Archive for the ‘Awliya Allah, Angels, Sufis, Sahabas, Caliphs & Companions – الأولياء الله ، الملائكة ، الصوفية، الخلفاء الراشدين والصحابة’ Category
In The Name Of Allah – Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.
WHO WERE HARUT & MARUT ?
In the reign of King and Prophet Sulaiman (AS), Satan managed and succeeded in impersonating the Prophet for forty days by the mighty signet-ring on which was inscribed the greatest name of Allah. Sulaiman (AS) was exiled from his own land and nobody recognised him to be the very King and Prophet.
During these forty days Satan wrote several books on witchcraft and buried them under the throne of Sulaiman (AS). The Jinns used typical and treacherous ploys to convince people that Sulaiman (AS), derived power and kingdom by ‘witchcraft’. To prove his words, he exhumed the books from under the throne and showed them to the people. Thus the people were interested in magic; they thought they would be master of their fate by going through witchcraft and that ultimate power would be invested to them.
However, Satan spread corruption and discordance among the people. Only a few of them were God-fearing ones, but it was not an easy work for them to make such a people return to the path of success. the situation worsened! So, allah the Lord of the universe, the Lord of man and angels, the Lord of Satan and Jinn split open the heaven and let the angels see what mankind was doing and when the angels saw men committing wrong they said: "These humans you created with your hand, to whom you made the angels prostrate, to whom you taught names of everyrhing are committing wrong."
The scene the angels witnessed on man, impelled them to make derogatory remarks on mankind, criticizing the people on Earth and their illegal ruling. allah said to them, "But if you were in their place, you would be doing the same thing." In another source and tradition, it is said that Allah said to the angels, "I gave mankind ten carnal desires and it is through these they disobey me."
So, Allah challenged the angels to do better if placed under the same condition. They accepted and said, "O’ Lord, if you give us these carnal desires we would descend and we would judge with justice." The angels were commanded to choose one who would be sent to Earth and finally chose Harut and Marut.
Allah said to them, "Go down, I have given you ten carnal desires so judge between the people." So the two angels, Harut and Marut were sent to the city of Babylon (Capital of ancient Babylon on the bank of the lower Euphrates River. The site if now of iraq, 88km/55 miles South of Baghdad and 8km/5 miles north of Hilla, which is built cheifly of bricks from the ruins of Babylon). The Holy Qu’ran referes to Babylon and the two angels, Harut and Marut in Chaper 2 Verse 102.
THE TWO ANGELS SENT TO BABYLON
Harut was sent as a Judge whereas Marut as a scholar with the instructions to avoid the grave sins of idolatry, fornication, murder and the consumption of wine. They lived, and consumed food as human beings. Their judgement were appraised. Then one day a woman named Zuhra appeared to them, she was wonderously beautiful as she was given half of all beauty. They were captivated by the charms and beauty of Zuhra. Now, Zuhra knew that the two men were no ordinary persons. She thought that theymust be other creatures in human forms who have got secrets. Therefore she tried her best by means of her beauty and tricks to bring out the secret.
The two angels, by means of the greatest name of Allah could leave the Earth in no time to thier abode in heaven. They used this secret to ascend to heaven whever they wished. Zuhra wanted at all costs to know the secrets of Harut and Marut; so she invited them to her place, served them with the best food. Now, they wanted to comimit adultery with her as they were captivated by her beauty, but she said. "No, not unless you associate ‘partners’ with God, consume wine, murder somebody and prostrate before idol." They said, "we cannot associate anything with God." Then one of them said, "Return to her". But she said "Not until you drink."
They were then said with wine, and the dance of Zuhra accompanied by music injected a satanic atmosphere, so they forgot their mission and commited several sins in order to win her favours. At the monet she was granting her favours a beggar was passing by and witnessed their misconduct, but they killed him. And during their state of inebriety they disclosed their greatest secret which Allah has vouchsafed to them. Thus Zuhra came to know the greatest name of Allah! The secret she eagerly wanted to know by leaving no stone unturned, had been finally unveiled to her!
Whe the two angels were committing wrong with Zuhra under the effect of wine, as they were both intoxicated; Allah plit open the heaven and the nagels saw how their two brothers were misonducting, they said: "Glory to You, you know better", The other angles took this episode as a lesson and warning and they refrained from bearing the conviction thatthey would do better than man even with cranl desires. Allah knows perfectly the weakness of man due to his Nafs or desires, but nevertheless He wants man to achieve the greatest goal even though he is inclined to evil. Just think how the greed and desires of man pulled him to the threshold of sins, but he just thinks of Allah and moves away, this is in fact the greatest action he has done and reward for him either here or in the hereafter will be countless.
Now, man is not only the target of his evil desires but also the main target of Satan. Man has therefore to fight with his own self and Satan. How great is that man who is spite of all these traps exposing on his way reaches successfully the gate of bliss. A Sufi poet once said "Jubilantly I glide onto the furious waves; For life without hardship is a hell for the brave." May Allah help us to reach our destination successfully and let us not be enslaved by our passions and desires but rather let us be the masters of our desires and may Allah protect us from Satanic thoughts, Ameen.
The two angels, Harut and Marut were vulnerable as hman beings and they were unable to way-out from the women wiles and other offecnes. The ten carnal desires Allah gave to them were as if ten devils they have to fight and exterminate but that was not an easy task although they were angels. They did notever realise how much man must strive the evil dictation of his desries; how much man must be stilled as the mountain confronting the fierce winds of evil thoughts, temptation an desires. Harut and Marut boasted they could do better than man in previaling justice and peace on Earth, but unfortunately they became the prey for a beautiful woman.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ZUHRA?
Zuhra who came to know the greatest name of Allah from the two angels at once uttered the name and she disappeared from the surface of the Earth, and she was never seen again. The Lord however forgave her fot eh sins she commited, but she was refused entry into Paradise, instead, Allah transformed her into the planet ‘Venus’; she will be thus until the end of time. Venus can be seen in the sky in the early morning or evening.
HARUT AND MARUT PUNISHED BY ALLAH
When Harut and Marut became spber, they realised how they had transgressed and what had befalled them. They tried to acscend to heaven by uttering the greatest name of Allah, but they were made to forget it. They, therefore, realised how Allah’s word had turned true. They prostrated and prayed to win Allah’s forgiveness, they repented. Allah then said to them, "You reproached man for his faulty nature; now you have seen that having carnal desires as his, you will act in no way differently, and all his iniquity has become yours!"
The two angels were left to choose between punishment of this world and the external pains of hell, they preferred to expiate their offence here on Earth. The Lord accepted, and it was Prophet sulaiman (AS) whom Allah inspired after the recovery of his kingdom to make the two angels choose between the two; ‘the earthly punishement or the eternal fire!’ The two angels were put in fetters from their ankles to their neck and they were placed in a certain well in the Babel. The angels, Harut and Marut were strung up by their feet where they have been in torment ever since. It is said that they are strung up by their feet every day between the hour og Maghrib and Isha, such will be their punishment until the day of judgement. They will then be forgiven and will obtain their angelic nature and abode. Inshallah.
THE MAGIC TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
Harut and Marut were placed in the well and all those who were keen to learn magic, flocked to them for instructions. The two angels started to teach them magic or witchcraft amd they became great teachers of magic. In chapter 2 verse 102 of the Holy Qu’ran Allah says:
They (the Jews) followed what the devils taught in the reign of sulaiman; not that Sulaiman was unbelieving, but the devils were unbelieving. Sorcery did they teach to men, and what had been revealed to the two angels, Harut and Marut, at Babel. Yet no mad did they teach until they had said, "We areonly a temptation." Be not then an unbeliever. From these two did people learn how to cause division between man and wife; but unless by leave of God, no man did harm thereby. They learned, indeed, what would harm and not profit them: and yet they knew he who bought that art should have no part in the life to come! And vile the price in for which they sold themselves. if they had but known it!
