Allah (swt) calls Sufi Shaikhs as His friends and praises them in Quran - أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ - الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ - لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ (Meaning - Behold the friends of Allah! On them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. These are they, who have believed in Allah and are mindful of Him (the feeling of closeness of Allah) and (have consequently abstained from everything evil). To them tidings come (from Allah) of a happy life both in this world and in Hereafter. The word of Allah is never revoked. This in itself is a great felicity) (Younus - 62-64).
Awliya Allah are chosen people. They inherit their knowledge, stations, and states from Prophets.
It is in Hadith - “Whoever takes a Wali of Mine an enemy, I will wage war on him; and My slave will not perform any act with which he draws closer to Me, more beloved to Me then when he fulfills what I have ordained on him; and My salve will keep drawing closer to Me by performing the Nawafil (voluntary acts of worship) until I love him, and when I love him, I will be his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his legs with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him; and if he seeks refuge with Me, I will grant him refuge” (Bukhari).
The emphasis on "Wali of mine" in the above Hadith shows that this human being is the chosen one.
There are certain big categories of Awliya Allah who are known as al-Aqtaab and al-Abdaal. The biggest among them is known as Ghouse.
Muslims consider Imam Abu Hanifa (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) as Imam-e-Azam. Similarly among Sufi Shaikhs, Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qaader Jeelani (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is known as Ghousul Azam.
Some Muslims do not know or understand about the above categorization of Awliya Allah. They are not aware of special beneficence of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) upon them. Some Muslim sects, particularly Salafis and their like minded groups, deny the above status of Awliya Allah and make fun of these titles. What can we say about these people except that they would like to remain ignorant from Quran and Sunnah. They do not realize that these titles were given to them by Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
It is in Hadith - Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrates in his Musnad (1:112).
The people of Syria were mentioned in front of Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) when he was in Iraq, and they said: "Curse them, O' Commander of the Believers." He replied: "No, I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) say: The "al-abdaal" (the big spiritual rank of Awliya Allah - translated in English as 'Substitutes') are in Syria and they are forty men, every time one of them dies, Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) substitutes another in his place. By means of them Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) brings down the rain, gives (Muslims) victory over their enemies, and averts punishment from the people of Syria."
Al-Haythami said: "The men (narrators) in this Hadith's chains are all those of the Sahih except for Sharih ibn 'Ubayd, and he is (indeed) trustworthy (Thiqa)."
Nawawi in his book Bustan al-'arifin (1985 ed. p. 31) has mentioned that Muhaddith Hammad ibn Salama ibn Dinar (d. 167) was considered to be one of the abdaal.
Sakhawi in his narrations of the abdaal in his Maqasid (p. 33 #8) has stated as follows:
QUOTE - What makes this Hadith (narrated by Hazrat Ali Ibne Abi Talib - رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ mentioned above) stronger and indicates its currency among the Imams is the statement of Imam, al-Shafi`i, concerning a certain person: "We considered him one of the abdaal".
Also, Bukhari's statement concerning another person: "They did not doubt that he was one of the abdaal."
And other than these two (among the highly acclaimed Imams), Qatada and Wahb also used to refer to certain people - stating that they were from the abdaal. UNQUOTE
The above Hadith confirms the titles of Awliya Allah, their status among Muslims and confirms that because of them Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) brings down the rain, gives Muslims victory over their enemies". This shows that Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) loves his Awliya Allah and because of them many things are given to people.
Ibn Taymiyyah has expressed doubts on this Hadith and said that these may be the words of Hazrat Ali (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).
Even if Ibn Taymiyyah considers these words to be of Hazrat Ali (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ); this Hadith must be accepted by all Salafis and their like minded people because, we all know that all Ahadith books also contain sayings of important As-haabe Rasulullah (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم اجمعین ). And Hadith Scholars and experts of the Science of Ahadith are united that anything "authentically conveyed from any of the Companions is also considered acceptable (on par with Ahadith)".
Let us see some more Ahadith in this context that are not disputed by any of the Muslim sects.
It is in Hadith - Tabarani said in his Mu'jam al-Awsat - that Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "The earth will never lack forty men (Abdaal) similar to the Friend of the Merciful (Prophet Ibrahim - علیھ السلا م) and through them people receive rain and are given help. None of them dies except Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) substitutes another in his place."
Commenting on the above Hadith, Qatada said: "We do not doubt that Al-Hasan al-Basri is one of them (abdaal)."
Ibn Hibban also narrates this Hadith in al-Tarikh through Abu Hurayra (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) as: "The earth will never lack forty men (abdaal) similar to Ibrahim (علیھ السلا م) the Friend of the Merciful, and through whom you are helped, receive your sustenance, and receive rain."
Imam Ahmad narrated another Hadith in his Musnad (5:322) through Ibn Ata: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "The Substitutes (Abdaal) in this Community are thirty like Ibrahim (علیھ السلا م) the Friend of the Merciful. Every time one of them dies, Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) substitutes another one in his place."
Tirmidhi cites the above Hadith in Nawadir al-Usul.
Imam Ahmad's student, Al-Khallal, has mentioned this Hadith in his book Karamat al-Awliya'.
It is in Hadith - Abu Dawud has mentioned the following Hadith through three different authentic chains in his book "Sunan" Chapter -"Book of the Mahdi" (English #4273), and Imam Ahmad has mentioned this Hadith in his Musnad (6:316), and Ibn Abi Shayba has mentioned this Hadith in his Musannaf.
Abu Ya'la, al-Hakim, and Bayhaqi narrated that Ummul Momineen, Umm Salama (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) related that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "Disagreement will occur at the death of a Caliph and a person from the people of Madina will come forth flying to Makka. Some of the people of Makka will come to him, bring him out against his will, and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqaam (of Khana-e-Ka'aba). An expeditionary force will then be sent against him from Syria but will be swallowed up in the desert between Makka and Madina; and when the people see that, the Substitutes (abdaal) of Syria and the best people of Iraq will come to him and swear allegiance (bay'a on his hands) to him between the rukn and the maqaam..." (of Khana-e-Kaaba).
This Hadith establishes 'Karamat-e-Awliya Allah", that they can travel flying long distances within seconds and can communicate with people located at far off places.
Who is the person (came flying from Madinah to Makka) the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is referring in the Hadith? Some Ulema have pointed out that this Hadith is related to Imam Mahdi (علیھ السلا م) (who will be the Ghouse of his time.The above Hadith confirms the following two things.
It is in Hadith - Imam Ahmad mentioned this Hadith in Kitab al-zuhd, also Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Abu Nu'aym, Bayhaqi, and Ibn 'Asakir narrated it - Wahb ibn Munabbih said: I saw the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in my sleep, so I said: "Ya Rasulallah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), where are the Substitutes (abdaal) of your Community?" So he gestured with his hand towards Syria. I said: "Ya Rasulallah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), aren't there any in Iraq?" He said: "Yes, Muhammad ibn Wasi`, Hassan ibn Abi Sinan, and Malik ibn Dinar, who walk among the people similarly to Abu Dharr in his time."
(a) Calling Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) as 'Ya Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)' even after his death is the tradition Sahabah. It is an important because the great Imams of Fiqh and Ahadith ( Imam Ahmad, Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Abu Nu'aym, Bayhaqi, Ibn Asakir, etc. ) have mentioned this in their books and all their books were written after the death of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
Calling Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) as 'Ya Rasulullah, Ya Habeeballah, Ya Mohammad, Ya Habeebana, Ya Mustafa (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) (after his death) is also confirmed by Tirmizi, Nasa'i, Ibn Huzeema, Hakim and Baihaqi.
