Urs of the beloveds of Allah is an Islamic function, which is generally organized by the Khalifa to commemorate the death anniversary of a wali. To a wali, death is the culmination of a life long yearning to meet Allah and His Rasool (S.A.W.). In terms of the dictionary it means wedding. In Arabic, the bride and groom are called Aroos.
The Prophet (S.A.W.) mentions in an authentic Hadith, “When the Munkar and Nakir (the angels who question the deceased after death), questions the wali in the grave about Allah, Islam and the Prophet (S.A.W.) and the Wali successfully answers the questions, they (lovingly) declare Sleep like the bride who will only be awakened by the beloved (Mishkaat). Hence the word Urs is traced to a Hadith.
Annually on the day or month on which the wali parted from this world and entered into the hereafter, the mureed and followers and general public gather at the gravesite, recite Quran, Zikrullah, Khatme Khwajagaan and render Esaale Sawaab to the soul of the wali. Normally a lecture is given by an ‘alim, who discusses Quranic verses and Ahadith relating to Aulia Allah. The life of the Wali is presented as an example for other Muslims to follow. People are encouraged to emulate the Imaan, Piety (Taqwa), sacrifices and services of the wali.
The roots of Urs are also traced to the actions of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and the four Khulafaae Raashidoon. Ibne Ali Sheebah reports that: “The Prophet (S.A.W.) used to visit the graves of the martyrs of the Battle of Uhud every year. He used to send Salaams to them. The four righteous Khulafa upheld this Sunnah also, who used to visit the graves of Shuhadae Uhud (Those companions of the prophet (S.A.W.) who lost their lives in the Battle of Uhud, which took place in Madina). (Fatawa Shaami, Tafseere Kabeer Durre Mansoor).
Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith of Delhi (son of Shah Waliallah) writes in his famous Fatawa Azizia, page 45: Secondly, many people must assemble, recite the Holy Quran, recite fatiha on something sweet and other edibles and then distribute it amongst those present.
The Chaadar and Sandal procession is a public event designed to reflect love and respect of the soul of the wali. It is an event whereby homage is paid to the wali, and to his success in the hereafter. Trays are decoratively laden with many Ghilaaf (sheets of material used to cover the grave of the wali), flowers, Itr, Niyaaz and sandal powder. These trays are carried on the head as a mark of respect (This does not constitute Ibaadat in any way). The mureedeen and other devotees of the saint normally prepare the trays. A Shaamyaana (roughly translated as a four – handled shade, awning or umbrella) usually in the colours of the Silsila to which the saint belongs; is held aloft by those who are taking part in the procession. It is there to shelter on from the natural elements, viz. The sun and rain. It also lends dignity to the procession
Devotional poetry based on the Hamd (Praise of Allah), Na’ at (Praise of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and Manqabat (Praise of Aulia Allah) are sung all the way during the procession. Salat o Salaams and Zikrullah are also recited in some countries. These processions differ in different countries in presentation and style; as, the cultural flavourings and influences differ. These various cultural influences should not be mistaken as an imitation of any “religious denomination”.
Chaadars are placed on the grave of the Aulia Allah. This is an act of Sunnah. After the demise of the Prophet (S.A.W.) a sahaabiyah came to Sayyida Ayesha Siddiqah (R.A.) and requested her to show the grave of the Prophet (S.A.W.). Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqah (R.A.) then raised a Gilaf (sheet of fabric) from the grave of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (S.A.W.). The sahaabiyah became very, very emotional, wept beyond control, finally collapsed and passed away. (Baihaqi Shareef). Fatawa Shami, Volume 5. The Chapter on Libaas also states that it is good to place Chaadar on graves of Aulia Allah.
The grave is then sprinkled with sandal, Itr and covered with flowers. To place flowers and other fresh branches on the graves is also a Sunnah. (Bukhari Sheriff Vol.1). Itr is sprinkled onto the grave, as perfume (itr), has a certain degree of affinity with the rooh and spirituality. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) loved perfume. One of the three things made for Huzoor (S.A.W.) to prefer in this world is perfume, (Hadith). The sprinkling of Itr is for our benefit. The spiritualised precincts of a wali’s tomb are sprinkled with itr so that it ushers us into calmness and serenity. It tends to purify our thoughts and is also synonymous with the state the wali is in. Aulia Allah is a special servant of Allah.
