Da'wah, Islam, Issues, Life

The Deviant Beliefs Part : 1

 

 

 

 

Why correct belief is so much important?

First of all correct Aqeedah defines you as a Muslim. If you ask the people of different sects about the status of their Aqeedah, everyone would say, ‘I am a Muslim’. But do you think they all have the same beliefs or they all have the same kind of the way to approach Islam? Obviously not! For e.g; Qadiyanis believe that Prophet Hood did not end with Muhammad , but it is ongoing , and that Allah SWT sends a Messenger where there is need and that Ghulam Ahmad Al- Qadiyani is the best of all the Prophets, they believe Angel Jibrael a.s used to come down to Ghulam Ahmad and he used to bring revelation to him, they say there is no Qur’an other that what the ‘Promised Messiah i.e. Ghulam Ahmad ‘brought, and there is no hadith except what is in accordance with his teachings and no Prophet except under the leadership of Ghulam Ahmad. With such intense beliefs of Kufr these people still say,’ we are Muslims’. Ibn- Arabi a prominent extreme Sufi who proposed the theory of ‘Unity of Oneness’ (Wahdat Al-Wajud i.e. every creation is a part of God), falsely accused Prophets and Messengers, humiliated Devine Attributes and distorted stories of Prophets. This guy also says,’ I am a Muslim’. Al-Rafidah Shi’a who believes ‘Ali is God’ and believes all of the companions betrayed the Prophet except for 7 or 12, says Qur’an is incomplete and has errors in it and Angel Jibrael betrayed the trust by revealing to Muhammad and not giving to Ali r.a and still says,’ I am a Muslim’.  So, every member of the 73 sects says he is a Muslim regardless how evil his beliefs are or regardless how far away they are from Islam.

But the question is what really defines you as a ‘Muslim’? The answer is,’ beliefs in your heart and actions actually define you as a Muslim’. If you are asked,’ what kind of Muslim are you?’. You would have to explain your beliefs. You are not supposed to say,’ I am a Muslim who prays five times a day or wears hijab or who gives charity’. Because Qadiyanis also pray, and wears hijab, Sufi also spends money on poor and Al-Rafidah Shi’a also prays and wears hijab and even goes to perform Haj and Umrah as well. You would have to explain your Aqeedah in this way,’ I am a Muslim who follows Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad upon the guidance of Companions of Prophet ﷺ. So, this sort of concept actually defines you as a ‘Muslim’. So, it’s a must that one has correct belief for actions to be validated and accepted.    

Sheikh Ibn-Baz (rahimahullaah) said:

 “It is known through the legislated proofs from the Book and the Sunnah; that the actions and statements are correct and accepted if they stem from having correct belief. So if the belief is not correct, then that which branches off from it from actions and statements is invalidated.”[1]

Shaikh Sālih bin Fawzaan (hafidhahullah) said:

 “So correct belief; it is the foundation upon which the religion is established, and by way of which the actions are rendered correct, as He, The Most High, said:

“So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work [deeds of] righteousness and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord ‘’. Al-Kahf: 110

 And He, The Most High, said:

‘’ And indeed it has been revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate anything [in worship with Allaah], your deeds would surely be made ineffective, and you will certainly be among the losers’’. [2]

 So these noble Ayat – and that which has come with their meaning – and they are many, prove that actions are not accepted unless they are exempt from shirk.”[3]

 The Shaikh said likewise: “There is no benefit in prayer and giving zakat and the rest of the actions without the actualization of the two statements of faith, and this is from that which proves the importance of belief, as well as its station in Islam.”[4]

Deviancy Can Exist In Every Area Of Aqeedah:

If the frequency of faith in heart, uttering through tongue and demonstration through actions is according to the frequency of word of Allah SWT, Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad and guidance of Salaf, then only we can certify ‘ A Rectified Aqeedah’ . A Jewish Rabbi having thick beard and praying can’t be a Muslim coz his faith, utterings and actions are not valid in the light of Word of Allah SWT, His Messenger and guidance of Salaf. A Nun wearing Hijab, condemning music and dancing or consumption of Pork and Alcohol can’t be a Muslimah because faith, utterings and actions are not authentic. A Sufi Monk expressing love for Allah SWT and His Messenger but asking help from the Dead can’t be of correct Aqeedah. Lady Teresa can’t be an inhabitant of Jannah no matter how sincerely she served orphans and poor through Charity work because she dint get the admission in the Institute of Islam by correct beliefs, dint read, follow and passed the Syllabus of Qur’an and dint follow the instructions of the best Teacher Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, how could she get the degree?. Obviously she can’t because can you offer the Master degree of Oxford to an illiterate person no matter how kind hearted is he? Obviously you won’t. If Bill Gates dies on his current Aqeedah of Zionism he can never be eligible for Jannah no matter how many billions of dollars he spends in charity or for the rehabilitation of starved Africans.

So, you have to pass all these 3 areas of Aqeedah to please Lord of the world and to get the Certificate of Paradise.

Some people ask we are Muslims, how we can be deviant in our Aqeedah. Let’s discuss in a nutshell how deviancy can exist in 6 pillars of Islam.

 

 

  1. Believe In Allah SWT :

In this area there are group of people (Brelvi, Sufi, Qadiyanis, Al- Rafidah, Jahamiyyah, Mut’zilla, MURJ’IAH, Khawaarij etc) who believe:

  • Allah SWT is everywhere.
  • Concept of Incarnation is valid and Allah SWT can come to earth in any physical form.
  • Concept of Unity of Oneness is valid and all creations including pig, snakes, scorpions, worms etc are the part of God.
  • Deny Attributes of Allah SWT I.e.  He can’t hear, can’t see, can’t feel, and can’t be highly Merciful etc.
  • Allah SWT eats, drinks, sleeps, and even has needs of intercourse.
  • In the incident of Isra tul Mi’raj on Seventh Heavens Allah SWT and Prophet  ﷺ Infused together to form One Power. Creator and Creation submerged into one another.
  • Allah SWT can commit mistakes.
  • It’s valid to ask the dead to help or to offer sacrifices to them or to supplicate to them.
  • Amendments in the attributes of Allah SWT is not a sin.
  • Allah SWT has given some share of His powers to Prophets, Peer, Saints and Mystic Sufi.
  • Allah SWT can come in the dreams of Saints and Peers and can bless those Super Natural powers.
  • On the Day of Judgment while favoring Intercession Prophet Muhammad ﷺ won‘t be dependent on the commandments of Allah SWT.
  • Pleasing the dead is important to please Allah SWT.
  • Allah SWT do not answer prayers without offering the waseelah of Prophets, Peer, Saints and Sufi.
  • Allah SWT has no knowledge of Unseen.
  • Concept of unity of all religions (Wahdat Adyaan) is a good ideology to blend all existing religions into one.
  • Jews and Christians are not disbelievers.
  1. Believe In The Prophets :

In this area there are groups of people (Brelvi, Sufi, Shi’a etc) who believe:

  • Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was created by the Divine Light and was not a Human made up of Clay and having human instincts.
  • Prophet Muhammad ﷺ dint die, could not die, is alive and present everywhere.
  • Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has the knowledge of Unseen.
  • Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has the authority to provide and distribute provision.
  • It’s valid to use Waseelah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ during supplication to Allah SWT.
  • It’s valid to use the belongings of Prophets, Peer and Saints to have blessings in life.
  • It’s valid to use the logo of impression of footwear of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to have blessings and it’s not a sin to write name of Allah SWT and Muhammad ﷺ on the shoe (Na’lain Mubarak).
  • Prophets are alive in graves and are connected to our world and affairs spiritually, emotionally and physically.
  • Prophet Muhammad ﷺ can communicate to Peer, Saints and Sufi in dreams.
  • Urine and Stool of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ are not impure and can be consumed as a blessed remedy for multiple illness.
  • Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has the authority over the Treasures of Allah SWT, he has control over the entire Universe and is the master of humans.
  • Prophet Adam a.s seek repentance through the waseelah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
  • Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the sole purpose of creation of the world.
  • Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would definitely intercede for them.
  • Wives of Prophets meet them in graves and have intimacy.
  1.  Believe In The Angels :

There are some sects (Shi’a, Qadiyanis, Sufi, Brelvi etc) who believe:

  • Angels have free will.
  • Angels can commit mistakes and can damage trust.
  • Angels have feminine gender as well.
  • Angels can communicate to Scholars, Saints and Sufi to discuss Secrets of Heavens.
  • Satan was not among the Jin and was among the Angels.
  • Angels can obey the commands of Monks, Saints and Peer.
  • Satan was a fallen Angel.
  • Angel Jibrael a.s committed mistake in bringing revelations.
  • Angel Jibrael a.s brought revelation to Ghulam Ahmad Al- Qadiyani.
  • Angel of death can return the souls of dead by the command of Peer.
  • Supreme scholar or Peer can communicate to the Angels of grave and can help the dead to answer them correctly.

 

  1. Believe In The Books :

There are some people (Mut’zilla, Shi’a, Sufi, Brelvi, Jahamiyyah etc) who believe:

  • Qur’an is incomplete and has errors in it.
  • Qur’an is a creation and not a word of God. Creation can have weaknesses, disabilities, faults and expiry date.
  •  Qur’an is not a word of God purely, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ added some content in it, deleted some verses and tempered others.
  • It’s not a sin to overshadow its commandments by the rulings of Scholars and Peers.
  • It’s not a sin to deny its rulings or accept view and reject others.
  • It’s not a sin to interpret its verses according to the culture, moods and caliber of the society.
  • Angel Jibrael a.s mistakenly revealed Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad  ﷺinstead of Ali r.a
  • Peer and Supreme Scholars has the Authority to command good and forbid evil by their own knowledge and wisdom.
  • Quranic legislations can be altered according to the modern perceptions.   
  • Qur’an can be used in amulets, in frames to hang on walls, can be crafted on vessels,on jewellery, on fabrics, on interiors of home furnishing  and can be written by blood.
  • Particular Surah and Ayah can be singled out to use for different purposes and to seek blessings without any authenticity from Sunnah or guidance of Salaf.
  • Can be recited for the salvation of deceased, or can be engraved on the coffin or on the grave of deceased.
  • Blowing Surah Faatiha on food or Khatam Shifa, or reciting on 10th, 12th, 40th day of death etc all are valid.
  • Reciting Qur’an in graveyards sends blessings to the occupants of graves.
  • Marrying daughters to Qur’an is a blessed custom.
  • Building temple of Qur’an is a blessed deed.
  • Swearing by putting hand on Quran is valid.
  • Doing istikhara through the pages of Quran is a good act.
  • Reciting Quran by standing on one leg is a righteous deed.
  • Hiding the truth is ok to create peace and unity.
  • Torah, Injil and Dabur are not altered and can be followed with Qur’an.
  • Final imam of Shi’a would come out from his cave near the Day of Judgment and would bring the Genuine Version of Qur’an.
  • Some chapters of the Qur’an have been eaten by the goat.
  • Reciting Surah Yasin for the one who has died.
  • Young women should not be allowed to read and understand Surah Yusuf because it contains immoral love story.
  1. Believe In The Qadar :

Faulty influences in this area are like:

  • Allah SWT does not know about the future.
  • There is no existence of Qadar, man has total authority to build or destroy his fate.
  • Man is a puppet in the hands of destiny and is forced to obey or disobey Allah SWT.
  • Saints, Prophets and Sufi know the hidden world of unseen.
  1. Believe In The Day Of Judgment:

Some people believe only souls would have to suffer or get the rewards, physical bodies would have no pain or gain. Some believe just having faith in heart is enough, righteous deeds are not required on the final day. Some assume they would definitely get the intercession of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Some also have deceptive Aqeedah that their Peer would take them to Jannah directly no matter how sinful life they spent. Some also says final decision would be of Messenger ﷺ and not of Allah SWT on the Day Of Judgment etc.

How Deviancy Entered Into Muslim Ummah?

The various deviant influences, innovations and creeds that were introduced into Islam very technically were not just products of foolish intellects or had no impact upon the faith, creed, worship and lives of Muslims. Rather, the effect of these fallacious ideas was to distort, pollute and damage the structure of Islam and divide Ummah into fragments making them soap bubbles. So, there is a very direct connection between purity of the religion, acting upon the pure, pristine religion and between the state and conditions of the Muslim Ummah.

Let’s begin with the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. As we know in the time of Prophet ﷺ the primary source of problems were the beliefs of the Jews and Christians. Primarily Jews were living in Madinah and Prophet ﷺ was very conscious in approving and disapproving their beliefs. So in his presence there was no issue there. But very intense deviancy from early times and during the life of Prophet ﷺ was from the munafiqeen (hypocrites). These people pretended to be Muslim in open and hid their disbelief in hearts. With these munafiqeen there was a father of Khawaarij named ‘Zul-Khuwersa’.

After the battle of Hunayn while Prophet ﷺ was distributing charity to the people whose hearts needed to be reconciled, there came a man with thick beard named Zul-Khuwersa from the tribe of Tamim. He exclaimed: Fear Allah O Muhammad! The Prophet ﷺ responded: ‘who will obey Allah if were to disobey Him? Am I not the most trustworthy person on earth; and yet you trust me not?. The man then turned his back, whereupon one of those present asked for permission to kill him. But the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Leave him, verily from the progeny of this man he has comrades whose prayer and fasting will make your prayer and fasting seem insignificant. They recite the Qur’an but it does not go beyond their throats. They shall pass through the religion as an arrow that pierces clean through its prey such that, on inspecting the head; then the shaft; then the fletching; then the nock; would see no traces of blood or vice versa on it whatsoever.[5] Ibn-Al-Jawzi said: ‘The first of the Khawaarij, and the most wretched of them was Dul-Khuwaysirah. His problem was he was too puffed up with his opinion. Had he been granted grace, he would have realized that no opinion was above that of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ. The followers of this man were those who fought against Ali Bin Abi Taalib, May Allah ennoble his face.[6]

A few decades after this post-Hunayn happening, and as had been prophesied, Dhu’l-Khuwaysirah’s ideological comrades and offspring took on the shape of the very first sect to deviate from the main body of the Muslims: the Khawaarij (culled from the Arabic word kharaja – “to go out” or “to leave” the main body of Muslims). Indeed, their very name was mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ himself, who said: al-khawarij hum kilab al-nar – “The Khawaarij are the dogs of Hellfire!’[7] The emergence of the Khawarij as a sect occurred during the caliphate (khilafah) of ‘Ali, in the immediate aftermath of a civil war and its arbitration at Siffin. Ibn al-Jawzi tells us: ‘‘Ali returned from Siffin and entered Kufah: the Khawarij did not follow. Instead, they settled in Harura. There were twelve thousands of them, and they were declaring: la hukma illa li’Llah – “There is no judgement, except Allah’s.” This is how they initially started.’[8]

Imam Muslim narrates from ‘Ubayd Allah b. Abi Rafi‘, a freed salve of the Prophet ﷺ that the Khawarij came out against ‘Ali, and declared: ‘There is no judgement, except Allah’s.’ So ‘Ali replied: ‘A word of truth, intended for something false (kalimatu haqq urida biha batil).[9]

Imam al-Nawawi explains: ‘Meaning, the basis of their statement was true. Allah says: The judgement is for none but Allah. [12:40] What they intended by it, however, was to reject ‘Ali’s [acceptance of] arbitration, May Allah be pleased with him.’[10]

As with Dul-Khuwaysirah who, blinded by his warped piety and self-righteousness, thought he had a keener sense of justice than the Prophet ﷺ, the Khawarij were also possessed of holier-than-thou pretensions and smug convictions. It is this puritanical, embittered self-righteousness – devoid of any true glimmer of knowledge or spiritual wisdom – that is the hallmark of the Khawarij and their ideological cousins who drink from the same murky theological waters today. Of course, along with such fanatical zeal, their other great infamy was takfir declaring other Muslims to be disbelievers, and spilling their blood because of it.

So in the life of the Prophet ﷺ there was no major issue from Munafiqeen and father of the Khawaarij. Now we move through the life of Abu-Bakr r.a and come to the time of Umar r.a, this area covers the very important and famous Hadith of Hudhaifah.

It was narrated that Hudhaifah said:

“We were sitting with ‘Umar and he said: ‘Which of you has remembered a Hadith from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) concerning Fitnah?’” Hudhaifah said: “I said: ‘I have.’ He said: ‘You are very bold.’ He said: ‘How?’ He said: ‘I heard him say: “The fitnah of a man with regard to his family, his children and his neighbors are expiated by his prayers, fasts, charity and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.” ‘Umar said: ‘This is not what I meant, rather I meant that which moves like the waves of the sea.’” Hudhaifah said: “Don’t worry about it, O Commander of the Believers! For there is a closed door between you and them.” ‘Umar said: “Will that door be broken or opened?” I said: “No, it will be broken.” ‘Umar said: “Then it will never be closed.’” We asked Hudhaifah: “Did ‘Umar know what that door meant?” He said: “Yes, just as he knows that there will be night before morning, because I narrated to him a Hadith in which there are no errors.” We were afraid to ask him who the door was, so we said to Masruq: “Ask him.” He said: “‘Umar.”[11]

Umar r.a was the door who was stopping the bidah and deviancy. Every time munafiqeen planned and plotted against Ummah, Allah made Umar to destroy their plots. So hypocrites had no hope in the life of Umar that they would be able to introduce innovations in the Muslim World.  Umar r.a knew he would be assassinated, Hudhaifah also knew but rest of the companions had no idea before this hadith. Umar r.a was killed by Abu Lu Lu Feroaz Majusi. And when Umar died this opened the door to the Munafiqeen because suddenly the person who Allah put as a door to resist fallacious ideas was no longer there.

So Munafiqeen began to plot and conspire and the first person they targeted was Hadhrath Uthman r.a.There was a figure called ‘Abdullah Bin Sabba’, a Jewish Munafiq. He travelled around the lands and sent people to the areas which were not much familiar to Islam properly and there was no big Islamic knowledge base there. He could not misguide folks in Madinah because of the presence of Companions, Imams and righteous people over there. So he went to Iraq, Egypt and areas where Islam was enforced by other beliefs. He started spreading humors against Uthman r.a i.e. he is a tyrant, he has left Islam, people of Ahlay Bait has imprisoned him, he discriminates etc. ignorant people believed him and eventually they gathered a great number of Army and they pushed to Madinah to Uthman. Uthman came out in Madinah with Ali r.a and ridiculed these opinions and strongly condemned. When people see Uthman dint disbelief, is not in prison, is not unjust and everything is in peace, so they realized we made a mistake and went back to their lands. When the Munafiqeen saw that their plan is failed, they plotted a quick backup and created fake letters from Uthman r.a to Governors and commanded to kill the people who had returned to their lands. At that time people were very honest and trustworthy and were not used too of such lies and monopolies. They also sent Messengers with their letters and when people of those areas caught the messengers, letters got exposed and built a great aggression against Uthman r.a These ignorant people rushed back to Madinah and killed Uthman r.a This assassination opened the door of tribulations for Ummah because Abdullah Ibn Sabba not only misguided folks but also politicized the status of Caliphate that Uthman should not have taken the charge because Ali deserved it. So the army who killed Uthman went to Ali and said,’ now you are Ameer Ul-Muminin’. But Ali r.a refused and they threaten him and said.’ If you won’t accept this we would slaughter the people of Madinah’. This was the character and psychology of these people who claimed to be righteous and upon truth. So Ali r.a feared the slaughtering of innocent people and agreed. Ali had an army full of such mind sets. At one hand Abdullah Ibn Sabba favored Ali r.a but at the back of the stage he plotted vicious plans with Munafiqeen to rebel and kill Muslim rulers who are not of their choice. At this stage Sahaba split into two groups. Group of Hadhrath Ayesha r.a, Zubayr r.a and many noble companions believed that the best thing is to seek revenge of Uthman r.a because they knew if they let those Munafiqeen to go with Ali, they would kill Ali r.a too and every Muslim Ruler, so we need to take stand. But Ali r.a said we need to wait and let the Muslim army come back from Jihad and resolve this issue. Finally Muslim Army returns and Ayesha r.a with companions and army decided to meet Ali r.a and his army who had these people who killed Uthman r.a

When Munafiqeen heard this, they feared that definitely Ayesha r.a would succeed and Muslim Army would arrest the killers of Uthman r.a, Ali r.a would become the leader and their plan would be failed. So, they decided a Great Plan and sent men to hide in the Army of Ayesha r.a and also in the Army of Ali r.a.  Ayesha r.a met Ali r.a and discussed everything and the issue got resolved peacefully. At that time the men hiding in the Army of Ayesha r.a took the arrows and started shooting on the people of other side. The munafiqeen who were hiding in the army of Ali r.a reacted violently. This situation created disastrous psychological effect and everyone thought that the other side betrayed. Peace negotiations were ruined and Sahaba started fighting on the other side of the Sahaba, emotions over ruled and wisdom got suppressed. Until the camel of Ayesha r.a was killed and when they proceeded to arrest her suddenly they realized oh, she is the wife of the Prophet ﷺ and felt embarrassed that they committed a great sin. So everyone stopped. Zubayr r.a fought with Ali r.a, Ali r.a reminded him the words of Prophet ﷺ, he felt guilty, repented and ran away from the battle field but was killed by one of the Munafiq in the state of repentance.

Now at this time Ali r.a made number of decisions. He negotiated with Mu’aawiyyah r.a for the plans of future battles for best strategies. Mu’aawiyyah r.a stayed in Syria and Ali r.a stayed in Madinah. When this happened Munafiqeen started to spread another humor and said Ali has left Islam because he refused to arrest Ayesha r.a as a slave, he allowed negotiation with the other group and said to him you are implementing Law and only Allah has the right to implement the Law. Ali r.a replied his famous statement,’ it’s the truth you have said but it’s not the truth you have mean i.e. you are intending something behind that i made Law of Allah and I am a disbeliever’. They declared Umar bin Al’aas and other noble companions who were involved in the negotiations of Ali and Mu’aawiyyah as disbelievers. So they planned to assassinate Ali r.a, Mu’aawiyyah r.a, Umar bin Al Aa’s and Abu Moosa Al- Ash’ari. Their plot failed except one. Ali r.a was martyred and was killed by Khawaarij. This group was funded and fueled my hypocrites. Fitnah continues, battles continues and appears a group named ‘Qadariyyah’. We see in the hadith of Jibril Sahi Muslim from the narration of Abdullah Ibn Umar, two men came to Abdullah Ibn Umar and they said to him there appeared people in our land who say there is no Qadar and everything is random and Allah does not know the future.. Abdullah Ibn Umar said,’ if you meet them tell them I am free from them and they are free from me ‘. So, here we have 3 groups;

  • Qadariyyah who are mentioned in the hadith.
  • The Khawaarij who rebelled against Muslim rulers along with the belief that Muslims who commit major sins like fornication or consume alcohol or lie are kafir. Because of such deviant philosophies they started slaughtering Muslims.
  • The Shi’a begun to form even more worse. As Ali r.a was situation gets worst and worst, Shi’a grew in groups and started slandering Aisha r.a and Mu’aawiyyah r.a .They generated a tradition to curse Aisha r.a, Abu-Bakr r.a, Umar r.a and Uthman r.a officially and on festivals. They raised the status of Ali r.a to the status of Allah and was worshipped besides Allah. And this was done purely by the efforts of the Munafiqeen. So, hypocrites are making their efforts, Shi’a are formed, Qadariyyah are also formed.

After a while creeds of Qadariyyah leads to major discussion amongst the Muslims that what is the status of the bad Muslim? Khawaarij proposed a methodology that a Muslim without beard, hijab and committing major sins is a disbeliever. At this time we see the beginning of ‘Jahamiyyah’ and the ‘Mu’tazilah’ at the time of Umaed Khilafah. So, we see Ja’d Ibn Dirham, Jahm Ibn- Sufwan, Wasil Ibn-Ataa and Amr Ibn- Ubayd. Wasil ibn Atta and Amr Ibn Ubayd were primarily dealing with the issue that what happens to disobedient Muslim and they created an idea that the disobedient Muslim is not a Muslim and not a Kafir as well. He is dead in the middle. He is not from the people of paradise nor from the people of hell, he is stuck in the middle. And this develops further and further at the time of Taabi’een and at the time of Umayyad khilafah and it gets worst and worst until the Mu’tazilah are formed.  This group denied Qur’an as word of Allah and called it a creation. This ideology was inspired by the Roman and Greek mythologies of Kufr. Supreme leaders of Jahamiyyah, JA’d Ibn Dirham and Jahm Ibn Sufyaan were famous for the denial of the attributes of Allah and blending of the ‘Aristotle Philosophy’ in their Aqeedah. They said Allah can’t see, can’t hear, can’t talk, can’t feel, can’t be merciful, can’t be wise and denied all of His names and attributes. This belief came from the external religions of Christians and Jews. Abdullah Ibn Saba was a Jew and John of Damascus was a Christian Saint.

 John of Damascus was famous for his refutation of Islam. Read some of his quotes in his work ‘’The Fount of Knowledge’’ about Islam and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. In his passage on Concerning Heresies, his section on the superstition of the Ishmaelites is considerably longer than most. One reason for this attention could be his prolonged battles against iconoclasm, in which the influence of Islam was a significant factor. The following are selected sections from his passage on” refutation of Islam”:

“Muhammad devised his own heresy:

“There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the Antichrist. They are descended from Ishmael, [who] was born to Abraham of Agar, and for this reason they are called both Agarenes and Ishmaelites… From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his and he gave it to them as an object of veneration.”

 Where did Scripture foretell Muhammad?

“But when we ask: ‘And who is there to testify that God gave him the book? And which of the prophets foretold that such a prophet would rise up?’—they are at a loss. And we remark that Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai, with God appearing in the sight of all the people in cloud, and fire, and darkness, and storm. And we say that all the Prophets from Moses on down foretold the coming of Christ and how Christ God (and incarnate Son of God) was to come and to be crucified and die and rise again, and how He was to be the judge of the living and dead. Then, when we say: ‘How is it that this prophet of yours did not come in the same way, with others bearing witness to him? And how is it that God did not in your presence present this man with the book to which you refer, even as He gave the Law to Moses, with the people looking on and the mountain smoking, so that you, too, might have certainty?’—they answer that God does as He pleases.”

 What do the Muslims call Christians?

“Moreover, they call us Hetaerists, or Associators, because, they say, we introduce an associate with God by declaring Christ to the Son of God and God… And again we say to them: ‘As long as you say that Christ is the Word of God and Spirit, why do you accuse us of being Hetaeriasts? For the word, and the spirit, is inseparable from that in which it naturally has existence. Therefore, if the Word of God is in God, then it is obvious that He is God. If, however, He is outside of God, then, according to you, God is without word and without spirit. Consequently, by avoiding the introduction of an associate with God you have mutilated Him. It would be far better for you to say that He has an associate than to mutilate Him, as if you were dealing with a stone or a piece of wood or some other inanimate object. Thus, you speak untruly when you call us Hetaeriasts; we retort by calling you Mutilators of God.’ ”

So, enemies of Islam fueled these groups through their Roman Saints, Priests and theologies.

Ashar ’I came in response to Mu’tazilah and they all together created a cocktail of beliefs by blending variety of ideas of Greek and Roman Kuffar, Muhrikeen and Atheists.

Then it comes the times of Abbasids (132 Ah onwards). Greek philosophy is translated and deviancy becomes widespread. Ashar I and other groups of Ilm-Ul-Kalaam refuted Mu’tazilah and said  Allah’s hand does not mean hand, His face does not mean face, His speech does not mean speech etc and introduced new interpretations of Allah’s Names and Attributes.

Then came Al-Ghazali, he joined between Ilm-Ul-Kalaam and Sufism. He mixed these two philosophies and gave rise to more deviant theories, later on these ideas produced Sufi Meta-Physics.

This is how Deviancy entered into Muslim World by the efforts of Kuffar, Mushriqeen and Munafiqeen. Various ideologies of Modern Era are their offspring, propagated through their social and electronic media around the clock. These think tanks utilize their best sources to damage Tawheed and to distort genuine features of Islam. In poor societies they exploited hunger and created Professions of Peer and Saints making Shrines of Dead their commercial stations. Ignorance, class system and media influences accelerated these seeds of fitnah. In well-off societies they exploited wealth by building idol of materialism. In well versed communities they utilized the weapons of ambiguous Roman and Greek Theologies.

Let’s evaluate these Eastern and Western parasitic beliefs in detail in the Divine light of Qur’an and guidance of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

 Beliefs of Barelvis:

The Bareilawis are an extreme Sufi sect that appeared in the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent, in the city of Bareilly, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh during the days of British colonialism. 

The basic principles of their misguided, deviant teachings are based on exaggeration about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the members of his household, exaggeration about the righteous, enmity towards Ahl as-Sunnah, and diverting the people away from jihad for the sake of Allah. 

The founder of this sect was called Ahmad Reza Khan Taqiy ‘Ali Khan; he called himself ‘Abd al-Mustafa. He was one of the misguided extremists. He used to say: “When you are confused, seek help from the occupants of the graves.” 

In his extreme exaggeration about the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), he said: “The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is in control everywhere; he is the king of earth and the sovereign of mankind.”  And he said: “O Muhammad, I cannot say that you are Allah and I cannot differentiate between you and Him; your matter is for Him to judge, for He knows best what you really are.” 

And he said: “Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, gave the one who brought the Qur’an, our master Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), everything that is in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz.” 

And he said: “The Messenger is light from the Light of Allah, and all of creation comes from his light.” 

Amjad ‘Ali, one of their leaders, said: “The Prophet is a deputy of Allah with complete au thority and the entire universe is under his control. So he does whatever he wants, he gives whatever he wants to whoever he wants, he takes whatever he wants, and there is no one in the universe who can alter his rule. He is the master of humans and whoever does not make him his sovereign is deprived of the sweetness of the Sunnah.” 

And he said: “Those who reject seeking help from the Prophets and saints and from their graves are heretics.” 

Ahmad Yar Khan – one of their shaykhs – said: “The shar‘i meaning of the one who is present and watching {this refers to the Prophet } is that the one who is possessed of holy power is able to see the world like the palm of his hand from the place where he is; he can hear sounds from near and from far; he can go around the world in a single moment; he helps those who are in need and he answers those who call on him.” 

They used to build structures over graves and frequent them, lighting candles and lamps in them, offer sacrifices to them in fulfilment of vows, seeking barakah (blessing) from them, holding celebrations for them, putting flowers and roses and cloths on them and putting curtains around them, and calling their followers to circumambulate the tombs, seeking barakah from them[1]

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked: 

There is a certain group in Pakistan that is called the Bareilawis or the Nawaari group, named after their current leader who is known as Nawaari. I asked you for the shar‘i ruling concerning them and their beliefs, and praying behind them, so that this may bring peace of mind to many people who do not know the truth about them. And once again, I would like to ask you about some of their myths and widespread beliefs: 

  • The belief that the Messenger ﷺ is alive.
  • The belief that the Messenger is present and can see what is happening especially immediately after Jumu‘ah prayer.
  • They celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, saints, peers ans Sufi monks either dead or alive and believe that Soul of these religious persons visits on the day of their birth to inquire status of celebrations.
  • They manipulate Quranic Verses by wrong interpretations to prove their faulty beliefs.
  • They believe in the extreme deviant ideologies of Wahdat Adyaan ( unity of all religions), Wahdat Al- Wajood( creations are reflection of the Creator), Noor Min Noor Allah ( Prophet

Was light and was created from the Divine Light) etc.

  • The belief that the Messenger . will definitely intercede for them.
  • They believe in the awliya’ (“saints”) and the occupants of graves, and they pray at their graves and ask them to meet their needs.
  • They build domes over graves and put lights in them.
  • They are known to say “Ya Rasool, Ya Muhammad (O Messenger, O Muhammad) (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
  • They get angry with the one who says Ameen out loud and raises his hands when praying, and they regard him as a Wahhabi.
  • They find it very strange when the siwaak is used at the time of prayer.
  • They kiss their fingers during wudoo’, at the time of the Adhan, and after prayer.
  • Their imam always recites the verse “Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honors, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allah to bless and forgive him)” [al-Ahzab 33:56]after prayer, then all the worshippers send blessings upon the Prophet in unison and loudly.
  • They gather in circles after Jumu‘ah prayer, standing, reciting and reciting poetry in praise of the Prophet
  • After completing the recitation of the Holy Qur’an in Taraweeh prayer in Ramadan, they make a great deal of food and distribute it in the forecourt of the mosque, as well as sweets.
  • They build mosques and adorn them elaborately, and they write over the mihraab “Ya Muhammad (O Muhammad)”.
  • They regard themselves as followers of the Sunnah and correct ‘Aqeedah (belief), and think that others are in the wrong. 

What is the shar‘i ruling on praying behind them? 

They replied: 

It is not permissible to pray behind one who is like this, and if one who knows that the belief of the imam is like that prays behind him, his prayer is invalid, because most of the things listed are characteristics of kufr (disbelief) and bid‘ah (innovation) that are contrary to the Tawheed (affirmation of the Oneness of Allah) with which Allah sent His Messengers and which He revealed in His Books. It is contrary to the clear meaning of the Qur’an, such as the verses in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, you (O Muhammad ) will die and verily, they (too) will die” [Az-Zumar 39:30] and “And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah” [al-Jinn 72:18]. The innovations that they do should be denounced in a gentle way; if they accept it then praise be to Allah. If they do not accept it, then shun them and pray in the mosques of Ahl as-Sunnah. We have a good example in the Close Friend (Khalil) of the Most Merciful, as Allah tells us he said (interpretation of the meaning): “And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call on my Lord; and I hope that I shall not be unblest in my invocation to my Lord” [Maryam 19:48]. [2] 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on praying behind an imam from the Bareilawi sect, who believes that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is alive and present and can see us? He replied: If they believe that, then they have gone against ijmaa‘(consensus of the Ummah), and if they seek his help, then that is shirk, so it is not permissible to pray behind them.[3]

Prominent Features of Their Deviation:

Is Allah SWT everywhere? :

Brelvis and Sufi have spread this false belief that Allah SWT is everywhere. This belief has no valid proof from Qu’ran and Sunnah. Logically the word ‘everywhere’ also includes churches, temples, casino, graveyards, cinemas etc and it’s totally against the Attributes of Allah SWT. So, Allah SWT is Above His Throne. It is proven in the Quran and Sunnah and by the consensus (ijma’) of the salaf (early generations) of this Ummah that Allah is above His heavens over His Throne (as befits His Majesty), and that He is the Exalted, Most High. He is above all things, and there is nothing that is above Him.

Allah says:  

“Allah, it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them in six days. Then He rose over (istawa) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). You (mankind) have none, besides Him, as a Wali (protector or helper) or an intercessor. Will you not then remember (or receive admonition)?” [4]

“Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then rose over (istawa) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty), disposing the affair of all things.” [5]

 “……To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it (i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds).”[6]

 “He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him).”[7]

The Prophet said:

You are the Most High and there is nothing above You…”

There are many similar ayat (verses) and ahadeeth (prophetic narrations). But at the same time, Allah swt tells us that He is with His slaves wherever they are:

“Have you not seen that Allah knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth? There is no najwa (secret counsel) of three but He is their fourth (with His Knowledge, while He Himself is over the Throne, over the seventh heaven), — nor of five but He is their sixth (with His Knowledge), — nor of less than that or more but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be.” [8]

Allah SWT has combined mention of His being above His Throne with mention of His being with His slaves in one ayah (verse), where He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then rose over (istawa) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, and what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be.”[9]

Saying that Allah is with us does not mean that He is mixed with (or dwells in) His creation; rather He is with His slaves by His knowledge. He is above His Throne and nothing is hidden from Him of what they do. With regard to the ayah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“……..And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge).” [10] 

Most of the mufassireen (exegesists) said that what is meant is that He is near by means of His angels whose task it is to record people’s deeds. And those who said that it means that He is near explained it as meaning that He is near by His knowledge, as is said concerning how He is with us.

This is the view of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah (followers of prophetic guidance), who affirm that Allah is above His creation and that He is also with His slaves, and they state that He is far above dwelling in His created beings. With regard to the denial of all Divine attributes as voiced by the Jahamiyyah (a deviant sect) and their followers, they deny that His Essence is above His creatures and that He rose above His Throne, and they say that He is present in His Essence everywhere.

Is Allaah above Paradise? :

 Praise be to Allaah, the Most High (al-‘Aliy), the Almighty (al-‘Azeem), the Most Great (al-Kabeer), and the Most High (al-Muta’aal). Glory be to Allaah, the Almighty (al-‘Azeem). There is no god but Allaah, and Allaah is Most Great. And peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions…

 One of the things which it is obligatory to believe in is that Allaah is the Most High (al-‘Aliy, al-A’laa) and that He rose over the Throne, as He has told us about Himself in His Book. He, may He be glorified and exalted, is above all things. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in his du’aa’: “You are the Most High (al-Zaahir) and there is nothing above You.”

 We are also obliged to believe that He is the Most Great (al-Kabeer), and that He is greater than all things, and that He is the Almighty (al-Azeem), and there is nothing mightier than Him. Part of the perfection of His might and power is that He will grasp the heavens and the earth in His two Hands on the Day of Resurrection, as He says:

 “They made not a just estimate of Allâh such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified be He, and High be He above all that they associate as partners with Him!”[11]

 It must be noted that because Allaah is perfect in His Highness and Power, He cannot reside in anything that He has created. So it cannot be said that He is in Paradise. On the contrary, He is above the Throne which is the roof of al-Firdaws, and al-Firdaws is the highest part of Paradise. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you ask Allaah for Paradise, ask Him for al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise and it is in the middle of Paradise, and its roof is the Throne of the Most Merciful.”

 It is not permissible for the Muslim to think about the essence of Allaah, or to try to imagine His might, for the human mind is incapable ot comprehending the real essence and attributes of the Lord, and how they are. As Imaam Maalik said, when he was asked about how Allaah rose over the Throne: “We know that He rose over it, but we do not know how. Believing in it is obligatory and asking about it is bid’ah.”

If Allah is Noor, Why isn’t He Everywhere?

First of all, it is important to accept that one of the characteristics of Allah is ‘Noor’ as explicitly mentioned by Allah Himself and His Messenger SAW. In Qur’an Allah SWT says:

 “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.”[12]

Similarly, the Prophet SAW used to make Dua at night and while doing so, he would state:

“All the Praises are for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth….”[13]

But having a characteristic of ‘Noor’ doesn’t mean that everything illuminated in this world is in fact by His ‘Noor’ which is part of Him, because He is also the creator of ‘Noor’.

He SWT states:

 “All praises and thanks be to Allah, Who (Alone) created the heavens and the earth, and created the darkness and the light…”[14]

Imam Al-Qatadah says:

 “Indeed He created the Heavens before Earth, Darkness before Light and Paradise before Hellfire.”[15]

Therefore, we differentiate between His characteristic and His creation. The first one is Divine and the other is His creation and both cannot be compared. Similarly, the sun and the moon that illuminate the day and night are also from His creation as mentioned by Quran:

“It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light…”[16]

Based on the mentioned point, it can be deduced that even though one of the characteristics of Allah is light but it does not imply that wherever we see the light it is mainly the Divine light of Allah or Allah Himself. This is where the Jahmiyyah, a deviant sect from the past went astray. They were of the opinion that because Allah is Light, therefore He is everywhere. Imam Ahmad in response to them argued while asking: “what do you say about the following Ayah of the Quran”:

“…….When his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust, and Musa (Moses) fell down unconscious…” [17]

If the light was already there, then what is the meaning of appearing or exhibiting ‘Noor’ on it? Moreover, why did the mountain collapse only after the exhibition of light when in your opinion it was already there? The answer is the mountain saw what it never saw before, which made it collapse. Similarly, it can be argued, if what you say is true then why the night is dark? Why a place becomes dark when the sun is set and is deprived from the light of lamp?

Therefore, Allah’s Noor which is part of Him is behind the veil of Noor as mentioned by

The Hadith of the Prophet

 “His veil is the light. In the hadith narrated by Abu Bakr (instead of the word “light”) it is fire. If he withdraws it (the veil), the splendor of His countenance would consume His creation so far as His sight reaches.”[18]

This Veil of Light is not the same as the Light of Allah:

 “There is no doubt that the Veil of Light is a hurdle in sighting the ‘Self’ of Allah; therefore, the Light of His ‘Self’ is more magnificent than the Light of His Veil. In fact the Veil seeks Light from His Light…”[19]

Therefore, many mufassiroon have explained that the ‘Noor’ mentioned in the Ayah of Surah Noor also refers to the subject (فاعل) i.e. منوّر which means the ‘illuminator’ and Arabic grammarians do not disagree with it. Therefore, it can also be translated as ‘Allah is the illuminator of the Heavens and the Earth’. He either illuminates by His created Light (such as the case of Sun and Moon) or by the Light of His ‘Self’ as was the case of exhibiting on the Mountain, (in the manner which is befitting to His Grace).

As for saying that His Throne surrounds the creation and therefore, He is everywhere is a wrong inference. When we say that Allah surrounds His creation, we mean that He surrounds His creation by His Power and knowledge. This is not a ta’weel (interpretation) as Allah Himself explicitly explains that in the following Ayat:

“It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.” [20]

As for the ‘direction’ (which is a complex word and one should avoid using it for Allah), Allah is above His Throne and above His creation and separate from them.

 As Allah SWT says:

Who created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six Days. Then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty)…” [21]

It is extremely important to note that rising above the creation is not there to prove His ‘direction’, it is to affirm His partition from His creation. Moreover, it is not us who say that Allah is above His Throne, it is the Quran who says that as stated in the mentioned Ayat. He is above His Throne in the manner which is befitting to His Grace and we cannot comprehend Him or His characteristics. Therefore, we cannot apply logic in understanding His Characteristics as applied in the question.

Similarly, it is proved from the Sunnah that in one part of the night Allah descends to the Heaven of the Earth for His slaves. Someone may argue that because of time differences of different countries, this does not seem plausible as He cannot be on the Heaven of the Earth at one time for one country, and above His Throne at the same time for another country?

However, if one still wants to rely on logic then I normally give the example of a cloud. We all know that the clouds surround the Earth, but no one says that they are at every direction. Whenever one is asked about them, he responds saying that the clouds are in the sky or above us. This means that being above or surrounding something does not necessarily imply being in every direction.

As for saying that when we accept that He is nearer to us than our Jugular vein, and also above His Throne and has also surrounded us, then does this all imply that He is everywhere? We argue that, it is wrong to imply that because it negates any form of distinction between the creation and the Creator and is totally against what our Aslaf understood. This opinion is the opinion of deviant sects and was rejected by our Aslaf every time it appeared. Every evidence falls at its place and fits in the context when we say the following:

  • As for His ‘Self’ He is above His Throne based on the mentioned Ayat.
  • As for His knowledge and Control, They are everywhere and at every direction based on the mentioned Ayat.
  • As for His Mercy and Awareness, They are closer to us than our jugular veins.

 

There is no contradiction between the fact that Allaah descends to the lowest heaven and His having risen above the Throne (istiwaa’):

We have to know the ‘aqeedah (belief) of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah concerning the names and attributes of Allaah. The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is to affirm the names and attributes which Allaah has affirmed for Himself, without distorting or denying them, discussing how they are or likening them to anything else. They believe that which Allaah has commanded them to believe, for Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All Hearer, the All Seer”[22]

Allaah has told us about Himself. He says:

“Indeed, your Lord is Allaah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawaa) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty).[23]

 “The Most Gracious (Allaah) rose over (Istawaa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty).[24]

And there are other aayahs which mention that Allaah rose over His Throne.

The rising of Allaah over His Throne, which means that He Himself is High and above the Throne, is of a special nature which befits His Majesty and Might. No one knows how it is except Him.

This was proven in the saheeh Sunnah, where it is narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that Allaah descends during the last third of the night. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when the last third of the night remains, and He says, ‘Who will call Me that I might answer him, who will ask of Me that I might give him, who will ask My forgiveness, that I might forgive him?’[25] According to Ahl al-Sunnah, the meaning of this descent is that Allaah Himself comes down to the lowest heaven in a real sense, as befits His Majesty, and no one knows how that is except Him.

But does the fact that Allaah comes down mean that He vacates the Throne or not? Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said concerning a similar question: we say that this question is based on unnecessary and excessive questioning, and that the one who asked this is not to be thanked for his question. We ask, are you keener than the Sahaabah to understand the attributes of Allaah? If he says yes, we tell him, you are lying. And if he says no, we tell him, then be content with what they were content with. They did not ask the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), ‘O Messenger of Allaah, when He comes down, does He vacate the Throne?’ Why do you need to ask this question? Just say, He comes down. Whether or not the Throne is vacated is not your business. You are commanded to believe the reports, especially concerning the essence of Allaah and His attributes, for this matter is above rational thought.

Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Uthaymeen, 1/204-205 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning this matter:

“The correct view is that He descends and that He does not vacate the Throne. A person’s soul remains attached to his body night and day until he dies, but when he is asleep it ascends… It was said, night varies, and the last third of the night comes sooner in the east than in the west, so the descent of Allaah to the lowest heaven, of which His Messenger spoke, happens in the east first and then in the west…” 

 Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah, 5/132 

Rising over (istiwaa’) and descending are two of the practical attributes which have to do with the will of Allaah. Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah believe in that, but in this belief they avoid likening Allaah to any of His creation or discussing how He is. It cannot occur to them that Allaah’s descending is like the descending of any of His creatures or that His rising over the Throne is like the rising over of any of His creatures, because they believe that there is nothing like unto Allaah and He is the All-Hearer, All-Seer. They know on rational grounds that there is a great difference between the Creator and His creatures, in their essence, attributes and actions. It cannot occur to them to ask how He descends, or how He rose over His Throne. The point is that they do not ask how His attributes are; they believe that there is a ‘how’, but it is unknown, so we can never imagine how it is.

We know for certain that what is narrated in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Prophet is true and is not self-contradictory, because Allaah says:

“Do they not then consider the Qur’aan carefully? Had it been from other than Allaah, they would surely, have found therein many a contradiction”[26]

Because contradictions in the reports would mean that some of them were showing

Others to be false, and this is impossible in the case of that which Allaah and His Messenger tell us.

Whoever imagines that there are any contradictions in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Messenger or between the two, it is either because of his lack of knowledge or because he has failed to understand properly or to ponder the matter correctly, so let him seek further knowledge and strive to think harder until the truth becomes clear to him. Then if the matter is still not clear to him, let him leave it to the One Who is All-Knowing and let him put a stop to his illusions and say, as those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say, “We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:7 – interpretation of the meaning]. Let him know that there is no contradiction in the Qur’aan and Sunnah and no conflict between them. And Allaah knows best.

 Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/237-238 

Imagining that there is a conflict between Allaah’s descending to the lowest heaven and His having risen over the Throne and His being high above the heavens stems from making a comparison between the Creator and the created being. For man cannot imagine the unseen things of His creation, such as the delights of Paradise, so how can he imagine the Creator, may He be glorified and exalted, the Knower of the Unseen. So we believe in what has been narrated of His rising over (the Throne), His descending and His being High and Exalted. We affirm that (and state that it is) in a manner that befits His Majesty and Might.

Commentary on the verse “so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allaah”:

We are obliged to believe that Allaah has risen above His throne in a manner that befits His majesty, not in a manner that resembles human movement, and to believe that Allaah has a Face that is not like the faces of His creation.

So we should not go astray when interpreting verses and we must not distort their meanings; we should follow the views of the righteous salaf concerning that.

With regard to the tafseer (commentary) on this verse, Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

If you ask whether every mention of the wajh (face) with reference to Allaah means the Face of Allaah which is one of His attributes, the answer is that this is the basic principle.

Allaah says :

“And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon seeking His Face”[27]

 “And who has (in mind) no favour from anyone to be paid back,

Except to seek the Countenance of his Lord, the Most High.

He surely, will be pleased (when he will enter Paradise)”[28]

And there are other similar verses.

The basic principle is that what is meant by wajh is the Face of Allaah which is one of His attributes. But there is a verse concerning which the mufassireen differed, which is this verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“And to Allaah belong the east and the west, so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allaah”[29]

Some of them said that what is meant by wajh here is direction, because Allaah says:

For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers)”[30]

So what is meant by wajh here is direction, so “there is the wajh of Allaah” means there is the direction of prayer which Allaah accepts.

They said: because when travelling, if a person offers naafil prayers he can pray in whatever direction he is facing.

But the correct view is that what is meant by wajh here is the Face of Allaah. So wherever you turn there is the Face of Allaah, because Allaah encompasses all things, and because it was proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that when the worshipper stands to pray, Allaah in front of him. Hence it is forbidden for the worshipper to spit in front of him, because Allaah is in front of him. So if you pray in a place where you do not know where the qiblah is, but you do your best to figure it out and pray, and the qiblah is in fact behind you, then Allaah is in front of you even in this situation.

This is the correct meaning which is in accordance with the apparent meaning of the verse, and the first meaning does not in fact contradict it.

So the two meanings do not contradict one another.

It should be noted that this mighty Face which is described in terms of majesty and honour cannot be fully encompassed by human descriptions and imagination. Rather everything that you can think of, Allaah is above that and is greater.

“but they will never compass anything of His Knowledge”[31]

With regard to the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“Everything will perish save His Face”[32]

What this means is that everything will perish except His Essence of which His Face is one of the attributes.

Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/243-245. 

We should not compare the Creator to His creation and imagine Him in terms of His creation, for Allaah is as He has said of Himself (interpretation of the meaning):

“There is nothing like Him”[33]

So Allaah has risen above His Throne, and He faces the worshipper when he prays, and there is no contradiction between them with regard to Allaah.

Some people were similarly confused about the issue of Allaah descending during the last third of the night to the lowest heaven. They said that the night is not the same throughout the earth, so how can Allaah descend during the night and day at the same time?

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: 

Later generations who knew that the earth is round and that the sun revolves around the earth said: how can He descend during the last third of the night, when the last third of the night moves from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and goes to Europe and areas nearby? We say: now you are comparing the attributes of Allaah to the attributes of created beings. If you believe it you do not have to do anything beyond that, so do not ask how.

Rather say: When it is the last third of the night in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, then Allaah descends, and when it is the last third of the night in America, Allaah descends then as well.

So our attitude is that we believe what has reached us via Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and that Allaah descends to the lowest heaven when there is one third of the night left, and says, “Who will call upon Me, that I may answer him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will ask My forgiveness that I may forgive him?”

Sharh al-Waasitiyyah, 2/437. 

Does Allah SWT live in the heart of Momin? :

No. Allah SWT doest not live in the heart of Momin. Allah’s love, His fear, His obedience can live in the heart but He Himself lives Above His Throne. Logically it does not make any sense coz if the heart is diseased or undergoes a bypass or dies then what about the status of Lord inside it? So, Allah SWT lives Above HIS Throne and not in a box of flesh of His Creation because one day this heart would get buried uder the mud in the dark hole of grave whereas Lord never dies. He is Hayuu Al-Qayuum.

Meaning of Allaah’s words in the hadeeth qudsi, “I am his hearing with which he hears…”

The meaning of this part of the hadeeth is that when the believing slave strives to draw closer to Allaah by doing obligatory acts of worship, then naafil acts, Allaah will bring him closer to Him, and will raise him from the level of eemaan (faith, belief) to the level of ihsaan, so he will start to worship Allaah as if he can see Him, and his heart will be filled with knowledge of his Lord, love and awe for Him, fear of Him, and glorification and veneration of Him. When his heart is filled in this manner, any attachment to anything other than Allaah will disappear, and the person will not longer be attached to any of his whims or desires, and he will have no wish for anything except that which his Lord and Master wants. At that point the person will not speak except to remember Allaah, he will not move except to obey His command. So when he speaks, he speaks for the sake of Allaah; when he hears he hears for the sake of Allaah; when he looks, he looks for the sake of Allaah; i.e., he acts with the help and guidance of Allaah and for the sake of Allaah in these matters. So he only listens to that which Allaah loves; he only looks at that with which Allaah is pleased; he only strikes with his hands and walks with his feet for purposes with which his Lord and Master is pleased. It does not mean that Allaah is his hearing and his sight, and Allaah is his hand and his foot. Exalted be Allaah above that, for Allaah is above the Throne and He is exalted above all His creation. Rather what is meant is that He guides him with regard to his hearing, seeing, walking and striking. Hence it was narrated in another version that

 Allaah says:

 “In Me he hears, in Me he sees, in Me he strikes and in Me he walks,” meaning that Allaah guides him in his actions, words, hearing and seeing. This is what it means according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah. At the same time Allaah answers his prayers, so if he asks Him, He will give; if he seeks His help, He will help him; if he seeks refuge with Him, He will grant him refuge.
Adapted from Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 2/347; Fataawa Noor ‘ala’l-Darb, tape 10, by Shaykh Ibn Baaz, May Allaah have mercy on him.                                                                

Whoever suggests a meaning other than this is wrong and is transgressing the limits and showing disrespect towards Allaah, and he is going against the Arabs’ own understanding of their language and what they understand by such words. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 1/145 9: You see that Allaah has mentioned one who worships and One Who is worshipped, one who draws close and the One to Whom he draws close, one who loves and the One Who is loved, one who asks and One Who is asked, One Who gives and one to whom it is given, one who seeks refuge and One Whose refuge is sought. The hadeeth refers to two who are distinct from one another, one of whom is not the other. If that is the case, than the apparent meaning of the words “I am his hearing, his sight, his hand and his foot” cannot be that the Creator is a part or an attribute of the created being. Exalted be Allaah far above that. Rather the apparent and true meaning is that Allaah guides this slave with regard to his hearing, sight and striking, so he hears purely for the sake of Allaah, by the help of Allaah, following the commands of Allaah. The same applies to his seeing, his striking and his walking.

Using the masculine pronoun “He” when referring to Allah, may He be exalted:

It should be noted that one of the basic principles of communication is that everything is to be spoken of in such a way that it makes it stand out and distinguishes its gender. This is an ancient phenomenon in human languages, but there are some things that have nothing to do with real gender, as is the case with inanimate objects such as stones and mountains, and concepts such as justice and generosity, and so on. In these cases, masculinity and femininity are not applicable in the true sense of these two words. It seems that this is the reason why some languages divide nouns into three categories: masculine, feminine, and a third category which in Indo-European languages is called neuter; this refers to that which is neither masculine nor feminine.

But not all human languages have this category. Semitic languages, for example, divide nouns of the third category, which is neuter, between the first two categories. So nouns in these languages are all either masculine or feminine.

This is also the case in the French language, in which all nouns can only be either masculine or feminine. English differs from French in this regard.

See the Introduction by Dr. Ramadan ‘Abd at-Tawwaab (may Allah have mercy on him) to the book al-Bulghah fi’l-Mudhakkar wa’l-Mu’annath by Ibn al-Anbaari, 37-39 

Now we know that dividing things into masculine and feminine – even in the case of that which cannot really be described as such – is the feature of most languages, especially living languages that are spoken now, and this is not something that is unique to Arabic. So now you know that if it is possible to describe anything as being either masculine or feminine, when it cannot be described as such in any real sense, then a language may prefer to speak of something in the masculine, as that is easier and it is the basic principle; there is no need to add any specific marker [such as an extra letter or syllable to indicate the feminine], as the feminine stems from the masculine.

The imam of the grammarians, Seebawayh (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It should be noted that the masculine form is easier for them to use than the feminine, because the masculine form is the original and is more established (in the language), and the feminine form is derived from the masculine. Do you not see that the word ash-shay’ (thing) is applicable to everything that we know about, regardless of whether it is masculine or feminine, and the word ash-shay’ is a masculine noun.

Kitaab Seebawayh, 1/22; see also 3/241 

If the matter may be either of two things, but one of them is more likely than the other, even in one sense, it then becomes inevitable that the Lord should have the nobler and more sublime of the two.

As-Sawaa’iq, 4/1308 

Hence you will find that most of those who believe that there is a God above the heavens refer to Him in the masculine, which is more befitting to Him, may He be glorified. This is something natural that does not need any research, examination or evidence. You will not find anyone, knowledgeable or ignorant, monotheist or polytheist, who does not refer to God, may He be exalted, as “He”. If anyone were to refer to Him in the feminine, as this poor girl said, he would be opposed and accused of ignorance and clear misguidance.

So how about if we add to the above what Allah, may He be exalted, has said of Himself in His holy Book – and indeed in all the revealed Books – using that (masculine) pronoun.

Allah, may He be exalted, says:

“It is He Who has created the heavens and the earth in truth, and on the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) He will say: “Be!”, – and it shall become. His Word is the truth. His will be the dominion on the Day when the trumpet will be blown. All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the All-Wise, Well-Aware (of all things).”[34]

 “And He it is Who originates the creation, then will repeat it (after it has been perished), and this is easier for Him. His is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.”[35]

 “It is He (Allah) Who is the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) in the heaven and the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) on the earth. And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower.”[36]

And there are many similar verses, too many to list here.

Moreover, Allah, may He be exalted, criticised the mushrikeen (polytheists) for their claim to worship Allah, the One, the Subduer, yet they worshipped females besides Him, and He criticised them for that and explained how abhorrent their deeds were. Allah, may He be exalted, says:

“They (all those who worship others than Allah) invoke nothing but female deities besides Him (Allah), and they invoke nothing but Shaitan (Satan), a persistent rebel!”[37]

Imam at-Tabari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Here Allah, may He be glorified, is saying: With regard to these people who associated others with Allah and worshipped idols and rivals, it is sufficient evidence against them of misguidance, disbelief and going astray from the right path, to note that they worshipped females and called them “gods” and “lords”, when the feminine of any thing is inferior, and they affirmed their servitude to that which is inferior of any thing, even though they knew that it was inferior, and they refused to devote sincere worship to the One Who is in control of all things and in Whose hand is the creation and the commandment.

Tafseer at-Tabari, 9/211, Mahmoud Shaakir edn. 

Shaykh Ibn Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

That is, these mushrikeen do not call upon and worship besides Allah anything but that which is feminine, namely idols and statues with feminine names, such as al-‘Uzza, Manaat and so on.

It is well known that the name is indicative of the thing that is named. If the names are feminine and inferior, that may point to some inferiority in the thing that is thus named, and they suggest that it is lacking attributes of perfection, as Allah has told us in more than one place in His book that they cannot create, provide or protect their worshippers, or even bring any benefit or ward off any harm from themselves, and they cannot defend themselves against anyone who wants to harm them; they cannot hear or see or understand. So how can the one that is like that be worshipped instead of the One to Whom belong the most beautiful names and sublime attributes such as praiseworthiness, perfection, glory, majesty, might, beauty, mercy, kindness, compassion, the unique power to create and control, and great wisdom in all that He commands and decrees?

Is that not the most abhorrent thing that is indicative of a person’s imperfection and reaching the lowest level of baseness that is worse than anyone could imagine or describe?

Tafseer as-Sa‘di, 203. 

However, we would like to point out that Allah, may He be exalted, cannot be described as masculine or feminine in any true sense; rather that (use of the masculine pronoun) is necessary for the purpose of communication in human languages and what people need in communicating ideas about Allah. Everything that is either masculine or feminine is something that is created and Allah, may He be exalted, is the Creator of the masculine and feminine.

“And that He (Allah) creates the pairs, male and female”[38]

Exalted be Allah above having any rival or peer, spouse or child.

“He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife? He created all things and He is the All-Knower of everything.”[39]

Allah tells us about the believers among the jinn that when they heard the Qur’aan, they believed in it and acknowledged their Lord, may He be glorified:

“And exalted be the Majesty of our Lord, He has taken neither a wife, nor a son (or offspring or children).”[40]

What you have to do is tell her to look into her Scripture, if she believes that there is a God who sent a Messenger and revealed a Book to him; let her look in it and learn why.

If she burst with anger and her heart was filled with anger because she is female and Allah, may He be exalted, cannot be described in the feminine, then kufr in our times has reached such a level of craziness that you find a female wanting to stand up for her gender, on the basis of truth or falsehood, like the attitude of those who are ignorant and feel inadequate, so they try to compensate for that even on the basis of falsehood.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The one who defends himself on the basis of falsehood wants to defend everything he says, even if it is wrong.

Majmoo‘al-Fataawa, 10/292 

If the ignorance and feeling of inadequacy has reached the level of likening Allah to His creation and even to the female of His creation, this is a state that even the ignorant Arabs in their worship of idols did not reach, for they knew that Allah, the Creator and Provider, was far greater than those idols and it was not befitting that He should be like them.

Beware of every ignorant heretic and remember that a person would follow the religion of his friend, so watch you make friends with.

“Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Honour and Power! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!”[41]

Allaah does not force people into kufr:

We read in many aayahs of the Qur’aan that Allaah says that He places a veil over the hearts of the kaafirs and a seal over their eyes, and He has made them deaf and blind to the truth. We also know that Allaah does not force anyone into kufr, so how can we understand these aayahs?

Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

The answer is that Allaah has explained in many verses of His Book those impediments which have been placed on their hearts, ears and eyes, such as seals and veils, have been placed on them as a suitable recompense for their previous kufr and for their disbelieving in the Messengers by choice. So Allaah has turned their hearts away by placing upon them a seal and veils etc, as a punishment for their kufr. Among the aayahs that indicate that is the verse: 

“Allaah has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief”[42]

This a clear Qur’aanic text which states that their previous kufr is the reason for the seal upon their hearts. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So when they turned away (from the path of Allaah), Allaah turned their hearts away (from the Right Path)”[43]

This is also a clear indication that the reason why Allaah has turned their hearts away is their initial turning away. Allaah says:

“That is because they believed, and then disbelieved; therefore their hearts are sealed, so they understand not”[44]

 “In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allaah has increased their disease”[45]

 “And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time, and We shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly”[46]

 “Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn”[47]

And there are other aayahs which speak of the seal on their hearts and say that their being prevented from understanding that which may benefit them is a punishment for their previous kufr. What we have mentioned here is a refutation of the specious arguments of the Jabariyyah who continually refer to these aayahs and others from the Holy Qur’aan

Is Qur’an Word Of Allah SWT?

Sufi, Mutazillah and many deviant sects misguide people by denying the great scripture of Allah SWT i.e Quran. Some says it’s a creation and not a book, some says it was for Arabs only, some says it’s not mandatory to read it or implement it and some says what is the proof that it is the word of AllahSWT.

We can quote ten proofs to demonstrate that the Holy Qur’an is the word of Allah and is not created. These proofs are as follows:

 The first proof 

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His Command. Surely, His is the Creation and the Command. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)”[1]

  • The evidence in this verse consists of two points:
    1. Allah, may He be exalted, differentiated between the creation and the command, which are two of His attributes which He ascribed to Himself. As for the creation, this has to do with His deeds; as for the command, it has to do with His words. In principle, when two words are mentioned in conjunction, they should have different meanings, unless the context indicates that no differentiation is intended. In this case there is evidence to indicate that there is a difference between them, including the following point.

 

  1. Creation can only occur through the command, as Allah, may He be exalted, says elsewhere (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is”[2]

The word “‘Be!’” is His command. If it were created, then its creation would require a command, and that command would require another command, and so on ad infinitum. That cannot be so.

Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) quoted this verse as evidence against the Mu‘tazili Jahamis. 

He (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

 I say: Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Surely, His is the Creation and the Command” [al-A‘raaf 7:54]. Thus He differentiated between the creation and the command.

Narrated by Hanbal in al-Mihnah (p. 53) 

And he said to them: Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“The command of Allah has come” [an-Nahl 61:1], and His command is His word and His power, and that is not created. So do not interpret the Book of Allah in such a way as to make it sound as if it contradicts itself. 

Narrated by Hanbal in al-Mihnah (p. 54) 

In what he wrote for al-Mutawakkil, when he asked him about the issue of the Qur’an, Imam Ahmad said:

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

 “And if anyone of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Quran), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not” [at-Tawbah 9:6] and “Surely, His is the Creation and the command” [al-A ‘raaf 7:54]. So He tells us that the creation is His, then He says “and the command”. Thus He informs us that the command is not created. 

Narrated by his son Saalih in al-Mihnah (p. 210-121) 

Before Imam Ahmad, this argument was presented by Imam Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah al-Hilaali al-Haafiz ath-Thiqah al-Hujjah [a great muhaddith] (may Allah have mercy on him) who said:

Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Surely, His is the Creation and the command” [al-A‘raaf 7:54]. The creation is the creation of Allah, may He be Blessed and exalted, and the command is the Qur’an. 

Narrated by al-Aajurri in ash-Sharee‘ah (p. 80) with a jayyid isnaad from him. 

 The second proof 

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“The Most Beneficent (Allah) has taught (you mankind) the Quran (by His Mercy).

He created man”[3]

Here Allah may He be exalted, differentiates between His knowledge (which He taught) and His creation. The Qur’an is His knowledge and man is His creation. His knowledge is not created.

Allah, may He be exalted, says:

“Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allah (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Quran), then you would have against Allah neither any Walee (protector or guardian) nor any helper”[4]

Allah, may He be exalted, calls the Qur’an knowledge , because it is what came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) from his Lord, and it is what Allah, may He be exalted, taught him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Allah’s knowledge is not created because, if it were created, He would have had the opposite attribute before it was created – glorified and exalted be Allah far above that.

This proof was cited by Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) when he presented his argument against the Jahamis in the court of al-Mu‘tasim:

‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Qazzaaz said to me: Allah was there and there was no Qur’an. I said to him: Then (what you are saying is that) Allah was there and there was no knowledge that He possessed! He kept quiet, because if he had claimed that Allah was there and there was no knowledge that He possessed, then he would be a disbeliever in Allah.

Narrated by Hanbal in al-Mihnah (p. 45) 

The third proof 

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to mankind). ‘If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid’”[5]

and

“And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink wherewith to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise”[6]

Allah, may He be exalted, tells us – and what He says is true – that His words are unending, and that if the seas that Allah has created were ink with which to write, and the trees that Allah has created were pens with which to write, the ink of the seas would run out, and the pens would wear out, but the words of Allah would not be exhausted.

This highlights the greatness of His words, and that His words or speech is His attribute and His knowledge. This cannot be compared with the created, finite words of His creation, for if His words were created, they would have been exhausted before one of the seas was exhausted. But Allah, may He be exalted, has only decreed an end and a limit for created beings, not for Himself or His attributes.

 The fourth proof 

The names of Allah in the Qur’an, such as Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing, the Oft-Forgiving, and the Most Generous and so on are part of His words or His speech, because it is He Who gave these names to Himself, with these words and meanings. Allah, may He be exalted, has made it equal to glorify His Essence and to glorify His names, as He, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High” [al-A‘laa 87:1]. He, may He be exalted, has made it equal to call upon Him by His Essence and to call upon Him by His names, as He says:

“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them” [al-A‘raaf 7:180]. Similarly, He, may He be exalted, has made it equal to remember Him by His Essence and to remember Him by His names, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And remember the Name of your Lord every morning and afternoon” [al-Insaan 76:25]

This glorification, supplication and remembrance, if applied to anything that is created, would constitute disbelief in Allah.

If it is said that His words are created, His names are included in that, and whoever makes such a claim has gone beyond the pale of Islam, for the reasons we have mentioned, and because what that implies is that Allah, may He be exalted, did not have those beautiful names before He created His words; and the one who swore an oath by one of His names would be a mushrik, because he would be swearing by something that is created, and that which is created is different from the Creator.

This argument was presented by a number of the early generations and imams to prove that the Qur’an is not created, including Imam al-Hujjah Sufyaan ibn Sa‘eed ath-Thawri, who said: Whoever says that [the words] “Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)): He is Allah, (the) One, Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks)”[al-Ikhlaas 112:1-2] are created is a disbeliever.

Narrated by ‘Abdullah in as-Sunnah (no. 13). Its isnaad is jayyid. 

Imam ash-Shaafa‘i said: 

Whoever swears by one of the names of Allah and breaks his oath has to offer expiation, because the name of Allah is not created; whoever swears an oath by the Ka‘bah, or by as-Safa and al-Marwa, does not have to offer expiation (for breaking his oath), because these things are created, whereas (the name of Allah) is not created.

Narrated by Ibn Abi Haatim in Aadaab ash-Shaafa‘i (p. 193) with a saheeh isnaad. 

Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: 

The names of Allah are in the Qur’an, and the Qur’an is part of the knowledge of Allah. So whoever claims that the Quran is created has gone beyond the pale of Islam, and whoever claims that the names of Allah are created has gone beyond the pale of Islam.

Narrated by his son Saalih in al-Mihnah (p. 52, 66-67) 

The fifth proof 

Allah, may He be exalted, has told us that the Book is from Him and is attributed to Him, as He says:

“The revelation of the Book (this Quran) is from the Lord of the Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)”[7]

 “Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)) know that it is revealed from your Lord in truth”[8]

 “Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) Ruh-ul-Qudus (Jibrael (Gabriel)) has brought it (the Quran) down from your Lord with truth”[9]

Allah has not attributed anything to Himself that He sent down, except His words, which indicates that there is a special meaning for that, so it is not like the sending down of rain, iron and so on. Allah has told us that He sent down these things, but He did not attribute them to Himself, unlike His words. His words or His speech is an attribute, and an attribute can only be ascribed to the one who possesses it, and not to anyone else. If His words were created, they could have departed from the Creator and would not be attributed to Him, because He, may He be exalted, has no need of His creation and none of it is His attribute.

  1. The sixth proof 

It was narrated that Khawlah bint Hakeem said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever stops at a place and says: I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created, nothing will harm him until he moves on from that place.”. Narrated by Muslim (2708).

If His words were created, then seeking refuge in them would be shirk, because that would be seeking refuge in something that is created. It is well-known that seeking refuge in anything other than Allah, may He be exalted, and His names and attributes is shirk, so how could the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) have taught his ummah something that is obviously shirk, when he is the one who came to teach them pure Tawheed?

This indicates that the words of Allah, may He be exalted, are not created.

Na‘eem ibn Hammaad said: Refuge is not to be sought in anything that is created, or in the words of people, jinn, humans or angels.

Al-Bukhaari said, after quoting that: This indicates that the words of Allah are not created, and that everything other than Him is created.

See: Khalq Af‘aal al-‘Ibaad (p. 143) 

 The seventh proof :

The hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) who said:

“The superiority of the words of Allah over all other words is like the superiority of Allah over all of His creation.” 

A hasan hadith, narrated by ‘Uthmaan ad-Daarimi in ar-Radd ‘ala al-Jahamiyyah (no. 287, 340); al-Laalkaa’i (no. 557) 

This hadith confirms the belief of the salaf, that the Qur’an is the word of Allah and is not created. It does so in two respects:

(i)  It differentiates between the words of Allah and other words. Words are either the speech of Allah, which is one of His attributes, or they are created words, which are part of the creation of Allah. Whatever is a divine attribute is ascribed to Allah, whereas the rest are mentioned in general terms, so as to include all words other than those attributed to Allah. If all words were created, there would be no need for this differentiation.

(ii)  The differentiation between the words of Allah and the words of others is like the differentiation between the essence of Allah and the essence of others. Allah’s words and the nature thereof are connected to His essence and the nature thereof, just as the words of created beings and the nature thereof are appropriate to and connected to the essence of created beings and the nature thereof. 

This argument was presented by Imam ‘Uthmaan ibn Sa‘eed ad-Daarimi in ar-Radd ‘ala alJahamiyyah (p. 162-163). After quoting the hadiths on this topic, he said:

These hadiths indicate that the Qur’an is not created, because you would not see such a great difference when comparing between two created beings as you will see when comparing between Allah and His creation, because the difference between the two created beings is measurable, whereas the superiority of Allah over His creation is unmeasurable and no one can grasp it. The same applies to the superiority of His words over the words of created beings. If the words of Allah were created, there would not be such a great difference between them and the words of others, which is like the superiority of Allah over His creation. There is nothing like unto Him, so there are no words like His words, and no one could ever produce anything like them. End quote. 

 The eighth proof 

On the basis of rational thinking, if the words of Allah were created, then it must be one of two scenarios:

(i) They are created and exist as part of the essence of Allah

(ii) or they are separate from Allah.

Both scenarios are false and in fact constitute abhorrent disbelief.

As for the first, it implies that a created thing could exist within the Creator, which is false according to the view of Ahl as-Sunnah and most of the followers of innovation [among the Muslims]. Allah, may He be exalted, is independent of His creation and has no need of any of them in any way whatsoever.

As for the second, its implications lead to denying the attribute of divine speech, because the attribute exists in the one who possesses the attribute – as stated above – and does not exist in anyone or anything else. If it existed in anything else, then it would be an attribute of the one in whom it existed. What this would imply is that the Lord, may He be exalted, does not speak, and this is obvious disbelief, as we have explained above.

 The ninth proof

As is clear to everyone, an attribute does not exist by itself. If the attribute is an attribute of the Creator, it should exist in Him, and if it is an attribute of a created being, it must inevitably exist in him, such as moving, staying still, standing, sitting, power, will, knowledge, life and other attributes. If an attribute is ascribed to something, then it is describing it and it belongs to the one in whom it exists. So these attributes may be ascribed to the created being, therefore they are descriptions of the created being, as they are ascribed to him. Some of them may also be ascribed to the Creator, such as power, will, knowledge, life and so on. Therefore they are attributes of His, as they are ascribed to Him. When they are ascribed to the created being, they are created, and when they are ascribed to the Creator, they are not created.

The attribute of speech is like other attributes; it must exist in something, and if it exists in that thing then it is an attribute of that thing and not of anything else. If it is ascribed to the Creator, may He be exalted, then it is His attribute. If it is ascribed to anyone else, then it is an attribute of that other entity. The attribute of the Creator is not created, just as His essence is not created, whereas the attribute of the created being is created, just as his essence is created. As Allah has ascribed speech to Himself, and has described Himself as speaking, then His speech (or words) is not created, because it is something that is connected to His essence, and His essence is not created. Discussion of the divine attributes is connected to discussion of the divine essence, and it must be discussed in the same terms.

If it is said that the Quran is created, we say: Allah should be above having ascribed to Him anything that is created. You (Jahamis) – according to your claim – declare Allah, may He be exalted, to be above having any created things existing in Him. As you declare your Lord, may He be exalted, to be above that, then you should not attribute speech to Him, but if you do not attribute speech to Him, you will be denying textual and rational evidence which testify that Allah, may He be exalted, possesses the attribute of speech.

But they refuse to admit that the words of Allah, may He be exalted, are not created, on the basis of an argument that is even more false than what is discussed above. They say: We affirm that Allah speaks with words that exist in something other than Him. Allah, may He be exalted, spoke to Moosa through created words that existed in the bush and did not exist in Him, therefore we declare Him to be above having created things (i.e., words) exist in Him.

We say in response: you regard the words as an attribute of the thing in which they exist, which implies – according to your view – that these were the words of the bush, so it is the bush that spoke to Moosa and said (interpretation of the meaning): “ ‘O Moosa (Moses)! Verily! I am Allah, the Lord of the Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)’” [al-Qasas 28:30]. In that case, there is no difference between the words of the bush and the words of the accursed Pharaoh (interpretation of the meaning): “ ‘I am your lord, most high’” [an-Naazi‘aat 79:24], because the words of the bush are its attributes, and not the attributes of Allah, and the words of Pharaoh are his attributes; each of them claimed to be divine [according to your claim], so Moosa had no right to object to what Pharaoh said, yet accept the words of the bush!

Think about this blatant disbelief which led people who believed in this argument to this shameful innovation and not to submit and accept the facts of revelation mentioned in the Qur’an, and to turn away from the noble revelation and prefer to it the scum of minds that are controlled by whims and desires that direct them wherever they want.

This rational argument was something used by Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) against the Mu‘tazili Jahamis when he debated with them in the presence of al-Mu‘tasim. He (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

This is the story of Moosa. Allah said in His Book, speaking of Himself (interpretation of the meaning): “and to Moosa (Moses) Allah spoke directly” [an-Nisa’ 4:164]. Thus Allah affirms that He spoke to Moosa by way of honouring Moosa, and confirms that it was indeed speech. Allah, may He be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): O Moosa “Verily! I am Allah! La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I)” [Ta-Ha 20:14] but you are denying this, so this pronoun (“I”) would then refer to something other than Allah, and a created entity would be claiming to be the lord!

Narrated by Hanbal in al-Mihnah (p. 52)

The tenth proof

Words of the leading scholars of the early generations affirming this belief:

‘Amr ibn Dinaar – one of the best of the Taabi‘i imams – said:

I have been meeting the companions of the Prophet and others who are next in status to them for seventy years, and they say: Allah is the Creator, and everything other than Him is created. The Qur’an is the word of Allah; it came from Him and will return to Him.

‘Abdullah ibn Naafi‘said: Maalik used to say:

The Qur’an is the word of Allah. And he used to regard as abhorrent the view of those who said that the Qur’an was created.

Narrated by Saalih ibn Ahmad in al-Mihnah (p. 66) with a saheeh isnaad from him.

Ar-Rabee‘ibn Sulaymaan, the companion and student of ash-Shaafa‘i, said, narrating a debate that took place between him and Hafs al-Fard concerning the Qur’an:

He (Hafs) started the debate with Ash-Shaafa‘i, and ash-Shaafa‘i presented his argument with proof, and there was a lengthy debate in which ash-Shaafa‘i established proof that the Qur’an is the word of Allah and is not created, and he regarded Hafs al-Fard as a disbeliever. Ar-Rabee‘ said: I met Hafs al-Fard in the gathering later on and he said: ash-Shafaa‘i wanted to kill me.

Narrated by ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Abi Haatim in Adaab ash-Shaafa‘i (p. 194-195). Its isnaad is saheeh.

Ibn Abi Haatim said:

I asked my father and Abu Zar‘ah about the views of Ahl as-Sunnah concerning the fundamentals of religion and what they learned from the scholars in all regions, and what they believed concerning that.

They said:

We met the scholars from all regions, the Hijaz, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and their view was that faith is both words and deeds, and it may increase or decrease; the Qur’an is the word of Allah and is not created in any way.

Narrated by Ibn at-Tabari in as-Sunnah (1/176) with a saheeh isnaad.

Imam Abu’l-Qaasim Hibatullah ibn al-Hasan at-Tabari al-Laalkaa’i quoted, in his great book Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah:

This is the view of five hundred and fifty individuals among the scholars and early generations of this ummah, all of whom say: The Qur’an is the word of Allah and is not created; whoever says that it is created is a disbeliever.

He (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

These people number five hundred and fifty or more, from among the Taabi‘een and their followers and leading scholars, other than the righteous Sahaabah, despite the differences in their locations and the passage of many years. Among them are approximately one hundred imams from whom the people learned their beliefs and followed them in their views. If I wanted to write down the views of the hadith scholars (concerning this issue), their names would be many thousands.

End quote from as-Sunnah (493)

Celebrating Mawlid al-Nabi (the Prophet’s birthday):

There is nothing in the Qur’aan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet himself (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do this or command anyone to do it, either during his lifetime or after his death. Indeed, he told them not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Jesus (upon whom be peace). He said: “Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’” (Reported by al-Bukhari). What has been reported is that the Prophet made the day of his birth a day of worship, which is different to celebration. He was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said: “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation.” (Reported by Muslim, al-Nisaa’i and Abu Dawood).

Moreover, we know that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were the people who loved the Prophet most. Was it reported that Abu Bakr, who was the closest of people to him and the one who loved him the most, celebrated the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Was it reported that ‘Umar, who ruled for twelve years, or ‘Uthmaan, did this? Was it reported that ‘Ali, his relative and foster son, did this? Was it reported that any of the Sahaabah did this? No, by Allaah! Is it because they were not aware of its importance, or did they not truly love the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? No one would say such a thing except one who has gone astray and is leading others astray.

Did any of the imaams – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafi’i, Ahmad, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Seereen – do this or command others to do it or say that it was good? By Allaah, no! It was not even mentioned during the first and best three centuries. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a saheeh hadeeth: “The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously).” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhi). The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid’ah had become widespread.

