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Karamaat of Awliyaa of Allah SWT — Part 1

Shaykh ‘Abdul Lateef ibn Muhammad al-Hasan:

All the Praise and Thanks be to Allah, and May His peace and blessings be on His final messenger [Prophet Muhammad – Salah Allah ‘Alaihi wa Salam], and on his household and companions.

[It is clear] That when the understanding of the Salaf (Predecessor) of this Ummah – from the companions and those who followed them exactly (in Faith) – was pure, they perfected their acts of worship and all that Allah wanted of them, and their concern was shifted to what is required of them. They adhered to what would benefit them, and did not worry themselves about anything else. This made them speak less, while their deeds reached the pinnacle of righteousness.

As time passed, speaking increased while actions decreased. Deviance started growing greatly. And among the deviances that occurred is what happened in the understanding of [the concepts of] Awliyaa’ (Saints) and their Karamaat (Thaumaturgic Gifts). Peoples’ understanding and opinions of this issue varied widely until it started suffering from the following:

  1. The Sufis exaggeration in the issue of Karamaat worsened, and what they call al-Kashf (Visions) and al-Ilhaan (Inspirations), until they came up with things that negate both the religion and the proper intellect. This can be clearly seen to whoever looks at some of their books such as: “Al-Tabaqaat Al-Kubra” by al-Sha’rani, “Jami’ Karamaat Al-Awliyaa’” by ibn al-Mulqin, “Karamaat Al-Awliyaa’” by al-Nabhani, as well as others.What is dangerous about this is the deep belief many naive, foolish, and simple people have in these made-up stories, until it possessed their minds and became a way of worship for them.
  2. Ahl al-Kalaam (Philosophers) such as the Asha’ira and Maturidis elaborated in the issue of Karamaat until they claimed that their level can reach the level of the miracles of prophets.
  3. The denial of the Mu’tazillates of the past, and those of this time (the seculars) to all karamaat.
  4. The deception of magicians and sorcerers to simple and normal people with their tricks and magic, and claiming that these are karamaat.

This left Ahl Al-Sunnah with their moderation, standing with a moderate unique view in the issue of karamaat. This will be made clear to the reader, supported with evidence and clarified with examples, restraints, and benefits.

However, it is important to clarify first what is meant by “Awliya’”.

And from Allah we ask assistance.


The Meaning of Al-Wilaaya

Ibn Faris said: (the waaw, laam, and yaa’ [the letters making up the root of the word] is a true root that refers to closeness.

And from that come Al-Wali: The closeness.

And it can be said: He went away after wali i.e. after closeness.

And from the same root also comes Al-Mawla meaning: the one who frees, the one who is freed, the companion, the ally, the cousin, the friend, the neighbor… all these come from al-wali and it refers to those close, and everyone that looked after someone’s affairs then he is his wali) [1].

(And al-Walaya: means the support, and al-Wilaya means to take lead and responsibility …) [2].

However, al-Wilaya, in the religious context, can be simply and clearly understood by what Allah – the Most High – mentioned in the Quran:

[No doubt! Verily, the Awliya’ of Allah no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grief. * Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah), and used to fear Allah much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds). * For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world, and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme success]

[Surah Yunus 10:62-64

So we can see that every righteous pious believer is a Wali of Allah in the religious context, and under this definition all the Prophets of Allah – Peace be upon them all – enter under the word Awliya’ since they are the heads and best among all the Awliya’.

However, in the most common terminology the word al-Wilaya is usually reserved to those below the status of Prophethood, thus we can say that the Wali is every righteous pious believer who is not a prophet.

Now Iman (Belief/Faith) according to Ahl Al-Sunnah is [composed of] Word and Deed, and that means the word of the heart and its deeds, as well as the word of the tongue, and the deeds of the body.

The word of the heart refers to its firm belief, and its deed is performing the different deeds associated with the heart such as sincerity, love, fear, hope, etc.

Piety (or Taqwa): is doing what Allah and his messenger commanded, and avoiding what they made forbidden, and if it is mentioned with the word Birr then (Taqwa refers to avoiding all Evil, while Birr refers to performing all Good) [3].

Ibn Rajab said: (It is apparent from this that there is no way that would get you close to Allah – All Mighty –, to His Wilaya (Closeness), and to His love except through the obedience that he decreed through the words of his Messenger – Peace be upon him -; so whoever claims the Wilaya, closeness and love of Allah without taking this path then it would be clear to us that he has lied in his claim, just as the polytheists used to [claim to] get close to Allah by worshipping other then Him) [4].

