WHO ARE THE AWLIYA (FRIENDS OF ALLAH) ?
Wilayat (Sainthood) is a very special rank and position of acceptance given by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) to His beloved
servants. A Wali is a pious Muslimwho attains this position of wilayat. Wilayat is deduced from the root word “Wila”,
which means closeness. Some attain this position due to their sincere devotion and worship. Some attain this position from
birth, but ultimately, it depends on Allah’s mercy and kindness. Wilayat is a shadow of Nabuwat (Prophethood). A Wali,
no matter how great his status, cannot reach the status of a Prophet or a Sahaabi (companions of the Beloved Prophet (Salla
Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam). All the Awliya Allah belong to the Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jama’at, and anyone belonging
to any other sect cannot be Awliya because they have beliefs contrary to the teachings of Sayyadina Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu
ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam). The following narration explains the status of the Awliya:
Hadrat Umar (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) said:
“I heard the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam) saying
that there will be certain worshippers of Allah who will not be Prophets, nor
martyrs, but the Prophets and martyrs will envy them on the Day of
The Companions then asked, “O Prophet of Allah, who are these people?”
Then the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam)
explained to them the qualities of the Awliya. The Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala
Alayhi wa Sallam) read to them the verse:
“Beware, verily on the friends of Allah, there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
(Surah Yunus, Verse 62)
There are two types of Wilayat:
1) Wilayat-e-Amma (general closeness to Allah) – This is the closeness
of Allah to every believer, as Allah declares in the Qur'an al-Kareem:
“We are closer to him, than his own jugular vein.”
(Surah Al-Kaaf, Verse 16)
2) Wilayat-e-Khaas (special closeness to Allah) – This closeness is
exclusive to the Awliya. This is a speciality of those who have traveled
on the path of Tasawwuf, and attained nearness to Allah. This is
declared in a Hadith-e-Quddsi, where Allah says to the Most Beloved
Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam), “Among the things
that bring My servant close to Me, the ones I love best, are the things
that I have made fard (compulsory). When My servant does nafil
ibaadat (optional prayer), he gets very close to Me. So much so, that
I love him very much. When I love Him, I become his hearing ear,
seeing eye, holding hand, and walking foot. I give him whatever he
wishes. When he invokes Me for help, I protect him.”
Allah’s closeness is not like material closeness that can be understood by
reason, or perceived through the sense organs. It can only be comprehended
through the knowledge of Ma’rifa (gnosis) bestowed by Allah upon the Awliya.
From the Awliya of all the ummahs (of the previous Prophets), the greatest
Awliya are from the ummah of Sayidina Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi
wa Sallam). There have been Awliya Allah in every era and there will always be
Awliya Allah in every era. However, their recognition may be difficult.
The Qur'an al-kareem divides those that are favoured by Allah into 4 groups:
a) The Prophets – This cycle has ended after the appearance of Sayyadina
Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam).
b) The Siddeeq (The Truthful) – This rank is next after the Prophets. The
greatest Siddeeq was Hadrat Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu). The
meaning of Siddeeq is Truth. Such a person recognizes truth in all its
c) The Shuhada (Martyrs) – One need not actually be killed in the
battlefield to prove one’s self as shaheed (martyr). One in this stage
feels satisfied by sacrificing everything that he has for the Creator.
d) The Salih (Pious) – This is the lower grade that one can attain by
devotional activities. In this stage, one cleanses himself from all
spiritual impurities such as jealousy, hatred, hypocrisy etc.
From the Awliya of the ummah of Sayyadina Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu ta'ala
Alayhi wa Sallam), the most superior Awliya are the four Khulafa-e-Rashideen
(The Righteously guided Caliphs), namely Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique (Radi
Allahu ta'ala Anhu), Hadrat Umar Farooq (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu), Hadrat
Uthman Ghani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu), and Hadrat Ali Murtaza (Radi Allahu
ta'ala Anhu), and then all the other Sahaba. All the Sahaba were Awliya, BUT
all Awliya are not Sahaaba.
Amongst the Awliya are the following groups:
At any given time, there are 4000 Awliya living on Earth. They are not
recognized by the general public. In fact, amongst them, one does not
know the other, and they themselves are not aware of the validity of their
actions and devotion.
300 from this group are statesman, involved in the administration of this
world. They control all transactions that take place. They are known as
Amongst these 300, 40 are known as “Abdaal”.
Amongst the 40, 7 are “Abraar”.
Amongst this 7, 4 are “Autaad”.
Amongst these 4, 3 are “Noqabah”.
From these 3, 1 is the “Ghaus” or “Qutub”. He is the most senior of them
all, and head of the spiritual assembly.
In reference to the Abdaals, Imam At-Tabarani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu)
quotes a Hadith Shareef in which the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala
Alayhi wa Sallam) declares, “There will always exist 40 persons on the Earth,
each of whom is blessed like Hadrat Ebrahim (Alaihis Salaam). It rains because
of their barakah. Allah appoints another when one of them dies.”
