Will you explain saints’ showing karamah with the verses of the Quran and Hadiths?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to the verses of the Quran and hadiths, karamah of saints is true.  

Introduction

According to the verses of the Quran, karamah of saints is true.

First Evidence: The table sent down to Hz. Maryam (Mary)

Second Evidence: Asaf's bringing the Throne of Balkis

Third Evidence: Angels’ carrying the Chest

Fourth Evidence: The sleep Ashab al-Kahf

Fifth Evidence: The karamah of Hz. Musa’s (Moses) mother

Sixth Evidence: Jibril’s (Gabriel) visiting Hz. Maryam

Hadiths about karamah

Answer to the so-called evidence of Mutazila: Allah does not make anyone acquainted with His mysteries (ghayb).

Difference between Karamah and Istidraj

Introduction

According to our creed, the creed of Ahl as-Sunnah, it is permissible for saints to show karamahs. According to Mutazila, which is the sect of Shia in creed, karamah is not permissible. Just like Shia, some people with Wahhabi mentality deny both saints (awliya) and karamah on behalf of tawhid (oneness). Those Wahhabis, who call themselves Ahl as-Sunnah, probably do not realize that they think like Mutazila regarding the issue.

First of all, when we say, “Karamah is permissible”, we do not say, “A saint creates it”. I want to summarize the view of the Ahl as-Sunnah regarding the issue in items as follows:

1. Karamah is true. Prophets have miracles; similarly, saints have karamahs.

2. Karamah is sometimes created for the sake of a saint's prayer. Sometimes karamah is given to the saint by Allah without the saint’s wish and even without being aware of it.

3. It is Allah who creates karamah. Like miracles, Allah creates karamahs too. The saint has no intervention in that creation.

Now, let us meditate a little on Sheikh Ghaylani's karamah related to the chicken, which is criticized most by those who deny karamah:

Sheikh Ghaylani said to the bones of the chicken, قُمْ بِاِذْنِ اللَّهِ “Rise with the permission of Allah.” The bones of the chicken were covered with flesh suddenly and the chicken was revived. Those who deny karamah state the following against that karamah: “It is polytheism (shirk) to believe in it; Creating is peculiar to Allah.”

We address them as follows:

That karamah is recorded in the soundest books and reported by most reliable people. When we believe in that karamah, do we believe that “Sheikh Ghaylani gave life to the dead chicken”? Do we attribute the deed of creation to him? Definitely not - God forbid! No being other than Allah can be the doer of the deed of creation by any means.

What do we accept? We accept the following:

Allah created a karamah full of wisdom through the hands of His slave Ghaylani as a sign of his value. It is Allah who built the skeleton of the chicken out of bones. It is Allah who covered the bones with flesh. It is Allah who gave it life. Sheikh Ghaylani is only a means. The chicken was created again for the sake of his prayer and as an indication of his value.  

Now we ask those who deny that incident:

- Is it difficult for Allah to give life to a chicken? Is it difficult for a being that gives life to dead trees in spring and that decorates them with flowers, fruits and leaves to give life to a chicken?

Do you not read the Quran? A similar incident is narrated in verse 259 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

God Almighty killed Hz. Uzayr and revived him 100 years later. When he was revived 100 years later, he saw the decayed bones of his donkey. Then, God Almighty revived the donkey before Uzayr’s eyes. Since a dead donkey was revived, why could a chicken not be revived?

Besides, the following incident is narrated in verse 260 of the chapter of al-Baqara:

Allah gave life to 4 dead birds for the sake of Hz. Ibrahim’s prayer before his eyes. Why should that incident, which was shown to Hz. Ibrahim as an example, not be shown to the ummah of Muhammad? Why should Allah, who showed that miracle to Hz. Ibrahim, not show a similar incident to the ummah of Muhammad through a sincere slave of His?

Verse 49 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran shows that Hz. Isa (Jesus) was given the miracle of reviving the dead. Hz. Isa states the following in the verse:    

  وَأُحْيِ الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ And bring the dead to life by Allah’s leave. 

Is it regarded polytheism to believe that Hz. Isa revives the dead? It is not polytheism to believe it but it is unbelief not believe it because it is clearly stated in the verse.  