And Ibn Hajar said: (What is meant by the wali of Allah is: one who is persistent in obedience, sincere in worship) [5].

The Awliya’ of Allah are of two levels:

  • First level: is the level of those who come close to Allah by performing the obligations and this is the level of the people of the Right.
  • Second level: is of those who come close to Allah by performing extra acts of worship over the obligatory ones, and this is the level of Foremost and the Near. Allah mentioned these two levels and the proof to them in Surah Al-Waqi’ah (chapter 56), Ar-Rahman (chapter 55), Al-Insan (chapter 76), Al-Mutaffifin (chapter 83), and Fatir (chapter 35) [6]. He said in the Quran:

 [So those on the Right Hand – how (fortunate) will be those on the Right Hand!] [Al-Waqi’ah 56:8], and then He said: [And those foremost (in performing righteous deeds) will be foremost (in Paradise). * These will be the nearest (to Allah)]

[Al-Waqi’ah 56:10-11]

This makes al-Wilaya a high rank in this religion that cannot be reached except by those who fulfill the duties of the religion both externally and internally by doing good and avoiding evil; this makes it a high level that no one can climb to except through the ladder of the Sharee’ah (Islamic Laws); and those who believe that someone who leaves what Allah commanded and does what Allah forbade can reach this level are disbelievers and apostates; for disbelieving in what Allah revealed in the Quran [7].

Now al-Wilaya has two sides:

  • One side is in relation to the slave/servant of Allah: and that includes performing the commands, avoiding the sins, and then elevating in status by performing extra acts of worship.
  • The second side is related to the Lord – All Mighty – and it involves His love for that slave/servant, His support for him, and assisting His slave in staying steadfast on his path. Now as for the karamaat it is something additional, and not a requirement for al-Wilaya [8] – as will be mentioned.

The honor of al-Wilaya and al-Awliyaa’: It is a sufficient honor for al-Awliyaa’ what Allah promised them in the Quranic verse: from being close to them, supporting them, assisting them, making their state good, that they need not fear what is coming in the Hereafter, nor will they face any grief in this life, and that they will have glad tidings in this life and the next.

Truly, what a great honor Allah has given them from assisting them through His guidance, and surrounding them with His support.

Prophet Muhammad –Peace be upon him – said: (Allah the Exalted has said: ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine (a wali). And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him) [9].

(And this is the most authentic tradition narrated about the issue of al-Awliyaa’) [10].

And in it Allah mentioned the ones who followed the middle course, as well as those who are foremost in good deeds. However, those who had wronged themselves by insisting on committing sins will never attain this status (become walis) until they repent.

Al-Wilaya does not necessitate ‘Ismah (infallibility): The wali is human, thus it is possible for him as is possible to all other humans to do mistakes, forget, and fall into other such things. All this does not destroy his closeness to Allah, as was claimed by the Sufis, who claimed that if the heart was righteous then all its thoughts would be free from all kinds of sins! You will not find in any of the Texts [i.e. Quran or Prophetic traditions] anything saying or even referring to such a thing. On the contrary, you will see that the texts, as well as the agreement of scholars are against what they claimed. Allah the Exalted has said: [And he who has brought the truth and (those who) believed therein, those are Al-Muttaqun (the pious and righteous people). * They shall have all that they will desire with their Lord. That is the reward of Al-Muhsinieen (good-doers). * So that Allah may expiate from them the evil of what they did and give them the reward, according to the best of what they used to do] [Az-Zumar 39:33-35], so Allah stated that these pious righteous good-doers did commit some sins that He will forgive and expiate for them, and that their piety and righteousness does not necessitate that they be free from all sin.

Similarly, as Prophet Muhammad – Peace be upon him – mentioned: (Allah has placed the truth on the tongue of ‘Umar [ibn al-Khatab] and his heart) [11], and he [‘Umar] is from the best of Awliyaa’, and with this he never depended on what he found on his heart until he subjected it to the book of Allah and the Sunnah (the teachings of the Prophet), and would leave whatever opposes them. It was on this path that those [pious] people traveled.

Abu Suleiman al-Darani said: (I hear certain Nukat [interesting pieces of information and comments] from people that fall into my heart, but yet I do not accept them without two witnesses: The Book [of Allah] and the Sunnah) [12] i.e. he never accepts what he hears from people no matter how interesting he thinks it is unless it conforms with the Quran and the Sunnah.