According to this verse Allah informs us that at the time of Sulaiman (AS), the Jinn who personated him for forty days was unbelieving but Sulaiman (AS), never disbelieved. Some people at that time were made to believe by Satan that Sulaiman (AS), derived his power and kingdom through witchcraft, but Allah removed the false accusations against the Prophet by informing the fact through this verse. Again, the two angels taught men magic, sorcery but after they had warned the would be student of mgic, "We are only a temptation, therefore, disbelieve not in the guidance of Allah."
Referring to the above verse we are also informed about seperation between huband and wife! Many types of witchraft are learned by man to ruin man, but the sorcery to disunite a husband from his wife had been spread that moment by the two angels. In fact Al-Ghazzali (RA), Ihya-Ulum-Al-Din, in the chapter of Attachment of the World, he reported a hadith in which the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon him), is attributed to have said: "Beware of the world, as it is a sorcerer greater than Harut and Marut". We therefore confirm that fact Harut and Marut did teach sorcery after usual warning had been given.
SCIENCES HARUT & MARUT TAUGHT MEN
The two angels taught men all the esoteric arts and branches of occult knowledge; astrology, alchemy, numerology, the healing arts and magic. Although the roots of astrology go back to anceint Babylon and assyria, it was the Greeks who took over the Babylonian Zodiac and went on to develop the first known horoscopes. Astrology became very popular in Greece.
These sciences showing how human souls may become prpared to exercise upon the world of the elements, either without the help of celestial matters. These sciences are forbideen by the religious laws, because they are harmful and require their practitioners to direct themselves to being other than Allah, such as stars among these Venus, and other things. these sciences were cultivated among Assyrian and Chaldean (inhabitants of abylon) and mong Copts of Egypt and others. They composed books dealing with sorcery and left information on these sciences. A few of these books have been translated. One of the books is the Falaha-an-Nabatiyah by Ibn Wahshiyah, a Babylonian work. Hence people learned the science of sorcery from that work and developed it manifold branches. However, these sciences breed nothing but total destruction of faith! And faith is the key to heaven.
SCIENCE OF SORCERY AND TALISMAN
According to Ibn Kaldun, the meaning of sorcery is as follows: Human souls are one in species, but they differ in view of their particular qualities. They are of different kinds and each kind of soul. These qualities come to its particular kind of soul.
The souls of the prophets have particular quality through which they are prepared to have divine knowledge, to be addressed by the angels in the name of Allah, and to exercise the influence upon created beings that goes with all that…
The souls of certain sorcerers also have the quality of being able to exercise influence upon created beings and to attract the spirituality of the stars, so that they can use it for being active among created being and to be able to exercise an influence through either a psychic or satanic power. Now, prophets are able to exercise their influence with the help of Allah and by means of divine quality. The souls of soothsayers, have the quality enabling them to observe supernatural things by means of satanic powers. Thus, every kind of soul is distinguished by its particular quality, which does not exist in any other kind.
The souls that have magical ability are of three degrees. The first kind exercises its influence merely through mental power, without any instrument or help. This is what the philosopher’s term sorcery. The second exercises its influences with the help of the temper of the spheres and the elements, or with the aid of properties of numbers. This is called Talisman. It is weaker in degree than the first one. The third exercises its influence upon the powers of imagination, he is somehow active in them. He plants among the different sorts of phantasms, Images and pictures whichever he intends to use. Then he brings them down to the level of sensual perception of the observers with the help of the power of his soul that exercises an influence over that sensual perception. As a result, the phantasms and so on, appear to the observers to exist in the external word, while in fact, there is nothing of the sort. For instance, a person is said to have seen gardens, rivers or castles, while in fact, there was no such things. This is what the philosophers term ‘prestidigitation, (Sha’badhah). These are the different degree of sorcery.
However, religious law put sorcery, talismans and prestidigitation into one and the same class, because they may cause harm. It brands them as forbidden and illegal. the Prophet Muhammed (Peace and Blessings be Upon him) is reported to have said "There are certain magicians among my followers. Do not call on them when they are sick, do not offer funeral prayers for them when they die and do not greet them with salutations when you happen to meet them." However, the occult sciences are in fact attempts of man towards spiritualism but through means contrary to divine injunction.
WITCHCRAFT AND FAITH
According to Urwah-ab-l-Zubayr, the mother of believers Aisha (RA) is reported to have said: A woman from the people of Dumat al-Janbal came to seem me. She arrived seeking the Messenger of Allah after he had recently passed away, to ask him about sorcery which had become involved in but had not practised. Aisha (RA) said to Urwa: "O’ son of my sister, I noticed that she cried when she did not find the Messenger of Allah to comfort her. She cried until I showed compassion for her, she said, ‘I am afraid that I have been ruined! I had a husband who left me, and an old woman came to me and I complained to her about that’. Then she said , ‘If you do what I tell you, I shall make him come back to you’. Then when the night fell, she came with two black dogs, she mounted one of them and I mounted the other one. In no time we had stopped at Babil, where there were two men suspended by their feet, they said ‘What brought you here’, I said I would learn sorcery, they said, We are a trial; do not disbelieve return! I refused and said No. They said ‘Go to this oven and urinate on it.’ So I went but I was terrified and returned back. Have you done it?, they asked, I said, ‘Yes’, They said, ‘Did you see anything?, I said, ‘No’. They said, ‘You did not do it-Go back to your place, do not disbelieve, you are in control of your affairs.’ But I stayed and refused to go. They said, ‘Go and urinate.’ So I went and urinated into the oven and I saw a horsemen wearing an iron mask come out of me and go up to the sky, and he disappeared from my view so that I could not see him. Then I came and said I’ve done it, and told them what I saw. They said ‘You are speaking the truth. That was your faith leaving you, go.’ I said to the woman I learned nothing. They taught me nothing. The woman replied, ‘No, you will not wish for anything without it happening. take this wheat and sow it.’ I sowed it and I said, ‘Sprout’ and it sprouted, then I said, ‘Burgeon forth’, and it bourgeoned forth. I said ‘Ripen’, and it ripened. I said ‘Be milled’ and it was milled, ‘Be baked’ and it was baked. When I saw everything, I wished for would happen. I was horrified and by God I repented. ‘O’ mother of the faithful. By God I have never done any sorcery nor will I ever do.’
Angels are creatures of Allah. They are created from ‘light’. They are endowed with life, speech and reason. The angels are sanctified from carnal desires and the disturbance of anger; they disobey not Allah in what He commanded them, but they perform what they are commanded. Their food is the celebrating of the glory of Allah, their drink the proclamation of His holiness; their conversation, the commeneration of Allah, Whose name be exalted. The angels’ pleasure is worshipping Allah, and they are created in different forms and with different powers.
Now, on making allusion to the two angels who were sent to Babil, Harut and Marut, we see that they possessed qualities other than angels; that is that they are free from carnal desires, they never turned angry and so on; but when they were allowed to see the disturbances occurring among mankind, they blamed man for his misconduct. They made such remarks by their angelic nature, that is, as they did not bear any carnal desires as man. But when Allah told them if they were in the place of man they would have done the same things. Harut and Marut could not think otherwise than what is good by their angelic nature; so they could not imagine acting themselves like the son of man if they were to be sent on Earth! The two thought that they would be doing the virtuous things and delivering good judgment among man but the burdens of ten carnal desires which man has, and how must the son of Adam (AS) struggle with his own self to prosper. So, Allah wanted the two angels to understand the situation of man, not by lecturing them, but rather by sending them in human forms with ten carnal desires as man so that they would come to know themselves that the creature they were blaming for committing wrong, did so by the carnal desires Allah created within themselves.
So the lesson Allah wanted to teach the two angels had been completely comprehended by them, after they had sinned on Earth. Allah who is the compassionate and the Merciful will give Harut and Marut their angelic position on the day of judgment. For the time being they are suspended in a well in Babil as a temporary punishment herein order to enjoy an eternal bliss in heaven.