In another Hadith Shareef, Abu Naeem (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) reports that the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi
wa Sallam) said, “There
always exist 40 persons among my ummah. Their hearts are like that of Hadrat Ebrahim (Alaihis Salaam). Allah Ta’aala
redeems His human servants from disasters for their sake. They are called Abdaal. They do not attain to that degree by performing
salaah, fasting, or giving zakaah.”
Ibn Mas’ud (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) asked, “Ya Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu
ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam), by what means do they attain that degree?”
“They attain it by being generous, and by advising muslims,” said the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi
Do remember that although all the Awliya Allah are equal as far as Wilayah is concerned, they differ as far as status is concerned.
THE KARAMAT OF THE AWLIYA
A supernatural act, or miracle, performed by a Wali, is known as karamat.
One must understand that the performing of miracles, is not a necessary
condition of sainthood. There are some people, when they read or hear
about the Awliya, he/she immediately looks for miracles. They think that
since they have not heard of any miracle, that person cannot be a Wali.
This is totally incorrect. To deny the karaamat of a Wali is a sign of
ignorance and misguidance, as this is proven in the Qur’an. The Qur’an
al-Kareem relates that karamat of Hadrat Asif (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu),
who was a Wali from the ummah of Hadrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam).
Before a blinking of an eye, Hadrat Asif (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu)
presented the throne of Bilqees, which was in a very distant place, before
Hadrat Sulaiman (Alaihis Salaam). (Surah 27, Verse 10) Another
narration is when Hadrat Zakariya (Alaihis Salaam) questioned Hadrat
Bibi Maryam (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhaa), the mother of Hadrat Isa
(Alaihis Salaam), about the fruit which were out of season, that he saw in
her place of worship. She said that they had come from Allah.
(Surah 3, Verse 37).
The mothers of the Prophets are Waliyas.
HOW TO RECOGNISE A WALI
The method of recognizing a Wali and a non-Wali is to rectify one’s heart
and mind, and to adopt his company. Thereafter if you find that his
company generates the thought and love of Allah in your heart, then he
is a Wali. On the contrary, if the heart indulges in worldly thought, then
he is not a Wali, because it is said, “The heart is a mirror of another heart”.
Imam Nawawi (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu), and also Ibn Maja (Radi Allahu
ta'ala Anhu) report that when Sayyadina Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu ta'ala
Alayhi wa Sallam) was asked about the characteristics of the Awliya, he
declared, “Allah is remembered when they are seen.”
ALLAH DECLARES WAR ON THE ENEMIES OF THE AWLIYA
In Bukhari Shareef, Hadrat Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) reports
the following Hadith-e-Quddsi:
The Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta'ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said
that Allah said, “Whoever shows enmity to a friend of mine, I shall be at war
Who has the courage to be at war with Allah? Certainly, they will be
destroyed! Therefore, it is important that the Awliya should be respected
and honoured. Whoever disrespects, and insults the Awliya, will without a
doubt, receive Allah’s wrath.
Hadrat Khawaja Gharib Nawaaz Mu’inuddin Chisti (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu)
“There was a man who hated the Awliya. When he died, and was placed in
the grave, the people tried to turn his face toward the Qibla, but it would
always turn away from that direction. The people were astonished at this
action. There was a voice from nowhere announcing, ‘It would be a futile
exercise to try to turn his face toward the Qibla, because he used to turn
his face away at seeing the Awliya, and that he who would turn his face in
disgust from My friends, I will turn My face on him. He is a condemned
soul, and on the day of judgement, such people will appear with faces of
IMPORTANCE OF LOVING THE AWLIYA
Allah revealed to Musa (Alaihis Salaam), “What actions have you done for
my pleasure?” He said, “O Allah, I have prayed to you, kept fast, and paid
charity.” Allah said, “Prayer is a clear proof for you, fast is a shield for you,
and charity is your shade. But what have you done for me?” Hadrat Musa
(Alaihis Salaam) then asked, “O Allah, show me as action which is only for
you.” Allah said, “O Musa, have you loved someone for My sake, and hated
anyone for My sake?”
(Ihya al-uloom id-deen, Vol II)
From this, we can say that although we have never seen many of the great
Awliya, but we only love them, because they love Allah, and Allah loves
them. Therefore, we love them for the sake of Allah, and we should distance
ourselves from those who dislike the friends of Allah, as we will be hating
them for Allah’s sake.
Hadrat Baba Farid Ganje Shakar (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) has narrated:
“A sinful young man died in Multan. Someone asked him in a dream as to
what was his condition. He replied that Allah had pardoned him. He
explained that one day, when Khawaja Baha-ul-Haq Zakarriya Multani
(Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) was walking, he had kissed his hand with utmost
respect. Because of this respect, he had been pardoned.”
THE AWLIYA ALLAH ARE ALIVE IN THEIR GRAVES
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) says in the Qur'an al-Kareem “Do not even
think of those who are martyred in the way of Allah as dead, BUT THEY
ARE ALIVE near their lord and given provision. They are joyous of what
Allah bestowed upon them of his favour and they give good news to those
who have not as yet reached them.” (Surah Al-Imraan, Verse 170).
