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(By Hakimul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi – rahmatullah alayh) “For the permissibility of sama’ the Mashaaikh have formulated about 22 conditions. Today there does not remain even a vestige of these conditions. Hadhrat Nizaamuddeed Sultanul Auliya (rahmatullah alayh) use to participate in sama’. However, it is clearly mentioned in Fawaaidul Fuaaad, that there are four conditions for sama’.

(1) The listener: The one who listens to sama’ should not be a person of nafs and hawaa (lust and passion). He should be a Saahib-e-Haal.

(2) The one who listens to sama’ should not be a female nor a lad.

(3) The song/poetry should not be immoral. It should be statements of piety and in praise of Allah Ta’ala.

(4) The singing should not be with musical instruments. Their sama’ consisted of only the abovementioned acts. It was not a gathering of fussaaq and fujjaar. The singer too belonged to the same circle (of Sufis). Once when Hadhrat Sultani (rahmatullah alayh) had a desire for sama’, he sent someone to search for a qawwaal (singer). When a suitable qawwaal could not be found, he instructed his mureed to recite to him from the letters of Humaiduddeen Naagori (rahmatullah alayh). When the mureed recites the very first sentence, Hadhrat Sultaanji went into an ecstasy (wajd), and he remained in this state of wajd for three days.

This simple method was the kind of sama’ of those illustrious personalities. However, the Fuqaha brand even this type of sama’ haraam. Because the peculiarity of sama’ is that it gives impetus to the present state of a person. The Fuqaha were aware that if permission is given for even this type of sama’, the present condition of the person will become more grounded. In view of the predominance of evil in the nafs, it will gain strength and lead towards greater lust, the consequence of which will be grave evils.

Shah Lutf-e-Rasool narrated an episode of a durwaish (sufi) who used to listen to one of his female disciples singing to him. One day, while listening to sama’, he grabbed her hand and committed adultery with her. It is for this reason that the seniors have said: “Singing is the spell of zina.”

Inspite of the sama’ of Sultanji (rahmatullah alayh) being within the limits, the Fuqaha brand it too as bid’ah. Since it is not proven as being the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and because there are inherent dangers of corruption for the masses in it the Fuqaha have prohibited it. During the time of Sultanji, the Qaadhi was Qaadhi Dhiyaauddeen who was persistent in his condemnation of the sama’ of Sultanji. Once it was reported to the Qaadhi that a sama’ session was taking place by Sultanji. The Qaadhi taking his whip and some assistants arrived at the location where the sama’ was in full force. A large tent had been set up. However, due to the numerous disciples blocking the entrance, Qaadhi Saheb was unable to gain entry. The Sufis in their state of ecstasy were completely ignored the Qaadhi and his police. When the Qaadhi failed to gain entry, he ordered his police to cut the ropes of the tent to bring about its collapse and the termination of the sama’.

The ropes were cut. But, the tent stood intact without the ropes. This was a karaamat (miracle) of Hadhrat Sultaanul Auliya (rahmatullah alayh). However, the Qaadhi was undaunted. He was firm in his mission. Unimpressed and unawed, he commented: “I do not subscribe to this nonsense. Even if a miracle is displayed ostensibly by a bid’ati, it is not a karaamat. I shall return again.” The Qaadhi Saheb departed, but he continued unabatedly with his criticism and condemnation of sama’.

Hadhrat Shah Khubullah Allahabaadi (rahmatullah alayh) was a very great buzrug (wali) who would often meet Hadhrat Khidhr (alayhis salaam). There is a popular belief in his family that Hadhrat Khidhr (alayhis salaam) had written some comments in one of his (Hadhrat Khubullaah’s) books. Once when someone asked Hadhrat Khubullaah about sama’, he wrote in reply: “I shall narrate to you an episode from which you can decide. Hadhrat Sultan Nizaamuddeen Auliya (rahmatullah alayh) was a man of sama’, and Qaadhi Dhiyauddeen Sanaami (rahmatullah alayh) was a denier of sama’. He used to criticize Sultanji. Once when the Qaadhi Saheb was informed of a sama’ function, he went and remonstrated with Sultanji. Hadhrat Sultanji said: ‘If I arrange for you to ask Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), will you then leave me in peace?’ Qaadhi Saheb said: ‘Yes, arrange so that I may ask Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).’

The Qaadhi held the firm belief that Sultanji would be able to arrange for him ziyaarat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Inspite of holding this belief, he persisted with his condemnation of evil.

Sultanji (rahmatullah alayh) focussed his gaze intently on Qaadhi Saheb. As a result of this tasarruf (spiritual action, a semi-conscious state settled on Qaadhi Sahib. While in this condition, Rasulullah’s presence in his glittering court was revealed to Qaadhi Saheb. On seeing Qaadhi Saheb, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) enquired: “Why are you distressing the Faqeer (i.e. Sultanji)?’ Qaadhi Saheb said: ‘O Rasulullah! I am not aware of the reality of my present state, whether I am in my senses or not. The commands of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) which reached us via the avenue of reliable narrators during the state of wakefulness have priority over instruction in this state (i.e. the trance), hence those commands cannot be abandoned.’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then remained silent. (Silence of the Nabi indicates approval. This is a principle of the Hadith.)
Qaadhi Saheb then emerged from his trance and Hadhrat Sultanji said: ‘Have you now seen that I had introduced you to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) enabling you to converse with him?’ Qaadhi Saheb responded: ‘And, did you see that I had given a response?’

