Sunday, 8 March 2015

Firasa - Knowledge of the Unseen - Madarij As-Salikin


Firāsatun Sādiqah
 (truthful inspired insight)


'Sin in al-Ruhba... Forgiveness in Baghdad'

The following account of firasa is related about Imam al-Junayd al-Baghdadi:
Abu `Amr ibn `Alwan relates: I went out one day to the market of al-Ruhba for something I needed. I saw a funeral procession and I followed it in order to pray with the others. I stood among the people until they buried the dead man. My eyes unwittingly fell on a woman who was unveiled. I lingered looking at her, then I held back and began to beg forgiveness of Allah the Exalted.
On my way home an old woman told me: "My lord, why do I see your face all darkened?" 
I took a mirror and behold, my face had turned dark
I examined my conscience and searched: In what did calamity befall me? I remembered the look I cast. Then I sat alone somewhere and I began to ask Allah's forgiveness assiduously, and I asked to do with little for forty days. (During that time,) the thought came to my heart: Visit your shaykh al-Junayd."
I travelled to Baghdad. When I reached the room where he lived, I knocked at his door and heard him say: "Enter, O Aba `Amr, you sin in al-Ruhba and we ask forgiveness for you here in Baghdad."

[Narrated by Ibn al-Jawzi, Sifat al-safwa (Beirut: Dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya, 1409/1989) 1(2):271, in the chapter on al-Junayd (#296).]

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wasallam, is reported to have said, "Beware of the firasah of the believer, for he sees with the light of Allah,” then he recited the verse: 
"Surely, ... mutawassimeen." (Tirmidhi)

It is reported from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) that he stated,
“Be aware of the insight of the Mu’min (believer)! For he sees with the light of Allāh!”[Tabāranī’s Kabīr and Musnad Ash-Shāmiyyīn. Al Haythamī stated its chain is hasan. It is also reported by many others with weaker chains.]

In the two Sahīhs Abū Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet(Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said,
“In the nations long before you there were people who were communicated to although they were not prophets. If there is anyone of them in my community, it is ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattāb!”
In the narration of Sahīh Muslim, the student of Mālik ibn Anas and erudite scholar, Ibn Wahb states,
“Communicated to means mulham (inspired).”

In Fat-hul-Bārī Al-Hāfith Ibn Hajr states, “Communicated to means by the Angels.”
In the Sharh (explanation) of Sahīh Muslim by Imām An-Nawawī we find the Imām commenting, “The scholars differed concerning the words ‘communicated to’.
Ibn Wahb said it meant mulham (inspired). It was also said, “It is those who are correct, and when they convey an opinion it is though they are communicated to, and then they give their opinion.” It was also said, “The angels speak to them”.
Al Bukhārī said, “Truth comes from their tongues.” This hadīth contains a confirmation of the miracles of the saints (karamātul-Awliyā’).”

This hadīth should not be understood as restricting amongst this Ummah (nation) only one who has this ability.
Rather, as stated above by Imām An-Nawawī it is confirmation for the ability of all saints.
Ibn Hajr states in his Fat-h-ul Bārī that it is wrong to think that other communities would have men like this yet the Ummah only has one!


Abū Bakr As-Siddīq (RA) was one whose insight and inspiration manifested itself.
In the Muwatta’ of Imām Mālik it is reported that he saw via a dream, before his death, that his wife Habībah bint Khārijah ibn Zayd Al-Khazrajiyyah bore in her womb a girl. He told Ā’ishah she would have to share her inheritance with ‘two brothers and two sisters’. She said to him, “Is it not just Asmā? Who is the other?” He said, “The one in the womb of Khārijah’s daughter. I was shown it is a girl.” That daughter was Umm Kulthūm!
[This is also narrated by Ibn Sa’ad in his Tabaqāt, Bayhaqi in his Sunan, Abdur-Razzāq in his Musannaf and many other scholars.]

Ibn Hajr in his Fat-hul-Bārī. Amīr Al-Mu’minīn, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattāb (RA), while delivering the Khutbah (speech) of Jumu’ah (Friday prayer), began yelling out loud “Sāriya! The Mountain! Sāriya! The Mountain!”
At this very moment Sāriya ibn Zunaym were battling the Persians at Nihawand. The Muslim army was about to fall into ambush when they heard a voice screaming to them “the mountain!”. They realized it was the voice of Amīr Al-Mu’minīn ‘Umar, and took to the mountain. Thus their flank was protected and they defeated the Persians of Nihawand.

