riyada in arabic means "training" or "discipline". It was used by the arabs in relation to horse taming. Sufis refer to their discipline as "riyadat an-nafs": disciplining the soul / training the ego. Today, the word riyada has come to mean "sports". There is an Arabic proverb that says: "The purpose of sports (riyada) is not to win cups, but to discipline the soul". This blog is here to help me discipline my soul and train my body.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Origins of the Tariqa Muhammadiyya

(Q33:56) إن الله وملائكته يصلون على النبي ، ياأيها الذين آمنوا صلوا عليه وسلموا تسليما

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a series of Sufi reform movements spread in Africa and the Hijaz that had the name of Tariqa Muhammadiyya. These movements are associated with the term neo-Sufism coined by Fazlur Rahman and accepted by later scholars, as movements that incorporated radical reforms and changes to Sufism, so that it was pretty much a "new" and different sufism. This has been questioned by later scholars and the theory of neo-sufism has now generally been rejected. These movements do not seem to break from earlier Sufism in any way; they only emphasize certain parts of Sufism more than others, and as reform movements they discouraged certain practices of popular Sufism. Here, we are interested most in one form of the Tariqa Muhammadiyya in particular, the Ahmadiyya Muhammadiyya tariqa of Ahmad ibn Idris. But before we come to it, we will look into the history of the concept of a "Muhammedan Way" in Sufism and of the most common features of the Muhammedan Ways that appeared in the 18th/19th centuries.



The Tariqa Muhammadiyya is a reformist concept, and as such, it aims to return to the way of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and of his companions and their successors. Most features of such a Way, therefore, originate with the Prophet himself, and there is no need to go into them in detail. We will instead focus more on the more original or unique concepts found in the Tariqa Muhammadiyya movements that make them distinctive from other movements. For example, the Ahmadiyya Muhammadiyya tariqa of Ahmad ibn Idris and his successor Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanusi emphasized Ijtihad and a criticism of blind following of the madhaahib. Since this is a very important feature of the Tariqa, we will discuss its relation with the other concepts of the Tariqa, but we will focus more on such issues as waking vision of the Prophet and the methods to achieve that.


As explained in my previous article on the Waking Vision of the Prophet, the idea of Muslims seeing the Prophet Muhammad in their dreams and while awake, even after his death, goes back to authentic Hadiths. It was something reported of many companions and their successors, such as the Prophet's young cousin Ibn Abbas and the pious Umayyad caliph Umar II. Al-Suyuti and other scholars have written books on the subject, giving evidence from the Quran and Sunna and examples from the Companions, the first generations of Muslims, and of famous pious Muslims throughout the ages. The most relevant example from our pious ancestors, however, comes from the famous Hadith collector, Imam al-Bayhaqi (d. 458 AH/ 1066 CE). Al-Bayhaqi wrote a book called al-I'tiqad, or The Book of Doctrines According to the School of the Predecessors (al-Salaf), Which is the School of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamaa'a. In this book he said,

The Prophets, upon them be peace, had their souls returned to them after they died, and they are alive with their Lord. And our Prophet (pbuh) saw a group of them and led them in prayer, and he told us, and what he says is truth, that our prayers are presented to him, and that our greetings reach him, and that God forbade the earth from eating the bodies of the Prophets. And I have written a book proving that they are alive. Oh God, let us live according to the sunna of this noble Prophet, and let us die on his millah (i.e while following his faith and creed), and bring us together with him in this life and the next, for you are capable of all things.[1]


The phrase used above by this great pious predecessor is ijma' baynana wa baynahu. The word ijma' has two meanings: 1) to bring together, as in a meeting or congregation and 2) to unite. Here, al-Bayhaqi is using this phrase to ask God to allow him to meet the Prophet in this life and in the next. Ahmad ibn Idris will use a strikingly similar prayer in his most famous prayer, the Azeemiyya prayer, which has spread far and wide in the Muslim world. The difference is that in this prayer, Ibn Idris will use the word ijma' with both its meanings in mind: allow me to meet him, and unite me with him. And while al-Bayhaqi asks to meet the Prophet in this world and in the next, Ahmad ibn Idris emphasized this world more. Thus he prays:

And join me to/with him [the Prophet], just as You joined the Ruh with the nafs[2],
Outwardly (zaahiran) and inwardly (baatinan), in wakefulness and in sleep....
In this world before the next, oh God the Great!



