We believe that you can ask help from the beloved prophet and the pious saints: but what is the outcome of this help? if millions of people called together, can they hear all people altogether at once (from all over the world)? when we say “ Ya Gawth jholi bhardo” or “mushkil mai hai madad farmao” (O Ghaus Help us!”, do they ask and make dua to ALLAH subhanahu wata’ala to help us? Or do they help us themselves? this is related to question 2….if we believe that they themselves help. Do we believe they have the ability to help people all over the world at the same time with Allah’s permission? And have they been given authority and choice to help whom they want?
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem
Al-Salatu Wa al-Salamu Alayka Ya RasoolAllah SallAllahu Alaiya wa Wa Sallam
Before we dwell into answering the questions posed, it will be worthwhile to note some important points
- Any ability to help anyone else is solely given by Allah Almighty. No one can help, or do anything in general, without the consent and the Will of Allah.
- One is allowed to seek the help of the Pious [including the Prophets and the Awliya], during and even after their lifetime.
- The Prophets or [some of] the Awliya have been granted the permission to display ‘super-natural’ events known as Mujizah or Karamat respectively. This, for example, can be hearing many people, or visiting many places, at one moment of time. This ability is not taken away even after their demise, as we will see later on.
- We can never make any judgments [Qiyas] of the life hereafter with this worldly life. The life hereafter is much better and stronger than the life of this world.
- From the above point, we shall discover that the pious have always shown the ability to present themselves at many places, and/or, be present at many places at one time. If this is possible during their lifetimes, then what can we say about their powers and abilities once they leave this mundane world?
Now we shall, through critical analysis and strong evidences prove that the Prophets and the Awliya have the ability to listen to the calls of many at the same time.
Firstly, we shall prove if it’s permissible to seek help from the People of Allah after their passing away
Secondly, we shall prove if they can listen from far and can also assist from far
Thirdly, we shall see if they can see, hear many calls and visit many places at the same time.
Let us mention the quote of the great Gnostic, Imam Muhammad Bin Muhammad Ghazali [d.505AH] “One can seek help from those deceased whose help was sought when they were alive.”
In addition, it is in Bukhari and Muslim that Musa Alaihis Salam helped the Ummah of the Prophet by reducing the number of daily prayers when the Prophet went into Meraj. [Bukhari and Muslim, Chapter of Meraj]
The Prophet has said, “There is not a single Muslim to whom I am not close to him in this world and the Hereafter. If you like, read the verse, “This Prophet is the owner of the Muslims even more than their own selves.” Thus if he dies and leaves some heritage then it is for his kin. If he dies and he has unpaid dues or leave his children without any wealth then he should seek my protection as I am his Mowla”
(Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi narrated from Abu Hurairah RadiAllahu Anhu. Abu Da’ud and Tirmidhi narrate from Jabir Bin Abdullah RadiAllahu Anhu).[i]
There are numerous other Ahadith to prove the permissibility of seeking help from those who have left this world. For example, when the companions went to the Prophet’s grave at the time of drought and asked for his help.[ii]
But I shall now narrate from some of those books which are read by the critics too.
Hadrat Shah Abdul Haq Muhaddith-e-Dehlvi writes in Ham`at, under the discussion of the Nisbat [connection] to Owaisiyya [spiritual exercise]…
“…as a result of this connection, one will see them (Awliya Allah) in his dreams and at the time of difficulties, this group of Awliya Allah will come and remove his difficulties”[iii].
Also it is in Malfuzaat Mazhar Jaan-e-Jana…
“…I have a special relationship with Hadrat Ali KarramAllahu Wajhahu. Whenever I am afflicted with some temporal illness I turn my attention towards Hadrat Ali which results in my cure.”[iv]
“Hadrat Ghaus al-Thaqalain pays particular attention towards his disciples. There is not a single Mureed, disciple, on whom Hadrat Ghaus-e-Azam does not pay his attention to.”[v]
Look at the words of these statements, particularly the word ‘Ghauth Al-Thaqalain.’ Doesn’t this word mean ‘the helper of Mankind and Jinn’?
Hadrat Sheikh Shah Abdul Aziz, discussing about the state of the souls of Awliya, writes in his Tafseer Azizi;
“The Awliya Allah, interact with this Dunya, even after their death…and they eliminate difficulties and help the needy. The one who is in grief seeks their help and are successful in reaching their objectives”[vi].
