151. IBN HIBBAAN MEETS UWAIS QARNI
Haram Ibn Hibbaan (rahmatullah alayh) had developed a great yearning for meeting Hadhrat Uwais Qarni (rahmatullah alayh). With only this purpose in mind, he journeyed to Kufaa. Continuing the story, he narrates:
“During the afternoon I reached the banks of the River Euphrates. There I saw him sitting and making wudhu. From the description of him which I had heard, I recognized him. I said: “Assala mu Alaikum!” He responded and looked towards me. I extended my hand, but he did not take it. I said:
‘O Uwais, may Allah have mercy on you and may He forgive you. How are you?’
I only said this much and broke down crying because I had a profound love for him. He too cried and said:
‘O Haram Ibn Hibbaan! May Allah keep you happy. How are you? From where did you gain information of my whereabouts?’
I said: ‘Allah Ta`ala showed me.’
‘There is no Deity but Allah. Glory unto Him – our Rabb! Verily the promise of our Rabb will most assuredly be fulfilled.’
I said: ‘How do you know my name and the name of my father? Prior to this day I had never seen you nor had you seen me.’
Hadhrat Uwais recited the Qur`aanic verse:
‘The One Who knows, Who is Aware has informed me.’
I said: ‘Narrate to me a Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).’
Uwais: ‘I did not have the fortune of meeting Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). I saw those who had seen Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).’
I said: ‘O my Beloved Brother! Recite to me some verses of the Qur`aan. My heart yearns to listen to you.’
He let out such a loud shriek that I thought he would collapse. He then said: ‘O Ibn Hibbaan! Your father has already died. Soon you too will die. It is not known if you will enter Jannat or Jahannum. Our Father Adam and our Mother Hawwa (alayhimus salaam) have died. Hadhrat Nooh, Ibraheem, Musa and Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and Abu Bakr Siddique (radhiallahu anhu) and my brother Umar Bin Khattaab (radhiallahu anhu) have all died.’
I interjected: ‘Umar (radhiallahu anhu) has not yet died.’
Uwais: ‘He has already died,’[Later Ibn Hibbaan discovered that Hadhrat Umar – radhiallahu anhu – had died.]
‘We too will die.’
Then Hadhrat Uwais recited Durood Shareef and made dua. He finally added: ‘My wasiyyat to you is that you remember Maut. Never be forgetful of it for one moment. When you return to your people, urge them to fear Allah Ta`ala. Admonish the Ummah. Now make dua for me and for yourself. You will never again see me. I abhor fame and I love solitude. Do not ask anyone about me nor search for me. Remember me in your dua. I too shall remember you. Now go away from me. I too am leaving.’
I expressed my desire to walk with him a short distance, but he refused. With a heavy heart stricken with sadness and shedding tears I departed from him. I saw him crying. I continued glancing back until I saw him disappearing into Basrah.
Thereafter, I again searched for him and made many inquiries, but all in vain. Not a week passes without me seeing Hadhrat Uwais (rahmatullah alayh) in a dream.”
152. A FALCON FLIES AWAY – THE VALUE OF A FAQEER’S DESIRE
Hadhrat Sheikh Abi Muhammad Hareeri (rahmatullah alayh) narrates: “A falcon came to me, but I did not catch it. Thereafter, I spent 40 years trying to catch a falcon, but in vain.” Someone asked him about the falcon. He explained: “Once a man came to us at the musaafir khana (inn) after Asr. He was a young man, pale in colour, with disheveled hair and bare-feet. He made wudhu and performed Salaat. Thereafter, he sat in contemplation until Maghrib with his head tucked into his shawl.
After Maghrib Salaat he again sat in the same manner in meditation. Meanwhile, the Khalifah’s messenger came to invite us for meals. I went up to the young man and invited him to accompany us to the Khalifah for meals. The young man said: ‘My heart has no desire to go to the palace of the Khalifah, but I am desirous of eating hot halwa.’
Since he had rejected our request and made known his desire, I too ignored him. I thought that he was a new Muslim who had not yet learned manners. We then went to the Khalifah’s mansion and returned late at night. When I entered the musaafir khana I saw the young man sitting in the same position. I too sat for a short while on the musalla. I then fell asleep. In a dream I saw numerous people having assembled. Someone pointed out: ‘This is Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the vast assembly is the Ambiyaa (alayhimus salaam).’ I went to the presence of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and made Salaam. He turned his face away and did not respond. I went to the other side, but he again ignored me. I became extremely fearful and implored: ‘O Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), what wrong have I done to warrant your displeasure?’
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): ‘A faqeer had expressed his desire to you, but you did not fulfill it.’
My eyes opened. I hurried to the faqeer, but he was not there. I heard the door creaking and I rushed in pursuit. Outside I called to him: ‘O young man! Wait a bit. I shall bring whatever you had desired.’ He looked at me and said: ‘When the faqeer asked you for something, you refused. Now after 124 thousand Ambiyaa had interceded, you came running. I no longer have any desire. So saying, he departed.”
The regret and grief for Hadhrat Hareeri were overwhelming. He never again had the opportunity of ‘catching’ a falcon.