Seeing the Prophet awake remained a very rare thing that was rarely talked about, until Ibn Arabi mentioned it. Ibn Arabi (1165-1240 CE), is credited with having preserved Sufism by compiling and writing about all known Sufi practices, so that none of them are ever lost. One such practice that Ibn Arabi discussed was the method at which one arrives at waking vision of the Prophet: constant repetition of the tasliya, or salaat 'ala al-nabi, such as "O God bless Muhammad and his family" or any other form of it. He says,

He [the devotee] confines himself to this dhikr [the tasliya] and is patient until he [the Prophet] appears to him. I never met anyone at this rank except an old blacksmith in Ishbiliyya who was known as "God, bless Muhammad" (Allaahumma, salli 'alaa Muhammad). He was not known by any other name...He doesn't talk to anyone except out of necessity. If anyone comes asking him to make something for him from iron, he asks as pay only that the customer bless Muhammad. No man, boy, or woman came to him without blessing Muhammad until he left....Whatever is revealed to the one who does this dhikr is true and immune from error, for nothing comes to him except through the Messenger..[3]


Another aspect of Sufism that the Tariqa Muhammadiyya emphasized was fanaa' fil-Rasul, or Annihilation in the Messenger of God. For them, this was the best way to reach fanaa' in God, and Western scholars claim that this idea originated with Ibn Arabi although it is likely much older. According to Ibn Arabi, the Messenger of God was "the perfect link between God and humanity"[4]:

No matter how much the Real discloses himself to you in the mirror of your heart, your heart will only show you what is according to its own [defective] constitution...The manifestation of the Real in the mirror of Muhammad is the most Perfect, most balanced, and most beautiful manifestation, because of his mirror's particular qualities [of perfection]. When you perceive Him in the mirror of Muhammad, you will have perceieved from Him a perfection that you could not perceive by looking at your own mirror.[5]


Thus you see why the Tariqa Muhammadiyya placed such importance on attaining vision of the Messenger of God and seeing annihilation in him (pbuh) as the most perfect way to annihilation in God.


Ibn Arabi was opposed by the great reformer Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328). Ibn Taymiyya's reforms included a strong criticism of many Sufi practices and concepts, and for him terms were of great importance so he set out to replace Sufi terms with more "correct" ones. Ibn Taymiyya was not opposed to Sufism itself- he was initiated into the Qadiri tariqa and was extremely proud to have inherited the khirqa of Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, with there being only two people who wore it between them. He also commented on his Sufi works and called him "the perfect gnostic" and "our shaykh"[6].

Ibn Taymiyya was also a strong critic of the madhahib, as Ibn Idris was, and as mentioned above, substituted some Sufi terms for more "correct ones". Thus Ibn Taymiyya, for example, thought that the term "Sufi" itself was not used by the Prophet or his companions, and that therefore it should be substituted by the Quranic word "faqir"[7]. Ahmad ibn Idris also substituted some common sufi terms, "preferring tariq (way) to tariqa, using the title ustaadh [teacher] rather than shaykh, and calling his followers taalibs (students) rather than murids. When he was obliged to appoint someont to represent him in Mecca, he called him not a khalifa but a wakil (agent)."[8]

Ahmad Ibn Idris' main successor, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sanusi, wrote a book criticizing blind following of the madhahib and calling for the use of Ijtihad, called Iqaz al-Wasnan or Waking the Slumberer on Acting According to the Hadith and the Quran. What is most interesting about this work is that most of the introduction is comprised of quotes from Ibn Taymiyya, while most of the conclusion is comprised of quotes from Ibn Arabi, since both agreed on the subject of Ijtihad.


