Sufis cite ‘Uthman's Karaamah as evidence that the dead can help the living
Fatwa No: 291049

Question

Assalamualaikum warahmatulahi wabarkatahu sheikh. ..is this narration authentic? Sufis use this narration to prove that dead can help even after their death‘Uthman Ghani, may Allah be pleased with Him, said that when the enemy surrounded his house and stopped the household from receiving water, they were thirsty for many days. ‘Uthman said: One day I saw that the Messenger of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), give me some water from my window. Some days later my roof parted, and the Prophet of Allah, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) accompanied by Aby Bakr and Umar (May Allah be pleased with them, entered and gave me some water to drink, and enquired: You will break your fast with us tomorrow [TARIKH IBN KATHIR, CHAPTER ON THE DEATH OF ‘UTHMAN, MAY ALLAH BE PLEASED WITH HIM]

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him quoted this story in his book Al-Bidaayah wa An-Nihaayah and he attributed it to Ibn Abi Ad-Dunya with his chain of narration. Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also cited it in his book Al-Mataalib Al-ʻAaliyah. The scholars who revised that book declared it to be weak.

Even if the story is authentic, the most that can be said about it is that it refers to a Karaamah (an extraordinary incident) that Allaah made for ʻUthmaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaaʻah believe in the Karaamaat (plural of Karaamah) of the Awliyaa’ (pious allies of Allaah).

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “One of the fundamental tenets of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaaʻah is the belief in the Karaamaat of the Awliyaa’ by which Allaah aids them and grants them a variety of abilities and effects like those reported in relation to the past communities in Soorah Al-Kahf [Quran 18] and other Soorahs or in relation to the Companions and Taabiʻeen and the rest of the Muslim generations, and they will exist with them until the Day of Judgment.

However, this is not related to the false claims of the Sufis who relied on those incidents to argue that it is permissible to invoke the dead in prayer and seek their help, and who believe in their power to benefit and harm the living; this is the essence of idolatry.

Such a practice is alien to the practice of the early Muslim generations and the early (genuine) Sufis as well – the ascetic Sufis who adhered to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, such as Al-Junayd, Sahl ibn ʻAbdullaah At-Tustari, Al-Haarith ibn Asad Al-Muhaasibi, unlike late Sufis whose Sufism was affected by the Baatini (esoteric) groups like Ikhwaan As-Safa and others who incorporated philosophy into Sufism. They distorted the genuine Sufism and introduced immoderation into the respect and love shown to the pious and allies of Allaah.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 29243 and 13353.

Allaah Knows best.

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