Imām Al-Qurtubī mentions in his Tafsīr that a group of people came to ‘Uthmān and one of them had been staring at a woman. ‘Uthmān said to them upon arrival, “One of you enters with fornicating eyes!” They retorted, “Is there revelation after the Nabi (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam)?” He replied, “Not revelation but firāsatun sādiqah (truthful inspired insight)!”

Authentic narrative of Al-Hāritha Al-Ansārī

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) asked him, How are you this morning Hāritha?” He replied, “This morning I am a real believer!” The Nabi (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said, “Take care of what you say, what is the reality of your belief?” Hāritha said, “I have turned myself away from this world until its rocks are equal to its gold, by keeping up at night and by keeping myself thirsty throughout the day (i.e. fasting). And I can almost see the throne of My Lord in full sight, and I can almost see the people of Jannah visiting each other, and I can almost see the people of the hell wailing to each other while being in it. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said to him, “Oh Hāritha! You know! So cleave to it! (‘arifta fa-ilzam).” In other narrations the Nabi (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said, “This is a Mu’min whose heart Allāh has illuminated!”
[Tabarānī’s Kabīr, ibn Humayd’s Musnad, Bazzār’s Musnad, Ibn al Mubarak in his Zuhd and many others.]


The Station of Firasa 

From ‘The Steps of the Followers’ by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Firasah is a sense of visual acumen, perception and insight. Allah says, "Surely! In this are the signs for the mutawassimeen." [15:75]

And with the regard to the meaning of mutawassimeen, here is what some of the great interpreters of the Qur'an said about it:

Mujahid said itis "those who have visual acuity".
Ibn Abbas said that it means "those who watch closely".

Qatadah said that it means "those who learn the lessons".
And Muqatel said that it means "those who reflect". 

There is no contradiction or apparent incompatibility amongst these interpretations. For example, one who sees the ruins and houses of those who belied Allah's Messengers would receive insight, admonition and reflection.

Alllah, subhanahu wa ta`ala, says the following with the regards to the hypocrites, "Had He willed, We could have shown them to you and you would have known them by their marks, but surely you will know them by the lahn of the speech!" [47:30] The first thing mentioned is the firasah of the eye and watching and the second thing noted is the firasah of the ear and hearing. The lahn of their speech is namely two varieties. One is proper and the other is wrong.

The proper lahn may mean eloquence as stated in the hadeeth: "And perhaps some of you are more eloquent in their claim than others."(Bukhari and Muslim) Or it may mean an indirect reference or indication. The wrong lahn is the speech that has grammatical mistakes. By using it, people tend to change the meaning to something incorrect or to a hidden meaning which may not have been intended.

The meaning of the verse is that Allah has confirmed to His Prophet,sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam, that he would know them from the lahn oftheir speech. It is more likely that one may know more about thespeaker and what is within his mind from his speech and the tone of hisvoice than from his physical appearance. The words and the tone ofvoice can tell much more, than the appearance, about the intention ofthe speaker. Firasah can be either visual or auditory. The Prophet,sallallahu `alayhe wa sallam, is reported to have said, "Beware of thefirasah of the believer, for he sees with the light of Allah," then herecited the verse, "Surely,?.mutawassimeen." (Tirmidhi) Thefirasah of the believer is always truthful.

The firasah is a light which Allah,
 subhanahu wa ta`ala, deposits inthe heart of His servant. By this light, His servant distinguishes between truth and falsehood and between right and wrong.

The reality of firasah 
is a sharp thought that enters the heart and dominates its opinion. It overwhelms the heart just as the lion does toits pray, fareesah. Note the similarity between firasah and fareesah inArabic. However, in their linguistic forms, fareesah is an objectwhereas firasah is similar in form to wilayah (authority and power),imarah (authority and command) and siyasah (administration andleadership).

The strength of firasah is dependent on the strength of faith. A personwith stronger faith has sharper firasah. Amr bin Nujaid said that Shahal-Kermani had sharp firasah and was never wrong. He also used to saythat whoever lowers his gaze away from prohibitions, restrains himselffrom vain desires, constructs his interior according to muraqabah(knowledge that Allah is watching over us), his exterior according tothe Sunnah, and accustoms himself to eat only halal, his firasah willnever be wrong.

