In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Ibn Katheer [rahimahullaah] reports an incident regarding a man who witnessed Al-Hallaaj’s tricks
The witness stated, “I used to hear that Al-Hallaaj have miracles and I wished to experience it. So I approached and greeted him, so he said to me, ‘Do you desire something this hour?’ I said, ‘I desire fresh fish’. So, he entered his house and was absent for an hour, then he came out to me with a fish that was grasping for air and his two feet were soiled with mud. He said to me, ‘I supplicated to Allaah and He commanded me go to the river bed to bring you this fish. I went into the surrounding area and this mud is from there’. I said, ‘You can take me in your house if you wish so that I can have a look in order to strengthen my certainty. I will believe in you unless something else becomes apparent to me’. He said, ‘Enter’. I entered, then he locked the door, sat down and put on an act. I went around the house, but could not find access to anything else other than it, so I was perplexed by his affair. I looked and there was a barrier (or covering), so I shook it and it gave way, and there was a door that gave access. I entered and it led me to an enormous orchard with all types of fresh fruits and many things to eat. There was a big pond with numerous fish – large and small, so I entered into it and took one fish from it and my feet got soiled with mud just as what happened to his feet. Then I went to the door and said, ‘Open the door I believe you’, but when he saw me in the same state he was [i.e. my feet soiled with mud], he rush and ran behind me to murder me, so I hit him in the face with the fish and said to him, ‘O enemy of Allaah! You have exhausted me today’. After escaping from him, I met him some days thereafter, so he smiled at me and said, ‘Do not spread it. I have not seen anyone otherwise I would have sent someone to murder you on your bed’. So, I knew that he will murder me if I reveal what I knew about him and I did not speak about it until he was crucified’”. [Ref 1]
A Clarification Regarding The Khawaariq [Phenomena attributed to something beyond what is normal or what usually happens] and The Trickers- By Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah]
The Khawaariq by way of which the devils misguide the children of Aadam – such as when the devils take the image of a person who is absent or has passed away and what is similar to this – has misguided many of those who ascribe themselves to the Muslims or to the people of the Scripture. They base this on two affairs: First, that whoever from whom these khawaariq occurs is a Wali, and according to the term of the Christians he is a Qadees A’dheem – a great saint! Second, that the one from whom these khawaariq occurs is therefore infallible- everything he narrates is truth and everything he commands is justice”.
However, it can definitely be the case that neither did a phenomena outside the norm – whether unrelated or related to sound knowledge and piety – occur from such a person nor a phenomena outside the normal related to deeds of the devils; rather the person merely carried out the tricks of the liars and wicked sinners. The tricks of the liars and wicked sinners are numerous indeed, so one thinks that they are amazing affairs outside the norm, however neither is that the case nor is it something similar to the tricks of the monks. Some people have written books regarding the tricks of the monks, such as the trick reported about one of them changing water into oil- that when the oil is in the interior of the lighthouse, the water gradually reduces and thus the oil floats [or pops up] on the water, so those who are present think that the water has changed into oil. The likes of this affair are numerous from the tricks of those Christians, because all that those Christians possess – those who altered the religion of the Messiah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] – of activities that are attributed to something out of the norm are either from the devils or they are tricks, and there’s nothing in them related to the miracles of the righteous people.
Likewise, the people of deviation- those who seek to alter the religion of Muhammad – adopt a religion that is not legislated by Allaah and His Messenger, then they make it a path of worship and give it precedence over the path that is legislated by Allaah and His Messenger. For example, they give precedence to listening to sounds from the tambourines and the shrill flutes over listening to the book of Allaah, so one of them goes into a state of ecstasy and a satanic trance through which he becomes muddled up with shaytaan until he speaks in a language he does not know. Then when he returns to his senses – just as when a jinn speaks through the tongue of the one who is possessed and after informing the people of that which is in his heart and soul, which is from the Shaytaan, and the shaytaan leaves him -, he cannot repeat what he said at first.
The heretics alter the religion of the Messengers – either the religion of the Messiah or seek to alter the religion of Muhammad, and amongst the likes of such people are the proponents heretical beliefs, misguidance, the disbelievers, the polytheists, apostates and other than them, such as the likes of Musaylimah the liar, Al-Aswad Al-Unzee, Al-Haarith Ad-Dimashqee, Baabaa Roomee and other than them amongst those who engaged in activities that are considered to be outside the norm [i.e. so called miracles] but [in reality] are related to the deeds of the devils.
As for the tricksters, they are numerous and they are not Awliyaa of Allaah, rather their so called amazing activities that are outside the norm, if not related to the satanic deeds of the soothsayers and the magicians, then they are tricks. They deliberately lie and deceive unlike those connected to the devils, because amongst them is he who deceives, so one thinks that what he does is from the miracles of the righteous people, just as amongst them is one who knows that what he does is from the devils, but he does so in order to achieve his goals.
The intent behind this discussion is that many of the activities that are considered to be outside of the norm [i.e. so called miracles] are either satanic deeds or tricks, so one thinks that they are the true miracles of the righteous people, for indeed that which whose cause is based on Shirk and wicked deeds can only be from the devils, such as when a person associates partners with Allaah by invoking the stars, or invokes a person- whether such a person is dead or absent, or he makes an oath through unknown words and statements whose meanings are not known, or he knows that they are names of devils, or seeks aid through lewd conduct and oppression, then such deeds – considered to be outside of the norm that emanates from this – are from the devils.
The righteous people have miracles such as the miracles of the pious people of this Ummah [may Allaah have mercy upon them], the miracles of the disciples of the Messiah [may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messiah, and may Allaah have mercy upon the disciples] and other than them amongst those who were upon the correct and unaltered religion of the Messiah. However, the occurrence of miracles at the hands of the righteous people does not necessitate that they are infallible like the Prophets [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them]; rather it maybe that a righteous man- a Wali – has miracles, but despite this he mixes up by error and makes a mistake in that which he thinks or what he is made to hear or see, or what he sees, or what he understands from the revealed Scrippure. And because of this, the statements of those other than the Prophets [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them] can either be accepted or rejected [i.e. based on evidence], but as for the Prophets [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them], it is obligated on a person to affirm truthfully everything they have related regarding the affairs of the unseen and obey them in everything they command. And due to this, Allaah [The Exalted] obligated on a person to believe in everything the Prophets [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them] brought and did not obligate on a person to believe in everything that comes from others. Allaah [The Exalted] said:
قُولُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰٓ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمَ وَإِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ وَٱلۡأَسۡبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ ٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيۡنَ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنۡهُمۡ وَنَحۡنُ لَهُ ۥ مُسۡلِمُونَ
Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).” [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 136]
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
لَّيۡسَ ٱلۡبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ قِبَلَ ٱلۡمَشۡرِقِ وَٱلۡمَغۡرِبِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلۡبِرَّ مَنۡ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةِ وَٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ وَٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ
It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and each and every act of obedience to Allah, etc.) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets. [Suraah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 177]
And because of this the Muslims are all in agreement that the one who disbelieved in a single Prophet whose Prophethood is well known, then he is a disbeliever- an apostate. There is no distinction between one Prophet from the other- by believing in some and disbelieving in others. Allaah said:
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَكۡفُرُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيۡنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَيَقُولُونَ نُؤۡمِنُ بِبَعۡضٍ۬ وَنَڪۡفُرُ بِبَعۡضٍ۬ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ سَبِيلاً
أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرُونَ حَقًّ۬اۚ وَأَعۡتَدۡنَا لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابً۬ا مُّهِينً۬ا
Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers (by believing in Allah and disbelieving in His Messengers) saying, “We believe in some but reject others,” and wish to adopt a way in between. They are in truth disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayaat 150-151] [Ref 2]
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah. Vol 11. Page 137. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from Al-Jawaabus Saheeh Liman Baddala Deen Al-Maseeh. Vol 1. Pages 284-287. Slightly paraphrased]