muhammad (Sallelahu alaihva sallam) said narrating the Journey Of Meraj or Isra :
Then the prayers were enjoined on me: They were fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Moses (peace be upon him) who asked(me), ‘What have you been ordered to do?’ I replied, ‘I have been ordered to offer fifty prayers a day.’ Moses said, ‘Your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by Allah, I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel (in vain). Go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers’ burden.’ So I went back, and Allah reduced ten prayers for me… [Hadith continued till the prayers were reduced to five] [SahihBukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number227]
In the above narration it can be observed that the decrease in the number of prayers from 50 to 5 was due to the help of Hazrath Moosa(AS). Remember the incident of Meraj took place almost 3000 years after the blessed demise of Hazrath Moosa (As).This incident proves two things:
Firstly, it is evident that the pious people can go wherever they wish even after their demise.[Note that Hazrath Moosa (AS) met Prophet on 7th heaven or sky and whereas in the earlier part of the journey, he was seen in the grave offering Salah, the corresponding Hadith about Prophet seeing him in grave offering Salah is recorded in Sahih Muslim Book 030, Number 5858:]
Secondly, the pious people can help even after their demise.
The actual reason for the misconception that dead cannot help is based on assumptions that 1) Pious people are not alive in their graves 2) The dead cannot hear and speak. Discussion on these issues would further lengthen the article. So here we just present one Hadith on each of these issues and the Opinion of the Imam of those people who think the dead cannot hear and therefore cannot help.
On the life of Prophets in graves:
· The Prophets area live in their graves and praying [Musnad Abu Yala with Sahih Isnaad Vol 6,Hadith 3425; Nasir uddin Al-Albani, Salafi scholar declared it sahih in“Silsilatul-Ahadith al-sahihah” Vol 2,Hadith 621]
· “Allah has prohibited the Earth from consuming the bodies of the prophets; so Allah’s prophet is alive and given provision. [Sunan Ibn Maja Vol 1,Hadith 1627]
On hearing of dead:
· “When a person is placed in his grave and his companions depart from him, he hears the sound of their footsteps.” [Sahih Bukhari (Book #23, Hadith #422); Sahih Muslim (Book #040,Hadith #6862)]
On speaking of dead:
· One of the Prophet’s companions set up his tent over a grave without realizing that it was a grave, and it contained a man who was reciting the Sura, “Blessed is He in whose hand is the kingdom,” up to the end. He went and told the Prophet (peace be upon him), who said, “It is the defender; it is the protector which is protecting him from Allah’s punishment.” [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith no 663]
Ibn Taymiyya about the life after death, dead hearing, speaking and help coming from graves –
Ibn Musayab’s (RA) listening of the Adhan from the Prophet’s grave or there turning of Salaam from the graves of the Awliya, is Haqq and we believe in it.
Some people came to the grave of our Prophet Mohammad (Sallelahu Alaihva sallam) and requested something, and their needs were fulfilled. Inthe same way, the pious people can also fulfill the needs of people – and we do not deny this [Iqtida as Siratal-Mustaqim, – page 373 by Ibn Taymiyya]
8. What if more than one or many people call the Prophet or Awliya for help at the same time/instant? Believing that someone apart from Allah has such power to listen many people atthe same time is shirk.
Listening to many people at a time is not the sign of divinity and deciding factor for “Tawheed” it is proven by the following Hadith, where in Prophet says, he answers every Muslim’s Greetings.
Prophet Muhammad (Sallelahu Alaihva sallam) said: “If anyone of you greets me, Allah returns my soul to me and I respond to the greeting”. [Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 10, Hadith 2036]
The chain of this Hadith is declared “Sahih” by Imam Nawawi [Khulasat ul-Ahkaam: 1/441], Ibn Taymiyya [Iqtida as-Sirat al-Mustaqim: P.324] Ibn al-Qayyim [Jalaa ul-Afhaam:1/53]
The above Hadith says Prophet replies to every greeting. What if many people send salutations at the same time?? Similarly every Muslim is well aware angel of death, the angel giving the death is one and still fulfills his duty even thousands die at the same instant, he never misunderstands/ gets delayed or gets the wrong soul due to constantly on run.