Thus this celebration became a sign of one’s love for the Prophet ?. But can it be possible that the Sahaabah, the imaams and the people of the best three centuries were unaware of it, and it was only those who came later who were aware of its importance?! What the Qur’aan tells us is that love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is demonstrated by following the guidance he brought. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Say: ‘Obey Allaah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers.”[10]

The first aayah explains that love is just a claim, but the proof of sincerity is following what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought. The second aayah reaffirms the importance and necessity of obeying Allaah and His Messenger. Hence Allaah ended the aayah with a very stern warning in which those who refuse to obey are described as kaafirs, and Allah does not love the disbelievers. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us of the danger of not obeying him, and the danger of adding to what he brought. The celebration of Mawlid or his birthday is indeed an addition to what he brought – as all the scholars agree. He said: “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa’i).

Did Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani regard it as permissible to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid)?:

Celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid) is an innovation that has been introduced into the religion. The first ones to celebrate it were the ‘Ubaydi Fatimid caliphs, who were a misguided group that was out of Islam. It was not narrated from any of the early Muslims, the first three and best generations, that they regarded it as encouraged or permissible to celebrate the Mawlid.

The basic source for Islamic rulings is the Qur’an and Sunnah, and the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets; they carry the banner of knowledge. Allah, may He be exalted, has enabled the scholars to understand the religion, each according to what Allah has made easy for him, but that does not necessarily mean that everything that a scholar says is true. Rather the scholar tries his best to work it out; if he gets it right, he will have two rewards, one for his striving to work it out and another for getting it right, and if he gets it wrong, he will have the reward for striving to work it out, and his mistake is forgiven.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

This is the Islamic principle with regard to the mujtahid scholars: whoever strives hard to seek the truth and examine the evidence, will have two rewards if he gets it right, and one reward if he makes a mistake, which is the reward for his effort in trying to work it out.[11]

 As-Suyooti (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Shaykh al-Islam Haafiz al-‘Asr Abu’l-Fadl Ibn Hajar was asked about celebrating the Mawlid, and he replied as follows: 

The basis for celebrating the Mawlid is innovation. It was not narrated from any of the righteous early Muslims of the first three generations. Nevertheless it includes both good things and their opposite. Whoever seeks out the good things in celebrating it and avoids the opposite, then it is a good innovation, otherwise it is not. It seems to me that it may be based on a sound analogy, which is comparing it to the day of ‘Ashoora’ that is mentioned in the report which is proven in as-Saheehayn, that when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashoora’. He asked them about it and they said: It is the day on which Allah drowned Pharaoh and saved Moosa, so we fast it in gratitude to Allah, may He be exalted.

What we learn from this is to show gratitude to Allah for a favour that He granted on a specific day, bestowing a blessing or warding off harm, and that may be done on the same day every year.

Gratitude to Allah may be shown by doing different kinds of acts of worship, such as prostration, fasting, giving charity, and reading Qur’an. What blessing can be greater than the birth of this Prophet, the Prophet of Mercy, on that day?

Based on that, one should seek out the exact day, so as to be in accordance with the story of Moosaa on the day of ‘Ashooraa. Whoever does not pay attention to that, would not care on which day of the month he celebrates the Mawlid. In fact some people went so far as to move it to a different day of the year, and that may be subject to criticism.

This has to do with observing this celebration in the first place.

With regard to what is done during that celebration, it should be limited to that which may be understood as an expression of gratitude to Allah, may He be exalted, along the lines of what is mentioned above of reading Qur’an, offering food to people, giving charity, and reciting nasheeds that praise the Prophet, encourage people to lose interest in worldly gains, and motivate them to do good and strive for the Hereafter.

With regard to other things such as listening to entertaining poetry and the like, it should be said: whatever of that is permissible, and will instil happiness on that day, there is nothing wrong with adding that to the celebration; as for that which is haraam or makrooh, it should be prevented, and the same applies to anything that is not appropriate.[12]

It may be said here:

When we examine what was narrated from al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him), we may note the following:

  1. He clearly stated that celebrating the Mawlid was not the practice of the righteous early generations, therefore it is an innovation. We should not ignore this statement which Ibn Hajar made in his fatwa.
  2. He said: With regard to what is done during that celebration, it should be limited to that which may be understood as an expression of gratitude to Allah, may He be exalted, along the lines of what is mentioned above of reading Qur’an, offering food to people, giving charity, and reciting nasheeds that praise the Prophet, encourage people to lose interest in worldly gains, and motivate them to do good and strive for the Hereafter.

However what people do nowadays in celebrations of the Prophet’s birthday and other innovated celebrations is contrary to the guidelines given by al-Haafiz in his fatwa. Whoever looks at what most people do nowadays will realise that most of what is done in these Mawlids is more akin to innovations and reprehensible actions; in fact it may even involve shameful sins and other infractions, the extent of which only Allah knows!

Al-Bukhaari (869) and Muslim (445) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

If the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had seen what women have innovated, he would have forbidden them to attend the mosque as the woman of the Children of Israel were forbidden (from attending their places of worship).

If this is what the Mother of the Believers said concerning something that is prescribed in Islam, without any difference of scholarly opinion concerning it, and how people changed with regard to it, so she said what she said – then how about if the matter is an innovation in the first place, then it developed and became to include innovations and reprehensible actions, as is obvious to everyone??

 Imam ash-Shaatibi (may Allah have mercy on him) says:

If the accountable person were to seek out concessions with regard to every issue that concerns him, by examining the views of every madhhab in order to find a view that is in accordance with what he likes and prefers, then he would drift away from the path of righteousness and get carried away in following his whims and desires; he would contradict what the Lawgiver confirmed and would give no emphasis to what the Lawgiver emphasized.[13]

Response to those who regard some innovated matters as good, such as celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid):

It should be noted first of all that the scholars differ concerning the exact date of the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and there are several opinions. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allah have mercy on him) thinks that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born on the second of Rabee‘al-Awwal; Ibn Hazm (may Allah have mercy on him) thinks it most likely that he was born on the eighth. It was also said that he was born on the tenth, as was the view of Abu Ja‘far al-Baaqir. And it was said that he was born on the twelfth, as is the view of Ibn Ishaaq. It was also said that he was born in the month of Ramadan, as was narrated by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr from az-Zubayr ibn Bakkaar.

See: as-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Katheer, p. 199,200 

This difference of opinion among the scholars is sufficient for us to realise that those who loved the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) among the early generations of this ummah were not certain about the date of his birth, let alone celebrating it. Several centuries passed during which the Muslims did not celebrate his birthday, until it was introduced by the Faatimids.

Shaykh ‘Ali al-Mahfooz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The first ones to introduce (celebration of the Mawlid) in Cairo were the Faatimid caliphs in the fourth century AH. They introduced the celebration of six birthdays: the Prophet’s birthday, the birthday of Imam ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), the birthday of Faatimah az-Zahra’ (may Allah be pleased with her), the birthdays of al-Hasan and al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with them), and the birthday of the current caliph. These celebrations continued to be observed until they were abolished by al-Afdal, the commander of the army. Then they were restored during the caliphate of al-Aamir bi-Ahkaam Allah in 524 AH, after the people had almost forgotten about them. The first one to introduce celebration of the Prophet’s birthday in the city of Irbil was al-Malik al-Muzaffar Abu SA‘eed in the seventh century. And the people beganto go too far in celebration of the Prophet’s birthday and introduced everything they themselves desired and everything prompted by the devils among mankind and the jinn.[14]

If anyone says that everything we do must have been done at the time of the Prophetor at the time of the Sahaabah or Taabi‘een, this indicates that they have no knowledge of what is meant by innovation (bid‘ah) and what the Messenger warned us against in many hadeeths. The innovation that we were warned against is that which is done as an act of worship to bring one closer to Allah, may He be exalted, (that was not done by the Prophet or prescribed in Islam). This is the guideline concerning the definition of innovation.

It is not permissible to seek to draw closer to Allah by doing an act of worship that was not prescribed for us by the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). This is what we understand from the Prophet’’s prohibition on innovation. Innovation or bid‘ah means seeking to draw closer to Allah, may He be exalted, by means of that which He has not prescribed. Hence Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Any act of worship that was not done by the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), do not seek to worship Allah thereby.”

Concerning such matters, Imam Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“That which was not part of the religion at that time cannot be part of the religion today.” In other words, that which was not part of the religion at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and he did not seek to draw close to Allah by means of it, cannot be part of the religion after that. 

Moreover, this example that is mentioned by the questioner, which is the science of al-jarh wa’t-ta‘deel (evaluation of hadeeth narrators), and his argument that it is an innovation that is not blameworthy, is an opinion upheld by those who divide innovation into good innovation and bad innovation; then they go further than that and divide innovations into the five classifications of rulings (obligatory (waajib), recommended (mustahabb), permissible (mubaah), prohibited (haraam) and disliked (makrooh). This classification was mentioned by al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd as-Salaam (may Allah have mercy on him); he was followed in that by his student al-Qarraafi. Ash-Shaatibi responded to al-Qarraafi’s approval of this classification by stating:

This classification is something that has been made up and there is no evidence for it in sharee‘ah. Rather it is self-contradictory, because part of the definition of innovation is that there is no evidence for it in sharee‘ah, whether in the texts of sharee‘ah or in the basic principles. If there was something in sharee‘ah to indicate that something is obligatory or recommended or permissible, then in that case it would not be an innovation and the action would be included under the general heading of actions that are enjoined or are optional. So referring to these things as bid‘ah then stating that the evidence may indicate whether they are obligatory or recommended or permissible means that one is contradicting oneself.

With regard to describing some innovations as disliked (makrooh) and prohibited (haraam), this is correct, on the grounds that they are innovations, and not for any other reason. If there is evidence to indicate that something is not allowed or is disliked, that does not prove that it is an innovation, because there is the possibility that it may be a sin, such as murder, stealing, drinking alcohol, and so on. There is no innovation in which it can be imagined that this classification applies at all, except in the case of what is disliked and prohibited, according to this argument.

What was narrated by al-Qarraafi from his companions about consensus on denunciation of innovations is correct, but his classification thereof is not correct. It is very strange that he narrated that there was consensus at the time when he was producing a counter-argument on this issue, which would imply that there was no consensus. It is as if he was only following his shaykh – i.e., Ibn ‘Abd as-Salaam – with regard to this classification, without examining it.

Then he mentioned the reason that al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd as-Salaam (may Allah have mercy on him) gave for this classification and that he called the concept of al-masaalih al-mursalah (consideration of public interest) an innovation, then he said:

As for al-Qarraafi, he has no excuse for transmitting that classification in a way other than his shaykh intended and other than the people intended, because he differed from everyone else with regard to that classification, so he went against consensus. [15]

Al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd as-Salaam (may Allah have mercy on him) gave a likeness of obligatory innovation according to his classification and said: 

There are several examples of obligatory innovations: 

  • Studying ‘ilm an-nahw (Arabic grammar) by means of which the words of Allah and of His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) may be understood. That is obligatory because learning sharee‘ah is obligatory, and it cannot be learned without knowledge of that (Arabic grammar). That without which an obligatory duty cannot be done is also obligatory.
  • Learning the meaning of obscure vocabulary in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
  • Developing usool al-fiqh (principles of Islamic jurisprudence)
  • Discussing al-jarh wa’t-ta‘deel (evaluation of hadeeth narrators) in order to distinguish the sound from the unsound. The basic principles of sharee‘ah indicate that preserving sharee‘ah (the teachings of Islam) is a communal obligation with regard to that which is more needed by the individual, and preserving sharee‘ah cannot be achieved except by means of what we have mentioned.[16]

Ash-Shaatibi also refuted him by saying: 

With regard to what ‘Izz ad-Deen said: the response to it is similar to what was stated above. With regard to the examples of that which is obligatory on the basis that what is obligatory cannot be attained except by means of that – as he says – it is not essential that it should have been done by the salaf (early generations) or that there should be a specific principle in sharee‘ah, because it comes under the heading of al-masaalih al-mursalah (consideration of public interest), not innovation.[17]

To sum up this response: these fields of knowledge cannot be described as a blameworthy shar‘i innovation, because they are supported by the general texts and the general principles of sharee‘ah, which enjoin preservation of the religion and of the Sunnah, and sound transmission of the shar‘i sciences and texts of sharee‘ah (the Qur’an and Sunnah).

It may be said that regarding these sciences as an innovation is in the linguistic sense, not in the shar‘i sense. Innovations in the shar‘i sense are all blameworthy; as for innovations in the linguistic sense, some of them are praiseworthy and some of them are blameworthy.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Innovation in the shar‘i sense is blameworthy, unlike innovation in the linguistic sense. Anything that is newly introduced without precedent may be called an innovation, whether it is praiseworthy or blameworthy.[18]

He also said:

With regard to innovations (bida‘, pl. of bid‘ah), this word refers to everything for which there is no precedent. In linguistic terms it includes both praiseworthy and blameworthy matters, but among the scholars of Islam it usually refers to that which is blameworthy. If the word is applied to something that is praiseworthy, then it is to be understood according to its linguistic meaning.[19]

In his commentary on hadeeth no. 7277, in his book al-I‘tisaam bi’l-Kitaab wa’-Sunnah, Chapter 2, from Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allah preserve him) said:

This classification if innovations is correct from the linguistic point of view. But from the shar‘i point of view, all innovations are misguidance, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The worst of matters are those which are newly introduced, and every innovation is a going astray.” In the light of this general meaning, it is not acceptable to say that among innovations there are those that are obligatory or recommended or permissible. Rather innovations in religion are either prohibited or disliked. Among those which are disliked but may be described as a permissible innovation is singling out Fajr and ‘Asr prayers for shaking hands after the prayer. End quote. 

What should be understood and adhered to is that we should pay attention to the availability of means and absence of impediments to doing something at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his noble Companions. The birthday of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was known to his Companions and their love for him was great; they could have taken the day of his birth as a festival to be celebrated and there was nothing to prevent them from doing that. But because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions did nothing of the sort, it is known that this is not prescribed; if it were prescribed, they would have been the first of people to do that.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to what some people have introduced, either in imitation of the Christian celebration of the birth of ‘Eesa (Jesus – peace be upon him) or out of love for the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and to show respect for him – may Allah reward them for this love and effort, but not for this innovation – of taking the birthday of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) as a festival, despite the difference of scholarly opinions concerning the date of his birth, this is something that the early generations did not do, despite the fact that the same reason for doing it (i.e., love for the Prophet (blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) was present and there no impediment to doing so. If this was something that was purely good or mostly good, the early generations (may Allah be pleased with them) would have been more likely to do it than others, because they had greater love for the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and greater respect for him than us, and they were more eager to do good. Rather the best way to show love and respect for him is by following him and obeying him, heeding his commands, reviving his Sunnah both inwardly and outwardly, propagating the message with which he was sent and striving hard to do that, in one’s heart and by one’s actions and words. This is the way of the earliest generations, the Muhaajireen and Ansaar and those who followed them in truth.[20]

These wise words highlight the fact that love of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) should be expressed by following his Sunnah, by teaching it and propagating it among the people, and by defending it. This is the way of the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them).

As for the later generations, they deceived themselves and were deceived by the Shaytaan with these celebrations. They thought that by doing that they were expressing their love for the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). As for reviving his Sunnah, following it, calling people to it, teaching it to people and defending it, they are far away from that.

Choosing a day on which to speak about the Prophet in the mosque and they call it a Mawli :

Speaking about the Prophet  and teaching about him, mentioning his good qualities, virtues and Sunnahs, this is mustahabb and is prescribed at all times, and this is not called a Mawlid, just as celebrating a wedding is not called a Mawlid, but it is common in some Muslim countries to call every celebration that is done in an Islamically acceptable manner, with no dancing, music or mixing, a Mawlid, and they say: we will do a Mawlid on the wedding day or on the circumcision day, and a preacher comes to exhort the people, and a reader comes to read Qur’aan, and so on. There is no basis for giving it this name, and calling it by this name does not change the ruling concerning it. There is nothing wrong with people celebrating the wedding and having someone to address the people and exhort them and remind them of good, or speak about the Prophet   and mention his biography and good characteristics. This is prescribed in Islam, and does not come under the heading of celebrating the innovated Mawlid. 

There is nothing wrong with holding activities or meetings in the mosque to teach people about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), without singling out a particular day because of some belief in its virtue, such as the day of the Mawlid or the 15th of Sha’baan (al-nusf min Sha’baan) or the day of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj. Rather that should be done on any ordinary day. There is also nothing wrong with offering food to the people who attend, but it is important to publicise the ruling that this should not be called a Mawlid, and it does not come under the ruling on celebrating the Mawlid, so that no one will think that celebrating the Mawlid is prescribed in Islam. 

We ask Allah to help you to act in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and to propagate it among people. 

And Allah knows best.

Is Celebrating the Mawlid Mustahab?

Celebrating the Mawlid (Prophet’s Birthday) is not only an ordinary celebration that has nothing to do with worship; rather for those who observe this custom it is a religious festival that is done as a means of drawing closer to Allah. 

This may be explained by noting the following points: 

Firstly: 

Those who celebrate this occasion and participate in it do that out of love for the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and loving Allah and His Messenger are among the greatest acts of worship and signs of faith. So whatever is done for that purpose is undoubtedly done by way of worship and seeking to draw closer to Allah. 

Based on that, we may note that the Companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had a greater love and respect for him, and were more aware of his rights, than those who came after them, so whatever did not constitute part of the religion for them does not constitute part of the religion for those who come after them. 

It was this principle that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted to the people of the halaqah who had gathered to remember Allah in the mosque, and were all counting their dhikr with pebbles. He said to them: By the one in Whose hand is my soul, you are either following a path that is more guided than the path of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or you have opened the door to misguidance! 

They said: By Allah, O Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan, our intention was nothing but good. 

He said: And how many people who aimed for good never attained it! 

Narrated by ad-Daarimi in his Sunan (210). 

Secondly: 

If a celebration is held every year, that makes it an eid or festival, and festivals are religious symbols. Hence you find the People of the Book regarding their festivals as holy and celebrating them. 

Shaykh Naasir al-‘Aql (may Allah preserve him) said: 

Festivals come under the heading of religious symbols and rituals, like facing towards a particular direction in worship, prayer and fasting; they are not mere customs. This is why the issue of resembling and imitating the disbelievers in them is so serious. Similarly, introducing festivals that were not prescribed by Allah is tantamount to ruling by something other than that which Allah has revealed, speaking of Allah without knowledge, fabricating lies against Him and introducing innovations into His religion.[21] 

 Thirdly: 

Abu Dawood (1134) narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah, they had two days on which they would play. He said: “What are these two days?” They said: We used to play on these days during the Jaahiliyyah. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Verily Allah has replaced them for you with something better than them: the day of (Eid) al-Adha and the day of (Eid) al-Fitr.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood

If merely celebrating a festival was a matter of custom, and had nothing to do with worship or imitating the disbelievers, then the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would have left them to their play and entertainment, because there is nothing wrong with playing, or permissible entertainment and fun. 

But as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) told them not to celebrate the occasion of a festival by way of playing, although it does not seem that it was singled out for any act intended to draw closer to Allah or any act of worship, then how about those who do that by way of seeking to draw closer to Allah or by way of worship? The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces into this matter of ours something that is not part of it, it will be rejected.”[22]

 

Eating food that is distributed on Mawlid:

There is no festival in Islamic sharee’ah that is called “The Prophet’s Birthday”. Neither the Sahaabah nor the Taabi’een nor the four imams nor anyone else recognized such a day as part of their religion. Rather this festival was introduced by some ignorant Baatini innovators, then the people began to follow this innovation but the imams have denounced it in every time and place.

Based on this, everything that the people do specially for this day is regarded as haraam, innovated actions, because they intend thereby to keep alive a festival that has been introduced into our religion, such as holding parties, offering food and so on. 

Shaykh al-Fawzaan said:

The commands in the Qur’aan and Sunnah to follow that which has been prescribed by Allaah and His Messenger and the prohibition against introducing innovations into the religion are well known. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): “If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins”[1]

 “[Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) to these idolaters (pagan Arabs) of your folk:] Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord (the Qur’aan and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah), and follow not any Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers who order you to associate partners in worship with Allaah), besides Him (Allaah). Little do you remember?”[2]

 “And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path”[3]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” According to a version narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does any deed that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.” 

Among the innovations that people have introduced is celebration of the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid) in the month of Rabee’ al-Awwal. There are various ways in which they celebrate this occasion: 

Some of them simply gather to read the story of his birth, or they listen to speeches and qaseedahs (odes) on this occasion. 

Some of them make food and sweets etc, and offer them to the people who attend. 

Some of them hold these celebrations in the mosques and some hold them in their houses.  

Some of them do not limit themselves to what we have mentioned, rather their gatherings include haraam and evil things such as men mixing freely with women, dancing and music, or acts of shirk such as seeking the help of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and calling upon him or seeking his support against their enemies, and so on. 

Whatever kinds of celebrations they are and whatever form they take, they are undoubtedly bid’ah and haraam innovations that were introduced long after the time of the best generations.  

The first one who introduced this innovation was Abu Sa’eed Kawkaboori, the king of Irbil, at the end of the sixth or beginning of the seventh century AH, as was mentioned by the historians such as Ibn Katheer, Ibn Khalqaan and others. 

Abu Shaamah said:  The first one who did that in Mosul was Shaykh ‘Umar ibn Muhammad al-Mulla, one of the well known righteous men, and the ruler of Irbil and others followed his example. 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidaayah (13-137), in his biography of Abu Sa’eed al-Kawkaboori: 

He did the Mawlid in Rabee’ al-Awwal and celebrated it with a great celebration. … Then he said: 

Al-Sabt said: Some of those who attended the feast given by the king on some of the Mawlids said that this feast included five thousand roasted heads, ten thousand chickens, one hundred thousand bowls and thirty thousand plates of sweets. And the Sufis sang from Zuhr until Fajr, and he himself danced with them.[4]

Ibn Khalqaan said in Wafiyaat al-A’yaan (3-274): 

When the first of Safar came, they would adorn those domes with all kinds of fine adornments, and in every dome there was a group of singers and a group of puppeteers and musical players, and they did not leave any dome but they installed a group there. End quote. 

But most of what these innovators do on this day is making food of various kinds and distributing it and inviting people to eat. If a Muslim joins in this action, eats their food and sits in their gatherings, then undoubtedly he is taking part in keeping the innovation alive, and is cooperating in it, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah”[5]

Hence the fatwas of the scholars state that it is haraam to eat food that is distributed on this day and on other innovated festivals. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked the following question in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (9/74): 

What is the ruling on meat that is slaughtered for the Mawlid? 

He (may Allaah have mercy on him) replied: 

If it is slaughtered (as a sacrifice) to the one whose birthday is being celebrated, then it is major shirk, but it is slaughtered just to be eaten, there is nothing wrong with that. But it should not be eaten, and the Muslim should not attend (the feast), so as to denounce them in word and in deed, unless he attends in order to denounce them without joining them in eating or anything else. End quote. 

Ruling on buying special sweets sold on the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid)

Firstly: 

Celebrating the Mawlid (Prophet’s birthday) is bid’ah (an innovation). It is not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or any of his companions or the Taabi’een or the Imams. Rather it was innovated by the ‘Ubaydis (Fatimids), who also introduced other innovations and misguidance. 

Secondly: 

The basic principle is that it is permissible to eat and drink sweets that are free of harmful ingredients, so long as that is not helping in evil or propagating or encouraging its survival. 

It seems that buying Mawlid sweets at the time of that celebration comes under the heading of helping and propagating it; rather it is a kind of establishing that festival or eid, because an eid is something that people observe regularly. If it is their custom to eat this specific food or they make it for that festival, unlike their habits at other times of the year, then buying and selling it, and eating it or giving it as a gift, on that day, is part of celebrating that festival or establishing it. So it is better for you not to do that on the day of the celebration.  

In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah there is a discussion to do with Valentine’s Day and buying sweets that have been coloured red and on which hearts are drawn, as an expression of celebrating that innovated festival. It says: 

The clear evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah – on which there is consensus among the early generations of the ummah – that there are only two Eids or festivals in Islam: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Any festivals other than these, whether they are connected to a person, a group, an incident or anything lese, are innovated festivals and it is not permissible for the Muslims to celebrate them or approve of them, express joy on them or help with them in any way, because that is transgressing the sacred limits of Allaah, and whoever transgresses the sacred limits of Allaah has wronged himself. … It is also haraam for a Muslim to help with this festival or any other haraam festivals in any way, whether it has to do with food, drink, selling, buying, manufacturing, giving, corresponding, announcing or anything else, because all of that is cooperating in sin and transgression and disobedience to Allaah and to the Messenger of Allaah, (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”[6]

Scholarly opinions concerning the date of the Prophet’s birth and death, and which is most likely to be correct:

Firstly: 

The biographers and historians differed concerning the day and month of the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). This is something for which there is good reason, as it was not known what status this newborn would achieve; his situation was like that of any other newborn. Hence no one can state with certainty the date of his birth (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

Dr. Muhammad at-Tayyib an-Najjaar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Perhaps the reason for this difference of opinion is that when he was born, no one expected that he would attend such a status. For that reason, he did not live in the spotlight from the beginning of his life. When Allah decreed that the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) should begin to convey His message forty years after he was born, people began to seek out whatever memories they had about this Prophet, and they asked one another about every detail of his life. They were helped in that by what the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) himself narrated about incidents that he had experienced from his birth, as well as the reports narrated by his Companions and those who had also gone through those events with him. 

At that time the Muslims began to collect everything that they had heard about the life story of their Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in order to transmit it to the people down throughout the ages[7] 

Secondly: 

Among the matters on which there is consensus with regard to his birth (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is the definition of the year and the day. 

  1. With regard to the year: 

It was the Year of the Elephant. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

There is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born in Makkah, and that his birth was in the Year of the Elephant.[8] 

Muhammad ibn Yoosuf as-Saalihi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Ibn Ishaaq (may Allah have mercy on him) said: (It was) the Year of the Elephant. 

Ibn Katheer said: This is the well-known view of the majority. 

Ibraaheem ibn al-Mundhir al-Hizaami, the Shaykh of al-Bukhaari, said: This is the opinion concerning which none of the scholars has any doubt. Khaleefah ibn Khayyaat, Ibn al-Jazzaar, Ibn Dihyah, Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn al-Qayyim went further and narrated that there was consensus on this matter. 

Subul al-Huda wa’r-Rashaad fi Seerat Khayr al-‘Ibaad, 1/334, 335 

Dr. Akram Diya’ al-‘Umari (may Allah guide him) said: 

In fact the reports that say otherwise all have flawed isnaads; they suggest that he was born ten years, or twenty-three years, or forty years, after the Year of the Elephant. But the majority of scholars are of the view that he was born in the Year of the Elephant. This is supported by the modern study undertaken by both Muslim and Orientalist researchers who stated that the Year of the Elephant corresponds to the year 570 CE and 571 CE.[9] 

  1. With regard to the day: 

It was a Monday. He (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born on a Monday, his mission began on a Monday and he died on a Monday. 

It was narrated that Abu Qataadah al-Ansaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays and he said: “That is a day on which I was born and on it my mission began – or Revelation came to me.”[10]

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Those who say that he was born on Friday 17th Rabee‘al-Awwal were mistaken. 

This was narrated by al-Haafiz Ibn Dihyah from what he read [?] of the book I‘laam ar-Wara bi A‘laam al-Huda by one of the Shi‘ah. Then Ibn Dihyan stated why it was da‘eef (weak), and it deserves to be classed as da‘eef because it is contrary to the text.[11] 

Thirdly: 

With regard to the point on which there is scholarly disagreement, that has to do with defining the month and the day of the month. We have come across many opinions concerning that, including the following: 

  1. That he was born on 2ndRabee ‘al-Awwal. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It was said that he was born on the second of the month. This was stated by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Isti‘aab, and was narrated by al-Waaqidi from Abu Ma‘shar Nujayh ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Madani.[12] 

  1. It was said that he was born on 8thRabee‘al-Awwal. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It was said that he was born on the eighth of the month. This was narrated by al-Humaydi from Ibn Hazm, and was narrated by Maalik, ‘Aqeel, Yoonus ibn Yazeed and others from az-Zuhri from Muhammad ibn Jubayr ibn Mut‘im. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr narrated that the historians regarded it as saheeh; it was stated definitively by al-Haafiz al-Kabeer Muhammad ibn Moosa al-Khawaarizmi, and was regarded as most likely to be correct by al-Haafiz Abu’l-Khattaan ibn Dihyah in his book at-Tanweer fi Mawlid al-Basheer an-Nadheer[13]

  1. It was said that he was born on 10thRabee ‘ al-Awwal. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It was said that he was born on the tenth of the month. This was narrated by Ibn Dihyah in his book, and was narrated by Ibn ‘Asaakir from Abu Ja‘far al-Baaqir. It was also narrated by Mujaalid from ash-Sha‘bi. 

As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/199 

  1. It was said that he was born on 12thRabee ‘al-Awwal. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It was said that he was born on the twelfth of the month. This was stated by Ibn Ishaaq. It was narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musannaf from ‘Affaan from Sa‘eed ibn Meena’ that Jaabir and Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born in the Year of the Elephant on Monday 12th Rabee‘al-Awwal; on Monday his mission began, on Monday he was taken up to heaven, on Monday he migrated, and on Monday he died.

This is the well-known opinion according to the majority. And Allah knows best. 

As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/199 

It was also said that he was born in Ramadan or in Safar or some other month. 

What appears to us to be the case is that the strongest opinion concerning the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is that he was born between the eighth and the twelfth of Rabee‘al-Awwal. Some Muslim mathematicians and astronomers have determined that the Monday in question was the ninth of Rabee‘al-Awwal. It may be that this is another opinion, and it has some merit. That corresponds to 20th April 571 CE. This is what the authors of some modern books on Seerah (Prophet’s biography) regard as most likely to be correct, including Professor Muhammad al-Khudari and Safi ar-Rahmaan al-Mubaarakfoori. 

Abu’l-Qaasim as-Suhayli (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The mathematicians say that his birth occurred in the solar month of April, on the twentieth of that month.[14] 

Prof. Muhammad al-Khudari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The Egyptian astronomer Mahmoud Basha (d. 1885 CE) who was well-versed in astronomy, geography and mathematics, and wrote several books based on his research stated that it was on the morning of Monday 9th Rabee‘al-Awwal, which corresponds to 20th April 571 CE. That corresponds to the first year following the elephant incident. He was born in the house of Abu Taalib in Shi‘ab Banu Haashim.[15] 

Fourthly: 

With regard to the date of the death of our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), there is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that it occurred on a Monday. The report narrated from Ibn Qutaybah, saying that it occurred on a Wednesday, is not correct. Perhaps what he meant is that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was buried on Wednesday, which is correct. 

With regard to the year of his death, there is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that it was in 11 AH. 

With regard to the month of his death, there is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that it was in Rabee‘al-Awwal. 

With regard to the date of his death in that month, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. 

  • The majority are of the view that it occurred on 12thRabee‘al-Awwal.
  • Al-Khawaarizmi was of the view that it occurred on 1stRabee‘al-Awwal.
  • Ibn al-Kalbi and Abu Makhnaf were of the view that it occurred on 2ndRabee‘al-Awwal. As-Suhayli was inclined to favour this view and al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) regarded it as most likely to be correct. 
  • The most well-known view is that of the majority, which is that the death of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) occurred on 12thRabee‘al-Awwal 11 AH. 

See ar-Rawd al-Unuf by as-Suhayli (4/439, 440); as-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Katheer (4/509); Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar (8/130). 

Ruling on ‘Islamic songs’ with musical instruments:

So-called Islamic poems with musical beats of Bollywood songs and immodest poetry has become a common practice in the celebrations of Maulid.

The aayaat of the Qur’aan and the Ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be uponhim) indicate that musical instruments are condemned, and warn us against them. The Qur’aan teaches that playing these instruments is one of the things that leads people astray and constitutes mockery of the Signs of Allaah. Allaah says:

“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talk to mislead (men) from the Path of Allaah, without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allaah, the Verses of the Qur’aan) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire).” [16]

Most of the scholars interpreted lahw al-hadeeth (“idle talk”) as meaning singing and musical instruments, and every voice that diverts people from the truth.

Al-Tabari (Jaami’ al-Bayaan, 15/118-119), Ibn Abi’l-Dunya (Dham al-Malaahi, 33) and Ibn al-Jawzi (Talbees Iblees, 232) all reported that concerning the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“[Allaah said to Shaytaan;] ‘And istafziz [literally means befool them gradually] those whom you can with your voice, make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, mutually share with them wealth and children, and make promises to them.’ But Shaytaan promises them nothing but deceit”[17]

Mujaahid said, “This refers to singing and flutes.”

Al-Tabari reported that al-Hasan al-Basri said:

“His voice is the tambourine.”

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (1/252):

“The grammatical structure here (idaafah – genitive or possessive) is used to make something specific (idaafat al-takhsees), and in all these words in the aayah it refers back to the Shaytaan [addressed here as ‘you’ by Allaah, may He be glorified]. Everyone who speaks about anything other than obedience of Allaah or plays a reed pipe, flute, tambourine or drum, all of this is the voice of Shaytaan.”

Al-Tirmidhi reported in his Sunan (no. 1005) from Ibn Abi Layla from ‘Ata’ from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to to al-Nakhl with ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, when his son Ibraaheem was dying. He took the child in his lap and his eyes filled with tears. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan said, ‘Are you weeping when you have forbidden us to weep?’ He said, ‘I do not forbid weeping. What I have forbidden is two foolish and evil kinds of voices: voices at times of entertainment and play and the flutes of the Shaytaan, and voices at times of calamity and scratching the face and rending the garments and screaming.’”

Al-Tirmidhi said: this is a hasan hadeeth. It was also reported by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, no. 1683, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (4/69), al-Tayaalisi in Musnad (no. 1683) and by al-Tahhaawi in Sharh al-Ma’aani, 4/29, and it was classed as hasan by al-Albaani.

Al-Nawawi said: “What is meant here is singing and musical instruments.” See Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 4/88.

It was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “In my ummah there will be people who allow fornication/adultery (zina), silk, wine and musical instruments [ma’aazif]. Some people will stay at the side of a mountain, and they will have flocks of sheep. When a poor person comes in the evening to ask them for something he needs, they will say. ‘Come back to us tomorrow.’ Then during the night Allaah will destroy them by causing the mountain to fall upon them, while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in such a state until the Day of Resurrection.’”

(Reported by al-Bukhaari in al-Saheeh mu’allaqan, 51/10. Reported mawsoolan by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra, 3/272; al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, 3/319; and Ibn Hibbaan in al-Saheeh (8/265-266). Classed as saheeh by Ibn al-Salaah in ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth (32), Ibn al-Qayyim in Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (255) and Tahdheeb al-Sunan (5/270-272), al-Haafiz in al-Fath (10/51) and al-Albaani in al-Saheehah (1/140)).

Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath (10/55): Ma’aazif refers to musical instruments. Al-Qurtubi reported from al-Jawhari that ma’aazif meant singing, and what it says in his book al-Sihaah is that it refers to musical instruments. It was also said that it is the sound of musical instruments. In a footnote by al-Dimyaati it says: ma’aazif is tambourines and other kinds of drums. The word ‘azif is applied to singing and all other kinds of instruments that may be played.

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (1/256):

The evidence for this is that ma’aazif refers to all kinds of things used for entertainment. There is no dispute among scholars of the Arabic language on this point. If they were halaal, he would not have condemned those who permitted them, or compared permitting them to permitting wine and zina.

We may understand from the hadeeth that all kinds of musical instruments are forbidden. This is clear from the hadeeth for a number of reasons:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said “… there will be people who allow…” It is clear that the things listed here, including musical instruments, are forbidden in sharee’ah, but those people will allow them.

He compared musical instruments to things that are definitely known to be haraam, namely zina and alcohol. If instruments were not haraam, he would not have made this comparison. The evidence of this hadeeth that singing is haraam is definitive. Even if no other hadeeth or aayah spoke about musical instruments, this hadeeth would be sufficient to prove that they are haraam, especially the kind of singing that is known among people nowadays, the essence of which is obscenity and foul talk, based on all kinds of musical instruments such as guitars, drums, flutes, ouds, zithers, organs, pianos, violins and other things that make it more enticing, such as the voices of these effeminate singers and whores.

(See Hukm al-Ma’aazif by al-Albaani, Tas-heeh al-Ahkta’ wa’l-Awhaam al-Waaqi’ah fi Ahaadeeth al-Nabi ‘alayhi’l-salaam by Raa’id Sabri, 1/176).

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 3/423-424):

“Ma’aazif refers to singing and musical instruments. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that at the end of time there will come a people who will allow these things just as they will allow alcohol, zina and silk. This is one of the signs of his Prophethood, for all of this has happened. The hadeeth indicates that [musical instruments] are haraam, and condemns those who say they are halaal, just as it condemns those who say that alcohol and zina are allowed. The aayaat and ahaadeeth that warn against singing and musical instruments are many indeed. Whoever claims that Allaah has allowed singing and musical instruments is lying and is committing a great evil. We ask Allaah to keep us from obeying our desires and the Shaytaan. Even worse and more seriously sinful than that are those who say it is mustahabb. Undoubtedly this stems from ignorance about Allaah and His Religion; it is insolent blasphemy against Allaah and lying about His Laws. What is mustahabb is to beat on the daff [simple hand drum] at weddings. This is mustahabb for women only, in order to announce the wedding and to distinguish it from fornication. There is nothing wrong with women singing amongst themselves, accompanied by the daff, so long as the songs contain no words that encourage evil or distract people from their duties. It is also a condition that this should take place among women only, and there should be no mixing with men. It should also not cause any annoyance or disturbance to neighbours. What some people do, of amplifying such singing with loudspeakers is evil, because of the disturbance it causes to other Muslims, neighbours and others. It is not permissible for women, in weddings or on other occasions, to use any instrument other than the daff, such as the oud, violin, rebab (stringed instrument) and so on. This is evil, and the only concession that women are given is that they may use the daff.

As for men, it is not permissible for them to play any kind of musical instrument, whether at weddings or on any other occasion. What Allaah has prescribed for men is training in the use of instruments of war, such as target practice or learning to ride horses and competing in that, using spears, shields, tanks, airplanes and other things such as cannons, machine guns, bombs and anything else that may help jihaad for the sake of Allaah.”

Shaykh al-Islam said in al-Fataawa (11/569):

“I know that in the ‘golden age’, the first and best three centuries, in the Hijaaz, in Syria, in the Yemen, in Egypt, in the Maghreb, in Iraq, in Khorasan, none of the religious and righteous people, the ascetics and those who worshipped Allaah much, would gather to listen to this whistling and clapping and drum-beating and so on. This was innovated after that at the end of the second century, and whenever the imaams saw it, they denounced it.”

As for these anaasheed which are described as “Islamic” but are accompanied with musical instruments, giving them this name lends them some measure of legitimacy, but in fact they are singing and music, so calling them Islamic nasheeds is falsehood and deception. They cannot be a substitute for singing, as an evil thing cannot be substituted for another evil thing. We should replace something evil with something good. Listening to it on the grounds that it is Islamic and an act of worship is bid’ah, and Allaah does not allow this. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.

For more information, see:

Talbees Iblees (237) and al-Madkhil by Ibn al-Haaj (3/109); al-Amr bi’l-Ittibaa’ wa’l-Nahy ‘an al-Ibtidaa’ by al-Suyooti (99 ff); Dham al-Malaahi by Ibn Abi’l-Dunya; al-I’laam bi-anna al-‘Azif haraam by Abu Bakr al-Jazaa’iri; Tanzeeh al-Sharee’ah ‘an al-Aghaani al-Khalee’ah wa Tahreem Aalaat al-Tarab by al-Albaani.

Singing and dancing at celebrations of Maulid:

Susi saints and deviant brelvis have authenticated dancing, mind boggling physical movemements at the name of Love of Allah and His Messenger. Even ignorant women in obscene dresses, scattered hair, ghungru in feet clap, dance, sing and call all these acts of ignorance ‘’ Wajad ‘’. But it is haraam to play musical instruments.

 Here we will explain some of the things that are permitted to women only. 

Secondly: 

It is permissible for women to beat the daff and to sing permissible songs on permissible occasions such as Eid, celebrations and the like. 

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

It is permissible for him – the bridegroom – to allow women to announce the marriage by beating the daff only, and by singing permissible songs in which there is no description of beauty or mention of immoral phrases… then he mentioned the evidence for that.[18] 

The evidence that the Shaykh mentioned is: 

It was narrated that al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon me on the day of my wedding and sat on my mattress as you are sitting now, and young girls were beating the daff and singing about their fathers who had been killed at the battle of Badr, until a girl said, “And among us is a Prophet who knows what will happen tomorrow.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not say this, but say the other things that you were saying.” [19]

It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that she took a woman on her wedding night to a man from among the Ansaar, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to her, “O ‘Aa’ishah, was there any entertainment (in the gathering)? For the Ansaar love entertainment.”[20] 

It was narrated that Abu Ishaaq said: I heard ‘Aamir ibn Sa’d al-Bajali say: I saw Thaabit ibn Wadee’ah and Qarazah ibn Ka’b al-Ansaari at a wedding, and there was singing. I spoke to them about that and they said that a concession had been granted allowing singing at weddings and weeping for the dead, so long as there was no wailing.[21] 

It was narrated that Muhammad ibn Haatib al-Jamahi said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The thing that differentiates between haraam and halaal is the beating of the daff and voices.”[22]

This is what it is permitted for women to do of singing at weddings. The only musical instrument that is permissible for them is the daff, and not others such as the tabl. The difference between them is that the tabl is covered on both sides whereas the daff is open on one side and covered on the other. 

The Standing Committee said:  

With regard to the tabl and other kinds of musical instruments, it is not permissible to use them with these anasheed, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not do that. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to the tabl, it is not permissible to beat it in weddings, rather the daff only should be used. [23]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: 

The drum that is covered on both sides is called the tabl, and it is not permissible, because it is a kind of musical instrument and all kinds of musical instruments are haraam, except that for which there is evidence that it is halaal, which is the daff at weddings[24]

Thirdly: 

With regard to dancing, it is not permissible in front of men, non-mahrams, mahrams or women, because of the fitnah that may be caused by the movements of the body. It is well known that women may feel desire for one another, and even if that is not the case, there is no guarantee that one of them will not go back to her menfolk and describe to them what she has seen of the beauty of the dancer and her movement, so this may affect the men and may cause a great deal of mischief. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade such things. 

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman should look at another woman then describe her to her husband so that it is as if he can see her.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4839. 

In the early days the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) allowed effeminate men to enter upon woman, but when he saw one of them describing women and disclosing their secrets, he forbade them from doing that. 

It was narrated from Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her): The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered upon me and there was an effeminate man with me. I heard him say to ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Umayyah, “O ‘Abd-Allaah, if Allaah should enable you to conquer al-Taa’if tomorrow you should look for the daughter of Ghaylaan…” then he described her. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “These people should not enter upon you.”[25]

The alluring movements of a woman are part of her ‘awrah, and it is not permissible for her to show them to anyone but her husband. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Dancing is makrooh in principle, but if it is done in the western manner or in imitation of the kaafir women, then it becomes haraam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Moreover it sometimes leads to fitnah, because the dancer may be a young, beautiful woman, so the other women are tempted. Even if she is among other women, the other women may do things that indicate that they are temped by her. And whatever is a cause of fitnah is not allowed.[26] 

And he said: 

With regard to dancing on the part of women, it is an evil action and we cannot say that it is permissible, because we have heard of incidents that have occurred among women because of it. If it is done by men that is even worse, because that is men imitating women, and the evil involved is well known. If dancing is done among a mixed group of men and women, as some of the foolish do, that is even worse because of the mixing and great fitnah involved, especially when that is done at a wedding party.” [27] 

Fourthly: 

With regard to permissible words in songs, they are those that do not contain any haraam descriptions, or provoke desire, or words that are forbidden in sharee’ah, or some innovated adhkaar, and other haraam things.  

There are sufficient permissible things that may be sung about, such as encouraging good morals, the pursuit of knowledge, giving up haraam things, and so on. 

The Standing Committee said: 

 Songs of the modern type are haraam, because they include immoral words and things that are no good, and they include idle leisure and provocation of sexual desire, and promiscuity, and the voice has a quality that inspires evil thoughts in the mind of the listener. May Allaah help us and you to do that which pleases Him. 

It is permissible to replace these songs with Islamic nasheeds which contain rulings, exhortation and teaching, which will increase people’s keenness and pride in their religion, and promote Islamic feelings and put people off evil and what leads to it. 

Permissibility of beating the daff:

Al-Bukhaari narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There will be among my ummah people who will regard adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments as permissible.” 

This hadeeth indicates that all musical instruments are haraam, including the daff. 

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The daff is haraam, stringed instruments are haraam, drums are haraam and flutes are haraam. [1]

But there are some ahaadeeth which indicate that it is permissible to beat the daff in some circumstances, which are: 

Eid, weddings, and when one who has been away returns. 

The evidence is given below. 

1 – It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) entered upon her and there were two girls with her during the days of Mina beating the daff, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was covering himself with his garment. Abu Bakr rebuked them, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) uncovered his face and said, “Leave them alone, O Abu Bakr, for these are the days of Eid.” That was during the days of Mina.[2] 

2 – It was narrated that al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh ibn ‘Afra’ said: “After the consummation of my marriage, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came and sat on my bed as far from me as you are sitting now, and our little girls started beating the daff and reciting verses mourning my father, who had been killed in the battle of Badr. One of them said, ‘Among us is a Prophet who knows what will happen tomorrow.’ On that the Prophet said, ‘Omit this (saying) and keep on saying the verses which you had been saying before.’[3] 

3 – It was narrated that Buraydah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out on one of his military campaigns, and when he came back, a black slave woman came and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I vowed that if Allaah brought you back safe and sound, I would beat the daff before you and sing. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “If you vowed that, then do it, otherwise do not do it.’” So she started to beat the daff, and Abu Bakr came in whilst she was doing so. Then ‘Ali came in whilst she was beating the daff, then ‘Uthmaan came in whilst she was beating the daff, then ‘Umar came in and she threw the daff beneath her and sat on it. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “The Shaytaan is afraid of you, O ‘Umar. I was sitting and she was beating the daff, then Abu Bakr came in when she was beating the daff; then ‘Ali came in when she was beating the daff; then ‘Uthmaan came in when she was beating the daff, but when you came in, O ‘Umar, she put the daff down.” [4]

These ahaadeeth indicate that it is permissible to beat the daff in these three situations. Apart from that, the principle remains that it is haraam. Some scholars made the matter broader and said that it is permissible to beat the daff when a child is born and when he is circumcised; others take the matter further and say that it is permissible on all occasions that are a cause for expressing joy, such as the recovery of a sick person and the like. 

See al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 38/169 

Secondly: 

The correct view is that it is not permissible to beat the daff except for women. If a man does that, he is imitating women, which is a major sin. 

Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah – may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

In general, it is a well known principle of the Islamic religion that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not prescribe that the righteous men, devoted worshippers and ascetics of this ummah should gather to listen to verses of poetry chanted to the accompaniment of handclapping, rhythm sticks or daffs. It is not permissible for anyone to go beyond the limits of Islam and follow something other than that which was narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, whether that has to do with inward matters or outward, whether for the common man or the elite. But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) granted a concession for some kinds of entertainment on the occasion of weddings and the like, and he also granted a concession to women allowing them to beat the daff at weddings and on other joyous occasions. But with regard to the men of his time, none of them used to beat the daff or clap his hands, rather it was proven in al-Saheeh that he said, ‘Clapping is for women, and Tasbeeh is for men,’ and he cursed women who imitate men and men who imitate women. 

Because singing, beating the daff and clapping the hands are actions of women, the salaf used to call a man who did that mukhannath (effeminate), and they used to call male singers makhaaneeth (pl. of mukhannath). This is well known.[5] 

Ibn Hajar said: 

The strong (qawiy) ahaadeeth indicate that this is permissible for women, but that does not include men, because of the general meaning of the prohibition on men imitating women. [6]

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Rather the concession allowing women to use the daff is for them only. With regard to men, it is not permissible for them to do any of that, whether on weddings or on other occasions. Rather Allaah has prescribed for men to train in the instruments of war and skills needed for battle, such as shooting and horse riding, and competing in that. 

Majallat al-Jaami’ah al-Islamiyyah (Magazine of the Islamic University in al-Madeenah al-Munawwarah), 3rd edition, 2nd year, Muharram, 1390 AH, p. 185, 186 

And he also said: 

With regard to weddings, it is prescribed to beat the daff and sing regular songs which do not call for or praise anything that is haraam. This is to be done at night, by women only, to announce the wedding and to emphasize the difference between this legitimate marriage and zina (adultery) which is done in secret, as was narrated in the saheeh Sunnah from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

 Al-Tabarruj wa Khataruhu (Wanton display and its dangers)

Reciting Islamic nasheeds:

The clear saheeh texts indicate in a number of ways that it is permissible to recite poetry and listen to it. It was narrated in saheeh reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his noble Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) listened to verse, recited it (as nasheed) and asked others to recite it, both when they were travelling and when they stayed at home, in their gatherings and whilst they were working, individually, as in the case of Hassaan ibn Thaabit, ‘Aamir ibn al-Akwa’ and Anjashah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and in unison, as in the hadeeth of Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) which describes the digging of the ditch (al-khandaq). Anas said:

When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw how exhausted and hungry we were, he said (in verse):

“O Allaah, there is no life except the life of the Hereafter, so forgive the Ansaar and the Muhaajireen.”

And they said in response:

“We are the ones who have pledged allegiance to Muhammad, to make jihaad for as long as we live.”[7]

  And in gatherings too: Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated with a hasan isnaad that Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan said: “The Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not speak in devious tones or in a soft manner. They used to recite verses in their gatherings, denouncing the affairs of their jaahiliyyah, but if it was the matter of their religion, they would become very serious and cautious.  

This evidence indicates that nasheeds are permissible, whether recited individually or in unison. The word nasheed in Arabic means raising the voice when reciting verse and making the voice sound beautiful and gentle.

  There are conditions to which attention must be paid with regard to this matter:

  • Not using forbidden musical instruments in nasheed.
  • Not doing it too much or making it the focus of the Muslim’s mind, occupying all his time, or neglecting obligatory duties because of it.
  • Nasheed should not be recited by women, or include haraam or obscene speech.
  • They should not resemble the tunes of the people of immorality and promiscuity.
  • They should be free of vocal effects that produce sounds like those of musical instruments.
  • They should not have moving tunes which make the listener feel “high” as happens to those who listen to songs. This is the case with many of the nasheeds which appear nowadays, so that the listeners no longer pay any attention to the good meaning of the words, because they are so entranced by the tunes. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

(References: Fath al-Baari, 10/553-554-562-563
 Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 8/711
 Al-Qaamoos al-Muheet, 411)

Haraam issues in modern anaasheed :

Nasheeds have changed from what they were at first. 

Unfortunately nasheeds and munshids (nasheed-“singers”) have sunk to this level. Whereas nasheeds used to have meanings of faith, jihad and knowledge, they have now – in many cases – become akin to the songs of evildoers, with softening of the voice, putting a picture of the munshid on the cover of the tape, and making video clips to accompany the nasheed, which contain haraam things such as the presence of women or evildoers, and using musical instruments. The best of them nowadays are those that use sound effects that mimic the sound of musical instruments. No attention is paid to the meaning, rather all the attention is focused on the tune and other sound effects. Otherwise tell me how a munshid can produce a nasheed in English which the [Arab] listeners enjoy listening to so much even though  they do not understand a single word of it?! 

Nasheeds have overtaken other kinds of educational and beneficial audio material and nasheed groups have proliferated in the Muslim world. These groups do not hesitate to publish pictures of their groups in newspapers and magazines wearing identical clothing, and their faces often proclaim their going against the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as they have shaved their beards. Some Qur’aan readers whom Allaah has blessed with beautiful voices and talent in reading that makes one weep have followed in their footsteps. Some of them became very keen to go down that path and released some recordings which do not befit their status. So you may find one of them producing a recording with some clean-shaven evildoers and pictures of women appearing in the video clip with the nasheed. The camera zooms in on the face of the munshid when he is looking his best and he stares soulfully into the camera and behaves like a pop singer.  

We are not exaggerating, and we are not talking about things that do not happen. These munshids who publish their pictures and mobile phone numbers know that women are tempted by them, and they know what effect their movements and looks and images have on that weak section of mankind. Unfortunately we only see them producing more of these nasheeds with images. 

Hence some of the prominent Shaykhs who permitted nasheeds at first were upset by what nasheeds and munshids have become – and this was before they found out about the video clips – so they retracted the view that it is permissible or they stipulated conditions for it to be said to be permissible. Among these prominent Shaykhs are: Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him). 

  1. He said (may Allaah have mercy on him): 

I think that Islamic nasheeds have changed from what they were before. They were done with voices that were not enchanting, but now they are done with enchanting voices, and they are also accompanied by evil and corrupting tunes and they say that they are accompanied by the duff, but all of this means that one should keep away from these nasheeds. But if a man comes to us and sings anaasheed that have a sound meaning, and which do not include any nonsense, and uses his voice only with no musical instruments, there is nothing wrong with that. Hassaan ibn Thaabit used to recite poetry in the mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

Duroos wa Fataawa al-Haram al-Madani, 1416 AH, question no. 18. 

  1. He also said (may Allaah have mercy on him): 

There has been a lot of talk about Islamic nasheeds. I have not listened to them for a long time. When they first appeared there was nothing wrong with them. There were no duffs, and they were performed in a manner that did not involve any fitnah, and they were not performed with the tunes of haraam songs. But then they changed and we began to hear a rhythm that may have been a duff or it may have been something other than a duff, and they began to choose performers with beautiful and enchanting voices, then they changed further and began to be performed in the manner of haraam songs. Hence we began to feel uneasy about them, and unable to issue fatwas stating that they were permissible in all cases, or that they were forbidden in all cases. If they are free of the things that I have referred to then they are permissible, but if they are accompanied by the duff or performers are chosen who have beautiful and enchanting voices, or they are performed in the manner of indecent songs, then it is not permissible to listen to them. 

Al-Sahwah al-Islamiyyah (p. 185). 

  1. Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

As for that which is called Islamic nasheeds, they have been given more time and effort than they deserve, to such an extent that they have become an art form which takes up space in school curricula and school activities, and the recording companies record huge numbers of them to sell and distribute, and most houses are full of them, and many young men and women listen to them, and it takes up a lot of their time, and they are listened to more than recordings of Qur’aan, Sunnah, lectures and useful lessons. 

Al-Bayaan li Akhta’ Ba’d al-Kuttaab (p. 342). 

  1. Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

I remember full well that when I was in Damascus, two years before I migrated here to ‘Ammaan, some of the Muslim youth started to sing some anaasheed that had sound meanings, intending thereby to counteract the Sufi songs like the Busayri poems and others, and they recorded that on tapes, but soon it was accompanied by beating the duff! At first they used it in wedding parties, on the basis that the duff is permissible in such parties, then the tapes became widespread and copies were made of them, and they started to be used in many homes, and they started to listen to them day and night, whether there was an occasion or not. That became their way of relaxing. But that is due only to their whims and desires and their ignorance of the shaytaan’s tricks, so he diverted them from paying attention to the Qur’aan and listening to it, let alone studying it, and it became forsaken by them, as it says in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “And the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will say: ‘O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’aan (neither listened to it nor acted on its laws and teachings)’” [al-Furqaan 25:30].  

Tahreem Aalaat al-Tarb (p. 181, 182). 

It is regrettable that some of those who appoint themselves to issue fatwas have reached such a level that they issues fatwas to adult women allowing them to perform nasheed in front of men, and even on satellite channels in front of millions, and these female performers use musical instruments which are forbidden in sharee’ah, but are permitted by this so-called mufti. 

Secondly:

 The guidelines and conditions of permissible nasheeds: 

By studying the words of the scholars and trustworthy Shaykhs we may compile a list of guidelines and shar’i conditions which must be fulfilled for the nasheed to be permissible. That includes: 

  • The words of the nasheed must be free of haraam and foolish words.
  • The nasheed should not be accompanied by musical instruments. No musical instrument is permitted except the duff for women on certain occasions.
  • It should be free of sound effects that imitate musical instruments, because what counts is what appears to be the case, and imitating haraam instruments is not permissible, especially when the bad effect is the same as that which happens with real instruments.
  • Listening to nasheed should not become a habit which takes up a person’s time and affects his duties and mustahabb actions, such as affecting his reading of Qur’aan and calling others to Allaah.
  • The performer of a nasheed should not be a woman performing in front of men, or a man with an enchanting appearance or voice performing in front of women.
  • One should avoid listening to performers with soft voices who move their bodies in rhythm, because there is fitnah in all of that and it is an imitation of the evildoers.
  • One should avoid the images that are put on the covers of their tapes, and more important than that, one should avoid the video clips that accompany their nasheeds, especially those which contain provocative movements and imitations of immoral singers.
  • The purpose of the nasheed should be the words, not the tune.  

There follow some of the comments of the scholars which include the guidelines and conditions mentioned above. 

  1. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

To sum up, what is well known in the Islamic religion is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not prescribe for the righteous, devoted worshippers and ascetics of his ummah to gather to listen to poetic verses recited to the accompaniment of clapping or the beating of a duff. It is not permissible for anyone to deviate from following him and following that which he brought of the Book and wisdom, whether that has to do with inward or outward matters, either for an ordinary man or a member of the elite. But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) granted concessions allowing some kinds of entertainment in weddings and the like, and he allowed women to beat the duff during weddings and other celebrations. 

As for the men of his era, not one of them used to beat the duff or clap, rather it is proven in al-Saheehthat he said: “Clapping is for women, and tasbeeh is for men” and he cursed the women who imitate men and the men who imitate women. 

Because singing, beating the duff and clapping are things that women do, the salaf used to call a man who did those things effeminate, and they called men who sang effeminate, and this is well known among their sayings.[8]

  1. Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Islamic anasheed vary. If they are sound and contain nothing but calling people to what is good, and reminding them of what is good, and obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, and calling people to defend their homelands against the plots of the enemy, and preparing to face the enemy and so on, there is nothing wrong with that. But if they are something other than that, and they promote sin and and are performed before mixed audiences of men and women, or audiences in which women are uncovered in the presence of men, or any other evil action, then it is not permissible to listen to them. [9]

  1. He also said (may Allaah have mercy on him): 

Islamic nasheeds are like poetry: if it is sound then it is sound and if there is anything objectionable in it then it is objectionable. 

The conclusion is that you cannot pass one judgement on all types of nasheed, rather each should be examined on its own merits. There is nothing wrong with sound nasheeds, but nasheeds which contain anything objectionable or promote anything objectionable are objectionable and evil.[10]

  1. The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said: 

It is permissible for you to replace these songs with Islamic nasheeds which contain words of wisdom and exhortation and lessons, which promote keenness to follow Islam and invoke Islamic feelings, which put one off evil and the things that promote it, and which motivate the one who “sings” them and the one who hears them to obey Allaah and discourage them to disobey Him or transgress His limits; they make one keen to protect His sharee’ah and strive in jihad for His sake. But you should not take that as a habit which one persists in, rather that should be something that is done only sometimes, on special occasions such as weddings or when travelling for jihad and so on, and when one feels low, in order to revive the spirit and motivate oneself to do good, or when one feels inclined towards evil, so listening to such nasheeds may ward that off.[11]

  1. Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

There may be another sin involved in that [i.e., nasheeds], which is that they may be performed in the manner of immoral songs and performed according to the rules of eastern or western music which makes the listeners enjoy it and makes them dance and behave in a foolish manner. So the aim becomes the tune and the enjoyment thereof, and not nasheed per se. This is a new error, and it is an imitation of the kuffaar and immoral people. That may lead to a further error, which is imitating them in turning away from the Qur’aan and forsaking it, and being included in the general meaning of the complaint of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will say: ‘O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’aan (neither listened to it nor acted on its laws and teachings)’” [al-Furqaan 25:30].[12]

  1. He also said: 

If these anaasheed contain Islamic meanings and are not accompanied by any instruments such as the daff, tablah drum and so on, then there is nothing wrong with them, but we must point out an important condition of their being permissible, which is that they should be free of anything that goes against sharee’ah, such as exaggeration and the like. Then there is another condition, which is that they should not become a habit, because that distracts the listeners from reading Qur’aan which is encouraged in the Sunnah, and it also distracts them from seeking beneficial knowledge and calling people to Allaah.[13] So ruling says:

  • Not using forbidden musical instruments in nasheed.
  • Not doing it too much or making it the focus of the Muslim’s mind, occupying all his time, or neglecting obligatory duties because of it.
  • Nasheed should not be recited by women, or include haraam or obscene speech.
  • They should not resemble the tunes of the people of immorality and promiscuity.
  • They should be free of vocal effects that produce sounds like those of musical instruments.
  • They should not have moving tunes which make the listener feel “high” as happens to those who listen to songs. This is the case with many of the nasheeds which appear nowadays, so that the listeners no longer pay any attention to the good meaning of the words, because they are so entranced by the tunes.

We have too high an opinion of our brothers who perform nasheeds and recite Qur’aan to think that they could be a cause of fitnah for young men and women, and a cause of their being distracted from obedience to Allaah. They know how great an effect their voices and pictures may have on males and females; if you go to chat rooms you will see very weird things. You will see a woman who is infatuated with a munshid or one who cannot sleep unless she is listening to the voice of So and so, and those who call themselves ‘aashiqat fulaan (lover of So and so – a munshid) and you see men and women venerating those munshids, giving them titles and high status, even though some of them are not religiously committed at all, and some of them have fallen into the trap of singing immoral songs, and if you go to some websites that have these nasheeds, you will be surprised at how often these nasheeds are downloaded and how many people have no interest in listening to Qur’aan and useful lectures. 

Was the Prophet Created From Light?:

It’s a great misguidance and generates deep deviation in creed, Sunnah and guidance of Salaf. Denial of humanhood creates hundreds of issues and gives wrong direction to the commands of Allah. If Prophet was not a human, who was he then?.

The Messenger of Allaah has been described as being light from the light of Allaah. If what is meant by this is that he himself is from the light of Allaah, then this goes against the Qur’aan, which refers to his being human. If what is meant is that he is light in the sense that he brought the Revelation by which whoever Allah wills of His creation is guided, then this is correct. The committee has issued a fatwa concerning this matter, as follows:

“The Prophet ﷺ  has light which is the light of the message and guidance from Allaah, through which Allaah guides whomsoever He will of His slaves. No doubt the light of the message and of guidance comes from Allaah. Allaah says:

‘It is not given to any human being that Allaah should speak to him unless (it be)by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His Leave. Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.

And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) Roohan (an Inspiration, and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’aan) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you (O Muhammad) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the Straight Path (i.e., Allaah’s religion of Islamic monotheism), —

The path of Allaah, to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Verily, all the matters at the end go to Allaah (for decision).[14]

This light is not derived from the Seal of the Awliya’ as some heretics claim. The body of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was blood and flesh and bone, and so on. He was created from a father and a mother, and had no existence before he was born. The reports which say that the first thing created by Allaah was the light of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or that Allaah grasped a handful of the light from His Face and that this handful was Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then He looked at it and it formed drops, and from each of these drops He created a Prophet, or He created all of creation from the light of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – all of these reports and the like are not saheeh (authentic), and nothing like this has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).”

From the fatwa quoted above, it is clear that this is a false belief.

Was the Prophet Noor (Light) or Bashar (a Human Being)?:

Our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the leader of all the sons of Adam, and he is a human being, one of the sons of Adam. He was born from two parents, he ate food and married women, he got hungry and fell sick, and he felt joy and sorrow. One of the clearest signs of his humanity is that Allaah caused him to die as He causes all souls to die, but what distinguishes the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from others is Prophethood and Revelation.

Allaah says :

“Say (O Muhammad): I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God ___ i.e. Allaah)”[15]

The state of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his humanity is the same as that of all the Prophets and Messengers. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And We did not create them (the Messengers, with) bodies that ate not food, nor were they immortals”[16]

Allaah condemned those who wondered at the humanity of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And they say: Why does this Messenger (Muhammad) eat food, and walk about in the markets (as we)…?”[17]

It is not permissible to overstep the mark with regard to what the Qur’aan states about the message and humanity of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). For example, it is not permissible to describe him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as being noor (light) or as casting no shadow, or to say that he was created from light. Rather this is a kind of exaggeration which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade when he said: “Do not exaggerate about me as was exaggerated about ‘Eesa (Jesus) ibn Maryam. Say: the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.”[18]

Moreover it is proven that the angels are the ones who were created from light, not any of the sons of Adam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels were created from light, and Iblees was created from smokeless fire, and Adam (peace be upon him) was created from what has been described to you.”[19]

This indicates that the well known hadeeth (report) that is in circulation among people – “The first thing that Allaah created was the light of your Prophet, O Jaabir” – is false, and so are other similar ahaadeeth (narrations) which say that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was created from light. This hadeeth clearly indicates that the angels are the only ones who are created from light, not Adam and his sons, so pay heed and do not be negligent. End quote.

Prophet cast no Shadow?:

The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas (religious verdicts) was asked the following question:

Here in Pakistan the scholars of the Bareilawi sect believe that the Prophet cast no shadow, which indicates that the Prophet was not human. Is this hadeeth saheeh (authentic) which says that the Prophet had no shadow?

They replied:

This view is false and goes against the texts of the Qur’aan and the saheeh Sunnah which indicate that the Prophet human and did not differ in his human make-up from other people. He had a shadow like any other human. The Prophethood with which Allaah honoured him did not alter the fact that he was human as Allaah created him, with a father and mother. Allaah says:

“Say (O Muhammad): I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God ___i.e. Allaah)”[20]

 “Their Messengers said to them: We are no more than human beings like you”[21]

Is the Prophet alive and present on the earth at this time?:

Sufi and Brelvi Peer usully preach these issues that Prophet Muhammad is:

  • Present & seeing at all times.
  • Aware and witnessing the creation of Allah.
  • Is present in several places at the same time.

They usually justify their wrong beliefs by misinterpreting these Ayahs:

  • ‘O’ nabi (communicator of the unseen) we have sent you as a witness.”[22]
  • “then how shall it be, when we bring up a witness from each nation (of each prophet) and
  • ‘O’ beloved messenger we will bring you as a witness and guardian against all those.”[23]
    Observe that the holy Prophet is being called a witness to all the nations that Allah has put upon this earth. Therefore, the holy Prophet
    must have been present before his earthly appearance and is still present after his demise, otherwise he cannot be called upon as a witness in the true sense of the word.There are many other verses of the holy quran that call upon the holy prophet to be a witness and a witness can only be someone who is haazir & naazir.

Answer:

The Messenger  is the best and most perfect of creation, and the most beloved to Allaah and the most honoured by Him. But this does not mean that his human characteristics are to be denied, or that any of the duties of worship which are due only to Allaah should be directed to him. The Messenger was a human being who suffered from sickness and real death the same as any other human being. Allaah said: 

“Verily, you (O Muhammad) will die, and verily, they (too) will die”[24]

“And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad); then if you die, would they live forever?”[25] 

 The Messenger   died and was buried in his grave, hence al-Siddeeq Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Whoever used to worship Muhammad, Muhammad has died, but whoever used to worship Allaah, Allaah is alive and will never die.”

 The fact that the Prophet was a witness, a bringer of glad tidings and a warner, and that he will be a witness on the Day of Resurrection, does not mean that he is present among all nations, or that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) will remain alive until the Day of Resurrection, or that he sees and witnesses whilst he is in his grave. Witnessing does not only mean seeing. Rather he will testify against the nations by means of what Allaah tells him, for he does not know the unseen. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth…”[26]

 The Prophet does not have the ability to be present in numerous places; he is in only one place, which is his grave, and this is according to the consensus of the Muslims.

Two false hadiths fabricated by some ignorant people among those who exaggerate about the Messenger of Allah :

What is the authenticity of the following hadith: The Holy Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi WA Sallam once asked Hadrath Jibrael Alaihis Salam, “O Jibrael! How old are you?”
Jibrael al-Ameen Alaihis Salam replied, “O Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, I don’t know how old I am, but I do know that in the Fourth Covering (
حجاب), I saw a star shine once every 70,000 years, and I saw this 72,000 times.”
The Holy Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi WA Sallam then said,
وعزة ربي انا ذلك الكوكب
“By the honour of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala! I was that star
.” [Tafseer Rooh al-Bayaan, Vol. 1, Page 974]
People who believe rasulullaah (sm) in made of noor they always quote this hadith and say his noor is made before all the creation and hazrat Adam (as) was forgiven because he saw the name “Muhammadur rashulullah (sm)” after “La ilaha illallah” in haven and ask forgiveness by referring rasulullah (sm) name.
Answer:

Firstly:

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is a human being, one of the sons of Adam, and he is the leader of the sons of Adam. He was not created from light (noor). Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)): “I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God — i.e. Allaah)”[27]

Secondly:

Regarding the Prophet ﷺ asking Jibreel (peace be upon him):

 “O Jibreel, how old are you?” and his saying, O Messenger of Allah, I do not know, but in the fourth covering, I saw a star shine once every seventy thousand years, and I saw this seventy-two thousand times. The Prophet by the glory of my Lord, I was that star”,

This is false and there is no basis for it. It is something made up by some ignorant Sufis.

Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn as-Siddeeq al-Ghamaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

In some books of al-Mawlid an-Nabawi (books that speak of the Prophet’s Birth) it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that he said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) asked Jibreel (peace be upon him): “O Jibreel, how old are you?”… And he quoted the hadith, then he said:

This is an abhorrent lie; may Allah punish those who fabricated it and made it up.

Murshid al-Haa’ir (p. 5)

Thirdly:

It was narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (4228) and via him by al-Bayhaqi in Dalaa’il an-Nubuwwah (5/488), via ‘Abdullah ibn Muslim al-Fihri: Ismaa‘eel ibn Maslamah narrated to us: ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam informed us, from his father, from his grandfather, that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah  said: “When Adam committed his sin, he said: ‘O Lord, I urge you by virtue of Muhammad to forgive me?’

 “Allah said: ‘O Adam, how do you know Muhammad when I have not yet created him?’

“He said: ‘O Lord, because when You created me with Your own hand and breathed into me the soul that You created, I lifted my head and I read on the pillars of the Throne the words: Laa ilaaha ill-Allah, Muhammad Rasool Allah. And I know that You did not connect to Your name any but the most beloved of Your creation to You.’

“Allah said: ‘You have spoken the truth, O Adam. Verily he is indeed the most beloved of My creation to Me. Call upon Me by virtue of him, for I have forgiven you. Were it not for Muhammad I would not have created you.’”

Al-Haakim said, immediately after narrating this report: This is a hadith that has a saheeh isnaad, and it is the first hadith that I have narrated from ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam in this book.[28]

 ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam is matrook al-hadith (i.e., his hadith is to be rejected). As-Saaji said: He is munkar al-hadith (i.e., his hadith is not acceptable). At-Tahhaawi said: According to the scholars, his hadith is the ultimate in weakness. Al-Haakim and Abu Nu‘aym said: He narrated fabricated (mawdoo‘) hadiths from his father. Ibn al-Jawzi said: They are unanimously agreed that he is weak (da‘eef).

Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (6/162)

Regarding ‘Abdullah ibn Muslim al-Fihri, adh-Dhahabi said: He narrated from Ismaa‘eel ibn Maslamah ibn Qa‘nab, from ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Yazeed ibn Salam a false report in which it says “O Adam, were it not for Muhammad, I would not have created you.”

Mizaan al-I‘tidaal (2/504). This is a reference to this hadith.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Al-Haakim’s narration of this hadith is something for which he is criticised, because he himself said in Kitaab al-Madkhal ila Ma‘rifat as-Saheeh min as-Saqeem: ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam narrated fabricated (mawdoo‘) hadiths from his father.

I say: ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam is weak (da‘eef) according to scholarly consensus. He made many mistakes. He was classed as weak (da‘eef) by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Zur‘ah, Abu Haatim, an-Nasaa’i, ad-Daaraqutni, and others. Abu Haatim ibn Hibbaan said: He used to mix up reports without realising to the extent that he narrated many mursal reports as marfoo‘and narrated mawqoof reports as if they had complete isnaads.  Therefore he deserves to be rejected.

With regard to al-Haakim classifying this and similar hadiths as saheeh, this is something for which the leading scholars of hadith criticised him and said: al-Haakim classes hadiths as saheeh when they are mawdoo‘(fabricated) and false according to the scholars of hadith.[29]

So these two hadiths are false, and it is not permissible for the Muslim to attribute either of them to the Prophet ( blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), because this comes under the heading of telling lies about him, and telling lies about him is a major sin that incurs punishment.

“Were it not for you, I would not have created the universe.”:

How sound is the hadeeth that states, that were it not for Muhammad Allah would not have created this world?
Many false and fabricated ahadeeth (narrations) have been narrated that say similar things. For example: 

“Were it not for you, I would not have created the universe.” 

This was quoted by al-Shawkani in al-Fawaid al-Majmoo’ah fi’l-Ahadeeth al-Mawdoo’ah (p. 326). He said:  

Al-San’ani said: (it is) mawdoo’ (fabricated). 

Al-Albani said in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (282): (it is) mawdoo’. 

Another example is the hadeeth narrated by al-Hakim according to which Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: 

“Allah revealed to ‘Eesa (Jesus, peace be upon him): ‘O ‘Eesa, believe in Muhammad, and tell whoever you meet of your ummah (followers) to believe in him. For were it not for Muhammad, I would not have created Adam, and were it not for Muhammad, I would not have created Paradise and Hell. I created the Throne over the water and it would not settle until I wrote on it, La ilaha ill-Allah Muhammad Rasool Allah (There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).” 

Al-Hakim said:

 its isnad (chain of narration) is saheeh! But al-Thahabi commented on this and said: I believe it is fabricated and falsely attributed to Sa’eed. 

Meaning, Sa’eed ibn Abu ‘Aroobah (one of the narrators of this hadeeth). This hadeeth was narrated from him by ‘Amr ibn Aws al-Ansari, who is the one who is accused of fabricating it. Al-Thahabi mentioned him in al-Meezan where he said: “He produced a munkar (rejected) report,” then he quoted this hadeeth, and said, “I believe that it is mawdoo’ (fabricated).” Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar agreed with him, as it says in al-Lisan. 

Al-Albani said in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (280): There is no basis for it. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

Is the hadeeth which some people quote – “Were it not for you, Allah would not have created the Throne or the Kursiy (lit. Footstool) or the earth or the heavens or the sun or the moon or anything else” saheeh or not? 

He replied:

Muhammad   is the leader of the sons of Adam (peace be upon him), and the best and noblest of creation, hence some people say that Allah created the universe because of him, or that were it not for him, Allah would not have created the Throne or the Kursiy or the earth or the heavens or the sun or the moon. 

But this hadeeth that is narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is neither saheeh (sound) nor da’eef (weak), and it was not narrated by any scholar in a hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Neither was it known from the Sahabah/Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). Rather it is the words of one who is unknown. 

Majmoo’ al-Fatawa, 11/86-96. 

The Standing Committee was asked: 

Can it be said that Allah created the heavens and the earth for the purpose of creating the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)? What is the meaning of the hadeeth, “Were it not for you the universe would not have been created,” and does this hadeeth have any basis? 

They replied: 

The heavens and the earth were not created for the sake of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), rather they were created for the purpose which Allah mentions (interpretation of the meaning): 

“It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds all things in (His) Knowledge.” [65:12] 

As for the hadeeth mentioned, it is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and has no sound basis. 

Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daimah, 1/312 

Shaykh Ibn Baz was asked about this hadeeth and he said: 

The answer is that this was transmitted from the words of some of the common people who have no understanding. Some people say that the world was created for the sake of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and were it not for Muhammad the world would not have been created and mankind would not have been created. This is false and has no basis, and these are corrupt words. Allah created the world so that He would be known and worshipped. He created the world and He created mankind so that His names and attributes, His power and knowledge, would be known and so that He alone would be worshipped with no partner or associate, and so that He would be obeyed – not for the sake of Muhammad or for the sake of Nooh or Moosa or ‘Eesa or any other Prophet (peace be upon them all). Rather Allah created the universe so that He alone would be worshipped, with no partner or associate.[1]

Is it correct to say that the Prophet was given the beauty of the entire universe?

Firstly: 

Love of the Prophet and mentioning his good attributes, both in his physical appearance and in his character, is part of faith. But exaggerating in praising him is something that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade. Al-Bukhaari (3445) narrated from ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: I heard the Prophet  say: “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians exaggerated in praising the son of Maryam, for I am but a slave, so say: the slave of Allah and His Messenger.” 

What is meant by exaggeration is going to extremes in praising and overstepping the mark in that regard. 

Imam Ahmad (12551) narrated from Anas ibn Maalik that a man said: O Muhammad, O our master (sayyid) and the son of our master, the best of us and the son of the best of us. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “O people, you should fear Allah and do not let the Shaytaan make you get carried away. I am Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, the slave of Allah and His Messenger. By Allah, I do not like for you to raise me above my station to which Allah appointed me.”

And there are many similar hadiths. 

Secondly: 

The Prophet was the most beautiful and handsome of people in appearance. 

Al-Bukhaari (3549) and Muslim (2337) narrated that al-Bara’ said: The Messenger of Allah was the most handsome of people in face and body. 

At-Tirmidhi (2811) narrated – and classed it as saheeh – from Jaabir ibn Samurah, who said: I saw the Messenger of Allah on a moonlit night, and I started looking at the Messenger of Allah and at the moon, and he was wearing a red suit, and in my view he was more beautiful than the moon.

Al-Bukhaari (3556) and Muslim (2769) narrated that Ka‘b ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was happy, his face would shine, as if it were a piece of the moon, and we would recognize that. 

The Prophet ﷺ was given the most perfect of good characteristics and sublime attitudes, in addition to his perfect piety, worship and fear of Allah, such that no one exceeded him or even came close to him. 

Al-Bukhaari (6203) and Muslim (659) narrated that Anas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was the best of people in attitude. 

At-Tirmidhi (2820) and Muslim (2307) narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah was the best of people, and he was the most courageous of people and the most generous of people. 

Al-Haafiz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

He attained the pinnacle of rational thinking, the pinnacle of courage and the pinnacle of generosity, and beauty is connected to a balanced temperament, which leads to a sense of tranquillity, which in turn leads to sound reasoning and intellect. Therefore he may be described as beautiful in all of these aspects. 

Thirdly: 

In addition to what is mentioned above, describing the Prophet as having been given the beauty of the entire universe is something that is unknown in the Islamic texts and in the words of the scholars. Moreover, it is a statement that requires further discussion. Beauty in the universe is relative; humans have their own kind of beauty, animals have their own kind of beauty, birds have their own kind of beauty, plants have their own kind of beauty, buildings have their own kind of beauty, the stars have their own kind of beauty, and so on. 

The Prophet was given of human beauty that which was appropriate for one such as him. So he was the most perfect of them in terms of physical appearance and character. To suggest anything other than that comes under the heading of the devils making some people get carried away and overstep the mark, and there is no need for that. Moreover, that has nothing to do with beneficial knowledge or righteous deeds. 

Did the Prophet see his Lord on the night of the Mi’raaj?:

Most of the Sahaabah were of the view that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not see Allaah with his eyes on the night of the Miraaj. 

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “Whoever told you that Muhammad saw his Lord was lying. He said that no vision can grasp him[2]  

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Tawheed, 6832). 

It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), ‘Did you see your Lord?’ He said, ‘He is veiled by Light, how I could see Him.’”[3]

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “‘The (Prophet’s) heart belied not what he saw, and indeed he saw Him at a second descent.’ [Al-Najm 53:11-12] (This means that) he saw Him twice with his heart.”[4]

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

 “‘Uthmaan ibn Sa’eed al-Daarimi said in his book al-Ru’yah that there was consensus among the Sahaabah that he [the Prophet did not see his Lord on the night of the Mi’raaj. Some of them excluded Ibn ‘Abbaas and said that he was not one of those who said that. Our Shaykh says that this does not go against the facts, for Ibn ‘Abbaas did not say that he saw Him with the eyes in his head, and Ahmad relied upon this in one of the two reports narrated from him, where he says that he saw Him but he did not say that that was with the eyes in his head. The wording used by Ahmad is the same as that used by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both). What indicates that what our Shaykh said about the meaning of the hadeeth of Abu Dharr is correct is the fact that in another hadeeth he said that His veil is Light.  And Allaah knows best what the Light is that is mentioned in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) where it says, ‘I saw Light.’” 

