It is obligatory for Muslims to believe that the abdal or Substitute-saints exist — so called because, as the Prophet said (see below), “None of them dies except Allah substitutes another in his place” — and that they are among the religious leaders of the Community concerning whom there is no doubt among Muslims. No less than Ibn Taymiyya writes at the end of his `Aqida wasitiyya:
The true adherents of Islam in its pristine purity are Ahl al-Sunnat wal-Jama`a. In their ranks the truthful saints (siddiqin), the martyrs, and the righteous are to be found. Among them are the great men of guidance and illumination, of recorded integrity and celebrated virtue. The Substitutes (abdal) and the Imams of religion are to be found among them and the Muslims are in full accord concerning their guidance. These are the Victorious Group about whom the Prophet said: “A group within my Community manifestly continues to be in the truth. Neither those who oppose them nor those who abandon them can do them harm, from now on until the Day of Resurrection.”
The Prophet emphasized in many authentic narrations the benefits brought to all creation through the intercession of Allah’s saints and their standing with Him. Suyuti in his fatwa on the abdal in his Hawi li al-fatawi provided many examples of this type of universal intercession from which we quote the following:
1. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal says in his Musnad (1:112):
… The people of Syria were mentioned in front of `Ali ibn Abi Talib while he was in Iraq, and they said: “Curse them, O Commander of the Believers.” He replied: “No, I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “The Substitutes (al-abdal) are in Syria and they are forty men, every time one of them dies, Allah substitutes another in his place. By means of them Allah brings down the rain, gives (Muslims) victory over their enemies, and averts punishment from the people of Syria.”” al-Haythami said: “The men in its chains are all those of the sahih except for Sharih ibn `Ubayd, and he is trustworthy (thiqa).”
2. al-Hakim narrated the following which he graded sound (sahih), and al-Dhahabi confirmed him:
`Ali said: “Do not curse the people of Syria, for among them are the Substitutes (al-abdal), but curse their injustice.”
Note that any religious knowledge unattainable through ijtihad and authentically conveyed from one of the Companions is considered a hadith by the experts of that science.
3. Tabarani said in his Mu`jam al-awsat:
Anas said that the Prophet said: “The earth will never lack forty men similar to the Friend of the Merciful [Prophet Ibrahim], and through them people receive rain and are given help. None of them dies except Allah substitutes another in his place.” Qatada said: “We do not doubt that al-Hasan [al-Basri] is one of them.”
Ibn Hibban narrates it in al-Tarikh through Abu Hurayra as: “The earth will never lack forty men similar to Ibrahim the Friend of the Merciful, and through whom you are helped, receive your sustenance, and receive rain.”
4. Imam Ahmad also narrated in the Musnad (5:322):
The Prophet said: “The Substitutes in this Community are thirty like Ibrahim the Friend of the Merciful. Every time one of them dies, Allah substitutes another one in his place.”
Hakim Tirmidhi cites it in Nawadir al-usul and Ahmad’s student al-Khallal in his Karamat al-awliya’. Haythami said its men are those of the sahih except `Abd al-Wahid who was declared trustworthy by al-`Ijli and Abu Zar`a (as well as Yahya ibn Ma`in).
5. Abu Dawud through three different good chains in his Sunan (English 4273), Imam Ahmad in his Musnad (6:316), Ibn Abi Shayba in his Musannaf, Abu Ya`la, al-Hakim, and Bayhaqi narrated:
Umm Salama the wife of the Prophet said: “Disagreement will occur at the death of a Caliph and a man of the people of Madina will come forth flying to Mecca. Some of the people of Mecca will come to him, bring him out against his will and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam. An expeditionary force will then be sent against him from Syria but will be swallowed up in the desert between Mecca and Madina, and when the people see that, the Substitutes (abdal) of Syria and the best people (`asaba) of Iraq will come to him and swear allegiance to him…”
6. Imam Ahmad cited in Kitab al-zuhd, also Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Abu Nu`aym, Bayhaqi, and Ibn `Asakir narrated from Julays:
Wahb ibn Munabbih said: I saw the Prophet in my sleep, so I said: “Ya Rasulallah, where are the Substitutes (budala’) of your Community?” So he gestured with his hand towards Syria. I said: “Ya Rasulallah, aren’t there any in Iraq?” He said: “Yes, Muhammad ibn Wasi`, Hassan ibn Abi Sinan, and Malik ibn Dinar, who walks among the people similarly to Abu Dharr in his time.”
