QUESTION 1:What do the Qur’an and Sunnah say concerning the visiting of graves, the spiritual life and awareness of the dead, and the presence of barakah (grace) and nur (light) at the graves of the pious ones among Allah’s servants?
ANSWER:Firstly, Allah Ta’ala says in the Glorious Qur’an (9:84) about the graves of the hypocrite what means: “do not stand at his grave” (Wa la taqum ‘ala qabrih). From this the ‘Ulama of the four maddhab unanimously deduce that standing by the graves of a believer is on the contrary permissible.Secondly, it is narrated in Sahih Muslim, Sunan of at-Tirmidhi, Sunan of Abu Dawud, Sunan of Nasa’i and Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Book of Funerals) that Rasul-Ullah, sall- Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said what means: “I had previously forbidden you to visit graves, but I now permit you to visit them, for it will remind you of the Hereafter.”The Prophet Muhammad himself ,sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to visit the graves of his companions who had passed away at that time. It is narrated in Sahih Muslim and Sunan of at-Tirmidhi that the Rasul-Ullah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to regularly visit the graveyard of Medina, Jannat al-Baqi’, and make supplications there.It is also narrated in Sahih Muslim that Rasul-Ullah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, taught his wife, our mother Sayyidah Aishah, radi Allahu ‘anha’, the etiquette of visiting graves and the way of greeting the dead. Al-Bayhaqi, narrates that Rasul-Ullah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to visit the graveyard of the martyrs of Uhud annually.So, besides merely visiting the graves, in some cases the Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, would also make a habit of visiting them at specific times every year.Thus the practice of annual commemoration for visiting certain graves, as is the custom of many Muslims all over the world today, is actually derived from the Sunnah. Al-Bazzar narrates that the Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, visited the Jannat al-Ma’la graveyard in Mecca, where his dear wife, our Sayyidah Khadijah, radi Allahu ‘anha’, is buried and said about the place what means “This is a blessed graveyard” (Ni’mah al-maqbarah hadhih). Imam Muslim narrates that the Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, also visited his honourable mother’s grave, which is in a place between Mecca and Medina.He weeped there and those who were present also wept.One should also wonder – according to different ahadith – Jannat al-Baqi’ in Medina is regarded as the holiest graveyard on earth. This precisely happens because of the holy people who are buried there. This clearly shows that not all graves and graveyards are the same in status according to the Shari’ah. Those graveyards in which holy people are buried are definitely higher in status and barakah, and that is also the reason why the Muslims visit Jannat ul-Baqi’ in Medina and Jannat ul-M’ala in Mecca more than other graveyards.Al-Bayhaqi narrates in Shu’ab al-Iman that Rasul-Ullah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said what means: “Whoever visits the grave of his parents or the grave of one of them every Friday, he will be forgiven and his name will be written among the pious ones” (Man zara Qabra abawayhi aw ahadihima fi kulli Jumu’ah, ghufira lahu wa kutiba barran).If visiting the graves of one’s parents causes such a blessing, what about visiting the graves of the Prophets or of the intimate Saints of Allah? Rasul-Ullah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, encouraged the Muslims to visit graves regularly and considered a cause for forgiveness, although the ignoramuses dislike it. The above mentioned hadith also proves the validity and desirability of visiting graves on a regular basis, which is the common practice of the Muslims..It is narrated in Sharh as-Sudur by Imam al-Suyuti that the Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said what means that when one visits the graveyard, he should read Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat at-Takathur and Surat al-Fatiha, and present the reward of the recitations as a gift to the inhabitants of the graves. He, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, aslo explained that these souls will then ask forgiveness make for him, asking Allah Ta’ala to forgive and bless him. So this then is a command of the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam.We learn from this Hadith that the souls of the departed have the ability to make Du’a for the living, asking Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, to help the living who are visiting them. In another Hadith found in the Kanzul Ummal by al-Imam al-Muttaqi, it is narrated by Sayyidina ‘Ali, radi Allahu `anh, that the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: “Whoever goes to a graveyard or passes by a graveyard and recites Surah Ikhlas eleven times and gives the Sawab of the recital to the dead buried there, will receive the same Sawab for it as the dead people”. In fact the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, is encouraging us to recite Surah Ikhlas and present the Sawab of it as a gift to the dead when we visit them. Today, some people are saying that making Dhikr at the graves is Bid’ah!!!!! They must go and study Hadith.Awareness of the dead and their spiritual life in the graves:Firstly, the Qubur of the Prophets, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. A Sahih Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim (vol.2 p.268) states that the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that on the night of Mi’raj, “He, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, passed by the grave of Sayyidina Musa and saw him praying in his grave (iza bi Musa yusalli fi Qabrihi)”.This is evidence from the Sunnah of the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, that there are certain holy people of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, who can even pray in the Qabr. The Ulama say that they are not praying because it is fard upon them (since they have already passed away) but that they are praying for the sake of the love of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, and because they enjoy praying and thus talking to Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. This is why they pray in their graves.About the Ambiya Allah (Prophets), there are no doubts since Abu Ya’la and al-Bazzar (in their Musnads) narrate a Sahih Hadith that the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that: ” All of the Ambiyaa are Alive and Praying in their graves. (al-Anbiya Ahyaa’un fi Quburihim yusalloon). The Arabic word for prayer used in this Hadith is (Salah), which may also mean Du’a, besides the ritual Salah we know.In another Sahih Hadith narrated by Abu Dawud, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, Tabaranim and others, the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that one must make a lot of Salawat/Darud on the day of Jum’ah as this will be presented to the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. Then the Sahabah asked the Prophet, sall- Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, how their Salawat was going to be presented to him after he had died and his body is no more, and the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, replied that: ” Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, has made it haram (forbidden) for the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets”.By the way, things are only presented to someone if he is