Ijtimaa’ al-Juyoosh al-Islamiyyah, vol. 1, p. 12 

Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

 “Chapter: with regard to seeing Allaah, what was proven in al-Saheeh from Ibn ‘Abbaas is that he said: ‘Muhammad saw his Lord with his heart twice, and ‘Aa’ishah denied that he had seen Him. Some people reconciled these two reports by saying that ‘Aa’ishah denied that he saw Him with his eyes and Ibn ‘Abbaas affirmed that he saw Him with his heart. Some versions of the report narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas refers to seeing without specifying how, and others indicate that it was with the heart. Sometimes he says that Muhammad saw his Lord, and sometimes he says that Muhammad saw Him. There is no clear statement from Ibn ‘Abbaas which says that he saw Him with his eyes. Similarly Imaam Ahmad sometimes says that he saw Him and sometimes says that he saw Him with his heart. No one whom Ahmad heard said that he saw Him with his eyes. But some of his companions heard some of the words that did not specify how, and understood from that that he had seen Him with his eyes, just as some people heard the words of Ibn ‘Abbaas that did not specify how, and understood from that that he had seen Him with his eyes. But there is nothing in the evidence to prove that he saw Him with his eyes, and that was not narrated from any of the Sahaabah. There is nothing in the Qur’aan or Sunnah to indicate that, rather the saheeh texts which indicate that he did not see Him are more definitive. In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Abu Dharr said: ‘I asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Did you see your Lord?” He said, “He is veiled with Light, how I could see Him?”’ And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

‘Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allaah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him]

Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsaa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.)’[5]

If he had seen Him with his own eyes, that He would have mentioned that. The same applies to the words “Will you then dispute with him (Muhammad) about what he saw [during the Mi’raaj]?” [Al-Najm 53:12 –  If he had seen Him with his own eyes, that would have been mentioned. 

It is proven from the saheeh texts and from the consensus of the salaf (first generations) of this ummah that no one can see Allaah with his eyes in this world, with the exception of the claim made by some that our Prophet Muhammad alone saw Him. But they are agreed that the believers will see Allaah on the Day of Resurrection with their own eyes just as they see the sun and the moon (in this world).” 

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, vol. 6, p. 509-510.

The Prophet’s seeing those who were behind his back:

Firstly: 

One of the Muslims’ beliefs is the belief that Allah alone is the Knower of the unseen, and no one knows the unseen except Him. Allah, may He be glorified, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: ‘None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (unseen) except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.’’[6]

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Here Allah, may He be exalted, instructs His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to say to all of creation, informing them that no one knows the unseen except Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, for He is the only one who has this knowledge, with no partner or associate.[7]

 

But Allah ,may He be exalted, may inform whomever He wills of His Messengers of whatever He wills of the unseen. Allah, may He be exalted, says:

“(He Alone) the All-Knower of the Ghaib (unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghaib (unseen).

Except to a Messenger (from mankind) whom He has chosen (He informs him of unseen as much as He likes), and then He makes a band of watching guards (angels) to march before him and behind him”[8]

The scholars of the Standing Committee said: 

The basic principle regarding matters of the unseen is that they are known only to Allah, but Allah, may He be exalted, may disclose matters of the unseen to whomever He wills among His Messengers. Allah, may He be exalted, says:

“(He Alone) the All-Knower of the Ghaib (unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghaib (unseen).

Except to a Messenger (from mankind) whom He has chosen (He informs him of unseen as much as He likes), and then He makes a band of watching guards (angels) to march before him and behind him”[9]

Fataawaa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (1/122-123)

That which is disclosed to the Messenger of matters of the unseen is only through revelation from Allah, may He be exalted. Hence Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): ‘I don’t tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the unseen; nor I tell you that I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me by inspiration.’”[10]

The scholars of the Standing Committee said: 

Knowledge of the unseen is something that is unique to Allah, may He be exalted, so none of His creation, jinn or others, knows that except what Allah may reveal to whomever He wills among His angels or Messengers.

Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (1/346)

 The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not have knowledge of the unseen, as is the apparent meaning of the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “I don’t tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the unseen”[11]

But Allah is the Knower of the unseen, some of which which He discloses to whomever He wills, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“(He Alone) the All-Knower of the Ghaib (unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghaib (unseen)”[12]

Al-Qutubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) said: as Allah, may He be glorified, is praised for having knowledge of the unseen, which He has kept to Himself, to the exclusion of His creation, this indicates that no one has knowledge of the unseen except Him. Then He made an exception for those with whom He is pleased of the Messengers, and disclosed to them whatever He willed of the unseen, by means of revelation to them, which He made a miracle for them and a true sign of their Prophethood.[13]

Secondly: 

Al-Bukhaari (418) and Muslim (424) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

“Do you think that I face the qiblah (and do not know what you are doing)? By Allah, your bowing and prostrating are not hidden from me; I can see you behind my back.” 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The scholars said: What this means is that Allah, may He be exalted, created for the Prophet the ability in the back of his head to see what was behind him, and he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was granted more extraordinary abilities than this. This is not contrary to reason or textual evidence; rather the texts confirm this, so we must believe in it.  

These are miracles and signs with which Allah supported His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and they were unique to him. Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said:  

This does not mean that he used to turn around and look behind him whilst he was praying, so that he could see how they were praying, as some people think. Imam Ahmad refuted those who claimed that, and affirmed that this was one of his unique characteristics, and one of his signs and miracles.

Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (4/341) 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The correct view is that it is to be interpreted as it appears to mean, and that this “seeing” was in a real and literal sense that was unique to the Prophet and was an extraordinary feat. Based on that, the author narrated this hadeeth under the heading of the signs of Prophethood; it was also narrated under a similar heading from Imam Ahmad and others.

To sum up: 

This was one of the unique characteristics and miracles of the Messenger of Allah , but this does not contradict what we stated above about Allah being the only One who has knowledge of the unseen, because we have affirmed that Allah may disclose to whomever He wills among His Messengers whatever He wills of matters of the unseen. Hence the Messenger knew some matters of the unseen of which his Lord, may He be glorified, informed him. But what is mentioned in this hadeeth has nothing to do with matters of the unseen. The Messenger of Allah did not say to his Companions “I know what is unseen behind my back” or “I know such and such”. Rather what the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) knew in this case was something visible and seen. The only matter of note in this case is that ordinarily a person only sees what is in front of him, but the Messenger in this instance blessings and peace of Allah be upon him what was behind him. So it was an extraordinary event, and his seeing what was behind his back is confirmed even though it was something out of the ordinary. 

 What is the meaning of the Prophet’s words, “I can see you behind my back”?:

Hadith from Sahih Bukhari
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allahs Apostle said, “Do you consider or see that my face is towards the Qibla? By Allah, neither your submissiveness nor your bowing is hidden from me, surely I see you from my back.”
Does this mean that Prophet could have seen at things behind him as well? Please clarify.

One of the miracles of which the Prophet told his Companions is that he could see them behind his back, as he could see them in front of him. 

Al-Bukhaari (741) and Muslim (424) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do you think that I face the qiblah (and do not know what you are doing)? By Allah, your bowing and prostrating are not hidden from me; I can see you behind my back.”

 Ahmad (9504) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

 The Messenger of Allah led us in praying Zuhr, and in the last row there was a man who prayed badly. When he said the salaam, the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) called him and said: “O So and so, do you not fear Allah? Do you not see how you pray. You think that you could hide from me some of what you do, but by Allah I can see behind me as well as I can see in front of me.”

The word seeing mentioned in the hadeeths is to be understood as it appears to mean, i.e., that he could see them visually. This is indicated by the report narrated by Muslim (423) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah prayed one day, then he finished and said: “O So and so, why don’t you pray well? Why doesn’t the worshipper look at how he is praying when he prays? He is only praying for himself. By Allah, I can see behind me as well as I can see in front of me.” 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

 Commenting on this hadeeth: The scholars said: What this means is that Allah, may He be exalted, created for the Prophet  the ability in the back of his head to see what was behind him, and he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was granted more extraordinary abilities than this. This is not contrary to reason or textual evidence; rather the texts confirm this, so we must believe in it. Al-Qaadi said: Ahmad ibn Hanbal (may Allah have mercy on him) and the majority of the scholars said that this seeing was in a literal and real sense[14].

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

 There was a difference of scholarly opinion as to the meaning of this. It was said that what was meant is knowledge, either by means of Revelation so that he knew thereby how people really performed the prayer, or by means of inspiration. But this is subject to further discussion, because if what is meant is mere knowledge, he would not have specified by saying “behind my back.” And it was suggested that what is meant is that he could see whoever was on his right and on his left, of those on whom his gaze fell if he turned slightly sometimes, and he described those who were standing there as being behind his back. But this appears to be stretching the meaning and it is turning away from the apparent meaning when there is no need to do so. 

The correct view is that it is to be interpreted as it appears to mean, and that this “seeing” was in a real and literal sense that was unique to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and was an extraordinary feat. Based on that, the author narrated this hadeeth under the heading of the signs of Prophethood; it was also narrated under a similar heading from Imam Ahmad and others.

 Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar (1/514) 

Does this miracle include times of prayer and other situations? The text refers to prayer; as for other situations, there is no text that speaks of them. According to some scholars that is possible, but according to others it applied only to the case of prayer. 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

 The apparent meaning of the hadeeth is that this was something limited to the case of prayer, but it may be that this happened in all situations. That was also narrated from Mujaahid.

 Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar (1/515) 

Mullah ‘Ali al-Qaari said: The words “I can see you behind my back” do not necessarily mean that this occurred all the time, because it is contrary to the report which says “I do not know what is behind my wall.” Hence this was unique to the case of prayer and his knowledge about the worshippers behind him. And Allah knows best. 

 Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh Sharh Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh (4/197) 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

He could see them behind his back, and this is something that was unique to the Prophet in this particular situation (i.e., prayer) he could see the people behind his back. But in other situations, he could not see anything behind his back. 

Sharh Riyaadh as-Saaliheen (5/113) 

It is permissible to say Ya Muhammad (O Muhammad)?:

It was not permissible to address the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) by saying “Ya Muhammad” during his lifetime, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Make not the calling of the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) among you as your calling one of another”[15]

Al-Dahhaak said, narrating from Ibn ‘Abbaas: They used to say Ya Muhammad, Ya Aba’l-Qaasim, but Allaah told them not to do that, out of respect to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). So they said Ya Rasool Allaah (O Messenger of Allaah), Ya Nabi Allaah (O Prophet of Allaah). Mujaahid and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr said something similar.  

Qataadah said: Allaah enjoined that His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) should be treated with respect and venerated and honoured as a leader. Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan said: Do not address him by name when you call him and say Ya Muhammad, and do not say Ya Ibn ‘Abd-Allaah. Rather address him with honour and say Ya Nabi Allaah or Ya Rasool Allaah. 

Maalik said, narrating from Zayd ibn Aslam: Allaah enjoined them to address him with honour. 

So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) should not be addressed by name only, rather it should be said: Ya Rasool Allaah, Ya Nabi Allaah. 

Secondly: 

It is not permissible to call on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in du’aa’ after his death, because du’aa’ is an act of worship that can only be directed to Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And the mosques are for Allaah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allaah”[16]

 “And who is more astray than one who calls  on (invokes) besides Allaah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?”[17]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him): “If you ask, then ask of Allaah, and if you seek help then seek help from Allaah.” 

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2516) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi

Du’aa’ is asking for benefit and asking for harm to be warded off, and it is not only done by saying Yaa (O…), rather it has become  customary among people to use this call in du’aa’, especially when hardship comes and calamity strikes, so they say Ya Allaah, meaning O Allaah, save us, give us help, support us. 

This is the action of monotheists (believers in Tawheed) who do not call upon anyone other than Allaah. As for those who worship graves and tombs, they call upon their “saints” and revered ones, saying Ya Badawi, Ya Rifaa’i, Ya Jilaani, and what they mean is, O Badawi, help us, come to our aid, save us. 

And some of them say: Ya Rasool-Allaah, Ya Muhammad, in this manner also. This is calling upon him, seeking his help and turning to him. 

It is well known that this is one of the worst ways of going against the message that was brought by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the other Messengers, and that was revealed in the Books, namely the call to Tawheed and worshipping Allaah alone, and forsaking the worship of all others. 

It is not acceptable in the religion of Islam, which Allaah has chosen as the religion for His slaves, to call upon anyone except Allaah, not any Prophet who was sent or any angel who is close to Him. Rather we are to call upon Him alone. Hence Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? Little is that you remember!”[18]

Thus it is known that if a person says Ya Muhammad or Ya Rasool Allaah, not intending thereby to call upon him and seek his help, then there is nothing wrong with it, such as if he wants to call him to mind and remember him, such as if he reads a hadeeth and says Sall-Allaah ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah (May Allaah send blessings upon you, O Messenger of Allaah) or How great and beautiful are your words, O Messenger of Allaah. But saying Ya Muhammad is contrary to good manners, as explained above. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Is it shirk if someone says in any place on earth, Ya Muhammad Ya Rasool-Allaah, calling him? 

He replied: 

Allaah has stated in His Holy Book and on the lips of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that worship is the right of Allaah alone and no one else has any share of it, and that du’aa’ is a kind of worship, so if a person says in any place on earth, Ya Rasool-Allaah, Ya Nabi Allaah or Ya Muhammad, help me, or save me, or support me, or heal me, or support your ummah, or heal the sick Muslims, and guide their misguided ones and so on, then he is making him a partner with Allaah in worship. The same applies to those who do the same thing with regard to other Prophets, angels, awliya’ (“saints), jinn, idols or any other created beings, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”[19]

 “O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allaah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious”[20]

 Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (2/453). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Some people at times of hardship say Ya Muhammad or Ya ‘Ali or Ya Jilaani. What is the ruling on that? 

He replied: 

If the intention is to call upon them and seek their help, then the person is a mushrik in the sense of major shirk that puts one beyond the pale of Islam, and he must repent to Allaah and call upon Allaah alone, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? Little is that you remember!”[21]

As well as being a mushrik, he is also fooling himself. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And who turns away from the religion of Ibraaheem (Abraham) (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself?”[22]

 “And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allaah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?”[23]

End quote from Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (2/133). 

 Is Saying “Yaa Rasool Allaah shirk”:

It is not permissible to call upon anyone other than Allaah, whether at times of ease or times of hardship, no matter how great the status of the one who is called upon, even if he is a Prophet who is close to Allaah, or one of the angels, because du’aa’ is a form of worship. 

It was narrated from al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Du’aa’ is worship,” then he recited (interpretation of the meaning):

“And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation). Verily, those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!’.[24]

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2895; Ibn Maajah, 3818; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2370. 

Worship is due only to Allaah; it is not permitted to direct worship towards anyone else. Hence the Muslims are agreed that whoever calls upon anyone other than Allaah is a mushrik (polytheist, one who associates others with Allaah). 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 

Whoever regards the angels and Prophets as intermediaries whom he calls upon, puts his trust in and asks them to bring that which will benefit him and ward off harmful things, such as asking them to forgive sins, guide them, relieve them of distress and meet their needs, is a kaafir, according to the consensus of the Muslims. [25]

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The kinds of shirk include asked the dead for one’s needs, or seeking their help, or turning to them. This is the essence of shirk.[26] 

Hence Allaah has said that there is no one more astray than the one who calls on others besides Him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allaah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?

And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping”[27]

How can he call on others besides Allaah, when Allaah has told us that they are helpless? Allaah says: 

“And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmeer (the thin membrane over the date stone).

If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call; and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All‑Knower (of everything)”[28]

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan Aal al-Shaykh said: 

Allaah tells us the situation of those who are called upon instead of Him, of the angels, Prophets, idols, etc. in a manner that indicates their helplessness and weakness, and that they lack the abilities that are to be expected in the one who is called upon, such as sovereignty, the ability to hear the call and the ability to respond. [29]

How can the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) be called upon, when Allaah has commanded him to say, “Say: ‘It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path’” [al-Jinn 72:21 – interpretation of the meaning]?  

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If you ask, then ask of Allaah, and if you seek help, then seek the help of Allaah.” 

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2516; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2043. 

Hence there can be no doubt that it is a mistake to praise the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the words 

“O most noble of creation, I have nobody to turn to except you when calamity strikes.” 

The major scholars have denounced this as being wrong. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, in his footnotes to the book Fath al-Majeed, commenting on the poem Burdat al-Busayri from which these words are taken: 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned us, according to the report narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim, ‘Do not praise me as the Christians praised ‘Eesa ibn Maryam, I am the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’ Rather the way to venerate him and love him is by following his Sunnah and establishing his religion and rejecting all the myths that the ignorant attribute to him. But most of the people do not do this, and they occupy themselves with this exaggeration and praise which leads them to commit major shirk.”[30] 

Moreover, it is not known that even a single Sahaabi used to seek the help of the Messenger or call upon the Messenger, neither was that transmitted from any of the respectable scholars. It is only one of the myths of the deviant. 

If something troubles you, then say Yaa Allaah, for He is the One Who answers prayers, relieves distress and controls all things. 

 Ruling on saying “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah (Here I am at your service, O Messenger of Allah)”:

With regard to someone saying “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah” during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), there is no confusion about this being permissible. It is something that was well known among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) on many occasions. 

Al-Bukhaari (128) and Muslim (32) narrated from Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was riding a mount with Mu‘aadh seated behind him, and he said: “O Mu‘aadh ibn Jabal.” Mu‘aadh said: “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah wa sa‘dayk (Here I am at your service, O Messenger of Allah).” He said: “O Mu‘aadh.” Mu‘aadh said: “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah wa sa‘dayk” – three times – he (the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no one who bears witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, but Allah will forbid him to the Fire.” 

Ibn al-Anbaari said: What is meant by saying Labbayk is: I am persisting in obeying you. They used to use the related verb labba to refer to staying in a place, and what is meant by sa‘dayk is following. Another scholar said: What is meant by Labbayk is responding time after time, and what is meant by sa‘dayk is following time after time. Al-Muhallab said: Responding by saying yes and any other word that gives the meaning of yes is sufficient, but responding to the call of a master by honouring him and saying labbayka wa sa‘dayk is better.

 Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari (9/50). 

Once it is known that calling in this manner or speaking in this manner is only appropriate in the case of one who is still alive, then such a call can only be made to one who is alive and is able to hear the one who is calling him, and such words can only be addressed to one who is alive and can hear the words that are said to him. Nothing can be requested except of one who is alive and can hear, and is able to respond to the request that is made of him. 

However, what appears to be the case with regard to those who say these words and make them a slogan, and call others to it, is that they want to exaggerate in showing extreme obedience to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and adherence to his path, and to annoy those who oppose him and hate him. These are good aims that are in accordance with Islamic teachings, but this wording may give the impression – to one who does not understand the real meaning intended – that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is like any other human who is alive, and that he can hear those who call upon him or talk to him; the one who does that may move on from that to calling upon him and seeking his help, because of the wrong impression that these words may give. Therefore it would have been more appropriate to avoid such a slogan and to replace it with other words concerning which there is no ambiguity, especially since the true way of showing obedience to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and showing support for him, which he loved and which truly annoyed his enemies and haters, can only be by constantly obeying him and adhering to his teachings, not merely uttering claims and words. 

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allah preserve him) was asked: 

There are some stickers in shops on which it is written “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah”. Is this phrase permissible? Is it shirk? What should we do about it? 

He replied: 

The word “Labbayk” is for Allah – “Labbayk Allahumma labbayk (Here I am at Your service, O Allah; here I am).” With regard to the phrase “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah”, if the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) were to call you (when he was still alive) and say, “O So and so,” you would say,  “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah”, as the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) used to say when he called them. They would say: “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah.” But after his death, no one should say, “Labbayk ya Rasool-Allah.” Rather you should say: “Labbayk Allahumma labbayk.

 The hadeeth “O ‘Ali, do not sleep until you do five things” is not saheeh:

A pamphlet says:

 “The Messenger of Allaah    said:

‘O ‘Ali, do not sleep until you have done five things: reciting the entire Qur’aan, giving four thousand dirhams in charity, visiting the Ka’bah, safeguarding your place in Paradise and reconciling with your opponent.’ ‘Ali said: How can I do that, O Messenger of Allaah? The Messenger of Allaah  said:

 ‘Do you not know that if you recite Soorat al-Ikhlaas –Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad – three times you have recited the entire Qur’aan? And if you recite al-Faatihah four times you have given four thousand dirhams in charity; and if you say There is no god except Allaah alone with no partner or associate; to Him be dominion and praise, He gives life and causes death, and He is Able to do all things, ten times, you have visited the Ka’bah; and if you say There is no strength and no power except with Allaah, the Most High, the Almighty, ten times, you have safeguarded your place in Paradise; and if you say I seek forgiveness from Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god, the Ever-Living, the Eternal), ten times you have reconciled with your opponent.’ 

What this pamphlet contains was not narrated in any of the reliable books of hadeeth, rather it is a mawdoo’ (fabricated) hadeeth which was falsely attributed to the Messenger ﷺ.  

Don’t be deceived by this hadeeth and other fabricated reports, or printing and distributing them among the Muslims, because that is misguiding the common folk and confusing them, and telling lies about the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who issued a stern warning to the one who does that deliberately, as he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in the saheeh hadeeth: “Telling lies about me is not like telling lies about anyone else. Whoever tells a lie about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.” Saheeh al-Bukhaari (1229); Introduction to Saheeh Muslim (4). And he said: “Whoever narrates a hadeeth from me thinking that it is false is a liar.” Introduction to Saheeh Muslim (1). 

In the saheeh reports narrated from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and compiled in the reliable books of Saheeh, Sunan and Musnads there is sufficient information and the one whom Allaah guides to goodness has no need to turn to the reports of liars and fabricators. I ask Allaah to bless us all with beneficial knowledge and to enable us to do good deeds and to avoid all the paths of misguidance and deviance, for He is All-Hearing and Ever Near. And peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah and His Blessings. 

Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Head of the Council of Senior Scholars and the Council for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas. 

The hadeeth about Adam’s tawassul by the Prophet, and the meaning of the verse “And seek the means of approach to Him”:

 

Firstly: 

The hadeeth about Adam committing a sin and seeking to draw closer to Allaah by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is a fabricated hadeeth which is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and to Adam (peace be upon him). 

Al-Bayhaqi (may Allaah have mercy on him) did not narrate this hadeeth in his Sunan, rather he narrated it in Dalaa’il al-Nubuwwah (5/489), where he classed it as da’eef (weak). After quoting the hadeeth, he said: “It was narrated only by ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam, and he is da’eef.” 

What makes it most likely that the text is false is the fact that the du’aa’ by which Allaah accepted Adam’s repentance is what is mentioned in Soorat al-A’raaf, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers’’[31]

This is the supplication of Adam and Hawwa’, in which they called upon Allaah alone, and sought to draw close to Him (tawassul) by His names and attributes, and by mentioning their situation. These are words which Adam received from his Lord, then he said them and Allaah accepted his repentance, as Allaah says :

“Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful”[32]

Secondly: 

What is meant by the word waseelah [means of approach] in the verse, (interpretation of the meaning):  

“O you who believe! Do your duty to Allaah and fear Him. And seek the means of approach to Him, and strive hard in His Cause (as much as you can), so that you may be successful”[33]

Is the way of reaching Allaah, and there is no way of reaching Him except the way that Allaah loves and is pleased with, which is by obeying Him and not disobeying Him. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Allaah commands His believing slaves to fear Him (taqwa). When this word is accompanied by mention of obedience, it means refraining from haraam things. After that Allaah says, “And seek the means of approach to Him”. Sufyaan al-Thawri said, narrating from Talhah, from ‘Ata’, from Ibn ‘Abbaas: i.e., drawing close to Him. This was also stated by Mujaahid, Abu Waa’il, al-Hasan, Qataadah, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Katheer, al-Saddi, Ibn Zayd and others. Qataadah said: i.e., draw close to Him by obeying Him and doing that which pleases Him, and Ibn Zayd recited (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Those whom they call upon [like ‘Eesa (Jesus) ‑ son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzayr (Ezra), angels and others] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allaah)”[34]

There is no difference of opinion among the mufassireen concerning what these imams said.  

Means of approach or means of access means that by means of which one reaches one’s goal.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 2/53, 54. 

Al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Note that the majority of scholars are of the view that what is meant by waseelah here is drawing close to Allaah by obeying His commands and avoiding that which He has forbidden, in accordance with the teachings brought by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), doing that sincerely for the sake of Allaah alone, because this is the only path that leads to the pleasure of Allaah and attaining what is with Him and what is good in this world and in the Hereafter. 

The basic meaning of the word waseelah is a path that brings one near to something. Here it means righteous deeds, according to scholarly consensus, because there is no other way of drawing close to Allaah apart from following the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Based on this, there are many verses which explain the meaning of waseelah, such as the following (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it”[35]

 “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me’”[36]

 “Say: Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger”[37]

And there are other similar verses. 

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that what is meant by waseelah is need. 

Based on this, the words narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas, “Seek with Him al-waseelah” mean, seek your needs from Allaah, for He alone is the one who is able to meet them. This is further explained by the verses in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, those whom you worship besides Allaah have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allaah (Alone), and worship Him (Alone)”[38]

 “And ask Allaah of His Bounty”[39]

And by the hadeeth: “If you ask, then ask of Allaah.” 

Then al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The correct view concerning the meaning of waseelah is that of the majority of scholars, that it means drawing closer to Allaah by worshipping Him alone, in accordance with the teachings of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The tafseer of Ibn ‘Abbaas comes under this heading, because calling upon Allaah (du’aa’) and praying humbly to Him when asking for one’s needs is one of the greatest forms of worship which is waseelah or seeking to draw closer to Him and attain His pleasure and mercy. 

From this it may be understood that what many of the heretics and followers of ignorant men who claim to be Sufis say, which is that what is meant by waseelah in the verse is the Shaykh who has the power of mediation between him and his Lord, is ignorance, blindness and obvious misguidance; it is toying with the Book of Allaah. Taking intermediaries is the essence of the kufr of the kaafirs, as Allaah clearly stated when He said concerning them (interpretation of the meaning): 

“[They say:] We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah”[40]

 “And they say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allaah.’ Say: ‘Do you inform Allaah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?’ Glorified and Exalted is He above all that which they associate as partners (with Him)!”[41]

Every one who is accountable must understand that the way to attain the pleasure of Allaah and His Paradise and His mercy is to follow His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Whoever deviates from that has gone astray from the straight path. 

“It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof”[42]

The meaning of waseelah that we have explained here is also the meaning in the verse where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Those whom they call upon [like ‘Eesa (Jesus) ‑ son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzayr (Ezra), angels and others] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allaah) as to which of them should be the nearest”[43]

Another meaning of waseelah is the status in Paradise which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us to ask Allaah to grant to him, and we hope that Allaah will give it to him, because only one person will be entitled to it, and he hoped that he would be the one.[44]

 Falseness of Hadith about Adam Praying by Virtue of the Prophet :

This hadeeth is mawdoo’ (fabricated). It was narrated by al-Hakim via ‘Abd-Allah ibn Muslim al-Fahri (who said), Isma’eel ibn Muslimah narrated to us, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam told us, from his father, from his grandfather, from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), that he said: The Messenger of Allah said, “When Adam committed his sin…” Then he quoted the hadeeth as the questioner quoted it. 

Al-Hakim said: The isnad (chain of narrators) of this hadeeth is saheeh. 

This is what al-Hakim said! But a number of scholars rebuked him and denounced him for classing this hadeeth as saheeh. They ruled that this hadeeth is false and fabricated, and they pointed out that al-Hakim contradicted himself when commenting on this hadeeth. 

There follow some of their comments: 

Al-Thahabi said, criticizing the words of al-Hakim quoted above: 

Rather it is mawdoo’ (fabricated), and ‘Abd al-Rahman is not reliable, and I do not know who ‘Abd-Allah ibn Muslim al-Fahri is. 

Al-Thahabi also said in Meezan al-I’tidal: It is a false report. 

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar agreed with him in Lisan al-Meezan. 

Al-Bayhaqi said:  

‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam is the only one who narrated it with this isnad, and he is da’eef (weak). Ibn Katheer agreed with him in al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayyah, 2/323. 

Al-Albani said in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah, 25: (it is) mawdoo’. 

Al-Hakim himself (may Allah forgive him) accused ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd of being a fabricator of hadeeth, so how could his hadeeth be saheeh? 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in al-Qa’idah al-Jaleelah fi’l-Tawassul wa’l-Waseelah (p. 69): 

Al-Hakim’s narration of this hadeeth is something for which he was denounced, and he himself said in his book al-Madkhil ila Ma’rifat al-Saheeh ‘an al-Saqeem:  

‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam narrated fabricated hadeeths from his father, and it is obvious to any competent hadeeth scholar that he is the one to blame for fabricating hadeeths. I say: ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam is da’eef (weak) because he made a lot of mistakes.

 See Silsilat al-Ahadeeth al-Da’eefah by al-Albani, 1/38-47.

 Why tawassul by virtue of the status of the Prophet is not allowed?:

Firstly: 

What is meant by seeking Allah’s response to supplication (tawassul) by virtue of the Prophet is where a worshipper calls upon his Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, but in his supplication (du‘aa’), he mentions the virtue of the Prophet so that his supplication may be answered, or so as to expedite his needs; thus he says, I ask You by virtue of the Prophet, or by the status of the Prophet, and the like. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

 Asking of Allah by mentioning something other than Allah is either swearing an oath thereby, or seeking a divine response by virtue of that thing, such as when the three people in the cave sought a response to their supplication by virtue of their good deeds, or when one seeks a response by asking the Prophets and righteous people to offer supplication for one’s needs. 

If it is swearing an oath by something other than Allah in order to urge Him to respond, this is not permissible. 

If it is asking Allah to respond by virtue of something that could help to achieve what one seeks, such as asking Him by virtue of righteous deeds in which there was obedience to Allah and His Messenger – such as asking by virtue of one’s belief in the Messenger, and one’s love for him and loyalty towards him, and the like – this is permissible. 

But if it is asking by mere virtue of the person of the Prophets or the righteous, this is not prescribed, and it was prohibited by more than one of the scholars, who said: it is not permissible. However some of them granted a concession allowing it, although the former view is more correct, as stated above, because it is asking through a means that does not lead to the desired outcome. 

This is in contrast to one who asks by means of that which may lead to attaining what he seeks, such as asking Allah, may He be glorified, by means of the supplication of the righteous, or by virtue of righteous deeds that one has done in the past. This is permissible, because the supplication of the righteous is a means of attaining what we seek, for which they offer supplication. Similarly, righteous deeds are also a means of attaining Allah’s reward. If we seek a response to supplication by means of the supplication of the righteous and by virtue of our good deeds, then we will be seeking a means to draw close to Allah, may He be exalted, and to attain a response to our supplication, through a valid means, as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! Do your duty to Allah and fear Him. Seek the means of nearness to Him” [al-Maa’idah 5:35]. The means of nearness to Him is righteous deeds. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Those whom they call upon desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah),” [1]

But if we do not seek to draw close to Allah, may He be glorified, and attain a divine response by means of their supplication or by virtue of our good deeds – rather we seek that by virtue of their persons – the virtue of their persons is not a means that will cause our supplication to be responded to. Thus we would be seeking a divine response through something that is not a means of nearness to Allah. Therefore this was not narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) via any sound chain of transmission, and it was not well-known from the early generations (salaf).[2]

Secondly: 

This does not mean that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not have high status before Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, [repeats], as some liars falsely claim to be the view of the Salafis and of Shaykh al-Islam and those who agreed with him, and they accuse them of denying the high status of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) – Allah forbid, for he is the occupant of the station of praise and glory (al-maqaam al-mahmoud) and is of the most sublime status, the leader of the sons of Adam – blessings and peace of Allah be upon him. But his noble status before Allah does not mean that we should ask of Allah or seek divine response to our supplication by means of his high status. 

Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

What Allah and His Messenger have explained, that there are some people who possess virtue and are of high status before Allah, is sound and true, however the matter should be discussed as follows: if the high status, by virtue of which a person may ask of Allah, is indeed a means of supplications being answered, then it is good to ask by virtue thereof. 

But if the worshipper says: by virtue of the high status of So-and-so, then these people (the righteous), if they are really regarded as people of high status and virtue before Allah, which means that He will not punish them and that He will honour them with reward and raise them in status as He has promised them and as He has made it incumbent upon Himself to do – then there is nothing in the fact that they deserve honour from Allah to constitute a means to help this worshipper attain what he is seeking, because that righteous person deserves what he deserves (of honour) because of what he attained of faith and obedience by the help of Allah, whereas this worshipper does not deserve what that great man deserved, so there is nothing in Allah’s honouring of that person that is a means to dictate that Allah should respond to this individual’s supplication. 

If someone says: The means is the supplication (of that righteous man), this is correct if he has already offered supplication for him. But if he has not offered supplication for him, then there is no means.

He also said in Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (1/278): 

It is well-known that if one said, after the death of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): O Allah accept his supplication concerning me– even though the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not offer supplication for him, what he is saying does not make any sense. 

Thirdly: 

This matter is to be based on the fact that we know that supplication is worship; in fact it is one of the most sublime acts of worship of Allah, may He be exalted, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Supplication is worship. Your Lord said: ‘Call upon Me; I will answer you.’” Narrated by Abu Dawood (1479) and others; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. 

Acts of worship are to be based on tawqeef [[i.e., they can only be known through divine revelation and sound texts of hadith, and cannot be known through ijtihaad or reason]; in other words, there should be reference to them in the texts of sharee‘ah. As the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it, it will be rejected.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2697) and Muslim (1718), from the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her). 

According to a report narrated by Muslim: Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours, it will be rejected.” 

Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

What is meant by rejection here is that it is invalid and carries no weight. 

This hadith represents an important principle of Islam, and it is an example of the concise speech of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). It is a clear rejection of all innovations and fabricated matters. 

The second report highlights something extra, which is that some people may stubbornly persist in an innovation that was introduced previously, so when the first report is quoted to them, they say: I did not introduce anything. In that case the second report should be quoted to them, which clearly states that all newly introduced matters will be rejected, regardless of whether the doer introduced it or someone else introduced it previously. 

This hadith offers proof for those scholars of usool who say that the prohibition of a thing indicates that it is bad. Those who say that it does not mean that it is bad note that it is an isolated (ahaad) report and is not sufficient to confirm this important principle. But this is an invalid response; this hadith is something that should be upheld and resorted to in order to invalidate evils, and it should be widely used as evidence. End quote. 

Once we understand this principle, we will realise that it is not permissible for us to do anything by way of worshipping Allah except things that are referred to in the shar‘i texts that were narrated from the Infallible Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), whether the thing that we do is something that we came up with by ourselves or we are following someone else in that. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn- Tammiyah says: 

Nothing can be obligatory or mustahabb except on the basis of shar‘i evidence which indicates that it is obligatory or mustahabb. Acts of worship can only be obligatory or mustahabb; anything that is not obligatory or mustahabb is not an act of worship. Supplication to Allah, may He be exalted, is an act of worship, if what is sought thereby is something permissible.[3] End quote. 

He also said in al-Fataawa (1/278): 

With regard to supplication that is attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), he did not enjoin it, and what is enjoined is not narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). We cannot base any shar‘i matter on such reports, like anything else narrated from some individuals among the Sahaabah with regard to that which comes under the heading of worship, what is permissible, what is obligatory or what is prohibited. If no other Sahaabi agreed with him on that and what is proven from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is different and is not in harmony with it, then doing it is not a Sunnah that the Muslims should follow; rather at best it is something that is subject to examination and ijtihad, and it is something concerning which the ummah differed so it should be referred to Allah and His Messenger. There are many examples of that. 

The Standing Committee was asked about a Muslim who testifies that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, but he says in his supplication: O Allah, give me such and such of the good of this world and the hereafter, by virtue of the status of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), or by the barakah (blessing) of the Messenger, or by the sanctity of the Prophet, or by the status of Shaykh at-Tijaani, or by the  barakah of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qaadir, or by the sanctity of Shaykh as-Sanoussi – what is the ruling on that? 

They replied: 

Whoever seeks a response from Allah to his supplication by mentioning the status of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), or by his sanctity or barakah, or by the status, sanctity or barakah of anyone else among the righteous, and says “O Allah, by the status, sanctity or barakah of Your Prophet, give me wealth and children, or admit me to Paradise and save me from the punishment of Hell”, for example – he is not a mushrik in the sense of major shirk that puts one beyond the pale of Islam, but that is prohibited so as to block the means that lead to shirk, and so as to keep the Muslim away from something that may lead to shirk. 

Undoubtedly seeking a divine response (tawassul) by virtue of the status of the Prophets and the righteous is one of the means that may lead to shirk with the passage of time, according to what is indicated and attested to by real-life experience. There is a great deal of evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah which definitively indicates that blocking the means that lead to shirk and prohibited matters is one of the objectives of sharee‘ah, as is indicated by the words of Allah, may He be exalted (interpretation of the meaning):

“And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fairseeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do”[4]

Allah, may He be glorified, forbade the Muslims to revile the gods of the mushrikeen that they worshipped besides Allah, even though they are false, lest that become a means that leads the mushrikeen to revile the true God, may He be glorified, in support of their false gods, out of ignorance and enmity on their part. Further examples include the Prophet’s prohibition on taking graves as places of worship, lest they be worshipped; the prohibition on a man being alone with a non-mahram woman; and the prohibition on a woman showing her adornment before non-mahram men… Because seeking a divine response by virtue of the status, sanctity and so on of righteous people in supplication is an act of worship, and acts of worship are to be based on tawqeef [[i.e., they can only be known through divine revelation and sound texts of hadith, and cannot be known through ijtihaad or reason], and there is no text in the Qur’an or the Sunnah of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and no report from his Companions to support this kind of tawassul, thus it is known that it is an innovation…[5] 

Fourthly: 

The questioner’s remark in his question that Ibn Taymiyah was the first one to prohibit this kind of tawassul is not correct. Rather he has learned that from the enemies of Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him). Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) refuted this argument when he responded to al-Akhnaa’i, who was one of his opponents who made this false accusation against him. He said concerning Shaykh al-Islam: “How many other views did the one who came up with this view hold that were contrary to scholarly consensus.” But Shaykh al-Islam refuted him on several counts, including the following: 

 We may accept the statement of one who claims that someone else is going against scholarly consensus, if he is one of those who have knowledge of issues on which there was consensus or concerning which there were differences of opinion, but that requires a great deal of knowledge on the basis of which he may speak of that, and he is not like this one who is objecting to us, even though he does not have good knowledge of the madhhab he claims to follow, or of the views held by the scholars of this madhhab. … How can such a one know the consensus of the Muslim scholars when he is so lacking in knowledge of reports and how to understand them? 

 Using the phrase “How many’ implies that there is a large number of issues, which means that there are so many issues where I went against scholarly consensus. But those who have greater knowledge than this objector and are more widely-read than him tried very hard to count issues where I went against consensus, but they could not come up with even one issue in which I went against consensus. The most that can be said is that they think that in some issue I was going against consensus, as some of them thought with regard to the issue of regarding talaaq as an oath when there is no intention of divorce, concerning which there are reports from the scholars which indicate that there was a dispute concerning this issue and that there was a text of hadith which may indicate that, of which the opponents were not aware. 

 I have never come up with any view concerning any issue except it was based on the view of some scholar who came before me. If any idea or view crossed my mind and I felt comfortable with it, I would not speak of it or support it unless I knew that some of the scholars already held this view. As Imam Ahmad said: “beware of speaking concerning an issue in which you have no precedent from a scholar who came before you.” How can someone who follows this advice come up with a view that is contrary to the consensus of the Muslims, when he does not say anything but it was said by some Muslim scholars before him? [6]

Fifthly: 

With regard to the issue mentioned here, concerning which the questioner said, based on the views of others that Shaykh al-Islam went against consensus concerning it there are proven reports from more than one of the scholars, especially the Hanafis, which state that it is prohibited and is not allowed. 

Al-‘Allaamah al-Haskafi said in ad-Durr al-Mukhtaar (5/715): 

In at-Taatarkhaaniyyah, quoting from al-Muntaqa, (it is narrated) from Abu Yoosuf, from Abu Haneefah, that it is not appropriate for anyone to call upon Allah except by virtue of His attributes, and the supplication that is allowed and enjoined is what may be understood from the words of Allah, may He be exalted (interpretation of the meaning): “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them” [al-A‘raaf 7:180]

The same text appears in al-Muheet al-Burhaani (5/141) 

Al-‘Allaamah al-Kaasaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Badaa’i‘as-Sanaa’i‘(5/126): 

It is makrooh for a man to say in his supplication: I ask You by the status of Your Prophets and Messengers, and by the status of So and so – because no one could impose anything on Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. 

The same text appears in Tabyeen al-Haqaa’iq Sharh Kanz ad-Daqaa’iq by az-Zayla‘i (6/31). This view was attributed to three scholars, namely: Abu Haneefah and his two companions, Abu Yoosuf and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan. Al-‘Inaayah Sharh al-Hidaayah by al-Baabarati (10/64); Fath al-Qadeer by Ibn al-Humaam (10/64); Durar al-Hukkaam (1/321); Majma‘ al-Anhur Sharh Multaqa al-Abhur (2554). 

As-Sayyid Nu‘maan Khayr ad-Deen al-Aloosi al-Hanafi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Jala’ al-‘Aynayn (516-517): 

In all their texts it says that for a worshipper who is seeking a divine response (tawassul) to say “by the virtue of the Prophets and the awliya’ (close friends of Allah), by virtue of the Sacred House and the holy place”, is makrooh in the sense of it being haraam, and it is like that which is haraam in terms of punishment in Hell, according to Muhammad. They gave us the reason for that, as they said: Because the created being cannot impose anything on the Creator. End quote. 

To see what as-Sayyid Nu‘maan narrated from al-‘Allaamah as-Suwaydi ash-Shaafa‘i, please see: Jala’ al-‘Aynayn (505 ff). 

Perhaps from the quotations given above, it will be clear why the Salafis prohibit this type of tawassul, and that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was not the first one to prohibit it, and he will not be the last either. 

Can the Prophet hear those who call upon him when he is in his grave?

Some people believe that the Prophet Muhamamd [(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] is “Shaheed” and is in BArzakh where he can hear us if we send ‘darood’ on him and also if we ask his ‘wasta’ [by virtue of his closeness to Allah]in praying to God.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is alive in his grave in the sense of the life of al-barzakh, so he enjoys the blessings that Allaah has prepared for him as a reward for his great good actions that he did in this world. But the life in the grave is not like the life of this world, or the life in the Hereafter. Rather it is the life of al-barzakh which comes in between his life in this world and his life in the Hereafter. Hence we know that he died as other Prophets and other people before him died. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad); then if you die, would they live forever?”[7]

 “Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish.

And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will remain forever”[8]

 “Verily, you (O Muhammad) will die, and verily, they (too) will die”[9]

And there are other verses which also indicate that Allaah caused him to die. Moreover, the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) washed him, shrouded him, offered the funeral prayer for him and buried him; if he had been alive in the worldly sense, they would not have done the same as is done for others who die. 

Faatimah (may Allaah be pleased with her) asked Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) for her inheritance from her father (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) because she was convinced that he had died, and no one among the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) differed with her concerning that. Rather Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) responded to her request by saying that nothing could be inherited from the Prophets.  

The Sahaabah agreed unanimously to choose a khaleefah for the Muslims to succeed the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and that was done with the appointment of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) as khaleefah. If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had been alive in a worldly sense, they would not have done that. So this indicates that there was consensus among them that he had indeed died. 

When the tribulations (fitan) and problems increased during the time of ‘Uthmaan and ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with them both), and before and after that, they did not go to his grave to consult him or ask him for a way out of those tribulations and problems, or the way to solve them. If he had been alive in a worldly sense, they would not have overlooked that when they were in such great need of someone to save them from the trials that surrounded them.  

With regard to the soul of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), it is in the highest part of ‘Illiyyeen, because he is the best of creation, and because Allaah has given him al-waseelah which is the highest position in Paradise. 

The life of al-barzakh is a special life. The Prophets and the shuhada’ (martyrs) are alive in al-barzakh as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Prophets are alive and they pray in their graves.” (Narrated by al-Mundhiri and al-Bayhaqi who classed it as saheeh because of corroborating reports in al-Saheehayn.) 

Allaah says:

“And say not of those who are killed in the way of Allaah, ‘They are dead.’ Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not”[10]

This is a special life, the nature of which is known to Allaah. It is not like the life of this world in which the soul remains with the body.  

The basic principle concerning the dead is that they do not hear the words of the living sons of Adam, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“But you cannot make hear those who are in graves”[11]

Allaah confirmed that those whom he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) was calling to Islam could not hear, by likening them to the dead. There is nothing in the Qur’aan or in the saheeh Sunnah to indicate that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) can hear every du’aa’ or call from human beings. Rather it is proven that the only thing that reaches him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the blessings and salaams of those who send blessings and salaams upon him. This was narrated by Abu Dawood, 2041, with a hasan isnaad from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no one who sends salaams upon me but Allaah will restore to me my soul so that I may return his salaams.” This does not mean that he hears the words of the one who sends salaams. Rather it is possible that he comes to know of those salaams when the angels convey that to him. If we assume that he hears the words of the one who sends salaams, this is an exception from the general rule, as in the case of the dead hearing the footsteps of those who carry his bier, and as in the case of the slain kuffaar in the well at Badr who heard the call of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he said to them: “Have you found your Lord’s promise to be true? For we have found our Lord’s promise to be true.” (See Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 1/313, 318, 321). 

Darood Qadri … Is this durood shirk?

Is it shirk to recite this darood:
“ALDLAHUMA SALL-E-WASALLIM ‘ALAA SAYEDINA MOHAMMADIN QAD DAQAT HEELATI ADRIKNI YA RASOOL ALLAH”

Yes, this counts as shirk, because it is seeking the help of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and complaining about one’s situation to him. This implies that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) can hear the call of those who call upon him in any place, and that he helps those who seek his help, and that he can relieve their distress. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not able to do this when he was alive, so how about after his death? He does not know the unseen, and he does not possess the power to cause harm or bring benefits to himself or to others. Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

“Say (O Muhammad): “I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allaah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth”[12]

“And your Lord said: “Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation)” [13]

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor)”[14]

 So people should not call on anyone except Allaah; they should not seek the help of anyone except Him; they should not place their hopes in anyone except Him; they should not put their trust in anyone except Him. Allaah alone is the One in whose hand is sovereignty and goodness, and He is Able to do all things.

 Knowing the unseen, relieving distress, hearing the call of those who call upon Him and responding to them, are all things which only the Lord does. Whoever attributes any of these things to anyone else is a mushrik who is guilty of major shirk (shirk Akbar). Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? Little is that you remember!”[15]

“Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghayb (Unseen) except Allaah”[16]

 Allaah is the One Who forgives sins, relieves distress and knows what is in people’s hearts. People should not seek these things – forgiveness of sins, relief from distress and other things which no one is able to do except Allaah – from anyone other than Him, for He is the Only One Who is able to do that.

DAROOD TAJ, DAROOD LAKHI AND DAROOD TUNJEENA :

These are innovated daroods usually practiced in subcontinent by innovated sects.

1 – The best wirds are those whose words were narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because Allaah did not choose for him anything but the most perfect and the best, and he did not choose anything but that for his ummah. 

2 – It is permissible for a person to send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in words that were not narrated (in sharee’ah), so long as they do not include anything that is forbidden, such as exaggerating about him, or praying to Allaah by virtue of the Prophet, or calling upon him instead of Allaah. 

3 – The one who is remembering Allaah (reciting dhikr) should not specify any particular time, number or manner of reciting dhikr unless that is proven with saheeh evidence, because Allaah cannot be worshipped except in the manner that He has prescribed in His Book or on the lips of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Worship must be that which is prescribed in sharee’ah, with regard to the act itself, the manner in which it is done, the time when it is done and how many times it is done. Whoever adopts a wird whose wording was not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or specifies a particular number of times or does it at a specific time, is committing bid’ah. 

The scholars called this bid’ah al-bid’ah al-idaafiyyah (additional innovation??), because the action itself is prescribed in sharee’ah, but some innovation has been added to it with regard to the manner, the number of times or when it is to be done. 

You should note that all goodness rests in following that which has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Whoever studies those who recite made-up wirds will find that usually they are falling short when it comes to doing that which was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) such as the dhikrs for morning and evening, etc. This confirms what was narrated from one of the salaf, who said that no person ever introduces an innovation but he gives up an equivalent Sunnah. 

Critique of the book Fadaa’il al-A‘maal by Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandahlawi:

Is it true that the book Fadaa’il al-A‘maal by Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandahlawi contains a number of things that imply shirk?

The book Fadaa’il al-A‘maal – the original title of which was Tableeghi Nisaab – by Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandahlawi is a collection of chapters about various virtuous deeds. It was written by the author to be a reference for the group Jamaa‘at al-Tableegh. This book became of great importance for them, which they read in their gatherings and study in their schools and mosques. It is written in Urdu, which is why it did not become widespread in the Arab countries; rather it is widely known in the countries in which Jamaa‘at al-Tableegh is widespread, such as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

Shaykh Hammood at-Tuwaijri said in al-Qawl al-Baleegh (p. 11): 

The most important book among the Tableeghis is Tableeghi Nisaab (also known as Fadaa’il al-A‘maal), which was written by one of their leaders whose name is Muhammad Zakariyya al-Kandahlawi. They pay a great deal of attention to this book, which they respect as Ahl as-Sunnah respect as-Saheehaynand other books of hadeeth. 

The Tableeghis have made this book the most important reference work for the Indians and other non-Arabs who follow them. It contains a great deal of matters of shirk, innovation (bid‘ah), myths, and fabricated (mawdoo‘) and weak (da‘eef) hadeeths. In fact it is a book of evil, misguidance and confusion (fitnah). End quote. 

Shaykh Shams ad-Deen al-Afghaani said in his book Juhood ‘Ulama’ al-Hanafiyyah fi Ibtaal ‘Aqaa’id al-Qubooriyyah (2/776): 

The leading imams of the Deobandis have books which are venerated by the Deobandis, but they are filled with the myths of grave-worshippers and Sufi idolatry, such as – and he mentioned a number of books, including Tableeghi Nisaab, i.e., Nisaab at-Tableegh, and Manhaj at-Tableegh. These Deobandis did not openly disavow these books or warn against them, and they did not put a stop to the printing and sale of these books. The markets of India and Pakistan and elsewhere are full of them. End quote. 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (vol 2, 2/97): 

Question: I am a Muslim man living in Britain, and I want to follow the path of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah in all aspects of my life. On that basis I am trying to read religious books in Urdu. Whilst reading some religious books written by the famous and prominent Indian scholar who belongs to the Deobandi Jamaa‘at at-Tableegh, whose name is Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandahlawi, the shaykh of hadeeth, I found in his book Tableeghi Nisaab (p. 113), in Chapter 5, a story quoted by the author from a book entitled Rawnaq al-Majaalis. This is the story of a merchant who died and his estate was shared between his two sons. In addition to a great deal of wealth, the deceased had left behind a hair from the head of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The younger son kept the hair from the head of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and gave up the wealth to which he was entitled from his father’s estate, giving it to his older brother. What happened was that the one who took the wealth soon became bankrupt, whilst the one who took the hair became rich. After the death of the younger brother, in whose possession was the hair from the head of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), one of the righteous saw the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in his dream, and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to him: “Whoever has any need should go to the grave of this younger brother and call upon Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, at his graveside so that He might answer his prayer.” This is quoted from the book Tableeghi Nisaab

I also read another book called Tareekh Mashaayikh Juththat by the same author, Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandahlawi. On p. 232, he mentions Shaykh Haji Imdaadullah Muhaajir Makki, when he was in his final illness and was visited by one of his followers who was grieved by his state. The shaykh realised that he was feeling sad for him and he said: “Do not grieve, for the ascetic (zaahid) worshipper does not die; rather he moves from one place to another, and he meets people’s needs when he is in his grave as he used to meet their needs when he was alive.” This is quoted from the book Tareekh Mashaayikh Juththat

I would like to hear your wise opinions about the above and also about the following matters: 

(a)   Is he – the author – and the one who narrated this story still a Muslim in the light of this belief which is reflected in his books and his words? Please explain to us with evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah.

(b)  If he is no longer a Muslim, what is the evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah that he is beyond the pale of Islam? 

The answer was: 

What is quoted in these books, such as the example mentioned in the question, comes under the heading of reprehensible innovation and myths that are not based on any sound Islamic principle and have no basis in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). No one says or believes this except one who is confused and blinded to the truth, and has gone astray from the straight path. 

The claim that a hair of the Prophet still exists, and brings riches to the one who keeps it, and the claim to have seen the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in a dream telling people to offer supplication at the grave of this man – all of that is lies and fabrications for which there is no evidence. It is narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The Shaytaan cannot appear in my form.” Agreed upon. So how could the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) instruct people to call upon Allah at gravesides when he forbade such actions during his lifetime and warned against it in the strongest terms, and he forbade exaggerating about the Prophets and righteous people and seeking to draw close to Allah (tawassul) by virtue of them after their death? He (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not die until Allah had perfected His religion by means of him (the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) and completed His favour or blessings. So nothing can be added to or taken away from what He prescribed. The belief that supplications offered at gravesides will be answered is an innovation for which there is no basis in Islam, and it may lead a person to major shirk if he calls upon the occupant of the grave instead of Allah or alongside Him, or if he believes that the occupant of the grave has the power to bring benefit or cause harm, because the only One Who can bring benefit or cause harm is Allah, may He be glorified. 

Similarly, the belief that the ascetic (zaahid) worshipper does not die, rather he moves from one place to another, and that he can meet people’s needs from his grave as he used to meet their needs when he was alive, is also a false belief; it is one of the beliefs of the deviant Sufis. There is no basis for that; rather what is indicated by the verses and saheeh hadeeths is that every person in this world will die. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, you (O Muhammad SAW) will die and verily, they (too) will die”[17]

 “And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad SAW), then if you die, would they live forever?”[18]

 “Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.”[19]

The saheeh hadeeths also indicate that when a person dies, all his deeds come to an end except three: beneficial knowledge, a righteous son who will pray for him, or ongoing charity (sadaqah jaariyah). The deceased in his grave has no power to harm or benefit himself, and it is more apt to say that one who is in this state has no power to do that for anyone else. It is not permissible to seek to have one’s needs met by anyone except Allah alone with regard to that over which no one has any control except Allah; seeking such needs from the dead is major shirk. Anyone who believes anything other than that has disbelieved in the sense of major kufr and has gone beyond the pale of Islam – Allah forbid – because of his rejecting the proven evidence to that effect from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). He has to repent sincerely from that, resolve not to go back to that evil deed, and to follow the path of the righteous early generations of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah in order to attain the pleasure of Allah and His Paradise, and to be safe from His punishment. End quote. 

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Muyassarah fi’l-Adyaan wa’l-Madhaahib wa’l-Ahzaab al-Mu‘aasirah (1/322): 

In their gatherings in Arab countries they – i.e., Jamaa‘at at-Tableegh – focus on reading from Riyadh as-Saaliheen, but in non-Arab countries they focus on reading from Hayat as-Sahaabah and Tableeghi Nisaab; the latter book is full of myths and da‘eef (weak) hadeeths. End quote. 

To sum up, the scholars continue to warn against the book Tableeghi Nisaab, otherwise known as Fadaa’il al-A‘maal. It is not permissible for any Muslim to read it; rather they should focus on the books of the saheeh Sunnah, books whose authors follow the path of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah. As for books that contain myths and lies, they should not have any place in the heart or mind of the Muslim. 

The Messenger did not extend his hand to anyone from his grave:

What is the correct opinion about the stories narrated from one of the famous Sufi leaders, al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Rifaa’i, which say that he visited the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Madeenah and made du’aa’ at his grave, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) reached his hand out to him and he kissed it? This is a widespread belief among the followers of his tareeqah and it is a belief they hold firmly, even though he lived in the 6th century AH. How true is this story? 

This is false and has no basis of truth, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died as decreed by Allaah and as Allaah said:

“Verily you (O Muhammad) will die and verily, they (too) will die”[20] 

According to a saheeh hadeeth, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has angels who travel about in the earth and convey to me the salaams of my ummah.” 

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no one who sends salaams upon me but Allaah will restore my soul to me so that I may return his salaam.” 

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of your days is Friday, so send more blessings (salaah) upon me on that day, for your blessings will be shown to me.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, how will they be shown to you when you (your body) have disintegrated?” He said, ‘Allaah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets.” 

And there are many ahaadeeth which say similar things, but it is not narrated anywhere that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that he would shake hands with anybody. This indicates that this story is false. Even if we were to assume that it is true, then it could be that that was a shaytaan (devil) who shook hands with him in order to deceive him and lead him and others astray. What all Muslims have to do is to fear Allaah and to adhere to His sharee’ah which is indicated in His Book and in the Sunnah of His trustworthy Messenger, and to beware of anything that goes against that. May Allaah reform the Muslims and grant them understanding of His religion and cause them to adhere to His sharee’ah, for He is the Most Generous, Most Kind.

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 9, p. 31

Was Prophet just like other people?

The Prophet was human, but Allah, may He be exalted, bestowed His favour upon him and blessed him, and chose him as He chose other Messengers (peace be upon them) before him. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: ‘Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger?’”[21]

 “Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)): ‘I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah)’”[22]

Al-Bukhaari (401) and Muslim (572) narrated from Ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “I am only human like you; I forget as you forget.” 

Abu Dawood (4659) narrated from Salmaan from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “I am one of the sons of Adam; I get angry as you get angry.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

To sum up, this similarity in terms of being human means that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was a man, one of the sons of Adam, and was not an angel, let alone being a god or having any attributes or characteristics of divinity, or anything that is unique to divinity. Exalted be Allah far above having any partner, peer, rival or equal. Rather he (the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is one of the creations of Allah, a human from among the sons of Adam, whom Allah honoured with Prophethood and with that high status. 

Secondly: 

However before Prophethood, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was not like other people; rather he was distinct from them in many things in which Allah favoured him and for which He singled him out. Al-Haafiz Salaah ad-Deen al-‘Alaa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

How could it be otherwise, when Allah, may He be exalted, protected him before his Prophethood began from many permissible things that would detract from the status of anyone who indulged in them? [23]

Examples of this include the following: 

Before his mission began, Allah, may He be exalted, protected him from prostrating to idols and worshipping them, as his people used to do. 

Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, also protected him from drinking alcohol even before Prophethood. Al-Haafiz al-‘Alaa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said: What should be noted definitively is that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not drink any intoxicating fermented drinks at the time when they were permissible, and this is not found in any report whatsoever, whether with a saheeh or da‘eef isnaad.[24]

    A rock used to greet him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) with salaam before his mission began. Muslim (2277) narrated that Jaabir ibn Samurah said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “I know a rock in Makkah that used to greet me before I was sent. I would recognize it even now.” 

Jibreel (peace be upon him) opened his chest when he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was small, and took out (from his heart) the share of the Shaytaan. 

It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that Jibreel came to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) when he was playing with the other boys. He took hold of him and threw him to the ground, then he opened his chest and took out his heart, from which he took a clot of blood and said: “This was the Shaytaan’s share of you.” Then he washed it in a vessel of gold that was filled with Zamzam. Then he put it back together and returned it to its place. The boys went running to his mother – meaning his nurse – and said: Muhammad has been killed! They went to him and his colour had changed. Anas said: I used to see the mark of that stitching on his chest. Narrated by Muslim (162). 

Al-Bukhaari (364) and Muslim narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) carried stones with them to the Ka‘bah, wearing his izaar. His paternal uncle al-‘Abbaas said to him: O son of my brother, why don’t you undo your izaar and put it on your shoulders for protection (against the roughness) of the stones? So he undid his izaar and put it on his shoulders, but then he fell unconscious, and he was never seen unclothed again after that (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

Ahmad (23800) narrated from Abu’t-Tufayl – and he mentioned the reconstruction of the Ka‘bah during the Jaahiliyyah, and said: Quraysh demolished it and started to rebuild it with the stones of the valley, which Quraysh carried on their shoulders and built it up, twenty cubits high. Whilst the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was carrying stones, going back and forth, wearing a striped izaar, the izaar became tight so he went to put it on his shoulder, but his ‘awrah would have become visible because the izaar was too small. So a voice called out: “O Muhammad, cover your ‘awrah.” And he was never seen unclothed after that.

The commentators on al-Musnad said: Its isnaad is qawiy. 

At-Tayaalisi narrated in his Musnad (2781) that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: I have been forbidden to be unclothed – and that was before Prophethood came down to him.

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘ (6783)

It was narrated by at-Tirmidhi (3620) – who classed it as hasan – and by al-Bayhaqi in Dalaa’il an-Nubuwwah (2/24) that Abu Moosa said: Abu Taalib set out for Syria, and the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) set out with him, along with some elders from Quraysh. When they drew near to the monk they dismounted and unloaded their baggage. The monk came out to them, but before that when they passed by him he did not come out to them or pay any attention to them. As they were unloading their baggage and he went to them and walked among them until he came and took the hand of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: This is the leader of the worlds; this is the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds; Allah has sent him as a mercy to the worlds. The elders of Quraysh said to him: How do you know? He said: When you came from al-‘Aqabah, he did not pass any tree or rock but it fell down in prostration, and they do not prostrate except for a Prophet. I recognised him; the Seal of Prophethood is below his shoulder-blade, like an apple. Then he went back and made some food for them, and when he came, [the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)] was tending the camels, so he said: Send for him. He came, with a cloud shading him, and [the monk] said: Look at him; there is a cloud shading him. When he came to the people, he found that they had already taken up the shaded area beneath the tree, but when he sat down, the shadow of the tree moved to cover him. [The monk] said: Look at how the shadow of the tree has moved to cover him.

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi

Before his mission began, he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never saw any dream but it came true like the light of dawn. Al-Bukhaari (3) and Muslim (160) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not see any dream but it came true like the light of dawn.

After all this, how can it be said that he was an ordinary man like all other people?

Are the parents of the Prophet in Paradise or in Hell?

This is the crystal clear evience that salvation depends on correct Aqeedah and righteous deeds and on lineage or cast.

There is a hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which indicates that they are in Hell. 

Muslim (203) narrated from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, where is my father?” He said: “In Hell.” When he turned away he called him back and said: “My father and your father are in Hell.” 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

This shows that whoever dies in a state of kufr will be in Hell. And being related to one who is close to Allaah will not avail him anything. It also shows that whoever died during the fatrah (the interval between the Prophethood of ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) and that of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) and was the follower of the way of the Arabs at that time, which was idol worship, will also be among the people of Hell. There is no excuse for the call not reaching them, because the call of Ibraaheem and other Prophets (peace be upon them) had reached these people. 

Muslim (976) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for my mother, but He did not give me permission. And I asked Him for permission to visit her grave, and He gave me permission.” 

It says in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood

“But He did not give me permission” means: because she was a kaafirah (disbeliever) and it is not permissible to pray for forgiveness for the kuffaar. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

This shows that it is not permitted to pray for forgiveness for the kuffaar. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “My father and your father are in Hell,” he spoke with knowledge, for he did not speak on the basis of his whims and desires, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“By the star when it goes down (or vanishes).

  1. Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred.
  2. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.
  3. It is only a Revelation revealed”[1]

Were it not that proof has been established against ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the father of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not have said what he did about him. Perhaps he had heard something that established proof against him on the basis of the religion of Ibraaheem, because they used to follow the religion of Ibraaheem until the innovations were introduced by ‘Amr ibn Luhayy al-Khuzaa’i and his innovations became widespread among the people, such as the propagation of idols and praying to them instead of to Allaah. Perhaps ‘Abd-Allaah had heard something that showed him that the idol worship of Quraysh was wrong, but he still followed them, and thus proof was established against him. Similarly, the hadeeth which says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked for permission to pray for forgiveness for his mother but it was not granted, and he asked for permission to visit her grave and he was permitted to do so but not to pray for forgiveness for her, perhaps she had heard something that established proof against her, or perhaps the people of the Jaahiliyyah are to be treated as kuffaar as far as rulings in this world are concerned, so we should not pray for them or pray for forgiveness for them, because outwardly they seem to be kuffaar, and should be regarded and dealt with as such, and their case in the Hereafter is for Allaah to judge. 

Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb 

Al-Suyooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) was of the view that the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) will be saved (from Hell), and that Allaah brought them back to life after they had died and they believed in him. 

This view was rejected by the majority of scholars who ruled that the ahaadeeth which indicate that are fabricated (mawdoo’) or very weak (da’eef jiddan). 

It says in ‘Awn al-Ma’bood

Most of the reports that been narrated to the effect that the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) were brought back to life and believed in him and were saved are fabricated and false. Some of them are very weak and cannot be saheeh under any circumstances, as the imams of hadeeth are unanimously agreed that they are fabricated, such as al-Daaraqutni, al-Jawzaqaani, Ibn Shaheen, al-Khateeb, Ibn ‘Asaakir, Ibn Naasir, Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Suhayli, al-Qurtubi, al-Muhibb, al-Tabari, Fath al-Deen ibn Sayyid al-Naas, Ibraaheem al-Halabi and others. The scholar Ibraaheem al-Halabi explained at length the fact that the parents of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) have not been saved from Hell in a separate essay, as did ‘Ali al-Qaari in Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar and in a separate essay. The basis for this opinion is the soundness of this hadeeth (“My father and your father are in Hell”). Shaykh Jalaal al-Deen al-Suyooti differed from the huffaaz and scholars and affirmed that they had believed and had been saved, and he wrote numerous essays on that topic, including al-Ta’zeem wa’l-Minnah fi anna Abaway Rasool-Illaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fi’l-Jannah

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

Is there any saheeh report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that Allaah brought his parents back to life so that they could become Muslims, then they died (again) after that? 

He replied: There is no saheeh report to that effect from the scholars of hadeeth. Rather the scholars are agreed that this is an invented lie… There is no dispute among the scholars that this is one of the most obvious of fabrications, as was stated by those who have knowledge. That does not appear in any of the reliable books of hadeeth, either in the Saheehs or the Sunans or the Musnads or any other well-known books of hadeeth. It was not mentioned by the authors of the books of Maghaazi or Tafseer, even though they narrated da’eef (weak) reports along with saheeh (sound) ones. The fact that this is a lie is clear to any one who has any knowledge of religion. If such a thing had happened there would have been a great deal of motivation to transmit it, because it is something that is extraordinary on two counts: the raising of the dead and believing after death. Such a thing would have been more deserving of being transmitted than anything else. Since no trustworthy narrated transmitted it, it may be understood that this is a lie. 

Moreover, this goes against the Qur’aan and the saheeh Sunnah, and the consensus of the scholars. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Allaah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allaah will forgive and Allaah is Ever All‑Knower, All‑Wise.

And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: ‘Now I repent;’ nor of those who die while they are disbelievers”[2]

So Allaah states that there is no repentance for one who dies as a disbeliever. And Allaah:

“Then their Faith (in Islamic Monotheism) could not avail them when they saw our punishment. (Like) this has been the way of Allaah in dealing with His slaves. And there the disbelievers lost utterly (when Our Torment covered them)”.[3]

 So He tells us that the way in which He deals with His slaves is that faith will be to no avail once they have seen the punishment, so how about after death? And there are other similar texts. Then he quoted the two hadeeth which i quoted at the beginning of this answer. [4]

How did Allaah open the chest of His noble Messenger Muhammad:

Allah opened his chest because he was a human being and not a creation created by light other than clay.

Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, honoured His Prophets and Messengers with immense blessings, first and foremost among which, and the highest in status, was the blessing of Prophethood, as He chose them to be close to Him and to bestow His mercy upon them. 

Allaah says: 

“But Allaah chooses of His Messengers whom He wills”.[5]

 “And also some of their fathers and their progeny and their brethren, We chose them, and We guided them to the Straight Path”[6]

Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, chose His Prophet and Close Friend Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for more honour and bestowed a high status upon him, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“Had not the Grace of Allaah and His Mercy been upon you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), a party of them would certainly have made a decision to mislead you, but (in fact) they mislead none except their own selves, and no harm can they do to you in the least. Allaah has sent down to you the book (the Qur’aan), and Al‑Hikmah (Islamic laws, knowledge of legal and illegal things, i.e. the Prophet’s Sunnah — legal ways), and taught you that which you knew not. And Ever Great is the Grace of Allaah unto you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)”[7]

As part of this Grace, Allaah opened the chest of His Noble Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and He referred to this great blessing in a soorah of the Qur’aan that will be recited until the Day of Resurrection. It is called Soorat al-Sharh. 

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Have We not opened your breast for you ((O Muhammad?”[8]

The opening of the chest of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) points to a number of important meanings: 

1 – Allaah opened his heart to Islam as a religion and law, which is the greatest thing to which the heart may be opened. This is the interpretation of Ibn ‘Abbaas, as reported by al-Bukhaari in a mu’allaq report in his Saheeh (Kitaab al-Tafseer/Baab Soorat al-Sharh, p. 982). 

2 – Allaah opened the chest of His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in order to fill it (his heart) with wisdom, knowledge and faith, as it was interpreted by al-Hasan al-Basri. The scholars mentioned in their commentaries on this incident of the opening of the Prophet’s chest, which happened twice during his life. 

The first occurred when he was small and living among Banu Sa’d. 

It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that that Jibreel came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he was playing with the other boys. He took hold of him and threw him to the ground, then he opened his chest and took out his heart, from which he took a clot of blood and said: “This was the Shaytaan’s share of you.” Then he washed it in a vessel of gold that was filled with Zamzam. Then he put it back together and returned it to its place. The boys went running to his mother – meaning his nurse – and said: Muhammad has been killed! They went to him and his colour had changed. Anas said: I used to see the mark of that stitching on his chest.

Narrated by Muslim (162). 

The second occurred on the night of the Isra’. 

Abu Dharr used to narrate that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The roof of my house was opened when I was in Makkah, and Jibreel (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came down and split open my chest, then he washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a golden basin filled with wisdom and faith and emptied it into my chest. Then he sealed it…” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (349) and Muslim (163). 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Baari (7/204): 

Some of them denied that his chest was opened on the night of the Isra’, and said that this only happened when he was small and living among Banu Sa’d. But that cannot be denied because there are many reports about it. … All that has been narrated about his chest being opened, his heart being taken out and other extraordinary events must be accepted without objection or trying to interpret it other than what it appears to mean, because Allaah si Able to do all that and none of that is impossible. Al-Qurtubi said in al-Mufhim: No attention should be paid to denials of the opening of his chest on the night of the Isra’, because the narrators are trustworthy and well known. End quote. 

The incident of his chest being opened is also mentioned in some reports at other times, at the age of ten, and when his mission began, but these are weak reports. See: al-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah al-Saheehah (1/103). 

Ibn Katheer said in Tafseer al-Qur’aan il-‘Azeem (4/677): 

Allaah says “Have We not opened your breast for you (O Muhammad)?” meaning, did We not open your heart for you, i.e., We illuminated it etc. This is like the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whomsoever Allaah wills to guide, He opens his heart to Islam.” [9][ And it was said that what is meant by the verse “Have We not opened your breast for you (O Muhammad)?”  is the opening of his chest on the night of the Isra’, but there is no contradiction because the opening of his chest includes what was done on the night of the Isra’ as well as the metaphorical meaning of opening his heart. And Allaah knows best. End quote. 

3 – It says in Rooh al-Ma’aani (30/166): 

It was said that what is meant is: Did We not relieve your distress and worry by showing you the reality of things and the insignificance of this world, so that enabled you to bear hardship by mans of turning to Allaah with du’aa’.  

It was narrated from the majority that what is meant is:  Did We not bestow upon him wisdom and enable him to receive that which was revealed to him after it was difficult for him? 

4 – Ibn ‘Ashoor said in al-Tahreer wa’l-Tanweer (1/4850): 

Opening his breast is a metaphor for the blessings that were bestowed upon him and enabling him to attain all levels of perfection, and informing him that Allaah is pleased with him, and glad tidings of the victory that the religion would attain. End quote. 

See: Subul al-Huda wa’l-Rashaad (2/59). 

5 – Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Tafseer Soorat al-Sharh (p.1): 

This opening is metaphorical, not physical. The opening of the heart may be done so that it is able to receive the decree of Allaah of both types, the shar’i decrees of Allaah, which means religion, and the decree of Allaah which has to do with the calamities that may befall man. End quote

Intercession in the Hereafter:

What is intercession (shafaa’ah). Are there different kinds of intercession? Will people intercede or only the Prophets? Are there any people whose intercession will not be accepted?.

When the distress becomes too great for the people on the Day of Judgement and they have stood for too long, suffering in the heat and terror and distress, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) says, “How will you be when Allaah gathers you together like arrows in a quiver, for fifty thousand years, during which Allaah will not look at you?”[10]

The people will look to those who are of high status to intercede for them with their Lord so that He might relieve them of this distress that they are suffering and come to pass judgement amongst them. So they will come to Adam, but he will excuse himself; then they will come to Nooh, but he will excuse himself; then they will come to Ibraaheem, but he will excuse himself; then they will come to Moosa, but he will excuse himself; then they will come to ‘Eesa, but he will excuse himself. Then they will come to our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he will say, “I am fit for that.” So he will intercede for the people in the place of gathering, so that judgement may be passed. This is the station of praise and glory which Allaah has promised to him, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqaam Mahmood (a station of praise and glory, i.e., the honour of intercession on the Day of Resurrection)”[11]
There follows the lengthy hadeeth about intercession: 

It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us: “When the Day of Resurrection comes, the people will surge with each other like waves. They will come to Adam and say, ‘Intercede for us with your Lord.’ He will say, ‘I am not fit for that. Go to Ibraaheem for he is the Close Friend of the Most Merciful.’ So they will go to Ibraaheem, but he will say, ‘I am not fit for that. Go to Moosa for he is the one to whom Allaah spoke directly.’ So they will go to Moosa but he will say, ‘I am not fit for that. Go to ‘Eesa for he is a soul created by Allaah and His Word.’ So they will go to ‘Eesa but he will say, ‘I am not fit for that. Go to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).’ So they will come to me and I will say, I am fit for that.’ Then I will ask my Lord for permission and He will give me permission, and He will inspire me with words of praise with which I will praise Him, words that I do not know now. So I will praise Him with those words of praise and I will fall down prostrate before Him. He will say, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head. Speak and intercession will be granted to you, ask and you will be given, intercede and your intercession will be accepted.’ I will say, ‘O Lord, my ummah, my ummah!’ He will say, ‘Go and bring forth everyone in whose heart there is faith the weight of a barley-grain.’ So I will go and do that. Then I will come back and praise Him with those words of praise and I will fall down prostrate before Him. He will say, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head. Speak and intercession will be granted to you, ask and you will be given, intercede and your intercession will be accepted.’ I will say, ‘O Lord, my ummah, my ummah!’ He will say, ‘Go and bring forth everyone in whose heart there is faith the weight of a small ant or a mustard-seed.’ So I will go and do that. Then I will come back and praise Him with those words of praise and I will fall down prostrate before Him. He will say, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head. Speak and intercession will be granted to you, ask and you will be given, intercede and your intercession will be accepted.’ I will say, ‘O Lord, my ummah, my ummah!’ He will say, ‘Go and bring forth from the Fire everyone in whose heart there is faith the weight of the lightest, lightest grain of mustard-seed.’ So I will go and bring them forth.”  

When we left Anas I [the narrator of the hadeeth] said to some of our companions, “Why don’t we go to al-Hasan, who is hiding in the house of Abu Khaleefah, and tell him what Anas ibn Maalik has told us?” So we went to him, greeted him with salaam and he gave us permission to enter. Then we said, “O Abu Sa’eed, we have come to you from your brother Anas ibn Maalik, and we have never heard anything like what he narrated to us about intercession.” He said, “Tell me.” So we narrated the hadeeth to him and we came to this point and he said, “Keep going.” We said, “He did not tell us any more.”  He said, “He told me this hadeeth when he was a young man, twenty years ago. I do not know if he forgot or if he did not want to let you depend on what he might have said. We said, “O Abu Sa’eed, tell us.” He smiled and said, “Man was created hasty. I only mentioned that because I wanted to inform you of it. Anas told me the same as he told you, and said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) added: “Then I will come back a fourth time and praise Him with those words of praise and I will fall down prostrate before Him. He will say, ‘O Muhammad, raise your head. Speak and intercession will be granted to you, ask and you will be given, intercede and your intercession will be accepted.’ I will say, ‘O Lord, give me permission (to bring forth) all those who said Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah.’ He will say, ‘By My Might, My Majesty, My Supremacy and My Greatness, I will most certainly bring forth from it those who said Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah.’”[12] It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I will be the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know why that is? Allaah will gather mankind, the first and the last of them, in one place, so that the caller will be able to make them all hear his voice and the watcher will be able to see them all. The sun will be brought close and the people will suffer such distress and trouble that they will not be able to bear it or stand it. The people will say, ‘Don’t you see in the state you are in and the condition you have reached? Why don’t you look for someone who can intercede for you with your Lord?’ The people will say to one another: ‘Go to your father, Adam.’ So they will go to Adam (peace be upon him) … I will go and prostrate beneath the Throne. Then I will be given words of praise such have never been given to anyone before me, then it will be said, ‘O Muhammad! Raise your head; ask, for it will be given to you, and intercede, for your intercession will be accepted.’ I will raise my head and say, ‘My ummah, O lord! My ummah, O Lord!’ It will be said, ‘O Muhammad, admit from among your ummah those who will not be brought to account from the right-hand gate of Paradise, and they will share the other gates with the people.’ He said, By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the distance between two of the gate-posts is like the distance between Makkah and Humayr, or between Makkah and Busra.”[13]

This is the great intercession in the place of standing, and it is intercession so that judgement may be passed. Intercession on the Day of Resurrection is of two types: 

1 – Intercession which will be accepted. This is intercession which is proven in the texts of sharee’ah. More details will be given below. 

2 – Intercession which will be rejected. This is intercession which according to the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah is invalid and ineffective, as we shall see below. 

Accepted intercession is of various types: 

1-     The greatest intercession, which is al-maqaam al-mahmood, which the earlier and later generations will ask the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to intercede for them with their Lord so that He might relieve them of the horrors of the Day of Judgement. This has been explained above.

2-     Intercession for those among the monotheists who committed major sins and entered Hell, that they may be brought forth from it. It was narrated that Anas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “My intercession will be for those among my ummah who committed major sins.” (Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 1983).

3-     The intercession of the Messenger for people whose good deeds and bad deeds are equal, that they may enter Paradise, and for others who had been ordered to Hell, that they may not enter it.

4-     Intercession that some people may enter Paradise without being brought to account.

5-     Intercession of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for his paternal uncle Abu Taalib, so that the torment of the Fire be reduced for him. This applies only in the case of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his paternal uncle Abu Taalib.

6-     The intercession of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that the believers might be granted permission to enter Paradise. 

Intercession for those who committed sin will not be granted only to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), rather the Prophets, the martyrs, the scholars, the righteous and the angels will also join in that. A man’s righteous deeds may also intercede for him. But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) will have the greatest share of intercession. 