Thus mistakes that walis fall into based on their Ijtihad (effort to arrive at the truth) do not diminish their Wilaya if he was among those who has put all his effort in research, and the mistake he falls into is forgiven, and he is rewarded [for it] not sinned.

Prophet Muhammad –Peace be upon him- said: (When the ruler rules and he puts an effort, and then arrives at the correct ruling them he will be rewarded twice. And if he rules after putting an effort, but gets it wrong then he will be rewarded once) [13].


Al-Wilaya according to Sufis

The Sufis have a “special” understanding to the concept of Wilaya; where they have added [extra criterions] to the religious limit [of the Wilaya] [discussed earlier].

Abu al-Qasim al-Qushairi said: “Al-Wali has two meanings:

  • the first: Fa’eel meaning Maf’ool (the previous are just Arabic roots), and he is one who Allah looks after his affairs.
  • the second: from the root Fa’eel, an exaggeration to the root Faa’il, he is one who looks after and stays persistent in the worship of Allah, such that his worship is continuous and is not interrupted by any sin, and both these definitions are a must for someone to become a Wali” [14].

This definition is establishing the idea of the ‘Ismah (infallibility) of the wali [that does not fall into any sin].

Similarly al-Gargani defined it as al-Qushairi defined it, but he added: (Al-Wilaya is: the performance of the truth by a servant [of Allah], after he perishes from his Self) [15].

This suggests the concepts of al-Fanaa or al-Hulool (concepts referring to the dissolution of ego and the Union of Man and God).

The deviances of the Sufis in the concept of al-Wali – which conflicts and is in contrary to the Quran and the Sunnah – can be summarized in several points [16]:

  1. Their claim that the Wali can evolve and transform [into different forms], and be present in several places at the same time.Al-Sha’rani said when speaking of Husien Abi Ali: (This Sheikh was one of the complete Knowers [of God], and the head of one of the largest circles. He frequently used to develop [into other forms]: You would enter on him one time and see him a soldier, and then enter another time and see him as a lion [or some other beast], then you enter another time and see him an elephant, and then enter another time and see him a small child, and so on) [17].
  2. Their claim that anything that a wali imagines or pictures in his imagination happens just as he imagined.As al-Sha’rani narrated about what happened to al-Gawhari, when he dived in the ocean and imagined that he married a woman from Iraq and he had kids with her. After a while a woman from Iraq came with their kids [18].
  3. Their claim of ‘Ismah (infallibility) of the wali, and that it is not permissible to disapprove of what they do even if it is against the teachings of Islam.Al-Sha’rani mentioned what Ali al-Khawas said: (Do not dare listen to those who disapprove of anything the Scholars and the Poor do, or you might fall from the Protective Eye of Allah – All Mighty-), and then he said: (He [i.e. al-Khawas] deterred people from disputing with them, since their [the Scholars and the Poor] knowledge is presented [to them] not transmitted [to them]) and then he described it as (direct inheritance from the Prophets) [19].
  4. Their claim that Wilaya is something in the hands of the Awilyaa’, they can grant it to whomever they which. Al-Dabaag’ said: (The wali has the ability to talk into someone’s ears, and [after he is done] the one he spoke to does not depart until he and the wali are equal in knowledge/status) [20].And this shows the clear flaw they have in understanding how the status of wilaya is attained. They also mentioned that it can be attained through seclusion, exercise, or other similar means.
  5. They claim that they meet the Prophet –Peace be upon him- awake [i.e. they see him and meet him in real life, not in a dream], and from their meetings with him they learn about the rulings of Islam, they ask him about the Halal (lawful) and the Haram (unlawful), and they ask him about the authenticity of certain traditions (whether they are weak or authentic) [21].
  6. They claim that there is a seal (or last) to the Wilaya just as there is a seal to Prophethood. This Sufi idea was invented by al-Hakeem al-Tirmizi, and it was later modified by the Sufis after him until they claimed that there is a different seal for every age. Others claimed that there is a seal to the special Wilaya and a seal to the general Wilaya after which no other Wali will exist! [22].
  7. They ascribe to Awliya attributes of God from the knowledge of the unseen, and control of the universe. Look, for example, to what al-Sha’rani narrates about Ibrahim al-Gha’bari and his ability to see secrets of people [23].Al-Sha’rani also narrates that al-Gha’bari had the ability to make those around him laugh or cry, as he wishes. He also trapped people’s urine (urinary retention) and then released it! [24].He also mentioned what Muhammad al-Khudri used to say: (The Earth between my hands is like the bowl I eat in, and the bodies of people are like glass that I can see inside them) [25]. He mentioned about al-Shirbini that he used to tell the stick that he used to carry: (Be a human, and it turns into a human. Then he would send it to do something for him, and then comes back and returns as it was) [26].


Karamaat Al-Awliyaa’

The karamaat of the Awliyaa’ are considered a form of breaking out of norms or breaking out of natural patterns.

A pattern is a situation that reoccurs in similar manners, such as the women’s menstruation cycle [27].

Breaking of the norms, patterns, or any natural effects occurs when that pattern occurs in a way that is contrary to what is typically expected [28].

Examples of these [breaking of the natural trends] can be by giving up humanly needs such as eating and drinking for an unusual reason, or can be by knowing something and then seeing it or hearing it such that it is impossible for humans to see it or hear it normally, which is known as Kashf or Mukashafah. It can also be by the occurrence of an effect that is usually outside of human capabilities such as producing of light without a source. From it also is having the supplication answered.

The absolute Opulence, Knowledge, and Power – that causes these natural trends to break – belongs to Allah All Mighty, and He is the one that breaks these norms for whomever he wishes. Which is why Noah – Peace be upon him- denied that it is from his own self, and that is why Allah ordered his messenger Prophet Muhammad –Peace be upon him- to deny that these [effects] are from his own self, as is mentioned in the Quran:

[Say (O Muhammad): “I don’t tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the Unseen; nor I tell you that I am an angel …”]

[Surah Al-An’aam 6:50] [29].

These supernatural phenomenas can be both praiseworthy if it assists the one it happens to in Birr and Taqwa (piety and righteousness, doing good and avoiding evil), such as the Miracles of the Prophets and the Karamaat of the Righteous. [Other reasons that would make them praiseworthy include: using them] in proving matters of the religion, or fulfilling the needs of the believers. On the other hand, these supernatural effects can be a source of blame and evil if it was used to assist in transgression and evil, such as what occurs by sorcerers and evil people.

What was neither from the first or the second group, and just assisted the one they occur to in fulfilling his needs in a permissible manner would be judged by the way it was used. Thus if it was used for good then it becomes praiseworthy and if used in evil it becomes blameworthy [30].

Defining al-Karamah: Al-Karamah linguistically: is from the root Ka-ru-mah, or Kar-ramah or Akram.

And (the Kaaf, and the Raa’, and the Meem – three letters in the Arabic language -: are a true root, which have two doors/meanings [associated with it]; the first: refers to the honor of the thing within itself, or the honor of the thing among Creation) [31].

It appears that the Karamah from the first door comes from the honor it has in itself, and [the one it occurs to] is honorable in the second manner because of his high level with the Creator and among other creations too.

Al-Karamah is from Karam or honor, and is the opposite of wickedness or evil [32], and al-Karamah is to honoring, as obedience is to obeying [33].

Now religiously: we find that the term Karamah was not used in either the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of his messenger, or the words of the companions. We find that Allah – All Mighty – called it an Ayah (a sign or proof) after mentioning the Karamah of the People of the Cave when the sun declined to their right when it rose, and turned away from them to the left as its sets, He said: [This is one of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs) of Allah] [Al-Kahf 18:17]. Verily, this sign was a proof and evidence of the ability of Allah – All Mighty-, and is an indication of the honor of the People of the Cave. It was called a Karamah (Thaumaturgic gift) to distinguish between it and a Mu’jiza (Miracle – usually reserved for Prophets). This distinction in terminology was developed by later scholars [34], but became widely used, until it became the terminology used by the majority of scholars.

Thus whenever we see an event that in not normal, we look at the one which it occurred to; if he was a righteous pious believer, and that supernatural event was something that could be possible to occur by the hands of a Wali: we would count such a thing as a Karamah. In this manner we can define Karamah as: (a supernatural event that Allah permits to occur at the hands of a Wali – not a Prophet – whether the Wali realizes it or not) [35].