… “Similarly Hadrat Khawaja Naqashband pays attention towards his beloveds. The shepherds and the travellers hand over their animals and wealth in protection of Hadrat Khawaja Naqshband whenever they want to go to sleep or if they want to go through the deserts, seeking his unseen help.”[vii]
The student of Hadrat Qadi Thanaullah Pani Patti, and the disciple of the aforementioned Mirza Sahib, writes in, Tadhkiratul Mouta, discussing about the souls of the Awliya Allah:
“Their souls go to the heavens, to the earth and to the gardens of Jannah. They help their beloveds and friends in this world and in the hereafter, and defeat the enemies.”[viii]
It is mentioned in the same Jawahir khamsa, “One should read Nadi ‘Ali seven, three times or once daily. The words are, “Nadi Aliyyam Math’haral ‘Ajaa’ib, Tajidhu ‘Awnal Laka fin Nawahib, Kullu Hammin wa Ghammin Sayanjali, Biwilyatika Ya Ali Ya Ali Ya Ali”[ix]. (Call Hadrat Ali, the one who shows wonders, you will find him your protector at the time of calamities. All the calamities fade away due to your Sainthood O Ali! O Ali! O Ali!).
Don’t you see this! Hadrat Ali has passed away some thousand of years ago yet this great scholar is teaching us to seek his help…SubhanAllah!
The Prophet has said, “My daughter Fatima is the Hoor among the people. She doesn’t go through what other women have to go through (menstruation and other impurities). Allah named her Fatima as He will protect her and anyone who loves her from the fire of Hell.” (Khateeb narrates from Ibn Abbas RadiAllahu Anhu)[x]
So even in this day and age, if someone loves the Beloved of the Beloved of Allah, Fatima RadiAllaho Anha then s/he will be protected from the punishment of Allah…What greater calamity can there be than the punishments of the Hereafter. If this is the blessing about loving her then what is going to be her status!
Ameerul Mu’mineen, Sayyiduna Umar RadiAllahu Anhu saw his wife Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Ali RadiAllahu Anhu, crying. He asked the reason of her crying. She replied, “This Jew (she meant Hadrat Ka’ab al-Ahbar RadiAllahu Anhu, one of the greatest of the Tabi’een and accepted Islam during the era of Sayyiduna Umar) is saying that your are one of the doors of the hell.” Hadrat Umar RadiAllahu Anhu said, “What Allah wills! I have a great hope that Allah will make me Sa`eed (Happy)” and called for Hadrat Ka’ab. When he arrived he asked him about the statement. Hadrat Ka’ab replied, “Don’t hasten! I swear by He in whose hands my life lies, the month of Dhul Hajj will not yet be completed that you will enter the paradise.” Hadrat Umar asked, “What is all this? Paradise and Hellfire?.” He replied, “I swear by He who has the control of my life, I see you one of the doors of Hell in the Book of Allah; stopping people from falling into the hellfire. When you will pass away the people will begin falling into it till the Day of Judgement.” (Ibn Sa’ad in his Tabaqat, Abu al-Qasim Ibn Bashran narrate from al-Jari the slave of Umar RadiAllahu Anhu).[xi]
Look at this Hadith! If someone can have a connection to the other world living on this earth then how come the people of the ‘other-world’ have no connection to this world?!
Remember! As mentioned earlier, when the pious die, their ability to help others does not diminish or disappear. They are alive in their grave [which is yet another broad topic] and their souls become even more stronger. We will come to this point later.
There is a very well-known Hadith when Sayyiduna Umar RadiAllahu Anhu was on his Pulpit when he called out “O Sariah! Go towards the mountain”. He was calling Hadrat Sariah who was in the midst of a battle some hundreds of miles away. Hadrat Umar saw it in Madina Munawwarah and Hadrat Sariah heard his call…SubhanAllah [Tarikh Ibn Kathir, Khilfat Umar RadiAllahu Anhu]
The Prophet has said, “If you lose something and you are in such a place where you don’t find anyone to help then one should say, ‘O the Servants of Allah! Help Me! O The Servants of Allah! Help Me! O The Servants of Allah! Help Me!’ Since there are some servants of Allah present there whom you do not see.”(Tabrani narrated from ‘Utbah Bin Garwan RadiAllahu Anhu)[xii]
The Messenger of Allah has said, “If you lose your animal then you should say, O Servants of Allah, take hold of it!” (Ibn al-Sani narrates from Ibn Mas’ud RadiAllahu Anhu) [xiii]
The Prophet of Allah has said, “He should say, ‘Help me O Servants of Allah!” (Ibn Abi Shaiba and Bazzar narrate from Ibn Abbas RadiAllahu Anhuma)[xiv]
These three Ahadith which have been narrated by three companions of the Prophet is well used and practiced. Alahazrat Imam Ahmad Raza RadiAllahu Anhu has written more upon this topic on one of his treatise, Anhar al-Anwar Man Yammu Salat al-Asrar (1305 A.H.),[xv] proving every secret of the prayer Salaat Al-Ghausiya and about the eleven steps taken towards Baghdad Sharif.