One of Ibn Taymiyya's followers and friends was a Shadhili Sufi called Ahmad Imad ad-Din al-Wasiti (1258-1311). Ibn Taymiyya called him "The Junayd of his age" and "Our shaykh, the Imam, gnostic, exemplar, and spiritual wayfarer"[9]. Al-Wasiti might have been the first to use the term tariqa Muhammadiyya. For him, the tariqa Muhammadiyya was based on attaching oneself to the ruhaniyya (incorporeal presence) of the Prophet Muhammad, rather than an attachment to a human Shaykh. Thus to him, this tariqa of attaching oneself to the Prophet's incorporeal presence was the true path, rather than his own Shadhili or Ibn Taymiyya's Qadiri or any other path that was based on attachment to another human figure. Yet at the same time, al-Wasiti "did not deny the need in other respects for a shaykh in guiding one toward [fanaa']"[10]

This was exactly the view of Ahmad Ibn Idris. For him, the living human shaykh was of utmost importance, but only for the sake of helping the taalib (student) reach the Prophet, after which the shaykh becomes obsolete, as the Prophet becomes his guide to God. Thus Ibn Idris would say to his students, "We have transferred you to [the care of] he who is better than us [i.e the Messenger of Allah]...So turn to him and show your questions and needs to him."

Al-Wasiti's tariqa Muhammadiyya remained a tariqa in the sense of "a way" or "a path", but "never became an order in an organizational sense, since al-Wasiti never opened his own zawiya, declining to give into a desire to do so that came- he feared- from his nafs (lower self)"[11]. As for Ibn Idris, he does not seem to have ever thought of making the Ahmadiyya Muhammadiyya into an "order", or a tariqa in an organizational sense. But that is not necessarily as a break from traditional Sufism as it is dictated by the very nature of the "way". Since it was based on direct guidance from the Prophet, there was no room for any elaborate structure or hierarchy. This was also a way in that it is based on certain types of dhikr and certain principles, which any person could follow even if they are already part of another Sufi tariqa. Thus anyone, whether a Shadhili or Naqshbandi or Qadiri, could also be initated into the Muhammadiyya Tariqa while remaining in his own order, but adding the litanies and principles of the Muhammadiyya.

Al-Wasiti also, as would the future Muhammedan ways, make the tasliya a central practice of the way:

You must have a litany (wird) of invocations...which should be read daily, and a litany of benedictions (salaat) that you send upon the Prophet, peace be upon him- doing so as if you were in his presence seeing him, loving him, and honouring his sanctity. Through this, I hope the Prophet's barakah penetrates your heart and that you be granted his love and the love of being comforted by it. This being a lamp to all goodness, God willing. [12]



Thus it is possible to say, as Dr. Sedgwick does, that "all the essential teachings of Ibn Idris in Mecca at the start of the nineteenth century, then, would have been recognizable to al-Wasiti in Damascus at the end of the thirteenth century, though al-Wasiti would have objected to Ibn Idris' inclusion in his definition of the tariqa Muhammadiyya of elements drawn from Ibn Arabi."[13]



This practice of visualization during the tasliya was given emphasis by Abd al-Karim al-Jili (1364-1408), the "promiment commentator and systematizer of [Ibn Arabi's] thought"[14]. As we have seen from Ibn Arabi, vision of the Prophet might be attained through constant tasliya over the Prophet, while al-Wasiti emphasized attaching oneself to the Prophet's incorporeal presence and reciting the tasliya "as if you were in his presence seeing him..." Al-Jili emphasized this aspect of visualization, the object of which was "for a real vision to replace a synthetic one, for the cultivated visualization of the Prophet to become the actual, waking vision of the Prophet, ru'yat al-nabi yaqzatan" [15].