153. THE EFFECTS OF NASEEHAT ON A YOUNG MAN.
One day while Hadhrat Sirri Saqati (rahmatullah alayh) was giving a bayaan (discourse) in the Musjid, a handsome young man dressed in expensive garments entered with a few friends. During the bayaan, Hadhrat Sirri said: “What is very surprising is that the weak disobeys the powerful one.” The colour of the young man changed when he heard this statement.
The next day he returned to the Musjid. After performing two rak`ats Salaat, he sat in the (majlis) gathering of Hadhrat Sirri and said: “O Sirri! Yesterday I heard you saying that the weak disobey the powerful one. Please explain this.” Hadhrat Sirri said: “No one is more powerful than Allah, The Gracious, and man is the weakest. Yet he disobeys Allah Ta`ala.” He then left.
The following day he returned wearing only two simple garments. No one accompanied him. He asked Hadhrat Sirri: “In which way does a person reach Allah?”
Hadhrat Sirri: “If you desire Ibaadat then fast by day and spend the nights in Salaat. If you desire only Allah Ta`ala, then abandon everything beside him and live in the Musaajid, desolate places and graveyards.”
The young man stood up saying: “By Allah! I shall choose the difficult path.”
After some days, a few young men came to me and asked about the whereabouts of Ahmad Bin Yazeed Khatib. Hadhrat Sirri told them that he never heard the name nor was he aware of the person. However, he explained the incident of the young man. Perhaps they were looking for him. They apprized Hadhrat Sirri of the young man’s address and requested him to inform them should he turn up.
A year passed by without any news of the young man. One night after Esha someone knocked on the door of Hadhrat Sirri. He opened the door, to his surprise he saw the young man. He kissed Hadhrat Sirri’s forehead and said: “O Sirri! May Allah free me from the fire of Jahannum just as He has freed me from the slavery of this world.”
Hadhrat Sirri made a sign to his companion to inform the young man’s family of his arrival. Soon his wife, accompanied by his children hastily came. One child was adorned with jewels and fine garments. She pushed the small child into the young man’s lap and said: “You have made me a widow and your children orphans while you are alive.”
Looking at Hadhrat Sirri, the young man said: “O Sirri! How could you have betrayed me like this?” Turning to his wife and children he said: “By Allah ! You are the fruits of my heart. You are my beloved ones. I love you all more than the entire creation . But what can I do? Sirri said that I have to sever all ties.”
The young man removed the jewels etc. from his child and instructed his wife to give it to the poor. He asked her to tear a portion of his shawl and clad the child with it. In consternation, his wife said that she could not bear to see her child in such a state. She snatched the child from him. When he saw her attitude, he stood up and said with grief: “This night you have kept me from the remembrance of my Allah.” He broke away, ran out and disappeared, leaving his family sobbing and wailing. His wife implored Hadhrat Sirri to inform her if he ever returns.
Many years flew by without any news of the young man. One day an old woman visited Hadhrat Sirri and informed him that at a place called Shunuziah a young man was asking about him. Hadhrat Sirri hastened to the place. He saw the young man lying with a mud brick (for a pillow) under his head. When Hadhrat Sirri made Salaam, the young man opened his eyes and said: “O Sirri! Will Allah forgive the likes of me?”
Hadhrat Sirri: “Yes.”
Young man: “I am immersed in sins.”
Hadhrat Sirri: “He forgives even those drowned in sins.”
Young man: “I have a few dirhams. When I die, buy whatever is required for my burial with these dirhams. Do not inform my family. They will buy expensive Kafan for me with Haraam money.”
Hadhrat Sirri sat at his side for a while. He again opened his eyes and recited the Aayat:
“For the likes of this (reward) should the people who do (good) deeds strive.”
His soul then took flight from his earthly body.
Hadhrat Sirri fulfilled the wasiyyat of the young man. After a long time his wife visited Hadhrat Sirri in the hope of hearing something of her husband. He then informed her of his death and of everything that had transpired. She was beyond herself with grief and sorrow. Her crying knew no bounds. She distributed all her wealth in the Path of Allah and spent her days in mourning until finally she died.
154. THE REFORMATION OF A KING
Hadhrat Sheikh Abdul Fawaris Shah Bin Shuja Kirmaani (rahmatullahi alayh) prior to his reformation and renunciation of the world was the king of Kirmaan. One day in pursuit of a prey, he was separated from the hunting party. He found himself alone in a desolate wilderness.
Suddenly he saw a young man seated on the back of a lion while many beasts were around him. When the animals saw the king, they leapt towards him, but the young man restrained them. The wild animals submitted to his command.
When the young man came near to the king, he said: “Assalaa mu Alaikum! O king! How oblivious are you of Allah Ta`ala. You have forgotten the Aakhirah for the sake of the world. In pursuit of carnal pleasures you have cast aside the service of your King (Allah Ta`ala). Allah Ta`ala gave you the world to assist you to serve Him. But you have made it a medium of attaining pleasure and luxury.”
While the young man was admonishing the king, an old woman appeared with a cup in her hand, which she handed to him. The young man drank it and gave the remainder to the king. After the king drank, he commented: “I never drank any drink so cold and so delicious.” Meanwhile the old woman disappeared.
The young man said: “The old woman is the world. Allah Ta`ala instructed her to serve me. Are you not aware that when Allah Ta`ala created the earth, He said: “O Earth! Serve whoever serves Me and enslave into your service whoever serves you.”