In the book, Qawl al-Jameel, it has mentioned the method of picturing one’s Sheikh [spiritual guide], which is one of the Sufi practices of Naqshbandiyya Tariqah…
“When the Sheikh is not present then one should picture him with love and respect. The picture will give all the benefits which the presence of a Sheikh gives a person”[xvi], and quoting from Shah Abdul ‘Aziz, it is written in Shifa’ul ‘Aleel, “It is true that this is the most effective way.”[xvii]
This should be enough to convince those who are sincerely seeking the truth. If more details needed read Imam Ahmad Raza’s renowned book, Al-Amnu Wal Ula which will inshaAllah eliminate many doubts from the heart.
The Great Gnostic and Scholar Sheikh Imam ‘Abdul-Wahhab Sha’rani Alahir Rehmah writes in Kitab al-Jawahir wa al-Durar [p.165]:
“…Our Master Ibraheem Disouqi RadiAllahu Anhu gave sermon and led the Jumu’ah [Friday] prayer in fifty different places. Similarly, our Master Muhammad al-Khadari RadiAllahu Anhu led the Friday prayer in different parts of Surus [name of a city] at one time.
One of the miracles [Karamat] of Our Master Abdul Qadir Shatuti RadiAllaho Anhu [not to be confused with Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani RadiAllahu Anhu] was that he spent a night at his disciple’s house on a small island in front of the Egyptian park named Rawdat al-Miqyas. In the same night, he stayed over at someone else’s house in another city. Both hosts gave him milk to drink and stayed with him.
Meanwhile, there was another group of people who narrated that King Qatbai before leaving to travel to Aleppo [Humus, a city in Syria], King Qatba’i sought permission from Sheikh Abdul Qadir Shatuti. He reached Aleppo where he found the Sheikh lying on a bed with a deteriorating health. The people said to the king that the Sheikh has been in this state for the last one year; whereas the king met him a month ago in Egypt in a very healthy state.
I asked my teacher, Sheikh Ali Khawwas RadiAllahu Anhu “If the ‘copied’ bodies [in other words, if a Wali can go to many places at once, the other bodies are copied or Mithali in Arabic] of a Wali commits an offence then which body will be liable?” He replied, “The copied bodies, though they may be in thousands, they are liable and they will also gain reward.”
I then asked, “How can one soul have the connection with all this bodies and how can it be responsible for the actions of all these bodies? He replied saying, “like one soul controls all the parts of a body, similarly it controls all the different bodies. If the different body parts commit an offence, the soul will be questionable, similarly is the state when the different bodies undertake an action; all the actions are controlled by this one soul. [After asking another question], “They can do this because they have attained the secret of the word KUN [‘Be’] and this is through the miracle bestowed to them. This will be the state of the people of paradise.”
So from the above account we get to perceive the friends of Allah have the capability to roam around many places, and undertake many different actions at one single time. If this is the state of the Awliya, then how can we imagine the status of the Prophet ?
Moreover, Mulla Ali Qari Alaihi Rehmah states, “The Friends of Allah can be in several places at one moment and can even have few likenesses of body simultaneously.[xviii]
Imam Ibn al-Haaj and Imam Qastalani Alaihimar Rehmah state, “Our Scholars have stated that that there is no difference between the life and the demise of the prophet . He sees his Ummah, their actions, knows their feeling and intentions.”[xix]
So much can be written on this topic, but I will just finish off this point with one narration and see the power of the Enemy of Allah; not a friend!…
Hafidh Ibn Katheer writes the Tafisr under the verse 27 of Surah al-A’araf, “Apart from his servants, Allah has given power to Shaytan, who sits on his throne in the sea and sees you wherever you may be.”[xx]
From all the above quotations, it is evident that the Awliya can be at many places in one time, let alone hearing and seeing from one place!
Now from the above three points we can deduce the following
- The help of Awliya can be sought, even after their death
- They can help even after their death
- Their souls become even stronger after their death
- They can perform miracles even after death
- They can be present at many places at one time, through the miracle bestowed to them by Allah
Thus we can conclude that the can also be present in many places, and help many at one time, even after their death through the miracles Allah has granted them. They also have the ability to help whom they want and listen to the calls of many at the same time. All this is through the permission granted to them by Allah the Almighty.
