It is not a condition for an ally of Allah that he be free of (protected from) mistakes and errors. Just the opposite, it is quite possible that some knowledge of the Shari’a may be hidden from him, just as it is possible for him to become confused about some issues in Islam such that he imagines certain things to be part of what Allah has ordered us to do or part of what He has forbidden, when it is in fact not so. It is also possible for him to believe that some miraculous occurrences are the karamaat which Allah grants to His allies when in fact they are from shaitaan, but their true nature has been disguised to him because of some decrease in his rank, such that he fails to recognize them as being from shaitaan. Nonetheless, he may not necessarily, because of this, leave the ranks of the allies (awliyaa’) of Allah, since Allah has overlooked and forgiven for this Ummah error, acts of forgetting, and things done under compulsion. Allah said:

“The Prophet () has believed in that which was sent to him from his Lord as have the believers. All of them believe in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. We do not differentiate between any one of His messengers, and they say: “We hear, and we obey. Your forgiveness, our Lord, to You is the end of all things. * Allah does not burden any soul except with that which is within his ability. To it is (the good of) what it earned, and upon it is (the bad of) what it earned.

Our Lord, do not hold us responsible if we forget, or make a mistake. Our Lord, and do not put on us burdens as were placed on those who came before us. Our Lord, and do not put on us that over which we have no power. And overlook for us (our sins), and forgive us, and have mercy on us, You are our Guardian and Protector, so give us victory over the people who reject faith.” Qur’an 2:285-286

It has been narrated in sahih hadith that Allah has answered this prayer saying, “I have done so.” In the collection of Muslim on the authority of Ibn Abbas:

When this verse was sent down: “If you reveal that which is within your selves, or hide it, Allah will take you to account for it. He forgives whomever He wishes, and punishes whomever He wishes, and Allah is entirely capable of all things.” 2:284, something entered the hearts of the companions which was more severe than anything they had experienced previous to it. Then, the Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said to them: Say we hear and we obey, and we have surrendered. At that point, Allah put faith into their hearts.

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Then, Allah sent down the words: “Allah does not emburden any soul except with that which is within its ability. To it is (the good of) what it earned, and upon it is (the bad of) what it earned. Our Lord, do not hold us responsible if we forget, or make a mistake.” And Allah said: I have done so. “Our Lord, and do not put on us burdens as were placed on those who came before us.” Allah said: I have done so. “Our Lord, and do not put on us that over which we have no power. And overlook for us (our sins), and forgive us, and have mercy on us, You are our Guardian and Protector, so give us victory over the people who reject faith.” Allah said: I have done so.

Allah said about this in another verse:

“There is no burden upon you for that in which you were mistaken, rather for that which you have done with the full determination of your hearts.” Qur’an 33:5

In Muslim and Bukhari, Abu Huraira and Amr ibn Al-‘aas both narrate that the Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

“When a ruler exerts himself to arrive at the correct ruling, and is correct, he gets two rewards and when he exerts himself but is mistaken, he gets one reward.”

Note that no sin was ascribed to the one who makes jurisprudential effort (ijtihaad) and makes a mistake, rather his is a reward for his efforts, and his mistake is forgiven. On the other hand, the one who makes such an effort and arrives at the correct ruling is deserving of two rewards, and is thus the better of the two. Since it is possible for any ally of Allah to make a mistake, it can never be obligatory upon the people to believe in everything any one of them says, except in the case of one of them who is a prophet. Moreover, it is not allowed for any ally of Allah to place his trust in the inspirations which come into his heart unless it is in complete accordance with the Shari’a.

Nor may he place his trust in anything which he feels to be intuition, inspiration, signs, or being addressed with the truth, rather, it is obligatory upon him to measure all of that up to the criterion of that which the Prophet Muhammad () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) brought. If it is in agreement therewith he can accept it, but if it is in disagreement, he must reject it, and if he cannot be sure whether it is in accordance with the Prophet’s message or at variance with it, he must refrain from believing it or applying it.