There follows a hadeeth which indicates that intercession will be granted to the Prophets and others. It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said: “We said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, will we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?’” … and he quoted the hadeeth, until he came to the part which describes how the believers will pass across the Siraat and will intercede for their brothers who have entered Hell: “They will say, ‘O Lord, our brothers used to pray with us and fast with us and do good deeds with us.’ Allaah will say, ‘Go, and whoever you find with a dinar’s-weight of faith in his heart, bring him forth, and Allaah will forbid their bodies to the Fire.’ So they will go, and some of them will be sinking into the Fire up to their feet or shins, and they will bring forth those whom they recognize. Then they will come back, and He will say, ‘Go, and whoever you find with half a dinar’s-weight of faith in his heart, bring him forth.’ So they will go and bring forth those whom they recognize. Then they will come back, and He will say, ‘Go, and whoever you find with an atom’s-weight of faith in his heart, bring him forth.’ So they will go and bring forth those whom they recognize.” Abu Sa’eed said: “If you do not believe me, then read the verse interpretation of the meaning): 

‘Surely, Allaah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a small ant), but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward’[14]

 [The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:] “So the Prophets, the angels and the believers will intercede, and the Compeller (Allaah) will say, ‘There remains My intercession.’ Then He will take a handful from the Fire and bring forth some people whose bodies have been burnt and throw them into a river at the entrance to Paradise that is called the Water of Life.  

They will grow on its banks, as a seed carried by a flood grows. You have seen how it grows beside a rock or beside a tree, and how the side facing the sun is usually green while the side facing the shade is white. They will come out like pearls, and necklaces will be placed around their necks. Then they will enter Paradise, and the people of Paradise will say, ‘These are the people emancipated by the Most Merciful. He has admitted them into Paradise without them having done any good deeds and without them having sent forth any good (for themselves).’ Then it will be said to them, ‘You will have what you have seen and the equivalent thereof.’”[15]

Intercession of the Day of Resurrection will only be granted if three conditions are met, as indicated in the verses:

 “And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allaah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with”[16]

 “On that day no intercession shall avail, except the one for whom the Most Gracious (Allaah) has given permission and whose word is acceptable to Him”[17]

 “He knows what is before them, and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of Him”[18]

 “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?”[19]

These conditions are: 

1-     The permission of Allaah to the intercessor to intercede.

2-     Allaah’s being pleased with the intercessor.

3-     His being pleased with the one for whom intercession is made. 

It was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that the intercession of some people will not be accepted on the Day of Resurrection, including those who cursed a great deal. Muslim narrated that Abu’l-Darda’ said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘Those who curse will not be witnesses or intercessors on the Day of Resurrection.” 

With regard to the kind of intercession that will be rejected, this is intercession that does not meet the conditions required of permission from Allaah or His being pleased (with the intercessor or the one for whom intercession is made), such as the intercession which the people of shirk believe that their gods will achieve. They only worship them because they believe that they will intercede for them with Allaah, and that they are mediators or intermediaries between them and Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Surely, the religion (i.e. the worship and the obedience) is for Allaah only. And those who take Awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, lords, gods) besides Him (say): ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah.’ Verily, Allaah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allaah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever”.[20]

Allaah tells us that this kind of intercession is ineffective and of no benefit, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So no intercession of intercessors will be of any use to them”.[21]

 “And fear a Day (of Judgement) when a person shall not avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from him nor will compensation be taken from him nor will they be helped”.[22]

 “And fear the Day (of Judgement) when no person shall avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him, nor shall they be helped”[23]

 “O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)”[24]
Hence Allaah did not accept the intercession of His Close Friend Ibraaheem for his father Azar who was a mushrik. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Ibraaheem will meet his father on the Day of Resurrection, and Azar’s face

Will be dark and covered with dust. Ibraaheem will say to him, ‘Did I not tell you not to disobey me?’ His father will say, ‘Today I will not disobey you.’’ Ibraaheem will say, ‘O Lord! You promised me not to disgrace me on the Day of Resurrection; and what will be more disgraceful to me than cursing and dishonoring my father?’ Then Allah will say, ‘I have forbidden Paradise to the disbelievers.’ Then he will be addressed, ‘O Ibraaheem, what is beneath your feet?’ He will look and there he will see a Dhabh (an animal,) blood-stained, which will be caught by the legs and thrown into the Fire.”[25]

Commentary on the hadeeth, “Allaah created Adam in His image”:

To justify fitnah of ‘All Creations are part of Creator’ Sufi usually misinterpret this Hadeeth.

Al-Bukhaari (6227) and Muslim (2841) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah created Adam in His image, and he was sixty cubits tall. When he created him he said, ‘Go and greet that group of angels who are sitting and listen to how they greet you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your descendents.’ So he said, ‘Al-salaamu ‘alaykum (peace be upon you),’ and they said, ‘Al-salaamu ‘alayka wa rahmat-Allaah (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allaah.’ So they added (the words) ‘wa rahmat-Allaah.’ Everyone who enters Paradise will be in the form of Adam, but mankind continued to grow shorter until now.” 

Muslim (2612) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of fights his brother, let him avoid the face, for Allaah created Adam in His image.” 

Ibn Abi ‘Aasim narrated in al-Sunnah (517) that Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not say ‘May Allaah deform your face’ [a form of cursing in Arabic], for the son of Adam was created in the image of the Most Merciful.” Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Ghunaymaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: “This hadeeth is saheeh and was classed as such by the imams and by Imam Ahmad and Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh. Those who classed it as da’eef have no evidence, except for the view of Ibn Khuzaymah, but those who classed it as saheeh are more knowledgeable than him. 

Ibn Abi ‘Aasim also narrated (516) that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you fights let him avoid the face, for Allaah created Adam in the image of His Face.” Shaykh al-Albaani said: its isnaad is saheeh. 

These two hadeeth indicate that the pronoun in the phrase “in His image” refers to Allaah, may He be glorified. 

Al-Tirmidhi (3234) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “My Lord came to me in the most beautiful image and said, ‘O Muhammad.’ I said, ‘Here I am at Your service, my Lord.’ He said, ‘What are the chiefs (angels) on high disputing about…’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

According to the lengthy hadeeth about intercession, it says, “… then the Compeller (al-Jabbaar) will come to then in an image different than the image in which they saw Him the first time…” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7440; Muslim, 182. 

From these ahaadeeth we learn that it is proven that Allaah has an image (soorah in Arabic), in a manner that befits Him, may He be glorified and exalted. His image is one of His attributes which cannot be likened to the attributes of created beings, just as His essence cannot be likened to their essence. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

“The word soorah (image) in this hadeeth is like all the other names and attributes narrated (in the texts) where the words used may also be applied to created beings, in a limited manner. When these words are applied to Allaah, they carry a unique meaning, such as al-‘Aleem (All Knowing), al-Qadeer (All-Powerful), al-Raheem (Most Merciful), al-Samee’ (All Hearing), al-Baseer (All-Seeing), and such as His creating with His hands, rising above the Throne, etc.” Naqd al-Ta’sees, 3/396 

 Everything that exists must inevitably have a form or image. Shaykh al-Islam said: “Just as everything that exists must have attributes that, so too everything that exists by itself must have a form or image. It is impossible for something that exists by itself not to have a form or image.” 

And he said: “There was no dispute among the salaf of the first three generations that the pronoun in the hadeeth refers to Allaah, and it is narrated through many isnaads from many of the Sahaabah. The contexts of the ahaadeeth all indicate that… but when al-Jahamiyyah became widespread in the third century AH, a group began to say that the pronoun refers to something other than Allaah, and this was transmitted from a group of scholars who are known to have knowledge and to follow the Sunnah in most of their affairs, such as Abu Thawr, Ibn Khuzaymah, Abu’l-Shaykh al-Asfahaani and others. Hence they were denounced by the imams of Islam and other Sunni scholars.”  [26]

Ibn Qutaybah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

 “That Allaah should have an image is no stranger than His having two hands, fingers or eyes. Rather those are readily accepted because they are mentioned in the Qur’aan, but this idea (image or form) is regarded as strange because it is not mentioned in the Qur’aan. But we believe in them all, but we do not discuss how any of them are nor limitations.” [27]

Shaykh al-Ghunaymaan said:

 “Thus it is clear that the form or image is like all the other divine attributes. Any attribute which Allaah has affirmed in the Revelation, we must affirm it and believe in it.”[28] 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

 There is a hadeeth narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in which he forbids saying “May Allaah deform your face”, and says that Allaah created Adam in His image. What is the correct belief with regard to this hadeeth? 

He replied: 

This hadeeth is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), in which he said: “If any one of you strikes (another), let him avoid the face, for Allaah created Adam in His image.” According to another version: “In the image of the Most Merciful.” This does not imply resemblance or likeness. 

What is meant, according to the scholars, is that Allaah created Adam with the ability to hear and see, and to speak when he wants. These are also attributes of Allaah, for He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing, and He speaks when He wants, and He has a Face, may He be glorified and exalted. 

But it does not mean that there is any resemblance or likeness. Rather the image of Allaah is different from that of created beings. What is meant is that He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing, and He speaks when He wants, and He created Adam also able to hear and see, with a face and hands and feet. But man’s hearing is not like Allaah’s hearing, his seeing is not like Allaah’s seeing, his speaking is not like Allaah’s speaking. Rather Allaah has attributes that befit His majesty and might, and man has attributes that befit him, attributes that are finite and imperfect, whereas the attributes of Allaah are perfect, with no shortcomings, infinite and without end. Hence Allaah says: 

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”[29]

 “And there is none co‑equal or comparable unto Him”[30]

So it is not permissible to strike the face or say “May Allaah deform your face”. [31]

Another thing that will help to explain the meaning of this hadeeth is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “The first group to enter Paradise will be in the image of the moon” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3245; Muslim, 2834.” What the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) meant here is that the first group will be in human form, but because of their purity, beauty and brightness of face they will look like the moon, so they are likened to the moon, but without resembling it. So just because a thing is said to be in the image of a thing it does not mean that it is like it in all aspects. 

The Prophet’s words, “Adam was created in His image” means that Allaah created Adam in His image, for He has a face, an eye, a hand, and a foot, and Adam had a face, an eye, a hand, and a foot… but that does not mean that these things are exactly the same. There is some similarity, but it is not exactly the same. Similarly the first group to enter Paradise are likened to the moon, but they are not exactly the same. This confirms the view of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, who say that none of the attributes of Allaah can be likened to the attributes of created beings, without distorting or misinterpreting, or discussing how or likening Him to His creation. 

See Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitah by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/107, 293. 

For more information, see:

 Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed min Saheeh al-Bukhaari by Shaykh al-Ghunaymaan, 2/33-98, in which he quotes at length from Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him), refuting the misinterpretation of this hadeeth by ahl al-kalaam and those who agreed with them. 

Is there such a thing as Du’aa’ Kanz il-‘Arsh?:

This du’aa’ is not known in the books of Sunnah. It seems most likely that it has been fabricated by some of the Sufis in what they call al-awraad, which is a collection of du’aa’s and words that are compiled for the mureeds (followers of a Sufi shaykh) to recite at certain times in a certain manner and for a certain number of times. Undoubtedly it is not permissible to follow them in the awraad that they fabricate. “Du’aa’ is an act of worship,” as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, and the basic principle concerning acts of worship is tawqeef i.e., stopping at what has been narrated in sharee’ah (and not inventing anything new).  

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Undoubtedly dhikr and du’aa’s are among the best kinds of worship. Acts of worship are based on tawqeef and following, not on whims and desires and innovation. The du’aa’s and dhikrs narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) are the best that anyone can find of dhikr and du’aa’, and the one who limits himself to them will be safe and sound. The beneficial results that they bring cannot be put into words or fully comprehended by man. Any other dhikrs may be haraam or they may be makrooh. They may involve shirk which most people may not realize and which would take too long to explain in detail. 

No one has the right to prescribe for people any kind of dhikr or du’aa’ that is not narrated in the Sunnah and make it an act of worship that people should perform regularly as they perform the five daily prayers regularly. Rather this is a kind of innovation in religion for which Allaah has not given permission… As for adopting a wird that is not prescribed in sharee’ah and dhikr that is not prescribed in sharee’ah, this is something that is forbidden. Moreover the du’aa’s and adhkaar that are prescribed in sharee’ah are are the best and lead to achieving all aims and goals; no one turns away from them and adopts innovated and invented adhkaar except one who is ignorant, negligent or a wrong doer. [32]

The “Darood Taaj” is fabricated and reprehensible:

Du‘aa’ at-taaj is a made-up, innovated format of sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). It is called at-taaj (crown), and contains weird phrases; it is not permissible to recite it because of what it contains of shirk (association of others with Allah) and exaggeration about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and because it is a made-up format that is contrary to that which is proven in the Sunnah. Reciting such things, with what they contain of things that are contrary to Islamic teachings, is forsaking the Sunnah and replacing it with bid ‘ah (innovation). 

Among the things mentioned in this format that are contrary to Islamic teachings are the following: 

  1. They describe the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) as “the one who wards off calamity, disease, famine, sickness and pain.” This description is tantamount to shirk, because the only One Who wards off calamity and disease, grants relief from harm and brings what is good is Allah alone. Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things”[33]

 “Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations. Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Little is it that you remember!”[34]

When harm befell the Prophets of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon them), they sought help from Allah alone. Allah, may He be exalted, has told us of that in His book, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) Nooh (Noah), when he cried (to us) aforetime. We listened to his invocation and saved him and his family from great distress”[35]

 “And (remember) Ayoob (Job), when he cried to his Lord: ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.’

So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him”[36]

Al-Bukhaari (5675) and Muslim (2191) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that when the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) visited the sick person, or a sick person was brought to him, he would say: “Adhhib al-ba’s Rabb an-naas, wa’shfi anta al-Shaafi, laa shifaa’a illa shifaa’uka shifaa’ laa yughaadir saqaman (Take away the pain, O Lord of mankind, and grant healing, for You are the Healer, and there is no healing but Your healing that leaves no trace of sickness).”.

According to a verion narrated by al-Bukhaari, it says: “Laa shaafi illa anta (There is no Healer but You).” 

 

  1. They say in this du‘aa’, “Jibreel is his servant.” This is a made-up, innovated idea. It is not permissible to describe Jibreel (peace be upon him), the Angel of Revelation, as the servant of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), when Allah, may He be exalted, has described him in the highest terms, as He said (interpretation of the meaning):

“Which the trustworthy Rooh (Jibreel (Gabriel)) has brought down;

Upon your heart (O Muhammad SAW) that you may be (one) of the warners”[37]

 

“Verily, this is the Word (this Quran brought by) a most honourable messenger (Jibreel (Gabriel), from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)).Owner of power, and high rank with (Allah) the Lord of the Throne,Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there (in the heavens).”[38]

 

  1. They describe the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) as “raahatal-‘aashiqeen (the comfort of those who love him)”, which is also a reprehensible description. The word ‘ishq refers to going to extremes in love, and there cannot be any extremes in terms of loving the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). In Arabic this word is only applied to the relationship between a man and a woman; it cannot be used to describe love as prescribed in Islam. Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: ‘Ishq according to the linguists can only refer to that which one may be physically intimate with.

            Talbees Iblees (p. 153) 

To sum up: 

This format is not permissible because of what it contains of things that are contrary to Islamic teaching, and because it is a made up, innovated format that is used by one who has no knowledge of the Sunnah instead of adhering to the Sunnah. The Sahaabah said to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): O Messenger of Allah, we know how to send salaams upon you, but how should we send blessings upon you? He said:  “Say: Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammadin kama salayta ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed; Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala aali Muhammadin kama baarakta ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed(O Allaah, send Your salaah (grace, honour and mercy) upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your salaah upon the family of Ibraaheem, You are indeed Praiseworthy, Most Glorious. O Allaah, send Your blessings upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your blessings upon the family of Ibraaheem, You are indeed Praiseworthy, Most Glorious).”.[39]

The one who wants to send blessings properly upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) should send blessings upon him as he taught his companions to do, for there is no better way of sending blessings upon him than that. Whoever ignores that and chooses an innovated format that is contrary to sound belief has incurred a great loss.

 Adh-Dhahabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Anyone who does not adhere to the Prophet’s Sunnah in his worship and wird will regret it and become a mystic and will develop a bad attitude, and he will miss out on a great deal of good that he would have attained by following the Sunnah of his Prophet, who was kind and compassionate towards the believers and was keen to benefit t

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

As for what is found in some books of different formats of salawaat (blessings upon the Prophet) based on rhymed prose and descriptions of the Prophet’s attributes, it may contain descriptions that are applicable only to the Lord of the Worlds. So you should avoid these things and flee from them as you would flee from a lion, and do not be deceived by what is in them of eloquent prose that could make the eyes weep and the heart melt. You should adhere to the original texts, and shun this which has been written with no guidance or authority.[40]

Reciting Yaa Seen a certain number of times to fulfil needs and relieve distress:

 reading Soorat Yaa-Seen a certain number of times, or reading other soorahs, or sending blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) a certain number of times, in a group or individually, with the aim of fulfilling one’s needs or attaining one’s desires, has no basis in sharee’ah, and it is something innovated that has been introduced into Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2697) and Muslim (1718). 

What is established among the scholars is that acts of worship must be prescribed with regard to their basis, their nature, their time and their place. Adhering to certain numbers, manners or forms of worship for which there is no evidence from sharee’ah is regarded as innovation (bid’ah). 

Al-Shaatibi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Bid’ah (innovation) refers to something that is newly invented in matters of religion that appears similar to that which is prescribed, by which people intend to go to extremes in worshipping Allaah, may He be glorified. That includes adhering to certain forms of worship, such as reciting dhikr in a group, in unison, or taking the day of the Prophet’s birth as a festival, and so on. 

That also includes adhering to certain acts of worship at certain times, for which there is no evidence in sharee’ah, such as always fasting on the fifteenth of Sha’baan (al-nusf min Sha’baan) and spending that night in prayer. End quote from al-I’tisaam (1/37-39). 

The fact that people have become accustomed to a practice or inherited it from their forefathers or that they have got some results from it, does not indicate that it is prescribed, rather words and deeds must be measured against the words and deeds of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him); whatever is in accordance with them should be accepted and whatever differs from them should be rejected and thrown back at the one who does them, no matter who he is. 

It may be noted here that if this deed was good, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions would have been the first ones to do it, especially since there was a need for it, as many of the Sahaabah faced harm and wrongdoing, but it is not proven that any of them did that or that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told them to do it. 

All goodness is in following the salaf (early generations of Islam) and all evil in is the innovations of those who came afterwards. 

The point is that we should keep away from these innovated matters, and be content with the du’aa’s and dhikrs that are prescribed in Islam which Allaah has made a means of fulfilling needs and attaining desires. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilâh (god) with Allaah? Little is that you remember!”[41]

 “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright”[42]

al-Tirmidhi (3475), Abu Dawood (1493) and Ibn Maajah (3857) narrated that Buraydah al-Aslami said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) heard a man supplicating and saying: O Allaah, I ask You by virtue of my bearing witness that You are Allaah, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who begets not nor was begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable to Him. He (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, he has asked Allaah by His greatest name, which if He is called upon thereby He answers and if He is asked thereby He gives.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

And al-Tirmidhi (3544) and Ibn Maajah (3858) narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered the mosque and there was a man who had prayed and was supplicating and saying in his du’aa’: O Allaah, there is no god but You, the Bestower, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Possessor of majesty and honour. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do you know by what he has asked Allaah? He has asked Allaah by His greatest name which if He is called upon thereby He answers and if He is asked thereby He gives.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

Ruling on reading Soorat Yaa-Seen for the dying and the deceased:

We have to make a distinction here between the two issues: reading Yaa-Seen for one who is dying, and reading it for one who has died. With regard to reading Yaa-Seen for one who is dying, this practice has been reported from some of the Sahaabah. Imaam Ahmad reported in his Musnad from Safwaan: “My shaykhs told me that they were with Ghudayf ibn al-Haarith al-Thumaani when he was dying. He said: ‘Can any of you read Yaa-Seen?’ So Saalih ibn Shurayh al-Sakooni recited it, and when he reached the fortieth aayah, Ghudayf passed away. My shaykhs used to say that when it is recited in the presence of one who is dying, it eases the pain of death.” That was the opinion of Safwaan. ‘Eesaa ibn al-Mu’tamir read it for Ibn Mab’ad (when the latter was dying). (al-Musnad, 16355)

Al-Albaani said in Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel, 3/152: “This is a saheeh sanad going back to Ghudayf ibn al-Haarith, may Allaah be pleased with him. Its men are thiqaat apart from ‘the shaykhs’ who are not named and are therefore unknown (majhool). But the fact that they are unknown is compensated for by their large number, especially since they are of the generation of the Taabi’een…”

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ fi Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz: “Soorat Yaa-Seen may be recited over him (i.e., the one who is dying) for the one who thinks that the hadeeth is correct.” He explained that this is because this soorah contains good news of Paradise, as in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “It was said: ‘Enter Paradise.’…” [Yaa-Seen 36:26], and because it makes the passage of the soul easier, and other reasons.

As regards reading Soorat Yaa-Seen for one who has died, there is no saheeh hadeeth to indicate that this should be done. A hadeeth was narrated by Abu Dawood and others which says “Read Yaa-Seen over your dead”, but this hadeeth is not saheeh because its isnaad contains contradictions and narrators who are unknown (majhool). This was stated by al-‘Allaamah al-Albaani in Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel, hadeeth no. 688. Reading Qur’aan over the dead is considered to be bid’ah (innovation), as he states at the end of his book Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz. Some people think that it should be read forty times over the deceased, and some of them may distribute copies of the Qur’aan among the mourners who gather to offer condolences so that they may read, or organize gatherings in the mosque to read it for the soul of the deceased. All of this has no basis whatsoever (in the sunnah), and these are innovated deeds of bid’ah which we should avoid and warn others against. And Allaah is the Source of strength

Ruling on reciting al-Faatihah on special occasions, as is customary among some people:

Soorat al-Faatihah is the best of the soorahs of the Qur’an; in fact it is the best of all that Allah, may He be exalted, revealed to the Messengers. Al-Bukhaari (4474) narrated from Abu Sa‘eed al-Mu‘alla (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to him: “I will surely teach you a soorah that is the greatest soorah in the Qur’an…” Then he said: “Al-hamdu Lillahi Rabb al-‘Aalameen… It is the seven oft-repeated verses and the Glorious Qur’an that I have been given f[43]

At-Tirmidhi (2857) narrated from Ubayy ibn Ka‘b (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, nothing like it has been revealed in the Torah or in the Gospel or in the Psalms or in al-Furqaan. Verily it is the seven oft-repeated verses and the Glorious Qur’an that I have been given.”

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.

There is no report from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or from his companions to suggest that they used to recite al-Faatihah at the time of the marriage contract, or when offering condolences, or when engaging in commercial transactions. If that was something good, they would have done it before us.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah describe every deed or word that is not proven to be from the Sahaabah as an innovation (bid‘ah), because it were good, they would have done it before us, for they did not leave any good deed but they hastened to do it. [44]

If reciting al-Faatihah on such occasions was prescribed in Islam, then the people who preceded us in doing everything that is good, and who were the most knowledgeable of people of all virtues, would have done it before us – namely the Companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on reciting al-Faatihah at the time of the marriage contract, which some people even call “the recitation of al-Faatihah”, and they do not call it “the marriage contract”, so they might say “I recited my Faatihah over So and so [the bride].” Is this something that is prescribed in Islam?

He replied:

This is not something that is prescribed in Islam; rather it is an innovation. Recitation of al-Faatihah or any other particular soorah should not be done except on the occasions on which Islam prescribes recitation thereof. If it is recited on other occasions as an act of worship, then it is to be regarded as an innovation. We have seen many people reciting al-Faatihah on all kinds of occasions, to the extent that we have even heard people say: Recite al-Faatihah for the dead; and on other occasions and for other purposes. All of these matters are reprehensible innovations. Al-Faatihah and other soorahs are not to be recited in any situation or in any place or at any time except in cases where doing so is prescribed according to the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Otherwise it is an innovation and the one who does it is to be denounced.[45]

He also said:

Reciting al-Faatihah when offering condolences is an innovation. The Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) never offered condolences by reciting al-Faatihah or any other passage from the Qur’an.[46]

Shaykh al-Fawzaan said:

The innovations that have been introduced in the field of acts of worship in the current era are many, because the basic principle concerning acts of worship is tawqeef [i.e., they can only be known through divine Revelation and sound texts of Qur’an and hadith, with no room for personal opinion]. So no act of worship can be regarded as islamically prescribed except on the basis of evidence. So long as there is no evidence for it, then it is an innovation, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces something into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.”[47]

The acts of worship that are done nowadays, for which there is no evidence, are many indeed. They include: reciting the intention for prayer out loud; reciting dhikr in unison after the prayer; and requesting people to recite al-Faatihah on special occasions, after du‘aa’ and for the dead.[48]

 

The Muslim should be keen to follow the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his companions, and to avoid innovation, in accordance with the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “…you must adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Hold on to it and cling fast to it. And beware of newly-invented matters…” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4607); classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

The bid‘ah (innovation) of encouraging billions of salawaat upon the Messenger of Allah on the occasion of the Mawlid (Prophet’s Birthday)

 Allah, may He be exalted, has instructed us to send blessings upon His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) also encouraged us to do that, but none of those who truly loved him and sought that great reward for themselves did this, or even came close to it. 

Wasting time in making a schedule and distributing it in school or to different houses or on Internet discussion boards – there is no benefit in any of that, and it is a waste of time. In fact it is misguidance from the true religion and is foolishness. 

If they truly knew what it means to follow the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), they could have put all that effort into doing something which is actually useful, such as telling people about the teachings of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) one how to interact with one’s wife, or how to do wudoo’ and how to pray, or encouraging them to give up riba and to stop staying away from prayer in congregation, and even to stop neglecting prayer altogether, or warning women against flaunting their beauty and going out uncovered, and other things that could have a far-reaching effect in conveying the message of Islam to many groups who are unaware of this guidance and who have gone astray from the right path. But how could the innovator be guided to do these noble actions when he mocks those who truly follow the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and regards as ignorant those who show their love of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in the proper manner as prescribed in Islam. 

These people are committing several innovations, or are committing a multifaceted innovation, such as the following: 

  1. They have connected this salawat to the occasion of the Mawlid (Prophet’s birthday), which is an innovated festival. 
  2. They have stipulated a specific target number, and have shared that out among themselves and other people, which has not been ordained by Allah, may He be exalted. The Muslim may send blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) ten times, as mentioned in the hadeeth quoted in the question – even though there is some difference of opinion as to how sound it is – and he may do more than that, as it is up to him. But he has no right take a dhikr for which a particular number of times has been stipulated and make it unlimited, or to take a dhikr for which no particular number of times has been stipulated, and stipulate a number of times for it based on his own speculation. 

Those people deserve the words of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him), that he addressed to their predecessors in innovation: “Count your bad deeds, for I promise you that nothing of your good deeds will be lost.”

Narrated by ad-Daarimi in the Introduction to his Sunan, 304.

  1. Sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is not one of the adhkaar that is to be recited collectively; rather it is a private dhikr between the individual and his Lord. 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: 

Although sending blessings upon the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is one of the best of deeds and one of the most beloved to Allah, may He be exalted, each dhikr has its appropriate time and place, and no other can replace it. They said: Hence it is not prescribed to send blessings upon him when bowing or prostrating, or when rising from bowing.

Jala’ al-fhaam fi Fadl as-Salaah ‘ala Muhammad al-Anaam sall Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, 1/424 

What the one who invented this way of sending blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) must do is repent from this innovation and refrain from calling people to participate in it. What the one who knows that this is an innovation must do is tell people not to participate in it or to call others to do so, and not to be deceived by the words of the people who promote it. 

It is not expected that any wise person would tell them not to send blessings upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in response to the divine command and in the fulfilment of the Prophet’s encouragement to do so. But one cannot draw closer to Allah by means of these innovated kinds of dhikr and so on. 

In the answers to which we have referred you will find a detailed discussion of this matter, so please read them carefully. We hope that Allah will make them beneficial and that He will guide the misguided Muslims to follow the Sunnah of His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him

He claims to have a hair of the Prophet and he wants to build a mosque in which to preserve it!

Firstly: 

Tabarruk (seeking barakah or blessings) from the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was something that was done at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), with things such as water left over from his wudoo’, his garment, his food and drink, his hair, and anything else from him. 

As for seeking barakah from anything that had touched his body, such as wudoo’ water, sweat, hair and so on, this is something that was well-known and regarded as permissible by the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) and those who followed them in truth, because of the goodness and barakah that there is in that, and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) approved of them doing that. 

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (10/70): 

The scholars are unanimously agreed that it is permissible to seek barakah from the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and the scholars of seerah (Prophet’s biography), shamaa’il (Prophet’s character) and hadith narrated many reports that speak of the noble Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) seeking barakah from various relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). End quote. 

Secondly: 

This tabarruk (seeking barakah) is not permissible with anything other than the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). So it is not permissible to draw an analogy with anyone else. Seeking barakah from the relics of anyone else among the righteous is a reprehensible innovation (bid‘ah) and it is a means that leads to shirk. 

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The Sahaabah used to seek barakah from the sweat of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and they used to seek barakah from his saliva, and they used to seek barakah from his garment, and they used to seek barakah from his hair. But in the case of anyone other than him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), no barakah is to be sought from any of these things. So one cannot seek barakah from a person’s garment, hair, nails or anything else of his, except in the case of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). End quote.

Sharh Riyaadh as-Saaliheen (4/243) 

Thirdly: 

There is no proof that any of the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) exist now. Anyone who claims that any such thing exists has no proof to that effect. Based on that, it is not permissible for anyone to claim to have in his keeping any of the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), unless he has definitive evidence, and how could he have that? 

The great scholar and historian Ahmad Pasha Taymoor said: 

There is no valid proof for the hairs that were kept by people after that. Something of that which was shared out among the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) may have reached them, but it is difficult to know what is genuine and what is not. End quote. 

Al-Athaar an-Nabawiyyah by Ahmad Pasha Taymoor (91) 

The great scholar and muhaddith Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

However we should point out that we believe that it is permissible to seek barakah from the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and we do not object that, contrary to what our opponents say about us. 

But this seeking of barakah is conditional upon having the faith that is prescribed and is acceptable to Allah. If a person is not a true Muslim, then Allah will not bring about any good for him by means of this seeking of barakah on his part. Similarly, it is stipulated that the one who wants to seek barakah should have in his possession one of the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and use it. 

But we know that his relics (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), such as his garment, hair and so on, have been lost, and it is not possible for anyone to prove that any such thing exists on a definitive and certain basis. As that is the case, seeking barakah from these relics has become irrelevant in our times and it has become a purely theoretical matter, so we should not speak at length about it.

End quote from at-Tawassul: Anwaa‘uhu wa Ahkaamuhu (144) 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

What is the ruling on seeking barakah from the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) after his death, such as his hair and the like? 

He replied: 

The answer to that is that it is not possible to prove that this is a hair of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) at all. What is said about it being in Egypt in a place where relics were collected is not sound, and it does not exist. 

It is not known that the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) paid attention to this matter, apart from what is reported from Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her), that she had some of the hairs of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in a vessel of silver, and if anyone fell sick he would come to her and she would pour water on it and collect the water, then he would drink it. 

Based on that, it is not possible to prove that this is actually the hair of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The most important “relics” are the texts and reports Islam (as opposed to physical relics). As for the physical relics, they are mere relics to which the heart may incline and love them, but what really matters is the teachings of Islam that he left behind.[49]

If a person truly wishes to seek barakah in his religious and worldly affairs, then he should follow the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) both outwardly and inwardly, adhere to his guidance, and refrain from that which he prohibited of words, deeds and beliefs. In that is all goodness and blessing (barakah). 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

When the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to the people of Madinah, he brought great blessing to them, as they believed in him and obeyed him, and by virtue of that blessing they attained happiness in this world and the Hereafter; in fact every believer who believes in the Messenger and obeys him will attain something of the blessings (barakah) of the Messenger by virtue of his faith and obedience, and will attain thereby goodness in this world and the Hereafter, to an extent that only Allah knows.[50] 

Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Although the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) approved of the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) seeking barakah from his relics and touching them during the campaign of al-Hudaybiyah and on other occasions, that was for an important purpose, especially on that occasion; that purpose was to scare the kuffaar of Quraysh and to highlight the extent of the Muslims’ devotion to their Prophet and their love for him, and their willingness to strive hard in serving him and showing him respect. But what we cannot overlook or conceal is the fact that after that campaign, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) discouraged the Muslims, in a wise and gentle manner, from seeking barakah in this way, and he instructed them to do righteous deeds, which would be better for them before Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, and more beneficial. This is what is indicated by the following hadith: 

It was narrated from ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Abi Qarraad (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did wudoo’ one day, and his Companions began wiping themselves with his wudoo’ water. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to them: “What made you do that?’ They said: Love for Allah and His Messenger. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever wants to love Allah and His Messenger, or wants Allah and His Messenger to love him, let him be truthful when he speaks, and let him fulfil his trust when he is trusted, and let him be kind to his neighbour.” This is a proven hadith with several chains of narration and corroborating evidence in the Mu‘jams of at-Tabaraani and elsewhere.[51]

To sum up: this man’s claim that he has a hair of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is a claim for which there is no proof; rather it is a mere claim and it is not permissible for anyone to accept it or believe what he says about it, especially concerning such a matter. If it were true, it would not be a secret; rather it would be widely known, there would be reason to transmit reports concerning it, its isnaads would be examined and verified, and the matter would be something well-known. 

Fourthly: 

His intention to build a mosque and put this hair in it is a corrupt plan and is to be rejected; by doing this he is only following the ways of the people of the Book and diverting people thereby from the straight path of Allah.

 The problem of those people was exaggeration which mades such things justifiable in their minds and caused them to follow the path of innovation and misguidance. Al-Bukhaari (427) and Muslim (528) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah, the Mother of the Believers that Umm Habeebah and Umm Salamah mentioned a church that they had seen in Abyssinia in which there were images, to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). He said: “Those people, if there was a righteous man among them and he died, they would build a place of worship over his grave and put those images in it. They will be the most evil of mankind before Allah on the Day of Resurrection.” 

If these are the most evil of mankind before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, because of that deed, when they were certain about the body of the Prophet whose grave they made into a place of worship, then how about one whom the Shaytaan deceives about a matter of which he does not know its soundness and he does not know any chain of narration on the basis of which he could take it as proof, but he does something for it that is rejected and was not prescribed by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) for his ummah; rather he forbade them to do such things and warned them against following that path. 

How come the Sahaabah and Taabi‘een did not pay attention to this great virtue?! Why did they not preserve the relics of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and hand them down from one to another so as to preserve them, and put some of them in the mosques? 

Conclusion: 

Seeking barakah from this hair is not permissible and it is a means that may lead to shirk, because it is impossible to prove that it is actually a hair of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). By the same token, it is not permissible to build a mosque for it and keep it in that mosque, even if we assume for argument’s sake that it is actually a hair of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and is proven by an unbroken, sound chain of narration

Does Allaah come down to the first heaven on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan?:

This is mentioned in some ahaadeeth, but there is some scholarly difference of opinion as to the soundness of those ahaadeeth. There is no saheeh hadeeth concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan. 

It was narrated from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah looks down on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan and forgives all his creation except a mushrik or one who harbours hatred against the Muslims.”[1] The “one who harbours hatred against the Muslims” means one who has enmity towards a Muslim brother. 

In al-Zawaa’id it says: Its isnaad is da’eef, because ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Lahee’ah is da’eef (weak) and al-Waleed ibn Muslim is mudallis. 

There is also some idtiraab (weakness) in the hadeeth, as stated by al-Daaraqutni in al-‘Ilal, 6/50, 51. He said: This hadeeth is not proven. 

It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, ‘Aa’ishah, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani and others, but the isnaads are not free of some weakness, and some of them are very weak. 

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said: 

Concerning the virtue of the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are numerous ahaadeeth, concerning which the scholars differed, but most of them classed them as da’eef, and Ibn Hibbaan classed some of them as saheeh. 

Lataa’if al-Ma’aazif, 261. 

Allaah’s descending to the first heaven does not only happen on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, rather it is proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that Allaah descends to the first heaven every night, in the last third of the night. The night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in this general meaning. 

Hence, when ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak was asked about the descent of Allaah on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan, he said to the one who asked him: “O weak one! The night of the fifteenth?! He descends every night!” [2]

Al-‘Aqeeli (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to Allaah’s descending on the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan there are ahaadeeth which are weak, but the reports that He descends every night are proven and saheeh, so the night of the fifteenth of Sha’baan is included in that, in sha Allaah.[3] 

Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan) should not be singled out for worship:

There is no saheeh marfoo’ report that speaks of the virtue of the middle of Sha’baan that may be followed, not even in the chapters on al-Fadaa’il (chapters on virtues in books of hadeeth etc.). Some maqtoo’ reports (reports whose isnaads do not go back further than the Taabi’een) have been narrated from some of the Taabi’een, and there are some ahaadeeth, the best of which are mawdoo’ (fabricated) or da’eef jiddan (very weak). These reports became very well known in some countries which were overwhelmed by ignorance; these reports suggest that people’s lifespans are written on that day or that it is decided on that day who is to die in the coming year. On this basis, it is not prescribed to spend this night in prayer or to fast on this day, or to single it out for certain acts of worship. One should not be deceived by the large numbers of ignorant people who do these things. And Allaah knows best.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen.

 If a person wants to pray qiyaam on this night as he does on other nights – without doing anything extra or singling this night out for anything – then that is OK. The same applies if he fasts the day of the fifteenth of Sha’baan because it happens to be one of the ayyaam al-beed, along with the fourteenth and thirteenth of the month, or because it happens to be a Monday or Thursday. If the fifteenth (of Sha’baan) coincides with a Monday or Thursday, there is nothing wrong with that (fasting on that day), so long as he is not seeking extra reward that has not been proven (in the saheeh texts). And Allaah knows best.

Celebrating the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj:

There is no doubt that the Isra’ and Mi’raaj (the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascent into heaven) are two great signs of Allaah which point to the truthfulness of the His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the greatness of his status before Allaah. They are also signs of the great power of Allaah, and of His exalted position above His creation. Allaah says: 

“Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allaah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him]

Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al‑Masjid Al‑Haraam (at Makkah) to Al‑Masjid Al‑Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”[4]

There are mutawaatir reports from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that he was taken up into the heavens, and their gates were opened for him, until he passed beyond the seventh heaven, where his Lord spoke to him as He willed, and enjoined the five daily prayers upon him. At first Allaah, may He be exalted, enjoined fifty prayers, but our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kept going back and asking Him to reduce it, until He made them five, so they are five obligatory prayers but fifty in reward, because each good deed is rewarded tenfold. To Allaah be praise and thanks for all His blessings. 

With regard to this night on which the Isra’ and Mi’raaj took place, there is nothing in the saheeh ahaadeeth to indicate that it is in Rajab or in any other month. Everything that has been narrated concerning a specific date for these events cannot be proven to have come from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) according to the scholars of hadeeth. Allaah has wise reasons for causing the people to forget it. Even if the date were proven, it would not be permissible for the Muslims to single it out for particular acts of worship, and it is not permissible for them to celebrate it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not celebrate it and they did not single it out in any way. If celebrating it was something that is prescribed in Islam, the Messenger would have told his ummah about that, either in word or in deed. If any such thing had happened, it would have been well known, and his companions would have transmitted the information to us. They narrated from their Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) everything that his ummah needs to know, and they did not neglect any aspect of the religion, rather they were the first ones to do anything good. If celebrating this night had been prescribed in Islam, they would have been the first people to do so. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most sincere of people, and he conveyed the message to the people in full, and he fulfilled the trust. If venerating and celebrating this night were part of the religion of Allaah, then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have done that and would not have concealed it. Since no such thing happened, it is known that celebrating it and venerating it is not part of Islam at all. Allaah has perfected this ummah’s religion for it and has completed His favour upon them, and He condemns those who introduce things into the religion which Allaah has not ordained. Allaah says in His holy Book, in Soorat al-Maa’idah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”[5]

And Allaah says in Soorat al-Shoora: 

“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not ordained?”[6]

In the saheeh ahaadeeth it is proven that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against bid’ah (innovation) and stated clearly that it is misguidance, so as to show the ummah how serious the matter is and put them off it. 

For example, it is narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” In a report narrated by Muslim it says: “Whoever does any action that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.”  

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his khutbah on Friday: “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The worst of matters are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation is a going astray.” Al-Nasaa’i added with a jayyid isnaad: “and every going astray will be in the Fire.”  

In al-Sunan it is narrated that al-‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) delivered an eloquent speech to us which melted our hearts and caused our eyes to flow with tears. We said: O Messenger of Allaah, it is as if it is a farewell address, so advise us. He said: “I advise you to fear Allaah, and to listen and obey, even if a slave is appointed over you. Whoever among you lives will see many differences, so I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided caliphs who will come after me, and cling firmly to it. Beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray. And there are many ahaadeeth with a similar meaning. 

Warnings against bid’ah (innovation) have been narrated from the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and from the righteous salaf after them, because this is no more than adding things to the religion and instituting a religion that Allaah has not ordained, and it is an imitation of the enemies of Allaah, the Jews and the Christians, in their additions to their religions and introducing into them things that Allaah had not ordained. It also implies that there is something lacking in Islam, and that it is not complete, and it is well known that this leads to great mischief and evil, and goes against the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”[7]

It also goes against the ahaadeeth of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which warn against innovation (bid’ah). 

I hope that the evidence we have quoted will be sufficient to convince the seeker of truth that this bid’ah is wrong, i.e., the innovation of celebrating the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj, and that it is not part of the religion of Islam at all. 

Because Allaah has enjoined being sincere towards the Muslims and explaining what Allaah has prescribed for them in their religion, and because it is haraam to conceal knowledge, I thought that I should point out this innovation, which is so widespread in many regions that people think it is part of the religion, to my Muslim brothers. Allaah is the One Whom we ask to set the affairs of all the Muslims straight, and to bless them with knowledge of Islam, and to help us and them to adhere steadfastly to the truth, and to forsake everything that goes against it, for He is able to do that. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon His slave and Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad, and his family and companions.

They usually recite al-Faatihah and the du‘aa’ (supplication) before starting to eat; what is the ruling on that?:

In some Muslim organisations in India, Pakistan they usually recite al-Faatihah and some other du‘aa’s (supplications) before starting to eat.
They say that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to do that, and they quote as evidence a Prophetic hadeeth which says that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked to pray for blessing for some food that was brought to him, so he recited those supplications before eating. They call this supplication Du‘aa’ al-Faatihah.

It is Sunnah for the guest to offer supplication for his host after he has finished eating, because of the report narrated by Muslim (2042) from ‘Abdullah ibn Busr, who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to my father and we offered him some food and a mixture of dates, dried yoghurt and ghee. Then some dates were brought and he started eating them, putting the stones between his fingers and holding his forefinger and middle finger together. Then some drink was brought and he drank it, then he passed it to the one who was on his right. My father said, taking hold of the reins of his riding-animal: Pray to Allah for us. He said: “O Allah, bless them in that which You have provided for them, and forgive them and have mercy on them.” 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

This indicates that it is mustahabb (encouraged) for the guest to pray for increased provision, forgiveness and mercy (for his host). In this supplication (du‘aa’), the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) mentioned the good things of both this world and the Hereafter.

 Abu Dawood (3854) narrated from Anas that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubaadah and he brought some bread and olive oil and he ate, then the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “May fasting people break their fast with you, may the righteous eat your food, and may the angels send blessings upon you.” 

But the supplication that is offered after eating, or before, or in any other situation, should only be supplication that a person offers by himself, and not in the communal form mentioned in the question. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: 

There is a person whose habit is to give food to a group of people every Friday, and when the food is finished, they do not leave their places or their seats; rather they wait for one of them, who is appointed by the one who has given the food, to pray to Allah to cause the reward for that food to reach their deceased family members and relatives. During that supplication, the one who is asking of Allah raises his hands, as do the other people present, and they say Ameen. Is this supplication during which the group raises their hands after eating permissible or not? 

They replied:

Communal supplication in the manner mentioned after eating is something for which there is no basis in Islam. Therefore what they must do is stop doing that, because it is an innovation; they should be content with that which is mentioned in the Sunnah of offering supplication and asking for blessing (barakah) for the one who gave the food, and the like. Each person should offer supplication of his own. It is narrated in the Sunnah that one may say “Allahummah baarik lahum fima razaqtahum waghfir lahum warhamhum (O Allah, bless the provision that You have granted to them, forgive them and have mercy on them), and “Aftara ‘indakum as-saa’imoona wa akala ta‘aamakum al-abraaru wa sallat ‘alaykum al-malaa’ikah (May fasting people break their fast at your table, may the righteous eat your food, and may the angels send blessings upon you).” [8]

Secondly: 

Reciting al-Faatihah and specific du‘aa’s before eating, and claiming that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) recited this supplication before eating, is an innovation for which we know of no basis in Islam. It is not known from his Sunnah that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to raise his hands to offer supplication or recite al-Faatihah before or after eating. Therefore what you must do is give up this innovation and be content with that which is narrated in the saheeh Sunnah, and rely on the books of well-known scholars who are able to distinguish sound (saheeh) hadeeths from those that are weak, and what is Sunnah from what is innovated.

With regard to what is called “khatam shifa”, it is an innovation (bid‘ah). The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The worst of matters are those which are newly invented (in religion). Every newly invented matter is an innovation, every innovation is a going astray, and every going astray is in the Fire.” With regard to these soorahs and adhkaar (dhikrs) that are mentioned in the question, this is something for which there is no evidence (daleel), and it is not permissible to do these things for which there is no evidence in the Book of our Lord or the Sunnah of our Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

What is prescribed in our religion is to offer supplication (du‘aa’) for the sick person and to ask Allah to heal him and purify him. That will have the greatest impact in taking away the disease and bringing about rapid healing. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever visits a sick person whose time (of death) has not yet come, and says to him seven times ‘As’al Allah al-‘Azeem Rabb al-‘Arsh al-‘Azeem an yashfeeyaka (I ask Allah the Almighty, Lord of the Mighty Throne, to heal you)’, Allah will heal him of that sickness.”[9]

Narrated by Ahmad (2137), Abu Dawood (3106) and at-Tirmidhi (2083); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. 

The same applies to giving charity. There is no doubt that spending for the sake of Allah is something that brings good.

 Is it permissible to celebrate the night of the fifteenth of Sha‘baan and to distribute sweets to children to let people know that Ramadan is approaching?

Celebrating the night of the fifteenth of Sha‘baan:

It is not prescribed in Islam to celebrate the night of the fifteenth of Sha‘baan, whether that is by spending the night in prayer, dhikr and reading Qur’aan, or by distributing sweets or giving food to people and so on. 

It is not known in the saheeh Sunnah that this night is to be singled out for acts of worship or customs. 

The night of the fifteenth of Sha‘baan is just like any other night. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said: 

It is not permissible to celebrate the occasion of Laylat al-Qadr or any other night, or to hold celebrations on other occasions such as the night of the fifteenth of Sha‘baan, the night of the Mi‘raaj, or the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid) and so on, because these are innovations that have been introduced into the religion and were not narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or any of his Companions. And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected.” And it is not permissible to help others to hold these celebrations by giving money or gifts or distributing cups of tea, and it is not permissible to give speeches and lectures on these occasions, because that comes under the heading of approving of them and encouraging them. Rather it is obligatory to denounce them and not to attend them. End quote. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 2/257-258 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

We have some customs that we grew up with and that have been passed down to us, on some occasions, such as making cakes and cookies on Eid al-Fitr, and preparing platters of meat and fruit on the night of the twenty-seventh of Rajab and the fifteenth of Sha‘baan, and different kinds of sweets that must be prepared on the day of ‘Ashoora’. What is the Islamic ruling on that? 

He replied: 

As for expressing joy and happiness of the days of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, there is nothing wrong with that if it is within the limits prescribed in Islam, such as preparing food and drink and the like. It is proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The days of at-Tashreeq are days of eating and drinking and remembering Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.” This refers to the three days following Eid al-Adha, when the people offer their sacrifices and eat from the meat and enjoy the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them. Similarly, on Eid al-Fitr there is nothing wrong with expressing joy and happiness so long as it does not overstep the limits set by Islam. 

As for expressing joy on the night of the twenty-seventh of Rajab or the fifteenth of Sha‘baan or the day of ‘Ashoora’, this is something for which there is no basis. Rather it is forbidden and the Muslim should not attend if he is invited to such celebrations. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Beware of newly invented matters, for every newly invented matter is an innovation (bid‘ah), and every innovation is a going astray.” 

The night of the twenty-seventh of Rajab is what some people claim is the night of the Mi‘raaj during which the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was taken up to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. There is no proof of this date from a historical point of view, and everything for which there is no proof is false, and that which is built on falsehood is also false. Even if we assume that this event took place on that night, it is not permissible for us to introduce on that date any of the symbols of festivals or acts of worship, because no such thing is proven from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or from his Companions who were the closest of people to him and the keenest of people to adhere to his Sunnah and follow his path. So how could it be permissible for us to introduce something that did not happen at the time of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or at the time of his Companions?? 

Even with regard to the night of the fifteenth of Sha‘baan, there is no proof that the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) ever venerated it or spent that night in prayer. Rather some of the Taabi‘een spent that night in prayer and dhikr, not in eating and celebrating as if it were a festival.[10]

Ruling on gathering to eat, offer condolences and recite Qur’aan together:

It is not permissible for the family of the deceased to make food and invite people to come and eat. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade that. Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah said: We used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased and making food after the burial as coming under the same heading as wailing.. Narrated by Ahmad, 6866; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Talkhees Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz

It is not permissible to go to these meals and gatherings; rather what must be done is to tell people not to do that and to explain to them that it is contrary to Islam. 

With regard to reciting Qur’aan together, if the group starts to recite Qur’aan together in unison, this is another innovation; this was not narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or from any of his Companions.

Celebrating Shab-e-Barat:

Some Muslims celebrate the middle of Sha‘baan, fasting on that day and spending that night in prayer (qiyaam). There is a hadeeth concerning that which is not saheeh, hence the scholars regarded celebrating this day as an innovation (bid ‘ah). 

Muhammad ‘Abd al-Salaam al-Shuqayri said: Imam al-Fatni said in Tadhkirat al-Mawdoo‘aat: Among the innovations that have been introduced on “Laylat an-Nusf”  (mid-Sha‘baan) is al-Salaat al-Alfiyyah, which is one hundred rak‘ahs in which Soorat al-Ikhlaas is recited ten times in each rak‘ah, offered in congregation; they pay more attention to this than to Jumu‘ah and Eid prayers, although there is no report concerning it, except da‘eef (weak) and mawdoo‘ (fabricated) reports, and we should not be deceived by the fact that these reports were quoted by the authors of al-Qoot and al-Ihya’ and others, nor should we be deceived by what was mentioned in Tafseer al-Tha‘labi, that it is Laylat al-Qadr. End quote. 

Al-‘Iraaqi said: The hadeeth about the prayer on Laylat al-Nisf (mid-Sha‘baan) is false. Ibn al-Jawzi narrated it in al-Mawdoo‘aat (which is a compilation of fabricated hadeeths): 

Chapter on the hadeeth, prayer and supplication on Laylat al-Nisf:

The hadeeth, “When the night of ‘nisf Sha‘baan’ (mid-Sha‘baan) comes, spend the night in prayer and fast on that day” was narrated by Ibn Maajah from ‘Ali. Muhashiyyah said: (It was also narrated) in al-Zawaa’id. Its isnaad is da‘eef (weak) because of the weakness of Ibn Abi Basrah, of whom Ahmad and Ibn Ma‘een said: He fabricates hadeeth. End quote. 

Praying six rak‘ahs on Laylat al-Nisf with the intention of warding off calamity, having a long life and being independent of people, and reciting Ya-Seen and offering du‘aa’ in between that — there is no doubt that this is something that has been introduced into the religion and is contrary to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The commentator on al-Ihya’ said: This prayer is well known in the books of later Sufi masters, but I have not seen any saheeh report in the Sunnah to support it and the connected du‘aa’. Rather this is the action of some shaykhs. Our companions said: It is makrooh to gather on any of the nights mentioned in the mosques or elsewhere. Al-Najm al-Ghayti said, describing spending the night of al-Nisf min Sh‘baan (mid-Sha‘baan) praying in congregation: That was denounced by most of the scholars of the Hijaz, including ‘Ata’ and Ibn Abi Mulaykah, the fuqaha’ of Madinah and the companions of Maalik. They said: All of that is an innovation (bid‘ah) and there is no report to suggest that the Prophet spent that night in praying in congregation or that his Companions did that either. Al-Nawawi said: The prayers of Rajab and Sha‘baan are two reprehensible innovations. End quote from al-Sunan wa’l-Mubtada‘aat, p. 144 

Al-Fatni (may Allah have mercy on him) said, after the comments quoted above: The common folk are so infatuated with this prayer that they stored up a lot of fuel for it and many evils resulted from it, and many transgressions are committed which we do no need to describe. (It is so bad that) the close friends of Allah feared His punishment and fled into the wilderness. The first time this prayer occurred was in Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) in 448 AH. Zayd ibn Aslam said: We never saw any of our shaykhs or fuqaha’ saying that Laylat al-Baraa’ah (15 Sha‘baan) had any superiority over other nights. Ibn Dihyah said: The hadeeths about the prayer on Laylat al-Baraa’ah are fabricated and one has an interruption in the isnaad. Anyone who acts upon a report which is known to be false is a servant of the Shaytaan.

End quote from Tadhkirat al-Mawdoo‘aat by al-Fatni, p. 45 

See: al-Mawdoo‘aat by Ibn al-Jawzi, 2/127; al-Manaar al-Muneef fil Saheeh wa’l-Da‘eef by Ibn al-Qayyim, p. 98; al-Fawaa’id al-Majmoo‘ah by al-Shawkaani, p. 51 

Some people use the word al-Sha‘baaniyyah to refer to the last days of Sha‘baan, and say, “These are the days of bidding farewell to food,” and they take advantage of these days to eat a lot before Ramadan begins. Some scholars say that this idea was originally taken from the Christians, who used to do that as their fasting period (Lent) approached. 

To sum up, there is no celebration in Sha‘baan and there is no special act of worship to be performed in the middle of it or during the last days of the month. Doing that is an innovation that has been introduced into the religion. 

Is it prescribed to turn a shoe over and put it the right way up if the sole is facing the sky?:

There is no such basis in sharee‘ah for turning over a shoe that is upside down. Ibn ‘Aqeel al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) regarded going to extremes in that regard as the one of the actions of the ignorant. He (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Woe to the scholar who does not strive his utmost against the ignorant …One of them swears by the Mushaf for the sake of a grain, and he strikes with the sword whomever he meets on the basis of tribal feelings. 

And they threaten the one who they see placing a loaf of bread facedown or leaving an upside-down shoe with its sole pointed towards the sky. [11]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

There are some people who say that if a shoe is placed upside down, the angels will not enter that house or Allah will not look at that house. What you say about this matter? 

He replied: 

We say: That is not correct and I do not know of there being anything wrong with a shoe being upside down. But this is a very serious matter for some people. It may be very serious for some people but there is no basis for it. [12]

There is nothing wrong with changing the position of the shoe because the sole is usually dirty, so it is not good manners to leave it (the sole) uppermost where people can see it. 

The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked: 

Some old people say that it is not permissible to leave a shoe upside down because it is facing towards the Face of Allah. Is this true? 

They replied: 

If a shoe is left upside down, that is off-putting and disliked, because its sole is usually in contact with the ground and the one who wears the shoe steps on the ground with it, and he may step in something dirty.[13]

The bid’ah of salaat al-raghaa’ib:

Salaat al-raghaa’ib is one of the innovations (bid’ahs) that have been introduced in the month of Rajab. It is done on the night of the first Friday in Rajab, between Maghrib and ‘Isha’, and is preceded by fasting on the first Thursday of Rajab. 

Salaat al-raghaa’ib was first introduced in Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) in 480 AH. There is no report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it, or any of his companions, or any of the best generations or imams. This alone is sufficient to prove that it is a reprehensible innovation, and it is not a praiseworthy Sunnah. 

The scholars have warned against it and pointed out that it is innovation and misguidance. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’ (3/548) 

The prayer which is known as salaat al-raghaa’ib, which is twelve rak’ahs that are offered between Maghrib and ‘Isha’ on the night of the first Friday in Rajab, and praying one hundred rak’ahs on the night of Nusf Sha’baan (halfway through Sha’baan) are both reprehensible innovations. No one should be deceived by the fact that they are mentioned in Qoot al-Quloob and Ihya’ ‘Uloom al-Deen, or by the hadeeth which is quoted in these two books, because all of that is false. No one should be deceived by some of those imams who were confused about the ruling on these prayers and wrote essays stating that they are mustahabb, for they are mistaken in that. Imam Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Isma’eel al-Maqdisi wrote a valuable book showing that they are false, and he did well in that, may Allaah have mercy on him. End quote. 

Al-Nawawi also said in Sharh Muslim

May Allaah curse the one who fabricated and introduced that, for it is a reprehensible innovation, one of the innovations which constitute misguidance and ignorance, and it involves obvious evils. A number of imams have written valuable works explaining that those who offer this prayer and the one who invented it are misguided, and they quoted a great deal of evidence to show that it is wrong and false, and that those who do it are misguided. End quote. 

Ibn ‘Aabideen said in his Haashiyah (2/26): 

It says in al-Bahr: Hence we know that it is makrooh to gather for salaat al-raghaa’ib, which is done on the first Friday of Rajab, and that it is an innovation. 

The scholar Noor al-Deen al-Maqdisi wrote a good essay on this topic which he called Rad’ al-Raaghib ‘an Salaat al-Raghaa’ib, in which he covered most of the comments of earlier and later scholars among the four madhhabs. End quote. 

Ibn Hajr al-Haytami (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Is it permissible to offer salaat al-raghaa’ib in congregation or not? 

He replied: 

Salaat al-raghaa’ib is like the prayer that is known as laylat al-nusf min Sha’baan (half way through Sha’baan). These are two reprehensible innovations and the hadeeth which speaks of them is mawdoo’ (fabricated). It is forbidden to offer these prayers either individually or in congregation.”[14]

Ibn al-Haaj al-Maaliki said in al-Madkhal (1/294): 

Among the innovations that have been introduced in this noble month (i.e., Rajab) is that on the night of the first Friday thereof, they pray salaat al-raghaa’ib in the mosques, and they gather in some mosques and do this innovation openly in the mosques with an imam and congregation, as if it is a prescribed prayer… the view of Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) is that it is makrooh to do this prayer, because it was not done by those who came before, and all goodness is to be found in following them (may Allaah be pleased with them). End quote. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

As for innovating a prayer which is done regularly with a certain number of rak’ahs, with a certain recitation and at a certain time in congregation, like these prayers that are being asked about here – such as salaat al-raghaa’ib on the first Friday of Rajab, and halfway through Sha’baan, and the night of the twenty-seventh of Rajab, and so on – these are not prescribed in Islam, according to the consensus of the imams of Islam, as was stated by the reliable scholars. No one established such a thing but those who are ignorant and innovators. Things like this open the door to changing the laws  and rituals of Islam and becoming like those who instituted things which Allaah has not ordained.[15]

Shaykh al-Islam was also asked about it and he said: 

This prayer was not offered by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by any of the Sahaabah or the Taabi’een or the imams of the Muslims. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not enjoin it and neither did any of the salaf or imams. They did not suggest that this night has any virtue for which it should be singled out. The hadeeth which is narrated concerning that from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is false and fabricated, according to scholarly consensus. Hence the scholars said that it is forbidden and not mustahabb.[16]

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (22/262): 

The Hanafis and Shaafa’is stated that praying salaat al-raghaa’ib on the first Friday of Rajab, or on Laylat al-nusf min Sha’baan, in a specific manner or with a specific number of rak’ahs, is a reprehensible innovation. 

Abu’l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi said: Salaat al-raghaa’ib is a fabrication that is falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They stated that these payers are a bid’ah and are forbidden for a number of reasons. There is no report from the Sahaabah, Taabi’een or imams about these two prayers. If they were prescribed in Islam then the salaf would not have been unaware of them. Rather they were introduced in the 400s (fifth century AH). End quote.

Fasting in the month of Rajab:

The month of Rajab is one of the sacred months of which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein”[17]

The sacred months are: Rajab, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram.  

Al-Bukhaari (4662) and Muslim (1679) narrated from Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The year is twelve months, of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan. 

These months are called sacred for two reasons: 

1-     Because fighting therein is forbidden unless initiated by the enemy

2-     Because transgression of the sacred limits therein is worse than at other times. 

Hence Allaah has forbidden us to commit sins during these months, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Wrong not yourselves therein”[18]

Although committing sins is haraam and forbidden during these months and at other times, in these months it is more forbidden. 

Al-Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said (p. 373): 

In the phrase “wrong not yourselves therein”, the pronoun may be understood as referring to twelve months. Allaah states that He has made them a measure of time for His slaves, which they may use for worshipping Him, and thank Allaah for His blessings, and they serve the interests of His slaves, so beware of wronging yourselves therein. 

The pronoun may also be understood as referring to the four sacred months, and this forbids them to wrong themselves in those months in particular, as well as it being forbidden to do wrong at all times, because it is more forbidden at this time, but it is worse at this time than at others. End quote. 

Secondly: 

With regard to fasting the month of Rajab, there is no saheeh hadeeth to indicate that there is any special virtue in fasting all or part of this month. 

What some people do, singling out some days of Rajab for fasting, believing that they are better than others, has no basis in sharee’ah. 

But there is a report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which indicates that it is mustahabb to fast during the sacred months (and Rajab is one of the sacred months). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fast some days of the sacred months and not others.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2428; classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef Abi Dawood. 

Even if this hadeeth were saheeh, it indicates that it is mustahabb to fast during the sacred months. So if a person fasts during Rajab because of this, and he also fasts in the other sacred months, there is nothing wrong with that. But singling out Rajab for fasting is not right. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

As for fasting in Rajab in particular, the ahaadeeth concerning that are all da’eef (weak), and in fact mawdoo’ (fabricated). The scholars do not rely on any of them. They are not among the da’eef ahaadeeth which have been narrated concerning virtues, rather most of them are fabricated and false. In al-Musnad and elsewhere there is a hadeeth which says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined fasting the sacred months, namely Rajab, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, but this has to do with fasting during all of them, not just Rajab.[19]

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

Every hadeeth which mentions fasting in Rajab and praying during some of its nights is false and fabricated.” End quote from al-Manaar al-Muneef, p. 96 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in Tabyeen al-‘Ajab (p. 11) 

There is no saheeh hadeeth that would count as evidence which speaks of the virtue of the month of Rajab, or that speaks of fasting this month or part of it, or of spending any particular night of it in prayer.  

Shaykh Sayyid Saabiq (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Fasting in Rajab is no better than fasting in any other month, except that  it is one of the sacred months. There is no report in the saheeh Sunnah to suggest that there is anything special about fasting in this month. Whatever has been narrated concerning that is not fit to be quoted as evidence.[20]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer. He replied: 

Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer is a bid’ah (innovation), and every bid’ah is a going astray.[21] 

‘Umrah in the month of Rajab:

There is no report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – as far as we know – to suggest that there is any particular virtue in performing ‘Umrah in the month of Rajab, or that it is encouraged. Rather it is proven that there is a particular virtue in performing ‘Umrah in the month of Ramadaan, and in the months of Hajj, which are Shawwaal, Dhu’l-Qa’dah and Dhu’l-Hijjah. 

There is no report to prove that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed ‘Umrah in Rajab, rather that was denied by ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never performed ‘Umrah in Rajab.[22]

Something that has been introduced into the religion is what some people do, namely singling out the month of Rajab for ‘Umrah, because no one should single out a specific time for doing an act of worship unless that has been prescribed in sharee’ah. 

Ibn al-‘Attaar, the student of al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on them both) said: 

What I have heard about the people of Makkah, may Allaah increase it in honour, is that they are accustomed to performing ‘Umrah a great deal in Rajab. This is something for which I know of no basis, rather it is proven in the hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “‘Umrah in Ramadaan is equivalent to Hajj.” End quote.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Fataawa (6/131): 

With regard to singling out some days of Rajab for any kinds of ziyaarah etc, there is no basis for that. Imam Abu Shaamah stated in his book al-Bida’ wa’l-Hawaadith that performing acts of worship at specific times which were not prescribed by Islam is not right, because no time is better than any other, except times when it is prescribed to perform a certain kind of worship, or a time when all kinds of good deeds are better than at other times. Hence the scholars denounced the singling out of the month of Rajab for performing ‘Umrah a great deal.But if a person goes for ‘Umrah during Rajab without believing that there is any special virtue in that, but it just so happens that it is easy for him to travel at that time, there is nothing wrong with that

Salat al-Tasbeeh:

The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) differed as to whether Salat al-Tasbeeh is prescribed in Islam. The reason for this difference of opinion concerning it is the difference of opinion concerning the soundness of the hadeeth which speaks of it. The prominent scholars are of the view that it is da‘eef (weak). 

  1. Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (1/438): 

With regard to Salat al-Tasbeeh, Ahmad said: I do not like it. It was said to him: Why? He said: There is nothing saheeh (authentic) about it, and he waved his hand as if dismissing it. End quote. 

  1. Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (3/547-548): 

Al-Qadi Husayn, and the authors of al-Tahdheeb and al-Tatimmah said: Salat al-Tasbeeh is mustahabb (desirable), because of the hadeeth narrated concerning it. But this view of it as mustahabb is subject to further discussion, because the hadeeth in question is da‘eef (weak), and it involves changing the regular format of the prayer, so it should not be done without a hadeeth (to support it). Al-Tirmidhi said: More than one hadeeth was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) concerning Salat al-Tasbeeh, but not many of them are saheeh. And al-‘Aqeeli said: There is no proven hadeeth about Salat al-Tasbeeh. End quote. 

  1. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo‘ al-Fatawa (11/579):  

The best of the reports narrated about these prayers is the hadeeth about Salat al-Tasbeeh, which was narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Tirmidhi, but nevertheless none of the four imams spoke of it; in fact, Ahmad regarded the hadeeth as da‘eef, and these prayers are not mustahabb. 

  1. Al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo‘Fatawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (14/327):  

What seems more likely to be correct in my opinion is that Salat al-Tasbeeh is not Sunnah (from the prophetic teachings), and that the hadeeth about it is da‘eef. This is for several reasons: 

(i)    The basic principle concerning acts of worship is that they are disallowed unless there is proven evidence that they are prescribed.

  1. The hadeeth is mudtarib (weak); there is a difference of opinion concerning it for several reasons.

(iii)   None of the imams regarded it as mustahabb.

(iv)   If this prayer was prescribed, the ummah would have narrated a report concerning which there was no doubt and it would have been well known among them because of its great benefit. Moreover, it is not like any other act of worship, because there is no act of worship in which so much choice is given that it may be done once every day, or once in a week, or once in a month, or once in a year, or once in a lifetime. Because the weak hadeeth states that it is of great benefit and because it is not like any other act of worship, yet it is not well known and was not transmitted, we know that there is no basis for it, because if an act of worship is different from other acts of worship, and if it were of great benefit, people would pay attention to it and transmit it, and it would be popular and well known. Because that is not the case with regard to this prayer, we know that it is not prescribed. Hence none of the imams regarded it as mustahabb, as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said. Among the nafl (voluntary) acts which are proven to be prescribed in Islam there is a great deal of goodness and barakah (blessing) for the one who wants more, so he should be content with that which is proven, and he has no need of that which is the subject of differences of opinion and doubts. 

The bid’ah of superstition about getting married in Shawwaal:

Ibn Mandhour said: “Shawwaal is one of the well known names of months, the name of the month which follows Ramadaan and is the first of the months of Hajj.” 

It was said that it was called after the drying up of the camels’ milk (tashweel), when it becomes scanty. This is what happens to the camels when the heat becomes intense and there are no longer any dates on the palm trees… The Arabs were superstitious about getting married at that time, and they would say that the bride would keep away from her groom like the female camel when she has been impregnated and lifted (shaalat) her tail. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) declared their superstition to be false. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) married me in Shawwaal and consummated the marriage with me in Shawwaal, and which of his wives was more favoured by him than me?”

(Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/54; this version narrated by him. Also narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 2/1039, Kitaab al-Nikaah, hadeeth no. 1423. Also narrated al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, 2/277, Abwaab al-Nikaah, hadeeth no. 1099; he said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by al-Nasaa’i in his Sunan, 6/70, Kitaab al-NikaahBaab al-Tazweej fi Shawwaal. Also narrated by Ibn Maajah in his Sunan, 1/641, Kitaab al-Nikaah, hadeeth no. 1990. (Lisaan al-‘Arab, 11/277, heading Shawwaal). 

The reason why the Arabs of the Jaahiliyyah were so superstitious about marrying during Shawwaal was that they believed that a woman would keep away from her husband like the she-camel that has lifted (shawwalat) its tail after being impregnated keeps away from the he-camel. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) consummated his marriage with ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) during Shawwaal was a refutation of the notions that some people held, that it was disliked to consummate a marriage between the two Eids, lest that lead to separation of the spouses. But that was a false notion.”[23]

Being superstitious about getting married in Shawwaal is the matter of falsehood, because superstition in general is part of the “evil omen” (tiyarah) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade when he said, “There is no contagion and no evil omen.” (Sharh Saheeh Muslim li’l-Nawawi, 14/219, 218). And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

Said, “Tiyarah (believing in evil omens) is shirk.”

(Narrated by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad, 1/440. Also narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, 4/230, Kitaab al-Tibb, hadeeth no. 3910). Also narrated by al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, 3/84, 85, Abwaab al-Siyar, hadeeth no. 1663; he said, it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by Ibn Maajah in his Sunan, 2/1170, Kitaab al-Tibb, hadeeth no. 3538. Also narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, 1/17, 18, Kitaab al-Eemaan; he said it is a hadeeth whose isnaad is saheeh and its narrators are thiqah, although they [al-Bukhaari and Muslim] did not narrate it; al-Dhahabi agreed with him in his Talkhees). 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): “This indicates that it is mustahabb to get married and to consummate the marriage in Shawwaal. Our companions [fellow-scholars] have stated that this is mustahabb, quoting this hadeeth as evidence for that.” 

By saying this, ‘Aa’ishah was aiming to refute the ignorant belief of the Jaahiliyyah, and what some of the common folk still believe today, that it is makrooh to get married or to consummate the marriage in Shawwaal. This is false and there is no basis for this belief. It is one of the leftovers of the Jaahiliyyah, when they used to be superstitious about that because of the connations of the name of Shawwaal which related to the drying up of the camel’s milk and the lifting of its tail…”

(Sharh Saheeh Muslim li’l-Nawawi, 9/209) 

al-Bida’ al-Hawliyyah by Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Ahmad al-Tuwayjri, p. 348-349

Ruling on raising one’s voice in sending blessings upon the Prophet between the rak’ahs of Taraweeh:

There is no basis for that — as far as we know – in sharee’ah. Rather it is an innovation so it should not be done. Nothing will be good for the last of this ummah except that which was good for the first of it, which is following the Qur’aan and Sunnah and the path of the early generations of the ummah (the salaf) and avoiding that which differs from that.[24]

Al-waneesah:

 It means staying overnight at the grave on the first night after the burial, to give comfort to the deceased, as they claim. This is a kind of reprehensible innovation (bid’ah) which has no basis in the actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or of his companions. If it were something good they would have done it before us. Because no such thing has been narrated to us from them, even though so many people died during their lifetime, it may be understood that there is nothing good in this practice. 

The basic principle concerning acts of worship is to follow only that which is narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and not to introduce new and innovated forms of worship. Allaah can only be worshipped in the manner that He has prescribed in His Book or on the lips of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

There is no reward for doing acts of bid’ah, rather they will be rejected and thrown back at the one who does them, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” [25]

It is also misguidance, as he said: “The worst of matters are those which are newly-innovated. Every innovation is a going astray.” Narrated by Muslim, 867. Al-Nasaa’i (1578) added: “And every going astray will be in the Fire.” 

There is the fear that fitnah (trials, afflictions) will befall the person who practices this innovation, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad’s) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them”[26]

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his commentary: “Let those who go against the command of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which is his way, his path, his Sunnah and his sharee’ah, beware, Words and deeds will be weighed against his words and deeds; whatever is in accordance with them will be accepted, and whatever goes against them will be rejected and thrown back at the one who says or does them, no matter who he is, as it was proven in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours [Islam] will have it rejected.’ And let the one who goes against the sharee’ah of the Messenger whether inwardly or outwardly beware ‘lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, etc) should befall them’ i.e., lest their hearts be afflicted with kufr, hypocrisy or bid’ah, ‘or a painful torment be inflicted on them’ i.e., in this world by means of killing, a hadd punishment, imprisonment and the like.” 

The deceased does not need any of the living to comfort him, because he is preoccupied with his own reckoning and being rewarded or punished for his deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained in the lengthy hadeeth of al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib: 

“When the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with white faces like the sun, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. They bring with them shrouds from Paradise and perfumes from Paradise. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O good soul, come forth to forgiveness from Allaah and His pleasure.’ Then it comes out easily like a drop of water from the mouth of a waterskin. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that shroud with that perfume, and there comes from it a fragrance like the finest musk on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this good soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the best names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is opened, and (the soul) is welcomed and accompanied to the next heaven by those who are closest to Allaah, until they reach the seventh heaven. Then Allaah says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon in the seventh heaven, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is returned to his body and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Allaah.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘My religion is Islam.’ They say, ‘Who is this man who was sent among you?’ He says, ‘He is the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).’ They say, ‘What did you do?’ He says, ‘I read the Book of Allaah and I believed in it.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘My slave has spoken the truth, so prepare for him a bed from Paradise and clothe him from Paradise, and open for him a gate to Paradise.’ Then there comes to him some of its fragrance, and his grave is made wide, as far as he can see. Then there comes to him a man with a handsome face and handsome clothes, and a good fragrance, who says, ‘Receive the glad tidings that will bring you joy this day.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which brings glad tidings.’ He says, ‘I am your righteous deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, hasten the Hour so that I may return to my family and my wealth.’” 

And he said:

“But when the disbelieving slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him from heaven angels with black faces, bringing sackcloth, and they sit around him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits by his head, and he says, ‘O evil soul, come forth to the wrath of Allaah and His anger.’ Then his soul disperses inside his body, then comes out cutting the veins and nerves, like a skewer passing through wet wool. When he seizes it, they do not leave it in his hand for an instant before they take it and put it in that sackcloth, and there comes from it a stench like the foulest stench of a dead body on the face of the earth. Then they ascend and they do not pass by any group of angels but they say, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they say, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so, calling him by the worst names by which he was known in this world, until they reach the lowest heaven. They ask for it to be opened to them and it is not opened.” Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning): 

“for them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle”[27]

He said: “Then Allaah says, ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen in the lowest earth, and return him to the earth, for from it I created them, to it I will return them and from it I will bring them forth once again.’ So his soul is cast down.”  Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and whoever assigns partners to Allaah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place”[28]

He said: “Then his soul is returned to his body, and there come to him two angels who make him sit up and they say to him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ They say, ‘What is your religion?’ He says, ‘Oh, oh, I don’t know.’ Then a voice calls out from heaven, ‘Prepare for him a bed from Hell and clothe him from Hell, and open for him a gate to Hell.’ Then there comes to him some of its heat and hot winds, and his grave is constricted and compresses him until his ribs interlock. Then there comes to him a man with an ugly face and ugly clothes, and a foul stench, who says, ‘Receive the bad news, this is the day that you were promised.’ He says, ‘Who are you? Your face is a face which forebodes evil.’ He says, ‘I am your evil deeds.’ He says, ‘O Lord, do not let the Hour come.’” 

Narrated by Ahmad, 18557; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1676 

Hirz al-Jawshan:

A book commonly red in India and Pakistan.

It is not permissible to keep this book which is called Hirz al-Jawshan, or to act upon it, or to believe what it says in it. That is for the following reasons: 

Firstly: it has no known chain of narration, and it was not narrated by any of the reliable scholars of hadeeth and it was not attributed to any of them. 

Secondly: it contains many lies, such as where it says on page 1: “Whoever reads it and carries it when he goes out of his house at the time of Fajr prayer or the time of ‘Isha’ prayer, it is as if he has done great righteous deeds, and as if he read the Torah and the Gospel and the Psalms and the Holy Qur’aan.” But nothing is equal to the Books of Allaah. Then it says: “and Allaah will give him for every letter that he reads two wives from among the hoor al-‘iyn, and He will build a palace for him in Paradise, and Allaah will give him a reward like that of four of the Prophets (peace be upon them), Ibraaheem, Moosa, ‘Eesa and Muhammad.” This is an obvious lie, for the reward of the Prophets will be attained by no one but them.   

On page 2 it says: “Allaah will give him a reward like that of the male and female believers among the jinn and mankind from the day He created them until the Day of Resurrection, and Allaah will give them the reward of 900,000 martyrs.” Then the lies increase in the following pages. 

Thirdly: on page 5 it says: “This supplication is beneficial for love and acceptance, tying tongues, meeting rulers and emirs and sultans, and to ward off all weapons of iron and lead, and to meet all needs and so on.” 

It appears to be a fabrication of the Shi’ah aimed at diverting people from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. 

And Allaah is the source of strength. May Allaah send blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. 

Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing Fatwas 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta, 24/239.

Kissing the Ka’bah is not prescribed in sharee’ah:

What is prescribed is to kiss the Black Stone. It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kissed the Black Stone, but he did not kiss any other part of the Holy Ka’bah. 

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.  

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta (11/228, 229).

Fasting on the day of the Mi’raaj and the day of Shab-e-baraath:

 Fasting on the day which one believes to be the day of the Mi’raaj is not permissible, and comes under the heading of bid’ah. Even if a person is not sure, but he fasts this day for the sake of being on the safe side, it is as if he is saying, ‘If it is really the day of the Mi’raaj, then I will have fasted it, and if it is not, it will still be a good action that I have done, and if I will not be rewarded for it then I will not be punished.’ This attitude means that a person is committing bid’ah, and he is a sinner who deserves to be punished. But if his fast is not because it is the day of the Mi’raaj, but is rather because it is his habit to fast alternate days, or to fast Mondays and Thursdays, and that happens to coincide with the day known as the day of the Mi’raaj, there is nothing wrong with him fasting it with that intention, i.e., the intention of fasting on Monday or Thursday, or a day on which he usually fasts. 

So, fasting on the day of the Mi’raaj also applies to fasting on the day of Shab-e-baraath. If any Muslim says that fasting on the day of the Mi’raaj or on the day of Shab-e-baraath is not bid’ah because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us these acts of worship, so what is wrong with fasting any day apart from the days on which it is haraam to fast? Our response to that is:

If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us these acts of worship, then where is the evidence (daleel) for singling out the day of the Mi’raaj or any other day for fasting? If there were any evidence that it is prescribed to fast on these two days, no one would be able to say that fasting on these days is bid’ah. But what is apparent is that those who say this mean that fasting is an act of worship in general terms, so that if he fasts he has done an act of worship for which he will be rewarded, so long as it is not on one of the days when fasting is not allowed, such as on Eid. This would be correct if the person who is fasting did not single out a day which he believes is a day of virtue, such as the day of the Mi’raaj or the day of Shab-e-baraath. What makes this the matter of bid’ah is the fact that one is singling out these days. If there was any virtue in fasting these two days, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have fasted them, and he would have urged us to fast them. It is known that the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah were more keen to do good than we are; if they had known that there was any virtue in fasting these two days, they would have fasted them. Since we find no reports to that effect from them, we know that this is an innovated bid’ah, and the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not a part of this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected,” i.e., it will be thrown back on the one who does it. Fasting these two days is an action which we find no report of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoining, so it is to be rejected. 

Ruling on ‘ataaqah or reading Qur’aan for the dead:

Reading Qur’aan is a purely physical act of worship, and it is not permissible to accept payment for reading Qur’aan for the deceased, or to give payment to one who reads, and there is no reward in that case, and the one who takes payment and the one who gives it are both sinning.  

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: It is not correct to hire someone to read Qur’aan and give the reward for that to the deceased, because that has not been narrated from any of the imams. The scholars said: The one who reads for money will have no reward, so what does he have to give to the deceased? End quote. 