Ibn Masoud
 said, "There are three people with the sharpest firasah. TheEgyptian who bought Yusuf and then said to his wife, 'Make his staycomfortable, maybe he will profit for us or we shall adopt him as ason.' [12:21]. The other was the daughter of Shuaib, who said to herfather with regards to Musa, 'Hire him!' [28:26] And Abu Bakr, for heappointed Omar as his successor." Another narration includes the wifeof Pharaoh who said about Musa, "A comfort of the eye for me and foryou. Kill him not, perhaps he may be of benefit to us, or we may adopthim as a son.' [28:9]

Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq is considered to be the one with the greatest firasah in the ummah and Umar was the second. The incidents that prove Umar's firasah are numerous, familiar and well-known. He never said with regards to anything, "I think this is so," but it was what he thought. The fact that the Quran approved of his opinion sin manyincidents is sufficient evidence of his sharp firasah. One of which washis opinion regarding the redemption of the captives from the Battle ofBadr.

Once a man named Sawad Bin Qarib passed by and Umar dind't know him.Umar said, "This is either a soothsayer or he was so in the days of jahiliyyah." Upon sitting before Umar, Sawad said, "O commander of the faithful! You never received any of your guests the way you did me."Umar said, "What we used to do in the days of jahiliyyah is worse thanthis. But tell me about what I have asked you." Sawad said, "You weretrue, O commander of the faithful! I was a soothsayer in the days of jahiliyyah, then he told him the story."

The sahabah, in general, had the most accurate and sharpest firasah.

The true firasah is obtained from life and from the light Allah grants to whom He wishes from amongst His true servants. The heart receives life and light and then its firasah will almost never be wrong. Allah says, "Is he who was dead and We gave him life and set for him a light whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness fromwhich he can never come out?" [6:122]

The verse describes the person as "dead" because of the disbelief inhis heart and the life of jahiliyyah or ignorance he was leading, butthen Allah gave him life through emaan or faith of knowledge. Upon his acceptance of these gifts, the Qur'an and faith become the light bywhich he sees his way out of the darkness (of disbelief and ignorance)and onto the straight path.

Firasah is linked to three human organs: the eye, ear and heart. His eye examines the look and the signs, his ear examines the speech, the over expressions, oblique inferences and hints, content, logic and tone of voice. And his heart analyzes both what is seen and hear to perceive hidden thoughts of others. His analysis and examination of the interior compared to the exterior is like one who examines currency to see if itis counterfeit after examining the outside. It is also similar to Ahlul-Hadeeth (scholars who specialize in the knowledge of the hadeeth), who will read a hadeeth that has a sound isnad (chain ofnarrators) but upon examination of the matn (text of the hadeeth), itis found that it is a fabricated hadeeth.

There are two factors in firasah. One is the quality of one's mind, the sharpness of the heart and the intelligence. The second is the appearance of the signs and indications on others. When both factorsare present than one's firasah may not be wrong. Iyaas bin Mu`awiyah had great firasah and he was well-known because of it , as was Imam Shafiee who was also reported to have written about it.

Upon reading this exquisitely magnificent letter, the reader will be able to grasp the following concepts expounded on by Imam Rabbani:
TRANSLATION OF LETTER 293 Here: Letter 293 – Volume 1, Book 5


Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyah

Madarij As-Salikin


" In his magesterial Madarij al-Salikin, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah discusses the reality of firasah, its cause, the sayings of the early masters concerning it, and its types. He also relates some wondrous accounts about the firasah of his shaykh and mentor, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah.

He (Ibn Qayyim) writes:

He (IT) once remarked: ‘My companions and others come to me, and I see on their faces, and in their eyes, things I do not mention to them.’ So I, or someone else, said to him: What if you just tell them? He replied: ‘Do you wish that I become a fortune-teller like those [in the courts] of the rulers?’

I once said to him(IT): If you treat us according to what you see, it will help make us more steadfast and upright. He replied: ‘You would not be able to put up with me for even a Friday, or a month!’

He (IT) informed me (Ibn Qayyim) on several occasions about certain private matters I intended to do, but which I had not spoken of to anyone. He told me of major events that would take place in the future, without specifying dates. I have seen some of them happen; I await the others. What his senior companions have witnessed of this is far more than what I have seen. And God knows best.” [Madarij al-Salikin (Riyadh: Dat Taybah, 2008), 3:368-70.]

Ibn Taymiyya and his predicting of future events!

