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In Surah Yunus, verses 62, 63 and 64, the Qur’an declares:
اَلَاۤ اِنَّ اَوْلِیَآءَ اللہِ لَاخَوْفٌ عَلَیۡہِمْ وَلَا ہُمْ یَحْزَنُوۡنَ ﴿ۚۖ۶۲﴾ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَکَانُوۡا یَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿ؕ۶۳﴾ لَہُمُ الْبُشْرٰی فِی الْحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنْیَا وَفِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ؕ لَا تَبْدِیۡلَ لِکَلِمٰتِ اللہِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِیۡمُ ﴿ؕ۶۴﴾
“Listen carefully! No doubt, there is no fear nor any grief upon the friends of Allah. Those who believed and kept their duty. For them are glad tidings in the life of the world and in the Hereafter. The words of Allah are not changed. That indeed is the supreme victory.”
There still continues to exist certain people who continue to insult these special servants of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala without even giving it a second thought. Yet, they do not realise that Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala and His beloved Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam have on numerous occasions praised these special servants of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala. How can the Imaan of these people remain protected when they insult such eminent souls of Islam? Our intention is not to present a lengthy discussion, but to present a brief explanation so that important lessons can be learnt.
Lessons from the Ahadith
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu narrates that once the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam was making Tawaaf of the Ka’ba when he turned to the Ka’ba and declared, “I swear by that Divine Being in Whose Power is my life! With Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala, the respect and esteem for a true believer is much greater than you.”
We should add this Hadith Shareef with the following Hadith Shareef which appears in the “Mishkat Shareef”, page 71 which is narrated by Hadrat Saa’ib Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. It is reported that once a person was leading the Salaah of a certain community when he spat towards the Qiblah while the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam was watching. After the Salaah was complete, the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam declared, “(In future), this person should not lead your Salaah.”
If this is the condition of a person who shows no respect towards the mere direction of the Qiblah, what must be condition of that person who insults the special slaves of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala whom the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has described as having greater status than the Ka’ba itself? How can these people who insult the Awliya openly or secretly have any respect or dignity in the Divine Court of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala or in the blessed court of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam?
When the miracles of the Saints are explained to these people, some of them become restless and even begin to ask such ridiculous questions about the actual existence of miracles in the Qur’an. They conveniently forget the story of Sayyidah Maryam Radi Allahu ‘Anha and the miracle of fruits appearing to her when it was not the season for these fruits. The forget the story of Hadrat Asif bin Barkhiyah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu and the power he displayed in moving an entire Palace from one place to another in the period it took to blink one’s eye. As a matter of fact, they have even forgotten the fact that in the “Mishkaat Shareef” there is a special chapter which is named “Karaamat-e-Sahaabah.”
The status and position of a Saint or Wali
Hadrat Baba Fareed Ganje Shakar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu explains that, “There are seventy thousand states or degrees in a Wali. As long as he does not pass beyond every one of them and is not completely proficient in each one of them, he is not to be termed a ‘Derwish.’ At the same time, there are seventy thousand universes and as long as the Derwish is not familiar with each one of them, he is not called a ‘Derwish’. In spite of this, if he still insists on calling himself a ‘Derwish’, then he is merely wearing the outer garment of a Derwish so that he can take care of his stomach.
“In each of this dimension and state, the Derwish faces many challenges and tests. At every dimension, he faces an ocean of trials and tests so that his steadfastness can be tested and examined. If the slightest bit of weakness is shown, then this position is taken away from him. However, that Derwish who displays patience and perseverance and is satisfied with these trials and tests, his status is elevated. He then passes beyond these seventy thousand universes and enters the dimension in which there is no time or space. This is that person who the people of Ahle Sulook consider to be a true Derwish.
“In these seventy thousand dimensions, when this Derwish passes the very first state, he finds himself standing in front of the Divine Throne. He also performs his five daily Salaah with those who are present at this station. When he returns, he finds himself in front of the Ka’ba. When he finally arrives back in his world, the entire universe can be seen by him between his two fingers. This is the state of only the first dimension. However, when he passes the seventy thousand states and degrees or dimensions, then his being is beyond the comprehension of ordinary people. In this state, nothing is inbetween him and His Creator and this is a secret between him and his Creator and again a secret which no one understands or comprehends.”
Why do we place a Chadar or cloth over the Grave of a Saint?
Some ignorant people ask this question: Why do you people place a chadar or cloth over the grave of a Saint? Is he by any chance feeling cold?
In regard to this, we have two answers. The only reason that you people do not place a cloth over your graves is because the window to the Fire of Hell is already opened in your graves and due to this heat, your deceased is already feeling too hot. Hence, it is not possible to be able to place a chadar or cloth on his grave!