Continuously call to mind his image...If you have seen him in your sleep, call that image to mind. If you have not, bless him, and in your dhikr imagine yourself with him in his life. He hears you and sees you whenever you mention him... If you cannot do this and you have visited his tomb, recall its image in your mind. Whenever you do dhikr or bless him, be as if you were standing at his tomb, in all honor and respect... If you have not visited his tomb, continue to bless him, and imagine him hearing you.[16]



Of course, this practice of visualizing the Prophet was not new, for we know from a famous hadith that the Prophet's grandson al-Hassan asked his uncle Hind for the Hilya of the Prophet (pbuh) ata'allaq bih (to attach myself to, or to hold fast to). The word Hilya means adornment or ornament or beauty- see here the great respect that al-Hassan (r.a.) is showing the Prophet, because he knows that all of his attributes and descriptions, peace be upon him, are beautiful, so he used the word Hilya. And therefore we know that al-Hassan used to hold fast to the image of the Prophet, pbuh.


Until now we have traced the origins of some of the most distinctive features of Ahmad Ibn Idris's Tariqa Muhammadiyya and other Muhammedan ways, up until the early 15th century. Next we will look at the middle period of the Tariqa Muhammadiyya from the 15th until the 18th centuries, while disucussing also the very important issue of the madhaahib, before we come to Ibn Idris himself.




-------------
1. Saleh al-Jaafari. Al-Muntaqa al-Nafees, pg 204. My (poor) translation. Added emphasis.
2. Sedgwick translates Ruh as the soul and nafs as the ego, while Radtke, O'Fahey and O'Kane translate Ruh as the spirit and nafs as the soul. All of them probably mean to translate Ruh as something coming from outside the body and the world, while the nafs as being part of the body or of this world.
3. Valeria J. Hoffman, "Annihilation in the Messenger of God: The Development of a Sufi Practice". Int. J. Middle East Stud. 31 (1999), 353.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. See for example, Muhammad Umar Memon's Ibn Taimiya's Struggle Against Popular Religion, with an Annotated Translation of his Kitab iqtida' as-sirat al-mustaqim mukhalafat ashab al-jahim, The Hague: Mouton, 1976, p. ix.; and, G. Makdisi's article "Ibn Taymiyya: A Sufi of the Qadiriya Order" in the American Journal of Arabic Studies, 1973.
7. Ibn Taymiyya. Kitab al-Furqan bayna Awliya al-Rahman wa Awliya al-Shaytan. Has been translated by Abu Rumaysah into The Decisive Criterion Between the Friends of Allah and the Friends of Shaytan (Daar us-Sunnah Publishers, 2005).
8. Mark Sedgwick. Saints and Sons: The Making and Remaking of the Rashidi Ahmadi Sufi Order, 1799-2000, Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2005, 17.
9. Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Wasiti, Key to the Saintly Path. Translated by Surkheel Shareef, pg 1. PDF file.
10. Sedgwick, pg 30-31.
11. Ibid, pg 31.
12. Wasiti, pg 3.
13. Sedgwick, pg 31.
14. Hoffman, pg 352.
15. Sedgwick, pg 13.
16. Hoffman, pg 357.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Waking Vision of the Prophet

AND KNOW THAT THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH IS AMONG YOU....
(Q 49:7)



1) What is Death?

On the 12th of Rabee' al-Awwal, 11 years after the Hijra, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, died. This was something that many of his followers and companions could not believe, so that Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, may God be pleased with him, had to stand up and proclaim: "O Men, if you have been worshipping Muhammad, then know that Muhammad is dead. But if you have been worshipping God, then know that God is living and never dies."


But what does it mean for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to have died? We know first of all that it means that his soul left his body. As for the body, we know from the saying of the Prophet that "Allah has forbidden the Earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets"[1]. We also know that Allah returned the Prophet's soul to his body in his grave, for he said, "No-one greets me except Allah has returned my soul to me so that I can return his salâm."[2] As explained by al-Suyuti and other commentators on this hadith, the meaning of radda (returned) here is that the Messenger's soul was returned to him permanently after the first person greeted him, and that he remained alive thereafter.