The king was a completely reformed person. He repented, gave up his kingdom and renounced the world. All the spiritual wonders which thereafter emanated from Hadhrat Kirmaani (rahmatullahi alayh) are well known.
155. THE REFORMATION OF MALIK BIN DINAAR
Everyone is aware of Hadhrat Malik Bin Dinaar (rahmatullahi alayh), one of Islam’s most famous Auliyaa.
Narrating the story of his reformation, he said:
“I was a drunkard. I was perpetually immersed in wine. Once I purchased an extremely beautiful slave girl. A daughter of mine was born to her. I had the profoundest love for this daughter. When my baby started to walk, my love for her increased.
Whenever I would commence drinking, she would come, snatch the wine and spill it on my clothes. When she was two years old, she died. Sorrow and grief drove me close to insanity. I was ruined.
One day on a Friday night after half of the month of Shabaan had passed I was intoxicated with liquor. I went to sleep without even performing Esha Salaat. I dreamt that I was in the plains of Qiyaamah. The dead became alive and were pouring out from their graves and rushing forward. I too joined the vast multitudes of people.
I perceived a hissing sound behind me. When I turned, I saw a huge black serpent with its fangs bared slithering towards me. In terror I ran as fast as I could. I was stricken with inordinate fear. Along the path I fled I encountered and old man in white garments smelling of the fragrance of perfume. I pleaded with him to save me from the serpent. He said: ‘I am a weak man. the serpent is stronger than me. I cannot save you, run ahead. Perhaps Allah Ta`ala opens a way for your safety.’ I ran further on and climbed a high hill. From the top of the hill I could see Jahannum with its various sections and its flames. I almost fell over the brink into Jahannum because of the serpent behind me. I heard a voice calling: ‘Move back. You are not destined for the Fire.’ I derived comfort from this proclamation.
I moved back and ran towards the old man with the serpent following in my tracks. When I pleaded with the old man to save me. He began crying and said: ‘I myself am frail and weak. Go into that mountain. The treasures of the Muslims are held in trust there. If something belonging to you happens to be there, you will get aid from it.’ I looked at the round – shaped mountain. It had many doors. Curtains were hanging on the entrances. The frames of the sides were of gold and precious stones. The curtains were of silk. I ran towards the mountain. With the serpent relentlessly in pursuit. When I came into close proximity of the mountain – entrances, some angels lifted the curtains. They searched in the hope of finding something which would save me. I had lost hope.
Numerous little children with shining faces came out of the entrances. The serpent was almost on me. I was shocked with terror. A child shrieked out: ‘You all are present and it is almost on him.’ A group of children emerged. Among them I saw my daughter too. When she saw me, she cried and exclaimed: ‘Alas! O my father! Wallah!.’ She ran back into the glittering mansion and suddenly held out her left hand, taking hold of my right hand. With her right hand she pointed to the snake. It turned and slithered away. My daughter made me sit down. She then sat on my lap. Stroking my beared with her hand, she recited the Aayat:
“What, has the time not arrived for the believers that their hearts become tender for the thikr of Allah and for the truth which has been revealed?”
I cried and asked: ‘O my daughter! Do you learn to recite the Qur`aan Shareef here?’ She said: ‘We learn from you.’
Maalik: ‘What was the serpent which was pursuing me?’
Daughter: ‘The consequence of your evil deeds. You strengthened it with your evil deeds. It desired that you burn in the Fire.’
Maalik: ‘Who was the old man?’
Daughter: ‘My father, he was your good deeds. You had weakened your good deeds so much that they lacked the strength to fight off your evil deeds.’
Maalik: ‘What are you doing in this mountain?’
Daughter: ‘We are the children of Muslims. We shall live here until Qiyaamah. We await your (i.e. parents) arrival, so that we could intercede on your behalf.’
When my eyes opened, I was full of fear. In the morning I repented and gave in the path of Allah whatever I had. This is how I had reformed.”
The noble author says:
“According to the Hadith Shareef, the deeds of a man are buried with him. In the grave they call him. If his deeds were virtuous, they honour him and keep him happy. His grave becomes bright and he is saved from the torments. If his deeds were evil, they terrify him and distress him. His grave becomes dark and in its constriction he is punished.”
156. THE POWER OF VIRTUOUS DEEDS
A Saalih of Yemen narrated the following episode:
“A Mayyit was buried. as the people were leaving, they heard a loud explosion in the grave. A huge black dog jumped out and fled. A pious man present said to the dog: ‘May Allah destroy you! What evil are you?’
Dog: ‘I am the evil deeds of that Mayyit.’
Pious man: ‘Did the explosion occur to the Mayyit or to you?’
Dog: ‘It struck me. The constant recitation of Yaseen, etc. arrived and prevented me from approaching the Mayyit.’[The good deeds of this Mayyit were strong, hence they overcame his evil deeds by the grace of Allah Ta`ala. If his evil deeds were stronger, they would have overwhelmed his good deeds. He would then have been plunged into a variety of punishment].
157. THE SERPENT OF EVIL
When the grave was dug for an evil man who had died, a large black serpent was found coiled up in the grave. A second grave was dug and there too appeared a serpent. A third and a fourth grave were dug. In each grave a serpent was found. After having dug 30 graves, the people realised that there was no escape from Allah’s punishment. Finally the man was buried along with the serpent inside his grave.
