KARÂMÂT - كرامات
Literally: A being kind. A being generous. A being noble. Illustrious. Kindness. Generosity.
KNOW that the influence and help of awliyâ and the faydh they give by their ma’nawî actions are a sort of du'â offered either through their being or action.
Since Al-Hâdî is only Allah, Al-Mughîs and Al-Mu’în is He.
Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (240)
At one time, under the tarbiyyah of Hazrat Ghawth al-A'zam Shaykh Jilânî (k.s.) was the only son of an aged and delicate woman. This esteemed old woman had gone to her son's cell and seen that he was eating a piece of dry black bread. He attracted her mother’s compassion through his weakness resulting from such riyâzah. She felt pity for him. Then she went to Hazrat Ghawth in order to complain and saw that Hazrat Ghawth was eating a roasted chicken. Out of her delicacy, she said: "O Ustadh! My son is dying of hunger. You are eating chicken!" Hazrat Ghawth said to the chicken: قُمْ بِاِذْنِ اللّٰه1 By many reliable and trusted people, it has been transmitted by ma’nawî tawâtur as a karâmât of a personage like Hazrat Ghawth whose having wondrous karâmât are world-famous that the bones of that cooked chicken assembled and leapt out of the dish as a chicken. Hazrat Ghawth said: "When your son reaches this rank, then he too may eat chicken." Thus, the meaning of this order of Hazrat Ghawth is this: Whenever your son's rûh rules his body, his heart rules his nafs, his mind rules his stomach and he wants pleasure for shukr, then he can eat delicious things.
The Nineteenth Flash
To disclose a karâmât without necessity is harmful. Whereas to disclose a bestowal is making the ni’mah of Allah known. If a person honoured with karâmât knows that he displays an extraordinary act, and if his nafs al-ammarah remained, it might be istidraj in respect of relying on himself, his nafs and kashf and falling into pride. If he displays an extraordinary act without knowing it; for example, a question presents in someone’s heart, he gives a congruous answer to that question with a speech endowed by Allah; then he understands it. After understanding it, his trust in his own Rabb increases, not in his own nafs. And he says: "I have a Hafîdh, Who does tarbiyyah me better than myself."; he increases his tawakkul. This kind is a harmless karâmât; he is not charged with concealing it, but he should not intentionally try to display it for pride. Because he might relate it to his nafs since, apparently, man's kasb has a share in it. As for the bestowal, it is safer than the second kind of safe karâmât, and in my opinion, is more elevated. To make it known is to make the ni’mah of Allah known. The kasb has no share in it; his nafs does not attribute it to itself.
The Ninth Letter
“The Sahâbah’s walâyah, known as the greater walâyah, is a walâyah which arose from the legacy of nubuwwah, and, passing directly from the apparent to haqiqah without travelling the barzakh of tarîq, looks to the unfolding of Ilahî immediacy. Although this way of walâyah is very short, it is extremely elevated. Its wonders are few, but its virtues many. Kashf and karâmât are to be encountered infrequently on it. Moreover, the karâmât of the awliyâ is mostly involuntary; wonders appear from them unexpectedly as an Ilahî bestowal. And the majority of these kashf and karâmât occur during their ma’nawî journeying when they traverse the barzakh of the tarîqah; they manifest these extra-ordinary states because they have withdrawn to a degree from ordinary humanity.” The Letters ( 71 )
“This world is the realm of hikmah, the realm of service; it is not the realm of reward and recompense. The wage for deeds and acts of service here is given in the barzakh and the âkhirah. Acts here produce fruits in the barzakh and the âkhirah. Since the haqiqah is this, the results of actions pertaining to the âkhirah should not be sought in this world. If they are given, they should be received not gratefully, but regretfully. Because since in Jannah the more its fruits are picked the more they are produced, to eat in this world transiently the fruits of actions pertaining to the âkhirah, which are lasting, is not sensible. It is like exchanging a permanent lamp for one that will last a minute and then be extinguished.
It is because of this that the people of walâyah consider service, difficulty, misfortune, and hardship to be agreeable, and they do not complain and lament, but say: “Alhamdulillahi ‘alâ kulli hâl”2 When kashf and karâmât, azwaq and nûrs are given to them, they accept them as a sort of Ilahî favour and try to conceal them. They do not become proud, but offer more shukr and ‘ubûdiyyah. Many of them have wanted those states to be concealed and to be ceased, lest they spoil the ikhlas of their actions (‘amal). Yes, the most important Ilahî favour for an acceptable person is to make them not realize His favour, so that they do not cease beseeching and offering shukr, and start complaining and become proud.