The basic principle concerning that is that acts of worship are forbidden; no act of worship should be done unless there is shar’i evidence to show that it is prescribed. Allaah says :

“And obey Allaah and the Messenger”[29]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does anything that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.” According to another report: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” This action – hiring someone to read Qur’aan for the dead – is something that it is not known that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or any of his companions did it, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the worst of matters are those which are innovated. All goodness is in following that which the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought, with the proper intention. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And whosoever submits his face (himself) to Allaah, while he is a Muhsin (good‑doer, i.e. performs good deeds totally for Allaah’s sake without any show-off or to gain praise or fame and does them in accordance with the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger Muhammad), then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold”[30]

[Luqmaan 31:22] 

“Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allaah (i.e. follows Allaah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin then his reward is with his Lord (Allaah), on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”

All evil lies in going against that which was brought by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and directing one’s intention in any deed to someone or something other than Allaah.  

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

There is no basis for this ‘ataaqah in sharee’ah; it is a reprehensible innovation that was not done by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he did not tell us to do it, and none of his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did it either. Whatever is like that, no believer should do it. 

What is prescribed is to say du’aa’ for the deceased, and to give charity on his behalf, as Muslim (1631) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a man dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity (sadaqah jaariyah), beneficial knowledge, or a righteous son who will pray for him.” 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim: This indicates that the reward for du’aa’ will reach the deceased, as will that of charity. As for reading Qur’aan and giving the reward for that to the deceased, offering prayers on his behalf, etc, the view of al-Shaafa’i and the majority of scholars is that this does not reach the deceased. End quote. 

Ruling on wearing the masbahah around one’s neck:

There are a number of haraam things involved in wearing the masbahah around one’s neck: 

  • Imitating the innovators and Sufis; it is not permissible to imitate the people of innovation (bid’ah).
  • It is a kind of showing off, so that it will be said of the person, he is one of the people of dhikr; or it is like showing off, or it opens the door to impugning his honour as it may be said that he is showing off.
  • It may lead to ignorant people imitating him because they think that it is something good, as they may think that there is some reward for wearing the masbahah around one’s neck.
  • It may lead to people believing that this is a form of protection that wards off evil.
  • He may seek blessing from it and believe that it brings good.
  • If there is some adornment on the masbahah, then it is an imitation of women, because they are the ones who wear necklaces around their necks.
  • It may be a means of fame, because people will point at him and his strange appearance. 

Ruling on kissing one’s eyes when hearing the name of the Prophet:

What is prescribed for the Muslim when hearing the name of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is to venerate him and show respect by sending blessings and salaams upon him. 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May his nose be rubbed in the dust, a man in whose presence I am mentioned and he does not send blessings upon me.” Narrated and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, 3545; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 6. 

It was narrated from al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The miser is the one in whose presence I am mentioned and he does not send blessings upon me.” Narrated and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, 3546; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 5. 

With regard to kissing one’s eyes when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is mentioned, perhaps what is meant by that is kissing the thumbs and placing them on the eyes. That is an innovation (bid’ah). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with this matters of ours will have it rejected.” Narrated by Muslim, 1718. And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is a going astray.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4607; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

This bid’ah is something that was invented by some of the Sufi orders (tareeqahs) and some Muslims followed them in that, thinking well of them and unaware that it is a misguided innovation. 

What the Muslim should do is to avoid innovations and beware of them; he should strive to follow the Qur’aan and Sunnah, without adding anything or taking anything away, for Allaah has perfected this religion: 

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”[31]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not die until he had conveyed the message from his Lord in full. He did not leave anything good but he enjoined it upon us, and he did not leave anything bad but he forbade it to us and warned us against it. May the blessings and peace of my Lord be upon him. 

Is there any du’aa’ in the Sunnah for after one has completed the Qur’an?:

There is no specific du’aa’ narrated in the Sunnah for after one has completed the Qur’aan, or even from the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or the well-known imams. One of the most well-known du’aa’s regarding this matter is the du’aa’ which is written at the end of many Mus-hafs and it attributed to Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him), but there is no basis for attributing it to him. See Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 14/226. 

The du’aa’ after completing the Qur’aan is recited either after completing it whilst praying, or when not praying. There is no basis for reciting any du’aa’ after completing it whilst praying. As for reciting a du’aa’ after completing it when not praying, it is narrated that Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) did that. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on making du’aa’ after completing the Qur’aan in night prayers in Ramadaan?  

He replied: 

I do not know of any du’aa’ for completing the Qur’aan in night prayers in Ramadaan, either from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions. The most that has been narrated concerning that is that when Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) had completed a reading of the Qur’aan, he would gather his family and make du’aa’. This had to do with reading it outside of prayer.[32]

Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd wrote a useful essay on this issue, at the end of which he said: 

From the quotations in the two previous sections we may draw the following conclusion: 

1 – Du’aa’ upon completion of the Qur’aan in general: 

The conclusion concerning this is as follows: 

Firstly: 

What we have stated above has to do with du’aa’ upon completion of the Qur’aan in general. 

There is no proof that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did that, rather the reports are either mawdoo’ (fabricated) or are da’eef (weak) with no other reports to strengthen them. It is almost certain that there are no marfoo’ reports concerning this matter that can be relied upon, because the scholars who wrote comprehensively about the sciences of the Qur’aan and the dhikrs to be recited in connection with the Qur’aan, such as al-Nawawi, Ibn Katheer, al-Qurtubi and al-Suyooti, did not narrate anything other than what we have referred to above. If they had known of any reports with stronger isnaads, they would have quoted them.

Secondly: 

There is a saheeh report that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said du’aa’ when he completed the Qur’aan, and he would gather his family and children for that, and that a number of the Taabi’een followed him in that, as mentioned in the report of Mujaahid ibn Jabr (may Allaah have mercy on them all). 

Thirdly: 

There is no suggestion in the texts of Imam Abu Haneefah and Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on them) that this is islamically prescribed. 

What is narrated from Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) is that this is not something that the people did, and that completing the Qur’aan in night prayers in Ramadaan is not Sunnah. 

Fourthly: 

The view that it is mustahabb to make du’aa’ after completing the Qur’aan is what is narrated from Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him), as our Hanbali scholars narrated from him, and as was affirmed by some later scholars of the other three madhhabs. 

2 – Du’aa’ following completion of the Qur’aan in prayer 

This may be summed up as follows:  

Firstly: 

From what is quoted above, there is no one letter from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from one of his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) to indicate that it is Islamically prescribed to recite this du’aa’ in prayer after completing the Qur’aan, before or after bowing, whether that is done by an imam or by one who is praying alone. 

Secondly: 

The closest we can find on this matter is what was quoted by the scholars of our madhhab from the report from Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him), according to the report of Hanbal, al-Fadl and al-Harbi, the isnaad of which we cannot find, about saying the du’aa’ for completing the Qur’aan in Taraweeh prayer before bowing. 

According to another report narrated from him – the source of which is not known – he allowed it in the du’aa’ of Witr. 

See Marwiyaat Du’aa’ Khatm al-Qur’aan

How sound is the hadeeth, “Every time the Qur’aan is completed there is a du’aa’ that is answered”:

This hadeeth is mawdoo’ (fabricated). It was narrated by Abu Na’eem in al-Hilyah and by others. Its isnaad includes Yahyaa ibn Haashim al-Simsaar. 

Imaam al-Nasaa’i said concerning him: “His hadeeth is to be rejected.” 

Yahyaa ibn Ma’een said: “He is a liar.” 

Ibn ‘Adiyy said: “He used to fabricate and plagiarize hadeeth.” 

Du’aa’ upon completing the Qur’aan may be said in either of two situations: 

  1. During prayer, which is bid’ah (a reprehensible innovation). Acts of worship are based on what is prescribed in Islam (shar’) and on following (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). No one has the right to worship Allaah except in the manner that He has prescribed or according to the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Anything other than that is an innovation in the religion. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it will have it rejected.” (Agreed upon, from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah). 

Al-Shaatibi mentioned in al-I’tisaam and Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] mentioned in al-Iqtidaa’ an important guideline for telling bid’ah from other things. This is: if the reason and motive for doing a thing existed at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the time of the Sahaabah, and they did not do it, although there was nothing to stop them from doing it, then it is bid’ah – such as giving the adhaan for Eid prayers and for prayers for rain (salaat al-istisqaa’), and so on. 

Making du’aa’ for completing the Qur’aan during prayer comes under this heading. In Ramadaan, the Sahaabah would stand in prayer for a long time, leaning on sticks because it was so long. In this manner they would complete the Qur’aan more than once, but it was not narrated that any of them made du’aa’ after completing it. 

Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I did not hear that he made du’aa’ upon completing the Qur’aan, or any of the other things that people do. This was quoted from him by Ibn al-Haaj in al-Madkhal

  1. The second case is when du’aa’ is made straight after completing the Qur’aan, not during prayer. This was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik with a saheeh isnaad, and it is narrated from a group of scholars, but I do not know of any proven marfoo’report [i.e., one which goes back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] concerning that. And Allaah knows best. 

Salaat al-Naariyah:

“Allahumma salli salaatan kaamilatan wasallim salaaman taamman ‘ala sayyidina muhammadin alladhi(allathi in some prose) tan’hil bihi il uq’ad· watatafarrij bih il karb· wataq’dhi bih il hawaa’ij· wa tanaal bih ir raghaa’ib· wa hasan al khawaayitam wa yastasq il ghamaam bi wajhih il kareem wa ‘ala ‘aalihi wa sah’bihi fee kulli lamhatin wa nafs”
The above recitation is called salaat un naaria in india and recited 4444 times whenever a calamity falls in a house  by bringing many students and the chief of a madhrasaa.
1.  What is the meaning of the above words and is there any shirk in the wordings?
2. People say if there is no shirk we can continue reciting because it is not harmful because it is a type of dhikr and it reminds them of allah and that we are doing some kind of additional dhikr to  bring us closer to allah and to removesome museebath.
3. What is the ruling on maulid recitation· is there any harm in reciting it periodically by calling some students of madhrasaa or imam of masjid.ew2wfcf cAZ

 [The translation of these words is as follows:

“O Allaah, send perfect blessings and complete peace upon our master Muhammad by virtue of whom [as some of them say] all obstacles are removed, distress is relieved, needs are met, desires are fulfilled and a good end may be achieved and by virtue of whose noble face clouds may be sent, and [send blessings and peace] upon his family and companions with every breath and glance.”] 

Answer: 

  1. The words of this innovated prayer are clear enough, but there is nothing wrong with explaining them further. 

“Obstacles are removed” means, a way out is found from whatever obstacles and difficult matters one is faced with.

The phrase may also mean “by virtue of whom anger is calmed.” 

“Distress is relieved” means anxiety and grief are taken away. 

“Needs are met” means one gets what one is trying to achieve. 

“Desires are fulfilled and a good end may be achieved” means his wishes are fulfilled whether that is in this world or in the Hereafter, one of which is that one meets a good end. 

“By virtue of whose noble face clouds may be sent” means that he is asked to pray to Allaah to send rain. 

  1. What some people have told you – that this prayer does not involve shirk and that it is permissible for you to continue to recite it – is wrong. This so-called prayer includes things which clearly go against Islam, such as the following: 

(i)   It is supposed to be said at times of calamity. This is a contrived reason for an innovated act of worship.

(ii)   It is supposed to be recited a set number of times, 4444 times. This is a contrived amount for an innovated act of worship.

(iii) It is supposed to be recited in a communal fashion. This is a contrived method for an innovated act of worship

(iv)  It contains phrases which go against Islam, which constitute shirk and which are an exaggeration about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It attributes to him actions which cannot be attributed to anyone other than Allaah, such as meeting people’s needs, relieving distress, fulfilling their desires and granting a good end. Allaah commanded His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

“Say: ‘It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path’”[33]

(v)  It ignores what is taught in the sharee’ah, and makes up a contrived prayer and supplication. This implies that one is accusing the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) of failing to explain everything that the people need, and that one is trying to fill gaps in the sharee’ah.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it, will have it rejected”[34]

According to a report narrated by Muslim (1718), he said: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.”

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth represents one of the most important basic principles of Islam. It is like a yardstick for measuring the outward appearance of actions, just as the hadeeth ‘Actions are but by intentions’ is a yardstick for measuring the inward nature of actions. Just as actions which are not done for the sake of Allaah bring no reward to the one who does them, so too actions which are not done in accordance with the command of Allaah and His Messenger are rejected and thrown back at the one who does them. Everyone who innovates something in the religion for which Allaah and His Messenger have not granted permission, that action has nothing to do with the religion.”(Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 1/180) 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth is one of the most important basic principles of Islam and is one of the most comprehensive sayings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It is a clear rejection of bid’ah and innovations. The second report adds a further idea, which is that some people may persist in doing some innovated action (bid’ah) for which there is a precedent, and when the first report – ‘Whoever innovates anything…’ – is quoted as proof, such a person may say, ‘But I did not innovate anything. Then the second report – ‘Whoever does any action…’ – may be quoted, which clearly states that all innovated actions are rejected, whether the one who does them invented them or they were previously invented. This hadeeth is one of those which should be memorized and used in denouncing evil actions, and it should be propagated widely.”[35]

  1. With regard to celebrating the Mawlid (birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)), doing this is bid’ah. If it was good, those who love the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) more than we do would have done it before us, i.e., the Sahaabah, may Allaah be pleased with them. Most of what is recited on this occasion are weak or fabricated reports of the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and it involves exaggeration about our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). There follow the comments of the scholars: 

 Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the one who completes the reading of the Qur’aan each year on the night of the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – is that mustahabb or not? 

He replied: 

“Praise be to Allaah. For the people to come together to eat on the two Eids and the days of Tashreeq is Sunnah. This is one of the symbols of Islam which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) set out for the Muslims. Helping the poor by giving them food during Ramadaan is also one of the ways of Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever gives a fasting person food to break his fast will have a reward like his.’ Giving poor Qur’aan-readers that which will help them to devote their time to the Qur’aan is a righteous deed at any time, and whoever helps them in this manner will have a share in the reward. 

But taking as special occasions days which are not prescribed in Islam – such as one of the nights of Rabee’ al-Awwal which is called Laylat al-Mawlid (the night of the Prophet’s birthday), or some of the nights of Rajab, or the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, or the first Friday of Rajab, or the eighth of Shawwaal, which the ignorant call ‘Eid al-Abraar (the Feast of the Righteous)’ – these are bid’ahs which the salaf did not regard as mustahabb and they did not do these things.”(al-Fataawa al-Kubraa, 4/415) 

(b)    Ibn al-Haaj said: 

“Some of them commit actions at this time which go against this meaning. When the month of Rabee’ al-Awwal begins, they hasten to indulge in idle entertainment, playing the daff (hand-drum) and reed flute, and other things as mentioned above. 

Whoever wants to weep, let him weep for himself and for Islam, and how it and its people and those who follow the Sunnah have become alienated. If they simply wanted to sing songs and entertain themselves, I wish that they would limit themselves to that. But some of them try to follow proper etiquette, so they start the Mawlid with the recitation of Qur’aan. So they look for the one who can recite in the most melodious fashion and provoke enjoyment, and he reads ten aayahs. There are several things wrong with this:

  • The way in which the reciter reads in this manner which is condemned in sharee’ah, with a quavering tone like that of a singer. This has been discussed above.
  • This involves a lack of proper respect towards the Book of Allaah.
  • They read Qur’aan briefly before turning to what they really desire, which is to listen to the entertainment of the tambourine and reed-flute, and the singing and quavering tones of the singers, etc.
  • They show outwardly something different from that which is in their hearts. This is the essence of hypocrisy, whereby a person makes an outward display of something when deep inside he really means something else – this is wrong except in cases specifically exempted by sharee’ah. They start with Qur’aan recitation when the thoughts of some of them are really focused on the singing.
  • Some of them cut the recitation short, because they are thinking too much of the pleasure of that which comes after it, as mentioned above.
  • If the Qur’aan reading goes on for a long time, some of the audience begin to show signs of boredom, and they do not settle down until the entertainment they like begins. This is not what is meant by the description which Allaah gives of the humble believers, because they love to hear the words of the Lord, as He says in praise of them (interpretation of the meaning):

‘And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger (Muhammad), you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say: “Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses”[36]

This is how Allaah describes those who listen to His words. But some of these people do the opposite of that. After listening to the word of their Lord, they get up to dance and celebrate and enjoy themselves in unseemly ways. “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return” [al-Baqarah 2:156 – interpretation of the meaning. This phrase is an expression of grief and sorrow] for the lack of shame for committing sins. They do the deeds of the Shaytaan and seek reward from the Lord of the Worlds, claiming that they are doing acts of worship and goodness. Would that only the lowest of people did that, but now this problem has become widespread and you see those who claim to have some knowledge and good deeds doing that, and even some of those who claim to be shaykhs, i.e., those who have followers. All of them are included in what is said above. 

It is strange that they have been deceived by this trick of the accursed Shaytaan. Do you not see that a wine-drinker, when the wine first starts to take effect, he begins to move his head non-stop. When the effect becomes stronger, he loses his shame and dignity before those who are with him, and what he wants to conceal will be exposed to his companions. Look at this singer, may Allaah have mercy on you and us. When he starts to sing, you will see people who have dignity and respect, who appear decent and are followed by people of knowledge, falling silent when he starts to sing. Then they start to move their heads a little, exactly like wine-drinkers, as described above. Then when they really start to enjoy the entertainment, they lose their shyness and dignity, exactly like the wine-drinkers, so they get up and start to dance and shout and weep in a show of fake humility. They move in and out and raise their arms and heads towards the heavens as if receiving divine inspiration. They start to foam at the mouth and may even rend their garments and play with their beards. 

This is obviously something to be denounced, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade wasting money, and rending one’s garments is obviously included in that. 

Secondly, this obviously goes beyond the limits of common sense, because they act like crazy people most of the time.”(Al-Madkhal, 2/5-7) 

(c)     The Standing Committee said: 

“Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not permitted because it is an invented bid’ah (innovation) which was not done by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by his rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-raashideen), or by the scholars of the best three generations [i.e., the first three generations of Islam].” 

(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/2) 

(d)    Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked: is it permissible for the Muslims to hold celebrations in the mosque to commemorate the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the night of 12 Rabee’ al-Awwal, to celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), without taking that day off as an “Eid”? We are having some disputes concerning this. Some say that it is a bid’ah hasanah (“a good innovation”) and some say that it is not a good innovation. 

He replied: 

“The Muslims should not celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether on the night of 12 Rabee’ al-Awwal or on any other date, just as they should not celebrate the birthday of anyone other than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because celebrating birthdays is an innovation which has been introduced into the religion.  The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not celebrate his birthday during his lifetime, and he is the one who conveyed the religion and laws from Allaah. He did not enjoin that, and it was not done by his rightly guided successors or by any of his Companions or those who followed them in goodness during the best three generations. So it is known to be an innovation, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it, will have it rejected’ (Saheeh – agreed upon). According to a report narrated by Muslim, which al-Bukhaari narrated in a mu’allaq majzoom report: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.” 

Celebrating the Mawlid is not in accordance with the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), rather it is something which the people innovated and introduced into their religion during later centuries, so it is to be rejected. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his khutbah (sermon) on Fridays: ‘The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation is a going-astray.’ This was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh. It was also narrated by al-Nasaa’i with a jayyid isnaad, adding the words, ‘and every going-astray leads to Hell.’ 

Instead of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), we should study his seerah (biography) and the history of his life during the jaahiliyyah and Islam, in schools, mosques and elsewhere. That includes describing the circumstances of his birth and death, with no need to innovate celebrations which are not prescribed by Allaah or His Messenger, and for which there is no evidence in sharee’ah. 

Allaah is the Source of Strength. We ask Allaah to grant guidance and strength to all the Muslims and to help them to follow the Sunnah and avoid bid’ah.” [37]

Warning against the book Dalaa’il al-Khayraat:

It is not permissible to rely on the book Dalaa’il al-Khayraat wa Shawaariq al-Anwaar fi Dhikr al-Salaah ‘ala al-Nabiy al-Mukhtaar, because it is full of things that go against Islamic teachings, and of phrases that represent shirk, and da’eef (weak) and mawdoo’ (fabricated) hadeeths. We will discuss this in more detail in sha Allah. 

The Muslim should beware of attributing words to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) without knowing how sound they are, because telling lies about him is not like telling lies about anyone else. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever tells lies about me, let him take his place in Hell.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 107; Muslim, 3. And he said: “Do not tell lies about me, for whoever tells lies about me, will enter Hell.”[38]

And he said: “Whoever narrated a hadeeth from me knowing that it is false, then he is one of the liars.”[39]

The best way of sending blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is that which he taught to his companions: 

Al-Bukhaari (6357) and Muslim (406) narrated that ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Abi Layla said: Ka’b ibn ‘Ujrah met me and said to me, Shall I not give you a gift? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out to us and we said, “O Messenger of Allaah, we know how to send salaams upon you, but how should we send blessings upon you?” He said, “Say: Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama salayta ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed; Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama baarakta ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed (O Allaah, send prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent prayers upon the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent blessings upon the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory). 

Al-Bukhaari (3369) and Muslim (6360) narrated from Abu Humayd al-Saa’idi (may Allaah be pleased with him) that they said: “O Messenger of Allaah, how should we send blessings upon you?” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Say Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa azwaajihi wa dhurriyyatihi kama salayta ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, wa baarik ‘ala Muhammadin wa azwaajihi wa dhurriyyatihi kama baarakta ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed (O Allaah, send prayers upon Muhammad and his wives and progeny as You sent prayers upon the family of Ibraaheem, and send blessings upon Muhammad and his wives and progeny as You sent blessings upon the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory). 

Al-Suyooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I read in al-Tabaqaat by al-Taaj al-Subki, quoting from his father, the words: “The best words with which a person can send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) are the words that appear in the Tashahhud. 

He said: Whoever says these words has sent blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for certain, and whoever says any other words, there is some doubt as to whether he has sent blessings in the required manner, because they said, ‘How should we send blessings upon you?’ and he said, ‘Say…’ So he stated that sending blessings upon him is done in that manner. 

He said: When I was young, when I sent blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) I used to say, ‘Allaahumma salli wa baarik wa sallam ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad, kama salayta wa baarakta wa salamta ‘ala Ibraaheem was ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed (O Allaah, send prayers and blessings and peace upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent prayers and blessings and peace upon Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem), but then it was said to me in a dream, Are you more eloquent or concise or more knowledgeable about the meanings of words than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? If there had been any more eloquent words, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not have chosen these words. So I sought forgiveness for that and went back to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

And he said: If anyone swears to send the best of prayers upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then these words are the best he can say. 

Quoted from al-Sunan wa’l-Mubtada’aat by Muhammad ‘Abd al-Salaam al-Shuqayri, p. 232 

Ruling on celebrating al-Qarqee’aan:

What is the ruling on celebrating al-Qarqee’aan, which occurs on the ayyaam al-beed of Ramadaan, i.e., the 13th, 14th and 15th, on which sweets and snacks are distributed to children? It is known by different names in the Gulf countries, such as Qaranqa’u.

Celebrating the fifteenth night of Ramadaan or any other day as the festival of al-Qarqee’aan is an innovation (bid’ah) for which there is no basis in Islam, and every innovation is a going astray. So we should not do this and we should warn others against it. It is not permissible to celebrate it anywhere, whether in schools, institutions or anywhere else. What is prescribed on the nights of Ramadaan in addition to offering the obligatory prayers, is to strive in praying qiyaam (i.e., Taraaweeh), to recite Qur’aan and to make du’aa’. 

Al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Ifta, fatwa no. 15532. 

Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Jibreen was asked about this celebration and he replied: 

There is no basis for this festival in sharee’ah or in the customs of the people. Because it involves these actions and also dancing, playing musical instruments, expressing joy and the things mentioned in the question, it is an innovation (bid’ah) which must be denounced and put a stop to, and it is not permissible to approve of it or take this matter lightly. 

Is it permissible to pray on behalf of someone who does not pray?

Prayer is one of the pillars of Islam and it is not valid except when done by the one who is obliged to do it. Not praying is kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam. It is not permissible for you to offer prayers on behalf of someone else who does not pray. This ruling is one upon which there is consensus and there is no difference of opinion among the scholars. 

Ibn Qudaamah said: “The visible acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, purifying oneself (wudoo’) cannot be delegated to others because they have to do with the body of the person who is obliged to do them, so no one else can take his place, except in the case of a vowed fast, which a person may do on behalf of one who has died, but this cannot be done by way of delegation. [40]

Ruling on offering a sacrifice when building of the mosque is completed

There is no basis for any of this; these beliefs are all wrong. Those who believe that or do that should be denounced, because this is a bid’ah or innovation introduced into the religion, and every bid’ah is a going astray, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in the saheeh hadeeth: “Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), it is to be rejected.”

 Narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh.

Majmoo’ Maqaalaat wa Fataawa Li’l-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/335

Does writing al-Zalzalah in a vessel make childbirth any easier?

Writing al-Zalzalah in saffron in a vessel, and other verses which mention that Allaah knows what is in the wombs, such as the aayaahs (interpretation of the meaning):

“No fruit comes out of its sheath, nor does a female conceive nor brings forth (young), except by His Knowledge”[41]

“Allaah knows what every female bears, and by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or exceed. Everything with Him is in (due) proportion”[42]

This was tried, then water was poured into the vessel and stirred until the saffron was dissolved. Then the woman in labour was given it to drink, and some of it was wiped on her stomach. Or these verses were recited into water and she was given it to drink and some of it was wiped on her stomach. Or these verses were recited over the woman whilst she was experiencing labour pains. All of this was beneficial, by the grace of Allaah.

 With regard to the issue of du’aa’… the du’aa’ of a woman who is experiencing labour pains – when she has contractions – deserves to be answered, because it is a time of distress, and Allaah says:

“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah?” [43]

Celebrating completing the Qur’aan (khatm al-Qur’aan):

 Celebrating the completion of memorizing the Qur’aan is not Sunnah, because nothing of that nature was narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from any of his Sahaabah. Doing this on the grounds that it is part of religion is bid’ah. But people do it as a customary expression of joy for the blessing of having memorized Qur’aan, like celebrations for the return of one who has been away, or for finding work, or for moving to a new home. If the celebration for completing the Qur’aan is of this nature, then there is nothing wrong with it. If a passage from the Qur’aan is recited, from the beginning or the end, without having to recite a specific soorah or recite in a particular way such as joining the end to the beginning, then this is fine, because reciting from Qur’aan is the best thing that can be done in a gathering and it is a reminder for those who are present. With regard to making du’aa’ when completing the recitation of the Qur’aan, it was reported with a saheeh isnaad from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that when he completed the Qur’aan, he would gather his family together and make du’aa’ with them. If the reader makes du’aa’ when he completes the Qur’aan, and those who are present say “Ameen” to his du’aa’, this is fine.

 With regard to calling the teacher “shaykhah” , there is nothing wrong with this. Now you know, may Allaah bless you, that there is no reason not to have the celebration you have described. There is no need to read from the end of the Mus-haf and then join it to the beginning. Doing something in this manner requires evidence (daleel), because reading Qur’aan is an act of worship, and acts of worship must be done only in the manner in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did them, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day, and remembers Allaah much” [al-Ahzaab 33:21]

 Written by Shaykh ‘Abd-Al-Rahmaan al-Barraak

 There is a hadeeth about the person who stops for a rest immediately carrying on, which was narrated by al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah have mercy on him) from Ibn ‘Abbaas. According to this hadeeth, a man said, “O Messenger of Allaah, which deed is most beloved to Allaah? He said, “Al-haal al-murtahil.” The man said, ‘What is al-haal al-murtahil?” He said, “The one who starts from the beginning of the Qur’aan until he reaches the end, and when he stops for a rest, he immediately carries on.”

 But this hadeeth is da’eef (weak), as al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah have mercy on him) says after he quotes it: this is a ghareeb (strange) hadeeth which we only know from Ibn ‘Abbaas with this isnaad, and this isnaad is not strong.

 Hence Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-I’laam (p.289, part2), after he mentioned this hadeeth: Some of them understood from this that when a person has finished reading the whole Qur’aan, he should then read al-Faatihah and three verses of Soorat al-Baqarah, because he stopped when he completed it, and he continued when he started again. But none of the Sahaabah or Taabi’een did this, and none of the imaams regarded it as mustahabb (encouraged). What is referred to in the hadeeth is when a person returns from one military campaign and immediately joins another, or every time he completes one good deed, he starts another which he completes as he did the first one. But what some readers do is not what was meant in the hadeeth at all. And Allaah is the source of strength.

Munkar actions during mourning ceremonies:

In india, Pakistan We do the following commonly during mourning ceremonies by the encouragement of Brelvi pees:
We recite Soorat al-Faatihah over the grave of the deceased.

The offering of condolences may last for three days or more, and we eat and drink during the mourning ceremonies.

Twenty-five riyaals are collected from each person and the money is given to the family of the deceased.

We slaughter a sheep or similar animal three days after the death.

We gather pebbles whilst saying “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” out loud, and put them on the grave of the deceased.

The women raise their voices, weeping and wailing, and they strike their cheeks and eulogize the deceased.

The women wear clothes of coarse black cloth as a sign of mourning.

The women do not do any kind of work during their ‘iddah period, such as preparing food or doing any other kind of work that is usually done by women.

These are jaahili customs, or reprehensible innovations, and you have to give them up and explain to others that they are wrong.

With regard to reciting Qur’aan over the grave of the deceased, this is not permissible, and none of the Salaf did this. If it were good to do this, they would have done it before us. It has been reported that Soorat Yaa-Seen should be recited for the person who is dying, before his soul departs, but after he has died and when he is being buried and after the burial, there is nothing that should be recited, and one should not tell him to say “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah” and so on.

Offering condolences is Sunnah, but it need not be during the mourning ceremonies. Condolences may be offered to the family of the deceased in all places. There is nothing wrong with all the relatives of the deceased gathering together in one place so that people may come and offer their condolences, but they should gather for the purpose of food. Food should be prepared only for the immediate family of the deceased; it is makrooh for them to offer food to others.

There is no need to gather this money from everyone, unless the family are poor, in which case they may be given zakaat funds.

It is not permissible to slaughter this sheep, whether it is from the wealth of the deceased or from someone else. But if food is prepared for the family of the deceased, from one or more animals, there is nothing wrong with this.

Collecting these pebbles, and making dhikr whilst doing so, and putting them on the grave – this is a reprehensible innovation (bid’ah) which must be given up and denounced.

Raising one’s voice in wailing and lamenting, striking the cheeks and eulogizing the deceased are all bid’ah and actions of the jaahiliyyah. It was reported in a hadeeth: “He is not one of us who strikes his cheeks, rends his garments and calls with the call of the jaahiliyyah.”[1] (Wearing black as a sign of mourning for the deceased is bid’ah; but the wives of the deceased should avoid wearing fancy or adorned clothes, jewellery, makeup and perfume during their period of mourning.

It is bid’ah for women to avoid their usual work and activities; the newly-widowed woman can still prepare food, clean the house, wash the dishes, do laundry, etc. There is nothing wrong with her doing that

Al-Lu’lu’ al-Makeen min Fataawa al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Jibreen, p. 37

Giving certain days meaning is not permitted:

What is the importance of 13th, 21st, 22nd, and27th of the Islamic month of Rajab?

There is nothing special about these particular days at all. All the days of Rajab are special, with no exception, because Rajab is one of the Sacred Months, like Dhoo’l- Qi’dah, Dhoo’l-Hijjah and Muharram.
The thirteenth day of each month – not just Rajab – is one of the three Ayyaam al-Beed (white days) on which it is encouraged to fast. These days are the 13th, 14th, and 15th of each hijri month.
Many of those who follow bid’ah (innovations) think that there is something special about certain days and do special acts of worship on those days, with no sound Islaamic basis or evidence (daleel). Their deeds are not acceptable, because they have innovated something in the religion of Allaah without the permission of Allaah.

The number 786 means 786 and nothing more:

When Allah or His messenger want to teach us something, they do so in the clearest way, far from puzzles and mystery numbers. All the efforts made by some Muslims to count letters and relate them to numbers are nothing but a waste of time. Sometimes they do so with good intention to show that our deen is great. Indeed our deen is great, and not in need of such erroneous approaches.

Is it Sunnah to wear green clothes?

The basic principle with regard to clothing is that it is permissible and the Muslim may wear whatever colour of clothing he likes, except that which was forbidden by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), which is red and yellow. The best colour that a man may wear is white, because of the hadeeth narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Wear white garments, for they are among the best of your garments, and shroud your dead in them.”[2]

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 24/18: It is proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) preferred white clothing over other colours. With regard to other colours, there is no proof that any of them are preferred. What is prescribed for the Muslim is to wear that which will cover him and not to go to great expense in doing that. This is the teaching of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). One should also avoid wearing clothes of fame and vanity, and anything that resembles the clothing of women or disbelievers, or anything that is contrary to Islamic teachings. End quote. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdullah Aal ash-Shaykh; Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan; Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan; Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd 

Based on that, wearing green clothes is permissible but it is not Sunnah and there is no virtue in wearing them. 

If wearing green clothes is a symbol for some of those who follow innovation, such as Sufi tariqas, then it is better for the Muslim not to resemble them. 

Wearing precious stones:

Undoubtedly this is a kind of myth which has no basis in the sharee’ah of Allaah. 

Allaah says concerning women: 

“a creature who is brought up in adornments (wearing silk and gold ornaments, i.e. women), and who in dispute cannot make herself clear”[3]

The adornments in which the female is brought up include gold, silver and precious stones. 

Allaah has blessed mankind and the jinn with the things that come out of the sea and rivers such as pearls and coral. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“He has let loose the two seas (the salt and fresh water) meeting together.

Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress.

Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinn and men) deny?

Out of them both come out pearl and coral.”[4]

 Diamonds and other kinds of precious stones are among the adornments which women are permitted to wear, but this adornment should not be shown to “strangers” (i.e., non-mahrams).

 Wearing these stones is not an omen of anything, either good or bad. This is one of the false beliefs which the believer should be above believing.

 But the Muslim woman should beware of pride or arrogance that may affect her when she wears these things.

Myths among the common folk about superstitions:

 There is no limit to myths among the people. Some regard seeing certain things as a bad omen – such as seeing an owl or a black cat; some regard hearing certain things as a bad omen – such as hearing the sound of an owl or a crow. They even regard verses in the Book of Allaah as omens, if it is seen in the Mus-haf or heard from one who is reading! – Such as a verse which speaks of warning or punishment. Some of them regard numbers as unlucky, such as 13; or they regard certain times as unlucky times, such as Wednesdays, or the month of Shawwaal for those who want to get married. Some regard certain places as unlucky, such as a place in which a crime occurred, or they regard certain types of people as a bad omen, such as the lame or the blind, or the poor or needy. 

It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adwa (transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allaah) and no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), but I like optimism.” They said, “What is optimism?” He said, “A good word’’, It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Tiyarah (superstitious belief in omens) is shirk.” [5]

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The word tiyarah is derived from the word tatayyur, which refers to superstition about something that is seen or heard; or it was said that it refers to superstition about anything ,whether it is something that is seen or heard, or a time or place. This is more comprehensive as it includes things that are not seen or heard, such as superstition about certain times. 

The basic meaning of tatayyur is pessimism but reference is made to birds (tayr) because most of the superstitions held by the Arabs have to do with birds, so it was connected to them. But the general definition is superstition based on something that is seen, heard or known. 

The Arabs used to regard certain birds, times and persons as unlucky, and this is shirk as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said. 

If a person opens the door to superstition, the world will become a hard place for him and he will imagine that everything is a bad omen. There are even some people who, if they get up in the morning and go out and meet a man who only has one eye, they will regard it as a bad omen and say: Today is a bad day, so such a person will close his shop and not sell or buy anything – Allaah forbid. Some of them regarded Wednesday as unlucky and said that it was a day of bad omens and bad luck, and some of them regarded the month of Shawwaal as unlucky, especially for weddings. The case of ‘Aa’ishah proves that this superstition is wrong, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) married her in Shawwaal and consummated the marriage with her in Shawwaal, so she used to say: “And who among you was more beloved to him than me?” Narrated by Muslim. The answer is: No one. 

What matters is that no one should pay any attention to superstition, because it will spoil his life. What we should do is follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who liked optimism, as was narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. We should be optimistic, not pessimistic, like some people who try something time after time, then they become pessimistic and think that they will never succeed in it, so they give it up. This is wrong, because if you think that something is good, you should not give it up at the first attempt; try again and again until Allaah makes it easy for you. 

Al-Qawl al-Mufeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed (2/39-41); Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen(9/515, 516). 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

Al-Bayhaqi quoted from al-Haleemi in al-Shu’ab what may be summed up as follows: 

During the Jaahiliyyah, tatayyur (seeking bird omens) was when the Arabs would disturb birds when wanting to go out on a necessary journey. … They also used to regard the voice of a crow and the passing of gazelles as bad omens, but they called all them tatayyur because the original omen had to do with birds (tayr).  

He said: There were also superstitions among the non-Arabs. If a person saw a child going to the teacher, he would regard it as a bad omen, and if he saw the child returning he would regard it as a good omen. If they saw a camel carrying a heavy load they would regard it was a bad omen and if they saw it carrying no load they would regard it as a good omen, and so on. 

Islam abolished all of that. 

Fath al-Baari (10/215). 

Superstition is only mentioned in the Qur’aan as something followed by the enemies of the Messengers, which indicates that the one who follows it and believes in it is as ignorant as those people, to the extent that he believes in these notions. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Allaah does not mention superstition except on the part of the enemies of the Messengers, as they said to their Messengers (interpretation of the meaning): 

“‘For us, we see an evil omen from you; if you cease not, we will surely stone you, and a painful torment will touch you from us.’

  1. They (Messengers) said: ‘Your evil omens be with you! (Do you call it ‘evil omen’) because you are admonished? Nay, but you are a people Musrifoon (transgressing all bounds by committing all kinds of great sins, and by disobeying Allaah)’”[6]

And Allaah tells us about the people of Pharaoh (interpretation of the meaning): 

“But whenever good came to them, they said: ‘Ours is this.’ And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Moosa (Moses) and those with him. Be informed! Verily, their evil omens are with Allaah”[7]

Miftaah Daar al-Sa’aadah (3/231, 232) 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said of the people of the Jaahiliyyah: 

Most of them believed in bird omens and relied in that, and they usually came true for them, because the shaytaan was making it appear attractive to them, and some traces of that are still present among many Muslims. 

Fath al-Baari (10/213). 

The scholars also drew attention to some myths that are widespread among the people, which they take as a bad omen that may lead to a break in family ties, corruption or divorce. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: 

When my marriage contract was being done, I cracked my knuckles and I was not aware the interlacing my fingers and cracking my knuckles could lead to problems in the marriage. After I found out, I felt too shy to ask, and I have three children and have been married for seven years. What should I do? Should I do a new marriage contract or what should I do? 

They replied: 

If the situation is as you describe, what you mention about interlacing your fingers and the cracking of your knuckles whilst your marriage contract was being done has no effect on the validity of the marriage, rather your marriage is valid and there is no need to do the contract again. Give up superstitious beliefs in the things you mentioned and in other things because it is contrary to Islam. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (18/114). 

Everything that is mentioned in the question comes under the same heading and these are things that the shaytaan has instilled in the minds of a lot of people and made them regard as bad omens things that have no effect on their lives in reality, because the Muslims swim in water and sprinkle one another with water, and children play in swimming pools, and it is not known to have any negative effect on them.  The same may be said about the myths concerning opening and closing scissors, stepping over a child, cutting one’s nails at night, sweeping the house at night, refusing to do laundry on Mondays, and other limitless myths and illusions that make them fear things which need not be feared and keep them from striving and being optimistic, and keep them from putting their trust fully in their Lord. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

Tatayyur refers to superstitions about something that is seen or heard; if a person follows it  and he changes his mind about travelling or refuses to do something he had previously decided to do, then this is shirk and is contrary to putting one’s trust in Allaah. He opens the door to fear and attachment to something other than Allaah. Superstition based on something that he sees or hears takes him away from the status that is expressed in the verses “You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)” [al-Faatihah 1:5]“So worship Him and put your trust in Him” [Hood 11:123] and “in Him I trust and unto Him I repent” [Hood 11:88]. His heart has become attached to something other than Allaah, in the sense of worship and dependence, so his heart and faith are corrupted, he will be continually disturbed by these superstitious notions and the shaytaan will lead him from that to things that will damage his religious and worldly interests. How many people have been destroyed by that and lost out in this world and in the hereafter. How can this compare to righteous optimism which brings joy to the heart, strengthens hope, quells fear, brings calm and motivates one to seek the help of Allaah and put one’s trust in Him and to be of good cheer. This is the opposite of superstition, for optimism leads a person to obey Allaah and believe in Him alone (Tawheed), whereas superstitious pessimism leads one to disobey Him and associate others with Him (shirk). Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) liked optimism, and he declared superstition to be invalid.[8] 

Secondly: 

In order to deal with this pessimism which the shaytaan instils by whispers and makes attractive to people: 

1 – Put your trust fully and properly in Allaah. 

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Tiyarah (superstitious belief in omens) is shirk, and any one of us may think he sees an evil omen but Allaah will dispel it by means of trust in Him (tawakkul).” [9]

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

It is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade tiyarah and said “There is no tiyarah.” That is because during the Jaahiliyyah they believed in superstitious omens, and he forbade them to do that and told them to put their trust in Allaah, because nothing happens except by His decree and no one has any knowledge of the unseen but Him.[10]  

2 – Go ahead with what you want to do, and do not delay it or change your mind. 

3 – Pray to Allaah to free you from this trap of the shaytaan, and ask Him for that which is good, and seek refuge with Him from evil. 

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets tiyarah (superstition) stop him from doing something has committed an act of shirk.” They said, “What is the kafaarah (expiation) for that?” He said, “To say: Allaahumma la khayra illaa khayruka wa laa tayra illaa tayruka wa laa ilaaha ghayruka (O Allaah, there is no good except Your good, no birds except Yours, and there is no god beside You).” [11]

Al-Manaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

The one who is influenced by superstitious beliefs should ask Allaah for good and seek refuge with Him from evil, and go ahead with his plans, putting his trust in Him.[12] 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The words “There is no good except your good”: this is true, for all good comes from Allaah, whether it is due to a known reason or otherwise. 

The words “no birds except yours” means: all birds belong to You, so they do not cause anything, rather they are subjugated to Your will. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in? None upholds them except the Most Gracious (Allaah). Verily, He is the All‑Seer of everything”[13]

 “Do they not see the birds held (flying) in the midst of the sky? None holds them but Allaah (none gave them the ability to fly but Allaah). Verily, in this are clear Ayaat (proofs and signs) for people who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah)”[14]

The point is that birds are subjugated to Allaah’s will and Allaah is the One Who controls them and directs them so that they fly right and left, and they have nothing to do with events that happen. 

It may be that what is meant by birds here is objects of superstition, because everything that happens to people of things they dislike comes from Allaah just as everything good comes from Allaah, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, their evil omens are with Allaah”[15]

But we have seen above that none of the actions of Allaah can be described as bad, rather actions may seem bad to the one who is affected by them, but the action itself is not bad; rather all  His actions are all good, either good in and of themselves or because of the great good that results from them, which make them good. 

So the words “no birds except Your birds” serve to balance the words “There is no good except Your good.” 

Al-Qawl al-Mufeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed (2/117, 118) and Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (9/578). 

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: 

Superstition may be dealt with by means of these three things: 

  • 1 – Putting one’s trust in Allaah 
  • 2 – Going ahead with one’s plans and not being influenced by it, and not allowing it to affect any of your behaviour and attitude, so it is as if it never existed. 
  • 3 – Saying the du’aa’s mentioned in the ahaadeeth, for if you call upon Allaah with these du’aa’s, Allaah will save you from superstition and will help you and guide you. 

I’aanah al-Mustafeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed (2/14)

 

Ruling on amulets and hanging them up; do amulets ward off the evil eye and hasad (envy):

 

it was narrated from‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 

“The Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) disliked ten things: Yellow colouring, meaning khalooq (a perfume made from saffron), dyeing grey hair, trailing the lower garment, wearing a gold ring, throwing dice, a woman adorning herself before people who are not her mahrams, using spells (ruqyah) except with the Mu’awwidhatan, wearing amulets, coitus interruptus, and having intercourse with a woman who is breastfeeding a child; but he did not declare them to be prohibited.” [16]

“Having intercourse with a woman who is breastfeeding a child” means, if she becomes pregnant this will harm the child who is breastfeeding. 

This hadeeth was classed as da’eef (weak) by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Nasaa’i, 3075) 

  1. It was narrated from Zaynab the wife of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood from ‘Abd-Allaah that he said: 

“I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ‘Spells (ruqyah), amulets and love-charms are shirk.” I said, “Why do you say this? By Allaah, my eye was weeping with a discharge and I kept going to so and so, the Jew, who did a spell for me. When he did the spell, it calmed down.” ‘Abd-Allaah said: “That was just the work of the Shaytaan who was picking it with his hand, and when (the Jew) uttered the spell, he stopped. All you needed to do was to say as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say: ‘Adhhib il-ba’s Rabb al-naas ishfi anta al-Shaafi laa shifaa’a illa shifaa’uka shifaa’an laa yughaadiru saqaman (Remove the harm, O Lord of mankind, and heal, You are the Healer. There is no healing but Your healing, a healing which leaves no disease behind.’” [17]

This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 331 and 2972. 

  1. It was narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever wears an amulet, may Allaah not fulfil his need, and whoever wears a sea-shell, may Allaah not give him peace.” [18]

This hadeeth was classed as da’eef by Shaykh al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Jaami’, 5703. 

  1. It was narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir al-Juhani that a group came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) [to swear their allegiance (bay’ah) to him]. He accepted the bay’ahof nine of them but not of one of them. They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, you accepted the bay’ah of nine but not of this one.” He said, “He is wearing an amulet.” The man put his hand (in his shirt) and took it off, then he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) accepted his bay’ah. He said, ‘Whoever wears an amulet has committed shirk.”[19] 

This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 492.  

Secondly: 

Amulets (tameemah, pl. tamaa’im) are things made from pearls or bones that are worn on the necks of children or adults, or are hung up in houses or cars, in order to ward off evil – especially the evil eye – or to bring some benefits. 

These are the comments of the scholars on the various kinds of amulets and the rulings on each kind. These comments contain important and useful points. 

  1. Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab said: 

“Know that the scholars among the Sahaabah and Taabi’een and those who came after them differed as to whether it is permissible to hang up amulets which only contain words from the Qur’aan or names and attributes of Allaah. 

One group said that this is permissible. This was the view of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas and others. This is the apparent meaning of the report narrated from ‘Aa’ishah and it was the view of Abu Ja’far al-Baaqir and Ahmad, according to one report. They interpreted the hadeeth as referring to amulets which involve shirk; with regard to those which contain words from the Qur’aan or the names and attributes of Allaah, then they are like ruqyah which uses the same words. 

I say, this appears to be the view of Ibn al-Qayyim. 

Another group said that this is not permissible. This was the view of Ibn Mas’ood and Ibn ‘Abbaas, and is the apparent meaning of the view of Hudhayfah, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir and Ibn ‘Akeem (may Allaah be pleased with him). This was also the view of a group of the Taabi’een, including the companions of Ibn Mas’ood and Ahmad, according to one report which was chosen by most of his companions. It was also the view of the later scholars, who quoted this and similar ahaadeeth as evidence. The apparent meaning is that it is general in application and does not differentiate between amulets which contain Qur’aan and amulets which contain other things, unlike ruqyah where there is a differentiation. This is supported by the fact that the Sahaabah who narrated the hadeeth understood it to be general in meaning, as was quoted above from Ibn Mas’ood. 

Abu Dawood narrated that ‘Eesa ibn Hamzah said: “I entered upon ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Akeem and his face was red due to high fever. I said, ‘Why don’t you hang up an amulet?’ He said, ‘We seek refuge with Allaah from that. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever hangs up anything will be entrusted to its care…”’” 

This scholarly difference was concerning hanging up amulets which contain Qur’aan or names and attributes of Allaah, so what do you think about the things which were innovated later on, doing spells (ruqyah) using the names of shayaateen (devils) and others and hanging them up, and even being attached to those shayaateen, seeking refuge in them, slaughtering animals for them, asking them to ward off harm and bring benefits – actions which are pure shirk? This is prevalent among many of the people, except for those whom Allaah keeps safe and sound. Think about what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said and what was the practice of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, and what the scholars after them mentioned on this topic and others. Then look at what happened in the later generations. It will become clear to you what the religion of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is, and how it has now become alienated in all ways. And Allaah is the One whose help we seek.[20] 

  1. Shaykh Haafiz Hukami said: 

If they – i.e., amulets – contain clearly-written Qur’aanic verses or saheeh ahaadeeth, there was some dispute among the salaf – the Sahaabah, the Taabi’een and those who followed them – as to whether they are permissible. 

Some of them – i.e., some of the Salaf – said that this was permissible. This was narrated from ‘Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, and others among the salaf. 

Some of them said that this was not allowed; they regarded it is makrooh and not permitted. They include ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Akeem, ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, and ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood and his companions such as al-Aswad and ‘Alqamah, and those who came after them such as Ibraaheem al-Nakha’i and others – May Allaah have mercy on them. 

Undoubtedly not allowing that is a safer precaution to prevent means that lead to wrong beliefs, especially in our own times. If most of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een regarded it as makrooh in those noble times when the faith in their hearts was greater than a mountain, then regarding it as makrooh in these times of trials and tribulations is more appropriate and is more on the safe side. So how about when this concession has led people to things which are purely haraam and they have made it a means to those things? For example, they make amulets for seeking refuge, on which they write an aayah or soorah or the phrase “Bismillaah ir-Rahmaan ir-Raheem (In the name of Allaah, the most Gracious, the Most Merciful), then underneath it they put some devilish mumbo-jumbo, the meaning of which no one knows except one who has read their books. Or they divert the hearts of the common folk from putting their trust in Allaah and make them dependent on the things that they have written, and most of them frighten the people, before anything even happens to them. One of them will come to the person whom he wants to trick out of his money, knowing that the person is relying on him and trusts him, and he says: “Such and such is going to happen to your family or your wealth or to you,” Or he says, “You have a qareen (constant companion) from among the jinn,” or the like, and he describes things to him and and tells him things about himself that the Shaytaan whispers to him, to make him think that he has true insight and that he cares about him and wants to bring him some benefit. When the heart of the ignorant fool is filled with fear of what has been described to him, he turns away from his Lord and turns to this charlatan with all his heart and soul; he puts his trust in him and relies on him instead of Allaah, and says to him, “What is the way out from the things that you have described? What is the means of warding them off?” It is as if he (the charlatan) has control over benefit and harm, at which point his hopes are raised and he becomes greedier, wondering how much he will be able to take. So he tells him, “If you give me such and such, I will write an amulet for that which will be this long and this wide” – he describes it and speaks to him in a nice manner. Then he hangs up this amulet to protect him from such and such diseases. Do you think, after all that we have mentioned, that this belief is a form of minor shirk? No way; it means that one is taking as one’s god someone other than Allaah, putting one’s trust in someone other than Him, turning to someone other than Him, relying on the deeds of created beings and trying to divert people from their religion. Can the Shaytaan do any of these tricks except with the help of his devilish brethren among mankind? 

“Say: ‘Who can guard and protect you in the night or in the day from the (punishment of the) Most Gracious (Allaah)?’ Nay, but they turn away from the remembrance of their Lord”[21]

Then along with the devilish mumbo-jumbo, he writes on the amulet something from the Qur’aan, and hangs it up when he is not taahir (in a state of purity), when he is in a state of minor or major impurity, and he never shows any respect towards it or keeps it away from other things. By Allaah, none of the enemies of Allaah have treated His Book with as much contempt as these heretics who claim to be Muslims. By Allaah, the Qur’aan was revealed to be recited and followed, for its commandments to be obeyed and its prohibitions heeded, for its information to be believed and its limits to be adhered to, for its parables and stories to serve as lessons, and for it to be believed in.

“… The whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord…”[22]

But these people have ignored all of that and cast it behind their backs; they have merely memorized a few words in order to earn their living from them, like any other means of earning a living that enables them to do haraam things, not things which are permitted. If a king or a governor wrote a letter to his subordinate, telling him to so such and such and not to do such and such, commanding the people in your city to do such and such and forbidding them to do such and such, etc., and he took that letter and did not read it or think about its instructions, and he did not convey that to those to whom he was commanded to convey it, but instead he took it and hung it around his neck or his arm, and did not pay any attention at all to what was in it, the king would punish him severely for that. So how about that which was revealed from the Compeller of the heavens and the earth, Who has the highest description in the heavens and on earth, to Whom is all praise in the beginning and at the end, to Whom all things return, so worship Him and put your trust in Him, He is sufficient for me, there is no god but He, in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne. And if they (amulets) contain anything but the two revelations (i.e., Qur’aan and saheeh Sunnah) then this is shirk without a doubt, and is more akin to the azlaam (arrows used during the jaahiliyyah for seeking luck or help in decision making) in being far-removed from the characteristics of Islam. 

If they (amulets) contain anything other than the two revelations and instead contain mumbo-jumbo from the Jews or worshippers of the temple, stars or angels, or those who use the services of the jinn, etc., or they are made of pearls, strings, iron rings, etc., then this is shirk, i.e., hanging them up or wearing them is shirk, beyond a doubt, because they are not among the permissible means or known forms of treating disease. It is simply a belief that they will ward off such and such a problem or pain because of their so-called special features. This is like the belief of idol-worshippers concerning their idols, and they are like the azlaam (arrows) which the people of the jaahiliyyah used to take everywhere with them and consult whenever they had to make a decision. These were three arrows, on the first of which was written ‘Do’, on the second ‘Do not do’ and on the third ‘Try again.’ If the person picked out the one which said ‘Do’, he would go ahead and do that thing; if it said, ‘Do not do’, he would not do it, and if it said, ‘Try again,’ he would consult them again. Instead of this, Allaah – to whom be praise – has given us something better, which is the prayer of Istikhaarah. 

In conclusion, these amulets which do not contain Qur’aan or Sunnah are just like the azlaam in that they involve corrupt beliefs and go against the sharee’ah and are far-removed from the characteristics of Islam. Those who believe in pure Tawheed keep as far away as possible from such things. The faith in their hearts is too great to permit anything of this sort to enter their hearts. Their status is too high and their certainty of faith is too strong for them to put their trust in anyone other than Allaah or to seek the protection of anyone other than Him. And Allaah is the Source of strength. 

(Ma’aarij al-Qubool, 2/510-512) 

The view that amulets are not allowed even if they contain words from the Qur’aan is the view of our shaykhs: 

  1. The scholars of the Standing Committee said: 

The scholars are agreed that it is haraam to wear amulets if they contain anything other than Qur’aan, but they differed concerning those which do contain Qur’aan. Some of them said that wearing these is permitted, and others said that it is not permitted. The view that it is not permitted is more likely to be correct because of the general meaning of the ahaadeeth, and in order to prevent means of shirk

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa’ood. 

(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 1/212) 

  1. Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

This misguidance is still widespread among the Bedouin, fellahin (peasants) and some of the city-dwellers. Examples include the pearls which some drivers put in their cars, hanging them from the rear-view mirror. Some of them hang an old shoe on the front or back of the car; some hang a horse-shoe on the front of their house or shop. All of that is to ward off the evil eye, or so they claim. And there are other things which are widespread because of ignorance of Tawheed and the things which nullify it such as actions of shirk and idolatry which the Messengers were only sent and the Books were only revealed to put an end to. It is to Allaah that we complain of the ignorance of Muslims nowadays, and their being far away from their religion. 

(Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah, 1/890, 492) 

 

Ruling on hanging verses of the Qur’an on walls:

Hanging plaques and cloths containing aayaat of the Qur’aan in homes, schools, social clubs and places of business, involves a number of reservations and prohibitions according to Islam, such as the following:

(1) In most cases, hanging such things on the wall is done for purposes of decoration and adornment, as the aayaat etc. are written in calligraphy and colourful brocade. This is an inappropriate use of the Qur’aan, as it was revealed to guide people and to be read regularly. The Qur’aan was not revealed to decorate walls, but to guide mankind.

(2) Some people hang up such things for “blessing” – which is a form of bid‘ah. The blessing as described in Islam comes from reading or reciting the Qur’aan, not from hanging it up or placing it on shelves or turning it into artwork and three-dimensional images.

(3) This is contrary to the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs (al-Khulafaa’ al-Raashidoon), may Allaah be pleased with them, who never did such a thing. The best way is to follow them, not to introduce bid‘ah. History tells us that in places such as Andalusia, Turkey, etc., the adornment of houses and mosques with ornate carvings of aayaat only happened at times when the Muslims were weak and humiliated.

(4) Hanging up such pictures or plaques could lead to shirk, because some people think that these things are amulets that will protect the house and its people from evil and disease. This is shirk and is haraam, because the One Who really offers protection is Allaah, may He be glorified, and one of the means of gaining His protection is sincere recitation of the Qur’an and du‘aa’s taught in the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

(5) There is the risk that the Qur’aan may be used, in such cases, as a means of promoting one’s business or increasing one’s earnings. The Qur’aan should be protected from being used for such purposes. It is well-known that the production and sale of these pictures and plaques involves a great deal of extravagance and wasting money.

(6) Many of these plaques are painted with real gold, which makes using them and hanging them up even more haraam.

(7) Many of these plaques involve a kind of carelessness, because the letters are twisted into complex designs that are of no benefit to anyone because they are barely legible. Sometimes words are fashioned into the shape of a bird or a man prostrating, and similarly forbidden pictures of animate beings.

(8) Ayaat and soorahs of the Qur’aan are exposed to misuse and abuse by this practice. For example, when moving house, they are piled up with the rest of the furniture and belongings, and other objects may be placed on top of them. This also happens when they are taken down so that the wall may be painted or cleaned.

(9) Some Muslims whose observance of Islam is lacking put these plaques and pictures up so that they can feel that they are doing something religious, in order to reduce their feelings of guilt – in spite of the fact that this practice does not help them in any way.

All in all, we must close the doors of evil and follow the leaders of guidance of the early centuries of Islam, whose people the Prophet (peace be upon him) testified were the best of the Muslims in faith and practice. If someone were to say, “We are not going to abuse it or make it a decoration or exaggerate about it, we only want to remind people (about their religion) in our gatherings”, our response would be: if we look at real life, will we find that this is what actually happens? Do people really remember Allah? Do they even read these aayaat when they raise their heads?

What really happens is the opposite: people go against the words hanging over their heads, they still tell lies, engage in gossip, make fun of others and do and say evil things. Even if we assume that there are some who do benefit from these plaques etc., the fact is that they are very few, and this does not change the hukm (Islamic ruling) on the matter.

Selling posters and frames of Qur’aanic verses:

Hanging up frames and cloths containing verses from the Qur’an in homes, schools, clubs, stores and businesses involves a number of things that are objectionable and contrary to Islamic teaching, including the following: 

  1. They are usually hung up for the purpose of adornment and decorating walls with engravings of verses and adhkaar that are colourfully adorned, and this is diverting the Qur’an from the purpose for which it was revealed, which was to guide, offer beautiful exhortation, to be recited regularly, and so on. The Qur’an was not revealed to adorn walls; rather it was revealed to guide mankind and the jinn.
  2. Many people hang up these things for the purpose of seeking blessing (barakah) from them, which is an innovation. The manner of seeking blessing or barakah that is prescribed is by reading the Qur’an, not by hanging it up or putting it on shelves and turning it into frames and 3-D objects.
  3. That is contrary to the practice of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs (may Allah be pleased with them) who succeeded him. They did not do that, and all good is in following them, not in introducing innovations. Rather history bears witness in the lands of Andalusia, Turkey and elsewhere, that adornment and making these plaques and decorations, and carving verses into the walls of houses and mosques only occurs during periods of Muslim weakness and decline.
  4. Hanging up these things is a means that leads to shirk, because some people regard these frames and hangings as amulets that protect the house and its occupants from evil and troubles. This is a shirki belief that is haraam. The One Who actually gives protection is Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, and one of the means of seeking His protection is to recite Qur’an and adhkaar with humble focus and certain faith.
  5. Writing these things comes under the heading of using the Qur’an as a means for business and earning more money. The Qur’an should be protected from being subjected to such things. It is well-known that in some cases, buying these frames comes under the heading of extravagance and wasteful spending.
  6. Many of these frames are plated with gold, which makes it more emphatically prohibited to use them or hang them up.
  7. In some cases, these frames clearly reflect tampering or toying with the text, such as writing in very complex and elaborate styles which do not benefit anyone, because they can hardly be read. Some of them are written in the shape of a bird or a man who is prostrating, and other kinds of images of animate beings, which it is prohibited to produce.
  8. It is exposing the verses and soorahs of the Qur’an to mishandling and disrespectful treatment. For example, when moving from one house to another, they are piled up with other kinds of furnishings, and other things may be placed on top of them. Such things may also happen when taking them down to paint the walls or clean the house. This is in addition to the fact that they may be hung up in places where acts of disobedience to Allah may be committed, and no attention is paid to the sanctity and dignified status of the Qur’an.
  9. Some Muslims who fall short in a religious commitment may hang them up to make them feel that they are undertaking some religious matters, so as to reduce the guilt they feel, even though these things do not avail them anything. 

To sum up, we should close the door to evil and follow that which was the practice of the leaders of guidance in the first generations, whose people the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) testified are the best of the Muslims in their beliefs and all their religious rulings. 

Moreover, if someone were to say “we will never show disrespect towards them, and we will never make them a mere adornment, and we will never exaggerate concerning them; we only intend for them to remind the people in their gatherings,” our response to that is that if we look at real life, will we find that this really happens? Do the people who sit there remember Allah or do they read the verses that are hanging there if they happen to lift their heads and look at them? 

Reality tells us that this does not happen; rather what happens is the opposite. In how many rooms where verses are hanging up do the people sitting there do the opposite of what is hanging above their heads, and they tell lies, backbite, mock others, and do and say evil things. Even if we assume that there are some people who may benefit from it, they are very few and that does not affect the ruling on this matter. 

The Muslims should turn to the Book of Allah, read it and act upon what is in it. We ask Allah to make the Holy Qur’an the comfort and light of our hearts and a means to console us in our grief and take away our worries. 

Ruling on using a “Biodisc” and the ruling on wearing “Chi pendants” for benefit or healing:

These inventions are the outcome of many years of research undertaken by Dr Ian Lyons, who is of German origin and Thai nationality.These two products are used to generate natural energy. They are products that are composed of natural minerals that have been subjected to a technical process, then the Biodisc is integrated with the glass and becomes able to generate frequencies that give energy

Many benefits of using the Biodisk or Chi Pendant are mentioned, but we cannot ascertain the soundness or otherwise thereof. 

With regard to the ruling on using these products, reference should be made to specialists in the medical field and health organizations, for they are the ones who can confirm whether or not it has any benefits. If it is proven that these products are beneficial for health and treating diseases, then the ruling on them will be the same as the ruling on any other medicines or herbs that have been proven to be of benefit to the body or in treating disease. 

But we should point out a number of matters having to do with the wearing of the Chi Pendant:

It is not permissible to wear it unless it has been proven that it is beneficial to the body or that it can protect against disease. 

It is not permissible for men to wear it; rather it may be worn by women only, because wearing pendants or necklaces on the chest is something that is only for women, and not for men, especially when it is possible to put the pendant in a pocket and it does not have to be worn on the chest. 

For women who wear it, it is not permissible for the necklace to have a cross on it, because the cross is a symbol of disbelief and disbelievers. Therefore it was the practice of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to erase crosses. According to the hadith narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not leave anything in his house on which there was anything that resembled crosses but he would erase them. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5952). 

One should avoid wearing pendants on which there is written the name of Allah, may He be exalted, or verses of the Quran – this and what is mentioned in the previous point is something that actually exists in the case of the pendants mentioned in the question. 

However, even if it is proven to be beneficial, we should refrain from using these things, because wearing them resembles what is done by ignorant people of wearing such things to bring good luck or to ward off the evil eye, and the like. There are magnetic bracelets and copper bracelets, which are claimed to be beneficial if worn as a remedy for rheumatism (or arthritis), and the scholars have responded to questions about the ruling on wearing them by noting that they should be avoided. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on wearing magnetic bracelets? 

He replied: 

What I think concerning this matter is that such bracelets should not be used, so as to block the means that may lead to shirk, and so as to avoid something that may be a cause of fitnah whereby people would become inclined towards them and form an attachment to them, and so as to encourage the Muslim to turn with all his heart to Allah, may He be glorified, putting his trust in Him and relying on Him, and being content with the means that are prescribed in Islam and are known to be permissible beyond any doubt. That which Allah has permitted to His slaves and made easily available to them is sufficient and there is no need for that which He has prohibited to them or that which is dubious. It is narrated in a sound report from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “Whoever guards against the doubtful matters will protect his religious commitment from shortcomings and will protect his honour from slander, but whoever falls into that which is doubtful will fall into that which is haraam, like a shepherd who grazes his flock around prohibited land; he will soon graze in it.” Agreed upon. And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi; it is saheeh. 

Undoubtedly wearing the bracelet mentioned is similar to what the ignorant did in the time of Jaahiliyyah; so it is either something that is prohibited and constitutes shirk, or it is one of the means that lead to shirk. The least that may be said concerning it is that it is a dubious matter, so it is better and more prudent for the Muslim to refrain from doing that, and to be content with remedies that are clearly permissible and far removed from any doubt. This is what appears to me – and to a number of shaykhs and teachers – to be the correct view. 

I ask Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, to help us and you to do that which pleases Him, and to bless us all with understanding of His religion, and to keep us safe from anything that is contrary to His laws, for He is able to do all things.[23]

Reciting Quran Over The Piece Of String:

It is not permissible to tie this string or any other kind of amulets. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever hangs up an amulet, may Allah not fulfill his need.”

And he said: “Whoever hangs up anything will be abandoned to its care,” and, “Whoever hangs up an amulet has committed shirk.”  

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded us to tear away these things, as stated in the hadeeth (narration) narrated from ‘Imran ibn Husayn, which says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw a man on whose hand was a bracelet of brass. He said, “What is this bracelet?” He said, “It is to prevent weakness.” He said, “Take it off, for it will only make you weaker.” This was narrated by Ibn Majah.

Ruling on wearing engagement and wedding rings:

With regard to men wearing gold, whether it is a ring or anything else, it is not permissible under any circumstances, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade gold for the males of this ummah. He saw a man wearing a ring of gold and he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took if from his hand and said, “Would any one of you take a coal from the fire and hold it in his hand?” (Narrated by Muslim, al-Libaas wa’l-Zeenah, 3897). So it is not permissible for the Muslim male to wear a gold ring. But with regard to rings of silver or any other kind of metal, it is permissible for men to wear them even if they are precious metals. 

With regard to the wedding ring, which is worn on the occasion of marriage, this is not one of the customs of the Muslims. If it is believed that it generates love between the spouses, and that taking it off and not wearing it will have an effect on the marital relationship, then this is regarded as a form of shirk and is a kind of jaahili belief. Based on the above, it is not permissible to wear a wedding ring under any circumstances. 

Firstly, because it is an imitation of those who are no good; it is a custom that has come to the Muslims from the non-Muslims. 

Secondly, if that is accompanied by the belief that it has an effect on the marital relationship, then this is a kind of shirk. Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (there is no power and no strength except with Allaah). 

(From a fatwa issued by Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked about the ruling on wearing engagement rings. He said: The engagement ring is a kind of ring, and there is nothing wrong with rings in principle, unless that is accompanied by some belief, as some people do when the man writes his name on the ring that he gives to his fiancée, and she writes her name on the ring that she gives to him, believing that this will create strong bonds between the couple. In this case, this ring is haraam, because it is an attachment to something for which there is no basis in Islam and which makes no sense. Similarly, with regard to the engagement ring, it is not permissible to the man to put it on his fiancée’s hand, because she is not his wife yet and she is still a stranger (non-mahram) to him, because she is not his wife until after the marriage contract has been done. 

See al-Fataawa al-Jaami’ah li’l-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, vol. 3, p. 914-915 

Commentary on the hadeeth “Bad omens are to be found in a woman, a house and a horse”:

What is proven in the Sunnah is that it is forbidden to believe in bad omens (tatayyur) or warn others about them, and that this is a kind of shirk. For example, al-Bukhaari (5776) and Muslim (2224) narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adwa (transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allaah) and no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), but I like optimism.” They said, “What is optimism?” He said, “A good word.” 

Ahmad (4194), Abu Dawood (3910), al-Tirmidhi (1614) and Ibn Maajah (3538) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Tiyarah (belief in evil omens) is shirk.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

Ahmad (7045) and al-Tabaraani narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets tiyarah stop him from doing something is guilty of shirk.” They said, “What is the kafaarah for that?” He said, “To say: Allaahumma la khayra illaa khayruka wa laa tayra illaa tayruka wa laa ilaaha ghayruka (O Allaah, there is no good except Your good, no birds (omens) except from You, and there is no god beside You).” [Classed as hasan by al-Arna’oot and as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 6264]

Al-Tabaraani narrated in al-Kabeer from ‘Imraan ibn Husayn that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who practices augury [seeking omens in birds] or has that done for him, or who practices divination or has that done for him, or who practices witchcraft or has that done for him.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 5435. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim, no. 2224:  

Tatayyur (belief in bad omens) is pessimism, and is based on something disliked, be it a word or action or something seen… They used to startle birds to make them move; if they went to the right they would regard that as a good omen and go ahead with their journeys or other plans, but if they went to the left they would cancel their journeys and plans, and regard that as a bad omen. So it would often prevent them from doing things that were in their interests. Islam cancelled out all that and forbade it, and said that it had no effect, whether good or bad. This is what is meant by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There is no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens),” and in another hadeeth, “Tiyarah is shirk” – i.e., the belief that it can bring benefit or harm, if they act upon it believing that it has any effect, then this is shirk, because they think that it has an effect on what one does or that it can make things happen. 

This is the basic principle regarding bad omens (tatayyur). But there are ahaadeeth which indicate that a bad omen may be in a woman, a house or a horse.

Al-Bukhaari (5093) and Muslim (2252) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Bad omens are in a woman, a house and a horse.”

Al-Bukhaari (5094) and Muslim, (2252) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: Mention of bad omens was made in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If bad omens are to be found in anything, it is in a house, a woman and a horse.”

Abu Dawood (3924) narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: A man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, we were in a house and our numbers and wealth were great, then we moved to another house where our numbers and wealth decreased.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Leave it, it is bad.” This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

The scholars differed concerning these ahaadeeth and how to reconcile them with the ahaadeeth that forbid tatayyur. Some of them interpreted them as they appear to be, and said that this is an exception from the ruling on tatayyur, i.e., that tatayyur is forbidden unless a person has a house which he does not want to live in, or a wife whom he does not want to keep company with, or a horse or servant, all of which he should get rid of by selling them, or by divorcing the wife.

Others said that a house may be regarded as a bad omen when it is too small, or there are bad neighbours who cause trouble; a woman may be regarded as a bad omen when she does not produce children, or she has a sharp tongue, or she behaves in a suspicious manner; a horse may be regarded as a bad omen when it is not used in jihad, or it was said, when it is difficult to handle or it is too expensive; and a servant may be regarded as a bad omen when he has a bad attitude or is not trustworthy or reliable.

Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim.

The correct view is that all types of belief in bad omens are condemned, and that no kinds of women, houses or animals can cause harm or bring benefit except by Allaah’s leave. Allaah is the Creator of both good and evil. A person may be tested with a wife who has a bad attitude, or a house in which there is a lot of problems, in which case it is prescribed for him to rid himself of these things, fleeing from the decree of Allaah to the decree of Allaah, and so as to avoid falling into pessimism and belief in bad omens which is forbidden.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“Another group said: regarding these three as bad omens only affects those who believe in that. Whoever puts his trust in Allaah and does not believe in omens and superstition, which does not affect him. They said: this is indicated by the hadeeth of Anas, ‘A bad omen only affects the one who believes in it.’ If a person believes in bad omens, Allaah may make that the cause of bad things happening to him, just as He may make trust in Him and making Him alone the focus of one’s fear and hope one of the main causes of warding off evil that people may superstitiously expect.

The reason for that is that tiyarah (superstitious belief in omens) implies shirk or associating others with Allaah, fearing others besides Him and not putting one’s trust in Him. The superstitious person attracts evil to himself, so the superstition affects him more, because he did not protect himself with belief in Allaah alone and trust in Allaah. If a person fears something other than Allaah, it gains control over him and he is tormented by it; if he loves something else as well as Allaah, he will be tormented by it; if he puts his hope in something alongside Allaah he will be let down by it. These matters are well known from real life and there is no need to provide further evidence. Everyone inevitably feels superstitious but the strong believer wards off those superstitious feelings by putting his trust in Allaah. Whoever puts his trust in Allaah, He will suffice him and he will have no need of anyone or anything else. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytaan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).

Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allaah).

His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan), and those who join partners with Him (Allaah, i.e. those who are Mushrikoon, i.e., polytheists)”[24]

Hence Ibn Mas’ood said: “All of us sometimes feel superstitious, but Allaah causes it to disappear when we put our trust in Him.” They said: superstition with regard to houses, women and horses may affect only those who believe in it; as for the one who puts his trust in Allaah and fears Him alone, and does not believe in bad omens, then horses, women and houses cannot be bad omens for him.

Then he said:

Whoever believes that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) attributed a superstitious effect to anything in the sense that it may have an effect in and of itself independently of Allaah is telling a serious lie against Allaah and His Messenger and has gone far astray. His speaking of bad omens existing in these three things does not constitute proof of what he had denied before. All it means is that Allaah may a superstitious effect in objects for those who come near them or live in them, and there may be some blessing in some objects, and anyone who comes nears them is not affected by bad omens or anything bad. This is like when Allaah gives parents a blessed child and they experience goodness because of him, whilst He gives others a mean child and they experience bad things because of him. This applies to what may Allaah may bestow on His slave of houses, wives and horses. Allaah is the Creator of good and evil, good luck and bad luck. So some of these things may be “lucky” and blessed and bring happiness for those who come into contact with them, so they are blessed; and some of them may be “unlucky” and bring “bad luck” to those who come into contact with them, all by the will and decree of Allaah, just as He has created all other causes and effects which may vary. So He has created musk and other fragrant substances, which give delight to all those who come into contact with them, and He has created their opposites which cause disgust to all those who come into contact with them. The difference between the two types is known from experience. The same applies to houses, women and horses. This is one thing, and the shirki belief in bad omens is something else altogether.

Organizing a gathering to remember the deceased:

 Following conditions should be adhered to: 

1 – The purpose should be to encourage people to do well and to express thanks to his family and try to benefit from the bright side of the life of the deceased, and to tell people about him so as to encourage them to follow his example. 

The aim should not be to stir up grief and sorrow, or remember calamities and pain, or make tears fall and hearts break. Such things have no place in Islam; rather they are contrary to what is enjoined of patience in the face of calamity and acceptance of the will of Allaah. 

2 – This gathering should not be made into an “eid” that is repeated every year, because the Muslims have no eid apart from Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha only, and it is not permissible to introduce any eid on any other occasion apart from those that are mentioned in sharee’ah. 

3 – Only the truth should be spoken, without exaggerating or boasting. If the deceased was a righteous, knowledgeable and good man, mention may be made of what he did for his ummah and his religion, and that should only be mentioned for the sake of Allaah and so as to encourage people to do good, not to try to attain some position or to show tribal loyalty to a group or party. But if he was a sinner who followed whims and desires or he was one of those who mix good deeds with bad, it is not permissible to deceive the ummah by means of such people and it is not permissible to tell lies by praising them for things that are not true. What we should do is leave their case to Allaah. 

4 – These meetings should not be accompanied by any reprehensible actions such as customs of mourning or hanging up pictures or using musical instruments. It is also not permissible to connect such meetings to certain nights such as one week or forty days after the person’s death, and other such myths that are widespread among the common folk. 

It says in al-Fataawa al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kubra by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (2/18): 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam said: some kinds of mourning are haraam, such as wailing, because that implies objecting to the divine decree. But if the qualities of a pious scholar or righteous man are mentioned so as to encourage others to follow the same path and think well of him, in that case it is more akin to obedience and exhortation, because of the goodness that may result from it. Hence many of the Sahaabah and scholars did that throughout the ages and were not denounced for it. End quote. 

It says in the commentary by Ibn al-Shaat on al-Furooq by al-Qarraafi (2?180-182):  

In fact mourning and eulogizing fall into four categories: haraam and a major sin, haraam and a minor sin, permissible and mandoob (recommended).   

The guideline on what is haraam and a major sin with regard to eulogizing and commemorating the dead: 

Any statement which suggests that Allaah has been unfair in His will and decree, such as when they exaggerate in listing the virtues and good qualities and deeds of the deceased which have come to an end with his death, which means that his death was a terrible thing and that it would have been better if he had carried on living. 

The guidelines on what is haraam and a minor sin: 

Words that stir up grief and lead to discontent and lack of patience, and may lead to striking one’s cheeks or rending one’s garment. 

The guidelines on what is permissible with regard to mourning and eulogizing: 

Words that do no more than mention the religious commitment of the deceased and that he has moved on to the realm of recompense, and that all people will meet the same fate. 

The guidelines on that which is recommended with regard to mourning and eulogizing: 

Words which enjoin and encourage the family of the deceased to be patient. End quote. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: 

What is the origin of the forty-day commemoration? Is there any evidence that it is prescribed to commemorate the deceased? 

Firstly: its origin lies in Pharaonic customs, which were known to the Pharaohs before Islam, then they spread to other people. It is a reprehensible innovation that has no basis in Islam, and it is refuted by the proven words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.”[25] Secondly: Commemorating and eulogizing the deceased in the manner that is known nowadays, where people gather for that purpose and go to extremes in praising him, is not permissible, because of the report which was narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Majaah, and classed as saheeh by al-Haakim, from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Awfa who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade eulogizing. 

And because mentioning the attributes of the deceased is usually boasting, and renews the anguish and stirs up grief. 

As for simply praising him when he is mentioned or when his funeral passes by, or by telling others of his good deeds and so on, which is akin to the way in which some of the Sahaabah eulogized the slain at Uhud and others, that is permissible, because of the report narrated by Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: A funeral passed by and they spoke well of him, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is guaranteed.” Then another passed by and they spoke ill of him, and he said: “It is guaranteed.” ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “What is guaranteed?” He said: “The one of whom you spoke well, Paradise is guaranteed for him, and the one of whom you spoke ill, Hell is guaranteed for him. You are the witnesses of Allaah on earth.” Agreed upon.[26]

Some contemporary scholars regard it as mustahabb for such meetings to be organized a long time after the death, so that the grief will not be renewed. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked: In some mosques they give speeches in which they recount the good qualities of the deceased and his good legacy, such as a scholar or a daa’iyah. What is the ruling on this action? 

Answer: 

I think that this should not be done, because if it is too close to the death of the scholar or daa’iyah it is regarded as a kind of eulogizing or mourning, and the people are moved to tears by it. But if it is after a long time and after the calamity has been forgotten, and his qualities and legacy are mentioned as a biography, there is nothing wrong with that, because all of the scholars are written about and their qualities and legacy recounted. But as for that which is aimed at stirring up grief and sorrow at the loss of this man, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade wailing.

To sum up: There is nothing wrong with you organizing a memorial meeting to speak of the head of the association, so long as you adhere to the conditions mentioned above. 

 Ruling on using bukhoor (incense) to expel devils:

Devils can only be expelled by reciting a lot of dhikr and reading Qur’aan and seeking refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created. It is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever stops to rest and says, ‘A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah il-taammah min sharri ma khalaq  (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created),’ nothing will harm him until he moves on from that place.”  A man said: O Messenger of Allaah, I was stung by a scorpion last night. He said: “If you had said, A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammah min sharri ma khalaq (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created), it would not have harmed you.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever says in the morning, ‘Bismillaah illaahi laa yadurru ma’a ismihi shay’un fi’l-ard wa la fi’l-sama’ wa huwa al-samee’ ul-‘aleem (In the name of Allaah with Whose name nothing is harmed on earth nor in heaven, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing)’ three times, nothing will harm him until evening comes, and whoever says it when evening comes, nothing will harm him until morning comes.” 

