Miracles of People other than the Prophets


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Miracles of People other than the Prophets - The karaamaat of the awliyaa'

One of the basic principles of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah is to believe in the karaamaat (miracles) –

(The scholars of Tawheed describe a karaamah (pl. karaamaat) as being an extraordinary feat which is not accompanied by claims of Prophethood and does not serve as the forerunner to any such claim, which happens at the hands of one who is manifestly righteous and who is a follower of a Prophet whose law he is obliged to follow, accompanied by sound belief and righteous deeds, whether he is aware of that karaamah or not. Lawaami` al-Anwaar al-Bahiyah, 2/393).

- of the awliyaa' (close friends of Allah - saints) and the extraordinary feats that Allah causes to happen at their hands, such as the knowledge that they have which is beyond the grasp of ordinary folk, and various kinds of power and influence.

(Majmoo` al-Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam, 3/156).

Some sects of Muslims denied the karaamaat of the awliyaa'. One such group was the Mu`tazilah, who based their claim on the idea that if it were possible for people other than the Prophets to perform extraordinary feats, then people would confuse the Prophets with the awliyaa', and miracles would no longer be proof of the truth of a Prophet.

(Sharh al-Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyah, Pp. 563).

This view of theirs is to be rejected, because some of the karaamaat of the awliyaa' (saints) are spoken of in the Qur'an and in the saheell ahaadeeth (authentic hadiths); the reports reach the level of being mutawaatir and people have witnessed such events at all times and places.

The specious argument which they suggest can only apply to cases where a so-called wali (saint) performs a "miracle" and claims to be a prophet, but this does not happen. If he claims to be a prophet then he is no longer a wali but a pretender to prophethood and a liar.


Imam Ahmad denounced those who denied the karaamaat of the Prophets and did not believe in them, and he declared them to have gone astray.

(Lawaami` al-Anwaar al-Bahiyah, 2/393).


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The wisdom behind karaamaat being given to the awliyaa'

Allah bestows extraordinary things upon some of His slaves in order to honour them for their righteousness and their strength of faith. That may also serve to fulfil some of their needs, such as the need for food and drink and safety. He may also bestow that upon them in order to support His religion, to make His word prevail and confirm the truth and repulse falsehood.

(Many of the scholars of kalaam do not believe in miracles except in the case of the Prophets; they do not believe that anyone else could perform miracles. Shari) at-Tahaawiyah, Pp. 158).

For example, the Qur'aan tells us about the case of Maryam (Mary), who used to have winter fruits in the summer and summer fruits in the winter:

...Every time he [Zakariyya] entered Al-Mihraab [a praying place or private room] to [visit] her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: 'O' Maryam [Mary]! From where have you got this?' She said, 'This is from. Allah.' Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.

(Qur'aan 3: 37)

Another example is what happened to the people of the Cave, when Allah sealed their ears in the Cave for three hundred (solar) years, adding nine (for lunar years) (Qur'an 18: 25), and Allah preserved their bodies during that lengthy period of time, as He tells us in Soorah al-Kahf, the 18th chapter of the Qur'an.

And there are also examples which happened to the Companions of the Messenger of Allah :saw:.


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Lights in sticks

For example, Usayd ibn Hudayr and 'Abbaad ibn Bishr were speaking with the Prophet :saw: about some issue with which they were concerned, until part of the night had passed, on a very dark night. Then they left the Messenger of Allah to go home. Each of them had a stick in his hand, and the stick of one of them shone so that they could walk in its light. Then when their ways parted, the stick of the other also shone, so that each of them walked in the light of his own stick, until he reached his family. This is narrated by Bukhari.

(Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/197).


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Blessed food

Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (radhiyAllaahu anh) brought home three guests from among Ahl as-Suffah. The Messenger :saw: had enjoined upon the Muslims to offer hospitality to these people. Abu Bakr left them in his house so that his family could take care of them, and he went to the Messenger of Allah :saw:.

He came back late, and his wife said to him,

"What kept you from your guests?"

He said,

"Did you not give them dinner?"

She said,

"They refused to eat until you came."

He got angry and said,

"By Allah I will never eat this food!"

His wife swore that she would never eat that food, and the guests swore that they would never eat that food.

Then Abu Bakr said,

"This is from the Shaytaan (Satan)."

Then he called for food, and he ate and they ate, and they did not lift any morsel to their mouths but what was left in the dish was more than what had been taken.

He said to his wife,

"O' sister of Bani Firaas, what is this?"

She said,

"My goodness! Now it is three times more than before."

They ate and he sent some of it to the Prophet :saw:, and it was mentioned that he ate some of it.

(Bukhari and Muslim)

(Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/198).

This event was an honour from Allah to Abu Bakr because of his virtue. And because he did not persist in his anger when he swore not to eat any of the food. So he annoyed the Shaytaan, and Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) honoured him for that.


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Sufaynah and the lion

This Sufaynah was a freed slave of the Messenger of Allah :saw:, who had lost track of the Muslim army in the land of the Romans, or had been taken prisoner. He set out, fleeing and looking for the army, when he was faced with a lion.

He said,

"O' Abu al-Haarith (the nickname of the lion), I am the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah :saw:, and this is what has happened to me."

The lion started moving its tail and came to stand beside him. Every time he heard a sound he went to check it out, then he came back and walked beside him, until he reached the army. Then the lion went back.

(At-Tabreezi said in Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, this is narrated in Sharh as-Sunnah. The editor said, a similar report has been narrated by Al-Haakim, and he said, it is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim, and Dhahabi agreed with him, and it is as they said. (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/199)).


