Karaamaat (supernatural abilities)
Fatwa No: 379981

  • Fatwa Date:29-7-2018 - Thul-Qi'dah 17, 1439
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Question

My question is regarding believing in Karamat stories of famous Awliya. In India, there lived a famous Faqih and Wali named Ashraf Ali Thanwi (May Allah have mercy on his soul). In reading one of his translated books, I found stories regarding to his Karamat with which I am struggling with. Number 1: An admirer of him said, the market was on fire and he was trying to take away the goods from his stall but would not be able to do so before fire caught it. Suddenly he saw the Wali Thanwi(R) was helping him and he was able to save his goods from fire. But it was a miracle because the Wali was far away and was not there at all. Also in another story, the author said whoever wrote a letter to Thanwi (R) regarding his illness, he got immediately cured as soon as he sent that letter (even before the letter reached Thanwi(R)). So should we believe these stories as part of Karamat? But don't they include something that only Allah can perform, such as knowledge of unseen and curing people form distance? Or can it be interpreted in a way that Allah helped the man in story 1 by angels in form of Thawi (R) to save his goods? And also Allah cured people as soon as they sent letter to Thawi(R)? But these explanations also include speaking of Allah without knowledge. I fear falling into Shirk the most. I want to safeguard my faith and not disrespect Awliyas of Allah. So please help me with the correct view with explanation. Thank you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Ahl As-Sunnah confirm that pious people have Karaamaat (pl. Karaamah) which refers to a supernatural ability which Allah grants to some of his righteous slaves when they need it to achieve a worldly matter or to establish evidence against those who oppose them (in religious matters).

However, there are few important matters to note in this regard:

First: Supernatural abilities are not signs proving someone to be pious and close to Allah. Many of the companions had no Karaamah, while it happened to people who came after them and who were lower than them in the rank of faith. What matters is the piety of the person and his uprightness upon the religion of Allah. This is why Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The greatest Karaamah is to remain upright (upon faith).

Second: If as Karaamah happens to a person, then there would be no implications to this as far as other people are concerned. People should not exaggerate in the way they deal with the person with a Karaamah or ask him for things which can only be done by Allah. The stories of Karaamaat should not preoccupy the mind of the Muslim, because there is no action that result from knowing the story, whether it is authentic or inauthentic.

Third: Not everything supernatural is considered a praised Karaamah. Some sorcerer or magicians may do supernatural things. Some claim to have a Karaamah while his actions include things that are prohibited, like claiming to possess qualities that only Allah possesses.

The abovementioned rules suffice us from having to respond to the stories you mentioned in your question.

Allah knows best.

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