From the previous definition we see that there are several conditions for the Thaumaturgic gift (karamah), and they are:

  1. The occurrence of a supernatural event.
  2. Its occurrence on the hands of a Wali (Righteous believer), otherwise it won’t be considered a Karamah, but a gradual movement towards punishment (Istidraaj).
  3. That the Wali is not a Prophet.
  4. That this supernatural event is something that is fit to be a Karamah to that Wali, so it does not consist of any sins or falsehood [36].

It is not one of the requirements of the Karamah that it occurs without a challenge, or to prove a point, or to fulfill a need [37], or the realization of the Wali to it.


The Difference between a Thaumaturgic Gift (Karamah) and a Miracle (Mu’jizah)

The Karamaat of Awliyaa’ is similar to Miracles of Prophets, but their major difference is in their level.

These differences can be made clear with the following points:

Firstly: The Karamah could never reach the level of the miracle [of a Prophet], in a similar way that the Awliyaa’ (Saints or Pious Believers) could not reach in status of Prophets. Prophets have their Major Miracles that could not appear for anyone else whether saints or devils, and it is a proof of their Truthfulness. Ibn Taimiyah – May Allah shower him with mercy – said: (The Karamat of anyone can never reach the level of the miracles of Prophets) [38].

However, there are some other supernatural events that are minor, and are not used solely as proof to the Truth of the Prophets. These (minor ones) are the ones that could be similar to what could appear to the Awliyaa’ as an honor to them, and [when it appears to a Prophet] is also a sign to the believers of truthfulness of the Prophet that they followed. So the miracles of this level, that could appear to both Humans and Jinn, is not used solely as a sign of the Prophet, since Allah has supported his Prophets with other Great miracles that would never appear to (and is out of the reach of) other humans or jinn [39]. This by the grace of Allah is a clear rule to distinguish between a miracle and a karamah, and is proven by the words of the Prophet [Peace be upon him]: Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed, but what I have been given, is Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection [40].

(What is meant is that every Prophet was given a sign (miracle) or more to make those who witness it believe because of it) [41].

And by this rule it becomes clear the flaw in the claim of some people, that anything that appeared as a miracle to a Prophet can also appear as a Karamah of a Wali [42].

Secondly: That a miracle occurs to a prophet along with a claim to Prophethood, which is not the case for the Karamah of a Wali.

Thirdly: Miracles are from the signs of the truthfulness of the prophet and of Allah’s support for him, and it comes to fulfill the needs of the people and for their guidance, and occurs to prophets who know that it will happen, just as they have to show it especially if people believing depended on it. And all these are not conditions for a Karamah.


The difference between a Karamah and Devilish Situations (Ahwaal Shaytaniya, unnatural events based on works of devils):

Once we have realized the relationship between the Miracle and the Karamah, and that they come from the same base, and then we used the Prophethood to distinguish between it (the miracle) and the Karamah and the Devilish Situation [43], then differentiating between the Karamah and the Devilish Situation would become easy and can be pointed out in these points:

  1. Karamaat are caused by the true closeness to Allah–All Mighty- and comes from Faith and Piety [44], thus supernatural events that occurred for someone with no Faith or Piety, would be from the devil.
    • [Imam] Al-Shafi’ee –May Allah have mercy on him- said: (If you see a man walking on water, or flying in the air, do not be deceived by him until you have examined his actions through the Book [of Allah] and the Sunnah) [45].
    • And from the beautiful reflections of Abi Yazid Al-Bastamy is his saying: (Allah has many creations, that walk on water, yet have no value in the sight of Allah, so if you see someone who was given from the Gifts that makes him fly, do not be deceived by him until you see how he is when it comes to the Orders [of Allah] and His Restrictions, His boundaries and His Laws) [46].
  2. Karamaat are based on Truthfulness, as opposed to these other [devilish] supernatural events that are based on lies and falsehood. [Allah –All Mighty- says in the Quran]: [Shall I inform you (O people!) upon whom the Shayatin (devils) descend? * They descend on every lying, sinful person] [Ash-Shu’ara 26:221-222].
  3. The Devilish (supernatural) events in reality are normal actions of the Jinn and Human, which the devils do outside the sight of Humans; from moving something to a different place or killing or harming and the likes. However, they cannot change something from a reality to a different reality, or do anything that are only within the capabilities of the Lord –the one and only-, or even within the capabilities of His angels. These devilish events can’t even reach the level of making water increase in quantity, such that it [in reality] becomes in itself more then it was before [47].
  4. Karamaat are grants from Allah, however these Devilish situations or unnatural events can occur through learning them, training, calling upon the Jinn and Devils, and coming close to them [48].
  5. Those close to Allah (the Awliyaa’) try as much as they can to hide their Karamahs, and do not pay much attention to it, and realize that it is a gift from Allah that they should thank Him for it, and fear that it might be a trial that they would fail in, and whoever this was his case would never use his Karamah as a field for competition, where he would show-off his Karamah, and belittle the Karamat of others … On the other hand, the people that use the devilish events are the exact opposite. They never show these events –in most cases- except in the presence of others, and they challenge one another with it aiming to show-off their abilities with deception and trickery [49].
  6. The Karamat of Awliyaa’ is something that is proven by the Texts, and has occurred to righteous people, as opposed to these satanic events that can be nullified and abolished through Remembrance (Dhikr) or through Quranic recitation.And how different is the thing that weakens through recitation of the Quran and its effect disappears or deteriorates, and the thing that becomes stronger through the recitation of the Quran, and increases in light [50]!