Thus a Muslim must believe that the Prophet's soul returned to his body and that he is alive in his grave. The Prophet told us that people are alive in their graves, and that for each person, "the grave is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise or a pit from the pits of hell." There are countless Prophetic sayings about this and we need not dwell on this, but simply quote the Messenger of God when he said, "The Prophets are alive in their graves, praying to their Lord" [3] and when he said that he saw God's Messenger Moses praying in his grave, while standing (standing is something that the physical body does, not the soul) [4].

Indeed, the Qur'an confirms to us twice that martyrs, are still alive in the spiritual world:

And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead; nay, they are alive, but you do not perceive. (Q 2: 154)

Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord. (Q 3: 169)


And if martyrs are alive after their death then the Prophets and Messengers who are higher than them in rank are surely alive as well, finding sustenance in the presence of their Lord. There can be no question about that. In fact, the Qur'an gives us proof that the life of the Messenger (pbuh) after his death is higher in honor, station, and dignity than that of the martyrs, for while the wives of martyrs can re-wed, the wives of the Messenger (pbuh) were forbidden from re-marrying after his death (Q 33:53), out of respect for the Messenger in his other life.


The Prophetic traditions also show that the Messenger of God met other Messengers and Prophets in Jerusalem on the Night of Ascension, and he led them in prayer, and later gave descriptions of their physical appearances. From this, the scholars of Islam concluded that they were all present in both soul and body.


So what does all this tell us about the death of the Prophets, and of Prophet Muhammad in particular, peace and blessings be upon them all?

As Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya said in Kitab al-Ruh, while paraphrasing al-Qurtubi:

"It has been authentically narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) that the earth does not eat the bodies of the prophets, and that he (pbuh) assembled with the prophets on the Night of Journey and Ascension in Jerusalem and in the sky, especially with our master Moses (pbuh), and he told us that no Muslim greets him except that God returns his soul to him to return the greeting and other things from which it becomes definitive knowledge that the death of the prophets, upon them be peace, is that they become hidden from us so that we do not see them though they are present and alive, and such is the state of Angels for they are alive and present but we do not see them." [5] Al Qurtubi himself has the following addition: "and none of our kind see them except those that God favoured with grace (karaama)."[6]


The great scholar and hadith master Ibn Hajar al-Haythami wrote,

"The proofs and the transmitted texts have been established as authentic in the highest degree that the Prophet (pbuh) is alive and tender... that he fasts and performs pilgrimage every year, and that he purifies himself with water which rains on him."[7] Indeed many of God's righteous servants, while performing the pilgrimage, have had their veils removed so that they saw prophets and past awliya circumbulating the Kaaba.


2) The World of the Spirit

The deaths of the Prophets, therefore, is a transition from one state to another, in which they are hidden from our view, except for those few who are granted vision of them. Whether they can be in their bodies in their graves but only with their souls outside the grave, or in their souls and bodies outside the graves, nothing is beyond God's power. The important thing to believe is that they are present and alive, in worlds that we do not see, perhaps in other dimensions.

And where are these other worlds? Do not think that these other dimensions and worlds can be completely seperate from this world of the senses, or that the veils are as barriers that divide up the universe. No, they are all connected. In the words of Hassan Eaton,

The veils exist, but they are at least semi-transparent; the greater realities still shine through- though veiled- upon the lesser ones, just as angels may appear to men but only in disguise. "Paradise is closer to you than the thong of your sandal," said the Prophet, "and the same applies to the Fire." On a certain occasoin the people saw him apparently reach out for something and then draw suddenly back. They asked him the reason for this, and he replied: "I saw Paradise, and I reached out for a bunch of its grapes. Had I taken it, you would have eaten from it for as long as the world endures. I also saw hell. No more terrible sight have I ever seen..."

