When Imam Ahmad ar-Rifa'i (q.s.) Met the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In the year 555 AH, Imam Ahmad ar-Rifa’i (q.s.) journeyed to Makkah for the hajj.  During his visit to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina, he offered his prayers at the Rawdhah.  In a loud voice, he addressed the Prophet (s.a.w.), “as-Salaamu’Alaykum, my ancestor.”

Then, a voice replied, “Wa 'Alaykum as-Salaam, my descendant.”

On hearing this voice, Imam Ahmad ar-Rifa’i (q.s.) was overcome with ecstasy.  Many others in attendance heard the voice of the Prophet (s.a.w.) at the same time.  With tears in his eyes, Imam Ahmad ar-Rifa'i (q.s.) disclosed to those present, that when he was away from the sacred resting place of the Prophet (s.a.w.), his spirit used to visit and kiss the blessed shrine of the Prophet (s.a.w.).

He pleaded with the Prophet (s.a.w.) for physical touch and requested that the hands be extended to enable the lips of the devotee to kiss them.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) extended his hands from his grave and Imam ar-Rifa’i (q.s.) kissed the hand.  Thousands devotees, present at that time witnessed this.  Among them were many illustrious awliya’ such as Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.), Shaykh ‘Ali ibn Muswafir al-Amumi (q.s.) and Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Razzaq Husayn al-Wasithi (q.s.).

This incident has been mentioned in Rawdh ar-Riyahin fi Manaqib asw-Swalihin by Imam ‘Abdullah Yafa’i al-Yamani ash-Shafi’i (r.a.), who was a prolific Shafi’i scholar as well as others.


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