It is due to this haqiqah that if those who seek walâyah and the tarîqah do so for azwaq and karâmât, which are some of the emanations of walâyah, and they are turned towards those and receive pleasure from them, they as though consume transiently in this transient world the enduring fruits of the âkhirah. This too opens up the way to losing ikhlas, the yeast of walâyah, and to walâyah eluding them.” The Letters ( 527 - 528 )
“Some people of tasawwuf who do not understand the mystery of the tarîqah, in order to strengthen the weak, encourage the slack, and to lighten the hardships and weariness arising from strenuous service, find the azwaq, nûrs, and karâmât, which are not sought but given, to be pleasurable, and they become captivated by them and fall into the abyss of preferring them to ‘ibâdah, acts of service, and awrâd.” The Letters ( 532 )
“Moreover, ma’nawî worth, station, and virtue do not look to this world so that they should make themselves felt. In fact, since some of those at the highest station do not perceive the great Ilahî favours bestowed on them, they consider themselves to be more wretched and bankrupt than everyone, which shows that the kashf, karâmât, azwaq, and nûrs which the ‘awâm consider to be ma’nawî perfection, cannot be the means to and touchstone for that ma’nawî worth and those stations. This is proved by the fact that although one hour of the Sahâbah had the worth of a day of other awliyâ, or perhaps forty days' ordeal, not all the Sahâbah experienced the same kashf and ma’nawî wondrous states as the awliyâ.” The Rays ( 356 )
“It has been asked: Since the Risale-i Nur is the source of karâmât, and leads to an unfolding of the haqiqahs of îmân greater than the tarîqahs and die of its loyal students are in one respect at the level of walâyah, why don’t they appear to manifest ma’nawî zawq and kashfs and physical karâmât like the awliyâ? Why don’t its students seek such things? What is the hikmah for this?
The Answer: Firstly, the reason is the mystery of ikhlas. Because for people who do not completely conquer their nafs, temporary pleasures and karâmât become their goal in this world and the reason for their works of the âkhirah, and this spoils ikhlas. For the works of the âkhirah may not be sought with worldly goals and pleasures; if they are sought for, it destroys the mystery of ikhlas.
Secondly: Karâmât and kashfs are only for those ordinary people who travel the tarîqah but whose îmân is merely taqlîdî and has not reached the level of tahqîq, sometimes karâmât are given to strengthen the weak and for conviction of people who have doubts and waswasa. Whereas the proofs of the haqiqahs of îmân the Risale-i Nur adduced leaves no place for doubts; they afford certainty and leave no need at all for karâmât and kashfs. So since the tahqîqî îmân it induces is far superior to kashfs, zawq, and karâmât, it’s true students do not seek anything of that sort.
Thirdly: A principle of the Risale-i Nur is to know one’s own faults and without rivalry to serve humbly seeking Allah’s pleasure alone. But in this era of ananiyyah, differences and a sort of rivalry between the ahl al-tarîqah way who perform karâmât and seek the pleasure of kashf, cause the people of ghaflah to think ill of them and to accuse them of ananiyyah and selfishness. This shows that it is absolutely imperative and necessary that the Risale-i Nur students do not wish for karâmât and kashfs for themselves nor run after them. Also, the individual person is not given importance on its way; owing to the ma’nawî partnership and the brothers being annihilated with each other (tafânî), such Ilahî bestowals as the thousands karâmât of ‘ilm and the facility in the work of dissemination, and the barakah experienced in the livelihoods of those who work at it, are sufficient for all and they do not seek any personal attainments or karâmât.
Fourthly: because they aren’t short-lived, a hundred gardens of this world are not equal to a single tree of the âkhirah, which is undying. In consequence, since the blind human feelings are captivated by immediate pleasure and prefer an ephemeral present fruit to an eternal garden of the âkhirah, the Risale-i Nur students do not seek azwaq of rûh and ma’nawî kashfs in this world, lest their nafs al-ammarah exploit this fıtrî tendency.” Emirdağ Addendum (100-101)