alive, fully aware and conscious of everything. This Hadith also shows that the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, is aware of our Salawat and our spiritual states, otherwise what is the meaning of this presentation?So they are alive in the graves, they are praying, they are aware regarding who is making Salawat on them in short— they know us. We also know that on the night of Mi’raj, all the Prophets, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, assembled in Masjid al-Aqsa, physically (or spiritually as some think), but all of these Prophets save I’sa, `alayhi-s-salam, had already died, so to say. Yet that night they met the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, spoke to him and prayed behind him.And when he went into the samawat (the skies) He, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, met them again. This shows, and we know it from many Sahih Hadith concerning the Mi’raj,that these Nabi’s were alive and they went to the Aqsa, went to the skies and met the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam.Yet many people today want to deny the life of the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wasallam, who is in fact the Imam of all those Prophets, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, saying that the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, is dead and cannot go from place to place, that he is no more and has no awareness in him, A’uzo billah. May Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, protect us from such blasphemy.We all know about the incident of Mi’raj, and the reason why Masjid al-Aqsa is so dear to us and so holy is because the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, prayed there with all the Nabis. If we say that they never prayed then why is it so dear to us? What then is the importance of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem?We also know that Sayyidina Musa benefitted us on that night because Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, had made fifty Salahs fard on us. But, through the intermediary action of Musa, `alayhi-s-salam, this number was reduced to five times daily. What a great help is this to the Ummah of Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. There are so many people having problems performing only the five daily Salahs, how much more difficult would not 50 have been? Allah’s Rahmah for us is indeed great. But it came to us through the mediation of a Prophet!But what is astonishing about this incident is that Musa, `alayhi-s-salam, had passed away 4 000 years before that night of Mi’raj, yet there he was, acting as an intermediary for the Ummah of the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam.If this is the ability of Musa, `alayhi-s-salam, what about the best of creation, the Imam of all Prophets, our own Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam? Cannot the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, benefit us today if Sayyidina Musa could benefit us then?Concerning the Qubur of ordinary Muslims:Firstly, the Holy Quran (3:169-170) is clear that those who die in the Way of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, are Alive. Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, (s.w.t) says: “Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s Way As dead. Nay, they are Alive! Finding sustenance from their Lord—They rejoice in the Bounty Provided by Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala,”. We do not think that there is any Ayah in the Quran which destroys the atheistic concept of Death as the end of all Awareness, as this Ayah.The Verse is clear that the Shahid’s, who, by the way, are lesser in status than the Prophets (Nabiy’yeen) and the Saints (Siddiqeen), are fully Alive in their graves and are even getting sustenance and even rejoicing.Even a child knows that only those who have full awareness and life need sustenance and have the capability of rejoicing. Thus, Those who call the friend of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, as dead are contradicting the very Book of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala.Our incapability of perceiving their life, in the physical sense, does not in any way negate the fact that they are alive in the Spiritual World. The Quran (2:154) is clear that: “And say not of those Who are slain in the Way of Allah: ‘They are Dead’. Nay, They are Living, though you do not perceive it”.It is narrated by Abu Nuaym and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal that the great Tabi’i (a person who met the Sahabah) Thabit al-Bannani, used to say “O Allah! If you would give anyone the honour of making Salah in the Qabr (grave), give me that honour. Abu Nuaym narrates that on the day of Thabit’s death, Jubair, radi Allahu `anh, one of the great Tabi’in also, said: “I swear by Allah who created me, other than whom there is no Lord, I put Thabit al-Bannani in his his Qabr that day when we buried him and with me was a person named Humaid at-Taweel and when we had finished putting the stones on the Qabr one of the bricks fell down and I saw Thabit al-Bannani making Salah in his Qabr.”In other words, Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, accepted the Du’a of this great Wali to make Salah in his grave. This is a Sahih Hadith narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Abu Nuaym.In another Sahih narration by Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that if anyone buries his brother, that he must put on a beautiful kafan for the dead person because they visit one another in the grave (innahum yatazaawarun).This is only speaking about ordinary Muslims and not Awliya Allah. If ordinary Muslim dead can visit one another in their Qubur, then how much greater is not the status and ability of the Awliya Allah in their Qubur? What awareness do not these friends of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, have in their Qubur?It is narrated by Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i as well as al-Hakim that one of the Sahabah put his tent over a Qabr without knowing it and when he was inside the tent, he heard someone reciting Surah al-Mulk. He went to Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and told him what he heard. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, informed him that Surah al-Mulk is a protection against punishment in the Qabr, and is protecting the man buried there.The ‘Ulama of Hadith explain that that man loved reciting Surah al-Mulk when he was alive and thus Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, granted him that he could recite it in his Qabr as well.This proves that an ordinary man is able to recite Qur’an in his Qabr and a normal living man is able to hear him. Thus if a truthful person claims that he has been spoken to by a Wali, at the Wali’s Qabr, it is most likely true, and most importantly, possible. This fact is grounded in the abovementioned Hadith.Even Ibn Taymiyyah, who is called “Shaykhu-l-Islam” by his Wahhabi followers,narrates another hadith sahih regarding this. We note that most of his followers today claim that the dead have no perception or power after their demise, i.e. abide by an atheistic and materialistic view of death.However, to refute them is enough to say their their beloved shaykh, Ibn Taymiyah narrates in his Fatawa (vol.24 p.331) that Rasul-Ullah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said what means, “When one passes by the grave of his believing brother who he had known in this world, then stands by his grave and says, ‘Assalamu ‘alaykum’, the person in the grave will know him and also return his greeting” (ya’rifuhu