The Known Abdaal:
Nawawi in Bustan al-`arifin (1985 ed. p. 31) mentions that the hadith master Hammad ibn Salama ibn Dinar (d. 167) was considered to be one of the abdal.
The Late Shaykh Ahmad Habbal Al Rifai Was Said To Be An Abdaal By Mawlana Shaykh Nazim And Al Arif Billah Shaykh Abdul Rahman Shaghouri Of Damascus As Well As Shaykh Makki Al Kittani And shaykh Abu Hassan Al Kurdi And Shaykh Osman sirajuddin And Shaykh Abdullah Sirajuddin And shaykh Zakariyah Al Bukhari Also event Shaykh Abdul Karim Mudarris al Bayyarah Who is also said to be an abdaal And The ‘Ulama Of Gulhar Sharif When They Visited Damascus .
The Current Abdaal Known By A Number Of ‘Ulama Is Shaykh Shukri Al Lahfi Of Damascus Who According To Some Brothers And Sisters Is Very Poor But Everything Suffices him Also The Late Wali Of Gulhar Sharif Pir Muhammad Sadiq Was An Amazing wali allah he was from the family Of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr As-Sadiq . Also One amazing miralce of Hazrat Pir Mehr Ali Shah Of Golra Sharif Was That He Had Lost His Shadow .
Grand Shaykh Abdullah Faiz Daghestani Says :
“I am a descendant of Sayyidina Miqdad ibn al-Aswad , whom the Prophet used to appoint as his deputy whenever he left Madinah on an expedition. I inherited, like my uncle, the five marks of the Blessed Hand of the Prophet which he had placed on the back of my blessed grandfather, Miqdad ibn al-Aswad . From that birthmark shines a special light.”
At that time, Daghestan was under the severe oppression and tyranny of the Russian occupying armies. His uncle, who was the spiritual head of the village, and his father, who was a well-known doctor, decided to emigrate from Daghestan to Turkey. After reaching this decision, they asked Shaykh `Abdullah to make spiritual consultation on the appropriateness of migrating at that time. Grandshaykh `Abdullah described the event:
“That night I prayed `Isha’, then I renewed my ablution and I prayed two rak`ats. Then I sat in meditation, connecting myself through my Shaykh, my uncle, to the Prophet .
“I saw the Prophet coming to me with 124,000 Sahaba (Companions) saying to me, ‘O my son, I am releasing all my powers and those of my 124,000 Companions from my heart. Tell your uncle and the caretakers of the village to migrate immediately to Turkey.’
“Then I saw the Prophet hugging me and I saw myself disappearing in him. As soon as I disappeared in him I saw myself ascending from the Dome of the Rock, the Bait ul-Maqdis, from which the Prophet ascended in the Night Journey. I saw myself astride the same Buraq which carried the Prophet and I saw myself carried up in a true vision, to the Station of Two Bow-lengths, where I could see the Prophet but not myself.
“I felt myself to be a part of the entirety of the Prophet . Through that Ascension I received the Realities that the Prophet poured into my heart from what he had received on the Night of Ascension. All these different kinds of knowledges came to my heart in words of light, which began as green and changed to purple, and the understandings were poured into my heart in a quantity which is immeasurable.
“I heard a voice coming from the Divine Presence saying, “Approach, O my servant, to My Presence.” As I approached through the Prophet , everything disappeared, even the spiritual reality of the Prophet disappeared. Nothing existed except Allah, Almighty and Exalted.
