Home Faqihul Ummah Malfoozaat (Anecdotes) Aqaaid The Difference between the Path of Prophethood and the Path of Sainthood

The Difference between the Path of Prophethood and the Path of Sainthood

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Question: What is the difference between the path of prophethood and the path of sainthood? 

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Answer: Look at the sainthood of Hadrat Ali radiyallahu anhu. He was born in the Ka`bah when his mother had come to pay a visit.
Before hijrat (migration to Madinah) Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam had once taken Hadrat Ali radiyallahu anhu into the Ka`bah and asked him to sit down. Thereafter Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam placed his mubarak (blessed) feet on the shoulders of Hadrat Ali radiyallahu anhu and asked him to stand. He was unable to do so.

Then Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam himself sat down and ordered Hadrat Ali radiyallahu anhu to stand on his shoulders. Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam then stood up and he then instructed Hadrat Ali radiyallahu anhu to drop down all the idols that were in the Ka'bah.

From this incident the difference between sainthood and prophet hood becomes evident.

Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam was able to bear the weight of the sainthood of Hadrat Ali but Hadrat Ali radiyallahu anhu was unable to bear the weight of the prophethood of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

* Some people have deduced from the abovementioned incident that Hadrat Ali radiyallahu anhu was a wali and not a nabi. A wali does not have the capacity to bear the weight of prophethood.

* Others have also deduced from here that a nabi possesses both nubuwwat (prophethood) and wilayat (sainthood). A nabi is not void of wilayat. Instead, the highest degree of wilayat is also found within him in addition to his nubuwwat. On the other hand a wali only possesses wilayat which is also lesser than the wilayat of a nabi. For this reason a wali in the position of wilayat is not superior to a nabi but the nabi in the position of wilayat too is superior to a wali.
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