wa yarudda ‘alayihi-ssalam)”.This shows that the dead have awareness and are able to make du’ah for the living, since saying “as-salamu ‘alaykum” is a supplication in favor of the person one greets.Furthermore, against what his Wahhabi followers claim today, Ibn Taymiyah was asked in his Majmu’at al-Fatawa (vol.24 p.362) “Whether the dead could perceive the living acquaintances that visit them.” He replied: “There is no doubt that they can.” And he stated that evidence to this effect comes from the two Sahih books of Bukhari and Muslim (Kitab al-Jana’iz) where Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that when the people have buried a dead person and leave for home, the dead person can hear the steps of those who leave (yasma’u qar’a ni’alihim). (This even refers to the kuffar).What makes people who have studied Hadith claim that Prophets, Awliya and ordinary dead have no awareness after their demise? Maybe they have not studied properly.The Great Hadith and Tafsir scholar al-Suyuti was asked the following questions:Do the dead recognize their visitors and know their states in life?Do the dead hear what the living say?Do the souls of the dead meet and see each other?He replied to all questions: “Yes”, and produced a lot of ahadith in support.About the ayah that some people quote about the dead not hearing, the learned al-Suyuti says that it is the meaning is allegorical (an-Nafi Ja’a ala m’ana al-Majaz), and the actual meaning of it is that “They cannot listen to guidance” (Ma’naha Sama’ Huda) i.e. they are dead and they cannot be guided after rejecting guidance while they were alive.”Any scholar can check al-Hawi lil Fatawa (vol.2 p.169-175) by Imam Jalaluddin al- Suyuti.Do we want to follow the great giants of Islamic knowledge or modern day dwarfs?In Surah al-A’araf, we are told by Allah that after the evil people of Thamud were destroyed, Nabi Salih, `alayhi-s-salam, addressed them and said “O my people! I did indeed convey to you the Message for which I was sent by my Lord: I gave you good counsel, But ye love not good counsellors!”(7:79). Nabi Shuayb, `alayhi-s-salam, also addressed his destroyed nation and said similar words (7:93).The fact that Nabi Salih, `alayhi-s-salam, and Nabi Shuayb, `alayhi-s-salam, addressed their destroyed nations proves that according to these Nabi’s, even the dead kuffar can hear. If the kuffar can hear in their graves (the destroyed people didn’t even have graves) why can’t Believers hear from their graves?In a Sahih Hadith regarding the Battle of Badr, it is narrated that the Muslims threw Abu Jahl and other kuffar who were slain into a well. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, went to their Qubur and asked them whether they had found the promise of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, to be true (that the kuffar would be punished.Then, Sayyiduna Umar inquired of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, whether the dead could hear Him. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, explained that he (Umar) could not hear any better than them, but they did not have the ability to respond (Bukhari-Kitab al-Maghazi). This is the life of the kuffar dead. Today, some ignorant Muslims say that even the Prophet and the Awliya cannot hear us. We can only cry at their level of Imaan. Abu Dawud (Kitab al-Jana’iz) narrates that Aishah, radi Allahu `anh, said that when al-Najashi (the pious King of Abyssinia) had passed away, the Sahabah reported that there was LIGHT shining from his grave (yura ala Qabrihi Nur). He was not even a Sahabi but it was believed that he was a Wali. Thus, if the Sahabah believed that the Awliya can have Nur (light) and blessings at their Qubur, it does not matter what any 21st century ignorant ‘scholar’ says.In another Sahih Hadith narrated by Ibn Hanbal, Hakim and Tabarani, Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, saw a person sitting on a Qabr and told him: “Do not harm the person in the Qabr and he will not harm you.”(la tu’zi sahib al-Qabri wala yu’zeek).The ‘Ulama of Hadith explained that this shows that the dead are affected by what people do at their Qubur. This Hadith also shows that the dead feel what happens on the top of their graves. Otherwise, why not sit on a Qabr, if the dead does not feel anything?Therefore one should not harm or destroy Qubur. On the other hand showing respect at a Qabr and conveying your love to the inhabitant will also be felt by him and result in like action being returned to you That is why Muslims show outward respect to the Graves of those who they are ordered by Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, to love, i.e. the Prophets and the Saliheen (Saints of Allah).The second part of the Hadith proves that the dead have the power to harm as well as to benefit you, each in their own way and according to their status with Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, of course.Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal narrates that before Sayyidina Umar was buried in her room,Sayyidah Aishah would go there without Hijab (head Covering), as the Prophet (s.a.w) and Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, who were buried there were her Husband and Father. However, when Sayyiduna Umar got buried there, she would only go in the room with Hijab. (check Mishkat al-Masabih: Bab Ziyarat al-Qubur).This action clearly shows that according to Sayyidah Aishah, the dead can feel and see their visitors and are aware of those who come to them and how they come to them. It is narrated in a Sahih Hadith that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that every person’s grave would be either a garden from the gardens of Paradise or a hole from the holes of hell (Rawda mim Riyad al-Jannah aw Hufrah min Hufar an Naar)If the Qabr of a normal mu’min is a garden of paradise, what about the Qubur of the Awliya of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. Are they not from the Jannah? If yes, then only a fool can claim that there is no Barakah there!The people of Cape Town are Shafi’i. We say that when Imam al-Shafi’i was in Baghdad, whenever he would have a problem, he would visit the TOMB of Imam Abu Hanifah, pray two Rak’ahs there and ask Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, through the Barakah of Imam Abu Hanifah, and his problem would be immediately be solved. He would also make those two Rak’ahs according to the Hanafi Madhab. When asked why, he replied:”In respect of the person in the Tomb (i.e. Abu Hanifah)” (Ta’adduban ma’a Sahib al- Qabr).This Authentic story is narrated by the Great Shafi’i scholar Imam Ibn Hajar al-Makki in in his Book called “al-Khairat al-Hisan fi Manaqib al-Imam al-A’zam Abu Hanifah al- Nu’man”. The great Hanafi scholar Ibn Aabidin al-Shami also narrates it in the introduction of his massive work called “Radd al-Muhtar”.We ask, was Imam Shafi’i making Shirk, and are these great Ulama who narrated this incident also encouraging Shirk? Na’uzu billah min dhalik.Summary:It is Sunnah to visit Qubur, even on a certain fixed day, annually. The people in the Qubur have awareness about what is happening outside.Some dead are actually praying or making Du’a in their Qubur. It is Sunnah to recite Qur’an at the Qubur. There is Barakah at the Qubur of the Awliya. Graveyards become more blessed and significant when pious people are buried there.It is Sunnah to ask the pious to make Du’a for you. It is absurd to say that one may ask the living pious for Du’a but once they have passed away it is Shirk to ask Du’a, as they are still alive in their Qubur. Or, do they say that Shirk is allowed with a living person and not allowed with a dead person?
QUESTION 2:Is it true that Sayyidana Umar, radi Allahu `anh, chopped down the tree where he saw people praying to attain the Barakah of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam? It was believed that special Bay’ah-or oath of allegiance to the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, was taken at this tree.Mr.Gamieldien uses this to show that the Sahabah did not believe in the Barakah of Sayyidina wa Mawlana Rasul Allah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and were against honouring his monuments.ANSWER:It is well known that when Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, was in Hudaybiyyah he gave Bay’ah to the Sahabah under a certain tree. This incident is known as Bay’at al-Ridwan. The tree became famous when Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, mentioned it in the Holy Qur’an (48:18) saying: (Laqad radiy Allahu anil muminina iz. Yubayi-oonaka tahta ash shajarah) “Verily Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, is Pleased with those Believers who gave Bay’ah to you under the Tree”.In the time of Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, people were going to this historical tree and praying there to receive the Barakah of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. Upon knowing this, Sayyidina Umar went there and chopped down the tree. Faaik Gamieldien uses this Hadith, wrongly, to prove that praying under the blessed tree was Shirk. Also, to search for Tabarruk and blessings of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and pious people is Shirk and it is for this reason that Sayyidina Umar chopped down the tree.This is a great lie and some people fabricate this to suit their own ideas and nafs. Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, did chop down the tree, but not because he thought the people praying there were Mushriks, who, by the way, were Sahabah and Tabi’eenb themselves. That kind of a silly thought did not even occur to his mind.This incident as recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Maghazi) and Muslim (Kitab al-Imamah) took place because there was controversy over which tree was the one where the honourable Bay’ah was taken and reliable sources from amongst the Sahabah held that that tree in question was definitely the wrong tree and the original Tree could no longer be located and had mysteriously vanished. Ibn Umar (who was present in the Bay’ah under the Tree) said: “No one could locate the Tree after that year”. (Bukhari).Thus, the tree that the Sahabah and Tabi’een were visiting at Hudaybiyyah, in the era of Sayyidina Umar was not the real one, but it was in the same valley where the real one was.Hence, the real reason for Sayyidina Umar’s chopping down of the tree was because it was wrongly believed to be the Tree under which the Holy Bay’ah was taken.In fact, the mysterious vanishing of the Real Tree by Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, shows how important it was. The honourable Sahabah actually looked for the Tree and could not find it. Sayyidina Umar’s respect for the relics and things of the Nabi , sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, can be ascertained from the following incident narrated in Kanzul Ummal (vol.7 p.66) and Ibn Qudamah (al-Mughni vol.4 p.554):Once while going to the Mosque to lead the Jum’ah Salah, Umar passed by a canal (Mizab), which was in the way, and the dirty water from the canal messed up his clean clothes. Umar got angry and took the canal out of the way, went back home, dressed up again and went to Mosque.In the Mosque, the Prophet’s, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, uncle Sayyidina Abbas confronted him and said: “That canal was put there by the Messenger of Allah, sall- Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, as I saw with my own eyes”.When Sayyidina Umar heard that, he immediately left the Mosque with Abbas and went where that canal was, bent himself like in Ruku and said to al-Abbas:”O Uncle of the Messenger of Allah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, climb on my back and put the canal back where Allah’s Messenger put it”.THIS WAS THE LOVE AND RESPECT OUR MASTER UMAR HAD FOR THETHINGS RELATED TO THE MASTER OF ALL BELIEVERS, SAYYIDINAMUHAMMAD, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. THOSE WITH NO LOVE IN THEIR HEARTS CAN SAY AND DO WHAT THEY WANT.Summary:Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, did not cut the tree because he believed the people were making Shirk, he cut it because it was not the original tree.Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, had complete respect and honour for all things related to the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and it is unimaginable that he should show any kind of disrespect to them.The Sahabah gave a lot of importance to that tree and that is why they tried to locate it after the year of the Bay’ah. The Tabi’een would also go to the valley of Hudaibiyyah looking for that tree. However, Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, had made the original tree vanish for mysterious reasons.
QUESTION 3:What were the true views of Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, regarding Tabarruk (seeking Barakah with the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam? ANSWER: We ask, why did Sayyidina Abu Bakr as well as Sayyidina Umar requested to be buried next to the Qabr of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, in his house, while everybody in Madinah gets buried in the Baqie?Because they knew that there was Barakah at his Qabr and they wanted it.In fact, it is related in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Jana’iz), that when Sayyidina Umar finally got the confirmation of his burial next to Prophet’s, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, blessed Grave, he said: “There was nothing more important to me than that” (Ma Kaan Shai Ahamm ilayya min Zaalik).Today some people call it Shirk. May Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, guide them to the Barakah of His Prophet (s.a.w). It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Libas) that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, had a ring; thereafter Sayyidina Abu Bakr, radi Allahu `anh, had the ring, thereafter Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, and thereafter Sayyidina Uthman, radi Allahu `anh. Clearly, they wore this ring to receive the Barakah of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Maghazi) that the same holds true for the Spear of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. It was passed on to Sayyidina Abu Bakr, radi Allahu `anh, and then to Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, and then to Sayyidina Uthman, radi Allahu `anh, and finally to Sayyidina ‘Ali, radi Allahu `anh.It is also narrated in Sahih Bukhari that Sayyidina Ibn Umar, radi Allahu `anh, when travelling between Makkah and Madinah, would make a point of praying at the spots where Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, prayed. Clearly, Sayyidina Ibn Umar, radi Allahu `anh, wished to receive the Barakah of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam.This was also the practice of Sayyidina Abu Musa al-Ashari as narrated by Nasai (3/243).Thus, the Sahabah would search out the places where Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, prayed, and they would pray there.In Sahih Muslim (Kitab al-Libas vol.3 p.140), it is narrated that Asma’, the daughter of Sayyidina Abu Bakr had the garment of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, which she had received from Sayyidah Aishah (r.a). She would take the water with which she washed the holy Garment and give it to the sick. They would drink it and be cured.The Sahabah had accepted the fact that water from the blessed clothes of the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, had Barakah and could cure. Were these Sahabah Mushriks?Tabarani narrates that Sayyidina Abu Mahzura once removed his Turban, revealing a long patch of hair on his head. People inquired about this. He explained that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, had onced touched him on that part of his head and he could not bring himself to cut that hair.It is narrated in Al-Shifa of al-Qadi Iyad that Sayyidina Ibn Umar, radi Allahu `anh, would put his hands on Nabi Muhammad’s, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, Mimbar (pulpit) and would wipe it over his face. He was clearly looking for Tabarruk. If the Sahabah were clearly in need of Barakah, aren’t we?Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal narrates that the Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, visited the mother of Anas Bin Malik and he drank half a cup of beverage. She cut off and kept the part of the cup that had touched the Nabi Muhammad’s, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, lips, for purposes of Barakah.Abu Dawud, Tabarani and Imam Hakim relate in a Sahih Hadith that during the preparation for the battle of Uhud, one of the Sahabah was standing out of line. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, hit him back into line with a stick. The man was unhappy about this and complained to Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, gave him leave to exact revenge with like action. The man insisted that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, expose His flesh as He, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, had hit him upon his naked skin. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, lifted up his shirt and the man quickly kissed Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, on his stomach. The Nabi, sall- Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, smiled and asked him to explain his action. The man replied that he may die in the battle and wanted to make sure that he had made physical contact with Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, at least once in his lifetime.It is narrated by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (p.144) that Sayyidina ‘Ali, radi Allahu `anh, used to kiss the hands and feet of Sayyidina al-Abbas, radi Allahu `anh. How can we today term as “Shirk”, actions, which were not only acceptable to the Sahabah, but demonstrated their intense reverence of the Holy Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam.In another Sahih Hadith narrated by Tabarani and Abu Yala: In a battle between the Muslims and the Byzantine Romans, the Commander, Sayyiduna Khalid bin al-Walid (who had the title of the “Unleashed Sword of Allah”) was looking for a fez. When it was found, they saw that it was a very old and tattered. So the Sahabah inquired why he was looking for such a fez in the middle of a battle. He replied that he had stuck some hair of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, in it and whenever he would have it in battle, he would be victorious. He had lost it and was worried that the disbelievers would find it and win the battle.In Sahih Muslim (Kitab al-Hajj) it is narrated that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, distributed his hair amongst the Sahabah on cutting it on Mina. Each Sahabah would take a bunch for Barakah.It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Libas) that Sayyidah Umm Salmah would keep the hair of her husband, Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, in a red glass. Whenever someone was ill she would stroke the blessed Hair in water and give the water to that person to drink, and he would then immediately be cured.An-Nasai narrated that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, gave Bay’ah to a group of people. They informed Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, that they had worshipped idols before, but now that they were Muslim, they desired to build a mosque in that vicinity and requested His Du’a. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, performed the Wudu and gave the water left from His Wudu to these people, ordering them to destroy the idols and place the water in the mosque for Barakah. They were concerned that the water may dry up before they reached their far destination. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, replied that the water would bring purity and would not become less. (Mishkat al- Masabih).It is narrated in Sahih Muslim (Kitab al-Zuhd) that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, was travelling with his Sahabah through the land of Thamud, the land of the people of Nabi Salih, `alayhi-s-salam. While travelling, the Sahabah collected water from the wells in that land. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, ordered the Sahabah to throw that water away, as those were the wells of the kuffar in the time of Nabi Salih, `alayhi-s-salam. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, then permitted them to drink from a certain well that the camel of Nabi Salih, `alayhi-s-salam, drank out of.Imam al-Nawawi (Sharh Muslim vol.8 p.118) comments on this Hadith that we should try to derive blessings from things connected to pious people (wa min fawaid hazel Hadith, at-Tabarruk bi Aasaar as-Saliheen).It is important to note here that if Barakah is received from the camel of a pious person (who lived about 4000 years ago), what then about the Qubur of the Awliya of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala?!In Sahih Muslim, it is narrated that Sayyidina Utbaan, radi Allahu `anh, always asked Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, to pray in a certain part of his house, so that he too may pray there and receive blessings in this regard. Imam al-Nawawi says in Sharh Muslim vol.5 p.161 that there are three main things(Fawa’id) we learn from this Hadith:It is permitted to get Barakah from Pious People and objects connected to them.It is recommended to pray in the places where the pious used to pray.It is recommended to seek Barakah from the places where the pious people resided.Perhaps, the greatest proof of Tabarruk is the Story of the Holy Tabut (Wooden Chest) as mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah (Ayah 248):” And their Prophet said to them: ‘Verily the Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Tabut with with an assurance therein from Your Lord and the Relics left by theFamily of Moses and the Family of Aaron, Carried by Angels. In this is a Symbol for you if you indeed have Faith”.Al-Qurtubi (in his Tafsir vol.3 p.247) and Ibn Katheer (in his Al-Bidayah vol.1 p.8), write that the Jews, before embarking on a battle, would put this Chest in front of them and Pray, and they would then be victorious through the Barakah of that Holy Chest! Ibn Katheer (in his Tafsir vol. p.313) narrates that this Holy Chest (Tabut), carried respectfully by the very Mala’ika of Allah, contained the Sandals, Clothes, Sticks and other blessed Relics of Nabi Musa and Nabi Harun, `alayhi-s-salam.One need not to think that if the Relics of the Prophets of Bani Israel are so Honourable and Blessed in the Eyes of Allah, how Honourable and Blessed then are the things related to The Master of all Prophets, Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam!!! Summary:The Holy Quran clearly supports the Veneration of the Relics of the Nabis and that they are a source of security and Barakah..All the Sahabah always sought Tabarruk from any object connected to the pious. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, was first and foremost in teaching us to receive blessing from him as illustrated by the fact that He distributed his Hair and Wudu water.It is important to note that the learned ‘Ulama such as Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, radi Allahu `anh, and Imam Nawawi, radi Allahu `anh, etc. approved of the concept of Tabarruk. Maybe our contemporary local ‘uluma are more learned than them?To those who say that only Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, gives Barakah – not people, we agree, but we hold that people are able to share the Barakah that Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, gives them. All Barakah comes from Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala: the Barakah of the Qu’ran, of Islam, of the Ka’bah, of Madinah, of voluntary charity, of Zamzam water.Do we deprive ourselves from the Barakah of these things?! Of course not.Every Muslim knows that these are only “Means” and “Attractors” and that the real Source of Barakah is only Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala.If anyone wants to proclaim a limit upon Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, and His Barakah by saying that Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, cannot bestow Barakah upon individuals and objects whom He wants to, that person has a serious misunderstanding of the Attributes of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala.
QUESTION 4:Is it allowed to Kiss the Qabr? ANSWER: The issue of kissing is often (deliberately) misunderstood. Kissing is a natural human behaviour. One could kiss someone out of love, respect, honour, desire, or maybe even worship. It depends on your intention – the reason why you do it. However, some individuals insist on interpreting all types of kissing as worship. There is no real basis for this view, as it is not found anywhere in the Quran or the Sunnah. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to kiss the black stone, and thus, by the Prophet’s action one can clearly see that there is a distinction between merely kissing and worshipping. And even as this stone is the stone from Heaven (as in Nasai, Tirmidhi and Hakim), so are the Prophets, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and the saints the People of Heaven.These individuals then proceed to label Muslims who may kiss them out of veneration or love as Mushriks or Kafir. This labeling is the real act of Kufr.There is an interesting story about a man who condemned the kissing of the Awliya and the descendants of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, as Shirk and Worship of other Humans. When he was seen kissing his own son, he was asked why he was now worshipping his son. He said that he kissed his son out of love. The people responded by saying that they, too, kissed the family of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, out of love. The man then kept quiet.It is for this reason, the reason of love and respect, that visitors to the Qubur of the Ahlul Bayt, Sahabah, and Awliya kiss their respective Qubur.If individuals insist on holding the view that kissing a Qabr is an act of worship, let them prove it from Qur’an and Sunnah, and not merely give an opinion based on their hawa, or base desire.There are many Hadith which show that the Sahabah used to kiss the grave of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam: Ibn Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq, al-Samhudi in Wafa al-Wafa and al-Imam al-Mujtahid al- Subki in Shifa as-Siqam bi-ziyarat Khayr al-Anaam, narrate that when Sayyidina Bilal,radi Allahu `anh, came back to Madinah after many years, he went straight to the Honourable Qabr of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and fell down and put his forehead on the Qabr, and kissed it, saying, “Oh my beloved, Rasulullah, sall- Allahu `alayhi wa sallam.”This was an expression of his love for Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam. No doubt, some of todays “shaykhs” would label Sayyidina Bilal a “Mushrik”, claiming that he was worshipping the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam! Astaghfirullah.Tabarani narrates that Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, radi Allahu `anh, the Great Sahabi, once put his head on the honourable Qabr of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and kissed it. The Umayyad ruler, Marwan bin al-Hakam, a notorious man, asked Abu Ayyub why he was worshipping the stone. Abu Ayyub replied that he was visiting Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and not a stone. Someone then intervened and warned Marwan not to interfere with Abu Ayyub, radi Allahu `anh, as he was one of the Companions of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and Marwan let him be.Thus, when we visit the tombs of the Ahl al-Bayt and the Awliya, we are expressing our love for them, as Sayyidina Bilal and Sayyidina Abu Ayyub, not worshipping them.Imam al-Qastalani narrates in his Mawahib Ladunniyyah that when Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, died, his daughter, Sayyidah Fatimah, radi Allahu `anha’, took sand from His Qabr and put it over her face and wept, saying: “Maza ala man shamma Turbata Ahmadin an laa yashumma madaz Zamaani Ghawaliya (The person who has smelt the dust of the Grave of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, does not need to smell any perfume ever again)In other words, the Dust on the Qabr of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, has a better fragrance than any perfume in the world. This is what Imam al-Busiri said in his world famous Qasidat al-Burdah and some ignorant ‘shaykhs’ called him a Kafir too.Would some of todays “shaykhs” also condemn Sayyidah Fatimah’s act of Love, radi Allahu `anha’! Astaghfirullah! Ibn Hisham narrates that when Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, had passed away, Sayyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, radi Allahu `anh, went to kiss his forehead and said, “How blessed and perfumed are you when you are alive, and how blessed and perfumed are you when you have passed away.” Was he making Shirk?These are evidences from the Sahabah. And the same Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, who instructed us to destroy all the idols also instructed us to kiss the black stone – not for worship – but because of the stones closeness to Allah, subhana Hu wa Ta`ala. We draw an analogy between this stone and the tombs of the Awliya.The Ka’bah is also a stone building. We pray towards it and tawaf around it. Does imply worship? No! The Ka’bah represents the presence Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, just as the shrines of the Awliya are places where Allah’s, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, Rahmah descends.We also pray at the Maqam Ibrahim, as we are clearly instructed to in the Holy Qur’an (1:125): “And take Maqam Ibrahim as a place of Prayer” (wat takhizu min Maqam Ibrahima Musalla ) . Maqam Ibrahim is merely a large slab of stone containing the footprints of Nabi Ibrahim, `alayhi-s-salam. It is thousands of years old, and is not even a grave, nor the physical feet of Nabi Ibrahim, `alayhi-s-salam. Is praying there Shirk or Kufr? If not, then why condemn praying at the tomb of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and the Awliya of his Ummah?!Imam al-Dhahabi narrates in Majmu’ Shuyukh al-Dhahabi (vol.1 p.72-74) that the son of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said to his father that people touch and kiss the Qabr of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, to get the Barakah. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal replied that there was no problem with that (la ba’sa bihi).Imam al-Dhahabi went on to explain that:”Only some of the Sahabah did this, as the Sahabah had (obviously) seen Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, when he was alive, had close interaction with him, kissed his hand, fought over his Wudu water, distributed his Hair for Barakah, and even took his spit and rubbing it over their faces (as in Bukhari in clear words). But those who had not met Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, express their love by going to his Qabr, and kissing and touching it”.Imam al-Ghazali says in his famous work Minhaj al-‘Abideen (p.347) that the Wali of Allah reaches such a state that: “Allah gives Barakah in his Breath, Speech, Clothes, Company, places where he sat and even the Sand he walked on”.If the Barakah IS THERE, what is wrong if we try to get it??????We Ask: If we kiss the cloth over the Ka’bah because inside it is the House of Allah, And the cover of the Quran because inside it is the Book of Allah.THEN why can’t we kiss the cloth over a Tomb because inside it is a Wali of Allah????? Some ignorant and misguided people, upon losing all arguments, then go on to question the integrity of the Honourable Awliya and say: How do we know Status in the Akhirah?For them, the following Two Hadith’s from Bukhari (Kitab al-Jan’iz) should suffice:It is narrated that once a Janazah went pass the Prophet (s.a.w), and some of his Companions praised the dead person, so the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “It has been affirmed to him”. They asked What?. He said “The Jannah”, giving the reason for it as “You are the Witnesses of Allah on this Earth” (Antum Shuhad’a Allah fil Ard).The Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, also said: “Any Muslim, who is attested by four people to have Good Nature-Allah will enter him into Paradise”.We say, the Awliya of this Ummah are attested by Millions of Pious Muslims to be from the Friends of Allah, how can one then still question their Imaan?How can such an evil thought even occur in a Muslim’s mind concerning those who are honoured by both Allah and his Creation?To have a bad opinion of an ordinary Human Being is a sin, let alone to question the Imaan of those Saints whose holy lives and examples have inspired generations of True Believers in Allah.Point: If an accusation is made that people are kissing the Awliya out of worship, it remains the onus of the accusers to prove this, as we are all Muslims who say, “La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadun Rasul Allah.”To brand a Muslim as a Kafir is one of the gravest sins in Islam. We worship Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, and honour his friends.Shirk is related to one’s internal belief concerning Allah, it is not about kissing and respecting. To consider acts of love and respect as Shirk is a trivialization of the concept of Shirk. In fact, to call Muslims as Mushriks on issues of difference is the real Bid’ah that is plaguing the Ummah of Islam.
QUESTION 5:Is it allowed to put flowers on the Qabr? ANSWER: It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that: Once, while travelling, Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, stopped at a certain place and said that there was a grave in front of him, and that the person therein is busy suffering punishment. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, then broke off two branches from a date palm and placed in on the grave, and said that as long as the branches were fresh, the punishment would be lessened.This is because the fresh branches would be making the Dhikr of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. So this act is a Sunnah, and people use flowers, as it is more available and also able to maintain its freshness for much longer.From this we can also deduce that if we ourselves perform Dhikr at the Qubur, it would also lessen the inhabitants’ punishment. Performing Dhikr at the Qubur of the Awliya would bring more blessings upon their respective Ruhs (souls). Doing this would be compliance with a divine order.It is stated in the famous Hanafi Fiqh book Fatawa Alamgiriyyah/Hindiyyah (Kitab al- Jana’iz) that it is allowed to put flowers on a grave. Mullah Ali al-Qari writes in the commentary of the above-mentioned Hadith in al-Mirqat fi Sharh al-Mishkat that:”Our Ulama have issued a ruling that to place fragrance and plants (over a grave) are a Sunnah practice”.One fails to understand how placing flowers over a grave means associating a Partner with Allah!!! To say that, actually means that flowers should only be put on the grave of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala! Astaghfirullah!!!!It is sad that sometimes, even so-called learned people also cannot understand the consequences of calling a normal practice of Muslims as Shirk.Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that “The one who does not thank people, does not thank Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala,”, and we owe it to the Prophets, `alaymmu-s-salam, and Awliya, who protected and spread the Deen of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, over the ages, that we visit their shrines, dress it with flowers if we wish to (as it is Sunnah) and make Dhikr there. A Nation, which does not honour its true servants and heroes, is an ungrateful Nation and is bound to confusion.
