[Auto-Biography] – How I Was Guided To Tawḥīd & The Straight Path – Šhaīkḫ Muḥammad Bin Jamīl Zeno [1431H] – Part 8 – Self Harm And Chastisement

Abu Ubaydah
Checked & Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

Self Harm And Chastisement

The Ṣufīs had made a monastery near my house. Once I went out to see them and find out how they perform ḍhīkr. After Īshā prayer they came and they were all beardless. They all started to say the following words in unison:

Ḥātī Kʾās al-Rāḥi (Bring the cup of alcohol)

Wasqina al-Aqdāḥa (And fill it to the top and make us drink it)

They would keep on repeating the above poem and sway right to left. Sometimes their leader would repeat it then all the others would repeat it after him like a band of singers. By Allāh, they had no shame whatsoever in mentioning alcohol when sitting in the Masjid. Whilst in reality Masjids are made for performing Ṣalāḥ and reciting the Qurʾān. The meaning of al-Rāḥi in this poem is alcohol which Allāh the Almighty has declared ḥarām in the Qurʾān and the Messenger of Allāh (Ṣallalāhū ʿAlaīhī Wa Sallam) has also prohibited it as mentioned in the blessed Aḥadīth.

After this they started playing the Duf (Drum) really passionately. An older person from them moved to the front, took his shirt off and threw it then started singing with a loud voice, “O grandfather! O my grandfather”. The purpose of doing this was to call upon a so called blessed ancestor from the Rifaʿī group for help. It is very famously known among them that they believe by doing this action their so called blessed ancestors will help their followers during difficulties. (We seek Allāh’s refuge in that as Allāh’s aid alone should be sought in times of difficulties)

Then he took hold of an iron knife and used it to cut parts of his arm and started screaming and shouting very loudly, “O grandfather! O grandfather!”

After that a person in army clothing who was beardless came along and started breaking and cutting a piece of glass with his teeth. When I saw all of these circus acts I thought to myself that if this soldier is truthful (in defending his country and people) then why doesn’t he go to the Jews (in Israel) instead of cutting a piece of glass? He should cut them and fight against them.

This was at the time of 1967 AD when the Jews took control of a lot of the Arab areas (of Palestine) and the Arab army had been defeated and lost the war. This soldier was also part of the army (and whilst he could break glass with this teeth (!)), he was unable to do anything during that war.

The reason for all of these circus acts are the following:

1.Some people think that these type of acts come under Karāmāt (miracle acts). They haven’t realised that things like this can happen through the help of the Šhayātīn who help support their misguidance. This is because when they called upon their ancestors for help instead of Allāh they did Šhīrk with Him and they turned their faces away from the remembrance of Allāh . So they ended up becoming similar to what is mentioned in the āyāt,

“And whoever is blinded from remembrance of the Most Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion. And indeed, the devils avert them from the way [of guidance] while they think that they are [rightly] guided”

(Ṣurāḥ az-Zūkḫruf no. 43, āyāh no. 36 to 37)

Allāh the Most High, allows the Šhayātīn to help and support them (Meaning that the Šhayātīn start listening to them) so that they become even more misguided. Just as Allāh said,

“Say, “Whoever is in error – let the Most Merciful extend for him an extension [in wealth and time]…”

(Ṣurāḥ Maryam no. 19, āyāh no. 75)

And by having this extension the person thinks that they are upon the truth.

2. Just because these people are helped by the Šhayātīn to perform these illusions and so called Karāmāt(!), it does not mean that you should wonder at their power and ability. The Jinn can also perform the same type of power for pious people. Just as they did for Sulaīmān (ʿAlaīḥisalām) when he asked his subordinates, who will bring the throne of Bilqīs to me?

“A powerful one from among the Jinn said, “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place, and indeed, I am for this [task] strong and trustworthy.”

(Ṣurāḥ an-Namal no. 27, āyāh no. 39)

For those who have been to places like India, then they would have surely seen these type of circus acts performed by the Hindū Jogīs (Acrobats), Priests, Snake Charmers and Shaman. Just as Ibn Baṭūṭa mentioned in his travels. (T.N Nowadays one can see these type of things commonly and most people understand them as nothing but street performers. Ibn Baṭūṭa was a person who did not always say the truth about his travels and has been caught out especially in regards to the story where he claimed that he saw Ibn Taīmīyāh. This is a complete lie because of many reasons but I will mention one which should suffice. Ibn Baṭūṭa said he entered Damascus on the 9th of Ramadhan in the year 726 Ḥijrī. Whilst Ibn Taīmīyāh was put in prison from the 6th of Sha’ban the year of 726 Ḥijrī until Dhul Qa’dah 728 Ḥijrī where he died and did not leave the prison except in a coffin and on a funeral bier! See Ṭabaqāt ul-Ḥanābilāh vol 2 pg no.405 and other reliable books of history such as Ibn Kaṭhīr’s al-Bīdīyāh, Ibn ʿAbdul Ḥādī’s biography of Ibn Taīmīyāh called al-ʿUqūd ud-Durīyāh pg no.259 & no.284. Ibn Taīmīyāh was put in prison 1 month prior to Ibn Baṭūṭa entering Damascus so how could he have seen him? Was the Mimbar of the Jāmīāh Masjid of Damascus transferred into the prison cell(!?))

3. The reality of these situations is that there purpose is not for truly attempting to validate Karāmāt or establish someone as being a Walī, rather these type of situations are where they play music and musical instruments in a group and is actually the work of  Šhaytān through which they captivate and enchant evil hearts. This is precisely the musical lyrics of the Šhayātīn which the ignorant people listen to attentively and think of it as being great acts of worship. A lot of people end up committing major sins when these type of concerts or so called religious musical gatherings are held. Rather their outward actions display Šhīrk. So how can these type of ridiculous songs, playing musical instruments, listening and singing in unison be acts of the Awlīyāh of Allāh and Karāmāt ? Whilst Allāh the Most Great has said,

“Unquestionably, [for] the allies of Allāh there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Those who believed and were fearing (and having Taqwā of) Allāh.”

(Ṣurāḥ Yūnus no.10, āyāh no.62 to 63)

A Walī is a believing person who has fear and consciousness of Allāh (T.N By thinking about the consequences of actions before doing them i.e. Making sure Allāh will be pleased with the action before they are about to do it) and stays away from sins and Šhīrk. At the time of difficulty they only ask help from Allāh alone, even if that means Allāh helps them through a gift of Karāmāt without them asking for it and that they tell don’t tell people about it.

4. Šhaīkḫ ul-Islām Imām Ibn Taīmīyāh said about these popular Walīs who perform so called Karāmāt(!) that, “The fake Walīs are not able to perform these Karāmāt type of actions when they are reciting the Qurʾān or performing Ṣalāḥ because these are true types of Sharʿīāh compliant worship which are truly from the Sunnāh and this makes the Šhayātīn run away. However when these fake Walīs go around doing things which are not in accordance to the Sharʿīāh compliant worship and they are in reality doing their own versions of worship that is innovated, full of Šhīrk, evil, philosophical and based on personal whims and desires this brings the Šhayātīn closer.”

5. What is really strange is that a person by the name Saʿid Ḥāwī who was influenced by Ṣufīʾism, perfectly fits into the description of all these false acts and theories. He also wrote a book based on them and called towards studying the Rifaʿī methodology. He heard of a new type of thing and then mentioned it as follows,

“A Christian person told me that a person put an iron bar through his stomach and took it out from his back without any sort of harm occurring to him…”

Then he goes on to say that the person who performed this so called Karāmāt(!) was a Fāsiq (Evil and very sinful) person and he obtained this Karāmāt through training and practice. (Tarbīyatunā ar-Rūhīyāh page no.74)

This Ṣufī person is narrating stories in his book which are from a Christian that could be a lie. A testimony from a non-Muslim is not accepted, additionally how can a Karāmāt occur by a Fāsiq person? Moreover (he goes on to say that) this Karāmāt was handed down (like some sort of inheritance) to a Muslim? This is really bizarre…