People, with regard to this issue go in three directions: two extremes and a middle path. Some of them, when they believe that a person is an ally of Allah (some say: “saint”), accept and agree with him in all that which this ally believes to be his heart addressing him from his Lord. They accept whatever this person does. Others, when they see any such person do anything or say anything which is not in accordance with the Shari’a, reject any possibility of this person being an ally of Allah, even though he may have exerted his honest effort to know the truth and simply been mistaken.

The best of affairs is the middle way. And that, here, is that a Muslim does not believe that anyone is protected against ever making a mistake, and does not believe that someone who exerts their honest effort and is mistaken is a sinner. Thus, no one is followed in everything they say (except the Prophet), and no one is to be judged a disbeliever or corrupt if he has made an honest effort to know the true ruling of the law.

All that is upon the people is to follow that with which Allah sent His Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). As for one who disagreed with the opinions of some of the scholars of fiqh, and agreed with others, no one has any right to insist on their following the other opinion nor to say about them: They are going against the Shari’a.

The Prophet () said (Muslim and Bukhari):

“In the previous nations there were individuals who were addressed (with the truth). If there are such people in my nation, Umar is one of them.”

And, in two other hadith found in At-Tirmidhi which are hassan (good) in strength of the chain of narration, the Prophet () said:

“If there was to be a Prophet after me, it would be Umar.”

“Verily Allah has put the truth on the tongue of Umar and in his heart.” Ali ibn Abi Talib used to say:

“We used not to view as completely improbable that As-sakeena might speak on the tongue of Umar.”

This has been authenticated as the statement of Ali via the narration of Ashsha’bi. Ibn Umar (i.e. Abdallah the son of Umar) used to say:

“Whenever my father would say about something: I believe it is so and so, it would turn out to be just as he said.”

Qais ibn Taariq said:

“We used to say that an angel spoke on the tongue of Umar.” Umar himself used to say:

“Come close to the mouths of those obedient to Allah, and listen to that which they say for, verily, truthful things appear to them.”

These “truthful things” which Umar has informed us appear to those obedient to Allah are things which Allah shows to them. Thus, it is established that the allies of Allah may receive inspirations or intuitions. The best of these in the entire Muslim nation after Abu Bakr is Umar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with them. The best of this nation after its Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) is Abu Bakr and then Umar.

As we have mentioned previously, it has been established in the sahih hadith, that Umar is a muhaddath (i.e. one addressed) of this nation. For any other muhaddath, or receiver of inspirations and intuitions which we assume to exist in this nation, Umar is better than him. And yet, Umar always did that which was obligatory upon him: to measure anything that occurred to him against that with which the Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was sent. Sometimes they would be in agreement, and this would be evidence of the high rank of Umar and his piety. In this way, the Qur’an was revealed ratifying the opinion of Umar which he had expressed before it revelation on several occasions. Other times, what occurred to Umar would be at variance with the message of Muhammad () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), and Umar would retract his original position as soon as he realized this, as in his retracting his opinion at the treaty of Hudaibiya when at first he was determined that the Muslims should engage the Associationists in battle. This was after a consultation between Umar and the Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). This hadith is well known, and is found in the collection of Bukhari and others.

The Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) set out to make ‘umrah (minor pilgrimage) in the sixth year of the migration along with fourteen hundred Muslims. These were are the Muslims who took the oath under the tree. The Prophet had made a treaty with the associationists, after discussions with them, in which it was stipulated that he should turn back to Madinah in that year and come for ‘Umrah in the following year. There were various other conditions which seemed to be unfair to the Muslims. This was extremely difficult for many of the Muslims, and Allah and His Prophet () knew best the great benefits in that treaty. Umar was one of those who strongly disliked this treaty such that he said to the Prophet: “O, messenger of Allah (), are we not on the way of truth, and our enemy is in falsehood?” The Prophet () answered: “Of course.” Then, Umar said: “Are not our dead in paradise, and their dead are in the fire?” The Prophet () said: “Of course.” Umar said: “So why, then, do we give in to humiliation in our Din?” The Prophet said to him: “I am the Messenger of Allah (), and He is my helper, and I am not disobeying Him.” Umar went on to say: “Didn’t you used to inform us that we would come to the Ka’aba and circle around it?” The Prophet said: “Yes, but did I say that you would come to it this year?” Umar said no, and then the Prophet () said: “Verily, you will come to it, and circle around it.”