This serpent was the form his evil deeds had assumed. May Allah Ta`ala save us all.
158. PUNISHMENT FOR A KAFAN-THIEF
Abu Ishaq Fazari (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates that a man who used to frequent his gatherings would always cover half his face. One day Abu Ishaq questioned him regarding this practice. The man said: “Promise that you will not reveal my secret to anyone.” After Abu Ishaq promised, the man explained his story:
“I was a kafan-thief. One day I dug open the grave of a woman who had just been buried. I pulled off the first garment of her kafan. When I tried to pull off the second covering, I was unable to do it. Placing both my knees on the ground, I pulled the garment with force. The dead woman raised her hand and struck me in the face. The imprint of her fingers remained of my face.”
Abu Ishaq asked: “Then what did you do?” The former kafan-thief replied: “I properly arranged the kafan sheets, replaced the bricks covering the lahd and filled the grave with sand. I then resolved never again to commit this evil deed.”
Abu Ishaq in a letter to Hadhrat Auzaa-ee (rahmatullahi alayh) narrated this episode. Hadhrat Auza-ee wrote back: “ Ask him-‘O Unfortunate One! Would you do so with the dead who were the people of Tawheed whose faces were in the direction of the Qiblah?”
When he posed this question to the man, he said: “The faces of most of them were turned away from the Qiblah.”
Abu Ishaq conveyed this information to Hadhrat Auza-ee. In reply Hadhrat Auza-ee wrote thrice:
“Know that one whose face is turned away from the Qiblah, died as an enemy of the Deen.”
159. THE LAST WORDS
(i). A businessman who was completely oblivious (ghaafil) of Allah Ta`ala was unable to recite the Kalimah at the time of his maut. Only business transactions were on his tongue. He would repeatedly say: “One more bail of fodder.”
A Sheikh who was present said to his mureeds: “Recite ‘La- ilaha il lal lah’ in abundance so that you will readily recite this Kalimah when maut arrives just as this man recited his business statements which were his life long occupation.”
(ii). A man whose practice it was to recite the Qur`aan Shareef in abundance, died while continuously reciting the Qur`aanic Aayat:
A man will die in the state which he had spent his life he will also be resurrected in Qiyaamah in the state which he had died. We should make dua that Allah Ta`ala should grant us the taufeeq to die on the Belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama`ah and in peace. Aameen.
160. THE BARKAT OF ACTS OF THAWAAB
Bahiyah was a very pious lady. While she was dying she looked towards the heaven and supplicated: “O my Allah! Only You are my Treasure in my life and death. My trust is only in You. Do not disgrace me. Save me from the torments of the grave.”
After she died, her son adopted the practice of visiting her grave every Thursday and Friday. He would recite the Qur`aan Shareef and bestow the thawaab of it to his mother as well as to the other inmates of the grave. He would also make Dua-e-Maghfirah for them.
The son narrates:
“One night I saw my mother in a dream. I made Salaam and asked her: ‘Mother how are you faring?’
She replied: ‘O my son! The hardships and torments of Maut are many. But, until Qiyaamah I am in comfort here in Barzakh with the kindness and grace of Allah Ta`ala. I have been awarded a variety of comforts and luxuries.’
I asked: ‘Do you need anything?’
She replied: ‘Yes! Never abandon your practice of visiting me and reciting the Qur`aan Shareef, dua, etc. When you come, great happiness prevails. When you arrive, the inmates of the graves come to me in delight and inform me of your approach.’
I continued my practice of visiting the qabrustaan, reciting Qur`aan Shareef and making dua for my mother and the rest of the inmates of the graves.
One night I dreamt that a large crowd of people came to me. I asked them: ‘Who are you?’ They replied: ‘We are the inmates of the grave. We have come to express our gratitude to you. Do not abandon your practice.’”
161. THE AHL-E-QUBOOR SEARCHING FOR BARKAT OF THAWAAB
In a trance a pious man saw the Ahl-e-Quboor (inmates of the graves) of a qabrustaan coming out of their graves. They went around the qabrustaan gathering something like people picking fruit from the trees. He could not make out what they were gathering. He continues the story:
“I was very surprised. I saw one man sitting peacefully, doing nothing. I went to him and asked: ‘What are they gathering?’ He replied: ‘They are gathering the barkat of the thawaab of virtuous deeds which Muslims render for their sake.’
I said: ‘You too are amongst them. Why are you not gathering anything?’
He said: ‘I am not in need of it. My son regularly recites the Qur`aan Shareef and bestows the thawaab to me.’
I asked: ‘Where is your son?’
He said: ‘He is a young man who trades in the bazaar.’(The deceased informed him of the precise location)
When my eyes opened I hastened to the market-place. I arrived at the place indicated to me in the dream. I saw a young man whose lips were continuously moving even while he was engaging in his work. I asked him: ‘Why do you move your lips?’
He said: ‘I recite the Qur`aan Shareef for the sake of my deceased father.’