Ilhaam (Inspiration) and Farasah (Pure intuition or insight) are from the Karamaat of Awliyaa’

Linguistically Ilhaam refers to encompassing something, and from this comes the meaning: placing something in the heart and encompassing it, Allah –All Mighty- says:

[And He inspired it to what is wrong for it and what is right for it]

[Al-Shams 91:8] [51].

Ilhaam (inspiration) is (something that falls in the heart, so that the heart is comforted by it, and is something Allah favors few of his chosen servants by) [52].

The Inspired one is the one whose assumptions about things are true, the angels speak from his tongue such that he speaks out the truth even without a plan from him, and this is called Mukashafah (visions).

(The True Mukashafah (vision): is knowledge that Allah the Exalted places in the heart of his slave, by which he sees things that might not be known to others …) [53].

The proof of this Ilham (inspiration) is what the Prophet [peace be upon him] said: (Among the nations who lived before you, there were men who used to be inspired with guidance [though they were not prophets], and if there is any of such persons amongst my followers, it is ‘Umar) [54].

This inspiration is an opening from Allah the Exalted to one of his believing servants, which coincides with the truth that was revealed in the book of Allah, or on the tongue of His messenger [peace be upon him], like the (good) dream (Ru’ya) which is a form of vision where the one sleeping can see something that hasn’t happened yet. Which attests what Prophet Muhammad said: (I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “Nothing is left of the prophetism except Al-Mubashshirat.” They asked, “What are Al-Mubashshirat?” He replied, “The true good dreams (that conveys glad tidings).”) [55].

This inspiration –with its great status- could never come to complete a deficiency in the religion, nor can it come to bring a new ruling, just as is the case with the good dream; So whoever sees Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] in a dream, and he (the Prophet) orders him to do something, he must first see its ruling in the religion. That is because (anyone that ever gets a vision would never be better than ‘Umar, thus whoever gets a vision has to adhere to the way of ‘Umar in the manner he adhered to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah that Prophet Muhammad came with, not making the rulings of the religion secondary to the “visions” that he gets) [56].

An example of this inspiration is what happened to Abu Bakr [May Allah be pleased with him] in his position to fight the Apostates, when many of the companions disagreed with him, so he replied: (By Allah, I will fight him who discriminates between Zakat and prayers, for Zakat is the Compulsory right to be taken from the wealth By Allah, if they refuse to give me even a tying rope which they use to give to Allah’s Apostle, I would fight them for withholding it.”) [57], until Allah opened the chest of the companions to what Abu Bakr saw as the truth. Similarly when Abu Bakr sent the army of Usamah that was set up by Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] before his death.

‘Umar [May Allah be pleased by him] also said: I agreed with my Lord in three things; I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, if only we were to take the Station of Ibrahim as a place of prayer,’ and there was revealed, ‘… and take the Station of Ibrahim as a place of prayer.’ (Quran 2:125). I said, ‘Messenger of Allah, both good and bad people come to visit your home; if only you would order your wives to wear hijabs,’ and the ayah of the hijab was revealed. The wives of the Prophet [peace be upon him] united in jealousy, and so I said, ‘Perhaps his Lord, if he divorces you, will give him in exchange wives better than you, …’ and then Allah revealed: ‘It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you …’ (Quran 66:5)’ [58].

And from his inspirations is his stance towards the prisoners of Badr.