9. People often call/scream the name of”Wali” in trouble considering that the wali has knowledge of their problem. This is shirk because only Allah knows what is hidden
We have already clarified calling out for help and screaming name of Prophet during trouble in section 7 above.Here, in this section we will explore the knowledge of hidden/problems in question, where people consider knowledge of hidden is a factor defining the divinity.
9.1 Hazrath Qizr (as) and and the knowledge of hidden things:
The incident of Hazrath Moosa’s (peace be upon him) meeting with Hazrath Qizr (peace be upon him) is narrated in Sura Al Kahf. The verses 18:54 to 18:82 narrates the incident of Hazrath Qizr (peace be upon him) that when Hazrath Moosa (peace be upon him) was with him,
– Both of them travelled in a Ferry (boat), and later Hazrath Qizr (peace be upon him)damaged the boat.
– They saw a boy and Hazrath Qizr (peace be upon him) killed him.
– Later they went in an evil locality but Hazrath Qizr (peace be upon him) built a damaged wall their without taking wages.
All the actions could not be understood by Hazrath Moosa (peace be upon him) and when he asked why Hazrath Qizr (peace be upon him) has done so,he says:
– “As for the boat, it belonged to poor person working at the sea. So I intended to cause defect in it as there was after them a king who seized every [good] ship by force. [Al Quran 18:79]
– And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief. [Al Quran 18:80]
– And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.” [Al Quran 18.82]
Here we can notice that Hazrath Qizr (peace be upon him) knew
1. The problem the boat owner was going to face in future and helped him out of trouble.
2. He knew the future of the boy that the boy would become a disbeliever when he would grow up, would pose a threat to his parents’ faith.Taking an extreme step of killing a small boy, could not have been done if it was merely based on an assumption that the boy would become kafir and nobody can say whether a boy will be a Muslim or a kafir when he grows up. It shows that the pious have the knowledge of hidden difficulties of people and that too with certainty, and they have been given the power to remove difficulties.
3. Similarly he knew that there was a treasure hidden under the wall, he knew to whom the wall belonged, who was the father of the orphans, how righteous life he lead.
Further it is mentioned in Bukhari that “Al-Qizr touched the wall with his hand and it became straight”. [Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 250]. Through all this it is very much evident that the pious not only know your hidden problems, but also have miraculous powers to remove those problems.
9.2 Hazrath Umar (RA) and the knowledge of hidden things:
Hazrath Abdullah bin Umar (RA) narrates “I never heard Umar (RA) saying about something that he thought it would be so-and-so, but he was quite right” (Whenever Hazrath Umar (RA) said about something that it could be like this ,the reality would never be different from what he had said) [Sahih Bukhari ,Volume 5,Book 58, Number206, Hakim in Mustadrak 3:4503]
9.3 Hazrath Abu Bakr (RA) and the knowledge of hidden things:
A’ishah (RA)narrated:”When he (Abu Bakr) was on his deathbed, my father (Abu Bakr)said to me:”Verily, you have two brothers and two sisters.” So, I became startled at this, as I only had two brothers and one sister. He referred to his then-pregnant wife, Bint Kharijah, saying: “I see that she is pregnant with a girl, “and that turned out to be exactly the case.”[Muwatta imamMalik Vol2,Hadith no 1438,Sunan al Kubra by Baihaqi 6:11728 Imam Nawawi inThazeeb ul asma 2:1030 and Ibn Taymiyya mentioned it in ‘Majmu’a’ al-Fatawa’ (11/318)]
9.4 Ibne Taymiyya writes about saints andKashf:
Whenever a disciple came to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani he would be aware of the desires and problems in his disciple’s mind.(Ibn e Taymiyya in Al isteqama,page 78)
The volume 11 of Ibne Taymiyya book “Majmu’a al Fatawa” is entirely about Tasawwuf or Sufism (The way of Awliya), its excellence, the special powers of Awliya, etc. See the cover page at the end.