The Above Article is taken from this book:
Title: Harut & Marut
Author: Mohamad Yasin Owadally
Praise be to Allaah.
The honourable angels accompany the children of Adam from the day they are formed in their mothers’ wombs until the day when their souls are brought forth from their bodies at the time of death. They also accompany them in their graves and in the Hereafter.
– Their accompanying them in this world is as follows:
1 – They take care of him when he is created
It was reported from Anas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah appoints an angel in the womb, who says, ‘O Lord, a nutfah (mixed drop of male and female sexual discharges)? O Lord, a ‘alaqah (a clot)? O Lord, a mudghah (lump of chewed flesh)?’ When Allaah decrees that it is to be created, (the angel) says, ‘O Lord, male or female? Doomed or blessed? What is his provision? What is his lifespan?’ And that is written in his mother’s womb.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6595; Muslim, 2646. This version was narrated by al-Bukhaari).
2 – They guard the son of Adam
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly, whether he be hid by night or goes forth freely by day.
For him (each person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allaah” [al-Ra’d 13:10-11]
The commentator on the Qur’aan who had the best understanding of it, Ibn ‘Abbaas, explained that the mu’aqqibaat [translated here as “angels in succession”] refers to the angels whom Allaah has appointed to guard man from in front and from behind. When the decree of Allaah comes – when He decrees that some accident or calamity etc. should befall him – the angels withdraw from him.
Mujaahid said: There is no person who does not have an angel appointed to protect him when he is asleep and when he is awake, from the jinn, men and wild beasts. There is nothing that comes to him but the angels tell it to clear off, except for that which Allaah grants permission for it to befall him.
A man said to ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib: “A group from (the tribe of) Muraad wanted to kill you.” ‘Ali said, “With every man there are two angels who protect him from everything that is not decreed; when the decree comes, they withdraw and do not stand between him and it. A man’s decreed lifespan is his protection.”
The “angels in succession” mentioned in the aayah from Soorat al-Ra’d are what is referred to in another aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“He is the Irresistible (Supreme), over His slaves, and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one’s good and bad deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty” [al-An’aam 6:61]
The guardians whom Allaah sends protect a person until the appointed time (of death) that has been decreed for him comes.
3 – The angels who write down hasanaat (good deeds) and sayi’aat (bad deeds)
Every single person has two angels who write down his deeds, both good and bad, minor and major. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you, Kiraaman (Honourable) Kaatibeen —writing down (your deeds), They know all that you do” [al-Infitaar 82:10-12]
“And indeed We have created man, and We know what his ownself whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge). (Remember) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it). [Qaaf 50:16-18]
The angel on the right records hasanaat (good deeds) and the angel on the left records sayi’aat (bad deeds).
It was reported from Abu Umaamah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angel on the left does not write down anything until six hours have passed after a Muslim does a bad deed. If he regrets it and asks Allaah for forgiveness, he casts it aside [does not write it down], otherwise he writes down one (sayi’ah/bad deed).”
(Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, 8/158. The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2/212)
Once we know this, the number of angels who accompany the son of Adam after he is born will become clear: four angels.
Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“The aayah (interpretation of the meaning): ‘For him (each person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allaah’ [al-Ra’d 13:10-11] means: each person has angels who take turns in guarding him by night and day, who protect him from evil and from accidents, just as other angels take turns in recording his deeds, good and bad, by night and by day.
Two angels, on the right and the left, record his deeds. The one on the right writes down his hasanaat (good deeds) and the one on his left writes down his sayi’aat (evil deeds).
Two other angels guard him and protect him, one from behind and one from in front.
So there are four angels by day and four others by night.”
(Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/504)
And Allaah knows best.
Muslim has narrated, on the authority of one of the wives of the Prophet (Hafsah – may Allah be pleased with her), that Allah’s Prophet said:
“Whoever went to a fortune-teller and asked him about some matter (i.e. of the unseen) and believed him, will have his prayer rejected for forty days.”
The Prophet informs us in this Hadith that if anyone visited a fortune-teller and asked him about a matter of the unseen – about which, in reality, none possesses knowledge except Allah – and believed in what fortune teller said, Allah will not accept his prayers, nor reward them for forty days – and this is a punishment for the major sin which he has committed.
Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. The prohibition of fortune-telling.
2. The forbiddance of believing the prophesies of soothsayers and fortune-tellers.
3. That a person may lose the reward of his prayers as a punishment for his sins.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter
That the Hadith proves the forbiddance of fortune-telling and the belief in it.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Prophet has condemned whoever visits a fortune-teller for he has made him a partner with Allah in possessing knowledge of the unseen.
It has been mentioned by the scholars – may Allah have mercy on them – that whoever believed in what the fortune-teller says does not have to repeat his prayers for this period of forty days, but that he receives no reward for them.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Prophet said:
“Whoever went to a fortune-teller and believed in what he said, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.”
The Prophet informs us in this Hadith, that whoever visited a fortune-teller and asked him about the unseen and believed in his words, has committed an act of disbelief in the Qur’an and Sunnah, this is because both of these Revelations have belied fortune-telling, for Allah is Alone in His Knowledge of the unseen.
Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. The forbiddance of fortune-telling.
2. The accusation of lying against the fortune-teller.
3. That believing the words of fortune-tellers is considered disbelief.1
4. That the Qur’an is revealed, not created.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter
That the Hadith proves clearly that the fortune-teller is a disbeliever.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith is clear evidence that fortune-telling is kufr; this is because the fortune-teller depends upon methods of shirk.
The same thing was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah by “the four”2 and by Al-Haakim, who said that it is authentic according to the strict conditions of acceptance laid down by Bukhari and Muslim.
It has also been reported, with a good sanad, on the authority of Abu Y’alaa (ra) that he said the same thing, but in a mawqoof form.3
On the authority of `Imran Ibn Husain (ra), in a marfoo’ form, it is reported: “Whoever practises at-tiyarah, or tells fortunes or seeks advice from a fortune-teller, or practises magic or asks another to do so, is not one of us; and whoever goes to a soothsayer and believes what he tells him has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.” (Narrated by Al-Bazzaar, with a good Sanad and by At-Tabarani, in his book, Al-Awsat, with a good sanad, but without the words: “…and whoever goes to a soothsayer etc…”)
In this Hadith, the Prophet declares himself free and innocent of three kinds of people: (i) The one who seeks omens or their interpretation, (ii) the one who tells fortunes or seeks advice from fortune-tellers and (iii) the one who practises magic, or seeks the services of a magician. Then He adds, as an extra warning to the fortune-teller and his clients, that whoever believes in the words of the fortune-teller has disbelieved in the Revelation (the Qur’an and the Sunnah) given to him ; this is because Allah and His Messenger have informed us that knowledge of the unseen is only with Allah , therefore belief in the fortune-teller is a rejection of Allah’s Words and those of His Prophet .
Benefits Derived From This Hadith
1. The prohibition of interpreting omens, of sorcery and fortune-telling.
2. The forbiddance of seeking these three things.
3. That believing the prophesies of the fortune-teller is kufr.
4. That the Qur’an is Revelation, not created.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter
That the Hadith proves without doubt, that the fortune-teller is a disbeliever.
Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed
That the Hadith proves without question, that the fortune-teller is a disbeliever, because he depends upon shirk in order to predict the future.
Muhammad Ibn `Abdil Wahhab says: “Al-Baghawi said: “The seer (al-‘arraaf) who claims to know the unseen depends upon knowledge stolen (by the jinn, who overheard it from the lowest heaven) and falsehood and the like; It has been said that he is the same as the fortune-teller (al-kaahin), but the latter is, in fact, one who claims knowledge of the unseen events of the future. It has also been said that he is one who knows the secrets of the mind.” Abul `Abbas Ibn Taimiyah said: “The seer is a name for the fortune-teller, the astrologer, the thrower of sand, and all those who claim knowledge of these matters by such means.” Ibn `Abbas (ra) said, concerning a people who wrote Abaajaad 4 and practised astrology: “I do not consider that those who do this will have any share (of blessings or reward) with Allah .”