Ruling on wearing black in mourning for the dead:

It is not Sunnah to wear black when anyone dies, hence the scholars regarded it as bid’ah. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: what is the ruling on women attending funerals? And on wearing black clothes? 

He replied: 

It is haraam for women to attend funerals because they have little patience and because it exposes them to fitnah and mixing with men. With regard to wearing black clothes at times of calamity, this is an innovation. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 17/329. 

He was also asked (17/410): what is the ruling on singling out certain kinds of clothes for offering condolences such as women wearing black? 

He replied: 

Singling out a certain type of clothes for offering condolences is an innovation as far as we know, and it may stem from a person’s being displeased with the decree of Allaah. Although some people think there is nothing wrong with it, the salaf did not do this and as it is to some extent an expression of displeasure with the decree of Allaah, undoubtedly it is better not to do it, because if a person does that he may be closer to sin than not. 

He also said (17/414): 

Wearing black in mourning for the dead is a kind of bid’ah and displaying grief, and it is akin to rending one’s garment and slapping one’s cheeks, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) disavowed the one who does that when he said: “He is not one of us who rends his garment and slaps his cheeks and calls out with the call of jaahiliyyah.”.

Offering udhiyah on behalf of the dead:

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The basic principle concerning the udhiyah is that it is prescribed for the living, as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions used to offer the sacrifice on behalf of themselves and their families. With regard to what some of the common folk think, that the sacrifice may be offered on behalf of the dead, there is no basis for that. 

Udhiyah on behalf of the dead may be of three types: 

1 – When it is offered on their behalf as well as on behalf of the living, such as when a man offers a sacrifice on behalf of himself and the members of his family, and intends thereby both those who are alive and those who are dead. This is permissible, and the basis of that is the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) offered the sacrifice on behalf of himself and the members of his family, some of whom had previously died. 

2 – Offering the sacrifice on behalf of the dead in fulfillment of their last wishes (wasaaya). This is obligatory except in the case of one who is unable to do it. The basis for this is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Then whoever changes the bequest after hearing it, the sin shall be on those who make the change. Truly, Allaah is All-Hearer, All-Knower”[27]

3 – Offering the sacrifice on behalf of the dead voluntarily and independently of the living – such as offering a separate sacrifice on behalf of one’s father or mother. This is permissible. The Hanbali fuqaha’ have stated that the reward for that will reach the deceased and benefit him, by analogy with giving charity on behalf of the dead. 

But we do not think that singling out the dead for offering a sacrifice on their behalf is part of the Sunnah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not offer a sacrifice specifically on behalf of any of his deceased loved ones. He did not offer a sacrifice on behalf of his paternal uncle Hamzah even though he was one of his dearest relatives, or on behalf of his children who died during his lifetime, who were three married daughters and three sons who died in infancy, or on behalf of his wife Khadeejah who was one of his most beloved wives. And it is not narrated that any of his companions offered a sacrifice on behalf of any of their deceased loved ones. 

We also think that what some people do, offering a sacrifice on behalf of a deceased loved one in the first year after his or her death, which they call Udhiyat al-Hufrah (the sacrifice of the grave), and they think that no one else can share the reward of it, is wrong – as is offering a voluntary sacrifice on behalf of their deceased loved ones or in accordance with the will, and not offering a sacrifice on behalf of oneself and one’s family, which some people do. If they knew that when a man offers a sacrifice paid for with his own money on behalf of himself and his family, that includes all the members of his family, both living and dead, then they would not do this.

 Risaalat Ahkaam al-Udhiyah wa’l-Dhakaah

Asking Allaah by the virtue of so and so:

It is not permissible to ask Allaah by the virtue of anyone, not even by the virtue of the Prophets or Messengers or awliyaa’ or righteous people. No one can compel Allaah to do anything. It is not permissible to ask Him in any way except by His Names and Attributes, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them”[28]

With regard to saying to the occupant of a grave, “O So and so, help me,” this is obviously shirk, because it is a supplication to someone other than Allaah. Asking by the virtue of someone is a means to shirk, and calling upon a created being is shirk in worship.

Are the Prophets alive or dead? :

Whe Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) went on the miraaj (ascension), all the prophets prayed behind him in al-Masjid al-Aqsa, then prophet Muhammed (pbuh) went though each heaven and met some of the better known prophets again who must have prayed behind him earlier. Therefore, how could the prophets be in al-Masjid al-Aqsa and then in the heavens after.
Or are the prophets alive, but in a different reality to us?

The Prophets (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon them) are dead as far as the people of this world are concerned. Allaah says, addressing the last and best of them (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, you (O Muhammad) will die, and verily, they (too) will die”[29]

But before Allaah they are alive, for if the martyrs are alive with Allaah, then the Prophets are undoubtedly higher in status before Allaah. See Fath al-Baari, 6/444. 

It was narrated in an authentic report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Prophets are alive in their graves and they pray.” (Narrated by al-Bazzaar; classed as authentic by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2790). This prayer is something that they are blessed with just as the people of Paradise are blessed with tasbeeh (glorifying Allaah). 

They (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon them) are in their graves apart from ‘Eesa (Jesus)(peace be upon him), whom Allaah raised up into heaven, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them [the resemblance of ‘Eesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man)], and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]:

But Allaah raised him [‘Eesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allaah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.”[30]

With regard to the Prophets praying behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the night of the Isra’ (Night Journey), they prayed behind him in spirit, but their bodies were in their graves. The same applies to his seeing the Prophets during the Mi’raaj (ascent into heaven), when he saw Adam in the lowest heaven, and ‘Eesa and Yahya in the second heaven, and Yoosuf in the third, and Idrees in the fourth, and Haroon in the fifth, and Moosa in the sixth, and Ibraaheem in the seventh, or vice versa. He saw their souls appear in the shape of their bodies. 

Some people say that he saw the same bodies that are buried in the graves, but this view does not carry any weight. 

But ‘Eesa ascended into heaven body and soul, and the same is said of Idrees. 

But with regard to Ibraaheem, Moosa and others, they are buried on earth. 

The Messiah (May the blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him and all the other Prophets) will inevitably descend to earth, to the white minaret in the east of Damascus; he will kill the Dajjaal (“Antichrist”), break the cross and kill the pigs, as is proven in the saheeh ahaadeeth (authentic reports). Hence he is in the second heaven even though he is superior to Yoosuf, Idrees and Haroon, because he will descend to the earth before the Day of Resurrection, unlike the other Prophets. And Adam is in the lowest heaven because the souls of his descendents who are blessed (i.e., destined for Paradise) will be shown to him. As for the souls of the doomed (i.e., those who are destined for Hell) the gates of heaven will not be opened for them and they will not enter Paradise until the camel passes through the eye of the needle. So if they will be shown to him, he has to be near them. There is no contradiction in the fact that they (may blessings and peace of Allaah be upon them) prayed behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) then he met some of them after he was taken up into the heavens, because the souls are like the angels, they may ascend and descend in an instant; they are not like bodies.

 Adapted from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him), 4/328-329.

How sound is the hadeeth “Whoever visits my grave after I die, it is as if he visited me when I was still alive”?:

Al-Daaraqutni reported in his Sunan (2/278) with an isnaad from Haatib that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever visits me after I die, it is as if he visited me when I was still alive…” This is a hadeeth which many of the scholars of hadeeth judged to be false and not to have been reported with a saheeh isnaad from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Among the scholars who voiced this opinion was al-Haafiz al-Dhahabi in Lisaan al-Meezaan(4/285), in his biography of one of the narrators, Haaroon ibn Abi Qaz’ah. Al-Dhahabi said: “…Haaroon ibn Abi Qaz’ah al-Madani [reported] from a man” – about visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Al-Bukhaari said: “This is not to be accepted or followed.”

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in Lisaan al-Meezaan (6/217): “Al-Azdi said: ‘Haaroon Abu Qaz’ah reports mursal ahaadeeth from a man of Aal Haatib.’ I [Ibn Hajar] say: from this we understand that what he is referring to is al-Azdi. Ya’qoob ibn Shaybah also classed him as da’eef (weak).”

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar also mentioned him in al-Talkhees al-Habeer, in his comment on the ahaadeeth of al-Raafa’i al-Kabeer (2/266). He said, “In his isnaad is the unknown [majhool] man” – meaning a man from Aal Haatib.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said in al-Tawassul wa’l-Waseelah (p. 134) about this hadeeth:

 “It is obviously a lie that goes against Islam. Anyone who visited him during his lifetime and believed in him, was one of his Companions, especially if he was among those who migrated to join him or fought alongside him. It is proven that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Do not slander my Companions, for by the One in Whose hand is my soul, if any one of you were to spend gold equal to the size of Uhud, it would not equal the deeds of one of them, not even half of it.’ [Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim]. Anyone who comes after the Sahaabah cannot be like the Sahaabah by doing obligatory duties such as Hajj, jihaad, the five daily prayers and sending blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so how can he become equal to them by doing something that is not obligatory according to the consensus of the Muslims? We are not even supposed to travel for this purpose, in fact it is forbidden to do so. However, travelling to the [Prophet’s] Mosque, and to al-Masjid al-Aqsaa [in Jerusalem], for the purpose of praying there, is mustahabb (encouraged), and travelling to the Ka’bah for Hajj is waajib (obligatory). If a person who undertakes a journey that is waajib or mustahabb still cannot be like one of the Sahaabah who travelled to visit the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) during his lifetime, how can they achieve this by undertaking a journey that is not allowed?”

He also said (p. 133):

 “All of the ahaadeeth about visiting his grave are da’eef, and are not to be relied upon in matters of religion. For this reason none of the authors of books of Saheeh and Sunan reported them at all; they were only narrated by those who reported da’eef ahaadeeth, such as al-Daaraqutni, al-Bazzaar and others.

Shaykh al-Albaani said in al-Da’eefah (no. 1021) about this hadeeth:

 it is baatil (false). He mentioned what is wrong with the hadeeth, namely the man who is not named, and classed Haaroon Abu Qaz’ah as da’eef. There is a third fault with the hadeeth, which is that it causes confusion and contradiction. Then Shaykh al-Albaani said: “In general, the isnaad of this hadeeth is weak.”

He also said in al-Da’eefah (no. 47): “many people think that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and those who follow him among the Salafis forbid visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) altogether. This is a lie and a fabrication, and it is not the only lie told about Ibn Taymiyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, or about the Salafis. Everyone who reads the books of Ibn Taymiyah will see that he says it is permissible to visit his grave (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and that doing so is recommended (mustahabb), so long as it is not associated with any objectionable practices or innovations (bid’ah), such as travelling solely for that purpose, because of the hadeeth “No one should set out purposely except to visit three mosques.” The hadeeth does not describe a ban only on travelling to visit other mosques, as many people think; it also includes a ban on setting out to visit any place which people think will bring them closer to Allaah, whether it is a mosque, a grave or any other place. This is indicated by the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah who said: ‘I met Basrah ibn Abi Basrah al-Ghifaari and he asked me, ‘Where are you coming from?’ I said, ‘From al-Toor [Sinai].’ He said, ‘If I had met you before you left, you would not have gone there! I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘Do not travel except to three mosques.’” (Reported by Ahmad and others with a saheeh isnaad).

This clearly indicates that the Sahaabah understood the hadeeth to be general in application [i.e., it did not apply only to mosques]. This is supported by the fact that it is not reported that any of them ever set out with the intention of visiting a grave. They are the predecessors of Ibn Taymiyah in this regard, so whoever condemns Ibn Taymiyah is in effect condemning the salaf (the righteous predecessors), may Allaah be pleased with them. May Allaah have mercy on the one who said:

“All goodness is in following those who went before (the salaf)

And all evil is in following the innovations of those who came later.”

In conclusion, travelling with the intention of visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is bid’ah and is haraam, because of the hadeeth which forbids travelling to worship in any place except the three mosques. As for visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when one happens to be in Madeenah, this is perfectly acceptable, as is travelling with the intention of praying in the Prophet’s Mosque as an act of worship and seeking to draw close to Allaah. Those that are confused about this issue are those who do not understand the difference between what is permitted and what is forbidden. And Allaah knows best.

Where the soul, and what is happens to it, after a person has died and before he is buried?:

Imam Ahmad (17803) narrated that al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Verily, when the believing slave is about to depart this world and enter the Hereafter, there come down to him angels from heaven with white faces, as if their faces are the sun. They bring with them one of the shrouds of Paradise and some of the perfume of Paradise. They sit with him as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death (peace be upon him) comes to him and sits by his head and says, ‘O pure soul, come out to the forgiveness and pleasure of Allah.’ Then his soul comes flowing out like a drop of water flowing from a cup. Then he takes the soul, and no sooner does he seize it but they take it and place it in that shroud and perfume. Then out of it comes the most excellent fragrance of musk to be found on the face of the earth. Then they ascend with it and they do not pass by any group of angels but the angels ask, ‘Who is this pure soul?’ and they reply, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so’ – using the best names by which he was known on earth. Then they bring it to the lowest heaven, and ask for it to be opened, and it is opened for him. Those who are of high rank in each heaven accompany it until they approach the next heaven, and so it goes until it reaches the seventh heaven. Then Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: ‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon (the highest heaven) and take him back to the earth, for I created them from it, and I shall return them to it, then I shall take them out from it again.’ Then his soul is returned to his body and two angels come and make him sit up”

Then the hadith mentions the questioning in the grave, then it mentions how the soul of the disbeliever is taken, then it says:

“Then they ascend with it and they do not pass by any group of angels but the angels ask, ‘Who is this evil soul?’ and they reply, ‘It is So and so the son of So and so’ – using the worst names by which he was known on earth. Then they bring it to the lowest heaven, and ask for it to be opened, and it is not opened for him.” Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited (interpretation of the meaning): “… For them the gates of heaven will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle” [al-A’raaf 7:40]. Then he said, “Then Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: ‘Record the book of My slave in Sijjeen (the lowest Hell) in the lowest earth. Then his soul is cast down.” Then he recited (interpretation of the meaning): “… and whoever assigns partners to Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place.” [al-Hajj 22:31]. He said, “Then his soul is returned to his body and two angels come and make him sit up” Then it mentions the questioning in the grave. 

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘(1676) 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

This hadith indicates that the soul will remain after it departs the body, contrary to the misguided teachings of the mutakallimeen (Muslim philosophers); and that it will ascend and descend, contrary to the misguided teachings of the philosophers; and that it will be returned to the body; and that the deceased will be questioned, then he will be subjected to bliss or punishment. 

End quote from Majmoo‘al-Fataawa (4/292) 

Ibn Maajah (4262) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

“Angels come to the dying person and if the man was righteous, they say: ‘Come out, O good soul that was in a good body, come out praiseworthy and receive the glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven, and it is opened for it, and it is asked, ‘Who is this?’ They say:  ‘[It is] So and so.’ It is said: ‘Welcome to the good soul that was in a good body. Enter praiseworthy and receive the glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ And this is repeated until it is brought to the heaven above which is Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. But if the man was evil, they say: ‘Come out O evil soul that was in an evil body. Come out blameworthy and receive the tidings of boiling water and dirty wound discharges, and other torments of similar kind, all together [cf. Saad 38:58]. And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven and it is not opened for it. And it is said: ‘No welcome to the evil soul that was in an evil body. Go back blameworthy, for the gates of heaven will not be opened to you.’ So it is sent back down from heaven, then it goes to the grave.”

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah

These two hadiths describe what happens to the soul after death and before burial: if the person was a believer, then the angels give him glad tidings, before taking his soul, of the forgiveness and good pleasure of Allah, then they perfume it, then they take it up, in a blessed state, to its Lord, may He be glorified. Then Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says: “‘Record the book of My slave in ‘Illiyoon (the highest heaven) and take him back to the earth.” So the soul is returned to the body in which it was, then the individual is questioned in the grave; Allah makes him steadfast at the time of questioning, and makes his grave spacious for him, as far as his eyes can see. 

But if it is the soul of a disbeliever, then the angels give him the tidings of hell and divine wrath, then they take his soul up, cursed, humiliated and afraid, and the gates of heaven are not opened for it, then it is thrown back down to earth, then it is returned to its body, then the individual is tormented in his grave and it is compressed on him, and there comes to him the heat and smoke of Hell. 

With regard to the period between the departure of the soul and burial and questioning in the grave, for the believer it is the first stage of eternal happiness, as he is given the glad tidings of Paradise and eternal bliss, and his book is recorded in ‘Illiyoon (the highest heaven); then his soul will rejoice and be happy, and will never feel misery again. 

But for the disbeliever, it is the first stage of eternal torment, as Allah is angry with him and does not give permission for the gates of heaven or the gates of mercy to be opened to him, and his book is recorded in Sijjeen (the lowest Hell); then his soul will be wretched and he will never feel happy again. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

All the saheeh, mutwawaatir hadiths indicate that the soul will return to the body; the idea that the questioning will involve the body without the soul was suggested by some scholars, but the majority disagreed with that. Similarly, the idea that the questioning will involve the soul without the body was suggested by Ibn Maysarah and Ibn Hazm, but if that were the case, the grave would have nothing to do with the soul.[31]

 

See also: Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb by Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) (4/310-311) 

Secondly: 

These matters are matters of the unseen which the Muslim must accept, and not question how they are, for no one knows how the life of al-barzakh [the period between death and the Resurrection] is except Allah. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

The death of a person signals the departure of the soul from the body; when he is buried in his grave, is the soul returned to his body, or where does it go? If the soul is returned to the body in the grave, how does that happen? 

He replied: 

It is proven from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that when a person dies, his soul is returned to him in his grave, and he is questioned about his Lord, his religion and his Prophet. Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world and in the Hereafter (cf. Ibraaheem 14:27), so the believer will say: My Lord is Allah, my religion is Islam and my Prophet is Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). As for the disbeliever or the hypocrite, when he is questioned he will say: Oh, oh, I do not know; I heard the people saying something, so I said it too. 

This return of the soul to the body in the grave will not be like when a person’s soul is in his body in this world, because that is the life of al-barzakh and we do not know how it is, because we have not been told about the nature of that life. With regard to all matters of the hereafter of which we have not been told, what we are required to do with regard to such matters is to accept them and not enquire any further, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. ones saying: ‘I have seen,’ while in fact he has not seen, or ‘I have heard,’ while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah)”[32]

Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb by al-‘Uthaymeen (4/2) 

 The soul of the deceased does not come back to his family or his house

 When a person dies, he moves from this world to another realm, and his soul does not come back to his family and they do not feel anything of him. What is mentioned (in the question) about the soul coming back for forty days is a myth that has no foundation. Similarly the dead person does not know anything about the circumstances of his family, because he is absent from them, in a state of bliss or torment. But Allaah may inform some of the dead of some of the circumstances of their families, but this is not necessarily so. There are some reports, which cannot be relied upon, that say that the deceased may know something about his family’s circumstances. With regard to dreams, some of them are true and some are the playing of the Shaytaan. The living may come to know something of the circumstances of the dead via true dreams, but that depends on the sincerity of the one who sees the dream, whether the dream is a true dream and the ability of the one who interprets these dreams. Yet despite that we should not be certain of what the dream says, unless there is some evidence to indicate that. For a living person may see his deceased relative in a dream, advising him to do things or saying some things to him which he may know are true if they match reality. There have been some cases in which dreams matched reality and others where there is no evidence to suggest that the dreams are true. And some dreams are known to be untrue. So dreams are of three types. We must pay attention to that when dealing with news, reports and stories that have to do with the circumstances of the dead.

The life of the righteous in their graves is the life of al-barzakh and no one knows how it really is except Allah:

In Sunan at-Tirmidhi (2899) it is narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: One of the Companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) set up his tent on a grave, and he did not realize that it was a grave. Then to his surprise he heard a man inside it reciting Soorat al-Mulk to the end of the soorah. He went to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, I set up my tent on a grave, and I did not realize that it was a grave, and then to my surprise I heard someone inside it reciting Soorat al-Mulk to the end of the soorah. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “It is the protector, it is the saver, it will save him from the punishment of the grave.” Doesn’t this mean that the righteous close friends of Allah are alive in their graves and can recite verses of the Qur’an and other things that we could hear and perhaps they can hear what we say? I am confused because this is what the Sufis and Bareilawis do to deceive the people and make them believe that the dead can hear and help them.

Firstly: 

It was narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2890), al-Bayhaqi in ash-Shu‘ab (2280); at-Tabaraani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabeer (12801), and Abu Nu‘aym in al-Hilyah (3/81) via Yahya ibn ‘Amr ibn Maalik an-Nukri, from his father, from Abu’l-Jawza’, from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him), that he said: One of the Companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) set up his tent on a grave, and he did not realize that it was a grave. Then to his surprise he heard a man inside it reciting Soorat al-Mulk to the end of the soorah. He went to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, I set up my tent on a grave, and I did not realize that it was a grave, and then to my surprise I heard someone inside it reciting Soorat al-Mulk to the end of the soorah. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “It is the protector, it is the saver, it will save him from the punishment of the grave.” 

Al-Bayhaqi said: This was narrated only by Yahya ibn ‘Amr, and he is not qawiy (strong). End quote. 

This Yahya was described by Ibn Ma‘een, Abu Zar‘ah, Abu Dawood, an-Nasaa’i and ad-Doolabi as da‘eef (weak). Al-‘Uqayli said: His hadeeth is not be followed. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: He is not anything. As-Saaji said: His hadeeth is to be rejected.

Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb, 11/260 

His father, ‘Amr ibn Maalik an-Nukri was mentioned by Ibn Hibbaan in ath-Thiqaat, where he said: His hadeeth, apart from those that were narrated by his son from him, are regarded as odd. 

Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb, 8/96 

This hadeeth is da‘eef and cannot be quoted as evidence. It was classed as da‘eef by al-Bayhaqi, as stated above. It was also classed as da‘eef by al-Albaani in Da‘eef Sunan at-Tirmidhi. Al-Mubaarakfoori (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Its isnaad includes Yahya ibn ‘Amr ibn Maalik, who is da‘eef.

End quote from Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 8/161 

With regard to the words “It is the protector, it is the saver, it will save him from the punishment of the grave”, they are narrated in a sound report as being the words of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him), as was narrated and classed as saheeh by al-Haakim, and adh-Dhahabi agreed with him. 

Secondly: 

The close friends of Allah, the Prophets, the martyrs and the righteous, are alive in their graves in the sense of the life of al-barzakh, which is not like our lives in this world. We cannot give likenesses in an attempt to understand how it is; rather its real nature is known only to Allah. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said: 

The life of the Prophets, martyrs and the rest of the righteous (in their graves) is the life of al-barzakh, the real nature of which no one knows except Allah. It is not like the life they had in this world.

End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, vol. 1 (1/173-174). 

Thirdly: 

There is no proven shar‘i text to indicate that the righteous read Qur’an in their graves, so it is not permissible to say that without knowledge. What some people say about dreams concerning that, or that they passed by So and so in his grave and he was reciting Qur’an, and so on, cannot be taken as proof; it cannot be regarded as proof even if it is true. But perhaps the person who says it is lying or maybe he is imagining something that did not happen, or maybe the Shaytaan showed him that in his dream, so as to confuse him and other people. With regard to the life in al-Barzakh, as we stated above, no one knows its real nature except Allah. 

Fourthly: 

The basic principle is that the dead cannot hear the words of the living, just as the living do not know anything about the situation of the dead except that concerning which texts have been narrated, because the life in al-barzakh is a matter of the unseen, which no one knows except Allah. 

You can pass by the graves of the mushrikeen and not feel that anyone is there or hear any sound from them, when in fact they are being punished in their graves. 

A righteous Muslim man may be buried next to a wrongdoer, and Allah may have mercy on the righteous man and make his grave spacious for him and illuminate it for him, and it may be like one of the gardens of Paradise for him, whereas He punishes the wrongdoer, makes his grave constricted for him and then it may be like one of the ditches of hellfire for him, but their conditions will not be mixed (even though their graves are next to one another) and no one will be aware of either of them. 

As to whether they can hear and know about things in this world, like the living, this is pure falsehood, and there is no evidence for it in any text or from the point of view of rational thinking. Even more false and misguided is the view of one who says that they can hear and respond. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said: 

The dead in general, including the Prophets (peace be upon them) cannot hear those who call them in the sense of responding. They cannot answer the one who calls upon them or comply with whatever he tells them or forbids them to do. This is something that Allah has stated does not happen, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear” [an-Naml 27:80]. With regard to what is mentioned in as-Saheehayn about the deceased when he is placed into his grave, and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “He can hear the sound of their sandals when they turn to leave him”; and what the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to the slain mushrikeen on the day of Badr when they were dragged and thrown into the dried well of Badr, and he said to them: “Have you found what your Lord promised you to be true?” and he said: “They can hear what I am saying now”; and like the deceased’s hearing the two angels when he is placed in his grave and they ask him about his religion and his Prophet etc; and other things that are narrated in the shar‘i texts, that is the hearing of al-barzakh, and Allah knows best what its real nature is. The deceased cannot hear all the time; rather it is only at these particular times, and his hearing is not like his hearing in the life of this world; rather it is particular to the circumstances of al-barzakh, and no one knows how it really is except Allah. This hearing does not result in any benefit for the deceased or any harm for the living, because no one has power over that except Allah, may He be glorified. As for what is narrated about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saying: “No one sends greetings of salaam upon me but Allah will restore to me my soul so that I may return his greeting of salaam,” that is something that is unique to him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and that does not result in the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) benefitting or harming the living person who does that, apart from the reward that Allah, may He be glorified, bestows upon the one who sends blessings and peace upon the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). And one should not ask of him (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) when he is in his grave anything that was asked of him in this world of meeting needs and solving problems, because the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) did not ask any such thing of him, because they knew that it is not permissible.

End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, vol. 2 (2/456-457). 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The deceased cannot hear if he is called upon or invoked in such a way as to respond to the one who calls upon him. This is what is meant by the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear” [an-Naml 27:80].

Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen. 

Fifthly: 

These sects of Sufis and Bareilawis are far away from the path of Prophethood, and are innovating sects that go against the teachings and Sunnah of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the path of the righteous early generations. 

What is the ruling on sending salaams to the Prophet with those who are going to Madeenah?:

This action is not prescribed in Islam, and there is no one who did that during the three best generations, or among the wise Muslims, because anyone can send salaams upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wherever he is. Allaah has guaranteed that this salaam will be conveyed by the angels whom He has appointed for this task. Based on this, whoever sends salaams upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), in any place, his salaam will reach him for sure. What comparison can there be between this and asking one who is going to visit Madeenah to convey salaams to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when you do not know whether he will convey it or not, or whether the person will remember or forget? 

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has angels who go around on earth, conveying to me the salaam of my ummah.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 1282; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1664. 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not take your houses as graves and do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly). Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2042; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7226. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Naasir al-Barraak (may Allaah preserve him), a member of faculty in the Imam Muhammad ibn Sa’ood Islamic University, said: 

There is no basis for sending salaams to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with one who is travelling to Madeenah. It was not the habit of the righteous salaf of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), Taabi’een or scholars to send salaams in this manner, and no such thing has been narrated, because the blessings of the ummah are conveyed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as it says in the saheeh hadeeth: “Do not take your houses as graves and do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly). Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2042. According to another version: “For your salaam will reach me no matter where you are.” Narrated by Abu Ya’la, 469. 

Based on this, sending salaams to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as an act or worship is an innovation (bid’ah). In fact it is not prescribed to send salaam to anyone who is deceased, rather salaams are to be said to the dead by one who visits him (his grave), as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to visit the graves in al-Baqee’ and say salaam to them and make du’aa’ for them. And he taught his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) what to say when visiting graves, such as when he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Al-salaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa inna in sha Allaah bikum laahiqoon, nas’al Allaaha lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah (Peace be upon you, O people of the dwellings, believers and Muslims. If Allaah wills we will join you. We ask Allaah to grant us and you safety). Narrated by Muslim, 975. 

And he said to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): “Say: Al-salaamu ‘ala ahl il-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa yarham Allaah al-mustaqdimeena minna wa’l-musta’khireen, wa innaa in sha Allaah bikum la laahiqoon (Peace be upon the inhabitants of the graves, believers and Muslims. May Allaah have mercy upon those who have gone ahead of us and those who come later on, and verily we will, in sha Allaah, join you).” Narrated by Muslim, 974. 

Rather salaams should be conveyed from one who is absent to one who is living. 

The point is that Allaah has made it easy for this ummah to send blessings and peace upon their Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and to do that a great deal, from any spot on earth. It was narrated that Allaah has appointed angels over the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who convey to him the blessings and salaams of his ummah upon him. And Allaah knows best.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  

We say: if you send salaam upon him from the farthest ends of the earth, your salaam will reach him, because Allaah has appointed angels who travel about the earth, and if anyone sends salaams upon the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), they convey that salaam to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). So if we say now, “O Allaah, send blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allaah,” our salaam will be transmitted to him. In prayer we say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ayyuha’l-nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu (Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allaah and His blessings),” and the salaam is transmitted to him…  

I have heard some people saying in Madeenah, “My father asked me to give his salaams to the Messenger,” but this is wrong. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not alive so that the salaams of a living person may be passed on to him. If your father sends salaams to the Messenger, the salaam is conveyed by those who are more able than you to convey it and are more trustworthy than you too, namely the angels. 

So there is no need for that, and we say: You are where you are, wherever you are on earth you can say, “Peace be upon you, O Prophet,” and it will reach him faster and more reliably than that.

 Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 23/416, 417 

Isnaad of the hadeeth about the Angel of Death asking the Prophet for permission to take his soul:

There are many ahaadeeth about the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Many such reports have been narrated, but the saheeh ones are mixed with the false ones, and many people are careless about quoting reports which have no basis or which have been narrated via unsound isnaads. The one who is seeking sound reports on this subject should refer to the saheeh ahaadeeth, which are sufficient and in which he will information about the incidents surrounding the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and in which there are important lessons to be learned. 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah (5/256): 

Al-Waaqidi and others narrated many reports concerning the death (of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) in which there are many strange things. We have refrained from mentioning many of them because of their weak isnaads and dubious content, especially those narrated by many storytellers, later writers and others. Many of them are undoubtedly fabricated. In the saheeh and hasan ahaadeeth which are narrated in the well known books there is sufficient information and we have no need of lies and reports whose isnaads are unknown. And Allaah knows best. End quote. 

After researching the reports about the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), we could not find the hadeeth mentioned by the questioner in this version, but there are ahaadeeth about the Angel of Death asking the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) for permission, in wording similar to that mentioned by the questioner. But these are weak (da’eef) ahaadeeth which the scholars judged to be false and fabricated. For example: 

There is a hadeeth narrated by ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn from his father, telling a long story in which the Angel of Death asks for permission to enter upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and speaks with him. 

This story was narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer (3/129) and in Kitaab al-Du’aa’(1/367). 

Al-Haythami said in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id (9/35): Its isnaad includes ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Maymoon al-Qaddaah, whose reports are worthless. 

He was also judged as such by al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (4/560); al-Haafiz ibn Hajar in Ajwabah Ba’d Talaameedhatihi (1/87) and Ibn Katheer in al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah (5/290). Al-Albaani said in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (5384): it is mawdoo’ (fabricated). 

There is another hadeeth which was narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), in which it mentions the Angel of death seeking permission to enter upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) during his final illness. This was narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer (12/141). 

Al-Haythami said in Majma’ al_Zawaa’id (9/36): its isnaad includes al-Mukhtaar ibn Naafi’, who is da’eef (weak). 

Al-‘Iraaqi said in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (4/560): It isnaad includes al-Mukhtaari ibn Naafi’, whose hadeeth is rejected. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the story of the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): it is mentioned in some books of history that the Angel of Death came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the form of a Bedouin and asked for permission to enter upon him. How true is this? 

He (may Allaah have mercy on him) replied: 

This is not correct. The Angel of Death did not come to him or ask permission to enter upon him, rather the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) delivered a speech at the end of his life in which he said: “Allaah has given a slave the choice between immortality in this world for as long as Allaah wills, or meeting his Lord, and he has chosen to meet his Lord.” This is what he said at the end of his life. Abu Bakr wept, and the people were surprised that Abu Bakr wept at these words. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the one who was given the choice, and Abu Bakr knew the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) better than any of the people. This is what has been narrated. As for the idea that the Angel of Death came to him and asked him for permission, this is not correct. End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab il-Maftooh (2/340) 

Anyone who wants to read more saheeh ahaadeeth about the story of the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) may refer to the book al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah by Ibn Katheer (5/248), the chapter of the last days and death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him); and Saheeh al-Seerah al-Nabawiyyah by Ibraheem al-‘Ali, chapter 6: The illness and death of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

BELIEFS OF SUFI’SM:

The words Tasawwuf and Soofiyyah were not known during the first generation of Islaam. Rather, they were only introduced into it after that or they were adopted into Islaam from other nations.

Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in Majmoo’-ul-Fataawaa:

 “As for the term Soofiyyah (Sufism), then it was not heard of during the first three generations of Islaam. Rather, speech concerning it only became known after the first three generations. Several Imaams and scholars spoke about it afterward, such as Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Abu Sulaymaan Ad-Daaraanee and others. It was also reported from Sufyaan Ath-Thawree that he spoke about it. Some of them also mentioned that on the authority of Al-Hasan Al-Basree. They differed in their views on the meaning of what a Soofee ascribes himself to, since the word ‘Soofee’ is a noun indicating an ascription, such as Al-Qurshee, Al-Madanee and so on.

It is also due to the fact that the majority of those who speak on behalf of the Soofees are not aware of this tribe and they are not pleased with being attributed to a tribe from the Days of Ignorance (Jaahiliyyah), which did not exist during the era of Islaam. It is also held, and this is the most well known opinion, that Soofee is an ascription to soof (wool). This was since the first time that the Soofees appeared was in Basrah (‘Iraq).

The first people that established the role of Soofiyyah were some of the companions of ‘Abdul-Waahid bin Zayd. ‘Abdul-Waahid was one of the companions of Al-Hasan Al-Basree who lived in Basrah and was into such great lengths in abstinence (zuhd), worship (‘ibaadah), fear of Allaah (khawf) and so on, the likes of which were not found in the rest of the inhabitants of other lands.

Abush-Shaikh Al-Asbahaanee reported with a chain of narration connected to Muhammad bin Sireen that it reached him that a group of people preferred wearing wool, so he said: ‘There are some people that prefer to wear wool claiming that they resemble the Messiah, son of Maryam. However, the guidance of our Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is more beloved to us, and he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would wear cotton and other types of clothes.’ Or he stated words similar to this.”

Then he (Ibn Taimiyyah) said after this:

 “These people ascribe themselves to outer garments, which in this case is wool (soof) garments. So it can be said about one of them that he is a Soofee. However, their methodology is not restricted to the wearing of woolen garments, nor do they mandate that on anyone or adhere to ordering it. They only attach themselves to it due to it being the outer condition.”

Then he said: “So this is the origin of Soofiyyah (Sufism). After this, it branched off and diversified.’’

Ibn Taimiyyahs words, may Allaah have mercy on him, indicate that Sufism originated in the lands of Islaam at the hands of some very pious worshippers from Basrah as a result of their going to great lengths in abstinence (zuhd) and worship (‘ibaadah). Then after that, Sufism evolved and changed.

The conclusion that some modern-day authors have come to – that Sufism crept into the lands of the Muslims from other religions, such as Hinduism and Christian monasticism – has become accepted based on what Shaikh Ibn Taimiyyah reported from Muhammad bin Sireen, that he said: “There are some people that prefer to wear wool claiming that they resemble the Messiah, son of Maryam. However, the guidance of our Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is more beloved to us!” This indicates that Sufism has a connection to the religion of the Christians!!

Dr. Saabir At-Tu’aimah said in his book: “Sufism – Its Beliefs and Methods”: “It appears that it came about due to the influence of Christian monasticism in which the monks would wear woolen garments and reside in their monasteries. There were many of them that would be upon this practice throughout the lands, which Islaam freed by way of Tawheed…”[33]

Shaikh Ihsaan Ilaahee Dhaheer, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in his book “Sufism: Its Source and Origin”:

 “When we look deep into the teachings of the first and latter-day Sufis and the statements that have been quoted and narrated from them in the Sufi books of old and present, we see a huge difference between it and the teachings of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Likewise, we don’t see its roots or its seeds in the history of the chief of all creations (Prophet Muhammad) (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) nor in that of his righteous and noble Companions, from the best of Allaah’s creation. Rather, contrary to that, we see that it has been derived and acquired from Christian Monasticism, Brahmanism, Hinduism, the religious devotion of Judaism and the asceticism of Buddhism.” [34]

Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Wakeel, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in the introduction of the book “The Downfall of Sufism”:

“Indeed, Sufism is the lowest and vilest of schemes, which the Devil innovated so that the servants of Allaah can mock and ridicule along with him in his war against Allaah and His Messengers. It is the veil of the Magians (Majoos), which gives the impression that it is divine. Rather, it is the veil of every enemy to the true religion. Examine it and you will find in it Brahmanism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and the Manichaean beliefs. You will find Platonism in it. You can even find Judaism, Christianity and the idolatry of the Days of Ignorance in it.” [35]

Through presenting the views of these modern-day writers regarding the origin of Sufism, as well as many other writers not mentioned here that hold these same views, it becomes clear that Sufism is a foreign concept that was introduced into Islaam. This shows in the practices of those who ascribe themselves to it – those practices that are foreign to Islaam and far removed from its guidance. By this, we intend the latter-day adherents to Sufism whose mystical illusions and fantasies have become many and great.

But as for the former predecessors, such as Al-Fudayl bin ‘Iyyaad, Al-Junaid, Ibraaheem bin Adham and others, then they were upon a state of moderateness.
Prominent Features OF Their Deviation:

Worshipping the Dead:

Shaikh ‘Abdil-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:

 Know that due to the building of structures over the graves; corruptions have occurred which cannot be encompassed in detail except by Allaah. That which causes anger for the sake of Allaah with the one who has the fragrance of eemaan in his heart, as was indicated to by Ibn Al-Qayyim and other than him.

 So from them: is its habituation for prayer beside it – and the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has indeed forbidden that.

 From them: is to seek out making supplication beside it, and so they say: ‘whoever calls upon Allaah beside the grave of so and so will be responded to’ and: ‘the grave of so and so is an antidote (cure-all) – tried and tested.’ Whilst this is an abominable innovation.

 From them: is their assumption that it has an exclusive designation in of itself in repelling tribulation and bringing about favour, so they will say: ‘tribulation is repelled from the people of the cities due to the graves of the righteous who are buried within them.’ And without doubt; this is in opposition to The Book and the Sunnah and the consensus.

 From them: is entering into the curse of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) by taking up places of worship over them and kindling lamps over them.

 Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

“These people who venerate the graves and take them as a place of celebrated visitation, they kindle lamps over them – those that build mosques and cupolas over them, they are at contradiction to that which was commanded by the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and are in opposition to that which he came with. The greatest of that is taking them as mosques and kindling lamps over them, and it is from the major sins, likewise the Fuqahaa (Jurists) from the companions of Ahmad and other than them have made clear its forbiddance.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.356)

From them: is that it is liable for the building of the mausoleums and the desolation of the mosques – as is the actuality, whilst the religion of Allaah is the very opposite of that.

From them: is their gathering together in order to visit them, as well as the mixing of men with women and that which occurs within that from sexual depravities and abandoning the prayers, and they claim that the occupant of the grave assumes the burdens of it from them. Rather it is well known that the prostitutes drop their fees for harlotry during the days of the visitation to the Mashayikh such as that of Al-Badawi and other than it in order to draw closer to Allaah, The Most High, through that. Can there be a limit after this in disbelief?!

 From them: is draping it (the grave) with precious cloth; woven with silk and gold and silver and the like of that.

From them: is appointing treasuries and revenues and religious endowment funds for that which is needed for its repair (overhaul) and the like of that.

 From them: is donating wealth and vowing solemn pledges to their keepers who are devoted to them; those that are the very cause of every calamity and disbelief. For it is they who lie to the ignoramus’s and the common people by stating: ‘so and so called upon the occupant of the grave – so he answered him; and he sought deliverance from him – so he rescued him.’ Their intent behind that is the augmentation of vowed pledges and donations unto themselves.

Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said:

“So the keepers that are at the graves and their likes; their purpose is to consume the wealth of the people by way of them. Whilst their followers – their purpose is the veneration of their own selves with the people as well as to take their wealth for them.” (Talkhees Kitaab Al-Istighaathah vol 2 p.586)

 

 From them: is appointing keepers for them such as the keepers for the idol worshippers (i.e. keepers of the temples that contain idols).

 From them: is taking oaths upon Allaah in the supplication by the one who is buried within it.

From them: is that many of the visitors; if he sees a structure built over the grave of the occupant of the grave; he will prostrate before it, and without doubt; this is kufr (disbelief) by the text of The Book and the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah. Rather this is the very worship of idols; because prostration to the dome is worship of it.

 

From them: is vowing unto the one who is buried within it, and appointing a statutory portion of wealth and offspring.

From them: is that the one buried within it is greater in the hearts of the grave worshippers than Allaah – and more feared. Due to this; if you request an oath from one of them by Allaah, The Most High, he will give you what you wish from the oaths – whether false or true. Yet if you sought by way of the occupant of the grave; he would not have the audacity to do so if he is lying. There is no doubt that the worshippers of the idols and graven images – their shirk has not reached this extent.

From them: is asking the deceased to effectuate the requirements and to liberate the distresses and having sincerity for him besides Allaah in the majority of situations.

 From them: is the humility at the places of slaughter (battlegrounds) of the dead and crying with veneration and humbleness for those within them – greater than what they do with regard to Allaah in the mosques and in the prayers.

From them: is the preference of it over the best of places and the most beloved of them to Allaah – and it is the mosques, so they believe that the worship and devotion within them is better than the worship and devotion in the mosques, and this is an affair which was not reached even by the shirk of the early ones.

 Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned that Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

 “Due to this you will find the people of shirk often having humility besides them (the graves), and so they display humbleness and humble submissiveness; and they worship them with their hearts with worship that they do not do the like of in the Houses of Allaah, nor at the time before dawn. Likewise from them are those that prostrate to them, and the majority of them have hope from the blessing of having prayed and supplicated beside it – that which they do not hope for in the mosques.” (Ighaathatul Lahfaan vol 1 p.334)

 

From them: is that which the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) legislated regarding the visiting of the graves, then it is in remembrance of the Hereafter, as he stated:

Visit the graves, for indeed they remind of the Hereafter.[36]

 Likewise showing excellence to the one being visited through asking Allaah to have mercy upon him, and supplicating in his favour and seeking forgiveness and requesting pardon for him. Hence the visitor shows excellence to himself as well as to the deceased, yet the grave worshippers have reversed the affair and inverted the religion and have made the purpose of visitation as: committing shirk with the deceased and of his supplication and supplicating by way of him and asking of him for their needs and for their victory over the enemy and the like of that. So they become such that they are detrimental to their own souls as well as to the deceased.

  Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“They believe that supplication to the deceased for whom the mausoleum was built as well as seeking rescue from him; is more beneficial for them than supplication to Allaah, The Most High, as well as seeking rescue from Him in the house which was built for Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic. Hence they have given preference to the house which was built for supplication to the creation over that of the house which was built for supplication to The Creator.”  (Talkhees Kitaab Al-Istighaathah vol 2 p.673)

From them: is the nuisance caused to their occupants with that which the grave worshippers do beside them, for they bother them with that which they do at their graves, and they detest it to the utmost degree of dislike.

From them: is the opposition to Allaah and His Messenger and the incompatibility with that which He legislated regarding it.

From them: is the immense toil amid the great load (encumbrance of wrongdoing) and the colossal sin – along with all of these hugely corrupt acts and other than them which have not been mentioned. They have indeed occurred due to construction over the graves, and this is why you will find that the graves which do not have domes over them; then no one comes to them and they are not accustomed to anything of that which has been mentioned except that which Allaah wills.

So The Master of the legislation is More Knowledgeable of that which would be implied and entailed by this affair, therefore He has been severe in regard to it and has originated (it with precedence) and repeated it and has cursed the one that does it.

Thus goodness and guidance lies in obedience to Him; whilst evil and misguidance is in opposition to Him.

 (Taken with slight abridgement from: Tayseer Al-‘Azeez Al-Hameed fee Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed vol 2 p.679-685)

Building Mosques over the Graves:

Building mosques over the graves of Prophets and righteous people, or over places connected to their lives, is something which the perfect sharee’ah of Islam came to forbid and warn against, and curses those who do that, because it is one of the means that lead to shirk and exaggeration about the Prophets and the righteous. Reality confirms the soundness of the message brought by sharee’ah, and proves that it is from Allaah, and offers definitive proof that what the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought from Allaah and conveyed to the ummah is true. Everyone who looks at the state of the Muslim world and the shirk and exaggeration that have come about because of building mosques over tombs, venerating them, adorning them and appointing custodians for them, will realize that this is indeed a means that leads to shirk, and that one of the beauties of sharee’ah is that it forbids this and warns against it. 

Among the reports that were narrated concerning that was the hadeeth narrated by the two Shaykhs, al-Bukhaari (1330) and Muslim (529) – may Allaah have mercy on them both – from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘May Allaah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.’” ‘Aa’ishah said: “He was warning (the Muslims) against (doing) what they had done.”  And she said: “Had it not been for that, the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have been made prominent but he was afraid it might be taken (as a) place of worship.” 

In al-Saheehayn it is also narrated that Umm Salamah and Umm Habeebah (may Allaah be pleased with them) told the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about a church that they had seen in the land of Abyssinia, and the images that were in it. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a righteous man died among them, they would build a place of worship over his grave and put those images in it. They are the most evil of mankind before Allaah.”[37]

In Saheeh Muslim (532) it is narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘I stand acquitted before Allah that I took anyone of you as a close friend (khaleel), for Allah has taken me as His close friend, as He took Ibraaheem as His close friend. Had I taken any one of my ummah as a close friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a close friend. Those who came before you used to take the graves of their Prophets and righteous men as places of worship, but you must not take graves as places of worship; I forbid you to do that.’” 

There are many ahaadeeth on this subject. The leading scholars of the Muslims, the imams of all four madhhabs (schools of thought) and others, have stated that it is forbidden to build mosques over graves, and they have warned against that, following the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), sincerely advising his ummah and warning against falling into the same trap as those who came before us, the extremists among the Jews and Christians and their ilk among those of this ummah who have gone astray. 

Some people use the story of the People of the Cave to support their specious argument that this is allowed:  

“(then) those who won their point said (most probably the disbelievers): ‘We verily, shall build a place of worship over them’.[38]

The answer to that is: that Allaah has told us about the leaders and powerful people of that time, and that they said these words. That does not imply that He liked that or approved of them, rather He said that by way of blaming them and condemning their action. This is indicated by the fact that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to whom this verse was revealed and who was the most knowledgeable of people as to how it should be interpreted, forbade his ummah to build mosques over graves, warned them against doing so, and cursed and condemned those who did that. 

If that had been permissible, then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not have discouraged it in such emphatic terms, and gone to the extent of cursing those who did it, and said that they are the most evil of mankind before Allaah. This is sufficient to convince the seeker of truth. Even if we were to assume that building places of worship over graves was permitted to those who came before us, it is not permissible for us to follow their example in that, because our sharee’ah abrogates the laws that came before it, and our Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the Final Messenger whose sharee’ah is complete and universal. He has forbidden us to build mosques over graves, so it is not permissible for us to go against him. We must follow him, adhering to that which he brought and abstaining from anything from the ancient laws that goes against that or any custom that appeals to the one who does it but goes against that. For there is nothing more perfect than the laws of Allaah and there is no guidance better than the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

 Allaah is the One Whom we ask to help us and all the Muslims to adhere firmly to His religion and to follow the sharee’ah of His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in all that we say and do, both outwardly and inwardly, in all our affairs, until we meet Allaah, for He is the All-Hearing, Ever-Near. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon His slave and Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions, and those who follow his guidance, until the Day of Resurrection.

 From Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), 1/434.

Why the Prophet‘s grave in his mosque even though it is forbidden to take graves as places of worship?:

The hadeeth says, “May Allaah curse the Jews, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship”. So how come the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is inside his mosque in Madeenah?.

The scholars have discussed this issue, in the past and more recently, and they refuted those who quote the fact that the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is inside his mosque as evidence that it is permissible to take graves as places of worship, or to include graves in mosques. We will quote the fatwas of some of our prominent scholars, which discuss in detail the matter raised in the question. 

 Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

There is a specious argument put forward by those who worship graves, namely the fact that the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is in his mosque. The answer to that is that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not bury him in his mosque, rather they buried him in the house of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her). When al-Waleed ibn ‘Abd al-Malik expanded the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) at the end of the first century, he incorporated the room into the mosque, but he did wrong thereby, and some of the scholars denounced him for that, but he believed that there was nothing wrong with it for the sake of expanding the mosque. 

It is not permissible for a Muslim to take that as evidence that mosques may be built over graves, or that people may be buried inside mosques, because that goes against the saheeh ahaadeeth, and because it is a means that may lead to shirk by associating the occupants of the graves in worship with Allaah. [39] 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the ruling on praying in a mosque in which there is a grave. 

He replied: 

Praying in a mosque in which there is a grave falls into two categories: 

  • Either the grave was there before the mosque, or the mosque was built over the grave. It is essential to shun this mosque and not pray therein, and the one who built it must knock it down; if he does not do so, then the Muslim authorities must knock it down.
  • Or the mosque was there before the grave, and the deceased was buried after the mosque was built. In the case the grave must be dug up, and the remains taken out and buried with the people (in the graveyard).

As for praying in such a mosque, it is permissible so long as the grave is not in front of the worshipper, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade praying in the direction of graves. 

With regard to the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which is incorporated into his mosque, it is well known that the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was built before his death, and was not built over his grave. It is also well known that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not buried in the mosque, rather he was buried in his house which was separate from the mosque. At the time of al-Waleed ibn ‘Abd al-Malik he wrote to his governor in Madeenah, who was ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez, in 88 AH, ordering him to dismantle the Prophet’s Mosque and add to it the rooms of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). ‘Umar gathered the prominent people and fuqaha’, and read the letter of the caliph al-Waleed to them. That caused them distress, and they said: “Leave it as it is, that is better.” And it was narrated that Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib denounced the incorporation of ‘Aa’ishah’s room into the mosque, as if he feared that the grave would be taken as a place of worship. 

Umar wrote a letter to that effect to al-Waleed, and al-Waleed sent word to him ordering him to carry out his instructions, so ‘Umar had no other choice.  So you see that the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not placed in the mosque, and the mosque was not built over it, so there are no grounds for those who try to quote this as evidence that people may be buried inside mosques or that mosques may be built over graves.

It is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May the curse of Allaah be upon the Jews and the Christians; they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” He said that as he was dying, as a warning to his ummah against doing what they did. When Umm Salamah told him of a church that she had seen in Ethiopia and the images therein, he said: “Those people, if a righteous man among them died, they would build a place of worship over his grave. They are the most evil of people before Allaah.” And it was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Among the most evil of people upon whom the Hour will come when they are still alive are those who take graves as places of worship.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad with a jayyid isnaad. 

The believer should not accept to follow the ways of the Jews and the Christians, or to be among the most evil of people. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 12/question no. 292 

Visiting graves and attending occasions on which they say that the souls of the awliyaa’ are present:

Visits to graves fall into two categories:

(i) Visits which are prescribed in Islam and are required for the purpose of making du’aa’ for the dead, praying for mercy for them, remembering death and preparing oneself for the Hereafter. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Visit the graves, for they remind you of the Hereafter.”[40]
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to visit graves, as did his Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them.
It was reported that ‘Aa’ishah said that when it was her night for the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to stay with her, he would go out during the latter part of the night to (the cemetery of) al-Baqee’ and say, “Peace be upon you, dwellings of the believing people. There has come to you that which you were promised, and if Allaah wills we will follow you soon. O Allaah, forgive the people of Baqee’ al-Gharqad.” (Narrated by Muslim, 974).

(ii) The second type is bid’ah (innovation), which is visiting graves for the purpose of calling upon their occupants, seeking their help, offering sacrifices to them and making vows to them. This is forbidden and is a major form of Shirk (shirk Akbar). Connected to this is the practice of visiting graves to offer du’aa’, perform salaah and read Qur’aan there. This is all bid’ah and is not prescribed in Islam.

2. With regard to praying (performing salaah) at a grave. If what is meant is Salaat al-janaazah (the funeral prayer), this is permissible and is not forbidden. But if what is meant is to perform fard or naafil prayers, this is forbidden and is haraam.
The evidence for the permissibility of praying Salaat al-Janaazah in the graveyard:
It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that a black man or a black woman who used to clean the mosque died. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked about him and they said, “He died.” He said, “Why did you not tell me? Show me his grave.” Or he said, “Her grave.” So he went to the grave and prayed for her.[41]

The evidence that it is not permissible to offer any salaat other than janaazah in the graveyard:

(a) ‘Aa’ishah and ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas said: “When (death) approached the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he started to cover his face with a cloak of his. When he became distressed he lifted it from his face and said, “May Allaah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” [The narrator said:] he was warning against doing what they did.”[42] (b) Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not sit on graves and do not pray facing them.” [43]

3. With regard to the ‘Urs which is held every year: if this involves some kinds of acts of worship, or if the people who attend think that this will bring them closer to Allaah, or if it involves acts of disobedience and sin, then it is not permissible to attend it or take part in it. Even if it is free of all these matters, you should still not attend it, because adopting an occasion as an “Eid” or festival (a regular annual event) other than the Eids precribed in Islam is bid’ah (reprehensible innovation) and is forbidden. The belief of those present, that the soul of the “wali” attends this ‘Urs is an innovated and forbidden belief, because in the future this may be taken as being a part of the religion, and it will lead people astray. So this event must be denounced and people must be warned against it, and you should not attend it. And Allaah is the guide to the straight path.

4. With regard to asking a righteous person to make du’aa’ for you when he is still alive – this is permissible, because there is the hope that his du’aa’ may be answered because of his righteousness. The evidence for this is:
(a) It was reported from ‘Uthmaan ibn Haneef (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a blind man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “Pray to Allaah to heal me.” He said, “If you wish, I will pray for you, and if you wish, I will delay that, and that will be better.” (According to another report: “If you wish, be patient – that will be better for you.”) He said, “Pray for me.” So he commanded him to do wudoo’ and to do it well, and to pray two rak’ahs…”[44]
(b) It was reported that Anas said: whilst the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was giving the khutbah (sermon) on Friday, a man stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, the horses have died and the sheep have died. Pray to Allaah to give us rain.” So he spread his hands and prayed (made du’aa’).[45]

5. If a wali or Prophet dies, it is not correct, according to sharee’ah, to ask him to make du’aa’ for you, because he has been cut off from this world. This is a kind of shirk which is not committed by any of the righteous people of this Ummah, the Sahaabah and those who follow them.
Allaah says:
“And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allâh, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping”.[46]
Shaykh Al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah – may Allaah have mercy on him) said: To explain further: if what the person wants is something that none is able to do except Allaah – such as asking for healing from sickness, for people or animals, or for his debts to be paid off in some manner that he does not specify, or for his family to be safe and sound, or to be protected from calamity in this world or the next, or for help against his enemy, or for his heart to be guided, or for his sins to be forgiven, or for him to be admitted to Paradise or saved from Hell, or for help to learn knowledge and the Qur’aan, or for his heart to be reformed, his attitude to be made good, his soul to be purified and so on – all of these are things which it is not permissible to seek from anyone other than Allaah. It is not permissible to say to an angel or a Prophet or a shaykh, whether he is alive or dead, “forgive my sin” or “help me against my enemy” or “heal my sick loved one” or “protect my family or my livestock” and the like.
Whoever asks any created being – no matter who he is – for any of these things, is a mushrik who associates others with his Lord. He is like the mushrikeen who worship angels, Prophets and statues which they have created in their image, and his prayer is like the prayers of the Christians to the Messiah and his mother. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (remember) when Allaah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O ‘Eesaa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allaah?’ “He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say).”[47]
“They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allaah (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allaah), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Ilaah (God – Allaah) Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).”[48]
(Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, 27/ 67, 68).
And he [Ibn Taymiyah] said:
Whoever comes to the grave of a Prophet or a righteous man, or what he believes to be the grave of a Prophet or a righteous man although it is not, and asks him for something and seeks his help, one of the three following scenarios applies:

(i) he is asking him for something that he needs, such as to cure his sick animals or to pay off his debt or to take revenge on his enemy or to protect him, his family and his livestock, and other things which no one can do except Allaah. This is obvious shirk and he must be told to repent. If he repents, all well and good, otherwise he must be executed.
If he says, I am asking him because he is closer to Allaah, so that he can intercede for me with regard to these matters, because I am seeking Allaah’s help through his virtue, just as people seek the ruler’s help through those who are close to him – this is also like the actions of the mushrikeen and Christians, who claim that they take their priests and monks as intercessors and ask them to intercede for them with their requests. Allaah tells us that the mushrikeen say:
” ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah.”[49]
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Have they taken (others) as intercessors besides Allaah? Say: “Even if they have power over nothing whatever and have no intelligence?” Say: “To Allaah belongs all intercession. His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. Then to Him you shall be brought back.”[50] “You (mankind) have none, besides Him, as a Wali (protector or helper) or an intercessor. Will you not then remember (or receive admonition)?” [al-Sajdah 32:4]
“Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?”[51]

The difference between Him and His creation is clear: people usually ask some of their leading figures who are in positions of honour to intercede for them with their leaders, so that intercessor asks the leader and he meets the person’s request because he hopes to gain something thereby, or because he is afraid of him, or because he is too shy to refuse, or because he is being friendly towards him, etc. But no one intercedes with Allaah, may He be glorified, until He gives permission to the intercessor. He only does what He wills, and the intercession of the intercessor is only made by His permission. The entire matter rests with Him… The idea of many misguided people, that this person is closer to Allaah than I am, and I am far away from Allaah and cannot call upon Him except through this mediation etc., all of these ideas are ideas of shirk. Allaah says:
“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor)”.[52]

In al-Saheeh it was reported that when they were on a journey, they were saying Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”) in loud voices, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“O people, take it easy! You are not calling upon one who is deaf or absent; you are calling upon one who is All-Hearing and Ever Near. The One upon whom you are calling is closer to any one of you than the neck of his camel.”
Allaah has commanded all people to pray to Him and call on Him, and He has commanded them all to say:
“You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).”[53]
And He has told us that the Mushrikeen say:
” ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah.
Moreover, it may be said to this mushrik: if you call upon this person, that means you think that he knows more about your situation, is more able to grant you what you ask for and is more merciful towards you. This is ignorance, misguidance and kufr. If you know that Allaah has more knowledge and is more able and more merciful, then why do you fail to ask Him, and instead turn to others? Have you not heard what al-Bukhaari and others narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach us to pray Istikhaarah (du’aa’ seeking guidance from Allaah) in all our affairs, just as he taught us the Surahs of the Qur’aan.
Even if you know that this person is closer to Allaah than you and of a higher status than you, this may be true, but what you are implying is wrong. Even if he is indeed closer to Allaah and of a higher status, that only means that Allaah will reward him and give him more than you. It does not mean that if you call on him, Allaah will answer your prayer more than He would do if you called upon Him yourself. If you are deserving of being punished and of having your supplication rejected, for example, because your du’aa’ is offered in an improper manner, then no Prophet or righteous person will help you to do something that Allaah dislikes and is angry with. Even if that is not the case, then you should ask from Allaah because Allaah is more merciful.
                                                                                                                                       (Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, 27/72-75
Are the Sufi shaykhs really in contact with Allaah? :

The word “Sufism” was not known at the time of the Messenger or the Sahaabah or the Taabi’een. It arose at the time when a group of ascetics who wore wool (“soof”) emerged, and this name was given to them. It was also said that the name was taken from the word “soofiya” (“sophia”) which means “wisdom” in Greek. The word is not derived from al-safa’ (“purity”) as some of them claim, because the adjective derived from safa’ is safaa’i, not soofi (sufi). The emergence of this new name and the group to whom it is applied exacerbated the divisions among Muslims. The early Sufis differed from the later Sufis who spread bid’ah (innovation) to a greater extent and made shirk in both minor and major forms commonplace among the people, as well as the innovations against which the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned us when he said, “Beware of newly-invented things, for every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is a going-astray.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is saheeh hasan).

The following is a comparison between the beliefs and rituals of Sufism and Islam which is based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

Sufism has numerous branches or tareeqahs, such as the Teejaniyyah, Qaadiriyyah, Naqshbandiyyah, Shaadhiliyyah, Rifaa’iyyah, etc., the followers of which all claim that their particular tareeqah is on the path of truth whilst the others are following falsehood. Islam forbids such sectarianism. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and be not of al-mushrikoon (the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah, polytheists, idolaters, etc),

Of those who split up their religion (i.e., who left the true Islamic monotheism), and became sects, [i.e., they invented new things in the religion (bid’ah) and followed their vain desires], each sect rejoicing in that which is with it.”[54]

The Sufis worship others than Allaah, such as Prophets and “awliya’” [“saints”], living or dead. They say, “Yaa Jeelaani”, “Yaa Rifaa’i” [calling on their awliya’], or “O Messenger of Allaah, help and save” or “O Messenger of Allaah, our dependence is on you”, etc.

But Allaah forbids us to call on anyone except Him in matters that are beyond the person’s capabilities. If a person does this, Allaah will count him as a mushrik, as He says:

“And invoke not, besides Allaah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers).”[55]

The Sufis believe that there are abdaal, aqtaab and awliya’ (kinds of “saints”) to whom Allaah has given the power to run the affairs of the universe. Allaah tells us about the mushrikeen:

“Say [O Muhammad]: ‘…And who disposes the affairs?’ They will say. ‘Allaah.’…”[56]

The mushrik Arabs knew more about Allaah than these Sufis!

The Sufis turn to other than Allaah when calamity strikes, but Allaah says;

“And if Allaah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things.”[57]

Some Sufis believe in wahdat al-wujood (unity of existence). They do not have the idea of a Creator and His creation, instead they say that everything is creation and everything is god.

The Sufis advocate extreme asceticism in this life and do not believe in taking the necessary means or in jihaad, but Allaah says:

“But seek with that (wealth) which Allaah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world…”[58]

“And make ready against them all that you can of power…” [59] 

The Sufis refer the idea of ihsaan to their shaykhs and tell their followers to have a picture of their shaykh in mind when they remember Allaah and even when they are praying. Some of them even put a picture of their shaykh in front of them when they are praying. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Ihsaan is when you worship Allaah as if you can see Him, and although you cannot see Him, He can see you.” (Reported by Muslim).

The Sufis allow dancing, drums and musical instruments, and raising the voice when making dhikr, but Allaah says:

“The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts…”[60] Moreover, you see some of them making dhikr by only pronouncing the Name of Allaah, saying, “Allaah, Allaah, Allaah.” This is bid’ah and has no meaning in Islam. They even go to the extreme of saying, “Ah, ah” or “Hu, Hu.” The Sunnah is for the Muslim to remember his Lord in words that have a true meaning for which he will be rewarded, such as saying Subhaan Allaah wa Alhamdulillah wa Laa ilaaha illa Allaah wa Allaahu akbar, and so on.

The Sufis recite love poems mentioning the names of women and boys in their dhikr gatherings, and they repeat words such as “love”, “passion”, “desire” and so on, as if they are in a gathering where people dance and drink wine and clap and shout. All of this has to do with the customs and acts of worship of the mushrikeen. Allaah says:

“Their salaah (prayer) at the House (of Allaah, i.e., the Ka’bah at Makkah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands…”[61]

Some Sufis pierce themselves with rods of iron, saying, “O my grandfather!” So the shayaateen come to them and help them, because they are seeking the help of someone other than Allaah. Allaah says:

“And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allaah), We appoint for him a shaytaan (devil) to be a qareen (intimate companion) for him.”[62]

The Sufis claim to have gnosis and knowledge of the unseen, but the Qur’aan shows them to be liars. Allaah says:

“Say: ‘None in the heavens and the earth knows the ghayb (unseen) except Allaah…’’[63] The Sufis claim that Allaah created the world for the sake of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but the Qur’aan shows them to be liars. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And I (Allaah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).”[64]        Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, addressed His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with the words:

“And worship your Lord until there comes unto the certainty (i.e., death).”[65]

The Sufis claim that they can see Allaah in this life, but the Qur’aan shows them to be liars. Allaah says:

“[Moosa said:] ‘O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You.’ Allaah said, ‘You cannot see Me…’’[66]

The Sufis claim that they take knowledge directly from Allaah, without the mediation of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and in a conscious state (as opposed to dreams). So are they better than the Sahaabah??

The Sufis claim that they take knowledge directly from Allaah, without the mediation of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They say, “Haddathani qalbi ‘an Rabbi (My heart told me from my Lord).”

The Sufis celebrate Mawlid and hold gatherings for sending blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but they go against his teachings by raising their voices in dhikr and anaasheed (religious songs) and qaseedahs (poems) that contain blatant shirk. Did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) celebrate his birthday? Did Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, the four imaams or anyone else celebrate his birthday? Who knows more and is more correct in worship, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Salaf, or the Sufis?

The Sufis travel to visit graves and seek blessings from their occupants or to make tawaaf (ritual circumambulation) around them or to make sacrifices at these sites, all of which goes against the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Do not travel to visit any place but three mosques: al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah], this mosque of mine [in Madeenah] and al-Masjid al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem].” (Agreed upon).

The Sufis are blindly loyal to their shaykhs, even when what they go against the words of Allaah and His Messenger. But Allaah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allaah and His Messenger…”[67]

The Sufis use talismans, letters and numbers for making decisions and for making amulets and charms and so on.

The Sufis do not restrict themselves to the specific blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that were narrated from him. They invented new formulas that involve seeking his blessings and other kinds of blatant shirk which are unacceptable to the one on whom they are sending blessings.

With regard to the question of the whether the Sufi shaykhs have some kind of contact, this is true, but their contact is with the shayaateen, not with Allaah, so they inspire one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies – shayaateen (devils) among mankind and jinns, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it…”[68]

And Allaah says:

“… And, certainly, the shayaateen (devils) do inspire their friends (from mankind)…”[69]                     “Shall I inform you (O people!) Upon whom the shayaateen (devils) descend? They descend on every lying, sinful person.”[70]

This is the contact that is real, not the contact that they falsely claim to have with Allaah. Exalted be Allaah far above that. (See Mu’jam al-Bida’, 346 –359).

When some of these Sufi shaykhs disappear suddenly from the sight of their followers, this is the result of their contact with the shayaateen, who may even carry them to a distant place and bring them back in the same day or night, to mislead their human followers.

So the important rule here is not to judge people by the extraordinary feats that they may do. We should judge them by how closely or otherwise they adhere to the Qur’aan and Sunnah. The true friends of Allaah (awliya’) are not necessarily known for performing astounding feats. On the contrary, they are the ones who worship Allaah in the manner that He has prescribed, and not by doing acts of bid’ah. The true awliya’ or friends of Allaah are those whom our Lord has described in the hadeeth qudsi narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh (5/2384) from Abu Hurayrah, who said:

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah said, ‘Whoever shows enmity towards a friend (wali) of Mine, I declare war against him. My slave does not draw close to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties that I have enjoined on him, and My slave continues to draw close to Me with supererogatory (naafil) acts, so that I will love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.’”

The last words of the Prophet:

The last words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – before he bade farewell to this world – were: “O Allaah, (with) the higher companions”. This is the title that al-Bukhaari gave to a chapter in Kitaab al-Maghaazi in his Saheeh: “The last words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)”, where he quoted the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: When the Prophet was healthy, he used to say, “No soul of a Prophet is taken until he has been shown his place in Paradise and then he is given the choice.” When death approached him while his head was on my thigh, he became unconscious and then recovered consciousness. He then looked at the ceiling of the house and said, “O Allaah! (With) the highest companions.” I said (to myself), “He is not going to choose (to stay with) us.” Then I understood what he meant when he said that to us when he was healthy. The last words he spoke were, “O Allaah! (With) the highest companions.” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4463; Muslim, 2444. 

There is a report narrated by Ahmad (1691) from the hadeeth of Abu ‘Ubaydah, who said that the last words that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) spoke were, “Expel the Jews of the Hijaaz and Najraan from the Arabian Peninsula, and know that the most evil of people are those who took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” This was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Saheehah, no. 1132. And Abu Dawood (5156) and Ibn Maajah (2698) narrated that ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The last words that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) spoke were, “The prayer, the prayer! And fear Allaah with regard to those whom your right hands possess.” This was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. And there are other similar ahaadeeth. What is meant by these reports is that these are some of the last things that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, or they were the last pieces of advice that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave to his family and companions, and those who would be in authority after he was gone. These ahaadeeth are among the last things he said, but the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah is the last of all. 

See Fayd al-Qadeer by al-Manaawi, 5/250 – 251. 

Note: al-Suhayli said: the reason why these – “O Allaah, (with) the higher companions” – were the last words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is because they refer both to Tawheed and to dhikr in the heart. It offers comfort to those who are unable to speak (when dying), because some people may not be able to speak out loud for some reason, but that does not matter if their hearts are steadfast in remembering Allaah. 

Quoted by al-Haafiz in al-Fath, 8/138.

Tawassul: Islamic vs. bid’ah

Tawassul in Arabic means seeking to draw close. Allaah says in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): “… [They] desire means of access to their Lord…” [al-Isra’ 17:57], i.e., means of drawing close to Him. There are two types of Tawassul, correct Islamic tawassul and forbidden tawassul.

Correct Islamic tawassul:

This means seeking to draw close to Allaah through acts of worship which He loves and which please Him; these may be waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (encouraged), and may take the form of words, actions or beliefs. Some types are as follows:

Seeking to draw close to Allaah by means of His names and attributes. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His names. They will be requited for what they used to do.” [Al-A’raaf 7:180]. So when a person makes du’aa’ to Allaah, he begins by calling on Allaah with the name that is most apt, such as “al-Rahmaan” (the Most Merciful) when seeking mercy and al-Ghafoor (the All-Forgiving) when asking for forgiveness, and so on.

Seeking to draw close to Allaah by means of faith and Tawheed. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Our Lord! We believe in what you have sent down, and we follow the Messenger, so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth).” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:53]

Seeking to draw close to Allaah through righteous deeds, whereby a person asks Allaah by virtue of the best deeds that he has done, such as salaah, fasting, reading Qur’aan, and avoiding haraam things, and so on. An example of this is the saheeh hadeeth narrated in the Saheehayn about the three people who entered a cave, and a rock fell and blocked their way out. They asked Allaah by virtue of their best deeds (to save them). A person may also ask Allaah by virtue of his total dependency upon Him, as Allaah mentions in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): “[Ayyoob said:] ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and you are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.’ [al-Anbiya’ 21:83]; or by admitting his own wrongdoing and his need for Allaah, as Yoonus is described as saying (interpretation of the meaning): “‘none has the right to be worshipped except you (O Allaah). Glorified (and exalted) are you. Truly I have been of the wrong-doers.’” [Al-Anbiya’ 21:87]

The rulings on islamically correct tawassul vary according to its type. Some types are waajib, such as seeking to draw close to Allaah through His names and attributes and through Tawheed (believing in His absolute Oneness), and some are mustahabb, such as seeking to draw close to Him by virtue of all kinds of righteous deeds.

Tawassul that is bid’ah and therefore forbidden:

This is the attempt to draw close to Allaah by means of things that He does not like and that do not please Him, whether they be words, deeds or beliefs. One example of this is trying to draw close to Allaah by calling on the dead or people who are absent, asking them for help, and so on. This is a form of major shirk (shirk Akbar), which goes against Tawheed and means that a person is no longer considered to be a Muslim. Calling upon Allaah, whether it is for a purpose such as asking Him to grant some benefit or to ward off some harm, or as an act of worship to express humility and submission before Him, can only be addressed directly to Allaah. If du’aa or prayers are addressed to anything or anyone else, this is shirk. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me (and ask me for anything), I will respond to your invocation. Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e., do not invoke Me and do not believe in My Oneness], they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” [Ghaafir 40:60]. In this aayah, Allaah explains the punishment of those who arrogantly refuse to call on Allaah, whether they call on someone other than Allaah or they do not call on Him at all, out of pride and self-admiration, even if they do not call on anyone else.

Allaah says: 

“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret…” [71] Allaah commands His slaves to call on Him and not anyone else.

Allaah says of the people of Hell (interpretation of the meaning): “[They say:] ‘By Allaah, we were truly in a manifest error when we held you (false gods) as equals (in worship) with the Lord of the Worlds.”[72]

Anything that results in equating something other than Allaah with Allaah in worship or acts of obedience is shirk, the crime of associating partners with Him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And who is more astray than one who calls (invokes) besides Allaah, such as will not answer him until the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (one the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become enemies for them and will deny their worshipping.”[73]

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whoever invokes (or worships) besides Allaah, any other god, of whom he has no proof, then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, al-kaafiroon (the disbelievers in Allaah and in the Oneness of Allaah) will not be successful.”[74]

Allaah states that anyone who calls on anything other than him is taking that thing as a god, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “…And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a qitmeer (the thin membrane over a date-stone). If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call, and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad), like Him Who is the All-Knower (of everything).”[75].

In this aayah, Allaah explains that He is the only One who deserves to be called upon, because He, and no one else, is the Sovereign who is directing everything. Those things that are worshipped cannot hear du’aa’s, let alone respond to the one who invokes them, and even if they were able to hear, they cannot respond, because they do not have the power to either benefit or harm.

The mushrik Arabs whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was sent to call were disbelievers because of this shirk. They would call upon Allaah sincerely at times of difficulty, but they became disbelievers at times of ease and plenty, when they would call on others besides Him. Allaah says:

“And when they embark on a ship, they invoke Allaah, making their Faith pure for Him only, but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship to others.”[76] “And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you excpet Him (Allaah Alone). But when He brings you safely to land, you turn away (from Him)…”[77]

“… till when you are in the ships and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they are glad therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein, they invoke Allaah, making their Faith pure for Him Alone…”[78] The shirk of some people nowadays goes even further than the shirk of people in the past, because they direct some acts of worship to something other than Allaah, calling upon them and asking them for help even at times of distress; laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah (there is no strength and no help except in Allaah). We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.

Concept Of Hulool: Divine Incarnation:

In mystic Sufism holool is the concept of Divine embodiment into human spirit.

Imaam ibn Taymeeyah classified the Hulool into two kinds:

 The first is the specific hulool like the claim of the Christians that Allaah is incarnated in ‘Eessa (alayhi assaalm) and like that of the extremist Shee’ah and Soofee mystics who claim that Allaah is incarnated in ‘Ali ibn Abee Taalib (radhi Allahu anhu) and in special Soofee saints, respectively.

 The second kind is the general Hulool and it is the saying that “Allaah, in His Essence, is everywhere.”

Amongst the most daring Soofis who held to the concept of incarnation was Al-Hallaaj [15] who was tried for his heresy and put to death by the ‘Abbaasid authorities. Ibn ‘Ajeebah (1224 AH/1809 C.E.), one of the leading Soofis who explained the Hikam of the mystic Ibn ‘Ataa (d. 709AH/1309 C.E.) related that Al-Hallaj said: “I am You without doubt Subhaanak is Subhaanee. Your Tawheed is my Tawheed and disobeying You is disobeying me. Glorified be He whom his Naassoot (creation, human qualities) made manifest the secret of His shining and piercing Laahoot (the Divine).[16] He then appeared in His creation manifested in the image of the one who eats and drinks. Even His creation was able to see Him with their own eyes like the moment an eyebrow sees an eyebrow [emphasizing certitude].” [17] Ibn ‘Ajeebah added, “And because of the unraveling of such matters and other similar ones, Al-Hallaaj, may Allaah be pleased with him! -was killed.”[18] These matters according to Ibn ‘Ajeebah and other mystics should not be disclosed. They are the secrets of their Tawheed.

– Some see Allaah as the only existing being.

This is stressed by Al-Ghazaalee, may Allaah forgive him, in his book Ihyaa ‘Ulum ad-Deen. He said: “Anyone who does not see Allaah in everything, then he sees ‘other’ than Him,” and that “The pure Tawheed is to see in everything nothing but Allaah subhanahu wa ta’aala.

The meaning of such “Tawheed” is that there is one existing being and that is Allaah. The one who sees an existence other than that of Allaah is the Mushrik (who commits Shirk). Al-Ghazaalee explained the perfect understanding of la ilaaha illa Allaah as: “To see none except the One, the Truth,” and that this represents the “perfect state of Tawheed!” He referred to a state of “Tawheed,” “witnessed by the sincere ones and which the Soofis call Al-Fanaa’ (annihilation) in Tawheed” as the one in which, “Only One (i.e. Allaah) is seen in the entire existence.” Al- Ghazaalee stresses that the utmost objective of Tawheed is to see, “Al-Kull (everything) not as Katheer (many), but as one,” and that this “represents the objective of the (Soofee) knowledge known as Kashf,” and that, “The secrets of this knowledge should not be recorded in a book.” He defined the Mushrik as the one, “Who affirms the existence of ‘an existence’ besides that of Allaah” and that Allaah is, “The witness and the Witnessed, the one loving dearly and the Beloved, and He is the Shaakir (the one who is thankful) and the Mashkoor (The One Who deserves acknowledgment and recognition)…”[20] This is not true Tawheed in which the believer knows well that Allaah is distinct and separate from His creation, rather this is “Wahdah” (unity).

The Doctrine of Wahdat Al-Wujud:

This is neither Hulool (indwelling of Allaah in creation) nor Ittihaad (union between Allaah and the created), rather it means that every creature that the eye sees is Allaah in essence. This concept of the Unity of Existence is held by many of the so-called Soofee saints (Awliyaa’) like Ibn Al-Faarid , Ibn ‘Arabi , Ibn ‘Sab’een , Al-‘Afeef At-Tilmisaani , Ibn Masheesh , An- Nabulusi , and others. Under such concept, the presence of creation is an illusion or an imagination. Many Soofis consider Ibn ‘Arabi the Greatest sheikh and the symbol of the concept of Wahdat Al-Wujud. He considers the Soofee who knows of Allaah (‘Aarif billaah) as the one who “Sees Allaah in everything, rather he sees Him the essence of everything,” and that “He (Allaah) is the Essence of Existence” Ibn ‘Arabi considered all kinds creeds to be true and he believed in them all. This is his “Unity of Worship”: Creatures have held [certain] tenets regarding the Ilaah and I have believed in all of what they have believed in.

He also said: “Be careful not to restrict yourself to a particular (or distinct) creed and deny everything else otherwise you would miss a great deal of good. Rather you would miss knowing the matter as it is. So, be within yourself a HexhqKy (Hayouli: A substance) for all the forms of creeds, for Allaah is Greater than being limited by one creed and excluding another.”

The books of Ibn ‘Arabi contain many statements in which he considers everything worshipped on earth is Allaah  and that his heart “turned to accept every image”; it became “a monastery for monks, a home for idols, the Ka’bah of the Taa’if (the one in Tawaaf), the Tablets of the Torah, and the book of the Qur’aan…”

This is only a very brief presentation on the position of mystic Soofism regarding the belief in Allaah Who is High above what they attribute to Him. Imaam Ath-Thahabee rahimahullah said regarding the book of Fusoos Al-Hikam of Ibn ‘Arabi: “If there is no Kufr in it [Fusoos], then there is no Kufr in this world!”

