Contents > Chapter 9: Knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen) > The Deobandis and Ilham


The Deobandis and Ilham

The Deobandi’s claim that entire books may be inspired by way of dreams and Ilham. It is claimed that the book ‘Mathnawi’, which is a collection of poems based on Sufism was inspired to the author Jalaluddin Rumi from Allah. The commentary on ‘Mathnawi’ by the name ‘Marif al-Mathnawi’ by a Deobandi scholar, Moulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar,[1] mentions on page 26, ‘the Mathnawi was an inspiration is alluded to by a verse of Muhammad Rumi.’


It is also mentioned that the inspiration came to an end and the Mathnawi remained incomplete upon Jalaluddin Rumi’s death however, “…Moulana Rumi had foretold that after him shall come, ‘Light of Soul’ who would complete the Mathnawi, (i.e. it’s sixth unfinished path) which has been mentioned in the following verses: “The commentary on this (story) remains unfinished, but the innermost has been closed and nothing more is coming forth (now). - The remainder of this story is going to be said, speechlessly, unto the heart of someone who would possess soul-sight.” Accordingly, that man of ‘sighed-soul’ became Moulana Mufti Ilahi Baksh Kandhalvi… and it was he who witnessed on his (blessed) soul the inspirations of the soul of Moulana Jalaluddin Rumi and was subsequently able to complete the Mathnawi.’[2]… “Mufti Ilahi Baksh is the man of the 12th century while Moulana Rumi lived in the 7th century (of the Islamic calendar).”[3]


It is further mentioned that since the soul of Jalaluddin Rumi inspired the soul of Moulana Ilahi Baksh Kandhalvi, the saying of Moulana Ilahi Baksh are in reality the saying of Moulana Rumi, just like the Qur’aan is the speech of Allah, though it has come to us upon the lips of His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).


According to Moulana Zakariyah, Mufti Ilahi Baksh Kandhalvi acquired the knowledge of Mathnawi in Aalam-e-Ru’yaa (the Realm of Visions and Dreams) from the author Moulana Rumi himself, who has also appointed him (Mufti Sahib) to compile the Seventh Dafter of Mathnawi.”[4]


Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki, the Shaikh of the most prominent Deobandis was extremely fond of the Mathnawi and would recite it often, as has been mentioned in his biography.


These above passages are self-explanatory and speak of…

  • An entire collection of poems on Sufism being inspired by Allah.

  • A dead Sufi Shaikh soul inspiring the heart of living Sufi after 500 years.

  • These ‘inter-Sufi’ inspirations being compared to Allah’s revelation to His Messenger.

  • Knowledge is transferred from a dead Sufi to a living Sufi via dreams (Moulana Zakariyah’s version)

  • A dead Sufi appointed a living Sufi to complete his book.


“Woe to those who write the book with their own hands

and then say, ‘This is from Allah,’ to purchase with it a little price!

Woe to them for what their hands have written

and woe to them for that they earn thereby.”[5]



Thus it is established with clear proofs that …

1. The Qur’aan and the Sunnah strictly rejected ascribing the knowledge of the Unseen to anyone except Allah.

2. The Messengers are the only clear and only source of the knowledge of the Unseen, which they receive through inspiration, revelation, or dreams.

3. Though guidance may be received after the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in the form of inspirations and dreams, they are neither independent sources of knowledge nor additions to the religion. Their function at the most is to provide glad tidings, optimism and hope.

[1] This commentary has the commendation of many of Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s Khulafaah and of Moulana Zakriyyah Kandalvi, the author of Fazaail-e-Aaamaal. See, Maarif-eMathnawi, p.10-17.

[2] See, Maarif al-Mathnawi, p.27.

[3] Maarif al-Mathnawi, p.28.

[4] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.219.

[5] Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 79.