- It has been said by some scholars, based upon this Hadith, that one who believes the prophecies of a fortune-teller is a disbeliever. However, other scholars maintain that what is intended here is that he who believes the words of a fortune-teller has committed an act of disbelief. This is because, in the previous Hadith, the Prophet informed us that one who visits a fortune-teller and believes in what he says will have his prayers rejected for forty days, while if it were true that he were a disbeliever, his prayer would not be accepted at all.
- The Four: That is, Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmizi and An-Nasaa`i.
- Mawqoof: That is, the statement of a Companion, which he does not attribute to the Prophet .
- Abaajaad: An ancient system of prediction based on use of the letters of the alphabet.
Source: Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 24
Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir’s son, Shaikh ‘Abdu’llah, was present when his father made his famous declaration.
[Shaikh Majid al-Kurdi added]: “When I asked Shaikh ‘Abdu’llah, the son of our master Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him): ‘Were you present at the session [majlis] at which your father said: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah,”‘ he replied: ‘Yes I was, and those in attendance at that session included approximately fifty Shaikhs, from among those most highly distinguished.'”
“He also said: ‘When Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir left the session and entered his own apartment, the only Shaikhs remaining were Shaikh Mukarim, Shaikh Muhammad al-Khass and Shaikh Ahmad al-‘Arini, so we sat together and talked.
“‘It was Shaikh Mukarim who said: “Allah showed me, on that day, that there was not one single exception-out of all those with whom He had contracted the bond of saintship [wala’ al-wilaya] in the nearest and farthest regions of the earth-who did not witness the banner of Cardinal Poleship [Qutbiyya] paraded in front of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, and the crown of Helpership [Ghawthiyya] placed upon his head. There was not one who did not see upon him the robe of honor of complete managerial disposition [tasrif] in the realm of existence and its people, with the authority to appoint and dismiss, and this robe was marked with the embroidered insignia of the Sacred Law [Shari’a] and Reality [Haqiqa].
“‘I heard him say: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah,” and each and every one of them bowed his head and humbled his heart toward him, at one and the same moment, including the ten spiritual deputies [abdal], the E9lite of the kingdom, the Sultans of the age.’ When I asked him who they were, he replied: ‘Baqa ibn Batu, Abu Sa’id al-Qailawi, ‘Ali ibn al-Hiti, ‘Adi ibn Musafir, Musa az-Zuwali, Ahmad ibn ar-Rifa’i, ‘Abd ar-Rahman at-Tafsunji, Abu Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Basri, Hayat ibn Qais al-Harrani, and Abu Madin al-Maghribi.’
“‘Muhammad al-Khass and Shaikh Ahmad al-‘Arini said to Shaikh Mukarim: “You have told the truth,” and two brothers of mine, Shaikh ‘Abdu’llah al-Jabbar and ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, were also in full agreement with him in that respect.'” May Allah be well pleased with them all!
It was Shaikh al-Qudwa [the Exemplary Guide] Abu Sa’id al-Qailawi who said: “When Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) declared: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah,’ the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) made Himself manifest upon his heart, and a robe of honor was conveyed to him from Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), through the agency of a party of the angels who are brought near [to the Lord].
“He donned this robe in the presence of all the saints [awliya’], those of former times and those more recent, those still alive in their physical bodies and those [physically] dead [but alive] in their spirits. The angels and the men of the Unseen [rijal al-Ghaib] were circling around his session, stationed in the air in ranks, so that the horizon was obstructed by them. There was not a single saint [wali] anywhere on the earth, who did not bend his neck toward him. May Allah be well pleased with him!”
More reports concerning Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir’s declaration, and how the saints responded to it, including those who were in distant lands at the time.
Shaikh Khalifat al-Akbar [the Senior] has told us: “I once saw Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) in a dream, so I said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allah, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir has declared: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah.”‘ ‘Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir has spoken the truth,’ he told me, ‘and how could he not do so, when he is the Cardinal Pole [Qutb] and I keep him under my wing?'”
A man came to visit Shaikh al-Qudwa [the Exemplary Guide] Hayat ibn Qais al-Harrani (may Allah be well pleased with him) on Friday, the third of Ramadan, in the year [A.H.] 599, in the congregational mosque [jami’] of Harran. He asked the Shaikh to accept him as a a committed disciple, but the Shaikh said to him: “You seem to bear the stamp of someone other than myself.” “Yes,” he replied, “I did invoke the name of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him), but I did not receive a tattered robe [khirqa] from him, nor from anyone else.”
Shaikh Hayat then said: “We lived for a long time in the protective shade of the life of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him), and we have drunk salubrious goblets from the fountains of his spiritual insight [‘irfan]. The breath of truthfulness emanated from him, and the rays of his light blazed on all the horizons. Those who experienced spiritual states [ashab al-ahwal] were thereby enabled to glean secrets from him, in accordance with their levels of development. Then, when he received the commandment to declare: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah,’ Allah (Exalted is He) provided all the saints with even more light in their hearts, with even more blessed grace in their stores of knowledge, and with even higher advancement in their spiritual states, through the blessed grace of their lowering of their heads.
“Now he has passed on to Allah (Exalted is He), attired in the splendid garb of his predecessors, among the Prophets [Nabiyyin], the champions of the Truth [siddiqin], the martyrs [shuhada’] and the righteous [salihin]. May Allah be well pleased with them, each and every one!”
Shaikh Lu’lu’ al-Armani [the Armenian] used to speak while having to gasp for breath. He once said: “When Shaikh Abu ‘l-Khair ‘Ata’ al-Misri noticed the intense effort I was making, he said to himself: ‘To which of the Shaikhs is he affiliated, I wonder?’ I knew what he was thinking, so I told him: ‘O ‘Ata’, my own Shaikh is Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, the one who declared: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah,” and to whom three hundred and thirteen saints of Allah bowed their heads, on all the horizons of the earth. At that very moment, seventeen of them were at the two Noble Sanctuaries [Haramain], while sixty were in ‘Iraq, forty in Persia, thirty in Syria, twenty in Egypt, twenty-seven in the Far West, eleven in Ethiopia, seven at the Dam of Gog and Magog [Sadd Juj wa Majuj], seven in the Valley of Sri Lanka [Wadi Sarandib], forty-seven on Mount Qaf, and twenty-four on the islands of the great encircling ocean.
“‘More than one of them asserted that Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir did not utter this declaration without having received a command [from the Lord] to do so. Among those who made this assertion are:
*Shaikh ‘Adi ibn Musafir *Shaikh Abu Sa’id al-Qailawi *Shaikh ‘Ali ibn al-Hiti *Shaikh Ahmad ibn ar-Rifa’i *Shaikh Abu ‘l-Qasim al-Basri *Shaikh Hayat al-Harrani. “‘They also maintained that he was given permission to dismiss [from their position of sainthood] any of the saints [awliya’] who might find fault with him for making his declaration.'”