Deviated Beliefs of Sufis Regarding the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

 

The Muslim believes that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah and the last Prophet. Allaah says: Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allaah and the last of the Prophets. [1]

Allaah entrusted Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) with the final and complete message of Islam, calling mankind to worship none but Allaah. He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is the best of the Messengers and the best of mankind. He, has no share at all of Ruboobiyyah (lordship) nor any share of Divinity. Contemplate the saying of Allaah regarding Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) :

Say, O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), it is not within my power to bring benefit nor to keep away harm except as Allaah wills; and if I knew what the future holds I could amass a great deal of wealth and harm would not befall me. But I am just a Messenger from Allaah sent by Him to warn those who disobey Him of His punishment, and to give glad tidings of His reward fro those who truly believe in Him and are obedient to Him.[2] 

He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:

“I am just a human like yourselves, I forget just as you forget. So, if I forget, then remind me.” [3]

The belief that Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is the Messenger of Allaah necessitates that

  • 1-He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is the true Messenger of Allaah; he did not lie nor was he belied.
  • 2-The Muslim should follow his teachings.
  • 3-The Muslim believes in all of the reports which he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) related regarding the past, present and future and that these reports were revealed to him by Allaah (Azza wa Jal) and was not something which he knew on his own.
  • 4-We comply with his commands
  • 5-We stay away from what he forbade
  • 6-We defend the Sharee’ah with which he was entrusted.
  • 7-We comply with all that the he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) brought from the Sharee’ah as if it were from Allaah.

In the sight of the mystic Soofis, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is looked upon in ways that oppose the path which Allaah intended for the believers.

This could be summarized in the following points:

1-Many Soofis stress the concept of what they call Al- Haqeeqah Al-Muhammadiyyah or the “Perfect Man” (Al- Insaan Al-Kaamil). In the world of Soofism, Al-Insaan Al-Kaamil is the “barrier” qualified with both the Essence of Allaah and the essence of creation. And he is the one who comprises all the worlds of the Divine and that of creation, the complete and the partial. He deserves the Names of the Thaat (Allaah’s Essence) and the Divine Qualities. The Soofee mystics refer to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) as being the “Perfect Man” or the “Al- Haqeeqah Al-Muhammadiyyah”: The Thaat (Essence of Allaah) in its first designation; to him (Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) belongs all of the Most Beautiful Names [of Allaah] and that he is Al-Ism Al-A’tham (Allaah’s Greatest Name). From Muhammad, the entire creation, this world and the Hereafter, was brought to exist!!

This is most fully described by ‘Abdul al-Karim Al-Jeeli a Soofee of the school of Ibn ‘Arabi, in his book Al-Insaan Al-Kaamil.[4] In this book he said:

“Know, may Allaah guard and protect you, that Al-Insaan Al-Kaamil (the Perfect Man) is the Qutub (the axis) around which the spheres of existence from beginning to end revolves. And he is one since the being of existence and forever and ever. Furthermore, he takes on various forms and appears in churches…his original name which belongs to him is Muhammad…I met him while he was in the image of my sheikh Sharaf-ud-Deen Ismaa’eel Al- Jhubratee…the secret behind this matter is him being able to take the form of every image…”[5]

It is the same creed of Ibn ‘Arabi and the advocates of Wahdat Al-Wujud, those who claim that Allaah is the essence of all that exits. They consider the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) as the first created being and from him originated rest of creation and that he himself is the God who is above the Throne. Such concept is similar to the philosophical concept of the “first cause” or the “first active intellect” from whom the creation emanated.

2-Some Soofis hold to the same concept as above but do not say that the essence of Muhammad is above the ‘Arsh.

3-Many Soofis claim that the light of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is the first being, and that he is the most honorable of creation, and for his sake Allaah has created the universe. They do not explicitly say that the creatures originated from him.[6]

Most Soofis, however, concur that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is the essence of emanation of all knowledge. Some of them consider that this emanation is eternal, meaning that it is present even before the existence of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). That is why a large sector of the Soofis believe that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) knows the Ghayb and that nothing escapes his knowledge in the heavens and on the earth.

They have also innovated many practices aimed at showing their so-called love of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) including celebrations of the Prophet’s birthday and his journey of Israa’ and Mi’raaj, his Hadrah and so forth.

They even call upon the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) seeking aid and help believing that he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) responds and answers such Shirk.

Such concepts, beliefs, and practices concerning the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) are corrupt and contradict the Message of the Qur’aan and Sunnah as well as the way of the true believers, the Sahaabah and those who followed them on the path of righteousness, may Allaah be pleased with them all.

The Deception of the Shaytaan of the Soofeeyah:

Ibn Qayyim aj-Jawzeeyah (d.751) -Rahimullaah- said:

‘And how good is what Abu Ahmad ash-Shayrazi said:

‘The Soofeeyah used to ridicule Shaytaan and now the Shaytaan ridicules them!!’

[Taken from: ‘Ighaatul al-Lafaan Fee Massaeed ash-Shaytaan’ with the checking by Shaykh Albani Vol. 1 p.241]

Shaykh Muhammad Hamid al-Faqee -Rahimullaah- comments on the statement of Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim -Rahimullaah- when he spoke about the deception of the Shaytaan of the Soofeeyah, when he Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim -Rahimullaah- said:

‘The Shaytaan caused them to buzz around (dance) and to beat/strike the ground whizzing around on their feet, then sometimes he makes them like donkeys going around a pivot, and sometimes like insects dancing  in the middle of the house…’

Shaykh Muhammad Hamid al-Faqee said:

‘The Shaykh (Ibn al-Qayyim -Rahimullaah) intends the Mutasawwafa(Soofeeyah) who form into circles, then stand up in those circles and dance and swing from side to side to the tune of singing and musical instruments.  They shout, scream and dance together with what they call Dhikr (remembrance of Allaah), rather it is sinfulness, disobedience and the remembrance of Shaytaan, may Allaah guide them and free them and free Islaam from those evils and crimes.’

[Taken from: ‘Ighaatul al-Lafaan Fee Massaeed ash-Shaytaan’ with the checking by Shaykh Albani Vol. 1 p.409]

How the Shaytaan Deceived the People that Whistling and Clapping is Prayer

Ibn Qayyim aj-Jawzeeyah –Rahimullaah- speaks about the Ayaah:
Their prayer at the House (of Allaah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands [Anfal: 35] and how the Shaytaan deceived the people that whistling and clapping is prayer.

Ibn al-Qayyim quotes: ‘Ibn Arafah and Ibn al-Ambaari who said: ‘that whistling and clapping is not prayer. . .’

Shaykh Muhammad Hamid al-Faqee commented on this by saying:

‘In reality this is not prayer, Allaah called it prayer because they used to whistle and clap in their thundering movements to the tunes of whistling and clapping, since they intended by it a means of coming closer to Allaah, so Allaah reprimanded them and criticized them, and Allaah clarified that He does not love that, He does not reward them for it except with a painful punishment.

And that whistling and clapping (of the polytheists) is like what takes place in the gatherings of the Soofeeyah of our time, like for like; dancing movements to the tune of whistling and clapping. Their deep-rooted desires beautified this, likewise their ignorance and the Shayateen from the men and Jinn, beautified this to make them think that it is Dhikr (remembrance of Allaah) and worship!!

Allaah is far from this.’

The concept of Karaamaat (miracles) :

The fact that karaamaat (miracles) happened to the righteous of this ummah is something that is proven and there is no doubt concerning it. This is one of the ways in which Allah makes His believing slave steadfast and is part of his reward in this world.

At-Tahhaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-‘Aqeedah (p. 84): 

We believe in what is narrated about their karaamaat and what is mentioned in saheeh reports from trustworthy narrators. End quote.

But it is essential to approach this matter with caution and correct understanding, because extraordinary events may happen to some who promote misguidance, which may make the ignorant think that these are karaamaat when in fact it is the deceit of the devils.

Shaykh al-Islam (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The karaamaat of the close friends of Allah (awliya’) are true according to the consensus of the imams of Islam and of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah. That is indicated by the Qur’aan in more than one place and by saheeh hadeeths and well founded reports from the Sahaabah, Taabi‘een and others. It is only denied by innovators such as the Mu‘talizah, Jahamiyyah and those who followed them. But many of those who claim to have performed miracles or to whom people attributed miracles may have been lying or confused.[7]

It should be noted that the true miracle for the slaves of Allah, and especially for His close friends (awliya’), only occurs because of their following the path of righteousness and their adherence to it.

Shaykh al-Islam said: 

The real karaamah (honour) is steadfastness in adhering to the path of righteousness; There is no honour that Allah bestows on any of His slaves that can match the honour of helping him to do that which He loves and which pleases Him, and to do more of that which will bring him closer to Him and raise him in status.[8]

Secondly:

Some of these privileges or honours (miracles) happened to Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him), which were narrated from him by some of his students and those who knew him.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

I saw wondrous examples of the intuition of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) and I have never seen anything greater than it. The incidents of his intuition would fill a huge volume.

He told his companions about the Tatars entering ash-Shaam (greater Syria) in 699AH, and that the Muslim armies would be defeated, but there would be no widescale killing or taking of prisoners in Damascus, and that the (enemy) army’s main interest would be in seizing wealth. This was before the Tatars took any action to attack.

Then he told the people and the commanders in 702 AH, when the Tatars started moving and were heading towards greater Syria, that they would be defeated and the Muslims would be victorious, and he swore more than seventy oaths to that effect. It was said to him: Say In sha Allah (if Allah wills). So he said In sha Allah, but it was in affirmation and certainty, not with any sense of doubt or hesitation. And I (Ibn al-Qayyim) heard him say that.

And his intuition concerning the details of these two battles was very great indeed.

When he was summoned to Egypt, there were plans afoot to kill him – after a great deal of scheming to get rid of him, and many people were against him. His companions gathered to bid him farewell and they said: We have received many letters confirming that the people (in Egypt) are intending to kill you. He said: By Allah, it will never go that far. They said: Will you be imprisoned? He said: Yes, and it will be for a long time, then I will come out and I will speak up for the Sunnah, addressing large crowds of people. I heard him say that.

When his enemy who was known as al-Jaashinkeer came to power, they told him about that and said: Now he has the power to do whatever he wants with you. And he prostrated to Allah in gratitude, and remained in prostration for a long time. It was said to him: Why did you do this prostration? He said: This is the beginning of his humiliation and the end of his power has begun from now; the demise of his authority is at hand. It was said: When will that be? He said: The troops’ horses will not be bridled before his authority will vanish. And it turned out as he said. I heard him say that.

On one occasion he said: My companions and others enter upon me and I see in their faces and in their eyes things that I do not mention to them. I – or someone else – said to him: Why don’t you tell them? He said: Do you want me to be like a spy for the authorities?

One day I said to him: If you told us about that, it would help us to adhere to the straight path and righteousness. He said: You would not be able to put up with me for one week – or he said, one month.

On more than one occasion he told me about private, personal matters that I had decided to do but I had not spoken of them. And he told me about some major events that would happen in the future but he did not state a specific time; I have seen some of them and I am waiting for the rest.

What his senior companions saw of that is many more times what I have seen

End quote from Madaarij as-Saalikeen, 2/458-459

Better than this is what was narrated from him by Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) in his book al-Waabil as-Sayyib (p. 67) in which he said:

Allah knows, I have never seen anyone more happy and content than him despite the hardship he was living through and the type of life that is the opposite of luxury and pleasure, and despite what he went through of imprisonment, threats and exhaustion. Despite all that he was one of the most content and happiest of people, one of the strongest in spirit and most joyful; you could see in his face the glow of serenity. I remember when we were very fearful and were feeling pessimistic and distressed; we would come to him and no sooner did we see him or hear his words but all of those negative feelings would disappear and turn into peace of mind, strength, certainty and reassurance. Glory be to the One Who caused His slaves to experience the joy of His Paradise before meeting Him and opened its gates to them in the realm of striving (i.e. this world) so that some of its comforting breezes and fragrance could reach them and motivate them to seek it and compete for it. End quote.

Thirdly:

With regard to karaamaat (miracles) of the righteous among this ummah, such as the scholars, devoted worshippers and ascetics, there are many such stories. We will quote a few examples of such incidents that were narrated by the scholars in their books. However we should point out that many of the stories that have been narrated in this regard may not be sound, so it is essential to verify reports of this nature before taking them seriously or quoting them.

It was narrated that Qays ibn Abi Haazim said: I saw Khaalid ibn al-Waleed (may Allah be pleased with him) in Heerah. Some poison was brought to him and he said: What is this? They said: Poison that kills in a very short time. He said: Bismillah (in the name of Allah), then he swallowed it and nothing bad happened to him.

Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 6/498; al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah, 6/382

It was narrated that Thaabit al-Bunaani said: I was with Anas when his steward came to him and said: O Abu Hamzah, our land is very dry. Anas got up and did wudoo’, then he went out to the desert and prayed two rak‘ahs, then he offered supplication (du‘aa’). And I saw the clouds gathering, then it rained until everything was full. When the rain stopped, Anas sent one of his family members to look and said: See how far the rain reached. So he looked and it had not reached beyond his land except a short distance.

End quote from Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 7/11; al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah, 9/107

It was narrated that Ja‘far ibn Zayd al-‘Abdi said: We went out on campaign to Kabul and among the army was Silah ibn Ashyam. When we got close to the land of the enemy, the commander said: No one among the troops should wander off away from the army. A mule of Silah’s strayed, carrying its load, and he started to pray. It was said: The people (i.e. the army) have started moving on. He said: It is only two brief rak‘ahs. Then he offered supplication (du‘aa’) and said: O Allah, I urge You to return my mule and its load to me. Then it came and stood in front of him.

End quote from Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 7/142

It was narrated that Naafi‘ ibn Abi Nu‘aym said: When Abu Ja‘far Yazeed ibn al-Qa‘qaa‘ al-Qaari’ was washed (ghusl) after he died, they looked at the area between his throat and chest and saw that it looked like a page of the Mushaf. He said: None of those who were present doubted that it was the light of the Qur’aan.

End quote from Tahdheeb al-Kamaal, 33/201

It was narrated from Muhammad ibn Ziyaad al-Alhaani, from Abu Muslim al-Khawlaani, that a woman turned his wife against him, so he prayed against her and she lost her sight. Then she came to him and said: O Abu Muslim, I did such and such, but I shall not do it again. He said: O Allah, if she is telling the truth then restore her sight to her. And she regained her sight.

End quote from Hilyat al-Awliya’, 5/121

It was narrated that Bilaal ibn Ka‘b al-‘Akki said: Some boys said to Abu Muslim al-Khawlaani when a gazelle passed by: Pray to Allah to detain this gazelle for us. He prayed to Allah (du‘aa’) and He detained it until they caught it with their hands.

End quote from Tareekh Dimashq, 27/215

It was narrated that Shaqeeq said: I was in some farmland of mine when a cloud came, and I heard from it a voice saying: Rain on the land of So and so. So I went to the man and said: What do you do with your crops? He said: I plant one third (i.e., save the seeds for planting), I eat one third and I give one third in charity.

End quote from Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 7/94

It was narrated from Abu’l-‘Alaa’ ibn ‘Abdillah ibn ash-Shakhkheer that ‘Aamir ibn ‘Abd Qays used to take his stipend and carry it in the hem of his rida’ (upper garment), and he would not meet any of the poor who asked him for something but he would give him something. Then when he entered upon his family, he gave it to them and they counted it, and it was the same as what he had been given (i.e., it had not decreased at all).

End quote from Tareekh Dumashq, 26/29; al-Isaabah, 5/77

It was narrated that Yoonus said: When Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdillah entered his house, the vessels in his house would glorify Allah.

End quote from Tareekh Dimashq, 58/323; Hilyat al-Awliya’, 2/206

It was narrated that Qataadah said: Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdillah and a companion of his were walking on a dark night, and at the end of the whip of one of them there was a light. He said to his companion: If we tell people about this they will say that we are lying. Mutarrif said: The one who says we are lying is more of a liar.

End quote from Hilyat al-Awliya’, 2/205; Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’, 4/193

It was narrated that al-Jurayri said: ‘Abdullah ibn Shaqeeq was a man whose du‘aa’s were answered. Clouds would pass by him and he would say: O Allah, do not let them go beyond such and such a place before it rains, and they would not go beyond that place before it rained.

End quote from Tareekh Dimashq, 29/161

It was narrated that al-Haarith ibn an-Nu‘maan said: Ibraaheem ibn Adham used to pick fresh dates from oak trees.

End quote from Tareekh Dimashq, 6/326; Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’, 7/393

It was narrated that Yahya ibn Katheer al-Basri said: Kahmas ibn al-Hasan bought some flour for one dirham and ate some of it, then after a long time he weighed it and found that it was the same weight as when he bought it.

End quote from Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’, 6/317

There are many such stories in the books of the scholars that deal with biographies and stories of the salaf (early generations), such as az-Zuhd by Imam Ahmad, Hilyat al-Awliya’ by Abu Na‘eem al-Asbahaani, Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’ by adh-Dhahabi, al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah by Ibn Katheer, and many others. But some of these stories are not saheeh and some are exaggerated, especially the stories told by the Sufis in their books about their shaykhs. Hence at-Tahhaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

We believe in what is narrated of their karaamaat that is proven to be narrated from trustworthy narrators.

Shaykh al-Albaani said in his commentary on at-Tahhaawiyyah:

The author did well to limit it to the reports that are proven to be sound, because the people, especially among later generations of Muslims, narrated very many stories of karaamaat, to such an extent that they narrated many false stories under that heading which no one who has the slightest reason or common sense would doubt are false. In fact in some cases they contain major shirk, associating others with the Lordship of Allah (ruboobiyyah).

End quote from Takhreej al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahhaawiyyah, p. 84

We hope that you will read a very important book on this topic which is entitled al-Furqaan bayna Awliya’ ar-Rahmaan wa Awliya’ ash-Shaytaan by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him).

Sufi claim of worship through love alone:

 Worshiping Allah just by loving Him is the Manhaj (methodology) of misguided Sufis, which is of their own invention.

Loving Allah is the highest degree of Ibadah (worship), but not the sole act of Ibadah.

The Manhaj of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) is to worship Allah through love, fear, hope and other expressive forms of `Ibadah.

Allah (Exalted be He) says:

“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret.”[9]

Allah says about His Prophets:

“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before us.”[10] 

Allah also says about the angels:

“And they stand in awe for fear of Him.”[11] 

And:

“They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.”[12] 

There are many Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) elaborating on this meaning.

 Soofee type of Zuhd opposes the essence of true Zuhd laid down in the Qur’aan, authentic Sunnah, and guidance of salaf:

The call for Zuhd in Islam is to lead a pious life devoted to Allaah taking the least that is sufficient of the lawful things of life. It does not mean to abandon lawful means of earning, property, children, etc. nor exaggerating in performing acts of worship. Allaah, the Most High, says:

O Children of Adam! Take your adornment [by wearing your clean clothes] while praying and going round [the Tawaaf of] the Ka’bah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He [Allaah] likes not the extravagants.

Say [O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم]: “Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allaah, which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal things] of food?” Say: “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, [and] exclusively for them [believers] on the Day of Resurrection [the disbelievers will not share them].” Thus We explain the Aayaat [Islamic laws] in detail for people who have knowledge.[13]

He (Azza wa Jal) also said:

But seek with that [wealth] which Allaah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world, and do good as Allaah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily Allaah likes not the Mufsideen [those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischiefmakers, corrupted people].[14] 

When Sa’d Bin Abee Waqqaas[15]  asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) whether he can will all of his property in charity, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told him to give only one third of it and said:

“One third is too much. It is better for you to leave your inheritors wealthy than to leave them poor, begging from others.”[16]

He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) invoked Allaah to grant abundant wealth to Anas Bin Maalik:

Narrated Anas : My mother said, “O Allaah’s Messenger! Please invoke Allaah on behalf of your servant (i.e. Anas ).” He said: “O Allaah! Increase his wealth and children, and bestow your blessings on whatever you give him.”[17] There are many other texts in the Qur’aan and (or) Sunnah which teach the medium course of this Deen in its acts of worship as well as in its codes for living this life in the way that pleases Allaah.

In contrast, we find that the Soofee type of Zuhd opposes the essence of true Zuhd laid down in the Qur’aan, authentic Sunnah, and as understood by the Salaf mainly that it is a renunciation of that which is of no benefit in the Hereafter. Consider, for example, some of the so-called Soofee Zuhd:(2)

(2) Poverty, hunger, abandonment of lawful things and of Hadeeth, and other strange things:

A Soofee master said, “I like for the beginner not to make his heart busy with the matter of earning (i.e. a living), otherwise he would change.” [18]

Another master said, “I have attained this state (of Soofee knowledge) by means of a hungry stomach and a naked body.”[19]

A call to abandon marriage and the seeking of hadeeth−knowledge is attributed to the “Soofee master” AlJunayd.[20]

Al-Ghazaalee also related the same saying of AlJunayd: “I like for the starting Mureed (Soofee disciple) not to occupy his heart in three things, otherwise his condition will change (he then named them as): (1)-Seeking to gain sustenance, (2)-Seeking knowledge of Al-Hadeeth, and (3)- Marriage.”[21]

Within Soofee sources we find the following statement: “Hunger is the food of the Zaahideen!” [22]

‘Abdul Wahaaab Ash-Sha’raanee, an authority on Soofism in the eyes of the Soofis reported that Rabaah Bin ‘Amr AlQayeesee said: “A man would not attain the levels of the Siddeeqeen [23] until he leaves his wife as if she was a widow, his kids as if they were orphans, and takes refuge in dog houses!” [24]

According to Ash-Sha’raanee, Ibraaheem Bin ‘Usayeefeer was, “A man having a great deal of Kashf …He used to come to the town riding a wolf or a hyena, and to walk on water having no need for a boat; his urine was as white as milk…Most often he slept in a church, and he used to say: the Christians, unlike Muslims, do not steal shoes in the church.”[25]

He invalidated the fasting of the Muslims who ate chicken and mutton meat. Only those who, like the Christians, do not eat mutton meat, their fast is correct as far as ‘Usayeefeer is concerned![26]

A story of another “Soofee”, Ibn Al-Kurainee, the teacher of Al-Junayd in which he says that he subdued himself into humiliation for twenty years until it became like that of a dog! [27]

According to the Soofee sources, Abu Yazeed, an example for many Soofis, devoted himself to Allaah and he had the determination to restrain himself from drinking water and from sleeping for one year! [28]

Ash-Sha’raanee also reported that one of the celebrated Soofee so-called Awliyaa’ by the name of ‘Abdur Rahmaan Al-Majthoob, “Cut off his own private part in the beginning of his Jathbah (a mystic Soofee state of Jathb)”! [29]

He also reported that another Soofee mystic by the name of Yaaqut Al-‘Arshee (d.707 AH/1307 C.E.) married the daughter of his sheikh Abul ‘Abbaas Al-Mursee. She stayed with him for eighteen years but he never touched her being shy from her father. He left her while she was still a virgin![30]

Sufi Concept: “Take what you wish from the Qur’aan for whatever you wish” – Shaykh Al-Albaanee

 There is a hadeeth in a small book, which states: “Take what you wish from the Qur’aan for whatever you wish (i.e. need).” Is this hadeeth authentic?

 Answer:

This hadeeth: “Take what you wish from the Qur’aan for whatever you wish (i.e. need)” is a hadeeth that has become famous amongst some tongues. But unfortunately, it is one of those hadeeths that have no basis in the Sunnah. So because of this, it is not permissible to report it or ascribe it to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم.

Furthermore, this vast and comprehensive understanding (found in the hadeeth) is not valid and not established at all in the Legislation of Islaam: “Take what you wish from the Qur’aan for whatever you wish.” So for example, (this hadeeth indicates that) I can just sit at home and not go out to work in my job or occupation, instead seeking sustenance from my Lord – that He send it down to me from the sky – since I am taking what I wish from the Qur’aan! Who says such a thing!!!

Therefore, this is a false statement. Perhaps it is a narration that was fabricated by those lazy Sufis who are accustomed to sitting and residing in those places they call ribaataat (hospices). They gather in these areas and sit there awaiting Allaah’s sustenance from those people who bring it to them. This is in spite of them knowing that this is not from the nature of a Muslim since the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم nurtured everyone to have high aspirations and to be dignified, as he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The upper hand is better than the lower hand. The upper hand is the one that gives and the lower hand is the one that asks (i.e. begs).” [31]

Concerning this topic, I was amazed by a story I once read regarding one of these ascetics and Sufis, but I will not prolong it since their tales are many and bizarre:

They claim that one of them went out one time traveling throughout the land without any provisions. So it got to the point that he was about to die from hunger when a village appeared to him from afar, so he walked to it. This was on a Friday. According to his perception, he had gone out while putting all of his reliance upon Allaah. So in order not to invalidate this so called “reliance”, according to his view, he didn’t make himself visible to the gathering of people in the masjid. Rather, he hid himself under the mimbar (pulpit) so that no one would notice him. But he kept telling himself that perhaps someone would detect him. In the meantime, the speaker (khateeb) delivered his sermon and this man failed to pray along with the congregation! After, the Imaam finished giving his sermon and praying, the people began exiting the doors of the masjid in groups and individually. This was such that the man felt that the masjid would soon be empty, at which point the doors would be locked and he would remain alone in the masjid without any food or drink.

So he had no choice but to make some sounds like that of one clearing his throat in order to let those present known that he was there. Some people realized someone was there so they went and found a man that looked like he had nearly transformed to just bones due to hunger and thirst. The people took hold of him and rushed to assist him.

They asked him: “Who are you, sir?”
He replied: “I am a zaahid (ascetic), one who puts his reliance in Allaah.”

They said: “How can you say ‘I am one who puts his reliance in Allaah’ when you almost died. If you had truly put your reliance in Allaah, you would not have asked (for help), nor would you have alerted the people to your presence by clearing your throat. And as a result you would have died due to your sin!”

This is an example of the extent that can be reached due to the likes of this hadeeth: “Take what you wish from the Qur’aan for whatever you wish (i.e. need).”

To summarize: This hadeeth has no basis to it.

Praying at graves and the conditions of intercession:

Praying at graves is of two types: 

The first type is praying to the occupant of the grave. This is major shirk which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, because prayer is an act of worship, and it is not permissible to do any act of worship to anyone other than Allaah. Allaah says : 

“Worship Allaah and join none with Him (in worship)”[32]

 “Verily, Allaah forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners (in worship) with Him, but He forgives whom He wills, sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allaah, has indeed strayed far away”.[33]

The second type is praying to Allaah in the graveyard. This covers a number of issues: 

1 – Praying the funeral (janaazah) prayer at the graveside, which is permissible. 

Example: if a person dies and you are not able to offer the funeral prayer for him in the mosque, then it is permissible for you to offer the prayer for him after he is buried. 

The evidence for this is that this is what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that a black man or a black woman used to clean the mosque, and he (or she) died. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked about him and they said, “He died.” He said, “Why did you not tell me? Show me to his grave (or her grave).” So he went to the grave and offered the funeral prayer.[34]

2 – Praying the funeral prayer in the graveyard, which is permissible 

Example: a person dies and you are not able to offer the funeral prayer for him in the mosque, so you go to the graveyard and offer the prayer there before he is buried. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “It is permissible to offer the funeral prayer for the deceased inside the graveyard just as it is permissible to offer the funeral prayer for him after he is buried, because it was proven that a woman used to clean the mosque and she died. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked about her and they said, ‘She died.’ He said, ‘Why did you not tell me? Show me to her grave.’ So they showed him and he offered the prayer for her, then he said, ‘These graves are filled with darkness for their occupants, but Allaah illuminates them by my prayer over them.’[35]

From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 8/392 

3 – Praying in the graveyard – apart from the funeral (janaazah) prayer – this prayer is invalid and does not count, whether it is an obligatory prayer or a naafil prayer. 

The evidence for that is as follows: 

  • The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “All the earth is a mosque apart from the graveyards and bathroom.

 

  • The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May Allaah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.”[36]

 

  • Praying in graveyards may be a means that leads to worshipping the graves, or to imitating those who worship graves. Hence, because the kaafirs used to prostrate to the sun as it was rising and setting, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade us to pray when the sun is rising or setting, lest that be taken as a means that leads to worshipping the sun instead of Allaah, or to resembling the kuffaar. 

4 – Praying towards the graveyard, which is haraam, according to the correct opinion. 

Example: you pray with a graveyard or grave in the direction of your qiblah, but you are not praying in the graveyard, rather you are praying on some other ground that is close to the graveyard, with no wall or barrier between you and it. 

The evidence for this being haraam: 

  • It was narrated that Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not sit on graves, or pray towards them.” (Narrated by Muslim, 972). This indicates that it is haraamto pray towards graveyards or towards graves or towards a single grave.
  • The reason why it is not allowed to pray towards a graveyard is the same as the reason why it is not allowed to pray towards a grave. So long as a person is facing towards the grave or graveyard in such a way that it may be said that he is praying towards it, then this comes under the prohibition, and if it comes under the prohibition then it is not valid, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Do not pray …” The prohibition here is on praying, so if a person prays towards a grave, he is combining obedience and disobedience, and it is not possible to draw closer to Allaah in such a manner. 

Note: If there is a wall between you and the graveyard, then the basic principle is that it is acceptable to pray in this case and it is not prohibited. Similarly, if there is a street or a considerable distance which would mean that you cannot be regarded as praying towards the graves, then this is acceptable.

See al-Mughni, 1/403; al-Sharh al-Mumti’ by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 2/232. 

 Issue of intercession:

There are conditions attached to intercession: 

1 – Permission must be granted by Allaah to the intercessor to intercede.

2 – Allaah must approve of the one for whom intercession is to be made. 

The evidence for these two conditions is the verses in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allaah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with”[37]

 “And they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased”[38]

As for the imaginary intercession which the idol-worshippers think their gods perform for them, this is an invalid intercession, for Allaah does not permit intercession unless He is pleased both with the intercessor and those for whom intercession is made.  

See al-Qawl al-Mufeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed by Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him), p. 336-337. 

The fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the believers will intercede does not justify asking them to intercede, as some people do when they ask the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to intercede for them even after his death.

 

Is it permissible to put a marker on a grave so that it will be known whose grave it is?

Islam forbids erecting structures over graves, and commands that any such structures should be knocked down. But it is permitted to put a marker on the grave so that the family and friends of the deceased will know where it is. However, this marker should not be a structure or anything else that is not allowed in sharee’ah. 

1 – With regard to the prohibition on erecting structures over graves, the evidence for that is as follows. 

It was narrated that Jaabir said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade plastering over graves, sitting on them and erecting structures over them. 

Narrated by Muslim, 970. 

Al-Shawkaani said: 

The phrase “erecting structures over them: indicates that it is haraam to build anything over a grave. 

Al-Shaafa’i and his companions made the following distinction: if the structure is built on the property of the person who builds it, it is makrooh, and if it is in a public graveyard, it is haraam. 

But there is no evidence for making this distinction. 

Al-Shaafa’i said: I saw the imams in Makkah ordering that what had been built (over graves) was to be knocked down. 

The hadeeth of ‘Ali also indicates that such structures should be destroyed. 

Nayl al-Awtaar, 4/132; the view of al-Shaafa’i is mentioned in al-Umm, 1/277 

The hadeeth of ‘Ali referred to will be quoted below.

With regard to the command to knock down structures that have been built over graves, that is proven in the Sunnah. 

It was narrated that Abu’l-Hayaaj al-Asadi said: ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib said to me: “Shall I not send you on the same mission as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent me? Do not leave any statue without erasing it, and do not leave any raised grave without leveling it.”[39] 

Al-Shawkaani said: 

The words “do not leave any raised grave without leveling it” means that the Sunnah is that a grave should not be made very high, and there should be no differentiation between those who were virtuous and those who were not virtuous. 

It seems that making a grave higher than the amount that is permitted is haraam. This was clearly stated by the companions of Ahmad and a group of the companions of al-Shaafa’i and Maalik. 

The view that it is not haraam because the earlier and later generations did that without anyone denouncing that action, as Imam Yahya and al-Mahdi said in al-Ghayth, is not correct, because the most that can be said is that they kept quiet about it, and keeping quiet does not count as evidence if it has to do with matters which are not definitive, and the prohibition of making graves high is not definitive. 

The making graves high that is mentioned in the hadeeth especially includes the domes and shrines that are built over graves, and the taking of graves as places of worship. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed those who do that. (Nayl al-Awtaar, 4/130). 

With regard to it being permissible to mark a grave with something permissible, there is evidence in the Sunnah which explains that. 

It was narrated from Katheer ibn Zayd al-Madani that al-Muttalib said: When ‘Uthmaan ibn Maz’oon died, his bier was brought out and he was buried, then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered a man to bring a rock but he was not able to carry it. So the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up and rolled up his sleeves. Katheer said: al-Muttalib said: the one who narrated that to me from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: it is as if I can see the whiteness of the arms of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he rolled up his sleeves. Then he carried it and placed it at the head (of the grave), and said, “From this I will recognize the grave of my brother, and I can bury those among my family who die near him.”[40]

The isnaad of this hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Haafiz ibn Hajar in al-Talkhees al-Habeer, 2/133). 

Ibn Qudaamah said: 

There is nothing wrong with marking a grave with a stone of a piece of wood. There is nothing wrong with a man marking a grave so that he will know where it is. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) marked the grave of ‘Uthmaan ibn Maz’oon. Al-Mughni, 2/191.

 Salutations at graves:

Visiting graves is mustahabb for men, because according to the hadeeth of Buraydah ibn al-Husayb, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

 “I used to forbid you to visit graves, but now visit them.”[41] (According to another report, “… for they will remind you of the Hereafter.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 1240; Ibn Maajah, 1569; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh ibn Maajah). 

When visiting the graves it is mustahabb to greet the occupants of the graves with salaam and to make du’aa’ for them saying the words that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his companions. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “O Messenger of Allaah, what should I say to them (i.e., to the occupants of the graves)?” He said, “Say: Al-salaamu ‘ala ahl il-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa yarham Allaah al-mustaqdimeena minna wa’l-musta’khireen, wa innaa in sha Allaah bikum la laahiqoon (Peace be upon the inhabitants of the graves, believers and Muslims. May Allaah have mercy upon those who have gone ahead of us and those who come later on, and verily we will, in sha Allaah, join you).” [42]

It was narrated from Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach them, when they went out to the graveyard, to say: “Al-salaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa inna in sha Allaah lalaahiqoon. As’al Allaah lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah (Peace be upon you, O inhabitants of the graves, believers and Muslims. Verily we will, in sha Allaah, join you. I ask Allaah for well-being for us and for you).”” 

With regard to the graves of the Sahaabah, he should say the same du’aa’s as described above; there is no special du’aa’ for that. 

With regard to visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his two companions Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them), what was narrated from the Sahaabah is to greet them with salaam. Ibn ‘Umar used to say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah, al-salaam ‘alayka ya Aba Bakr, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya abati (O my father),” then he would go away. This was classed as saheeh by al-Haafiz ibn Hajar. 

Some of the scholars added to that: “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya kheerat Allaah min khalqihi, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya sayyid al-mursaleen, ash-hadu annaka ballaghta al-risaalah (Peace be upon you, whom Allaah chose from among His creation; peace be upon you O leader of the Messengers, I bear witness that you indeed conveyed the message).” 

See al-Adhkaar by al-Nawawi, p. 174; al-Mughni, 5/466 

Al-Tabari said: If the visitor says the above longer version, there is nothing wrong with that, but following the example (of the Sahaabah) is better, i.e., limiting oneself to what was narrated from the Sahaabah is better. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Manaasik al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah: After (the pilgrim) prays upon arrival in the Prophet’s Mosque as much as Allaah wills he should pray, he should go and send salaams upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his two companions Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them). 

1 – He should stand in front of the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), facing the grave and with his back towards the qiblah, and say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ayyuha’l-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu (Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allaah).” If he wants to add something appropriate there is nothing wrong with that, such as saying, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya khaleel-Allaah wa ameenahu ‘ala waheehi wa kheeratahu min khalqihi, ash-hadu annaka qad ballaghta al-risaalah wa addayta al-amaanah wa nasahta al-ummah wa jaahadta fi Allaahi haqqa jihaadihi (Peace be upon you, O close friend of Allaah, the one with whom He entrusted His revelation and the one whom He chose from among His creation. I bear witness that you conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust, sincerely advised the ummah and strove with all your might for the sake of Allaah). 

But if he limits himself to the first salutation, that is good. Ibn ‘Umar used to say “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah, al-salaam ‘alayka ya Aba Bakr, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya abati (O my father),” then he would go away 

2 – Then he should take one step to his right so that he is in front of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) and say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Aba Bakr, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya khaleefat Rasool-illaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fi ummatihi, radiya Allaahu ‘anka wa jazaaka ‘an ummati Muhammadin khayran (Peace be upon you, O Abu Bakr, peace be upon you O successor of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his ummah, may Allaah be pleased with you and reward you with good on behalf of Muhammad).” 

3 – Then he should take one step to his right so that he is in front of ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) and say, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya ‘Umar, al-salaamu ‘alayka ya ameer al-mu’mineen, radiya Allaahu ‘anka wa jazaaka ‘an ummati Muhammadin khayran (Peace be upon you, O ‘Umar, peace be upon you, O leader of the believers, may Allaah be pleased with you and reward you with good on behalf of Muhammad).  

But he should send salaams upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his two companions with proper etiquette and in a low voice, for raising the voice in the mosque is forbidden, especially in the Mosque of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and at his grave. 

Manaasik al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah wa’l-Mashroo’ fi’l-Ziyaarah, p. 107, 108 

If a person says “al-salaamu ‘alayum” when visiting graves, and says, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah” when visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), this is not considered to be shirk, because it is not a prayer to the dead or seeking their help. Rather it is du’aa’ for them, praying that Allaah may keep them safe from all the dangers that a person may encounter after death, such as the torment of the grave, the resurrection, the reckoning and the horrors of the Hereafter. 

See Zaad al-Mustanqi’, 5/473; Ashraat al-Saa’ah by Dr. Yoosuf al-Waabil, p. 337.

Reading Qur’aan at the grave:

It is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to visit graves, and he would recite du’aa’s for the dead that he taught to his companions and they learned them from him. For example: “Al-salaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, wa inna in sha Allaah bikum laahiqoon, nas’al Allaaha lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah (Peace be upon you, O people of the dwellings, believers and Muslims. If Allaah wills we will join you. We ask Allaah to grant us and you safety).” 

But there is no report that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited a soorah of the Qur’aan or any verses thereof for the dead, even though he visited them often. If that had been prescribed, he would have done it and would have taught it to his companions, seeking the reward and out of mercy towards his ummah, and fulfilling the obligation to convey the message. For he was as Allaah described him (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad) is anxious over you; for the believers (he is) full of pity, kind, and merciful”[43]

The fact that he did not do that even though there were reasons why he might have done it indicates that it is not prescribed. His companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) knew that and followed in his footsteps, and they limited themselves to learning lessons and making du’aa’ for the dead when they visited them. There is no report that they read Qur’aan for the dead. For them such reading was an innovation (bid’ah), and it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not part of it will have it rejected.” Agreed upon. 

From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 9/38 

it is not prescribed to put palm-leaf stalks or flowers on graves:

The hadeeth referred to by the questioner was narrated by al-Bukhaari (218) and Muslim (292) from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by two graves and said: “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for something that was difficult to avoid. One of them used not to take precautions to avoid (his body or clothes being soiled by) urine, and the other used to walk around spreading malicious gossip.” Then he took a fresh palm-leaf stalk and split it in two, and placed one piece on each of the two graves. They said: O Messenger of Allaah, why did you do that?” He said: “Perhaps the torment will be reduced for them so long as this does not dry out.” 

Some of the scholars said that the reason why the torment would be reduced for them was that the fresh palm-leaf stalk glorifies Allaah, so that would be the reason why the torment would be reduced. This is subject to further discussion. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

This is the view of many or most of the mufassireen concerning the verse: 

“And there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise”[44]

They said: What this means is everything that has life in it. Then they said: The life of everything is in accordance with its nature, and wood is alive so long as it has not dried out and a rock is alive so long as it has not been cut. Some mufassireen and others were of the view that this is to be understood in general terms. 

i.e., that the tasbeeh (glorification of Allaah) does not apply only to the fresh leaf in exclusion of the dry; rather everything, fresh or dry, glorifies and praises Allaah. 

Al-Khattaabi and those who followed him criticized the action of placing palm-leaf stalks and the like on graves, following this hadeeth. He said concerning this hadeeth: it is to be understood as meaning that he prayed that their torment might be reduced so long as these stalks remained fresh, not that the stalk had any significance in and of itself, nor that there is any significance in the fresh stalk that is not in the dry. 

Based on this, this action was something that was only for the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and it is not recommended for anyone to place palm-leaf stalks or anything else on graves. 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) put the palm-leaf stalk on the two graves and hoped that the torment of the two people on whose graves he placed it would be reduced, that was a specific incident related to those two people only, is not to be taken as generally applicable; it applies only to the two whose torment Allaah caused him to know of. That is something that was only for the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and it is not a universal Sunnah to be done to the graves of the Muslims. Rather it only occurred two or three times, if we count the number of times that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it. It is not known that any of the Sahaabah did that, and they were the keenest of all Muslims to follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and to benefit the Muslims. There is only one report from Buraydah al-Sulami, who left instructions that two palm-leaf stalks should be placed on his grave. But we do not know of any of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) who agreed with Buraydah in that. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: 

That is not prescribed in Islam, rather it is bid’ah (an innovation), because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only placed the palm-leaf stalk on the two graves of the people whose torment he was made aware of; he did not place them on any other graves. From that we know that it is not permissible to put them on graves, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” According to a version narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does anything that is not part of this matter of ours (Islam), will have it rejected.” 

Similarly, it is not permissible to write on graves or to place flowers on them, because of the two hadeeth quoted above, and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade plastering over graves, erecting structures over them, sitting on them and writing on them. 

Majallat al-Buhooth al-Islamiyyah, 68/50.

 Do the dead visit or feel or see one another in their graves?:

Yes, it is proven that the souls of the believers meet and visit one another. There follow some of the ahaadeeth which indicate that, as well as some of the fatwas of the scholars on this matter. 

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When the believer is dying, the angels of mercy come to him with white silk and say: ‘Come out content and with the pleasure of Allaah upon you to the mercy of Allaah, fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.’ So it comes out like the best fragrance of musk. They pass him from one to another until they bring him to the gate of heaven, where they say: ‘How good is this fragrance that has come to you from the earth!’ Then the souls of the believers come to him and they rejoice more over him than any one of you rejoices when his absent loved one comes to him. They ask him: ‘What happened to So and so, what happened to So and so?’ They say: ‘Let him be, for he was in the hardship of the world. When he says, ‘Did he not come here?’ They say: ‘He was taken to the pit (of Hell).’ When the kaafir is dying, the angers of punishment come to him with sackcloth and say: ‘Come out discontent and subject to divine wrath to the punishment of Allaah. So it comes out like the foulest stench of a corpse. They bring him to the gates of the earth, where they say: ‘How foul is this stench!’ Then they bring him to the souls of the kuffaar.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 1833; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2758. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: Does his soul meet with the souls of his family and relatives? According to the hadeeth narrated from Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari and others of the salaf, and narrated by Abu Haatim in al-Saheeh from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):  “When his soul is taken up it is met by the souls who ask him about the living and they say to one another: ‘Let him rest.’ And they say: ‘What happened to so and so?’ And he says: ‘He did a righteous deed.’ They say: ‘What happened to so and so?’ and he says: ‘Has he not come to you?’ They say: ‘No.’ they say: ‘He was taken to the Pit (of Hell).’” 

And because the deeds of the living are shown to the dead, Abu’l-Darda’ used to say: “O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from doing any deed that would shame me before ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Rawaahah.” This is how they meet when he comes and they ask him questions and they answer him. 

With regard to where they settle, that depends on their status before Allaah. For the one who is among those who are close to Allaah (al-muqarrabeen – cf. al-Waaqi’ah 56:88), his status will be higher than those of the Right Hand (cf. al-Waaqi’ah 56:90). The one who is higher may descend to the one who is lower but the one who is lower cannot ascend to the one who is higher, thus they will gather when Allaah wills as they used to gather in this world, despite their differences in status, and they will visit one another. 

That will happen whether their places in which they are buried in this world are far apart or close together. Souls may meet even though their places of burial are far apart, or they may be separated even though their places of burial are close together. A believer may be buried beside a kaafir, but the soul of the former will be in Paradise whilst the soul of the latter is in Hell. Two men may be sitting or sleeping in the same place, but the heart of one is blessed and the heart of the other is tormented, and there is no connection between the two souls. As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Souls are troops collected together and those who got along with each other (in the heaven from whence they come) would have an affinity with one another (in this world) and those amongst them who opposed each other (in heaven) would also be divergent (in the world).” Narrated by Muslim, 2638; Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 24/368. 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: 

The second issue is whether the souls of the dead meet one another, visit one another and talk to one another. 

This is a good question. The answer is that souls are of two types: those that are punished and those that are blessed.  Those that are punished are too preoccupied with the torment that they are facing to visit and meet one another, but the souls that are blessed are free and are not detained, so they meet one another, visit one another and talk about what they used to do in this world and what happened to the people of this world. So each soul will be with its friends who did similar good deeds. The soul of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is with the highest companions. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And whoso obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddeeqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As‑Siddeeq), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!”[45]

This togetherness is confirmed in this world, in al-Barzakh and in the abode of reward (Paradise), and “A man will be with those whom he loves” in these three realms… Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“(It will be said to the pious — believers of Islamic Monotheism): ‘O (you) the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction!. ‘Come back to your Lord, — well‑pleased (yourself) and well‑pleasing (unto Him)!

  1. ‘Enter you then among My (honoured) slaves, ‘And enter you My Paradise!’[46]

i.e., enter among them and be one of them. This is said to the soul at the time of death… And Allaah has told us that the martyrs are: “are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:169]; they “rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:170] and “They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allaah” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:171]. This indicates that they will meet one another in three ways: (1) they are with their Lord and are given provision, and if they are alive then they meet one another; (2) they rejoice at the arrival of their brothers and their meeting with them; and (3) the word yastabshiroon (translated as “rejoice”) implies that they pass the good news to one another.  Al-Rooh, p. 17, 18. 

There are ahaadeeth which state that the dead visit one another and we are commanded to make their shrouds beautiful because of that, but none of these ahaadeeth are saheeh. For example, the hadeeth of Abu Qataadah according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever takes the responsibility of preparing his brother for burial, let him make his shroud beautiful, for they visit one another in them.” Shu’ab al-Eemaan, 7/10. 

Its isnaad includes Salam ibn Ibraaheem al-Warraaq whom Ibn Mu’een and al-Dhahabi classed as a liar, as did others. 

 Ruling on reading Qur’aan at the graveside and putting roses and fragrant herbs on the grave:

With regard to reciting Qur’aan when visiting the grave, this is something which has no basis in the Sunnah. 

It is not prescribed in Islam, and the fact that it is not prescribed is supported by the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Do not make your houses into graveyards, for the Shaytaan flees from a house in which Soorat al-Baqarah is recited.” This was narrated by Muslim and al-Tirmidhi from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah. This indicates that graves are not the place for reading Qur’aan, hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged reading Qur’aan in our houses and told us not to make them like graveyards where it is not read. Another hadeeth indicates that they (graveyards) are not the place for prayer (salaah) either. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Pray in your houses and do not make them like graves.” This was narrated by Muslim and others from Ibn ‘Umar. A similar report was narrated by al-Bukhaari, who included it in a chapter entitled Baab Karaahat al-Salaah fi’l-Maqaabir (Chapter on it being disliked to pray in graveyards); thus he indicated that the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar could be understood to mean that it is makrooh to pray in graveyards. Similarly the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah may be understood to mean that it is makrooh to read Qur’aan in graveyards. There is no difference between praying and reading Qur’aan in this regard.  Abu Dawood said in his Masaa’il (p. 158): “I heard Ahmad being asked about reading Qur’aan at the graveside. He said, ‘No [that should not be done].’” 

It is not prescribed in Islam to put “aas” leaves (a kind of tree) or fragrant herbs or roses on the grave, because this is not what the salaf did, and if it was good, they would have done it before us. Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “Every bid’ah (innovation) is a going astray, even if the people think it is good.” (Narrated by Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanah ‘an Usool al-Diyaanah, 2/112; al-Laakaa’i in al-Sunnah, 1/21, a mawqoof report with a saheeh isnaad). 

The Nature of Life in the Grave:

Some one asked a Sheikh:

When it is said that the dead person is alive in the grave, is that the same as his former life (is he alive in the same way)? How many of his senses are restored to him? For how long does he stay alive in the grave? If the dead person is questioned in a physical sense, how does that apply in the case of those who are burned (cremated) like the Hindus and Japanese and others? Where does their questioning take place?  When a doctor performs an operation, he removes the person’s senses by means of an anaesthetic. With regard to death, I wonder what death means.?

Answer:

Firstly: it should be noted that what is obligatory upon every believing man and woman is to believe what Allaah tells them in His Book or on the lips of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about all matters that have to do with the Hereafter, the Reckoning, Paradise and Hell, or that have to do with death, the grave and torment or blessing in the grave, and all matters of the Unseen that are mentioned in the Noble Qur’aan or in the saheeh reports of the Sunnah. We have to believe and accept that, because we know that our Lord tells the truth in all that He says and tells us about. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and whose words can be truer than those of Allaah? (Of course, none)”[47]

 “And who is truer in statement than Allaah?”[48]

We know that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the most truthful of people, and that he never spoke on the basis of his own whims and desires; it was Revelation which was revealed to him. Whatever was proven in the saheeh ahaadeeth, it is obligatory to believe in it even if we do not fully understand it. So what we have to do is to believe what has been narrated concerning the matters of the Hereafter and of Paradise and Hell, and the blessings of the people of Paradise and the torments of the people of Hell, and the fact that in the grave a person will be tormented or blessed, and that his soul will return to him. All of this is true and is stated in the texts, so we have to submit to that and believe everything that we learn from the Qur’aan or that is narrated in the saheeh Sunnah or on which the scholars of Islam reached consensus. 

If Allaah blesses a believing man or woman with knowledge of the reasons for that, then it is even better, light upon light and knowledge upon knowledge. So let him praise Allaah and give thanks to Him for the knowledge and insight that He has bestowed, thus increasing his knowledge and peace of mind. 

With regard to the questioning in the grave and the state of the deceased, this questioning is real. The deceased person’s soul will be restored to him; saheeh reports to that effect have been narrated from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The life of the deceased in the grave is different from his life in this world; it is a special kind of life in al-barzakh (the interval between his death and the Day of Resurrection) which is not like his life in this world, where he needs food and drink etc. It is a special kind of life wherein he can understand the questions and answers, so the two angels will ask him, Who is your Lord? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet? 

The believer will say, My Lord is Allaah, Islam is my religion and Muhammad is my Prophet. This will be the answer of believing men and women. Then he will be asked, What do you know about this man (Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him))? He will say, He is the Messenger of Allaah. He brought us guidance and we believed in him and followed him. It will be said: we knew that you were a believer. Then a gate to Paradise will be opened for him, and he will feel its rest and provision and blessings. It will be said, This is your place until Allaah resurrects you to it. And he will be shown his place in Hell, and it will be said to him, This would have been your place if you had disbelieved in Allaah, but now Allaah has granted you refuge from it and you have ended up in Paradise. 

As for the kaafir, he will be asked about his Lord and his religion and his Prophet, and he will say, Oh, oh, I don’t know, I heard the people saying something so I said the same. Then he will be beaten with an iron rod and will utter a scream that will be heard by all things apart from al-thaqalayn, i.e. jinn and men; the animals will hear it. Then a gate to Hell  will be opened for him, and his grave will constrict until his ribs intermingle, and his grave will be like one of the pits of Hell. A gate to Hell will be opened for him and he will feel its heat and torment. It will be said, This is your place until Allaah resurrects you to it. Then a door to Paradise will be opened for him and he will be shown his place in Paradise, and it will be said to him, This would have been your place if Allaah had guided you. 

From this we know that the grave will be either one of the gardens of Paradise or one of the pits of Hell. The torment or blessing will happen to the body as well as the soul in the grave, and also in the Hereafter, in either Paradise or Hell.

With regard to those who die by drowning or burning, or are eaten by wild animals, their souls will have their share of torment or blessing, and that will come to their bodies on land or in the sea, or in the bellies of the wild animals, as much as Allaah wills. But most of the blessing or torment will come to their souls which remain, either in a state of blessing or a state of torment. The soul of the believer will go to Paradise; the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The soul of the believer is a bird which hangs from the trees of Paradise, eating their fruits; the soul of the kaafir goes to Hell.”

Every Muslim man and woman has to accept what Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) have told us, and believe it as it was meant by Allaah, even though some of the meaning may be hidden from us. And Allaah has perfect wisdom, may He be glorified.

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), p. 338.

It is not allowed to plant trees on graves:

Some people plant things such as Indian fig trees (Opuntia ficus-indica) on graves, based on the claim that the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) put that on the graves of two of his companions. What is the ruling on that?.

It is not permissible to plant trees on graves, whether they are Indian fig trees or any other kind, or to sow barley or wheat or anything else on them, because the Messenger did not do that to graves, and neither did the Rightly Guided Caliphs who succeeded him (may Allaah be pleased with them). 

With regard to what he did to the two graves when Allaah showed him the torment of their occupants, by planting palm stalks on them, this was something that was for those two graves only, because he did not do that with any other graves. The Muslims have no right to make up new acts of worship that are not prescribed by Allaah, because of the hadeeth mentioned and because Allaah says: 

“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not ordained?”[49]

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 5/407 

Ruling on singling out Fridays for visiting graves:

There is no basis for that. What is prescribed is to visit graves at any time of night or day that suits the visitor. With regard to singling out a particular day or night, this is bid’ah and there is no basis for this, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it will have it rejected.” (Saheeh, agreed upon). And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does anything that is not a part of this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.” (Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh from ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her). 

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 13, no. 336

Ruling on excavating graves:

 The basic principle is that it is not permissible, because of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Breaking the bone of a dead person is like breaking his bone when he is alive.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3207). This indicates that the dead person has a kind of sanctity, and the Muslim has sanctity whether he is alive or dead. If that is the case, then it is not permissible (to excavate graves) unless that is for an obvious reason. Issues of this kind should be referred to a shar’i judge who can decide whether there is such any interest to be served by doing this.  

Shaykh Khaalid ibn ‘Ali al-Mushayqih.

Giving salaams to the inhabitants of the graves – should this be done by those who pass by or only by those who enter the graveyard?:

The fuqaha’ said that it is Sunnah for both the one who passes by and the one who enters the graveyard to say salaams to the inhabitants of the graves. Based on that, the one who is passing by should stop, say salaams, then continue on his way. And Allaah knows best.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen

The aqtaab and abdaal in Sufi thought:

According to Ahl al-Sunnah, the wali (in the sense of being a close friend of Allaah) is as defined by Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, in His holy Book, where He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“No doubt! Verily, the Awliya’ of Allaah, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve.

  1. Those who believed, and used to fear Allaah much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds).
  2. For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world, and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allaah. This is indeed the supreme success”[50]

This verse states that the wali (close friend) of Allaah is the pious believer who fears Allaah, who loves Allaah and supports His Religion, and seeks to please Him, who adheres to the limits He has set and supports His law and His religion. He is one of the slaves of Allaah, and is not beyond His control and authority, rather he does not even have the power to benefit or harm himself, and he does not know what Allaah has decreed for him. This is the wali of Allaah according to Ahl al-Sunnah. 

The way in which a person may attain the status of being a wali is to perform obligatory duties, then start to perform naafil acts of worship until Allaah loves him, then when He loves him, he will be a true wali of His. In the saheeh hadeeth it says: 

“When Allaah loves a person, He calls Jibreel and says: ‘I love So and so, so love him.’ So Jibreel loves him, then he calls out to the people of heaven, ‘Allaah loves So and so, so love him.’ So the people of heaven love him and he finds acceptance on earth”[51]

Secondly: 

With regard to the definition of the wali among the Sufis, it has another, innovated meaning that is different from that understood by Ahl al-Sunnah. Among them the wali of Allaah is one who has been chosen by Allaah, even if he does not have the characteristics of righteousness and piety that qualify him to be loved by Allaah. The status of wali, in their view, is a kind of divine gift that is given for no reason and with no wisdom. Hence they believe that some wrongdoers, evildoers, insane and immoral people etc are awliya’ simply because they perform extraordinary feats, such as hitting their bodies with knives, playing with snakes and fire, and so on. They even include among their awliya’ people who drink alcohol and commit zina, and they say: The true wali can never be affected by sin. 

And they do not stop there in their definition of a wali; rather they say that the wali controls the universe; he says to a thing “Be!” and it is. In their view, every wali has been appointed by Allaah to control some aspect of creation. Four awliya’ are holding the earth by its four corners, and they are called al-awtaad (lit. tent pegs). Seven other awliya’ each control one of the seven continents of the world, and they are called al-abdaal (because when one of them dies, another takes his place – badalahu). There are a number of awliya’ in each region: thirty or forty in Egypt, and a similar number in Syria and Iraq, each of whom is appointed in charge of something. Above all of them is one wali who is called the al-qutb al-akbar (lit. great pole or axis) or al-ghawth (source of help), and he is the one who is running the affairs of the entire realm. Thus they believe in an unseen realm which controls the affairs of mankind like a political state. This state is led by the qutb or ghawth, followed by two imams or ministers, then the four awtaad, then the seven abdaal. 

This is the concept of awliya’ according to the Sufis, and it has nothing to do with the Islamic concept of awliya’ that is mentioned in the Qur’aan. The wali in Islam is a person whom Allaah has guided and helped, and he has earned his Lord’s pleasure by following the rules of His sharee’ah; he fears that he may fall into hypocrisy and meet a bad end, and he does not know whether Allaah will accept his deeds or not. Whereas they have given the Sufi wali divine characteristics by means of which he controls some aspect of the universe, and he ignores whatever he wants of the laws of Allaah, and the angels are subject to his will. 

The basic principles of Sufi concept of awliya’ are taken from ancient Greek philosophy which is based on the idea of polytheism. The first one to propose the idea of the Sufi concept of awliya’ at the end of the third century AH was Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan al-Tirmidhi, whom they call al-Hakeem (the wise). He is not the same as the imam who wrote the well known collection of hadeeth which is called Sunan al-Tirmidhi. Then after that their views became well known and the books of their leaders are filled with these ideas. If we start reporting all that they have said about this issue and all their false notions, it would take too long. But so that no one will think that we are attributing to them things that are not true, there follow the names of some of their sources, and you will find that what we have mentioned is the least abhorrent of their ideas. See: al-Futoohaat al-Makkiyyah by Ibn ‘Arabi (2/455, 537); al-Yawaaqeet wa’l-Jawaahir by ‘Abd al-Wahhaab al-Sha’raani (2/79); al-Mu’jam al-Sufi by Su’aad al-Hakeem (189-191, 909-913). For references of Ahl al-Sunnah see: al-Fikr al-Sufi by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ‘Abd al-Khaaliq (343-383). 

Thirdly:

There is nothing narrated via any saheeh isnaad which mentions any of the degrees of awliya’ as known to the Sufis. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Manaar al-Muneef (136): 

The ahaadeeth about the adbaal, aqtaab, aghwaath, nuqaba’, nujaba’ and awtaad are all falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The closest of them is the hadeeth which says “Do not revile the people of Syria, for among them there are abdaal; every time one of them dies, Allaah replaces him with another man.” This was narrated by Ahmad, but it is not saheeh either, because it is munqati’. End quote.  

For more information on the ahaadeeth which have been narrated concerning that and an explanation of why they are da’eef please see al-Maqaalaat al-Qisaar by Abu Muhammad al-Alfi (69-81). 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the hadeeth that was narrated about the abdaal – was it saheeh or munqati’, and were the abdaal only in Syria or were there abdaal wherever Islam was established according to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, in Syria and elsewhere? Was it true that a wali could be present among a group although his body was absent? What did the ‘ulama’ say about the names used by some of those who claim to be religious and virtuous, and who say this is Ghawth al-Aghwaath, this is Qutub al-Aqtaab, this is Qutub al-‘Aalam, this is al-Qutub al-Kabeer, this is Khaatim al-Awliya’? 

He (may Allaah have mercy on him) replied: 

As for the names that are in circulation among many of the pious people and common folk, such as the ghawth who is in Makkah, the four awtaad, the seven aqtaab, the forty abdaal and the three hundred nujuba’, these are names that are not found in the Book of Allaah, nor are they narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) via any saheeh or da’eef isnaad, except the word abdaal, concerning whom there is a Syrian hadeeth whose isnaad is munqati’; it is narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) and attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), that he said: “…for among them [the people of Syria] there are abdaal; every time one of them dies, Allaah replaces him with another man.” These names are not found in the words of the salaf in the manner mentioned there, nor are they narrated in this manner and with these meanings from the Shaykhs who are accepted by the ummah in general. They are narrated in this form from some of the middle shaykhs, who mentioned them either quoting from others or without confirming (that they are true). As for the phrase al-Ghawth and al-Ghiyaath, no one deserves this title except Allaah, who is the helper of those who seek help (ghiyaath al-mustagheetheen), so it is not permissible for anyone to seek help from anyone else, not from any angel who is close to Him or from any Prophet who was sent. Whoever claims that the people of earth can refer their concerns, such as asking to be spared harm or asking for mercy from the three hundred, and the three hundred refer that to the seventy, and the seventy refer that to the forty, and the forty refer that to the seven, and the seven refer that to the four, and the four refer that to al-ghawth, then he is a liar who has gone astray and is a mushrik.  And Allaah tells us about the mushrikeen (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him (Allaah Alone)”[52]

 “Is not He (better than your gods) who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him”[53]

How can the believers refer their concerns via many intermediaries when Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright”[54]
All the Muslims know that neither the common folk of the Muslims nor their well known shaykhs conveyed their concerns to Allaah, whether outwardly or inwardly, via these intermediaries. Exalted be Allaah above any resemblance to His creations such as kings, and far above what the wrongdoers say.  This is akin to the Raafidi claim that in every age there must be an infallible imam who is the proof of Allaah (Hujjat-Allaah) against those who are accountable, and that perfect faith cannot be attained otherwise. Rather this sequence and number of intermediaries is in some ways like the Ismaili and Nusayri etc belief in intermediaries (such as al-saabiq, al-taali, al-naatiq, al-asaas, al-jasad, etc) for which Allaah has not sent down any authority. 

With regard to the awtaad, some say that So and so is one of the awtaad, meaning thereby that by means of him Allaah establishes faith and religious commitment in the hearts of those whom Allaah has guided through him, just as the earth is made firm by its “pegs” (mountains). This meaning applies to every scholar who met this description. Every person by means of whom knowledge and faith became established among the masses is like the awtaad and Great Mountains. Whoever has less knowledge is a lesserk inf of watad. But that is not limited to four or more or less than that, rather limiting the number to four is akin to the astrologers’ idea that the earth should have four awtaad. 

With regard to the qutub, this is also found in their words: So and so is one of the aqtaab, or So and so is a qutub. Everyone who is the focal point of some religious or worldly matter, whether secretly or openly or outward, is the qutub and focal point of that matter. This is not limited to seven or more or less than that. But the one who is praiseworthy in this regard is one who is a focal point for maintaining soundness in religious and worldly matters, not simply maintaining soundness worldly matters. This is the qutub according to them.  

The same applies to the word badal, which is mentioned by many of them. 

With regard to the marfoo’ hadeeth, it is most likely that these are not the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for faith existed in the Hijaaz and Yemen before the conquest of Syria. Syria and Iraq were kaafir lands, then during the caliphate of ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him), it was proven that he (peace be upon him) said: “A group will split away from the main body of the Muslims and they will be fought by the one of the two groups that is closer to the truth.” ‘Ali and his companions were closer to the truth than the people of Syria who fought them. It is well known that those of the Sahaabah who were with ‘Ali, such as ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir, Sahl ibn Hunayf and the like, were better than those who were with Mu’aawiyah. So how can it be believed that all the abdaal, who are the best of creation, were all in Syria? This is definitely false, even though there are well known reports which speak of the virtue of Syria and its people, because everything has its own characteristics and limits. One should only speak on the basis of knowledge and justice. 

Those who speak of the badal explain it in several ways, such as saying that they are substitutes for the Prophets, or that every time one of them dies, Allaah replaces him with another man, or that they change their bad attitudes, deeds and beliefs into good ones. None of these characteristics can be limited to four people or more or less than that, or to the people of one region of the earth from Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah (11/433-444) 

Fourthly: 

It is mentioned in the words of some of the salaf and some of the later scholars: So and so is one of the abdaal. For example, in al-Tareekh al-Kabeer by al-Bukhaari (7/127), in the biography of Farwah ibn Mujaalid, it says: They did not doubt that he was one of the abdaal. End quote. As narrated by al-Daaraqutni in al-‘Ilal (6/29), Imam Ahmad said: If anyone in Iraq was one of the abdaal, it was Abu Ishaaq Ibraaheem ibn Haani’. End quote. 

But they did not mean thereby what the Sufis mean in their innovated baatini terminology, rather they meant it in the linguistic sense. Whoever among the scholars is spoken of in such terms is one of the heirs of the Prophets by virtue of the shar’i knowledge that he has, and it is as if he is their substitute in conveying the message of the Revelation and teaching it to the people. 

Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (4/97): 

As for the scholars, they used to say that they were the abdaal, because they were the substitutes of the Prophets, and they took their place in a real sense. They were not people who had no knowledge or who were unknown. Each of them took the place of the Prophets in the field in which he excelled, whether knowledge or worship. They said that they were the group that would continue to prevail until the Hour begins, because they are following guidance and the true religion with which Allaah sent His Messengers, the religion which Allaah promised would prevail over all other religions,

 Some people claim that there is an aayah which supports Sufism:

The aayah which you are asking about is the aayah:

“And whoso obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddeeqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!”[55]

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer:

This means, whoever acts in accordance with the commands of Allaah and His Messenger, and keeps away from whatever Allaah and His Messenger forbid, then Allaah will give him a home in the abode of His generosity, and cause him to be in the company of the Prophets and those who come after them in status, the Siddeeqoon, then the martyrs, then the rest of the believers, who are the righteous who do righteous deeds secretly and openly. Then Allaah praises them, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And how excellent these companions are!”[56]

Al-Bukhaari narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no Prophet who fell sick, but Allaah gave him the choice between this world and the Hereafter.” When he fell ill with his final sickness, his voice became very hoarse, and I heard him saying, ‘in the company of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddeeqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq), the martyrs, and the righteous.’ Then I knew that he had been given the choice.”

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer).

Then he (Ibn Katheer – may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned something about the reason why this aayah was revealed. Then he said:

Greater than all of this is the glad tidings which were reported in the books of Saheeh and Musnad, etc., through mutawaatir isnaads from a number of the Sahaabah: that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about a man who loves some people but cannot catch up with them – i.e. he cannot attain the same level as them in doing righteous deeds. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “A man will be with those whom he loves.” Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Muslims never rejoiced as much as they did when they heard this hadeeth. I love the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and I love Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both), and I hope that Allaah will resurrect me with them even though I did not do what they did.

So, as you can see, there is nothing in this aayah that justifies the Sufis and their madhhab.

If the Sufis are sincere, then let them obey Allaah and his Messenger and adhere to His Sharee’ah – as commanded in this aayah – so that they will be among the victorious. As for their claims that the awliyaa’ (“saints”) have knowledge of the Unseen (al-ghayb), which no one knows but Allaah, and their doing Tawaaf around graves and praying to the dead as a means of worship and drawing closer to Allaah – all of this in fact means that they are seeking the help of someone other than Allaah and this is kufr and shirk. They say, “Allaah inspires us with things which He casts into our hearts in addition to what is in the Qur’aan and Sunnah”; and they say that the “elite” do not have to adhere to the Sharee’ah of Islam which is obligatory for the “masses”; and they invent adhkaar (phrases remembering Allaah) which they repeat regularly, which are not in the Qur’aan or in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him… and after all this, they want to be among the victorious, with the Prophets and Siddeeqoon. On the contrary, they will be with the shayaateen (devils) and mushrikeen. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. May Allaah bless us and you with the love for His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him and love for his noble companions, and gather us with them in the place of honour with Him, for He is the Sovereign, the One Who is able to do all things.

 The reason why there is no picture of the Prophet :

Islam came to prevent all means that may lead to shirk or the association of others in worship with Allaah. Among these means is the making of images, so sharee’ah forbids making images, and curses the one who does that, and a strong warning is issued to the one who does that. It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah the Mother of the Believers that Umm Habeebah and Umm Salamah mentioned a church that they had seen in Abyssinia, in which there were images. They mentioned it to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he said: “Those people, if there was a righteous man among them and he died, they would build a place of worship over his grave and put those images in it. They will be among the most evil of creation before Allaah on the Day of Resurrection.”[57] It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came back from a journey and I had placed a curtain of mine that had pictures on it over (the door of) a room of mine. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw it, he tore it and said, ‘The people who will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection will be those who try to make the like of Allaah’s creation.’ So we turned it (the curtain) into one or two cushions.” [58]

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘The people who will be most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection will be the image-makers.’’[59]

So how could he grant permission to make a picture of him? Hence none of the Sahaabah dared to make a picture or image of him, because they knew the ruling that doing so was haraam. 

Allaah warns against exaggeration, as He says : 

“O people of the Scripture (Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion”[60]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against doing anything that may involve exceeding the limits concerning him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He said: “Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam, for I am just a slave, so say ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’[61] Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab wrote a chapter entitled “Maa jaa’a ‘an sabab kufr Bani Adam huwa al-ghulw fi’l-saaliheen (What was narrated stating that the reason for the kufr of the sons of Adam was their exaggeration concerning the righteous).”, in which he said: “In al-Saheeh it is narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, concerning the aayah       

‘“And they have said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwaa‘, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya‘ooq nor Nasr’ (these are the names of their idols).’[62]

 – “These were the names of righteous men among the people of Nooh. When they died, the Shaytaan inspired their people to set up stone altars in the places where they used to sit, and call them by their names. They did that but they did not worship them, until those people died, then the knowledge was forgotten and they were worshipped.” 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: “More than one of the salaf said: ‘when they died, the people started to frequent their graves, then they made statues of them, then as time passed they started to worship them.” (Fath al-Majeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed by ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan, p. 219) 

For this reason there are no pictures of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because he forbade doing that, lest it lead to shirk. 

The implication of the testimony that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is that we believe in him and in the message that he brought, even though there are no pictures of him. The believers do not need a picture of him in order to follow him. The description of him that is given in the saheeh reports means that we have no need of his picture. Among the descriptions of him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that have been narrated are the following: 

  • He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most handsome of face of all people.
  • 2- He had wide shoulders.
  • 3- He was neither tall nor short (of average height).
  • 4- He had a round face with a ruddy complexion.
  • 5- His eyes were intensely black.
  • 6-   He had long eyelashes.
  • 7- He was the Seal of the Prophets, the most generous of people in giving, he was the most forbearing and content of all people, he was the most sincere in speech of all people, he had the gentlest nature of all people and was the most easy-going with others. Those who saw him suddenly stood in awe of him and those who mized with him came to love him. Those who described him said they had never seen anyone like him before or since.” 

See Sunan al-Tirmidhial-Manaaqib, 3571 and other books of Sunnah which give descriptions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

Undoubtedly the believers wish that they could have met the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Hence it says in the hadeeth narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The people most loved by me among my ummah will be those who would come after me, but every one amongst them would have the keenest desire to catch a glimpse of me even at the expense of his family and his wealth.” (Narrated by Muslim, al-Jannah wa Sifat Na’eemihaa, 5060). Undoubtedly love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and following him are the means of being brought together with him in Paradise. Part of loving him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is seeing him in a dream, which means seeing him in his real form. It was reported that Abu Hurayrah said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘Whoever sees me in a dream will see me when he is awake, for the Shaytaan cannot take my form.’” Abu ‘Abd-Allaah said, Ibn Seereen said: this applies if one sees him in his true form.[63] What do the words hulool (incar   Concept of ittihaad (union with the divine)

 Concept of Ittihad in Sufism:

 Ittihaad means that two things are one thing. 

Al-Jarjaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Ittihaad means the mixing of two things until they become one thing. 

At-Ta‘reefaat, p. 9 

what is meant, according to those who believe in this notion, is that Allah – may He be glorified and exalted – becomes one with His creation or with some of His creation, in the sense that all created beings or some of them are the exact essence of Allah, may He be exalted. 

Types of ittihaad: 

  1. Ittihaad in a general sense – which is also called wahdat al-wujood (“unity of being”). This is the belief that everything that exists is God Himself. In other words, the Creator is one with all of His creation. This is the meaning of wahdat al-wujood; those who believe in it are called al-ittihaadiyyah or ahl wahdat al-wujood, such as Ibn al-Faarid, Ibn ‘Arabi and others. 
  2. Ittihaad in a specific sense, which is the belief that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, became one with some created beings but not others.

Those who believe in this exclude from it the idea of His being one with filthy and abhorrent things; they say that He became one with the Prophets, the righteous, the philosophers or others, and thus they became the exact essence of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.

This is like the view of some Christian sects who believe that divinity became one with humanity, and they became one thing. This is unlike those who believe in incarnation, who believe that he (i.e., Christ) has two natures, divine and human.

Those who believe in ittihaad say one nature, and those who believe in hulool say two. 

The difference between hulool and ittihaad 

The difference between them may be summed up as follows: 

  1. Hulool affirms two entities, unlike ittihaad which affirms one entity.
  2. Hulool accepts that they are separable, whereas ittihaad does not accept that. 

Examples that explain the difference between hulool and ittihaad: 

There are many such examples, including the following: 

If you put sugar into water without stirring it, this is hulool, because they are still two separate entities. But if you stir it until it is absorbed by the water, then they become one, because they cannot be separated again. 

But if you put something different into the water, such as pebbles, then this is called hulool, not ittihaad, because the pebbles are one thing and the water is something else, and they can be separated. 

Ruling on which of these two beliefs is worse 

There is no doubt that believing in hulool or ittihaad is one of the greatest kinds of disbelief and heresy – Allah forbid. 

But ittihaad is worse than hulool, because it is belief in one essence, unlike hulool. Moreover, the belief that He is one with everything is worse than the belief that He is one with some of His creation. 

To sum up, belief in hulool and ittihaad is obviously false. Islam came to erase it from people’s minds, because it is a belief that is taken from the teachings, philosophies and idolatry of the Hindus, Greeks, Jews, Christians and others, so it is based on fabrications and myths. 

Taken from Mustalahaat fi Kutub al-‘Aqaa’id by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Hamad, p. 42-47

 Sufi formulas and bid’ah:

Deviant Sufi call themselves Awliyyah and have damaged true face of Islam and its foundations.

Where as Allah described His awliyaa’ (close friends) as having two characteristics: Eemaan (faith) and Taqwa (piety, awareness of Allaah). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“No doubt! Verily, the Awliyaa’ of Allaah [i.e., those who believe in the Oneness of Allaah and fear Allaah much and love Allaah much], nor fear shall be upon them nor shall they grieve, – those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah) and used to fear Allaah much”[64]

 The true awliyaa’ of Allaah do not go against what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned againsinnovated matters in religion, because Allaah has perfected His religion and completed His favour upon His slaves. Allaah says :

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”[65]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not a part of it, will have it rejected.”

Therefore one can distinguish between the walee (close friend) of Allaah and the walee of the Shaytaan, by looking at the person’s character, behaviour and religious commitment – does he pray regularly in jamaa’ah in the mosque, for example? Does he avoid wrongfully consuming people’s property? Does he avoid going against Islam by either adding or taking away anything? And so on…

Rulings about Adhkaar:

Sufi sects have spread many adhkaar of innovation having no valid proof. They simply waste time, energies and imaan.  It is not permissible for a Muslim to innovate any dhikr to recite regularly or to tell others to do so – such as awraad/wird, ma’thooraat or du’aas. The adhkaar that were reported in the saheeh Sunnah are sufficient for this, otherwise a person is an innovator or one who calls others to bid’ah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not a part of it, will have it rejected.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari, 2550; Muslim, 1718). According to a report narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected.”

Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“This hadeeth represents one of the most important principles in Islam. It is like a scale against which the external appearances of deeds are measured, just as the hadeeth “Actions are but by intention” is the scale against which the inner motivations of actions are measured. Just as every deed which is not done for the sake of Allaah will bring no reward for the one who does it, so also every deed which is not in accordance with the way of Allaah and His Messenger will be rejected and thrown back at the one who does it. Anyone who innovates new things in the religion and does things for which Allaah and His Messenger have not granted permission, this is not a part of the religion at all.” (Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 1/180).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“This hadeeth is one of the most important basic principles of Islam, and it is one of the most concise and comprehensive sayings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It clearly states that innovations and newly invented matters will be rejected. The second report adds another idea, which is that some of those who follow the innovations of others may become stubborn when they are presented with the evidence of the first report which says, “Whoever innovates something…” They may say, “I am not innovating anything”. But he may in this case be presented with the evidence of the second report, which says, “Whoever does any action…” This clearly shows that all innovated actions will be rejected, whether the one who does them innovates them himself or is following someone else who innovated it… This hadeeth is one that should be learned by heart and used to denounce evil actions and be spread as evidence so that all people may use it.” (Sharh Muslim, 12/16).

  1. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“No doubt adhkaar and du’aa’s are among the best forms of worship, and worship is one of the matters in which there is no room for personal opinions – we have to follow what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did and taught, not our own whims and desires or innovations. The du’aa’s and adhkaar of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) are the best that anyone could find. The one who follows this way will be safe and sound, and the benefits and positive results that he will gain are beyond description. Any other du’aa’s and adhkaar may be haraam or they may be makrooh; they may involve shirk even though most people do not realize that – the details of this would take too long to explain here.

No one has the right to teach the people any kinds of du’aa’s or adhkaar apart from those that are mentioned in the Sunnah, or to make it a kind of regular worship which he expects the people to do regularly as they do the five daily prayers – this is the innovation in religion which Allaah does not allow… As for adopting a wird or regularly reciting a dhikr that is not prescribed in sharee’ah, this is one of the things that is not allowed. The du’aa’s and adhkaar prescribed by sharee’ah are the best that anyone could ever hope to find, and no one ignores them in favour of newly-invented, innovated adhkaar except one who is ignorant, negligent or a wrongdoer.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 22/510-511).

 Is there any proven hadeeth to suggest that the Sahaabah danced that is quoted as evidence for dancing in dhikr circles?:

Many of the Sufis take this hadeeth as evidence for their dancing and whirling, and say that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and others stated that it is saheeh. This hadeeth appears in Musnad Ahmad, no. 860, when it says that ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I visited the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), along with Ja‘far and Zayd ibn Haarithah. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to Zayd, “You are my friend (mawla),” and Zayd began to jump and hop on one foot around the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Then he said to Ja‘far, “As for you, you resemble me physically and in character.” And Ja‘far began to do likewise. Then he said to me, “You are of me and I am of you.” And he started to jump behind Ja‘far.
What is your view about this hadeeth? Is it saheeh? Can a person dance and hop in this manner to please Allah?

Firstly: 

The hadeeth mentioned in the question was narrated by Ahmad (2/213). It was not classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him), as far as we know from the books that we have to hand or the books of his companions. Moreover, when did these Sufis give any weight to Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, such that they would accept his opinion and verdict on hadeeths? 

Secondly: 

There are two problems with the hadeeth mentioned in the question: 

1.

One of its narrators is unknown, namely Haani’ ibn Haani’. 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

He was mentioned by Ibn Sa‘d in the first generation of the people of Kufah. He said: He was a Shi‘i. Ibn al-Madeeni said: He is unknown. Harmalah said, narrating from ash-Shaafa‘i: Haani’ ibn Haani’ is not known, and the hadeeth scholars do not regard his hadeeth as sound because his status is unknown. 

Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb, 11/22 

2.

Abu Ishaaq as-Subay‘i deliberately used ambiguous words in order to mislead (tadlees). 

Abu SA‘eed al-‘Alaa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

‘Amr ibn ‘Abdullah as-Subay‘i, Abu Ishaaq, is well known by his kunyah; we have stated previously that he often deliberately used ambiguous words in order to mislead (tadlees). 