Thereupon, Umar went to Abu Bakr and said to him the same things that he had said to  the Prophet (). Abu Bakr answered him with the same answers which the Prophet () had given Umar, though he had not heard of the conversation between them. Abu Bakr was therefore superior in his harmony with Allah and His Prophet than Umar. Umar subsequently retracted his position and said about this incident: “For that incident I did many works” (i.e. seeking the forgiveness of Allah.)

In a similar fashion, when the Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) died, Umar denied his death at first. Then, when Abu Bakr told him that he had indeed died, he retracted his first statement.

Also in the battles against those who withheld their zakat, during the caliphate of Abu Bakr. Umar said to him:

“How can you fight the people when the Prophet () said: “I have been ordered  to fight the people until they testify that their is no deity other than Allah and that I am the messenger of Allah (). When they do that, their lives and their property are protected except for the rights of Islam.” Abu Bakr said to him: “By Allah, if they were to withhold a single binding rope which they used to pay to the Prophet, I would fight them for their refusal to pay.” Umar said: “By Allah it was nothing other than that I saw that Allah had inspired in his heart fighting them, and I knew that it was the truth.”

This and other examples like them show the higher rank of Abu Bakr over Umar, even though, as we have seen, Umar was muhaddath, one who is addressed with the truth. This is because Abu Bakr was As-Siddique (i.e. ever-truthful, ever-believing), and one who is siddique takes from the Prophet (), the protected from falling into error everything which he says and does. On the other hand, one who is muhaddath takes things from his own heart or intuitions, and these are not protected from falling into error, and so he needs always to measure them against that which has been brought by the Prophet (), the protected from falling into error.

Thus, Umar used to consult with the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and to discuss with them, seeking their counsel in various affairs. Furthermore, they used to disagree with him on some things, and so they would present their arguments from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and Umar would present his arguments from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Umar accepted from them this disagreement and discussion, and never said to them: “I am muhaddath, I receive inspirations and visions, and so you should accept that which I say and not oppose me therein.” So anyone who claims that he is an ally of Allah, or his companions claim for him, that he is “enlightened”, or receives inspirations such that it is obligatory to follow him and accept from him all that he says, and not to oppose or question him and to defer to his opinion without regard for the texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah; such people he, and they are in gross error, and these are the people who are farthest astray. Umar ibn Al-Khattab was better than any such people, and he was the Prince of the Believers and the khaleefa, and yet the Muslims used to disagree with him and measure anything that he said or that any of them said against the standards of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The early scholars of Islam have unanimously agreed that the opinions of any man can be accepted and can be rejected (i.e. are open to question) except for the statements of the Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).

This is one of the differences between the prophets and others: It is obligatory to have complete faith in all that they are informed of by Allah – peace and prayers of Allah upon them. Further, it is obligatory to obey them in all that they order. This is not the case with the allies of Allah (who are not prophets): it is not required to obey them in all that they order, nor is it required to believe in all that of which they inform. Rather everything which comes from them, both orders (legal rulings) and information (about the unseen, about Allah and His characteristics, etc.) is measured against the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Then, it is obligatory to accept whatever of that which is in accordance with the Qur’an and the Sunnah, just as whatever of that is not in accordance with them is completely rejected, even if its author is among the greatest allies of Allah, and even if he had exerted his honest efforts to know the truth who, as we have seen is deserving of one reward for his efforts, and his mistake is overlooked. If he went against the Qur’an and the Sunnah by way of an honest mistake, his mistake entails no sin as long as he as been pious toward Allah (had taqwa) to the extent of his or her ability, as Allah said:

“Have taqwa of Allah to the extent of your ability.” Qur’an 64:16 This aya came by way of explanation of Allah’s statement:

