There was a Buzurg in the past by the name of Sayyid Ahmad Rifaa’ee rahimahullāh. Hadhrat Allamah Suyooti rahimahullāh has recorded the following incident regarding him:

In 555 A.H. Sayyid Sahib rahimahullāh went for Hajj and presented himself in front of the Raudha Mubarak in Madina Tayyibah. In a loud voice he proclaimed: “As salaamu alaykum, o my grandfather.” He received a reply which the other visitors also heard: “Wa alaykumus salaam, o my son.”

Hearing this, he went into a state of ecstasy and recited two couplets:

I used to send my soul from far away

to kiss the earth on my behalf.

Now that I have presented myself personally,

kindly stretch out your hand so that I may kiss it.”

Immediately the blessed hand of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam appeared from his illustrious grave, shining like the sun at mid-day. He went forward, kissed it, and the shining hand of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam went back into the pure grave.

Allamah Suyooti rahimahullāh mentions that 90 000 people had witnessed this event. Great friends of Allah Ta’ala were present in this gathering such as Peeraan-e-Peer Maulana Abdul Qadir Jeelaani Sahib rahimahullāh.

Maulana Thanvi rahimahullāh mentions in “Rooh-ul-‘Ajj Wath-Thajj” (pg.33) that someone asked a Buzurg: “At that moment, did you envy Sayyid Sahib rahimahullāh?” He replied: “Let alone us, at that moment even the angels carrying the ‘Arsh were envying him.”

When he regained consciousness, he realised that he was being shown a lot of respect. He therefore decided to punish his nafs. Friends! When people of this calibre saw the need to ‘treat’ themselves, how can you and I think that we will remain safe? It is obvious that we also have to do some form of treatment. The treatment he adopted was that he went to lie down at the entrance of Musjid-e-Nabawi and said to the people: “I take an oath in the Name of Allah. Walk over me!” He did this so that he could be disgraced in the eyes of the people.

People started walking over him. One of those present asked a pious person: “Why didn’t you jump over him?” He replied: “Had I done that, the Divine Fire would have burnt me. Those who jumped over him were blind.”

[Malfoothaat, By Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi Rahmatullah ‘Alayh]

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