Karāmas of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm Shāh al-Kasnazan
One aspect of the spirituality of this great Sufi Master is his numerous Karāmas. Here are some of them:
- One day Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm Shāh al‑Kasnazan was sitting during a Sufi gathering, he noticed a bird of prey attacking a small sparrow. The Shaikh raised his hand and said to the sparrow: “Come to me, I will protect you.” The small sparrow flew into the hand of the Shaikh for safety.
- One of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm Shāh al‑Kasnazan’s ascetic followers asked to be granted a visionary dream in which he would see Prophet Muḥammad (PBUH) as he had intense longing to see him. The Shaikh told him that “attaining to the presence of the Prophet (PBUH) is not an easy matter,” and instructed him to go to a particular cave in a certain mountain. The dervish went to the cave and found it full of gold and precious goods. When her returned to see Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm, the Shaikh told the man that he knew that he was poor so he could take as much as he wished from this treasure of Allah to overcome his poverty and become rich. The dervish replied that he had striven against his lower self for twenty years, that he would not prefer this world to the hereafter, and that he was satisfied with his poverty. The Shaikh then told him that he had passed the test and that when sleeps that night he would be have the honour by a visit of the Master of all creatures (PBUH). During his sleep that night, the dervish was visited by the Prophet (PBUH) who said to him: “Draw near to me. My son ʿAbd al-Karīm has chosen you to see me.”
- A Jewish man once headed to the village of Kirpchina thinking that he would find the Shaikh in possession of knowledge of alchemy, i.e. how to change cheap metals into gold. The man had not told anyone about the purpose of his visit. One day the Shaikh was heading towards a basin of water outside the village which he used to do his ablution to perform the prayer, when he saw the Jew. The Shaikh said to him: “What you have come searching for is not our goal; but have a look at that rock in front of you.” When the Shaikh pointed at it with his finger it turned into pure gold. He said to the Jew: “Take it and go.” The Jew was surprised and asked the Shaikh why he did not use this knowledge to live in prosperity. The Shaikh replied: “Had we wanted that we would not have been granted these degrees.” The Jew then became Muslim and repented at the hand of the Shaikh. The Shaikh turned his back completely to this world and its riches, pleasures, and opulence, so Allah gave him in return divine knowledge he could use to turn things into pure gold whenever he wished. But he had no interest in all those riches, preferring the nearness to Allah.
- One day Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm Shāh al‑Kasnazan went out to the city of Birzinja in northern Iraq to visit the shrines of his grandfathers. He was arrived in the village by a large number of people among them religious scholars and clerics. One of the scholars wondered in secret how a great Shaikh like Shāh al‑Kasnazan is without a beard. After completing his visit to the Shrines, surrounded by a crowd of dervishes and visitors, the Shaikh looked at the cleric and said: “O cleric! The beard is not the foundation and pillar of worship. Real worship lies in having a sincere intention that is dedicated to Allah, doing righteous deeds, being Allah‑fearing, and struggling on the way to Allah.”
- Once a season of draught was so severe that people were dying of starvation, so Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm Shāh al‑Kasnazan went to a nearby village to buy barley. He was accompanied by his nephew who asked him: “Uncle, no doubt you are one of the Aqṭāb (spiritual pillars) of your time, so why don’t you ask Allah to grant us money and make us rich in this year in which many people are starving to death?” When the Shaikh heard these words he pointed with his staff at a large rock on the road. The rock split open and a number of gold coins fell out. The nephew said: “This is sufficient for us. We have become rich!” At that point, the Shaikh laughed and again pointed at the rock. All the gold coins disappeared and the rock closed up. The Shaikh said: “Four kilograms of barley are sufficient for us. As for the gold, it is for its people and those who seek it.”
- One day Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm Shāh al‑Kasnazan went after midnight to a mountain to worship. When his servant followed him he saw the Shaikh praying and a large rock near to him also performing the prayer with him. The servant sat near to the Shaikh and saw a pigeon‑like bird landed slowly before the Shaikh and spoke to him in a language the servant did not understand. The Shaikh patted on the bird’s head and answered it in its tongue. When the Shaikh noticed that the servant was there, he told him: “Do not let this secret out until after my death”.
- In 1967, a man was critically ill with cirrhosis of the liver. He had been seeing doctors for a long time but without success. This man’s father, who was over the age of eighty, was a follower of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm Shāh al‑Kasnazan. One day, he told his son to ask for “madad (spiritual aid)” from the spirit of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm and read the Qur’anic chapter of al‑Fātiha as a gift to the Shaikh’s spirit. The sick man took his father’s advice. While asleep at night, he saw a man asking him: “Why have you called me, O my son?” The sick man asked: “Who are you?” The man replied: “I am Shaikh ʿAbd al-Karīm Shāh al‑Kasnazan”. He then wiped with his hand the sick man’s abdomen and said to him: “Rise healthy and clear of any illness, Allah willing”. The man woke up totally cured. This and similar miracles show that the blessings of the Shaikhs continue to reach people even after their departure from this world.