Farasah (intuition or insight): is used in the language to refer to two meanings, one of them is more specific than the other, and they are:

  1. Knowledge of Affairs, and experience in situations, through a deep observation of them.
  2. Skill in viewing what is clear and what is the hidden about different situations [59].

Thus Farasah (intuition or insight) can be defined in the religious aspect as: Light that Allah throws into the heart of the believer who is adherent to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon him], in which He [Allah All Mighty] makes it clear to the believer what might be unclear to others, using signs that are clear [to everyone], which he uses to arrive at a correct conclusion, without leaving the religion’s commandments.

This intuition and insight is (dependent on someone’s Faith and Piety, so whoever was higher in faith would have a greater Farasah [or insight]) [60] (so whoever plants Faith in the plains of his pure heart, and irrigates this plant with the water of sincerity, truthfulness, and adherence [to the commands of Islam], some of the fruits of this would be Farasah [intuition/insight]) [61].

The reason behind this is (that this intuition was developed due to his closeness to Allah –all Mighty- since the heart when it comes close to Allah the barriers that might be between him and the realization of the Truth would be removed, and he would see the light clearer as he come closer to Allah, and this light would light the way for him based on his closeness to it, so he would see by it what someone who is further away would not see), as was discussed in the hadith of the Awliyaa’ mentioned earlier, and (this is not from the knowledge of the unseen, rather the Knower of the unseen (Allah all Mighty) placed the truth in the heart of he who is close to him) [62].

And from the benefits of this Farasah (insight):

  1. Benefiting from sermons, reminders, and events. Allah said – after mentioning the story of the people of Lot – : [Surely, In this are signs for the Mutawasimeen] [Al-Hijr 15:75] i.e. those who see, understand, and learn the lessons from the Signs of Allah.
  2. Precision when making rulings between people especially for judges, which leads to preserving people’s rights, and achieving a general benefit which the religion wants to create [63].
  3. Assigning those worthy to their proper positions, for the overall benefit of society.
  4. Overseeing certain events before they happen which allows for taking the necessary precautions to removes evil, and eliminates any possible damages.

And from the examples of this Farasah (intuition and insight): is what happened for ‘Umar when (people from Mazhaj entered to him, and among them was Al-Ashtar Al-Nakh’y, so he (‘Umar) looked directly at him and said: Who is that? They said: He is Malik ibn Al-Harith. So he said: What is the matter with him, May Allah curse him? Verily, I see a great calamity that will befall the Muslims from him.

Similarly what happened to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Afaan –May Allah be pleased with him- when a man entered to him, after staring at the beauty of a woman in the street on his way to ‘Uthman. So ‘Uthman said when the man entered: [why] would one among you enter on me, when the signs of adultery can be clearly seen on his eyes?! So I said [amazed at his intuition]: Is this a revelation after Prophet Muhammad –Peace be upon him-? So he replied: No, rather it is an insight, and a proof, and a true Farasah) [64].


Arabic Version: Here.

[via MAH]

[1] Mu’jam Maqayees al-Lu’gha, 6/141, see: al-Qamoos al-Mu’heet, p. 1732, Mukhtar al-Sahah, p. 736. (The first Saahib meaning the owner, and the second meaning the companion)

[2] Mufradaat Al-Faaz al-Quran, al-Raa’ib al-Asfahaani, p.885

[3] Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman fee Tafseer Kalam al-Manaan, al-Shaykh ‘Abdulrahman al-Sa’dee, p. 120

[4] Jami’ al-‘Uloom wa al-Hikam, 2/336

[5] Fath al-Bari, 11/342

[6] Refer to: Jami’ al-‘Uloom wa al-Hikam, 2/335-337, and al-Furqan, p. 22

[7] Refer to: Awliyaa’ Allah ‘Uqalaa’ Laysu Maganeen (Those close to Allah are sane, not crazy), ibn Taimiyah: 21, 22

[8] Refer to: Muqadimat Tahqeeq Karamaat Awliyaa’ Allah by al-Lalakaa’y, by Ahmad Saa’d Hamdan. P. 7

