Saturday, 7 January 2017

Imam Shihab al-Din al-Ramli (d.957AH)

Imām Shihāb al-Dīn al-Ramlī studied with the great scholars of his time, such as Imams al-Suyuti, Zakariyya al-Ansari, al-Waqqad, ibn Awjan, and ibn Abi al-Sharif.

His students cannot be enumerated.
From among them are Imams Abdul Wahhab al-Sha’rani, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-Khatib al-Shirbini, Shihab al-Din al-Ghazzi, and his son Shams al-Din al-Ramli.

From Imām Shams al-Dīn al-Ramlī’s collection of his father, Imām Shihāb al-Dīn al-Ramlī’s Fatāwa

The Imām was asked: 

Regarding what occurs amongst the awwām who when in distress say
ya shaykh fulān and ya Rasūlullāh and things like this from seeking aid (istighātha) with the Prophets and the Awliyā, the ‘Ulemā and the righteous, is this permitted or not?

And do the Messengers, Prophets, Awliyā, the righteous, and the Mashayekh possess the ability to assist others after their deaths, and what strengthens that view?

He replied:

Istighātha (seeking aid) with the Prophets and Messengers, the Awliyā, the ‘Ulemā and the righteous is permitted.

The messengers, Prophets and the Awliyā have [the ability to] assist after their death because the miracles of the Prophets and Awliyā are not severed following their death.
As for the Prophets, then 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 kuffār.

And as for the Awliyā, then it is a karama from them.
The people of the truth believe that this occurs from the Awliyā both with intention, and without intention-things that sever the customary manner of phenomenal reality (khariqa lil ādah), that Allah the Exalted 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 and how the provision came to her from Allah - as stated in the revelation, and the story of Abū Bakr and his guests as appears in the sahīh, and the gushing (flowing forth) of the Nile river due to the letter of ‘Umar, and him seeing, while on the minbar in Medina, the army (being approached for a sneak attack), till he said to the Amīr of the army: “O Sariya, the mountain!”, warning him of the enemy behind the mountain. And Sariya heard his speech even though there was a great distance between them - the distance of two months journey. Khalīd Ibn Walīd drank poison without it harming him.

Khawāriq (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 tawātur.
So, in general, what is possible to be a miracle (mu’jiza) for a Prophet, is possible to be a karama for a Walī.
There is no distinction between them except in the area of provocation.*
*This means that there is no difference except that the mu’jiza was in response to a tahaddī, a challenge from the mushrikūn saying that he was a liar.


This article has been translated from the book titled Fatāwa al-Ramlī
Imām Shams al-Dīn al-Ramlī’s collection of his father, Imām Shihāb al-Dīn Ramli’s fatāwa.

He is Shams al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ahmad. He was born in Ramla, a village near Manūfiyya in Egypt, in 919AH. He was the son of the famous Shāfi’ī faqīh and mufti, Shihāb al-Dīn al-Ramlī. His teachers include his father, Shaykh al-Islām Zakariyya al-Ansārī and al-Khatīb al-Shirbīnī.
After his father’s death he became the chief Shāfi’ī mufti in Egypt.
Such was his eminence that many came to identify him as the mujaddid of his century.
His works include ‘nihāyat al-muhtāj’, a commentary on al-Nawawī’s ‘minhāj’, ‘ghayat al-bayān’, a commentary on Ibn Ruslān’s ‘zubād’, a commentary on Shaykh al-Islam’s (Zakariyya al-Ansārī) ‘tahrīr’, a commentary on al-Nawawī’s ‘idāh fī manāsik al-hajj’, a collection of his father’s fatwas. He died in the year 1004AH in Cairo. (Cited from ‘Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and Imām Ramli’ by Shaykh Taha Karaan.


