Q: Among us are some members of a dervish order; one of them is a relative of ours. He is an illiterate man, not gifted by any agility or wit, but he drank a sip of water from the hands of the head of this order to be able to perform charlatan tricks and sorcery before the people. He can strike his stomach with every cutting weapon such as daggers, swords, pieces of wood, bullets, etc. He is neither a practicing Muslim, nor does he perform the obligatory acts of worship enjoined by Allah such as Salah (Prayer), Sawm (Fasting) and others.
Please clarify the opinion of Islam regarding this matter. What is the secret of his ability to strike himself in this manner? Please reply in writing, as this phenomenon takes place in our country and in other Arab and Muslim countries as well.
A: Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the Final Messenger, on the authority of Qur’anic texts and Ijma‘ (scholarly consensus), as Allah says (what means), Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allâh and the last (end) of the Prophets. (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33: 40). Hadiths were reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) by a significant number of trustworthy narrators to show that he is the Last of Prophets; and Muslims have unanimously agreed to this.
Awliya’ (supporters) are of two types: Awliya’ of Allah, and Awliya’ of Satan.
Allah (may He be praised and Exalted) has explained in His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him) that He has Awliya’ from among mankind, and that Satan also has his Awliya’.
Thus, Allah distinguishes between those who serve and support Him and those who serve and support Satan, saying (what means): No doubt! Verily, the Auliyâ’ of Allâh [i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allâh and fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism), and used to fear Allâh much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds). For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world (i.e. through a righteous dream seen by the person himself or shown to others), and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allâh. This is indeed the supreme success. (Surah Yunus, 10: 62-64).
Allah also states, Allâh is the Walî (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Auliyâ (supporters and helpers) are Tâghût [false deities and false leaders], they bring them out from light into darkness. Those are the dwellers of the Fire, and they will abide therein forever. (See V.2:81,82) (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 257). It is mentioned in the Sahih (authentic) Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari and others, from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he stated, Allah says: “Whoever antagonizes a Waliy (sing. of Awliya’) of Mine has challenged Me to fight – or I have declared war against him.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) informed that if anyone declares hostility to the Awliya’ of Allah, he thus declares hostility and a fighting challenge against Allah.
Allah also mentions the Awliya’ of Satan when He states: So when you want to recite the Qur’ân, seek refuge with Allâh from Shaitân (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one). Verily! He has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allâh). His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan), and those who join partners with Him (Allâh i.e. those who are Mushrikûn i.e. polytheists. See Verse 6:121). (Surah Al-Nahl, 16: 98-100). Allah also says: And whoever takes Shaitân (Satan) as a Walî (protector or helper) instead of Allâh, has surely suffered a manifest loss. (Surah Al-Nisa’, 4: 119).
Allah also says: Verily, We made the Shayâtin (devils) Auliyâ’ (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not. And when they commit a Fâhishah (evil deed, going round the Ka‘bah in naked state, and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse), they say: “We found our fathers doing it” until Allah’s saying: surely they took the Shayâtîn (devils) as Auliyâ’ (protectors and helpers) instead of Allâh, and think that they are guided. (Surah Al-A‘raf, 7: 27-30). Allah also says: And certainly, the Shayâtîn (devils) do inspire their friends (from mankind) to dispute with you, and if you obey them [by making Al-Maitah (a dead animal) legal by eating it], then you would indeed be Mushrikûn (polytheists); [because they (devils and their friends) made lawful to you to eat that which Allâh has made unlawful to eat and you obeyed them by considering it lawful to eat, and by doing so you worshipped them; and to worship others besides Allâh is polytheism]. (Surah Al-An‘am, 6: 121). Allah relates the statement of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him) who said: “O my father! Verily I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious (Allâh) should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitân (Satan) (in the Hell-fire).” [Tafsir Al-Qurtubî] (Surah Maryam, 19: 45). Allah also says: O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them until Allah’s saying: Verily, You, only You, are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Surah Al-Mumtahanah, 60: 1-5).
It is authentically reported in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) from ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘As (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say publicly, not in secret: Behold! The family of so-and-so (referring to one group among his relatives) are not of my Awliya’ (supporters). Verily, my Wali (Protector, Supporter, and Helper) is Allah and the righteous believers.
Thus, the difference between the Awliya’ of the All-Merciful and the Awliya’ of Satan is:
The Awliya’ of the All-Merciful are the Allah-fearing, pious believers, as Allah states: No doubt! Verily, the Auliyâ’ of Allâh [i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allâh and fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism), and used to fear Allâh much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds). (Surah Yunus, 10: 62-63); whereas the latter are those who show hostility towards Allah and do not obey His Law.
Indeed, the best Awliya’ of Allah are His Messengers; Allah has manifested miracles and performed Karamahs (wonders) through His Messengers. Allah may also bring about Karamahs at the hands of His Awliya’; whereas the astounding feats performed by the Awliya’ of Satan are diabolical practices. The Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “Linguistically speaking a Mu‘jizah (miracle) refers to anything extraordinary, as defined by the precedent Imams like Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and others who call it a sign, yet many of the latter Imams differentiate between them in terms of wording, attributing a Mu‘jizah (miracle) to a Prophet and a Karamah (wonder) to a Waliy. However, both of them signify something extraordinary.”
Given this, the person in question is of the Awliya’ of Satan, and his mentioned acts are satanic and deception wrought on people’s eyes. These acts are nothing real; they are illusions and deception wrought on people by the help of the devils.
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ – alifta.com
Member Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz