Firasah is a light with which the Lord awards the hearts of His beloved servants. In other words, it is the transpiring of an incisive intelligence, genius, sensitivity, a depth of knowledge and understanding in the heart, in the form of spiritual comprehension.
Through the genuine feelings and inspirations that emerge in the heart, it is the ability to discern the hidden truth of things that take place and accurately foresee and determines the thoughts passing through hearts and minds.
The Blessed Prophet –upon him blessings and peace- has stated:
“Beware of the foresight of a believer…for he gazes with the light of Allah” (Tirmidhi, Tafsir, 15).
Undoubtedly, attaining this prudential foresight, which enables one to look with the penetrating light of the Lord, is reserved only for those who are triumphant in shedding the conceit of their egos.
The history of Islam presents many such cases in regard:
On the report of Anas –Allah be well-pleased with him-, while going to visit Othman –Allah be well-pleased with him- one day, he happened to notice a woman on the street. He was taken in by her beauty. With that thought in his mind, he entered Othman’s presence, who, the moment he saw Anas, said:
“You are coming here, Anas, with traces of fornication on your eyes.”
The astounded Anas –Allah be well-pleased with him- exclaimed:
“Is Divine revelation still continuing to arrive after the Messenger of Allah?” To that Othman -Allah be well-pleased with him- replied:
“No…this is simply prudence and an accurate foresight.”
It is also renowned that the foresight of Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- on many issues fell in harmony with Divine commandments revealed afterwards. The Noble Messenger –upon him blessings and peace- indeed attests to this when he says:
“Among the people who lived before you, there were those who received inspiration. If there is any such figure person among my nation, it is surely Omar.” (Bukhari, Ashabu’n-Nabi, 6)
Abu Abbas ibn Mahdi explains:
“As I was journeying through the desert once, I came within an arm’s length of another man ahead of me, barefoot and bareheaded, who was not carrying a water-bottle. ‘How is he supposed to offer ritual prayer without any water?’ I thought to myself; he must have no notion of ablution or prayer, I supposed. Then the man suddenly turned around and recited the Quranic verse, ‘…know that Allah knows what is in your hearts’ (al-Baqara, 235).
I simply lost consciousness and fell to the ground. When I regained my senses, I sought repentance from Allah and continued on my way. Not long after, I caught up with the same man once more. Seeing him, this time, impressed me with an enormous feeling of awe. I came to a standstill. He turned around, as he had done before and recited, ‘And it is He Who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons the evil deeds and He knows what you do’ (as-Shura, 25) after which he disappeared from sight. I never saw him again.”
Dhunnun-i Misri -may Allah sanctify his secret- recounts a similar experience:
“At one time, I saw a young man in worn out clothes with patches all over it. Though my ego wanted to despise him, it was as if my heart was testifying to his sainthood. Caught between my ego and my heart, I had begun thinking, when the young man became aware of my secret. Giving me a look, he said:
‘Do not throw your gaze at me, Dhunnun, to catch sight of how worn out my clothes are. The pearl always lies hidden in the nacre!’ He then slipped away out of sight.”
A young man who had come to the sohbah of saint Abdulkhaliq Gujdawani for the first time and who was concealing his Christian faith, had asked him of the inner meaning of the Prophet’s words, “Beware of the foresight of a believer…for he gazes with the light of Allah.” The reply was:
“Remove the zone around your waist and become a Muslim!”
Stunned by his crystal clear foresight, the young man uttered the Word of Tawhid in the presence of the great sheikh and became Muslim on the spot.
It has been similarly reported that Junayd Baghdadi -may Allah sanctify his secret- foresaw, at first sight, that a young man, disguised as a Muslim, was in fact a Jew and that he would end up a Muslim in a very short time.
Foresight is hence a Divine award that may increase or decrease depending on the intensity of faith and piety in the heart.