As we have explained earlier that the Awliya are those who have attained
nearness to Allah. Attaining this nearness is not easy because there are
certain obstacles. One of the greatest obstacles is bringing one’s carnal
desires (nafs-ul-ammarah) under control. In this regard, the struggle with
one’s carnal soul has been regarded as a Jihad-e-Akbar (Great battle), in
contrast to Jihad-e-Asghar (Smaller Battle, which is fought on the actual
battlefield). This concept is derived from the popular Hadith of the Most
Beloved (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), in which he said to his
companions returning from a battle:
“You have returned from a smaller battle to a greater battle.”
He was then asked by the companions, “What can be a greater battle that
that we have just fought?”
He (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), answered, “The battle against
Imam al-Ghazzali (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) says in Ihya al Uloom Vol. IV:
“Death cannot destroy the soul, which is the place of Allah’s Ma’rifat,
because it is something spiritual. Death causes the change of the condition
of soul, and relieves it from the prison of it’s bodily cage. It does not end
as Allah says
“Do not even think of those who are martyred in the way of Allah as dead,
BUT THEY ARE ALIVE near their lord and given provision. They are
joyous of what Allah bestowed upon them of his favour and they give good
news to those who have not as yet reached them.”
(Surah Al-Imraan, Verse 170).”
One should not think that this position is acquired only by those that are
martyred on the battlefield, because every breath of an Arif (one who has
recognized his creator) is a martyr.”
About The Friends Or Saints of Allah
For the believers' orientation, proofs from the Qur'an al-Kareem, the hadith and other scriptural sources concerning the wonderful
and decisive issue of the Saints or awliyâ' of Allah will be presented. The words walî, plural awliyâ' and walâya are all
of Qur'anic origin with the root wly meaning: to be close, to be a friend, to govern. It appears in the Qur'an al-Kareem in
different forms over 200 times.
For those in the community (ummah) who unwittingly deny the science of tasawwuf (spiritual excellence) or neglect the believer's
inner jihâd (spiritual struggle) restrict the understanding of the 'friends of Allah' as being 'pious worshippers', which
is what every believer should be. But what are their qualities and favours and what is their function in the ummah?
We feel it would be useful to draw first of all attention to the work by Michel Chodkiewicz entitled 'Seal of the Saints;
Prophethood and Sainthood in the doctrine of Hadrat Ibn`Arabi,' (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) from which we have quoted.
At first, Allah is the Lord and Protector (walî) of man; man is the one being tested as he is searching for meaning in life,
for fulfillment and purpose. When the believer understands and accepts that truth, light and meaning derive from Allah and
His Beloved Messenger (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), he will turn away from the distractions of the lower world (dunyâ),
the favours of other than God and will turn to Allah in everything he intends and does, because:
“He (Allah, may His Majesty be exalted) is their Friend (walî) and they are His friends (awliyâ').” KAM211
Allah, says in the Qur'an al-Kareem:
ALLAH is the Friend (walî) of those who believe; HE brings them out of all kinds of darkness into light...
Surely those who believed and fled (their homes , emigrated) and struggled hard in Allah's way with their property and their
souls, and those who gave shelter (asylum) and helped - these are guardians , allies (awliyâ'u) of each other ...
Here is protection (walâyah) only Allah's, the True One; He is best in (the giving of) reward and best in requiting.
Now surely the friends (awliyâ-Allah) of Allah - they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve...
There is a comment on this last mentioned Qur'anic verse in the famous Hadith (qudsi) where Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) through
the mouth of His Beloved Messenger (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) states why they shall have no fear nor sorrow:
"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 (frD) upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer
to Me through performing nawâfil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) 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 My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e.
give him My Refuge) 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 (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) in Bukhari, vol8, Hadith 509
So it is clear that the awliyâ' are under the loving care and protection of Allah Almighty. They are those who are 'no longer
subject to natural appetites, nor to desires of the soul.' SIA40 Freed from the entaglements of the world and their own souls
they can devote themselves to their original function.
Certainly our Leader and Doctor of hearts, the Most Beloved Messenger of Allah, Sayyidunâ Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi
wa Sallam) is not on our level or station in relation to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) or in relation to creation. So what then
is the station of the awliyâ' when we remember that every prophet is a walî, but not every walî a Prophet ? Some quotes from
our upright predecessors may give an explanation:
“It has been given to the awliyâ' by Allah in advance to enjoy His dhikr and to have access to His proximity. The life
of their body is that of earthly beings and the life of their spirit is that of heavenly beings.”
Abu Sa`id al-Kharrâz in Sulami's Tabaqât
Abu Nu`aym quotes this saying:
“The servants whom God loves best are the pious and the hidden. When they are away noone misses them, and when they
are present they are ignored. They are the imâms of good guidance and the torches of knowledge.” Suyuti, al-Fahr al-kabir,
refers it to Abu Nu`aym's Hilyat-ul awliyâ'.
Al-Qushayri defined the walî as:
“One whose obedience attains permanence without interference of sin; whom Allah Most High preserves and guards, in permanent
fashion, from the failures of sin through the power of acts of obedience.”