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya mentioned the following with regard to his teacherIbn Taymiyya in his Madarij al-Salikin:

ثُمَّ أَخْبَرَ النَّاسَ وَالْأُمَرَاءَ سَنَةَ اثْنَتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِمِائَةٍ لَمَّا تَحَرَّكَ التَّتَارُ وَقَصَدُوا الشَّامَأَنَّ الدَّائِرَةَ وَالْهَزِيمَةَ عَلَيْهِمْوَأَنَّ الظَّفَرَ وَالنَّصْرَ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَوَأَقْسَمَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ سَبْعِينَ يَمِينًافَيُقَالُ لَهُقُلْ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُفَيَقُولُإِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ تَحْقِيقًا لَا تَعْلِيقًاوَسَمِعْتُهُ يَقُولُ ذَلِكَقَالَفَلَمَّا أَكْثَرُوا عَلَيَّقُلْتُلَا تُكْثِرُواكَتَبَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى فِي اللَّوْحِ الْمَحْفُوظِأَنَّهُمْ مَهْزُومُونَ فِي هَذِهِ الْكَرَّةِوَأَنَّ النَّصْرَ لِجُيُوشِ الْإِسْلَامِقَالَوَأَطْمَعَتْ بَعْضَ الْأُمَرَاءِ وَالْعَسْكَرِ حَلَاوَةُ النَّصْرِ قَبْلَ خُرُوجِهِمْ إِلَى لِقَاءِ الْعَدُوِّ.وَكَانَتْ فِرَاسَتُهُ الْجُزْئِيَّةُ فِي خِلَالِ هَاتَيْنِ الْوَاقِعَتَيْنِ مِثْلَ الْمَطَرِ.


“Then he informed the people and the rulers, in the year 702 [AH], when the Tatars had mobilised and were heading for the Levant : ‘Indeed, they will be surrounded and defeated, and triumph and victory will be for the Muslims.’ He swore more than seventy times that this would happen. It was then said to him, ‘Say, “If Allah so wills.”’ He thus replied, ‘If Allah so wills, but by way of confirmation, not as a condition.’ I heard him saying that. He said, ‘When they insisted that I say it, I said, ‘Allah the Exalted has written in the Preserved Tablet that they will be defeated in this attack and that victory will be for the armies of Islam.’ He said, ‘The sweetness of victory nourished some of the rulers and the army before they went out to meet the enemy, and his partial discernment in the course of these two events was like the rain.’”

This is what many Sufis would consider as an act of Firasa (discernment/foresight) or kashf (spiritual unveiling), but one wonders if the detractors accept this type of Firasa from other notable Sufis after the time of the Sahaba, and other Ulama of the past, or do they consider it kufrshirk or bid’a?!

They may wish to explain how ibn Taymiyya’s above statements fit into their current understanding of Tawhid and Ilm al-Ghayb (knowledge of the unseen).

Read More: Here


Wahhabi/Salafi/Ahlehadith & Deobandi/Tablighi Jamaat say:


* “It is clear that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa-Sallaam) did not have knowledge of the unseen.

The first was when Aishah (RadiyAllahu Anha) was falsely accused of immodesty. This accusation caused the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa-Sallaam) a lot of discomfort and worried him excessively due to which he made mashwarah with the Sahabah (RadiAllahu Anhum). Eventually, Allah (Subhanahu WaTa’ala) informed him through wahy of the purity and innocence of Aishah (RadiAllahu Anha). This revelation of the wahy comforted the Prophet (SallAllah Alayhi Wa-Sallaam) immensely, and shows that he was not aware of the reality of the situation until Allah (Subhanahu WaTa’ala) decided to inform him of it.

If the Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa-Sallaam) has complete knowledge of the unseen he would have known that the accusation was false and would not have needed to do mashwarah with the Sahabah (RadiyAllahu Anhum).  

The second incident was when Aishah (RadiyAllahu Anha) lost her necklace while traveling with the Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wasslaam). Due to this, the Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wassalaam) ordered the Sahabah (RadiAllahu Anhum) to look for it, thus delaying them in their travel. This delay was when no water was available and they were required to make Tayammum in order to offer their prayer.   Eventually, when one of the camels was made to stand, the necklace was found under the camel.

* Again, this shows us that the Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wassalaam) did not have knowledge of the unseen. If he did, in fact have the knowledge of the unseen, then he surely would not have allowed the delay, especially when they did not have any water to offer their Salah.  

Another incident was when the Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wassalaam) ate poisoned meat offered to him by a Jewish lady. The effects of the meat bothered the Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wassalaam) until his demise.