The thread of Being runs through all possible states of existence, all the dimensions, as does the thread of Mercy; this is already implicit in the basic doctrine of tawhid, for the One cannot be cut up into seperate pieces, nor can the different degrees of Reality be shut off from each other by impenetrable partitions.....

Moreover, if heaven and hell are so close to us- as the Prophet said they are- then, at least in a certain sense, we already live in these dimensions, though for the most part unaware of them, and no more than a thin membrane seperates us from the Joy and from the Fire.... Even in the physical environment which surrounds us, these extraterrestrial dimensions are perceptible to those gifted with sharp sight, and Islam is certainly not alone in making this point...[8]



In the words of the shaykh al-Darqawi,

"There where the world of bodies is, there also is the world of Spirits; there where the world of corruption is, there also is the world of purity; there where is the world of the kingdom (mulk), there also is the world of kingship (malakut); in the very place where the lower worlds are, there are to be found the higher worlds and the totality of worlds." [9]


Therefore those whom God granted with sharp vision may see through the veils and see the Prophets and more...


3) O Prophet! surely We have sent you as a witness, and as a bearer of good news and as a warner, And as one inviting to Allah by His permission, and as a torch spreading light (Q 33:45-46)

Two scholars were talking one day, and one of them said, "The Prophet (pbuh) has died." The other scholar replied, "Yes, he died, but God (swt) said, "and a torch spreading light", so if you say "extinguished after death" you have kafart (said something that amounts to a rejection of the Quran or Islam in general), and if you say "not extinguished" then we both agree that he is a light-giving torch in life and after death.


Sayyidna Muhammad (pbuh), is still a prophet after his death, for the present tense in the Quranic verse "Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." (Q 33:56) tells us that he is still a prophet now, and that he is still alive and being whelmed with blessings and prayers by God and His angels.


As a living prophet, and a light-giving torch, the Prophet's light still guides humans to the Truth, and the Prophet himself told us of one benefit that will only come to us after his death,

"My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be presented to me and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if see other than that I will ask forgiveness of him (for you)." [10]


But more than that, the Prophet can still guide people by appearing to them in their dreams or even while awake. "Whoever has seen me in a dream," said the Prophet, "has in fact seen me, for Satan does not appear in my form". [11]

Further, the Prophet (pbuh) said in a hadith reported by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, and Darimi, "He who has seen me in a dream will see me while awake, and the devil cannot appear in my form".[12]


The great scholar and hadith master al-Suyuti, considered by scholars of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamaa'a to be the mujaddid of the tenth century, wrote a book called Tanweer al-Halak fee Jawaz Ru'yat an-Nabi wal Malak, or Enlightening the Darkness on the Possibility of Seeing the Prophet and the Angels [in the Waking State].

He begins by citing the above sahih hadith and comments on the way different scholars tried to twist the meaning of this hadith or to reject its clear zahir meaning and try to explain it away. He then quotes the famous Imam Ibn Abi Jamra's commmentary on Sahih al-Bukhari in which he warned, when discussing this hadith about restricting the meaning of this verse to the life of the Prophet or to judgment day or any explanation that limits or restricts the clear and general applicability of this saying, and cautions of two dangers of denying this hadith: 1- Not believing the Prophet and 2- Not believing in the unlimited power of God, who could as easily allow for men to see the Prophet while awake as He could bring the cow or the birds or the donkey to life (as mentioned in the Qur'an).

Then Ibn Abi Jamra mentions how it is reported of many sahaba and men of the salaf and the khalaf that they saw the Prophet in the waking state after his death and asked him about things that troubled them, such as the report about Ibn Abbas who remembered this saying of the Prophet and and kept thinking about until he went to the Prophet's wife Maymoona, and asked her about it, so that she brought him the Prophet's mirror and when he looked at it he saw the Prophet there and did not see his own reflection.