“O, you who believe, have taqwa of Allah as is befitting of Him.” Qur’an 3:102 Ibn Masood and others said about the phrase: “as is befitting of Him”:

i.e. to obey Him and not to disobey, to remember Him and not forget, and to thank Him and not show Him ingratitude. This is to the extent of ones ability, for Allah does not require of anyone except that which is within his ability, as Allah said: “Allah does not emburden any soul except with that which is within his ability. For it is (the good of) what  it earned, and upon it is (the bad of) what it earned.” And, Allah said: “And those who believe and do good works – we do not emburden anyone except with what is within their ability – these are the people of paradise who will be therein forever.” Qur’an 7:42 And, He said: “And give full measure in volumes and weights, we emburden no one except with that which is within their ability.” Qur’an 8:152

Allah has mentioned the belief in that which the prophets have brought in many places in the Qur’an:

“Say: we believe in Allah and in that which has been sent down to us and in that which was sent down to Ibrahim and Isma’il and Is-haq and Ya’qub and the tribes, and that which was given to Musa and ‘Isa, and that given to the prophets from their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them, and  to Allah we submit.” Qur’an 2:136

“A.L.M. * This is the book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who are pious. * Those who believe in the unseen, establish the prayer, and spend out of what we have provided for them. * Those who believe in that which was sent down to you and that which was sent down to those before you, and have certainty of faith in the existence of the hereafter. * Such are on true guidance from their Lord, and such are the successful.” Qur’an 2:1-5

“Righteousness is not the turning of your faces to the East or the West. Righteousness is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allah and in the last day, the angels, the revealed books, and the prophets. And they give of their property – in spite of their love for it – relatives, orphans, the poor, stranded travellers, those who ask, and for the freeing of slaves. They establish the prayer and pay the zakat. They are keepers of any promises they make, and are patient and steadfast in poverty, in illness, and in the thick of battle. These are the ones who have been truthful, and these are the ones possessing taqwa.” Qur’an 2:177

The point we are making here is an issue of complete consensus of the allies of Allah ta’ala: It is obligatory upon the allies of Allah to hold tightly to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and no one of them is ma’soom i.e. protected against falling into error, such that it is permissible to him or to his followers to follow that which comes into his heart without subjecting it to the test of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Whoever does not accept this is in no way shape or form among the allies of Allah whom Allah has ordered us to emulate. Such a person is either a kafir (disbeliever) or is engaged in extreme and excessive foolishness and ignorance.

This point is frequently found in the words of the early scholars of Islam:

Abi Sulaiman Ad-Daaraani (2-3rd century) said: Something comes to my heart as does come to people, but I do not accept it except with two witnesses: The Qur’an and the Sunnah.”

Abu Qaasim Al-Junaid (3rd century) said: “The knowledge of ours is defined by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Whoever has not studied the Qur’an and written the hadith is not qualified to speak about this knowledge of ours” In another version, he said: “… should not be taken as an example.”

Abu Uthman An-Neesaaboori said: “Whoever gives full authority to the Sunnah over himself in word and deed speaks with wisdom, and whoever gives his own inclinations and understanding full authority over himself in word and deed speaks innovation (bid’a), since Allah has said in His ancient discourse: “And if you obey Him (i.e. Allah), you will attain guidance.””

Abu Umar ibn Majeed said: “Every intuition (wujd) for which the Qur’an and the Sunnah do not bear witness is complete falsehood.”