In Ibn `Abidin, Rasa'il (2:277)
Walâya does not involve spectacular manifestations and no walî would strive for those either. Far from it - the awliyâ are
concealed as described in the words of Abû Yazîd al-Bistâmî (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) in a way that the “saint of Allah
has no feature by which he is distinguised, nor any name by which he can be named.” SIA36 As 'Imâms of good guidance
and the torches of knowledge' their function is very important. In this respect, Ibn`Arabi's (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)says
that walâya is 'the shadow of the prophetic function,' just as the prophetic function is 'the shadow of the divine function.'
This also means that walâya is about the appropriation of the divine character (takhalluq). This is possible because man still
possesses a shadow of some of Allah's qualities, such as 'life', 'mercy', or 'knowlege'. Walî is also a shared concept as
expressedly stated in Sura Al-Ma'idah, the Table Spread (5), verse 55:
Certainly, your protecting Friend ( ) is only Allah and His Most Beloved Messenger (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam)
and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow.
This then is the channel of the believer to his spiritual goal and therefore the direction in which he has to turn when embarking
on the greatest of travels, which is the Way towards Allah (tarîq ila -Allah).
Analysing the many stations on the Way, R. Baqlî writes about walâya:
• The start of the Way is the will [or spiritual desire, irâdah] and it is accompanied by spiritual battles.
• The middle of the Way is love [for Allah alone, mahabbah) and it is accompanied by miraculous graces (karamât).
• The end of the Way is gnosis [direct intellectual intuitive knowledge, ma`rifah) and it is accompanied by contemplation
(of the divine - mushâhadât).
The above mentioned evokes the closeness or proximity between the walî and his Rabb (Lord). (“But insofar as walâya
applies to Allah, it is also nus.ra, the divine Assistance from which” he benefits and which has been promised. SIA42)
Also it is clear that the 'way of knowledge' is not opposed from the 'way of love', they really are merely different aspects
in islamic tasawwuf, as every "walî is both a `arif (knower) and a muhibb (lover)."
Ibn al-Jawzi said:
“The Friends of Allah and the Righteous are the very purpose of all that exists (al-awliya wa al-salihun hum al-maqsud
min al-kawn), they are those who learned and practiced with the reality of knowledge... Those who practice what they know,
do with little in the world, seek the next world, remain ready to leave from one to the other with wakeful eyes and good provision,
as opposed to those renowned purely for their knowledge.”
Ibn al-Jawzi's, Sifat al-safwa (Beirut ed. 1989/1409) p. 13, 17.
And Allah Knows Best
From the above quotations we can deduce that if those that fight the
smaller battle are alive, then surely, without any doubt, those that fight the
greater battle are ALIVE!!!
Imam Abu Naeem (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) , in his book “Hilyaat-ul
-Awliya”, narrates from Hadrat Saeed (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) , that:
“By Allah, Hameed Taweel, and myself were burying Hadrat Thabit
Nibhaani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) . As we were setting the final rocks,
one rock accidentally fell into the grave. As I peeped into the grave, I saw
Hadrat Thabit Nibhaani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) was about to perform
salaah, and he was imploring to Allah in the following manner:
‘O Allah! You have given certain of your creation the permission to
perform their salaah within the grave. Give me also this same permission.’
It was indeed beyond the mercy of Allah to refuse him.”
Hadrat Thabit Nibhaani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) was a Taba’ee (Ones
that saw the Sahaaba after the demise of the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla
Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam).
Seeking help through the Awliya
Belief of Ahl as-Sunnah wa'l Jama'ah regarding Seeking Help through the Awliya
'Allama Sa'eedi and 'Allama 'Abd al-Hakim Sharf Qadri write:
"It is better that help is sought directly from Allah, most High, and through the waseela of the anbiya or awliya. If an individual
seeks help from the anbiya or awliya by means of achieving help from Allah, most High, the person is not committing kufr."
[Sharh Muslim, 'Allama Sa'idi, Nidaa-e-Ya Muhammad, page 30 by 'Allama Sharf Qadri]
Shaykh al-'Alawi al-Maliki, the Mufti of Makka writes:
"When we ask help from the anbiya and awliya, as a means, it is through their supplication (du'a) that they help us. Take
for example the Day of Judgment when the umma will benefit from our Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). This
is called asking for help through the anbiya and awliya and likewise to ask them to make du'a for us can be called help or
istishfah or tawasul.
[Ziyarat of the Grave, page 213, by the mufti of Makka, 'Allama Shaykh Muhammad al-'Alawi al-Maliki al-Makki]
The Permissibility of Seeking Help from the Pious
Ibn Taymiyya and Qadi Shawkani quote the following hadith: 'Abd Allah bin Mas'ud, may Allah be pleased with Him, reported
that our Beloved 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.'"
[Al-Kalim al-Tayyib, page 69, by ibn Taymiyya, and Qadi Shawkani in Tufhat ad-Dhakireen, page 130. Ibn Sunni, Imam Bazaar,
Hafidhh al Hasamim and Imam Nawawi all quote this hadith also in their various books.]