Is it not possible for our Lord, who revived the dead through Hz. Isa, to give life to a dead chicken through Ghaylani? What part of it do you not understand? What part of it is polytheism? Is it polytheism to watch the power of Allah in that incident? If it is polytheism, it is also polytheism to believe that Hz. Isa revived the dead. It is also polytheism to believe that birds were revived before Hz. Ibrahim’s eyes and a donkey was revived before Uzayr’s eyes. However, they are clearly stated in the verses of the Quran. Are we not supposed to believe in them in that case?  

Tawhid does not mean denying miracles and karamahs; it means seeing the power of Allah in those miracles and karamahs.

According to verses of the Quran, it is true that saints can show karamah.

First Evidence: The table sent down to Hz. Maryam (Mary)

We are in the second lesson of our work related to the trueness of karamah. We will analyze verse 37 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran.

According to what is stated in the verse, whenever Hz. Zakariyya entered Hz. Maryam's room, he saw different sustenance there. The Quran narrates the incident as follows:

 كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ Every time that Zakariyya entered (Her) chamber to see her, وَجَدَ عِنْدَهَا رِزْقًا he found her supplied with sustenance.  قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ He said: O Maryam!   أَنَّى لَكِ هذَا Whence (comes) this to you? قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ She said: From Allah.

As the verse clearly states, tables with food were sent to Hz. Maryam from the sky. Let us analyze that incident by asking some questions:

1. Is it something usual for a table with food to come down from the sky? Have any tables come down to your house or to the house of a person you know from the sky? No. It means it is something unprecedented.  

2. Since it is something unprecedented, can it be called a miracle? No, it cannot be called a miracle because miracles are peculiar to prophets. Hz. Maryam is not a prophet.

3. What can we call that incident since we cannot call it a miracle? We have to name it. It is something unprecedented. It is not a miracle. What is it then? We call it karamah. Let those who do not accept karamah find a name for it.  

It is a karamah that a table with food was sent down from the sky to Hz. Maryam. The owner of the table is definitely Allah. It is also Allah who sends it down from the sky. However, Allah sent down that table for the sake of Hz. Maryam. Therefore, that incident was recorded as a karamah of Hz. Maryam. If you do not accept karamah, you have to find a name for that incident. Tell us its name so that we will learn it.

Second Evidence: Asaf's bringing the Throne of Balkis

We will analyze verse 40 of the chapter of an-Naml. Hz. Sulayman states the following:

  يَا أَيُّهَا المَلَأُ Ye chiefs! أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا Which of you can bring me her (Balkis’) throne قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِين before they (Balkis and her nation) come to me in submission?قَالَ الَّذِي عِنْدَهُ عِلْمٌ مِنَ الْكِتَاب Said one who had knowledge of the Book: أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye.  فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِنْدَهُ Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, قَالَ هَذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّي he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord!

Ibn Abbas states that the one who brought the throne of Balkis from her palace was Asaf, the scribe of Hz. Sulayman. Imam Mujahid, Said Ibn Jubayr, Muhammad b. Ishaq and other tafsir scholars state the following:

The throne of Balkis was in Yemen and Hz. Sulayman was in Quds (Jerusalem). Asaf prayed to Allah as follows: “O our God! There is no god except You. Bring her throne to me.” Imam Mujahid states that he said, “O Allah who is full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour” in his prayer. Upon that prayer, the throne suddenly appeared next to Hz. Sulayman. (see Ibn Kathir, the interpretation of the verse in question) 

You can find more detailed information in tafsir books. Let us analyze the issue a bit:

First question: Is it not something unprecedented to bring a throne from Yemen to Quds within the twinkling of an eye? Have you ever seen or heard anything like that? No, you have not seen or heard anything like that. In that case, that incident is something unprecedented.   

Second question: Since it is something unprecedented, can it be called a miracle? No, it cannot be called a miracle because miracles are peculiar to prophets. Asaf is not a prophet; he is the scribe of Hz. Sulayman.

Third question: What can we call that incident since we cannot call it a miracle? We have to name it. It is something unprecedented. It is not a miracle. What is it then? We call it karamah. Let those who do not accept karamah find a name for it.

It is a karamah that Asaf brought the throne of Balkis in an instant. It is definitely Allah who brought the throne. That incident occurred with the power of Allah However, Allah brought that throne for the sake of the prayer of Asaf. Therefore, that incident was recorded as a karamah of Asaf. If you do not accept karamah, you have to find a name for that incident. Tell us its name so that we will learn it.

