Praise be to Allah.
The fact that karaamaat (miracles) happened to the righteous of this ummah is something that is proven and there is no doubt concerning it. This is one of the ways in which Allah makes His believing slave steadfast and is part of his reward in this world.
At-Tahhaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-‘Aqeedah (p. 84):
We believe in what is narrated about their karaamaat and what is mentioned in saheeh reports from trustworthy narrators. End quote.
But it is essential to approach this matter with caution and correct understanding, because extraordinary events may happen to some who promote misguidance, which may make the ignorant think that these are karaamaat when in fact it is the deceit of the devils.
Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The karaamaat of the close friends of Allah (awliya’) are true according to the consensus of the imams of Islam and of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah. That is indicated by the Qur’aan in more than one place and by saheeh hadeeths and well founded reports from the Sahaabah, Taabi‘een and others. It is only denied by innovators such as the Mu‘talizah, Jahamiyyah and those who followed them. But many of those who claim to have performed miracles or to whom people attributed miracles may have been lying or confused.
End quote from Mukhtasar al-Fataawa al-Masriyyah, 2/63
It should be noted that the true miracle for the slaves of Allah, and especially for His close friends (awliya’), only occurs because of their following the path of righteousness and their adherence to it.
Shaykh al-Islam said:
The real karaamah (honour) is steadfastness in adhering to the path of righteousness; There is no honour that Allah bestows on any of His slaves that can match the honour of helping him to do that which He loves and which pleases Him, and to do more of that which will bring him closer to Him and raise him in status.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 11/298
Some of these privileges or honours (miracles) happened to Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him), which were narrated from him by some of his students and those who knew him.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
I saw wondrous examples of the intuition of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) and I have never seen anything greater than it. The incidents of his intuition would fill a huge volume.
He told his companions about the Tatars entering ash-Shaam (greater Syria) in 699AH, and that the Muslim armies would be defeated, but there would be no widescale killing or taking of prisoners in Damascus, and that the (enemy) army’s main interest would be in seizing wealth. This was before the Tatars took any action to attack.
Then he told the people and the commanders in 702 AH, when the Tatars started moving and were heading towards greater Syria, that they would be defeated and the Muslims would be victorious, and he swore more than seventy oaths to that effect. It was said to him: Say In sha Allah (if Allah wills). So he said In sha Allah, but it was in affirmation and certainty, not with any sense of doubt or hesitation. And I (Ibn al-Qayyim) heard him say that.
And his intuition concerning the details of these two battles was very great indeed.
When he was summoned to Egypt, there were plans afoot to kill him – after a great deal of scheming to get rid of him, and many people were against him. His companions gathered to bid him farewell and they said: We have received many letters confirming that the people (in Egypt) are intending to kill you. He said: By Allah, it will never go that far. They said: Will you be imprisoned? He said: Yes, and it will be for a long time, then I will come out and I will speak up for the Sunnah, addressing large crowds of people. I heard him say that.
When his enemy who was known as al-Jaashinkeer came to power, they told him about that and said: Now he has the power to do whatever he wants with you. And he prostrated to Allah in gratitude, and remained in prostration for a long time. It was said to him: Why did you do this prostration? He said: This is the beginning of his humiliation and the end of his power has begun from now; the demise of his authority is at hand. It was said: When will that be? He said: The troops’ horses will not be bridled before his authority will vanish. And it turned out as he said. I heard him say that.
On one occasion he said: My companions and others enter upon me and I see in their faces and in their eyes things that I do not mention to them. I – or someone else – said to him: Why don’t you tell them? He said: Do you want me to be like a spy for the authorities?
One day I said to him: If you told us about that, it would help us to adhere to the straight path and righteousness. He said: You would not be able to put up with me for one week – or he said, one month.
On more than one occasion he told me about private, personal matters that I had decided to do but I had not spoken of them. And he told me about some major events that would happen in the future but he did not state a specific time; I have seen some of them and I am waiting for the rest.
What his senior companions saw of that is many more times what I have seen
End quote from Madaarij as-Saalikeen, 2/458-459
Better than this is what was narrated from him by Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) in his book al-Waabil as-Sayyib (p. 67) in which he said:
Allah knows, I have never seen anyone more happy and content than him despite the hardship he was living through and the type of life that is the opposite of luxury and pleasure, and despite what he went through of imprisonment, threats and exhaustion. Despite all that he was one of the most content and happiest of people, one of the strongest in spirit and most joyful; you could see in his face the glow of serenity. I remember when we were very fearful and were feeling pessimistic and distressed; we would come to him and no sooner did we see him or hear his words but all of those negative feelings would disappear and turn into peace of mind, strength, certainty and reassurance. Glory be to the One Who caused His slaves to experience the joy of His Paradise before meeting Him and opened its gates to them in the realm of striving (i.e. this world) so that some of its comforting breezes and fragrance could reach them and motivate them to seek it and compete for it. End quote.
With regard to karaamaat (miracles) of the righteous among this ummah, such as the scholars, devoted worshippers and ascetics, there are many such stories. We will quote a few examples of such incidents that were narrated by the scholars in their books. However we should point out that many of the stories that have been narrated in this regard may not be sound, so it is essential to verify reports of this nature before taking them seriously or quoting them.
It was narrated that Qays ibn Abi Haazim said: I saw Khaalid ibn al-Waleed (may Allah be pleased with him) in Heerah. Some poison was brought to him and he said: What is this? They said: Poison that kills in a very short time. He said: Bismillah (in the name of Allah), then he swallowed it and nothing bad happened to him.
Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 6/498; al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah, 6/382
It was narrated that Thaabit al-Bunaani said: I was with Anas when his steward came to him and said: O Abu Hamzah, our land is very dry. Anas got up and did wudoo’, then he went out to the desert and prayed two rak‘ahs, then he offered supplication (du‘aa’). And I saw the clouds gathering, then it rained until everything was full. When the rain stopped, Anas sent one of his family members to look and said: See how far the rain reached. So he looked and it had not reached beyond his land except a short distance.
End quote from Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 7/11; al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah, 9/107
It was narrated that Ja‘far ibn Zayd al-‘Abdi said: We went out on campaign to Kabul and among the army was Silah ibn Ashyam. When we got close to the land of the enemy, the commander said: No one among the troops should wander off away from the army. A mule of Silah’s strayed, carrying its load, and he started to pray. It was said: The people (i.e. the army) have started moving on. He said: It is only two brief rak‘ahs. Then he offered supplication (du‘aa’) and said: O Allah, I urge You to return my mule and its load to me. Then it came and stood in front of him.
End quote from Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 7/142
It was narrated that Naafi‘ ibn Abi Nu‘aym said: When Abu Ja‘far Yazeed ibn al-Qa‘qaa‘ al-Qaari’ was washed (ghusl) after he died, they looked at the area between his throat and chest and saw that it looked like a page of the Mushaf. He said: None of those who were present doubted that it was the light of the Qur’aan.
End quote from Tahdheeb al-Kamaal, 33/201
It was narrated from Muhammad ibn Ziyaad al-Alhaani, from Abu Muslim al-Khawlaani, that a woman turned his wife against him, so he prayed against her and she lost her sight. Then she came to him and said: O Abu Muslim, I did such and such, but I shall not do it again. He said: O Allah, if she is telling the truth then restore her sight to her. And she regained her sight.
End quote from Hilyat al-Awliya’, 5/121
It was narrated that Bilaal ibn Ka‘b al-‘Akki said: Some boys said to Abu Muslim al-Khawlaani when a gazelle passed by: Pray to Allah to detain this gazelle for us. He prayed to Allah (du‘aa’) and He detained it until they caught it with their hands.
End quote from Tareekh Dimashq, 27/215
It was narrated that Shaqeeq said: I was in some farmland of mine when a cloud came, and I heard from it a voice saying: Rain on the land of So and so. So I went to the man and said: What do you do with your crops? He said: I plant one third (i.e., save the seeds for planting), I eat one third and I give one third in charity.
End quote from Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 7/94
It was narrated from Abu’l-‘Alaa’ ibn ‘Abdillah ibn ash-Shakhkheer that ‘Aamir ibn ‘Abd Qays used to take his stipend and carry it in the hem of his rida’ (upper garment), and he would not meet any of the poor who asked him for something but he would give him something. Then when he entered upon his family, he gave it to them and they counted it, and it was the same as what he had been given (i.e., it had not decreased at all).
End quote from Tareekh Dumashq, 26/29; al-Isaabah, 5/77
It was narrated that Yoonus said: When Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdillah entered his house, the vessels in his house would glorify Allah.
End quote from Tareekh Dimashq, 58/323; Hilyat al-Awliya’, 2/206
It was narrated that Qataadah said: Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdillah and a companion of his were walking on a dark night, and at the end of the whip of one of them there was a light. He said to his companion: If we tell people about this they will say that we are lying. Mutarrif said: The one who says we are lying is more of a liar.
End quote from Hilyat al-Awliya’, 2/205; Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’, 4/193
It was narrated that al-Jurayri said: ‘Abdullah ibn Shaqeeq was a man whose du‘aa’s were answered. Clouds would pass by him and he would say: O Allah, do not let them go beyond such and such a place before it rains, and they would not go beyond that place before it rained.
End quote from Tareekh Dimashq, 29/161
It was narrated that al-Haarith ibn an-Nu‘maan said: Ibraaheem ibn Adham used to pick fresh dates from oak trees.
End quote from Tareekh Dimashq, 6/326; Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’, 7/393
It was narrated that Yahya ibn Katheer al-Basri said: Kahmas ibn al-Hasan bought some flour for one dirham and ate some of it, then after a long time he weighed it and found that it was the same weight as when he bought it.
End quote from Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’, 6/317
There are many such stories in the books of the scholars that deal with biographies and stories of the salaf (early generations), such as az-Zuhd by Imam Ahmad, Hilyat al-Awliya’ by Abu Na‘eem al-Asbahaani, Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’ by adh-Dhahabi, al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah by Ibn Katheer, and many others. But some of these stories are not saheeh and some are exaggerated, especially the stories told by the Sufis in their books about their shaykhs. Hence at-Tahhaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
We believe in what is narrated of their karaamaat that is proven to be narrated from trustworthy narrators.
Shaykh al-Albaani said in his commentary on at-Tahhaawiyyah:
The author did well to limit it to the reports that are proven to be sound, because the people, especially among later generations of Muslims, narrated very many stories of karaamaat, to such an extent that they narrated many false stories under that heading which no one who has the slightest reason or common sense would doubt are false. In fact in some cases they contain major shirk, associating others with the Lordship of Allah (ruboobiyyah).
End quote from Takhreej al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahhaawiyyah, p. 84
We hope that you will read a very important book on this topic which is entitled al-Furqaan bayna Awliya’ ar-Rahmaan wa Awliya’ ash-Shaytaan by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him).
For more information please see the answer to question no. 125276
And Allah knows best.