After some time I again saw the qabrustaan in a dream and the inmates of the grave were gathering barkat in the same way. To my surprise I saw that the man who had earlier been sitting aloof, was now also among the crowd gathering the barakat. My eyes opened. I hastened to the shop of the man’s son. On reaching there, I was informed that he had already died.”[The deeds of virtue which Muslims render for the sake of deceased Muslims in general, are shared by the Ahl-e-Quboor in general. This episode illustrates that acts of Isaal-e-Thawaab rendered for a particular Mayyit make him independent of the thawaab bestowed in general to the deceased of the Ummat. If the virtuous deed is an act of Thawaab -e-Jaariyah (perpetual thawaab), the Mayyit’s independence and benefit will be perpetual – And Allah Knows Best.
In this episode, the thawaab of the virtuous act of reciting Qur`aan Shareef terminated with the death of the son. Hence his father too joined the Ahl-e-Quboor to procure spiritual benefits for himself.
Muslims should do acts of Thawaab-e-Jaariyah to ensure that the thawaab continues to accrue even after their death. Such acts are ta`leem (teaching the Deen),opening Madrasahs, publication of Islamic literature, establishing water facilities, Musjids, etc].
162. THE QUR`AAN IS NOOR IN THE QABR
After a pious lady had died, her friend saw her in a dream. She saw the deceased lady seated on a throne. Below the throne was a utensil of Noor (celestial light) which was covered. She asked her deceased friend about the covered utensil. The deceased replied:
“In it is the gift of my husband, which he sent for me last night.”
The next day the woman related her dream to the deceased’s husband. He said: “I had recited the Qur`aan Shareef and bestowed the thawaab of it to her.”
163. THE REALITY OF THAWAAB OF QUR`AAN TILAAWAT
Some Ulama have denied the reality of the thawaab of Qur`aan Tilaawat reaching the amwat (the dead). While they accept that the thawaab of Sadaqah reaches the amwat, this does not apply to tilaawat. Among the exponents of this belief was Imam Mufti Anam Izzuddeen Ibn Abdus Salaam (rahmatullahi alayh). After his death a Buzrug who saw the Imam in a dream asked him about his belief. The Imam replied: “Alas! I discovered the reality to be in conflict with my belief.”
164. DO NOT FORGET YOUR DEAD
Once Hadhrat Saalik Mirri (rahmatullahi alayh) was passing through a qabrustan on a Friday night. He sat down by a grave and fell asleep. He dreamt that the Ahl-e-Quboor were emerging from their graves. Soon they gathered and sat in a circle talking amongst themselves. A youth in dirty clothes and with a sad countenance was sitting aloof.
Suddenly a group of Angels descended carrying trays of Noor. They distributed these to all those who were seated in the circle. Each one returned to his/her grave with his/her tray. Only the youth received nothing. He was shattered with grief. As he was about to enter his grave, Hadhrat Saalih exclaimed: “O servant of Allah! Why are you sad? What is happening here?”
The youth said: “The trays contain the gifts of Sadaqah , Dua, Tilaawat, etc. which the living have sent for their dead relatives and friends. Every Jumuah these gifts reach the dead. But, I have a mother who has remarried. She is engrossed in the world and has completely forgotten me, hence there is no gift for me.”
Hadhrat Saalih enquired about the whereabouts of his mother. The youth informed him in the dream of his mother’s exact address. In the morning Hadhrat Saalih hastened to the address. From behind a screen he explained the plight of the youth to his mother. She broke down crying confessing her error. She resolved never to forget her son again. She gave Hadhrat Saalih 1000 dirhams requesting him to distribute it as Sadaqah so that the thawaab is transmitted to her son.
The next Friday Hadhrat Saalih again passed through the same qabrustan. He set next to a grave and fell asleep. In a dream the same scene was re-enacted. However this time he saw the youth dressed in beautiful garments. He too had received his mother’s gifts. He approached Hadhrat Saalih and said: “O Saalih! May Allah Ta`ala reward you wonderfully. The gifts have reached me.”
Hadhrat Saalih: “Do you (the Ahl-e-Quboor) recognise Jumuah?”
The youth: “Yes. Even the birds know Jumuah. When Jumuah arrives they sing: ‘As salaam, As salaam O Day of Jumuah!’
O Saalih! May Allah Ta`ala repeatedly bestow the Barkat of Jumuah to us.”
165. TILAAWAT IN THE QABR
A reformed Kafan-thief narrated the following interesting episode which was the cause of his repentance and reformation:
“Once when I dug open a grave I was astonished to see a man sitting on a throne reciting the Qur`aan Shareef. A stream of water was flowing from under the throne. The sight of this wonderful scene struck awe in me. I fell down unconscious.
Some people who were passing by pulled me out of the grave. However, no one was aware of the cause of my unconsciousness. I regained conscious on the third day. I then narrated my experience to the people. A man insisted that the grave be shown to him. Although I had withheld this information, I decided to let him know. However, that night before I had divulged the information, the inmate of that grave appeared to me in a dream and warned me that I would become afflicted with a variety of calamities if I informed anyone. I therefore abandoned the idea. No one ever discovered which grave it was.”