[9] Narrated by Bukhari, al-Fath, 11/348 349

[10] al-Furqaan, p. 9, 30

[11] Narrated by al-Tirmizi, hadith/3682, and its authentic

[12] See: Al-Furqaan, p 48, 59, and what follows

[13] Narrated by al-Bukhari, hadith/7352

[14] Al-Risalah Al-Qushairiyah: 520-521, See: 667

[15] Al-Ta’reefat, p. 310

[16] See: Taqdees Al-Ashkhaas fee Al-Fikr Al-Sufi, Muhammad Ahmad Loh: 1/55, 93

[17] Al-Tabaqaat Al-Kubrah, 2/87

[18] Previous reference

[19] Al-Tabaqaat Al-Kubrah, 1/10

[20] Al-Ibreez min Kalaam Sidy Abdulazeez, Ahmad ibn Al-Mubarak, 175, copied from Taqdees al-Ashkhaas, 1/75

[21] See: Al-Tabaqaat Al-Kubrah in the story of Abu Al-Mawahib Al-Shazli, where he mentioned for him several meetings, 2/67, 81, 75

[22] See: Taqdees Al-Ashkhaas, 1/79, and what follows

[23] Previous Reference, 1/203, 204

[24] Previous Reference

[25] Previous Reference, 2/107

[26] Previous Reference, 2/136

[27] Al-Mu’jam Al-Waseet, p 635

[28] See: Al-Nubuwaat by ibn Taymiyah, 34, 35

[29] See: Al-Safadiya: 183, and Qaa’dah fee Al-Mu’jiza min Al-Karamaat: 8, both by Ibn Taymiya, and Sharh Al-Tahawiya by Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz: 2/746

[30] See: Al-Nubuwat: 27, 28, and Sharh Al-Tahawiya: 2/747

[31] See: Mu’jam Maqayees Al-Lu’aah (Karam)

[32] See: Al-Qaamoos Al-Muheet (Karam)

[33] See: Lisaan Al-‘Arab, (Karam)

[34] See: al-Nubuwaat, p. 15, and Qa’idah fee al-Mu’jizat wa al-Karamaat, p. 7

[35] A definition borrowed from the book: Taqdees Al-Ashkhaas, Muhammad Ahmad Loh, 2/278, 288

[36] See: Al-Muwafaqat by Al-Shatebee: 2/278

[37] See: Al-Nubuwat, p. 18, 19, and Sharh Al-Wasitiyah, by Haraas 168, and Al-Fatawa, 11/274

[38] Al-Nubuwat, p.4

[39] See: Al-Nubuwat, p. 333, 335, and Al-Muwafaqat by Al-Shatebee: 2/259, 262

[40] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, hadith/4981, Al-Fath, 8/618

[41] Al-Nubuwat, p. 4

[42] And this is what is held by the majority of the Asha’irate, as will be mentioned

[43] As was done by Ibn Taymiyah – May Allah have mercy on him -, See: Mawqif ibn Taymiyah min Al-Tasawuf, Dr. Ahmad Banani, 232

[44] See: Al-Muwafaqat: 2/272, Al-Nubuwat, p. 20

[45] Tafseer ibn Katheer, Qaa’ida fee Al-Mu’jizaat wa Al-Karamaat

[46] Seyar A’laam Al-Nubala, 13, 88, and Al-Hielya: 10/40

[47] See: Al-Nubuwat, p. 20, 23

[48] See: Taqdees Al-Ashkhaas, 2/283

[49] See: previous reference, 2/283, and Al-Fatawa, 11/295

[50] See: Taqdees Al-Ashkhaas, Muhammad Ahmad Noh, p. 285

[51] Mu’jam Maqayees Al-Lugha, ibn Faris, from the root (Lahm), 5/217

[52] Mu’jam Al-Waseet, several authors, root (Lahm) 2/742

[53] Madarij Al-Saalikeen, 3/233

[54] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, hadith/3689

[55] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, hadith/6990

[56] Ibn Taymiyah, in Al-Fatawa, 13/74, and see: Al-Muwafaqaat: 2/272

[57] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, hadith/6925, and Al-‘Inaaq: is the daughter of a goat, and it is the Sakhlah

[58] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, hadith/4483

[59] See: Al-Mu’gham Al-Waseet, the root (Fars), 2/681

[60] Madarij Al-Salikeen, 2/504

[61] See: Previous reference, 2/515

[62] Al-Ruh by Ibn Al-Qayim, p. 532

[63] See: Al-Turaq Al-‘Hakimiyah, by ibn Al-Qayim: 32, 33, 37

[64] Al-Ruh by Ibn Al-Qayim, p. 532, 537, and see: many other examples in: Al-Turaq Al-Hakimiya, p. 33 and what follows


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