It is considered disapproved of (…) to kiss the cenotaph that is set upon the tomb as well as to kiss the grave (itself) or to touch it, nor should the thresholds be kissed when entering for the visit to (the tombs of) saintly persons. Nevertheless, if by kissing their tombs the intention is to gain blessing (tabarruk), it must be not be considered detestable, as my father (Shihab ad-Din ar-Ramli) laid down in a fatwa”.
[Nihayat al-Muhtaj ila Sharh al-Minhaj,Vol: III, page,33]


“The Invisible Helpers”

The hadith of calling for invisible helpers in the wilderness has several wordings narrated through various chains that strengthen one another and bring it at the very least to the rank of “fair due to its corroborants and witness-chains” (Hasan li-Ghayrih), and one of those chains is actually fair in itself:

● From the Tabi`i Aban b. Salih, from Mujahid, from Ibn `Abbas, from the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace):

Truly Allah has angels on earth, other than the recording angels, who write down whatever tree-leaf falls. Therefore, when any of you gets injured in his leg in a deserted land let him call out: Help, servants of Allah! (a`inu `ibad Allah)

إِنَّ للهِ مَلَائِكَةً فِي الْأَرْضِ سِوَى الحَفَظَةِ يَكْتُبُونَ مَا يَسْقُطُ مِنْ وَرَقِ الشَّجَرِ فَإِذَا أَصَابَ أَحَدَكُمْ عَرْجَةٌ بِأَرْضٍ فَلَاةٍ فَلْيُنَادِ أَعِينُوا عِبَادَ اللهِ.

al-Bazzar narrated it in his Musnad (11:181 §4922=al-Haythami, Kashf al-Astar 4:33-34 §3128) adding: “We do not know it to be narrated from the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) with this wording other than with this chain” through trustworthy narrators according to al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id (10:132), and Ibn Hajar declared its chain “fair” (hasan) though – in confirmation of al-Bazzar – “extremely singular
(gharib jiddan) in Nata’ij al-Afkar as stated by Ibn `Allan in al-Futuhat al-Ilahiyya (5:150-151), while in his Mukhtasar Musnad al-Bazzar (2:419-420 §2128) he simply states: “It is a fair chain” (huwa isnadun hasan) and narrates it as

“Ya `ibad Allah! Aghithu!”
يَا عِبَادَ اللهِ أَغِيثُوا

Ibn Abi Shayba in the Musannaf (Salafiyya Bombay 2nd ed. 10:390=`Awwama ed. 15:345 §30339) and al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman (Zaghlul ed. 1:183 §167 and 6:128 §7697) narrate it as a saying of Ibn `Abbas with the variant wordings (in the manuscripts):

“Servants of Allah, help us! or: aid us! May Allah grant you mercy.”
عِبَادَ اللهِ أَغِيثُوا / أَغِيثُونَا – أَوْ – أَعِينُوا /أَعِينُونَا رَحِمَكُمُ اللهُ

In either case it has the status of a Prophetic hadith as stated by Shaykh Muhammad `Awwama, because Ibn `Abbas could not be saying this from his own reasoning.

● from Ibn Mas`ud, from the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace):

When the animal of any one of you breaks loose in a desert land let him just call out: Servants of Allah, hold [it] for me! Servants of Allah, hold [it] for me! (`ibad Allah uhbusu `ibad Allah uhbusu). For Allah has someone present in the land who will hold it for you all.”


‘Abdullāh bin Mas‘ūd has narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:
When you lose your means of transport in a jungle, you should call: O creatures of Allah! Help me, recover my transport! O creatures of Allah! Help me, recover my transport! There are many of Allah’s creatures on this earth. They will help you recover it.

Imam Tabarānī narrated it in al-Mu‘jam-ul-kabīr (10:217#10518)
Abū Ya‘lā, Musnad (9:177)
Ibn-us-Sunnī, ‘Amal-ul-yawm wal-laylah (p.162#502)
Haythamī, Majma‘-uz-zawā’id (10:132)

Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī in al-Matālib-ul-‘āliyah (3:239#3375).

Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Hanbal (rah) said that he heard his father (Imam Ahmed) who said:
 I performed Hajj 5 times, thrice on foot and twice on ride or he said thrice on ride and twice on foot, once when I was on foot I lost my way hence I started to exclaim this: O Allah’s servants show me the way (يا عباد الله دلوني على الطريق), I kept on repeating this until I came back on track. [Imam Baihaqi in Shu’ayb ul Iman, Volume 6, Page No 128, Hadith No. 7697]
Imam Tabarani transmitted the hadith of calling out : O Servants of Allah, Help me! In his Mu'jam al Kabir (17/117) he said “this has been acted upon (وَقَدْ جَرَّبَ ذَلِكَ)”

 (Edited by ADHM)