Third Evidence: Angels’ carrying the Chest

We will analyze verse 248 of the chapter of al-Baqara. First, we will summarize the incident narrated on page 39:

Sons of Israel went to their prophet and asked him to send them a king. They promised that they would fight in the way of Allah with that king. Allah sent them a person called Talut as their king. However, Talut was poor; therefore, Sons of Israel did not want to accept him as the king. They said they deserved to be the king more than Talut. Thereupon, their prophet addressed them as follows:  

  إِنَّ آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ A Sign of his authority is أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ التَّابُوتُ that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِن رَبِّكُمْ with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord

According to what is stated in tafsirs of Fakhrurrazi, Abussuud, Hazin, Qurtubi and Alusi, when Sons of Israel went astray and disobeyed God Almighty after the death of Hz. Musa, He inflicted the tribe of Amaliqa upon them. That tribe took the ark (chest) from them. Afterwards, God Almighty sent the ark to Sons of Israel through His angels as a sign of the kingdom of Talut. The phrase حْمِلُهُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ carried by angels mentioned in the verse shows that the ark was brought to them by angels who carried it.

We refer the details of the story to tafsir books. What we need to know here is as follows:

The ark, which was the sign of the kingdom of Talut, was carried by the angels and taken to the house of Talut.

Let us analyze the issue a bit:

First question: Is it not something unprecedented for a chest to be carried by the angels and taken to the house of a person? Is it something ordinary that the angels carried a chest and took that chest to his house? Have you ever seen or heard anything like that? No, you have not seen or heard anything like that. In that case, that incident is something unprecedented.   

Second question: Since it is something unprecedented, can it be called a miracle? No, it cannot be called a miracle because miracles are peculiar to prophets. Talut is not a prophet.

Third question: What can we call that incident since we cannot call it a miracle? We have to name it. It is something unprecedented. It is not a miracle. What is it then? We call it Talut’s karamah. Let those who do not accept karamah find a name for it.

It is a karamah that the angels carried a chest for the sake of Talut and that they took it to the house of Talut. The angels definitely carried the chest. They carried it upon the command of Allah and that incident occurred with the power of Allah. However, Allah made the angels carry that chest for the sake of Talut. Therefore, that incident was recorded as a karamah of Talut. If you do not accept karamah, you have to find a name for that incident. Tell us its name so that we will learn it.

Fourth Evidence: The sleep Ashab al-Kahf

We will analyze verse 25 of the chapter of al-Kahf. The following is stated in the verse related to Ashab al-Kahf (People of the Cave):

 وَلَبِثُوا فِي كَهْفِهِمْ So they stayed in their Cave – How many years did they stay? - ثَلاَثَ مِائَةٍ سِنِينَ وَازْدَادُوا تِسْعًا three hundred years, and (some) add nine (more). That is, they slept in the cave for 309 years.

We all know the story of Ashab al-Kahf. They told the truth in the presence of the tyrannical king and took refuge in a cave to escape his persecution. They fell asleep in the cave. God Almighty made them sleep in the cave for 309 years and then awakened them. When they woke up, they asked one another:  

 كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ “How long have ye stayed (here)?” قَالُوا لَبِثْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ They said, “We have stayed (perhaps) a day, or part of a day.” 309 days felt like one day to them.

We refer the details of the story to tafsir books. Let us analyze the issue a bit:

First question: Is it not something unprecedented to sleep for 309 years? Have you ever seen or heard anybody who slept for 309 years? No, you have not seen or heard anything like that. In that case, that incident is something unprecedented.

Second question: Since it is something unprecedented, can it be called a miracle? No, it cannot be called a miracle because miracles are peculiar to prophets. Ashab al-Kahf (People of the Cave) are not prophets.

Third question: What can we call that incident since we cannot call it a miracle? We have to name it. It is something unprecedented. It is not a miracle. What is it then? We call it karamah. Let those who do not accept karamah find a name for it.

It is a karamah that Ashab al-Kahf slept for 309 years. It is definitely Allah who made them sleep. That incident occurred with the power of Allah. However, Allah created that incident for the sake of Ashab al-Kahf. Maybe the fact that they spoke up and told the truth in the presence of the tyrannical king led to that karamah. If you do not accept karamah, you have to find a name for that incident. Tell us its name so that we will learn it.