Many people fall into error in this question. Once they believe that a certain person is an ally of Allah, they believe that everything an ally of Allah days is accepted, and he is above reproach or criticism in everything he says and does, even though some of that may go against the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Thus, they agree with that person, but go against that with which Allah sent His Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) even though Allah has made it obligatory upon the entire creation to believe in all of the information which he imparted, and to obey him in all orders which he transmitted. Allah made him the criterion between His allies and His enemies, between the people of paradise and the people of the fire, and between those content with Allah’s decree and the rebellious. Thus, whoever follows him is one of the allies of Allah and a possessor of taqwa (a concept including piety, faith, and righteous practice and action), and is one of the forces who will be successful, and is one or His righteous servants. On the other hand, whoever does not follow the Prophet is one of the enemies of Allah those in loss, the criminals. His opposition and disobedience of the Prophet will push him first of all into innovations (bid’a) and incorrect practice and, in the long run into disbelief (kufr) and hypocrisy (nifaaq). Then he will get his share of Allah’s statement:

“On the day when the oppressor (i.e. of himself through disobedience to Allah, or to others likewise) bites his hands and says: Woe to me! If only I had taken a way along with the Prophet. If only I had not taken so-and-so as a bosom friend! He has led me astray from the reminder after it had come to me. Verily, shaitaan to man is ever deceptive and treacherous.” Qur’an 25:27-29

“On the day when their faces will be turned over in the fire and they will say: Woe to us, if only we had obeyed the Prophet ()! And they will say: Our Lord,  we have obeyed our leaders and our big people who led us astray from the path. Our Lord, give them a double punishment, and curse them with a mighty curse.” Qur’an 33:66-68

“And among the people are those who make others as equals to Allah. They love them as the love of Allah, but those who believe are more intense in their love of Allah. If only they could see themselves when they they see the punishment before them and (they will finally realize that) all power belongs to Allah, and Allah is severe in punishment. On the day when those who used to be followed will declare their innocence of those who used to follow them, and all of them will see the punishment in front of them, and all causes (which they used to assume) will be cut off. And those who used to follow will say, if we only had another chance, it would be us declaring our innocence of them as they now declare their innocence of us. In this way, Allah shows them their actions as nothing but regrets and remorse, and they will not come out of the fire.” Qur’an 2:165-167

These people are similar to the Christians who Allah mentioned in another verse saying:

“They take their priests and monks as lords other than Allah as they did with the Messiah, the son of Maryam, though they have been ordered only to worship one god, there is no deity other than Him. He is exalted over that which they take as His partners.” Qur’an 9:31

In a good (hassan) hadith found in the collections of Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi Adiy ibn Haatim narrates about the interpretation of the above verse:

When I asked the Prophet () about it, I said: “They do not worship them.” The Prophet () said: “The make the unlawful lawful, and they make the lawful unlawful, and they obeyed them in that. This is their worship of them.”

This is why it is said about such people: They denied themselves the reaching of the goal by losing the basic principles. The most basic principle is the establishing of the belief in  the message brought by the Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). This must include the belief that the message of Muhammad () is for the entire creation: people and jinns, Arabs and non-Arabs, scholars and worshippers, and rulers and common citizens, and that there is no route to Allah for anyone of His creation except through the following of the Prophet () in secret and in public. Even if Musa or ‘Isa or any other prophet was to meet the Prophet Muhammad () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) it would be obligatory upon him to follow him, as Allah said:

“And when Allah took the covenant from the prophets: That which I have given you of the Book and the Wisdom and then, when a messenger comes to you re-affirming that which is with you, you shall believe in him and support and aid him; Allah said: Do you accept the responsibility it entails? They said: “We accept.” Allah said: “Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses.” So whoever turns away after than are surely among the transgressors.” Qur’an 3:81-82

Ibn Abbas said: Allah has never sent any prophet but that He took from him this covenant: If Muhammad () is sent while you are alive, you will believe in him and will aid and support him, and He ordered him to take from his followers also this same covenant: If Muhammad is sent while you are still alive, you will believe in him and support him. Allah said:

“Did you not see those who imagine that they have believed in that which has been sent to you and that which was sent down before you, they wish to seek rulings from Taaghoot (a word meaning shaitaan or his followers and agents among men), though they have been ordered to reject him. Shaitaan wishes to lead them very far astray indeed. * And when it is said to them come to that which Allah has sent down and to His Prophet, you can see the hypocrites turning away from you with determination. * How is it then, when they are seized by some calamity because of that which their own hands have sent forth, and then they come to you swearing by Allah – all we wanted was to do good and to bring people together? * These are those whom Allah knows all that is in their hearts, so turn away from them, warn them, and speak to them about themselves in the clearest of terms. * And we have never sent any prophet except that he should be obeyed with the permission of Allah. If only – when they had oppressed themselves – they had come to you and sought the forgiveness of Allah, such that the Prophet sought also for them forgiveness, they would have found Allah to be ever-forgiving,  merciful.