According to another report, Shaikh Lu’lu’ al-Armani said: “I saw the saints in the East and the West, all bowing their heads in profound humility, with the solitary exception of a man in Persia. He did not do it, so his spiritual state evaporated and deserted him. Among those Shaikhs who did bend their necks at that moment, we should mention:
*Shaikh Baqa ibn Batu *Shaikh Abu Sa’id al-Qailawi *Shaikh ‘Ali ibn al-Hiti *Shaikh Ahmad ibn ar-Rifa’i, who stretched out his nape and exclaimed: ‘[That foot is] upon my neck!’ When someone asked him what he was doing, he explained: ‘Just now, in Baghdad, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir has declared: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah.”‘ *Shaikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman at-Tafsunji *Shaikh Abu ‘n-Najib as-Suhrawardi, who tilted his head so low that it almost touched the ground, as he exclaimed: ‘[That foot is] upon my head!’ *Shaikh Musa az-Zuwali *Shaikh Hayat al-Harrani *Shaikh Abu Muhammad ibn ‘Abd *Shaikh Abu ‘Umar wa ‘Uthman ibn Marzuq *Shaikh Abu ‘l-Karam *Shaikh Majid al-Kurdi *Shaikh Suwaid an-Najjari *Shaikh Raslan ad-Dimashqi, who bent his neck in Damascus, and told his companions about what had happened. Then he said: ‘To Allah be attributed the excellence of one who drinks from the oceans of holiness [quds], who sits on the carpet of intimate knowledge [ma’rifa], and who witnesses the mystery of the magnification of Lordship [Rububiyya] and the glorification of Uniqueness [Wahdaniyya], so that his personal nature is annihilated in the beholding of Grandeur [Kibriya’], and his personal existence becomes extinct in the direct experience of reverential awe. For upon him is conferred the garment of intimate friendship [uns], and he ascends through the degrees of providence [‘inaya], until he reaches the station of the permanent abode [maqam al-qarar], and is wafted to the spot made fragrant by the breezes of the Spirit of Eternity [Ruh al-Azaliyya]. Then he utters words of wisdom from the sources of radiant lights, and, in the deepest folds of his innermost being [sirr], he mingles with the hidden mysteries. He is in the state of present awareness as long as he is conscious, and in the state of consciousness even when his ordinary faculties are obliterated. He maintains an attitude of modesty, rejoices in well-mannered behavior, and speaks with humility. He acts boldly when the need arises, and approaches every individual with specific care and attention. He receives his guests with respectful hospitality, for his Lord has endowed him with the most excellent greeting and salutation.’ When someone asked Shaikh Raslan: ‘Are there any in existence who match this description?’ he replied: ‘Yes indeed, and Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) is their leader!’
*Shaikh Abu Madin al-Maghribi, who inclined his neck to the West [Maghrib] and said: ‘Yes, and I am one of them. O Allah, I call upon You to bear witness, and I call upon the angels to bear witness, that I have heard and obeyed!’ *Shaikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Maghribi *Shaikh Abu ‘Umar wa ‘Uthman ibn Marwaza al-Bata’ihi *Shaikh Mukarim *Shaikh Khalifa *Shaikh ‘Adi ibn Musafir. “It is also worth noting that, at the time of the Shaikh’s pronouncement, a company of saintly beings became visible on all the horizons, flying toward him at the command of al-Khidr (peace be upon him), in order to be present for that special occasion.
“From that time on, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir was addressed by the saints [awliya’], after the initial greeting of felicitation, with salutations like:
*O King of the Age! *O Commander of the Realm! *O Viceroy by the Command of the All-Merciful [ar-Rahman]! *O Inheritor of the Book of Allah, and Deputy of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)! *O he for whom the heaven and the earth are spread as his table [ma’ida]! *O he for whom all the people of his time are his own household! *O he for whom the rain descends in answer to his prayer, and the udders flow with milk through his blessed grace!
“They never presented themselves in his company without bowing their heads. As for the invisible contingent [ghaibiyya], its members stood in front of him in rows, with seventy men to each row. He bore an inscription on the palm of his hand, stating that he had received a firm assurance from Allah, to the effect that He would never treat him craftily. The angels were constantly walking around him, when he was only ten years of age, hailing him with the good tidings of sainthood [wilaya].” (Here ends this report.)
Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir uses his staff to check the rising level of the River Tigris.
The level of the River Tigris [ad-Dijla] kept rising for several years in succession, until it threatened to flood the city of Baghdad. The townspeople were thoroughly convinced that disaster was close at hand, so they came to Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him), appealing to him for help and seeking refuge with him. He responded by picking up his staff, and heading for the bank of the river, where he planted the staff at the water’s edge. “Up to this point, but no higher!” said he. The water-level diminished from that moment on. May Allah be well pleased with him!
Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir uses his staff to satisfy a pupil’s curiosity.
It was ‘Abdu’llah adh-Dhayyal who said: “I was standing beside the schoolhouse of Shaikh Muhyi ‘d-Din ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him), one day in the year [A.H.] 560, when he emerged from his private apartment with a staff in his hand. It occurred to me that he might show me some charismatic power [karama] contained within this staff. ‘Watch this!’ he said to me, with a smile on his face. Then he planted it in the ground, and-lo and behold!-it turned into a light, gleaming ever brighter as it beamed toward the sky, and the whole atmosphere was soon aglow with it. There it remained for a fairly short space of time, then he picked it up, and it returned at once to its previous condition. He turned to me and said: ‘O Dhayyal, was that what you wanted to see?’ May Allah be well pleased with him!”
According to Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, there was only one saint of Allah, in his day and age, who belonged to the Hanafi school [madhhab] of Islamic doctrine.
It was Shaikh Abu ‘t-Taqi Muhammad ibn al-Azhar as-Sirafini who said: “I spent one whole year asking Allah (Exalted is He) to let me see one of the men of the Unseen [rijal al-Ghaib]. Then, one night in my dream, I saw myself paying a visit to the tomb of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (may Allah be well pleased with him). I noticed a man beside the tomb, and it occurred to me that he might be one of the men of the Unseen. I woke up at that point, and then I conceived the hope of seeing him again in my waking state, so I set out at once and went to the tomb of the Imam. There I saw that very same man, the one I had seen in my dream, so I made haste to perform my visit, in order to catch him before he left. He did leave ahead of me, however, so I followed him until he reached the Tigris. The two edges of the river rolled together for his convenience, until they were no further than a step apart, so he stepped over the narrow gap and passed across to the other side.
“Uttering a solemn oath, I entreated him to pause and speak to me, so he stopped in his tracks, and I said to him: ‘What is your school of Islamic legal doctrine [madhhab]?’ To this he replied: “I am a man of pure faith [hanif], one who has surrendered [to Allah] [muslim], and I am not one of those who attribute partners [to Allah] [mushrikin].’ It occurred to me, as I moved away, that he must belong to the Hanafi school of Islamic doctrine. Then I said to myself: ‘Let me go and visit Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him), and tell him about all that I have seen.’ I went at once to his schoolhouse, and stood by his door. He did not open the door, but I heard him calling to me from inside his private apartment: ‘O Muhammad, nowhere on earth, from the East to the West in this day and age, is there any saint of Allah (Exalted is He) who belongs to the Hanafi school of Islamic doctrine-apart from the one you encountered (may Allah be well pleased with him).'”
Here ends the excerpt from “Necklaces of Gems”, which has been presented in 10 parts. It comprises about one third of the biography of the Shaikh.
May Allah be pleased with him!
Further commentaries on Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir’s famous declaration.
It was the Provost of the Scholars [Sultan al-‘Ulama’] and Shaikh al-Islam, ‘Izz ad-Din ibn ‘Abd as-Salam, who said: “Of no one’s charismatic talents [karamat] have we received so many reports-one after another in constant succession-as those we have received concerning the charismatic talents of the Sultan of the saints, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him). It is clear that Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir was consciously alert, and that he meticulously observed the rules of the Sacred Law [Shari’a], while calling upon others to observe them, shunning any contravention of them, and engaging the people’s interest in them. He was equally meticulous in his dedication to worshipful service [‘ibada] and the spiritual struggle [mujahada].
“What is even more remarkable, is that he managed to combine all this with active involvement in concerns, such as wives and children, that are usually too distracting to permit such total dedication. If someone is able to follow such a path, he must indeed be closer than others to perfection, especially since it reflects the character of [the Prophet], the Master of the Sacred Law [Sahib ash-Shari’a] (Allah bless him and give him peace).
“This explains why the Shaikh said: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah’-because no one else in his generation is known to have matched him in combining these perfections. The purpose was to emphasize the tremendous importance of his business, and there can be no doubt that such aggrandizement was fully justified. ‘Allah guides whomever He will to a path that is straight.'”
