Download PDF: [S] The Karamaat of the Awliya
There is no doubt that the Karaamat or the miracles which emanate from the Awliya are certainly based on truth. There are numerous Qur’anic verses, Ahadith and statements of the Awliya and ‘Ulama which substantiate this fact. The complete fraternity of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah are unanimous on this issue. In the “Sharah Aqaa’id An Nasafi” it is mentioned that “Karamah of the Awliya is indeed the true”.
In the Hadith Shareef, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “Fear the vision of a true believer because he looks with the Nur of Allah.” (Tirmidhi Shareef)
In a Hadith-e-Qudsi, it is explained, “I become the ears of My slave by which he listens. I become the eyes of My slave by which he sees. I become his hands by which he holds.” (abridged)
If this is the power of a Wali, you can imagine the power which can be displayed by a Wali.
There are many treatises which has been written on this subject. One of the famous books is “Jamia Karamaat-e-Awliya” by Hadrat Moulana Allamah Yusuf Nibhaani – may Allah be pleased with him .
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Qushayri Shafi – may Allah be pleased with him – had also written a masterpiece in this regard called “Risaal-e-Qushayriyah”. In the fact, the great Imam had mentioned the miracles of nearly one hundred and twenty two Awliya.
Imam She’raani – may Allah be pleased with him – has also written a masterpiece called “At Tabqaat Al Kubra”. In this masterpiece, the great Imam has also mentioned so many Qur’anic verses, Ahadith and statements of the ‘Ulama Ahle Sunnah that it is difficult to count.
A Karaamat is explained as that super natural event which Allah Almighty blesses the Awliya with which substantiates their position and their statement. This is also a specialty of those who truly follow and obey the Shari’ah of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. As for those unusual events which occur at the hands of a Kaafir, they are not called Karaamat but rather” Istidraaj.” One can also call it nothing but magic. A Karaamat will only be referred to as a Karaamat if it appears from the hands of someone who follows the teachings of the Ahle Sunnah Wa Jamaah. If it appears from the hands of anyone else, it is pure magic and nothing else. In fact, one should not even bother about it.
What has been the opinion of the Awliya in this regard?
The Awliya have always discouraged the act of displaying a Karaamat. Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali Khawwas – may Allah be pleased with him – who was one of the leading Awliya of his era mentions that, “The truly great people among the Awliya are extremely fearful of displaying any Karaamat. Perchance, people do not think of it as Istidraj”.
In fact, some Awliya have also considered it as Waajib to conceal any Karaamat. However, some Awliya have mentioned that when there is an absolute need, there is no harm in displaying a Karaamat.
Such occasions would include where one has to prove the truth of Shari’ah or when one wants to reveal the fraud of a certain magician or when there is a need to strengthen the Imaan of a certain disciple. Or when the issue is out of one’s control and this appears naturally. In these circumstances, the Awliya have mentioned that the display of Karaamat in these instances are permissible.
In fact, in the “Futuhaat-e-Makkiyah” it is mentioned that an atheist appeared in front of Hadrat Sayyiduna Shaikh Mohiyuddeen ibn Arabi – may Allah be pleased with him – and began to dispute the incident of the fire not harming Nabi Ebrahim – peace be upon him. The great Saint placed a piece of hot coal in the hand of the atheist and told him to keep it on his palm for a long period. The person was shocked because the coal did not harm him. After this incident, the person accepted this incident as being true.
However, that which is considered as the greatest Karaamat by the Awliya is to remain steadfast on Shariah.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Abul Qasim Qushayri – may Allah be pleased with him – stated in the “Risaal-e-Qushayriyah” that, “Bear in mind that the greatest Karaamat among the Awliya is to remain steadfast in obeying Allah Almighty and to refrain from those actions which are prohibited in Shari’ah.”