The following supplication (Dua) is mentioned in the books of all these Hadith scholars. The Dua also confirms that we must supplicate (make Dua') by taking the Waseelah of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). As a matter of fact our Dua will not be accepted by Allah (swt) if we do not send Durood on Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) before and after the Dua and seek Allah's favor by the mediation (Waseelah) of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
Allahumma inni as'aluka wa atwajjahu elaika bi habeebikal Mustafa indaka ya habeebana ya mohammadi inna natawassalu bika ila rabbika fashfa'a lanaa indal maulal a'zeemi ya ni'amar rasoolut tahiru. Allahumma shaffi'ahu feena bijaahihi indaka". (Tirmidhi, Nasai, Tabrani, Ibn Huzeema, Hakim, Baihaqi, and Salafi Scholar Al-Bani)
(Meaning - O'Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) I implore, I beg to you with the mediation (waseelah) of your revered beloved (Prophet -صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) who is chosen by you. O' Beloved of the Al-mighty, O' Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) we implore to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) with your mediation (Waseelah). Kindly mediate (shafa'a) for us with the Exalted Almighty Allah. O' Sacred Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), O' Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی), kindly accept the intercession (Shafa'a) of our Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) for us in view of the "honor and grace (bi jaahihi indaka)" he has with you.
(b) Existence of great Awliya Allah in the world has been confirmed by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in this Hadith.
However, Awliya Allah and all their related issues remain hidden from general people. Those of us who have been bestowed with Islamic vision (kashf / unveiling) can recognize these Awliya Allah. The Hadith also indicates that an efficient hidden Administration of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is in operation which is known only to a select few of us.
Muslims should learn to respect Awliya Allah because they are not only favorites of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) but have been given special assignments in the world as is evident from the above Ahadith and Quranic verses.Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) also praises them in many Ahadith. The entire Muslim Ummah unitedly accept Sufi Shaikhs as Awliya Allah. All Muslim sects are also united (ijma) that real Sufi Shaikhs are pious Muslims.
The above irrefutable and conclusive facts confirm that Sufi Shaikhs are indeed on the right path of Islam. And as per Hadith (Tirmizi) of 73 Sects, they are the people who will insha-Allah get salvation and great rewards on the Day of Judgment.
Once Shaikh Mir Asedullah Quadri told to his close Murideen that all his three Shuyooks:
Hadhrat Shaikh Mohammad Abdulqadeer Siddiqui (رحمة لله علىـہ),
Hadhrat Shaikh Khaled Wajoodi (رحمة لله علىـہ), and
Hadhrat Shaikh Shujauddin Siddiqui (رحمة لله علىـہ)
were Aghwath of their time.
And his father Hadhrat Mir Momin Ali Quadri (رحمة لله علىـہ) was an Abdaal.
Even the Shuyooks of the Shaikhs of Shaikh Mir Asedullah Quadri:
Hadhrat Badshah Mohiuddin Wajoodi (رحمة لله علىـہ), the Shaikh of Hadhrat Khaled Wajoodi (رحمة لله علىـہ) was a Ghouse.
Also Hadhrat Khaja Mahbooballah Siddiqui (رحمة لله علىـہ), the Shaikh of Hadhrat Mohammad Abdulqadeer Siddiqui (رحمة لله علىـہ) was a Ghouse.
On this some Murideen asked about the status of Shaikh Mir Asedullah Quadri. Shaikh kept quite for a while and said: "some of you on whom when Aalam-e-Mithaal will be opened, they will know many facts. These things are not claimed by individual shaikhs openly. No one from my above Shuyooks claimed openly during their life time that they were Agwath. However, whoever is rewarded with spiritual vision knows about these details anyway. These details are disclosed to the deserving people from Allah (swt). Since these deserving people are trained under able Shuyooks, they know how to make use of the special knowledge awarded to them as a Sadaqah of Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)".
Shaikh further instructed his Murideen: "if some of you, when awarded with spiritual vision, make sure that you do not disclose in public or publicize in speeches what is being viewed by you, because some people cannot understand the importance and significance of Aalam-e-Mithaal. They will doubt your intentions, and some evil minded people may make jokes in view of their ignorance and make a mockery of it and reserve their place in Hell for their foul mouthness.However, it is Sunnah and the normal practice of Awliya Allah that they confide (disclose) these facts to their Shuyooks and to very close deserving members of their families/Mureeds. It is in Ahadith that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to tell his spiritual experiences to Ummul Momineen Khadeeja (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) and other close members."