There are some who maintain: “The word ‘foot’ is used figuratively or metaphorically [majazi] in this context, and should not be taken literally [haqiqi], because this metaphorical sense is compatible with good manners, and makes its general application possible. The word ‘foot [qadam]’ is often used as a synonym for ‘path [tariqa],’ as in an expression like: ‘So-and-so is on a praiseworthy foot [qadam hamid],’ that is to say, ‘a praiseworthy path [tariqa hamida]’ or, ‘a splendid performance of worshipful service’ or, ‘a beautiful mode of conduct,’ and so on. [In the case of the Shaikh’s pronouncement] it signifies that his path, his nearness [to the Lord], and his opening [to the bestowal of Divine grace] are at the highest level of any path, nearness and opening, and have reached the ultimate stage of development.
“As for the foot in the literal sense [qadam haqiqi], Allah knows best, but this could hardly be what the Shaikh intended, because of its lack of propriety. It would be improper from several standpoints, including the traditional respect for good manners [adab], on which the Spiritual Path [Tariq] is built, as indicated by al-Junaid and others (may Allah be well pleased with them all). For instance, what is in keeping with the spiritual station of this knower-by-direct-experience [‘arif], this saint [wali] of noble dignity, is that his way of speaking should be as eloquent and as unambiguous as possible. The best interpretation, therefore, is that [metaphorical understanding] explained at the outset.”
According to some, the Shaikh said: “My forehead [qadimi]…,” rather than: “My foot [qadami]…” As for this, and various other suggestions that have been put forward, we can only say that Allah knows best [wa ‘llahu A’lam]. We may discuss what is outwardly apparent, but when it comes to the hidden secrets, Allah knows more than we can ever know. May Allah be well pleased with the Shaikh, and may He grant him contentment.
Shaikh Abu ‘l-Baqa explains why he hesitated at first, before admitting the young Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir into his presence.
Shaikh Matir has told us: “One day, I was in the company of our Shaikh, Abu ‘l-Baqa, at his convent [zawiya] in Qalaminiya, when he said: ‘O Matir, lock the door! There is a young fellow outside, a Persian [A’jami], who is trying to gain admission to my presence, so you must prevent him from doing so!’ I promptly got up to do as I was told, and there, at the door, I saw Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir. He was still at young man at that time, and he was indeed seeking admission to Shaikh Abu ‘l-Baqa’s presence. He requested permission to enter, but our Shaikh denied his request. I noticed that our Shaikh was pacing to and fro inside the convent, like someone in a state of confusion, but then he finally granted permission to the visitor. As soon as he saw him, he took several steps toward him, and the two of them embraced in a long-lasting hug.
“‘O ‘Abd al-Qadir,” our Shaikh said to him, “by the Might and Glory of the One to whom all Might and Glory belong, when I prevented you from entering the first time, it was not because of any rejection of your right and proper due, but rather because of a sense of anxiety about you. But then, as soon as I realized that you would both receive something from me and give something to me, I felt able to relate to you with a strong sense of security.'”
May Allah be well pleased with each of the three Shaikhs mentioned, and may He grant them contentment!
Even while Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is still a very young man, there are some who clearly foresee his future role.
It was Shaikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman at-Tafsunji who said: “Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir used to come, while he was still a young man, to visit our own Shaikh, Taj al-‘Arifin Abu ‘l-Wafa. As soon as he saw him, our Shaikh would get up from his seat, and say to those present in his company: ‘Stand up, all of you, in honor of the saintly friend [wali] of Allah!’ He would sometimes take several steps toward him, in order to greet him directly. On another occasion, he would say: ‘If anyone has not stood up, let him stand up now, in honor of the saintly friend of Allah!’
“Since this was a recurring pattern of behavior, one of our Shaikh’s companions felt moved to comment on its significance. He said: ‘This young man has arrived on the scene at a time when he is sorely needed, both by the special elite [khass] and by the common people [‘amm]. I seem to have a preview of him, speaking to large audiences in Baghdad. He will be fully justified in saying: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah.” The necks of all the saints [awliya’] in his day and age will therefore be placed at his disposal, for he will be their Cardinal Pole [Qutb]. Service to him will be incumbent upon every one of them who is still alive when that moment comes.'”
Shaikh Maslama ibn Ni’mat as-Suruji [the Saddler] (may Allah be well pleased with him) gave the following reply to someone who asked him, one day, about the Cardinal Pole [Qutb]. “Who is he?” the questioner wanted to know, so the Shaikh said: “He is presently in Mecca, in a state of concealment, so that none but the righteous [salihun] can recognize him. He will eventually make his public appearance over here.” (The speaker pointed in the direction of ‘Iraq.) “He is a young Persian [A’jami] of noble ancestry, called ‘Abd al-Qadir. He is splendidly endowed with supernatural charismatic talents [karamat khariqat]. He is destined to be the Cardinal Pole [Qutb] of his time, and the Spiritual Helper [Ghawth] of his age. He will eventually speak to large audiences, and he will be fully justified in saying: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah.’ All the saints [awliya’] of his era will certainly bow down beneath that foot of his, through which Allah will bestow great benefit upon them. They will also benefit from his charismatic talents [karamat], as will those ordinary people who believe them to be real.” May Allah be well pleased with them both [Shaikh Maslama ibn Ni’mat as-Suruji and Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir].
It was Shaikh ‘Ali ibn al-Hiti who said: “Our own Shaikh, Abu ‘l-Wafa, was once speaking to the people from up on the lectern, when Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir came in to attend his session [majlis]. Our Shaikh immediately interrupted his speech, and ordered Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir to leave. The visitor went out, and our Shaikh resumed his speech. Then Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir came back to rejoin the session, and again our Shaikh interrupted his speech, and told him to leave. So again he went out, and again our Shaikh resumed his speech. Then Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir came in a third time, but this time Shaikh Abu ‘l-Wafa descended from the lectern, embraced him, and kissed him between the eyes. He turned to his audience and said: ‘Stand up, all of you, in honor of the saintly friend [wali] of Allah (Exalted is He)!’
“He then went on to explain: ‘O people of Baghdad, when I ordered him to leave, it was not with the intention of insulting him, but rather to ensure that you would take notice of him. For, by the Might and Glory of the One to Whom all worship is due [al-Ma’bud], there are banners hoisted over his head, and their scope extends beyond the East and the West.’ Then he said to him: ‘O ‘Abd al-Qadir, the time belongs to us at present, but it will soon come to be yours. O ‘Abd al-Qadir, they have given you ‘Iraq, and every rooster will sometimes crow and sometimes fall silent, with the sole exception of your rooster, for it will go on crowing till the Day of Resurrection [Yawm al-Qiyama].’ He also presented him with his prayer rug [sajjada], his shirt, his string of prayer-beads [misbaha], his bowl, and his staff. This was a way of saying: ‘Accept him with a solemn commitment!’
“Shaikh Abu ‘l-Wafa also said: ‘His forehead is marked with the brand of al-Mukharrimi.’ Then, when the session had drawn to a close, Shaikh Taj al-‘Arifin Abu ‘l-Wafa stepped down from the lectern, sat on the lowest stair, gripped the hand of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, and said to him, in the midst of the people crowding around: ‘O ‘Abd al-Qadir, there is a time assigned to you, and when it comes, remember this old graybeard! As he said this, he squeezed his noble hand tightly. May Allah be well pleased with them both!”
Concerning some of the articles which Shaikh Abu ‘l-Wafa presented to Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, ‘Umar al-Bazzaz informs us:
“As for the string of prayer-beads [misbaha] which Shaikh Abu ‘l-Wafa presented to our master, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, whenever he set it down on the ground, it would rotate by itself, one bead at a time. After he had died, it passed into the possession of Shaikh ‘Ali ibn al-Hiti. As for the bowl which he gave him, whenever someone touched it, that person’s whole arm would shake and tremble, from his hand right up to his shoulders.
It was Shaikh as-Salih Abu Muhammad Yusuf al-‘Aquli who said: “I once made a journey to visit Shaikh ‘Adi ibn Musafir, and as soon as I arrived, he asked me: ‘Where have you come from?’ When I told him: ‘From Baghdad, from among the companions of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir,’ he exclaimed: ‘Bravo, bravo [bakh, bakh] ! That ‘Abd al-Qadir is the Cardinal Pole [Qutb] of the earth, to whom three hundred saints of Allah bowed their necks, as well as seven hundred invisible beings, some of them seated on the earth and some of them flying through the air-all at that one point in time, when he said: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah.’ That made a profound impression on me.
“Then, after some time had elapsed, I paid a visit to Shaikh Ahmad ar-Rifa’i. I mentioned to him what I had heard on that subject from Shaikh ‘Adi ibn Musafir, and he said: ‘Shaikh ‘Adi told you the truth.'” May Allah be well pleased with all the Shaikhs concerned.
The righteous among the jinn are also said to have responded to Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir’s declaration.
It was Shaikh Majid al-Kurdi who said: “When Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir uttered this pronouncement, there was not one single saint of Allah on the entire earth, at that moment in time, who did not bend his neck in humble recognition of him, and in acknowledgement of his special status. Nor was there one single circle, of all the circles of the righteous among the jinn, assembled at that moment in time, in which mention of it was not made. Delegations of those righteous jinn set forth to visit him, from all the horizons. Saluting him with the greeting of peace, and repenting at his hand, they gathered in a throng at his door.” Shaikh Matir is in agreement with Shaikh Majid al-Kurdi concerning the validity of this report.
Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir thumbs through a book on philosophy, and it turns into a well-known work on the Qur’an.
We owe this next report to Shaikh al-Muzaffar Mansur ibn al-Mubarak al-Wasiti, commonly known by the nickname al-Judada [Fruit of the Palm Tree]. He said:
“Once, while I was still a young man, I entered the presence of Shaikh Muhyi ‘d-Din ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him), together with a large group. I had with me a book that dealt with questions of abstract philosophy [falsafa] and the speculative sciences of spirituality [‘ulum ar-ruhaniyyat]. As soon as we entered his presence, the Shaikh spoke to me–to me personally, not to the group as a whole-and before he had examined the book, or asked me about its contents, he said: ‘That book of yours is a bad companion. You had better go and give it a thorough wash!” I reacted to this by deciding to leave his presence, drop the book into some receptacle or other, and then refrain from carrying it with me after that, for fear of offending the Shaikh. My lower self [nafs] could not accept the idea of giving it a wash, because I had developed quite a fondness for it, and some of its theories and principles had stimulated my intellectual curiosity. I was about to get up and leave, intending to carry out this plan of action, but the Shaikh gave me such a stare, like someone regarding me with incredulous amazement, that I simply could not get up.
“I felt trapped in a state of paralysis, but then he said to me: ‘Hand me that book of yours!’ So I opened it, and lo and behold, there was nothing inside it but blank paper, with not a single letter written on it! I gave it to the Shaikh, and he thumbed through its pages, then he said: ‘This is the Book of the Excellent Merits of the Qur’an [Kitab Fada’il al-Qur’an], by Ibn ad-Zaris Muhammad.’ When he handed it back to me, I saw that it was indeed the Book of the Excellent Merits of the Qur’an [Kitab Fada’il al-Qur’an], by Ibn ad-Zaris Muhammad, written in a most handsome calligraphic script!
“The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) then said to me: ‘Are you ready to turn in repentance from saying with your tongue what is not in your heart?’ I said: ‘Yes, O my master,’ so he told me to stand up. I obediently rose to my feet, and I had forgotten all about philosophy and the principles of spirituality! They had been totally erased from my inner being [batin], as if they had never captured my interest.”
A braggart benefits from Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir’s intercesssion.
Shaikh al-Muzaffar al-Judada also said: “I once saw Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) reclining on a cushion. While he was in that position, someone said to him: ‘So-and-so’-the speaker actually mentioned the name of a man who was quite famous, at that time, for charismatic talents [karamat], worship in secluded retreats, pious abstinence, and acts of obedient service–’is reported as having said: “I have already surpassed the spiritual station of Jonah, the son of Amittai [Yunus ibn Mattai], the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him).”‘ When the Shaikh heard this, an angry expression appeared on his face, then he sat upright, grasped the cushion with his hand, and tossed it in front of him. ‘That has given him a heart attack!’ he exclaimed.
“Some of us got up at once, and rushed off to see how the man was. We found that he had suffered a fatal stroke at that moment, although he had previously been perfectly fit and well, with no kind of health problem whatsoever. Then I saw him again in a dream, and his condition was fine, so I said to him: ‘How has Allah treated you?’ To this he replied: ‘He has forgiven me, and I have obtained pardon from His Prophet Jonah, the son of Amittai [Yunus ibn Mattai], for what I said about him. It was my master, ‘Abd al-Qadir, who acted as my intercessor [shafi’] with Allah, and also with Jonah, the son of Amittai [Yunus ibn Mattai], and I have received much benefit through the blessed grace of the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him).'”
Profound impressions left by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, as described by some of those who met him.
It was Shaikh ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Bata’ihi ar-Rifa’i who said: “I made my way to Baghdad, and spent time there in the company of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah’s peace be upon him). I was truly astonished by what I observed of his spiritual state, the freedom of his heart from all attachment, and the sheer clarity of his innermost being [sirr]. When I returned home to Umm ‘Ubaida, I told my maternal uncle, Shaikh Ahmad, about that, and he said: ‘O my son, who can match the aptitude of ‘Abd al-Qadir, and what he is about, and that to which he has attained?'”
As we are told by Abu Muhammad al-Hasan: “I once heard Shaikh ‘Ali al-Qurashi tell a man: ‘If you had seen Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, you would have seen a man whose personal strength had vanished on his path to his Lord. The strengths of the people of the Spiritual Path [Tariqa] are intense commitment and persistence, and his path was the way of the affirmation of Divine Oneness [tawhid], in character, in principle, and in actual condition. His pursuit of the Truth was in accordance with the Sacred Law [Shar’], both outwardly [zahiran] and inwardly [batinan]. His attributes were a heart free from all attachment, a state of absence [from the world of creatures], and the direct contemplation of a Present Lord, with an inner content [sarira] undisturbed by doubts, an innermost being [sirr] uncontested by rivals [to Allah], and a heart undivided by remnants [of worldly interest]. The Greatest Sovereignty [al-Malakut al-Akbar] was set behind him, and the Supreme Kingdom [al-Mulk al-A’zam] beneath his foot. May Allah be well pleased with him!'”
An earlier Shaikh predicts that Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir will be one of the eight mainstays [awtad] of ‘Iraq.
It was Shaikh Muhammad ash-Shanbaki who said: “I once heard our Shaikh Abu Bakr ibn Hawara say: ‘The mainstays [awtad] of ‘Iraq are eight in number, namely: (1) Ma’ruf al-Karkhi; (2) Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal; (3) Bishr al-Hafi; (4) Mansur ibn ‘Ammar; (5) al-Junaid; (6) as-Sari [as-Saqati]; (7) Sahl ibn ‘Abdi’llah at-Tustari; and (8) ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani.’
“‘When I asked him: “And who is ‘Abd al-Qadir?” he replied: “A noble Persian [‘Ajami] who will settle in Baghdad. His appearance on the scene will occur in the fifth century [of the Hijra]. He will be one of the champions of the Truth [siddiqin], the mainstays [awtad], the unique individuals [afrad], the outstanding figures [a’yan] of this world, and the cardinal poles [aqtab] of the age.'”
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) comes riding through the air. along with Moses (peace be upon him), and confers a robe of honor upon Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir.