This hadith, demonstrates that one can ask help from those who one cannot see, like the angels, the friends of Allah, the
jinn, and that it cannot be said that it is a wrong act. Mullah 'Ali Qari writes that our Beloved Prophet Muhammad , (May
Allah bless him and grant him peace), said that:
If you are in the jungle alone say, "O servants of Allah! Help me." The servants of Allah are the angels, Muslims, jinn, or
'abdal. This hadith is useful for travellers.
[Al Hirzu al-ThAmin, page 378, by Mullah 'Ali Qari]
The Awliya's Provision of Help beyond Human Capability
The Prophet Sulaiman, peace be upon him, asked his companions who could bring the throne of the Queen of Sheba to his court.
Allah says, describing this in the Qur'an al-Kareem:
An ifreet of the jinn said,
'I will bring it to you
before you get up from your seat.
I am strong and trustworthy enough to do it.'
He who had knowledge of the Book said,
'I will bring it to you
before your glance returns to you.'
And when he saw it standing firmly in his presence,
he said, 'This is part of my Lord's favour to me to test me
to see if I will give thanks or show ingratitude'.
[Surah Al-Naml, verse 39-40]
Hafidh Ibn Kathir writes concerning this verse that the man who brought the throne was called Asif bin Barkhiyah.
[Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
There was a companion named Salamah bin Akwa, may Allah be pleased with Him, who was injured so severely on his shin that
people began to fear that he would die a matyr. Salamah, may Allah be pleased with Him, states: "I went to the Messenger of
Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), and told him about my wound, whereupon he proceeded to blow on it three
times and I was cured instantly."
[Mishkat, chapter on Virtues of Sayyid al-Mursalin]
Ibn Kathir writes: "During the khilafah of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, there appeared a fire in the desert. 'Umar,
may Allah be pleased with Him, asked Tamim al-Dari, may Allah be pleased with Him, to assist him. They approached the area
of the fire and Tamim al-Dari, may Allah be pleased with Him, 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, may Allah be pleased with Him."
[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, Vol. 6, chapter on Miracles, and Sirat un-Nabi, Ibn Kathir, chapter on Mu'jizat]
Elsewhere, Ibn Kathir writes: During the khilafah of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, the governor of Egypt wrote to
'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, asking for help as the river Nile had failed to flood. 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with
Him, wrote a letter in return and addressed the river itself. This was then placed in the Nile, and no sooner as this was
done, the Nile's water began to flood.
[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, volumes 1 and 8, chapter on Rivers and chapter on Khilafah of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him.]
The above narrations prove that certain categories of humans, even though they are not Prophets, are capable of doing acts
that are normally impossible. Secondly, the narrations prove that one can ask for these supernatural acts from humans. If
this were not the case, why would the Prophet Sulaiman, peace be upon him, ask Asif bin Barkhiyah to bring the throne of Bilqees
(Queen of Sheeba)? Why would 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, ask Tamim al-Dari to quench the raging fire? Why would
Salamah bin Akwa, may Allah be pleased with Him, ask the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace),
to miraculously cure his wound? And why would the governor of Egypt ask 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, to make the
Nile flood? So, in summary, it is permissible to request a person to do something impossible under 'normal' circumstances.
Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Wahhab writes that the people who claim that it is permissible to seek help from the pious cite the following
evidence in support of their argument:
When Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was thrown into the fire, Jibreel peace be upon him, offered his help to free him. If seeking
help from other than Allah is shirk, then why did Jibril offer his assistance to Ibrahim? The answer is that the help which
was being offered, was within his capability given by Allah, most High, and therefore not shirk.
[Kitab Kasfh al Shubhat, page 23]
The help that is sought from the anbiya or awliya is within their capability. For example, it is permissible for one to request
a deceased person to make a du'a, as it has already been proved that the deceased can make du'a. This means that asking help
from another which is out of their capacity is not shirk.
Ibn al-Qayyim explained in his book Kitab al-Ruh.
The Pious can Help from Far Away Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Wahhab writes:
"One night, the Prophet of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), was in his house and was heard to proclaim 'I
am here!' three times and 'You have been granted help' also three times. Umm al-Mu'minin, Maymunah, may Allah be well pleased
with her, asked the Beloved Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), whom he had been talking to since there was
no one present. He, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), replied, 'I was talking to a person called Rajiz from the
tribe of Bani Ka'ab. He asked for help from me against the Quraysh.' Umm al-Mu'minin, Maymunah, may Allah be well pleased
with her, said that when she finished reading the fajr prayer the next morning, she heard Rajiz calling out the following
in the streets of Madina: "Ya Rasul Allah! Help us and call the servants of Allah to help us."
[Mukhtasar Sirat ar- Rasul, chapter on the Conquest of Makka]
This narration shows that the Sahaba would seek help from the Messenger of Allah from afar and He, (May Allah bless him and
grant him peace), would answer their calls for help. When Rajiz asked the Beloved Prophet the following morning for help,
the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), did not stop him from asking for this help. The Messenger
of Allah was at some distance, yet he still assisted.