* No, (I swear) by your Lord, they have not believed until the seek out your ruling in all that about which they disagree or find difficult to understand and then find no difficult within themselves with your decision, and submit fully to it. Qur’an 4:60-65

All those who go against anything brought by the Prophet () following therein someone who they feel to be an ally of Allah has based his judgement on the person being truly an ally of Allah and the inadmissability of differing with the allies of Allah in anything whatsoever. If this person who is being followed was one of the greatest allies of Allah, such as the greatest companions of the Prophet () and those who came after them in their footsteps, nothing would be accepted from them which was in conflict with the Qur’an and the Sunnah. So, what about those of lesser degree? You will find many of these people have as their main argument and defense their belief that the one they follow is an ally of Allah, and that certain miraculous things have been performed by him along with certain information about the unseen, for example, he may have pointed at a person who then died, or he may have flown through the air to Makka or elsewhere, or he may have walked on water. He may fill water tanks from nothing, or disappear from people’s eyes sometimes, or it may be that some people sought his aid when he was absent or dead, and then saw him appear to them and take care of their problem, or he may inform people of the whereabouts of their stolen property, or of the conditions of someone of theirs abroad or sick, or many other such things. None of these things or others like them necessarily indicate that their author is an ally of Allah. Rather, all true allies of Allah have unanimously agreed that even if someone were to fly through the air or walk on water, this should be no source of amazement let alone of giving credence to what he says until one first looks to his following of the Prophet and his acting in accordance with his orders and forbiddances.

The karaamaat of (miraculous occurrences granted to) the allies of Allah are greater than all of these things. These miraculous things, though they may originate from an ally of Allah, they may also originate from an enemy of Allah. Such miraculous are performed by many of the disbelievers, associationists, Christians, jews, and hypocrites. They may also be performed by the people of deviant innovation (ahl-ul-bid’a), and in all of these cases, they are from the devils (shayateen). Thus, it is not allowed to believe that everyone who brings about some of these miraculous events is an ally of Allah. They can only be considered allies of Allah according to the the characteristics, actions and conditions which have been attributed to the allies of Allah in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. They may be known by the light of faith and the Qur’an, the internal reality of faith, and the external laws of Islam.

By way of example, the above miraculous occurrences may be found performed by people who do not perform wudhuu’ (ablutions), and do not perform the required prayers – rather, they are always in contact with filth (najaasa), they live with dogs, and seek out bathrooms, garbage dumps, graveyards, and cattle stalls. They have a foul smell, and do not purify themselves according to the purification prescribed by Islam. The Prophet () said:

“The angels will not enter a house in which there is a junub (one who has not cleansed him/herself after sexual relations) or a dog.”

and he said about the unclean places mentioned:

“Verily these places are attended.”

i.e. they are attended by the devils. And, the Prophet () said:

“Whoever eats from these two foul plants (i.e. onions and garlic) let him not come near our masjid. Verily, the angels are annoyed by that which annoys the sons of Adam.”

“Verily, Allah is tayyib (good, clean, pure) and He loves that which is tayyib.” “Allah is clean and He loves cleanliness.”

“Five of the harmful animals may be killed in the forbidden zones or elsewhere: snakes, rats, crows, kites, and rabid dogs.” In another version: “Snakes, scorpions,…”

The prophet also ordered Muslims to kill dogs (this was later rescinded, and only the killing of rabid dogs remained allowed), and said:

“Whoever keeps a dog of which he is not in need neither for agriculture nor protection loses one unit of his good actions each day.”

“The angels to not accompany a group with whom there is a dog.”

“When a dog licks the dish of one of you, he must wash it seven times, the first of which is with dirt.”

