Seeing the Prophet (s) while awake

Seeing the Prophet – sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- while awake

Can you address a fatwa by Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baaz, Grand-Mufti of Saudia Arabia in which he raises a number of issues he declares to be impossible, such as the vision of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in a waking state.

There are some problems with the text of the fatwa which need to be addressed. Generally speaking, I have found that any text issuing from Shaykh Abd al-Aziz Bin Baz and many of his friends on Islamic doctrine, raises more questions than it solves. It is best to cling to the majority opinion on these questions. The Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — said that his Community shall never agree upon error. This means that you will not see, on fundamental questions, error in the opinion of the vast majority (jumhur) of the ulamas. Those who differ from them should not be followed, and success is only from Allah.

Aside from this particular fatwa, I encountered many other strange positions during my recent Hajj. I have made a brief compilation of the answers of the people of knowledge on these issues and listed these answers in the third section of a hajj journal entitled “From the Two Holy Sanctuaries” [posted] on the msa-ec mailing list ….

I now address the fatwa of the shaykh:

… Among other things, the Apostle-peace and blessings of Allah be unto him-after his death, never appears in a vision to a wakeful person.

In the absence of a legal proof, this is a claim to know the unseen. There is nothing in the Qur’an and Sunna that says that the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — does not appear to anyone in a wakeful state.

He of the ignorant Sufis, who claims that he sees, while being vigilant, the vision of the Prophet-peace and blessings of Allah be unto him—or that the vision attends the (Mawlids) or the like, would have been guilty of the foulest error, and have been exceedingly obscured.

It is related from one of the great Sufi shaykhs who happened to be blind, whom the hadith master Ibn al-Mulaqqin mentioned in his Tabaqat al-Awliya, and concerning whom Ibn Daqiq al-`Id said: “I never saw anyone more knowledgeable of Allah,” Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili — may Allah have mercy upon him — that he said: “If I ceased to see the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — for one moment, I would no longer consider myself a Muslim.” If this report is authentic, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz shall have to answer for his calumny of Shaykh Abu al-Hasan on the Day of Judgment.

Anyone who deliberately lies about the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — is heading for the Fire, as established by the Prophet’s mass-narrated hadith to that effect, whether affirming something falsely, or, also, denying it falsely. May Allah protect us from that terrible act.

As for attending Mawlid, “a vision” does not attend or do anything, but the spirits of the believers who passed away, together with the angels and the believing jinn, are certainly related to attend the gatherings of the pious all over the earth. Ibn al-Kharrat in al-`Aqiba, Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Ruh, al-Qurtubi in al-Tadhkira, Ibn Abi al-Dunya in al-Qubur, al-Suyuti in Sharh al-Sudur, and others relate from many of the Salaf that the spirits of the believers in Barzakh are free to come and go anywhere they please. This is all the more possible for our Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — as we celebrate Mawlid specifically to remember him and invoke blessings upon him.

May Allah make wide for us the abode where they shall place us after our death, and may Allah grant us the great honor and ability to see the Prophet — Allah bless and greet him — before death.

He would also have made a big mistake, and have gone against the Quran, the Sunnah, and the consensus of scholars ; due to the fact that the dead never rise out of their graves in this world save on the Day of Judgement; as has been mentioned by Allah in connection with the attributes of believers: (And then at length you will certainly die and again on the Day of Judgement you will be raised up) [XXII: I5-I6]. …

The Shaykh of Mecca, Sayyid Muhammad ibn Alawi — may Allah guard him — said in his last book Manhaj al-Salaf:

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