Ibn Kathir writes:
'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, whilst delivering a Friday sermon in Madinah called out and said, 'Ya Sariah! The mountain.'
That very moment, Sariah, may Allah be pleased with Him, was in a place in Persia called Nahawand, engaged in a battle with
the enemy. What 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him, meant by his call was: O Sariah! Seek protection behind the mountain.
Sariah, may Allah be pleased with Him, heard this and was subsequently saved. When the people heard these words during the
Friday they were surprised. After winning the battle, Sariah came to Madinah. He told about how they had been under attack
by the enemy. Suddenly they had heard 'Umar's voice and hid behind the mountain and were saved.
[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, chapter on the Khilafah of 'Umar]
This narration demonstrates that the pious can help people who are not present with them. Also, this is why proclaiming 'Ya
Rasul Allah', (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), is not an act of shirk, because he, (May Allah bless him and grant
him peace), is aware of our call. It could be that the salutations are conveyed through the angels or that he listens to them
himself. As Ibn al-Qayyim wrote:
Another question that is raised is why, if it is possible to seek help and advice from the Prophet, (May Allah bless him
and grant him peace), after he had passed away, the Sahaba didn't go to his blessed grave and ask for help when there was
any dispute amongst themselves?
This is only scepticism. The reality is that there was no need for the Companions to go and seek help and advice from the
blessed grave of the Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), as the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him
and grant him peace) had already foretold the dispute of his Companions and who would be right or wrong, therefore there was
no need for the Sahaba to ask again.
Also, the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), did help the Companions on various occasions. Here
are some examples from Tarikh Ibn Kathir:
Bilal bin Harith asked the Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), for help during the famine in Madina during
the khilafah of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him. The Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace),
gave water to 'Uthman, may Allah be pleased with Him, from a window when he was being surrounded by his enemies and, furthermore,
even comforted him by giving the news that he would be martyred and would be breaking his fast with him in paradise the next
day. The Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), gave advice to Imam Hussayn, may Allah be pleased with Him,
regarding the battle of Karbala -when he was departing for Kufa and then later, on the night before his death. The Messenger
of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), gave news that they would meet the next day in Paradise.
[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, chapter on Khilafa of 'Umar; chapter on Death of 'Uthman, and the chapter on Karbala]
It is not wajib to seek help from the pious, it is merely permissible. However, we do not encourage people to ask help from
the pious and especially those who are cannot differentiate between help and Istishfah.
Those who argue that once the pious have passed away, they are unable to help, also include the Messenger of Allah, (May
Allah bless him and grant him peace), in this reference. However, it is very strange that this does not apply to scholars
whom they hold in high esteem. As Ibn al Qayyim states:
Many people saw Ibn Taymiyyah after his death in their dreams and asked him many difficult questions on issues of Fiqh Masaa'il
and he replied to all their questions. Only those people can reject this who are ignorant of the status of the spirits (Arwah)
[Kitab-ar-Ruh, end of chapter 3., Ibn al-Qayyim]
If Ibn Taymiyya can answer questions after passing away, and solve complex fiqh issues, then why is it not possible for our
Beloved Prophet Muhammad , (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), to assist his Ummah ?
Whatever we have written above some of the narrations involve people's dreams - and to this, people might argue that this
is not a credible proof in Islam. The answer to this is that the narration's we have written are not all from dreams, and
even if the narration we used are dreams, the Most Beloved Prophet of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), has
said: 'A Shaytan cannot form my image.' So all the dreams are true about him, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). Also,
Ibn al Qayyim mentions that:
When numerous people have the same type of dream and what they have seen in their dreams actually happens - to call these
kinds of dreams as only dreams, this is said by the people that have no sense
[Kitab al Ruh, Chapter, 3., Ibn Qayyim]
The pious can help, even after their death
When the Beloved Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), went on the Mi'raj, fifty prayers a day were
initially ordered. On return Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, requested the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and
grant him peace), to return to Allah and ask for a reduction in prayers. He did so and by doing this, the number of times
was reduced to five prayers a day.
[Muslim and Bukhari chapter Miraj]
Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, helped the Umma of the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), even
after he had passed away.
Some further evidence:
• Ibn Khathir writes that: 'Uthman Ghani, may Allah be pleased with Him, said that when the enemy surrounded his house
and stopped the household from receiving water, they were thirsty for many days. 'Uthman said: One day I saw that the Messenger
of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), give me some water from my window. Some days later my roof parted, and
the Prophet of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) accompanied by Aby Bakr and Umar (May Allah be pleased with
them, entered and gave me some water to drink, and enquired: You will break your fast with us tomorrow
[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, Chapter on the death of 'Uthman, may Allah be pleased with Him]
• Imam al Waqdi writes that: Abu Ubaidah, may Allah be pleased with Him, was the leader of the army of Damascus and
was in Jihad. In his dream he saw the Prophet of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), inform him that ' Tomorrow
Damascus will be defeated,' and He, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), departed quickly'. I asked the Prophet ' Why
are you returning so hastily?' He replied ' Abu Bakr has died and I am going to attend his Janaza' (funeral)
[Futuh as sham, Allama Waqdi]
• Imam al Waqdi writes; In the battle of Damascus, a kafir became a Muslim, and began to speak Arabic in an instant.