166. A WALI IS KILLED BY THE SWORD OF DIVINE LOVE
Hadhrat Mansur Ibn Ammar (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates:
“One Day I observed a young man performing Salaat like a person truly overcome with Allah’s fear. I could see that he was a Wali of Allah. I waited until he completed his Salaat. After greeting, I said:
‘Do you know that Jahannum is a valley known as Bita. It scorches off the skin of the man who has turned his back (on Allah)’
When the young man heard this, he shrieked and fell unconscious. When he regained conscious he asked me to recite something. I recited the following Qur`aanic verses:
“O People of Imaan! Save yourselves and your families from the Fire whose fuel is people and stones. Stern and powerful Angels are appointed over it. They do not disobey Allah in whatever He has commanded them. They do as they are commanded.”
Hearing this, the young man collapsed and died. When I opened his Kurtah, I saw miraculously inscribed on his breast the following Aayat:
“He dwells in a life of pleasure in a lofty paradise. Its fruits are near.”
On the third night I saw in a dream the youth seated on a wonderful throne with a dazzling crown on his head. I said: ‘ How did Allah treat you?’
He said: ‘Allah forgave me. He bestowed to me the rewards of the People of Badr and even more.’
I said: ‘Why more than the People of Badr?’
He said: ‘The People of Badr were killed by the swords of the kuffaar while I was killed by the Kalaam of Allah.’
167. A SHEIKH’S EXPERIENCE
Once Sheikh Arif Billah Ibn Muhammad Yemeni Hadhrami (rahmatullahi alayh) passed through a qabrustan in Yemen. He stood by a grave. Suddenly he was overcome by extreme grief. After a while, his grief disappeared and he laughed. Observers were surprised by his conflicting states. He explained:
“It was revealed to me that the people of these graves were being punished. Observing this, grief settled over me and I cried. I supplicated to Allah Ta`ala to forgive them. I was informed that my intercession has been accepted. The inmate of this particular grave asked: ‘O Sheikh! Am I also included in your intercession? I am a certain singer (She mentioned her name).’ This made me laugh. I said: ‘Yes, you too are included.’
Thereafter the Sheikh asked the one who had dug the grave of the person who was recently buried there: ‘Who is this inmate?’ He mentioned the same singer for whom the Sheikh had made dua.
168. THE MUHIBBAAN (LOVERS OF ALLAH) ARE ALIVE
(i). Sheikh Abu Saeed Khazaar (rahmatullahi alayh) one day while in Makkah Muazzamah, came out from Baab-Bani Shaibah. He saw the body of a handsome young man laying nearby. While he was intensely looking at the face, the Mayyit smiled and said:
“O Abu Saeed! Do you not know that the Muhibbaan of Allah do not die even though it appears that they are dead? They are merely transferred to a different realm.”
(ii). Sheikh Abu Ya`qub Samusi (rahmatullahi alayh) narrates: “A Mureed came to me in Makkah and said: ‘O Ustaadh! I shall die tomorrow at the time of Zuhr. Take this Dinaar and use it for my Kafan and burial.’
The next day the mureed made Tawaaf and thereafter died as he had predicted. I gave him ghusl and buried him. When I had laid him in the grave. He opened his eyes. I said: ‘The dead is coming to life!’ He said: ‘In fact I am alive. The Muhibbaan of Allah remain alive.’
(iii). A Buzrug was giving ghusl to a mureed who had died. While giving ghusl, the Mayyit caught hold of the Buzrug’s finger. The Buzrug said: “O Son! Leave my finger. I know you are not dead. You have only been transferred from one realm to another realm.”
The Mayyit then released the Buzrug’s finger.
169. THE SEA OPENS UP
A Buzrug reported that once he was on a ship. A man on board died after a sickness of several days. The Buzrug says: “We gave him ghusl and Kafan. When we prepared to lower the Mayyit into the water suddenly the sea split into two. The ship ran aground. We disembarked, dug a grave and buried the Mayyit. After we boarded the ship, the sea miraculously closed up and the ship began sailing.”
170. HOW A SHEIKH DIED
A Buzrug narrates: “In a wilderness I came across the dead body of Sheikh Abu Turaab Bakhshi (rahmatullahi alayh). He died standing. The Mayyit was standing facing the Qiblah. I endeavoured to remove the Mayyit to bury it, but the body would not budge. I heard a Voice saying: “Leave the wali of Allah by Allah.”
171. JANNAT REVEALED
Just prior to his death, Hadhrat Sheikh Abu Ali Roodbaari (rahmatullahi alayh) opened his eyes and said: “The portals of the heaven have been opened and these Gardens (of Jannat) have been adorned. A proclaimer is saying:
“O Abu Ali! We have bestowed to you the loftiest states even though you did not wish for these.”
172. SMILING AFTER DEATH
When Hadhrat Ibn Jala (rahmatullahi alayh) had died, people saw him smiling. The physician said that he was alive. When he examined the body, he pronounced him dead. They opened the face and found the Sheikh laughing. The doctor said: “I do not know if he is alive or dead.”
173. A WALI’S DUA ACCEPTED
Hadhrat Imaam Ahmad Ibn Khadhrawiyah at the age of 95 years was on his deathbed. His creditors had entered and were demanding payment of 700 dinaars. The Sheikh supplicated to Allah Ta`ala to free him of the debt. As he made dua, there was a knock at the door. A man entered and said: “Where are the creditors of Ahmad?” He paid the debt and Sheikh Ahmad died.