QUESTION 6:Is it allowed to build Domes or structures over graves? ANSWER:Pseudo scholars define Bid’ah as anything that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, did not do. However, the true definition of Bid’ah is:’Anything that has not been done by Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and does not have an origin (Asl) in the Shari’ah Qur’an and Sunnah’.Certain people unceremoniously condemn the building of domes on Qubur as Bid’ah, but what about the building of domes on the Moques?There were no domes on the Mosques in the time of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, nor were there any carpets, Minarets or Mihrabs. All these designs and structures were added long after the Beloved Nabi’s time.Domes were added to amplify the voice of the Imam by making it echo, carpets were added so that people did not have to pray on sand and minarets were added so that people could see the location of the mosque from a distance. Let those who cry “Bid’ah!” build themselves a mosque without a dome, carpet, Mihrab and Minarets.Let us remember that the Nabi, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, himself put a large stone to mark the grave of his Sahabi Uthman bin Maz’un and said:(li A’alama bihi Qabra Akhi) i.e. “So that I can know the Qabr of my brother”.(Abu Dawud and Mishkat al-Masabih).This Hadith is the Asl (Islamic origin) for marking graves, especially that of special people so that they may be KNOWN. The designs and style of structure may change over the centuries, but the Original Idea comes from the Sunnah, as the idea to decorate Masajid.The most significant proof for the permissibility of having structures over graves is the example of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, himself. He said that a Prophet should be buried where he passed away. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, passed away inside his house and was subsequently buried inside it, and the Sahabah did not destroy that structure.For those who claim that this is an exception applicable only to Nabi Muhammad, sall- Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, firstly, let them prove it from the Qur’an or Sunnah, and secondly, we ask them why Sayyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, radi Allahu `anh, also wanted to be buried inside this structure? The very same holds true for Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, who was also buried inside this structure. Their action clearly shows the validity of having a grave in a structure, for non-Prophets as well. Another Hadith often misinterpreted and quoted out of context is where Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, ordered his Sahabah to destroy all the high graves.In the time of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, there were no graves of Muslims, only graves of kuffar, which were built high. The Sahabah were thus ordered to destroy the high structures on the graves of the kuffar, not of the Anbiya or Awliya.A significant evidence to support this is that when Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, conquered Syria and Palestine, both lands abounded with great tombs of the honoured Prophets, `alaymu-s-salam, of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, e.g. the shrine of Nabi Ibrahim, `alayhi-s-salam, the tomb of Nabi Yusuf, `alayhi-s-salam, Nabi Ya’qub, `alayhis-salam, Nabi Dawud, `alayhi-s-salam, Nabi Sulayman, `alayhi-s-salam.Sayyidina Umar, radi Allahu `anh, destroyed the idols in Syria and Palestine, but he did not touch the shrines of the beloved Prophets, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. Thus the above Hadith refers to the high graves of the kuffar.In a Sahih Hadith, Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, says that the honour of a Mu’min who has passed away is the same like his honour was when he was alive (Hurmatul Mumini maitan ka Hurmatihi Hayyan).Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, says that the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, are the pious ones. So we respect the pious in the Dunya, and when they pass away, we continue honouring them by venerating their graves (as allowed in Islam of course).In another Sahih Hadith, it is narrated that when Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, looked at the Holy Ka’bah, he said, “How great are you, oh house of Allah, but I swear by Allah who created me, that the honour the believer is even greater than you”. The Holy Quran (Surah al-Haj Ayah 32) says: “And those who venerate the Sha’a’ir Allahi (Signs/Symbols of Allah), then that is from the Taqwa in their hearts”. (wa man yuazzim sha’a’ir Allahi fa innaha min Taqwal Qulub)In the Quran (1:158), the mountains of Safa and Marwah were called Sha’a’ir Allahi, because they are the mountains on which a Waliyyah from the Ummah of Nabi Ibrahim, `alayhi-s-salam, called Hajirah ran seven times.What about a place where a Wali from the Ummah of Nabi Muhammad’s, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, is resting?We believe that place is also from the Sha’a’ir Allahi and should be honoured.It is thus unfortunate that some people want to prohibit us from honouring the Awliya of Allah. They forget that we honour them for the sake of Allah and not as Partners with Allah. No Muslim can ever do that.There are also Qur’anic evidences supporting the building of structures at graves. Surah al-Kahf, Ayah 21, speaks about the honourable Ashab al-Kahf. According to Tafsir al-Jalalayn, ‘The believers’ built a Masjid at their Qubur. This was to derive extra blessings from the pious ones buried there, as in the Tafsirs of Khaffaji, Baydawi, Razi and Ruh Al-Bayan.Also often misinterpreted is the Hadith which says that Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, cursed the people who have turned the Qubur of Prophets into Mosques.This Hadith is actually referring to those people who actually pray to the Prophets, and not those who merely pray near the Prophets’ graves – to Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, -for the sake of Barakah.Every Haji can see that in Madinah, in the Blessed Prophet’s (s.a.w) Mosque, people have been praying around the four sides of His Holy and Blessed Qabr ash-Shareef for 1400 years. Was that Shirk?In Makkah, it is recommended to pray in Hijr Ismail (also called Hateem), as it has the Qabr of Nabi Ismail (a.s) in it as many scholars have said (Qisas al-Anbiya by Ibn Katheer).In the famous work of Shafi’i Fiqh, Umdat as-Salik, it is clearly stated that what is meant by “making a Qabr a Masjid” is: “praying to it in honour or praying on it (Reliance of the Traveller p.896). “Ittikhaz al-Qubur Masajid” does not mean praying around it or building structures over it. Building something on a Qabr is definitely not allowed as it is disrespectful to the person buried, but establishing the Qabr and building a structure over it is definitely allowed and the universal practice of the Ummah for 1400 years. There is no clear proof against this, only for it.For 1400 years, the Honourable Tombs of the Great Sons and Daughters of Islam, throughout the Islamic World, have acted as symbols of inspiration and glory for all Muslims, as well as a source of Barakah and Spirituality.It is indeed sad that, today, while other nations are working hard to maintain the memory of their Heroes and Leaders, We are being are told by certain ignorant 20th scholars to wipe out the memory of Our Heroes and Leaders.In summary, to kiss the black stone is a Sunnah, to decorate the grave with flowers is a Sunnah, and to destroy the graves of the Awliya is a Bid’ah.The Sahabah actually used to maintain the graves.