This incident, again, makes it evident that our beloved Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wassalaam) did not have complete knowledge of the unseen.

* If he did have knowledge of the unseen, then how could he have eaten something so harmful to his mubarak body?!

These three incidents and many more clearly show that our beloved Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wassalaam) did not have complete knowledge of the unseen.

Rather, Allah (Subhana WaTa’ala) is the only one that has complete knowledge of the unseen, and that the immense knowledge of the Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wassalaam) was limited in comparison to it.

Therefore, it would only be correct to believe that Allah (Subhanau WaTa’ala) has the complete knowledge of the unseen of which he allowed the Prophet (SalAllahu Alahi Wassalaam) a limited portion."

[end of quote]

 Oh Wahhabiyyah tell us about the ONE who has seen his Creator,is there anything left for him to see or know?

Ahlus-Sunna wa'l Jam'ah believe that Allah has given the knowledge of  Ghayb (unseen) to His Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and that it is also permissible to say that our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knows the knowledge of the Ghayb.

However, it is not possible nor permissible rather it is Kufr to say that the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knowledge of the Ghayb is equal to that of Allah - or even like the knowledge of Allah, since Allah's knowledge is His own and the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) knowledge has been given/granted to him by Allah.

The Ahlus Sunnah Wa'l Jama'ah also believes that our Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), after being informed by Allah Ta'ala, is aware of everything that happened and will happen (Being a Makhlooq i.e. Plus he keeps on learning more and more about Dhaat and Sifaat of Allah hence knowledge is increasing every single moment for Prophet, whereas this cannot be applicable to Allah's knowledge which is from Azl and till Abad)

Categories in knowledge of Unseen

A) Dhaati & Atai'i [Personal & Bestowed]

B) Kulli & Baadh' [Total & Partial]

1: Dhaati Ilm ul Ghayb
  - [Personal Knowledge Of Ghayb] is of ALLAH Ta'ala alone, It is He who has the knowledge of Ghayb by His "OWN SELF" and no one has taught Him, revealed to Him, shown Him, nor has He learnt it with passage of time rather He has it from Awal to Akhir. This is the knowledge of Unseen which has been made Khaas (specific) with Allah in Quran at many places.

2: Atai'i Ilm ul Ghayb - [Bestowed Knowledge Of Ghayb] is of RasoolAllah (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم), he was given this knowledge by Allah, he himself did not know it, but Allah Ta'ala bestowed the knowledge of Ghayb on him, this knowledge of Unseen is also mentioned at many places in Qur'an so rejection any of these two or having confusion by mixing these two together is a fallacy.

3: Kulli Ilm ul Ghayb  - [Total Knowledge Of Ghayb] is of Allah Ta'ala alone, it is He who knows everything in his creation and what was before the creation, no creation of Allah knows as much as Allah tallah knows, Allah knows absolutely EVERY GHAYB, nothing what so ever is hidden from Him, however when it is referred to Prophet (Peace be upon him) then it only means in "REFERENCE TO MAKHLOOQ NOT KHALIQ"

4: Ba'adh Ilm ul Ghayb  - [Partial Knowledge Of Ghayb] is of RasoolAllah (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم), Allah Ta'ala gave limited, partial, some, knowledge of Ghayb to RasoolAllah (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم). What ever Ghayb RasoolAllah (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم) knows, revealed, prophecised, is in the category of 'Partial'. For no creation of Allah can know as much as Allah, not even RasoolAllah (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم) not even Al Lawh Al Mahfooz

● Prophets (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم) Knowledge Was/Is Not Same At All The Times, It Increases/Increased Gradually
● In some Verses Of The Qur'an Prophet {Peace be upon him} Is commanded To Be humble
● In other Verses his deep qualities are mentioned strongly.

The Prophet (
صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم)'s knowledge of unseen is greater than all creations of Allah, but in no way equal to Allah, however Allah has granted him (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم) knowledge of every thing in the universe. Remember Allah has no limits (unlike Wahabi/Salafi  and their imam ibn taymiyyah believed that Allah has a limit, Naudhobillah. It is they the wahhabis who limit Allah's knowledge not us Ahlus Sunnah wa'l Jammah) and His knowledge cannot be comprehended even if all oceans were ink and all trees were Pens. Hence in no way is Prophet (صلی اللہ علیھ وآلھ وسلم) being compared to Allah as some ignorant claim. 


Edited by ADHM