How Sufism solved the alternate reality paradox

Abdul Qadir Jilani was a great sufi saint who lived around 500 A.H. but still holds a living influence on the people of Indo-Pak Subcontinent. He was much beloved by his followers and commanded great respect in their hearts. Once he asked one of his (female) followers for some milk. Due to whatever reason she was unable to fulfill the request and the sheikh ordered the river to devour her son who happened to be crossing the river along with all the people that were in his marriage procession. Twelve years later the woman realized her mistake, took the milk to Abdul Qadir Jilani, and apologized. The sheikh immediately revived her drowned son who then went on to get married.

As soon as the imam of a local Masjid ended the above narrative, the audience started resonating chants of ‘Subhan Allah[1]’ because of the Keraamat[2] of their sheikh. A young man, however, stood up and asked the imam to complete the story. Suddenly, all the people became quiet.

‘Please finish the story. If you don’t know then I will finish the story for you.’ Said the young man. The imam stood motionless as all the people waited for his next words. The imam then said, ‘that’s all the narrative I know.’ So the young man continued.

‘Once the groom came out of the river he continued his journey to claim the hand of his beautiful bride. Upon arrival with his procession, he saw her bride was already married and had four kids; after all, 12 years had passed since his drowning. A great fight ensued between the groom and the husband of his to-be-wife and as a result 70,000 lives were lost.’

The young man after stating the above simply sat down in his place. The imam, furious by all of this, almost shouted in anger ‘and where did you find all this information.’ The young man calmly replied, ‘it was on the next page from where you got your information.’

The Moral:

Our past and present is full of people who through their piety and worship attained great status in the eyes of Allah. We are ordered through the Sunnah[3] of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to love, honor, and follow the example of such great people. We recognize their authentic keraamat, their efforts, and their sacrifices for the sake of Allah. However, our veneration should not extend beyond their reality. All the pious servants of Allah are nothing more than pious and blessed servants.

Attributing fabricated stories, or unauthenticated tales to their names does not add to their honor but may result in their disrespect. As in this case, the sheikh did not feel shy in drowning a person because of some milk that he did not receive. So while its easy to solve the paradox of alternate reality through fabricated stories it is not the suitable thing to do for the sake of our eman. If only we were to ascertain the truth of news when it reaches us, such fabrications would not exist. Know that the greatest miracle for any person is to be able to stick to the Quran and Authentic Sunnah throughout his life. Is this miracle not enough for us to honor the jewels of this Ummah?

(Note: Many sufi believes are not supported by the Quran and (or) the authentic sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). Any and all practices, believes, and sayings must have their basis in Quran or proven sunnah. The article mentions sufism just to make a point regarding fabricated tales and how common muslims fall prey to such words.)


[1] Glory be to Allah

[2] Supernatural ability, miracle

[3] Tradition of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)

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One Response to How Sufism solved the alternate reality paradox

  1. Bilal Akram says:

    Great read… good going Mr. Rehan…

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