Abu Ubaidah asked him ' you do not know Arabic, how is it that you speak so fluently? He replied 'Last night I saw the Messenger
of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), in my dream. I asked him, if you are the messenger of Allah, then supplicate
for me that I may speak Arabic. When I woke up in the morning I found that I could speak Arabic'.
[Futuh as Sham, Chapter on Fath ad Dimishk, Allama Waqdi]
• Ibn Kathir writes that In the 18th year of the Hijra during the Khilafa of 'Umar,may Allah be pleased with Him, there
was a famine. 'Umar and Bilal, May Allah be well pleased with them, went to the blessed grave of the Prophet (May Allah bless
him and grant him peace), and said 'Ya Rasul Allah! Your Umma is dying (from hunger), pray for us that Allah sends us rain'.
Later, Bilal, may Allah be pleased with Him, had a dream in which the Prophet of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him
peace), told Bilal to go to 'Umar, and convey his salaam, and to inform him that there will be rain and that he should perform
Salaah Istisqa'. This is a very authentic narration.
[Tarikh Ibn Kathir, chapter Khilafa of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with Him]
" Ibn Taymiyya says that: In the time of a drought, a person came to our Prophet's grave and complained about the drought.
He then saw our Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), who said go to 'Umar and tell him to perform the Salaah
of Istisqah. There are numerous true narrations similar to this.
[Iqtisa Sirat al Mustaqim, page 373, Also Imam Bukhari has mentioned about this in his book, Tarikh al Kabir, biography of
Malik al dar]
• Ibn Hajar al Asqalani writes: A person came to the grave said: 'Your Umma is dying; supplicate to Allah to send rain.
Sayf says: The person who made this supplication to the Messenger of Allah, his name was Bilal Ibn al- Harith, may Allah be
pleased with Him. This narration is authentic.
[Fath al Bari, Chapter on al Istisqa, Hafidhh Asqalani]
• The Scholar of Masjid an Nabawi, Shaykh Al-Jazari writes: The narration of Bilal bin Harith concerning going to the
grave and asking our Prophet, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), to supplicate for the rain, is also recorded by Imam
Bukhari in his book of Tarikh. Also, Hafidhh Asqalani recorded this in Fath al Bari; Imam al Bayhaqi included it in his Dala'il
al -Nabuwat, and it also appears in the Musnaf of Ibn Abi Shayba, Ibn Abi Khusayama and in Ibn Abd al Barr - this narration
has really surprised me.
[Waja a-Yarkudun, page32 by Abu Bakr al-Jazari]
If Abu Bakr Al-Jazari knew that Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Kathir wrote this narration, he would not have been so bewildered.
AWLIYA KIRAM - The Freinds of ALLAH
Allah loves them, so should we.
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) says in the Qur'an Majid :
"Listen carefully and no doubt there is no fear nor any grief upon the friends of Allah." (Surah Yunus : 62 ).
This verse shows that there are some people who are nearer to Allah Ta'ala than other peoples. These are the friends of Allah
Ta'ala and in Islamic terminology they are called AWLIYA-ALLAH and Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) reserves special treatment
Imam Bukhari (rahmatullah alaihi) narrates that the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) said that
Allah Ta'ala says, "My servant comes nearer to me by nafl worships upto this that I begin to love him and when I love him
I become his ear by which he listens and I become his eyes by which he sees. (Saheeh al-Bukhari) Imam Muslim in his Saheeh
and other scholars in their books narrate that the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) says :
"When Allah Almighty loves a person so, he calls Jabrail (alaihi as-salaam) and says that '' O Jabrail I love my so and so
servant, and you also love him. Hence Jabrail (alaihis salaam) also loves him. Then Jabrail (alaihis salaam) announces in
the skies that Allah Ta'ala loves his servant than all of the dwellers of skies love him. Then he is made beloved amongst
the dwellers of the earth".
Imam Abu Nuaim in Hilya and Imam Ibne Asakir narrate from Abdullah ibne Masood (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu ) that the Most Beloved
Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) says ;
"Undoubtedly there are 300 Awliya (friend) of Allah within his creature and there hearts are the heart of Adam (alaihis salaam)
and the hearts of 40 are like the heart of Musa (alaihis salaam) and the hearts of the seven are like the heart of Ibraheem
(alaihis salaam) and the heart of the five are like the heart of Jabrail (alaihis salaam) and the hearts of the three are
like the heart of Mikail (alaihis salaam) and the heart of one is like the heart of Israfeel (alaihis salaam). When that one
(whose heart is like the heart of Israfeel) dies the one amonge of three made his representative and when some one dies among
these three the one among five is made his representative and when some one dies from five the one among the seven is made
his representative and when some one dies from seven the one among the forty is made his representative and when some one
dies from the forty the one among the three hundred is made his representative and when some one dies from the three hundred
the one among the general creature is made his representative. These are the 356 Awliya due to them the life, death, raining
and the growing of the plant is happened ".