Their graves are covered with a Ghilaaf just as we cover the Quran and Kaabah with Ghilaaf. The heart of a believer is the throne of Allah (Hadith). Even up to this day the walls housing the grave the Prophet (S.A.W.) is laden with Ghilaaf bearing Kalima Sharief and other Quranic verses which can be seen clearly from the outside also. This Sunnah is in practice from the days of the sahaaba and maintained even by the present Wahaabi regime. The Fuqahaae Kiraam have stated that the intentions behind covering the graves of Aulia Allah is love and respect for their spiritualized souls.
It also displays recognition of the achievement and success of the departed soul. It also dawns on the observer that this is the grave of a beloved of Allah who has reached the ultimate goal of nearness to Allah. The Fuqaahae Kiraam (Islamic jurists) have stressed that chaadars should not be placed on the graves of the general Muslim public.
To further highlight the status and honor of the Aulia Allah, let us take into account the following ayah of the Holy Quran: Thus, then, if he be of nearest to Allah, (there is for him) rest and satisfaction, and a ‘Garden of Delights’. (S.56.V88/89.)
DUA & Pray
A summary of a lecture on the Philosophy of Duas :
• Duas is the weapon of the believer.
• The Salat achieves acceptance if accompanied with duas. Especially the Tasbihe Zehra is very beneficial.
• Presence of heart is essential for a dua. Recitations of mere words without the longing of the heart is insufficent. We have to be in a state of seeking/begging from the All powerful creator.
• Duas can be in any language BUT using those words used by his chosen servants have greater effect.
• Duas with the references of HIS chosen people & recitation of Salwaat before & After dua have greater effect.
• Duas don’t reach the level of acceptance due to our sins (refer Dua Kumail words) Especially those where we have not given the rights of believers including Khums, Cutting of relations with relatives. etc
• We need to pray to HIM so that HE bestows on us a state where our hopes are ONLY from HIM 100% (Inqitah state, cut off form all other sources) This state is sought by the learned & pious.
• We need to ask from/Remember HIM in every small / insignificant thing too & then HE will answer in our bigger crisis situation as well.
• Scientists acknowledge that Duas have a positive impact on the well being of the individual (though Islam is not dependant upon certification of this from scientists)
• Duas without action is inappropriate eg praying for rizq but without making any efforts in that direction will not produce results.
Ulema mention that there are 3 situations (Maslehats) :
(1) HE will give whether we ask for it or not (2) HE will NOT give whether we ask or not (3) HE will give ONLY if we ask
We do not know, which sought after condition/thing falls in which of the above 3 categories & hence we pray for everything . All prayers have rewards in the hereafter.
In the 3rd category too there are those things which HE gives but AFTER a period of time (Eg Musa (as) dua to drown Firon was answered after 30 years) or HE gives only if the asking is for x no of times eg HE will give if asked for from HIM for say 25 times.
• HE gives sometimes very quickly if he does NOT like the method used by seeker
• HE delays the giving if HE likes the voice /method of the seeker so that he continues to ask of HIM.
Sura No. 2 Baqarah : Ayat 216 says :”And it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.”
Eg : a child who wants to have a colorful snake in his hand will cry for it , BUT we as elders know the poison that it contains & harm it can bring & hence do not provide the thing to him. Sometimes Wealth / Children can also deviate us from the straight path
Eg : A Prophet (as)’s companion who was very poor but recited Jamaat salat every day in the first Row & slowly when he became more prosperous, even started to make his salat Qaza.
For every delay / unanswered dua a believer will be rewarded. On the day of judgement he will receive his book of deeds which contains many many good deeds which he did not perform & he will mention that this book is not his. BUT HE will inform that those additions are to compensate him for the unanswered duas. The believer will then mention; alas it would be better for me if NONE of my duas were answered!
He has hidden His Answering (your supplications) in Your prayers to Him so then do not consider any part of your prayers to Him as being insignificant as it is possible that within that prayer lies His Answering while you are not aware.” How many times we have called upon Allah (SWT), waiting patiently for an answer? We sit down to recite the extended supplications such as those in Sahifatul Sajjadiyah and the other beautiful pleas contained in Mafaatihul Jinaan thinking that the longer the prayer, the better chance that Allah (SWT) will accept it. We fail to realize that even one short dua of a few lines has as much a chance of being accepted by Allah as the ‘longer’ duas.
The key to acceptance of a dua of any length is to ensure that we have maintained the prerequisites of supplication mentioned in the Quran and Prophetic words of wisdom, and to pray with a pure intention. If the prayer is fulfilled by Allah (SWT), we should realize that is what was best for us in this life and the next; if it is deferred to the next world, then we need to accept that what we wanted may have been detrimental for our life in this world and more importantly, our status in the next life. We must accept that after all, Allah (SWT) knows best