Ibn Abi Jamra then divides people into those who deny the karamaat of the awliya and those who accept them. As for those who deny them, then there is no reason to argue with them for they are deniers of has been proven clearly in the Sunna. And as for those who do believe in the karamaat, then they should think of this as a karaama, for the awliya can be miraculously granted sight (bi kharq al- 'aada) of things in the Higher and Lower worlds.


Then Suyuti says that for most people who see the Prophet in their dream, they will see him (pbuh) once in their waking state for the sake of honoring the Prophet's promise, and it usually happens in the moments before their death. But for others, vision of the Prophet happens to them throughout their lives, either frequently or rarely, depening on their striving (ijtihaad) and their upholding of the Sunna.

Suyuti then gives clear undeniable sahih hadiths from Sahih Muslim and other collections that Muslims can see angels in their waking state, and then quotes many of the most famous scholars of Islam on the possibility of seeing the Prophet while awake, and gives many examples of this from the most trustworthy sources and scholars.

And most visions of the Prophet, says Suyuti, happen in the heart, and then it advances so that it becomes by sight, but not the same seeing by sight that humans are accustomed to, but it is a special state whose reality can only be understood by those who experience it.

Beside this very small book by al-Suyuti proving the possibility of seeing the Prophet and the angels while awake, there is an entire full-sized (400 pg) book by Abi al-Fadl Abd al-Qadir bin al-Husayn bin Mighaizil al-Shadhili devoted to giving proofs and examples of the awliya of Allah seeing the Messenger of God in the waking state.

In the end, know that it was known among the companions of the Prophet, and among our righteous predecessors and those who followed them, and agreed upon by the greatest scholars that seeing the Prophet while awake is possible. And those who deny this must be very careful, for they cannot deny this without either disbelieving the Messenger of Allah, or trying to twist his words in order to suit their own views, or disbelieving in the unlimited power of Allah and His grace to his faithful servants.


And know that the Messenger of Allah is among you....a torch spreading light...

----------
1. Sunan Abu Dawood, Sunan an-Nasa'i, Sunan Ibn Maja, and many other hadith collections.
2. Sunan Abu Dawood.
3. Al-Bazzar, Abu Ya'la, Bayhaqi, Ibn Asakir, al-Suyuti, and al-Albani, among others, mention this hadith as authentic.
4. Sahih Muslim, Sunan an-Nasa'i, and al-Bayhaqi.
5. Saleh al-Jaafari. Al-Muntaqa al-Nafees, pg 199-200. My (poor) translation.
6. Ibid, pg 202.
7. PROOF-TEXTS OF THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET IN HIS GRAVE
8. Gai Eaton, Islam and the Destiny of Man, pg 240-241.
9. Letters of a Sufi Master: The Shaykh ad-Darqawi, pg 41.
10. Al-Bazzar cites it with a sound (sahih) chain, and also in the Musnad of Ibn Abi Usama, it is also quoted by Qadi Iyad in his Shifa, by al-Subki, and by Ibn al-Jawzi in his Wafa of which he said he only used authentic traditions in it.
11. Sahih Muslim.
12. Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood from Abu Hurayra, and a similar hadith from Abi Qutada narrated by al-Darimi.

For further reading:

*Saleh al-Jaafari. al-Muntaqa al-Nafees.
*Jalalludin al-Suyuti. Tanweer al-Halak fee Jawaz Ru'yat al-Nabi wal-Malak
*Abi al-Fadl Abd al-Qadir bin al-Husayn bin Mighaizil al-Shadhili. Al-Kawakib al-Zaahira fee Ijtimaa' al-Awliyaa Yaqdhatan bi-Sayyid ad-Dunya wal Aakhira

Alright, that's it!

I have had all the free time that i could ask for. And all the opportunities to just sit down and write some things down. And I had promised a bunch of people. But for some reason I just ever felt like it. I simply didnt feel like writing about what i promised to write about.

Well, I dont care what I feel like anymore. I'm gonna write my first post today. Inshalla!

I just gotta go have breakfast now.

salam


EDIT: I started writing it last night, and now it's almost finished....