“Then I heard a voice from all His Lights and Attributes that were shining in His Presence, ‘O my servant, now come to the State of Existence within this Light.’ I felt myself come into existence through the Prophet , after having been annihhilated, appearing and existing in the Divine Presence, decorated with the Ninety-Nine Attributes. Then I saw myself inside the Prophet , appearing inside every creation that was existing by Allah’s Power. That took us to a state in which we were able to realize that there are universes other than this universe, that there are endless Creations of Allah, High and Sublime. Then I felt my uncle shaking my shoulder, saying, ‘O my son, it is time for Fajr prayer.’
“I prayed Fajr behind him and more than 300 people from the village prayed in congregation with us. After Fajr my uncle stood and said, ‘We asked my nephew to make istikhara (spiritual consultation).’ Everyone was eagerly waiting to hear what I had seen. My uncle immediately said, ‘He was brought to the presence of the Prophet by my power.
The Prophet gave everyone permission to move to Turkey. Then he took him through states up to the state of ‘the Distance of two Bowlengths.’ Then he took him to a station such that he opened to him a vision of knowledge that has never been opened to any saint before, including myself. His Ascension was a means of instruction for past and present saints, and a Key to open a Gigantic Ocean of Knowledge and Wisdom.’
“I said to myself, ‘My uncle was with me in that vision, and it was with his power that I received that vision.'”
“Everyone in the village began to prepare for the emigration. We moved from Daghestan to Turkey on a trip that was full of difficulties caused both by the Russian soldiers and by highwaymen who killed without the slightest provocation.
“Near the border with Turkey, we were travelling through a forest which was known to be filled with Russian soldiers. It was Fajr time. My uncle said, ‘We will pray Fajr and then we will cross the forest.’ We prayed Fajr and began moving. Then Shaykh Sharafuddin said to everyone, ‘Stop!’ He asked for a cup of water. Someone handed him a cup of water and he read on it from Chapter Ya Sin (ayat 9): ‘And We have set a barrier in front of them and a barrier behind them, and We have enshrouded them in veils so that they cannot see.’ Then he read Fallahu khairul hafidhan wa Huwa arhamur-Rahimeen , “Allah is the best protector, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.” [12:64]
“As he was reading these verses, everyone felt something come to their hearts, and I saw all the emigrants trembling. Allah gave me a vision at that moment so that I could see that we were surrounded by the Russian Army on every side. I saw that they were shooting at anything that moved, even a bird. Then I saw that we were passing by and that we were safe. We were crossing the forest and they heard no sound of our footsteps or our animals, until we arrived safely at the other side of the border.
“The vision ended as Shaykh Sharafuddin finished reading. He cast the water ahead of us and he said, ‘Move now! But don’t look behind.’ As we moved on, we could see the Russian soldiers on every side, yet it was as if we were invisible. We moved for 20 miles through that forest. It took us from morning until after `Isha prayers. We did not stop except to pray and we were invisible to everyone. We heard the Russian army shooting at people, birds, animals, and anything that moved. But we passed undetected and unscathed. We were the only people who were safe. We exited the forest and crossed over into Turkey.
“We travelled first to Bursa, where Shaykh Sharafuddin established his home for one year. After that he moved to a place called Rashadiyya, where he established a village for Daghestani emigrants. It was located thirty miles from Yalova, which is on the Marmara Coast, around fifty miles from Bursa and about 60 miles from Adapazar. There he built the only mosque in that village, and next to it he built his own house. Everyone busied themselves with building their houses. My father and mother built a house adjacent to the house of Shaykh Sharafuddin.”
Ranks Of Awliya Allah :
1.There are at any given time 4000 Awliya living on earth.They are not known and recognized by the general public.In fact,amongst them one does not know the other and they themselves are not aware of the validity of their actions and devotion.
All these are hidden from them and the general public.
2.Three hundred(300) from this group are statemen involved in the administration of this world.They control all transaction in this Duniyah.They are the leaders of all Pious people in the Divine Court of Allah Ta’Ala.They are known as AKHYAR.
3.Amongst these 300,there are 40 who are known as ABDAL-BUDALA.