Fifth Evidence: The karamah of Hz. Musa’s (Moses) mother

We will analyze verse 7 of the chapter of al-Qasas. The following is stated in the verse:    

وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى أُمِّ مُوسَى أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: “Suckle (thy child), فَإِذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ but when thou hast fears about him, فَأَلْقِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ cast him into the river

As it is clearly stated in the verse, Hz. Musa's mother put her son in a basket and cast him into the river. The family of Pharaoh found him and adopted him. We refer the details of the story to tafsir books.

Let us analyze the issue a bit:

First question: Is it not something unprecedented to send inspiration to a mother to “cast her son into the river”? Is it not something unprecedented for a mother to cast her son into the river and for her son to be saved safe and sound? Have you ever seen or heard an incident like that? No, you have not seen or heard anything like that. In that case, that incident is something unprecedented.

Second question: Since it is something unprecedented, can it be called a miracle? No, it cannot be called a miracle because miracles are peculiar to prophets. Hz. Musa’s mother is not a prophet.

Third question: What can we call that incident since we cannot call it a miracle? We have to name it. It is something unprecedented. It is not a miracle. What is it then? We say, “it is a karamah bestowed upon Hz. Musa’s mother”. Let those who do not accept karamah find a name for it.

It is a karamah that Hz. Musa's mother was sent inspiration and that he was saved from the sea safe and sound. It is definitely Allah who sent inspiration to Hz. Musa's mother. That incident occurred with the power of Allah. However, that it occurred with the power of Allah does not prevent that incident from being a karamah. It is an extraordinary incident. An extraordinary incident that occurs through a saint is called a karamah.

Sixth Evidence: Jibril’s (Gabriel) visiting Hz. Maryam

We will analyze verse 17 of the chapter of Maryam. The following is stated about Hz. Maryam in the verse:

  فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِنْ دُونِهِمْ حِجَابًا She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them فَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهَا رُوحَنَا then We sent her our angel فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَرًا سَوِيًّا and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.

As the verse clearly states, Jibril visited Hz. Maryam and appeared in the form of a man. You can refer to the relevant verses of the chapter of Maryam for the conversation between Jibril and Hz. Maryam.

Let us analyze the issue a bit:

First question: Is it not something unprecedented that Jibril visited Hz. Maryam and appeared in the form of a man? Has Jibril ever visited you? Or has he visited anybody you know? Have you ever seen or heard an incident like that? No, you have not seen or heard anything like that. In that case, that incident is something unprecedented.

Second question: Since it is something unprecedented, can it be called a miracle? No, it cannot be called a miracle because miracles are peculiar to prophets. Hz. Maryam is not a prophet.

Third question: What can we call that incident since we cannot call it a miracle? We have to name it. It is something unprecedented. It is not a miracle. What is it then? We call it karamah. Let those who do not accept karamah find a name for it.

It is a karamah that Jibril visited Hz. Maryam and appeared in the form of a man. It is definitely Allah who sent Jibril. Hz. Maryam has no intervention in that incident. She even felt scared when she saw Jibril. However, those facts do not prevent the incident from being a karamah.

When Hz. Musa threw the staff he was holding and when the staff was transformed into a snake, He was frightened and ran away. However, his fear and fleeing, and lack of his intervention in the transformation of the staff into a snake do not prevent the incident from being a miracle. Similarly, Hz. Maryam’s fear and lack of her intervention in Jibril’s coming do not prevent the incident from being a karamah. It is an extraordinary incident. An extraordinary incident that occurs through a saint is called a karamah. It does not have any other name.

Hadiths about Karamah 

We have proved karamah with the verses of the Quran. Now we will quote some hadiths related to karamah. The hadiths we will quote is related to the part of karamah regarding giving information about ghayb. 