The famous Sufi, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abul Abbas Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Subki – may Allah be pleased with him – has stated that, “There is nothing greater than to obey the commands and advice of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – in matters pertaining to his actions, his morals and his commands.” (Shuz Raatuz Zaheb)
Bear in mind that closeness to Allah Almighty is achieved through Imaan and good deeds and all of this is based on true Aqaa’id. This is the reason that the most eminent of the Awliya have mentioned that the display of Karaamat is not an indication that one has achieved the Divine Closeness of Allah Almighty. This is not the purpose of Tasawwaf. If these actions are according to Qur’an and Sunnah, then they are to be accepted. The actual purpose of a true Sufi is to achieve the Divine Closeness.
Allama Syed Mahmud Alusi Baghdadi – may Allah be pleased with him – explains in the “Tafseer Ruhul Bayan” that, “There have been many explanations pertaining to the revelation of Unseen Knowledge as explained in the incident of Khidr – peace be upon him. There are certainly issues which needs to be looked at. All of these issues which are revealed by the Awliya including secret knowledge is not the actual purpose of the Awliya or the actual purpose of Suluk. These are also not issues which a true Saalik concentrates on.”
This is the reason that certain ‘Ulama have mentioned that the appearance of a miracle at the hands of someone does not mean that he has attained the greatest state among the ranks of the Awliya.
When we look at some of the masterpieces written in Islam such as “Tabqaat Ibn Sa’ad”, “Usdul Ghaabah”, “Al Usaabah,” etc. we will not find so many miracles mentioned in these treatises. The reason is that the Awliya have time and again emphasised the importance of remaining steadfast on Shari’ah as the greatest of miracle or Karaamat.
In fact, there is another interesting incident which took place in the time of Hadrat Sayyiduna Junaid Al Baghdadi – may Allah be pleased with him. It is mentioned that once a person came to become his Mureed and decided to spend some time in the blessed company of the great Saint. In fact, his actual intention was to see some Karaamat appearing from the hands of Hadrat Sayyiduna Junaid Al Baghdadi – may Allah be pleased with him. He spent a few months or years in the blessed company of this Saint and decided to leave.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Junaid Al Baghdadi – may Allah be pleased with him – called him and asked, “Why have to decided to leave.”
He replied, “I had come with purpose of seeing some miracle because I had been told that you are the greatest Saint of your era. But I had spent so many days in your company but I have not seen one single Karaamat.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna Junaid Al Baghdadi – may Allah be pleased with him – asked, “Tell me, in all of this time you have been here, have you ever seen me going against the laws of Shari’ah?”
The Mureed replied that he had never seen something like this.
The great Saint replied, “This was my greatest Karaamat but sadly, you did not notice it.”
It is mentioned that there was once a person who came to Madina Shareef from the province of Sindh in Pakistan. However, he had missed his companions when they returned and was left all alone in Madina Shareef. The people in Madina Shareef then informed him that he should go to the Qabr Shareef of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ameer Hamza – may Allah be pleased with him – and make Du’a because he is certainly the Ameer of Madina Shareef.
This person then went to the Qabr Shareef and pleaded for help and assistance. Bear in mind that he also did not have the financial means to return home. One night, while he was sitting at the blessed Qabr Shareef, he noticed a light in the distance like someone was calling him. He decided to follow this person. However, as much as he tried to catch this person, he could not manage to do so.
As he walked along, they came to what looked like a small puddle of water on the road and the person informed him to watch his clothes as he passed this puddle of water. In fact, the person merely had to just place one foot over the puddle and he passed this puddle.
He then continued to walk for a few more steps and suddenly he was shocked because right in front of him, he could see his house. He then continued towards the front door and when he looked around, he could not find the light which had guided him.
