Are kashf and ilham true in the light of islam? Sufis every time claim to have the knowledge of the unseen and they call it as kashf and ilham. Some people justify this by saying that when umar (ra) was once giving khutba he told that there is an army in the battlefield. Kindly explain.


Praise be to Allaah.


The kashf (intuition, insight, finding out about things that are unseen) that may happen to a person is of several kinds. One type is psychological, which both Muslims and kaafirs have in common. Another kind is spiritual, which comes via revelation. A third type is satanic, which comes via the jinn.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

We do not deny that people may experience some kind of kashf, whether when awake or in their dreams when the soul is less connected to the body, either by means of spiritual practices or otherwise. This is the psychological kashf which is the first type of kashf.

But it is also proven through rational evidence as well as shar’i evidence that the jinn exist and that they tell people things about the unseen, as happens in the case of soothsayers, those who are possessed and the like.

The second type is that which is done by outside forces, such as the jinn who tell the soothsayers many things. This is something that is well known, especially to those who have experienced it, and we have come to know about these things on many occasions. This is a type of kashf that has nothing to do with the first type, and this is the second type of kashf.

With regard to the third type, it is what is conveyed by the angels and this is the noblest type, as is indicated by the texts and by rational evidence. Information about the unseen may come from psychological sources, or from evil sources, whether they are satanic or not, or it may come from angelic sources.

Al-Safadiyyah, p. 187-189

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

Partial kashf is something which both believers and kaafirs, righteous and immoral, may share, such as knowing what is in a person’s house or what is in his hand or under his garment, or whether his wife is pregnant with a boy or girl after the gender has been determined, or things that cannot be seen such as things that are taking place far away, and so on. This may come from the Shaytaan sometimes and from one's own self sometimes, hence it may happen to the kuffaar such as the Christians and people who worship fire or the cross. Ibn Sayyaad told by means of kashf the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) what he was hiding for him. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him, “You are from among the brethren of the soothsayers.” He told him that his kashf was like the kashf of the soothsayers. Similarly the liar Musaylimah, even though he was a kaafir of the worst type, could tell his companions of what one of them had done in his house and what he had said to his wife, because his shaytaan told him that so that he could mislead the people. The same was true of al-Aswad al-‘Anasi and al-Haarith al-Mutanabbi al-Dimashqi, who emerged at the time of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwaan, and others of their ilk, whose numbers are known only to Allaah. We ourselves and others have seen a group of them and people have witnessed the kashf of monks who worship the cross, as is well known.

Spiritual kashf of this type is like the kashf of Abu Bakr when he told ‘Aa’ishah that his wife was pregnant with a girl; and the kashf of ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) when he said, “O Saariyah, the mountain!” – i.e., stay close to the mountain. There are many such instances among the close friends (awliya’) of Allaah.

Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 3/227, 228


What happened to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) is saheeh and is well proven. Naafi’ said that ‘Umar sent out a military detachment and he appointed a man called Saariyah in charge of them. Whilst ‘Umar was delivering the khutbah one Friday, he said, “O Saariyah, the mountain! O Saariyah, the mountain!” And they found out that Saariyah had moved towards the mountain at that moment on the Friday even though there was the distance of a month’s journey between them.

Narrated by Ahmad in Fadaa’il al-Sahaabah, 1/269; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1110

This was a miracle (karaamah) bestowed upon ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him); either it happened by means of inspiration and his voice reached Saariyah – as is the view of Ibn al-Qayyim – or it happened by means of psychological kashf and his voice reached Saariyah – which is what we will see below in the words of Shaykh al-Albaani. In either case, it was undoubtedly a miracle (karaamah).


With regard to what happens to the Sufis, it is not spiritual kashf, rather it is either psychological kashf which is something that they have in common with the kuffaar, or it is of satanic origin, which is usually the case.

Spiritual kashf only happens to the close friends (awliya’) of Allaah who establish sharee’ah and venerate it. It is known that the Sufis do not do that. What happened to ‘Umar, although it is correct to describe it as kashf, was spiritual kashf.

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

There can be no doubt that the call mentioned was inspiration from Allaah to ‘Umar. That is nothing strange, because he was “muhaddath” (inspired) as was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but that does not mean that ‘Umar was shown the situation of the army or that he saw them with his own eyes. The use of this as evidence by some of the Sufis for the claims that they make about the awliya’ (“saints”) having kashf and that they can see what is in people’s hearts is utter falsehood. How can it be otherwise, when that is one of the unique attributes of the Lord of the Worlds Who alone has knowledge of the unseen and sees what is in people’s hearts?

I wonder, how can they make such a false claim when Allaah says in His Book (interpretation of the meaning):

“(He Alone is) the All‑Knower of the Ghayb (Unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghayb (Unseen).

Except to a Messenger (from mankind) whom He has chosen”

[al-Jinn 72:26-27]?

Do they believe that those awliya’ are Messengers of Allaah so that it may be said of them that they can know the unseen as much as Allaah tells them?! Glory be to You (O Allaah)! This is a great lie (cf. al-Noor 24:16).

This story is saheeh and is proven. It was a miracle (karaamah) with which Allaah honoured ‘Umar, by means of which the Muslim army was saved from capture or destruction. But it does not mean that he had knowledge of the unseen, as the Sufis claim. Rather it was a kind of inspiration, in the sense defined in sharee’ah, or a kind of telepathy, which is not infallible. It may be correct, as in this incident, or it turn out to be wrong, as usually happens to people. Hence every close friend of Allaah (wali) must adhere to sharee’ah in everything that he does or says, lest he do something that goes against sharee’ah and thus lose the status of being a friend of Allaah, which Allaah has described in comprehensive terms when He said (interpretation of the meaning):

“No doubt! Verily, the Awliyaa’ of Allaah, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve.

Those who believed, and used to fear Allaah much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds)”

[Yoonus 10:63]

And the poet said:

“If you see a man flying through the air or walking on the water, but he does not adhere to the limits of sharee’ah,

then you should realize that this is a temptation which is leading him astray, and he is a man of bid’ah.”

Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 3/102-104

And Allaah knows best.



I would like you to tell me the correct way to draw closer to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.


Praise be to Allah.

The way to draw closer to Allah has been explained to us in the clearest terms by Him, may He be glorified and exalted, in His Book, and He sent to us His Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), who did not omit anything good but he told us about it and he did not omit anything bad but he warned us against it. We will quote here just one of the beneficial and comprehensive hadiths in which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) explained the way that will bring us closer to Allah, may He be glorified, in the most concise and clearest terms. Al-Bukhaari (6502) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah says: ‘Whoever takes a close friend of Mine as an enemy, I declare war on him. My slave does not draw closer to Me by anything more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him, and My slave continues to draw closer to Me by doing naafil (supererogatory) deeds until I love him, and if I love him I will be his hearing with which he hears, his vision with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. If he were to ask of Me, I would surely give to him; if he were to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge. I do not hesitate about anything that I want to do as I hesitate to take the soul of a believer, for he hates death and I hate to hurt him.” This hadith clearly and concisely highlights the way to become a close friend of Allah, may He be exalted, for the one who wants to be one of His close friends.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Jaami‘ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam (2/335): This hadith mentions that which will bring us closer to Him. The basic meaning of wilaayah (close friendship) is nearness or closeness, and the basic meaning of ‘adaawah (enmity) is distance or being far away. So the close friends of Allah are those who draw close to Him by means of that which brings them closer to Him. End quote.

This hadith highlights the way that brings one closer to Allah, may He be exalted. All the believer has to do is reflect deeply upon this hadith and understand it properly, then follow that by acting upon what it says. After that, by Allah’s leave, he will be on his way to becoming a close friend of Allah, may He be exalted, and drawing closer to Him, commensurate with the deeds he does, seeking thereby the Countenance of Allah, may He be exalted, and following the Sunnah of His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Explaining the content of this hadith, al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said elsewhere in his book Jaami‘ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam: His close friends who are near to Him may be divided into two categories, the first of which is those who draw near to Him by doing that which is enjoined, which includes doing obligatory duties and avoiding things which are prohibited, because all of that comes under the heading of what Allah has enjoined upon His slaves. The second category is those who draw nearer to Him, after doing obligatory duties, by doing naafil (supererogatory) deeds. End quote.

So the Muslim must strive hard, first of all, to establish the obligatory duties that Allah has enjoined upon him, such as the five daily prayers, which are the most important of the practical obligatory duties, as well as giving zakaah, fasting Ramadan, performing the pilgrimage to the Ka‘bah if he is able to do so, and all the other obligatory practical duties, such as honouring one’s parents, upholding ties of kinship, fulfilling the rights of one’s wife and children, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, to the best of one’s ability, and other significant acts of worship which only draw one closer to Allah. One must also do acts of worship of the heart, such as being sincere to Allah, may He be exalted, alone, and loving Him, loving His Messenger and His law, loving the believers, putting one’s trust in Allah, fearing Him, and other acts of worship of the heart that have been enjoined.

He must also strive hard to fulfil the rights of Allah, may He be exalted, with regard to the second type of obligatory duty, which is the obligation to refrain from that which Allah has instructed us to refrain from. This includes refraining from zina (unlawful sex), riba (usury, interest), alcohol, stealing, wrongdoing, backbiting, malicious gossip and other prohibited actions. If he does do any of these things, then he must hasten to repent and mend his ways.

With regard to all these matters, one needs to acquire Islamic knowledge in order to worship Allah with insight and understanding.

Moreover, after that the believer must do a lot of supererogatory actions, by means of which he may attain a lofty status before Allah and attain the love of Allah, may He be exalted, as mentioned above in the hadith.

There are many of these supererogatory actions; the Muslim should start with the most important of them, then the next most important. The best and most significant of them is acquiring Islamic knowledge and teaching it to people.

Another example is the confirmed naafil (supererogatory) acts of worship, such as the regular Sunnah prayers (as-sunan ar-rawaatib), qiyaam al-layl (voluntary prayers at night), and Witr prayer.

That also includes remembering Allah, may He be exalted, a great deal (dhikr), and doing acts of charity. One of the things that will help the Muslim to do that is to organise his time by night and day. So he should allocate time for obligatory duties and time for supererogatory deeds. He can also help himself to attain that by attending the gatherings of the righteous and good people. May Allah help us and you to do that which He loves and is pleased with.

And Allah knows best.



What is the verdict on one who dies in the bathroom whilst he is fasting in the month of Ramadan?


Praise be to Allah.

In such cases, if a person dies in such circumstances, it has nothing to do with being praiseworthy or blameworthy in and of itself, and there is no Islamic ruling connected to that. Islamic rulings only have to do with the deeds of those who are accountable. If a person dies in a particular place, or at a particular time, or in a particular posture, that is not part of his deeds and it is not within his control, so there is no ruling that is connected to it.

With regard to the death of one who is fasting, this is the matter concerning which there are reports which point to its virtue, not because death in this situation was within his control, but because he died whilst doing a righteous deed and his life ended with that. It is the righteous deed that is within his control and is connected to the ruling of Allah. If a person dies doing such a deed, that is a blessing granted by Allah, may He be exalted, to His slave, and it is encouraged to constantly do such deeds, in the hope that one might die doing such a thing.

It was narrated that Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts one day, seeking the Countenance of Allah, and his life ends with that, will enter Paradise.”

Narrated by Ahmad (no. 22235). Shaykh al-Arna’oot said: It is saheeh because of corroborating evidence.

It was also narrated by al-Bazzaar in his Musnad (1/436) as follows: “If a person’s life ends with a day of fasting, he will enter Paradise.” Classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani.

Al-Mannaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The words “If a person’s life ends with a day of fasting” mean: if a person’s life concludes with a day of fasting, in the sense that he dies when he is fasting or after breaking his fast.

The words “will enter Paradise” mean: with those who enter it first, or without prior punishment.

End quote from Fayd al-Qadeer Sharh al-Jaami‘ as-Sagheer (6/160)

Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (5126) that Jaabir said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Each person will be resurrected in the condition in which he died.”

Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If a person dies in a particular condition, then his life ends with that, and in that condition he will be resurrected.

End quote from Kashf al-Mushkil min Hadeeth as-Saheehayn (1/751)

And Allah knows best.



Please could you tell me whether it is allowed for us to perform voluntary fasts on Fridays?


Praise be to Allaah.

It was proven in al-Saheehayn in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘None of you should fast on a Friday unless he fasts the day before or the day after.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1849, Muslim, 1929). Muslim narrated in his Saheeh that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Do not single out the night of Jumu’ah [i.e., Thursday night] from among other nights for praying qiyaam al-layl, and do not single out Friday from among other days for fasting, unless it is a fast that one of you regularly observes.” (al-Siyaam, 1930)

In al-Saheeh it was narrated from Juwayriyah bint al-Haarith (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon her on a Friday when she was fasting. He asked her, “Did you fast yesterday?” She said, “No.” He asked, “Are you going to fast tomorrow?” She said, “No.” He said, “Then break your fast.” Hammaad ibn al-Ja’d said, “I heard Qutaadah say, Abu Ayyoob told me that Juwayriyah spoke to him and he told her to stop her fast and she did so.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Sawm, 1850).

Ibn Qudaamah said: “It is makrooh to single out the day of Friday for fasting, unless that coincides with a fast which one usually observes, such as a person who fasts alternate days, and a day that he fasts coincides with Friday, or a person who has the habit of fasting on the first or last day of the month, or the middle day of the month.” (al-Mughni, vol. 3, p. 53)

Al-Nawawi said: “Our companions (i.e. the Shaafa’is) said: it is makrooh to single out the day of Friday for fasting, but if one joins it with the day before or the day after, or it coincides with a day which he habitually fasts, or he vowed to fast the day that his sick loved one was cured, or the day So and so returns, and that day happens to be a Friday, then it is not makrooh (al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, vol. 6, p. 479)

Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The Sunnah says that it is makrooh to single out Rajab for fasting, and it is makrooh to single out Friday (for fasting).” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, vol. 6, p. 180)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: “As for Friday, it is not Sunnah to fast on this day, and it is makrooh to single it out for fasting.” (See al-Sharh al-Mumti’, vol. 6, p. 465)

Excluded from this prohibition is one who fasts the day before or after, or if it coincides with days that he habitually fasts, such as one who fasts al-Ayyaam al-Beed (the 13th, 14th and 15th of each hijri month), or who has the habit of fasting a specific day such as the Day of ‘Arafat, and it coincides with a Friday. From this it may be understood that it is permissible for a person who has vowed to fast on the day when So and so returns, for example, or the day when So and so recovers from sickness, to observe that fast if that day happens to be a Friday. (See Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar).

The same applies to one who has fasts to make up from Ramadaan. “It is permissible for a Muslim to fast on a Friday to make up a day from Ramadaan, even if he fasts the Friday on its own.” (Fatwa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, vol. 10, p. 347)

Similarly, if ‘Ashoora’ or Arafaat coincides with a Friday, he may fast, because his intention is to fast ‘Ashoora’ or ‘Arafaat, not to fast on a Friday. And Allaah is the Source of strength.