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith included in Bukhari:

 قَدْ كَانَ فِيمَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ رِجَالٌ Among the nation of Sons of Israel who lived before you, there were men يُكَلَّمُونَ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يَكُونُوا أَنْبِيَاء who used to be inspired with guidance though they were not prophets, فَإِنْ يَكُنْ مِنْ أُمَّتِي مِنْهُمْ أَحَدٌ فَعُمَرُ and if there is any of such persons amongst my followers, it is Umar. (see Musnad, VI, 55; Bukhari, Fadailus-Sahaba, 6, Anbiya, 54)

The clause “and if there is any of such persons amongst my followers” mentioned in the hadith is used for confirmation. It is like the following statement: “If I have one friend, it is Ahmad.” Attributing friendship peculiarly to Ahmad in that statement is due to his perfect friendship. It does not aim to reject other friends. Mentioning Hz. Umar exclusively in the hadith above is like that. It aims to show that inspirations sent to him are at the highest level. It does not mean “Nobody else is sent inspiration.” 

The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in another hadith reported from Hz. Aisha:

“There had been among the people before you inspired persons and if there were any such among my ummah, Umar b. Khattab would be one of them.” (Muslim, Fadailus-Sahaba, 23)

It is understood from the hadith above that there are some individuals who are inspired among this ummah. That inspiration is a karamah. If there were no individuals who were inspired in this ummah, the following statement would not have been made about Hz. Umar: “Umar b. Khattab would be one of them.” 

Let us think about the following:

The ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the most virtuous ummah. When it is certain, the virtuous people that existed in other ummahs should exist in this ummah too. Since it is certain based on hadiths that there were individuals who were inspired in other ummahs, it becomes certain that there are such people in this ummah too. It proves that karamah is true.  

We should also explain the following:

The reason why Hz. Umar is specifically mentioned among those who are inspired is the fact that the decrees that Hz. Umar thought were supported by the verses of the Quran. Hz. Umar expressed his views related to several issues and his views were supported by verses.   

It will be appropriate to mention a karamah of Hz. Umar here:

Hz. Umar was the caliph. On a Friday, He was delivering the sermon in Masjid Nabawi as he did every Friday. During the sermon, he suddenly said, “Ya Sariya! Al-jabala, al-jabala! / O Sariya! To the mountain, to the mountain!”

The people in the mosque looked at one another. Sariya was a commander sent to Iran. Hz. Umar sent it to Iran as a commander. Hz. Umar was in Madinah and Sariya was in Iran. What was that talk about?

Sariya states the following regarding the issue:

I heard a voice saying, سمِعتُ صوتًا يا سارِيَةَ الجبلَ يا سارِيَةَ الجبلَ “O Sariya, to the mountain, to the mountain!”   

Yes, when Hz. Umar delivered that sermon, Sariya’s soldiers were fighting against the Sasani army. During the battle, Sariya heard Hz. Umar’s words, took his soldiers toward the mountain and won the battle.

Ibn Kathir narrates that incident in “al-Bidaya wan-nihaya”, Ibn Hajar in “al-Isaba” and Ibn Hibban in “Sahih”. It is narrated in several other sources.

Answer to the so-called evidence of Mutazila: Allah does not make any one acquainted with His mysteries (ghayb).

We will answer a so-called evidence of Mutazila here. The following is stated in verses 26 and 27 of the chapter of al-Jinn:

عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ He (alone) knows the Unseen, فَلاَ يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا nor does He make any one acquainted with His Mysteries إِلاَّ مَنِ ارْتَضَى مِنْ رَسُولٍ except an apostle whom He has chosen.

That is, He makes only His prophets acquainted with His Mysteries (ghayb). 

Mutazila shows that verse and states the following: There is evidence in that verse that there is no karamah because God Almighty specifies that He informs only the prophets He has chosen about ghayb. The saints to whom karamah is attributed are not prophets. It shows that saints cannot give information about ghayb.

That is what Mutazilites, who deny karamah, say; they state that it is not possible for saints to give information about ghayb, which is a kind of karamah. Fakhruddin Razi, the great tafsir scholar answers Mutazila as follows:

What is meant by the ghayb in the verse “Allah does not make any one acquainted with His ghayb” is the time of the Day of Judgment. The evidences that the ghayb mentioned in the verse is the time of the Day of Judgment are as follows:  

1. The following is stated in the previous verse:

“Say: ‘I know not whether the (Punishment) which ye are promised is near, or whether my Lord will appoint for it a distant term.’” (al-Jinn, 72/25) 

The Prophet (pbuh) says, “I know not” in the verse for the time of the Day of Judgment. After that verse comes the following verse: “Allah does not make any one acquainted with His ghayb.” The ghayb mentioned in the verse must be the ghayb mentioned in the previous verse, which is the time of the Day of Judgment. It is understood with this explanation that the ghayb with which chosen prophets are made acquainted is the time of the Day of Judgment, not other issues related to ghayb.   