Few more quotes about Awliya Allah from the book “Majmu’al Fatawa” by Ibn Taymiyya.
· “The pious friends of Allah are the followers of Prophet Muhammad (Sallelahu Alaihva sallam) . They do as He commanded and abstain from what He criticized. They follow Him in all that is clear to them that they should follow Him… Allah helps them with His angels and a spirit from Him and sends from His light into their hearts. Allah honors then by way of miracles which are also proofs for the Dīn and help for the Muslims. [Majmu’a Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya v11; p 17]
· “Sometimes he[The wali] is shown the exact object when Kashf of it is made. Sometimes he sees an image of it in his heart which acts as a mirror for him. The heart sees as well. This can occur while awake or asleep, such as when a man sees something in his dream and then sees the exact thing when he awakens without any change to it.” [V 11; p 638]
· “As for the special ones amongst people, they know the punishments of Perished nations through the Kashf Allah gives them.” [v11; p69]
9.5 Even Satan knows the intentions:
It’s a well-known fact that Satan invokes towards bad whenever someone intends to do good.Satan is not only aware of intentions but also has the power to insert evil thoughts into one’s mind as mentioned in a Hadith.
“Satan circulates in the human being as blood circulates in the body, I was afraid Satan might insert an evil thought in your minds.”” [Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 33, Number 251]
Ibn Taymiyya writes:
“Satan even knows what is in the heart of the son of Adam,and they see and hear what he says to himself. Moreover, the devil has full control over man‘s heart,then when man remembers Allah he withdraws, and when he neglects to remember Him, he whispers to him. He knows whether he is remembering Allah or is neglecting to remember Him, and he knows the whims and desires of his heart and makes them appear attractive to him. The closeness of the angels and the Satan to the heart of the son of Adam is something that is confirmed in many reports, whether the person is a believer or a disbeliever. [Majmu’al-Fatawa, 5/508]
The above discussion has made it clear that to call it shirk when Muslims say “Awliya have knowledge of hidden things” is purely out of ignorance. It goes against Quran, Hadith and even the Imam of Salafis themselves, who say holding such beliefs is Shirk.
10. Does giving importance to the Pious/Awliya and loving them takes us away from Allah?
It’s an erroneous thought that giving importance to pious people decreases the importance of Allah and decreases His remembrance. In fact the correct Islamic viewpoint is that Allah loves those, who love others who are close to Allah. The following Ahadith ascertain this fact.
10.1 The importance of loving for the sake of Allah:
Narrated by Anas(RA) the Prophet said, “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:
1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else.
2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.
3. Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.”
[Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 15]
10.2 Reward for Loving pious people:
-“Allah will give shade, to seven (types of people), on the Day (of judgment) when there will be no shade but His (of his Arsh) .One category of people among the seven is: Two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only, [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Number 629, Muwatta imam Malik Book 51, Hadith51.5.14]
-“Where are those who loved each other for My majesty? Today I will shade them in My shade on the day when there is no shade except My shade.” [Muwatta imam Malik Book #51, Hadith #51.5.13]
10.3 Its Allah’s order to love the pious:
Narrated by Abu Huraira The Prophet said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying,’ Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you also should love him,‘ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 431]
All these evidences from Quran and Ahadith are enough for the believers to acknowledge that Ambiya [Peace be upon them] and Awliya Allah [Rahimatullahi tala alaihim ajmaeen] are among the greatest favors of Allah upon the creation. Whomever Allah loves, He makes him closer to Ambiya and Awliya and Whoever hates these pious worshipers of Allah,reject all these evidences, spread hatred towards Allah’s friends and wage a war against Allah. We pray Allah to grant us closeness to Him and make not us from the people who reject truth when evidences come to them.
“And do not be like those who became divided and differed after clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment” [Al Quran 3:105]