The sama’ then began in earnest and wajd (ecstasy) overcame Sultanji. In this state of wajd, he stood up. QaadhiSaheb grabbed his hands and forced him to sit down. Sultanji stood up in ecstasy a second time, and Qaadhi Saheb again grabbed him and forced him to sit down. For the third time, Sultanji stood up in the state of wajd. Qaadhi Saheb attempt to grab him, but to everyone’s surprise he relented and stood with folded hands in reverence. For a long while he stood reverentially. When Sultanji emerged from the ecstasy and sat down, Qaadhi Saheb too sat down. Then he stood up, and while leaving the place, he said: ‘I shall return again. These acts will not compel me to abandon my duty.’

Along the road someone enquired: ‘You had gone to refute Sultanji. Why did you stand in respect with folded hands in front of him?’ Qaadhi Saheb said: ‘When he lapsed into wajd the first time, his rooh (soul) traversed to the first heaven. My rooh pursued him and I apprehended him. I brought him back telling him’ Where are you wandering in the heaven? You have to live here on earth.’ When he went into ecstasy the second time, his rooh took flight and reached the level below the Arsh of Allah Ta’ala. I was able to follow him even to this limit, hence I brought him back. When he lapsed into wajd the third time, his soul reached the level above the Arsh. When I attempted to pursue him above the Arsh, the Malaaikah bearing the Arsh prevented me. They said: ‘This is not your station. This is the status of only Nizaamuddeen. Only he is allowed admission above the Arsh. At that time I stood in respect of the Bearers of the Arsh. I did not stand in honour of a bid’ati.’’”

(Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi commented),“Truly this is called firmness. Inspite of being fully aware of the lofty status of Sultanji, he (Qaadhi Saheb) persisted with determination to criticize and condemn the act which he believed to be bid’ah.”

“When the time of Maut of Qaadhi Saheb drew close, Hadhrat Sultanji came to visit him. The assistant informed Qaadhi Saheb of Sultanji’s arrival. Qaadhi Saheb said: ‘Tell
him that this is my time to meet Allah Ta’ala. At this time I do no wish to meet a bid’ati.’ In response, Sultanji said: ‘I am not so disrespectful to come visit Qaadhi Saheb while I am soiled with bid’ah. I have repented of that bid’ah, hence I have come. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:‘The sincere repenter of sins is like one who has no sins.’ When Qaadhi Saheb heard this response, tears flowed from his eyes. He gave his turban to the assistant, instructing him to spread it out on the floor and to tell Sultanji to enter walking on it. The assistant did as commanded. Hadhrat Sultanji, respectfully picked up the amaamah. Placing it on his head, he commented: “This is the Turban of the Shariat. I do not possess the status to set foot on it.’ He then went into the presence of Qaadhi Saheb who treated Sultanji with profound respect and honour. Qaadhi Saheb said: ‘Hadhrat! These are my final moments. Focus on me so that I depart with Imaan.’ Sultanji cast tawajjuh on Qaadhi Saheb for a considerable period of time. He stood up to leave. He had not yet reached the threshold of the door when Qaadhi Saheb breathed his last.

Overcome with intense grief, Sultanji said: ‘Alas! Today the Pillar of the Shariah has collapsed.” (End of Hadhrat Khubullah’s narration)

(Hadhrat Thanvi continues):“Allah! Allah! Qaadhi Saheb condemned and pursued Sultanji as long as he was alive. But today, Sultanji is overcome with grief and crying. He calls Qaadhi Saheb, ‘The Pillar of the Shariat.’ These were the Men of Allah. Such was their sincerity. Their love was for the sake of Allah and they fought for the sake of Allah.”
(End of Hakimul Ummat’s comments)

This episode emphasises the importance and the decisiveness of the Shariah which overrides the practices of the Auliya,their dreams and their miracles. If in the dream or vision of a Wali, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) expresses approval for a specific act of that Wali, this cannot be cited as daleel in Islam. The directive acquired in the vision or dream shall be incumbently scaled on the criterion of the Shariah which is seconded in the Adillah Ar’ba’ah (The Four Sources of Islam).

If the directive of the vision is in conflict with any of the principles or teachings of the Shariah it shall be set aside and given some appropriate interpretation if the person concerned is a true Wali of Allah Ta’ala. If he is a faasiq, it shall be rejected and denounced as a shaitaani manipulation. In fact, shaitaan is quite capable of infiltrating the dreams and visions of even Auliya. He even manipulates the interpretation which a Wali gives to his dream. It is for these reasons that the Shariah does not accord the dreams, visions, kashf and ilhaam of the Auliya the status of Shar’i daleel.

From the episode of Qaadhi Dhiyaaudden and Sultanul Auliya (rahmatullah alayhima) the position of the Shariah becomes abundantly clear. Inspite of the Qaadhi Saheb, who was a great Aalim of the Deen as well as a Wali of exceptionally high rank as his act of Rooh-Projection in pursuit of the Rooh of Sultanul Auliya testifies, being convinced of the authenticity of Sultanul Auliya and of his lofty rank by Allah Ta’ala, and of his ability to interact with the spiritual realm, he (the Qaadhi Saheb) remained unflinchingly steadfast in the execution of his Waajib duty of Amr Bil Ma’roof. He was not awed by the miraculous demonstration of Sultanul Auliya. His concern was the Shariah as it was handed down to the Ummah by the Sahaabah.

Islam is not the product of the opinions, practices, visions, dreams and inspirations of the Auliya who appeared centuries after Allah Ta’ala had announced in the Qur’aan
Majeed, and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in his Ahaadith the perfection of the Deen.

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