Allah said:

“My mercy is sufficient for all things, I will assign it to those who have taqwa, pay the zakat, and believe in our verses. Those who follow the Messenger (),  the illiterate Prophet whom they find written down in their books – in the taurah (Pentatuech) and the Injeel (Gospels). He orders them with what is good and forbids them what is bad, allows to them all clean things, and prohibits them all unclean things. And he relieves them of the burdens and the shackles which had been upon them. So those who believed in him, gave him his due respect, supported him and followed the light which was sent with him, these are the successful ones.”

So, if a person is in contact with filthy and disgusting things which are loved by shaitaan, or hangs out in bathrooms and vacant lots which are frequented by the devils or eats snakes and scorpions and hornets, dogs ears which are one of the unclean animals, or drinks urine or other such filth which are loved by shaitaan. Or if he calls to other than Allah and seeks aid from created beings, and turns his face toward them or prostrates in the direction of his “Shaikh”, and does not purify his deen purely for the Lord of the worlds. Or if he is in contact with dogs and fire, and hangs out in animal pens and dirty places, or graveyards, especially the graveyards of the disbelievers such as the Jews, Christians or other associationists. Or if he dislikes hearing the recitation of the Qur’an, and is repelled by it and seeks out the hearing of poetry and songs, preferring the sound of the pipes of shaitaan (music) to the sound of the words of the Merciful. These are the signs of the allies of the devil, not the allies of the Merciful (Ar-Rahmaan).

Ibn Masood said:

“None of you needs to ask about himself except for the Qur’an: If he loves  the Qur’an, he loves Allah, and if he detests the Qur’an, he detests Allah and His Prophet () (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam).”

Uthman ibn ‘Afaan said:

“If our hearts were really clean, we would never become satiated with the words of Allah.”

Ibn Masood said:

“Remembrance of Allah causes faith to grow in the heart like water causes onions to grow, and songs cause hypocrisy to grow in the heart just as water causes onions to grow.”

If a person is expert in the inner realities of faith, and able to distinguish between divine phenomena and satanic phenomena, this is because Allah has put light into his heart, as Allah said:

“O, you who believe, have taqwa of Allah and believe in His Prophet, that He may give you two portions of His mercy, and make for you a light with which you can move about, and forgive you.” Qur’an 50:28

“And thus, we revealed to you a spirit from us. You had no idea what the Book was nor faith, but we made it a light with which we guide whom we wish among our slaves.” Qur’an 50:52

This is about the believers about whom the Prophet spoke in a hadith narrated by Abu Saeed Al-Khudriy in the collection of At-Tirmidhi:

“Beware of the look of the believer, for verily, he sees with the light of Allah.” (hassan)

We have already cited the hadith found in Bukhari and others in which the Prophet () said:

“And then my slave continues to seek to come close to me through extra efforts until I love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his legs with which he walks. (In one version: So by Me he hears, by Me he sees, by Me he strikes, and by Me he walks). If he asks me, I will give him, and *if he seeks refuge in Me, I will give him refuge. I have never hesitated in anything as I have hesitated in taking the soul of my believing slave: he dislikes death, and I dislike annoying him, but there is no other possibility for him.”

If a slave of Allah is among these people, he will differentiate between states given to allies of Allah, and states of the allies of the devil, just as an money-changer differentiates between genuine coins and forgeries, or as an expert in horses tells a good horse from a bad one, or as one experienced in military matters tells a brave fighter from a coward.

Similarly, it is obligatory to differentiate between a truthful prophet and a lying imposter. Thus, we differentiate between Muhammad () the truthful, the trustworthy, the messenger of the Lord of the worlds, Musa, the Messiah and the other prophets and Musailama the liar (a lying claimer of prophethood in the time of the Prophet Muhammad ()), Al-Aswad Al-‘ansiy, Talha Al-Asady, Al-Harith Al-Dimashqy, Babah Ar-Rumi and all other liars and impostors. It is just as necessary to differentiate between the allies of Allah, the pious and the allies of the devil, the far astray.