The second evidence showing that what is meant by the word “ghayb” in the verse is the time of the Day of Judgment is as follows: The word غَيْبِهِ “ghayb” in the verse is singular. Singular words indicate an individual. Therefore, it will be enough to interpret it as a single ghayb, which is the time of the Day of Judgment. There is no evidence showing that the word ghayb in the verse indicates ghayb in general.  

The second evidence showing that what is meant by the word “ghayb” in the verse is the time of the Day of Judgment is as follows: The word غَيْبِهِ in the verse is part of a phrase. When the determiner of the phrase is definite in Arabic, the other word is also regarded as definite. Definite words are used for things that are known/definite. Therefore, a certain ghayb is mentioned by the word “ghayb” in the verse. That certain ghayb is the time of the Day of Judgment. 

In that case, the meaning of the verse together with the previous verse is as follows:

“Say: ‘I know not whether the (Punishment) which ye are promised is near, or whether my Lord will appoint for it a distant term.’ Allah knows ghayb (that is, the time of the Day of Judgment). He does not make any one acquainted with His ghayb except an apostle whom He has chosen.”

The following question can be asked regarding the issue. The following is stated in the verse: “He does not make any one acquainted with His ghayb except an apostle whom He has chosen.” If the ghayb mentioned in the verse is the time of the Day of Judgment, Allah has not informed His prophets about the time of the Day of Judgment. How can it be explained then?

Fakhruddin Razi answers that question as follows:

What is meant by the word “rasul” in the verse is angels. The word rasul is also used for angels in several verses in the Quran. For example, Allah mentions angels as rasuls in verse 51 of the chapter of ash-Shura, 95 of al-Isra and 37 of al-Araf. The same thing holds true for the verse in question. What is meant by the word “rasul” in the verse is angels. Allah will inform the angels about the time of the Day of Judgment when it approaches. God Almighty states the following in the Quran:

“The Day the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and angels shall be sent down, descending (in ranks).” (al-Furqan, 25/25)

It is doubtless that the angels will understand that Doomsday will strike at that time.  

We should also learn the following with this lesson:

Sometimes an evidence that is contrary to our creed is presented. That evidence may sound very strong. Do not be shaken by it. Know that the evidence they present has been refuted by Ahl as-Sunnah scholars. Ask someone who knows or search the answer in books. Do not allow it to grow larger in you.

Difference between Karamah and Istidraj

We will explain the difference between karamah and istidraj here. We stated the following beforehand:  

Karamah is an extraordinary incident created by Allah to indicate the value of a slave.

Are all extraordinary incidents karamahs? Is any person who shows something like that a saint?

Definitely not. Karamah has a stepbrother. It is called istidraj. Karamah and istidraj may appear close to each other but the difference between the is actually like the distance between the earth and the sky.

Istidraj is an extraordinary state or deed seen in people who are not close to Allah.

If a person does not have taqwa, does not worship and does not do righteous deeds but extraordinary deeds occur in him, it is called istidraj, not karamah.  

It is important to know the difference between Karamah and Istidraj due to the following reason:

If we think that every extraordinary incident is a karamah, we will think that the one who shows it is a saint. We may love that person due to that thought and follow him. If what that person shows is not karamah, but istidraj, we will be led to destruction. Therefore, we must know very well that not all extraordinary incidents are karamahs.

Then, the following issue arises:

- How can we know whether an extraordinary incident is karamah or istidraj?

The way to know it is as follows:

We will look at that person. If he is consistent in the religion, if his creed is sound, if he has taqwa and righteous deeds and if he follows the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), what he shows is karamah. If he does not have the abovementioned characteristics, if he disobeys Allah and commits sins, what he shows is istidraj.  

We should also know the following:

What matters is being consistent, not karamah. Therefore, scholars state the following: If you see that a person walks on the sea or flies in the air, his deeds are not taken into consideration unless he is consistent in the religion.

Therefore, when we choose teachers and guides for ourselves, we need to take their consistency in the religion into consideration, not their karamah. Such a person can be our teacher and guide if he is consistent in the religion even if he does not show any karamah. What is essential is not karamah but sincerity, consistency, taqwa and so on.

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