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A shout in Madeenah echoes in Syria

`Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radhiyAllaahu anh) sent an army and appointed a man called Saariyah to lead them.

Whilst `Umar was preaching, he started to shout,

"O' Saariyah, the mountain!"

Then a messenger came from the army and said,

"O' Ameer al-Mumineen, we met our enemy and they were defeating us, then we heard someone shouting, 'O' Saariyah, the mountain!' Then we protected our backs by putting the mountain behind us, and Allah defeated them."

(At-Tabreezi said: This is narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in Dalaa'il an-Nubuwwah. The editor of Al-Mishkaat said, Ibn `Asaakir narrated something similar with a hasan isnad).


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Some karaamaat of the awliyaa'

Ibn Taymiyah mentioned a number of these karaamaat apart from those which we have mentioned above. We will quote some examples here:

(Majmoo ` al-Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam, 11/276-281).

When Khubayb ibn 'Adiy was a prisoner at the hands of the mushrikeen (polytheists) in Makkah, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), provided grapes for him to eat, when there were no grapes in Makkah.

When Umm Ayman set out to migrate to Madeenah (hijrah), she had no food or water with her. She almost died of thirst. When the time for breaking the fast came, as she was fasting, she heard a sound above her head and looked up. There she saw a bucket suspended in the air. She drank from it until her thirst was quenched, and she never felt thirsty again in her life.

Whenever Al-Baraa' ibn `Aazib swore an oath beseeching Allah to do something, Allah would fulfil his oath. When the fighting became intense for the Muslims in jihad, they would say,

"O' Baraa', swear an oath beseeching your Lord."

He would say,

"O' Lord, I urge You, let us defeat them."

Then the enemy would be defeated. On the day of Al-Qaadisiyyah, he said,

"I beseech you, O' Lord, to grant us victory over them and let me be the first martyr."

They defeated them, and Al-Baraa' was killed as a martyr.

Khaalid ibn al-Waleed besieged some stronghold, and they said,

"We will not surrender until you drink poison."

He drank it, and it did not harm him.

When Az-Zubayrah was persecuted for her Islam for the sake of Allah, she refused to follow any religion but Islam. She lost her sight, and the mushrikeen said,

"Al-Laat and Al-Uzza have taken away her sight."

She said,

"No, by Allah,"

- then Allah restored her sight to her.

Al-Hasan al-Basri hid from Hajjaaj. The troops reached him six times and he prayed to Allah, and they did not see him. He prayed against one of the Khawaarij who would persecute him, and he fell dead. When Uways al-Qarni died, they found among his clothes shrouds which he did not have before, and they found a grave already dug for him, complete with lahd (niche), in a rock, where they buried him after shrouding him in those garments.


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Righteousness is the greatest karaamah

A karaamah is not proof that the one to whom it has been bestowed is better than anyone else. Allah may grant karaamah to one who is weak in faith, in order to strengthen his faith, and the one who has not been bestowed with such a thing may be more perfect in faith and a closer friend of Allah, and therefore in no need of that which is granted to others. Hence extraordinary things happened more among the Taabi`een than among the Sahaabah. We therefore should not preoccupy ourselves with seeking karaamaat, or feel upset if they are not bestowed to us. Abu 'Ali al-Jawzjaani spoke the truth when he said:

"Be a seeker of righteousness, not a seeker of karaamah, for your soul is naturally inclined to seek karaamah, but your Lord demands of you righteousness."

Some of those who understood what he was saying said:

"This is a major principle concerning this matter, and a subtle idea which many seekers of truth fail to comprehend."

(Majmoo` al-Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam, 11/320)


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Miracles and devilish exploits (End).

(For more information on this topic, see our book Aalam al-Jinn wa ash-Shayaateen (The World of the Jinn and the Devils).

Many people go astray because they think that everyone who performs extraordinary feats is one of the righteous friends of Allah (awliyaa).

Some people fly through the air and walk on water, and so on, but they are the most evil of Allah's creation. They may even claim to be prophets, such as Al-Haarith ad-Dimashqi, who emerged in Syria at the time of 'Abdul Malik ibn Marwaan, and claimed to be a prophet. He performed many extraordinary feats. They would tie his legs with ropes and he would free himself; he would be struck with weapons and that would not harm him; if he touched a marble slab it would start reciting tasbeeh (to say "SubhaanAllah").

He would show the people images of men and horses in the air, and would say that these were the angels. But these and similar feats were the work of the devils. Hence if some righteous people are present at these devilish events, and they mention Allah and recite Aayat al-Kursiy and other passages of the Qur'an, this will put a stop to these devilish feats.

When the Muslims seized the liar Al-Haarith ad-Dimashqi to kill him, one of them stabbed him with a spear and it did not penetrate.

'Abdul Malik said to him,

"You did not pronounce the name of Allah."

So he pronounced the name of Allah, then he stabbed him and killed him.

(Majmoo` al-Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam, 11/284-285).

The Dajjaal (Pseudo-Christ) will perform extraordinary feats which will dazzle those who see them, but at the same time he will claim to be divine.

Thus extraordinary feats (miraculous deeds) from a person are not a sign that he is a close friend of Allah (a wali or saint). Karamaat come about because of faith, piety and steadfastness in obeying Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). If the extraordinary event comes about because of kufr, shirk, falsehood, wrongdoing and immorality, then it is a devilish feat, not karaamah from the Most Merciful.