It is hoped that this would suffice the seekers of truth…inshaAllah
Muhammad Husain Qadri
[i] Sahih al-Bukhari, the book on al-Istiqraad, the chapter on al-Salaat ‘Ala man taraka Daynan, (Qadimi Kutub Khana, Karachi), vol. 1, p. 323. Also the book on al-Tafseer, Surah al-ahzaab, vol. 2, p. 705.
Sahih Muslim, the book on al-Faraa’id, the chapter on Adaa’i al-Dayn Qabla al-Wasiyya, (Qadimi Kutub Khana, Karachi) vol. 1, p. 36.
Sunan Abi Da’ud, the book on al-Imaarah, the chapter Fi Arzaaq al-Dhuriyyah, (Aftaab ‘Aalam press, Lahore), vol. 2, p. 54.
Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, narrated from Abu Hurairah RadiAllaho Anhu, (Al-Maktab al-Islami, Beirut), vol. 2, pp. 334-335.
Sharh al-Sunnah, the book on al-Faraa’id, Hadith # 2241, (Al-Maktab al-Islami, Beirut), vol. 8, p. 324.
Sunan al-Kubra Li al-Baihaqi, the chapter on al-Asabah, (Dar Saadir, Beirut), vol. 6, p. 238 and vol. 7, p. 58.
[ii] See Ibn Taymiya’s Iqtisa Sirat al-Mustaqeem, p. 373 and Fath al-Bari, chapter on Istisqa
[iii] Ham’aat, Ham’a 11, (al-Shah Waliyullah al-Dehlvi Academic, Hyderabad, Pakistan), p. 59.
[iv]Kalimat Tayyibat, Malfuzaat Mazhar Jaan Jana, (Mujtaba’i press, Delhi), p. 78.
[v] Ibid. p. 83.
[vi] Tafseer Fath al-‘Aziz, under the verse 84:18, (Muslim Book Depot, Laal Kunwa, Dehli), p.206.
[vii] Ibid. p. 83.
[viii] Tadhkirat al-Mouta, (Mujtba’i press, Delhi), p. 41.
[ix] Urdu Translation of Jawajir Khamsa, Muhammad Baig Naqshbandi, (Dar al-Isha’at, Karachi), p. 282 and 453.
[x] Tareekh Baghdaad, the biography of Gaanim Bin Hameed 6772, (Dar al-Kitaab al-‘arabi, Beirut), vol. 12, p. 331.
Kanz al-‘Ummal, narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas RadiAllahu Anhu, Hadith# 34226, (Muassas al-Risala, Beirut), vol. 12, p. 109.
[xi] Al-Tabaqaat al-Kubra Li Ibn Abi Sa’ad, the mentioning of Istikhlaaf Umar RadiAllaho anhu, (Dar saadir, Beirut), vol. 3, p. 332.
Kanz al-‘Ummal, with reference to Ibn Abi Sa’ad and Abu al-Qaasim Bin Bashraan, Hadith# 35787, (Muassas al-Risala, Beirut), vol. 12, pp. 570-571.
[xii] Al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, narrated from ‘Ataba Bin Ghazwaan, Hadith# 290, (Al-Maktabat al-Faisaliyya, Beirut), vol. 17, pp. 117-118.
[xiii] ‘Amal al-Yaum wa al-Laila, Hadith# 208, (Dairat al-Ma’arif al-‘Uthmaniyya, Hyderabad), p. 136.
[xiv] Al-Musannaf li Ibn Abi Shaiba, the book on al-Du’a, Hadith# 29711, (Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilimiyya, Beirut), vol. 6, p. 92.
Al-Bahr al-Zakhkhaar, Hadith# 4922, vol. 11, p. 181 and al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, Hadith# 290, vol. 17, p. 118.
Kashf al-Astaar ‘An Zawa’id al-Bazzaar, the book on al-Adhkaar, Hadith# 3128, (Muassas al-Risala, Beirut), vol. 4, p. 34.
[xv] This book is printed in the seventh volume of Fatawa-e-Razawiyya (Raza Foundation, Jami’ah Nizamiyya Razawiyya, Lahore), p. 569.
[xvi] Al-Qawl al-Jameel, sixth chapter, (H.M.Saeed Company, Karachi), pp. 81-82.
[xvii] Shifa al-‘Aleel Ma’a al-Qawl al-Jameel, (H.M. Saeed Company, Karachi), p. 80.
[xviii] Mirqat, the chapter of Ma Yuqaalu ‘Inda Man Hadaral Mout.
[xix] Madkhal, Mawahib al-Ladunniyya v.2, p. 387.
[xx] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah A’araf, verse 27.