4.Amongst these 40,seven(7) are ABRAR.
5.Amongst these 7,four(4) are AWTAD.
6.Amongst these 4,three(3) are NO’QABAH.
7.Amongst these 3,one(1) is known as the GHAWTH or QUTB.He is the most senior of them all and the Head and Chairperson of the spiritual assembly.
The Qutb’s :
To accomplish these three standards of conduct is to reach the level of Qutbanniyya, to become a Qutub.
The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets.
This does not refer to those scholars who gained their knowledge from books, but rather those Aqtab to whom Allah opened these six powers in their hearts, and the knowledge of their seven personal names.
The five highest levels of Qutub are:
Qutub al-Irshad, and
Qutub is the one whom Allah granted a power that brings out from the essence of Muhammad to extract knowledge from non-existence of the Prophet into this dunya.
He extracts new knowledge from the heart of the Prophet Muhammad ?. This is the first level Qutub.
Qutub al-Bilad is responsible for the order of this world and to hold it together. He knows the needs of every race or group of creatures.
Qutub al-Irshad advises the 124,000 Awliya.
Qutub al-Mutassarif is authorized to channel the “happy angels” (as we described before) to different people and creatures, and is responsible even for the smallest worm that dwells inside a rock. And all of these are coming from Sayedena Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him.
Qutub al-Aqtab supervises and is responsible for all other Aqtab. ?
Above all five Aqtab is the Quawth.
He is between the “Pillar of Pillars” and the Prophet. He is the pipe, the channel. Sayed Bahauddin Naqshband was one of them, as was Sayed Abdul Qadir al-Jilani. From century to century they differ.
The Aqtab and the Quawth generate – directly from the heart of the Prophet (s)
· all knowledge’s and all events that transpire in this world, from wind, to earthquakes, to rain. They must be ashraf from both paternal and maternal lineage, from Ahl al-Bayt, Hassani and Husayni. If by any chance they are not from the family of the Prophet and they are able to reach that level, then they will inherit from Salman al-Farsi, for the Prophet included him as a member of Ahl al-Bayt. He told his wife not to cover in front of Sayyidi Salman, saying, Salman minee Ahlul Bayt, although he had emigrated to the Prophet from Persia.
· Every matter of the universe is in the hands of these Aqtab, coming from Allah to Prophet, from Prophet to the aqtab. Wa yahmiloon ‘arsh ar-rahmanu yaumaidhin thamaaneeya.
· Allah created eight angels to carry the Divine Throne; no one else can carry it. Allah created these angels in a form beyond description. These eight were happy to carry the Throne, not proud, but they began to consider themselves the highest level of angels.
· Allah decided to show them His Greatness and that they are nothing. He dissolved everything underneath them and they no longer had support. Then is the Throne carrying them?
· These eight angels send their power to the six awliya we just mentioned. Allah said, “I am creating a khalifa on earth.” They replied, “Are you going to create those who will make corruption on earth and shed blood and …”
· Allah showed that they would be praised ones. In fact, these Aqtabs and the Quawth support the angels. If any of them are from other than the Naqshbandi Sufi Order, Allah gives permission to Prophet, and Prophet gives permission to their shaykh to carry the Naqshbandi Order in addition to whatever other Sufi Order they carry.
· That is why such awliya carry power from seven different tariqats.
· As Qutubs are five in number at all times, when one passes he is replaced by another.
· Allah created unique ones, the essence of the Qutubs, to take ecstasy and knowledge from every name of Allah ?. That knowledge they extract brings them to a state of ecstasy that no one could find except through those beautiful Names of Allah. From every unique name they can experience 700,000 different levels of ecstasy, from which they can pull out for humanity 700,000 different wisdoms.
After they move into these Oceans of wisdom and knowledge and their veils are pulled away, they will reach the Divine Presence at a place where they will observe the verse Allahu nuru samawati wal ard: “Allah is the Light of the heavens and earth.” And they cannot see except that light.
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Seeker Of The Sacred Knowledge