The second answer to this question is being able to differentiate between an ordinary grave and the grave of a special person. Why do we place a Khilaf or cloth over the Ka’ba or on the Qur’an. The reason is that we are indicating to ordinary people that this House and this Book is no ordinary house or book. In like manner, many people are buried in the cemetery, yet, by placing a chadar over a certain grave, we are indicating that this person is no ordinary Marhoom.
Another important point to remember is that Imaan is based on complete respect. To have Imaan indicates that the person has become a symbol of respect. If an ordinary person became a true believer by merely reading the Qur’an, the Qur’an would not have said that, “there are many who are misled by this and there are many who are guided by this.” If merely building a Masjid was the sign of true Imaan, then what would say about those misguided people who built Masjid-e-Diraar? If merely reading the Kalimah was a sign of Imaan, then who are the Munafiqs indicated too in the Qur’an?
If we look at a hand which trembles, this is not life but a mere symbol of having life. To read Salaah, the read the Kalimah, etc. is not Imaan but a mere symbol or sign of Imaan. However, there is a major difference between a symbol and the actual entity. In other words, if a Munafiq reads the Kalimah, would you consider him a true believer? No, because even though he may possess the symbol of Imaan, yet, he does not possess the actual entity of Imaan. The same with Azaan, it is a symbol that the actual entity which is Jamaah is about to start, yet, if a small child hears this, Jamaah is not applicable upon him. Hence, if we classify Imaan, there is no doubt that one of the major factors is to possess respect and reverence for the true and sincere servants of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala. A person who truly has Imaan, would never disrespect any special servant of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala. There is no doubt that where the Saints are buried, this is that special place where the Divine Mercy of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala descends.
A small example of the striving and sincerity of these saints
Hadrat Baba Fareed Ganjh Shakar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu explains:
“Once, I travelled towards Baghdad Shareef. I then saw a person standing on a Musallah in the middle of the river Dajlah reading his Salaah. When he had complete his Salaah, he began to make Du’a in the following words, ‘O Allah! Khidr has become guilty of performing a major sin, please give him the strength to make Taubah.’ At that precise moment, Hadrat Khidr Alayhis Salaam suddenly appeared and asked him which major sin he had committed. The Saint replied, ‘O Khidr! You had leaned back on a tree in the jungle and had rested under its shadow and you claim that you are guiding and helping people?’ Hadrat Khidr Alayhis Salaam immediately made Taubah for this.
“He then began to explain the manner in which a true servant lives and how they have divorced themselves from the world. When he was asked further, he replied, ‘I live in this world in this way that if it is told to me that the wealth of the entire world would be given to me and there will be no questions asked, I would still refuse to accept this world. Even if I am told that if you do not accept it, you will enter Hell. The reason is that this world is something which has been cursed by my Lord. And something which has been looked upon by my Lord with Wrath and Anger, I will never accept that object even if I have to enter Hell.’
Hadrat Shaikhul Islam, Baba Fareed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu continues:
“I then went nearer to him and greeted him. He greeted me and asked me to come forward. However, I saw that before me there was only water and wondered how I will be able to cross this. Suddenly, a path appeared in the water and I went towards him. A few seconds later, he said to me, ‘O Fareed! Forty years have passed and I have not placed my back on the ground and have not slept. However, O Derwish! The sustenance which is allocated to me daily, if I do not share that with a guest, then I will not rest. To be a Derwish is someone who gives away something to another person even though it has come to him.’ Every day, two bowls of gravy and four thin slices of bread used to appear to him from the unknown. He then placed one bowl in front of me and we both took part in this food.
“At night, after completing the ‘Isha Salaah, this Saint then performed two rak’ah of Nafil Salaah. I also followed him in this Salaah. In these two rak’ah, he completed the Qur’an four times! Two times in one single rak’ah. After completing this, he placed his head in Sajdah and began to weep and then declared, ‘O Allah! I have not worshipped You as You should be rightly worshipped.’ In the morning after the Fajr Salaah, he wished me well, and suddenly I found myself on the bank of the river. He has also disappeared. Until this day, I do not know where he had gone to.” (Asraarul Awliya)
Whose Mazaar is eventually built?
There is also no doubt that only the special slaves of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala are remembered. Where will you find the grave of Abu Jahl or Pharaoh or Yazeed? Only the graves of those special slaves are built whose memory is worth remembering. Yazeed’s grave is unknown, while Imam Husain’s Radi Allahu ‘Anhu grave is visited every day. Thousands of people died in the same period of Data Ganjh Baksh Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, and, yet today his Mazaar still survives. If someone becomes a professor or graduate after going to university, the person who visits and shows respect the Mazaar of these great Saints, becomes a beloved slave of Allah Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala.
When Baba Fareed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu visited Lahore, this is what he said.
It is reported that when Baba Fareed Radi Allahu ‘Anhu stepped into the city of Lahore, he started taking deep breaths. He then declared to his Mureeds, “I am receiving the fragrance of Jannah from this city.” This is that blessed city where you will find the blessed Mazaar of Data Saheb Ali Hajweri Radi Allahu ‘Anhu.
