Awliya‘s Knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen)

Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad

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Another of the principles of Ahl al-Sunna is the faith in the karamat of the awliya, and in whatever Allah causes to happen at their hands of the suspension of the laws of nature in all kinds of knowledge and spiritual unveilings (fi anwa` al-`ulum wa al-mukashafat)and all kinds of powers and influences (wa anwa` al-qudra wa al-ta’thirat) such as reported concerning the ancient Communities, (for example) in al-kahf and others, and as reported from the early beginnings of this Community regarding the Companions and the Followers and from every generation of Muslims after that, and these miracles will not cease to take place in this community until the Day of Resurrection (wa hiya mawjudatun fiha ila yawm al-qiyama).”60

The miracles of saints (karamat al-awliya’) are absolutely true and correct, by the acceptance of all Muslim scholars and Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a [i.e. as opposed to the Mu`tazila]. The Qur’an has pointed to them in different places as well as the authentic hof the Prophet and the reports transmitted from the Companions and the Successors through a large number of sources. Only the innovators such as the Mu`tazila and the Jahmiyya and their followers deny them.61

What is considered as a miracle related to knowledge is that sometimes the servant might hear something that others do not hear and see something that others do not see, whether in a wakeful or sleeping state of vision. And he can know something that others cannot know, through revelation or inspiration, or the dawning of necessary knowledge upon him, or truthful piercing sight (firasa sadiqa), and such is called kashfmushahadatmukashafat, and mukhatabat.62

The hafiz al-Harawi al-Ansari who is the model of “Salafis” in their fight against Ash`aris, spoke the following words about kashf in his books Manazil al-Sa’irin (Stations of the Wayfarers) and `Ilal al-maqamat (The Flaws in the Stages):

Regarding the word “finding” in the verses:

He will find Allah forgiving, merciful” (4:110)

They would have found Allah forgiving, merciful” (4:64)

“… and he finds Allah” (24:39)…

It has three meanings: first, it is the finding of knowledge emanating from the divine Presence; it cuts off knowledge based on observations with the soundness of disclosure (mukashafat) from Allah to you.63

The renunciation (zuhd) of the privileged is to keep their aspiration (himmat) away from the world, because Allah has kept them from depending on circumstances thanks to the light of unveiling (nur al-kashf).64

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