Jaami‘at-Tahseel fi Ahkaam al-Maraseel, p. 245 

The hadeeth was classed as da‘eef (weak) by the commentators on Musnad al-Imam Ahmad, 2/213, 214. They said: 

Its isnaad is da‘eef; we have stated previously that Haani’ ibn Haani’ and others like him cannot be accepted when they narrate hadeeths tha are not narrated by others. The word “hop” in the hadeeth is objectionable and odd. End quote. 

Secondly: 

Even if we assume that the hadeeth is saheeh, it does not indicate that they danced in a circle of remembrance (dhikr) of their Lord – Allah forbid. Rather it indicates that they expressed their joy at praise from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) by hopping on one foot, which is an action that is permissible in and of itself. Rather the ruling concerning it is connected to the reason for their joy. Allah forbid that any of the wise would quote this as evidence for dancing when remembering his Lord, may He be exalted. 

Al-Bayhaqi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

This – if it is saheeh – indicates that it is permissible to hop, which means lifting up one foot and jumping on the other, out of joy. Dancing that is similar in nature is similarly permissible. And Allah knows best. 

As-Sunan al-Kubra, by al-Bayhaqi, 10/226 

The Shaafa‘i faqeeh Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (may Allah have mercy on him) said, discussing the Sufis’ and others quoting this hadeeth as evidence for it to be permissible to dance: 

They also quote (to prove their point) that he said to ‘Ali, “You are of me and I am of you,” and he began to hop; and he said to Zayd, “You are our brother and our friend (mawla),” and he began to hop… 

Ibn Hajar said: 

The response is that all of these are objectionable hadeeths and the wording is fabricated and made up. Even if we assume that they are saheeh, they cannot be regarded as evidence, because what is forbidden is dancing in which there is swaying and twisting, and this is not like that. End quote. 

Kaff ar-Ra‘aa‘‘a Muharramaat al-Lahw wa’s-Samaa‘, 75. 

Fourthly: 

More than one of the fuqaha’ of the (four) madhhabs (may Allah have mercy on them) regard that as misguidance and innovation if it is done as an act of religious devotion. The one who does that as a leisure activity or for fun is to be criticized and regarded as foolish.

Imam Muwaffaq ad-Deen ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

What do the fuqaha’ (may Allah bless them) say about one who listens to the duff (hand-drum), flute and singing, and get carried away until he starts to dance? Is that permissible or not? He believes that he loves Allah and that his listening to it, getting carried away and dancing are for the sake of Allah! Please advise us, may Allah reward you and have mercy on you. 

He said: 

The one who does that is mistaken and is lacking in decency. The one who persists in doing those things is one whose testimony is to be rejected according to sharee‘ah, and his opinion is not to be accepted. The implication of that is that his narration of hadeeth from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is not to be accepted, and neither is his testimony with regard to sighting the new moon of Ramadan or anything pertaining to religious matters. 

With regard to him believing that it is based on love of Allah, we say that he could show his love for Allah and obedience towards Him in other ways, and he could show devotion to Allah, may He be glorified, and do righteous deeds in other ways. But as for this, it is a sin and playing about. It was condemned by Allah, may He be exalted, and His Messenger, and was disliked (regarded as makrooh) by the scholars, who called it an innovation (bid‘ah) and forbade people to do it. We cannot draw close to Allah, may He be glorified, by doing acts of disobedience to Him, and He cannot be obeyed by doing things that He has forbidden. The one who commits sin as a means of drawing closer to Him will be met with rejection; the one who takes idle pursuits and playing about as acts of religious devotion is like one who spreads mischief in the land. The one who seeks to reach Allah, may He be glorified, via a way other than the way and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), is far from reaching his goal 

Dhamm ash-Shabbaabah wa’r-Raqs wa’s-Samaa‘ by Ibn Qudaamah, MS (p. 2) 

Imam al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd as-Salaam, the great Shaafa‘i faqeeh and scholar of usool (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to dancing and clapping, it is frivolity and silliness like that of females; no one does such things accept one who is a show-off or a liar. How could anyone regard it as justifiable to dance to the rhythm of the music and become oblivious when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, “The best generations are my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them,” and no one among those exemplary generations did such things? It cannot be imagined that one who fears Allah and understands anything of what it means to venerate Him would dance or clap. Clapping and dancing only come from one who is foolish and ignorant; they do not come from anyone who is wise and virtuous. 

Qawaa‘id al-Ahkaam fi Masaalih al-Anaam, 2/2349-350, Mu’sasat ar-Rayyaan edn. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked about the Islamic ruling on those who remember Allah whilst swaying right and left in a trance, reciting in unison and out loud. 

They replied: 

That is not permissible, because it is done in an innovated fashion. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said “Whoever introduces into this matter of ours anything that is not part of it will have it rejected.” 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Qa‘ood 

Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 2/529 

 Religious celebrations in Islam:

As Muslims, we celebrate only two ‘eid (festivals): ‘eid ul-fitr (after the end of Ramadhan), and ‘eid ulUdh-ha, the day of the greater hajj (pilgrimage). During these two festivals, we offer felicitations, spread joy, and entertain children. But more importantly, we offer remembrance of Allaah’s blessings, celebrate His name and offer the ‘eid salaat (prayer). Other than these two occasions, we do not recognize or celebrate any other days in the year.

Of course, there are other joyous occasions for which the Islamic shari’ah dictates appropriate celebration, such as gathering for special meals during weddings or on the occasion of the birth of a child (aqeeqah). However, these days are not specified as particular days in the year; rather, they are celebrated as they happen in the course of a Muslim’s life.

 

The Standing Committee on Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas (al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Iftaa’) has examined the questions which have been submitted to it and the opinions and articles published and broadcast in the media concerning the call to unite the three religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity; and the call which stems from that, to build a mosque, a church and a synagogue in one place, on university campuses and in public squares; and the call to print the Qur’aan, Tawraat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel) in one volume, etc.; and the conferences, seminars and meetings on this topic which are being held in the east and in the west. After studying and pondering the matter, the Committee issues the following statement:

  1. One of the basic principles of belief in Islam, something which is obviously a basic principle and on which all the Muslims are agreed (ijmaa’) is that there is no true religion on the face of the earth apart from Islam. It is the final religion which abrogates all religions and laws that came before it there is no religion on earth according to which Allaah is to be worshipped apart from Islam. Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion” [1]

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers[2].

After the coming of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), Islam means what he brought, not any other religion.

  1. One of the basic principles of belief in Islam is that the Book of Allaah, the Holy Qur’aan, is the last of the Books to be revealed from the Lord of the Worlds. It abrogates all the Books that came before it, the TawraatZaboorInjeel and others, and it is a Muhaymin [Muhaymin: that which testifies the truth that is therein and falsifies the falsehood that is added therein] over them. So there is no longer any revealed Book according to which Allaah may be worshipped apart from the Qur’aan. Allaah says :

“And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Qur’aan) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures). So judge among them by what Allaah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you.”[3]

  1. It is obligatory to believe that the Tawraat and Injeel have been abrogated by the Qur’aan, and that they have been altered and distorted, with things added and taken away, as Allaah tells us in the Qur’aan, for example (interpretation of the meaning):

“So, because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts grow hard. They change the words from their (right) places and have abandoned a good part of the Message that was sent to them. And you will not cease to discover deceit in them, except a few of them”[4]

“Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, “This is from Allaah,” 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]

“And verily, among them is a party who distort the Book with their tongues (as they read), so that you may think it is from the Book, but it is not from the Book, and they say: “This is from Allaah,” but it is not from Allaah; and they speak a lie against Allaah while they know it”[6]

Hence, whatever in the previous books was correct is abrogated by Islam, and everything else is distorted and changed. It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) became angry when he saw that ‘Umar had a page with something from the Tawraat written on it, and he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Are you in doubt, O son of al-Khattaab? Have I not brought you something shining and pure? If my brother Moosa were alive, he would have no choice but to follow me.” (Narrated by Ahmad and al-Daarimi, and others).

  1. One of the basic principles of belief in Islam is that our Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allaah and the last (end) of the Prophets”[7]

So there is no longer any Messenger whom it is obligatory to follow, apart from Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). If any of the Prophets were alive, they would have no choice but to follow him, as Allaah says:

“And (remember) when Allaah took the Covenant of the Prophets, saying: ‘Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah (understanding of the Laws of Allaah), and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger (Muhammad) confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.’ Allaah said: ‘Do you agree (to it) and will you take up My Covenant (which I conclude with you)?’ They said: ‘We agree.’ He said: ‘Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this).’” [8]

When the Prophet of Allaah ‘Eesaa (peace be upon him) descends at the end of time, he will follow Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he will judge according to his Sharee’ah. Allaah says;

“Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad) whom they find written with them in the Tauraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) — he commands them for Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful At-Tayyibaat (i.e. all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods), and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khabaa’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods), he releases them from their heavy burdens (of Allaah’s Covenant with the children of Israel), and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them. So those who believe in him (Muhammad), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Qur’aan) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful”[9]

It is also one of the basic principles of belief in Islam that the Message of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is addressed to all of mankind. Allah says;

“And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most of men know not”[10]

“Say (O Muhammad): “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allaah”[11] And there are many similar aayaat.

  1. One of the basic principles of belief in Islam is that we must believe that every Jew, Christian or other person who does not enter Islam is a kaafir, and that those against whom proof is established must be named as kaafirs and regarded as enemies of Allaah, His Messenger and the believers, and that they are the people of Hell, as Allaah says :

“Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikoon, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence” [12] “Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islâm, the Qur’ân and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikoon will abide in the fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures”[13]

“This Qur’aan has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach”[14]

“This (Qur’aan) is a Message for mankind (and a clear proof against them), in order that they may be warned thereby” [Ibraaheem 14:52]. And there are many similar aayaat. It was reported in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, no one among this nation, Jew or Christian, hears of me, then dies without having believed in that with which I was sent, but he will be one of the people of the Fire.” Hence whoever does not regard the Jews and Christians as kuffaar is himself a kaafir, according to the ruling of Sharee’ah, “Whoever does not regard the kaafir as such after proof has been established against him is himself a kaafir.”

  1. In the light of these basic principles of belief and the rulings of sharee’ah, calling for the uniting of all religions, and for them to be brought close to one another and cast in the same mould, is an evil and crafty call whose aim is to mix truth with falsehood, to destroy Islam and undermine its pillars, and to tempt its followers into total apostasy. This is confirmed by the words of the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning):

“And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can”[15]

“They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another)” [al-Nisaa’ 4:89]

 

(7)  Among the effects of this evil call would be the cancelling out of the differences between Islam and kufr, truth and falsehood, good and evil. It would break down the psychological barrier that exists between the Muslims and the kaafirs, and there would be no sense of al-Walaa’ wa’l-Baraa’ (loyalty and friendship towards Muslims, disavowal and enmity towards kaafirs), or jihaad and fighting to make the word of Allaah supreme in the earth of Allaah. Allaah says:

“Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allaah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad ( (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islâm) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued”[16]

“And fight against the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah) collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allaah is with those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [17]

“O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitaanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses) if you understand”[18]

 

(8)  If the call to unite the religions is made by a Muslim, this considered to be blatant apostasy from the religion of Islam, because it conflicts with the basic principles of belief. It is an acceptance of disbelief in Allaah and a contradiction of the truth of the Qur’aan and its abrogation of all laws and religions that came before it. On this basis, it is an idea that should be rejected from the point of view of sharee’ah, and it is definitely haraam according to the evidence of Islam, Qur’aan, Sunnah and ijmaa’ (scholarly consensus).

  1. Based on the above:
  2.  It is not permissible for a Muslim who believes in Allaah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as his Prophet and Messenger, to call people to this evil idea, to encourage it or to propagate it among the Muslims, let alone respond to it or join the conferences and gatherings held to promote it.

 

  1. It is not permissible for a Muslim to print the Tawraat and Injeel on their own, so how about printing them with the Qur’aan in one volume? Whoever does this or calls for it is far astray, because by doing so he is combining truth (the Qur’aan) with that which is either distorted or was true but has now been abrogated (the Tawraat and Injeel).

 

  1. Similarly, it is not permissible for a Muslim to respond to the call to build a mosque, church and synagogue in one place, because this involves recognizing a religion in which Allaah is worshipped other than Islam, and rejecting the idea that Islam should prevail over all other religions, and giving the idea that there are three religions and that it is OK for people to belong to any of these three. This is a kind of equality which implies that Islam does not abrogate the religions that came before it. Undoubtedly, if a person approves of this, believes it or accepts it, this is kufr and misguidance, because it clearly goes against the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the consensus (ijmaa’) of the Muslims and implies that the distortions of the Jews and Christians come from Allaah – exalted be He far above that. By the same token, it is not permitted to call churches “Houses of God” or to say that the people there are worshipping Allaah in a correct and acceptable manner, because this worship is not done according to the religion of Islam, and Allaah says :

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers”[19]

On the contrary, they are houses in which disbelief (kufr) in Allaah is expressed; we seek refuge with Allaah from kufr and its people. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa (22/162): “They – churches and synagogues – are not houses of Allaah; the houses of Allaah are the mosques. On the contrary, they are houses in which disbelief (kufr) in Allaah is expressed. Even if Allaah is mentioned therein, houses are the same as the people in them, and the people in these houses are kuffaar, so they are the houses of worship of the kuffaar.”

 

(10)  It should be noted that it is obligatory on the Muslims to call the kuffaar in general, and the People of the Book in particular, to Islam through the clear texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. But this is only to be done by explaining to them and arguing with them in a way that is better (with good words and in a good manner) (cf. Al-‘Ankaboot 29:46), not by compromising any of the beliefs of laws of Islam. This is in order to convince them about Islam and bring them into the religion, or to establish proof against them so that those who are to be destroyed (for their rejecting the Faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who are to live (i.e. believers) might live after a clear evidence (cf. Al-Anfaal 8:42). Allaah says:

“Say (O Muhammad ): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allaah (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allaah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.”[20]

As for debating and meeting with them in order to go along with their wishes and fulfil their aims of destroying Islam bit by bit, this is falsehood which is rejected by Allaah, His Messenger and the believers, and Allaah is the One Whose help is sought against all that they ascribe to Him. Allaah says :

“But beware of them lest they turn you (O Muhammad) far away from some of that which Allaah has sent down to you”[21]

 The Committee has made the above statement to the people. We advise the Muslims in general, and people of knowledge in particular, to fear Allaah and be aware that He is always watching, to guard Islam and to protect the ‘aqeedah (belief) of the Muslims from misguidance and those who promote it and from kufr and its people, and to beware of this idea.

Does the hadeeth “I am not afraid that you will worship others along with Allah after my death” mean that shirk will never occur among this ummah:

Narrated ‘Uqba bin ‘Amir:
Bukhari – Volume 2, book 23, number 428: Narrated ‘Uqba bin ‘Amir: One day the Prophet went out and offered the funeral prayers of the martyrs of Uhud and then went up the pulpit and said, “I will pave the way for you as your predecessor and will be a witness on you. By Allah! I see my Fount (Kauthar) just now and I have been given the keys of all the treasures of the earth (or the keys of the earth). By Allah! I am not afraid that you will worship others along with Allah after my death, but I am afraid that you will fight with one another for the worldly things.” This hadeeth is often used by those comitting bidah as justification for some of the acts which can be labeled as “shirk” (such as calling out on others besides Allah, grave worshipping, etc.). The claim is that the Ummah of the Prophet (SAW) are not at risk of comitting shirk. What is the correct interpretation of this hadeeth?

ANSWER:

The hadeeth was narrated by al-Bukhaari (1344) and Muslim (2296) from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, and says that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came out one day and prayed for the people of Uhud as he used to pray for the dead. Then he went to the minbar and said: “I will be there ahead of you, and I will be your witness. By Allaah, I can see my Cistern now. I am given the keys to the treasures of the earth, or the keys to the earth. By Allaah, I do not fear that you will associate others with Allaah after I am gone, but I fear that you will compete with one another for them (the treasures of the earth).” 

What is meant by his praying for them (the people of Uhud) as he used to pray for the dead is his offering supplication for them with the du‘aa’ that is recited in the funeral prayer. This was seven years after they were martyred (may Allah be pleased with them). 

There is nothing in the hadeeth to say that shirk (association of others with Allah) will not happen in this ummah; rather it may be understood that he did not fear it for the entire ummah, based on the fact that it has occurred among some of them, as is indicated in other texts in which he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) stated that some of his ummah would fall into shirk. 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on Muslim (Sharh Muslim): In this hadeeth we see the miracles of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), because what it means is a foretelling that his ummah would be given the treasures of the earth, which did indeed come to pass; and that they would not all apostatise because Allah, may He be exalted, protected them from that; and that they would compete with one another for worldly gain. And all of that came to pass. End quote. 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The words “I do not fear that you will associate others with Allah” mean: (I do not fear that you will do that) en masse, because that happened with some of them – may Allah protect us. This hadeeth is one of the miracles of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), hence the author narrated it under the heading of the signs of Prophethood.

End quote from Fath al-Baari, 3/211 

Secondly: 

The saheeh Sunnah indicates that among this ummah will be some who associate others with Allah, may He be exalted. 

1.

Al-Bukhaari (7116) and Muslim (2906) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The Hour will not begin until the backsides of the women of Daws wobble (as they go) around Dhu’l-Khalasah.” 

Dhu’l-Khalasah was a false god of Daws that they used to worship during the Jaahiliyyah. 

2.

Muslim (2907) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Night and day will not cease until al-Laat and al-‘Uzza are worshipped.” I said: O Messenger of Allaah, when Allaah revealed the words “He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islamic Monotheism) to make it victorious over all (other) religions even though the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah and in His Messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) hate (it)” [al-Saff 61:33], I thought that that had been fulfilled and would never be undone. He said: “As much of that as Allaah wills will happen, then Allaah will send a pleasant wind which will cause everyone in whose heart is faith the size of a grain of mustard seed to die, then there will be left those in whom there is no good, and they will revert to the religion of their forefathers.” 

Thus it becomes clear that some of the Muslims will fall into shirk and apostasy, without that affecting the entire ummah, for it is protected against uniting in misguidance. 

How can the Muslim doubt that calling upon the dead, beseeching them at times of calamity and asking them to relieve distress are acts of shirk? In fact this is the essence of what the earlier mushrikeen used to do, seeking to draw close to Allah or seeking intercession with Him,

 as Allah says:

“And those who take Auliya (protectors and helpers) besides Him (say): “We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.” Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.”[22]

 “And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allah.’ Say: ‘Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?’ Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!

Mankind were but one community (i.e. on one religion – Islamic Monotheism), then they differed (later), and had not it been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, it would have been settled between them regarding what they differed”[23]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The one who makes the angels and Prophets mediators on whom he calls and in whom he puts his trust, and asks them to bring benefits and ward off harm, such as asking them for forgiveness of sins, guidance of hearts, relief of distress and meeting his needs, is a kaafir according to the consensus of the Muslims.

End quote from Majmoo‘al-Fataawa, 1/124 

This consensus was narrated by more than one of the scholars who affirmed it, see: al-Furoo‘ by Ibn Muflih, 6/165; al-Insaaf, 10/327; Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘, 6/169; Mataalib Ooli’n-Nuha, 6/279. These are the essential reference books of Hanbali fiqh. 

In Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘ it says, after mentioning this consensus under the heading of the ruling on the apostate: Because this is like the action of the idol worshippers who say, ‘We only worship them so that they might bring us closer to Allah.’

More than one of the scholars has clearly stated that what some of the ignorant Muslims do of focusing their devotion on graves is the essence of what the earlier mushrikeen used to do. 

Ar-Raazi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the verse from Soorat Yoonus quoted above, explaining the explanations that the mushrikeen gave for their worship of idols: 

Fourthly: they made these idols and statues in the image of their Prophets and great men, and claimed that if they devoted themselves to worshipping these statues, those great men would be intercessors for them with Allah, may He be exalted. The equivalent to that in our own times is the devotion of many people to venerating the graves of great men, in the belief that if they venerate their graves, they will intercede for them with Allah.

End quote from Mafaateeh al-Ghayb, 17/49 

Ruling on praying in a mosque in which there is a grave:

Prayers should not be offered in mosques in which there are graves. The graves should be dug up and the remains transferred to the public graveyards, with each set of remains placed in an individual grave as with all other graves. It is not permissible for graves to be left in mosques, whether that is the grave of a wali (“saint”) or of anyone else, because the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade that and warned against that, and he cursed the Jews and Christians for doing that. It was narrated that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said, “He was warning against what they had done.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1330, Muslim, 529. 

And when Umm Salamah and Umm Habeebah told him about a church in which there were images, he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a righteous man died among them, they would build a place of worship over his grave and put those images in it. They are the most evil of mankind before Allaah.” (Saheeh, agreed upon. Al-Bukhaari, 427; Muslim, 528) 

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Those who came before you took the graves of their Prophets and righteous people as places of worship. Do not take graves as places of worship – I forbid you to do that.” (Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 532, from Jundab ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Bajali).  So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade taking graves as places of worship and he cursed those who do that, stating that they are the most evil of mankind. So we must beware of that. 

It is known that everyone who prays at a grave is taking it as a place of worship, and whoever builds a mosque over a grave has taken it as a place of worship. So we must keep graves far away from the mosques and not put graves inside mosques, in obedience to the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and so as to avoid the curse issued by our Lord against those who build places of worship over graves, because when a person prays in a mosque in which there is a grave, the Shaytaan may tempt him to call upon the deceased or to seek his help, or to pray to him or prostrate to him, thus committing major shirk; and because this is the action of the Jews and Christians and we are obliged to differ from them and to keep away from their ways and their evil actions. But if the graves are ancient and a mosque was built over them, then it should be knocked down, because this is an innovated thing, as was stated by the scholars, and so as to avoid the means that may lead to shirk. And Allaah is the Source of strength. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al Shaykh Ibn Baaz 10/246.

Is there any special virtue in dying and being buried in Makkah or Madinah?:

The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that it is mustahabb to bury the deceased in the graveyard of the righteous and in virtuous places. They quote a great deal of evidence for that, including the following: 

-1-

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever can manage to die in Madinah, let him die there, for I will intercede for whoever dies there.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 3917. He said: (|It is) hasan saheeh ghareeb. It was classed as saheeh by al-Nasaa’i in al-Sunan al-Kubra, 1/602; by Ibn ‘Abd al-Haadi in al-Saarim al-Makki, p. 96; and by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 4/1034 

Al-Teebi said: 

He recommended dying there but that is not in the hands of any person; rather that is up to the decree of Allah, may He be exalted. But he enjoined staying there and settling there and not leaving it, and that may be a cause of dying there. This is like the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “then die not except in the Faith of Islâm (as Muslims – Islâmic Monotheism)” [al-Baqarah 2:132].

Quoted from Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 10/286 

Ibn al-Haaj said: It seems that whoever dies elsewhere then is transported and buried there will have a share of this intercession, but I did not see any shar‘i text (to that effect).

End quote from Fayd al-Qadeer, 6/70 

-2-

It was narrated that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: 

“O Allah, grant me martyrdom for Your sake and make my death in the land of Your Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).” 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 1890 

Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) commented on this by saying: 

It is mustahabb to seek to die in a virtuous land. End quote 

Al-Majmoo‘, 5/106. 

In fact, he included it in a chapter entitled: Chapter on the recommendation for a person to pray that his death will be in the virtuous land. End quote. 

Al-Adhkaar, p. 98 

-3-

Imam Maalik narrated in al-Muwatta’ (2/325) from more than one of those whom he trusted that Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas and Sa‘eed ibn Zayd ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl died in al-‘Aqeeq and were carried to Madinah and buried there. 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The report to that effect from Sa‘d and Sa‘eed, as was narrated by Maalik, is saheeh. End quote. 

Al-Istidhkaar, 3/57 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

There was a difference of opinion as to whether it is permissible to transport the deceased from one land to another. 

It was said that it is makrooh, because it involves delaying the burial and exposing him to transgression of his sanctity. 

And it was said that it is mustahabb. 

Rather, it depends: 

It is not allowed if there is no clear purpose, such as burying him in good places. The ruling on it being makrooh varies, and it may reach the level of being haraam. 

It is mustahabb if one is close to a virtuous place, as al-Shaafa‘i stated that it is mustahabb to transport the deceased to a virtuous place, such as Makkah and elsewhere. End quote. 

Fath al-Baari, 3/207 

What can benefit the deceased after his death? Can he hear what the living say?:

Praise be to Allaah.
The principle is that the dead do not hear the words of the living, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… but you cannot hear those who are in graves.” [Faatir 35:22] and

“Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear…” [24]

When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) addressed the slain kuffaar (disbelievers) after the Battle of Badr, Allaah caused them to hear his words, although they were at the bottom of the well in which they had been buried. This was a special case, as the scholars, may Allaah have mercy on them, have stated. (See Al-Aayaat al-Bayyinaat fi ‘adam Samaa’ al-Amwaat).

Perhaps the psychological motive for your wishing that you father could hear you is an attempt to do something to re-establish the communication that has been cut, in order to alleviate the pain you are feeling. But you should understand, my sister, that Islam has explained what actions on the part of the living may benefit the dead, and what may reach them in their graves. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a person dies, all his deeds come to an end except three: sadaqah jaariyah (ongoing charity, e.g. a waqf or endowment), beneficial knowledge (which he has left behind), or a righteous child who will pray for him.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no 1376; he said this is a saheeh hasan hadeeth)

The most important thing that will benefit your father after his death, and that you can do for him now that he is in his grave, is to strive to pray for him and ask for forgiveness and mercy for him, and for Paradise and salvation from the Fire, and other good and beautiful du’aa’s (prayers).

Prayers for forgiveness offered by both sons and daughters of the deceased bring great benefits, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A man’s status will be raised in Paradise and he will ask, ‘How did I get here?’ He will be told, ‘By your son’s du’aa’s (prayers) for forgiveness for you.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, no 3660; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1617)

Another thing that may reach the deceased is sadaqah (charity) given on his behalf, because ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “My mother has passed away, and if she could have spoken, she would have given something in charity. Will she receive a reward if I give something on her behalf?” He said, “Yes.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, 1388)

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the mother of Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) died when he was away from her. He said: “O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has died and I am away from her. Will it benefit her anything if I give in charity on her behalf?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “Then I ask you to be my witness that I am giving my garden al-Mikhraaf (so called because it bore so many dates) in charity on her behalf.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, 2756)
Abu Hurayrah reported that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “My father has died and left money behind. He did not make a wasiyyah (a will); will it expiate for his sins if I give some of it in charity on his behalf?” He said, “Yes.”[25]
Sa’d ibn ‘Ubaadah said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, my mother has died. Should I give charity on her behalf?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked, ‘What kind of charity is best?’ He said, ‘Providing water.’”[26]
Other deeds that may also benefit the deceased are Hajj and ‘Umrah on their behalf, after the living person has first performed Hajj and ‘Umrah on his or her own behalf.
Abdullaah ibn Buraydah reported that his father (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “While I was sitting with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), a woman came to him and said: ‘I gave my mother a slave-woman in charity, and now my mother has died.’ He said: ‘You have got your reward, and your right of inheritance has brought your gift back to you.’ She said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, she still had one month to fast – can I fast it on her behalf?’ He said, ‘Fast it on her behalf.’ She said, ‘She never went to Hajj – can I perform Hajj on her behalf?’ He said, ‘Perform Hajj on her behalf.’”[27]
This shows that it is also permissible to fast on behalf of the deceased.
Another thing that may benefit the deceased is to fulfil their nadhr (vow), because Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that a woman came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “My mother made a vow to perform Hajj but she died before she could do it. Can I perform Hajj on her behalf?” He said, “Yes, perform Hajj on her behalf. Don’t you think that if your mother owed a debt you would pay it off?” She said, “Yes.” He said, “Then pay off what is owed to Allaah, for Allaah is more deserving of having vows fulfilled.” [28]
Another thing that may benefit the deceased is if his relative devotes a share to him of a sacrifice he offers. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) offered a sacrifice, he said: “In the name of Allaah, O Allaah, on behalf of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad” (reported by Muslim, no. 1967) – and the family of Muhammad included both the living and the dead.

What is the ruling on people gathering to receive condolences?:

What is meant by gathering to receive condolences is when the family of the deceased sit and gather in a certain place where those who wish to offer condolences can go to see them, whether that is in the house of the deceased’s family, or in the tents that they set up for that purpose, and so on. 

This matter is one of those concerning which there is a considerable difference of opinion among the scholars. There are two scholarly opinions concerning it: 

-1-

The first opinion is that there should be no gathering for the purpose of offering condolences, and such gatherings are makrooh. This is the view of the Shaafa‘is and Hanbalis, and many of the Maalikis; some of them even stated that it is haraam. 

The strongest evidence quoted by those who say that it is makrooh consists of two things: 

(i) The report of Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah who said: We used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased and making food after the burial as coming under the same heading as wailing (which is forbidden). Narrated by Ahmad, 6866; and Ibn Maajah, 1612.

(ii) This is something that was not done by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or any of his Companions, hence it is something that has been introduced; it is also contrary to the practice of the righteous early generations, who did not gather to receive condolences. 

Imam ash-Shaafa‘i said: I would regard such gatherings as makrooh, even if there is no weeping involved, because it renews grief and imposes a burden on the family of the deceased.

al-Umm, 1/318 

An-Nawawi said: With regard to sitting to receive condolences, ash-Shaafa‘i, al-Musannif and others stated that it is makrooh. … They said: rather people should go about their business, and whoever happens to meet them (the family members of the deceased) may offer them condolences. There is no differentiation between men and women with regard to being makrooh to sit to receive condolences.

End quote. Al-Majmoo‘Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, 5/306 

Al-Mirdaawi said: It is makrooh to sit to receive condolences. This is our opinion and it is the opinion of most of our companions, as was clearly stated.

End quote. Al-Insaaf, 2/565 

Abu Bakr at-Turtooshi said: Our Maaliki scholars said: Sitting to receive condolences is an innovation and is makrooh. But if a person sits in his house or in the mosque grieving, without sitting for the purpose of receiving condolences, there is nothing wrong with that. When the news came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) of the death of Ja‘far, he sat in the mosque grieving , and the people offered him condolences.

End quote. Al-Hawaadith wa’l-Bida‘, p. 170 

This view was mentioned in a fatwa by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him), when he said: With regard to the family of the deceased, it is not prescribed for them to gather in the house and receive condolences, because some of the salaf (early generations) regarded this as being a type of wailing (which is forbidden). Rather they should stay at home and close their doors, and whoever happens to meet them in the marketplace or in the mosque may offer them condolences.

End quote from Majmoo‘al-Fataawa, 17/103 

-2-

The second opinion is that there is nothing wrong with gathering and sitting to receive condolences, so long as the gathering is free of objectionable matters and innovations, and so long as it does not renew or perpetuate grief, or involve imposing burdens on the family of the deceased. This is the view of some of the Hanafis, some of the Maalikis and some of the Hanbalis. See: al-Bahr ar-Raa’iq, 2/207; Mawaahib al-Jaleel, 2/230 

Ibn Nujaym al-Hanafi said: There is nothing wrong with sitting to receive condolences for three days, without committing any objectionable action such as burdening the family of the deceased with requirements to make preparations to receive the visitors and offer food.

End quote. Al-Bahr ar-Raa’iq, 2/207 

This view was narrated from Imam Ahmad by Hanbal and al-Khallaal. 

Al-Mirdaawi said: And it was narrated from him that he granted a concession allowing that, because he offered condolences and sat to receive condolences. al-Khallaal said: Imam Ahmad was lenient with regard to sitting with the bereaved family in more than one place. … And it was narrated from him that he granted a concession to the family of the deceased. This was narrated by Hanbal and was the view favoured by al-Majd [i.e., Ibn Taymiyah]. 

And it was narrated from him that he granted a concession to the family of the deceased and others, to calm them down.

End quote. Al-Insaaf, 2/565 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in al-Kaafi (1/283): I hope that the issue of sitting together briefly to offer condolences is not serious. End quote. 

Among contemporary scholars, this view was favoured by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) when he said, as it says in Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (13/373): This is the view favoured by Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtaar ash-Shanqeeti in Silsilat Duroos Sharh az-Zaad

The strongest evidence quoted by those who regard it as permissible is as follows: 

-1-

The hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, the wife of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) according to which, that if a member of her family died, the women would gather together, then they would depart, except her own relatives and close friends. She would order that a pot of talbeenah be cooked, then some thareed would be made and the talbeenah would be poured over it. Then she would say: Eat some of it, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Talbeenah soothes the heart of the sick person, and it takes away some of the grief.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5417; Muslim, 3216.

Talbeenah is a broth made from (barley) flour and bran, to which honey may be added. It is so called because it resembles milk (laban) in its whiteness and consistency. 

This hadeeth clearly indicates that they did not see anything wrong with gathering, whether it was the family of the deceased who gathered, or others who gathered with them. 

-2-

It was narrated that Abu Waa’il said: When Khaalid ibn al-Waleed died, the women of Banu’l-Mugheerah gathered, weeping for him. It was said to ‘Umar: Send word to them, telling them not to do that, and that you should not hear anything about them that you dislike. ‘Umar said: Why shouldn’t they shed tears for Abu Sulaymaan, so long as they do not put dust on their heads or make a loud noise 

Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf (3/290) and ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq as-San‘aani (3/558), with a saheeh isnaad. 

They gave two responses to the report of Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah: 

(i) That the most correct view concerning it is that it is da‘eef (weak). It was criticised by Imam Ahmad and ad-Daaraqutni. 

This report was narrated by Ahmad ibn Munayyi‘ in his Musnad, Ibn Maajah in as-Sunan (1612), and at-Tabaraani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabeer (2/307) via Hushaym from Ismaa ‘eel ibn Abi Khaalid, from Qays, from Jareer. 

This isnaad appears to be saheeh, because its narrators are known for their good memory and are trustworthy. Hence it was classed as saheeh by a number of scholars, such as an-Nawawi in al-Majmoo‘(5/320), Ibn Katheer in Irshaad al-Faqeeh (1/241), al-Busayri in Misbaah az-Zujaajah, 1/289, ash-Shawkaani in Nayl al-Awtaar (4/148), Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir in Tahqeeq al-Musnad (11/126), al-Albaani in Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz (p. 210), the commentators on Musnad Ahmad (11/505), and others. 

However in the hadeeth there is a subtle flaw that was pointed out by the scholars and critics, which is the tadlees of Hushaym ibn Basheer; even though he was trustworthy, he often practiced tadlees [tadlees means giving the impression that he heard it from a particular person when he did not hear it from him directly] and irsaal [irsaal means attributing a hadeeth directly to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) without mentioning the name of the Sahaabi in the isnaad or chain or narrators], and sometimes narrated from da‘eef (weak) and majhool (unknown) narrators. 

Al-Haafiz adh-Dhahabi said in Tadhkirat al-Huffaaz (1/249): There is no dispute that he was among those who were known for their good memory and trustworthy narrators, but he practised tadlees a great deal; he narrated from a number of people from whom he did not hear hadeeth directly. End quote. 

Hence a number of earlier scholars regarded this hadeeth of Jareer as flawed, because of the tadlees of Hushaym. For example: 

Abu Dawood said: I mentioned to Ahmad the hadeeth of Hushaym, from Ismaa‘eel, from Qays, from Jareer, “We used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased and making food for them as being acts of Jaahiliyyah.” He said: They claimed that he heard it from Shareek. Ahmad said: I do not know of any basis for this hadeeth.

End quote. Masaa’il al-Imam Ahmad narrated by Abu Dawood as-Sijistaani, p. 388 

In al-‘Ilal by ad-Daaraqutni (13/462) there is something which suggests the possibility of Hushaym practicing tadlees in this hadeeth. 

If the one who practiced tadlees is Shareek ibn ‘Abdullah an-Nakha‘i, the qaadi of Kufah, then the report is da‘eef (weak), because his hadeeth is da‘eef according to all scholars of hadeeth; a hadeeth that is reported only by one such as he cannot be accepted as the basis for a shar‘i ruling concerning halaal and haraam. 

Yes, he was followed (in the narration of a similar hadeeth) by Nasr ibn Baab, as is narrated in Musnad Ahmad (6905), but it says in the biography of this Nasr in Ta‘jeel al-Manfa‘ah (p. 420): al-Bukhaari said: They accused him of lying. Ibn Ma‘een said: His hadeeth is worthless. ‘Ali ibn al-Madeeni said: I rejected his hadeeth. Abu Haatim ar-Raazi said: His hadeeth is to be rejected. Abu Khaythamah Zuhayr ibn Harb said: He is a liar. End quote. 

Therefore the similar hadeeth which he narrated cannot strengthen the report of Shareek; rather there is a strong possibility that the one who practiced tadlees in the report of Hushaym is Nasr ibn Baab himself, and not Shareek. 

To sum up: the report of Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah al-Bajali has not been proven via any saheeh isnaad, and the well-known report is flawed because of tadlees. For more information see the book: at-Tajliyah li Hukm al-Juloos li’t-Ta‘ziyah by Shaykh Zaafir Aal Jab‘aan, p. 27 

(ii)  Even if we assume that it is saheeh, what is meant is gatherings in which food is made by the family of the deceased in order to honour those who come and gather with them. 

Hence two things are mentioned in the report: “We used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased and making food after the burial as coming under the same heading as wailing (which is forbidden).” The gathering which involves both of these two things is that which is regarded as coming under the same heading as wailing. 

Ash-Shawkaani said: That is, they used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased after the burial and eating food in their house as a type of wailing, because that was burdensome for them and preoccupied them despite what they were preoccupied with of the death of the deceased, and because it is contrary to the Sunnah; they are instructed to make food for the family of the deceased, but they went against it and burdened them with the obligation of making food for others.

End quote. Nayl al-Awtaar, 4/118 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: What is meant is that gathering to read Qur’an and eat food has no basis; rather this is a kind of innovation. But if a person visits them to greet them, pray for them and offer condolences, and he recites in a gathering a brief recitation without any prior intention of doing so, because they have gathered, so he recites one or more verses for the benefit of all and to offer sincere advice to all, there is nothing wrong with that. But if the family of the deceased bring people together or they bring together a certain group to recite Qur’an, or they give them food or money (in return for doing so), this is an innovation for which there is no basis.

End quote. Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb, 14/202 

With regard to the view that gathering to offer condolences was not done by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions, therefore it is an innovation, the response to that is that gathering to offer condolences comes under the heading of traditions or customs, and not acts of worship, and the issue of innovation is not applicable with regard to traditions or customs; rather the basic principle with regard to traditions or customs is that they are permissible. 

Moreover, offering condolences is something that is prescribed in sharee‘ah, and there is no means of achieving that nowadays except by receiving people who come to offer condolences, or sitting to receive condolences, so this is something that helps to fulfil the Sunnah. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked about receiving people who come to offer condolences, or sitting to receive condolences. He said: I do not see anything wrong with the one who has suffered the calamity of the death of a relative or wife and the like receiving people in his house who have come to offer condolences at an appropriate time, because offering condolences is Sunnah, and receiving those who have come to offer condolences is something that helps them to fulfil the Sunnah. And if they honour them by offering coffee or tea or perfume, all of that is fine.

End quote. Majmoo‘Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi‘ah, 13/373 

Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh said:

What we see of our scholars in this land and other lands, even the scholars, is that they sit (to receive condolences), because this interest could not be achieved otherwise, and if that is not done, then the Sunnah of offering condolences cannot be done either.

Even according to the view that it is makrooh, it is no longer makrooh in the case of need, as is well known to the scholars. Undoubtedly sitting to receive condolences is needed more nowadays because it makes it easier for people who want to offer condolences. 

The children and relatives of the deceased may live in different places or in locations that are far away from one another in the same city, which makes it difficult for those who want to offer condolences to travel between them. 

This reason was mentioned by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz when he was asked about the ruling on sitting to receive condolences. He replied: If they sit for people to offer them condolences, there is nothing wrong with that, in sha Allah, so that they will not make things difficult for people, but that should be without making food for the people.

End quote. Majmoo‘al-Fataawa, 13/382 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtaar ash-Shanqeeti said: The salaf (early generations) disallowed that, and Imam Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him) was very strict on this matter and disallowed it. That was the way of the salaf, but later scholars and fuqaha’ issued fatwas stating that there is nothing wrong with it in these later times. 

The reason for that is that in earlier times people were few and it was possible to see the family of the deceased in the mosque, or on the road or at the well, and offer condolences to them, and the matter was easy. In fact you could say that if a person died, all the people of the village would know and would attend his burial, and offering condolences was easy. 

But nowadays many people live in big cities and it is difficult to go to each relative in his own house; this causes such difficulty the extent of which only Allah knows, and the matter is burdensome. Hence if they gather in the house of one of the relatives that is easier for the people and easier for them, and it is more effective in achieving the purpose of offering condolences to all and consoling them all. Hence they issued fatwas stating that in this case there is nothing wrong with them sitting (to receive condolences) and this is not regarded as coming under the heading of wailing (which is forbidden); rather it is prescribed because there is a need for it.

End quote from Silsilat Duroos Sharh az-Zaad (86/16). 

Many of the scholars only denounced such gatherings because of what usually happens in them of innovations and objectionable matters. But if the gathering is free of that, then there is nothing wrong with it. 

Shams ad-Deen al-Minbiji al-Hanbali said: If the gathering includes exhortation to the bereaved to be patient and accept the divine decree, and this social gathering brings consolation and comfort by reminding one another of verses and hadeeths that speak of patience and acceptance, there is nothing wrong with gathering in this manner. Offering condolences is a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). But it should be done in a manner other than it is done nowadays, when people sit in the well-known manner to read Qur’an, sometimes at the grave in most cases, and sometimes in the house of the deceased or in large gathering places. This is an innovation that was disliked by the salaf.

End quote. Tasliyat Ahl al-Masaa’ib, p. 121 

Conclusion: 

The issue of gatherings (to offer condolences) that are free of objectionable actions and provocation of grief is a matter concerning which there is a difference of opinion, and the matter is broad in scope; however in cases where there are objectionable actions and innovations, then it is not allowed. 

But if it is free of such things, then the evidence quoted in support of the second opinion, which is the opinion that it is permissible, is sounder in terms of isnaads, and clearer in terms of evidence. As for the evidence for disallowing it, it is da‘eef (weak) reports in which nothing is clearly attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Moreover, the evidence is open to interpretation, as it seems that the prohibition is not on gatherings for receiving condolences, rather it is on burdening the family of the deceased by expecting them to make food for people when they are preoccupied with the calamity that has befallen them. 

Moreover, it is quite obvious that the view that it is permissible is closer to making things easier for people, especially as times have changed and people are very busy, which has required them to adopt some customs that help them to organise their affairs, including gatherings in which the family of the deceased may receive condolences from people when the calamity is still fresh, so that those who wish to offer condolences do not have to look for the family of the deceased one by one in their workplaces or mosques or even in their houses, and they do not have to leave their work for several days on end in order to achieve that, when people live further apart and circumstances and times have changed. 

If saying that it is permissible did no more than relieve people of some hardship, that would be sufficient to regard it as more correct, so how about when it is supported by clear, sound evidence? 

Bidaa’h of gathering after fourty days to pray for the deceased:

What happens in some Muslim countries – where the friends and relatives of the deceased gather after 40 days to read Qur’aan, make du’aa’ for him and remember him – is undoubtedly bid’ah (reprehensible innovation) for which no authority has been revealed by Allaah. It is not permissible to take part in or attend such gatherings. We have to speak out against such practices. The Muslim should pray for his brother at all times, not only for three days after his death, or forty days or one year later, etc. It should be known that this is a custom of the Kuffaar and it is not permissible for us to imitate them. May Allaah help us to follow the Sunnah, and may He bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Ruling on eulogizing the dead:

Eulogizing (ritha’) means weeping and mourning for the deceased after his death and praising him, or poetry composed for that purpose. 

See: Lisaan al-‘Arab (14/309). 

It also means expressing anguish when calamity comes. For example, in the hadeeth of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), it is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “But poor Sa’d ibn Khawlah (died in Makkah)”; the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was expressing his regret (yarthi) that Sa’d had died in Makkah. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1296). Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath that the phrase “the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was expressing his regret (yarthi) that Sa’d had died in Makkah” was the words of al-Zuhri. 

See: al-Faa’iq (2/36). 

There are two scholarly views about eulogizing the dead. 

1 – That there is nothing wrong with eulogies. This is the view of the Hanafis and Shaafa’is. 

See: Haashiyat Ibn ‘Aabideen (2/239); Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj (3/17). 

They quoted as evidence the fact that many of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) did that, as did many of the scholars. 

See: Sharh al-Minhaaj li’l-Jaml (2/215). 

2 – That eulogies are makrooh. This is the view of the Shaafa’is. 

See: Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj (3/17). 

They quoted as evidence the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade eulogies. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Awfa (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade eulogies. Narrated by Imam Ahmad (18659) and Ibn Maajah (1592). 

The narrator of this hadeeth is Ibraaheem al-Hijri who narrated it from ‘Abd-Allaah. Al-Busayri said on him in Misbaah al-Zajaajah: He is da’eef jiddan (very weak). He was classed as da’eef by Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah, Yahya ibn Ma’een, al-Nasaa’i and others. Al-Bukhaari said of him: he is munkar al-hadeeth, i.e., his hadeeth is to be rejected. Hence al-Albaani classed him as da’eef in Da’eef Ibn Maajah

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (22/98): 

It says in al-Durr al-Mukhtaar, which is a Hanafi book, that there is nothing wrong with eulogizing the deceased in verse or otherwise, but it is makrooh to go to extremes in praising him, especially at his funeral. Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’, quoting from the author of al-Tatimmah that it is makrooh to eulogize the deceased by mentioning his forefathers, his attributes and his deeds, and it is better to pray for forgiveness for him. The Hanbalis said that that which stirs up the feelings of loss, whether it comes in the form of exhortation or reciting poetry is a form of niyaahah (wailing for the deceased), i.e. it is forbidden. This was stated by Shaykh Taqiy al-Deen. End quote. 

In al-Furooq (2/174), al-Qaraafi divided eulogizing into four categories, and said: 

It is not just the matter of allowing eulogies and not regarding as faasiqs (evildoers) the poets who eulogize deceased kings and prominent figures in all cases, even though that view is well known among the people. In fact eulogizing falls into four categories, haraam and a major sin, haraam and a minor sin, permissible, and recommended. 

The guideline on that which is haraam and a major sin is any words which make people feel that Allaah, may He be exalted, has been unfair in His decree or that expresses discontent with His will, and suggests that the death of this deceased was not a good thing, rather it was a great evil. Making the listeners believe that is haraam and a major sin, whether it is done in prose or poetry, such as if the poet says in his eulogy: 

“There has died one among whose troops was death, one before whom the divine decree felt scared”  

This line of verse includes a rejection of the divine decree in the words “one among whose troops was death”, which is a veneration of this person who has died. One such as this deceased person should not have resigned from the position of caliph; how could there ever be such a person again in the future? Similarly, the words “one before whom the divine decree felt scared” suggest that Allaah, may He be exalted, was afraid of him. If this is not blatant kufr then it seems from these words to be very close to it. Hence when Shaykh ‘Izz al-Deen ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam was in the gathering in which the sultaan assembled the prominent, Qur’aan readers and poets to mourn the caliph in Baghdad, and one of the poets recited the line,  “There has died one among whose troops was death, one before whom the divine decree felt scared”, when the Shaykh heard that, he ordered that he be disciplined and imprisoned, and he denounced that in the strongest terms and criticized his eulogy. After his ta’zeer punishment he remained in prison for a long time, then he asked him to repent after the governors and leaders interceded for him. He told him to compose a qaseedah praising Allaah, as expiation for what his poem had said about condemning the divine decree and suggesting that Allaah, may He be exalted, was afraid of the deceased. The poets often tried to indulge in such critical issues so as to attract attention by coming up with unique ideas. 

This type is the worst type of eulogy.  

The guideline on that which is haraam and a minor sin is any prose or poetry that does not go as far as the type mentioned in the first category, but it deprives the family of the deceased of consolation and stirs up their grief to such an extent that they torment themselves and have little patience, and it may lead them to despair, rending their garments and striking their cheeks. This is haraam and is a minor sin. 

The guideline on that kind of eulogy which is permissible is words that do not include any of the things mentioned in the two previous categories, rather it mentions the religious commitment of the deceased, and states that he has gone on to the reward for his good deeds and will be in the company of the people who are blessed; that there has come to him that which is decreed for all people; this is inevitable and it is something that all creatures have in common, a door which they will inevitably enter. This is permissible and is not forbidden. 

The guideline on the kind of eulogy that is recommended is everything that falls into the permissible category and will increase the family of the deceased in patience and encourage them to seek reward, and remind them to seek reward for their loss for the sake of Allaah and rely on Allaah’s care, etc. This is recommended and enjoined.  

An example of this is what was narrated from al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (may Allaah be pleased with him), when he died and his son ‘Abd-Allaah found it too difficult to bear. A Bedouin came from the desert and asked after ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas. When he entered upon him he said: 

“Be patient, we are being patient for your sake, for the people will be patient when their leader is patient.

The reward that comes after is better than al-‘Abbaas and Allaah is better for al-‘Abbaas than you.”  

When ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-‘Abbaas heard this eulogy and understood his poetry, he felt relieved. 

These words were the best kind of eulogy that lessened the impact of the calamity, took away grief, and expressed a positive attitude towards the divine decree praising the Lord in the best of ways. This is a good thing. 

Based on the four categories described above, we may categorize eulogies accordingly. And Allaah knows best. End quote. 

It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi

If it is said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade eulogizing as was narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah, and classed as saheeh by al-Haakim, if he forbade it than how could he have done it? i.e., in the hadeeth of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) quoted above. 

The answer is that the kind of eulogizing that is forbidden is that which praises the deceased and mentions his good qualities, so as to stir up grief and renew the sorrow, or which is done in gatherings convened for that purpose, or when the eulogy is limited to that without mentioning anything else. What is meant in this hadeeth is the Prophet’s expression of sorrow for Sa’d because he died in Makkah after having migrated from it, not praising the deceased and stirring up grief. This was stated by al-Qastallaani. End quote.  

See: Fath al-Baari (3/164-165) 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked: Do the qaseedahs which eulogize the dead come under the heading of death announcements that are forbidden? 

He replied: The qaseedahs that eulogize the dead do not come under the heading of death announcements that are forbidden, but it is not permissible for anyone to go to extremes in speaking of anyone or describe him in false terms, as is the habit of many poets. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz

Based on this, holding gatherings to eulogize the deceased is forbidden, especially if that is accompanied by stirring up grief or expressing discontent with the divine decree, or describing the deceased in false terms that were not true, and other haraam things. 

As for simply listing the good qualities of the deceased and expressing one’s sorrow at his passing, there is nothing wrong with that so long as it is free of the haraam things mentioned above, etc.

Etiquette of visiting graves:

It is prescribed to visit graves in order to learn a lesson from that and to remember the Hereafter. That is subject to the condition that one does not say anything that will anger the Lord, such as calling upon the one who is buried or seeking his help instead of Allaah, or praising him and saying that he is for certain in Paradise, etc. 

The purpose of visiting the graves is twofold:

(a)     The visitor benefits from remembering death and the dead, remembering that their destiny will be either Paradise or Hell. This is the primary purpose of the visit.

(b)    The deceased also benefits and is treated kindly by the visitor greeting him with salaams, making du’aa’ for him, praying for forgiveness for him. This applies only to Muslims. Among the du’aa’s that may be recited are: 

Assalaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, in sha Allaah bikum laahiqoon, as’al Allaaha lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah (peace be upon you O people of the dwellings, believers and Muslims, In sha Allaah we will join you, I ask Allaah to keep us and you safe and sound).” 

It is permissible to raise the hands when reciting this du’aa’, because of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out one night, and I sent Bareerah to follow him and see where he went. She said, ‘He went towards Baqee’ al-Gharqad [the graveyard in Madeenah], and he stood at the bottom of al-Baqee’ and raised his hands, then he went away.’ Bareerah came back to me and told me, and when morning came I asked him about it. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, where did you go out to last night? He said, ‘I was sent to the people of al-Baqee’, to pray for them.’”

 But you should not face the grave when making du’aa’ for them; rather you should face the direction of the Ka’bah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade prayer (salaah) facing graves, and du’aa’ is the heart and soul of salaah, as is well known, and is subject to the same rulings. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Du’aa’ is worship” then he recited the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Lord said: “Invoke Me [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism) and ask Me for anything] I will respond to your (invocation).”[1]

 You should not walk between the graves of the Muslims wearing your shoes. It was narrated that ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘If I were to walk on hot coals or on a sword, or if I were to mend my shoes using my feet, that would be better for me than if I were to walk on the grave of a Muslim. And it makes no difference to me if I were to relieve myself in the midst of the graves or in the middle of the market-place [i.e., both are equally bad].’’[2]

We ask Allaah, the Most High, the Omnipotent, to have mercy upon our dead and the deceased Muslims. 

Consequences of Sufism:

Sufism is a blend of Hindu, Parsi and Majusi ideologies and has no place in the concept of Tawheed and Sunnah of Prophet pbuh. There is a proper Agenda behind the launch of this philosophy in Islamic Society. It played deeper role to pollute Islamic Aqeedah and performance of Ummah. Major consequences of these self created philosophies are:

  • Sufism promoted variety of Innovations, superstitious beliefs and monotheism through mind boggling concepts having no validity from Qur’an and Methodology of Salaf.
  • Sufism gave rise to concepts of Incarnation, Hulool and Unity of all religions.
  • Sufism damaged true essence of Tawheed and encouraged folks to worship Saints, Peer and psudo intellectuals.
  • They created an image that mystical stories of Peer, Saints, and Sufi are superior to the great noble characteristics of Sahabas, Salaf and righteous scholars of Islam.
  • They raised the status of saints to the status of Messengers, Angels and even Prophets of Allah sbh by their fabricated tales.
  • They presented fake miracles of their saints to deviate masses.
  • They damaged true image of Islam and created barriers for the non- Muslims to study Islam and noble characteristics of Prophet Muhammad pbuh and his Companians. Do you think when a Non-Muslim hears false story that sahabas were keen to consume Urine of PProphet pbuh would feel attraction in Islam? No! he would have hundreds of reservations.
  • Shabby appearance, dirty clothes, unhygienic habbits, wearing beads and rings, dancing on drum, all such traits have nothing to do with the civilized and prestigious traits of Islam. Do you think our great ancestors who ruled the world for thousand of years and brought Revolution in the field of Science, Sociology, Psycology and Medicine could have such idleness, dumbness and decayed personalities?.. Not at all! They were Lions Of Desserts not beggars of towns.
  • Sufism promoted Monasticism. This fallacious belief discouraged people to marry, having proper healthy family lives, having offspring and healthy social lives. It’s all cause of this belief that worst crime including homosexuality is common amongst Monks, Nuns, and bachelor Sufi saints. Such Aqeedah automatically opens the doors of immodesty, fornication, masterbation, sexual diseases, rape attempts, paedophilias, emotional disorders and a lot more. Do you think powerful and healthy generations can be generated by such decaying practices?.

 

  • Sufism facilitated enemies of Islam to attack, destabalise and conquer Ummah and its resources.
  • Sufism preaches destruction of Man power.
  • Sufism discourages seeking knowledge, progressing in the field of military, Research, Science, Technology and Economic Growth pushing Ummah in the darkness of Poverty, Ignorance, Deviation, Corruption and finally Slavery.
  • Sufism divides Ummah by seeds of Shirk, bidah and faulty aqeedah making them weaker and loser.
  • Sufism puts fog on the objectives of life making it paralysed.
  • Sufism resists Dawah and spread of Islam on national as well as international level.
  • It supports Hindu, Greek and Roman mythologies in a disguised form.
  • It condemns Attributes of Allah sbt and His commandments by spreading self created opinions, assumptions, ideas and practices.
  • Many Sufis are reported to have close collaborations with the enemies of Islam, receiving funds from them and implementing their agendas.

So, Sufism has been a wolf in the mask of sheep.

[1] [Ghaafir 40:60]

[2] (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1567) 

What is the ruling on people gathering to receive condolences?:

What is meant by gathering to receive condolences is when the family of the deceased sit and gather in a certain place where those who wish to offer condolences can go to see them, whether that is in the house of the deceased’s family, or in the tents that they set up for that purpose, and so on. 

This matter is one of those concerning which there is a considerable difference of opinion among the scholars. There are two scholarly opinions concerning it: 

-1-

The first opinion is that there should be no gathering for the purpose of offering condolences, and such gatherings are makrooh. This is the view of the Shaafa‘is and Hanbalis, and many of the Maalikis; some of them even stated that it is haraam. 

The strongest evidence quoted by those who say that it is makrooh consists of two things: 

(i) The report of Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah who said: We used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased and making food after the burial as coming under the same heading as wailing (which is forbidden). Narrated by Ahmad, 6866; and Ibn Maajah, 1612.

(ii) This is something that was not done by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or any of his Companions, hence it is something that has been introduced; it is also contrary to the practice of the righteous early generations, who did not gather to receive condolences. 

Imam ash-Shaafa‘i said: I would regard such gatherings as makrooh, even if there is no weeping involved, because it renews grief and imposes a burden on the family of the deceased.

al-Umm, 1/318 

An-Nawawi said: With regard to sitting to receive condolences, ash-Shaafa‘i, al-Musannif and others stated that it is makrooh. … They said: rather people should go about their business, and whoever happens to meet them (the family members of the deceased) may offer them condolences. There is no differentiation between men and women with regard to being makrooh to sit to receive condolences.

End quote. Al-Majmoo‘Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, 5/306 

Al-Mirdaawi said: It is makrooh to sit to receive condolences. This is our opinion and it is the opinion of most of our companions, as was clearly stated.

End quote. Al-Insaaf, 2/565 

Abu Bakr at-Turtooshi said: Our Maaliki scholars said: Sitting to receive condolences is an innovation and is makrooh. But if a person sits in his house or in the mosque grieving, without sitting for the purpose of receiving condolences, there is nothing wrong with that. When the news came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) of the death of Ja‘far, he sat in the mosque grieving , and the people offered him condolences.

End quote. Al-Hawaadith wa’l-Bida‘, p. 170 

This view was mentioned in a fatwa by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him), when he said: With regard to the family of the deceased, it is not prescribed for them to gather in the house and receive condolences, because some of the salaf (early generations) regarded this as being a type of wailing (which is forbidden). Rather they should stay at home and close their doors, and whoever happens to meet them in the marketplace or in the mosque may offer them condolences.

End quote from Majmoo‘al-Fataawa, 17/103 

-2-

The second opinion is that there is nothing wrong with gathering and sitting to receive condolences, so long as the gathering is free of objectionable matters and innovations, and so long as it does not renew or perpetuate grief, or involve imposing burdens on the family of the deceased. This is the view of some of the Hanafis, some of the Maalikis and some of the Hanbalis. See: al-Bahr ar-Raa’iq, 2/207; Mawaahib al-Jaleel, 2/230 

Ibn Nujaym al-Hanafi said: There is nothing wrong with sitting to receive condolences for three days, without committing any objectionable action such as burdening the family of the deceased with requirements to make preparations to receive the visitors and offer food.

End quote. Al-Bahr ar-Raa’iq, 2/207 

This view was narrated from Imam Ahmad by Hanbal and al-Khallaal. 

Al-Mirdaawi said: And it was narrated from him that he granted a concession allowing that, because he offered condolences and sat to receive condolences. al-Khallaal said: Imam Ahmad was lenient with regard to sitting with the bereaved family in more than one place. … And it was narrated from him that he granted a concession to the family of the deceased. This was narrated by Hanbal and was the view favoured by al-Majd [i.e., Ibn Taymiyah]. 

And it was narrated from him that he granted a concession to the family of the deceased and others, to calm them down.

End quote. Al-Insaaf, 2/565 

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in al-Kaafi (1/283): I hope that the issue of sitting together briefly to offer condolences is not serious. End quote. 

Among contemporary scholars, this view was favoured by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) when he said, as it says in Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (13/373): This is the view favoured by Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtaar ash-Shanqeeti in Silsilat Duroos Sharh az-Zaad

The strongest evidence quoted by those who regard it as permissible is as follows: 

-1-

The hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, the wife of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) according to which, that if a member of her family died, the women would gather together, then they would depart, except her own relatives and close friends. She would order that a pot of talbeenah be cooked, then some thareed would be made and the talbeenah would be poured over it. Then she would say: Eat some of it, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Talbeenah soothes the heart of the sick person, and it takes away some of the grief.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5417; Muslim, 3216.

Talbeenah is a broth made from (barley) flour and bran, to which honey may be added. It is so called because it resembles milk (laban) in its whiteness and consistency. 

This hadeeth clearly indicates that they did not see anything wrong with gathering, whether it was the family of the deceased who gathered, or others who gathered with them. 

-2-

It was narrated that Abu Waa’il said: When Khaalid ibn al-Waleed died, the women of Banu’l-Mugheerah gathered, weeping for him. It was said to ‘Umar: Send word to them, telling them not to do that, and that you should not hear anything about them that you dislike. ‘Umar said: Why shouldn’t they shed tears for Abu Sulaymaan, so long as they do not put dust on their heads or make a loud noise 

Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf (3/290) and ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq as-San‘aani (3/558), with a saheeh isnaad. 

They gave two responses to the report of Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah: 

(i) That the most correct view concerning it is that it is da‘eef (weak). It was criticised by Imam Ahmad and ad-Daaraqutni. 

This report was narrated by Ahmad ibn Munayyi‘ in his Musnad, Ibn Maajah in as-Sunan (1612), and at-Tabaraani in al-Mu‘jam al-Kabeer (2/307) via Hushaym from Ismaa ‘eel ibn Abi Khaalid, from Qays, from Jareer. 

This isnaad appears to be saheeh, because its narrators are known for their good memory and are trustworthy. Hence it was classed as saheeh by a number of scholars, such as an-Nawawi in al-Majmoo‘(5/320), Ibn Katheer in Irshaad al-Faqeeh (1/241), al-Busayri in Misbaah az-Zujaajah, 1/289, ash-Shawkaani in Nayl al-Awtaar (4/148), Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir in Tahqeeq al-Musnad (11/126), al-Albaani in Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz (p. 210), the commentators on Musnad Ahmad (11/505), and others. 

However in the hadeeth there is a subtle flaw that was pointed out by the scholars and critics, which is the tadlees of Hushaym ibn Basheer; even though he was trustworthy, he often practiced tadlees [tadlees means giving the impression that he heard it from a particular person when he did not hear it from him directly] and irsaal [irsaal means attributing a hadeeth directly to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) without mentioning the name of the Sahaabi in the isnaad or chain or narrators], and sometimes narrated from da‘eef (weak) and majhool (unknown) narrators. 

Al-Haafiz adh-Dhahabi said in Tadhkirat al-Huffaaz (1/249): There is no dispute that he was among those who were known for their good memory and trustworthy narrators, but he practised tadlees a great deal; he narrated from a number of people from whom he did not hear hadeeth directly. End quote. 

Hence a number of earlier scholars regarded this hadeeth of Jareer as flawed, because of the tadlees of Hushaym. For example: 

Abu Dawood said: I mentioned to Ahmad the hadeeth of Hushaym, from Ismaa‘eel, from Qays, from Jareer, “We used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased and making food for them as being acts of Jaahiliyyah.” He said: They claimed that he heard it from Shareek. Ahmad said: I do not know of any basis for this hadeeth.

End quote. Masaa’il al-Imam Ahmad narrated by Abu Dawood as-Sijistaani, p. 388 

In al-‘Ilal by ad-Daaraqutni (13/462) there is something which suggests the possibility of Hushaym practicing tadlees in this hadeeth. 

If the one who practiced tadlees is Shareek ibn ‘Abdullah an-Nakha‘i, the qaadi of Kufah, then the report is da‘eef (weak), because his hadeeth is da‘eef according to all scholars of hadeeth; a hadeeth that is reported only by one such as he cannot be accepted as the basis for a shar‘i ruling concerning halaal and haraam. 

Yes, he was followed (in the narration of a similar hadeeth) by Nasr ibn Baab, as is narrated in Musnad Ahmad (6905), but it says in the biography of this Nasr in Ta‘jeel al-Manfa‘ah (p. 420): al-Bukhaari said: They accused him of lying. Ibn Ma‘een said: His hadeeth is worthless. ‘Ali ibn al-Madeeni said: I rejected his hadeeth. Abu Haatim ar-Raazi said: His hadeeth is to be rejected. Abu Khaythamah Zuhayr ibn Harb said: He is a liar. End quote. 

Therefore the similar hadeeth which he narrated cannot strengthen the report of Shareek; rather there is a strong possibility that the one who practiced tadlees in the report of Hushaym is Nasr ibn Baab himself, and not Shareek. 

To sum up: the report of Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah al-Bajali has not been proven via any saheeh isnaad, and the well-known report is flawed because of tadlees. For more information see the book: at-Tajliyah li Hukm al-Juloos li’t-Ta‘ziyah by Shaykh Zaafir Aal Jab‘aan, p. 27 

(ii)  Even if we assume that it is saheeh, what is meant is gatherings in which food is made by the family of the deceased in order to honour those who come and gather with them. 

Hence two things are mentioned in the report: “We used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased and making food after the burial as coming under the same heading as wailing (which is forbidden).” The gathering which involves both of these two things is that which is regarded as coming under the same heading as wailing. 

Ash-Shawkaani said: That is, they used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased after the burial and eating food in their house as a type of wailing, because that was burdensome for them and preoccupied them despite what they were preoccupied with of the death of the deceased, and because it is contrary to the Sunnah; they are instructed to make food for the family of the deceased, but they went against it and burdened them with the obligation of making food for others.

End quote. Nayl al-Awtaar, 4/118 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: What is meant is that gathering to read Qur’an and eat food has no basis; rather this is a kind of innovation. But if a person visits them to greet them, pray for them and offer condolences, and he recites in a gathering a brief recitation without any prior intention of doing so, because they have gathered, so he recites one or more verses for the benefit of all and to offer sincere advice to all, there is nothing wrong with that. But if the family of the deceased bring people together or they bring together a certain group to recite Qur’an, or they give them food or money (in return for doing so), this is an innovation for which there is no basis.

End quote. Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb, 14/202 

With regard to the view that gathering to offer condolences was not done by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions, therefore it is an innovation, the response to that is that gathering to offer condolences comes under the heading of traditions or customs, and not acts of worship, and the issue of innovation is not applicable with regard to traditions or customs; rather the basic principle with regard to traditions or customs is that they are permissible. 

Moreover, offering condolences is something that is prescribed in sharee‘ah, and there is no means of achieving that nowadays except by receiving people who come to offer condolences, or sitting to receive condolences, so this is something that helps to fulfil the Sunnah. 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked about receiving people who come to offer condolences, or sitting to receive condolences. He said: I do not see anything wrong with the one who has suffered the calamity of the death of a relative or wife and the like receiving people in his house who have come to offer condolences at an appropriate time, because offering condolences is Sunnah, and receiving those who have come to offer condolences is something that helps them to fulfil the Sunnah. And if they honour them by offering coffee or tea or perfume, all of that is fine.

End quote. Majmoo‘Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi‘ah, 13/373 

Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh said:

What we see of our scholars in this land and other lands, even the scholars, is that they sit (to receive condolences), because this interest could not be achieved otherwise, and if that is not done, then the Sunnah of offering condolences cannot be done either.

Even according to the view that it is makrooh, it is no longer makrooh in the case of need, as is well known to the scholars. Undoubtedly sitting to receive condolences is needed more nowadays because it makes it easier for people who want to offer condolences. 

The children and relatives of the deceased may live in different places or in locations that are far away from one another in the same city, which makes it difficult for those who want to offer condolences to travel between them. 

This reason was mentioned by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz when he was asked about the ruling on sitting to receive condolences. He replied: If they sit for people to offer them condolences, there is nothing wrong with that, in sha Allah, so that they will not make things difficult for people, but that should be without making food for the people.

End quote. Majmoo‘al-Fataawa, 13/382 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtaar ash-Shanqeeti said: The salaf (early generations) disallowed that, and Imam Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him) was very strict on this matter and disallowed it. That was the way of the salaf, but later scholars and fuqaha’ issued fatwas stating that there is nothing wrong with it in these later times. 

The reason for that is that in earlier times people were few and it was possible to see the family of the deceased in the mosque, or on the road or at the well, and offer condolences to them, and the matter was easy. In fact you could say that if a person died, all the people of the village would know and would attend his burial, and offering condolences was easy. 

But nowadays many people live in big cities and it is difficult to go to each relative in his own house; this causes such difficulty the extent of which only Allah knows, and the matter is burdensome. Hence if they gather in the house of one of the relatives that is easier for the people and easier for them, and it is more effective in achieving the purpose of offering condolences to all and consoling them all. Hence they issued fatwas stating that in this case there is nothing wrong with them sitting (to receive condolences) and this is not regarded as coming under the heading of wailing (which is forbidden); rather it is prescribed because there is a need for it.

End quote from Silsilat Duroos Sharh az-Zaad (86/16). 

Many of the scholars only denounced such gatherings because of what usually happens in them of innovations and objectionable matters. But if the gathering is free of that, then there is nothing wrong with it. 

Shams ad-Deen al-Minbiji al-Hanbali said: If the gathering includes exhortation to the bereaved to be patient and accept the divine decree, and this social gathering brings consolation and comfort by reminding one another of verses and hadeeths that speak of patience and acceptance, there is nothing wrong with gathering in this manner. Offering condolences is a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). But it should be done in a manner other than it is done nowadays, when people sit in the well-known manner to read Qur’an, sometimes at the grave in most cases, and sometimes in the house of the deceased or in large gathering places. This is an innovation that was disliked by the salaf.

End quote. Tasliyat Ahl al-Masaa’ib, p. 121 

Conclusion: 

The issue of gatherings (to offer condolences) that are free of objectionable actions and provocation of grief is a matter concerning which there is a difference of opinion, and the matter is broad in scope; however in cases where there are objectionable actions and innovations, then it is not allowed. 

But if it is free of such things, then the evidence quoted in support of the second opinion, which is the opinion that it is permissible, is sounder in terms of isnaads, and clearer in terms of evidence. As for the evidence for disallowing it, it is da‘eef (weak) reports in which nothing is clearly attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Moreover, the evidence is open to interpretation, as it seems that the prohibition is not on gatherings for receiving condolences, rather it is on burdening the family of the deceased by expecting them to make food for people when they are preoccupied with the calamity that has befallen them. 

Moreover, it is quite obvious that the view that it is permissible is closer to making things easier for people, especially as times have changed and people are very busy, which has required them to adopt some customs that help them to organise their affairs, including gatherings in which the family of the deceased may receive condolences from people when the calamity is still fresh, so that those who wish to offer condolences do not have to look for the family of the deceased one by one in their workplaces or mosques or even in their houses, and they do not have to leave their work for several days on end in order to achieve that, when people live further apart and circumstances and times have changed. 

If saying that it is permissible did no more than relieve people of some hardship, that would be sufficient to regard it as more correct, so how about when it is supported by clear, sound evidence? 

Bidaa’h of gathering after fourty days to pray for the deceased:

What happens in some Muslim countries – where the friends and relatives of the deceased gather after 40 days to read Qur’aan, make du’aa’ for him and remember him – is undoubtedly bid’ah (reprehensible innovation) for which no authority has been revealed by Allaah. It is not permissible to take part in or attend such gatherings. We have to speak out against such practices. The Muslim should pray for his brother at all times, not only for three days after his death, or forty days or one year later, etc. It should be known that this is a custom of the Kuffaar and it is not permissible for us to imitate them. May Allaah help us to follow the Sunnah, and may He bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Ruling on eulogizing the dead:

Eulogizing (ritha’) means weeping and mourning for the deceased after his death and praising him, or poetry composed for that purpose. 

See: Lisaan al-‘Arab (14/309). 

It also means expressing anguish when calamity comes. For example, in the hadeeth of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), it is narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “But poor Sa’d ibn Khawlah (died in Makkah)”; the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was expressing his regret (yarthi) that Sa’d had died in Makkah. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1296). Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath that the phrase “the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was expressing his regret (yarthi) that Sa’d had died in Makkah” was the words of al-Zuhri. 

See: al-Faa’iq (2/36). 

There are two scholarly views about eulogizing the dead. 

1 – That there is nothing wrong with eulogies. This is the view of the Hanafis and Shaafa’is. 

See: Haashiyat Ibn ‘Aabideen (2/239); Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj (3/17). 

They quoted as evidence the fact that many of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) did that, as did many of the scholars. 

See: Sharh al-Minhaaj li’l-Jaml (2/215). 

2 – That eulogies are makrooh. This is the view of the Shaafa’is. 

See: Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj (3/17). 

They quoted as evidence the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade eulogies. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Awfa (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade eulogies. Narrated by Imam Ahmad (18659) and Ibn Maajah (1592). 

The narrator of this hadeeth is Ibraaheem al-Hijri who narrated it from ‘Abd-Allaah. Al-Busayri said on him in Misbaah al-Zajaajah: He is da’eef jiddan (very weak). He was classed as da’eef by Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah, Yahya ibn Ma’een, al-Nasaa’i and others. Al-Bukhaari said of him: he is munkar al-hadeeth, i.e., his hadeeth is to be rejected. Hence al-Albaani classed him as da’eef in Da’eef Ibn Maajah

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (22/98): 

It says in al-Durr al-Mukhtaar, which is a Hanafi book, that there is nothing wrong with eulogizing the deceased in verse or otherwise, but it is makrooh to go to extremes in praising him, especially at his funeral. Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’, quoting from the author of al-Tatimmah that it is makrooh to eulogize the deceased by mentioning his forefathers, his attributes and his deeds, and it is better to pray for forgiveness for him. The Hanbalis said that that which stirs up the feelings of loss, whether it comes in the form of exhortation or reciting poetry is a form of niyaahah (wailing for the deceased), i.e. it is forbidden. This was stated by Shaykh Taqiy al-Deen. End quote. 

In al-Furooq (2/174), al-Qaraafi divided eulogizing into four categories, and said: 

It is not just the matter of allowing eulogies and not regarding as faasiqs (evildoers) the poets who eulogize deceased kings and prominent figures in all cases, even though that view is well known among the people. In fact eulogizing falls into four categories, haraam and a major sin, haraam and a minor sin, permissible, and recommended. 

The guideline on that which is haraam and a major sin is any words which make people feel that Allaah, may He be exalted, has been unfair in His decree or that expresses discontent with His will, and suggests that the death of this deceased was not a good thing, rather it was a great evil. Making the listeners believe that is haraam and a major sin, whether it is done in prose or poetry, such as if the poet says in his eulogy: 

“There has died one among whose troops was death, one before whom the divine decree felt scared”  

This line of verse includes a rejection of the divine decree in the words “one among whose troops was death”, which is a veneration of this person who has died. One such as this deceased person should not have resigned from the position of caliph; how could there ever be such a person again in the future? Similarly, the words “one before whom the divine decree felt scared” suggest that Allaah, may He be exalted, was afraid of him. If this is not blatant kufr then it seems from these words to be very close to it. Hence when Shaykh ‘Izz al-Deen ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam was in the gathering in which the sultaan assembled the prominent, Qur’aan readers and poets to mourn the caliph in Baghdad, and one of the poets recited the line,  “There has died one among whose troops was death, one before whom the divine decree felt scared”, when the Shaykh heard that, he ordered that he be disciplined and imprisoned, and he denounced that in the strongest terms and criticized his eulogy. After his ta’zeer punishment he remained in prison for a long time, then he asked him to repent after the governors and leaders interceded for him. He told him to compose a qaseedah praising Allaah, as expiation for what his poem had said about condemning the divine decree and suggesting that Allaah, may He be exalted, was afraid of the deceased. The poets often tried to indulge in such critical issues so as to attract attention by coming up with unique ideas. 

This type is the worst type of eulogy.  

The guideline on that which is haraam and a minor sin is any prose or poetry that does not go as far as the type mentioned in the first category, but it deprives the family of the deceased of consolation and stirs up their grief to such an extent that they torment themselves and have little patience, and it may lead them to despair, rending their garments and striking their cheeks. This is haraam and is a minor sin. 

The guideline on that kind of eulogy which is permissible is words that do not include any of the things mentioned in the two previous categories, rather it mentions the religious commitment of the deceased, and states that he has gone on to the reward for his good deeds and will be in the company of the people who are blessed; that there has come to him that which is decreed for all people; this is inevitable and it is something that all creatures have in common, a door which they will inevitably enter. This is permissible and is not forbidden. 

The guideline on the kind of eulogy that is recommended is everything that falls into the permissible category and will increase the family of the deceased in patience and encourage them to seek reward, and remind them to seek reward for their loss for the sake of Allaah and rely on Allaah’s care, etc. This is recommended and enjoined.  

An example of this is what was narrated from al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (may Allaah be pleased with him), when he died and his son ‘Abd-Allaah found it too difficult to bear. A Bedouin came from the desert and asked after ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas. When he entered upon him he said: 

“Be patient, we are being patient for your sake, for the people will be patient when their leader is patient.

The reward that comes after is better than al-‘Abbaas and Allaah is better for al-‘Abbaas than you.”  

When ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-‘Abbaas heard this eulogy and understood his poetry, he felt relieved. 

These words were the best kind of eulogy that lessened the impact of the calamity, took away grief, and expressed a positive attitude towards the divine decree praising the Lord in the best of ways. This is a good thing. 

Based on the four categories described above, we may categorize eulogies accordingly. And Allaah knows best. End quote. 

It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi

If it is said that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade eulogizing as was narrated by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah, and classed as saheeh by al-Haakim, if he forbade it than how could he have done it? i.e., in the hadeeth of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) quoted above. 

The answer is that the kind of eulogizing that is forbidden is that which praises the deceased and mentions his good qualities, so as to stir up grief and renew the sorrow, or which is done in gatherings convened for that purpose, or when the eulogy is limited to that without mentioning anything else. What is meant in this hadeeth is the Prophet’s expression of sorrow for Sa’d because he died in Makkah after having migrated from it, not praising the deceased and stirring up grief. This was stated by al-Qastallaani. End quote.  

See: Fath al-Baari (3/164-165) 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked: Do the qaseedahs which eulogize the dead come under the heading of death announcements that are forbidden? 

He replied: The qaseedahs that eulogize the dead do not come under the heading of death announcements that are forbidden, but it is not permissible for anyone to go to extremes in speaking of anyone or describe him in false terms, as is the habit of many poets. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz

Based on this, holding gatherings to eulogize the deceased is forbidden, especially if that is accompanied by stirring up grief or expressing discontent with the divine decree, or describing the deceased in false terms that were not true, and other haraam things. 

As for simply listing the good qualities of the deceased and expressing one’s sorrow at his passing, there is nothing wrong with that so long as it is free of the haraam things mentioned above, etc.

Etiquette of visiting graves:

It is prescribed to visit graves in order to learn a lesson from that and to remember the Hereafter. That is subject to the condition that one does not say anything that will anger the Lord, such as calling upon the one who is buried or seeking his help instead of Allaah, or praising him and saying that he is for certain in Paradise, etc. 

The purpose of visiting the graves is twofold:

(a)     The visitor benefits from remembering death and the dead, remembering that their destiny will be either Paradise or Hell. This is the primary purpose of the visit.

(b)    The deceased also benefits and is treated kindly by the visitor greeting him with salaams, making du’aa’ for him, praying for forgiveness for him. This applies only to Muslims. Among the du’aa’s that may be recited are: 

Assalaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-Muslimeen, in sha Allaah bikum laahiqoon, as’al Allaaha lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah (peace be upon you O people of the dwellings, believers and Muslims, In sha Allaah we will join you, I ask Allaah to keep us and you safe and sound).” 

It is permissible to raise the hands when reciting this du’aa’, because of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out one night, and I sent Bareerah to follow him and see where he went. She said, ‘He went towards Baqee’ al-Gharqad [the graveyard in Madeenah