One important point to bear in mind is that from Madina Shareef to Pakistan or from Madina Shareef to Sindh, one has to cross the Indian ocean. Was this the small puddle which the person had seen on the road and which he crossed over by merely taking one single step? This is certainly the Karaamat of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ameer Hamzah – may Allah be pleased with him. (Hayaat Qutbe Madina, Moulana Ziaudeen Madani – may Allah be pleased with him)
With one look all the containers were filled.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Jahd – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that, “On the night on which a baby was born in the house of Hadrat Sayyiduna Shurayh bin Yunus – may Allah be pleased with him – the eminent Saint came to me and said, ‘Take these three Dirhams and give me honey for one Dirham, ghee for one dirham and some barely for one Dirham.”
“However, at that time all these goods in the shop had been depleted and there was nothing in any of these containers. I also made the intention that in the morning, I will go to the market and purchase these items. I then said to the eminent Saint, ‘Hadrat! At this time, all my goods are finished and there is nothing in the shop and in the morning when I go and purchase these items, all these which you have asked for, will be given to you.’
“However, he insisted that I go and look carefully at these containers. When I looked inside these containers, I was shocked to see that all of them were filled with these items. Even the container which had barley inside was filled to the brim. I then brought all of these items and placed them in front of the great Saint. He then asked me, ‘You have informed me that everything was empty, how come all of these items are now found in your shop?’ I then asked him to kindly remain silent and take these items.
“He insisted on knowing how come these items had suddenly appeared as if from nowhere and that if I did not explain to him then he would not take these items. I said to him, ‘When you had said to me to go and look carefully inside these containers, I found that all of them were filled and there is no doubt that all of this is through your Barakah.’
“When he heard my words, he declared, ‘Beware, as long as I am alive, you should never reveal this to anyone.’ In other words, such was the manner of the Awliyah that they did not want to reveal their true identity. (Uyunul Hikaayah)
A pious person narrates the following incident. He mentions that, “Once, I was making Tawaaf when I noticed someone making Du’a in Sajdah. He kept repeating the words, ‘O Allah! What has happened to me?’ He kept repeating these words.
When he had completed his Ibadah, I then approached him and asked him about these words which he kept repeating. He then narrated his story. He explained, ‘You should remember that we were once fighting in Rome and we had besieged a certain fort in Rome. The person in charge of the Muslim army had also gone with a large army towards another Roman city. The commander then chose ten of us and sent us scouts to keep an eye on the Romans.
As we went forward, he noticed about sixty Romans and on the other side of the plain, there were about six hundred Romans. When we informed the commanding office about this, he sent a battalion against them.
We then captured all of these Roman soldiers. After this, the commander mentioned that we were very lucky soldiers and again sent us out on a night patrol. However, before we knew it, we were surrounded by nearly a thousand Romans soldiers. All of us were taken prisoners and presented to the Emperor. He then received news that the Roman prisoners had been killed and decided to kill us in retaliation.
What made it worse was that among the Romans, the cousin of the Emperor had also been killed. Obviously, since he was extremely angry, he ordered our deaths. He then ordered that we be blindfolded.
However, there was a person who was standing next to the Emperor who was wearing silk clothing and who had become a Murtad mentioned to the Emperor that he should leave our eyes open so that we could see the death of each other.
When I heard these words, I did not say anything to this person but looked towards the sky. I noticed ten maidens from Jannah who were standing in the heavens. Each one of them had a cloth and a tray. Above these ten maidens, there were also ten doors of the heaven which were open. As each one of my companions was martyred, one of these maidens appeared and took the soul of this person and wrapped it in the cloth and placed it on the tray. She then continued to the heavens and as she entered; that door closed after her. I was the last one to be placed on the platform and as I drew near the platform, I also noticed that this female was coming towards me.
However, as I was placed in front of the executioner, the person with the silk clothing mentioned to the Emperor that if I was killed, who would inform the Muslims of what had happened. They then decided to let me go free.
I returned to the Muslims and from that moment, I have been asking what has happened to me. I mentioned to him that he should not give up hope and have patience as Allah Almighty certainly rewards those who are patient. (Uyunul Hikaayah)