If you visit the courts, you will find numerous lawyers and advocates. If you visit the colleges and universities, you will find numerous students. If you visit the hospitals, you will find numerous patients and doctors. However, if you visit the Mazaar of Saints like Data Saheb Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, you will find the presence of Awliya and Aqtaabs. These Awliya do not force people to read the Kalimah. These Awliya rule over the hearts of people. They knock on the door of people’s hearts. This is the reason why people come from all over the world to visit them and gain spiritual blessings from them.
Even their enemies are fed
During the time of the British, an Englishman once came to the Mazaar of Data Saheb Radi Allahu ‘Anhu. Like everyone else, he was also fed from the food which is distributed daily to thousands of people free of charge. However, after eating, he still waited a while and when people asked him the reason, he replied, “I had some food at the hotel during lunch and they charged me ten rupees, yet, after eating this food which is much more tastier, I am expecting the bill to be more, hence I am waiting for the bill. I do not want to leave without paying as this would be against the law.” He was then told this is the Mazaar of a great Saint and that he should not expect any bill as people at this Darbaar are fed free of charge every day. He was shocked to hear this and asked how this was possible. Someone then informed him that this was the merciful distribution of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam which is seen.
Another amazing miracle is that Data Saheb Radi Allahu ‘Anhu left no children or heirs. Yet, people are continuously been fed at his Mazaar for so many years. The Awliya buried in Lahore, whether it is Mia Meer, Shah Mohammed Ghous, Mouj Darya Bukhari Aaihimur Rahmah, all of them smelled the fragrance of Data Saheb Radi Allahu ‘Anhu and arrived in this city. No one has left empty-handed. Such was the favour upon Khwaja Gareeb Nawaaz Radi Allahu ‘Anhu that he wrote a special praise of Data Saheb Radi Allahu ‘Anhu which is read until the present day.
Blood from his eyes
Once in a state of extreme spiritual ecstasy, Hadrat Bayazid Bustami Radi Allahu ‘Anhu began to shed tears of blood. When this spiritual state had ceased, he remarked, “I took one step forward and arrived at the Divine Throne. I then declared to the Divine Throne, ‘O Divine Throne! I have heard that my Beloved resides with you.’ The reply came, “O Bayazid! The place of His Divine Splendour is to be found in your heart. It is strange, that those who are in the heavens ask this question from those who are on earth and those on earth ask this question from those who are in the heavens.” This also proves the immense power of the Awliya in that in one step they reach the Divine Throne.
Once, Hadrat Bayazid Bustami Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was questioned as to who was a real Derwish. He replied, “If the wealth and riches of the eighteen thousand universes are given to him, he will spend all of it in the Path of Allah. This is the true definition of a Derwish.” (Asraarul Awliya)
True love for their Spiritual Masters
It is mentioned that once Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu arrived in Siyal Shareef for the ‘Urs. At that moment an issue arose about a dog which had placed his tongue into some flour and what should be done about it. Everyone suggested that the great Saint be asked this question. The great Saint asked whether the dog was from this Mazaar or not. When he was told that it was from this Mazaar, he replied, “The law of Shari’ah is that so much of flour be removed and thrown away. However, the law of love demands that this same flour be prepared and fed to me because I am also the dog of this Mazaar.”
Another miracle of Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu
It was the habit of Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu to take a long walk after Asr Salaah outside the village. He saw two people who were walking in an easterly direction. Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu asked them where they were going and they replied that they were going to Madina which was a small village nearby. He replied, “But Madina Shareef is in a westerly direction.” They declared, “Hadrat! We are going to Madina which is a small village in Gujrat.” He asked, “Why do you not travel to that Madina Shareef which is near Jannah?” They replied that they did not have the money to undertake this journey. He then asked them to close their eyes and then open it. When they did so, they were standing in Madina Shareef!
This is my weapon
Once, while Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu was walking near the train station reading his Tasbih. An English soldier near him pointed at his Tasbih and asked what that was in a mocking manner. In reply, Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu pointed to the gun of the solider and asked him what that was. The soldier replied that it was his pistol. Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu replied that the (tasbih) was also his weapon. The soldier asked him what was so great about his weapon. Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu also he asked the soldier the same question. The soldier then placed a bullet in his gun and shot a bird which was playing in a nearby tree. It fell on the ground dead. In great pride, he said that this was the greatness of his weapon. Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu then walked towards this bird and placing his Tasbih on the neck of the bird, he began to recite the Dhikr of “Allahu.” The bird immediately came alive and flew back to the tree. Hadrat Peer Mehr Ali Shah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu then looked at the soldier and remarked, “This was the power of your weapon and this is the power of my weapon. And listen, greatness is not to kill someone, greatness is to bring the dead to life.”