Question 7:Another condemnation issued by Shaykh Faaik was the comparison that he drew Between the Muslims of Cape Town (and of the whole world for that matter as every Muslim country has respected Tombs/Kramats) who visit the shrines of the Awliya, and the idolaters in the time of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam? Are we the Same as the idolaters of Makkah? Answer: That statement of ‘Shaykh’ Faaik really proves how ignorant he is. Here, Faaik is actually trying to invalidate an authentic saying of Nabi Muhammad’s, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam.It is narrated in a Sahih Hadith in Ibn Majah (Kitab al-Zuhd), that Nabi Muhammad, sall- Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that the thing he dreaded most for his Ummah was Shirk. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, went on to say that he does not mean that his Ummah is going to worship the sun or the moon or idols (ama la aqulu tabuduna shamsan wala qamaran wala wasana), but that they are going to do things for reasons besides for the sake of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, e.g. they would pray to impress people, perform hajj to show off, and the study the Deen to show off to people or cause Fitna .So, Prophet Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, did not fear that his Ummah would worship idols. If someone comes along and says that the Ummah of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, is worshipping idols, he is implying that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, was wrong. Astagh firullah.Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, actually warned us about people like Shaykh Faaik. It is narrated in a Sahih Hadith that Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that towards the end of time, people will say to you things that neither you, nor your forefathers have heard. Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, goes on to say that we should beware of them, lest we be misguided into confusion.In the light of the fact that Shaykh Faaik is quoting Hadith about the kuffar in Makkah who worshipped idols and is now using in reference to Muslims, we say:In Sahih al-Bukhari it is narrated that Abdullah ibn Umar said that the Khawarij (enemies of Sayyidina Ali) were the worst of people because they used Qur’anic Ayats referring to the kuffar, and made it to refer to believers. (nazalat fil Mushrikeen wa Ja’a looha fil Mumineen).This is exactly what Shaykh Faaik is doing.Shaykh Faaik also compared us to the people who, in the time of Nabi Nuh, `alayhi-ssalam, used to keep pictures of certain people and then worshipped it. How can he compare those kuffar to the Ummah of Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam?How can one compare the misguided people of Nabi Nuh to the blessed followers of Nabi Muhammad (s.a.w)?Shaykh Faaik also says that if you honour the Awliya, you will end up worshipping them.However, Muslims all over the world have been honouring the Awliya for 1400 years, and until today, nobody has ever worshipped them. In Cape Town people have been honouring the Awliya for 300 years and, alhamdulillah, the people of Cape Town are still Muslims – nobody worships the Awliya, but all respect them, except hypocrites of course.Finally, Shaykh Faaik quotes an Ayah of the Qur’an where the kuffar say that they worship idols to get closer to Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, claiming that that is the same for those who visit the shrines of the Awliya of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. This is an utter misinterpretation of that Ayah. The kuffar were lying – they did not really and fully believe in Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, but were only making excuses. Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, instructed us not to swear at the “gods” of the kuffar, as these kuffar will then swear at Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, (The Holy Qur’an 6:108). This proves that they did not really believe in Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. In the battle of Uhud, the Kuffar were calling the names of their idols, when the Sahabah called the name of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala!Also, the kuffar explicitly said that they worship (Na’buduhum) their “gods” to get closer to Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala. Not a single Muslim out of all the millions of Muslims in the world who visit the Awliya claims to worship them. We only respect and love them and want to be close to them because Allah says: (Inna Rahmat Allahi Qaribun minal Muhsineen) i.e. Verily, the Rahmah (Mercy) of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, is close to the Pious Ones.We can only repeat the Ayah of the Quran: (Afa tajaloon al-Muslimeena kal Mujrimeen-Maalakum Kaifa tahkumun) i.e. “Do you make the Muslims like the Mujrims (Kuffar)-What is (wrong) with you, How do you Judge?”Faaik Gamieldien says that only Allah is our protector and helper and we don’t need any Prophet or pious person’s Barakah.We say that Allah himself clearly states in the Holy Qur’an (5:55):”Verily, your Wali (Protector or Helper) is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers”. (Exact words of the Saudi translation of the Qur’an validated by the university of Madinah, printed in Riyadh: 1993).Also, it is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Jihad) under the Heading “Whoever Sought the Help of the Poor and the Pious people in War”, that the Prophet, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: “You gain no victory or livelihood except through (the blessings and invocations of) the poor amongst you”. (Exact words of the Saudi Validated translation by Muhsin Khan).Yes, ultimately Allah is the only protector and helper but the Anbiya and the Awliya are the attractors and the reflections and of his help and protection. Only an ignoramus can deny this. CONCLUSION Today some people claim to teach us Tawhid. We have to remember that there are two types of Tawhid – the true Tawhid, and the false tawhid. We have to beware of the false tawhid, which is the tawhid of Iblis, as it started with him.Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, ordered Iblis (Shaytan) to Sujud (prostrate) before Nabi Adam, `alayhi-s-salam, out of veneration. Iblis responded that he only venerates Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, and nobody else. What is Iblis’s fate? Hell.The cursed Iblis was the first ‘Aalim’ who thought that venerating a friend of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, is against Tawhid.So those who do not want us to honour the people who Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, has honoured by making them His Awliya, are like Iblis – claiming to honour Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, exclusively, and not honouring the friends of Allah, subhanahuwa Ta`ala.The Malaika (Angels) knew that true belief in Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, means loving, respecting, and venerating all those close to him, so they bowed to Adam (a.s), and were blessed.It is ironic that the Mala’ika (Angels) made Sajdah to Nabi Adam, `alayhi-s-salam, but some people today, have a problem with Honouring Nabi Muhammad, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and don’t want to stand up for his honour.However, they will stand up to drink Zamzam water, in respect of it and because it is Sunnah to drink Zamzam standing and drink all other water sitting. They honour Zamzam, water that come from the Blessed feet of Nabi Ismail, `alayhi-s-salam, but refuse to honour the greatest of all Prophets.This becomes even more ironic when we read in Sahih al-Bukhari (Kitab al-Jana’iz) that the Nabi, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, and His Sahabah would even stand up in respect for a Jewish man’s funeral procession!!!A Jewish man’s Janazah can be honoured but the Beloved Nabi of Allah, sall-Allahu `alayhi wa sallam, cannot be Honoured because it is bid’ah to stand up!!! The Tawhid of Islam insists that we honour all those whom Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala, has honoured, the Anbiya, Siddiqin, Shuhada and Salihin, all the honourable Prophets and Friends of Allah, subhanaHu wa Ta`ala.