Brothers! The Karāmāt only happen to those people who have Taqwā of Allāh and fear Him alone. They are for the true Walī , and they are not passed down from one person to another like some sort of inheritance. Neither does this occur through a Fāsiq or Mujrim (Criminal). If something which goes against the natural Universal laws and circumstances (which Allāh has put in place) occurs at the hands of a Fāsiq then this is not called a Karāmāt….which Saʿid Ḥāwī mistakenly thought. Rather this is just an illusion (by the Šhayātīn) for people which increases them in misguidance. Lots of Magicians and Hindūs perform all sorts of these illusions such as using iron bars and big machetes on their bodies which seem amazing to the onlooker. Just like how an illusion artist gets a person or a child and puts them in a box and covers them in a cloth and then slowly cuts their body in half and separates each half moving them very far from each other. It appears as though the body has been separated in two parts with the person still being alive. Whilst in the middle it appears as though there is a fountain of blood gushing out. Sometimes they create the illusion of the person’s head being separated from the body and blood is flowing out from the neck but they are still alive. They do all these tricks under the cloth and behind the curtain, so would you call this Karāmāt? There are many other illusions like this which are commonly seen around and real Karāmāt do not happen like this.

6. Another person who was carrying out similar illusion acts like this in which he was making a scene by putting iron bars and machete knives on his body was seen by a Salafī person and he said to him that “If you truly are a Walī and this is your Karāmāt, then put these needles in your eyes and show us your power”, the illusionist declined and became scared. From this it became known that these specific iron bars and machete knives which are used to hit the body were only those such as props used in a drama / acting scenes. It became known that some of these people who did these acts repented from it. After repenting from it, they revealed how the illusions occur such as the blood used is fake and it is hidden underneath the clothes in a clever way. The illusionist would cunningly press the fake blood against their body in order to make it flow and this is how the tricks occur.

7. There was one really trustworthy man that told me that he once saw a soldier using a specific type of knife on his body with his own eyes, and wherever the soldier hit the knife on his body he saw blood flowing from there. When people took him to the commanding officer, he said “We will put grenades on both your legs and will detonate it straight away. If you are true (of your claim of being a Walī who has Karāmāt) you will survive, otherwise you will need to be patient in taking this.” Then the commanding officer ordered for this to be done, to the point where the grenades were being tied to the soldier. The soldier started begging, shouting, crying and going berserk because he was screaming to be released. The other soldiers who were nearby watching were starting to laugh at his stupidity of the so called Karāmāt he was about to do.

In summary, these types of illusions were not carried out by the Prophet (Ṣallalāhū ʿAlaīhī Wa Sallam) or the Ṣaḥabāh (Raḍī Allāhū ʿAnhum) or by the Tābīʿīn and neither by the noble Imāms. If there was any good in doing these acts then they surely would have done this, and they would be the best in doing them. However, this is just innovation carried out by people who came later on who were helped by the Šhayātīn . These people are those who carry out Šhīrk with Allāh . The Messenger Allāh (Ṣallalāhū ʿAlaīhī Wa Sallam) warned us against doing these innovations.

“Beware of the newly invented matters, because every newly invented matter is an innovation in the religion, and every innovation in the religion is misguidance.”

(Sunan Abī Dāwūd, no.4607, [Saḥīh])

And from the below saying, every single act of innovation in the religion is thrown back in to the face of those who do it. i.e it is rejected.

“Whosoever does a deed that we have not given approval then it will be rejected.”

(Saḥīh Muslim, no.1718)

These innovators also ask help from dead people and Šhayātīn. And this is the type of Šhīrk which Allāh has warned us against. 

“Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.”

(Ṣurāḥ al-Maʾīdāh no.5, āyāh no.72)

And the Messenger of Allāh (Ṣallalāhū ʿAlaīhī Wa Sallam) said,

“Whoever dies while still invoking anything other than Allah as a rival to Allah, will enter the fire.”

(Saḥīh Bukḫārī, no.4497)

Every person who has this type of belief, or is a helper in regards to this, then he will also be amongst them.

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