Our master, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him), once said: “I saw Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) in Baghdad, while I was at the lectern. He was mounted on a riding beast, and Moses (peace be upon him) was riding by his side. ‘O Moses,’ he said, ‘Is there, in your community [umma], any man such as this one here?’ The answer was ‘No!’ so he said to me: ‘O ‘Abd al-Qadir, [did you hear that?]!’ He was airborne, so he embraced me, lifted me up, and conferred upon me a robe of honor [khil’a] that he had been wearing. He said: ‘This is the robe of honor that marks the rank of Cardinal Poleship [Qutbiyya] over the men of valor and the spiritual deputies [ar-rijal wa ‘l-abdal].’ Then he spat in my mouth three times, before returning me to the pulpit. I thereupon intoned these verses of poetry:
I shall sip that drink in every chapel and synagogue, and demonstrate my religion and my doctrine to the lovers. For the sake of its goblets, I shall beat the tambourine on the rooftop, in plain view, not hiding away in the corners.
[sa-ashrabu-ha fi kulli dairin wa bi’atin wa uzhiru li’l-‘ushshaqi dini wa madhhabi wa adribu fawqa ‘l-sathi bi’d-duffi jilwatan li-kasati-ha la fi ‘z-zawayati mukhtabi.]
Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir is extolled by a Shaikh whose name means “Twig of the Fragrant Ben-tree.”
It was al-Khadir al-Husaini al-Mawsili who said: “I once noticed that Shaikh Qadib al-Ban [‘Twig of the Fragrant Ben-tree’] al-Mawsili (may Allah be well pleased with him) was behaving with abject humility and self-belittlement, and I heard him say: ‘Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) is the leader of the caravan of the lovers [of the Lord] [muhibbin], the exemplary guide of the spiritual wayfarers [salikin], the Imam of the champions of the Truth [siddiqin], the living proof of those who know by direct experience [‘arifin], and the bosom of those who are brought near [muqarrabin], in this day and age, and of the generation that will succeed them. May Allah be well pleased with him!'”
Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir declares, in the presence of most of the Shaikhs of ‘Iraq: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah.”
We owe this next report to al-Hafiz Abu ‘l-‘Izz ‘Abd al-Mughith ibn Harb al-Baghdadi, among others, who said:
“We were present at the regular session [majlis] held by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jili, at his guesthouse [ribat] in the Racetrack district [al-Halba] of Baghdad. Most of the Shaikhs of ‘Iraq were in attendance at his session on that particular day, including all those in the following list:
*Shaikh ‘Ali ibn al-Haiti *Shaikh Baqa ibn ibn Batu *Shaikh Abu Sa’id al-Qilawi *Shaikh Musa ibn Mahin (some say: Mahan) *Shaikh Abu ‘n-Najib as-Suhrawardi *Shaikh Abu ‘l-Karam *Shaikh Abu ‘Umar wa ‘Uthman al-Qurashi *Shaikh Mukarim al-Akbar [the Senior] *Shaikh Matir *Shaikh Jagir *Shaikh Khalifa *Shaikh Sadaqa *Shaikh Yahya al-Murta’ish *Shaikh ad-Ziya Ibrahim al-Jawni *Shaikh Abu ‘Abdi’llah Muhammad al-Qazwini *Shaikh Abu ‘Umar wa ‘Uthman al-Bata’ihi *Shaikh Qadib al-Ban *Shaikh Abu ‘l-‘Abbas Ahmad al-Yamani *Shaikh Abu ‘l-‘Abbas ash-Shawki (said to be one of those remarkable men who travel by invisible means of transport) *Shaikh Sultan al-Muzayyin *Shaikh Abu Bakr ash-Shaibani *Shaikh Abu ‘l-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn al-Ustadh *Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-Kawsaj *Shaikh Mubarak al-Humairi *Shaikh Abu ‘l-Barakat *Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Baghdadi *Shaikh Abu ‘s-Sa’ud al-‘Attar *Shaikh Abu ‘Abdi’llah al-Awani *Shaikh Abu ‘l-Qasim al-Bazzar *Shaikh Shihab ‘Umar as-Suhrawardi *Shaikh Abu ‘l-Baqa al-Baqqal *Shaikh Abu Hafs al-Ghazali *Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-Farisi *Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-Ya’qubi *Shaikh Abu Hafs al-Kimani *Shaikh Abu Bakr al-Muzayyin *Shaikh Jamil Sahib al-Khatwa wa ‘z-Za’qa [‘Owner of the Stride and the Scream’] *Shaikh Abu ‘Amr as-Sirafini *Shaikh Abu ‘l-Hasan al-Jawsaqi *Shaikh Abu Muhammad al-Huraimi *Shaikh al-Qadi [the Judge] Abu Ya’la al-Farra’.
“Many others were also in attendance, along with those mentioned above. When Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir addressed them, his heart was present in full awareness, as he declared: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah [qadami hadhihi ‘ala raqabati kulli waliyyin li’llah].’
“Shaikh ‘Ali ibn al-Hiti sprang to his feet at once, then climbed the steps up to the lectern, where he grasped the Shaikh’s foot and set in upon his neck, as he placed his head beneath the hem of the Shaikh’s robe. All of those present extended their necks in this same manner.”
Questions and answers concerning the true nature and significance of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir’s declaration: “This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah.”
It was Shaikh ‘Adi ibn Abi ‘l-Barakat Sakhr ibn Sakhr ibn Musafir who said: “My father Sakhr told me: ‘I said to my paternal uncle, Shaikh ‘Adi ibn Musafir (may Allah be well pleased with him): “Of all the preeminent Shaikhs, do you know of any other, apart from Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir, who has ever said: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah’?” He told me that he knew of no other, so I asked him: “What is the meaning of it?” He said: “It represents an explicit declaration concerning the station of uniqueness [fardiyya], which he occupied in his era.” I then went on to ask: “Does each era have its own unique individual [fard]?” “Yes, it does,” said he, “but no one has been commanded to utter this declaration, apart from Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him).” “Do you mean to say,” I asked, “that he was commanded to make the pronouncement?” “Yes,” my uncle replied, “he received a command [from the Lord], and they all lowered their heads to the place of the command. As you must surely know, when the angels (peace be upon them) bowed down in prostration to Adam, they only did so because they received the command [from their Lord] precisely to that effect.”‘”
It was Shaikh Baqa ibn Batu an-Nahrumulki who said: “When Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir declared: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah,’ Shaikh Ibrahim al-‘Azab, the son of Shaikh Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali ar-Rifa’i al-Bata’ihi (may Allah be well pleased with him), said:
“‘My father said to my maternal uncle, Shaikh Ahmad ar-Rifa’i: “Did Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) say: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah (Exalted is He)’ in obedience to a command [from his Lord], or without having received a command ?” To this my uncle replied: “Of course he said it in obedience to a command! May Allah be well pleased with him!”‘”
From a report transmitted by a reliable chain of authorities [isnad], we learn that Abu Bakr ibn Hawara (may Allah grant us the benefit of his spiritual influence) said one day, during the session he was holding with his companions:
“Someone very special is going to appear in ‘Iraq, at some time in the future. A man from among the Persians, he will be endowed with high status in the sight of Allah, as well as in the sight of his fellow human beings. His name will be ‘Abd al-Qadir, and his residence will be in Baghdad. He will declare: ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah,’ and all the saints [awliya’] in his generation will pay allegiance to that unique individual, in his own day and age.”
The Shaikh al-Islam, Shihab ad-Din Ahmad ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (may Allah cover him with His mercy) was once asked to explain the meaning of the pronouncement uttered by our master, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him): ‘This foot of mine is upon the neck of every saint of Allah.’ He responded (may Allah the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him) by delivering a speech, the whole text of which would take up many pages, but the gist of it is contained in the following passage:
“The occurrence of supernatural events [khawariq] can indeed be experienced by the human being. That is a fact, and a fact that only the stubbornly pigheaded would attempt to refute. Our leading authorities have propounded a standard criterion, applicable to supernatural experiences, whereby the distinction can be drawn between that which is genuine and that which is spurious. They have stated that, if the experience happens to-or emerges from-the person concerned, in the correct and straightforward manner, it constitutes a charismatic gift [karama], as in the case of Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir.”