174. THE EFFECT OF SHIBLI’S TALK
A Saalih man said to Hadhrat Shibli (rahmatullahi alayh): “Why do you say only ‘Allah’?” Hadhrat Shibli recited the Aayat:
“Say: ‘Allah’, then leave them to play in there conjecturing.”
The pious man let out a loud shriek and died. The relatives blaming Hadhrat Shibli for his death demanded payment of the diyat (blood-money). They apprehended Hadhrat Shibli and took him to the court of the Khalifah. When Hadhrat Shibli was questioned, he replied:
“A soul cried because of yearning. When it was called it went towards the Voice of its Beloved. What is my fault?”
When the Khalifah heard this comment, he too shrieked aloud and said:
“Leave him! There is no blame on him.”
175. HONOUR AND DISGRACE
Hadhrat Khalf Ibn Saalim (rahmatullahi alayh) said to Hadhrat Abu Ali Ibn Mugheerah (rahmatullahi alayh): “Where is your place?”
Ibn Mugheerah: “Where the honourable and the contemptible are equal.”
Ibn Saalim: “Where is that?”
Ibn Mugheerah: “The Qabrustan.”
Ibn Saalim: “ Do you not become fearful of the darkness of the night?”
Ibn Mugheerah: “At that time I think of the darkness and terror of the grave. The fear at darkness of the night then recedes.”
Ibn Saalim: “You must have seen some scenes in the Qabrustan.”
Ibn Mugheerah: “Perhaps I did, but when I think of the terrors of the Aakhirah, all other fears are dispelled.”
176. CONSEQUENCES OF SHORT WEIGHT
A man who used to weigh goods incorrectly (giving less in weight) was dying. A Buzrug who happened to be present made talqeen of the Kalimah, but the man could not recite it. He said: “I cannot recite the Kalimah. The needle of the scale penetrates my tongue (i.e. when he attempts to recite).”
177. THE LOFTY STATES OF SOME AULIYAA
(i). A companion saw Imaam Ahmad Bin Hambal in a dream. The Imaam was walking proudly. The companion asked: “O Brother! Why this proudful strut?”
Imaam Ahmad said: “This is the style of Allah’s servants in Darus Salaam (The Abode of Peace-Jannat).”
Companion: “What treatment did Allah mete out to you?”
Imaam Ahmad: “He forgave me and I was given shoes of gold to wear. It was said that this was the reward for saying that the Qur`aan is the uncreated word of Allah. I was given freedom to wander anywhere in Jannat.
I saw Sufyaan Thauri with two green wings flying from tree to tree reciting the Qur`aanic Aayat:
“All praise is for Allah who has fulfilled His promise to us and who has made us the inheritors of Jannat. We enter any place we wish. Indeed, wonderful is the reward of those who practise righteousness.”
Companion: “How is Abdul Waahid Warraaq?”
Imaam Ahmad: “I left him while he was on board a ship of noor in sea of noor in the Divine Presence.”
Companion: “What is the state of Bishr Ibn Haarith?”
Imaam Ahmad: “Who can be like him? I saw him in Allah’s Presence. Allah was focussing His Attention to him. Allah said: ‘You would not eat. Eat now. You would not drink. Drink now. You would not be happy. Be happy now.’”
(ii). A Buzrug said: “I saw Ma`ruf Karkhi (rahmatullahi alayh) in a dream. He was below the Arsh. Allah Ta`ala said to the Malaa-ikah:
‘Who is this?’ They said: ‘O Allah! You are aware.’ Allah Ta`ala said: ‘This is Ma`ruf Karkhi who was annihilated in My Love. He will not regain conscious without My Vision.’
(iii). Hadhrat Rabee’ Ibn Sulaimaan (rahmatullahi alayh) said: “I saw Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullahi alayh) in a dream after his death. I enquired about his state. He said:
‘I was seated on a throne of noor and glittering pearls cascaded over me.’”
(iv). A Buzrug saw Sheikh Abu Ishaq Ibraheem Ibn Ali Bin Yusuf Shirazi (rahmatullahi alayh) in a dream after his death. The Sheikh was clad in exceedingly white garment and had splendid crown on his head. I asked: “Why are you wearing white garments?” Sheikh Abu Ishaq said: “This is the holiness of ibaadat and the crown is the honour of knowledge (Ilm-e-Deen).”
(v). Hadhrat Sheikh Arif Abul Hasan Shazli (rahmatullahi alayh) once saw Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in a dream. Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah Ta`ala displayed Imaam Ghazali to Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) and Nabi Isa (alayhis salaam) and asked them if there was such an Aalim in their respective Ummats. They replied in the negative.”
178. THE BARKAT OF SERVICE TO A MOTHER
Hadhrat Bilaal Khawwaas (rahmatullahi alayh) was once in the wilderness of Bani Israeel. Suddenly to his surprise he saw a man walking alongside. By way of ilham He realised that the man was Hadhrat Khidr (alayhis salaam)
Bilaal Khawwaas: “Truthfully tell me who are you.”
The man: “I am your brother Khidr.”
Bilaal Khawwaas: “What do you say about Imam Shaafi?”
Khidr: “He is a Siddique.”
Bilaal Khawwaas: “And Bishr Ibn Haarith?”
Khidr: “After him, none like him was born.”