According to the teachings of the Qur'an al-Kareem and Hadith, karamat's (miracle) are acts of the truth. Imam al-A'zam Abu
Hanifa (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) writes in his Al-fiqh al-akbar that the karamat of Awliya is real but there are some materialists
who proclaim to be Muslim but they deny spiritualism, they do not believe in the karamat of Awliya. Here we shall prove it
in the light of Qur'an-e-Paak and AHadith.
Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) says in the Qur'an al-Kareem, " Sulayman said, '' O chiefs, which of you who may bring her throne
to me before they came to me submitting ''? One big evil jinn said, 'I will bring you that throne before you rise from your
sitting and undoubtedly, I am powerful over that, trustworthy. One who had knowledge of the Book said, ' I shall bring it
to you before twinkling of the eye.' Then when Sulayman saw the throne set before him said, 'this is of the grace of my lord
that he may try me wether I am grateful or ungrateful' And whosoever is grateful for his own good, and whosoever is ungrateful,
then my Lord is self sufficient and all virtuous". (Sura An-Namal, Verse 38 to 40). In this verse Allah Almighty has mentioned
the karamat of the Companian of Hadrat Sulayman (alaihis salam). His name was Asif bin Barkhia. According to the commentators
this throne was very huge and it was at the distance of 1500 miles away but the friend of Allah brought it before the twinkling
of the eye.
Allah Almighty mentions the story of Maryam (Radi Allahu ta'ala anha) and says, "And shake towards yourself holding the trunk
of the palm tree fresh with rip dates will fall upon you". (Sura Al-Maryam, Verse 25). According to the commentators this
was a dry tree, no fruit was on it but when the Waliyah of Allah, Maryam (Radi Allahu Ta'ala anha) shaked it the dates fell
down. It was her Karamat that the dates fell from the dry tree.
Allah Almighty mentions another karamat of Maryam (Radi Allahu ta'ala anha). He says, " Whenever Zakariya (alaihis salaam)
went to her place of prayer he found new provisions with her. He said,"O Mary! Whence did this come this to you? She spoke,
'' that it is from Allah, 'No doubt Allah gives whomsoever what He pleases without measure. (Sura Ale-Imran, Verse 37).
The famous commentator of the Qur'an al-Kareem Imam Ibne Katheer writes from Mujahid Ikrama, Saeed bin Jubair, Abu Shasa,
Ibraheem Nakhai, uhak, Qatada, Rabi bin Anas, Atiyah Alaufi and Sudi say that Zakariya (alaihis salaam) found with her the
fruit of summar in the winter. (Ibne-Atheer vol 1 page 480). This was the karamat of Maryam (Radi Allahu ta'ala anha) that
she had the fruit of summar in winter while no one came to her to give these fruit. There are many other karamat of Awliya
have been mentioned in the Qur'an al-Kareem but I am leaving those due to the lack of the time. Now i write some karamat from
the book of the Hadith.
Imam Bukhari (rahmatullah alaih) narrates from Anas (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) that Usaid ibne Hudair and Ibad ibne Bishr were
talking with the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) about their works. This happened in a dark night
then both of them came out from that place to turn. Each of them have a small stick in his hand.At once the stick of one among
them brightened and both of them walked in that light.when they separated from each other because of the separation of the
way the stick of other one also brightened. So each of them walked in the light of his own stick upto he reached his house.
MISHKAT SHAREEF PAGE 544
It has been narrated in 'Sharhus Sunnah' from Ibne Munkadir that the slave of the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi
wa Sallam), Hadrat Safina lost his companion in Rome or he was arrested. He escaped and was searching for his friends; at
of a sudden he saw a lion in front of him, so he said, '' O Abul Harith (Lion) I am the slave of the Beloved Prophet (Salla
Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) and I have faced such and such problem. Listening to this the lion came near him and stood
by him. Whenever the lion heard a voice he went to that place and stood, again and again, he just used to walk up to Hadrat
Safina (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) until he reached his companion. MISHKAT SHAREEF PAGE 545
Imam Baihaqi narrates from Ibne Umar in 'Dalailun Nabuwah' that Hadrat Umar (Radi Allah Ta'ala anhu )sent a compaign and made
a person their chief who was called Saria. When Umar (Radi Allah Ta'ala anhu )was delivering a lecture he suddenly cried with
a loud voice '' O Saria keep the mountain. ' After few days a messenger came from campaign and said that ''O Ameer al-Mumineen
we faced our enemy. They attacked us and compelled us to run away. All of a sudden we listened to a cry that kept saying that
''O Saria keep the mountain''. We touched our backs with the mountain, so Allah Almighty made them run away''. There are
many other narrations which prove this karamat of Awliya, but it is enough for those who have some common sense. May Allah
(Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) keep us on the right path of the Ahl as-Sunnah w'al Jama'ah.