Asking Aid from the Prophets, Saints & Scholars

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

A student asked Imam Shihab ad-Din ar-Ramli (r.a.), is it permissible for the awwam, who, when in distress, say, “Ya Shaykh Fulan” and, “Ya Rasulullah” and seek aid, istighatsa, with the prophets, the awliya’, the ‘ulama (r.a.) and the righteous?  And do the messengers, prophets, awliya’, the righteous, and the mashaykh possess the ability to assist others after their deaths, and what strengthens that view?

He replied that istighatsa’, the seeking of aid, with the prophets, and messengers, the awliya’, the ‘ulama and the righteous is permitted.  The messengers, prophets and the awliya’ have the ability to assist after their death because the miracles of the prophets and awliya’ are not severed following their death.  As for the prophets, they are alive in their graves praying and doing hajj as it has come in the reports.  So, assistance from them will be a miracle on their behalf; and the martyrs are also alive, and have been seen, openly killing the kuffar.

And as for the awliya’, then it is a karamah from them.  The People of the Truth believe that this occurs from the awliya’ both with intention, and without intention the things that sever the customary manner of phenomenal reality, khariqah lil ‘adah, that Allah (s.w.t.) Brings forth through them.  The proof for these things is that they are matters that are intellectually possible and the permissibility of their occurrence does not necessitate anything that is impossible.  So, everything that is in this realm, then it is possible to occur.

An example of its occurrence is the story of Maryam (a.s.) and how Provision came to her from Allah (s.w.t.) as stated in Revelation.  And then there is the story of Abu Bakr (r.a.) and his guests as reported in the swahih ahadits.  There is also the rising of the Nile river due to the letter of ‘Umar (r.a.).  There is also a famous story of ‘Umar (r.a.) on the minbar in Madina seeing a sneak attack approaching the army in Persia.  He warned the ‘amir of the army of the enemy behind the mountain: “O Sariyah, the mountain!”  And Sariyah (r.a.) heard his speech even though there was the distance of two-months journey between them.  Khalid ibn al-Walid (r.a.) drank poison without it harming him.

Khawariq, matters that customarily go against the rules of phenomenal reality, have occurred by the hands of the companions, the followers, and those after them.  It is not possible to deny this due to the fact that taken as a whole; they are at the level of tawatur.  So, in general, what is possible to be a miracle, mu’jizat, for a prophet, is possible to be a karamah for a wali.  There is no distinction between them except in the area of provocation.  This means that there is no difference except that the mu’jizah was in response to a tahaddi, a challenge from the mushrikun saying that he was a liar.


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