Bilaal Khawwaas: “By virtue of whose barkat have I met you?”
Khidr: “By virtue of your service to your mother.”
179. RABIAH ADWIYYAH
Rabiah Adwiyyah’s servant narrates:
“Rabiah’s permanent, life-long practice was to perform Salaat the entire night. After sunrise she would lay for a short while on her musalla. When her eyes opened, she would be in a state of fear. Reprimanding herself, she would say: ‘How long will you sleep and refrain from ibaadat. Soon you will be overtaken by such sleep from which only the Trumpet (soor) will awaken you.’
This remained her condition until her death. When her time of maut was imminent she instructed me not to publicise her death. (Only those directly involved in her burial were informed). She further instructed me to prepare her Kafan from her simple cloak which she used to wear at the time of Tahajjud. Thus she was buried in that cloak and another cloak which she used to wear. The night after her burial, I saw Rabiah in a dream clad in the most beautiful silken garments. I asked what had happened to her old cloaks which were used as Kafan. She said: ‘It was removed from me, sealed and delivered to the loftiest heavenly realm (A`la Il-liyyeen). It will be added to my deeds on the Day of Qiyaamah. In place of it I have been dressed with the garments you are seeing now.’
I said: ‘Tell me of something by which I can gain Divine Proximity.’
She said: ‘Thikr in abundance. In the grave (Aalam-e-Barzakh) you will be envied.’
180. RABIAH SHAAMIYAH
She was the wife of Hadhrat Ahmad Bin Abi Hawaari (rahmatullahi alayh). Sometimes the state of Divine Love dominated her; sometimes it was the state of Divine Fear. She would pass the whole night performing Salaat. Once her husband said to her: “I have not seen anyone besides you performing Salaat the whole night.”
She replied: “Subhanallah! How can a man of your calibre make such remarks? I get up when the call for Salaat comes (i.e. from Allah Ta`ala).”
Once when it was her time to perform Salaat, her husband, Hadhrat Ahmad Hawaari was eating. She started admonishing him. He said: “Let me first complete eating.”
She said: “We are not the type of people whose eating is disturbed by the remembrance of the Aakhirah.”
She once said to him: “My love for you is not like the love for a husband. My love is a sister’s love for her brother.”
When she would cook something for him, she would say: “My chief! Eat this. It has been prepared with Tasbeeh.”
She would also encourage him to get married again.
181. THE THREE CLASSES OF IBAADAT
An Aabid who was on guard duty on the borders of Asqalan went one night on to the roof to perform Tahajjud. Suddenly he heard a voice from the sea exclaiming:
“O Servants! I have divided ibaadat into three classes – (1) Tahajjud; (2) Saum (fasting); (3) Dua, Tasbeeh, Istighfaar. Derive maximum benefit from each one.”
Hearing this, the Aabid fell into Sajdah.[This revelation to the Aabid does not negate the other forms of ibaadat such as Tilaawat, Durood, Tahleel, Takbeer, etc. Perhaps the message had a special significance for only the Aabid who may have ignored the other forms].
182. QUR`AAN TILAAWAT
Hadhrat Juwairah (rahmatullahi alayha) was the emancipated slave-girl of a king. Observing her lofty state of Taqwa and ibaadat, Hadhrat Abu Abdullah Turaabi (rahmatullahi alayh), a renowned buzrug of the time, married her.
She would spend her entire time in ibaadat. One night in a dream she saw extremely beautiful heavenly mansions. When she enquired about these mansions, she was told that they belong to those who engaged in Qur’aan Tilaawat during Tahajjud time. From that time onwards she abandoned sleeping at night.
She would frequently wake up her husband and say: “Rise! The caravan has departed.”
183. THE NOOR OF TAQWA
Hadhrat Sittul Mulook (rahmatullahi alayha) was a famous Waliah (a saintly lady) who lived in Arabia. During her time, all the Auliyaa and Ulama would greatly honour her. Once she was in Baitil Maqdis. At that time there was a buzrug by the name of Ali Bin Albas Yamaani (rahmatullahi alayh). He narrates:
“I was inside the Musjid when I saw a slender pillar of noor extending from the dome of the Musjid right into the heaven. I went to investigate.”
When he came within the vicinity, he saw that under the dome, Hadhrat Sittul Mulook (rahmatullahi alayha) was engrossed in Salaat and the pillar of noor was emanating from her.
Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullahi alayh) commented: “This pillar of noor was the noor of Taqwa which is in the hearts of all Muttaqeen. Sometimes Allah Ta`ala makes it manifest to show others. But the actual abode of this noor is the heart. Be firm in righteousness and abstain from transgression.”
184. IN LOVE WITH ALLAH
Hadhrat Umm-e-Haaroon (rahmatullahi alayha) was a noble saintly lady of lofty spiritual ranks. The fear of Allah Ta`ala was always dominant in her. She was at all times immersed in ibaadat. She derived great pleasure when it was night time. When the day began, she would become sad. Throughout the night she was wrapped up with Allah Ta`ala in ibaadat. The nights were her happiest times.
For thirty years she never applied oil to her hair. However, her hair always glittered and was naturally well-groomed. Once when she was in the forest, a lion appeared in front of her. She said: “If I am destined to be your Rizq, then devour me.” The lion turned and ran off.