The Hadith of Nile River & Karamat of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Sayduna Umar bin Khattab (Radi Allaho Tala Anho)
Karamat is based on Truth:
Since the Beloved Prophet’s era to the present times, there has been no disagreement among the true believers regarding the validity of Karamat (miraculous wonder). All have been of the unanimous opinion that the wonders performed by the blessed companions of the Prophet and the blessed Awliya (friends) of Allah are truthful. The manifestation of wonders by Awliya has taken place in all ages and the same will continue till the Day of Resurrection.
Definition of Karamat
In Bahar e Shariat Vol 1 Pp 1250 Pb Maktabatul Madina Karachi Pakistan, Allama Mufti Amjad Ali Azami (dba) has stated: ‘A supernatural activity performed by a Wali is called Karamat.’
The Islamic scholars are unanimous on this point that the honourable companions of the Prophet are the most eminent and distinguished Awliya of Allah. As for other Awliya Kiram, no matter how high rank of Wilayat they may acquire, but they can never ever reach the level of Wilayat that a blessed companion of the Beloved Prophet (alaihi salatv asalam) possesses. Allah has bestowed such an elevated status to the blessed companions of the Noble Prophet (alahi salatv asalam) and has bestowed such magnificent marvels and excellence upon these blessed luminaries that cannot be imagined for other blessed saints. No doubt that the wonders performed by the blessed companions have not been reported in a great number as compared to that of other Awliya Kiram. On must realize that the abundance of wonders is not the sign or evidence of the superiority of the saint-hood because saint-hood in fact is the name of nearness to Allah. The more a person possesses the Divine nearness, the higher will be his rank of his sainthood.
The companions (alaihumaridhvaan) were bestowed with exclusive attributes by virtue of the Prophet’s company. This is why the nearness and proximity possessed by these holy men in the court of Allah cannot be availed by other Awliya Kiram (alaihumar-ridhwan). Although the events of wonders related to the Prophet’s companions are less in number yet their rank of Wilayat is higher than that of all other Awliya Kiram.
When Egypt was conquered, one day the people of Egypt requested Hazrat Umro Bin Aas (Ra): O our chief! There is a custom regarding our River Nile that it does not flow until we perform it. He asked, ‘What is that?’ They replied, ‘We take a virgin girl from her parents, adorn her with an elegant dress and beautiful jewelry and then throw her into the Rive Nile.’ Hazrat Amro Bin Aaas (rd) said, ‘It can’t be possible at all where Islamic teachings prevail and Islam abolished such bad customs and practice.’
Thus that practice was abandoned. The flow of the river became slower and slower and ultimately the people intended to migrate from that place.Noticing this, Hazrat Amro bin Aaas (rd) wrote down the entire situation to the second caliph, Amir-ul-Momineen Syaduna Umar bin Khattab (radi Allaho Tala anho). In its reply, the caliph wrote, ‘You did right. Surely, Islam eradicated these types of practices. There is a piece of paper enclosed with this letter, put it into the River Nile.’
When the letter reached Hazrat Amro bin Aas (rd), the took out that piece of paper written for the River Nile: ‘O River Nile! Do not flow if you flow of your own accord and if Allah (Azzawajal) makes you flow, I supplicate to Almighty Allah to make you flow.’ Hazrat Umro bin Aas(rd) put that piece of paper into the River Nile. With in a night the water level rose by sixteen yards and that custom was completely abolished in Egypt.
(Al- Azmah li Abish – Shaykh Al-Asbahani Pp. 318, Hadees 940)
One comes to know from this event that authority of Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen, Syaduna Umar Farooq (Radi Allaho Tala Anho) was dominating even the river and they (rivers) did not disobey his commandments. This was the virtue of the purity of Iman (faith) of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen acquired from the most virtuous company of the Noblest Prophet (alaihi salatv asalam), the people of Egypt got rid of that bad custom.